Deconstructing the Tim Ferriss four hour work week

I’ll get straight to the point. The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss is a colossal waste of money. If you really have to read it grab the audio book version for free from Audible. They have a free trial that allows you download two free audio books and the Tim Ferriss best seller is on the list.

If you do decide to grab a free copy let me know if you share my feeling of irony that the audio book is eight hours long. Presumably Ferriss wants you to listen to it over two weeks.

The contents of the book can be summed up pretty easily. Outsource everything you can and ruthlessly apply the Pareto principle. Only concentrate on the 20% that generates the 80% of your income. The rest of the book is filled with a combination of the sort of advice you can find in any number of useless self help books and narcicistic self promotion. Ferriss, according to no authority other than his own, is apparently an advisor to over thirty olympic gold medalists, a holder of numerous world records, a world class body builder and a feared cage fighter with numerous world titles to his name.

Google him and you’ll find a plethora of sycophantic reviewers who appear to believe he can breath underwater, fly, and shoot flames from his fingers.

The list goes on. And on, and on.

Of course this is all nothing but marketing fluff. Indeed, in the book Tim Ferriss tries to convince the reader that anyone can become an expert in anything, with proper certification, within a few days. Presumably this is how he got his qualifications.

He even claims that whilst in education he got A grades for everything he did. The story behind this is laughable. Apparently, the first time he got a lower grade he ran to his tutor and demanded a three hour long intensive discussion. This persuaded the tutor to never mark him low again for fear of another grilling. Presumably he wasn’t doing the whole four hour thing at this time since that would have only left him with another hour to do everything else.

There’s a word for someone who gains qualifications that way. A fraud.

No doubt in reality Tim Ferriss only has these qualifications in his own deluded mind. After all, he only needs them to persuade people to buy his book. Add in a blog to generate the publicity and he has a great little product, albeit one that is rooted in dishonesty.

It pains me to say it but The Four Hour Work Week Blog is what has allowed Tim Ferris to push his product onto the radar of all the right people. I’ve always said that blogging can sell anything, and this really proves it.

In truth, Tim Ferriss is marketing nothing more than a lifestyle. A four hour work week lifestyle which appears to be such a wonderful way to live. Making hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, all for just four hours of work each week.

Unfortunately it’s all a load of rubbish. Like most books of its ilk, The Four Hour Work Week is all about the dream, not the reality. All sizzle and no steak. Still a best seller though. Because blog marketing works.

But don’t worry, if you are looking for a way to make money in only four hours a week all is not lost. Many successful blogs run quite happily, generating a good income, in under four hours a week.

Take a look at this quote from one of the many affiliate laced reviews of The Four Hour Work Week cluttering up the blogosphere,

It inspires you to be part of the new rich who work 4-hours a week, are independent of location, and earn enough money to do whatever they want to, e.g. travel the world, speak Chinese, etc.

It shatters the notion of the conventional rich, who slog their whole life to earn mountains of money, only to retire old and unfit to do anything they wanted to. A BMW is bought with their hard-earned money, the rest of which stays in the bank as the owner wiles away his retirement vegetating and getting fat on some beach, on the road to ultimate boredom.

The new rich, independent of location and earning enough money to do whatever they want. Sounds like a good description of any successful blogger to me.

If you want to make money on your own terms start a blog. Choose a niche you are passionate about and spend those hypothetical four hours a week writing good content and commenting intelligently on other blogs in that niche. Of course, it won’t make you a feared cage fighter, nor will it give you the ability to shoot flames from your fingers, but it can and will make you money.

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