Anita Campbell had a provocative post on her Small Biz Trends blog last week. In it, she discussed the book The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. She recommends the book, with this caveat, "...I'd suggest you NEVER ...take the title of this book literally."
I think that's good advice. [no, I have not read the book - but I've read ABOUT it so much, I FEEL like I've read it!] I commented on Anita's post, along with about 28 other folks, to date.
As I read through the other comments, I got to thinking that...entrepreneurship is a tricky label. It seems to make people think they will work less, be more successful, and have hordes of media hounds after them for news of their exciting venture.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Being an entrepreneur is hard work! You put in a whole lot more than 4 hours a week, I can tell you that! Oh, maybe down the road...when you're as successful as Seth Godin (wait, I am willing to bet he puts in more than 4 hours a week), or Bill Gates (hey, he started as an entrepreneur), you might only put in 4 hours. But, I doubt it.
I'm not dissing Ferris's book, nor am I saying you can't achieve a 4-hour work week, if you so desire.
What I am saying is that it doesn't happen overnight. If you're an entrepreneur, you probably don't even have time for lunch. And, I bet you missed breakfast. The only way you're having dinner is if the networking event you plan on attending has some good hors doevers (not just chips, dip and beer).
This could impact your health, of course, so I recommend carrying energy bars around in your purse. I know you're stopping at Starbucks three times a day (you got a lot of Star Bucks cards as thank yous, no doubt - when you presented your fabulous idea to the corporate marketing guy at the #1 small business in your town and...he *it was more likely a 'he' than a 'she' * shook your hand, sent you on your way, then mailed you the Star Bucks cards with a generic thank you, because he was too chicken to really turn you down) but coffee, even with whipped creme, does not count as a meal.
Let's face it - entrepreneurs of all levels work hard. They put in 4 hours before the rest of the world has even left their driveway. They are usually still tapping away on the computer at midnight and beyond, connecting all over the world to people who might or might not, help them grow their business.
We all may dream of the 4 hour work week - and some of us will achieve it - after long, exhausting 20-hour days, that flow into 100 hour weeks, desks cluttered with remanants of our bad eating habits (hey, potatoe chips are a vegetable and hot dogs do too provide protein... ). If we keep at it, if we're truly passionate, if we do our homework and learn to do it right, as Tim Ferris advises, I think... we (you) can achieve the results you want. If those results are a 4-hour work week, go for it. Personally, I like what I do so much, work is play. Sometimes the play turns into actual play, othertimes it becomes work... and I do not anticipate scaling back to 4 hours any time soon.
I would say, "Maybe I'll scale back to 4 hours a week when I retire," but, as Tom says, retirement is the kiss of death. Look it up. It's true.