Mike Michalowicz is the well-known author of business books The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur magazine and American Express’s “Open Forum” blog series, and has appeared as an entrepreneurship expert on a number of television news programs.
Ah, technology. One of the most exciting (and enabling) things about being an entrepreneur today is that technology makes it possible to do nearly anything yourself. Still, the challenge for many entrepreneurs is that they need to be able to do that “anything” from anywhere in the world.
Not to worry: if you prepare accordingly, you can be the ultimate mobile entrepreneur, the person who can get anything done, at any time, anywhere on the globe.
Five tips for making mobile entrepreneurialism a breeze:
1. Have a great business bag. Backpacks are treated as a second carry-on for air travel, so you’ll always have it. And if you pack it well, you can have your laptop, iPad, books to read, notepads, headset, reading lamp, envelopes, power supplies, pens and even a toothbrush and a change of undergarments with you. If you want a serious office bag, check out military and police duty bags. They’re designed to be mini-offices for a mobile workforce. They’re made to hold files, computers, pens and supplies.
2. Backup power. You can’t be mobile without power cords, or at least a solar charger and battery power in a worst-case scenario. So bring a second set of the critical power sources, in case you lose one during your travels. Don’t forget LED flashlights and a few assorted cords that let you plug into old-fashioned Internet connections (such as at hospitals, office buildings, libraries etc).
3. Beyond battery power. People don’t run on air. Bring human fuel to power yourself. It’s amazing what kind of yummies you can cram in your backpack. I have a food supply at all times (Cliff bars, Kind bars, and a mix of almonds and walnuts and bottled water are always with me).
4. Get SAS apps. I use Skype for phone and video, QB Online for accounting, Google Drive for my cloud, Google Apps, and others to be ready to rock and roll at anytime, even if I have to fall back to a library or borrowed computer for some weird reason.
5. What time zone am I in? Finally— as you travel, time zones change constantly… always know both your current time and your “home base” time (where you are based out of), this way you don’t get mixed up with appointments. If you have an iPhone you can add as many time zones as you want or need so you can tell at a glance if you’re calling someone at 2 a.m. or 9 p.m. wherever in the world they are.
Are you a mobile entrepreneur? Check out 2013’s Top 10 Towns for Backpack CEOs.