Books Worth Reading for the Lifestyle Entrepreneur

Work to live instead of living to work. Design your life. The goal? Enjoy more of life, stay flexible, work (actively) less hours, while increasing (passive) income.

The lifestyle entrepreneur designs his life, his work, his downtime according to his requirements and specifications. He is driven by freedom of time, opportunity, flexibility, and often the chance to explore the world.

In this post I explore my favourite books exploring this concept.

Note: This list is being updated as I discover more books.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Work Week

This book is still considered the ‘Bible’ for lifestyle entrepreneurship, several years after its debut. There’s no doubt that author and entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss is the prime exponent of lifestyle design, or mobile lifestyle, and has contributed to the popularity if this worldwide phenomenon. I have read the book twice, and I am sure I will come back to it, for the sheer practicality and simplicity of Ferriss’s advice, and for another good reason: every time I read it, I go a little deeper into the lifestyle entrepreneur’s psyche.

The 4-Hour Work Week is an eye-opener to a different, new way of living. I have stumbled on Tim Ferriss’s work in 2012, and I had yearned to implement at least some of the principles stated in the book ever since. I managed to cut down the volume of unimportant emails I received by implementing his automated email messages. I revised my priorities. I reduced the time spent on things that didn’t earn me a good income. I moved my focus to where it mattered to me.

Based on the author’s personal life experience, the book reads like a comprehensive manifest of living life on own terms. Ferriss shares worthy suggestions to negotiate remote work (it is possible even for the permanently employed), to outsource aspects of life to focus on what brings the most value and joy (everyone is different), to escape the 9 to 5 work routine (flexibility is key to free time) and even experience first-class world travel.

Ferriss is the living proof that one can earn a monthly five-figure income without the usual conventional 80 working hours a week. He calls it ‘joining the New Rich’. Although the title grabs you by the headline with the promise of a 4-hour week and remote living, the number is arbitrary and certainly requires substantial behind-the-scenes work, laser-like focus and great automation to be already set in place. I believe most people could safely aim to work only 2-3 hours a day, say 20 hours a week, and that would be quite a feat! The point here is that everyone is different, with own plans aspirations and ideas about work and lifestyle. I won’t dismiss the 4-hour week as pure fantasy as yet.

Ferriss has devised a step-by-step, life-changing process focusing on Definition , Elimination, Automation and Liberation. These are the pillars on which the book bases itself. Imagine you can eliminate half of your work in just 48 hours using the Pareto law, automate your cash flow and have all three ingredients of a luxury lifestyle design: time, income and mobility. It’s all possible and the book shows you exactly how to do that, but it is no easy feat.

Most importantly, the book advocates for a lifestyle of living more and working less, shunning the concept of retirement and saving for the future without compromising on the ability to earn a substantial income. Ferriss is the promoter of the frequent mini-retirements concept, reduced workload and live now attitude. The expanded edition (the one I have) includes tested resources, recommendations and real success stories from readers worldwide that would convince even the most skeptical reader to at least give it a try. How about that round the world trip? If you only want to buy a book about lifestyle entrepreneurship and remote living, make it this one and prepare yourself for a life-changing perspective– the rest can wait.

There are many books about lifestyle entrepreneurship. But if you only have to buy one on the topic, make it this one and prepare yourself for a life-changing perspective.

Web: www.fourhourworkweek.com

Author blog: www.tim.blog

Chris Guillebeau, The $100 Startup

Imagine a life of complete independence, purpose, freedom, value and wealth via microentrepreneurship: a way of working and earning a good living on your terms, by combining your passion and skills. This is what writer, entrepreneur and traveller Chris Guillebeau’s book is about: trading the nine-to-five/corporate job aka quitting the rat race to start on your own without the need for MBAs or huge investments. No venture capital needed.
The focus here is on the unconventional versus the traditional business, the accidental entrepreneur, the follow-your-passion model, the low-cost startups (less than $1000, but often almost nothing). The solo entrepreneur, the micro business owner, the one-man or one-woman show will find plenty inspiration and practicality in The $100 Startup, which features examples of successful and profitable businesses often run by one person. The author’s criteria for selecting these businesses were low startup costs, baseline profitability, no special skills needed, and small manpower – fewer than 5 employees.
With chapters like Unexpected Entrepreneurs and The Rise of the Roaming Entrepreneur, the book is a blueprint for the lifestyle entrepreneur starting out with next to nothing. It focuses heavily on the stories of those who made it (the business case studies) and the minimal business stuff micro-entrepreneurs employ to make it work. As Guillebeau says, to start a business, you only need three things: a product or a service, people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid. Everything else is optional.
Web: www. 100startup.com 
Author’s blog: www.chrisguillebeau.com
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