Helene Schmit is a 36-year-old digital nomad from France, who spent the last two years slow traveling around the world while helping people find happiness as a remote career coach.
Before she was a digital nomad, she was high up the corporate ladder as a project coordinator in the French Alps – but she decided to ditch it all to reclaim her freedom in Bali.
So why did she switch a life in the mountains to a nomadic life around the world?
Succeeding in Your Career Doesn’t Always Make You Happy
Helene is an engineer by certification. She studied telecommunications engineering and found her first job in one of France’s largest mobile network operators as a project coordinator in Paris. She found that the big city life was not for her, and managed to score a job as a project manager in the French Alps. It was an exciting time for Helene, but she quickly realized that her job was consuming more and more of her time.
In 2009, she was chosen to lead a major ecological urban development project and for a moment, she felt like she was making a positive impact on the world. However, shortly after that, she realized the significance of her project wasn’t proportionate to the amount of work she put in. She said focusing on the social goals of her projects consumed a lot of her energy. “The growing stress of my job slowly took away my enthusiasm in life and I felt really unhappy.”
So she consulted with a therapist to learn more about self-acceptance and self-awareness, which made her realize that she wasn’t leading the life she really wanted. It was at that moment in 2014 that she put in her resignation letter and sold her house in France.
With nothing keeping her tied down in France, she traveled to dozens of countries in Europe, Africa and Asia, but found a calling to stay in Bali. It was a place where she could finally climb mountains, do yoga, and connect with like-minded people.
A few months later a newly made friend introduced Helene to Tribe Wanted, a community of freelancers in Bali. This casual introduction turned out to be a true blessing for Helene: “Surrounding myself with a variety of people living life on their own terms and redefining success had opened my eyes and changed my life forever. I also have fully understood the power of a community of like-minded, stimulating and inspiring people.”
Bonus: Check out our online community to chat, network and learn from over 30 digital nomads from around the world.
How a Digital Nomad Community Led Helene to Her First Clients
After being inspired by her fellow community members, she decided that she could become a career coach and help people find happiness in their jobs. Although she was not a professional coach at that time, she did have experience in training as a project manager back in France.
Initially, she wanted to offer an online course program. She came up with an 8-week program, with a toolbox of topics she could cover in her teachings. However, she realized that it was more fitting to turn it into a private coaching session.
From there, she came up with a coaching outline and listed down topics and exercises she used in her sessions based on her clients’ needs.
With a service all ready to go, it was time for Helene to test it out. She began a trial run of mentoring sessions with her friends, who provided suggestions on how to improve the sessions. Everything slowly took shape as Helene got the hang of it and grew more confident.
In early 2016, she decided it was time to get the word out. For the first few weeks, she was offering ten free coaching sessions to her blog readers. This turned out to be a really effective way to acquire her first customers. She also started talking about her services in her co-working space: “I was an active member at a co-working space in Ubud where I participated in skill-sharing events, and so I took the opportunity to talk about my services.I eventually got invited as a speaker, where I would offer free talks about how work organization and how to find the right routine. Other people started noticing my work, while some asked for a collaborative project, which helped my visibility.”
Now, Helene trains, coaches and advises both employees and self-employed individuals in different formats: one on one coaching, workshops, and talks. They all focus on four key principles – self-awareness, self-sustainability, kindness, and momentum. She offers a free 30-minute one-to-one coaching session to new participants, and a free e-book filled with tips and tools to become a digital nomad through a mailing list where she can also promote her upcoming courses and give out special offers to her subscribers.
How Helene Coaches While Traveling Indefinitely
For the past two years, Helene had traveled and coached remotely out of ten countries. She says that it is best for her to take her travels slow and stay at one place for a longer period of time. As she holds most of her private sessions online, I was curious about how she does it without having a space of her own and co-working spaces was the answer. As personal sessions require a quiet space where privacy is preserved, co-working spaces offer that opportunity. If you’re looking for one in France, there are associations and incubators which offer suitable spaces. Moreover, sometimes a quiet and cozy cafe can also be the perfect environment for coaching. However, Helene’s number one criterion, apart from silence, is to have a reliable Internet connection.
It’s been a while since Helene turned her back away from the 9-to-5, and she’s never been happier. And since her new life motto is ‘happiness-at-work’, she has a few pieces of solid advice for you:
- Go to places where you can easily connect with like-minded people, like digital nomad hotspots where you can find community-oriented working spaces;
- Get yourself out there! Attend social events, skill exchanges, or talks to get stimulated and inspired;
- Reach out to people who inspire you and write them a “love letter” – you never know where it can lead you.
Interested in Following Helene’s footsteps?
Check out these online courses to learn how to become a successful remote career coach, just like Helene:
- Life Purpose Coach Certification;
- From Goal to Success: Life Coach Certification;
- Life Coaching Certification Program.
Helene also recommends these 3 books for you to read: The Miracle Morning Course, The 4 Agreements and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.
P.S. Do you think that it’s a good idea for anyone to quit their job, sell their home, and embrace the unknown to find happiness? Would you have done the same? 🙂