Have you ever thought about living abroad? It seems like every week I meet someone who is seriously considering it - or at least dreaming about the possibility. As so many “knowledge work” jobs become capable of getting done anywhere, and often on any schedule, that dream of living abroad can become a real option. But what does it actually look like to make that decision (and then do it)?
The specific answer to that question is obviously highly dependent on where you might be thinking of moving to, but if that place is Japan, you’re in luck - because in this episode I interviewed James Coleman (my brother) about his recent experience making that decision, and then executing on it. He moved his family from the US to Kobe, Japan last year, and I think his story could be valuable for anyone to hear, regardless of where they are considering ending up. Being a technologist who stills runs a US-based business from Japan, he also has a unique perspective on the various work-related factors that play into such a decision.
In this episode of the podcast, James and I discussed:
The decision making process for moving abroad (as he explains, the toughest part)
The significance of language - it may not be as significant as you think
The fascinating cultural differences between Japan and the US
A discussion of the challenges, and the surprisingly easy things about an international move
Tips for considering the process (and technological hurdles) of working remotely
I hope you enjoy our conversation about the purpose in the process living and working abroad!
James Coleman is a wired polymath and entrepreneur who draws on multiple disciplines - tech, business and social psychology - within both Japanese and Western cultures, to solve meaningful problems in underserved markets.
James founded his first successful startup while still in business school, focused on self-funded profitable growth as primary drivers of continuous improvement and quality. He has been an advisor to numerous companies including Apple and Sony, and he enjoys mentoring entrepreneurs who want to create disruptive, positive change.
Today he is co-founder of Tech Concierge, a company that provides a unique combination of cloud tech and services called Carbon-Free IT™ that helps businesses grow and succeed anywhere on the globe, from the biggest metropolis to the most remote regions of the planet. James also currently consults for business leaders in the US and Canada, helping them better understand how to localize their businesses to successfully approach and succeed in Japan’s massive market.
James is also a self-described Japaneur, having moved to Japan from Southern California to explore and enjoy the country and its culture while discovering new opportunities to grow personally and professionally. James enjoys living in Kobe, Japan with his wife and two sons.