My story so far!
My guess is that you want to know a little about my background and the journey that led me to becoming a Digital Nomad – so here it is!
I don’t want to bore you with every little detail of my professional and personal life to date, so here’s the condensed version ……….
After 25 years of slogging it out in the corporate world as a Sales & Marketing professional (where I ended up as a Marketing Director – reporting direct to either the General Manager, Company Board or Managing Director & with my own team of professionals reporting to me), in 1998 I decided that I wanted to experience the freedom of making my own decisions in my own business. So, I established an IT business in Australia, based on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
Five years (and innumerable headaches!) later, I had built a successful business with 5 staff but still wasn’t satisfied with the level of freedom I had created – in some ways, being in my own business (& having my own staff) provided me with less freedom than my corporate career! But at least I was able to make my own decisions & determine my own pathways.
In 2004, I sold the business & took 6 months off – I needed the break! As anyone with their own business will know – working for yourself is hard work – getting time off is a real luxury!
I ended up travelling to England, Russia, Dubai & Singapore, as well as taking a cruise around the Pacific. As well as recharging my batteries, the travel had also given me some quality thinking time (as well as meeting my now Wife – but that’s another story!)
This helped me to decide what I wanted to do next, which was – to build a business that provided me with more freedom than my IT business provided. I just didn’t want to end up back where I had just come from.
I reviewed my skill set & my professional experience & compared that to a list of things I enjoyed doing (that had the capacity to generate income) and that led me to develop my own marketing training & communications business which I ran for the next 10 years very successfully – delivering training programs all around Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia & the Middle East.
Then, events in my personal life caused me to rethink where my business was heading – my wife (the beautiful woman I met on that cruise in 2004) mentioned to me, almost in passing, that she would, one day, like to live and work overseas.
I can’t precisely remember when that conversation happened, but I know that, around 2012, we had started to think about our options & next steps career & business-wise. My wife’s daughter was approaching her senior years in high school & would, at the end of 2014, graduate. At that point my wife and I would have more flexibility as to “Next steps” because we would no longer be restricted to considering her daughter’s High school requirements.
What I do know is that the thought of living & working overseas became a possibility in our thinking. It was at that time I realised that, whilst my business provided me with more flexibility & freedom than I had ever had before, I was still restricted as to where I could go & when.
Living & working overseas wasn’t possible with the business structure I had developed. So, I started to work on the idea of being totally independent from any form of geographical reliance.
As a part of my marketing training & consultancy business (Direct Dialogue), I was often asked by clients if I could assist them with their online marketing needs – indeed, many of my clients had a very poor understanding of the online world and, as a result, often made poor decisions in that space.
In response to that need I had, early on, established a separate business entity to deal with those issues (Ausbizlinks) but I hadn’t really thought about developing that business much past being able to service the demands of my consulting clients.
But then I got to thinking – an effective way to release myself from any sort of geographical reliance for business needs would be to increase the amount of business I generated from my online marketing support services – being provided through Ausbizlinks.
This would enable me to lessen my dependence for revenue from Direct Dialogue!
That thinking then enabled my wife and I to seriously consider making that “Wish” to live & work overseas actually happen!
We decided that our overseas destination would be Germany. This was not a “Roll the dice” & hope for the best decision but one made with a considerable amount of thought.
My wife was born in Germany (but has lived in Australia since age 4) & so has close cultural ties with the country, as well as most of her extended family (Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc). She also speaks fluent German.
For her, being able to “Reconnect” with her heritage is a real plus. I have a British passport, so can work (or operate a business) anywhere in Europe. Finally, we both want to see so much more of Europe & Germany is at the centre of all of that.
With the decision made (during 2013), we could start planning for the next phase of our lives. With my wife’s daughter graduating at the end of 2014 we had 18 months to put things in place.
This has brought me to where I am now – a “Digital Nomad”. My wife & I have been living in Germany since August 2015 – she is working as a teacher (her background is in education) at an International school (where English is the language of instruction) & I continue to work my business online from the comfort of our apartment
There’s obviously a lot more to being a “Digital Nomad” than just making the decision to be one & I’ll certainly cover that in other parts of the website.
But that is the essence of our story up to now. By all means, browse through the rest of the site to get a better idea of the processes behind the story. If you still have unanswered questions after that (& I’m betting you will!) don’t be shy – drop me line, I’d love to be able to help you on your journey – why should I have all the fun!?
So, just what is a “Digital Nomad”? You can find out by having a look HERE