- by Don
Do you dream of having a location independent job? Do you want to live “the laptop lifestyle” or join the “Plan B” community? If so, you are not alone.
Maybe you already have a plan that will allow you to live a location independent lifestyle. Perhaps you want to create a business that you can run from your RV. Or perhaps you already have a job that allows you to “work from home” and since your home is (or will be) an RV, you can work remotely from your RV.
Owning your own business that you run from the road or telecommuting from your RV are two of the best ways to generate the income you need to be able to afford to RV full time, even before retirement.
Working from your RV has many advantages. Most notably, you’re not tied to a single location. When you work remotely from an RV, you are location independent. You can visit new areas of the country and continue to work.
And it doesn’t take much... I mean, these days all you need is Internet and a laptop and you can work from anywhere, right? Well, yes and no.
Over the next few months, I’ll be discussing this lifestyle. I’ll cover many of the common myths about “working from home” or the “location independent” lifestyle, as well as some considerations to take into account before you begin.
When you work remotely from an RV, you are location independent. You can visit new areas of the country and continue to work.
This won’t be a typical “10 things you need to know” or “5 common myths” type of blog series; while I’ll be writing a fair amount about this topic, I’ll also intersperse posts regarding other topics. You can always find the latest on this topic by checking the links below or searching the #locationindependent tag.
One benefit of covering topics this way is that it gives me a lot of flexibility in the subjects and the order in which they are covered. So if you have any questions or concerns about starting your location independent lifestyle please comment below or send them to me.
I hope you enjoy this “series!” In addition to letting me know what topics you’d like to be covered, please share this series with your friends. Below are the top misconceptions I've heard regarding remote work. Enjoy!
Misconception #1: I’ll have to work all the time
If you watch Shark Tank, you’ll frequently hear the Sharks (especially Robert and Mark) talk about how they expect their entrepreneurs to “hustle” or to always be available.
But, is this really healthy or sustainable? Not necessarily.
OK, so I’ll admit that when you’re first starting out, your life may be out of balance for a while, especially if you’re starting your business as a “side hustle” and still working full time. But longer term, your business needs to run more on “autopilot.” After all, if the goal is for your business to provide the income you need in order to afford to RV full time, then you need time left over to enjoy RVing!The key is to structure your business so that it provides steady income, without fully consuming your life. So how is this accomplished?
There are 3 elements to gaining steady income from a business:
- Solve a BIG problem.
- Stand out from the crowd.
Design your service to use scalable delivery.
Owning your own business does not require extended “slave” dedication to it. While all businesses need a little extra “oompf” to get going, once the foundation is set, your business can be scaled in ways that allow you to focus on what you truly desire.
When I work with clients, I help them design a program that uses a mix of these strategies in each phase so that these elements become building blocks in high value programs.
Misconception #2: It’s easier to have a work/life balance
If you work from home (or in an RV) you’re around your family, and you eliminate your commute. Plus, you don’t have your boss breathing down your neck monitoring your every move.. And we just got through talking about creating scalable delivery so that you can add clients and not add substantially more work.
Yes, we do want to design your work to improve work/life balance. After all, that’s one of the goals of this lifestyle choice, isn’t it?
The challenge is that when you work from home or an RV, you don’t have any “Hard edges” or boundaries to your day. It’s really, really easy to start blending your work day and personal time. It’s all too easy to get distracted and do personal stuff during your workday. And then you reach the end of the workday, and you haven’t put in a full day, so you need to do work during the time you had intended to have as personal time.
So how do you avoid this problem? Although it’s kind of counterintuitive, you need to set hard boundaries.
You need to schedule your day, build your boundaries, and follow them. And those boundaries work both ways: once your work day is over, leave your work day behind and focus on your family and other rejuvenating activities.
Misconception #3: I can work in my PJs!
If you work from home, your coworkers will never see you, so you can work in your sweats… or PJs… or underwear… or whatever. Right?
There’s certainly some truth to this one. If no one is going to see you, then you can pretty much wear what you want.
My friend Jeff teaches online classes for an international company. He has a home studio because he is likely to start a class at any hour, as classes are always in the timezone of the student. While his face appears on camera, the rest of him doesn’t. “Don, I once taught a class in my underwear, just because I could” he once told me.
When I quit my job and went full time in my business, I quit wearing dress clothes and started wearing jeans to work. It’s more comfortable, and besides… dressing casual seems more appropriate for an RV Business Coach.
So yes, if no one sees you, what you wear becomes somewhat irrelevant.
Then again, you may be in a position where you participate in teleconferences, in which case you won’t want to have your hair in curlers and you’ll want to be presentable—at least from the waist up!
Even if no one sees you, you may find that dressing for work helps you set boundaries with yourself and keeps you in the proper mindset.
Misconception #4: You’ll be less productive working from home than in an office
This is a common misconception. And remember that email from Fred? Emails like that help build this misconception.
Status: Maybe (but doesn’t have to be)
If you don’t set boundaries, and are unable or unwilling to turn off distractions and actually do your work, then sure… you’ll be less productive.
But there are several reasons why working from home or your RV can make you more productive.
For one thing, you don’t have a commute. That time wasted sitting in traffic becomes either time you can work, time for yourself and your family, or a combination of both.
You can also avoid many interruptions, like people stopping by your office to chat.
So no, working from home doesn’t mean you are less productive - in fact, it's just the opposite! You just need to set and adhere to boundaries, and plan ways to collaborate when needed.
Misconception 5: Working Remotely Means You Get a Full-Time Vacation
Sometimes there’s a misperception that people who work at home don’t actually work… or maybe even they don’t work as hard.
“Looks like today will be the last nice day before the cold weather sets in, so I’m going to work from home today and paint my eaves. - Doug”
Another variation of this thinking is that working from home gives you complete flexibility in your hours, so you only have to work when you want to. Taken to an extreme, that means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.
While working from home does provide some flexibility, it’s not synonymous with taking a day off. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy RV Life. In fact, a huge perk of combining RV life with remote work is to travel in your own time. Stop and smell the roses without adhering to a 2-week, go back to the office, deadline.
The result? You get your work done, AND you get to see everything an area has to offer.
Misconception #6: Your Hobby Becomes Your Job
If you start your own business, you can follow your passion, and only do work you like, right? It’d be like getting paid to do your hobby!
There’s a lot of truth in that. Especially note that if you have something your great at doing and you love doing, but that people won’t pay you to do, then you have a hobby.
It goes deeper than just that, though. I know several photographers and artists who have tried to make a business out of their hobby, only to discover that when you have to work at it day in and day out in order to get paid, it stops being fun.
So while you absolutely want to find work you’re great at doing and that you love doing, you’ll probably still want to have a hobby that you can do “just for fun.”
Misconception #7: I Don’t Need Childcare
Hey, you’re at home, so you can avoid childcare expenses and just keep an eye on your kid while you work....or can you?
Despite the message above, trying to watch your kids while working from home is likely to be a recipe for disaster. I’m not sure which misperception is worse with that statement: the perception of working from home, or the perception of child care.
The reality is that providing childcare requires focus on the kids. (Good childcare means more than handing your kid an iPad and ignoring her for hours on end.)
And working from home requires focus on your work. So doing both is going to be difficult if not impossible. (One possible exception is if the kids are older and do not need supervision, but you’d feel better with an adult presence in the house.)
After all, would you take your kids to work every day instead of finding childcare?
No. So why do you think remote work is any different?
So what are you waiting for?
If you don't like working in an office, but have a position where remote work is possible, say something! Ask to start working remotely one day a week and show your employer that remote work isn't unproductive like they think.
Or, if you're holding yourself back from working remotely, what's your excuse?
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