These days, thanks to technology, it’s now possible to work from anywhere. Many people have taken this concept to a whole new level by adopting a lifestyle that enables them to travel while also earning a living. These digital nomads, as they’re called, leverage technology to become location independent, working from anywhere in the world with a computer and internet connection. While there’s no right way or wrong way to adopt a digital nomad lifestyle, there are certain best practices that can improve your chances of success. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
First, determine what your marketable skill is.
You can’t become a digital nomad if you don’t first know how you’re going to make a living. For some, this step is easy. For instance, if you are a freelance copywriter with an existing book of business, packing up and hitting the road is easy. For others who don’t yet have a marketable skill or know what direction to go in, getting started is much more challenging.
If you don’t yet have a targeted skill, you may need to invest some time and effort into learning a new digital trade. For example, you might learn how to build websites, analyze data, develop mobile apps or publish eBooks on Amazon. Figure out what makes the most sense for you and then focus on mastering that skill.
From there, building up your book of business is also a good idea before packing up and heading to a new destination. This will provide you with some stability as you embark on your new nomadic lifestyle.
If you’re stumped on what skill to pursue, try to focus on meeting the following criteria:
- Something you love to do (or at least like)
- Something you’re good at
- Something people would be willing to pay for
Alternatively, you could sell products online, such as through a drop-ship ecommerce store. Or, you could simply get a remote job from an actual company. The key is to figure out how you’ll earn a living, whatever path that may be.
Next, start selling your services (or products.)
It’s one thing to have skills. It’s an entirely different thing to convince people to hire you for those skills. Likewise, it’s fine to have a product you think is fantastic, but if people aren’t willing to pay for that product, you’re going to be out of luck.
In addition to the skill or product you’re going to sell, you’ll also need the ability to market that skill or product and get paying customers. For skills or service marketing, you can take advantage of many of the available online platforms, such as Upwork, Udemy and Fiverr, to start building your book of business and generating income.
If your business model is product-based, investing in advertising and gaining some traction before launching your nomadic lifestyle is a wise idea. Again, this will give you a foundation to rely on as you begin traveling.
Eliminate the things that may hinder your freedom.
Living a long-term travel lifestyle requires many sacrifices. To be a successful digital nomad, you must be willing to break down and rid yourself of the barriers to your freedom. These barriers may include, but are not limited to:
- Financial commitments (i.e. mortgages, car payments, physical business location, etc.)
- Possessions (the best nomads adopt a minimalist lifestyle)
- Fears (you may have doubts, but you’ll never know until you take that leap)
Choose your location and GO!
Once you’ve determined how you’ll make a living and overcome the things that are standing in your way, the final step to becoming a digital nomad is to pack your bags and hit the road. Figure out where you’d like to begin your journey, looking for a location that is affordable and offers what you need (i.e. internet access, network stability, etc.) and then map out your plan.
If you’re unsure where to begin, start by researching and compiling a list of 10-15 of the best places to live and work remotely (here’s a helpful resource to get you started.) Then, prioritize your list according to your personal situation and preferences. Finally, make your reservations and go!
What about you? Are you living the digital nomad lifestyle? What advice would you give to others who are interested in becoming location independent? We’d love to hear about your experiences below!