About 2 years ago I was a couple years out of college, working at a big, fancy corporate job that I thought was “the job.” I hustled, worked long hours, sacrificed in other parts of my life and did everything I could to climb the ladder.
I saw the top.
I didn’t like the view.
I wanted more.
I realized two things, I wanted to be my own boss and I wanted to live abroad. I wanted more fulfillment in my life. So, I got a teaching certificate and booked a ticket to Thailand.
Those two things set me on the path to entrepreneurship and becoming a digital nomad. Now I help women all over the world do the same thing. I am a business coach who helps other service providers live the “laptop lifestyle.” I have found that it doesn’t take a lot to build a successful business. You don’t need enormous sums of money, investors or an office. All you really need is a wifi connection and a lot of drive.
It’s a lot of work being an entrepreneur but now I get to live the life I always wanted without being tied to anything. For the past two years, I’ve been able to live in places like Thailand, Vietnam, Bali, Taiwan and I just moved from Malaysia to Croatia, because I can. Freedom is priceless and I feel so lucky that I get to help other women achieve that autonomy for themselves too.
People ask me all the time how I did it. How at barely 27 years old I can live pretty much anywhere, work for myself and have a multi-6-figure business that I grew from scratch? The answer isn’t simple and my path definitely wasn’t a straight line, but there are some tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the last few years on growing a business from a laptop.
If you want to be your own boss and have the beach be your office, here are some things to consider:
Try It All
Remote work is weird. Plain and simple it’s just a whole different animal than getting a “regular” job. When I was a college grad people just went on Linkedin or job boards and applied for jobs just by filling in a few blanks. With everything going on there is definitely a shift happening but finding a job with a stable income AND the flexibility to work on your own time isn’t really a thing.
After my stint teaching I tried everything to see what would stick. I started a travel blog, taught english online, ran Facebook ads, started drop shipping, made a travel vlog and tried to get into social media management. Some were more successful than others but none were going where I wanted them to. But I am so glad I tried them all because it taught me what I really didn’t want to do and what I enjoyed.
Get Serious & Find Your Niche
Once you determine a viable type of work, it’s time to get serious, focus and narrow it down. For me that was deciding to treat my business like a real business and launch my design business as well as speaking to my travel enthusiast, type A entrepreneurs and digital nomads. But, that still didn’t feel right so I pivoted. I hired a coach and started a coaching business of my own which I now run.
Invest in Knowledge & Resources
Hiring a coach was a game changer for me. You don’t know what you don’t know so having someone to learn from and be guided by is invaluable. Especially when you are starting out, working with a coach or joining a program, course or mastermind with the right people can help you find the right path and make you feel more confident in your choices.
Nerd Out About Numbers
Anyone who knows or follows me knows I love my numbers. I attribute some of my early success to having a comprehensive understanding of the business side of my business. I understood income, expenses, profits, I knew how to analyze my Instagram metrics, as well as how to create step by step systems and processes. Data and systems are what will save you from simply guessing and help you make the kind of risks that lead to you building a successful multiple six figure business.
Nope, not the “Omg girl I love your feed,” relationships. I’m talking real connections that go beyond selling in the DMs. Connections are everything in the digital space and business realm and people forget about that. It might not be the same time of networking you do for “regular” jobs but it’s just as valuable to focus on this as a digital nomad or entrepreneur in general.
Moving abroad may seem like a dream life (and in many ways it is!) But, finding your niche, becoming financially independent and just feeling fulfilled can be challenging. I was done chasing freelance opportunities and not making the income I wanted so I shifted. Now, I live the digital nomad life that I always wished was possible.
There are so many ways that you can work for yourself and live abroad, these are just the pieces of my story. If you are willing to get uncomfortable, work hard, ask for help, invest in yourself and go for it, freedom is possible. I hope it inspires you to go for it too.
This is a guest article written by Amanda Kolbye, a Business and Marketing coach who helps digital nomads and travel enthusiast entrepreneurs live the “Laptop Lifestyle.” You can connect with Amanda on Instagram for more free trainings and resources.