Live life your way! Sound too good to be true?
With today’s technology and internet access almost everywhere there is no reason why you can’t take your laptop and start travelling around the world while earning a living. This way of creating income has become so present in today’s world it’s almost unbelievable that even 15 years ago it wasn’t a realistic option unless you were a total techie.
Many people feel limited to the realistic, the safe, staying at their 9 to 5 job for security, even though they may feel overwhelmed and stressed out with little life balance. It is absolutely a risk to leave the security of paid insurance, paid vacation, and paid sick time, but staying in a job you don’t love comes with a cost. And is it really all that secure? Corporations are always looking at the bottom line and more often than not you are a number not a human with a family and expenses. If it isn’t working for them you may no longer have that secure job.
There’s an incredible, beautiful world out there and so much to see, do, and explore. And yet most of us spend our lives working and sitting in the same dull rooms. We’re stressed, we’re bored, and we’re exhausted. You may catch yourself saying “Is this all there is, really?”
If you are in the place of re-evaluating your life and finding that your heart is telling you it is time to make a change then read on. I’m going to share with you 7 powerful steps to move towards the life you want have.
Step 1: Create the Vision
Before it is possible to start on a journey you need to know the destination. Let’s say you have the bug. You have been looking at a lot of different sites about making a living online, living the Laptop Lifestyle and you want it, you can taste it, you can see it. Perfect that is what you need to really stay motivated.
Now create the vision fully. Write out what that picture looks like. Use as much detail as possible. Paint the picture clearly so you can hear, see, smell, taste, and touch it. Where do you want to go, where is the first place you want to visit. Do you want to go on the road for an extended trip or take several short trips each month. Think about the countries you want to visit. What Landmarks do you want to see or what kind of activities do you want to engage in. While you might want to be realistic I am going to encourage you to let the dreamer out a bit, you can always pull it back a notch but we want it to be engaging and special.
It might be fun to take a test drive, if you want to sit on your balcony overlooking the ocean while you work your business, maybe rent and Airbnb on the beach and do it for a few days so you can really be in that space. Get a clear picture of what a day in the life of your new adventure looks like.
Now that you have the vision, sit with it twice a day. Just for a few minutes, maybe read your vision and then sit and feel it in your body. First thing in the morning and last thing at night. This is an important first step. It will help ou stay motivated when you run up against the unexpected.
Step 2: Determine Your Online Business Venture
This is the part where you get to think about what you want to do online. After having created your Laptop Lifestyle vision you have your why. Now what? It may sound scary but starting an online business can actually be pretty simple and a fun. If you like writing for example, there are many opportunities online to become a freelance writer.
If you don’t have previous experience as a business owner or have never looked at online opportunities it might seem overwhelming. I have a previous blog post that identifies 12 potential business opportunities, I will give you some ideas here as well but if you want a little more detail you can visit that by clicking here.
Some ideas include starting a blog and there are plenty of people online that will help you learn how to monetize it. You can sell services like web design, or graphics design, you can be a consultant. There are sites like Fiverr and iwrite where you can sell your services like writing or design work and you can get up and running pretty quick. You can do affiliate marketing or dropshipping, sell your own products or sell programs that you create once and sell over and over again. You can sell photography.
The list of what you can do is pretty endless, the bigger question is what do you enjoy doing? What are your interests? There are lots of options so play with a couple, this is likely going to be a process so be willing to experiment. There are a number of stories about making 6 figures in 30 days and although some of them may be true, it isn’t likely that it was their first online business attempt. Plan on being in this for the long haul.
What’s great about doing an online business is that you can work it anytime so it is easy to do it while you keep your day job. So maybe you don’t hand in your notice tomorrow but definitely make handing in your notice part of your vision.
Another thought is not to rule out your current job. More companies are allowing there employees to work remotely. If you enjoy your current job but just want more flexibility and freedom that might be an option.
Step 3: Get Busy
So now you know what you plan to do online. You need to determine your platform. Will you start a store on Shopify or join Salehoo and do dropshipping. If you want to do ecommerce there are plenty of options, just google dropshipping suppliers. You can also easily search hot niches, health, pets, finances, and sports are all pretty hot niches. Narrow it down and you have a starting place. Are you going to sign up on Fiverr or iwrite and sell your services. Or are you going to start a blog? I started out with one thing and have now diversified, from most of the bloggers I follow that seems to be the trend, again that will depend on your path.
The next step is likely to get some training. As I have stated in other blog posts I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate and it is a great place to get training, but read reviews and see what else might work for you. You can try Affilorama, there are so many bloggers out there selling training programs and many of them at really reasonable prices that it is easy to learn the first steps. I would also look for a program that has an active community where you can get support and ask questions.
I’m a believer that Affiliate Marketing and Dropshipping are both good ways to get into an online business pretty quick and start making money within a few months, maybe not enough to quit your job but enough to let you see the potential.
So now you know your why and you are visiting it twice daily, you know your what and you have decided on a training program to get you started.
Step 4: Transitioning to Working Online
Now you are started. Before you actually start making money and leaving your day job you will need to figure out how you fit in the time to do your online job and juggle everything else that is going on in your life. The easiest way to do this is to schedule it in. Decide how many hours a week you have to invest in building the business. Come up with a daily plan. If you are blogging a good plan is to put up at least one blog post a week, ideally more but that is a good starting goal. If you are doing affiliate marketing, you probably need to master some social marketing if you aren’t a pro at that yet. Even though you started learning in the last step it will continue to be a part of the process.
Okay, now you are making some money online and are starting to think about what you need to do to really move into the laptop lifestyle.
If you have an employer that is open to you working remote, maybe they would also be open to you working less hours. It will help if you can sell this as a win-win so think about how it might be an advantage for them, would you be willing to let go of some of the benefits and work as a contractor. Easing into the online work form home model might make the transition easier.
It is a huge life transition to go from working in a company where you have a daily social interaction, teams you work with, designated tasks to complete with a deadline, to being your own boss in charge of your own schedule and often feeling isolated and alone. Not as glamorous a picture as the traveling around the world but also something to be aware of, it does have some potential challenges. The good thing is that you are reading this and so you will be able to set up some strategies and be prepared for any perceived challenges.
If you are ready to take the plunge and give notice, look at other online opportunities. Potentially get a job where you can work remotely, so basically changing your day job for the flexibility to work a little more on your terms but keep some of the security. Do an online search for jobs that advertise that you can work from home, check out Flexjobs. This is a possibility but many of those companies still have set hours and you need to be available by phone or computer so think about what you really want. If it feels to risky to quit your day job maybe reevaluate in 3 months, you don’t need to stress yourself out if you see progress and potential maybe you need patience.
Instead of jumping ship look at things that need to be in place so you won’t feel isolated and alone. Maybe in the interim you are joining meet-ups or a mastermind group so you feel supported when you are an online entrepreneur.
Another thing to keep in mind here is that you may not need to match your current salary. You can cut costs and I’ll talk about that next but you also won’t be spending as much money on gas unless you are traveling a lot initially. You won’t need a work wardrobe, and if you needed to attend work trainings and rent office space as I did you will save money there as well.
Transitioning will be easier the more things you have in place for success, a plan is vital. Once again remember that you don’t need to give up your job right away – only do it once you’ve proven to yourself that you can make enough money! You can do this by running your business in the evenings or at the weekends and then only quitting work once you see that you’re making a steady and healthy income.
Step 5: Cutting Costs
This might be something you actually start doing in the beginning planning stages to help you move out of your day job sooner rather than later. You may find like many entrepreneurs that creating a 6 figure income online is possible and that you don’t need to cut costs but if it helps you feel more confident to quit the day job with fewer expenses here are a few ideas.
If you are doing online work you will obviously need the internet but you don’t need cable or satellite TV, with an internet connection you can get Hulu or Netflix for around $10 a month. Pay attention to your food bill. Having healthy foods at home and eating out less is a great way to save money and be healthier. Drop the gym membership, you have a lot more free time now, go biking, running, play volleyball or tennis with friends. You can get a weight bench and do weights at home. If the gym is also your social outlet keep it but if it is something you use once in awhile consider whether it is worth it.
Look over your monthly spending, where are you leaking money. Know where its going and you can see where you can save.
Now that the plan is to travel and work from anywhere you can reduce the costs of travel as well. That might mean that you decide to stay in an Airbnb or hostels, or it might mean that you even use couch surfing! You can travel on the off season to places you want to see, watch for great fares, find cheaper flights on SkyScanner – or go on a road trip if you have the urge to travel.
The key is to work out what your budget is and what type of travel you want to do. That way, you can work backward in order to find out what the smallest amount of money is that you need to earn in order to have a great time!
Knowing what your monthly expenditures is a vital part of the plan for success. It will help you determine the amount of income that you need to feel comfortable. With an online business as with most self employment there is some fluctuation with monthly income.
Step 6: How to Enjoy Your Travel and Balance Work
You are doing it, you are living the Laptop Lifestyle. Your business is profitable, you have said Adios to your day job and you have transitioned into full time online business. You still might have some uncertainty on how you are going to sustain a business while traveling and not going into the office.
It will certainly be easier to maintain some work life balance while at home. Set up your schedule and if you are at all disciplined you can be successful. While traveling it might be easier to get side tracked. If you are running a dropshipping business for example you will need to check in. You could hire a virtual assistant while traveling so you have more freedom to work fewer hours and enjoy the trip but that is also money out of your pocket. It is a good idea to have a schedule in mind for traveling and have some plan in place, If you need you can revise along the way.
Make work part of the adventure while you travel. Look for cafes and other places where you can find free WiFi and power in order to work. Somewhere where you can get a strong coffee and ideally, watch the world go by a little.
If you’re unsure as to where you can find WiFi, then some common solutions include:
- Coffee shops
- Public libraries
- Train stations/trains
Always ask if the WiFi is working before you sit down and check around for plugs! Another tip is to bring a power brick, which is something that you can use in order to charge your device in case it runs out and you aren’t able to find a plug. You can also bring a Bluetooth keyboard, which will allow you to work from a phone potentially if you have to!
Do your research before you hit the road so you are prepared and have some ideas of where you can work, especially if you have deadlines.
There are plenty of apps you can use in order to make working abroad that much easier for example. These include the likes of Slack, World Time Buddy and Asana – which all make it easier to collaborate over thousands of miles.
Step 7: You Are Ready
Finally, it’s time to do the last prep before you set off. You have your trip mapped out. You have your work schedule arranged, you know your stops along the way. You have the car gassed up or the travel arrangements made, tickets and passport ready.
Arrange someone to look after your home if you are a property owner. And if you want to make a little additional money, why not lease the property to someone else through AirBnB or through a property management company?
Make sure your mail is being held, that payments are set up to auto pay out of your accounts and give your contact number to the appropriate parties.
Once you’ve done all that, you’ll have everything in order and be ready to set sail and explore the world! All that’s left to do is to take the leap and go!
Living a Laptop Lifestyle isn’t for everyone, only you can decide if it’s right for you. If you have always wanted to be an entrepreneur then this is a relatively inexpensive way to do it. It can have some challenges but it can also be fun, exciting, and successful beyond your wildest dreams.
Let me know if you are taking the plunge, are already in the online game, or still in the thinking about it stage.