Dave has made the transition from Banker to working behind his laptop internationally whilst tending to his young family. www.laptopsnappiesandparadise.com
What was the trigger that made you want to stop being in an office & what was the moment you realised you could not be in an office anymore?
We were actually on holiday the day we realized we wanted to “escape” from corporate jobs. We were on a beach in Croatia and were talking about what we wanted to do with our lives – travel, raise a family, build and run our own business… That was when we decided that a corporate job would not provide us with the flexibility or lifestyle we wanted.
How did you plan to escape, what steps did you take?
We actually started by writing out a list of 100 business ideas we thought we could do and then modifying the list based on the ones that would give us the flexibility we wanted. Next we started to look into actually getting the business set up – where we could hire staff, how to build the website, etc. About 75% into that we decided to write out the whole business plan, just to clarify all the ideas. This took about 2 weeks, but gave us a useable road map for what we needed to do and really helped us focus our thinking.
How did you resign, did you have a notice period, and what was your resignation process like?
I was in banking – at HBOS – so I was able to take a voluntary redundancy package back in 2009. The timing was nearly perfect and the process was very smooth, but a bit nerve racking. The business was still very small when I resigned so there were a lot of question marks around how we would pay the bills! We had some savings and the cash from the redundancy package helped ease our minds. We also left London for a while to live in Brazil, which was quite a bit cheaper at the time. This gave us a longer runway!
What are the biggest challenges in not being in an office daily, do you miss anything?
For the first 2 years or so the biggest challenge was convincing people we were actually building a business and not just taking an extended holiday! We were working 8-14 hour days 6-7 days per week, but had moved to Bali so everyone figured we were sitting on the beach drinking Bintang! I do miss the social side of having an office; it’s really nice to have other people doing similar things that you can bounce ideas off.
What are the greatest things about not being in an office? What have you achieved since leaving?
The best thing for us is the ability to travel and spend time with our boys. Since leaving corporate jobs we have lived and traveled to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bali, Chile, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, USA, Uruguay and Vietnam – sometimes for a week sometimes for a month some times longer! We have also gotten to spend tons of time with our now nearly 3 year old – never missed a school event or anything like that – and it should be the same for our new born. It’s really nice having that flexibility! At the same time we have built our business into a recognized brand with as staff of over 15 people.
Any other comments/ widsom you want to share, please do!
Other wisdom? Don’t wait for everything to be 100% perfect before making a switch. If you have a bit of a nest egg, an idea and the will to make it happen then work your butt off on nights and weekends and as soon as you start to see if it will fly then make the switch!