UPDATE: You can now buy my very first eBook about how I became location independent as a virtual assistant and how you can do it to. It’s a short guide that cost just $0.99 (price was correct at the time of writing). If you can’t download it from Amazon, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase it as a PDF file.
On New Years Eve I usually make silly resolutions that I can never keep. You all know them: I’ll lose 20 pounds. I’ll eat better. I’ll exercise more. Well, surprise. It only ever lasts for a week or two. My willpower is shockingly bad sometimes.
So last year – 2015 – I decided to only have one resolution for the new year. I made it my goal to become location independent. I made a promise to myself that I was going to make it happen. And guess what? I made it happen.
I managed to become location independent in just 4 months.
It’s not easy. It’s not for everyone. But I’m a strong believer in that it’s possible to do whatever you set your mind to. Well, most of the time of course. I doubt I’ll be President of the United States any time soon and I’m pretty sure I can scratch “astronaut” off my list as well. I still have high hopes of me winning the X Factor though – even though I couldn’t sing to save my life. Anyway, back to what I was actually talking about …
So what do I do?
Basically, I work for a UK business man as his virtual assistant. When he first hired me, I was only meant to do a quick job on LinkedIn and Google Docs for him which was scheduled to take about five hours. Now, 3 and a half months later – and several hundred hours later – I still work for him. He was satisfied with my work, my commitment and my passion.
We work on various different projects that he invests in, so every day is a different day. We have Skype meetings a couple of times a week to go over our targets, but besides that I’m completely left to my own devices. I know the job so well that I don’t need him to guide me all the time like in the beginning. I can work when I want and where I want.
Now I’ve just gotten another freelance job where I’m answering customers’ enquires on a Danish babysitting website. Again: when I want. Where I want.
UPDATE (26th of May 2016): I now have contracts with four clients.
And last but not least: I’m blogging. I don’t think I’ll become a millionaire from this any time soon, but it’s bringing in more money than it did 12 months ago. And it’s giving me opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten without it – just wait for my trip around the world and you’ll see!
How did I do it?
Hard work. Will power. And a lot of patience.
Don’t go and quit your day job straight away and expect that a remote job will land at your feet the next minute.
I almost gave up several times as there is so much competition for these jobs.
I used Upwork to find my two freelance jobs. Upwork can be incredibly frustrating at times but it can also be incredibly awesome.
What I did was basically spending several hours every evening looking at every single job post. If it sounded vaguely interesting I applied for it. You get free credits to apply for jobs – don’t spend money on buying credits.
99% of the time the employers rejected my application and went with someone else instead – someone more experienced and sometimes someone who asked for way less money than I did.
But that 99% doesn’t matter at all – what matters is that 1%. It took a while, but I eventually found it and I couldn’t be happier.
Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience. If you’re stubborn and persistent someone will eventually hire you.
I knew nothing about being a virtual assistant before my current job. I’ve had to learn as I go. And now I do so much more than just “assistant” stuff – I’ve taken over complicated (but exciting!) jobs for my boss, because he trusts me 100%.
What you write in your application is up to you – I can’t tell you what will work. What I did was a bit unusual.
For the UK business man I’m working for I basically wrote: “I’m desperate. I want this job. I need this job. I want to travel the world and I want to become location independent.” I didn’t think it would work, but it did. And the rest is now history.
Can anyone do it?
Yes and no. It depends on you, really. It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s hard work but I can tell you one thing: it’s definitely worth it. I’m not lying when I say that I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
As I talked to my boss about yesterday: I could easily go and find myself a full-time job where I show up at some office from 8am to 6pm every day and that would probably pay me more. But I’m not interested in that. That’s not what I want. I can’t live with 4-5 weeks off every year.
I’m really not trying to brag here, but with these jobs I go to bed when I want. I wake up when I want. I work when I want. I work where I want. I like the idea that I could go to Spain tomorrow and I wouldn’t have to answer to anyone. I don’t have to ask for anyone’s permission.
It’s possible if you want it and if anyone tries to tell you differently you now have my permission to cartoon slap them in the face.
Go and do what you want to do the most. You can become location independent if you put your heart and soul into it.