Despite the modern world we live in allowing for remote work, it still is not easy trying to make it as a digital nomad freelancer. Location independence is certainly possible for many people, but it can lack the security of a traditional job and at any moment, it could all go wrong. Clients disappear without a trace, online companies collapse, and projects fall through. Everyone attempting to be a digital nomad, chasing their dream career, has suffered setbacks. There will be times when funds are running low and you start to wonder whether you have made the right decision. It is in these moments, that you need to really search for a source of motivation to keep going. Always remember that a new exciting project could pop up at any moment and success could be one phone call away.
Throw Yourself into Your Passion
Losing a job can be devastating, but with a slight change in perspective, it can be viewed as an opportunity. You now have much more free time in which you can dedicate your attention to whatever makes sense for you. Think of all the things about your previous job that were dragging you down. Perhaps it was the endless emails, the long hours, or the rude clients. During those more difficult times, you probably spent your time daydreaming of all the ways you’d rather have been spending your time.
Well, now you have no excuse. Until more work comes along, use your free time to write that book, plan that business venture, or take your favorite hobby more seriously. Doing the things that create a feeling of excitement will help you to stay motivated and be productive each and every day. This stops you slipping into an unstructured state of idleness and may eventually start to bring in an income. If there is no promise of money motivating you to work, then engaging in your passion will do the trick.
Send Off a Steady Flow of Pitches and Applications
The structure is your best tool as a freelancer and hopefully, you are already working a set amount of hours to maximize productivity. When the workflow slows down, however, don’t allow yourself to lose that discipline. Dedicate time each day towards looking for new work. Whether it is applying for remote positions or pitching your services to potential clients, make sure that you have a steady flow of applications being sent out.
The best time to do this is in the morning when you are free from distractions and have the energy to make the best pitch you can. Be a minimalist about which gigs you apply for, going for quality over quantity. Prioritize the jobs which are the most exciting or well paid, putting all of your energy into these first. If you have some spare time and motivation, later on, you can then apply for the less interesting, low-level jobs. Once again, putting effort into landing a job that you are excited and passionate about will be your only source of motivation, since no one pays you for the work required just to apply to jobs.
Relocate, Restructure, Reevaluate
If things aren’t going to plan, then sometimes a change of scene can offer you what you need. Traveling to a new environment can give you a fresh perspective, which offers a creative boost that could help you to launch a new project. You may want to move somewhere with lower living costs so that you can live more comfortably until your cash flow improves, or move somewhere sunny in the hope that you will be more productive in a more pleasant environment.
Research the best locations for digital nomads and set yourself up for success. Whether you head to Tallinn to join a dynamic, up and coming, digital nomad community or you are basking in the Bali sun, enjoying the strong infrastructure, low living costs, and fantastic weather, choosing a location made for remote work will boost your chances of success.
You should also use this time to remove any distractions, freeing up time and mental energy, which can then be redirected towards your career. Sell, donate, throw away, or otherwise get rid of any clutter that is using up your precious limited time and attention. Cut off all toxic relationships and start building a positive support network. Go to events and reach out to people in your field who might be able to help. This complete overhaul and restructuring of your life should set you on the road to success.
Finally, reevaluate your situation. Is there really any money in the career you were pursuing or is there a more lucrative alternative out there? Maybe you have been selling package holidays, but, as the collapse of Thomas Cook shows, this is no longer a popular option in the travel market. In this situation, you’d be better off designing a service that helps customers to land the cheapest budget flights or accommodation, as this is currently the rising market trend.
Take a moment to review your business model and research stronger options. If you were trying to make money from YouTube ads, but the algorithm screwed you over, then look at subscription models. What content can you offer that people would pay a small monthly donation to consume? This period of slow workflow is your opportunity to plan and restructure both your life and your career path so that it works for you. This is where the majority of your working hours should be going to.
The remote work lifestyle is a difficult one to achieve, but for many people, it is the most fulfilling. However, with plenty of setbacks and sudden losses of work, it can be hugely demotivating and disillusioning. If you have found yourself stuck, unable to get the workflow you need to sustainably maintain a freelance career, then don’t be put off. You now have a significant chunk of extra time, and it is up to you how you spend these hours.
Think about what you are truly passionate about and spend a few hours a day dedicated to these tasks. If you truly love and enjoy a certain activity, then you will be motivated to do it even if you are not getting paid. Your output will also be some of your best work, meaning there is a good chance you could start to earn a living from your passion. Make sure that you schedule a time for making pitches and sending job applications, prioritizing the high-level vacancies, to maximize your chances of landing something amazing. Finally, a complete restructuring of your life and reevaluation of your dreams might be in order, opening you up more lucrative opportunities. Use these tips to stay motivated and there is no limit to what you can achieve as a location independent freelancer.