WORKPLACE / DEC. 01, 2014
version 6, draft 6

4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

I would like to present to you a video promoting a way to cut down your work week to 4 hours. Now I’m going to avoid spoiling anything for you. Even though I might rupture a spleen trying to swallow down my snarky remarks.

Introducing the amazing Tim Ferriss. With the help of just a dodgy video and some bad math; he is going to convince you to buy his book and that you can get everything you would normally get accomplished in 8 hours, in 45 minutes. Master Entrepreneur or con man, your decision.

Before I start, it is only fair to point a few things out. Tim Ferriss’s book, ‘The four hour work week’, has been on the Best Sellers list for 7 consecutive years from 2007 to 2014. My theory is he takes advantage of what most people need on a fundamental level in our contemporary society and economy. Most people spend more than a third of their waking day at work. This number increases exponentially when you travel in either direction away from the median income. He’s more or less a Princeton educated snake oil salesman. I’ve got a tonic for anything that ails you.

Like I mentioned above Mr. Ferriss comes from a pretty privileged background. He grew up in the East Hamptons also known as a “playground for the rich” and attended a private boarding school which costs about twice as much a year as studying at a state university. Specifically a nice plump $56.000 a year. Mr. Ferriss wrapped everything up with a degree in East Asian Studies from a school you might have heard of once or twice: Princeton. His first job out of college was with a data storage company. While working at this company he created a nutritional supplement company that made a product that boasted it could increase short term memory and reaction time. Wow, my snake oil salesman bit came full circle with that last fact.

This is my biggest gripe, because it’s easy to come from a place of privilege and say: “Oh I work too much. I’m going to work less and make more”. One of the strategies he mentions in the video is sending out a mass email saying you’ll only be checking your email twice a day, if anyone needs to get in touch call my cell (paraphrased to be concise). Try telling your boss the same thing. You got fired? You don’t say.

Another thing he mentions is the Pareto Principle, which roughly states 80% of your income is a result of 20% of your clients. It shows up in many more areas and fields such as health and safety where 80% of accidents are caused by 20% of factors that can cause injury. And all those percentages can bore the teeth out of crocodile. Now go to your boss again and say this customer is one of the 80% that don’t make up the 80% of profits and you won’t deal with them. You got fired? You don’t say.

He also mentions this hyper abstract thing called ‘outsourcing life’, which also happens to be his personal favorite (hint it’s the most ill-defined that’s why: I got a tonic for what ails you). After a cluster-fudge of inaccurate math he comes to the conclusion that someone that makes 50.000 a year makes about 25 dollars per hour. That’s 1920 dollars a year less than in ‘real’ math which actually helps his argument. Hold on to your hats folk, because this is wear things get really absurd. After some more salesman math (like $1.99 is significantly cheaper than $2.00 for example) he comes to figure that if you hire a personal assistant at 30/hr. minus your 25/hr. times 8 hours you can employ that P.A. for $40 dollars a week. So for five dollars more than what you are getting paid you can have some else do your job for you! Which is actually six dollars more, because someone doesn’t know how to do math! That brings the per week total closer to 52 dollars a day. Ok I know this is getting old, now scamper off and tell your boss that you’re going to pay a P.A. to do your work. You got fired? You don’t say.

Have you read the book the 4-hour Work Week and are now a multimillionaire? Well, have one of your assistants take notes and write in the comment section below! Remember that Mr. Ferriss can help you escape the rat race and actually beat it! Because the whole point of the term ‘rat race’ was to signify something with finality!


Main Image source: observer

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