This is the first article on 7 series publication on remote work and digital nomad lifestyle.
It may be a right guess to say that you have seen people online who never seem to be in a permanent location for so long; they are always travelling and you may be wondering how these people actually make a living.
Perhaps you already follow several people online who inspire you to see the world more, work on the go remotely from anywhere and have the flexibility and freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want and wherever you are. That is creating a life by design.
And you’re not quite sure what these people are or what they do; well news flash !! 💥
These people are called ‘Digital Nomads’ and have sheer consistency, commitment and determination to lead the life they want.
Who is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is someone who has the ability to live anywhere in the world, working online via mobile, web or internet and make a living from these platforms.
The individual may be working remotely with a startup, big company, NGO or as a freelancer. Also, he/she might be into E-commerce, a content creator, paid public speaker, online service providers, business development consultant or perhaps an affiliate marketer. Some digital nomads work full time whilst others some work part-time.
They typically are driven by the desire of having more flexibility and freedom to pursue the projects they are passionate about while travelling or living in their dream destinations without restrictions of time, money or need to be in a specific geographical location all the time because of work. Simply put, they want to live life on their own terms.
Why become a Digital Nomad??
This differs from person to person. Every digital nomad has a personal motivation for pursuing this lifestyle. Personally, I am committed to becoming a Digital Nomad due to the following:
FLEXIBILITY: Flexibility is found to be a great motivator for many people, young and old in their quest to become digital nomads. Stress is one of the most common causes of illness and death recently, and excessive pressure from a regular job typically adds to it. It is the feeling of relaxation and ability to work anywhere simultaneously, that has drawn me towards living the life of a digital nomad.
CREATIVITY: This is the ability to nurture original ideas and use our imagination to create something incredible. Also, it is about being limitless in our thoughts. The nurturing of such creativity is a key motivator for many people who are becoming digital nomads. Personally, I feel at ease taking my time to think critically and analyze options available in coming out with new strategies to implement my projects.
DESIRE TO TRAVEL: The travel bug is gradually biting people all over the world to seek adventure and new perspectives to life by exploring new cultures, traditions, places and people. An increasing number of people are seeking for a way to combine work and travel either on a part-time or full-time basis. Due to the opportunity being a digital nomad afford many people in traveling and earning a living by working remotely; people are increasingly getting attracted to become digital nomads.
TIME AND FINANCIAL FREEDOM: This is the ability to make as much money as you want. It is worth noting that there is no glass ceiling on how much you can earn, save and invest as a digital nomad, especially as a business owner.
More so, we want to have the freedom to do whatever we want at any time we want. Even though this may sound counter-intuitive, digital nomads are some of the most self-disciplined people you can come across. There are no bosses to take instructions from and the traditional 9-5 work schedule does not apply in the case of a digital nomad. Thus as much freedom as they are motivated to attain they have the earnest commitment to take responsibility of their lives and be accountable to themselves, taking actions daily to attain one milestone after the other towards achieving their goals. Ultimately, they are motivated to have the time and financial freedom they aspire to have the life they desire.
PURSUIT FOR SOMETHING DEEPER : Most digital nomads became tired of their normal routine job and lifestyle.
Some people had all the money they wanted from their jobs but found little fulfilment in what they were doing. Thus, they set out to create the nomad lifestyle in pursuit of a deeper meaning for their lives.
For now read on, for I know you’re curious and serious about becoming a digital nomad if you’ve read this far.
What does it take to become a digital nomad ?
Simply, GUTS to go after what you want despite the fear of failure. Also, one needs:
Open-mindedness and genuine curiosity
This will take you to places that you would otherwise not have been able to go to. Genuine curiosity to learn more about relevant subject and events can lead to new discovery of information that can be life-changing. Many people become digital nomads out of sheer curiosity to know and learn more about this lifestyle. Digital nomads are open to new information, and they are willing to change their opinions when they get to know better.
Genuine curiosity has personally enabled me to study abroad, go on my first international trip outside Africa and subsequently opened up doors for me to benefit from the opportunities that exist for young people to be part of the work of the United Nations and the World Bank. Many digital nomads starting out by just travelling or studying abroad. They did not know from the onset, what exact work they could venture into whilst travelling and living in different places. What they had was a heart to serve, a curious and open mind, a willing hand, to seek and take advantage of opportunities that exist around them that others ignore.
Commitment to learning and doing
To excel in any endeavour in life, we have to keep seeking information and knowledge to grow. More importantly, we must be willing to ACT on the information we acquire to create or offer value to others. This is what digital nomads do the most. Most usually, many digital nomads attend summits and conferences to acquire more knowledge and elevate themselves and their crafts.
Skilful and Resourceful
Valuable marketable skills is essential to being a digital nomad. You are not going to be travelling the world doing nothing. You will need the skill to enable you to be self-employed, be a freelancer, a product developer or a service provider of some sort to generate an income or earnings. There exist many platforms where you can learn any course that will enable you to develop the required skill you need to earn an income while travelling. Many of these online courses are free and others offer courses for as low as $10. Examples include Alison, Coursera, and EdX among others.
The ability to stick through thick or thin and go through adversity to create the life you want by design is a characteristic that is essential to succeed as a nomad. Many people who have pursued this lifestyle started in difficult times when either they were time broke or financially broke and needed to go into unknown territories to figure out how to change things around.
Self-motivation and accountability
Digital nomads are their own best cheerleaders. They motivate themselves and more importantly they commit to executing their goals one at a time and tend to hold themselves accountable. The road can get lonely so be prepared to keep striving for progress every day even when no one is there for you.
Continued commitment to growth
Successful digital nomads are those who seek growth every day in every aspect of their lives. They have a continued commitment to personal development, business development and more importantly growing and expanding their network to grow their impacts.
A different perspective to material possessions and it links to happiness
Travelling the world and working on the go gives you a totally different perspective to what it means to be wealthy, happy and fulfilled. Most digital nomads and travellers alike will agree that we develop an appreciation for the experiences we create and cherish them over and above the accumulation of fancy material possessions.
Community over competition
Digital nomads tend to operate with a spirit of togetherness and empowerment of their tribe. They seek to uplift and help their communities and empower them through their own stories and experiences. They encourage other digital nomads to propel on. Most successful nomads do not feel threatened by the success of another nomad even if they are in the same industry or business. They tend to see the wins of others as a win for the tribe. They understand that when they cheer each other on, they inadvertently cheer themselves on to accomplish things they never thought were possible.
At the end,
Becoming a digital nomad is one of the paths you can use to create time, location and financial freedom in your life. The good thing is that it allows you to earn an income which is independent of your location; thus you can decide where you want to live at any time without the restriction of being confined in a geographical location due to work or money. It also could enable you to live a better quality of life with less money: if you find yourself earning in higher currencies and living in countries with cheaper currencies. It also allows you to pursue other passions and interests while being at home or travelling the world. It allows you to spend more time with the people you love and be more result-oriented in your work.
However, as cool as it may sound, it doesn’t come without its own challenges if not properly planned and effectively managed.
The lifestyle could also come with loneliness, social awkwardness and inability to maintain long term meaningful relationships; that is why it important to create your own circle of friendships and also join global communities for nomads while making the regular efforts to meet physically with the people that matter in your life. Also travelling a lot can mean that you not as productive as you can be; so create a routine that you follow religiously wherever you are and a time base work system that enables you to do daily focus work. Similarly, you need to stay focus on building a sustainable business that will give you the ultimate financial freedom you deserve in the long term and not just working on remote gigs that pay you for your time else you may be at risk of having no financial stability in the future. The goal is to have the CHOICE of living anywhere in the world and having a home base at a location you love whenever you feel like it.
Still interested in becoming a digital nomad? Great! Let’s talk about why it should matter and the skills that can help you accelerate your dream faster than you think!