by Niall Doherty

Over the years I’ve met and corresponded with hundreds of people who make their living online. Some make a few thousand dollars a month, while others are pushing six figures.

Included with the guide I’m releasing next week — teaching you how to travel the world and work online — are interviews with several online money-makers, people who are out there traveling the world, living the digital nomad dream.

Here are five crucial lessons from those interviews.

1. Forget Passion

My friend Sean has coached hundreds of people through the transition from regular employment to working for themselves online. He told me in an interview just yesterday that one of the common mistakes people make is trying to follow their passion, believing that’s the best path to internet riches.

It’s not.

A much better approach is to forget about passion and instead focus on building real, tangible skills that you can use to earn money online. Starting from scratch, you can be earning $1,000/month within three months if you build and utilize the right skills.

Lots of people have done this already. You can, too.

2. You Don’t Have To Be A Computer Ninja

None of the people I’ve interviewed could be considered serious tech-heads. They don’t have degrees in IT or Computer Science. Most of them weren’t working in tech industries before setting out on their own.

They all started with basic computer and internet skills, and figured out the rest as they went along.

My friend María is a good example of this. She’s an online Spanish tutor who has spent the last few years living in places such as Australia, India and Bali. She told me in an interview that she didn’t know anything about online business when she started out, but learned enough to keep the money flowing and her travels rolling.

You can do this, too.

3. Consistency Is Key

I met Alex in Colombia last year, not long after his business had taken off. Alex is a self-taught Google AdWords consultant. He used to work a finance job in Australia, earning $6.5k per month.

As he told me in our interview, he now earns “a lot more” than $6.5k/month through his online business.

If there’s one thing to take away from Alex’s story, it’s the power of consistency. He was earning about $1k/month within six months of getting started. A couple of years later, he was up to $3k/month.

Then his earnings skyrocketed.

It’s easy to look at his situation today and think he’s lucky, that he was just in the right place at the right time. Or you might think he has some super special entrepreneurial mojo that you don’t have.

But no, that’s not it, not even close.

Alex has simply chipped away at his business consistently for years. And he’s done it while living in places like Berlin, Chiang Mai and Medellín.

You can do that, too.

4. Forget Passive Income

I wrote about passive income last week, so I won’t harp on about it again here.

But I will give you another example of someone who went the freelancing route rather than chase after passive income. Her name is Michelle, and last year she was earning $3,600/month working for a marketing agency. She worked nine hours a day and had a long commute to and from the office.

She quit that job to become a freelance writer. Her laptop became her office. She no longer wasted several hours a week commuting. And within six months she was earning more online than she ever did at the marketing agency.

In our interview, Michelle told me exactly how she made that transition.

There’s no reason why you can’t do similar.

5. You’re Not Alone

Everyone I interviewed got some help along the way. Some had friends to show them the ropes. Some did apprenticeships. Some signed up for online courses and forums. Some went to conferences and found mentors.

Learning from your mistakes is good. But learning from the mistakes of others is better. Yes, there will always be some things you’ll need to figure out for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. There is always support and encouragement out there if you need it.

Let me tell you about some of the other people I interviewed for the guide:

  • Danny made $115,000 last year as a self-taught freelance copywriter, and shared with me very specific tips for finding high-paying gigs via online job sites.
  • Melissa runs a niche membership website that generates $5,000/month. She told me how she started and grew the business, and how she’s looking forward to running it from the Canary Islands later this year.
  • I met Nate in Thailand a couple of years back. He was living in Vietnam at the time and popped over to attend a conference and meet up with some friends. He just recently moved to Budapest, and earns $4,000/month as a self-taught internet marketing consultant.
  • Paula pulls in $10,000/month from her writing and marketing business. She shared with me how she got started working online, and how she found her first clients.

They’ve all done it.

They’ve all learned how to make money online, giving them the freedom to live and work wherever they choose.

And I’ve been doing it for the past five years myself.

Flash back to 2010 and there I was working 9-to-5 in a cubicle. I was 28 years old and I’d only been to three foreign countries. But I write to you now as someone who’s been all around the world (37 countries and counting).

I’ve ridden motorcycles across epic landscapes, gone bungee jumping in the Himalayas, explored abandoned skyscrapers in Asia, hitchhiked through foreign lands, taken ships across oceans, swam in tropical rivers, and had many other adventures.

All while working from my laptop.

I’ve done it. Lots of other people have done it.

You can do it, too.

Next week I’ll show you how.

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