Location Independence. Ahhhh. The initial thought that runs through my mind when I hear this word is pina coladas on a beach in a far away land, working in a hammock, and getting to see and do fun things every day.
Ideal? Maybe. Maybe not.
Realistic? Not always. Or always.
Doable? Yes, if you’re up for it and it works for you and your business.
Crazy? Yes. And No.
The point, my friends, is that Location Independence can mean whatever you need it to mean, and the only person who can define your version Location Independence is YOU.
Here are a few examples of the various definitions of Location Independence that I’ve run into over the years. You might resonate with more than one, and that’s totally ok.
- Location Independence is having your own business OR working remotely for a company that is happy to allow you to operate independently. I am the former. My husband is the latter.
- Location Independence is being able to take your work to a coffee shop and operate there for a few hours at a time.
- Location Independence is being able to travel and work at the same time, over an extended period of time, say 1 month or 2 in your favourite local or international destination.
- Location Independence is being able to travel and work at the same time for a short amount of time, say a few extra days around a long weekend – turning your long weekend holiday into a week long workcation.
- Location Independence is having a home base and travelling for part of the year, perhaps while renting out said home base.
- Location Independence is being completely nomadic, with no home base to worry about.
- Location Independence is being able to take a month off from the normal routine, take the family on a road trip, and work on the road.
- Location Independence is navigating the policies in your employers company and finding ways to take sabbaticals, unpaid extra vacation, and better yet, remote working opportunities.
- Location Independence is having a flexible work schedule, where you can condense your work week into 3 days rather than 5, therefore being able to enjoy your summer more fully.
- Location Independence is being on the road.
- Location Independence is being at home and having the option of picking up and going where and when you want.
- Location Independence is being able to rent out your home for the summer, and living on the opposite side of the country for 2 months.
- Location Independence is travelling by plane, vehicle, train, bike, whatever mode you prefer.
- Location Independence is having a business that allows you to do any of the above.
- Location Independence is working for half a year, and then travelling the second half (also known as, escaping winter in Canada).
Location Independence is having the ability to choose when and where you work. And not everyone is going to understand, because sometimes things that are different make people uncomfortable.
I firmly believe that if living location independently is what you want, you can make it happen. But choosing to live in this alternative way isn’t always going to be well received. You might get comments, weird looks, or passive aggressive comments at the dinner table. Sometimes your friends, family and colleagues will not understand why:
- You decided to leave a full time job that was secure and had benefits.
- You choose to make less money and have more freedom.
- Your choices look different than theirs.
- Your decision making process is so wildly different that theirs.
- Your values are different than theirs.
- Your priorities are actually to get more time and not make more money.
And what all of this actually means is that you are making them uncomfortable with your choices. And that’s ok. It’s not your job to make everyone comfortable.
Let me be 1000% clear. It is not worth your time to placate every worry or concern someone has over your choices. To be frank, it’s none of their business.
Define what success is to you, and what location independence is to you. You will soon see that your decisions and actions will start to reflect and support your end goals.
My definition of location independence in this moment is being able to go to Europe for 6 weeks over the Winter Holidays, Spend 2 Weeks in Mexico in March, working along the way. In the summer, my definitely of Location Independence is to rent out our home for 2 months, and road trip back across Canada, again, working along the way.
My version of success in this moment is making enough to sustain my family and my travel goals, put some money away in savings, and have enough to live on each month. I am not a millionaire and have no desire to be one. If that’s what you want, then your approach to business and life will be different than mine, which is great as well!
Remember, alternative choices are not bad, they are just different. It’s all good.
So, Now What?
This process of extricating yourself from the chokehold I like to call the office, is not easy or fast. The same can be said about redesigning your business if you happen to already be in one, but it’s taking the life out of you.
It takes time, thoughtful planning, and some really hard choices that may or may not induce hysterical crying.
And, if you are severely risk averse or deeply invested in what other people think, then you’ll also need to do some mindset work to accompany the tangible planning activities.
So what are the basic steps from going from ‘I’m stuck in my office all day, this is not a life’ to ‘I have the flexibility and freedom to choose what I want’? I broke down the steps in another blog post, here.
If you want to talk through how you make the move from corporate to location independence, I’d love to chat. Likewise, if you’ve built a business already, and it’s not quite getting you where you need to go, we should talk as well. No matter where you fall, I offer complimentary 15 minute consultations for location independence junkies, here.