Achieving a 4-hour workweek

Back in December, I noted that I was planning to read a book by Timothy Ferriss called The 4-Hour Workweek. I read the book in early January and have finally got around to implementing some of the ideas.

Although I don’t advocate everything in the book, it certainly got me thinking about ways to streamline my work processes. In fact, since reading the book, I’ve hired two subcontractors to work on projects for me. I’ve worked with subcontractors before, but usually just when I wanted help during a busy time or when I didn’t have the skills to do a project. This time, I’m hiring people to do work I could do myself — but that someone else could do more cheaply. (And I’ve hired people in my own town, as opposed to sending the work across the planet.) It’s going really well and I’m going to continue with this.

Have you experimenting with subcontracting?


Tony says:

Do you feel it’s taking advantage of a client when you subcontract to others who are cheaper? Why wouldn’t the client go directly to that person instead of you and save their money?

I would think that you add value and bring it all together with your knowledge and just “farm” out the actual work tasks, which would justify your markup

I’ve been debating about subcontracting lately. Do you have any suggestions / recommendations / dos / donts?


Raul says:

Hi Andréa,

Thanks for the suggestions you provided over at DB’s blog. I do read your blog with certain frequency (I’ve done consulting in the past and plan to continue doing it in the future – combined with my professorial life!)

All the best.

Andrea says:

My subcontractors have not got the same skillset, credibility, brand, referrals or experience. They’re not on the hook for the entire project, either. If something goes wrong, it’s my name (or my company’s name) on the contract. If the client doesn’t pay, I still have to pay my subcontractors. And I do add value to the project in other ways — it’s not as though I’ve handed over all my work.

As for ethics, all my contracts say I may hire other people. Any independent contractor should be able to hire people. Otherwise, you’re technically an employee of the client.

(I’m not a lawyer and there is no legal advice anywhere on