The rise of the digital nomad has been swift. But it’s not just backpackers heeding the call. Thanks to technology, there’s a thriving global community of freelancers, online entrepreneurs, and business owners working remotely – all around the world.
It’s easy to see why. As a digital nomad, you get to create how, when and where you work. All you need is an Internet connection, a computer, and a healthy love of travelling. If this sounds like you, here are some extra compelling reasons to make the leap.
1. New countries. New perspectives.
We all know that travelling is good for you. It opens you up to new cultures, new experiences, and new ways of thinking. In turn, this helps you think about the way you’re living your life, and how you can make it better. Let’s just say that it’s transformative – in more ways than one.
But travelling isn’t just great for personal growth – it can also work wonders in your professional life. Immersing yourself in different cultures can give you new perspectives on how to build your business, brand or services. If you can tap into the way other communities think, you can develop your work to fit. You’ll also meet new people all the time, who might just have the kind of skills you need to diversify.
Working remotely can also change the way you think about business – particularly when it comes to finances. Think of this way, if you’re sipping lattes from a co-working space in Budapest, you’re not paying for an expensive office back home. And if you’ve got a team of digital nomads working for you – neither are they. When you’re saving on overheads, you’re actually giving yourself more freedom to focus on your work.
2. You’ll learn to trust your employees
Founder and CEO of Navigoe Scott Leonard said it best, “If your business relies solely on its CEO, there’s something wrong with it. A fundamental trait of ‘the liberated CEO’ is to trust in the capabilities of employees when you’re not there.” With that in mind, Leonard packed up his family and spent three years sailing the world on a boat, managing his firm at the same time.
This might sound crazy to some people, but to Leonard and his team, it made perfect sense. Not only did they make it work – they actually grew the business. If you’re thinking of ditching the office and setting sail (metaphorically), then there’s a lot to be learned from Leonard’s story.
For one, becoming a digital nomad means rethinking the idea of leadership. Rather than having a ‘captain’ always leading the troops, you’ll learn it’s more about creating a community, and trusting in the collective power of the people you’re employing. This kind of culture is already popular with tech startups, where people from all corners of the globe rally together to work on projects. If you start putting more trust in your people, you’ll find more freedom to focus on the work.
3. Escaping the corporate life to work on your terms
To be honest, the 9-5 grind isn’t for everyone. Some people thrive on it, some people can’t stand it. If you’re feeling like a captive in a cubicle, or you’re ready to quit the rat race, becoming a digital nomad could be the answer.
These days, we don’t have to be chained to our desk. Most tech startups and online entrepreneurs already understand this. But if you’re thinking that your skills aren’t suited for a life on the move, you might be surprised.
Corporate lawyer Jodi Ettenberg decided to quit her job and go travelling for a year. After seeing the world, she started a blog about her travels called Legal Nomads. Today, this website has grown into a business, in which she writes about food and travel, does social media consulting, and speaks to hungry audiences all around the world. Not bad right?
If you’re unhappy at work, your boss is doing your head in, or you simply want to change things up a bit, it’s definitely worth rethinking the corporate lifestyle. Just do your research, think about ways you can work remotely, and instead of flicking through Google images of Thailand’s beaches – make some plans to get there!
4. Be your own boss
When it comes down it, being a digital nomad gives you the chance to be your own boss. It doesn’t matter if you’re a creative freelancer, founder of a tech startup, or in charge of a small business, there’s so much value in having more control of your work schedule and being wherever you want.
Working for yourself teaches you a lot about business – from your emotional and creative capacity, to your ability to execute your vision. Of course, there are ups and downs, but that’s also one of the best parts. Plus, if you’re delegating tasks from a villa in Chiang Mai, the stressful times won’t feel so bad.
Now’s the time
The internet allows us to work almost anywhere in the world (yep, even the South Pole). While becoming a digital nomad might sound a little risky, if done right, the challenges are totally worth it. Because the truth is, working remotely has never been easier. The hardest part is simply taking that first step and deciding where to go.