Big thanks to Dan Andrews (@TropicalMBA) over at Tropical MBA for letting me re-post his super insightful comments about the evolving landscape of what it means, and the advantages of, being a location independent entrepreneur, particularly in Asia. I loved the way he articulated the changes and advantages of living and running your business overseas. Succinct, to the point, and powerful.
If you’re at all curious about, or considering pursuing a location independent business, but are struggling with naysayers, doubts, and uncertainties, read this and show it to people who have no faith. It is getting easier (and arguably cheaper) every year to get up and move overseas for short- or long-term, whether you’re a retiree, a fresh college grad, or mid-career in a transition and want a new experience.
The world has changed a lot since I first stepped off of a plane and onto a motorbike to trek around Vietnam. (Nearly ten years ago – yikes!)
For a bit of perspective, YouTube didn’t even exist yet and Pluto was still a planet.
But more importantly, Skype was just a fledgling pet project, and “high speed” internet was a relative term.
So we bounced between hostels and internet cafes, using calling cards and shaky net connections to try to stay in touch with the world back home.
Forget doing business!
No wonder we thought the Navy and big corporate jobs were the only way for kids like us to see the world.
Looking at the way Ian and I live now, it’s almost hard to believe – we stay in furnished apartments and long-term hotels, can get a high-quality line to anyone in the world from our (unlocked) iPhones, and coordinate a team of dozens of people spread across multiple continents…from our laptops.
And here’s the craziest part: while the technology that supports us gets more powerful every year, the cost of this lifestyle is getting cheaper all the time.
In fact, I think most of the people I know in SEA are actually spending LESS than they’d be spending in the West, and the quality of living per dollar can’t compare.
PayPal freed us from a paycheck, Skype turned a monstrous long-distance bill into petty cash, and now AirBNB has slashed the cost of living well on the road – not to mention cutting out expensive rental agencies and days of apartment hunting.
I went into a lot more detail about this on the blog this week, but all of this begs the question: why go home?
Last week I was in Saigon, this week I’m in Italy, but if I didn’t tell anyone, they’d never know – the business keeps chugging along uninterrupted.
I won’t pretend to know what the next ten years will bring in terms of the tech that’ll be available to us, but there are a few things I’m sure of:
This lifestyle is going to keep getting cheaper, it’s going to keep getting easier, and more people are going to start wondering if this career path isn’t just viable, but better than what’s available to them back home.