Hard at work… Bali style

Our experiment to live and work in Bali is underway! A little background ... a six months ago we came for a holiday to Bali for 10 days. I did some reflecting on my business, and realised that while we had grown, had a beautiful office and a growing team that peaked at 10 people, I wasn't loving the business any more. I was working harder to pay everyone, more stressed and had lost my mojo. I was staring out to sea thinking I could get used to this, when I thought 'why not?'

Fast forward six months - I've gotten rid off the office, reduced the team, and I've just landed in Bali for a two month experiment to see if its possible to run my business and do my coaching from Bali.

First challenge was to find somewhere to live while we're here. After a frustrating day riding around looking at place after place that was not quite right or too expensive or booked out over Christmas, we stumbled across Nick's Hidden Cottages while out for our morning run on day two. It's perfect. Here are a couple of snaps of the view from our room:

View from room in Ubud Bali1

Trish in front of our room Bali2

Of course doing business in Bali means negotiating. I was talking to Koman about the rate. Koman means 3rd-born, most people in Bali are either called Wayan, Made, Koman or Ketut (it then starts again at Wayan). There is the odd exception to this rule, one of the guys who works here is called Reagan, because he was born when Ronald Reagan was President. I call him Mr. President. But I digress. I was talking to Koman about the price, he was explaining that it's the high season, what a good deal he was offering, that 300,000 Rupiah (about $33 Aus) was his very last price. He even called the manager who wasn't in on Sunday, who confirmed that yes, that was the last price, and it was already a special price.

I asked if he could call the manager back, and could I speak to him. I explained to the manager that we were staying for a long time, and that 300,000 per night was still too expensive. He paused, and then said ok, VERY special price, 250,000 per night. So we have a gorgeous air-conditioned room, breakfast, a magical location, for under $30 a night. We've paid more than that for a tent site in Australia.

And the staff here are fabulous. I asked if they had any spare tables so I could work in our room. Wayan (1st-born) took me to the office behind the reception area and asked 'like this?' pointing at the desk. Yes, I said. Ok, we'll move this one. Don't you use it I asked (it had a phone, papers etc on the desk). Sometimes, he said. I don't wan't to take your desk away from you if you use it, I said. But a couple of hours later three guys were moving the desk into our room. I spoke to the manager (also Wayan) and it's fine he assured me. I guess they won't be doing too much desk work over the next couple of months.

We've also hired a motorbike (well a scooter) for the month, for the princely sum of $70. That's not per day - that's for the whole month. And people (Trish's family in particular) please stop sending Trish horror stories about tourists riding motorbikes in Asia. You're not helping.

With setup phase completed successfully over the weekend, Monday was my first real test - my first coaching call back to Melbourne. I had Skype set up, although the internet isn't completely reliable. I had my mobile phone with a local sim card for plan B, although the phone network isn't completely reliable either. And my final line of defence was the phone in our room. I'm happy to report that Skype didn't let me down, and my first coaching session was a complete success.

While it's still early days, so far the experiment is looking good. And it is insanely cheap to live here. Accomodation, transport and eating out for lunch and dinner is currently costing us about $50 a day. So if you can set up your business so you earn dollars but spend Rupiah's you will come out way ahead (as Tim Ferris points out in The Four Hour Work Week).

Are there some fundamental changes you can make in your buisness that will have you love it more?