Goodbye IMAlwaysHappy2Help – Hello Thinglish Lifestyle

September 25, 2016 in Internet Marketing Lifestyle

I set up this blog back in 2009-10 as a way to document what I was doing at a certain point in my life. However, now is the time to move on to a new chapter of my life and close IMAlwaysHappy2Help.com.

In 2008-9, around the time of the housing bubble burst, I decided to leave the UK for good and spend more time in Asia and live a semi-nomadic lifestyle.

I traveled to over 30 countries and got to know most pretty well, always choosing to take a path less traveled then hang out with other expats or live in a tourist bubble.

Before I left London I had a reasonably successful business that I could manage from my laptop and provide me with income to fund my lifestyle.

Actually when I first moved to Bangkok my lifestyle improved dramatically. I rented a condo by the Chao Phraya River for a firth of the price of a similar dwelling by the River Thames in London.

Food is abundant and cheap in Thailand and so is just about everything else, beers, clothes and taxi’s etc. So by reducing my overheads and freeing up more time, moving allowed me to concentrate on my business and build it up to something I could never have done back in England.

perry-thinglish-lifestyleAfter three years living in Bangkok and exploring Asia, I moved to Koh Chang Island with my partner, Katae. Koh Chang is Thailand’s second largest island (about the same size as Singapore) but probably the least inhabited due to its National Park status.

Around the same time I also incorporated my business in Singapore, so no going back to the old country for me.

18 months ago I married the love of my life and we have recently bought a large plot of land in Trat province. We are now developing this plot into a permaculture food forest and building a house from 5 shipping containers.

So as I’m no longer living what could be remotely called a digital nomad lifestyle, this will be my last post here.

I now have a beautiful wife, live rent and debt free on our own land that within the next few years will provide us with an abundance of fresh and organic food. I’ve finally found the freedom I was always looking for that being a digital nomad couldn’t quite live up to.

If you want to see what an old digital nomad does after he hangs up his backpack, visit my wife and I’s new blog Thinglish Lifestyle. It will be great to see you there and as always, I’m always happy to help.

Goodbye IMAlwaysHappy2Help – Hello Thinglish Lifestyle

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Naked Ambitions – Entrepreneurs Discuss their Location Independent Lifestyles

June 12, 2015 in Digital Nomad, News & Reviews

Perry Stevens - Location Independent LifestyleFor this inspiring blog post, Ive reached out to my circle of friends on Facebook who, like me also live location independent lifestyles. Generally when you read these kinds of posts you usually get stories by Digital Nomads, people who work online and earn an income from managing social media accounts, web development or some kind of Internet marketing. But the truth be told, there are many ways to earn a crust, build a business and live where ever you want.

Yes, in this post you will read enlightening stories by web developers but also comedians, explorers and startup entrepreneurs to hopefully inspire and open you up to a whole new world of opportunities, happiness and new horizons.

Aidan Killian - Location IndependentName: Aidan Killian

Current location: Dublin Ireland

Can you briefly explain what you do for a living? Comedian Describe how it all began for you and why you decide to become location independent. I was a banker in Japan and decided I wanted to be a comedian, so I did. Why Dublin… because my family here and I love Ireland. I usually escape for the winter though.

Can you describe your morning routine? I get up before 8am, I meditate, have a green drink, do a little yoga, some press-ups and then check my emails and hopefully start writing or crafting jokes, but I don’t do that every morning to be honest, sometimes I go have coffee or green juice with a friend or on my own.

What is the best place or most fun thing that you’ve done in the past year? Writing a new show with my mate Sam in Phnom Penh AND hanging out with fellow human Greta and fellow comedian Craig Campbell in a really expensive place in Singapore where Singapore Slings were invented drinking really expensive Singapore Slings before we went on stage to a beautiful gig.

Tell us something that will make us green with envy about your setup? I have a pillow room and a projector…. HELLO LADIES

What are some of the biggest challenges or frustrations about your location independent lifestyle? Irish People don’t give a flying fuck about comedy.

Do you ever see yourself leading a more regular life in the future? No. Well maybe a little farm with kids and trees and flowers and lots of lettuce 🙂

What resources or tools do you use you can’t live without? My brain and my heart and my body.

What advice do you have for people who are tired of the regular 9-5 grind, and want more independence and freedom from a lifestyle business? Taking steps towards creating the life that chose to live is extremely empowering, invigorating and your spirit will become contagious. be careful you may suffer from moments of extreme Joy.

Aidan Killian can be contacted via his website www.AidanKillian.com

Dave Schneider - Location Independent LifestyleYour Name: Dave Schneider

Current location: Boston MN USA

Can you briefly explain what you do for a living? I run a software startup called NinjaOutreach. It’s a blogger outreach software that helps businesses find influencers in their niche.

Describe how it all began for you and why you decide to become location independent. A few years ago, back in 2012, my girlfriend and I decided we wanted to quit the 9-5 rat race and travel. This wasn’t going to be a permanent thing. It was supposed to be two years of intense backpacking followed by business school.

While we were on the road our travel blog started to take off. We were earning money by working with advertising agencies, and eventually started paying for the entire trip. This instilled in us the belief that we could earn our own living and have way more fun doing it. We’ve been traveling and working online ever since.

Can you describe your morning routine? It’s not terribly exciting and the main difference is there is no commute. I wake up and check emails, usually on the look out for support tickets which I assign the highest priority. Then I check in with my partners and employees, have some breakfast and go to the gym. I find if I don’t go to the gym right away, I can easily get sidetracked and miss it completely. 

What is the best place or most fun thing that you’ve done in the past year? Can I say a 6 month US road trip? I realize that’s a bit of an extended period of time, but as a whole it was amazing. I’ve been to over 40 countries but the US really blew me away in terms of its natural and historic sites. Despite being from the East coast, I have to say the West coast (and not just Cali but also Oregon and Washington) is so nice!

Tell us something that will make us green with envy about your setup? Honestly running a startup has a lot of ups and downs but one thing I know we’re really lucky to have is the ability to be location independent. In September were going to go to Costa Rica – just because. We’ll rent an apartment on the beach for 1-2 months and then travel around the area a bit. It’s just amazing to have that kind of flexibility.

What are some of the biggest challenges or frustrations about your location independent lifestyle? It’s extremely hard to work and travel simultaneously. You’re constantly faced with opportunity costs – do I work or do I go out, and this can be frustrating. I really don’t recommend trying to travel hardcore and work at the same time, but instead to separate each as best you can.

Do you ever see yourself leading a more regular life in the future? Nope!

What resources or tools do you use you can’t live without? Well my computer, obviously. I do use quite a bit of tools like Lead Pages, HootSuite, of course, NinjaOutreach. But to be honest, tools like Skype, Hangouts, and Google Docs are things I use everyday and really can’t live without.

What advice do you have for people who are tired of the regular 9-5 grind, and want more independence and freedom from a lifestyle business? I would probably suggest starting out gradually. See if you can start a business on the side. Focus on just making $1k a month – a service based business is probably a good way to get started since they are cheap to get off the ground and you can learn a lot about marketing that way. You’ll feel a lot less stressed than if you were to quit tomorrow with nothing and just some deadline to make it work.

David Schneider is the co-founder of NinjaOutreach, an innovative new Blogger Outreach software for marketers.

Nik & Dusty Green - Location IndependentYour Names: Nik and Dusty Green

Current location: Austin, TX

Can you briefly explain what you do for a living? We are filmmakers/videographers/adventurers, specializing in videos for the travel and orthodontic industries.

Describe how it all began for you and why you decide to become location independent. It all began when we decided in 2006 that we’d quit our jobs, sell off our possessions and get a new, fresh and exciting start on our lives together. Though we had good jobs and made decent money at the time, we’d become dissatisfied with the routine that defined our lives: we’d wake up, go to work, come home, and pray for a restful and enjoyable weekend. We felt trapped. Like we were attached by ball and chain to our jobs and our stuff. And we wanted more out of life. So we left it all behind – and found excitement, fulfillment, freedom and joy.

Can you describe your morning routine? That’s the beauty of our lives today. There really is no set routine! Some days we wake up early and get a head start on the day’s activities, some days we sleep until 10 a.m. It varies according to where we are and what we’re doing at the time. But there is one constant in our mornings, however: coffee. Lots of good, strong, black coffee. Can’t do much without it.

What is the best place or most fun thing that you’ve done in the past year? We’ve been fortunate to have done so many awesome things in the past year. But our favorite was probably the trip we took to Ecuador last fall to film a series of travel videos. We spent a week living with native peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and followed that up with a week-long cruise in the Galapagos. So, yeah. That was an epic time.

Tell us something that will make us green with envy about your setup? Easy. We’re free. We simply don’t have many of the responsibilities that “normal” folks have to worry about. We live where we want, generally for as long as we want. We travel extensively and are able to see so many beautiful places and experience so many fascinating cultures. Most everything we need to work and earn a living will fit into a backpack. And each day is a new adventure.

What are some of the biggest challenges or frustrations about your location independent lifestyle? Our biggest challenge by far is being able to access the internet. Our business (and our lifestyle) depends greatly on our ability to connect with clients and our audience and share our videos and our stories from the road. But even in today’s tech-infused society it’s often really tough for us to find a good connection. Which is frustrating beyond belief. And it’s also a challenge trying to convince others at times that we do actually work very hard to maintain this lifestyle. Many people believe we’re just living on permanent vacation with oodles of money sitting in a bank somewhere. Far, far, far from the truth.

Do you ever see yourself leading a more regular life in the future? When we’re old and gray.

What resources or tools do you use you can’t live without? The internet, as mentioned, is vital. Can’t do anything without it. Beyond that, there’s our gear: our cameras, laptops, and all the stuff necessary to do our jobs.

What advice do you have for people who are tired of the regular 9-5 grind, and want more independence and freedom from a lifestyle business? Always, always believe that it can be done. So many people think that a location-independent lifestyle is just flat-out impossible. Others might consider the idea but never really commit, and as life goes on they then just fall back into the daily grind. But you can do it! It’s hard work and stressful and frightening and frustrating at times, but it’s also rewarding, fulfilling and incredibly liberating. And we wouldn’t change it for the world. Just decide to make that change, and commit over time to doing it!

Nik and Dusty Green can be contacted via their Websites: www.TwoForTheRoad.com and www.Ortho-Media.com

Koen Van Dieren - Location Independent LifestyleYour Name: Koen van Dieren

Current location: Bangkok, Thailand

Can you briefly explain what you do for a living? I design, develop and maintain websites for small to medium sized businesses that are located all around the world.

Describe how it all began for you and why you decide to become location independent. Before I started travelling I was working at a TV station as a video editor, something I didn’t see my self doing abroad because of the language barrier. So I decided to learn about webdesign and website development by participating in courses and by doing an internship at a webdesign agency. I like to be my own boss and, because I like to travel, the idea of working anywhere with an internet connection.

Can you describe your morning routine? After getting up and breakfast I get behind my laptop about 08:30. I start with answering e-mails that require a quick response, than I pick a nice tune and start working through my tasks of the day.

What is the best place or most fun thing that you’ve done in the past year? I had been working pretty hard for a long period so I allowed myself to take a few days of and travel to Koh Phangan, a beautiful island in the gulf of Thailand.

Tell us something that will make us green with envy about your setup? Because I work from home instead of in a company at and office I save a lot of time with cutting out office politics and commuting.

What are some of the biggest challenges or frustrations about your location independent lifestyle? I sometimes miss the creative environment and the feedback that you would get in an office. Because my business is always evolving I believe it’s important to stay in touch with people who are in the same business as I am in, this in order to keep up with the latest developments. I’ve build a network of like minded people by joining Facebook groups, being active on twitter, following the news specific to my area of expertise and visiting a meetup every once in a while

Do you ever see yourself leading a more regular life in the future? I am always looking to grow my business, perhaps in the future I will hire staff and open an office.

What resources or tools do you use you can’t live without? My Macbook, it’s the best thing ever invented!

What advice do you have for people who are tired of the regular 9-5 grind, and want more independence and freedom from a lifestyle business?
Start with getting some work on the side of your regular job. Once you feel confident that you can have a little stream of steady income and you see potential in your business, just take the step and get out of the 9-5 grind.

Koen van Dieren can be contacted via his website: www.KoenvanDieren.com

Freelance Jobs
 

Tom Coleman - Location Independent LifestyleName: Tom Coleman

Current location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Can you briefly explain what you do for a living? I run a Search Engine Marketing company called Search Lab. My expertise is in Google Adwords management and landing page conversion rate optimisation. My main clients are digital marketing agencies in Australia who offer different types of marketing services and every time they have clients who need PPC I take over the work and they deal with the relationship management of the client so I can focus on the work.

Describe how it all began for you and why you decide to become location independent. When I was around 21 I went to Thailand for a 3 month holiday and that 3 months turned in almost 3 years. From then I made the decision that I didn’t want to do the traditional career and being location independent and traveling is what make me truly happy.

It was hit and miss for a few years while I was living overseas, I lived week to week and most of the things I tried didn’t work out, but I had a great time trying, and I learnt a hell of a lot about myself and about business. It’s really only been the last 18 months or so that things have worked out really well for me, and I now feel like I’m officially a location independent/digital nomad.
Can you describe your morning routine? My morning routine is extremely important for me and since I’ve been following certain rituals it has boosted my productivity 10 fold.
I set my alarm for 5:45AM every morning. I meditate for 15 minutes, and then exercise for 30 minutes to an hour. When I’m home from working out I pull out my plan for the day that I wrote out the night before and add anything to it I may have missed the night before, then in the same note pad I write out 10 ideas about anything and everything I can think of, I read this in a book called choose yourself by James Altucher and the way he explains it is creativity is like a muscle that needs to be exercised. After I’ve done this, I get a very strong coffee and start my work day, usually at 7:30 to 8:00AM.
What is the best place or most fun thing that you’ve done in the past year? The best thing I have done in the last year was to go back to my home town in Sydney for a year and get in the best shape of my life. I joined an awesome muay thai gym called 8 limbs in Bondi, I learned crossfit, competed in muay thai and would train twice a day.
Tell us something that will make us green with envy about your setup? I love to mix my work environment up so no 2 days are ever the same. I work from home maybe 1 day a week, I work from a co-working space a couple days a week to be surrounded by like minded folks, and the rest of the time I am a cafe whore going to 3 or 4 different cafes in an 8hr period.
What are some of the biggest challenges or frustrations about your location independent lifestyle? I have an awesome group of mates in my hometown and made some more friends whilst I was back home so thats quite hard to leave, as every time I hit a new country I have to start over again. I suppose that is a part of what makes location independence exciting as I’m forced outside my comfort zone to try and meet new people, and being quite a shy person, I think it is good for me.
Also the internet!! Sometimes its a pain in the arse depending on where you are. Ho Chi Minh City have had some connection issues the last week or so and its been a little frustrating. The authorities said a shark ate the cable out to sea…Yeah right!!
Do you ever see yourself leading a more regular life in the future? At this point in time in my life, absolutely not. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been, and the fact that my whole life fits into a sports bag and a suitcase excites me. I can literally go anywhere I please at anytime because I have nothing holding me down, it’s awesome and I hope I stay a nomad for as long as possible….But who knows, you never know whats around the corner so that could all change, only time will tell.
What resources or tools do you use you can’t live without? My Macbooks. I’m a bit of an apple geek and now have a 13″ macbook air and a 15″macbook pro retina that Accompany me in my travels.
I’m extremely passionate about my health and well-being so wherever I travel to I always make sure there is some sort of fitness facility near where I’m staying.
I’ve also recently discovered trello which is a web based organization app. It helps me a lot as I have been known to be incredibly unorganized and forgetful.
What advice do you have for people who are tired of the regular 9-5 grind, and want more independence and freedom from a lifestyle business? It’s so possible for everyone, If I can do it, anyone can do it all you have to do is break free from the mindset of the 9-5 grind and open your mind to the possibilities of being location independent.
You also need to hussle and work hard. When i first started doing this I had the mindset of, because this is online work I won’t have to work very hard, and to be honest I had a really bad work ethic. When I realized that I still had to work just as hard everything changed. I work hard in my business and go above and beyond for all my clients, but I love it, and I love the lifestyle I’m able to live because of it.
*Tom Coleman 19-10-1988 – 22-09-2015. Only the good die young. RIP buddy.

 

Gio Greenard - Location Independent LifestyleYour Name: Giovanni Greenard
Current location:
Bali, Indonesia

Can you briefly explain what you do for a living? I’m a Local SEO consultant, mainly in the dental field. Essentially I build digital real estate on page one of Google to increase my customers client base. Most recently I have been delving into group tuition in the form of a membership site.

Describe how it all began for you and why you decide to become location independent. Destiny I guess. Writing a car off  (as a consequence not being able to travel to work), coupled with some personal problems gave me that I have nothing to loose push. Consequently I jetted out to Thailand within 10 days  to take a friend up on job offer.  It’s wasn’t quite so straight forward in the end, but it all panned out perfectly.

Can you describe your morning routine? It’s pretty much like clockwork now. I wake at 530-6 ( it gets hot here later in the day, and I’m more productive in the A.M). I brew myself a strong coffee and normally work from home until 10 am. I then head to the co working space to get out of the house.

What is the best place or most fun thing that you’ve done in the past year? I’d have to say spending time in Bali, as it’s so varied here, and there are so many cool people who also work online. In February I popped over to the Gili islands for an amazing 3 day beach festival. Whilst there I met a chap who believed he was Merlin the wizard, not everyday you meet a wizard is it.

Tell us something that will make us green with envy about your setup? Well has to be that I can work from anywhere in the world as long as there is good Wi-fi. I normally spend the summer in Europe, but as the cold weather approaches I migrate to warmer climates.  Just read that back, wow life’s good!

What are some of the biggest challenges or frustrations about your location independent lifestyle? Not often, but internet can be a bit of a problem. You also have to think ahead when dealing with visas for particular countries. I occasionally miss meeting mates back home  for a cold one down the local as well.

Do you ever see yourself leading a more regular life in the future? I sincerely hope not, I have a problem with authority lol. Jokes aside at some point I hope to find a place I settle down on a more permanent basis, but lets have a look around first 🙂

What resources or tools do you use you can’t live without? Laptop, smart phone, sunglases, coffee, shorts and vest.

What advice do you have for people who are tired of the regular 9-5 grind, and want more independence and freedom from a lifestyle business? I think I took quite a radical approach, as I was kind of forced into that position. If I was starting over again, I’d say work on an evening and a weekends until you get enough money together from your side act to subsidise living in a cheap country such as Bali (there are many more).

With a 600-800 pounds a month you can make that move and dedicate yourself fully to building your empire. Ultimately you just need to give things a whirl, there will be hard times, set backs  and frustration along the way it beats sitting on the M25 sat in traffic drinking your Costa coffee.  What’s the worst that can happen?

Giovanni Greenard can be contacted via www.BeLocalBeSocial.com

Graham Wooding - Location Independent LifestyleName: Graham Wooding

Current Location: Bangkok
Can you briefly explain what you do for a living? I am a comedy performer, writer and promoter with a sprinkling of English language tuition.
Describe how it all began for you and why you decide to become location independent. It all started in the UK and started again after 2 years relaxing and traveling in Asia. I became location independent as a result. My job has always involved traveling so location independence is a gift and burden, the former ruling the later. I am multi-locationized for short periods
Can you describe your morning routine? My morning routine consists of waking up. Coffee. Walk the dog and think about the day. Coffee again.  I always try and write a little as its a time when my brain is energized. But being a night owl the morning is not my most proactive time.
What is the best place or most fun thing that you’ve done in the past year? Best place I have been this year is a new Phuket Comedy Club in the stunning Royal Phuket Marina. Hanging out amongst million dollar Yachts and wonderful sunsets from a Penthouse rooftop Jacuzzi. Speedboat ride for a Canadian comedian was his first time, he had never seen a real speedboat up-front let alone been slammed along the choppy waters at full speed on one, his massive red beard Kung Fu kicking in the wind. Brilliant times.
Tell us something that will make us green with envy about your setup? I do not want to generate envy only creativity, love and laughter. Maybe the above might green some.
What are some of the biggest challenges or frustrations about your location independent lifestyle? Challenges I face are small immigration woes and and non uniformity of paychecks.
Do you ever see yourself leading a more regular life in the future? Define regular. We all live regular, just some more regular than others.

What resources or tools do you use you can’t live without? I cannot live with out the world, in terms of giving me things to laugh at and my brain to compute that into a performance. Also a computer to write my blah blahirous content.  Other things are cheesy, loved ones and my dog. I also cant live without air and water, how deep do you want me to go?

What advice do you have for people who are tired of the regular 9-5 grind, and want more independence and freedom from a lifestyle business? My advice is challenge yourself to release from the grind. I have accepted less and gained more.  Thailand has been good to me in this respect, I have enough money for a nice home and a  Pick-up truck and good food, in London the car would be as less as the food and house.
Graham Wooding can be contacted via his website www.BangkokHilarious.biz

 

Ryan Roth - Location Independent LifestyleName: Ryan Roth

Current Location: Hong Kong

Can you briefly explain what you do for a living? I’m a cultural entrepreneur and with an art gallery, who sells art and works on various companies focused on making a cultural change/impact.

Describe how it all began for you and why you decide to become location independent. Just because your born in a place, it does not mean your suppose to be there your entire life. Travel allows you to grow in so many ways.

Can you describe your morning routine? Wake up between 5-6am – Coffee, exercise, shower, breakfast work. Start working around 8:45-9am

What is the best place or most fun thing that you’ve done in the past year? Spoke at the Chinese National Stadium (The Birds Nest) about the future of design.

Tell us something that will make us green with envy about your setup? I’d never like to make people envious of anything I do and there is nothing to envious of. I love my life and believe everything should spend time doing the things they love.

What are some of the biggest challenges or frustrations about your location independent lifestyle? none.

Do you ever see yourself leading a more regular life in the future? What is regular?

What resources or tools do you use you can’t live without? Comp and mobile.

What advice do you have for people who are tired of the regular 9-5 grind, and want more independence and freedom from a lifestyle business? Parents, peers, friends and advisors will advise you on on a new business and or decision, based on their experience. They are not you, they will not live with the consequences. In the end if it goes right, they will say they always believed in you, but if it goes wrong, they will say they warned you. Listen to advise, but make your own decision.

Ryan Roth can be contact via his website www.Roth-Mgmt.com.

Women are severely underrepresented in this article. Not because I don’t know any location independent women but because none I approached replied. I would like to interview women for a future posts to get their unique angle on this lifestyle. So if your a digital, nomadic woman and want to tell the world about your adventures in commerce and travel, please get in touch.

If you are currently living a location independent lifestyle or are feeling inspired, we want to hear from you too. Leave your comments below.

All graphics by PS Graphic Design.

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Naked Ambitions – Entrepreneurs Discuss their Location Independent Lifestyles


5 Customer Service Channels Every Business Should Have

April 15, 2015 in Guest Posts, Product News & Reviews

As a business owner, it always amazes me the different channels through which people prefer to send me an inquiry.

You’d think everyone would just shoot for the contact page – nine times out of ten it’s in the navigation menu anyways.

And yet everyday I receive a customer inquiry from a channel I wasn’t expecting.

Customer service inquiries are opportunities. Somebody is having difficulty, is confused, or perhaps is just curious.

Regardless, it’s important that I get all of them and that the person doesn’t bounce before asking their question.

Here are the 5 channels we utilize at NinjaOutreach, our blogger outreach software.

Phone Support

Many businesses don’t offer phone support, because they aren’t large enough and don’t have the resources for someone to be sitting by the phone.

Additionally, many customers hate phone support because we associate it with long waiting times, run arounds, and just overall poor experience.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think there is still a place for phone support if it’s done correctly.

As a result, I put my personal cell phone number at the top of our website.

Call Our CEO

And believe it or not, people call, almost every week.

A lot of these people are looking for immediate gratification, or they have some very specific they are asking about.

For example, an agency might call and want some specific insight into a campaign they are running and how our tool can benefit them. It’s not the usual does you tool offer this feature question, and it would be a pain to type out.

Additionally, by saying that it’s the “CEO” they know who they are getting on the other line.

Lastly, for me it’s an opportunity to have a real, person to person interaction with someone and say “Yes, I am a human!

Live Chat Customer Widget

Halfway between phone support and an email is a live chat widget.

On the one hand, they still have to type out their response.

But on the other, they get immediate gratification and get to “speak” with a human on the other end.

It’s a nice balance between the two.

There are dozens of chat widgets that can integrate with your site. We use Zopim because it’s free and simple.

There are two features I like about Zopim.

The first is that it allows me to initiate conversations with people on my website. That’s really cool and there is nothing else I use that can do that.

Not only that but I get a lot of nifty information about them, such as the page they are on, how many time they’ve visited the website, and information about their device:

CRM

If it’s someone I’ve run into before, I might have a name and some notes. It’s a functional CRM in that regard.

The other thing I like is the ability for someone to send me offline messages, because let’s face it; I’m not on 24/7.

24-7

Contact Page

Of course, we have a contact page too – who doesn’t.

But we try to make it not so boring, as well as to collect a bit more information about the customer.

To do this we use the free wordpress plugin contact 7.

Most people just plug this in and forget it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you weren’t aware, you can customize the fields. Here’s what ours looks like:

Form 1

What’s awesome is I can ask about the plan that they are on, how they’re feeling, what department they need, or anything else.

As a result, my team will get messages in their inbox that look like this (I’ve hidden the personal details):

Form Reply

This way we can all see it and the first person who is able to can respond. We can prioritize the inquiries based on the level of stress the customer is dealing with and make sure we provide the best support to our premium clients.

Knowledge Base

If you’re selling any sort of tool that requires the user to do something remotely technical, you should have a Knowledge Base.

This should be the first line of defense for customer support, as a means to help lighten the load.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. Ours is simply a page that looks like the following and contains videos:

Knowledge Base

One thing I recommend is to include both video AND text, as some people prefer to read, whereas others are visual learners.

We include our knowledge base in the signature of just about every email that goes out, to make sure people have a place to go for the easy questions.

Twitter

Twitter is so much more than a social media channel on which you can promote your content.

It’s a very powerful tool for business. For example:

We use it as a form of lead generation, where we ask people if they are interested in trying out the software.

We also use it in our follow up series, where we ask signups if they have activated it yet.

And it looks like it is developing into a huge customer service tool as well.

studies have shown that 42% of consumers expect a response within one hour when they contact a brand on social media.

Dang!

Luckily, some companies, like Hubspot, have caught onto this.

They created a spinoff Twitter account @HubSpotSupport.

@HubSpot handles basic questions and inquiries, while @HubSpotSupport handles more specific support requests.

Hubspot Twitter

Conclusion

Customer shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to contact you.

You should be inviting them.

Remember that each person is active on their own channel and has their unique preferences.

Customers, like business owners, need help online – so let’s give it to them, shall we?

What Customer Service Channels Do You Use?

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David Schneider is the cofounder of NinjaOutreach an all in one Prospecting and Outreach tool which was created to streamline the process of connecting with influencers. He can also be found @ninjaoutreach and his business blog SelfMadeBusinessman


Giving Back – Cambodian Kids Care Center

December 22, 2014 in Amazing Thailand, Koh Chang

Cambodian Kids Care Center

It’s always good to give back. This year we choose the Cambodian Kids Care Center on Koh Chang, Thailand.

voluteer thailandCambodian Kids Care Center is a school for the children of illegal Cambodian workers on the island of Koh Chang, Trat Thailand.

The children’s parents work in construction, gardening and in the luxury resorts throughout Koh Chang. Often you will see children of these poor migrant workings on the building sites.

This center offers these kids aged between 6 and 15 years old a safe refuge and free education by teacher Uan. They learn Thai, English and Maths from Monday to Friday.

We had a fun day making strawberry smoothies, distributing presents and helping out over lunch. The kids sang Christmas carols in perfect pitch and pronunciation.

We would like to thank all our friends in Bangkok, Foto Relax, friends in Siam Royal View, Monkey’s Restaurant and Scuba Dawgs for donating presents, money, food and their time and making a real difference to these bright young kids.

If you would like to help visit the Cambodian Kids Care Center Facebook page or contact teacher Uan or Administrator Aaron on 09-243-4712.

Cambodian Kids Care Koh Chang

Merry Christmas everybody!

Perry & Katae

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Giving Back – Cambodian Kids Care Center


Top 10 Tips for Digital Nomads Going ‘Home’ for Christmas

October 3, 2014 in Digital Nomad

Many digital nomads find themselves going back ‘home’ for Christmas to catch up with friends and family.

If you are brave enough to go back to your hometown at this time of year to face the crowds, rampant consumerism and religious bonhomie, you may want to read my top ten tips to get you over the culture shock.

1. It’s cold – it was cold yesterday and will be cold tomorrow. Don’t wear shorts!

2. Yes! It’s OK to wear your shoes in the house.

3. You can’t buy winter woolies – the shops already stock the Spring/Summer collections.

4. People will try to be nice, at least one day a year, mainly when consuming lashings of booze.

5. You won’t want to tell people about all the amazing places your been to for fear of being perceived as a braggart.

6. You may have to work for an hour or two over the holidays – some of your friends and family just don’t get it. (Santa can do it, why can’t you?)

7. To send Christmas cards or not to send Christmas cards? Send them a GIF instead!

8. By the time Christmas actually arrives your friends will be desperate for a break from work. You can tell them life doesn’t have to be this way.

9. You tell your family not to get you a present. You pack light and travel fast.

10. Everyone starts to think of a New Year Resolution and next year they will become a Digital Nomad just like you and travel the world.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I'm always Merry at Christmas

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Top 10 Tips for Digital Nomads Going ‘Home’ for Christmas


Exciting Job Opportunity for Freedom Freelancer

November 21, 2013 in Internet Marketing, Internet Marketing Lifestyle

Freedom Freelance Position

Yes we are hiring! My company Blend Local Search Marketing is looking for a talented individual with a passion for social media. This position would suite a freedom freelancer who is capable of working remotely from home, a coffee shop or even the beach with full support and little supervision.

You can discover more about this exciting opportunity at the Mother Ship. Good luck!

Exciting Job Opportunity for Freedom Freelancer


Is It Hard to Learn Thai Language?

November 21, 2013 in Amazing Thailand, Guest Posts

Learning Thai LanguageI’ve been living in Thailand since 2011 and when I catch up with old friends and acquaintances from back home, one of the first questions they ask is “So, do you speak Thai?” I usually reply “Phom phut passa Thai nid noi”, which is usually enough to impress them and move along to another subject. The truth is, I’m a poor Thai language speaker. I have a stock of questions and answers but I’m embarrassed to say, living here as long as I have, I should know a lot more and be a pretty fluid conversationalist by now.

I went to a Thai language school in Bangkok for a year and learned the basics of reading, writing and speaking but never progressed like I should. I think this was largely down to the classroom dynamic (going back to school and sitting behind a desk) and the size of the classes (to large). When I completed my year, I never went back. This got me thinking why some people excel at learning new languages and some, like me fail miserably. I asked a few Thai language teachers this question “What are the biggest obstacles people face when they try to learn a new language like Thai and how can they be overcome?” Below are some of the replies:

Robert Greene

Robert GreeneI would say that the biggest obstacle for most people is the belief about whether or not they can actually learn a new language. You have to keep in mind that for most people, when they are picking up a language such as Thai, more often than not it’s the first time they’re attempting to learn a language.

By that I don’t mean they’re mute, but that we’re so young when we pick up our native, mother language that it’s never something we really have to practice or think about. We just realise that we can speak the language. It’s good to surround yourself with success stories of other people who have been able to make it. Once you have the belief that it’s possible, then you’re more be more likely to actively seek ways to learn the language and continue pushing yourself to learn.

Baby steps.

You can discover how Robert learned Thai at his resourceful website Thairang and connect with him on Google+ here.

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Mai Rongsiaw

Mai the Thai TeacherThe biggest obstacles people face or believe they are facing is “I’m too old to learn”

This concern somewhat true and fault.

True: the fact is our learning ability is gradually decrease with age, there is no argue about it. Our physical appearance is telling us so.

Fault : As far as my 7 years of teaching Thai as a foreign language tell me that “you are never too old to learn” (if you put all you’ve got and work twice harder than younger people).

Countless of students under 30s have started to learn Thai and end up giving up for many reason eg. it’s not for me, I’m too busy, I work 2 jobs or I didn’t want to take it seriously in the first place.

On the other hand, my students you are above 60s set up his goal to retire in Thailand in 1 year. They are working 10 times harder. Learning Thai is their first or second job.

To compare between 2 kinds of students, it all come down to the end at determination and encouragement . Determination come from within and encouragement come from people around you, including your Thai teacher. 🙂

Please check out my latest graduate’s interview VDOs below:


You can start to learn Thai with Mai today by visiting her website Learn2SpeakThai.net and connect with her on Google+ here.

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Orrawee Naksuwan

Orrawee Naksuwan1. The first thing is to try and “forget” your language and “pick up” the new system. This can be quite difficult, but a serious learner should make the effort.  In other words, try to think in the new language. It will help immensely.
2.  Try to listen to the sounds of the language closely – this is especially important in Thai which is a tonal language. The way to succeed here is to listen, then speak and practice as much as possible.
3.  Finally you should study from the best source you can find. Ideally a language tutor is the best. It is difficult to learn from books alone and you don’t want to learn something incorrectly. Then it is more difficult to get it right.

 

Learn Thai using Skype, simply visit here website KruuWeeTeachThai.com Connect with her on Google+ here.
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I’d like to thank all the Thai language teachers who contributed and made this blog post possible.
Looking to learn Thai language from you smartphone? I wrote an article and reviewed some language apps that helped me learn more Thai anywhere, anytime.
If you are learning Thai, I’d love to hear how you are progressing and feel free to share any tips and tricks you use to progress below.
Khop Khun Krap

Are You Living Your Internet Marketing Lifestyle?

November 14, 2013 in Guest Posts, Internet Marketing Lifestyle

When meeting new people, the inevitable question soon pops up “What do you do?” This happened only last night in the Gold Coast Airport departure lounge when I was waiting to board a plane to Kuala Lumpa. I of course have many answers to this question depending on who’s asking, but for those who really want to know we often end up in a long discussion about the benefits of the Internet Lifestyle. Many of these people express to me that they to would love to have the freedom I dearly love and to live a laptop lifestyle but few take the action and make it happen. I really don’t know why, so I recently put the word out in the IM Lifestyle community and asked the question “What barriers deter people from living the Internet Marketing Lifestyle? The responses make interesting reading.

Here’s what some had to say:

Nathaniell Brenes – One More Cup of Coffee

Nathaniel BrenesNo doubt there’s lots of hype around the “Internet marketing lifestyle“, and there are many ways to get there. Some of them are practical, some of them not. Whatever path you choose to make money on the Internet or leverage online business to work from home, there are 3 common barriers I see to actually achieving ones goals.

1) Managing Expectations

Unfortunately there are lots of programs, books, videos, networks, blogs, websites and any other form of information out there that have promoted the idea that an Internet business can be automated. There are some parts of the business that give an illusion of automation, but very often there is a whole lot of hard work sitting behind the ‘system’ that is set in place.

And even then, most of what is done behind the scenes of a great Internet business is not automated. It’s outsourced. Simply said, you need to be WORKING on your business. If you are not, you need to hire someone to do it for you.

Money comes from customers, and customers want stuff. They want products, they want information, and they want to get their moneys worth. Someone has to deliver it.

The other huge misconception with expectations is how much and how fast you can make money. I honestly don’t know why people turn to the internet as a last resort to make money. I get emails almost weekly from folks saying that they don’t have a job, are in debt, have bills to pay, and need to start making money by the end of the month.

Sorry, but the Internet will not solve your money problems by the end of the month. Develop a 6 month plan, then revamp and look another year into the future. You can do a lot in a year. You can’t do jack in two weeks.

2) Independent Work

Another huge thing that’s holding people back from even starting their journey towards that glorious first internet payday is, well, not even getting started. Most of what you need to know about how to set up your business is available online, and available for free. It’s easier than ever to reach the experts, talk to them, ask them questions, and pick away at the huge bank of knowledge you’ll need to get things moving.

I recently wrote a review about a scammy product, warning folks to stay away from it. Within the body of the review I explained very clearly that this was not a product I recommended, but linked to legit ones where visitors could start their training. I like to related blog posts, and even outlined the basics of how I make money with my own blogs.

But I still get comments like these:Living the Internet Marketing Lifestyle

And when I receive these, it’s very obvious that they not only did not read the review in detail, they didn’t follow any links, and they didn’t read any of the other comments.

These visitors were looking for a simple answer. They want me to say, “Yes, here is the product. It’s free. And you will start making money by the end of the week. No previous skills necessary. Full automated, $5,000 per week.”

I can’t help you if you can’t even read the information that’s sitting in front of you.

3) Commitment

The biggest factor preventing internet entrepreneurs from realizing their dreams is commitment. Like anything else, it takes time to get your bearings and become good at what you do. As mentioned in the “manage expectations” topic from above, people set goals of weeks and months, when they should be setting goals of years and decades.

I see people make comments like, “I will try it for a month, and if it doesn’t work, I know it’s a scam”.

But how do you learn to play an instrument?

By that definition, guitars are a scam. Try for a month, and I guarantee you won’t be able to play anything well.

And foreign languages are a scam too. Try learning one for a few hours per day for 4 weeks and you will be seriously disappointed.

There are many paths to success. Pick one, and stick with it. Hone your craft, better yourself, and above all, don’t quit. You never know when success is right around the corner, and if you quit today, you’ll never know if tomorrow was going to be your first breakthrough.

A contribution by Nathaniell Brenes of One More Cup of Coffee fame. He has a great website and videos and has a lot of experience teaching people how to start making money online. I recommend you check out his Youtube Channel here and jump right in!

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Richard Marriott – Clambr

Richard Marriott1. Fear of Failure

You will fail more times than you win in life, but it’s the ability to get up and try again that will eventually lead your to success.

Too many people are deterred from living the Internet marketing lifestyle simply because they are afraid. Some are not just afraid of trying, but even afraid of succeeding. If you’re reading this post you must want to live the dream and you probably also know how to build a profitable lifestyle online, the question is what’s stopping you?

If it is fear that’s holding you back and nothing else, learn to confront it and deal with it. It’s good to be afraid and that will drive you to push towards your goals, but you should never let fear become so dominating that it literally stops you dead in your tracks. After all, fear is just a human emotion. Once you realise this, and how trivial it is, you can learn to laugh it off and move forward.

2. Social Conditioning

So you want to take the leap into the IM lifestyle but everyone around you is telling you otherwise – “but what about your career?”, “why don’t you just change jobs?”.

Society conditions us to follow by its rules, creating a flock of sheep rather than a pack of wolves. The sheep will murmur and baahh to keep you back in the pen. The thought of not having stable employment scares them and they will constantly warn you against quitting the 9 to 5 and living the Internet marketing dream because life outside the pen frightens them.

Sheep live out their days in a closed off, protected environment, with a steady flow of food and shelter and will stay there until they die. They are happy with a stable pay check and know nothing of the freedom the outside world offers. Their 2 week holiday allowance is enough for them. They don’t yearn for more.

Wolves can go for days without eating. They walk for miles, encounter many dangers, fight off other wolves and must adapt to survive. They live a fulfilling life and will grow their territory by the more they pursue.

My advice is to ignore the sheep. They will do nothing but cloud your mind with doubt and negativity. Seek advice from wolves. They don’t live behind fences. They are free and know it’s possible and far more fulfilling to live life out of the pen.

3. Too Much Conflicting Information

There are two types of advice on the Internet: The advice that will help your dreams come true, and the advice that will crush them.

When I started out looking for ways to make money online I was conned by a number of “get rich quick” schemes and almost gave up on the idea that building a comfortable lifestyle online was even possible. It’s easy to lose sight of how achievable the Internet marketing lifestyle actually is and if you go down the wrong path you will be doomed from the start.

The key is to trust in yourself, not in others to provide a quick and easy solution. You must create your own empire and seek information that will help you build something for yourself.

Don’t get distracted by “get rich quick” schemes. Block anything like that out of your mind. Learn to ignore it and focus on what you should be doing:

Building an authority site in a niche you can write about, love and has a masses of wallet out buyers ready to both learn from you and buy from you.

That’s it. It’s no magical formula, but it works.

Richard Marriott at the time of writing, is holed up in a secret French Alps location building a $9k a month authority site in 90 days.

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Tom Coleman – MobiDigital

Tom ColemanMindset

The 1st and most important thing for me is mindset as most people are conditioned from a young age that they have to get a 9-5 job, so it is very hard to break free from that type of thinking that it is possible to make a full time income from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. It’s even harder When everyone else around you has the same conditioning too.

Risk Factor

2nd would be the risk factor. Most people are too comfortable in there current situation and too afraid to step outside the comfort zone and take a risk.

Self Doubt

3rd is self doubt and negative thinking. You need to train your mind to focus on the solution instead of the problem or focus on the positive outcomes rather than the negative outcomes. Focus on success and living the lifestyle you want to live instead of focusing on failure.

Tom Coleman is is an Australian who likes a good walkabout. Currently CEO of Mobidigital.com.au/ a Google Adwords and re-marketing company.

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Stephen Wilson – Twisted Gigolo Media

Stephen Wilson

Fear

1: I do not think the problem is a new one. It is basically the same dilemma as any employed individual faces, whether it be online or offline – the fear of going it alone and giving up the reliance of a set regular income. Sure, working online gives you a lot of freedom, when you make it work, but the bottom line remains the same – some people are willing to take the plunge were others are not. Why? Next point….

Time

2: Maybe current responsibilities i.e. not having the time due to employment arrangements and family commitments. Maybe some people are not willing to embark on a long term transitional or trial period of the business idea (essential) and not willing to sacrifice the necessary time for what is still the main ingredient of success (online or offline) – hard work.

This is my eighth year working in online marketing and I still have a constant stream of projects under development, knowing that not all of them will enjoy the success that I originally envisaged. While I still hold a number of position 1 and page 1 site rankings, the reality is that few of us can really rely on just one income stream to fuel an online lifestyle, which may discourage some, so be prepared to have broad shoulders and keep developing quality new ideas in niche areas. If one works, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy what you’ve worked for, but don’t become complacent. Whole workforce’s have been laid off over night just because of algorithm changes. Similarly, relying on a large social following is a mistake, many of those people may already have the current product or service you are marketing. So to have all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea, but especially online!

The Plunge

3: The continuing increase in competition in all online sectors is understandably going to make people think twice about ‘the plunge’. This together with Google’s recent pandering to big corporates in the hope that they will drive more people to their Adword platform – will no doubt been seen as a possible barrier when people are researching their market. On a positive note, us publishers can greatly improve our chances of success, if we aim towards what Google still holds above all else – original content via an engaging site.

The reality in my opinion is that more and more people are taking ‘the plunge’ to some degree and for those people it’s not only the hard work ingredient that they must bring to the table – but a mixture of constant research and development in an ever-changing online landscape which, despite the evolution and importance of social media, still boils down to the domination of Google search and how it favors your online aspirations. Oh and again, point number 1! : )

Stephen Wilson is the Managing Director of Twisted Gigolo Media

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Brigham Dallas – Fat Boys’ Launch Pad

Brigham Dallas - Internet LifestyleLiving abroad barriers:

a) – The Unknown – people fear it. We embrace it. Adventure, the idea of exploring outweighs the danger of the unknown and fear of imperfect expectations of the future.

b) Friends and family connections – we give up a lot living abroad – the comfort of seeing a family daily or being close to those we currently care about. my friends circle has grown every time i move countries though.

c) Cost – this is the one that people think they can’t overcome… how on earth do you live abroad – it’s so costly? The truth? I’ve spent less on my lifestyle than you do on yours! imagine how much cheaper life would be if you didn’t have to pay $80 phone bills monthly, $1k house bill, $500 car payments, $250 in gas bills, and $15 every time you go out to eat. The fact is, 3rd world countries are cheap and if you have the luxury to work from your computer, you can pick the best and cheapest places to live.

d) Instability of the Region – What if i get sick overseas? What if i get in trouble? True. You could get injured, sick, abducted like on the movie taken, or thrown in prison for marijuana smoking in Malaysia (that’s would be worse than a horror movie!). But the truth is you could also get injured, sick, hit by a car, and shot in your backyard. Be careful, learn street smarts and don’t push yourself too hard at first. If the food looks shady, don’t eat it, don’t walk down a dark alley alone if you can avoid it and be constantly aware of your surroundings. Risk is always there, even at your own home, but intelligence mitigates some of the risk. And my experience has been that the benefits way outweigh the risks.

Barriers aside, traveling and learning from talented and passionate people from around the world has been the greatest education I could have acquired. You being one of them Perry, thanks for teaching me what I needed to get started on my career path in life.

Brigham Dallas recently launch Fat Boys’ Launch Pad.

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If you enjoyed reading this, do you agree? What’s stopping you from starting over, leaving the rat race for good and living the life you want to live? I’d love to hear your stories.

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What barriers deter people from living the Internet Marketing Lifestyle?


Are You a Pirate or a Sailor?

September 23, 2013 in Internet Marketing

“Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?” – Steve Jobs

internet marketing

When many entrepreneurs get a business idea they are very quick to bring more people on board or to sell that idea to start generating more revenue more quickly. This is not always the best practice, rushing towards a Corporation or incorporating yourself as a business could mean that you are missing out on money in the long run.

Many startup companies are having great success on small budgets with great ideas. If you feel as though you have got a product that people truly need, it should sell itself. With a variety of tools at your disposal such as: social media networks or sites like Kickstarter. And even small business loans, you can work to get your idea off the ground without having to rush to more people or to a larger company to produce your idea.

To Be A Successful Entrepreneur!

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in history have stuck by their ideas and worked with them even after multiple offers to sell. While it is true some ideas can be more profitable to sell away then hold onto for a lifetime, it is important to really think about this decision before you go about expanding your company or asking for large corporate help.

Today with the Internet it’s very easy for a company to start selling products online and marketing their own products using social media. Even if you have zero startup money you can use the social media website such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo to raise money for excellent products without having to worry about paying back enormous interest costs. This makes working in today’s business world of very exciting opportunity for anyone with great ideas.

While many people believe that the trust form of business success resides in incorporation or in having a major advertising slot on television and worldwide brand recognition, many startups are doing just fine without all of this bloating help. The help can be extremely beneficial but having an idea and complete creative control over it is a great way to you can ensure your business remains yours and your money remains your own.

Curious about online marketing, feel free to contact us here. We are always happy to help!

“Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?” – Steve Jobs