When it comes to making money on the road, the number of options out there can be overwhelming to say the least. In my last video, I just scratched the surface of the long list of jobs that you can do from the road, when I gave you 22 different ideas. If you haven’t already, you can see that video here.
One of those ideas was ‘start your own business’. Now that in itself opens a whole can of worms – thinking about what kind of business you actually want to run is a whole other video (in fact, it’s going to be a few other videos!). But before you even start to go down that rabbit hole, let’s take a step back to look at some indicators that starting a business might be the right track for you.
You can listen to the audio of this article here:
One thing that I want to address before we continue on down this series is that these videos are designed to show you the reality of working from the road, whether that be starting a business or otherwise. When you’re on your search for finding a way to fund your travels, there are so many ‘advice’ videos or ‘training programs’ which show you all the amazing sides of this method or that method of making money on the road, but rarely do they show you the downsides or paint a realistic picture of the every day reality of it.
So, if some of these videos seem a little negative, it’s because I want you to understand both sides of the story. And these ‘negatives’ aren’t necessarily going to be deal-breakers for you, they will just empower you with the knowledge you need to make things work. At the end of the day, knowing the potential pitfalls that there could be to anything you do might actually help you avoid them altogether, instead of getting blindsided by them. And I’ll take too much info over not enough any day.
And if anyone tells you what they’re doing is easy and there are no ‘cons’ to it (especially in the context of trying to sell you a training to do what they are doing), call BS!! And don’t @ me for that – or do and prove me wrong!
Ok, now that’s enough of that, let’s get to the 5 reasons you should start a business to run on the road.
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1. You want freedom
Let’s face it, freedom is pretty much what we all want, for most of us, it’s the reason we’re doing the Big Lap in the first place. But starting a business gives you an added level of freedom on top of that too.
By having your own business and working your own hours, you can create something that will give you the freedom to travel where you want when you want. Which is awesome right?
Well, yes, it is pretty awesome, but you also need to be aware that starting a business may not give you the freedom you crave immediately. The day in the life of a start up business owner can be extremely full on, so if you’re wanting to create the ultimate freedom filled lifestyle, you may have to have many a sleepless night and long days chained to your business before you get to this point.
If you want to start a business to generate your on the road income, I would suggest that you start it ahead of time so you at least have dedicated and non-distraction filled time to get your business established. Depending on your business model will depend on how much time you need to do the hard hustle before you can enjoy the freedom that your business affords you.
It’s important to also define what freedom actually means for you (and omg if I say freedom one more time). For some, freedom means the flexibility to make decisions or work when you want. For others, freedom is only working a certain amount of hours each week. Either way, understanding your own personal definition of freedom will help you understand the type of business you should start. Certain businesses require different levels of commitment in terms of time and effort so it’s vital you don’t start a business which contradicts why you started it in the first place. If you want to work 10 hours per week but your business model requires you to do more than that to make it work, then you need to reevaluate.
2. You have a passion for something
The next reason you might want to start a business to run on the road is that you have a passion for something. If you love what you do, keeping your business going whilst on the road will inevitably be easier. With so many things to do and Big Lappy distractions at every turn, if you don’t live and breathe your business, you might crash and burn.
Most businesses take constant work and attention from their owners and if you’re constantly distracted by your adventures then you may not take the time to run your business effectively.
That said, I’m not telling you that running a business on the road takes all your time or attention (because wtf is the point in being a full-time traveller and not having any time to explore) but what I am saying is that your passion will drive you to sit down after a long day exploring and work on your business.
You might be the type of person who has the motivation to do that even if you’re not passionate about something, although that is pretty rare.
So, if you’re going to go down the business route for your on the road travel funds, I wouldn’t just pick something that you think has the potential to make money. Because the biggest potential actually comes from you, not the business model, product or service itself
3. You have the skills it takes to start a business
The third reason to start a business for your Big Lap is that you have the skills it takes to run a business. Even if you have never run a business before, you may actually have the skills it takes to start a business.
I am a firm believer that some people either have what it takes or they don’t. And I’m not talking about the actual technical skills you need to run the business, I’m talking more about personality traits.
As a business owner, you need to be resourceful, self-motivated and driven. If you don’t know how to do something, you need to be able to figure it out, research how to do it or have the funds to be able to outsource to someone who does know how to do it.
As a small business owner, there is no roadmap to success and you have to have a high level of self-conviction that you can make things work. Don’t get me wrong, you’re allowed to be scared AF, you’re allowed to have days where you don’t think you can do it BUT overall, if you can wake up to a new day, shake off your fears and tell yourself you can do it, then business ownership might be for you.
In terms of technical skills, webdesign, graphic design, digital marketing and copywriting will undoubtedly help you on your way to building a business but there are some easy ways to get good at those things fast, which I’ll be sharing in future videos so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss those.
4. There’s a gap in the market
The fourth reason you might want to start a business to run from the road is that you see a gap in the market that you can fill. These types of businesses are usually born out of a need or desire to solve a particular ‘problem’ for yourself, and a realization that other people have the same problem as you. And when I say problem, that can be something as simple as ‘I want to buy something for our caravan that serves this purpose, looks like this and costs this’ but you can’t find one on the market. And obviously, just because you’re travelling, it doesn’t have to be travel or caravan-related.
You need to also do your market research here because there might not be a huge requirement to solve your personal pain point so you can’t just start a business because you’d personally buy that product. But anyway, that’s getting a little off topic for this video.
This desire to fill a gap in the market usually crosses over with the point about doing something you’re passionate about which I spoke about in point number 2 so it’s a bit of a double whammy.
5. You’re not afraid to step outside of your comfort zone
Finally, number 5 – you’re not afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
Starting a business constantly pushes you outside of your comfort zone, tests your resolve and challenges you. And while you may be already well-aware that this is what it takes to start and run a business, you need to consider whether you want to take that kind of stress on the road with you.
For some, constantly being pushed outside of your comfort zone may not align with the stress-free big lap you have planned. Diving on Ningaloo, climbing the cairns pyramid and skydiving over Uluru might be the only ways you want to push the boundaries of your own personal comfort zone during your Big Lap.
And if you thought ‘well those are fun and rewarding things to do so it’s worth pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, then that in itself may be an indicator that you’re not ready to allocate your ‘uncomfortability’ quota to your business. Many business owners actually get the same buzz out of running their business – it’s that scary but totally rewarding feeling that keeps them coming back for more.
And I’m just going to stick a bonus reason in here…
6. You can take your business on the road
If you have an idea for the business, make sure it works as a business with no fixed location. Or if it does need a location, make sure you have people you trust to help you run it while you’re in no fixed location…,
Why You Shouldn’t Start A Business To Fund Your Big Lap
Now finally, onto the #1 reason not to start a business – you think it will be an easy way to make a lot of money.
As I said at the very start of this video, starting a business always takes time, it always takes effort and it’s never easy. Again, I’m willing to be proven wrong here but I don’t know anyone who started their business and immediately just set up a few things and then let things run on autopilot.
You’ve probably seen courses and trainings out there that claim to give you an easy to way to make a good income on the road and I would say that 99% of them are talking total BS if they’re telling you they have a simple plug and play method to generate income on the road.
You will still need to put time and effort into your business to make money and you still might not make thousands of dollars. I actually would like to invite anyone to selling these courses to chat to me about their unique offering if they are indeed claiming they have an easy way to make money on the road!
One thing that I will say is that once a business is established, you may well be able to drop down to only working a few hours a week but in most cases businesses are like babies; they are needy af!
So, if you’re looking for the easy way out, I would say that starting a business is not for you. Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Starting a business can be the best way to fund your big lap. It gives you the ultimate freedom but it also brings a high degree of uncertainty. If you have the right mindset, have the dedication and focus required and you’re willing to put in the work, it might just be the best option for you.
If you’re starting a brand new business, don’t take it on the road and rely on it for your income before you have proven that it can be profitable though (unless of course, you have some savings and don’t need to make it work right away). Even then, the business building stage of your business usually requires the most work and if you actually start a business from the road, you could run the risk of a. Not seeing the country you set out to explore or b. Letting the business fail before it really begins because you’re exploring.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, comment below with any questions you have and I’ll do my best to answer them.
As always, make sure you subscribe and check out the link in the description for my pre-big lap business builder checklist