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The 4-Hour Workweek – Audiobook Review

Review/Post Reading Time: 10 minutes

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) by Timothy Ferriss.

The 4-Hour Workweek Book Intro

In a single sentence, Tim Ferriss uses The 4-Hour Workweek to explain his methods of using luxury lifestyle design to live the life you want, on your terms, created by you – right now.

What the book is not:

The 4-Hour Workweek IS NOT a step by step how-to manual on how to quit your job, begin working for yourself just a few hours a week and have the life of your dreams.

The 4-Hour Workweek is not a book on how to become a millionaire.

This book is not a book on getting the best job or loving the work you do. So many of those books exist and I’m glad this isn’t another of those.

About The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek is about freeing up time and automating income. It’s a book about using lifestyle design to live a rich life – now, not at traditional retirement.

The Four Hour Workweek is, at least how I interpreted it, a process to model from, which begins as a mind and belief shift. The idea that you can have your cake and eat it too and that the “9 to 5” system that expects you to work the best years of your life so you can “survive” your senior years is fundamentally flawed.

Tim goes to great lengths throughout the book to offer details of his story, the path in which he took, as well as the stories and lessons of others.

The 4-Hour Workweek is about using lifestyle design to reinvent yourself. To change your way of thinking by deleting the “norm” we’ve all been programmed to believe.

Is this book outdated?

After thirteen years of being first published, even before this updated version, The 4-Hour Workweek is still one of the most popular books among the circles I follow.

I will say since Tim Ferriss references tools and sites in current time, much the way Gary Vaynerchuk did, you’ll find some of that a little dated.

Did it work for me personally?

I have yet to meet a single person that actually works less than they play, with the exception of those that insist they are one and the same. Truthfully, I have read the book and listened to it twice and I still put in enough hours each week to qualify as two full-time jobs.

So why read this book?

Tim’s book is designed to help you understand what’s possible, which is a far cry from what is expected.

Personally, I didn’t read and listen to the book over and over in hopes that it will propel me into a life of jet-setting, globetrotting, wine-sipping luxury without the stress of income or responsibility. That sounds exhausting to me just writing it down. I have ZERO interest in travelling the world or sitting in my recliner watching TV and pecking away on my phone.

I love the book because it helps remind me of the power of “me” and that the path society has planned for us is not an acceptable one.

Lifestyle Design – Not A New Concept

The idea of living life to its fullest “right now” and refusing to wait for the ridiculous notion of the Golden Years is not a new concept nor is it restricted by monetary wealth (which is one of the points Timothy Ferriss wants you to understand), education, or stature.

I’ve sat with friends that make a fraction of my income and have been amazed at how much they enjoy life. They have BBQs, hunt, fish, go bowling and on vacations. They seem to have a fraction of my stress too but the closer you get the more you begin to see that’s not the case.  

The 4-Hour Workweek is more like that without fun being an escape from reality. Where fun IS reality.

Brian’s Overall Book Rating

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I believe The 4-Hour Workweek is still worth a read (Or listen, in this case) but I’ve never considered it a Must Read. Now that I’ve revisited the book, once again, I might have to consider adding this book to that list.

Do I believe The 4-Hour Workweek will help anyone build an $80K/month business with no management? No, but I have seen people cut their ties to traditional jobs, tear out of their preconceived idea of what’s normal and travel the world and do very well financially in what seemed a forever vacation.

I do think The 4-Hour Workweek will help some people find that overused metaphor of following their passion.

My Takeaways from The 4-Hour Workweek (A few of them)

  • Practice Parkinson’s law
  • Follow The Pareto principle (80–20 rule)
  • Priorities over efficiency
  • Master outsourcing and empower others
  • Learn and practice “just-in-time” information gathering
  • Ask for forgiveness, not permission
  • Use systems like automation ad delegation but only after elimination

A Few Key Lessons I Liked:
✓ How to Burn $1,000,000 a Night
✓ Cultivating Selective Ignorance
✓ The End of Time Management
✓ Interrupting Interruption
✓ How to Escape the Office
✓ Adding Life After Subtracting Work

The bottom line is you are not going to read or listen to a book and find yourself on the satisfying path of batching your priorities and responsibilities into four hours a week while living a successful, rich and satisfying life that would leave Gary Vee or Tony Robbins speechless.

You might be able to work four hours a DAY, setting priorities and batching responsibilities so you can live life the way you want to live it. Would that be so bad? Will this book get you there? Of course not but you have to start somewhere and, while there are plenty of books that promise the world, none of them has the magical powers to deliver on those hopes and dreams.

There’s a butt-load of powerful insights in The 4-Hour Workweek that most people can benefit from. Mindset changes like going from “I must do these” to “Here’s what I choose to do” or defining the difference between what is important and what is urgent.

Did Travis McGee read The 4-Hour Workweek?

Image - Did Travis McGee read The 4-Hour Workweek?
Did Travis McGee read The 4-Hour Workweek?

Seems like it… One of my favorite fictional book series is Travis McGee by John D. MacDonald and that’s what the lessons of Tim Ferriss remind me of. Travis McGee was a self-proclaimed beach bum. He lived on a boat off the coast of Florida on a continuous vacation breaking only when he was low of cash. It was that moment when the adventures – the stories, began.

Tim Ferriss is like the Travis McGee of the digital age – where his adventures happen when he isn’t working, which is most of the time.

Brian D. Hawkins
Get this book on Audible. If you’re not an Audible fan, get it on Kindle or Hardcover. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Book Quote

“Lack of time is actually lack of priorities.”

Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek Steps & Chapters

Preface to the Expanded and Updated Edition

First and Formost

  • FAQ—Doubters Read This
  • My Story and Why You Need This Book
  • Chronology of a Pathology

Step 1: D is for Definition

  • Cautions and Comparisons: How to Burn $1,000,000 a Night
  • Rules That Change the Rules: Everything Popular Is Wrong
  • Dodging Bullets: Fear-Setting and Escaping Paralysis
  • System Reset: Being Unreasonable and Unambiguous

Step 2: E is for Elimination

  • The End of Time Management: Illusions and Italians
  • The Low-Information Diet: Cultivating Selective Ignorance
  • Interrupting Interruption and the Art of Refusal

Step 3: A is for Automation

  • Outsourcing Life: Off-loading the Rest and a Taste of Geoarbitrage
  • Income Autopilot I: Finding the Muse
  • Income Autopilot II: Testing the Muse
  • Income Autopilot III: MBA—Management by Absence

Step 4: L is for Liberation

  • Disappearing Act: How to Escape the Office
  • Beyond Repair: Killing Your Job
  • Mini-Retirements: Embracing the Mobile Lifestyle
  • Filling the Void: Adding Life After Subtracting Work
  • The Top 13 New Rich Mistakes

The Last Chapter: An E-mail You Need to Read

Last but Not Least

The Best of the Blog

  • The Art of Letting Bad Things Happens
  • Things I’ve Loved and Learned in 2008
  • How to Travel the World with 10 Pounds or Less
  • The Choice-Minimal Lifestyle: 6 Formulas for More Output and Less Overwhelm
  • The Not-To-Do List: 9 Habits to Stop Now
  • The Margin Manifesto: 11 Tenets for Reaching (or Doubling) Profitability in 3 Months
  • The Holy Grail: How to Outsource the Inbox and Never Check E-mail Again
  • Tim Ferriss Processing Rules

Proposal To Work Remotely On A Contract Bases

Living The 4-Hour Workweek: Case Studies, Tips and Tricks

  • Zen and the Art of Rock Star Living
  • Art Lovers Wanted
  • Photo Finish
  • Virtual Law
  • Taking Flight with Ornithreads
  • Off-the-Job Training
  • The 4-Hour Family and Global Education
  • Doctor’s Orders
  • Financial Musing
  • Who Says Kids Hold You Back?
  • Working Remotely
  • Killing Your BlackBerry
  • Star Wars Anyone?

Restricted Reading: The Few That Matter

Bonus Reading

  • How to Get $250,000 of Advertising for $10,000
  • How to Learn Any Language in 3 Months
  • Muse Math: Predicting the Revenue of Any Product
  • Licensing: From Tae Bo to Teddy Ruxpin
  • Real Licensing Agreement with Real Dollars
  • Online Round-the-World (RTW) Trip Planner

The 4-Hour Workweek Author: Timothy Ferriss


The 4-Hour Workweek Audible Narration By Ray Porter


Book Trivia

The 4-Hour Workweek was born from Tim Ferriss’ vacation to Europe to escape the demanding and time consuming pressures of running BrainQUICKEN, his sports nutrition supplement company. Ferriss outsourced and streamlined the day-to-day operations so he could live life for awhile. The concept of 4-Hour Workweek was born.

Get this book on Audible. If you’re not an Audible fan, get it on Kindle or Hardcover. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Buy now on Audible

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Extra Credit - Completely Skippable

Okay, if you’ll allow me to make part of this book review about myself, I’d appreciate it. After all, my review for this type of life hacking adventure can really only come from my own personal experience. Right?

Back in the peak of my blogging life, I’d say a ten-year span from 2005 to 2015, I was on a part-time quest for the magical productivity pill that would allow me more than the 24 hours a day life was allowing me.

I was working a sixty-hour workweek, juggling several blogs (still am but not nearly as often) and, for a few years, running a weekly round-table discussion for our YouTube channel.

My main blog commonly had upward of a hundred comments per post and I tried to reply to each. My inbox was inundated with hundreds of emails each day that I struggled with but maintained.

In other words – I was STRUNG OUT big time.

I immersed myself in every type of DIY self-help book, webinar and online course I could afford. I tried paid mentorship programs, meditation, memory enhancement hacks and on and on.

Image - How to Win Friends and Influence People

By the way, this quest wasn’t anything new to me. I’ve read ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’ over a dozen times, starting back in 1984. True story. That, my friends, is why you are secretly falling in love with me. 😉

I was in the US Army and in a network marketing company called A.L. Williams and that book was recommended by my upline, whom I deeply respected. A.L. Williams was the first of many attempts at multi-level marketing systems and small business ventures I would try over the next twenty years.

In those years, I travelled all over the country attending conferences and seminars by some of the top gurus of the time, some of which are still considered all but godlike in their niches while others took their fortunes to other endeavours. A few, no doubt, are cutting lawns or doing dishes for a living.

Me? I still haven’t found that pill. So even though I haven’t found the level of business and productivity success I spent most of my life pursuing, I still find the idea of it romantic.

Even so, I no longer crave that feeling that I would one-day conquer the productivity puzzle in my own day-to-day life. I feel satisfied that my current path is right for me.

Maybe I’ve settled or maybe I’ve discovered that while I spent over twenty years of my life trying to make other people’s tips and tricks for a better and more productive life work for me, I was missing the entire point of having a life – living it. That’s is precisely what The Four Hour Work Week tries to convey.

Now I’m fifty-five years old, doing the same things but more at home with who I am.

As I said, it’s no longer my life’s goal to achieve the ability to wake up at five in the morning, drink the ultimate healthy power smoothy, run two miles while using my earbuds to listen to motivational recordings, then winding down with a two-minute cold shower followed by yoga and a twenty-minute session of self-healing meditation. Then gaining a zero inbox and planning my entire day in fifteen-minute highly productive increments – all in time to be at work by 9 AM.

As you might have guessed, my entire attitude has changed since I first read The Four-Hour Workweek. To be clear, that attitude change wasn’t from the book, it was a journey I had to take on my own.

I believe The 4-Hour Workweek is still worth a read because I AM living the rich life I want. Sometimes you have to come full-circle to realize what’s truly important to you.

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Brian Hawkins

I'm a blogger, avid reader and daily audiobook listener. This is my second book review website and I'm excited to see how well it works out for the Audiobooks I consume.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Kingston Lim

    Tim’s thoughts on outsourcing work to VAs was fascinating and eye opening

  2. armstrongsimms

    I’ve read this book – it’s very inspiring. Great breakdown!

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