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Expat Entrepreneur: How To Create and Maintain Your Own Portable Career Anywhere In The World

Posted by Dreamer

An antidote to traditional career advice, Jo Parfitt combines two words not often heard together in her book Expat Entrepreneur: How To Create and Maintain Your Own Portable Career Anywhere In The World, deftly making a case that “expat” and “entrepreneur” can and should make a good pairing. In this inspirational guide Parfitt shows us that you don’t have to sit on the sidelines, that you can put your skills to work for you abroad.

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Based on Parfitt’s experiences as a “trailing spouse” abroad, Expat Entrepreneur advocates having a series of fulfilling, portable careers that focus on “doing what you love” and using or adapting your skills according to your present environment. She encourages you to examine your motivations (i.e. What do you actually really want to do? Why do you want to do it?), with an emphasis on creating jobs that match your goals and skills. Not one to shoot herself in the foot, she also mentions the importance of having several income streams and allowing jobs to change, evolve, and adapt, presumably without a loss of self-worth. All good advice.

A book more geared towards encouragement than gritty details, Expat Entrepreneur gives you permission to go with the flow and satisfy yourself whilst earning some kind of money abroad – traditional career progression be damned. This wisdom comes across in two forms: as a real-life option for the adventurer determined to make his or her life abroad and as a sort of woman-can mantra for the “tag-along spouse.”

Most of the book is a series of profiles, expat entrepreneur success stories effectively designed to leave you with the idea that, “Yes, I can do it too!” but not in an annoying way. The details are different, but besides packing up and heading abroad, everyone here shares some chameleon-like ability, whether that’s taking advantage of an opportunity or learning to roll with the punches. The last few pages of the book are dedicated to resources listed by country, but if you know how to use Google, you can just skip that section altogether and better spend your time rereading the profiles and brainstorming your own business ideas.

In the end, Expat Entrepreneur is not one of the best business books I’ve read, but it’s an honest book written by a woman who has lived her book, believes in the value of the portable expat entrepreneur, and by extension, believes in you too. Expat Entrepreneur is not so much a how-to guide as a good place to find the inspiration (and maybe the courage) to get you going and off on your entrepreneurial adventures. And sometimes that’s more valuable than any business advice.

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Expat Entrepreneur: How To Create and Maintain Your Own Portable Career Anywhere In The World by Jo Parfitt. Great Britain: Lean Marketing Press, 2006. 228 pages.
Buy the book in Europe or buy the book in North America.


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An antidote to traditional career advice, Jo Parfitt combines two words not often heard together in her book Expat Entrepreneur: How To Create and Maintain Your Own Portable Career Anywhere In The World, deftly making a case that “expat” and “entrepreneur” can and should make a good pairing. In this inspirational guide Parfitt shows us that you don’t have to sit on the sidelines, that you can put your skills to work for you abroad.

Expat Entrepreneur: How To Create and Maintain Your Own Portable Career Anywhere In The World

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