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It’s been great to be able to interview a fellow Brit about his journey to location independence and ask what advice he would give to others wanting to achieve this lifestyle.
What do you say when people ask you what you do?
This all depends who I’m talking too. If a taxi driver asks, I work in marketing (short, simple and straight to the point). However for others, I’ll evaluate my answer based on what would be of interest to them. For example, if I meet business founders or location independent folks, I’ll talk about Founders Grid, if I meet a local business owner I’ll mention I design websites, take photos and create videos.
I see you’ve been travelling non-stop for the last 8 years – what did you do previously?
Out of school I worked in an apprenticeship scheme in the real estate industry. It was super boring but it made my mum proud so I stuck it out. After that I went to work in telecoms.
How did you achieve location independence?
I was pretty lucky. Before I knew I wanted to work and travel full time, I already had passive income streams that could be managed from anywhere with a internet connection. When I made the decision, it was fairly easy. I sold my car, let go of my apartment and quit my well paid job all within 5 days. Looking back this was a bit extreme, but thankfully it worked out.
Did you have a preexisting online business or did you create income streams as you travelled?
I had preexisting, but I did spend a lot of time growing those revenue streams to build a better foundation for myself.
Was there a tipping point?
The tipping point happened before I made the choice to become location independent. I quickly figured out I didn’t like coding, but I had an eye for design and was good at managing people and projects. This is when I discovered outsourcing, way back before outsourcing was cool and hip. After working with some freelancers in India I found online, I went over to Delhi to start networking with more freelancers I could potentially work with. I made the mistake of going to the North of India, as most of the developers are in the south.
What does your income profile look like in terms of active / passive income, client work vs products & affiliates etc?
I recently sold my affiliate business I had built up over 10 years, and I’m now focusing on building Founders Grid and from time to time work with clients who need photography, websites and/or videos.
Did you choose a location independent lifestyle or did it choose you?
It didn’t choose me. I’ve always loved to travel, dining out and meeting new people. I feel like this was bound to happen sooner or later.
What’s the most important piece of business advice you have learned / would give?
1. Focus and simplify. 2. Never stop learning. 3. Ask customers what they want. 4. Connect and build relationships with people smarter than you.
Where are you currently and where are you off to next?
I’m currently in Thailand, but have plans to spend some time in Europe followed by a visit to Africa (my friend has just built a huge house in SA) at the end of the year. Chris Osborne is the founder of Founders Grid – A community dedicated to location independence, offshore business and international living.