Posted by: Tom Owen | August 7, 2009

The 4-Hour Workweek (2007) – Timothy Ferriss, SPS 1995

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (#1 NYT Bestseller)

Biographical Notes
Where to begin?  I can’t really call Ferriss a “Renaissance man,” because that phrase conjures up images of stodgy intellectuals.

According to his blog , his “resume” includes:

  • First American in history to hold a Guinness World Record in tango
  • Advisor to more than 30 world record holders in professional and Olympic sports
  • National Chinese kickboxing champion
  • Horseback archer (yabusame) in Nikko, Japan
  • 2009 Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute
  • MTV breakdancer in Taiwan
  • Hurling competitor in Ireland
  • Wired Magazine’s “Greatest Self-Promoter of 2008″

Talk about living your life to the fullest.


Image: Wikipedia.

Summary (from Wikipedia)

In the book Ferriss uses the acronym DEAL for the four main chapters.  It stands for: Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation.

Definition means to figure out what a person wants, get over fears, see past society’s “expectations”, and figure out what it will really cost to get where a person wants to go.

Elimination is about time management, or rather about not managing time. This is achieved applying the 80/20 rule to focus only on those tasks that contribute the majority of benefit. There’s a difference, Ferriss says, between efficiency and effectiveness. The book’s emphasis is on effectiveness.

Automation is about building a sustainable, automatic source of income. This includes techniques such as drop-shipping, automation, Google Adwords and Adsense, and outsourcing.

Liberation is dedicated to the successful automation of one’s lifestyle and the liberation from a geographical location and job. Incidentally, Ferriss notes that if somebody has a regular job, the order of steps will be DELA, not DEAL.

The book asserts that technology such as email, instant messaging, and Internet-enabled PDAs complicate life rather than simplify it.  It advocates hiring virtual assistants from developing countries such as India to free up personal time.

Short video by Ferriss summarizing his book.

You can read the first chapter of The 4-Hour Workweek for free from MSNBC at

EDIT: Want to design the cover for Ferriss’s new book, tentatively titled Becoming Superhuman?  Head here:


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