My Digital Nomad Experience
My goal 3 years ago when I launched my website and started writing my book was to become a digital nomad and location independent. What does it mean and why would I want to? Being a digital nomad meant that I could live anywhere, be on the move, travel, live in a bus or RV, and still make money. My income wouldn't be dependent on where I lived, I would work from wherever my laptop and access to wifi was. It meant freedom from the 9-5, not dreading Monday and counting down to Friday. It's working hard but being flexible about which days I work and what time of day. I knew it would probably mean freelancing for several projects, with more than one stream of income. My plan was to be a self-sufficient digital nomad in 4 years.
Being a digital nomad had a romantic feeling similar to traveling. Exotic and sunny with lush landscapes and the sound of ocean waves. The reality was a little different. Since "if you build it they will come" happens only in the movies, it's been more lonely and considerably more stressful than I imagined. I had planned on keeping a day job to supplement income, however, jobs have been hit and miss the last 3 years. Fortunately, I have a supportive and understanding partner which has given me a chance to focus more on my goal.
How far I've come in the past 3 years would be discouraging if I hadn't kept an accurate account of what I've accomplished. Although my income isn't yet what I'd like it to be (and where it's easiest to focus), there have been wins and gains in other ways. The website is more streamlined, the book was completed, the podcast launched, the blog is almost ported over. I've taken classes and have met people in communities online that have been astounding. I've learned new programs and expanded my skills. I've spent more time with my family. To continue minimizing and make it easier for me to make less, we've decreased our bills, paid off some debt, and altered our priorities. I do primarily work from home and it is on more than one project, but I love switching gears to focus on the different companies I can support.
I'm only a year away from my end goal, but I don't feel tremendous pressure. Naturally, I'd like things to move more quickly, but by keeping an account of everything I have done well, tweaking the things I needed to work on, and looking into several online work options, it's as exciting as I thought it would be when I started. It's not the stability of the cubicle jobs from my past, but I've traded that for freedom, flexibility, and an opportunity to build something of my own. When people find out I'm a mom of 18, I regularly get asked what I DO to help support our family.
The answer? I'm a badass entrepreneur working as a Virtual Assistant to help those I work with reduce their load and ultimately have less stress.