CHALLENGE: What is your definition of location independence?
It’s kind of funny to me really – to hear people get all crazy excited about this relatively new coined phrase ‘location independence‘. Funny because 12 years ago when my husband and I ventured into our own entrepreneurial journey, the concept wasn’t so ‘cool’. Back then it was called having a ‘home-based business‘ and it was stigmatized. Nowadays it’s sexy, dons fancy heels and wears pretty lipstick!
Oftentimes, when we told people we worked from home, it drew strange looks and the occasional pity. On the rare occasion, we’d come across the odd person that would get it, but those moments were far and few between. Now to see how far the concept has gone and how far we’ve been able to go because of it (and I’m not just talking travel miles here :)); the decision to embrace it seems like a no-brainer.
There’s sooooooo many benefits and not just travelling although that’s definitely near the top of my list. Exciting new places, unique and interesting people, rich vibrant cultures and don’t even get me started on the tantalizing food (my mouth is watering now just thinking about it). It’s no wonder people commonly mention, ‘wishing they had travelled more’ as one of their bigger life regrets. But as wonderful as all that is, for us, it’s just the icing on the cake (sweet, thick gooey mounds of buttercream goodness!)
Not to sound cliche, but location independence has truly given us more than we ever imagined. Aside from the obvious like setting your own hours, low overhead and NO BOSSES :), the biggest benefit to me has been the ability to be present for significant moments, special occasions and tough times too.
A few years ago, my mom went through some really serious health challenges and thankfully, I was able to be by her side for a month. I didn’t have to beg my boss for time off or call in sick, I just picked up my laptop and headed off. I was able to take care of her, coordinate an estate sale, pack her things and relocate her to our home and help maintain the business at the same time without impacting our clients at all. I didn’t have an office that I needed to shut down and because the team we built is virtual, I could virtually be anywhere.
Location Independence also means no rush hour traffic, no traffic jams and no car for that matter :). We work from home and live downtown, so we’re walking distance to all the major amenities and our favourite restaurants (although I’m not so sure that’s a good thing LOL). And, since we found our car spent more time in our driveway than it did on the road, we got rid of it. Now, we ride our bikes pretty much everywhere and if we ever do need a car we can rent one really cheaply (but I’ll leave that topic for another post :)). Another positive by-product of this is we’re healthier for it too – an added plus I didn’t expect when we first made the decision.
Want more advantages? What’s happening in the local economy doesn’t really directly impact us. Being location independent depending on your business means there’s no limitations on your client pool and we’ve been fortunate to have clients work with us and customers that purchase our products from all over the world. That means we can make money at anytime from anywhere regardless of what’s happening in our local economy.
I think another significant plus that often gets overlooked is – you can be anywhere and I don’t just mean travelling. Like for example, my husband and I used to live outside a major city and we were able to relocate to a smaller city where we were able to get more home for less dollars. The cost of living in our area is also much lower, so it makes everything – even simple luxuries – more affordable.
I really could go on and on. No really I could (now look who’s crazy excited LOL)! But I should probably go now and get ready. I’m headed to Toronto for a couple days – a last minute trip I booked yesterday, so I could be there for a friend. That is my favourite benefit…the ability to help and be there for people when they need you – location independence strikes again.
P.S. Did you see the picture? That’s my mom – now healthy and strong :).