Dateline: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
As you read this article, you might be sitting at your desk, dreaming of living a freer lifestyle.
Throughout our lives, many of us in the west are told that we’ll be happy if we go to college, get a corporate job, settle down, and work from 9 to 5 for forty years until we retire.
Unfortunately, the reality is that this lifestyle isn’t all that appealing to many people – nearly everyone wants to escape the rat race and change their lives.
Now, if you’re a part of my usual audience of six- and seven-figure entrepreneurs, you might be thinking:
“Andrew, I’ve quit my desk job and started my own business. I’ve already escaped the rat race – how does this even apply to me?”
You see, after spending over a decade traveling all over the world and seeing how different people live, I’ve learned that there are actually several rat races that you have to break free of in order to live a freer lifestyle as a tax-free global citizen.
However, to get to that point, you have to be willing to change your life.
There’s no top-secret formula to living a Nomad Capitalist lifestyle. The citizenship fairy isn’t going to place a fresh Caribbean passport under your pillow as you sleep, and your tax burden won’t simply disappear with the wave of a magic wand.
The simple fact is that if you want your life to change, then you need to change your life.
This article isn’t meant to be a prescriptive guide to getting to a point where you can become a tax-free global citizen. Everyone’s ideal is going to be different, and the steps that you need to take to get to that point will depend on your personal needs and goals.
What this article will discuss is the kinds of mindset changes that you need to make to truly escape the rat race, change your life, and live a Nomad Capitalist lifestyle.
The Two Rat Races that You Must Escape
Over the past decade, I’ve explored the world as a perpetual traveler while creating an optimized, tax-free lifestyle that satisfies my long-term goals.
Throughout this process, one of the things that I have learned is that escaping the rat race goes beyond just quitting your 9 to 5 and starting your own business.
There are actually many rat races that you’ll need to contend with as you develop your Nomad Capitalist lifestyle.
However, to free yourself of these rat races, you need to first understand what they are and how you get caught up in them. Some of them are obvious, but others are a bit more subtle.
So, what are these rat races that you need to escape?
Your 9 to 5 Job
The first rat race that you’ll need to contend with is the classic one that people often refer to – your 9 to 5 job that pays the bills but doesn’t satisfy you.
You want to figure out how to become an entrepreneur or a freelancer and get out of that boring, restrictive routine.
Escaping this rat race is your key first step in beginning your Nomad Capitalist lifestyle. You can’t explore the world with a single week of vacation per year, and you can’t bring your business offshore if you don’t have a say in that business in the first place.
The good news is that escaping this rat race is doable for many people. You can find work online or start a tax-friendly business, which will allow you to sow the seeds of a freer, more prosperous lifestyle.
Following the Herd as a Business Owner
When a lot of people decide to leave the classic 9 to 5 rat race, they often immediately jump into starting their own business.
On one hand, this is a huge boost to your personal wealth and freedom. You’re your own boss, and you can set your own hours and control your role in your company.
However, when you run your own business, you can fall into another rat race – doing what every other business owner does.
When I ran my own businesses in the US, I wasn’t always self-aware of this. Although I had always been an entrepreneur, I often fell into the trappings of trying to do what my peers were doing.
You see, when you escape the 9 to 5 rat race, your peers are a far more successful and savvy group of people. They’re not in mountains of debt, and they’re buying nice things and taking luxurious vacations. Therefore, you begin to think that there are certain things – like getting a brand new car – that you have to do in order to fit in with other successful people.
I remember meeting a guy that I was helping who was from Denmark, and he told me about some of the people he knew in Copenhagen who had opened their own businesses.
They bought the nice houses in the “right” neighborhoods and the fancy new cars, and they tried their hardest to live this high-level lifestyle that was expected of them as successful people.
However, as he told me this, I realized that this is a rat race in and of itself. You’re still living in one country and doing what you’re told to do because your peers and society as a whole tells you to do things in a particular way.
What I’ve found out from living the lifestyle that I do now and helping others do the same is that the need to get a luxury car or fancy watch may go away once you stop caring about keeping up with the Joneses.
As you travel more and spend more time away from your home country, you’ll come to realize that you’re no longer beholden to a particular set of beliefs. For instance, when I left the US, I decided that I no longer wanted to own a car – something that would be considered borderline insanity in the States.
As you live a more international lifestyle and explore the world, you’ll slowly become more and more detached from these local ideas of how a person of your standing is supposed to live.
Instead, you’ll begin to focus on what you actually want – not what society tells you to get to demonstrate your wealth or success.
You can join the expensive car club if you want, or you can sell your car and never drive again. You can enjoy wearing nice suits, or you can wear jeans and a t-shirt every day.
When you’re living the Nomad Capitalist lifestyle, you get to decide what you want to do.
How to Escape The Rat Race: You’ve Got to Change Your Life
After reading the last section, you might be inspired to get out of these rat races that hold you back from your potential – and that’s a good thing.
However, what I see all too often is that people might feel inspired to make important changes but never get around to doing anything.
They say, “I’m done trying to keep up with the Joneses,” but then they still buy that new iPhone that they don’t really care about. They say that they want to become a tax-free global citizen, but they continue to live in the US or Denmark or another high-tax country.
The fact is that while it’s good to feel inspired, you then need to actually act on that inspiration to live a Nomad Capitalist lifestyle.
Now, this isn’t some sovereign citizen nonsense where you go off the grid and refuse to pay a dime in taxes. All that will do is land you in jail.
Instead, becoming a tax-free global citizen is about making real changes that allow you to legally reduce your tax burden, build your wealth faster, and live a freer life.
If you want to get to this point, however, you have to do something to change.
Yet even people who want this kind of lifestyle dearly will come to me and say, “I like where I live now. I have employees here, and I have friends and family here. I want more, but my life is pretty good right now.”
I certainly understand that sentiment, but it’s not a recipe for success.
To truly take advantage of all that the world has to offer while going offshore to lower your tax burden, you have to be willing to do things like move or hire remote workers.
Put simply, something has to change.
If you want a second passport, then you have to take the steps to get it. If you want an offshore bank account, then you need to hop on a plane to open it. If you want to own foreign real estate, then you need to go there and buy it.
And no one can do this stuff for you. You can hire consultants and lawyers and accountants to help you along the way, but at the end of the day, your success comes down to your actions.
The fact is that you can’t keep living the life that you currently live and reap all of the tax and other benefits of going offshore and being a global citizen.
If that were possible, everyone else would be doing it.
There’s a reason why so few people can go offshore and truly achieve the Nomad Capitalist lifestyle. Society tells us that leaving the country is too hard and doing things like banking offshore is immoral.
However, those are the tools that society uses to keep people in the system. By telling people that leaving is bad and unpatriotic, society prevents us from going where we’re treated best.
So, if you’re tired of paying a boatload of taxes and not having the freedom that you want, then you need to overcome this mindset, and you need to make important changes in your life – even if they’re hard.
The way that you have succeeded thus far is by breaking out of the 9 to 5 rat race and doing the things that others weren’t willing to do.
You and I both know that success takes hard work.
And these same principles apply to going offshore and becoming a tax-free global citizen. It’s going to take some work and a few major changes.
You’re going to need to alter your lifestyle, and yes, you may need to give up a few things to get there.
But trust me, making these changes are worth it.