I have mentioned in the other article where I have written about me, dropping out college and start working as a freelancer, and a couple of reasons why I pursued that life.
I have moved to Bosnia about 6 years ago from Turkey, by comparing the population only you might guess Bosnia is a lot smaller than Turkey, 80 million people vs 3.5 million people. There are obviously pros and cons of living in each country.
Moving from a big country obviously has some challenges but overall it’s an experience most people should face, it’s challenging of course, but aren’t the challenges that make us better?
You Get To Know Places Faster
The first challenge I had was you don’t have many options in small countries, such as shopping malls, places to hang out. It was more like a plus for me than minus, why? In smaller cities you get to know places faster because there aren’t many, you learn where most local people hang out quickly. Eventually, those places where you make the most important connections for your business, not necessarily for business tho. Anyone local you meet has a huge help in your life potentially, by communicating with them you learn where to get something you need, where to find potential clients, how to get some jobs done cheaper or more effectively. If you move to another country or even another city try to live like a local, don’t go to those fancy touristic places every day. Visit small local shops, businesses, have a coffee in the neighborhood. Those places are the places where you will meet people who will pay more attention to you comparing to the guy in the fancy shop who is only trying to get more money from you. These are the people who will remember you, your profession, and get in touch with you, perhaps hire you in the future.
Yeah, people talk, we talk. As I have experienced so far, in smaller cities when people talk it has a bigger impact on your business. Let me explain it with an example; you have done something for someone, it’s maybe your first gig, and that person who hired you has potentially knows many people to recommend you, because there are less people, less options for everyone, so you can stand out anytime. If you happen to be in a big city, the person who hired you may not be helpful because it’s too crowded, you don’t even know your neighbors, I mean, I didn’t when I was living in Bursa-Turkey where 4 million people lives. You don’t see the same person twice in big cities where it’s quite important to get used to faces when building relationships. One of my regular clients was the guy sitting next to me in a coffee shop every day.
Familiarity breaks the ice.
Exposure Per Gig
Yeah, it sounds like a business term or something, I just made it up, maybe it is. However, giving an example from myself, I do photography and films for people and businesses, and every time I do a job for someone those jobs bring me two more. As I’ve just mentioned above, people talk. Secondly, this is where my made-up term comes into place, individuals have a bigger impact in a small society, it’s easier to get recognized in smaller places, I’ve said it before you’ll stand-out among the others quite fast where if you are in a big city that has a big population you will find yourself struggling to be noticed.
The more people there are, the more alternatives of you exi
It’s cheaper to live
Living in a small city doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be cheap to live, it will have lower life cost. Let me keep going from my case. I live in Bosnia where the minimum wage is 200 Euros, approximately. And it’s hard to charge thousands of Euros per gig here. If a couple getting married, they are most likely to pay what they can afford, it’s a small country and people make less money than some other countries around, compare Austria for instance. It sounds like a big minus for far, let me tell you its plus. Small countries have neighbor countries like any other country, it’s easier to travel between countries. For instance, going to another country from Turkey is a big deal, it’s a big country geologically. In Europe traveling between the countries is like traveling between the cities in Turkey. That’s a big advantage for me, or for anyone in a similar case. Here is the reason, I can work in Bosnia, I can build my portfolio here as a freelancer, or wedding photographer. But I can still go to neighbor countries for work and make potentially more money, spend less percentage of that. Let’s say average freelancer income here in Bosnia is 500 Euros, and the living cost is 200 Euros. I’m just giving roughly examples here. Comparing Austria, or Croatia where I can potentially charge 2–3 times more for my work, but in the end, my living costs won’t change. That’s why I actually consider living in Bosnia for a while at least, and try working in neighbor countries. Until I feel safe and confident about moving to a bigger country, where I will be facing higher living costs.
I hope you find this article somehow insightful or helpful in some ways. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to tell you that you need to move somewhere small or anything. I hope that what I’m telling you in this article will make you realize that there is always more than what we see, change the way you think or evaluate things before you complain.
I was disappointed when I moved here in the first place, to be honest. A friend once said;
” It’s easier to do bigger things in smaller places”
Not going to lie that was my inspiration to this day where I have my own business, financially independent from family, and more or less name here. Building my name here was slow, hard, sometimes frustrating but;
things you build in smaller places last longer.
Yasin Emir Akbas is a Freelancer Content Creator from Turkey, currently living in Sarajevo, BH. Creating photos and videos for individuals and businesses, creating travel movies. Exclusively creating content for iStockphoto/GettyImages.