Location freedom professional
Someone who operates a business that is not defined by location: Usually self employed and entrepreneurial in nature.
An independent or uninhibited person who is not restrained, by convention or obligation; a nonconformist.
Synonyms: original, eccentric, bohemian, maverick, rare bird, lone wolf, outsider.
Location freedom is a concept I stumbled upon within my travel blogging community. It is more of a lifestyle, a choice to uproot your business and take it with you. Digital nomads all over the world are embracing the idea of an office with an ever-changing backdrop. Living between boarders, seeing the world and advancing their careers.
It is more common than you think… destination wedding photographers, graphic designers, developers, bloggers, consultants, investment scouts; Technology has redefined business. Gone are the limitations of a traditional business model. People are making business work for them, creating businesses that embrace the lifestyle they want. Welcome to the digital age where you can have your cake and eat it too.
For me, the light bulb moment came last year. I had just come back from a month in the Greek islands. I had a mountain of editing and writing to work through and no photographic bookings for the next month. My work is so seasonal. During the height of a brutal NYC summer…no one wants to get married and watch their makeup melt off their face. What I really wanted to do was rent a small apartment on the beach in Mexico and set up a temporary office, somewhere with a beautiful view where I could cool off with a swim. I didn’t want to be sweating my arse off in NYC but I felt trapped, shackled to my apartment and its sky-high NYC rent. I realized then that if I removed the apartment from the equation – I would have the freedom to live between boarders. It was that simple.
So as last year drew to a close I started making preparations for the New Year – my first year as a location freedom professional. HURRAH!
- I quit my job at the wedding/portrait studio: The studio didn’t give me the opportunity to grow professionally or financially. It was first to go.
- I gave up my apartment: Paying rent for an empty apartment is dead money. Goodbye financial drain!
- I downsized: I got rid of most of my stuff. One word…exhilarating. Anything I felt I couldn’t do without or would be too expensive to replace is currently stored underneath my girlfriend’s bed. (thanks Andi xxx) Goodbye material possessions!
- I went paperless: I scanned in all my business documents and backed everything up in cloud space. Hello future! J
I was ready. I also had no bookings. None. (sigh)
I spread the news of my recent break for freedom to my industry friends and soon the bookings began to trickle in. In the following three months – after my departure from the studio – I took three times more bookings working under my own name than I would – had I stayed.
I had gambled and won.
It’s now March and I am into my third month of location freedom. I am currently in Byron Bay in Australia. My days are similar to most professionals….with perhaps a few differences….
- I get up early, (watch the sunrise)
- Workout, (Lighthouse walk)
- Start work at 9:30am
- Lunch break at 1:00 (sneaky swim in the ocean)
- Back to the ‘office’ (my bed or a local cafe)
- 4:00 – Afternoon pick me up (fresh coconut=yum)
- 6:00 – finish work (head to the beach)
In a couple of days I will be off to Melbourne to photograph a wedding, then Cairns, Darwin, Singapore and back to NYC. My routine will be the same but different, everywhere I go.
Not everyone understands what I am doing and a lot of people have questions. The answers to which I don’t have yet. I will figure it out as I go. I will undoubtedly screw it up from time to time but I will always do better in the future.
For now…I am happy, I am free and I am excited about the adventure that awaits.
FOLLOW ME TO WONDERLAND….