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Entries in location independent (2)


Freelancing 7 things you should know for 2013

So you dream of firing your boss, kicking back in your newly decorated home office with your mac pro with coffee brewing and your music blaring. Yeah crazy cool.

Can you do it?




This year I celebrated ten years of working location independent, based in Italy but travelling all over Europe.  In those ten years I've worked as a content writer, editor,  blogger, travel photographer, project manager, coach, trainer,  digital strategist and consultant. I wear lots of hats and have clients  on every continent. I've seen amazing places and done fantastic things, but one thing is a constant - the ability to find, keep and bill clients. It is this alone that will determine my success or failure.



7 things you cannot afford to kid yourself about.

1. You're going to work alone, a lot, you're going to have to fight the distraction of popping out for a cappuccino, switching on the TV, digging in the fridge, playing on twitter, updating your facebook, watching clips on utube. All these are the drug of the solitary worker, and they eat the one resource you  do have, time.

2. You can choose your hours right?  Wrong. If you burn an all-nighter, the next day you feel like hell, so you sleep in  and lounge around in your pajamas till noon. Yeah this is it, no boss to chase me.  You just exchanged your one boss for many, your clients are now going to be your bosses, when you find some that is.

3. They will come if you build it -  The silent phone, the emails you dreamed would come in a flurry asking for you to design that site and write those articles. Silence.. If you just keep going to conferences and social events joining facebook and linked-in groups the work will eventually roll in, right? Wrong - you have to pitch, like the salesman who knocks on doors constantly, and for every presentation he makes gets rejected 90% of the time, you must get comfortable pitching.

4. Starting with no savings in a one income household? Panic sets in quickly once the rent isn't paid, and that new mac pro you bought starts to seem like an expense you should have waited awhile for. You'll need family support, or a regular job while you phase in your first freelance attempts. Office space can wait too. Yes you'll sometimes have to lock your spouse or  your screaming baby out of the room  to meet that deadline. You'll definitely work harder than you ever did for a boss. 

5. Billing according to industry standards and getting contracts and agreements signed is by far the most difficult and important thing you'll learn. When to bill? How to negotiate with difficult clients ? Sometimes the first client is a client from hell, that leaves you pacing the kitchen floor talking to yourself. You need a support group of other freelancers to bounce ideas off and learn from.

6. Getting recommended and verified. This is were time management becomes crucial, the ability to build a network of people who you can communicate with daily on social media in a directed and focused way, is an essential skill, asking for what you want is another. 

7. Keeping up with trends and adapting and transitioning is a full time challenge. The changes in the past two years alone  have made work people were getting paid good money to do, obsolete. Whole industries have disappeared. Re-invent yourself.

Can you do online coaching and webinars?  Can you continue to be competitive in your field?

If you can manage yourself, and your erratic finances it can be a wonderful lifestyle defined by you and your dreams.

Next week..

What should you charge for your services..


Transition to an independent lifestyle, working and living abroad

Ever dream of leaving behind your mundane life, the job that you hate, the dreaded commute, and to live somewhere else? A destination you have dreamed of?


Chris Brogan and I in Berlin


What do you fear?

A change of culture?

Learning a new language?

Can you afford it?

What about medical?

What about pension?

What about your partner who thinks you cant afford to move.

What about your house?

Finding a job or a means of supporting yourself?


In the next few weeks we will be exploring all these areas, and getting your feedback and the opinions of those who have lived abroad happliy, and the solutions they created to the challenges.


Now if you are single, its easy, load up the money in your credit card, pack the suitcase, wizz off and face the music later. Right?

If you are married or have a partner there are two people who must quit their jobs, to start again, so more negotiations, more tension, more challenges, but it could bring a while new lease on life for you both, plus you have a team.



my friend Christine Gilbert who guest blogged on wisequeen when i started it and wrote with me on b5media. has been travelling nonstop with her husband for 5 years now  they had their baby along the way, are expecting a second one  and are now making a documentary and they funded it all online  find them at  almostfearless.com


If you have children who need educating the decisions become more challenging and require longer term planning but it's not impossible, we will be talking to those who have done it with kids.

This amazing couple from Argentina have been travelling for the past decade, and their epic story is a testament to what humans can do. they have covered every continent in their old 1920s car, had four children along the way and had the most amazing story to tell published in Spanish and English. Sparkyourdream.com is their blog.



What would be the deal-breaker for you to live  for a few years in a country or countries you've always wanted to explore?

I never thought I would be forty plus living in a different culture, and speaking a whole new language, it has opened up an entire new world to me, there have been rough spots and challenges I never thought I would overcome. I've dealt with culture-shock, isolation, home-sickness, being broke, being a published author, being a traveller on a new continent as a local, being an adventurer, being successful, being ill, being married, being single, living between four countries.  meeting amazing people some of whom became  my mentors....


All of it has refined me, and yet not defined me, it has made me stronger and wiser.

The deal for me is I doubt I could have done it for 12 years without the internet.

Can you really be location independent? The answer, yes. Let's explore how.

Sign up to the blog so you can be part of this adventure and become independent.