Welcome to the 22nd edition of “How to Make Money While You Travel” which features successful nomadic teams and interviews with travel entrepreneurs.
Q1: So, Nela, how do you make money while you travel?
I run a design agency. We offer web design as well as print design products, illustrations, 3D and much more. Our core product is a productized design package. You can get as many designs as you want for a little monthly fee.
Q2: What were you doing before visual.addiction?
I worked as a graphic designer and web developer in a software company.
Q3: What are your reasons for becoming location independent?
I was already working in foreign countries during my employement. My boss gave me a lot of freedom which I appreciated a lot. He gave me the chance to work from wherever I wanted to but I had to come back regulary. And I hated that. The more often I was away the longer I wanted to stay. The longing for being location independent got bigger and I had the idea that it could be possible. So I started searching and found out about the digital nomads. And got infected. Within a few months I quit my job, found my own company (fortunately my former boss understood me so well and still supports me!), sold my stuff and started my never ending journey.
I have a deep longing in my heart to be free. I want to be independent in every aspect of my life. I want to go wherever and whenever I want to. I want to see the world, the stunning beauty of all the countries of our wonderful planet earth. I love seeing and exploring new things, live in different ways. I love change and evolvement. Travelling is all that and so much more! That’s why I love to be location independent!
Q4: What challenges do you face in your career while you work and travel?
To run your own business is hard. You have to learn so much new things, even things you are not interested in. For me, that’s accounting, tax, sales. But you have to know at least the basics about it. For creative people like me that can be annoying but that’s part of the game.
Very often I work really hard, like 15 hours a day. Sometimes during the night time when deadlines have to be met. I have a great team, that supports me but still I have to do a lot of things by myself.
When I travel and change the location, I usually need one or two days to settle. Then it’s double hard to work. Then I have to collect all my energy and keep the wheel turning.
The good thing is: I really love my job and my business! I have great clients and awesome people in my team! So in the end it might be hard sometimes but it’s great and I love it!
Q5: What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from becoming location independent?
I learned to focus on doing only what I really love. When I started I wanted to do many different things. Writing a blog, selling stock photography, webdesign, illustration and much more. This was way to much. I worked my ass off and had the feeling I will never come to an end. I wasn’t focused. I got overworked and depressed.
So I decided to skip everything in which I wasn’t really good (e.g. writing my travel blog) and didn’t bring enough money (e.g. affiliate marketing, stock photography – I focused not well enough on these and didn’t have enough time to do so).
That gave me more time and energy to focus on the things I’m really good at – and that’s web and graphic design.
Q6: How do you find work while you travel?
Most of my clients are long-term clients. I know them since many years.
Very often I get new projects via Facebook and mouth-to-mouth propaganda.
Q7: Do you think businesses should offer more remote working opportunities? If so, why?
I think that sooner or later this will be common. Why tie people to a desk when they can work from everywhere at any time. Everyone has a computer and a smartphone. A lot of jobs don`t require more than that and a good internet connection. Employees would be able to create their own daily schedule and live in their rythm. I believe that this is better for their health and their psyche. It would be a great opportunity for families with kids. Mothers could care more for their children and adapt their working schedule to her own routine. That would make life so much easier for many people.
Of course, it needs a lot of self discipline. That’s why remote working is not everybody`s thing. I know a lot of people who prefer having their daily routine and live the 9-to-5-life. That’s fine as well.
Q8: What would your advice be to someone who wants to quit their desk job to become location independent?
Stop thinking and start doing!
And have a bit of money on the side in case anything goes wrong and your business fails.
Don`t travel too fast. When growing your business you will work your ass off, then it`s easier to settle at one place for a while.