So if you have spent anytime on the blog-o-sphere or entrepreneurship reading corner (The 4-Hour Workweek, The Millionaire Fastlane
etc) looking for a life of swashbuckling adventure travel and exotic foreign babes you might have come across the term Location Independence – a lifestyle term aimed at pursuit of being able to live anywhere in the world and make money independent of one’s location. The jury seems to be in on this one being the Holy Grail for those who wish to have a flexible overseas lifestyle – the question becomes what kind of location independent jobs are there . There are some who have started from scratch, and built this lifestyle and have the clout to back up what they have achieved, especially in a relatively short period of time (seanogle.com). Others, who are proponents of this lifestyle, also hype that it is achievable, but when you look at the paper trail of their success, you can see that their success is predicated on selling you the idea of its attainment if you buy their “ebook” for $19.95. Usually any type of ebook sold in this space sells you advice you can find for free online (if you have the patience to wade through the bullshit and gimmicky sales pitches along the way), but compiles the information for you in a easier to find, more digestible way. Whether the guy doling out this advice is the real McCoy or just some guy in a robe living in his parents basement playing World of Warcraft is anyone’s guess – I have not been shy about discussing the copious amount of swindlers and shysters that are out there. Likewise, most advice that is oriented around Location Independence, seems to steer people to the “make money online” frenzy by selling others people shit online vis-a-vis affiliate marketing (*note the books mentioned above and how when you click them it takes you to Amazon where a small commission is dealt to the shepherd who led you there (me)). There are also groups of hustlers, entrepreneurs, and people who live overseas and build real businesses (tropicalMBA.com) and really are at the forefront of doing some amazing and innovative things that would not have been possible to do independently before the dawn of the Internet 2.0.
I think Location Independence is a worthwhile pursuit and lives up to the hype as a means of achieving a certain amount of freedom, but I don’t think it is for everybody (or even most people) or the only way to go about creating or doing something meaningful overseas. Frankly, it is utterly impressive and humbling to see some of the online communities/businesses people have created through their own hard work, but there isn’t just one path on the march to overseas travel-adventure-lifestyle or being a bum on the beach. One of the reasons I started this blog was to do different jobs around the world – some that are just for fun and the experience while others can actually make money – and show that there are variety of ways to hustle and still make ends meet by pursuing something that is exciting for you. It seems to me that it is vitally more important to love (*enjoy/like/not want to kill your co-workers daily) your work than to solely focus on doing work you can do anywhere in the world. Corbert Barr (no relation) composed an interesting list of different Location Independent jobs that shows a broad spectrum of different things you can do. As a person with ADD and a desire to start my own businesses, I myself am intrigued by the idea of Location Independence and all the online hubbub, but try to temper that enthusiasm with my usual tall glass of skepticism. I think there are lot of other overseas opportunities and experiences to have if you don’t mind having people tell you what to do and wear, want a more unique travel experience rather than just getting plastered at your resort on your next vacation, or if like me, you are not naturally endowed with online/computer skills and don’t necessarily want to be plugged into the matrix 24-7.
In the coming months, I will dive more into my attempts to grow my Location Independent copy-editing biz (its success or laughable failure – either/or – it will be funny), dabble with some exporting (hopefully), shed some light on others who I have met while overseas who are doing interesting jobs that I have no intention of ever doing yet might be of interest to you (scuba diving instructor, boat crew for the rich and famous), and continue to fill my internal void and cynically rant about how everyone around me is a complete moron. Stay tuned. Or not, it is cool.