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Setting up an import export business abroad

11 Ways To Fund Your New Life Overseas

Years ago, when I had a satellite office in Quito, Ecuador, I flew into town for a visit one day to find the place full of stuff. Couldn’t make my way through the room without moving boxes and baskets out of the way.

Embroidered table linens…colorful pashminas…carved wooden santos…musical instruments…handmade rocking chairs…silver bracelets…alpaca sweaters and shawls…tagua Christmas ornaments…leather duffle bags…

We’d been discussing the idea of launching a small import/export business, and the office was overflowing with the initial stock.

Our office manager at the time sold out that inventory (in some cases for four, five, or six times our cost), but then we moved on from the idea—not because we didn’t think it viable but because other projects distracted us.

I was reminded of that experience one day this week when I walked into our office in Panama City to find the conference room table piled with stuff—hats, scarves, bags, table linens, pot holders, painted wooden bowls, jewelry—much of it, I recognized, from Ecuador.

All these years later, we’ve finally been able to return to the import/export idea. Not Lief and me but our kids. Kaitlin and Jackson have teamed up to launch Trader Jack’s Bazaar, an online marketplace where you can shop for hand-selected wares from countries where we spend time. You can take a look here.

As way back when in Quito, none of us has much time for this enterprise. Jackson is a freshman in high school. Kaitlin is my full-time managing editor. Still, the pair have established cash flow and built an infrastructure that could develop into something much bigger. Lief and I will try to help toward that end.

Meantime, how could you make enough money to support a new life wherever you imagine you want to live it? You could, for example, publish an online wine magazine…open a restaurant on a Caribbean island…start a zoo…operate a book exchange…build a school…launch a computer software company…become a travel writer…invest in a franchise…open a security firm…run a fitness center…

Each of these is a current example of a real-life expat entrepreneur success story. I’d add “build an online import/export website” to the list (à la Trader Jack’s Bazaar)…or launch an online publishing biz, as I’ve done.

Looking for ideas for how to fund the new life you’re dreaming of in the exotic locale that’s calling your name? We’re dedicating one of the workshops at this year’s Retire Overseas Conference to the topic.

Kathleen Peddicord

P.S. Already operating as an entrepreneur overseas and interested in sharing your story? I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me here.

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