Oct 2018: Travel and Income Report from Bali, Bangkok and Chiang Mai

I wasn't going to travel this month as my goal for October was to settle down in Chiang Mai, get into a work, fitness, and diet routine without distractions. But as it goes, the life of a digital nomad with virtually unlimited freedom of time and location, I somehow ended up in Bali and now Bangkok. It's one of the biggest dilemmas as a digital nomad, someone who works online and can technically work from anywhere. There's always something to do, somewhere to go, and a reason to pack a bag, explore and get away. But the question is, just because you can, does that mean you should?

What if you lived a life where you had unlimited vacation days, you didn't have to worry about money as unlike most people with a 9-5 taking a sabbatical or year off of work, you'd still be working and earning money as you went. It's essentially like having unlimited paid vacation days as you'd still technically be earning money while on holiday. It's an incredible feeling getting push notifications saying you made a new sale, earned money while you're on a beach somewhere else in the world, or a flood of them first thing in the morning since the time zones are different and you made sales overnight, or as soon as you get off the plane and into cellular reception.

However, what people don't tell you is the difference between being a travel blogger or instagram model who is broke and barely getting by verses being an actual entrepreneur who owns a successful six figure online business who just happens to be a digital nomad as well. In this month's update, I'm going to share with you how I managed to increase my income this past month to over $10,000 in net profit while traveling to exotic places like Bali and seemingly not having a care in the world. Keep reading for my October 1st-31st travel, life, goals, and income report.

Travel: October 1st - 31st

I started the month in Chiang Mai, Thailand as planned. I had finally settled in and got on an amazing routine of waking up, going to the coworking space, then Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and hanging out with friends over board games in the evening. It was exactly what I needed after a hectic 8 months of traveling around Europe and being back in the states for the Las Vegas Nomad Summit event. My goal was to relax, watch Netflix and just have a normal life for a while. But two days before the Dropship Lifestyle Retreat in Bali started, I got an email from Anton, saying, 

"Bali this week. realized I never followed up regarding Bali 🤦‍♂️  Are you still down? I've got a room for you at the Holiday Inn Benoa (where the retreat will be) with check-in on October 24 and checkout on October 29th."

I wanted to reply, "Sorry buddy, got other plans." or "Last minute flights are too expensive." 

But I couldn't find an excuse not to go and maybe because of all of the earthquakes or tsunamis or for whatever reason last minute flights were super cheap on Air Asia. So I booked a flight for 36 hours later and spent the week in Bali for the retreat. Thankfully it was in Benoa and not in Kuta or Canggu as the beach in Benoa was actually really nice. The Holiday Inn Resort turned out to be extremely nice as well and nothing like the HI hotels we're used to in the states. 

Benoa Beach, Bali, Indonesia

At the Holiday Inn Resort Benoa

Dropship Lifestyle Retreat

It's actually really crazy that this is the 5th year in a row that Anton put on a Dropshipping Retreat for members of his course and each year it just keeps getting better. The first retreat was in Chiang Mai, Thailand then down on the islands in Krabi, the next in Hawaii, and last year it was in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. It was also the first one I missed and as soon as I got to the one in Bali, I realized how much I actually missed out on. My excuse for not going last year was because I was in Europe and it didn't make sense for me to fly to Mexico, but honestly, I think it was really because I needed a break. But meeting everyone in person in Bali, and seeing how many successful people there are that never post online, hang out in facebook groups, or in online forums, reminded me how many people are crushing it with dropshipping following Anton's method that are too busy with their own lives and businesses to post online about it.

Sometimes it seems that everyone who has the time to post in facebook groups, on reddit, in youtube comments, has either failed, never got started, or has a hundred excuses why nothing works. Maybe they're just trolls, or it's the fact that they're in a mostly anonymous online echo chamber of people who blame others for their own faults. But in person, it's crazy that it's completely flipped. It seemed that the vast majority of people I meet in person at these events are already successful, or at least have the positive mindset where I know they will be. There's really something special about interacting only with people who have invested in themselves, put their money where their mouth is, and have paid for a course, or a conference. I'm telling you right now that 100% of people who attend these live events are either already or will become successful and would be willing to bet money on it. If you ever do end up signing up for Anton's course, you can use my link below to give me credit for referring.

If you're serious about actually being successful with your online business, make it a goal, or a plan to attend a paid conference about your industry. Networking with others who have paid even a few hundred dollars for something such as the Dropship Lifestyle Retreat or the Nomad Summit will give you access to people who are optimistic, open minded, and with success mindsets. For more info about how the retreat first started, and about how I learned how to dropship successfully, listen to episode 10 of the Travel Like a Boss Podcast where I first interviewed Anton about how it all started. Also listen to the upcoming episodes 209 and 210 where I interviewed a few of the attendees I met at this year's retreat in Bali about their stories and their success. One was a mother of 3 who built her now six figure profit store on the side while juggling taking care of her kids, and the other is from a guy who left India to work at 711 and drive a truck who is now crushing it in the $100,000 a year range as well. 

Episode 10 of the Travel Like a Boss Podcast

From one of the talks at the DSL Retreat in Bali

Income for October

One of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur is the fact that our work and output directly affects how much money we make. Some of the direct things I did this month to increase my income is take on coaching clients again as well as sponsorships for the podcast. At $175 an hour two people signed up for phone coaching this month adding a direct boost to my income. When i'm busy or traveling a lot, I normally close the program as I don't have time to juggle scheduling and time zones, but since I was back in Chiang Mai on a normal routine, I was happy to take them on. What's really cool is knowing that if someone puts in the work and actually follows my advice, it's actually quite easy for me to look at their business through the eyes of experience and suggest things that can drastically improve their business, profit margins, or traffic.

One of my students this month, a guy named Idan signed up for 2 sessions and after implementing everything I told him to do, we increased his sales by an insane 1,800% this month. That's an 18X increase in sales from what he was doing before the call. His average order value also went up by 175% and his conversion rate increased by 149%. On this month's call, I'm working with him to increase his overall store conversion rate which will also increase his profit margins as he'll be spending the same amount in advertising but getting more sales.

As much as I'd love to guarantee these results to everyone, Idan was honestly bit of a special guy. He followed everything I said without question, and worked his ass off doing the work. He already had a good foundation by following Anton's course, the same one I'm a member of and learned from, and he had already made a few sales and had the data from $700 in advertising spend from the month before. That made it really easy for me to look at the numbers and tell him what to do next. As far as ROI was concerned, paying to learn from people who have actually done it, saved him both a ton of time, money, and it literally paid for itself. Unsuccessful people usually stay broke for years and years trying to figure things out on their own with free or cheap, low quality information, while almost all of the successful people I meet have shortcutted their way to success by simply paying for it.

johnny fd review

Increasing drop shipping sales like a boss!

The Passive Income 

Even though I'm super grateful to be in a position where I can charge $175 an hour and have people happily pay for it, at the end of the day, it's still trading time for money which is why I don't offer coaching all of the time and normally only take on 1 or 2 people per month. It's still a bit crazy to think about it as my first job ever when I was fifteen and working at an ice cream store paid me $5.25 and I was happy to do it. I honestly never even thought it would be possible to make more than $20 an hour as that sounded like a ton of money at the time.

But f you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm huge fan of creasing and collecting passive income instead of working for active income or a salary, regardless of the amount. At the end of the day, I know that every hour I spend helping someone else grow their business, i'm losing out on an hour I could have been building my own. I still do it once in a while as I honestly enjoy it and like seeing others succeed, but you'll never see me become a full time coach or start a coaching company because of the reasons above.

The other funny thing about this month is that since October is Q3 and a lot of my income sources pay quarterly and not monthly, this month has also been a huge pay out because of that. It's almost a bit unfair to count this month as one month as a lot of the money has been earned the previous two months and just not paid out until today. But I guess that's just the life of an entrepreneur, there are always ups and downs and no consistency of a steady monthly paycheck. Below are screen shots of some of the various forms of passive income I made this month. Also included in the total are profits from sales of my course Income Boss, Affiliate Earnings, Coaching, Youtube Revenue, Kindle Book Publishing, Udemy Courses, Podcast Sponsors, and all of my Investment Income that I now earn from reinvesting the money I made from selling my dropshipping stores.

Total Profit for October: $10,687.90

*Big increase from $3,464.54 last month in September 2018

Some of my affiliate earnings taught in Income Boss.

Amazon associate earnings for the month.

I'm a huge fan of collecting dividends as passive income.

passive income interest
Having money make you money is the ultimate passive income.

Expenses and Costs of Living

It's been a fun month, and it's really nice to be under budget again after an expensive summer of traveling and living in Europe and America. Even with the side trip to Bali and Bangkok, I'm still spending a bit less than $1,500 this month which is the amount I try to stay under before factoring in things like donations or charity.

Here are my expenses from the month of October, followed by a video tour of my apartment in Chiang Mai. Due to the USD dollar getting stronger this month, my rent actually dropped from $463 to $451 this month which is awesome. 

Condo in Chiang Mai: $451 (My Apartment)
Cell Phone Plan: $18 (Unlimited 4G by True)
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: $72 (Pure Grappling)
Food and Drinks: $300 (estimated)
Flights to/from Bali: $400 (CNX to DMK to DPS)
Taxi and Transfers: $40
Data and SIM in Bali: $5
Hotel in Bangkok: $150 (3 nights)
Donation to Isaan Muay Thai: $15
Money to my Parents: $1,000 (Mother's retirement)

Total Expenses: $2,505 +/-

*actual net expenses not including donations was $1,490 +/- 

Lessons and Thoughts

On one hand I'm a bit disappointed in myself that I broke my routine and wasted a week traveling to Bali as now i'm even more exhausted than before I left. It'll take me a few days to recover from the flights and catch up on work and get back into a routine. However, if the benefit I got from my renewed faith in humanity by meeting so many positive, successful people doing Anton's course made it all worth it. If you didn't notice, I mentioned dropshipping and the course much less in 2017 and this year in general and a big part of it aside from me not being as involved after seeing my stores is because as a personal policy I only recommend things that I personally use or know people who are having success. It wasn't until going to the retreat and meeting close to a hundred people crushing it with their stores did I realize that the majority of Anton's members are super successful and doing well and that it's still working just as well if not better in 2018 than it was when I started.

I'm not saying that dropshipping is the only online business method that works, or that it's for everybody, but what I can say is that I know it works, and if you listen to the two upcoming episodes of the Travel Like a Boss Podcast, episodes 209 and 210, you'll hear some super inspiration stories from two very normal people who are making over $100,000 a year from their stores by following Anton's course and realize that there really isn't an excuse why you can't do the same especially if you're from a proven market like the USA, Canada, UK, Australia or most of Western Europe.

For fitness and lifestyle one of my big goals for this year is to get back in shape. I've realized that when i'm in Chiang Mai and in a routine, I eat relatively healthy and exercise regularly. But as soon as I get on a plane, it makes it really difficult to stay on track. So even though it's fun to bounce around and see the world, I can't wait to get back to Chiang Mai and get back into routine again. Here's a video that goes into more detail about this month's travel, income, and lessons learned.

Hope you enjoyed this month's income and travel report! Leave a comment below to say what's up or to ask any questions!

Warm Regards,

Johnny FD

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Post a Comment

  1. Where did you work from this month, and what are your thoughts on Bali and Bangkok? Go!

  2. 3 of my fave places on earth Johnny. Love 'em all. We have been house sitting in NYC and Connecticut but off to Oman in December. Should be fun.

    1. Nice stuff Ryan! I'm glad you enjoy Thailand and Bali. Don't get too cold in NYC and CT!

  3. Really high quality post as usual. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Enrique! I'm glad you enjoy the updates!

  4. always a good read espically your thoughts

  5. Thanks Phu. I'm glad to be able to share them!

  6. Just added to expenses ( I didn't get the bill until today)

    Water Bill: 200 baht ($6)
    Delivered Drinking Water: 55 baht x 5 cases ($9)
    Electric Bill: (A/C at 25C/77F) $21

    Not bad!

  7. Agree that events are the way to go for a number of reasons: inspiration, networking, opportunities. Must do more of those.
    Bangkok: lived there for a year and a half as a digital nomad. Love it.
    Bali: Spent a month there as a backpacker in 2001 and a couple of weeks as a DN this year. Ubud is a great nomad destination but I still think Thailand wins. The problem with Thailand is the visa issue.

    1. I agree with that paid conferences and events really do bring the best of the above.

      For Thailand, having the new 6 Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (extendable to 9 months) makes it super easy.

  8. Love your income reports! Did you used to include investment income in them? For some reason I thought you used to leave that out as it can go up and down ~

    1. Hey Stacy, I'm glad you enjoy them! To clarify, I don't include unrealized gains in my income reports. Example, if my stock portfolio went up by $4,000 this month I wouldn't count that as it's not money I actually earned unless I cashed out and sold it.

      However I do include dividends and interest payments as a form of passive income, as that's deposited every month or quarter into my bank account.

  9. Great article. This is very impressive post. Thanks a lot for posting such beautiful article.- dentist in hyattsville

    Healthy Dental


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