Before the advent of internet, you needed to invest a ton of capital into a brick and mortar business to succeed. In contrast, today’s digital nomad leverages technology to design a lifestyle that allows remote working and the ability to live wherever they so desire.
Nowadays, with the rise of the internet, you can run an online business from the comforts of your own home. You can even take it a step further and leave the comforts of home behind for a location independent lifestyle. For the past two years, I have witnessed how this lifestyle has shaped my business and my personal life. Here’s a look at six advantages that I’ve experienced along the way.
1. Work from wherever
If you’re just starting out and need to improve your cost of living and invest more money into your business, you can easily move to regions that suit your needs (like South East Asia or Central America, for example). Many entrepreneurs choose these areas given the accessibility of Wi-Fi, great food, and coworking spaces where you can meet other expats or digital nomads who have chosen a similar lifestyle. If you’ve already built a successful business, you can splurge on destinations like Rome or Paris! Either way, being location independent gives you the freedom to work from wherever and cross goals off your bucket list at the same time.
2. Access a global workforce
As a location independent entrepreneur you don’t have a single office location where your team reports to work. This means you can leverage global talent to meet your unique business needs. Tapping into a global network of independent contractors and freelancers is a smart and cost-effective way to access key talent.
3. Change your perspective
If you’ve lived outside of North America and Europe, you will soon learn that the amenities you’ve come to rely on aren’t always readily available around the world. For instance, electricity isn’t always reliable, living off the grid can mean going without running water, etc. You will soon realize how fortunate you are to have clean drinking water and reliable power. This impacts you personally and in your business as you become more adaptable to new situations and local market realities.
4. Boost problem solving skills
Traveling is full of it’s perks and there’s plenty of opportunity to solve new problems. Whether you miss your train stop or get lost in a new country without a reliable cell phone signal or GPS, you’ll have to be creative and figure out solutions without the use of modern technology. What you learn on the road can also be used in your venture as you see how people in different parts of the world conduct business.
5. Improve time management
If you want to incorporate sight-seeing and local travels while you work remotely you’ll have to get good at time management. Learning to proactively manage deadlines while you trek the Mayan Ruins before you leave Mexico, is an acquired skill. No more time-wasting on Facebook when you could be outdoors enjoying gelato in Florence, Italy at a local cafe. Working from a new city that’s rich in cultural opportunities can make you a lot more productive.
6. Improve personal finances
If you’re living out of a suitcase and traveling from country to country every few months, you’ll have to stay on top of your personal finances. For example, as the founder of Lifehack, Leon Ho explains, you should:
Inform credit, debit, and ATM card banks and companies about your travel plans.
Get information about fees and charges for overseas card usage.
Check for overseas partner banks and consider a debit card.
Consider pre-paid debit cards.
Learn about the Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) process and avoid it.
Purchase some foreign currency at your local bank just before you leave.
Avoid Cash-to-Cash machines, and more.
Living a minimalist lifestyle, especially if you are a new entrepreneur, will impact your business expenses as you look to make better financial decisions. You will become better at asking yourself, “Is this actually worth it and necessary?”
Being a digital nomad and living a location independent lifestyle isn’t for everyone. If you decide to take the leap, it can be achieved in many different ways. Do what feels right for you, and your business can benefit from your newfound lifestyle and experiences.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Virginie Carmichael is a web designer for young and creative entrepreneurs. She started her business CityGirl’s Design less than a year ago, while she was traveling the world with her boyfriend. Connect with @citygirlsdesign on Twitter.