1.) I crystalized what I wanted in my mind, and I focused on it every single day, for 4 years.
On moving to another country: I made the decision, 4 years ago, that I needed to expat out of the United States. Expat is short for ”expatriate”, which means to move abroad.
There were several reasons why and how I came to this decision. This article will encompass what those reasons were.
The point of this 1st point here on this list, is that I accepted what I wanted and needed to do, 4 years ago.
I made the decision, I crystalized it in my mind, and I kept that image in the forefront of my mind, every day, for 4….long…..years.
Why 4 years?
This article will for the most part, indirectly answer that question, but the truth is that it doesn’t really matter. 4 years was just my number.
Most of the reason why 4 years was my unique number again is answered throughout the scope of this article, but some of it was simply just because I somehow knew that’s the amount of time it would take me to be ready to actually pull it off. I cannot really articulate why, I just knew that was number.
I will say a couple of reasons why I knew 4 years was my magic number, was because:
A.) I knew it would take me 3 years to build up a following (of which I wanted to have somewhat of a following before I got here), and by this of course I mean a small Mission Life Motion following (YouTube, Email list, Social Media following, and a backlog of content: videos/articles). All of this I now have (minus the social media part, which I haven’t yet devoted an honest effort to).
I also knew I wouldn’t even be starting the Mission Life Motion blog, until a year after starting my initial insurance business (the one I knew I’d be selling).
The second reason is:
B.) I knew it would take 4 years, to build this initial business up to a level where it would even be worth anything (would be worth selling).
I knew I had to bust my ass and get the value of that business up as high as I could, as fast as I could. But business is like war, and war takes time. Even with me working as hard and as fast as I could, it still takes time.
It’s very rare, unless someone gets lucky, that they can start a small business, and build it up to a value they can then sell it for (and live off of for years following that), in less than 3 years.
So I supposed there was a little more to 4 years being the number, than I thought there was.
However I still think everyone’s number for this a little different. Even now, you probably already have a number in your head, for the number of years it will take you to get your affairs in order. For me, this # was 3-4 years, to get all my affairs in order.
What’s most important about this 1st point here, is that I focused on what I wanted, I envisioned it, with crystal clear clarity, in my head every single day, for 4 years.
Imagined what the women would look like, I imagined what the coffee shops would look like, I imagined what the landscape of the city and the country itself would look like. I even imagined the places surrounding it that I would travel to, after settling in. I imagined how good it would feel to be free and location independent. I imagined ALL OF THIS, and much more.
I don’t care what you think about every day, but chances are whatever it is, something you imagine in your mind that much, is eventually going to materialize in your life (so long that it’s physically possible).
That’s just how the world works. It will materialize, because you will come up with the solutions on what you need to do to pull it off, without even realizing you’re doing it. You’ll come up with the solutions subconsciously.
2.) I had a plan, and I had a reason why I was going to do it (which was building MissionLifeMotion).
I don’t think just deciding that you’re going to just move abroad one day, even when you get specific about the time and date, is a very good way to go about it. There has to be more to your plan than that. There has to be a reason why you are doing it.
My reason was Mission Life Motion. I knew what it took to build up a business, because by the time I came up with the idea to move abroad, I had already built one business already (and had it taken away from me unfortunately (story for another day)). And because I knew what it took, I knew that MLM was going to take every ounce of time, energy, and focus that I had.
Now keep in mind at the time I came up with my idea to expatriate, I had 2 businesses:
1.) I had my insurance business, and
2.) I had Mission Life Motion.
Mission Life Motion, at that point in time, 3 years ago, I was not even trying to actively make money on. I just wanted to get the foundation of the brand built so that when I did make it overseas, I had a foundational body of work already laid out (of what would become the brand).
That foundation is what you currently now know to be MissionLifeMotion. MLM is going to grow drastically from this point forward, now that I’m finally over here and its all I have to focus on.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s go back 3.5 years ago to early 2017.
At that time (shortly after launching the MLM blog), I knew I couldn’t build these 2 businesses up, at the same time, and build them both up well. Especially two that weren’t symbiotic to each other. I knew that one of these two, would suffer and the hands of the other one. And even the one getting more of my attention, would get a little compromised, just by the mere existence of the other small business on the side.
Like it or not guys, this is how it works, take it from someone who’s tried it already.
So I knew the only real way to pull this off, was to focus 80% of my time, energy, focus, and attention on the one I was going to sell, and the remaining 20% of my time on the one that was the long term plan (my long term, main lifelong business: MissionLifeMotion).
This would allow business A (the insurance business I would be selling), to be worth something of value in 4 years when I would be ready to sell it. I could then take that money (from the sale of business A), and Geo Arbitrage my income in a 3rd world country, while then focusing 110% of my time, energy, focus, and attention on business B (Mission Life Motion).
I knew this was the way to do it. This is why they say, that patience is a virtue. It took me a long time to understand why patience was supposedly a virtue, now I understand why completely.
The ironic and funny thing about all this, is that I’m one of the most impatient people I know. Or at least I thought I was, this whole experience has taught me, that maybe I’m more patient than I actually thought I was.
I knew living by myself overseas, would allow me to be free from all social distractions, as well as distractions from the stresses of everyday life in the United States (IE bullshit minutiae).
Summary: I purposely built up business A (my initial insurance business/agency), knowing I would sell that business and be able to live off the sale of it, for my 1st 1-2 years abroad.
3.) How does this apply to you?
First, figure out what you want and feel you NEED to do (for me this was moving abroad), then your mind will (eventually) give you the solutions for how to make it happen unconsciously.
This is exactly what happened to me, and yes it was happening without me realizing what was occuring. What I’m saying here is that this same thing will happen to you: you will ”figure it out” so to speak. You will figure out what you need to do, to get all your affairs in order, and how long all that will take you.
4.) I moved somewhere where the value of my currency stretched 2-3X as far.
There is a reason I picked Serbia, and not somewhere like Singapore. I knew the only way this would work, is if I could take advantage of the currency difference. Actually, this was half the entire reason why I even expatriated (or at least half the reason).
The other half was to get away from distractions and for the experience of it (new experiences like traveling also stimulate your creativity).
I would need to spend the local currency, but still be making US dollars. There’s even a term for this: ”Geoarbitrage”. I’m amazed at how many people out there still are not aware of this. Apparently they never read one of the greatest books of all time: The 4 Hour Workweek.
There were a number of places I could have gone that would have done this. To name a few: Columbia, Thailand, Vietnam, Ukraine, Poland, and a few other places in Eastern Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia.
Geo arbitraging is something that is still possible, despite the US dollar being deflated recently with COVID-19. There’s no telling what the after-effects of that will be. Whatever it is, it’s still going to take several years for the rest of the world to realize the US dollar isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on anymore. I don’t know how long that will take.
After that all bets are off.
5.) I did not let fear hold me back like so many people do. I ignored the naysayers (actually I didn’t even tell anyone what my plans were, until I was already weeks away from moving).
This is the most important one on this list. The reason is because, without any shadow of any doubt, THE #1 thing that prevents people from living extraordinary lives, from reaching their potential, and from becoming more, is 1 thing: Fear.
Fear is the ultimate dream killer at best. And at worst, well….. we won’t even discuss that here. So many people today live ”lives” that are ruled by fear, by anxiety, and by things that ”might” or that ”could” happen.
I know this because used to make a living off of exploiting people’s fears: selling insurance.
Fear is the ultimate motivator, but it’s also the ultimate de-motivator. Those who let fear prevent them from reaching their potential in life, live what’s called a ”life of quiet desperation”.
This is more common than you probably realize. It may even be you right now.
I did not let the fear or anxiety I felt of leaving the country, cripple me with fear. I felt that fear (believe me I felt it), but I acted in spite of that fear.
Hell…. I didn’t even let COVID-19 stop me from doing what I knew I needed to do. When I made that decision 4 years ago to move to Eastern Europe, I was going to do that, and not even one of the world’s worst global pandemic’s was going to stop me.
To be fair here: travel wasn’t restricted to Serbia in Europe, so I got really lucky. If travel to Serbia had remained restricted, it would have been very difficult.
It’s almost like the Universe conspired to help me in this situation if you think about it.
6.) I saved as much money as I could, wherever and whenever I could.
I will admit here that of everything on this list, this was the one thing I struggled with the most. But I still was able to save enough to actually pull this off. Of course, I did have other things in my favor here that helped out tremendously: a $10,000 down payment from selling my business being the big/main one.
Also, knowing I would have $2,216 a month, for 3 years, coming into me being the other (also from the sale of that business). However on top of these: I was also able to save another $5,000-$6,000 (although I’d intended to save an additional $8,000, so I fell a little short).
Point is, even though I knew I’d have that $10K down payment in my account, I still knew I needed even more saved on top of that. I wasn’t okay with the bare minimum, I set my bar higher than that (and if you’re smart you will too). The people that come over to countries like this and attempt expatriation by only doing the bare minimum, are the ones who have to go back home after a few months with their tail between their legs.
That wasn’t going to be me. Come hell or high water (or even COVID-19), that was NOT going to be me. You may not need quite this much, everyone’s financial comfort level is a little different, but for me, it was $15K-$18K saved. Figure out what your # is, and start aiming for it (and don’t aim for the bare minimum either, set your bar higher than that).
7 (Bonus Reason): I understood why expatriating was necessary in the 1st place.
The United States, is dying. I don’t understand how people cannot see this, especially after the year we just had. The monuments and history are even being torn down for christ’s sake.
It doesn’t (fully) matter really who is tearing these down, at the end of day what matters is: they ARE being torn down. The left-sympathizing people have been very very easily made to believe that this was done because of racial inequality, but that’s not really what this was about: it was about pushing Marxism, socialism, and communism closer to becoming a reality.
Mark my words: the United States WILL one day become a communistic, or socialist state. The Titanic is already sinking. There is no way to stop it now, it’s too late. Donald Trump was just a speed bump and an annoying pebble in their shoe. Trump hasn’t stopped anything, and he won’t stop anything, He has only simply delayed the inevitable.
As you can tell, I’m not very optimistic about the whole thing. I have very little faith in the country. Call me traitor, call me whatever you will, I just think there are too many stupid people in the U.S. Every great empire falls, its just the United States turn now.
One of two things are going to happen at this point, either:
A.) The entire United States will fall to communism or socialism (which may or may not happen in your lifetime, although if you’re younger it probably will). Before this happens they will drive away the people that aren’t willing to accept this fate (drive them out of the country, more on that in a minute).
B.) The United States will split into 2 different countries, with the right capitalists going to one side, and the left socialists going to the other.
I don’t see any reason to stick around for all the drama, and violence, I’m too busy over here building my new business.
Despite all this, this was actually NOT the main reason why I left the United States. These realities however just made my decision to go that much easier.
I realize now after reflecting on it, that in the back of mind: these last 4 years I somehow knew back in 2016 that I should probably start planting some seeds elsewhere, so that when the shit DID hit the fan, I would already know I was capable of leaving.
I would know the do’s and dont’s of starting over again in another land. 2020 has only shown us that shit could, and probably will hit the fan much sooner than you think.
You’re going to have to accept the fact that expatriating might take you a few years (it did for me). Unless you’re an older guy (and hell, even if you are): don’t worry about the fact that this is going to take a while. Have patience, persevere like I did, and stay your course. You want to move full speed ahead, but you also don’t want to just jump into something like expatriating prematurely.
There is a balance to be struck here, like with most things in life.
I wish you the best of luck. If this is something you decide to do for yourself, then Godspeed, and let me know if you have any questions along the way.
I’ll see you on the other side (the better side).