A lot of people keep asking me what I do for a living, how and why I do it. In this post, I’d like to discuss the idea of working and travelling at the same time. It may not be new for people who call themselves digital nomads or simply ones who cannot live without travelling and exploring the world, but for the rest of you who endure the daily grind, read on.
The most part of our lives is work, work, work and then once or twice a year we take a vacation. When I was still working in London I asked myself why I could not redesign my lifestyle to have more time, explore more and basically change the pattern of life to be work, vacation, work, vacation, work, vacation and you can guess how it continues.
At the time of writing this post, I was staying in Budapest, Hungary, with plans to go to Asia later this year with a one-way ticket. I am Tomas, a freelance designer and blogger running Despreneur and Refe from my laptop and this is what I have to say.
The right mindset
It all starts with the right mindset. You have to understand that a changing lifestyle will require sacrifices and determination to achieve your goals in order to live like a nomad.
How to get started? First of all, you need to realise that you need much less than you actually have (now thoughts that you have nothing come to your mind but you’re wrong). You don’t need three coffee cups, seven favourite t-shirts, or 10 pairs of shoes that you never wear.
For girls, changing your lifestyle and mindset might be harder as you take three suitcases full of clothes and other useless stuff for a two-day trip. Nonetheless, I’ve met a lot of girl travellers who have even less stuff than me, so it is realistic and achievable.
Another important thing to understand is that your life is made up of experiences, feelings and memories — not stupid physical things that clutter your mind, take up space and block you from moving on as you find it hard to let go.
Become a creator, learn, write, share, teach and try to experience everything in life so you don’t need things around you to be happy. One day you will die, and your things will die with you unless you create. Your work that is shared with others will live forever.
Create more, consume less. By adopting this mindset, you will learn to save money, create more art, write, contribute to the community and give more of yourself instead of passively consuming mass production and spending money on things you don’t need.
Things will make you happy but just for a short period of time.
Last but not least, you are capable of becoming anything you can imagine, with the right mindset and attitude you can live any lifestyle you want and a digital nomad lifestyle is no rocket science.
Money, money, money
So, now that you understand that you need to declutter your life and get rid of the things to travel and live a nomadic lifestyle, where do you get the money to do so? Sadly, it is a vital asset for a digital nomad (and everyone else), but there are tons of ways to make money.
You’ve got all the stuff you don’t need that was dragging you down and taking up space around you. Sell the stuff. If no one buys it, make it really cheap, if that doesn’t work either, give it all away for free to people in need. You’ll get some luck points in the future for doing good.
Next, figure out how you can make money. Saving up is one of the options, I usually save money by limiting eating out and partying and not buying s**t that I don’t really need — like a new case for an iPhone, a new t-shirt or that pair of beautiful electric green Nike sneakers (if you buy them for me I don’t mind).
It is sad to admit, but you will not make enough money to support yourself on the road just by saving up money. You need to find a way to make money and make it anywhere you go. Most digital nomads are freelancers, remote employees or run their own businesses.
So, how to make money?
One of the solutions is learning a skill. It can be copywriting, design, development, consulting, photography, sound engineering, video editing.
There are numerous websites and communities that will help you in acquiring a new skill that cost nothing or a couple dollars a month. To name a few, I would recommend checking Udemy, Coursera, Tuts+, Codecademy and Treehouse.
These organisations have leading teachers and the highest-quality courses that lead to great career opportunities.
Taking up a course and learning at your own pace will take three-six months to get to a level that you’ll be good enough for people to hire you. So this option is great if you are still stuck in your job and want to prepare for the life-changing experience.
Another, longer way to make money is to start your own business. Simply put, business is all about solving people’s problems. If you can identify a problem you have yourself, or know someone who has, try to come up with a solution. Validate your idea by talking to people with the same problem and try to sell it. Focus on building an online business so you won’t be dependent on physical location (opening a shoe store or cafe are not the best choices).
Most of the time, a business will take around one-two years to become profitable for you to quit your job and fully focus on it.
So now you got the skills you want to make money. How do you do that?
Freelancing is basically running a one-person business. You will have to wear many hats to become a successful freelancer. If you are a designer, for example, you will need to learn marketing, accounting, selling and do the actual design work at the same time. At the very beginning, it may be really hard and stressful so start small and work your ass off.
Also Read: How tomorrow works
Getting clients when you are totally new might be really hard. To begin your career and land your first job ask your friends, acquaintances, if they or anyone they know need your services. Word of mouth is very powerful and almost always guarantees you a job.
If you don’t find anyone, you can work with from your connections try online platforms that connect freelancers with clients. These are the biggest freelance portals: Freelancer, Guru, oDesk and Elance.
There are thousands of projects going on and millions of freelancers competing. It may be hard to get a job there, but you have to start somewhere to build up your reputation, expand your network and get the needed experience.
To level up in freelancing, you need to provide top-notch quality and most important be nice to the people you are doing business with.
Be nice and connect with people
Don’t be a jerk, nobody likes one. You need to think about giving and only then taking. It may be hard to change your mindset and walk that extra mile for everyone you meet, but that does wonders in the long-term. Even if you give and help people that you will never meet, you once again get luck points.
For all of the things and opportunities I have today, I need to thank my connections from school, academy, basketball mates, random people from the bar, friendly folks from the Internet and many more.
Most of the time it’s just common sense, but I need to remind myself that everyone is fighting a hard battle on this earth trying to live up their dreams. Here is a quote from one of my favourite books How to Win Friends and Influence People:
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” ― Dale Carnegie
When talking or connecting with people think about how you can provide them value instead of trying to use their status or network to achieve your goals.
What are luck points? I believe in karma and in doing good. What you do to the world comes back to you. If you give away some stuff, help a random person, connect with someone online and do a favour, it will lead into unexpected luck.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
So once you hit the road and start living your dream you will experience luck on your side when you desperately need it. I know I did.
Written in Budapest, Hungary.
This post has been republished from Medium.
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