Welcome to The Traveling Entrepreneur! Each Monday, we'll feature a different entrepreneur who spends at least part of their working hours on the road. Learn their tips for working from anywhere, what they'd do differently if they had to start their business over again, and their favorite place to travel (so far). Enjoy!
Meet Adrian Ingram
Q. Can you tell me a bit about your business?
A. My business has two components. The first is a publishing company. Over the past three years I have self-published over 190 different e-books to Amazon to be sold on the Kindle platform. I search for profitable non-fiction book niches, outsource the writing to a third party, and then I handle all of the publishing and marketing. The second component is the training side. I recently released a training course called Freedom Self Publishing where I teach other people how to replicate what I’ve been able to do so they can begin selling Amazon Kindle books themselves.
Q. Did you leave a 9-5 to pursue your business? If so, what was that process like? Did you have a “safety net”? How did your family and friends respond?
A. I didn’t quite have a 9-5 so to speak. I left a part-time job where I was working around 20 hours per week. Ever since high school I’d been running some a sort of side-hustle. I had a couple of small e-Bay businesses that did okay, and then moved onto Kindle publishing, which eventually did well enough to allow me to quit the job. Once the income from selling e-books matched the income I was making at my job, I knew I had to bite the bullet and hand in my notice. My family and friends were pretty used to me working on one business venture or another so there were no real surprises when I quit the job!
Q. What is your favorite thing about being self-employed?
A. The freedom I have. I can run my business from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, so I travel a lot! My business is also quite unique in that I don’t have set business hours. I can take a week off if I want and the wheels will keep on turning. If I’d like to take a Wednesday off to do something fun, I can do that! At the same time, if I’m feeling motivated and want to build my business further, I can choose to spend all ‘weekend’ working on it to grow it further. I’m no longer trading my time for money, and that has really improved my quality of life. The freedom of how I spend my time is easily the best part!
Q. What is the most challenging aspect of your business?
A. It can be quite repetitive. After you’ve published 190+ books, the process can get kind of boring! Although it makes me money, sometimes finding the motivation to publish more and more books can be hard to find!
Q. Who is your biggest inspiration in the entrepreneurship world?
A. I try not to focus on just one entrepreneur to emulate or learn from so this question is really tough! There are two main people that come to mind. The first person who I really looked to for inspiration in the entrepreneurship world was Richard Branson, but these days, the person I listen to the most is Gary Vaynerchuk. Both of those guys have been successful in starting in one industry/business model, succeeding, and then moving onto others, which I think is a real talent and something I’d like to do one day!
Q. What originally inspired you to work for yourself?
A. I’ve always wanted to run my own business. Ever since I was a little kid I saw it as the way to go, though I’m not too sure why. It’s just something that seemed to make the most sense for me.
Q. What was the best piece of advice you received when you were first getting started?
A. ‘Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.' Any time you do something different from the norm, you’ll get a lot of negative criticism. If I cared about what other people said or thought, I probably never would have had the confidence to start my own business and to travel by myself for months at a time. Thanks to that advice, I’ve been able to focus on what makes me happy, rather than what others will think, and it’s completely changed my life!
Q. If you had to start your business over from scratch today, what would be your top three priorities?
A. 1. Focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to have one amazing product to sell, than 10 mediocre ones.
2. Reinvest the money I earn and use it to scale the business.
3. Hire virtual assistants and build a team to help scale the business, and to make it more and more passive.
Q. Do you travel frequently while maintaining your business?
A. Yes, this has become a huge focus of mine! I’ve spent the past 7 months in South East Asia and plan to spend at least 6 months of every year overseas. Next year I’ll be heading to Europe for the most-part!
Q. Are there any tools or resources that allow you to work from anywhere that you would recommend to other entrepreneurs?
A. Instead of using a physical location and having Australian staff in an office, I make use of virtual assistants to run the vast majority of my business. I outsource literally 90% of what I do. I find these people primarily through Upwork.com, which is an amazing site for anyone wanting to transition their business to a model that is location-independent.
Q. What have been some of your favorite destinations so far?
A. I still have a lot of the world to see, but I really love Thailand! I think I’ll be back there every year for as long as I live. I love the people, the food, the beauty of the country, and the community of other entrepreneurs that congregate there!
Q. Describe your happiest traveling moment so far.
A. This is really tough! There is no one moment that stands out, but rather, the experience as a whole. The thing that’s made me the happiest would be the amazing friendships I’ve made while traveling that I know I’ll have for life!
Q. How does traveling enhance your current business?
A. While traveling, I get to meet so many amazing people who are absolutely killing it in business! It’s a great opportunity for me to learn a lot, and it also pushes me to work a lot harder!
Q. What advice do you have for people who want to travel while they work?
A. Start as soon as possible! If you’re making $1,000 per month or more online currently, you can move to somewhere like Thailand and live an incredible quality of life while you grow your income further. If you aren’t hitting that $1,000 per month figure just yet, then get to work. I seriously think that within a few months, anyone can build an income of $1,000 per month online, on the side of their regular job. Just pick a method or business model, and stick to it!
Straight out of high school I worked at a gym as a personal trainer and sold memberships for three years. During that period of time I worked on starting a few side-businesses online. Thanks to one of these businesses, Kindle publishing, I was able to quit that job in 2015, and since then I have traveled while working online. Now I teach people how they can make money through Kindle publishing at my training course: Freedom Self Publishing. I’m very active on YouTube and my blog. You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.
If you're a globe trotting entrepreneur, and you'd like to be featured (or if you know someone who might), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.