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Feb 26, 2019 09:46:50

Road to Ramen: Conclusion

by @basilesamel PATRON | 760 words | 464πŸ”₯ | 515πŸ’Œ

Basile Samel

Current day streak: 464πŸ”₯
Total posts: 515πŸ’Œ
Total words: 234819 (939 pages πŸ“„)

Today is my last day in Asia, before next time. I'm moving back to Europe for a while. I have to attend my graduation ceremony, and I need to see my family and friends.

I set out to become a full-time indie maker 6 months ago. My goal was to build my own tech products and make a living out of it, just enough to cover my living expenses - also known as ramen profitability - while traveling. I called this adventure Road to Ramen: 6 months to reach ramen profitability as a maker in South-East Asia. Today is my last day in the Road to Ramen journey, and it is time to sum it up.


I need $700 per month on average to live in South-East Asia. A bit more to live in Eastern Europe. And a little more to live in my home country, France. I have made $652 in gross revenues so far. All of those revenues were earned over the last 2 months only. $35 were made from 7 pre-orders for my upcoming book. The rest was made thanks to my 200 Words a Day patrons.

My online businesses take me $25 per month to sustain, and I earn a monthly recurring revenue of $114, making a profit of $89 per month. 200 Words a Day is bound to evolve quickly so I'm stashing the money to sustain its growth. I still need $611 per month, or 244 200WaD patrons, to reach ramen profitability in Asia. I didn't reach my ramen profitability goal, but the progress is highly encouraging. All I need now is to keep going and to keep aiming higher.


I visited 3 new countries (2 months in ThaΓ―land, 1 month in Vietnam, 3 months in Malaysia) and met my extended family for the first time. It was an enriching experience. I definitely love slow travel. In fact, 1 month per city is definitely not enough in my opinion. Next time I travel I will stay at least 2 months in a given city. The social dynamics are entirely different with slow travel. I don't mind traveling solo either, but it gets lonely. It's something I think a lot about, how to manage life as a nomad to make it more sustainable. My answers are still far from perfect but I got to know a lot more about what works for me.


I made 4 products during my time in Asia: one was a flop, one got some initial traction but I didn't find any motivation to keep it alive, and one got half built but never launched. 200 Words a Day was my first success as an indie maker and it is still doing well with 2400 registered members and 5300+ posts written. Let's see how I can propel it to new heights over the next weeks!

I managed to grow my following on Twitter from 10 to 480 individuals without any marketing trick (no follow/unfollow game). It was done purely organically by just getting involved in maker communities, launching products, writing, and sharing. My Facebook account didn't take off as well, and I poorly managed my Instagram account.

In parallel, I wrote 114 short posts (41k words), contributed to 4 articles on Maker Mag and I am about to release my first book Alter-Nomad.

What's next

The last 6 months were great in terms of both business and personal growth, but there is always room for improvement!

Once I'm done with my first book I will work on a new one focused on entrepreneurship. Making a living from my own creations is still a huge goal of mine during 2019 so I want to experiment with new possible income streams, all related to my work at 200 Words a Day: authoring, patronage, 200WaD spin-offs (our own book marketplace) etc. Maybe create a freelancing business on the side to earn some side money from time to time. Maybe I should call it Road to Ramen v2 and make it an open project? The possibilities are many.

Location wise, I'm going to stay in France during March. Then I will probably live in Odessa, Ukraine for at least two months. After that, I would like to travel to Vietnam with my parents and my brother for 2 or 3 months.

I wrote a new year bucket list I'd like to fulfill, so I also need to fit those items in my agenda.

In the meantime, I want to thank all my users and my co-makers for helping me during those 6 months. I am no one without you pals. My gratitude toward you is infinite. I hope I managed to add value to your lives. Let's see how we can grow further together.

Much love,

From Basile Samel's collection:

  • 1

    @basilesamel I still found the progress astounding. Let us know how you like Eastern Europe. Been in Poland (my wife is Polish) and loved it.

    Valentino Urbano avatar Valentino Urbano | Feb 26, 2019 23:55:17
    • 1

      @valentino I love it. Been to Eastern/Centrale Europe a few times already (mostly because ex-girlfriends): Warsaw, Wroclaw, Bucharest, Budapest, Skopje, Belgrade, Tirana, Bran, Croatia, Kosovo etc.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Feb 27, 2019 06:54:58
  • 1

    @basilesamel awesome progress for r2r in just 6 months. Others toil for much longer without ever having any MRR, so already many pats on your back! Hope you're living well beyond just ramen though...take good care for the long run. Can't wait to see your r2r2! ??

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Feb 26, 2019 11:30:52
    • 1

      @jasonleow Not much more than ramen but still well enough for me, I like living a simple life. Thanks for the support! :)

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Feb 26, 2019 11:06:17
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