Archive for the ‘lifestyle design’ Category

The 4-Hour Body: 60 Percent of The Time it Works Every Time!

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

In his new book The 4-Hour Body, author of The 4-Hour Workweek Tim Ferriss makes the giant leap from get-rich-quick guru to extreme fad diet guru. As you can see from the above graphic describing his book’s principles, taken from the book trailer, something doesn’t quite add up here.

Ferriss original book took the idea of leverage from The Pareto Principle (the 80/20 rule) to extremes. The original notion is that 20% of one’s efforts (e.g. customers) lead to 80% of one’s results (e.g. revenue). Ferriss’ version was that you should be utterly ruthless and hyper-competitive in order to create your own small business that gives you the free time to brag about how much free time you have while endlessly promoting yourself. This book launched the entire “lifestyle design” cottage blog industry (Ferriss himself coined the phrase). But in the NEW! and IMPROVED! The 4-Hour Body, Mr. Ferriss claims that one can do oh so much more with oh so much less (and leaving 2.5% mysteriously unaccounted for to boot).

This is a long post. Here’s the tl;dr version: Tim Ferriss is a fraud*. But you already knew that, didn’t you. *sigh* Such is the foolishness of critiquing such figures.

So what exactly can one do to hack one’s body into superhero levels of fitness in an instant with Ferriss’ magic bullet secret information never before released to the drooling, gullible public? Here is a summary taken directly from the Amazon product page (with my snarky comments in red): (more…)

The Herd Mentality of Individualism & Lifestyle Design

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Individuality is a funny thing, quite often the people who seek it the most end up having the least. As humans, we have been endowed with free will, yet we bypass it with surprising frequency to follow the herd. You can see it everywhere: high school kids who want to stand out and be different do it by joining a group of Goth kids all dressed in black who are subsequently indistinguishable from each other. College kids wanting to rebel and show their independence and individuality do it by getting the exact same tribal tattoo of the year as 15 of their friends.

Nowhere is this herd mentality as apparent as in the Lifestyle Design community. After reading The Four Hour Workweek, the kids must have figured that apparently the way to show your individuality was to move to some piss poor, tropical country and make a living selling e-books about moving to some piss poor tropical country to sell e-books. Soon enough, hundreds of kids in their early twenties gather like lemmings to live on the beach in some piss poor tropical country, trying to sell e-books about writing e-books about selling e-books about living in a tropical country selling e-books. Nice work if you can pull it off, though I suspect there’s a limited market for selling e-books filled with truisms, old platitudes and other profound wisdoms amassed over a long life of.. eh.. 23 years? (more…)

Carlon Haas: Lifestyle Design Sucks

Monday, October 11th, 2010

My (apparently former) friend Carlon posted a follow-up to my 17 Steps to Instant Success as a Lifestyle Designer entry:

Friend of the blog, Eric Schiller over at Beyond Growth recently posted about 17 Steps to Instant Success as a Lifestyle Designer.  It made me laugh.  It made me cry.  But in the end, I was just pissed.  I mean, what the hell does Schiller know about lifestyle design? Maybe I took it too personally since Eric probably didn’t know that I am a failed lifestyle designer.

You see, I read a couple of lifestyle design books and I thought, “hey, I can design my life like an Abercrombie commercial!”

So, I sold my stuff, went out and bought some cool Abercrombie fashion. Then, I made plans to travel to the beach. I wanted to go to the French Riviera but I am a member the “new rich” whereas the Riviera is for the ”rich rich”. So, instead I moved to some poor-ass country (where they didn’t even speak English!) and went to the beach.

Emphasis mine. Read the rest here: Lifestyle Design Sucks at Don’t Step in the Poop.

17 Steps to Instant Success as a Lifestyle Designer

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

I’ve noticed that a lot of lifestyle design gurus have done a very poor job of teaching you how to live their lifestyles. I thought I would do the community a service and write a primer that teaches you exactly how to fit in and thrive in the lifestyle design community. Enjoy.

1. Get a poofy haircut that only a rockstar could pull off.

Use this to hide your vanity. (more…)

Kruse: Towards Ethical Lifestyle Design

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Fabian Kruse responded to our ongoing discussion about lifestyle design on his blog the Friendly Anarchist:

Should lifestyle designers be better people? When reading the recent discussion on the topic over at Beyond Growth, one could reach the conclusion that this indeed should be the case. And, honestly, why not? Why limit our niche to the creation of muse businesses, travels, and vain endeavors?

On the other hand, when looking for a better approach to lifestyle design, one should also have in mind that pretty much everything one could wish for in the niche does already exist in another one. Searching for a well-elaborated critique of consumerism? Call Adbusters. Looking for people engaged in fixing our financial system? Ask Attac. Miss an environmental stance? Join Greenpeace or Earth First. Now, you might ask, what do these institutions and the individuals behind them have to do with lifestyle design?

The answer: It depends on your definition of the word. It’s a triteness, but following the broadest and simplest definition, lifestyle design is about nothing more or less than designing your lifestyle. Or, as JD Bentley put it a few months ago in a similar discussion: “Judging by the requirements of the term itself without any concepts applied by the zealots who promote it, everyone who has ever lived is a lifestyle designer.”

You can read the rest of the post here.

Lifestyle Design and the Freedom to Change the World

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

I was asked by Eric Schiller to write a response to his recent post calling for a more socially responsible Lifestyle Design. Klint Finley also responded, defined many useful terms, and made some suggestions for how Lifestyle Design could be put to socially conscientious use. I am going to start on a different tack–a personal one–and try to explore what I feel is missing from Lifestyle Design and how it could change.

I have always been looking for a way out of the rat race. My whole life. So when The Four Hour Workweek was launched, I gave it a shot. It promised a lot but was somehow different from most self-development and business books. I have been asking myself two related questions. What drew me to Lifestyle Design in the first place? And what is it that I want from an online business movement? (more…)

Towards a Socially Conscientiousness Lifestyle Design Movement

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

In his “The Lifestyle Design (un)Manifesto” Eric calls for the transformation of lifestyle design “into a collective of people who can influence the greater culture for a sustainable future.” Can lifestyle design be reformed into something more socially valuable? Put to work on the right problems, perhaps it can. But there are a few questions that we have to ask first.


The Lifestyle Design (un)Manifesto

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

If you hadn’t noticed, Beyond Growth has been very quiet in 2010.  We had a few strong posts at the beginning of the year, but since then the feed has been quiet.  In a sense this is because Beyond Growth (and it’s authors) have been experiencing a kind of existential crisis within the personal development and marketing fields. When Beyond Growth launched, we really made few of our goals clear, aside from an intention set in the sidebar to focus on several broad topics.  All of our intent and ideas were exposed either in the context of the posts or our surprisingly successful comments section.  The truth is that our goals for Beyond Growth were and still remain quite broad.  We have plans to ramp up our posting in the coming weeks and months, and to begin this post will make one of our goals more clear. (more…)