How to be productive while traveling full-time

Growing your business can be hard when you’re constantly on the move and when you don’t have routines. If you are currently testing out the digital nomad lifestyle and finding it hard to be productive, or if you are planning to embark on your digital nomad journey soon, this episode is for you! After 5 years of doing this and helping my clients do the same, I share best practices to help you travel AND succeed. It is so possible and it is so worth it!

Balancing business with travel is often the first challenge I see my clients face when they take their business remote. So here are 5 tactics that you can use to boost your profits AND travels!

Also watch my YouTube series on “How to Start a 6-Figure Business and Travel the World”

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Prefer to read? Here’s the blog version…

Introduction

Hello, My loves. Welcome back to The Wanderlover Podcast. I’m your host Danielle Hu, recording this episode from Batukaras, Indonesia. 

Just a heads up, there is a rooster outside and I had to Google right before I started recording what kinds of noises roosters make. So aside from the cock doodle zoo, like what do you call that? I thought it was barking, but apparently it was crowing. So you might hear a rooster crowing in the background once in a while and it’s just so amazing because that’s just such a perfect depiction of the village surf lifestyle that I’ve been living for the past few months. And what you guys can’t see or hear is the beautiful rice patio view I have. I’m surrounded by greenery, banana trees, perfect jungle setting, beautiful beaches around me.

And I hope that whenever you tune into the Wanderlover Podcast, you just get transported into a new country, a new destination with a completely different vibe and recognize that if it is possible for me, it is possible for you. I’m going back to New York in December and I booked my flights to Miami for a week where I will be reuniting with my best friend and business partner, Annie, for Anda Brand. We have a surf inspired jewelry line, if you don’t follow us already on Instagram, it’s @andabrand, so A N D A B R A N D. And we have so many fun events planned.

I think I’m there for a total of seven days and we are going to be in six markets. I’m gonna be so tired, but I’m so excited it’s gonna be such a fun time around the holidays and we’re going to be making a lot of sales, a lot of money, a lot of content. So I’m just really looking forward to that trip where it’s gonna be such a contrast from my day-to-day life here. For those of you new to this show, I have two businesses. So the Wanderlover, which I started while I was still working a corporate job and last year I started a jewelry line with my best friend. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so rewarding watching both businesses grow and impact so many people around the world and be able to really sustain this nomadic lifestyle that I’ve created for myself.

If you’ve met me in real life, if you’ve met me surfing out in the water or traveling over the past few years, you’ll know that when you hang out with me, If, you don’t ask me about my businesses specifically. I don’t really bring them up. It’s not something I talk about 24 7. I have my community and my clients and really like the work community separate from the people I meet while I’m traveling. And so it becomes really surprising for people when they find me on social media or they ask about my businesses and see the growth and what I’m managing, they’re really surprised cuz they’re like, Holy shit, I didn’t know that you had so much going on.

It’s almost as If, you are just surfing every day. Like how do you do it? How do you run these two businesses while you’re constantly on the move, hosting dinner parties, exploring new locations, planning for your next few months, like how do you manage it? All coupled with the fact that I think around eight or nine clients of mine this year, they quit their jobs to start traveling full-time. Some booking a one-way ticket, many others didn’t quit and they just embarked on their full-time nomadic journeys. But every single person, whether in the first few days or weeks, will experience struggles and confusion around how to balance growing your business and being productive with full-time travel.

Combining work & travel

Which brings me to the topic of today’s episode, How to Be Productive While Traveling Full time. If this is something that’s in store for you, that’s in the cards for you that you want to do, it’s really helpful to just listen to this episode so you know what to expect from people who have recently quit their jobs or booked one way tickets or started traveling full time themselves. I’ve been doing this for the past four to five years, So through a lot of experience in trial and error, I’ve really found a balance that works for me and I really wanna walk you guys through the different stages that I see a lot of clients go through as well as how they ultimately balance productivity and travel.

The main thing that I notice, especially from people coming from corporate is that their idea of travel is usually framed by their previous employer where they were only able to travel for a certain number of days per year. And so the mentality when you travel that way is you book this one trip from this date to this date and you’re trying to fit in as many activities, as many excursions, as many to-dos as you can within that set amount of time. Believe me, I’ve been there, I’ve done the whole backpacking thing, I’ve done the whole country hopping and go, go, go style.

I’ve also done it when I was working on my business and over time what you’ll experience is it’s not sustainable. You’re gonna be overwhelmed, you’re gonna be stressed about how your business is not growing the way you want it to be. You don’t have the processes and systems and habits and rituals in place. 

Committing to work time

So if you do take your business seriously and you want your business to grow while you are traveling, you really have to set aside time to work and hold yourself accountable to it. So imagine like let’s say you came from a corporate job and you were working 40, 50 hours a week, that was for an employer.

Just because your employer is no longer there doesn’t mean you all of a sudden just get all the hours of the week free, right? So mentally block out 40 hours of your every week If, you wanted to dedicate that to your business and obviously this is gonna be hard, if you constantly have flights or trains or excursions booked, right? So you really have to prioritize what are you going to say no to? How are you going to incorporate more structure into your day so you can run your business like a business? Ask yourself, how many hours a week am I really working in my business right now? Give me a number, feel free to DM it to me too because I’m really curious how you guys operate and let’s say you’re just beginning, you honestly do not have the luxury of taking most of your time off and spending most of it on travel if you want your business to grow at the pace you’re probably expecting it to over time. 

The good news is when you have more capital to reinvest, when you have more surplus, more profits, you can hire a team to then execute on everything that you would’ve done without you having to be there. So I guess in the beginning, think of the number of hours as the number of hours of output over time. It’s not gonna be you spending those hours, it’s going to be your team spending those hours. So maybe in total your business can run, you know, 200 hours of output every week because you have other people doing it.

But in the beginning, if it’s just you, you have to set those boundaries with yourself. Because if you’re not putting out content, if you’re not working in your business, no one else is going to do that for you. So make an intention to work X amount of hours per week, put it in your calendar, pick a number that feels good to you while you’re still traveling and you want to grow your business, right? It’s not gonna be the same for everyone. It also doesn’t mean that just because you are working more hours, you’re more productive. 

Prioritization 

Which brings me to my next point. You really have to prioritize your tasks. And what’s great about traveling is you’re always in a new environment where you’re inspired to create, to take videos, to take photos and If, you can align that with your brand.

You’re quote unquote ‘working without really having to sit in front of a computer’. You’re creating content, you’re improving your brand awareness, you’re getting more people to follow you and it’s great content. When you do set aside those really valuable hours to work in front of your laptop, you have to know exactly what is going to drive your business forward. So let’s say you are traveling full time, you sat down at a cafe and you have the next hour to work in your business. You can either send 10 sales emails within that hour, pitching your business to new leads, or you could be changing the branding on your website, right?

Like let’s say those were your two outstanding tasks. If, you only had an hour and you could only choose between one of the two. Which one of those tasks should you prioritize then and there to drive your business forward? And it’s clearly the sales, right? If, you want to make more money, you need to increase your leads, and you need to execute on the actions that will get you there. So often I’ll see people getting overwhelmed, not seeing results because the very few hours they’re putting in isn’t on what actually matters. So prioritize the things that drive your business forward at all times.

This really helps when you have a bigger picture view of what you’re working on for the year, broken down into each quarter, broken down into each month, and then each day so that when you sit down you’re like, this is more important because I’m trying to reach this goal, right? A lot of my clients will have email list subscriber targets, what they want to grow their email list by every single month. And so if we’re prioritizing that and that’s the main focus, they can then filter out their day-to-day activities.

If they’re on a limited time budget while traveling full-time, they’re gonna ask themselves, Okay, I can either post stories directing people to my newsletter, I can run ads or set up my ads account so I can start running ads to get people to sign up for my freebie, or I can edit an Instagram real and If. You are prioritizing email list growth. Then the most obvious answer would be to set up your Facebook ads account so you can increase your audience on autopilot without having to manually post on Instagram. So If, you know exactly what you are prioritizing, what you’re working on, it’s going to be easier for you to filter out what’s important and what’s not.

Develop a work routine

Another way, how I’m able to stay really productive while traveling is I have a work routine. I have a morning surf, I have my coffee, I have my laptop open, and I have my precious aen gemstones. So for those of you interested in gemstones and precious stones, aen is green. It reminds me of abundance and money and business. So when my laptop is opened with my coffee, with my journals, with my Ave Sheen, I know it’s work time. There is an energy behind it that just gets me so motivated to hustle, to get into work mode, and you really have to find something that works for you to infuse the same drive into your workday instead of only wanting to be at the beach and not do anything.

So If, you can find your own office space, your own vibes, energies, it’s going to help you become so much more productive in a shorter amount of time. There’s no, I have to look for a cafe and find an outlet like If, you have your own desk, your own office space. It cuts out that time so that you are able to be more productive as soon as X, Y, and Z aligns. When I open my laptop, the first thing I check is Voxer and my email. So I make sure all my clients are fully supported. I check my emails, I try to get my inbox down to zero, I catch up with my team and make sure there’s nothing you know going horribly wrong, which really happens.

And I just like feeling like a business owner. I like feeling like everything is managed on time, on track, and I have the next hour or two to really dedicate to big picture strategies. That is a position I want you to visualize. How do you get yourself there? How do you infuse the same energies so that you are traveling and at the same time being productive? I know some of you listening, you might already be traveling and you’re like, Danielle, I don’t have an office. I don’t know how to make a routine. Everything is just so spontaneous every single day and it’s not possible for me, but a part of you feels like you need it, right?

A part of you is craving that stability or at least that predictability of when you are able to be connected to the internet. So if this is you, if this feels like I’m talking to you right now, that is your intuition telling you that maybe it is time to slow down. This is something I experienced after months and months of just go, go, go new country every two to three weeks. And I was just craving a place for me to build my business to get really grounded and to integrate myself with the local community. 

Choose a short-term temporary location

So my next tip for you is to stay longer in one location instead of constantly being on the go.

It should be a place where you feel super aligned with maybe there is a coworking space, a digital nomad community. Maybe it’s by the beach or whatever activities you prefer to do. Know that the world is your oyster at this point because as long as you have an internet connection, you are able to run your business. So do your research and see where you would like to spend maybe the next two months or three months in. You are no longer bound by your time, right? There’s no boss or employer telling you you need a request days off and you have to be back in the office at a certain date. So if you get rid of that boundary, you no longer have to be in a rush all the time. 

You can take your time, you can do what suits you, what nourishes your soul and your business, and design your life around that. So maybe you really want to explore, let’s say Costa. Rica. What you’ll find is the longer you stay in a place, not only will you be able to develop your own routine, but your cost of living also significantly decreases because you’re able to get monthly discounts, you’re able to get monthly rates for different rentals, and you get connections. You get to meet local people who will help you find a way to live that is off the beaten path that’s no longer, you know, you’re looking through tourists, travel guides, and it’s such a fulfilling feeling when you are experiencing growth in all aspects of life.

When you give yourself permission to slow down, it’s really mind boggling like you constantly think you have to be doing something new all the time in order to grow. And many times, maybe this is just me getting older, but many times you’ll find that the more space you give yourself and the more you listen to your intuition, that is actually when you grow the most. For me, this has definitely looked like around three to six months in one location. I’ve found my bases around the world, like I’ve spent a lot of time in Bali. We spent nine months in Brazil during Covid and I would definitely go back there. I’ve spent six months in Hawaii and I absolutely loved it.

We did three months in Europe earlier this year, so we’ll be back there. But what’s great is like we know the local community in each of those places. So when we go back, it’s not gonna be we’re tourists. We can settle down in the same places. We have our same routines and that’s actually how I foresee my future playing out. Like I don’t think I will ever be in one place permanently, but I would love to stay four to six months between my favorite bases around the world where I will have investment properties and beach houses to live in. That’s what I’ve found works best for me and that’s what I desire. It might look different for you, but know that it is possible. 

Create accountability 

Last but not least, If you are still struggling with finding balance, holding yourself accountable. My tip for you would be to hire a coach or join a community. If, you can’t do it yourself. It really helps having someone else being there for you and checking in on you so that you have to perform and execute and set aside that time. It’s really funny because after years and years of coaching, what I’ve noticed is every single week, so I have weekly coaching calls with all of my clients. They have Voxer access to me in between every single call and I will always, always get the most questions the day before our weekly coaching call.

And that’s because they see the homework items. I assign them from the week before and they’re like, Holy shit, I need to get this done. Like let me prioritize these tasks before our coaching call tomorrow. And it makes me giggle because if I don’t hold them accountable, right? If I don’t give them the homework and tell them it has to be done by this week, they probably wouldn’t do it themselves. You can see by their habits that it’ll just be an outstanding item. So until they have that deadline, they’re not pushing themselves to complete it. And of course this is different for everyone and not all of my clients are like this, but I tend to attract procrastinators and that’s what I am, which is why I am also constantly in communities that holds me accountable.

So If, you are one of those people If. You really feel like you want that hustle, you want that drive behind your business and you need help seek help. It’s so helpful when you are traveling to have business minded people supporting you. I have so many private clients, members of Momentum who are embarking or have just finished their digital nomad trips and it’s honestly just so great when you can find your community or a mentor that gets your lifestyle and who can push you as you are traveling full time. Please join us in the Wanderlover Community Facebook group if this is something you aspire to do or maybe you are currently doing it.

I would love to hear where in the world you are and where in the world you would like to go. Let me know, If, you have any questions about this? I’ve been doing this for years and years and years and helping other people do the same. Cheers to your success and I will see you guys in the next episode. Have a wonderful week.

~~~

If you’ve enjoyed this episode, it would mean so much if you could leave a review on Apple Podcasts. This helps us spread The Wanderlover mission to those who need a dose of inspiration today.

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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My mission is to help you design a location-independent lifestyle through online entrepreneurship, to achieve time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom.

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