Tips for Running a Digital Nomad Business


When it comes to running your own business, you have a dream about how it’s going to work: work from your computer, connecting to an Internet connection in a cool co-working cafe halfway around the world. You’re surrounded by other digital nomads just like yourself, working from a hammock, looking out at the sea. Or maybe you’re away on your own in a Swiss chalet, the skiers out there enjoying the mountains while you sip your hot chocolate and type away.

Whatever your ideal place to live, working remotely is the perfect lifestyle for you. So if you want to run a digital nomad business as efficiently as you can, building your business and making more money, follow these tips:

1 Create the perfect workspace

Just because you’re living in a foreign country, and you’re not working an ordinary 9-5 job, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in a perfect workspace. If you’re staying in a noisy hostel, partiers all around you, the last thing you’re going to be doing is concentrating on your work. So if you’ve got your own apartment, create a workspace in the corner. If you like being surrounded by others, search out a cafe with wifi and music that isn’t too distracting (or invest in some high-quality headphones).

Even though 71 percent of broadband households in the US now have wi-fi or Apple airports, you might also want to buy a mobile hotspot. That way, you can create your perfect workspace anywhere, even if you’re on the edge of the world.

2 Practice discipline

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re working remotely. Whether it’s your own business or an American company you work for remotely, it can be easy to fall into an Internet rabbit hole when you’re researching that copywriting assignment for a company selling cannabis tinctures, stumbling into all the different ways people are using marijuana these days that you could never have even imagined. Or maybe you’re researching how to hack Instagram for your online blog, and end up scrolling through the platform for an hour, catching up on all your friends’ stories.

The fact is, we spend over 4 hours a day on our mobile phones, in large part because social media is just so addictive. So if you’re completing most of your work online, you’ll have to avoid logging into Facebook, no matter how tempting. If there’s any work you can complete offline, turn off your wifi and do it. There are also some apps out there that–ironically–keep from using your apps.

3 Think about taxes

Ugh. We know. No one wants to think about taxes. It’s possible that part of why you decided to move abroad and start a business, to not have to look at taxes again. But if you’re an American living abroad, then we’ve got some news for you: even if you’re making all your money in another country, you still have to report taxes to Uncle Sam (although it’s pretty unlikely you have to pay them).

Considering that there are going to be 1 billion digital nomads in the world by 2035, there are lots of resources out there for anyone looking to understand how taxes work. So in addition to researching if you have to pay taxes in your current country of residence, take a look at this article on how digital nomads should be thinking about taxes.

4 Join a digital nomad community

If you’re looking for a digital nomad community you can meet up with and have drinks with, then you may want to move to Spain–where the majority of digital nomads live. You can all bond with each other about the best places to go for a walk before starting your work off for the day, what the cheapest neighborhoods to live in are, and, of course, you can become friends, too, with like-minded people. Being a digital nomad can be a lonely profession, and finding some work partners and people who understand where you’re coming from can make a huge difference.

But if there aren’t that many digital nomads where you live, and the team of copywriters you write ads for companies like Juul e-cigarettes with are spread all around the world–there’s no need to worry. There are also some great online communities, too, like Web.Work.Travel. and Digital Nomad Girls. And don’t forget to attend a nomad conference every once in a while and make connections in person.

As you can see, being a digital nomad and doing your work successfully in this business is all about finding a way to make it part of your everyday life. By organizing yourself and understanding what motivates you, you’ll soon make a place for yourself in the world running a digital nomad business–no matter where that place is.

What do you find most challenging about being a digital nomad? What’s most rewarding?

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