The Shocking Truth About Being Location Independent

Can you imagine yourself sitting poolside in a wide brimmed hat at some gorgeous tropical resort, running your business from your iPad and making millions of dollars within months of launching, even with no startup budget? *Rolling eyes*

I bet if you’ve paid any attention to the ads on your Facebook newsfeed lately, it’s pretty easy to picture — the glamorous and easy life of a “location independent entrepreneur” that so many are offering to teach you these days. These kinds of ads DRIVE. ME. NUTS.

While I love being location independent and the fact that I can work from anywhere from my laptop has changed my life (I’ve got some great tips around location independence for you in today’s episode of She Takes on the World TV), those kind of ads are lying to you. Trust me.

(If you’ve ever tried working on your laptop while sitting on a beach you will know exactly what I mean. It’s not fun.)

If you want to pursue your love of travel, adventure, and/or deep, golden tans year-round while building an amazing business for yourself, I’m going to give it to you straight in today’s episode of She Takes on the World TV.


Click here to watch today’s episode:

Now I’d love to hear from you. Is your business location-independent? If so, what are your best tricks and tactics for getting work done from the road? Do you travel as much as you thought you would?

If your business isn’t location-independent… would you like it to be? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments. It makes me so, so happy hearing from you, every time.

Love, gratitude, and cosmic hugs,

Natalie MacNeil's Signature



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

12 thoughts on “The Shocking Truth About Being Location Independent

  1. Natalie, thank you so much for shedding much needed truth on this topic.
    I have a resource question-my business is expanding and I’d love to begin growing my team, but I lack a “systems” business model since I have been operating my business on my own for so long. Where/how can I get started writing my own system and building a team without having to reinvent the wheel?
    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    1. Hi Virginia, can I share a tip with you about sourcing ready-made systems? I signed up for a free Asana account and noticed that there is a marketplace where you can download free and paid-for project templates. Most of them are more like checklists and basic processes. It might be a good place for you to start, and you can customise them as needed. The other thing is that next time you get a new client or start a new job or whatever the entry point is, keep notes as it flows through your business and just track the stages (that’s called a process map). Boxes and arrows are fine. But do try to capture decision points. Then you can flesh out each box (in a separate document in word or just hand written on another page) with a step by step on what you do (that’s called a procedure). I think that everyone should take the time to capture their processes and then write up the procedures. It’s not only helpful for business continuity and training a team, but it helps you to do things the same every time (quality) and identify where you’re wasting time and effort and could maybe simplify things (efficiency). Hope this helps 🙂

  2. thank you for this video, Natalie! About 10 years ago, I was going through a bit of a career crisis and didn’t know what I wanted to do next. Somehow, I asked myself how I wanted to live in the long term. I thought I wanted to have a wonderful rural property and be kinda self-sufficient, but also be free to travel and work while on the road, and show my future kids around our country (Australia) and the world. I worked backwards from there to determine what I would need to do to make that life happen, and realised that it could be something internet-based and involve my love of writing and design and interest in education. So I started in corporate training, then tech writing, and then when I started my family, I turned to freelance web design. My next move is to get ready to go mobile or move out of the city in the next couple of years so I’m turning my attention to scalable information products to develop a passive income stream to complement the design and consulting work.

    I love your advice to focus on building a team and systems in order to achieve the flexibility to travel and be location-independent. I’m really just getting started on that portion of the journey now so it’s hopefully a good time to consider these things as I develop my systems.

  3. I used to be much more location independent and loved it. Now I’m a care giver for a family member with dementia, and while I’m still running my business it’s nice to the independence to have someone depend on me.

    Virginia, check out Kelly Azevedo at She’s Got Systems. I haven’t used her personally but I’m sure she was a connection from one of Natalie’s videos.

  4. This is great advice on what to really expect while building a location independent business. I would categorize my business in this way, and I actually DO live near the beach, and I can say that I absolutely do not get any work done while there! I do my work in the early mornings before I leave the house in order to stay productive.

    Business systems are absolutely essential for any business, but an even more crucial component to success if you want to be location independent. I have been preaching “systems” for years (it is my business service), and am very excited that this philosophy has taken hold in the more non-traditional businesses as successful corporate companies have relied on this approach to ensure grow and profit for many, many years. Thank you, Natalie, for bringing more awareness about this important component to the beautiful, heart-centered businesses you reach!

  5. Hi Natalie!
    Absolutely loving how you one few to actually address the realities if location independence – especially for someone who is currently dreaming of making that a reality for herself. Your point of creating systems also hit home and although I’m in the early stages of creating my business I do think it’s something I need to keep in mind. This especially true since my word of the year is Balance. I agree with Virginia’s comment above that I would love to see a post on how you have built systems for your business. Thanks again!

    PS. I’ve signed up for prep-school with Marie Forleo and I’m definitely considering taking the leap and joining B-School this year 🙂

  6. Hah! Finally, someone said it.

    I tried working in the sun once, but the glare made it impossible to see anything, not to mention that even the “bestest” of laptops would overheat in that kind of weather.

    If I have to work when travelling, I like exercising or going on a walk early in the morning, then working in-doors during the warmest hours of the day and then taking the afternoon to explore and enjoy the trip 🙂

  7. Love this Natalie! I’m an entertainment producer and business coach and about a year ago I decided that I wanted to create a flexible work environment and work remotely when I’m not on a specific production. I’ve been successful at balancing the two but I’ve noticed that when people find out about how I’ve created this work/lifestyle balance, it’s all “oh, must be nice!” and “it’s probably all fun and sun, eh?!” To that, I just laugh because it is a TON of work! I’m grateful beyond belief but agreed – laptop on the beach isn’t that fun!

  8. Great topic, Natalie!!

    I work primarily from home or Starbucks these days. I do have to find myself a little cafe because the house gets noisy with my family and sometimes shifting myself into a different space also shifts how I see something in my project. I can’t say I’m always that productive in my pjs or that I’m actually all the productive when I’m going on whirlwind trips. Whether I’m stuck on the plane at ungodly hours without an Internet connection (not great if I’m researching something or having to correspond to clients quickly) or try to focus when “omg I’ve never been here, I need to have adventures not sit here on my laptop when I can do that at home anytime” is popping up for me or simply, I’m meeting people or talking to people and become completely distracted from my tasks to accomplish. It takes a great deal of self-discipline to work whilst away from home I find. I think it probably makes more sense to have some enjoyable travel time at the beginning of your trip, then schedule your work to get as much done as possible in a couple days or a week, or even as you suggest, systemize what can be systemized and/or have your team working that area that needs attention while you’re away. I’m not at the point where I can do that, but that would be the ideal for me.

  9. Hi Natalie,
    I have just stumbled across your site and I love it. I am a Virtual Assistant and I am location independent, my partner travels a lot for work and I travel with him.I have a background as an Executive PA , so when the opportunity came up to live overseas I needed to have a plan that satisfied my need for independence and to continue tomeet my responsibilities back home. Like you I find that Asana keeps me sane and on track, I keep in contact with clients via Skype. My e-mail appear where ever I am, on my phone. So yes it can be done , but I find that where ever I am, it is good to set up an area where I am not disturbed and that can be a desk at a co-working space or just my spare room. Working at the beach would be my idea of hell!!! Some coffe shops are better than others, but it’s not as if you can ask them to turn down the music. Also just a benefit of being self-employed is I do my clients projects from 12 noon that is when my brain kicks into gear and is most productive I work until 9pm. So I spend the morning doing admin, or running personal errands.

bite-sized wisdom to read & share