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Oct. 14, 2021

Choose Wisely: How Personal Geography Affects Business Trajectory

Choose Wisely: How Personal Geography Affects Business Trajectory

One of the aspects I love about the #remotelocal life is the ability to run your business from anywhere.  While some people might visualize that as a laptop on the beach, for those serious about growing their businesses, that “live anywhere” choice should be carefully considered.

I recently chatted about this idea with one of my business partners, David Lahav, on the Remote Local Podcast.  We hadn’t shared our individual ideas before recording so it was a lot of fun to let our ideas unfold and riff off each other without planning.

When I arrived at the end of the end of the conversation, my initial thoughts were unchanged.  I still had no desire to move to a small town in the middle of nowhere (although I still fantasize it from time to time when I’m stuck in rush hour traffic on the LA freeways).  But my reasons for choosing to live in a big city had been more refined.

The City of Angels

In a fairly famous essay which contains the question, “What does your city whisper?” Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham begins by stating “Great cities attract great people.”  I live in Los Angeles, which is one of the largest cities in North America.  It’s very much a place where you feel that anything is possible, which leads to an exciting vibe of unlimited potential.  That “whisper,” which might be characterized as “come here to make it” is so loud that the best and brightest from all around the world come here to do just that.  

This acts as an automatic filtering system of sorts.  Just in your daily personal and professional life you are going to find people who are hustling.  That iron sharpens iron drives you in whatever you might do, but is particularly useful if you’re on the grow for your business.  In the early days of starting and growing your business, who you know and what you know is critically important.  I don’t see any way in which someone serious about growing their business can do that solely through video calls from their undisclosed location in the wilderness.

Don’t get me wrong, I get the beauty of isolation: I recently spent a week driving around Ireland.  And I don’t think I could build my business well without occasional work and vacation breaks from LA.  But I don’t think my business could be what it is today if I lived other than in Los Angeles.


At a fundamental level where you choose to live will have a great deal with how you grew up and what you prefer.  Those needs and desires have to be balanced with what you want personally and professionally.  Happiness isn’t just something to defer to an unknown future, it’s something you have to grasp right now.

Something else that is at the heart of entrepreneurship is self-discipline.  If you’re in a paradise like Bali or an international hotspot like Lisbon, there will be other whispers for your attention, like “Come surfing,” or “Check out this wonderful place.”  If you’re in a big city, you don’t have to rely so much on self-discipline: you can be pulled along in the slipstream of others who are encouraging you by their hustle.


I totally get the allure of the quiet life.  But I don’t see how it’s possible to start, build, and scale a business without having access to a community of hustlers and strivers, which you are most likely to find in a big city.

That said, David and I originally met via an event put on by the Dynamite Circle, which has an online forum and organizes events all around the world.  They offer a “pop-up” version of the community that big cities offer by default every day.  We would meet people who were running 6, 7, and 8 figure businesses from every type of locale possible, but I’ve never met anyone who started and scaled a business from scratch in an isolated location.  

I think that’s a great end goal once you’ve got cash flows in place and a team that you can rely on, but if you are serious about building a remote local business, the “remote” part of that needs to be just as intentional as the “local business” aspect.  You need to carefully think through your own personality and desires, what your business goals are, and what kind of place is a match for everything you want.  I’ll probably write an article in the future about this, crowdsourcing from my friends who are building their businesses from locations that are different in one way or another from Los Angeles.

In the meantime I am open to hearing any of your thoughts, including telling me I’m totally wrong!  @ me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

This article was written by Neel from MaidThis Franchise, a remote-local franchise opportunity for people looking to escape the rate race and reach financial freedom. Learn more here.