I’m Outsourcing My Job Search While I Travel to Asia. Let’s See What Happens.

Well wouldn’t you know it. The guy that created a blog about getting fired just got let go again. It was a good two and a half year run but in late December I was laid off.

I had the good fortune and experience of getting word well ahead of time and got to spend a month or so training the team in India that will be doing the work I did at a geo-arbitraged price saving the company some money.

So here I am with some time off and a few goals and ideas. Here’s what’s in store:


It’s cold and snowy in Chicago. I’m heading to Asia with sites set on Taiwan and Vietnam. I’ll make sure and share a bit of this.

Taiwan offers a fascinating mix of modern cities like Taipei, known for its bustling night markets and the towering Taipei 101, and traditional elements such as the historic temples and the breathtaking Taroko Gorge. I plan to immerse myself in the local culture, trying out street food delicacies like stinky tofu and bubble tea, and exploring the lesser-known corners of Taipei.

One thing I’m particularly excited about is exploring Taiwan’s tech scene. As a data analyst, the opportunity to see how technology intertwines with daily life in one of Asia’s tech hubs is thrilling. Additionally, I’m keen on visiting the traditional tea plantations in the highlands. The serene landscapes and the taste of freshly brewed Taiwanese tea seem like a perfect escape from the hustle of city life.

Vietnam, on the other hand, offers a deep dive into a rich historical tapestry and stunning natural landscapes. Starting from the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City, I aim to explore the dynamic blend of French colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and the famous Cu Chi tunnels.

You can tell Chat GPT wrote the last three paragraphs right?

Some Entrepreneurial Projects

Maybe it’s time for me to hang it up with the W2 work. I think I’m in a place where that’s feasible. But I’ll want something else to work on. The next month will entail a bit of exploration in various pursuits that might generate a bit of income. One of which I have some interest in taking this blog out of the late 2000’s and dabbling a bit more with the 2020’s vis a vis Youtube Shorts and other social media. Here’s where you could find some of that:

a clip from my recent travel to BGC Manila

I Outsource My Job Search

I went on Upwork and created an ad seeking a job search assistant. There’s no shortage of folks working less than $10/hour USD to help assist with this. Here’s the pitch of the one I chose:

Dear Hiring Manager, I am enthusiastic about the Job Search Assistant role. With robust experience in HR and data analytics job searching, I am adept at navigating job boards and tailoring applications to specific roles. My expertise lies in identifying positions like HRIS Analyst and HR Data Manager/Analyst, ensuring a perfect match with your qualifications. I commit to meticulously searching and applying to suitable jobs, and customizing your resume for each role to enhance your prospects. You can expect organized updates and detailed Excel reports on applications, maintaining transparent communication throughout the process. This role demands a self-driven, efficient approach, and I am ready to deliver this with my skills in data entry and research. I am eager to discuss how my dedication and expertise can propel your career forward. Best regards, REDACTED.

Here’s the pitch. Name redacted so as not to point any business to them which might distract them from their dedication to me the valued client.

What’s the worst that can happen? I guess we’ll see. I suppose there is the risk of my resume being spammed all over the internet to irrelevant job postings. I suspect they may be making use of automation tools that might have otherwise been available to me. My friend told me they are probably using an AI to mass apply to jobs. He referenced this: https://lazyapply.com/

I’ll update my results on this for the interested of my literally HUNDREDS of subscribers.

UPDATE: Results

Well what can I say.. In a few words, I’m not particularly impressed. For 10 hours of work I got a Google sheets shared with me that showed 57 job applications applied for. At one point in the process, the gig worker reached out to me and wanted to establish access to my Linked In. My guess is that with the right access, they would be able to apply directly to jobs on Linked In. There is a “Easy Apply” button that can more or less apply with a few short clicks which could really get the numbers up for jobs applied to. In short, this is likely to be one of those situations where if you want something done better to do it yourself. Is filling out a job application worth about $1 to me? Ah…IDK.

Harnessing the Power of ChatGPT for Launching Your E-Commerce Business

Starting a new e-commerce business can be a challenging and complex process with numerous steps involved. However, leveraging the power of ChatGPT, an AI language model, can provide valuable guidance and insights throughout the entire journey. In this blog post, we’ll explore how ChatGPT can help you navigate each stage of launching a successful e-commerce business from scratch.

  1. Market Research and Niche Selection

Identifying a profitable niche is the foundation of a successful e-commerce venture. ChatGPT can help you brainstorm niche ideas, provide insights on current market trends, and offer suggestions on potential market gaps by analyzing data from various sources such as Google Trends, social media platforms, and popular online marketplaces. This AI-driven support can help you select a niche with high demand and low competition, giving your business a competitive edge.

  1. Product Selection and Sourcing

After selecting a niche, ChatGPT can assist you in choosing the right products to sell. It can analyze customer reviews, competitor offerings, and industry trends to recommend products that are most likely to appeal to your target audience. Additionally, ChatGPT can provide information on various sourcing options, such as dropshipping, print-on-demand, or wholesale suppliers, helping you decide on the most suitable approach for your business model.

  1. Business Planning

A well-structured business plan is crucial for the success of your e-commerce venture. ChatGPT can guide you through each component of a comprehensive business plan, including market analysis, competitor analysis, marketing strategy, financial projections, and operations management. The AI can also provide you with templates and examples, ensuring that your plan is well-organized and professionally presented.

  1. Website Development

An e-commerce website is the backbone of your online business. ChatGPT can offer guidance on selecting the best e-commerce platform for your needs, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce. It can also help you identify essential website features and design elements that will create an engaging user experience and optimize your site for search engines to drive organic traffic.

  1. Branding and Logo Design

Creating a strong brand identity is essential for setting your e-commerce business apart from the competition. ChatGPT can provide advice on effective branding strategies, including choosing a memorable name, developing a unique selling proposition (USP), and selecting the right color palette and typography for your brand. While ChatGPT cannot design a logo itself, it can help you brainstorm ideas and provide descriptions that you can share with a graphic designer.

  1. Marketing Strategy

To drive traffic and generate sales, you’ll need a comprehensive marketing plan. ChatGPT can assist you in developing a multi-channel marketing strategy, including search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing, and paid advertising. It can also help you track the performance of your marketing campaigns and suggest adjustments to optimize your return on investment (ROI).

  1. Customer Support and Retention

Providing excellent customer support is crucial for retaining customers and encouraging repeat purchases. ChatGPT can recommend best practices for customer service, such as offering multiple contact channels, using chatbots for instant support, and implementing a responsive ticketing system. It can also suggest strategies for customer retention, like loyalty programs, personalized marketing, and post-purchase follow-ups.

  1. Analytics and Optimization

Monitoring your e-commerce site’s performance and making data-driven decisions is essential for long-term success. ChatGPT can help you understand key performance indicators (KPIs) and set up analytics tracking using tools like Google Analytics. It can also guide you in analyzing data, identifying areas for improvement, and making strategic adjustments to boost your site’s performance.

  1. Scaling Your E-commerce Business

Once you have established a solid foundation for your e-commerce business, the next step is to scale and grow. ChatGPT can offer advice on various scaling strategies, such as expanding your product range, targeting new customer segments, and entering new markets. Additionally, it can help you explore advanced marketing techniques like retargeting, marketing automation, and conversion rate optimization to increase your revenue.

  1. Continuous Improvement and Adaptation

The e-commerce landscape is ever-evolving, and staying ahead of the competition requires continuous improvement and adaptation. ChatGPT can provide insights into emerging trends, new technologies, and industry developments that may impact your business. By staying informed and adapting to changes, you can maintain a competitive edge and ensure the long-term success of your e-commerce venture.


Launching and scaling an e-commerce business can be a challenging process, but with the support of ChatGPT, entrepreneurs can receive valuable guidance at every stage of their journey. From niche selection and product sourcing to marketing strategy and business expansion, ChatGPT can help you navigate the complexities of the e-commerce world and set you on the path to success. Embrace the power of AI-driven insights and watch your e-commerce business thrive.

TWIST: Chat GPT Wrote This Article

I’m a bit lazy with the writing but I can muster up the energy to issue a prompt to AI. A twitter user ran a bit of an experiment and actually launched a business and provided updates along the way.

An interesting thread.
Plaza Luis Cabera dog fountain

How to Semi-Retire and Travel The World On $200,000

Today I was reviewing the historical returns on my Fundrise investments and realized they have done pretty well since I first started in 2016. For those that don’t know, Fundrise is a leading real estate crowdfunding platform for non-accredited and accredited investors. Founded in 2012, Fundrise pioneered the eREIT asset, a private diversified real estate investment trust that lets virtually anyone invest in real estate with as little as $500. Get $50 when you sign up by clicking on my affiliate link with Fundrise.

Reviewing my account performance, I saw overall returns were around 10% a year and the annual cashflow was a bit over 6%. A 6% cash flow return on their eREITS is what a competent but non-genius landlord property investor might expect to get with actual rental property.

UPDATE: Since I originally wrote this post Fundrise has remained strong. Returns were rather weak in 2022 but beat pretty much every other asset class with the S&P losing over 15%. Here’s an update of my returns.

After a long period of cautious skepticism I decided to invest significantly more in 2021 and returns have not disappointed.

Reading this made me realize that investing in real estate this way is a much easier way to diversify into property investment than actually dealing with being a landlord. But it got me thinking that someone could semi-retire and travel the world on much less than you might think if you’re willing to do a little bit of freelancing with your free time.

How To Semi Retire on $200,000

This is just hypothetical and for entertainment purposes but I think it’s realistic and could work. Here’s how it might be done.

AssetInvestmentAnnual IncomeMonthly Income
Crowdsourced REIT (Like Fundrise)$150,000$9000$750
Three-Fund Portfolio$50,000$2000$166
Based on assumptions of similar returns for crowdsourced eREITS and the 4% withdrawal rate from a stock portfolio.

So the above table shows how you might invest $200,000 to generate a monthly income of a bit over $900. Now if you’re interested in world travel, there are many places in the world where you can rent a nice apartment for $300 to $500. Research areas like Chiang Mai Thailand, Medellin Colombia, Pnohm Phen Cambodia, Philippines, and more.

On my recent journey to Mexico, I was able to get this meal for only $1.28. It’s true that if you stick to just street food you may need Imodium after a few days though.

Living in many parts of the world, a monthly budget might look something like this:

Expense CategoryAmount
International Health Insurance$30
Transportation (use subways, trains, Uber)$100
Could it be done? If you have some discipline and maybe say Goodbye to Starbucks. I’ll take a Cama coffee over Starbucks anyways.

What About The Gap?

So if you’re paying attention, you may have noticed that the monthly investment income is about $900 and I just created a monthly budget of $1,200 in expense leaving us about $300 short. Well then my astute ready you may have also noticed that the title of this was post was how to “semi-retire”. If you put in some effort, it shouldn’t be too difficult to generate $300 a month freelancing on sites like Fiverr, or Upwork, or in many parts of the world you could earn $300 a month being an English tutor for less than 5 hours a week.

This post contains affiliate links, if clicked may provide new accounts a $50 credit for signing up as well as give me a $50 referral bonus. Thanks in advance! And now the obligatory, I’m not a financial advisor so check with your financial advisor before making any investments in anything.

girl on laptop

Essential Advice for Making Money Remotely

Image via Unsplash

Today’s guest post comes to us from Cherie Mclaughlin who blogs over at couchbasedbiz.com.  Thanks for your contribution Cherie. If you’d like to check out more from her head over to chouchbasedbiz.com

If you are currently out of work or need to boost your income, there’s good news: The internet makes finding work more accessible than ever. And the best part? There are tons of jobs out there that can be done remotely.

However, this doesn’t mean that it’s as easy as Googling your favorite pastime and finding a great-paying job in five minutes. You have to know where to look and what resources are available to you, among other things. So, if you are looking to earn some money, consider the information below.

Finding Work

When you begin your search for job opportunities, it’s important to factor in your interests, skills, and personality. While you may be able to make some money on the side in a line of work in which you have no experience or interest, the chances of succeeding—particularly in the long term—are slim. So, before you settle for that kind of job, be sure to look for one (or more) where you can thrive.

As far as actually finding work, it’s essential to look in the right places, especially for remote work. Start by perusing Freelancer, FlexJobs, Virtual Vocations, and other platforms that post millions of work-from-home jobs. As long as you have the necessary qualifications and provide good work, you can build your brand fairly quickly through such platforms.

Knowing About Resources

As you pursue work-from-home opportunities, especially if you plan to start a freelance or other type of business, keep in mind that there are a lot of resources and online job boards available that can help you succeed. And believe it or not, there are success stories out there by people who decided to try out freelancing! The key is to know where these resources are and how you can access them. For example, research your options for financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find reliable sources for advice concerning how you can incorporate virtual technologies and modify your business during the pandemic.

Paying Taxes

Another thing to consider when you’re figuring out how to make money on the side is that you will probably need to pay taxes on your income, which you will want to plan for. More times than not, side hustles are seen as self-employment by the IRS, and you will need to report it on the Schedule C form along with your personal income tax return.

Depending on how much you make, you should expect to pay taxes, and the amount you need to pay will depend on how much you make. Hiring an accountant is often the most effective way to handle your taxes accurately, not to mention it can significantly reduce stress.

Staying Successful

Finally, you will want to put yourself in a position to succeed in your work. Whether you become an online consultant, a freelance writer, or start an ecommerce business, choosing a job in which you have experience or natural talent is a great first step. But you also need to create a solid routine and set your home up so that you can work productively each day.

Designate a comfortable workspace equipped with a quality desk, chair, and any other necessary furnishings. Make sure you have all the office equipment you need (e.g., computer, printer, fax machine, etc.)., as well as software and tech tools that can help you do your work and/or run your business efficiently. And add some personal touches to your workspace to help you stay motivated, whether it’s putting out your children’s artwork, family photos, or painting the walls a vibrant color.

Opportunities abound when it comes to remote work. Make sure you are looking in the right places and that you stay up-to-date on resources that can help you succeed. Also, remember to make a plan for your taxes, and set your home up so that it helps you work like you need to. In no time, you could be settling into your new remote job or business and laying a foundation for a lucrative future!

credit card

The Best in Banking

Whether you’re canned in the COVID economy or hustling to build wealth, it’s prudent to choose the best banking available. Here’s what this means to me.

  • Minimal fees or no fees
  • Rewards or interest that pay you
  • Competitive benefits

The Best Checking Account Available

I’ve done a good amount of research on checking accounts and I’m of the opinion that there’s nothing better out there than Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® Account.

Here’s why:

  • ATM fees refunded worldwide
  • No international fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Pays interest on checking
  • No monthly maintenance fees

When you’re grabbing ramen in Osaka, Japan and pull out cash from your bank, you don’t want to have to pay international fees or ATM fees. With Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® Account, you won’t pay international fees and you’ll be refunded ATM fees at the end of the month.

If there’s a better bank out there, I’m happy to hear about it so feel free to share with me at admin (@) gettingcanned.com

If you’re interested in opening an account at Schwab you can do so here and get a bonus with your new account if you use my affiliate link.

Here’s the money you can make when opening an account with my affiliate link based on their site. Just in case you’re interested in some free money.

Net DepositBonus Award
Free money? Why not?

Best REWARDS Credit Card

The credit card rewards game is complicated and everyone may value a different type of reward. I’m a bit less confident this is the absolute best but Capital One’s Venture card is a definite contender for a top-notch rewards card.


  • Unlimited 2X Miles with 50,000 Bonus Miles  which translates to 2% back on purchases
  • No international fees
  • Reasonable annual fee which is waived the first year

Apply here using my affiliate link at no cost to you.

This post contains affiliate links to Schwab and Capital One and I may receive a commission on some sign ups at no cost to you.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Well…I’ve been Canned. Again.

The inspiration behind this site is my story of what happened to me in the 2008 financial collapse. The long version is here. The “Reader’s Digest” version is below:

In 2008, I lost my job during what was the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Despite all my efforts to re-enter the job market, I remained unemployed until the fall of 2010.

It wasn’t until I thought outside the box and decide to go overseas and teach English in Taiwan that I finally started earning a wage again. This made for an adventurous life until I returned to the corporate world in 2014. I returned, but I would never be the same.

The short version of my 2008 Financial Collapse story

Well, wouldn’t you know it. I got canned. Again.

“I feel like this has happened before”

In the spring of 2019, I accepted a fantastic job consulting with an analytics firm and a great year followed. But like so many others, I got caught up in Covid19 layoffs at my firm and as a result, I’m now again unemployed. It’s starting to feel like 2008 again. But the difference is this time, I’ve been preparing for this for quite a while.

The unemployment rate in the US is now over 10% rivaling the 2008 financial collapse. Check out this popular gif that circulated back in April

Looks like I’m in pretty good company of other unemployed folks.

So what now?

I’ve got a strong desire to travel the world revisiting favorite places in Asia as well as new destinations like Central and South America and it’s about time I explored Europe a bit. But the current Covid19 situation has put this on hold indefinitely.

For others that are wanting to travel the world and are feeling stuck, I’ve found this website that shows you which countries are allowing tourism. It looks like Ukraine could be open for visitors. Hmmm.

So what about traveling the US?

So maybe travel bans can keep us from visiting other countries but if I’m unemployed and seeking some freedom and travel I think a good old fashioned US road trip may be in order. Mask on and hit the road mostly staying in your car can’t hurt anyone in these challenging times navigating covid19. (How many times have you heard that phrase or something similar)

Where in the USA to go?

Well, plenty of options if I do a road trip. If I do, here are some places that could be on the itinerary:

The Ozark Mountains Jasari / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
Puerto Rico is the US which means I could go. Although probably not part of the road trip.
Jeff Kubina – originally posted to Flickr as Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii
I feel like Hawaii would satisfy the urge to leave your country while remaining in the USA. Probably will need an airplane to make this happen.

Travel Youtube

It’s not in stone but I’m seriously considering picking up a GoPro to capture some of these US and eventually world travel and expand my Youtube beyond the current scope of the McDonald’s Shrimp Burgerin Taiwan. After all, aren’t blogs like this a little stuck in an earlier time?

Quality Vlogging. Look at that old school fried apple pie

Have You Been Canned?

If you’ve lost your job and would like to share your story, feel free to reach out to me by email or in the comments and I’ll be happy to post select stories as well as help get your name out with links to your email or Linked In.

Box full of cash

How I earned $10,000 on Upwork

The other day I checked my email and realized I got a congratulations email from Upwork. “You earned your first $10,000 on Upwork!” I hadn’t even really been paying much attention to earnings so I was surprised.

Oh wow not bad. But it looks like I’ve been at for three years or so now.

These days I work full time and still do freelance on the side with Upwork and Fiverr to earn extra cash to invest. If you keep up at it, it starts to add up after a while.

So How Do You Do It?

The secret is you need to invest some time into building reviews and a reputation so new clients will feel comfortable taking the risk of hiring you. As such you can’t really expect to make much in the early stages. Note that it took me three years to get where I am.

How the Heck Do You Get Your First Client?

It can be very difficult getting those first clients so the secret to doing that is to provide an almost too good to be true offering at the lowest price you can go.

Some of my initial gigs involved cold calling through a list of potential sales customers for cheap. I worked hard and over-delivered to be sure I’d get good feedback.

It’s a bit of supply and demand to get that initial business. If you provide rock star service for dirt cheap, it’s very tempting for clients to want to hire you and see if you can deliver well for them. Everyone loves a discounted amazing service.

How many monitors does it take to freelance properly? Only you can decide.

So you do this for a while and as you build good feedback you can start to raise your prices and the complexity of projects you’ll work on.

I can understand why some might feel like working for the lowest wage possible in the beginning feels like a suckers bet but you should consider it as simply investing time into building your business.

Oh yeah…Upwork Takes Their Cut

To anyone interested in trying it, you probably have a question of how much Upwork charges to be a freelancer. They generally take 20% of your earnings.

I’m sure some might say this is horribly unfair. After all, you’re doing all the work so why should they get 20%?

20% is reasonable

I believe a 20% commission is reasonable. Here are a few reasons why.

  1. They brought you the business saving you a ton in advertising and all the financial risk that comes with an unsuccessful marketing campaign.
  2. They provide escrow service to help make sure you get paid and they have a feedback system to make sure you get good clients that will treat you fairly.
  3. They handle billing and time tracking or project tracking with their own system

Consider the risk involved in launching your own service. You could spend quite a bit on marketing your freelance services before securing a client. You risk nothing but your time by bidding for gigs on Upwork.

Where would you work if you can work anywhere? Here’s the scene in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam around District 3 if I recall.

I’ve heard horror stories of freelancers spending weeks on a project and delivering their services only to be left in limbo trying to chase down their pay. This is much less likely on Upwork if you choose a client with a good reputation.

You will also spend less time and effort tracking your hours and typing up invoices since Upwork does all this for you.

What’s your ideal place to freelance? I had to fire up the laptop in a Louisa coffee in Taiwan. A great place. Also, check out Cama coffee if you visit. Maybe a bit too close to Wuhan province these days. Stay safe Asia.

Why Are You Promoting Them?

You would think I’m getting paid making some affiliate dough promoting Upwork but as far as I know, they have no affiliate program. I’m just sharing tips because I think it would be helpful for people starring out and I’m all for more freelancers and trying to change the work environment to get us out of offices.

working remote

The Simple Plan to Become a Digital Nomad

Being a digital nomad seems like a good life right? Laptop by the beach. Kissing office meetings goodbye. Never again doing the commute. But look into it and you may start to get the impression that you need to be a software engineer or programmer for this to be within reach. It’s just not true.

There’s several ways you can launch into being a digital nomad but let me present a step by step on how to become a digital nomad without having to be a software developer.

You ready for this? You’re going to be an English teacher. You’re going to teach online. You’re going to make around $20 to $40 an hour.

First you can consider teaching for the big online schools. Here’s a list of online english teaching schools.

  • DadaABC
  • VIPkid
  • HaoJ
  • QKids

Now if you’re wanting to do these a bit more independently, you can go out on your own and freelance. Here’s how to do it.

Consider a TEFL certificate

This isn’t mandatory but it will help. Consider getting a TEFL certificate to boost your teaching credibility

Create a website with an intro video and your resume

Sign up for a web host like Siteground and build a simple page showcasing your TEFL certificate, education, and a short introduction video to show to potential students so they can an idea what it’s like to interact with you.

Market your website to potential students

I recommend China as a place to look for your students. You can promote your site on WeChat, or Baidu, or Bing just to name a few. There’s billions of people looking to learn English in China so you’re likely to find someone before too long.

You can go on Fiverr to find someone to help you create low cost ads in Chinese. You might find an individual or you might find a small school starting up. I did some experimenting and found a small school in Shanghai that was looking to hire an individual to teach classes. The pay was $22 an hour. Not too bad if you’re living in a low cost area. If you’re working online you can go where you want.

Agree on a Price and Time and Start teaching online

You can accept payments with a service like Paypal or Payonner. You can schedule online teaching with a calendaring software like Acuity. And you can conduct your online lessons with Skype or a more sophisticated platform like Zoom.us.

Just try to make sure the lighting and sound are good. Maybe don’t go to the beach for your lessons.