I run a business from my MacBook & my iPhone

Take a second to let that sink in. It's 2016, and I can keep a business - clients, networking, vendors, etc - running from a laptop and an iPhone, from anywhere in the world as long as there's power and an internet hookup. 

Now imagine that mindset 50 years ago, 20 years ago (1996), even as close as 5 years ago (2011). Never in my wildest dreams did I think that would be possible, yet here I am. It's not for everybody, but in conversations with friends and colleagues on this idea, I've discovered three main aspects where I can contribute my (early) successes to, and where I'm sure a majority of my future ones will come from. 

1) Stay Organized

I don't mean keep some BS desktop calendar that you rip the pages off each month, actually get organized. Do you have notes from every client or business meeting you've ever had available in the palm of your hand? Does your calendar show you what your day and meetings look like 38 days from today, again accessible right in your pocket? If not, I highly recommend you get to that point. 

I run a custom domain email address from Google Apps (Ben@BenSawicki.com) for $5/mo, and from that I get the professional aspect of a custom email, plus the entire Google suite - Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Pages/Sheets - all available across any platform. I'm also huge on the productivity platform Trello. Originally created to allow teams a common work space to stay organized, I use this solo to organize projects and client work, and further break down ToDo's, social log-ins, meeting notes, and more. Other software like Dropbox and Evernote keep files, images and notes organized and available on any platform. 

2) Utilize Technology

While it may be true that technology is changing at a mind boggling rate, I think we've finally reached a point of only mild, incremental growth. For example, the jump in technology from the iPhone 4, to the 5, and then the 6 was massive. New phone styles, exponentially better cameras, quicker processors, larger screens, etc. However, fromt he 6 to the 7, while sporting some new colors and a better camera on the 7plus, not much has changed. I think that's what we're looking at for technology today, new phones and laptops may get 10-20% faster, but the portability, size and major functionality are at an all time high. 

What's more, is that it's incredibly affordable. A phone that used to cost nearly 4-figures, and what used to be a $5,000 Mac computer can now be had sometimes for free with a new carrier plan, and a fully-loaded, ultra-portable MacBook Pro can be had for under $1,500. Utilize the (relatively) cheap technology landscape to further your business. 

Me personally, I've grown to be an avid Apple fan. I've always been an iPhone user, but recently upgrading to a 13" MacBook Air (for under $1,000) has increased my productivity tenfold. I'm able to sync messages, email and notes to my iPhone 6s Plus at lightning speed, so I always have that note or client file wherever I happen to be. The Apple suite of software, multi-desktop capabilities, and iMessaging clients from my laptop is incredible, and coming from a Windows-only user the past 5 years, I'm happy I made the switch. 

3) Biz Dev

I honestly never knew what this meant. From the second I showed up to college, and our career center preached networking and developing business connections, I just never got it. It took until senior year to really understand how to network, what it looked like and how it would help, which has fed directly into my business success. So often during conversations with friends or family, something comes up that leads me to throw in a slight jab about what it is my business does, and that often leads to some type of project work. That's biz dev, and it's crucial to business success. I don't believe in the "ABC - Always Be Selling" mantra, for fear of sounding like that cliche, "scummy" sales person, however you should know the right times to grab a business card, or give a brief pitch. 

 

Business is changing. I'm not saying you should start a company from your laptop and 2 weeks later try to raise $4 million dollars towards it. I'm saying, if it's what you're meant to do, there has never been a better time to pursue that journey.