A Minimalist Business (MB) is a business that operates from anywhere and travels with you everywhere
You already know that a MB lives inside your laptop and is published online so the world can engage with it. Therefore, when it comes to trekking around your home country or other parts of the world, your MB travels with you everywhere you go.
It's simply not possible to do that with a small business and even with a partnership. Sure, you and your partners can communicate online via social media or dedicated video conferencing site in real time, but that doesn't take into account personal working styles. Not everyone likes to work (or even wake up) at the same time everyone else does.
For that reason alone, I define a MB as a one-person operation. If you need help at some point you can hire a contractor or a coach and keep moving forward with your solo MB.
How to Travel with Your Minimalist Business and Actually Get Work Done
Earlier this year I traveled to the east coast twice (via train for one trip and planes for the second) and also criss-crossed the U.S. on my BMW motorcycle. Along the way I learned what was possible in terms of working from anywhere. The following are my recommendations for working your MB while on the road, based on my experiences.
1. Plan your travel to include work days
If your travel is for pleasure, but you know that you still need to put some time in on your MB, then it's best to plan for those days when you can work. Trying to fit serious work into a pleasure vacation / holiday will meet with frustration and resentment.
Personally, I want to write most every day. When I was on my motorcycle trip I was rarely in one place for longer than two days and dedicating time to write was very difficult. Eventually I gave up trying and I was sorry that I hadn't planned better to allow for work days.
Planned work days from the road can help you recover from travel fatigue and allow you to process the experiences of the intervening days.
2. Don't travel during a launch
Launching the right way, even for a MB digital product, requires dedicated focus. There are emails to send, calls to make (maybe), and a lot of other tasks that you might need to focus on.
If you're traveling for pleasure, the busy nature of a launch will detract from your travel focus and visa versa. If you must travel during a launch, plan a four to five day respite along the way where you can focus on the launch and then move on to your next destination.
3. Be open to what travel teaches you about working
There is no better way to learn something than trying it. Learning how to work from the road, like most everything, is something that we learn by doing. You have to go on your journey and see what works and what doesn't.
For me, I learned immediately that after riding 400 miles on my motorcycle that sitting in my hotel room after dinner and expecting to write anything of quality was pointless. It just didn't work that way.
I learned that I needed to dedicate a day of rest for that purpose. When I learned how the non-work day experiences could feed my writing days, I naturally fell in a rhythm that worked.
4. use a backup wifi device
Most hotel wifi is worthless. Your room is either too far away from the wireless router or the broadband subscription the hotel uses isn't sufficient. However, there are ways to get around such limitations.
The most reliable wifi I've found at restaurants is at Starbucks and McDonalds. I don't eat at McDonalds (I know that sounds elitist but I just don't eat fast food any more), but I will drink their coffee and use their wifi. I've found that Starbucks (far better coffee than McDonalds) also has reliable wifi.
If you're budget conscious while traveling, opt for cheap motels with or without wifi on non-work days. Then book a three-star hotel for the days you might want to work from the room in the evening.
You can also use your smartphone or a dedicated mobile signal device. Most smartphones can become a mobile hotspots if necessary. You might have to pay a bit more for this option, but it can be worth it.
Dedicated devices like Skyroam offer global connections using the current country's cellular network. It can save massive international roaming charges assess by your cellular provider back home.
Like most anything in the MB world, you'll only learn by getting out there and experimenting to see what works. So get on the road, will ya!