After making my transition from full-time employee to full-time freelancer, it seemed (at least initially) as though I’d crossed the finish line in my career… However, I quickly came to learn that my end-goal was a bit short-sighted and that firing my boss wasn’t actually the finish line I’d thought it was all along.
Did achieving my goal feel good? Hell yes it did! It felt absolutely amazing… But, as it turns out, that was “just” a milestone in my career, not the finish line.
I don’t mean to belittle this milestone though… Honestly, removing the nine-to-five shackles and gaining complete freedom over my schedule was no small task, and it’s still one of my proudest accomplishments to-date.
However, it didn’t take very long to realize that I was squandering some of this wonderful opportunity that I’d created for myself… You see, as an employee I’d been so focused on gaining this freedom over my schedule that I’d all but forgotten about arguably the biggest perk that freelancing has to offer.
What perk is that, you ask? — Freedom of location.
About a year after I’d made my transition from full-time employee to full-time freelancer it hit me like a ton of bricks… The realization that the things I was daydreaming about hadn’t really changed much at all.
Sure, I’d crossed a few material items off my list along with some very mild financial independence, but the most important thing was still in the exact same position it had always been… Perched at the very tippy-top of my bucket list was the following item — Travel the world.
Now, I’m not saying my “travel the world” line-item has gone completely unscathed up until this point, it certainly hasn’t…
I have indeed indulged in my location independence a handful times to speak at various WordCamp events throughout North America and Europe. However, none of my previous travels lasted much longer than a week. And if I’m being completely honest here, many of those trips weren’t much more than extended weekends I’d spent lounging around airports waiting out tremendously long layovers, because apparently I have quite the knack for predicting which flights will be delayed (or cancelled completely) then proceeding to book them…
Anyways, I’m not here to complain about Frontier Airlines, so let’s get back on topic shall we?
Okay, so, we were talking about freedom of location, and more specifically, crossing “travel the world” off my bucket list.
Well, back when I was an employee working a “real” nine-to-five job my daydreams often started with “if”… But today, as a freelancer, I’m extremely fortunate that these thoughts are now more a matter of “when” than “if”.
And for me, the time is now.
It took me less than two years to fully entrench myself in the “I’m having the time of my life” phase, and I don’t see the glow wearing off anytime soon.
I’ve built a successful freelancing business as an expert WordPress developer from my home base in Arizona, but, as of a few short-weeks ago, I’ve officially taken on a new title — digital nomad.
It’s true, I’ve parted with the material possessions that have kept me in one place. My townhouse, gone… My Audi, adios (this one still stings a little bit). Anyways, I’ll still be providing all of my clients with same level of exceptional service, it’s just that I’ll be doing it from the Caribbean, Central America, or really anywhere tropical.
If you’d have approached me a couple years ago (back when I was an employee) and told me that this would be my life once I got things rolling as a freelancer, I’m not sure if I would have believed you. But fast forward these few short years and I’m living proof that literally anything is possible.
The whole point of this major shift in work was to make equally major shifts in lifestyle. Instead of clinging on to ten vacation days a year at an office gig, freelancers are able to marry travel and work and still get just as much done. Do you think half-day Fridays are a great perk at your job? Try visiting a new country, whenever you feel like it.
If you’re like me and you can’t sit still in one place for too long, then why haven’t you made the jump to full-time freelancer yet? Don’t sit around waiting for other people to dictate the terms of your employment — I sure didn’t.
The freelance life is available to pretty much anyone these days with the proliferation of outsourcing platforms and the opportunities to network across every major industry. But if you’re currently a WordPress developer and you’re sitting at an office counting down the days until your next “paid vacation,” start making your plan to leave that gig behind!
I’ve outlined my strategy for making the switch to freelancer many times — in fact, it’s the centerpiece of the WordCamp sessions I’ve been fortunate enough to host all around the world. If you follow my lead, you just might soon be facing first-world problems, like which island you want to live on for the next few months?
You too can build this lifestyle for yourself, and it doesn’t have to take long either.
Thanks for indulging me as I shared my exciting news… Now, if you’re thinking of making the transition to life as a digital nomad yourself, please head on over and read this how-to guide I’ve published which outlines my transitions from full-time employee to full-time freelncer to digital nomad, step by step.