Though I’ve been a digital nomad for a while now I’m still learning new things. One thing I recently realized is how people new to the lifestyle seem to think digital nomad is a job description and we make our money this way.
Now, you can call it many things – a lifestyle, a rebellion or even a movement – but it is not a job. That part of it is entirely separate. We get going by writing, freelancing or starting businesses and that allows us to then move around.
So why do people think of it as a job description? I suspect people have this idea because they’ve been sold a myth. Often, it is made out as if it’s not of this world. The way our lives are often portrayed is as if we’ve passed through the looking glass into a magical realm. A place where the sun always shines, the living is easy and we’ve moved beyond capitalism.
But that’s not true. Quite the opposite. The digital nomad lifestyle is dependent on modern capitalism.
We offer products in exchange for a fee.
Continue reading ‘Digital Nomad’ isn’t a job description (and how to find that job)
Starting a business in a foreign country is definitely harder than doing so at home. You have to deal with a different culture, language barriers and bureaucracies which treat you with mistrust. So the deck is stacked against you. Despite that, migrants start a lot of businesses. In fact, they’re far more likely to do so than the people who don’t leave their home country.
In the UK they’re three times as likely to start businesses as those who haven’t moved. In the US, 13% of the population is made up of immigrants, while they start 28% of its new ventures. Even more astounding, more than half of the billion dollar new ventures in the US are started by immigrants.
So why – despite the extra hardships they face – are migrants more likely to start businesses and succeed in them when they do? To find out, I interviewed Philippe Holthuizen, who traveled half a world away from his native-born Holland to start not one but two companies.
Continue reading Road interview: Philippe Holthuizen – Expat Entrepreneur and 3D Cobbler
Do you loathe the query letter? I sure did when I started out. And it wasn’t just because I didn’t know how to write them, but also because when I did it was so damned hard to figure out what to make of the feedback I got back.
I mean, there are so many reasons somebody might not get back to you or turn you down when they do. Yes, obviously they might not be impressed by your letter. But it’s as likely they’re overworked, got distracted or don’t need any freelancers. The problem is, you don’t know which it is. And so, often you end up trying to fix something that isn’t broken.
To help you avoid that fate, today I’ll explore what I’ve learned over the years about writing query letters. In that way, you might have a guiding light and won’t have to learn by trial and error like I did.
Continue reading 6+ Simple Insights To Make Your Query Letter More Effective
Live on the road and want to get news of what you’re doing out there? Then content marketing is a no-brainer. It’s markedly cheaper than traditional marketing and gives you about three times as many leads. What’s more, you’ve already got the one thing most people struggle with – content. What else would you call do you call a life filled with beautiful places and interesting adventures? That gives you a massive leg up on your more sedentary competition.
Of course, you already knew that. It’s why ythere ou’re reading this article, right? You don’t need to be told that it’s a good idea. Instead, you’re here for guidance on the execution. How do you make sure that your attempt at content marketing does not disappoint?
To help you in that regard, here is what I’ve learned from a year of content marketing on this site and elsewhere. None of that regurgitated crap from other websites, where I have no idea of the effectiveness but I rehash it because it sounds good. No. Only tried and tested ideas here!
Sound good? Then let’s stop dipping our toes into the water and jump on in.
Continue reading A Content Marketing Guide for Digital Nomads and Travelancers
I don’t talk much about my past. I don’t like doing it. You could say I’m a private person. Besides, to me, ideas are far more interesting than I am. That’s why rarely use my stories in my writing. Yeah, I get they’re great literary devices. But there are enough tricks and techniques that I don’t feel the need to put myself on display like that.
Somehow, it feels exhibitionistic or self-indulgent.
Today I’ll make an exception. That’s because other literary devices won’t let me get my message across. After all, who is going to listen to yet another glib this-is-how-you-should-live-your-life post if I’m not personally invested? The internet is filled to the brim with those types of texts and most make about as much difference as digging in a desert.
That won’t do for this article. Here it is important to me I have an impact. Otherwise, I suspect a friend (and those like him) will follow the same path I did. For, as George Santayana’s said, “Those who do not know history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them.”
Continue reading My Life As A Warning To A Friend And A Whole Generation
Sure, freelancing has some big plusses, with the biggest one being the freedom. I love that freedom. A while ago we just got up and moved countries (something I described at length in the myths of Digital nomadism). Rclieight now, I’m working in my swimming trunks, as after this I’ll be going for my daily swim in the Caribbean.
At the same time, freelancing isn’t some flying unicorn farting rainbows. There are downsides. The biggest one is the other side of that freedom coin – uncertainty. We’re creatures of habit and with freelancing that goes right out of the window. For many, that’s stressful.
So how do you deal with it? Well, being more proactive helps but isn’t a cure-all. The best tool is time. The longer you do it, the better you get at it. That’s down to you having a reserve of previous experiences to mellow out the downs and lessen their impact. So stick with it. It will get better.
Of course, that won’t help you much if you’re not feeling that great right now. So, for that reason, here are some ideas to help you acclimatize that bit faster.
Continue reading How To Effectively Deal With The Strain Of Freelancing
Your brain is a pretty damn amazing, but it’s hardly perfect. It is riddled with innate biases, oversights and weak spots that can lead you astray. Even worse, unlike other tools, you can’t put it aside and use something else for a while. The result is that often you’re blind to the unconscious mental mistakes you’re making.
In fact, most people are convinced that other people make mental mistakes but they themselves don’t. This mistake is called the ‘bias blind spot’. It’s not a bad name though I prefer the ‘I know you are, but what am I?’ bias. Whatever you call it, it might be the worst ones out there as it means you take no action to correct your other errors.
It’s like that rude friend who keeps offending people but insists it’s everybody else’s fault.
Continue reading 3 Big Mental Mistakes Which Distort How You See The World
I can’t count how often I’ve heard people say they can’t become digital nomads because they don’t have the money. They seem to think they need a wad of cash before they can hit the open road. The truth is, you don’t actually need that much. I switched over to being a full-time digital nomad with only a few thousand in the bank.
Of course, I’ll immediately admit that it would have been nice to have had a bit more. It’s a useful buffer in case things go wrong and sure makes things less stressful.
The thing is, for most people the money isn’t a goal. It’s an excuse. They say, ‘how can I ever live that way when I don’t have any money saved up?’ And then don’t take any steps to actually save up.
Quite frankly, it’s ridiculous to let yourself be held back from a dream because of money – especially when you need so little! As you’ll be making money on the road, six months or a year of dedicated saving will give you enough seed money for this lifestyle.
Continue reading How to Easily Save Money For Your Vagabond Existence
What holds most people back from being a digital nomad isn’t the ‘nomad’ part (though there are plenty of myths about that). It’s the part where they aren’t sure how they’re going to be able to make their money online so they can take to the open road. If they could just learn that, then they’d be set. After all, once you’ve got income you’ve got the space and the time to learn the skills you need – including how to be a nomad.
For that reason, in this article, I’m going to look at the digital side of things. More precisely, I’m going to look at ways that you can learn the digital skills that you need.
Continue reading How to Learn the Skills You Need to Be a Digital Nomad
Warning! The what’s coming up might be upsetting. If you can’t handle brutal honesty and intellectually-explicit language, then look away now. You ready? Okay, here we go.
Digital nomadism has its downsides too.
Wait! Hey! Hold on, now! Let me explain! Hey, who threw that? This is a new shirt, you know!
Seriously though, like any life, it has its problems. And though for many these problems don’t outweigh the advantages, they’re there and need to be dealt with. One of the biggest problems for digital nomads and travelancers, as I’ve discussed before, is how to stay productive.
Continue reading How to be Productive as a Digital Nomad