Working from Anywhere is the dream but how do we get there? Think ahead to a life where you are working from anywhere. What do you see?
Let’s break it down to the steps that will take us there. There are things we need for a WFA life to run smoothly, such as tech stuff, admin, the right collaborators and then there are also mindset shifts.
To travel the world, working from anywhere, the only thing you
are guaranteed to have with you, is your story.
You may not have a strong sense of it yet, but your story is an important thing. It encapsulates who you are and how you are different. Your story reflects your body of work and your life so far. And it will help you to successfully Work from Anywhere.
Writing your story and putting into play will help you in many ways including when:
- You want to break out and make a change in your working life
- You have been forced to make a change through change in circumstances
- You need to write an ‘about me’, copy or even a book to showcase yourself or your business
- You want to differentiate yourself and what you do for any reason
The trouble is, accessing our story and talking about ourselves doesn’t always feel easy.
We can spend hours, trying to decide what we should reveal, what to highlight and what to hide? What tone should we use? And how do we speak about ourselves without being boring or boastful?
You may recognise this sort of angst. And if you’ve been working in the same field for many years, alongside and perhaps, competing with others who have similar skills, you may not realise what you truly have.
I am a literary agent and Director of London Writers’ Club and I think about stories all the time. Yet when writing my book, Write A Bestseller, with the delivery date looming, I stalled thinking, ‘there are loads of books about writing out there, what could I possibly say that hasn’t been said before?’ I forgot my story. The story of why I was asked to write the book in the first place.
In the daily grind of doing what I was good at, I had lost sight of the depth of my publishing experience and my own unique take on it. I hadn’t tapped into and used my own back story to its advantage. Once I realised this, my foot was off my back and I got on with telling my story in the only way possible, MY way.
Sharing honest stories about ourselves sets us free in so many ways and is a key step in breaking free to Work from Anywhere.
Here are my 5 Steps for beginning to creating an authentic and convincing backstory you’ll be proud to share:
- Jot down some notes, anything you can recall about the history of you and your work and how you came to do what you do. Success, failures, highs, lows, hopes and dreams, anything at all.
- Try it now, set a timer for 20 minutes. Just do a writing dump and throw anything that comes to mind at the page.
- Tell someone you trust to be fair and honest with you – so not your mum – about what you’ve written, and ask them what, if anything, you left out.
- To ensure you shout some praise about yourself, fill in the blanks: People love what I do because…
- Now write up what you have as a short fairy tale. Write in third person, as if writing a story about a fictional character. Start with: once upon a time, there was a girl called Jacq Burns who…
- Read it out loud as though you are sitting around a campfire surrounded with eager listeners. How does it sound to you? You will probably find yourself editing and altering your story as you speak and that’s great. You’re starting to create a story that describes you faithfully.
Your story doesn’t have to be perfect, it will evolve, and it is not a resume. You might be surprised at what it reveals. You’re well on your way to constructing a story that can work for you.
YOUR BACKSTORY serves a multitude of valuable purposes. You can use it to:
- Enjoy full awareness of what you offer and do, and how it is totally different from anyone else.
- Use this awareness to dream up new ways of working and new services and products.
- Justify why you are the right person to do a particular thing, whether that is write a book, pitch for work, start a new division in a new location or negotiate a flexible way of working that allows you to work from anywhere.
- Provide very human and shareable stories that are invaluable for PR, and great for giving a human face to the work you do.
- Help you to be clear about what you are offering to the world and why you are the best person to do this work.
Telling your story, your way, will let your unique talent and passion shine through in a convincing and compelling way that will win you new opportunities, new audiences and new work.
Get your story down, get ready to share it. I look forward to hearing it.
Andy spends his time away from the computer cycling or hiking up mountains or catching a wave on his SUP.