The 4 Hour Work Week (Timothy Ferriss)
Synopsis (Goodreads): Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan – there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.
I picked up T4HWW when it was on the Kindle Daily Deal for 99p and I am so glad I didn’t pay more.
As far as business / personal development books go, Tim Ferriss does have some interesting ideas and concepts on how to automate the duller aspects of work life, why meetings should be limited in time and with a fixed agenda, the importance of checking email in batches, why sometimes asking for forgiveness rather than permission will free you from the fear of making changes, and how you often are the product of the people you spend the most time with (so be choosy about it).
It’s the ‘how to’ that lets him down. Reading this book did help me realise that in a lot of ways I already have a life I love – my working hours are flexible (if not quite at the 4-hour level), I have enough time to pursue my passions including travel, reading and photography, I have a wonderful and supportive network of friends and family, and I even have passive income! I also however acknowledge problems of time wasted in unproductive working methods such as micro-management and being a decision bottleneck but the author’s default stance of outsource where possible is definitely not the answer, especially when you live in Kenya (or any other country that is not the West).
It also became very clear as you go through the book how egocentric the author is and how much he values a life of excitement over meaning, which I did not like.
So in summary…some interesting (if unrealistic) ideas and a grating personality. Definitely not one that will change my life.