Whew, 2011 is gone at last.
I finally made it back home from my quick getaway to Mazatlan, Mexico and have all my batteries recharged for 2012.
Like I was mentioning in the past article Quick Tip to Keep Being Productive and Creative having these away moments from the routine, can help improving our creativity and the possibility to learn and try new things easier.
Here is a recap of what I did and learnt on this latest trip.
What is a Digital Nomad
Basically what this means is that you can be location independent or in other words, work from wherever you want.
Checking my inbox on a very early day while being in the middle of my vacation in Mazatlan, I noticed an e-mail from Thrilling Heroics.
Digital Nomad Academy Scholarship
It cointained information on getting a scholarship at Digital Nomad Academy valued at USD $1,500 and even though I literally had nothing but my Macbook and a Flipcam with me, I decided to give it a go and find out more about the offer.
We were supposed to record a 2 to 3 minute video saying:
- why we wanted to be in the DNA community
- what we hoped to get out of their training and weekly calls
- to share the vision we had for the business we wanted to build
- what kind of large impact did we plan to achieve with the world
- and how would we improve the community for the students or the owners
My Challenge for that Day
I basically had around four hours to:
- shoot a video
- edit it
- upload it to YouTube
- wait so it was processed
- write a cool post about my participation
- and finally submit my application link at the Digital Nomad Academy sales page
Recording my Application for the Digital Nomad Academy
To be perfectly honest with you, I stopped myself from rushing out the hotel room’s door and sat to think if I really wanted this for me.
I remembered how great I felt when I was traveling over Europe a few months ago so I just reached for my sunglasses and sneakers and just ran to the beach.
At first I wasn’t going there, but every location was insanely ugly so I ended up at the sea.
Once I found my spot, recording the video was very hard, not because I didn’t know what to say (in part) but because it felt like I was asking for a job.
I HATE asking for jobs and I stopped doing that many years ago so I wasn’t comfortable trying to be a “cool guy” on camera this time but I recorded the video anyway.
The Hotel’s WIFI Nightmare
Ran back to the hotel and when I finally reached my computer, I was in horror.
I didn’t think about the WIFI uploading speeds so the video took an eternity to upload and then failed when it was at 72% (yes, I was constantly watching the progress bar).
My girlfriend woke up by this time and was a bit mad I didn’t wait for her so we could go together to the beach but she was supportive and asked nicely if I had solved my situation already.
I said I didn’t, it was very early in the morning (you can see my sleepy eyes on the video) I grabbed a beer as I got very anxious and started the uploading process once again.
I went over to the DNA sales page and there were like 25 minutes left for the submission so I just wrote I was uploading the video in a hotel room and said if my application wasn’t considered, it was cool with me anyway.
The application deadline came, I ended up submitting the video like an hour later or so and amazingly I received a message from Cody McKibben (Thrilling Heroics owner) on YouTube that he had considered my video as I gave him notice about it on time.
The Outcome of my Video
There was absolutely no way for me to do anything else to rescue my video from being so bad.
I couldn’t do any editing to it, couldn’t do any power point based presentation (I’ve never done one of those yet) because I simply had no time and what was worse, my video message was all over the place.
I wasn’t specific about anything and I think I relied heavily on my Engineering bachelor degree and my guitar playing hobby as a possibility to create niche sites around that.
Six finalists were published and I wasn’t between them. (I hate to admit this but that was kind of expected)
My girlfriend felt bad for me when she found out about it but I explained her how I was already set for other things, so if my application had made it through, it was just going to be an extra kick for me.
I think she still felt bad but I can’t blame her, I really wanted to see what was inside the “Faculty” like they call it and I believe she noticed this.
Oh before I forget, I created a few power point slides out of desperation when I didn’t know what to do (already told you there was no time)
And here is one of them, just wanted to share it with you because I thought they were looking good.
Click on it so you can see it in all its glory
My Application for the DNA Scholarship
Other Digital Nomad Applicants
I started checking out other applications and I instantly knew mine wasn’t going to cut it.
To check out which were the six finalists check out Thrilling Heroics here Holiday Cheer Scholarships
What Cause You Will Be a Champion For
This was one of the requirements to address on video and I said nothing about it (I forgot!)
When I saw a few of the other applications, a few were saying they wanted to provide jobs, establish communities, help others reach their goals, someone even said they worked for many hours and got underpaid, etc.
There is so much things I could do for my local community but this place is so dangerous I don’t want to tell you much about it.
My dad’s car got shot once not long ago while being parked and my mom and sisters got involved in a very nasty shooting between two groups of narcs that took place on a highway where nearly 20+ people died.
The main problem here is that there are no jobs, everything is under paid and young people want money NOW, not in 5 or 10 years so they go the easy route, they become young narcs.
These 20 year old kids have cars and trucks that I could only dream to buy myself, are very smart when it comes to technology and sadly, they don’t last much as their life span is very short for obvious reasons.
Do you think they could benefit if they were offered a really good marketing training course that could lead to earn a lot of money while staying on the legal side of things?
You bet they could, but some people don’t want to get any help, they just want the easiest possible way of things.
So am I willing to take the risk and try to teach some of them anything?
What I’m actually trying to do, is to achieve my steady flow of cash and move the heck away from here!
How You Want to Make an Impact in the World at Large
Again, I didn’t say anything for this. (maybe I’m the most terrible speaker?)
I could have used the bit about offering these kids from my city a way to get a decent way of living instead.
If they don’t want to go to school then fine, most of them are really computer savvy anyway and could easily make this Internet Marketing thing happen for them.
James Francis (Internet Marketer from the UK) says he regrets to attend University as he believes it was a waste of time for him.
On the other hand, Martyn Chamberlain (another very successful blogger) is planning to start his University studies in just a few days and couldn’t be more happy about it.
If you don’t believe me, go ask them, I kid you not.
But, do I really want to be involved in this?
Making this change for these super dangerous kind of people in my town who I just told you about?
Sorry but NO.
What I want is to live somewhere else in peace and if I can help anyone else achieve the same, then great, finito!
My Honest Thought about my Application
Do you understand why did I make such a lousy application now?
I know, it was my fault.
If I had to pick the videos myself, I wouldn’t have picked mine as a finalist either so I don’t blame anyone but me.
I actually thought it was going to be funny to vote myself for someone else instead of me but in the end I decided to not vote at all and keep things straight.
Digital Nomad Students on Reverse Engineering
If you really know me, you may already know in advance I wasn’t just going to cross my arms about this outcome and call it a day so I didn’t.
I put on my thinking hat and did some quick googling, found a list of DNA students and one by one I started checking their sites and signing myself to all their newsletters.
I signed to more newsletters but this was all I could fit on the screen
I was checking out technical and business aspects like:
- their page rank
- if they had anything to sell or give away
- what type of email marketing strategies were they using
- what kind of wordpress themes were they using
- what kind of content were they providing
And so I funded my conclusions:
- they rely heavily on free email marketing strategies (feedburner)
- use premium and/or heavily customized wordpress themes with very unique (graphic) looks
- some use video on their articles
- some just write about their trips
- a few don’t even use email marketing (I think these rely just on their RSS feeds)
- and just a tiny percentage I believe they’re not doing anything*
*Not because you’re in the best school, means you’re the best student
Connecting the Dots
It was cool to see that I knew at least three business owners that are location independent like:
- Chris Ducker from ChrisDucker.com
- Corbett Barr from ThinkTraffic.net
- Cody McKibben from ThrillingHeroics.com
So I was happy to see I was already a bit involved with these location independent guys without even knowing it.
Meeting the Minimalists
There are two guys called Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus and they write at The Minimalists
I can’t tell you a lot from them as I am new to their thoughts and writings.
I’m mentioning them because I have found heavy cross references between them and the Digital Nomads.
In my own understanding (and in a nutshell) they were very successful guys and found out they weren’t really happy about their material belongings.
Started experimenting that by uncluttering their lives they also found a more meaningful life.
Can you see the relation to owning less than 100 things and traveling the world at the same time?
I think that pretty much sums the tight relationship that exists between a minimalist and a digital nomad.
My First (Forced) Uncluttering Experience
I pursued a professional musical career for a bit more than 10 years.
When things got definitely rough (couldn’t pay rent nor the music academy anymore) I started working online (on a dial connection I must say) made some money from two sites I developed and decided to fly back “home” with the money I earned and paid a visit to my parents.
After staying in home for one week, my parents were practically begging me to leave the music thing for good and start actually doing something with my life.
It was very hard to listen to this request since they supported my musical dream since I could remember.
I also thought that 10 years was more than enough to realize that maybe this (pursuing a professional music career) wasn’t really for me and after another week of deep thinking, I decided to quit music.
I never got back to Mexico City which was the place where I lived and so I lost almost all my belongings there, things like:
- a guitar amp
- every single music book I collected in 10 years
- apartment furniture
- a LOT of clothing (running shoes, boots, pants, hats, shorts, suits, shirts, everything)
- more than 100 music CDs
- more than 100 audio cassettes (LOL)
- and well, all my stuff basically
I got to rescue my main electric guitar, a drum box (electronic rhythm machine) and that was about it.
For years I was crazy mad at one of my “friends” because I never managed to get my stuff back and until now, it remains a mistery on what happened to my belongings.
I decided to start studying something appealing and that wasn’t easy, so I chose Computer Systems Engineering.
In the end, this was a liberating act as I didn’t feel trapped in music and also had the feeling I was actually going somewhere now.
I got to wake up without any stress and started sleeping like a baby at nights.
My First Experience on the Law of Attraction
On the way back home from my trip to Mazatlan, I kept thinking about how much I needed to start creating my first Internet Marketing product and have it completed as soon as possible.
Right now I have two desktop computers and one laptop (the one I’m writing this right now)
I needed another flat screen for the Mac since I want to record my videos on that computer and to my surprise as soon as I entered my working place, I found this sitting on my laptop table:
Law of attraction or not, there was this brand new tv monitor right there.
It turns out it is a TV set, HDMI capable, integrated USB, VGA (yuck), etc, etc.
I got rid of my TV more than one year ago and I don’t plan to start watching TV again, I’ll set this up as an extension for the Mac and start recording the videos for my first IM product as soon as I can.
First of all, if you made it all the way here… YOU, my friend, are a real TROOPER!
I know I could have easily split these huge post into several smaller ones but I’m trying some things out here.
You should know that this is NOT a post about asking or begging for a special seat at Digital Nomad Academy.
I just had to take this off my chest and share it with you guys.
It is my wish to connect with YOU on a more personal level.
I also don’t want you to convert to minimalism.
I’m not going to do it myself but, I am planning to get rid of everything I’m not currently using and that involves a lot of stuff.
I’m going to talk more about this minimalism subject on later posts because it doesn’t applies only to physical junk, it also applies to activities that waste our times when we’re trying to be productive.
So there are no more excuses, the year barely begun and everything is going to be aiming for the stars from now on.
Instead of telling you how many things I’m going to do, I’ll leave you with a
“hey, can you see what I’m doing right now to become a better version of myself?”
I really want to THANK YOU for showing me your appreciation, leaving your comments, watching my videos and encouraging me to keep moving forward.
Do You Want To Be A Digital Nomad?
You can check out Digital Nomad Academy then.
The scholarships have been removed but Cody created very affordable plans, see for yourself.
Last but not least, there’s a lot of lessons tangled in what I wrote here, if you learnt at least one thing from this then it already paid off to spent the whole day writing it for you (and for me too).
All the best and speak soon!
I mentioned a LOT of people on this post and used images that do NOT belong to me so I will ask each and every person mentioned here if it is OK to have their names/images here and in case it’s not, I’ll remove and edit anything that’s asked for, immediately.
I currently have zero income and a lawsuit wouldn’t be funny right now.
This was written as a very personal and humble opinion of my own and I actually admire everyone I mentioned here.
Having said that, if you were mentioned here and you actually came and read this article, then THANK YOU in advance, it would mean a lot to me.