Imagine waking up to the sound of exotic birds, throwing on a sundress and walking out of your condo straight onto a gorgeous beach. It’s early morning and the only people up yet are the fishermen coming back in with their catch. You yawn, put on your flip flops, grab your bag and head over to the local coffee shop.
In fact, this is the only coffee shop on this tropical island that has a steady wifi connection, and you’re now a regular. From your spot in the corner you are totally rocking your business, working with clients from all over the world.
When the work for the day is done, you wrap up, head back to your cabin, leave your laptop and go for a swim. Other days you head over to the local market, meet up with your friends at the beach bar, head to a yoga class or take the boat back into the mainland to explore the nearby towns.
Then, when you’re starting to feel an inkling to move on, you pack up your backpack, say goodbye to your friends and board the next bus. Somewhere, a new exciting place is waiting for you. A new culture, a new coffee shop, a new group of friends.
A new life.
Does it sound like a dream?
It doesn’t have to be.
If you feel like the thought of becoming location independent is alluring, but scary – let me show you how you can make it happen -- while at the same time limiting risk, fear, and overwhelm.
Experiment your way to freedom
Treat it as a science project
The thing is, you can’t really fail at an experiment. You can only learn and improve. This takes the pressure off! Start by thinking about location independence as if you were a scientist crafting out a research project. What is your hypothesis? How long will you need to experiment for before you can conclude? How much can you scale down while still getting valid results?
Change your mindset
Repeat after me: I. am. not. on. vacation. Say it again: I am not on vacation! This shift in thinking is the most important thing you can do to succeed at location independence. Don’t plan your trip as if you were planning a vacation. In other words: unless you are already swimming in money, stop yourself before you start to imagine your last vacation, just indefinitely. Instead, try to imagine living the same kind of life you are already living now, or even less fancy. It will make the financial side of things much less overwhelming to plan out. Also, stop yourself before you imagine sleeping in, chilling out all day or exploring your new place for hours on end. As a location-independent business owner, you still put in the normal work hours, if not more.
Keep it open
Find a way to experiment with location independence without having to move, cancel your cable or give away your cat. Your regular life is your safety net, and the more you can keep it as normal while you experiment, the less overwhelmed you’ll feel. If you can’t afford to pay double rent, rent out your home or experiment with leaving on multiple shorter trips.
Start small, but not too small
As a scientist planning out the best way to conduct an experiment, you have to figure out the best way to plan everything to increase your chances of getting the right results. This means to find the balance between how long you can take time off from home and how long you need to stay to be able to focus on your work. If your trip is too short, you may not have enough time to really get into the flow – as the first days/weeks in a new place tend to get taken over by excitement and wanderlust. However, if you plan to stay too long, your planning and taking care of everything at home could be much more difficult to navigate.
Go to a place you’ve been before
For your very first experiment with location independence, visit a place you have been before. This way, you’ll be able to experiment and focus on your work without being distracted by a new, overwhelming and exciting place. Anything you can do to “lower the bar” will make your experiment more likely to happen!
Location independence is within reach
Location independence doesn’t have to stay this thing you dream about, but never make happen. By experimenting and starting small, you can overcome the overwhelm and create the lifestyle that you have always dreamed of.
If you were location independent right now, where would you go?
Latest posts by Marthe Hagen (see all)
- How to Experiment with Location Independence as a Solopreneur - August 3, 2015