#1 GoDaddy.com - Home of the $1.99 domain name

Book Review: 4-Hour Work Week By Tim Ferriss

Confession time.
I don't read "self help" books. I avoid "get rich quick" programs. And unfortunately I've never read 4-Hour Work Week until, well... this week. That may mean I'm in the vast minority as there are nearly a thousand reviews of the book on Amazon. That may mean that this little book review isn't useful to you at all since seemingly everyone else has read it. But as promised, I'm taking on book reviews and this seems like a book many in the domain industry are halfway expected to read, so it should be a good place to start. Why?

Making Money Online

Despite a significant amount of time spent on improving the quality of your life through various means, the crux of the "4-Hour Work Week" method is to automate the process of selling products online so that you can earn revenue from anywhere while essentially doing nothing. This is right up Domainer Alley. And this is really a very basic introduction to that process, with some specific advice for what kind of products to look for (high mark up for example), how to test your products to see if your product and your marketing works, how to reduce your workload by offshoring and "batching up" repetitive tasks and automating as much as possible, etc.
If you are looking for some guidance on starting an online business for fun and profit, there are a lot of good bits in this book to get you started and moving in the right direction.

Off Track

While I admire the author's "lateral thinking" (ie, thinking outside the box) ideas... and many of my best ideas have come from that mode of thinking... There are some mildly unethical, frequently deceptive and personally misguided ideas presented in this book. If you are a "follower" and follow this book to the letter, you may very well need the chapter about how to cope with depression caused by the 4-hour work week method :)
That isn't to say his at least some of his lifestyle choices don't sound like great ideas - the whole concept of mini-retirements for example is an interesting idea and one that I look forward to implementing in my own life adventures. But like Kurtz in the Heart of Darkness, his methods are (sometimes) unsound.

Useful Tips

And that's really a shame because there are some useful ideas presented here that, while I won't go in-depth, I'll mention as I found them to be applicable to what I'm doing and it also helped me prioritize my workload towards more profitable and automated monetization methods.
  • Services Suck. Pick/Develop a product that you can sell over and over. As a consultant, I know the problems with services first hand. But remember that there can be great results from great services, too. They are, though, by the very definition, labor-intensive.

  • Batch it up. If you spend all day following tweets and reading blogs, you will essentially end the day with very little accomplished. As domainers, it's important to stay up on latest trends, but batch up your time spent on these tasks and only allocate as much time as absolutely necessary to them so that you can spend the rest of your day focused on your tasks at hand

  • Automate it. Autoresponders. Automated order fulfillment. Automated phone systems. Automated. Automated. Automated. It's really one of my missions in life, even as a consultant, to make myself useless and that theme is discussed in detail in 4-Hour Work Week.

  • High margin products are the best. This may seem like a no-brainer but if you are choosing between multiple projects, this is definitely something to bear in mind. It doesn't mean that you can't do high-volumes of a low-margin product, but it's generally hard to do that well and do that with low upfront-capital versus selling fewer items at a higher markup.

These are really just the tip of the iceberg. The book is chuck full of suggestions and tips that you can apply to your situation. And because of that, I do recommend this book.

Throw the Rest Out

But like with many self help books, there are bits you'll just shake your head at. Don't let that upset you. Do your own lateral thinking and find what works for you. Don't let the "crowd" or this book tell you what's right for you. Filter. Adapt. Analyze. Prioritize. Focus. But if you are looking for advice, there are few books I've read, articles I've found or people I've met that have so many good ideas as what's found here.

If you have suggestions for the next book review (I'm thinking Crush It!) or have any feedback on this review, hit me up at http://twitter.com/UtterDomain

No comments:

Post a Comment