Reader Beware: If you are a Marketing Manager, an Ad Executive, a Social Media Coordinator, a Search Engine Strategist, a Web Developer, a Creative Designer, or another student of the rarely glamorous, often thankless field of goalpost-moving metrics, management, and ideas we call marketing… read on. If not, I would suggest spending your next several minutes watching this short video of a surprised cat.
The brave read on…
Timothy Ferriss is a New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek. He has appeared on or in Fortune Magazine, CNN, Fox News, Outside Magazine, Fast Company, Venture Beat and many more. He is without question a visionary as an entrepreneur, speaker, and out-of-the-box thinker. I read his book several times a few years ago, took detailed notes, and applied some of his principles to my personal and professional life. His main premise is to arrange your tasks efficiently and effectively and to treat your time as your principal asset in order to retire to your dream destination—a four-hour workweek.
There really is a lot more to Tim’s book, and I believe that everyone will have their own takeaways. For some, this book is even a mission statement for their lives and their company. This really isn’t about the lessons and teachings of Tim’s book, but rather a dive into the title itself—THE 4-HOUR WORKWEEK.
Why We in This Field Can’t Have a 4-Hour Workweek
Before I dive into this subject, I want to put forth a personal disclaimer:
I respect all workers who earn a living for themselves from the blue collar to the white. I am continually thankful for the gifts and opportunities I have been given to wake up every day excited to go to work, and I’m aware there are many who are unemployed, underemployed, travel to multiple jobs, work extra shifts, or must endure back-breaking conditions to provide for their families.
With that being said, I opine on the fundamental equation of our profession:
The Jokers – The Wasted Battle
There are the many among us who give the people and the profession a bad name. Who measure their ROI in fake keystrokes on Excel spreadsheets and sell “blackhat” tactics at wholesale discounts. The groups we battle each day to prove that, while our way may take more time, their way will destroy the longevity of your brand. Who talk us down and shout at the top of their lungs promises and strategies that we spend our days shouting down at the top of ours.
The Visionaries – The Honored Battle
These are the revolutionaries. They are the Leo Burnetts, the AKQAs, the iCrossings, and the Tallwaves. The firms that make us sit down, adjust our glasses, and revel in their success and magic. They bring us back to the drawing board and drive new technical evolution in marketing. They are our Aristotle and we their Plato, looking for a way to master their thoughts and one day become powerful and evolutionary on our own merits.
The People – The Innovators
These are the innovators, the hands-on, the doers. They go to conferences, attend webinars, and live and learn. They spend countless hours inside and outside of the office trying to improve on their craft. “Four hours” might be just the time they spend sleeping—if that.
The Hours – The Equation
What do these three pieces, three amongst hundreds, equal? Merely hours upon hours of passion, determination, and carpal tunnel. These components have no way to be outsourced, delegated, mediated, broken up, handed off, deputized, or resourced. They must be tackled each and every day in order to achieve the only thing that matters: relevancy and ROI.
For on this humble day, when explorers fell on our wholesome land and decreed thanks, we also declare thanks for letting us go beyond our comfort zone—beyond these four hours—and play for days, nights, and weekends in the land that we love—marketing.
Jonathan H. Kaufman
President & Sleep Deprived, Advice Interactive Group, Dallas, Texas