Don't want to travel full-time? Find out how Kabir lives as a part-time nomad.

Hey Kabir. Thanks for agreeing to chat today! Please, could you tell me a little about you and what you do.

Hi Dina, I am the founding Director of KBR Accountancy. I work with start-ups and small businesses in the UK who need help with their business and financial matters. I always wanted to run my own business from a young age and I decided a few years ago to quit my corporate job. I needed to leave then or I would never do it. After I left, I joined as a partner for a friend who was starting up his own accountancy firm, but as time went on I wanted more control and left to start my own adventure. Working for a small start-up was a nice first step on my journey.

Great, thanks for sharing! Tell us about working remotely.

Digital business runs from anywhere in the world, including home

Right now, I am partially location independent as I spend part of my time in London to meet clients. But it's great to be able to work around the world when it gets dark and cold in London.

It can be challenging to find the right spot where you can settle to work but also not feel too isolated. I initially started working on normal vacations, but now I travel specifically to work in a different environment.

Ah ok, so you only work remotely part-time. I am sure there are lots of people that are looking to do that also, rather than travelling non-stop. How often do you travel?

I travel a couple of weeks every couple of months. I have been to Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam. One of my favourite locations is Vietnam, and I am going back in November. It has cheap accommodation, good internet, and the culture and food is amazing. You can pretty much eat non-stop from morning to evening.

The most I can currently do is a month at a time due to needing to meet with clients face-to-face, which I am happy with. I like having a base in London and travelling when there are quieter periods.

Cool, thanks for sharing. So, what’s your daily routine like? In London and when you travel?

Right now, I am working a bit more than I used to preparing for my trip away. So I get into work at around 10am/11am and then leave after 7pm when the traffic dies down.

Digital nomads travel the world

When I am abroad, I wake up at 7/8am, have breakfast and work between 10 and 1, so I can enjoy the rest of the day. I get to explore, sight-see, which is great! Because of this, I find that I get more work done when I am abroad. I am relaxed and happier, which makes more productive. I think it’s also because I am keen to get things done and set clearer deadlines so I can spend more of my time exploring. My ideal is

I totally agree… Work efficiently and then play! Did you face any obstacles to changing your life and working as a digital nomad? How did you overcome them?

As much as the advertising world and media portray the modern way of working, most people and businesses are still very conventional. I still have a fixed office in London for my meetings. So my model is more of hybrid. In my industry, people don't really want to deal with their accounting or tax matters. So having a physical presence where they can come and build the initial rapport is very important.

How to be independent and travel the world

I first tested the waters with short breaks away and then increased the amount of time out of the country. There are some basic challenges like getting someone to check my post. I am now hiring an associate to help me with all of this and getting new business.

The other challenges are more industry specific, like finding cloud-based software to manage my practice on so I can work remotely and also not worry about losing client data. Then there are other systems you have to think about like, call handling while away!

Ok, yeah… it’s a shame that remote working isn’t that common, but I’m working on it! (laughs) And what did you find were the difficulties of running your own business?

Mainly the management of time. Managing free time is a lot harder than people think! I need a disciplined approach to working and the ritual of getting ready for work is really important to me. Being flexible and working ad-hoc is really challenging. I really recommend having a distinct place and set times when traveling.

Remote work enables a freer life

Yeah, setting a routine of some sort is really valuable as an entrepreneur. So if you could give one piece of advice to those thinking that they wouldn’t be able to work abroad, what would it be?

It isn't for everyone. But if you are tempted, try a little at a time if possible. It's worth remembering that the cost of living can be substantially lower, so even if you do earn less. You might still be better off after paying for the flights and earning less.

I also think that getting support where you need it is a must. For example, having a good team makes your business seem like a real business, and it gives you more time to focus on what you are good at whilst not neglecting core business duties.

True, there is a different definition of freedom for everybody. It’s about finding the right freedom for you! And having support is invaluable when you are making such a big change! I always advise people to hire as soon as they can, so then their associate can understand the business right as early as possible and can help mold the foundations. It keeps them invested, but also means that you can diversify your skill set in the business and focus on what you are really good at. And one last question! What’s the best thing you learned or experienced while working remotely?

That you can do a lot with a small desk, laptop and maybe even a phone. If you can help people, it doesn't matter where you do it from. But you also need to be adaptable to your clients’ needs and some may have more conventional approaches to business relationships.

Thank you so much for today! I really appreciate your support and help. Just once again, can you tell everyone your information so they know how to find you if they need some support or a chat.


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