“Gold is getting old,” writes Tim Ferriss, the mastermind behind the game-changing philosophy and best-selling book The 4-Hour Workweek. Ferriss became an international phenomenon when he began a movement dedicated to the interests of a group he has dubbed The New Rich. According to Ferris, The New Rich are “those who abandon the deferred- life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design (LD).”
When determining how you can incorporate a more flexible mindset and culture, remember why you became a business owner in the first place. One of the main reasons might have been your craving for more autonomy and independence. Use your empathy and compassion, and of course patience and humility, to remember that people are people and we can all lean on each other—yes, even in business. You can get creative and learn to be flexible, or at least cash in on the benefits of keeping your kindness quotient afloat with some of what flexibility has to offer: time, mobility, and your support in partnering with employees in their attempt at a new Lifestyle Design. As Ferriss puts it, “Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard. It really doesn’t. Most people, my past self included, have spent too much time convincing themselves that life has to be hard, a resignation to nine-to-five drudgery in exchange for (sometimes) relaxing weekends and the occasional keep-it- short-or-get-fired vacation.15
Yes, times have certainly changed. Mad Men are now Mobile Men; Working Girl has been replaced with Working- When-I-Want Girl, and Clock Watchers are controlling their own time. None of us want to be slaves to the grind, and when using flexibility, we don’t have to be. Allowing yourself, your customers, and employees the kind gesture of flexibility in thought, mindset, and schedule shows that you and your business are not only of 21st-century ilk, you have your sights set steadily on the future.