Welcome to the 21st edition of “How to Make Money While Travelling” which features successful nomadic teams and interviews with travel entrepreneurs!
This week I interviewed Robert O’Kruk, a 24 year-old Canadian currently exploring Bali, Indonesia. Robert is the co-founder of Digital Nomads Forum and the founding partner of Digital Coalition.
Digital Coalition - Results-driven marketers doing more together than we could divided. We are Digital Coalition. A Canadian-based digital marketing firm providing professional digital marketing services.
Q1: So, how do you make money while travelling?
Right now I primarily earn my income by providing digital marketing services for clients I work with at Digital Coalition. I focus on executing digital advertising and digital analytic solutions. Specifically I specialize in Google AdWords, Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager solutions. Most of my clients have been earned through referrals from others who were pleased the quality and results of my work. I typically charge a flat hourly rate which helps to ensure I get compensated for every hour I spend working with a client. It’s quite lucrative overall and allows me to work only a few hours a week while travelling South East Asia, a much for affordable area than Canada for example.
With my free time, I’m currently working on building the community at Digital Nomads Forum. We have a plan in place to eventually monetize once our user base is larger, but for now we want to make sure we focus on providing an awesome community experience before we divert our attention.
Q2: What were you doing before Digital Coalition?
Before starting my own digital marketing firm and focusing on side projects, I worked full time for one of Canada’s leading e-Commerce digital marketing firms, Northern Commerce. I was the digital advertising team lead and managed a team of 4 (including myself) to deliver enterprise level digital advertising solutions.
It was fast paced with high performance expectations specifically from the clients! I learned an enormous amount about digital marketing while working with an amazing team of talented individuals.
Q3: What are your reasons for becoming location independent?
I wanted to explore new places and meet new people so that I could be surrounded by an environment that was more conducive for personal growth then the small city I was living in (London, Ontario, Canada).
It’s exhilarating and I feel like once I got the idea in my mind, it truly seemed like a once in lifetime opportunity. I felt lucky enough to be able to make this dream a reality, so I did!
Q4: What challenges do you face in your career while both working and travelling?
The biggest challenge I face personally is having a consistent Wi-Fi connection and balancing between enjoying life and working. To be honest, things are going pretty smoothly and I think both of these challenges are being overcome more often than not.
Q5: What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from becoming location independent?
I think that changing our perspectives can have a profound effect on what we think is realistic and possible for ourselves and others. If you told me two years ago I would be travelling the world, have sold all of my physical possessions, and have no physical home, I would have felt like that was impossible and crazy! Having done this now, I realize that not only was it possible, but it was even straightforward. It’s easy for us to perceive things as crazy and impossible, but once you do some of these things, it helps you realize that many other things are actually achievable. When someone says “I can’t”, it’s a perspective, not a truthful statement, and the same is true of “I will”. Choose “I will!”.
Q6: How do you find work while travelling?
As I briefly mentioned earlier, almost all of my work comes from referrals from people I have worked with in the past. While working at Northern Commerce (for two years), I worked very hard and built up a fairly large and healthy network of business and industry contacts.
When I started Digital Coalition with my partners, luckily the work just flowed in once the word was out that I was available for hire through our firm. My partners specialize in different digital marketing skills so often times one of us will have a client who needs help with something that a different partner can do more effectively. So like any good partnership, we benefit from sharing and teamwork quite significantly.
Q7: Do you think businesses should offer more remote working opportunities? If so, why?
Yes an no. For businesses that have the luxury of mainly working with individuals who are responsible and can pull off remote work successfully, definitely! For other companies, this might not work as well. I think it comes down to the individuals involved in terms of whether it will be successful and a good idea.
Q8: What would your advice be to someone who wants to quit their desk job to become location independent?
Book a flight to the first place you want to go. Ideally give yourself a couple months. At this point the choice is yours, you can make it happen and not come back once you start that trip. It’s fine to think about and do oodles of research, but it’s better to take action. Action will inspire reaction.
Q9: What is your favourite travel quote?
“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
Thanks, Robert O’Kruk :)
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