You might have heard the word already, are one, know one, or have been researching the term if you are reading this. Being a full-time digital nomad since ~2 years, quite some experience has gathered and I hope that it will be valuable to you. Whether you’re just getting started or are thinking about certain aspects of it.
How I got started:
I had an office job at Google in Ireland which did not really permit me to travel…and everybody who has been to Ireland for 1-2 weeks, loves it. Living there is way different. 12 months of wind, rain, and cold. If the temperature hits 20°C, we’d be close to a heatwave. This was the point when I knew that the weather was crucial to my happiness in life, and I had set the intention to spent most of my life in warm areas…eventually going somewhere cold for skiing, but I’m pretty happy with just a t-shirt and shorts.
What it’s all about:
…pretty much being location-independent with whatever you earn your money with. Usually, this involves a large portion of earning your money with an activity that provides value online. Having started off as a freelancer, my goal to do my work from wherever I want was key to any activity. Would a client approach me that required physical meetings, I usually declined since it just didn’t fit within my belief-system and values. What I do? I help small and medium businesses around the world leverage their existing assets through Google, Facebook, and sometimes also LinkedIn ads. So that they can grow sustainably and have a reliable partner in me that takes on full responsibility and leadership in this area of the company. I don’t outsource any key area of the work since I’ve worked with over 2000 companies around the world and have amassed a huge amount of knowledge in the area. My work at Google was key to building up my expertise and taking the lead in a much overpopulated field and standing out through excellence.
How I run my business:
…I will keep this in the short form since this topic could form another whole blog post on its own. Here are the key habits I’ve developed, all having formed as a best practice for delivering excellent work for my customers:
- I run meetings/calls between Tuesday to Thursday to maximize productivity during the other days. Recently, I’ve also set a limit to 5 calls/day since that is a good number where I can perform well and be fully present.
- I’ve an amazing VA who supports me in all things around accounting, research, planning, social media, soon website development, bouncing off ideas, etc. – she also manages people for these respective areas, so I only need to deal with one person. She’s an angel. If you’d like me to connect you with her, comment below with your email – I will delete your comment shortly after so you don’t need to worry about your email being out there for too long.
- As the company grows, I’m starting to look for the right hire to support me in the core work of my company – but that alone is a whole other story and involves many different steps.
- I only take on about two handful of clients at one time as I run my company boutique-style to deliver the service at the level I want to deliver it.
- I’ve a very strict profile of what type of clients I work with, e.g. no companies that do harm (e.g. tobacco, alcohol), no political or religious institutions, no startups, and a whole set of conditions my clients need to fulfill before I collaborate with them. This is also the reason why every client applies and goes through a 45-min interview.
- I don’t do hourly work since it would be a hassle for my clients and not serve me with how I work.
- I only work on a minimum quarterly collaboration basis, except for one-time consultation calls through Clarity.
- I’ve regular catchup calls with my clients to be in constant touch with them and be able to keep each other updated. This is tailored to every client.
- My calendar entries are always set with the time zone, so that with the frequent travels, I always have an overview of when is what in time zone that I’m in. In general, I don’t do meetings before 8am or after 5pm – mostly to keep my sanity.
- I use Calendly for easy scheduling for my clients or potential clients.
Note that the above are all methods and ways I’ve developed for myself through constantly trying out and testing. I’m a continuous life and business optimizer and always on the lookout for doing things better. So, maybe in a year from writing this post, the list will be completely different, but for where I’m right now it is the best way to live my life and run my company.
By the way, important to mention here is that I don’t work to be able to travel, I run my company because I have a bigger vision behind it for my clients.
On relationships (the elephant in the room):
…depends on what you value. It’s possible, not always easy and if you don’t travel with the person, you might miss your other one sometimes. However, what it has taught me to really live in the moment and be fully present at any point in time. I’m very particular about focusing on the other person, turning off the TV when you talk to your significant other or simply putting the phone away. Because they deserve it and because you will be much happier. And oh, Skype calls become an essential part of your life.
On living costs:
I admit…I’m not one of those $1000 digital nomads. My company has grown way beyond that number and my needs have changed to operate at the level that I do. For myself, I need very little – I travel with hand luggage only and usually only buy new stuff when something broke or I really need it (or I want to reward myself and celebrate). I don’t have many physical belongings (less than the usual person), but the ones I have, I invest in them because I value quality. I’m not able to give you a specific number since it varies every month and merges strongly with company investments.
How to decide where to go next:
…some do it from one day to another, some know where they’ll be 6 months down the road. I usually got some sort of idea about 1-3 months ahead…going with the flow and taking opportunities along the road are a big part of my belief-system. Sometimes it might be the flight price, sometimes an event, sometimes just to tick off an item on your bucket list.
Is there anything particular that you’d like to know?
Or got a question in your head like ‘How does she do….’?