Last December my family and I moved from England back to my wife’s native Spain. My wife and I had work from home jobs and with our daughter growing up fast we felt if we didn’t give it a go now we would never do it. Now she will have the benefit of growing up in two distinct cultures.
My work was my own internet consultancy doing web development, design and marketing, though since I’ve moved here, my passion for language and culture has been re-ignited – hence this blog – and I am doing increasing amounts of writing about it and plan to redevelop my Cross-Cultural Communication course ideas I had 15 years ago.
I have also started to use an incredibly useful online business builder called Site Build It! which forces you to be more focussed than a blog and has incredible search engine tools and advice to help make your site attractive to the search engines as well as (more importantly) visitors. I’ll write more about that in a future article when I’ve made more progress with the niche site I am building using SBI! Incidentally they also have a great affiliate programme too, which can pay for the (amazing value) cost of the system with a couple of referrals. They are doing a ‘Summer Sandals’ special at the moment until June 21, making it even better value to get started. I genuinely recommend it not least because it requires no technical skill at all and so is great for work from home novices with limited IT knowledge.
I have worked from home lot in the last few years, especially since I made the very hard decision to almost completely outsource my technical team to deal with the downturn, remain competitive and develop my product ideas at lower cost.
Back in England I had a house with a garden to enjoy when taking breaks – or just to glance out of the window while working. Here we live in an apartment in town directly below my in-laws. This, as you can imagine, has it’s advantages and disadvantages, but not so many of the latter as you might think. I could live anywhere, and apart from a few gripes about the fondness the Spaniards have for using their car horns (day or night) to declare right of way, and other city ‘features’, I am enjoying the convenience. Same goes for having the in-laws upstairs, especially since they are retired and have spent many years without their granddaughter.
As for the actual work routine, I am not naturally the most disciplined person but have this week come across Steve Pavlina whose website has a huge range of tips and techniques to help become more motivated and self-disciplined and so generate results. I have started implementing these and already finding a difference – not least just deciding to change and acting on it is motivating! And I have already today done one of those unpleasant tasks I had put off for weeks. Incidentally I found Steve through the SBI! forums – he uses it too, and is very successful by all accounts, so don’t just take my word for it!
From a cultural perspective, working from home here is still a fairly new concept and one which even the family struggles with, assuming we are always available! But escaping from the constant rain of England and living more for the moment (and not spending half our time in the car and the other stuck indoors!) is certainly validating our decision. Especially now we have our car back (see my post on Spanish bureaucracy) and can take relieve from the summer heat by driving to a neighbouring village where the local pools are much quieter than here in town.
Another advantage of the flexible work from home lifestyle…