The remote workforce has grown by 140% since 2005. Increasingly, entrepreneurs are building location independent careers in the form of a freelance writer.
The perks of running your own business are undeniable. Running any type of freelance business gives entrepreneurs accountability and provides the freedom to work wherever and whenever. Remote workers and “digital nomads” are also 13% more productive than their office counterparts and likely save up to $7,000 a year (or more) compared to those who work in office.
Admit it: we’ve all imagined living an “untethered” life at some point in our lives; a life where we call the shots and embrace full freedom.
Recently, we chatted with freelance writer Mitch Glass, founder of Project Untethered, to learn more about his background, how he made the switch to running his own business, and his next steps.
Here’s his story.
Let’s Get to Know Mitch Glass, Freelance Writer
Tell me about your business. Are you the owner?
I run the Project Untethered travel blog—a site that teaches adventurers how to escape the rat race, earn money from anywhere in the world, and live an “untethered” life.
In addition to the blog, I also work as a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant.
How many employees do you have now?
My wife helps me with the blog, but I’d consider her more of a “teammate” than an employee.
What was life like before you started your own business?
Before starting my own business, life was actually pretty awesome.
After graduating from college, I spent a summer working hard to pad my bank account, sold my car and 90% of my belongings, bought a one-way ticket, and backpacked through Central and South America for a year.
But as they say, all good things must come to an end. My savings dwindled, I wasn’t ready to go back to “real life” in the US, and I needed to find a way to make money abroad.
What made you strike out and start your own business?
Before traveling the world, I got accepted into my dream physical therapy doctoral program. It’s the goal I’d been working towards my entire adult life. I never even considered starting my own business.
But travel changed me.
I met a few inspiring friends on the road living life on their own terms. They earned money from their laptops and traveled whenever they wanted, wherever they wanted.
No bosses. No begging for vacation days. Just complete freedom.
I wanted in.
Instead of returning to the US after my trip, I decided to settle down in Cali, Colombia (salsa dancing is addicting).
My only viable income option there was to start my own business and figure out how to earn money online. So that’s what I did!
What drives you? What’s your passion? What gets you up in the morning?
I’m driven by an intense fear of losing my freedom. After having a taste of what it’s like, I can’t bear the thought of getting sucked back into a 9-to-5 where I have to ask permission to do anything.
I get up in the morning because it’s addicting to work on your own projects and watch them grow.
What’s your typical “morning routine”?
Every morning I wake up and thank God for blessing me with another day of life.
Next comes pushups, a cold shower, and music to wake me up.
Then it’s time to work.
Normally, I never check email or social media until I have worked for at least 2 hours on my most important task of the day.
However, I’m currently trapped in Cambodia. And since I’m on an opposite time zone from the rest of the US, I usually give my phone a quick check to make sure the world didn’t end while I was sleeping.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome as a small business owner?
My biggest challenge was teaching myself how to do everything. As I mentioned, I studied my whole life to do one thing: physical therapy.
I knew nothing about computers or how online businesses worked (or even business in general), so I fought through a steep, yet rewarding learning curve.
Simplifying the Accounting Process with Software
What was your biggest challenge when it came to your books?
One of the things I had no idea how to do was bookkeeping. To be honest, I still don’t really know how to do it.
The whole thing is a challenge for me.
Why did you choose Kashoo?
In my first year of business, I tried to just record everything on a disorganized spreadsheet and hope for the best. After nearly ripping my hair out at tax time, I told myself, “NEVER. AGAIN.”
That’s when I found Kashoo.
I chose it because it was simple and affordable.
I had no time (or desire) to learn complicated software. When it comes to bookkeeping, I wanted something foolproof.
How do you maintain a balance between work and life?
It’s honestly a struggle.
Work, life, and travel all kind of mush together when you run a travel blog.
Sometimes it’s hard to enjoy a destination because all you’re thinking about is how to capture the best footage and gather information for your posts and videos.
Also, the work literally never ends. There’s always something else you could do.
The trick to maintaining balance is to set limits. Before I go to bed, I write down the three most important things I want to accomplish the following day. Once I cross those three things off my list, I force myself to pack up the laptop and enjoy whichever city I happen to be in.
I try to constantly remind myself that while growth is great, there’s no rush. It’s better to grow slowly and enjoy the journey than to rush and never have time to smell the roses.
What does the next year hold for your business?
Since coronavirus basically choke-slammed the travel industry, we’ve decided to pivot. We are going to focus less on destination content and more on how to be a digital nomad.
While the pandemic has been tough for travel, there is a silver lining. Now that many people realize they can work remotely, I have a feeling the digital nomad movement is going to explode.
We had so much fun getting to know Mitch and his experience so far with Project Untethered and as a freelance writer. Plus, we’re even more excited to see where his business is headed as remote work has become a global phenomenon.
Interested in learning more about how you can live an “untethered” life too? Be sure to visit his blog and YouTube channel to learn more.
Do you have a story to tell? If so, drop a line to Kashoo to let us tell your story and be featured on our next blog.