How I Built My Online Business From A Laptop On The Beach

Source –

  • ‘…I help female entrepreneurs confidently walk away from their soul-crushing corporate jobs (forever) and live the laptop lifestyle with systems + strategies that book out their business and make bank…It’s time to start living your life on your own terms—whatever that means to you. And I’m here to help you…make that laptop lifestyle a reality”

How I built my online business from a laptop on the beach

…From cubicle misery to sippin’ outta coconuts and running my 6-figure biz from a sunny cabana… don’t you want to know how?

By Amanda Kolbye

I know you see us, us Bali-entrepreneurs sipping outta coconuts with permanently wavy locks and sun-kissed skin. I know you look at our Insta-stories and branding shoots and think… damn, I wish I was living that life. Well, the truth is, it isn’t a million miles away from you.

Honest! I can vouch for the journey from cubicle to coconut-sipper because I made it happen in just a few short years.

Lucky for you, I’m not keeping this information under wraps… heck no! There’s plenty more space for your butt on this beach – so grab your sarong, get a balayage and kick-back… I’m gonna spill all the Mai Thais right here.

My first laptop business was a design business; creating logos, making graphics, helping fellow entrepreneurs to perfect their branding – you name it! I was living a block from the beach in Vietnam and loving every second. What’s key to remember here is that it’s not what kind of business you set up (i.e a design biz, coaching, website developer etc.) but it’s about how you run it. From the beginning, I was serious about running a business like a business – not just something to keep my fingertips active while I topped up my tan. 

Da Nang, Vietnam
Bread N Salt Cafe

So, let’s dive in. I wanna give you the goodies that took me from burnt-out-city-USA to beach-bum-making-bank in months.

1. Set up your processes

When you’re first establishing your business, you won’t be thinking big picture (well, most of us aren’t anyway!). But, if you do think big-scale from the start, you’re going to scale so much faster. Most of my clients are ready to scale, ready to take that next leap – but their systems, organization and project management is letting them down.

Basically, don’t be that guy. Here’s a few things you could start working on from day-dot!

  • Onboarding – think of some of the fantastic customer experiences you’ve had. It feels incredible when someone nurtures you and takes the time to get to know you, right? Well, why not start doing that the second you start taking on clients? Plus, a great onboarding process screams “I’m a professional and I’m worth your $$$”. Think about mapping out your onboarding process, from questionnaires to initial consultations, to friendly follow-up emails and nurture sequences. Trust me, a little planning now will result in a lot of piling-up-change later!
  • Project Management – yawwwwn, organization. I know, I know, this isn’t everyone’s favorite part (I secretly love getting down in the spreadsheets – don’t judge me!). It might seem strange to have a hugely fleshed out project management procedure when you’ve only got one or two clients, but won’t you be glad you did it when you’ve got 10 or 20 clients? Uh-huh! Asana is a no-brainer here – if you don’t know, get to know people!

2. Treat it like a biz before it exists

This point is all about mindset. Try not to look at yourself as a ‘side-hustler’ or a ‘freelancer’ or even a ‘I’m-just-doing-this-to-pay-for-my-beer-and-hostel-er’!

Shift that mindset from scattered-biz-owner to CEO vibes. If you treat your business like a side-hustle, that’s all it will ever be! You’ll get your few short months on the beach before things get hard and you have to head back your 9-5, daily grind. Spend time working on the business, as well as in it. Think about your social media presence, build a good-looking website, network like a bo$$! Don’t want to be struggling to get client after client for a few more years? You wanna sit in your swimsuit for a bit longer? You better get serious about it kid!

3. Ground Zero – set goals appropriately and properly

Goal setting can sound intimidating. Like, how the heck am I supposed to know where I want to be in 5 years? Well, slow your strawberry daiquiris shorty – it’s really not that scary.Ground Zero is a process I developed during high school that I still use today. It basically allows us to set a higher standard for ourselves and establish a ‘Ground Zero’ – a standard we will never dip below. I have a mini-training on this on Instagram, but I’m going break it down for you:

  • You have your ‘Normal’ (ie. 6 workouts a week, having $2000 in your bank account)
  • Then you have your ‘Acceptance Level’ (ie. life happens so you will accept only 5 workouts a week and slipping to $1500 in your bank account)
  • Then finally you have your ‘Ground Zero’! No matter what happens, you will not slip below your Ground Zero (ie. 4 workouts a week and $1000 in your bank account).

Ground Zero works for anything that you want/don’t want in your life and business. Decide early on, and with conviction, what your Ground Zero’s are. 

4. Time management – learn to structure your freedom!

  • Have clear priorities – Everything is not a priority, even when it feels like it is. If you view everything as a priority, you’re going to burn yourself out pretty fast and experience crippling decision paralysis when two or more ‘priorities’ come up at the same time.
  • Set boundaries – Around yourself, your time, other people – protect yourself!
  • Schedule and track your time – Now, we don’t need to block out every single second of our day, but we do need a good routine to follow. Without a routine, you’ll be floating around like a balloon in the wind. Tracking your time also lets you know what you’re doing too much of – super helpful when you’re ready to outsource
  • Limit your to-do list – ugh! My biggest downfall. I always think I can get more done in a day than is humanly possible. Basically, don’t do that. Know yourself and be realistic with what you expect.
  • Stick to your zone of genius – Anything that’s time-consuming and that you’re not great at, outsource it or work on it later. Focus on one thing at a time and do you!

5. Systems

I often find that people freak out or convince themselves that their business won’t be successful because they don’t have enough experience… hey dude, do you think I have design experience before I built my first biz? Uh.. no! I learned everything I know from YouTube and diving the hell in! I also built an exceptional system that impressed clients, gave me confidence in myself and proved my worth straight.away! Utilize what’s out there when it comes to sending proposals, building forms, tracking your time and doing your accounting.

You don’t need to be crazy experienced, you just need a holster of systems that make you look and feel like you are.

6. Confidence

Deep breath guys, we’re nearly there! My penultimate tip is actually a huge one. If you don’t believe in what you’re offering, or that you’re worth what you’re asking for – what can you honestly expect to achieve?

Before asking anyone else to believe in you… you have to believe in yourself (oh gosh, I sound like a crazy yoga-pant-wearing guru… don’t I?). 

Basically, just have faith! I was super sure that I’d just figure everything out… and I did! 

7. Social media

Woo-hoo for the 21st century! Wi-Fi means that you can look like a bad-ass from anywhere in the world!…