Would you like to escape the daily grind, work anywhere, and enjoy a meaningful life?
You can do it. It’s perfectly possible whether you’re married with kids or single; old or young; entrepreneurial or employed. I have spoken to every possible type of location independent entrepreneur.
Millions of ordinary people are living extraordinary lives. Here's how you can join them. Click To Tweet
Millions of people across the globe have given up on the traditional way to earn a living and opted for something more fulfilling. These people share their experiences and advice in my new book: The New Freedom.
The quest for personal freedom
Question: What do a hairstylist, an analyst for Goldman Sachs, and an owner of a flee market have in common?
Answer: They couldn’t settle for a life that wasn’t fulfilling.
Iva Ursano was a hairdresser in Ontario, Canada. After coming back from a three-week volunteering stint in Costa Rica in 2015, Iva had a sudden realization: she was working to pay for an apartment and a car that she needed for work. She ditched the apartment, rented a room, sold the car, and left work. She is now a freelance writer living and volunteering in Guatemala.
When Polish undergraduate Jimmy Naraine was studying in a UK university, he spent 80% of his time abroad. All his lectures were online, and he returned, sleeping on friend’s couches, for group projects and exams. During his final year, he traveled to more than ten countries, saved money, and got a solid degree. Jimmy is now a location-independent coach and online course creator.
Dan O’Donnell, a former realtor from America, now makes money from personal development products on his Facebook page, which has a million “likes,” and a board game called Better Me. He has been based in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand since 2014.
People who are living extraordinary lives value discovery over comfort. People who are living extraordinary lives value experiences over status. People who are living extraordinary lives value their time over money in their bank account.
An extraordinary life usually means unshackling from needless expense, leaving employment and making a living from meaningful entrepreneurial work.An extraordinary life shows that there’s more to yourself and this world than you ever knew Click To Tweet
An extraordinary life can mean spending less and sharing more; working less and earning more; traveling more; and discovering that there’s so much more to yourself and this world than you ever knew.
Keep reading and I’ll give you some of the best advice from people who are living extraordinary lives with the new freedom.
But how? How do you get started?
This is so often the stumbling block that people never pass. But it can be so easy. Jimmy Naraine relates:
First of all, figure out what your vision is. The worst thing that can happen to you is not failing at accomplishing your goals. The worst thing that can happen to you is accomplishing the wrong goals. You get to the finish line just to realize that this is not what you really wanted. This is why it’s so important to firstly define your true vision, a snapshot of your ideal life.
It is important to work out what you want, instead of what you don’t want. You hate your job and you don’t want to be chained to it? That’s not enough. You need to run toward something, not run away from something.
Most people think they want money and money will give them freedom. This is not true. You need to find a beautiful purpose.
Is it really money that you want, or is it happiness?
Your mind is free when your beliefs, desires, and actions are all harmonized. I find that my mind is most free when I’m engaged in an activity I truly believe in. When I don’t even have to think about what I’m doing. Maybe when I’m doing creative work or when I’m helping someone.
What would you do or have you done for free? Make this what you run toward.
Ultimately, action dissipates fear and uncertainty.
Chris Backe moved from Lexington, Kentucky to Seoul, Korea to teach English in 2008. He made a commitment to check out one new festival or event each week, eventually sharing his adventures and the book Offbeat Korea. He now runs a blog on off-beat travel destinations and long-term traveler lifestyles. If you’re uncertain, take Chris’s advice:
Start. Now. Plan if you must, but give yourself a ‘can’t-back-out’ date if you’re serious. Buy that one-way plane ticket when you spot a bargain, or tell the world you’re heading to [insert country here] on [insert date here].
This gives yourself a chance and time to do things the safe way. It’s not all about going crazy one day, selling all your possessions and buying a cheap one-way ticket.
Ask yourself, HOW can I do this?
If you’re really certain you want more freedom in your life and you don’t want the rat race, then you can do it! Just ask yourself, “how can I do this?” And you will find a way.
Shayna Oliveira took the first step to freedom by asking her New York employers to let her work remotely in Brazil. They agreed, then she asked to work only ¼ of the time. They agreed again. Now she runs an English education website with over 80,000 students.
Don’t ask “Can I do this?” which is a yes or no question – instead, ask yourself “HOW can I do this?” – and then come up with creative ways to accomplish your goal. There are many paths to freedom and flexibility, and I believe everyone can design a lifestyle that they enjoy, if they proactively pursue it.
At the end of the day, it’s really up to you. If you want it enough, you’ll be able to do it.
However, a note of caution…
Should you have an income source before the leap to location independence or improvise along the way? For example, author, presentation consultant, and speaker, Akash Karia warns:
Don’t quit your day job just yet. Hustle to create a second source of income, and once you are making enough to be able to live solely off the income, feel free to take the leap to full time,
You can approach the situation with calm rationality, and begin building your new incomes while still at home with your day job.
Fix your personal finances first
I asked Dan Andrews, co-host of the popular TropicalMBA podcast, what were his first steps to freedom. He replied: “fixing my budget and debts.” He went on to say: “the first step to entrepreneurship is treating your personal finances like a business.”
The runway is the length of time you can survive without a job before you go broke. There are two ways to lengthen the runway and ensure your escape to freedom:
- Earn money outside of employment
- Don’t spend so much
You have to get your finances straight to lengthen your runway. Make sure you aren’t for paying anything unnecessary. Clear your debts. This isn’t a sacrifice. It’s the first step to a more meaningful life.
We heard from Iva Ursano earlier. She was a hairdresser in Canada who is now a freelance writer living and volunteering in Guatemala.
Toss fear out the window because it will stop you from doing lots of cool things. Be open to learning and trying new things. I went from being a hairstylist in a mall in a city in Northern Ontario Canada to being a social media manager and freelance writer living in Guatemala. Stay open minded and flexible.
Living outside your own culture promotes open-mindedness. Your senses are continually bombarded with new experiences. This openness is picked up by others and leads to great new relationships and opportunities.
Don’t believe in “Get Rich Quick”!
Avery Breyer is a multiple best-selling author and freelance writer who has been living as a location-independent entrepreneur with her family for over two years. Avery counsels against following the latest online fads.
Don’t believe for one second that “get rich quick” is real. It’s not. Anyone I know who’s rocking their online biz paid their dues to get there. But the good news is, if they can do it, so can you.
Yup, you got to hustle!
However, don’t wait for the “right time”
Justin Cooke, a former loan officer and marketing manager from the US, is the co-founder of Empire Flippers, an Inc. 500 company that is the world’s top curated marketplace for buying and selling online businesses. He also is the co-host of a popular podcast of the same name. Based for a while in Devao in the Philippines, he is currently running his businesses and his podcast while hopping around Southeast Asia and the world. To paraphrase Justin, “Just do it!”:
People often wait for the “right” time, but that time isn’t likely to come. I’ve spoken to so many people that got started with much less than you think you need, and they’ve pulled through just fine. If you really want it, just go for it!
Remember, it’s possible to live – and live quite comfortably – on $500/month in parts of Thailand. It’s quite easy to make that from doing some sort of freelance work online. So many people could free themselves this way.
You can live an extraordinary life
It doesn’t matter if you’re married with kids or single; old or young; entrepreneur or employed. You can live this life. The online economy, the cloud, mobile computing and the Internet are already allowing more freedom into your life. I’ve written a bestselling book and its purpose is to help you gain yet more of the new freedom. Here’s the book: The New Freedom: Ordinary People Are Living Extraordinary Lives & So Can You!
If you’ve read the book, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.
Louise Myers says
Love the quotes, Rob. I’m so happy you’ve achieved success on your own terms.
And to that I’ll add, don’t be too certain that one must choose worldliness over familiarity to feel they have an exceptional life. To each their own!
Rob Cubbon says
Absolutely, Louise. I agree that that was a bit loose and it sounded like I’m saying “you’ve got to travel” and that’s not what the book is about at all. The New Freedom is for everybody, including the people who are happy to live where they are living. But I am saying that seeking out new experiences does improve you as a person and there’s an awful lot of evidence that suggests that this can slow down or even stop the onset of degenerative diseases. So I’ve changed that to choosing “discovery over comfort”. Thank you for pointing this out.
Iva Ursano says
What a great post Rob! This is super beneficial for anyone who has been on the fence and just needs that little push to go!! So proud and happy to be part of this as well. I can look back just a few years at some of the stories I read that helped me make the leap and now here I am, in one of those stories. What the mind can conceive, right? 🙂
Rob Cubbon says
I know, Iva, I’m always thinking that some random person’s gonna read some article of mine and it’s gonna get them to live a more amazing life! We have a great “job” lol!