Pocket Guide to Nomadic Entrepreneurship : Under30CEO Pocket Guide to Nomadic Entrepreneurship : Under30CEO
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Pocket Guide to Nomadic Entrepreneurship

| July 11, 2013 | 10 Comments

Nomadic EntrepreneurAt the beginning of March this year I returned from a family vacation in Italy, Greece, and Turkey; packed up my apartment in D.C.; and flew on a one-way ticket to Mexico. A few weeks later I launched my new website and began actively building my business as a nomadic entrepreneur – and it was the best decision that I have ever made.

I’ve been in the entrepreneurship world for awhile now working at startups, VC firms, and non-profits and even running an entrepreneurship center at a university. I had clients of my own but I wasn’t fully committed to my own journey through entrepreneurship until I took the leap and figured out a way to combine my passion for entrepreneurship with my passion for travel. Now, I help first-time entrepreneurs plan, launch, and grow businesses that will fit with their overall lifestyle goals and I do it while living in a different country every month or so and exploring entrepreneurial ecosystems around the globe.

Was it scary to quit my day job and run off to a foreign country? Of course, but I couldn’t sleepwalk through my life anymore and this was the best way I knew to wake up.

If you’re in the same boat, here are some tips that can serve as your pocket guide to taking the leap and becoming a nomadic entrepreneur:

1. Make sure being a nomad makes sense for you.

Hopping from country to country every few weeks may sound glamorous, but it can be lonely and a colossal pain in the a— to actually do. If you’ve never been outside of your home state, I wouldn’t recommend running off to Bali on a one-way ticket as your first adventure. Get your feet wet by participating in things like Under30Experiences to learn your travel style and see if living out of a suitcase is something you really want to commit yourself to.

2. Figure out your finances.

If you haven’t yet launched your business you’ll need some ramp up time before you’re actually generating revenue and you need to make sure that you can survive until then. If you don’t have any savings, stick it out at your day job a few more months so that you can sock some money away before taking off on your adventure. Or maybe you should consider launching your new business before you hop on the plane so that you already have revenue coming in when you land in your new home of the month.

3. Make a plan.

I’m not going to belabor the point because it could be an entire book but, if you plan to live exclusively off of your new business, make sure that you’ve done the proper planning and have a solid business model so that you can realistically pay your bills with the money your new endeavor will bring in.

4. Remember to work hard and play hard.

This isn’t a tip sheet for how to escape on a permanent vacation so don’t forget that your business needs your attention to grow and thrive, but it’s also a pretty awesome way to live life that most people will never experience, so make sure you appreciate every moment of it.

5. Learn another language.

Trust me, you can get into WAY more fun if you can talk to the locals in their language than you can if you try using English and hand motions.

6. Be prepared to miss things you never even realized you liked that much.

Of course you all know that you will miss your family and friends once you take off to the other side of the world but, luckily, it’s 2013 and things like Skype and Whatsapp make staying in touch super easy. What you may not realize, however, is some of the other things that you’ll suddenly begin to miss because you can’t just run to the grocery store and grab them, like peanut butter. Be prepared to have to adjust to certain items that are incredibly common in the United States being tough (if not impossible) to find and often costing up to 4x what they do in the United States. My insider tips for those of you headed to Latin America: unless you want to pay $20 and not have an SPF lower than 50, pack your own sunscreen and ladies, bring a year’s supply of tampons.

Being a nomadic entrepreneur is an incredibly rewarding experience that will change you forever and I highly recommend it to anyone, but if you want to make it work for more than a couple of months you need to have a sound plan and be prepared for the pain points that come with it. Talking with others who’ve done it, many of whom are part of the Under30 community, is one great way to make sure you’re headed towards a dream lifestyle instead of an international nightmare.

Find your next adventure with Under30Experiences.com.  You must be on the members-only list to attend our exclusive experiences.

Cate Costa is the nomadic entrepreneur behind www.CateCosta.com where she gives entrepreneurs free tips, tricks, and tutorials to launch and grow healthy businesses while she explores entrepreneurial ecosystems around the globe. She loves all things entrepreneurship and is a travel and food junky. Connect with her on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

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  • Cara Murphy

    Great advice, thanks for sharing Cate! I dream of traveling and spending some time abroad and your article makes me realize that it can happen- I just need to get myself in order and take the plunge!

  • Mike Darche

    #6 is so true, you definitely realize how much you appreciate the little things when you’re outside of the motherland. I just spent 6 months living in Hong Kong and backpacking throughout Southeast Asia–I can’t tell you how many times I wanted peanut butter or a slice of cheese on my sandwich.

    When you start to travel it becomes part of who you are and you’ll never be able to resist the adventure of exploring new places. You have some great ideas that can help make these dreams a reality–excellent post Cate!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Cate, it’s really awesome for you to write this up for us. It was awesome to hear about your travels.

    I really thought when you said “make sure nomadic lifestyle is for you” it made sense. As a bit of a nomad myself, I often forget it’s not for everyone. The experience of going abroad however is something that everyone should get, and that’s exactly why we started Under30Experiences.

    Great stuff Cate, thanks again. See you in South America this winter?

  • cesar romero

    Hey Cate, thank you very much for writing this article for us and it was definitely a pleasure speaking with you a few weeks ago.

    Nomadic Entrepreneurship: I love this concept of traveling somewhere, add value by solving problems, finding solutions, and then moving on to next location; it’s definitely a great way to meet different people and learn about the world.

    This is definitely something that I’m aiming towards and Under30Experiences became my starting point!!!

  • Cate Costa

    Thanks, Cara! It’s truly an amazing experience so if you’ve always wanted to do it, do it! When you head out, let me know where you go and maybe we can meet up in some exotic and fabulous location :)

  • Cate Costa

    Thanks, Cesar. It was awesome chatting with you as well and I think Under30Experiences is a great way to start with this lifestyle. You will make connections with people from all over so that you already have some friends when you begin traveling solo. The world of entrepreneurship is small – each country I go to I run into people who know others I’ve met somewhere else along my journey. I love that you’re helping to build that community as it makes the travels so much more fun!

  • Cate Costa

    I totally agree, Matt. Whether being a nomad is right for you or not, joining the international entrepreneurship community and seeing other parts of the world is invaluable. It’s awesome that you guys provide a way for people to join that community and have those experiences without having to be a “homeless” nomad like myself.

    I’m in Argentina now so come on down! We’re waiting for you in South America :) Or you can wait until I get to Uruguay, or Peru, or Colombia….

  • Cate Costa

    It’s amazing how much you want peanut butter once you can’t get it! LOL.

    Thanks for the comments, Mike. You’re right: once the travel bug gets you it’s basically impossible to ‘resist the adventure.’ Let me know where your future travels lead you and maybe we can meet up!

  • Cara Murphy

    That sounds wonderful to me! I’ll definitely let you know :)

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