Dreaming of Becoming a Location Free Entrepreneur? With Lauren Melnick

Digital nomadism isn’t really anything that has ever been on my goals or as a part of my vision, but I know so many people have the dreams and desires to leave their job and to travel full time. So I absolutely love whenever I get the chance to sit down with someone who really has adopted that freedom lifestyle, that digital nomadic lifestyle. And today that person is Lauren. 

Lauren Melnick is a South African travel blogger and freelance writer. She teaches women how to start a location-independent business so that they can travel the world as much as they want, whenever they want. She’s been published in Matador Network and Culture Trip and has worked with brands like Reunion Island Tourism, Ford South Africa, and The Blonde Abroad.

If you did like this episode be sure to screenshot and share on Instagram and of course tag me + Lauren, @erinmayhenry and @thewanderlustmovement.

I just get such a dopamine rush from going to a new place and exploring it. My favourite thing is to go to a place for at least a month and really take my time getting to know it?


Lauren got into freelance writing towards the end of 2016, when she quit her job to go teach English in Thailand and wanted to make a little bit of extra money. But, after she flew home to South Africa she had to make a choice: Get a desk job or carry on with freelancing. 

She chose freelancing. 

And that choice has seen her income grow year over year and given her the freedom to work anywhere in the world.

35 countries and countless adventures later, she is helping other freelancers and digital nomads support their passion through their passions.


Traveling alone can be scary for a lot of people, but testing your confidence as a traveler, like anything else, can be a progression.

“When I first did it, I kind of dipped my toes in slowly. I’d travel to countries by myself, but I knew people there.”

There are also amazing digital nomad retreats, organized trips, co-working spaces, and free meetups around the world that allow you the freedom of traveling alone with the comfort of meeting like-minded people. So, when you do find yourself feeling lonely or doubting yourself, you know you have options for connection, community, and potential exploration buddies. 

Ultimately, it is a matter of you finding a way that works for you to break down the boundaries around your fear of solo travel and creating a balance between the independence you’re looking for and the connection you sometimes need.


For many entrepreneurs travel can seem like an opportunity to create more content and spend more time in their business. But, more often than not we set out on our adventures and our laptops remain shut. So, how do you make sure you’re still getting your work done when obviously you’re in a new place and it might be hard to focus?

A routine. That’s how.

Here’s what Lauren’s looks like:

  • Wake up early to go on an adventure photographing sunrise.

  • [8AM-9AM] Come back to the co-working space or hotel and have breakfast.

  • Work until lunch and then take a break

  • Spend the afternoon in a cafe or exploring the city.

  • Come back in the late afternoon to work. 

  • [3PM-4PM] Find a cool spot to photograph sunset.

Your routine could look entirely different to you. What’s important is that you split up your days in a way that will motivate you to focus, rather than just winging it all the time.


It all comes down to Research, Plan, and Preparation.

  1. RESEARCH: There are countless resources online today that you can use to inform yourself on the quality of wifi in almost any country in the world. So try to choose destinations where you know there is going to be reliable wifi. 

  2. PLAN: If you plan to visit a place that isn’t going to make work accessible, be sure to plan for that time away. That way you can maintain your responsibilities and be fully present in your travels.

  3. PREPARE: If you want to be extra prepared, you can equip yourself with a portable wifi device that you can have in your bag and connect wherever you are in the world.


If you are working a 9-5 right now and dreaming about a day where you can travel full-time, but you don’t know where to start, here are a couple of places you can start:

  1. Look for remote work on job boards. Lauren has an entire blog post with over 40 plus boards that you can look into. There, you’ll find everything from HR positions to sales positions, marketing, and finance. You’ll even find remote lawyer positions. So, if you feel like you don’t have a skill that could be used to freelance, you can translate your current 9-5 position into a remote role with a company that promotes working remotely. 

  2. And then another way that you can look at is dive down into your skills and your passions and what you can make money from, and then translate those things into a freelance role. Whether you want to become a social media manager or start coaching you can really start to break down that essence of what you’re really passionate about and then make money from that place.


  1. Choose a niche or focus and lean in on that area of expertise.

  2. Work on pitching yourself. Practice, practice, practice. There’s a hell of a lot of competition on those job boards and you need to know how to pitch yourself in order to stand out and get to the next process of that interview. Or if you’re cold emailing, which is when you are sending cold emails to potential clients, you need to be able to write an email that’s going to get a response from them in order to grow your business.

  3. Set up your freelancing website. And don’t forget to make it niche specific! So when you’ve pitched to someone and they go to click on your portfolio, they’re going to see that your website matches the niche that they’re in as well and they’re going to feel like you can be trusted.


  1. Always state your niche. “Hi, my name is Lauren and I’m P I’m a professional, digital marketing freelance writer.” 

  2. And then I would go into establishing your authority. So this is where you can start name dropping. So you can be like, “I’ve worked with Neil Patel, I’ve written for CoSchedule, Fritz and full X, Y, and Z, who are in that same industry niche, because that shows that you know what you’re talking about.

  3. Demonstrate your authority or this expertise by talk
    ing about your education. So if you’ve studied digital marketing and you have a degree in it, mention that. It shows that you understand that topic better than a random person.

  4. Follow that up with niche specific examples. So you can either, if you don’t have any, I always recommend that you just write niche specific content and then just host them on your portfolio site. Just showcase what you can do.

  5. If you do have a previous work experience also include testimonials.


  1. Start Googling your niche. For example, maybe CBD companies in Atlanta, and then you can see what comes up. 

  2. Then you can go into those websites and check if they have a blog or try to find those gaps that you can add to your pitch (like topics they haven’t covered).

  3. Find their email addresses, through either their website or the LinkedIn of whoever you feel is in charge of hiring. For a freelance writer, it’s usually the marketing manager or the content manager. ***There’s also this really cool Google Chrome extension called Clearbit, which syncs with your Gmail. You click on it and then you type in a company name and then it pulls up everyone’s emails and job titles*** 

  4. Lastly is LinkedIn: Go onto the search bar and pop into your niche. For instance, if your niche is CBD and you search for that niche you’ll be presented with a list of people. And then with second degree connections. Now, what you have is a list of people that are potentially within the CBD niche that are second degree connections. So then you can ask your mutual friend on LinkedIn to introduce you. It’s almost a referral and referrals are super powerful for freelancers.


If you haven’t already, be sure to join us in the Game Changer community on Facebook or on Instagram – @erinmayhenry.

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