Writer and entrepreneur Amirah Cook dreamed of discovering a way to balance work and life while traveling. She wrote a recipe for a lifestyle all her own and then made it happen — setting an inspiring example for female entrepreneurs and digital nomads everywhere.
After quitting her corporate retail management job in 2012, Cook began working for herself and traveling all over the world with her husband. In 2015, she kicked off her professional writing career, releasing her own trilogy, ghostwriting books for others, and starting an online women’s writing workshop.
Adobe Acrobat online tools like commenting, highlighting, sharing, and online storage help Cook work from anywhere, and distribute her publications to her audience. Learn more about how she created her dream work life on her terms.
Creating a modern nomadic lifestyle
“My husband and I had been traveling since 2013, just going from one place to another and learning how other people live,” says Cook. “That was kind of the point for us — to create the lifestyle we want. But then I realized I don’t really know that many lifestyles.
“By being able to see more, I got to try things on and get comfortable with admitting things I wanted that I maybe hadn’t had the courage to say aloud before,” Cook continues.
That research is how it began, but now it’s an ongoing experiment in better living. “It’s like our indefinite honeymoon,” Cook says. “We’re just doing all of the things that we want to do and figuring out who we want to be.”
Because Cook’s income comes from her own publications and workshops, “I get to schedule my life more around the things that I’m passionate about,” she says. “And I have the freedom to just explore the things that I’m interested in.”
Sharing her writing
Sometimes a dream job doesn’t start as a career path. “My blog started as validation for my mom that I had not been kidnapped, because we were just traveling with no experience and no plan,” says Cook. “It was like this diary between me and my mom. And it became an outlet to share this journey.”
Through blogging, Cook refined her skills as a writer. She flexed her creative muscles and also learned the dedication and consistency necessary to keep writing and researching — even when she didn’t feel inspired.
“I wrote my first book on my own and shared it with some friends, and then they shared it with some friends, and some of those friends were in the writing industry. So I began to ghostwrite for others,” says Cook.
“I found this way to get paid and learn how to actually write books. So by the time I released my first book publicly, I had already ghostwritten about 30 other books.” Cook’s first book trilogy was released as PDF eBooks, created with the help of the tools in Adobe Acrobat. She can sell it from her website and Amazon, and her customers can read it from any device, wherever they are.
Sharing her energy
Cook’s work doesn’t end with her own writing either. Through her Write It, Sis Virtual Writing Mentorship, she mentors women from all walks of life as they write and publish their own stories. Part of her mentoring work includes PDF learning materials she creates and shares in Acrobat.
“We set a goal of what you’re going to do, we have weekly writing sessions, and we have webinars,” Cook explains. “I’m able to work with them one on one and send emails and encouragement because I know the obstacles they’re facing. I also share downloadable guides that I create and share with them through Adobe.”
Cook’s PDF guides compile her experience into something she can easily share with others. “What I’ve learned is that I’m not alone in this passion to write books and tell stories,” says Cook. “There were so many other women like me, and it felt like a safe space to share resources and help guide someone through what is a very lonely process — to write a book — because no one cares. You’re just at home tinkering away, and no one really cares what’s going on with it.”
Finding freedom by going digital
The options of what can be achieved with digital content are truly limitless. By embracing eBooks and PDF content, Cook was able to travel light — a necessity for any digital nomad — yet access all of her books and documents from any device using Adobe Acrobat. Brainstorming, creating guides and resources, editing documents — it can all be done via Acrobat.
“Initially, creating eBooks was just about the easy accessibility for my readers and my ability to independently distribute them. Sustainability-wise, if it doesn’t have to be printed, don’t print it,” says Cook.
“Digital is the way of the future. I was carrying everything out of a backpack, so I used a digital library and I was constantly reading online.”
Working from anywhere
“I’ve been telling everyone for so long that you can work from anywhere,” says Cook. “All you need is an internet connection.” Aside from creating her books and educational materials digitally and storing them in Acrobat’s included cloud storage, Cook supports her nomadic lifestyle by:
- Creating eBooks rather than having inventory on hand to sell on the go
- Utilizing cloud storage to save her work rather than carrying hard drives and cords
- Sending e-signatures to complete documents rather than printing and sending paper
- Collaborating in real time with video meetings and Adobe Acrobat tools
- Creating PDF training guides to educate writers
“Adobe Acrobat is something I really use,” says Cook. “My stance is to not be the kind of influencer that just hawks things that I don’t actually believe in.” Acrobat has several features that make it easy to work from anywhere.
Work with PDFs right from your browser.
With the Adobe Acrobat for Google Chrome, you can view, download, comment on, mark up, fill out, convert, compress, and e-sign your PDFs, plus access Acrobat’s cloud storage — all right from your Google Chrome web browser.
“Acrobat for Chrome is so important to me,” says Cook. “I’m in Acrobat probably every day, so being able to access it on the Chromebook is a life changer. I like to store everything online so that I can access it across devices.”
Add comments, highlights, and markups.
Working together is a piece of cake when you can add comments, highlight text, and manually draw markups right in your digital documents. It’s key for Cook, who is often editing others’ writing. “The thing that I love about it is that it allows for people to communicate across one PDF without ruining the document. You’re able to work together and collaborate.”
Fill out, e-sign, and share.
Digital paperwork is no problem, even if you’re in another time zone. With Acrobat in Chrome, Acrobat online, or Acrobat on desktop, you can fill out digital forms, add an e-signature, and share in an instant. “When I first started, I was going to FedEx to fax and mail all these different documents that I would have to get signed,” says Cook. “So just being able to sign something online is amazing.”
Store it all in the cloud.
No matter where she goes, Cook has access to her entire library of publications, eBooks, and educational worksheets from any device. There’s no need to travel with a hard drive or go searching through disorganized files. You can easily find the right PDF in Acrobat by searching by content, identifiers, or metadata.
Starting your own journey
Go digital with your passion projects and see how you can work on the road. If you’re just starting out with a new way of life, though, Cook has some advice: “Don’t try to do everything. Don’t take every opportunity that comes your way.”
“Whatever you want to do,” she says, “do something that’s authentic to you and understand that you don’t have to know where to start. You just start and then learn a lot as you go. It’s scary, but it’s exciting.”