It’s not a job title. It’s a modern way of life.
The digital nomad lifestyle appeals to many people. Whether you are the rebellious Fight Club & The Matrix fan or recently unemployed or retired person, this might be perfect for you if your eyes light up at the thought of earning income with just a laptop and a WiFi connection.
The traditional employee is required to work inside the same building and the thought of taking a vacation to some exotic resort is usually a distant dream.
So what is a digital nomad exactly?
Well, what if we flip that equation on its head?
A 2019 study shows 7.3 million people already consider themselves to be digital nomads.
This isn’t a new thing or a fad.
The phrase is made up of two powerful ideas fused into one: digital as in “using the internet”. And nomads as in “not tied to a physical location”.
Therefore, a digital nomad lifestyle is a way of making a real living through the internet — money in your bank account — while simultaneously living an adventurous life of travel.
As I’ll explain in the sections below, being location independent opens up possibilities to use the world as your “office”. Done right, it shouldn’t feel like work anymore. It should feel, well… like freedom!
There are great benefits as well as some pitfalls to avoid when you choose this lifestyle so read on, my friend!
Is a Digital Nomad Lifestyle for You?
Let’s be clear: if you currently have no steady job or income source, I don’t recommend jumping into the digital nomad lifestyle until your finances are both sufficient and not undergoing a roller coaster ride. Personally, I found the training to live a life of freedom because it had always appealed to me. However…
… a digital nomad lifestyle is not glorified homelessness or vagabonding, although half of the 7.3 million people who consider themselves digital nomads are doing it part-time. Unlike the van life movement, you actually have a home base to which you return.
Everything begins with shifting your mindset away from being an employee and towards being your own boss.
Now, if you are married with children, this lifestyle is not likely easy to pull off — especially not the “nomad” part. Kids need to attend school regularly and it’s healthier for them to have friends they play with frequently.
On the other hand, if you were recently unemployed or already retired and looking for ways to supplement your income and have nothing to weigh you down, you’re the kind of person more likely to succeed and enjoy this new lifestyle.
The philosophy behind being a digital nomad is breaking the chains of a desk job in order to travel year-round.
Digital Nomad Lifestyle Pitfalls to Avoid
There’s a reason only half of the digital nomads are able to do it full time.
Colleges don’t teach it and information about it is scattered all over the internet. You need a plan or system to follow. Without guidance, most digital nomads are subject to the evil “Shiny Object Syndrome” and live to earn LESS than minimum wage. Ouch!
If you lack self-discipline, or can’t be your own manager, you are better off working for someone else (let’s be honest).
For example, if you start traveling the world on a tourist visa but have no income source locked down, you’ll be stuck working weird jobs in foreign countries and getting paid under the table.
Also, many countries still don’t have WiFi coverage other than the main cities. This is critical to consider when your plans include hiking the sacred mountains of Peru, scuba diving in Costa Rica, or snapping selfies next to monkeys in Tibet. Because if you can’t earn money while you’re at these beautiful places, the dream crumbles fast.
If your partner has a traditional job and you are the digital nomad, that’s a tough situation, right? See if you can:
- earn enough to sustain both of you
- teach your partner how to be a digital nomad
- find a partner who is already a digital nomad
Furthermore, because you blend daily life with work, it’s hard to tell when you are in working mode versus relaxing mode. Answering emails while having lunch, replying to Skype messages at 11:30 PM, or skipping your morning exercise will quickly destroy your productivity.
Speaking of productivity…
Don’t slouch over a laptop. This is bad for your health. Buy a laptop stand and get into some simple yoga, cardio, and calisthenic exercises.
Even if you have the money, don’t always stay in nice places. Save your money and sleep in hostels. You might meet fellow digital nomads!
Income Sources for Digital Nomads
If you are used to an employee paycheck, there is a small yet significant shift you have to make in the way you think.
An employee thinks, “what am I going to get paid PER HOUR?” In other words, your current boss values your TIME, not the results you bring.
When you are ready to become a digital nomad (which is not a job title but a lifestyle), you no longer trade hours for money. You simply deliver RESULTS.
This is important so I’ll say that again : STOP selling HOURS, and start delivering RESULTS.
Check out this short list of ways to make money as a digital nomad:
- freelance writer
- agency owner
- sales funnel builder
- blogger, editor, transcriptionist
- online course creator
- virtual assistant
- social media marketing helper
As you might have noticed, these are all done online and you mostly work on your own terms. Whatever hours you want, as long as you deliver the project by the agreed deadline.
Write a sales letter on Monday. Board a plane to Acapulco, Mexico on Tuesday. Get paid by Wednesday evening as you hear the notification while sipping a martini on a balcony overlooking the beach.
That’s the lifestyle we embrace!
Freelancers, independent contractors, self-employed, solo entrepreneurs, agency owners, and lone wolves are among those who thrive in this space.
I hope I opened your eyes to a new opportunity. You should have an idea of what is involved in being a digital nomad and living the lifestyle.
Leave a comment below if you have suggestions for my next blog post or any questions regarding online income. I’ve got many more interesting articles coming out soon and I love to help!
One last thing, if you really want to live the Nomad life here is a good place to start
Find Your Freedom