September 29, 2011
Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
Before I get started with this week’s questions, I want to tell you about a special event you may be interested in.
As I’ve often written, there are few things in this world more important than freedom. An important component of this is financial freedom– the idea that having an independent income or large pool of savings opens up more options and opportunities in life.
There’s no black magic involved in creating new income streams. It’s a skill that anyone can develop. Some people are naturally talented and have the ‘value creation’ gene within them. Others succeed by working hard and constantly learning. But the point is, anyone can do it.
I’m fortunate to have a bit of both. Going back several generations, my family is full of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and self-employed professionals, so I grew up around it. I’ve also been able to work with some extraordinarily talented people who have taught me a lot.
Two of those people happen to be some of my partners, Matt Smith and Craig Ballantyne. Both of these guys have started several extremely successful businesses over the last 10-15 years, and their skills are second to none… particularly with online businesses.
The Internet, after all, is the great equaliser… meaning that with an Internet connection and just a little bit of startup capital (perhaps as little as $10), -anyone- can start generating independent income.
If you’ve always wanted to do something like this but weren’t sure how, here’s something you might consider: Matt and Craig are holding a small, closed-door workshop next month; it will take place on Saturday, October 29th in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
And when I say small, it’s only open to 10 people. That’s not a type-o. They’re limiting it to 10 so that each attendee can get personalised, one-on-one attention and coaching.
This one-day workshop is a great opportunity for people who are interested in creating and building a new business, or want to quickly expand an existing business.
To be clear, this event is not affiliated with Sovereign Man; it’s something that Matt and Craig are doing on their own. I just want to tell you about it because they’re two of the best coaches I know; I can guarantee you’ll learn more from them in a single day than after years of costly books, schooling, or trial and error.
The workshop attendance will cost $1,997. If you think that’s too hefty a price to pay for personal, customised coaching to help get your dream business off the ground from two of the most successful entrepreneurs out there, that’s fine. This workshop isn’t for everyone.
But, if you think it’s a no-brainer investment in your future, you should send an email right away to Craig’s assistant Lesa at [email protected] before the slots fill up. She’ll get you more details and an application to attend.
With that, I want to address a question we’ve received a lot lately about Chile– why did I select Chile for the site of our resilient community, and how can I be certain that the government there won’t go crazy too?
Look, there’s no such thing as risk-free… and I would never want to convey to anyone that Chile is some libertarian utopia. However, given the needs of the resilient community that we’re developing and the available options in the world, Chile does stand head and shoulders above the rest.
I’ve covered this in much more detail in Sovereign Man: Confidential, as well as at our Panama conference early this year, but to briefly recap:
– Debt and unemployment levels are low, and the country has maintained consistent growth due to its resource wealth and export-oriented economy.
– Chile has a limited government, especially compared with North America and Europe. Chile has neither the funding nor the cultural inclination to staff hundreds of agencies with the power to confiscate assets, micromanage people’s lives, or ‘protect’ them from every possible threat.
– Chile lacks the massive body of regulations that have turned the US (and much of Europe) into a nation of criminals. I don’t want to imply that rules and bureaucracy don’t exist… but there’s really no comparison.
– Chile is a safe, modern country with a thriving middle class. This isn’t some feudal domain where 99% of the people are peasants living in abject poverty; in Chile, people have plenty of opportunities to work hard and build wealth.
– Chile is one of the most entrepreneurial places in Latin America, and there are plenty of opportunities for foreigners to cash in.
– Chile’s immigration policy is very friendly towards foreigners, and the tax structure makes it easy to pay low or no local income tax.
– From the Internet architecture to the privatized highway system, infrastructure in Chile is excellent.
– In 2010, Chileans faced an earthquake disaster in an orderly, civilized way. These are the kinds of people you want to be around in a crisis situation.
– Chile is a very independent, freedom-oriented country where the government is afraid of the people, not the other way around. People in Chile have little tolerance for government overstepping its bounds.
– Cost of living is reasonable. Standard of living is high. Medical care is excellent.
Overall, while no place is perfect, I view the risks in Chile as quite low and the benefits as quite high– especially compared to crumbling economies up north. This is a major factor in why I selected the country for our community.
Certainly there are things I don’t like, and I’ll cover those another time.
If you want to learn more about Chile, I want to encourage you to pick up Dr. John Cobin’s book Life in Chile. In the book, he recounts a decade of experience as an expat in Chile with the sort of colour and detail you just won’t find anywhere else.
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