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5 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Flee America (And You Should, Too)

5 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Flee America (And You Should, Too)


    Move over Generation X…there’s a new generation on the rise. But don’t worry. They’re not invading coffee shops, smoking cigarettes or hanging out at the mall. In fact, they’re not even here.

    Introducing Generation X-Pat

    Unlike previous generations, Generation X-Pat is not defined by birth years. They aren’t the same age, race, or creed. Gen X-Pat are those who have fled America and have no plans of coming back.

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    And they are increasing at a rapid rate. In 1999, there were only 4.1 million U.S. citizens living overseas. Today, there are 6.32 million. Plus, the number of Americans planning to move overseas has increased by 1.7 percent since 2009.

    They’re entrepreneurial, too. Spend time in Central America and you’ll notice nearly every expat owns their own business. Whether it’s a bakery, non-governmental organization, property management firm, or Internet person (how ever they make money), American’s entrepreneurial spirit is still going strong… even if it’s going somewhere else.

    Below are five reasons why many entreprenuers flee America for elsewhere:

    1. High Taxes

    The United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world (behind Japan). At the high end of 35% that’s almost triple Ireland’s tax rate.

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    Thanks to a few legal loopholes, however, U.S. companies pay the same or only slightly more than other countries. This means U.S. companies are shifting their profits – and the jobs that come with them – to low tax countries like Ireland, Denmark and Austria.

    If companies are leaving… why shouldn’t entrepreneurs?

    2. A Faltering Economy

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has more than doubled from 4% in 2000 to 8.3% in 2012. With less opportunity domestically, many entrepreneurs are heading abroad to find their fortunes.

    Developing nations – especially those in Central America – are a haven for entrepreneurs. They offer a lower barrier of entry and therefore less risk is things don’t turn out.

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    Plus, as many X-Pats reveal in this interview, there is little to no competition for opening a small business in developing nations.

    3. Internet = Freedom

    The Internet is everywhere… and entrepreneurs are happy to get paid in dollars while living on quetzales, cordobas or baht. When you compare the cost of living between the U.S. and Guatemala, it’s easy to see how far your money goes.

    Working outside a traditional office is also a great way to prevent burnout.

    4. Escape from Suburbia

    Many X-Pats grew tired of suburban sprawl. Combine that with the rising costs of U.S. cities and moving abroad seems like an obvious choice.

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    My husband and I grew up in Silicon Valley. There used to be orchards and small, individual towns. Now, each city spills over into a seemingly endless procession of planned neighborhoods, Starbucks and strip malls. Wouldn’t you want to see something different?

    Which leads us to our final reason…

    5. A Desire To Go

    Some reasons listed here are decidedly negative. But one positive is that travel is good for you. Traveling takes you out of your comfort zone, challenges you in ways you never imagined and ultimately reveals who you are.

    Will these Generation X-Pats return? Or will they – and others like them – continue to flee America in search of opportunity and adventure? And if they do leave, what effect will this have on the U.S. economy?

    How do you feel about Generation X-Pat? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

    (Photo credit: Airline Passengers via Shutterstock)

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    5 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Flee America (And You Should, Too)

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    Last Updated on June 19, 2019

    How to Invest in Yourself: 3 Valuable Ways to Change Your Life

    How to Invest in Yourself: 3 Valuable Ways to Change Your Life

    Investing in yourself may be the most profitable investment you ever make. It yields not only future returns, but often a current pay-off as well.

    The surest way to achieve a better quality life, to be successful, productive, and satisfied is to place a priority on investing in both personal and professional growth. The effort you put into consistently investing in yourself plays a large role in determining the quality of your life now and in the future.

    1. Develop Your Skills

    Improving your skills doesn’t always mean investing in higher education, though that’s surely an option, and perhaps a necessary one depending upon your career field. Investing in your knowledge and skills can take many forms.

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    In addition, expanding your level of knowledge and skill isn’t limited to the business arena and doesn’t necessarily need to be formal. There are many “skill investment” avenues.

    • Advance your education –  extra classes, advanced degrees, relevant certifications, are all valuable investments. Take classes, either in person or online. (Lifehack also offers this Masterclass that helps you to break free from limitations.)
    • Utilize available training – enroll in workshops, attend conferences or participate in webinars.
    • Expand your knowledge – there’s a lot of information available on nearly any subject imaginable. Read books, articles, white papers, anything related to the talent or skill you want to work on.
    • Keep current – stay abreast of the latest trends or advancements. Subscribe to publications, read blogs of experts, and follow the latest news.

    2. Explore Your Creative Side

    There is a fountain of creativity within most of us that has never been tapped or certainly hasn’t been used to its highest potential. We may need to unearth, and hone our individual creativity.

    Creativity, in any form, helps us to grow personally and professionally, to view problems and solutions in different ways and to utilize other parts of our mind that may have been previously untapped. It’s important to keep in mind that creativity has many faces. It’s far broader than being a painter or sculptor; it’s also about trying new things.

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    • Learn a new language –  take a class or use language training software.
    • Try gourmet cooking – enroll in a formal class, by a new cookbook, or ask someone you know who enjoys cooking in a different way.
    • Write something – a book, short stories, poetry, anything.
    • Explore the outside world – try gardening, bird watching, or landscape photography.
    • Enjoy music – play an instrument, learn a new one or join a music group of some kind.
    • Create something tangible – paint, sculpt, make pottery, make jewelry or design your own clothes.

    Choose some form of activity that you have never tried, haven’t practiced in years, or have never explored fully.

    3. Nurture Your Mind and Body

    Nurturing both your mind and body allows you to have more to give now and in the future — more energy, more knowledge, more compassion, more ideas, greater strength, physical and mental endurance.

    Expand your mind. Learning new things and keeping your mind active even in simple ways helps to grow and maintain your mental ability.

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    • Read – anything and everything.
    • Explore culture – attend performances, listen to different style of music, travel, or join an organization or group comprised of people from different backgrounds.
    • Open your mind – engage in conversations with those who disagree with you. Look at an argument and try to make a case for the opposing point of view.
    • Keep your mind active – play word games, (yes, even Words with Friends counts,) board games that include strategy, or try using your brain to perform simple calculations rather than relying on a calculator.

    Care for your body. Your body is like a well-oiled machine. If you care for it in the way that you might maintain an expensive car, it will perform marvelously and last for a very long time. Remember the basics:

    • Give it high quality fuel – meaning to make healthy food choices as often as possible. What you eat does play a large role in your energy and ability to perform. You truly are what you eat.
    • Don’t push it too hard – meaning to rest and relax often, slow down and don’t overload your system. Also, don’t shift gears too quickly; it causes stress and damage to “your machine,” A.K.A. your body.
    • Get regular and necessary maintenance – meaning to go to the doctor when you’re sick – don’t put it off until you totally break down. Better yet, use preventative maintenance; get check-ups, take appropriate vitamins and pay attention to irregular or erratic behavior.
    • Polish the exterior – meaning to take care of the outside too. Many people dismiss this as frivolous and self-indulgent, but it’s not as long as you don’t go overboard. We’re not talking about facelifts and Botox, we’re talking about getting a fabulous haircut, and wearing clothes that make you feel confident and attractive.

    The Bottom Line

    Investing in yourself truly makes a difference in your life, your well-being, and your ability to thrive and perform to the best of your ability. The extent to which you invest in yourself, mind and body, not only shapes the way you interact with the outside world, it often reflects the opinion you have of yourself.

    Your future is in large part determined by your willingness and ability to invest in yourself now.

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    Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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