Wondering How to Make Money in Panama?
So…do you like money? Who doesn’t right? If you have lots of money, you probably don’t need to read this, unless you’re taking a poop and are looking for reading material because you didn’t leave a magazine nearby and you already read the shampoo and conditioner bottles…But first, a word from our sponsor:
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…And now back to our regularly scheduled program…
I’ve read a few blogs about how to earn a living in Panama. They offer advice on how you too can make money in Panama – providing different ideas of things to do, from writing, to bricks and mortar businesses like restaurants or possibly wedding cake-topper stores (a lucrative business, I’m sure!)
But there’s something else to add that few people discuss, and only recently did someone mention it to us. Here’s what they said:
In Panama, you heed multi-part avenue streets.
Which made absolutely no sense. So we asked the person where they heard it, and they said they heard from a guy whose brother’s cousin lived with a girl that dated an Expat that had an uncle that lived and worked in Panama for many years. We think it got lost playing the telephone game…but what it means is this:
In Panama, you need multiple revenue streams.
This totally makes cents if you want to make money in Panama. See what I did there?
If you look at some brick-mortar businesses, like a B&B, more often than not they have other income streams such as: bicycle rentals, tours/excursions, or they offer drinks/meals to their guests (outside of what is included). Even restaurants, while still serving food, are wise to offer take-out/delivery as part of their repertoire.
There’s a lot of work in Panama, and Panamanians don’t always A) want to do it (for whatever reason), or B) have the skills to do it. I’m sure there’s a C) in there but after two letters I’m sure you get the point.
So far in Panama our ravenous dreams revenue streams have consisted of:
- Building websites for local businesses
- Providing various I.T. services
- Writing content for local businesses
- Doing Social Media for local businesses
- Tiling jobs
- Property Management
That last one, Pet-sitting, has kept us so busy that we’ve become full time pet/house-sitters and have been house-sitting all over the Azuero peninsula. We’ve also been approached about house-sitting gigs all across Panama (and other LATAM countries too). PanamaDude may even be taking a hiatus in the coming months (hey, stop cheering).
The point of all this banter is that when you arrive here, you really need to do the following:
- Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities
- Utilize skills you already have
All three bullet points above complement one another. If you don’t network (online or in person), you won’t meet people. If you don’t meet people you won’t hear about opportunities. And if you don’t meet people to hear about possible opportunities then you won’t be able to offer the skills you have that might match the aforementioned opportunities; moreover, you’ll miss out on repeat opportunities.
I didn’t want to do I.T. work like fixing computers and setting up WiFi access points any more, but it’s a skill I have and if someone needs a hand, that’s an opportunity. It’s not always about the current task either. That same person whose computer I fixed also needed a website built. Had I not offered up my services I probably wouldn’t have heard about the other opportunity. Websites, content writing and social media is work I enjoy doing, and they’re also things I can do anywhere, so it falls in line with my goals.
As for the house/pet-sitting – it’s been awesome! We had to put down our beloved greyhound back in 2012 and opted to not get a new hound, but that decision allowed us to make this journey. And with pet-sitting you get to enjoy a whole bunch of different pets and all their quirky personalities. You also get to live in different homes too, which is a great way to find out the things you like/dislike about a given area or house layout, and home/pet owners know their pets and homes are being looked after. Added bonus – sometimes you get to enjoy views like this:
To be fair, some of that work isn’t always part of our raven hue steam revenue stream – sometimes bartering is perfectly acceptable currency for us.
However you decide to make money in Panama is entirely up to you – just remember to keep your eyes and ears open. Remember the janitor from the movie The Breakfast Club? He was the “eyes and ears” of that institution…look how his career turned out…Man, I’m still terrible with analogies!