After some time gathering dust, I picked up the Kindle and decided to start reading some more books. There are many good ones around and I decided on Tim Ferriss’s book “The 4 hour working week” (4HWW) because several people suggested it and, as it turned out, because I thought I’d met him twenty years ago. When I was CEO of Gordano I was providing market intelligence to an analyst (a different Tim Ferriss) – I clearly remember meeting him in his Victorian home in London all those years ago and discussing something new called “the unification of messaging”. While it looked like the market was heading that way with email and texts, in fact it has gone in the opposite direction. Lots of messaging systems for different tribes – email, text, facebook, whatsapp, twitter – to name a few (and they don’t talk to each other).
Back to the “Four Hour Working Week”. It’s a great idea and could work well for a number of people. Tim describes a way of getting there using a handy acronym of DEAL. Definition, elimination, automation and liberation. His book is peppered with examples of people who have successfully trodden the path and liberated themselves to become the New Rich.
|“Standard Path”||New Rich|
|Work for self.||Have others work for you.|
|Work when you want.||Do only what is necessary.|
|Retire early / young.||Have both work and adventures.|
|Buy what you want.||Do the things you want to do.|
|Be the boss.||Be the owner.|
|Make lots of money.||Make enough for the next adventure.|
|Have more.||More quality, less clutter.|
|Big pay-off (e.g. IPO).||Payday every day.|
Which column describes you best?
Which would you like to be describing you best?
If the answer is the “New Rich” column then perhaps you should think about DEAL:
- Definition – Set an unusually large goal or as Verne Harnish calls it “the Big Audacious Hairy Goal”. Realistic goals are uninspiring and may not have the fuel to get you through the tough times.
- Elimination – Remove all the activity that is not essential to getting to the goal. If you’re not going to benefit from a meeting, why attend? Do you really need to check your email every five minutes?
- Automation – Outsource as much as you can. Do you need to handle stock control? Actually, do you need to answer every email? If you outsource something and it goes wrong, is it really unfixable. Most things can be recovered with a bit of humility.
- Liberation – This is the final goal. Released from having to work every day because you know you have the right people in the right places to keep the income arriving in your bank account.
In principle it is very simple however to make the plan work you need to have the ability to crunch the numbers to ensure there is enough margin from supplier to customer and the ability to ensure you have the right tasks allocated to the appropriate people. Actually that does make it sound simple!
I haven’t mentioned AskSunday yet – they are an Indian company that I’m trialling some outsourcing with. So far I have been very impressed with the results and I’ll update you on the results in a future post.