It is a beautiful thing.
Working from anywhere in the world, at any time, with anyone.
We are blessed with an amazing opportunity to live a freedom-filled lifestyle and have clients/customers all over the world – and yet be anywhere else in the world we want.
That is what life, and business is all about, right?
So the big question then is…
Back when I started out online, I was so busy trying to make things work, I never took the time to enjoy the freedom I had.
I would work early til late, trying to figure out what it was that I was offering, how i was going to make money and how I was definitely not going back to work.
But early last year, as a part of my 40th birthday, my girlfriend gave me a ticket to Austin Texas!
You may not have connected the dots yet but Austin Texas is the home of SXSW, one of the craziest festival/conferences in the world (haven’t been yet? put it on your to-do list). It’s actually a cross between a digital/marketing conference, a film and music festival and a massive party.
And I was heading there to enjoy it – in all it’s glory, and visit one of my closest friends at the same time. (I met him in Switzerland, but he since moved to Australia, my home, and then not longer after, back to Austin – his home). It was time to catch up with him and his family! I also managed to catch sessions with the likes of Tim Ferriss, the head of Google X as well as many other mind-blowing experiences (ever had Texas BBQ? OMG!).
I also managed to catch sessions with the likes of Tim Ferriss, the head of Google X as well as many other mind-blowing experiences (ever had Texas BBQ? OMG!).
It was an amazing trip, one I actually combined with a side-trip to SMMW (the biggest social media conference around) to rub shoulders with some of the big-wigs in the blogging/social media world (yes, I met Noah Kagan on an aircraft carrier, Rebecca Radice & Denise Wake in the sessions,. saw Pat Flynn give an amazing talk on Masterminds, met Wade Harman way too many times, chatted with Martin Shervington in the Lobby, had dinner with my buddy Ian Anderson Gray and new found friend Lilach Bullock and drank way too many cocktails. I also met lots of other great peeps – Jeff Sieh, Ian Cleary, Alissa Meredith, Vincent Ng, Brandon Schaefer, Dorien Morin-van Dam and many more).
Back to the point…
I was embracing the freedom of my chosen path – that of the misunderstood solopreneur!
It was great fun traveling and partying, and meeting loads of new people (the stack of business cards I came home with was ridiculous!) but I actually had some work to do while I was there too (what? yes, I needed to work).
How can you honestly work while on the road – Mr Solopreneur?
I wanted to share my travel set up with you guys so that you can see how productive and comfortable you can actually be while living the solopreneur life.
In terms of hardware this is what I use:
Yes, I love Apple products (I converted a few years ago when I needed a new PC and was sick of my Windoze machines always running like dogs – ie. slow).
So, let’s quickly break it all down (I will skip some items for brevity):
I bought this baby a few years ago for a few reasons:
So if you don’t need the power or 13 inches, you can go even lighter with the 11″. That is also pretty sweet!
I love me some Apple goodness, but the cordless mouse was annoying the bejingles out of me as I had to replace the batteries every few weeks.
The mouse itself is super easy to use (sexy smooth scroll & button all in one) with no need for a mouse mat (at least on most surfaces).
And with the power of the Mobee Magic Mouse Charger (where I put my mouse to sleep each night) I am now good to go!
I spotted this gem on Wonder of Tech (a great blog from a blogging buddy of mine, Caroline) and just had to have it.
Ever traveled overseas and not only had to carry adapters (or buy one when you forget it) but also need to charge 2-3 devices all at once?
This puppy can do it all:
Loving it! (you can see it in action on the right).
Most of the above items are probably not that surprising, but the key to it all (for me) is the Roost.
I discovered this baby about 18 months ago, just after they successfully completed their first Kickstarter campaign.
It is basically a laptop stand that is ultra-portable and super small/easy to carry when collapsed. Here is what it looks like unpacked, with it’s snug little bag in front: It fits right into my laptop bag, backpack or…wherever you want (like a very small umbrella – say for a 6 year old).
Basically, the Roost is a lightweight set of pieces (metal and plastic) that fold out into a handy stand. You then clip your laptop onto the top plastic lips,(placing them between the two main laptop pieces – screen and keyboard). It grips the laptop so it almost can’t fall. How cool is that!
How cool is that!
Working on a rocky boat? No problem – the Roost has you covered.
Caught in a hurricane? Just keep on working. Thanks to the Roost!
But seriously, this piece of very well designed hardware is a godsend.
Open it up.
Stick your laptop on.
Plug in your keyboard (if you ain’t cordless – like me) the result is amazing:
One minute later, you are good to go!
Here is the result:
Side note: No, I don’t take the million dollar pig with me when I travel. It is a motivational piece I got as a present when I started my business a few years ago! Not sure where you can buy one :>
So, as you can see, the laptop is raised to a comfortable eye level (like a normal screen) and with the mouse and keyboard, you are all set to go.
It takes minutes to set up, allowing you can use it almost anywhere (co-working spaces, cafes or any accommodation you happen to be in). And the newer version (which I don’t have yet) will have adjustable height! Sweet.
While I was in Austin, I got myself a very nice apartment to stay in, so working there was no problem at all.
At SMMW, I did not do so much work, but I had the hotel desk in the room when I needed it, and within a few minutes of arriving I was all set up and ready to go (as you can see in the image, not the best spot, but ready to go!).
And, as I plan on heading home to Australia in the coming months to celebrate my parents wedding anniversary and their birthdays, I will be taking my “super comfy and flexible workplace” with me.
I am there for a few weeks, and won’t be missing a beat.
Working and traveling are so easy these days. All you need is a laptop and desk. But, you can also make it more comfortable and productive and get even more work done while on the road.
Heading to a foreign country to work is one option. Or just popping into a conference for a week (extended vacation) is another.
I also take my laptop with me when I visit family for long periods so I can work in between doing other things.
It is all possible when you are a solopreneur!
Join the Solopreneur Revolution. What are you waiting for?
Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).