Tim Ferris Changed the world, looking back on it. As an avid entrepreneur, I’m always looking for the next big thing to expand my business and my own abilities. So, when a friend recommended the Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss, naturally my interest was piqued. I have always understood that leveraging your own efforts through employees and perfected systems is the way for the business owner to achieve true financial freedom. Without leverage, needless to say, the business ends up owning its creator, rather than the other way around. This is not to say that you cannot love your creation, it is your passion that created it, rather it is difficult to act as an executive when one is consumed by the day-to-day activities of business; that is how real domination and expansion can take place.
Ferriss, the ultimate entrepreneur and a Princeton grad, has an interesting story, as well as a very entertaining way of writing. Through the progress of his book, he morphs from an overworked and underpaid employee, to what he refers to as a “zen-like state.” To anyone, this sounds like an very exciting path on which to embark, but I was a bit skeptical at first.
The book opens in Rio de Janeiro, where Ferris, away from home for over a year, is poised to dance in the world tango championships. I have read a lot of criticism in other reviews online, but I must say that I thought it was pretty cool when I read it. Ferris does embellish a bit, but there is a lot of honesty to what he says. He refers to a time that he became the world champion in kickboxing, with horrible technique. Ferris did so by examining the rules and realizing that removing an opponent from the ring three times would cause him to forfeit. So, armed with this knowledge, his only objective was to remove opponents from the ring, completely aware that he could not beat them on skill.
Tim Ferriss has a fomula, which I will get to soon, but his motivation is an interesting one that I can really connect with: we kill ourselves working to reach a retirement down the road which we may never obtain. Rather, in the Ferriss world, we create a business that can run itself with very little interaction from its creator, so that mini-retirements can be enjoyed and life is not so soul killing. Ferriss also makes the point that this business must sell a product, not a service, because a service requires too much interaction from its owner. He created a nutritional supplement, Brain Quicken, which after crushing his soul, he looked for a better way.
The Ferris formula is called DEAL, and according to this word order, it allows the reader to disconnect from the mundane, daily activity and become free to find their passion.
D- Is for definition is to truly understand what you working with and what is is you desire to do. What do you desire your freedom to look like? How will you do it?
E- is for elimination, eliminate all of the things that are keeping you busy. Tim uses the 80/20 rule here, and gets rid of the 80% of things that do not produce and take up his time inlcuding: customers, employees and email. Ferriss on answers his email once a week, one hour on a Monday morning. As for customers, Ferriss found that 20% accounted for 80% of his sales, the other 20% accounted for 80% of his headaches, so he chose to no longer do business with them.
A- is for automation. Once you business is streamlined, you are ready to put in on autopilot. Ferriss explores a lot of different ways to do this, and finds that everything can be outsourced, from product development, to production and even to personal assistants in India.
L- is for Liberation. You are finally able to step back from the business once the structure and allow the autopilot.