Staying in one place isn't the ideal situation for all business owners. In fact, some entrepreneurs can't stand the idea of a static home base. These digital nomads much prefer life on the road with constantly changing scenery. The question is: How are they doing it? The idea of traveling the world while owning a successful business seems like an oxymoron to some--surely you can't have both, right?
It turns out: You can. I spoke to a handful of business owners who spend their days traveling the globe and managing successful companies from anywhere and everywhere to find out how they make it work.
1. Strike a balance between business and fun
Sabina King is currently heading to Bali for two months with her family--but that doesn't mean her online businesses will be shutting down or losing steam. For this entrepreneur, what started as a short-term trip to Costa Rica turned into seven years of non-stop travel (all while growing two online businesses Veppo and TaZa into profiting powerhouses that enable her family's year-round travel.)
How'd she do it? For her, a big piece of the puzzle has been finding a balance between work and fun. "Some weeks I just maintain the business because we're busy exploring, but other weeks I'm focused on work and the creativity is flowing," she said. "I enjoy the contrast and feel like it's a rollercoaster in the best way. It's all about finding the right balance."
2. Test smart tools to simplify work
Former sound engineer Brad Ervin learned all about life on the road when he toured the world with artists like Bette Midler, The Dixie Chicks, and Garth Brooks.
During that time, he also figured out how to maximize the down time of long bus rides, overseas flights, and days off. In the early days, he used that free time to teach himself how to write code, to create marketing strategies, and to test different apps and tools he could use to simplify complicated processes.
It turns out that time was well spent. Today, while managing his online health food business on the road, he uses a variety of web-based tools like Google Docs, BigCommerce, and Facebook to stay organized and to grow his company. And it's working: His brand has more than 350,000 followers across social platforms.
For other entrepreneurs who want to test the waters of nomadic life, Ervin recommends staying curious about new tools that make life on the road easier. "Try new tools for 3-4 months at a time to see how the improve (or don't improve) your workflow," he said. "My best tip is that most companies will extend their trial period if you give them a call and ask politely."
3. Don't let time zones get the best of you
Alex Berman founded his online business Experiment 27 around the lifestyle he wanted--and he's found that travel is the perfect antidote to the stress of owning a business. Rather than being confined to an office year-round, he enjoys the freedom and flexibility of life on the go. He's helping his clients along the way, too: This brand is responsible for generating over $6.5 million in B2B sales and over $35+ million in leads for clients.
One of the major challenges he faces, though, is coordinating with team members in different time zones. "Handling crises from while traveling can be difficult, but proper planning helps ensure there's a plan of action for worst case scenarios," he said.
It's worth it
One common thread that ran through these three traveling business owners' comments was that the upsides of travel by far outweigh the challenges that come with it. With constantly changing scenery, these entrepreneurs all seemed to be satisfied and fulfilled with their choices to roam the world.
Is it for everyone? Maybe not. But it's certainly worth considering.