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The 4-Hour Workweek

Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

By Tim Ferriss
  • Read in 19 minutes
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  • Contains 12 key ideas
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The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek (2009) describes the life of the New Rich, people who’ve emancipated themselves from the slavery of office work and built a life centered around happiness in the here and now. If you want to lead such a life too, you’ll have to start by being more productive and finding a source of continuous – and almost entirely passive – income. These blinks will show you how.

Key idea 1 of 12

For the New Rich, wealth means luxury in the here and now.

Many people sacrifice their lives to the idea of retirement. They go to work every morning and toil behind a desk for eight hours, dreaming of that far-off day when they’ll have done their time and can finally kick back with a margarita on a sun-drenched beach.

The author calls such people deferrers because they postpone life. Instead of living life today, they work themselves to the bone and put aside money for tomorrow. Sure, they may save up a hefty sum – but no amount of money is worth a lifetime of work.

Just consider Mark, whom the author met on a flight from Las Vegas. Mark seemed the quintessential success: a man who’d managed casinos and gas station and convenience stores, and who now wore a massive diamond ring and regularly spent over $500,000 on trips to Vegas. But Mark was dead inside. He’d enjoyed none of his jobs, and his two ex-wives had brought him as little joy as his current spouse.

Instead of living an enjoyable life, he’d deferred, suffering through 30 years of hateful employment so that he could live like a big shot.

But here’s the thing. One doesn’t have to be a millionaire in order to live like one.

The New Rich (NR) have realized that the right moment to realize one’s dreams is now. They know that the things most people associate with millionaires – extensive travels, extravagant hobbies, maybe a butler – essentially add up to two things: more freedom and more free time. Yet it’s possible to have those things without a million-dollar bank account. In fact, both can be attained with relative ease.

Flexibility and mobility are crucial to a life of luxury. They’re the prerequisites for the ability to do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it – and neither can be achieved by working a standard 40-hour week.

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