One of the more unexpected consequences of the pandemic has been a staggering increase in the amount of people who are living in the likes of tents, vans and RVs instead of in houses or apartments.
You may have heard the term ‘vanlife’ thrown around and to a lot of us it probably sounds like a joke, but in reality it’s actually far from it. For years people have chosen this path and the reasons for it vary from person to person.
Some like the fact that it’s quiet and inexpensive, some enjoy the freedom to move wherever they want and some people actually don’t have all that much of a choice. Their personal financial circumstances may not allow for other options.
And in the era of COVID-19, it’s understandable why the number of people doing so has increased. We need to keep our distance from people first and foremost, and that’s much easier to do if you are living off-the-grid.
A lot of us have also faced unemployment due to the shutdown of so many companies and industries going through periods of unrest and so the less expensive option has become an enticing one.
Living and working in a tent is a great way for you to reset yourself financially and build your career back up; which leads us to the very subject of this article. You can do it, and there are good reasons to try it, chief among them the fact that it will save you money.
A big part of the reason why a lot of startups fail is because of a lack of money, or a mismanagement of the money that these businesses do start out with. It is possible to start a business with very little money and turn it into something hugely profitable, but it’s tough.
Sacrifices need to be made in order to ensure that you have the financial means to keep the business afloat, and what greater sacrifice is there than moving from your house or apartment and into a tent?
There are a number of things that you are going to have to consider here. First and foremost, to start a business in 2022, you absolutely must have quality internet access. The internet will be your primary means of communication with your clients, employees, accountants and others. It will also allow you to post job listings, do market research and other important tasks.
You’ll also need to put a little bit of thought into where you set up shop. If the campground does not have WiFi, then pick a campground that is near a town or place with public WiFi. You could also get a smartphone plan that has unlimited data or allows for free hot spotting. If you go for this option, it’s important that you have good coverage because you will be reliant entirely on your mobile data.
The most reliable option is to find a public campground that offers internet access either for free or a small fee. Free would be best of course, but it might be a worthwhile investment to pay just a little bit. Just make sure your internet access is protected with a firewall, especially if you work with valuable data. You can also consider utilizing the newly launched Elon Musk-backed WiFi balloon network Starlink.
You’ve also need to think about workplace ergonomics. If you’re not familiar with the term, Ergonomics (in the workplace) basically refers to the relationship between the worker and their environment and tasks. The goal is to ensure that workers are as efficient as possible, without causing any detriment to their physical or mental health. It’s not the easiest thing to achieve when living in a tent, but doable. It may never be the ideal workspace, but you can take some steps to generate some favorable ergonomics. Above all else, treat the actual work with the same attitude that you would treat it if you were in an office on the top floor of a skyscraper.
It would definitely be worth it to invest in some way to provide electricity if the campground does not have access/hookups. A portable generator would provide the power you need to run your computer, lighting and other devices. And speaking of light, you’re going to be putting in some late nights with your new business, so be sure to invest in some good mobile lighting.
Keep the tent as clean as possible too, because a mess will clutter your mind. Put away your sleeping bag so you don’t feel like you’re working in your bedroom. You can also buy a good set of noise-cancelling headphones to minimize distractions from other campers.
Develop the habits of a millionaire. You’ve already covered not acting as if you’re already rich, but being persistent, goal-oriented and optimistic will all serve you well in turning this business into something special.
You should also think about the fact that going with a tent may not be necessary. Of course it’s great for some people, but if you are personally feeling a bit too restricted, then maybe van life or living in an RV actually is the right approach for you.
When it comes down to it, where you live is not what’s important. The real importance is the work that you put into it, and if you think doing that from a tent is your best possible option, it will never get in the way of your success.