Nomad is the new buzzword in the online community. Peruse enough Instagrams and you’ll see it. Travel bloggers, developers, entrepreneurs… The list goes on, and the questions are endless. “How do I get a job like that?” “How do they make money?” “Can they post less beach pictures I’m trying to survive the winter” among others!
I’m here to tell you it’s not impossible, and you can make income whilst travelling the world. Over the last month of writing and editing this article, I have travelled over 3 continents, all while making remote income from my freelancing, corporate consulting, lifestyle coaching, and Xtrepreneurial pursuits (as I coin it!).
However less than a year ago I was stuck behind a desk 5 days a week working ridiculous hours with a meagre 20 days’ holiday allowance a year. So I know what it’s like to be chained to your desk, and it’s the reason I wrote this article. When I was transitioning from full time to freelance, all I wanted was to know how. I wanted an article that would help guide me through the transition, and hopefully that is what this article will do for you if you are at that stage yourself. There’s 5 things you should do before leaving your full time job, to ensure you transition into freelancing and nomadism as smoothly as possible:
1. Make sure Freelancing is for you Freelancing is not all cocktails by the pool, or lobster by the sea with the sun shining… Well… Some of it is! The reality however is that it is a lot of hard work. It is life without the safety net of a constant salary. It means being your own salesperson, project manager, event planner, accountant, and occasionally, therapist! It can sometimes be lonely as you have to be intentional in building professional relationships, and travelling from country to country doesn’t give you time to build deep connections. It can be stressful when you’re between contacts, and you’ll often have to talk yourself off a ledge when your income stalls. But man is it worth it. The excitement of designing your own career path, of picking your next professional experience, of creation and innovation and the thrill of closing a deal is like none other. Along your travels you will be able to build relationships with inspiring people who are also living life on their terms and discovering the world by Coliving in places like Outsite, where we tend to gather. And there’s definitely nothing like the freedom of being able to work poolside, which I do as much as I can. Freelancing is rewarding, but like anything else, go in with eyes fully open, and you’ll be fine.
2. Do your research Before packing in your job, sit down and do a little research. Do your skills transfer to freelance, or even remote work? Are there certain qualifications or certificates that companies and agencies expect their freelancers to have? Is there current demand for what you do in the freelance market? Start putting together your research pack. Besides the above, it should also include a list of companies you can bid for, a list of online job boards that list jobs in your skillset, and a list of agencies you can work with to find freelance work. This will help stem the panic of quitting your permanent job, and allow you to build a routine that will lead to success.
3. Make sure you’re leaving for the right reasons Don’t go freelance as a fantasy escape from your 9-5, a quick fix, or out of anger or frustration with your current employer. If you think becoming a nomad is all rainbows and roses, please refer to point 1! The world doesn’t immediately change after you go freelance- the problems you leave at your current employer will follow you when you leave. So deal with your demons head on- your people pleasing, your attitude problem, your procrastination- and do it now. These things have a way of intensifying when the stress of being your own boss and responsible for your monthly income hits. When I went freelance I found I had to quieten my inner critic, as when I initially set up my own business I discovered I was the worst, most critical, brow-beating boss I’d ever had! So make sure you are not just going freelance because you think the grass is greener on the other side. Because the grass is unfortunately going to follow you where you go.
4. Shift your mindset You may have preconceptions about what going freelance means, handed down you’re your parents, your colleagues, or your friends who are also in the 9-5 daily slog and grind. You automatically believe you will struggle to earn money. You think it’s not as secure as a full time job. You think you’ll find it extra hard to find a contract, or a client. All of these things are not automatically true. In fact, I have found it to be the opposite for me. Within a month of quitting my job, I had secured a client that tripled my income instantly, allowed me to live in Paris one of the most beautiful cities in the world for free, and to complete my financial year earning 6 figures. And you’ll find that I am not the only success story- flick through the Outsite blog and you will see people doing what they love and making a great living out of it. It is time to shift your mindset about freelance, and remove the blocker that is preventing you from stepping into a freedom lifestyle and your full potential.
5. Calculate your leap. Evaluate how much risk you are willing to take. My propensity for risk may not be the same as your propensity. Personally, I knew that the worst case scenario would be me staying at my parents’ house. So even if I did not secure a client immediately, I would have a roof over my head and food to eat. That’s why I had the confidence to quit even though I only had one month’s worth of savings. I’m crazy, I know! However if you are not in the same situation as I was, figure out how much you’re willing to bet on yourself. Save up a couple of months’ rent and living expenses so you don’t have desperate energy as you apply- but never more than 6 months’ worth, lest your nest egg becomes so cosy you never fly.
All that’s left to do once you’ve completed the 5 steps is to leap! Going from permanent to freelance will always require some form of leap. I know it is scary, but myself, and you see online daily are proof that it is worth it. If you still have a lot of fear connected to going nomad (even though it is your dream to travel the world and earn money) I’m offering a free "9 to 5 Escape Plan" 30 minute coaching session to my subscribers who want to get to the root of what is blocking them and start living their freedom lifestyle. If you are ready to make that shift but want support and a step-by-step guide on making money freelancing, send a line to my staff at email@example.com and ask us about the 1-2-1 90 day course called “From Zero to Freelance” coaching plan (not yet released to the public!).
I hope you find this useful! Message me directly on bee@beewhollyliving if you have any questions, I’m always happy to help.