Four-Hour Workweek

Timothy Ferriss tells you how

Workin' 9 TO ... 9:48?
In 2003, Timothy Ferriss spent 90 hours a week managing his California-based nutraceutical company, BrainQuicken, occasionally sleeping under his desk and spending holidays sendinge-mail. A year later, he was traveling the globe and working less than a day a week. (That's what we said.) The 29-year-old, who lectures on "ideal-lifestyle design" at Princeton, shares his techniques in The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, out in April from Crown. JASON DALEY recently tracked Ferriss down to give him the business.

OUTSIDE: C'mon. Are you serious?
FERRISS: I work about an hour a week. But it's different for everyone. This is not a book onhow to be Tim Ferriss. I've spent the last few years interviewing people on experimental living.

Hasn't your productivity fallen?
Once I took myself out of the equation, profits at BrainQuicken went up more than 30 percent. You need to do an 80-20 analysis and figure out what 20 percent of your actions give you 80 percent of your income.

But how do you get out of a job in the first place?
Make yourself indispensable, then, at crunch time, use an excuse like emergency house repairs to stay home, but say you'd rather work than take vacation. Make those days your most productive ever, then suggest to the boss you work at home one day a week, then more. Be highly productive at home, not so much in the office. When the time is right, ask to work remotely full-time.

Crafty—I like it. So what technology do you need?
Use Skype to make cheap calls; a SkypeIn number shows up as your home base, so no one need know if you're traveling. Access your home computer from anywhere with GoToMyPC.com. Quad-band Treos and satellite phones keep you connected. I also outsource Web research and spreadsheets to assistants through Elance.com. But do the 80-20 audit before you go mobile. You don't want to spend a month in Prague working eight hours a day in an Internet café

Wait a second. What about the money for all this travel?
Treat time and mobility as currency—look at them like cash. Also, take advantage of geoarbitrage, capitalizing on currency differences for profit. Forty thousand dollars a year can give you the lifestyle of a millionaire abroad.

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