The internet offers tons of resources for the beginner and experienced Digital Nomad. And it’s fitting that most digital nomads consume content related to the world of remote work and location-independent entrepreneurship online in the form of blogs and podcasts. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of value in the traditional (or electronic) book. Good books for digital nomads are hard to come by, but there are are a few gems. The following books are some of the best sources of information for starting your digital nomad journey and maintaining it once you’ve taken the leap of faith.
This “best of” list includes books that teach you how to become a digital nomad and how to live the digital nomad lifestyle. I’ve included books not directly related to digital nomadism but ones that are key to understanding the world of remote work and online business.
The 4-Hour Workweek
By Tim Ferriss
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the original bible of digital nomads. Despite its age (first published in 2007), the Four Hour Workweek is still relevant. A lot has changed in the world of online business since Tim Ferriss first hit the New York Times Bestseller list. Ignore the details but laugh at some of the old school recommendations. The principles detailed in this book are still valid.
The concept of “just-in-time” information instead of “just-in-case” information, mentioned by Ferriss has always intrigued me. It’s a bit of a push-pull situation. If you enjoy learning and contemplating ideas, the “just-in-case” way of consuming information is appealing. Yet, according to Ferris, this isn’t the best way to move your business forward. Agreed, but we shouldn’t follow the ideas in the book without questioning them.
The Four Hour Workweek is a brilliant introduction to what is possible with just a laptop and a passport. It was much harder to pull this off back in 2007, so what are you waiting for?
The Art of Non-Conformity
By Chris Guillebeau.
Chris Guillebeau is a member of the “visited every country in the world” club.
This book is a natural successor to the Four Hour Work Week. It tackles similar concepts and was produced a few years after Ferris’s book. But the first edition came out in 2010. So that makes it ancient in internet terms. But don’t let that put you off. The book touches on digital nomadism, travel hacking, and lifestyle businesses. All of which is possible (for the most part) because of the internet.
However, the book’s ideas about self-sufficiency, living an exceptional life, unconventional living, and mindset are timeless. Anyone sick of the 9-to-5 grind, consumerism, unfulfilling jobs, and living the life other people expect, would benefit from reading this book. It’s a manifesto for living an unconventional but fulfilling life. Chris, a long-term digital nomad.
By Chris Ducker.
If you’re at the stage where you could outsource some of your business, this is the book for you. Chris Ducker is an expert on virtual assistants, outsourcing work, and building online businesses.
If you’ve yet to reach the stage where you can hire remote employees without going bankrupt, Ducker’s book will still be of value. But it’s more of a just-in-case situation. Read Virtual Freedom when you’re thinking of hiring your first virtual assistant and take your location independent business to the next level.
Remote: Office Not Required
By Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.
One of my favourite writers on the topic of work, Jason Fried is a legend in the startup space. With his business partner in a Project Management platform called Basecamp, David Heinemeier Hansson, Fried has written several books on remote working and the new rules for successful businesses.
Rework, released almost a decade ago, was their first book together and is a classic. Remote takes the ideas in Rework and applies them to the concepts of remote working. Whether you are an employee, freelancer, or business founder, this book will open up your eyes to the massive potential and benefits of remote working.
While many books in this list explain how to go about becoming a digital nomad, Rework gives a compelling argument for why offices are anti-productivity, why working a 9 to 5 job is unnatural, and why remote workers are some of the most productive and happy in the world. Is this music to the ears of nomads the world over?
How to Travel the World on $50 a Day
By Matt Kepnes.
As the name might suggest, this book is aimed at backpackers and budget travellers. But that doesn’t mean it can’t apply to location independent business people and employees. After all, I’d go as far as saying that most digital nomads are budget-conscious. The minimalistic attitudes and rejection of material things that many nomads believe in also make them more conscious of their spending.
Matt Kepnes, better known as Nomadic Matt is a full-time blogger and digital nomad. As one of the world’s most successful travel bloggers, Matt understands how to make a success of work and travel. This book has plenty of good information for anyone that wants to travel the world on their own terms.
The E-Myth Revisited
Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
By Michael E. Gerber.
This book could have been shorter than it’s 269 pages and still made perfect sense, but it might work for people who need a little more time to absorb the concept. In short, it’s quite a simple concept. Running a small business as a freelancer, designer, marketer, writer, or any other hands-on worker will not free you from your work. Running a small business as an entrepreneur with a “bigger picture” view of your services and products will help you create a business that runs without you.
Having a business that takes care of itself frees up a lot of time that Digital Nomads can use to travel, create new ventures, or both.
The invented characters and long-winded stories in The E-myth Revisited can get a little tedious but once you grab the concept and understand the next steps, this book will help you with the mindset to create an income, not a job.
Digital Nomads: How to Live, Work, and Play Around The World
A 280-page book on the location independent lifestyle by André Gussekloo, a full-time nomad with a blog that hasn’t been updated in years but it’s still a great introduction for beginner digital nomads.
This book is certainly not a blueprint to success. Rather, it’s a bird’s eye view (with details) of all of the possible options available to wannabe digital nomads.