The-4-Hour-Work-Week-Book-review-Download-audiobook-and-ebook-kindle-3Tim Ferriss’s “lifestyle design” book The 4 Hour Work Week is a publishing phenomenon, with almost 1.5 million copies sold. The podcast at has had over 75 million downloads – not surprising for a book about cash flow which “won’t ask you to choose between enjoyment today  or  money  later…  you can have both now. The goal is fun and profit” – an attitude we share at Bill Butler!

You just want the magic?

Though it reads like a “get rich quick” scam in places, there is a trove of useful ideas in every chapter. The core idea boils down to applying the Pareto Principle and the  four sections which Tim labels with the mnemonic DEAL, which define lifestyle design:

  • Define your objectives. Ask yourself, “What do I really want?”
  • Eliminate distractions to free up time. Focus ONLY on the 20% of stuff that’s important.
  • Automate your cash flow. Outsource your life — hire virtual assistants. Develop a business that can run on auto-pilot.
  • Liberate yourself from traditional expectations.

Change your life with Automate/Liberate hacks!

The FAQ chapter claims “Do I have to be a single twenty-something? Not at all. This book is for anyone”. This is true up to a point, but you may get more or less value depending on your stage of life. The case studies are admirably varied though, and Tim is good at explaining hacks, tips and tricks so you can extract the useful hack and apply it to your life even if the specific technique doesn’t apply to your situation – this is the main reason this book deserves a place on your shelf: you will go back to it later when your situation changes.

Make a DEAL to perfect your cash flow management

The DEAL approach is a powerful model for setting goals and using life hacks automation to achieve them quickly. It’s also relatively easy to apply regardless of your stage of life (though less of E and L apply if you currently care for young children of your own). When choosing partners for outsourcing and automation, Ferriss advises choosing “Contract outsourcing companies that specialize in one function vs. freelancers whenever possible”. This is because If a freelancer quits or is taken ill, it’s your job to replace them. If an employee of a focussed service provider such as Bill Butler quits, the service continues uninterrupted.

Break the illusions that waste your time

I’ll leave the last word to a small-business owner reviewer at Forbes

“Tim taught me to sever the mental connection between time and work… once the time = money illusion dissipated, I had time to think”

If you’re working insane hours and struggling to find balance, it might just do the same for you!  Bill Butler is here to help with your personal finance admin, why don’t you let a Butler handle it and give yourself some more time.


Jay Stephens – Lead Thought Provoker
Jay began his career in London with Rabobank, CLS bank and a Lloyd’s of London syndicate. Jay’s work has spanned corporate communications, content editing, newspaper articles, courseware, blogging, policy drafting, technical writing, and a regular crossword. He is passionate about 8-bit tunes, self-improvement, and the Oxford comma.