Work From Anywhere, Strings Attached
Today, I am pulling the curtain back on a phrase that is thrown around a lot in network marketing, MLMs, direct sales, be-your-own-boss endeavors, and the like. I’ll admit right off the bat that I use this phrase myself, even though I know there should be an asterisk at the end most of the time. MOST OF THE TIME okay!!? Because, as much as I’m going to love doing this little exposé, I am still super grateful for the opportunity that I have, recognize the freedom in it, and can’t imagine my life any other way.
Alright, so how many times have you been cruising social media and you come across a picture of a person with their shiny new laptop, sometimes posing with their coffee cup full of aspirations that 1000% guaranteed has some sort of motivation-with-a-side-of-sarcasm saying on it, and behind them is the most stunning scenery you’ve ever seen. Since nothing exists on social media without at least one hashtag, it’s nestled in the caption somewhere, just in case you missed the vibe from the pic…. work from anywhere. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Here, let me refresh your memory, aside from the coffee cup because I don’t drink that nasty bean water.
Inspiring, isn’t it? Wow, this chick changed her life, packed up, and earned herself those #officeviews. Gosh it looks like you really CAN work from anywhere. Not quite, Sister. Let the debunking commence!
Here is the deal. I did zero work that day. None. You know what I did do? I enjoyed the shit out of the scenery and the drive, even if it did take about 7 hours longer than we expected. Still, the views were INCREDIBLE and although I said our number one goal on this trip was to never see snow, these snow-capped mountains made me feel some type of way. This picture was taken during a quick stop on a scenic overlook. We flew open the back doors and then froze our asses off because we were at the top of snow capped mountains, remember? It’s cold and windy! Gusts of wind blew stuff out of the van, and we had to run around scooping it all up because we didn’t want to be those people that litter on top of a majestic mountain (we pick our stuff up regardless of the back drop), the kids were whining because they were freezing, it was not what you would call a work-friendly atmosphere. Even if we had the doors closed and the heater on and motivation to work instead of enjoy the fact that we’ve driven to the other end of the country with all the free time in the world, WE ARE AT THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN! Mountains have a lot of things—cliffs that will make you wonder ‘how many people have plummeted to their death from this exact spot?’ and winding switchbacks and picture-perfect views and crisp clean air and mountain goats (Allegedly. we saw signs everywhere for ram crossings and such, but I’ll let you guess how many we saw……)—but do you know what mountains do NOT have? Internet! Not a single bar. True my business isn’t run entirely on the interwebz, and in fact I much prefer the in-person sessions to the online avenue, but mountains also lack people interesting in hearing about and sampling the best made-in-the-US, gluten and GMO free, vegan cosmetic and skin care line. In conclusion, while I can work from anywhere, a mountain top is a terrible choice.
So wait, why is she telling us this? Isn’t her end goal to make her work from anywhere life so interesting and inspiring that we can’t resist joining her in her venture? Well, yes and no. I’m always up for helping women do what they love and love what they do, and I totally believe in the products I represent and wear. If nothing else I believe that everyone should start taking care of their skin like, yesterday, because it’s the only skin you have and I wish someone had forced me into caring for my mug long before I actually did, and I love showing people how something as simple as a tube of lip color or out-of-this-world mascara can make you feel like a super model, even if you’ve had a shit day and would rather put on sweatpants and binge Netflix for the next 7 hours.
The reason I’m bringing this to light is because I want to remind everyone that nothing is perfect. No job, person, vacation, opportunity, nothing. And it’s really easy to take a picture that represents perfection and write a story around that image, leaving out all the little not-so-picture-perfect-details. Social media is filled with perfection and it can be hard not to compare our normal to everyone else’s highlight reel. I’m talking hustling here but honestly this applies to all aspects of life. If all you ever see is the easy breezy beautiful of entrepreneurship, it’s easy to be discouraged. You’re over here feeling like a failure by the time you’re 3 days in to your new business because no one has offered to schlep you to a secluded vista to photograph you and your coffee cup collection! What gives?!?
My job, if you want to call it that, is amazing. It has taken us to the ends of the Earth (literally. I’m writing this as we wind up the Pacific Coast Highway, mountains to my right, ocean to my left) and has allowed us the freedom to do what we want, when we want, without having to ask for time off or cash in vacation days. It has put so many fun, fabulous people in to my life that I definitely would not have met had I not made the switch. BUT- and here is the attached string I mentioned in the title- it takes work. Just like anything amazing in life. Sometimes I might make it look easy and effortless. Truthfully I don’t think of it as ‘hard’, because it brings me so much joy. This is true in a lot of facets of my life, honestly. Van life is INCREDIBLE. Like, truly incredible and I wish everyone reading this right now could just take 6 months and experience it. But, it’s not as simple as ‘put your shit in a van and go!’ It takes planning, and prepping, and patience to make it work. Sometimes it’s freezing and you’re at too high of an altitude for your heater to run so you have to drive 3 hours out of the way to find a place to sleep. Sometimes you get fed up with being in a vehicle with your family for 38,420 straight hours and you want some alone time, but you’re like 2 hours from civilization and it’s midnight, so that isn’t happening today. Sometimes your kid poops their pants 3 miles in to a hike in an undisclosed National Park (another story, another time). It’s simple, but it’s not easy.
Working from anywhere truly is simple, but it’s not easy. You have to consider whether or not you’ll have access to internet, if you need that. You have to make sure you have electricity or a charged laptop. You have to remember your kids can’t understand that we don’t live in 3008 like Fergie does, and not everything has a touch screen so when you’re working at the park on a gorgeously sunny day all you’re going to see are smudges on your screen (bring rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and a microfiber cloth!). You have to make sure it isn’t so windy on that postcard-perfect beach that you’ll get sand stuck into the hinges of your shiny new laptop so it crunches a tad every time you open or close it. Most importantly, you have to have the discipline to know when it’s time to get shit done, but also when it’s time to put it away and live the life you tell others they, too, can have. Close your crunchy laptop and live in the moment. And remember to bring snow pants if you end up on top of a mountain because it’s like, really really cold.