Nomadic Entrepreneurs?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 11:00pm by Site Administrator

The Lost Girls and their around-the-world travel plans seem to have inspired others to stoke their travel lust, including entrepreneurs. And since location for digital entrepreneurs isn’t much of an issue anymore, what if someone carried being a mobile entrepreneur to another level? That is, could you be a successful entrepreneur while spending a significant portion of your time traveling around the world? Or at least while moving from location to location after a period of time.

Since the cost of living is not consistent around the world, meager revenues in some parts of the world could go a long way elsewhere. And there are enough of those elsewheres that you could spend many years being an expatriate, changing your home base and still living well. That is, provided you could continue to earn the same revenue regardless of where you go.

Of course, the best platform with minimal hassles for that kind of career is the Internet. If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, you can surely find additional opportunities in each locale – which you can then at least attempt to promote online.

In fact, anyone who builds up a successful Internet business will at some point probably be able to live abroad long-term and still maintain the business – even live off of it. For this reason, I think that the next “Age” will the be Age of Leisure. People will start quitting their jobs and live off online businesses, and to deflect the boredom of less work, will start travelling for long periods.

There are of course a number of negative aspects in taking extended leaves:

  1. Banking issues.
    You can’t quite conduct all of your monetary transactions digitally. Close, but you’ll need hard currency at times, and that means having access to local banks. Some countries only allow landed immigrants and citizens to hold bank accounts.

  2. Citizenship status.
    Losing certain status in your home country if you don’t spend X months per calendar there. And if you are planning to stay extended durations in each locale, you may need to apply for special visas, etc., especially if you are earning a living, even online.

  3. Taxes.
    You may have to pay income taxes in two countries.

  4. Impermanence.
    You no longer have a permanent home base. How do you ensure that your snail-mail/ packages get forwarded? Email as well as phone calls can be handled online, of course.

  5. Displacement.
    There are of course expatriates everywhere, but it’s not for everyone. If you decide to become a true expatriate, you lose your status, and that makes it more difficult to come back and visit with friends and family.

Hopefully governments will realize that more citizens will become nomadic, and maybe the forward-thinking ones will make it easier for digital nomads to retain citizenship, pay taxes, etc.

So, assuming you can work out the negative aspects, it’s quite possible that you could turn yourself into a roving entrepreneur. It takes a certain personality to pull it off, of course, but I think it can be done.

You could even set up a travel-cum-entrepreneur weblog, write about your experiences, and potentially earn advertising revenues. If you talk about the places you visit in detail, there’s also the opportunity to earn Amazon book affiliate commissions. There are many other options to consider, but I also suggest you try to set up a Squidoo lens for each city you visit/ live in.

These websites/ weblogs could fund your travel as you seek out new entrpreneurial opportunities.


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Filed under: Entrepreneurship, vacation

2 Comments »

  1. Great post Raj. This is something I think about doing all of the time. Thanks for pointing out the possible negative aspects of going “nomadic” that are often times overlooked.

    Comment by Chris — June 13, 2007 @ 10:18 am

  2. Thanks, Chris. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a very long time. Just not ready yet to try, but the Internet sure makes it a lot easier to be a wandering entrepreneur.

    Comment by Raj Dash — June 13, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

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