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Publisher's Summary

Forget the old concepts of retirement and a deferred life plan. There is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. For living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.

This expanded edition includes dozens of practical tips and case studies from people who have doubled their income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book. Also included are templates for eliminating email and negotiating with bosses and clients, how to apply lifestyle principles in unpredictable economic times, and the latest tools, tricks, and shortcuts for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either.

©2007 2009 by Tim Ferriss (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"It's about time this book was written. It is a long-overdue manifesto for the mobile lifestyle, and Tim Ferriss is the ideal ambassador. This will be huge." (Jack Canfield)

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good info just not suited for audio

too many links and web addresses for an audio book. makes it hard to follow and much longer then necessary. try a different version maybe.

112 of 117 people found this review helpful

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  • suzanne
  • Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 03-10-14

Step 3: PROFIT!!!

This book reminds me of that episode of South Park where the townspeople's underpants keep disappearing. The gang discovers that it's because there are gnomes breaking in to their houses at night to steal their underpants.

When they ask the gnomes WHY it is that they are stealing people's underpants, we find out that it's all part of the gnomes' master plan:

Step 1: Steal Underpants
Step 2: ????
Step 3: PROFIT!!!

Do you see that big question mark in the middle? 4-hour work week reminds me of the gnomes' master plan that somehow they will turn a bunch of underpants into profit.

According to Ferris, step 1 is finding your own "underpants" to invent/patent and or distribute and sell. Step 2 is a big blurry question mark of spending thousands of dollars on advertising for a product you don't even have yet, just to see if people will buy it. Step 3 is where everything magically works out and all of a sudden you are earning PROFIT!!!

I found very little I could actually apply to my life.

662 of 719 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Read with discernment

I agree with several other reviewers that this book contains some helpful points, but also contains questionable advice and poor ethics.
There seems to be a newly popular mindset of 'the new rich' (whose majority may happen to consist of immature, self-centered, boastful 20-somethings who have made quick fortunes with ecommerce websites, books & ebooks, affiliate marketing, online advertising, etc) that is very popular with young people who are glad to hear that they too can become millionaires with the least amount of effort possible. The mindset seems to be this: For a person to be free and genuine, he must rewrite the rules and mores of society to his own liking, or at least refuse to acknowledge there are any. The actions that flow from this mindset include: Refusing to accept that success takes hard work, cutting corners whenever possible, justifying any means by the ends, behaving and speaking in ways that have always been considered rude and inappropriate, defining success by income, fame, and 'rock-star' status, using shock-value to attract attention and prove courage and independence, and judging maturity, honesty, respect, self-sacrifice, and patience as worn-out, ridiculous principles that no longer apply to the modern world.
In other words, apparently the goal is to live as long as possible as if we are still immature rebellious teenagers who want instant rewards without any responsibility. Don't get me wrong, I too plan to become financially independent, enjoy free time, travel the world, and do what I am passionate about; but I don't agree that the path and mindset promoted in this book is the only way or the best way to get there.

484 of 562 people found this review helpful

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Snake oil for the Soul

Tim Ferriss is clearly a rich white dude in his 20s- or at least he was when he started writing this book. Ambitious, naive, and energetic, he has all the traits necessary for success, and he makes some good points about achievement and success, and having a positive outlook on life. He gets credit for that. For example, his assertion is correct that instead of striving to earn large amounts of money, we should decide what experiences or things we want out of life, and then work backwards from that to decide how much money we need. Also, the automation of income is truly the way to financial independence, and he's right on the money there.

But his stories quickly get weird, even ridiculous. His accounts of tango contests and global sailing are quaint, but he loses credibility very quickly when he advises the reader on how to win a kickboxing contest: basically, he says game the system. And here is where his age shows. While taking advantage of technicalities in order to earn money might be legal and profitable, he misses the point on kickboxing. Isn't the point of learning to kickbox health, competition, discipline, defense? What value is a trophy if you only got it, as he basically did, though his opponents' forfeit? Did he really master kickboxing? Or did he just create the illusion of being better than his opponents? How deep is the joy one gets out of that? There are a number of assertions out there, in fact, that he never did win any national championship.

If the goal is make people think you're successful, Ferriss is on to something. I hear he made his fortune selling a nutritional supplement that was never proven effective scientifically. Legal? Yes. Profitable? Hella. Does that make him trustworthy? Uh...

Ultimately, happy people are those who enjoy the work they do, not people who spend even just four hours a week being miserable so they can sip mai tais the rest of the time. I want to read the book Tim Ferriss writes when he's 60, and has more perspective than he does now. TED should have waited as long to give him talk.

278 of 324 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim
  • Broomfield, CO, United States
  • 03-03-14

This is not a book about wealth or business

What would have made The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) better?

Re-format the presentation and flow. The format is not for audible books at all. There are lists of web addresses, phone numbers, article numbers that are frustrating to listen to and useless while driving. The format of information is usually in numbered lists instead of having a useful name for each topic or section.

Would you ever listen to anything by Timothy Ferriss again?

No. He is in a class of his own - doing the least amount possible in life that will support his gluttony. If you have responsibilities, like children to raise, then most of this will not be applicable. None of this is likely to happen to anyone who buys the book. If any of this is possible for you, then you probably don't need the book. Still not convinced? Borrow a copy, don't pay for it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was excellent. I would hire him to do just about anything else besides read off a list of google search results and phone numbers for 13 hours.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)?

If the information is useful while driving, leave it in. Otherwise, put it on a web site and just refer to it for later reference.

Any additional comments?

The philosophy of this book is more about being as irresponsible as possible than it is about building a legacy that can be passed down. There are some good ideas for simplifying things here and there, but you can get those ideas from reading a free summary of the book.

69 of 84 people found this review helpful

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If everyone lived like this nothing would ever move forward. A bible for anyone who doesn't value actually contributing to society.

102 of 125 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The 4-Hour Workweek

Not my cup of tea......couldn't even get through listening to it all. In my opinion so much of this doesn't apply to most of us. If I did some of this stuff he talks about in my position my customers and prospects would quickly find someone else to do business with.

84 of 103 people found this review helpful

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  • Darius
  • United States
  • 01-17-12

Could be re-titled "Several Ways to get Fired"

What disappointed you about The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)?

I grabbed this book after an interview I saw Mr. Ferriss do with Kevin Rose. I was interested enough to buy it, but I wished I hadn't.

Not to be too critical; there are some good things in the book. Some good encouragement to delegate tasks where you can (but it recommends it to a fault). There are some good 'time saving' techniques like batching of business activities (think email, voicemail, and phone calls). There are many good tips for prioritizing and streamlining much of your workflow. There is encouragement to take risks and make it on your own. All good in and of itself, but that is where the good ends.

The problem I have with this book is: if you choose that you want to be an employee in an organization rather than running your own, and you follow Mr. Ferriss' advice, you are sure to be fired. I seriously doubt that Mr. Ferriss would put up with employees working for him to act on the very things he advises in this book. I don't know any employer who would.

Frankly, I think he comes off as a bit of a jerk who walks over other people to get what he wants, exploiting others (including off-shore workers who work for less than minimum wage), all the while he goes off doing whatever. It is bordering on unethical in numerous places and crosses the line in others.

At one time, I had part ownership in a telco startup and have put in the long hours it takes to build a business from the ground up. I now choose to work for an organization and live a more stable life with my family's security and well-being in mind. If you are looking for a book on better productivity, you may gain some useful suggestions out of this book (which is what I tried to do), however that is not what this book is about.

There are many better books on building your own business. Suggestions:

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


Any additional comments?

Don't buy.

179 of 228 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

My favorite book for encouragement!

This updated version is worth the listen even if you have the first edition because it is filled with real life examples of people who went through with the steps in the first book and were successful.

I wish there would've been some people who didn't make it and why. I feel like a lot of people wouldn't have been successful due to family responsibility. There isn't much advice for people who are married and have children. Tim is obviously single at the time of writing and able to focus on things without family responsibility.

This book makes you want to get up and do something...but sometimes reality hits if your spouse isn't going along with your ideas.

Excellent read and resources...

106 of 141 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The techniques in this book work, I did it!

I was on vacation in Japan when the first version of this was released. I downloaded it and listened to it while I was walking around Japan, riding the bullet train etc. I wondered if I could follow the steps in the book and pull it off so I could live here.

I was working in the US for a software company as a software developer, and I convinced my boss to let me work remotely in Japan. I used the techniques and methods exactly as they were in the book, and it worked!

I used the tools Tim recommended and was able to do the same work remotely as if I were in the office. My office extension forwarded to my Skype number, and many of my customers never even knew they were talking to me in Japan.

I did that for 2 years, and recently quit to start my own software business here in Japan. The future looks bright, and I am living my life as I want it. I would not have been able to do it without the book.

180 of 240 people found this review helpful