Since I started my own business, I have been following many “lifestyle entrepreneurs” from the US who are traveling around the world, working from anywhere they want with only a laptop and an internet connection.
I looked at them in awe and with a bit of envy because I said to myself “Sure, that’s easy for these Americans when Silicon Valley and millions of bloggers are around the corner. But I’m in Switzerland. People here don’t even know what a blog is…”
I didn’t think I could build a lifestyle business. I had never met anyone by then who had built anything like that in Switzerland.
The Email That Proved Me Wrong
A few months after I stared my business, I got an email from a friend who had just relocated from Switzerland to Ecuador and retired at the age of 34, living off his investments in the stock market. He bought a house at the coast of Ecuador, packed all his belongings into 2 suitcases and flew to Ecuador to start his new life.
He invited me and my girlfriend to come over for a few weeks.
I told my girlfriend about the invitation and she decided to quit her job that month so that we could go travel in South America. I still have a crystal clear memory of that Friday when she came home from work and told me she handed in her notice.
On Saturday morning, we were up at 6am, planning our 8 weeks of traveling though Ecuador and Peru and by 9am, we had booked all the flights.
It was incredibly exciting and scary at the same time because my business was only a few months old. I did not have a big income yet but I saw it grow consistently over the past months which gave me confidence.
We have always been very spontaneous but this has probably been the fastest big decision ever.
Solving the Internet Issue
On Thursday, 24th October, we drove to the airport with 2 huge suitcases and started our trip to Ecuador.
In Guayaquil, my friend picked us up at the airport and we drove to his place, which took us another 3 hours.
For the entire journey, I was staring out the window of the taxi, marveling at the very different landscape and culture while fighting the urge to sleep after our 30-hour day. I’ve never been to a 3rd world country by then.
For the first 2 weeks, I had no coaching sessions planned which was very important because my friend did not have internet at home.
So we spent the first 2 weeks of our journey enjoying every day without any distractions of email, Whatsapp, reminders, the weather app or Facebook. Time completely slowed down.
We spent a total of 3 weeks at my friend’s place in Ecuador. So by the 3rd week, I had to solve the internet issue because it was time to get back to work.
We found a 5-start hotel in the center of the town, right at the beach and by walking through the lobby with iPhone at hand and Wireless settings open, I saw that they had a free WiFi connection available close to the conference rooms.
We asked the staff at the reception if we can use their internet connection and they agreed if we were to consume some drinks while being there.
We had a deal.
Organizing My Schedule
Before we started our trip to South America, I had to re-organize my schedule in order for me to make this trip work. I decided to only do coaching on Thursdays and Fridays which worked perfectly for all my clients.
So on Thursday and Friday of the 3rd week in Ecuador, I was in that 5-star hotel lobby from 8am till 2pm, working with coaching clients from all over the world.
Things worked very well. The connection was fast and stable. The only issue was the noise. It was extremely loud from time to time when kids played “catch me if you can” in the lobby.
Fortunately, I was able to blank out the noise by muting the microphone when I was not talking, so my clients almost never heard any background noise.
That’s when I learned that I’m blessed with ideal clients who don’t take themselves too seriously and are very understanding.
During the rest of the trip, we traveled extensively through Ecuador and Peru and managed to stay at places for Thursdays and Fridays that had a stable and fast internet connection.
I had prepared everything I could before our trip. I wrote and scheduled all the blog posts and hired an assistant to take care of all the routine work that had to be done.
This way, I was able to work only 2 days a week when I had my coaching sessions and travel the other 5 days of the week. It was a perfect balance.
During those first 3 weeks, I realized that I had built a location independent business and I could work from anywhere with a (stable) internet connection.
A Lifestyle Business in Switzerland is Possible
Traveling thought Ecuador and Peru for 8 weeks straight while working 2 days a week was a test for my business to see if it’s truly location independent. It passed the test.
I saw that just a few months after starting my business, I was able to operate it from anywhere in the world, mostly on my own schedule while keeping the momentum.
I saw that it’s not just possible for Americans who have bloggers and internet entrepreneurs all around them but even for somebody living in a tiny country like Switzerland.
After this successful experiment, we are now planning our road-trip through the US next year and a round-the-world trip the year after that.
What Does Lifestyle Business Mean to You?
Many of the entrepreneurs I work with are married and some have small kids. This makes it harder to travel extensively around the world.
However, a lifestyle business does not have to be all about traveling to every country in the world or working at the beach. It’s about serving your lifestyle.
It can mean spending as much time with your kids as possible, working from home, traveling the world or doings sports three full mornings every week. It’s up to you.
It’s about making sure that the business provides for the lifestyle that you desire.
Get in touch with me if you are ready to create a business that serves your lifestyle.
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