Working From The Wilderness

Taking Your Business To The Great Outdoors

July 15, 2:00 a.m.

Road trip. Putting the American Dream on wheels. That's exactly what I did for eight weeks during the summer of '99, leaving family and clients to carry on while I experimented with what I hope becomes the destiny for those who take time to become quintessentially wired. It was not my desire to embark on a life-threatening adventure; rather, the point was to prove that business can continue no matter where it's based, without an interruption of service or income-that entrepreneurs of the new millennium can work anywhere we please.

All you need is money. OK, that admittedly sounds like a significant barrier, but the outpost office experience is designed to make you money only if you can take your business tools with you, and that means, at the least, a laptop computer, printer, cell phone and a capacious set of wheels. Setting up your outpost office, like any other personal business endeavor, requires a plan.

You may have a boat, a farm or somewhere to stay, but my plan was to sleep in the most cost-efficient of accommodations: a tent. If you choose to stay in a hotel, you end up working a few hours a day just to pay for your bed. In fact, the costs associated with maintaining your outpost-office lifestyle should be itemized before your departure, so you know whether you can handle them. In my case, I needed a laptop, so I bought a used one at an Internet auction. I made sure I could change the terms of my cell phone contract after I returned, when I would be using it less. In short, the results of thorough planning kept me in the black, but the following field notes denote the other intangibles that can be garnered during the outpost-office adventure.

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