Want a work-from-anywhere business? Here’s how you build one
Turning the dream of a work-from-anywhere lifestyle into reality is very possible. But it requires a laser focus on your business and your clients’ needs.
I have a confession to make. I have a serious addiction. If I go a few weeks without a hit, I start feeling symptoms of withdrawal - irritability, depression, cravings…
I’m addicted to travel, there’s no denying it. Visiting new places is the biggest dopamine hit. Going through airports and train stations jolts me with energy. Even packing makes me happy.
When I worked as a full-time lawyer, my daily question to myself was “when can I take off?” Needless to say, when the ethos (and economics) of most law firms is built on working at the office A LOT, my travel addiction didn’t quite fit.
Your reasons for wanting a work-from-anywhere lifestyle may be different.
Maybe you just want the freedom to enjoy a decent cup of coffee at a cafe while you’re working. Or maybe you’re taking care of an aging relative and it would be super-convenient to work from home. Or maybe you’re juggling parenting responsibilities with a 9-to-5 job and finding it crazy-making. Or maybe you do your best thinking when you’re hiking.
Whatever your reasons to want the flexibility of working from anywhere, freelancing can really be the ticket. But it’s not all days of swaying in hammocks, sipping drinks with umbrellas, enjoying tropical breezes.
If you’re trying to build a freelance business you have to maintain your focus
Focus can be very hard to come by when you don’t have the imposed discipline of an office. It’s easy to slip into vacation mode or semi-retirement mode because you are now the boss of you. But putting your business - and the needs of your clients - first is the only way to guarantee success and give yourself the life that you want.
Last week, I worked from the beach on Fire Island, NY. I won’t lie - it didn’t suck.
But what “working from the beach” also meant was that I spent a large chunk of my time indoors, on client calls and Zoom meetings - scheduled at the clients’ convenience. It meant writing to meet deadlines (again, indoors, because the beach is too beautiful and too distracting).
A while ago, I was on a trip to Mexico and our hotel room was near a construction site (before we moved hotels). But I had already scheduled important client interviews and they had to happen regardless of the pounding jackhammers. So, part of that vacation was spent in the bathroom - the quietest spot I could find - perching on the edge of the bathtub, using earphones to further reduce the noise. I’m proud to say that the client had no idea I was out of the office, let alone out of the country.
This focus on being a reliable partner for my clients has rewarded me with additional work and with referrals - the golden ticket out of having to market myself all the time.
We’ve written before about how important it is to see your clients as your partners, not just a paycheck. It can make a meaningful change in your financial circumstances and in how much your work ebbs and flows. Now you can add another reason this is important - it’s the best way to build a work-from-anywhere business.