Investing Outside The US
I’m a big proponent of ignoring borders. It’s made me a lot of money in my life and it’s opened the door to experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
In 2009 I wanted to grow the revenues of a company I owned so I started selling my product in other countries.
It wasn’t something I really thought about because it just made sense…there’s millions of people in the world that haven’t been exposed to my product, why wouldn’t I offer it to them??
Many of my friends (including other entrepreneurs) were stunned that I’d attempt such a move.
“Why would you want to take such an enormous risk?” they’d say. Or “why wouldn’t you just focus on the US because it’s what you know?”
All of their concerns seemed totally irrational to me, and as it turned out, they were.
Investing Outside the US isn't as spooky as you'd think
Between 2010 and 2012 50% of our profit was generated outside the US. The boogie man that everyone feared was actually Santa clause bringing gifts of massive profits.
My point is, borders are antiquated, and to even acknowledge them is pointless and tremendously limiting. And when I say limiting I’m referring to business and your personal life.
Most Americans have a fear of leaving the country that’s tantamount to a 12th century surfs fear of sailing across the ocean and falling off the end of the earth. This being the case I’ll use the US as an example.
Suppose I told you about a city in California or Florida that has 80 degrees weather year-round.
The cost of living in this city was 75% lower than any other city in the US. Said another way, making $2,500 a month here would be equal to making $10,000 a month in Little Rock, Arkansas.
By now most Americans would say to themselves “this sounds like a paradise and how fast can I move?” It is a paradise and you can move right now but you won’t be moving to a city in the US you’ll be moving to Medellin, Colombia.
Of course, this is the catch…but is it? That’s what I really want to encourage people to ponder.
Most Americans wouldn’t dream of stepping foot in Medellin let alone move there. But why? Going back to our little thought experiment, what if Medellin were in the US?
It’s far closer than California for most eastern states (4 hr flight from Atlanta and 3 hr flight from Miami).
The crime rate, which is most people's biggest irrational fear, is far lower than St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Nashville, Detroit, Chicago, etc.
Medellin has a great international airport, public transit, live music, culture, food, schools, everything you’d expect in a US city and much, much more.
There are some cultural differences but they’re less drastic than the difference between Portland, Oregon and Dallas, Texas.
I could go on but the bottom line is, other than a different language and far fewer overweight people, you could go about your daily life in Medellin and never notice you weren’t in the US.
Taking it a step further, look at what typical life is in the US.
Wake up, drink your coffee, take the kids to school, go to work, pick the kids up, try to get in a workout, eat dinner and watch a little TV…rinse and repeat 5 days a week.
On the weekends you spend time with friends, go out to dinner, take the kids to their soccer practice and go to church on Sunday.
So what do you think typical life is like for people in Medellin? Or Singapore? Or Dubai? Or Auckland? It’s literally identical…
If you follow that line of thought through to its logical conclusion, it becomes obvious how meaningless borders are and how, in my opinion, they should be totally ignored when thinking about a place to do business, invest or spend time.
I’ve come to the point where I don’t compare countries, I compare cities.
I compare Dallas to Dubai just like I’d compare Dallas to Portland.
If you’re able to realize the city is what matters most, not the country, you’ll open up to a whole new world that could present more success and happiness.
In success and freedom,