EDIT: Since writing this post, I've launched EliseDarma.com. If you're interested in learning more about travel, remote working and entrepreneurship, connect with me there.
After my first solo travel adventure at age 18, I decided that traveling for the rest of my life would be my dream. Last year, I was able to travel (well, work remotely) for 3 months of the year. So, I'm one-quarter the way there.
But the dream is not quite as curated and pretty as my Instagram feed makes it out to be. There are cold, hard costs to living the remote working, entrepreneurial life. Packing a years' worth of tax work into a month is a surefire way to learn this. Thank you, 2015 taxes, for teaching me so much about myself.
Catching up on taxes is pretty close to the definition of a procrastinator's nightmare, but there is a silver lining. I emerged from the process with a weight lifted off my shoulders and some interesting stats – specifically related to my business growth, personal spending, and travels.
In the spirit of transparency, and to inject some realism into my dreamy, "beach office for today" posts, I thought I'd share some of those stats. This information might be of interest to anyone who is contemplating either remote working or starting their own business, or both.
Here are some noteworthy numbers from 2015 – my first complete year of running Canupy Content full-time (in 2013 and 2014, it was my side hustle). But first, a bit of context in regards to my workload and travels:
Number of clients: 10.
Places visited: 12. (Bali, Hawaii, New York, Vancouver, Edmonton, London, Paris, Bordeaux, San Sebastian, Barcelona, Cuba and Mexico).
Number of days spent working remotely: 92 days.
And now about those dollars spent:
Business expenses: $12,700. (Everything from branding, business services, fees, etc.).
Coaching and therapy: $3,200. (Yup, worth it and maybe another post for another day).
Gym membership and personal training: $1,860. (Yup, also worth it and also maybe another post for another day).
Medical expenses: $2,000. (Living that benefits-free life).
Total? Just about $30,000.
Some people might read that and think, meh, that's nothing compared to my costs. But I believe it's all relative to my lifestyle and where I'm at in my life. For context, I'm a woman in her late twenties, a downtown dweller who loves to go out, and an entrepreneur in the early stages of her business.
In choosing which numbers to share, I excluded usual costs like rent, daily living expenses, going out, eating out, clothes, gifts, etc., since those numbers are pretty typical for everyone (fun fact: I spend about $110 a week on eating out. Where does that number land for you?).
I included just the numbers that were a result or a cause of having my own online business.
This means including expenses that relate to my mental and physical health – two areas of my life that became exponentially more important once I took the leap into entrepreneurship full-time.
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For me, the biggest takeaway from my 2015 numbers is choice. This lifestyle did not happen overnight. It's the result of many choices made over the course of several years. And it's not free. I choose to spend much of my income on business, travel and the associated costs, but not every entrepreneur wants that. But if you DO want that, then this post is for you :)
Are you interested in reading more posts about remote working and running your own business? Would appreciate any feedback so please let me know!
You might also like: How I got started with working remotely.
About the Author:
Elise Darmanin believes that "travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." That's why she makes beaches, coffee shops and co-working spaces her office by working remotely while growing Canupy Content. Canupy is a social media and copywriting agency for small to medium-sized businesses. The Canupy team helps brands grow through social media marketing, copywriting and content strategies that inspire audiences and drive sales.