The Disadvantages of Being a Digital Nomad (and how to overcome them)
You probably already know the benefits of working remotely and being your own boss. That’s why you’re here, right?
However, there are parts that suck and I always want to be honest about that, because knowing what you’re getting yourself into is important.
We want to share the five disadvantages of being a digital nomad, and how we've overcame them so that you can find ways to make working remotely work for you. So here's our top disadvantages and some solutions to overcoming them!
You’re in charge of your own motivation and productivity.
You don’t have a boss telling you what to do, you’re in charge of yourself. This is one of the most challenging things about working for yourself because sometimes you aren’t motivated, and you have to figure out how you’re going to get things done.
We overcome our lack of motivation by:
- Listening to kick ass podcasts & motivating audiobooks like Creative Pep Talk & Four Hour Workweek
- Using apps like Asana to keep track of tasks and projects
- Turning off our social media notifications; we don't need those distractions!
Your beliefs, fears, and lack of self confidence will hold you back.
One thing no one tells you about being a digital nomad (until now) is that your entire mental stability, your confidence, fears, and internal beliefs about who you are, will blow up in your face.
Self doubt will often be the number one thing holding you back. If you aren’t confident now, you’ll be even less confident as a business owner, which means you won’t ask for fair compensation or be able to stand up for yourself and your work.
We overcome fear & lack of self confidence by:
- Joining support groups. We are part of many groups for small business owners and they help guide us when we're feeling doubtful. Need to find a group? Click here to join our community of digital nomads.
- Being grateful for the smallest things, like waking up next to your best friend in the morning or drinking the best cappuccino ever at your favorite coffee shop.
- Allowing ourselves to feel bad for 5 minutes before we ask, "what can we do to change our circumstances?" Then we do whatever needs to be done.
It’s hard to make a consistent income.
You may be a little worried about making a consistent income when you work for yourself. Most of this fear has to do with our thoughts and beliefs as a society about money and what we've learned growing up.
Making a more consistent income comes with working on your self confidence, your thoughts on what makes you successful, how you view money as a whole, and managing your money better.
We make a consistent income by:
- Diversifying our income sources. We have money coming from multiple sources and it has made life much less stressful.
- Finding retainer contract work, in other words, a job that pays a consistent amount of money each month. Maybe you get a few hundred dollars a month for creating and posting social media content for someone. That’s promised money each and every month!
- Saving some money for slower months, e.g. during the holidays or the summer. We learned the hard way that there’s less work during these times, and we wished we had prepared better in the beginning.
You are competing with others a lot.
The comparison trap is real.
You’ll always be wishing that you did something better, or you’ll wish you had the success that others do.
But, even if you do get to that level of success, you probably still won’t be satisfied. You’ll always have the next level of success you'll want to achieve and someone else will always already be there.
So, rather than fight that losing battle, you need to stay in your own lane and be more confident in the fact that you are talented and you will get there in your own time.
We overcome comparison by:
- Unfollowing people on social media that we compare ourselves to. We sometimes find we’re following too many people that do the same thing as us, and it can make us second-guess ourselves.
- Re-strategizing our brand & reviewing our content every 6 months to make sure we are still being authentic and doing what we love..not copying someone else's success path.
- Remembering that we're awesome! Just think about what you offer to this world. You are rad. Talk yourself up, not down!
You’re wearing all the hats.
When you are working remotely and using the internet as a tool to make a living from the road, you not only need to be skilled in your area of expertise, you also need to be an accountant, bookkeeper, social media manager, writer, and so on.
That means you are spending a good majority of your time working on the back end of your business. Luckily, we shared all of the tools we use to run our business from the road, which will make your life much easier.
We overcome excessive hat-wearing by:
- Using automated systems like Planoly. It helps by auto-posting to our Instagram feed so we don’t have to log on every day.
- Hiring someone to help with tasks you suck at. We are not great when it comes to grammar, so we hire someone to edit all of our blog posts and written content.
- Using project management systems like HelloBonsai to help us put together contracts, send invoices, and keep track of our projects.
We don’t want to scare you from pursuing your dreams of living that digital nomad life. These are just a few things we’ve had to deal with, but we can’t even count the ways this lifestyle has changed us for the better.