As we announced in the previous post that we are starting a new series of posts regarding the life of a digital nomad – this is the first blog of the series.
This series features interviews of digital nomads around the globe.
We will interview a new digital nomad every month and bring it to you for inspiration and encouragement.
If you want to know how a digital nomad can work remotely with clients, Digital Nomad: How to Work Remotely with Customers is a good read.
This post is about our first Digital Nomad of the Month, a couple Mel & Nath – #ourlifeonpurpose. They decided to leave their corporate lives 3 years ago to live a life of their dreams.
Let’s see how this interview with our first “digital nomad of the month” went.
What brings you to leave the 9-5 policy and work as a freelancer (digital Nomad)?
There was a myriad of reasons, but only a few factors that really gave us the final nudge. For starters, we had a realization that we would be in full-time work for at least another 35 years or more.
That’s a very long time and we thought if we were going to do something five days a week for 35 years, it had to be something that we loved.
The second thing that happened was being exposed to alternative lifestyles and ways of living by reading an abundance of books and guides.
These opened our eyes to the possibilities and how they can actually work which gave us the motivation and courage to take the leap.
The third reason was that we wanted to build something of our own.
If you’re putting thousands of hours into your work, we wanted it to be for ourselves and it is something we are really proud of. It’s the classic quote;
“Build your own dream, not someone else’s”.
What was your biggest challenge when you started as a Digital Nomad?
We both have slightly different answers here:
Mel: For me, I think actually having the realization that alternative lifestyles actually existed and were possible was a big one. I just hadn’t even thought about it.
We are all taught the typical career progression once we finish university, and society often expects us to make these choices.
I was quite content in my 9-5 which is the interesting thing. I wasn’t hating life and may have continued down that track for some time before my eyes were opened to new possibilities thanks to Nathan and Tim Ferris.
Once I had been exposed to the idea though, I was sold.
Nathan: When you’re working for yourself on big projects and your dreams, you don’t always get that instant gratification of a ‘pat on the back’ or the weekly pay-check.
Building a business from scratch takes a lot of effort and hard work at the beginning before you reap any rewards. Sometimes it might not be for 6-12 months down the track.
Unrelenting perseverance and discipline were definitely the biggest challenges.
How are you different what makes you different?
The beauty of it is, we’re not that different from everyone else! We are just average people with the ability to think outside the box and the determination to make it happen.
We started businesses where we already had skills and experience from our past careers and built on those strengths.
We’re not saying it’s easy, it’s really hard most of the time, but what we are saying is anyone with the willpower and determination to put in the effort can make their life whatever they want it to be.
DO you have any recurrent challenges with your clients?
The biggest ongoing challenge for us is that there are only so many hours in a day! There is always so much to do and when you are the only two people on the team, you have to do it all yourself.
So, there is definitely a time barrier for what we can achieve with our time, however, it has made us much more appreciative of our time.
Since you are a couple, do you have any challenges to run a business? What is your tip to run a successful business?
You definitely have to like each other! That’s a good start. It’s been a great learning curve for practicing patience, open-mindedness and being supportive of each other.
We were well aware of the challenges before undergoing this journey and being mindful of them is what has helped us work together.
A good way to create some harmony is to delegate responsibility for different projects.
For example, Mel’s main focus is Google AdWords management, while Nathan spends the majority of his time working on eSkate Hub (https://eskatehub.com).
Our tasks do overlap in some places, so it’s good to have the ownership of responsibility for each project laid out from the beginning.
The next stop of Mel and Nathan is Bali. They have plans to stay there for 2 months. While their stay in Bali, they will be co-working with a large community of digital nomads at Dojo in Canggu.
We wish all the best to this digital nomad couple who conquered their fears and proved to the world that the distance doesn’t matter – only the first step does.
If you are also considering to start a new chapter in your life – the life of a digital nomad – give a read to Digital Nomad – How to Become a Success with Only a Laptop?
If you are also a digital nomad and want to inspire people with your story, please get in touch with us.
We look forward to hearing from you.