As some of us are aware, digital nomads are people who refuse to follow the traditional path of a normal 9 to 5 career and a fixed address.
These are location-independent entrepreneurs who leverage technology to be able to work regardless of where they are physically located.
In this article, I share the story and secrets of some of these entrepreneurs.
Related Article: How I Traveled Around the World While Building My Business
Brian Dean’s Backlinko Blog is the go-to SEO guide of many digital marketers and entrepreneurs. To give you an idea of how successful he is, consider the fact that his SEO training business is on track to make seven figures this year, almost 100 percent of which is from his SEO That Works course.
Brian doesn’t spend all his time working on his business though. The online nature of his business helps him to not only travel when he wants but also to enjoy his hobbies like cooking paleo meals, watching NFL and working out. He also travels often.
While Brian is from Rhode Island, he is currently working from Berlin, German. He was in Indonesia and Thailand for 6 weeks earlier this year. He has also been to Estonia, Portugal and a few other places recently.
Brian believes anyone can become a digital nomad. He strongly recommends getting started by reading The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris, which is my personal favorite as well.
Phil’s case is a great example of how a tragic situation can give rise to exciting new opportunities. After a severe attack of Crohn’s disease, Phil had no option to but to stay at home for 2 1/2 years.
“With thirty days to make it work after eight weeks in hospital (four of those in intensive care), I took £1,000 (approximately $1,500) off my credit card and didn't look back.”
By the end of the year, his financial trading had helped him make $140,000.
When people started asking him how he had turned his life around despite being severely ill, he started coaching them on financial trading online by building a subscription based membership website which grew to $370,000.
Like many digital nomads, Phil calls the Internet his savior which saved him when he was “100 percent unemployable due to medical reasons.” Today, he is helping others run their own online business through his coaching business, The Zulu Project.
He strongly suggests those stuck in the planning/dreaming phase to “start something - anything!” He is of the view that taking action and not being a perfectionist is the key to success. Phil also suggests getting the audience’s response to one’s idea, and then quickly creating the product and selling it, rather than spending ages building a product which may or may not sell.
Harsha is the founder of Coupofy.com, which is a discount coupons and deals site meant for American consumers. However, the team that runs it is from nine different countries and two continents. The best part is that most of the team is based in Indonesia, enjoying working from a co-working space in the island of Bali.
This is a team which combines their passion for entrepreneurship with their love for traveling, adventure, surfing, scuba diving. No one in the team wears a suit. They travel the world and have a lot of fun both at work and off work.
Harsha stresses the need to build and grow healthy, known as win-win relationship building. He explains how he went backpacking for nearly three years and met (and/or got to know better) some of his best teammates during this travel.
In fact, Coupofy.com’s only angel investor Doug Scott was previously a client of Harsha. But Harsha kept working on their relation, helping him wherever he could. Today, Doug is not just their investor but also a valued friend, advisor, and mentor.
Related Article: Harnessing Your Wanderlust: How to Be a Successful Digital Nomad
My Own Ongoing Story
Back in 2004, one of my University professors mentioned how he had met a Caucasian entrepreneur who was running his HR business from a beach in Thailand from his laptop. I had no idea I would, one day, be able to work when I want, with whom I want and wherever I want.
But within few months, I had ditched my internship and began working online after getting a project that paid several times more than the petty $26.04/month stipend the internship paid.
I wish I could say the ride was smooth and fast after that, but it wasn’t. What matters, however, is that today I run a marketing agency Digital Marketing ROI along with a British partner. Our entire team works remotely from the US, Bosnia, UK, Philippines, Egypt, and Pakistan. We use a time tracking software HubStaff along with a project management software TeamWork to manage the team and the work. (Find out more about the former through this HubStaff Infographic.) I am not big on traveling but when I have to, the Internet and the rest of the technology and gadgets available today help keep things running smoothly.
The only reason I got that first project years ago (which seemed like a big deal at the time but without which I may still be at a 9-5 job hating myself, the job, and the world) was that despite being at that forum to get help myself, I was helping others as well.
My first client saw me as someone who was an expert and, most importantly as someone who cared, and so he reached out to me asking me to build an e-commerce site for his online pharmacy business. Even to this day, our team almost never does any outbound sales, and we still get four figure deals. Potential clients contact me after having seen my social media posts or having benefitted from my articles that I write for various publications.
One of the clients that we are close to signing a deal with told me how I had shared an infographic he had created and since that time it brought him a lot of work. He remembered me and came to look upon me as an expert and an influencer. We started a conversation, and he remembers that discussion to this day.
According to him, our conversation stayed with him for two years. Can you imagine a more easy way to build relations than just helping others by posting an insightful comment or re-sharing their content?
I hope these stories and tips have inspired you to consider becoming a digital nomad so as to have more freedom, more opportunities and more time (to travel, to be with your family or start new things).