Digital Nomad Life: 25 Lessons I Learned About Nomadic life & Business

Selfie of a digital nomad

This week I celebrated two years of being a full-time digital nomad. What started as an experiment has become a permanent lifestyle. During these two years, I transitioned from freelancer to one-man show agency owner, made some mistakes, had some major wins, and learned a lot about working remotely around the world.

So with that milestone reached, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned over the past two years about digital nomad life and business.

Fitness and nutrition

If you are tired all day, heavy, and feel like crap – this is exactly how your business will look. There is a reason why the most successful people in the world take care of their bodies. It is not just about the looks but also the energy and productivity levels.

Action

When we do nothing, thoughts like “what if” fill our heads. These thoughts are poison for our businesses and goals. Inaction leads to more inaction – and then we enter negative momentum. And negative momentum is tough to stop.

Momentum

It was early 2021 when I made my most significant breakthrough yet in my online business. I had been working hard for years to build a successful online business, and finally, things were starting to take off.

I remember the feeling of excitement and happiness when I saw my business growing day by day, reaching new heights.

But then I decided to change place and fly to Thailand. And that’s when everything changed.

I lost momentum.

The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize it at first. I thought I was taking a break and enjoying the new environment. But the truth is, my business started to suffer.

I wasn’t putting in the same work, and it showed. My income began to decrease, and I started to feel frustrated.

The lesson here is that momentum is crucial for business success. Once you lose it, it’s very hard to get it back. So, if you’re feeling good and things are going well in your business, don’t stop or change your location. Just keep going and ride the wave of momentum.

A digital nomad eating Thai food
If you are wondering why the momentum stopped

Sleep

Not getting enough sleep leads to poorer job performance and less productivity.

If you don’t sleep well – you won’t work well. It’s as simple as that. I’m not a sleep expert, but I know my productivity levels drop when I don’t get enough sleep.

Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and your business will thank you for it.

Distractions

As a digital nomad, there are a lot of distractions. New places, new people, and new experiences. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget about your work.

In addition, a million things can distract us from our work. Like: Social media, emails, phone calls, etc. We must minimize distractions as much as possible and focus on our work.

Relationships with people

When I started my nomadic life, I used to be one of those people who were glued to their computers all day, every day. I was working on my business and didn’t have much time for socializing.

In the end, I realized that people are social creatures – we need relationships with others to feel fulfilled. This is especially true for business owners. You have to invest in relationships if you want your business to succeed. Friends, family, and other business partners can all help contribute to your success.

Don’t lose your ability to communicate with others just because you’re busy with work – that will make you successful in the long run.

I wrote more about the connection of relationships to happiness and wealth in this post. Chasing wealth will never make you happy, but strong relationships will.

Focus

One of the things that caused me to lose a lot of money was a lack of focus. There is a well-known syndrome among entrepreneurs called Shiny Object Syndrome.

It’s when you’re working on one project, and you get an idea for a new one. Then you start working on that new project instead of finishing the first one. The result is that you have a lot of unfinished projects and no results.

When you’re working on your business, it’s important to stay focused. Don’t get distracted by new ideas – finish what you’re working on first.

Share what you are doing

Are you a content writer? A social media expert? A web developer? Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to share it in your conversations with people, you never know who you will meet.

You can make business connections and find new opportunities just by talking about what you do.

Quick story: At one of the business meetings I was at in Thailand, I met a nice guy. He was a bit older than me, but he was really smart and we got along well. We started talking about SEO and he asked me to help him with his website. I was happy to share my knowledge and help him out, and in the end, he paid me for my help (even though I didn’t ask).

Some people think it can be arrogant to talk about their business, what they do for a living and what are their strengths. But I think it’s the opposite – if you’re good at something, why not share it with others? People will appreciate your knowledge and might even collaborate with you.

Get organized

If you want to be productive, you have to get organized. This means having a system for everything and sticking to it.

For example, I use a tool called Trello to manage my business tasks. I have a board for each project I’m working on and adding new tasks to the boards as I think of them. This way, I can always see what needs to be done and don’t forget anything.

Getting organized also means having a set schedule for your work. If you wing it, you’ll never get anything done. You have to set aside time for each task and stick to it.

I like to batch similar tasks together to work on them more efficiently. For example, I’ll answer all my emails at once or work on all my weekly blog posts in one sitting. This saves me a lot of time and energy in the long run.

Get rid of bad habits

Cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, Junk food, social media, and Pornography. All these things make us feel good for a moment, raise our dopamine, and then make us feel worse in the long run.

They are all bad habits we need to eliminate if we want to be successful. They distract us from work, drain our energy, and make us less productive.

I’m not saying you must eliminate these things from your life. But you should limit them as much as possible. For example, I only allow myself to watch television for an hour per day. This way, I can focus more on work and other important things.

Set boundaries

One of the biggest challenges for digital nomads is setting boundaries. We tend to work all the time because we can and don’t know when to stop.

This is a recipe for burnout. You have to set boundaries between work and life, or you’ll never be able to enjoy your nomadic lifestyle.

I recommend setting a work schedule and sticking to it. For example, I work from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. My schedule gives me evenings and weekends free to enjoy my life.

I also recommend taking at least one day off per week. Taking a day off can be difficult if you’re used to working all the time, but it’s important to recharge your batteries. You’ll be more productive in the long run if you take some time to relax and rejuvenate.

Invest in consulting

Time is our most precious resource. We only have a limited amount of it, and we can’t get it back once it’s gone.

This is why I recommend investing in consulting. A good consultant can help you save months or even years of time by helping you avoid mistakes and teaching you what you need to know.

I’ve invested in consulting myself, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s helped me save a lot of time and money.

You can take counseling for difficulties you face as a digital nomad or as a business owner. Most likely, people have already been in your situation and can help You out.

Get used to fail

It’s a cliché, I know. But it’s true. You have to get used to failure if you want to be successful.

Failure is a part of life, and it’s something that we all have to deal with. Learning from your failures and using them as motivation to succeed is important.

You’re not alone

We often feel isolated and alone when we’re working remotely. This is natural, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.

There are millions of other digital nomads out there, and you can connect with them through social media or apps like Meetup. You can also join a co-working space or meetup group to find other nomads in your area.

Remember, you’re not alone. There are plenty of other people out there who understand what you’re going through.

Emotional detachment from results

As you already understand, many things will not work. And most people associate it with themselves. “It didn’t work? I’m bad!” Instead, disconnect the emotion. If it didn’t work, it means that something in your action was incorrect; it had nothing to do with you.

Use the “It worked for me, it didn’t work for me” method.

If it worked – Great.

It didn’t work – how do we improve it? What can be done differently?

It’s a very simple but powerful method.

Be patient

Patience is a virtue, and it’s one that you need to have if you want to be successful.

You can’t expect overnight success. It takes time to build a successful business or career. You have to be patient and put in the hard work.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and nothing else is worth having. Be patient, and the results will come.

Be flexible

Business is a dynamic thing. The market is changing with new competitors, offers, and platforms on a daily basis. If you stay in place – your income will also remain in place. It would help if you were open to fundamental changes and fast decisions.

Related: KEYS TO SUCCESS: FLEXIBILITY

Flexibility is one of the most important qualities of digital nomads. We have to be able to adapt to change quickly, like the wind. Sometimes we have to change our plans, work, or location.

We have to be flexible and go with the flow. Otherwise, we’ll get left behind.

Be okay with the worst-case scenario

What’s the worst that could happen? Will you waste a year of your life? Burn some money? Will you move back in with your parents? Probably anything you tell them – you can handle it.

Figure out what the worst-case scenario is for you and accept it because it does not compare to the best scenario – Freedom.

The responsibility is always ours

We don’t control everything that happens, but we do control how we react to it.

We decide whether to learn from it to prevent it in the future or to cry about it.

A problematic customer annoyed us? Next time we will not accept such a customer.

You hired a freelancer, and he doesn’t do a good job? Maybe you shouldn’t have taken him in the first place, or perhaps you didn’t explain the task clearly enough.

Always think about what you can do to prevent the problem from happening again in the future.

We get paid for the value we give

Jim Rohn said: “You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.”

It doesn’t matter how much time you spend working. What matters is the results you produce, that’s what you’re paid for.

In every project I get involved in, I try to think: “What the additional value can I give to the customer, except for the obvious?”

An additional value could be:

– a better design;

– more user-friendly interface;

– an improved user experience;

– additional features, etc.

The better the value you give, the more money you’ll make.

Income is not profit

Income is the money you receive.

Profit is the money you keep after all expenses are paid.

You can make a high income, but you won’t have any profit (or very little) if your expenses are also high.

A digital nomad has to be especially careful with expenses because they can quickly eat up all the income. We need to consider things like:

– Internet

– phone

– accommodation

– food & drinks

– travel

– Cowork

For the complete list, click here.

There’s no point in making $10,000 per month if you’re spending $9,000. You might as well make $1,000 and live a happier life.

Saturday

Because I work according to Israel time, Saturday (Shabbat) is my “weekend.”

I take advantage of this day to:

– Fly to a new place.

– Run errands that I can’t do during the weekdays.

– Spend quality time with friends.

– Facetime conversation with the family.

– Work on personal projects.

It does not matter when is your day off. The important thing is to use this day to do things that will not interfere with your work.

Me discovering Sofia, Bulgaria.
Me discovering Sofia, Bulgaria. Can you guess what day it was?

Ego

In business, ego can quickly become a problem.

The ego is the enemy of progress. It’s what makes us think we’re always right and that our opinion is the only one that matters.

Throttle your ego. Be open to other people’s opinions. Listen to feedback. Accept that you’re not always right and can learn from others.

You’ll be one step closer to success if you can do that.

Delayed gratification

In our society, we’re used to getting things immediately. But that’s not how it works in business (or life).

Delayed gratification – forgoing short-term pleasure for long-term gain.

One example of delayed gratification is when people save money for a specific purpose, such as buying a house or taking a dream vacation. In this case, the individual is foregoing immediate gratification to achieve a greater goal in the future.

Delayed gratification requires discipline and patience, as it can be difficult to resist the urge to spend money on something we want now.

However, the satisfaction that comes from achieving the long-term goal can be well worth the wait.

Good luck to you

I wish someone would tell me at least some of these things when I started my journey as a digital nomad.

But I had to learn them the hard way.

I hope this article will help you save time and make fewer mistakes than I did.

I invite you to take a few moments and think about a lesson you learned the hard way. Then, share it in the comments below so we can all learn from it.

Take care!

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Yoav Bulshtein

Yoav Bulshtein

Hey, Yoav here. I am a traveler and blogger. I love writing about the things I experience and inspiring others to take their computer and travel the world.

About Me

Yoav

Hi there! My name is Yoav, and I’m the owner of Didital Nomadness.

I love Mondays. Weird, right? But it’s true – because thanks to my work as a location-independent entrepreneur, I can now earn and save from anywhere in the world.

Which means that no matter what day of the week it is, I always feel like I’m winning. 🙂

I want to help you do the same. Join me as I explore different ways to make money, save money, and live a life of freedom and adventure.

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