Work skills for vanlife
I am adaptable. I have to be on the road. Work demands it. I must be able and willing to roll with the tides of income as a freelancer and influencer marketer. Working for myself, I must be able to strategically employ the skill sets I’ve learned in my 34 years to create opportunities. Together they are synergistic and have helped us design our dream lifestyle. I hope they inspire you to look at your strengths and how they can work for you.
I learned to develop websites on WordPress and Joomla using HTML and CSS languages while working as a marketing director for a real estate agency. These skills enabled me to start my own small web development company and eventually led to a large contract with a university system. This one contract gave us the security we wanted to finally hit the road. I was guaranteed 20 hours/week at about $50/hour. The contract lasted for the first two years on the road. The downside was that some weeks I worked a lot more and the stress of vanlife and work accumulated and led me to burnout. Because I managed websites for small and large businesses, I had to be available 24/7 and this didn’t give us the freedom of location that we longed for. In hindsight, setting boundaries with clients would have helped me find more of a balance. There are many online tutorials to learn about website development. Learning a content management system like WordPress with a little bit of HTML and CSS will take you far with small businesses, and clients can be picked up anywhere you go in the world.
Vanlife flows best when Corey and I have a shared mission, a purpose. For example, we’ve produced two web series while on road. Each of these required extensive planning. Often we use the MOST diagram, where we write down details of the mission, objectives, strategies and tactics. This provides a visual of what we are aiming for. There are many online business courses. Searching course topics on Udemy.com is a good place to begin.
Photography and Videography
To build a community on social media to the level that brands give you money to do what you do (which for us started around 80k followers) photography and/or videography are essential. Corey and I are passionate about photography and are self taught. We shoot with a Canon 6D and edit in Lightroom. Videos are edited in Premiere Pro. We are constantly working to find the intersection of capturing what intrinsically inspires us AND what resonates most with our community. And we are always working to be better and have more FUN creating. The more willing we are to explore beyond our comfort zones the more we are happy with our work.
I’ve always loved writing and have kept journals for as long as I can remember. Words to me are spells. It amazes me that a combination of words can evoke feelings, recall memories and inspire action. Every time I choose to be vulnerable in what I write, connection results. Being a good writer is important but feeling what you write is essential. Sometimes I struggle to find words, but if I just start moving a pen on paper, words come. Also, dancing unlocks the creative pathway for me. There are many online writing classes but I highly recommend beginning where you are and believing in your story.
Alongside the adaptable skills sets above, I’ve carried self confidence with me. I learned at a young age through academics, sports, horseback riding and gymnastics the power of focusing and presence. When I apply myself and give it my all, my experience is positively shaped and leads to more positive experiences.
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