#SydneyLife wasn't working for Michelle or Jess. So, this is what they did about it.

Last week I had a phone call with a friend who has just completed a 6 month trip around the Eastern seaboard of Australia. Michelle and her daughter, Jess hit the road for many reasons. Suffice to say, Sydney was no longer cutting the mustard.

Michelle is a senior Learning and Development strategist who took her business on the road. Jess, her 13 year old daughter is in Year 8. I'm not sure (exactly) how many towns and cities they visited, suffice to say it was a lot. Instead of towing a caravan, they stayed in Air b n b's. 

It was a remarkable journey.

Jess completed all of her schoolwork online. Michelle managed her business remotely. Every now and again she would fly back to a major city to see a client or deliver a workshop. But mostly, everything was done via technology.

Their socials make me insanely envious: neither Michelle or Jess 'worked' a standard day. They'd get their to do list done and then check out their surrounds. Beach and pool scenes were numerous.

In 2018, it's possible to live like this. You don't have to be some kind of vague "laptop entrepreneur," you've just got to be creative and give yourself permission to go for it.

Michelle and Jess have settled (happily) in Brisbane. Their adventure really opened my eyes to the changing nature of work. Technology is closing the gap between city and country - in so many ways. Heck, Michelle even worked with an organisation in the UK, while she was away!

Before we hung up, Michelle shared a piece of advice that I'll never forget.

"Vanessa, you don't have to do it alone".

Meaning, that just because you're in a particular location, does not mean that your mentors, colleagues and partners must be in the same place. 

If I look back across my career, the most (lasting) success I've had is because I collaborated, delegated, or worked as part of a team. The small business gig makes it so easy to think that it's "us against the world" and that "you've got to do it all yourself".

It's not and you don't.

Technology makes it so much EASIER to form collaborative relationships and partnerships. I truly believe this is the future of work and business. It's the futurefor Spark Rural.

It doesn't matter if you're in Alice Springs or Albany: two (or more!) people can connect, work together and grow.

In a month, my friend Vanessa North and I are hitting the road and visiting Gippsland Vic to deliver the inaugural "Connect and Grow Festival". Vanessa and I met by accident on Twitter. That was back in 2012.

Connect and Grow has been many months in the making. It's an experiment: we are delivering 10 events in 4 towns, over 5 days. Our goal is to share our experiences. They're broad: organisational development, social media, economic development and storytelling. But we're primarily there to LISTEN.

Lots can happen if we form mindful partnerships and open our ears. 

Can't it?

My best,

Vanessa Wiltshire
Founder, Director, Writer
Spark Rural
95a High Street Heathcote Vic