If you came in late, read part one of a mini-retirement plan by Economy Birding in the Philippines here, first.
Economy Birding Philippines — But How Can I Earn Enough To Do This?
- 1 Economy Birding Philippines — But How Can I Earn Enough To Do This?
First of all, as with the previous article, I’m starting with a quote from Michael. Yu really should read his stuff. He’s not “Philippine oriented” but he’s got a lot on the ball about inventive ways to make through today’s hard times … and enjoy yourself while you do so.
‘Earning Income Abroad’
“This is all fine and dandy”, you might say, “but how am I going to make any money abroad if I quit my job back home?”
You have a couple of options:
1. Find temporary work in your new “home”.
2. Create a business you can do from anywhere.
Option number two is preferable because you may sow the seeds for a new hobby or business you can continue long after you return back home.
Economy Birding Philippines — But How Can I Earn Enough To Do This?
Couldn’t say it better myself, Michael. Every day I get questions and even pleas for help from foreigners trying to find ways to “Earn a living in the Philippines, find foreigner jobs in the Philippines, learn how to star a business in the Philippines, etc.
Sometimes I actually want to tear my hair out (I can’t. because I don’t have any, anymore). I write, they read (apparently) and then they write back asking me advice in how to do the complete opposite of what I guided them, even warned them NOT to do.
Folks, if you’re a foreigner, forget about the idea of a ‘good paying job” in the Philippines. You know how bad everyone says the US economy is, and how hard it is to find a job?
Well the Philippine unemployment rate is roughly double that of the US … in what is one of the worst periods for unemployment since the Great Depression. So what makes you so “special” that you figure there’s a J*O*B (stands for Just Over Broke) waiting for you here in the Philippines?
You are, of course, entitled to dream, but my advice, based on 66 years tenure in the school of hard knocks is, stop wasting your time. And stop asking me to enable your addiction to that “last century” human icon, a J*OB. You’ll be money ahead deciding now to start making progress toward a real goal …living in the Philippines but making your money OUTSIDE the Philippines.
And if your argument is, “But I don’t want a job in the Philippines, I want to start a business there”, then I say you are perilously close to just chasing your tail as well. I get the queries all the time about little “nickel-dime” businesses like Internet café’s, sari-sari stores, one-man taxi operations, etc. The problem with setting your sights this low is, even those who succeed still lose. Again, it’s wheel spinning when you could be succeeding.
Economy Birding Philippines — But I Don’t Know How
That’s the easiest issue to solve. Simple. Just learn. Your schooling did not stop (or it shouldn’t have, anyway), when you graduated from your highest level of school. If you are, say, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a nurse, or one of dozens of other professions I could dig up, you are required by law and basic pressures of competition to continually learn. We even formally call it CE, Continuing Education in many fields.
Guess what, even if you are not in a calling which requires earning CEU’s, you owe it to yourself, and especially those who depend upon you, to continue your education. Actually, earning can be fun, as well as profitable. And if you are, like me, a bit older than the average reader here, it will pay you great dividends in health and longevity, far in excess of any money you may make.
I’ve written often about these issues. Once extensive, two-part post about making money in the Philippines without working 0r owning a Philippine business really pleased me.
I poured my heart and soul into it, hours of research, and I made sure to use only “real people” and purposely stayed away from any esoteric, complicated, specialized knowledge, “rocket science” methods.
I am actually deeply disappointed. Few readers, Few comments. A lot of people just skip over the article on their way to write to me and ask me the standard question, “Dear sir, please help me find a job.”
I don’t find jobs in the Philippines for people. I particularly advise against it for foreigners. Even if you were to be one of the infinitesimally small group who actually finds one, the working conditions , the commutes, and especially the TAXES here are a bitch.
I point out the ways you can succeed, why on earth do so many insist on beating their head against the wall.
- I want to live in the Philippines. OK, fine, that’s a worthy goal. It worked for me.
- I know I need an income to be able to live in the Philippines. Correct, this puts you head and shoulders above a number of aimless dreamers. Therefore
- Therefore, I need to find a job or open a Philippine-based business there. WRONG. Point one and point two do NOT lead logically to conclusion three.
This is a common logically fallacy. Arguments of this kind, arguments that aren’t deductively valid, are said to commit a “formal fallacy”.
What else can you do aside from “Wishing”and “Hoping”, and, particularly if you are a Filipino, wistfully murmuring “If Only”?
(the two-word phrase that is the curse of Filipino progress, in my view).
Well here’s some thoughts:
Problems That Create Opportunity
Taking a mini-retirement abroad opens up a variety of business and work opportunities that do not exist at home. Two of the main opportunities are related to solving the problems of distance and language.
Language. Language is a problem and so it is also an opportunity. A woman from the U.S. wanted to learn Spanish prior to her trip to Ecuador. However, there were no instructors near her home or existing classes were too expensive. So she searched the Internet and found an Ecuadorian English teacher who gave her instructive lessons over the Internet. Rather than paying a private tutor $50 per hour in the U.S. she paid her Ecuadorian teacher $5 per hour and received the same or better instruction. Someone could easily make a business out of promoting language tutors abroad, because not every language tutor knows how to promote themselves on the Internet.
(my emphasis… you might also like to read a post of mine about Earning a Living Teaching Languages here. The “heroine” of that post, Violeta Reed, makes substantially more than $5 an hour teaching Spanish from her home. It’s seriously NOT that hard folks, if you truly want to take action rather than talk about what you can’t do))
… Opportunities to make money overseas are easier to find than you might think
Who says you can’t create a business from exporting beautiful hand-made silk textiles from Vietnam? (ed. … just replace everything Michael is saying here about his Vietnam example with ones from the Philippines.)
Distance. Another example might be related to a wood-carver in Vietnam, who has no idea how to promote his beautiful work to the international marketplace. You may find his products to be very valuable and create a web site to promote his work. So long as you have skills, knowledge, and passion for the product, you can use the Internet or your contacts back home to access buyers that he never could. The fact that he is not able to travel distances like you are gives you an opportunity to help his business grow and thus creates an opportunity for you.
Not long ago I watched a documentary on a Philippine TV channel about a wonderful “Livelihood Project” in the Visayas area. There are a LOT of mini-Livelihood projects in the Philippines, local governments are often quite progressive in sponsoring them so that people in their districts have some opportunity to earn an honest living, and especially so they would not run off to that horrid “family killer” that so many Filipinos fall victim to, Overseas Filipino Worker jobs, where the wealth of the Philippines (it’s people) are “gifted” to other countries for mediocre wages.
Anyway, this project involved 50 or more ladies, many of them from a local indigenous group, who had been trained and coached in wonderfully skilled and very artistic lace making. The program had actually been in place for several hundred years, originally sponsored by Spanish priests and nuns when the area was first colonized by the Spanish.
The ladies all had decent, clean working conditions, child care facilities on site and they learned basic language skills and domestic management skills as well as the lace making. They were paid a fair, living wage for that area as well, and most were supporting their families on this small income.
So where was the “fly in the ointment” here, Philly?
Easy. The women’s work, beautiful as it was, was sold, privately, to buyers in Binodo (Chinatown), Manila were it was resold in small, Philippine shops. The Binodo merchants were giving what was likely a fair enough priced for cheap, sara-sari store merchandise, but I was unable to think what a huge increase in profit these folks could have gotten if they had been selling this truly fine and 100% original artisan lace goods on the open market ..in say new York City, San Francisco, Paris, Rome (and having lived in japan for years and knowing the regard rich Japanese have for fine craftsmanship like this) Tokyo.
An impossible dream? Setting up a chain of shops to compete with high-end stores in high-rent shopping districts across the globe? Wild and crazy dream, Philly. It would take millions and month or years of coordination and business negotiations. Totally impractical dream.
Yep, sounds like it. Or, then again, is it really an impractical dream? What if I told you the “high-end shops”, and all the marketing and retail sales infrastructure was already in place. Just no one has the imagination or courage to think beyond the limitations of selling handicraft items in the Philippines itself.
yes, you knew this was coming I know ..,. it’s called the Internet, folks. These high quality items could be marketed to the world, today, right now, with virtually zero investment.
Marketing (by free means, like social media (Facebook and Twitter anyone), online money processing (PayPal, as one example), world-wide very high value, precisely targeted low-cost advertising (AdWords), perhaps … it’s all sitting there for the “doing”, my friends … “if only” we could get people’s minds of “bottom feeder” little low-profit, high man-hour “copycat” ideas like Internet café’s, sari-sari stores and taxicabs.
It’s totally amazing to me how many people come here, read my articles, and then completely ignore them because they involve “online earning”. I’m doing my part here. I’m thinking and advising in the here and now 21st century. Are you sure yourself that you aren’t still in the last century with your thoughts?
Many people let fear paralyze them and keep them from doing what they want to do. Most of these people end up with a life full of regrets and “should haves”. If you think that holding on to your 9-5 job is a secure option, think again. Being mobile and flexible in today’s global economy is one of the most secure traits you can develop because you can learn to seize opportunities as they appear and adapt to changes as they occur.
For those of us who live and work where we please, commuting in traffic to an office for a 9-5 job is so 1990s. For those of us who have broken free from the drudgery of corporate America , we can only smile as the ocean laps our toes while we poke away on our laptop “working for a living”.
(you might want to see also: Also see http://liveinthephilippines.com/content/2011/09/its-the-economy-stupid/)
How are you thinking about earning a living in the Philippines? Full time or for a few years of “Economy Birding Philippines”?