THE BLOG

Why Moving to South East Asia May Just Be Your Best Business Decision

03/18/2014 09:30 am ET | Updated May 18, 2014

My life makes many feel uncomfortable. You (yes you, reading this right now) might even be one of "them."

You see, I run a successful online business with my husband Josh from anywhere in the world we damn well please.

But it wasn't always that way.

In fact, just over a year ago our life and business seemed to be plateauing. Our business was growing, but very slowly.

We were longing for a change and desperate to get to the next level, but weren't sure how to make that happen.

Thankfully we had a bout of brilliance and the thought of moving to Thailand entered our minds.

I know, it sounds crazy that moving to Thailand would be considered a bout of brilliance, but it has turned out to be hands down the greatest thing we have ever done for our business.

Why?

Allow me to elaborate...

We Were Able To Leverage Our Time

I'm sure everyone out there has wished for more hours in a day at one point in their life.

Well, as an entrepreneur with a start up business, this couldn't be more true.

In the first few months it felt like every hour in the day was accounted for; wakeup, workout, eat, work, work, work, *cough *wine *cough*, work, repeat.

In addition to the daily tasks, social commitments like birthdays, family dinners and networking meetups were exhausting and massively time consuming.

Living in Toronto, we were unable to fit everything we "needed" to do into one day and still make sure that our business would grow. We simply couldn't afford it.

Moving to Southeast Asia gave us the gift of time we so desperately needed. In fact, there's even a handy term for it; Geoarbitrage.

If you're thinking geo-what-know? You're not alone.

So what is it?

Geoarbitrage basically means that you leverage the low wages of more developing countries to build a team.

Back home we were financially tied down with the high costs of living, but Thailand allowed us the opportunity to outsource tasks.

In turn, we built a small, but mighty army of loyal team members that free up more of our time, and therefore allow us the freedom to only work on the more high-leverage tasks in our business.

To truly drive home the point, I'm going to share a few numbers with you...

My husband and I lived in Chiang Mai, had a nice 1 bedroom apartment, ate out for 2 of 3 meals a day, and rarely ever reigned in our spending if we wanted something. For all of this, we only spent around $2300 USD....for both of us!

On the business side of things, the money we saved allowed us to hire a full-time content and social media manager, a VA to handle everything from building websites to optimizing our SEO, as well as an editing team to take care of our video and podcast editing.

It's been a game-changer to say the least.

Interested in outsourcing some of your tasks, but aren't sure where to start?

Here's how we did it...

First, make a list of all your tasks and categorize them based on what you don't want to do, what you don't know how to do, and what you shouldn't be wasting your time on.

Once you've nailed down your list, start looking on services like oDesk or eLance for a candidate who meets the criteria.

If you aren't comfortable vetting potentials, try a service like Virtual Staff Finder. They pre-interview candidates, so you don't have to!

Handing off tasks can be overwhelming and daunting, but is essential if you want to start spending more time working ON your business, rather than IN it.

We Surrounded Ourselves With Like-Minded People

I'm going to be 110% honest here: It can be downright exhausting constantly trying to explain what we do for work. Most of our friends and family still don't get it.

This misunderstanding has a negative trickle effect. Maintaining priorities become difficult because you are being bombarded with questions like "You work online. Can't you just take a day off?" People's negative opinion can dissuade you and make you question your decision.

It's a very disheartening experience, and another one of the reasons why we packed up and left.

Within the first few days after arriving in Thailand, we were enveloped within a community of digital nomads.

The people we met made us feel like we belonged.

No longer did we need to explain why our work day was sliding into the wee hours of the night. We weren't scoffed at when our workday took place in our p.j's and bed. After all, it was just as productive as any day spent at our coworking space.

And we never had to justify our reasons for why we might want to work on the weekend.

Being surrounded by like-minded people also gave us the opportunity to learn and grow from others; others who were working their butts off to build their business too.

Lunch breaks were a time to bounce ideas off one another, rather than gossip. Paleo breakfasts turned into mini masterminds, and marketing tactics were shared over cocktails.

Now I know that packing up and leaving isn't always a financial option for some, so how do you find yourself an understanding community?

Simple - head online.

Online communities like the Dynamite Circle offer an outlet for digital entrepreneurs. With forums, meetups, events and more, you can reach out to others in your niche, network, and be a part of a community that makes you feel as though you belong.

But it wasn't just the community we gained by jumping the pond...

We Stepped Out Of Our Comfort Zone

There is truly something to be said about tearing yourself away from your comfort zone.

Comfort breeds complacency, and complacency can stunt the growth of your business.

One of the greatest things about moving to Thailand was that it ripped us away from anyone and everything we knew, and forced us to put ourselves out there.

Shaking up our scenery increased our motivation and productivity, opened our eyes to a new way of living, and tested our limits.

As terrifying as it may seem to make a leap like this, it is also just as invigorating and inspiring.

If you think you are in need of a life-altering change, consider moving to South East Asia. Others may call you crazy, but if you commit to making a change, you can push through their resolve and grow yourself.

Don't let your comfort zone cripple your progress. Take a leap of faith, pack your things and see how South East Asia can change your life, nurture your business, and breed a level of success you thought was only available to the upper eschelon.