Digital Culture

Digital Nomads – Crazy, or Crazy Like a Fox

January 26, 2015

A Fox

I realize that for some the idea of packing your life up and moving outside the U.S. without some fat job offer and a relocation package sounds crazy.  Yet living outside your comfort zone by thousands of miles can sharpen your skills and your marketability.

During my travels in South and Central America I met a large swatch of the population who had never left the borders of their country.  It was economically unfeasible.  Of course in Cuba the desire to see the world was palpable, yet for most impossible. Americans are not ones to cross borders in droves.  My birth nation is vast and has enough things to do and space to roam that it can be enough to satisfy a wanderer. European Immigration

In Europe, it is odd to find someone who has not crossed at least one border in their lifetime.  Even if just to travel to a neighboring country to visit family or take a holiday.  Prague is a city filled with people from everywhere else mixed with people from a village in Moravia.  I talk to twenty-somethings who have already lived and worked in several countries.

There is an understanding that comes from trying to make yourself understood in a different culture.  A tolerance comes from knowing that you are not an expert in other people’s countries.  It is that extra something that has made immigrants in America so successful, so tenacious, and so important to innovation.

The U.S. is filled with expat success stories, from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright (a Czech) and Henry Kissinger, and Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo)

Crossing borders teaches you a lot about the subtleties of just how business is done. Björn Jeffery, among the world’s most successful digital toy developers, was humbled when he went to Silicon Valley thinking that English would unite him with its inhabitants. He learned some fast and funny lessons.  Read more at:

Beyond America there are lots of success stories of Expats who’ve created success in their adopted countries.

Being a Digital Nomad, in addition to learning the finesse of border crossing, forces you to build some very valuable skills:

  • Productivity – if you don’t do the work you can’t get paid.
  • Communication – you have to communicate with clients around the world and adapt to the style of your current country.
  • Online Marketing – unless you have the magical work from anywhere full-time job (and they do exist) you have to market yourself to get gigs or generate passive online income.
  • Connectivity – to be successful you have to build networks that are global – this is not a role for hermits – or someone who is not savvy about social media.

Read More at Making It Anywhere – Digital Nomad Skills

Just some of the things that make Digital Nomads so valuable to global companies. If you are are going global, you should look local.  And look for people from your home country who have learned how to translate your culture into something people in your target country can understand.

Digital Nomads are a bit crazy, crazy like a fox.Still Crazy like a fox

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