PART I – Busting The Top 3 Myths Associated With The FDN Work-Lifestyle
A GUIDE FOR BEGINNER & STRUGGLING FDN’S
Yes! Anyone can become an FDN.
The questions as to if anyone can become a successful FDN is something entirely different.
Since we here at FDN Life don’t believe in pulling a hoody over our eyes and hiding the truth about the FND work and lifestyle – we are not going to overtly exaggerate the benefits nor downplay the struggles of becoming a successful FDN. Instead, we prefer to be as honest and open about the benefits, sacrifices, and challenges we faced to become successful and earn a full-time living 4-years on. There is just too much nonsense being circulated. We certainly don’t want to add to more misguided information.
In this article series, we will, therefore, be getting down to the nitty-gritty; often revealing some unknown and hidden truths of the FDN work-lifestyle. We don’t aim to persuade you in not becoming an FDN but to help you become a successful FDN.
We don’t become successful because of success. We become successful when we learn from our failures – our own or others. The wisest learn from other people’s mistakes.
THE MISCONCEPTIONS AND ILLUSIONS OF RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL FDN BUSINESS
In social media, online forums and support groups, you’ll find quite a lot of FDN’s posting pictures of lounging around on the beach with a laptop in hand or sipping foreign coffee while working at a coffee shop. To add to the frenzy, media industries globally illustrate the FDN lifestyle in the same way, a travel-work-vacation. Running a successful FDN business is no vacation.
Though this type of lifestyle might be true for some digital nomads (DN), and some being successful at it, the actual success rates are questionable. Especially if taken into consideration the measure of sustainability over the long-term, such as 3 to 10-years
What FDN’s often forget is that running a successful FDN business is not a vacation nor a short-term solution, but a long-term commitment. There is no journey here; only a pretty darn hard process that takes effort.
MEASURING FDN FINANCIAL SUCCESS
Our measure of financial success at FDN Life is based on:
An FDN being able to generate a sustainable income on a consistent monthly basis and later or soon, long-term basis. The FDN should eventually be able to:
- provide more than enough financial security in the event of a medical emergency or when they become incapable of working;
- generate enough wealth to ensure their retirement and senior years are taken care off;
- they are building financial freedom and wealth for the long-term;
- and growing financial capital and wellness to be genuinely independent.
It’s not to say we measure success only by looking at financial statistics or by becoming wealthy. Success in itself is of course measured differently from person to person. We get that. But we also understand that financial success for an FDN guarantees their way of life and is one of the only ways people tend to measure success.
Our concern is more towards the false image FDNism is taking on in the media – including social media. A lifestyle that is often associated with jet-setting carefree days in foreign countries if you are a DN, or if a freelancer, lounging around at home.
Unfortunately, most FDN’s new to the ‘game,’ and/or engaging on social media, soon buy into some of the false imagery and projections without understanding that although they might hate their day job right now, becoming an FDN is hard work.
To ensure all beginners or those struggling to keep their FDN businesses afloat are well equipped to becoming successful, lets bust three myths associated with FDNism right now:
“You might have heard all about earning a living while drinking margaritas on the beach, but remember that everyone doing that started out by working damn hard the first year or more. It’s going to be hard work when you start, with countless hours spent in front of a PC screen.”
THE 3 MYTHS OF FDNism
MYTH 1 – BECOMING AN FDN IS SOMETHING UNIQUE AND SPECIAL
FALSE – Becoming an FDN is nothing special. In the heydays of the previous centuries, the ‘tags’ we today associate with freelancing, digital nomads or location independent employees boils down to being an entrepreneur or self-employed.
Just because we think freelancing or digital nomadism is a creation of the 21st century, doesn’t make it so. The only difference between our 19th-century predecessors and us is that we are indeed able to travel the world and operate on a global scale, as well as sell our services and products to a worldwide market.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUSTING MYTH 1 – Don’t get fooled into believing the FDN lifestyle is all glitz, glamour and enjoying more work-life balance. It’s’ not. Understanding that you are an entrepreneur and self-employed the moment you become an FDN will ‘re-calibrate’ your mindset to think like that of a businessman or -woman, not an employee. An employee mindset in the FDN world is dangerous. All FDN’s are business people – whether they like it or not.
MYTH 2 – I DON’T NEED BUSINESS SKILLS AS AN FDN
FALSE – Nothing can be further from the truth. Every FDN need business savvy and sales skills. (This is probably the most hidden truth of the FDN work-lifestyle.)
Tying into Myth 1, as an FDN you are now self-employed; to be more direct, a business owner and entrepreneur. Guard against solely thinking of yourself as a ‘freelancer,’ DN’ or attaching any other tag to who you are. Those only apply when we refer to ourselves socially or to distinguish our type of online work-lifestyle to fellow FDN’s. In a global economic system, we are all now classified as self-employed business owners most often trading as solo-entrepreneurs.
From now on, you are responsible for everything in your business. From acquiring clients, cold pitching, client calls, payment management, accounting, yearly tax returns, social media management, website design, and you name it. Furthermore, unlike at work where you are assured of a monthly salary and people notice that you didn’t show up for work, the same doesn’t apply as an FDN. You are now ‘the boss.’
Didn’t show up at 8 am for work? – Who cares.
Didn’t get any clients this week? – To bad.
Don’t like accounting or cold calling? – No one else’s problem anymore.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUSTING MYTH 2 – It’s critical to understand you will need to invest in your own self-development before quitting your day job, especially financial education. Read, do courses and learn the art of selling practically. Most FDN’s fail because they don’t make the transition from employee to business owner. All successful FDN’s understand they consistently need to invest in their financial-, business- and skills education. But most importantly, they need to use the knowledge and skills they acquire practically. Those who do, are the most successful.
MYTH 3 – ILL HAVE MORE TIME AND CAN WORK WHILE I SIT ON THE BEACH
PARTLY TRUE & FALSE – Thinking you will have more work-life-balance as an FDN is only accurate in part. Once your business is established and scaled, then, of course, maybe you might have more leisure time. But since most FDN’s start out solo and become the only one responsible for running everything in their new business, expect to work far more hours per day than you had ever worked in any job if you want to earn well. The positive side is you’ll be doing something you love (hopefully) and enjoy spending time on it. So, it won’t feel like work all the time.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUSTING MYTH 3 – Working for ourselves does indeed allow us to set our work hours and earn more than just a fixed salary. It also gives us the time to spend at home or travel the world while working. But, and this is a big but, it also means we have to show up every day (at least 5-days a week) and earn our income. Something easier said than done if you didn’t invest in your financial- and business management skillset. (And I might add, have dedication and determination to carry something through.)
– THIS MONTH’s TOP 4 TIPS & HACKS TO BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL FDN IN 2019:
1 – ACCEPT THAT YOU ARE NOW SELF-EMPLOYED
Once you understand that there is nothing special about being an FDN, and that you are now ‘the boss;’ getting out there and getting things done in your business will become a whole lot easier.
2 – UNDERSTAND YOU ARE NO LONGER AN EMPLOYEE
Many FDN’s get caught up in the employee mindset and don’t make the switch to that of an entrepreneur. Understand that from the moment you quit your job to become self-employed; you are now starting, operating and managing a business.
3 – ADOPT AN ENTREPRENEURIAL / BUSINESS MINDSET
From this point onward, approach your freelance / DN business in all seriousness, and know that you will need to invest a considerable amount of time, effort and dedication into it.
4 – IT TAKES HARD WORK & DEDICATION
You might have heard all about earning a living while drinking margaritas on the beach, but remember that everyone doing that started out by working damn hard the first year or more. It’s going to be hard work when you start, with countless hours spent in front of a PC screen.
FDN LIFE >
In our next issue we discuss three more myths associated with FDNism.