In this article, we’ll be looking at three recently published books, written by unconventional people, showing you how to do unconventional things in order to liberate yourself from the constraints of that dead end 9-5.
1. Choose Yourself – James Altucher
The first is Choose Yourself by James Altucher, a chess prodigy stroke hedge fund manager, stroke bestselling author and founder/cofounder of over 20 companies. Choose Yourself examines the traditional 9-5 jobs and provides you with inspiration and infrastructure to start creating real business ideas. He encourages us to flex our ‘creative muscle’, listing ideas on a daily basis for new products or services, reducing our physical and mental clutter and cutting back to reveal the raw creative power to develop profitable business ideas.
The key argument at the centre of Choose Yourself is that your job is not safe. The economy is reeling from the 08’ collapse and companies have realised that they need to trim the fat in order to remain competitive with the growing strength of outsourcing and the rise of China. The only way to ensure the financial stability of pre-collapse employment is to take control and ‘choose yourself’
The reason I have chosen this book, is because Altucher doesn’t just give us the why. He provides us with the how. These are formed throughout the book into blueprints for refocusing your life onto the things that mean the most to you whilst generating income and financial security.
I also recommend his blog. Again, full of amazing tips and stories to provide motivation.
2. Zero to One – Peter Thiel
Next up, Zero to One. The book focuses on the creation of brand new products (moving from zero to one) rather than iterations on something already in existence ( One to n). Thiel suggests that in order to maximise the effectiveness of your business, along with its profits, entrepreneurs should aim for uninhabited markets; monopolies from which a start-up can dominate and offer something brand new.
In case the name Peter Thiel isn’t ringing any bells, he is the co-founder of Paypal and more recently Palantir. He is also managing the Founders Fund, a VC firm with strict funding rules, only investing in the most promising and passionate people.
This book not only provides the reader with excellent motivational food-for-thought, it also addresses the economics behind his approach in clear, concise terminology with graphs and real world examples.
The aspect of this book I enjoyed the most was that Thiel has been there and done it, in spectacular style. Despite Paypal being an older company and formed in different economic times, he has remained relevant with cutting edge ideas and a strategy that has bucked the traditional start-up trends.
3. The 4 Hour Work Week –Tim Ferriss
This is my final recommendation and perhaps the most revolutionary. To dilute the book into a sentence is doing it a disservice, however, in a nutshell, Ferriss explains how we can all go about consolidating our working hours to only a handful a week; through strategic outsourcing, eliminating all the clutter in our personal and work lives and then liberating ourselves from the 9-5 with remote working options.
At first glance you may rule these out as pipe dreams of a twenty-something, however, many advocates of the books principles have been in full time employment, married with children, or in a number of other ‘tying’ situations. The book contains many first hand accounts from avid fans of the New Rich lifestyle Ferriss outlines.
By providing a framework for anyone to follow, The 4 Hour Work Week details at length, the tools you can use, with hyperlinks and company details, to start eliminating and outsourcing the time consuming minutia of 9-5 living.
His blog is an excellent resource, detailing much of what is in the book with added case studies and updated tools.
You also get access to Ferriss’ podcast where he interviews fascinating people and gives listeners advice on lifestyle design.