What’s stopping you from jumping into a laptop lifestyle?
There is a book which I will be forever grateful to my brother Mike for lending me when I was about 15. It’s called ‘Illusions- The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah’ (1977) by Richard Bach. It quite simply shaped my world. I’ll be drawing on some of his great quotes in this article. I hope you get as much out of them as I have.
Illusions, highly recommended
I wanted to write about freedom in business because firstly, these are OUR businesses. Surely they should look a lot like how we want them to? This is one of the reasons we set up on our own, but it’s all too easy to make the mistake of letting the business run us. So what are the reasons?
Working more flexibly isn’t a priority
This one is nice and easy actually. If it’s not a priority for you to live more flexibly then it’s
not going to keep you awake at night. You won’t be tormented by the ‘what if’s’, because you have made your choices according to what is important to you. The problem is if having freedom in your work is important to you; if you do want to travel more; if you want to focus as much on the parts of your life you enjoy as the parts you ‘have to’ do. If you have wishes and desires you feel you aren’t able to prioritise it’s going to create a lot of internal conflict for you. You may need to take a step back to re-evaluate what is important and see if you can find a way to achieve a better balance between what you want and what you expect to have.
Working more flexibly IS OUR priority
I have responsibilities
This quote from Richard Bach is brilliant; “The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, ‘I’ve got responsibilities”. I imagine this simple quote can rub a lot of people up the wrong way. To me it shows that our biggest and best reason for not finding a happier and more fulfilled life is actually a bit of a cop out. Look around you; how many people you care about have avoided doing things which would make them more fulfilled and happy because they gave their sense of obligation more importance? Is this noble? I expect a lot of people would say, ‘yes, absolutely’. I’m not saying it’s not, but what I am asking is, ‘isn’t it worth trying to achieve both? Why give up so quickly on your own hopes and aspirations?’ If you sacrifice your own fulfilment in order to meet the expectations of others, remember, it is your choice. It isn’t a burden given to you by anyone else. But there must be ways of meeting your responsibilities without sacrificing your dreams, if you start to look.
‘In order to live free and happily you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice’. Richard. Bach
I can’t do it
‘You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.’ Richard Bach
‘Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.’ Richard Bach
I can’t say it better than that.
I can’t afford to take my foot off the pedal
Maybe it’s true, right now your business does need your full focus and energy. But what about if you start to think about design your lifestyle differently? Maybe you wouldn’t need to earn so much money. Maybe you could scale back on some of the less lucrative work. Maybe you could alter your business model which means you share the workload and some of the profits, but you get to have more personal time to expand your horizons and consider different ventures. If you want to make a change, map it out. Plan how to build a safety net, work out contingencies, do your research, take it a step at a time. It won’t happen overnight and it won’t always be easy. But if you commit to building a happier life and persist to make it happen, it will be very worthwhile.
I don’t know how to do it
That’s ok, you aren’t expected to! If you want to have more of a ‘laptop lifestyle’ (whether that’s just for a couple of months or the year or 12 months!) there will be people to help you. It’s a huge learning curve but no one is born with a blueprint of how to do it! Plenty of us have gone on ahead and figured it out, getting bumps and bruises along the way, but now have plenty of insights to help YOU. The great thing is that anyone who is living as a ‘digital nomad’ or ‘location independent entrepreneur’, ‘cyber professional’ or whatever you want to call it, is very passionate about the possibilities. This means they are willing to share their experience and provide the practical guidance and support necessary to get you on board. Building more freedom into your working life will take learning and practice, but it is absolutely achievable and utterly rewarding;
‘The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work’.
Thank you Mr Bach