There is a lot of advice out there on how to “live your dream.” Some of my favorite comes from guys like Sean Ogle and Chris Guillebeau. In their different ways, these guys make enough money to travel freely, doing business all over the world. Their lives seem so adventurous and fun, as the tweet about layovers and blog from China.
Like a lot of others, when I first encountered this, I had to squelch some envy. I love to travel and hope to do more of it at some point. Actually, that envy is a good thing because it makes me realize that there’s something I want to work toward.
Some of it, anyway. I actually think there’s something to be said for the cultivating a sense of “place,” of putting down roots, as they say.
When you commit to being (mostly) stationary, you open yourself up to long-term, day-to-day, relationships. Setting up shop in a city especially offers a sense of being a part of something, of contributing to culture Of course you won’t build relationships with everyone, but a certain pride grows when you live, work and contribute in one place.
In Memphis we have a notoriously low civic self-esteem. But many young Memphians–many of whom grew up in the area–are working to change that. They are highlighting for the world what’s great about city, and building new things to make it even better. This wouldn’t be possible if they didn’t live and work here.
Sean Ogle talks a lot about “location independence.” He’s built his businesses so that he can grow them from anywhere. I actually love that thought, but it obviously doesn’t work for every business.
Restaurants and a lot of retail businesses, for example, need brick-and-mortar space. Even without a storefront, many businesses provide services and products that are location specific.
PropsTech is one example. I’m not founding it because I’m a coder–or even know very much about technology at all. While the model can be (and is) done in other cities, in my case it was my love of Memphis that motivated me.
I know, this one seems a little out of left field. It’s important, though. If you’re a parent, you have to consider who your kids are, and if a location independent lifestyle is good for them. Most kids need stability most of the time.
My boys love to travel. Love love it. But they also take a lot of pride in being from Memphis. Labeling themselves as Memphians matters to them, and they enjoy being a part of our city.
Like everything else, location preference is a matter of personality and life stage. Personally, I’m at a point where I love to travel when possible, but I also love building a home and a life in one spot.
What about you? Location independent or happy in one place?
*I just want to make clear that this is NOT a critique of either Sean Ogle or Chris Guillebeau. I admire both of them for what they do. This post is just some of processing of what I’m learning from them.