It seems like right now, many of us are choosing to move closer to having businesses that we can take anywhere – a portable business that we can run from a cafe, rooftop, poolside or airplane. Deep down we all crave more freedom and flexibility, and running your business from your laptop seems like a pretty great way of achieving that.
To the outside world the location independence looks like a glamorous lifestyle to lead. In reality, while it’s one of the best ways to live a life of constant travel and adventure, it can have its downsides. Trust me, I know.
Constant travel and living out of a suitcase are fun 95% of the time, but airport delays, packing, finding accommodations and having to locate necessary amenities in each new destination can start to take their toll.
That said, the benefits are numerous. Being able to live in new countries and run your business from just your laptop and smartphone is both a privilege and an honor that more of us are able to experience, thanks to tools and technology.
So here is a look at some of the ways you can make the most of being a mobile entrepreneur…
1. Adopt A Flexible Mindset
The most important thing to know is that things aren’t always going to happen as you want them to. There will be times when there’s no access to Internet, a quiet place in which to conduct a client call or a decent mobile reception. Accept this, inform people you work with that the nature of your work means you’re not always going to be accessible and learn to be more patient in developing countries.
If your business is one that demands fast turnaround time, constant client interaction and the ability to be connected at all times then don’t rely on free public wi-fi to meet your needs. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get online when you really need to. Invest in a wireless dongle and data plan in each country you visit if it’s available to ensure you can stay connected, or consider using a service like Boingo where you sign up on a monthly or daily plan to access Internet in hundreds of cities.
2. Make Technology Your Friend
Love it or hate it, technology is pretty much the key to going mobile. Most of the time it’s a godsend and can help you streamline your business and save time and money. There are occasions though when it just won’t work for you. The trick is to stick to the reliable tools that are simple yet effective and can really make a difference to your online world. Here’s just a few:
Skype is your new mobile phone. You can make free calls to other Skype account holders or ridiculously cheap ones to landlines and mobiles using Skype credit. All you need is to download the application on your laptop and smartphone and buy a decent headset.
Tungle is an online scheduling calendar that allows people to book appointments in your calendar no matter what the timezone – it converts it for them. This ensures you don’t play the `tag you’er it’ game when setting up meetings. Simply offer up the times you’re free in your neck of the world and allow people to book via your Tungle Calendar and have it instantly transferred to your online calendars.
Dropbox is a super easy to use online cloud storage system. Store your most recent files, documents, photos and digital products safely and securely, accessible at any time and from any location. You can have a team account too so your virtual workers can also access the most important documents. Or your can host files accessible by the public when provided with the link, such as eBooks and videos for landing pages.
3. Know Your Limits
If you’ve chosen the location independent business model it’s likely that you did so to have more freedom in business and adventure in life. So don’t fall into the trap of working 24/7 just because you can and because you feel guilty if you’re not.
I’m seeing a trend where those preaching about their great lifestyles are not practicing them. They’re addicted to work and can never disconnect. When you’re working for yourself from anywhere you have to set limits on the hours you want to work, and the days, otherwise it’s too easy to get consumed by the online world.
For example, you could make Thursday your day off or choose to just work from 7am-3pm each day and go and have play time and discovery of your latest travel destination after that. Set yourself up with systems and work boundaries so that you don’t lose the enthusiasm and passion for this lifestyle business you’ve worked hard to build.
Also consider having a passive revenue stream over an active one – one where your physical or online presence is not required to earn you income, like eBooks, digital online programs and membership sites.
Putting it all together
The best way to take your business mobile is to consider your goals for having your business in the first place. Then work backwards from there as to the business model that’s best going to fit your needs (active revenue vs passive, products vs services), plus the tools and systems you’re going to need to implement and use to make it all possible.
None of this needs to be set up all at once, it’s a continual process of refining what works for you and what doesn’t. It becomes a fun process to strip down your business to the bare minimum in terms of tools you use, technologies you apply and hours you wish to work on doing what you love.
Add some adventure travel to the list and you’re well on your way to creating your ideal lifestyle business.