If you haven’t noticed, my content has a bit of a theme. Maybe I go on a little too much about the whole digital nomad/location independence thing, who knows.
I’d like to stress, I’m not writing about it to show off, nor am I putting this content out there to convince you to do it. All I want to get across is, if you want it enough you can make this lifestyle work.
“But Blake, I’ve got commitments, there’s no way I can travel the world right now!”
There’s always a way and the whole world is built on automation. Most of the location independent entrepreneurs I’ve met run businesses that are built on automated processes. Some barely lift a finger now everything’s set up and just focus on new projects!
I wholeheartedly believe that this can be applied to almost any situation. If you’re paying off a mortgage on a house, have you ever considered a managed lettings agency? You might get slightly less profit than renting it out yourself, but it may be enough to live anywhere in the world you want. Do you provide a face-to-face service for clients? Depending on the work you do, you could have meetings on Skype. I’ve met numerous people who’ve made the switch to this format. Programs like The Nomads Cowork actively promote this transition and will help you do so.
Before I go any further, I’m aware that not everyone is as fortunate as I am. I appreciate there are some situations that just can’t be avoided. You might be a carer, might have considerable debt or there may be a contract you can’t get out of. That’s tough and I respect you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
Many of you reading this are not as tied down as you probably think. Maybe you’re at one of these stages of your life?
You have just finished high school
My Mum is probably going to disown me for giving this advice. If you aren’t sure university is for you, why not explore other paths?
You might think you’re lacking the skills to work remotely, but there are countless courses out there on platforms like Udemy that can help you ‘level up’ in a couple of weeks. Equally there’s nothing better than getting right into it. Sign up for accounts on PeoplePerHour and Upwork and slowly work your way up in a field that interests you.
You’ve just finished university
If you decide to sample the university life (it’s pretty fun) then you’ve likely tied up the next 3-4 years. During your final year the fear will kick in. Friends will be signing contracts for graduate schemes and securing jobs in the city. You may still be wondering what’s next. If you want to build a career but would love to travel then this is as good a time as any to consider location independence. I know the burden of student debts may be lingering, but if you’re committed to working on the road there’s no reason they won’t disappear as they would if you stayed put.
You can expect accelerated growth on the road. If you opt to start your own business you will get exposure to the hard truths of starting being a founder. If you find a remote job, you will likely be able to take on way more responsibility. Companies with remote teams are pretty forward thinking and will likely have no problem giving a 22 year old more to do, if you show you can deliver. Just look at companies like Buffer who are paving the future of work with a totally flat management structure. They want you to progress fast.
You’re a working professional
This was me a year ago. 18 months out of university and grinding out 12 hour days in Central London. You may be way further down the rabbit hole and looking for a change of scenary. The likelihood is that you’ve picked up some pretty amazing skills in your time at work. There is an online niche you can exploit with them, I promise you.
It’s a big misconception that us location independent people are all doing similar jobs that are technology-based. You’d definitely be surprised. I’ve met life coaches, spiritual healers, salespeople and many other professionals who are all making it work remotely with the help of the internet. If you’re stuck for ideas, check out the Chris The Freelancer Podcast to hear from people just like you and me who have made the jump!
You have started a family
I get it, you may need structure for your children and aren’t sure that a lifestyle of location independence can offer that. I don’t have a family and I know parenting is a very personal subject to talk about Everyone’s situation is different. Equally though, there are plenty of families on the road who are making it happen. Especially during my time in Chiang Mai I’ve come across so many families (even with pretty young children) who are location independent. Just because they can move around though, doesn’t mean they have to. They just have the option to move if it takes their fancy.
More often than not, there is a way for you to live the life you want. You may not actually want to be location independent and you know what? That’s fine. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. But if there’s even an inkling of an urge to get out there, see the world and make money as you do it, I’d tell you to break your life and commitments down and work it out. It’s not easy, but it may be the best decision you ever make.