Isabel Leong is a travel blogger, SEO coach, and digital nomad for her remote business “Bel Around the World“. Since blogging for 10+ years and running her travel site for 5+ years, she’s recently focusing more on the aspect of blogging and sharing tips on how to run a blog better. She describes her remote business experience as “empowering, liberating, and inspiring”, however, it also comes with its challenges… Read the full interview below!
- Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Travel blogger, SEO coach, and digital nomad roaming the world at whim, I draw energy from being outdoors. An explorer at heart, the world is my playground.
With a focus on outdoor adventures and local flavours, I expose millennial travellers to experiences beyond their imaginations through my travel blog Bel Around The World.
Since blogging for 10+ years and running my travel site for 5+ years, I’m recently focusing more on the aspect of blogging and sharing tips on how to run a blog better.
- What kind of remote business do you have?
I run a travel blog, a SEO course, and also act as a digital marketing consultant for freelance clients.
- How would you describe your remote business experience so far?
My experience has been empowering, liberating, and inspiring.
It’s something I would never derive from working in larger corporations. An entrepreneur’s (or solopreneur, if you will) mindset is vastly different from an employee’s mindset, in that it is one of hunger and excitement, continuously looking for ideas to innovate and improve, whereas an employee’s mindset falls more within the realm of complacency, comfort, and stability, knowing that what you’re doing is usually routine and predictable.
Since having to rely on myself, I’ve had innumerous A-HA moments that came from within me that I didn’t even know I was capable of. This sense of belonging in your own business and personal growth have been quite eye-opening.
- What is the most important skill a remote business entrepreneur needs?
The tenacity to have a goal and sticking to it. There will be times you will try and fail. You will encounter plenty of naysayers, people who doubt you and question you. Heading towards an unknown can be exhilarating and terrifying, especially when we’re conditioned to predictability and stability.
The key, I’ve learned, is to constantly keep your eye on the prize (in this case the goal you set), and to keep working towards it even if the going gets tough. Turn negative sentiment into an additional source of motivation for you to churn and work even harder to make your goal happen!
- What is the biggest success you’ve achieved with your remote business?
I’ve always valued flexibility and freedom.
Knowing that my business can sustain itself from wherever I am and from whatever I’m doing was one definition of success for me.
I first went remote full-time when I moved to Japan, then Hawaii was my next base. Even when I spent a month in South Africa travelling full-time, my income didn’t dwindle. That’s when I knew I’d fully maximised the benefit of working remotely – when I could make a passive income while doing what I love.
- What is your biggest challenge as a remote business entrepreneur, and how do you overcome it?
That you’re on your own most of the time. Whether it is brainstorming an idea, talking through your processes, looking for alternative viewpoints, or putting the hours to build something, more often than not, you’re on your own.
I overcome that by reading up on previous case studies, getting inspired through podcasts (I love Smart Passive Income!), learning through online courses/ webinars (General Assembly offers really helpful ones!), and connecting with other like-minded entrepreneurs, even if they may be virtual.
- Can you share some best practices/strategies behind the success of your business that could help other entrepreneurs?
Developing a whole new business from scratch can be daunting and overwhelming. There always seems to be something to be done. Write down and chart your whole workflow or thought process. Have a fixed schedule and structure your work processes so it’s more organized and manageable.
Find a like-minded community where you can support and find support. Running a business on your own can fill one with self-doubt, especially when you’re venturing into an area that isn’t commonly trodden.
- Anything else you like to share?
I’d be happy to share a free SEO email course with readers. Sign up here!
- Where can people find and reach you?