For me 'Living the dream' is being able to mix business and pleasure. I don't want to slog myself for months on my business in order to have a few weeks away from it each year on holiday.
I want to be have a business that I can run from anywhere so that I can spend as much time in my motorhome as I wish, whilst still running my business - working and holidaying each week.
And I can!
I'm a practical, logical thinking small business owner with over 25 years’ experience in business, office and conference management. My logic combined with my organisational skills means I naturally create systems, processes and instruction manuals in my business and this has enabled me to grow a business that doesn't rely on me to do everything.
We have good systems and processes in place that aid good communication and ensures that everyone knows what they should be doing and when. We also have many routine tasks automated and I make good use of my team to support me.
I'm also fortunate that one half of my business is in the 'virtual' world so location really isn't an issue ... ideal for being able to work anywhere!
With internet connectivity and computers now being available "in your pocket", remote working is part of our everyday norm at The Office Fixer. The whole of the team work remotely from each other and our clients. We are based in 3 countries across 3 different time-zones. We can work in the office, in the garden or on the beach ... our choice!
And the other half?
I have found a way to be able to do a lot of that remotely and when I do need to visit customers I just make it an excuse for another trip out in the van!
In the summer of 2016 I put my "I can work from anywhere" theory to the test and spent several weeks touring round the south of the UK on a working holiday. It would be fair to say that the balance was definitely in favour of working and I learnt a lot about how not to do it, which means I also learnt what I need to do differently to get a better mix of business and pleasure in future.
The main thing I learnt though is that my theory is right - I can live my dream, with a bit of tweaking to the structure of my week and refining of processes.
I also learnt the importance of processes and systems if you want to free yourself from your business.
I'm sure that sounds a bit stupid coming from someone who has spent years "preaching" the need for systems and processes to free yourself from your business, but when I put it into practice "for real", it became evident that whilst I probably have more systems and processes in place than many small businesses, there was still much more I needed to do. So I continue to make refinements and I continue to get out in the van as much as possible.
What this means for you is that I now have even more hands on experience and not only can I apply my logic to helping you develop processes that will give you business freedom but I can apply my experience of how they will work in real life and hopefully pre-empt some of the potential glitches to ensure we create a robust system for your business.