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Episode 123. What It Actually Takes to Create the Laptop Lifestyle with Amanda Kolbye

Episode 123. What It Actually Takes to Create the Laptop Lifestyle with Amanda Kolbye

Cait: Hello and welcome to today’s episode of The Born To Rise podcast. I am so excited to bring to you today the one and only laptop lifestyle Queen, Amanda Kolbye. Amanda, thank you so much for being here on the show.

Amanda: Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to get to speak to your audience today. 

Cait: First of all, where in the world are you? I feel you’re Carmen San Diego.

Amanda: That’s literally the first question everyone asked me whenever they hopped on a call with me. And today we have an interesting location. Actually, I’m in Albania currently. But I’ve been traveling around Europe the past couple of months. 

Cait: I literally can’t keep up with you. One minute you were in Greece, you’re in Santorini, you’re in Athens, you’re in freakin Rome. You’re in Venice. I love it. It’s so amazing. 

Well, this is one of the things that I think is so beautiful about you and what you offer and what you show so many entrepreneurs is possible is this ability to run a mega-successful business. You have scaled from zero to near seven figures in what? A year and a half, two years? You’ve done it basically living out of a suitcase traveling all the freaking time. It’s just it’s so incredible. 

I guess I want to start with how you, first of all, envisioned this possible for yourself, I would love for you to take us back. Because I know you work with a lot of women who are getting themselves set up. Some of them are leaving their nine to five or thinking about leaving their nine to five and the ability to do what you do, hop from country to country and just have this rich, beautiful cultural experience all the time feels super far out of reach. But it wasn’t that long ago that you were in that exact same corporate grind. So can you take us back to how it all started for you?

How The Envisioned Dream Wasn’t Reality

Amanda: Absolutely. So I started this coaching business, like you said two years ago. So it’s such a testament to just how quickly things can change when you really go all in, as cliche as that might sound. But basically, I was in a corporate job, random IT sales job. Nothing I’d gotten my degree for, but out of college, and I scaled really quickly. By the age of 24, I was making well over six figures. 

The reason I mentioned this in why it’s relevant to the story is because I’d gotten promoted. I was making a really good salary, all these things. And it just hit me. I was like this is the American dream that people chase their whole lives for. Here I am 24, haven’t checked off all these boxes. It was so not what it was supposed to be right. I was just like, this can’t be it. 

So very quickly, I decided I had to get out. And for being a type a person for all my type A people out there, I had no plan. I had no clue what to do. I always tell people, the literal only two things that I knew were that I wanted to be my own boss, I wanted to work online, I didn’t want to be limited by location by how much money I could earn any of those things. I wanted to live abroad. That was it. I had zero business idea. I had no clue what I was doing. I had no background in this. 

I quit, sold all my stuff and moved to Thailand. That’s where this whole crazy entrepreneurship journey began. So really, when you go back to your original question of what did I envision? I really honestly didn’t know fully what I envisioned. It was really genuinely more of this feeling of freedom, that nothing could hold me down. But the actual definition of the vision the clarity of the vision was still honestly a huge question mark. I want to emphasize that because so many people hold themselves back because they can’t clearly see the exact thing that they want. But oftentimes what you want I wanted freedom, and you don’t have to know how to get there in order to start getting it. Does that make sense?

Cait: Oh my god so much sense. I actually love that you said that and relate to that. So so much we hear, paint your vision and everything will fall in line. And so much of the time it’s motivated by hang on, I don’t want this. There has to be something more and I just think it’s so amazing. I love hearing this part of your story of being this 24-year-old climbing the ladder, supposedly was at the top of your game, crushing it, earning six figures as a 24-year-old and you’re like, Mmm, hang on. This isn’t what makes me happy. 

Emulating The Value Of Your Brand 

The other thing I really am hearing in that and just want to emphasize is the importance of really knowing what you value. You’ve just emphasized so beautifully that okay, cool, yes, I want to be not limited whatsoever in the amount of money that I can make and where I need to be. But my core value here is freedom. I think that that is so beautiful the way that you have held that value so front and center. It’s become this centerpiece of your brand, which is not only fueled the success that you have in this completely dreamy lifestyle that you now lead. But it also really forms how you serve other women.

Amanda: Yeah, exactly. I do travel full time, I have a brand that’s very tied to this laptop lifestyle because that’s what makes me happy. I genuinely could not imagine my life any other way. It may change down the road, who knows. But I the word freedom as the core foundation, not only of my values, but what I represent what I’m all about. Because it’s so not much about traveling the world, you can travel the world and be miserable. I’ve actually been there. 

It’s about freedom of choice. It’s about freedom of your day to day, of creativity. Honestly, in the beginning, it was about the freedom to make a freaking doctor’s appointment, and not have my boss come down my throat even when I was doing well. So I think that’s really the core reason why I wanted to start a business was genuinely just freedom of choice.

Cait: I love that so much. I wasn’t in corporate but I was a teacher and I remember going out for a dentist appointment or a doctor’s appointment of being like, wait, the world operates outside of school during these hours? During a weekday? What’s going on? But I just I love that so much freedom of choice freedom to make your own decisions. 

I feel this is such a perfect segue into the push-pull thing that happens when we feel this expanse of moving in the direction of desire or feeling what’s possible for us. There is a ton of mindset drama, I feel that comes, a tidal wave right after that, of what if I’m not able to do this, or this feels really scary, or wait a minute, hang on, I have a cozy six-figure salary and a 401k with my employer and health insurance. Why would I choose this much riskier path? 

I’m curious about two things. One how you navigated and came into a different relationship with that fear? And then secondly, how you support your clients, who are brave women, who are wanting to build something extraordinary, who I’m sure grapple with this same mindset, struggle and fear how you support them to lean into what they want?

How To Adjust The Mindset Around Becoming An Entrepreneur

Amanda: This is honestly such a good question. I think if you are listening to this episode, and you are a new entrepreneur, I just want your ears to perk up right now. Because every new entrepreneur thinks that they need this roadmap or something. They’re just like, literally tell me what to do. Tell me where to find the client. I’ll do it. I’ll do it. Just tell me what to do. It’s super interesting. 

I literally just did an interview with two of my students from my program. And in their reflection, their mindset was the biggest thing that I didn’t know I needed. And it’s 100% hands down the thing that’s made the biggest difference. 

So just before I say anything, I really want your ears to be perked up here. So I had so much fear. I think that’s one thing that you hear my little intro story and you’re like, Oh, that’s cool for her, she quit this job sold her things. But y’all, I was freaking terrified. I was told that I was crazy.  they were like, good luck. I’ll see you in a year when you’re back from your little fun travel. 

There Is No Other Option But Success

I always knew from the beginning, there is no other option. So this is one mindset to really step into. In my mind, genuinely, there was no other option but for me to succeed. I think this is a really hard mindset to step into, especially when you don’t know what success even looks for you. When you’re forced to step forward, when the fear is still present and when the unknown is basically the only thing in front of you. 

But basically, I always break it down to this is what I knew and what I had in front of me. I had the corporate job. I had the stable life that everyone else was living. I knew that that was very clear and apparent. I also knew that I could always come back to that. Would it be the same corporate job? I don’t know. Who knows. But there are plenty of corporate jobs out there that would have taken me back. So it became this tipping point where I finally decided that despite the fear, and that’s the keyword there despite the fear, I knew what I had, I knew I could come back and I knew I owed it to myself to at least try. Genuinely, that finally was the tipping point to propel me to move forward. But the fear was present every single step of the way.

Cait: I love that. I think that’s so important because so many people feel like, oh, I’m just following my intuition, or I’m following what feels good. If we feel or experience fear, that can send the signal of Oh, I must be on the wrong track. But I love so much what you’re saying, which is no, actually fear is a sign that you’re on the right track.

Leaning Into Fear

Amanda: Exactly. You mentioned that terminology of leaning into the fear. And a lot of times, the fear is really telling you what, what you desire. And so whatever you’re afraid of most, it probably feels very overwhelming, it feels probably really scary, because it’s probably big, right? Especially once you have a business and you’re investing or taking risks in the way that you’re marketing or even just starting the business. 

If it doesn’t scare you, I promise you, it’s not big enough. It’s not big enough to create a change. I think you have to almost go back to it. You can’t expect to sit in your day-to-day and all of your priorities, all of your actions to be the same and all of a sudden your life will now be the reality of living in Bali with a six-figure business, right? Things are drastically going to have to change. 

In order for you to grow, in order for you to get out of that comfort zone, you have to step into things that are going to be new. And that’s where the fear comes in. If you’re wanting to step into this journey, I want to really encourage you to actually lean into and listen to that fear. And also challenge the fear. Because a lot of times it holds a lot of power over us when it’s vague. When it’s just like, oh I’m afraid I’m gonna fail. Well, what does that even mean? What does that actually look like? What are you actually afraid of there? Because in my mind, I was like, Well, if I fail, I’m basically living what failure looks like to me right now. If I fail, I come back to the nine to five. So I think that can be a really helpful tip as well.

Cait: I love that really reevaluating what the worst-case scenario is that our brain is freaking out . about. Okay, if I fail, cool, I spend my days in a cubicle again. The alternative is what spending some money taking a leap, doing something I haven’t done before. I just love that so much, Amanda, and it’s so helpful to hear you take us through that thought process. And also I feel so permission-giving in space creating to just hear your story. 

I think a lot of the times people see bios or snippets of somebody like you who’s built a massively successful business, this incredible life. We think Wow, she just has it made. But I just I really appreciate the way that you’re taking us through step by step, moment by moment, mindset tweak by mindset tweak of what’s enabled you to do this. You didn’t get a free pass to bypass the fear or the risks or the uncertainty. You really change the way that you relate to those things to create the success that you now have.

Allowing Your Mindset To Be Unstoppable

Amanda: Exactly. I think with mindset, mindset is always gonna be something. It’s never a box you can check off, right? It’s very similar to working out, you got to maintain it in order for it to keep you healthy. So this one word that has always been just really powerful for me, and I hope you guys feel the same about it is this word: unstoppable. 

I really tie this mostly to mindset. Because for a while, I viewed unstoppable as this forward momentum, and you’re plowing forward, and you’re doing all the things. And in reality, we actually just had a conversation that reminded me of how I view that the other day. But being unstoppable is more so being unshakable, it’s being so solid and grounded in you, and knowing who you are and what you desire, that no matter what comes your way, because things will come your way. We’re not trying to avoid those, right? But no matter what comes your way, you can stay strong. 

That’s really what you have to learn to embody. This is mostly from a mindset perspective as an entrepreneur because you’re going to fail, there are going to be ups and downs. There’s going to be so much stuff that you never even expected that you’re going to have to uncover and deal with. When you have this mindset of being unstoppable, of knowing your success is inevitable. It literally lights a fire inside of you of I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I don’t know what business I’m starting. I don’t know how to do this launch plan, whatever it is, but how do I move forward? How am I going to figure it out? And knowing that certainty that you will.

Cait: I love that so much. That distinction between unstoppable being this just boulder was in energy to unstoppable being just unshakable faith in yourself in the process and knowing that you have everything that you need to figure it out as you go. I love that so much. 

How To Stay Grounded While Traveling Full Time

I want to switch gears here for a minute. Can you just take us through a day in the life of Amanda Kolbye? Because listen, girl, I travel quite a bit as well. And doing that this year, especially with Ella, I came back from Australia just desperate. I was like, give me a house, give me a lease, give me a mortgage, give me a closet, give me an underwear drawer. Please just give me some freaking stability. It’s hard running a business while traveling full time. 

I’m curious about some of the things that you do to keep yourself grounded to keep your brain on straight. How do you even know what currency you’re using? What are some of the expert pro travel hacks for all of our listeners who are just post this pandemic stuff and wanting to travel again, or wanting to think about bringing their business on the road or to another country, but are really concerned about staying profitable, staying productive while also traveling, and you’re such a pro at that. So what have you found to be really helpful for you?

Amanda: Yeah, this is always such a funny, fun topic. It’s challenging. I am not going to sugarcoat it for you guys. It can be challenging to travel. And it also depends on the pace you’re traveling. So if you’re hopping around city after city week after week, that’s a lot harder than what I normally do, which is I go to a new country, and I live there for two to three months, which I found is a really good sweet spot for being able to establish a good routine in a place and have downtime. 

But as far as balancing, just myself, my sanity, my productivity, one thing is you have to have good systems. I love systems myself, but even if I didn’t, I can’t exist without systems without support of some kind like my team. Without really having a calendar, knowing exactly what I’m sitting down to do every day, I know, it might seem very simple, but I’m able to wake up in no matter what table I’m sitting at, no matter what country and I’m able to zone in just based on everything on my computer. My computer is my world. I’ll look at doing X, Y, and Z. 

This also took honestly a lot of training in the beginning, it threw me off to be in different environments a lot more. I genuinely think this is a little bit of a personality thing, as well as you have to tap into learning what environments and where you derive your energy from and how to also protect that. So my partner functions very differently than me and he and I have to find different needs to fulfill and the locations we’re at. He has to have a much more stable work environment. So he always finds a co working space wherever we are. 

We determine where we’re going to travel and we look at these things ahead of time because you have to prioritize the business. If this is your income, this is your livelihood. So it’s learning how to mash and it takes a bit of extra effort, the business and the travel. The last little tip I want to mention is finding ways to ground yourself that are consistent when your environment is no longer consistent. So a lot of times we naturally grow up in a consistent environment where you go through the same routines. You make your coffee in the kitchen and yada yada yada. You derive a lot of stability and comfortability from that. For me without having that, I have little things my yoga mat that I carry with me. I’m not even the biggest yoga person but I really enjoy it just as a way to stretch and calm myself. So when I’m on my yoga mat and no matter what apartment it’s in, it’s me and the mat. It’s the same mat and it’s my same routine. So it’s finding ways to be consistent with yourself as well as be adaptable based on your energy. Does that make sense?

Cait: Oh my god, so much sense. I really loved those really practical examples and something as small as a yoga travel mat. It’s so funny. I feel that was really helpful for me, honestly, as well. The instant thing that it made me think about is one of the things as a parent that I was researching a lot before we did this big trip to Australia, and we moved around literally more than two dozen times sleeping in different places while we were there, is how to create some consistency and routine for Ella because they say that’s really important as a kid and so many of the things that you’re saying for yourself as an adult are so applicable. 

You might not be in the same room, but can you read the same book every night? It’s like, Oh, right, I get to do that as a grown as human as well. So that was so insightful. I didn’t even think about that. But I love that reminder of those same grounding practices, bringing some semblance of routine and normalcy, even when your environment is changing, and knowing what you need as well. I love that example of how you and Zack need different things and you make decisions as you’re on the go to support that. So valuable, Amanda, thank you so much for that. 

Where To Start As A New Entrepreneur

One of the big questions in the mind of a lot of new entrepreneurs is okay, cool, I need to get over the fear. I need to realize that it’s possible for me, but how do I start? You obviously have tons of amazing programs that literally answer that so in-depth. But I’m curious, just soundbite wise, what would you recommend for a newer entrepreneur, somebody who’s in the first year of their journey, or who is still in a nine to five dreaming about creating something that you’ve built? Where do you recommend that they start?

Amanda: Yeah, this is such a good question. I think you’re just bombarded as soon as you try and step into this with opinions and freebies, and all these different things. So what I always recommend, the very first thing before I can give you an action step is you need to limit your consumption to an extent. So I understand when you’re in the beginning, that you’re trying to learn all this stuff, you’re trying to figure it out. 

But most new entrepreneurs create so much overwhelm that they literally paralyze themselves. They hear from Sally and Susie to do 50 different million things, they feel they need to do it all and you’re literally hindering yourself from being able to move forward and making it more complicated. So I would recommend choosing three to five people max. Because I understand you want to learn or that you see so and so as inspiring, that you’ve come to value their opinion. I know this is gonna be really hard to block the other people. But listen to just them in order to start to make more sense of the pieces of information you’re bringing in. 

The next thing that I’m going to say is a mantra that’s been adopted by my community is pick and stick. So this can be applied to so many things. But especially in the beginning, pick and stick an idea. It does not have to be the thing you want to do for the rest of your life. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to have this million dollar plan or vision attached to it. But there’s so much value in you just getting into this space, getting your feet wet, getting experience, opening new opportunities, and so often thinking harder. 

You are not going to be able to figure out anything else. You normally have to take one or two steps and all of a sudden, you can see around the corner. So stop trying to figure it out. Pick one thing, stick with it and move forward. To give you an example of this. When I first moved abroad, I was a mess, y’all. I was a mess. For six months, I was trying drop shipping. I tried to learn Facebook ads. I tried to be a vlogger and all of this different stuff. I was trying everything I got literally nowhere for six months, until I did this exact thing. 

Why Going All In Doesn’t Mean You’re Stuck Forever

I limited who I listened to I picked and stick and I decided to do design. Did I have a design background? No. I learned on YouTube and I put myself out there but I stuck with it. I ended up booking out my design business within my first week made over 5k my first month and continued scaling from there. Eventually I decided hey, this isn’t what I want to do. But by me picking and sticking and moving forward I created a foundation and authority for me to step into the coaching space. That was actually how I started the coaching business. So those are honestly the two most important things and then last very quickly tangible steps I’ll give you is get visible on social media somehow. People can’t buy from you if they don’t know you. Just have one thing that you’re selling at a minimum and that’s what you need to get those first couple clients.

Cait: Oh my god I love it so much. So helpful. Put on the blinders, stop over-consuming, pick and stick and get visible. so freaking helpful. I also really love that you just shared Okay, cool. I went all in on design. I did that and I stuck with it. Then it was time to move on and then it no longer fit. 

That was another piece that I think can really stop a lot of new entrepreneurs. I remember when I launched my coaching business. I was launching and I called myself a radiant living coach and I’m like, I want to be a radiant living coach for the rest of my life. I didn’t have to know that now I would be just coaching women business owners to get started. I think that the ability to pivot is always going to be there. I really love that you highlight that that doubling down committing going all in on the thing doesn’t mean that you’re stuck there forever. That’s what you need to get off the ground to really get going. And then once you’ve got that base, that foundation from there, you can change your mind if you want to.

Amanda: Right and this honestly even goes back to what we were talking about in the beginning with some of these mindset pieces. The main desire, the freedom of choice was the main thing I wanted. It’s typically what it boils down to most people wanting, but also remembering that you already possess the freedom of choice. So every single day that you wake up, even when you don’t make a decision, you’re choosing something. And so how this becomes really powerful at this point as well is, I think we’re afraid to pick something because we’re afraid of it being wrong, or we’re afraid of getting stuck or being cornered. You literally cannot be stuck because you possess the power of choice. 

So if I choose a design, and I go all in, and three days later, I’m like, Oh, I don’t want to do design anymore. Guess what? I get the freedom of choice to change that. I can literally say, Hey you know what? No. Can we talk strategy of how to best do that or this or that? Sure. But at the end of the day, that’s what it boils down to is you already possess that.

Cait: So good. Amanda, I love this so much. One of the questions that I always ask on this show which is all about rising, and what it takes to rise is if you can describe for us a time that in building this business, and I always laughed at myself when I asked this question because it’s like, there’s probably about 7000, but a time you experienced a failure or things blew up, or things didn’t go in the way that you want and how you not just dusted yourself off, not just how you bootstraped, but how you really shifted things both internally and externally to be in that unshakable energy, as you phrase it so beautifully and to rise from that?

Pulling Back To Rise Up

Amanda: Immediately, I’m like, yeah, which example do we want to talk about? No, but I think what I’m feeling called to share about that is last year, my business grew very, very quickly, my first year. And while that’s a blessing, it also came with a lot of growing pains, too. I ended up burning out really, really hard at the end of last year, because I was just going, going, going, I was just doing all of the things. 

All of a sudden, my team started crumbling, my office started crumbling everything just felt like it was crumbling around me. It was a really hard lesson for me to learn. I won’t even say I’m perfect at it now. But I had to learn how to slow down to speed up. And that’s still rising. When you slow down in order to take care of yourself and re-energize yourself and look at who do I need to be at that next level? Because it’s not just a journaling prompt. It’s not just, okay, great. Let me go hire the next coach and do the next launch strategy and this and that. Sometimes you have to pull back and sometimes that’s the absolute hardest way to be able to rise.

Cait: I love that. So, so freaking powerful. I just really appreciate that honesty of burnout. I think that’s something that so many entrepreneurs really struggle with, and to know that you are able to reevaluate when that hits and make the shifts needed to get in a better space. It’s really important to hear that successful people experienced that. You’re always, again, just coming back to this beautiful theme in this conversation. You have the freedom to change, you have the freedom to make shifts that are going to support you.

Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. Your success is inevitable every step of the way. It’s something I still have to remind myself of, through the ups and the downs. When you burn out, when you slow down, hopefully you don’t burn out. But through all of those different things, just remembering that you’re unstoppable and that your success is inevitable.

Cait: Oh my god, I love that. Well, I feel you just answered my last question, which is if you were to leave our listeners with one nugget of advice, one nugget of support on their journey of rising what would that be?

Amanda: I would just say you want what you want for a reason. Not everyone wants what you want. So just do yourself the service, you owe it to yourself to go after whatever it is what you want, no matter how cheesy that sounds. I just want to give you an example of this. When I first started my business, I literally thought every single person who started the business only started an online business to travel the world. Hhere I am one of the few people I know with big online businesses that travels full time. So it’s really just leaning into and really owning what you want. And again, just going after it.

Cait: Oh my god, so beautiful. Amanda, thank you so much for your time today for so much value that you’ve shared with our community here. Tell us where we can keep up with you and your signature program Laptop Lifestyle Bootcamp is launching right now, isn’t it? 

Amanda: Yeah. So Laptop Lifestyle Bootcamp is my signature group coaching program for new entrepreneurs in order to lay six-figure foundations and scale to 5k months. So we help both aspiring entrepreneurs who literally just have an idea ,as well as those who are in that first year of business and stuck in the freelancer cycle one client after one client, really learn how to run a business. Because so many people, they learn how to be a VA or a designer and they learn the literal skill you’re going to offer. But so many people don’t take the time to actually learn how to build a brand and market yourself and sell and all of these things that are going to propel you forward. I always describe this skill that you’re going to learn as being a business owner as a part of being unstoppable. Because no matter what business you decide to start, no matter what skill you offer, you have to learn how to run a business. So anyway, that’s what our group program is all about. It’s a mix of trainings, templates, and group coaching. I’m there with you every single day. And you can check out more information about this at and we are currently enrolling. 

Cait: Oh my god so good. Well, I’m just gonna say it, I literally can’t remember the last time that I’ve endorsed somebody else’s program. But I am so happy that you’re talking about this right now. For our audience members, we get so many inquiries of Cait, what do you have for new entrepreneurs? And that’s not really the demographic that I serve. Most of my programs are for more advanced stage entrepreneurs. So I am so happy that you are talking about this and for anybody in the community who is thinking about starting a business or who is in that early stage of business looking for a program I just I really can’t recommend anybody more highly than you Amanda so definitely check that out. We’re gonna put the links in the show notes. And I’m sure people can DM you on Instagram if they have any questions.

Amanda: Yes, absolutely. I promise I’m exactly me. In real life, I will shoot you a voice note back and you can reach me at Amanda Kolbye on Instagram.

Cait: Beautiful so so good. And tell us where else we can stay connected with you. So you’ve got AmandaKolbye on Instagram. Where else are you putting out all that juicy content?

Amanda: Yeah, so my website is The other main places you can get some more juicy trainings and stuff is my YouTube channel, as well as my podcast and my youtube channel is my name Amanda Kolbye and my podcast is Laptop Lifestyle podcast.

Cait: So beautiful. Amanda, thank you so much for being on the show. 

Amanda: Thank you so much for having me.

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Hey, I'm Cait!

Boss mama, wife, and 7-figure CEO empowering women to build profitable, purpose-driven businesses that change the world.


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