Colin Wright Interview – Founder of ExileLifestyle.com
We are featuring a very unique guy here today at Income Scene, one who loves minimalism (when he was leaving the United States to start his Exile Lifestyle Tour, he disposed of everything that didn’t fit into a carry-on bag), mobility (he moves to a new country every four months, wherever his readers vote for), sustainability (he believes that creating systems with fewer diminishing returns leads to better profits), entrepreneurship (he is currently running a few businesses and slowly building up a handful of smaller projects that may turn into businesses) and self-improvement (his Exile Lifestyle project was to document his progress and learn from others as he tries to help others learn).
He said, “I move to a new country every 4 months. My readers vote on where I move, and I do my best to learn all I can about the place where I’m living (while also running my businesses and having a life).” At the behest of his readership, he is currently living in Reykjavik, Iceland. Guys I give you Colin Wright…
Quick Facts About Colin
My Best Investment?
Educating myself a little more every day
How Many Hours Do I Spend Blogging Weekly?
Writing, maybe 1 or 2; interacting and socializing, probably 3 or 4.
My Top 3 Traffic Sources
Direct traffic (people knowing what they’re looking for…I chalk this up to my real world interactions and interviews), Google (keywords include ‘colin wright,’ ‘tall poppy syndrome’ and ‘break up party’), and Twitter.
How Long Did It Take Me To Make $1000?
From my website? I don’t make a cent from the website…only from my other businesses, but I do build my brand with my website, which helps me when building other businesses (making $1000 isn’t a problem…that’s 2 hours consulting or 50 eBooks sold)
My Most Memorable Blogging Moment
I think the first time I had someone recognize me (in real life!) for my website was pretty wild…it took me a second to figure out what was going on.
The Best Advice I Got
A college professor once told me that if I wasn’t feeling inspired I should ‘go home, drink beer, put bunny wabbit on it and it be niiiiiice’ (should be said with a strong Russian accent).
‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.’ – Dr. Seuss
In The Beginning – Before I Started Making Money Online
I didn’t start out as an entrepreneur, I was just a designer trying to learn the ropes and frustrated by the lack of innovation in even the most creative studios.
So I worked my butt off, taking on many jobs while in college and then starting up my first business at 19, again, because I was frustrated by the lack of movement and new ideas in the traditional publishing industry (my business was a magazine). I then started up a studio and was hooked on being able to create value and exchange it for value. It’s amazing how many people work but never see it as this kind of transaction.
I didn’t really get how the net could positively impact my business (beyond my knowing how to build Flash websites and that kind of thing) until I quit my first job out of college and started up my second studio, this time in LA. I had to streamline everything because I had just enough money to last a month, or I would have to move back to Missouri and live with my parents.
Thankfully I was able to pull back out of that hole and snag a handful of clients the first month, then more the second, mostly by making connections through the Internet (and conducting my business on a shoestring using free applications and emails instead of printer paper). I had zero budget, and I made it work.
I took that same model and applied it a while later when I started refocusing my business so that I could travel while working, but I still remember the hardship involved in working with atoms instead of pixels.
Everything was Business As Usual Until This Happened
Honestly, it would have to be the day that I found myself sitting in the back of a friend’s van, being hauled to the airport so I could fly home to visit my family briefly before moving to Argentina, which was the first country I lived in outside of the US.
Sitting there, with all of my stuff crammed into a single carry-on bag, realizing that I was uprooted and homeless…that I could go anywhere and do anything and that I had no bills to pay…that feeling was so liberating that I don’t think I could ever give it up. It changed the way I live, the way I work, the way I learn and the way I think.
I Didn’t Stay On The Spot… I Kept Right On Going
Oh there have been so many challenges, where to start?
My first business didn’t make me any money – it made just enough to get the magazine printed, with none left for me – and I had some serious missteps while promoting it, but I kept on ticking.
When I quit that first job after college, my former boss had it in his mind that I was suddenly a threat and out to get him, so he threw a bunch of threats and legal documents at me that had me pretty uncomfortable for a while, but that taught me to be more careful with people and to always have a plan B.
Lately the challenges have been a bit more physical – being mugged, being stuck in the middle of nowhere under extreme conditions, catching Dengue Fever – but they’re still just as frustrating and have the potential to knock me out mentally.
I find that the best way to approach any problem as just an issue that hasn’t been handled yet, and when something really bad goes wrong, to tell yourself that it will make a great story later and that you’ll be a better person for having gone through it. We learn from the missteps a lot more than from the successes, so it’s good to have a mix.
What Have I Accomplished So Far?
Hmmmm, that’s a good question. I tend to always look forward and not focus too much on things I’ve already done (they’re just steps to a larger goal), so I’m not certain what kinds of things to put here.
I’ve had about 200,000 collective downloads from my first two eBooks to date, and my third continues to sell well.
I started my first business at 19 and have started and operated a double-handful since then.
I left Los Angeles when my business was doing incredibly well to pursue a dream that I hadn’t ever fully acknowledged (but as soon as I did, I acted almost immediately).
I’ve traveled to quite a few different countries and met a whole lot of amazing people.
I’ve given a TEDx talk and been on several different TV stations, in many magazines and newspapers, and even more blogs.
I’ve received hundreds of emails from readers who have told me that I (or my story) helped them make some change in their life that they were too scared to make, or that they gained some other kind of insight from what I’m doing that left them better than they were before.
That last one is probably the most important…all of my other endeavors are aimed at getting me in a position to influence events in the world, so being able to do so in little ways now is incredibly satisfying.
But I Am Not Done Yet, I Have Some Other Things I am Working On
I’ll keep running the website for the foreseeable future, and I’ve got a few other publishing projects underway.
I’ve also got a company called Ebookling that’s doing really well right out of the gate, and I’m hoping that takes off in a big way.
My longer-term goal is to make all of the information in the world available to everyone. I believe that leveling the information-access playing field will create a solid foundation for everyone to start from, and reign in a new era of open source and self-education, and allow the Einsteins and Gandhis who are starving in India or being killed in Africa the ability to get their ideas out into the larger world (and hopefully bring an end to the whole starvation and war thing).
If I Am To Start All Over Again, I will Do These Three Things FIRST
I would focus more on my networking skills from the get-go (I didn’t start in on this until much later).
I would start engaging in personal experiments sooner (again, didn’t start this until much later, and they’ve been a huge source of development for me).
I would also have started to take my abilities seriously from an earlier age (I always knew I was a smart guy, but there’s a different between being a lazy smart person like I was and a motivated, ambitious world-changer, like I want to be).
Where Can You Find Out More About Me?
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