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Uncover the six fundamental habits of highly effective digital nomad entrepreneurs.

  1. Document It, Automate It
  2. Reflect, Plan, Adjust
  3. Say It Again
  4. Always Be Learning
  5. Coaching
  6. Relationships First

Each habit is a stepping stone toward greater freedom and success in the digital nomad entrepreneur lifestyle.

Full Transcript

The more structured your work life, the more freedom you have to explore the ever changing world around you as a digital nomad. That’s what I spent time discovering, testing and keeping the most effective habits for digital nomad entrepreneurs. Turns out there are six number one documented automated number to reflect plan adjust. Number three, say it again. Number four. Always be learning. Number five, coaching. And number six, relationships first. In this episode, I want to unpack these six habits of successful digital robot entrepreneurs to help you find greater freedom. Welcome to the Digital Nomad Entrepreneur podcast. My name is Eric Dingler. I’m a full time digital nomad traveling around the world with my wife and our four kids. And I want to say thank you for joining me on this episode of the Digital Nomad Entrepreneur podcast. So if you are listening to this, I’m recording in this. Let’s see it. Is it? Wow. I just realized I shouldn’t say. I just realized I realized it earlier today when I said it to my wife bright and early. But I’m recording this on Valentine’s Day. I now wish I would have done an episode on something about loving being a digital nomad entrepreneur. That would have been cheesy anyway. Today I’m recording this Valentine’s Day 2024 to be coming out in a couple of weeks after that. And by a couple of weeks, I mean, heck, tomorrow I’m only going to put this one out there tomorrow. So if you’re listening to this and it’s the beginning of 2024, we are currently in Costa Rica. And so here in the capital. Love it. And if you’ve not been to the capital of Costa Rica, you should. San Jose, the climate’s amazing. Mia since August. We love the climate. Comfortable weather. The people are great. It’s just a neat place. We really liking this place. Our time here now will be here until April and coming up in April we’re headed to Spain. So if you happen to be listening to this and you’re a digital nomad in San Jose, Costa Rica, and it is February to April 2024, then send me an email Eric at DNA podcast dot com. Love to meet up and buy you a cup of coffee. All right. So let’s go ahead and jump in here to these six habits of effective digital nomads. I want to unpack each of these so that there’s really no magic bullet to this. None of these are probably even going to be all that earth shattering. But it’s good to go through these. It’s good for you to spend a little bit of time listening and and thinking through this. Because if I could if I could ask you to do one thing, it would be to listen through these. Choose one of them as I share one of them on packet. If it’s the one like that speaks out, you go, okay, this is the one. This is the one. And then if I share another and I go, Wait a moment, this is the one, this is the one I need to do, then choose that. But by the time I get through all six, I want you to choose one and just focus on it for 30 days and just work on that habit, just this one. And then you can always come back to this episode, look at them again and pick the next one. You don’t you know, you don’t you don’t go into success overnight. You grow into it over time. And so give yourself permission to not try to do everything from this episode. Just pick one of them. So with that in mind, let’s jump in. Number one. Document it. Automate it. Well, I love this one. It is. I’m telling you, I regret so much not creating our standard operating procedures earlier. We have what we call the soap vault, and we’ve kept it pretty simple. We have a as of right now, we have a Google sheet. And the first sheet in inside this Google workspace sheet document is just a A list, if you will, hyperlink to all of our SOPs, how to X, Y, Z and we’ve got these categorized in about six different categories admin, digital marketing services, web site services. We’ve got a couple of different softwares and we’ve got a few of those like our project management softwares called Hive. And so we have a whole subsection of, you know, of how to documents just for hive. And so that that first page is kind of laid out like a table of contents. And when you click on the document, it immediately scrolls over to that SOP document. And so this, this Google sheet at this point has several individual worksheets in it, but you can navigate it real simply. We’ve got a template we use and in the very top cell, one row, one is a it says main menu. And if you click on that in any of the sheets, it automatically takes you all the way back to sheet one, which is the main menu, the table of contents. And then we just inside the there we have a framework we use and I’m not going to describe that it’s a better as a visual thing. So if if you’re interested in knowing more about that, let me know and I can share that with you. But we have our processes document it mounted and then wherever we can we automate. Now there’s one area we don’t automate and I’m going to talk about that in habit number six. But for habit number one, document it, automate it is so many powerful tools today to automate things, to set up recurring tasks, recurring reminders, documented, automate it. And I used to hold back from this because I was like, I don’t have time. Well, I just decided to start challenging myself to documenting one procedure a week. And now, you know, we I got up to do it about three in a week and really was enjoying it. It was so helpful. And now my team’s involved doing it and we’re on our way to completely documenting our entire process. And we use a lot of automation. So we use automation in our project management system, go high level. We use a lot of automation and market drive, which is our IT, it is R and by R I mean our companies it, it, it is the, the software that we provide for our clients who we build websites for and do set up for them to do digital marketing. And so we call that we call our SAS. Our system has a software there, we call it market drive. And so we use market drive for ourselves and we have an immense amount of automation in inside there. And so we just we use automation everywhere. You know, it is, it is worth learning how if you, for example, use Google like documents and Google sheets, you need to learn to use apps script. It’s built into the Google ecosystem. If you’re using Google workspaces and you can you can create so many scripts where you just in any document or spreadsheet, you click a button and they’re just a bunch of automated things happen all at once. So we love that we use Zapier a lot also, but document it automated. That’s habit. Number one, this is so crucial because what you what you’re wanting to do is you’re wanting to make sure that you get this ready so you have more time. The more time you you put into documenting and automating things, now you’re creating space for yourself in the future and documenting things and automating things that never seems urgent. It’s never a fire, you know, there’s never a fire to put out to create a document. There’s never a fire to put out to create automation. There are other things throughout the day, you know, customer service issues. And, you know, there are all kinds of things that come up through the day that that feel like they’re fires that have to be put out and you’ve got to put all your attention on it. And when you do that, you don’t get around to documenting things and automating things. You just keep put it off. Put it on, put it off. You’ve got to make it a priority. Doing this brings the important thing forward and helps you do these things. So down the road you’re creating yourself more space. You’re making it easier to bring on team members to hand things off. So habit number one, document it. Automate it. Habit. Number two, reflect, plan, adjust, reflect, plan, adjust. I use this pretty much every day I look at this. And so this is having time every day to think about your business, to take a few minutes. Set it aside the to do list, set aside the e-mails and you need to take a little bit of time to reflect what happened yesterday. Where are we at? Where are we headed? And, you know, the in Stephen Covey, seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he says, start with the end in mind. This is where you start to do that. You’re you’re reflecting on, you know, based upon what I saw yesterday and and and the results of that and what what I’m seeing needs to be done today and where we’re wanting to go. You know what what needs my priority today? Now you get to plan. Now I’m going to play. You know what? I’m I was going to work on this. But, you know, now that I’ve reflected on it, we’re not making progress from here. So I am going to plan to move over here because I have to be ready to adjust. You see, leadership isn’t about getting it right. It’s about adjustments. We’re constantly adjusting. And if you have a regular daily rhythm of reflect, plan, adjust, reflect, plan, adjust, you’re going to be creating space for you to pivot quickly, for you to react to things before other people would even see them being a thing, being being a problem. So you’ve got to spend some time doing this. I like to do it in a morning routine. I used to do with journaling. I now use a checklist. I use my personal task management to do list. Favorite to do list is called NAS B and I have used Nas B for oh my goodness, I don’t know more years than I can think of at this point, I’ll tell you that. And it is it is a great, great tool. I love that tool. And I have a morning routine that I go through. And that morning routine is laid out to give me a chance to reflect, to plan and to adjust. And it’s not just for me. For the longest time it was just me. I was a solopreneur. I had to do that. Now my morning time includes myself and looking at what my team has got going on for priorities, what I’ve set for them as priorities. So every morning I’m looking at my team’s top priorities that we’ve talked about in in the previous week’s leadership team meeting in the previous weeks, one on one, what they’ve been talking to their team about and I’m looking in and I don’t want to give my team whiplash, okay? And so I don’t want to always be chasing the new shiny object, but I am a lot of times able to sit in there and say, hey, you know, have you started working on this thing? And they may go, No, no, that was that was start working on it today. And that’s when I can say, you know what, actually, I don’t want you to I was looking at things today, and I actually think we’re going to be better served if we do this first. And in my team, as I train my leaders to do this, they’re able to come to me and say, hey, you know, I was going to work on this. I think I should work on this first. This is the habit of reflect, plan, adjust, reflect, plan, adjust, habit three, habit, three of effective digital nomad entrepreneurs. We say it again, we say it again. In fact, we repeat ourselves all the stinkin time. Okay? We’re we’re reminding ourselves daily of our quarterly. Your goals of our annual goals of our are big plans. We’re reminding ourselves every day of by looking at our metrics and aligning our metrics up with with our goals, we’re constantly saying things to ourselves. And then as we start to build teams, as we start moving from that stage of business of, you know, all in to team builder and especially from team builder to C-suite and from C-suite to legacy. And if you’re like, Dude, I have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re going to want to go back and listen to episode three and spell out there the stages of business. But if you understand what I’m talking about, if you’ve heard that, understand, I’m talking about stay here, keep track. And with me, as you get into those things, you can never just say something once to a team member. Well, I take that back. There are two things you can say to a team member. Only one time you’re hired, you’re fired. Those are those are one time things that you don’t really need to repeat those. But everything else, you have to say it again. I am constantly reminding my team of our brand promise. I’m constantly talking about, you know, we we say in our company. So I own a digital marketing agency and my team, our brand promise is is. Says that our focus is for our clients ultimate success. And the each. Each of those letters stand for something. F is first class experiences. I was just before recording this today. I was just talking to our director of Digital Marketing Services. I’m sorry. Our digital marketing strategists are talking to our digital marketing strategist, and we are redesigning our client onboarding process. And we’re coming up with all kinds of fun ideas and ways that we can do this that make people go Are you kidding me? That that was cool. Wow. Like, that’s what we want the first class experience. I can’t tell my team one time that we’re going to provide first class customer service and drop it at that. You have to identify with the most important things and say them over and over. It’s why you really do need a solid vision mission and core values documents. And they need to be short, punchy. They need to be remembered. They need to be memorable because memorable is portable. It needs to be something you can repeat very easily, very quickly. And you’re going to say it again. This is so important to leading your team, because here’s the thing. You’ve got this vision for what you want your company to be and your company is going to be that that’s that’s that’s, you know, the culture, okay? You’ve got this culture you want your company to be and you’re going to have a company culture whether you create it or let it happen. Created culture is how you ensure you reach your vision, because culture trumps vision and language creates culture. So the things you say, the things you say over and over, and that you mean them and you model them yourself, you can’t say one thing and do another. Nobody’s going to. Nobody wants to work for a hypocrite. No one’s gonna take you seriously, that’s for sure. So you’ve got to. You’ve got to have the habit of saying things over and over again and fun, exciting, unique, different ways. But you’re saying the same thing. You’re constantly talking about your brand promise. You know, your your core values. You’re bringing them up over and over and over again. You can never say them too many times. So that is habit number three. Habit number one, document it automated to reflect, plan, adjust three. Say it again. Let’s get into number four. Number four, always be learning. Always be learning. You need to constantly be learning about about business, about your industry and unrelated, even things that may seem to be seemingly unrelated. I love looking at history and studying the history of other companies and and find myself being inspired by the story of stories of other great entrepreneurs from, you know, you know, decades ago. And as you do that, you’ll start to see patterns emerge and things like that that are just there, lessons that are that are beyond measure. I love learning new things. I was when I was a solopreneur selling websites, building websites, maintaining website. I wanted to get better as a website designer. So I went and I signed up and I took an art class. And I discovered I loved it. I loved painting. And so now I’m a painter. I travel with a very compact, portable plane air painting set up. I like to go out and paint landscapes and and urban scapes of the places where visiting and traveling around the world. And I’m loving capturing those paints. I’ve never done that. If I wouldn’t have challenged myself to always be learning. So have fun with that. Look for unique ways and places to do that. Sure, you can listen to podcasts. There’s books. I’ve got several books on my resource page. If you go to DKNY podcast dot com, click on the resource button. You can scroll down there. You’ll see some of the the top books I recommend. You should definitely read them and just always be learning. Always be learning. Challenge yourself to always be learning. The five habit. Number five coaching. I have always seen my business grow the most when I’ve had a coach. I can’t say I’ve said it in other episodes. I’m going to say it in future episodes. You got to get coaching. You got to get coaching. And because of that, this is why I do coaching. I love helping people that are in the stages of business behind me. Like, I can’t coach somebody in legacy. I can’t do that. I can’t coach somebody in C-suite. I haven’t been there yet. You know, I could make it up and pretend, but I don’t do that. I coach the people that I do coaching for. I’m coaching them from real world experience. Not not theory, not an idea, not something I read in a book, heard in a podcast, had a professor tell me some professor that’s never, ever had to make payroll a day in their life. But these are things that I have tested and I’ve proven worth, and I love coaching. With that, I have a membership called it’s called the lead factory for web designers who want to learn how to get more clients. It’s always a question of How do I get more clients? How do I find clients? Where do I find clients? So I’ve got a membership on exactly how to how to do that, how to how to put together a system that helps you find clients and bring clients in. And it’s, of course, a guy I signed up last year, and he was really active for like two, three weeks. He was really active in the community on Facebook, and he was asking questions and he showed up for a five day challenge and it was really cool. And we had a lot of back and forth and he’d just disappear, disappeared. And he emailed me two weeks ago out of the blue. It’s been almost a year. And it was like he didn’t can I can I’ve misplaced my my username and password. I want to I want to get back in. He goes, I got started last year and and I implemented the first lesson creating a pipeline so I don’t lose track of opportunities. And I have been busy since because it’s been a year just creating a pipeline to track the opportunities, to track conversations, to remind myself, to send the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth and the sixth email, because most people have to be contacted six times by you before they sign up with you. Most businesses stop after one. The ones that don’t stop after the first contact, they most all stop after the second. We’re winners because we contact people up to seven times and we we save so many opportunities that way. And so I teach people the pipeline, show them how to set it up, how to use it. And here’s a guy that last year put the and he spent a whole year staying busy with work just from that. It has got to the point now where he’s got more margin because he’s able to pay some people and things like that. He wants to move on to the next stage. I love being able help people with that like that. He’s winning because he got some coaching. I have coaches. I have coaches I use now. I’ve had coaches for years that I meet with and and talk to and consume their content and participate. And man, I’m the guy if I pay sign up for somebody’s program of course are coaching and they have open office hours I’m going to I’m like it’s priority that week. It’s a big rock that week. I’m going I’m in a program right now. There’s like 2000 people in it and this guy’s got open office hours and there’s only like 80 people that show up. I was in one a year ago, two years ago, and there were like 20, 30 people in this program, and there would be four or five of us in the weekly call. Sometimes it was just me, and I had these two guys here that knew so much and had all these experiences. I’m a guy and I was the only one there and I was able to get them to speak for an entire hour just in the my business and oh my gosh, I will forever be grateful to Mike, an agency coach, for that. So coaching, you got to get coaching. This is a crucial habit if you really want to be successful long term as a digital nomad. All right. So that is coaching. Number six, let me recap where we are, actually. Before I do that, I want to do this. If you’re still listening, would you do me a huge favor? Would you please do all the nice things? Would you leave me a review, a rating? Subscribe. Share this. You are my marketing plan for this podcast. Like I need you to help me out, get the word out. The algorithms love seeing the reviews, the ratings, the subscribers, the shares. Like, however, you’re listening to this, like, you know, share it, put it out there if you’re listening to this point and you’re like, I really. Your rating review and I think nice to say, you know. Well, then send me some constructive criticism. Just email it to me, you know, email it to me. What I’m looking for is I’m looking for reviews and five star ratings. And if you can’t do that, then I’m looking for an email from you. Email me Erica Danny podcast dot com. Say hey man, I long as your podcast be better if you did this like that’s helpful. Putting that in a review, that’s not helpful. That’s just gossip. Let’s listen. I’ll do that. Okay. Leave me a rating review. Subscribe, share this. All the nice things. It would mean so much to me. All right. So now I want to share the sixth tip and then I’m going to wrap things up with the leadership tip of the week. So let’s recap where we’ve been and then I’ll share habit number six and then I’ll wrap things up with the leadership tip of the week. So where have we been? Number one habit of successful digital nomad entrepreneurs documented automate it. Number two reflect plan adjust. Number three, say it again. Number four, always be learning. Number five, coaching number six. Relationships. First, I know you weren’t expecting me to say that. Some of you may have just threw up a little bit in your mouth. And I understand that I am not a people person. I am just I’m not a people person. You know, I like helping people. I’m all about inspiring equipment, empowering people. Like, that’s that’s what I want to do. But I’m not a small talk kind of guy. You know, I’m not that you know, I. I do it, though, because relationships have to be first. And when I come out of it, I always enjoy it. But here’s the thing. I never feel like doing it up front. And there’s the problem. I was talking to my one of my kids today, and we were over at a park across the street and we were talking and she she asked me a couple of questions. She’s like, I don’t understand some people in the world. And I was like, All right, what’s that? And she goes, I don’t understand. And she shared a couple of things. And and I said, Well, you know, honey, all of those people you don’t understand, all of them let their feelings drive them. They they they would they do the things that you don’t understand because they feel like it, you know? And feelings are following feelings. And this is what I told her. I said, honey, here’s the thing. People that follow their feelings are the first to fail. People who follow their feelings are the first to fail. Your feelings aren’t designed to lead you. All right. I don’t feel like being eating healthy. I feel like eating junk food. I don’t. I don’t feel like having relationships first. I don’t feel like putting people first. But you know what? I do it because if I behave my way into proper feelings. I put the behavior first and I do the behavior, and then the result comes. And this is so true for me, for relationships first. Now maybe you’re a very relational person. That’s that’s great. That’s amazing. Keep that. But I can’t tell you how many times I see people in Facebook groups talk about they’re struggling as digital nomads and they’re struggling finding community and add it up. It’s because you’re not putting relationships first. You’re you’re not putting it first. You’re waiting for other people to take action. I don’t know how you can be lonely as a digital nomad unless you’re going to very rural areas and you’re surrounded by a bunch of farm animals, like don’t go there, go, go, go, visit where there’s people and then talk to them. Say hello. How’s it going? How long you lived here? What should I see? Where should I go? What’s your favorite restaurant? You start talking. The people may be curious about them. Be curious about the people you meet. Let them share their story and talk. And oh my gosh, the great is going to happen. And as a leader with your team, put the relationship first with your team. Don’t believe that you have to be a boss, okay? I believe you have to be a boss and never tell your team. Or if I do it for you, I got to do it for everybody. That’s that’s weak leadership, okay? Weak leaders don’t do that. We weak or. I’m sorry, weak leaders do that. Strong leaders don’t. I’ll tell you right now, strong leaders don’t give a rip about keeping things fair. In fact, I do, for one, what I wish I could do for all. And I take care of my people. And I can’t do a fair I can’t do a fair, but I definitely do, for one, what I wish I could do for all. And when I have an opportunity to go above and beyond and, and, and put one of my team first and, and do something for them or help them do it, I’m going to. And the other team, they they, they’re going to know that when it comes down to it, I do the same thing for them if I could. And if they get all bent out of shape, what’s not fair? Well, you know what? Here’s here’s something that’s fair. Go work for somebody else. You don’t need to work for me. There’s a there’s there are so many people out there hiring. Go work for one of them. But when you put relationships first, you treat people the way they should be treated. When you put yourself out there, even if you don’t feel like it when you do it, this is a habit that leads to success. Your team is going to champion your cause. Your family is going to understand when you’re in seasons where you have to work extra hours. You’re going to meet locals and learn things and discover friendships that you never thought were imaginable. But it only happens when you put relationships first, and how you get the time to do that is back to habit number one. Document it automated. That said. I said when I was talking about that one, I was gonna share with you how the benefit of this. Excuse me. What’s the benefit of documented? Automate it. The benefit is you have time later for the relationships that matter most. So those are the six habits of highly effective digital nomads, the most successful digital nomads. Entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs I know. These are the six things they’re doing. All right. So what is this week’s leadership tip of the week? Now, you may be new to that podcast and wondering, what is this leadership tip of the week? Well, my friend, everything rises and falls on leadership, as John Maxwell says and many other leaders out there. But you’re the capacity of you. The capacity of your company is your leadership. So leadership is the game changer. If you’re if there’s an area you or your company is struggling in, it’s a leadership issue. So because of that, I want to end every episode with a leadership tip of the week. So what is this week’s leadership tip? This is what I call the principle behind the practice. The principle behind the practice. Now, what is the principle behind the practice? That’s a great question. The principle behind the practice simply says is it simply means this. When you see somebody doing something and you really like it, don’t copy it. Ask yourself, Why do I like it? Why is that working? What’s effective there? What’s the universal principle that’s making that thing? They’re doing work. And then once you understand the principle behind why the thing you like is working, then you can contextualize it to you. When you don’t understand the principle, when you don’t take time to figure out why are they doing that? What’s making it work? Why do I think it’s effective? Maybe it’s not effective. The first thing I need to do is look and see. Is it effective? I need to figure this out. Don’t just jump to copying something when you see somebody do something. I see this all the time. I see people and I’ve seen it take the you know, come to our our our businesses website and I’ll see them. You know, they’ll sign up, download our lead magnet. And every once in a while for for fun these I go through and, you know, I’m looking at things and I’ll see you know somebody’s bill at you know Billy’s amazing web design dot com and so I’ll go look at you know, Billy’s amazing web design dot com and and there’s a lead magnet that looks just like mine. And I just and I just smile. I don’t care that he has it. I give it away to people. Like, I don’t I don’t really care. But the thing is, we only get about 4% of our email opt ins come from the email magnet being on our website. Almost all of our opt ins come from a landing page with the same exact email magnet, and we drive traffic to the landing page. 70% of people that come to the landing page download that email magnet. 4% of the people that come to our website download it. So, you know, you can copy my website. Sure. Put it on there. But until you understand why I’m using that particular lead magnet, email magnet, it’s not going to work for you. That’s just one example. When you see somebody doing something, you’ve got to learn the principle behind it. This is great. Leadership Week. Leadership is just seeing something and copying it and then that doesn’t work. And you copy the next thing and ad doesn’t work and you copy the next thing and that doesn’t work. If that’s you, that’s a leadership issue. You need to stop. You need to stop. You need to embrace the principle behind the practice. My team and I are constantly talking about this. Almost every single week in our leadership team meeting, somebody will show up with an idea and one of us will say, Well, what’s the principle behind the practice? Why are they doing that? What’s making that work? Oh, okay. Well, you know what we could do? We could do this, and suddenly we contextualize it to us. And that’s where we see the these ideas start to really win and pay off. So my friend embraced the principle behind the practice. Well, that’s it for this episode. I want to say thank you so much for listening. I look forward to reading your review and an upcoming podcast episode. Until next time. Chase the Big Dream Lead with courage and safe travels.