Digital Nomad – Say what?
What are Digital nomads?
Let me break it down for you in the simplest terms
Digital – Technology
Nomad – people who move from place to place
WHO ARE DIGITAL NOMADS
- Digital Nomads use telecommunications technologies to perform their job.
- Who constantly travel & work from place to place as their work is location independent
- Who provide services as Freelancers & Contracts
BASIC PROFILE OF DIGITAL NOMADS
- Primarily Westerners or Western Passport Holders
- Youngsters in the 20’s to those in their early 40’s because they love the sense of adventure, freedom, carefree life, lack of responsibilities & commitment.
- They are those people who love parties, love drinking, smoking, dancing, adventure, staying hotels.
- Digital Nomads are those who love attention & are adventure seekers
- Digital Nomads are those who love posting their lives online
HOW DID DIGITAL NOMAD LIFESTYLE BECOME FAMOUS?
- Thanks to International Author Chris Guillebeau who has written books like The $100 startup, Born for this, The art of non-conformity, & The happiness of pursuit
- American travel writer, essayist, and author Rolf Potts who wrote Vagabonding (Random House, 2003) and Marco Polo Didn’t Go There (Travelers Tales, 2008),
- And who can forget Tim Ferriss who is the author of the 4 Hour Work Week, The 4 Hour Body, Tools of Titans and Tribes of Mentors
HOW DO DIGITAL NOMADS WORK?
- Digital nomads work remotely from foreign countries using coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces, or recreational vehicles
- Rather than working from a permanent office/location cafés, libraries, beach huts, net cafes and office shares.
MOST POPULAR DIGITAL NOMAD DESTINATIONS
- Chiang Mai
HOW IS THE DIGITAL NOMAD LIFESTYLE MADE POSSIBLE
- Cheap internet
- Cheap housing
- Cheap travel
- Cheap Food & drink
- Wireless Internet capabilities
- Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to keep in contact with clients and employers.
- Cloud-based applications to work remotely
- Digital nomads survive through formal or semi-formal agreements with clients guaranteeing
- Digital nomads agree to work for a certain amount of work or billable hours.
HOW DO DIGITAL NOMADS SURVIVE
Digital nomads work & survive through the knowledge economy doing work related to:
- Digital Marketing
- Information Technology
- Promoting lifestyle
- Giving Advice
- Selling Courses
- Affiliate programs
- Teaching English
HOW DIGITAL NOMADS MAKE MONEY
- Publishing an E-book & making it an Audio Book on Audible.com
- Starting a blog
- Work as Freelancers
- Join Gig websites like Fiverr, Fourrer, Freelancer & Upwork.
- Create online courses
- Position themselves as Coaches
- Teach English
- SEO & SMM
- Online Coaching
THE DRAWBACKS OF DIGITAL NOMADS
IT SUITS THE YOUNG – HIPPY CULTURE
Digital Nomads are mostly young people who love living a Hippy culture where they love a sense of adventure, drinking, dancing, traveling, getting high, having no-strings-attached relationships
A SHALLOW & OVERLY HYPED LIFE
The majority of them love to ‘hype up’ their life showing images & videos of them near a swimming pool, going to bars, pubs or parties, being surrounded with girls in bikinis, sitting near a beach with their laptop sipping a margarita, being in exotic locations & trying to show a ‘near’ perfect life
SURVIVAL IS BASED ON HUSTLING
The majority of them survive and are visible because of their youtube videos, articles & blogs where once again – they overly hype themselves, show themselves having a ‘super happy’ and ‘super perfect’ life
SURVIVAL IS BASED ON LUCK
The Popular Digital nomads get views on youtube is because they are either
– Very attractive looking (figure/face)
– Giving bogus claims of earning 6 figures in 6 months or how they made 0 to 10K per month in passive income
THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT DIGITAL NOMADS
FREELANCERS LIVING A GLAMORIZED LIFE
Digital Nomads are nothing but Freelancers trying to portray a glamorous life because they live in cheap apartments, eat cheap food and travel cheap which they pay in the local currency while earning in Dollars. However, they make it a point to show on youtube that they are living “the dream” simply with an agenda to get more followers and appear “successful”
PEOPLE FROM THE LOWER STRATA OF SOCIETY
This may come off as rude, but its a fact. Most of these so-called “Digital Nomads” are people from the lower strata of the Corporate World or from Society (with a handful number of exceptions of course). Most Digital nomads have had very ordinary or jobs, ordinary careers & ordinary lifestyles from being a dishwasher, waiter, plumber or electrician
Most Digital nomads have had very ordinary or jobs, ordinary careers & ordinary lifestyles from being a dishwasher, waiter, plumber or electrician and then suddenly jump the bandwagon of calling themselves Coach, Lifestyle Coach, Fitness Expert & yes Digital Nomads because it sounds ‘cool’ doesn’t it?
Seriously speaking – who can verify what these people claim?
– 6 Figure Income in 6 months?
– 0 to 10K per month passive income in 1 year
– How I earned $34,843 this month?
Who knows if what they say is true or not?
And here is the bigger question – if you are so successful – why are you busy teaching others how to make this money for $500? How many successful people do you know who go around teaching and training others how to make millions because they are making millions?
Why do you find your competition very less?
Majority of them have a youtube channel with followers with
– A clickbait approach
– Asking people to download a Free Ebook,
– Free Seminar invite,
– Free Tips, Tricks & Strategies,
– an option to join their Facebook Group,
– asking people to buy Amazon products,
– an affiliate marketing link
– Recommend dropshipping
THE SCAMMERS APPROACH
The failed trend is to keep talking about how they have earned 6-figure income in 6 months or how they made 0 to 10,000 per month – they charge you money to tell you how you can make money
Most Digital Marketers post fake earnings, they paint an overly happy & positive life & show only the glamorous side of the living
– Overly glamourize traveling
– Portray a very happening life but the reality is they live in modest homes and lifestyles.
The most popular ones are the ones who look sexy, hot, attractive and who constantly travel to different parts of the world
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
In order to survive
– promote their lifestyle as being amazing, happening & interesting.
– downplay their problems, challenges and problems.
They will constantly organize meetups, events, & seminars where they will SELL YOU A DREAM being up one or two people who are an exception to the rules and try to make others believe this is the reality for everyone.
LOSING ITS FRESHNESS
Whatever the Digital Nomads are trying to do, has already been done over and over again. People have gotten bored of this nonsense. Even today when people show a picture of a mountain or temple or a statue or forest – guess what – we have seen it. Now people are bored – absolutely bored. No one wants to watch yet another mountain or beach or fish, tiger or elephant. It has simply lost its freshness. And given that there are billions of videos on youtube – now who cares?
COMPETITION FROM 3RD WORLD COUNTRIES
What was once the Freelancers trade secrets, have now become a common place for everyone. Today everyone knows about Fiverr, Freelancer, Fourerr, Upwork and so many other websites. So initially where these Western Expats enjoyed this monopoly – earning in US dollars and living comfortably in the East while spending in Baht or Rupees – all of a sudden with the Internet becoming a worldwide reality, today Indians, Pakistanis, Srilankans and Bangladeshi nationals are able to access and master these very skills. And now they are the big competitors to this industry of Freelancers. Given that they charge lesser and offer the same level of service – almost everyone is finding it difficult to compete in this crowded marketplace.
BEING LIMITED TO WESTERN EXPATS
Being a digital nomad is popular with Western Expats as their passports allow them visa-on-arrival in many countries which is not the case for Eastern Passport Holders. And the reason governments allow this is to allow the foreign exchange to come in. So they also make sure, that given that these expats are taking advantage of their country – why not take advantage of them also?
LIMITED TO SINGLE PEOPLE
This lifestyle is limited & beneficial only to single people. You will never see a parent of 3 kids want to live this lifestyle of staying in hotels, move from place to place with no foundation or base.
A BETTER THAN THOU ATTITUDE
If you check most of the Digital Nomad Youtube videos, they make it sound as if they are having the ultimate life and living a life of life of a dream while the rest of the world is living in a crappy situation.
Some of them even moan and groan about the 9 to 5 lifestyle and working in the corporate world – when the fact of the matter is many of these 9 to 5 professionals not only earn more than these ‘Digital Nomads’ but also have a better quality life than they do.
The Majority of Digital Nomads are looking for fun, sex, drinks, pleasure, adventure, attention & stress-free life. Don’t believe me – look at their videos. And added to this most of them work through the loopholes
IRREGULAR INCOME & MONEY PROBLEMS
There is no guarantee for jobs. There is no guarantee that you will be paid. Work may not pay that well and the number of hours is even more for lesser pay.
SUCCESS IS DEPENDENT ON VARIOUS FACTORS
You are dependant on Internet
Your Visa/Passport should be up-to-date
OTHER DRAWBACKS OF DIGITAL NOMAD LIFESTYLE
- No Permanent Home
- The burnout after traveling so many years
- The excitement no longer exists after some time.
- You need International Insurance
- If you are sick or hospitalized, there is no means to earn.
- No Stable Career
- No Stable Relationships
- Time Zone difficulties
- Every time you change your location, you have to start from zero
- Once you stop the Digital Nomad life, you have to start from zero
- The majority of the Digital Nomads give fake claims and exaggerate their earnings, their life or the digital nomad lifestyle
- Every time a person travels to a new place – you have to start from zero. But the big problem is what do you focus on? Adjusting? Promoting yourself? or Getting new clients?
- The Fake & Irritating business of trying to show the world “Look at my life, I’m Special, I’m amazing, I’m super happy”. The attention-grabbing mechanism is sometimes tiring.
- Most digital nomads want to show “I have an amazing life” with the beach, the parties & the sun. However, that is not reality.
- Digital nomads get treated “special” in the beginning but then the excitement wears off and you become ‘another foreigner’ who is trying to live cheap
DIGITAL NOMAD – MY CONCLUSION
After having watched a number of videos, having spoken to a few so-called “Digital Nomads” and done my homework of studying this lifestyle, these are my thoughts:
- Nothing in life comes easy. And this lifestyle that everyone is jumping into – is not a solution to one’s mediocrity, one’s problems or one’s unsuccessful life.
- Being a Digital Nomad is like having a Business where the Brand, the Product, and the Service is YOU. And if you do not have enough money, savings, and experience in this industry – you will sink and you will sink fast.
- Being a Digital Nomad takes experience, expertise & knowledge. It is not something you can do within 6 months. And it is absolutely not something you can do AFTER you migrate to Thailand or Vietnam or India.
- In every industry, there are fraudsters and scammers. And then when you are talking about an online business – expect all the scammers in the world to be present and infest the place. So how do you stand out from the rest when everyone is known as a Scammer?
- In order survive, a person would need at least 12 months of income to be saved in the bank, along with a steady stream of clients. If you do not have this – you are walking on thin ice
- The Digital Nomad Lifestyle is one where you keep traveling, where you live within your means, live really really really cheap, work in shared spaces, live with others – after sometimes this kind of gets to you. You miss home, you miss your stability, you miss the familiarity, you lose the excitement and you lose the zest you once had for this kind of lifestyle. The biggest thing among them all is the fact that this is a very tiring lifestyle which is not at all easy. It is very taxing. And this is something people learn after doing it for a couple of years.
- Overall, I see this as an honeymoon phase where people get very excited with the travel, the partying, the booze, the food, the exotic locations, the newness and freshness of travelling. However, at some point all this get bland and boring and that is where this honeymoon phase comes to an end and that is when the reality of life hits you. Digital Nomad Life is a passing phase and a lifestyle is that is unsustainable. The sooner you realise this – the better your life will be.