Starting a business in a foreign country is definitely harder than doing so at home. You have to deal with a different culture, language barriers and bureaucracies which treat you with mistrust. So the deck is stacked against you. Despite that, migrants start a lot of businesses. In fact, they’re far more likely to do so than the people who don’t leave their home country.
In the UK they’re three times as likely to start businesses as those who haven’t moved. In the US, 13% of the population is made up of immigrants, while they start 28% of its new ventures. Even more astounding, more than half of the billion dollar new ventures in the US are started by immigrants.
So why – despite the extra hardships they face – are migrants more likely to start businesses and succeed in them when they do? To find out, I interviewed Philippe Holthuizen, who traveled half a world away from his native-born Holland to start not one but two companies.
Continue reading Road interview: Philippe Holthuizen – Expat Entrepreneur and 3D Cobbler
We don’t find our path. It finds us. Chris Haulmark learned this lesson the hard way. By most standards he had it made. He had a good job, children and a marriage. And sure, he dreamed of seeing the world, but that plan was on the backburner. “I thought I’d get to all that when I retired.”
Then his father died far too young at the age of 54. The resulting shockwaves reverberated through Chris’ life and knocked down his foundation. As he dealt with the sorrow of the sudden loss he started questioning everything.
“My father had worked all his life for his retirement, never to get there. I started to wonder how I would feel if that happened to me. From there I started wondering if this was the life for me. Was I living life to its full potential? Was I all I could be? If I ended up where my father was, would it fill me with regrets?”
For a time he wrestled with dark thoughts like these. He kept going back and forth between his commitments and his desire to see what was out there and – equally important – what was inside him. He couldn’t decide which way to jump.
So his children finally pushed him.
Continue reading Road Interview Chris Haulmark, Former Wanderer And Current Candidate for Congress
On the road you see some beautiful places, but really it’s the people you meet and the stories they tell that really stay with you. I thought I would immortalize some of the best ones I come across here on VagabondWriters.com. We’ll begin with Phil Buck, who I met in La Paz, Bolivia, where he is building a reed boat and plans to sail it from Chile to Australia.
“I wasn’t going to climb that mountain in Nicaragua,” Phil tells me, “But then I found this guy who specialized in landmine removal and he said he could take me to the top. He still had all his fingers and his toes, so I followed him. He set out a route with red flags but I still made sure I put every foot where he’d placed his. Man, that was scary.”
Continue reading Road Interview: Phil Buck, Professional Adventurer