Category Archives: Reading List

Innovation for Breakfast: A Dad’s Book Review of The 4-Hour Work Week

The 4-Hour Workweek

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You’ve probably felt my frustration at some point in the bookstore or on a blog. You see a title that’s captivating, a post that is well illustrated, links or references that are well organized and promised to be extremely valuable……and yet you exit the site empty, close the book disappointed, and go on with life having learned nothing. The problem isn’t a lack of skill from the writer, often it’s that they are writing for a particular group that you just aren’t a part of. The 4-Hour Work Week isn’t just for business school dropouts and burnout execs who want to get out of the office more. Unlikely groups, such as students and parents, can take away huge nuggets of lifestyle-design techniques that make life more simple, effective, and prosperous.

As I have been working my way through the Personal Mba Reading list in no apparent order, The 4-Hour Work Week jumped out at me the most. More to come!

All I have to say can be summed up in 3 sentences:

  1. The 4-Hour Work Week is an awesome book with ideas that accurately redefine ‘success’ in a post-industrial world and challenge your assumptions on work, lifestyle, and currency.
  2. Every area of life needs innovation. Family, finances, work, or Church….you can improve and enjoy it!
  3. Hold to convictions firmly but methods loosely

I have read and devoured The 4-Hour Work Week and loved every innovation-infused sentence of it! Since it’s release, The 4-Hour Work Week has risen to the New York times best seller list and catapulted the name Tim Ferris. The book is an introduction to the phenomena called The New Rich and builds on a foundational ethic that I believe in, work smart not hard. The key of The New Rich is two forms of currency:

Time and Mobility

Master how to create, free up, and use these two everyday and you’re in the club!!

Ferris is not advocating for laziness or get rich quick scams that leave you questioning your own values. Instead, just as we have learned to value debt elimination, we learn in the book to value work elimination. I believe in being a good steward over my time and that everyday is a gift.  The 4-Hour Work Week is a lifestyle design guide that focuses on cutting out the unnecessary work and stress that we have grown accustomed to. The chapters are separated into four Steps using the  DEAL acrostic.

Step 1-Definition   – What is important?

Step 2-Elimination    – Kill time/activity wasting

Step3-Automation  – Put income on autopilot

Step 4-Liberation    – Free yourself from mediocrity and bondage to traditional notions that are more dead than Bambi’s mom

My Mental Renovation: What I received from The 4-Hour Work Week

I was wrong….I don’t want my kid to be wronger

I was always taught that your goals should be “goto college, get a good job, and work hard. Then everything will be alright!” That’s a lie! College guarantees nothing! Working hard means what exactly? And what good jobs are still out there? This is not the industrial age anymore. Some of the concepts and technology that people learn in their freshman year of college is outdated by the time they graduate.

Technology loses value but ideas are priceless…AND….they’re free!!!

People generate wealthy lifestyles by leveraging time and good ideas to become successful. I remember one year at my good job I had worked 60 hour weeks, generated record breaking success, and had the best quarter ever. i had made enough money to be comfortable and happy.

Did I get a reward? No! I was told that my earnings had become excessive and was placed on a salary that minimized everything I would make after that. Good job.

Life is better LARGER

Have you ever sat at your desk or in your cubicle and thought: “I could be doing this at home!” The 4-Hour Work Week gave me some awesome food for thought to construct my own method of spending less time at the office and providing great work to my boss. I don’t need to be at the job site to make results. Now I have the plan that I have already started enacting to be more mobile in 2011. Workplace independence!

If you’re a parent you share my struggle in the areas of time and finances. The two things there is never enough of. To my delight, the book offered some cool tips on simplifying my day.

Some of the cool things I gained:

  • 3 I’s to ignore (good for time management. especially for parents for working from home)
  • How to have exotic cuisine cooked at my home, by someone else, for less than the cost of Boston Market
  • How to discipline my time during social networking and pursue more purposeful interaction
  • How to outsource work and make my boss let me work from anywhere but the office
  • How to speedread

There a very few real excuses

We live in a fat and overdrawn society. We daily walk in the funky essence of more is better, busy is productive, and overload is undervalued. Uh…no! I dare you to take 24 hours and construct your own low information diet. Unplug from the zombie lifestyles we’ve grown to love!

Elimination is probably the best word to describe the quest that I am on. Eliminating frivolous work, time wasting habits, and unnecessary information. I have a hunger to delegate. I’ve always been what you call a firefighter. I love the glory of solving the problems that I actually created through my own failure to empower others and develop systems that get the work done. Oh….just in case you didn’t know….this is a very biblical principle! Yep..it’s in the book! 🙂

Case in point: The Apostles at the beginning of the church utilized the principles that Tim highlights in the book.

1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5 This proposal pleased the whole group.-Acts 6:1-5

The Apostles knew the work to which they had been called and would not allow other things to compromise that. Delegation, walking in purpose and identity vs conformity to the demands of everybody else, and ability to hear one voice amid a cloud of others.

Hope

Most importantly, I received hope from The 4-Hour Work Week. There were sections of the book that I did not agree with. some bits and pieces of advise I have absolutely no intention of using, but at the end of my exploration of the world of the New Rich I knew without a doubt that I could do and accomplish things I had only talked about before. That’s the beauty of this book, it explains the what and illustrates the how. Before you get to Step III you have already tried 5 different things to grow you so you can handle the next idea that jumps at you. The process of reading becomes a process of transformation.

As a Father it’s important that I invest  my time wisely and live a lifestyle that enables me to be available to my family and effective in business. After devouring The 4-Hour Work Week I intend to use many of the tools I have gained to make my own case studies and experiment in my new lifestyle. Regardless of where you are in life, ministry, or family this work is a good read to equip you and stretch your thinking to match up with the global environment we find ourselves living and competing in.  Visit

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