Being an entrepreneur is becoming a far more common dream for the average person. What is even more exciting is how often this dream is manifested into a reality. Entrepreneurs have a wide variety of reasons for wanting to start down this path. For some it is all about following a creative dream while for others it is as simple as having the freedom to do what they want with their lives without having to follow anyone else’s rules.
Regardless of why someone decides to become an entrepreneur, one thing they quickly learn is they have the ability to enjoy complete location independence. You are not tied to a desk in a corporate office for eight or more hours a day. It is possible to take meetings, sign deals, and complete work from a coffee shop, beach, library, or in an airplane.
If part of your business plan involves a lot of travel it is important to ensure basic services don’t change as often as your travel itinerary. Whether you are flying from city to city as part of your work or whether you are backpacking your way through Europe while ensuring your business thrives, you need a plan for things like mail and telephone services that will keep you easily accessible to your clients.
Mail is the trickiest of these two business problems. You need a physical address to place on your email list and if your home is essentially your suitcase that can be problematic. You could use a PO box in your hometown and have everything forwarded to you but that requires a lot of time and paperwork. Thanks to the internet, a better alternative is now available. Mailbox forwarding services allow entrepreneurs the freedom to physically be wherever they want in the world and control their mail remotely. This could mean having mail you don’t really need shredded, saved to be forwarded once a month, or scanned and filed in the cloud.
Another problem that kept people chained to a desk, or other physical location, in the past was the need to be accessible by phone. The invention of pagers and cell phones took care of that to a great extent but for most people it was still necessary to stay within the same country to have reliable service. That is no longer true. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has revolutionized the field of telecommunication.
When the iPhone was introduced in 2007, no one could have foreseen how the development of apps would completely transform one’s ability to achieve location independence. There are apps that make business infinitely easier to conduct from anywhere than it was only ten short years ago.
Graphics apps allow entrepreneurs to create stunning social media posts to drive people to their website or services. Accounting apps allow them to integrate their bank accounts and easily track business expenses, manage their taxes, issue invoices, and receive payments. There are even apps that allow entrepreneurs to take video conferences with their clients and colleagues which increases the feeling of personal connection that was once only available if two people were physically able to meet together in person.
Even with all of the marvelous technology that allows entrepreneurs to achieve location independence and avoid the daily grind of office politics, the need to network is still present. The challenge now tends to be not getting away from people but putting yourself in front of those within your industry to achieve the same sort of personal and business growth that location based networking opportunities have provided in the past.
The rapid growth of online social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook make that easier to do virtually but it does still require effort. In order to be recognized as a thought leader in your field and to find peers who will challenge you to take your business to the next level, you need to be present and actively encouraging thoughtful discourse on these platforms. Wherever you choose to network online, you must do it consistently and with as much tact and professionalism as you would in person.
Achieving location independence as an entrepreneur is not difficult but it does require dedication and a willingness to adopt new technology that can create a solid foundation for your business.