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5 Ways to Make Traveling Easier While Building Your Online Business

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how to build an online business while traveling

We all share the dream of traveling across the planet. Jetting off to faraway lands in search of worldly wonders. From The Great Wall to Angel Falls, we all want to see the Taj Mahal.

These days it’s easier than ever to travel, and thanks to modern technology, the term digital nomad has been coined.

If you want to see Machu Picchu, you don’t have to beg the boss and book 8 months in advance. In this technological age, you can book a flight on your phone, pack a laptop and travel anywhere whilst building a business and earning money.

As I sit overlooking the most beautiful of lakes surrounded by green snowy mountains I am preparing these 5 tips on how to be a savvy traveler, save money, and work on the road:

1. Choose your destinations wisely

The idea of embracing the Northern Lights or exploring the Rocky Mountains might sound out of this world, but your saving will take a nosedive and you’ll wonder how you spent a year’s hard earned cash in just 2 months. Not the ideal way to start a business.

Instead, consider a destination like South America. It’s stunningly beautiful, they have great transport options, and you can dine like royalty for just a couple of dollars. There’s wifi too!

One night’s accommodation in Bolivia’s capital is $4.79 at this time of year. In New York, it’s $35, that’s a 600% increase. A week in a Bolivian hostel costs $33.53. A New York hostel will put you back $245 for the week.

Think about that the next time you fancy heading to the top of King Kong’s climbing frame.

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

2. Airbnb is where the smart traveler lives

A traveler’s biggest expense is accommodation. Most travelers will hop from one hostel to another in an alcohol-fueled daze. This is what I did back in 2007.

You want to explore the world and experience its wonders, but at the same time you want a bit of space and peace, and good night’s sleep.

Any long term digital nomad knows that in order to successfully build a business and earn money online, you need to have at least a little comfort. All you’ll get in a hostel is restless nights, dirty showers and broken kitchens.

This is where Airbnb comes in. They provide you with the opportunity to rent a room or apartment in someone’s home for a very competitive price. With over 1.5 million listings in over 190 countries, they are a brand to trust.

An Airbnb host will likely point you in the direction of all the best tourist, and not so touristy spots. You’ll have the use of a kitchen, a living room and you’ll have the space and peace necessary to focus on your online business. You’ll even get a discount for a longer stay.

 

3. If you love animals then housesitting might be just the ticket

These days I hang out in giant houses with saunas, tennis courts and swimming pools. The kind of places that are surrounded by lakes and beautiful mountains. I’ve been traveling for 14 months, and for the last 4 I’ve been living like a King, for free.

I get to focus on earning money and building my business simultaneously. I pay for this by walking a dog in a forest a couple of times a day. How do I get to the forest? I drive in the car that is provided to me.

It sounds too good to be true, but these days Fido doesn’t go to the kennels. When his owners want to go on vacation they get someone like me to come and look after their home and pets.

This saves me a tremendous amount of money. I get to stay in local areas, the accommodation is incredible, and most importantly, I get to work really hard online.

A site like Trusted Housesitters is really easy to join, you just need to get a few references, arrange a skype call and turn up. Did I mention I get the free use of their cars, bikes, boats, and skiing equipment?

 

4. Volunteer and get into gear

During my current excursion I have volunteered at a few different places. During that time I’ve learned to seek out the diamonds.

By committing to 3-5 hours a day you can receive free food & board by learning something new and help out others.

Not only will your heart grow bigger but you’ll make friends, have true local experiences, and enjoy glorious locations. In your free time, you can finish your website, write your blog, complete some freelance work, or just sit back and enjoy the view. Places like Work Away are great starting points.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

5. Pack light and live heavy

The first time I traveled I had the usual 85 liter backpack filled to the brim with needless items that I never used.

Now I roll with a 40-liter backpack complete with foldaway guitar, camera, and laptop. I used to spend hours rearranging the old beast of a bag. These days if I want something, I know exactly where it is.

By carrying less, not only is it easier to move around but you’ll be more organized which directly translates into productivity. My phone is my camera, book reader, map, compass, and diary. It’s a lifesaver. Pack minimally and see maximum results.

What travel tips would you give that aren’t in this list? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. John DTDC

    Jul 20, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Hai Angelo Drake

    I spent most of the time for selection of items carry in my backpack.Your fifth tip (Pack light and live heavy) is absolutely right. Airbnb is a new information to me. Thank you.

  2. Roopa Sinha

    Jun 10, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Nice article. Most of the time when I travel, my backpack is too heavy. Now I consider that it should be light for both travelling and carrying.

    • Angelo Drake

      Jun 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      Hey Roopa, thanks.

      Definitely, pack less. I have travelled for years with a small bag. Lugging a big heavy beast around is not what traveling is all about.

  3. Amanda

    Jun 9, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Thank you for this wonderful article. Fantastic information, tips and options that were previously unknown to me. This has given me a lot to look into – definitely a pointer (and boost) into the right direction, as well as reassurance that it doesn’t need to be too strainful on finances, nor need there need to be drastic sacrifices made in standards of living- when I had assumed otherwise. Thank you for the sharing of your own experiences and knowledge on such an interesting subject. I’ll be looking forward to reading more from you.

    • Angelo Drake

      Jun 13, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks, Amanda.

      The key to successful travel is a little planning but also a little unplanning. Try to let life guide you rather than the guide book or what others tell you that you can or cannot do.

  4. Angelo Drake

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Hey Sarah, thanks for your tips.

    Although trusted house sitters may seem expensive, it’s a worthy investment. Recently I spent 3 months in Salk Lake City Utah. The average cost on Airbnb to rent a place for 3 months was around $9000. There was a tipi for over $2000 per month! I stayed in a beautiful huge house with a car and we simply looked after 2 little dogs. The £75 investment is nothing compared to how much we saved during that period.

    I was a member of mind my house but find that trusted house sitters is a much better resource. That being said, just before my membership ended, I landed a 5 week house-sit on Vancouver Island which will begin in September.

    The idea of having a digital nomad meet up and co-renting to focus on your business is an awesome idea. I like your style.

  5. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 6, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I am so glad that I stumbled across this article! This is exactly what I am looking for. I just finished a 6 month world tour with Up with People and am seeking opportunities to travel to a spanish speaking country. My goal is to travel while working on my business and this article addresses most of my questions. This is just what I needed! This article brings me one step closer to achieving my goals. Thank you!!

    • Angelo Drake

      Jun 6, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      That’s great news Charlene. You will love South America if you go that way. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities and airbnb is reasonably new over there so many people are offering great accommodation at excellent prices just to get their first review. Often times, if you book a place for a whole month, you’ll get a big discount.

      Go for it, you’ll be so happy that you gave yourself the time and space to work on your business whilst experiencing new cultures.

  6. Sankar Nayak

    Jun 6, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Awesome article, i enjoyed along with learn how to preplan for long travel.

    • Angelo Drake

      Jun 13, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      Preplan but also go with the flow. If you planned to see that iconic monument but your new found friends are begging you to go with them somewhere else, go with your friends!

  7. Tim Denning

    Jun 6, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Angelo congrats on your first article on Addicted2Success!

    I learnt a bit from your article and its a topic that is very important to me at the moment. I had no idea about house sitting luxury homes and looking after people’s pets.

    • Angelo Drake

      Jun 6, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks, Tim.

      House-sitting, of all the travel and save options I cover, is the most lucrative. Right now I am sat on a balcony, surrounded by forests, whilst overlooking a huge lake. The price I have paid for this? Look after 7 house cats!

      In 2.5 weeks I head to another location to take care of 2 dogs and following that another location in which there are no animals to take care of, I am simply keeping their home secure. My entire year is filled up with these opportunities and you can find them too.

      North America and Europe are good options!

  8. Sarah

    Jun 5, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Nice article! The other ones I’ve come across, for free accommodation is the famous couch surfing, which is definitely handy for short stays.

    There’s also Wimdu,which is a bit like Airbnb but peer to peer accommodation rental.

    The only thing I would say about trusted housesitters is that registering is expensive (around £75 annually) so you would have to be fairly commited. Although saying that and having subscribed to their mailing lists they do offers on that price every now and again. There are similar sites (no necessarily looking after pets too) e.g mind my house where the registration fees are closer to £15-20, which is a bit more reasonable.

    I guess another plan if you had a digital nomad meet up you could rent an apartment as a co-working space..?

    • Angelo Drake

      Jun 13, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks for the extra tips Sarah, super helpful.

      I have used mindmyhouse and would say that the extra money spent on trustedhousesitters is well worth it. There site interface and usability is much better than mindmyhouse.

      Here is another way to put the $75 into perspective. I have literally saved over $15,000 in accommodation costs over a short period of time thanks to the $75 investment I made.

      The idea of setting up a digital nomad co-working space apartment is awesome!

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Startups

You Are The Problem With Your Business

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A great way to screw up your company is to get into the habit of blaming your suppliers, the market, your staff or your product for your failures.

I recently heard a story of a business that had set up a website. They sold various products and services focusing on helping people with psychological issues. The business owner was smart. The product solved a problem.

Unfortunately, the company was making almost no money. They’d hired someone to help them with their digital marketing and it wasn’t working.

Plenty of traffic was coming to the site, users were having a look around and then not buying a single thing. Who’s fault was this?

Well, according to the business owner it was the person running their digital marketing. As a result, they wasted approximately eight months marketing a website that couldn’t make any sales. The reason the business was failing according to the owner was because of the keywords that were being targeted in the marketing campaign. This is a horrible excuse.

The reason your business fails is because you’re blaming someone other than yourself. It’s the quickest way to bankruptcy. Don’t do that.


Your company is a reflection of you.

It took me a long time to figure out that a company is a reflection of its founder.

One of the businesses I had, had a toxic culture and a bunch of people that were rude to customers, arrogant and not nice people. That was a reflection of exactly who I was at the time.

The company was reflecting the flaws of my own life and what I refused to admit.

In the case of the business owner above, what was obvious is that they were good at telling lies to themselves. It was easy not to change as a business owner and insist that the change needed was nothing to do with their vision.

The issue of their company was not the digital marketing strategy but their lack of understanding around what their customer wanted.

The thought that their products were too complicated, not solving a real problem or priced incorrectly was an admission of guilt they wanted no part in. Hence the eventual demise of their company.


Take responsibility and it will change.

When you own the business, everything is your fault.

You have the power to solve any problem you choose. It starts with you being brave enough to admit that there’s a problem, and then secondly, being bold enough to insist it’s your fault and that you can change it.

The problems in your business can all be solved. That’s what it took me a very long time to understand. When I changed as a person and faced up to my hidden battle with mental illness that I didn’t want to talk about, the odds turned in my favor.

Had I have not taken responsibility for my mental illness, I would have never become a leader in a business or started another side hustle. I would have been crippled by the big, bad world that I thought I could control.

Control came from responsibility, and responsibility solved the major problem in my business: me.


Change is a must.

Not with your digital marketing strategy.
Not with hiring new people.
Not with developing a new product.

Changing yourself is the *must* because YOU attract the problems and the solutions into your business”

You can’t find the solutions or stop the never-ending problems until you stop the cause of it all: you. You’re the problem with your business. The good news is that it’s entirely within your control to fix.

Change you.

Not the business.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Startups

The Different Ways of Measuring the Success of Your Start-Up

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Image Credit: Unsplash

You’ve probably heard people use the term “unicorn” in a business context. This means a privately held start-up whose value has grown to at least one billion American dollars. Think Airbnb, Uber, and so forth. There is no doubt that some start-ups have been major financial successes. And many smaller-scale start-ups are doing great as well, working hard and turning a steady profit. But that begs the question of whether finances are the only way to measure the success of a start-up. As it turns out, they might not be. At least, not always and not on their own.

How to Evaluate Success

As anyone who’s been involved with start-ups knows, you need a fair amount of flexibility to do well in this environment. Take the division of labour for example – rather than strict roles, you’ll often see everyone do a bit of everything. The same principle extends to measuring success. It can be vague and mean different things to different people, and it can change over time.

But amongst all that vagueness, one thing has become clear. Predicting the success of a start-up is very difficult for external observers. As a matter of fact, it’s often impossible. Therefore, in order to evaluate how successful a start-up has truly been, we need to know the goals of its founder(s).

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” – Marianne Williamson

The Numbers

When people think about business, it’s common to boil matters down to the finances. And it certainly is possible to use numbers to measure and predict the performance of a start-up business. Net worth, gross margin, customer acquisition cost – these can all be indicators of success. But, a start-up can post impressive numbers for a while, perhaps even attract large investors, and still shut down in the end. So does this make it a failure?

The answer to this depends. If the founders wanted to start a lasting business, then yes, they failed to meet their goal. However, that isn’t always the case. If they were looking for a short-term solution and came out with more money than they had coming in, a closed-down start-up needn’t be unsuccessful. It can actually be the opposite of that.

So, looking at the figures isn’t enough, and there are different perspectives to consider. When they start planning their business venture, start-up founders may not have any particular numbers in mind when it comes to profit. Instead, they can judge their success according to some of the following criteria.

1. Happy Customers and Solving Problems

The story of a start-up often begins with a problem. The desire to help people overcome a specific issue can be the spark which ignites the creation of an entire business. And in the end, that may be all that matters to the founders.

This is closely connected to the happiness of the customers. If the resulting product or service has made people happy by helping them solve a problem, that is all that may be required for a start-up to be a success. Now, no business wants unsatisfied customers. But in cases like this, happy customers aren’t the way toward the ultimate goal – they are that goal.

In other words, some start-up founders don’t just use financial reports to measure how much they’ve achieved. To them, the one metric which stands above all others is the quantity of positive feedback they’ve received. The main area of focus is customers who use the start-up’s products or services to solve a problem they were having.

2. Impact

Every start-up founder likes doing well in terms of revenue. But for some of these entrepreneurs, the profit is merely a side effect of what they actually set out to do – impact the world in a positive manner. You can see an example of this line of thought with Elon Musk. He said that back in college, he had wanted to be a part of things that could end up changing the world. The continuation of this philosophy is evident in his electric cars (which aim to reduce pollution) and the SpaceX program (which strives to break down some of the barriers of space exploration).

In both cases, the furthering of mankind is the ultimate goal. Many other start-up founders feel the same, even if they have smaller goals in mind. To these people, there is no greater proof of success than if their company has had a positive impact on society or even a small segment of it. In their view, to make a difference is to succeed.

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” – Tony Robbins

3. Freedom

For some, starting up their own business is less about getting rich and more about gaining the freedom to conduct their business the way they want to. In this case, financial success is just a means to an end. The endgame is to be your own boss.

The fact is, some people don’t do well when they’re constantly receiving orders. They are simply hardwired to be free thinkers and they require an environment that allows them to do things in their own way.

Being in a position where you hold all the cards can be exhilarating. The knowledge that your decisions are final is very empowering, and many strive for such freedom. If a start-up can allow such people to go from being a regular employee to being in charge of making all the decisions, then it has already achieved all the success that it needs to.

4. Time for Friends and Family

As many people know all too well, a job can easily turn into the focal point of your daily life. Instead of being a way to support your lifestyle, your work dominates your time. And when that happens, the time you have to dedicate to your loved ones becomes scarce. Combating this is precisely what some have in mind when they decide to take the leap and start their own business.

Now, running your own company is no mean feat and it will require a lot of effort. But the beginning is the most time-consuming part of the process. Later on, it can be possible to create a system which leaves you with a lot more time on your hands. You can spend this time with your significant other, your children, or your friends. A start-up which gives you this opportunity is perhaps the greatest success of all.

A start-up is an extension of its founders and so are that company’s goals. Some entrepreneurs are in it for the profit, but not all of them. In the end, there is no single way to measure the success of a start-up. It all comes down to the specific aims of those who established it. But if the founders can end their day on a happy note, then the venture is a success even if it doesn’t fit some standard definition of the term.

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Startups

The Problem Is Not Your Website Or Your Product.

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spend a lot of my time talking to business owners. They focus on their product, their marketing channels and trying to make more profit.

I met one such business owner who was in the plastic surgery business. Their product (boob jobs and nose jobs) was not working. Their website sucked and people clicked off as soon as they visited it.

People would call their office, get put on hold, listen to the on hold message and hang up.

This business didn’t seem all that special. I’ve talked to many businesses and didn’t think for a microsecond that a plastic surgery clinic could ever teach me anything valuable.

I’ve been to Hollywood on holidays and the issues of body image are all too apparent to me. Anyway, this post is not about body image.

I ended up losing this business as a customer — not that I would ever have sold anything to them if it were up to me. I sat down one afternoon and thought about why we no longer did business with them.

That’s when I realized it’s not about your product or your website. All the issues with this plastic surgery clinic and a lot of other businesses I’ve dealt with stem from one thing. Let me explain in more detail.


Your Google Reviews say you’re an piece of work.

I looked up their Google Reviews and their customers said they were assholes.

They spoke down to clients, they didn’t deliver their clients what they wanted, they argued with their staff in front of customers and they treated people like they were nothing more than a dollar sign.

All I had to do was read their Google reviews to see that the problem wasn’t their product or their website.


Your clients tell you every day that you suck.

I asked the plastic surgery what their clients said.

Many of their clients told them that their services sucked and they would prefer to go to places like Thailand where they could get a better product at a much lower price.

The business owner made the mistake of thinking it was their product that was the problem and that a new website will tell clients a different message.

That wasn’t it.


You abuse your staff and they consistently leave.

I spoke with many staff that worked for this business.

Every single one of them hated the company and were not afraid to say what they thought of the business owner.

The business owner would sit outside on a nice sunny day and look across the street at all the yachts and the people boarding them.

They’d sit there and think that every lead they got was going to take them one step closer to owning their very own yacht.

“If only I could deliver more boob jobs, maybe I could have one of those,” they thought quietly to themselves hoping that no one else could hear how ridiculous this sounded.

I can remember multiple times being on the phone to the business owner and having one of their staff burst into tears halfway through the call.

The first time it happened I didn’t think much. After the third time, I got the message. During the short time I dealt with this business, people consistently left. If you made it to the six-month mark, you were some sort of hero and would probably be given a free surgery to say thank you for your work and make you feel worse about your own body at the same time.

It was free noses and boobs in return for daily abuse.

The problem still wasn’t the website all the product.


You don’t solve real problems; you solve your own problem.

A good business solves a problem.

That problem typically affects human beings and solving it is how you make money in business. Solving problems can start out with a problem that affects you, but at some point, you’ve got to start solving that same problem for other people/businesses.

This owner of this plastic surgery clinic was only trying to solve their own problem which was making more money to buy fancy items like yachts.

Only solving your own problem is not just selfish but bad business.

Good business is solving a big problem or lots of small problems for entire strangers who you don’t know thus doing something valuable for the human race.

Solving only your problem will make you poor.

The problem still wasn’t their website or product.


Creating more problems.

Everything this business owner sold created more problems.

They’d film videos to purposely make people feel like their body wasn’t perfect.

They’d write articles suggesting that everyone needs botox to feel young.

They’d take photos of men and women who were supposed to be perfect so that young people would dream of looking like them.

Not only was their business not solving a real problem; it was also creating more problems every day that it existed.

If your business creates more problems than it solves, you’re in real trouble.You need to take a long hard look at the business and become obsessed with doing everything you can to change it — and do so damn fast to limit the whirlwind of problems you’re creating behind you.


The heart of the problem.

It’s the business owner.

The business I mentioned will fail. That part is certain. The problem with the business is not the website or the product.

The problem is the business has no heart because the business owner has no heart.

You cannot focus on your own selfish desires, create really bad problems in the world, treat other human beings like garbage and expect to go buy a yacht and live happily ever after. It just doesn’t happen like that.

Whether you are a plastic surgery clinic like the one I described or a solo entrepreneur, the problem with your business is you.

Fix the problem of YOU. You can’t get away with being horrible forever.
Being horrible is bad business.

Being respectful, kind and valuable is the final answer to the problem with your business.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Entrepreneurs

18 Must Read Business Books for Emerging Entrepreneurs and Startups

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business books

Reading is both relaxation and training for the mind. Who reads, dives into another world. Learning, entertaining and breaking out of everyday life for a short moment. One could go even so far as to say reading is the second most beautiful thing in the world! Whether it is non-fiction or a novel of all the world’s man has created, the book is the most powerful tool. That is also, why we wanted to find out which business book you should undertake in the new year. (more…)

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