Sometimes circumstances outside of your control can be the catalyst to finally make the step to becoming an expat.
For Ron Perry the 2008 economic crisis forced him to downsize his web design business and think about how he could run his operations while being location independent. Influenced by The Four Hour Workweek Ron made a conscious choice to reorganize his life and in 2010 he headed abroad setting up shop in Chiang Mai Thailand.
In this interview he talks about the challenges of setting up a bricks and mortar bar in Chiang Mai, the online tools that have helped him build his web design business https://egnite.biz/ to being 10 times bigger than it was before he left and the excitement he gets from living in his new location of Tel Aviv, Israel – and why it’s not as dangerous as most people think.
What I learned from Ron’s interview:
- Tel Aviv, Israel is safe. Sure you have to be a little more cautious than other parts of the world but he is comfortable in that environment and has not encountered any problems during his time there. If you’re looking for a bargain lifestyle though Israel isn’t it – with many of the costs being comparable or higher than the United States.
- If you’re planning on opening a bricks and mortar business in Thailand you need to be patient, with paperwork issues and various business “fines” being the order of the day. You may find an easier way to make a living!
- If you’re thinking of becoming remotely connected to your business there is so many tools available that can help and are easy to use. Ron uses online services from mail forwarding to file sharing, project management platforms to communication websites that have enabled him to grow his business substantially while removing himself from being caught up in the middle of the process.
- If you do become a cloud based business you might need to rethink your marketing strategy. Ron went from having a team of on the ground sales people to working with affiliates who were able to promote his services in return for a percentage fee. The result was a much better return on his investment in generating sales.
- Don’t tell yourself you can’t do something – ask yourself how it can be done. Ron used this approach with much of the challenges he faced when moving overseas and always managed to work through a solution. Asking the right questions can make all the difference!