Can An Online Business Support The Life You Really Want?
In this post, we talk about how re-evaluating what you really need – and want – in your life can make it much easier to cut the cord to your day job.
My family and I just returned from a week away in our RV. We traveled from our home in the Tampa area, up north to Savannah, GA, then spent a few days in Charleston, SC before heading back home.
We just bought this RV in September last year and this 7-day period was our longest single stretch essentially living in it since we bought it.
For us, it was a bit of a test. Would we all like each other at the end of it? Would we still like the RV after being in it for a week?
Well, as it turns out, we did. Which is good because we have a longer trip planned for the coming summer.
But, then this crazy idea came to mind one morning while we were eating breakfast…
What if we decided to RV full time?
No, this blog post isn’t going to be about the in’s and out’s of RVing. However, I AM going to talk about the mindset which a decision like that would rest on.
… because it has a lot to do with what many of us are pursuing when we think about creating an online business.
See, most people who pursue online business do it for one reason: FREEDOM.
Freedom from a job. Freedom from the 9-to-5. Freedom to be where you want.
This freedom from the 9-to-5 is very concrete, so that’s something many people focus on. But, what about the other trappings of life we create for ourselves?
As my wife and I pondered what it would take to travel in the RV full-time for a year, we started looking at the changes we would have to make:
- My wife would have to quit her own job, which is in a field (engineering) where she spent a lot of time getting educated to do it.
- We’d have to leave our house to go live in a much smaller space (an RV).
- We’d have to ditch our 2 cars and probably replace them with a single car we could tow behind the RV.
- We’d have to take our kids out of traditional school and basically home school them for a year.
- I’d have to set things up from a business perspective where I no longer would have an office, but I would literally run my business from a laptop in an RV using mostly cellular internet.
As we looked at it, it became very apparent that we would need to make several moves which go AGAINST what is commonly considered to be the usual template of life in America.
All these things are mere considerations, however.
They are habits we get accustomed to. We find security in them. And, leaving those habits for the prospect of a greener pasture can be pretty difficult. And it is made even more difficult when the people around you will probably think you’re nuts for doing it… for they’re in the same trap you are.
But, let’s look at the flip side…
How “big” does an online business have to be to support a life of freedom if you’re willing to redraw those considerations about what you really need?
I’ve known several online entrepreneurs who have decided to travel abroad for extended periods of time. Living in many countries is far cheaper than living in the U.S. These entrepreneurs are often single and have no kids – which obviously makes things much easier. 🙂
But, I’ve met two families over the years who RV’d full time and made their living online. Their home was quite literally wherever they chose to park it. Expensive lifestyle? Again, not necessarily. My wife and I deliberately bought an older RV which was in awesome shape and looks newer than it is. Why? Because we could buy it with cash. And it is just as capable of traveling the country as one of these 100K+ rigs you see on the road.
What it comes down to is this…
A lot of the “stuff” we “have to have” is really just a consideration, and sometimes re-evaluating what you really need is a useful exercise. And sometimes, by reducing those considerations, you make it a lot more REAL that your online business could actually support your lifestyle.
It starts with a simple word: DISAGREE.
Disagree with what society tells you you’re supposed to have. Do we really need the big house, granite countertops, a fancy car? Does that stuff really make you happy, or are you just doing it to prove something to other people?
I think, deep down, most of us desire freedom to live the experiences we want. Experiences, relationships, self betterment, knowledge. While “stuff” and money is great, none of that can be brought with you when you die.
So, will my family make the move to RV full-time? It is very possible – but not yet. Plus, if we do, it would only be for a year, not a permanent move.
While my wife and I are more liable to disagree with life’s template than many, we still find ourselves with many of the usual trappings. Some changes would need to be made, and that takes time. Plus, there is the matter of my kids’ school and my wife’s job.
We’d also buy a larger, nicer RV. Is it totally necessary? Not really. The one we have would be fine. However, spending a year in it means we would WANT something larger. Plus, if I’m going to run my business from it, I need some things that our current RV doesn’t have.
But, I think it would be a cool experience – one of those things my whole family will remember forever.
This blog post was not the usual fare for this blog. That, I know.
What I shared with you was some of the thoughts we were having privately while on a family trip. But… I also think it speaks right to the heart of WHY we’re doing this.
Why build an online business?
The phrase “lifestyle design” has been used in many circles, I believe made popular by Tim Ferris. Well, I think the phrase is very pertinent to what we’re all doing here.
Decide what you want, then literally design your life in such a way to make it happen.
It is definitely the road less traveled, but the good ones usually are.
What do you think?
I just joined 4 hours ago and I am learning a lot already. I have been watching several youtubers such as , Theoffgridschoolie,vancity vanlife over the past two years. I also watched people camping and living in their van, cars and suvs. After I got over the shock of living in a car and van cause they wanted to, my eyes have opened up to another lifestyle. Most of them have online businesses. I have been working with my business for awhile and gathering bits and pieces and I feel that Blog Marketing Academy will be the place to put all the pieces together finally. I have never camped so my family was shocked when I went to an rv camper show. It was fun. I just started traveling by plane for fun and I know that my business will allow me to travel and reach people and also allow me to relax wherever I happen to be. I just did not know how to set up everthing online. I look forward to working with David and his team and all of you. I think this is an excellent idea ,David and I believe you are already set up for success. My daughter is grown and fulfilling her dreams, which I encourage everyday. I don’t want her to be in this depressing rat race. My business is encouraging and showing people how to achieve their dream. I also want to be successful with the help of Blog Marketing Academy so that I can be an example for the many people, who want to be entrepreneurs and relax but do not know how to do it. I want people to achieve their dreams not to just think about it.
Worthy goal, Sabrina. 🙂
Keep in mind, while I love camping and try to do it as much as I can, I do not live in my RV. And I couldn’t handle living in an SUV or a van. I’d go nuts. 😉 But, the great thing about having flexibility is that you can make those decisions by choice and not because external circumstances force your hand.
Hi David. I am new here in the Lab, so sucking up all that is on offer as quickly as I can.
I used to follow Early Retirement Extreme which was about a guy who lived in an RV having retired in his 20’s (he was excessively Spartan though – I liked the idea but the practice was a bit extreme for me). I also followed Mr Money Moustache, another early retirement blog, which is much more living the dream.
But I love the idea of having the freedom to travel and to show the kids what the world is really like. Just have to get this blog up and running and making money first!
Well don’t “suck up all that is on offer as quickly as I can.”. Because, speed isn’t the issue. It is execution. It would be better to slow down and take the time to do what’s needed. Rushing through videos never got anybody anywhere.
What an awesome experience this would be for you and your family!! You only get a “once around” in this lifetime, so make it good! We are in the process of selling our house and belongings to travel the world! A very liberating experience getting rid of the “stuff”! Started blogging, but I’m very technically challenged! Your 30 day Challenge is helping!!
What an awesome, liberating & expansive experience that would be…. & (in my opinion) only YOU know if that would all apply to your children or not, as every child is different.
I also have two children, ages 3 & 5… & from what I can see, they are happy when I am happy, no matter the other varying details. That may be simple, but there you have it.
Structure & routine can be accomplished anywhere by anyone willing to put their head to it, as you so wisely encourage & offer in your courses. & how cool that you already have the infrastructure in place so you can have that option for adventure & learning in a way so few can.
While I am all for the internet lifestyle (I run my own online company), I think the decision would be selfish. I think that it would be a GREAT decision if you had no kids but since you do, there is value to stability. Not financial stability but some level of geographic stability.
I assume you own a home now that is in a fixed location. The kids leave from it and come home to it every day. That is very psychologically reassuring to children. To have a roaming home would initially be fun but I imagine would be very hard for kids to cope with.
I have 2 kids (2 and 5) and it’s hard enough making decisions to move and live in a different country (schools, housing etc) but that seems like a cakewalk compared to a roving RV.
My 10 cents.
I appreciate your opinion, Onauora.
Regarding homeschooling — that would be an adjustment, for sure, if you haven’t done it before. But the education your kids would get on the road would be much richer than the one they would get in a traditional school setting. When our kids were 10 and 12, we went to India for 6 months. Best thing we ever did for them. While we homeschooled, they gained the most from living in a different culture and dealing with life in a developing country. I will say that you probably want to do it before middle school if you can. We went back to India when our kids were 14 and 16 and it was rough.
internet would be more or less my ‘only’ concern – in your shoes. the rest, it’s all mindset. if you can be online whenever you want, you can do anything anywhere. (tell me about it, LOL, i KNOW! my connection is pretty lousy here on the island and it plays havoc with my flow!)
but you’ll need a place to withdraw – which is, i’m guessing, what the RV needs adapting to. if your business is ‘rolling’, then it doesn’t matter quite so much; but if you need to stay on top (who doesn’t?) then not having your kids in school and not having your spouse away at her job (read: having everyone at -very- close quarters!) will take some getting used to.
so look at what you REALLY need, then try for a longer period and assess. and then just feel into it. the fun starts today and even if the plan for some reason doesn’t work out, no-one can take away the fun you had in the process, 😀
Don’t do the things you do for other people, do what you want to do. don’t let society make your decisions for you.
Go, go, go!
– Home schooling is much easier while kids are in lower grades.
– Cellular internet is good backup, but decent camp sites and RV parks has excellent WIFI service, at least on the west coast. On areas with no coverage, public libraries are there for your refuge.:-) Being an internet nomad is wonderful.
Man, I envy you.
This is what it’s all about David. Most of us are here because we want to be able to be free from the stress and tedium of a 9-5. I hope everything works out and you have a great time living your dream!
Thanks, Carlos. 🙂 And the same to you.
“Out of step while they all get in line” – Good Charlotte
Do it, my man!