With the dawn of the Internet age, many people are seeking paths out of the 9-5 proverbial rat race through remote work. Especially with the advent of the popular The Four Hour Workweek, many have also begun to experiment with the freedom of traveling and working remotely.
Delos Chang, a multimillionaire at 25, shares his experiences as an entrepreneur and investor who has the freedom to travel all over the world, how one might tell if that lifestyle is for them and most importantly, how to achieve it. Let’s dive in.
Delos Chang shares, “My friend initially introduced The Four Hour Workweek book to me. He was a huge fan of it because of this concept of location-time independence, which essentially means that you can determine your own schedule (time) and where you want to live (location). Usually, that means moving or traveling to countries with a lower cost of living but still high quality of living. Thailand or Bali come to mind. He was also a huge fan of the idea of passive income, which means money being generated without trading your time directly for it.
The most achievable path to passive income is usually from the leverage of technology, for example building a SaaS (software-as-a-service) with MRR (monthly recurring revenue) or if you have capital, through investing. There are all sorts of other ways to get there like royalties or real estate etc. But the point is with passive income, you are no longer bound by your geographical location and you’re even less bound by time. In a way, you are not directly trading your time for money but rather investing your time into systems that yield dividends, whether you are sleeping or not.”
However, Delos Chang warns that the path won’t be easy. “The cover of the book shows a guy on a hammock on top of a hill. But really, if you zoom out, that hammock should be on top of a mountain because it takes an incredible amount of work to get there.
You can tell if the digital nomad lifestyle is for you if freedom is one of your highest values and you’re willing to risk in pursuit of that lifestyle. Risk because you inevitably have to build something in order to transcend the confines of a pure time-money tradeoff and that can take many forms.
Yes, you can freelance and trade time for money but it’s not really a sustainable or equity-building path. Just remember it doesn’t have to happen all at once. You can gradually build your business in a way that supports your lifestyle with a couple thousand recurring a month from Bali. You don’t need to raise venture financing or aggressively hire a team or look for an acquisition or exit. You can certainly explore the world while you figure things out.” Delos Chang warns, “Just be mindful that traveling can be a distraction and constantly moving places is exhausting and a high-bandwidth decision. I don’t regret traveling the world but there were periods of time where settling into a new spot did drag down on my productivity.”