Last week, we wrote an article about the life of Digital Nomads. This post generated much interest and quite a few queries from our social media community. It seems that there are a lot of misconceptions about “Digital Nomads”“.
Is the ‘nomad lifestyle’ all it is cracked up to be? Will Waterloo be just a distant bad memory or a pang of deep regret? Obviously, there is no definitive answer but since many of you were interested in this topic we thought it deserved a second look.
So, today we’ll take a look at some of the myths about being a digital nomad and see if they really make sense.
Myth #1: You have to have a lot of money to be a digital nomad
This is the most common misconception I hear. It’s just not true. Digital nomads work because it’s a flexible way of working. You can move around the world, or you can work from your home office, or anywhere else you choose. You don’t need to have a lot of money to be a digital nomad, but you do need to have a lot of time. The truth is that digital nomads are people who love to travel and they love to work from anywhere.
Myth #2: ‘Digital Nomads are people who want to escape the real world.’
This is not true. Many Digital Nomads are not interested in escaping the real world. In fact, they are interested in the real world. Many Digital Nomads are people who are interested in the world around them. Many Digital Nomads are interested in learning new things and are interested in travelling. Many Digital Nomads are interested in their communities. Many Digital Nomads are also interested in the internet and its community, and in social media. Some Digital Nomads are even interested in politics.
Myth #3: ‘Digital Nomads don’t have a house or family.’
This is also not true. Many Digital Nomads have a house, a family, a dog, and a cat. It does depend, to an extent on your age group. If you were young and free in London you might well be young and free in Lima or Laos. In fact, some people travel full-time and are still part of their family. Many of them travel from their home to their client’s locations.
Myth #4: ‘Digital Nomads don’t work hard.’
This is not true. Many Digital Nomads work hard. Some of them work longer hours than a 9-5 office worker. Some work more than one job. Many work from their laptop, and some work from their desktop computer. Many of them travel from their home to their client’s locations. Many of them are also freelance writers, photographers, web designers, graphic designers, and even video editors. Freelancers are often working across time zones so they are often at the beck and call of clients at the most unsocial times of day and night.
Myth #5: Digital Nomads are ‘lone wolves.
This is not the case. Many Digital Nomads travel in a group, and they work together. Some Digital Nomads work from their home, some work from a co-working space, some work from a client’s location, and some work from their home and then travel to the client’s location. If you read our post last week, you might recall that some nomads base themselves on Israeli Kibbutz which is a very community-spirited organisation. I remember a documentary about a group of young Swedish online poker players working as a ‘nomad’ group out from a Bangkok hotel. It was very team-oriented and insanely profitable!
You have to be a computer geek..
That’s not true. There are even Digital Nomads who don’t have a computer. There are Digital Nomads who are not interested in computers. There are Digital Nomads who are not interested in technology. Mind you, most of the nomads I know are quite computer savvy but not necessarily ‘nerds’. But since much of the interface is by laptop it is probably important to deal with everyday PC problems to stay online and out of trouble.
Myth #7: You can do it all by yourself.
The biggest myth of all is that you can work efficiently without the support and backup of a virtual office. You will be amazed at just how useful an efficient London base can be for you wherever you are physically based. London is a world communications centre and is trusted by businesses everywhere. Clients don’t want suppliers with a PO Box address in Phuket when they can work with a supplier on London’s Regent Street.
The truth is that if you are working from your home, you are going to need the support and backup of a virtual office.
It will also help you to focus on your work and not worry about the other things that you have to deal with at your home. Your virtual office will give you the support and backup you need to succeed.