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ULTIMATE GUIDE: How To Be A Location Independent Life Coach

Ready to coach your way to adventure? Find out how with these practical tips for running a successful coaching business from anywhere in the world.

Do you frequently daydream about ditching the daily grind, putting your belongings in storage and hitting the road? Maybe you’ve been inspired by the recent proliferation of images on social media of coaches and entrepreneurs clocking in on their laptops from exotic locations worldwide. 

Could it ever be more than a fantasy?

If the life of a digital nomad seems too good to be true, think again. The reality is that there’s never been an easier time to make a living while working remotely. So if the call to travel and adventure is stirring your soul, there’s no reason you can’t make it happen. It just requires some know-how, a solid plan, and enough courage to take the leap.

Want to take YOUR show on the road? As a life coach, you can! 

In this location independent lifestyle guide for life coaches, we’ll show you how. Contents include:

  • Definition of a location independent entrepreneur
  • Benefits of building a location independent business
  • Myths about life as a digital nomad
  • Logistics for working anywhere in the world
  • How to select the right destination
  • Strategies for building community
  • Tips for growing your business from the road

What Is A Location Independent Business?

Location independence is the ability to work from anywhere, anytime. It’s the freedom to operate your coaching business your way, on your terms. 

For some people, that might mean being constantly on the road. Traveling from location to location, seeing the world while conducting your business as usual. 

For others, it may mean having a primary home, with the option to pick up and take your work remote whenever you desire. 

And for life coaches who want a little of both, it might look like living out of an Airstream or travel van, migrating from place to place from within a cozy mobile base of operations. 

What all these scenarios have in common is that you make the rules, in a way that feels right for you. It’s flexible, because you’ve built a business that isn’t dependent upon where you are physically located in order to thrive.

Benefits of A Remote Life Coaching Practice

In addition to the freedom you’ll gain, let’s take a look at a few of the other benefits you’re likely to experience as a globetrotting life coach.

A work life that works for you.

Gone are the days of cramming travel and adventure into a limited number of vacation days each year. No more commuting, investing in an “office wardrobe,” or punching somebody else’s clock. As an online-based life coach, you set your own schedule.

Relational skills development.

As a world traveler, you’ll have an opportunity to build your connection and empathy muscles, gaining the ability to relate to people from a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures, and identities.

Enhanced tolerance for risk.

There’s nothing like travel to push you beyond your comfort zone, which is a good thing! According to psychologist Rochelle Perper, Ph.D, there are many benefits associated with healthy risk-taking. Some of them include:

  • Build confidence and develop new skills
  • Develop sense of pride and accomplishment
  • Learn things you might not otherwise
  • The chance to actively pursue success
  • Spurs creativity
  • Opportunity to create change in your life
  • Develop emotional resilience
  • Feel more engaged and happy
woman working on a laptop at the beach

Digital Nomad Lifestyle Myths

It can’t possibly be all rainbows and unicorns, right?

We wouldn’t be doing justice to this topic if we didn’t touch upon the other side of the coin. So let’s take a look now at some of the myths and potential downsides of location independent entrepreneurship.

MYTH: You’ll be working in glamorous settings. 

We’ve all seen images like the one above on Instagram, right? You know the ones we're talking about - a life coach sitting with her laptop on the beach, celebrating the “freedom to work from anywhere!” 

Here’s the reality: all that sand is messy. The odds of getting reliable WiFi out there are iffy. And let’s not forget how sun glare actually impacts your screen!

As a location independent coach, you may be in exotic locations but you’ll still have to work. For real. And that means having access to a professional setting with the tools you need to get things done. 

MYTH: It will cost less to live abroad. 

This depends upon where you plan to go, how long you intend to stay, and how much traveling you’ll be doing overall. Flights, ground transportation, and other costs associated with getting from place to place can really add up.

Some destinations may have a lower cost of living than wherever you’re from… IF you live like a local. Consider the lifestyle you plan to lead, it’ll help inform your budget! 

MYTH: You’ll be constantly on the move.

The reality is that most remote workers stay in one place longer than a few weeks. According to a recent study by Fiverr, only 17% of people who consider themselves “digital nomads” travel to 5+ countries in a year. More than 50% of those surveyed spend their time in only 1-2 countries per year. It’s really up to you. 

MYTH: You’ll work less… and LIVE more.

The thing to remember about remote work is that it’s not the same as taking a vacation. You’ll still have appointments, deadlines, and other business obligations. 

Wherever you go, there you are. You’ll be the same “you” regardless of the background scenery! If you're prone to overworking, this won’t change just because you’re on the road. So if freedom and independence also mean “better work-life balance” to you, that’s something you’ll need to actively work on in order to achieve. 

person running with surfboard

Logistics of Working From Anywhere In the World

1) Create A Base

It’s not strictly necessary, but the logistics are easier - especially as you’re just getting started - if you have one place that you consider to be your base of operations. 

What a base consists of:

  • A storage unit for your stuff
  • A permanent address for tax purposes
  • A place to receive mail 

Ready for a cool fact? There are companies that provide virtual mailbox services, scanning any mail you receive and delivering it to you electronically so that you’ll never miss something important, or return home to a stack of envelopes that need sorting!

2) Set Up Your Online Coaching Business Ops

If you want the freedom to pick up and go at any time, you’ll need a business structure that can accommodate that. If you don’t already have the following in place, now’s the time to get your remote work house in order. 

man working in a coffee shop

Remote life coaching business basics:

  • A website/social media presence. This is your digital “storefront,” so make sure it has the information necessary for people who want to work with you. 
  • Online calendar/booking system
  • Digital payment processor
  • Zoom, Skype, or other account for video conferencing
  • High quality tech gear - laptop, tablet, phone
  • Paperless operation - convert all bank statements, invoices, and other paper documents to electronic delivery and storage
  • Secure storage and backup - invest in a backup system for your laptop in case it is damaged or lost, and make sure documents are being backed up to the cloud regularly. (examples: Backblaze, Microsoft OneDrive, or DropBox, plus a lightweight external hard drive if you want extra coverage.) 
  • Travel insurance - be aware that many forms of insurance won’t cover you if you’ll be abroad for more than 30 days. Check out World Nomads as an example of insurance that’s designed with a location independent lifestyle in mind. 

For a full rundown of some of our favorite coaching bResources to Jump Start Your Coaching Practice.

3) Travel Light

Unlike packing for a vacation, location indepennt travel looks a little different. What you need to pack is influenced by the fact that you’ll need your work gear. You'll also be able to take care of everyday business like doing laundry and grocery shopping once you’re arrived.

Some packing tip basics from veteran digital nomads include:

  • Essential documents: passport (have a digital copy!) and visas (if required), international banking card, travel insurance
  • A high quality, capsule wardrobe
  • A large bag on wheels if you have a place to stash it upon arrival, or a travel backpack if you prefer to keep things light
  • Tech packing system - be sure to keep all those cords and components organized, easily accessible, and protected while you’re on the go! (One that we particularly like is Grid-It by Cocoon.)
  • Small items such as candles, scented oils, or other accessories that create a sense of “home”
  • Ditch anything you’ll rarely use - you can always buy something as the need arises

4) Determine Where On Earth You’ll Go

Researching your ideal digital nomad existence is about more than looking up the most dreamy settings imaginable! You’ll also want to think about the costs, and the lifestyle associated with each of the locations you plan to visit. 

Some things to consider:

  • What’s your monthly budget?
  • What type of weather are you hoping for?
  • Do you prefer urban or rural environments?
  • How important are cultural attractions and nightlife?
  • Will there be language barriers to overcome?
  • What are your dietary requirements, and how adventurous is your palate?
  • Is there reliable WiFi where you’ll be living and working?
  • Do the locations you’re considering have visa requirements?
  • What’s the transportation infrastructure like - is it easy or difficult to get around?

For a wealth of location ideas and guidance from digital nomads worldwide, check out the Go Nomad community.

three friends laughing together

5) Find Community

Even if you choose to travel solo, the life of a digital nomad doesn’t have to be a lonely one. There are many ways to build community when you arrive in each new location. It just takes forethought and a willingness to put yourself out there.

Some tried-and-true methods for finding community while traveling include:

Coworking spaces. Companies like ImpactHub, WeWork, and others operate locations across the globe. Joining a coworking community not only gives you access to office space and reliable WiFi, but also to a network of other entrepreneurs with whom you can build professional and social connections.

Check out this review of coworking spaces from Digital Nomad Global for ideas on how - and where - you can plug in!

Assembling an online team. If you need support to maintain your business, consider putting together a remote team to handle some of those moving parts. You can hire a Virtual Assistant, a social media manager, and/or other folks to support your business efforts. In addition to getting practical help, having a team will also help build a sense of community from inside your business itself.

Coliving houses. As location independent lifestyle has grown in popularity, new housing models are popping up to meet the demand. A few examples include Outpost, The Collective, and Selena. Once you have some destinations in mind, a simple Google search may yield creative co-housing options with like-minded traveling entrepreneurs.

Affinity groups. There are Facebook groups, Meetup communities, local gyms, yoga studios, and countless other ways to make connections once you’ve arrived in a new location. All you need to do is connect with your interests and get out there!

6) Keep Growing Your Coaching Business

If you want to make a location independent life coaching business sustainable, you’ll need to pay attention to your long term business strategy all along the way. After all, the adventure can only continue for as long as you’re able to earn a living from the road!

The best way to accomplish this is by having a clearly defined business plan and marketing strategy. Do you plan to promote your services through your existing networks and referrals, on social media, or through other methods? Now’s the time to think about how you’ll continue to cultivate your client pipeline - no matter where you are!

Here’s some resources you may want to check out as you’re crafting your plan:

Ready To Take Your Next Step?

Life coaching is a rapidly growing field that’s ideal for building a location independent career. If you’ve not already earned your ICF coaching certification, there’s no better time than now to get started! Come check out Lumia Life Coach Training - a program that's every bit as unique as you are. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, business instruction to prepare you for liftoff as an entrepreneur, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a collective force for good.

Lumia Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

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