How to Live to The Full While Working
More and more Millenials are breaking out of the traditional mold for work. With recent advances in technology, it is easier than ever to work remotely, run a remote business or simple travel while you work. Why do you need to drudge away in a small office when you can be just as productive at home, sitting on a beach in Hawaii or working from a monastery in Tibet?
Millions of people have already made the switch and for various reasons. Some want to be able to earn a little extra money on the side; others want the flexibility to earn while they travel. So, if you are looking for a way to make a living off the beaten path, here are 3 options:
1) Work remotely — For most people that use a computer on a daily basis, you can find at least some time that you don’t need to be in the office. This category includes people at work for a mid to large sized companies but, work from home at least one day per week. They have regular working hours and stable salaries.
There are several financial advantages of working from home. Not only can you save hundreds of dollars each month in commuting costs such as gas, parking and wear-and-tear on your car, you are also less likely to eat out for lunch, one of the biggest money drains.
By taking this option, you are still able to enjoy the stability of a full-time job while taking advantage of the freedoms.
So, why would a company allow their employees to work from home? There are several reasons and they are almost all good from the companies perspective. Studies and experience have shown that remote employees are more satisfied with their jobs, reducing turnover and sick days and increasing productivity. As employees focus on completing tasks, rather than simply attending work, they are more motivated to show what they have accomplished.
Breanden Beneschott, co-founder and COO of Toptal, a website for freelancers claims that he is not only able to keep up with his workload, but he is more productive because, “Traveling and working allows you to go non-stop. There is no burnout. There’s no staring at a clock or calendar waiting for the EOD/weekend/break. You’re refreshed weekly.”
Whether the home you work from is mobile or not, the desire to keep working in your pajamas can be motivation enough to make this style of work, work.
2) Operate an online business
For Millenials who want more freedom than remote working offers, starting a business might be just what the doctor ordered. But don’t be fooled, running an online business is hard work. If it was as easy as just hanging up a digital sign and cashing checks, everyone would be doing it. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do it all alone.
Tim Ferris, an author of The Four Hour Work Week, has plenty of practical advice for people who are running themselves ragged trying to keep their businesses afloat or who want to start a business that lets them travel.
He encourages entrepreneurs to internalize the 80/20 rule, 80% of the productivity comes from 20% of the effort, and then focus just on this 20%. This allows you to maximize every second that you spend working on your business.
Internet businesses are ideal for this; you set up a store on eBay, amazon or build your own website and act as a middleman between businesses and customers. Once it is set up and you are able to earn more than $10 or $15 per hour, you can hire an overseas personal assistant from a site like replacemyself.com and pay them $5 — $8 per hour to start taking over your business.
Obviously you can’t give away all your work, but if you train your assistant well, they will be able to easily out earn whatever they cost, leaving you a healthy income.
Whatever business you choose make sure that it is one where your personal assistant can take calls, return emails and keep the fort down when you are not available.
Freelancing serves many purposes in today’s marketplace. Some new graduates use it to quickly pay down debt, build their portfolio and land their dream job, working professionals use it to earn extra cash on the side and seasoned professionals use it to cut back on their working hours and ease out of the mainstream workforce.
Because freelancers work online, they need to compete with other freelancers in the world marketplace. In America, you might find that freelancing wages are slightly lower than you might expect to earn from a local business in a big city.
It is important to also keep in mind that if you are a freelancer, you are responsible to provide many of the tools that your company or boss would normally provide such as a laptop, a software and a comfortable chair.
All these things cost money and the depreciation needs to be taking into account. But, there are some savings that you can count up as well. Like remote workers, a freelancer can save money on transportation and eating out during the work week.
Just be careful with your “little” expenses. For example, if you prefer to work at a cafe and end up sitting drinking coffee all day while you work, those little cups can add up fast. Accurately tracking your income and expenses with an automated tool like PocketGuard will help you get a clear picture of your real earnings.
There are plenty of ways to make freelancing a reality, from applying for certification from Toptal, working for clients on Upwork or finding clients directly through networking and previous clients.
So, whether you are just planning to stay in your living room a couple of days a week or you are willing to wait until you get back to your village in Vietnam to commit your changes, there is a non-traditional job that will suit you perfectly. Just remember to track how much you are actually earning and guard your pockets wisely.
Featured image credit: PEXELS