Last Updated on February 27, 2021
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About Alison Johnson
I’ve been a wanderer all my life. I grew up in Zimbabwe, went to university in South Africa, and then lived in London, Sydney, and Hong Kong. I now live in a little Spanish seaside town called Sitges with my family.
After a long career in Investment Banking IT, I started my own company four years ago. It’s been a fantastic adventure.
About Where Can I Live
As BREXIT kicked off, we were worried about how we’d manage to stay in Spain on our UK passports. Entirely by chance, I found out that I was eligible for Irish citizenship. And from that conversation, Where Can I Live was born.
In our travels, we’ve chatted with hundreds of people who wanted to move abroad but didn’t know how to make it happen. I decided that we could help. We’d show people all the ways they could make a new life abroad and help them to make it happen.
How Did You Get Your First Several Customers Or Users? How Many Users Or Customers Do You Have Now?
My first idea was a product of my IT background. We built an application to find all the places you could live and work. People loved it, but in reality, it was a fun toy rather than a useful resource.
We pivoted in early 2020 to become a more targeted source of brilliant information and to connect people to reliable immigration professionals. We’re adding new countries, new partners, and new content all the time.
COVID and lockdowns have been a massive headwind, but we’re happy with the progress we have made.
How Does Your Company Grow And Acquire New Customers?
We grow by creating unmatched resources for our visitors. And, then we offer them access to excellent partners to help them move.
We’ll continue to expand our range of countries, and we’ll bring in new services like relocation agents and tax consultants.
What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Founders Who Are Looking To Get Their First Thousand Users Or Dollars?
Don’t be afraid to kill the sacred cow. Our business was built on the application but it was not the right business model.
And so, we spent two years chasing the wrong goal. Our first 1,000 users were not the right 1,000 users! After the pivot, the next 1,000 dollars came much easier!
What Is Something You’ve Learned That Would Not Be Obvious To Somebody Who Hasn’t Worked In Your Space Before?
Most people can move abroad. There is a staggering range of visas and residency permits in countries around the world. And, very few Expats regret their move abroad.
What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened To You (Good Or Bad) On Your Founder Journey?
In our first year, I was on holiday in Turkey when I was asked to appear as an immigration expert on Australian breakfast TV.
I had to fly to London on a day’s notice and buy a suitable outfit on the way from the airport. I rushed to a TV studio in the middle of the night for a live cross to Sydney. Our website was flooded, and we were crazy for days afterward trying to use the publicity for good!
What Are Your Favorite Books?
I love Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking” for the outstanding message, especially as a woman founder. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a fantastic book, made even better for being set in Barcelona.
Anything You’d Like To Plug?
https://wherecani.live is the website for anyone interested in a new life abroad, and how to make it happen.
- Leveraging Experience, Expertise, and Learning With Andrew Pometun
- Becoming A Travel Hacking Coach With Julia Menez
- Becoming a 17-year old neo-expressionist artist with Evan Sharma
Book summaries, notes, interviews, and more!
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