A Qualified Recommendation – The 4-Hour Workweek

Date: Sep 8, 2010
By: Joel Lazer, FCPA, FCA, CIRP


The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss has been a New York Times bestseller.  If you are prepared to embrace change, if you are prepared to step outside your comfort zone, and you’re prepared to think outside the box, then by all means, read it.  Ferriss has a compelling writing style and his suggestions will have many shaking their heads.  He includes a number of success stories of people who have taken his advice.  I found it intriguing and I plan to implement some of what he talks about.

His methodology breaks down into three areas.  The first part of the book talks about performing your job and being as productive in four hours off-site as you are in 40 hours on site.  As an employer I have some problem with the concept.  It is difficult to believe we could be 10 times more productive if we were off-site.  If this is true, I wonder why we can’t be more productive on site and I certainly would be ecstatic with the greatly reduced multiple of productivity increase.  For those employees who would like to try out this method, Ferriss gives instructions as to how to approach and deal with employer objections.  I look forward to such an approach from one of the Lazer Grant team members.

The second part of the book discusses outsourcing.  We all hear about outsourcing various business processes locally, nationally and internationally.  What come to mind are call centers where people answer the phone offshore and it is transparent to the caller.  We’ve all heard about outsourcing manufacturing to Asia.  We know large companies that manufacture nothing and sell lots.  Ferriss is a believer of outsourcing not only business processes but many personal processes as well.  He talks about outsourcing a personal assistant.  That assistant takes care of responding to e-mails, researching for projects, dealing with one’s personal gifts and making reservations.  In one instance he talks about a personal assistant apologizing to his wife; that is certainly outside my comfort zone.

The third part of the book is a roadmap on how to own a business and spend no time in it.  He very clearly says it’s not for people who want to run a business.  As I read this section I thought it is consistent with some of the principles we teach our clients.  We believe you should work “on” your business not “in” your business.  We believe that a business, to be a business, must be able to run without its principal.  When entrepreneurs think of succession, they must have a business to sell, not a job.  When entrepreneurs want to start a new venture, the old venture must be independent.  Ferriss has taken this concept to the extreme.  His roadmap is very detailed and he provides a lot of resource material to help. 

As I said at the outset, Ferriss’ book and methodology are for those prepared to embrace change.


Lazer Grant in conjunction with the Royal Bank of Canada will be presenting a breakfast seminar on fraud, how to detect it and some tips on how to avoid it.  The seminar will be on September 28th at Canad Inns – Polo Park.  Registration will commence at 7:30, the seminar starts at 8 am with the conclusion before 9:30.

If you would like to attend please respond to this email or call Cynthia Borges at 977-3507 or Tracy Koster at 957-8200.  Seating is limited so please RSVP at your earliest convenience and in any event before September 17th.  We look forward to seeing you there.

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