Working Nomad
How to Plan for Extreme Telecommuting
How to Plan for Extreme Telecommuting

There is a new breed of working professional in the world today.  This new professional class is going mobile, working while on a long-term, working vacation. Using modern laptops and other emerging mobile computing technology, the Extreme Telecommuter can work from any locale, as if from an office cubicle. The Extreme telecommuter's office is wherever he or she happens to be, even a tropical paradise.

What does it take to be an Extreme Telecommuter?

The most important thing is to have a computer-based vocation.  If you have a vocation which can be done by computer, you are already well on the way to being an Extreme Telecommuter.  If you have a non-computer based profession, you will need to switch things up to make it work.  The good news, however, is that this is the perfect opportunity to start pursuing that dream job you've always wondered about.  If you're going for the dream, you might as well go all the way.

The Road to Extreme Telecommuting

To make the dream happen, you're going to need a plan.  The good news is that planning can actually be easy.  The first step to planning is deciding that you are definitely going for it. Begin by casting aside all self-doubt and procrastination, and deciding once and for all that you are going to do it. From there, follow the steps outlined below.

You Are Here

It's time to honestly examine your professional situation, and ask yourself, “Where am I now, and where would I like to be?” Don't base your answer on your impression of how someone else may want you to answer.  Answer based upon your own inner yearning. What could you do, for the rest of your life, and never stop feeling satisfied?  The spirit of extreme telecommuting rests in following your dreams, a practice which ultimately leads to the truest professional fulfillment.

Planning is about making the dream happen.  Once you know what you want to do, it's just a matter of bringing that reality into existence through a dedicated pursuit.  Being a laptop nomad may feel like an impossible dream, off in the distance, 1,000 miles away from where you are now.  The most likely reason is that it is.  

Being a laptop nomad is a big change from being a mainstream working professional.  With this truth in mind, you must realize that big changes can only occur in a series of small steps.  As you take these small steps, after a time, you'll find that you're now 200 miles closer to the dream. As you complete each smaller step, the miles will keep rolling by until finally you are only steps from the goal, and victory is close at hand.  To make these small steps, you're going to need a plan - the road map to your extreme telecommuting paradise.

The Goal Map

A great way to formulate a plan is to make a 'Goal Map'.  Take a piece of paper, and draw a 2” x 2” square at each end of the paper.  In one square write a short description of where you are now. In the other, write your long-term goal.  In this case, something along the lines of 'Be an Extreme Telecommuter'.  Finally, figure out what major milestones are needed to make your way to the goal.  

Some examples of these milestones may be preparing your family for your extreme telecommuting adventure, or getting training on your new vocation. Other common extreme telecommuting goalposts include purchasing telecommuting equipment, making plans for your property while you're traveling, saving up a few thousand dollars before you go, building a client base which is accepting of extreme telecommuting, or having your company accept the idea of long-term telecommuting.  

Once you have these major goalposts written on your goal map, you'll have a better idea of the big picture. From this vantage point, it's much easier to figure out all of the little steps along the way.  You can work out these little steps on another sheet. Eventually, you will have a solid idea of all of the tasks that you need to accomplish to make it happen.  

Knowing what you need to do to achieve something, means finally being able to work toward the achievement.  Without a plan, there is no way to move toward your future goal.  If you have a plan, it's just a matter of getting the things in your plan taken care of one by one, along the way to your goal.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

  • An inflexible plan is a dead plan.  Always be ready to rethink any element of your plan.  Even larger elements.  What is important is that you are constantly moving toward your goal of happiness - Working as an extreme telecommuter doing work that you love, in wonderful places around the globe.
  • Keep track of your successes.  Even if the success is just a new way of thinking about things.  Having a plan, you will realize that your dream is achievable, because you'll see clearly what needs to be done.  That in itself is a success.
  • Often times, you are the biggest self-limiting obstacle to the goal. Remove negative thoughts and cut ties with anything that does not add value. If you are to make this happen, you have to be willing to be focused and make sacrifices.

Having a plan will give you the peace of mind that you need to start working toward your future telecommuting adventure.  By being sure of what needs to be done, you can ensure that you'll make it there in one piece financially and circumstantially. Most importantly, once you're there, you'll be prepared for the adventure itself.  

Ultimately, after all of that hard work and preparation, you'll reach that last goal – stepping into your telecommuting paradise.  If you're going to create a new future for yourself, you might as well make it a beautiful future.