Laptop Living with Sal Cincotta
Have you heard the rage? Laptop living is the new business model. Travel the world with your laptop and work from a beach somewhere and surf all day with your GoPro making your friends and family jealous. If I see one more Instagram story encouraging me to buy into this lifestyle, I might kill myself.
I call bullshit on this. It is the most ridiculous thing you could ever aspire to do. It’s not a real business and it’s not sustainable. Sure, you might get some short-term hits, but is it something you can do for the rest of your life? Can you build a retirement nest egg? Someone is selling you a pipedream.
If you want to build something real and long-term, stop looking for ways to hack the system. It is about hard work. That is how you will build the life of your dreams. You’ve heard it from me countless times: If it were easy, everyone would do it.
It is not easy, especially when you consider that a majority of businesses fail within the first few years. It is easy when it’s a hobby, but things become tough when you have to run an actual business with real customers who expect results from you.
Want to build the life of your dreams? Want to travel? Want to spend more time doing the things you love with the people you love? As someone who has built a business over the past 12 years, affording myself the luxuries in life I could have only dreamed of 10 years ago, I feel uniquely qualified to show you the path.
What do you love doing?
It seems like an easy enough question to answer. What do you love doing so much that you would be happy doing it 50-plus hours a week for 52 weeks a year?
“I love children,” you may say. I am sure you do. Loving children and working with them 50-plus hours a week as a job are two different things. Career or hobby? Read on.
Let’s get specific. I love photography, but that’s too broad a statement. What kind of photography do I love? I love wedding and senior photography. That is my passion and my focus.
Is there a business opportunity there?
Great, you love cats. Now what? You believe you are going to be lying on a beach somewhere playing with kittens all day and someone is going to pay you for it? Who? That is the $1 million question.
Who is paying you for your services? Is there a market for it? How large is that market? How will you connect with that market? Is anyone else servicing this market?
If there is no opportunity there, chances are you will not be the first to break through. You have to be realistic.
I have often dreamed of spending the summers in Paris. I love travel, photography and croissants. The obvious answer is to live in Paris two months out of the year, right?
How? And is there a business opportunity? I thought there might be. Americans travel to Europe on family vacations every year. Do you think they might want a professional portrait taken of their family with Parisian landmarks in the picture? I say yes.
This is a perfect example of doing something you love and combining it with a real business opportunity.
What is the minimum viable audience?
I bet you read that and were like, “huh?” Yeah, they are not teaching you that in your Laptop Life course, are they? This is the real world. You want to run a business, and it costs money to run that business. You need gear, you need to travel, you need food. How many clients do you need to support that hobby of yours and pay all the bills?
This represents the smallest possible audience you can serve and sustain your business.
Do you need 10 customers a month? Five? And how realistic is it for you to connect with that many clients?
You must include all your expenses, including marketing. Almost every business I meet with completely ignores the cost of marketing. And if you are chasing laptop life, you must include living expenses.
Where to begin?
Begin with a healthy appreciation for what goes into running a successful business and the fact that most people would love to make more and work less. So, you might have some competition on being lazy for a living.
Instead of looking for ways to hack life and half-ass things, find a way to build something that is sustainable and allows you to stand out from all the noise in the market.
I don’t have a laptop life, but I travel the world, eat at some of the best restaurants and wake up every day doing what I love. I did that through hard work and commitment and providing my clients a superior product and service.
There is no substitute for hard work. Push yourself and challenge yourself every day, and I promise you, whatever life you are dreaming of is within reach.