By Juwaria Merchant 02/02/22
It has become a cliché that the Covid-19 pandemic brought in a new digital era, but it really has never been easier to become a digital nomad.
With everything and everyone being online, being a digital nomad is simpler than ever before. Where Covid-19 restrictions have eased, it’s more accessible than ever to become a digital nomad. In the same way that the railways opened up holidays to the working classes, the pandemic has caused a mindset shift which has democratised the world of work and travel — it need not be a byproduct of luxury anymore.
But first thing’s first, how do you start and where do you begin? Worry not, in this article, we’ve covered a 5-step guide that’ll help you become a digital nomad.
Step 1: Set A Goal
Although this one may seem obvious, it’s imperative that you set a long-term and a short-term goal. Having a plan is the first step to setting that plan in motion — so at this stage, feel free to dig deep within your soul to find an answer to the question “why do I want to be a digital nomad?” Perhaps your answer to this is because it’s the kind of life you enjoy, or you work better when you travel, or you’d like to set your own working hours. The possibilities are endless.
Step 2: Hone A Skill
Hone a service skill. Or many skills. To be able to work from anywhere in the world, you need to provide services that don’t affect the quality of your work and are not codependent on the place where you live. If you’re a freelancer, some of the most popular skills amongst digital nomads are copywriting, web development, graphic designing and digital marketing. But you can also be a legal adviser or accountant working for a large firm (who are, thanks to Covid, more open to the idea that their employees work from elsewhere). The point is — make sure you like what you do because you’ll need to build a consistent income with it — income that can fund your digital nomad lifestyle.
Step 3: Build A Reputation
Whether you’re an employee or freelancer, a great reputation is crucial to overcome those who want you to be chained to your desk. Those instagram pics by the beach might be a bit galling for those not willing or able to embrace the same approach. A great reputation, trusted colleagues and steady clientele can take years to build, but in the very end, they’re truly the network that you need to make progress in your business or your job. Although you might begin small or in a junior position, make sure that as you grow into your network, you develop relationships with those who understand your lifestyle, and gently work on those important people who don’t quite get it.
Step 4: Make a plan
Say that you have set a long term and a short term goal, and that you hone a skill, and you build a steady clientele, your next step is to make a plan, taking into account the adjustments you will need to make to settle into your digital nomad lifestyle. No one person will have the same priorities, which means your concerns about how much tax you pay, how long you can stay in a particular country or the legal implications of being employed overseas will require bespoke expert advice. You might need several advisers to confer across borders. That’s where Adviserly can really help.
Equally, there are certain tools you might need to connect with people, resources that will help you adjust better, and research through which you can make accommodations for your stay.
Step 5: Lean. Adapt. Overcome.
This is perhaps the most important part of the entire process. You’ve come so far and you’ve achieved your goal of living the life you wanted to lead. But maybe that life is not all that you thought it would be, or maybe you have family and friends back home, or you miss the hustle and bustle of 9-5 — know that it’s completely okay to change your mind. Most likely, you’ll need to adjust your plans slightly as you learn more about your new home. The key is to plan – talking to a lawyer or accountant early can make all the difference to how much disruption or disappointment you experience later on.
On the flip side, if this lifestyle is a dream come true, then make sure to stay on top of the necessary resources to make yourself more connected to the world.
Around 17 million people aspire to be a digital nomad — maybe you’re one of them. If your business plans are to conquer the world while leading a digital life, we salute you. We’ve done it too and know that the prize – and the struggle – is great.
If you need help in reaching digital nomad nirvana, let us know – we and our clients have probably been there before.
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