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Roshida Dowe has pretty much mastered the ideal Remote Hustle dream: she lives where she wants, running her remote business.

In fact, she’s worked so hard to make this dream into a reality that she now coaches other people on how to do the same thing on her website, Shida’s On the Loose!

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from Shida’s Remote Hustle webinar, “10 Life Hacks You’re Missing By Not Taking A Career Break,” and learn more about how the rest of us can make this dream come true, too.

How She Did It

When Shida was roughly 30 years old, she wrote down as a goal that she would retire before the age of 40. At the time it felt impossible, but just before she turned 39, she left her career!

Before taking the plunge, Shida worked as an attorney for 10 years, but she didn’t love what she was doing. When her company went under, she said to herself: 

“Instead of getting another job that’s not going to make me happy, let’s figure out what living my life on my own terms for a year is going to make me feel like.”

Which, down the road, led to Shida retiring at the age of 38 and starting on a journey traveling the entire world!

But how is that possible?

In this video, Shida lays out some of the financial steps she took that allowed for her early retirement, including:

  • Living below her means: Early on in her career, Shida bought a house for much less than she was approved for, allowing her to save.
  • Creating a “floor” for her bank account: At first, she never allowed her checking account to dip below $250… then $500… then $1000… and so on, to provide financial security in case of emergencies (in addition to her savings account!).
  • Investing in her 401K: Shida invested every pay period, AND got the employer to match every pay period — since she was 18. She also invested in the stock market.
  • Reducing expenses (even after getting a higher-paying job).
  • Snowballing her way out of debt.

Lessons Learned

Naturally, going on this journey and turning her life into the digital nomad dream has come with its fair share of lessons. Shida shares several things she learned during her career break with us in her webinar.

You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever have.

When you’re not working, you’re in total control of your day, which means you have more time for other things in your life and you’re finally able to take care of YOU. Plus, if you’re traveling alone, get ready to be alone a LOT of the time. You’ll learn what it is you do and don’t like, and you’ll find out who you really are when you don’t have a checklist! This means that your decision-making and pivoting skills are going to become so much better. Things may go wrong all the time, but you’ll learn to know when things are truly urgent. Plus, you’ll learn to trust that every moment is YOURS.

Your lifestyle will change drastically.

You don’t need as much as you think, and you quickly develop habits that may lead you on your way to becoming a minimalist. You’ll finally have time for that project you’ve been putting off for YEARS and learn if it’s even something you really want to do. (But no matter what you decide — give yourself time to relax first. No big projects on Day 1!) Things you think are important now may feel less important when you’re able to reanalyze from a position of being able to reprioritize, which leads to the habit of building your future with intention.

Just say yes!

You’ll come up with a thousand reasons not to take the plunge and take a career break or retire early — but those are all voices coming from FEAR. Ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen? Then ask yourself, how much better could my life be? Even if your career break is short, you can still give yourself a month or so! Stress impacts your body, and even a few weeks of having total control over your life can help your body start to get back to its natural state.

Here’s How You Can Do It, Too!

Luckily for all of us, Shida also lays out some steps to get your career break or sabbatical started.

STEP 1:

Pick a date. Put it on the calendar or write it down somewhere to hold yourself accountable.

STEP 2:

Take a paper and draw a line through the middle. At the top, write down all the things you have to do before you can leave (you can brainstorm for a week.)

For example:

  • Quit my job
  • Find housing
  • Cancel cable, the mail, etc.
Under the line, write down all the things you want to do after you go:

  • Write
  • Paint
  • Relax
  • Sleep
  • Drink water

STEP 3:

Once you’ve got your lists, reexamine your date and determine whether it’s feasible.

STEP 4:

Pay off your debt (credit cards, mortgage, find a tenant, etc.)

STEP 5:

Save money leading up to the big date and get ready to go!

But if you’re ready ready, contact Shida for a career break consultation! She says,

“We go over their career break dreams, what you already have in place, and the obstacles in your way to come up with a plan that works for you!”

What’s Next for Roshida?

Shida is currently living in Mexico and just co-hosted the ExodUS Summit with housesitting expert Stephanie Perry! The summit is continuing to hold free expat workshops, many of which are still available! Tune in to learn all about how to move abroad and what to do once you’re there!

During the pandemic, Shida’s been dreaming about all her favorite places she’s traveled to, which include Paris and Johannesburg. But Mexico City takes the cake — it’s her favorite city in the world!

What advice does Shida have for those hoping to take a career break, sabbatical, or even retire early?

“Every little step compounds. In America we have this idea that you’re only as valuable as your work. But if all I do today is wake up, enjoy my own presence, and sleep, I’m still as valuable as I was yesterday -- as a partner at a law firm, as a bus driver, as anyone.”

To learn more about Shida, her adventures, and her upcoming travels, follow her on Instagram!

And if you aren’t already a member, Sign up for our weekly emails for more useful tips and tricks to help you hustle SMARTER, not HARDER.

Molly Mulroy

Words, words, words. That’s pretty much all Molly Mulroy can think about. Sometimes she rewrites one sentence six or seven times until she gets it right - but hey, it’s always worth it. An important part of our team, Molly works remotely from the sunny shores of Rabat, Morocco, bouncing between her apartment and the abundance of espresso-heavy cafes throughout Morocco.

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