Kicking off this new “every Friday” feature is my friend, Chris Guillebeau. Many of you know Chris already, but if you don’t, he’s the guy who travels the world and writes for a small army of remarkable people at The Art of Non-Conformity. He is also the Chief Troublemaker of UnconventionalGuides.com.
So, without further ado, I’ll turn it over to Chris…
There goes that Jonathan Fields again… heading out to beautiful Bali while the rest of us hold down the fort with guest posts. What a lucky guy. I’m guessing his schedule today looks something like this:
10am: Wake up in the hammock
11am: Eat banana pancakes, Jack Johnson style
1145am: Quick email check
12pm-6pm: “Brainstorming time”
6pm: Post a TwitPic of the hammock
615pm: Quick email check
630pm: Begin drinking beer
8pm: Bonfire and barbeque prepared by the local Career Renegade staff
That’s how the “work from anywhere” life goes, right? Yep, that’s the life… of pretty much no one I know.
Plenty of people will tell you about the benefits of the work anywhere / location independent / off-the-grid lifestyle. Fine. But most of them will leave out the hard parts. (Most of them haven’t actually done it either, but that’s another story.)
Before you join Jonathan and co. in the Indonesian treehouse, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Misconception #1: Work Anywhere, Make Money.
I’ve been location independent for nearly ten years, but I could actually make more money (a lot more) by staying in one place instead of roaming around all the time. Working in North American time zones is more profitable than Indonesian time zones. Despite the welcome presence of the banana pancakes, money and working from Southeast Asia are not correlated.
Misconception #2: Passive Income = Cha-Ching!
Wake up to the inflow of funds before heading back to the hammock—what a life. Actually, Jonathan’s already been over this before… better take that post down quickly, man! (Unfortunately, he’s right. The reality is that most of us work pretty hard for that “passive” income. We have to feed the funnel, keep prospects coming in, and be available for clients or customers no matter where we are in the world.)
Misconception #3: If You Build It, They Will Come.
All you need to do is open a storefront and put out your shingle. W00t! Except not. Viral marketing means “spend a lot of time talking to everyone you know and hope they’ll do the same.” Building your project is 50% of the task; spreading the word is the other 50%—and that’s hard to do when you’re working from the road.
Misconception #4: The Whole World Is Wired.
Alas, “wired” means different things in different places. True, I had a surprisingly fast WiFi signal in Erbil, Iraq—but I’ve also been at a loss to get online in Tokyo, supposedly one of the world’s most wired places. I also spend a lot of time worrying about internet connections, especially when doing video interviews or uploading large files. If you need to rely on a constant, consistent pipeline to the world, you’re better off at home.
Misconception #5: You’ll Spend Your Days Chillaxin’ in the Hammock!
OK, this one is real… sort of. Here’s where we get into the reality of working from anywhere. By far the main benefit of establishing your plan of freedom is the ability to go anywhere, sometimes more than the actual going.
Remember the words of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” With that in mind, here are a few things to think about before you book your Thai Airways flight and head out across the Pacific:
- What are you really after? What’s the goal?
- How will your business bring joy to your customers?
- What does freedom look like to you?
- How will you build sustainable practices into the biz, so you can actually book that flight… or do whatever else you want?
Don’t get me wrong…
Location independence is awesome! Sign me up. But the best part of a freedom business is the freedom itself. You can be free wherever you are, or you can be stressed wherever you are. Better to solve that problem first…. then, start picking out your dream hammock.
When this post goes up, Jonathan will be in Bali, and I’ll be working from the road in West Africa. Sign me up for some banana pancakes! That’s no misconception.
Chris Guillebeau travels the world (without a hammock) and writes for a small army of remarkable people at The Art of Non-Conformity. He is also the Chief Troublemaker of UnconventionalGuides.com. Reserve your copy of Chris’ forthcoming book, The Art of Nonconformity, at amazon now.
Join our Email List for Weekly Updates
And join this amazing community of makers and doers. You know you wanna...