Success in Saigon - Living it up in Vietnam

So I've been settling into Saigon, looking at apartments, checking out co-working cafes and meeting other entrepreneurs.  I was still a bit pissed off about getting ripped off by the taxi driver my first day in Ho Chi Minh City but after hearing how often it happens I realized it wasn't just me.

Waking up to a new sale however, completely changed my mood and outlook on Saigon.  A new sale solved everything.  It wasn't even a big sale, it was only $459 but it made me smile.  I only had one email in my inbox.  No customer calls, emails, inquiries, just a single sale.  Plugging it into my spreadsheet I calculated that I made $102.27 in profit, making back more than double what I got scammed for in the cab ride in the first place.

Money Solves Everything.

I realized then and there how different my life is now that I have reliable online income, versus just a year ago when I was living off of a strict $600 a month budget as I documented in my book 12 Weeks in Thailand.  Back then losing $50 would have dropped that month's budget down to $550, making me have to give up something like my gym membership, daily coffee, or outings with friends.  Now that business is going well, it really does solve all of the stress, well most of it at least.

Ho Chi Minh City is Busy.

Coming from Chiang Mai, Saigon is incredibly loud, noisy and completely different.  My ears hurt from the sheer loudness of the city streets.  There is loud music played everywhere you go, cars honking, and TVs blaring.  Thank goodness for escaping to a quiet hotel room after a day of madness. The one thing that makes up for it however is the food.

The Pho is Fantastic.

If you've never had Vietnamese Beef Noodle soup, you are missing out.  If you've never had Pho in Vietnam, you have no idea what you're missing.  I've eaten at some of the best Pho restaurants in San Jose and San Francisco, CA where supposedly they make it super authentic.  I had Pho down in LA, and even at the most famous Pho place in Toronto but nothing came close to the $1.50 bowl of Pho I had at some random shop here in Saigon for lunch.

The broth was incredible and the beef was perfectly tender.  I had mine without noodles to keep paleo and it was still the best thing I've eaten in years.  

Sharing the Success.

For those who don't know about a year ago I took a course on dropshipping.  Since then I've recommended to everyone I've met as it is the only reason why I am financially free today.  This morning I got a facebook message from a guy named Kevin who is now on the same path. At an average of 45 sales a month, he's doing at least $15k in sales if not more.  It's really cool to hear that other guys are following in the same footsteps and making it work. 

The best thing about owning your own business is being able to write off tons of travel expenses before tax.  If you want to know more about reducing your tax burden as an entrepreneur, listen to Episode 11 of the Travel Like a Boss Podcast where I interview the owner of Greenback Tax Services and pick his brain about tax loopholes for travelers.

Soursop Smoothies.

Aside from the coconuts on every street in Saigon, I also found another favorite fruit of mine but never seen in Thailand, the legendary Soursop.  Supposedly Soursop cures cancer and even if it doesn't it still tastes delicious.  One thing I didn't realize I would enjoy so much in Saigon is the food. I'm not expecting it to trump Chiang Mai, but it's nice to have a change of pace and some new variety.  

Coming up Next.

With my business making sales, money coming in faster than I can accidently spend it and a month in Vietnam on my hands, it's time to find an apartment, sign up for a coworking space and join a gym. Stay tuned for more on all of that but I'll give you a sneak peak of what to expect for the gym, I signed up for one today.  Paid more than most locals do for their rent, and maybe even their tuition but it's a proper New York style Sports Club and it's the perfect place to talk shop in the sauna.  

Check back soon for updates, I gotta get ready to go to Saigon Dodgeball!  Yup, that's a real thing over here.  Peace out for now.

Warm Regards,

Johnny - Keep in touch.

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  1. I cannot wait to get to Vietnam later this year, the food sounds delicious and am very intrigued by soursop. Hope you enjoy your stay there :)

  2. Johnny,

    I just found your site today, and I must say, your articles are powerful. I'm listening to your newest podcast episode on Stitcher right now. I'm hoping to see Vietnam soon. I hear the entrepreneur comrade is amazing, and (like you said), the FOOD!!

    Aloha from Maui,


    1. Robb, thanks buddy, I'm glad you like the articles. Powerful is a powerful compliment, I like it! Enjoy the latest podcast episode, I'll be talking a lot about Vietnam this month and trying all of the amazing food and meeting everyone in the scene.

      Catherine - Ask for a Soursop smoothie with no milk or sugar. It'll just be the fruit, ice and water and it is delicious.


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