Fom as long as I can remember, my love for books has taken me on same amazing adventures. But as I’ve gone through life and gotten “older and wiser”, I came across books that were promising to teach me how to make my own adventures happen. Books who have a lot more to offer if only I am willing to learn.
So I decided to start a new section of my blog dedicated to the books that made an impact on my thinking, being or doing. I will not only be sharing book reviews but important lessons I draw from these books and what I plan to do with all the acquired knowledge.
My main goal here is not to simply narrate what is in these books and give my opinions on how they are written, phrased and so on. I am no critic. But I do want to share what I’ve learned from them and suggest if I think they are worthy of your time.
I hope this new section of my blog will lead you to discover books that will be useful (or at least entertaining) for your own path.
Before I get into it, in the name of full transparency, please note that this post contains affiliate links and any purchase made through such links will result in a small commission for myself (although enough to get another puppy). If you choose to purchase anything through my links, thank you for supporting me and my blog. You are awesome! You can learn more about affiliate links here. Enjoy!
About The Author
When reviewing or talking about books, I don’t necessarily spend much time drawing attention to the author. But in this case, Tim Ferriss deserves a shoutout. And I think it’s important to know a bit about him to know why I think the intel he shares in his first book, titled The 4-Hour Work Week, is of real value.
A quick google search can give you all the boring details on him and his career, but when I came across him via an interview on Youtube and it immediately because obvious that this is not a man that sells a strategy before trying it out himself. He is actually very well known for all the experiments he does in business, health and random skills he masters in a record time.
So I picked up his book with great expectations (because he is the living proof that what he writes about works), and I was not let down.
About The Reader
Although the main purpose of this book is to “escape the 9-5 lifestyle” and to start creating a new way of life that can pretty much allow you to live anywhere in the world, this book is not only for those of us who dream to completely change our lifestyle.
Throughout reading the book I discovered so many pieces of advice and information that can apply to becoming a better blogger for example, because that is an area of my life where I plan to excel this year and that is constantly on my mind.
So whatever your plans are for the future, if you want to speed up the learning process and figure out a smarter way to get things done, this book is for you.
Other recommended readers: university students (it will give your life some perspective and maybe help you decide what to do once you finish your studies), young entrepreneurs and business women, bloggers (it will help you see your blog as a business and 90% of the resources recommended here can be useful if you have a blog) and other thrill seekers.
About The 4-Hour Work Week
This book promises a lot: a new way of life that allows you to do whatever you want, more money with less (but smarter) work, more vacations and a lot of much-needed resources to do all that.
Other reviews and testimonials prove that great results can be achieved if you actually put into action the steps recommended here, but do not be fooled. It still takes a lot of effort, quite some time and some occasional investment.
The book focuses a lot on teaching you how to come up with a business idea, test the waters and eventually create products that can sell with little to no intervention from your part. So if that’s a business path you’re willing to take, this book is a must read.
But as someone who is not really planning to take that route (which is why I won’t discuss that part of the book – product marketing – too much), I still found it extremely useful and learned a lot of things I have yet to apply to my own endeavours.
This section of my book review is the most important one to read. Instead of talking about the book, I will share the most important tips, resources, quotes or pieces of advice that I extracted from it and that you could benefit off even if you do no own or read the book yourself.
If you plan to only skim the book, these are some important pages to give extra attention to. So here we go:
- It’s ok to go about things differently and challenge the current norm (in your personal life, business or anything else). As the author puts it: “Don’t follow a model that doesn’t work. If the recipe sucks, it doesn’t matter how good of a cook you are.” (p.30)
- Doing less work doesn’t mean you are lazy. We don’t have to sacrifice more time or effort as long as we are being productive when it matters. (p.32)
- Don’t let uncertainty stop you from taking risks. Cause at the end of the day, you will end up risking your happiness. (p.40) At the end of the day, the worse case scenario in case you fail and what you set out to achieve is probably not even that bad. (p.42) As Mark Twain puts it: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
- Have impossible goals, dream big and don’t underestimate what you can do! (p.50) That’s how all great things start. Define what outcome would be worth of the trouble, the risk and uncertainty and as cheesy as it sounds, keep your eyes on the prize!
- When I say “define” what you want, I mean it. Decide what do you want to own, what trips you want to take and how much do you want to work. Now break it down and find out how much it would cost you monthly. The result is surprisingly inspiring because it makes you see how achievable it is. The whole concept of “dreamlining” is better expressed and exemplified in the book. (p.57-63)
- Setting deadlines that allow you a shorter period of time to get things done has a magical effect in making you more productive in complete a task. Next time you decide to give yourself a month to read a book (for example), only allow yourself a week and see how long it actually takes to finish it.
- Use the 80/20 principle! What 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of problems or happiness? What 20% of your work determines 80% of your desired outcome? You can use this analysis for everything! (p.80)
- Learn to ignore or redirect all information and interruptions that are irrelevant and unactionable. This will help you avoid keeping busy just for the sake of it.
- Never check your email first thing in the morning. Perform all time-consuming tasks in a batch to save yourself time! (p.97, p.106)
- Automate and eliminate before you delegate. (p.130)
- Decide what your time is worth it, and hire a VA to take care of all time-consuming tasks that keep you from the most important ones. This book contains piles of information of where to find VA’s, why hire one and what they can do for you.
- Stop spending your life saving for that once every two years vacation or for retirement. Instead, take mini-retirements and use them to recharge and do some living!
I’ll end this review with my favorite quote from the book: “I’ve learned that nothing is impossible and that almost nothing is easy”.