How Tribe Wanted is building a remote startup community in Bali

Today, we discuss building a community of remote entrepreneurs with Ben and Tribe Wanted — the team that aims to empower entrepreneurs who are eager to regain their life/work balance and lend their skills to fellow startup teams.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us what are you currently up to?

Hi, I’m Ben. Currently, I’m hosting a small tribe of first time entrepreneurs and digital nomads here in Bali.

It’s a 3 month pilot and the goal was to get 10 people to join — we’ve already had 40 join and I’ve been turning people away for the last few weeks.

We split our time 50% working on our own projects, 25% supporting each other through check-ins, skills share and 1-on-1s and 25% exploring projects and trips around Bali and Indonesia.

Share your Tribe philosophy — what it means to be in a tribe and how it affects personal and professional growth?

Bali is the first time we’ve focused on startups. For the last 9 years Tribewanted has been about giving people who live a busy ‘Western’ life the chance to live differently for a little while — be that on an island in Fiji, a beach in Sierra Leone or in the hills of Umbria.

Being part of a tribe of like-minded people is about feeling like you belong there, that part of you has ‘come home’. The impact that this can have on an individual’s outlook on the world, including their career, can be huge.

We’re not a career coaching organisation or spiritual retreat community — more simply we’re offering people the chance to spend time in places that can inspire and connect with like-minded people more easily than you might in your normal home.

What are your most practical lessons learned from building a community for nomads?

People build community. It’s an obvious thing to say, but really otherwise it’s just a nice idea. Give people permission to explore their interests, be themselves, offer their talents and skills to others and the rest will follow.

What do you think are the biggest challenges for digital nomads now? Do you see potential ways to solve these challenges?

Visas — I think some people are working on this.

Peer pressure from the old world. I work with Escape the City a lot and you see this huge bubble around people who know their current work/life balance is off and they want to escape but most people around them (especially their friends and family) are telling them they’re doing great — they have an amazing job and are hugely successful — so why would you want to give that up?

What in your opinion is the future of remote work, digital nomadism, distributed businesses?

I think we’ll see a few large technical corporations (apple et al) servicing a growing population of freelancers as more and more day-to-day services become automated.

70% of the workforce will be GenY by 2025 — that’s going to be a tipping point. We’ll see a paradigm cultural shift in the way we work.

Can you share with us a couple of success stories from remote entrepreneurs/startups in your community?

Caroline: “Its taken me 18 years of dreaming but finally I feel the path ahead is mine”

Loretta: “Tribe Found.”

Ben: “Escape London for Bali.” (this guy is really pumping out the ideas — we made Pool Huntertogether last week)

You’re currently working on School For Life project. Can you share a bit of story behind it and the impact you’re aiming for with this project?

This is a fun project that came our of blog I wrote last year about schools I’ve followed who are challenging the conventional education path. The blog got about 20 times more traffic than most of my posts so we’re now exploring turning it into an e-book, profiling the most innovative schools on earth to inspire more. The part I’d love to play is seeing a lot of these schools ideas spread and connect.

Also, what other alternative education experts can do to support you?

I’m looking for people to get involved. Here’s the story — submit a school for life.

Follow Ben and his work via Tribe Wanted blog and Twitter.


This post originally appeared on Nomadlist Stories as part of the interview series with remarkable nomads. If you like this, follow Nomad List on Twitter for the updates on our upcoming interviews, and if you’re already a digital nomad — we welcome you to join #nomads. If you feel inspired, show your appreciation by supporting One Way Ticket — independent documentary on digital nomads.