The Business of Starting a Business: Working From the Road

One of the things that most drew me to freelancing was the freedom of it. Not only can I set my own hours, but I can work from anywhere that has an internet connection. I could be in a Parisian cafe, or holed up in an apartment in Buenos Aires, and I can still run my business exactly like I would at home.

There’s a beautiful and incredible power in being so flexible. Or at least, it appears that way from the outside. Once I hit the road in a few short weeks, I’ll be putting this flexible business to the test. I plan to continue working while on the road. I’ll be meandering my way through seven states over four weeks. If I don’t work, I’ll be one broke lady when I get back to Austin.

What does working on your business from the road look like? What does it take?

I have an idea of how I’m going to do this but I never actually have before. Thankfully, being a digital nomad is very popular today. There’s a plethora of information how to work from the road.

My road trip is designed to take me off the beaten path. There won’t be a Starbucks every seven feet as I drive eight hours through West Texas. Finding places with the internet will be tough over several stretches of this trip.

I also know I’m a procrastinator of the first order. If I can wait until the very last minute, I absolutely will. On top of that, I’ll be seeing some friends and family I haven’t seen in years in some of the cities I’m visiting. I’m not going to want to block off five hours in a coffee shop when I could spend that time with friends.

With all this in mind, I reverse engineered my work-from-the-road plan. It’s simple and straightforward, just the way I like it.

Get Ahead on Work

As I write this, I have several deadlines that I know are coming up in September. I’ll be writing and turning in all those articles before I leave town. I’m going to do everything I can to limit the amount of work I need to do on the road.

Become a City Morning Person 

It’s important to note the city part of this point. When I’m in major cities where they have fabulous things like 24-hour coffee shops and internet coming out the wazoo, I’ll have to take advantage. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a morning person. My alarm goes off at 7:00 am every morning- I almost always sleep until 8:00.

I’ll have to bite the bullet and get up early when I’m in cities. I’ll be able to get ahead on aspects of my business like social media scheduling, emails, and writing before my friends wake up. It will suck, but with the help of coffee, I will prevail.

Set up Email Responses

One thing I hate is an unreturned email. To spare people the pain of that, I’ll be setting up an automatic email response that lets people know my access to email is limited, and I’ll respond when I’m able.

Pitch Only in My Two Week Zone

Sidenote: writing this all out is showing me how deeply dependent I am on the internet. My life is the internet.

Anyway, I do plan to continue pitching when I’m on the road. Freelancers always need to be seeking new work- or at least this freelancer does. Like I said above, though, no one likes an unanswered email. My nightmare scenario would be to pitch a story and have it accepted while I’m in an internet dead zone.

I’ve found most editors get back to me within 1-5 days. I have a stretch of almost two weeks where I’ll have constant access to the internet, bouncing from city to city. I’ll only pitch during those two weeks. That way, I can be (almost) sure that I’ll be able to immediately respond.

Have any of you worked on the road before? Specifically, anyone out there who has worked from their car, or on a road trip before? I’d love to hear some other ideas, or experiences people have had!

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