When we first decided to go to Ecuador, we were still riding on the idea that we would be teaching.
But after we came back to the states from Taiwan, a long-time DJ client of mine (yes I DJ if you didn’t know) caught wind that we build websites and offered us a contract to build their new website.
Long story short, that gig turned into a couple more, and we quickly realized we may be able to make something out of this. That’s when we started 2oddballs.com.
Kylie’s education is in advertising and promotion, and my degree is in public relations. Combined, we have an extremely broad set of skills and experience related to marketing. It only makes sense that we use these clients (that fell into our lap) as a springboard for a business we have always dreamed of starting anyway.
Since we specialize in digital marketing (i.e. internet marketing), we don’t have to be tied down to any single location. Many businesses are used to dealing with vendors over the phone or online anyway. We have ourselves setup with a VOIP phone number so we can make and receive calls as if we were in the United States (FYI, that number is 417-986-ODD2).
With all of that in place, our plan is to go to Ecuador and continue building our business via referrals, cold calls, cold emails, online advertising, and even direct mail campaigns, which we can orchestrate in the U.S. entirely online from Ecuador.
"But what if you can't get any more clients? you'll be stranded in Ecuador with no money!"
First off, thanks for the confidence and encouragement imaginary hater.
But seriously, of course all we can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best. Luckily, Ecuador is an extremely inexpensive place to live. It is easily possible for a couple to get by on $1,500 a month.
Of course we can always fall back on teaching!
Our plan B is to join any number of online teaching companies such as VIPkids or any of the iTutor groups. Of course, we still have our own teaching website GatesEnglish.com in our back pocket as well!
If all else fails, we can easily pick up a local teaching job. Possibly even a university teaching job as we now both have experience teaching ESL at the university level.
The government even has a program they are promoting in conjunction with various non-profit organizations called “Time to Teach”. The Ecuadorian government has a vested interest in promoting English language learning. Tourism in Ecuador is on the rise thanks to massive investment from the government. In 2015, the government spent 3.8 million dollars on a super bowl ad for their “All You Need is Ecuador” campaign. All said and done, Ecuador will have spent over $10 million on tourism advertising in the United States alone – $28 million worldwide. They even bought the rights to use the Beatles’s towering classic “All You Need is Love” to use as part of the campaign!
What I’m getting at here is that there is a big desire to learn English in Ecuador, and if we can’t get by on our digital marketing skills, which I am more than confident that we can, then we have teaching to fall back on.
"So what's the goal? What are you doing with your lives anyway?"
First off, being awesome and traveling the world as much as we can.
Second, starting a business using our education, experience, and passion.
Third, being incredibly free and happy.
We believe travel is good for us. We came back from Taiwan running every day and nicotine-free. We believe travel spurs on our creativity, allowing us to create unique, goal-oriented, creative digital marketing campaigns.
Technology is making the world smaller and smaller, and we’re taking advantage of that fact. The shirt you are wearing right now has probably been around the world once or twice. The material may be from one country, assembled in another, marketed by another country, and sold in yet another corner of the world. If a t-shirt can do it, so can we.
We don’t buy into the white-picket-fence-settle-down-at-23-and-have-4-kids American dream. If you do, great! We wish you all the happiness in the world, of course! But that’s not quite how we want to do things.
You may not understand it – you don’t have to.
You may have questions – please ask!
You may think we’re crazy – people thought Walt Disney was crazy.
You can even be jealous – we’re seriously privileged people and we try not to take it for granted.
But if you aren’t encouraging us, at least shut your trap!
And if we fail, that’s okay. In the words of Yoda, “Failure, the greatest teacher is”. Some of the world’s most successful people failed many times before they struck gold. If you aren’t making mistakes in life, chances are you aren’t growing.
We believe in the old adage: fortune favors the bold.
So live boldly, we shall.