Today I had the privilege to interview Tracey Munn, the founder and chief digital strategist at Munn Digital. Based in Australia with clients across Australia, the US and Canada, Tracey has a background in psychology and accounting, along with qualifications in data analysis and certifications across all Google platforms.
What was your inspiration for living and working nomadically? What factors inspired you to leave the stationary lifestyle and start earning money remotely?
My inspiration for working nomadically was my children. I had my children young, so they are adults, and I’m still in my 40’s. One lives in one state of Australia, the other lives a 24 hour drive away. I’m also a grandparent. I want to spend as much time as I can with my children, daughter in law and grandchild, and because I work online I can take road trips and live between the two.
What unexpected challenges and hurdles have you encountered so far as a digital nomad?
In all honesty, I haven’t encountered any hurdles. In the early days it was always around making sure I didn’t stay anywhere that had poor wifi, but these days I have everything set up so I don’t experience wifi issues.
Do you have any personal anecdotes or stories about the hardships you’ve faced as a location independent worker? How did you overcome them?
Initially, I did find loneliness an issue, and sometimes I still do. However, I overcame them by joining industry Facebook groups and creating some amazing relationships with people in my industry. I make sure most days I have Zoom meetings or calls, and collaborate on projects as much as I can. I encourage my team to meet weekly, if not more, and use Slack, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Zoom to ensure I have as many communication channels open as possible.
Has any aspect of the lifestyle and career been easier than expected? Is there anything that you thought would be difficult but, in reality, hasn’t been?
I thought earning a living would be difficult to be honest – getting clients. However, by integrating myself into industry communities, the added blessing has been the amount of client referrals. To the point that I have had to hire more staff as we are inundated with work.
What character traits would you say are the most important or essential for successful digital nomads?
Communication skills and the ability to self motivate are key character traits that make a successful digital nomad. Having the confidence to reach out and form relationships will help you to build your business, and then there are days you may feel like sitting around and watching TV, but this can become habitual. Being able to motivate yourself and work – even if there is the choice between going bush walking or working, you need to make sure you stay motivated and don’t get lazy.
If you were starting over from scratch today, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. I have a successful business and a blessed life. Everything I have done has led me to this point so I wouldn’t change anything (maybe never smoke?).
What would you say to aspiring digital nomads looking to get started on a similar career path? Any words of wisdom or cautionary tales?
For aspiring digital nomads, make sure you are the type of person who is self-motivated, driven and enjoys forming relationships. Building a network of relationships within your industry will not only provide support but will ensure you keep learning and sharing information. As a caution, don’t take on so much work that you don’t have time to enjoy your life.
In the early days, what initial strategies did you use to gain visibility and get your business off the ground?
The strategy that helped get my business off the ground was joining as many industry Facebook groups as I could and then offering my expertise when people in the group asked questions. The challenge faced was that I do have some health issues that set me back a bit, and I didn’t have anyone to help support me. Now, I mostly use Facebook. I don’t advertise, I just make sure I get involved in groups. This has grown my business to a stage I didn’t think possible.