Shake Things Up — Start Today

You know the formula. Get an education. Get a job. Do the job for decades. Retire exhausted. The single lifetime occupation may be convenient, but it overlooks a simple truth: human beings grow and change.

Challenging the conventional wisdom that urges us to settle down in one spot and work at one occupation takes a bit of courage, of course. But once the desire to shake up your life hits, it’s a call to action. Today we have access to an amazing number of resources and information that can speed up the process.

The recent conference where I met many Fund Your Life Overseas readers, for example, was a feast of inspiration. A young man was gathering ideas about a business he could start in Panama. A woman told me, “There’s nothing wrong with my life, but I’m ready for a new chapter.” Another woman, smiling, told me she was going home and dusting off her neglected camera, inspired to take pictures that sell.

Many readers told me they were seeing possibilities for making a living abroad doing something they’d never considered before. Money in the pocket was not the impetus for everyone. A couple who had retired from their careers had their eye on a small town in Mexico where they wanted to create a business that would bring opportunity to the folks living there.

Most participants were ready to take on a new adventure. So what’s an adventure anyway? My favorite definition says: “An adventure is any undertaking the outcome of which cannot be known at the outset.” It’s the polar opposite of living with scheduled certainty. Adventure is propelled by curiosity, imagination, and a willingness to be delighted by the unexpected.

John Morgan shook up his life when he first went to Nicaragua. He was working for Fuji Film in Virginia at the time. He had never before traveled to Central or South America…and never heard of a small island in the Caribbean called Little Corn. Today he owns a beach bar there, employs nine islanders, and describes the place as “home.” You can learn from his story in the current issue of Incomes Abroad.

While you may have repeatedly heard that security is a steady paycheck, more and more of us are discovering that building a range of options can be both creatively challenging and wonderfully lucrative. Start now by becoming comfortable with technology. Take a class or hire a tutor to help you become a confident citizen of the online world. Create a new source of income, even if it seems small. Lydia Carey only had high school Spanish when she first went to Mexico. Now she’s earning a good portion of her income as a translator. Her story is also in this issue of Incomes Abroad. Don’t underestimate the power of small steps to move you ahead in a new direction.

Once you begin to sharpen your focus on what belongs in your new life, it’s time to begin making it happen. Whether you’re ready to move overseas next week or in five years, change can begin now. Start learning to work from anywhere by starting from where you are. As my friend and fellow-writer Barbara Sher advises, “Start small, start now. Start really small. Start this evening.”

In other words, please join us in discovering Incomes Abroad.

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