5 Reasons Why You Should Become a Digital Nomad
You as an entrepreneur have an opportunity to shape your own and your teams' life in a whole new way
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to work from home, using new technologies, and getting used to interacting with colleagues, customers and partners in new ways.
My global cross-cultural consulting firm Gugin has been virtual from the very beginning in 2001, so what is a new reality for many now has been the foundation for my company from the very beginning.
Many are excited about working from home, others are eagerly going back. Large corporations have seen an opportunity to save a lot of money on office spaces, while some, including Google, have ordered their employees back into the offices as not all tasks can be performed effectively remotely.
You as an entrepreneur have an opportunity to shape your own and your teams' life in a whole new way.
Should you go all in and become a digital nomad?
The answer largely depends on what type of person you are and what type of business you are involved in. Here I will just give five good reasons why it is a good idea to become a digital nomad. And the timing couldn't have been better.
Flexibility: You can move yourself to places that inspire you, have a low cost of living, nice weather, close to family and friends, or whatever is important in your life right now. For instance, in my consulting firm, Gugin, we are 10 consultants plus a large pool of freelancers. They are all full-time or part-time digital nomads, which means we can be close to our customers anywhere in the world. To keep the organization together and make sure we are all on the same page in terms of company culture I organise two weeks every year where we are all together sharing experiences, learning new things from invited speakers, and do a lot of social activities together. This way we get the best from both worlds. So if you decide to become a digital nomad, make sure you don't become lonely (unless you are comfortable with it).
Boost creativity: Moving yourself to new surroundings is one of the best ways to generate new ideas. When you move to a different place, where the culture is different, you will observe how people solve problems in different ways than you would. That fuels creativity and will help you develop new solutions. If we stay in the same cultural frame all the time it is hard to think outside the box to develop new ideas. It is so much easier if you move outside your box.
You develop crucial cross-cultural skills: A key success factor for anyone who wants to develop a business is interpersonal skills. When you decide to become a digital nomad you will have to learn the habits of new cultures every time you move. And you will learn quickly because you have to. Not only will you learn how to get along with many different people, but you will also learn how other people perceive you. You will realize that people might see you very differently from the way you prefer to be seen. When you become aware of these gaps you will rapidly learn how to check how people perceive you. When you master that, you have a lot more opportunities for creating fruitful business relationships and friendships.
You become a better entrepreneur because you enlarge your network: When you are a digital nomad you are much more dependent on developing relationships in real life. This way you will meet people to can help you improve in ways you have never imagined. To convince yourself that it is true, try to think back at all the best things that have happened to you in life. How many of those things did you plan and how many seems to have happened by a coincidence? If you are like most people, most things seem to have happened by a coincidence. So the more people you meet, the more opportunities and good experiences you will get. And by that, you are much more likely to succeed in whatever you are trying to achieve.
COVID-19 can change your preferences for where you want to be: COVID-19 is impacting different parts of the world in different ways. And the way the authorities are responding to the pandemic varies a lot too. It is therefore only natural that you consider this situation when choosing your next location. It is already a topic that limited freedom will make some people move. It is similarly expected that countries or regions with low infection rates will attract some as well. You, therefore, have to decide what is important to you and let that weigh in as a factor when deciding where to go.
I can only recommend liberating yourself from being anchored to one location. The world has so much to offer. So if you are in a period of your life where it is possible to become a digital nomad, then do it. And remember. It is not only for young people. It is for everybody, even families with kids. The worst thing that can happen is you have to back to the life you had. At the end of the day, we usually regret the things we didn't do and rarely the things we did.
Dr. Finn Majlergaard is the CEO of Gugin, helping entrepreneurs and companies around the world to become more successful internationally. He does this by helping his clients leverage their cultural diversity. Culturally diverse teams are more innovative and a diversified international network gives endless new opportunities. He also helps entrepreneurs develop a strong company culture from the very beginning;
He founded Gugin in 2001 and he has worked with more than 600 companies and entrepreneurs around the world, helping them become better at leveraging the opportunities and mitigating the risks of a globalised world.
He is also an Author, Keynote Speaker, Board Member and Entrepreneur and he teaches at several universities and business schools around the world on global leadership, cross-cultural leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Dr.Majlergaard holds a doctoral degree from International School of Management in Paris, Tokyo, New York and Shanghai and an MBA from Henley Management College, UK.