Years ago, when I first heard of the idea of working wirelessly (as I recently like to call it) – meaning an occupation which is independent of time and place – I was totally intrigued by it and started researching.
Immediately I stumbled over an endless array of suspiciously similar looking websites with ugly fonts, aggressive colors and outrageously stupid headlines, in dilletant variations but all written to the same effect of:”Become a Millionaire without Lifting a Finger” (I’m still waiting for a complete catalog of the stupidities employed over and over again on those pages, ranging from those annoying red mock up coupons with “dashed borders” , copywriting monkeys could have done better and buttons which are simply too horrifyingly big and bright to be taken seriously)
You don’t have to be a “hard-working” Puritan to see through schemes like this. Everyone with a bit of brains will reject those childish attempts to have people pay for non-existing secrets about becoming rich over night.
But, what if you are looking for a serious way to use the net as a tool to help you do what you do independently of time and place?
“Seriously?” a lot of people will say and raise their eyebrows, framing the old picture of “Yeah, right. Get a real job!”, as in: “Go to work at Starbucks, become a caffeine pusher for the 9-5 drones. Rewrite your CV. Go back to school. Just do me one favor: Forget about the Net!”
“No, wait…”, you will say. “That doesn’t answer my question. Is there a way or not?”
Quacks & Giants
We all know about the Googles and Facebooks and their founders. How they started out in a garage or dorm-room and went to make millions off the net. Contrary to the above examples, most people do not doubt that those stories are true. Those are rare examples, though, as we all know.
But what about normal people?
Is there a sane middle between the e-conomy quacks and the multi-billion-dollar giants?
I’ve read an article recently encouraging university students to realize that they won’t become the next Zuckerberg to stop dreaming and “be realistic”.
Suspense of Disbelief
“Suspense of Disbelief” is a core principle of fiction writing. What it means is that you’ll get the reader to stop listening to the voice in his head saying “It’s just a story. This is not real.”
If applied to reality, this is one of the first necessary steps in order to work wirelessly.
You have to suspend your disbelief. You have to stop listening to people telling you that it’s not real, that it can’t be done, that you should “get real”. Whatever reason they may give you, be it that you’re not smart enough to be the next Big Thing or that your goal is a fairytale launched upon the world by those quacky “get-rich-quick” schemers, ignore it.
You have to believe that it can be done. This is it. Many people get hung up on this and become all sentimental about “changing one’s intention” and all of that stuff. While they are busy meditating on the “law of attraction” or whatever it is called, let’s continue….
Working as Hard as Never Before
If you’ve read this far, you will probably not be surprised by this.
If you want to make a living off the net and don’t fall either into the category of the quacks or the giants, be prepared to work as hard as never before.
I’ve spoken a few times about concepts of “hard-work”. What I mean here is on a completely different level, though. This does not refer to slaving yourself to death under a boss or supervisor. This does not mean having to give up your beer-drinking nights with your buddies in order to do over-hours.
This is an entirely new species of working hard.
If you’re not ready to kick up your performance at least a few notches than you’re used to in your day-job, better stop dreaming right now and plan your next 5 day vacation instead.
If you want to make a living online these days, you have to be ready to go the roads less-travelled, or even better: dredge out your own roadbeds and construct support bridges with your bare hands.
I’m not exaggerating. It can be quite an arduous task, sometimes. Everybody who works on this seriously will know what I mean and has my deepest respect.
As long as the middle between the quacks and giants is not filled yet by solid approaches that can support the plodding of the masses, it’s up to a few people to make the first steps.
Whether you are a musician, selling his music over the net, a writer, online merchant, freelance web designer or an online language teacher like me, we’re all working towards the same goal.
I sincerely believe that with all of us doing our thing, coming up with new ideas from day to day how to improve what we do, we are sketching out an infrastructure that will eventually be able to make it easier for people to leave their day job and do something else, should they choose to.
For now, it is a path which is not for everyone.
My personal aim is first and foremost to learn more about all of this, about the quacks, the giants and the golden middle, to break down my findings into digestible bits and share them with anyone interested.
If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends. It means a lot to me.