While some choose the freelancing route to support themselves in their nomadic lifestyle, there’s actually another venture you can pursue to fund your travels.
Running your own remote business. And that’s exactly what Peter and I did.
I (Stéphanie) started freelancing in social media marketing when we were still living in Belgium. I was a full-time teacher 4 years ago before we started our travel adventure. Peter and I didn’t see each other that much and our weekend getaways were our way to squeeze in our quality time. This is how our hobby TouristExclusive was founded and it was our way of sharing our love for exclusive travel destinations and hotels.
Besides travel, we both are especially fond of social media marketing and content creation and saw an opportunity to turn it into our main income-generating venture. 1 year into traveling, BeeHaveSocial was born. We get the best of both worlds — traveling full time and earning from something we’re passionate about.
But hold off on that dreamy sigh. While others may see it as all mimosas and golden sunsets, living the digital nomad lifestyle and running a remote business isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Along with the demands of your business, you’ll also have to dedicate hours to marketing it and interacting with clients. To top it all off, you’d also want to travel and explore your newest destination of course.
But achieving this makes our kind of lifestyle all the more rewarding! Sure, there will be days when you feel like you’re up and about round-the-clock but I personally won’t give this up for an office desk job (please don’t take me back!).
After three years of full-time traveling and working remotely, we picked up a few tips and tricks along the way that we’d like to share with you.
1. Show up every day
There will be days when it’s better to just try a restaurant even when you know you still need to create content for your business’s Instagram page.
While you shouldn’t sacrifice your daily adventures, you’d eventually have to learn how to balance them both.
“But I don’t want a fixed daily schedule! That’s the reason why I’m leaving the 9 to 5 life!”
We hear you. But starting a remote business requires a lot of ‘hard’ work if you’d like it to be your main source of income. That doesn’t mean you’ll be wasting the day away working on your laptop.
Maybe you can do it in the morning when you’re feeling fresh with new ideas. Have a system that helps you show up for your business every day. I personally batch my days to make sure it won’t all get mixed up. (Ex. Content creation on Mondays, client communication and emails on Tuesdays and so on)
Dedicate a few hours a day to your business, even when all you can give is an hour or two as long as you’re showing up and doing quality work.
Remember those hell weeks back when you were still in school? Those days when 24 hours just weren’t enough to finish everything?
By outsourcing tasks, you buy yourself another work day. You prevent yourself from burning out and at the same time, onboard someone who’s more well-versed on a specific job than you are.
You can then focus on the matters that need your attention the most and the projects that you’re most passionate about.
3. Separate your travel funds from your business capital
It’s tempting to just mix them both together as long as you get the dollars, right? Besides, both serve the purpose of funding your digital nomad lifestyle.
But this can only make things more unmanageable when running a remote business in the long run. Segregate how much you’re going to dedicate to your business and how much will go to next week’s island tour.
Be clear from the beginning how much you’re going to dedicate to this or that, which income stream goes here and there. This can prevent you from overspending on both ventures.
4. Invest in a website and domain
Let’s say you’re a pastry chef still introducing your cakes to the world. You’d like to cater to at least 50 customers a day… but you don’t even have a physical restaurant.
So to draw in those 50 hungry customers, a pastel-themed bakeshop is a good idea to catch their attention.
The same thing can be applied when you’re starting a remote business. Your website is your business’s storefront while your social media pages are there to advertise your craft.
This shows professionalism, separating you from a hobbyist and tells clients that you do take your remote business seriously (and ultimately putting their trust into what you’re offering).
5. Be on the lookout for a stable internet connection
Everything you need to run a remote company is compressed in a small 13-inch laptop. But to get everything up and running, you need to access the world wide web. From researching to assigning tasks to your team and posting content, an internet connection is now a daily essential.
Before going to a city, know more about the spots where you can work from. Ask your hotel if the internet is stable. If you are picking a new place to rent, ASK for screenshots. Really, because you don’t want to end up not having a stable connection or a too slow connection. Believe me, we’ve been there. Research on backup if needed.
6. Continue learning
Investing in learning is one of the best things you can do for your business. As you enhance your knowledge and grow your skill set, you can also expand your offers and may even be able to charge more.
This doesn’t mean that you have to throw thousands of cash for an e-course (there are cheaper ones out there that’s still jam-packed with value!). This can also mean giving away some of your time and a bit of your energy but it’ll be worth it when you see your business grow with you. Especially in the online world, you’ll need to keep up with the ever-changing demands.
That’s basically the first few things you need when it comes to running a remote business and we hope this gave you the courage to take the leap.
To jumpstart your goals, tell us in the comments below the kind of business you’re planning to start or the business you are running (remotely)!