It’s hard to think that leaving your job can actually improve it, but I am here to explain to you why it is important to step away and how you can travel the world while improving your business at the same time.

 

I am currently sitting in a stilted bungalow on the Inle lake of Myanmar. For the past 3 days of my visit in Myanmar, I have experienced a pretty terrible WIFI connection, which is rare for Southeast Asia. I have not been able to instruct my assistant on a daily basis and I haven't really been able to sit down and look through the ongoing projects and make sure I'm not missing any more business. Some may think, well, what is the point of vacationing if you can't stop working? Others may think I am wasting time and money by not being 100% present at my job. To those thoughts I say, I can assure you, my business is doing just fine and I get to enjoy 2 long months of traveling the world, while putting cash in my pocket. See, when you are an entrepreneur, you don't get paid vacation… So, this is my paid vacation. What a thought...Actually getting paid while vacationing.

 

My business is an online business that assists contractors by creating CAD drawings of their projects. Basically, contractors send me dimensions and specifications to their clients project and I draw it out so they have a visual reference to build upon. Every contractor I work with thinks it is the best business niche since sliced bread. (Not sure if that cliche works here, but.. It’s all I got at the moment) It works, it is fun, and it isn't the most complicated job in the world.

 

So how do I accomplish this and not lose clients or money? I set it up that way.

 

My business model is the same in the United States as it is in Myanmar. My company is virtual and my clients are virtual. Do I have to make phone calls and sell my product? Of course, to which I still do while overseas, but it's so minimal, it doesn't hurt my cash flow. Now, how can being distant from my business improve it? I'll show you.

 

1. Virtual Assistant

 

    I have a virtual assistant that handles most of my everyday drudge. Drudge is what I consider important tasks that take up far too much of my own valuable time. Since I equate my time to be worth about $75/hour, it doesn't make sense for me to sit and spend hours gathering new clients, or updating social media, or creating email templates. Most of the time, I think of the catchy emails I want to send during my campaigns and that’s about it. My assistant covers the rest. Now, since most virtual assistants are from other countries, it is very important to establish your VA before you leave and make sure they are trained on your big ticket items, so questions don't pop up every second. Having a virtual assistant that can't do their job, is equal to having a real live personal assistant that can't do their job. That makes your job harder…The less available I am to my virtual assistant, the better. The RIGHT VA will become proactive. THey will know their tasks at hand and they will automatically start the next project once the present one is completed or waiting for review. I improve my business while being away because I test how well I have trained my VA and how well I have chosen my assistant. I make sure they keep a constant detailed log of their work and hours and I make sure they always have multiple tasks in the bucket.

 

2. Client Interaction

 

    This is a very important one. I can’t speak to my clients for hours, obviously, while I am paying up to .50 per minute. That can get costly. None the less, it is still part of my job to talk to new and existing clients. I can't ignore them. Repeat business is how I make my money. That being said, by being so “unavailable” I have learned how to have quick and concise yet congenial conversations. I don't need to spend an hour on the phone buttering up a client. It is a waste of their time, it is a waste of my time. By being so far away, and sometimes having to call them at 2:00am my time just to meet their schedule needs, I have learned to retain clients and make sure they have just the right amount of information they need, while still checking up on their daily life, wife and kids… Hobbies.. Or whatever it is that tickles their pickle.

 

3. Marketing Strategy

 

    Again, when time is of the essence and I don't have 8 hours to lolling around an office just to fill an 8 hour work day, marketing needs to be just as precise as client interaction. I also have to qualify my clients, which means, sometimes they qualify out. I have to stick to my business model. If I were an ice cream stand and someone kept wanting a hot dog everyday, it clearly won't work. These are the clients that want you to hold their hand or even do a job walk with them. Again, when I mention the hourly cost of my time ($75), they usually qualify themselves out, but for those that think they can get the online price with added perks, it just doesn't work. It’s not my model. So replying to emails (leads) and who I send those emails out to is crucial. I need to make sure it is my target market, not every Joe Shmoe contractor in the world. If they don't do kitchens, bathrooms or additions on the regular, It is hard for me to deliver them a product they can see value in. So I need to make sure that whomever I am reaching out to in order to sell my service will actually need my service and understand how it works.

 

4. Employees

 

     It is the same concept with the VA, but with employees. Have I trained them well? Have I followed them enough to trust that they will get their projects done on time? Have I allowed enough of my time for them to know exactly the output product I require? You want answers to those questions as a business owner? Well, just take a vacation… And you will quickly see how sturdy your walls are. Dealing with faltering walls while on a trip will help you find solutions real quick :D I promise.

 

Look for holes. Look for foundation issues. I can assure you, it is possible to travel the world and  successfully run a business. Yes, it has to be the proper business model, but that is up to you. Maybe you like sitting in an office for 8 hours, staring at a computer screen. If you do, then you are in the right place! If you don't… If you want to travel the world without having to quit your job every time, then set up a model like mine. I even offer mentorship to interested candidates. Life is what you make of it. You create your story. So, write a good one!



 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mara Shultz is a young entrepreneur that prides herself on being a Jack Of All Trades. She is an award winning songwriter and a founder and partner of Market Share Consultants and The Online Kitchen Designer. She leads Ring The World Together as a RE:definer, supporting and building a community for victims of sexual abuse/assault, molestation and rape. With over 5 years of sales and marketing experience in the home improvement industry she has learned  training techniques and hopes to create thousands of successful advertising and marketing campaigns.

Mara has a love for writing blogs, mostly in a sarcastic tone. She is known for witty, off of the wall posts, professionally, and writes raw and vulnerable personal blogs. You can follow her on www.ringtheworldtogether.com/impacts or her LinkedIn page www.linkedin.com/in/marashultz