I've run my company while on a three-week hike to the base camp of Mount Everest. How many people can say that?
The ability to run my own company from anywhere in the world is entirely thanks to the freelancers who helped me build my website.
In Silicon Valley, hiring full-time programmers would have cost me $600,000.
It was too expensive, because I was self-funded. I didn't want to resort to funding from investors, because I wanted to be my own boss.
I turned to Elance instead and found great programmers in Romania and Russia to do it for $37,000.
It took six months longer than I'd expected, and there were some challenges. My Romanian team disappeared unexpectedly, then they later told me August is a vacation season there. There were also language issues, and I sometimes had to resort to making drawings to explain the website changes I wanted.
But I loved it. Ultimately, it saved me lots of money. I keep hiring the occasional freelancer to improve my site.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story included The Marketing Zen Group and CEO Shama Kabani. It incorrectly identified her employees as freelancers. The company maintains a virtual office and employees work from home. However, they are not independent contractors, and Kabani does indeed pay taxes on their labor.