Working location independent has become a signal personal and financial freedom. Those tied to a desk watch in awe as they scroll through the postings of their friends with seemingly all the time in the world to travel, explore, and still have time to relax by the beach.
Most of us wouldn’t be able to actually work given the opportunity to make our own hours. These working nomads face a different set of challenges than typical desk jockeys. Distractions in the home or at coffee shops can kill a spout of productivity most can’t recover from.
The summer before my Senior year of high school I worked on a golf course deep in the woods of Northern Idaho. The place was run by locals but catered to tourists. I worked as the lone course maintenance guru, raking sand traps, pulling weeds, and watering the greens. I would wake up at 4:45 every morning and report to the maintenance shop along with our team of lawn mowers.
We’d wait outside the garage doors drinking our coffee and making inappropriate jabs at each other as the morning fog still hung in the cool mountain air around us. The boss man would show up at 5:30, give us our directives and we’d head our separate ways for the morning.
I fueled up my dirt stained golf cart, loaded up my tools for the day and headed out onto the course. The serenity that surrounded those 18 holes as the sun rose made any laborious task a privilege.
My tenure at the course was short-lived as I had to return to the city for classes to begin. The lessons I learned there, however, will stay with me forever. One of the lawn-mowers, in particular, took to handing down his wisdom on the chances he had. He would describe to me ways that I could carve a future out of the work I was performing at the course. Anyone could look at that and write him off as a back-woods kook with small aspirations, but I heard him out.
He taught me the lessons of transferable work.