How I Built a Location Independent Business

I love supporting people to create and grow their businesses. For the last two years, I’ve quietly been taking my own advice.

In early 2015 I started looking for more ways to grow my own business. I wanted to create something not only of value to my customers, but that I could also happily work on from any where in the world. And would you believe, I did it.  Right now, I can run a profitable business from any where with wifi.

What’s the business? Inspiring Adventures, of course!

Inspiring Adventures now makes travelling easier and safer. I know that simple precautions can save time and money later. That’s why I have started by offering a range of products that help protect and organise your most valuable goods on your travels.

The main way I reach customers is via Amazon in the UK and the USA.  I shop on Amazon, and probably you do too, so it makes sense to also be selling my products there. For my British readers, I’m afraid my website does link to the US version of Amazon, but most of the products are available in the UK too!

This business has given me the opportunity to work for myself from anywhere in the world.  And this year, we are also aiming to plant 1000 trees for our customers.  I hope I can plant a tree for you!

How I started – Inspiration! 

I found out about this opportunity two years ago.  As mentioned on this blog, I went to Bali.  I met lots of great people, including those that helped me publish my book. I also met an entrepreneur selling his products online, and he helped me learn how to get started.  He still helps me to this day – Thanks J B!

Together with a small group of entrepreneurs, we launched our businesses together in 2015, helped each other find our stride in 2016, and continue to help each other grow in 2017.

There are always challenges with every business, and with every business model, and I continue to face these every day.  That’s part of the learning and growth that entrepreneurs love.

If this kind of business is something that you’d like in your life, this short story is my inspiration to you. You can grow a business, work from multiple locations, on your own schedule, it is possible. It’s not always easy and straightforward, but it is possible. And once you know it’s possible, you can work towards it.

Stay strong, and take action!

If you want to learn more, let me know in the comments below 🙂

Pay for My Holiday!

That’s what my fundraising website looks like, doesn’t it? 

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Why would you give money to my Inspiring Adventure Brazil, when you could use that money for your own holiday, or even just donate it straight to charity?  

The reason is because this isn’t a holiday, or a charity.  It’s a chance a be part of a movement.  A movement of alternative travel, of learning journeys, and of Inspiring Adventures.  It’s happening already, and maybe you are part of it. You probably already look for more from your holidays. 

You want to come back with more than just a sun tan, although sun tans are nice!  At least you want to come back having learned something new, tried some new foods, experienced some of the local culture.  At most, you might want to change the way you see the world, and your place in it.  

And that’s what Inspiring Adventures is all about.  Encouraging you to see all the amazing things the world has to offer, to taste the local culture, to hear fascinating stories from interesting people, and maybe feel inspired to start something new when you return.

If you think this is something worth encouraging, then don’t be shy.  Say so.  You can buy postcards and social enterprise gifts from me here, but you don’t have to.  

Here’s a link to my journey budget – perhaps you can suggest ways to save money, or share other connections that could be even more valuable.    

Below is the second version of the video I recorded for my my crowdfunding page. I recorded them both on January 1st, 2013.  In the end, I went with the other video, because I thought it was funnier. What do you think?

Use the comments below, or on youtube. You know, I have 50,000 views on my YouTube channel now?  Not bad.  

What’s the point of Inspiring Adventures?

What difference will Inspiring Adventures make in the world?  To those less fortunate? To you?  

These are some of the questions I’ve been thinking about recently, as I prepare for an event I’m helping to run for Hub Westminster, this Thursday.

The event is called “The Challenge of Measuring Social impact“, and we’ve lined up a panel of experts to debate and discuss the issue.  

It’s great to know I’m not the only one struggling with the challenge of measuring my social impact, if I’m even having any at all. 

As you can see from this new video, my goal is to inspire you to start your own Inspiring Adventures.  

But what is an Inspiring Adventure, how can I really inspire you to start one, and how can I measure the impact?   

I remember the staff of Peace Boat had a similar challenge measuring the impact of their global voyages. The passengers enjoyed their experience on board – but what impact would that have?

Peace Boat has been running for 30 years, and is still looking for definite metrics on impact. One thing that did come up – when I looked through a collection of Japanese investment-ready social businesses, most of the entrepreneurs had been passengers of the global voyage in the past. 

In much the same way, Inspiring Adventures isn’t currently set up to train the next crop of investment-ready social enterprises in the UK, but it is a seed, planted in your mind, to get you thinking about starting something you love and something that matters.  

Only two weeks and counting until I’ll be in Brazil. What Inspiring Adventures are you going to take this year?

I’d especially like to thank Be Inspired Films, who believe in the mission of Inspiring Adventures, and sponsored one day of video training for myself, where they trained me to produce the above video.  If you’d like to learn more about their video production, or training, have a look on their website.

 

January @InspAdventures Events in London

Jan 18th

Hub Crawl!

5pm-9pm at the Hubs of London, starting in Hub Islington

Come and have a drink in some of the coolest co-working places in London, with some of the coolest co-workers in London (even if I do say so myself..)

Jan 24th

The Challenge of Measuring Social Impact

6pm-8pm at Hub Westminster

How do you measure social impact?  Is there just one way, or are there lots of ways?  Why is it important anyway?  Come and hear what a panel of experts have to say, and then give them your opinion!

Jan 26th

A Make Sense “Hold Up” For Inspiring Adventures

Join the Make Sense Facebook Group 

Time and location coming soon, but best guess is 4pm-6pm, somewhere central)

Join a group of change makers, and myself, as we spend 90 minutes of fast paced fun action on solving the business challenges of Inspiring Adventures.  If you got an opinion about Inspiring Adventures, promoting social enterprise through travel, or how to build a community, we’d love you to join.  We’re expecting about 5-10 people.  After the Hold Up, we’ll probably go and get a drink..

They look a bit like this:

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And by attending any of these events, you are supporting the up and coming Inspiring Adventures Brazil!   Thank you! 

 

It’s Alive! Thanks for your support so far!

I’m very happy to see the first sponsors start to come though for my crowdfunding campaign this month – Thank you Michael, Taichi and Juan!

Not only donations, but also other help.  For example. Be Inspired Films have kindly offered to sponsor my training in video production, for the Inspiring Adventures Brazil – Thank you Ravi!

Something about us inspiring people sticking together.  Or maybe they just don’t want to have to watch my shaky videos any more.

Check out their excellent work here http://www.beinspiredfilms.co.uk/

You can even see me in their video below, which Be Inspired filmed, edited and presented on site last year at Oxford Jam. I’m 40 seconds in, banging the gong to get it all started!

OxfordJam 2012 from Be Inspired Films on Vimeo.

Other wonderful people, like Paul Minett, a design and content specialist who works with the Big Issue, has offered to spend some time with me working on my messaging and impact.  See you next week Paul! 

Of course a big thank you to my other friends who’ve been sharing and liking the page on Facebook, or tweeting the links – it all helps.

And you are still invited to join me on any part of the Inspiring Adventure!  You can see my full and updated itinerary here on the Google doc. It’s a work in progress, and is open to your suggestions – let me know where we can meet!

As one of my Brazilian friends who works at Ashoka kindly pointed out, the social enterprise I wanted to visit in Recife was, in fact, not close to Salvador, unless you consider England as close to Italy.  Thanks Clarice, I will have to carefully plan logistics to be able to reach social enterprises in all 5 regions in 5 weeks.

Let a comment or send me an email if you want to get involved, and do have another look at my crowdfunding page, and give it a tweet, a share or a donation – updates are coming! 

 

Merry Christmas! A Round Up of 2012

What an exciting year 2012 has been for Inspiring Adventures!  It’s been fun to go through the ups and the downs of starting my own project, and I’m grateful to all of you for the help and encouragement I’ve recieved. 

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Mainy times since I started last February, I’ve thought about giving up.  I really do love to see and hear your support – a few kind words here or a nice email there and that really does give me a boost of energy! And then there is something inside me that keeps me going – I’m pretty sure it’s my passion for sharing with you all the amazing things that fantastic people are doing all around us. 

This year, it was great to see that my writing on the power of learning journeys got some great coverage.  Tens of thousands of people saw my posts in various different places (Four of the biggest – VirginClearlySoEscape the City and SavoirThere). 

There’s also my silly video that started it all off – it is still the Inspiring Adventures video with the most hits. It does make cringe, but it helped spread the message.  And I wasn’t reading a script, I was looking out for rocks!

 

Of course the sad news of 2012 is that we didn’t manage to operate the October 2012 trip to Brazil. Lessons were learned, and big goals must be attemped, even if they fail on the first go. 

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My local, London based mini-Inspiring Adventures finished with a bang.  The last Hub Crawl of the year had over 20 participants, visiting all three London Hub social enterprise co-working spaces in one night. I think that brings the total number of Hub Crawllers to over 50.  And now it is spreading by word of mouth, and people are keen to join the next January crawl already!

Here’s the official Hub Crawl page: http://hubcrawl.eventbrite.co.uk

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Together with the Alternative Travel Collective, we hosted a fun party for over 80 Alternative Travellers at Hub Kings Cross. The theme was flip flops, and it was great to see so many people interested in sustainable, alternative, and better ways to travel.  Shout out to my co-hosts, Sumak Travel, Dromomaniacs, and the Happiness Architect.  

What does 2013 hold in store?  You’ll have to wait for the next post for that, but I’m planning something big! 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Facebook Explosion

In an effort to co-create an international Inspiring Adventure, I have been using the events page on www.facebook.com/inspiringadventures to get it started

It’s been going very well, and within a couple weeks of being active, several people have become involved in the conversation.  

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Some friends have put in their availability, some have put up recommendations of places to visit, and some have mentioned social enterprises and innovations worth seeing.  

Head over there for a look. It’s a place be part of creating the type of Inspiring Adventure that you’d love to join.

 

The Alt Travel Party

Welcome Alternative Travellers!

There are better ways to travel.

http://alttravelparty-insp.eventbrite.co.uk

Join the Alt Travel Collective for The Alt Travel Party to enjoy the company of people who love adventurous, inspiring, fun, sustainable, and/or socially beneficial ways of travelling around our amazing planet.

Follow #AltTravel on Twitter

Party Location – Hub Kings Cross

HubKX is where change goes to work. A community for social entrepreneurs, and a cool co-working environment and space. It has a great bar fully stocked with ethical snacks, organic beers, ales, wines and soft drinks. Please register above as places are limited.

Party Theme – Flip Flops.

Bring a flip flop related item. Wear a flip flop. Hold a Sandal. Show your thong. Use your imagination!

7pm Rock up

10pm Rock out

Afterparty location TBC

Party Hosts

Felipe Zalamea – Sumak Travel

Sumak Travel or “good, sustainable travel”, is a social enterprise that sells eco-tourism trips to Latin America. Its mission is to contribute to the empowerment of local communities by running an ethical business that is also rewarding for responsible tourists. Sumak Travel works directly with community-based tour operators in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Colombia. Profits are invested into community-led, productive projects in Latin America (see more info in the website).

Ed Hewitt – Dromomaniacs

A ‘Dromomaniac’ is defined as someone with ‘an insatiable urge to travel’. Dromomaniacs is a new, independent society for those with that ‘insatiable urge’ to share, inspire and meet other like minded people with incredible experiences around the globe.

Richard Brownsdon – Inspiring Adventures

Inspiring Adventures is a social enterprise that co-creates and runs trips and events that inspire and stimulate. They introduce and connect participants with each other, and with social entrepreneurs and innovators doing inspiring things in amazing locations in London and Internationally.

And a very special mention to our very own Happiness Architect – Taichi Fujimoto

Who Is Inspiring Adventures Perfect Partner?

There are several potential partners that could work really well with Inspiring Adventures.

Don’t forget, an Inspiring Adventure is a fun trip that inspires and stimulates the participants. It introduces and connects them with each other, and with social entrepreneurs and innovators doing inspiring things in amazing places.

As you know, an example is 8 days in Brazil, visiting a different entrepreneurs and innovators every day, as well as having time for fun on the beach and the nightlife, kind of like a TEDxTravel (I just heard back from TEDx – they are way too strict with their rules!)

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