I don’t have it all figured out yet. You’d think I would after being in business 12 years. Especially since my goal the entire time was to run a portable business (something I could do from home, an office, while spending a week with family or travelling abroad). I started out with mini-workations in Europe (3 weeks, or 5 weeks at a time). Then spent 2 months with an unlimited flight travel pass two years in a row & found I could fly anywhere for a few day & my business didn’t skip a beat.
But I’ve got to tell you the truth. Running a portable business isn’t as glamorous as we’d all like to think it is. There’s no backup plan printer, or case of paper in the storage room. When you run out of supplies you have to go shopping, or improvise. And when you break your computer or smartphone & you’re no where near the original purchase receipt (or the store that offered you you’re warranty) things can get tricky. And very expensive. And sometimes I spend the first 4 days of a trip trying to find a pre-paid local mobile phone so I can start connecting with people locally – I don’t have a global phone, because I’m not out of the country enough for it to make business sense (not right now anyway)
And, I’ve pretty much had the same 2 pairs of jeans, 5 shirts, 2 dresses and 3 pairs of shoes to choose from, for the past 11 months. See what I mean by “not glamorous”?!
One of my big goals so that I can continue to run a portable business, is to not collect “stuff’
But its super tempting (for me anyway) to fall back into collecting more “stuff”. More paper, more supplies, more business cards. “Just in case I need it later” kind of stuff! You know?
These are 5 things that help me to not collect more “stuff”:
- Gmail Apps http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/
- Skype local number, long distance package and forwarded to the landline when I’m at a fixed location for a while.
- Backup Drive (Right now I’m working with a 250 GB called My Passport – slim and lightweight)
- Time Tracking with Freshbooks & Wave Accounting
And, I keep working at it this thing. This big dream!
Maybe someday I’ll say “I’ve arrived!”.