Taking A Look At The “Laptop Lifestyle”
What if you could work on a beach from your laptop, sipping on a margarita while you watch the money roll in?
This, of course, would be the ideal situation for somebody who wants to run an online business. However, many young people who start their own business don’t understand that living the laptop lifestyle isn’t just as easy as cracking open your MacBook and typing words.
In fact, the “laptop lifestyle” is actually more difficult than you might think it is. Unfortunately, a lot of marketing ads on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms suggest that this is the best way to be an entrepreneur in the 21st-century.
Dreams Do Come True
Working from a laptop requires that you have a business that can be completely operated from a computer.
There are certain industries where this is completely doable, such as web design, video production, and other completely computer-based types of work.
However, if you want to own your own bakery for instance, the only way that you would be able to live the “laptop lifestyle” (as defined by popular social media advertisements) is to hire a staff that does all of the physical work for you.
There’s nothing wrong with the laptop lifestyle, of course, but young entrepreneurs shouldn’t go into their business believing that all they have to do is work from a computer.
What’s Involved In Running A Business
The truth is that running your own business requires much more than information output – in other words, you can only do so much on a computer.
You actually have to talk to people.
Now, even if you’re an introvert and prefer to work alone, you’re still going to have to have conversations with customers to make sure they’re getting what they want and are satisfied.
If you are like most business owners, however, you’re going to need employees and managers to help disperse the workload across the company. Nobody can do everything by themselves, and in general need help from other people.
What is a laptop, anyway?
Obviously, you know that a laptop is a slim computer, designed and manufactured by Apple, Windows, or Linux, that allows you to access applications and the Internet from anywhere that you can get a WiFi connection.
But this question isn’t about the physical object itself – it’s more of a symbolic question of what the laptop means to you.
A laptop for an entrepreneur is a way to help them physically move about the world with a computer that holds critical business information, both online and offline.
Think of your laptop as a major advantage as a 21st-century business owner. You can create media content, manage your finances, pay your employees, answer emails, host video meetings, and much more from one device.
(You can do all of these on a smart phone, too, but screen size is usually a factor in a lot of situations.)
A laptop is a computer that lets you do business from anywhere in the world…as long as the aspects of the business can be controlled from a laptop.
The Benefits Of The Laptop Lifestyle
Obviously, the best part about living the laptop lifestyle is the fact that you can work from anywhere that has a WiFi connection.
No one is debating that fact.
The laptop lifestyle also has the ability to let you travel the world, provided you have the funds to do so. You could knock a few items off of your bucket list, for instance, such as skydiving in Costa Rica or visiting the Great Wall of China.
A lot of people think about the beach when the laptop lifestyle is brought up in conversation…but personally, I wouldn’t want to risk sand getting in my keyboard.
Especially with a MacBook Pro!
Working primarily from a laptop also allows you the freedom to enjoy family, friends, and events simultaneously while engaging in business activities.
The Downsides Of The Laptop Lifestyle
If you’re someone who truly wants to work only from a laptop while traveling the world, you’re definitely in good company. However, there are a few downsides that you should consider if your business model will eventually require you to be in a dedicated workspace.
For instance, you can’t really run an effective call center with the laptop lifestyle. Sure, your employees can work from home, but the call quality can’t be monitored as efficiently since the environment is completely at the mercy of each employee’s living situation.
The other problem with the laptop lifestyle is the physical risk to your equipment. If you’re traveling a lot with your laptop, you might encounter a number of situations that could damage or even destroy your laptop, such as spilling a drink on your keyboard or dropping it altogether.
(It’s an incredibly smart idea to back up your information to cloud storage or a flash drive.)
The laptop lifestyle has a few major benefits, but also has a couple of downsides to it.
I highly recommend purchasing a laptop, of course, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of traveling in your business. A smartphone is great for quick information access and simpler tasks, but if you need to manage a large spreadsheet or produce videos then it’s not going to work.
Running a mobile business is a great way to get out there and see the world while making a living from your laptop – just keep in mind that it’s still a business, and to succeed you have to keep that in mind.
About the Author
Paul Cassarly is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, musician, entrepreneur, and the owner of Cassus Media. He founded his company in 2017 to help small and medium businesses (SMB's) grow their online presence through quality, American-made digital assets such as websites, audio, video, graphics, and carefully-managed social media profiles.