Operating an Online Business On the Road

Earning online income while travelling is a fantastic way to prolong your adventures, and create a sustainable life of freedom. But before diving in, it’s important to understand what running a business online involves, and what it will require from you.

Let’s begin by saying that operating an online business on the road is not very different than doing it at home. It just requires more flexibility and creativity at certain stages of your trip. It also requires a good deal of commitment and discipline to stay focused on your business when on the road or living in a new place.

Some services that support your day to day business, for example, might not be available or accessible on the go. Things like sending a fax, printing a document, getting your mail through, and going to your bank branch just aren’t possible in the same ways when you’re in a foreign country.

Not only that, ultimately, you go on a trip in order to enjoy yourself and experience something new so finding the balance between work and play is necessary. You don’t want to find yourself in a paradise destination, stuck behind your laptop from dawn till sundown. The entire purpose of this lifestyle is to facilitate a way of being that aligns with what you truly want to create in your life - freedom.

With this in mind, let’s develop an overall plan for running an online business, one that takes into account both work and play.

Mixing Business with Pleasure

In many ways, living a long-term travel lifestyle can provide the ideal conditions for entrepreneurship. The abundance of free time when you are travelling means you can really get work done. Couple this with low living expenses and you've got the ideal mix.

Your job here is simple: Start planning your ideal lifestyle while on the road.

Here are some quick pointers:

1. Pick locations that are low cost - (at least at the beginning of your trip)

2. Opt for a more relaxed travel experience that allows at least a few weeks in one place

3. Occasionally, rent comfortable apartments that would be suitable for work

4. If you haven’t done it so, consider hiring remote workers who can help lighten the burden

5. Finally, if you currently have a traditional job, consider offering your boss the possibility of working remotely (if that’s feasible in the line of work that you do). You might want to spend some effort and make yourself so valuable first, that your boss won’t let you go. Then, when you propose this new working arrangement, it will be an easy “yes” for them to give your role more flexibility to keep you on the team.

Remember, we’re extremely fortunate to live during these times, where the internet accelerates creation and fosters entrepreneurship, so take advantage of it! There are so many ways to earn money online if you have the willingness and dedication to learn.

Business Services on the Go

Running an online business on the go requires certain business services from time to time. Small tasks like sending a fax, printing a document, getting your mail through, and going to your bank branch can be more difficult when you’re abroad, but they are by no means impossible.

Let’s go over some remote solutions that can fill the gap while you’re on the road, streamlining your ability to run your business remotely.

1. Banking - As mentioned previously, open a bank account that has no currency conversion fees on debit cards and no ATM fees (For example, Schwab in the U.S.)

2. Credit Cards - Apply for a credit card company which does not charge a currency conversion fee. (For example, Capital One in the U.S. and 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard in Australia) and use it whenever possible.

3. Postal Mail - Consider using online postal services like Virtualpostmail.com or Earthclassmail.com to manage and access your postal mail, no matter where you live. These companies scan the front and back of all the letters/packages you receive so you can view them online and decide what action you want to take.

4. Phone calls - In every country you visit, get a new local prepaid SIM card to put into your mobile phone. It’s usually much cheaper than using your number from home. For international phone calls, consider using Skype Out or similar internet phone services.

5. Faxing - Use services like efax.com or fax1.com receive and send faxes over the Internet. Sites like k7.net also allows you to set a a voicemail box besides a fax number.

Additionally, you may be able to join co-working spaces in the various destinations you travel to. Co-working spaces are set up for nomadic workers to run their businesses, and will often be able to provide you some of the services you need such as a printer, scanner, fax machine, and postal address to use for business purposes. These spaces are also a great place to network with other nomadic workers and join a community of people living a similar lifestyle.

Staying Productive On the Road

There’s no doubt about it: staying productive on the road can be a challenge if you haven’t got the proper structures in place. However, for nomads operating businesses online, it’s essential to have these in place to ensure you get the most done and move your business forward.

After all, it’s the success of your business that will allow you the freedom to continue creating your lifestyle the way you want it!

Tips for staying productive while traveling:

1. Use a calendar system - Using a consistent calendar system will save your life when you’re on the road, especially if you are an entrepreneur who tends to have a million balls in the air at once. Your calendar will show your your completely schedule, travel details, as well as calls you have scheduled and deadlines to hit. Find a calendar system that works for you and stick to it. I recommend using Google calendars and integrating it with your favorite mobile app. Commit to scheduling all of your calls, deadlines, and other details in there so you can stay on track.

2. Develop a series of habits and rituals - This is perhaps the most important key for nomads looking to stay productive while traveling. Life on the road can feel very unpredictable, and that’s a difficult way to build a foundation for success. To counteract the instability of the nomadic life, it’s so crucial to develop consistent habits that will keep you wired for success. Each person will have a set of habits that uniquely help them stay on track, so get a feel for what works best for you.

Some examples of successful habits used by entrepreneurs to stay on track are:
Meditation
Stretching and yoga
Exercise/fitness routine
Repeating affirmations
Journaling
Practicing gratitude (written and verbal)
Reading through their goals/visions
Preparing a healthy breakfast/smoothie
Writing out 3 intentions/goals for the day

You may find that some of these habits resonate with you, while others do not. You may also find that there are different habits not listed here that are important for you to build into your day. The important thing is finding a set of rituals that creates a consistent foundation for your productivity and success.

Think also about developing habits and rituals for the morning as well as evening, and even work breaks during the day. This might look like setting up a routine of working for 90 minutes then taking a 10 minute break, or stopping for a 5 minute meditation every 2 hours. You might have a set of exercise habits in the morning, and relaxing yoga with meditation before bed. The more you can develop and commit to success rituals, the more you’ll see your productivity skyrocket - along with your happiness and well being.

3. Use travel time for learning - Just because you’re on the road, doesn’t mean you can’t continually be improving yourself. For those times that you don’t want to be hard at work when on a plane, download podcasts and audiobooks in a topic area you want to develop in. This way, you can relax while learning! Also download books onto your Kindle or Kindle app on your phone to make the most of sedentary time on a plane or in an airport.

4. Make room for creative brainstorming - One huge benefit of life on the road is that being in new surroundings provides continuous inspiration and creative energy. Take advantage of the constant new stimuli to make space for brainstorming and new ideas to come in. Traveling gives you the distinct opportunity to get out of a stagnant mindset and see the world and your business with fresh eyes. Carry around a small notebook or journal to record your ideas on the go, and make sure you have a voice recorder app on your phone to directly speak and record your inspired ideas to act upon them later.

5. Keep your ideas organized - With all this creative energy flowing, you need to have systems to organize all the information, to-do’s, and other tasks for your business. I recommend using a comprehensive app like Evernote to keep track of all your ideas. You can also use systems like Google Drive to organize projects, or whatever other apps you prefer. The important thing is to find a system you like and stick with it. Structure creates the room for freedom and creativity!

6. Use flying time as offline time - With the ability to now be online at 35,000 feet, you might be tempted to think that instantly connecting to the internet will be the trick to help you stay most productive on the road. But I challenge you to question that idea! Committing to an offline flight means that you’ll be forced to focus on writing, reading, or other creative projects without distraction. This is a great time to connect back to yourself and write or brainstorm without any outside influence.

And if you need to catch up on emails, you can write them all in one go then send in the push of one button once you land. Try it for your next flight, and you’ll see how spending this focused time offline will increase your productivity when you do get back online.

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Blogging about your travels

Although blogging is not the most ideal way to earn income online, it is a great way to enhance your credibility with your audience. And if you stick with it long enough, it can definitely become a viable source of income.

In a world of many choices but not enough time, where marketing saturates our lives, we, more often than not, turn to those we trust and like for the information we seek.

Whether we want to launch a new product, find a host in a foreign country, or land our dream job, a blog can establish your credibility like no other platform.

By sharing real life experiences from your trip, unscathed by paid marketing, you come across as a reliable source. This, of course, can translate to more opportunities and income down the road.

Your main goal of blogging, though, remains the same: providing real VALUE to your readers. As you can imagine, the amount of information on the internet is overwhelming and to make matters worse most of that content is just fluff, so you want to make sure you're not part of the problem.

Start by blogging about your travel experiences, the places you visit, eat, work, stay, and spend your time. When you begin blogging from a genuine place and a desire to share value with your readers, you’ll find your audience growing and the possibilities for your blog expanding.

Founder

Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

 

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Founder

Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

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