How to Become a Digital Nomad in 2020

Becoming a digital nomad is a dream for most people. Imagine a world where, instead of being a slave to the 9 to 5 routine, you are free to wake up whenever you feel like it? Imagine being able to do your job from home or from a coffee shop. This may all seem like a pipe dream, but millions of people across the globe are already doing it. I know, because I am one of them! Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency. My company specializes in Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Remarketing. I have been doing this for over a decade, and in all that time, I haven’t stepped foot in a formal work environment. In this article, I am going to;

  1. Give you a definition of a digital nomad
  2. ​​Talk about the advantages of becoming a digital nomad
  3. Tell you how I became one
  4. Show you how you too can become a digital nomad

What is a Digital Nomad?

The average human being lives a rather scripted life. If you are a normal person, you wake up at a prescribed time and you rush to your formal job. Sometimes you are in such a hurry that you don’t even have the time to finish your breakfast.

Digital nomads have control over their time

When you arrive at work, your annoying boss tells you what to do. Alright, maybe not all bosses are annoying. But most can be.

Point is, everything is arranged for you; when to take a smoke break, when to break for lunch, when to come, when to go! In extreme cases, you are even told when to visit the John!

This can lead to depression

The end result for most people is depressing. Human beings are not designed to be herded along as if they are cattle. This scripted lifestyle is the major reason why most people do not really like their jobs. They just go to work because there is nothing else to do. Or isn’t there? Well, this is where I come in, so you need to keep reading this article!

Definition of a Digital Nomad

Digital nomads work online

A digital nomad is somebody who does their work online or over the phone. It doesn’t necessarily mean that their work is unscripted. You could still be working for somebody else. However, digital nomads have a lot more flexibility.  They may have deadlines, but they have the leeway to choose when to start and stop working, as long as they meet these deadlines.

Why use the term “Digital Nomad?”

The term digital nomad derives from the fact that these people can work from different environments. They don’t need to have a brick and mortar office space. The internet is their office space, and this can be carried anywhere. The following are the most popular haunts for digital nomads;

  • Restaurants
  • Libraries
  • Parks
  • Trains
  • Co working spaces
  • Coffee shops

Advantages of Becoming a Digital Nomad

So, why would anybody bother becoming a digital nomad? Well, being a digital nomad comes with a number of advantages. The following are some of them;

You can work from anywhere

When you become a digital nomad, you are no longer restricted to a cubicle or a narrow office. Becoming a digital nomad means you don’t have to share office space with other people, some of whom you may not get along with that well. As mentioned earlier, once you have adopted this lifestyle, you can do your work anywhere. You don’t have to cope with annoying colleagues. If, as an example, a Cafe is not to your liking, it’s a simple matter of picking up your laptop and going to another location.

You have flexible working hours

Digital nomads work flexible hours

We have already mentioned this at the beginning of this post. The one thing that really gets to most people about their normal, scripted work lives are the working hours. The entire thing appears designed to lead you into exhaustion. You wake up at a prescribed time, but the time that you come back home is not that prescribed. Sometimes you are forced to stay in the office longer because there is this or that that needs to be done.

This does not happen to digital nomads. Again, it doesn’t mean you have no deadlines. What it simply means is that you have more freedom to arrange your day to your liking. There is no one telling you when to start work. You could even do your work while still in bed or while having breakfast!

You don’t have to commute

Becoming a digital nomad also means you no longer need to commute to work on a daily basis. This is an area on which we have already touched. Your work can be done from anywhere. You can do it from home, or, if you need a change of scenery, from the nearby park.

You only take on as much work as you are comfortable with

Most people feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that they are expected to accomplish in a typical working environment. In most instances, you don’t have control of your workload. Somebody decides that you need to accomplish so much by the end of the day.

Things are a little different for digital nomads. Freelancers, as an example, are free to take on only work that they are comfortable with. Of course, the issue is not always that simple, because even freelancers need to pay bills, which forces them to take on more work. However, if you take some of the advice that we give on this site, you could grow your passive income to such an extent that you no longer need to take on huge loads of work.

You are free to travel

If you really do it right, being a digital nomad is a good way through which you can travel and see the world. We have already noted that you are not limited to a particular Geographic location. You can do your work from anywhere where there is an internet connection. That is not only from the nearest Cafe. In fact, should the traveling bug bite you, you can pack your bags and go to the other side of the world. The great thing is that you will still be able to do your work, even while there.

You have lower stress levels

The normal office environment can be stressful

This is, perhaps, the most important advantage of becoming a digital nomad in 2020. Most people suffer from work related stress. This probably has to do with what we have already been talking about; the long hours and the scripted lifestyle. This all falls away when you become a digital nomad. Should you take it further to become your own boss, you will even have the luxury of living a life that’s almost stress-free.

How I became a Digital Nomad

I probably became a digital nomad way before the name was even conceived. Like everybody else, I started out leading a pretty conventional lifestyle. I went to college and amassed my fair share of debts. Afterward, I started out on my 9 to 5. However, I soon realized that I was not cut out for that particular lifestyle. I didn’t like having to be a slave to other people. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing things that I didn’t like.

I decided to let go

At some point, I simply decided to let go, and I haven’t looked back ever since. Truth of the matter is, most people get to the point where they are just swamped with stress. Many even decide that their only way out is to quit their jobs. However, very few are able and willing to take the leap.

Frankly, it can be frightening. The trick lies in knowing exactly what you are going to do afterwards. For me, I decided that I was going to build up my passive income. Today, I could stop working altogether and I will still be earning more than enough per month to live my life on holiday.

Tips to Become a Digital Nomad in 2020

Anyway, enough about me! The following are tips to help you become a digital nomad in 2020;

1. Plan ahead

Planning is key to becoming a digital nomad

We all want to laze out, don’t we, but life is a bit brutal. Without a bit of forethought, any attempt that you make to become a digital nomad risks falling by the wayside. The key lies in having clear goals and knowing that they are achievable. I am not going to tell you to quit your job in a huff here.

If you do that, you will be in for a shock. You still need to pay the bills at the end of the day, and you can only do that if you are gainfully employed in one way or the other. So, the key is to have long term aspirations. You may not be able to become a digital nomad all at once,  but you can begin working towards that right now!

2. Identify your skills

Though we all wish to become digital nomads, not all of us can be that at the end of the day. There are some jobs that simply cannot be done other than in a brick-and-mortar setting. However, there are many jobs that can be done online. So, part of the process involves figuring out whether or not it’s possible for you. When I got started, I knew that I could survive because I had the relevant skills. Below are some of the skills that can enable you to become a digital nomad. Note that this list is not exhaustive. There are literally thousands of skills that you can draw on to become a digital nomad.

  • Content writing
  • Web Development
  • SEO
  • Programming
  • Journalism
  • Blogging
  • Copy writing
  • Transcribing
  • Advertising
  • Computer typing
  • Teaching English Online
  • Photography

What if you don’t have any relevant skills?

As mentioned earlier, you should plan long term as far as becoming a digital nomad is concerned. If you don’t have the skills that are needed to survive in the digital nomad world, why not start developing them now? Identify what you love and start working towards acquiring and mastering the requisite skills. If you think you can tackle aspects of Digital Marketing, as an example, it’s not too late to start learning the subject.

3. Become a freelancer

You can earn money through freelancing

Did you know that across the world, millions of people survive through freelancing work? That’s the first route for those that are looking to become digital nomads. The great thing about freelancing is that you have the freedom to pick and choose the work that you want to do. And most of the freelancing work that’s available out there can be done over the internet.

What is freelancing

Freelancing simply means you are under no long term contractual obligation to a particular employer. You take on part time jobs, and once those are done, neither you nor the employer is obliged to maintain the contract. In fact, you can work for as many employers as you are able at once.

Best freelancing platforms

There are many freelancing platforms out there. The following are the best known;

Advantages of freelancing

All the advantages of becoming a digital nomad are also the advantages of becoming a freelancer;

  • You can do you work online at any time
  • You are free to negotiate contracts that suit you
  • You work flexible hours
  • You are free to work for as many employers as you can
  • You can work from anywhere where there is an internet connection

4. Build your passive income

Building passive income is one dream that most of us have but very few of us ever get to attain. Passive income is income that you get without having to regularly do some work. This subject is one that I have covered extensively on this site. You can check out my passive income tips for college students. S0, how do you build passive income?

How to build passive income

The following are some of the ways through which you can build your passive income. Note that you don’t need to leave your job to start these ventures. You can build them up while still formally employed. Once they have taken off, you can then start living the life of a digital nomad.

  • Start a blog that you can monetize
  • Start an eCommerce business
  • Do affiliate marketing
  • Buy a property and rent it out
  • Rent out your car
  • Allow advertising on your car
  • Get a roommate

Example of passive income

As you can see, there are many ways of building passive income. Anyway, how did I do it? I have already mentioned that I quit my 9 to 5 over a decade ago. The way that I was able to do it was because of passive income. Today, I don’t need to work because I earn enough passive income to last me several lifetimes. Just to give an example, one of the companies that has enabled me to become a digital nomad is Shopper Approved. It’s a company that deals with online reviews and Google Store Ratings.

Anyway, I am an affiliate of this company. I have been for years. In all that time, I have managed to refer over 300 people to Shopper Approved. Now, how this works is that I get paid on a recurring basis. For as long as the people that I referred to the company continue to pay their monthly subscriptions, I get a percentage of the money that they pay. So, I get thousands per month from this company, and it’s only one company. I am an affiliate of tens of other companies!

5. Turn your skills into a business

Turn your skills into a business that enables you to become a digital nomad

Note that you can be a digital nomad and still be doing donkey work. Freelancing, as an example, is a good way of getting started, but you will still have bosses and deadlines. So, what you need to do is to think big. Don’t see yourself remaining a freelancer for life. You need to start thinking of developing your skills into a business. If, as an example, you are a good web developer, you can start your own web developing business. The referrals that you get from Upwork and other freelancing platforms should be enough to turn you into a self sustaining entity.

6. Network with other digital nomads

Being a digital nomad is great, but it doesn’t mean you have to be isolated. If you do that, it will get tiring after only a short while. Some people think they can get away with working from home without ever going out to see the world. However, that should not be the case.

The entire idea behind becoming a digital nomad is to free your body and spirit. And that’s only possible through networking with like-minded people. If you feel you have been alone for too long, try office sharing. Or go to the local cafe and find others who are doing what you are doing. Find digital nomad gatherings in your areas and attend these gatherings.  

7. Travel

We have already noted that being a digital nomad means you are able to do your work from anywhere. The one thing that you don’t want to do is to stay in one place. You are a nomad, for crying out loud. Get off your bottom and start seeing the world. If you are really adventurous, buy a caravan and drive it across the country. Meet new people along the way. Alternatively, get on a plane and go to some tourist destination on the other side of the world. Now, that’s what being a digital nomad is all about!

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