Ray Blakney is an award-winning bootstrapping entrepreneur who was raised in Turkey and now resides in Querétaro, Mexico. He is recognized most notably for Live Lingua, one of the top online language schools in the world, Twiducate, a social network for schools with over 200k registered users, and Podcast Hawk, a SAAS product that helps you get booked on podcasts on auto-pilot.
Blakney shares some major lessons on resilience and business he’s learned along the way.
Say No to the Matrix
In his mid-twenties, Blakney lived what most would consider a dream life. He held a steady well paying job in Silicon Valley working for Fortune 500 companies and although externally it appeared as if things were perfect, he knew there was more to life. He yearned for travel and adventure and to see the world outside his office walls.
“At 26, after two incidents that led me to think “I don’t want to be here in 10 years”, I quit my high paying job as a software developer and applied to work for almost no pay as a Peace Corps volunteer like my father.
After my two years working with indigenous communities in southern Mexico, I married my wife who was a language teacher at the Peace Corps and we decided to combine our skills and try our luck at entrepreneurship.”
You Have Every Resource You Need Within You
Blakney, along with his wife have built and sold multiple 6- and 7-figure location independent businesses and none of them were built around a personal brand.
“People think that the only people who make 7-figures while being able to travel the world are people who are Instagram influencers or people who sell courses using their personal brand.
In a marketplace saturated with perfectly cropped Instagram influencers Ray has been able to build businesses that don’t require him to be in the forefront or on social media all the time and allows him to spend quality time with the people he loves.
“I have personally built businesses that were not tied to me while travelling with my wife for 3-4 months a year. While in many relationships, let alone those where you run a business together, this may cause conflict, for us it helped us each find our distinct roles.”
Balancing Your Personal Life & Business Is Only Possible With a Strong Team
A common misconception is that having a remote business is difficult to manage. Blakney shares how he has experienced the contrary and how the freedom of his new found lifestyle has allowed him and his team to live around the world and work efficiently due to allowing his team to work from wherever they are comfortable.
“My content manager and his wife from Denver spent 6 months in Bali a few years back and my COO at Live Lingua splits his time between the UK where he is from and Mexico, where his wife is from. I even had a customer support team member work for us for 2 years while travelling through Latin America.”
When Blakney is not pursuing a new innovative business idea, he likes to spend time with his wife, son and dog at their house in Querétaro, Mexico and help other entrepreneurs create their location independent online businesses.
He hosts one of the top language learning podcasts on iTunes Learn Spanish with Live Lingua releasing a new episode daily.