“Many a false step has been made by standing still”. — Fortune Cookie
It’s the most natural thing in the world, yet it’s something we inherently find difficult to deal with.
From making little changes in our habits and lifestyles to shifting the direction of our businesses; change is a crucial part of our lives and without it we fail to move forward as individuals and professionals.
So why do we actively avoid change if we know, more often than not, it is good for us?
Carlisle to Cusco
As I’m writing this, it’s 11:00am on a warm and clear November morning. It’s nearing the end of the month and I’m writing up invoices in a quiet little cafe down a narrow cobbled street, somewhere in central Cusco—a buzzing city in the Peruvian Andes which was once the capital of the ancient Incan empire.
A little over 6 months ago I was working your average 9-5 job in the not-so-warm border city of Carlisle, Cumbria, in the north of England. Life couldn’t be more different.
I moved back to Carlisle following a failed attempt to start a company in Leeds, with the plan of finding a stable writing job and slowly climbing my way up the career ladder, to eventually retire to a small city with a nice climate in South America.
It was a sound idea, based on some great advice—advice which had been given for decades. But therein lies the problem, even though we are in a time where your laptop is pretty much your office, communication across the globe is instantaneous, and cloud computing frees us from bulky hardware, we are still clinging on to old ideals.
The daily commute, the dull Cumbrian weather, the late nights arriving home from work and the scarce time off—I had fallen victim to the outdated, limited-by-time-and-space system in an age when the only limit to our productivity and whereabouts is the speed of our internet connection.
Seeing the Future
A handful of companies and individuals have understood this for a while now and have been using it to their advantage, while many others—including myself—are just beginning to catch on.
Automattic, Basecamp, Buffer, Connected; such companies leading the way in their field also have distributed workforces—and it’s definitely no coincidence. These innovators and change-makers can all be described as part of an emerging subculture called the ‘New Rich’.
The New Rich are taking full advantage of advances in technology to opt themselves out of the deferred-life plan. Money is no longer the ultimate goal, but rather a mere facilitator, which when combined with time and mobility, becomes an enabler to allow them to live the life they want, today—not when they are 65.
I started to wonder if my hour long, one bus and two train commute to the same old desk, in the same old office, in the same old city, was born more out of habit and fear of change, rather than pleasure or necessity.
I already had the technology and the means to take my business on the road—now, I just needed the willpower.
Chances are if you are reading this you are experiencing some of the same feelings I did, and are looking for that slight push; that slither of insight; that snippet of information; or that alternative perspective—to tip your life over the edge, and into a new dimension. Whether your dream is to establish a remote workforce and move to an exotic country, to do away with a fixed abode altogether and travel the world, or to simply spend more time with your family and work from home, it’s all completely within your means—all you need is a little insight from a team who have done it all to show you how.
That team, who I am lucky enough to be a part of today, is Connected UK—a true 21st century company that has done away with bureaucratic management layers, extravagant office buildings, costly commuting, and blame-based cultures to fully embrace digital nomadism.
Over the next few weeks I will be exploring why companies like Connected offer a window into the future of work, and exactly how they operate—everything from fostering company culture and operating as a remote workforce, to enjoying a healthier, happier staff, and producing vastly superior results. In addition, I will be documenting my personal transition to digital nomadism and the journey through transcending fear, embracing change, and overcoming the many challenges and obstacles that appear along the way—including the odd photo of a Llama or two.
The first wanderers to veer from the beaten path are presented with the most fruitful of rewards. There will never be a greater time than now to make the change.
Best of luck,
Joseph Pennington is a freelance writer and long-term traveller from the North of England. Find him on Medium exploring remote working, technology, spirituality, meditation, and everything in between.