Learn About Airbnb

How Airbnb Lets Me Live Rent-Free

Learn About Airbnb

A New(er) Business Model

sharing economy infographicThis week I wanted to share a technique I’ve been using that allows me to live ‘rent-free’. It has to do with a company that’s been around since 2008, but has seen exponential growth these last couple years: Airbnb.

It’s not the newest member of the Sharing Economy by any means, but it, along with companies like Uber, are shaking up their respective industries and giving consumers more choices & value.

This is a stark contrast to the traditional ‘top-down’ model of business used by governments, big business, and other institutions. Their model often employs ‘one size fit’s all’ solutions and carries the mentality that a central authority can make the best decisions, irrespective of the local situation.

The Sharing Economy turns this concept on its head. It allows the free market to make decisions; in other words, individuals can make their own individual choices at the local level, eliminating bureaucratic inefficiencies.

This brings us two excellent benefits: more choices and lower prices.


Airbnb embraces this new business model. Rather than researching what cities would be good locations to build a hotel in, they’ve simply created a platform that lets individuals offer their available room(s) or even entire properties for rent by the night.

This is how you can find a place to stay even in a small town, even one that’s too small for a hotel or motel to build in.

Now enough of the back story, I’m sure you’re more interested in how this lets me live rent-free. Let’s start with an infographic I pulled from Jumpshot that shows some basic metrics, and then I’ll talk about how this helps both the guests and the hosts..

airbnb infographic

How This Benefits Guests

Aside from Airbnb helping create rooms for rent in small towns, there are more benefits to guests that choose to stay with an Airbnb host vs a traditional hotel, motel, hostel, or bed & breakfast.

For starters, you typically get more for your money. Often, you’ll get access to a full kitchen, rather than a mini fridge. Full as in real plates & flatware, small appliances, and maybe even some food for your breakfast.

How about an actual bedroom and not the ‘studio apartment’ feel of a typical hotel room? Done. You may even have a laundry room with a washer & dryer available.

How Hosts Benefit

The main benefit to Airbnb hosts is income. At at average of $80 per night, this can add up quickly.

Do you have a spare bedroom? I’ve read estimates that more than half of homeowners in both the US and UK have at least one extra bedroom. That bedroom could be bringing in several hundred dollars (or more) each month.

There are some other benefits such as meeting new people and the social interactions it brings, learning about other cultures, running a small business, and so on. Most hosts, though, simply utilize Airbnb as an income source to cover their living expenses and supplement their other income.

Living Rent-Free

I first heard about Airbnb and the idea of hosting on a Side Hustle Show podcast episode and decided that I would give Airbnb hosting a try. I was already planning to travel in the future and thought: “How better to learn what to expect as a guest than to start out as a host, right?“.

In just a short time, I was able to go from earning a few hundred a month up to making low four figures monthly as a host, which covers our housing costs. If you’ve read the post about my journey toward location independence, the income from Airbnb was very helpful as I was shifting from offline to online income sources.

Airbnb Kindle eBook CoverMy New Book

Once I became an Airbnb ‘Superhost’, I thought it might be a good time to start compiling everything I’ve learned as a host into a little guide or book.

Having hosted well over 100 guests while maintaining a 5-star rating in all available categories for my listing, and having done all of this with just a few minor changes to my life, I finally felt credible enough on the topic to publish my system.

I’m calling it The Airbnb Superhost’s Field Manual, since this is the exact system I used to become an Airbnb Superhost and live rent-free.

I’ll be releasing it on the Amazon Kindle platform soon as the 2nd book in my Double Your Income series.

What’s Next?

I tend to follow a pattern of learning a new skill, mastering it, teaching others what I’ve learned, and then moving on to a new skill. In an upcoming post, I’ll explain how I can work on several projects like these without chasing too many rabbits and accomplishing nothing.

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#success #hustle”]The Success Formula is Simple: Plan, Do, Check, and Adjust.[/tweetthis]

Next week, though, I’ll be giving you a ‘personal update’, where I’ll tell you about my progress towards becoming a location independent digital nomad. Until then..




Becoming Location Independent

The Journey Toward Location Independence (Part 2)

Becoming Location Independent

Location Independence; dream or reality?

So in Part 1, I gave a brief overview of my journey toward location independence. Now in the 2nd part of this series, I’ll be going over the specific steps I’ve already taken, and those I plan on taking in my business and personal life.

Personal LifeTakeoff Quote Image

The main area of focus here is the continued scaling back of our possessions so that long-term travel/relocation is more easily accomplished. This has been a focus for the last year anyway, but now it’s time to really get serious about it.

The goal is to get the core of our belongings to fit into 4 suitcases (2 per person). Anything beyond that would be sold before leaving, and then re-purchased at a later date if need be.

Here is some of what has been done so far:

  • Migrating my expansive (physical) book collection onto my Kindle.
  • Scanning all of our pictures, old journals & notebooks, etc., and then throwing out the originals.
  • Selling/donating anything that hasn’t been used in a year or more.
  • ..and we had already downsized our possessions quite a bit when we moved into a nicer, but smaller place.

While some of this might seem a bit extreme on the surface, having space that is unused or possessions that are being stored away (often in a storage unit with a monthly payment), is not really doing you any good at all.

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#essentialism #digitalnomad”]Having fewer things allows you to have nicer things.[/tweetthis]

In Businesslaptop

There are a couple of goals in this area. First is the transition to income derived entirely online. Next, having flexible deadlines for any non-passive income is a must.

My business is already paperless, and having dropped my smartphone plan in early 2011, my communication has been almost entirely online for a while now. To put things into high gear, we’ve dumped Windows and moved to Chrome OS via Chromebooks.

With that, I’m putting a lot of trust in Google and ‘The Cloud‘. While I do have a secondary backup of my most important files (both physical and in Google Drive), my pictures have all been moved into Google Photos, and my music library now resides inside Google Play Music.

To learn more about the technology I’m using to become location independent, check out my free report HERE where I list 21 of the top resources I use that will allow me to run my business & life from anywhere.

In addition to my free report, I’ll dedicate an entire upcoming post about the switch to Chrome OS, and the pros & cons about moving your business entirely into the cloud. (Spoiler Alert: The Pros far outweigh the Cons.)

In Summary

So, in essence, it’s not about becoming a minimalist, decreasing your quality of life, or settling for second best. It’s about focusing on what is actually important. Becoming agile (i.e. able to move quickly and easily) is vital to location independence. It is equally important to be mindful of your actions & experiences.

In my next post, I cover a tactic that lets me live rent free, which also happens to be the topic of my next book.



[ Update] If you want to see whether I’ve become location independent, check out my ‘progress report’ series here.

Becoming Location Independent

The Journey Toward Location Independence (Part 1)

Becoming Location Independent

In my personal journey toward location independence and the ‘Digital Nomad Lifestyle’, there are still several steps that still need to be taken in both the personal and professional areas of my life. In this post, I’m going to fill you in on the overall philosophies & strategies that are driving my actions, and then in Part 2, I’ll go over some of the specific steps I’ve already taken, and my future plans in both areas.

One of the main ideas is to get things “Lean & Lightweight” in both business and life. So it’s really about agility and speed of movement, rather than minimalism. This makes the necessary actions as easy as possible to carry out, and still leaves you with all the important resources at your disposal.

[tweetthis]The more complex your business and life are, the greater the chance of errors & unhappiness.[/tweetthis]

Here are a few examples of these ideas in action as related to your personal life and business:

Personal Life

Location Independence 101 While it is about having less, it is not about going without.

(Reference: Essentialism, by Greg Mckeown)

It is important to have everything you need and want, but physical objects are less likely to have a lasting impact on your happiness & fulfillment than mindful experiences.

Far different from “Minimalism” and settling for less, it is about being a “Conscious Consumer” and carefully choosing what you DO want.

In Business

The ideal “Lean & Lightweight” business, is one that takes minimal effort on your part, is enjoyable to run, and otherwise plays to your strengths ONLY, while delegating and outsourcing the rest. For me, this means that a laptop & internet connection are all that is needed, and that I only do work that I both enjoy and am good at.

In Part 2, I go into greater detail about the steps I’ve been taking on my journey toward location independence in business and life.

Talk to you next week.


Digital Nomad Start Image

A New Start as a Digital Nomad

Digital Nomad Start Image

Back in the spring of 2014, a few situations in my business caused me to re-evaluate my current path. I think I’d been stuck in a rut of familiarity & comfort for several years, really. While I was no longer fired up about what I was doing for a living, I was still having lots of success with it.

But as I replayed several events in my mind, I began to see a pattern emerge. The desire for a radical change would arise, then quickly be suppressed by thought of: “That sounds exciting, let me just line up a few things over here and start working toward that next.” Only the “next” wasn’t happening.

A couple more events in my business finally made me start to listen to the voice of change. It really made me think: “Is is possible to dive in head first and truly start over as a digital nomad, rather than just talking about it and slowly moving towards it?”.

[tweetthis]If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.[/tweetthis]

The idea

Replace all of our existing income with new online income streams, then move abroad for a year or so and see what we want to do & where we want to go next.

The deadline

By the end of 2015, ideally mid-November.

The challenges

Building multiple online income streams, selling most of our possessions, and coming up with a good “elevator speech” to give to those in our circle.

The solutions (so far)digital nomad office

  • Freelance and Micro Jobs to gain new skills and experience,
  • Airbnb (hosting for now, but soon as guests),
  • writing Kindle eBooks,
  • creating Udemy video courses, and
  • documenting my journey on the blog.

That’s it for now. I’ll be publishing posts each Friday, so stay tuned..



[ Update ] Did I achieve these goals? Find out here.