Written from a quaint little cafe in the heart of Chang Mai while stuffing my face with a tuna sandwich.
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While out in Bangkok I regularly get asked two questions whenever I meet someone and we get talking
- Why are you not wearing pants?
- How can you live out here but not have a job?
Two very important questions and I will look to answer them both within this article. Well, not so much the first question as that is simply personal preference – it is just more comfortable.
This article basically outlines the three core philosophies that I live by currently and how these philosophies allow me to live an amazing life out in Thailand without having a job.
These philosophies have allowed me to retire from a hard 40-50 hour work week and move to working less than 90 minutes a day with a substantial increase in lifestyle quality. This is one of many posts to come exploring the new lifestyle I am fortunate enough to live and how it is done.
I Have Been Lucky
I am not going to say that it’s easy and anyone can do it because it is not the case, nor is it the case that it is the lifestyle for everyone. More over, it is not that I am somewhat more talented or clever than others which has allowed me to lead it. I have been very lucky in how my life has panned out which has resulted in my having this opportunity.
However I do believe it is possible for most should they choose it.
I would like to say that what I talk about below are not new ideas and that many people have, and do, used similar principles. I have simply just summarised the three main ones that I live by. Tim Ferris and his book “The Four Hour Workweek” really kicked things off for me and countless others and so I definitely recommend reading it.
Currently how I design my life is through a philosophy I coined “Light Touch Entrepreneurship” or “Light Touch Living”, the core principles of which I will explain in this post. Further posts will follow regarding more detail about Light Touch Living and also why everyone should at least give it a go in the future.
The Light Touch Living Philosophy
Light Touch Living focuses on creating streamlined revenue streams which give financial freedom, freedom of locality and freedom of time to the entrepreneur or owner of these streams, subsequently allowing them to focus on enjoying life and helping others.
One of my good mates had another take of the philosophy which was “to sit on a beach all day and run an online business” but I have chosen to selectively ignore that comment as it is only half right. I also punched him in the arm for good measure.
Light Touch Entrepreneurship focuses on three core areas:
- Leveraging the power of currency:
- Harnessing the internet for global communication and outsourcing
- Applying The Pareto principle to all aspects of life and business
1. Leveraging the power of currency – How to make 300% interest on your money
Core to financial freedom and subsequently the freedom of locality and the freedom of time, is the ability to live within your means, and thus, it is of utmost importance to streamline and reduce personal overheads as much as possible without limiting or reducing your quality of life.
To do this Light Touch Entrepreneurship focuses on leveraging the power of currency, or in laymen’s terms, earning pounds but living on peso’s.
Pounds or Dollars can be made to be worth 4-5 times the relative amount if living in a country where currency fluctuations are favorable. Light Touch Entrepreneurs therefore focuses on living in and using the currency of any country where the entrepreneur can gain maximum value from every pound and dollar they spend.
If I told you I could get you up to 500% interest on any money you may have, I guess you would be quick to point out that I was wrong. Your current investments may be earning you 5%, 10% or maybe even 15% interest and you are happy with it. Without more risk higher interests are not possible, right?
I respectfully disagree, as 300% is easily achievable and I get it regularly on my savings.
In Bangkok for example, my savings, even at todays vastly reduced rate are still worth around an average of 3-4 times what there are in England. I have already got 4 times richer and live a lifestyle that reflects this, just by leaving the country.
The key to leveraging maximum value from currency differences is to ensure that you are earning or creating a stream of income of the more powerful currency but living on and spending the weaker currency.
It’s amazing what one british pound will get you in Bangkok.
This principle does not just apply to personal living but is also used to drastically reduce the costs involved in creating and running the revenue generating assets and businesses of the entrepreneur. By streamlining and outsourcing as much of the work as possible to countries where it is possible to gain the most currency leverage or “bang for your buck” the entrepreneur can substantially lower the start up costs and increase the net profits of their ventures.
It is easy to hire 10 guys for the price of one using websites like www.elance.com.
For any of you who doubt the quality of the work, I can say from personal experience that it is second to none. In many aspects far surpassing the more expensive options in reliability and quality.
2. Harnessing the internet for global communication and outsourcing – Hiring 10 guys for the price of 1.
The internet has revolutionised our world and has change the dynamics of business practice, social interaction and the entertainment industry, to name but a few.
Light Touch Entrepreneurship focuses on maximising its power as an information source, communication tool and outsourcing instrument.
The world is now very small and with advances in technology individuals nowadays have access to a global market place and a global workforce, as well as access to almost limitless information. Light Touch Entrepreneurship focuses on capitalising on these advances and using them to create their streamlined and automated cash generating assets.
The core idea for Light Touch Entrepreneurship is to create these assets, ensure they can control them from a laptop and then remove themselves from the equation as soon as possible.
The main goal of any venture is to ensure the entrepreneur becomes the least important person in that business as soon as possible, hence having a light touch in the business. Being the most important person in an organisation is great but by it’s very nature all decisions ultimately then need to be made by you and this does not give you freedom of time or generally location either.
Light Touch Entrepreneurship is not about building empires where the entrepreneur is the central figure but instead is quite the opposite, where many and various assets run automatically with minimal control from the owner.
This is the key to achieving the freedom of locality and the freedom of time.
3. Applying The Pareto principle to all aspects of life and business – Doing a small part of the baking and getting most of the cake.
You should venture over to the “5 Killer Rules For Effective Working” blog for more on the Pareto Principle.
The Pareto 80/20 Principle states that all things being equal 80% of your results/sales/income will come from 20% of your efforts/staff/business. If 20% of your effort is obtaining 80% of your rewards then this also means that 80% of your effort must be spent obtaining the last 20% of the rewards. Light Touch Entrepreneurship focuses on the 20% of effort that creates 80% of the results and happily accepts that the final 20% is not worth the 80% effort.
This principle is not just applied to business but to all aspect of the Light Touch Entrepreneur’s life, substantially reducing the time employed in any given activity while still yielding 80% of the results.
This ensures that the entrepreneur achieves all that they want out of life while substantially increasing the amount of free time they have available to them. Throughout their ventures and life, processes are evaluated and streamlined constantly using the Pareto 80/20 rule to get the most rewards from the minimal amount of effort.
Sir, Madam. Would You Like Some Real Life Proof?
This is just a summary and I wish to go into more detail on different aspects of Light Touch Living in future posts but just in case you think that this is not possible or cannot see the advantage, let me just highlight a few changes in my own life in the last few months.
- Worked a 40-50 hour week stressful Project Management job
- Had limited time for a social life and was usually very tired.
- Became housebound.
- Didn’t go out for entertainment that often because of expense.
- Had very little time and energy to pursuit my own ideas and projects.
- Work less than 6 hours a week
- Spend my mornings working on my business, the blog, swimming and reading. Spend the afternoons in cafe’s writing my two new novels. Spend the evenings running and out with friends at bars, clubs and entertainments. Spend my weekends traveling, scuba diving, elephant trekking etc.
- Have almost complete freedom.
- Spend a fraction of what I did in England doing substantially more.
It Can Be Done
I have used the above example, not to gloat, but to prove that it can be done and it really does pay. I have many more post planned explaining how I quit my job, set up the businesses that support me etc but if there is anything in particular you would like to know please leave me a comment and I’ll try and address it.
If you are interested in finding out how things are going then keep coming back to the blog or subscribe to thelifething.com feed. It would be good to have you as a reader.
And finally…I do actually wear pants.
Below if your opportunity to have your say and let others know what you think.