Archive for May 3rd, 2008

I have just read a book.

Not the first book I have read, I hasten to add, but one so powerful that if there is only one thing I regret in life it is that I am no longer a working man (I am retired) so I cannot take heed to the excellent ideas in this young man’s book.

It is called simply, “The four hour work week”, and was written by Timothy Ferris. It can be purchased at Amazon. The web page for Amazon UK has the paperback version now on sale, although I purchased the hardback at Amazon US.

The book tells you how you can make money, reduce your working week to four hours, which can be accomplished anywhere in the world. I will explain.But before I do, you should note that if you click on the above heading for this article you will be taken to his own website about the book.

First of all the reader is asked whether they want to be a worker or the boss. Then we learn that neither of these choices are the right one. Naturally, to make money, you don’t want to be a “worker” but we then learn that being the boss just increases your work load and, instead of a four hour work week, we end up with a fourteen hour work day. No, Timothy says, you need to be the owner. And then employ a boss and workers.

Once we get our head around that, he then destroys our illusion and says that rather than own the company, we want what he calls (for want of a better word) a “muse”. A muse is a way to earn money without a boss, but without the owner getting caught up with it.

The author jokingly gives his occupation as a “drug dealer” and that is what exactly he is. If you go to his “drug dealing website, you will find out what sort of drugs he deals in.

Timothy has the manufacturer package and post the orders, he arranges others to collect the mail, bank the cheques, and email his “outsourced” administration the orders. The drugs are posted whilst he is travelling around the world enjoying himself.

The author says one should outsource anything that is repetitive. He uses two companies in India. One (£6.50 an hour) who handles strictly business things where he is given an account manager and they farm his requests out to the department best suited for the task, and a personal company for other chores of a personal nature (£3 an hour) who gives him his own “social secretary”. He often emails a job to them just before he goes to bed, and the results are in his email box in the morning. Timothy spends so much time travelling he didn’t have a girlfriend so he got his Indian secretary to arrange a day full of meetings for girls who were looking on the websites for boyfriends and has been with the one he chose for six months now.

Timothy is 29 and is a very bright young man. He travelled to Brazil and studied Tango dancing and won the world championships and is in the Guinness book of records as someone who has won with the minimum of dancing experience. He studied kickboxing in China and won their National Kickboxing Championships. The way he did so is absolutely hilarious, but you must read the book for that story!

He says when he realised that people worked 10-14 hour days for forty years before retiring, he had decided this was not for him. In addition, with the way money devalues, there is no certainty you will be able to afford all that much when you do. So he takes mini-retirement breaks of a few months a couple of times a year and gets his fun as he goes through his working life.

Although retired, I have taken some of his advice to heart and have already freed up a lot of time each day.

A lot of his stories are unsubstantiated and, whether they are true or not I really don’t know and up to a point, don’t really care. However there are many very good ideas which a wise user might employ. My advice to any reader is to read the book right through, and then again a few weeks later. But this time cherry-pick those ideas which you think might work with your circumstances. Then your money will be well spent.

Timothy has also got a good marketing brain. He has a website and is continuing to add bonus information there, but you have to log in each time you visit. The password changes automatically each day you visit. When you log in it asks you for a password based on a page number in his book, and the umpteenth word in the umpteenth paragraph on that page. So you ask your friends to buy the book as, if you lent it to them, you could not log into the website.

Yes, a smart cookie.



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