Book Review: The Four Hour Workweek — Mini-retirements instead of retiring young and early?

3 min readMay 4, 2023

2023 10th book….”The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” by Tim Ferris.

Book summary at a glance

I tried something new… which I summarized the book with an infographic. Let me know if you like it or not!

My review

This book was on my to-read list for a long time, and I had high expectations. Turned out it was OVERRATED and I was disappointed. As a personal development book, I expect there will be PRACTICAL advice, but this book just presents the ideal image of life with off-the-ground solutions (to me at least).

Firstly, this book is all around the place. Tim Ferris did provide a step by step guide to achieve the ideal mini-retirement by DEAL (definition-elimination-automation-liberation). But the contents are so scattered, he tried giving solutions to EVERYTHING — how to do business, how to prepare for a mini-retirement, how not to compare with others…. which makes the ideas very shallow and incomplete — I would read other books instead if I want such recommendations.

Secondly, even though the book mentioned employees can also achieve the mini-retirements goal, the end goal is still however, persuade you to be an entrepreneur. Chapter 3 was about work automation which suggest you to sell informational products to a niche market to generate income automatically. And the rest of the chapter (or at least 70% of it) were related to how to test your product, how to find your niche market blah blah blah…. Therefore, if you are an employee and looking for such lifestyle, be prepared that most of the solutions are not for you.

In the same chapter (Automation), the book suggests outsourcing your work to virtual assistants to save time which makes sense to those working themselves. But wait…. it mentioned employees can also outsource their work?! It says other than confidential information, employees can outsource virtual assistants to do their work like replying emails, so they can have more time to do other things. I am really confused — so we, employees hire virtual assistants, give them instructions and pay them (in a cheaper price) to do the work that we are supposed to do? Not to discuss whether this can save our time or not, is it even ethical to do so? Aren’t all the employees in corporate companies signed a confidential agreement when they are hired? How can we let someone outside the company to interfere the information even if it is not something huge? The book says it is do-able if it is not discovered. First, I don’t think it is an easy thing with the advancement of technology. Second, I don’t think it is right😂

I would not recommend this book, the ideas are great, but the advice is useless. It is good for you to brainstorm the life you want, but if you have to out it into practice, it is trash, there are many other better books. I suggest to reframe your expectation — treat it as a pleasure read rather than a personal development book if you want to read this book.

Book Information

Book: “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”

Author: Tim Ferris

Ratings: 3/5