There comes a time in everyone’s life when we have to look in the mirror and acknowledge that we may have an addiction, whatever that is – thinking too much about something or someone, spending too much time at work, tinkering too long with a new car, obsessively collecting things, eating too much chocolate (guilty on 2 counts) … you name it.  In my case, I may be a laptop junkie.

As much as I criticize today’s culture for spending too much time in front of mobile devices instead of face to face conversation, I’m guilty of doing the same thing just on a larger screen and never on a date! My logic goes like this: does it really matter if I spend too much time on my laptop so long as I love it, I’m not hurting anyone and I’m helping people? An abuser can always rationalize their addiction.

TRACING THE PROBLEM

I’ll tell you how I came to be an addict. It began back in late July of this year. I’d been searching YouTube for motivational speakers like Tony Robbins and Robert Kiyosaki needing a boost of stimulation. I’d been feeling frustrated over real estate in my area not performing as robustly as it should. I needed inspiration on how to tackle our market, which is driven by what happens on Wall Street.

Since 2008, our values have taken a dive and the majority of properties that closed so far this year are at entry-level prices. To make matters worse, the number of newly licensed or out of town agents joining our association membership grows every year.  We now have over 1,000 realtors practicing in a market that is 50 square miles in size.  In 2015 only 811 properties sold in all categories.

So, as I was scrolling looking for a video that would motivate me, that’s when it happened.  I read a catchy title and watched an ad conveying a message to the effect of: create your dream life and never be tied to an office again, live the laptop freedom lifestyle.  Intrigued, I didn’t press the Skip Ad button.  I let it play all the way and by the end of 30 seconds, I was hooked.

FINDING THE ANSWER

Everything the video claimed is true.  The people in the ad are my mentors today and what they promised, they delivered:  challenging profession, new skills, excitement, freedom, rewards, transparency, passion, purpose and a supportive community.  They’re four partners, some of the most successful professionals I’ve ever known and they’re living the laptop freedom lifestyle.

I meet with them online once a week through Zoom or Facebook from wherever they are.  This week they’re in the Maldives, having just returned from Bali and Thailand.

Our Tuesday night meetings are an opportunity to ask them whatever is on my mind about digital marketing and to emulate what they do.

WORKING SMARTER

Wherever they go, their business does not skip a beat.  Neither does mine.  I’m traveling the months of December and February and thanks to the automated systems I’ve put into place, my business mostly runs itself.

While I wait for real estate to rebound, I’m growing an online business concurrently with any other interests.  I’ve spent the last few months learning how to create, edit and upload videos on my YouTube channel and placing ad campaigns using Veeroll. I can do this from my car, on a train or while taking a walk.

As part of my business, blogging gives me the opportunity to provide answers about online marketing, give direction and, like videos, it’s an opportunity to express myself.  I’ve learned to syndicate blogs making it much easier and faster to upload content on several social media platforms in one step.

By advertising on Bing, I’ve reached people online looking for solutions to their problems. They come from the U.S., United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, India, Philippines Australia, New Zealand, Poland and others.  Some searchers have become subscribers and others have joined my digital community.  As my mentors help me, I’m helping those that find me online.  And, while this is primarily an automated business system and it may seem impersonal to an outsider, through broadcasts and email follow-ups I can add the human touch to my communications with a large list of subscribers.

It’s hard to break away from my laptop when the analytics of my advertising campaigns reveal so much. I can see how many impressions I’m getting, in what markets, what ads are performing best, how many people are clicking through and what keywords are being triggered.  If I want to fine tune my ads, I can also set what time of day they appear, how quickly they show, and I can narrow down the demographics.

SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY

When I need new ideas or if I discover something that may help others, I share with my digital community. My laptop is a lifeline around the world.  It’s the tool of inspiration that I needed to get out of my professional doldrums.  But more importantly, a laptop business has given me a chance at a new career. I’ve learned skills that I can use anywhere and for just about any purpose. In the process, I’m helping others to discover freedom lifestyles and purposeful careers, the way I have.  When I look at it this way, I guess being a laptop junkie isn’t so bad.

Roxana Bowgen

Digital Marketing Strategist

LAPTOP FREEDOM EXPERTS

Author, Agapanthus Rising

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