Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Successful Digital Nomad

“Digital Nomad”… it’s a phrase you see all the time but you don’t know quite what to make of it. Maybe you have a basic understanding of it in the sense that you know they are people who travel the world earning income through internet-based jobs. True enough, but in the back of your mind, you’re wondering how do they do it? How do you become good at it?

canggu remote working digital nomad villa

You’ll see these tutorials and guides on how to become a digital nomad, but the reality is that becoming a successful digital nomad is totally dependent on the person wanting to become one. There are, of course, certain “basics” of the lifestyle but everyone’s experience as a digital nomad is totally different.

You might read some articles on why this person loves the digital nomad lifestyle and then come across some articles as to why some hated the lifestyle… Again, it reverts back to the person. But there is one thing that can change your views of becoming a digital nomad and set you up for success…

Knowing what to expect, in other words, preparation.

A lot of the digital nomad “horror stories” come from people not being properly informed on what the lifestyle is about, leaving them to find out the hard way. A lot of times, people have these misconceptions about the lifestyle and dive in without doing any research, ending up not only miserable, but miserable hundreds of thousands of miles away from home.

That doesn’t have to be you though…

If you’re seriously interested in becoming a digital nomad and adopting the lifestyle, there are some key things you need to know in order to enjoy the lifestyle and be successful. Here are the things you need to know about becoming a successful digital nomad.


Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Successful Digital Nomad

Before you book your ticket to Bali and live it up with the other digital nomads, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into first!

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Discipline is Key

In reference to the digital nomad lifestyle, you’ve probably heard people say “you have the freedom to work as little or as much as you want!” The key phrase to pay attention to is freedom, and the word “freedom” is how the misconceptions disturb reality.

People who are interested in becoming a digital nomad think that they actually have the freedom to work as little or as much as they want, and that’s just not the case at all. To be a successful digital nomad, you have to have discipline.

Discipline is what’s going to earn your income, it’s what makes you get out of bed each day, and it’s what keeps you focused. According to tryfailgrow.com, discipline is the one superpower you need to be a successful digital nomad because you’re going to have all these fun and exciting things around you but you have to be disciplined enough to get your work done first and enjoy the perks of your destination later.


Be Prepared to Work

It’s almost safe to say that digital nomads work harder than people working a standard 9 to 5 job, but people don’t realize that at first. As a digital nomad, you’re practically your own boss and you create your own schedule. In order to maintain your life of travel, you have to work.

In fact, work is the top priority in traveling the world as a digital nomad, just as it would be if you lived at home and were working to pay bills… work is the driving force behind everything you do, ultimately.

Most digital nomads see great success in earning income in these areas:

  • Building an e-commerce site: Shopify’s website builder is great and easy to use.
  • Remote work with a company: Rosetta Stone, PPD, and Redox Inc. are companies that are always hiring remote workers.
  • Freelance work: Upwork, Fiverr, and Guru are great sites to check out for freelance gigs.
  • Blogging: If you can maintain a healthy blog with ample traffic, this can lead to easy and recurring income streams. My blog generates over $1,000 a month for me. 
  • Teaching English Online: Becoming qualified with a TEFL certificate enables you to teach English online from anywhere in the world
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In preparing yourself to work, this is also when your discipline will kick in as well. You’re going to need to set times for when to work and when to relax, work in areas that are free from distractions, and work efficiently to get more done in less time.


Carve Out Time to Yourself

When you work hard as a digital nomad, it allows you to play even harder. It’s just like working a 9 to 5 at home… you have to give yourself a break or you’ll burn yourself out.

Some people carve out free time to go on sightseeing tours while others enjoy going on their own adventures and getting lost. However you choose to spend your free time, just make sure you’re giving yourself free time because if you’re not, you didn’t have to become a digital nomad to remain a workaholic.


You’re Going to Feel Lonely and Awkward At Times

In becoming a digital nomad, you’re ultimately putting your “old” life on hold to explore a new and different one, and in doing that, it’s going to get lonely for you at times. Hanging out with your close family and friends won’t be happening nearly as often as it used to but that doesn’t mean you won’t make new friends.

Experiencing loneliness during your travels is one of the biggest things that people weren’t prepared for when taking on the digital nomad lifestyle… It’s also one of the reasons behind articles titled “Why I Hated Being a Digital Nomad.”

Being away from family and friends can take a huge toll on your mental and emotional health. But the great news is that because your work is so dependent on the internet, you have the ability to always stay connected with them through social media, email, and video and audio calls. Also, you’re a digital nomad… just fly home to see them in between trips!


You’re Going to Have a Deep Appreciation For Different Cultures

Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our own lives and our own world that we forget that there is a whole world outside of our own. By becoming a digital nomad, you’re going to see all kinds of things. You’re going to see some of the most beautiful places you’ve ever laid your eyes on and you’re going to see some pretty impoverished places that make you appreciate what you have.

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You’ll be amazed at the different cultures, languages, and ethnicities you’ll see during your travels, and they’re all so beautiful. From the people and the food to the history and the landscape, becoming a digital nomad has its pros and cons just like anything else but it’s an experience you will never forget. And it will definitely be the reality check you need to put things into perspective, giving you a whole new appreciation for everyone being different.

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