October 26, 2022
There are a lot of ways to earn money online as a digital nomad! Two popular options include remote work and running your own business. We’ve experienced both, and in this podcast episode, we dive into the pros and cons of each of these options to help you decide if one of these could be right for you.
Topics covered in this episode:
Resources mentioned in the episode:
FYI – this is AI generated, so it’s going to have mistakes! But, it’s great for remembering what was said and pulling out pieces.
Monica: [00:00:00] All right. What’s up, everybody. Welcome to episode three of the profitable nomad, couple podcasts. We are super excited to talk to you today. We wanna talk to you about the differences between being a remote worker and owning your own business, which one we think is best and the pros and cons of each.
Austin: So, yeah, Monica and I both have experienced.
Austin: In both of these situations, we’ve both worked for other people and obviously we’ve both run our own business. And so we have firsthand experience in knowing what they’re both like. And I mean, we’ll be up front. There’s good things and bad things about both of them. So we don’t wanna make it sound like there’s one right.
Austin: Answer for everyone. Cuz we know everyone’s situation is different and we know that everyone’s ality is different for us. There’s certain pros that we want more than others. And there’s certain cons that we want to avoid stronger than other people would want to for you, maybe a big pro of ours is for you is like, nah, that’s not that big of a deal for me.
Austin: So [00:01:00] we just wanna lay out for us. What’s been the case and, um, give you. Some major points from our experience and you can take it and run with it and decide for yourself what you think is best for your life. Yeah.
Monica: And there are tons of ways to make money online. So we’re just gonna really be covering remote work and owning a business.
Monica: Those two things though, we know that there are other ways to make money online that are just as profitable and, and we’re great for some people.
Austin: So we wanted to start by talking about what it means. To work remotely. Um, I feel like it is a fairly straightforward definition and I think most people understand it, but just to clear the air remote work is the practice of an employee doing work for an employer in a location other than where the office is or the, the main business is.
Austin: So if your company is headquartered or located in Sacramento and you’re working in a cabin in Montana, You’re remote working. [00:02:00]
Monica: Yeah, both Austin and I have done remote work before, um, this kind of dates back to our virtual assistant days. Austin had a position as a marketer for yoga six, as well as we worked for a sleep coach that was more of a remote work position.
Monica: So when we talk about these pros and cons, these are things that we have. Experienced with remote
Austin: work. There could be a situation where it’s a little bit of a hybrid of the two of these. And I think we were kind of in that for a bit where we owned and were running our own virtual assistant business.
Austin: But as a virtual assistant, we are working in the business of somebody else. And so it was kind of a cross between the two of them. So there could be a situation where it’s maybe a little bit of, or won’t work, but also your own business. So I just wanted to throw that out there that they’re not always super cut and dry.
Austin: So. Keep that in mind. yeah.
Monica: Okay. So the first pro that we thought of was job security. So right off the bat, when you get hired by a company you are getting paid, and that is such a huge [00:03:00] thing to just have that relief of that salary coming in that consistent income is really nice. And you don’t have to do the work defined at the clients for the company.
Austin: Yeah. If you guys are worry words like myself and you are constantly worrying about, well, I’m not constantly worrying about a lot of stuff, but one thing that is always on my mind is, is finances. That’s one of those things that, um, is just always. At the forefront of my mind. And it can be scary when you don’t have that job security.
Austin: So a big pro is like, you don’t have to worry about that. You know, the money’s gonna come in and you typically know exactly how much exactly how often. Yeah.
Monica: Um, another really big pro pro is the benefits that you receive. Typically if you’re a w two worker in the United States, especially then you, uh, can count on retirement insurance.
Monica: Paid time off things like that.
Austin: And if you are a remote worker, a big pro is [00:04:00] you get to work remotely. It’s in the name. I mean, you have the ability to travel and you have the freedom to move from one spot to another because your work is online, which is super
Monica: nice. That being said, being a remote worker.
Monica: Does make it a little bit harder to travel around. You do have less freedom in the fact that normally you’re expected to work Monday through Friday. And so therefore like you can’t look and say, oh, flights are really cheap on Wednesday. Let’s travel on Wednesday because you’re expected to be in the office that day.
Monica: So if you did wanna travel, not during the weekends, you would normally have to use some of your PTO to take. To be able to, to move around.
Austin: It’s kind of like wearing one of those adjustable leashes that the dogs wear is like, you’re still on a leash. You’re still limited to when you can travel, but it’s an extendable leash.
Austin: So you can go really far if you wanted. Another issue
Monica: with traveling as a remote worker is time zone issues and Austin, and I have a really, um, a really stressful experience with this, I [00:05:00] guess ,
Austin: it was confusing if anyone’s traveled to Arizona, you know, how ridiculous the time zone situation is in Arizona.
Monica: Yeah. For those of you who haven’t, there are pockets of native American reservations where they don’t follow. Daylight savings signs and then pockets where they do and it’s well, and then
Austin: within that pocket, there’s a smaller pocket that does observe daylight
Monica: savings. Yeah. So this is specifically around like the grand canyon area.
Monica: We took a trip down there with some friends while we were working, uh, because we were super excited about being able to work online and, and being remote workers. Uh, so we, we drove down to the grand canyon. We, um, spent some time in lake Powell, as well as the grand canyon and literally within a 15 minute drive, we’d cross back and forth between the time zones, four times in the place we were staying so confusing.
Monica: It was so confusing. And at the time we were remote workers and we were ex. Expected to be posting at a specific time. And it, we could not [00:06:00] for the life of us, figured out what time zone we were in and therefore calculate when the post needed to go live. And as a result, I do believe we were an hour late that day and it was so.
Monica: It was so stressful and so confusing. Cause we never knew what time zone we were in. So hopefully you won’t have an experience that dramatic. Hopefully it’ll be a little bit easier, but also time zone issues are something you need to consider. For example, if you’re over in Thailand, but your business is in Eastern time of the United States, you might be working through the middle of the night because that’s when you’re expected to be.
Austin: The biggest time. I think this is gonna come in play is when you have meetings, uh, you’re expected to be at a meeting at a certain time, and then you’re an hour late. Uh, I mean, better case scenario, you’re an hour early, but that doesn’t always happen. So that’s definitely something to be aware of. It’s also gonna come into play as, as a business owner.
Austin: If you’re traveling and running your business, you, I mean, you’re not gonna not have time zone issues, cuz you’re a business owner, but there are definitely something [00:07:00] to keep in mind and every time you move to a new spot, make sure you update your time zone on any platforms or software you’re using.
Austin: Mm-hmm .
Monica: Yeah. And the final con, which ended up being a really big con for us and I is that boundaries are not set by you. When you’re a remote worker. When you are working for another company, you follow their SOPs, their procedures, you are living in their culture and, and you have to fit your lifestyle into it.
Monica: Instead of being able to create something that, that works better with your lifestyle and your needs at the time. .
Austin: Yeah, we’re gonna talk about this too, in, in just a minute. But when you are creating your own business, you get to decide what type of culture exists in your business. So you get to decide how serious or how casual you are.
Austin: You, you get to decide on punctuality on what your style of working with clients is, but. When you are a remote employee, that’s not set by you. So you, you have to [00:08:00] adapt to someone else’s preferred method of working their boundaries. We had an experience when I was a remote worker, working with the sleep coach.
Austin: We mentioned earlier, she had a specific time that she wanted. Responses sent out to clients. And that was her preferred method. It was different than my preferred method. And there were some clashes there because there were different expectations of what we thought was appropriate. And so it just caused a little bit of conflict.
Austin: So that’s kind of inherent in a remote role. So also be aware of.
Monica: Mm-hmm . Yeah. All right. So let’s transition now into owning a business. So we have a bunch of pros. Obviously we are pro owning a business as business owners, but keep in mind that all of these things are kind of a double edged sword. So it really depends on how you frame it.
Monica: So you’ll notice that some of our pros are really similar to our cons because they do have that [00:09:00] flip side to each thing. And for us, the way we look at it is typically we look at them as pros, but we do wanna note that some people in some instances might, um, look at them more as
Austin: cons. Yeah. And even for us a pro one day might be a con the next day because of a certain situation.
Austin: But we’ve identified for you guys, five pros that we want to highlight. There are a lot more than five pro. There are a ton of good reasons to run a business. And if we were to talk about all of them, you guys would be listening to us all day long so we’ve distilled it down to five that are most important to Monica and I, so
Monica: you’re welcome.
Austin: yes. So. First and foremost, possibly the, the biggest is as a business owner, you are in control of your own destiny. I really love this analogy or this thought of being the author of your own story. If you have ever read a book and you thought, man, I just wish I could [00:10:00] be that character and do the things they do and go the places they go.
Austin: You don’t have to wish you could jump into that story. Cuz you can write your own story. You gotta be the author of your story. You get to decide where you go, what you do, who you’re with, what you’re enjoying, what you’re avoiding, you’re in the driver’s seat. So as you are growing this business, you’re gonna change as a person and your business can evolve right there with you.
Monica: Yeah. I think what you just said is such a key element of being human and living life to the fullest is being able to grow and evolve and learn new skills and being a business owner challenges, you, it forces you to learn new things, but then as you learn and discover new things about yourself, your business can pivot with you.
Monica: So you’re not stuck in the same role with the same responsibilities. It can change right along with you and continue that growth and that evolution. Which is a huge pro for both Austin and I, we both love to learn and we love to try new things and we [00:11:00] love to discover new things about us. And there’s really a big sense of pride in being able to build something that we own as we’re learning new skills and challenging ourselves.
Austin: There’s this term I learned a couple weeks ago is called a filo math and a filo. Math is somebody who loves to learn. And that definitely describes me. I’m going to assume listening to this podcast, you are very similar. You’re somebody who just really craves and loves learning new things. And so as a business owner, I promise you, there’s never a shortage of new things to learn, which is amazing.
Austin: There’s always new things to figure out there’s always new things to adapt, to, to discover. And so your range of skills. Grows and grows and grows. It’s a very broad range of skills, which is amazing.
Monica: Yeah. So pro number two is that you get to do what you enjoy doing, which is so huge because there’s so many people who are [00:12:00] unsatisfied with their traditional jobs because they aren’t able to do.
Monica: What they love. And so they separate their passions from their work life. But when you’re a business owner, you have the opportunity to mesh both of them so that you just feel so fulfilled in your life.
Austin: That is an amazing pro I definitely think that having the freedom to follow what you enjoy doing is very powerful.
Austin: And sometimes it’s not until you leave a situation where you’re not able to do what you want, that you recognize how. How big of a need that could be for you. I feel like that was kind of where I fell is I didn’t know how much I needed to do something I enjoyed for work until I started a business. I’m like, actually, this is pretty darn amazing.
Austin: So sometimes it takes a little bit of a push to get there, but that’s definitely a pro another pro this ones really, really interesting to me, you guys, because for a long time, I had this idea that. Working for someone [00:13:00] else as an employee equals job security and being an entrepreneur and running your own business equals no job security.
Austin: What I’ve discovered is that’s not necessarily true. In fact, I’ve come to believe that running a business and owning your own business actually gives you more job security. It’s a truer form of job security. So let me explain what I mean by that. When you’re working for someone else, you may or may not get promoted.
Austin: You can put in extra work and get in on your boss’s good side and, and get a promotion or put in a certain number of hours. And then, you know, in a couple years you’ll get promoted. There’s always the possibility that there’s gonna be unforeseen layoffs. Maybe something happens in the market. Maybe something happens with the company and all of a sudden you’re outta work.
Austin: I mean, that’s always a possibility and although it might not feel that way it could happen. But as a business owner, you are in charge. You’re in control of what happens to your business. And so if your [00:14:00] business starts going downhill, you, like I said before, you’re in the driver’s seat. So you get to adapt.
Austin: If the market is tanking change, what you’re offering change your business model, offer new services, offer new products, but because you’re the one in charge, you can choose how your business changes. And so there’s always a job for you.
Monica: We actually just went to a training with Tony Robbins. And one of the things that he said is that strong bills businesses are built out of times of economic winters.
Monica: And so no matter what, what the economy is doing, you have the security of knowing that you have the ability to make money and actually build a thriving, successful business. When businesses all around you are maybe not doing as well. And with. You have zero income cap. You’re never gonna reach a point where you’ve maxed out where you’ve been promoted as high as you can go.
Monica: You can make as much money as you want to make. When you own
Austin: a business, there’s no [00:15:00] corporate ladder to climb and there’s no ends to it. You can decide how big you want your business to be, how much you wanna grow. I mean, it’s very possible that you’re content at a. Income, and that’s totally fine, but if you want to continue growing that possibility is always there.
Austin: Your income depends on you and nobody else, and it’s not connected to ours depending on the business model you choose. And again, you get to choose the business model. You don’t have to exchange. Hours for pay like most traditional jobs. Do you, you can exchange your expertise, your knowledge, your skills, your training, and education, and exchange that for.
Monica: another point another pro that we really like that’s pretty similar along those lines is that you get to define what work and life balance looks like to you. So I know for me, I’m more of a morning person. Austin is more of a night owl. And so being able to [00:16:00] work in our peak energy hours as defined by us has been huge because we can be a lot more productive at different hours of the day than you can in our traditional nine to five
Austin: Yeah, I’m trying to be a morning person. You guys, but it’s hard. the evenings are just that’s my. Right along with that though, you have more flexibility in being available for friends and family when they need you, or even when they want you, or you want to be with them. Let’s say you have a friend who’s throwing a baby shower at 10 in the morning on a Thursday.
Austin: You can be there. Because you can choose to work in the evening that day, Monica and I do this all the time. We have events where someone invites us to do something or because of whatever it is happening, it has to be done in the morning. So we go and do that thing in the morning, and then we work that evening or vice versa.
Austin: Maybe someone wants to do something in the evening. And so we put more work into it in the morning. So it’s really nice to have that flexibility. And [00:17:00] to work when you want to, and one works best for you. Yeah.
Monica: Which is super nice when it comes to like making appointments with the bank or with a dentist that are only opened during traditional work hours.
Monica: So either you have to hurry in during your lunch break, you know, if you’re working the traditional line to five or you have to take some of your. PTO to go to an appointment, which is super lame. So it’s really nice to be able to, to create appointments that, you know, maybe we can take the car in when it’s less busy or we can go to the bank when they have appointments available.
Monica: So that’s super nice. And then of course you can work in your PJs, which is, is my jam. I’m you
Austin: don’t have to get ready at all in the morning if you don’t want. I
Monica: mean, I try to get at least a little bit ready, so I feel a little bit better going into work, but I legging isn’t a big t-shirt is my jam. You guys.
Austin: Yeah. It’s nice on days where you’re like, man, I I’m fine going to work, but I just wanna like. Be chill and just be comfortable. That’s a possibility.
Austin: [00:18:00] absolutely. Okay. So our pro number five, this is our last one we’re gonna highlight today is you get to choose who you work with. So because you are the business owner, you get to choose who you hire, whether that’s an employee later down the road or a contractor, you also get to decide which clients you work with.
Austin: So if someone’s personality, doesn’t jive with. You don’t have to work with that person. There’s not much to that one, but it’s a powerful one for sure. So just to recap real quick, our five pros are you get to control your own destiny. You’re in the driver’s seat. Number two, you get to do what you enjoy doing and follow your passions.
Austin: Number three, you have truer job security, four. You get to find and create your own work life balance, and five. You get to choose who you work. All right.
Monica: Well, that leads us to the cons. And remember that, that some of these cons might sound [00:19:00] really similar to the pros depending on how you decide to frame it and, and what your priorities are.
Monica: So the first con is your social life is going to look a little bit different from the get go. You don’t have a ton of coworkers working with you. You don’t have people around you to bounce ideas off of you. Don’t have a lot of people who are working on the same goal in the business as you do.
Austin: Yeah, this one can be kinda hard because especially if you’re coming from a job where you, you have other people, you know, across the desk from you, it can feel a little bit isolating or a little bit lonely initially, which is why networking groups are really, really important.
Austin: We strongly encourage finding people in a similar or same industry as you to connect with so that you can share ideas and grow your business together. There’s a group we really love called rising tide. It’s all about community over competition. You’ll find tons of people there who are in similar businesses as you.
Austin: And it’s just a really powerful group to come together and help one [00:20:00] another and combat that feeling of loneliness. We also have our own Facebook group. You guys can definitely go check out. It’s called profitable nomad couples, and it’s a space where business owners who are traveling can find that community and help one another out.
Austin: So definitely go check that out. There’s some great things going on.
Monica: mm-hmm, another aspect of the social life changing is that your friends and family are not always gonna understand what you’re doing. And sometimes that translates into not taking your business as seriously. Um, we’ve definitely had family members come to us and be like, well, since you work from home, you could, you babysit my kids all day.
Monica: And we’re like, well, that. It doesn’t actually work that way because we are actually working.
Austin: you, you got the at home part, you missed the working part
Monica: um, and you know, it is, it is hard when all of your friends and family or a good majority of them are taking a more traditional route and more traditional jobs.
Monica: Sometimes it does feel a little bit lonely and isolating, and it does feel like, at least for me, maybe [00:21:00] not everybody. Um, it does increase the pressure to be successful because it does feel like more people are watching you.
Austin: Yeah. So definitely find, find your group of people that you can connect with to combat this con it’s.
Austin: It’s definitely a con to be aware of, but it’s not inevitable. So find your people is what we’re trying to say. Mm-hmm yeah. The second con that we want to point out is. The stress that’s involved with being a business owner. This goes back to the point of you being in the driver’s seat. You are authoring your own story, and because you are in charge, that means more weight is on your shoulders.
Austin: More things come back to you and rely on how you. Manage things. So there’s a lot of things to juggle. When you own a business there’s taxes that you gotta figure out there’s client problems, you gotta solve there’s market research to do and copywriting to write. And there’s a lot of tasks, which again, if you’re a field of math, like I am, [00:22:00] you’re going to love the challenge of learning these new things.
Austin: But that just means there’s more things on your plates. So that can be stressful for some people.
Monica: It definitely can be overwhelming when you realize that there is more probably than ever that rides on you, that’s your responsibility and you do have to work and find your own clients. Although, um, at the beginning, this will be harder than it will be later on in your business as your reputation spreads.
Monica: The next con, we have. To recognize that there are different seasons in your business. So especially when starting, you’ll find seasons where you have to hustle more seasons where you’re putting in more hours, you don’t get to clock out at five o’clock and just be done. There will be seasons on the flip side that, you know, you don’t have to put as many hours in your business, but just being aware that you don’t get to clock in and clock out, like most people do.
Monica: And you, you might have to have days or weeks where you’re putting in a lot more hours.
Austin: Yeah. The pro that we had mentioned [00:23:00] earlier about this was you get flexibility in your schedule. You get to decide when you work and that is still a hundred percent true, but if you’re in a season where you need to put more work in, that might not be the case like Monica and I have had several instances in our business where we have big projects going on or, or maybe multiple projects.
Austin: And so we’re working from. Seven in the morning to nine or 10 at night to women go to bed and we go to bed exhausted, cuz we’ve worked all day and we didn’t have the opportunity to go out and do something with a friend. But. That’s kind of the beauty of it, I think is it’s there’s diversity in your schedule.
Austin: And I just want you to know when you’re in those seasons where you have to put in a lot of work, it’s tiring, but it’s so fulfilling. Mm-hmm and it
Monica: feels good. And it, it’s also good to know that those seasons end. You know, you won’t be in that state forever. And when you come outta that state more than likely, you’ll have this beautiful business to show for it, or a beautiful new product or a new [00:24:00] service or whatever it ends up being.
Monica: And then you can kind of bask in the, the fruits of your labors, right.
Austin: Which goes back to our pro of having something to be proud of. You can see what you’ve built with your own hands. It’s just such an amazing feeling of pride knowing. You are the one who did that. Mm-hmm . So our next con that we want to point out is there is financial risk involved with building a, your own business.
Austin: You are the one who’s putting money in. And so whether that money grows or whether maybe that business flops, or maybe you’ve made a poor business decision or a, a bad investment, you’re the one who takes that loss. And so that’s really hard to learn that lesson when you’re learning it. But. You’ll learn it.
Austin: You’ll you’ll know that for next time, but there is financial risk involved and it’s it falls on you.
Monica: Uh, yeah. Another aspect of this financial risk is realizing that, that you do have to provide your own benefits. You have to plan for [00:25:00] retirement, you have to figure out insurance and there’s tons of time to do that and to figure it out.
Monica: And there’s tons of really good resources for you out there. And we’ll be sharing more of those on the podcast as well. So stay tuned for those, but it is important to note that, that you don’t have that extra cushion of the benefits an employer would
Austin: provide. Exactly. And our final con that we want to point out is there’s undesirable duties that you’re gonna have to take care of.
Austin: There’s gonna be. Jobs in your business that maybe you don’t enjoy. Um, as a business owner, you are wearing a lot of hats, especially at the beginning. When you’re getting started, you are the marketing consultant. You’re also the promoter and you are the client representative and you are the tax expert in the bookkeeper.
Austin: And there’s just a lot to do. And. I guarantee you there’s gonna be a job that needs to get done that you’re not super [00:26:00] thrilled about. So I guess my recommendation would be, do your best to do that in the beginning when you need to, but then work towards. Outsourcing that and finding someone else who, you know, maybe taxes is not your jam.
Austin: Find someone who lives for taxes and have them do your taxes for you. It’s not always possible when you’re getting started, but work towards
Monica: that. Yeah, absolutely. So that kind of wraps up our pros and cons of both remote work and owning a business for us. Like we’ve said before. Owning a business has been one of the most fulfilling things that we’ve had in our life.
Monica: It’s so fun to work towards a comic goal together in our marriage. It’s so fun to watch what we’ve created, grow and become something bigger than ourselves. That, that there’s really no, no feeling like being an entrepreneur, being your own business owner and taking control of your.
Austin: Yeah. And it’ll change you guys for the better.
Austin: I have had more personal growth [00:27:00] in my life in the past couple years as a business owner than I think I’ve had in most other periods of my life. So it it’s an amazing endeavor. We highly highly encourage it again. The choice is up to you. We definitely know that business ownership is not for every. And if it’s not for you, like don’t sweat it.
Austin: That that’s totally okay. But we wanted to highlight the highs and the lows and be realistic about both of those for us. The pros far outweigh the cons. And so we’re willing to take on those cons because of what we get out of it. So feel free to reach out to us. You guys, if you have any more questions about pros and cons,
Monica: or if you have any pros and cons that you would add or take away from this list.
Austin: We really like hearing from you guys. So send us a message and let us know what your favorite part of business ownership is, or maybe what you’re most afraid about if you’re heading into it and we will see you on the next episode.