Ever heard of the term digital nomad? The Urban Dictionary, derives income remotely and online, rather than from commuting to any office" Seem a lot like telecommuting to you? Sort of! Let's check out the rest of the definition, "...the digital nomad [doesn't] need a permanent home base, and she/he can travel anywhere at any time" (Urban Dictionary). Who's up for that life? ME!!!
Combining a minimalist lifestyle goes perfectly with being a digital nomad. Low expenses (thanks in part to my tiny house) I have the ability to spend what I made on experiences instead of monthly cable bill, for example. Digital nomad and New York Times Best Selling Author, Tim Ferriss details this effortlessly in his 2009 book, The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere & Join the New Rich.
Ferriss talks about the digital nomad life and how he's achieved it and provides a prescription for you to as well. There are a few main points, passive income and freedom to do what you want which may include travel while you work or it may include being able to work from home to be a more active parent or caregiver. Whatever it means to you!
Similar to minimalism - there are some key foundational tenets but it's not prescriptive - you can fit it into your life how you want it. You can be the degree of digital nomad you want to be to reach your goals and embrace the freedom that Ferriss describes paired with 'lifestyle design' which seems like a no-brainier in the common sense department.
A little on Ferriss' background, this Yale graduate took a nontraditional path after graduation (took a year off before finishing) that led him to create ways to design passive income for himself as he tried sharing these strategies with others. There were many skeptics but after having some small scale successes, his first book 4-Hour Work Week hit the NY Times Bestsellers list in 5 days and that catapulted him as the go-to expert on the digital nomad life. In addition, Ferriss has other best selling books that provide life hacks (in the flavor of the nomadic lifestyle) on fitness/health, cooking and most recently a book that captures Tips from the best of 200 interviews he's done on his Podcast: The Tim Ferriss Show.
Another digital nomad is Marsha Wright. She was able to semi-retire in her 20s and at 32 is living the life she always dreamed living part of the year in Asia and having the ability to visit her native England whenever she wants. Her success was born from designing a life of mutually beneficial 'collaborative economy' which is also the title of her bestselling book.
Currently, Wright is leveraging her influencer status on Twitter to solidify the weekly #ThinkBIGSundayWithMarsha movement which shares positive/inspirational messages to the entire world. This occurs every weekend and individuals are invited to share quotes of success, positivity, motivation, inspiration that will uplift others as they add in the #TBS hashtag. Providing the tweets aren't self-promotional, religious or offensive they are Retweeted into Wright's (@marshawright) network of 566k and growing followers. While I haven't personally participated in this movement, I may check it out to see the power of this trending movement of positivity to connect with more likeminded individuals.
Wealth is the ability to full experience life. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Steps to Becoming a Digital Nomad
FREEDOM (who doesn't want that?) and as Ferriss describes it the ability to be present-focused and realize that success/fulfillment are the products of having the time & mobility.
So, first you need to determine the life you want to have. Using something like Nomad List can help you identify the ideal place (if travel is in your plan) to move to in the short or long term. Nomad List is a pay resource and it takes into account key items like internet speed, temperature and cost of living as it ranks cities around the world for digital nomads. Even if a city ranks 'low' on the list it still may be right for you depending on your goals and budget.
Second, you need to determine what skill set you have and how you can make money while being a digital nomad. Check out the Resource links I've put together that have job leads for Digital Nomads. This takes a lot of time, as each site will have you create a profile and in some cases upload previous work in a portfolio. Getting work from these sites are just one way to generate project leads for yourself.
Another way is developing solid profiles on social media that focus on your skill set and attract leads or drive folks to your website is another great way. Social media is something you can do with no monetary cost (at least in on the major platforms, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn). The cost to developing your social media presence is your time. Pick the one or two social media platforms that your potential customers are on and work on developing a solid following that includes your work product/offerings and tips with motivational, inspirational, and/or humor (whatever fits your personality/industry).
The universe desires you to have everything you want to have. ~ Napoleon Hill
The focus of developing your profiles should be with your goals in mind. If you want to live in Costa Rica for 3 months determine the costs, what your savings can cover, insurance, and how to 'wrap' up things in your life to allow you to meet your obligations while living a happy digital nomad life. It defeats the purpose of going to Costa Rica for example, if you aren't able to address these concerns in advance, unless your idea of freedom is living in the local economy. That could present other problems - what are the local laws about an expat working, would you be able to secure legal employment if you are up against locals, would that sustain your lifestyle for 3 months?
Joining other digital nomad communities like Couch Surfing or searching Hostels and Airbnb are other ways to find economical ways to live where you want. As Ferriss outlines, the need to travel is not a requirement of a digital nomad. It's about the freedom of your time and mobility. Being able to go on vacation (let's say you want to stay home-based somewhere) and still being able to work, make money and support your lifestyle. Living your plan to meet your goals is key!!
You don’t have to be rich to travel well. ~ Eugene Fodor
To recap, here are the steps to living a digital nomad life 1) Live smartly (minimalism, is great in my humble opinion); 2) Determine how your skill set can sustain your life (start profiles on boards like Fiverr); 3) Figure out where you want to go (this will determine what you need to earn per month); 4) GOAL time! (Set a plan) and 5) Executing the plan (work your plan everyday to get enough work to sustain the life you want so you have the freedom you desire).
I'd love to hear about your digital nomad dreams and successes. We can all learn from each other so post a comment or hit me up on social media (Badass Vegan Apparel, Personal IG). Here's to me living the digital nomad life of my dreams and you living yours!
The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings. ~ Dave Weinbaum
[Disclaimer: I’ve received no money or services in exchange for listing sites in my blog. Listing a site does not give it my endorsement. Most job lead sites charge a fee to the seller (aka digital nomad)]
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