How To Thrive Overseas In ‘The Place Of Opportunity’
This article comes to us courtesy ofInternationalLiving.com, the world’s leading authority on how to live, work, invest, travel, and retire better overseas.
Warren Ogden couldn’t afford to set up his ideal business in the U.S.
Yoga and fitness had been part of his life for years. He had studied it at Duke University in North Carolina — and later in India, at the Agama Yoga centers in Rishikesh and Dharamshala. He completed his yoga teacher training at the Holistic Yoga School in Boulder, Colorado.
“I could never afford to create a gym, spa, and yoga studio in the U.S. And most markets are saturated, anyway,” says Warren. So instead he was working as executive director of a small, international non-profit organization in the U.S.
Then he decided it was time for a change.
“I was ready for adventure,” he says. “I grew up with Nicaraguan immigrants in the U.S., so I had a natural connection to the place. It was a lucky stroke, because I fell in love with the country. I saw — and still see —¬†Nicaragua¬†as a place of opportunity.”
He¬†moved to Nicaragua¬†from the U.S. in 2006 in search of an opportunity to do something that would provide income… and motivate him.
“I looked for a market niche that hadn’t been filled… which was also a realm of endeavor that interested me. A yoga studio happened to be the perfect mix of the two. I bought a decrepit house and fixed it up.”
That’s how¬†Pure¬†came into being. Warren’s first challenge was finding good staff. “There is less regulation here than in the U.S. — which is unfortunate,” he says. “All of my massage therapists are thoroughly trained, and most have three- or four-year degrees.
“But there are lots of folks that offer massage in Granada that have barely any training at all. When tourists have a bad experience, it reflects poorly on all of us. It takes years to cultivate a solid staff. That is my biggest accomplishment… I now have a great staff.”
With many qualified people spend long stints traveling in Central America, Warren saw an opportunity to take on highly-trained staff for short-term contracts. They were glad to have a few weeks or months work while¬†seeing the country… and he was able to provide good instructors and therapists for his clients. His work/exchange program continues to this day.
“Now that Pure has been a fixture in Granada for over five years, we can rely on a network of yoga teachers, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and fitness instructors to spend time with us as part of our work/exchange program,” he explains. “Without the visiting instructors, I couldn’t offer 16-20 yoga classes per week… and only charge $5 per class (or $2 per class for gym members with a 20-class package).”
Source: Huffington Post