Earlier this month, Janice was featured on the podcast, #JustAddGratitude, to share her experiences as a digital nomad and Principal/Creative Director of Oblique Design, a Colorado branding and interactive agency. During the interview, Janice expands upon the complicated and inspirational personal realities of becoming location independent. This nomad lifestyle, seemingly unattainable to some, is actually well within reach thanks to the Internet, discipline, and great client relationships.
There’s also something to be said about going to other countries (and continents) and getting to see the real time effects of International design and advertising. Creative inspiration is everywhere — from signage, packaging, store displays, menus, logos to billboards. And, as St. Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” So, by getting to see what else is out there we are able to expand our horizons and gain inspiration from a wider perspective. We are able to grow.
We wanted to use Janice’s experience to springboard a discussion on how an agency can take its business remotely. Because more and more people are drawn to the nomad lifestyle, there are plenty of co-working spaces all over the world.
Prior to shipping off, Janice shifted her business model from being in a Boulder office for over 15 years to relocating to a co-working space. The freelance staff model proved to be successful, with minimal overhead. Oblique set the ground work with clients prior to leaving to ensure they are top priority. Some clients even have standing weekly status meetings to keep all projects in check and to guarantee that deadlines will never be missed. Throughout the year, Janice and Kelly, Oblique’s Account Manager, have been traveling the world working out of various co-working locations with an organization called Remote Year. They’ve been making solid connections with various designers, writers, videographers, and potential new clients who fully understand this lifestyle.
On the flip side, there are a few challenges of becoming location independent. The essence of face to face collaboration suffers. While video conferencing for meetings is great, it’s just not the same as being in person. While the quality of work remains consistent, the joy of getting down in the mud with your clients and team members isn’t the same.
In general, the ability to combine and maneuver personal and professional goals into a union as you travel is truly a gift. The high highs and low lows of being a digital nomad teach you lessons that shape the rest of your life and business. Try it sometime!