Paul discusses the pros and cons of location independence. Find out if location independence is something that you should be thinking about (or not!), and how to set things up in your business so that you are able to work and attract clients from anywhere.
Here is the full transcript:
Design your business to how to master location independence. Hi there. I’m Paul Urwin and welcome to the freelancers and entrepreneurs Podcast, where freelancing meets entrepreneurship and business. We discuss clients, sales, marketing, outsourcing, mindset, and much, much more. Find out more at freelancers and entrepreneurs.com Hey there, Paul here and welcome to Episode 27, where our 27 already thank you so much for tuning in. Thank you so much for your support. Today, I’m going to be talking about location independence. I think it’s a really interesting, interesting subject. And it’s all about all part of the series on designing your business really related to this idea that you really can design the business that you want, whether that’s a lifestyle business, a massive growth business or whatever it might be. So you And you really can design your business over time. This is the second in the series episode, one of design or the first in a series of design your business is back in Episode 18 of the freelancers and entrepreneurs podcast. So if you want to check that out, that’s a kind of a general introduction to all the concepts of designing your business. And in today’s episode, we’re going to go into some depth on location independence, a couple of announcements, and the first one is that we have a completely free webinar on the fifth of September. So if you’re listening to this episode, shortly after it was released, then head on, head on over to the website and sign up for that free webinar. It’s It’s entitled How to get more clients, online, three proven strategies. I’m going to be talking about networking, I’m going to be talking about websites about content creation, about strategies that really can help you to do Get a big boost in your give a big boost to your your your business. So as as well worth signing up for and you can get the link to that on the website. If you’re not listening soon after this was released, you might have missed that particular webinar. But as we are always releasing different pieces of content and different webinars, different live events, well worth checking out what is going on right now at the website. The other place of course, to keep up to date with everything is in our Facebook group. Again, the link is from the website link is on the website. And the Facebook groups really really good at some it’s up to over 600 members now. There’s a lot of activity a lot of posts each week. Really amazing, amazing group of people from from freelancers to to entrepreneurs, people in all different kinds of industries and all we’re all learning from each other. So fantastic, fast, fantastic group well worth checking that out. So right let’s get Started now with today’s main topic, which is to design your business to how to master location independence. So this is a topic that I’ve been interested in for quite some time. And just to just to share a little bit of my story with you. Well, I worked in the in the City of London for quite a number of years. And then some 15 years ago, I moved to Bogota in Colombia. Wow. Time flies. amazing place Colombia. If you haven’t had the chance to visit, I highly recommend it.
And well, really over the last five to 10 years, but but certainly five years I’ve really been focused on on location independence. I’m not, I’m not 100% certain that I’m going to be in Bogota forever. I’m not 100% certain that I’m going to be in Colombia forever. And I’d like to have the flexibility to be able to move to another country and keep My business is running. And the only way that I can see that I can do that is by creating businesses that are location independent. So if I can manage everything online, if I’m not tied to a particular location, then if that day does come around and and I have the I take the decision to to go and to go and live somewhere else, then I can just keep keep working on those businesses. So it’s something that’s been on my mind, for for a certain period of time, even though I’m extremely happy here in Colombia, you never know quite what the future holds in terms of location, especially, especially nowadays. And so I’m really, really keen on developing location independent businesses and the other component that I’ll be talking about. The other part of that is having clients in different locations as well. And I think that’s really, really important that you actually wherever you are, you have clients from, from from different locations.
So that can really help in terms of income streams and that kind of thing. So So what is this location independence thing all about? And is it for you? Is it for you? Well, I mean, the first thing to say is that this is this is not for for everyone. And that’s that’s why a whole series is called design your business. It’s about you. It’s about your businesses about what you want to achieve. And there are many, many people out there of course, who have businesses, which are completely not location independent, they work in a particular city, they live in that city they have done so for their entire life, they have no intention or no desire to live anywhere else, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. This is a very personal choice. But what I am saying is that if you think that you do want to have that flexibility then then now is the time to start. Thinking about it and to start designing your business for the future. So So what is location independence all about? Well, I think I think there’s a couple of things that I would say what location independence is and what it is not. Now, it’s not really. For me at least, it’s not really about that image of having a having a laptop on the beach and sipping a pina colada while while while working. I mean, that that could happen, that sort of thing could happen occasionally, I suppose. But that’s not really what it’s about. For me. For me, it’s, it’s just about this, this flexibility, this idea that you can really work from, from anywhere in the world with, with sort of minimal resources really. So you just have, you’re just going to have a laptop, and an internet connection. And that’s, and that’s pretty much it. And I really love the idea of being able to run a business in that in That way.
Also, if I, as I’ve mentioned, I’m very happy. I’m very happy you’re here in Colombia. But But what if something changes in the future? What if you want to, or need to move, we are now in a global economy as well. And if you were in a particular country, what happens if that country goes into a deep recession? And all of your clients are from that country? Well, you could, you could really be be struggling if you have a global portfolio of clients, and you can manage those clients or service those clients from anywhere in the world. Then with the exception of a of a mass of a massive global recession, you’re probably going to be okay, whatever happens in a particular location so that’s, that’s something to keep in mind. Another of the advantages of location independence is really having this having is always all about having this free So it’s not you’re not tied to any particular location, you can go, you can go anywhere at any time and continue with your business. So everyone’s in a different situation, I have a family and with that comes schools and things like that. So a lot of people have a different level of commitment or different level of ties, obviously, family, family as well, or extended family as well. So there’s there’s a lot of things to keep in mind. And I, and I want to, I want to really get away from this idea that that location independence is just for a very young person who is traveling every month to a new beach location. And I think there’s more to it than that, although that that that is an example of location independence, of course, but I think that other other people, others amongst us can make it work for us as well. And it might be a longer term thing or it might it might mean moving to business. A country for for a longer period of time, or really focusing on having those location independence independent clients. So I think there’s lots of different ways to view location independence, but it does give you that freedom. It does give you I think it gives you more creativity as well if you are able to, to work in different places and interact with different people. Every time I travel I try and connect with with people in business terms from a particular location or a particular city. And I think that really, yeah, I think different environment really gets those creative juices going. So I think that’s, I think that’s another thing I like about location independence. I think it’s also good in terms of helping you to, to learn to work with less. If you have a home office or an office. Sometimes you can become over reliant on certain pieces of hardware and books and files and everything else. And I think the reality is that, that with everything that is available today in terms of storing files on the cloud and that kind of thing, you really don’t need all of those papers. And you really don’t need all of that sometimes, while in my case, perhaps even clutter, you don’t need all of that you can be a lien operator functioning on a laptop and traveling around. So. So that’s that’s kind of a few of the, the advantages. I think one of the one of the main ones from a client point of view is, is that generating different income streams in different countries and also in different currencies. Now, this, again, is going to depend on the type of business that you’re in. If you’re running a restaurant in a particular location, then perhaps you should just focus on making that restaurant in that particular location a success is not going to be very is not going to be very easy, at least not at the beginning to, to set up multiple restaurants in multiple locations, especially in different countries.
But if you have a different type of business and online type of business or service type business, then it might be more viable to set up business or to attract clients in different countries. Now, there’s a few disadvantages as well you should probably be aware of it can be it can be difficult. Some things about location independence or working from different locations can be difficult. You might not have a base. If you’re traveling around all the time, you might not have things such as healthcare sorted in the right way. So you need to be careful about that. I’ve mentioned the school situation. Of course if you have a partner then then everything would need to be discussed as a as a partnership or as a family and really plan what’s what’s best for both of you or for for For all of you, you definitely need to be pretty organized because you’re not going to have everything in one place you’re going to be traveling around. And you do need to have a certain degree of self motivation as well, I find that when you’re in a fixed location, it’s easier to get into a routine, it’s easier to, to get up and go to the office or it’s easier to, to stick to a particular plan. And when you’re when you’re traveling around for in different locations, or working in different countries, sometimes that can become a bit disruptive and a bit confusing. So you really do need to have that degree of self motivation and find your own routine, but he can, you can make it work. And this is all about this is all about creating the business that you want over time. So so let’s let’s talk now about how you can actually create that this location independence if that is what you want to do. Well, one of the things I’ve noticed in recent years is that I now have fewer face to face meetings and that lends itself to this location independence setup. Because I am able to manage a lot of things online. Now a lot of things can go on the cloud, a lot of things can, can be kept on the laptop. So so really a lot of things are online. Nowadays, clients don’t expect to see me on a regular basis. I remember, back in the old days, it seemed that everything seemed to revolve around meetings around real sort of client contact and, and of course, that still happens today. It depends. It really does depend on your particular situation on your particular business. But I think a lot of people are really happy to carry out business online. These days, they feel even more comfortable. Some people feel more comfortable writing an email than picking up the phone. And some people really don’t feel comfortable with or can’t be bothered to have face to face meetings. And that really plays into location independence because it means that as long as you respond effectively, as long as you do a great job for your client, let’s put it like that as long as you do a great job for them, they don’t care where you are, they just want you to focus on on getting the job getting the job done. So, you can you can really create this worldwide network of clients and that can develop over time and that can be really really really really rewarding not just financially but also in terms of having this you know, multinational inter or international business basically, you also have the option of living in a you know, in a country that is that has lower costs, and where you can really take advantage of the global marketplace. So for example, you can, if you live in a in a lower cost country and an unearned revenue in dollars, then that can put you in a strong position as well. So these are all things to, to think about, I know your situation is going to be different to absolutely everyone else’s situation. And you might not be thinking about this right now, you might be thinking about making a move for a year and then coming back, you might be thinking about making a permanent move or just, or just traveling for a month, there’s many, many different variations. But you can manage a lot of things online, you can even have these international phone numbers now which are relatively relatively cheap. So you can receive receive phone calls from from from anywhere in the world, or obviously depending on your, your your mobile operator that can that can work pretty effectively. So a lot of things have changed in the last 10 years or so that really make working in different countries much, much, much, much easier.
Now, when it comes to attracting clients in different locations, I mentioned that I don’t think the clients map mind where you are as long as you produce the goods. He does help. To produce these different income streams in different currencies, if that is something that you think is going to work for you, and you’re not going to be affected by the recession in any one country, now, if you want to go for that sort of revenue stream, that is not going to happen automatically. And one of the reasons, it’s not going to happen automatically, that we all tend to attract local clients. So if you’re, if you’re in a certain location, you just kind of get into the culture of that location, you’re naturally going to have family and friends in that location, you’re going to interact with them. And you’re naturally going to attract clients in that location, generally speaking, so if you want to attract clients from another country, then you actually need to go out and target those clients. And there’s a couple of ways of doing that. I mean, one way is to, is to adjust your website that might mean having a web copy in a different language, or it might mean simply Targeting traffic from a another location or having a landing page that is targeted to clients from a specific country, but you need to, you need to really have, in order to get clients globally, you need to have a global presence in order to get clients. In the US, for example, you need to have some kind of presence in the US that doesn’t necessarily need that you need to go there and have a physical office. But you do need to have some kind of presence online, where you can relate to clients in that location. So I think that’s one of the biggest things that you can do is really start to change your, your strategy online to make sure that you are attracting the right type of clients or the right location of clients if you like. You can do a lot of this on LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn has some great location targeting filters. So if you’re, if you’re in LinkedIn, you can connect with people in Israel. And location, you can then amplify your your network because you’re going to connect with more and more people in a particular location interact with them. And you have a presence with those people, even if you are not in the same in the same physical location. So that’s, that’s another way to do it. You can also work with some kind of local partner in order to make a little bit of progress in a particular market. So there’s many, many different ways of doing this. But I think it comes down to you and what do you want? Do you? Are you perfectly happy with where you are right now?
And what is going to happen in the future? What do you want to happen in the future? Or what do you want to have the possibility of happening in the future this is all about designing your business and in my opinion, designing your business doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. So If something happens in two or three years time, let’s say, Are you going to be prepared? Are you going to be flexible enough to take advantage of different opportunities that are going to come your way that’s that’s what this is all about. So, so have a think about your own particular situation. And when I say Have a think about your own particular situation, I think that’s important because you might not want to do what someone else wants to do, you might not want or have the option of having that that laptop on the beach image that that people seem to share on social media that that might not be something that you want. And as I’ve said that that’s not really my definition of, of location independence. What is it that you want in your business? Or are you perfectly happy managing a business in three different physical locations? That’s absolutely fine as well, or even one physical location. It’s about making your own decision. And sticking to that decision. I’m not saying either that, that location independence is something that you should aim for. I think for many people in today’s global marketplace, I think for many people, it can be a good idea. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea for you. So what is the right solution for you? And where are you going to be in a few years time and where you going to be in 10 years time and and how’s the economy in your country going to be in 10 years time, so all different things to think about? But so i hope i help you. I hope I’ve helped you in some way to consider those different options in designing your business, please let me know what is your story? Where are you based? Where would you like to be in the future? And what do you think about all of this location independent stuff, I’d love to hear your story. So please So please come on over to our Facebook group and share your story or send me a message via the website. That’s freelancers and entrepreneurs.com of course. And finally, well thank you so much for for tuning in. Please let me know if you have anything that I can help you with the tool. I’ll be happy to help you as much as I possibly can. And all the very best on your journey, whether that’s location independent or not. Have a great day and until next time, bye for now.