10 Free-Range Ideas for Living an Independent Life

28 Nov

Happy chicken - no wire fence

OK, a quick post today as I have loads of erotic fiction to read as part of my romance writing self-guided boot camp. My head is full of muscular torsos, warm embraces and really crass stuff that I had no idea was actually written in Romance novels.

In the meantime, I’ve had lots of conversations with people who are interested in going it alone and starting a new career, so I have thrown together some ideas for living a “free-range” life with businesses that can exist anywhere in the world (other than Mogadishu, perhaps).

My criteria for choosing these suggestions were that each suggestion does not require years of specialized training,  is within reach of most people who have professional experience or fairly common skills, and does not require lots of money to begin.

Writing is one of the many ways to live life on your own terms and fire your boss. Here are some others:

1. Start an expat relocation company

If you live overseas, speak the local language (or have a potential business partner who does), and understand the ins and outs of shipping boxes, setting up utilities and renting an apartment locally, then you can sell your services to expats looking to relocate. Moving abroad can be a huge headache if you have no understanding of the way that the local economy operates, and lots of expats make a full-time living out of helping others relocate.

2. Become a career coach

If you’ve moved jobs a lot (due to your own choice and interest), changed careers and have a good understanding of career development, career coaching can be a lucrative and fulfilling career. It can also be done from anywhere, as most coaches can work via webcam, phone calls and email. You can also work locally with expats wherever you are in the world, if there is a local expat population that’s big enough to sustain your business.

3. Become a web-based consultant

Got lots of experience in something? Write ebooks and offer webinars for people who need your help. This can be anything. Sell knitting patterns, dog training advice, golf coaching, anything. For this, you need to understand the principles of internet marketing, and the confidence to sell your services.I plan to write more on this soon.

4. Teach languages on a freelance basis

If you’ve been teaching EFL for years and sick of gulag language schools, ditch them and set up on your own. Teach English over Skype and charge whatever you think is fair for your experience. Use social media and build a website to promote yourself. Refer other teachers to new clients and charge a fee for the referral.

5. Be a ghostwriter or copywriter

Writers can earn a great living writing memoirs and correspondence for other people. There are no barriers to entering the industry, but you do need to build up clients and confidence in people, and this takes time. See any of the links I have on this blog for information on becoming a freelance writer. Copywriting  can be an incredibly lucrative field for those who understand how to write copy that sells. Again, check the links on the blog for more information.

6. Start a property management company for expat home owners

Who’s going to look after the mansion by the beach when they’re back in Connecticut? You are! If you have a good understanding of property management, you can help home owners make sure their second homes are rented out and cared for when they’re not around.In areas with large numbers of expats, there is often a market for this, as expats look for those who speak their language and they can communicate with fluently.

7. Become a travel agent

These days, travel agents don’t work in cramped little offices lined with brochures showing pictures pf places where you wish you were instead of here. If you have a good understanding of travel, or are willing to learn the business, it’s easy to sign up with an agency and begin working freelance.Many agencies offer free training. Start off as an agent, build contacts locally and begin working with local tour operators. Sell salsa dancing vacation in Panama or culinary tours in India, etc.

8. Become a freelance editor

If you live among people who need to work with English as a second language regularly, set yourself up as a freelance editor and proofreader. You can also offer English web content and copywriting if you have the skills needed. I created this mock up for a client interested in doing exactly this.

9. Become a freelance recruiter

The economy affected a lot of in-house recruiters badly, and many lost their jobs, however, freelance recruiting still offers great potential if you have recruiting experience. Most agencies work on a strictly commissions-only basis, but the payment for successful placements can be very high.

10. Offer online interpreting and translation

If you’re bilingual, there’s a growing business of offering interpreting over the phone or via video conference, and this than be combined nicely with translation, writing or editorial work.

Links coming very soon!


One Response to “10 Free-Range Ideas for Living an Independent Life”


  1. 22, broke, wanna go to Italy. « SoItalian.blog - December 17, 2011

    […] in other creative ways.  Check out these Free-Range Ideas for Living an […]

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