The Challenges of Becoming a Digital Nomad
Digital Nomad wasn’t even a term ten years ago, and now its a career choice being sought out by millions of millennial college grads. The freedom to roam as you please while collecting a paycheck under your own terms and hours has a lot of appeal, but do you realize all of the challenges involved in becoming a digital nomad? The internet is our generations “gold rush” so to speak, and the best way to tap into this new phenomena is to become a digital nomad. With the allure of passive income, no bosses, uniforms or even co-workers the “lifestyle” generates a lot of attention. Especially to those fresh out of college with an “I know everything mentality,” & “conquer the world,” attitude. Then again, who wouldn’t want the freedom to roam about aimlessly while paying for it with a paycheck from invisible customers on an electronic box?
Unfortunately, most don’t realize the behind the scenes effort it takes to become successful. And the other half get scammed one too many times by get rich quick schemes, to ever soak in the portrayed lifestyle of a digital nomad. For the ones that power through the gauntlet of learning this new industry, the rewards can be more lucrative than any other career option available.
Where else can you get paid thousands of dollars an hour for simply writing sentences? Taking pictures, writing code, or my all-time favorite making someone else’s phone ring?
A digital nomad wears many hats, but most of the time only generates an income from one of their skills. Whether that’s blogging, web design, virtual assistant or even an LLG(Local Lead Generator) a digital nomad can make upwards of $10,000 a day depending on a lot of variables. The most successful digital nomads make six figures a month through a combination of revenue streams. Affiliate marketing, google adsense, freelancing, self-guided courses, guest speaking & sponsored content are a few of the more popular choices. But the options are truly endless. Have you read my 83 Creative Ways to Fund Your Travels Article?
One of the easiest and cheapest digital nomad career paths that is rapidly growing in popularity is becoming an LLG because it offers a continuous stream of revenue versus the one-off rinse and repeat method that so many previous DM’s have explored in the past. To put it in very simplistic terms a Local Lead Generator steals a company’s customers (leads) and then sells them back to the company at a per lead price or monthly subscription price. The best part about it is your competition isn’t trying to compete, the price to startup is less than $100 & it’s a triple win.
A win for the business owner who gets more clients. The customer who gets connected with the business they are looking for, and yourself who gets paid for creating the portal of introduction. Something you can do anywhere in the world as many times as you wish. Follow this link if you want more details on how to become a digital landlord.
Income of A Digital Nomad
It’s this concept or theory that not only makes the internet our generations gold rush but also destroys the concepts of a traditional job or a conventional career. It’s on nobodies bucket list to commute for hours a day in traffic. While living paycheck to paycheck that most times hardly cover the cost of basic living in today’s world of $150 monthly phone bills & $3 gallons of gas.
As a digital nomad if you want a raise you create more content. Solicit more clients, or build new online revenue sources. As opposed to waiting around for your 6-month review to see if your eligible for that 25 cent raise.
Most college grads will still choose conventional employment because well it’s conventional. Plus, the entry standards to become a digital nomad may be low the success rate of a digital nomad is even lower. Mainly because people find out the hard way there’s too much work involved before you see your first paycheck. Everyone wants to push a button and become a millionaire overnight. Once upon a time that may have been true. Heck, it may even be true again sometime in the near future as technology continues to progress, but for now, it takes a massive amount of time & energy to create an online income.
Behind the Scenes of a Digital Nomad
If you’re a blogger you need to build an audience with content & social media engagement. Sounds easy right? But what most find out is that it takes hours sometimes day to write a post. Then more hours or days editing photo’s to go along with that post. Before hitting publish if you haven’t already done so make sure its SEO friendly.
Do you have headings to break it up the read? Are you using more than one “H” tag? Any sentences over 20 words? What’s your Flesch reading score? Is your passive voice sentence structure under 25%? Did you write a meta snippet? Have you included your keyword in the title? Headings? And photos? Did you even research keywords to target? Oh, you didn’t? How many more hours or days are you going to spend trying figure out which one with low competition but high volume want to target?
Now that you finally hit publish now jump over to social media and wade through that superficial materialistic mind field of “look at me,” & what do you have to offer that is beneficial to me right now? Because I have the attention span of a mosquito. Its a ton of fun. I swear!
Constant Hustle of A Digital Nomad
If your a freelancer trying to secure gigs your constantly applying to job postings. Always hunting for another gig so that you don’t have any downtime in between paydays. Rewriting the same old answers to potential clients because you don’t want to appear sending a “boilerplate” proposal that you send to every possible job. Constantly submitting your resume to individuals that most likely aren’t ready to pay for a job to be done. Or my favorite never looked at anyone else’s resume let alone ever hired, someone.
God forbid you completed the job exactly how they wanted it & in the time frame they required, but without warning gave you a bad review on your public profile at said freelancer job board site because they have a rule never to give out perfect reviews. “There’s always room for an improvement.”
Best Skills to Become a Digital Nomad
This list could go on and on, but there are plusses and minuses with anything in life. If you want to be a digital nomad there’s a way & a wealth of information on the web. Focus on computer skills that the last generation doesn’t have or the new generation won’t have. Or skills that will always be in demand like SEO, Web/App design, Graphic Design or photography. Then learn some more because these skills are constantly evolving.
If I were to do it all over again I would learn coding & SEO. Those two skills allow for you to tackle any angle of the digital nomad world including selling them as a very lucrative service as a consultant or developer.
Depending on the online income you choose to explore I would recommend saving up $15-$20,000 to get you through until you find a reliable DM income. There is also no shame in staying at your job while crafting & solidifying your digital nomad income. Because to be honest most people don’t start making a profit until a year after they start. There are ways to speed this clock up, but most of those ways involve spending money.
What Behind the Curtain of A Digital Nomad Life
Being a digital nomad isn’t all beach parties and rainbows either. How quiet of a working space do you think a hostel is? Think its easy to find reliable internet in the jungles of Thailand, or the poverty of Africa? How are you at goodbyes? Because you’ll be an expert in no time. Travel is a revolving door of souls in and out of your life. Some will be harder to say goodbye too than others. While some won’t even be a memory 6 months from now. Others will be your best friend for a couple of hours because they had to continue on with their journey, and ultimately become nothing more than a facebook birthday notification. Then there are the ones you will make a lifelong connection with, and no matter time or distance you’ll always be there for one another.
The biggest hurdle of travel is being alone. Singlehandedly the biggest dream buster of any aspiring digital nomad. Yeah sure there is always a bar, but after bar 712,000 how fun are they really? Then there are the times when you get stuck in a bad hostel or atmosphere you don’t really want to be in. So you retreat to your room and hibernate. Board a bus, by yourself, to a new destination. Hop on a plane, by yourself. Take a train, by yourself. Sit on a beach, by yourself, or take in another city tour. Yes, by yourself. This can be encouraging or in most cases discouraging.
Digital Nomad Mentality
Most people can mentally prepare for the physicality of travel. You know, constantly carrying all your belongings on your back. Walking everywhere, even in the rain, because it’s cheaper. But most can’t prepare or even overcome the loneliness of travel. We are social creatures after all, and its nice to have someone to share your accomplishments with. Especially in the nomad world because you do so much alone. This is where its good to join facebook groups. Attend group meetups through travel organizations like TripAdvisor, AirBnb & Trover. Find a mentor and a digital group of friends that will be there to support and celebrate your wins and losses with you.
How to Prepare for Digital Nomad Lifestyle
There’s actually a really easy way to sample the life of a long-term traveler. Use Couchsurfing in your hometown or the closest town it is available. Pack a bag with all the belongings you think you will need on around the world trip, and book 7 days on 7 different couches. Want to make it more authentic? Don’t book anything until you walk out your door. Just pack a bag and head out for one week relying solely on Couchsurfing as your resource for accommodations.
This experience will give you a sample of what it likes to book accommodations on the road. As well as travel solo! If you give this a go in your hometown now try it in another city your not familiar with. Seven days on a couch in a strangers house with no itinerary in a town your not familiar with will give you a great sample of what life on the road is like as a digital nomad.
Becoming a digital nomad isn’t hard, but to be successful takes a massive amount of ambition, creativity & dedication. Once you make it to the top the paychecks get bigger and the workload gets smaller. Hence the allure of being a digital nomad. Everyone hits a wall though. Either out of frustration that things aren’t going as planned, or the routine of travel starts to become a routine.
Everyone hits this wall, but not everyone climbs over this wall. This lifestyle can be had whether you choose a “traditional” path of employment or the new era of “digital” employment. The only difference is one has a wealth of support, information & guidance. While the other one gives the test first and the lessons afterward. If I had to do it all over again I would have started a blog before I even packed a bag, and taught myself how to code my new website as well as how to outrank anyone else in my market. Remember you get out of it what you put into it.
Digital Nomad Training
There are numerous courses on the internet, and they all want your credit card number. Before you hand out your credit card number start with Youtube. Find out the basics before you pay for something you can get for free. This is the first lesson in becoming a digital nomad. Don’t pay for anything when something of better quality is available at no cost, and before you purchase a course make sure it has a good reputation. Look for a sample of what’s inside. Make sure there is a money back guarantee as well as a group support system to help you overcome those rookie questions the veterans hate to answer.
Once you have familiarized yourself with your new career path and you think its time to invest in yourself. Take your game to the next level with Udemy. You can find courses on Udemy for less than $10, and some of these courses are taught by college professors filming their own college classroom. Some courses are a bit more expensive but Udemy is always running specials for 80-90% off. If you really want to have the best shot at becoming a successful Digital Nomad invest in yourself by learning your craft, and there are a ton of wonderful courses at Udemy to help you do so.
If you have any questions concerns leave em in the comments below. Always happy to help, and remember “Let Your Mind Wonder as Your Brain Wonders!”