How Digital Nomads are Changing Old School Business in a Global Economy
First off, I hesitate to call myself a digital nomad, especially since I’m not actually traveling anymore these days. But let’s face it. Having a business you can run from anywhere–essentially an “online business” — with no brick & mortar location — gives you the freedom and option to work from anywhere, even if that means working from home, working in a cafe, or in a co-working office. Or even if it means working at your boyfriend’s apartment when you lie to your mom that you’re “going to work in Portland” back when you were a young 30something still at your mom’s all but a year ago, reminiscent of a teenager sneaking out (*whistling and twiddling my thumbs* actually I can’t whistle, so this visual is moot), or jetsetting around the world (run-on sentences be damned!).
Yes, you can be living at your mom’s, OR you could be living somewhere in SE Asia, or at your ex-lovers in Berlin, or just… Portland, OR. The point is you’re untethered AF and that makes you feel like a minimalist and something of a badass.
But really, you’re just the average broke millennial trying to navigate the Internet marketing six-figure “gold mine” hoping to strike it rich one day.
Okay, this article took a wrong turn somewhere. The article in my head vs. the article busting out on my Google docs (ftw!) screen is way different than what I had in mind… Let’s roll with it.
The point is, life takes you in twists and turns that may look different than what you had envisioned.
So you find yourself at a Stodgy Small-town Networking Event (I’m capitalizing this to dramatize and clump all Stodgy Small-Town Networking Events as the same goddamn boring shit) that your hair stylist invited you to after gallivanting the world feeling like the badass you are (really, I just wanted to use gallivanting in a sentence to prove my wordsmith chops to you, dear reader).
You wear that white dress with the gold zippers and ornamental pockets (since ladies don’t need real pockets, ha!) you got for free at a ladies clothes swap party that fits you perfectly, accentuating your slightly hour-glass figure, and you’re so grateful! You look like the six-figure Goddess you ARE! Linear time is just so slow to catch up sometimes.
You wear the Wild mala your fellow digital nomad friend who you met in Thailand made both in support of your friend’s new jewelry venture, and because you really just love malas, and feel like the powerful, wild Diva that you ARE! This is your Signature Outfit, the one that makes you feel like a million dollar #bossbabe and you’re rockin’ it.
You scan the room and instantly know you don’t belong with these squares. (Cue sound effect: Wah-Wah-WAAAAAHHHHHHH)
A real estate agent, insurance agent, and a travel agent that looks like she came straight out of the late 80s/early 90s with that tacky hairspray, and gold earrings conglomerate near the snack table.
You realize they’re the reason “change agent” just makes your skin crawl, even when a part of you does want to change the world.
You’re definitely the youngest person in the room (the kids that some of them bring don’t count) even though you’ve made it past your 20s, and they probably look down on you for that, too.
Those darn, millennials (*SMH*)! Look how cute she is, trying to start an LLC. Look “how brave”! In that condescending tone.
You feel like a newbie. And even though it makes you feel a little shitty, like they see through your $400 purse your mom gave you for your birthday because she “got a deal” from her friend and you really don’t care about $400 purses anyway (you don’t even remember the name of the brand except for the initials MK and have to Google what that stands for), but maybe it’ll make you look more “presentable”.
A conversation with the aerospace engineer turned hippy yoga instructor + acupressure therapist/craniosacral/some holistic bullshit (disclaimer: my writing voice is much more pissy pants than my actual thoughts. I LOVE holistic shit!! Western medicine = sick care, not healthcare, you feel me?) that your brain glosses over seems slightly interesting, and maybe even your “ideal client” until he starts to lecture you about the legalities and tax benefits of LLC vs. sole proprietorship and how I might not be in the “right stage” to become an LLC now and I should think about reversing back to sole proprietorship. That same sole proprietorship that kept me down for years.
You later look at his website from 2005 (exaggerating, but it was bad) with Comic Frakin’ Sans and instantly think “aww hells no!” Because even if your ideal client is in holistic health & wellness, personal development, and spiritual growth, and even though you technically do web design, they’ve still got to be “with it” and at a certain point in their journey where they realize, Yo, online business is the shit. Maybe there’s something to this 21st century digital space millennials keep gushing about. It could really help my biznass, dawg! (Ok, they probably don’t talk like gangstas though, let’s be real.)
Sometimes, you can tell straight away when that digital a-ha just hasn’t happened yet, and even though you’d love to educate your brains off, you can’t spend your energy educating people who “don’t get it” yet.
You’d rather sell to a hungry crowd that gets it. And that hungry crowd? They’re just not hanging out at Stodgy Small-town Networking Event.
And there’s my segue, dear reader. Here’s where I cut to the point (since I can’t seem to get to the point nearly 1,000 words in).
The point is even though Stodgy Small-town Networking event made me feel shitty and not good enough, and really got my knickers in a knot (goddamn, I love me some British colloquialisms!) thinking someone would be so forthright as to judge me as someone not successful enough to own an LLC (really, my million dollar business is right around the corner, and I’m not crazy, bitch!). And hell, even if my present day reality might be closer to his sound advice than not, there’s something different that puts me world’s away from small-mindedness that makes my intuition (the basis of all my business decisions!) know I should do it anyway.
Here’s the thing.
I am both a Masterpiece and a Work In Progress (WIP).
And I’m gon’ WIP you in shape real quick (my inner voice is a Southern black girl, *snapping fingers* mmm-hmmmm).
Old School Business = Fixed Mindset.
Online Business = Growth Mindset.
Old School Business is behind the times.
Online Business is changing the times.
So before you ditch your brick + mortar, hear me out. You can absolutely use online business + digital marketing to your advantage, and you should.
Brick & mortars who get with the times and use online marketing are worlds away than their dinosaur counterparts.
Mobile optimized websites, what!?
Becoming Known and launching yourself as an online personality for a global audience has the power to accelerate your business growth and revenue, like whoa.
Before I knew it, I began to reframe my Stodgy Small-town Networking Event encounter as something I was too good for anyway. Even though I may not be at a success level that I want yet, I am worlds away from the fixed mindset of old school business.
I have clients from New Zealand, the U.K., Canada, Australia and the U.S. I am running a global business in a global economy. I am changing the way we do business simply by existing and doing my thang. And that’s kind of a big deal.
As online business owners, we’re literally changing the landscape and making things up as we go along. We’re innovating, creating, and birthing new pathways that regular business doesn’t know what to do with. We’re creating sales systems and sales funnels that automate. We’re making money in our sleep, or while swimming on a tropical island. We’re hacking business growth in ways previously unheard of. In fact, growth hacking is the latest buzzword for digital marketing.
The LLC is right for me, and right where I need to be, to grow my business fast, as only the online world can. The LLC gives me a framework for the business that I want to have, and the business “Queen Bee” that I am being and becoming.
How are you taking your growth mindset on in your business? If you need any support, I’m here for you! Let me know in the comments below.
Digital Storytelling Strategist/Designer