The Rise of the Nomad — Where You Work Doesn’t Matter

June 11, 2019

As the next generation of workers moves to the forefront, a big focus on lifestyle has come to light, and as a result, digital nomads have emerged and proved you can work from wherever you want while making a great living. You’re probably reading this article because you want to chase those dreams yourself, let’s talk about the priorities and traits you need to live the remote lifestyle for yourself by first asking a couple of questions.

Think of the questions that come to mind when you try and chart the course to become a digital nomad; they might look something like:

“What kind of job would let me be a digital nomad?”

or

“Where do people hire remote workers?”

These are questions that waste your time and energy because there’s no magic route or particular kind of career path that guarantees you the lifestyle you hope to achieve; instead, you need to play to your strengths and seek out those you can help with your specific set of skills.

Finding your path by leveraging things you already have a head start on and then sticking to improving them, all the while keeping yourself accountable is the most effective route to take to be able to provide so much value that where you work doesn’t matter. You need to construct an offering so unique that when you can reach out, your offer is welcomed with open arms.

The Importance Of Your Angle of Approach

When piloting an aircraft, just a couple degrees in the wrong direction could result in an end destination hundreds of miles from intended, and it is the same when planning out your business. It’s easy to take what comes or only focus on the path with the least resistance, such as to endlessly be applying for the rare remote opportunities that pop up online, this passiveness puts too much in the hands of another. You’re mostly playing a game of chance, and luck is not reliable enough to base your future around. Remember that competition is incredibly high when the “dream” jobs come up, the ones offering an excellent salary and the ability to work from wherever you want, the fact that the competition is so high means that the odds are not in your favour at all. Instead of using too much of your power chasing the watered down, corporate version of remote work, or playing roulette, work hard and become an expert in your passion until other people need and demand your work based on merit. Without carefully planning your direction, you run the risk of trying to compete with the other generalists or those who are willing to accept a third-world salary. The result of this lack of planning leads to high competition which only ends up driving your price down to the point that you can’t live that lifestyle you dream of, and you risk reaching a destination miles and miles from where you had hoped.

Find your strengths and the advantages you have built up throughout your life and then chase them down and find the ways to increase those skills and ultimately discover your path to follow. Without picking a single direction, you’re going to be generic and not exciting, which results in your work never being in demand.

Think about your past work and experiences, what skills have you honed as a result? Find how you can apply those talents and studying you have accumulated — how can you take those skills you have learnt and leverage them to drive you in the right direction?

The trajectory you pick needs to work for you, something you can commit to and keep yourself accountable for along the way, so you’re always working towards your overarching goals.

Create Demand for YOU

Many people dismiss things like cold outreach as spam, but when you are an expert and are confident enough to share that knowledge with others, cold emails can warm right up and be the sales tool you had ignored too long. To unlock this ability to be seen as an expert when you darken the doorstep of another unexpectedly, you must focus on building the strengths and advantages you have identified and then build them into skills that create demand for what you, specifically, offer

When thinking about what kinds of skills you could hone and apply to offer as a digital nomad, use those talents and adapt them into something you can specifically offer. Say, for example, you worked at a financial company in the past as an assistant; you could offer remote meeting planning and admin tasks. To use an example from my life, if you have particularly outstanding design skills or a background in agency work; you could offer freelance design services and advice. It’s a case of working out your skills and abilities and leveraging until you can earn a living through them.

Abilities, Advantages & Accountability

Think about the things you tend to be good at or connections you have made; what opportunities do you have to get ahead? Find the experience you can turn into your secret weapon for making the money you need to be a digital nomad. When you find the abilities that you can offer or use to create revenue, tell everyone you know and always be looking to welcome people into your ecosystem. Don’t be shy and find what the people you know value, and think about if you could create services designed for the people already in your network. If you’re able to take a shortcut, use it and stop being so afraid to push towards your goals.

Find the immediate and essential things that create the impact you need and can hold yourself accountable to get completed. Not getting those habits and actions you identify push you in the direction you need to be heading means you need to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and say:

“I don’t care about my goals, my progress, or getting the things done that I need to do to succeed”.

That won’t feel good, will it?

Exploiting Your Advantages

When you stop endlessly hunting for unicorns (the jobs that don’t, or rarely, exist), you find that you need to turn yourself into the offering.

You are the key.

Only you can solve your problems.

If you are always pushing to discover yourself and what you should be offering you put in the work needed to build a foundation for your future, the base we can operate our mission of “becoming a digital nomad”.

Focus on the things you are willing to turn up for every single day and turn it into your superpower. Find your advantages and exploit them. By defining these traits in yourself, you stop asking questions like “where should I find a remote job?” and start asking “what strengths can I push and improve to stand out and improve my offering?”

Find the things you already have an advantage on and ignore everything else in your pursuit, only struggle for the things that help get you closer to your goals. By doing this, you avoid asking “what should I be doing?” or trying to learn skills you have no interest in but “might make you money”, and stand out from the crowd in your pursuit by making your own path instead of hoping luck solves your problems.

Don’t Forget The Humans

When you plan out your journey to success and set off on your way, it can be all too easy to be so steadfast that you forget to chart your progress effectively, or even go outside to see others.

You must not forget that other humans exist; they are the key to your success.

Always be investing in your relationships, be they the friends who help you to relax or the customers that fit your “ideal user” persona perfectly. By always investing in your relationships and then using those connections to keep you sane and validate your decisions, you create the feedback loops you need in your work and ultimately, build the trust you need to be successful.

The adage of:

“It’s not what you know, but who you know.”

really does ring true, more often than not.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Nothing makes you a better boxer than practising punching. Nothing makes you a better writer than writing. Find what you need always to be working on and then stick to it and keep track of your progress, it is essential you understand how far you have come and the growth you’ve achieved.

When you work on something every day, you become accountable for your success and can act like your own boss. There’s no magic potion to drink and be successful or a digital nomad overnight, you’ve got to put the reps in and keep training and improving to be ready for the battles you’ve got the fight along your journey.

The only way to get better is to take action, always be practising.

Don’t stop.

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