Freelancing woes: losing my biggest client


There’s a possibility that I won’t be able to keep my biggest client next year.

I was relying on them to be our biggest source of income, and initially this was what gave me confidence to even think of us taking off.

To give an example, one small project from my biggest client could pay our rent in Thailand for an entire year.

The problem is with my company laptop. Basically I need this laptop in order to do work with my client, but I may not be able to keep the laptop in 2017.

Had I learned about this before I started this blog, it probably would have discouraged me a lot.

But I started this blog for a reason; to document all of our pre-nomad experience, but also to keep me excited and accountable to myself.

What I’ve learned about the digital nomad lifestyle over the past few weeks has been incredibly eye-opening. It’s not just the no-tax thing, it’s also the entrepreneurial mindset, the setting up of systems, and automating everything.

In many ways it’s opposite of personal finance teachings – particularly personal finance for early retirement, where we’re encouraged to take a DIY approach to saving and investing, and the best product has no fees or lowest fees.

When you run your own business, DIYing everything is inefficient and so is hunting for (and often implementing) the cheapest option available.

I’ve been slowly learning and getting excited about the different ways to generate passive income online, that I’ve even considered NOT freelancing when we leave for Thailand. It often feels like freelancing is in my way.

Plus I’m not thrilled to lug around that extra clunky laptop – when you carry all your belongings on your back, you don’t want so many belongings!

Martin stopped me though and said he would prefer it if I continued freelancing with my biggest client, and reminded me that’s why we’re going – so that I wouldn’t have to follow German freelancing rules and could earn more money as a result.

He doesn’t know about these new turn of events and I’m a bit nervous to tell him as he hasn’t quit his job yet. Maybe I will wait for him to quit and then tell him. ^_^

Anyway, this is all to say that I’m okay with losing my biggest client. I still have other small and medium sized clients, who don’t require me to use their hardware. It just means I won’t make as much money from freelancing, as my biggest client is a TROVE of pretty easy jobs that constantly flow over to me. Unless I find another big client who has this same set up, but I doubt it. And to be honest, I wouldn’t seek this out again as it’s not very interesting or fulfilling type of work.

I need to remind Martin that we’ll be able to adapt to this potential drop in income, and most importantly, to trust that his wife can provide! (picture him rolling his eyes at me)

But truthfully, we can be early-retired in Chiang Mai if we use the 4% rule to live off our networth.  This is not our plan, but it certainly takes off the edge. If cash flow is really that tight, we can always choose to keep Chiang Mai as our base and skip our pricier Canadian road trip and US plans. That’s okay to me, as long as we visit Canada and the US for a little bit since it will be almost 4 years that I haven’t seen my family.


  1. // Reply

    Tell Martin before he quits his job – trust me, it’s better to be open and honest about everything. He’s taking a huge step for you so it’s only fair he has all the information first.

    1. // Reply

      You’re right Mrs. W. I did end up telling Martin, and we had a good talk about how we’ll make money abroad, being financially independent, etc… I don’t like to keep things from him, it’s harder to do than to just be open and honest.

      However, I also jumped the gun and it looks like I won’t lose my biggest client after all. At least not for this hardware reason. 🙂

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