Has it really been one year already?
One year ago today, I landed in Bali for the Tropical MBA Semester #3.
I am amazed at how quickly my life has moved in the past year:
- hung out with Dan and David in Bali – May
- volunteered for 2 weeks in the Philippines – June
- went to the first ever Dynamite Circle meet up in Puerto Gallera – June
- lived in Davao and fell in love – July
- saw amazing waterfalls – Aug
- went on boat adventures – Sept
- visited Singapore and Malaysia – Nov
When I went home to visit Pennsylvania in December, things were more or less the same as when I left. However, I had changed dramatically.
“If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, travel is a dangerous (but seductive) choice” – Dan A.
I sure had a blast going on travel adventures in 2011, but it wasn’t long before I realized that it was unsustainable in the long-term. If I wanted to make my location independent lifestyle last I needed to make some big changes.
When I returned to the Philippines in January until now I have made a concerted effort to baseline – cutting my expenses and distractions by moving to Tagum City with my girlfriend (about 1.5 hours outside Davao City).
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that building a lifestyle business is easy.
If you aren’t willing to sacrifice and put in a lot of hard work up front to build a solid base to support your lifestyle, it won’t be long before you end up like most backpackers who have to go home to work.
Sometimes you have to work on a Saturday night to meet a deadline for a client. Get used to it.
And in order to complete your work, you will have to put up with a lot of bullshit and distractions that you might not have back home including (but not limited to): power outages, parties, slow wifi, time zone differences, and landlords refusing to refund your apartment deposit because they stole it and never gave it to the owner.
3rd world countries don’t always operate smoothly. Get used to it.
It’s easy to get frustrated when you are grinding work out day by day and lose sight of the bigger picture. But you have to remember that…
“Shit takes forever” – Ian S.
Finally now I am starting to see real results from the concentrated effort to build up my consulting work on the side for Adwords and Conversion Optimization. I’ve gotten several one-off projects, but now I’m trying to build up longer term relationships with my clients.
And actually if you count since I started my first online business in April 2010 (which got me sued)… I’ve been hacking at this online business / location independence thing for 2 years… and now I finally feel like it’s almost sustainable.
Its been 730 Days since I started. Sounds like I’m right on track for my 1000 Days.
So what’s in store for the next year?
Tropical MBA Businesses – I want to help take them to the next level. Despite a setback from the latest Google update, I am really pumped about what we can do this year to break $2 million in annual revenue.
Travel – I am not expecting to travel as much this year, but I want to visit Vietnam and Cambodia. I also want to head to Bangkok, Thailand in October for the Dynamite Circle meetup. Dropping by Bali at some point would be great if possible.
Personal Finances – If I want the freedom to invest in new businesses and travel more, than I first need to get my financial house in order. Eliminate my credit card debt and build up $10k in savings.
Freelance – I enjoy doing Conversion Optimization work and get great results for my clients so I want to build longer term relationships that lead to $1500 per month in recurring revenue.
This Blog – I’ve neglected the blog while keeping my head down to work hard, but I want to get more involved again and post once a week. I also want to reach out to other bloggers and have at least 5 guest posts and create a free 7 day crash course to building a 4hww muse business.
If you had asked me when I landed in Bali a year ago what I thought would happen over the next year – I couldn’t have predicted 90% of it.
I know my life will change again over this next year in ways I don’t expect – but the persistence to follow my dreams remains the same through the ups and downs.
I know I am moving in the right direction, and although I’m not quite there yet… success is inevitable.