Where Do You Work?

by Rich Jones on Nov 4, 2014.
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The other day, a new friend asked me, "where do you work?"

"The park and coffee shops, mostly," I said, "but often on my balcony, or up in the forest. Sometimes in the desert, or on the beach! It depends on what I'm feeling like day."

Only when I saw the confused expression on his face did I realize how much Gun.io has changed the very concept of work for me.

Work isn't a Place Anymore

Once upon a time, "work" was a place where you'd go to toil until they said you could go home. You'd stay with the same company for your whole life, and when you were used up, they'd kick you out the door with a pat on the back and a cheap gold watch. None of that is necessarily true any more.

Now, at least for some us, there is a choice. We have a choice to refuse work, to only work on the things we want to work on, and (as long as the job still gets done in a professional manner), to work where and when we want. For some people this means on the road, out in the wilderness, in a different country, or even just at home, with loved ones nearby. For me, it means exploring all around my little California town, looking for daily adventures and places to hack from. I've found a nice little waterfall that's a bit off the beaten path - I think that's where I write my best code.

I've been working for myself on my own schedule and on my own terms for so long that when my friend asked me where I worked, as in, "who do you work for?", it didn't even register with me that working a 9-to-5 for somebody else's profit was even a possibility anymore. I get to choose the clients I work with, I take pride in the projects I work on, and I don't have to answer to anybody I don't want to. Independence feels awesome.

Freelance Discipline

There's a flip-side to all of this, of course. It requires a great deal of discipline to be a really good freelancer or entrepreneur. You've got to be on call a lot more. After a day at a 9-to-5, you can turn off, go home, switch on the the TV and turn your mind off. It makes sense, after a long day, you need to turn off. However, when you're setting your own hours, it's very tempting to switch off all the time, which isn't good for your cash flow, or, conversely to work all the time, which isn't good for your mental health. Being successful means knowing where your balance point is.

But, for those who can hack it, it's absolutely amazing. I've worked from 3 different continents, in dozens of different states, in all sorts of different environments on all kinds of interesting projects. All I need is a well-charged battery for my computer (I'm investigating portable solar panels), a mobile phone with 4G tethering for internet access, and Gun.io for finding awesome freelance gigs, and I can work on amazing things from anywhere in the world, while finding the time to work on my passion projects and seeing amazing sights! What a life.

So, Where Do You Work?

The picture at the top of the page was my office today. And that's just a monday! Can you top that? Send me pictures of the coolest place you've ever worked from and we'll feature you on the website!

Happy hacking!

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