Why the F*ck Are We in Asia??

Okay, let’s just get this part out of the way… I think everybody has at least some desire to travel in their lives, so, that’s obvious. 

But it’s when and how you make that happen is the tricky part. Luckily, we live in the digital virtual magical harry potter world of the internet so it is easier to make it happen now than ever. 

We have flying busses and telepathic communication… I mean, what more could you ask for?

Basically, we’re in Asia because Parker signed up for the Study Abroad Thailand program at WSU 2 years ago. That set everything in motion and changed both of our futures drastically (for the better).

When he was studying in Thailand, he would call me back at home almost every day and rant about how amazing it was over there. Another friend and I were planning a trip somewhere that Summer anyway, so we said ‘why not just go visit Parker?’ So I spent two short weeks in Thailand, got back, and we both said conclusively, ‘we gotta go back.’

So we moved into a one bedroom apartment (yes, I slept on the couch for a year) and it became our incubator for the next year for figuring out how to get back to Thailand and how we were going to make money there. We looked at job opportunities including working at hotels, bars, being tour guides, promoters, and Teaching English (the most popular).

chaing mai

One Key Decision

Not signing up for cable when we moved into our apartment proved to be the most crucial move ever because by consuming only YouTube, we were able to control what we consumed, which led us to find several travel bloggers which led us to understand the reality that there are tons of people traveling the world working online nowadays. I bought an Apple TV for 50 bucks from a friend and streamed travel videos on our TV each night instead of watching sports or other shows on cable. Eventually, you become what you eat. 

We watched every video about living and working Thailand that we could, and we stumbled on Johnny’s video on his $200 apartment in Chiang Mai. So we followed his blog and found out that he’d recently started an E-Commerce business and was already making 4k per month working online and living in Chiang Mai, all while spending less than a thousand bucks per month there.

Then one day he made the announcement that there was going to be a global Meetup in October in Chiang Mai for entrepreneurs to come learn about Drop Shipping and other E-Commerce methods, and to take your business to the next level while experiencing the city of Chiang Mai, the ‘Digital Nomad Capital of the World’.

Working online seemed like the best option for us, so we signed up right away. This was our chance to surround ourselves with people who have the same mindset and are trying to do the same thing as us. We understood that you become the average of the five people you hang around the most.

When you make money independently from a location, it’s a dream come true because you can move cities whenever you want! We were determined to make that a reality because we saw other people on the internet who were already doing it. If they can do it, why not us. That was our mindset.

This was in the Summer that we decided that the October 7th Meetup would be the day we move back. There was no missing this date. So we both continued working our shitty jobs and saving up as much as we could. I had sold internet independently door-to-door for the past five Summers so I just did that so I wouldn’t get sucked into a corporation, and Parker worked at a the Marriott.

The hardest part was saving enough money to go. I was still unsure up to a month before D-day that I would have enough to last me enough time to build a profitable online business (6 months was our goal). But luckily, Parker bought his ticket first and so I had no choice but to buy mine and say f*ck it. I left with much less money than I had hoped, and I had signed up for 3 credit cards leading up to it to earn flying miles, which I am still paying off, but at least it got me here.

Here's us happy as clams at Songkran Water Festival last week.
Here’s us happy as clams at Songkran Water Festival last week.

Why Chiang Mai?

In short, because it’s so freakin cheap (one of the cheapest cities in the world) and has all the amenities you need. So it’s a great place for the bootstrapping entrepreneur  Over the past few years, CM has gotten more popular for online entrepreneurs and freelancers to work from, and now has come to be known as the ‘Digital Nomad Capital of the World.

As someone else put it

“Chiang Mai is touted as the ‘Digital Nomad Capital of the World’. It has a large community of expat business owners who mainly work in the online arena. Southeast Asia is relatively cheap compared to the rest of the world, so it’s a great place for the bootstrapping entrepreneur. There are lots of coffee shops, great internet, and the people are very nice. It’s a real laid back atmosphere, great food, great cultures, Great WiFi – a lot of great features. A lot of business people come here to take it to the next level. There are quite interesting conversations about marketing and SEO and how to take it to the next level. You can lower your expenses, have a lifestyle, and build your business.

We had started working on our Drop Shipping stores that Summer and continued optimizing them at the coworking office Punspace with a bunch of other guys from the Meetup. But after about three months, no stores were really turning a full-time profit. 

So everyone switched to Amazon! 😀 

Punspace - coworking space in Chiang Mai.
Punspace – coworking space in Chiang Mai.

The Amazon Method

Luckily, one friend at the Meetup had started with selling thru Amazon FBA right away in October after it was presented as one of the top strategies today, but the startup cost to buy inventory put everyone off. But his product was doing so well on Amazon in just 2 months that everyone followed suit in December.

We spent two months researching a product and eventually placed a test order for $1000 of inventory, but shit hit the fan when Alibaba (the website where you buy stuff from Chinese factories) confiscated our product from the factory because some company in the US threatened them with copyright infringement. But that’s business. 

So we had to start all over again picking a new product. In February we made our test order of our new product from China, it went live in March, and sold out in 3 weeks. We are currently placing our next order. 

Why has everyone in CM started to use Amazon FBA? It’s proven to be the easiest, fastest, and most hands-off way to start selling a product online. We simply go on Alibaba.com to find a product, chat with the supplier on Skype to negotiate prices, order a sample, then have them ship the boxes of product directly to the Amazon warehouse in the US, and they sell it online for you. Simple as that. All you have to do is write a sexy description and take some sexy photos of the product. We have at least 10 friends in CM who all do this successfully who started in the last year.

For more on the method, I wrote a blog here

It’s more fun to be different.

Living in Chiang Mai is my first international living experience, and it has been the most interesting, beautiful and fun 6 months of my life. We haven’t really traveled around much, just to Cambodia for a month (the best month ever btw), since we have been bootstrapping, but our goal is to ramp up our Amazon business until we can travel to new cities. 

So that’s why we’re in Asia. To live cheaply and surround ourselves with people who have already done what we are trying to do: break out of the JOB paradigm (Just Over Broke), start an online business, and travel while working remotely. 

We’re not inventing anything new, just paying attention to what others are doing.  

-Riley aka Pliez da God.

UPDATE: Over a year later: Tuesday July 25, 2016

 – Our First Amazon product Launched in July 2015 and we are still selling about 15 units per day, while living in Saigon, Vietnam for most of the past year. We just visited back home for a month and now I’m writing this from Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Here’s last week’s sales screenshot:

Amazon App Seller Sales - Livin That Life, The Amazon Method

Chiang Mai Big Buddha IMG_5233 IMG_5758IMG_5018

What do you naturally do?

For young people out of college and high school, it is important to stop and think a bit about what you naturally want to do. Like all the time. This is a hint as to what type of thing you should look into getting into. Ifincludes taking vacations all the time, then you need to get your butt on google and YouTube and see what people are doing to travel as part of their job. An important reminder these days that travel as a lifestyle is a normal option these days, with the Internet and virtual work.

What you “naturally want to do”, when no one is forcing you to do something and there are no deadlines or requirements, is what you like doing. Isn’t that what life should be like all the time? We have come a long way, so we deserve it. We live in the most amazing time ever, where we can do whatever we want – but until you start thinking like that – outside of the old school system, you will never live the fullest life…. If that’s what your into anyway.

Luke has been one of the big youtube inspirations for me to move forward with things I want to do. It’s crazy that we live in a time what you can reap the benefits of being friends with someone with experience on what you’re trying to do, without ever meeting them – without having to read any books anyway… 😊

From College, to Thailand, to Internet Entrepreneur

After college, I had to rethink everything about how I thought I wanted to live. Thanks to friends introducing me to entrepreneurship, my brain shifted from employee mindset, to owner mindset. Taking control and designing your own life.

When I was living in Thailand, I realized that America, is just one of the countries. Just oneon the list. It’s not the top one on the list, like how it always is when you select your mailing address online. That’s how I viewed America before. But it’s not any more special than any other country, and it’s not on top of the list. We should be forced to scroll down every time, past 200-something other countries, to select our home addresses, so we can be constantly reminded we are living in one of many, many, others.

“People rarely succeed unless they have FUN in what they’re doing.” – Dale Carnegie

Each country has it’s own things that are DOPE, that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. That’s why this trip solidified my belief that travel is how I want to live.  It led us to connect with other travelers from around the world, and gave us a new idea of what living to travel means – not just as a thing to do once a year, but as a way of life.

“Shape your life or someone else will.” – Gary Lew

This was it. This was how we wanted to live. So began our quest for the dream job. The virtual job.  We’ve started learning about strategies to make money online, so we can sustain the travelling lifestyle.  If you think the same way we do, you love to travel but would like to travel more, or maybe you’re just out of college and aren’t sure where you want to take your skills like I was, learn to work virtually, on your own.  In the age of the internet, you can work from anywhere.  And the #1 way to get started –  learn to blog. Even if you don’t want to make any money online, getting in the habit of writing daily or weekly is therapeutic.  A very healthy thing to do, mentally, spiritually, and eventually for us, financially. Check out the online blogging academy!

Its just an idea folks! What do you think? Leave a comment!!

Entrepreneurship & Energy Flow

Let others determine your worth and you’ve already lost, because no one wants people worth more than themselves. ~ Peter V. Brett http://ow.ly/24XVwd

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP = Taking Control of your flow of energy and how you expend that energy. In physics we use the symbol E. In society we use $.

Why would you let others control the amount of energy flowing to you?

That’s like a tree in the forest deciding not to grow tall and reach towards the sun, instead leaving it up to let the other trees to let just enough sunlight thru for it to survive.

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Plants naturally compete for the best flow of energy.. Why aren’t we? Or is it okay to settle for the stuff that trickles through the cracks….

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Work Smarter, NOT Harder?

 How to Work smarter, not HARDER.

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Have you ever heard the expression work smarter not harder?  Its not even too common to hear out there in the business world.  I for sure had not heard the term until recently I embarked on my journey to decondition myself as an employee-mindset person and recondition my mind into an entrepreneurial thinking one..

See, my dad always told me that to make a lot of money is takes hard work, and it does!

Don’t get me wrong, of course nothing is easy that is worth doing….. But there was a second part of that sentence that he left out…. Which potentially cost him millions of dollars over his lifetime… Just sayin..

That part was incorporate SMART work into that equation with hard work, and you’re making adifferent kind of money.

A different kind of money??? WTF?

Yes, a different kind of money. The kind that you don’t have to show up to work for.

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You see, where I live, in a rich suburban neighborhood outside Seattle, there are wealthy professionals, and then there are wealthy business owners.  The professionals, aka specialists, like doctors, lawyers, surgeons, self-employed people and stuff like that, they have to get up and  go to work every morning to get paid that day.. Sleep in, no business done… Break a hand or get sick? Nothing gets done.. No money coming in.

The difference is, the business owners DON’T!

They get paid because their business runs and makes money whether they are there or not, and that’s why they live on the waterfront properties lol..

Simply put, they were smart, so they got other people do go to work for them.

Of course, it takes hard work to be a business person and deal with people and work on (notice I didn’t say in) your business and to even seek out and acquire the knowledge that it takes to become a big business owner.  I say BIG because a lot of small business owners are not in it for the time freedom anyway.. They just plain like running their business themselves because they like it and thats dope!  Big business owners know about acquiring assets.  Assets that pay you even once you die.

All i’m saying is that when we say HARD WORK in business, we also need to say SMART WORK.

If financial success is the goal, which it is to most of us because financial success just means energy success, and with more energy you can do more on this world, so that makes sense..

More Energy = More FUN!

And what’s life all about when you look deep enough??

FUN!

EXPERIENCES!

LOVE!

(aka pleasant experience)

Hard work will only get you so far, just incorporate a little bit of SMART WORK, and your efforts might be able to duplicate and expand beyond your personal energy level.  You can’t always duplicate your efforts just by working harder because you can only work so hard and you only have to many hours in the day….

There are people out there that are working Extremely hard who were never told that it also takes smart work and strategy and careful planning to reach the upper-echelon

Think waterfront….. What do they know that the layman doesn’t?

WORK SMART AND HARD.

Some people have never even heard of that…. it pissed me off.. lets change that.

Rant over. I’m passin out. Monkey balls.

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What’s known as: ‘THAT LIFE’

Whattup! I’m forward-thinking entrepreneur excited about the future and the unprecedented era of humankind we are living in. When they tell you to follow your passion, I understood that but couldn’t put my finger on one thing, and that’s when I realized I’m passionate about life. I’m calling that one thing, but its everything, because I’m passionate about too many things! Science, music, spirituality, travel, teaching, learning, art, technology, comedy, health, its too many things to choose just one!

The Peak Hong Kong

So that’s why I decided to become a free entrepreneur so I can direct my passions in many different areas and not just one, for example one career choice in a specific field. With the power of the internet and technology, it is easier than ever to live life on your own terms and earn a living just by being YOU. Doing whatever the f*ck you wanna do, e.g. just show passion for life… At the deepest level, this is a PLAYGROUND (there’s scientific proof ;) …. Just have fun and PLAY….. This is what’s known as ‘THAT LIFE’. We bout it. Just came back from Thailand. Lets git it.