Hitting The Road! Preparing My Online Business For Life In An RV.
Getting ready to spend 4 weeks living in a motor home with my family. Here’s what it is like preparing my online business to be run from the road, while I’m on vacation. 🙂
One of the great things about running an online business is the fact that it is portable. In fact, this is one of the big reasons so many people want to do it.
Time flexibility. Location flexibility.
Well, I’m about to put that to the test. 🙂 See, this is going to be the home of my family for the next 4 weeks.
If you’ve been connected to me on my personal Facebook profile, you know that RV camping is one of those things I like to do. Some people like getting beach houses. Some people like just buying huge houses or fancy cars. Me?… I’d prefer to buy a second home which happens to have wheels on it and park it wherever I want. 🙂 In the mood for waterfront property? I can park it there.
The plan is to leave Florida and….
- Heading to New York City for a few days. You might think…. an RV in Manhattan? Well, there actually is a campground at Liberty Harbor right across the river from Manhattan. It isn’t so much a typical campground, though, as much as it is a parking lot with electrical hookups. 🙂
- Heading to Boston. Check out Boston and maybe Plymouth. Keeping the RV outside of town because, well… an RV and Boston’s gnarly roads just don’t get along. 😉
- Quick Stop In Portsmouth, NH. Or thereabouts. We’re going to spend a day with my father-in-law.
- Head north, through Vermont.
- Cross the border, visit Montreal, Canada.
- Cross back into the U.S. and travel through upstate New York. Possibly check out the Adirondack mountains and the vicinity.
- Niagara Falls.
- Head south back to Florida.
Should be a lot of fun. 4 weeks will be my longest stint living in an RV. And as you can imagine, having two young children in there can be… interesting. 🙂
But, what about business? Am I just shutting down? Nope.
Running The Academy From The Road
We live in amazing times when it comes to technology. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we were using dial-up internet. Where cell phones were these massive things in a case that you had to lug around with you. It is very different today.
Apple Macbook Pro and an iPhone. That’s really all I need. I use Verizon as my carrier and I simply tether my laptop to the phone for a full high-speed internet connection almost anywhere.
But, being able to get online doesn’t mean that I intend to be online constantly. After all, I’m on vacation with the family and the RV isn’t supposed to be my mobile office. So, I’ve prepared some things in advance…
- 3 full-length info-packed blog posts prepped.
- All Coffee Break Blogging podcasts prepped through the date of our return to Florida.
- New Action Plan just released into the Blog Monetization Lab, with another one likely to be released while I’m gone
- The Live Blog Monetization Webinar is going to be put on evergreen while I’m away (more on that below)
My business from the road should be limited to:
- Keeping up with my email. Not super demanding since all support stuff goes through Dawn first. But, I do get Lab member questions and emails from coaching clients that I must deal with personally.
- A few client phone calls. I can’t expect my active coaching clients to go a month without hearing from me, so I fully intend to schedule our standard calls while I’m away.
- Staying engaged with the Lab member community.
- Keeping up some marketing. While a portion of my ongoing marketing is automated (via emails and paid ads), there’s always that consistent communication with my subscribers that I do personally. You can’t automate engagement. 🙂
I know that the dream of an online business is “passive income”. Truth is, there’s no such thing as a fully passive income. Even if you do the work to create a “passive” income online, it’ll still eventually dwindle to zero if you don’t actively work it from time to time.
My business isn’t passive. Not sure if it ever could be short of me literally hiring another “David” to replace myself. The “secret” to making a real business like mine (which mixes products and service together) automated is SYSTEMS. Systems can be tweaked for maximum leverage. They can also often be automated, either through software or through an employee.
My Experiment Automating A Webinar
I’ve recently gotten back into the webinar circuit after a few years only doing webinars for customers. For the last several weeks, I’ve been conducting a live blog monetization webinar.
It has been an interesting ride. I’m tweaking the presentation, the funnels, all of it. Just getting better at it as I go. There’s no way to get good at something unless you just do it alot.
This has also been why I’ve been doing the same webinar in real-time, each week. It is tempting to automate it, but I don’t want to do that until I’ve really nailed down everything. And I’m just NOT there yet.
But, then RV trips come up on the calendar and it forces my hand. 🙂 See, conducting a live webinar from an RV, tethered to a phone, with kids running around… that’s just not a good idea. 🙂 Not to mention the major hassle that would be trying to make that webinar appointment while I’m on vacation.
So, for a limited time, I will be automating the blog monetization webinar.
For people who are curious what I’m using to do that, I decided to go with EasyWebinar. It really is a great system. There are definitely some things I wish it would do (mainly in terms of the followup), but Casey tells me they’re working on a major update that will solve all that. Plus, they’re going to have tighter integration with Ontraport… which is something I definitely need.
So, we’ll see how this works!
Actually, it will be a lot more convenient for visitors to the Academy. Automating this webinar means that it’ll be presented in far more time slots than I would be able to do myself. You can schedule a time which works better for you, rather than my own schedule. I’ve literally had people who live over in Europe stay up to the wee hours of the morning to attend my webinars – and I deeply appreciate that! But, with this new system, that won’t be necessary.
The cool thing about EasyWebinar is that these webinars are still timed. It isn’t as if this is a video and you just hit the PLAY button. You still need to be there at the scheduled time or you’ll miss it. And my system keeps track of what’s going on.
So, these are live events. Not much different than showing up at a movie theater or a show at the scheduled time. And we’ll see how it goes! It is an experiment, for sure.
Get Connected (If You Want)
I’ll probably be posting numerous updates from the road, but likely not very business-related (outside of the stuff my assistant puts out on my profiles). And I don’t generally blog about this kind of stuff since it isn’t really related to this site.
But if for some odd reason you’d like to see what we’re up to, you can get connected here:
- Follow my Facebook profile.
- Follow on Twitter. I might also try out some live Periscope sessions from the road, and I think Twitter is the place to find out about that.
And if you have any recommendations for places to visit in the Vermont or upstate New York area, let me know. 🙂 We’re leaving some flexibility into our schedule to “play it by ear”, and we’re not that familiar with the area.
See ya soon!
Nice vacation! I would love to do this just heading out west to see the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. I live in NJ, Ocean County, so be sure to wave when you pass on by!
That’s great, David! A couple years ago I decided my dream, once my daughter left home for college, was to sell off everything I own and move into an RV, traveling every bit of North America. That’s what inspired me to recently start blogging, to (hopefully, by then) create an income for fuel, food and mobile access.
Unfortunately, she left an hour ago – 4 years ahead of schedule – to go to high school with her mom, 800 miles away…
This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s still a plan. Before the sailboat. Except I plan to do an over-the-top camper–a nice one with the combo shower/toilet built in. Trying to get there a little at a time, but as a freelance writer, what could be better? I just need to save up enough money.
I did the whole “living in my Subaru” thing when I first started out, and I rather liked it, but a Subaru’s pretty small for anyone six feet tall. I wouldn’t mind an actual bed.
I’m a bit jealous, but I hope you have fun, and I hope when I check back in I find out it all works and I can do the same.
You are living my dream! Have a great time. I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes!
The RV looks great! I bet you’ll enjoy the road 🙂
Have a safe trip David!