It is April 1st! No April Fools jokes here. My (almost) 30 consecutive days of blogging (I've missed a few) is ending, but my blogging career is just beginning. I have several posts in the works, and will also be guest editor on the GenesisWP.guide next week, so you haven't nearly had enouugh of me yet! Thanks for being part of this blogging challenge if you have been following along!
Today's guest blogger is my cousin-in-law, the amazing Christy Hovey. Christy speaks, teaches, and writes on the topics of startups, productivity solutions, and social media marketing trends. She's designed her work life around her family and her goals and enjoys the flexibility of being a digital nomad and lifestyle entrepreneur. She is also a licensed Realtor and insurance broker and was awarded the Idaho Business Review’s Women of the Year 2014 award for being an innovator with My Social Media Ghost. Her book, The 9-to-5 Escape Artist, (5 Stars on Amazon.com!) is full of great information for would-be and budding digital nomads and entrepreneurs.
Many mainstream workers dream about the corner office—only to find that the end result is a greater time commitment to the job, loss of self, and strained or broken relationships. What’s the point of having a great view if you’re miserable on the inside and have nothing to show for it except an extra digit at the end of your bank statement balance? Wouldn’t a better game plan be mapping out a way to make the income necessary to live your best life and to do it in a way that you design, implemented on your own terms?
I have a gorgeous home office, painted in cool gray and dotted with framed pictures of powerful women. My favorite books line my bookshelves from the bottom of the floor to the top of my fourteen-foot ceiling. From my wide bay window, I can see a stately ornamental pear tree deeply rooted in my front yard, its snow-white petals infusing my office with the smell of spring.
I watch my children swinging outside on our white vinyl porch swing, laughing and soaking in the beauty of the season. My parents bought a house two streets away from me, and sometimes from my office window I catch a glimpse of my mom riding her bicycle, waving to me as she flies by. I’m working when and how I want to and wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll never give up this view for one in a high-rise building, alienated from my family and the things that give me the most joy. I’m a lifestyle entrepreneur. I’ve designed my work life around my family life, and it’s exactly how I want it to be.
While starting a new business requires a large investment of time, you end up with more time to do the things you want to do in the long run, and you have complete control over how you spend your time each day. We live in an amazing time. We have access to unlimited information and all the materials we need to start and run a business. The problem is that sometimes there’s so much information coming at us that it’s hard to discern what information is helpful and correct and what information is totally bogus.
The 9-to-5 escape artist understands that money can be made at any time and from anywhere. We’ve realized that our day-to-day lives don’t have to be lived the way most people say they should be; rather, the possibilities are endless. As such, 9-to-5 escape artists tend to take calculated risks to create the life they want to live versus waiting for a lifestyle that will probably never materialize.
At its core, being a 9-to-5 escape artist means we don’t rely on anyone else to provide us an income. We take 100 percent responsibility for the condition of our finances (because we know we can’t rely on a job for permanence). Many escape artists integrate travel into their work design, some adopting a nomadic lifestyle or a hybrid style of bouncing from home base to a remote location for weeks or months at a time. Some have families who have integrated into this design, exploring and roaming in RVs across the country or becoming international travelers, learning about the world in a hands-on way.
As I’m doing my best to describe what a 9-to-5 escape artist is, I’m away from my home base and marinating in warm Las Vegas, Nevada. None of my businesses are suffering for it. All four of my children are here with me, happier than they were a few days ago when we left fifty-degree weather for eighty-eight-degree weather. The college student and the seventeen-year-old have their laptops so they can stay on top of their assignments; the two toddlers have their water wings in order to stay afloat in one of the four pools at our resort.
We have a time-share and are allotted a few weeks every year at hundreds of five-star resorts. Few people are in the position to utilize this great perk because they aren’t 9-to-5 escape artists. Most people I’ve talked to here at the resort are either 9-to-5 escape artists who do this regularly or those using their once-a-year, one-week vacation allotment from their 9-to-5 jobs. If someone (an employer) has put limits on your time, it doesn’t have to be that way. Spring break is in a few weeks, but we don’t have to go on vacation at the same time as the rest of the country because we’re living by our own schedule. We are living life on purpose; this is intentional lifestyle design.
If you earnestly desire to become a 9-to-5 escape artist and you’re willing to do what it takes to ensure a successful outcome, then do it. It’s not as hard as you might think.
There are hundreds of jobs that might fit in the digital nomad category. Here are a few you might consider:
- Affiliate marketer
- App or software developer
- Content writer
- Document translator
- eBook formatter
- Graphic designer
- Insurance agent
- SEO link builder
- Social media consultant
- Virtual assistant
- Web developer
Go online, Google “digital nomad jobs,” and you’ll find many suggestions and ways to procure business that enable you to live a life not tied to one location. I think you’ll be surprised at the unlimited opportunities available to you. All you have to do is take the plunge!
No matter what, you must do what the famous book says and feel the fear and do it anyway. Just take a breath, and take action. Successful 9-to-5 escape artists do not allow life to get in the way; they make life the way they want it.
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I have a word that I taped to my computer, and I look at it every day. It says Limitless. To me, that means there are no limits to what I can expect and achieve in my life. I was created to do great things, and so were you – so get to it!