Work and Travel: 5 tips to become a successful digital nomad

| January 21, 2020

To become a digital nomad has become quite a popular career option in recent years, especially now that the technological revolution has made it possible for almost anyone with a laptop and a dream to leave the old 9-5 work life behind and set sail on a work-and-travel adventure around the world. Yes, becoming a digital nomad is more feasible and easier than it has ever been, but that doesn’t mean that you can just up and leave without taking care of a few key things first.

After all, you’re about to venture into a highly competitive field, and you will have to manage your time, money, and other resources accordingly in order to stay afloat, build up your brand, and build a thriving career. With that in mind, let’s go over the five tips that will help you become a successful digital nomad.

Eliminate debt and extraneous expenses

First and foremost, you can’t start this new chapter in your life if you’re in debt, or if you have recurring financial expenses that prohibit you from leaving the country long term. You might be able to leave with debt hanging over your head, but keep in mind that paying it off while you’re on the road trying to build a successful career as a digital nomad might prove to be difficult, if not impossible. Don’t risk it, rather, pay off all outstanding debt before you leave.

Be sure to eliminate your credit card debt, and any loans that you might have taken out in recent years, and then focus on cutting extraneous expenses from your life. If you have any automated payments (such as an internet package subscription), be sure to put them on hold or end your contract with your service provider. Don’t make any big purchases before you leave, because you’ll need to be able to pack light, and you’ll need to save as much money as you can before you hit the road.

Focus on generating passive income

Some aspiring digital nomads will sell their property such as their cars or their home to obtain a significant sum of cash in order to fuel their nomadic lifestyle until they’ve built a stable income source, or several for that matter. While you are free to explore this option, it’s still a better idea to avoid selling your property, and instead generate a passive income source or even get a job as a remote employee at a company you can trust.

The key here is to find a job or a passive income source that doesn’t require you to work 40+ hours a week, rather, it should be something that you can manage as you travel and enjoy life. After all, that’s what being a digital nomad is all about. If you’re still an aspiring digital nomad, then be sure to leverage your skills and knowledge to work online (as a consultant perhaps), while you’re growing your blog or business. Over time, you will be able to completely stop working and rely on the passive income you generate with your website.

Manage your accommodation like a pro

A common problem that digital nomads face when traveling the world is that they simply aren’t able to meet the high cost of living, plus the costs of accommodation. This is why you need to research every destination before booking your flight, and why you should book your accommodation well in advance.

In Hong Kong, for example, digital nomads and business travelers rely heavily on serviced studios for rent that offer all of the amenities that someone who is not a permanent resident might need, which is also great if you need to stay flexible with your rent and the duration of your stay. As a digital nomad, you will be relocating a lot, so be sure to find the kind of accommodation that fits your lifestyle and your needs no matter where you are in the world.

Connect with a digital nomad community

It’s important to always stay in the know and follow the latest trends in your industry. Luckily, there are many thriving digital nomad communities in every country and in the online realm, so you should have a problem joining online groups and digital workplaces where you’ll be able to connect with like-minded business leaders. You will be able to exchange ideas, partner up with nomads that have the skills you need to grow your business even further, and you’ll be able to find new clients or income sources.

Tend to meticulous financial management

And finally, always stay on top of your finances. No matter how well business might be going, or how low the cost of living might be in a certain region, you mustn’t leave anything to chance, because the life of a digital nomad can be quite unpredictable at times. Focus on building long-term relationships with your clientsor get a steady job as a remote employee, note down all of your expenses, and tend to meticulous financial forecasting based on the destination you plan to hit next.

The life of a digital nomad might seem like it’s all sunshine and rainbows, but in reality, there is a lot of work and investment involved in building a thriving career in this field. With these tips in mind, though, you should have no problem minimizing risk and maximizing your revenue potential while enjoying life on the open road.