Coronavirus has changed the way we live and work.
With ‘work from home’ and ‘remote working’ becoming more popular, the boundaries between work and life are getting blurred.
While for some, this might be an unwelcome intrusion into a very carefully carved out work-life balance, for others it can be liberating.
Starting your own business or doing your own thing doesn’t have to be a grueling ordeal in a regimented space any longer. You can literally work as you embrace the world with your wings! The trend of the Nomad Entrepreneur is on the rise and is here to stay.
Who is a Nomad Entrepreneur?
Broadly speaking, anybody who dislikes the usual way of working has the characteristics of a nomad entrepreneur.
When we think of work, we are expected to embrace a certain set pattern of doing things. If you start a business, you are expected to rent physical space for an office setting and hire people to work in there.
You are expected to tie yourself to a particular place to make your business grow. With the enormous advancement in technology, all this is no longer necessary.
You can pick a business idea where most of the work can be done digitally and you are no longer tied to those constraints of space and location.
You can choose to work from a café one day, the terrace of your home the next day, or multiple locations of a new city for the next couple of days!
A nomad entrepreneur would be the kind of entrepreneur who prefers a work ethic closer to a nomadic lifestyle. They would like to work on the go, switching from one country to the other if they like, or simply be free of the restraints of a fixed, physical work setting.
To put it simply, a nomad entrepreneur embraces a fluid and dynamic mode of working that they can fit around with their life and interests rather than the other way around.
Are Nomad Entrepreneurs and Digital Nomads the same thing?
Often, the words ‘Nomad Entrepreneur’ and ‘Digital Nomads’ are used interchangeably.
But there is a slight difference.
A digital nomad leverages the digital medium for their enterprise in a way that they get free from the constraints of a conventional business setting.
A nomad entrepreneur is a larger term that encompasses an entirely alternate way of working – one that is not just tied to the technology aspect but involves a radical lifestyle change.
What is Nomadic Entrepreneurship?
As a nomad entrepreneur, you must choose a business idea that complements your nomadic lifestyle. You could go freelance and simply offer your services digitally, or build your startup.
The most important thing is that your business model shouldn’t clash with your ‘work on the go’ lifestyle.
Some of the popular options you could explore as a nomadic entrepreneur are
- Freelance Writing
- Influential Blogging
- Visual Artist
- Handmade Product Business
- English Language Teaching
- Online Course Developer
- Software Developer
- Virtual Assistant
- Online Coaching
- Freelance Graphic Design
- Digital Marketing Expert
- Travel Agency Business
- E-Commerce Business
- Dropshipping Services
Many successful nomadic entrepreneurs have built businesses in rather unconventional ways. While most nomad entrepreneurs work from the land, some run their businesses from the waters while working from a boat!
Erin Carey from Australia founded her PR agency Roam Generation while sailing the world on a yacht! The traveling entrepreneur still runs her business from the boat.
It was in 2018 that Carey set off on an adventure trip to the Caribbean along with her husband and 3 children. Traveling the world on a 47-foot yacht, she has visited 15 countries by now.
Then, there are others across the world running innovative business models while travelling on the boat. Selling handmade products in a particular niche is also a great nomadic entrepreneurship option if you have the spunk and the attitude to work from a boat.
The added advantage being you can trade directly from your boat as well as digitally.
Post pandemic, nomadic entrepreneurship has seen a sharp rise. The number of digital nomads across the world is estimated to be 35 million and the number has more than doubled in the US.
Nomadic entrepreneurship is no rocket science.
But you got to have a taste for the nomadic lifestyle and be prepared for the challenges that come with it. It is a life of risk and uncertainty.
But it brings along a tremendous opportunity that you wouldn’t encounter in a conventional work setting. So if you like traveling, seeing different cultures, meeting new people, picking new skills, and are open to an offbeat life, then nomadic entrepreneurship is for you.
How to Become a Nomad Entrepreneur
There is no fixed method or formula to becoming a nomad entrepreneur. But there are certain things you need to figure out while embracing this path.
- Figure out the nature of your business
This is most important.
Do not take the plunge down the nomadic entrepreneurship road until you are sorted in your head about what you exactly want to do.
Many people have this romanticized idea about traveling and earning on the go. But you got to be realistic. Make a list of your skills and finalize a viable business idea for your nomadic entrepreneurship venture.
Ideally, the idea has been with you for quite a while. And you just got to fine-tune it and figure out its implementation before you hit the start button.
Would your venture be solo or will there be a team involved? If there are other people on board as well, how are you going to coordinate with them while on move? Is your idea viable from a business point of view? You can have the craziest and the most innovative of business models but they got to bring in some income.
- Pick a Business Idea that complements your nomadic lifestyle
As a nomad entrepreneur, go for a venture that complements your new lifestyle. Travel entrepreneurship is a great field for nomad entrepreneurs.
Similarly, creative fields like writing, photography, blogging, vlogging, etc are great business ideas as most of the work can be completed digitally, or using equipment that you can easily manage yourself.
For creative work, traveling brings in fresh ideas and perspectives that help you break the rut and perform better. So think out of the box.
- Go Slow
This is very important. Don’t sprint your way into a nomadic lifestyle! Everyone has a different threshold. What might be fun for someone might be extreme for you.
So figure out your priorities and take it easy. Do you dislike the idea of working from a fixed space but are not quite comfortable with the idea of hopping from country to country? That’s perfectly cool.
You can be a nomad entrepreneur even as you are based in one city. You can have a combination of a fixed work setting and remote working as and when you like. The definition of nomadic entrepreneurship is quite broad-based. So you don’t have to go all extreme if you don’t like it.
Start with shorter vacations and then see how it goes for you. Figure out your pace and see how much of a nomadic lifestyle is good for you and your work plan.
- Have an Alternative Source of Income
It’s very important to have a backup income source as a nomad entrepreneur.
Setting up your business, especially as you are traveling, will take time. You could set up a passive income source back home by investing in some property and renting it out.
Or explore some freelance opportunities even as you set your business on the go. Your nomadic entrepreneurship venture will take time to stabilize.
And even if you are successful, income won’t start pouring in right away. Besides, you are traveling and exposed to all sorts of uncertainties. So it’s important to figure out a source of passive income.
- Make sure your business can be run online
This one is quite obvious but you need to remember it at all times. The nature of your business should be such that most of your routine work can be taken care of digitally. This would give you the ease of working from wherever you like at your convenience.
- Research your Travel Destinations Well
While starting as a nomad entrepreneur, it’s best to have a fair idea about your travel destinations. Do proper research and make a list of prospective destinations that work best for you.
Some of the basic indicators to look for are the cost of living, the standard of living, digital connectivity, safety and security, climatic conditions, and avenues for socializing and entertainment.
Also, keep an eye out for the local tax laws. As an entrepreneur, you’ll most probably need a base somewhere. You could get your business registered in your home country. But it might be a good idea to base your business in countries that tax less.
Some of the best destinations for digital nomads are Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, Germany, Iceland, and Spain. Many countries offer the digital nomad visa, which roughly translates into specific visa schemes for remote workers.
- Use your nomadic lifestyle to boost your business
Nomadic entrepreneurship isn’t just about holidaying for fun and working from a laptop while you are it. It is all about tapping into the benefits of that lifestyle to boost your startup. Explore local business opportunities.
Hang out with other entrepreneurs from your niche rather than just tourists. Networking is key to building a successful business, even while you are on the move.
Make it a point to go for all kinds of social and industry events where you can get in touch with new clients and forge potential partnerships.
- Manage your finances well
This is the practical side of being a nomad entrepreneur. Traveling is unpredictable so you got to plan your finances well.
It’s always a good idea to have some kind of insurance for yourself and your business while working from abroad.
Also, make sure you are signed up with a travel-friendly bank before you embark on your travels. Not all cards can be used overseas. So you got to have a borderless card for hassle-free transactions while traveling abroad.
You got to live a bit modestly as a nomad entrepreneur, if not frugally. Savings are important and you need emergency funds just in case you need them, so it’s best to avoid an over-the-top, lavish lifestyle.
- Be open to learning new skills
As a nomad entrepreneur, you got to be flexible and have an enthusiastic and open mindset when it comes to learning about new cultures.
Learn something new on the go. Pick up the local language; go for a proper course if you have the time. Every country has some core areas when it comes to business. For example, tourism is the main business in Sri Lanka, and Indians are great at IT.
Try to leverage this knowledge for the growth of your startup and pick up new skills that can benefit your business.
- Be passionate about your business
Nomadic entrepreneurship isn’t easy. It’s as unpredictable as it is exciting. You have to fix up things on your own constantly so it can get lonely and depressing.
If you are super passionate about your business, all these challenges are worth it. So make sure you are doing something you love doing.
Don’t just pick up anything randomly because you are attracted to a nomadic lifestyle and think it would be fun.
You got to remember that working while traveling and just traveling are two different things. There will be times when you will be jetlagged, tired, and simply out of your zone. Until you are doing something that means the world to you, you won’t be able to cope with those times.