3 Slow Routes to a Digital Nomad Lifestyle (And What To Try Instead)
Is it a goal of yours to create a true "digital nomad" lifestyle this year?
Are you looking to earn your first income online?
Are you looking to scale your location-independent income more, if you are already dabbling with some projects?
A few years ago when I was getting the itch to travel more and be at my cubicle less, I would scour the internet for articles, inspiration, jobs, something that could help me create a meaningful career but still allow me to do it while seeing the world.
Fast-forward to 2019, and I've not only replaced my desk job salary with my online income, but I've been living this location-independent lifestyle for almost 2.5 years.
It is my mission to help others travel more, shift their mindset, and live out their passions, whatever it looks like to them.
From reading your email replies and messages, many of you have expressed the desire to be able to have a meaningful career while not giving up the ability to travel the world whenever you want to.
But let's rewind back to 2015 and 2016, when I was working a job I enjoyed...but knew it was a building block, not my whole future.
Here are some popular routes to creating an online income I came across, that I've since learned are typically a "slower route" for earning an online income.
If you want to work online so you can travel more, these are doable...but you likely won't be going anywhere fast:
You know I love blogging. I love all things writing, Instagram, content creation, and creativity. It's not only personally rewarding and helps me fulfill my creative side, but using content to impact or inspire others in a positive manner is why I do what I do.
This purpose, drive, and true passion has pushed me to blog for almost five years now (!) and do it for free for the first few years.
When you are blogging, you are playing the "long game."
For 99.9% of bloggers, it takes time for those initial posts to gain traction, to pick up on SEO, find your voice, and eventually "monetize" the blog in different ways - and for those monetization streams to pick up enough speed to be a part- or full-time income.
So while I will always be blogging and sending out free content like these emails (and #MotivationMonday!), I do it because I love it. I will always encourage others who "have a blog inside them" to pursue it if they feel called to do so.
However, just know that for most bloggers, the reality is that no matter how great their blog is, they typically don't earn money from it for the first 1-2 years.
While I do earn a part-time income from my blog today, I didn't when I was first getting started. As a new blogger you have to understand that you will likely be working for free for a while before you see any profit, which is why you truly need to love it.
"Free" doesn't pay the bills.
2. An MLM
So I don't have personal experience with MLMs but do have friends or friends-of-friends who have gotten into them. (If you aren't familiar, an MLM stands for multi-level marketing and a quick Google search will explain more).
While I do know people that have created massive income with an MLM, I also know many people who just don't gain enough momentum to really build up their business.
For some people, getting set up and earning consistent income just takes a while. And some people I know who have done MLMs later ended up quitting because they got discouraged and they weren't seeing income growth.
This isn't to discourage anyone from trying this or doing it (because I know it's a great path for some), just know that for many people I've talked to, the work didn't deliver an ROI for a while.
3. Drop-shipping products from overseas
This is another business method I've heard of time and time again. In fact, I used to use the drop-shipping method to sell custom-made clothing and accessories online with a Shopify store. (I sold the store last month!)
There are a lot of "gurus" claiming you can earn a fortune drop-shipping products from overseas - cheap things from China that take 2-3 weeks to ship to your country, before then being shipped to your customer. That's a lengthy supply chain time-wise...and what about returns or refunds that happen after that initial sale?
Again, some people have seen massive success with this but I also know a few people who have tried this. They either tried to drop-ship custom clothing instead since it can be a faster process, or gave up selling cheap products from overseas completely.
I'll note this another time - none of these are bad business models or ideas.
You can have success with any of the above, and I'm sure there are some of you reading this that do one or all of these things (I'm raising my hand for blogging over here)! :)
But in order to create and earn an online income quickly...it's not often the case with these business models - at least according to my entrepreneur friends and peers I interact with on social media.