Live your dream life as a location-independent writer, designer, affiliate marketer or accountant and work from almost anywhere with an internet connection.
You feel cooped up in your cubicle. You no longer want to work for someone else’s bottom line. Every morning you wake up and think, “How long do I have to stay sober to not feel guilty?” Does this sound familiar?
You’re not the only one. This feeling of job malaise is something more and more professionals experience as they dream about a job that provides more freedom.
You don’t need a crazy self-help guru to guide you in the right direction, and you certainly don’t need a life-changing moment to come to the realization that you can have the life you want. It takes work, planning and a little luck, but you too can quit your job, live abroad and work from the beach. ( to tweet this piece of inspiration.)
How do I know this? It’s what I did, and what I’m still doing.
Make the first move to a more mobile life
Your first step to free yourself from your corporate job is to start building skills and experience that drive jobs you can do from anywhere. Try to obtain accreditation in the following professions:
- Web writing
- Graphic design
- Travel writing
- Affiliate marketing
You will not find this step easy, especially if you don’t already have skills in any of these areas. It took me months of 60-hour workweeks to establish rapport, build contacts and develop the right skills.
Don’t take the first that comes along and immediately quit your steady job; that’s a sure way to wind up with no job at all. Be patient. Sudden moves in a positive direction can just as quickly lead to sudden moves in a negative direction.
Take the leap from the corporate world to the beach
You can find plenty of places with a good view of whatever you want to look at. I chose Cape Town, South Africa. Once you’ve planned properly, you can go almost anywhere your passport allows. A part of that plan must be to build savings for emergencies. Because inevitably, something will not go according to plan. You need to be ready.
After living in Cape Town for three months, my employer decided to hire cheaper workers. Though I was on the other side of the planet with no work, I had planned for this. I had a few months of living expenses saved. When you lose a big client, the smartest thing while you look for work is to upgrade your skills.
Build new skills through an online program or a course at a local university. Then you can build a more diverse client base. When you have a diverse range of clients, losing one client isn’t the end of the world. You have backups.
Use tools to stay sane and get paid
When you leave the corporate office behind to live abroad, be sure to take advantage of these resources:
Skype: Use this free necessity to call family back home and to help . It’s also a great tool for letting clients talk your ear off. Be sure to set boundaries on clients. If they’re contacting you 24/7, you’re not free — you’ve made a prison of your life. Good clients will know this. If clients pester you, you should move on.
Online staffing platforms: Investigate a number of online staffing platforms to not only find new clients, but to lock in payment. Platforms such as , and can help you with protection against fraud.
VPN service providers: A VPN provider keeps you safe by encrypting all of your web activity. A VPN service also , like Netflix and some YouTube channels, by giving you an IP address in America. If the United States aren’t your home base, you can still find a VPN that will help you unlock content from nearly any country you call home.
Time tracking apps: If you thought you didn’t have to worry about clocking your time anymore, think again. This is one of the most important tasks in your business; You need to track your time to invoice clients and get paid. This process also helps you get a handle on how you’re spending your time to see how productive you are. A number of time tracking apps include , and .
As you plan for your dream life working from the beach, keep these three points in mind to develop your mobile career:
- Build skills in mobile-friendly jobs
- Establish connections with clients you trust before putting in your notice
- Use apps and platforms that protect you, keep you connected and track your time investment
Take a look at the picture in this photo again — that’s my office on nice days! This could just as easily be your office if you take the right steps.
Matthew Yeoman is a freelance web writer and social media analyst on the . You can find him there chatting about Google, YouTube, Pinterest, SoundCloud and every Friday.