It’s definitely not the case with absolutely every single individual who identifies as a digital nomad, but for the most part this much-coveted lifestyle is bedazzled with way too much gloss and sheen. I’ve had the privilege of spending a couple of days with some real digital nomads who were extremely forthcoming and honest with what they refer to as their struggle to break out of the mould seemingly created for them by the establishment.
From the intelligence I gathered, it would appear as if there are two types of people who refer to themselves as digital nomads, those who make their money remotely and prefer to work from anywhere where they can afford to travel to and those who make their money by selling the lifestyle of a digital nomad.
Ordinary digital nomads are just as hard-working as anyone else and perhaps work even harder than someone who has a typical eight-hour job. The only difference between them and a full-time employee who has to report to a specific location for work every day is that the digital nomads complete their work on their laptops and deliver it via the internet. They also then get paid via the web and pretty much organize their entire lives on the move online.
So you might get a consultant, a web designer, programmer or someone like a translator choosing to be location independent and thereby deciding to work more on a freelance basis or with a client that isn’t concerned with their location.
The other type of digital nomad you get is a digital nomad by self-proclaimed definition and that’s pretty much it really. These types of “digital nomads” usually have an established income stream or they’re sitting on a pile of capital which allows them to fake the digital nomad lifestyle. With their laptops in tow, they visit some of the most exotic of locations and take pictures of themselves pretending to do some work on their laptops, typically at the beach. You know those corny pictures…
What they then do is find a way to package that lifestyle into some sort of training course or something of that sort, which they sell in some or other way. Either it’s sold directly or via some affiliate structure, but either way, what they sell is the idea of becoming a digital nomad.
To put it more directly, it’s typically a case of “If you want to learn how I make money online as a digital nomad and get to enjoy this lifestyle of working remotely, buy this training program or sign up to this seminar, etc.“
The real digital nomads who earn their money working remotely or running remote businesses are never even in the slightest bit aggressive with the sharing of their lifestyles and are certainly not even in the slightest bit aggressive with the selling of training programs and the likes. All they really do is share their lifestyles so that they can perhaps connect with other digital nomads and maybe even land more clients.