For the last month, I have lived like a digital nomad while traveling around New Zealand and working from anywhere. Many entrepreneurs dream of this lifestyle which is why I am sharing my top tips on how to make this work for you and your business!
As always, if you prefer to listen to the podcast episode instead of reading it, then click on the player below. Follow my podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, and all the other platforms to get notified as soon as a new episode becomes available!
While I usually work from my cosy home office here on the Kapiti Coast, for the last 30 days I have been traveling around New Zealand with my parents who were visiting us from Italy, and my boyfriend. During this time, I continued to run my online business and service my Social Media Management clients. In this blog post, I want to share my experience of the digital nomad life (even if it was just for a shorter period of time) and give you 10 tips that I found helpful.
1) Build a business that allows you to work remotely:
The very first thing you need to do before you can go and work from anywhere is building a business that even allows you to do that. A brick-and-mortar store or a heavily product-based business won't allow you to take your work with you whereas a service-based business or, ideally, an online business, gives you more options. If you are running a hybrid business that has both product and service components, you could decide to only run the location-independent side of the business for the duration of your trip.
2) Take on the right clients:
When it comes to building a business that allows you to travel and work remotely, it is also important to take on the right type of clients. Obviously, your clients can't stop you from traveling because they are not your boss BUT some clients are easier to "take along with you" than others.
If working remotely and being location-independent is one of your business goals, then you need to start vetting your clients before you take them on. Your clients should understand that you aren't available 24/7 and they should be able to communicate effectively and well in advance when they need your services. Otherwise, difficult clients will quickly turn your dream trip into a nightmare.
Once you have decided to go and work remotely, communicate this to your clients as soon as possible and well before you leave. In my case, I already told my clients 1.5 months before so they could get prepared.
3) Reduce your workload, if you can:
If you can (and if you also see this trip as a holiday), I would recommend reducing your workload as much as you can, so you still have enough time to recharge and explore. This also leads us back to tip #1: from the start, you need to build a business that allows you to reduce your workload under specific conditions. For example, you could pause all non-income-generating activities (blog posts, podcasts, newsletters,...) for the duration of your trip to free up time.
During my trip through NZ, I didn't reduce any of my packages with my Social Media Management clients but I decided to block my agenda for coaching sessions. I also decided to not post on social media (apart from my stories) and to not send out any newsletters.
4) Plan ahead as much as possible:
Once you have decided when & for how long you will be away, start planning. Ideally, you want to plan your business activities around this trip, meaning, don't plan any launches or important events during this time (unless you want to!).
In our case, we already knew about 6 months before that my parents would be coming to New Zealand which allowed me to plan my workload and manage expectations with prospects who were wanting to work with me during that month.
5) Plan enough rest or non-travel days:
Planning a trip is exciting and you want to see as much as possible in the short time you have BUT don't underestimate how tiring traveling can be. This is why I would recommend planning enough rest (or non-travel) days so you can recharge and/or work uninterrupted for a few hours.
During our trip, I usually got up earlier than the rest of the group and finished my work before everyone else even got out of bed. I did, however, wish that I would have had some more time to get a bigger chunk of work done instead of squeezing in tasks here and there.
6) Book accommodations with a good Wi-Fi connection:
When booking accommodations for your trip, make sure that they have a good internet connection. Read through the reviews of the place to see if anyone complained about a bad (or non-existing) internet connection before you book. Alternatively, you could also research cafes with Wi-Fi close to your accommodation.
Pro tip: I bought some extra data for my phone just to be safe. This helped me to be much more relaxed about the places we stayed at and to be more flexible.
7) Work on your mindset:
I know working on your mindset is not something that you can do in just a day but it's rather a process. I want to remind you that most problems can be resolved easily and that in the online business space, things are rarely really urgent. Sure, there could be little hick-ups but if you are well-prepared and have the right mindset, you'll resolve them in no time and without ruining your whole trip.
8) Set up tools & systems that keep you organised:
Setting up a business that you can take with you means setting up tools and systems that keep you organised. Here are my favourite tools that I used almost every day during our trip:
Trello: I use Trello to keep a daily & weekly to-do list and to plan content for specific clients. I also communicate with some of them through Trello.
AirTable*: I use AirTable to plan content for clients in the form of a content calendar.
Slack: I use Slack to communicate with some of my clients. For others, I use email or simply Instagram.
Canva: I use Canva to design posts for myself and clients.
Another tip: keep to-do lists so you don't forget about certain tasks. It's easy to forget about work when you are enjoying yourself!
9) Communicate openly with the rest of your travel group:
An informed travel group is a happy travel group. When you are traveling with other people it's important to communicate openly with them and to manage everyone's expectations regarding work. Tell the rest of your group when and for how long you will be working, so they can already go and explore or decide to wait until you're finished.
10) Enjoy your time & rest:
Last but not least, the most important tip: enjoy your time and recharge! If this trip is also a holiday for you, you should rest, do things you enjoy and that recharge your batteries. This will help you to come back refreshed and ready to jump into your usual routine.
I hope you'll find these tips helpful and I can't wait to see your photos from your next trip!