It’s been two years since I left my corporate life to travel full-time and build my online coaching business. Back then, seeing the world while working remotely seemed like a faraway dream. Now, I can confirm that it’s completely possible for those who want it badly enough.
While this nomadic lifestyle can be challenging, so was going through a long commute every day and sitting in an office for most of my daylight hours. Part of living a fulfilling life is understanding what works for you and what doesn’t, and learning how to deal with the struggles in a healthy way.
Working from the road is a whole different animal than being in a corporate job when it comes to setting your hours and creating separations between work and leisure. I share some tips on how to balance remote work with travel:
Establish a consistent routine
A life of constant travel is as exciting as it is chaotic. When so many variables in your life are shifting on a daily basis, it is crucial to anchor yourself with a routine. Humans inherently crave routine, and although mine may not look like going to the same gym, job, or grocery store every week, it is still a crucial part of my day.
A meditation teacher once told me, “do not let technology be the first thing you do in the morning.” His wise advice has set the foundations for my daily routine: every morning, I get ready, do 15 minutes of light exercise, and 20 minutes or more of meditation before looking at my phone or laptop. Then, I check my messages for about an hour and create a to-do list to set myself up for the day.
This simple routine helps me stay grounded in both my business and personal life so that I can give myself the self-care I need while also making sure I stay on top of my work.
Travel slower and smarter
Over half of my travels are work-related: when companies fly me to their location to coach, lecture, and/or create content, I have to make a conscious effort to carve out the time I need to myself.
The weeks when I am actively traveling for work can get quite busy and overwhelming; that’s why I generally tack on a minimum of 7-10 additional days to explore the country I’m visiting and work on my own projects.
I’ve learned from experience that traveling too hurriedly can lead to some serious burnout, and giving myself extra time in each location has helped avoid that.
The same concept applies if I am traveling through a country for leisure. I estimate how many days I need to see what I want, and then double those days so I have time to rest and work without overextending myself.
Riccardo Orizio Photography
My business has me working in all kinds of places, including the train going to Machu Picchu!
Ruthlessly protect your schedule
One of the biggest struggles of running an online business is separating work from play. I love what I do, and as a result, I find myself doing it all the time. I have no idea how many hours a week I work because my work is my passion and my passion is my work.
When this is the case, it’s especially important to set boundaries with your schedule. For example, I only take client coaching calls on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s, and work on my personal projects (such as writing my book, exploring my surroundings, or creating my courses) on Thursday through Sunday.
Creating this schedule allows me to segment my week while also giving me room for flexibility. I am ultimately in control of my schedule and can change appointments or deadlines to suit my needs, but it helps tremendously to have an initial structure and set of rules to work with.
Outsource what you don’t love
The best advice I was given when I started my business was to outsource as soon as possible. Hiring remote help has tremendously freed up my schedule, as well as given me the flexibility to continue traveling and take days off when I need to.
Let other people do the tasks you don’t love so that you can focus on your strengths and stay in your zone of genius.
When deciding if I should outsource, I calculate how long it would take me to complete a task, how important it is, and how much it’s worth my time based on my hourly rate.
If it’s a low-impact task and it takes me way too long to get through, I hire someone else so I can use that time to scale my business or enjoy myself instead.
Build your business around your lifestyle, not the other way around
My business was built to serve my ideal lifestyle. I work remotely, only take client calls 5-10 hours a week, and make 80% of my income with 20% of my time.
This allows me to spend the rest of my time doing what I love: traveling, exploring, hanging out with loved ones, and working on my many passion projects.
Put in the effort earlier on to set up operating systems, automate, and outsource so that you’re not spending futile man-hours trying to manage everything in your business. As one of my high-level entrepreneurial clients once told me: “to scale to six figures, you need to hustle, but to scale to seven figures, you need to let go of that hustle.”