How would it feel to earn money anywhere in the world and enjoy the ultimate work/life balance?
Colin Wright can tell you.
After refusing to spend his days glued to a desk, Colin found a way to merge work and travel in a way that focused on a life less ordinary. This formed the concept of his book “Start A Freedom Business” – a business that ultimately works for the person behind it – generating income passively and freeing up the founder to go explore all of the good things this world can offer. These days he not only publishes his own books but many for others as well under his publishing company Asymmetrical Press.
Find out how he does it, what he gets up to instead of going to work 9-5, and how you too can transition towards your own freedom business…
What did you study and what was your original intended career path?
I went to school for painting, then segued into design and illustration while a freshmen at university. I eventually graduated with a dual-emphasis in graphic design and illustration, and intended to do design work and web work as a career.
Give us a brief background on your career to date:
During school I worked many jobs in my field, then started my first business at 19. When I graduated, I worked for a production studio in LA for a year before quitting and starting up my own studio. I ran that for a few years, with a great deal of success, then quit to start traveling full-time. While on the road, I started writing professionally, and started a publishing company called Asymmetrical Press three years later. To date I”ve written over 30 books on various topics and in many genres, and that”s how I make my living today.
How did the idea of a freedom business come about?
I wanted to be able to enjoy my travels, and really live in the places I was visiting, rather than being glued to my laptop all the time, working at a desk, even if in another country. So I refocused my attention on work I could do from anywhere, and work that allows me to do things that I enjoyed for a living, rather than simply work that allowed me to make money.
[line][pullquote width=”600″ float=”left”]The freedom business side of things emerged as a result of my lifestyle change; wanting to refocus on being happy and fulfilled, rather than wealthy.[/pullquote] [line]
How did you transition from full time work to running your own freedom businesses?
I”ve long been an entrepreneur, so working for other people has always been a means of learning the ropes before doing my own thing, in my own way. I”ve worked for a lot of people, doing a lot of work, but each segment online casino of that has resulted in my own business. The freedom business side of things emerged as a result of my lifestyle change; wanting to refocus on being happy and fulfilled, rather than wealthy.
How did you finance your freedom businesses?
I”ve tried several different things over the years, but these days, I make my living from books. I sell books, sometimes I give talks, sometimes I run classes or workshops, but primarily it”s just the books. Which is perfect for my lifestyle, since I”m not always able to stay tethered to the net as I travel (nor would I want to).
[line][pullquote width=”600″ float=”left”]I have absolute creative control over everything I do. I can invest myself in whatever seems interesting at the moment, and the way I work incentivises me to have a life in addition to (and intertwined with) the work I do[/pullquote] [line]
What are some of the most exciting parts of running your own freedom business?
I have absolute creative control over everything I do. I can invest myself in whatever seems interesting at the moment, and the way I work incentivises me to have a life in addition to (and intertwined with) the work I do. I”m also continuously exposed to new people, ideas, and experiences; that impacts my creative process and levels of satisfaction and happiness immensely.
What has been some of the biggest challenges for you?
A dramatic change in lifestyle will always be a challenge, but for me recently, it”s been figuring out which of the many options I have I want to pursue, in terms of lifestyle and work and everything else. There are many different potentially awesome paths to take, and there”s a major opportunity cost for any that I choose!
Travelling all the time, you must not own much stuff – how do you priorities what you need?
I own very few things — only what I can carry, and what I can bring with me onto a plane without checking any luggage. That means when I get something new, I get rid of something. Only so much room available!
As for what I carry, anything that allows me to do my work, which is what I love. My laptop, a smartphone, a notebook and some pens, some cables…not much else. I have clothing and toiletries, of course, but most of what I use day-to-day can be rented or borrowed, or picked up wherever I find myself. The general-purpose items don”t take up much space in a bag.
You must be well versed in making friends now, what are you top tips for meeting new people?
Be friendly, lead with providing value (before asking for anything), don”t be afraid of looking stupid (you know less than everyone in the room, typically, so ask questions), and use social media when you can, to reach out to people in your area with similar interests or hobbies. In general, also be helpful and open; say “yes” a lot more than you might typically be comfortable with.
[line][pullquote width=”300″ float=”right”]Figure out what you love, and determine a way to get people to pay you for it.[/pullquote] [line]
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start his or her own freedom business?
Figure out what you love, and determine a way to get people to pay you for it. If you”re providing value, there”s typically some business model that will make that possible. Otherwise, find work that doesn”t go against your sense of morality and ethics, and which will help you fund the work that you love.
How do you define success?
Having the freedom to do what I want, when I want. The free use of my time and energy.
What would you say to your 21-year-old self?
Keep on learning! Life gets better every year, so long as you keep working at it!
What people dead or alive would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Random people from all over the world. You can learn so much from anyone, and the random encounters tend to be the most valuable: choosing people from within your field or culture means you”re limited to what you already know, but getting unfamiliar people with unfamiliar trades and backgrounds allows you to grow in directions you didn”t know existed.