Learning to work virtually – from wherever I happen to be in the world – has had its share of challenges and rewards.
Today I want to talk about why being able to travel is a big part of why I love my work.
My philosophy is that you create a business with the intention of having it support the life you want to live.
Imagine being able to take your business with you as you travel.
For the past 18 years, I’ve run two virtual businesses.
My first business was a boutique PR business that I started in 1996. The majority of that business was providing media and analyst relations to Microsoft’s Healthcare Vertical Industry.
I picked up two or three other small software startups that were entering the market. I had a team of three to four employees – two worked with me in my office studio next to our home and the other two worked virtually.
I traveled with my clients to trade shows and product launches and represented their work to the news media and industry analysts.
Because I’m an early adopter of technology, I bought various laptops – Sony Vios, Dell laptops, Toshibas and the very first Tablet PC with Microsoft’s software, which was heavy and clunky.
Now I use only Mac book Pro laptops and all Apple products, which I love.
Back in the early days of virtual working, traveling was more stressful because I depended on Internet cables or dial up Internet. Remember that dial up sound?
The most challenging part of being a road warrior is that you’ll be challenged by technology.
I officially started my second business in 2010 when I stopped doing PR and fully transitioned into coaching.
This business allows me to own my time and to schedule my time in a way that works for me. Mondays are my day of business, Tuesday through Thursday is coaching or teaching and Fridays are creative days.
About seven years ago, my husband and I started living in Baja, Mexico for a month each year. For the past five years, we’ve rented the same house and that makes is easy as can be.
The Internet connection in Mexico is dicey. I never know what to expect until I get down there and figure out what I need. Skype is not reliable so I have to use the phone to call clients in Canada.
While living in Baja for the month, I use a Mexican cell phone plan. It’s much less expensive then getting a cell phone plan from the U.S. to Mexico.
I talk about how to create a location independent business here.
Scheduling business time is key
I’ve organized my schedule so that I coach my clients on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for three of the weeks we’re gone. I’ll check email twice a day to stay in touch with my clients and my team.
I need to have focused days when I’m coaching clients so I plan to coach from the Airstream using Skype or my cell phone. As long as I have a good Verizon connection and a good Internet connection, I’m good to go.
I use Verizon’s Mifi wireless device for my Internet connection if we’re not in an RV place with Wifi. The caveat is that there has to be Verizon service and a tower nearby for this to work.
Then during our drive time days, I’m focused on driving. On our off days, we’ll explore, hike, read, write and relax.
Do you dream of working remotely or are you already doing it? What have you found that are helpful tools to make it easier?
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