Yes that’s right. Traveling, coding, and eating a Tarantula spider in Cambodia. Today we have a special guest Nigel Fish, a Vancouver digital nomad in Asia on “ghunglive”. I met Nigel in Taipei thanks to the introduction from my Taiwanese friend Serena in 2014. I credit Nigel with taking me deeper in the world of the Digital nomad and making me realize that I myself have become a digital nomad. Nigel is the first digital nomad that I’ve met in Asia actually from the same hometown. While I prefer to use Taiwan as a base and take less frequent trips to nearby countries in Asia, Nigel is more “nomadic” as he travels more frequently than I do. The truth is I would love to more freedom to travel like Nigel.
Why should you watch this video?
Catch a glimpse of Nigel eating a Tarantula in Cambodia
Learn more about the life of a Canadian web developer who makes a living traveling and working from different countries
Get useful insight as a digital nomad in countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and Taiwan
Learn about the type of digital nomads Nigel has met in Bangkok meetups
Hear about Time Zone Freedom – The idea of not being chained to a 9am – 5pm schedule. Nigel is able to do sightseeing in the day and do some work at night
Digital nomad essentials and useful resources
How regular working people can get started into the Digital Nomad lifestyle
Talk about visa allowances for Canadians in Asian countries
Payment systems that are used to get paid over the Internet
Way to meet people on our journey’s using Meetups and tinder
The idea of becoming a Digital indefinitely
I think it’s great to meet people like Nigel that are not just talking about being a digital nomad, but that are actually living the lifestyle. He is so optimistic about giving it a try that it actually inspires me to push on. Nigel touched on the lifestyle stuff like green space and going for a run in Cambodia. I think its important for Digital Nomads to take into account the lifestyle that a city offers other than just cafe’s, low cost of living, and the Wifi availability. In Taipei I can go to the local sports center gym for 50nt for ($1.98 cdn, $1.59 US) for an hour or run at an Olympic style track for free. You can take out a U-bike rental with the Easycard to the riverside for an hour or two for less than $1 US without any sign-up or insurances hassles. What is the transportation and convenience like? Do you need to take a taxi to get to space that you can run? Do you need a car? In Taipei I can take the MRT just outside my apartment for 1 station and be at the track in 7 minutes. Everyone has a different lifestyle. Perhaps you like having a larger house in the suburbs with a car and commuting to work and back for an hour each day is your lifestyle.
Getting paid over the Internet as a digital nomad in a foreign countries has some issues. For me receiving money through paypal means I get his with a fee from my domestic bank and the local bank here costing me about $25 US for each withdrawal. I also loose some money in the conversion process. I’m not sure what the best solution is yet.
Lastly the idea of being able to get a business visa in Cambodia and being a digital nomad indefinitely was very interesting. Not having to worry about visa issues really does open up new possibilities to setup shop in Asia.
Digital nomads any thoughts or comments on this episode?
This was my first Skype video interview that I setup from Taipei while Nigel was in Cambodia. I hope you enjoyed this format, and if you enjoyed it please sign up for the newsletter and comment below!
I’ve heard about the value of creating a vision recently from Arnold Schwarzenegger on the Tim Ferris podcast. I thought I would give it a shot and try to have some fun with it. At the beginning of most years I have written something in my journal or evernote, but rarely look at it again. I thought I would put into blog format to share with the world to see if it works out differently this year.
Link to the podcast with Arnold Schwarzenegger & Tim Ferris
Jan – Mar 2015 Scale business for Stock Footage & On-line Teaching $3000US
I plan to work my butt off to continue to build on my Internet foundation putting my time into the Internet activities that are generating revenue: Stock footage and on-line teaching.
I plan to scale the stock footage business by optimizing skills and leveraging my existing collection on more stock footage agencies like Pixta, Dissolve, 123Rf, Videoblocks and Stockgiant. I would like to find the 3rd and 4th stream that pays consistently to compliment Shutterstock and Pond5.
I would like to continue to build the video library. The Pingxi Taiwan festival and Tokyo are 2 major opportunities to introduce fresh footage. I would like to continue teaching courses on-line through the Internet with subjects that I’m familiar with. A new course “How to build a successful IT career” was just launched at the time of writing. There are 2 Mandarin based courses in the pipeline that I plan to get ready to launch. I would also like to look at minor optimizations and new content to existing course to bring more value and hopefully. I plan to introduce possible 1-2 more courses before the end of the quarter. One course I really want to introduce is a quality course on teaching people how to fly drones for aerial video and photography.
I also want to begin doing paid talks around Asia teaching people to inspire them to begin their businesses by teaching them how I do my stories. I would also like to connect with more like-minded entrepreneurs. Although passive income is volatile I would like to reach at least $3000 US in passive income a month by the end of Q1 and keep that as a minimum average going forward.
Audience building, Gear upgrades and outsourcing April – June 2015 $5000 US
I would like to continue to build an audience on both Chicvoyageproductions.com by introducing helpful how-to content on producing videos. I would like to carve a niche for producing courses and aerial videos. On the digital nomad blog I would like to share great content on the Travel lifestyle, passive income, and Entrepreneur interviews. I’ve learned how to set-up products and services that I sell over the Internet. I would like to try build some direct sales through my website. I would also like to work regularly out of creative environment like a co-working space as a space to do day to day work, video recordings, and paid talks.
This is the time for much needed upgrades. I plan to upgrade my drone and camera gear to make the move up to 4k. I may experiment with different camera lenses to get unique looks. I want to upgrade the hard-drive to back-up the library in the cloud.
Trip to Philippines & outsourcing
I would like to take a trip to the Philippine’s for a beach vacation and relaxation and of course a video shoot. I enjoy shooting the videos, but I would to see if I could find some talent while in the Philippine’s to begin building a virtual team to outsource the stock footage process freeing me to travel in Asia more. I may follow up that trip with a filming food trip to Vietnam.
I return to Taiwan to continue to practice my Chinese. I release 3 new courses on making money with video, Gopro 4, and an updated Drone course and plan the next trip to Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. Using the help with outsourcing I’m able to quickly scale the collection to 6000 video clips and become one of the leaders of Asian footage for 4k and aerial footage. By the end of June I plan to average $5000 US a month.
Plan for q2
Team building, South Korea, Drone Academy, and visit home
July – Sep 31 $10,000 US
I launch the Drone Academy and my own podcast to teach people how to fly drones and build their business. I build my team to include travel assistants from Taiwan to help me with filming and possible teach me Chinese on trips. The next trip is to Shenzhen in China to see what the roadmap is for their products and see if there are any partnership opportunities.
The next trip is South Korea for a filming trip to Seoul and do some paid talks. Next stop is a relaxing stay in Okinawa at the Club Med resort. Kobe is nearby so I take the opportunity to sample the beef and find our more about UCC coffee.
The collection is now up to 10,000 and I am selling stock footage directly to agencies. I take a trip back home to Vancouver for the summer for a couple of weeks. I also do paid talks their sharing the experiences of building a business on-line. I go on a wine trip to Kelowna to film the wineries and enjoy the wine. The monthly income is up to $10,000 US at this time.
India trip, Maldives and more paid talks
Oct – Dec 31 $15,000 US
I take a trip to India to film the footage and enjoy the food. I also schedule paid talks to share what I’ve learned over the year. I end the year by celebrating at the Maldive Islands. Stock footage is now up to $15,000 a month.
Okay well there is the 2015 vision. It may not look like it, but it took a long time to put this together on the blog. Let’s see how this year plays out. Have you created a vision and has it helped your business?
Resources and links from this post
I earn a affiliate income for clicking on some of the links. No cost to you but it helps me out. Thanks!
Once you’re ready to start making some passive income with your videos Pond5 is a great start. Their site was easy to use, upload, and their review turn around is pretty fast. I’ve got my largest collection of videos here and I get paid from this site. I’ve created an on-line video course on “Making Money with Travel videos” if you want the complete process on getting started. The link I’ve provided is an Affliate link so you help me out by clicking the link.
Shutterstock was the second site I started using to sell my travel videos. Once you’ve started to share your video collection on-line it doesn’t take much more time and effort to start selling on another site. Because I choose a non-exclusive model I can sell on this site too. Shutterstock is a public company and has a high Internet ranking so I get paid out from this site. The site is easy to use once you figure out the system and they have a great blog for contributors. The link I’ve provided is a referral link, so if you click on it it helps me out a bit. Thank you in advance.
Skillfeed is owned by Shutterstock so you know that it is backed by a large public traded company based in New York. Skilfeed is one of the platforms I use to upload my video courses. They take care of the marketing and how it works is that after you film and upload your course it accumulates viewer minutes over the month. You will then get paid the following month on the 15th.
Udemy is the the other on-line platform I used to upload and sell my courses. They are more established than Skilfeed and generally pay out more. However, because there is a non-exclusive model you can upload the same course to both platforms extending your earnings per course.
Stitcher is an awesome app and website that is the 2015 version of the radio. I use it to tune into business entrepreneurs and MMA shows. You can download the shows to your phone so you don’t have to stream for later. I find myself using it more often than itunes now.
How I built an Internet business without a large audience
I studied Chinese until the end of February and then took time to work on my business. I started teaching English in Taiwan during this period to give me more time to figure it out. During this time I discovered Internet Entrepreneurs like Pat Flynn that were providing the motivation and advice that I was looking for as an Internet Entrepreneur. For me this was a huge to realize there were like-minded people that were sharing great advice that I can relate to. The problem was that they encouraged the growth of an email list or an audience. I only began to set up my site to do this last month. I took stock of my audience across platforms.
General Vancouver mail list ~ 1000
Chicvoyage travel Email list: < 50
ghung twitter 110 followers
chicvoyage twitter 67
chicvoyage youtube 136 subscribers
chicvoyage fbook 261 likes
google plus chic 11
pininterest 19 followers
I know these are low numbers, but I still managed to build an Internet business . How did I do it? I used platforms and marketplaces with a built-in audience. Pond 5 is a market place where contributors can license their video clips off the Internet. Graphic design firms or media agencies can come here to purchase video clips for their video projects. Teaching platforms like Udemy are a place for students to come to learn from independent teachers that are teaching anything from IT certifications to yoga. How did I fare on these platforms and marketplaces. Well read on…
One of many video clips I have licensed over the Internet. This one was shot at the Kruger National Park in South Africa
In July 2014 I began to have some success licensing my videos over the Internet. The industry term for this is called Stock Footage. With Stock Footage I consistently reached $500 US (622 CDN) a month. In July I also discovered teaching courses on-line in September and that also become a regular income stream contributing about $100 US (124 CDN) monthly. In Canada this may not seem like that much, but in Taiwan living costs are cheaper, and because of better public transport there is no need for a car. It was motivating to begin to earn my income off the Internet passively and I began to think there may more a lot more potential here.
In September I had 2 video courses, and released a 3rd in October. In December I released a 4th course before going to Vancouver. Writing on Amazon kindle books also became a new revenue stream as well as a outlet to write about my personal travel journey’s. I released 4 books on New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa with the Taiwan Working Holiday in the works.
At the end of the year I spent time to film new footage in Vancouver and make upgrades to my websites with a goal of building an audience. The Chicvoyage Travel will focus on Internet entrepreneurship, travel and the Digital Nomad lifestyle in Asia from a North American perspective. Chicvoyage Productions will focus on showcasing my video portfolio, how-to tutorials, and to showcase the stock footage collection. I also did my first paid talk in Vancouver as well as some Entrepreneur interviews and realized I really enjoy doing this and would like to do more of it.
These years of being an Entrepreneur has been a humbling journey. I lived a good life by Vancouver standards. I had a good job, downtown apartment, and a nice car. I now live a more simpler life, but still good lifestyle in Taiwan. After returning to Vancouver it was great to see my family and old friends after my longest time away from home. However I felt I must return to Taiwan and Asia to accomplish my goals. I want to learn Mandarin Chinese and build my Internet business.
Going into 2015 the plan is to scale what I’ve done on a larger scale. I realized that I scrambled and hustled to get things done at the expense of quality. I would like to put more time into fewer things in 2015 and focus on providing better quality products. Here is a snapshot of my passive Internet Income.
Lessons learned in 2014
I should start focusing on building my own audience on my blogs
Although my Chinese is not fluent conversational yet, I made a large improvement in my Mandarin Chinese in terms of speaking, reading, and typing
I reached a new level of confidence and independence from being able to build a new life in a new Chinese speaking country on my own
I discovered people I can learn from on the Internet through useful blogs and podcasts from other Entrepreneurs
I made an Internet business in 2014 without a large audience that has room to grow!
Because Internet business allows you to reach overseas customers from a lower cost country this could allow me to combine with the best of both worlds. Earning American money from a low cost environment.
Resources mentioned in this article
(some of these are referral links where I may make an affiliate fee for clicking on them. Thanks)
Meditate for business success like Russell Simmons in Taiwan
Do you meditate or have you thought about meditating for business or personal reasons? Is it all wishy washy, foo foo, or fluffy stuff. In this article I’m going to explore how to meditate for business success like Russell Simmons. I’m going to share the experience of my full-day meditation and what tell you what I think meditation can do for you as a digital nomad and entrepreneur.
I’m a strong believer in a balanced life as an entrepreneur. Although my friends may think I enjoy going out socializing for drinks, which I do. I also try to strive for balance in terms of health and spirituality. I believe as an entrepreneur it is important to have a balanced and healthy life, and to try to evolve as a person.
Recently my friend Serena convinced me to attend a one-day meditation retreat in Taipei. She observed that I had too many things on the go (which I do), and I was making poor decisions and mistakes. I think in today’s world with smart-phones, email, instant messaging, multi-tasking, multi-tabs, and multi-social media platforms I think this is normal life. I think we are surrounded by distractions that sadly I surround myself with. Being an entrepreneur that spends a lot of time checking my phone with multiple Firefox sessions with over numerous tabs open I felt that I could use a digital detox and give my mind a vacation.
I’ve flirted with meditation during my days working out in the Steve Nash gym in Vancouver. They had a meditation class that I would attend and even the Yoga classes would dedicate some time to meditation. I enjoyed these classes, but these were shorter sessions. Serena introduced me to the Dharma Drum Mountain group in Taipei. They offered free half-day meditation sessions, which I tried once. It was a good experience, but I found myself falling asleep a lot and didn’t get much out of it.
I decided to skip a Friday night out drinking and get some decent sleep. This retreat was scheduled for 9am on a Saturday in the North of Taipei near Qiyan MRT。A group of 24 of us were led to a large modern temple. As I looked at the schedule I was expecting a 3-hour commitment, but saw this was going to a 9am – 5pm affair. “I don’t do this this often, but I should. I’m here so I might as well make the most of it.” I thought. Besides they offered a free vegetarian lunch.
We went to the grand hall. A large impressive space and what appeared to be a large Buddhist statue with 24 meditation mats facing it. The décor was impressive on each side of the statue. I think there about 2000 mini illuminated Buddhist statues. The meditation mat had a firm round cushion and we were given a towel. We were forbidden to use cell-phones, talk, or wear shoes inside. It was quite a structured day. For example, right side for men and left side for women.
The master was dressed like a monk and she gently spoke on the microphone to instruct us in English. We started the first meditation session. I crossed my legs, closed my eyes, with hands facing upwards resting on my knees. I was ready to reach my blissful state. There was no “ohming” or yoga music. Just silence. At first I was worried I was going to get bored just sitting there for 8 hours. Being in this space with these 23 other people put me in the right mindset to take this seriously. The master told us to get comfortable “not to get attached to the wandering thoughts” to “put them down”. We were here to let go of the garbage in our minds. Sounded purifying to me. It was very quiet and still except for the occasional scooter sounds outside. As I closed my eyes my mind started to wander from thing to thing. Constantly I would just try to blank out my mind. Think nothing. Simple. “Be still” I told myself. I think the session was about an hour. Surprisingly the time passed very fast. I actually got 6 hours of sleep the night before unlike the others so I would only sleep for short periods during the hour meditation.
We had 3 of these sessions throughout the day. The interesting thing was that various thoughts would pop in my mind during the day. Some of them were creative ones or solutions to problems that I had. I didn’t want to loose them. Since the goal was to put the thoughts down I would imagine I had a mental version of Evernote and park these ideas in my mind for later. We ended each session with light self-massage and stretching.
I’ll share one example of a creative idea or solution that I put into action.
Connect laptop to my 32-inch LCD TV.
I have been working from my apartment a lot lately. Since I work on a 15-inch laptop screen I’ve been interested in saving up to purchase a larger LCD screen. Having already window-shopped for monitors I know they start out at 5000nt or $157 US. I just don’t think it’s a priority at this point so I didn’t do it yet. Besides if I were to travel more buying more this wouldn’t be able to go with me. During the meditation I envisioned my work desk with the laptop connected to my 30 inch LCD TV screen. Brilliant I thought. This would be making good use of the resources I already had. When I got home I relocated my work desk in front of the TV and moved the coffee table. My gosh! the desk was the perfect height to use the TV as my external monitor for my laptop. This is going to make reading and working on the laptop so much enjoyable for my eyes. I had a couple of other ideas throughout the day that I’m looking forward to putting into action. It was an AHA moment to get a creative idea from meditation, do it and have it work out!
I thought this excerpt from Successful Hip Hop Entrepreneur Russell Simmons Entrepreneur.com’s article was spot on.
When you sit quietly and let your mind settle, all the innovative, inventive and inspired ideas that have been hiding out in the depths of your mind are going to begin to bubble to the surface.
We did other interesting type of meditations. We did a walking meditation where we walked slowly and in a clockwise direction. We meditated with out eyes open. We were reminded to adopt a feeling of gratefulness. We should be grateful that we are healthy enough to walk. I think gratuity is a great mindset to adopt. Instead of trying to think of things that we don’t have we can be thankful for the things we already have, but take for granted.
The lunch meditation was interesting. Women and men were separated across the dining hall facing each other. Men sat side-by-side as did the women. No talking was allowed and we were instructed to focus on chewing our food 30 times to enjoy it. This was an interesting experience. Usually when eating food I’m talking to someone or if I’m eating on my own I study Chinese or use my phone. This exercise forced me to focus on enjoying the food. “How voluptuous, big, and juicy the mushroom looked” I thought. It tasted great btw. How green and perfectly shaped the green beans were cooked an opened so I could see the beans. I don’t see any business application to this exercise, but I think it is good to be aware of what you are eating.
We also went outside to do what was called a direct contemplation. We stopped at a park area and were asked by the master to look at something in the park. Furthermore, we were asked to ignore distractions such as noise and avoid labeling the first things that would come to mind. For example, when I was staring at a lake I was supposed to stare at it, but not think of it as a thing called “a lake”. I think through practice this exercise could help to train your mind not to make quick judgments on things you see.
We wrapped up by sitting in a circle and sharing our thoughts about the day. Some people re-iterated the importance of getting the body comfortable to allow the mind to settle. One person spoke about how sore his leg was that it distracted him from concentrating on the remaining meditations. My legs would get sore so I would alternate once them once in a while to avoid getting them numb. Many people found the direct contemplation interesting because actually looking at something rather than closing their eyes allowed them to avoid wandering thoughts better.
Overall, with my experience and after reading Russell’s article I believe that there is value of regular meditation. I used to use a nap as my poor excuse for meditation. It is different. In meditation are you still in wakeful state to control your thoughts although you can sometimes drift into a sleep during meditation. The master mentioned that during meditation we learn about ourselves in that we learn what thoughts we might be attached to. She mentioned that we were trying to get to place where we could become unattached. I think there is some parallel if you read Russell’s explaination about how we get caught up in the highs and lows of our professional lives. We try to celebrate the big successes and throw parties and become depressed when we fail. He refers to neither reaction as sustainable as the journey of an entrepreneur will have it’s high and lows. He suggests focusing on the process of work and “not the fruit of our labor.”
I believe that we can learn a lot about ourselves through meditation and in my early experiences of meditation I see it as a way to exercise and control our mind and our mindset. If we can train our mind to be still and reap the ideas that are submerged in the depths of our mind we can unlock great creativity within ourselves.
Personally I don’t think I need an 8-hour 1-day or 1 week retreat, but the goal for myself in 2015 will be to try to make time to do meditation and do it consistently. All the talk of “being still “reminded me of Oprah, arguably the most influential women in the world. Specifically in her Stanford graduation ceremony address I remember Oprah encourages us to take time to “get still” and slow down and listen to our feelings. Could it be that Oprah’s “stillness” prescription and meditation are similar allowing us to literally “tap into our inner power” and reach our business success? Is meditation one of the missing keys I need for business success in 2015?
I’m not sure, but one of the things I am good at is taking action on ideas. The challenge will be to do it consistently. For a digital nomad I’m sure you deal with numerous distractions working on the Internet and your smartphone. You also deal with a lot of change as a result of adapting and living in a new country. I can see how meditation can help you reserve time to help solve your own business problems. It’s also great for learning more about yourself and relaxing your mind. I think the idea of remaining unattached from successful and failures may be something great to strive for; however I do love the thrill of getting a sale from my own products. Perhaps for now this is something for me just to keep in mind.
Stay tuned. What have your experiences being with meditation as it relates to business?