When Africans Travel and work or build businesses on the go, we significantly contribute to changing the narrative of our reality for the better since the African narrative for far too long has been told mainly by foreigners and not so much in a positive light.
With the Internet today, a skillful mind, and a willing hand; you can work remotely, build a successful business and create remote work opportunities for yourself and others. More importantly, you can sharpen the global business community by expanding the impact of your work by providing added value services with a better understanding of local culture and markets. Similarly, you can create your product or promote local products overseas, allowing local artisans access to a bigger market and people overseas to contribute to local communities.
The current reality
The first thing that we need to get out of the way is that everyone reading this post will be in a slightly different stage of their lives. Many of you will probably currently have a job or a small business that has enabled you to develop the right skills but you just need to know how to sell them better online, others may just be graduating or unemployed for a while so not even have an online skill at all. So no one solution will work for everyone.
This post is specially targeted at those who are just getting started with their journey to go remote and work online: to provide you with new ideas, help you decide your next step and give you a better idea if this lifestyle is right for you. And if it is, to give you re-affirmation and better perspective of the implications of your decision in the long run towards a bigger phenomenon.
As I sat on the couch on my AirBnB apartment in Porto de Galinhas in Brazil where I am currently co-living with 4 other digital nomads who I met on business conference at sea called Nomad Cruise; I open up my computer and was just about to hit the publish button on this article yesterday since I have completed the initial draft over 3 months ago. Then I held on for a second and thought to myself what a coincidence it is that I am just releasing this article this moment, so I decided to redraft it to give you more perspective.
Two (2) days ago, I arrived in Recife Brazil after a 2-week voyage at sea with 298 other remote workers, freelancers creatives and online entrepreneurs from 45 countries around the world. We had initially set sail from Barcelona and traveled through 3 continents learning, sharing, networking, empowering and simply elevating one another over the past two weeks on the cruise to get us all to the next level of our personal and professional journeys as Lifestyle Engineers. It is an experience of a lifetime indeed for which I recommend that any growth focus individual should go on. However, as much as the experience was incredibly enriching, I couldn’t help but think about how even more impactful and enriching it will be to have had a more diverse group of people, especially from developing countries. There were only 4 people from Africa myself included and four (4) other persons of African descent on the Nomad Cruise and about 16 other minority groups on the whole cruise ship of over 2,200 people.
Over the past 3 months, I have been in 6 conferences and networking events spanning from finance to travel, content creation and lifestyle engineering: and needless to say we often constitute less than 2% of the players in the room.
The current misconceptions
Generally, when people see Africans abroad, we are mainly considered as immigrants (both legal and illegal) and occasionally as elite on a fancy vacation. Even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an immigrant (In fact I think it is fantastic in spite of all the challenges), there is a need for increased awareness and balanced representation of the rising growth of life-long travelers, remote workers, and location-independent entrepreneurs from Africa across the world.
One of my motivations for creating this platform is to connect the average person from Africa with the right information, tools, resources, and inspiration needed to get them in charge of creating a life of abundance and freedom to be, do, have whatever they want on their terms. To contribute to redefining our realities and to foster increased representation.
How you and I can be changed it
1st thing first, information is power, you can learn more about what it means to be location independent and understand the new lifestyle attracting millions of people worldwide from my previous article here
and here is why it should matter to you as an African:
As African digital nomads, we contribute to showing the world that a new generation of Africans are increasingly moving away from the rat race in the corporate sector, redefining what meaningful work means to pursue a lifestyle that enables us to have more control, flexibility, impact, and freedom.
and in doing so,
You will help to change the narratives about Africans traveling abroad only to seek for greener pastures, thus misconstrued to be job takers rather than job creators and complementary job enhancers creating new opportunities and contributing to the development of the local economy.
You will have the freedom to spend as much time as you want with the people who matter the most in your life, pursue your interests and work from anywhere you may be!
Working remotely or building a business on the go will allow you to spend quality time with your friends and family without the pressure from work to be somewhere else. You can stay home for as long as your heart wants; having the luxury of time to attend all the social gatherings you so desires; babysitting, cooking and hosting dinners; all without the rush of getting to the office or to be anywhere else.
When I wrote this section of the article in Sept, I was sitting in Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja Nigeria, having been home for over a month to spend time with my family and friends. Previously, I have never experienced this level of freedom and peace, where I am not in a hurry to go somewhere else or do something else other than what I was doing.
I had the liberty to cancel a trip to Liberia I had planned earlier to spend more time at home with my mom. I witnessed by big brother got married and my kid brother wore his first suit to his Junior high Prom and watch him show us some of his dance moves the night after.
I was there for my sister when she had her second child and had the time to catch up on all the gist with my homies.
Thus, I can say this with full conviction that if you put in the work, have patience with your process, keep learning and applying what you have learned, keep testing strategies by trial and error and learning from your mistakes and that of others: If you stay consistent to building your business or transitioning your day work to remote work so that you can become a digital nomad: You will get to a point where you can spend time with those who matter the most to you without the need to rush or pressure to attend to something at work or be somewhere else.
Becoming a digital nomad will make you more accountable and self-disciplined
Whether you are a remote worker or remote business owner, being location independent forces you to be more self-discipline to stay on track with your personal and professional commitments, because you may not have a boss to tell you what to do or when to do it. Thus it can help you become more productive and value-focused rather than just numbers of hours spent working.
You can work with existing brands to promote inclusiveness and foster an increased representation and awareness of your heritage.
Having the freedom to work and live anywhere affords you the opportunity to go places and be in room you typically would have no business being in; you will have the flexibility of working with brands and organizations that often have few or no diversity prior to your engagement, especially if you are a freelancer or an influencer of some sort. Glographic, Spirited pursuit and Trevor Stuurman are excellent examples of people who have done this.
As a digital nomad entrepreneur, your global experience can enable you to build a stronger and more successful brand
Traveling to places around will allow you to have a better glimpse into the business, cultural environment and the behaviors of people in the markets that you could potentially scale your products or expand the reach of your service to. You will be able to tailor your products and services and more importantly your marketing message to be more emotionally connecting to your potential clients in those markets.
When you become a digital nomad, you have the freedom to keep traveling to discover new cultures, places, food, and people without worrying excessively of running out of money:
Traveling for a long time can be expensive, especially when you have saved to do so. Saving is not enough to keep you going, although they are many ways to travel on a budget and live frugally ( stay tuned to future articles here). However, when you are traveling as a digital nomad, you need to maintain a level of financial health to maintain mental health to keep enjoying your adventure.
Working remotely with a firm, freelancing or building your business profitably will allow you the peace of mind and flexibility to travel or stay at a place for however long your visa allows you in the country you are visiting without worrying about running out of money. Thus becoming a digital nomad can give you the financial stability to keep going after the things and places that set your heart on fire. It’s important to note that this wouldn’t happen overnight without consistency and continuous dedication to personal growth and craft mastery. So set your expectations right!
You will inspire a new generation of highly skilled and self-reliant young African that will go out to discover the world and build the lifestyle they desire
Nothing beats inspiration than becoming your inspiration!
By becoming a digital nomad entrepreneur or remote worker (plus sharing your experience, lol which you can here ), you will inspire people who may otherwise feel the disadvantage to know that they too can create a life they love.
They will be inspired to believe that they too can travel the world without being extremely rich or becoming a celebrity. Together we can inspire others to build a more fulfilling life outside of what they have been programmed to be the only route. Consequently, we will all create a movement that empowers people economically and socially to be free and fulfilled.
You will have the opportunity to tap into a global network of some of the most open-minded, driven and selfless people you will ever meet.
I can say this for sure, especially just coming down from a two (2) weeks business conference at sea with Nomad Cruise Tribe. Certainly, this is not a regular gathering. The level of openness and willingness to simply empower and uplift one another is very rare. And I will tell you this, being location independent will enable you to meet and work together with the most incredible people, you may never have had the privilege of meeting had you been sitting at home and commuting daily to your normal 9-5 job. I mean no disrespect but very few companies/communities seem to have this culture of extreme and genuine openness. Don’t take my word for it. Dare to experience it yourself!
You will expand the impact of your work and in doing have the opportunity to show your work ethic and deliver black excellence worldwide
For freelancers , providing your services to varying organizations in different sectors and countries; gives you a broad array of experience and can enable you to figure out what sector you enjoy working in the most and your skill has the most impact in ; allowing you to become an expert yet still having the flexibility to occasional add value in other industries.
For remote workers, becoming a digital nomad will enable you to travel the world more often to experience other cultures (if traveling is your thing ), it will allow you to spend time with the people and work on other projects that matter the most in your life.
For online entrepreneurs, you can expand your clientele base, test your business ideas in other countries, expand the reach of the impacts of your work and potentially build a global network of partners for your business.
MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION
Curious about how to make the transition into becoming a digital nomad?
Bookmark this section of blog URL here, Stay glued and check back in every Monday and Thursday as we plan to share more tips, how-tos, my experiences and stories of other Nomads for you to gain clarity and draw inspiration to get you started on your journey.
With that, you are on your way to becoming a digital nomad and start living the life of your dreams! Have you heard of the concept of Digital Nomadness before this article? Have you met or know of an African Digital Nomad? Let me know what you would add or what other questions you may have.
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