I WANT YOU to Become the Editor of a NY Times Bestseller and Travel the World for Free

82 Comments

iwantyou.jpg

I’d like to invite you to leave your personal mark on The 4-Hour Workweek. After 31 printings (!) and more than 25 languages, you can put your signature on a global phenomenon… and travel the world for free…

Your ideas, collected via this open wiki, will play a massive part in influencing the future of 4HWW and an “expanded and updated” edition in 2008 or early 2009. The password to make edits is [see below].

[Postscript: Please note that the wiki is no longer accepting changes, as the experiment has ended. Thanks to all of you for lots of fantastic suggestions and changes!]

The backlash I hoped for is gaining speed, even among the Fortune 500, and I want an improved and expanded 4HWW to help propel the critical mass needed for large-scale institutional, and even policy-level, change. The book alone won’t do it, obviously, but I believe it can play a small part as instigator.

To my knowledge, this is the first time a NY Times bestseller has ever been made open to public editing. In fact, I haven’t seen any traditionally-published book ever crowdsourced on a global scale.

Why am I doing this?

1. I’ve been blown away with the innovation I’ve seen among readers in lifestyle design, both derivative of 4HWW and 100% original. In all respects: “we” is smarter than “me”.

2. Book editing is ridiculously anachronistic.

When I was in Florianopolis, Brazil learning to surf last winter, my publisher informed me that the “second pass” manuscript was ready for me to review. Great! Just send a PDF, right? Not quite. I was mailed 400+ pages of printed matter with changes indicated by different colored pencils used by different people. I had to find another color, scribble in my edits, and mail it back.

“Please tell me you have another copy of this,” I said via the Vonage-wired beach house with a nervous laugh. The response: “I don’t think so, so please don’t lose it.” Talk about author heart attack. I felt like Clive Owen in Children of Men.

Here are a few incentives. The top contributor as subjectively determined by me (quality over quantity) will get:

1) A roundtrip ticket anywhere in the world (using Continental or a partner airline of OnePass)

2) Their name in the acknowledgments of the 4HWW

3) My help planning the mini-retirement, whether a romantic trip to Bali or touring the hidden temples and Bladerunner-like coolness of Japan. I’ve already sent readers to do both.

The due date for suggestions is March 23rd at 5pm PST but early birds have a big advantage, since you don’t get credit for making suggestions someone else has already made.

Don’t let other people alone shape the future of the 4HWW. Make sure you’ve left your mark…

[Postscript: Sorry for accidentally publishing a draft of this post first! "Save" is right next to "publish" in the WP admin :)]

###

Reader Poll:

Many of you have complained about how I sometimes put multiple topics in single posts. Here’s why I’ve done it: I don’t want to clutter people’s RSS or e-mail with separate posts just to make announcements, so I append them at the end of posts (a la “(Plus: Competition Winners)”). Lots of you dislike this or find it confusing for good reasons. Which do you prefer? If the below poll doesn’t work for some reason, please tell me in the comments:

Most Popular Posts:

How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise
How to Learn (But Not Master) Any Language in 1 Hour
From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks
Relax Like A Pro: 5 Steps to Hacking Your Sleep
How to Travel the World with 10 Pounds or Less (Plus: How to Negotiate Convertibles and Luxury Treehouses)
The Art of Letting Bad Things Happen (and Weapons of Mass Distraction)
How to Outsource the Inbox and Never Check Email Again

Posted on: February 19, 2008.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

82 comments on “I WANT YOU to Become the Editor of a NY Times Bestseller and Travel the World for Free

  1. Don’t speparate out your posts Tim. Being completely honest that non prescriptive style is the primary reason I keep reading and looking forward to reading your material. It sets you apart and promises me something a little different from everyone else.

    Cheers

    Scot

    Like

  2. I see this getting messy unless you have a VA helping you to weed out some suggestions. Good luck.

    ###

    Hi Mike,

    Oh, it certainly could be a huge mess, but that’s part of the value of the experiment. Will it be? Will people sabotage? If they do, will others put them in check somehow? We’ll see if the system is self-correcting and self-refining. Should be very interesting :)

    Tim

    Like

  3. Tim, I had the same reaction to my first book when they sent back a manuscript full of scribbles, including changes I didn’t want. The way to handle copyedits like that one is simple: have a stamp made that says “STET” and ink every page, top and bottom, with it. :)

    Lorna

    Like

  4. Tim, I just saw this via your Twitter feed, and I like this idea for more than a few reasons:

    * I got a lot of value from reading your book, and this is a great way for me to give something back – beyond the ridiculously low $12 I paid for the book.

    * This gives me a new reason to re-read your book. There’s sure to be new and deeper learning as I read through a different filter.

    * Great experiment in leveraging the energies and wisdom of your most passionate fans. In some ways, this is even better than what we talked about Anthony Robbins does so well.

    David

    Like

  5. Tim, I love the ‘wisdom of crowds’ approach (amusingly enough, that book was published by Random House too) and am racking my brains for the winning contribution. But I must defend professional editing.

    I’m an editor myself. It’s our job to make sure authors’ books cover all the bases and make their points clearly and intelligently. We make you look good, rarely get any credit, work stupid hours and the salaries are laughable – we’re doing our jobs because we love books and want to make great ones. Please don’t bash us!

    Having said that, I agree that a hard copy covered with notes is anachronistic – I send my authors either PDFs with comments or Word files with tracked changes. So ask Crown/Random to change their ways. You have the power. At very least, request they photocopy the MS before mailing it!

    ###

    Hi Vanessa,

    Good point and I should clarify. This post is in no way an attack on editors. It’s an attack on an outmoded system of sourcing good material. “Crowdsourcing” is, to me, exactly that: sourcing. This is how you get the best ingredients in the world. Putting them all together into a winning recipe and meal requires other players trained in the craft. An excellent editor is invaluable.

    Thanks for the contribution!

    Tim

    Like

  6. The RSS feed for this post mentions a Nintendo Wii and Guitar Hero. Yet, reading the above article, I see no mention of these items. Was the Nintendo Wii mentioned solely to drive traffic to your site?

    ###

    Hi Erik,

    Not at all! This was a screw up on my part. I was brainstorming ideas and looking at other contests people had run. It was a draft and instead of hitting “save,” I accidentally hit “publish.” Totally my goof.

    Any idea on how to re-push via RSS? Do I need to rename the post title to do so? I’m a Luddite — please help.

    Thank you,

    Tim

    Like

  7. IMPORTANT NOTE:

    One reader commented:

    The RSS feed for this post mentions a Nintendo Wii and Guitar Hero. Yet, reading the above article, I see no mention of these items. Was the Nintendo Wii mentioned solely to drive traffic to your site?

    ###

    Hi Erik,

    Not at all! This was a screw up on my part. I was brainstorming ideas and looking at other contests people had run. The post was a 1st draft and instead of hitting “save,” I accidentally hit “publish.” Totally my goof.

    Any idea on how to re-push via RSS?

    Do I need to rename the post title to do so? I’m a Luddite — please help if you can.

    Thanks!

    Tim

    Like

  8. Dear Tim,

    I have an interesting question for you. And since the contact section in your website mentions posting it on your blog here goes.

    I really enjoyed the 4 hour work week. I found the section on contacting mentors and asking them questions fascinating.

    If you were a native speaker in both English and Chinese, had $2000, are currently in Shanghai, China and wished to stay (currently no job, no work visa). What would you do? And do you know other people I could pose this question to?

    Thanks,
    Jade

    Like

  9. Genius Idea,

    It is the current trend to ask for the crowd’s opinion. This is what made Threadless so successful, besides the obvious, first mover’s advantage. Dorito’s did this last year also. I applaud you on your success and innovative ideas. You must have studied with the Swedes and Norwegians. Tim, do you think you would have written your book if you had not graduated from Princeton?

    Cheers

    Jose Castro-Frenzel

    ###

    Hi Jose,

    Thanks for the kind words. I never planned on writing a book, so I don’t think Princeton had much to do with it, to be honest. If I hadn’t left the US for my experiments and walk-about? Then I doubt the book would have happened, but the schooling isn’t what sparked it.

    Thanks again,

    Tim

    Like

  10. This is a truly awesome concept Tim, I love your approach to this. There is already a tonne of new information I am finding useful. I can hear you saying ‘its a win-win scenario’ to your publisher and them finally beginning to trust you!
    Continued thanks for the inspiration Sefu – living free and tranquilo.
    Dan

    Like

  11. Tim-

    First, a quick WordPress tip: (because I’ve made the same mistake before!). When I sit down to write a draft, the first thing I do is post-date the entry just in case I accidentally publish it.

    Second, perhaps you can speak a bit more about how far you want your readers to go. Thus far I’ve just been adding a few links to resources. On the other extreme I could imagine providing nicely designed charts and graphics, or writing entire paragraphs of suggested material and sharing case studies- but that seems like it might be going way beyond what you intend.

    Your thoughts?

    ###

    Hi Jed,

    Good point. I encourage people to contribute as much as they feel comfortable contributing without getting compensated for it, whether that’s diagrams, graphs, rewording of paragraphs, entirely new paragraphs, case studies, new chapter suggestions, or just a typo/URL correction. In the case of a really good diagram or something like that, I would try and get the publisher to give attribution or “based on” for credit, but I wouldn’t be able to promise it.

    That certainly wouldn’t prevent me from giving credit to them if I shared it on the site, however. Great question!

    Tim

    Like

  12. Hi,

    i recently bought your book when i was in Florida for vacation. I am from Germany so your normally don’t stumble much about foreign books here. Ok, i musst admit i am already following your blog for quite some time, so i was already prepared to give it a chance when i see it.

    I am in the middle of reading through the book and i already got some good inspirations from it. Ok, some stuff is quite us centric. For example we normally don’t have that kind of cubicles in our companies but overall it is still valuable.

    One inspiration i already got from your book was the hint with couchsurfing idea.
    I tried it out and it did worked very well for two occasion in Florida. That made my vacation quite a different experiences. Thanks for that. (Although i was travelling with my bicycle through Florida which in itself is in experience in the US.)

    Hope i can contribute some ideas for your upcoming updated book.

    Andreas

    Like

  13. Hey Tim, I resisted your book for some time thinking that you were a bit hyperactive, and hard to duplicate. I finally gave in, bought the book and audio book. I have been blown away by the metaphysical depth to this work.

    Your decision to crowd source the edit reinforces this idea. I could go on however this is probably not the place for a long dissection of your life philosophy. Suffice to say it is really inspirational stuff.

    However if you were presented with this challenge (editing the 4HWW wiki for a round the world ticket) I suspect you would find an angle that gave you an oblique advantage and dominate the task. I have noticed that you are quite a competitive chap!

    Reflecting on your principles though, I don’t know that it is a good use of time. Perhaps the time could be spent testing a muse or planning a mini retirement.

    To finish I just wanted to say your book has given a new lease of life and I have been implementing many of the principles and I intent to join the NR very soon. Dean

    Like

  14. Hello,

    I couldn’t do a whole edit….but can I put some content ideas forward, here’s hoping I haven’t missed the boat.

    * Ref websites for outside the US, I’m having real difficulty finding UK equivalents.

    * Greater detailing on how to find drop shippers and whole salers – more of the nitty gritty details.

    There may be a couple more, but I’ll need to re-read the book.

    I have recommended this book to EVERYONE and was just so chuffed to find someone writing about the way I think and for me not to feel like a alien just because I don’t follow the working crowd!
    I’m a documentary film maker so I’m toying with the idea of documenting my efforts to take your pages into the big wild world. – Expect an interview request in the next 6 months.

    Thanks
    Frances

    Like

  15. Re: combined or separate RSS feeds —

    You shouldn’t have to choose between one or the other. There should be a way to make conditional statements in the code that runs the blog. An “if this, then that” sort of thing. You could have 3 feeds – 1 combined, 1 with just articles, 1 with updates and notifications – and you should be able to do this without duplicating content on the web version of the blog.

    Additionally – you could promote your Flickr account with a feed. Probably most avid Flickr users know how to set up their own custom feeds – but many may appreciate the ease of clicking a pre-formatted link that automagically opens in their feed reader.

    Finally – I definitely think you should start maintaining links in a service like ma.gnolia. You could set up your own profile and account, but more importantly – set up a group for “Lifestyle Design” or “4HWW” that the members of your community could join. It’s like Flickr in that items get tagged – but it’s specifically for bookmarks (not images). This would be a far more efficient means of sharing all the links in the Wiki – and certainly easier to maintain than through the print version of your book. Plus, people can subscribe for automatic updates.

    P.S. New Twitter icon looking good. ; )

    Like

  16. One more thought about ma.gnolia.com. Your group could be moderated – so no worries about people spamming or stuffing it with affiliate links.

    And it may be a little beyond your current needs (and the nature of your business), but getsatisfaction.com is a fun way to dialogue with customers/community about your brand/product. It may be a better solution than MajikWidget at some point for tracking feedback from your readership.

    Like

  17. Hi Tim, I think combined posts are great for the reasons you mentioned — the less email and RSS feed items the better — and I know how you like efficiency!

    I LOVED 4HWW and it changed the way I work and think about work. The wiki is a great idea and I look forward to contributing — hope it doesn’t get overwhelming — you’ve got QUITE a following! I would love to address how the mom of young kids can apply some of your tips while maintaining a house, kids and time for her own sanity.

    I also would love to see someone address — what do you do when your work IS your life’s passion? Does that still mean you should spend only 4 hours/week on it? By blogging I help people to heal themselves and to want to learn more about healing naturally — the more time I dedicate the more people I can reach out to — this IS my passion….. hard not to become a workaholic when doing something so meaningful to me….. still, I use your tips for efficiency to manage some of the more mundane tasks and concentrate on the posts and contact with readers for fun and fulfillment. Thanks Tim! Gratefully, Jenny

    Like

  18. Tim,

    Sites that are constantly updating old articles are a pet peeve of mine. I want the latest material on top, because I don’t think of my RSS feeds as a collection of articles to browse through – it’s a firehose, not the New Yorker. Plus, I prefer navigating with the arrow keys, so updating posts down in the stack forces me to either switch to the space bar (this may or may not make sense depending on the reader that you use) or hit that down arrow like a monkey in a cruel experiment. Then, when I use the space bar, I lose the context of what feed I’m in, because I’m jumping around from one “next unread” to the next.

    It’s a bit different with your site, though, because your updates are substantive. My real problem is with sites like Slate, which are constantly re-posting old articles for no apparent reason, forcing me to navigate to them just to mark them as read again. So, I’d say that if what you’re posting is a genuine update, it’s fine to keep it in the article. If it’s just related, though, you might want to go with a new post, even if it’s short. And if you’re just correcting a typo, think about the fact that all of your readers are going to have to revisit the article to get the correction. Usually ain’t worth it, in my opinion.

    On a different topic, I like your “non-canonical” style with comments. I can see it annoying some people (“How dare you edit my comment”), but I like it, and I think wider adoption might change the tone around these webs. More of a face to face engagement with the top poster.

    Like

  19. I say keep the posts combined. I’d rather read one meaningful, thought provoking post per week than seven incomplete ideas or random thoughts of someone. It doesn’t have to be per week either, just whenever there is something meaningful to post.

    Like

  20. Tim,
    After I read the section on outsourcing I thought it sounded like a novel idea but would never work for me. However since the rest of the book was “spot on” I decided to try it. Rather than ship my money overseas I opted to keep it in the US and use my niece in college with skills on computers I can’t even fathom to test the theory. Turns out it has been a great experience and timesaver for me as well as money maker for her. It seems I have all of the positives of outsourcing but none of the hassles of language and such. The only downside I can see is that my niece will eventually graduate from college and end up farming Uncle Ken’s work out to a source of her own. However being able to mold a young mind for the better ties in well with the rest of your book so I won’t fret too much over the outcome I can’t control. My addition would be a simple one; everybody has a relative with computer skills somewhere my idea is why not use them if you can. You can always go overseas if the decision turns out to be a poor one.

    I added this into your wiki already but thought it might help someone now and later! Thanks again!

    Like

  21. I’ve enjoyed the posts so far and think that cramming as much into one post as possible is the best way for you to publish. After all, it’s just batching and it saves me time.

    Like

  22. As annoying as it may seem, it’s effective and efficient. You already have my attention since I’m reading the post, you take advantage of that and throw in anything else that I need to know. Maybe a small sub-heading giving warning would be nice but all in all good stuff.

    Thanks for asking our opinion.

    Like

  23. Once again, Tim, you’ve jiggled our brains with a great concept for “sourcing” your book!

    The majikwidget didn’t work from my email (Mac OSX 10.4.11 – Mail 2.1.3 (753.1/753)…the buttons just show as images, not links. But no big deal, ‘cuz I always check out other comments to your posts for the nuggets of wisdom they contain.

    RE: Combining/separating posts…keep them combined for me. Again, for following-on to more in-depth content or new, related content I wouldn’t have thought of/found otherwise.

    Like

  24. Great idea to really use the crowd to impove your book. A better product more loyal fans of course some free publicity in the media around the concept. I know that the folks behind the programming book “Agile Programming with Ruby On Rails” have done something similar, where they let the whole book out in public beta before being published. That really improved the quality of that book & I hope to see the same for the (already great) 4HWW.

    Like

  25. Hey Tim,

    I lent somebody my copy of 4HWW. Somewhere in it you describe the following phenomenon: the more time you attribute to solving a problem, the larger its perceived complexity becomes. What’s that called, officially?

    Many thanks,

    Martijn

    ###

    Hi Martijn, that’s a part of Parkinson’s Law.

    Tim

    Like

  26. IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL:

    A good question from a reader and my response:

    Tim-

    Perhaps you can speak a bit more about how far you want your readers to go [with the wiki edits]. I could imagine providing nicely designed charts and graphics, or writing entire paragraphs of suggested material and sharing case studies- but that seems like it might be going way beyond what you intend.

    Your thoughts?

    ###

    Hi Jed,

    Good point. I encourage people to contribute as much as they feel comfortable contributing without getting compensated for it, whether that’s diagrams, graphs, rewording of paragraphs, entirely new paragraphs, case studies, new chapter suggestions, or just a typo/URL correction. In the case of a really good diagram or something like that, I would try and get the publisher to give attribution or “based on” for credit, but I wouldn’t be able to promise it.

    That certainly wouldn’t prevent me from giving credit to them if I shared it on the site, however. Great question!

    Tim

    Like

  27. Hi Tim

    Those combined posts make me read the whole part. It’s like getting together the big and serious knowledge with the one that is less serious and easier to start practicing. Make it this way please!

    I love when anegdotes combine & support the knowledge ;)

    Like

  28. The crowdsourcing concept is a really neat idea for a traditionally offline kind of project. I certainly wish you success.

    I believe it’s also worth noting that crowds can also get it wrong. And when they do it’s quite powerful. So much so that rational people will go along against their own senses and judgment ONLY because of the crowd.

    Like

  29. You asked for feedback on the reader poll… I started using Google Reader at your suggestion. Great idea! However, the reader poll didn’t make it into the RSS feed for the article. So poor user has to click an extra time to find it.

    Like

  30. The wiki is a good idea, but you need to copy the chapters into the wiki in order to get the most creativity. Most of the comments have no context, unless you constantly reference your copy of the book.

    Like

  31. Nice book. I avoided it even though two different people told me to read it because all the marketing around it looked like a get-rich real estate scheme. But when someone said I already had a lot of the basics down, I thought, “Huh?” And so I got the book and it’s for real.

    I’m an artist and used to get fired from crappy jobs so much, I’d lurch through grant apps and project ideas to see what’d catch first. So then I got my first book deal with Simon & Schuster around age 25, and hauled ass through four books before I broke down and had a Puerto Rican tantrum to get out of my contract because I was saddled with a nightmare publicist.

    Addicted to over-reaching, I spent seven years writing a screenplay that I plan on producing myself and this book made me smile because there are days when I want to tip-toe to the Golden Gate Bridge and reconsider what the heck I’m doing.

    But this book is a good– no, GREAT— reminder. When you’re a woman, every few years you lose a new line of girlfriends to the baby thing and then I feel like a non-earthy person. Shouldn’t I want to suckle something that’ll need and love me until it hates me during those oh-so-sweet teenage years?

    So thank you. I’m impressed as I didn’t expect so much quality and truth and generosity of spirit. Hope this helps a lot of people. Life would be so much easier if everyone was patting each other on the back to do insane things instead of running each other through the gauntlet of arrogant (fearful) Simon Cowells.

    This is a good reminder of this life. Yeah. You get addicted to over-reaching for the impossible because the high when you pull something off is amazing.

    You’re a pretty good writer. I swore this was ghost written. How can you stay in shape, travel, AND write. Dude, you need a super model. Someone like Heidi Klum, who can pump out babies and never get stretchmarks or get fat. Superhuman.

    And I’m not even jealous. I’m thinking, you go ahead. This movie thing is hard enough without adding being fabulous to my list.

    So thanks for the book. I love books on creativity and ideas on doing the impossible. I keep my circle very, very tiny now. I can’t afford even the tiniest looks of doubt in my inner world. So books and paintings and history reminds me the absurdity of self doubt.

    And when even that creeps in, I think, what? Am I just hear to consume and languish in comfortable recliners? So boring.

    Good luck with everything. I’ve avoided the computer all day (I’ve already trained people to never telephone me), but after getting fan letters, I know how important they are. It’s necessary to tell others when you’ve touched them. A part of the collective unconscious or something.

    Fan letters have kept me from being face down on the bed and drooling for too long.

    (I wonder if you cover the loneliness and despondent feeling of sometimes doing or going your own way. All this wild life stuff looks great in glossy magazines, but it gets lonely sometimes. You have all this free time and everyone else is working. At least that’s what it’s like for me. But then again, I’m a girl. We’re not hard wired to ask what you do for a living–unless we’re trophy wives looking for a new gig—but we’re always asking about relationships and how you met someone. blah blah blah…there i go again.)

    anyhow, gotta go. this is getting long and another conversation is starting up in the room.

    thanks!

    –erika lopez, san francisco

    Like

  32. p.s. sorry for my previous post’s misspellings (“hear” for “here” makes me cringe). it’s late for me. the intense conversation on the room is over, and i was focusing on using capitalization here as we don’t know each other and i was being formal like using “usted.” but in this post script, i’m back to the familiarity of no capitalization (i write soooo much faster that way).

    and if anyone else reads this and is considering chucking the job for adventure, i don’t mean to scare you with the loneliness of doing your own thing without a gang of people doing the same thing. it’s just the balance thing: with anything new and full of growth is some pain of letting go and entering the unknown. you think it’s hard to get up and turn the channel without a remote control? whew. but think about how superior you feel whenever you even get up to change your own channels.

    (see? even as i turn myself into a mini movie mogul, next to the accomplishments of you, ferriss, i feel like i’m just getting my butt up to change the channel. in-TIM-i-dating.)

    but good luck you all in whatever you end up doing and taking on. i mean it. the world really needs more people tilting at windmills. that’s how change happens on a mass scale. (oh, the quaker girl always has to turn it into social change!)

    good night Intimadatin’ Ferriss, and the rest of you all. I think it’s so cool that some of you want to wiki-edit his script. That thar is more holy work. eek. i don’t love anyone enough to edit them. Oh, i’ll laugh my butt off in the front row and let them have a tantrum on me and forgive them ten minutes later, but edit? ew. it’s all i can do to…

    Capitalize.

    ‘night.

    –erika lopez in san francisco

    Like

  33. I’d love to join in, but as it is there’s a bug in the current version of Adobe Reader on the Mac that prevents me from downloading the e-Book version of the current edition, and all the bookshops in the UK are currently waiting for the new edition, which I’ve ordered from Amazon.co.uk (Yeah – I’m *determined* I’m gonna read this book sooner or later!) so the old edition is out of print – or worse yet, when I asked in Borders if they had any of the old editions, carefully spelling out your name & the title of the book, they hadn’t even got you in their database!

    Like

  34. I am not sure where to email/post an idea I have for a monthly residual income opportunity for the 4 hour work week & Tim. It has the ability to be another Tony Robbins/Guthy-Renker type seller! I tried to look in the edits section of the new book, but didn’t find an appropriate place. Could someone let me know where the best spot would be? Thanks so much.

    ###

    Hi Justin,

    I’ve been approached by a few TV long-form infomercial companies and have thus far declined, but please feel free to let me know your ideas via my assistant at amy [at] fourhourworkweek [dot] com.

    Thx!

    Tim

    Like

  35. Yesterday I looked into your outsourcing concept. I think it’s clever. I had been trying to figure out how I could delgate more.
    You say there are people available for $5 per hour. So far, I haven’t found anyone who charges less than $8, with $12 being more common. Have they all raised their fees now that you’ve given them publicity?

    ###

    Hi Lisa,

    I know that Brickwork and GetFriday have both raised rates, but you should be able to find some in parts of India at least for $4-5/hour on http://www.elance.com. If not, $8 isn’t so bad :)

    Tim

    Like

  36. A cool idea Tim,

    Can you just reiterate what your trying to achieve with the crowd sourcing concept!

    It’s too

    4HWW to help propel the critical mass needed for large-scale institutional, and even policy-level, change.

    So we are looking to get corporations and the masses to buy into the 4HWW concept and change how they employ people their contracts, ways of working holidays etc.

    I think we need to get people to think more ‘entrepreneurially’ and take more responsibility rather than looking for the safety of their pay check..

    I’m on board

    Gavin Allinson

    Gavin

    Like

  37. Reminds me of something I read once ….

    “Say – I’m going in a -swimming, I am. Don’t you wish you could? But of course you’d druther work – wouldn’t you? Course you would!”

    Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said:

    “What do you call work?”

    “Why, ain’t that work?”

    Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly:

    “Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain’t. All I know it suits Tom Sawyer.”

    “Oh, come now, you don’t mean to let on that you like it?”

    The brush continued to move.

    “Like it? Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?”

    That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth – stepped back to note the effect – added a touch here and there – criticized the effect again – Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said:

    “Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.”

    …..

    —Mark Twain

    Like

  38. I’d prefer separate posts, since it makes it easier to find stuff.

    WordPress provides per-category RSS feeds. Maybe you could do something to categorise the posts, so that people who only want to see one type or the other can subscribe to the appropriate feed?

    To avoid confusion, you could still leave the normal feed as the default. It’s probably only geeks who would want the filtered feeds anyway, and they’ll be able to understand which one to subscribe to.

    Like

  39. Tim – Thanks to your book I am revolutionizing my life, quitting my job and taking control of my time. Thanks for all your hard work. Can’t wait to check out the wiki.

    Like

  40. Can I suggest that you include a prominent warning on this blog post and on the wiki home page which lets users know that if they make an amendment to the Wiki, their EMAIL ADDRESS will be connected to that comment and will be publicly available information to anyone who cares to look? Thank you.

    ###

    Hi Ouch,

    Yikes! I’ve just did three things:

    1) Changed the password so no one’s contact information is visible.
    2) Put up a notice of such on the wiki.
    3) Send email to the CEO and CTO of PBWiki to try and change this.

    I’ll keep you guys posted. I figured this whole wiki experiment would have some excitement :)

    Thank you so much for the heads up!

    Tim

    Like

  41. Hi Privacy Warning,

    I’m one of the co-founders of PBwiki (the wiki software Tim is running for his crowdsourcing). We take privacy very seriously, so I really appreciate your comment about email addresses.

    We designed the system to show email addresses only when you’re logged in. This lets members of the wiki see exactly who made what change. If you’re not logged in, you can’t see email addresses.

    If you’re concerned about your email address being shown (even to logged-in users), you can just use a fake email address. The downside of this is that Tim may not be able to email you if you win the contest.

    If you have any questions, let me know and I’d be happy to chat with you. Thanks!

    Like

  42. Hi Tim,

    I’m really surprised to hear about the colored pencils in this digital age. Just FYI, when working on a real estate contract recently, my attorney, the seller’s attorney, my partner, and I had great success with using Microsoft Word’s “Tracked changes” feature.

    In Word 2003, after writing the first draft, you just go to the Tools menu, choose “Protect document…”, then check the box next to “editing restrictions” and select “Tracked changes” from the drop down box, then click “Yes, start enforcing protection”. (use help for other versions of Word)

    You can then e-mail back and forth a Word doc (via a password-protected file or encrypted e-mail) which will track all additions, subtractions, and changes made to the document and show who made them (and without risking losing the ONE AND ONLY copy). Something to check out.

    Great idea on the crowdsourcing. I enjoy how you’re always pushing the envelope.

    Best,
    Dan

    Like

  43. Hey Tim,

    I gave this idea some further reflection.

    While I can see the value of adding more resources to make it easier for people to connect with the stuff, I think you did an extraordinary job on the core text and getting your message across. This book conveys the core idea exceptionally well, so why mess with it? (With all due respect for the contributions people want to make)

    What I do see the value of is a co-created 4HWW Work & Sourcebook, with success & failure stories by pioneers, tools & tips and resources.

    3 good reasons for doing it like this:

    1) You do not cloud the core message.
    2) You give people a real tool to make it actionable with the Work & Sourcebook.
    3) You double your revenue potential, because you have two instead of one great product(s).

    To comment on that last point: I will not go out to buy edition # 2 of the original, because the (prceived) similarities will be to big with # 1.

    I will however, rush to the nearest bookstore to get the Work & Sourcebook, because that’s new and is actionable, so has real value.

    Best,

    Martijn

    Like

  44. Tim,

    I’d love to work on the editing, but I’m having way to much fun living my passion and purpose in my own work, and spending the other 36 working hours per week reading blogs and otherwise having a life. Thanks for the inspiration and a great idea though.

    Like

  45. Thanks Tim and Ramit both for the super-responsiveness. I don’t object to the system itself, just as long as people are aware. All good now! :)

    Like

  46. Keep the announcements and such at the end of posts. Two reasons: 1) Posting them separately floods Google Reader unnecessarily. 2) They’re great ‘after dinner mints’ that follow a weighty main post. I love ‘em and look forward to them.

    Like

  47. Coloured pencils sound like a quaint solution, but they do have an advantage for editors in that they maintain control over the original text as reviewers make comments “in the margin”. Still, what a pain to use hard copies and old fashioned post.

    Proofing and approval of documents is one of the natural fits for web-based applications. Reviewing a document in “the cloud” makes much more sense than sending multiple copies by email or snail mail.

    Wiki based proofing solutions can work, but they can also have limitation as multiple reviewers start commenting and editing the same areas of text. To a certain extent they can also lead to loss of document “ownership” for the author or editor.

    [Apologies for the following self-promotion...]

    At ProofHQ we have created a proofing and approval system that gives document owners control over the original, whilst letting reviewers add AND DISCUSS comments “in the margin”. Introducing discussion threads around comments makes it easier for all reviewers to contribute to the debate without losing the context of the original content. All of this takes place “in the cloud” so only one copy of the document exits for all reviewers to work on.

    Like

  48. Tim,

    I am a 52 year old teacher and this year I did a really spooky thing and took the year off of work. Single parent, two school age kids, no income and not a clue to how to make a living. A friend saw you on some show talking about your book and suggested it to me. It has become my bible. It calms my fears and gives me some confidence to face the future. I hope by summer that I can get some money making business going. I have many ideas and now the hard work starts, putting them to action.

    Like

  49. Proof reading and editing in a collaborative fashion is a great thing to do. Subsequently in EU research projects I encourage people to use the WIKI instead of M$ Word for collaboratively working on deliverables (typically a couple thousand pages per project, don’t ask …). What has proven to be key is that people could work on the original document, with checkin and checkout and provide (forced) a comment on each edit. This way you can see what has changed in a version and read why it has been changed.

    In your example you are using the Wiki only for collecting feedback on the chapters, as the users cannot edit the full text online. Therefore I would not use a Wiki for this effort but a simple discussion forum, so we have multiple threads per chapter and people (along with you / your indian lectors) could discuss proposed changes.

    Alternatively (and with the permission of your publisher) you could put the whole text in a Wiki and grant access to a selected few (e.g. based on the contributions in the forums) so they can edit “in line” and save you the trouble of ammending the comments in the forums to the text. It all depends on where you want to go, but if you are keen on getting new ideas / wordings, this approach might be best. If you look for simple proof reading then we could probably just do it as it is at the moment (albeit I would still go for a discussion forum with threads).

    Like

  50. Tim,

    I’m not even halfway done with your book and I’ve already done the email vs. phone call thing twice today. I delegated to an intern, and I will be applying more of your methods to my life. I’ve had a transformative past two years and read many books. Yours seems to be the catalyst – last night I put down distraction and today I’m focusing on the important stuff.

    Thanks for deciding to share what you’ve discovered.

    Like

  51. HI Tim:

    Quick question on the editing. Are you looking for comments on what you wrote or additions? My business is a service business, so it is different than yours, but I have a lot of project management techniques that i use with my contractors that might be helpful.

    Are those the kinds of suggestions you are looking for?

    Cheers,

    Kelly

    Like

  52. Hello Tim,
    What an empowering book! As a wife and mom of 3 young kids in a suburban life,I had fallen into a “tolerable and comfortable existence”.But inside,overwhelmed by the minutiae of daily life in an increasingly complicated technological society, I craved the passion and simplicity that I had before I was committed to this rat race.An airline employee for 13 years, I can travel as much as I want, and I have.But I still come home to such a harsh winter climate, where playgrounds are covered in ice,people scurry to get out of the cold,and the silence is thick and lonely.No matter how big the house,there’s no sun, no matter how big the pool,it’s frozen solid,and each day is lost because I can’t buy the things I need: sounds,smells,contact with others outside, sun, warmth,freedom.So what struck a chord? A pension statement from my employer informed me that I have 18 more years to retirement. It hit me like a wall…is retirement my salvation? How can I wait till then to live my dreams? “I’m afraid to die with the best still inside me”. The solution is to find a portable income,one that allows me to get away from my winter prison and come alive. I feel blessed to “have” and I want to find ways to give, because someone once said that happiness is somewhere between having too much and having too little. So thanks, Tim, for confirming that the pursuit of excitement is the true pursuit of happiness!
    Warmly,
    Sandra

    Like

  53. Interesting that you are outsourcing yet again and so many have agreed to redo your book for you for free which is kind of counterintuitive to your book. I think it’s a bad trade, only one person can win the contest, er technically two if we count you! :)

    ###

    Hi Renee,

    LOL… I don’t think it’s bad, really. The readers who want to contribute will contribute, and if they provide cool and valuable additions, everyone benefits and I’ll try and recognize them. The prize is just to sweeten the pot, but I don’t view it as the main driver. Why do some prolific commenters comment? I think it can be very gratifying to see your ideas embraced by a community.

    I donate at least 10% of my royalties to educational non-profits — is that a bad trade for me? Of course not. I give back and I feel good about myself for doing so. I think the online communities are very similar.
    :)

    Tim

    Like

  54. How are you watching the edits to be sure that someone doesn’t edit someone’s edits? I’m new to Wiki but when I just went in it looks like anyone could go in and either claim to have written someone else’s edit by changing the name or by erasing someone’s, etc.

    Like

  55. Tim, I noticed you mention you were stuck in San Diego without a Passport in another blog. If you make it into San Diego again anytime soon, would you have time to meet up with me for lunch? I’m at a turning point in life and would like to pick your brain… I’m a former Marine turned college student who’s working full time and am trying to implement the ideas found in your book and blogs. I’d ask all the questions I have in your blog, but don’t want to take from the other contributors. If not, I understand-lots of fans and inquisitive minds. Hopefully you’ll let me know. Either way, I’m going to get back to drinking my 2 glasses of red wine for the night. :)

    Like

  56. Tim, I think this is great. However, I am currently in China and thus the great firewall (or something else maybe) is preventing me from accessing the wiki. So I was going to make a quick blurb about my thoughts here and feel free to contact me if you need more info.

    I want to recommend psychology as a addendum to the book. There seems to be many things that your book talks about that studies can back up. Currently, I am reading an amazing book called Flow; The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It talks about many of the things that you do in your book, but it also gives different information on how to accomplish it. Topics mentioned include a definition of happiness and how to achieve it, and being ‘in the zone.’ With regards to the zone it talks about how to channel psychic energy and achieve the focus you say is required to accomplish tasks efficiently.

    I hope this helps!

    Best,

    Seamus

    Like

  57. Tim,

    Just had the chance to watch your Today Show interview with Matt Lauer / Donny Deutsch. I admire you for including this interview on the website because this Deutsch is either deluded or purposefully hides his true understanding of how knowledge leverage works in a market economy. He ridicules you when he knows he ascended to power using a similar anti-worker bee contrarian philosophy for himself, and then wants us to think each of us can get where he got by “working harder and longer.” His remarks remind me of the opening of Marx’s Communist Manifesto: “Work will set you free; you have nothing to lose but your chains.” As Adorno remarked, we extort a kiss, then punish the object of the extortion.” Glad to see you’ve exposed the false premises of guys like Deutsch. Keep up the good work Ferriss; you’ve been an inspiration to me as I grow my own publishing business [in the website field].

    Mark Bottita
    Guest Lecturer, Communication
    Purdue University North Central Campus

    ###

    Thanks, Mark! Let’s both keep up the good fight :)

    Tim

    Like

  58. Dear Tim,

    I can’t imagine a more time-wasting enterprise than answering fan mail (or writing it, for that matter). The exception being writing a fan email that is freely chosen as something I want to do that enhances my newly-designed life.

    Tim, your book, “the 4 Hour Work Week” saved my life, and I wanted to say thank you. The story of how and why is long and not interesting to anyone who doesn’t know me, and you wouldn’t read it, so I’m not going to go into it. Suffice it to say that I am the person for whom you wrote that book, and I wanted you to know that I read it, and grok’d it.

    Thanks Tim. I owe you one.

    Beverley Eyre

    Like

  59. Hi Tim,
    I am so encouraged and enlivened by your approach to living. I tell all my friends and associates that have even a glimmer of wanting change that they should read your book. I am very certain that you and your approach to living are an essential part of transforming my life.

    I was at the Olympic Spa (my Friday night self care ritual) reading the section on outsourcing and was guffawing; when I got to outsourcing my inner life I was practically in tears of joyful laughter. I have had so much joy since, just thinking of that portion of the book. My point being in this thread of the the blog that inserting AJ Jacobs was a stroke of genius that completely enlisted me to what you are attempting to achieve in writing the 4 HWW. I really started to get past how envious I was of your life, and what a devotion you had to everyone having what they wanted at that section of the book. It is with a clear intention of celebrating you and your vision that I write this comment to you. I KNOW you are deeply committed to sharing with anyone that wants true joy and authenticity in their lives how to get it. This comes from a 48 year old that doesn’t own a digital camera, hasn’t learned yet how to download a pic on the computer, and texts like an animal that must not have been blessed with digits! I would love to assist you with edits as I have lived an out of the box life and am on the precipice of taking on the exciting challenge of becoming one of the NR.

    I just visited your blog for the first time in a couple of weeks and saw this section, and I wanted to check in about the deadline as I think it said it was about now. If you are not accepting edits any longer than no reason to figure out the Wiki thing (said the mid century modern!)

    I will await your answer, and am so glad to get a chance to write you and possibly contribute to you and what you are offering us all.

    With much appreciation,
    Jamie Hammond

    ###

    Dear Jamie,

    Thank you so much for your kind words and comment! The wiki is no longer being edited, since the dates have passed, but there will be more opportunities for similar projects in the future.

    Thank you again and all the best :)

    Tim

    Like

  60. so who won? really curious and I can find the announcement. Would someone enlighten me of it.

    Congrats to the winner.

    Nasra

    ###

    Hi Nasra,

    Coming very soon. My trip to London and Copehagen was unplanned, so it slowed the announcement down a bit :)

    Tim

    Like

  61. Hi Tim,
    there were some really useful links suggested for chapter 13 on the wiki but didn’t get a chance to copy them down. Now the wiki is locked off i can’t access the page with the links. Is there any possibility of making it view only or is there another way I can get those links?
    Thanks in advance.
    Dan

    Like

  62. This is a nit that makes me crazy. The word “for” doesn’t have to be in front of the word free.

    ‘I WANT YOU to Become the Editor of a NY Times Bestseller and Travel the World free.’

    Best of luck to all who entered.

    Like

  63. Tim:
    Appreciate your approach and dedication.

    How about a section in 4HWW update concerning us leading age baby boomers getting ready to pull the trigger and retire.

    Suerte,
    SK

    Like

  64. Tim,

    Big fan and thanks for bringing your unique ideas to the world. We need it! Two thoughts on the revised 4HWW:

    1) I’ve often thought about emailing to ask that you consider a separate book on fitness (lifting) & nutrition as it pertains to the 80/20 lifestyle. I’ve found so much benefit in the simplicity of your approach to lifting and eating. I’ve sensed that this was all true but never heard it explictly articulated like you do. The reason, now more than ever I feel it’s important for people to build up rather than break down. We need to be strong to face the crapola (real and contrived) that hits us daily and nightly. I think if you devoted a page or two to the simplicity of your effective workout and nutrition protocols, that would help a lot of people come out better than ever.

    2) For the same reason as above, a section on goals and achievement. We hear so much about it but what have you found is possible. That is, do you believe the visualization so many talk about can really make dramatic changes in reality? Is it really possible to set a goal to triple (or more) your income in one year by setting a goal, visualizing and taking action? I think the consensus in society is “No way” and then they go back to their daily/weekly/monthly/life routines. I know it’s possible because I tried it and did it. I would love to hear your take on how to radically increase your income in short time. I know Dan Kennedy teaches this and I would imagine you have a take on it. How valuable would that be to people right now???

    Thanks Tim, I think you’re great.

    Jedd

    Like

  65. Tim: I have read the book 2 times. the only thing I can reccomend is an aproach for executives. Even that you provide examples of many different real liofe personalities, My perception and the one from other people I know they have read your book is that is more focused for young workers wanting to leave or not start the rat race but what about for top executives that want to emancipate from corporate culture. the new book should provide ideas in how to build the 4HHWW being a consolidated executive an a mature person. Since you have publish the book in many languajes, you may know that in other countries that are behind the US many people experiment your concepts in high level corporate positions. I’ll love to see your commnets on this.

    Like

  66. Tim,

    I’m sure if you took a poll of all the different things that people took away from your book it would be an interesting report. The line that spoke to me was on page 219 “It’s too big a world to spend most of life in a cubicle.”

    Thanks for your example and work of showing us that there is a whole new world out there.

    RJ

    Like

  67. I had the same reaction to my first book when they sent back a manuscript full of scribbles, including changes I didn’t want. The way to handle copyedits like that one is simple: have a stamp made that says “STET” and ink every page, top and bottom, with it.

    Like