Our family is incredibly fortunate in that we are able to hit the road and travel at just about any moment. We don’t have bosses to answer to and we don’t have school administrations ringing our phones. One of the most common questions we get is “how do you make money on the road (or in general)?”. In this post, I want to elaborate a bit on this answer in hopes that you can be inspired on your own journey.
How I (Brandon) Make Money
First a little back story… I have been into computers since I first heard that scratchy noise of a dial up modem connecting me to AOL, followed by distinct sound of “You’ve got mail”. Throughout my childhood, I would tinker with various computers and electronic devices bending them to fit my needs, experimenting, and even destroying them to see how they worked.
This curiosity naturally led to me wanting to explore how software was created. Up until my first computer science class in high school, I thought it to be magic, and once I learned that creating software was no more than entering commands into my terminal, I was hooked. After building tons of games, websites, and “apps”, in high school, it was only natural for me to pursue a computer science (CS) degree in college.
It was in college that I found the entrepreneurial spirit. My first “Startup” was a Christian jewelry website called jewelry4christians.com. Fun fact: I tried to call it JesusBling.com however Ashley quickly vetoed that name. We drop-shipped items like purity necklaces and true love waits rings. I built all of the software myself and this website helped fund most of my college career.
The iPhone Changed My Life
From here, I would move on to building and selling software related products until my senior year of college. That’s when Apple first announced the iPhone App Store. I jumped on the bandwagon very early in building apps for the iPhone. During this time, I was hired by a company out of Portland Oregon and was allowed to work remotely (in my underwear if I wanted). This was Ashley and mine’s first taste of what is was like to be able to travel around and still make money. During my stent at this company, we would travel all over the US to places like Portland, Colorado Springs, LA, Destin, etc… (by plane mostly, and some by vehicle) while I still worked on the road. This was however a full time 40 hour/week gig.
After 5 years at the company, I would be laid off without warning just before Christmas in December 2012. You can read the full story here if you are interested. This was the day I decided to found my company Pixegon (and our current main source of income). It’s a software consultancy where other companies hire us to create their iPhone and Android Apps.
Currently, we have a team of roughly 5-10 engineers (varies because they are all contractors and they fluctuate with the workload). This allows me to focus on “sales” which really means grabbing coffee/beers/lunch/phone calls with folks once or twice a week.
Starting my own company has been one of the greater joys in my life (besides family of course) and we are so blessed to be in a position where I can still work from the road having most of my time available to be with the family. I usually work between 15-20 hours/week which leaves plenty of time for adventures.
How She (Ashley) Makes Money
Ashley has known since before I married her that she wanted to stay at home with our children. I know this is cliche to say, but she truly does have the most challenging albeit rewarding job on the planet. When Ashley is not schooling the kids, making dinner, cleaning up, doing wood work, hosting dinners, scheduling mom groups, scheduling field trips (you get it), she’s building her own business.
Ashley has a knack for people. She gets along with everyone that she encounters and she’s a natural leader. This has allowed her to transition very well into building a brand around our family and our adventures. If you don’t already know from reading this blog, Ashley also runs a successful Instagram account called Trebventure.
Over the years, Ashley has been able to turn this hobby into something much greater. She learned photography, editing, videography, marketing, etc… to create consistent content and build the account to something that actually generates revenue as well as provides us with free or discounted experiences. She intends on doing a blog series on how she did/is doing this in the future, so make sure to subscribe to our email list to be notified when that comes out.
She is also in the process of building up this blog and detailing everything about our travel and experiences going forward.
How Others Make Money
While our path to being able to earn an income on the road might not be the same as yours, we have had the privilege of talking to many other tiny dwellers / full time families and have learned how many of them earn a living. Here are just a few of the “occupations” we have seen.
- Blogger/Youtuber/Instagramer (this one is obvious)
- Insurance claims processor
- Financial Planner / advisor
- Web Developer / Freelancer
- Estsy shop owner
- Social Media Account Manager
- Cosmetologist (there is such a thing as “bus hair”)
- Welder (they move around from job to job)
- Fisherman / Boat Charters
- Drone Pilot
- Freelance Writer
- Camp Host
These are just a few off the top of my head. We have met hundreds of folks from all walks of life with all sorts of interesting occupations. The point of the above is whatever you love to do for a living, chances are there is a way to do it remotely and from the road. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave them below. We would love to hear from you.
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