The 4-Hour Work Week, cover

The 4-hour Work Week, Escape the 9-5 and Get a New Life.

Tim Ferriss suggests that wealth itself is not the aim but a means of achieving a lifestyle. His book, The 4-hour Work Week, argues that a better approach to quality of life is not to wait for retirement but to spread a series of mini-retirements through life. Combined with an alternative portfolio career it will provide the lifestyle of what he calls the New Rich. For the New Rich it is about a rich lifestyle rather than simply getting rich.

In The 4-Hour Work Week Timothy Ferris suggests his lifestyle challenges traditional concepts of retirement as old-fashioned. It is a manifesto for living more, working less and living the dream. He makes a distinction between the wealthy who are usually hard at work making money and his New Rich. The moneymakers put off living their dreams until a mythical someday while Ferriss' New Rich are working smart and already living the millionaire lifestyle along the way.

DEAL: Definition, Elimination, Automation and Liberation

Defining the personal dream, dreamlining as Ferriss calls it, is the first step in Ferris' DEAL approach. It starts with a challenge self-defeating assumptions of "common sense" and social pressures as a prelude to the four main ingredients of the new rich lifestyle. Removing those and other barriers such as lack of money Tim Ferriss encourages the reader to dream about  what they really want to be, to do and to have.

Elimination of non-productive activities - This uses Pareto analysis to remove the non-productive which forms the argument that this book is not about time management . This approach will allow most people to be more productive even in a traditional working environment.

Automate or delegate the boring parts of life and work - Automate is about creative approaches to running a business that delivers income without the owner, the New Rich, needing to manage it day to day. Many ideas can also be used by employees who automate parts of their working and private lives to give free time.

Liberate one from the mundane to experience life - This explains the mini-retirement concept and how it can be achieved either as an employee or as the owner of an automated business. This approach creates flexibility, particularly of location, which gives the opportunity of making money go further to support the new rich lifestyle.

Not a About Time Management, Do Only Do What is Essential

Despite the author's denials  that The 4-Hour Work Week is not about time management there is good advice about how to use time more effectively, not just more efficiently, by doing what is really needed and no more. The purpose of freeing more time is to be able to live life now not as many do, simply using theat time on unproductive and uninspiring attendance at work.


The 4-Hour Work Week promotes the idea of owning of a business, not managing it. The aim is to use automation and outsourcing the work to third parties. Many large organisations already do it and it is central to living the life of the new rich. It is about getting the benefits from a business without spending time on work.

Lifestyle - making and taking opportunities now!

Tim Ferriss suggests The 4-Hour Work Week as an antidote to adult-onset Adventure Deficit Disorder. A very real condition closely related to the mid-life crisis where realisation dawns about missed opportunities whose time has passed as they require youth. Looking back over one's life regret is usually for opportunities not taken which why this book encourages the reader to enjoy life now.

The aim is to change working practice and use the new freedom to do more living and eliminate the material acquisition that is a substitute for real fulfilment.

Simple Ideas That Challenges Assumptions

The 4-Hour Work Week is good read and like many books of this type it has a simplistic feel but it is not superficial. There is sound advice which can be used without wholesale changes. Nevertheless there is much to recommend the author's alternative lifestyle and the reviewer knows people who live this way.

Ferris makes a strong case that it is possible, even for an employee, to live the new rich lifestyle. Most people never will make the leap because it takes them out of their comfort zone, one acceptable to society generally. If the reader can overcome inertia, and fear, then this book may well be the start of a new and rewarding life. However doing it as an employee will only really be possible for knowledge workers; doctor, plumbers and other who need to be physically present will need to find other ways than simply working more effectively and efficiently.

The 4-Hour Work Week is published by Vermilion at £11.99 - ISBN: 978-0-09-192372-3

Hunter-gatherers apparently have more leisure than most people working in modern society. Could Tim Ferris be right?



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