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Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to make a living while exploring the world?
In this episode, I explore seven of my favorite side hustles that can help you transition from a 9-5 job to a full-time, location-independent lifestyle. Whether you’re in the dreaming stage or ready to take the plunge, we have actionable insights and resources to guide you.
  1. Learn about seven proven side hustles that can become full-time gigs.
  2. Get expert advice on navigating the challenges of becoming location-independent.
  3. Discover resources and tools that will help you start and grow your online business.
Listen to this episode now and take the first step towards achieving the freedom to work and travel anywhere!
PLUS: This week’s leadership tip of the week: Leaders Set Aside the Time it Takes
Resources Mentioned In the Episode:

Full Transcript

Are you ready to ditch the cubicle for the open road? Ready to travel and make money while traveling so you can fund more traveling while you’re working while traveling. Well, if that’s the case in this episode, I want to share with you some of the best side hustles to get started that you can grow into full time gigs, giving you the freedom to be location independent. Welcome to the Digital Nomad Entrepreneur podcast. My name is Eric. I am the digital nomad entrepreneur. I’m traveling around the world with my wife and four kids and having an amazing time. And we’re able to do this because I have online businesses now, I have a couple, but really we do this with the support from just our primary online business, our web design and digital marketing agency, in-transit transit studios. Now, I want to in this episode, talk to those of you that are in that first stage of business. You see, there are five stages that a typical digital online business goes through. In the first stage is the dreaming stage. This is exactly where you are trying to think of What could we do? Is it possible? What if we could live wherever we wanted to for however long we wanted to do it? Because you see, once you accept the fact that it’s possible for you and begin to work towards it, you typically are going to move into the second stage, which is side hustle. Now, you don’t have to go in the side hustle. You could get a remote job working for somebody else. Totally possible. It’s not my preferred way to go. There are several reasons why it why I don’t like it. Yes. It can sometimes help you get there faster. Absolutely. But you’re you’re totally at the mercy of somebody else making the decision whether they’re going to continue to let you work remotely or not. I would rather just own my own thing and be building something that has value to it. That’s part of my retirement portfolio. And so I like owning my own business. Plus, if you are currently not location independent, there’s a lot to do to get ready to become location independent. You may have to figure out what you’re going to do with your property and your belongings, and you’ve got to figure out all the travel insurance kind of stuff and passports and visas and taxes and where do you want to go and what kind of travel do you want to do? Do you want to fast travel? Slow travel? Do you want to travel in spurts where you have a home base but you go out for a season and you you come back to for a season. So there’s a lot to figure out there. And while you’re doing this, you can step into a side hustle. Once you have that side hustle, then you’re going to be ready to go to the third stage of business, which is the All-In. And that’s where you ditch the 9 to 5. You’re 100% focused on your business continuing to grow it and develop it. And it is like on you, you’re good to go at this point. You can go location independent. In fact, you may decide to go location independent and depending on the type of business you are. Go to a country with a very low cost of living because you can live in a much lower cost of living. And while your business isn’t making as much as it will in the future, then from the all end stage, we move to the fourth stage of business, which is team builder. And this is where you begin to building and developing a team, and then you begin to give responsibilities away and build out leadership in your company. And then that’s when you move into the fifth and final stage of business. I’m sorry, not the fifth and final. You move into the fifth stage of business. C-suite. And then after C-suite, you can move into the sixth and final stage of business, which is going to be legacy. Now, with that, there are five business processes that you’re going to work on while you’re taking your business from side hustle all the way up to C-suite. And I’ve talked about these in the a lot in the past, and so I’m not going to go over each of these, but those five business processes are leadership, lead generation lead conversion, collecting and managing money, and the fifth and final one being project management. You’re going to do all five of those in place. What I want to do now is I want to share with you seven just just seven side hustles that you can get started with and give you some resources to help you with that Now, this is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination. There are reasons I have picked these seven, though I believe these seven have plenty of a proven track record. They have plenty of resources to help you train and be trained and learn. It’s easy to build teams around these things, and these are some businesses that can grow as assets that you can sell in the future. And so it again, this isn’t an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination, but just to kind of get your juices flowing a little bit. So the seven side hustles that I think you could get started on real quickly and grow into a full time gig so you can begin living location independent. Number one is web design. Now, I might be a little partial to this one because it’s kind of how I got my start. But I still love. Web design. There is so many avenues and so many opportunities in this. And if you start looking in this, you can do simple web designs, you can do complex, you can do e-commerce, and you don’t ever even have to actually learn to design websites. This is one of my favorite things you can sell website design and then have other people actually do the work while you’re out selling more web design. And so it depends upon you. There’s so much flexibility and web design and so many ways to do it right that it is something that you can really kind of customize into your own thing. Now in the episode notes I am going to link you to Josh are Josh Hall is the guy web design pro and I’m telling you something he has got the courses the know how the community that you’re going to need to get started with building your own web design. In fact, if you go to his website, Josh Holdco, he just says right there, helping web designers build and scale a business that gives you freedom and lifestyle you love. And he’s great at it. He’s one of the best teachers I know out there for this. He is the best teacher I know of when it comes to web design. One is one of the best online teachers I know and his courses are extremely affordable. And I have I have seen just so I have seen countless people start with Josh as a side hustle and grow into an all in kind of deal. So I definitely would recommend checking out Josh Hall and Web Designer Pro and he’s got a podcast as well and all kinds of great things over there. So that’s the first type of business I would recommend. The second is along the same lines, just at a slightly different angle, if you will, and that’s a recurring web subscription business. It’s a way to sell web design that has a faster road to a larger monthly recurring revenue. And that is the key to any type of business you want to start and be a digital nomad or location independent with is the monthly recurring revenue in the business world it’s it’s referred to you might see this as M RR monthly recurring revenue is key. Here’s why. In a few months, my wife and our four kids and I, we are planning to do a fast travel trip through South America. Now, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you might be thinking, Whoa, you were just talking about the fact that you were headed to Spain for a year. Well, plans have changed. Spain is completely off the table. Now. We we’re going to be heading to Spain this fall as I record this. But we’ve decided that’s no longer what we want to do. One of the benefits of this lifestyle is we don’t have things that hold us down to places. And so now we’re talking about doing about a four month fast travel trip through South America where over those four months we’re going to go from, we’re going to see lots of things. We’re going to go to Patagonia, we’re going to go to the Bolivian Salt Flats, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Cusco and Machu Picchu, Ecuador, the equator, the Galapagos Islands. Like, we’re just we’re going to bounce around and to do this in an affordable way, they’re going to be a few of those transition points that are going to be by bus or train and by bus. I mean some long bus rides. And I’m just not a great worker on a bus train. Sure, but not on a bus. And so during those four months, my productivity will decrease. And it will be really hard for me if I was having to build a website to make money. But since we have a high m r, it’s totally okay. I know all of our expenses will be covered for months on end and I have no pressure on me and that’s part of setting up to become location independent And I talk with my buddy Goodbye Steve Schram on the recurring Web subscription model in episode nine. Now, if web design is totally new to you, I would look at a combination of Josh Hall and Steve Schram. I really think it’s kind of a power. Punch that that helps you really get to a higher monthly recurring revenue faster. All right. So what is the third out of seven, the third out of seven side hustles that I would recommend getting started with? Well, the third one is a foot in the door that helps you start building up to move into the four business model, if you will. And then I’ll talk to you about here in just a moment. But the third thing I would recommend that you would consider is reputation management. And I talked with in episode ten, I talked to Craig about review lead and I love Review Lead a link to it as well. There it is like it is like a business in a box. Okay, literally it’s a like a business and well I guess not literally. Well, depends if you see your computer as a box, then it’s literally a business in a box for a very, very, very low investment to learn. You get access to everything you need, everything you need. I mean, literally within a couple of hours, you’re set up to start selling reputation management. In fact, within 45 minutes, you, you will be equipped to put out your first lead that starts getting you your first prospects, and it just works. It’s absolutely wonderful and it’s a great way to get started. Now, I do know of some people that have built an entire business around reputation management, so it’s something you could look into. But reputation management is a fantastic first step. To me, it doesn’t make sense to stop at reputation management because reputation management is a great first rung of the ladder that you can begin leading customers up into, increasing your wallet share from them. You can get them started with reputation management at a very cost effective, very easy start up. And then you’re going to be able to just, you know, after they’re on it for, you know, a month or two and down the road, you can add some additional services and you can have the fourth business model, a fourth grade side hustle, which you can jump right to again, you can jump right to. But I like number three to build up to number four. And before I share with you what that is, I want to take just a moment and talk about a solution, a solution to an issue that is very common for location, independent business owners. And that’s what to do when it comes to a phone and phone number for your business. I don’t want to carry two phones. I like having just one phone and I don’t want to give all my personal number. Plus my personal number changes every 3 to 6 months as I get a new SIM card. We do not have a standing phone service anymore from our passport country. We used to have t mobile. We got rid of it. It just wasn’t worth it. And so we just now get a new SIM card and we’ve moved. Everybody that we need to have regular contact with is is on WhatsApp. And so they can just keep messaging us through WhatsApp and we can change out our number there. What we did is we got a Google Voice number and we use that Google voice number then to to change our WhatsApp number to and that’s it. We don’t have to change our WhatsApp number anymore, but Google Voice doesn’t do two factor authentication. So while that was a good solution for us for personal communication, I didn’t want to have my business then and WhatsApp. I like having a separate thing just for my business that I can set up for. Do not disturb times and things like that. I tried several and hands down. My favorite solution was our is I should say open phone. I use it to this day. It is extremely cost effective. I think the basic plan is like $15 a month. It’s still what I’m on. It’s all I need. It does absolutely everything. It gives me a second number. I it I have do not disturb our set up. So it only rings my phone Monday to Friday 9 to 5. The rest of the time it goes to voicemail. If I miss a call, it automatically can send. The text message, letting them know. Hey, sorry I missed your call. How can I help? It’s got missed. Call it. Text back. There’s. There’s a lot in it. You can add additional numbers for only $5. You can share a phone number with your team. I just absolutely can’t imagine trying to run my business without open phone. It does two factor authentication codes, like I said, where Google Voice does it and many others don’t. And so it’s absolutely my top solution for my business phone number. Now I have a partner link with them that if you use my open phone partner link either from the show notes or go to Danny podcast dot com, go to my resources page. There have got a whole list of business tools that I use and one of them is Open Phone. If you click on the open phone button there. Not only can you sign up for a free trial, but you’re also going to get 10% off your first three months because you used my partner link. That’s a special opportunity for you through my partner link and I want to say thank you to open phone for setting that up with me. And when you click on the button, it’s going to pop open a page and it’s going to say Welcome Digital Nomad Entrepreneur podcast listeners. That’s you sign up for the free trial. See how the interface works. It’s a great web app. I’ve got a mac app. I’ve got it on my iPhone. So many things I love about open fun. All right. Back to our list of side hustles. Recapping number one, side hustle to full time gig web design. Number two, recurring web subscription. Number three, reputation management, which leads so nicely into digital marketing. Becoming a digital marketing agency where you’re offering pay per click services, SEO, social media like it is a great thing to do. Now, if you’re going to try to do all of those things, you’re. You’re going to struggle. You’re going to it’s going to be trouble. You can’t learn all of those things well enough and sell them and execute and provide customer service. Like you just you can’t it’s going to take you to you’ll never get to travel. You’ll never get the travel. I don’t want that for you. I want you to learn how to provide digital marketing solutions using a fulfillment partner. Now, again, I could open up and show you how I do this with with my company and transit studios. But honestly, you’ve got to be better off using first generation training on this. Okay. Getting first generation training. Now, I’m going to recommend agency coach. I’m going to link to them. Mike and AJ, if you want to learn how to run a digital marketing agency. Agency coach, it’s not hype. There’s a lot of them out there that are hype and, you know, promising seven figures within a short period of time. And that’s not Mike and AJ Mike and own a digital marketing agency. They have grown it. This is from the trenches stuff that’s working. It’s absolutely amazing. All of their stuff is great. Now I do provide coaching, but I provide coaching on the business level, off staff, on those five business practices, leadership, lead generation, lead conversion collecting and management and project management. No matter which business, no matter what kind of business you operate, you’re going to need to work on those five over and over and over because that’s how you grow your business. And that’s what I help people do. I don’t help people build a specific type of business. I help digital business owners who want to set their business up to be location independent. That’s what my coaching does, regardless of the type of business you have. But if you want to have a digital marketing agency, well, my friend agency coach is the place to go to now. The number five on the list, the fifth type of business that I recommend, starting as a side hustle to grown to a full time gig is a SAS. SRS SAS stands for software as a service and one of my favorite softwares as a service to sell is go high level. It is a fantastic solution. Lots of great things with it. You can’t go wrong. And so I have a link for that where you can go out and check it out. They’ve got all kinds of resources to help you learn how to do that. And yeah, so I would definitely suggest going out and checking out go high level as a software, as a service. Basically it is a that is a piece of software that you white label as your own thing. So it looks like your product, your software, and then you turn around and sell it to businesses that need it And you can niche down to one specific kind of business. You can sell it to access to it to business in general, and it does all kinds of things. It’s at the heart of it. It’s a CRM, a customer relation management platform. You can do email marketing through text message marketing through it. There’s just there’s so many things packed into it. You’ve got to check it out and then you can sell the benefits of it at a very reasonable price. Plus, my favorite favorite part about go high level is you pay a one time set fee and you can have as many clients in there as you want. It doesn’t get more expensive for you the more sub accounts you have in it. That is literally like unheard of. Okay. And SAS. Yes, there are people that are now copying high level with it, but high level is the master at it. So that is number five. Number six. Number six is you can create a course in membership. And I’m telling you right now, you wanna know how to build a membership? There’s one guy you got to know. Stu McLaren. Stu McLaren is the member ship guy. Everybody’s doing memberships for a reason. People love subscriptions. We lived in our passport country, the United States. We had our toilet paper coming to our house on a subscription. Our razor blades coming on subscription are toothpaste and toothbrushes. We had quip it came to us on a subscription model. I love subscription models. You do you have Hulu, Netflix deal. You got Disney plus you have the. Do you have them? All right. Subscriptions, right. People absolutely love subscriptions. There’s all kinds of memberships you can have. You could have a community based membership. You can have, you know, a teaching learning type memberships to talks about all of this. I mean, you know, if you want to know what somebody knows, read who they’ve read. All right. And who have I read on this? Stu, do I have a membership? Do I. Do I offer courses? Yep. Who do I learn it all from? You. MacLennan. He’s your guy. I’m telling you something. You have knowledge that others will want to pay you for. You just have to learn how to put it out there. Right? You’ve got expertize. You could create. Like I said, you can create a community. That’s. It’s it’s absolutely fantastic. Stu’s the guy. He teaches you how to test it out with the founding members launch. I mean, I’m just telling you right now, if you want to have a course, you want to have a membership, you want to know about Stu McLaren now. The seventh and final one on my list is to become a coach. Now a coach, a consultant is great. It is a little more challenging to be a coach or consultant when you want to be totally location independent. All right. Because of time zones, all the other things not nearly as big of a deal. This is one that is a little more tricky, but it is not impossible. And you can grow. They’re starting out. Starting out. It’s a little more tricky. But once you get your coaching business really going, you’re going to be able to have a train, the trainer kind of model where you’ll be able to build up your own trainers that will actually be delivering the coaching that you’ve created. And I’m just going to tell you right now again. I’m not going to try and try to teach you how to do this. Do I do it? I do. All right. But I’m not going to try to teach you how to do this. Where do you want to go for this? You want to read the book? Coachbuilder by Donald Miller. Go to DNI podcast dot com. Go to my resources page. I’ve got a list of books I recommend and this book is on there. It is the newest addition. I’m reading one right now that may make the list as well. I’ll let you know in a future episode if it does. But Coachbuilder has made my list of recommended books, so I would encourage you to go check it out. And I’ve also linked to it here in the show notes. That’s your mental step, right? Next thing I want to do is I want to share with you this week’s leadership tip of the week. Now, what? I want to do that because I like talking about leadership. And your leadership capacity is the the lid to your business growth. And so the more you learn leadership, the better you’re going to be at leading your business. And let me tell you something right now with that with that, your business will grow. Okay. So today’s leadership tip of the week is this. Leaders set aside the time it takes. That’s right. Now, it may sound pretty simple, but leaders set aside the time it takes. Now the takes to do what? Well, what do you need to do? You need to work on your business. You set aside the time. You see followers jump from one thing to the next. From one, from one task to the next task, from one direction to the next. They let other people define the the fires that have to be put out. While leaders are never immune from responding to urgent things that come up, leaders look ahead and set aside time to work on the things they need to. I call it CEO time. I began doing this when I was running my business as a side hustle. And I was I was it. I had no team. It was just me. I had a full time, 9 to 5. I was getting up at 4:00 in the morning to work on, you know, learning. I was watching courses and learning how to do things. And on the way, you know, I was taking my lunch time to do sales meetings. And then on the weekend I was having to build the websites I had sold during my lunch time and building them on the weekends based upon what I was learning to do in the courses of 4:00 in the morning. And I just I couldn’t get out of this, and I knew I had to and had all the best intentions, but I finally had to just start setting aside. And it started as an hour a month. It just started as an hour a month. It was it was my CEO time. And then it became a day, a month, and then it became a half a day a week and then a day a week. And now the majority of my time as CEO time and I use a journal to keep myself organized. I have questions that I ask myself. I have CEO prompts that I use before, prompts where the thing with I’d sit right and I had CEO prompts that that I ask myself on a recurring basis to help keep myself centered and focused and to keep my business moving in the right direction. But I don’t do it if I don’t set aside the time to do it. And so I have to block across, clock out time. I’ve got time in the morning where I work on things before I check email, before I even chat communication. There are things that I do. I’ve set aside the time. I’ve got days of the month set aside where it’s just blocked out. You can’t get on my calendar. It’s locked. It’s locked down. You might be thinking, well, what if something comes up? Well, what if you were having surgery? Like, nobody can come in at that point, right? That’s how you treat this. You block these times and you protect them with everything you’ve got. It’s how you move a business forward. You sit there and you work on leadership topics. You wrestle with your lead generation. You look at all of the things and numbers for lead conversion. You look at your processes for collecting and managing money and budgeting and all of those things. You work on your standard operating procedures and, and and processes and, and handbook and, and all of the project management stuff. You got to have that time and you need to do it consistently. A little bit here. A little bit there, a little bit here. A little bit there. And one day you’re going to look up and go, Holy cow. I’ve built a company. It’s how it gets done. If all you ever do is work in your business, building the widget, selling the widgets, building the widget, selling the widget. If you’re just all focused on that and that’s all you do. All you’re ever going to do is build yourself a J-O-B. And in the future, you’re going to look at me and go, I am. So it’s just a job. I just have a job. And guess what, my friend? Nobody buys a job. You can’t sell a job. All right. Why would why would somebody give you money for your job? Like it. That doesn’t happen. All right. Instead, people buy systems, processes and and they buy results that these systems and processes are getting those systems and processes together. Those those processes of leadership, lead generation, lead conversion, collect and manage money and project management. Those systems build a business and that’s what people will buy. Well, I love it, but it doesn’t happen if you don’t set the side and if you don’t set aside the time to work on it. All right. Well, you’ve reached the end. I want to thank you. Please subscribe. Leave a review. Share the podcast with somebody. You are the person that can do it. And I’m asking you to do that for me. And I look forward to reading your review very soon. Until next time, chase the big dream. Lead with courage and safe travels.