Work to live instead of living to work. Design your life. The goal? Enjoy more of life, stay flexible, work (actively) fewer hours, while increasing (passive) income.
The lifestyle entrepreneur designs his life, his work, his downtime according to his requirements and specifications. He is driven by freedom of time, opportunity, flexibility, and often the chance to explore the world.
In this post, I explore my favourite books exploring this concept.
Note: This list is being updated as I discover more books.
Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Work Week
This book is still considered the ‘Bible’ for lifestyle entrepreneurship, several years after its debut. There’s no doubt that author and entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss is the prime exponent of lifestyle design, or mobile lifestyle, and has contributed to the popularity of this worldwide phenomenon. I have read the book twice, and I am sure I will come back to it, for the sheer practicality and simplicity of Ferriss’s advice, and for another good reason: every time I read it, I go a little deeper into the lifestyle entrepreneur’s psyche.
The 4-Hour Work Week is an eye-opener to a different, new way of living. I have stumbled on Tim Ferriss’s work in 2012, and I had yearned to implement at least some of the principles stated in the book ever since. I managed to cut down the volume of unimportant emails I received by implementing his automated email messages. I revised my priorities. I reduced the time spent on things that didn’t earn me a good income. I moved my focus to where it mattered to me.
Based on the author’s personal life experience, the book reads like a comprehensive manifest of living life on own terms. Ferriss shares worthy suggestions to negotiate remote work (it is possible for the permanently employed), to outsource aspects of life to focus on what brings the most value and joy (everyone is different), to escape the 9 to 5 work routine (flexibility is key to free time) and even experience first-class world travel.
Ferriss is the living proof that one can earn a monthly five-figure income without the usual conventional 80 working hours a week. He calls it ‘joining the New Rich’. Although the title grabs you by the headline with the promise of a 4-hour week and remote living, the number is arbitrary and certainly requires substantial behind-the-scenes work, laser-like focus and great automation to be already set in place. I believe most people could safely aim to work only 2-3 hours a day, say 20 hours a week, and that would be quite a feat! The point here is that everyone is different, with own plans aspirations and ideas about work and lifestyle. I won’t dismiss the 4-hour week as pure fantasy as yet.
Ferriss has devised a step-by-step, life-changing process focusing on Definition, Elimination, Automation and Liberation. These are the pillars on which the book bases itself. Imagine you can eliminate half of your work in just 48 hours using the Pareto law, automate your cash flow and have all three ingredients of a luxury lifestyle design: time, income and mobility. It’s all possible and the book shows you exactly how to do that, but it is no easy feat.
Most importantly, the book advocates for a lifestyle of living more and working less, shunning the concept of retirement and saving for the future without compromising on the ability to earn a substantial income. Ferriss is the promoter of the frequent mini-retirements concept, reduced workload and live now attitude. The expanded edition (the one I have) includes tested resources, recommendations and real success stories from readers worldwide that would convince even the most sceptical reader to at least give it a try. How about that round the world trip? If you only want to buy a book about lifestyle entrepreneurship and remote living, make it this one and prepare yourself for a life-changing perspective– the rest can wait.
There are many books about lifestyle entrepreneurship. But if you only have to buy one on the topic, make it this one and prepare yourself for a life-changing perspective.
Author blog: www.tim.blog