How to Create a Business That Supports Your Life

Structure your business to support the life you want to live.

It’s ironic that I wrote this blog last week while I was in the wilderness at our cabin  in the wilderness (Deschutes National Forest in Oregon) at 5,000 feet, working half days and hiking, cycling, and boating the rest of the time.

Last Thursday my wireless reception was coming and going so I couldn’t coach my client in Germany by Skype.

Later in the day, my laptop hard drive became full just as I was sending out an audio and homework to participants in Smart Women Love Money teleclass. After deleting many files, an hour later the material was sent.

This is part of the deal.

If you are going to be an adventurous entrepreneur, you have to be prepared for the challenges.

It’s a bit like backpacking.  If you plan for it, whatever happens — it’s part of the adventure.

I’ve been working remotely (virtually) since 1995.  By far the biggest frustration I’ve had over the years is the technology part of my business.  I’ve evolved my ways of doing business along with the evolution of technology and it’s been a continuous journey that is moving faster and faster all while I am naturally slowing down.

As a road warrior and early adopter, I’ve had just about every laptop out there – Toshiba, Sony Vaio, Dell and even the clunky first Tablet PC (Toshiba).

Finding the right technology is critical to the operation of a virtual business.

We’ve come to our cabin year round for more than 16 years.  All during of those years, I’ve been on the hunt for technology to be able to telecommute from the wilderness or wherever I happen to be in the world.

In the beginning was there was dial up.

Many times I wanted to throw the laptop over the balcony with frustration over the wait times.

After I gave up dial up, I started driving around the lake to the store to sit under their satellite dish.  If I was desperate, I would drive up to the ski area or around the stores at the next little town hunting for a wireless hot spot to no avail.

Then came the wireless USB keys. For the past two years, these little devices were great for email but I could never watch a video or do research for my marketing and PR clients.

FINALLY – my husband, John, found Verizon’s MiFi 4G wireless device.

This new piece of technology allows me to be on my laptop while my husband works on his iPad.  MiFi supports up to five wireless devices for $50 a month.   I am telling you this because it works cause I have no affiliate relationship with Verizon.

Things to Keep In Mind:
1. What are your priorities for exercising and how does this fit into your day?  If I don’t put me in my calendar first, it usually doesn’t happen.

2. What are you doing for the sheer joy of doing it at least once a week? *My branding therapist (as she is known) says that my inner child was rebelling because I was stuck with my brand.   She asked my nickname so I told her Twig (I was called Twiggy in junior high by a guy friend of mine).  So my “brand therapist” said to write a post-it and post it on my computer to see everyday.

Picture this: Have you talked to Twig lately?

What a great reminder to take my essential self / inner child Twig to play. I simply love that name – Twig.  When my son was in elementary school 20+ years ago, kids and parents were ask to come up with a camp name on our small tree round that we hung on rawhide and put around our necks as nametags.  My said, “Willow.”  I’ve always loved trees.

2. I love Verizon’s MiFi device, because we can take it with us wherever we go. Since we come to our cabin year round, we found the closest cell tower has Verizon service. Find what works in your situation. Now I use all Apple products and can Skype using the built in camera.

3. Next January, I will work for a month from Baja – Loreto Bay, Mexico. We’ve rented a home with an Internet connection. I will use my cell phone with service for Mexico. I turn roaming data OFF so I am not charged high fees for my cell phone. We are planning to make this work. I will work half days and my husband will take the time off.

4. The freedom of owning my own business allows me to make my life a priority.  Exercise is very important to me and I work out about five times a week. I schedule in early morning 7 am yoga class or 4 pm Gyrotonic. I cycle and hike in the summer.

You want to structure your business to serve your life so that you experience freedom.

If you have young children, it’s great to be home for them when they get out of school. I love to travel around the world and you must have technology tools to keep your business thriving while you are out of the country or just out of the office.

You don’t want your life to support your business or what kind of life would you end up living?

If you are doing this, what are you trading your time for and is it worth it in the end?

Owning my own business the past 16 years has given me emotional and financial freedom. I tell my clients to start planning their business with the end in mind and make sure you are crystal clear about your values and how you want your business to integrate with your life.

This is how I create a business that fits into my life.

You dream it and then find ways to support the idea and the plan. I’m now in the third year of creating my second business – coaching women entrepreneurs to find their calling for their ‘real’ work and helping them start their business to support their life dreams.

I would love to know what your thoughts are about how to create a business that supports your life.  Please send in comments or your questions.

To life and to finding your true work!