This is a post for those who are curious about what we do. And 5 ideas on how you can start working towards traveling a bit more.
This isn’t for the faint of heart so if you’re interested in this space, then keep reading.
The burning question that everyone asks is like the pink elephant in the room if you work day in an day out.
“How are you able to travel full time?”
Let me stretch your mind a bit because if this is one of your questions I will guarantee you there are so many things that we do that will be totally new to you.
The plain and easy simple answer is that we run a business online.
Many of you know (or maybe you don’t) that Mike and I used to work in the entertainment industry.
No.. no.. we didn’t dance for people or sing. We worked behind the scenes.
Mike used to be a sound engineer in the music industry. He used to tour with people like Janet Jackson, Snoop, Metallica… all around New Zealand and Australia.
Me? I used to work on small films such as Avatar, the Hobbits and Tin Tin.
Maybe, but in the end.. they were just jobs. In the end, we loved what we did, but we were tired of working for other people, exhausted from working so many hours and missing each other and our families and friends.
I loved my job and I wouldn’t mind getting back into it.. on my own terms.
Enough of the Fluff… Let’s Get Down to It
How it All Started
We never realized what was available on the internet at the time until I found an ad of a lady who had been working online for 9 years at the time and traveling for 5.
And when I watched her there was one thing that I decided… if this lady in a bikini is going to tropical islands running webinars and a business online there’s no reason why I can’t.
I asked for mentorship from her.
But, it really initially started with “The Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss:
Now, here’s the kicker, the 4-Hour Workweek DOES exist….
… BUT …
Not without a ton of legwork.
Which isn’t a bad thing.
Depending on what you want to do, there’s always a learning curve and time for setup.
And the real deal is… you always have to keep learning. Even if you find that one thing that gives your more time freedom… you still have to keep learning to keep evolving because the internet is so fast paced and everyone’s attention span gets shorter and shorter.
I’m getting to the nitty gritty here. And my disclaimer for you is that what we’ve done since mid 2013 is hard.
We’ve gone through our ups and downs working online and it’s NOT for everyone, but if you ever ask me, I will always give my honest feedback based on my experience. And your success depends on you. It will be different than mine and Mike’s.
We’ve been in the trenches, we’ve scored a pretty penny, but we’ve always kept traveling.
Of course, the flexibility of doing things in your own time your own way is a mega plus. Here’s a list of things that are also pluses based on our experience running a business online while traveling.
- It’s cheap to travel slow.
Let me re-word that… It _CAN_ be cheap to travel slow.Think about it…
- there’s no mortgage or rent to pay
- less insurances (travel insurance is relatively cheap)
- you’re mindful of what you purchase because you can’t fit it in your luggage, you’d rather spend money on experiences rather than material goods anyway
- a month’s rent on an apartment or a room is WAYYYY cheaper than a few days to a couple weeks in a hotel or even a hostel.
- Work any hour of the day for as long or as short as you want.
Though we like to generally keep a routine, we still have the flexibility to get up in the middle of the night and do some work or stop in the middle of the day because we want to check out a new art gallery when everyone else is at work.
- Work wherever you want.
Having the flexibility of working wherever and whenever we want keeps us efficient and still allows us to spend time doing the things we love. This gives us the ability to pretty much pick anywhere in the world we want to sit our butts down.
- Spend more time with family and friends.
It’s interesting how the universe works out. Since we’ve been working online we’ve had the chance to be with our families at the most important times. Right after we quit our jobs we went to California to help take care of my mom for 3 months during and after he 3 spinal surgeries. Had we not quit our jobs we wouldn’t have been able to fly all the way from New Zealand to California to do so.
- Experiences last longer than things.
You’re never going to forget that one moment when you hiked through the Panamanian jungles because you wanted to find mushrooms, or that time when you rode your bicycle 15KM through torrential rains just because you wanted to see the other side of the island, or danced on a party boat in a river in Prague, Czech Republic. Memories of walking around strange streets with the most amazing views, art and people will last a lot longer than that one cute retro skirt you just had to get because it was the cool thing to do.
As fantastical as traveling full time may seem, it also comes with it’s own issues. And they’re really not bad, but it’s just a part of the lifestyle. So here it goes:
- Finding internet
Believe it or not, this really is our only limitation. We’ve been traveling for a few years already and internet has been our biggest obstacle. Though we can work wherever we want, that doesn’t mean we can actually work with fast internet. We’ve mostly worked in apartments or places that we’ve lived in, but we have worked in cafes and co-working spaces.
- We don’t always work 4 hour work weeks.
Needless to say, we don’t work 4 hour work weeks. We have worked 4 hour work weeks. We’ve worked 0,16, 24, 86, 50, 3 hour work weeks. The reality is, you work for yourself. You set your schedule and it’s set based on what you want to achieve that week.
- Planning each trip takes time.
Traveling full time and working online doesn’t mean life is easier. As glamorous as traveling full time is, your advantages and disadvantages are just different. One of the biggest things that takes up our time is planning each trip. It’s having to find a place stay, finding out how to get there, finding a new grocery store nearby to get our food, finding out how to get around. It’s a whole new learning curve going to a new area.
- Our work gets disrupted.
This happens whether or not you travel, especially if you have other people to worry about. But the one way to minimize this is to be mindful of it. There’s a reason why we travel slow. We generally stay in a location 2-3 months average. This gives us the time to travel, settle into our new place, find a grocery store, find out how to get around and all that necessary stuff to create a routine again. If we’re moving from a different time zone to a new one, it may take time for us to adjust. Though we can work any hour of the day, we tend to still keep a routine set of hours… but that is pretty loose though. Because we can just randomly get up in the middle of the day to go walking or take a nap.
- Everyone else is at work.
The BEST thing about working your own hours is that you can do things when no one is around. For example, going to that local museum or running errands. But, then again… when you’ve made friends and want to socialize or meet new people.. they’re at work so you have to wait until people are out of work.
What We Started Doing
When I first followed my mentor and everything she was doing it really helped us set a solid foundation.
She was actually promoting an internet marketing business. This online based network marketing style business was a great start for us because we were so new to the industry. As it turns out… it’s not really for us in the end.
Though, this industry wasn’t necessarily for us, there were so many skill sets we learned that is transferrable to anything you want to do online to get your new entrepreneurial or career ventures started.
What I really want to share with you here in this post are some of the things we learned that can be applied to anything you choose to do.
The Most Important Thing
The most important thing I want to stress here is to learn as many skills as you can, but focus on each one at a time. Even though I’m giving you tips down below, there are so many things that go along with it that you will have to learn.
Even if you want to eventually outsource some of the work, it’s important to learn the process now so that you can effectively and efficiently teach the people you’re outsourcing to.
Your real asset here is what’s in your brain and how you can use it to help other people.
Start thinking a little bit outside the box so that you can find some creative ways to use your skills.
If you’re totally lost at the moment or don’t think you have any skills or creativity.. trust me.. you can gain it through practice and always looking out for something.
What You Can Do
What we’ve done may not work for you, but if you have nowhere to start here are a list of a few things we’ve done to get your brain going so you can go out and do a bit of research yourself.
1 – Affiliate Marketing (the right way)
This is a touchy subject for a lot of people. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I will touch up on it a little bit here, if you want to know more, just let me know and I can even put out a full post about this.
First off, affiliate marketing just means that companies will allow you to become a partner (an affiliate partner) to be able to sell their products and services.
I would say most of the companies that already have online presence have an affiliate program.
The easiest way to find out is think of a niche you’re interested in already and google it.
- I googled “amazon affiliate“
- clicked on the most relevant link (usually the first one)
- signed up for an account
- searched “4-Hour Work Week“.
- Found the link relevant to the book and pasted it on this blog.
What usually happens when you sign up for an affiliate program is that once you apply, there is an approval process to see if you are actually a good fit to sell products. You generally will have to explain how you will promote their products.
It’s really not too hard to get approved, but if you don’t then consider starting a blog in the same niche as the products you want to sell and start creating content.
So… go on.. think of a topic or a niche you love.. maybe it’s yoga, fishing, fashion, fitness, or of course.. TRAVEL.
There’s affiliate programs for any niche.
Larger Affiliate Programs
If you just want a big smorgasbord of companies all in one spot you can also look at:
Taking a step back for a sec…
Now, maybe you’re thinking…
WTF were you talking about earlier when you said this is a touchy subject?!?!?!
Be wary of certain affiliate offers…. especially when you’re getting into offers that promote in the “Work from home” space.
I’m not saying that affiliate offers in the “work from home” space are bad… but just be aware of pitchy NLPers.
NLP is ‘neuro-linguistic programming’, which is NOT a bad thing… but often times (like anything) it can be slightly misused. There’s such a fine line between using it effectively and positively to help others and just straight up screwing with people’s heads.
The best way to really tell is to see how you feel about someone or a company trying to offer you something to help you make money.
If you feel good and you feel like you can learn a lot from it.. AND you know that there are people actually benefiting from it.. by all means do it.
I feel like there are a lot of internet marketing offers from people who come from the network marketing background that actually give the term “AFFILIATE MARKETING” a bad name.
But, like I said.. there are actually some good organizations there who truly want to help.
2 – Drop Shipping
Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. As in retail businesses, the majority of retailers make their profit on the difference between the wholesale and retail price, but some retailers earn an agreed percentage of the sales in commission, paid by the wholesaler to the retailer.
Basically drop shipping allows you to set up an e-commerce store and sell products from a wholesaler without actually having physical products in your presence.
The commissions from these vary and aren’t always super high, but if you learn how to tap into the right market then the possibilities are endless.
There are a few mentorship programs such as “Drop Ship Lifestyle”.
3 – Coaching / Consulting
Personal coaching is such a great way to utilize and share the knowledge you already have in a specific area.
There are so many ways that you can leverage social media to be able to create a nice coaching environement.
Even though you are able to reach millions of people online, there’s only one thing that can truly help you keep customers.. and that is …
… the human connection.
We’ve been working online for a few years now, and we always love meeting people one on one.
Coaching is a great way you can connect with people who are looking for the knowledge in your brain.
Though, it can be time consuming there are some cool ways to outsource yourself and still give that human touch.
4 – Creating Your Own Products
As far as the travel lifestyle, this might not be the best path unless you have a distributor already. You could even be living in an RV which will allow you to store your inventory.
There are shops online like Etsy.com that will be be a perfect place to start.
5 – Creating Your Own Digital Products
This is what we definitely have experience in.
Remember how I told you that your brain is your biggest asset?
The coolest thing about learning new things is that you can teach what you learn.
Do it right away.
And when you start getting results after implementing what you’ve learned, you already have proof that it works.
There will be a point where you get more consistent results.
So… for example, one of the things we learned was how to market on Instagram (real followers).
We were getting great results and decided to put some videos together to teach others who wanted to do the same.
But, Mike also took that knowledge with Instagram and tested it with Twitter. Now he is a master at Twitter.
Though, we don’t have a Twitter product yet it’s something that we can put together.
Learn. Do. Teach.
This is what we’ve been following.
There was a point where I thought, “Well, how can I teach? I just learned how to do this.”
Trust me… when you start learning and implementing more and more.. you know that much more than the person who doesn’t and DOES want to learn from you.
If you want to travel and work online… don’t quit your job just yet. Make sure you have a bit of a buffer in your savings first.
I was working 50-70 hours while starting up two businesses, one of them was our online business.
I hustled for a good 6 months because I knew this is what I wanted to do, but I had to make sure that I had proof I could make money.
And it paid off for me…. literally.
I’ll get into this more in another post.
Now, this really all is a watered down version of what we do.
And to be honest, we didn’t know any of this when we left our old careers… we learned from scratch.. started from the bottom.
So, that’s just proof that anyone can do it.
Even, Mike.. who only knew how to use email has mastered so much in the past few years.
He’s still the fastest 2 finger typer that I know.
He amazes me.
If there’s anything else you want me to expand on then please let me know in the comments below or contact us anytime.