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A Major Tip for Getting Started as a Digital Nomad

This might sound very basic but it can actually be transformative and the deciding factor in how easy it is to sustain a nomadic lifestyle. Here’s the tip:

Start working online BEFORE you head off on your adventure.

It’s totally possible to figure out the business side of things after you head out. But it’ll make life so much easier if you’ve handled it before. Even Bilbo Baggins had the financial side of things sorted (albeit unintentionally) before he left with the dwarves to rob Smaug. 

This tip applies to starting your own digital business, or working remotely for somebody else. If you’re starting your own business, you’ll generally need a runway to build up a customer base or you’ll burn through your investment before the business is sustainable. And if you’re working for other people, you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re desperate for whatever you can get.

The days of showing up in another country and teaching English with the only qualification being that your mom thinks you talk good, are long gone, especially after China essentially closed down its private tutoring industry in the summer of 2021. 

I see a lot of messages on digital nomad and expat forums asking for leads on remote jobs people can do with no particular skills. If those exist, the pay and the work won’t be quality. It’s a competitive market. The digital nomad community is the size of a small country in terms of population. And it is skilled. 

So what to do? Start as soon as possible with launching your digital business. Test that business model. If you want to for a company, start learning a skilled trade you can do online. Learn how to code and start contributing to open source projects. Get that PMP certification. Refine your graphic design skills and post to stock sites, build a following on social media, write a best-selling book and get it on store shelves. The sooner you get moving on working remotely where you are now, the easier it’ll be to go anywhere.

Packages of instant Super Noodles on a store shelf
You can survive on instant Super Noodles. But start early with your business plans and it won't be a necessity.

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