As I write this post, I’m sitting, looking out over the Atlantic ocean. I’m on a beach in Assateague National Park, in a pretty private area. Only 145 vehicles are allowed into this 20 mile section of beach every day, and it seems like most of them clump together at the start, so we actually can’t see another vehicle or person around us for as far as the eye can see.
Sounds like a really cool vacation right? Well, this is my work week. I’m location independent. I’ve got my laptop out, and I’m taking care of a few emails that I need to return, and writing content for a couple sites, and this blog. It doesn’t feel like work, but what I’m doing will earn me money on a few different websites a few months from now. All while lounging on the beach! That’s what Location Independence is all about. Being where you want, not stuck in a cubicle in some big office building somewhere.
If you haven’t already read Tim Ferris’s “4 Hour Work Week”, its probably time to put it on your list. I listened to it on a flight to SLC a few years ago, and its really great at giving you a glimpse at the world that is possible. We are so programed from childhood to expect that we are going to spend our lives working for someone 9-5, 5 days a week, and getting to live for only 2 days every week. Unless you love what you do, that is what you are probably doing, trading 5 days of work for those two days off.
Lifestyle Designers “… are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design …”
I quit my job in January of this year, and started doing exactly this. Designing my life, instead of letting some one else do it for me. It took work to get to where I am now, so don’t let anyone tell you that you just snap your fingers and it happens overnight ~ but it is totally possible.
People won’t believe you
It’s true, when I tell my extended family, or people I meet in my travels what I do for a “living” they often squinch up their face in a puzzled look. They don’t understand how I get a paycheck, who pays me etc. Aside from explaining online income models, I usually just say that I own a number of profitable websites, which is the simplest description I could come up with. It seems like this also fits into people’s expectation of where wealth comes from (“ownership”). The truth is, what I do is conventional, and unconventional at the same time. It is more like investing time into something (rather than money) and getting dividends paid out in money to you for a long time into the future. Because of this, a day that I don’t work, doesn’t impact the money I will make this month. It builds my portfolio, and will earn me money for the next few years. To me, its unbelieveable that everyone isn’t working this way.
You don’t have to be Rich…
You don’t have to be a millionaire in order to do this, infact, you’ll find that being a millionaire is not important, but having the time, and the ability to travel wherever and whenever you want will make you feel like a millionaire. You can start this by reducing your regular monthly expenses. For example ~ do you need cable? Because what you pay for cable a month is probably equal to a night in a motel in the US, or a weekend elsewhere. And without a TV to fill up your time, you will be way more productive, earning yourself even more money.
Start reducing the amount of things that own you ~ do you really need all those trinkets, older clothes, etc? Sell them, and invest that money into your business, or into your dreams. Besides, you will probably move all that stuff into storage when you sublet your house while traveling the world.
Work Smarter Not Harder
Everyone says it, and we are in a golden age of automation. Are you leveraging your time with automation? A $50 dollar internet marketing tool like Tweet Adder 3 will save you hours, and can earn you money at the same time. I make sales daily on people who have found my various websites on Twitter, all with little to no attention from me.
What you can’t Automate, Outsource. Except when it really matters, like content (my opinion) why spend your time doing repetitive tasks like setting up hosting, domains, designing a website, logos etc. when you can have someone else do that for you for 5-10 dollars an hour? Assuming your time is worth more than 5-10 $ an hour, you are saving money, and time right there.
As with everything, YOU are the only thing holding you back. It doesn’t always matter what direction you are going in, just pick one and go. You can read about making money online all day long, but until you get started you won’t be able to start designing your own lifestyle.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain