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Is turning your inspiration into your lifestyle just a scam?

How often have you seen that screensaver- you know the one, turquoise sea, solitary palm tree, pristine white sand, relentless sunshine? Looks nice doesn’t it? So when someone pops up saying, ‘hey, you don’t have to just look at that through the glass of your computer while trapped behind you desk, you can look at this for real whenever you want!’, it can seem a little….well, unrealistic, at best.

Is this your screensaver?

Is this your screen saver?

Last week we went to a marketing conference. On Thursday morning we found ourselves in a standard windowless conference room in a west London hotel. The room was filled with hopeful entrepreneurs bursting with anticipation for all the new strategies and stories they would hear. What surprised us massively about this event was that the biggest message wasn’t about how to make money grow on websites; it was about how to use your talents to create a business which can support your preferred lifestyle. Yippee!

Life Contribution Profit Event- We are hidden way at the back, to the right of Yanik Silvers giant screen head!

For us, it seemed like everything was turned on its head at that event. Instead of loitering by the coffee station, listening to others explain how they had made $10,000 in 5 minutes using a clever mix of facebook advertising and celebrity endorsement, we were delighted to find people keen to introduce themselves to us! With undisguised curiosity (or was it incredulity?) they wanted to know, ‘is it true that you run your business from all those mystery locations?’ ‘How do you keep your clients happy and still manage to travel?’ ‘Is it genuinely achievable?’ It was fantastic to get so much interest, and even better to see how many others are starting to realises a business can be just as portable as a laptop, if you want it to be.

It really isn’t that hard once you decide you are going to do it and put the wheels in motion. For a few months of the year we work in places where we can look up from our laptops and see rugged coastline, forested mountains, an unfamiliar cityscape. We can make enough money to fund our travels, pay our mortgage back home, run the business, pay a few VAs and build some savings. We grow our business, bit by bit, even though we are in a different time zone, different country, different office and living a different life for 4 or 5 months a year. But other than the fact we probably have a few more air miles than you, we are no different from anyone else setting up or running a small business. We just do it from where we choose, instead of where we assume we must be.

Could you run your business from here?

The big thing that seems to turn a lot of people off about the so called ‘lifestyle design’ industry are the assurances that it’s easy; that if you want it enough, it will happen; that you can go from a 9-5 job to a jetset lifestyle in the blink of an eye. For us, it didn’t happen by chance and it didn’t happen overnight. Granted, it only took a couple of years to get to a stage where we could pack up our laptops and skedaddle- but that’s because we had a goal and we took the steps we needed to get there. We grew an online business from scratch and carved out a consultancy niche. We invested, we learnt, we made mistakes, we sought the support we needed and we took risks. It takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it when you can set up an office in as random places as an Australian rainforest or in a Nicaraguan surf resort.

Or even from here?

What IS true is that it IS possible, it IS achievable and it IS realistic- and over the last 3 years we have proved it. It just might take effort, determination and a clear vision. So to start with, all you have to ask yourself is, ‘might this be for me?’

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