I just started to read the book, The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss and I am already impressed with how the ideas have affected me. While I haven’t made it to the nuts and bolts of the book, just reading the first 25 pages has started to change the way I think about my business, my blog and my life.
Within the first few pages, Ferriss adds some great humor about his youth as well as some excellent advice on your wealth mentality. There are two important pieces of information that I have used in the past but have quit thinking about recently. These two ideas triggered that section of the brain that makes you feel stupid for forgetting but happy that you’ve remembered and can now start to use again!
The first jolt was on page 11 in the description of Automation. Ferriss writes:
…Automation puts cash flow on autopilot using geographic arbitrage, outsourcing, and rules of nondecision…the second ingredient of luxury lifestyle design: income.
A business partner and I have formed two successful online businesses over the past four years. While each one took a lot of time to start, they now both run on auto-pilot with little or no ongoing effort from either of us.
One problem that each of us faced after completion was in maintaining our motivation level to continue to grow the businesses into larger success. As I read this first section of the book, it slammed me in the face with realization: we lost our motivation because we lost our focus on the original goals.
Before we started the sites, we discussed our future hopes, dreams, motivations and eventual goals. During the project, we got bogged down in the details of database design, look, feel and function. Once finished, we never went back to reignite our original passion and direction.
We also forgot about the importance of having the continuous cash flow from the business grow to outpace your expenses. Since my definition of retirement is to have your monthly passive income larger than your monthly expenses I shouldn’t have forgotten! It’s that easy, short and clear – yet we both forgot how important it was! If you can put cash flow creation on autopilot, then you’ll make money for years with little or no additional effort
The second one that sent a jolt to my brain was in the comparison of the dreamer’s definition and the new rich mentality:
Definition: To be the boss instead of the employee; to be in charge
New Rich: To be neither the boss nor the employee, but the owner.
Once again I realized how much I had lost my focus.
Two years ago, I was heavy into real estate, real estate investing and analyzing investment property. The problem was that I had listened to so many nothing-down, zero down, etc. etc. audio books and read dozens of real estate investing manuals that I got trapped in the analysis-paralysis mode. I kept thinking to myself that I needed to know everything and be in charge when it came time close the deal.
After reading this one line I realize that I could have been so much more successful! It wasn’t important for me to be in charge, use my own money and managing the property. The important thing was in being the owner and letting other people run the day-to-day aspects of the business. While the analysis is important, making the right deal and then moving on to the next one is far more important. Looking back, this one line could have made me much, much more money.
What Should You Expect?
It seems like this book is going to help me greatly. Since this first post is so early, I promise that I will not be writing an update or new post every 25 pages. What I will be doing is reading this book, hoping that the remaining 268 pages are as motivational as the first 25 and writing a thorough book review when I’m done.