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The Tim Ferriss School of Business

Dec 21st, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles

timferriss-255In business school, we learned that entrepreneurs were different from professional managers, and that business creators were often pushed out the door by the stockholders after the business went public. This typically happens about five to seven years after launch, because stockholders demand reliable, professional management, not unpredictable innovation.  Tim Ferriss, author of the misleadingly-titled best-seller, “The 4-hour Workweek” shows how to transition your business to professional management through outsourcing and a systems approach to automation. He demonstrates how to find people to manage properly by providing direction ONCE ONLY, so they can carry on the work you started.

I first saw Tim Ferriss at WordCamp SF earlier this year.  In response to a question from the audience, he gleefully recounted how he outsourced finding a girlfriend.  I loved his sense of humor and respect for his own time and creativity.  We all know that hit-or-miss dating can be drudgery, and he could not afford the time to go through that, so he created systems and benchmarks and outsourced the work… most hilariously, to French-speaking Philippinas.

Creativity needs large blocks of uninterrupted time; things like designing web pages and coding websites are not activities that fit well with answering phone calls from India offering to list me in the Yellow Pages.  Tim offers concrete ideas on how to train capable people to perform repetitive task so that his creative time is not impinged by increasing maintenance demands.  His systems approach matches tasks to people with the right talents.  His customer response when callers interrupted him while he was coding or writing could be sub-optimal.  Tim shows how to redirect questions skillfully and effectively.

Creativity also needs time away from the grindstone.  When Tim lost some friends and relationships prematurely, he realized the “deferred-life plan” with retirement as the payoff for years of hard work was a cruel trap.  When he imagined his life in fast-forward (he calls it “telescoping”) Tim saw himself on track to become “the fat bald man in the red BMW convertible.”   Determined to unshackle himself from the cliché, and unable to find a book with the recipe to create a lifestyle that allowed maximum creativity, maximum cash-flow and maximum fun, Tim wrote the book himself.

The new, updated version of “The 4-hour Workweek” was just released and is available as an audiobook, a Kindle book or a hardback book.  I recommend it to every business person who needs  a fresh approach to balancing life, work, fun and creativity.

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  1. Tim is simply the revolution of TIME with the ‘E’ left off for, evolved. Joking aside, as an entrepreneur…I wish I had the book in-hand when I was starting out at 25. Great present to budding business owners, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS and inner-city youth.

  2. I agree with Marissa. I am still trying to figure out how to take 20 years off my life, or maybe following Tim’s advice and philosophy I will just act and feel like I’m 20 years younger. I’m not sure that I’ll get to 4 hours but hope to whittle down my current schedule. It seems much more in reach with Tim Ferriss’s ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I figure Tim Ferriss spends about 80 hours a week being Tim Ferriss, which has *got* to be a lot of work!

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