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Are you researching ways you can become a digital nomad yet scared AF you can't make it happen?
Our inner critic works so damn hard to poo-poo our deepest desires, doesn't it? 💩
It will make up any excuse to discourage us from trying new things.
And most of the excuses are absurd when we take a closer look at them.
I told myself a lot of silly things in the course of starting my own business as a social media manager so that I could eventually become a digital nomad.
I desperately wanted to escape 9-5 office work and find a way to work from anywhere for however long I wanted.
My hard-core, seemingly 'impossible' daydream was to be able to leave Australia at any time to visit my family in the U.S. without ever having to ask for time off.
No waiting around for when Sally in Accounts got back from her maternity leave. 🙄
Or having to restrict my holiday to the number of days I was permitted to have off.
Living a restricted, conventional lifestyle made me feel trapped and drained.
My only option was a total lifestyle transformation, but it terrified me and I had no idea where to begin.
I wanted the freedom to work and travel as I pleased - but first I had to outgrow my ugly-duckling impostor syndrome.
So here are 10 of the bullshit excuses I had to ditch to become a digital nomad.
Let's start from when I was at 'I have no idea where to start' moving up to 'I think I got this but still feel like a fraud!'
1. 'Starting an Online Biz is Too Hard'
I ditched this excuse by reminding myself how hard getting up early to go to a job I hated was also hard.
Commuting an hour to and from that job was hard.
Having to work alongside people with suffocatingly limited worldviews was also hard.
If starting an online business was also hard, I decided, it couldn't be as hard as remaining in a restrictive lifestyle I could no longer bear.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
― Anais Nin
2. 'I'm Not Smart Enough'
One of the mottos that saw me through this excuse was, 'If so-and-so can do it, so I can I'.
I thought this about a few of my employers, as you do when you realize that having a business does not automatically mean you have your shit together.
One morning you come into the office and you hear the gossip about another hair-brained decision your boss just made and it hits you...I could run this place better than him!
I also looked for how other people my age had become self-employed and I convinced myself I could work it out.
That all I needed was the guts to go for it, not an exceptional I.Q.
3. 'I'm Better Off As An Employee'
This lame excuse bubbled up whenever I had life-fails.
You know, like when you are late paying a bill and your inner critic snarks, 'And you think you could do the bookkeeping for a business when you can't even pay a bill on time?'
Or when you forget to take the recycling bin to the curb...for the second week in a row! 😒
It's so easy to pass judgement on ourselves for our little life-fails and make a whack exaggerated assumption that we would also be inept at business.
But you can't compare your present maladjusted employee self to your future entrepreneurial and nomadic, free self , OK?
You're just as likely to make mistakes when employed as when you're self-employed. The biggest difference is you won't be as down on yourself about your mistakes when you're not wallowing in as much everyday misery as when you're employed!
4. 'I don't want to lose financial security'
Oh, the big one.
There is no getting around the fact that predictable weekly payment is more secure than the money roller coaster of self-employment.
But you know what isn't secure? Having only one income source. Having only one employer/company holding the reigns of your income.
And not having any control over that security. The only security that is truly yours is what you have in assets and in your savings account.
I never did the save-six-months living expenses or side-hustle route, which I do recommend over the nose-dive into debt I took instead.
I lost my job and had only 4 weeks' payout, two credit cards, and measly government assistance to prop me up until I figured out a way to stand on my own.
First, I moved my home office into my garage and rented out the second bedroom of my apartment. Then I used one of the credit cards to buy an online course that taught me how to become a social media manager.
Luckily, my former employer became my first contract client to continue the social media management I had been doing for him.
After that, I secured three more clients on retainers and cut myself off government assistance to put a motivational fire under my bum. 🔥
All within 4 months.
Then within a year I packed everything up and became a pet-sitting digital nomad.
That helped me survive those first few feast-and-famine (ok, mostly famine) freelance years. I no longer had to pay rent and utilities. Pet-sitting is a fabulous way to become a digital nomad locally before you become one globally, by the way!
Once you make the decision not to return to job security, you do what you must to make yourself financially secure.
And now I earn much more than I ever did when I was an employee. I have multiple income streams and multiple 'bosses' (my clients).
I feel far more secure than I could ever feel with a job!
5. 'I Don't Have Experience'
I thought, 'Who am I to run a business? I've only ever sold things on Ebay!'
But I reminded myself of all the things I had to do for the first time before I gained experience in them.
I'd had a lot of different jobs over the years because I loved to work, save, then spend it all on overseas travel. I would travel until the money ran dry and I had to return to do it all again.
I have worked as admin assistant, delivery driver, waitress, English teacher, jewelry designer, bartender, retail assistant, wholesale assistant, and laser cut home décor designer.
People tend to overlook their experience because they're too often just looking at a box with a title and they think, 'Well I don't fit THAT!.
But what they should be doing is re-shaping the box to fit them.
Where does experience come from except trying?
And when you're willing to learn and to fail, you'll gain experience.
6. 'I'm Embarrassed to Put Myself Out There'
After setting up my website and getting business cards printed, it was time to GO OUT INTO THE WORLD.
To show up at networking events, smile, and say, 'I'm a Social Media Manager!'.
Or put pictures and videos up on the web and say, 'I'm a Social Media Manager!'.
I got over the fear of putting myself out there because I realized nobody cares.
Nobody cares as much as me what I'm doing with my life. Everybody cares about their own life. They don't have time to care about yours as much as you do, and they don't care about the same things.
It's hard to fathom, but there are a lot of people who have ZERO inclination to travel at all, let alone to become a digital nomad! 😳
So why get embarrassed about putting yourself out there? People are not paying as much attention to you as you think they are.
They don't care.
So stop caring about what you think they are thinking about you.
7. 'People Will See Me As A Fraud'
Ah, Impostor Syndrome. Everyone feels it - unless they are psychopaths.
I felt less like a fraud the more I read about how just about everyone who is successful has also felt like a fraud.
We just trick each other into thinking we all know what we're doing because we're all putting on a show for each other.
Read this article on how even Hollywood actresses have imposter syndrome if you want to quickly get over this excuse!
“I feel every time I’m making a movie, I feel like [it’s] my first movie. Every time I have the same fear that I’m gonna be fired. And I’m not joking. Every movie, the first week, I always feel that they could fire me!” ~ Penélope Cruz
8. 'It's Too Hard To Find Clients'
This lame-ass excuse came at me hard after I first lost a client. I'd had luck getting my first four clients fairly quickly: my ex-boss, two at a networking event, and the brother of a close friend.
So when I lost my first - and felt the sting of financial insecurity for the first time - I freaked out and did the absolute worst thing you can do when you lose clients.
I undervalued my services and picked up many new clients for a pittance. I was then massively overworked and underpaid for nearly two years.
'It's hard to find clients' was a lie I told myself in a state of fear paralysis.
Now, five year later I know that it is easy to find clients.
There are many ways to find clients. We only think it's hard when we don't know all the ways.
9. 'I Need Someone To Help Me'
This one comes down to how you were raised. You're either going to fall more into the 'I need help' camp or 'I don't need any help' camp.
And either way, it's an excuse - we tell ourselves what we are used to telling ourselves when we get stuck. So that we stay stuck safely in our comfort zones.
But making big life changes means changing the way we are used to thinking. It means clearing the mental junk out of our way and opening up new thought channels as we get to know our strengths and weaknesses.
I told myself I could do it all alone. I was used to being self-reliant.
Except for help from tech-minded boyfriends, ever since I left my family in the U.S. I've done everything for myself by myself.
But after a while, I recognized there were things I shouldn't do in my business just because I can do them. And there were things I hated doing that I didn't need to be doing.
Outsourcing is an incredible time leverage that gives us more freedom. It's easy to hire help, and you can get help with almost everything in life.
And trust me - if you plan to become a digital nomad and be able to enjoy the places you visit, you're going to have to hire help to cover those wifi-free places! 😂
The important thing is to recognize where you need it and to not think you're locked in to doing things any certain way.
10. 'I Can't Self-Motivate'
One of the biggest excuses to pursuing your dreams is telling yourself you're too lazy to pursue them.
Rest assured, this feeling comes from feeling lazy in your present life!
You'll be amazed at how motivated you'll feel when you are your own boss, working and living wherever you choose!
And being a bit lazy is a good thing in business anyway...
It means you'll find ways to get work down faster and more efficiently because you know when you're DONE you can leave your desk!
You're not required to sit there, watching the clock for 5 o'clock to roll around, regardless of how much or how little work you've done.
Conclusion: If You Want To Become a Digital Nomad, Examine Your Excuses. See the B.S. Then DITCH THEM!
I've had all 10 of these thoughts, like little piranhas nipping at my dreams to become a digital nomad. They WILL try to eat your best intentions if you don't catch them nibbling away at you.
Take a close look at every thought and ask yourself if it's true. You'll find most of them are bullshit.
The more you intentionally do this, the more “easy” and natural it becomes.
You'll start to see through your fears and outgrow your impostor syndrome.
You can become a digital nomad if you want to.
You can do it, and I'll help show you how!
First, if you'd like to become a social media manager, my upcoming S.W.A.N. Transformation Marketing Strategy Agency will show you everything you need to learn to set yourself up as a social media agency and do the work. Sign-up below to get on the waitlist for the free handbook on my unique S.W.A.N. strategy to find out more about it before it launches!
Second, join my free Facebook community, Marketing For Creative & Unconventional Women. It’s where I help creative women overcome their imposter syndrome and learn to kick-ass with their marketing to fund their DREAMS
About half the women in my group are either social media managers or freelancers, and many are digital nomads, too.
And ALL of them are BADASS location-independent online entrepreneurs, learning to outgrow ugly duckling impostor syndrome, kickass with their marketing, and fund their alternative lifestyle DREAMS of freedom and world travel.