I just finished reading The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss, which was recommended by one of my colleagues. There are some great ideas and excellent resources in this book, although it does tend to smack of yet another get "new rich" quick scheme. I am well aware that the author is only in his early thirties, and it remains to be seen just how sustainable his finances and lifestyle plan really is in the long run.
I think I would have been more convinced if the author hadn't bragged about winning his kick boxing championship by merely pushing his opponents off the ring, but who am I to look a gift loophole in the mouth. He has an entertaining website complete with worksheets to create your NR (New Rich) lifestyle, blogs & twitters on his latest escapades, which makes me wonder if he's bored without meaningful work to wake up to in the mornings.
I did get a lot out of the 80/20 rule. 80% of your profits come from 20% of your clients - send them love letters, if not chocolate (my advice, not Mr. Ferriss'). 80% of your problems come from 20% of your clients - fire them. Delete them from your mailing lists, etc, stop wasting time, money & effort. I can't tell you how good it has felt to fire a few of my clients, especially when I calculate the emotional price I have paid.
I loved Mr. Ferriss' break down on minimizing emails and his advice to simply avoid as many meetings as possible, and have switched as much of my work to be more remote as well as to create a more mobile & efficient work environment. Already my life is simpler. Now if I could only get my virtual assistant to take my mother out to lunch instead of me, my life would be perfect.