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It is a well-known fact that more and more people are starting and managing their business not just from their homes, but virtually everywhere else in the world. There are many benefits to being a digital nomad, plus, it’s easy to start! All you need is an entrepreneurial skill set, an open mind, and a mobile device such as a laptop to work with.
Before reading any further, this article assumes that you already have your own business and are able to travel freely. Being a location independent entrepreneur wasn’t really possible 15 0r 20 years ago, but today you can actually live the dream of traveling around the world and working at the same time. This article will provide some tips, tricks, and tools for you to take full advantage of technology and make the world is your oyster.
Indispensable tools to run your business successfully:
Freshbooks: Freshbooks is like an accountant on wheels that follows you just about anywhere you work. You get to manage your invoices, expenses and payment activity, and enhance productivity with its time-tracking feature too.
- PayPal: Send and receive payments. You can also send simple invoices. Paypal also offers a debit MasterCard, which allows you to pay for things using your PayPal account.
- EarthClassEmail – Receive all of your mail via email.
Speek: Speek calls itself a “painless web-based conferencing tool” and has been a great lifesaver for those who work remotely (and those who don’t). With Speek, there’s no need to worry about pesky PINS and passwords. You can do away with remembering telephones numbers or even jumbled up links just to speak to your contacts, be it on a conference or webinar.
- Schwab Bank Checking Account: Why do you need this? Because they reimburse you for every single ATM transaction and have no international fees. You can also deposit money into your account from PayPal, so then you have a nice little system of accessing your money without paying bogus fees.
- World Nomads: Easy and affordable travel insurance. It’s great to have, but let’s hope you’ll stay safe and never need it.
Asana: Asana is a must-have tool that intelligently manages your projects and creates a smoother flow for collaborations, making working in a team seamlessly and effortlessly easy.
Dropbox: Easily share and track files with one another – need we say more?
Google Drive: Create and share files, documents, spreadsheet – almost everything you need to collaborate online can be found here.
1. Start the day as if you’re going to work.
And that means waking up to a good/nourishing breakfast and wearing something else other than your pajamas. Doing so definitely helps you get into the mood to work, and believe me, it WILL show when you communicate with your clients or team members via phone or email.
2. Make yourself readily available and check in often.
And by check in, I don’t mean the Foursquare. If you have an employer you report to, or team members you collaborate with, be sure to make yourself available at a set time (you may define this by time zones all of you agree to) so that you can connect with them while at the same time, establish trust and accountability. In other words, you need to be transparent and accessible.
3. Set your hours.
We know you can practically work all day if you want, but the best thing to do is to set realistic hours so that you establish some sort of schedule. It takes discipline not to stray from your work schedule, therefore having a regular schedule helps things fall into their own place easily.
4. Invest in essential must-haves.
And that include (but is not limited to):
Headset with mute function – For when you need to be hands-free and not annoy people at the other end of the line with your domestic noises.
Webcam – Most laptops now come with considerably reliable webcams but do keep a separate one in case the built-in one fails.
More than one monitor – There are studies that show productivity can increase up to 50 percent with the addition of a second, or even third, monitor. The downside having more than one monitor is that once you get used to it, it won’t be same anymore when you work remotely at a vacation site. Then again, why would you want to work when you’re holidaying?
5. Don’t be an island.
Go out. Get lunch with friends. Don’t be an antisocial, grumpy, work-at-home person. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut working indoors with irregular hours and forgetting to have fun. What’s stopping you from going out for a walk, to the gym, or to grab a gelato, and perhaps glean a little inspiration at the same time?
6. Go paperless
That goes for bills, official letters, and other stuff you want delivered but only to your virtual mailbox. That way when you move around, you won’t miss a single letter or carry around loads of paper with you. Invest in an Evernote Moleskin – The Evernote Notebooks by Moleskine go hand in hand with the Evernote app and helps you create digitize versions of your handwritten notes.
If you are not equipped to do everything by yourself, then it’s time to outsource and hire other freelancers. One thing you can do that benefits the community you’re in, no matter where you travel to, is to hire freelancers in the area and support them by providing jobs. Check oDesk.com or PeoplePerHour.com to find a perfect candidate. For more info on outsourcing, check out this article: Top Outsourcing Websites for Entrepreneurs.