A few years ago, I decided to leave Germany and start traveling around Asia. However, it wasn’t only that I wanted to travel the world, but I also had a plan of generating a location independent income.
In this article, I’ll share what I have learned over the past years and what I believe are some extremely overlooked aspects in trading and entrepreneurship.
When I left Europe, I was already doing well with my online income, but maintaining a decent lifestyle in Europe (or any western part in the world), can be quite a challenge – especially if you don’t have lots of savings. Besides the financial aspect, moving to Asia had/has a lot of other psychological and emotional benefits and it helped me elevate my trading to new heights.
Freeing up time and reducing the cost of living to work on your edge
When you work for yourself, time is your most precious asset. Especially in the beginning, you really need to grind it out, eliminate all the distractions and just dig in your heels and work without distractions.
I picked Asia, but any country with low costs of living will do here. The amount of time we usually spend performing tasks that don’t add any value is crazy. Just think of yourself and how much time you spend each week driving to the store to buy groceries, preparing meals, doing laundry, cleaning your house or apartment, driving to the gym and commuting back and forth to work. Those things really add up and for many people, not having to do all those things above would probably free up 1 or 2 extra 8-hours work days per week and they don’t add any value to your life anyway.
The service costs in Asia are so low that you can eat out 3 times a day and good restaurants are everywhere because even the locals eat out; serviced apartments offer laundry services and have cleaning staff on-demand; and gym and pools are almost always included.
Since I moved to Asia, my productivity has increased A LOT and I can finally outsource all the minor tasks that don’t add any value to my life.
Eliminating the need to make money and trading less
Besides all the added comfort, moving to Asia reduced the need to make money. The problems many people have is that their trading accounts are not big enough to generate an income from their trading yet. Subsequently, this often creates the need to take more trades or add an unnecessary amount of risk. And we all know that this usually never works out…
Once you can control your expenses, you can eliminate the need to trade significantly. You can focus on picking quality setups and not worry about how much return you have to generate. When you know that all you need is 2 or 3 good trades per month, it takes so much off your shoulders. Eventually, this will allow you to grow your account to a size where you can comfortably live off your trading.
Obviously, one of my goals when moving here was to live life a bit more – although this sounds very cliche. Now, whenever I need a mini-holiday, I can just drive 1 hour and relax in a jungle resort on the weekends or hop on a plane and be in a beach paradise 2 hours later while the costs are ridiculously cheap.
Once you can overcome the problem of being fixed to one location to earn a living, there are so many new opportunities opening up to improve the quality of your life. At the same time, you’d be surprised how much cheaper living abroad can be. Once you understand what making a living in US-Dollars and living on Thai Baht does for you, you start seeing the world with different eyes.
A different perspective on life
For many people, trading is about the sports car / penthouse / yacht lifestyle. But what is it really that you want from life and how does trading fit in there? I traveled through some of the poorest parts of Asia, but to my surprise, those local people always seem to be so much happier and satisfied compared to what I was used to seeing at home in Europe. Long-term traveling opens your eyes to what is really important. I learned to not take myself so seriously (nothing we do here really matters that much anyway), stop worrying so much and focus on what is really adding value to my life. And sports cars, swiss watches or other materialistic stuff definitely don’t fit in there. Be clear about what you want from life and then go after them.
This article isn’t specifically about moving to a different country and leaving your life behind. The main idea behind this article is to provide a different view on trading and pursuing your goals with the help of trading. 99% of all traders and websites will just tell you to look for a better system, maybe use a bit more leverage and risk, and take a few more trades. I guess my main takeaway points are:
- Reduce your costs of living
- Free up time and avoid tasks that don’t add value to focus on the important things
- Let your account grow without withdrawing constantly
- Eliminate the need to trade
- Find out what keeps you engaged and motivated
- Be clear about your goals and why you want to become a trader in the first place