Today we are talking about owning and running your business while on the road. “On the road again, and I can’t wait to get on the road again.”
We had a lot of fun. It was a really interesting experience. And I think what I really want to share with you guys are just kind of the basics. What was great about being able to run my business in the RV over the summer? What really worked? What really didn’t work and the things that I learned so that the next time we do it, if we do it, how I can make improvements.
I also learned a lot about a few things that I’m taking into my business and how that affects the day-to-day of my business and finding the balance.
Our 40 Day Business On the Road Experience
So first things first.
We enjoyed 40 days on the road and it was amazing. We traveled up the California coast all the way up to the top of the country, and ventured across the country all the way out to Maine.
We stayed in New York and saw family. We saw family in Maine, and then we traveled all the way back.
Now, one of the things that was really, really helpful in being able to do this trip was knowing who we are and setting our daily schedule based on what we know about ourselves. So my husband and I figured out, we prefer to drive in the afternoons from three to nine or 10:00 PM.
So that was good. It was very helpful. That meant that our days were spent traveling and sightseeing and doing all those things. They happened in the morning from eight to noon. Then I coached and or taught after that until three. And then we got on the road or vice versa. I taught in the morning and then we did some sightseeing in the afternoon, and then we got on the road.
So one of those things was being able to have that schedule, have it figured out and try to work through it with everybody really excited about living on the road, RV, camping, trailering hits the trend of all trends.
We had to plan in advance to know where we were going to be. So with that in mind, we knew where we were going to be along each stop and had an idea of where we were going to be stopped to do the coaching and the training. So that was all really good.
That’s some of the stuff that worked. The pre-planning for our adventure.
What Didn’t Work While Traveling
We did run into a few snags along the way.
Missing My Regular Detailed Digital Schedule
One, anytime I relied on my brain instead of an outside structure to know where I was supposed to be was a challenge. So while I’m at home, I live by my Google calendar and I stare at it all day long. I look at it in the morning. I know who I’m seeing. I know when I’m seeing and for the most part, because I’m sitting at my desk, I’m here when I’m supposed to be at my coaching sessions with my clients or teaching or at my Facebook live events.
When other things were going on this just didn’t work. So, I think I blew half of my six Facebook lives while we were on the road one, we were up in Breckenridge and we were about to go do things. And I knew I was set to do it. Then all of a sudden everything got shut down because there was lightning coming in. And we’re like, we need to get off this mountain before the crowd starts lining up behind us, especially since we’re keeping social distance and all of that stuff. So in the process of getting ready, that storm came in right before my Facebook live. And I’m pretty sure that we were on the gondola going down the mountain when I was supposed to be on my Facebook live.
I remembered it about 20 minutes later. And I was like, “Oh, that’s right.” So life happened and it changed.
There were a couple of things. Like, I think we were on a ferry one day and I just forgot. So what didn’t work was relying on my brain to remember where I was supposed to be.
I also missed a handful of coaching sessions due to that same problem, so one of those was, I kept my calendar open and I wasn’t as good at really getting clear on which days in which hours. So people would book sessions and I didn’t check the calendar that day to double check, or I had sessions booked and we weren’t on the road or where we thought we were supposed to be at that time.
I wasn’t checking in on my calendar, on my phone as regularly as I normally do. So if you’re going to go lots of places, it’s helpful to think about that. One of the things I would do to solve that problem would be to set those alarms in my phone. Because I was using my phone where I wasn’t using my laptop. Because I couldn’t use my laptop all day long in the car.
We were on the road. We were listening to books. Most of the books were on here. So if I had set an alarm for the day and said, you have a five minute warning to have a coaching session with so-and-so, that could’ve made the difference.
Adding another sense of structure that works for the situation would help. I rely on my computer as my structure when I’m at home, but it wasn’t the right support system for on the road. So making sure that depending on what lifestyle freedom is that you’re looking for, the structure supports that decision.
Internet Struggles on the Road
The second thing is reliable internet, reliable internet, reliable internet.
Can’t say that enough, right before the trip, we bought an internet booster that goes on top of the RV. It’s for RVs and boats. If you want to live on a boat or something like that, this item boosts your signal because at a lot of the RV parks, although they have free internet, it’s not strong enough for things like zoom and streaming live streaming, et cetera. So, that would be good.
Also, I’m going to reach over here. These are little traveling hotspots. So you get to see the background of what I used.
We had this traveling hotspot. It happened to be something that the school gave us for distance learning. Not realizing like it had certain limits on it. My kids blew through all the data in like two days on the road. So managing that data is another suggestion. Instead we ended up relying on our hotspots on our phone. Yet some of that still wasn’t enough to have strong systems.
For example, one of the days we went to Yellowstone National Park. There’s no wifi anywhere in Yellowstone, there was no signal. There’s no service. It’s a beautiful national park. We got to see deer in the middle of the road. We got to see Buffalo. It was awesome.
Know Your Location and the Details of the Area
Another mistake, not understanding the time changes in the pre-planning. I forgot that as we travel that the times change. So, although I plan for a 10 o’clock session in California, by the time we got to Minnesota or somewhere else in the country, that 10 o’clock session was now noon.
We were no longer at the RV parks where the free internet was. So we had to start thinking outside the box to figure out where we would get good internet. So good internet, so important. Having either a hotspot that travels with you or getting a booster.
Our booster still is not hooked up properly to our RV. We had somebody in the middle of Michigan who hooked it up wrong, so that still didn’t work. Because we didn’t get it and know how much we had to install into the system before we left.
So again, mistakes we made, but if you’re going to do life on the road, having reliable internet, is the number one, number one, number one, number one need that you have or having the backups.
So we had the hotspot and that failed. We used the hotspots on our phone and were still trying to boost the signal. In a lot of places, we could get good signals on the phone. If we were in a city where they had lots of cell towers. But for example, in Yellowstone we thought, okay, great. We’ll get to the park. We’ll use the internet. That might be the park Rangers area. I will do my coaching sessions and teach. No, no, no, no, no.
Even at Old Faithful where all of the touristy stuff is, there was no wifi. There was no free wifi. There were no coffee shops with wifi. There was nothing, nothing, nothing. I had to spend $60 on two payphones to contact my team, to let them know I wasn’t teaching for the membership. So at least it had some integrity and I had to cancel. I was like, “By the way, I let everybody know, tell all the clients that I have today, then I’m not doing that.”
Those were the things that didn’t work and the way that I would solve the problems.
Clear Your Calendar of Non-Essentials
The other thing that I did was I cleared my calendar of nonessential business. That was great. I was really only serving in my business on the trip I wasn’t doing and focusing on anything but my business.
I knew it was not a marketing time. So I wasn’t doing a lot of marketing. I wasn’t focusing on building my list. I wasn’t focusing on any of those things. I was really just focusing on one-to-one with my clients and inside the membership. We scheduled the trip for after the course had completed. So I didn’t have to manage the third thing.
Work On Doing the Bare Minimum
What worked was my clients were all served and happy. Everybody that was paying for their services, got their services, taken care of. However, things that didn’t work about that was I wasn’t paying attention to the tracking of my financial systems. I wasn’t necessarily doing my profit first thing as accurately.
I had a billing issue that was a hundred percent user error, not my client’s fault. It was something that I set up badly and incorrectly six months ago and it started to unfold. I started to notice it as we were on the road, but I didn’t really have the capacity to fix it or change by going into my systems. Nor do I really have the team trained to do those things.
So when it comes to having your team on your business, having people have backups is essential. One of the things that we started doing when we came back is that now each person on the team is learning how to back up somebody else so that we can avoid these types of emergencies.
I need to have somebody else who’s trained inside the financial systems of my business so that they can take over that stuff. And I’m like, “Hey, there’s a system issue and I need you to track it down.”
So I’m in the process of redoing my financial systems as we speak because I did catch it. So those are the lessons. Had I planned for it, because I didn’t really give myself a lot of gap to work on my business. I also had made the assumption that I’d be able to focus while we drive and think about my business and do stuff on my computer.
I get car sick. I couldn’t focus and think at all, I had to be completely not moving to work.
There were times where we just pulled over at a rest stop for a coaching session. Usually this was a session that had just been booked and was not a regularly scheduled event. We had the plan that we would just pull over. So we pulled over hopefully to a town that had enough internet once or twice.
It worked and once or twice, it didn’t again, internet, internet, internet.
So if you’re looking to live a location-free lifestyle, to have that flexibility, to do all of those things, make sure that you have solid internet. Make sure that you have a system that supports you in knowing where you have to be when you have to be there. One that isn’t the same system that might work while you’re at home. You may have to figure it out.
Telling Your Clients Your Travel Plans
All of my clients knew in advance that we were on the road. They all knew that we might not make everything. So mostly any sessions that got blown, I made up for it. Everybody got to rebook. I canceled my cancellation policy and everybody had the opportunity to cancel within 24 hours or less than 2 I had the ability to cancel everything with less than 24 hours over the 40 days that we were on the road.
I got to be really flexible about that stuff so that my clients could be flexible with me because I did make mistakes. If I really screwed the pooch, like if it was really bad, I offered somebody an extra session or something like that to make up for the places where I felt like it was really just my mind that blew it instead of a technical issue or an internet.
If somebody sat and waited for 10 or 15 minutes, I gave them something in return because it would’ve pissed me off. If I had been sitting and waiting and it was like a no show. So, I got lots of grace from my clients.
If you’re looking to create that locations, freedom type business, and really have the opportunity to explore and go throughout, it can be done. Your RV is your friend, your camper, or your trailer or your, whatever it is.
Internet, internet, internet. Be sure to have some backup systems invested in it. It’s well worth it for your business and be sure to make time and space. As well as I run your business on the bare minimum. It’s difficult to do that for long periods of time. For me summer’s the best time to do it because I do have clients like I’ve noticed this trend over time that I have other clients that take a month off in July or a month off in August. And they’re just there. So that’s a great time for me to do it.
If you can’t do everything it’s ok too. I like to make sure that if I’ve got somebody on the team, who’s going to take it over for me, that they’re trained in it so that if something goes wrong, while I’m on the road, I don’t have to try to train them and to schedule in that flex time for when things happen.
Good luck running your business on the road.