Freelance writing and blogging is often talked about as an alternative source of income, due to the flexibility that it gives you. But other flexible sources of income are not mentioned that often. Why in this technological day and age I do not know, but it would seem important to mention them. One person who has taken flexible income and working to a whole new level is Natalie Sisson. In this article we will examine her business model and see if you could follow in her footsteps.
Ms Sisson was once a high flying Marketing Executive in London, with a good salary. However, now she finds herself homeless. But this is not the sad story that you would imagine. The 36 year old former body builder is now running a six figure business, while travelling the world. In 2008, after becoming disillusioned with the daily grind of city life, she made a snap decision to grab a flight to Vancouver. She attended a networking event and began a tech startup, with a business partner she met at the event. She was curious about how few women were involved in the tech industry and started a blog about it. Ms Sisson said, “I started a blog to talk about my experience and used it as a way to interview some of these women in technology, I realized probably about six months in that it was becoming more of a passion than the business that we had built.” It was soon after this that she became what is common called a ‘digital nomad’.
A Citizen of the World
Ms Sisson began travelling the world and began calling herself ‘The Suitcase Entrepreneur’, the title of her blog and book. She now travels the world providing motivational speaking services and teaching digital marketing. She reckons that she has “about eight revenue streams. My blog brings in some form of advertising and affiliate marketing. I have digital products and programs for sale. I do coaching, and it’s all online through Skype,” Due to her lack of a permanent residence or any associated costs, she reckons that she saves up to $2,000 per month. When added to her six figure business that makes for quite a significant income. It is clear that she has managed to diversify her income far beyond the traditional blogging for a living stereotype and has a great entrepreneurial mind.
Although she has visited 66 countries so far and is due to continue her travels, apparently it is not a particularly expensive lifestyle. “I’d like to think that this lifestyle is actually pretty cost effective. A lot of people think travel is really expensive but when you don’t have all those extra payments like mortgages etc. you can stay in places quite cheap.”
It does seem that this lifestyle does come with its shortcomings though. By her own admission it is hard to form long lasting relationships or friendships with other people. But this does not seem to deter ‘’The Suitcase Entrepreneur’, it just seems that she is going to adjust her habits slightly. “Now that I’m wanting to settle a little more and spend more time in each place, I would definitely love to find somebody who’s up for an adventure and for moving around as well, I think this year I might hit a few less countries than normal… maybe around ten.”
So even though many people reading this may have their own blog, or be considering setting up their own blog. How many people would be willing to become a citizen of the world? Do you think that the financial rewards are worth the possible loneliness? And do you think that you could actually match the diversification of income that Ms Sisson has managed beyond blogging.