“Birds need a nest, and yet they still fly.” ~ Gloria Steinem
In our digital age, more and more people work from home. A few commonplace examples of this 21st century lifestyle are: corporate employees who log in remotely, digital nomads and entrepreneurs with location independent businesses, freelancers who work virtually, and the growing number of students and teachers of online learning.
This rapidly changing virtual landscape is creating changes in not only how we think about and do our work, but also how we think about and identify ‘home’. How one defines home is, of course, very personal – and it’s also fluid – often changing along with changes in circumstances, relationships, and stages of life.
For me personally, home has been many things: It’s been a place I can’t wait to return to, and it’s been a place I’ve been eager to leave. It’s been a place I’ve identified by an address; other times by a town, a city, a state, a country, a continent, or hemisphere.
For reasons I don’t fully understand, the most sincere definition of home I’ve ever held, has been to identify home as Planet Earth. And even that at times feels like it only tells part of the story. 😉
I am a digital nomad and citizen of the world. ‘Home’ is not just defined by location, but by the people in my life. In other words, if my heart’s not there, my home is certainly not there. I have friends and family who live not only across the country, but around the globe.
Despite having such an expansive definition of home, I also really like my bed and having a home to come home to.
For many years, this dichotomy made for quite the dilemma.
Do you relate?
If home is where the heart is, and your heart spans across continents, how do YOU define home?
I’ve come to embrace that, for me, home is untethered and too complex and big to be defined by one place.
In other words, I’ve stopped trying to answer that question.
And with this release, came a new question:
>> Where is my home-base? <<
Home-base doesn’t get me confused, and it doesn’t cause me to feel flustered or confined by its definition.
Home-base is where my bed is. It’s where my clothes and toothbrush are. It’s where I return, after wandering and journeying based on my unapologetically expansive definition of ‘home’.
This works for me. To know where my nest is, and I still fly.
How about YOU? Ready to expand YOUR definition of home?
Are YOU a digital nomad, entrepreneur, or remote work employee?
If so, you know that the search for remote work spaces, places where you can really buckle down and get things done, is par for the course.
There are huge perks to nomadic living and remote work opportunities … but when you live a nomadic lifestyle AND you work remotely, setting yourself up for productivity can be challenging.
Enter: Co-working spaces.
Co-working spaces provide an awesome alternative to, say … using a Verizon Jetpack at a picnic table … or milking your cell phone’s hotspot for an hour here and an hour there … or buying a coffee that you don’t really want at a cafe full of distractions just because they have decent wifi … or driving around until you find an open network and sitting in the car with your laptop on the center console. (I’ve done it.)
I had the pleasure of spending a few weeks in Burlington, VT this Fall, visiting family and getting in some leaf peeping. During my stay, I was so happy to find Blank Slate Coworking Space. Here, I was able to get some much-needed productive focused work-time in.
The co-working space not only offered me a quiet environment but I also had access to shared resources like secure wifi, a shared kitchen, printer, scanner, fax. As you can see from the pictures, it is a beautiful inspiring space with high ceilings, big windows, and lots of seating options.
They offer a $25 day pass, a 5 day per month membership for $80/mo, and two full-time membership options: $400/mo for a dedicated 7′ x 8′ cubicle, and $125/mo for a non-dedicated workspace. Membership also provides you with the added value of networking and collaboration opportunities that comes with rubbing elbows with like-minded entrepreneurs and innovators.
Are YOU a digital nomad or aspiring digital nomad?
Have you experienced the benefits of joining a co-working space?
What are some of your favorite co-working locations?
Eager to put an end to monotonous busy-work and simplify your life? Ready to say hello to adventure?
I’m not talking about squeezing in an annual two week vaca.
I’m talking about delight-filled adventure as a regular fixture in your everyday existence.
If the idea makes your soul swoon, but the prospect of living it feels about as real as the Easter Bunny … keep reading, or watch the video version below. These 5 life hacks can help you simply your life and go from monotony to adventure.
5 Life Hacks to Simplify Your Life and Go from Monotony to Adventure
>>> Life Hack #1:Adopt a mentality of minimalism <<<
Life can be so much simpler than most of us make it.
I’ve certainly been guilty of this.
Finally deciding to simplify, pare down, and clear oodles of mental and physical clutter from my life has been extraordinary. And paradoxically, it has allowed me to expand my focus, zero in on my truest priorities, and embark on my biggest boldest dreams.
For me, minimalism has been a total game-changer. (The fact that you’re reading this = Exhibit A. I now have the focus, time, and bandwidth to learn a bit about blogging, and then sit down, write, and post this and other articles for you.)
Minimalism can simplify your life too – in ways I bet you can’t even imagine right now. >>> I say this because the truth is that determining how and where YOU are complicating what can be simple, isn’t easy to do, especially when “stuff” is filling your space and 85 different things seem to be pulling you in 85 different directions.
What I’ve coined and refer to as ‘The Paradox of Less’ has been one of the most stunning revelations I’ve had as a result of adopting a lifestyle and mentality of minimalism.
Adopting a mentality of minimalism can result in MORE. More breathing room, more creativity, a great sense of freedom, and more mental and emotional space to invest in what’s truly important to you.
Less truly is more.
Yet – if simple living was EASY to create, everyone would have it.
Getting there will take some work. And getting started can understandably feel like a daunting undertaking.
It’s sooooooo worth it though. It’s going to feel good to have less clutter and less stuff. (Pinky swear.)
A good place to start is to identify one or two areas where you can start letting go. Also consider reeling in any striving for more of the things that don’t bring you fulfillment. This is a mental game as much as it is a practical effort since having less “stuff” goes against the grain of the advertising messages that bombard us daily. Resist.
You can never have enough of what you don’t really want.
So stop collecting stuff that isn’t aligned with what’s truly important to you.
Seriously, stop it.
Start today by cleaning out one drawer or one shelf. Even 30 minutes to an hour can make a dent in a cabinet or corner of your home. Wash, rinse, repeat and you’re on your way.
>>> Life Hack #2: Stop being normal <<<
Ellen Goodman, a journalist, wrote this about what defines normal:
“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it.”
Do you see yourself in this?
If so, it’s ok. Awareness is the first step. New awareness is a disruption of previously unquestioned patterns. Take this as a bit of good news! While not a comfortable spot to be, it’s nonetheless a powerful place to be because from here you can make some new choices.
If, like I did, you are seeingthe insanity of living this way, know that it’s something that’s hard to un-see.
From there, it becomes about how to best water the seeds of change.
If you are ready to stop being normal, life hack #3, #4, and #5 are for YOU.
>>> Life Hack #3: Automation and delegation <<<
Most people live the bulk of their life in what Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap, refers to as The Zone of Competency. This is the zone of busy-work. You know … the shit you’re perfectly capable of doing, the shit that needs to get done, again and again, and the shit that ultimately consumes far too much time and cumulative energy, eating up ridiculous amounts of precious minutes in your life.
Now, let me say here: If the zen of ‘carry water, chop wood’ is your thing, and you believe that mundane tasks are the path to enlightenment, you can stop reading right here.
Otherwise, it’s time to automate your shit! Things like laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying, house cleaning, and the like.
Let’s start with groceries, since we all need to eat.
There are personal shopping services, there are meal delivery services, and there are free apps that you can use to select your items and place your order. Take your pick. Even Walmart now has an app that allows you to pre-order your groceries. When you drive in to the parking lot, they will bring them to you, curbside. Valet groceries a la Walmart.
There are services like PeaPod which let you order your groceries online or through their app and they deliver them to your home. All of these let you save past orders, which makes re-orders super quick and easy. Oh, and, if you end up getting a tomato that’s too ripe for your liking, or your chips arrive crushed, call them and they’ll more than likely refund you for those items. That’s been my experience. No biggie, and you just saved yourself easily an hour (driving, parking, walking up and down the aisles, waiting in line at the check out, driving home, etc.). And – a bonus in my book – if you don’t set foot in the grocery store, you won’t be tempted to buy stuff that’s not on your list.
If, on average, you go grocery shopping once a week for one hour, that’s 52 hours a year. That’s more than 2 days a year that you spend shopping for groceries! Two full days that could be invested into progress on, as Gay would call it, your Zone of Genius (a.k.a. the stuff you were born to do).
If you haven’t already, go paperless on all your bills and minimize the time you spend sorting through and opening mail. Automate payments on all your monthly bills. Short of you setting it up – once – that task will be handled. Set up automatic deposits for income, and automate bank transfers into whatever accounts you need money to be in.
Adulting isn’t always fun, I know. But sit down, figure it out and set it up – once – and then be on your way.
Companies like Task Rabbit will connect you to a sea of specialized personal assistant freelancers who will do a slew of things for you. They’ll paint a room, pick up your dry cleaning, assemble Ikea furniture, etc. etc.
Yes, outsourcing some of your mundane to-do’s means drumming up some dollars – but I implore you, try it for one month – and you’ll experience the freedom of time and energy, and you’ll value that so much, and you’ll more than likely have inspired ideas that come to you given the mental space you now have, ideas that will move you closer and closer to your ZOG.
The few bucks you spend to have someone do these things for you will quickly start to shift from seeming like an unnecessary expense to a strategic investment. (Worth reading again.)
Laundromats have drop-off services. Drop off your dirties. Pick up your clean, folded clothes a few hours later, at your convenience, or have someone else pick it up for you. Done.
Hire someone to clean your house, even if just once a month. Maintain in between. Knowing that someone is coming to make it sparkle every week/two weeks/month will be the gift that keeps on giving. Permanently shift the scales on your home being a place full of to-dos … to your home being a place you live, relax, and enjoy as a safe-haven and welcomed respite from the world. You’re never going to miss cleaning toilets. And you’ll savor your reclaimed time and energy, available to now reinvest in the stuff you were put on this earth for.
Business owners — this is especially important for you!
I hired a bookkeeper long before I could “afford it”. Why? Because before my bookkeeper was part of my Dream Team, I found myself less-than-thrilled about new clients because it meant I had to do more bookkeeping! Obviously not the way you want to be thinking and feeling about new clients as a business owner. Now, every month, my bookkeeper sends me the reports I need. Done.
Consider it your job to find a way to delegate such tasks. What you really can’t afford is to have your energy caught up in busywork when your business needs you to be the visionary leader at the helm.
Successful people stop trying to do everything by themselves. They automate and they delegate, so they can stay focused on the big picture.
>>> Life Hack #4:Make travel an integral part of your lifestyle <<<
Travel and mobility are dreams that many share – yet few do it.
I understand why this is. Despite running my location-independent business since 2004, and devoting myself to helping my clients stop postponing their dreams, creating their life to be abundant, boundless, and delightful on every level — for YEARS, some of my own dreams were falling to the wayside.
I dreamed of total freedom to travel, to work, and to explore – when and where I please.
And to be fair, I have done a fair bit of traveling. (I studied abroad in Australia for a semester in college, I saw some of New Zealand on my way back to the US, and I’ve had brief trips to Italy, Spain, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and parts of the continental United States.) BUT – it was all too short and far too infrequent.
With the exception of the time I spent in Australia, my travel experiences have primarily been vacations that I managed to squeezed in to my busy life. But, having total freedom to travel when and where I pleased remained totally and utterly illusive.
While vacations can be great, what’s even better than vacation is when everyday life feels so free, and so gratifying, and you’re having so much fun, that you don’t need a vacation. (Can I get an amen!?)
So, despite being owner of a location-independent company since 2004, for a whole host of reasons – and a few excuses – I really wasn’t taking full advantage of the fact that my business could come with me wherever I go. As much as I wanted to be free to travel, I was stumped on figuring out HOW. Commitments had me feeling rooted and travel was an occasional highlight in my life, but certainly not the norm.
But it is now!!!
While not true in all cases … minimalism and downsizing often go hand-in-hand. For me it sure did.
I am now a full-time nomad, traveling and working from the road.
(As I write this, I happen to be in Maine. All pictures seen here are from Acadia National Park. See it! It’s incredible.)
Along with my partner, Carl and our 30-pound dog, Cosmo, I live in a 27′ Airstream. If you think that’s small, for the entire first year of our RV lifestyle, our RV was only 20 feet long! To give you a sense of it, I could reach the bathroom door, the kitchen counter, and the bed, all while standing in one place. After a year, we upsized to the 27′ Airstream for a bit more comfort and quality, but either way, our “condo on wheels” lifestyle suits us.
We have cracked the code on what we feel is the ultimate life hack: Nomadic Living.
Are YOU are nomad curious but not sure how to go about making it happen? Want to learn more? We teach others how to live nomadically – for a month, a season, a year, or forever – with our first-of-its-kind lifestyle program. In it, we walk you through everything from downsizing, to relationships on and off the road, to logistics, to “glamping” and mechanics, to selecting the RV that’s right for you, to boondocking, and remote working, and a TON more … all in our location-independent course: Nomadic Living 101.
>>> Life Hack #5: Figure out a way to work remotely at least 80% of the time. <<<
The world is getting smaller, in the sense that technology connects us in ways it never did before.
For better or for worse, computers are integral to how work gets done and the number of ‘digital nomads’ grows every day. More and more businesses, like mine, are Internet-based location-independent remote work companies. And corporate employers are also realizing the benefits of having remote employees.
All this to say, that if work has you feeling tied down, it’s time to think outside the box. Get creative and find a way to live and work boundlessly and join the growing tribe of remote workers.
Yes, this might mean making some changes.
Learn how hiring me as a coach can help you get strategic and find the best avenue for you to make this life hack YOUR reality.
Just imagine how eliminating this primary obstacle to travel and mobility, will impact your life. The world will be your oyster! (Mmmm… oysters.)
Here are some inspiring statistics:
==> Based on 2014 Census Bureau data, the typical telecommuter is a 49-year-old college graduate — man or woman — who earns about $58,000 a year and belongs to a company with more than 100 employees.
==> A Stamford University experiment found that the home-based employee works more than office workers — 9.5 percent longer — and that they are 13 percent more productive.
==> Home-based employees were judged to be happier, as quitting rates were cut in half.
==> By reducing office space, the company saved what amounted to $2,000 per employee, annually.
So, to sum it up: employee retention rates rise, employee happiness rises, and employers are able to cut costs by not having to supply every worker with an office and expense the overhead costs of that. Sounds like the very definition of a win-win to me!