Category Archives: Nomadic Me

Will my digital nomad income be enough?

How do you make money after leaving your corporate job to be a nomad? JoburgRudolph gives some insight into;

Digital Nomad Income in your pocket
Digital Nomad Income in your pocket

Passive, Residual and Freelancing Digital Nomad Income.

I’m not sure if I am the most typical digital nomad. At 39, most nomads are younger and don’t have as many years of working in corporate behind them. Those years in corporate and a freakish obsession with real estate investment have given me a nice passive income buffer.

But, even with less income from investments, it really is possible to make ends meet as a digital nomad. You’ll just have to rely more heavily on freelancing and residual income. Nomadic You has you covered; Find a marketable skill you are good at and improve your skill with our post on Remote Working All in one for Dummies.

Remote Working All in one for Dummies

To show how all of this can be done in practice, here are my seven multiple income streams for 2017;

Passive Income

The IRS defines passive income as coming from rental activity or trade in which you do not materially participate. I probably don’t have enough share investments as part of my passive income. But, these are my three main passive income sources

#1 Furnished Holiday Letting Cape Town

Cape Town is a hugely popular tourist destination. I am so glad I purchased an apartment in Cape Town for holiday letting. The capital growth has been tremendous. If you choose wisely you can expect to earn around 13% per annum on your investment.

#2 Unfurnished Residential Letting Johannesburg

Cape Town property gets more expensive by the day. Property in Johannesburg is much cheaper though. I earn around 10% per annum on my investment for unfurnished letting. But if business activity improves, I may consider furnished letting to corporates for their employees.

#3 Interest Income

In most countries interest rates are so low that living off interest from your investments is not viable. In South Africa however, you can earn above 7% per annum on a 32 day notice deposit.

Residual Income

Being a landlord can be tricky and freelancing gigs are quite time consuming. Residual income is a good alternative; where you create an asset like a book, a patent or a song and collect royalties for many happy years thereafter.

#4 “Escaping Corporate” Book

Now that I’ve left corporate I am researching all my digital nomad and downshifting options. And turning this into an e-book that I expect to publish in April.

#5 Nomadic You Affiliate Income

The articles that form the basis of my “Escaping Corporate” book form the basis for the Nomadic You website. I’m not too keen on adding Google Ads to the website. But with an increase in visits to the website, there is good potential for affiliate income.

Freelancing Income

In my first couple of months outside corporate I studied “Big Data” and did some data analysis for a company that manufacturers snacks. There is a lot of buzz about data analysis being a career of the future. But, I regret studying big data. Only the largest of corporates have the scale to analyze data in real time. In my opinion, if you want to escape corporate, studying big data is not the best option.

Instead, inspired by writing my own e-book and helping my brother publishing his book on philosophy, I’ll be focusing my freelancing efforts on these two;

#6 Social Media Marketing Cat and Keyboard

I have learned new skills working with WordPress and doing social media marketing for my Nomadic You blog. I’m already doing social media marketing for an editing and manuscript evaluation blog called Cat and Keyboard.

#7 e-Book Cover Design

Several Shaw Academy Digital Marketing, Graphic design and Photoshop diplomas later, I’m feeling confident to start helping other self-publishing authors with their e-book covers. I’m finding Photoshop to be a lot of fun and quite addictive!

@NomadicYou What are the best ways to earn some Digital Nomad Income? How many freelancing gigs do you juggle?

Leap and think later? Leaving Corporate Life

When leaving your #9to5 job for a flexible gig economy job, is it better to leap or strategise carefully? The answer may surprise you.

Blue Monday? Could be time for Leaving Corporate Life
Blue Monday? Could be time for Leaving Corporate Life

I love this quote by Monique Hohnberg, Founder of #RiseRegardless ™: “When u do something brand new it can be confusing on how to proceed. Thinking won’t help. Move forward each day & the path will become clear

These words made me reflect on my journey from working in corporate to becoming a digital nomad. If you are considering a lifestyle change, you may fall into the same over-thinking trap I did.

Leaving Corporate Life for the Brand New

I left my job as a Risk Specialist not knowing exactly what would be next. Yes, I have some holiday lets, so I would have to find time for that. But, the rest was all up in the air.

There are so many options when you join the gig economy. Should I blog, vlog, publish or freelance? The choices can be confusing indeed.

When you work remotely, you also have many options on where to work from. A beach in Thailand, the local Coffee shop or public library are all viable options.

Things I overthought

Initially, I spent a lot of time thinking about how friends and family would react to me leaving corporate for remote work. “What will you be doing?” is normally the first question. More holiday lets seemed to be the safest answer, this was something tried and tested and something concrete people could relate to.

In the meantime, I decide to study self-publishing so that I can help my brother publish his book on philosophy and religion. And I did some research on a digital nomad path. Putting one and one together I decided to write my own non-fiction book; “Escaping Corporate: 101 Tips from Digital Nomads and Downshifters”

Moving forward each day

Now, as I learn more about remote work, the idea of more holiday lets isn’t as appealing anymore. And I have come to accept that moving forward each day even without a crystal-clear plan is okay.

With each new All-In-One For Dummies Book and with each new e-learning lesson my mind is opening up to new possibilities. Along the way, I am building up valuable skills that will help me to make it in the gig economy, from WordPress to SEO, skills that I never had before as a Risk Specialist.

The path is becoming clear

I haven’t found a good work-life balance yet. I find myself excited with all the new skills, possibilities and seeing the instant reward of more blog page views. It is easy to get distracted with social media marketing too and I haven’t been giving myself a lot of downtime.

But, in time I will settle down into a better rhythm. I will see which blog posts are more popular and reduce distractions, starting with my smartphone notifications. I expect to be even happier with my lifestyle change than I already am.

Monique Hohnberg is so right. Sometimes you just need to take the leap and figure things out as you go. This over-thinker is glad he did.

@NomadicYou Are you considering leaving corporate life? What has you most confused about the path to follow?

Time for a rhyme: Starting a blog

What are the ups and downs of starting a blog? It’s not easy without cleavage or cute cats. Joburg Rudolph rhymes about the highs and lows of his first month as a blogger.

SEO Gold for Starting a Blog. A Trump Cat. Photo by Manuel Flickr

My first November blogging has been schweet

I’m glad I escaped corporate without cold feet

Been fun writing about nomads, maps and stats

But, I’d have more followers with cleavage or cute cats

No more anxiety from the corporate grind

Now ascending Alexa rank is all on my mind

Was worried editor Loukie would say I can’t write

Relief then to get good comments from reader Tite

Do you want to be a digital nomad too?

Then do a Google search for Nomadic You

I’m not on page one but down in the ditch

That Google search algorithm is a bitch

Facebook Robert says my jokes are lame

I’m still new, so trying to keep things tame

No fear from Twitter Alex who swears Trump

Hoping this bad hair cat will give my blog a bump

@NomadicYou How does one incorporate more cats and cleavage into a blog about digital nomads and downshifters?

Nomadic Me: Rudolph Escaping Corporate

Escaping Corporate and dealing with layoffs; My journey from anxiety and CFS to being a digital nomad in the gig economy

Rudolph Escaping Corporate
Rudolph Escaping Corporate

After 14 years of corporate life, I should have felt quite content and accepting of my lot. I was a risk specialist working at a large corporate and I had a nice home, a seaside apartment and a German car in my garage. Sure, dragging myself out of bed on Monday mornings took some effort and I would have more dreams at night about work targets than about frolicking with my favourite Hollywood star. But life as a 38-year-old Johannesburg pen-pusher was decent.


I can’t say that life unraveled quickly; I was but a toad in a slowly heating pot.  A disengaged toad growing more rotund the deeper I got into my thirties. I stood at a crossroads, faced by a new CEO at the ICT company I was working for. He had a penchant for layoffs to boost quarterly earnings. And I either had to prove myself irreplaceable with some new enthusiasm for my monotonous corporate governance work or imagine myself without a solid paycheck.

At first I soldiered on. Thinking, as one does, that I have proved myself over the years and that it was clear for all to see my worth and intellect. Problem being, ours was not a revenue earning division and all the CEO saw was the dreamy glitter of a new Porsche in his driveway, purchased with his next performance bonus. Half our team was on the chopping block.


Next, I racked my mind for a plan B and plan C—literally penned and printed—I was a Risk Specialist after all and mitigations were my game. My energy went into imagining a new path. My disengagement from the rightsizing corporate grew and my performance slowed to a crawl even though the deadlines were still hurtling at me. My health suffered too. Coughing, body aches and constant exhaustion. All the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

I would drive to work in the mornings distracted by some good tunes and witty banter from the DJ on the radio. But then, on my 5-minute walk from the car park, my mind would turn to looming deadlines and my growing disengagement made me realize I was far from irreplaceable and that I could easily end up in the layoffs pile. Queue anxiety attack and profuse sweating that soaked my shirt just as I got started for the day. This happened repeatedly over a two-month period. I made a sorry sight indeed and clearly things could not go on like that much longer.


I wanted to escape the city, the rat-race and hunker down somewhere far away from all my worries. To sleep away all the emotional exhaustion and quell my anxiety. I knew it would be a hard sell for my friends and family. Most thought fighting for my spot in corporate and the steady paycheck was the smarter thing to do. Looking back, it was quite brave of me to inform my boss that I would not re-apply for my position and that I would opt for a severance package instead.

Did the bravery pay off? Well, not in the way I pictured it would. I bought a plot of land by the sea and imagined myself building a cottage there and hiding away from the stresses of the world. Downshifting sounded pretty good. True, at 38 I was young to be semi-retired. But, with no children to support and with some steady income from my property investments, I had a good shot at a happy life. I didn’t see myself leading a luxury life with all the trimmings, rather it dawned on me that a minimalist existence of experiences rather than stuff would suit me just fine.


Instead, after a couple of weeks outside of corporate, my health improved and anxiety lifted. Reducing stress seems to work remarkably well for CFS.  I had a new verve for life. Energy to want to travel the world and start an online business. E-commerce is growing rapidly and the idea of working from my laptop anywhere in the world with an internet connection seemed mightily appealing. And it seems I am not the only one.

According to Wikipedia, the digital nomad lifestyle is growing in popularity. There seems to be no shortage of paths to digital nomad living; blogging, vlogging, publishing and online business. The world may not be ready yet for a ginger from South Africa to be its next vlogging star, but fortunately there are other online and passive income options and cheap locations like Bali or Budapest to get by on a modest income. And if the flexible working allows me to fit in an afternoon siesta, I’m certainly in!


Yes, there will be sacrifices along the way. AirBnB hosts who work on my nerves. Giving up my car. Selling more of my belongings. Missing family and friends back home. Maintaining a decent diet and fitness program on the road. I may become even more rotund. But from where I’m sitting, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Never in history has so much information been at our fingertips to overcome these nomadic obstacles. Google Maps knows the nearest pharmacy. My cellphone can help me translate. The web allows me to find the cheapest flights. I can access freelancing gigs to finance my way. There has never been a better time than now. Seems that CEO may have done me a favour; I won’t begrudge him his new Porsche. I’ve been the winner in all of this; he can answer to his board of directors while I take my afternoon nap.

So, armed with a Dummies book by my side and some inspiring online lectures I remain enthusiastic and surprisingly free of fear for what the future holds. In the words of Winston Churchill: “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” It seems half the battle is already won with a positive attitude and a brandy in hand. Let’s see where this journey takes me.

@nomadicyou What is the best way to escape corporate? How do you thrive in your new #digitalnomad or #downshifting life?