Natalie: “What it really takes to be location independent?”
Wow, I don’t even know where to start with this one. I don’t have a desire right this minute to be location independent because I have been down that road, more or less. Being the homebody that I am, I have always enjoyed traveling as a short-term thing-a week, two weeks, three weeks if I’m lucky. Over the years, though, I have had much longer breaks from work where I was, in fact, traveling or living an alternative lifestyle. But often, those were unintentional times off where the work wasn’t readily available or I was having trouble finding what I wanted–and then, sometimes having to settle for doing something I didn’t want. That happened too often and is probably one of the driving forces for wanting to make this business proposition succeed.
And here’s something else. I have just finished working for an organization that is 1000 kilometers distant from my home. So while telecommuting was terrific for me and worked out really well, I still needed to go to my office for five days every month and see my teams and enjoy some face-to-face contact–which I loved. But after three years of that, it was time to start looking for an opportunity closer to home. It’s been a huge relief not to have to plan every single month for a business trip all the while trying to fit in other trips for myself (or my family).
So now, it’s more about simply being independent and creating a business that will let me travel when I want and not necessarily when I have to. And yes, with all the comforts of home–which can be a challenge in its own right. Today, for example, after two relative good days, I am having trouble getting focused. I have some really great things happening–a potential part time consulting contract (very desirable and very luke warm), a potential technical writing contract (much less desirable and also very luke warm), a meeting with a SharePoint consultant that might (emphasis on might) lead to some consultanting hours (no temperature reading on this one) and a meeting with a company that will likely give me some consulting hours but no firm dates as yet. This doesn’t add up to very promising. It means that I have to keep on networking, networking, networking. I am running out of ideas for networking–I need some new inspiration. I do have to go back and follow up on a few people–that is a good place to start.
OK, so I did a bit of that and after checking on a couple of social networking sites, came across an article on mindfulness and focus–interesting message for me there! So I will finish up my thoughts here first, post it, figure out “trackbacks” and then move on to the next task at hand. Over the past few days this focus thing has been an overarching theme. This week, until today, it went reasonably well, albeit with a couple of swerves along the way. And this afternoon, at least for the next hour and a half, I am setting the timer for my twenty minutes at a time. This was a great strategy yesterday–wow, those minutes flew by–and I will see how it works today!