Location independence – break free

Hopefully, in less than six months I will be location independent. If this is your first time to Skyscrapers & Mountains, welcome. Likely you got to this page because you have at least once thought about how life would look unlocked from the chains attached to your desk in the normal 9-5 lifestyle. I feel you. Throughout this post, I will be sharing some travel photos in hopes it sparks some kind of wanderlust in you should you not already have some.

This article won’t be a cure-all for how to solve your problems. Everyone is different. People have different goals, different objectives. The route I am taking may not be right for you. But when I am finally living the life I want to live, I hope this post can give some of you reading it some inspiration. If you want something bad enough, go get it. You are only limited to what you tell yourself you can’t do.

Today is Valentine’s Day. For many of you, this is a great, joyous occasion that gives you an excuse to pamper your partner, make the bed squeak, and snuggle each other until you wake up tomorrow. After a relationship of five years and a somewhat messy break-up, V-Day for me is just like any other day: a chance to improve myself. I’ve learned that to make any changes in your life, you have to do it for – and with – the ones you love. As a single guy trying to see all the beauty this world has to offer, it’s easy to focus on No. 1.

Unrealistic goals

One of the suggestions I have taken to heart from The 4-Hour Workweek is to make unrealistic goals. My goals may be realistic to you, but for me, they are tough to imagine. The following are two long-term goals and two short-term goals I am trying right now.

  • Become location independent by June 13.
    • There is no other reason for this date other than this is the date where flights from Chicago to Bangkok, Thailand are the cheapest. To be honest, there are two things limiting me from taking off right now.
      • 1.) Money (which we’ll get to later) and
      • 2.) A free trip to South Africa paid for by my current employer (the No. 1 thing on my Bucket List right now is to go on an African safari).
    • I believe that there is a learning curve (again, scroll down to the challenges section of this post if you are jonesing for how I am adapting to challenges), and things you need to learn about yourself before you attempt what I am trying to accomplish.
  • Get to Everest Base Camp in September.
    • “It’s not the mountain you conquer, but yourself.”
    • In contrast to some people who wanted to be a firefighter, astronaut, or doctor when they were growing up, I had no clue. Not only will this trek test me physically, but even more so mentally. If I can accomplish this feat, I’m confident I can accomplish anything.
  • Get out of my comfort zone every day.
    • This could be talking to someone you don’t know, it could be eye gazing while you talk to people or while other people talk to you. If you are looking for a change, it’s likely you have some fear about it. Face it head-on.
  • Write an email to an impossible person to get a hold of.
    • I limit my emails to 200 words and they are directed at former Presidents of the United States, men and women who have changed the world in their respective fields, and visionaries from across the globe. I end with a question in hopes they will take time out of their day to write four words in a row to me.

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How I’m trying to make money

Blogging

There are a bunch of different ways to make money online. Here’s a list of 64 of them. I am a writer by trade and by degree, so making a blog that fills a niche is the most appealing to me. My goal is to help inspire others by seeing my travel stories. I want to learn from, photograph, videograph, and document people who look different than me so that the people of this world can see that at the end of the day, we are all humans. Along with a little skill and a lot of hard work and discipline, I know I can be successful in one arena or another. So – a little shameless self-promotion here – subscribe to my blog if you find this helpful.

Affiliate marketing

A lot of people trying to make money online these days look to affiliate marketing to earn passive income on various Multi-Level Management business opportunities (MLMs). There are numerous success stories out there of people traveling the world and promoting their products through social media channels, emails, and word of mouth. Naturally, I thought with my 1,400+ Instagram followers, work ethic, and writing and people skills, this would be an easy way to make money.

So far, the verdict is still out.

Few people will do very good with MLMs, most won’t. I believe that people with natural-born leadership, a proven system, and a huge social media following can rake in money with by selling the opportunity of imitating their successes. Truth is, a lot of people will fail. For the right type of person, though, this can be quite lucrative, however short-term.

I am currently an affiliate with Digital Altitude. This high-ticket program pays out when you recruit new members to sell Digital Altitude’s products – educationals on how to be a successful online marketer. There are six tiers to the program, each buy-in more expensive than the last. The way you make money is recruiting others to join you. You are embedded into a community that has been successful, have coaching sessions to keep you on the right track toward success, and even Marketing Mastery Events that get you hyped up for what the future has in store. Sounds great, right?

Digital Altitude is currently under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. Founder and CEO Michael Force has relinquished control of the company.

There are two opinions on what will happen next.

  • 1.) The FTC is just looking into Digital Altitude because of the amount of success it is having, not because they have done something wrong.
  • 2.) Digital Altitude is going down and everyone is going to lose their money.

Stay tuned.

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Becoming an influencer

The problem with affiliate marketing programs that promote high-tier commissions is that it’s hard to start. Take me for example. I want to eventually travel the world. Right now, I’m working 70 hours a week. It’s hard to convince a snail that I am actually living my dream. It’s a Catch 22. You won’t have enough income to start living your dream life if you can’t get people to sign up for what you’re doing. If you book a one-way flight to Timbuktu, you have no sense of security. Security is the enemy if you want to have money start working for you.

Becoming an influencer could bring you sponsorships, partnerships, and publicity. You have to be one hell of a marketer, and/or unbelievably skilled to start making money quickly going this route. You need to find a way to have killer content like Nomadic Matt or a great goal like Johnny Ward

Go to Instagram and search @einnaroy or @danielkordan. These guys are near the top of my influencer list. These guys have great photos, great stories, great videos, and do it while trekking the globe. These kinds of people make their money and are location independent because they are so popular, brands throw their money at them. This could be a longer route and a route I would consider to be a bonus if it happens.

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Freelancing

Freelancing or negotiating with your employer to work away from an office is perhaps one of the most common ways people can break the chains and live the life they want to live. Security blinds us. As employees in America, you are punished for sitting in an office chair from 9-5 Monday through Friday. The government takes nearly half of your wages to cover its federal programs, which sits on a foundation of fake money.

Contrary to what you believe to be true, the U.S. Dollar is not backed up by any gold anywhere. Baby Boomers looking to cash in their retirement programs after a lifetime of work will see a big pile of nothing in the near future. The Industrial Age of going to school, getting a good paying job, buying a nice car and a nice house, putting up a picket fence with two kids and a dog is great for some people. But it is the way of the past.

Welcome to the Information Age. A new study finds 35 percent of employees in this country have remote working locations. If the government is going to take your money away anyway, wouldn’t you like to be where you want to be with the people you want to be with?

There are a number of great freelance websites to get your name out there. Start with a portfolio of your work, send emails to clients or employers you think would be a good fit, and answer the phone. Say yes more than you say no. It’s amazing what having an open mind can do for you.

I currently have three freelance roles in North Central Washington. Although it is not enough for me to live on the road, I am building up to having this be a viable option for income I can make from my computer.

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Investing

Easy, buddy. Eaaaaaasy. If you are in debt, have never invested anything in your whole life, or are clueless to how the stock market works, work up to it. Just throwing thousands of dollars into the new frenzy of cryptocurrency could spell doom for you. Make sure you read Think and Grow Rich to get your feet underneath you before you start buying real estate property in Waikiki Beach. With investing, you need to think and see with your mind, not your eyes. You need to be able to read numbers, not letters. Most people – about 90 percent of the population – will never try investing. This is the pinnacle of having your hard earned money work for you. Many people think investing is risky. If you have the right mentors and game plan, it could be the best way to make money.

I know these principles because I am learning one day at a time. I am by no means an expert and have loads of student debt myself. Someday I hope to break the trend of trading my time for money, and this is the way to do it. You can be financially free in 10 years if you learn how to invest correctly.

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Challenges

Direction

Apart from the obvious challenge of making money online to fund the lifestyle I want to live, I have some troubles with underachieving. Yes, you read that right. Underachieving. When we try to do too much, we get analysis paralysis. You do so much research on something and you don’t pull the proverbial trigger.

This is one of my biggest faults. An action that leads to inaction is still inaction. An action that leads to action yields results. It starts with a thought.

The problem that I have is I do not currently know the best way to proceed. I would love to have two things a day I do no matter what to achieve my goals in the most succinct way possible, but it is often not possible. Instead, I take what Tom Ferris said in The Four-Hour Workweek to heart. Just do something instead of nothing.

Action

For example, I’m writing this blog post right now, and I’m loving it. I’ll post it on my social networks and I”ll get X amount of hits. But I’m doing it. Baby steps.

Another example: I was skinny in high school, fat in college and I’m in the middle now. Instead of not going to the gym, I go for 30 minutes a day four times a week. I am losing weight and I feel better about myself. It kickstarts my mornings or evenings and gives me more motivation as I go through the day knowing I did something to better myself. It starts with one day. Don’t push it off till Monday because you’ll push it off till Tuesday. Just go. This is a challenge I have overcome.

Patience

Somebody smart once said, “Patience is a virtue.” I was not blessed with this virtue. When I figure out something I want to do, I seek immediate gratification. Financially free and independent thinkers enjoy delayed gratification. Taking steps to achieve those big, unattainable, and far-flung goals do not happen overnight. This is one of my biggest challenges. If you find yourself struggling with this as well, grab yourself a Panda Planner. This has increased my focus and productivity to what actually counts tenfold.

See you in Tibet.

 

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