By Carolina Ramirez Herrera
“Omg are you a professional traveler?” “You have the best job ever! Where do I sign up?!” If I had a dollar for every time someone DM’d something along those lines – well, I’d probably be flying first much more often. While no, I am not a professional traveler, I do like to think I’m the poster child for blending work and travel to make the world your office. In today’s world, work is becoming more and more flexible for those who know how to solve problems and add value. Companies are starting to realize it’smore efficient to pay people for what they are actually good at vs. hiring for antiquated positions in-house for the regular 9 to 5.
One of the reasons I decided to fly solo in the first place was to have flexibility across the board: in life, in work and in travel. I knew what I was good at and never understood the concept of having to sit in an office just because. I have always been better client-facing and am somewhat of a night owl when it came to getting work done, so it was essentially useless to make me sit at a desk. Oh, and the concept of limited vacation? Don’t even get me started. Even when I worked in corporate America, I always finagled my way past the 10-day vacation rule because I always made it clear I was going with or without their blessing. I knew my value and I always got my work done regardless of where I was.
Then, a magical thing happened. iPhones and social media suddenly made it easier for everyone to see the world through a different lens,and to see what the other side was doing. Slowly but surely this new wave of consulting, freelancing, and digital nomads was becoming a thing. It was easier than ever to visually stalk people doing it and doin’ it well across social channels.
A couple of months after I jumped ship from the corporate world and launched my own consulting firm, CRH Collective, I signed up for Unsettled, a co-working program targeting digital nomads and entrepreneurs to live and work for a month in Bali. I figured if I could continue business as usual in Bali (read: 12 hour time difference from Miami) I could probably run my business from anywhere.
Unsettled did all the legwork: sorted out my fabulous villa, my co-working space and best of all, curated a community of other like-minded creatives and entrepreneurs who had infinite knowledge to share. The structure (or un-structure, really) was exactly what I needed to push me out of my comfort zone.
The funny thing about routine is you suddenly crave it when its no longer a burden or a requirement. As much as I hated the office routine, I realized just how important it was to allot my time, especially when
working 12 hours “in the future”. I learned how to manage my time, my clients and most importantly my team – who still this day is growing and happily spread around the world from Miami to Venezuela to Cape Town.
Perhaps the most important thing I learned since going from corporate to consulting (and trust me, there is still plenty more learning to be done!) is to never undervalue your time. It’s a constant learning curve – and as much as you own the flexibility you will have to own the challenges as well. But almost three years later, I’ve never looked back and couldn’t be happier.
Carolina Ramirez Herrera is the founder of CRH Collective, a consulting firm specializing in public relations, marketing and digital media with clients ranging from real estate, hospitality, travel, art, and health + wellness. She is also a freelance writer, often contributing to blogs, city guides and travel platforms sharing a page from her little black book of personal travels and lifestyle. Based in Miami but usually on a plane, follow her on @Lacarolinda.