Have you heard the term digital nomad lately? It is getting quite popular among young people. It is a new way on how to live your life and handle your career.
What is a digital nomad?
To be a digital nomad means that you are not limited to work from your office or even from a specific place. You can earn your living by working remotely.
Digital nomads usually work from home, coffee shops and public places like libraries. A lot of digital nomads also combine work and traveling to exotic places which makes it a very attractive way of life.
Modern technology has made it possible for us to make the bulk of our work on a computer. And this is exactly why we can also work remotely. If I seat in the office behind the entire day and do all of my work on the computer, would it make such a big difference if I worked from home? If we take this principle a step further, would it make such a difference if I worked from a coffee shop in some other country? As long as I stay focused and do my job, what is the difference in work accomplished between me working in the office and working in a coffee shop?
This are all clear benefits for the person performing the work but why would a company agree to this, what kind of benefits would the company have.
Company benefits for telecommuting
There are actually a lot of benefits for a company to allow working remotely if it knows how to handle their remote working force. I will point out the most obvious benefits but there are many more.
The company can save money on rent. We all know that rent costs go only up, especially in big cities such as San Francisco, New York and London. Allowing people to work remotely decreases the required office space which transforms directly into lower rent costs.
Happy people are more productive and creative. This is a proven fact, if your employees are happy they will work harder and be more productive.
Employee loyalty. It brings higher costs if the company has a high turnover rate for employees. You need some time to train your employees and this time are costs for the company. This is also linked to the previous point, if your employees are happy there is a much smaller chance they will want to change to another company.
The company can hire any expert from anywhere. The company is usually limited to a certain location when it wants to hire someone with special skills. If it hires someone from abroad it usually carries high costs of relocation and not everyone wants to relocate. It is very beneficial if the company can hire someone from anywhere in the world.
Create multiple streams of income and earn your money online
Here is an article I wrote with some examples of passive income and ideas for multiple streams of income. A lot of digital nomads have blogs with a high number of readers which generates them enough income so they can travel the world and just blog. Here is an article about how to set up a blog in minutes and attract viewers.
Ways to start working remotely and become a digital nomad
First we must make some things clear, you have to be working in some sort of work where you can do everything from phone and a computer. If you are a plumber for example than this advice is unfortunately not for you unless you are willing to change your career which is not always that simple.
The other thing is that being a digital nomad doesn’t mean your life will get easier and you won’t have to work anymore. You will probably have to work even harder in order to keep your job with that kind of benefits. Having the proper mindset is really crucial as staying focused on a beach in Bali is not simple and not everyone is mature enough for that. So it is not just rainbows and butterflies, you will still have to work as everyone will be thinking that you are just sipping cocktails on a beach and probably do even more work in order to convince them that you mean serious business.
If you are just starting out or don’t have enough work, go to Hubstaff Talent, they help freelancers find remote work. Even if you are just trying to figure out what you want to do it is a good place to get an overview what kind of work is out there.
What skills do I need to be able to become a digital nomad?
There are many skills that can land you a remote job, as long as you can type on your computer, it qualifies you in a way for a job that can be done remotely, so there are no excuses that you cannot do it. And there are many courses out there that you can take in order to learn a new skill.
The other thing is, that you don’t need a huge amount of money in order to become a digital nomad, that is exactly the point of being a digital nomad, you can live for a fairly small amount of money, compared to Europe or US, if you live in a place where it is much cheaper to live. You can have a pretty decent standard of living for 1000 usd on Bali for example. This means that you don’t have to land an incredibly high paid job in order to live there. If you imagine that a developer can earn somewhere from 80-120k usd per year on average in US than 12k really shouldn’t be an issue.
Are there any tools that will help me?
This depends on what you want to be doing. If you want to do VA services you will probably need some sort of task management tool, if you want to do some creative design work you will need a graphic tool like Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. If you are doing some sort of marketing work, you will probably want to use some sort of marketing automation tool such as Infusionsoft or Ontraport.
What can I do to get the skills required?
Get a digital job
The first step should always be that if you are not already doing a job that can be done remotely you should get one as soon as possible as no one will hire you to work remotely without you having solid experience in that field.
Try to find some small project that you can tackle on your free time remotely. This will be a perfect opportunity for you to learn how to handle work like that and in the process you will also grow your client list or portfolio in some cases.
Learn learn learn
As I already mentioned you can take an online course (you can find an online course for anything today) and start acquiring the skills needed. You can take a course for a software developer, designer, system administrator and so on.
Convince your boss to work remotely
If you already have a job that you can do remotely than the most logical thing would be to try and convince your boss to start working remotely, Start with one or two days a week and then progress into a fully remote job.
Buy or create a business that can be run online without the need of physical presence
There are many ways how you can earn money online, not just a remote job dough that is the fastest way to do it. You could become a blogger, a photographer or create a unique online business that you can manage from anywhere. So try to learn from people who are already earning money online, but try to avoid those scams that a luring everywhere. The faster approach is to buy an online business, but this is a tricky one, if you don’t know anything about that business than you are just throwing your money away and on the other hand if you are familiar with it you could just start it yourself.