The idea of being able to travel and work from anywhere in the world seems like a dream. But is it such a faraway dream?
We live in a world where technology has opened up opportunities for work like never before. Only requiring a wifi connection, and a laptop. Even companies that hire employees are much more open to this idea nowadays, as it saves them money on an office space, and the results are happier employees having more freedom and flexibility with their time.
With the option of remote work being much more accessible than ever before, you are now being blessed with choices of being able to be paid to do work while being mobile.
If you read or watched the video blog about the 3 ways to jumpstart your freedom-based career, I spoke about options from starting your own business (obviously my favourite), and alternatively looking at freelance work contracts or remote jobs (where you are an employee but have the ability to work remotely).
I’ve done two of those three options together, which was negotiating a freelance work contract with my old boss for a short term, while building my own business on the side.
Welcome Tijana, a digital nomad freelancing to fund her travel dreams for the past 5 years.
I invited Tijana Momirov, from Follow The Elements to join me on a video interview in Bali, to speak more about the freelancing idea, as she has been travelling the world as a digital nomad for 5 years, and funding her travels by working as a freelancer.
Tijana started her travelling back in 2010 out of a simple desire to follow the elements of wind, water, waves, sun, sand and be free to windsurf and kite surf wherever and whenever I want. Her software engineering job came along with her after she quit her job to freelance in the same industry. What she thought was temporary, which started simply as a mission to spend more time at the beach, became the best decision she ever made.
She’s realized that the lifestyle is bigger than just freedom of work, but literally what you want to have more in your life. The ability to choose life before work, and create a career that fits the lifestyle, and not the other way around.
Her life now consists of travelling to new continents every 2 months, and working 20 hours per week, so she can have more adventures in her life. From working in a solar powered van, where she only had 4 hours of energy for her laptop per day (talk about needing to get efficient and productive!) to camping in the islands of Greece, she’s managed to create income for herself while leading a satisfying life filled with adventure.
Why freelancing may be for you:
If you don’t want to jump straight into a business, freelancing may be an option for you.
You can try experimenting with an option like this to see what life outside of a traditional cubicle is for you. Because it can be short term, project based, or by contract, you are also creating the discipline to be able to work on your own.
By utilizing the skills you already have, like what Tijana has done, this could be a lower pressure path for you to pursue, if creating a more flexible environment is a necessity for you right away. This will then allow you to be happier and have some freedom in your life, and may act as a great first start as you explore the entrepreneurship route as you go.
There will be a time where you need to start shifting your behavior and mindset from employee to entrepreneur, which usually involves re-creating daily habits, and learning new ways to balance life and work (without turning into a glorified employee at home). Being a freelancer may act as a trial platform for you to experiment with this, while being paid.
Tijana’s tips on how to put yourself out there as a freelancer:
There’s usually no investment needed as a freelancer, which may give you less pressure and commitment if you go this route. Especially if you are wanting more freedom NOW, this process to be a freelancer can be started right away.
Her advice on starting a freelancing career:
- You can create your freelance profile at Upwork.com (previously Odesk.com), where freelancers can enjoy guaranteed payments from the system.
- There is a transparency of what you want to charge in your hourly rates, and testimonials for your profile will be visible.
- Having a great profile allows job offers come to you when your profile is done well. This means that if you do take on a job, the quality of your delivery of the results are important to keep your profile’s ranking looking good.
- You get to choose the clients you want to work with and also see the transparency of their profiles, like what previous projects they had, are the freelancers that worked for them, and gives you an idea if they are a reputable company to work for.
- You can also sleuth on other people’s profile/your competition to see how they landed a gig that you may not have gotten, to see what skills they have (which may give you a clue on what you may need to work on).
- When applying for a job, you can also check who else has applied to gauge if its worth your while, and perhaps create the right strategy for the interview based on what you see on the what the other applicant’s may have to offer
- What can you do if you have a new profile without testimonials or clients just yet? You can build your profile with those assessments and tests to give you some ranking on your profile, as these assessments/tests measures your skill sets and the scores will be seen on your profile to give you credibility.
- There is a tracker tool that does screenshots so that you actually do the actual hours that you commit to (no using your breaks as the actual charged hours)
- Keeping yourself planned, efficient, and productive
- Choose hourly rate to be more transparent, and for any change requirements
- Fixed pricing estimation may or may not work with you (if client wants to go into 3 hour skype discussions)
- There are short term and long term projects (depending on the type of work you do)
- See the most popular job titles, and sleuth on other people’ s profiles that are applying or winning those jobs and see how their skills synched, and how you can ensure your profile does the same
What did Tijana realize in her minimalistic approach to life these days?
- You don’t need much to be happy
- You value the freedom of choice
- Less stuff is more freedom
- You can get satisfaction with simplicity in your life
- Home becomes where you are happy and comfortable in – you can find your home away from home
What are “Workacations”?
- Workcations = Work vacations
- For people who want to have fun, but an environment for ideas exchange and networking
- Tijana will be launching her first workcation in Brazil with DNS Camps for 10 days
- Brainstorming, improving businesses, accountabilities, and meeting others
- Adventures included
How can you reach Tijana?
Ask her anything about freelancing and her path to get there!
P.S. If you find today’s episode helpful, please forward it to a friend, colleague, or anyone you think that could benefit. And of course, comment below to speak directly to me and I would love to support you