The Hard Path To Finding Location IndependencePosted on Jun 23, 2012 | 32 comments
With the reality of long-term travel finally settling in, it's time for us to really start thinking about work.
The bottom line is, that if we want to sustain our travel lifestyle, we have to find a way to make money while we travel. We have to find a way to become location independent.
Heidi and I have talked a lot about location independence and if it's really worth it. Right now, we have managed to put ourselves in a position where we could travel for 2 years or more and never work a day. We could just go. We could be free. Us and the kids and the world. Sounds nice.
But what happens when the money runs out? What happens when the fairy tale ends and we have to come home?
If you had a choice, would you rather travel for 1 year without work, or travel for 3 years working 30 hours a week?
I asked people this question on Facebook a few weeks ago and nearly every person who responded chose the freedom of 1 year without work.
I suppose I can't blame anybody for choosing absolute freedom. It's a nice idea. I wanted to make that choice as well, but I couldn't do it. I've been down that road before. I'm done with taking the easy way out. The easy path leads me directly back to where I've been my whole life. I'm done with easy. I'm done with the quick fix. I'll get my freedom, but I'm gonna have to work for it.
I remember when we blurted out this idea of traveling the world forever, people would always ask the same question:
But how are you going to make money?
I hated this question. I had no idea how to answer it. The truth is, that when we first started we were very unrealistic. We were trying to fill some desire to travel and spend time with our kids. We busted out the guidebooks. We planned ridiculously challenging adventures. We talked about traveling the world forever as if we could go and buy the privilege of such a life from a box at Wal-Mart. We never really thought about making money and sustaining our travels. We were dreamers.
Today, nearly 2 years later, and with travel knocking on our doorstep, we are thinking (and dreaming) differently. We know we are going to travel. We know we have enough money to give us the start we need and launch us out into the world. But we also know that if we don't start working we'll be right back at our office desks in a few years. So now, we are doers. Now we're about the reality of the travel lifestyle instead of the dream of the travel lifestyle. Now we are workers.
The Truth About Finding Location Independence
There are two ways to work location independent.
1) You get a job working for someone else that allows you to work from anywhere.
2) You create a business for yourself that allows you to work from anywhere.
Now for me, option 1 is no different from the day job I'm working right now. I don't want to work for another person's paycheck. I don't want to work on their schedule, or make their coffee, or follow their rules. I want my own game, my own rules. It doesn't matter if I'm pushing papers in Boston or Bali, pushing papers is pushing papers - end of story. I want to do work that's mine and means something. I want to do work I love.
So that means that I have to choose option #2. I have to create something of my own. I have no choice.
To create your own location independent enterprise you need only 2 things - ideas and effort. Now, ideas are easy. Ideas we don't even have to work on, they just come. You have ideas everyday. If you sit down with yourself and a bottle of wine tonight and start talking about location independence I guarantee you'll have 10 ideas for location independent businesses by the night's end. But putting those ideas into practice, well . . .
Location independence takes hard work. Without hard work your late night ideas will become nothing more than late night memories. In order to create something that produces, something of value, you need to work for it. You need to make it happen. You need to know that everyday when you wake up you are going to work. The work never stops. There is no end to this game. There are no weekends. You don't get to walk into the bosses office and schedule time off.
The truth is, location independence is probably a lot harder than what you're doing right now. But I promise you, the harder you work, the more successful your enterprise will become. There is no big secret to success. It's not luck. It doesn't happen by accident. It is simply about being brave enough to pursue an idea and see it through for the rest of your life. Simple right?
If It's So Hard, Why Become Location Independent
Why create Apple? Why Google? Why write War and Peace?
It's not about money. Nobody who ever did anything truly great did it for money. Money doesn't produce greatness, heart does. Don't believe me?
What's better: The card your daughter bought you from the ad team at Hallmark or the one she made from scratch with the crayons and glue marks?
You think a true artist ever did anything great for money?
Acquiring real location independence is an art form. You are creating something from nothing. You are using all the tools you have to produce something you love. You are designing a life that will benefit others.
We choose this path because it's what we believe in and it's what we love to do. It's what makes us want to get up in the morning. It's what inspire us.
At some point we need to realize that the dreams will never stop until we put them into actions. Dancing around our dreams does nothing. We can take vacations, read books and blogs on travel, and watch Eat, Pray, Love over and over, but you and I both know that won't make us happy.
To be happy we have to put action behind our dreams. We have to get to work.
We seek location independence because we have to. It's what we are supposed to do. It's the dream.
Do work you dream of.
Do work that fits with the lifestyle you enjoy.
Do work that allows you to be creative.
Do work that helps others.
Do work that evolves.
Do the work everyday.
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