In my last blog I wrote about the Joy’s and freedoms of working remotely. If you missed it, read it here! This will give you a little better context of what I am writing about in this 5-Step process to finding the perfect remote job to keep you traveling and experiencing the world all while making money from your lap top.
Here is my 5-Step Process.
1 – Find a job, skill, or way that you can actually do that will produce income with out you physically needing to be there.
This is going to be your most difficult task. You may be saying to yourself “well I am a doctor, how could I possibly practice medicine from a laptop?” Well this comes down to how resourceful you want to be. My dad is doctor, a Podiatrist to be exact and he has been looking into what is know as “tele-medicine” which is basically on call and on demand video conferencing from doctors to patients. Say you have a foot problem, you go on the site, set an appointment, my dad would accept it, you are instantly connected, he gives your advice and recommendations and your done. The system charges the patients credit card and they go on their way. Booya, there is a way a doctor can work 100% remotely. You may be surprised what you find if you really start thinking of all the different ways you could monetize your skill sets right from a computer from anywhere in the world, don’t worry, we will get to that in number 2.
2. Get really good with technology.
If you are going to have any chance at being an entrepreneur on the road, then you are going to have to get really good with leveraging technology and automation. What do I mean by this. Well put it this way, I can pretty much run all of my business from my iPhone. Everything from a CRM to a VOIP telephone system that allows me to communicate effortlessly through WIFI any where in the world. This means that if you are planning on getting in to a business that has to ship “real” goods and logistics as well as a customer service dept. will be necessary, than you are going to have your work cut out for you. I am not saying that it is impossible, just going to take a couple extra steps of strategic planning and utilization of technology that automates the process.
3. Simple is better.
A good business is not necessarily a complex business. I would consider a solid business to be one that is profitable, allows you to live the life you desire and takes care of it’s employees and it’s customers. Some of the best businesses that I know of were born out of the simplest ideas or needs by a consumer. Take for example the work we do at the FX365 Institute, we teach people how to trade currencies all over the world from office in San Diego. We have students in 20 U.S. States and 4 countries that take our course 100% remotely and learn a skill set that allows them to make money in the foreign currencies market anywhere in the world from a laptop. Don’t over complicate this part. The less you need to run your business, the better off you will be.
4.How much do you really need to make?
My favorite part of explaining these concepts to people is conveying the fact that a business only needs to make you a “enough” money in order for it to change your life. If you added up all of your expenses annually, and then added in the costs to live in another country or to travel a couple months out of the year I think you will be surprised to find that you don’t need to make $300K per year to achieve your goals. In fact, I have been able to travel about 2 months out of every year for the past decade making around $100k per year. The best part is that I only really needed about $60K to sustain so any extra money that I make on top of my yearly nut goes in to savings and investments. This allows me to stay diversified, active in the markets using online portfolio managers, and open to new ideas and businesses while I can keep the quality of life I have come to enjoy. The point is to make enough and then a little more. You don’t need to be a millionaire to pull this off.
5. Multiple Streams of Income remotely
I know you have heard this one before, but maybe not through the lens of doing it remotely. Every book I have read on this topic is about real estate and multiple businesses that would require you to physically be somewhere to manage those streams. When you start to venture down the road of working remotely you start looking at businesses in a whole new light.
I have come up with a couple of questions that I use to test the remote possibilities of a business. These days, if they do not get passed these questions with a yes, then I am probably going a different direction. I wrote two articles that may give you more context when it comes to working remotely, follow the links below to check them out:
Does your Remote business pass the litmus test? Could you actually leave the country for weeks or months at a time and still count on the business to grow on its own and produce income.
In this article I am going to share with you some of the most important questions that you should be asking yourself to avoid a career that is going to keep you chained to your desk.
When I am approached with a business or come up with an idea, I ask myself these following questions to help me decide if I should even consider pursing the business. I wrote a blog recently about The Joys of working remotely and also my 5-Step process to finding the perfect career where you can travel the world and work from a laptop.
I have come up with a couple of questions that I use to test the remote possibilities of a business. These days, if they do not get passed these questions with a yes, then I am probably going to go a different direction. I wrote two articles that may give you more context when it comes to working remotely.
Now for the smell test questions:
1. If I spent a year building this business and I left the country for 2-4 weeks with out being able to call back or answer any emails would it still be standing when I go home?
This may take some introspection and some deep thinking about what the business is, who it would involve and what you would need to figure out to get all of the pieces together. This type of think and evaluation will become paramount when assessing situations for your business in the future, so play the tape out and visualise as best as you can where you would see yourself and the business in a year or two.
2. Is this a business I can run myself, or will I need to hire or contract out work to properly run it and if I do, will I be able to effectively manage the team remotely?
If you can do it on your own, great, do it! Unfortunately most enterprises even small ones will need to depend on others to accomplish what ever it is your business will do or provide for people. The question you need to concern yourself with is can you effectively manage then from a far or set the business up in a way where employees or partners can or would be self serving and motivated to accomplish tasks day to day to keep the company running smoothly.
3. On a scale from 0%-100% how much of the business can I automate?
(0%-60% is no good / 60%-80% is ok / 80%-100% is ideal). Automation is going to be key for you to managing efficiently from a far. It will allow you to batch work and delegate important work properly. Also it really allows you to step away from the business or parts of the business for days or weeks at a time and then come back to spot check at a later date. Most importantly automation usually takes the place of what human used to do and will allow you to perform more high value activities for the business.
4. Will it make me enough money to give me the life I desire to have and if so how long will it take to get me to that point? 60 Days? 6 months? A year?
For more on this topic check out my blog I wrote on Time vs. Money! This will really put this step in to perspective for you.
5. Pros and cons list – Now for the final step, write down all of the great things about how the business is going to get you what you want out of it. Examples could be things like “90% automation” or “allows me to travel 6 months per year” etc and then do the same for all of the potentially negative elements about the business. Make sure to be real with yourself here. Don’t sugar coat this part.
Once you have completed all of these steps, then you will have a solid understanding about what you could potentially be getting involved in. I can’t stress the importance of the exercises!
Working as a management consultant for a number of years I have a keen ability to understand what is going to make a business succeed or fail. Unfortunately most folks don’t even think about these things when starting a business. Instead they get excited about the idea, or one aspect of the new business and run with it throwing caution to the wind and ignoring or simply not flushing out the idea and all the pit falls that would ensue first.
Be smart, be savvy and get the business that will give you the life you desire but don’t ever be afraid to give your idea a litmus test! It will save you time, money and heartache in the future. These simple actions will keep you on the right track helping you to avoid a business or an idea that will stand in the way of a more well suited business or opportunity that will give you everything you need.
Do you ever dream of being able to run a business from anywhere in the world? Have you ever found yourself looking online for different ways you could travel abroad and somehow make an income while you were half way around the world.
Over the past decade I have been perfecting this skill. The truth is that it is not as easy as it sounds. This is especially true if you are used to a 9 to 5 standard day job. The dream of one day quitting that job and breaking free from the chains of the corporate world can be elusive and fleeting.
When I was 22 I left the country for the first time. I had always wanted to travel but I was a troublemaker growing up and spent the later part of my teen years in rehab getting sober. By the time I was 20, I had been sober for a couple of years and my life was back on track, so I decided to leave America and embark on an adventure.
I signed up for a study abroad trip to Spain, paid the money and prepared to leave home. To be perfectly honest, this trip wouldn’t be my first time out of America, I frequently went to Mexico in my teen years growing up in San Diego. None of my trips to Mexico had any real cultural importance. In fact, I don’t even really remember what transpired during most of those trips and never really made farther the the Tijuana bars on Revolution Blvd. This trip was going to be different, I was with college kids, and there was some structure, so I figured that was a good place to start.
I remember getting off the plane in Madrid. I was bustled away from the group with my host mom who didn’t speak a lick of English and was given a room in her little apartment. I was super jet lagged and had never been on a flight that long in my life so I passed out immediately. When I woke up it was dusk outside. I walked down the 4 flights of stairs and sat out on the side walk in the neighborhood I was staying in listening to all of the sounds of the city and taking it all in. The smells, the cars, the food, everything was different, I didn’t know anyone around, and I was far from home. I was in LOVE.
This first encounter of Wanderlust was intoxicating to me. I vividly remember it and I was so grateful to be in that moment experiencing life again in a new way for the first time.
I thought to myself, what if I could do this all of the time, what if I could just travel a lot? It was sometime on that trip that I decided I was going to need to find a line of work that was going to allow me to do this. About a week before the program ended, I told my professors running the program that I wouldn’t be accompanying them back to America, and stayed in western Europe an additional 4 months traveling around Spain, Italy and France.
Once I ran out of money, I came home. At that time I was running a Mortgage office which surprisingly was still standing after my almost 5 months of me being gone. It didn’t matter though because I came home in September 2008 just in time to watch the housing market collapse completely. I was screwed. I had done really well for a kid who dropped out of college to get rich but it was all back firing now and traveling was the last thing on my mind.
After the dust settled I was about $190,000 in debt and in need of a new career. I had decided to go back to college a year earlier and had about a year and a half left for my undergrad degree so I figured I would spend the next 2 years finishing college and finding a career that would set me up to travel the globe and make money while I was doing so.
The first business that I found that worked really well for me was multi-level marketing. It seemed like a great fit, I was recruited in to a company being sold the dream that if I spent a couple years working hard at building an organization, it would eventually take off and continue to pay me residually. This was PERFECT. I could build the business for a couple years to about $100K per year then disappear to Indonesia
For a first timer in MLM, I did incredibly well, and I build that $100k per year income in a short amount of time but it was short live. The first company I was with asked me to leave and the second company I joined eventually went belly up. Also every time I would leave the country on a trip, I found myself on my phone or laptop the whole time putting out fires and that was just plane stupid.
When I finally walked away from the industry I decided to put my entrepreneur hat back on. I had raised some money for a tech start-up and was actively learning how to trade currencies in the FOREX market.
I never lost site of my desires and dreams of being able to make money from a Laptop; I just needed to be a little more resourceful. I found that as long as I can offer real value to a client even being a great distance away, that my capability to earn money anywhere where I was in the world would be there.
So over the past 5 years I have been doing just that. Most of the consulting work that I do is never from an office, maybe my home office. I do keep an office at the Currency trading school that I have a long-term contract with but they have always been cool with me leaving and making my own schedule. Again, I attribute that leniency to the results I am able to deliver. The moral of the story is that there is a million ways to make money and add value to a person, place or business, however you need to be resourceful if you are going to do this from a laptop half a world away.
I have put together my top 5 tips to finding your own way to take your business on the road with you for good. Read “Top 5 Tips to Working remotely.” To see what it’s all about
So about money. One thing has been said about money that has always stuck with me is: “Money is only emotional if you don’t have enough of it,” and this is so true. Most of us have had a struggle or two at some point in our lives in this area. For me, making money has never really been the problem, it’s the “keeping it part that has always hoodwinked me.
I have adopted a new saying over the years, and it goes like this. “In business, when you go up against a person with education and experience they will leave with your money and all you will be left with the experience and boy is it true. This happened to me in 2008, I had a good amount of money in real estate, stocks, and annuities. I was making a killing in the mortgage business, and I felt invincible. I went from owning a clothing company to running a brokerage firm pulling down 15-20K a month with my eyes closed by the age of 21 years old. For a 21-year-old, that’s more money than most know what to do with. Off my brothers advice I started investing but didn’t pay attention. What I mean by that is I was unwilling to learn about investing. I trusted a financial advisor to do good things with my money, and I followed the methods of millionaires when it came to real estate investing. End result, when the market turned I lost everything and went in to debt. About $160,000 of debt. At age 23, I closed the brokerage, took my lickings and left that industry.
I had no income coming in, and couldn’t get unemployment because I have always owned my own business or been 1099’d and was staring at a pile of debt that no 23-year-old should ever have to deal with, although I do believe 20 something’s are becoming more accustom to swallowing that reality these days which makes me very sad that we ever got to a place in this country where being 22 and 80K in debt was ever ok. Either way, I was in trouble and needed to do something. I chose joining a network marketing company (aka a pyramid) and everyone thought I was crazy. I was ok with that because I have never chosen a traditional career, job or project in my entire personal and professional life.
After struggling to wrap my head around the new industry, I got successful quickly and was back on my feet paying off that mound of debt which by the way I never claimed a bankruptcy on. I’m not a deadbeat, I ran up the debts by not managing my risk properly, therefore, I am responsible for fixing it.
Speaking of Risks, here is a quick little history of my untraditional professional life.
18-21 : Started a clothing company in LA and sold clothes internationally, traveled, made money and had fun. Most thought it was a bad idea/investment including my partner I bought out in the first year. End result, I had a crash-course in running your own business, saw the world and gained some priceless real life entrepreneurial experience while turning a profit and doing something I loved and believed in.
20-23 : Started working as a Jr Loan officer at a small brokerage in Los Angeles and made my first 6-Figure income at the age of 20. Later went on to opening my shop and tripled my income before 22. At the 21 I bought my first house,bought my first car cash (2003 BMW 330ci), and took a 3 month vacation to Europe where I studied Spanish in Spain. I also decided to go back to school to complete my degree as I had dropped out years earlier to pursue the clothing company
23-28 : When the financial industry went down I joined some Multi-Level Marketing companies. I have been in a total of 3 thus far. Mona-Vie (23-24) where personally recruited 30 people and hit a 6 figure rank in 10 months, that’s the fastest I have ever done this in any business. 24-28 With RevvNRG as a founding distributor where I built an organization of 7,000 people in 5 countries while traveling around the world enjoying the freedom that I had from this line of work. Then when RevvNRG fell apart, I joined ARIIX where I currently am now.
Presently: Although I am still a part of ARIIX, I started my company Roommatefax.com 6 months back. I did this for a couple of reasons. 1. I was sick of not being able to heavily influence the end result of what the company I work with produces. 2. I missed being an entrepreneur and making something appear out of nothing that people love. 3. Have you seen the job market lately?
After having lost my residual income from RevvNRG, I had been looking for some additional work to bring in more income to subsidize the loss of income and boy, I thank God for the fact that I have a background in sales because I attended a couple job fairs and all I saw was a million “fresh-out-of-college” kids desperately looking for jobs competing against people who have 30+ years experience on them with a mile long resume. Bottom line, that shit’s burnt, and all the future young americans have to look forward to is service jobs unless they become willing to work harder, eat some shit, and pay some dues.
I wrote a blog post about paying dues and eating shit sandwiches, if you didn’t read, go check it out, it’s a good one http://stevenewolf.com/eating-a-shit-sandwich/. Either way, at this time in my life I had to take some of my own advice. So I sacked it up, got humble and took a sales job that seemed legit and had a great training system. I would rather be doing something that generates income while looking for better opportunities rather than sitting around in my house watching movies, getting fat and feeling sorry for myself. Jobs, are only temporary and they serve a purpose, therefore I am grateful for this short term sales job I landed. From a salesmen’s perspective there are a couple of things I know to look for in a sales jobs. Here is the quick list.
I have always prided myself on being a smart and wise entrepreneur, but even the best of the best can fall from grace at times. I think most people elect taking jobs where you work for a big company and you have a dedicated salary because it removes the fear of not having something you can count on. This is a prison to guys like me. Keep your 50k a year and give me the opportunity to make what ever I want to based on how hard I am willing to work and how resourceful I can be. That’s the American Dream I was brought up on. My Mom and dad owned their own practices, my grandpa owned his own company and my brother and his wife is a real estate agents (1099 all commission based). I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and trust me when I say that none of us are cut out for a corporate environment, we would fail at it, die of boredom, or just quit and go start our own deal because at the end of the day, when we look in the mirror, we are the masters of our own destiny and the only way to true wealth is from starting your own company or being a part of some line of work that allows you to at least own your time. You know “time, your most valuable asset. There are a couple of exceptions, but I don’t know anyone that has been in a corporate job that has made enough to retire by the age of 40.
The trick I learned is a little something called Mini-Retirements from my main man Tim Ferris author of the book “The One-Hour Work Week.” This is the concept explaining the idea of choosing a business or line of work that affords us the ability to do things like month-long travel adventures, and the ability to take as much time off as possible before your real retirement age of 65 when you are too old to do fun things like you would have done in your 20’s and 30’s. This business of working till you’re 65, getting a gold watch and a pension is for the birds. To me, your best years are pretty much over by 65 and even if we have some incredible medical breakthroughs that allow us to live longer, I’m not going to get caught up in the mouse-on-the-ferris-wheel mentality of working for no more of a reason then to survive. F^&%* all that noise.
To be continued on part 2 of 2 – (Sign up for my blog and get notified when I post) If you like this blog, please re-post and send your friends here!!! Also If you haven’t read or heard about my book “The Young Entrepreneurs Guide to Life” go to the “books” section on my site and pick up a copy or a download the audio book.
And Finally, I’ll leave you with this. Jay-Z and Warren Buffet with Steve Forbes. Watch the interview and see the contrast. It doesn’t matter where you come from or your circumstances. If you want it bad enough the world will provide.