Heather Farrell

The Expat Entrepreneur

The Profitable Expat

About Heather

Heather Farrell is The Expat Entrepreneur. She is a seasoned expat of over 22 years and has been an entrepreneur for nearly her whole life. She left Canada with her husband in 2001 and has been working and traveling ever since. She has had the privilege of traveling to many interesting places in this world now living in the Middle East (Dubai & Qatar) from 2001 – 2012, and while residing in Japan for nearly 11 years.

Get a constant stream of vetted online business opportunities, and a first-hand look at how to travel the world and work from anywhere!

Despite trying on several occasions, Heather is a self-proclaimed ”terrible employee” and she comes by her entrepreneurial aspirations quite naturally. Her family roots are teeming with ambitious entrepreneurs with a strong work ethic dating right back to both of her grandmothers, her mom, dad, and brother, and several others as well.

To follow her journey and learn about legit ways to make money online 2023 check out her YouTube channel.

Back in 2001, Heather and her husband; Mark, sold everything they owned and moved to Dubai for a 2-year contract that Mark committed to. He was working for a company called Red Sea Housing which built modular units that were used to house workers in labor camps for large oil & gas projects around the world.

The #1 Expat Lesson (Cautionary Warning….)

The longer you stay the harder it is to leave.

During the entire first year they lived in Dubai, Heather was happy and content exploring that great Emirate, learning about the culture, and enjoying “the Dubai life”. She received her first digital camera around that time and this unleashed a hunger to discover this very unique world and its culture through this lens.

She has many interesting stories about venturing off on her own, camera in hand and printouts from outdated online maps several years before the first iPhone was ever released. (She still has the iPhone 1 she got the moment it was released while living in Qatar.) There were many exciting and wonderful experiences and a few near-misses as well, but those are stories for another day!

It didn’t take long before Heather became bored and knew she needed to fill her time with more than massages, lunch dates, and pilates classes. In Dubai, there is a slang term for these ladies who are lovingly referred to as “Jumeriah Janes” and in some ways, Heather quietly envied these women who were able to truly relax, fully enjoy the many luxuries at their fingertips, and soak up this extravagant lifestyle.

After all, it does sound wonderful and what more could a person want? Well for Heather, it was purpose. Even though she did give it a really good try… to adopt this privileged lifestyle, she could not escape the need to do something more productive with her time, and with the many resources with which she has been blessed.

This is where her ‘real’ search began, the search for ways to make money while living overseas.

For a non-expat this may seem quite simple. If you want a job, go get one right? Wrong. For expats there are two large barriers. The first is the red tape, meaning that if you are not in the country you were born in, or are not a citizen of the country you’re in, you need some sort of visa in order to be there. In many cases, unless you specifically came in under a work visa it is highly likely that you can legally work there. For many people, this is not an issue and the market for working under the table or off the books is alive and strong in every country with immigrants, refugees, the poor, and the working class. This is life, and it’s survival.

The second barrier that very often prevents most ‘trailing spouses’ from taking up a job, is the incredibly low wages for any non-specialized role, often the very type of job they left behind in their home country. This is because the industry of overseas workers is not only massive but far-reaching. 

In the early 2000s when Heather and her husband arrived in Dubai there were many many thousands of workers from India, the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Sri Lanka, and large numbers from Bangladesh, Nepal, and Russia as well. In many of these countries (especially India & The Philippines) generation after generation of people are raised with the understanding that if they get the opportunity to go work overseas, they must go. If the funds can be raised to pay the employment brokers (who find them jobs overseas) each new generation of (very) young adults will go abroad to work and send money home to support the entire family. In some cases, the entire community may benefit if they joined forces to help fund a particularly promising young person.

What is perhaps somewhat obvious, is that the reason thousands upon thousands of people want and strive to get jobs overseas is that there are no jobs in their home countries, certainly none with this level of income potential. So these jobs (both above and below average) are a real blessing to foreign nationals (especially those from 3rd world nations) despite being such a hardship as well. For this reason, most of the jobs that are available will go to eager foreign nationals (often from 3rd world nations) who are willing to work for considerably less than your average westerner would literally get out of bed for.

For Heather, both of these factors were irrelevant given the terrible employee tendency….  This was, however, the ideal setting for a budding entrepreneur, although her first endeavor was not a business of her own but rather a deep dive into the complex world of options trading. Around 18 months in, Heather realized this was another ‘rigged market’ with the odds steeply stacked against her (and 98% of all recreational traders) and she decided to look into other ventures.

The timing was perfect because the real estate market in Dubai was just heating up and this was a ground-floor opportunity due to the new initiative in 2002 that finally gave foreigners the ability to legally own real estate in the Emirate. This was an exciting thing to research and devour however, for most mere mortals there are only so many properties one can afford to buy or wishes to own. In Heather’s case, it was the former, which once again left her with an abundance of time that needed filling.

Again, perfect timing when the 2004 Dubai International Trade Show swung open the doors to dozens of opportunities. Excited beyond description, and absolutely chomping at the bit, Heather attended the show on the first day and came away quite disappointed with only 1 viable option; a candy machine vending business.

Due diligence was done and her husband was brought in for his consideration and a short while later Heather’s Candy Company was formed. Several weeks later 50 old-fashioned split-globe vending machines were delivered to her villa in Umm Sequim along with 50kgs of M&Ms and 50kgs of Skittles. It took her a couple of weeks to assemble, clean, and fill the machines and after that another 2-3 months to get them all placed out in the market.

This was her first inkling that she was a pure-breed entrepreneur. She had never done anything like that before yet somehow knew instinctively what needed to be done, despite not knowing precisely how to do it. Fortunately, Vendmax (the Canadian company she bought the franchise from) had a framework of a marketing plan that she used to become the most successful vendor of all the parties to purchase a vending franchise from that trade show.

As is often the case with expats, Heather and her husband both sensed their time in Dubai may soon be up so Heather put her homegrown business up for sale and found a buyer very quickly. She was extremely proud to have built a successful, highly profitable business on her own that she was able to sell for a handsome profit as a legit income-producing, turn-key business. Chalk that up as a massive success on all accounts.

Get Ready To Move To Doha, Qatar

The timing for the sale of the business and the apartment they owned in Dubai Marina was excellent as they moved to down the gulf to Doha, Qatar after living in Dubai for 5 1/2 years. Qatar was quite another country and culture which was a surprise since it was just 650km up the coast of the Persian Gulf. Heather and her husband would spend another 5 1/2 years in Qatar but under severely different (and rather unfavorable) living conditions.

The culture in Qatar is very different from The United Arab Emirates and from roughly 2006 to 2011 it was not particularly friendly towards women, especially foreigners. It would not have been possible for Heather to operate a vending machine company in Qatar and she had more than one unfortunate encounter while living there.

Much of what she did during this time was to do with international real estate until she also discovered gold and silver bullion could be purchased with great ease and security. This was an exciting hobby that Heather pretended, for a while, was actually some sort of a business. These illusions were soon quashed however it keep her busy especially leading up to the time they would relocate from Qatar to Japan, and needed to do so WITHOUT the bullion…. This is another fascinating story for another day!

Welcome To Japan

Japan. An expats dream come true. Foreigners in Japan often joke with one another that they wanted their last post to be in the land of the rising sun because “Japan ruins us all”. This is said in the most loving way because it is so amazing. For anyone reading who has not visited Japan, you are urged to do so. It is a wonderful country steeped in a long interesting history, fascinating culture and customs, kind and genuine people, and trees older than Canada. Ha!

Many things came full circle for Heather while she resided for over 10 years in Japan, not the least of which was her business pursuits. Here she had full rein to pursue any business she desired as there were no laws or customs preventing either a woman or a foreigner from seeking out her full potential.  

In the early days, much time was spent exploring, relishing, learning, and attempting to understand this intriguing culture and even there, eventually Heather could not escape her deepest calling…. another business was born and another “first” was scratched off as done as she ventured into the online space and opened an Amazon FBA store.

Amazon FBA – Another Rigged Market

For 6 years she now describes as “long”, she invested intensely long hours and considerable funds into the actual products, and learning the many things required to operate this type of business.

Sadly, it was a massive failure! As it turned out in the end, after those long 6 years, it barely broke even. Apparently, there was some solace in the fact that many are not even that lucky and walk away in the hole.

For many of these 6 years (and a short while after), she was quite embarrassed to have not made it a smashing success as intended, and as others who began a similar journey around the same same time had done. Alas, this was clearly not her path, yet she could not walk away and is quoted as saying that she threatened to quit several dozen times, and simply couldn’t.

“It took a pandemic for me to realize that I was in the wrong business, and to give me the grace to turn my back on it and walk away.” Heather Farrell

What a blessing it was for her to finally have all the reasons she needed to walk away without quitting. While on the one hand, this may in some way come across as valorous… to have refused to give up…. 

She rightly went on to say:

“It was actually absurd and idiotic to stick with a thing that was NOT working while the process was draining precious energy, enthusiasm, capital, and of course time.”

No matter who you are on this earth, none of those things are unlimited.

Despite it all, a massive amount of knowledge was infused, dozens of core lessons were learned (mostly the hard way), and many critical skills were attained. 

During these 6 years, Heather attended over a dozen live conferences, went on 5 buying trips to China, created 3 brands with over 30 private label products, imported merchandise into the US through her company, and sold more than 7 figures in top-line revenue. On a grand scale, this was a huge amount to be crammed into 6 years which she suspects is quite likely the root cause of her limited success. 

Enter January 2020 in Japan when the first utterings of ‘covid-19’ were being made. This is several months before North America heard the same whisper and once many of the Chinese manufacturers were forced to close down and stop production, Heather received the way out that she was never looking for, and to her credit she took it and never looked back!

These 6 long years she lovingly refers to as pushing boulders uphill came with a huge amount of specialized knowledge of eCommerce and online business strategy that would be utilized in countless other pursuits. This is when eCommerce turned to eServices for Heather and she took to it like a fish to water.

Welcome To The World Of

Online Business Opportunities

Virtual challenges, online course creation, social media marketing, lead magnet and funnel creation, affiliate & digital marketing, SEO optimization, blogging & podcasting, and most recently lead generation. 

These are high-level areas of specialty that Heather has tested and configured into a very successful combination that exploded her business into multiple 6-figure profits in a mere 18 months.

Today, growing her following on her blog and YouTube channel is her prime focus where she publically explores legit ways to make money online. If she finds one she likes, she unpacks and fully explains the business model, and will recommend top-level training if any is available.

Heather has strict criteria that must be met before she will consider endorsing any training programs. 
~ She must go through the program herself and verify that it does what it says it’s going to do.
~ There must be existing students who have succeeded after taking the training.
~ She also wants to know who the creators are behind the scenes so she can vet them too.

The reason why? Because she greatly values her reputation and being known for her honest advice and recommendations to the public. In the online world today people need to ‘bob & weave’ as they wade through the scams & exaggerations to find legit & viable opportunities. 

Today Heather, her husband Mark, and a fur-baby named Shelby travel extensively while she works from all corners of the globe. Sadly Shelby`s sister Dusty left us in early 2022 but is still with them in spirit!

These days Heather`s focus and motto is to find the easiest, fastest activity that will produce the greatest results and she strives to help others do the same.

Join the mailing list here and subscribe to the YouTube channel to learn more.

The Profitable Expat

Heather’s Fur Babies

Born is the front hedge of her villa in Qatar, these expat kitties have also traveled the world and even play a role in Heather’s business.

Dusty Rose

She was the perfect supervisor, always poking her nose in and keeping an eye on things! Still very much with us in spirit and dearly missed since she went over the rainbow bridge in 2022.

Former back-up supervisor now oversees all operations from her window hammock! She has traveled a lot more than her sister did and has been on plane, trains, automobiles, and boats in many countries.

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