Through my coaching work and group program I get asked some really great business questions about the expert modules and workbook activities.
Watching my clients take flight with their multiple `lightbulb moments’ just makes my day. From how to stretch their dollars further to how to scale their business, and onto how to create a rock solid business plan.
Every so often though I get a question like this, that I adore, because it’s right up my alley:
“Am trying to live the life of a suitcase entrepreneur, but slipped behind on this module because even these days, there’s still not always wifi available! Natalie, how do you do all of your work online while travelling – from a technical perspective???” ~ Pamela Clarke, Alta Bistro
I thought I’d share my response to Pamela here as god knows I’ve had many challenges, especially since living in Buenos Aires and I look forward to the next set of challenges.
Confessions of a Suitcase Entrepreneur
Since my entire business runs online I’ve made it my business – so to speak to learn a ton along the way, test, review and implement.
I then aim to pass that along to you here so you can learn too. So here goes!
My life saviour has been activating Gmail Offline to access my inbox at anytime. I find when I’m on trains, planes and automobiles I can take time to read through my emails, respond, file, categorise etc in peace and with no new activity coming into distract me.
Then when I do get online I simply connect up and all the emails get sent and everything synchronises- very handy. You can find this feature by going to Options (top right) > Mail Settings > Click on the Labs tab and searching for it there.
- Select Enable next to Offline Gmail.
- Click Save Changes.
- After your browser reloads, you’ll see a new “Offline” link in the upper righthand corner of your account, next to your username. Click this link to start the offline set up process and download Gears if you don’t already have it.
I also make use of my iPhone to access wifi for free from anywhere (where possible) and to check in on my social media networks. When you’re on the go sometimes this is your only option and it’s easier than firing up a laptop.
It’s also advisable to `jailbreak’ your iphone to avoid horrendous roaming charges by using a free app like Cydia. Then you can buy and use a local sim card for your phone and make cheap calls plus get better priced data plans for the country you’re in.
(Important disclaimer/caveat this is of course against Apple policies and it can crash your phone).
Managing social media
I have the Hootsuite app installed to manage my multiple social media accounts and actually find the iPhone app more useful for some things then the website. In particular tracking conversations and focusing in on just one stream.
I also use the Facebook app to update my personal profile and my business page plus to mange my inbox and check in on the newsfeed. Particularly useful are the 8 Fan pages I’ve favourited that I like to visit most and leave a comment on. This way it’s less distracting then seeing all the pages you’re fans of when you access it via the web.
To do that just click on Search > Pages then start typing a few letters and a list of pages will come up. Click on the one you want and you will see an arrow on the top right. Click on this and select Add Favourite.
I also love the LinkedIn app – especially with the new News feature that shows the most popular articles being shared and easily allows you to comment on them or share them your networks. I find it a handy way to just check in on my inbox messages, accept and make connections.
More importantly it’s one of the easiest ways to download recent important contacts direct to my iPhone address book. Just go to Connections> Download All to import all your most recent connections to your phone including their photo, current company and title, email addresses and website.
Clip ‘n Go
For any interesting links I see or sites I visit while I’m on Hootsuite or Facebook or Safari I just clip them to my Evernote application to read later on or action. This is automatically synced via the website so I know it’s all up todate when I return to using my laptop.
Mailchimp is the email client manager I love and recommend all the time. Particularly because they have a Forever Free plan for up to 2,000 emails and for small businesses on a budget that rocks.
I have the Mailchimp app installed so I can check in on the report of my latest HighFlyer newsletter I sent and whether people liked it, who opened it and where in the world they’re based. I can also easily see new members and check my lists
Keeping up appearances
I have to say I’m renowned for missing appointments when I’m on the fly – timezones can make it difficult to keep up. Thanks to my Tungle app I can check my complete calendar schedule of what meetings and appointments I have coming up across all calendars. That way I never a miss a call, Skype meeting or webinar – well almost never!
One of the best things ever is the Skype Then I can use Skype on my iPhone too for free Skype to Skype calls – a life saver if I don’t have my computer with me yet had a call scheduled. I just take my earphones along!
I also use my smartphone to make voice recordings that I can later get transcribed as blog posts or for my own personal records.
Finally I use my travelling time to work on offline things such as writing, reports, and planning.
Grab a copy of my Suitcase Entrepreneur book
I cover this in a lot more detail in my bestselling Suitcase Entrepreneur book you can grab on Amazon.