Welcome to the 6th edition of “How to Make Money While Travelling” which features successful nomadic teams and interviews with location independent entrepreneurs.
This week I interviewed Sharon Tseung the founder of Digital Nomad Quest, which teaches how to achieve location and financial independence, and Me Want Travel, which inspires young professionals to live for themselves and see the world.
So, how do you make money while travelling?
I’m currently working remotely as a digital marketing professional. However, I’m also working on building my own websites, and I plan to work for myself in the future.
What were you doing before Digital Nomad Quest?
I was still a digital marketer. I had worked at Google as a Partner Brand Manager and Scalable Press as a Marketing Manager. I’m still working at Scalable Press remotely, part-time.
What are your reasons for becoming location independent?
I think everyone dreams of location independence! Who wants to be forced into working at an office? Life is short, and time is valuable. In the past, I was living a life waiting for Fridays and dreading Mondays, and I don’t think anyone should have to live a life like that. The internet has made it possible for us to remove the confines of an office job.
My main reasons for location independence are to maximize my time on Earth and to live out my full potential. I want to see the world from the rich to the poor, learn from the mindsets and lifestyles of different people around the world, and see how I can make a difference in any way I can. I hope I can inspire others who want to do the same.
Do you face any challenges while both working and travelling?
I find a big challenge is finding focus. While traveling, it’s very tempting to replace work with fun all the time. I mean, you’re constantly experiencing new worlds! It’s natural to want to continuously explore. But being a digital nomad requires an extreme amount of discipline and balance. During this “workation” you can’t just play all the time and blow your money if you want to make the digital nomad lifestyle a permanent reality. You have to create your own schedule, sometimes work 80 hours a week instead of 40, and keep working towards your objectives.
How do you find work while travelling?
I was basically able to convert my full-time position into a remote, part-time position. I also found freelancing work on Craigslist. My advice is to try asking your current employers about the possibility of remote work if you’re serious about it, as well as look on Craigslist and other freelancing sites like Elance, Upwork, Odesk, and Freelancer. There are even sites that specifically cater to remote workers like Remote.io and WeWorkRemotely. I’ve been trying to break down exactly how to make money online with a series of posts. If you’d like to understand more about how this is possible, you can check out my post on the fundamentals of making money online.
Why do you think businesses should offer more remote working opportunities?
I think there are many components to this. In my opinion:
- Remote work means happier employees. And happy employees usually mean longer employee retention rates.
- I think businesses should pay for results, not for hours worked. Like mentioned in Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek, a 40-hour workweek does not imply that employees will be productive the entire length of their 9-5 days. I know tons of employees, especially in big companies, who play around and work less than half the hours they’re supposed to work. In this case it seems like businesses are sometimes overpaying for in-office employees, which brings us to the next point…
- Ultimately, whether we like it or not, we’re moving into a digital world. In this generation, a lot of work can be done online. Businesses are more likely to outsource when they can find projects done cheaper remotely. We just need to keep up with the times and accept the digital nomad movement!
If you were to give advice to someone who wants to quit their desk job to become location independent, what would it be?
I bought a one-way ticket for the following year, then spent the year preparing, figuring out how to make money online. I would suggest a similar route. Buy the ticket first and use that action to motivate you to work hard to make location independence a reality.