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I have just gotten back to the US from a fabulous two-week tour of Morocco.  It was so fabulous, I just have to share some tidbits with you. It was quite shocking when I got off the plane in Casablanca and someone said “welcome to Africa”.  Most people in America don’t think of Morocco as Africa.  Most of us have seen the movie Casablanca and it looked very European.  “…of all of the gin joints, you had to walk into mine”.  But as you actually travel through Morocco you get the sense of its African ancient heritage and the influences of Europe blended together to make for a rich experience.
What was noticeable was how many people work for themselves.  When unemployment is high, these people resorted to inventing clever ways to make a living – creating their own businesses.  In fact, we were told that most Moroccans prefer to work for themselves as they have more monetary opportunities than having a salary.  Plus they like the lifestyle.
Of course, this was very evidenced when I was in Marrakesh and spent time in the UNESCO site by the Medina, world famous square.  Whether you took advantage of having one of the ladies draw henna designs on your hands, or you paid for a photo op with exotically dressed people, tipped the snake charmer (oh yes, they really exist), or lunched at many of the fabulous outdoor kitchens, you were being served by solo-preneurs.  Amazingly, I noticed that most of them used their mobile phones for their business and I heard many utilize some form of social media.  Actually, one of my guides asked me to “like” his Facebook Page and write a comment.
I too, enjoy being a solo-preneur.  For me the best part of going to Morocco was being able to go for an entire two weeks and not worry about what was going on at home.  My partner had our business covered.  Too often in the past working for a corporation I was always nervous about being away from the job too long.  I would check email every night to be sure there was no crisis to handle because you had to be sure you were not replaceable. What an ugly feeling.  My new business allowed me to totally submerge myself into the exotic landscape and culture of Morocco.
So since you are reading this bog, I would love to share a few more tidbits about my trip to Morocco as you may be encouraged to make your own trip over to Morocco.  It is a land like no other.  In one small country, just a little bit larger than the state of California, one day I was paddling my feet in the Atlantic and watching the fishermen pull in their daily catch and then lunch on a fish right out of the water.  The next day we were crossing the snow top High Atlas Mountains.  As we journeyed around we saw beautiful lush fields of vegetables and cactus fruits and oranges and lemons, olive groves and vineyards with varieties of grapes.  Moroccans make fabulous wines and I was fortunate to try a few types.  We drove through forests of cedar, saw goats climbing the famous argon trees.  We toured a women’s co-op watching the ladies grinding the argon nuts to make the oils and creams that are used for cooking and women’s cosmetics.  The piece de resistance was taking a camel ride in the Sahara Desert and then watching the sun set.  Pure pleasure.
I hope the little synopsis of my travels will inspire you.  Part of a solo-preneur’s business plan is setting goals and choosing what kind of life you want to live.  For us making a decent income, being able to travel, and having a business that is fun is our goal.   As 2017 arrives, what trip is in your future plan?  “…so play it again Sam”.

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist