“Choice not chance determines your destiny.” — Aristotle
After leaving the comfort of a monthly paycheque, health insurance and overall perceived security, I found myself at home owning my own time. I had a few business ideas, some cushion cash and no real idea how I was going to make the same amount of money I did working for someone else. To be honest, the first three months of my new digital nomad adventure was a real struggle. Even though it was a refreshing start, I had to find my feet and define my worth as a professional writer and editor. I quickly realised that I needed a game plan. Using the following six step game plan, I stayed focused and kept striving for my ideal income and lifestyle.
1. Don’t Panic
For the first three months after quitting my job I had to constantly remind myself not to panic. The fear of the unknown left me feeling on edge and even, in my doubtful hours, applying for other 9-5 jobs. With a few pep talks from Sean I reminded myself to focus and see this new lifestyle as an opportunity. Rather than falling back into my old ways and letting my panicked state take over, I stayed calm and used that nervous energy to push my own brand harder.
2. Find A Mentor
No matter what you’re doing, I believe that having a mentor is very important. Someone to guide you, help you not make rookie errors and just reinsure you that you are doing the right thing or redirect you when you’re not. For me, that person was Sean. Not only is he my best friend, but he lived in my city, had been living a digital nomad life for eight years and was my biggest supporter. He was just a phone call away, answered all my questions honestly and pushed me to follow my dreams instead of building someone else’s.
3. Aquire The Right Tools
While working my 9 to 5 job I used all the company’s equipment. After leaving I no longer had access to these tools. I had a really old secondhand laptop that did nothing more than slow down my productivity. As soon as I quit, I dug into my cushion cash and got myself the right tools including a new laptop which changed how I worked. Having the reliable tools not only makes it easier to get the task done, but frees up your time and makes working more enjoyable too. Check out our Mobile Office Setup to see what we use to work remotely and efficiently.
Before I left my office job I knew I was going to freelance to keep myself going. I already had few paying clients and with my 9 to 5 job coming to end I spent about 30 minutes a day just looking for new work and liaising with potential clients. By the time I left my job I was so used to freelancing that the workload was easy to adapt to. The best part about freelancing is that you can start before leaving your 9 to 5 job security, you have the option of working remotely, and can make some money while building your own brand.
5. Schedule Your Life
Make time to keep your clients happy, build your brand and to just relax. I quickly fell into the trap of working on my clients’ projects all the time! I was back in that 9 to 5 situation selling my time for a couple of bucks. A change needed to be made and I needed a schedule. I decided to do my client work on Saturday, Sunday and Monday for three to five hours a day, work on my brand for at least two hours a day and take some time to hang out with my friends and family.
6. Build Your Brand
I still struggle with dedicating time to growing my own business, instead of spending all my time working on client projects. I constantly need to remind myself that it is important to build my brand and develop my business.
Are you thinking of quitting your 9 to 5 job to pursue a digital nomad lifestyle or have you already left your office job? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter what your strategy has been and what you are struggling with.