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Old 30-09-2008, 17:27   #1
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remote skilled work & "The 4hr Workweek"

I keep an eye on this forum as I hope to join the ranks of the working cruisers one day. Currently I'm a manager at a software company, so doing that remotely is not an option.

It seems like a lot of the discussion is around work for other cruisers or boat related skills. I'd be interested in a discussion about the generic issues regardless of what product or service you offer, e.g. communication with customers, connectivity, maintaining relationships, responding to sagging demand, getting new business, etc.

While it sounds like Amazon's "Mechanical Turk"Amazon Mechanical Turk is paying 3rd world wages, I wonder if there are other marketplaces for a higher level of skilled work that can be done remotely?

Also I recently picked up the book "The 4 hour workweek", The 4-Hour Workweek and Timothy Ferriss while I doubt anyone living aboard has too much trouble with pointless meetings, excessive emails and phone calls, etc. He does have a section in there about setting up a business targeted at moderate income with as much outsourced as possible and has examples of remote management of niche businesses. Of course actually earning a living in 4 hours/week is an extreme example to get your to target your work and understand your value add.
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Old 30-09-2008, 18:17   #2
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I'm also a software manager! Huzzah!

If we were super smart about it, and my team had only a-team people on it, we could easily do everything in a four hour work week. The problem is that the b-team'rs will still be screwing off two out of the four hours, making the system look bad.

But if we had a rock solid team, 4 hours would be plenty.
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Old 30-09-2008, 18:23   #3
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But if we had a rock solid team, 4 hours would be plenty.
I am "rock solid".

Sign me up.

I work days for as many as possible and am available all night over 300 days (nights) a year.

4 is surely a vacation. Come to think of it, 4 x 10 would feel like a vacation.
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Old 30-09-2008, 18:42   #4
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The problem with companies is that if you can get done in 4 hours, "Imagine what you could do in 8!"

Today's white collar worker, basically has to shut off at some number of hours that suits that person. There is never a lack of things to do. The people that work 12+ hours are deemed to be good time managers with great work life balance. The 20 year guys that that go home to wife and kids after 10 are (over time) deemed slackers. However the 20 year guy in my experience is usually a lot more productive in 10 hours than the 12+ hour person.

There are few jobs where you are completely independent of other people for long periods of time. I had a friend in Tokyo that corrected copy for several English magazines. The work was already translated but the spelling and grammar were poor. She got paid about $20USD per page of copy and was making about $500 per week. It was a great gig.

All she needed was an email account and about 15 minutes per page.
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Old 30-09-2008, 19:12   #5
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There are few jobs where you are completely independent of other people for long periods of time. I had a friend in Tokyo that corrected copy for several English magazines. The work was already translated but the spelling and grammar were poor. She got paid about $20USD per page of copy and was making about $500 per week. It was a great gig.

All she needed was an email account and about 15 minutes per page.
How do I get that job?
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Old 30-09-2008, 19:23   #6
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How do I get that job?
Like all great jobs, it was word of mouth...
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Old 30-09-2008, 23:35   #7
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I'm also a software manager! Huzzah!

If we were super smart about it, and my team had only a-team people on it, we could easily do everything in a four hour work week. The problem is that the b-team'rs will still be screwing off two out of the four hours, making the system look bad.

But if we had a rock solid team, 4 hours would be plenty.
Amen brother. It's the people issues that kill you. The real kicker is that I actually like working with people, solving problems, brainstorming, etc. I would actually miss it if I was solo. It's the managing people that is the soul suck. Actually, that might not be so bad if I didn't have a million other things to do.

A couple other sites I ran across:
Guru.com
Elance - find the work you love
The Working Nomad
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Old 07-10-2008, 22:06   #8
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Do you have to do something remotely? with the world economy the way it is people are spending less so if you had a remote buisness then people might not buy from you or if you work remotely then you might be repaced by someone who is actually there at the office all the time. so while working remotely is a good thing you also need to be able to do other things in case worst came to worst, if you got trained forrecreational search and recovery then you could make good money by going and getting things for people that they droped over board or if you found an outboard motor someone lost and noone claimed it then you could sell it.
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Old 18-11-2008, 19:27   #9
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Do you have to do something remotely? with the world economy the way it is people are spending less so if you had a remote buisness then people might not buy from you or if you work remotely then you might be repaced by someone who is actually there at the office all the time. so while working remotely is a good thing you also need to be able to do other things in case worst came to worst, if you got trained forrecreational search and recovery then you could make good money by going and getting things for people that they droped over board or if you found an outboard motor someone lost and noone claimed it then you could sell it.
On the other hand it costs a company more to have that extra body in the office. When it comes down to it, any of us who are doing anything computer related, could probably take a big pay cut to work off-site and still do pretty well, when you consider the lower cost of cruising vs. living on land. I know I can, and I don't even have the greatest salary.

But, just in case. Can you really make a good living doing S&R? How where would you market yourself. I did the training in a cold water quarry, with buddies jumping on top of my kicking up silt, so I'd imagine doing that sort of work in warm clear water would be cake. The only real recovery I attempted was a rudder earlier this summer. No luck, but the guy paid a real salvage company the following week and they couldn't find it either.
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Old 18-11-2008, 21:26   #10
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actually you can, you can just spread the word whenever you come into port and someone is bound to come and ask you to find something, and if you got instructor certified and get a captain's license you can make good money in the charter buisness because they are always looking for people that a certified divers to take people out on trips and you could get a hefty profit, last I looked it was somewhere between $18,000 and $25,000 for a weeklong charter of a 46' cat that can hold 8 people and that was without diving.
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Old 28-11-2008, 15:04   #11
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Hmmm! I don't think so. The economy has taken a big hit on the diving and charter business here in the Abacos. $18000 a week? Where is that and what kind of boat? However, if you're interested, check out the Abaconian online because they are advertising for a dive boat assistant. Oh and by the way, you have to be Bahamian, because they cannot give you a job down here that an able bodied Bahamian can do. So, before you give up the day job you already have, make sure you check out the particulars of where you're going. Work permits can be hard to come by.
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Old 28-11-2008, 15:18   #12
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On the other hand, if you have a developed software program, that you already have sold to several clients you can come down here and they'll never even know you left the states. I just bought this book too and I haven't started reading it. It's among the 70 I downloaded to my Kindle. What I found after working at a college, was that if they quit having so many meetings, I could get a lot more work done.
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Old 29-11-2008, 13:34   #13
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Hmmm! I don't think so. The economy has taken a big hit on the diving and charter business here in the Abacos. $18000 a week? Where is that and what kind of boat? However, if you're interested, check out the Abaconian online because they are advertising for a dive boat assistant. Oh and by the way, you have to be Bahamian, because they cannot give you a job down here that an able bodied Bahamian can do. So, before you give up the day job you already have, make sure you check out the particulars of where you're going. Work permits can be hard to come by.
If that magical place really exists, I'll get the loan today, quit my job on Monday, and retire in 2 years, cruising full time and living off the interest alone.

That price is WAY off!

I just took a look for the hell of it. Sunsail charges $7497.60 for 8 adults for a week on a Lagoon 410 in December in St. Maarten (which I'm sure is peak season too) and that's with a skipper and a cleaning person.
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Old 29-11-2008, 13:37   #14
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On the other hand, if you have a developed software program, that you already have sold to several clients you can come down here and they'll never even know you left the states. I just bought this book too and I haven't started reading it. It's among the 70 I downloaded to my Kindle. What I found after working at a college, was that if they quit having so many meetings, I could get a lot more work done.
I still say that's my best bet too.

With a laptop, an iPhone, and a Wi-Fi antenna there isn't much that I can't do offsite.

I'm building my case right now.

And worst case scenario, even if I had to negotiate a big pay cut as part of the deal, it would still be enough to live on while cruising.
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Old 29-11-2008, 15:27   #15
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I still say that's my best bet too.

With a laptop, an iPhone, and a Wi-Fi antenna there isn't much that I can't do offsite.

I'm building my case right now.

And worst case scenario, even if I had to negotiate a big pay cut as part of the deal, it would still be enough to live on while cruising.
You are almost there!!!
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