If you could earn the same amount of money that you earn now, but only work 1/10th of the time – would you?
It’s a difficult question to answer because it’s so difficult to see as realistic.
We’re so conditioned (being obligated) to have a job to pay the bills, mortgage, cars, fund retirement, that we focus on security instead of happiness. But everyone does it, so it’s normal, right?
The four hour work week is a 380 page self-help book which gives principles for living more and working less, while still maintaining the same level of income.
Early on in the book Ferriss hits us with a blunt truth that is constantly staring us in the face, but that we fail to acknowledge or perhaps take action on;
Which is the scariest thought;
‘quitting your job and doing something that you really want to do with your life at the cost of not having a stable pay check’?
Continuing to work your job out of obligation for 8 – 10 hours per day, 5 – 6 days per week for a total of 45 years in an average life, then retiring after already working through your most physically capable years’.
I’ve always found it daunting to leave my job, but when put like this – continuing to work seems like the scarier option!
The book is written with 4 main chapters making up the acronym of DEAL, which stands for definition, elimination, automation and liberation – a simplified system for freeing up one’s life.
Tim gets us to do a ‘dreamline‘, like goal-setting but encourages us to go for our dreams, not necessarily what we believe is achievable but our actual dreams and shows how it is actually possible to achieve them and you may be surprised just how affordable it all really is!
For example, to gain my perfect house, motorbike and lifestyle I need around $200AUD a day. Not much to be in a beautiful house by the beach!
Tim talks extensively on eliminating those things in life that we don’t really enjoy doing by looking at what gives us most results in our lives with the smallest effort. This may be eliminating certain customers who have been found to occupy 80% of your time, but who only account for 10% of your profits, hence you politely tell them to go elsewhere, freeing you up for more time, or better support to worthwhile customers.
The section on Automation is about setting up systems so that things happen in your absence. Virtual assistants, auto-responding emails, online advertising and outsourcing tasks. The goal is to become a more efficient delegator than worker.
In the final Chapter Ferriss talks about Liberation, by creating this lifestyle for yourself you open yourself up to see the world. You may be trying to create this life for selfish reasons (to own a Lamborghini, appear rich, meet your ideal partner) or to eventually help build primary schools in Uganda, however only with your work life semi-automated will you be able to free the time to actually do what you want to do.
Out of many great tips and advice (from using fulfillment/ mailing houses to take care of ordering and shipping of products to getting help from a Virtual Assistant in India), my biggest single take away from the book was just how reachable my desired goals are. Tim isn’t promoting a get-rich-quick idea, nor is he saying you need millions to live your desired lifestyle – he’s getting you to ask yourself honestly ‘What do I want out of life?’ ‘How much does this cost per month?’. I was extremely surprised to find that I’m already earning more than I need to live my desired life from my job alone, but even better is that I’m about a third of the way there with my other website!
It just excites me and makes me want to push on harder, faster and more efficiently.