The world feels small when you stay in the same place for too long. What if you could travel the world and work on your terms whenever you wanted?
That’s usually the question that raises a big red flag and makes you walk out on the latest webinar or workshop scam you fell for. You likely know the term “digital nomad,” but think that it’s reserved for top YouTube stars or bloggers with a secret inheritance funding it all. Digital nomads are an ambitious bunch who love to travel and work hard to make that lifestyle possible by conducting their work online.
Intermixing travel and work at affordable rates while enjoying yourself and leading an independent life isn’t a pyramid scheme — it’s you taking your life back in a realistic way. People of all ages see this lifestyle as a viable choice that you don’t want until retirement to enjoy. From remote jobs and freelance life to entrepreneurship, here’s how to take your job anywhere in the world.
What Are Remote Jobs?
The internet is now accessible in most areas of the world and allows workers to clock in from anywhere. More companies hire an online workforce to work from home and complete their shifts. Not all employees work well in cubicles, but when given the opportunity to choose their workspace, they still prove themselves as team assets.
Various companies hire call center staff, engineers, coders, nurses, teachers, writers, designers and more to work remotely. Some positions require a space hardwired to the internet and a set shift with training in person for the first few weeks, but many more only require a reliable internet connection and a smartphone. As long as the quality product is in on time, you’re free to manage your work-life balance as you see fit.
Many job search sites also advertise these types of jobs. Just type “remote” or “work from home” in the location section. Look on the websites of major corporations for remote options on their “work for us” section. Dare to pitch your employer to let you work from home — offer to do it on a trial flex-time basis to build trust.
The Freelance Lifestyle
Often referred to as the “gig economy,” the freelance lifestyle could encompass 50 percent of the workforce by 2027, and it’s multiplying. Many who lead the digital nomad life are freelancers and among the self-employed, using their talents in UI/UX design, graphic design, writing, sales and more to make a living.
To go freelance, you pick a niche and specialty that you have a passion for and provide a list of services. You should have a portfolio to demonstrate your skills and work history. Check with old business contacts and those inside your network to gain new clients. Reach out to related businesses to combine forces and increase your chances of winning clients.
The more you pitch your services, the better at it you will get. You may need to start at lower rates than you would like to as you build your portfolio, but don’t underestimate your skills. Account for costs in your fees, so you don’t end up in the negative. If pitching services as a freelance writer, you should demonstrate your knowledge on the subject, provide a brief outline of your well-thought-out idea and why it fits the audience. Follow editors on social media because they’ll sometimes post a call for submissions on a hot topic.
Soon, you’ll travel to a destination and see twenty potential stories while sitting in a coffee shop. When your work takes you to a foreign country, use a company for asset management, such as managing your property, so you don’t have obligations weighing you down and impeding your business and travel goals. You can also pitch businesses for reviews and interviews in exchange for staying at a hotel or experiencing their services — remain ethical at all costs. Your reputation and livelihood depend on it.
Entrepreneurial nomads do what’s called “bootstrapping” and base their companies in areas such as Colombia, Thailand or Chiang Mai. They pick an affordable commercial building and have more time and money to allocate to their venture.
Entrepreneurs create new apps and online business. They might sustain traveling by mixing up their trades and freelancing part-time. One of the fastest ways to generate a lucrative business idea is to think of something that bugs you and offer a solution. Do you have a way to provide another solution faster or improve upon it? Obtain feedback from existing customers and research what’s out there. Develop a business plan and get started.
Tips for Making the Move
Whether you decide on remote work, freelancing or entrepreneurial endeavors, you also need to strategize for taking your work on the road. You can pick up and go, letting it all unfold with trust in the business and prosperity gods, but the more realistic option for success is planning before you make a move. Here are a few tips to get started.
Set a Buffer Time
Give yourself a buffer time to adjust to your new lifestyle and make the necessary plans. You’ll need a just-right amount of clients to pay for things back home, your taxes and travels.
Having a buffer time allows you to catch mishaps in advance before they happen while you’re away and have a more difficult time addressing issues from afar.
Save up Money
Start setting aside money now to work toward your goals. Include mini goals, such as getting your passport, but also add a bigger goal of having a safety net in case you get stuck in a foreign country with a buck to your name.
Secure Your Working Base
Will you buy, rent or sit in a space to get your work done? Renting a space through a monthly or annual membership is now an option at many coworking initiatives.
You share a space with other entrepreneurs and freelancers and have access to software and small business resources you might not be able to afford on your own, especially if you only need them on a short-term business. Collaborate to build your network and list of clients.
You can also set up at internet cafes or coffee shops but watch your expenses. Two lattes easily become four, and your take-home pay suffers.
Once you have your new work life and travel destination arranged, it’s time to bite the bullet and do it. Pack your bags and go.