E67: How to grow a thriving agency from a remote Costa Rican town with Devon Reehl

Devon Reehl has 15 years’ experience in design, development, sales and strategy. He is lead digital strategist with, and co-founder of, Enginate. He specializes in client strategy and project architecture.

Outside of the digital space, Devon has been a wilderness kayaking guide, and also spent 10 years touring as a professional funk drummer. He’s a father of twins, an avid surfer, and is currently wrapping up his second year living and working abroad in Costa Rica.

Episode highlights:

  • What happened when Devon headed to Costa Rica with nine duffle bags, his wife, and a pair of 3-year-old twins.
  • Why Devon feared that his clients might look down on his move—and what really happened.
  • How life is different overseas (and how it’s the same).
  • What to do if you’re considering moving abroad with your business.
  • Best advice he’s ever received: the best bass players play the fewest notes—and know which notes to leave out
  • Habit that contributes to success: a tolerance to adversity and having a level head
  • Recommended book: The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by Timothy Gallwey
  • Recommended tool: Harvest for invoicing and time tracking


Links:


Quotes:

  • “Freedom of location is possible in this business.”
  • “This is kinda crazy, but what if we did that?”
  • “Do not underestimate the power of being able to work from anywhere with an internet connection.”
  • “It’s the bookends around work that are monumentally different.”
  • “Deeper work for higher value and higher pay.”

 

Takeaways:

  • Considering a move abroad, or just someplace that’s new? An on-the-ground “discovery” of your potential new home is very important for feel, comfort level, and finding a house. Try a program, if available, and meet locals and expats.
  • If you want to make the move, spend 30 minutes a day developing your plan and having conversations.

 

Before moving to Uvita, Costa Rica, these are some things Devon’s family considered:

 

  • Visa requirements (http://www.projectvisa.com/)
  • School options (if applicable)
  • Homeland anchors/assets (house, car, property, what to sell/give away)
  • Passports are valid (must not expire within 6 months of travel)
  • Current drivers license
  • Long term rental options (often you have to be on the ground to find the best ones)
  • Car (If needed, buy through a Broker who will inspect – expensive to import)
  • Health check (vaccinations, prescriptions, contacts, eye exam)
  • Healthcare (health plans that cover you in the US and overseas can be affordable)
  • Move phone numbers to MagicJack or similar VoIP service
  • Internet (get on the ground and test speeds for both land and cellular where you will live)
  • Banking (get a checking account or credit cards with no international fees, plan for depositing checks at home)

Tools & Resources