I’m going to tell you up-front that being location independent is not for everybody. Some of us are lucky to have grown roots in the only community we have ever wanted to be in. Family ties, a job we love, stability, are some of the reasons why leaving is unthinkable. But if you’ve ever had the urge to explore, expand your horizons, or just live a life less than ordinary, read on.
For the vast majority of us this is not the case, as evidenced by the fact the the average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime and 1 in 6 move every year. If you’ve ever wondered what a life filled with travel is like and dream of staying in whatever far-off destination you wish for longer than the allotted two-week vacation, then life as a digital nomad may be for you.
A digital nomad learns the skill to use technology to earn a living from wherever he or she pleases (location independence). And it is a skill that can be learned, by anyone, if they want freedom bad enough.
The key to becoming a location independent entrepreneur starts by embracing a simple concept:
From the get-go, design and maintain your business in a way that your location is detached from your income.
The operative word here is “business“. Location independent entrepreneur seek to be masters of their own business and keep more variables under their control.
Working towards becoming location independent gives you the ability to BE wherever you want to be.
If you’re still working for someone else, even remotely, you’re still subject to their whims and their business needs. This employer may require you to attend certain meetings at inconvenient times for you, or be available at whatever times their needs require. Achieving location independence is really only half of the equation in your business-building strategy.
Just as important as the concept of location independence is the concept of TIME FREEDOM.
It may sound cliche, but time is the most precious commodity you have. You can build an empire, make a ton of money, yet lose it all due to bad or unfortunate business decisions. But you can always fight to get it all back and then some.
Time, on the other hand, does not relent. Once it’s gone, no amount of money in the world that will ever get it back for you.
We only get a very finite amount of time to walk about and do on this earth as we please. To love, to share, to embrace challenges and make the most of it. To make a difference in lives other than our own. To have no regrets, if you are one of the few fortunate souls to have the opportunity to reflect on “if-only”s and “I should’ve”s near the end of your journey.
What good does it do anyone to BE wherever they want to be… if they can’t DO what they want to do?
Designing your business around location independence and constantly strategizing to maximize time freedom, allows you the opportunity to pursue whatever fulfills you. Location independence has allowed me to be with the people I love and do the things I want to do. Your business can do the same for you.
Plan your business around these two concepts and you’ll avoid turning it into a joyless, time-sucking black hole that requires constant unneeded attention and endless personal input from you. This is a recipe for burnout, will drain your energy and make you miserable. Trading time for money is a time-tested losing proposition.
Think realistically how you’ll interact with your business in a regular basis and what it will require from you. What sort of regular time commitments do you see for yourself, beyond the hard work of laying the initial foundation? Will you enjoy the effort required to keep it going forward?
Work to eliminate and delegate those tasks that are not enjoyable to you and concentrate on working on what you do best and enjoy the most.
Money will always be replaceable. Your time is not.
Keep tuned in and check back Mondays for business building info, Wednesdays for content related to expat life, and Fridays for tons of travel pictures as I do an on-the ground report spotlighting a travel destination.
Also, check out my Pinterest page about Antigua Guatemala, one of the prettiest colonial cities in the world and latest digital nomad destination I’m trying out.
Photo by: Zach Dischner @ Flickr 5V9ZNTMC9M7Y