Running a Renaissance Business from the Road
My workspace at Cafe 101 in Hollywood

Running a Renaissance Business from the Road

Written by Emilie

Topics: Renaissance Business

As I’ve been making my way down the West Coast these last five weeks, several people have asked about work. In addition to the standard “what do you do?” I’ve also received a lot of questions about how I managed to “get off work” for so long. In other words, how am I funding my travels?

It’s pretty simple really. Not much has changed. I have a Renaissance Business that I can run from anywhere. I still work with my clients, I still make sales, I still blog, tweet and send emails. I’m not taking any “time off” at all. In fact, nearly every morning of my trip I have gone to a cafe with wifi in whatever town I’m in, and I’ve done my work exactly as I would have back home. Once I get my work done, I spend the rest of the day exploring my surroundings and connecting with new friends.

Sometimes my morning work ritual has meant saying no to outings or adventures. But it’s a ritual that I need to stay sane, one that will always remain an absolute. The only time I don’t work in the mornings is when I have a train or bus to catch. And in truth, I hate these days because I love my work. If I don’t spend my mornings being creative, in a flow state, the rest of the day is often a wash.

I will say though, that it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had to decrease the amount of coaching I’ve been doing, as I’ve found it extremely stressful worrying about having both strong wifi and a private room when you don’t know where you’ll be a week in advance.

Of course, being a multipotentialite means that doing less coaching isn’t a problem at all. I simply spend this time with one of my other interests: writing, collaborating, conceiving new projects, putting action steps in place for the big goals.

All in all, running a multifaceted, digital business is really quite compatible with traveling. If you’re lucky enough to be a multipotentialite, I would highly recommend using that innovative, project oriented mind of yours, and housing your work in the cloud.

Your Turn

Have you worked on the road before? How’d you find it?


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  1. Kylie says:

    I’ve worked on the road a little bit: the last time I visited Portland and Seattle, for example. I found it incredibly empowering to be able to help fund my actual travel by doing work while there. I also really loved it because it made me feel more like I was *living* somewhere, instead of just being a tourist there. I also love my work, and doing it in a new place made it even more exciting and different.

  2. Ethan says:

    I worked from the road during my 1-month bicycle tour of the west coast. One thing I didn’t take into account was simply how exhausted I was going to be at the end of every day. Sure, there was time to jump online and answer emails and write blog posts, but there wasn’t always energy.

    As far as tech goes, I traveled light with just an iPad and bluetooth keyboard. I think I even did a post about it on Cloud Coach. It was a 3G ipad, so I payed my $20 for the month and had internet wherever there was cell service. That came in handy.

    • Emilie says:

      Ethan, I definitely thought of you when I wrote this post. Did you try working in the morning? Or I guess you probably wanted that morning energy for biking… Tricky.

      So it sounds like “maintenance” wasn’t an issue, but anything that required more inspiration was harder to fit in? I’ve found that to be true at times too, mostly on days when there’s a lot I want to see.

      • Ethan says:

        You’ve got it. The mornings were especially busy- packing up camp, trying to eat a bajillion calories, etc. Yes, maintenence was not an issue but I think if I do another bike tour (which I’d love to), I’ll build in more rest days. Basically days where I don’t have to ride and have ample time to do more meaningful work.

  3. I have been a productive nomad since late 2008 and got to the same conclusion as you: Getting things done on the road is a challenge, but definitely possible and enjoyable.

    For me, it meant experimenting a lot with different productivity systems and approaches, and finding my personal way of integrating some kind of work “routine” into a life with little to no routines.

    I believe this is the core: There is no *one* way of being productive anywhere, but there is a whole buffet of tools and approaches, so all we have to do is to get an understanding of the basics and then choose the ones we like: Traveling fast or slow, working with clients or alone, setting up your computer to be able to work without internet all are things to decide upon and do. (And many more, of course… I even ended up writing a book on the topic! ;))

    • Emilie says:

      You’re absolutely right, Fabian. There are so many options out there, and the key is finding a routine that works for you while not getting overwhelmed by all that data (because the productivity tips really never stop)… But yes, it’s totally doable and fun.

      Thanks for throwing in your two cents. :)

  4. Hi Emilie,
    I’m new here (found you through and already like it a lot :-)
    I’ve been working from on the road since May when I went location independent and started traveling full time. In the beginning it was hard and I slacked a bit but now I have my routine and I love it!

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