The New Snowbirds
Recently, traditional snowbirds like retirees and the well-to-do have spotted a new species of snowbird in their midst. Who are these new birds with their laptops and smartphones flying south for the winter?
In essence, they are people making their living online. Internet entrepreneurs, remote workers, digital nomads, they go by many names but they have one thing in common, they can live and work from anywhere in the world.
The best part about these new snowbirds is that just about anyone can join their flock. Here’s a look at three jobs that are location independent and use the internet to make money.
Writers: Today’s authors don’t need to find the best agent, pen the next Moby Dick, or write like Stephen King to be successful.
Nowadays first-time writers can self-publish their work through e-book platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Store. All that’s needed is a compelling book idea and the drive and determination to write it.
Besides time and sweat, the startup costs for publishing an e-book are practically zero. With a little luck and perseverance, a book might actually catch fire and become a bestseller.
Take the example of The Martian by Andy Weir. Having been rebuffed by literary agents in the past, Weir decided to publish The Martian as an e-book on Amazon. He ended up selling 35,000 copies in three months and eventually sold the print rights to Crown Publishing for over $100,000. Subsequently, The Martian was made into a movie starring Matt Damon. Not bad for a debut novel.
Salesperson: ABC is the acronym that every salesperson lives by–Always Be Closing. For a long time, that meant selling to clients face-to-face. But with the emergence of mobile technology, client meetings can now take place over video calling applications like Skype and Facetime. A good wifi connection and the right equipment are all that’s needed.
With this new way of doing business, salespeople can now serve a broader range of customers more efficiently. They can even work as part of a sales team with others throughout the country. When a face-to-face meeting is needed, a salesperson can simply hop on a flight, visit the client and be back by supper.
Through the internet, salespeople are reaching new heights, meeting their sales goals, and keeping a healthy work-life balance.
Teachers: Many of today’s best teachers are working outside the classroom by creating online courses. Whether starting their own website or working for another company, teachers are bringing the classroom to the internet.
As a result, students can now take classes from home and learn at their own pace. Benefits include lower tuition and the opportunity to learn from top instructors throughout the world. For example, many of Stanford’s computer science courses can be downloaded for free from iTunes U.
Additionally, many professional courses are given online, such as licensing courses for real estate agents, tax professionals and medical technicians. This type of education is especially popular with those already in the workforce.
Today the digital economy is creating more opportunities for more entrepreneurs, who can live and work from wherever they choose. Income and lifestyle are limited only by a person’s imagination.
Written by Matthew Allabastro