CAN ANYONE BECOME A SUCCESSFUL FDN?
PART II – Busting The Top Myths Associated With The FDN Work-Lifestyle
WORK & BUSINESS >
Part 1, featured in our previous issue, listed three of the myths that exist within the world of freelancers, digital nomads, startups, remotes, location independents, and entrepreneurs (FDNs). In this issue, we uncover three other myths associated with the FDN work-lifestyle:
MYTH 1 – DON’T WORRY! IT’S EASY TO LAND YOUR FIRST CLIENT
TRUE & FALSE – It really depends on your perspective, level of proactiveness, and current skill set. If you don’t have any experience or need to learn a new skill, then landing your first client can be tricky (especially if you are new to the industry or don’t know how to apply professionally for a project). Some FDNs wing it and are successful, others first learn a new skill through the help of a course or watching free YouTube videos, while those who already have a sellable skill start earning right away.
Expert Tip: When it comes to working with clients, it’s important to communicate clearly and effectively and showcase the knowledge and skills that you will apply to solve their problem(s). Most often, beginners spend too much time telling clients about who they are and their drabby background story. Most clients don’t care about your personal issues or your background story. They don’t have time for that. They want their problem solved ASAP.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUSTING MYTH 1 –
I have found and interacted with a large number of FDNs who have not landed a single client in over a year (shockingly). To my surprise, I found most of them had quit their jobs before investing in their skillset, or their personal and financial development, and didn’t know how to write an effective application/cover letter.
Now that doesn’t mean you need to go about doing a course – not at all. It simply means that you will need to learn how to think proactively, become a problem solver, and use some business know-how and communication and interpersonal skills to set up and run a location-independent business successfully. Another important factor for success is gaining practical experience in the area in which you want to specialize.
Top Tip: If you are already skilled, use that skill to earn money right away. Don’t wait too long or overwhelm yourself with too much information. If you are interested in a particular niche but don’t have the skill for it yet, then do a course and get some practical experience. Once you have completed one or two projects, or worked with your first client, then work on your business plan, branding, accounting know-how, etc.
“Traveling full time is an illusion reserved for the few who have the nerve and ability to work and travel every couple days or who are living off their savings.”
MYTH 2 – YOU’LL BE TRAVELLING FULL TIME AS A LOCATION INDEPENDENT
FALSE – Unless you are earning passive income, have scaled your business, and/or are earning a considerable amount each month, traveling full time is an illusion reserved for the few who have the nerve and ability to work and travel every couple days or who are living off their savings.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUSTING MYTH 2 –
Gaining a competitive edge, staying focused, and working on a client’s project takes time and dedication. If you move around too often, your work and clients suffer. Most successful location independents, especially digital nomads, stay in the same location for a minimum of one month or up to six months. If you are serious about gaining a financial or competitive edge in your niche, consider sticking to one place for at least three months (especially if you’re an introvert or creature of comfort). The keyword here is FOCUS.
“Be careful what course(s) you enroll for and with whom. Check up on the background of the person presenting the course and whether they have ever had any success outside of being a coach.”
MYTH 3 – YOU NEED TO DO A DIGITAL NOMAD COURSE TO BECOME A DIGITAL NOMAD
FALSE – What a bunch of nonsense. Why on earth do you need to do a course on digital nomadism if you want to become a digital nomad? To learn what? How to book accommodation or work while traveling? If you can’t work that out on your own, it’s probably not the best move to quit your day job just yet.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUSTING MYTH 3 –
Be careful what course(s) you enroll for and with whom. Check up on the background of the person presenting the course and whether they have ever had any success outside of being a coach.
Example: Would you go for an operation by just anyone? Or someone who is not a qualified doctor or surgeon? In fact, this “someone” has made most of their money talking about surgery but not having a clue how to actually perform surgery. Would you place your life in the hands of such a person?
The same goes for becoming a digital nomad. It’s just a pretty tag that doesn’t mean anything. Once you quit your job to become a digital nomad, you are officially self-employed (or a business owner if you intend to register your company). You don’t need to do a course on digital nomadism to become a digital nomad, especially from coaches who have never set up and run a business other than a DN coaching business but want to teach you about running your type of business, of which they know nothing.
Instead, invest your money in a coach or mentor who knows your industry and has already achieved what you want to achieve. Furthermore, if you don’t already have experience in the following, then gain knowledge about things such as business setup, marketing, sales, putting together a cover letter, sales pitch, and how to communicate effectively with clients.
THIS MONTH’S TOP 3 TIPS & HACKS TO BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL FDN:
1 – Professionalism, knowing how to apply your skillset, and understanding how to use the power of clear and concise communication when you engage with a client will help you land your first contract.
2 – If you want to earn well, set aside enough working time daily to focus on building your business. Though traveling is nice, it will need to take a backseat during the first year of setting up your business. That is, if you are serious about becoming a successful FDN. If you regard FDNism as a “gap year” or simply as a way to get away from a dreaded career path, then that is up to you.
3 – Coaching is big business these days. Everyone is now a coach of some sort. While that is all very well, be careful who you take advice from. Before enrolling in any course, make sure the coach has experience of the industry they are teaching about. It’s no use taking advice from someone who doesn’t understand or know the industry you are in. Rather find a mentor who has already achieved the success you are striving for.
It’s important to learn how to distinguish myth from truth. A lot of information is available online, but beware, much of it is a bunch of BS. Not everyone sharing information is honest and truthful about helping fellow FDNs become successful. Guard against enrolling in courses or taking advice from anyone not qualified or experienced in your industry. If you want to learn something, learn it from someone that has already achieved what you want to achieve.