LIFE AS A DIGITAL NOMAD HAS IT CHALLENGES, BUT WE WOULDN’T SWAP IT FOR THE WORLD!!
Hi guys, Shannon here. That’s me above and my young bloke Billy, who is normally trying to find a way to inflict some kind of pain to himself. Funny Kid. That pic was taken last Wednesday and is pretty much the exact same scene you’ll find every morning and afternoon, as I ride to the post office to send orders for PSE Cell Charge that came through my shopify cart overnight. This is my office, and this is our story.
20 months ago we packed our lives up and swapped familiarity for the unknown. Now let me start by being completely honest & just say that I was shitting myself!!
To this point I had created an exceptional clinic based business, with 16 years of local reputation and subsequent recurrent business. I had people literally lining up for my health services, often having a waiting list of around 3 months, and so packing up for me meant leaving behind all the securities that I had built to that point. It’s actually an interesting feeling leaving your securities behind; being forced to look within yourself for answers that were previously there, and now were not. I left full well knowing that I could be picking fruit within the 3-4 month that followed, and prayed to God that my new automated processes worked & that my patient base was OK with doing it all by phone & Skype now, rather than in person.
So why did we leave??
Well for the full answer you can push play on podcast episode #11 (above), but in short and for me personally, I found myself largely uninspired by it all. I had the income that everyone else aspired for, and had achieved the ‘things’ that I suspected would complete me. Strangely though it didn’t ‘feel’ enough, and the extra effort resulting in more ‘things’ simply highlighted this fact. I was most certainly on the mouse wheel of life, constantly swapping time for money, and living in the hope of a yearly 2 week holiday with the family! Seems so abstract now to be honest. I had become the sum total of my life experiences which unfortunately resolved mostly around business and finances, with as much personal time and family time thrown in as time would afford. You know what i mean! What time do we even have for friends anymore let alone ourselves?? Deep inside I yearned for more, and life had taught me that more of the same wouldn’t result in a different set of feelings; what I wanted was more connection -with myself, with my family and with the world around me…
Now running a business from the road isn’t nearly as hard as you’d think once the correct systems and processes are all in place. We spent 7 months before taking off simply automating all processes into a simpler way. Under the guidance and support of Sean Soole from the Kerwin Rae group, we reviewed each and every aspect of our business model and worked out ways to simplify our business with operational plug-ins and more streamlined processes in general. Living in such a great digital age, Telstra wifi keeps me consulting and earning wherever we go, and my supplement business has been moved externally to a processing facility where storage and distribution is no longer my concern. I consult from cafes where there is zero rent, and I no longer have the issues of staffing to deal with. Better still, people now serve me coffee while consulting and at the click of a finger! I love it.
I used to be a real home body, but in all honesty, my favourite part about travelling full time is not just the places we go but more the people we connect with. This photo above captured my consulting room for the morning, which was taken at famous boxing coach and Danny Green’s trainers house, Angelo Hyder. We set up camp here for a few days and enjoyed some free 240v thanks to Angelo (and maybe some free wifi as well!!)
So what are the drawbacks???
Well firstly, space! In a caravan, space is always at a premium, and you always need to conscious of weight when towing. I choose to post Cell Charge orders myself because I offer an overnight delivery service that I don’t like to relie on anyone else to maintain, and also because I like to keep some energy on my own products. I know this sounds strange, but I actually love dropping orders for this product to the local post office . I have such a strong connection to it, and enjoy knowing that it will enhance the lives of the people I send it to. Even better is that I get to explore the local areas by bike while doing my daily runs, get some cardio and explore the local cafe scene while at it. I absolutely love people and always find Australia Post offices to be at the epicentre of where people are! Talk about win / win hey!
The second concern is lack of structure. We don’t live by the clock anymore, and so we need to be aware of time and obligations, otherwise everything turns into the beach and nothing gets done. Seriously.
Postage in remote areas like northern WA and remote areas of the NT can be problematic, and we rely a lot on postage services to and from us. This isn’t only applicable for our business but also for the girls schooling, which is all by correspondence with Sydney Distance Education. We need to be able to both receive and post work, and we get around all these postage concerns simply by forecasting where we will be ahead of time. If I have supplement samples for example that need to get to me, I will have them posted to a caravan park or friends place in the area that we will be in a fortnight from now. We do lose life’s beneficial instant gratifications that city living brings, but we also gain by not being in the city! It simply comes down to being organised to be honest.
Being a digital nomad means being completely independent of the normal grid. Everything becomes digitalised and you rely upon nobody, its brilliant.
All statements, accounting info, receipts, ATO letters and the like need to come through digital means only. For months I made calls to every relevant private and government organisation simply stating “we are no longer available through any means other than email”. This generally results in blank faces, but they get it pretty quickly when you tell them you live nowhere, and that nothing will get paid unless they email to this address please. When things need printing for signing for example, any caravan park is always happy to print for you and often free of charge. For those times when off grid, I highly recommend an inverter in your caravan, which simply converts your 12v power (free from your solar panels) into 240v that you can now use to run computers, printers or any other powered device, such as a nespresso machine! It’s always about the coffee.
WHAT TO SELL?
Selling clinical experience is easy, although it demands too much of your time and defeats the purpose of living a life on the road if you end up swapping time for money again but in a different postcode. Instead we decided to focus all our energies on Cell Charge & an Adrenal Awareness Campaign
that I wrote specifically for the trip. It fills an industry void but also ticks over without my involvement, and allows me to complete reports and email patients back at a time that suits me. To stay relevant and keep a regular relationship with past and present followers, I also started The Travelling Wellness Show Podcast
which allows us to stay in people’s lives regardless of our physical location, and still be the person they are inspired to go to when health complaints present themselves. In honestly in was all about working out what we wanted, and then adapting our business model to what works for us.
Hope this inspires some of you to consider getting out of the office and living the life you’ve always dreamed of. We certainly are!