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Expat Entrepreneurs Living Overseas

Updated on May 3, 2012

Expat are usually people with certain expectations of life and want to live a certain lifestyle that allows them to live anywhere they choose. There are many reasons that people move abroad including family, travel, climate and cost of living. The Expats who choose this lifestyle usually have a adventurous spirit and are willing to try new things in a attempt to be self sufficient and fulfill their dreams. They help support other Expat people in their communities and come up with ways to work together for a common goal.

There are several types of expat entrepreneurs and I have seen some come and go for many different reasons on their stays in several countries. It takes a person of certain mindsets and abilities some people have them sometimes people need to learn them through circumstances. All expats usually start out going to another country because of a job or family transfer and after their contract ends or are forced to make decisions they do some of the following

1. They accept a local opportunity

If the person that has moved to this new country they are usually thee because they have some family roots. Usually keeping with the same profession that they had back home is the easiest way of keeping themselves in the host country. The disadvantage of keeping with in the same profession within the host country is a large drop in salary, bonuses and health benefits that come with an expatriate experience.

2. Some continue to Travel

A lot of times you will see temporary people come in for a few months to a year on their companies’ contract. They set them up in a nice house and they get the business off to a healthy start and then the company will move them to another country to do something similar. Or they go back to the states and head to another project they are assigned to. It depends on the individual and if they have a reason stay some people don’t have what it takes to start alone in a foreign land.

3. Self Employment

If you are very happy and feel at home in your host country and feel like after your assignment ends you would like to stay. Then starting your own small business is a attractive idea to a lot of people. It is a lot easier now in some regards due to globalized economy they can plug in anywhere and run a lot of different types of business.

If you like to be in a foreign country and have saved up some cash from your expatriate assignment, becoming an entrepreneur is a very attractive option. Most of these entrepreneurs tend to choose something they can take with them should they decide to move on. Also, because they are not completely local or might not speak the language, they typically benefit from globalization allowing them to plug in from anywhere in the world. In this way owning your own product, selling it, and making a good living can help you on your expat journey.

Some of the typical Activities of a Expat might include

Most people in the Expat community tend to try and provide themselves with a worldly experience that should they move on again or if an opportunity come up locally they may decide to take the experience and build on it.

Real Estate

A lot of expat that move to another country all wonder where they are going to live. Finding affordable housing with nice accommodations in a foreign country where you are not familiar or are limited on your communication can be daunting. So a lot of Expats that have gone through this process without help have a unique experience to share and set up real estate services to help other incoming expats or those who are interested in purchasing property in their country of residence


Everyone loves to go to any foreign country it’s a unique once in a life time experience. So another way that expats make a living is to provide a tourist service. They may take tours to local attractions or operate only one specific attraction. Or they may hook other people up with medical tourism so they can take advantage of the low cost of dental and health procedures that are too expensive in America.

Online Marketing

Some Expats are a whiz on computers having this advantage can be of great comfort because they can start and run any type of business that they would like from the comfort of their laptop. With the advent of modern technology you can go in any country and plug in and go. You can run a blog or freelance articles, or even help others start their own marketing strategies online. So if you have the experience and skill set to accomplish it this is another opportunity you can try.

Import Export

I have seen a lot of entrepreneurs bring something from another country they have visited or one from their home country and provide an intermediate to have certain items imported and exported from one country to another

Do you think you have what it takes to be an Expat??

Well there are three basic rules of thumb that if you already have them then you’re off to a good start. If you don’t have one of them get it and then you will be off to a good start being a Expat.

First rule of thumb that an expat needs is


To be a successful Expat your mindset has to be in the right dimensions. It will require you to adopt and adapt to new situations and ways of thinking on a very quick basis. You need to leave the options of worry, fear, and procrastination at home because if you get in these mindsets before moving aboard it will set you up for failure. They say that having a positive attitude changes the world and I understand that new circumstances can make that hard but it will provide you a world of difference. It will help that being in a new host country gives you that extra push because you know the feeling of adventure, persistence and growth they will keep you moving forward.

Cash flow

The one thing you want to remember is before you go you will need a little bit of cash. Arriving in a new foreign country naked and broke is usually frowned upon. So make sure you take with you several months of expenditures for you and your family to cover basic necessities and enough cash to get you going on your new adventure. In today’s modern world finding cable, internet and telephone services are not all hard to come by.


Of course along with mindset and cash flow there is also attitude. Yourself effeminacy is what you count on to survive now so make sure you set realistic goals day by day. Write down your daily, short term, ad long term and begin them each day with the attitude this is what needs to get done and do it. You need to not be afraid to overcome minor obstacles or let them get you side tracked. If you have weaknesses then fix it. For example if you don’t know how to advertise online then get yourself trained read books and figure it out. Adopt new skills and focus on your objectives is the keys to winning. Because, success will cost a lot less then failure in the long run of your adventure.

If you enjoy this type of lifestyle I hope you have taken some thoughts in regards to what was discussed here. There are plenty of legitimate business opportunities to strive for only you limit yourself in your abilities and attitude which both can be overcome.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    Jake Smith 

    7 years ago

    Expats entrepreneurs will also be keen on what kind of exchange rates they can get – especially if they are generating profits which need repatriation – or if they are in import/export. A word of advice, don’t rely on your bank for money transfers. The best exchange rates are found at FX brokers like They charge no transfer fees and you get a great exchange rate.


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