How to Earn Overseas

by | Jul 31, 2012 | Archives

Ideas on how to earn overseas from ways that expats earn in Cuenca, Ecuador

cuenca business opportunity

Cuenca, Ecuador.

Here is the first of a five part series by Stephen Milden who heads the A Team Cuenca.

As is often the case we write about the things that people ask us. Of the over 400 emails received each month, one of the more popular questions is, “How can I make money if I move to Ecuador?”  A variation is, “How can I add to my retirement or social security while living in Ecuador?” Because this question comes up so often, it seemed appropriate to dedicate a series to highlight the various ways people have answered the question. So in the coming weeks, we’ll be writing about different businesses people have either started or bought.

You Can Earn in Ecuador

The short answer to the question is that there are lots of opportunities and, depending on whether you want to rely on previous work experience or re-invent yourself,  you can earn in Ecuador.

Many people comment that Ecuador reminds them of the US back in the 50’s and 60’s. Therefore it’s a bit like having a crystal ball in that you can use what happened in the US as a source for ideas. Business opportunities exist here that with some insight and perseverance can be the start of something quite grand. The insight is easy. Use the crystal ball or just listen to what people are complaining about, solve it and voilà!

Perseverance has to do with the culture and is the harder of the two for some expats to deal with. The bureaucracy in Ecuador can be challenging especially for those who don’t speak Spanish and think that if I talk louder they will be understood.

Fortunately you don’t need to know Spanish or even go to the various government offices to deal with licensing, taxes, etc. There are people here who do that for a living. We have several bi-lingual locals who for $10-12.00 per hour will do all the running around.  It is easy for them ecause they know the system and have lived in Ecuador all their lives, know the people on the inside which is key to getting things done.

What’s next?

In part 2 of this series, you will read about a couple who bought into a travel agency in Cuenca having no prior experience in the travel business other than calling their travel agent to make reservations.

Part 3 of this series is dedicated to a woman who was a Chiropractor back in the US and has re-invented herself as an author. She just published her first book and had a very successful book launch which sold out all copies.

cuenca business opportunity

Cuenca book signing.

Part 4 will focus on a young woman who came to visit her parents and opened a successful cafe in Cuenca that is supported by both expats and locals.

cuenca business opportunity

Cuenca cafe owner.

Part 5 will cover a husband and wife (who came out of retirement for the second time) and their two grown children who opened a restaurant in Cuenca that has become a favorite of the expat community and has been designated as a Friday gringo night hangout.


Though this is intended as a 5 part series, we already have in mind to write articles about opportunities in agriculture as well as profiling a few people who have come here to work rather than open a business. Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everybody! However, we meet people with no prior business experience that have found starting a new life in Ecuador is a recipe for staying young.

If you have an idea about something you’d like to do in Ecuador as a job or business, please contact us and we’ll be happy to let you know what we think.

Stephen Milden at

Earn with Ecuador exports.

Earn in Ecuador as a writer.

Gain Extra Global Income

Many readers can learn how to gain extra global income with a micro business at our upcoming Super thinking + International Investing and Business Seminar.

This can be easy and can also be fun.


Saturday Market at West Jefferson brought this truck load of giant pumpkins and this cute boy enjoying the spirit of the season.

Autumn has arrived in the Blue Ridge and the ways of earning extra income here are currently…


very colorful.

Ashe County Farmers Market is…


packed and we enjoy driving in and visiting with our friends, the farming people like…




Jeanne and…


Ann Rose who has gone totally organic… plus the many other wonderful farmers and friend we meet there who are making extra income from their sales.

Everyone’s economic  future is threatened by the prospect of inflation created by massive global government spending.

Now government efforts to avoid a double dip recession are pushing interest rates to all time lows. Investors are avoiding risk.  Thus inflation can ruin the purchasing power of pensions, investments and savings…yet low interest rates and high risk in stock markets makes it hard to protect against the loss.

This is why it is good to gain extra income with a micro business.  Businesses always adjusts against inflation so business earnings can protect purchasing power.

Buying from all the markets in Ecuador and in Smalltown USA  reminds me of how easy it is to come up with business ideas with something like a pumpkin or squash.

For example… once when our son was ill in Ecuador… the shaman cut up a squash and had him sleep with the pieces under his arm.  I am not sure why but it sure worked!  The business idea?  A book of obscure healing ideas from the shamans… or a tour.

The craftsmen of Ecuador make many musical instruments from pumpkins squash and gourds.  The business idea?  Export them.

Or export these pumpkins with intricate carvings… or create classes so people can come learn how to carve like this.

ecuador earning
One Ecuadorian in Otavalo has imported American pie!

Wherever you live… in Ecuador…. Smalltown USA…. or anywhere, there are three tips to having extra income with a micro business success that can help you fight inflation and enhance your lifestyle.

Micro Business Tip #1: Get started!

Micro Business Tip #2: Practice by doing.

Micro Business Tip #3: Use the business evolutionary cycle.

We’ll look at ways to get a micro business started in a moment. First let’s talk about the importance practice by doing.

Malcolm Gladwell has written three must read books for anyone who has a business or invests…. “The Tipping Point”, “Blink” and “Outliers: The Story of Success”.


Malcom Gladwell speaking on Ted.

In the Outliers, Gladwell presents a strong argument that if you want to really succeed you have to put in 10,000 hours before your best success will come.

He says that practice makes perfect.

Gladwell acknowledges the importance of ability, work ethic, luck, a strong support base and even being born in the right year as being important parts of success.

Yet he points out that it is “learning through action” that hones one’s abilities and skills… and develops the contacts, insights etc. needed to be a top performer.

Gladwell uses the Beatles’ rise to fame in the 1960s as one example.  The Beatles performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, shaping their talent, so they were in the right place at the right time sounding like no one else when the rock boom exploded. These hours were their making.

Bill Gates is another example.  Outliers shows how Gates gained special access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it placing him in a position to take advantage of the programming boom and of course has become one of the world’s richest men.

“No one – not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires and not even geniuses – ever makes it alone,” writes Gladwell in Outliers: The Story of Success.

The third secret… The Business Evolutionary Cycle makes it possible for a business to continually adapt  to change as it unfolds.  See a link to the cycle below.

The first step… getting started seems to be the hardest part of all.

To begin start small with a smart business plan blended with good marketing supported by technology.

This is what Merri and I do and below I have provided some proof that we really do know what we are talking about as technology exists today.

Merri, our webmaster, David Cross, and I have been frontiering a new business concept that is the step beyond broadband.  We call it “Narrowband.”

Narrowband is about starting small and then staying focused and remaining small (but more and more profitable).   A Narrowband business uses the internet to create and unite a small band of readers with common ideals, needs and interests.

Our goal is to unite our customers with cohesion and authenticity.

Building a small Narrowband business requires three steps:

#1: Attract a steady flow of interested readers.

#2: Use a set pattern of information to weed out readers who really do not have a common need, ideal or interest.

#3: Develop an intimate relationship with the readers that are not weeded out and do have a common need, ideal or interest.

This is reflected in several ways the first being quality of communication.
Here are some reports from out emailing system as of July 29, 2012.  We have two main lists…. and that compose 31,926 readers.

Our system aims to assure that we send our daily message only to the readers most likely to benefit from what we share.

This high rating is attained by continually weeding out readers.

Sending away customers? Am I kidding?

I am not.  Bigger is not better and this is no joke.  We are selective about who are readers are and have a number of check points they have to pass through to remain readers. New readers who sign on especially have to pass certain litmus tests to remain on our list.

Now let’s look at the steady growth. Here is our list growth record for 21-12.  Each month the list grows steadily as it has for years.  If growth is too fast in a small business the consequences can spell disaster.
The next important point… is how we make these lists grow on a profitable basis.

First, because we do not push and because we are not trying to be huge, we do not have to compete in expensive ways.  We use referrals…. Google rankings and low cost Pay Per Click.
Google Rankings

Here is a list from our home page of the titles of the  last ten messages we have emailed our readers and posted at our site.
Let’s see how they rank at Google:

* Phrase for a Google Search:  “Household Toxin Report”
Google ranking #1.
* Phrase for a Google Search:  “Wisdom of the Masses”.
Google ranking #11.
* Phrase for a Google Search:  “International Investing Update”.
Google ranking #1 and #2.
* Phrase for a Google Search:  “October Investment Risk”.
Google ranking #4.
* Phrase for a Google Search:  “Micro Business Internet Income.
Google ranking #1 and #2.
* Phrase for a Google Search:  “Ecuador First Class Home for Sale”.
Google ranking #1 and #2.  Plus note on the right hand side of the Google page that our Pay Per Click sponsored ad also kicked in here ($39,000 mountain view). This ad was #1 at the phrase Ecuador Home for sale also.

pay per click success

Seven of the ten titles of my last ten messages ranked in the top 12 at Google.
In other words we know how to make the search engines work on a micro business’s behalf… right now.

We would love to help you get started in your own micro business with the help of the internet in one (or all) of three ways.

First… we offer an emailed course The Tangled Web – How to Have Your Own Internet Business.
See details of this course here.

Second… We offer our International Club  so you can attend all our seminars for a year FREE to learn how to use super thinking and invest and use super thinking to set up your own business.

Third… Over a third of the sessions in our October 5 -6-7 seminar in North Carolina is on how to create your own global business with the help of the internet.  Get course details here.

Whether you use our services or not, a global business that brings extra income can help you overcome the inflation that the current government spending will bring.