Since Tom Morkes left the US in late 2013, he’s spent time in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Namibia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Belize.
Now, he’s in Southeast Asia, where his wife Courtney teaches Bikram Yoga.
Morkes, who began his career in the army, has authored three books — and one more set to launch in autumn 2015 — based on his experience building businesses like Insurgent Publishing, publishing training site Publisher’s Empire, and High Speed Low Drag, a program for veterans to help them transition into the business world.
He still runs them himself — from wherever he is.
Between his various business ventures, Morkes finds that his monthly revenue ranges from $US5,000 to $US15,000. He typically takes home about $US5,000 a month, plus another $US1,500 a month from the rental properties he owns in the US.
The trick to remotely running a business (or businesses) from the beach in Thailand? Morkes says one of the best resources at his disposal is the technology available to entrepreneurs all over the world.
“When I step back and look at what I’m doing, it’s incredible that I can launch products from here and communicate with people,” he says. “With internet access, you can connect with people and you can build something. Take advantage.”
Aside from communication, Morkes uses tech to outsource some of his tasks, hiring online contractors and virtual assistants for things like design and marketing.
Plus, he finds, technology allows him to keep his overhead costs low. “You can do a lot of stuff for cheap online. Travelling around the world, I’m forced to be location independent — that means I keep the overhead really limited. A lot of stuff doesn’t require a ton of capital, just my time.”
His favourite tools and services include:
- Slack, to communicate with his virtual assistants
- Trello, to manage his projects. “I organise different ‘boards’ for different projects. For example, I’ll have a board for every book I’m publishing, or one for every book I’m marketing, or for new programs, platforms, or products I’m creating. I organise everything using the Kanban method (Backlog, To-Do, In Progress, Done), which helps move things along very quickly.”
- Toggl, to track his time and be able to calculate the exact ROI on projects, as well as work more efficiently
- Skype, for international calls and meetings, and for recording interviews for Podcasts
- Leadpages, to quickly set up landing pages for projects. “For example, I’ll use Leadpages to create the funnels I put in place to launch various products and services, usually with a corresponding webinar, using Google Hangouts or GotoWebinar.”
- SumoMe, to capture email addresses throughout his sites, add social media share buttons for all my pages, and create non-obtrusive popups
- Gumroad, to sell products.”My ecommerce tool of choice. If you use Gumroad, you can start selling products online in minutes. The interface is super slick and customer service is top notch.”
- Contactually, a customer relationship management system “to engage with customers, prospects, and manage various mastermind and training programs I lead, all from one interface.”
- Zapier, to connect different software. “If I want all my Gumroad sales to be added to Contactually or to my email list, I can do that. Zapier allows me to automate a ridiculous number of tasks that saves me dozens of hours a month.”
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