Episode 31: The 5 Different Types of Laptop Living

Feb 12, 2019

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There are actually several different types of laptop lives you can live once you join the online business world.

Hey everyone, this is Julie. I hope you are doing awesome. Today I want to talk about, basically the title of my podcast. I call it Create Your Laptop Life, but, and I know I hear that a lot, or you hear laptop life, but there are actually several different types of laptop lives you can live once you join the online business world. So I kind of want to dive into those a little bit, so that you can find the one that’s going to work for you.

Alright, so let’s get started. The most typical laptop life, when you hear that word, what comes to mind is being on the beach, maybe a pina colada, laptop on your lap. So the first type of laptop life that we all associate with kind of this online business world is the digital nomad.

I have a friend, her name is Julia, she is on Instagram as Destination Nomad, and she is literally a digital nomad. She has an RV and she travels around the country and on any given day she could be in Nevada, Oklahoma, Michigan, and who knows. And she is a word press developer, so she codes word press websites and that is her job, and that is how she supports herself while she is on the road. So that is one type of laptop life.

So if you had the desire to travel full time, you want to go around the world, you want to get an RV travel the country doing some sort of online business, whether it’s service based, or info product based, allows you to completely travel around the country.

A couple of things to think about when you are doing that type of laptop life, you want to make sure you are considering your wifi situation. She said that that was probably the biggest problem when she went on the road and sold her home, was making sure she had really good wifi all the time so that she could connect with her clients and continue to build her websites. So whether you’re traveling to Bali, China, Australia, keep in mind different countries are going to have different requirements. Even in China there are some websites that you can’t access that you could access in the states.

So if you are really considering a digital nomad life, that’ll be your biggest hurdle to jump. In fact, we were on a cruise a couple of weeks ago and we were like,

what would it be like to do a cruise around the world? And we actually, there is one, it’s like 210 days or whatever and I thought, that would be amazing. It’s like $80 grand to do it for the whole year. And if you are a single person and you can just hop on a boat and travel the world, the only thing that’s a real sticky wicket there is the wifi. Okay, so that’s the first type of laptop life. There’s actually, and that’s the one that we most commonly associate with the words “Laptop life”. But that’s not actually the only one there is.

Second type of laptop life is the kind that I started out with, which is the side hustle, or the moonlight. So maybe you’re in a 9 to 5 job and you don’t really like the job and you have other passions you want to pursue, so you create a side hustle. It could be something like a blog, it could be a freelance job like writing, social media. You could also be moonlighting because you want to eventually have your own business but you know you can’t make the leap now.

I did the moonlighting thing. I started as a side hustle. So when I was married to my first husband he had the insurance, he had all the things. I was a stay at home mom and once the kids went back to school I realized, oh my gosh they’re all at school six hours a day, now I need to figure out what to do with my life. I had spent my 20’s in a complete haze of breast feeding and diapers and potty training. So now I had to make some decisions.

So I started as a freelance writer doing a side hustle. I was on all the sites, Upwork and Text Broker, and HubPages. Oh my gosh, throwback days. And I was really just trying to make enough to pay for the groceries. So for me that was a $150 a week. That’s all I cared about.

So I kind of stayed in that side hustle mode for quite a few years. Now, when we ended up getting divorced, and it’s a big long, dramatic story, I ended up needing to not just have a side hustle, I needed to have a full time job. And I was pregnant at the time and it’s hard to get a job when you’re pregnant. And I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to do it, it’s not easy. I found a temp job, but I knew that that would run out because it was temporary.

So I did my temp job by day and I moonlighted by night. And I would say that the laptop life of a moonlighter is a little different than a side hustler. So a side hustler laptop life, you know if you’re trying to make a million dollars or have these big, high-reaching goals, when you’re in the mode of a side hustler it’s really hard to get the fire under your butt to really make that kind of money. I mean, I stayed in side hustle mode from 2009-2014, it’s like 5 years. And I never really hit more than a thousand or two thousand dollars a month.

When I got divorced, I went into moonlight mode, and that was a different mode. The laptop life for moonlighting is you know, you’re up all hours, you are hustling to try to get clients, to try to build your business, get your list built, do the things that you need to do so that eventually you can take the leap.

So I would say, I would consider those two different types of laptop life’s. The moonlighting one is not designed to be forever. Eventually you want to go to the next version of a laptop life, which is fulltime laptop living.

Full time laptop living means that you are full time, bread and butter income that you use to live is happening from a computer at home or wherever you happen to be. So a lot of young, small agencies, or info product, coaches, consultants, course creators eventually go from moonlighting to their fulltime gig. That’s what I did, I did it as an agency owner. I have always preached that doing freelance service provider work first is the easiest way to make a fulltime living online because you don’t need a huge following, you don’t need a big, enormous list and every single customer that comes into your door you can charge a fair amount of money for.
So fulltime laptop life living could be you in the dining room as a mom with kids, but also running a small agency. Or it could progress to, technically I don’t know if I can call my life a laptop life anymore because I’m not using a laptop. It progresses to having an office in your home. You have gotten to that level where it’s like, alright I need to a dedicated office space. If you see my office, I have a big giant desktop. I just need, I’m about to get a second screen. You know, it’s like, it’s becoming more and more and more legit.

Of course, you can still travel, you can work from anywhere, but you really do have set office hours, you’re in your office every day. I know for me, when I finally took that plunge it was time to get childcare and I was in the office by 8 in the morning and would come out by 4, or what have you.

The idea, eventually, is for most people, they have to make a choice. And that laptop lifestyle is now you’re really fulltime running your own business and it’s thrilling and amazing. But eventually people want to work themselves out of their businesses right, and just work on their business instead of in it.

So there’s a couple of trajectories you can take once you’ve become a fulltime laptop life liver. The first one is you can just continue to work fulltime and run your agency, run your business, run your coaching practice, whatever it happens to be. The second thing you can do is continue to grow. At some point, you will begin to hire people. At some point, you may decide that you need an office space because you need that sense of place. In which case, you kind of graduate out of the laptop life, it’s a little sad, you know. But it’s cool too.

You create an office, you have employees, maybe most of those employees are remote, but if you work in house, you’ll see, a lot of you know Brandon and Kaelin Poulin in LadyBoss. They’re LadyBoss and they’re in the Clickfunnels community. They started out as laptop lifer’s with their laptop making money using their membership platform and their course creator platform. And it actually, I don’t know if you have heard them tell this story, but once they made a fair amount of money, they went and retired to Puerto Rico, and they tried that super chill laptop life, you know where they work a few hours and just live on the beach. And
they didn’t really like it.

They ended up saying, “You know what, never mind this. Let’s go back to the states. Let’s actually continue to grow the company.” Now the company has headquarters and an office. And I think last time I checked they had 50 or 60 employees, so it’s really fun.

So you can decide kind of where you want to go once you hit that fulltime business sort of moment in life. Lastly, there is also another type of laptop life and

it is the laptop life where you are actually a remote employee. So in this kind of life, you are not running your own business, for whatever reason. Whether you don’t want to, or you just prefer the security of a regular paycheck, or you like working on a team, you feel like you’re better as a teammate rather than CEO. But there are a lot of people that are remote employees, so they get all the benefits of the laptop life, being able to work from home, being able to travel different places and still log in, but they are employees. So I know companies, like Clickfunnels which I work for, and work in, has a lot of remote positions. I know
companies like Word Press, more and more companies are doing remote work. So for those of you guys listening, the laptop life can take on many, many forms, whether you are a freelancer in an RV traveling the country, or you are side hustling, or moonlighting, or jumping into that fulltime online business space where you have carved out a spot in your home where your business is going to take up residence. Consider that you will probably go through multiple evolutions as you grow your business.

So I just wanted to kind of put that out there. I have literally, except for the digital nomad, done all of them from side hustle, to moonlighting, to fulltime in my office, even the remote employee, I’ve done it all. So I would not change my lifestyle or the work I’ve chosen for my life in a million years. And for any of you listening who haven’t quite gotten into the lifestyle that you want yet, don’t give up. Okay, don’t give up. The world is changing and this kind of lifestyle and remote work is only going to become more and more mainstream. You are still on the front end of this revolution. So there is opportunity everywhere. Anybody who just absolutely refuses to quit will eventually get there. You may have to change your idea of what your laptop life is going to look like, or maybe what you thought your business was going to look like, but if you don’t quit, it will happen for you.

So I hope you guys have an amazing day, I appreciate you all. Talk to you soon.

Julie Chenell initials

Get in touch! I teach strategic business growth tacticss for everyday people.


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