When you create your business, you combine several trades at the same time: accountant, communication manager, salesman, lawyer, etc. That’s what makes this adventure exciting because you learn new skills every day. It is also what gives dizziness, promotes insomnia or the delicious feeling of accomplishment.
When you become an entrepreneur abroad, it’s the same thing. We must simply add a big parameter: the culture of the country where you live. The administration is different, the work culture is different and the communication too.
What? Why create a business abroad?
Yes, because in case you stayed in a cave since the 80s, you don’t know that the expat life has changed. The myth of the expat package with paid rent, schools, airline tickets and Madam who spends her time shopping hard (I know it, since even some of my friends think we’ve become millionaires since we have moved to Asia and our life has miraculously become easy!🎆) But it is not the reality of 80-90% of expatriates.
Currently, the expat life is more like one of the couple who has been transferred to a local contract and the second, who has followed and who has to find a job. Sometimes, even expats are crazy people who have decided to leave everything to settle in a new country. Without safety net.
Still others create their own business abroad. That’s my case. And this is especially the case of Delma Davies who opened Aroma Spa Retreat on the island of Bali.
You want a business in Bali?
Delma Davies explain her entrepreneurial experience abroad in a book I bought during my last stay on the island of the gods. Remember, I took you virtually to my Instagram stories.
The title immediately gives the color: So you want a business in Bali? A candid look behind the scene.
Behind the scene of entrepreneurship in Bali
Delma Davies is Australian, and after working and living in Indonesia for many years, she decided to jump into entrepreneurship with her sister and open a spa in Sanur. The book begins during the Aroma Spa Retreat’s construction.
This book consists of 17 chapters, short enough, that the author has titled “lessons”. Still, Delma Davies does not give it to us, the lessons. She simply shares her stories, experiences and lessons learned that can be useful to any future entrepreneur in Bali and beyond.
You will never know what you do not know.So you want a business in Bali?, p.15
Things go wrong on a daily basis that are as logical to you and me as breathing. This is the breeding ground for making assumptions; that because it makes sens to you, they must know and understand what you know. No!
Our entrepreneur is showing a lot of hindsight and self-deprecation. She has no trouble sharing her failures, the moments when she gets nervous or upset, her small victories, her benevolence towards her employees and her love for Bali. Nevertheless.
Business experiences Bali-Singapore
At my level of baby entrepreneur (yes, because when you read these lines, I will be only a year and a half of entrepreneurship), I found myself in the story of Delma Davies. Also maybe, because I live on another Asian island, Singapore.
Business in Bali and Singapore, similarities
Several anecdotes described by the author are situations that I myself have been confronted with. Here is a non-exhaustive list:
- When you know that you are becoming nervous and that it should not, because if you lose face, you will get nothing. But you still do it … #cracking
- The blank looks of your interlocutors when they do not understand what you want but rather than ask you to specify, they remain silent. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiileeeeeeeeeeeeeence…
- The structure of a business in Singapore and that in Bali is very similar, as well as the visas system, explained very clearly by Delma Davies.
- Jealousy between expats. Yes, solidarity between expats is also a myth. Fortunately, we make friends (you will recognize yourself😘). For those who give you false information or who discourage you, Delma Davies’ advice to close her ears and listen to only those who have succeeded is the one I applied myself.
- The time it takes to get the right info and understand the red tape. I am lucky because Singapore is really similar as Switzerland. But that does not prevent me from some difficult sessions.
- When you ask the same question several times at regular intervals but change its structure to try to get an answer. It takes a long time …
- The culture of work is completely different from the Western one. Even though in Singapore, I do not have to call wizards. Although now that I think about it, there are lions and masters feng shui when you inaugurate a place …
The list is still long. But at the same time, I do not want to spoil the book. And maybe a day will come when I will tell the story … who knows?
More than a book, a good marketing tool
So you want a business in Bali is much more than a book on entrepreneurship in Bali. It is also a fabulous channel of communication.
Of course, because Delma Davies talks about her spa. The photos that illustrate her book are those of her spa. She takes us behind the scenes of her business. Without hesitation, she reveals to us parts of her organization and management.
No one lied […]. They gave just enough information to stop my questions. They did not want to be the bearer of bad news. This cultural trait is one of the many that results in the need to micromanage a business, home, staff and in fact, any enterprise in Bali. Business in Bali is not plug, play, set and leave.So you want a business in Bali?, p.25
Finally, it’s pretty audacious. And it could turn on a bad way and do the opposite: disagreeing with Delma’s business model could make us want to run away from her spa. Fortunately, this is not the case at all. This book becomes an advertising vector that is out of the ordinary and is absolutely ingenious!
That’s it for the communication / marketing part.
My opinion as a reader and an entrepreneur
At a time when many photos of digital nomads working watching surfers from a bar in Canggu flood social networks, this book has the merit of putting the Swiss cuckoos on time. Open a business, work as a freelancer or digital nomad, in short, be independent is a serious activity. Running your own business is a serious activity.
Delma Davies insists on this aspect and makes a kind warning. Without ever breaking dreams.
Moreover, this is what I appreciated the most in this book: the author does not discourage. So if you too, you have this dream a little crazy to become an entrepreneur abroad, I advise you to read this book. Not only because you will have a good time, but you will be warned. And an aware entrepreneur is worth two.
Where can you find Delma Davies’s book?
Do you dream of having your business abroad? Do you already have it?
Share me your experience!
par Delphine Berclaz