What do the beach, mountains, and lake have in common?
I worked from all 3 in the same month this summer. And over the past 21+ years, I've worked from locations as far flung as Key West, Rome, and Nova Scotia.
You may want mobility to travel for fun, be able to move when and where you want, start transitioning into retirement, or to help you meet family obligations. Regardless of why you want it, though, if you're an expert in your field you, too, can become a Digital Nomad.
And if you do it right, operating costs of your business will go down. [Read on to get our free guide “What Every Would-Be Digital Nomad Needs To Know.”]
I've been working like this for over 21 years, and it's way easier for you to get started than it was for me. If I could do it then, you can surely do it now!
You're lucky because current technology means all it takes is adapting your business so you only need yourself, a computer, mobile phone, and internet access.
A little background
When I started Glerin in 1996, it meant calling in to check my voicemail on a landline and having to access the internet with a long distance dialup number to check my email. I always figured out a way to do it, though.
My husband was in sales and traveled extensively and, even before cloud apps and WiFi, I was able to travel with him when I wanted and still do my work. Being mobile also allowed me to care for my mother when she had Alzheimer's because I could work from her home.
Our son and daughter have now worked with me for years and are able to work from wherever they want when they want – ranging from Richmond to Los Angeles to Dallas to Atlanta. And they've traveled to places like Japan, Germany, Spain, and Canada while working. In contrast to how it was when I started, we can now even connect to the internet during a flight. Just imagine the possibilities in 10 more years!
How can you do it?
You may need to get creative and come up with new services to offer or new ways to deliver your services if you're in a more traditional field that typically works in face-to-face situations.
That's part of the fun, though. Figuring out what you like and dislike about your industry and the work you're currently doing is the first step in repositioning your business to reinvent your life.
This is your chance to offer the services that you like and are profitable, and cull the ones you dislike or don't find profitable.
You can create your own new niche to really differentiate, making you the only choice for your perfect clients.
Be ready to change with advances in technology, though.
With the nature of being in an internet business, I've had to adapt my business many times since 1996. That's actually a positive to me because it fits my personality. I get bored easily and can't stand doing the same thing all the time – part of the reason I got out of Accounting. If you're the type of person who's a creature of habit and doesn't like change, though, you probably shouldn't have a business model that depends on technology.
Nothing against local clients, but...
they typically take more time – and therefore cost more – because many expect to see you in-person, even if it's not really necessary.
Some of my business associates refuse to work with anyone within 100 miles of their office for that very reason. An added benefit for them is that it doesn't really change anything with their clients when they travel.
If they were working with local clients, they would be more likely to feel like they needed to update them on their location and that starts feeling like a job. They want to work when and where they want without question. That's freedom.
When you reposition to be able to work remotely, you'll begin working with clients who already expect meetings to be via video or phone unless they're willing to pay travel costs for you to meet in person (and when the expense is on them, most aren't).
Ok, so you get the freedom part. You're probably wondering how you can increase profits, though.
Not only will you save time because you won't be having all those in-person meetings, some of the other ways you'll decrease overhead and increase profits are by:
- not having the transportation expenses of meetings;
- saving money on clothing and accessories (looking good from the waist up for video conferences costs less than dressing for meetings);
- not having to maintain an office space for meeting with clients (rent, furniture, utilities...);
- and using cloud apps in a way that lets you systematize and automate tasks that you or an employee would normally have to do.
Stop worrying about how others do it, make your own way, and create the lifestyle that fits your personality.
You may run into Digital Nomad snobs who claim you're only one if you work in other countries, live out of a backpack, and never know where you'll be staying next. Don't listen to them unless that's what you want to do.
Create your own definition of what being a Digital Nomad means to you, even if that's just working from different parts of town. The beauty of life now is that you can decide how you want to run your own business.
Have you ever thought about how you could adapt your business to work with remote clients? If so, what are some of the things you're worried about? How much do you think you could decrease overhead?
If you haven't thought about it, what's holding you back? You should at least entertain the thought because you never know when life's surprises may change how you prefer, or are able, to work.
BONUS: Text us the word NOMAD on Facebook Messenger to get our free guide “What Every Would-Be Digital Nomad Needs To Know.”