The digital nomad movement is given credence by authors, entrepreneurs, lifestyle brands, and marketing professionals. There’s a growing list of popular books on the topic, most famously popularized by The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. As technology continues to evolve and Internet connectivity becomes ubiquitous around the world, more people will break the shackles of the traditional workforce, find financial freedom and location independence.
The realization that robots will continually replace menial repetitive jobs is an important decision factor for being your own boss. The best way to become a successful digital nomad is to START! Save up some money, buy a plane ticket to your dream destination, pack your essential belongings into a hiking bag, and just go for it! Taking that first crucial step and breaking away from your comfort zone is always the most difficult part but you’ll soon realize that it’s worth the decision!
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” –Neale Donald Walsch
I’ve been traveling in South America for over 6 months on a shoestring budget. I enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle for its financial freedom, career flexibility, and location independence. It’s for these reasons that digital nomads often work remotely from foreign countries in coffee shops, co-working spaces, or hostels. It’s now achievable to work from anywhere in the world! All you need is a laptop and a decent wi-fi connection.
Here are 5 bite-sized techniques to travel the world as a digital nomad:
1. Generate passive income using existing referral programs.
Start researching ways to generate passive income using existing technology platforms. There’s a long list of referral program examples here. Most of you are already familiar with Airbnb to make extra money by renting out your space. But did you know they have a referral program? You get paid every month based on how many new hosts join the platform and it’s not necessary to own any property. I’ve been able to successfully fund my risky travel lifestyle by inviting all my email contacts and waiting for the funds to arrive every month. This is a great way to achieve financial independence. The long-term goal of every entrepreneur should be to make money in their sleep with minimal effort.
2. Stay at hostels or arrange free accommodation.
The best way to save money during your travels abroad is by staying at hostels whenever possible. They are everywhere! Not only is it more affordable than a 5-star luxury resort, it’s also an excellent way to meet people from all over the world. Your social network will grow quickly; opening doors to future travel opportunities. Another option is to arrange free accommodation at hotels using various marketing techniques. For example, I stayed at Trump Hotel Panama for free in exchange for professional photos. You can do anything you set your mind to if you stay persistent and work diligently.
3. Build your email list and actively reach out to your network.
Your net worth is your network! An email list is the most powerful asset available to you and email marketing is the most effective way to reach new potential clients.
If you’re not convinced, consider these statistics:
- More than half (58%) of Internet users check their email first thing in the morning, before looking at social media.
- The average open rate for an email is 22%, while Facebook organic reach has decreased to about 6%.
- Over 66% of online costumers made a purchase as the results of email marketing.
- Email marketing acquires 40 times more customers than Twitter and Facebook combined!
There are a multitude of ways to build an email list. You can create a sales funnel with a compelling offer, get subscribers with a lead magnet on your blog, hold a giveaway, run lead gen ads on Facebook, etc. Regardless of your chosen method, it’s critical to leverage your existing email list and send a weekly or monthly newsletter telling your story.
4. Practice mindfulness and meditation.
The majority of the world’s top performers preach the benefits of a consistent daily meditation practice to reduce stress, improve overall well-being, and gain creative insight. There will be times when you are under a lot of pressure; whether it be financial, emotional, or spiritual. That’s why it’s important to develop a regular practice that you can continually come back to in the present moment when the going gets tough.
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” –Jon Kabat-Zinn
The goal is not to eliminate all thoughts, which is impossible, but rather recognize the thought and let it pass like a flowing river. I recommend a short 15-minute meditation accompanied by soothing music (Brain.fm) to get into a positive mindset before commencing your daily routines. You will instantly notice a clearer mind and greater focus.
5. Utilize public transportation wherever you go.
Want to get away from the relentless traffic in your bustling city? Put your car in storage or sell it to the highest bidder. You won’t be needing it anymore. The bus system is very efficient, cheap, and operating at all hours of the day. I’ve spent a total of over 250 hours on buses through Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Most of that time was spent reading marketing books, watching Netflix, sleeping, and accumulating life wisdom by experiencing the different cultures and living conditions. At the end of the day, if you’ve got a roof over your head and food in the fridge, then you are blessed.
“I love public transportation! Who wants to sit in a car and be angry at other drivers for eight hours? I’d rather sit on a bus or train and read a book.” –Hong Chau
I believe true success is roughly 70% mindset, 20% passion, and 10% persistence.
How do you feel like a millionaire every day of your life? Even if money is still a scarcity…
Live in a way that aligns with your highest calling and work hard to achieve your ultimate goal.
The first question to ask yourself is… What would you do if money were no object?
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.