Photo From BiggersWorld Photography
Originally Posted On: https://tiredofworking.com/nomadic-state-of-mind/
A Path to Independent Financial Freedom
“Soldier to Student to Digital Entrepreneur”
Once upon a time, the “American Dream” was the cute house with the white picket fence and an apple pie on the window ledge. However, times have changed and with a new generation entering the workforce the “American Dream” has changed with it. According to the Department of Labor 2019, the Millennial generation and Generation Z make up over 50% of the current workforce as of 2020. Pew Research indicates the Millennial generation being individuals born between 1981 and 1996 and Gen Z being anyone born 1997 and forth. Working a 9-5 job in an office has given people nightmares for decades but is there another way? Can the nomadic state of mind be the answer?
After finishing high school, I decided that the United States military would be my next venture. During my high school years, there were basically three choices for high school graduates. A high school graduate could go get a job and enter the workforce, go to college, or join the United States Military. I was not completely sold on trade-craft or college, so the military was an easy decision. The military instilled many skills in me that can be directly connected to my success as a digital entrepreneur. While in the military you are taught to have discipline, goal-oriented, dependability, and always finish the task at hand. These skills lay the foundation for anyone who wants to be their own boss.
The military was a great learning experience for me and while serving I discover what I really wanted to do. During my 10 years in the military, I found out that I loved teaching. Any course that needed to be taught I was the first to volunteer. Seeing people’s faces light up when they figured out how to complete a task is a priceless moment. I learned a lot in the military but after a few tours and spending some time in Afghanistan I decided that I wanted to live by my own set of rules and be able to write what I want when I wanted.
The next life stage was not near as easy as the transition from high school to the military. When I transitioned from high school to the military it was just a matter of taking orders from new people in positions of power. Instead of listening to parents and teachers, it was now about taking orders from drill sergeants and captains. The transition from the military to a digital entrepreneur was an entirely different experience. There was absolutely no structure, and everything had to be organized by me. After a decade in the military, you quickly see how much of your day you actually planned and had input into. I’ll let you in on a secret, it was none!
While beginning this new career, I certainly stumbled and fumbled along the way. They key was remembering to continue to move forward and stay positive. That was the first lesson the military ever taught me, “Stay focused and always be moving forward and never backwards.” The first year was tough and I fell on my rear end more times than I care to remember. The constant push forward allowed me to go from crawling to walking, then running, then full out sprinting.
When I first heard the word, digital nomad, I really did not know what it was. The first definition I came across was from Wikipedia. If I’m being honest, it kind of sounded like a cult ha-ha. The definition read “Digital nomads are a type of people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner.” After a few months of working as a digital nomad I quickly realized that it is not a cult or even a particular group, it is simply…a way of living.
After my first year of stumbles and fumbles working in Southeast Asia, I felt like it was time to start living and traveling as I worked. The 2nd year goal was 48 new cities in 48 countries in 12 months. This goal was a bit ambitious, but this was the first time in my life that I was my own boss, so it was time to start writing my own story and living by my own rules. I quickly realized that being a digital nomad involved a lot more than I anticipated.
When you are writing for websites and blogs you are not only working for a paycheck but also building a reputation. In the writing world, a reputation is everything. If you are late on a deadline or deliver insufficient work than your reputation is going to take a hit. The best piece of advice I ever got from a travel writer was, “Remember, offering quality will always beat offering quantity, you may not make near as much money but people will always want you to work for them.” This advice was exactly what I needed at the time and I still live by that writing philosophy today.
After 3 years of writing and blogging, I have been able to explore 119 countries across 6 continents and all 50 states. During this journey I have learned a lot of lessons, not all were easily learned either. Working as a digital nomad will be extremely demanding at times and dealing with time zones and deadlines can get quite exhausting. Changing your home on a monthly basis can be overwhelming for many. There is nearly no stability and consistency when working in the nomadic workplace. Your work life is in a constant state of change. However, that is exactly why I love it. Well……. that and the sunsets, jungles, deserts, and visiting waterfalls around the world.
My journey has taken me many places and each and every city has given me stories and lessons learned. I have had some great times and some hard times. The key to my success has always been to learn from each experience. Learning these lessons has made me a better traveler and a better person to be around. The number one skill I would say I have learned while traveling and working is adaptability. I have learned to be adaptable in all situations under a variety of conditions. This is a skill set best learned through experience rather than from a book.
I titled this article, “Soldier to Student to Digital Entrepreneur,” because I wanted to show how living the nomadic lifestyle is a process. First, I had to be a student before I could live the lifestyle. I had to learn how to make money while working abroad and that was only the first step. During the second year I probably had to try and speak 20+ languages, none effectively I might add. Constant learning is 100% essential if you want to be a digital entrepreneur who is prepared for anything and can live and work anywhere.
I created my website, https://tiredofworking.com, so travel knowledge could be given and spread through the travel community. I believe that travel knowledge should be readily available to anyone and everyone across the globe. My website is geared to help satisfy wanderlust and prepare people to be ready for all possibilities while traveling. Traveling abroad and the digital nomad lifestyle goes far beyond packing, planning, booking tours, remote working, and parties. I choose to learn while doing and that led me to a lot of roadblocks along the way. However, my lessons learned can now help all travelers to avoid numerous traveling roadblocks.
Working and living as a digital nomad is not easy. It will take more dedication, discipline, and ambition than most jobs will require. However, there are angles and you have to find yours. Find a way to provide more value and quality on something than your competitors can. Figure out how you can solve a problem that people are having. This will take time and you will try many ideas before finding your perfect angle. However, once you have found that angle, the sky is the limit.
My ending piece of advice is this, remember that step 1 is having the desire to work and travel abroad but that cannot occur until you figure out step 2 which is how you will make money abroad. Both of these are necessary steps and you cannot have pursued step 1 without figuring out step 2. It is a mixed-up process but that is the way it is. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I urge you to spend your time following the process and finding your angle. Good luck, and be sure to check out TiredOfWorking & BiggersWorld for more information