Life as a Solo-Entrepreneur and Expat

  • Are you an expat, solo-entrepreneur and/or freelancer?
  • Perhaps all three?
  • Are you tired of doing it alone?
  • Do you sometimes wish you could brainstorm that idea that’s been floating around your head?
  • Do you miss the easy conversations that happen over a coffee with colleagues?
  • Is motivation running low?

If you have answered yes to at least one of these, then I invite you to keep reading.

After all, this site is dedicated to providing resources, inspiration and support just for you.

My name’s Máire Olsson and I’ve lived abroad for over two decades.  I understand on an intimate level the highs and lows of the expat life.

Living. Breathing. Loving. Working. Building a business. Losing a business and building another. Sinking in a sea of communication difficulties. Going from delight to frustration and back again within another culture. The bureaucracy that just doesn’t get easier. And the list goes on.

If you resonate with anything from that list, then you are also a survivor of an expat life. The reason you’ve found this site is that you also want more than survival. You are committed to thriving.

And let me say, that if carving out a meaningful life for yourself is a priority, you’re so not alone. Although in reality, it really can feel that way. In fact, feelings of isolation are one of the most common constraints on, not just finding success (however that’s true for you) but to feel you are successful. Deep down you understand that satisfaction and happiness are not meant to be by-products of your work, but core-elements.

And yet, as more and more of us are dreaming of that independent life, living life on our terms,  doing what we love, discovering the golden key to a perfect life, something is not working. In a hidden part of us, we also know that doing it solo has a darker side. But to talk about it might even sound like we are ungrateful. After all, successful people don’t complain, do they? And if you’re an expat, many of your friends and family back home may even think you’re living the dream just by living abroad.

Without a doubt, it is an exciting time in history. The possibility of anyone creating their own business is unprecedented. The online industry is growing. We can work from home, from a café, from anywhere there is an internet connection. But there is a hidden cost.

Hang on, cost? You might be thinking. And Máire, haven’t you already laid out this amazing technologically advanced world we live in means we are always connected?  Did someone mention those amazing co-working spaces and start-up hubs popping up around the globe? Sure. Great. Yes. We get it! They are a great idea if…  I mean, they are popular for a reason.

And these marvellous, young, energetic spaces beckon us with their music of random conversations that can spark new thinking. Ad-hoc discussions that offer solutions outside of the box. And, yes, even, possibly, collaboration.

And then we look around at our home spaces, our day-to-day lives. Our commitments at home (children, pets, plants), our stretched bank balances, the distance and time needed to get there and think, I’ll check it out another day. Just not right now. Or not this week. Or maybe not ever. And although we suspect we might be really missing out, we toughen up. We soldier on. We put our heads down and just get on with it. Didn’t we just say that working as a solo-entrepreneur sometimes sucks?

But what if, what if we could find community? What if we could find someone to chat with over coffee? What if we could find others to spark ideas off. And even, dare I say it, find people to collaborate with?

What would be different in your world? What changes might happen? How would you feel at the end of a day? What could you accomplish?

Today, this site is a small resource and support site. Tomorrow, it will grow into an online virtual co-working space where all of those things will be in one place, in real-time, with real people. I can’t wait to get started and invite you to be an early user. Sign up to get the latest updates. The newsletter will be in your inbox once a week with tips and offerings. Updates and interviews.

 

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