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1 Year as a
Digital Nomad.
How to build a business by the beach.!
by @yongfook
This is how!
I spent the last !
12 months.

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1 Year as a Digital Nomad - How to Build a Business by the Beach



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How to build a sustainable, profitable business from anywhere you want. In this presentation I talk about:

1) how much revenue you need to support a 100% independent, beach-hopping lifestyle

2) the kinds of businesses that work well, and the kinds that don't

3) a practical example of my own business, how I got it started, and the milestones I passed in the first year

4) Finally, the top 10 things I ate while traveling around Asia :)

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1 Year as a Digital Nomad - How to Build a Business by the Beach

  1. 1. 1 Year as a Digital Nomad. How to build a business by the beach.! ! by @yongfook
  2. 2. This is how! I spent the last ! 12 months.
  3. 3. Instagram @yongfook 60 second video montage at:
  4. 4. Koh Samui, ! Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Penang, Koh Tao, Melaka, Cameron Highlands, Singapore, Bangkok, ! Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, ! Ho Chi Minh, Bali, Krabi (most places multiple trips)
  5. 5. 52 hotels! (I’m an Agoda Elite member now)
  6. 6. In between the! fun & games! I’ve been building! a software company.
  7. 7. About 5 months in,! my business was earning! enough monthly profit! for me to travel indefinitely.
  8. 8. No investors.! No boss.! Real work / life balance.! 100% Freedom. My old office My new office
  9. 9. This is a ! pretty fun lifestyle.! More folks should try it.! Here’s how.
  10. 10. Part 1 No, you don’t need to be rich
  11. 11. How much money! do you think you ! need to live like this:
  12. 12. Going on adventures whenever you feel like it
  13. 13. Living in a hotel every day of every month
  14. 14. Flying to a new country whenever you want
  15. 15. Answer:! About $2000 USD! per month Achieve this, and you don’t need to worry about money any more. *$2500 SGD
  16. 16. You can easily live here for about $50 a day Aosane / Naiharn, Phuket
  17. 17. or here Ubud, Bali
  18. 18. or here (the list goes on) Georgetown, Penang
  19. 19. I fly budget It’s basically ~$100 one-way anywhere
  20. 20. I have zero distractions $3 to get my laundry cleaned and folded in Thailand
  21. 21. I eat local 70% of the time and 30% spent on booze / splashing out
  22. 22. I work from cafes or coworking spaces, or the beach, or the pool, or a rooftop bar, or my hotel room
  23. 23. $2k Fresh Grad Executive how the hell am I supposed to earn $2k a month by myself? why the hell would I ever work for just $2k a month?? Yongfook says: It’s about freedom and enabling a certain lifestyle, not about earning tons of money (but see next slide). Yongfook says: Actually, there’s a lot you can do and we’ll talk about that in a little while.
  24. 24. $2k Year 1 Year 3 Treat it as a milestone. I’ve already passed $2k a month, now almost at $5k a month. $5k $10k per month per month per month
  25. 25. Want to ! get started?
  26. 26. You’ll need! some savings.! 4 months is plenty. …but don’t let this be a limiting factor.! You just need enough money to cover yourself! until you start earning revenue. Less savings = more motivation to earn revenue faster! #practicalfook#itsbestnottostarve
  27. 27. It’s a big ! lifestyle change.! Create a deadline. e.g. cancel your lease, book a plane ticket, book the first month of hotel somewhere, set a date for the goodbye party
  28. 28. Part 2 Revenue model brainstorming
  29. 29. Aim for ! High Margin Profit enables you to buy nice things like food, ! drink and a place to sleep. (High revenue but low profit does not enable this lifestyle)
  30. 30. Aim for ! Low Touch Low maintenance businesses enable you to! enjoy your nomadic lifestyle properly. Buy Now
  31. 31. Aim for ! B2B Aim to sell to entities who will in turn profit ! from what you’re selling*. It’s an easier sell. *e.g. tools / resources
  32. 32. Have a ! Well-Defined Target It makes marketing much easier.
  33. 33. Stupid Ideas! ! Consumer! Physical! Transactional! ! You want customers,! not “users” Too much work!! Many moving parts Needs high volume! and hustle, too much! work
  34. 34. Good Ideas! ! Digital Goods! Software! eBooks! Wordpress themes, ! plugins etc. Make once ! and sell many times SaaS or paid mobile apps.! Monthly subscription =! predictable revenues Make once and sell ! many times
  35. 35. $2k USD / month ! looks like…
  36. 36. This guy made $15,944 in sales FROM ONE TEMPLATE!
  37. 37. Sell a $10 website template…! ! …200 times a month
  38. 38. Sell two $10 website templates…! ! …100 times a month
  39. 39. Sell five $10 website templates…! ! …40 times a month (you get the idea)
  40. 40. Pricing page at How many customers did I need before I hit $2k per month?
  41. 41. Get 200 subscribers! ! …at $10 per month
  42. 42. Get 50 subscribers! ! …at $40 per month
  43. 43. Get 20 subscribers! ! …at $100 per month (you get the idea)
  44. 44. Part 3 From launch to $2000 USD profit per month
  45. 45. Start Lean! a month before! you hit the road Validate your idea and make sure there is demand
  46. 46. July 2013 Originally, Beatrix was going to be a competitive analysis tool. It would tell you how good your social media marketing was, compared to your competitors. First ever mockup - no code written
  47. 47. July 2013 The response was all the same:! ! “gee that sounds interesting but we never even have time to create social media content in the first place”
  48. 48. July 2013 Of Course! One big problem that businesses have is actually keeping their Facebook and Twitter accounts up to date
  49. 49. July 2013 New idea = social media content suggestions based on keywords
  50. 50. July 2013 550 subscribers into launch mailing list
  51. 51. August 2013 Built V1 of Beatrix in Koh Samui! in one month
  52. 52. Have a story! to launch with.
  53. 53. August 2013 “funny/controversial” blog post
  54. 54. August 2013 journalist sneak preview (app was still closed to public)
  55. 55. August 2013 2000+ subscribers into launch mailing list
  56. 56. From this point,! I started letting people! into the app, about ! 200 new users at a time August 2013 Fix bugs, gather feedback, add features,! make the experience better for each new batch
  57. 57. 6 months to $2k monthlyMonthlyPayingCustomers(avg.$30plan) 0 20 40 60 80 August September October November December January February $2k Koh Samui, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Melaka, Bangkok
  58. 58. NOW: August 2014 200+ paying subscribers! and the app is way, way cooler too 100,000+ keywords, multimedia content suggestions
  59. 59. Always be marketing. Blog posts, newsletter blasts, special offers, ! campaigns, partnerships, funnel optimization
  60. 60. Part 4 Always Be Creating
  61. 61. February 2014 hey yongfook,! why don’t you ! write a book? ok lol Guy Vincent, founder of
  62. 62. I had been mentoring with two institutions,! SMU in Singapore and True Incube in Bangkok.! I basically put all of the advice I had been giving ! …into a book.
  63. 63. Stuff like this
  64. 64. Part 4 Always Be Creating
  65. 65. yongfook book preorders How I marketed the campaign,! google this:
  66. 66. Even now,! I sell 1+ book ! a day at $30 That’s an extra $1k a month, all passive
  67. 67. Write about:! Things you know well! Topics that are trending! Topics that help others profit
  68. 68. August 2014 Monthly: $4k via Beatrix + $1k via book sales (USD)
  69. 69. But most! importantly…
  70. 70. Complete! Freedom
  71. 71. Part 5 Top 10 Things I ate
  72. 72. REAL krapow, Thailand 10
  73. 73. Best wantan mee ever, Kuala Lumpur 9
  74. 74. Best neapolitan style pizza in Asia, Singapore 8
  75. 75. Best strawberries in Asia, Cameron Highlands 7
  76. 76. Sambal Prawn Spaghetti, Kuala Lumpur 6
  77. 77. Pork soup with bitter gourd, Penang 5
  78. 78. the “Lunch Lady”, Ho Chi Minh 4
  79. 79. Khao Soi, Chiang Mai 3
  80. 80. Banh Mi, Ho Chi Minh 2
  81. 81. Babi Guling Tacos, Bali 1
  82. 82. The End! @yongfook