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Andrew Henderson

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Cubicle vs. Online Business: When $50,000 Isn’t the Same

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[Editor’s Note: Pete Sisco, author of The Freedom App, is filling in for Andrew today while he’s touring real estate in Vietnam.]

Reporting from: Pattaya, Thailand

Online business in Pattaya, Thailand
Pattaya, Thailand: A great place to run your online business

Fifty thousand dollars is an arbitrary number.

But let me ask you which is better: a $50,000 a year salary, or an online business earning $50,000 a year?

Pick the amount of money you made last year, or during your best year, or the amount you think would pretty much ensure you have a comfortable lifestyle without needing to worry about money.

Think about it for a minute. $25,000? $100,000? A quarter million dollars?

Do you have it?

One of the inescapable facts of life is that money is important. I don’t care if you’re the Dali Lama and have the most spiritual outlook possible. I don’t care if you eschew material things in life and don’t care at all about money.

Without any money you’re dead in a matter of days. We all need to eat and have shelter and we have to trade something of value to get those things. That’s why we all do something every day to make money.

Here is something I’d like you to consider. Aren’t there a lot of ways to make the exact amount of money you think you need? From “dream job” all the way to “hellish nightmare job”. If you had the ability to make your specific goal income every year, wouldn’t you want to make it the dream job way instead of the hellish way?

The truth is, the explosion of technology and innovation that happened over the last 20 years has created ways to make a great living that were never possible before. Ever. Among the most personally liberating of those new options is the ability to operate a simple online business.

So here is my question…

If you could make all the money you need by operating your own simple online business, would you do it? Remember, with an online income you have no boss, no co-workers, no set hours to work or place you have to be. Also, there is no practical upper limit on your income. If you work twice as hard you’ll make twice the money.

What’s more, you can have an almost unfathomable amount of personal freedom while you make the money you need. You could attend college, you could go sailing every day, you could volunteer in an orphanage in Cambodia, you could write a screenplay, you could find interesting investments all over the world.

Let me give you an extra bonus.

The folks I know with conventional jobs seem to mostly work to support having the job. They need a car good enough to make a long commute all year which means higher payments and insurance.

They need a house close enough to the job marketplace – the city – and that means it’s more expensive to rent or pay a mortgage.

They need nice clothes that have to be dry cleaned.

And on and on. The people working at “real jobs” work so they can afford to work. The guy working online from Vietnam lives for peanuts next to a postcard-ready beach. His expat friends do the same. They laugh and enjoy every day together.

Many thousands of us are making a great living and enjoying personal freedom by simply availing ourselves of the technology and opportunity that has exploded over the past few years. The folks at Nomad Capitalist do it. I’ve been doing it for thirteen years.

Thirteen years ago I wasn’t nearly as concerned about the collapse of western civilization.

Now, with sovereign debt in the stratosphere for the four biggest fiat currencies on earth – from the US to Japan – full-time employment is at the lowest levels since World War II, and youth unemployment is practically at fifty percent in some places.

I’m concerned more than ever about the resiliency of my income and my general security.

Sitting in a cubicle making $50,000 per year suddenly looks an order of magnitude less secure and resilient than sitting in Thailand or Belize making the same income online – and being in control.

There are a lot of ways that big trouble can arrive. One of them is the ridiculous belief that interest rates will stay ultra-low forever. Remember when house values were going to increase every year, with no end in sight? Once governments need to service their debts at seven, nine, or even fourteen percent interest, there is going to be very little money left over. The tax freeloaders will have nowhere to go.

When those government checks stop arriving there will be widespread trouble. Maybe the company you work for will lose half its market. Maybe the company you work for will close down.

Then what? What happens when new millions are out of work and there is no ‘safety net?’ What happens when you’re one of them?

Thirteen years ago I thought making a living from anywhere was a fun idea. Now I think it’s imperative.


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