An Escapologist’s Diary. Part 8.

Some of our readers don’t enjoy fiscal solutions to The Escape Problem. If you’re one of those readers, you might want to look away now. Sorry about this.

A lot has been written online about Tim Ferris’ concept of Musing: creating a low-maintenance business capable of generating an ‘optimum monthly income’, enough to allow you to fulfil whatever dream you have.

To us, of course, the dream is one of maximum mobility (of not having to report to work every day) and of ending the relationship between submission and reward. That’s how Musing connects with Escapology. It has the potential to replace work and maximise mobility.

Anyway, I’ve been tinkering with a muse myself. In principle, it works like a charm. I’ll write a full report eventually but not until it graduates the tinkering stage and I become confident enough to rest my full weight on it. For now, I recommend experimenting for yourself. The three resources you need are:

A Shopify shopfront.
A wholesaler or dropshipping company. Use Google to find one capable of shipping to your target demographic.
Google AdWords.

It’s as simple as a bag of spuds.

If you’d like to read more about Muses, try The 4-Hour Workweek (Duh) but this post summarises the concept neatly. Tim Ferris is also currently running a $100,000 competition geared toward encouraging people to build their muses. Alas, the competition is only open to American people, but maybe you are American. If you’re not, you might want to consider staying tuned to Tim’s website to take advantage of the promised AdWords tutorials and the likes.

Further adventures in Business Automation

In tinkering with business, I’ve been thinking about taking advantage of currency and cultural differences.

Loads of regular people have figured that living in one city and working in another has economic advantages. For example, a lower cost of living in Glasgow might make an affordable home, while working in Edinburgh might be more lucrative. It’s a sound logic but this practice has you commuting between the two locations every single day while still being the slave to a job. A better solution is to work in Edinburgh without leaving Glasgow. Engineer a situation in which you can work from home as an employee or automate your own Edinburgh-based business.

I’m using Glasgow and Edinburgh as examples because I know a few people who actually do that hellish commute every day. You can afford to think internationally about this. Personally, I plan to live abroad as an ex-pat while running a UK-based muse. This way, I can travel, enjoy the cost-effective and vibrant life of a city I like, while subsisting on an optimum income of British Pounds. (It doesn’t have to be British Pounds: just a higher-value currency compared to the local one).

This is a phenomenon I enjoyed in Montreal earlier this year. The British Pound, even in its current weakened state, went far indeed. Likewise, I took a weeklong trip to Berlin in 2008 while employed by a British organisation and made a profit by being on holiday: my paid leave (in £) was a significantly greater income than my Euro output, even though I was enjoying a no-expense-spared vacation.

I vow to write something more detailed about muses and automation in New Escapologist Issue 3 (available to pre-order here). There will also be some nice stuff (from other writers) about Location Independence and managing money as an Escapologist.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

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