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The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek

by Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferriss has a very original personality, in that he tries to hack everything in life. He finds holes in rules and achieves what he wants in quite an unconventional way. The main message from his book The 4-Hour Work Week is to use your time wisely and invest only in the most important things. Your time is your biggest asset, and you don’t have to always exchange it for money.

Summary Notes

Step I: Definition

These individuals have riches just as we say that we ‘have a fever,’ when really the fever has us.” —Seneca (4 B.C.–A.D. 65)

Our culture drives us to work hard in order to retire one day and finally have time to take a long vacation. Then, at the age of 70, we wake up and regret that we did not do all those things we always wanted to do.

It doesn’t have to be like that. The New Rich is a new subculture of people who are rich in a new way. Time and mobility is their currency. They have different priorities and life philosophies, which makes them different from the crowd. Let’s check out some principles of the New Rich: to work when you want to work, and not for the work’s sake. Not to wait for retirement, and instead, distribute mini-retirements throughout life. To experience things instead of buying new things you want to have. To not be a boss or an employee, but an owner of a company. To earn only as much money as you need, instead of making tons of money. First of all, to have the freedom.

The New Rich challenges the status quo. They do things differently when it’s more effective or more fun.

The current work system forces us to be at work eight hours daily, no matter how much we work. This has resulted in people being only as productive as they need to be. People have gotten into the habit of being busy and not necessary productive. Here is a new way of looking at it: Laziness is not when you do not work, but when you work for work’s sake. Instead of being at work for eight hours and keeping yourself busy, spend five hours there being as productive as possible.

You can save a huge amount of time if you focus on things that are important instead of keeping yourself busy. Time is the most precious asset; don’t waste it!

Skills to acquire

Step II: Elimination

One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” —Bruce Lee

The second step of becoming a member of the New Rich is elimination. It’s about optimizing your work and life in order to gain more time so that you can do all the things that you want to do.

If you are working eight hours daily in a company, you can most likely do all of this work much faster, like within six hours, four hours, or even two hours. This might sound impossible at first, but the truth is that most of the things we are working on are not really important. Thus, they can be eliminated.

The goal is to work 10 hours weekly and produce more results than the standard eight-hour worker.

Skills to acquire

Step III: Automation

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” —Henry David Thoreau

The third step in becoming a member of the New Rich is to design an income on autopilot. The first element is learning how to outsource your life. There are many things that have to be done. A good strategy is to focus only on things that cannot be outsourced and assign everything else to your assistant.

The next element is designing a machine that will make money for you. Of course, there is no one clear solution for how to do it; there are only principles. There are only directions that can help you with this.

Skills to acquire

Step IV: Liberation

By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.” —Robert Frost

The last step to become a New Rich member is to liberate yourself from a single location. If it is your desire to live in one place and not travel, that’s good too. But if you dream about living in another country or traveling from one place to another, why not make it reality?

You don’t have to have your own business in order to do this. You can either work remotely for the company you currently work at or find another job that would allow it. The key question to ask yourself here is, “Why not?” Why not to work remotely? Why not travel? Why not break up with your current life?

Skills to acquire

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