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Working On The Road

As Published In Airstream Live Riveted
Working On The Road

Have you ever dreamed of embracing the ‘Live Riveted’ RV lifestyle — where you work, live, play, and travel all from the road? Today, full-timer and itinerant organizer extraordinaire Ramona Creel is sharing her thoughts about balancing work and life in Airstream trailer!

How do you manage to work while you travel?

Folks are always asking me how I make full-time RVing and self-employment work, but it’s not hard at all! Turns out, entrepreneurship really suits this traveling lifestyle. I happen to have chosen careers that lend themselves well to a “virtual” environment. I coach/organize clients both locally and long distance, write, speak (live and via webinars/teleseminars), and make art. Teleconferencing, online training, and remote desktop sharing are core technologies for my businesses, and the fact that I can provide services to any client in any location without having to meet in-person offers a big advantage. But working on the road does not always have to be via the internet.

Full-timers engage in a variety of paid activities as they wander — consulting, freelancing, selling their arts and crafts, seasonal part-time work, temping, and even camp hosting. The freedom in RVing comes from being able to work however and wherever you choose. Even for those of us who do most of our work virtually, it’s nice when you have the opportunity to interact with clients face-to-face, in different locations around the country or the world. For example, I usually see a couple of organizing clients while I’m in each town- a garage here, a filing system there, some time management tips. Then, once I hit the road again, I can continue my work with them virtually, via phone coaching or skype. It is the best of both worlds!

What allows you that sort of freedom?

The only reason I’m able to live this life is because of technology. I could not have become a working full-time RVer even five years earlier than I did, because the support system just wasn’t there. The two biggest requirements for your portable business are a cell phone and a reliable internet connection, and I’ve learned a few lessons about both as I’ve worked my way across the country, especially concerning web access!

The option with the most coverage is either a wireless broadband card or a tethering app attached to your phone — just be prepared for the fact that your usage will either be capped or “throttled back” to a slower speed after so many gigabytes. This is a relatively new development (when I hit the road, the service was “unlimited”), an attempt by the wireless companies to keep bandwidth costs artificially inflated, and one that continually throws a monkey wrench into my plans. If I land at an RV park that offers free or inexpensive secure wireless (like Tengo), I’ll take advantage. These plans generally come with no limits, and I can upload, download and stream to my heart’s content. If that isn’t an option, I’ll save the heavy-use web activities for free wi-fi locations like the ones at Panera and Dunkin Donuts. Plus, it’s an excuse to get a good cup of coffee I didn’t have to make!

What actual techn equipment do you recommend?

Some folks will tell you that an array involving satellite internet and signal boosters is the way to go, but I don’t agree. Good equipment is really expensive, and we would only have a connection when we were within sight of the dish. Part of the “mobility” of working on the road comes from not being tied to your trailer. I didn’t trade in the house for an Airstream just so I could spend all day trapped at the RV park working! I need to be able to get online from anywhere — at home, in the car, while out on a day-trip, even when I travel overseas.

Wow — talking about living riveted! If you need Ramona’s help figuring out your own plan for becoming a full-timer, contact her!

 

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.

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