NHA Lifestyle Blog

What they never tell you about starting an online business

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In October of last year, I returned home from Canada and moved into a hostel in Dublin. At the time this was something that seemed to confuse, and even annoy, some people as why live in a hostel when you can live with one of your brothers? Actually, was everything okay? I even remember a friend telling me what everyone else most likely wanted to say, that she felt sorry for me living in a hostel.

Living in a hostel

Truth is, it was absolutely terrible moving into a hostel on a permanent basis because it went against everything society had told me was normal. And trust me, I knew exactly how it looked as I myself had an incredibly hard time not wondering if I was losing it – a thirty two year old man choosing to live with a bunch of eighteen year old backpackers and a handful of semi-homeless folk. That said, yes I could have moved in with my brother rent-free or slept on a mates sofa but it just made no sense to prolong the inevitable. I had just quit the safety of nine to five and my sole purpose was to create an online business but more importantly, a different, better lifestyle.

Moving into a hostel made sense as it was my first step toward making it happen with a certain belief that in order to start an online business from scratch, I needed to start living with with less which would then enable me to do more ie. if I spend less, I can survive longer.

I was most certainly not okay back then but that was not the point, I was doing all of this so that everything could be awesome.

online Business

Starting an online business: The Coffee Guy

I met this really cool guy in Chiang Mai a few weeks ago. Sandor had just quit a miserable job in Holland and arrived in Southeast Asia with the intention of developing a coffee farm in Northern Laos. “That’s really awesome” I said, but Sandor was terrified he might run out of money and have to go back home to all the misery while also feeling like an idiot.

Meeting Sandor reminded me of when I started out last year. I was determined to spend Christmas with family but it was still October and Ireland would be an expensive place to hang around. I made a decision to travel across to the West of Ireland and live in a tent while trying to find a way to make money online. These two weeks were a complete disaster and I ended up in a serious situation one night with an emergency blanket wrapped around my naked body. You can read about that episode here but back to the point, it was not going well. I contemplated giving up right there and then but thankfully, I decided to take a bus back to Dublin the very next day and boarded a flight to Krakow in Poland. Cutting a long story short, living in a hostel in Krakow was almost as cheap as living in a tent back home so I was now able to start focucing on making money instead of scraping by from day to day.

What is my point?

Well, I didn’t tell Sandor any of this but what I did say was that money was not going to be the reason his coffee farm idea would not work. Why? Because to live comfortably in Northern Laos would cost no more than $10 per day and this was an amount that he can most certainly make online. Therefore, I suggested to Sandor that what happens next will entirely depend on his patience and passion for the idea because with money no longer an issue, he would have the rest of his life to figure out the coffee farm.

Tuk Tuk Chiang Mai

Living in Chiang Mai

My life is most likely not what you think it is over here. I get up at 5.30am each morning and spend most of every day working online, hustling for more ways to increase my online income and searching for more website owners who need a travel content writer. I love getting up early and putting in the hours, but it’s exhausting and beyond lonely at times. I eat three times a day but go without coffee, snacks and so much more to keep costs down. In fact, for the past month I have operated an online business without a laptop. For real, my laptop decided to stop working and I have spent every day this month writing articles on a smart phone or sitting in late night internet cafe’s. Just get it done, that’s what I kept telling myself.

Thankfully I did manage to find some where to buy a second hand laptop in Chiang Mai yesterday but this will now be at the expense of having my own private room, as to account for the money it costs, I will move back into a hostel for the month of January.

Can you see what I’m getting at?

I don’t care anymore. I don’t care what it looks like or what is the right and wrong way of doing anything. None of that is important. All that matters is the online business, that it allows me to travel the world and live with absolute freedom while creating something meaningful for myself. So yes, the trainers on my feet today were bought in a second hand shoe shop last week. It does get lonely, hustling every day is hard and there won’t be any turkey this Christmas.  And yes, it ‘s really shit that I need to move back in with a bunch of backpackers this coming January and that I won’t be “okay” with having to do this, but then this doesn’t really matter either because at the end of the day, everything is going to be awesome.

It’s not about the money, it’s about sacrifice.

Chiang Mai Shoes

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Adventurer & Adventure Travel Blogger from Dublin, Ireland. In late 2013 after the loss of both parents and a realization that his life was descending into chaos, Derek began riding a bicycle solo across Africa while sleeping in a tent. It was here that he discovered a true passion for the outdoors, travel writing and the general unexpected nature of life.

1 Comment

  1. Julie Cao

    December 18, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Pursuing your passion while living in a society where most people strive to live comfortable is not easy. I have moved abroad and lived on my own since 2006 and half year ago I started full-time travel writing. We do not have lot of material possessions and it can get incredibly lonely at times, but we are able to experience the beauty of this world, and that is the part I wont trade for anything. All the respect to work on your passions and work on what you really love to do. Your passion and patients will leads you to a great life.

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