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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Monday, May 17, 2010

How Many Hours Should We Work?

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I recently finished reading two highly-recommended business books–The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris and Crush It!: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk. They focus on the same thing–make a living by following your passion and live happily ever after. As someone who has always urged people to make a living through their passion, I love the concept of both of these books. One of my favorite sayings is “Passion and persistence go hand in hand. When you have passion for what you do, you will overcome obstacles you never dreamed possible.” I know this VERY well as is illustrated in the first chapter of my book Do As I Say, Not As I Did! That chapter is the story of how I survived a nasty lawsuit, an 85 percent drop in sales in one year, and an evil supplier only to emerge a few years later more profitable then ever. My passion for my product and parrots is what kept me from throwing in the towel.

The interesting thing is how one book touts being able to get rich through working four hours a week and the other emphasizes that you will have to toil endless hours to achieve your goal. Which one is right? Or are they both right?

The 4- Hour Workweek is a 416-page textbook on how to become one of the “New Rich” through selling product on the Internet. He emphasizes throughout the entire book how it’s not necessary to work hard to become rich. The book’s description on Amazon.com says the following:

“Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.”

I love many of the concepts that Tim’s book emphasizes: The importance of outsourcing (of which I am a huge proponent!); how to create a lifestyle that will allow you to work from anywhere in the world; making sure you don’t create a business that REQUIRES you to be at a certain place at a certain time (a little challenging for retailers, but it can be done); and a long, detailed explanation of maximizing time management. It’s good stuff, but how realistic is it for the average American? It definitely requires a passionate person who wants to realize some big dreams.

Crush It! is also about making your living working through your passion, but his concepts are very different from Tim’s. This 160-page book took me less than 90 minutes to read, and I was able to glean a few key strategies that I can use in my every day life as a pet industry entrepreneur and investment banker. But the thing that struck me the most was how emphatic he was that a person cannot Crush It without working A LOT of hours. Workdays lasting until midnight and beyond are common in his world. It was the opposite of what Tim Ferris’ book was touting…and yet they are both huge sellers and, according to Amazon, most people who read one book will ultimately read the other. Is this confusing? How many hours should I work–4 hours a week or 84 hours a week? I don’t know the answer, but I know which one I would prefer! Readers–what do you think? Do you think someone can become rich by working 4 hours a week or do you think it requires mega-hours?

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