The pressure to get projects done always creates stress. When living as a digital nomad or working remotely in any capacity, project deadline stress can be overwhelming. Over the years I have crafted my way of handling stress and keep things in balance. The idea of high-stress situations and keeping things in balance got me thinking about when I was living a digital nomad lifestyle – I was pretty good at working all morning and then exploring a new village in the afternoon and then later meeting with friends in the early evening. It all seemed so “no drama” back then and even rather easy. Was there a mindset that I used then that others might use now, and that might be helpful to others?
So, what are the best digital nomad mindsets to have? Here are five critical mindsets that from my experience work well for a digital nomad:
• Maximizing Your Time Mindset – to get the most out of the day
• The Growth Mindset – constant learning and growing
• The Entrepreneurial Mindset -of a business owner
• The Adventurer Mindset – looking what’s around the corner
• The Positive Mindset – making things work with positive energy
MINDSETS FOR THE BIG PICTURE
It’s good to keep the big picture in mind when going through the day. As a digital nomad, you have more opportunities or at least different opportunities than other people which can attract your attention. The first critical mindset reminds you to maximize your time.
YOUR TIME IS LIMITED – MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME MINDSET
The mindset that reminds you that your time is limited should motivate you to make the best of each day. A mix of work and play, self-development and social activities will give you some satisfaction that you are living the life you have chosen and making the best of your time. Maximizing your time is more than just getting things done; it is putting into your schedule a combination of activities that allow you to maintain your lifestyle and give you some satisfaction while doing so.
Digital nomads need to understand that though every day can be a holiday, one shouldn’t assume that it is. Continue to work hard, set goals and hold yourself accountable for your success, your business, and your future. Sure, work-life balance is relaxed but you should always have “work mode” on at all times because this will impact how well you are living. Keeping the work part of your day in good order will enable you to take care of this essential and then you can enhance your day with active travel.
One way to practice self-discipline is to create a plan each week and do your best to achieve them. To have a schedule, even if it’s not followed to the letter, is better than not having one. Carry out actions to completion and set goals both short and long term.
MINDSETS FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL WORK
Your livelihood depends on you being able to be successful at entrepreneurial work – having a business that you can run via your laptop in any location or setting. Being an entrepreneur is as much a mindset as it is a set of practices. One must think possibilities and to find business models and ways to deliver value to customers from multiple angles. This mindset reminds you, as a digital nomad, to embrace entrepreneurial work and the possibility it offers.
MINDSET OF A BUSINESS OWNER
The digital nomad lifestyle has emerged due to the ready availability of web-based tools and global skills. It’s a conscious decision to get away from the daily grind and the oppression of working in an office cubicle. To keep the lifestyle you have chosen, being successful at running your own business is vital to keeping your cash flow coming in. Being a business owner means that you are continually finding new ways to keep existing projects going and at the same time you are searching for new projects to add to your income. Having the mindset of a business owner will guide you to be responsible for this vital part of your business.
WILLINGNESS TO LEARN
Remember your first job? How did that feel like at the start, when you had zero experience and were clueless as what to do next? If you are new to having an internet business of your own, there are lots of things you need to learn. Find a way to learn them quickly by browsing resources on the web or even a community of entrepreneurs in the country where you live. Be patient and willing to learn new things. Whenever you enter a new venture, you’ll have to have a mindset where you’re open to learning new things. It could be learning how to open a spreadsheet, how to initiate a video call on the internet or how to send files on Gmail. The good thing about being connected is that you’ll have a wealth of available resources, i.e., Google, YouTube, and Wikipedia, or taking online courses and webinars to further your skill or talent. Starting an online business from scratch is entirely doable. Just map out a path, and you can get there when you learn how to invest in yourself.
MAINTAIN YOUR LEVEL OF SELF-MOTIVATION
It’s easy to start relaxing without someone looking over your shoulder. It’s one of the most common pitfalls in being a digital nomad, but luckily there are a few reliable methods on how you can combat it. Begin by asking yourself these questions- what’s your motivation? Why did you choose to become a digital nomad? Was it because you wanted to be successful in your own right without being a corporate lackey, or is your dream to stay untethered while making lots of money?
Motivation provides the fuel for the drive, and drive is what you’ll need to push forward to success. You may have done some research on a niche or an innovative app that’s going to get you millions. The money you make pays off the debt, gives you complete freedom, unshackles you from a desk job and gets you to exotic locales and uninhabited islands. It’s inspiring at first, but you will need to continually remind yourself of the end goal and the plusses along the way. Stick to the task at hand and keep working on it. Summon up your internal drive to propel you forward every day. Don’t forget to rest now and then so you won’t lose steam.
MINDSETS FOR TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE
If you are a digital nomad and living this lifestyle, there are multiple options you have that others don’t have. All the sights and sounds and discoveries easily at your reach can be overwhelming, not to mention extremely exciting. Make the most of each day by reminding yourself to do activities outside of the regular work routine and not only linked to your business. The mindset of an adventurer will help you to engage with your surroundings and push you to find out what’s right around the corner.
CATCHING THE ADVENTURE MINDSET
In many ways, the adventure mindset one in which you let the curious side of your personality come out. What can you see in the next city? What’s in that mountain-side village? Can you hike down to the beach from the mountains? When you have a lot of project deadlines and the day is full of work you need to finish it can be difficult to let this side of you come out. However, remember that this is probably one of the main reasons you chose this type of lifestyle, to have the opportunity and the decision power to choose adventure, discovery, and exploration wherever you work. So let that curiosity run free.
If you have an adventure mindset, almost any activity becomes an adventure. Taking a bus trip to a new beach instead of bicycling to the same one you always go to becomes a discovery of a different area of the city or village you live. Visiting the mountain areas where the hiking trails are not marked as well and not for the typical tourist may lead you to discover beautiful sites that are not in any of the guidebooks. You have to choose this mindset and let your curiosity go where it leads you.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
The thing I like about mindsets is that it gives you an angle or perspective of how to think in a particular situation and what to focus on amid everything. There is one more mindset which in my view is, and that is a positive mindset. Having a positive mindset doesn’t mean that it forces the idea that everything is okay and excellent when it isn’t. If you get stuck in a rainstorm and you get soaking wet with a 2-hour hike still ahead of you before you get back to the bus, that’s an uncomfortable situation to be in! What I mean is that with a positive mindset it means “things will work out fine, and get better somehow.”
THE POSITIVE MINDSET CREATES POSITIVE ENERGY
The appealing thing about a positive mindset is that it creates positive energy which somehow allows things to happen, often for the better. For instance, say you have been disappointed you never had time to go to a cultural festival that you have wanted to go to for months. You remain positive that one day you will go, you talk to friends about it and research it on the internet. Suddenly, because you are positive about it and people see the interest you have in it, this “energy” enables you to find opportunities to see this one the next time it is happening or something similar which satisfies your interest.
BELIEVING IT’S POSSIBLE
The first shift in thinking when going for this kind of lifestyle should be TO BELIEVE that yes, it’s possible. Not only that, but you must be confident that you can thrive in this environment and enjoy all the perks that come with it. What else can you do but go forward? It’s not the level of talent, skill or anything else but your willingness to step into a new era. There are thousands of people just like you who have made that transition, and they came out the other side just fine. Adapt an optimistic attitude and continue with your work ethic to the new platform. A positive mindset is a big part of what makes a digital nomad successful.
ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP PLAN
All digital nomads will encounter serious problems at some point in their journey. The key is to keep the “why” in mind and power on to the next goal one task at a time. It’s essential to be positive and have a backup that you can always fall back to when your venture is no longer viable.
Let mindsets help you on your digital nomad journey. Use them as a compass for making the best out of your chosen lifestyle. In my travels, they have helped me immensely, and I’m confident that they can help you too.
IS A MINDSET THE SAME THING AS AN ATTITUDE?
A mindset is similar to an attitude or even a part of it but not the same thing. It constitutes a collection of opinions and beliefs that you can relate to when facing situations. An attitude can change, but a mindset is something more profound that you believe.
CAN YOU HAVE A MINDSET THAT IS TOO POSITIVE?
Yes, it is possible to have a mindset that is too positive such as glossing over the negative aspects of a journey or a job project. It is best to have a realistic viewpoint about things.
I’m the owner of Digital Nomad Explorer. I’ve traveled to over 50 countries and been an expat in Scotland, Finland, and China. I was a digital nomad while having my own robotics company and traveled throughout Europe and China working remotely. Currently, I’m location independent with a home base in Kirkkonummi, Finland.