Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

The 4-hour Workweek

My review

Rating: 4 of 5 stars First off, you’re probably not going to get to a 4 hour week and certainly not working as an employee. However, this book is a must read simply because of the way the author makes you look at things differently and turns established notions on their head. It’s a real mind-f*ck.

  • Why work for the best years of your life, instead of enjoying it now? Putting off everything until you’re 65 isn’t a great plan. You’re fit and active now.
  • Based on my current age, I have 400 months until retirement. How do I want to spend that? In a cubicle?
  • You don’t need to be a millionaire, you just need to have enough (autonomous) income to live like one.
  • Most people dream of running a company but really you want to own one, and get others to manage it whilst you pursue your real dreams. This isn’t about getting your dream job (because dreams tend to turn sour when they become ‘work’) but about income generation.
  • Define your dreams (if you had no financial constraints) for the next 6/12 months and determine their costs. Add in your living expenses. Multiply by 1.3 to account for savings and safety padding. This is the income you need to achieve to realise your dreams. Divide it by days or weeks to arrive at a daily or weekly income.
  • The key is generating that income for the least amount of work. Selling digital goods over the Internet is ideal as most of the process can be automated and outsourced.
  • €50 x 100 people = €5000. It’s mathematically obvious but the consequences are astounding.
  • Aim to have freedom of location and time (i.e., work that doesn’t take 40hours/week and require you to be in a particular place). Aim for mini-retirement breaks every few months where you travel to and live in another part of the world.
Whether you accept all of the book’s practical suggestions (like outsourcing your personal life to India) it will truly change the way that you look at life.

I’m coming to believe that although the psychological impact of the car accident for more obvious during my early recovery, the long-term effects are considerably more profound. I want to show my daughter the world. Not as I’ve have experienced it so far, as a series of short holidays, but as a extended deep understanding of our planet. And, if I’m honest, I want that myself too. I’m obsessed with ‘doing’ something with my life and sitting in a cubicle for another 400 months is at the bottom of my list. I don’t intend to go all new-age hippyish on this, and I don’t think continuous vagabonding would be good for children, but I do think that regular, extended periods of travel would a great thing.

Perhaps I won’t succeed but I feel I need to try.

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