August 13, 2007
Blog Entry

Live from Serbia! Is It Possible to Work as a Marketing Blogger From a Home Office Anywhere in the World?

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By Anne Holland, Content Director

Today, I write you from Sombor, Serbia, a mid-sized town a couple of hours from Belgrade. I have been planning the move since, well, perhaps since I was a young girl reading storybooks of world travel, but it's still all a bit of a shock.

Forty-odd years of dreaming, and now it's real.

I'm in a small home office about two blocks from downtown Sombor, where there are more bicycles than cars and local farmers come every day with fresh fruit and vegetables to market. My Internet line is great, if a bit spotty on occasion. My work phone line is great, if insanely expensive for calls back to America.

It's just like working from a home office in the US ... except for the six-hour time difference and utterly alien snacks at the supermarket. I'm already missing corn chips, hot sauce and Diet Pepsi.

How did all this come about? Well, first, back in late 1999 I founded MarketingSherpa. Then, I grew the company until it was too big for my taste. I was spending more time on HR, legal, accounting and IT than on researching and writing about what works in marketing. Arrgh! I wasn't cut out to be a company president.

On the cusp of this intense work frustration, my personal life was also transformed. Out of the blue, I met and became engaged to the man of my dreams, who just happened to be a former Yugoslavian.

Together, we agreed on a "deal." He would stand by and support me while I built the company into a solid-enough organization to be able to stand on its own without me ... and then I would sell to the best possible new management team and let them take over things. "Then," I promised, "we can live anywhere in the world you want us to live ... just as long as I have Internet access and I can still write."

And, that's pretty much just what happened. As you may recall, Sherpa was bought by MarketingExperiments' parent company a few months ago, with their management team combining with ours to form a stronger organization. While I'm still on staff as a writer and researcher, I have very thankfully relinquished operational duties.

Plus, now I can work from home anywhere in the world. So, here I am in Serbia through September, with weekend trips to Belgrade and Zadar, Croatia.

Then I'll be back in the States in October for the MarketingSherpa B-to-B Summits (my suits will probably feel very odd to wear for the first day or two). In November, we're moving to Pokhara, Nepal, for the winter. From there on, I'm not sure. Both Brazil and New Zealand have been touted as stars on the horizon.

I've always thought the Internet would make this new home-is-anywhere lifestyle possible. But, I've never actually experienced it. In practicality, will this work or will I dash screaming back to my home office in Rhode Island?

Only time will tell.

In the meanwhile, may all your dreams come true just as mine have.

Useful links related to this article

Wikipedia for Sombor:

Past blog written when visiting Zadar, Croatia:

MarketingSherpa B-to-B Summits

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