We're currently staying in a cabin on the Pacific Ocean here in Washington, enjoying family, storm watching, overeating. planning 2013 and determining the top 5 most frequently asked questions we get. Last December, we decided to – during 2012 – keep a rough list of the questions we're most commonly asked. The results are in!
Q1: You guys travel a lot but not all the time. Why not be full-time travelers without the expense of a home?
When we came back from our "over-the-top, non-stop travel marathon of 2007-2008" a big part of us thought we'd pick up and move to some international destination. We were 80% certain that was the next big thing for us. We returned to Seattle just as the economy bottomed out (remember that nightmare?). We decided it was a good time to lean into building our virtual business if we ever wanted to make a big move a reality.
During that time, two major things happened: our love for Seattle skyrocketed, and we came to the conclusion that we wanted to continue traveling – we weren't going to be content living overseas. So, as we continued to build our virtual business and this NVR lifestyle, we figured out that we love the idea of having Seattle as a home-base.
Currently, we're on the road roughly half of the year. It works well for us on a lot of levels. In addition to it fueling our addiction to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, having a permanent home-base allows us to plan our workload so that heavy periods align with our time in Seattle. Speaking of our workload…
Q2: How do you guys make money?
As we get into on here from time to time, our virtual work is in the Human Resources Consulting arena (mostly in Organization Development / Effectiveness). We help businesses operate with a clear, compelling vision bolstered by content employees. Because our primary goal in life and work is to increase the number of happy / harmonious people and workplaces, we also help individuals with personal development and career strategizing.
It's very gratifying to see companies and individuals moving forward positively. That's our thang.
Q3: Is your website at the point where you can live off of it?
Ah, yes – the million dollar question. We don't strive to live off of this website because we have fulfilling work that we love. A few months back, because we get a lot of offers to passively monetize, we did some serious investigating. We fairly quickly backed away. Anyone who has made a business out of their website will tell you that for all of the good opportunities out there, you have to weed through some sleazy offers from some sleazy people. We don't have the time, and website monetization is not what the two of us are meant to be focusing on in life. We're more than happy with a few (vigorously vetted!) alliances and media opportunities.
--> Bonus question! So, are you against paid links and advertising?
No, not at all! We think everyone should be able to do exactly what they want to do. But, that question brings up two points:
1) In all of the communities we're in (HR, etc.), too many people spend too much time unproductively and publicly arguing about things (like paid links and how to do business) and judging other people rather than doing their own thing. It'd be nice to see more people doing great things and not merely talking about it (or tearing other people down in public forums).
2) Although we believe that everyone should be able to do exactly what they want to do, we're big believers in putting your natural strengths and talents to work. It's how things should be, and it's why we help businesses and people find that bliss. We see far too many people fighting their natural strengths – struggling to make money by doing things they're not meant to be doing. This dissonance is what leads to a lot of #1.
--> Bonus question! How do you stay so disciplined?
Well, we do and we don't. On the one hand, we believe that life is short so living deliberately is not negotiable. We always like to be on solid footing in terms of overall life trajectory. We also know that the best things often come from leaning into uncertainty. We – as individuals and as a couple – know who we are, but we also leave a lot of room for change. Firm but flexible. You know, like bamboo!
Also, on a more trivial note… Although we walk through life with often-unbridled hope, positivity and openness, we think a healthy dose of bitching / moaning (and whiskey and debauchery) is a good thing.
Q4: How in the hell do you two get along?
Aside from all the "communication is key" stuff that everyone in a good relationship spews, we've done a lot of work to figure out exactly what makes the intense meshing of our lives work. Early next year, watch for some specific details that go far beyond helpful (but overly-general) nuggets like the above. We're going deep because everyone who wants a solid relationship should have a shot at one. It took us long enough to figure it out; maybe we can spare you some time.
Q5: What's the favorite place you've been so far?
We love our annual trip to Glacier National Park more than anything. It's our favorite place. In honor of the 5 year anniversary of this NVR life, we've just made some big decisions regarding the "best of" the last few years. Check back for our thoughts on things like our favorite adventure and what 2013 has in store. It's gonna be big!