I have hated Tim Ferriss for a long time. I have hated him since we both had editors at Crown Publishing who sat next to each other and I heard how difficult he is.

I didn’t blog about it because first of all, I’m sure the buzz about me is that I’m difficult, too. And also, his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, was a bestseller and mine wasn’t. So I figured people would say that I’m jealous. And really, what author is not jealous sometimes? I mean, every author wants to write a bestseller.

But at this point, two years later, my hatred goes way beyond jealousy. My hatred is more selfless than that. And while I do understand that Tim is great at accelerated learning, the time management tips I have learned from him stem from the energy I have spent hating him:

1.Don’t hang out with people who don’t respect your time
This all started at SXSW conference in 2007, right before Tim’s book came out, when he was promoting the hell out of it to bloggers. Of course, this was not a bad idea, and to be fair, Tim was brilliant to start this book marketing trend. But that is beside the point. He approached me after my panel and said, “Can I get you coffee? I’d love to talk with you.”

I said, “Uh. No. I have plans.”

And he asked who with.

I wasn’t really sure. I knew there were cool people to hang out with after my panel, though, and I knew he wasn’t one of them. I gave a vague answer.

He said he was also meeting three people, and he name-dropped them. I can’t remember who they were. But they were fun, interesting, and I wanted to have coffee with them. So I said okay.

Then Tim couldn’t find them and I had coffee with only Tim.

Then I realized this was his strategy all along.

I told myself not to be pissy. I told myself bait-and-switch is the oldest sales tool in the world, and it’s my fault for falling for it.

I even wrote a blog post that included his book.

2.Cut to the chase: Tell people who are full of sh*t that they’re full of sh*t
When his book came out, there were vacuous, annoying comments all over my blog directing people to his book. Like, “The topic of priorities is an interesting one. I like how Tim Ferris handles that in his new book,blah blah” and then there’s a link to the book.

At this point I knew Tim, sort of. And I called him on his phone and told him to tell his employees to stop spamming my blog.

First he implied it was his fan base and he had little control.

I said that I thought he was full of sh*t.

He said he’d make sure there were no more comments like that on my blog.

3.Self-centered people are more likely to waste your time
Really, when I found he was spamming my site, I didn’t call him first. First, I emailed him. And I got some sort of crazy response about how he is only checking email twice a day and then instructions on what to do.

I emailed him back to tell him that I do not want automatic emails from him every time I try to contact him.

Which generated another, identical response about how he doesn’t check mail.

So I called him to tell him that he is generating spam back to me to tell me about his email checking and I don’t care. If he wants to check twice a day, fine, but don’t clog my in box with emails about it.

He said he’d take me off his list.

I am STILL getting this sort of spam from him. But the scope has widened. For example, now, he has commented on my blog and he forgot to say that he doesn’t want to be alerted to new comments. So every time there’s a comment, he spams everyone in the comments string, telling them that he doesn’t answer his email.

It’s insane. I cannot believe how many automated announcements I receive saying that Tim does not have a Blackberry. (Yes, the email really says that.) What if we all sent automated emails like that? Email would be totally nonfunctional. What if Tim just shut up about his email and if he thinks its fine to answer twice a day, then he should do that? And not spam everyone about it.

4.Productivity is about meeting your goals, not getting out of doing work
The week that Tim actually works a four-hour work week will be a cold week in hell. Tim got to where he is by being an insanely hard worker. I don’t know anyone who worked harder at promoting a book than he did. But the thing is, he didn’t call it work. Somehow, sliming me into having coffee with him to talk about his book is not work.

Fine. But then his four-hour work week is merely semantic. Because everything Tim does he turns into what the rest of us would call work, and he calls it not-work. For example, tango. If you want to be world-record holder, it’s work. It’s your job to be special at dancing the tango. That’s your big goal that you’re working toward. How you earn money is probably just a day job. So most weeks Tim probably has a 100-hour workweek. It’s just that he’s doing things he likes, so he lies to you and says he only works four hours. He defines work only as doing what you don’t like.

It’s childish. It’s a childish, semantic game. And it reminds me of him winning the Chinese National Kickboxing Championships by leveraging a little-known rule that people are disqualified if they stop outside the box. So he pushed each of his opponents outside the box to win.

He is winning the I-work-less-than-you game with a similarly questionable method: semantics.

5.Time management is about making time to connect with people
The idea of time management only matters in relation to how important the stuff is that’s competing for your time. The stuff that makes time management the most difficult is relationships. Which Tim does not excel in.

Fine. Not everyone has to be good at making real connections.

But Tim runs around telling people who have lots of relationships competing for their time how to think about work/not work, forgetting that in the real world, where people are not assholes, time management is not an equation or a semantic game because relationships really matter. And figuring out how to judge time in terms of competing values is the hardest thing of all.

Tim is all about time management for achievement and winning. But there are not trophies or measurements for relationships. There is only that feeling that someone is kind. And good. And truly connected.

And Tim is not.

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  1. Don
    Don says:

    Ferris is a fraud.. As a lifetime fitness advocate I got a chuckle out of his recent blog reporting to have gained 34lbs muscle in 28 days.. I wrote the PHD he cited as doing the measurements and she denied his claims, stating he visited the college once but had no idea concerning his statements regarding body composition testing.. I really dont like that guy…

  2. Chris
    Chris says:

    Didn’t read the book but watched the Youtube video (57 minutes) Authors@Google: Marci Alboher & Tim Ferriss, and got two self-promoters as an entertaining package that took less than 25% of my 4-hour work week to watch.

    I should have really outsourced watching the video to an MBA in the developing world, then have that MBA call my Google voice number to give me a synopsis. Of course I would not have answered the call thus having the synopsis recorded and automatically transcribed by Google voice so that I can read it one of the two times per day when I pick up my email. Alas, I am only human.

    BTW, the video was entertaining. Both authors trying to get in airtime and their message. I thought Tim won.

  3. A Boring Person
    A Boring Person says:

    Penelope,

    Before I get into my rant, I would like to preface this by saying that I am well aware that you have many personal issues, many of which you have divulged in your blog, and I daresay that life has not been easy for you. It has not been easy for me either, for reasons I would rather not divulge in such a public place. Suffice it to say that abuse has played a frequent part in my life. I am not attempting to victimise you with what I write below, rather, I am expressing my disgust at the open expression of hatred for a contemporary seen in this post. From my perspective it screams “I have no class.”

    Though you may not be, you do a very good job of appearing to be a bitter, lonely, uninteresting person. Your jealousy of another author is pathetic. That you have to diminish his success by bashing him is frankly hilarious.

    I would also like to point out that the blog author you so vehemently insult in this post actually wrote a post of his own on how it is often necessary to piss people off while on your path to be successful.

    I think it is highly likely that Mr. Ferriss regretted asking to have coffee with you, and would much rather have spent it with someone who wasn’t so incredibly unfriendly. Indeed, if I were to be at any kind of a conference at which you were present, I would do all in my power to avoid you, because I am sure that you would destroy my good mood.

    And just to state the blindingly obvious (hoping that I am not the first to say this), Ferriss picked the title “The Four-Hour Work Week” because he found, after testing, that it was the title that led to his book being picked up the most. It was probably one of the biggest contributing factors to the success of his book.

    I hope you find a way to be happier in future.

    -A Boring Person

    P.s. To all the adoring butt-kissers of Penelope who I sincerely hope will try to pick holes in what I have said, making ad hominem comments about my character and how I could say such harsh things, thank you for making fools of yourselves. God will have enjoyed laughing at you.

  4. A Boring Person
    A Boring Person says:

    A quick side-comment.

    Your book title is “Brazen Careerist – The New Rules For Success.”

    If I had to choose between a book called “The Four Hour Work Week” and “Brazen Careerist,” which do you think I would choose?

    Even if Mr. Ferriss is fiddling with semantics, he’s sure going to sell a hell of a lot more books than you are. As a matter of face, his book is #86 on Amazon’s bestseller list. Where’s yours?

  5. Anna
    Anna says:

    You have enough to make commission when someone buys his book off of amazon using your url.

  6. Anna
    Anna says:

    You hate him enough to make commission when someone buys his book off of amazon using your url.

  7. Victoria
    Victoria says:

    Thank you for exposing this guy and his silly book. In my opinion, a plan that states any job done well in four hours is out right bunkus!
    Work is many things to many people, but even those who don’t particularly like their jobs still take pride in accomplishing something within it.

    We are made to connect to each other and to serve one another in a productive way. It helps our self-esteem and our compassion. Beside, if his book takes more than four hours to read just how effective is he in conveying his message?

  8. Chris
    Chris says:

    Face it, you’re bitter that you used to sit next to him and he’s a mega millionaire while you’re still writing for some random blog. And the previous comment probably rings true for everyone; we wouldn’t have found you unless we were searching for material on Tim!

  9. Chris
    Chris says:

    "Can't we all just get along?" (R. King)

    Penelope's blog eloquently describes that many of Tim's pursuits are directed at getting the "prize", i.e., winning a competition by any means. Penelope's quite reasonable criticism is that by focusing just on the end point, "the destination", people may forget about the value of the journey. In fact, others before have said "the journey is the destination". It clearly isn't for Tim. That's why his goal is to cut it short as much as possible. Clearly these are very different approaches to life. For someone who invests years and years to hone his or her craft, deeply learn a skill, or master a martial art, the corner-cutting maximizer approach will appear quite disdainful. Yet the pragmatist, who needs to learn a language quickly or complete a task with minimal overhead may find great value in Tim's 80-20 approach to attacking such challenges. And, Tim claims nowhere that everything has to be done 80-20, he just enlightens us on ways to re-frame problems that way. In the end, the additional time is available for other exploits, including deep learning about something else we may care a lot about. Furthermore, Penelope cannot easily claim the moral high ground, when her website "brazen careerist" literally calls for an audacious focus on succeeding in one's career to the neglect of other things (although the title may not fully reflect her true feelings about careers).

    In the end both Penelope and Tim belong to the same fraternity of business writers, whose well being hinges on the buy-in of the communities that congregate around their sites and related offerings. Given the strong opinions in this comment section, it appears that both have done very well. We, who make up these communities, whether as a Tim-ster or Penelope-ist should expect any "hate" between them to be little more than skin deep, certainly not strong enough to deny the revenue from possible Amazon click-throughs. I like it.

  10. mohman
    mohman says:

    Like everything in this world, the truth about Tim is probably some where in the middle of the range of reactions to his book/philosophy. I read his book on someone’s recommendation, liked parts of it, did not care for other sections. Best: mini-retirements as a concept. Worst: auto e-mail responders. You have to decide for yourself, not let someone else decide for you. Get the book from the library, if you don’t want to give any of your money to Tim upfront.

  11. Suan
    Suan says:

    Wow, to be honest you BOTH sound like children. And you really HATE this person? I think hate is a very strong word. Don’t expend so much energy on something so trivial.

  12. Digest It
    Digest It says:

    I read 4 Hour Work Week, didn’t like the style of it at all, and it’s clear that the guy had to work incredibly hard to get to that point, so it’s a bit of a con really.

  13. dazzle daze
    dazzle daze says:

    So I definitely do believe that Tim has done a little bit of exaggerating (story telling), but there well still a lot of things that I got out of – €˜The 4-Hour Workweek
    – €˜ , such as:

    The Way That Timothy Approaches Problems
    The Answer Isn't To Do More – .But To Do Less (Focus)
    The Importance Of Enjoying Life All The Time (Not Just In Retirement)
    The Ideas I Started To Get While Reading The Book!
    So whether you believe that Timothy Ferriss is a scam or not, there are definitely a lot of things that you can learn from his lifestyle experiments and I highly recommend – €˜The 4-Hour Workweek
    – €˜ to anyone wanting to get away from the hold of a 9 to 5 job!

  14. erica
    erica says:

    This is so poorly written. Could the word “hate” been used any more? A very good tip I learned which really brought me success is to spend less time and energy on others and more time on improving yourself. The author should take note; I’m sure she would become much a much happier person.

  15. lady gaga
    lady gaga says:

    haha! i love how tim is likely paying nameless asians $2/week to come here to spam up your comments. hahah!!!

    interesting things are happening:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Timothy_Ferriss

    “The onus is on Tim to back his words up with reliable, verifiable sources. Do you not agree? Or can one just make a claim and the moment it gets out on the internet, it is just the truth.

    I am willing to take this to the top of Wikipedia, Crown Publishing, and Random House publishing, in which case I will request your full name and association with Wikipedia/Tim/Crown.

    I am currently penning a paper on Wikipedia and its relationship with corporate entities and interests, and I would like to include your work, actions, and opinions in my paper.”

    be interesting to see what comes of all this.

  16. lady gaga
    lady gaga says:

    interesting:

    “The onus is on Tim to back his words up with reliable, verifiable sources. Do you not agree? Or can one just make a claim and the moment it gets out on the internet, it is just the truth.

    I am willing to take this to the top of Wikipedia, Crown Publishing, and Random House publishing, in which case I will request your full name and association with Wikipedia/Tim/Crown.

    I am currently penning a paper on Wikipedia and its relationship with corporate entities and interests, and I would like to include your work, actions, and opinions in my paper.” –en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Timothy_Ferriss

  17. hilarious
    hilarious says:

    –en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_4-Hour_Workweek

    On page 12 of the book, Timothy Ferriss claims that:

    * he is a National Chinese Kickboxing champion
    * he has been a Cage fighter in Japan, vanquisher of four world champions
    * he is Advisor to more than 30 world record holders in professional and Olympic sports

    The cage fights are not substantiated by Ferriss and appear in no MMA databases. He provides no year for he when was a National Chinese kickboxing champion, and expert researchers have turned up no results in any database, neither online nor offline.

    Many more unsubstantiated claims are made. For the above claims, there are no records anywhere outside of Mr. Ferriss’s own book. There are no footnotes, nor links to any websites, nor photos provided, nor video, nor any supporting materials whatsoever. In addition, Mr. Ferriss provides absolutely no details as to names, locations, times, or cities.

    –en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_4-Hour_Workweek

  18. Griffin Boyce
    Griffin Boyce says:

    I think that this post is good for dissecting your own behavior, but it doesn’t seem like you’ve done that. If someone you don’t want to talk to name-drops people that they know you’re attracted to, that is a lure obviously. Once you take that bait, you are no longer in control of the situation. Sometimes it’s good to lose control, but other times it’s just a distraction (like then).

    And who knows, maybe he liked you or something? Bait-and-switch is common for both men and women who want to get close to a crush.

    This does come off a bit like sour grapes. ‘Two years ago, he tricked me into going out with him’ ‘He auto-responds to my emails, which he publicly does to everyone’ ‘My editor said that his editor said that he’s a jerk’ This is really piddly shit and I expect more from you.

    And I will admit that if I had an editor, I would be “difficult.” Because for me it is better to “be a bother” to get a better result. That is actually a very masculine thing; most women are not willing to strongly negotiate or haggle because they think of it as a waste of time.

  19. hilarious
    hilarious says:

    hilarious–tim outsources his h8 of truth

    please stop Yworo from 1) harassing and threatening me and 2) deleting truth from wikipedia pages complete with a reference

    Unsourced claims On page 12 of the book[1], Timothy Ferriss claims that:

    * he is a National Chinese Kickboxing champion
    * he has been a Cage fighter in Japan, vanquisher of four world champions
    * he is Advisor to more than 30 world record holders in professional and Olympic sports

    The cage fights are not substantiated by Ferriss and appear in no MMA databases. He provides no year for he when was a National Chinese kickboxing champion, and expert researchers have turned up no results in any database, neither online nor offline.

    Many more unsubstantiated claims are made. For the above claims, there are no records anywhere outside of Mr. Ferriss’s own book. There are no footnotes, nor links to any websites, nor photos provided, nor video, nor any supporting materials whatsoever. In addition, Mr. Ferriss provides absolutely no details as to names, locations, times, or cities.
    [edit] yworo is stridently violating wikipedia policy on numerous levels

    (Undid revision 364944755 by Falcon8765 (talk) yworo deleting cited truth with references, & publishing unreferenced works & threatening me)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Timothy_Ferriss&action=history

    yworo is stridently violating wikipedia policy by a) deleting cited truth with references, & b) publishing unreferenced works & c) threatening me.

  20. hilarious
    hilarious says:

    On page 12 of his book The Four Hour Work Week, Timothy Ferriss claims that: he is a National Chinese Kickboxing champion.[10] That he has been a “Cage fighter in Japan, vanquisher of four world champions[11]. (MMA These fights are not sufficiently substantiated by Ferriss [2] and appear in no MMA databases. That he is “Advisor to more than 30 world record holders in professional and Olympic sports.[12] (not substantiated). In the book Timothy Ferriss claims he has been a “Cage fighter in Japan, vanquisher of four world champions (MMA), but he provides no names,[13] and he claims that he was a National Chinese kickboxing champion, but he provides no year and expert researchers have turned up no results in any database, neither online nor offline.” [14].

    Many more unsubstantiated claims are made. For the above claims, there are no records anywhere outside of Mr. Ferriss’s own book. There are no footnotes, nor links to any websites, nor photos provided, nor video, nor any supporting materials whatsoever. In addition, Mr. Ferriss provides absolutely no details as to names, locations, times, or cities.

  21. hilarious
    hilarious says:

    If timothy ferriss & his publisher collaborate and conspire to publish, profit off of, and promote grand, extravagant claims about ferriss’ accomplishments in major forums at national events, which more and more seem like outright lies, then at some point it would serve the publisher’s corporate greed to provide a simple link to a website or two validating timothy ferris’s grand and extravagant claims. Why are they failing to do so? The fact that one can become a national Chinese kickboxing champion, without one single photograph, or video clip, or newspaper story, or database entry, or website article, or feature article, or blog post, or picture of the trophy or certificate, or the belt, or a cell phone snapshot, is nothing short of astonishing, and it shouts FRAUD!! Noticing this is not hate, as Tim Ferriss would have you beleive, but it is simply loving Truth. More and more it seems that Mr. Ferriss is the biggest hater in the room–a hater of truth. The fact that none of his competitors had names is also astonishing, as if Asian competitors are not worthy of names. This act on behalf of Tim Ferriss and his publisher is tantamount to Tim claiming that he won Wimbledon a few years back after finding out that he could simply push players of the court, but then providing no links to websites nor newspaper atricles nor video clips nor cell phone picture nor his trophy. And too, it would be tantamount to Tim never mentioning Rafael, Federer, and Roddick, and then, when people asking him who he played, Tim would attack them in an ad hominem manner, calling them “haters.” And then, when you questioned him, he would devote entire keynote speeches to “Haters,” who are just jealous. haha!!



    Furthermore, the fact that one can be a “Cage fighter in Japan, vanquisher of four world champions (MMA)” without any records, database updates, pictures, photos, cell phone snapshots, blog posts, newspaper articles, website articles, website mentions, venue mentions, or any trace whatsover is also spurious. Again, for a supposed Japanophile, Tim doesn’t seem that any of his Asian competitors ever deserve names.



    Tim, why not give some pub to the gyms, venues, and people where all this took place? Do they not deserve a mention? Would this not be good sportsmanship? – Preceding [[Wikipedia:Signatures|unsigned]] comment added by [[Special:Contributions/71.134.22.170|71.134.22.170]] ([[User talk:71.134.22.170|talk]]) 20:39, 28 May 2010 (UTC)



    ==Unsubstantiated Content and Unsourced, Spurious Claims==


    On page 12 of his book ”The Four Hour Work Week”, Timothy Ferriss claims that:


    he is a National Chinese Kickboxing champion.Ferris, Timothy, The Four Hour Work Week, Second Edition, Page 12


    That he has been a “Cage fighter in Japan, vanquisher of four world championsFerris, Timothy, The Four Hour Work Week, Second Edition, Page 12. (MMA These fights are not sufficiently substantiated by Ferriss [2] and appear in no MMA databases.


    That he is “Advisor to more than 30 world record holders in professional and Olympic sports.Ferris, Timothy, The Four Hour Work Week, Second Edition, Page 12 (not substantiated).


    In the book Timothy Ferriss claims he has been a “Cage fighter in Japan, vanquisher of four world champions (MMA), but he provides no names,Ferris, Timothy, The Four Hour Work Week, Second Edition, Page 12 and he claims that he was a National Chinese kickboxing champion, but he provides no year and expert researchers have turned up no results in any database, neither online nor offline.” Ferris, Timothy, The Four Hour Work Week, Second Edition, Page 12.



    Many more unsubstantiated claims are made. For the above claims, there are no records anywhere outside of Mr. Ferriss’s own book. There are no footnotes, nor links to any websites, nor photos provided, nor video, nor any supporting materials whatsoever. In addition, Mr. Ferriss provides absolutely no details as to names, locations, times, or cities. – Preceding [[Wikipedia:Signatures|unsigned]] comment added by [[User:Laurawelker|Laurawelker]] ([[User talk:Laurawelker|talk]] – €¢ [[Special:Contributions/Laurawelker|contribs]]) 05:42, 27 May 2010

  22. kd
    kd says:

    honestly this blog got more readers by mentioning a best selling books which would attract newbies and die hard tim ferris fans. so kudos to penelope -it’s marketing people- she got her page hits, pingbacks etc. the bog served it’s purpose. I’m reading the book myself to form my own opinion, I already don’t agree with tim’s most tactics but hey, if you’re open you can learn in most situtations, even if by reading this book, I learn what NOT to do, I’m still learning.

  23. Ken Ross
    Ken Ross says:

    Great post! I stumbled upon Tim’s blog recently and then scanned parts of his book. And the more I learned about him, the more I thought he was a lazy turd who got to where he was by paying people slave wages and being lucky enough to be an “angel investor” in Twitter, a site which he probably never, ever looks at at all in his quest to only work 4 hours a week.

    I make a good living as a freelance writer and editor and I am also able to devote a lot of free time to pursuing activities I enjoy. But I would NEVER ever deligate the work I do to someone else.

    Thanks again for your awesome post. And I’ll make sure to buy your book based on what I read here. I know how hard it is to write well and how much time it really takes. Definitely more than 4 hours a week! Keep up the good work!

  24. Ege
    Ege says:

    I think Penelope has misunderstood a lot of what Tim teaches.

    First, I don’t really get where the hatred stems from. This blog post was written in 2009, and the anecdote where Penelope meets Tim is from 2007. Since she said “years of hating Tim Ferriss” I assume the hatred goes further back. With regards to the anecdote, Penelope seems mad that Tim got her to have coffee with him (although the way she reaches the conclusion that it was just a bait-and-switch is a little dubious and seems based more on her preconceptions about Tim rather than actual evidence). Is that it? That Tim found an excuse to have coffee with an attractive lady?

    Second, the following line:

    “Because everything Tim does he turns into what the rest of us would call work, and he calls it not-work. For example, tango. If you want to be world-record holder, it’s work. It’s your job to be special at dancing the tango.”

    just shows that Penelope just doesn’t understand the fundamental context of Tim’s message. Tim uses the word “work” as a synonym for things that generate income. Tango does not generate income. Sure, it takes a lot of work to get good at it, but this is a very different from the wage slavery that the vast majority of Americans is a victim of.

    Tim recently wrote a blog post about dealing with haters. I don’t have a link handy unfortunately. But it seemed fitting that I read this blog post after I read his. Just goes to show that no matter what a person does or teaches or preaches, people will find an excuse to hate that person, no matter how silly.

  25. ryan
    ryan says:

    Thank you Penelope. I felt sick after discovering Tim Ferris. Seriously. He is what is wrong with this country. Personal Outsourcing sounds alot like a sweatshop. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t make it OK. And just in general, his whole outlook…like outsourcing dating – including all the ‘chit-chat’ that results in a basic foundation for the first date. Again, just plain wrong.

    Like pornography, sometimes it’s hard to define it, but you know it when you see it. Tim Ferris.

    Thanks for this write up. By the way, from reading snippets of his blog, he would welcome this discussion, since it maintains his ‘edgy’ quality and ‘buzz’…while shitting on common decency.

    Glad you are getting by without falling to his level!

  26. Ege
    Ege says:

    Tim said that no matter what you do, 10% of people you come across will always hate you. As the saying goes, “haters gonna hate!”

    Seems like the commenters here make up that 10%.

  27. David Bishop
    David Bishop says:

    Hmmmm…

    I was not planning on looking into his book… until I read this post. Let me detail why:
    – The author comes off – well – bitter. That automatically deducts credibility points. I don’t believe in hatred of people – only actions. The fact that the author is so ready to hate (his words) someone so vehemently automatically makes me feel the author is someone who points to other people who are blocking his progress as opposed to finding ways to make himself succeed.
    – The author then, BY HIS OWN ADMISSION details the following:
    — The man is a hard worker (a key for successful people)
    — The man knows how to prioritize
    — The man knows how to avoid technical distraction (e-mail, Blackberry) – a difficulty for most people
    — The man knows how to network
    — Even though the author of this post has self-admitted animosity toward him, and has bothered him on quite a few occasions by e-mail and phone with issues, he apparently responded, acquiesced to the requests without a fight, and did what he said he would do.
    – Additionally, it appears the man has accomplished several things in life more than just earning money.

    As glaring at these facts are to rational, objective thinkers, I almost have to wonder if this post was actually written by someone working for Tim…

    I can’t say from this post if the book is worth reading, but I can say it appears more research is warranted. I will be getting a Kindle sample if one is available.

  28. Alex
    Alex says:

    I really liked Tim Ferris’s book. There were a lot of ways that it really opened my eyes to the potential of entrepreneurial living and the joy that comes from being your own boss.

    I also really liked this article as it seems to be a brilliant counterpoint.

    I also think that it’s really funny that you’re calling him an ass.

    Am I allowed to think that you’re probably both right? Fantastic :)

  29. Alex
    Alex says:

    I really liked Tim Ferris’s book. There were a lot of ways that it really opened my eyes to the potential of entrepreneurial living and the joy that comes from being your own boss.

    I think it helped me come to a realization that I wanted to work for myself. I suppose I ignored a lot of the stuff that i considered to be a bit weird or gimmicky.

    Hiring indian’s to research silly things? Not quite my style.

    I love to work. I love to work hard… would be fantastic though if I could derive an income from doing something I’ve always wanted to do.

    I think you might have a point that a bunch of the things he says and does comes off as a bit smug. To be fair, it’s also a bit charming in its own way. (Jack the lad… tricky).

    Am I allowed to think that you’re probably both right?

  30. Ege
    Ege says:

    “Two birds with one stone, hating and writing about T.Ferris still promotes his book, and also promoting yours. Nice one :).”

    This is exactly right. Penelope is trying to get a piece of Tim’s pie by writing a controversial blog post about him.

    Sad thing is, this benefits Tim far more than the relatively-unknown Penelope, so it seems counter-productive to what she is trying to accomplish.

    Pro-tip: If you hate someone so badly that you don’t want people to buy his book, don’t write a blog post about it. You will only make people more curious.

  31. Vip Rao
    Vip Rao says:

    Wow Lady,

    That is quite a lot of vitriol you have built up there. I bought his book – haven’t finished it yet, but have picked up a few tips from what I’ve read so far.

    I have a good idea why you haven’t seen success and he has however. He is not a mean person. Or if he is, he doesn’t publicly disparage someone like you have here.

    You seem just like a little girl: “omg! omg!, he tricked me into having coffee with him!” He sounds like he was just being polite, wanted to talk and perhaps a little aggressive, a tactic he encourages (got to work to get what you want). Nothing wrong in asking someone for coffee. His namedropping may have been sincere, those people really might not have shown up. Why not take the positive side? If you were strong willed enough and really didn’t like him (for reasons you don’t clarify, leaving me to assume it is jealousy; and yes, just because you deny jealousy in your post is not a good indicator that it is not a factor here) you could have just said no again: “Listen Tim, I’m not really sure I have anything to talk to you about”. Done. But no, you’re quite weak and now you resort to petty personal attacks and assumptions: “I have hated him since we both had editors at Crown Publishing who sat next to each other and I heard how difficult he is.” How? What did he do? Give me a story and verify it. Why would I believe anyone who puts up a post and shamelessly derides someone else. You lose trust that way honey.

    The one thing that stuck out was the kickboxing anecdote, which I have not heard about. Perhaps he is at fault there, but I do not have enough details to make a qualified judgement. From what I gather, he just made smart use of an open “loophole”…meaning he realized his advantage and used it before anyone else. Everybody does this.

    And I do agree with you on his automatic email. That would be emailing. And Tim, that strategy does not work, unless you are already in a position where you can make demands like that.

    -Vip

  32. Vip Rao
    Vip Rao says:

    I meant, That would be *annoying*. (last paragraph)

    GOD! there goes my career as a professional commentator.

  33. Ege
    Ege says:

    The automatic emailing strategy does work, actually, and it has nothing to do with position. I’m a junior engineer at my workplace and I’ve become three times as productive ever since I stopped checking email every hour and responding to whatever email arrives in the inbox then and there. I tell people to send me an instant message if it is absolutely urgent. Otherwise just email. And you know what? Once you establish that rule, all those little things people pester you with stop being urgent and people start to put more thought into their emails.

  34. Ege
    Ege says:

    You know, it just occurred to me… I actually don’t find it surprising that someone who fancies themselves a “brazen careerist” disagrees with Tim’s fundamental message, because Tim is in essence the exact opposite of a careerist. He’s more of a “leisurist”. So no wonder Penelope hates him.

  35. A-ron
    A-ron says:

    Subscribed, based on this post alone.

    I don’t hate Tim Ferriss, and I think he has some good tips, you just can’t swallow the whole enchilada (like most of his dim witted followers).

    By the way, wanna have coffee?

  36. thug_life
    thug_life says:

    Your passion comes right out on the blog. The idea that bestseller is an acclaim that burdens with it jealousy and dissaproach makes it seem like your feelings hurt. I think that you are poking at him with out even making a factual claim. I aspire to be like you and Tim. One day I will have a skilled Indian team of bloggers, blogging, on other blogs advertising and spamming the imternet glory holes with guru-like entrepreneurship shit, like digital new young money, totally the audience that buys books, american dreams, corporate climbers, and of coarse, the people that are on food stamps and shit, cus they got plastic fingernails but no food damnit. So, let me see, you have a blog, you write for a living, that is your work, and you hate people that do this exact same thing as you becasue they are obviously a better selling author than you. I thin k corporate mney and corporations in general embody the grwoing cancer in our society and that share holders stock should be in something of real earthly value, ooto401k scheme for the next generation of oil suckers to pollute with cancer. You have a blog to promote your own writing. Not that you should have to want your writings to be spammed, that vulgar. You make tim lok like a dick, when you were stuck up having a staunch position of seeing people until he had better people, I am glad I wasnt one of those other people. You need to try diversity unless you are a trained professional at something, like a writer. I like the writing about, easy to follow and entertaining. Semantics, you dog, thats what had me thinking the whole time. You think Mr. Ferris book is about that shit.

    So when you had coffee with that Tim, did he buy or you? Haha…

  37. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    I read and learn from many sources. The best method I have found is to learn what others did to succeed and take from it only what is useful to you. I can’t make millions singing or playing sports so learning how to attract scouts won’t help me. However reading from a bunch of people that did a start up business and made it successful repeatedly can help me to see what pitfalls there may be ahead so I can prepare for them. No one should do exactly what anyone else does or says. Find your own way and style or you are just another sell out. I read his book. The most important thing to me that he teaches is simply to balance your work and life. Enjoy your life now don’t wait till the end as most do only to realize your health won’t allow you to do anything fun. get over the kickboxing thing!! he was dared into entering that competition 4 weeks before it was held. He says he didn’t want to get hurt bad and wasn’t a skilled fighter so he read the rule book and found a loop hole. Trashing him without giving evidence as to what he has done wrong. Honestly you sound like a woman scorned did he turn you down or break up with you? I guess professional courtesy is dead.

  38. Constantin
    Constantin says:

    Ha!
    Interesting article! I guess that’s why I like Gary Vee more – coz he cares. And may I quote Gary here: ” If you think there is such a thing like the 4 hour workweek then you’re a clown!”

    Working hard and working smart is something I believe in. But working 4 hours a week and getting big things done…?! I don’t think so.

  39. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I think this post shows a lot of built up emotion pouring out. I admire the honesty in this post, however, I feel you’re giving all the attention to the person you probably don’t think deserves it..If I were you, i’d forget about people who make you feel negatively and just work on your own goals. Don’t let other people allow you to become angry and hateful. It’s not worth it!

    This doesn’t have to do with your situation, but there is a neat video I came across on time and I think you will find it very interesting! Good luck with everything.

  40. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    The way the Penelope sets up this article with such “hate” for Tim Ferriss, yet recounts her time with him (esp. the coffee story) with such subtle flirtatious underpinnings… It all just seems like that scene in Top Gun where Kelly McGillis’ character Charlie is yelling at Maverick… after which they just start going at it, lol. And we all know how hot that scene turned out. Penelope, there may be something there… ;)

  41. Allan
    Allan says:

    Interesting article (even if it has been around for a while).

    Whilst Tim has some interesting ideas in his book, some of them don’t seem ethically or morally right to me. Is it lying to your employer to say you’re working from home when you’re really traveling the world?

    Also, I’m not convinced that working four hours a week is the right goal – at least for me.

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