0 Comments |  Sole trader |  PRINT | 

The life of a solo digital nomad

Wednesday, 7 November 2012 | By Linnet Hunter

If you as a solopreneur find that you are travelling about like a gypsy, or even like a snail with a laptop on your back, welcome to the world of the digital nomad.


As the name suggests, these 21st century self-employed types are the ones you see sitting in cafes with gadgets at the ready, holding business meetings wherever the WiFi is free and the coffee is strong.


If you count yourself as one of them, here are four things you can do to make being a wandering worker even more fun.


1. Syncopate your existence and make it smoother by saving your stuff to the Cloud


This means wherever you are you can access the information for a meeting, or the latest version of that report.


Dropbox offers quite a large space for free, and if you add this to what you get for nix with iCloud if you are Mac user, plus a complimentary 5GB with Google Drive, you should have enough space to be going on with. Gratis.


2. Connect the dots


Make sure you have all the paperwork to cover yourself when you are moving about. Insurance companies always seem to want an office address but no doubt they’ll work it out eventually.


In the meantime, choose a mailing address and make sure your policies cover all your electronic stuff no matter whose car, train or plane they are in. Insuring your data is another matter, much more complicated, so the quicker answer is back it up. In several ways. Often.


3. Convert the commute


Being nomad involves lots of moving about, but it’s not wasted time.


As a writer I can jot down ideas wherever I am, and I have found , that wearing earphones (even disconnected ones) on the two hour trip to the city effectively stifles the jolly enquiries from fellow travellers who do not see the journey as an ideal opportunity to work, as I do.


Added to that, the pleasure of catching up on industry news and developments via downloaded podcasts means no travel time is wasted.


4. Choose the space to suit the task


Sometimes we nomads don’t realise quite how free we are.


We have so much choice! And since we do, why not choose somewhere enriching to the spirit to do work that needs it?


As an example, here’s a list of some my recent workspaces and what I did there:

  • My life partner’s regional office – administration, BAS statements, phone calls, emails
  • City collaborative space – networking, face-to-face meetings, accessing ideas, research using high-speed broadband
  • Regional town – café meeting with client for ongoing discussion of strategy
  • Surf beach – uninterrupted solitude thinking and writing and planning and dreaming
  • Train – update database, compose letters and emails

So make the most of the freedom you do have to make the most of the set workplace that you don’t have, and enjoy the ride!