Two months ago, I woke up to the smell of espresso in Suva. Today I woke up in Auckland, ready to wander the streets of Bucharest. Next month I’ll awake to a Mexican sunrise.
Five months ago, I quit my job in New York City and decided to start my own business. But I decided to do that from the road.
As a result, these past few months have been a whirlwind crash course in sales and marketing as well as a journey through new cultures. I’ve had to manage more than my fair share of Skype calls across time zones, which has meant making certain allowances to my sleep schedule. But I’ve stuck with it, and I’m as committed as I’ve ever been to my company. My time abroad has taught me that it’s possible to work from anywhere while still being able to connect with clients and team members across the globe. Here’s how I’ve learned to pull it off.
As soon as I quit my day job and decided to travel, I first had to take a hard look at my finances. I knew that starting a business without any venture funding or loans would be tricky–but not impossible. While I loved living in New York, by the time I left I’d accepted that the only way to fund my passion would be to limit spending and tap into my savings in order to get me started doing what I really wanted.
I run a digital marketing agency – Digital Squad – based in Auckland – it is a small yet dynamic niche digital agency with a team of less than ten (some of them based remotely). Our core services include digital strategies, consumer trends research, social media, website design, email marketing and SEO (so all things digital). I work with clients regionally and internationally so I knew it would be a challenge on a number of levels to travel, continue running my business, plus manage clients’ expectations (a.k.a keep them satisfied).
It was an incredible experience – there is nothing quite like working from a Bali Yoga Studio in Ubud, the beaches of Sanur, and the sushi restaurants of Cape Town. I completely fell in love with Ubud as it has health, wellness, and peace at its core. You can’t help but feel completely centered when you are in Ubud. Which is rather fantastic for productivity and creativity.
Plus added bonus to traveling South East Asia and South Africa (countries with quite weaker currencies) is that I was still earning in Dirhams but my spending had decreased by about 70%. Accommodation was around AUD$60 a night, and food/travel was a total of about AUD$360 a month (and that is with eating out thrice a day!)