I recently wrote a post on my personal blog that goes into some of the experiences and troubles I have seen while traveling the world as a digital nomad. I want to make sure you know that it is possible to run your business while traveling. It’s absolutely possible – I do it every day!
Being a digital nomad, traveling the world, and running my businesses from my laptop, has been one of the best experiences of my life. I truly live a life that is adventurous, new, and drool-worthy.
Yes, part of the allure of my lifestyle is the travel portion, but I work. And, I work a lot.
When I quit my job with the government in November 2015, I knew that I would still work. I want to work; and, I want to work hard. I want to grow, not just on a personal level, but on a professional level too. Now that my career trajectory isn’t bound to the restrictions put upon me by another governmental entity, I have total control to advance as I want.
To run your business while traveling and grow as much as much as you want, you have to put some processes and boundaries in place.
Here are 7 ways to run your business while traveling the world:
1. Be strict with your calendar.
Being strict with your calendar will only make everyone’s life easier. If someone pays for a one-hour call, honor your time (and their’s!) and only stay on the call for one hour only.
If you have planned a 2-week trek in Patagonia, mark that time on your calendar as unavailable. You don’t want to be desperately searching for a WiFi connection, and you don’t want to miss out on any part of your experience because you’re trying to get into a work mindset.
On that same note, have enough self-awareness to know what you can handle. Don’t overcommit yourself. You deserve to enjoy everything you do – work and play.
2. No texting.
I have a strict no texting policy with my clients. Why? First, it keeps my boundaries of work and play separate. Second, I’m likely to miss responding to a text but not an email. Third, it can be considered unprofessional.
This is a business you’re running – not playtime with friends.
3. Go to a coworking space.
Coworking spaces have saved me! Not only do I get to meet amazing people who are also traveling the world, but I have a reliable place to go every day that gives me the allure of a “job” without the ridiculous requirements that having a job entails, like coming and going at certain time and asking someone else if I can go on vacation.
Plus, I have had more than 80% of my clients come from my coworking space. Seriously.
4. Work on your professional development.
You’re on your own if you’re an entrepreneur. You don’t have a boss standing over you mandating you take personal development courses or keeping up with your skills. You have to have this kind of motivation all on your own.
Professional development might come in the form of a mastermind and an accountability partner. You might make yearly/quarterly/monthly/weekly/daily goals and check in with yourself every so often to make sure you’re on track. And, I’m sure you take courses….right!?
Conferences and retreats are great too because they change up your normal routine, expose you to colleagues in your industry, and keep you up to date on any news or changes happening.
5. Always deliver on your promises.
People will think you’re goofing off just because you’re traveling. I can’t tell you how many times people have said, “Wow, that looks like a great vacation.” Then, I have to explain that I’m not on vacation; this is simply how I live my life.
You have to prove that you’re putting in the work and accomplishing things along the way.
Stay consistent. Do the work.
6. Get help when you need it.
Asking for help is a sign of courage, not weakness. If you need organizational help, pay for the systems that provide this service. Hire a VA who can ease the burden of your workload. Use hacks, like speak-to-talk, to help your writing process go quicker.
You can get so much more accomplished, earn more money, and advance yourself in your industry if you’re willing to get the help where you need it.
7. Be honest about your travels.
If you’re taking time off to do something you love, don’t be ashamed to tell your clients. Give them plenty of notice, deliver on the work you promised, and put their worries at ease.
You don’t have to share everything about your personal life (travel included!), but it’s nice to give them a sneak peek into what you do while you are away. Who knows – maybe you’ll encourage your clients to take a little trip too.
Having the digital nomad life is truly amazing. But, to be successful in this lifestyle, you have to put these boundaries in place and respect yourself and you work enough to keep to them.
If you’re like me, you want to work, and you want to work hard. You want to produce a good product, and you want to make your clients happy. All of this can be done + you can travel the world.
It’s a win-win for everyone!