Liam Austin is living what many people would consider to be a dream existence. He runs a successful online business which allows him to work anywhere in the world he wants, so long as it has good Wi-Fi.
For the past couple of years Liam has lived and worked from his home in Malta, but he told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast that the drive to become location independent was actually motivated by love more than anything else.
His Swedish girlfriend Sarah had exhausted her visa and needed to move back to Europe, so the pair turned their minds to finding a way for them to stay together.
“We were discussing things and (we thought) if we can create an online business like a passive income stream, then it would allow us to have that financial freedom to move between, say, Europe and Australia, whenever we wanted,” Liam said.
“I do have investment properties, but it wasn’t really providing enough for both of us in terms of the passive income. So we looked online as a short fix.
“So that was the motivation, making sure that we had a relationship … making sure that love made it through.”
The couple run virtual conferences that allow anyone in the world to participate in a conference, so long as they have access to an internet-connected device.
“We came across the idea of doing these virtual conferences, these virtual summits, where you would bring together, you know, 20 to 30 experts and have them speak on a virtual stage … just like they would at an in-person conference,” Liam said.
“We decided let’s give this one a shot. So we went about organising the LinkedIn Success Summit … where we invited 35 of the world’s top LinkedIn consultants, experts who had been able to use LinkedIn to generate leads and sales for their business.
“It brought us in close to $100,000 in Australian dollars. It took us less than three months to organise… and we realised that, OK, we’re on to something here. And since then, we’ve actually just organising now our sixteenth virtual conference.”
Liam points out that he had to experience failure on a few different fronts before the virtual conferences business took off, including a number of online businesses that didn’t quite work out. But these experiences of not achieving or achieving only mediocre success were opportunities to learn and grow.
Today Liam is working on another online business, this time focussed on the Australian property market. NextForSale is a property investment tool targeting must-sell deals and distressed properties, such as deceased estates or properties being sold as part of divorce proceedings. It gives buyers the opportunity to potentially buy below market value and unlock the equity in the property.
“It’s a one-stop, go-to place for potential investors looking for must-sell properties,” Liam said.
“(There are) different strategies that are already uploaded to the tool, which allows you to just click on certain strategies which will identify and bring up a list of properties that match that strategy. So, for instance, price drop is one of the strategies. So you can look at properties which have been originally listed at, say, $500,000 and recently they’re listing online has been updated, so it’s now being advertised at $470,000.
“It really is to give people the opportunity to identify properties that they can get below market value and really unlock that instant equity.”
“We’ve tried to make it really easy and simple for people to come in and just click on the strategy that they want, whether it’s price drops, bought elsewhere, mortgagee in possession or one of the other things… it really gives you, especially if you are setting up the alerts for these, an opportunity to jump on these quickly and identify the right opportunity for you.
Liam’s advice for anyone thinking of starting a business or investing in property is simple:
“Just taking that step, taking that leap of faith, obviously, with the right advice and doing the right research, but just taking that step forward I think is so important.”
Listen to the full podcast interview here.
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