NomadX live Interview with Mitko: entrepreneur, digital nomad, and podcaster
🔥NomadX live Interview with Mitko. He’s a serial entrepreneur, digital nomad, and podcaster. He’s from Bulgaria but lives in Cincinnati Ohio when he’s not traveling the world.🔥
Mitko is a serial entrepreneur, digital nomad, and podcaster. After dropping out of college he spent several years working with startups in the US before hearing the term digital nomad for the first time. In 2017 he officially earned his first dollar online and booked his first one-way ticket.
👉🏼 In 2019 Mitko launched That Remote Life Podcast which has been voted as one of the top new podcasts for digital nomads, and earlier this year he launched 6-Figure Nomad a community for location independent entrepreneurs that shares in-depth case studies of real online businesses.💥
Tag a friend who loves remote life & COMMENT Your thoughts below👇🏼
🔥 Watch our next interviews! Join our community Facebook.com/groups/nomadx
– Hello, NomadX community. We have a doubleheader today. I’m actually interviewing Mitko Karshovski. And if you guys have met Mitko. he’s originally from Bulgaria is where he grew up and then he moved to Cincinnati. So he’s actually based in Cincinnati at the moment for his global travels. I’ve really enjoyed speaking with Mitko. I was actually on his podcast, I’d say it was like maybe it was like three months ago or so he runs a podcast called… ThatRemoteLife.com. I encourage you to check it out. He has some amazing interviews going on his podcast and he’s launching a YouTube channel with that content from the podcast. And he’s also starting to do a lot of coaching for corporate executives, for corporate employees that want to make the move to work for themselves. So that’s his big focus at the moment, even working with you know, with the consultants, with accountants really anyone that’s working in a corporate job that wants to get into this digital nomad lifestyle that’s who he’s focused on, but Mitko, he’s a great guy, serial entrepreneur digital nomad… Podcaster. As I mentioned from Bulgaria, living in Cincinnati when he’s not traveling. He first heard about the word digital nomad back in 2015, and then in 2017 earned his first dollar online. In 2019 launched his business, That Remote Life Podcast and it’s been voted the top new podcast for digital nomads. So he’s off to a really, really great start. And he’s launched a new business called Six Figure Nomad, which we’ll talk a bit about. And he’s run all sorts of online businesses from drop shipping to Amazon FBA, to social media marketing, copywriting, web development, project management. He ran a marketing agency, a very, very entrepreneurial guy. He’s had a couple other businesses that he started back when he was younger that we could talk about. Yeah. And he just really wants to help you live and become location independent, to travel the world, spend more time with your family and friends, make your own schedule and work where and when you want to. So yeah, Mitko, he’s definitely a great guy to know in this space. He’s very active in the community and I really encourage you all. It’s going to be a really exciting interview. So without further ado I’m going to invite Mitko in for the live here. You’d like to give us a thumbs up and share any comments and we will answer them either during the interview or after the interview. Here comes Mitko. Hey. Hey Mitko, how are you doing, man?
– Hey, what’s up brother? How are you doing? Can you hear me all right?
– Yeah. You sound great, man.
– Perfect. I had to change locations here. So…
– Oh really? You’re movin’ around a bit. Looks like you got a little more like facial hair or something. You’re lookin’… Looking good.
– This is just what happens when you travel, dude, you know this you know, when you’re switching from one place to another the beard just comes in, you know? So.
– It looks good, man. Yeah. So Mitko, he’s been joining us on our Clubhouse events we’ve been having each Friday at five o’clock here Portugal time, usually 12 o’clock Eastern. We’ve got a huge event coming up this Friday. We’ve actually partnered with Tech Talks which is the largest tech club on Clubhouse. And Mitko has been a great contributor. So I’d say after this interview, if you want to catch up with him, either catch up with him through his podcast or come listen in on clubhouse would be awesome. But the focus we really want to focus on here, Mitko, so we’d love to hear a little bit more about your background. I think your story is really compelling. I think there’s probably a lot of people out there like yourself at this moment that are just discovering the word digital nomad and they’re sitting at home and they’re in there, in the cold weather or they’re kind of like they’re getting spring fever I guess. And they, they want to get on the road. So they tell us a little bit about your story. I think it’s really, really nice. Your background and how you got into this whole thing.
– Yeah. So, I mean, I got started with this back in like 2016, I’d say, but I think it really, for me at least it really started like when I was very young because I immigrated to the United States from Bulgaria. And when I made that move, I was 10. So it’s not like I immigrated when I was like one or two years old. I immigrated when I already was pretty developed as a personality, I guess you would say. And the interesting thing that happened was that, you know in the US I was always referred to as the Bulgarian kid and then I’d go back to Bulgaria and I was the American kid. So I wasn’t really like at home anywhere. Like I was always different and like, you know, not necessarily like, from that one place. And so because of that, I always kind of felt like not necessarily at home anywhere. And I just really wanted to see the world and be out there. And I just thought the world as a whole was so interesting. And because of that, I just, I could never quite see myself as like a corporate job. Like, it just didn’t make sense to me that I would stay in one place and all of this other stuff would be happening all over the world and I wouldn’t have the chance to participate in that. And, but I just didn’t know how that would happen. Right? Like how, what would that look like? And so that’s when I think it was 2015 or 2016 when I heard the word digital nomad for the first time and that’s like a Pandora’s box, you know? Like you type that into Google and all of a sudden you’re like, oh, okay, so this is how this can happen. Right? And I’ve always been really entrepreneurial. I dropped out of college and I started a tech startup that was essentially like Airbnb for outdoor equipment where you could put up your equipment on our platform and other people could rent it. It didn’t work out. It was not the unicorn that I was hoping that it would be but I did kind of get my first experience with entrepreneurship from that. And so then from there on, I went on to do a bunch of other things that you mentioned in your intro. I started working with some folks that were running an Amazon FBA company. It was pretty large. And so I started working with them as like their third employee or their first employee. They were the two founders. And that was how I started earning money online for the first time. I essentially worked with them and then went on to work with a lot of agencies helping them in different areas. So yeah, that’s kind of the, the, you know, the journey so far.
– Awesome. Well, that sounds like some, some great experience that you got, ’cause those are definitely all like very hot areas for the digital nomad scene. So I’m sure you’d like to build up a lot of really good skills and gain a lot of really good experience. And I think as an entrepreneur it’s always hard to work for someone else. So maybe that was part of the experience too.
– Yeah. I think, you know, working for someone else is definitely a little bit difficult but I also think like, like the way that I define entrepreneurship is the art of solving problems at scale. Right? So I believe all entrepreneurs at heart are problem solvers. And you know, this is where I think this idea of like, you know, the shiny object syndrome comes from is that we just want to solve problems and, you know, you solve one problem and then you’re like, oh, but then over here there’s another problem that I want to go solve that’s really interesting. Right? And so I think that that’s where, you know, the whole entrepreneurship things comes from and that’s why it’s really hard to work for other people because you’re always wanting to go solve the next problem, next problem, next problem.
– It’s like the entrepreneur’s dilemma because it’s like once you find a focus then all of a sudden you start identifying all these other problems.
– That’s right, yeah.
– Exactly. ‘Cause the next thing you know, you’re, you diversify too much and you’ve kind of lost focus and you almost need to like put the blinders on at some point and just focus on one problem at a time.
– That’s right. Yeah, yeah.
– Nice. Well, hey, listen. I was like, I was kind of going back here a little bit. This is probably dating you a little while here but I was looking at, it’s pretty interesting even back in your high school years and year to junior and senior year you designed a process for deriving E-85 fuel from leaves and grass clippings and wrote a business plan for that. So that was like, I was pretty amazed by that. That’s like a, for a guy in high school to come up with that, that’s pretty innovative I would imagine. So is that like one of your first sort of entrepreneurial concepts or maybe you had more before that as well?
– So incredible research. I’m impressed that you could find that but I would say I always had ideas. I just didn’t put any of them to action. You know, I never brought action into those ideas. What you mentioned, that was actually so when I was in high school I got involved in a biotechnology program in high school. So it was just something that seemed really fun to me. I actually had an older friend who was in that program and he sort of, I kind of joined it because I was like, hey he seems to be having a lot of fun kind of inspired me to join it as well. And I ended up really falling in love with biotechnology science, like, you know that sort of micro bio that whole field and the way that this program worked it was really quite ahead of its time and did a lot of really good work in that sphere. Your junior year, you kind of got your practical skills in biotech, and then your senior year you created what’s called a capstone project where you try to use your skills to create some sort of solution for a problem. And so what we did my partner and I was, we essentially, you know, at the time E-85 as a fuel… Addition to gasoline was pretty popular. There were a lot of these cars coming out that were burning either they could burn solo E-85 or… They could burn some sort of mixture of gasoline and E-85. And so what we came up with was this process in which we could use, like you said, grass clippings any of those things that you normally throw away when you do your yard work we found the process to actually turn that into E-85 alcohol that could be used in fuels. And so we came up with that capstone project and I believe that that’s what I wanted to do. Like, I was like, I’m going to go on to be a biotechnologist. I’m going to work in the lab. And like, that’s what my path to, you know through life was going to be. But then when I went to study biotech in college I was like, I really hate this. Like I was like, oh my God, I cannot stand being here. And now looking back, what I realize is that the reason why I enjoyed that biotech class so much, that program, was because it was so entrepreneurial; I was allowed to go learn whatever I wanted to learn, to identify the problems that I wanted to solve. And then I just had to find the skills to solve them. And when I went into like a regular biotech classroom I was like, get me outta here. And I dropped out. So, yeah.
– Nice, man. Yeah. ‘Cause I was noticing that. That’s, you know, when I was younger too, I loved anything that was entrepreneurial. So I think, yeah, that’s interesting. ‘Cause it’s, you thought it was the science but it was really the entrepreneurship, you know, it’s kind of like dating you just gotta figure these things out along the way.
– That’s right. And they don’t make sense when you’re going through them but then you look back and you’re like, oh, these dots kind of connect, you know? So yeah.
– That’s really cool, man. And it looks like you’ve had a couple other adventures here too in the past. Was it Access Adventure was one where you were helping people adventure into the outdoors and then there’s this other one MillenialDropout.com to help-
– So… Yeah, so Access Adventure was actually that startup that I went on to start after I dropped out of college. So that was the platform for peer to peer sharing of outdoor equipment. That’s really where I got my chops. You know, I got introduced to a lot of the startup folks in Cincinnati there. I kind of started to really learn this process of like, okay, how do you come up with a business? And then how do you, you know, develop an MVP? How do you market? How do you do all of these things? So that’s where I really learned the procedure so to say of like how to do this and then the other one that you mentioned, I think was like when I was starting to get into blogging and I was kind of like, all right, like I kind of, I like to share this stuff. So like, how am I going to do this? So there was a lot of experimentation along the way.
– Nice man. Well, yeah, I think that’s all part of the journey. So it’s interesting. You had to get kind of multiple entrepreneurial adventures and then you, from there, you learned about the digital nomad lifestyle and then you went on this adventure and that’s when you said I think like 2017, you made your first dollar… Online. And well, I guess traveling too, ’cause I guess I was reading here, you left for the, for Europe for about four months back then. And it was a very successful trip. If I read into it correctly.
– Yes. So I… I don’t recommend people do this by the way. But yeah, I literally earned, like I got my first check of like online money and I was like, see ya! I had a job, I quit it. You know, my girlfriend, wife now, we were like, all right peace. You know? And like, I look back at this and I’m like, I mean I think I must’ve been making a maximum of like a thousand dollars a month at the time or something like that. And my wife was maybe making a couple hundred bucks a month like freelancing. And we thought we were like, we figured this out. We’re out of here. You know? And then now looking back, I’m like, that was, you know that could have gone really wrong really fast. But yeah. So I guess it was successful in that way but, you know, we literally, you know I say, like, we earned our nomadic wings so to say… In 2017.
– Nice. That had to be, it had to be an exciting period. So you’re, so it went from being your girlfriend, your fiance, you just got married this last year right?
– That’s right. Yeah in October.
– In October. Okay. So just recently then. That’s great. So you guys have been traveling together, you’ve been living this digital nomad lifestyle together. You guys work together, or she has her own business, or how does that work out? I’m always interested in nomad couples. ‘Cause I think that’s like an interesting phenomenon as well.
– Yeah. So she has her own thing. She works as the head of social media marketing for a business coach. And so it’s interesting because even though we have different things, right, so I have my own business, she has her own work, there is a lot of overlap and it’s really interesting when, you know she learned something or she sees a trend or she learned something new and she’ll tell me about it and I’ll get to implement it. Or maybe I do the same where I learned something, you know, there’s something that I figure out from my work that I then tell her and then she gets to take it to her work. And you know, they, it’s really interesting kind of like even though we have our separate jobs, our separate careers, there is this overlap in which, because we’re in the same sort of sphere we get to kind of help each other out. So it’s just natural, you know, it’s not like we sit down and have masterminds or something like that, but it’s just it’s just this natural osmosis between the two of us.
– That’s great. Yeah. So I think, yeah, a lot of nomads out there that are single or they have a significant other or they’re looking for a significant other who’s a nomad. I know we’ve got, I think Kimberly’s on this session here, from Nomad Soulmates. So she’s trying to help nomads find the love that you’ve found. And so obviously it’s been a successful journey for you obviously. It was funny ’cause I was on your Facebook page. I was going back through some of these photos. And I think when I got back to 2017 or so you’ve really matured a lot since then. You look like… Yeah you’re like, right out, you’re like a young buck, but you’re in great shape.
– Are you saying I’m not in great shape now Dave?
– I don’t know. I think… I think that maybe the pictures back then were more revealing.
– Yeah. Well. And it’s interesting because you bring up an interesting point here which is a lot of the people my age, you know, I’m 27 even though my wife keeps reminding me I turn 28 next month which I don’t know how to handle but it’s interesting because a lot of people my age they were on social media when they were sort of like developing as a person, right? So there’s a lot of things online like on my Facebook or Instagram or whatever that if you go back and like, for example, if I was going out to get a job, maybe a future employer would be like I don’t know if I want to bring on this guy because he has some weird pictures or whatever. And it’s, for me, it’s like, it’s interesting to see what’s going to happen when everyone who is coming up has that stuff online. And like, I have friends for example, who will remove those. Like I have friends who are now you know, trying to get ahead in their careers. And they’re like, oh, I’ve gone back and like deleted pictures from like freshman, sophomore year in college, ’cause like they were a little wild. Right? And so they’ll delete those things. And for me, it’s like, I dunno if I want to delete that because it’s like, it’s who I am. And seeing the fact that I’ve, you know, there’s pictures of me with keg stands and like, what not, it’s kinda like, you know what, that was me. And like, that’s not me now, but it’s going to be really interesting to see like, how that sort of plays out in the career world so to say.
– Definitely man. Well, yeah, it’s your, it’s your history. Well, I think as an entrepreneur you can get away with a lot of stuff. People want to see that; they want to see-
– That’s right. That’s right, yeah.
– They don’t want to see you in a suit and tie that’s… That’s kind of the antithesis of the, of the lifestyle.
– That’s right. That’s right.
– So listen here. So let’s talk a bit like what you’ve been up to lately ’cause that’s a little bit of the past, give us a little foundation, you know I’m an entrepreneur myself. So I always like to know where everyone got started and obviously you’re still getting started. ‘Cause you’re still, I’d say at the beginning of this journey, but you’re really like a perfect age. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of great experience under your belt, your lot… You’re kind of getting ready to launch it really almost like full time into this new initiative. And yeah. Tell us a bit about your podcasting, the YouTube channel, like what you’ve been up to, kind of what, what the future looks like, for Mitko, what do you have in your sights here?
– So for me, I got, you know, through the digital nomad movement and community what I really got introduced to was remote work. And I was like, just a moment I started seeing a lot of these companies that were using remote work to create a better work-life balance for their employees to be able to hire better talent to be able to build things they wouldn’t have been able to build otherwise. And I was like, this is the future. Like there’s no way that this doesn’t become the future. And that’s why I started the podcast was because I wanted to interview business owners who had successfully used remote work to build a business and to understand like, how did you do it? You know, what are the things that you need to change from being in a corporate environment in an office to then you know, recreating your 30 person team online and really having these conversations. And what was really interesting was all of the things that I was saying, you know maybe these things will happen in like five, seven years, COVID hit and everything is like, you know has changed from a seven year timeline to like three, right? And so… That’s really where the podcast was born from. And I interviewed a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of professionals in the space and a lot of thinkers in the space as well. I just, I don’t know, man, like, I’m so interested and curious and passionate about everything that’s happening in this space. And I have so many questions that anyone that’s willing to entertain those questions that you know, is, I think brings an interesting point of view, I love to have those talks with them and then just, you know, have other people listen in on it. So for example, like some of the people that are coming up right now I had Phil Libin on who is the co-founder of Evernote, he’s got a really cool company now called, Mmhmm, which I think is by far the coolest product name I’ve ever heard of. But you know, he’s doing a lot of things like how to present information online and how to create videos. He’s moved on from Evernote to do that. I had a doctor by the name of Boyd Cohen who really discussed a lot about what the cities of tomorrow will look like when all of us are working online and we have a lot of the smart city concepts going on. So a lot of these sort of people and then a lot of entrepreneurs who are building businesses and solving problems in our space.
– Yeah. It seems like I think that’s what I really liked about your podcast and you’re definitely very passionate about the category. And I think that comes through like very clearly. And I always find that that’s, that’s super important for an entrepreneur because you gotta be passionate ’cause this, this journey, it’s not easy. So I think that’s like, that’s awesome. It’s incredible that some of these speakers that you’ve gotten on your podcasts, like congrats, congrats for that. So yeah just kinda hitting on some of those topics like what do you see as the future of this movement? I think you’re, you’re super connected into it. You’ve been living it for a while. You’ve been interviewing some real thought leaders like what does this next, like five, 10 years look like for you? Or for the industry?
– Yeah. So I think… One of the real, you know, mic drop moments of the podcast in the last couple of months was actually I had Phil Libin on and you know, huge entrepreneur. Evernote’s like one of the top apps, you know, on the app store. And you know, I asked him the same question. And what he said was like, remote work is just going to become work. And for me that was both kind of like, ground shattering for me, ’cause I was like, you know, crap, I kind of built remote work as my thing. And if it just becomes the standard, I’m kind of, I have an issue, but you know he was essentially saying, you know, it’s not going to be it’s going to be what everyone does or what everyone has the opportunity to do because it’s just better for everyone. Right? So it’s… It’s better for companies because you know they’re able to reduce their overhead. It’s better for employees because they’re able to work from wherever they want to. They can spend more time with their families, less time driving. They can, you know, create their schedules to fit around their lives or their interests. It’s better for companies because they can hire from anywhere. They don’t just have to hire the best tech talent from their 10 mile radius. They can really go abroad. And so I think when you, if you start to think about that and then really begin to ask the question of if I believe that this is the rock that’s going to fall into the pond, right? What are the waves that it’s going to create? Right? And so it’s going to be really interesting to see how this disrupts things like healthcare as more and more, specifically for Americans, you know as more and more Americans stop working for an employer and begin to become freelancers, consultants or entrepreneurs, what does that do to the us healthcare system when it’s based on who your employer is, right? What is this going to do to immigration when, if you stop and think about the fact that this is the first time in human civilization that your economic growth has been separated from your geographic location? Okay? Like, I’m going to repeat that again. Your economic success and growth is separated from your geographic location. My parents moved to the United States in 2004 because it had a greater economic benefit to them, right? They could earn more money. They could create a better lifestyle for my family. That’s not true anymore. My parents, if they were doing this now, would have to ask themselves the question: what’s better for us to move to the United States and work from there or stay in Bulgaria and work for an American company? And so, because-
– Go ahead, sorry.
– Well, what, what I was just to finish that thought what ends up happening is the jump from, hey our employees are US-based because we’re a US company but they’re remote and they can be in San Francisco or New York or Austin or Chicago. When you accept that as a reality it becomes a lot easier for you to accept the reality of well why should we stop at New York? Why don’t we go to Spain, or Eastern Europe or you know, Georgia, or, you know, you start to expand this. And so I think what’s going to happen is a lot more companies are going to be hiring not just the best talent from their nationality but will really begin to hire the best talent from wherever they are.
– Totally. So for you, your parents, they moved from Bulgaria to the States and you’re going to move back from the States to Bulgaria. You can make more money from Bulgaria I guess, you’re going to make the same amount of money but living is less expensive. Right? Is that the?
– Yeah. So that’s been the interesting thing, you know we’ve been joking about with my parents is that like we moved to the US for… We had, you know, a decent, good life in Bulgaria. And we moved to the United States to give you a better opportunity. And now you’ve just moved back to Bulgaria anyways, and we’re in the US you know, so…
– They’re gonna start following you around I think.
– That’s right. Well, I mean, my dad, you know, it’s been interesting to see my dad see what I do, and then realize that he can do his job. He’s a personal trainer. And he works with a lot of high-end professionals to help them maximize their health so that they do better work whatever it is. And so one of the things that he realized is like, I don’t, why, why am I going to these people’s houses and working with them? Why don’t I just work with them over Zoom? And so I’ve started calling him digital nomad dad because they just came to visit us this past weekend. And I pick him up at the airport and I bring him to our place here in Mexico. And he walks in and he’s like, what’s the wifi? I have a client for 30 minutes. And I was like, what did I do to you? You know, I, I totally broke, you, you know?
– That’s awesome. He’s like, he’s ahead of the curve then. You got him all set up. It’s nice. Cause it’s, it’s been a tough time for a lot of the people in that industry. But I think that people that have adapted faster to the online environment, I think across all industries have really benefited during this downturn. So I think, yeah, just getting on the bandwagon committing to being remote, learning all the technologies you’re figuring out how you can monetize your business outside of a more physical location is definitely the way of the future. So, and that’s, that’s your expertise really is you’re helping companies you’re helping individuals bridge that gap which I think is super important. And especially given your background where you have you know, you’re from Bulgaria, you’ve been in the United States you offer, you know, you’ve done a lot of traveling. You can offer a really nice global perspective. What are the biggest issues you see with your clients when they’re trying to make this transition or with businesses? What, what are the big issues and what seems to work really, really well for them?
– I think the biggest issue, like you said, is that I work with a lot of professionals. So it’s a lot of people who are, you know, they’ve been working in their career for a few years. They know what they’re doing. They just need to figure out how to transition back to working for themselves. And I think the biggest issue is it sounds kind of like a very first-world probs kind of scenario but it’s almost like they have too much information. You know, it’s not so much that, like, they’re just a lot of them aren’t taking action. A lot of them are just reading or watching or taking courses or whatever it is. And you almost fall into this pattern of always thinking you need to know more. And so for me, what I’ve realized my job is a lot more isn’t so much to tell you like to come up with new information to tell you it’s to put the blinders on for people and to say, stop looking at all these things let’s get down to the basics and what I call the first domino principles, right? Like what is the first domino that we need to knock down that’s going to knock down all the rest? And if we can figure out those, you know, two or three wins for you and actually get to action and making those things happen the rest of the things kind of tend to solve themselves. And so for me, I think, and probably a lot of people listening, stop reading the 100th blog posts on how to do the same thing and just start doing it, you know stop trying to figure out what the perfect business plan is or the perfect business is and just start doing it because a lot of times the right answers will reveal themselves when you go through the wrong ones. Right? So I had to go through a whole bunch of wrong business models to learn the things that got me to the right ones. Right? But I would, if I just stood around and kind of thought about these things and never did anything, I wouldn’t be where I am now. And so I just think it’s about action. Get started. You know, get started before you’re ready. You know, it’s one of those things that I heard in the startup world was if your first product if you’re not, what is it if you’re not embarrassed of your first product you launched too late? So I think, I think just action. Just get to work. And the answers will rebuild themselves.
– Yeah. I totally agree with that. I feel like, you know, a lot of people overthink it or they’re, they’re over analyzing the situation or they’re scared to get started. And there’s a lot of fear and doubt in the process but I think the best way to overcome that it’s kind of like, you know if you’re going to go out and hit a golf ball you can only read about hitting a golf ball so many times I’ve got Randy Malinoff here. He’s one of my old buddies from LA. He used to work at NBC entertainment and he’s a really great golfer. It’s like, that’s why I brought it up, but hey what’s up Randy? And Naomi just joined us as well. So we’ve got a few people joining the show here just as like a quick reset we’ve got Mitko Karshovski, am I pronouncing that right Mitko?
– You got it. Yep.
– All right. Mitko Karshovski from ThatRemoteLife.com is with us. He’s helping to coach corporate employees how to actually work for themselves, go remote. And he runs an awesome podcast and YouTube channels and gets a chance to listen in to his, some of this stuff. It’s really, really interesting all about the remote lifestyle. And he’s got some great people that he’s been interviewing. So we’re super psyched to have you on the show here today, which is really, really great. So yeah, just kinda curious like this next journey for you, like what’s next? Where are you going next? You’re in the States at the moment. Do you have any travel plans? I, I know like, with Bansko, maybe I’m pronouncing it wrong. It’s a real hotspot in Bulgaria. Maybe you just tell us a bit about it, about Bansko, ’cause I feel like you probably know quite a bit about it. It’s a, it’s a great nomad village, right? And some skiing and other things going on there but then maybe tell us a bit about some of these cool places in Bulgaria that you’ve been to because I think people are looking for great places to go visit.
– Yeah. So I’m in Mexico at the moment. I’m not in, I’m not in the US but I am going to be heading back to the US soon because I found out, I’m from Ohio and Ohio just announced that they are starting to offer the COVID vaccine to people 16 and older. So I’m hoping to get back to the US the next month and a half or so. And then from there, once I have the vaccine I do plan on actually going back to Bulgaria. So yeah, I mean, I think Bansko is how you pronounce it and it’s it, Dave, I mean, Mathias and Uwe are the co-founders of the coworking space there. And they’ve done an incredible job. I mean, hats off to them with the work that they’ve done not just in creating a good coworking space but in like literally building a community and rebranding Bansko from a, you know, decently good ski and snowboarding place in Europe to like a digital nomad hotspot, right? So they’ve done an incredible job with that. They have a really good community there. They have a whole bunch of people that are actually buying up property there. So I don’t know if you’ve heard about it but there’s a lot of people that go there because the property prices are so low. Bansko kind of did a little bit of overbuilding in ’07 to ’08 because they expected there to be a huge rush of tourism from Western Europe. And then when ’08 happened and there was the financial crisis all the things they were preparing for never really happened. So now what you have at Bansko is a lot of supply of apartments and not as much of a demand. So you can find some really great property prices over there and actually… Uwe and Matthias do help people find that in Bansko. But outside of Bansko, I think Bulgaria in general is an incredible place for digital nomads. I mean, and especially if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re looking to bring people onto your team Eastern Europe is like, I mean it’s unbelievable to say that it’s a hidden gem that not a lot of people know about, but it still is because the level of education is really high. The level of technical ability is very high. So you’re getting a lot of people coming from a mathematics and IT background. So if you’re looking for anything like that, Eastern Europe not just Bulgaria, but like Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, they have a really great talent pool for that kind of work. And so in terms of spots, I mean you mentioned Bansko is a good one. Sofia, the capital, has a great startup scene with really good co-working spaces there. It’s a great city. Where I’m from in Bulgaria, I actually started a little bit of a digital nomad group and community there. The city is called Varna, and I’ve had people, it’s on the beach. And when I tell people it’s a beach town in Bulgaria for whatever reason people kind of imagine like Chernobyl, but on the sea. And that’s not at all what it looks like. I had my friend, Chris, if anybody has ever heard of Chris The Freelancer, he has a really great YouTube channel. And he came over to visit me in Bulgaria. And he came up to the beach and he’s like, this is not what I thought Bulgarian beaches were going to look like. And he was like, this looks like, on par with some beaches in Thailand. So it’s a really great place, I believe in Varna if you want to spend your summers in Europe but you don’t want to pay the prices, you know, in Western Europe, come to Eastern Europe, come to a place like Varna we have great coworking spaces, really, really really fast internet, almost everywhere. And you get to go work and then eat really good food. And then at the end of the day, go sit by the beach and, you know, wind surf, sail, dive, you know do whatever you want to do. So I think Bulgaria in general is a really great place for digital nomads. And the cost of living is just fantastic. So you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. So that’s kind of quickly going through I’d say the three places to look at. If you’re thinking about going to Bulgaria. It would be Sofia, Bansko, Varna… And then another one that people talk about is Plovdiv. But yeah, I’d say those are like the three or four places to look at.
– Cool. That’s great advice, man. Definitely. I want to do some more exploring in that part of the world. ‘Cause I haven’t been there yet. It’s definitely on the list. So, and I like snowboarding so I want to go check out the mountain. I hear it’s not a huge mountain, but it’s still pretty nice.
– It’s I mean, I, I think it’s like, it’s well-known in Europe for snowing and ski-boarding. I’m more of a summer bird. So I don’t really know what quality mountains look like but I’ve heard from people who are experienced that it’s pretty good. It’s decent for, you know, snowboarding and skiing and whatnot.
– Cool. All right. So we’ve, we’ve covered this, this podcast which is an awesome podcast and really encourage everyone to check it out. You know, ThatRemoteLife.com, you can navigate to the podcast from there, but now you’ve got a new business. So I wanted to hit on that for a bit here too without going too long in this interview. But yeah you’ve launched a new business called Six Figure Nomad if I’m correct. And it’s a community and coaching business is understanding?
– So it’s a community based on top of case studies of real online businesses. And yeah. Do you want me to tell, do you want me to tell you more?
– Yeah. Yeah I wanna know. I want to know all the details about it ’cause yeah I’m super interested. I think you’ve just launched this within the last several months, three to six months or so, or?
– Yeah, so it’s really only been live for three weeks. We opened it up for two weeks for people to enter and then we closed it to kind of figure out the inner workings of it before we relaunch it again. But the reason why I started it is I’m really big on leverage points. And like I mentioned, like first domino principles like what are the three things that if I figure out I’m going to figure out like kind of I’m going to have a really good base to go from in life. Right? And so for me those three things are earning a six figure income because research shows, you know everybody says the money doesn’t buy happiness but actually research, research shows that actually, it kind of does to a point, right? So Purdue University did this really great study where they went out and they analyzed earnings and then how happy people rated being on different salary levels. And what they found is that people reported being happiest between $75,000 and $95,000 per year, before that it was lower after that it got lower. And if we can go into detail about why that is but what that essentially tells us is that there is a… A place, an earning point where people report being happy; they don’t have to worry about income. Some are paying… Or paying the bills and all these sorts of things. And that’s where people report being the happiest. So that’s $100,000 a year. Number two is running your own business because it just affords you so much growth potential and kind of gives you a lot more control over your life. I won’t go super into detail. I’m assuming everybody listening gets the business thing. And then the third thing is being location dependent because what’s the point in, you know, having money and running a business if you don’t get to spend your time where and who you want to be with? So even if you’re not into travel one of the big things that I talk about is telling people is like being location independent doesn’t just mean going to Bali and Thailand and whatnot. It means being able to spend time with your family if you need to. Right? Like my wife realized that she hadn’t spent, she hadn’t spent her dad’s birthday with him for six years because she was required to be somewhere for work. And we’re like, okay, we’re location independent. That’s a priority. Let’s go spend, you know, two weeks in Detroit so that we can spend your dad’s birthday with him. Right? So that’s why these three things are really important. And what we do inside of Six Figure Nomad is try to help everyone in there get to that. Right? And we do that through case studies. Like I said, a lot of people there’s a lot of information out there on business. There’s so many courses, so many books, all of these things but how do you actually take that knowledge from this course and those books and apply it to real life scenarios? And so I interview a lot of entrepreneurs who’ve achieved six figures and I help break down everything they’ve done into case studies that you can then look at and understand. All right. So it’s interesting that year three to year four there was a big spike and that big spike in revenue happened because they employed this. Right? So that’s, those are the sort of things that we work on along with… There’s a lot of other resources in there. Like I’m starting to build up a list of fixers so that if you want to establish a bank or a business in different countries, you have the resources and the people you need to know to do that.
– Hmm. That’s great. Yeah. So I think, yeah, for, for me, yeah I can totally get it. I think, you know, for me, it’s definitely like the sweet spot, I think in terms of the income. ‘Cause I think at some point if you grow these businesses too much or you become too successful, I say it doesn’t get easier. It gets harder. It’s kind of like it’s kinda like being a professional athlete. You go through the junior leagues you get through college, you know, it’s like by the time you get to the pros, they’re all very good. So it’s usually what happens in business by the time you get to that level you’re up against the… Some serious challenges. I mean, sometimes it can be easy but generally there’s all sorts of issues. The more…
– Right, I mean-
– The more you have to manage.
– And everyone knows a story about some guy who’s a multimillionaire who just hates his life or her life. Right? So it’s not a, and I think that that can happen just from my belief that anyone can earn six figures. Not everyone can or should earn millions of dollars a year. Right? Like that’s where I think there’s a bit of a divide in terms of what sort of opportunities do you have? What sort of skills do you have? But I think everyone can earn a six figure income because like math just works out. You know what I mean? Like the math just makes sense that we should all be able to do that. And people report being the happiest man, like it’s, it’s I, I have a science background, like we mentioned, I spent a lot of time in biotech and micro bio and like research, you know kind of makes sense when they show it to you. So.
– Yeah, definitely because I, I went to grad school and like most of these business grad schools they all use the case study approach which I think is a great way to learn because you’re basically just tortured with these case studies where you read about all these different business scenarios and then you have to give your recommendation. Then they tell you what actually happened. So you kind of, it gives you, you know ’cause ultimately you’re always faced with some issue you know, which way to go do you go left or right? Or straight or… Or turn around?
– And how do you deal with a situation? And that’s, you know, that’s basically business. Some, a lot of small decisions. And then every once in a while you get one of these big fork in the road decisions and you look at, you know some companies don’t make the right decisions. Like you look at like a Wachovia, or something, an amazing bank that made a couple of bad decisions and all of a sudden they’re out of business you know, or Solomon Brothers, these huge companies, so it’s like, these case studies help you because you understand when companies have made bad decisions what their decisions were. The companies that made good decisions, what they did that actually helped them develop their business more. So I think that’s a really smart approach. Maybe download some of these Harvard Business School case studies ’cause there’s a bunch of that stuff there.
– And so, I mean, that’s why I built it, because like my honest belief is that the best way to learn how to build a business is to just build a business and kind of figure it out and learn it. But like you mentioned, in my opinion the second best way is to get to look under the hood of businesses and try to understand the decisions that they made when those forks in the road came up. Right? And so with these case studies what I do is I try to showcase those forks in the roads, why they made the decisions they made and what sort of results they have. And like, the way that I look at is almost like working out, right? It’s almost like lifting the weight and building up the muscle so that when it comes time for you to make similar decisions in your own business you can say like, okay, I have three or four examples of this and they went in this way or that way. So I have a little bit of background information on how to then decide for myself. And that’s exactly what we do. Like you mentioned, you read the case study and then we all get on a call. And the entrepreneur that we interview presents a current challenge and what everybody on the call gets to do is actually present their solution to that challenge. So it allows you to kind of flex that muscle and, and teach that problem solving skill. So that’s why I put it together, essentially, trying to replicate those MBA programs and, you know, Harvard Business School programs that you mentioned.
– Nice. Yeah. There’s a group called EO. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it, but Entrepreneurs Organization, and it’s similar, ’cause they bring together, I think a group of like eight or 10 entrepreneurs, you’re in a group together and they usually have someone who’s in marketing engineering and all these different types of entrepreneurs, but it’s just this kind of ongoing, you know you help each other with these issues each person’s facing. And I think the idea is that you don’t necessarily tell the person what to do but how you’ve handled it or you would have handled the situation yourself is kind of like the angle. I didn’t get involved because it was a little bit too… Like for me, they wanted me to go camping with them the first weekend I think I had just gotten married and I was, I was more interested in going out to nightclubs than I was going into the woods with some older entrepreneurs and sharing… Toilet paper in the woods. So that was like… Dropped out pretty quickly. But I’ve got a lot of friends that are in an entrepreneurial organization and it’s super helpful because you’re basically like a student of business. And I think it’s important to continually kind of sharpen your skills, but let’s see here this has been a really great interview. Mitko I think you have, you’ve got a really nice story. This, this business, Six Figure Nomad. So I think if there’s some people out there that are interested, definitely connect with Mitko. If you’re on the verge, maybe you’re in the five figures looking to get into the six figures, or you’re in the six figures and just looking to kind of level up your skillset a bit, Mitko is a great guy to connect with. Also just listening in on his podcast, his YouTube channel, really really good stuff, really great interviews. You’re gonna hear about, you know, some really interesting entrepreneurs in addition to Mitko’s angle on all of this, but I guess before we go I just wanted to see if you had any parting words for the community or anything you wanted to share with the group here in terms of your experiences or any suggestions you’d have for everyone who’s out there that are thinking about this, to start this lifestyle, maybe they’re working in a corporation and they’re just sick and tired of it and they want to get out on their own or they’re tied to their home office and they want to get out and travel the world. Maybe give our group a little bit of inspiration here. I think you’ve got a great story.
– I mean… I would say this is the best time to start doing this. I mean, I’m telling a lot of my friends that you really need to start thinking about what work is going to look like in the future. And you know, like Wayne Gretzky says like, said is like, be where the puck is going. Right? So I would say start now, like I believe if you are somebody who is currently in a corporate job working for someone begin to think about if work begins to transition in a way in which you’re going to be working for your, for yourself, there’s going to be like less of these giant corporations and stuff like that and more people working for themselves in some sort of manner start figuring those things out now. Join those, you know, freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr. I just had a girl on my podcast. Her name’s Alex, she made a million dollars on Fiverr which is nuts, but like, you know, there’s money out there. You know, so many people are struggling right now. They’re losing their jobs they’re going through all, through unemployment. And then there’s an entire other side of the population that is like, I’ve never made more money because there’s so many people are coming online and they need help and whatnot. And so I would just say, it’s like, get on those platforms and start learning this world because this is the future. And you want to be ahead of the curve, not behind the curve.
– Definitely man. I just made a little investment a while back in Fiverr. That’s been a good one, hopefully it holds out.
– You invested in the company?
– Yeah, yeah.
– I think they have an interest now with Fiverr Pro. This is what this girl was saying on the podcast, it’s coming out next week for anybody that wants to listen. But she really talked about the fact that, you know she wasn’t making as much money when there was just Fiverr, and it was $5 gigs, but a lot of these companies are now introducing premium versions of their lower level and that’s where you kind of need to be approved to get on. And so she literally said when she went from the lower to the premium overnight, she doubled her income. So… And he really talks about this a lot. I really think this is the future of work is like these sort of premium freelancing where you can go and work with big companies and get paid a lot of money. So I think, yeah, just like I said, get ahead of the curve. Not behind the curve.
– Yeah. It makes total sense. Yeah. I totally believe that where you know, everyone being employed by a company forever, that’s kind of a thing of the past. Maybe not for everyone. I definitely think moving over to these platforms getting paid for the work that you do gives you a lot more flexibility. And you’re also your own boss at that point too. You’re more just responding to the technology and the tasks that technology’s delivering to you complete it and get paid for it. It’s pretty straightforward, but it’s all kind of in the early, early stages. So, well Mitko, this has been awesome catching up with you. The sun’s going down here. So my light’s kind of like… Fading a bit. I was going to share the sunset with you, but I think it just went down.
– I don’t have a sunset. I have a city view behind me here. So I’ll show that.
– Are you in Mexico city? Is that?
– I’m in Mérida. I’m in Mérida. Yeah. So it’s the capital of Yucatán.
– Okay. Not sure. I’ll have to look it up on Google Maps or something. I’ll Zoom in on… Try and find you there. But hey, listen, Mitko, I really enjoyed it’s great to have met you and engage with you. Thanks so much for interviewing me on your podcast and for your involvement with our Clubhouse sessions every Friday. We wish you the most success with your businesses with the podcast, with the YouTube channel and now with the Six Figure Nomad business I’m sure this is just the start for you. You’re a young guy with tons of ideas and a lot of energy. So, I think you’re going to be super successful. So if there’s ever anything we can do for you here at NomadX, you know, we’re, we’re happy to help in any way and just say, yeah, you’re off to the races, man. This is just coming off this pandemic. It’s going to be huge, man. And you’ve positioned yourself very well. So it’s exciting.
– Well and, thank you for having me on here and thanks for coming on the podcast and having me on the Clubhouse; that has been a ton of fun. And I just want to, you know the community that you’ve built on here is incredible. And the work that you’re doing through NomadX is like, I mean I told you when you had on your, when you were on my podcast, I’m not just yanking your chain. Like I love what NomadX is doing. And I mean, I’m just super excited to be a part of it in any way I can. So thank you so much for everything that you do for the community.
– Yeah. Thanks so much, Mitko. Great to connect with you and let’s stay in touch here. I’ll probably be chatting with you on Friday and in the meantime, have an awesome time down there in Mexico. Enjoy yourself. Don’t eat too many tacos or drink too much Mezcal.
– I can’t promise anything. Mezcal and tacos, man. That’s my, that’s my thing right now.
– All right. I love the Mezcal so that’s… So that’s good. All right, man. Well, have a good rest of your day there and we will catch up soon. Cheers man.
– See ya, see ya guys.
NomadX is a European accommodation marketplace for remote work travelers and digital nomads with over 11k listings across 18 countries with stays for 2 weeks to 12 months and average stays of 3 months. The business was started to meet the needs of the rapidly growing global community of location-independent remote workers, or “Digital Nomads”.
As Digital Nomads ourselves, we know what the market is looking for: trusted, affordable accommodations in highly-attractive locations worldwide at 50% less than AirBNB. We also run the popular NomadX Private Travel Community where we share hacks, tips & special offers to our community members which can be found @ https://m.facebook.com/groups/nomadx/
Please join our community of Digital Nomads and remote workers from around the world:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Williams is the CEO and Co-founder of NOMADX with his base in Lisbon, Portugal. Dave is a US pioneer in the digital marketing, advertising, and ad tech industries as a serial digital entrepreneur over the past 20+ years with multiple exits in the early formative stages of the search engine marketing, social media, and ad tech industries.