To understand this review you first need to understand that I am a whole-life coach who places a strong focus on career. I spend a lot of time helping clients discover a job doing something they will love, and if what they love isn’t in line with their values (like what they want to make financially or to be able to support their family) we then focus on learning to love any job. Another part of what I do is client performance, helping clients to become an “achiever” and an “accomplisher” of things. This is important to understand why I have taken the position I have on this book. Please know, like all things, this is my opinion and you should make your own assessment of Tim Ferriss’s book.
After picking up the revised Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss I was excited to see what all of my clients had been talking about (and quite frankly had very mixed reviews about). Essentially the book is about bending rules and coming up with creative ways of eliminating unnecessary work from your day. There are some interesting tips that are absolutely useful. He provides templates and words that you can use to redirect work and become more efficient. And honestly, much of it can be applied broadly. That’s the good news.
The bad news…
The Four Hour Work Week is not for every type of or personality. In fact, the vast majority of people who attempt to use the tactics in his book the way that he does to achieve only a four hour work week will likely not be successful the majority of the time.
In the revised version of the book Tim Ferriss explains that having a four hour work week has nothing to do with money; however, throughout the book he cites many examples of requiring copious amounts of money. He uses examples of information selling websites he has created to create his own form of passive income. Overall, the book is disjointed as well; he goes from negotiating with the boss, shirking responsibility, to speed-reading and setting voicemail messages. I strongly believe that Ferriss is another information seller making lots of money off of hopeful people looking for a quick win and personal satisfaction. This thought was echoed by Dorie Clark with the Harvard Business Review, who says “Unfortunately, as with many [North] American cultural obsessions, we look too quickly for the easy answer.” There is no problem with this, there can be a lot of benefit to people who purchase these types of programs. However, in my opinion, Tim Ferriss is not at the top of the list of information sellers’ regarding his content. There are better information products out there to achieve the same type of results. I recommend a couple below.
Most people with a strong moral compass could not execute what Ferriss suggests. This is another attempt at the rich getting richer—even if you call them the New Rich. To be clear, I appreciate some of his definition of the New Rich. I think it’s important to redefine what wealth is in our world; however, I don’t think Tim Ferriss actually cares if you achieve this or not. In fact, if you read his book you clearly see that he doesn’t care what you think or do with it. What he cares about is that you buy it. This is clear because his strategies listed in the book come at the cost of other peoples happiness and satisfaction. In the beginning of the book he talks of being a “rule bender”. He has an enticing book title and a very good marketing strategy. In fact, he is bending the rules of good information. His only purpose for this book is to get you to buy it, he is not interested in helping anyone but himself! This is Ferriss’ way of being in the world and there is nothing wrong with it. For me, I wouldn’t recommend it to the majority of my clients.
As a career coach, I have had a few clients come in confused, distraught and sometimes let go from their jobs because of attempting his strategies too aggressively. I will say that some of the strategies are okay, they can work if you apply them slowly and with discernment; however, there is almost no one the author doesn’t alienate in his book (or want you to alienate in order to make your life better at the cost of someone else).
In my professional opinion, this book is all about the rich getting richer on the backs of those who can’t successful implement what he speaks about. Instead, I would recommend finding a different book or information product on personal performance, productivity, and accountability. I would suggest something by Tony Robbins instead. Something such as Awaken the Giant Within or Getting Things Done by David Allen will likely suit the majority of peoples needs much better.
A four-hour workweek is possible, but in order to do so you will have to become a rule bender, consider setting your morals aside and learn how to make money while you sleep. If you can do this, I say go for it! With that said, you may find some of the tactics useful in increasing your performance. Personally, I think this is a money grab to make Tim Ferris not only the New Rich, but simply rich. I will refrain from calling Ferriss a “douche” like others have.
Christopher is the CEO and Founder of Change My Life Coaching — a fast growing whole-life coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind. He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job” [//www.changemylifecoaching.ca/book/]. Christopher spent 10+ years working in the corporate world with a plethora of industries and companies. His focus was primarily in planning, strategy, and leadership of change management and communication. Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker who truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him at Christopher@ChangeMyLifeCoaching.ca.