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Entrepreneurs often hesitate whether they should start an eCommerce business or a brick-and-mortar business. Which is more sustainable and profitable in the long run? Listen to Willy as he analyses what kind of businesses should eager entrepreneurs invest in to stay relevant in today’s business climate! 

In this episode, Willy is going to cover:

- A business’s suitability for eCommerce or brick-and-mortar;

- Issues to take note of if you want to advance your business online;

- Three advantages of having, or converting to an eCommerce business.

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‘Digital nomad’ – this is a term which is getting very popular nowadays. You probably would have come across it somewhere and wonder what it means. But actually, some of you might already be a digital nomad yourself without knowing it! In this episode, let me introduce you to the concept of being a digital nomad, and tell you about the pros and cons of this lifestyle.

Basically, a digital nomad refers to someone who works remotely using information and communications technology. They live their lives as ‘nomads’ – which means they roam the world and may work from foreign countries, cafés, public libraries and co-working spaces. The idea of being a digital nomad is not to be location-bound, and enjoy the freedom of travelling while working from any one location in the world. Some popular locations where digital nomads are normally found include Chiang Mai and Switzerland, due to the low cost of living and reasonably high quality of life.

Digital nomads are generally classified into three main types: freelancers, remote employees and entrepreneurs. Digital nomads who are freelancers will make money by working on online gigs and project. For this group of people, the chances of them getting jobs are highly dependent on their customers’ reviews, so they must deliver high-quality work and leave good impressions. That way, they will get recommendations and fill their pools of happy customers for future jobs. Some examples of digital nomads in this category will be copy-writers, web designers and translators, etc.

The second type of digital nomads will be remote employees. By this, I refer to the employees of a company who work away from their offices. The company that these employees work for will keep paying their salaries as before, but the only difference is that these employees have to attend regular work meetings via Zoom or other remote project tools. Other than that, they are free to work anywhere they like – from their homes or other places, as long as they are reachable by their bosses. 

Now – doesn’t that sound familiar? Since the coronavirus pandemic, this type of remote work is almost the default working mode for all full-time employees. So, if you have a full-time job that requires you to work remotely now, you can also be classified into this category of digital nomads! In any case, this type of digital nomad jobs can be very comfortable, because one can enjoy the feeling of job stability and is not required to constantly look out for the new project offers. Some popular examples of such digital nomads will include software engineers, digital marketing consultants and accountants, etc.

Last but not least, the third type of digital nomads will be online entrepreneurs. Now, I belong to this category of digital nomads – as an Amazon business owner and an online business coach, I have my own businesses and I can work on them from anywhere in the world. Other examples of such online entrepreneurs will include becoming the owner of a blog/website for your own brand, becoming an influencer or running an affiliate marketing business, etc.

Now, I remember my conversion from a fixed office-goer to a digital nomad: last time, WAH Academy used to have an office at Woodlands. My business partner, Terence, and I would travel to our office to work on this business. We’d hold our meetings, have a whiteboard to write down our business strategies, and store our equipment there. However, we realised this kind of office work doesn’t suit us well. First of all, both of us have different work habits – Terence is a day person, but I function better at night. Most of the time, he would be ready to pack up and go home when I just reach the office in late afternoons. So you can imagine the accommodations we need to make whenever we want to meet up at the office. And of course, sometimes both of us will slack off here and there when we meet up, like go for tea and stuff in the name of ‘discussion’. Then when we went back to our discussion on the whiteboard, we won’t be able to remember what was being discussed, which makes our meetings rather unproductive.

After taking a long, hard look at our operations, we decided to work from home and telecommunicate, and this was a correct move – it forces both of us to really sit down and get things done. In fact, I daresay we got more productive than when we worked in the office! For Terence, he could stay at home and look after his kids while working; for me, I am free to roam around anywhere while settling business stuff. This was something I enjoyed greatly, as I don’t like being tied down to a place. Before the coronavirus pandemic strike, I would often go to some cafés in Johor Bahru and worked on my business with my laptop. As long as I have a working internet connection, I can telecommunicate with my suppliers, hold a meeting via Zoom and run WAH Academy’s operations even if I am not in the office! As we continued working remotely, our office becomes just a ‘storeroom’ for our printer and product samples, so eventually, we decided to cancel the rental fees and make do without an office at all. To this date, I am still enjoying my life very much as a digital nomad!

So, after sharing so much about the concept of digital nomads, some of you may tell me, “But Willy, I still don’t think this is a good lifestyle. All these kind of jobs don’t seem easy at all, especially if I don’t know much about how to use a computer!” And to that, I will say you are right – one of the very first requirements of being a digital nomad will be that you are computer-savvy, because, well, you are going to be working digitally! Meanwhile, having a good command of the English language is necessary, as you will probably need to communicate with customers coming from all around the world. But of course, if you know more than one language, it will be a plus for sure. It will also be beneficial to be well versed with creative skills like photography, design and writing, and have basic knowledge of business matters if you want to become online entrepreneurs. 

Most importantly, to make this lifestyle work, you will need to have massive discipline. I need to emphasize this – if you don’t have the discipline to do what you must do, your business is just going to fail, and you won’t be able to sustain this digital nomad lifestyle! It will be best to have someone to answer to, like a business partner, or a team, so that you are constantly motivated to complete your work.

Having said that, don’t be turned off by the idea of becoming a digital nomad – the benefits of this lifestyle are going to outweigh all those nagging concerns. First, you get the freedom to travel around the world and be connected to your business. You just need a laptop and a working Internet connection, which is almost available everywhere. At the same time, you will get more breakthrough ideas – because working in different places will give you a lot of diverse experiences that you call pull from to generate creative ideas. Your brain will be refreshed constantly, and your ideas are going to be much inventive.

Other than that, you can work any time you want and be more productive. Like for me, I can now work at night when I function the best. There’s no one to disturb me, and I can concentrate better and get my work done more efficiently. And when I am able to finish work faster, I get more time to do the things I like to do!

Last, this lifestyle is great for someone who has to take care of their families. Like what I mentioned previously, my business partner, Terence, is now able to stay home and look after his kids when we converted to this working style. This was something that cannot be achieved when you are required to go and work in an office!

So, is being a digital nomad the kind of lifestyle you envision for yourself? I hope I have at least let you become clearer about the pros and cons of this lifestyle! Stay tuned, and I will see you in the next episode.

Need Help? Book Your FREE
Strategy Session With Our Office Today!

We'll discuss to see if we are a good fit to work together to help you start or scale your ecommerce business.

Book Your Free Call Now