AIB Featured Business Leader Timothy Ferriss

AIB Featured Business Leader  Timothy Ferriss


Born in New York in 1977, Timothy Ferriss is a man of many talents. Currently known as a best-selling author, entrepreneur, angel investor, and public speaker, Ferriss was also the first American to hold a Guinness World Record in tango dancing. Graduating from Saint Paul’s school in New Hampshire, he went on to obtain a degree majoring in Neuroscience and East Asian Studies from Princeton University in 2000. Upon leaving Princeton, he moved to San Francisco where he began working at a start-up data company however after some time, he realised it wasn’t for him. From there he formed his own online nutritional supplement company named ‘BrainQUICKEN’ which very quickly rose to fame.  

After rapid success resulting very long work hours at BrainQUICKEN, Ferriss developed the idea for his first book ‘The 4 Hour Workweek’. The book claims to teach you ‘How to outsource your life and do whatever you want for a year, only to return to a bank account 50% larger than before you left’. With the profound success of this book, he released a second in the series named The Four Hour Body and then a third named The Four Hour Chef.

Essentially these books are Ferriss’ business philosophy and personal life put on paper. What is interesting though are the claims that these books make. In an interview with Fox Business, Ferriss claims that you can change from a 40 hour week to a four hour week if you ‘shift your boss’s perception and evaluation of your work from hours to performance’. The question is though – could you complete all of your work to a high standard in only four hours? I’m not sure that I could!

Ferriss suggests that to do so you must ‘take a step back, un-plug and re-set’ and during this process brainstorm a list of your tasks that you are able to outsource or delegate. He adds that ‘if you spend your time, worth $20-25 per hour, doing something that someone else will do for $10 an hour, it’s simply a poor use of resources’. He also encourages readers to ask themselves ‘What would excite me?’ rather than ‘What do I want’ or ‘What are my goals’. This allows you to prioritise what you really want in your life rather than what you think you should be working towards.

I am very interested to hear your opinion of Timothy Ferriss and this system of time management. Personally, outsourcing doesn’t appeal to me as I like to work to a particular standard and would be afraid that I wouldn’t get the same quality of work. Also, I think that being a ‘hands on’ leader is important as you show that no work is beneath you. What do you think though – would you be willing to try Ferriss’ approach? Also, if you would like to see a particular business leader profiled then please leave a comment below.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: The TelegraphThe Four Hour Work Week;  Biography; and Good Reads.  

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