7 Truths of location independence

location independenceI know a lot of people with location independent income streams and am always amazed at how diverse they are. The only constant is that we all rely upon our interests and strengths and somehow manage to monetize them.

Overall, I think there are seven truths you’ll need to embrace in order to develop an income stream that doesn’t rely on being in any one location.

1) Know that nothing will ever go according to plan

Never. Ever. No matter how carefully you plan, how many lists you make, how judiciously you’ve crossed every t and dotted every i, the end result won’t be what you first imagined. That is a basic fact of location independence.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t make those plans, cross those t’s and dot those i’s. Just know that, when all is said and done, things will have changed. Repeatedly. That’s OK – it’s all part of the game.

2) The universe will help you

It’s true. The universe really will conspire to help you out – but not a second before you need it. It’s almost like Harry Potter barging through the wall to Platform 9¾ – he needed to take a deep breath, trust it would happen, and go.

That’s exactly what you’ll need to do – just go, and know the universe will be there on the other side.

3) When at first you don’t succeed…

Notice I said when, rather than if? Because you will fail. And then fail again, but as the old adage says, try again. With each failure, you’ll learn a little bit more.

It’s easier said than done, but don’t look at those failures as failures, but rather learning opportunities. I know, I know – that’s as trite as they come, but it’s really true. Each time you blow it, you’ll know what doesn’t work and figuring out what doesn’t work is just as important as knowing what does.

4) Sometimes it takes desperation

It’s funny how it happens. You’re doing everything you need to be doing, but it’s not coming together – until you’re desperate. There’s something about that desperation stage that brings is all together.

I don’t know how it works, and I don’t know why, but I do know that sometimes it just won’t happen until you’ve exhausted all options and have no idea where to turn next. Then suddenly, as if by magic, it happens.

5) You can learn anything when you need to

There’s something about desperation that leads to learning. Quickly. When you need something – really need it – you’ll learn what you need.

You’re more capable than you thought you were. You have the ability to do way more than you’re doing now. When you are faced with the need to learn something, trust in your abilities to learn it and forge ahead. It’ll happen.

6) Know your why

Developing a location independent income stream is hard – just as hard as developing your current profession. It will take a lot of hard work and creativity to pull it off and, if you don’t truly know why you’re doing it, you’ll give up.

Define your why, know why you’re doing this, then keep pushing on.

7) Surround yourself with like-minded people

I can’t emphasize this enough. Being around other people who believe location independence is a) possible and b) a good thing is maybe the most empowering thing you can do. Interacting with people who see it as a perfectly normal lifestyle makes it seem… I dunno… normal?

If you’re constantly battling to swim against the current, you’ll get worn down and will be more likely to decide it’s not worth it. Being surrounded by others with the same goals and aspirations means you can all float downstream together.

Location independence is a great aspiration for many as it opens many doors. If you are committed to making it happen, you can do it. Persevere, and know it won’t be easy.


books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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23 Responses to 7 Truths of location independence

  1. Kenin Bassart April 2, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    We’re on our way to becoming fully location independent and I can say all these points are so true! You have to fully commit to anything before it will really go your way!

  2. emma@gottakeepmovin April 2, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    This is some really great advice – I especially agree with your point about the universe helping you. Whenever I’ve hit trouble in my years of travelling I’ve just learnt to let go and these things have always happened as the universe intended somehow! Thanks for sharing.

  3. chubblywubbly April 2, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    I agree with all the points except #1: Nothing will go according to plan. As someone who has moved 7 times within the past 5 years, I have discovered if one plans really well most will go according to plan. About 90% of the time. But I don’t have kids so perhaps that’s why. But still Nothing?

    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel April 2, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      @chubblywubbly, Okay, okay – you’re right. I guess nothing is an exaggeration, but it’s still good to know that things will change a LOT from conception to final product!

  4. Rob April 2, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Love your 7 truths, especially #7. I would say that this list is not just location independence but for anyone who would like to change the direction of their life.

  5. Erin in Costa Rica April 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    So true! I’ve been location independent for the past 3 years (minus 1 year of teaching english part time that required me to be in a classroom). When I was (am) most desperate, the Universe always comes through with the most awesome opportunities.

  6. Nancy Sathre-Vogel April 3, 2013 at 1:41 am #

    @laurel- Capturing la Vita, Absolutely! Watching the universe come through time and time again is such a fantastic thing to witness.

  7. Kate April 3, 2013 at 3:14 am #

    Fantastic post Nancy!

    I especially like the point about not expecting it to be easier to develop a location independent income stream than it was developing your current profession.

    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel April 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

      @Kate, Especially for us older folks, we forget how hard it was to get established “back in the day”. Truth be told, it was hard! And it will be hard when you do it again.

  8. Alice ~ writer ~ traveller ~ dreamer April 3, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    I think #7 surrounding yourself with like-minded people is the most important thing. People who think you are crazy at attempting this kind of life (of which there can be many), can make the journey towards the dream that much more difficult. Having others that go ‘yeah, of course you can!’ gives a much-needed boost 🙂

  9. Wil @ Where's Wil April 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    I’m beginning my location independent life tomorrow, traveling around the world as a digital nomad. Great advise, wish me luck!

  10. marquita herald April 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I’ve dreamed of living a location-independent life for many years and I’m getting closer. I left the corporate world a couple of years ago and started doing my own thing from home. There’s a pretty steep learning curve, but it’s been a wild and enjoyable ride and I have learned so much! Ironically, working from home has resulted in a growing appreciation of how lucky I am to live right where I do now in Hawaii. So, my goal has shifted to maintaining my current home as my base, and having the ability to take a few extended trips during the year – and the first one is coming up this September!

    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel April 8, 2013 at 1:54 am #

      @marquita herald, It’s funny how that happens! Sometimes you think the dream is one thing, but when you actually start working toward it, you realize it’s really something else. It’s all good!

  11. Cinda - Live The Life You Love April 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Hey Nancy,
    Great tips – and I’m in the midst the planning process for my independent sustainable adventure. About 5-6 months from now, I’ll be leaving the nest. Although I’m not living with my son, I want to be here for the next 6 months as he and his fiance plan their wedding and get married. Then I’m hitting the road. I’m laying a foundation for an online business as well as mobile belly-to-belly business. My first book will be available on Amazon in a few days. You’ve encouraged and inspired me through the process. Thanks

  12. Graham Brown September 13, 2014 at 1:30 am #

    Point 7 is powerful, especially when you are likely to encounter critics in your travels – be they people you meet on the road or people closes to you. Good luck with your ongoing journey

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