“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it." Ellen Goodman
We’re two of the most unadventurous, risk-averse people you could come across. So nothing freaked us out more than people telling us how brave we were, and what a risk we were taking by saying goodbye to a salaried lifestyle and setting up our own business while travelling the world.
Because we don’t feel brave at all. And we don’t feel like we’re taking any risks.
Rob loves telling people that having a job is actually the riskiest thing you can do. Why? Because on any given day, someone can decide to make you redundant and you’ll lose 100% of your income - and there’s nothing you can do about it. In possibly related news, we don’t get invited back to too many dinner parties anymore.
But the point stands: having control over your income makes a lot more sense than letting someone else have control. That’s not to say it’s easy - we have a lot of panicky moments where we wonder where the next peanut M&Ms are going to come from - but we value the fact that it’s totally up to us to find the solution.
The same goes for having control over your time and location. We never got on too well in jobs, and we always thought it was because we had issues with authority. Then Rob started his own business and still couldn’t get on with it. Eventually, we figured we just didn’t like being forced to go to the same place at the same time every day.
These days, we believe that you can take control of your income by running almost any type of business – and do it from anywhere in the world.
The first wave of “digital nomads” – people who travel while running a business – were big on building heavily outsourced and tech-focused businesses (like online affiliate sales) while they slept in their Bali beach huts. But now people are running a crazy variety of businesses remotely: we even know someone who runs an art school in Madrid and travels the world! The tools and resources are now in place to make that lifestyle possible. (In fact, we recently wrote a book all about how to run a business or work as a freelancer while travelling. It's called Travel While You Work, and you can buy it here on Amazon.)
We don’t think everyone needs or wants to be permanently peripatetic, of course. But we do believe that everyone should structure their business in a way that allows them to travel. Why? Because this sort of business creates the greatest freedom. You don’t need an office (and all the overheads that go with it) if you don’t want one; you can go on vacation for three months of the year and take your business with you; you can spend your day working from different coffee shops and coworking spaces. You’re free, and you’re in total control.
Being self-reliant is a scary thing: by having complete control over how you earn your money, where you live and how you spend your time, there’s no one to blame for your fate when it all feels like it’s going wrong. When you get over the fear though, the feeling of freedom is a pretty awesome one. And not having to get up on a rainy Monday and force yourself into someone’s armpit on the subway ranks pretty highly, too.
So, does that sound good? But maybe totally unattainable right now? That’s what we’re here for! Look out for our series of emails over the next couple of weeks (they’ll all start with [MIA]), and we’ll show you exactly how you can make this lifestyle a reality.
Because we did it. And believe us, if we can, you definitely can.
Until next time,
Mish & Rob