Dear Affiliates Suffering From The Truman Effect

Dear Affiliates Suffering From The Truman Effect

I wouldn’t be a true Londoner if I didn’t spend every hour of the day complaining, bitching, whining or just generally living as the Daily Mail tells me to live. And so a few months ago, I had a decision to make. Commit to another year in the Rat Race, endlessly overspending in a city where my high income would be seen as no more than par for the course. Or move to Thailand and engage in a little lifestyle arbitrage.

If you don’t know what lifestyle arbitrage is, I guess the best way to explain it would be “to get the maximum bang for your buck out of life”.

Or to quote Charlie Sheen; #Winning.

Most affiliates have “fixed income”. I say that with a hint of irony, obviously, but what I mean is that we can go anywhere in the world and still be present in our jobs. We can be making exactly the same money whether we’re chained to the suburbs of the neighbourhoods we grew up in, or traipsing across the globe on the back of an elephant.

It’s easy to get caught up in the obsession of making more money. There’s a common feeling among some marketers that more profit will somehow equal a better standard of living. While it’s true sometimes, the nature of our jobs throws so many more options to the mix. Lifestyle arbitrage has always been close to my mind. I guess that’s what you get for growing up and making ends meet in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Everybody knows a job in London pays significantly more than a job outside London (for those in the UK), and that’s because the cost of living is so much higher.

But what if you could earn a London executive salary while living somewhere cheaper?

When I was an affiliate working in London – albeit let’s face it, a guy sat at a desk twiddling his balls who just happened to be near the Metropolitan line – I was automatically raising the stakes of how much I’d have to earn by restraining myself to such an expensive city. I could handle it, and I did handle it, but why pay the premium when you have the one trump card that ejects you from the rat race altogether? A fixed income that doesn’t depreciate with the economy around you.

I remember reading a few comments saying it was an embarrasing step backwards when I announced I was moving to Thailand. A baller would never turn his back on the American Dream, would he? Why trade the western way for a bunch of ladyboys and “third world” living?

Well, I’ve spoken to various affiliates earning large figures, and many of them haven’t even visited a country outside their own. This is particularly the case in America. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But are you sure you’re aware of the sheer opportunities that full-time affiliate marketing has already opened up to you?

You can go anywhere and do anything. It’s a license to live! The sort of privilege you look back on when you have three kids and a bunch of responsibilities, thinking…damn, why did I blow the easiest chance I ever had to go and live the dream?

I remember when I made the decision. I was sitting in a Nero coffee shop with my girlfriend, nursing a property viewing hangover and weighing up my next move. It was only when I’d been forced in to making a decision (my rental contract was expiring) that I actually weighed up my options.

Inevitably, you can decide to pay the premium if a particular lifestyle is all you want to know. There’s nothing wrong with bedding down and saying “this is what I know, this is what I love”. But that attitude is ingrained in adults who’ve been chained to the careers they’re supposed to have. It’s an attitude born out of convenience more than anything. Thanks to the Internet, we are the kind of professionals that lifestyle arbitrage was made for.

My decision was pretty simple really. I could spend $3000/month renting a shoebox apartment in Central London, or I could spend that same money living in a huge apartment with my own pool, gym, games room and temperatures of 35C all year round.

So I decided to move to Thailand instead of Fulham Broadway, convinced in all of about 7 minutes that it was time to make use of the greatest luxury an affiliate can have; the flexibility to go anywhere.

This is lifestyle arbitrage. Changing your life in an instant by simply defining your own economy. It’s about getting more for less, just because you can. A choice that confronts you every day, but one that most choose to ignore. I’m willing to bet there are countless professionals who will read this post, who could choose to get more from their lives if they seized the true potential of the flexibility this industry provides.

I know we all have our puppet strings. For every reason to get up and go, there are several you can find to justify why you need to stay in the rat race and keep on grinding the grind. Loved ones, friends, kids, commitments, responsibilities…yeah, these are all perfectly valid reasons why you might not be able to get up and move to the other side of the world.

But it doesn’t have to be that extreme. Opportunities for lifestyle arbitrage are everywhere when you become your own boss. So many of the stresses and strains we place on ourselves are there because we expect them to be there, and because we feel too absorbed by the status quo to challenge them. Ultimately, I think most of us resign ourselves to the idea that we’re going to be corporate slaves for the rest of our working lives. A bunch of Truman Burbanks forever thinking about flying to Fiji but watching the years go by and getting no closer.

If your affiliate career ends tomorrow, when will you ever get a better chance to see the world without having to report to your boss at the end of the week?

You can stack money until the taps run dry, but it’s not all about money. Are you doing enough with your life to make it all worthwhile? Or are you just accumulating interest in the hope that someday it’ll add value to your life?

Recommended This Week:

  • In the last few hours, I’ve launched a brand new siteFinchBlogs.com – which is going to offer something a little different to the already rammo “blogging about blogging” niche. Every month, my readership on this site has grown to the point where I’m collecting readers who don’t even know what affiliate marketing is, but still come to see if they can make some sense of it.

    The temptation has always been to branch in to more general entrepreneurial topics where I think I can help an audience larger than just affiliate marketers to make money. The more diversified my business becomes, the more I have to remind myself that most of you guys only give a damn about the tips and posts that make a difference to you.

    Of course, I don’t want to to become one of those affiliate bloggers who starts publishing shit that has absolutely zero relevance to real life affiliates. So I’m keeping this blog for strictly affiliate related perspective. But if you want to read more of my thoughts and tips on general online business, subscribe to the new blog and you might find something you like.

    If not, don’t worry. There’s plenty of my balls to go around.

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