Contemplating “The 4-Hour Workweek”

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where …” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

- Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland

The above passage takes on new meaning for those of us in the midst of a career/life transition (or on the brink of one). It captures the importance of deliberate planning so you can go in the “right” direction and, ultimately, arrive at your desired destination. However, one could also say the words validate (and maybe grant permission to) a bit of meandering in the journey of self-discovery toward still-unknown goals.

winding-pathLewis Carroll’s prose was cited in The 4-Hour Workweek, The New York Times Best Seller by entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss. It’s safe to assume that high-energy Ferris, a 3o-something who speaks six languages and runs a multinational firm from wireless locations worldwide, promotes the former, purposeful approach toward life. His 2009 book (an expanded and updated version of the 2007 release) includes a step-by-step plan that promises to help you “Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich.”

It would be easy to dismiss the book as a gimmicky informercial. A get-rich quick scheme that hustles you through the process of setting up the latest and greatest That dangles the juicy possibility of a 4-hour workweek to the time-starved masses.

But, you know, the guy with frenetic energy makes some really good points!

There are true nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout his information-packed book and self-promoting blog. For example, The Not To Do List: 9 Habits to Stop Now is the 2.0 version of Steven Covey’s exhortation to focus on “First Things First.”

Ferriss’ ultimate goal – for both readers and himself – is to free up time and money to maximize the time spent on one’s passion. While I couldn’t see myself sitting down for a cup of coffee with the guy, I can’t argue with his aspirations.

Has anyone else read this book? What’s your take?

And, if you’re interested in reading it and comparing notes, send me a quick email at Maybe we can set up an informal and virtual “study” group to talk through some of the ideas.

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The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.
H. Norman Schwarzkopf

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