A chance meeting ripped Jill Stanton out of her comfort zone and created a life she loves – harnessing the power of the web to create a profitable, hands-off and location-independent business. Here is how she did it.
I live a consistently uncomfortable life. One that not everyone always understands, and one that is often subject to a lot of “Soooo… you work on the internet? And you make money that way?” reactions from those not exactly hip to this new way of living.
But it wasn’t always that way. I didn’t always have a clear direction in my life.
Four years ago, I worked in a job I hated but made good money at, in a city I loathed but knew like the back of my hand. My life was flatlining. I was unhappy, lost and far too comfortable.
It was comfortable in the sense that I knew what each and every day looked like. I knew who I would get to see on which days, what bars I would meet my friends at and what restaurants my less-than-stellar boyfriend would be “surprising” me with that weekend.
So yeah, it was comfortable but it was also soul-crushing, deflating and not remotely exciting. There was no joy in my life; there was only familiarity.
Finally, one day I had enough. I broke up with my boyfriend, gave my boss my notice and booked a one-way ticket to Australia with a girlfriend of mine.
In the months leading up to our big move I felt rejuvenated. But there was still something missing – a clear direction.
And then I met him.
The Day My Life Changed
On a steamy August night I went to meet a few friends for dinner. I knew they had a friend in town visiting, but I didn’t know he would be The One.
I remember sitting in my car watching this man walk towards me with a knowing smile and an understated confidence.
It was ‘game over’.
Fortunately, he was Australian (I know! How perfect!)…and single.
Over the next few weeks we connected, hung out, flirted and made a plan to meet up in Australia. I immediately started counting down the days until I would see him again, and my time at home became even more unbearable.
Fast-forward 2 months and he was standing in my hallway, 2 weeks early and uttering three little words I had been longing to hear.
From there our adventure together began.
Josh taught me a new way of living – a mobile lifestyle that harnessed the power of the web to create and manage a profitable business without having to devote hours upon hours of your life in a regular job, building someone else’s business.
After a few years of trial and error, failing and succeeding, promoting and pivoting in our own separate businesses we realized something had to change.
Finally, on a cold winter day in 2012, we decided to join forces…but there was a catch.
If we were going to work together, we were going to do it differently. No longer were we going to tough it out in expensive Western cities, making just enough in our brand new affiliate marketing business to get by.
No, this time it was different.
It Was Thai-m for a Change
Instead of doing what we knew (and what we were comfortable with), we ripped ourselves out of our comfort zone, condensed our lives into 2 backpacks, boarded a plane and found ourselves in the land of smiles – Thailand.
From here everything changed: We gained a sense of focus we never had back home, surrounded by friends and family. We cleaned up our lives, started juicing, visualizing and exercising daily. And most importantly, we created a life here where we could rent a beautiful apartment, spend money without even thinking about it and even save enough per month to be able to properly invest back into our business.
How did we do this?
Simple. We harnessed the power of geoarbitrage.
How To Work On Your Business Instead of In Your Business
Geoarbitrage – or tropicalization – is the process of global outsourcing to create your own dedicated team of employees that manage your business for you.
From handling emails to transcribing videos, managing your social media profiles to PPC campaigns, from creating content to website development, you can find outsourcers perfectly suited to each and every need you may have.
But how do you figure out which tasks to hand off?
It can be a little overwhelming at first, deciding which tasks to relinquish to someone you have only met online, but there are ways to make this process work for you.
The Process of Creating Processes
When we first began outsourcing our business we were a little wary as well. After all, how do you teach this new employee your preferred way of doing things?
Well, you make things as foolproof as possible.
In our particular situation we began by listing each and every task we perform that helps our business to not only run, but grow.
Once we had that list we started working through those tasks and detailing each and every step that went into it – complete with screenshots, in-depth descriptions and templates if necessary.
We capped it all off by creating a task list for ourselves which we sub-divided into 3 columns: Things we didn’t like doing, things we shouldn’t be doing and things we didn’t know how to do.
Not only does this help to keep things organized in your business, but it helps to identify the menial tasks that suck up the majority of your time and further ease any hesitations about whether or not to hand it off.
From there you can baby-step your way into a more hands-off business that allows you the freedom to plan future ventures, products and promotional tactics – a luxury you don’t always have when you are busy grinding it out with your day-to-day tasks.
But before you do that…
Let’s Keep it Real
If there is one thing I loathe about listening to some business owners dish out advice and talk about their journey to financial freedom, it’s the fact that they rarely discuss the challenges they have had to face.
I’ll be honest, this hasn’t been a walk in the park for us.
Our journey has been difficult, strained and marred with tears of frustration. It has been full of ups and downs, failures and triumphs, stresses and successes.
From our sites getting slapped by Google to products not selling, our affiliate merchants going offline without any notice to our content not resonating with readers, partnerships not panning out to failed attempts at a handful of niches before finally landing on one that works, failed marketing attempts to website crashes and employees who have turned out miserably – this process has be trying and tiring.
Yet that is what makes it worth it.
Those struggles, those moments of “will it ever get easier?”, those self-doubts; they all fade away as you progress towards your own version of success.
Is it ever easy? Hell no!
But that’s a good thing, because if it was easy everyone would do it. And I for one don’t want to have to compete against everyone.
So, challenge yourself; dare to dream your wildest dreams; and live a life you love. You deserve nothing less.
After all, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
By Jill Stanton, a wanderluster and lifestyle business owner hell-bent on teaching others how to live a life dripping with freedom and purpose over at ScrewTheNineToFive.com.
Currently based in Thailand she lives out of her backpack, probably swears too much for her own good and isn’t afraid of a tall glass of gin. Chat her up on Facebook, download her free book The Art of Authority or shoot her a tweet but be warned, she’s a talker!