Earning As a Digital Nomad: The Truth Behind the Lifestyle Misconceptions

The digital nomad lifestyle is one of the fastest-growing ways to earn income with no signs of slowing down. As more people get tech-savvy, they’re finding the lifestyle more and more appealing. Understandably so… if you are continuously seeing pictures of people laying on the beach and sipping a daiquiri, all while working on their laptop, AND making money while doing it, you would give the lifestyle second glance too!

Unfortunately, the digital nomad lifestyle can be a little misleading sometimes and that’s what leads to the misconceptions surrounding it. To be clear, a digital nomad is someone who earns income through technology, to simply put it. So in that very broad definition, you can narrow it down further by saying that a digital nomad travels the world doing work that requires an internet connection. You can usually find them working in locations that have free wifi and electrical outlets!

If you’re one of those people who think you know about the lifestyle but want to double-check to make sure you have the right idea about it, take a look at some of the biggest misconceptions about earning as a digital nomad. You’ll then be able to see if it’s everything you thought it was.

The truth about digital nomads

Misconception 1: You can’t have a successful career

People tend to think that you can’t have a successful career as a digital nomad because you’re traveling all over the world… What people fail to realize is that earning as a digital nomad is a matter of geography… it doesn’t define your intelligence or your work ethic to get your work done.

Did you know that there are digital nomads who work remotely for big-name companies and have successfully climbed their way up the corporate ladder without having stepped foot in the office building? The fact that remote workers increase business productivity is why more and more companies are hiring remote workers… Whether you choose to work poolside or in a coffee shop, your success isn’t determined by where you are… it’s determined by how well you work.

There are even successful digital nomad entrepreneurs who achieved entrepreneurial success without office politics.  It all starts with finding the right website builder and determining what kind of need your business can meet in the market.

Misconception 2: You’re constantly traveling

For some reason, people think that digital nomads are island hopping every couple of weeks! That just goes to show you just how misinformed people are about the lifestyle. As you probably already know, traveling can be pretty expensive, depending on where you’re traveling too. That means that digital nomads aren’t jet setting to different countries every few weeks… if they did that, they would never make any money. 

Digital nomads will typically stay in various locations for many months before heading to a different country. You see, being a digital nomad isn’t just about making money… at its core, being a digital nomad is about seeing the world and experiencing the cultures of different countries… you’re just working jobs to pay for the memories and experiences you have; 

For example, you’re not going to be able to explore everything that Southeast Asia has to offer in just a few weeks… exploring the Bangkok street market alone will take you a while to get adjusted to!

Misconception 3: Every day is an adventure

Okay, every day is not an adventure, first and foremost. As a digital nomad, you don’t have to be someone who lives life on the edge every day. Sure, on the days where you have some free time, you can go exploring around but it’s definitely not death-defying acts that people engage in. 

People in other countries are people just like you and live every day lives just like you did before you became a digital nomad. But every time you have a new experience, you can count that as an adventure, if that makes you feel any better.

Misconception 4: All digital nomads work from a beach or body of water

When looking up information about digital nomads, it’s pictures like this that pops up and attracts everyone to the lifestyle. Just think about it… if you could call this “the office,” you would want to work there too!

The reality of this type of picture is that there is indeed some truth behind it but this type of picture is solely used as a metaphor or representation of the type of freedom you have working as a digital nomad. What this picture is really saying is that you don’t have to work in an office… simple as that.

As a digital nomad, you want to work in a place where you can focus and get your work done, because, unfortunately, you do still have to work, and pools and beaches can be a huge distraction for some digital nomads. 

According to activeworkation.com, not having self-discipline to work productively is one of the biggest mistakes digital nomads make and is ultimately the demise of their digital nomad career.

Misconception 5: You only have to work a few hours a week

This misconception is a pretty funny one because if you didn’t work a few hours each week before becoming a digital nomad, and all you had to do was go to work and home, what makes you think you can get away with only working a few hours as a digital nomad?

As a digital nomad, it might even be safe to say that you’d be working harder than you do with your full-time job, especially when you’re just starting out, simply because you don’t have a salaried paycheck coming to you. For one, you have to find your clients and that’s hard work… it’s even harder to keep them.

Secondly, this is where self-discipline comes in… you may have the freedom to only work a few hours a week but is that really going to contribute to you having a successful career as a digital nomad? Probably not. If you only want to work a few hours a week, just make sure to keep a close eye on your finances… it would be terrible to be in a foreign country and run out of money because you’re not working hard enough.

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