6 Skills You Need to Become a Digital Nomad
Dreaming about working remotely and having more freedom during your days? I know that it can sound like a dream come true to be your own boss and work from the road. But, you’re going to have to have some of tangible skills before you take that leap so you can make sure you become a successful digital nomad instead of going broke.
When you are your own boss, you are also the only person holding yourself accountable. You’re going to need to work on your self discipline before becoming a digital nomad. When the time comes to work on a client’s project versus going to the beach for the day, you’ll need to be able to discipline yourself to get your work done before going out.
You are also going to need to work on yourself as a business owner to be successful. Think self development books, exercise, and gratitude. Self discipline will come in handy when you are growing your business and looking to attract more money and success.
How to Work on Self Discipline
Create small achievable goals
Instead of always focusing on the big picture and getting overwhelmed, try to create small achievable goals that are easier to reach. For example, instead of focusing on starting an entire travel blog, focus on one step you can take to get closer to starting your travel blog. For example, you might buy a domain, think of a good name, or write your first blog post.
Doing this will create a snowball effect. Once you do that one small task, you’ll be so much more motivated to continue to do more, making it easier for you to reach your goals.
Find someone else to hold you accountable
If you’re finding it hard to discipline yourself, the next best thing you can do is find an accountability partner. For me, I had a hard time getting up early in the morning. Even though deep down I wanted to get up because I knew it’d make my day more productive, I still would just ignore my alarm when 7:00 am hit.
What I did was find one of my business pals to commit to waking up early with me. We decided to text each other right when we woke up and take a photo of our feet out of bed on the floor. It worked! I didn’t want to let my friend down so I was able to force myself out of bed.
If all else fails, hire a business or personal coach to help!
If you are struggling with something in your life, the best thing you can do is hire a professional to coach you through your challenges. There’s nothing better than someone else telling you to get off your ass and be more productive!
Business and/or personal coaches can help you in so many different areas of your life. If you can’t afford a coach, check out some self help audiobooks to help you feel more inspired and motivated.
When working remotely and living life on the road, you’re going to have to figure out how to make your days more productive, especially if you want to spend more time doing the things you love and less time doing boring, mundane tasks.
It can be so easy to get unproductive and start scrolling on your Instagram page. Soon, a task that would have taken you 20 minutes to complete is now taking you the entire day because you don’t have a plan in place.
How to Work on Productivity
The Pomodoro Method
When you’re really unproductive or unmotivated, it can be helpful to try the Pomodoro Method. The Pomodoro Method is some complex thing and there's tons of articles on the internet about it, but I’m going to give you my simple version of it.
Choose 1 task, set a timer for 25 minutes, work on that task.
When the timer goes off, you can take a break. You can scroll on Instagram or get a snack or a coffee.
After your break (which should only take about 10 minutes), start the process over again.
It’s that simple. It’s effective because it prevents you from trying to work on multiple different things at once, which usually results in nothing getting done.
The Forest App
This app is similar to the Pomodoro Method. You work in 25 minute blocks of time, and then take a break.
What makes this app great is that you can download it on your Google Chrome browser or your iPhone. When you are productive for 25 minutes without picking up your phone, you grow a forest. It’s kind of like a game, which makes being productive more fun.
Another great thing is that the company that developed the app actually plants trees. They partner with an organization called “Trees For Future” and every time you are productive, you are helping them plant more trees!
Learn to use Asana
Asana is a project management app that I use constantly to keep track of bigger projects. When I sit down to map out a project — even something as basic as writing and posting a blog — I made individual tasks for each step that go into doing that task. Asana is also great because it can sync up to your Google Calendar.
If you want to learn more about Asana, Haley from The Profit Planner Co. has an amazing course on Asana for the Entrepreneur.
When you are working for yourself, you are going to have to make a bazillion decisions for your business every single day. How should I respond to this client? What do I say in this email to this large brand that wants to work with me? What should my website look like? What should my business name be?
So many decisions will have to be made, and you’re going to need to develop a skill set of making decisions quickly, but not hastily.
How to Work on Decision Making
Turn your brain off
If you’re thinking a million miles an hour, how will you be able to find the clarity and space to process anything? The best thing you can do is take a step back and turn your brain off. I do this by listening to music, exercising, doing yoga, or using my Calm app to meditate.
By turning your brain off, or at least practicing it, you’ll be more equipped to make smart decisions for your business without feeling regret or overwhelm.
Journal and write your thoughts for better mental clarity
When you think of journaling, what comes to mind? Some people think it’s only for angsty teenagers or people that have a lot of extra time to spend writing. Trust me, writing down your thoughts will help you find better mental clarity. It will help you process everything and make the right decision.
I have two journals that I use. I have one that I write in every morning where I share everything I am grateful for. The other one is where I write down all of my business ideas and thoughts. It’s nice to have two separate places for different things.
Here’s a great journal to check out called the Five Minute Journal. This one is great because it gives you an outline on what to write if you are feeling a little stumped.
Stop relying on other people’s opinions and be more independent
It can be difficult to stop worrying about what other people think. We all want approval from our peers, our families, and our friends.
Relying on their opinions when you’re making decisions about your business will not help you in the long run. Only you know what’s best for your business. An example of this that I’ve experienced with many of my clients is logos. My clients ask their friends and family which logo they prefer or what they think, but in all honesty their opinion doesn’t matter. A logo design created for your business can be subjective to many different people. It’s important to be more independent and go with your gut!
Listen to what feels good. Do what you believe is right. That is what makes your business unique!
If you are working remotely, you’ll most likely be doing all of your communication through email, phone, text, and skype. One of the best things you can do to be more professional and look like you know what you are doing is to improve your communication skills.
How to Work on Communication
Format your emails to be more readable
When you email a potential client or customer, it’s important to format your emails so they are easy to read. No one wants to be bombarded with a 4 paragraph email with no headings or bullet points.
Break up your email into readable sentences and bullet points. Try to bold the most important pieces of your email. Most people don’t have time to read an entire email and will likely skim through it. Make it easier for them to find the main points of your email and you’ll have better luck when it comes to hearing back and communicating with them
Get the Grammarly Google Chrome extension
This Google Chrome extension is a lifesaver for me. I suck at grammar which is why I hire a copywriter to edit all of our content. But, when I don’t have that resource available, I use Grammarly to help me. Grammarly will edit everything I write on my computer! You can even download it as an app to make it easier to have better grammar on your phone.
Write down your thoughts before sending an email or communicating with others
I talked about journaling earlier. Before sending an email to someone, try writing it out in a document or on paper to sort through your thoughts. It’s better to send a well-thought out email instead of just going with the first thing that comes to mind.
Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of client communications. Making sure I make the right decision when it comes to my response has definitely helped me be a better communicator, which just leads to happier clients and customers.
When you start your own business, you’re going to face A LOT of failure. It’s important to know that failing at something is totally fine. When you fail, you teach yourself a lesson and you are better able to grow and move forward. You cannot grow or make changes without going through some sort of failure, so you’re going to have to learn how to accept it and how to move on.
How to Work on Accepting Failure
Accept how you feel. It’s okay to feel bad!
The first step is accepting that you feel bad. It’s totally OK to feel shitty for a bit. Allow yourself to feel those feelings instead of trying to push them out. It’s also good to know when it’s time to stop feeling bad and when to move forward. If you’ve been mulling about it for a while, try to think of what you’ve learned from the experience.
Remind yourself that failure is necessary in order to find success
In order to be successful at ANYTHING you have to fail first. That’s how you learn. When you learn to ride a bike you don’t just get up right away; there will be some bruised knees and scraped up hands in the process.
Just know that your failure will lead you to amazing things if you keep going and don’t give up when you feel bad or uncomfortable.
Learn from your experience & pick a new direction
Like I said earlier, thinking about what you’ve learned can be helpful and important for growth. Take some time to reflect on what and why you failed, then brainstorm ways you can improve or change directions. Sometimes all it takes is tweaking a little bit here and there to make a huge difference.
Take a break. Go for a walk. Go camping with your friends. Get outside. When you fail at something, you’re going to need some time to decompress and gather your thoughts. Give yourself a day, or even just an hour to find some inspiration and take your mind off of things.
Being Positive and Having a Good Mindset
This is by far the #1 most important skill you need to have. Your mindset is everything! Believing you are in control of your own abilities and that you can learn and improve is the key to success. Sure hustling hard and persistence are great, but truly believing YOU CAN DO IT is how you will be able to ultimately control your life and your destiny. Working on your mindset and being positive is extremely important in attracting good things in your life.
How to Work on Mindset
Being grateful for the present moment is a great way to start working on your mindset. Think about everything that has happened to you within the last month that you are grateful for… them write it down! The best way to start is to write down three things you are grateful for as soon as you wake up. Use the notes app on your phone and do this every morning. You’ll feel much lighter and happier overall just by thinking of things that make you feel more whole.
Pinpoint your limiting beliefs & thought patterns
Limiting beliefs are things that you tell yourself that limit you from growth. For example, I used to tell myself that I’m not a morning person. By constantly telling yourself you are not a morning person, you will eventually believe it to be true. Limiting beliefs are thought patterns that will hold you back and impoverish you.
What are some thought patterns you find yourself believing? If you’ve always wanted to create a Vlog channel on YouTube but you constantly tell yourself you aren’t good on camera, you’ll never let yourself try. You can learn to be good on camera, but believing you aren’t good before you’ve even tried to will hold you back from accomplishing your goal
Law of attraction
Like attracts like. If you’re always feeling poor, not good enough, or like you never have enough of anything, you’ll attract more of that feeling into your life. You need to work on changing your thought patterns to attract the things you DO want in your life. Instead of focusing on things you don’t have, start focusing on things you do have and what you want to attract more of into your life.
Want more money and more clients? Stop pushing them away and focus on things you can do to attract more of those things into your life. Instead of focusing on how you don’t have enough money to pay the bills, start focusing on things you can do to promote your business. Instead of wasting your time feeling sorry for yourself, start believing you can pay your bills this month and things will work out. Believe in yourself and believe in the power of positive thinking.
Spend time with positive people and groups
If you are spending time around Debbie Downers then guess what? You’ll also be a Debbie Downer. Try to spend more time with positive people or people that are one step ahead of you. By surrounding yourself with these people, you are creating more positive vibes in your life.
If you can’t find people that support what you do or understand you, join groups. You can find a group coaching program or find people on the internet you admire. Listen to podcasts that are uplifting. Many podcasts also have Facebook groups that you can join.
You’re probably gonna hate me for this one, but exercising is good for improving your energy, your mood, and your success. All you have to do is move your body for 20 minutes, even if it's just walking your dog, stretching, or riding your bike to the store. Make an effort to exercise as a form of making your life more positive instead of thinking of it as “weight loss” or “getting toned.”
All of these skills are things you need to improve if you want to become a digital nomad. They are also skills you should always be working on no matter where you are at in your business or digital nomad journey!