Guest Blogger: Bea Dabrowski, BA CPB, Co-Owner of CertPro Accounting Team Inc in Winnipeg.
What’s your passion in life? Mine is travel. And I don’t mean taking short little holidays here and there. By travel, I mean uprooting my family for several months or longer and living like a local in a foreign culture. Having grown up in three different countries, having attended schools in all of them, and having had to learn a new language each time, I don’t see any other way to live for me. This is my normal. And now my family’s as well. My son, when not in Canada, attends a local school in a local language, learning a new culture.
If this sounds outlandish to you, you are probably thinking, how can a person make a living and be successful and financially stable, while leading a seemingly chaotic lifestyle like mine. Well, let me tell you, I am not the only one and not the first one to do this.
If living elsewhere for even part of the year (perhaps to avoid the insane Canadian winter), has ever crossed your mind – let me tell you, it is quite feasible. The person who inspires me the most and will surely inspire you as well, is the American author/life hacker Tim Ferriss (you can check out his blog here: http://fourhourworkweek.com/4-hour-workweek-tools/). His blog and book contain all the steps you need to take in order to “escape” the office.
But what tools do you need in order to work remotely?
Here are the basic ones:
- A mindset that living elsewhere and working remotely is possible.
- A great internet connection wherever you are.
- Remote access to your server back in Canada (either a physical server you own or a cloud server you rent from a Canadian company).
- A paperless office.
- An assistant on the ground in your home city.
- Your Canadian phone and fax numbers need to be virtualized online, so you don’t pay long distance. I pay approximately $25/month to a provider to host my Canadian phone and fax numbers. I pay zero dollars for long distance. I send and receive faxes in electronic format. I never use a printer and I don’t buy paper while traveling.
- I ensure our clients pay us electronically and we pay our bills the same way. Printing cheques is so yesterday. Telpay allows you to process yours and your clients’ payments in an affordable way, from anywhere, with electronic approval, without killing a single tree.
- And a final tip: If your travels take you to a time zone very distant from your local one, ensure you respect your clients by only calling and emailing during the Canadian business hours.