If you have read my Future Friday posts before you know I have written about the gig economy and the concept of digital nomads. In fact, I wrote Future Friday: Just what is the “gig” economy and can you get into it? this past April. I mentioned that I know a few individuals that live the lifestyle of a digital nomad, somewhat. The people I know aren’t entirely nomadic, they have home bases to which they return frequently. So not truly a nomadic lifestyle. That changed however on a trip to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida for a quick birthday celebration.
Striking up a conversation
A favorite coffee shop I discovered on a previous trip is The Bad Ass Coffee Company. I had discovered them on Hawaii many years ago and was thrilled to find them in Florida. There were some chairs on their front porch, but there was a young woman sitting there as well. I asked if we could sit there and she said the seats were open and she even volunteered to watch our packages while we went inside to purchase our coffee.
Coming back out of the shop, coffee in hand, I thanked her for guarding our things. She said that she had to fight off so many people. Having used that line myself many times I chuckled and liked her right away. I am a big believer in striking up a conversation with the people around me. She said something in that casual chit-chat that prompted me to ask her what she did. She explained she had her own virtual business which provided Online Business Management (OMB) services on an ongoing basis, or as an ad hoc service. Well, that caught my interest and our conversation lengthened to the point she put her book down.
Her name is Courtney Davis and she hails from Missouri. She had held a number of corporate jobs, living in various places around the country, including Hawaii. The jobs were ok, but she longed for something more when she read the book The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. She took courses online to improve her skillsets. Thus inspired, she launched her business last year. She has worked from Bali, Toronto, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Switzerland, leading the digital nomad life. Her business, Novus Collective does projects for “7-figure online business owners that have been featured in Forbes, Cosmo, CNBC, Elite Daily, and Business Insider.” To my good fortune, on this day she happened to be working from the front porch of a coffee shop in the panhandle of Florida.
She talked about the many challenges of being a self-employed entrepreneur. Lack of health insurance, the potential inconsistency of income, especially as you get started, the lack of a consistent home office. But we also talked about the good things as well, such as not having to go to a consistent home office, meeting a wide-range of new people, and selecting the nature of the work you do. You do not have to be a nomad to work with her, so check out her website and see what she might be able to do for you.
An interesting lifestyle
Unlike Courtney, being a nomad is not for most people. Certainly, there has to be some wanderlust in your heart. But it may not be as hard as you think. Writer R. L. Adams, a software engineer, serial entrepreneur, and author of the blog called Wanderlust Worker provides some guidance and tips for becoming a nomad. You have to be able to cut expenses and live off passive income until you can get work established. You have to have particular skills that lend themselves to working remotely, especially beyond your local Starbucks. You need to decide where you want to go. You need to set goals and make plans and then you need to do. Adams’ article can be found at How To Become A Digital Nomad And Travel The World. Check it out.