It is the epitome of success in our society isn’t it, being able to work from anywhere in the world and still make a decent living. Well, that’s exactly what I was doing: working my own hours, picking my own tasks and working from the comfort of my own home.
So then why would I change that, travel across the world and go into an office environment where I’m working for someone else? Let’s find out shall we…
At 16 I left high-school to go to a college to learn programming, being into computers I thought I would be good at it and I would possibly end up doing it as a profession. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I quickly began to struggle at it and dislike it, I realised it was just not for me. Needless to say, I failed my first year and started again, different courses and a new perspective.
My attendance hadn’t been great either because I was spending a lot of time at home working on building websites and my Ã¢â‚¬Ëœinternet empireÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, something I enjoyed far more than any college course. In my second year I realised I was going to have to take action on the thing I love doing (internet marketing, web-based activities). In 2007, I registered my own company, ViperChill Limited, and began offering services, at the age of 17. I actually made quite a name for myself through my blog, getting mentioned frequently as one of the world’s top internet marketers and being contacted directly by multi-million pound companies to handle their online marketing.
It was quite difficult to handle everything being a one-man operation so holding onto those clients wasn’t easy. I tried my best by outsourcing tasks to others but ultimately it was only the small clients who I could get to stick around, although it was earning me a decent salary. I was still at college at this time, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure why to be honest, at the time it just seemed like the next logical step after high school.
In September 2007 I was offered a job by another internet marketing company (my 3rd offer of the year), a company that I had been in close communication with online over the years. This time I accepted the offer, stopped working with most of my personal clients and flew across the world to South Africa. For the last year this is what I’ve been doing (I’m now 19) and I have absolutely no regrets.
Why I did it
You might be reading this thinking I’m crazy. After-all, being able to work from home really is an amazing thing if that is what you want to do. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not that I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enjoy working my own hours and picking my own tasks, I loved it. However, there were so many advantages in the other direction that I just couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say noÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Other things can wait
Even at 18, I had experienced a lot of the world and went through many challenges. At the time when I was offered the job, I was attending college 5 days a week so pretty much had to put my company on hold for this opportunity. I loved the college lifestyle but really had no interest in the courses I was taking; college was just the next step in my scripted life.
Due to putting company work on hold and losing a few big clients early on, I took on a part-time job in a clothes store. If you’ve ever had a job where you completely dread your next shift then welcome to my world, I couldn’t stand it. When the South Africa offer came along I honestly didn’t think it was possible and completely dismissed it, I had too many things keeping me tied down in England.
It wasn’t until I spoke to my mom and she was behind the idea that I realised it was possible; I really could take the leap and try something new. That day I got back in touch with the company and told them I would take the job. The main reason for this is that I wanted to do something new with my life, get out of the college situation and my crappy part-time job (although after a year of this I planned to going back to my own thing) and fly around the world. The message here is that this is something I wanted to try, I was on the road to getting back to by working from home freedom, but that could wait.
I wanted the experience
Based on the fact that I have basically taught myself everything I know regarding internet marketing, which is common in this industry, I’ve missed out on a few things. I’ve never had the experience of working in a team of people who are all passionate about the same thing, so that was a huge motivation for me.
Besides the experience of working in an office environment and with like-minded colleagues, it was also an experience to work with clients who are some of the world’s biggest companies. Being able to see how large teams in this industry work together and manage projects has been invaluable and something I can take with me for the rest of my life.
And finally, I also wanted the experience of being independent and living alone. Moving to South Africa was big enough in it’s self, but I’ve never lived on my own before so I had to get used to things very quickly. I know if I had of stayed at home working on my own projects it would be at least a year or 2 before they are making enough money to keep me afloat and enable me to travel on my own.
I had nothing to lose
Despite the fact that I quit college, my job and left everyone I know back in England, I really had nothing to lose. I knew that the college courses I was doing would never interest me as much as my internet based work and that’s where I’ve always planned to be making money.
Similarly, the job that I had at the time was always a temporary thing for me and not something I would like to pursue in order to ‘rise up the ranks’ so-to-speak. If it was a bad experience, I didn’t like the job or didn’t get a long with anyone, then in theory I hadn’t lost anything. At least I would have given things a shot and tried something different in my life.
What you should take from this
The main message here is that although I enjoyed working from home, I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t in the right mindset or position to be that type of person. I still wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sure if my company could make enough money for me to live off and therefore I went to college in order to follow the life I thought I should be living, not the one I wanted too. As soon as I started to know I really wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t taking action in my life, I set out a plan to get back to my working from home freedom, and was actually very close.
If IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to have success in running my own company or at least my own internet empire then I thought my experiences away from home will benefit me and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the best step to take in this stage of my life. As I said previously, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t regret it for a second. Now, I:
- Can live comfortably on my own, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m totally independent
- Have experienced living in a completely different culture for over a year
- Have learned so many Ã¢â‚¬Ëœlife skillsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and qualities I would never have gotten elsewhere
- Have taken control of my life and not followed the things others expect me to be doing
Working from home, or at least being my own boss is definitely something IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to be back too very soon and now I have the qualities, skills and mindset of that type of person. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve worked the 9-5 for a year now and although it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sound appealing to many, I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have had it any other way.