Departing Manchester Airport aimed for Seoul, South Korea. Connecting flight in Zurich with a 3 hour layover. With lines plus security check, 30 minutes to an hour of net layover time. Met a nice old Korean couple and was offered Vitamin C while we wait. Perfect.
Charlotte, NC to Porto, Portugal, connecting flight in New Jersey. On the way to Jersey pilot announces over P.A. he’s been flying around in the sky for 3 hours, due to weather conditions trying to route a temporary landing strip, and we’re now running on fumes – “but don’t worry folks; I’ve been doing this for 16 years and will get us landed safely.” Thinking I should head to the cockpit and give pilot my business card for classes on “tactful speech.”
Two hour layover from Jersey to Porto – minus 3 hours of flying on fumes – flight missed. 16 hour stay in airport until morning flight and fuming argument with bag check guy. Horrible.
Miami International Airport to Nagoya Airport Japan, 24 hour flight with 2 connecting flights, first one in London, second one at Charles de Gaulle. 3 hour and 5 hour layover times respectively. Long but reasonable. From Charles de Gaulle to Nagoya, met an interesting business man from Hitachi Corporate on his way back from a business pitch in Europe. Exchanged business cards and went our seperate ways. Business opening – perfect.
In cleaning out one of my suitcases and re-sorting travel documents, I take a brief moment to skim through my passport book pages. Each one is filled with a memory. Some funny, some frustrating, some quirky….but every single stamp worth it.
Until recently, this has been my average work year. Now, it’s 90% leisure. What are the joys of a mobile business, really? Well…for one, it’s constantly an adventure, and an education. It’s still work – just on a different level.
A buddy of mine works in stocks and we were having this discussion over the weekend. He was explaining to me how he’d love to have a business where he doesn’t have to get up and sport the typical suit and tie look, and would sometimes even be content with a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals.
Then he goes onto say how he’d also like to not go to work the same time, same place, same road everyday. He likes what he does; hates the routine. He goes on to vent for another 15-20 minutes while we polish off a bottle of Fris vodka.
So I ask him, “well, what is it you really want to do?”
Pausing for a while, he responds. “Just…something where it’s not so predictable and I have freedom to sleep in if I want or, if I feel like getting up and going I can.”
I push further – “that’s telling me how you want your days to go, not what you want to do. What’s something you want to do?”
Again, he responds, “I don’t know, I like finance, and I like what I do now, but I just want to do it differently.”
“So you want to do what you’re doing now but without being told when to do it?”
“Yeah,” he responds, as if a light bulb slowly lit in his little head.
“So you want it to be mobile?”
“Yeah exactly,” he again responds now starting to really think on what he’s been saying.
“Then do it.”
“Do it?” he asks inquisitively.
“Yes…start doing it.”
“But, how…?” He asks again.
We then go about picking apart his thoughts and getting to the key points of what he really wants, utilizing “backwards goal setting,” as found in the book “The New Psycho-Cybernetics“. You can check out the audio version on youtube:
Backwards goal-setting pretty much works like this:
You mentally prepare a list of things you do not want to do at all, and call it the “I Never Want to do These Things Again” List. This could range from not wanting to wear a tie, to not wanting to drive more than 5 minutes to work; not wanting to deal with stressful customers, not wanting to have a supervisor.
You then begin to use your imagination (yes, if a 5 year old can do it you can too), to shop around for ideas about other businesses or careers you may have a liking for, but would NEVER require you to do the things you don’t want to on your previously mentioned list.
A lot of people don’t realize there are ways to make immobile business or careers mobile – or, “time-freeing,” especially in today’s technological day and age.
There’s so much time wasted in an office setting where most “look busy” just in order to please their supervisor.
This guy I know is good at what he does, smart, quick thinker on his feet, an innovator, mathematician, and forward thinker. Often he finishes his work and work projects well before deadline, then has to busy himself with other things so his boss doesn’t ridicule him for “just sitting around”…and it drives him mad.
Let me repeat that: he gets all of his work done, in 50% of the time his average co-worker does. Meaning his value is 50% more. In an ideal world, he could make 50% more than what he’s making, just by his work efficiency.
This is what he wants – he wants his work efficiency to be valued. He knows he’s good at what he does, and wants to condense his hours worked to enjoy life while being good at what he does – compared to wasting away 4 extra hours a day twiddling his thumbs and listening to people talk about their monotonous home lives.
He wants to turn his 40 hour work week into a 20 hour one – maybe even a 15 hour one…and you know what? He can do it. Easily – there are many ways to work remotely, in the finance industry’s subsector of stocks and commodities. Just as there are many ways to work your business the same way.
What is it I like about mobile businesses? If I had to sum it up in 3 main points, I could easily say:
Freedom of time.
Freedom of money.
Freedom of hybrid thinking and doing.
First and foremost – freedom of time. I’m not a morning person – I work better in the wee hours of the night, often cranking out my best work with Bossanova and crickets singing to me sweetly in perfect harmony with that one old tree frog and the sound of water right outside my window.
Second – freedom of money. You probably think I’m talking about income, right? Well, try again…I’m talking about what you can do with the income not allocated towards (non)reimbursed business expenses (non- if you’re working a J.O.B.).
Think about it – let’s just say you commute 15 miles to work everyday, and take a toll road. That’s 30 miles round trip, 5 days a week. That’s 150 miles a week, roughly 600 miles a month, 7800 miles a year. Just for work. Throw in about half of that per annum and you’ve got 11,700 miles a year, 975 a month, roughly 245 a week.
What’s that, a tank of gas? $50, $60, $70? If you drive that Lincoln Navigator, keep adding. At $70 a week, we’re talking $3640 a year of non-reimbursed gas expenses – across the board, because let’s not forget – you can’t get a tax return on traveling to and from a JOB.
Then let’s factor in oil changes, tires, air filters, etc, etc. All accelerated replacements because of that 30 mile round trip commute. Switch to making your career or business mobile and you can easily cut all that down by 50-75%.
Third – Freedom of hybrid thinking and doing. Your 8 hour day, is not an 8 hour day. Let’s take that commute example a step further – let’s say you go by car…or cab…or subway. Let’s think about traffic, people traffic, car traffic, coffee line traffic. You get the idea – traffic.
That 20 minute commute now becomes 40, maybe even 50 minutes. Add that to your 8 hour day – at 50 minutes extra, you’re really working an almost 10 hour day. Change that to a remote or mobile business, and commute time can be cut to 50 seconds – a walk from your kitchen to your in-home office.
Using my buddy as an example again, this is exactly what he wanted. He wanted to take every non-reimbursed career expense ever spent and put it into something he wanted to do or experience.
He wanted to analyze his trades when his brain was fully turned on, tuned in, and locked on…allowing what he considered the easy stuff to mentally be on auto-pilot during the best times he deemed fit.
He wanted to take the almost $4000 he was spending a year in gas alone and travel to Singapore – for a little business and pleasure.
He wanted to cut his 9-11 hour day into a 4-5 hour day, taking the rest of the time to hit the gym more, and finally map out and set off for that mini road trip to St. Augustine.
Mobile or remote businesses and careers aren’t about just being mobile, they’re about taking the dictation from another human being out of the equation and utilizing a more flexible, efficient path. Making the stress less, so you can focus and innovate more.
In my early days of being mobile, where my income if I wanted to travel relied heavily on photography and internet marketing, – I loved every moment of it. I would explore in the early afternoons and evenings, and do all my editing at night. It was effortless. Aside from the jet lag, check-in and check-out times, new locations, new languages, new maps, orienting and re-orienting myself with areas, I loved every minute of it. I was the ruler of my own time, my own money, and my own pace…I could learn more in months what anyone with a PhD learned in years….and I loved it.
There is a rapid shift that is occurring and has been occurring for many years now, and it’s one of many exciting things I have the opportunity to witness.
It’s my belief that eventually, the standard run-of-the-mill office setting will become obsolete. The reign of left-brained cubicle thinking will – and is – disappearing.
Mankind needs it, and Generation Y is beginning to realize it. We’ve had so many technological advances the mass majority has been put on auto-pilot themselves. Yet this is the perfect day and age to keep creating. Innovative people know this, and they’re seizing the opportunities.
It’s what Tim Ferriss calls “The New Rich.”
Mobile and remote businesses and careers are the way to go – to eliminate stress, improve productivity, and alter lifestyles.
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