Weather we personally like it or not the fact is: our world is moving towards an online work space model.
In this blog post I write about why I believe that one should start looking at alternatives now and what these could be. At the end I give practical advice as how to prepare for the online work space.
The future of the work space
If you haven’t watched the TED original series video by Matt Mullenweg, titled Why Working from Home Is Better for Business, then I strongly recommend you do so. The video is about the future of the work space and how his company, Automattic Inc (the company behind WordPress.com) is pioneering by not having any physical office.
In the video Matt starts by saying that a distributed workforce model is “the most effective way to build a company”. He lays out the many benefits. Sourcing talent from around the world is a big one as this way a company does not have to fight for the talent locally but can instead recruit from places around the world where job opportunity is lacking.
More than that, employees have the choice to work from home or a coffee shop or wherever else they prefer, and they can set their own schedule. Or, they can work while travelling, something that is becoming very popular.
They can choose to work in silence or listen to their favorite music. They can cook their favorite meal for lunch and get time for their family during regular business hours something that was unheard of previously unless you had your own job.
Nowadays there is a plethora of studies proving his point and Matt quotes an experiment conducted in a real company showing that workers who worked remotely actually did 13% more work than their co-workers in the same amount of time. They are more productive.
The fact is that nowadays more and more people we know are looking for the flexibility of not having to work at the office from 9 to 5. In my point of view, Matt’s conclusion that “companies will have to adapt by evolving into a distributed work space or else they will be replaced by the ones who will” is correct and I will explain you why.
My own story and how I escaped the 9-to-5
I resigned my first job at the age of 30 and have been doing my own thing ever since 😊 I will never regret that. Working in a physical office 9 to 5 might be fulfilling for some but this wasn’t the case for me.
Flexibility has been a very big priority in my life and I always have looked for it since very early. Back in 2004 when I was working at my first job as an engineer, I realized that the 9 to 5 schedule was not for me. I was feeling constrained and suffocated.
My great passion for windsurfing had me constantly struggle to match the wind availability with the weekends. You see, the wind is not on demand as it can blow on a Tuesday or any weekday (it usually does :).
If you do not have the flexibility to move around your schedule in order to follow your passions you will end up sitting in the office instead and be miserable.
This is exactly what happened and that was the primary driving force behind my choice to quit my job and to become self-employed.
More and more people feel this way today. Wasting time commuting, spending money on gasoline and sacrificing precious time with the family are BIG drawbacks of the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule.
As millennials penetrate the workforce more and more they will demand to work from home. It’s happening already.
So, what to do?
Let’s look at the alternatives
Ok, you are convinced, and you are wondering, what are your options?
In today’s world you have some quite interesting alternatives. Here are the ones that I believe are the most valid:
1. Find a job in one of those companies that have the distributed workforce system just like Automatic
2. Become a freelancer and market your services on one of the very many sites out there as:
3. Start your own brick and mortar business
4. Get involved in an online startup
5. Start selling on Amazon (Amazon FBA)
6. Start your own customized and fully flexible business of Affiliate marketing.
All the above options are good alternatives on how to avoid the physical location. Read into my Are you looking for a job in 2019? Here are your options to see what is the best fit for you.
As I mentioned earlier, I quit my regular 9-to-5 job in 2004 at the age of 30. Since then I have started 5 businesses.
These were a development company that built vacation homes on the Greek islands, a distribution agency for electronics in Greece, a real estate fund in Brazil, a tech startup incubation in Brazil and a small restaurant in Hawaii.
You can see I have done a lot and of various types. They all have pros and cons and I analyze those in extent in my recent blog post Are you looking for a job in 2019? Here are your options
What I learned was invaluable. This is that as long as you have a physical location and you don’t have scalability you are not really the master of your time.
After those 5 businesses I started seeing the world through new lenses. I now know what I am looking for. And this is absolute time, geographical and financial freedom.
And you can only achieve this by maintaining a small business. NO to physical location, employees, rent, fixed costs but YES to scalability and leverage.
By scalability I mean being able to replicate a winning strategy and multiplying by let’s say a factor of 2 without having to put double the work. You grow your business exponentially to the effort and money you put in.
By leverage I mean putting technology and money to work for you, so your business works and earns money for you when you are sleeping or relaxing at the beach. You grow your business intelligently something impossible in most traditional businesses.
Conclusion – Next steps
If you are considering making the leap of faith outside the 9-to-5 traditional world then you should first and foremost educate yourself. Working outside the 9-to-5 means that you will be competing with other like-minded individuals who will bring their best to the table.
Your competitors can be much younger too which means that they will probably have a more recent education. Do yourself a favor and bring your skills up to date with the latest education on the web. There are plenty of platforms to learn new skills. To start I would recommend the ones I personally like and use:
Former Lynda.com, is an online course website offering high quality video courses provided by industry experts
Learning a new language could boost your profile and open doors for you internationally. Especially if you would like to work and travel. I highly recommend you consider adding a 2nd or 3rd language to your CV. I personally speak 5 languages.
The education that will fast forward your learning and teach you how to create income streams
If you are committed to move faster towards creating your ideal future, then I can recommend the exact same course that boosted my life. It’s a high quality digital education which gives you the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time.
This course will teach you everything related to the digital economy and how to monetize it. From Amazon FBA to Affiliate marketing you will be covered.
My personal goal was to learn how to market anything to anyone and this course delivered beyond doubt.
What I most appreciated was that you are being taught by people who are successful online entrepreneurs and not just any person who just claims he can teach you. More than that, the curriculum is well structured and has plenty of weekly value packed webinars and 1 to 1 sessions with mentors.
I truly hope that you will find the time to look into the Free Workshop I mention above. It’s completely free, it’s in three short parts and it’s hosted by one of my first and biggest mentors.
You will be doing yourself and your family a great favor by taking action and informing yourself of the opportunities that exist in the digital economy.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment bellow. I will be delighted to talk more if you have any questions.
To your success