Creative people are slaughtering themselves everyday, stuck in offices at jobs they hate, longing to be free and roam the world like digital nomads do.
They get smashed every Friday after work and sleep in half the next day. Then they drag themselves out of bed, and try to squeeze in some creative time over the weekend between family, friends, and laundry.
On Sunday they drink again to forget that they have to go back to work the next day.
Though they may have heard about the growing number of location-independent workers known as digital nomads, they aren’t sure how to use their creativity to become one.
If this sounds like you, I have soothing words for you:
You’re unfit for the 9 to 5, but you can totally use your creativity to escape!
Most creative and unconventional people do not thrive in 9 to 5 jobs unless they have aligned their creativity with a professional creative career path.
For others, the hours and energy required by a 9 to 5 job leave them too physically and mentally exhausted to develop their artistic skills beyond an occasional hobby.
I know, because I tried. Every time I got a full-time job, I was happy to take the paycheck and set my handmade jewelry business aside.
Usually it followed an overseas trip or visit home to the U.S. to see my family.
I would embrace new work skills and try to create a meaningful connection between the job and my life goals.
Yet, no matter how much I loved the job, after nine or ten months it would begin to feel like a grind. I would start longing to be free and to get back to making money from my creative pursuits.
The problem was, making jewelry, like many creative pursuits, keeps you chained to your craft desk. Taking holidays for more than a few days is impossible unless you hire a virtual assistant.
For me, an American living in Australia, my handmade e-commerce dream conflicted entirely with my travel dreams.
I needed to use my creativity not only to earn a living, but to be free to visit my family without losing business, stay for as long as I like, and not return broke or in debt.
At a crisis point in my life, I brainstormed how to make it all work and finally hit upon the answer.
Making money from your creativity is a giant hurdle in itself, so how can you also make money from it while being free to travel the world?
As I wrote in my post, ‘Stop Wasting Your Creativity and Learn Digital Marketing Already’, the answer for all creatives, I believe, comes down to digital marketing.
The majority of digital nomads are–surprise surprise!–digital marketers.
And if they are not in digital marketing of some kind, they often promote their services with digital marketing.
So, if you can master digital marketing, you can not only build whatever creative business you desire, but you can bootstrap it as you build by offering digital marketing services.
Providing digital services will help you build your creative business and allow you to live as a digital nomad.
You can spend years building a creative business on the side of a completely unrelated, full or part-time job.
Or, you can rapidly develop the skills that will launch your creative business by offering them as services as you learn and practice them, one at a time, one client or contract at a time.
The demand for services for all skill levels is vast, while the demand for your creative thing will be minuscule until you grow an audience that is aware of what you do.
Start your creative business now and begin to learn digital marketing skills.
The first digital skill that you enjoy and that you become proficient at can then become what you offer as a service!
There are thousands of online courses you can take to learn every skill you will ever need to work online.
Here are the top professions of digital nomads according to a 2014 survey on Upwork, one of the largest sites for connecting service providers to businesses:
- Social media manager
- Drop ship e-commerce store owner
- IT – software engineer
- Web designer
- Graphic designer
- Writers and editors
- Accountants and bookkeepers
- SEM specialists
- Virtual assistants
- Email marketers
For most non tech-savvy people, social media will be their entry point to digital marketing, as it was for me.
Social media management is perfect for digital nomadism because you can schedule all your posts days, even weeks ahead!
It also requires a lot of creativity, from graphic design, copywriting, curating editorial calendars, and most especially in creating successful strategies.
I took an online training course in how to become a social media manager and became self-employed within four months!
Now, I no longer have to work from home or anywhere else in particular.
I could continue to run my handmade accessories business alongside my service business.
But I’m too excited about making a decade-old dream come true by becoming a digital nomad.
In just a few weeks, I’ll pack everything I own into storage to become a pet and house sitter. I don’t how long I’ll do it, but I’m guessing at 2 years.
Pet and house sitting is a great way to practice being a nomad locally if you’re not quite ready to go global. Read about my pet-sitting test run here.
This year, I will chronicle my personal journey in digital nomadism while showing you how you can become one yourself. If this sparks your interest, be sure to subscribe to catch my next post.
For more about my personal creative journey, read my post, ‘Do What you Love, and the Money Will follow.’