Hey hey to all my fellow entrepreneurs!
Let’s get this right first. Don’t think you’re asking too much by thinking you can start your own business, and have the time and money to be traveling around the world at the same time.
This is what I have done myself, so I want to share with you ways to do so. I’ve gone from teaching in schools, to online teaching, to setting up my own company all while exploring South East Asia.
I’m sure you’re already aware of this by now, but as a TEFL teacher, we get a LOT of free time!
Seriously, who needs a 2.5 hour lunch break?! I started out teaching in Cambodia, so obviously different countries will vary. But when they told me my hours, all I could think was what’s the point in that outrageously long lunch break? I’d rather just work through and finish super early. However, of course, that’s not an option, and they have their reasons for that being in place.
I didn’t really do much with that extra time to start with. Maybe faffed about watching a series, scrolling through Facebook, and having a luxurious nap during the day. (Teaching is tiring!) I got to a point though where I discovered teaching wasn’t what I wanted to do. Neither was living in Phnom Penh long term. I ended up going through a bit of a self-discovery journey which has been one of the most amazing and exciting journeys of my life so far.
I want you to experience exactly that for yourself!
The first thing I looked into was online teaching. This is a logical step, and great for extra income when you’re first setting up. Companies like Palfish just require a TEFL or ESL certificate, and then you’re treated as though you’re self-employed. You set the hours you wish to work, and then you set out to find your students by being an active member of the Palfish community. The more active you are, the more you can build your schedule up and eventually turn it into a full-time career if you wish.
Another great company is Landi, who I’m currently working through now. You’re an employee with Landi, so your schedule needs to be a lot more reliable. They’re quite strict with time off, however, the pay is excellent, you should start at around $21 an hour. If you work just 3 hours a day every day, that’s a pretty decent salary for an expat, and with the most minimal hours worked. This has actually enabled me to quit my job in the school, and given me the freedom to focus on building my own business.
If you wish to sign up to either, it would be lovely if you used my referral code.
With Landi you’ll get $80 too for using my link.
Palfish Code: 66796669
Landi: Give me my free $80
If you’re in South East Asia, this means evening work. Even more so with Landi, so it might not be what you’re wanting to do after a day of teaching in school. Or maybe it doesn’t fit your schedule at all.
Teaching online is just a means to an end for me. It’s a useful way to free up my time so I can actually travel, and have the freedom to live anywhere in the world I want. I already earn enough money to live, so now I can focus on building something I love doing. Check out my blog on how teaching online allowed me to set up my own business to see how I used online teaching to my advantage.
Another way I really enjoyed spending that extra time during lunch, was to actually start working out. I have throughout my whole life always had really good intentions to do so… But it wasn’t until becoming an expat teacher bored at lunch that I started to create a really good routine with one of my buddies out here. We’d switch up routines each day, to avoid the burn being unbearable! Then on Wednesdays, we would go to a rooftop pool for a swim, and a good tanning session. I highly recommend adding a routine to your lunch break if you’re looking to improve on your lifestyle.
Now for my best advice.
Use that time to learn something new. Think about what you’ve always wanted to do, but never committed to. You’ve got the time to do so now. Want to start a business? Turn these new skills into your own business.
Have you always wanted to be a yoga instructor? You could incorporate the workouts you do during lunch with teaching yourself the basics and build from there.
Maybe you’ve wanted to create a blog, but never known where to start? You’re living abroad! People want to read about that and learn how they too can do so! I would have loved to have found more blogs about living in Cambodia before I moved here.
Perhaps you’ve got great admin skills from your previous jobs back home, utilize those and learn to become a virtual assistant.
This is the perfect time to learn new skills! And an even better opportunity to use this to start a business.
Especially while you’ve got this amazing gift of so much free time. Check out 5 side hustles you can start today for some inspiration. I personally trained myself to become a Pinterest Manager, and Virtual Assistant. There are so many free resources on the internet for everything. If being a Pinterest Manager appeals, start here.
Skillshare is a great platform for learning new skills. You can sign up for a free trial and binge watch as many lessons on your chosen subject. This link will get you a 2 month free trial, so you can get a really good feel for the platform. Skillshare free trial
Obviously I’m a huge advocate for Pinterest. So go pin as many helpful blogs as you can find, and devour all the information. You’ll probably end up with lots of helpful freebies in doing so to get you started as well.
Lastly, never underestimate the power of networking. I had a bit of luck from this, but I’m doing some part-time work for a marketing boutique out here that works with really awesome businesses around Phnom Penh. I was hired to help with content management because she liked my blog. This wouldn’t have happened in the UK without experience. You never know what opportunities might open up to you, so get out there, have some fun, make new friends, and you may accidentally be networking!
I hope this has been helpful to you. I’d love to hear about where you’re currently living, and the different skills you plan to learn with your free time.