My reaction to ... the 4-Hour Workweek book

At the suggestion of one of my high-tech clients, I recently read a book by Timothy Ferris titled …The 4-Hour Workweek. This book has become a top seller, especially among the “make money online” enthusiasts.

I have to be honest. I found the book engaging. I picked up some good ideas. But in the end, it is a little out of touch with the real world and the underpinnings of our economy. You should NOT take this book too literally.

I loved the idea of taking mini-retirements away from the business. But whereas Ferriss encourages prolonged stretches away from the business, I think shorter and more frequent get-aways are wiser. I enjoy my work and think it is important to be engaged intellectually in an area of productive effort. In my opinion, too much play can be as bad or worse than no play!

The thing to take from this book is that the leader of a business can and should delegate as much as he or she can so they are free to focus on the most important elements of the business. But in the end, someone still has to be in the business to make things happen. The people who “work for” Ferriss certainly do not have the option to only work four hours per week. People need to be available to serve customers or to make product!

I teach that every business should design for systemmatic customers with recurring revenue streams. But it is unrealistic to expect that every business can prosper (let alone survive) if the owner is only active for four hours per week. Most entrepreneurs know that even four hours per day is not enough.

Let go of more things and make time to get away often enough to keep the brain refreshed. Take a four-day weekend away once per month. Give yourself one day a week to be away from the office to think and create. Do it at a place you enjoy (probably not at home where you are always faced with a myriad of chores).

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