A Shift in Business from Home to Life as a Nomad
It’s been a long road back to normalcy. A self-evacuation from Kauai gave us some degree of control over our lives after devastating floods and 15 horrific landslides closed our only road.
Continued road closures and travel in or out, dictated by a convoy schedule, seems to be the new normal which could last well into next year.
It was hard though. Certainly living through a flood disaster which hit our community but fortunately not our home and locked us in where we no longer controlled our movements, created an anxiety level we never experienced before.
However, not as bad as the Big Island’s volcano with a huge river of molten lava, 25 earthquakes an hour and just when things were settling down, Hurricane Lane.
The need for safety and our desire for control over our lives extended into 18 weeks (16 different beds!) as Hurricane Lane threatened our island and again the only road leading home.
Each section of our self-evacuation journey had us searching for a normal.
So what is normal?
A routine to living. One that we hope is safe and comfortable.
I’ve spent the last 2+ years shifting to semi-retirement; both in my business and in my lifestyle. A new home on an island paradise with a very different business culture.
Fortunately I had already moved my coaching business online. Even local clients meet with me online 90% of the time.
Therefore, when we evacuated to the mainland, my business went with me. I’d even say that was the one thing I could count on as my “normal.”
Each week was dictated by my schedule. In looking back, that was a good thing.
Shift to a Business Nomad Mindset
Running my business in 16 locations over 18 weeks offered a new and valuable experience as a nomadic business owner. With this, I learned ways to run my business simpler, consistently and such that my clients never felt my stress or distance. I did share with them however, my fear and distaste for handling multiple time zones.
I almost always look for the silver lining and here is one example of my typical outlook.
However, on this long, unplanned journey, I rarely saw the positives except for the concentrated, quality time we spent with good friends.
What I learned though are techniques I can use to run a business on a part time, semiretired basis that involves traveling.
10 Nomad Business Recommendations:
- Set up all tools so they can be accessed remotely. (calendar, cloud storage of ALL working docs, contacts, email, online management for all marketing and accounting, updated apps and software and an client scheduling app )
- Eliminate the need for paper! This is always true living in a very moist climate. But while traveling, the last thing I wanted was more items weighing down our luggage.
- And speaking of tools, be sure whatever device you choose to do your work is not only functional for all your needs but lightweight when you have to lug it from location to location.
- Watch out for time zones!! This was my largest pain points!! Yes I used World Buddy Clock but when you’re trying to set availability in your scheduling app for time in the future that is in a different zone, you have to be careful! I asked my clients’ help with this and they were very accommodating.
- In addition, their expectations of your response time needs to adjust to your time zone. Where I was available during east coast business hours changed drastically as we moved west.
- If you sell physical products, outsource this to a reliable person or company. Have a tested system in place to fulfill orders.
- Practice working as if you were traveling while you are living in your normal. Each time you are tempted to use something else, ask yourself, how will I accomplish this when I am not home? Make adjustments and keep it simple.
- Keep it simple. This is the biggest one!! Use one app instead of 2. Limit steps it takes to accomplish routine tasks.
- Have a reliable backup system for all files and be sure to back up your home computer before traveling.
- And finally, since we are living a semi-retired lifestyle, try to schedule your work and appointments every other week rather than weekly. We want time to enjoy our life with those important to us. — Or, don’t work every day.
Beginning in January, I’m going to schedule clients every other week and during my “off” weeks continue my writing. This hopefully will give me more quality time to spend producing and marketing and not be bound to my calendar. I prefer that freedom.
A new Normal perhaps?
What’s your Normal to running an efficient, go with you business?