** This post was written by Leigh Haugseth. Find out more about Leigh below **
It’s not unusual to experience some backlash when telling your friends and family about your switch to a location independent lifestyle. Fortunately from my own personal experience, most people are very supportive and curious.
But there are also those who are unsure of and cynical about your choice. When you’re going through a major transition in your life, any sort of negativity can make you doubt yourself – and there is simply no room for doubt when taking the plunge and starting your own new business and location independent life.
Having a strategy to deal with the naysayers and doubters in your life is vital to keep you focused and on track. Here are three tactics that can help…
Have Your ‘Elevator Speech’ Ready
People are more accepting when you sound very confident in what you’re doing. Even if you’re not, act like you are. Don’t lie, just tell them your goal and how you plan to get there. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the details, they don’t need to know.
I’ve found it helpful to create a quick 20 second ‘elevator speech’. This comes from the idea that if you were stuck in an elevator with someone who wanted to know your plans, you could quickly give them a truthful, focused picture of what those look like.
When you’re giving your ‘elevator speech’, whatever you do, don’t be wishy washy. It’s better to just not bring it up at all rather than say something like: ‘Well, I’d really like to travel for a while and if I could somehow make money while doing this, well, that would be great too. I’ve got a couple of ideas and I’m going to see what happens.’ I said something similar when first considering the Location Independent lifestyle. It did not go over well.
Instead, be purposeful: ‘I will soon be transitioning into a location independent lifestyle. I’m currently working on a project(s) while still in my day job. When I leave, I will be doing XYZ full time. This will allow me to work from home or another location.’ This version is concrete and understandable. If you stay positive and speak with confidence, you’ll put others, as well as yourself, at ease. They may even offer to help you with your new venture.
Be Prepared For Negativity
Be prepared for some negativity, don’t take it personally and don’t hold it against the other person – they either can’t see outside their own box or they may be jealous and trying to drag you down.
Whatever the reason for their negativity, if after you tell them your ‘elevator speech’ and they’re still unsupportive, consider avoiding them altogether. Just be careful when doing this though as while some people are skeptical, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not supportive, they may just be looking out for your best interests. Consider educating them on the possibilities of your proposed lifestyle – but be careful not to preach.
Be equally prepared for these same, unsupportive cynics to be excitedly asking about your progress at a later date. In fact, count on it and try not be the least bit smug when it happens. Instead, talk with them about how they can do it too, if they’re interested. This will be infinitely more rewarding than saying I told you so.
Help your friends and family understand that while you may not be in the same place for any extended amount of time, you will still be in touch just as much as you normally would – but maybe by different means. If you’re not able to visit as often, introduce them to Skype. It’s such a fun and easy way to stay in touch. Sometimes, I’m actually more in touch with friends and loved ones when I’m on the road because of the freedom I’m allowed.
Most importantly, remember that you are unique. You have the courage to step out of your cubicle/box/hum-drum life and venture off to travel or create your own ideal location independent dream and really LIVE.
You understand that this kind of life is possible and believe in yourself enough to make it happen. And if friends and family see that you’re happy in your new life, they are more likely to be supportive and happy for you.