TEL 240: Never Work Again with Erlend Bakke
A summary of things you should know about Never Work Again according to Erlend Bakke
I’m a Norwegian entrepreneur, currently living in London, I have been an entrepreneur now for 7 or 8 years. I got fired from my first proper job where my boss confronted me and said, “Erlend, your either an egghead or an entrepreneur,” and luckily I’ve been able to find a way to make money being both an egghead and an entrepreneur. I’ve got about 25 companies and I make money predominately in the photography related industries and in outsourcing. So we have photography software, we do product photography, and we do image editing in the Philippines- busy entrepreneurs outsource to the Philippines to our virtual assistants down there.
The Book’s Unique Quality (03:09)
What we’ve done is made it an interactive book. You can get it on audio, paperback, Kindle, but that’s not what I mean by interactive. We have lots of videos included in the book, so you can click a link and get access to a video that explains the exercise and you can get access to audio interviews with experts. So instead of viewing this as purely a book, we’ve created a ton of extra bonus content in it, so it’s more of an interactive document.
In addition, the way I wrote it is kind of Four Hour Work Week Part 2 because once you have the freedom you really want in your life, what do you really want to spend that freedom doing? So a lot of people say I kind of mix a lot of new age thinking with millennial entrepreneurial thinking.
The Best Way To Engage (04:37)
I actually in the introduction say that you do not have to read the whole book. Take a look at the table of contents and read the section that you are most passionate about or you can read it front to back. I do suggest reading the introduction first.
The Reader’s Takeaway (18:10)
For me, I thought money equaled freedom and I put all my effort and focus on that one thing. Freedom is actually five things, you can have political freedom, social freedom, monetary freedom, freedom of mind, and finally- seeing and understanding the oneness of the universe.
A Deep Dive Into The Book (05:29)
So the book starts out with me sitting at a fancy restaurant in Malibu, I’m having a nice dinner, I have my dream car outside, and I have come to a level on entrepreneurship where I am successful. I have the four hour work week and I am traveling around the world. I’m sitting there watching the sun come down and this should be one of the happiest moments of my life but I’m actually sitting there alone and I realize that I have been traveling around the world but people haven’t been able to join me on this journey because they are working- and they are working on something meaningful, something they are really passionate about.
From there I kind of spiral back to my earlier days as an entrepreneur, getting fired and then I kind of say to myself, “what would I be doing if there were no barriers?” A friend of mine had started a 360 product photography company in London, which was very unique, and I called him up and said, “Let’s have coffee.” When we had coffee I gave him my pitch of how we should be business partners and how I could take what he was doing to the next level and all I wanted in return was 10% of the company. From then I started up a similar company using the same model because it didn’t work out as a partnership. So I worked and worked and set up the outsourcing in the Philippines and things were going really well but I’m really stressed out and simply not happy. I continued working 6-7 days a week and cut out friends and my only goal was to make X amount of money. I pursued it until I hit rock bottom and had a massive panic attack that left me in the hospital. I was instructed to take a 3 month break to let my body heal and recover. Luckily I had set up teams and I had set up processes but instead of allowing those systems to work for me, I just worked harder. So I would free up time but I would just work even more. At this point I had to let my businesses run themselves and what I found out was when you empower other people and put your trust in them, in most cases they will actually appreciate being empowered by you to take on tasks. And this is what I find consistently with entrepreneurs, they are scared of giving away a task. I am constantly asking myself, “how can I get someone else to do this for me? Is this a task that I should be spending time on?”
So it’s really about freedom and figuring out what freedom really is for you. Most people think of freedom as being on a boat and not working, and lying on a beach and I’ve done that form of freedom. So basically after I recovered I started traveling around the world and I simplified my lifestyle. I cut out unnecessary costs that I didn’t need and I just traveled all over the world. But on this journey I have to figure out what I am really passionate about and what is freedom to me. About 50% of the book is about freedom and figuring this out.
From here we talk about freedom business blueprint. Once we figure out what we want to do in life we need to understand that a business is nothing more than a set of systems. Most business owners don’t understand that a business needs to have a team of four people that are talented and dedicated to your vision. Your freedom business uses the business model canvas, which is a way of mapping out a business so that you understand all the different parts of the company so that you can make sure that someone is doing those tasks.
Chapter 5 is all about time. Time is our most precious resource, it isn’t something we can get more of, so how are you valuing your time. It’s not really about how much you make, it’s about how much you make per hour you are working. So I use the example of a doctor friend that I have who makes the same amount of money that I do. The difference is he has to be in his office while I am traveling around the world because I have other people doing the tasks for me and I only work on the higher income generating activities because I’ve built systems and delegated and outsourced.
Chapter 6 is a business autopilot ‘cookbook.’ So this is about understanding how to create a tutorial or a system that someone else can do. What I suggest that every one do is to create recipes for every segment of their business.
Chapter 7 is all about outsourcing which I have been doing for years. I started do thing because I was not capable of doing some of these tasks myself I had to learn out to outsource them. I do this in the Philippines but the principles can be applied to anywhere.
That brings us to the conclusion where we break down that never working again is doing what you love. When you do what you love and you are willing to challenge yourself in pursuit of that then you will automatically grow to your potential, which is the meaning of life.
NOTE: That was just a summary. To get the full deep dive, play the audio clip at 05:29
Notable Quotes From The Book (19:55)
“Once we know that life is difficult, once we truly understand and accept it, then life is no longer difficult” – M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled
The Credibility/Inspiration Of The Author (02:16)
Well the inspiration was that I went for the money. I wanted to make 25 million dollars and sell a company by the age of 35, that was my end goal. That was my end goal because I thought that having 25 million dollars would solve all of my problems. So the inspiration for the book is partly my story, all the lessons that I’ve learned over the past 7 years but also this deep routed pursuit of money being the end all and solution to all problems, which it isn’t.
Other Books Recommended By The Author (21:22)
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
More Information About This Book and The Author (24:03)
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