It’s one of the more delightful bonuses of the entrepreneurial life that we not only can earn money as we travel, we also can be far more selective about our travels than those wornout corporate types whom we see dragging themselves through airports.
In Karen Rauch Carter’s Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life she tells how she used feng shui to add energy to her entrepreneurial travels: “In my single, more worldly days, I found a way to travel internationally three years in a row—with very little money.
“I wanted to spend some time in Hawaii. Since I am a landscape architect, I decided to put some of my energy toward getting a license to practice there. That little bit of energy went a long way.
“I eventually flew over to take the licensing exam. At the testing location, I met an architect from California (also taking the test) who had a hotel project that needed a landscape architect. He said, ‘If you pass the test, give me a call’.
“Long story short—I got the job and had to go to Hawaii on business five times. Each time I was able to extend the trip a few days so I could tour the islands.”
Feng shui and creative thinking can give your travel dreams a big boost, of course. So can giving up the thought that you must always pay in order to go places.
“I used to believe that you needed money to travel,” says writer Gregg Levoy. “But one of the great astonishments of my life has been the discovery that you don’t need money to travel. You need enough credentials to convince others to pay for your travel.”
If you are being paid to see the world, it’s equally important that the work you are being paid to do is richly satisfying in and of itself.
Too many people have put up with toxic jobs for the occasional travel benefits. If working for the airlines or joining the military is your grandest dream, by all means go for it. If not, you’re making a bad trade.
Whether you’re doing research for a book you intend to write or buying jewelry to sell on eBay, your travels will take on a grander dimension if they’re an intrinsic part of a bigger goal. Here are some other tips for getting your travel bug fed:
* Build confidence at home. You could plop down in Venezuela and offer your services as a Web designer for companies wanting an English Web site.
It makes more sense to figure out your marketing strategy and delivery system before you go by actually starting such a business in your own backyard.
While you may find unexpected opportunities in a distant place, at least part of your plan should include operating from your experience and confidence.
* Become really good at what you do. Your mastery will be as good as a passport for taking you places.
If you are a freelance anything (well, almost anything) adding a portable profit center to your enterprises should be fairly easy.
Your clients don’t all have to live in close proximity so why not find some in an exotic locale? If you do, don’t be surprised if the fact that you’ve come from afar adds to your mystique and leads to even more clients.
* Develop your ability to spot opportunity. You don’t have to act on every great idea you get, but you do have to open your mind to the fact that opportunities are everywhere.
Challenge yourself to find problems that need solving or needs that are unmet. If you are constantly on the alert, you will find opportunities that cry out for your attention. Get in the habit of thinking up ways you could take advantage of neglected ideas.
Once you begin to see for yourself how many possibilities exist, you will know beyond all doubt that you can find money-making opportunities no matter where you are.
If you’re willing to do the work to profit from them, you’re on your way to becoming an intrepid traveler with a well-fed (and grateful) travel bug.