When I look at the Lifestyle Projects that people share on this blog, there is a common theme of wanting to quit the 9-5. People have many reasons for wanting to do this, and it is not necessarily that people don’t want to work, it’s more about escaping the confines of the 9-5 environment and being free to live anywhere, work when you choose and be your own boss. As I transition to travel based blogging, and look towards my own break away, I have come across a variety of phrases such as digital nomad, location independent or flashpacker. The bottom line is that there are all people who work (usually online), but on not confined to a single office, desk or even country.
So you’ve made the decision that you want to transition into such a lifestyle. Unfortunately it won’t just happen overnight. By choosing to become location independent you have already realised that you will be working whilst changing your home location. This is probably for a number of reasons, but mainly because you understand that you are going to have to earn money to eat, and because you want to run your own business and hopefully will enjoy doing it. Just because you can’t start the location independent lifestyle overnight, doesn’t mean that you can’t start to make progress towards living that lifestyle now.
Here are 5 ways you can begin your location independent lifestyle today.
1. Brainstorm Ideas
You need to come up with a business that will support you. To do this you need to understand that the work you will be doing requires the need to be remote and be able to work around the globe with clients in different time-zones. I would suggest that you should see these elements as opportunities rather than constraints. With this in mind jot down all of your skills and take a look at what products and services your location independent business should be able to offer. Think about what you enjoy doing and where you talents lie.
2. Build your Online Presence
There is nothing stopping you registering a domain and knocking up a quick website (or hiring someone else to do it for you on a site such as Elance), to get you started. This will enable you to do a few things. First there is the psychological edge that you have a business to run. It will enable you to start practising the elements of running the business without quitting your day job. Secondly, you will be able to test markets and any work you do take on will be an important lesson in time management which will stand you in good stead when your next meal depends on it.
3. Build your Business Plan
Start your business plan today. A business plan – if done correctly – is an evolving document that not only sets out the framework for your business, but also evolves with it. Focusing on getting this important document done (which many business owners neglect) will focus your mind on what you want to achieve and enable you to start ironing out and issues and refining your business offering now whilst you have all the resources you need available to you.
4. Research Potential Locations now
Start researching locations now, even if you aren’t planning to go there anytime soon. This will make you aware of how to research accommodation and the office facilities that go with them. Make a few calls, try and get used to communicating with other cultures and whet your appetite for the lifestyle you are working towards. Build up knowledge of where to find this kind of information and the things to look out for.
5. Be Frugal
In the initial stages of your location independent lifestyle, as you build up a client base, and also later on with any changes in the economy or seasonal demand, there will be times when you have less spare cash. Adapt this way of thinking into your lifestyle now, so that it becomes second nature down the line. Once you take the plunge you won’t need many of the possessions you have now, so ask yourself if you really would want to carry that extra gadget etc. For an extreme exercise in this aspect of the lifestyle pack up all your belongings in a suitcase and set yourself a budget. Try and live within that budget and only use items in that suitcase for a couple of weeks and see how it takes your fancy.
Whilst your mobile lifestyle may not be here yet, you can certainly start living the lifestyle now and preparing for the road ahead.
What tips do you have to start your journey to independence?