What is a Lifestyle Design Blogger to Do?

The other day I was on the phone with my mastermind group. These super smart and successful guys were totally cracking up making fun of lifestyle design bloggers. RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE!!!

Admit it… You’ve done it too…


They were all like… “hey the book came out 4 years ago, we aren’t impressed that you managed to move to Southeast Asia… “

Ah… Lifestyle Design. What are you and why do people love/hate you so? My buddy Chris Ducker is even questioning the godfather’s lifestyle design creditials.

Lifestyle design dudes and dudettes get a lot of flak in the blog world.

  • “Lifestyle designers don’t have real businesses.”
  • “Lifestyle design is a scam– you develop a cult of personality then you sell it off in the form of training guides to be like you.”
  • “Lifestyle designers are young stupid dudes who live in Thailand and glorify the whole thing.”

I like to think about this kind of stuff. What ticks people off so much? There are obvious things like the gloat-y nature of it all… hey people!!! I’m makin’ a million bucks in sales this year!…. and so on…

It got me thinking. What’s a useful next step for the lifestyle design blogosphere to head? What should I do?

* * *

Today I was working on an article about why internet business owners should incorporate in Hong Kong instead of places like Delaware, California, or heaven forbid Germany.

Not many people are talking about stuff like that. I’ve got a hunch why: not many small business owners or location independent types inspired by the 4HWW movement are doing it yet.

I believe strongly that “location independent” isn’t “location arbitrary.” If your small global venture isn’t taking advantage of your mobility or the locations you find yourself in, you are leaving it on the table.

Have you seen what Simon Black is up to?

I respect his blog. He is prolific and interesting. He is genuinely helping people in the lifestyle design community reach their aims. In his case– helping readers explore overseas investment opportunities, diversify their assets, and optimize their citizenship status, among other things.

His material isn’t that useful for start-up entrepreneurs or small business owners who are making international decisions about their growing business. I think there is an opportunity there.

If you are starting a location independent internet business, where is the best place to incorporate? How do you take advantage of the labor codes in the Philippines? How do you live and work in Indonesia for 2 years on a tourist visa? How do you legally minimize your taxes as a US citizen running a start-up in Thailand?

This is the direction I’m going to start taking our community here.

The folks in the TMBA community are largely focused on the following geographic locations:

  • United States / Canada
  • China
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam

We are also building an approach to lifestyle businesses that is unique to our community. This will help us to attract similar business owners and people who can help us on our journey. Here are some of the focuses:

  • Understanding and exploiting loopholes and grey areas that arise from internationalization.
  • Concrete advice on lifestyle arbitrage– cash runway and real costs of living abroad.
  • Employing virtual staff and running multiple overseas corporations from home.
  • Living and running start-ups from abroad.
  • Employing people in multiple countries.
  • Structuring deals and investments in multi-national small businesses and start-ups.
  • Optimizing international business structure for start-up and growing enterprises. Where should you incorporate? Where should you live? How can you legally minimize your tax liability?
These are the kinds of things I’d like to work on here at the TMBA in the coming months. If you have any further suggestions, I’d love to hear them.


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