The Reality of Work & Travel: Lisbon.
So, by now you're probably wondering... after three months of working, travelling, and immersing myself in each city's culture, how is my business performing? Perhaps as a surprise to both of us, my third month, where I was working remotely in Portugal, was my highest revenue month my business has ever had.
Justin Hannan, winner of Latitude's recent #TravelDoneBetter campaign, is three months into his four-month remote working experience. Read on to hear his recap of month two. Want to follow Justin's journey? Check us out on Instagram!
When you leave to work and travel overseas, feeling anxious about how your bottom line will be impacted is inevitable. You begin to question whether the work will dry up, whether your inability to meet with new business prospects and current clients face-to-face will be detrimental to your business, and whether this is the right career move to make.
So, what changed from my months in Cape Town and Morocco? Why was it, in Portugal, dollars suddenly started hitting my account?
In Morocco, with quite a different entertainment scene to Cape Town, I dug my heels in and got to work. This was the time to set the foundation for the rest of my four month trip around Africa and Europe. I was a regular face at the co-working space and I was frequently burning the midnight oil. In Morocco I planted the seeds and now here in Lisbon, I am harvesting the crops.
Momentum is a funny thing, once you get started and a lot of the heavy lifting is done, your successes flow from there. Suddenly, I was achieving exactly what I'd hoped for. Working from a beautiful Lisbon café, with an acceptable amount of work coming in. The remote working dream was finally here!
So, what was the main difference?
Two things... Firstly, after two months of working remotely, I had optimised my style of working and mentally adjusted to operating in a different way. It included an Australian Skype number for clients to reach me, new video recording strategies to give an 'in-person' feel, regular video client catch ups, and email blasts to update everyone on what was happening in my world.
But, I think the real main thing was simple, trust.
After two months of successfully operating remotely, my clients began to trust that the distance didn't impact my ability to produce results My deadlines were being met, communication was constant and there was no decrease in my output quality. Really, everything was - as normal.
If anything, they were better. I had learned how to work efficiently and effectively in a different way and developed my professional skills to fit into the working remotely lifestyle.
I believe I overcame one of the major challenges of working remotely that arises if you run your own service business, which is acquiring and maintaining client trust.
And I get it... I mean, they have their own KPIs and bottom lines to hit... I'd be worried too if my key point of contact was off to gallivant around Africa and Europe!
Not only did I prove it to my clients that I could work remotely, but I also proved it to myself.
Working remotely now feels normal to me, and perhaps to my clients as well. They know it doesn't matter where in the world I am, I'm still going to deliver results and work like it's 'business as usual'. Trust takes time, but it's worth it in the long run.
And, what better place to work from, than the beautiful riverside city of Lisbon. I'd take a café with a beautiful view and food over an office any day!
Until next time!
From Lisbon with love,