Working for yourself is not like it seems on Instagram.
It is very easy to post pictures and use hashtags like #hustle or #workflow and convince people that you are living the “entrepreneurial lifestyle.” In reality, what happens behind the scenes is not very glamorous. If you truly want to succeed as a business owner you can count on losing sleep, missing social events and sacrificing almost all of your free time. That’s just what it takes.
My life is a constant grind. On my free time, I work. With that said, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I like to make money as much as the next guy. But even more than money, I love the freedom. The freedom gives me the ability to fulfill a lifelong dream that I get to live out every day.
I get to travel.
How to Travel and Work from Your Laptop
My name is Tim Stoddart. It was 6 years ago that I started my marketing company. I own an online agency in Boca Raton called Stodzy Media. My company has very humble beginnings. I started taking on free lance clients and when I would get off work. I would go home and stay up all night and work some more.
I put in 15 hour days, day after day, for years. I still put in 15 hour days. For me, that’s what it takes to live the life I want.
I learned the craft of online marketing. I built my first company called Stodzy Internet Marketing and through that business I learned how to create excellent content and I learned how to build a business based around service and results. I was willing to pay my dues because I knew that if I did†it right, it would allow me to see the world and continue to work at the same time.
That was the dream for me. That was my goal. I wanted to bring my laptop on a plane and get paid while seeing new places, meeting new people and experiencing the world.
But… it comes at a real price. Before you get too excited, let me tell you what you need to do in order to make this happen for yourself.
Build a Team and Learn to Sell
If you haven’t already, I would recommend reading a book called “The E-Myth” written by a man named Michael Gerber. In the book, Gerber explains the process of building systems and hiring people that can fit into a system. This way you can continuously replace yourself which allows you more time to work on the business as opposed to in the business.
It is only when you are in a position to work on the business that you will have the freedom to travel. You need to be removed from the daily ins and outs of the work.
In order to do this, it is really important that you know how to sell.
Ideally, you want to be able to be the one who can constantly bring in business and use your team to facilitate the services or the products that you are selling. There is no skill more valuable than sales. If you want to be able to travel for work, there are very few ways to do this aside from selling.
Sales allow you to do your job from anywhere. It removes you from being held down to a certain location.
Avoid Micro Management by Creating Documentation
When you own the business, you want to make sure that everything is done the way you would want it to be done. You know best and you know what makes your customers happy. It can be easy to want to micro manage all of your employees. You need to resist the urge to double check everyone’s work and you need to be able to trust your team to do†what needs to be done.
In order to really build trust, you need to build systems. With a well documented system, anyone can come in to a position and facilitate the action required.
Preparing documentation ahead of time is important. You can create manuals and step by step instructions for your new hires. This way, you can continue to have the freedom to travel and check in from time to time because you know that everything is laid out exactly the way it should be.
Get Started Now
It was very difficult for me to learn how to do this.
My†business is always on my mind. But my dream was never to be able to separate my work from my life. I consider the two interconnected. This way I can work when I want and I can live when I want. I can wake up early and enjoy morning coffee or I can get some emails out of the way.
I can go for a run in the middle of the afternoon and if the motivation hits me in the middle of the night, I can stay up late to get some work done.
In order to get to this position, you really have to work towards giving yourself the freedom. Your actions must have intention behind them or else you will always be stuck in the shop or behind your desk because you will never feel comfortable enough to give up control.
The beautiful thing is that in giving up control, you actually have more control because you will own the business as opposed to your business owning you.
Written by Tim Stoddart