The 4 Hour Work Week, aka the ‘bible’ to a Digital Nomad, Is it possible or is it fiction and just another bullshit “make money by selling the dream” scam. Well, here’s my opinion and why I don’t like a lot of the book but I still recommend reading it.
4 Hour Work Week Audiobook Review
“Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” Geez, already starting to sound like one of those Instagram ads trying to sell me a course…
The book was released nearly 10 years and Tim Ferris is credited with creating the term “lifestyle design” and has created the wave of young “digital nomads”, however how valuable is the book when it comes actual actionable ideas and advice to “Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”?
Tim Ferriss doesn’t work 4 hours a week. I’m not assuming that or calling Tim Ferriss out, it’s a fact as he admitted inside the book that he named it “The 4 Hour Work Week” after A/B testing different titles using Adwords. In a talk Tim gave at San Francisco WordCamp hosted by Automattic (the guys behind WordPress), Tim considers “work” to be all the things that you don’t like doing eg. Administrative stuff, replying to emails etc and according to that definition it’s truly possible to lead a “4 hour work week” if you don’t consider doing what you like “work”.
I like and live by this idea as the reality is that it’s not about working 4 hours a week, and doing nothing during the remaining time and spending each and every day sitting on the beach in a hammock with a drink in your hand as most people on Instagram will have you believe, that shit gets boring fast.
Even Pieter Levels the beast of an entrepreneur behind NomadList seems to live by this idea, wherein he focuses on what he likes doing ie programming and automates and outsources everything else. Eg. He doesn’t use email and the only way to contact him is publically on Twitter @levelsio
4 Hour Work Week AudioBook – Check Price
I have to start with the biggest issue I have with The 4 hour work week and it is the fact that it’s causing a lot of young people to start a business that they believe will make them make millions while they sit on a beach doing nothing and most of them usually end up going down the path of selling bullshit instead of building an actual business that provides value.
Tim Ferriss has actually acknowledged this on his podcast where he seemed to admit some of his readers are going down the path of “selling to dream of becoming a digital nomad” mainly in the info product (courses and e-books) niche which is something that’s actually recommended in the 4 hour work week. The problem with this is that only 20% of businesses survive past the first year and only half of those survive past 5 years according to studies by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, when people get started it’s easy to have the perception that their business will succeed because they’re ‘special’. Many people who aren’t meant to be CEO’s are going down that path as it’s glamorous to have the word entrepreneur in their Instagram bio.
The tip that I personally share with most people wanting to begin this “lifestyle” is blasphemy to The 4 Hour work week cult, because I tell people to take a skill that they like or are at least are interested in, get really good at the said skill and then start doing that skill for other people that will benefit from it ie. Getting a remote job or freelancing, but that idea isn’t as glamorous as “making millions sitting on the beach”.
Most of the people with no experience in business and who are too afraid to even cold call to get clients aren’t going to be able to build a business, putting the word entrepreneur in your Instagram bio doesn’t magically make you a CEO of a successful business and you need to put in the years of hard work and actual effort to build it.
In the book Tim Ferris makes the claim that he built a supplementation company (that many people including people in the FDA called body line illegal as the supplementation industry is not regulated but that’s a whole another story) that makes 40k$ a month and a few people claimed to has done research and have called him out as the numbers don’t match to the demand and market share. I don’t have expertise in the industry of supplementations hence can’t verify this hence I’m linking to the said articles, but my advice is the same as with most thing in life; be skeptical (of both the articles and the book and honestly, don’t believe everything you read, ‘even this review …’, do you own goddamn research).
- “LIFESTYLE DESIGN” AND THE 4-HOUR CON
- How much was Tim Ferriss really making from his supplement business?
Also, there are a lot of shady things about Tim’s marketing tactics eg. There are unverified claims that he may have used fake 5-star reviews on Amazon to boost its popularity. Many of his tactics are in a gray area, but putting that aside a lot of his ideas in his book is along the lines of achieving more by doing less actual hard work, aka focusing on working smart first and then instead of blindly working hard without producing any actual results.
Disclaimer: I’m not trying to bash Tim Ferris in this article, rather I actually love ‘some’ of his work. I judge content/books based on the value of the content itself and not the artist. For example, I may not recommend The 4 hour work week book to everyone but I love Tim’s podcast and would recommend The Tim Ferriss Show wholeheartedly to everyone reading this.
As I’m writing this review, The 4 Hour Work Week is the #1 Best Seller under the Time management category on Amazon, and being completely honest that’s what the book is actually best at. I got exposed to the 80/20 rule aka The Pareto principle for the first time in the 4 Hour work week, and that idea alone changed my life, making the book worth the money and my time during that time in my life.
Most of the ideas shared in the 4 hour work week are probably things that you already know if you read a lot of self-help books or blogs, however if you are new to this niche it’s a good compilation of ideas and I would recommend it as a read, which you can later dive into deeper in other books like Deep Work by Carl Newton when it comes to the time management and The ONE Thing by Gary Keller when it comes to the 80/20 principle and prioritization.
Why do I like The 4 Hour Work Week? Well, it’s a little more flashy compared to most of the other books in the self help niche which tend to be a little dry for some (usually young) readers, the idea of traveling the world draws a lot more people in that they get exposed to different ideas that have the potential to change their lives.
The 4 hour work week isn’t really talking about anything new per se, it’s just a compilation of ideas that already existed in the self-help and personal finance niche, however, the ideas are organized in a way that’s more appealing to people who are usually put off by any self-help books. This book isn’t going to result in you making millions or running a successful business, that requires hard work, trying new things, failing and trying again and again and again… This book does have a lot of ideas that can help on that journey!
If you go on Amazon and read the one-star reviews a few of them complain about how most of the ideas shared only apply to a white, privileged, Ivy graduate American male and personally as a brown, previously broke, and a public college dropout from India I call absolute bullshit on that idea. Is it harder not being white, privileged, Ivy graduate and American? It sure is … that’s just the reality of the current world we live it … whether it’s having to deal with visas due to a weak asf passport, being discriminated against due to the color of your skin or having fewer opportunities growing up etc… disadvantages exist but complaining about it rarely achieves anything if you aren’t doing anything proactive.
Personally, I found the 3-star reviews on Amazon to be the best balance of pros and cons of this books and here’s a link to them. I’d recommend you giving them a read too because why listen just to me, you should never get just one side of any story and that goes for reviews as well.
^ Suggestion: Ego is the enemy for the 2nd Free Audible Audiobook
4 Hour Work Week – Reality or Fiction?