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How I Quit My Day Job and Became a Location Independent Entrepreneur

I Years ago I tried to put into words what I dreamed of. What ‘being free’ meant for me. I wrote this:

“Finally, here I stand. I upheld my own ideology of want in a society that thrives upon consumerism. I avoided the never-ending cycle of wanting more and needing more, because I have a different view upon what constitutes life.

For as long as I can remember I wanted to explore the world for an undefined period of time, not bound by the structures of daily life. This want is only for the wealthy, and I realize that I am spoiled with choice. Nothing could ever give me as much satisfaction as the thrill of being on the road to faraway places.

I traded a life of security for a life of risk, in which I can challenge and develop myself every day and wake up to the promise of endless possibilities.

So, here I stand. For the outside world this is merely the beginning of my journey, but for me it is halfway. I succeeded in making it possible, and now there is nothing left for me but to live it.”

Stuck in a 9-5 job
At the time I was stuck in my 9-5 job and dreaming of exploring the world and being location independent. When I wrote it, I tried to imagine the feeling of walking into the airport right before leaving on my trip around the world. I imagined that it would’ve taken me months or years to save enough money and create the freedom in my life to travel the world for an extended period of time. But I made it happen and I was about to take off and venture into the unknown…

My reality at the time was quite different. I worked as a consultant from 9-5 and enjoyed a questionable liberty during the weekends and holidays. But they were never enough. They never gave me enough satisfaction. My weekends and holidays were amazing, don’t get me wrong, but never enough.

I wanted to explore the world for months on end. Perhaps even years. My main goal was to be location independent and to choose where and when I work. To be free and not bound by the structures of daily life.

I read about it (for example in the book Vagabonding), dreamed about it, watched movies about it and thought about it. But I never actually did anything to achieve it. Until I got a wake-up call.

My wake-up callAfter years of working in a job that made me unhappy, I became burned out and depressed. I lived a life that wasn’t right for me. A life that seemed perfect on the outside for others, but wasn’t in line with what I wanted.

For months I was completely drained of energy and happiness. And even though it was a hard time to get through, it also served as a wake-up call. After almost a year of trying to become my former self again, I realized that I needed to change my life. This wasn’t working out and I was fed up with feeling like a zombie every single day.

Reintegration at my job wasn’t working out, because how can you feel better at a place where you feel stuck? All my energy flowed away into trying to make my old life work. I was tired all the time. And when you don’t have energy, how can you build a life that’s fulfilling? I really had to start living my life in a different way if I wanted to feel better. The first step: getting my energy back.

My rock-solid plan was to quit my job, travel to Sri Lanka for a month and then start my own business. But as we all know, life never goes as planned.

Getting my energy back
Somewhere at the other side of the world a virus took hold of Wuhan, China. People were in lockdown. It was astonishing to see. But I shrugged, “nothing to worry about”. Oh how I was wrong.

I quit my job in March and was supposed to fly to Sri Lanka right after. But the virus that seemed like a distant dream a couple of months ago, was now spreading over the world in no time. Countries closed their borders. Two days before my departure Sri Lanka did no longer allow Dutch people to enter the country because of Covid-19.

Obviously I was a bit disappointed, but in the end I was happy to not be stuck at a foreign airport somewhere. Instead of going to Sri Lanka I took a break from everything. I didn’t look for a new job, I didn’t travel, I just stayed at home. Did some gardening, painted the window frames, enjoyed the summer weather, read books and went out for the occasional hike or bike ride. And guess what? My energy levels went up in no time.

Becoming a location independent entrepreneurSo, after a month I decided it was time to focus on my future and do some soul searching. What is it that I want in life? And what kind of work should I do? I knew one thing for sure: I wanted freedom. I wanted to combine work and travel. And I loved working on my travel blog. Writing, marketing, editing photos and videos, social media.

I decided I would try to do the same kind of work for others. As a freelancer. While working from anywhere in the world. This way I could combine my love for travel and enjoy working at the same time. Above all, I wanted to create a life that was in line with my ideals and values. A life in which I felt at home and which made me happy.

I followed loads of courses, built my website, took care of all the legal stuff and just gave it a go. My first client signed within a week. Now, almost seven months later, I am able to make a living out of it.

And to be honest, I didn’t expect that it would go this fast when I started. My goal was to ‘get by’ within the first year. But after four months I already earned more than I did in my 9-5 job.

I absolutely love my work. The diversity and freedom of being an entrepreneur is amazing. I write blogs, manage social media accounts, create drone videos, write SEO texts for websites and I even developed my own social media training last month.

And I suddenly realized… this is it. This was the feeling I described years ago. Here I stand. And there is nothing left for me but to live my dream. The life that I created for myself.

Live the location independent life!
So, here I stand. I created freedom for myself and a job that I love. I didn’t get stuck in the expectations of society, but I chose my own path. And I am proud of that. Even though it might seem as the beginning for outsiders, for me it is halfway. I finally succeeded in making it possible, and now I just have to live it.

I finally arranged my life in such a way that I can work and travel at the same time. I’m a location independent entrepreneur. A dream I’ve had for years came true! One minor issue… we can’t travel at the moment. That’s a bit of a bummer, but I’m sure that it will be possible again in the future.

For now I focus on my business, and when the borders open again I will finally be able to combine work and travel. I will finally be able to live my dream.

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And even more good news? If I can do it, you can do too. Feel free to ask me anything about starting as an entrepreneur or becoming location independent. Don’t wait for life to pass you by. Take control of your life now and start chasing those dreams.always dreamed of being free. Even when I was still in high school, I dreamed of backpacking around the world. But instead of following my dream, I finished my studies and started working in a corporate job from 9-5. I followed society’s rules, because that is what you should do to become happy and succesful, right? After a few years of living like this, I was burned out and realized I needed to change my life. In this blog I share my story of how I made the switch from 9-5 life to becoming a location independent entrepreneur.

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