11 December 2017

NEVER MAKE THESE DIGITAL NOMAD MISTAKES

Top 3 digital nomad mistakes you want to avoid
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It all started on the New Year's Eve with a common bucket list written as a joke.

First New Year's as a married couple and first time dreaming of what do we want to do together before we die.
Two months from there me, Alex and Richard were in the airport with 3 small backpacks, 2 laptops, 3 one-way tickets to Mexico (Richard had his own one) and a vague plan on how we could make it happen.

Having in mind only that we want to try this all 'freedom lifestyle/location independence/working while traveling with the dog' thing, we were both excited and terrified of the unknown.

First time in that part of the world, with nearly no understanding of how it would all work out, how long we would be able to pursue our travel living dream, how hard it would be to balance work and traveling and whether it was all possible to do together with a dog.

12+ months from there I have to admit that it was a REEEEAALLY CRAZY idea!


When we started our journey we had a very little understanding of what would happen on the road.

It took me a couple of days to sit and reflect everything that happened with us during the whole year of travel living.

We made all the mistakes a digital nomad could possibly do and honestly I am still surprised by the fact that we made it through for so long.
On our way to Mexico
Mistake #1 – Having no plan

After taking the decision to lead a location independent lifestyle, the next challenge for us was execution.

We didn't have a plan.

We arrived to Mexico 12+ months ago only with the intent of spending a month – maximum 3 months traveling. We wanted just to try what that nomadic lifestyle was all about and was it something we could do in future.

Alex found a couple of freelancing jobs at the Upwork.
I was in the middle of my coaching certification and had ONLY two clients who were paying me 20 $ per session.
And Richard… Richard had never traveled before and just wanted to be with us.

No plan for the future, no idea what we would do if the money ends. And what we would do if we could actually make it through and stay longer.

We thought we would figure this out later and were just enjoying the ride, leaving those hard decisions for the future Irina and Alex.

Apparently, no plan leads to nowhere.

For the first 3 months in Mexico, we were hardly earning and mostly traveling. We reached the point where we nearly spent all our saving and the funds were ending. We had to figure out really quickly what to do next in order stay on track.
Moving too fast can take your freedom away
Mistake #2 – Thinking it's easy

If anyone told you that making money online is easy, please show me that person alive.

Let's face it! It's hard.

It seemed so easy in our head when we began our journey until we actually started doing the work.
Research shows that more than 80% of all online businesses fail in less than 6 months!
For the first 6 months, we thought of quitting our digital nomad trip at least 10000 times.

The bold truth is - you HAVE to work extremely hard to get your time freedom.
The only reason why we managed to succeed, is that we are both absolutely obsessed with what we do.

We would have quit in the first month, if we had a job that just pays our bills.

And we ARE really lucky to find our true passion and do something we love.

Alex sacrifices sleeping, eating, and time for the toilet when he does his art.

And I am insanely in love with coaching and clock 80–100 hours a week for the last 6 months in a row on it.

It is no wonder that very few people make it.

Because the struggle is REAL!

Mistake #3 – Moving too fast and building your business on the way.

The more we travel, the more I realize that there's this idea that being a location independent entrepreneur is the dream job.

At least that's what everyone tells me when I tell about what I do.

Let me be really honest with you - people who think that this is a dream job is wrong.

Don't get me wrong, after nearly a year of full-time traveling it is still one of the best decisions we've made. But I think the problem arises when people get inspired by some perfect Insta bloggers telling them that they can quit their 9-5 job and travel the world without even thinking about how they'll earn money.

And once again I just want to be REALLY clear - the digital nomad lifestyle is challenging, competitive, and it is not easy to make a real income when on the road.

Business requires time and effort.

Our big mistake was thinking that we can build an online lifestyle business while traveling and moving from one place to another.

Thank's God we were clever enough to make home-bases in different locations and work from there. Otherwise our journey would have ended a month after we'd started.
Within a year we've had home-bases in Cancun, Tulum, Puerto Escondido, San Cristobal and now in Huatulco.

La Punta Cometa. My favorite stop in Mazunte - a place where we've had a home-base for a month.
But despite the fact that we decided to secure our flexibility by having home-bases in the places with good Wi-Fi and that were easily accessible to the cool attractions, we were still moving too fast, especially at the beginning of our trip. We were changing cities every few days and not really putting ourselves in the best position to work productively.

We thought we had to see it ALL and we had to see it NOW.

When you're constantly packing up and moving, productivity is hard to come by and that's not really a professional way to run a business.

I have been reading lots of posts on failing as a digital nomad lately, and the common thread is this: in order to have growth in one area we need to make this area a priority. I'm not saying that we have to stop traveling in order to grow our business, but we definitely had to choose what was the most important for us at that moment.

And it turned to be our business. Because without it, life in traveling is not that fun anymore.

We decided to make our work a priority, travel slow and create a business that allowed us to see the world at whatever pace felt right for us.

That's why we ended up slowing down, settling for 6+ months in one place and building all the systems properly.

And you know what? Apparently, it IS really fun.

It turned out that we enjoy the experience of actually living in a city rather than passing through and, it definitely makes us more productive when we have a bit of a routine.

So if you want to become a digital nomad and make it really work, you better slow yourself down.

Slow travel is IT!
Sending you lots of love,

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