I recently noticed something about the people I talk to who inquire to work with me. Their main intention is not to work in Switzerland but to live in Switzerland, at least for the moment.
But what happens if that changes? What if you suddenly decide to move to Australia to live at breathtaking beaches? What if you decide to move to San Francisco to explore what Silicon Valley has to offer in terms of business opportunities?
I believe what you really want is a location independent career on your own terms. It’s not about working in Switzerland, it’s about having a choice to live where you decide to and if that means Switzerland, great.
A Global Economy
We live in a global economy. Our parents and grandparents had no choice but to work and many times live in the same location their entire life. No matter if they were employees or business owners, there was plenty of physical labor involved.
Today, however, we live in the connection economy. You are most likely a knowledge worker.
What does knowledge have to do with location? Nothing, knowledge has no physical boundaries.
What If Your Spouse Gets a Job on a Different Continent?
I recently started working with more clients who are living in Australia and the U.S. It’s easy to fly from Berlin to Basel or London to Zurich on a weekly basis so you can easily live abroad and work in Switzerland or the other way around.
But what if your spouse’s work is now on a different continent, 10’000km away? That’s going to be an awful lot of traveling on a weekly basis. You are most probably not going back and forth but need to relocate and find new work, build a new business, find a new job.
What if your career was location independent? What if you could keep doing the work you are doing even if you relocate to a new continent?
How I Have Built My Location Independent Career
Over the past 1.5 years, I have built a location independent career on my own terms. I can’t imagine something different anymore.
Last year in November and December, I was traveling in South America for 2 months while working.
This week, I’m sightseeing and working in Stockholm while meeting with business associates. In February, I will be in Switzerland and in March, I’m going to New York and Philadelphia. Many times, I’m working from Poland because my girlfriend lives there.
I find a quiet place (by the way not always easy in South America), a stable and fast internet connection (Another difficulty in South America), plug in my laptop and I’m ready to start working.
It requires a ton of discipline and an insane amount of organization to be effective and efficient when working like that.
My best friends for work productivity are my MacBook Air, iPad, OmniFocus, Evernote, Skype, Scrivener and Spotify to turn off the outside noise.
This does not mean that you have to travel all the time, it just means you can do so if you choose to.
Forget About the Corporate Career
Many people still think the only way to live and work is having a corporate career. That’s nonsense.
More and more people realize that they don’t have to do what their parents have done. They realize that it doesn’t take 10 years of studying and an MBA to start a successful business.
It’s becoming more and more acceptable to be fulfilled and live a meaningful and great life instead of becoming a corporate commission-earning junkie at the age of 20, making a ton of money, spend it all by purchasing meaningless stuff, climbing up the career ladder just to realize that the wrong ladder has been climbed and burning out right before the mid-life crisis at the age of 38.
By the way, this corporate commission-earning junkie was pretty much exactly me until I started jordico, fortunately realizing that I was climbing the wrong ladder before a burnout or mid-life crisis hit me.
Create a Career on Your Own Terms
From the beginning when I started jordico, I knew that this was the thing that I help people achieve. It was just never easy for me to translate it into language that I could paint in a picture. It’s somewhat abstract but at the core of my heart, I knew that this was the thing that my clients get when they work with me.
Working with almost 100 clients in 2013, creating a career on your own terms came in many different forms.
Some people came to me to help them find a corporate job in Switzerland just to realize along the way that they were disgusted by the corporate world and decide to join a startup, so we worked on that.
Others came to me to build a network of people in Switzerland to help them break into the hidden job market and along the way, found a whole lot more than they expected.
A few people came to me to change careers within the corporate world just to realize that what they wanted to do all along was to start their own business, so we worked on that.
What all of them created was the foundation for a career on their own terms. What most of my clients told me they received as a change in their thinking was the realization, that it’s possible and even important to pursue a dream or a passion instead of letting opportunities and life pass by.
Make a Decision
Going on the path of success and fulfillment starts with a decision. If you keep moving with the swarm, going with the flow and try to get picked, you are wasting your opportunities.
Pick yourself. Be the maverick. Be the leader.
I believe this video from Apple fits in here perfectly.
Once you make the decision to follow what you always knew deep down was the right choice but everybody told you is too risky or is not going to make you rich, doors open, connections happen and opportunities come along.
I have seen it many times happen with my clients and I have seen it happen in my career and business.
Build Your Relationships
At the core of everything we do and want to achieve are relationships. We crave for connection and humanity in a world of mediocre products and dehumanized industrialism.
We don’t want more business contacts, we want stronger friendships. We don’t want more connections on LinkedIn or friends on Facebook, we want to belong and get noticed.
If you go out there and build real relationships with real people, you stand out. If you go out there and connect with people because you want to belong and surround yourself with likeminded and passionate people, the stars align.
I have recently joined a mentoring program in order to expand my business while only working with ideal clients and staying true to my core values. This is a group of 90+ likeminded and highly passionate business owners. It’s a very unique breed of people.
We share the same values. We are in business also to make money but at the core, we are here to make a difference, have an impact and do work we can sincerely believe in and be proud of.
For me, there is nothing more valuable out there in terms of business knowledge, education or advise than this group of people, because it’s all in one.
Go out there and connect with people in a genuine way because you want to have them in your life.
Build Your Reputation
A career on your own terms requires a reputation but not one of the most sought-after expert in the world. It requires a reputation as the person you want to be known for in the world. You need to build a reputation for your expertise, for sure, but at the core, you have to be known in the world as your unique self.
It’s close to impossible to keep up a reputation as the number one expert in something because there is always somebody with more experience, better education and more medals.
What you can be known for is the most human leader in business development for the clean tech industry. Or the most honest real estate broker in Switzerland. Or the most authentic and self-expressed public speaker on the topic of social media.
Acquiring experience is easy because you do it every time you work. Showing humanity, honesty and authenticity is hard because it’s emotional labour. It’s scarce and therefore highly valuable.
I have no intention of becoming the number one career or business coach. I aim to become the most human, honest, authentic and self-expressed advisor and speaker on the topic of creating a career or business on your own terms.
I aim for this because this is my unique self.
Start With the Foundation
You hear me talk about foundation a lot. It’s because without it, you can’t achieve much.
If you don’t know where you want to go and just start to run, you are likely to end up some place you don’t like. If you start building the roof of your house first, it’s likely to collapse fast.
Before you go out there, connecting with people, trying to create opportunities, first create your foundation with the help of the Communication Excellence Workbook.