The man who launched his business from a van
Conrad Lelubre built his home on wheels so he could have the freedom to work and live from anywhere. He shares the story of how he launched his company from the mountains in Greece.
Conrad doesn’t see himself living in a fixed place or city. Ever since he started living in a van with his girlfriend and cat, he hasn’t considered settling down in one place. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but with the strong will to work from anywhere, it was the obvious choice for Conrad. “I didn’t have everything I needed in the beginning. I didn’t have a job, nor the knowledge or skills to build a van. I had this goal of freedom that encouraged me to start something completely new.” says Conrad.
Conrad worked as an engineer for ten years then, at the age of 29, he decided he needed change. He wanted to reshape his life and find something that would give him the most value from his time. With his entrepreneurial spirit and aspiration to be his own boss, Conrad founded Intellifox - an app providing tools for sellers on Amazon. “I started working on the software in France, continued in Italy, and launched it in the mountains of Greece during the coronavirus pandemic.” says Conrad. “During the development phase I spent a lot of time working with a handful of people through Whereby”. His company now helps over 200 French based sellers on Amazon.
Although Conrad is the only employee in his business, he never feels lonely. “In my work I’m by myself but I’m not alone, I’m never alone.” says Conrad. “I have a German mentor who I meet every week and a distributor in France who helps sell my software to a large community so I’m approached all the time.” Although he doesn’t mind being alone, he shares the van with his girlfriend and their 14-year-old cat.
Living in a van does have its limitations when it comes to separating work and personal time. Conrad and his girlfriend make sure they cook and eat their meals together, and find time to explore wherever they visit. “We have road bikes in the van, so whenever we can, we go out and discover the areas with our bikes” says Conrad. “But sometimes it’s difficult to switch off from work. The space is the same in the van, but I force myself to either read a book or watch a show to switch off from work”.
The benefits of living in a van definitely outweigh the negatives for Conrad. And staying connected with the rest of the world certainly wasn’t an issue. “We have a 4G antenna on the roof and a 4G modem inside the van. It’s wonderful and works everywhere, even in the mountains of Greece, it’s crazy!” says Conrad. “We are also 100% autonomous. We have solar panels on the roof for all our electricity and we never run out. The cost of living is so low I am able to take more risks as an entrepreneur as well”. The only downside Conrad could mention was finding water and a toilet. “But that’s one hour a week so I don’t even think about it”.
Theme parks and biking areas are what takes the three of them to their next destination. They didn’t know they liked theme parks until they visited Phantasialand in Germany. Since then they have been traveling to places near theme parks. But the greatest part about living in a van is the freedom to spend winter in the south and summer in the north.
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