Are You Riding The Tim Ferriss Wheel?

Once upon a time, I was a Tim Ferriss groupie.

Well, not exactly, but I did think The 4-Hour Workweek was the greatest invention since RU-486. When I first went to Barnes & Noble to get my copy, I spent what seemed like an eternity poring over its pages, in awe at its philosophy and advice, only stopping when the manager announced over the intercom that the store was closing in fifteen minutes. It took me all of a weekend to finish the book, but even before then I was brainstorming idea upon idea for creating my own four-hour workweek.

Having spent a good portion of the past five years of my life hustling online, I was overjoyed at finally finding a roadmap to the land of riches. Unfortunately, that roadmap had a huge hole in the middle.

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be some “anti-game” type hater screed: “Tim Ferriss is a LIAR and a SCAMMER wah wah wah POOR ME!” Realistically, the most I lost from The 4-Hour Workweek was $10 and about a week’s worth of sleepless nights. I’m still a fan of Ferriss’ books and I read his blog (not regularly, but whenever he writes a new post).

But I’d still tread carefully around him.

Asking a guy like Tim Ferriss for business advice is like asking a woman how to get laid. Girls spout useless pabulum like “just be yourself” because they have no clue what being a man is like—all most girls have to do is show up and they’ll get men drooling over them. Tim Ferriss is selling a lifestyle that is achievable, but only by people who are named “Tim Ferriss.” Here’s why.


1. Tim Ferriss had a massive head start in life, but doesn’t factor this into his advice.

Ferriss argues that anyone can flee the 9-to-5 existence by following his advice of plagiarizing paraphrasing other sources to create online businesses and having virtual assistants from India doing the grunt work. And Ferriss’ rags-to-riches story is so inspiring it would make Horatio Alger shed a tear:

And he sincerely believes that you too can have a four-hour workweek despite not having his wealthy upbringing, his upper-class education, or his network of connected friends. Just like how you can pick up girls by “being yourself.”

I’m not knocking Ferriss—he’s a smart guy who’s made a comfortable living. But his entrepreneurial advice is worthless for most because he’s unwilling—or unable—to acknowledge that he had an easier journey to the finish line than most. Sure, you might be able to eke out a good income plagiarizing paraphrasing NexxtLevelUp articles for a fitness DVD set, but you’re just as equally likely to win the lottery, and Megaball tickets are both cheaper and don’t take as much time to use.

Take a spin on the Tim Ferriss Wheel and you’ll just end up right back where you started, a little more nauseous than when you began.


2. The 4-Hour Workweek’s advice doesn’t scale.

Ferriss’ advice became useless the day he became popular enough to get a book deal. Cheating your way to wealth with your flunky Deepak might have worked ten years ago, but with hordes of Ferriss-wannabes now gunking up the works, every one of them gets an increasingly smaller chunk of the pie. Ferriss fanboys are the equivalent of the clueless dorks who read The Game when it was released and descended upon the dive bars wearing furry pimp hats doing impromptu palm readings.

Too bad we can’t have an HB8.5 burst into mocking laughter every time some cubicle slave starts up an affiliate marketing site pushing weight-loss pills.


3. The only way to make money online is to shut up and do the work.

The Internet is not some parallel universe exempt from the laws of reality. Anyone who has anything here got it because they worked for it. Like in the real world, success in the world of online hustling is dependent on what your strengths are, how you leverage them, and who you network with. There are no shortcuts or loopholes beyond those that will help you learn the basics faster. My new book Confessions of an Online Hustler emphasizes this: unless you toil away and create a legit product that will enlighten and/or entertain people, your hustle will go nowhere.

But therein lies the problem: the kinds of people who slavishly defend the Tim Ferrisses of the world can’t handle the truth. They don’t want to be told that the only way to achieve anything in this world is to toil for it. They’d rather believe that there’s a magic pill that can get them to shed their jiggling blubber rolls; that there’s a magic line that will get women to suck their dicks; that there’s a magic method that will allow them to spend the rest of their lives sunning themselves at the beach while a half-literate wage-slave in Calcutta runs a network of drop-shipping online stores for them.

Tim Ferriss is the patron saint of lazy-asses.

Read More: How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World

116 thoughts on “Are You Riding The Tim Ferriss Wheel?”

  1. Reading your (very nice!) post, this quote kept resurfacing in my mind:
    “That has always been the dark side of the American dream, the search for
    an easy way out, a belief in magic. The endless parade of promises that
    constitutes the heart of American advertising, one of the largest of
    our national enterprises, testifies to the deep well of superstition in
    our national foundation, which has been institutionalized in the
    advertising business. Easy money, easy health, easy beauty, easy
    education — if only the right incantation can be found.” — John Taylor Gatto

    1. Matt, a well-considered article (avid reader of all your blogs/sites, excavatingeden in particular). It’s dangerous to genuflect upon the altar of Ferriss although I did become enamored as you did.
      “That has always been the dark side of the American dream, the search for
      an easy way out…”
      (Thanks, Markus).
      Yes, there is no easy way out. I see so much laziness and it saddens me. I’ve been a lazy f’n bastard too and saw many years wasted until I realized I always burned with curiosity to understand certain area. Success is focused passion, mastery of your chosen area, the area that seizes you and won’t let you go (a genie that possesses you).
      I’ve found 4HB and 4HWW very insightful and have applied numerous principles. No complaints here about ROI. The difference for me is I already had a start-up business (based on a passion that turned into a hobby and evolved from there) and needed support being healthy and learning to thrive. The obsessive drive is what carried me through long, long days, months, years, often foregoing dating, meeting up with friends, and sleep. Yeah, I could go voerboard. But the key really is passion, a guiding light. Deciding (‘to cut’) what was most important and staying committed to that. In the ‘always on’, sound-bite, text-don’t-call era it’s not surprising many people aren’t used to staying focused on ONE THING for long periods of time. Perhaps it’s mild autism and that’s a damn useful gift but I hate being interrupted and guard my creative times jealously.
      Passion radiates and is infectious, which is how you martial support, continue learning and share what you know with others. I didn’t get this until later when I realized people were excited that *I* was excited. And that I’d actually done some real honest hard work. But it wasn’t that hard because I loved what I was doing (most of the time!).
      Yeah, long-winded – I know. In summary, anyoneI’ll listen to anyone who sees me better than I see myself. I’m under no illusion (as in my more frivolous 20s) that being excellent at something was innate – mastery is a practice. Innovation comes from perspiration. I focus on what I want then do it. Period.
      Watch some TED / TEDx talks if you need a kick in the pants, but then turn it off after an hour. I recommend Jacob Barnett’s “Forget What You Know” and Alan Watkin’s “Being Brilliant Every Single Day.” Go take something apart and find out why it works. Learn that foreign language (+1 Pimsleur), it’ll sharpen your mind. If those who really want to succeed spent >50% of their time actually getting
      their hands / minds into an area they’re really curious about, we’d have a lot more innovation, a lot more satisfaction, a lot more confidence:
      a lot more men.

    2. Matt, a well-considered article (avid reader of all your blogs/sites, excavatingeden in particular). It’s dangerous to genuflect upon the altar of Ferriss although I did also become enamored with him.
      “That has always been the dark side of the American dream, the search for
      an easy way out…”
      (Thanks, Markus).
      Yes, there is no easy way out. I see so much laziness and it saddens me. I’ve been a lazy f’n bastard too and saw many years wasted until I realized I always burned with curiosity to understand certain things. Success is focused passion, mastery of your chosen subject, the #1 area that seizes you and won’t let you go (a genie that possesses you).
      I’ve found 4HB and 4HWW very insightful and have applied numerous principles. No complaints here about ROI. The difference for me is I already had a start-up business (based on a passion that turned into a hobby and evolved from there) and needed support being physically healthy and helping my business thrive. The obssessive drive is what carried me through long, long days, months, years, often foregoing dating, meeting up with friends, and sleep. Yeah, I could go voerboard. But the key really is passion, a guiding light. Deciding (‘to cut’) what was most important to me and staying committed to that. In the ‘always on’, sound-bite, text-don’t-call era it’s not surprising many people aren’t used to
      staying focused on ONE THING for long periods of time. Perhaps it’s some mild autism that makes this easier and that’s a damn useful gift but I hate being interrupted and guard my creative times jealously.
      Passion radiates and is infectious, which is how you martial support, continue learning and share what you know with others. I didn’t get this until later when I realized people were excited that *I* was excited. And that I’d actually done some real honest hard work. But it wasn’t that hard because I loved what I was doing (most of the time!).
      Yeah, long-winded – I know. In summary, I’ll listen to anyone who sees into me better than I see myself. I’m under no illusion (as in my more frivolous 20s) that being excellent at something was innate – mastery is a practice. Innovation comes from perspiration. I focus on what I want then do it.
      Watch some TED / TEDx talks if you need a kick in the pants, but then turn it off after an hour. I recommend Jacob Barnett’s “Forget What You Know” and Alan Watkin’s “Being Brilliant Every Single Day.” Go take something apart and find out why it works. Learn that foreign language (+1 Pimsleur), it’ll sharpen your mind. If those who
      really want to succeed spent >50% of their time actually getting their hands / minds into an area they’re really curious about, we’d have a lot more innovation, a lot more satisfaction, a lot more confidence: a lot more men.

  2. He’s also a big fraud and liar.
    Many years ago one friend of mine bought one of his outsourced products. A herbal pill supposed to increase his IQ, stamina, whataveyou. I think it was called “BrainQuicken” or something as catchy as that, and the website was one of those almost-pre-web-2.0 full of marketing hype and no substance, bogus “research” and “testimonials”.
    The product he received was not even remotely resembling that. It was not named “BrainQuicken”, for one. It was just a herbal product. It didn’t produce the advertised effects. The instructions were in badly written English. And so on.
    Tim Ferris just ran a scam, that’s all. It used outsourcing when it still was the “new thing” (we’re talking 2001/2003 here) to fool people into buying his bullcrap. And then it sold it as the “new way of doing things”, like the “Get Things Done” guy, the NeuroLinguistic Programming guys and all that. Just a fad. He found himself a place in the “get-rich-quick-by-high-fiving-people” niche and stayed there. But his advice is neither realistic nor sustainable.
    He’s just another Tony Robbins-like spawn. A guy who made a career out of absolutely nothing buy yarns, lies, deceptions, “incantations” and so on.
    The web is full of these guys, either affirmed or wannabes. Self-help gurus who hope to get rich by telling other people how to do it, while not producing anything of real value themselves. A ponzi scheme of information. Don’t get suckered on.

  3. A great question to ask anyone giving ‘make money online’ advice is what niches other than ‘how to be awesome’ and how to make money online they have been successful in. I usually get called a troublemaker or douche when I ask that question. I’m not a hater… I actually make a nice little side income from one of my sites. I’m just sick of people who have never made money from a real product or service spreading advice.

    1. Those who can’t do, teach.
      If someone really knows how to pick winning stocks, flip houses and make a bundle, make money with online marketing while working a few hours/week or [insert get rich quick scheme here] then why the fuck aren’t they DOING IT instead of teaching others to do it?
      Oh right, it’s because they don’t really know how to do it.
      I put consultants in this same category. That includes McKinsey, Bain, BCG and the others. In my professional experience they excel only at convincing lousy CEOs that simple problems are in fact complicated as hell and only the giant brains at McKinsey can solve the problem in exchange for a pile of money. This used to bother me, but now I admire and have learned from their ability to reel in the suckers.

      1. My understanding of the high end strategy consultants is that mostly what you’re paying for is industry intel. They can give you a much improved picture of what your competitors are doing, because they also work with them. Of course in general it would be the weaker competitors more concerned with gaining this intel than with exposing their own strategy and operations to the consultants.

    2. You said exactly what I felt. How much did Kiyosaki make employing his skills other than talking about it?

  4. The sarcasm of his upbringing was hilarious. That (ladies) is the proper use of it.
    And that guy looks shady as fuck. There is something about him that says..”jokes on you I got your money”

    1. I was thinking the same thing. No way would I buy a used car, or used anything else, from that guy.

    2. For me personally, since I have a masters in science and have actually been at the labs doing the forefront work in brown adipose tissue. I find Tim Ferris to be nothing more than a literate quack, but instead of mysticism he uses science to throw a veil of fog over his arguments. Those few that understand that what he is selling is complete shit does not matter since the large majority of people don’t. Getting rich on other’s ignorance is not honorable anywhere.

  5. My first look at a picture of Ferriss set of the scam-alarm. He looks like Tony Robbins…that same arrogant asshole, “I’m going to rip you off” look.
    For anybody who has any real business experience, these guys are kept at arm’s length, unless they are selling your product for you, and even then, on a very very tight leash.

  6. Matt my nemesis. Rose from the ashes huh lol! I’ve never fell for the Tim Ferris hype. Something about him or his hype struck me as scammish.

  7. good post, you seem honest, much more so than Ferriss. I’m just trying to figure out the numbers.
    But I followed the link to your blog– you make what, 5K per year online? And now you’re selling a book about how to make money online? How many hours a week do you put into this?

  8. To be fair to Ferriss, the 4 Hour Body contains excellent, practical advice on being healthy (some parts of it are overblown, but if you follow the book you will be healthier than 99 percent of people) and even 4 Hour Week has good advice like the low information diet, Pareto Principle etc, but overall yeah, there really isn’t much to the book. You have to do all of this stuff by itself to be honest.

  9. I purchased the book because of the rants and raves. I stopped reading it after the first few chapters once I realized that he, too, was selling only a dream. What did I expect? The joke is on me.

    1. I suspect that like this book, you don’t finish many things that you start. And what did you expect – that you would pay $3.99 for a book and find a magic pill inside that would instantly made you rich? You are right – you are the joke.

  10. Ironic, posting about an online dick’s book; and posting a link to your own online book.

    1. Matt’s stuff is a good starting point for bloggers, and is very similar to how I did it.

    2. From the book:
      “There are people who think hustling is somehow antisocial or wrong. We call these people “fags.” The reality is that unless you want to be stuck flipping burgers or pushing paper for the rest of your life, you have to hustle.”

  11. Its a good point… lazy asses use Ferriss’ work as excuses to be lazy asses…but its apparent that Tim works pretty hard.
    Even in the book he talked about how many hours he put into his business before being able to remove himself and make it a 4 hour work week. The problem is he sold people that they could create the 4 hour work week right from the start, completing ignoring all the damn work he did.

  12. He’s a snake oil salesman, literally. He made a bunch of money hawking useless supplements and “herbs” to dummies. Later, he switched from marketing snake oil to get-rich-quick schemes and himself.
    The lessons I get from Ferris is that ruthless marketing is very powerful, and also that if you’re willing to rip off suckers you can do so with zero risk of opprobrium.

    1. Yes. This.
      We can all learn a *ton* from Ferris. He’s a goddamn genius marketer.
      Those who are disappointed after discovering that his formula of working 4 hours/week and getting rich doesn’t work also need stop believing in unicorns and happy Disney endings where the nerd gets the girl. Jesus H Christ if you really believed that I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
      For the one millionth time in American history Ferris showed that you can make a lot of money by promising easy riches for minimal effort and exploiting suckers. His “supplements” are no more valuable than a mixed blend of ground up apple cores and old chinese newspapers, yet he got people to buy them for big $. Fucking genius.
      I found the book very valuable in terms of helping me to get off my ass, let go of fear and take action. I used his tips how to be known as an expert and how to contact famous people successfully.
      If you’re hating on Ferris you’re missing his real message.

    2. I’m curious to see how you came to this conclusion. Did you buy the product? Did you research each ingredient? It seems as though this is just a baseless accusation. And his method isn’t a “Get-rich-quick” scheme. It’s not about becoming a millionaire. It’s about enabling a lifestyle you enjoy, which usually doesn’t require millions; just some important life changes.

    3. Excellent point. That was perhaps the first thing in his book that turned me off. Supplements sold mail order/online are always a scam. Why? because they always claim to be based on some “new” “breakthrough” “discovery” of some substance with magical powers to easily (that’s the key word) turn you into the dream person you always wanted to be.
      What’s wrong with that?
      If any of it were true, if ANY magic pill worked the way their copy says it does, it would literally take over the airwaves and all of cyberspace for a year until everyone was using it and everyone was showing successful results. You wouldn’t have to advertise it. Everyone who ever took ti would be walking talking PROOF of its effectiveness.
      The more something has to be sold, the less effective it is.

  13. A long overdue takedown of a dangerous huckster. Thanks, Matt, for putting into words what had been only glimmerings of suspicion in my mind about this carnival-barker….

  14. Great breakdown of this guy. Like other business books (“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” comes to mind) his is more interesting for what it says about our culture than what it recommends. A born-rich guy giving tips on work is like a model giving advice on makeup. People can do what they say, but don’t expect the same results.

  15. There’s plenty of good reasons to be wary of Tim Ferriss, some of
    which is outlined here. But saying that he had a privileged/spoiled
    upbringing so therefore his advice doesn’t apply strikes me as haterish.
    His dad was a RE agent and his mom was a speech therapist. They may
    have been in a rich area but they were definitely middle class in LI. By
    the same logic might you as well dismiss any business/career advice
    Roosh puts out since he grew up in the mean streets of Montgomery County
    Maryland and had free rent from his dad for several years.
    Again I’m much more of a fan of taking his advice with a grain of salt, a lot
    of it is unrealistic – but let’s be fair, Ferris was not born with a
    silver spoon and he hustled hard with his supplement biz. Tear his advice apart, but lets give credit where it’s due.

    1. My upbringing was lower middle class. I never went hungry or lacked the necessities of life, though my mom did live paycheck to paycheck.
      I lived in White Oak, which is the worst area in Montgomery County. I was one of the few “white” kids there.

      1. I didn’t know you lived in White Oak. I associate that place with sex because the only reason I ever went there was to White Oak Towers…where I’d spend nights with the girl who had the biggest boobs in high school a few years after graduation. Golden memories. Or should I say “mammaries.” Hehehe.

  16. Lost 40 pounds thanks to the four hour body. Stop drinking the haterade, it’s just hero-worship in reverse.

    1. Yeah but…..I mean, I could write you down a diet in 3 minutes and you could also have lost 40 lbs. Does that make me a genius? A guru? With 4HB you are giving up all sweets, all sodas, increasing your water intake and eating a breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. ALL OF THESE THINGS!! have been documents by hundreds of other weight loss guides in the past. It was you who did the work for those 40lbs lost, not him. Just like if you got up at 5am and ran 6 miles.

      1. Personally, I managed to put on 30 pounds of healthy weight by following the advice in 4HB. And sure, there are millions of other sources for the same advice Tim offers, but few of them have distilled and made the advice as practical as Tim managed to.
        A book I had read previously about how to gain healthy weight required such extensive workout routines and expensive complicated meals that it was too overwhelming to even start, but Tim was damn good about keeping things simple and achievable, only suggesting the bare essentials in order to get results.
        I certainly don’t agree with everything he suggests, but the guy gives plenty of excellent advice; don’t judge him if you haven’t read his books or even tried to achieve any of the things he has laid out the steps to.

    2. Losing 40lbs is easy. I’ve done it a dozen times!
      Besides, I didn’t get any hater vibe off Matt’s article. He criticizes Ferris for constantly implying in his book that achieving the 4-hour dream is simple or easy. Which he does.

  17. tim ferriss is in the same area of thinking as robert kiyosaki really. both hugely motivational books (getting people to act, rather than just think all day about it), both flawed authors.
    i have immense respect for Mr Ferriss’s shameless marketing and business approach, the same way i have respect for Arnold schwarzenegger’s ridiculously awesome work ethic. He’s managed to hack and worm his way into just about all the silicon valley startups, get excellent networking connections and every one of his books, though flawed have opened up huge new areas of interest to me personally
    Got into game via a random encounter with a ‘pua’ type in my second year at uni, learned of
    sosuave and book shops led me to neil strauss and the classic ‘the game’
    tucker max and neil strauss’s connections to ferriss led me to 4hr work week and online businesses, which in turn led me to other more valuable business forums
    following neil strauss and mystery, over a long enough time, i found roissy, then in mala fide, then roosh
    4hour body, led me to mark sisson and paleo and keto lifestyle
    this in turn led me to doug mcguff’s gym work then the 21 convention
    4 hour chef (which i was initially not going to get, until the book became heavily discounted) came up with a super useful meta learning philosophy which i’ve started to use to learn languages and other skills,
    this in turn brought me to the website fluentin three months
    the recipes were things i then implemented and compliments on my cooking followed suit.
    this is all red pill topics, and ferriss is like one such encyclopedia, maybe not giving you exactly what you thought you wanted but opening up enough doors and introducing you to enough people that you find what you need.
    it’s foolish to look at pt barnum type man and admonish him for his showmanship, you respect him for his wile his cunning, and you use what bits of knowledge he gives that work and find a way to get a bigger piece of the pie for yourself
    people shouldn’t get pissed off because he gave them ‘hope’ where there was none

    1. That’s exactly right… they give enough for you to keep learning… most people don’t understand how to use the information these people provide like tools…. You have to always keep learning and you’ll understand and find a way to make your own success happen from observing everyone else.

  18. His book wasn’t great but he did clearly state he worked 15 hours a day prior to doing what he did… 15 hour days over a few years will get you the results he got, he just chose to stop where he did and convert it into an easier work load instead of scaling into a higher income level. Your post is very one sided….

  19. This is the Manosphere. Do we dismiss people based on their appearance? Do we, behave like little girls, and dismiss advice because the giver looks “creepy”? Four Work Week was red pill; some people get it, others don’t.
    Here’s what I got from 4HWW:
    1) Rich isn’t the size of your bank balance; it’s freedom to live (where, how, when, etc.) you like.
    2) With geographic arbitrage, if the women stateside are not worth your time, use the benefits of that blue passport to level up elsewhere.
    3) Don’t wait until you retire (too old) to go on a real vacation, retire this year then go back to work. Keep cost low so you can retire for real sooner.

    1. “1) Rich isn’t the size of your bank balance; it’s freedom to live (where, how, when, eye) you like.”
      Yes, but that requires money, unless you have zero value in comfort. The people who sell this line in books always seem to have an abundance in both money and possessions.

      1. Not exactly. You really don’t need as much money as you’d think. It’s all about perspective.
        I didn’t have “total freedom,” but for the past 2 years I lived a lifestyle where I worked hard and travelled a lot. While it’s not something I’d do again (the way that I worked that is), I feel blessed for the experience. I managed to visit countries all throughout Asia, USA and even back home in Australia. I lived in a condo right in the center of the city which was half of what the old share-house I had in Sydney costed.
        So how much was I earning? An “ok” Malaysian salary. My Malaysian relatives were amazed about how I could travel so much with that kind of money. The truth is, I spent my money wisely, leveraged currency conversion and focussed on experiences (made friends with locals, attended weddings, joined annual parties), rather than possessions.

  20. I bought the book today considering that the pdf was only $3.99. And I am loving all of it so far. It’s almost like reading my own biography. I love your “real” style of writing. When I read the line “I’ve watched sites come and go like herpes sores” I knew I had made the right choice buying your book and that I would enjoy it.
    As someone who has just taken up writing in the last few months, there is great advice to learn from and stories to relate to.
    Even if it doesn’t provide any quick get rich solutions like some of these users seem so “cheated” by, the point is it’s very relatable to anyone who has made the move to be free and live off the internet. As someone who is also near their goal of having enough passive income to (barely) live off, I suspect that I too might see you in Brazil next year 😉
    Nice work Matt!

  21. The problem with the 4-Hour work week is that it tries to sell a “one size fits all” model. It also doesn’t really do much in the way of suggesting anything other than ripping off the works of others or reselling things that were already for sale. There is a lot of practical advice within his books if you read between the lines though. Tim Ferris may have had a leg up on a lot of people but he’s one hard working dude.
    I have a copy of the 4-Hour Chef and it’s apparent he poured his heart into it. The key to working for yourself is finding something that you are passionate about and is also useful enough that someone else is willing to pay for it. You can’t get something for nothing but the secret is doing work you actually enjoy doing and getting paid for it.

  22. And who the fuck is this guy? He gives the impression of being an effeminate douchebag who cannot take a punch to the face.
    All those get-rich-right-away-make-friends-and-become-succesful-in-25-days books are manuals that instruct you and your beloved ones on how to accept and defend the status quo of concentration of capital, information, education and political power.
    The first rule to become and remain rich is to not tell others exactly how you became and stll remain rich.
    Why do people still buy these shitty books

    1. You’re fucking idiot. Dude won boxing championships and trained with some of the best coaches in the world. Of course his trying to hustle you, but that’s everyone who has ever made it in life. Just be inspired by the right things he did.

  23. “The situation is like this: they hired our parents to destroy this world, and now they’d like to put us to work rebuilding it, and — to add insult to injury — at a profit.”
    ― The Invisible Committee, The Coming Insurrection
    tags: anarchism, french, revolt, revolution 14 people liked it like

  24. I always recommend Tims books. I think its worth the time to read and take a way a few key points. At worst, it’ll inspire you, at best, it’ll open broaden your horizons and motivate you to take a leap creating an automated business. For me, it just inspired me. It was still worth the read, despite making $0 after it..
    Also, 4HB diet is worth the price alone. While I don’t personally use it, I show it to people that want to lose 10 lbs real fast. Its very easy to stick with and effective (and the binge day is fun).
    Still, overall fantastic post, I will look into your book as well.

  25. tim ferriss is fun but has lots of gaps.
    geoffrey moore’s classic book ‘crossing the chasm’ is all about dealing with the real challenges that ferriss skips over.

  26. In the big picture, the only way 4 hour workweeks scale, is if people rejig their utility function so that their peak happiness occurs with much less material goods than it does now. After all, outside of corner case fields reliant almost entirely on inspiration, putting in a fifth hour will boost your income by close to 25% over stopping at 4.
    Societally, getting rid of laws such as zoning and various other efforts the mass of drones partake in to increase the difficulty of getting by on less than them, would make it much more viable for many more to prioritize relaxation over additional work. After all, people didn’t have it so bad back when per capita GDP was 1/4 of what it is today, which today’s level of technological advancement would allow many to earn on less tha 10 hours a week, at least.
    But, in any society where law mutable and for sale by either vote or money, any tiny initial advantage in wealth stemming from working an additional hour, will be used by those who do so, to incrementally shift the legal climate in their favor. Increasing by a little bit more the additional wealth they have, which allows them the opportunity to shift the legal climate yet further etc., etc. Until everyone realize the only way no to be overran by the thug army called the cops, are to run as fast as they can on the threadmill, so that they too, can “have a say” in who is singled out for oppression tomorrow.

  27. I read “The Four hour Workweek” several years ago and got the impression that the advice and situation was unique to him and not applicable to anyone else.

  28. I remember the “Four Hour Body” and ” Geek to Freak in 21 Days”. I tried them. I Got the body I wanted…it took four years hitting the gym four/five days a week. I think he has some valid ideas but he tends to mix them with hyperbole to make the sale.
    The same observation can be made of the Player / Manosphere camp. In order to become a new man you need to disassemble the old man and rebuild from scratch, it’s a process that took years for me and I’m still learning. I wish there was a quick fix but you got to put in the hours if you want to become a whole man.

  29. i just started reading this book yesterday actually. this post is one funny coincadence.
    im half way through. so far i like the book. all it really says is be as efficient as possible, put as much of the work that earns you income off onto someone else as possible and for as little cost as possible, subtlely move your relationship with an employer away from selling your time and toward selling your performance, and “hold your frame” with the people you make money with/from. it has some good pointers like “80% of revenue comes from 20% of sources” so cut out those other 80% of sources that bring you 20% of revenue. sure you will lose one fifth of your income but you get back four fifths of the time you spend working. its all about cramming more bucks in per hour and then cutting back your hours to find a good, sane, tolerable balance between work and play.
    not a magic pill, but definately some great ideas. like i said so far i like it, and i will see how i like it as i read more. but i will definately keep the thoughts of all you dear sweetyhearts in mind.

  30. i really love the, “head start in life” crap, yeah its ferriss and his white privileged that made him succeed.–actually now that i think about it, you’re right….YES–Ferriss is white…he is superior. good point

  31. Lol, ridiculous.
    Let’s tell it like it is homie. He’s had more succes than you, has more money than you, he’s healthier than you, has had more life experiences than you, and no doubt has/can fuck more women than you.
    Why? Because the motherfucker is smarter than you.
    And lazy? Riight. He has three best sellers and is only in his mid-thirties. Those are facts. How do you and your hard work ethic compare? Oh yeah, he had a head start. He was given more wove as a wittle baby. Maybe you should be given an entitlement (that’s how it starts).
    Homie’s clearly playing chess, you’re still on checkers. Race goes to the smartest, not the strongest. He’s got the option to spread his seed to a number and quality of women you probably couldn’t fathom. Son, he’s winning. Adapt or die.

    1. “Because the motherfucker is smarter than you.” it all comes down to this. Those who are as smart or smarter than Tim can duplicate what he does. Those who are not, can be motivated to go beyond their comfort zones and DO something. There’s good and bad in everything, focus on the good, leverage it for the good of the world and you’re better off from where you started…

    2. I couldn’t have said it better myself. This author is either very envious of Tim or he just lacks the cognitive capability of understanding what it takes to succeed. Whiny bitches like Matt make me sick.

  32. So let me get this straight…
    You are using a high-profile name in the blogging/online business/marketing world to “criticize”, which seems to me a really good way to draw attention to your blog and bring more readers. At the same time, you are shamelessly plugging YOUR book, which happens to be in the same niche as the guy you are “objectively criticizing”. Obviously, you stand to gain nothing from the demise of Tim Ferriss.
    On to your critique. First you talk about his “wealthy upbringing”. True, Tim Ferriss didn’t grow up poor. He’s also not a 1% guy either. Let me ask you, since Tim Ferriss grew up in an upper-middle class family, so what? How does that affect the advice he’s giving? Does he ever mention something where you needed a wealthy upbringing in your childhood? In 4HWW he even breaks down prices and time estimates. I didn’t read anything there where I thought “damnit, why was I born lower-middle class?”
    Your second critique is about his method not scaling. What’s the proof? What makes it non scalable? You only offer an analogy to some unrelated industry. Tim Ferriss isn’t in the dating industry (yet), he’s talking about business advice. But you offer no solid evidence. Also, he never even promises that it will scale!! The goal of the book is to be location independent and maximizing your per-hour productivity! There’s nothing there about building a million dollar business!
    Your third critique is about doing the work. Tim worked 80 hour workweeks for a couple years when he was first building his business.
    I agree with you that he does make things sound simpler than they might be, but not to the extreme you’re saying. What he’s done is figure out a business system through hours of testing. And he’s broken down the essentials and put them in a book. That is extremely valuable to me, because I just saved years of experimenting on my own by reading his book.
    I don’t mind if people critique Tim. Everyone has faults. But you’re doing it in such a stupid and dangerous way, contributing nothing of value to the conversation and just perpetuating gossip.
    PS: Look up Lifestyle Business Podcast. These guys are a legitimate 7 figure business, location independent, and they were inspired by reading 4HWW. That’s all the proof you need.

  33. There is a better median than the get rich working 4-hours a week, and the author’s philosophy that you have to toil at online hustling for years and years before advancing to the enlightened stage of squeaking out a few grand a year to live.
    If you have a skill, experience, etc that can give value to others, than that is what you should concentrate on. If your an engineer, dont start a blog about literature. If you are a database developer, dont pretend to be a travel writer.
    I work in business, specifically product and brand development with a minor in TV retail. I started a dropship business because i knew it well. I made a little bit of money but certainly wasn’t about to quit my day job. I found an opportunity for a unique product to grow. I entered into a strategic partnership with a chemical manufacturer, developed a product, grew a brand and am new selling my product into retailers around the country, and soon into the U.K. All while working 50+ hours as an advertising executive.
    The point being is that you can still make money online, just do what you know and try to carve out a niche for something that is either unique or you know well and can teach to others. The whole idea that making money off the internet requires some massively popular blog or huge affiliate program is not true.
    Its hard of course, but do what you know well, chances are that other people will pay for it. It may not be as sexy as writing a sex or travel blog, but who cares at the end of the day when you check your bank account and feel the satisfaction of making somethi0ng out of nothing

  34. 4HWW is a great book but not a “How-TO” sort of thing.
    Its cursory glance at what is possible. Thats invaluable as far as I am concerned. So many times a person gets stuck with a woman or a job because of a limited perspective.
    Kind of like “oneitis” in a career.
    After years of very long hours, divorce, etc I have finally been able to retire from a profession and 4HWW was a big part of the process.

  35. Is there anything other than to conclude this is a jealous hit piece? I’m not criticizing this blog, however, because I find the writing highly entertaining, and that alone is sufficient for my recommendation of Matt Forney as a writer.
    I know one thing for sure, that me buying Tim Ferriss’ book will ensure *he* continues to living the four hour work week.

  36. At some point you have to realize as a man that you can’t copy anybody’s advice verbatim. Tim Ferriss, your favorite game guru, whoever….. everybody’s own particular circumstances are only directly applicable to their own particular circumstances.
    That said, I think taking advice from somebody like Ferriss is very useful if it gets you off your ass and thinking about how to achieve the things YOU want to achieve (note, the emphasis on you. ie: not trying to achieve the exact same things Ferriss has).
    The title of the book is the title that won in his Google Adwords campaign to test book titles. He named it that in order to market it properly. It obviously worked – 3 #1 best sellers now. He’s built his own brand and done very well. But, trust me, Tim has worked his ass off to get where he got. (And he’s worked a lot more than 4 hours a week on average)

  37. If “rich isn’t (my) bank balance, it’s the freedom to live how I want,” how in the name of Standard & Poor’s am I supposed to do that without money?!? I guess I have the freedom to decide that where I want to live is in a storage container….

  38. I can’t stand this f*cking guy. Fairy-riss looks like he is just waiting for his groupies to bukakke his faggot face in those pictures.
    And he’s really screwing up the internet. Try to find a review for any product today and you’ve bombarded with bullsh1t “marketing” sites with phony reviews trying to send you to sites so they can suck money out of their affiliate marketing programs. Just this weekend I tried to find some information on an Intuit product and some f*ckers had google-bombed the hell out of the search terms. It took an hour to find a legit site with information from an actual user. All this is a result of 4HWW.
    Fuck you Tim Ferriss. You are a punk-a$$ b1tch.

  39. Great article but to me, an obvious quality to have, that is, take everything with a grain of salt.
    I’m only 22 and I could see right through the flaws in his “anyone can make millions and do no work for it” methodology. But there are elements of his book that I’ve found useful in applying to my own life. 80/20 rule was a big one for me, as well as the idea of mini retirements.
    Tim ferriss has a lot in common with Steve jobs, a brilliant marketer essentially selling rehashed concepts, but accomplished in a brilliant way. So looking beyond his teachings, you can learn a crapload from his marketing methods, from his language to his advertising and how he got his book into the hands of 1 million plus people.

  40. I can respect your opinion, but what I don’t appreciate is the belittling of anyone that disagrees with your point of view. If anyone buys into the Tim Ferriss lifestyle, they’re automatically “suckers” that don’t appreciate hard work. When I went into reading the 4 Hour Work Week, I came out very impressed and excited. I thought it would be smooth sailing.
    The reality, I then realized, was different. Yes, Tim Ferriss misleads us in his book and makes it sound a lot easier than it is. But the concepts discussed in the book are rock solid, extremely illuminating and valuable for most anyone. His philosophy, alone, was a huge eye opener for me, and changed my life for the better.
    Was he more privileged than most? Perhaps. But that doesn’t make his methods any less effective. I think even he would agree that it won’t work for everyone (he even admits this in an interview). However, there are concepts that can be applied to anyone’s life to bring more happiness. As a previous poster said: “Some people get it, and some don’t.” It seems like you didn’t. And that’s fine, but don’t belittle others because it didn’t work perfectly for you.

  41. On the one hand, I want to push back on the “lazy” judgments, which may be coming from the author’s own “mental filters”.
    On the other hand, if we remove the negative judgment of “lazy” and just stick to the truth, yes, there is truth to the fact that achieving a 4-hr workweek requires much more than 4 hrs of initial work.
    Most of the “work” I had to do to achieve my own 4-hr workweek (which I did after a few YEARS, but I did do it), was all the self-awareness/self-esteem classes that I took, before I stopped thinking I was “lazy”, or somehow betraying my low-income background and friends, if I did indeed break through and make money by working less.Once I pushed through all that nonsense in my head, it actually wasnt that hard to “think big” and have time and money wealth come to me.
    It sounds like I’m arguing w the author, but I’m actually agreeing w him. PEOPLE FROM LOW-INCOME BACKGROUNDS MUST WORK HARDER TO MAKE MONEY, FOR EMOTIONAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL REASONS. (Also due to fewer “my daddy knows the mayor” type connections – but this is a secondary disadvantage.)
    So, yes, Tim had supportive parents and a supportive upbringing that helped him. The rest of us need to work harder but it totally can happen, and I am proof. 🙂
    I’d suggest starting by not labeling this path as “lazy”, and also keeping your initial expectations realistic.
    Good luck to all! Diana

  42. He is an asshole that once you follow his advice and become successful he takes over and crushes you. Don’t trust him. Don’t buy his books. He is just another money hungry jerk!!!!

  43. I’m 19, from Nigeria and in university(in California) and I’m making enough money for my rent and food through my muse. It doesnt have to be hard 😉

  44. I am reading Ferris and I don’t get out of it what you claim at all. I don’t see an “easy” way to the “top”, I see getting perspective on what you really want from life. The vast majority of people (myself included) spend their whole life talking themselves out of living. If you feel better putting down Ferris while pushing your own ideology then so be it, but if your accusations are true then what makes you any different from him?

  45. Great post, Matt. I agree with maybe one or two points in Tim’s book but generally I do agree with everything you have said here. Nicely done. –Clay.

  46. I think you have it all wrong, its not about not doing the work, its simply about doing work more efficiently. Yes most of use will have to work are assess off, but I like the fact that he was able to make books that can inspire people, lazy or not I find it much better than a negative ass blog like the one you wrote..that’s not helping anyone. It sure isn’t helping you. In fact it makes you seem envious of his success, we all may be envious but he has some real talent…that is tim ferris. their’s only one tim ferris and we just aren’t him

  47. Good analysis. I think a more honest title for his book would be “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich – if you are already the owner of a successful mail order business that meets certain criteria around having a straightforward product”.
    I was working as a manager in a mail order plant company when this book came out and went over it with my boss, who is one savvy businessman & entrepreneur. We got a few little ideas from it that we used, but overall there was simply no way that the large scale changes could apply to that business. Still, those minor changes were definitely worth the few quid the book cost.

  48. Respect for writing this. Tim, Ramit Sethi they are all the same for me. TIm just rehashed what marketers have been doing online and put it in a book. That’s all.

  49. I read the 4-Hour Workweek a while back and I think a lot of people misunderstand it. He makes it very clear in the book that you will *NOT* get rich following the book’s plan. You’ll simply make enough money to live a very frugal lifestyle without a job. For example, when he says you’ll be free to travel, he makes it clear that you’ll be traveling light and staying in cheap hostels, not 5-star hotels.
    He also sent me a copy of the 4-Hour Body for an endorsement but I haven’t even picked it up, the thing is so goddamn big I’d never have time to read it. Which is rule #1 of marketing books – NEVER go over 200 pages or the sheer size will scare people away!

  50. Look man, so he went to Princeton. Big deal, I know plenty of failures that went to Princeton too. Oh and my bro went to NCCC for 1 year of radiology school, said “Fuck this”, started his own company now he’s a multimillionaire at 28. Am I a 4HWW groupie? No. Is there some truth to it? Yes. Can you outsource your life, make 20 or 30 grand a year off the internet and go live for pennies a day in Haiti? Sure, why the fuck not? Is the goddamn book going to solve all your little bitch problems in life. NO WAY! Anyone who thinks it will should probably put down the Tony Robbins seminars and go back to wal-mart. Want to really get rich? 4 things. Have a purpose, work at that purpose every fucking day, even when everyone tells you it sucks, repeat. Everyone from Jobs, to Buffett to Gates to Ferris did the same damn thing.

    1. I was with you up until you talked about in subscribing from this blog.
      Because ROK is not a one-note, one-size-fits-all place. Matt offered his perspective and commentors are sharing their wide and diverse experiences.
      Your “formula” for success is 100℅ spot on! Have a goal. Work your ass off. Learn from your mistakes and keep going. Thanks for adding your perspective.

  51. look i’ve read my fair share of get rich self-help books and i feel like your post has a very closed mindset, one of a middle class, one of a ” can’t be me, because i’m destined to be poor cause of my background”; when taken in context of the self-made, optimistic, can-do, lateral thinking of the books such as “think and grow rich” or “rich dad poor dad” you will find his points valid. I’ve built myself up too, with lots of networking and tricks of the mind and intense studying books such as these. i make 1,000$ a week even though i’m still in highschool; he isn’t advertising an easy solution, you have to actually work. its the difference between doing physical labors, like designing things, or using mental labor, and fixing solutions / always thinking of new ways to get richer. i have never seen a single person who got rich without working, except maybe heirs. Every success story has a strong backbone of hardwork, even ferriss has experienced failure. Leaving princeton, and failing his first company, failing his speed reading courses, screwing up management and getting tons of texts and emails; but he kept hard and looked for solutions for everything, and the result of lateral thinking is his success. other than hardwork, i think his charisma and assertiveness has also helped, what kind of guy but ferriss would enjoy lying down in the middle of the halls just to see people’s reactions?

    1. Good points.
      So tell us more about your business success while still in high school. Seriously.

  52. I AM the cubicle slave..not riding the Tim Ferriss Wheel! The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. I was in the ER waiting room with family, starting at a man who weighed half as much as an F-250 reading the 4-Hour Body. This is EXACTLY why Ferriss is work $15mil. Duh.

    1. Never forget, HOPE was one of the evils Pandora unleashed on the world!
      Faith – and hope – without works is dead.

  53. Actually you are 100% wrong. I dropped out of college worked minimum wage factory and convenience store jobs and yet still built a multimillion dollar business starting the business while living in a single wide trailer in the middle of a swamp in FL with only $150. Ironic thing is the company actually is more successful than Tim’s and I now work less than 4 hours a week. So nope you are wrong.

    1. I appreciate your comment and your story. I would like it better if I could be certain it is true. This is the internet, after all. But even so, thanks for your perspective.

  54. It think it indeed is appropriate to call him a liar. He lied shamelessly in The 4 Hour Body. It simply isn’t possible to gain freakishly much muscle in a month without taking banned substances.

  55. I read a lot of negatives about this guy. I think its true. He is selling snake oil in a new way that is slightly effective – remember, the best way to lie is for your lie to have an element of truth. Instead of bashing him, the best thing to do is not acknowledge him in any way. Don’t criticise him or blog using his name. This only adds to his fame – we all know there is no bad publicity. If you want to stop him, ignore him!

  56. As a successful entrepreneur and lifestyle designer I have to say I am quite disgusted with this article and the comments. What most of you haters don’t realize is that the only thing required to stand out from the crowd is the ability to grow some balls, the willingness to be different and accept the criticism that goes along with that, and EXECUTE. The reason that Tim Ferriss and most other self made millionaires are wealthy is because they decided long ago to never be one of the sheep. They dared to dream, they dared to be different, and they had the guts, the skill, and the determination to pull it off. If you feel more comfortable being one of the flock that is fine, the world needs peasants. Just don’t knock other people for being awesome enough to pull it off. The world needs people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sean Parker, or Tim Ferriss a hell of lot more than it needs cubicle monkeys.

  57. Great article. Just found about about Ferris and was listening to his book on CD, and red flags started going up. There’s some useful advice, but nothing that hasn’t been said countless times before. I decided to look up his background, and sure enough, the guy was born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. Look up any of these “regular guy to riches” stories, and you find someone who, yep, had a “massive head start”. I’m a big fan of the author of “Outliers”, which beautifully debunks the myth of the “self made man” and America’s overall belief in “anyone can do it if they just try hard enough”. Its a more useful book to read than Ferris’. And while he rhapsodizes on his lifestyle, his example of the timeline (a form you can find on the ‘net to follow his plan in the book) for reaching his lifestyle goals includes a “personal assistant” that he pays $5 an hour. Typical “I’m rich, so I can pay you next to nothing; you could be like me if you really wanted to, so go get your own, sucker” mentality. Of course hard work is necessary to get anywhere, but life has no guarantees-except rich offspring like Ferris do get richer, and take all the credit.

  58. You wouldn’t expect anyone to account for a good education within a single book and anyone with a decent level of reading comprehension usually takes advice with a grain of salt anyway.

  59. I think this article is ridiculous. When you read a book by an expert on something, you will rarely be able to emulate the author. If you read Ben Hogan’s book on the golf swing, are you going to be able to swing as good as Ben Hogan? If you read Rod Carew’s book on hitting, are you going to be able to hit as good as Rod Carew? Of course not. But does that mean that these books are not valuable. Not at all. If you want to improve at any endeavor, it is smart to read about the subject from an expert, someone who has succeeded at the endeavor. It is doubtful that you will have the same results as the expert but I still think reading the expert’s book gives you your best possible chance for success.

  60. The sad fact of the matter is that all self-help books today, be they psychological, physiological, or economical, must make you believe the task will be easy or no one would buy them.
    Or if I weren’t so cynical, I might say that it is the nature of the book as a communications media, and not an author’s inherent deceitfulness and greed, to reduce any struggle or effort to just a few (or a hundred) pages of text. I mean, simply reading about facing rejection, even if the author says he faced it over and over again, can never prepare you for actually going out and facing the reality yourself.
    Nevertheless, when I first started reading The 4-Hour Workweek (I never finished it) those were the thoughts that kept pressing against my mind and which eventually caused me to put the book down. I didn’t begrudge Tim all his advantages. I was just irritated that he seemed to show no insight into how they had helped him achieve what he had. Also, I thought the way he became a world champion martial artist was so bogus as to make the achievement the equivalent of winning a blue ribbon at the Special Olympics.
    So if you’ve ever read Think and Grow Rich, google Napoleon Hill biography and read about all the struggles and failures he faced – and some of the stupid decisions he made – and then reread the book. And while you’re reading, read the wiki biographies of all the men whose stories he references as examples of success and happiness. It’s always enlightening to pair up the actual experience of the author of a self-help book and the examples he uses with the “simple” and “easy” path he describes in his book! We want role models but how few there are who are actually worthy of the title. Not even the Bible’s “examples” are always worthy of emulation. In fact, some are put in there for the express purpose of being bad examples!

  61. I agree with your 3rd point, but not your first. You sounded like a SJW talking about his privilege. Tim’s books are supposed to be inspirational and encourage out of the box thinking. Only idiots take his advice literally and just follow it like a recipe.

  62. Tim doesn’t proclaim that his methods are easy or free of pain or struggle. He simply makes things easier on himself by analytical thinking and shares the knowledge gained from his life experience which, as it seems, is something you’re begrudging him.
    We can’t blame Tim for our short comings nor can we hold it against him for being a privileged and informed individual. We can just learn from his way of thinking and use it as best we can to help propel ourselves toward progress.
    If that’s something you’re into.
    Although I respect your right to have an opinion.

  63. I would have read your review but you decided to politicize your post by naming a baby killing drug as your chief human achievemtn. A hearty Phyck you to you puke . eff off.

  64. I started reading his book last week. About a third of the way through, he says this genius line: “Practice the art of non-finishing that which is boring or unproductive.” I thought to myself, “Wow, what profound insight.” I immediately closed the book and returned it to B+N the next day.

  65. great article, it would be nice if the rest of America saw between this big lie. Which they don’t , they think if you are clever enough or work hard enough you will succeed. It basically comes down to you are talented and lucky or you are related or you are a good ass kisser of the right people. The american dream is a lie.

  66. I don’t think this is fair or accurate. There is an entire little “subculture” of tens of thousands of “location independent” people who got inspired by 4-hour workweek, and many/most were sold on this by 4HWW. The title is for promotional purposes but could be amended if you think about it as a workweek where only 4 hours is things you don’t want to be doing. On the whole Ferriss inspired millions of people with this, and got people actually taking steps towards building freedom. A book from the 70’s that had a similar effect was Harry Browne’s How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World.
    Another quote that came to mind: “As copywriting ace Gene Schwartz once pointed out, every good product does offer some instant improvement even if all of the improvements it offers are not instant. (He very sagely called his publishing company Instant Improvement.)”
    McCarthy, Ken (2012-11-21). The System Club Letters – 57 Big Ideas to Transform Your Business and Your Life (Kindle Locations 1118-1120). . Kindle Edition.

  67. The mean IQ is around 100-105. This means that there are a ton of people at around 75-100. Being able to sell your shit to them will make you rich. Tim Ferriss understood this.

  68. Zero respect for nobody who only make money telling you how to make money

  69. The 4-Hour Work Week is the title that won all the split tests he did. So that’s the title… what’s inside the book is gold. I’ve managed to become location independent following Ferriss’ advice (and the advice of many more. But I still work pretty hard. Whatevs. So does he.

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