digital-nomad-books

The 10 Best Books for Digital Nomads of All Experience Levels

So you’ve decided to move your career into the online realm.

Or perhaps you’re already pulling in a paycheck as you circumnavigate the globe.

Either way, there’s always room for improvement. And the best way for a digital nomad to develop is by throwing themselves into some industry research.

Whether you’re a wandering entrepreneur, a vagabond freelancer or a newbie to the digital nomad scene, there are plenty of educational books out there to help you step up your game.

This list presents the very best digital nomad books by narrowing them down to the top 10.
 


 

How books can help you become a better digital nomad

Regardless of your experience and area of expertise, becoming a successful digital nomad is no easy feat.

Building up a reliable client base takes a considerable amount of time. You have to receive a lot of positive reviews and build a hefty portfolio to lock down well-paying clients! Tougher still is learning how to approach clients, pitch your services and negotiate a fair rate.

You’ll need to master the organizational aspect, as well. Most rookie digital nomads have no idea how to divvy up their work and travel time. Oh, and let’s not forget the secrets of maintaining motivation and productivity.

Granted, this all comes with experience. But that’s not to say it’ll come quickly.

Give yourself a leg up by undertaking a bit of good, old-fashioned literary research.

The 10 Best Books for Digital Nomads of All Experience Levels

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“Remote”

Remote: Office Not Required

What’s the book about?

Although “Remote” doesn’t focus specifically on the digital nomad lifestyle, this accessible and informative resource does a sterling job of promoting the pros of remote work.

Authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson should know all about the benefits of working on the go. The two founded the immensely successful remote worker’s organizational tool known as Basecamp (formerly 37signals) using an entirely online team.

For those new to remote work, the authors pepper the book with actionable advice on how to escape the idea that we have to work in an office.

Who should read it?

Beginner and veteran digital nomads alike will benefit from insights on how to make the most of their adopted lifestyle.

In addition, conventional business owners will learn how to transition their staff away from the traditional office environment.

“Vagabonding”

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

What’s the book about?

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is “Vagabonding,” a how-to guide that teaches would-be world roamers the ins and outs of perpetual travel.

Given author Rolf Potts wrote the book way back in 2002, he doesn’t offer much insight into the digital nomad lifestyle. What he does do, however, is dish out chunks of insightful advice on how to adapt to new cultures, overcome adversity and travel as far as possible on a modest budget.

Who should read it?

The book is ideal for digital nomads who find traveling on a tight budget just as challenging as freelancing itself.

“The Art of Non-Conformity”

The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Perigee Book.)

What’s the book about?

Again, this isn’t strictly aimed at the digital nomad, although its core concepts certainly do apply.

Above all else, Chris Guillebeau’s flagship work teaches us how to shed preconceived notions of our role in society and follow a path more closely aligned with our personal priorities.

Who should read it?

Based on his two decades of experience traveling the world while self-employed, “The Art of Non-Conformity” is a must-read for anyone yearning to break free of their conventional lifestyle. As it so happens, this way of thinking slots perfectly into the mold of the modern-day digital nomad.

“Tribes”

Tribes

What’s the book about?

The internet has broken down geographical boundaries, revolutionized communication and created countless new business opportunities. But there’s one thing it hasn’t done: taught us how to lead.

This captivating book from Seth Godin does precisely that, providing a step-by-step analysis of how to identify your tribe and become a well-regarded leader instead of following the pack. All of this is presented in a contemporary online context that’s applicable to the digital age.

Who should read it?

Budding entrepreneurs and well-established leaders alike have raved about this book for its actionable advice on how to influence employees, investors and customers.

“Be a Free Range Human”

Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills

What’s the book about?

Finding the sweet spot concerning your work-life balance can be tough for the digital nomad, just as it can be for folks back home.

In this book, Marianne Cantwell teaches us how to work on our own terms by breaking free from the traditional nine-to-five paradigm. Through it, you can learn to lead a more fulfilling life based on what makes you truly happy.

Who should read it?

Although not specifically aimed at digital nomads, the book has a number of useful chapters that will benefit anyone seeking information about how to start a profitable online business.

Furthermore, it’s packed full of inspirational anecdotes that will help any reader who wants to adapt to the minimalist lifestyle.

“Crush It!”

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

What’s the book about?

Lacking the motivation to get your new business off the ground? Then Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush It!” could be just what the doctor ordered.

This The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal bestseller has enough inspiring pep talks to motivate even the most half-hearted entrepreneur to become passionate about making their dreams come true.

Who should read it?

All digital nomads are entrepreneurs to some extent. After all, freelancing is akin to running your own personal online business.

Although it has relatively few words of wisdom regarding the technicalities of entrepreneurship, the book has become a cult classic among digital nomads for its get-off-your-butt-and-do-it inspirational prose.

“The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business”

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

What’s the book about?

“The Personal MBA” delves deep into the details of running your own enterprise, with general and relatable information alongside personal development tips.

Expect to find stacks of no-nonsense and concise advice across all aspects of the business world, from negotiation and sales to productivity and marketing.

Although the book is intended to replace a Masters of Business Administration, it serves as excellent complementary reading, as well. Throughout you’ll find useful advice on how to succeed in e-commerce and other online pursuits, which is typically lacking in your traditional college MBA.

Who should read it?

While “Crush It!” may be the go-to motivational digital nomad book, Josh Kaufman’s “The Personal MBA” is an essential read for business-orientated entrepreneurs.

“The $100 Startup”

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

What’s the book about?

Another best-seller from Chris Guillebeau, this detail-orientated title delivers on its core promise: to teach the would-be entrepreneur how to build a successful online business from the ground up.

To do so, Guillebeau examines 50 case studies where startups have gone from an initial investment of less than $100 to a profitable enterprise raking in $50,000 per year or more.

Who should read it?

The book gets into the nitty gritty of launching a startup from nothing, which is perfect for budding and detail-orientated entrepreneurs. Freelance digital nomads won’t get as much out of the book.

“Digital Nomads: How to Live, Work and Play Around the World”

Digital Nomads: How to Live, Work and Play Around the World

What’s the book about?

For some well-rounded advice on all aspects of the digital nomad lifestyle, this book is well worth the read.

Expect to find plenty of information on where to live and travel on a budget and how to meet other nomads. You’ll also find productivity tips and information on trip essentials such as travel insurance.

Best of all? Authors Esther Jacobs and André Gussekloo provide useful tax advice, including where to incorporate and apply for residency, a touchy topic most other books avoid.

Who should read it?

Given its broad nature, all kinds of digital nomads will find this useful.

“The 4-Hour Work Week”

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

What’s the book about?

Widely considered to be the digital nomad bible, Tim Ferris’s bestseller is a cornerstone of the movement that has inspired countless readers to follow the path toward true location independence.

Drawing on the experiences of success stories throughout the world, Ferris argues that the traditional work model is outdated and unnecessary through actionable advice using the acronym DEAL (Definition, Elimination, Automation, Liberation).

Who should read it?

Although some of the online resources have become a little outdated, this book is still a must for the nomadic entrepreneur who dreams of automating their workload to as few as four hours a week. Other kinds of digital nomads such as freelancers would benefit from its actionable advice, as well.

 

See something you like? All of the above are e-books, so you can easily download them to read during one of those long overland bus rides or international flights.

With a little professional help from these established authors, your online career should skyrocket in no time.
 


 


Harry is a South American-based freelance writer who covers travel, the arts and culture, among many other things.

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