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On Being a Geographic Arbitrageur

What does it mean to be a geographic arbitrageur?  I have been one for 2.5 years.  Below are my definitions, observations, and findings.

  1. One who keeps a job and income from company A after convincing company leadership (if you're not one of them) that it would be just as productive if not more so work remotely.  That remote location allows total flexibility for lifestyle choices since broadband and cell phone service is nearly ubiquitous.  Green acres the place for you?  No problem with a cable modem or DSL.  Frequent travelers may find that a strategic middle USA location affords them the opportunity to get to meetings and back same day.  It helped me a bunch being located in Iowa.  Besides the fact that our airport is mostly serviced by regional jets, I could still reach most destinations and get home same day. I could be in California by 11:30AM and leave early the next day reducing waste. 
  2. One who quits their job, sells their real estate in a high priced market, and moves to a lower priced one allowing a big step up in quality of life, financial freedom, and personal satisfaction.  (Sometimes called an equity refugee which we see LESS of nowadays).
  3. One who creates a business for themselves that supports a "locationless" model. These folks are smart!  They create businesses that have a very extensive online/outsourced model that means they can work from Baton Rouge or Beijing.

When I became a geographic Arbitrageur, I did a little of all 3. 

  1. By selling our CA home 2.5 years ago and moving to Des Moines, IA, we had the virtually limitless housing choices in the Midwest at much lower values. 
  2. I gained back 2.5 hours of my life EACH DAY by removing the commute that I'd done for 10 years.
  3. I gained back an additional 5-10 hours per week spent in what I'd call "generally getting around traffic".  It's hard to imagine but just getting from point A to point B in CA, maybe 7 miles can often take 20+ minutes each way. 
  4. I used the extra time and freedom to work on creating the best life possible for me and my family.
  5. I became an avid cyclist and am training for a triathlon in June. (Side affect is losing 25lbs and still on the way down).  Des Moines has a great network of trails to make fitness yet that much easier to attain.
  6. I created a company, www.RentalMetrics.com and am building a business model that I can manage from anywhere in the world.
  7. Due to my flexibility and freedom, I've been able to cultivate a network of wonderful people here in Central Iowa.  I only hope to give back as much as they've given me. 

Good luck on become a geographic arbitrageur.  Executing on my plan has truly set me free.

If I can be of assistance in anyway, let me know.

Livin' the Dream.

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Jackie Nichols

Hello, I, too, am a person who can do her work from anywhere in the world - I'm currently in grad school as well-also online. Having very recently been separated from my husband with an impending divorce and my baby having just gone off to college - I truly am an empty nester who is ready for a big change.
My question to you is, what do you do for a living? I am the office manager of an up and coming speech pathology company, so, although I'm an independent contractor, I am not the owner of this growing company and can only do so much work by myself and so, only earn so much money. but I'm creative in some ways, as to how I want to work and live, but not creative in a way that would earn me much money commercially.
Any ideas? I appreciate your time and loved your article. Thank you.
Jackie Nichols

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