Sneak Peek at the first 5 Destination Entrepreneur Podcasts
In addition to the blog, I am starting a podcast focused on the stories of Destination Entrepreneurs around the world. The podcasts will be 30-45 minutes long on average and will cover a range of topics, countries and businesses. I anticipate the podcasts will come out in the next couple of weeks, and in anticipation of their release, I wanted to give you a taste of some of the great people I have had a chance to speak with.
Buying a beach bar in Costa Rica with no business experience.
Bonnie was the first Destination Entrepreneur I interviewed and boy does she have a good story! Bonnie was a teacher in Atlanta until her husband’s sudden death suddenly changed everything for her. No longer content with the suburban life, Bonnie decided to move to Costa Rica – undeterred by the fact she didn’t speak Spanish!! She lived there 9 months before finding a small business to buy. Her beach bar (which also serves great food and has a small hostel for travelers) has been profitable from day 1 and she has won awards from Trip Advisor for customer service.
Bonnie has had her fair share of challenges – ranging from difficulty getting a reliable supply of white American cheese to learning Spanish, but a recent Facebook post from Bonnie sums up her experience since moving to Costa Rica:
What an incredible week last week. Samara Trails Hiking on Monday, rafting on Thursday, Horseback riding on Sunday. I love my life. I guess it is ok to be tired!
Key takeaways include how to approach the purchase of a business in a foreign country, the importance of lifestyle in choosing a country that is a good fit for you, how to get along in a country where you don’t speak the language, and how to juggle complicated visa requirements. You can find her podcast here.
Throwing in the corporate towel to design extreme sports bikinis in the Dominican Republic
To the outside observer, Bianca seemingly had it all. She worked for a high-powered consulting firm, had a great group of friends and lived in an awesome city (Rome!). Something was wrong though – Bianca felt like she was missing something. So she decided to hit the pause button, and evaluate her options while taking a year off to travel around the world doing what she really loved. Kite Surfing.
Kite Surfing brought her to the Dominican Republic (DR), where she fell in love with the country and decided to stay. Bianca now spends 9 months in DR and 3 months in Italy. She tutors Kite Surfing part-time and focuses the rest of her attention building a fast growing extreme sports bikini label, and writing her lifestyle blog.
Does she regret giving up her corporate life to live on the beach? Her typical day involves surfing in the morning, work in the middle of the day and then surfing again in the afternoon… so which do you think she prefers? Oh, and she is now buddies with Richard Branson who visits the same town in Dominican Republic each year to go Kite Surfing. You can find her podcast here
Using a love of bikes to get paid to live in exotic cities around the world
Bradley decided he was going to join the Peace Corps while hiking the Appalachian Trail in US. He didn’t have a passport, had never been out of the US, but he knew that he loved bikes and knew that he was up for adventure. He has since built a brand name for himself as ‘the guy’ who helps governments figure out bike sharing programs in developing countries. He has vowed to never live a life where he works through the week just to get the weekend – he lives a life where every day feels like Saturday.
Bradley has mastered the art of using a consulting business to pay for his life abroad. He currently lives in Laos and recently released a book named Bicycle Sharing 101. He currently living in Laos, doing it tough in a french era cabin overlooking the Mekong. Key takeaways from Bradley’s story are how to use your passion (even a passion for bikes!!) to set up an income generating consulting business, the importance of being true to yourself, and the ways to deal with self-doubt. You can find his podcast here.
Getting two years of free money to set up your business in Tanzania
At the age of 22, Jodi graduated from MIT as an engineer with job offers from big companies. She wasn’t interested. She wanted to move to Tanzania to sell agricultural products to people who earn $1-$6 per day. Sound a little crazy?
Well the crazier thing is that Jodi secured over $145,000 in grants (free money!!) in the first 12 months of developing the idea for her business. This money helped her fund the first 2 years of business operations while she lived in Arusha, a beautiful town in Tanzania which is a frequently used as a staging point for safaris into the Serengeti and hikes up Kilimanjaro. Jodi wouldn’t trade her experience for the world: she loves the positive impact that her work has on some of the world’s poorest consumers.
Key takeaways from Jodi’s story include how to fund your startup with free money, tips on managing a business in a developing country as a woman and the importance of having purpose in your life. You can find Jodi’s podcast here.
Starting an unlikely businesses in an unlikely place with nothing in the bank
Kristie could see the writing on the wall. Journalism in the UK was turning into a desk job. She hated desk jobs. Kristie remembered really enjoying South America when she backpacked there over a decade ago…. But what would she do there? She knew newspapers. Could she start a newspaper without any business experience and with only £3500 in the bank?
Key takeaways from Kristie’s story include: How she brought a team of expats to Argentina to start a new newspaper. How she was able to attract local investors and how that accelerated her growth. How her newspaper was acquired in less than 3 years by one of the largest papers in the country, and how she subsequently stood up to that same acquirer when things went wrong. You can see Kristie’s podcast here.
Are there any types of stories, any lessons, any countries you are dying to hear about? Please share below.