What to Do with "Four Hour Work Week" and Other "New Rich" Books

01/02/2018 12:57 pm ET

I am not suggesting a collective “book burning” of tomes that provide information on how to “flee the 9 to 5” and to create your own path to financial freedom. But I do know the frustration of reading such books and having little to nothing to show for it.

The idea of “New Rich” — a concept coined by Tim Ferriss, author of the bestselling book, Four Hour Work Week — is extremely popular. It means not deferring wealth and the freedom that comes with it to the future, but pursuing that today. It is through building multiple streams of passive income, rather than being a slave to a grind that gets old, regardless of how profitable it is. Many, if not most, dream of the possibility of having businesses that work for them, rather than merely working on one’s business. That is why books on this topic are so popular. Yet, for the millions sold on the subject, there are few “New Rich” investors to actually come from them.

In fact, for the vast majority, these books are mere fantasy. A good “fiction” book. For others, more cynical people, it is a tool to make the author rich and nobody else. For the majority (I believe) it is something that could definitely work (or why read it?) but it is for “others, not me.”

I have spent a significant amount time thinking about why such literature has not worked for the vast majority of those who have read such books. I have read most of the major ones and am friends with some of the icons of the “New Rich” movement. including Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad.

I am a huge believer in the value of these books. “New Rich” books work. I know from my own personal experience.  However, they only work in proportion to the effort and even “belief in the books” of the person who reads them. I read Rich Dad Poor Dad shortly after it came out in the late 1990s, and I was hooked.  I had the author on my show many times, and read Kiyosaki’s other books as quickly as they came out.  I was particularly impressed with Cashflow Quadrant, one of my favorites in the “New Rich” space.  What is interesting is that I did not do anything to seriously implement Kiyosaki’s advice, even though I had no doubt what he said was true. I “got it” in my head, but not my heart.

In 2007, Tim Ferriss published his pivotal book, The Four Hour Work Week. That book dramatically changed my thinking on the “New Rich” model. I knew instantly that the “New Rich” lifestyle was completely doable. In spite of this knowledge, I still did not seriously pursue it for many years.

In fact, I did not get serious about pursuing a “New Rich” lifestyle until 2016. I only began to entertain it after falling ill in 2010.  It took me well over a year to recover.  I lost so much financially during that time.  I was completely and utterly unprepared. If I had put together a “New Rich’ model, I would have lived off my businesses during that time. Still, I did not pursue it until years later.  I was stuck on the idea that I needed to “work” in the traditional sense of the word. I finally “broke down” and started implementing a New Rich, “Four Hour Work Week,” lifestyle. For many, it takes “hitting bottom” for people to get serious about joining the New Rich or pursuing “Lifestyle Design.”

I am now at four to eight hours a week of work in my primary business, but even that is still shrinking.  It will eventually be a four hour work month, I believe.  With my extra time I am creating other four hour work week models.  Each of them will provide, when mature, six digit incomes annually and each of them will require considerable less than four hours a week in work. I have four additional businesses in development with one of them just months away from also generating six digits, based on current growth.

In February of 2016 I was at 50 hours of work a week. In March of that year, I jumped in to the “New Rich” lifestyle with both feet, dramatically reducing my work schedule.  I was around 15 hours in no time, at 6 to 8 shortly after. Meanwhile, my income increased by over 60 percent in 2016.  The more I got out of the way and created systems, the more money I made. In many ways, the “New Rich” approach is very humbling. I am finishing up my own book on the subject of why these books do not work for most and what to do about it. What I have found is that the common denominator is the reader. He or she is successful based on bringing the willingness to make it happen. What should people do with “New Rich” books? Consider rereading them and taking them seriously.

Most people are simply very resistant to doing what is necessary to have a “New Rich” lifestyle. Most will not make the change to make things happen. How we grew up, the values of our family, our self esteem, and even our religious views, all play a role in whether New Rich books will work. The “bad news” is that the problem of these books seems to be the reader. The good news is that is where one can also finds the solution.

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