This is a guest post by my buddy Matt John Canty, he and his business partner recently moved to Manilla, Philippines after a long stint in Davao, an awesome city in the south of the Philippines. Here he provides some good tips on choosing a location to run your business from and have a bunch of fun in the process ;). Check out more info on Matt & his business dealings/adventures over at LifestyleBusinessDesign.com
Lets face it, your chances of success in business are highly related to where you live and your surroundings (and the people around you for that matter). For all you location independent junkies out there you may disagree but I believe I have somewhat experienced this first hand.
After spending 1 year+ in Davao City Philippines myself and my business partner John started to get a bit bogged down. We were way way in our comfort zone just hanging out and not much was getting done really. Not to mention we completely wasted our first year in Davao making mistake after mistake with our business. The city is really laid back and there is not much going on. There is only about 4 smart dudes hustling online in the whole city that we managed to find.
So we made the move to Manila Philippines and it feels like a whole new game. We feel more switched on, ready for business, full of ideas and completely rejuvenated.
I think the change in scenery was a massive deal for us and maybe its just what you need also. If you have been stuck in a job or a hole for a long time maybe you should just pack up and leave to force yourself out. Challenge yourself here and you will challenge your business to grow and might just be more effective working on your business. Pick a location you could see yourself living at for 6+months and commit to that place and get some real work done if that is what you want.
Some of the most important things you need in your location as a traveling online entrepreneur are-
Fast reliable internet
We have wasted so much time with internet and trying to be connected. Using USB sticks waiting for or internet to be connected wasted more time than anything. This is my biggest hate if I can’t get fairly fast reliable internet
Group of people to bounce ideas off/network with
It can be lonely being an entrepreneur so its always good to have a group of people around that you can talk to about whats going on, your problems and your ideas.
Good work space to focus on your business
Its always better to have your set aside space that you can jam out some work. A place where you will not be distracted and you are comfortable to get some serious work done
I love our current set up with the maid cooking us food, doing the washing, doing the groceries saves so much time so we can get more work done. Also having a gym in the building means I have no excuse because its so easy to go. Things like this can help you rather than being scrambled all the time looking for places to eat, get your clothes washed and a place to work out all the time.
What’s more important to you?
I think it really depends on you, your business and you goals. If you care about travel and only want to work enough to make a living then it does not matter at ALL where you are. But if you 10% lifestyle 90% business than it really does matter where you set up and how often you move about.
I wish where you lived in the world did not make any difference to your chances of success but sadly it does. Just think of someone in a developing country. Do they really have as much chance of success as someone from a developed country? I would say not. What if you were to try and set up from a country that had absolutely poor internet, no people to network with and a real bad set up overall? i think your chances would be somewhat hindered if you were trying to make it big
Example: If you were located in Phuket do you think you would hussle as much as if you were in HongKong? I think not because you would often be distracted to party in Phuket (plus if you’re a guy all the beautiful girls would distract you more lol) Heaps of the people you would know would be old guys with not much going on just hanging out, owning their bars not at all hustling. Im young now but i fear becoming an expat like that with my one dodgy bar, being super unhealthy and completely broke lol.
Location is not everything
Lets be clear where you live only accounts for a small chance for you to succeed there are way more important things here just to mention a few- How hard you work, your business idea, your staff, your skills and how bad you want to succeed just to mention a few. If you think you can move to Singapore and instantly become a sucess and turn your life around JUST based on your location you have got it all wrong. Your location is only one side of the coin!
Ultimately I think location is not everything. You can be successful no matter where you are or live but sometimes your location could be the leg up that you need, that little advantage to get you going. Like us living in The Philippines starting a business the upfront costs/ongoing costs are way less than if we had started back in Australia. If you have a great bunch of people around you and there is hustle going on perhaps this will push you along. If you lazy or have poor discipline your location is maybe more important for you than it is for other digital nomads that have hussle in their blood.
My Top SEA locations to get some work done
- Singapore- Everyone is saying its the new “in place”
- Davao -A great place but we were there too long)
- Seoul- actually pretty cheap and awesome internet
- Hoi Chi Min City-An amazing place to visit/get some work done
- Manila- Pick a great location in the city and you will be set
- Bangkok- Big ass city alot going on
- Bandar Seri Begawan- No girls, no drinking, no distractions lol
My Top SEA locations relax or hangout
- Davao- cool cheap place to hang out with Samal island close by
- Boracay Island- Amazing beach and so much to do
- Phuket- Crazy place I will never forget
- Cambodia- An adventure!
- Kota Kinabalu- Awesome place to explore Malaysia
- Palawan- Beautiful place just be sure to get out of the main city
Like I said, just define your business and personal goals before choosing your location and how much you will move about.
Matt is an expert in outsourcing to The Philippines and has been working with Filipino virtual assistants for more than 5 years. He is the co-founder of RemoteWorkMate (VA management service) and RemoteStaffRecruit (VA recruitment service) Check out his blog LifeStyleBusinessDesign