Have you ever been on a vacation and wished you could stay for one more week?
I know I have.
Going back to work always sucked.
What if you could stay at your favorite vacation spot a month, six months or an entire year?
You have two options to live a location independent life.
Option 1 – You inherit lots of money, you are rich, born rich, win the lottery or simply marry for money.
Option 2 – Much more doable for most people is to start a location independent business.
You could live in Thailand, Bali, Costa Rica, Brazil, or any which location you can dream.
Not only that it is possible, but it has never been easier.
For the first time in history, you can do it.
It is possible.
You can build your location independent business and live free anywhere you want.
Starting a location independent business is not a get rich quick scheme.
You actually have to work, but you can do it on your own terms.
#1. Don’t buy into the hype. Building a location independent business is still a business. Be prepared to work your butt off. You will work, learn, and at times struggle.
#2. Be honest with yourself. Is a location independent business what you really want?
#3. How much money do you want? A lot is not the answer. Know the minimum amount you need to earn in order for you to be satisfied. It has to be a measurable dollar amount, something you can express with a number. This is not a lottery win number that will make you ecstatic. This is the minimal amount of money you need to live a simple and satisfying life. If you are unsure about the amount, take a couple of hours to create a little budget of what you really need to live on to be satisfied.[message type=”simple” bg_color=”#E0E0E0″ color=”#333333″]
Natalie Sisson is The Suitcase Entrepreneur.
Over the years, she has grown The Suitcase Entrepreneur into a thriving online community of men and women and lots of happy readers and customers.
What’s the secret to Natalie’s profitable location independent business?
It’s simple, she is super determined, and she hustles.
Her location independent business has nine different revenue streams.
Natalie makes money with her own products, group coaching, affiliate marketing, podcast sponsorships, publishing, just to mention a few.
She has mastered location independent business and lifestyle.[/message]
#4. Simplify your life. Take a step toward a simpler life. Sell the stuff you been collecting for years, let’s face it, you don’t need most of it. If you don’t use it get rid of it.
#5. Open up to your passion. The sad reality of life is that many people have no clue what makes them happy. Open your mind to the things that make you happy, fulfilled, or complete. There is a good chance that your ideal business is related to one of your lifelong passions.
#6. Write it down. If you don’t write it down it won’t happen.
#7. Find a mentor. Mentors come in many shapes and sizes. You might already know successful location independent business owners. If you don’t know any, research online. Reach out to location independent business owners with your questions. When you make contact be brief with your question and offer the person an easy way out. If one can’t help you, keep trying.
#8. Network. You don’t have to be in the same room with people to get to know them. Use social media and email to reach out and build your network. Remember that networking is more about being helpful than asking people to help you.
#9. Use HARO to get media coverage. Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a great tool to get free publicity.
Sean Ogle of Location180 shares some of his ideas on what it takes to succeed as a location independent entrepreneur.
- Create a schedule and stick to it.
- Work in an environment that keeps you accountable.
- Have the right tools like Gmail, Mars Edit, Evernote, laptop with good battery life.
- Create clear outcomes.
- Don’t overwork.
Check out our interview with Sean where he talks about location independent business with Success Harbor.
#10. Start locally. I know you want a location independent business, but you can reduce the risk by starting out in a familiar location. Practice location independence while you are at home. Run your business as if you were outside of the country. It will help you work out the kinks. No, that’s not cheating. It’s practice.
#11. Show up. Most people don’t. Just by showing up you are way ahead of the game. Showing up tells the world that you are ready to take what’s yours. You have to put yourself out there.
#12. Do your homework. Successful location independent entrepreneurs will spend a reasonable amount of time researching or talking to the right people before making decisions.
#13. Learn to communicate clearly. Location independence means that you will be communicating a lot through email, chat, and text. The more clearly you communicate with people, the easier life will be.
#14. Study your competition. Everybody has competition. Study yours, so you can improve on what they do. Don’t copy, improve.
#15. Minimize guessing. Sometimes you have to speculate but avoid it as much as possible. Only take action on speculation as a last resort. Guessing will lead to failure more often than success.
#16. Save your data in the cloud. Use Google drive, dropbox and the like to save your data in the cloud, but always have a backup too.
#17. Get out of your comfort zone. Location independent magic happens when you challenge yourself.
#18. Drive recurring revenue. In fact, it’s super difficult to build a location independent business without recurring revenue or repeat customers. The most successful businesses are built on recurring revenue.
#19. Visualize that it is possible. I am not talking about daydreaming which is random thoughts. Daydreaming is mental junk food. Visualization is a conscious process about your goals.
#20. Work your butt off. You can’t get other people to do your pushups, so get ready to work harder than ever. Especially early on, there will be very little “free time” in your life. If you want to become a location independent entrepreneur to work less, you will fail. As an entrepreneur, you are in control of your time, but it doesn’t fall into the normal 9-to-6 week that most people work. You can set a more flexible schedule than an employee, but you need to do whatever it takes to move your business forward every day.
#21. Set clear expectations. The only way to stay the course is to set clear expectations for you and members of your team.
#22. Be patient. Everything takes longer than you think. Have realistic expectations and don’t expect to be an overnight sensation. Be happy with where you are now and remember that you are working toward a larger goal.
#23. Read about successful location independent entrepreneurs. There is a lot to be learned from those who have done it.
Dave Schneider of Self-Made Businessman knows how to succeed with a location independent business.
- Know how to divide travel time and work time and try to stick to a schedule.
- Leverage virtual assistants to save you time and money.
- Learn online marketing to grow your business.
“Know what makes for a location independent business. Not all business are meant to be location independent. Some require you to meet with customers, to attend networking events and conferences, etc. Study how other location independent people are running businesses and mimic them. Often you will see a lot of information products, courses, digital services, and potentially software”.
#24. Reach out to location independent entrepreneurs for advice. Keep your queries short and to the point.
#25. Join a mindshare. There are many people out there with similar goals. A mindshare or a mastermind group is a great way to give and get support.
#26. Eliminate debt. Debt is almost always hurtful. Reduce your debt quickly and get rid of all of it. Few things are more liberating than debt free living.
#27. Pinch pennies. When you are starting out as a location independent entrepreneur you won’t know when and where your next dollar income is coming from.
#28. Learn to love tech. It’s simply impossible to build a location independent business without technology. You don’t have to become a guru, but you have to learn and embrace technology.
#29. Take action. Location independent wantrepreneurs never take action. It’s important to be strategic, but you have no business until you take action.
#30. Love WordPress. WordPress is the location independent entrepreneur’s friend. If you don’t already have a website running on WordPress, set one up today.
#31. Learn to sell. Successful entrepreneurs are good at selling. You are not born with sales skills, but you can learn. Anyone can.
#32. Keep your ego in check. Entrepreneurs that fail are more focused on being right than being successful. Seek out others to bring you great ideas.
#33. Measure the effectiveness of your actions. Taking action is great, but how do you know that you took the right action? Measure your outcomes to know if you need to make adjustments.
#34. Keep overhead low. Avoid the pressures to scale up your expenses. Even if your business takes off keep your overhead low and your freedom high.
Dan Andrews of TropicalMBA shares some of his ideas on what it takes to succeed as a location independent entrepreneur.
- Be ruthless with your personal finances.
- Stop taking loans. Get rid of the ones you do have.
- Get used to saying no, protect your time.
- Think long-term; businesses take three years to start.
- Consume insane amount of content and act on it.
#35. Consider keeping a home base. Even location independent entrepreneurs can benefit from a home base. It is not an absolute must, but it might help you.
#36. Ask for feedback. Being a location independent entrepreneur can feel like operating in a vacuum. It is important to reach out to people whose opinions are valuable to you. Encourage them to provide you with feedback. You should also actively solicit feedback from your team.
#37. Show appreciation for your wins. The life of an entrepreneur is full of ups and downs. Give yourself credit, even for small wins.
#38. Never open a physical office space. The very idea of a location independent business is not to be bound to one location. You might need temporary space from place-to-place, but only temporary.
Jason Moore of ZerotoTravel shares what it takes success with location independent business.
- You simply have to have hustle.
- You are always fighting the work/life balance as a location independent entrepreneur. Responsibilities make it more difficult to live the spontaneous, pure travel experiences I’ve had in the past. Should I explore the city with a new group of amazing people I just met or stay at the cafe and send emails? Granted, it’s a great problem to have but still tough to manage in the moment. That is why it’s important to set aside time to break away and submerge yourself into a new culture without the digital distractions.
- Curiosity is the driving force behind my passion for travel and ironically, it’s also what keeps me working on the road. Curiosity leads to experimentation, self-improvement, and knowledge. There is always some new thing around the corner to learn, to explore or to keep you from relaxing in the comfort zone for too long!
#39. Get your phone unlocked. Buy an unlocked phone that can be used globally. You can buy cheap sim cards at your destination for your phone.
#40. Create your own products. From day one, think about creating your own branded products. For example, if you are a web designer, write books on relevant topics to your market. Products help you scale your business and provide you with recurring revenue.
#41. Write books. Books can help you make more money in multiple ways. The revenue from selling books is great, but books also serve as business cards. They might help you land larger more expensive projects. You can also use them as a giveaway to grow your email list.
#42. Develop a routine. Location independence is not a permanent vacation. It is important to have a routine to keep you on schedule.
Even families can become location independent entrepreneurs as we have learned from our interview with Graham Brown.
In 2012, Graham Brown sold everything and became location independent. Graham is the first to tell you that it wasn’t easy to leave behind old friends and sell everything. If Graham was able to do it with a family, so can anyone with proper planning and preparation.
#43. Avoid vanity metrics. Vanity metrics is the opium of wantrepreneurs. Only measure what counts. For example, how much money you spend on advertising is not a valuable metric. Measuring sales conversion, on the other hand, is a great metric to measure.
#44. Never stop learning. Successful location independent entrepreneurs are fast learners. They absorb new material and integrate it into their actions.
#45. Guest blog. If you want an inexpensive, but effective way to build your audience write guest posts for popular blogs. It will help you build your network, and it might even drive some free traffic to your site.
#46. Grow your email list. From day one, offer a good reason for people to sign up for your email list.
Your email list could be one of if not your most valuable business asset.
#47. Install Google Analytics. If you don’t already have one, create a Google Analytics (GA) account. GA gives you feedback about your traffic and site visitor behavior.
#48. Develop strategic partnerships. There is strength in numbers. Super smart entrepreneurs build a network of like-minded individuals whom they can consult and partner with for greater success. Having strategic partners at your fingertips can give you an extra advantage over someone who is trying to succeed alone.
#49. Find ways to scale your business. If you write a book that sells, come up with ways to write multiple books or to sell them multiple ways. Try many things and scale those that work.
#50. Outsource. Even the smallest businesses can grow faster through outsourcing. Start with outsourcing simple repetitive tasks.
#51. Hire an intern. I recommend paying interns. Don’t confuse interns with free labor. You can hire smart college students inexpensively.
#52. Take advantage of content marketing. Content marketing killed SEO. To be more exact, content marketing replaced SEO. It is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website.
#53. Test alternatives. The only way to improve is through testing. For example, if you want to increase the number of email subscribers run A/B tests with different copy and different offers.
#54. Be ready to pivot. The road to your location independent business success isn’t a straight line. The need to pivot isn’t a failure. It is a necessary step toward success.
#55. Use social media like a human being. Too many people use social media to bombard people with ads and self-promotion, and they are mostly ignored for the same reason. Use social media to build real connections with people. Focus less on selling and more on connecting.
#56. Focus on the positive. There will be many bad days during your entrepreneurial journey. Even if some of your efforts fail, find positive things to focus on.
#57. Volunteer. The great thing about volunteering is that you make a difference in someone’s life while you meet caring people. You will also make new friends and feel better about yourself.
#58. Take controlled risks. Risk is necessary. Taking too much risk can hurt you badly, so take calculated risks only. If you want to sign up for a service that you hope will help you generate more business, do your own research before making a commitment. Don’t sign long term contracts. Demand an easy out.
#59. Keep multiple backups. Even if you store all of your files in the cloud, make sure you also have a local backup. You can buy inexpensive external hard drives. To minimize the potential for data loss, keep at least two backups independent from each other.
#60. Be ready for disasters. What if you lose your laptop? How long will it take you to be back in business once you replace your laptop? Think about what action must be taken in case of emergency. Have it in writing in advance, so you have something to go by in case of a disaster.
#61. Take time off. You are not a machine. Being busy all the time is just another form of laziness. Stay flexible, but establish a regular work schedule and stick to it as much as you can. All work and no play = burnout.
#62. Stop comparing yourself. A sure way to frustrate yourself is to compare yourself to other successful location independent entrepreneurs. Don’t compare your beginning to someone’s long established business. Also keep in mind that not everything you see and read about other location independent entrepreneurs is true.
#63. Choose your business carefully. Not all businesses will work for location independent entrepreneurs. Some businesses require a physical location, others require face-to-face meetings, etc. Study how other location independent entrepreneurs are running their businesses and learn from them.
#64. According to Maneesh Sethi of Hack the System, the most important characteristic of a location independent entrepreneur is the ability to work when no one is watching you.
#65. Quit if you need to. The life of an entrepreneur is not for everyone. You are not a lesser person if you have to go back and get a job. Be proud that you have tried. It might work out for you the next time.
I want to read what You have to say about location independent businesses, so please leave a comment below.
photo credit: Traveller-Reini Dominican-Republic – Island of Saona – Boats & Palms & sandy beaches