From Routine to Rumba: Escaping the Grind to Live and Grow My Business in Paradise – Picture this. The year 2015. There I was, rudely awakened in the middle of the night by a jarring pain that felt like a train running from the back of my head straight down to my heels. Soon I found myself sitting in my doctor’s office and given a diagnosis that I didn’t see coming: a life-threatening autoimmune condition triggered by chronic stress. Perfect!
I tried my darndest to take control of my stress and my self-care, all the while juggling a national nonprofit that I founded (Saving Promise), launching a women empowerment brand, and pursuing my passion to write.
Fast forward to 5 years later. There I was out for a hike, sporting what could only be described as the chic ‘Corona Mask Look’, I got to thinking about life, post this microscopic menace that is COVID.
I started bingeing on self-help books and podcasts like they were donuts. Every and anything I could get my hands on to inspire me to do what was gnawing at me for years.
Once the world declared it was safe to swap air again, I hit the fast-forward button, sold or gave away all my sh**, hired an attorney to help me secure my visa, and hopped on a direct flight from Washington, DC, to paradise.
I was about to transform my dream into reality—achieving an impeccable work-life balance, running an online business from the beaches of Panama while sipping on piña coladas.
- Did apprehension gnaw at me? Absolutely.
- Did my family book me an appointment with a shrink? They tried.
- Did I doubt my abilities as a digital nomad? Of course!
But here’s the rub: after years of trying to punch out the grind, I was fed up! I wanted to do it differently. Be different. Live differently.
The crazy thing is, after nearly two years of embracing this entrepreneurial lifestyle in Panama, my stress is under control. I’ve high-fived my self-care, and my online business is flourishing more than ever!
Here’s a cheeky secret – I freaking LOVE my life!
It’s no surprise that the allure of running an online business abroad might be tempting to any overworked entrepreneur. The promise of exchanging dull cityscapes for vivacious beaches; lethargic rush hours for endless happy hours is undeniably enticing.
Are you toying with the idea of becoming ‘an entrepreneur gone wild’? I get it.
But before you board the one-way flight to your paradise, here are seven quick no-BS tips to keep in mind as you plan your bold escape:
- Go Digital or Go Home: Opt for an online business. You can manage it whether you’re hiking in the Alps or sunbathing in Bali. The world is your office as long as there’s Wi-Fi!
- AutoPilot Everything: Automate, automate, automate! The more tasks you automate, the more time you’ll have to taste all the margarita flavors your new beach bar has to offer.
- Hire a Virtual Sidekick: Consider hiring a virtual assistant to handle tasks you can scrape off your plate. Think about VAs from the Philippines or India—they do a great job and are friendlier to your budget than a gourmet avocado toast at that fancy new café on the corner.
- Location, location, oh… and location! Decide on the paradise where you’d be willing to misplace your return ticket. Surfing on Australia’s Gold Coast or Morning Yoga at Mount Fuji? Latte’s in Paris or Snowboarding in Canada? You choose.
- License and Legal-ease: Get legit and avoid headaches by understanding your visa options, local regulations, and tax implications of your plush new paradise.
- Dial-up Your Networking Prowess: Whether you’re introverted or jazzed by mingling, cultivate local connections and network like your business depends on it–because it does!
- Work-Life…Wowza!: Guess what? You’re not just moving your business; you’re moving your life. So strut your stuff on the beach, but make sure your business gets its day in the sun too.
Remember, Panama or Peckham, paradise awaits where you create it. Living abroad can be an exquisite part of your entrepreneurial lifestyle, and sometimes, paradise is simply throwing a margarita mixer on a Tuesday because, hey, you’re the boss!
You got this!
And if you’d like me to help you strategize, launch, and grow your Shopify business, click the link to schedule a free strategy call with me.
More articles from our VIP Executive Contributor, L.Y. Marlow.