‘The 4 Hour Workweek’ by Timothy Ferris is the ‘click bait’ of publishing. Its got a catchy title that really makes you want to find out how exactly to ‘escape the 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich’. Once you get into the book, you find out it’s not as easy as you were hoping. Which you really knew all along, but were hoping you’d be wrong.
Essentially, the book boils down to coaching you to overcome your fears, and then embark in highly speculative business that you can completely outsource, leaving you with 4 hours a week of management duties. His plan to start up these businesses consists of spending several ‘small’ amounts of $200 and $500, which he consistently claims will be the best investment you’ve ever made. Of course, if your business takes off, your couple thousand in initial spending will be well worth it. But that’s only if it takes off. Otherwise you’re out a couple thousand.
Taking a risk on a business startup is not a bad idea. If it were, our economy would stagnate and we’d have no new businesses. In fact, successful businesses reward their owners very well. But if you’re going to start a business, be aware of the risk of failure. Ferriss virtually ignores the risk of failure, a risk that is even greater in the kind of remotely run, online business that Ferriss suggests.
The rest of Ferriss’ book is essentially a self-help motivational piece. He encourages you to confront your fears by doing two things daily that take you out of your comfort zone. He also stresses the importance of learning from your mistakes and moving on, rather than dwelling on them. Maybe he stresses this point because he knows that your first several business ventures will fail.
Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on the book until I try his method (including the ‘small’ investment of $350, $200, $300, $500, etc). But if I tried every get-rich-quick method, I’d be the poorest man in Babylon.
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