Go shawty it's ma birthday, I'm gonna party like it's ma birthday!
Actually, we just spent a week on the islands celebrating in true style...but more on that next week.
Today I turn the big 3-2 and sashay further into my 30's – a decade I once dreaded but now absolutely love and wonder why I was ever anxious about embracing my 30's.
After all, during my tumultuous 20's I was a complete asshole. I drank too much, I ate horrible food too often, I had some pretty toxic relationships and I had no direction in my life professionally.
Sure I dabbled; I modelled for years, I hosted web tv shows and I chased the dream of fame, but it wasn't until I took the plunge and started up a business that actually made money (providing social media management services to restaurants and bars) that I realized I was unemployable and needed to work for myself.
That quickly evolved into me realizing working for clients isn't always the same as working for yourself – completely free of location and time constraints.
I found my clients demands overwhelming and I felt as though what I provided them far outweighed what they paid me.
Compound that with the fact that I was watching Josh rake in stacks of cash all while working online, free to go wherever he pleased, create his own hours and not have to worry about client requests and I started craving that freedom.
Fast forward a few months later and we joined forces. Fast forward another year and we decided we needed to switch things up.
We needed a change of scenery. We craved a cheaper existence. We yearned to be around people who thought the same way as us, valued the same things as us and wanted to work as hard as us.
So we moved to Thailand. We've now been here 6 months – 170 days to be exact – and it is hands down the best thing we have ever done for ourselves.
Why? Read on.
It Was Thaim for a Reality Check
See what I did there? Birthdays make me clever.
Before we jumped the pond and settled in Thailand we thought we knew everything there was to know about running an affiliate business.
Since we hadn't really met anyone doing what we were doing (trust me, we tried) we figured that we were the bees knees when it came to running a network of authority affiliate sites.
After one week in Chiang Mai, we realized just how naive we were.
Within our first month we met: a brain supplement manufacturer, a social anxiety coach, a CPA exam marketer, an app developer, SEO experts (both black hat and white hat), an email marketing coach, podcast editors, copywriters, a web developer, a online furniture re-seller, a mobile affiliate marketer, a brick and mortar business consultant, a health coach, travel bloggers and writers galore.
Each of those people knew something we didn't. It was massively humbling and a huge eye-opener for us - one we are incredibly grateful for.
What's even better is each of these people have been super cool, incredibly friendly and are more than willing to talk shop, share knowledge and discuss particular issues you may be trying to solve within your business.
I've never been more happy to realize that we still have so much to learn and so far to go to reach our big holy-shit-we-did-it goals.
It Was Thaim to Get Healthy
Back in Toronto we had a good workout routine. We would go for walks by the lake nearly every day (until the deep-freeze set in), hit up the gym and go to spinning as much as we could.
Yet we drank a lot, inhaled greasy North American meals without thinking twice and considered all-you-can-eat sushi sessions a 'healthy dinner'.
No matter how much we were working out we just couldn't shed those last 10 pounds. We would feel lethargic, unproductive and inefficient - regardless of how hard we were trying to work and tick off our tasks.
And then we came to Thailand.
Don't get me wrong, you can absolutely eat poorly here but there are so many more affordable healthy alternatives here - $1 wheatgrass shots, $1.50 fresh fruit smoothies, $3 green juices, $3 (huge) salads and $4 vegetarian buffets.
Back home these options are available but would cost you crazy amounts of money and typically aren't financially viable when trying to bootstrap a business.
On top of that there are free workout groups, $5.50 ass-kicking yoga, and a whole community of business owners who are constantly looking for ways to improve their health and increase their productivity - and no, it doesn't include 3 cups of coffee a day.
In fact, we have even created a little morning juicing routine here with a few of our buddies - which I affectionately refer to as the Green Team.
Every morning at 9:30am we meet at our apartment and make our own green juice to kick off our day. We bought a sick juicer for $100 and the four of us split the produce cost each week - typically around $1 per person/day.
It has drastically improved how we feel each morning, has allowed us to cut out the need for caffeine and we feel more efficient, clear-headed, driven, inspired, on-task and ready to crush our day than ever before.
We simply didn't have that opportunity...scratch that...we simply couldn't afford that back home.
It Was Thaim to Level Up
Now I know I have rambled on about the business benefits of living in South East Asia before but I'm about to do it again because the longer we spend here, the more I realize just how vital it is to our (and every lifestyle business owner's) success to surround ourselves with people who share the same mindset, are driven by the same goals and who are straight up mothafuckin' hustling to make shit happen.
From accountability groups to masterminds, conferences to co-working sessions we have never been more inspired in our mission to help others take the plunge into their own freedom based business or infused with creative ways to partner up with different people here.
It's the vibe of riotous ambition coupled with the wisdom from the Lifestyle Business Podcast guys who uttered the words "If it's making you money, you shouldn't be doing it" that was truly a game changer for us.
This one little sentence shook our beliefs and ultimately prompted us to take the biggest step in our business to date by leveraging our time, creating SOPs and outsourcing every task that makes us money.
It was a huge leap of faith, and completely nerve-wracking - trusting our entire business to (somewhat) strangers - but without that step we wouldn't have been able to grow.
Which is the sole reason we came here: To grow.
So how am I feeling on my special day? Grateful. Appreciative. Happy. And head-over-heels in love with the life we have created.
It hasn't come without a few thousand (rough estimate) struggles, obstacles and bumps along the way but that's all a part of getting older, isn't it? Learning how to better deal with the strife, and cherish the journey for what it is - beautiful and full of mad hope.