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The answer to your 7 biggest location independent problems

As we get back to work after a whistle stop trip to the 40 degree heat of Melbourne, a jaunt up to Queensland to cuddle a koala and an activity packed visit to an island resort it seems a good time to think about questions and priorities for 2013.

Last week we shared our top 5 questions of 2012. This week we cover some of the answers we’ve suggested over the last year.

Some of these might help you with your questions. Or maybe they’ll make you feel better because you already knew that!

Q1. I want to work for myself. How can I make my idea successful?

Work out who exactly you can help, what their problem is and how you can solve it. That tends to be a more lucrative approach than deciding what YOU want to do then hoping someone will pay you to do it. Coming up with a great idea is the easy part. Not actioning it until you’ve done all your research takes a lot of discipline.


Q2. I want to teach people about lifestyle design. Where should I start?

It helps to be practising what you preach already. You don’t have to be an expert but you do need to be a bit further along than the people you would like to help. To make enough money to sustain a Location Independent lifestyle you probably need to have a business which is not dependent on selling what you know about living a Location Independent lifestyle. It’s just helpful not to have all your eggs in one basket, and you can be a lot more authentic in what you are offering if your bills aren’t dependent on its success.

City or Ocean? You need to design your own life before you can help others


Q3. My success depends on following my passion, right?

If you want to be location independent then it’s about using the skills you have and being prepared to do what you can do to get you there (not just what you love to do). This advice probably conflicts with what others say about following your passion. Other opportunities and possibilities will arise in time but focusing just on stuff you love may be a luxury short term if freedom is your priority. If this doesn’t sit comfortably than maybe a flexible lifestyle isn’t a priority after all, and following your passion is. You can have both, you might just have to be patient and decide which one is most important to you for now.


Q4. How can I earn an income remotely with the skill set I have?

Most people have things they can do to earn money right at their fingertips, but they just aren’t seeing it! That’s why it can be helpful to get input from someone on the outside who can assess the situation a little more objectively. It may be that you don’t value the things you can do, taking for granted that just because you find them easy that everyone else does too. You may not have recognised how to adapt your skills to meet the needs of a market. Or you may have been blinkered by having to perform that role for someone else, which means you are unwilling to now use it to your own advantage. Either way, this is a hard one to fathom on your own if you are struggling already. List all the things you CAN do, LIKE doing, are GOOD at doing from roles, hobbies, activities etc you have performed over the last few years. Share it with someone who can identify which ones make good business sense for you to pursue.

Chris (previously a server engineer) working from our ‘home’ in Australia


Q5. My website isn’t getting any attention

Partner up if traffic is a struggle i.e. form relationships with other sites for mutual benefit. Look around for sites which are somehow related to your field (directly or indirectly) and work out where there are gaps. For instance, we noticed that a big information site in our niche focused on providing information on one side of recruitment but not the other. Once we noticed the gap we could approach them to initiate conversation with an aim of being able to solve that problem for them. For us it was with providing plenty of content in return for some promotion of our products at a reasonable advertising rate. You may be able to offer content, expertise, JV sales etc, but make sure there is something in it for the site you are approaching that is equal to what you will be getting out of it. No-one is going to be interested in an offer that is clearly in your favour! You don’t have to go for huge sites, you may have more luck with more modest ones plus a better chance of getting through to an actual person you can build a longer term relationship with.


Q6. How can make my business compatible with remote living?

There are two big obstacles. You might think they are to do with clients or technology, finance or accessibility but they aren’t. First you need to want it enough. Lots of people want to be location independent, but they don’t want it enough to start doing things differently. The second stumbling block is control. If you want to be location independent you will have to give up some of your independence! You will need to think about out-sourcing, using VAs, allowing others some control of the reigns. For some people it’s just too big a step. Which means they stay just where they are, in charge but in the same place! We all make our choices, and yours will depend on what your priorities are deep down.


Q7. How can I create passive income?

Start with question 1 or have read here!


What is your biggest question as you start the New Year?

We’ve just finished some tweaks and changes to our ‘location independent’ training program (including the price!) Have a look if you like.

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11 Responses to “The answer to your 7 biggest location independent problems”

  1. Really interesting article Chris and Hannah. The old debate of logic Vs passion is really interesting and I agree with you on making sure you can earn money and that sometimes the passion needs to take a back seat.

    That said, here is an awesome link http://www.strengthfinder.com

    What I found out from doing this is that while I might be great at say writing copy for example, my REAL strength is in connecting the dots through strategy. Writing marketing copy is just one way I do it, but strategy run through everything I do in my life it’s about timing and people and I’m always looking for better or easier ways to do things.

    What I’m suggesting is that while your “passion” might seem like just one thing, you’ll probably find your strength is something a bit different that you can apply and make money from anywhere.

    Just a thought, hope it helps.

    • Hi Neil, really appreciate you sending the link. I think we have many strengths which can be applied in many different ways, I guess the key is finding what those are so that they can earn you a living. From there you can follow your passion on the side! C

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  2. I like your stance on lifestyle design not being the dependent earner. I’m a graphic designer in my old life and still have a few private clients to help diversify the income. The rest comes from various websites but I earn nothing talking about travel right now. If it becomes an earner then great, if not then such is life!!!
    Forest Parks recently posted..Possibly My Most Useful Travel Item? What’s Yours?

    • Think you are doing it right Forest. Focusing on your skills (ie what you did in your ‘old life’) for income is a great place to start, from there you can look into other aspects while still earning. Good luck on your travel site

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  3. Great article I certainly agree that you really need to take a good look at your skills or ask someone else to as we can easily overlook things that are obvious to other people.

    I have been living a location independent lifestyle for many years and also confirm that along side following your passion you also need to utilize some of the skills you have learnt over the years and use them in a supporting role to enable you to follow your passion.

    Good luck to those starting out
    Phil Byrne recently posted..To Hellas And Back Gave Lana A Chance To Put It All Into Words

    • Thanks Phil. The passion V skills is an interesting one, strange that many people seem to neglect using what they are good at to then follow their passion. As you say though, the best starting point is to use your skills to achieve your passion.

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  4. Great idea to get outside help to determine what your skills are. I’ve been writing for years, but I never thought about earning money from it until my best friend and father suggested it!
    Susan @ Travel Junkette recently posted..Suffering from Nica Culture Shock… and Loving It!

    • Sometimes it is just that outside opinion that suddenly pushes you in a direction you never thought possible. I can think of many things we are now doing that we never considered unless someone had suggested it too us. Great website by the way!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  5. Hey Hannah and Chris,

    Thanks for this article. I really do think your point that people have to want it enough is the biggest factor. Only a driving passion for what we are doing is enough to overcome all the obstacles that inevitably arise. On Q6, it depends on the nature of the business. I spent 12 weeks this year traveling in Central America and Southeast Asia. I was able to run my business remotely, record products on location, and generally no extra need for VAs or anything like that. I think people need to build more simplicity into their business models. Mine is entirely virtual and is tracked on one Excel spreadsheet per year. Cheers :)
    Erika Awakening recently posted..How to Become A Location-Independent Entrepreneur


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