Marisa Meddin walked away from what many would consider to be a dream job in the pursuit of discovering her life's purpose and achieving freedom and location-independence. Hear her story.

Many people would kill for the opportunity to attend the Grammy’s, work with up & coming musical acts like Beyoncé AND get paid for doing it. But Marisa left all that to launch a business selling her mother’s famous brownies online. She has since started and run a handful of other successful businesses including an eCourse for helping demystify the college admissions process and a coaching role to help others discover their life’s work. In this episode we’ll hear Marisa’s entrepreneurial journey, learn about her question framework for zero’ing in on one’s true purpose in life and discover her recommendations for top hip hop artists. Enjoy!

Show Notes

Time   Topic
0:04:13   What did your corporate exit looked like?
0:05:52   What was the first business that you started?
0:09:23   Talk about your transition out of Pepsi to start your baking business.
0:10:55   How was the transition out of the frozen brownies business like?
0:13:17   How did you handle the customer discovery aspect for starting a college admission program?
0:16:13   Is your online course program the thing that sustains you at this moment?
0:17:09   Can you tell us the tools that you use for your course?
0:20:35   What would you say to someone that want’s to start with an eCourse?
0:26:53   Can you cite any success stories of people you’ve helped navigate things?
0:30:11   How do you “see the dots line up” when you’re in it looking forward?
0:34:53   Do you have any advice for nullifying the effect of negative talk?
0:37:37   What is the methodology that you used to build your course?
0:41:19   What is your traffic source?
0:45:34   How was your transition into becoming a digital nomad like?
0:47:43   What would you tell people that are concerned about taking a leap to become a digital nomad?
0:52:27   What is a book that has profoundly affected you?
0:53:51   What is your favorite tool that saves you time, money or headaches?
0:55:07   One piece of music or artist that is speaking to you lately?
0:56:17   If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 20 year old self?
0:57:21   What are your top 5 hip hop artists?


The 4-Hour Workweek Book by Tim Ferriss
Marisa’s College admissions program
Episode 14
Russel Brunson’s Book
Click Funnels
Marisa’s List of Questions
Sean’s blog post: Towards a More Useful High School Experience
Simon Sinek
Tony Robbins
Expert Secrets
Remote Year
It Starts with Why
The Big Leap
Tripit app
Kayak app
Bubba Sparxxx
Kanye West
Lil Dicky
Nomad Cruise
Marisa’s Website



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photo credit Natallia Vaitovich


Sean Tierney: 02:21 All right. Hey everybody, this is Sean with the nomad podcast. I am sitting here with Marisa Meddin. Marisa is a clarity advisor, career coach, professional speaker. She actually spoke on the nomad cruise where we were just on a and she sells a course online that teaches parents and prospective college students how to navigate the tricky admissions process. Welcome. Marisa excited to be here. Yay. I know, I am very excited for this. We have been talking the last couple of days and there’s so much to talk about. Um, I think let’s start with your backstory. Let’s start at Pepsi. Can you just kind of take us back? You haven’t always been in the nomadic life, so yeah. So what was the corporate lifelike and like start there?

Marisa Meddin: 03:01 Yeah, so my background is a, I have a business background in college. I interned at Pepsi Beverage Company. I’m like between my junior and senior year of college and went on to work there full time. So I was in the huge corporate world for about six years after college. Um, working in all different parts of brand marketing. So any parts of innovation, brand marketing. Uh, I worked at a music team. I manage all of our music partnerships in La. Um, so it’s between La and New York and just live in the normal corporate life. And I, um, had a lot of bosses and bosses bosses and was tired of all of the, um, you know, reporting to everybody and getting permission for everything and only having two weeks of vacation every year. And, um, I read the four hour workweek by Tim Ferriss while I was, uh, while I was working remotely in La and it changed my life a little bit.

Sean Tierney: 03:52 You in every single nomad ever talk to me.

Marisa Meddin: 03:55 Yeah. The usual story.

Sean Tierney: 03:57 That is the book that I feel like if there is one thing that everyone has in common, it’s reading that book. So if you’re listening and you have not read that book, it will change your life. Cool. All right. So you read that book, you’re in this kind of crummy situation that you weren’t happy with, but what did that exit actually look like?

Marisa Meddin: 04:16 Yeah, that’s a great question. So there was some, there was definitely good years at Pepsi. I truly, I believe that some of the markers of Pepsi were the most brilliant in the world and the people are fabulous. It’s still a lot of people I’m super close with. But I just got to a point where I wanted to have more autonomy. I wanted to do something new. I wanted more vacation days. I wanted to explore the world. And actually, so I was, I was working in New York City and um, was moving out to la and asked to take a three month sabbatical in between my roles and I traveled to Israel and Turkey and Greece and I think Brazil, Peru and Costa Rica maybe. And just realize there is so much more of the world to see. So my intent when I went back was actually to quit my job, uh, when I landed in La and try to figure out something new.

Marisa Meddin: 05:03 And I called HR to quit and they offered me a new exciting role and our music team may handle like going to the Grammy’s and working with Beyonce and like working with all these up and coming artists. And then I got pulled back in cause I just, I didn’t know what else I wanted to be doing at the time. I was like, I know this isn’t right. I know I don’t love marketing. I know I don’t want to work for a big corporation, but I don’t know what else I should be doing. Um, so I stayed for two more years and then I got to the next point where I got offered a Pepsi. You kind of switch around every year to, to with enrolls. And so I got offered another job, um, to switch teams and it has to be in New York, La. And I was going through some, some personal things and didn’t want to be in either location. And so it just kind of felt like the right time to finally take the leap. And I started my own business.

Sean Tierney: 05:51 And what was that business?

Marisa Meddin: 05:53 Yeah, so the first one, I’ve done many now. Um, the first one I started was an ecommerce dessert business, which I feel like people are like, what?

Sean Tierney: 06:01 Oh, like that. Not exactly the thing. I think the thing I think I would want, and I think ecommerce,

Marisa Meddin: 06:05 it is not the thing. And I also don’t love baking’s and people are like, what are you doing? But I’m so my mom had run for dessert only restaurants in Atlanta where I’m from, uh, growing up. So I was, I knew I didn’t want to accept this new job and I just didn’t know what else to do and I happen to be having a conversation with her. I was home over the holidays and she’d had somebody reach out to her asking for her to make these brownies that were just like off the charts. Gutter business had been closed for like 20 years and people still were tracking her down. So it was just kind of one of those like, Aha moments where I was like, all right, I know I want to quit my job. People are asking for these brownies. Like maybe I like, why should I just give it to you?

Marisa Meddin: 06:44 So, um, yeah, I quit my job. I learned, I spent months with my mom learning how to bake her products, like work on the packaging. And I used all my marketing experience that I had learned from Pepsi and how to build a brand and tell a story. And um, because I’d read Tim Ferriss’s four hour work week, I knew that I didn’t want to do and I want us to be able to automate everything and outsource everything. So I did all the baking and stuff to start, but I didn’t open a physical restaurant because I didn’t want to be there to manage it. So as I talked to people who might be interested in the remote life, like there’s so many different businesses you can do and I always say start with the end in mind and work backwards. So had I not known that or thought about that, I probably would’ve opened a restaurant or a store or a physical space. But I knew that I wanted to be able to work from my computer. So that’s Kinda how that one came about. Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 07:32 Right. So you put up a website and I just tried to, I’m trying to connect the dots. How does the Brownie get to the person? Yeah, without being stale

Marisa Meddin: 07:42 products. I didn’t like say the time. So brownies actually you can freeze, you can make them huge batch and they’re actually better when you freeze them. And people don’t know that or like to think that, um,

Sean Tierney: 07:52 this is some big cider Brownie knowledge. Other than that,

Marisa Meddin: 07:56 I actually, I would eat them frozen. They’re better. That’s a whole another story. But yeah, so I did all the baking to start. My mom helped me even though she swore she wouldn’t. Um, before I got to a point where I was big enough that I could hire someone, he, it was this person like 30 minutes outside of Atlanta who made cinnamon rolls on a massive scale. And so he ended up, you know, eventually I had him to do it and do all the shipping. But for the first year, you know, as you get things started, you, you got to do everything. So I was making a shared, almost like coworking space. It was like a shared kitchen space. So I’d make these products and batch and then as the orders came in, I would ship them out. Um, so it was crazy. It was a bizarre learning experience.

Sean Tierney: 08:35 And you are self-proclaimed not a baker. So I am not a baker. At what point during this experience are you covered in flour and saying, what am I doing?

Marisa Meddin: 08:47 Even launched, I was learning how to do it. I remember one day I like dropped a ball. I was literally covered in head to toe him flower, and it was one of these points I kept thinking. I was like, why did I just like, I was quitting my job. I was like walking the red carpet. It’s working with celebrities. I had it easy, like life was good and I was like, I just quit all this to bake brownies. Like what the hell am I doing? And it was a big like identity crisis, I think of one. I was like, you know, who knows what? This’ll work. It took longer to get it started than I thought it would. And it was hard and weird and it was, it was a hard time in life for sure.

Sean Tierney: 09:21 Did your friends, I imagine people who would probably say, are you crazy? Like you have a job at Pepsi or, Yeah.

Marisa Meddin: 09:28 Yes. Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 09:30 Okay. So, so talk about what that’s like because I think people listening yeah. Identify with like the doubts and the, you know, getting a lot of negative talk from colleagues and friends.

Marisa Meddin: 09:41 Yeah, for sure. So I think when I first started, I got a lot of that right of everybody. Like I had the job that seemingly everybody wanted. Like all my friends would come to cool events with me in New York and La and all these places and it was like, it was cool seemingly, but it wasn’t fulfilling. I still wasn’t happy. And so quitting this for me, um, I think it was really cool that it was a family story and a family tie and both my parents are entrepreneurs and I thought it’d be interesting, but I didn’t realize how much of your identity gets wrapped up in careers. And I think that’s true for many people, whether you’re a lawyer or a marketer or I work in finance or consulting or you know, whatever it is, a teacher like that becomes your identity. And so to quit that, yeah, my friends thought I was insane. They’re like, you’re doing what? You’re going to make money. How? Um, but it’s funny. Then after awhile it became like the cool thing. They’re like Rissa you’re so lucky. Like your working whenever you want. And it was working hard. But it’s funny how people start and judge you and then once you get things going, they’re like, I wish I was doing that. Like it becomes the cool thing to do. But it was, it was a hurdle to overcome for sure.

Sean Tierney: 10:48 Okay. So this wasn’t the last business you did, but what was the transition out of the

Marisa Meddin: 10:56 [inaudible]? They were really good people. I love the values. Um, the of the Brownie business you make, it sounds like. Good. Um, yeah. So the transition out. So I got to a point where it was like really exciting to start. Like I was creating this business. I love that it was, you know, my decisions and the marketing I did, I could like see an impact. So I really liked that and I loved connecting with customers. So I was like a bunch of people who had come from my mom’s business and you know, we’re like we used to go on her first dates there and this and that. So I loved that aspect of it. And then as I was learning the business side of it, so I’d had all this like huge brand experience but tactically to run your own um, you know, online business and learn how to set up an email list and all these things like it’s very different work to, you know, I was coming from, we had agencies who did everything for us to doing it all myself.

Marisa Meddin: 11:44 Um, so as I was doing that, I was just studying everything, listening to podcasts, like reading everything I could possibly read. And I got, I was like a self sort of Facebook ad cause I had been, you know, looking at all those things. It was like how to grow an email list. And I was like, yes, that is the most important thing for any business. I do need to work on this for my Brownie business. And it was actually this whole information about how to build online courses. And I was, I just didn’t know that existed at the time. This was probably like three plus years ago now. And the whole thing was like, you can package together your information and sell it for hundreds of dollars and there’s no actual products. And I was like, oh my God, I don’t have to be baking. I can teach the things I’m interested in.

Marisa Meddin: 12:25 I can like, you know, it’s these huge margins. And from a business side and just a personal side, I was like, I gotta be doing that. So, um, that particular Webinar that I listened to you said, it’s like, you know, if you don’t have a business idea, if you don’t already have an online course, you know, here’s the kind of questions you would ask to think about. And it was like, what are you, what are you really good at? What do you like doing? What do people ask for your help with? And I realized after answering these questions, which I know how people ask, which I love to do, um, I really found that I had this interest in colleges and exploring college campuses and I love from my own college. So, um, I really wanted to help kids figure out which college to get to. But as I looked at the marketplace, I was like, okay, you can’t do Facebook ads for high school kids. Like the parents are weird, sad, they have the money. So I ended up building, um, a course geared towards parents to help them with college admissions. So that’s Kinda how that came about.

Sean Tierney: 13:16 And how, because you don’t have a background in college admissions. Oh my God. How, how did you do the customer discovery necessary to figure out that that was the thing to create?

Marisa Meddin: 13:28 Yeah, absolutely. So for anyone listening, like if you have an idea, I think a lot of people feel like, I’m not an expert at this. Or there’s people who are so much better. And so for that, I challenge you to say, I created this whole business teaching college admissions. Like, I was never a college admissions officer. Sean said I didn’t have expertise. Now I just had an interest in it. And I love to teach and connect with families. So, um, I think Facebook is your best friend for these types of things. Like I did, I did tons of research just online. I watched other experts, I read everything I could. And then as I was building my course, I would go into Facebook groups where there are thousands of people on any topic you could ever possibly imagine. And I would go in. So there was one about, you know, how to pay for college or how to choose colleges and there’s literally like 30,000 parents in there who will tell you anything on their mind.

Marisa Meddin: 14:18 So I would pretend that I was a parent and I would say like, you know, this is so stressful. Like what are you guys most worried about? And it’d be like 85 comments of exactly what their fears were and what their pain points were. And I would use that information word for word and serve it back to them. And as I created my course, those were the things that I put in it on top of the things that I knew that they didn’t even know to be asking. Um, but in terms of the marketing and kind of getting people, I really would just use word for word, you know, I would put together an excel sheet of like all the comments that I’d had and like tally the common themes and put together the words and again, when, when you can serve back the words that people are telling you, that’s when they’re like, she understands me, she gets it. So I was able to reach people, um, and just have a personality. Like I think the college admission space, people were so like uptight in it’s official and I was just like a human teaching people in a fun way. So again, you don’t have to be an expert, but if you can reach someone and teach someone the personality that resonates, then there’s a space for you.

Sean Tierney: 15:18 Nice. Yeah, that’s, that’s actually an awesome way to do it in terms of being like driven empirically by the data that’s there and being able to ask them and they’re going to give you your marketing word for word. Yeah. It has to be gold to have those comments.

Marisa Meddin: 15:33 Yeah. So for anyone thinking about starting anything, I always recommend like there, there is a Facebook group for whatever niche you are thinking about, go find it and go find your people and use it as market research

Sean Tierney: 15:44 for the, this is a little tidbit for the longtime listeners, episode 14, we talked to Alex Hellman of 30 by 500 and they have a whole framework for doing this. Yeah. So what Marissa is referring to, uh, is known in some circles as customer discovery, but they call it the 30 by 500 has their own method to it. So check that episode out if you haven’t listened to that for a very deep dive into what she’s talking about. Yeah. Um, okay. So the online course thing, and this is to this day, what sustains you primarily, right? This is your bread and butter.

Marisa Meddin: 16:16 Yeah. So I’ve been transitioning as we’ll talk about into something else. I like, I’m just like see my hands. I feel like everything I do, I like keep transitioning. Getting one step closer to what I feel like is truly the work I meant to be doing, which is what I’m doing now, which is coaching and really helping people discover what they want to be doing and have the courage to get there and do it and overcome and get through life. But yeah, as of now, the college admissions build a business is automated, it’s passive, you know, I do some work on, on some marketing and whatnot, but that’s what fuels me as I’m transitioning into my next thing.

Sean Tierney: 16:48 Yeah. And also while we’re still on the course topic, um, cause I know you know this stuff and, and we’ll also, obviously I have a course as well than the prep stuff. And so we were kind of jamming yesterday about the different evergreen webinars solutions and I was going down a path with click funnels and you’re like, no, no, no, no. It’s easy webinar. And can you just be super tactical and kind of lists, like the tool set that you use is that you use with your course?

Marisa Meddin: 17:14 Absolutely. Yeah. So for anyone who is thinking about doing an online course or starting it, I went through so much research to figure all this out. So I’m always happy to help, um, you know, to coach people and help people through this part as well cause I’ve been there and done that and it’s so much easier to get the blueprint. So, um, I use lead pages to start with personally, I like it as kind of a landing page and email collection. So as I mentioned, even my first dessert business, like an email list runs everything, right? Like you want to be whatever your funnel is from Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, podcasts, whatever you want to take people in and build an email list. So I use lead pages to collect that and then I hook that to my email service provider, which I personally use convert kit.

Marisa Meddin: 17:58 I really love, you know, everybody has their own, but if you haven’t started, I love that one. Um, so I bring people into my email list, I nurture them through automated emails, and then I encourage them to watch a Webinar to learn about college admissions. And so I link that to easy Webinar is the Webinar software that I personally use. So you can do live or evergreen webinars, which are ones that passively happen. People can sign up and watch anytime, whether I’m there or not, which is awesome. You know, I was last night at one in the morning, where are we? Like what country man and a lesbian and you know, it’s like crystals just come in. So it’s a really cool thing to have it all automated. Um, I don’t want to sugarcoat it like it took a long time to start to learn the process and get it all set up. But once you have it all flowing, you know, it can happen. Start to finish without you, which is really cool.

Sean Tierney: 18:49 Yeah. And you’re a big Russell Brunson fan even though you’re not using [inaudible]

Marisa Meddin: 18:54 sulfur. That is southern talking yesterday. So for those of you, um, may or may not follow Russell Brunson, he’s a creator of click funnels. I love everything he says and does. I love his energy, his book expert secrets. I say, if you’re creating a Webinar, buy it. Don’t think twice. Follow it word for word what he says to do to set up your webinars. I’m, I personally, for whatever reason, I like wanted to like click funnels so bad, I just couldn’t get behind the logistics of it. Um, easy webinar and I use teachable for, that’s the other thing I forgot. I use teachable to host my course, um, and everything. So it’s not all in one place, like click funnels, but for whatever reason, my mind, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.

Sean Tierney: 19:33 No, I’m in the same exact boat. Uh, I struggled to implement it. Unfortunately. You are sitting there in the kitchen and you’re like, no, no, no, no. Like I went through the exact same thing here. Easy web.

Marisa Meddin: 19:43 Yeah. Yeah. So it’s hard. And then I use like Zapier, I don’t know, it like connects all your platforms. So when someone, you know, goes from easy Webinar and clicks on my landing page to buy it, I use Sam. I used a lot of different things. I use Samcart for my um, uh, yeah, for my checkout. So when people purchase a course, like Zapier kind of like talks to my teachable account and it sends them automated emails. So it’s a whole complicated process to start. But once you get it all worked out, it starts to work together

Sean Tierney: 20:14 well I’d like to say like you and people like you have paved the way. There is no need to like machete your way through this stuff. There’s a trail that exists and sort of get the blueprints, get this Russell Brunson book. Yes.

Marisa Meddin: 20:26 Yeah. And if you want help reach out. I love to coach people through it cause I’ve done it, I’ve been there and I can save you some time for sure. Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 20:34 Cool. Well, so what would you say to someone who wants to do an ecourse? It sounds like you have a process for figuring out, like to help them figure out what they could teach potentially. What is that process look like?

Marisa Meddin: 20:45 Yeah. So if you’re just, I want to travel this online course thing sounds cool, but I have no idea. You know, what I want to be doing or teaching. Um, I’ll share list of questions afterwards. Um, we’ll go to, it’s Marissa podcast and hopefully we can link to it, but I’ll share of list of questions to ask yourself. And this is the same, um, whether you were just at, you know, in a career and want a new one or it’s like if you know what you’re doing isn’t quite right for your career, but you’re like, I just don’t know what’s next. I don’t know what I’d like better. There’s a list of questions and I just kind of took them from what I learned, that first kind of, um, experience I had and then have added in my own over the years. And I think it’s interesting because like when we go to college, you just kind of often end up, you know, it’s like there’s finance or there’s accounting or there’s, you know, economics or you know, communications, whatever it is.

Marisa Meddin: 21:38 And you just kind of ended up in these jobs accidentally, I think. And nobody ever really stops to say like, this sounds like super cliche, but like who am I? What am I good at? What do I really like? And I think that people often overlook what you’re inherently really good at and because it comes so easily to you, you almost don’t realize it’s a really special skill. So the questions I ask really get into, it’s like what do people tell you you’re good at? Like what could you spend all day talking about and never get tired of like, what could you, um, you know, if you just had two hours of spare time, like what are you going to spend researching online? Like what brands are you following on social media? And sometimes it just takes, like, this is why I work with people one on one afterwards sometimes.

Marisa Meddin: 22:20 Because what’s like, if you answer all these questions and I look at it, it’s so clear to me like these are the themes. Like this is what you could be doing. And people are like, oh, I never thought about that. Like, of course, that’s what all my friends asked me for help with. Right. But because it comes so naturally, I think there’s this weird societal thing where we’re like, we have to be miserable and, and work hard and hate going to work in order to like make money. And people just forget to use what they’re good at, like what they like. And so I really love, love of love to help people figure that out.

Sean Tierney: 22:51 It’s funny, I wrote a blog post many years ago called towards a better high school experience. It was analyzing this exact same thing where it’s like, if you look at how we wind up in the jobs we do. Yeah. It’s some arbitrary choice of like an AP course that sends us down a path that they, we’re like, oh, we’re in college, we got to pick a major. I guess I’ll just be this and then, oh, I guess I’ll just go to Grad school for this right now. This is the logical job choice and it’s such an arbitrary path. Yeah. So I love what you’re doing. Um, you and I are both fans of Simon Sinek. Ah, I love that. I love the, and then there was another plug for an episode thing that’s so five we talked to Matt Dunsmore who is a facilitator for assignments and travel list. I haven’t heard that one yet. Oh, he’s Rad. I think it’s episode five. But um, so Simon Center for the people listening who don’t know, it’s this guy who’s Ted talk has something like 30 bajillion yes. But yeah, his whole thing is about like discovering your why and getting really clear on that. Yup. And it sounds like you have this, you have your own process really for getting it that same question. Yes. These are questions and you’re willing to share them. We’ll link to them in the show notes. Yeah,

Marisa Meddin: 24:01 for sure. And I love that. So what Sean’s mentioning and has been in the previous episodes, but when you, it starts with why I think the neat thing is you kind of find your why, your mission, whatever it is that you just like really love to do and love to help people with is usually what it comes down to. But just what and by help people, it could be you’re obsessed with playing the guitar and that inspires, you know, uplifts people. You know, it doesn’t have to be some grand mission necessarily, but when you figure out what that is, I think the neat thing is that you can continue to change and evolve the execution of it, but your mission always stays the same. So for me, again, I love to help people figure out what they want to be doing. Um, you know, careerwise and lifestyle to live the best lives that they can.

Marisa Meddin: 24:44 And whether I’m coaching one-on-one or selling online courses or speaking in front of, you know, doing workshops, um, you know, I have a dream to host retreats and seminars in the future, right? Um, so I can be executing it in all different ways, but it all leads back to the same why. And so you’ll find that your life makes much more sense once you start to figure it out. And I think it’s this big thing where people are like, what’s my passion? I don’t know. Like, I don’t, you know, I don’t, it’s, it’s a really overwhelming thing, but when you ask the right questions and figure it out, like life just starts to make more sense. Okay.

Sean Tierney: 25:17 Well, and I think too that what’s my passion implies there’s a noun and then it’s like I have to find this one thing. Yeah. What you’re saying is, is no, there’s like a how or there’s like a way of being yeah. That once you discovered that, then you can overlay that on a couple of different things and they all make sense, right? It’s just the implementation of that may change like you’re saying, but it’s all consistent with this underlying kind of fundamental why.

Marisa Meddin: 25:45 Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And then I think it’s like if you’re thinking about online course, you’re thinking about a business or where to apply to you can you just have a better understanding of yourself and what’s actually going to fulfill you. And again, I know that’s also like Super Buzzword, but, and as you and I talked about, it’s like you can seemingly have the most amazing career and be making a lot of money and doing cool things, but if you’re not happy doing it, like you’re just, you’re not going to be happy. So, you know, not to say like, you can still make plenty of money, you know, doing your why and, and executing your mission. You know, they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. But, um, yeah, I just love to help people figure that out because it just makes life better.

Sean Tierney: 26:25 So something I love and Marissa talked on the boat, she just, one of the talks and I’ve seen the Facebook messages that came from people in the crowd and just like flatter her here. Uh, getting messages like, this is so amazing. I’m so inspired. I’m quitting my job. I’m the one [inaudible] my favorite. So it was a pretty impactful talk. What uh, I mean, so the out of the college thing emerge, this coaching idea, it sounds like, who have you worked with? How can you cite any success stories thus far that people that you’ve helped kind of navigate things and transition to something different? Can you speak to any of those stories?

Marisa Meddin: 27:03 Absolutely. And so Shawn’s mentioning, so I was running this online course and um, that’s when I quit my job to, to be the number or not quit my job. That’s what I had enough passive income to then leave and move abroad and live the, to the digital nomad lifestyle. And when I was abroad, I just kept, like I’m saying, it came so naturally to me that I didn’t realize it was a skill, but I just love helping people. And so every country I went to, I had these people saying like, will you be my life coach? Are You my life coach? And I was like, what is a life coach? Like what is this? Um, I hate that term by the way, that term I’m with you too. That’s why I don’t usually say it. And I was like this. Yeah, I feel like it’s become so cliche, but um, clearly advisory advisor is way better.

Marisa Meddin: 27:42 So if you’re unclear in your life and you need help, come to me. That’s what I do. Um, and specifically I love it around career and whatnot. So, um, I got my coaching certification through Tony Robbins who I am obsessed with. I think he’s brilliant. John sounded great, brilliant business man, brilliant coach, um, helping with clarity and, and overcoming everything too. So right now I work one on one with people, so I still run my college business and taking on a few clients. So if anybody’s interested, I have a couple open spots are limited cause I don’t like to do too many while I’m traveling. Um, but I really, really, truly love the work. So, um, gosh, I’ll try to think of the best example. I was talking to somebody yesterday, a couple days ago, a client of mine who works in DC and he’s working for a company that he just kind of happened upon.

Marisa Meddin: 28:29 He couldn’t find another job and doesn’t really love what he’s doing. And he was like, you know, I need to figure out my story, right? Of like, how, how am I going to apply to another job? And so as we started talking, I think what’s interesting, everybody’s a little bit different, but he was really unclear on what he even wanted next. So a lot of times people will start applying to jobs and like, I can’t get anywhere. I’m not doing anything. But they haven’t even taken the time to introspectively. Again, like go back to those questions of what do you really want to be doing? Um, you know, is it more important to you to make a lot of money to pay back your college debt? Or do you want to work in a nonprofit? And those things often conflict with each other. So within coaching, it’s really helping people to say like, what are your main values?

Marisa Meddin: 29:11 What are your priorities? What do you want to be doing? And then we’ll work backwards and say, this is a career person. You know, I do other stuff with, with coaching for our online courses and things like that. But to take a step back and really get clear on who you are, what you want, what your story is, and then what are the best tactics. I also have done tons of, I did like recruiting when I was at Pepsi and go back to colleges and hire all of our Undergrad and MBA interns. So I love helping people, you know, with resumes and networking and figuring out who do you even talk to at a company. So there’s tons of things I help with and I just love, yeah, like helping people to get to that next point

Sean Tierney: 29:46 and what you call clues. And that’s how I really liked how you said, like you’re basically looking for these clues. A, it reminds me so much, I don’t know if people know this, but the Steve Jobs commencement address for Stanford, he says that like the dots never make sense going forward. Yep. Looking forward, you can’t possibly stitch it together and make any sense of it, but in hindsight the dots make perfect sense. Yes. So my question is how do you interpret what you call clues where he calls dots? Yup. How do you interpret those in a useful way going forward? Where when you’re at the vantage point you are now and you don’t have the benefit of hindsight, how do you make decisions looking forward based on the clues?

Marisa Meddin: 30:25 So everything I say, I’m a big fan of like listen to the clues that are coming and if for an example of a clue is, you know, as I was running this college business and everyone kept saying like, are you a coach? Will you be my coach? And I was like, well that’s a clue. Like this is what I should be doing. So when you’re actually open and looking, you’ll hear lots of things and it might be something, you know, Facebook ads that you’re seeing or just an interest or you see someone else who has a job you’re interested in, but you don’t, you’re not looking and open to it. You just start, stay closed and you’re like, I don’t know what else to do. This is my job. I’m so I say listen to the clues. And the important part is to take action.

Marisa Meddin: 30:56 So, you know, if you had asked me 10 years ago, you know, if you had told me I was going to be a life coach, just speaker, I would have been like, what the hell? Like that’s, I didn’t even know you could do that. And I didn’t have enough experience at the time to even be doing things like that. So that’s where you look. It’s like, okay, looking backwards now I can see how, you know, this big corporate experience in marketing led me to start my own business, which led me to learn about this, you know, online courses and starting in college business, which then led me travel and I learned, I loved helping people and that, you know, brought me to coaching and now I’m a way better coach because I’ve, you know, had the corporate experience, I know how to help people get jobs.

Marisa Meddin: 31:31 I know how to run an online business. And now I know, you know, the coaching tools on top of it. Um, but what a lot of people do, it’s like, okay, I’m in this, I don’t know what’s next, but I have to find like the thing that I love for the rest of my life. And if you don’t have any, you know, dots to connect, if you don’t keep trying things, you’re never going to know. So the faster that you can try and fail and you know, like by all means fail, right? Like I started a browning business and closed it. Like was that a failure? Maybe it’s, you know, it was financially fine, but it wasn’t what I liked. But had I not done that and tried it, I never would’ve got to where I am today. So I think what I love to say, again, listen to the clues that you’re hearing that you’re seeing, but you got to, got to, got to like take a risk and take action and you can do it in safe ways, right?

Marisa Meddin: 32:19 Like the way I did, I moved back home with my parents when I quit my job and you know, I was starting this business that was a safety net for me. But a lot of people who I coach now, I say like, you know, can you take your hours down to 20 hours a week of your current job and start a side project or is there anything you can do where you know you’re going to be making like how much it was, you know, talking to someone a couple of days ago, a client, it’s like how much money do you need to be making per month? So you know, sustain you for this time when you’re going to be starting something new and then you know, find a way to do that. Once you have that, then let’s talk about starting this business. So again, there’s safe ways to listen to the clues and take action, but like you can’t just sit there, you’ve got to do it and try.

Sean Tierney: 33:01 So that like the analogy that I have running in my head right now is like hiking and almost like being lost in the wilderness. Yeah. And it’s like the kiss of death there is just sitting down under the tree and like giving up. Right? Yeah. So if you, as long as you’re seeking like the next higher vantage point, right, it may not be like the exit, but you get up to a point where you can now you have a totally different perspective and you can see, oh, I actually need to be over there. Like, yeah, there’s a whole mountain over there. I need to go climb. But I wouldn’t have seen that from

Marisa Meddin: 33:27 exactly. I love that. Yeah. So yeah, people get paralyzed. And I love to have, you know, I think as I started the entrepreneurial world and traveling and coaching, I learned that the mindset is so, so, so important. In a way. It’s like I always heard that and I was like, yeah, whatever. Okay, but what skills do I need and how do I make money? Right. Um, but the mindset of it all, it’s like the number one thing I see with all of my clients and anyone I talk to is the fear. Or they get paralyzed and they sit in the woods as Sean says, and you don’t move. You don’t see anything new. And our brains are wired to keep us safe. And to keep us in place and say like, you know, you have a safe job, you’re making money, you live in a safe place, stay, stay, stay, don’t ever try anything. And it started like evolutionary, you know, safety skills. But when you can learn how to manage peer, and that’s what I really help people with, you can then, you know, figure out what are the next steps to take. How do you get out of the woods? How do you get to that next hill? And it might not be at the top of the mountain, right? Like it takes steps along the way. But again, you’ll never know who you’re going to come across or meet or what will inspire you, but you just gotta keep going.

Sean Tierney: 34:34 What do you say there’s this phrase like you are the sum or you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Yeah. I feel like people that spend time with naysayers who are like, oh no, this is like, what are you thinking? You can’t go just travel the world. Yeah. What are you thinking that you’re starting to make a Brownie business? Put It on mine. Like how do you have any advice for, uh, like nullifying the effect of that negative talk? Like what do you, what do you tell the person of how, as far as how to cope with that negative? Yes, so

Marisa Meddin: 35:04 for me, um, like you’re saying, so my friend, I knew this was a lifestyle I wanted. I knew that it was possible. I knew I wanted to travel the world and I don’t have any friends from home who have done this. My family doesn’t do this. Like they all think I’m insane now. Now they like it, but for awhile they’re like, you’ve, you’ve lost your mind. What are you talking about? And to combat that, I, I like my five friends. For better or worse, we’re all people online. Have, you know who didn’t know me would just people I follow. So there’s like people on it. I just followed so many people on Instagram who were running online courses and who are traveling the world. Maybe doing both or separate. It didn’t matter. But you know, people who had found a way to travel the world and run a business.

Marisa Meddin: 35:43 And I would follow, you know, binge listened to podcasts like any spare second when I was exercising, walking, showering, packing like cleaning dishes. I’m not kidding. Like my mind was being filled with people who were teaching how to run these businesses and how to travel and how to do all of these things. And so my five people were people through my, you know, through social media and things like that. And now I’ve finally gotten to the place where, you know, Sean, I were just on nomad cruise, 222 people who are living our lifestyle or want them to be. And we were talking yesterday, it’s like where are the norm now and this group. And so, you know, I finally got into the point where I can surround myself with the right people and I’m so happy when I’m around that cause I just feel normal.

Marisa Meddin: 36:26 And when I go home I still have to, you know, deal with the people who are confused by this life. But I would say even if you don’t have people around you like listen to this podcast, you know, listen to anything, follow people who are doing it and realize that you’re no different than them. I think a lot, you know, when I was doing, I would write notes to myself. I’m like, you know, if they can do it, I can to, you know, and they’re not special. I’m just as special and whoever’s listening you are too. Right.

Sean Tierney: 36:53 I think that’s amazing advice. If you’re, for instance, in a small town where maybe you’re just not surrounded by these types of influences and you feel weird because you’re like, I’m clearly the, the exception in the, like, I’m the odd ball here that you can virtually surround yourself with those five people in the form of podcasts. I think that’s amazing. Yeah. Advice. Yeah. Awesome. Um, all right, well I, I wish I had like, um, bigger string of questions here. Um, I would love to know more about just like the methodology by which you built this course cause I think that’s really interesting. Uh, it’s something that I call Flintstones, which is decidedly doing something manually under the hood to start, you know, even though it looks like it’s a powered car, it’s your feet under the hood to start. Yeah. But like can you talk about like how you build that course up, doing like these manual webinars and then collecting the questions and then formulating it into

Marisa Meddin: 37:46 to pass a place? Yeah, yeah. Shows. So to start, like I spent so much time researching and learning and googling how to do things and I took online courses that then, you know, taught me the shortcuts of, I was like, okay. I mean, so, you know, create the slides and do audio recording over it. How do I do that? Right? What microphone do I need? What software do I need? So once it was all built, I had the course, it’s Kinda like you like feel like you’re at the top of the mountain and then you realize it’s like just a little hill and there’s more mountains to climb. And I was like, all right, I’ve got this course. Instead. I’m like, all right, what do I do? How do I sell it? Um, so, you know, finding ways to build an email list to get people on it.

Marisa Meddin: 38:23 And then once I had a big enough audience, I, um, you know, it was working on my Webinar at the same time following Russell Brunson following expert secrets and I did, um, probably about six or so live webinars first for people to, you know, I would do one and then say, okay, like I like the flow of this, like this could tweaks. I’m like, and then I would fix it and then you’ll keep tweaking it until I felt like I had a good percentage that was converting into sales from them. And then once I had that, I then flipped that particular one into an evergreen webinar and I now I keep saying I’m going to Redo it. Like I feel like I’m so much better at it now, but I’m still using the one from probably year and a half ago and it’s converting. So I’m kind of afraid to touch it. But yeah, it’s an interesting process.

Sean Tierney: 39:05 And this thing is runs at all hours of the day, literally, because you have the Justin time thing turned on too. Yeah. So it’s set up, which I think is really clever where you go to the site and it’s got like, you know, it’s a couple hours from now, few more hours from now, or there’s one starting in 15 minutes. Right. And I think also just the way that you, uh, where you put it on the thank you page. Like can you kind of just talk about like the mentality, cause I thought that was a really interesting, yeah,

Marisa Meddin: 39:27 absolutely. So as you’re building it, um, you know, again, I think the hardest part is the lead generation. Finding again, whether, you know, pick one and do it, whether you’re running a podcast or you’re getting people through Instagram or whatever you want to offer a Freebie, right? You know, the five steps to do this are three tips. Or here’s my checklist, here’s my packing list, whatever it is, um, where someone’s going to, you know, enough value that they’ll give you their email address in exchange for this. And so for me, when someone ops in, um, to, I have, it’s like a five places to find scholarship money for college students. And so as soon as they entered their email and that gets sent out, instead of just going to a generic, like, thanks for signing up, I actually say, you know, things, I hope this is helpful.

Marisa Meddin: 40:08 Also, there’s this awesome Webinar, you know, three secrets to college admissions. Um, it’s starting right now, right? It’s basically the option is, and people are like, oh gosh, like it’s starting in 15 minutes, I’ve got to do this. And so it has a way higher conversion percentage of people who actually watch it versus signing up in the future and then they get busy and you know, whatever happens. Right? Um, so yeah, I encourage people, right as they’re coming into my world to watch this Webinar and Webinar and you know, like, and has my face in it along with the slides. And so people get to know you and trust you and then, um, you know, sell out the end. So for me, again, the lead generation I think is the hardest part. But as people come in from other podcasts I’ve done, or different blog posts that, you know, they find or whatever, it’s like they sign up for the lead magnet when I’m, wherever I am and whatever time zone they watch the webinar right away and I can watch this all happening. And then I see that they purchased the course and it’s so cool to see. It’s like, I’m not going to sugarcoat again. It took me a long time to set that up and figure it all out. But once you do, it really can, you know, you still have to find, it’s not totally passive cause I still need to be creative about bringing people to download to get into the funnel. That’s the hard part. But then the rest all kind of works by itself.

Sean Tierney: 41:18 Okay. What the, so let’s talk about that. How do you source that traffic? Where, where does that come from?

Marisa Meddin: 41:23 Yeah, so excuse me. Um, so I do, it’s called a partnership method. Um, I want to get back into Facebook ads. I mean if anyone’s listening and you do Facebook ads, you can get it up. Please reach out. Um, cause I want to set up and even like I’m going to set up probably a year long nurture sequence because I want this, I want to be focusing on coaching and do other things. And I want this to be like anyone who comes in can be like nurtured for a year without me doing anything. Um, but right now I do what’s called partnerships. And so I’ll reach out to someone, um, you know, think about your own business if they have a similar audience, but sell something different. Those are the people you want to work with. So for my college admissions business, for example, um, you know, I teach what you need to know about standardized tests, but I don’t like tutor people or anything like that.

Marisa Meddin: 42:09 So I might reach out to someone who teaches about like how to study for sats and actsh because they’re not teaching college admissions. I’m not teaching people how to study. And so if they have an email list, I’ll say, hey, here’s my free guide for scholarships. Will you send this to your list and you give me your five sats, study tips and I’ll send it to my list. And then anyone who clicks on those, we share reciprocal sharing. So you find people who kind of about your level or a little bigger or smaller and you’re basically swapping audiences. So the hard work is, um, Russell Brunson calls it, it’s like your dream 100, like write down a hundred people and a list of who are those. If you could have their audience, who would those people be? And then you reach out and there’s a whole tactics of, you know, what to say to them and how to do it in the right way. Cause people are like, what’s a lead? You know, what are you talking about? You know, a lot of times you have to teach them why it’s helpful and what to do. Um, but yeah, so that’s how I grow my email list. And then once they come onto my email list, it’s automatically nurtured and they just go through and get into that funnel.

Sean Tierney: 43:12 Cool. So partnerships for instance, or Facebook? Yeah. Yeah. Uh, have you dabbled with like content SEO stuff? I have not yet

Marisa Meddin: 43:23 personally as much because there’s so much already out there that I’m like and nothing comparatively. Um, and it’s just not the route I’ve chosen to go, but I think how do you, I instead of partnerships are instead of a Facebook ads, like I think just pick one and focus on it and SEO is a great one. I just haven’t gone down that route.

Sean Tierney: 43:45 It’s a lot of work. It’s like concept deductions or whatever.

Marisa Meddin: 43:48 Yeah. Yeah. So um, yeah, I it’s something I might do in the future and be hire someone else to do, but I haven’t done it yet.

Sean Tierney: 43:55 Yeah. Cool. Well I’m, I’m very much, it’s, it’s funny we were talking beforehand how, you know, you built this course for college admissions. I built a course for essentially nomadic lifestyle interactions. You know, helping people make that transition. And I feel like we’re kind of proceeding down parallel paths in very much a lot of ways from inside

Marisa Meddin: 44:15 projects. I know I saw you shot, I was like, I wish I did. I think online courses are cool because people think it’s like, there’s so much free information out there. Like why would I, you know, buy a course when I can just Google the things that’s telling Sean. You know, when I first became a nomad I was like, oh my God, like, do I pack? What health insurance do I need? Like what adaptor do I need? Like there’s all these things that like I’m searching 55 different websites and I think the beauty of an online course, it’s like start to finish a to z and like a platter handed to you of what you need. So I wish that I’d had your course before I went traveling. Cause it’s, yeah, it’s so helpful.

Sean Tierney: 44:52 Yeah, thanks. It’s uh, that, that was definitely the mentality going into it is like, I just want to create what I wish I yeah. Yeah. And those things that you Google, those are the only the things you think that, and you know, that, you know to Google, you don’t even know what you don’t know at that point.

Marisa Meddin: 45:09 Exactly. And I think that’s what’s overwhelming. Um, the college admissions in anything, it’s like people, you think you’re googling the right thing and you only know what to search for for what you think you need. But yeah, when you go to someone with an online course, it’s like, here’s that. But also here’s the questions you didn’t even know to be asking. And I think that’s where you can really add value to people.

Sean Tierney: 45:30 Yeah. So when, when you did go mad, like, so just stay on this vein. When you did make that transition, uh, how did that go? Like it sounded like it was a lot of googling, but what

Marisa Meddin: 45:41 googling and I had, you know, again, as I mentioned earlier, I followed so many people on social media who had been traveling. So I would literally go through the Instagram feeds and be like, hey, like, what are they wearing? Like, what are the good tools? If they had a blog post, they’d be like, all right, what suitcase are they using? Do I need a backpack? Like, you know, I’m all carry on. I’m like, what are, what’s a jacket that, you know, I think I would just followed someone who was like, buy this jacket, you’re traveling. I was like, Hey, great. Like that’s helpful. I know like folds down super small. So it was just a lot of weird little things of, you know, going to get vaccines and doctors appointments. And for me, I had a place at home, I had to figure out how to rent it out and um, how to like turn my car insurance off and just like a lot of different things that I had never, I was, I thought I was so prepared like months ahead of time in the weeks I was like scrambling. So I wish I’d had someone to be like, these are the things you’re going to need to do.

Sean Tierney: 46:28 I still have the Evernote that I used in preparation for remote year and it was weird. I came to remote. You’re in a very strange way. Like I’d never heard of it until a buddy who had been accepted, asked my advice about how to work remotely out of that. And so I learned about it like literally a month before they were leaving. And so I was like, what to do so fast? Yeah. So I still have the Evernote that I use and it’s just like this checkbox lists of all of this stuff that you just said. You know that how you built your course. Exactly. You go back to your Evernote. That’s exactly what I did. I went back to that and then obviously with hindsight or on top of that. Yeah, exactly.

Marisa Meddin: 47:02 Oh, I love that. Yeah. That’s the sign up. People listening. I wish I’d had it

Sean Tierney: 47:07 free commercial. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. Well I guess the last thing that I kind of want to talk about is what we were saying. Limiting beliefs. Yeah. And, uh, in the, kind of the pretext here of how we came to it. Um, that guy that I just mentioned, Chris, who got me to do remote here about halfway through our travels in Morocco, we had a night, we’re at dinner and he had his journal and we were flipping through it and we found the list of pros and cons. But when he was on the fence, 50, 50, should I do this thing? Should I go Raj, I try this crazy lifestyle and like reading the list of pros and cons, the cons are so ridiculous. They’re so trivial. There’s things like, yeah, like finding health insurance or you know, I don’t even remember. They’re so silly in hindsight. Yeah. But like looming so large at the time or huge. Yeah. So how, what are, what’s advice or I don’t, I don’t know how that, yeah, cause we can’t diminish the, uh, the heaviness of those for the people who are in it at the time. Cause they’re very real.

Marisa Meddin: 48:12 Very real. Yeah. So what I like to do, and um, I can give you guys a worksheet for this again at the same rest, podcasts. I’ll provide, um, the resources that we talked about, but then we’ll look into, we will link it. So I’ll give you a worksheet and I say, um, try this for seven days to any time. You know, it could be about taking the knee, the, the leap to be a nomad or just quitting your job or starting a business or whatever it is. So we all have these things and if you think about it, like in your gut, you know those things, you’re like, oh, I want to try this. But your brain tells you to stop and your brain is there to keep you safe and the fears are never going to go away. Right? Like even me, even all the things we do, your brain is still going to be like, don’t do that.

Marisa Meddin: 48:54 Stay safe. Like, don’t try it. You need health insurance, you need these things. Don’t leave your job. Um, so what do you do when that happens? So I say write down any time a thought comes into your head, the more you are aware of what’s happening. I think a lot of people, when you don’t practice this, you don’t even realize what’s going on in your brain. And so you just stay paralyzed. You stay in the woods like you talked about. So my first step is to write it down, like take a pen and paper, print out the document that I’m talking about right down to say like, I’m scared I’m not going to have health insurance. Right? Like that was, that was your friends one of his concerns. And then underneath it you got like do some research to say, okay, like let me go look at some other travelers.

Marisa Meddin: 49:33 I know there’s 55 blog posts, 55,000 blog posts probably on travelers who were like, here’s the health insurance I use and go look and see how much it costs. Um, I had a friend as well too, who I work with, who she wanted to quit her job and it was the same thing. She was like, but I have this great health insurance. And she realized that it’s going to cost her $400 a month instead of 150 but it’s like, okay, now it’s real. Now I know what it is. So for every, you know, limiting thought that comes into your head, I say, write it down and then write three reasons below it of you know, why it’s going to be okay or why it might not be true or someone else who has figured it out or the exact cost of it or whatever it might be.

Marisa Meddin: 50:13 And as you do that, then your brain says it’s like becomes tangible instead of just these ideas floating in your head of like, I’m scared of this. I’m scared of that because that’s real. And those will not go away until you say, okay, that’s a valid point, but here’s supporting evidence of why that’s going to be okay and like make it really tangible. I feel like this is the same premise at work in David Allen getting things done, calls him open loops. Yeah. And so it’s like you’ve got these massive number of open loops spinning and collectively it just feels like this huge heavy. Yeah. So just getting them on paper and confronting them, and then even if maybe it is more expensive, but now it’s like, okay, that’s how much more expensive. Yes. It’s actually real. I like that. In terms of closing the loop.

Marisa Meddin: 50:58 Yeah. It’s like it’s mentally exhausting. Right. And that’s why I talk about everybody at coach. It’s working through the fears of things is everything. And so yeah, if you can close those loops and saying, yeah, here’s the fear and it exists for a reason, like it’s not irrational, but then you say, okay, let’s close the loop of like, this is when it actually yet is going to be a little more expensive. But now I know, like you said, it’s going to be this much more and if I am making this much money and I can budget like I know it, and then it’s like, okay, that’s not so scary anymore. Okay. Yeah, you wind up with a yellow pad full of these things, but at least they’re all there and yeah. Staring at literally every possible concern and objections. Exactly. And I love that you guys looked back and it’s, it’s fun to keep them now cause I, I journal a ton too probably for the last like two years now, which I never had done before and sometimes was just like getting it in on paper and then going back and looking at those things.

Marisa Meddin: 51:47 You’re like, that’s what held me back. Like there’s some other things I could have been thinking about but it’s fun to see how you evolve and overcome things.

Sean Tierney: 51:53 I’m gonna Contact Chris. I’m going to ask him if he’ll take it. Chris, will you take a picture of that journal and just let me post it on this show now please. I would love to see it. Cool. Well I think this is probably good about a good time to wrap up. I do have a final set of questions. Yeah. Standard questions that I like to ask every guest.

Marisa Meddin: 52:15 Okay.

Sean Tierney: 52:15 And I need a neat name for this. I don’t have like Matt Huddle, lightning round. I don’t even know what to call this. But this is like the tactical section technical section. We’ll talk about, we’ll section what is one book

Marisa Meddin: 52:28 that you’ve read that has profoundly affected you or sculpted you to be the way you are? Yeah, so I would say, um, the four hour work week, which we already talked about. Um, start with that one because that’s, I mean, that one I would also normally, my number two is it starts with why by Simon Sinek. So I’m going to exclude that one because we’ve also covered that one. So my number three is called the big leap. Um, I think it’s gay Hendricks and I think that’s a really good one. And especially for people listening who are thinking about taking the leap into a nomadic lifestyle or different career, uh, it really helps you talk about, it talks about your zone of genius where so many people are working at this subpar level of what you’re capable because you’re not enjoying your work. So it really talks about how to actually find, you know, some of the questions that I’m asking as well, but what do you really love to do and what are the implications if you don’t do it. So it really kind of pushes, it’s like, you know, you want to live a different lifestyle because the four hour work week and then you know, your from Simon Sinek then read the big leap to help you take that leap.

Sean Tierney: 53:28 It sounds like it might provide not like the Fomo or the, the, the, that what’s the way to say it? The counter to like the instead of the carrot of this aspirational thing that you want to go do. Yeah. It’s like the negative ramifications. I’m not doing it. Yeah. Be just as motivating and maybe even more.

Marisa Meddin: 53:45 Absolutely. Absolutely. Yes. That’s a good one.

Sean Tierney: 53:48 Cool. All right. We will link to that in the show notes. What about, what is one travel hack or tool that you use on a regular basis that saves you time or money or headaches

Marisa Meddin: 53:59 for traveling? Oh Gosh. Um,

Sean Tierney: 54:04 that’s a good one. And just to be clear, Murcia has been to 43 countries. So

Marisa Meddin: 54:08 I know like I feel like I should have something really good. Oh I love tripit. Have you ever used tripit before? Absolutely. Um, yeah, there’ll be my travel hack. So it’s an app that just anytime you, you like it hooks up to your email and anytime you buy a bus ticket, a train, flight, plane, flight, anything, it consolidates it into one app because for me I’m like, I don’t know what day I book something. I don’t know what airline it is and I just go to that and then I’m like okay I need to speak at the airport at this time. It kind of like automatically syncs it all together and you can share it with other people if you’re going on similar trips.

Sean Tierney: 54:40 Yup. Super useful. I actually now use kayak cause that that feature is built into that, but I use trip it beforehand. Okay. And Yeah, it’s also nice because they will tell you gate changes. Yeah. It recognizes it when you’re at the airport and before, like oftentimes before it’s even on the Monitor. I will get a notification on Kayak that says, oh, your gate is now this gate. Yeah. And then five minutes later it will be updated on the Monitor. So I don’t know. Yeah. Cool. All right. What is one piece of music or band or musical artists that speaks to you lately?

Marisa Meddin: 55:11 Oh my gosh. Okay. So to give that backstory, I feel like I have, I don’t know if I would’ve answered this by two weeks ago, but we are talking about our top five hip hop artists. I, man, that was very corollary. So somehow I had said, I’m from Atlanta, I love, I love my hip hop. Um, I had said Bubba Sparxxx talking to somebody else and then, so I can’t remember what happened. Somehow you,

Sean Tierney: 55:35 I threw that out there because I think Matt said it, I asked like, oh, did you know, ask her if she likes pub of sparse.

Marisa Meddin: 55:42 I was like, oh my God, as you, you know, me so bad. You know, so I dunno if I, I, I love Bubba Sparxxx, so I’m going to put that out there right now. All right, great. We will a little late. I was told that by Matt to ask you to sing some Petey Pablo. So I’m just gonna put that out there too. Okay. Well

Sean Tierney: 56:00 I can only say PD. Paula, there’s no visual here so I have to be, yeah, take your shirt off like a helicopter. All right, beautiful. So okay, Bob is Mars. We will accept. Last question Marisa. If you had a time machine to go back to your 20 year old self and tell yourself anything, what advice would you yourself.

Marisa Meddin: 56:24 I love that. I wish I actually could go just as cause I feel like it would change my life, but I would say not. It’s like kind of a couple pieces wrapped into one, but not to be afraid of failing at something, not to care what other people think of what you’re doing in life and not to care about the prestigious things. So I guess I was, I was, I guess you should know about me. I was like the super type a like straight A’s, all the things, fabulous student, like you know, get the good job, whatever. And now looking back, I feel like I’ve totally done a one 80 where I’m like, that’s just not important. Like, what’s important is I’m trying things, failing to figure out what I’m good at and what I like to be doing and how I want to show up in the world. Uh, and it’s just a totally different mindset. So I would help myself at 20 understand that sooner rather than later. And I feel like I could’ve skipped some, some years of hardships along the way. Cool.

Sean Tierney: 57:16 Yeah. Good advice. Um, I am actually gonna ask that corollary question. What are the other for hip hop artists can site? Okay. I think one of them is, there’s a shared, I think, ludicrous.

Marisa Meddin: 57:27 You my number one, I would say my, my ATL roots. Um, so Luda he’s number, he’s number one. He wants, came into a restaurant I was working at and uh, he was like, my name is Chris Bridges. I’m here to make a reservation. I was like, okay, like, Hey, I gotta go ask somebody about this. Um, so yeah. Ludas number one. Um, I would say Kanye number two. Um, number three. I always say Twista rap so fast. I just love it. Um, Baba, we already talked about Boa and then number five, I’m going to add a new one. I don’t usually say is a little dicky. I just think he’s a brilliant lyricist and like the do what? Do you listen to this stuff at all? Yeah. Oh my gosh. I forgot a youtube after this. Go to youtube. You’ve got to like see as visuals. He’s just like super creative, really funny, awesome lyrics. Um, that’s gonna be my surprising new fifth. All right.

Sean Tierney: 58:19 You can bet little d you will be embedded in the show notes. Little did you. People know. All right. Well I think that’s a good place to wrap. Marissa, thank you so much for the time. This has been a lot of fun.

Marisa Meddin: 58:31 Yeah.

Contact Details

Marisa Meddin
Blog or Personal Site
Links to anything you’ve written.
This podcast episode has a bit more about my other business (before I started coaching):
Current Company
Talk College to Me
Current Title
Clarity Advisor
United States of America
Countries Visited
  • Anguilla
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Honduras
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Myanmar
  • Netherlands
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States of America
  • Viet Nam
Where in the world are you now?
Lisbon, Portugal
Where were you living when you decided to start a nomadic life?
Atlanta, GA
In which (if any) of these travel programs have you participated?
  • WiFi Tribe
  • Nomad Cruise
  • Selina
What were the initial set of circumstances or motive(s) that led you to experiment with a nomadic life?
I was working remotely in 2014 for my company in NYC while living in Los Angeles, and read The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris while on vacation in Hawaii. This is when the wheels started turning….it was a life I knew I wanted/could achieve too!

However, it wasn’t until 2 years later when I broke off an engagement and moved back to my hometown that I decided to make the big changes. I then quit my job and start my own location independent business, and this was the beginning of my journey to the nomadic life!

Was there something specifically you were looking to gain or escape from that you’re willing/able to share?
What was it and did that play out as you were hoping?
I felt that 3 weeks vacation time wasn’t enough to explore all of the world that I wanted to see. I was hoping to gain memories of beautiful places and epic experiences/adventures.

However, what played out was even more than I could have imagined. In addition to seeing beautiful places and having epic adventures, I met an incredible community of inspiring, awesome travelers along the way. My travels have become more about meeting fabulous new people from all over the world, who are open-minded and who I relate to more than people back “home.” Living and exploring so many different countries has also enhanced by empathy and understanding of cultures. I have learned that humans have the same struggles no matter where or how we live – the world now feels smaller and more connected.

What did you do for income/work while traveling?
To begin, I ran my business Talk College To Me, where I spent my time marketing and selling my online course that helps families with college admissions.
Did that situation change at all during the course of your travels?
What happened?
I learned more about myself, and pivoted into a new business. I still run my college business, but now I do 1:1 Clarity Advising & Career Coaching sessions over the phone as well. In the coming months, I plan to find ways to ramp up my college business while spending even less time on it….and begin building out live and online coaching sessions in my newest business!
Are you still doing the same work today as when you went nomadic?
Did you find it challenging to do your work from abroad?
What type of personal or business growth did you expect to experience and how did that turn out in actuality?
When I left to travel, I knew I had a desire to spread my newfound love and learning of self development practices. However, I didn’t know exactly how I wanted to bring that to life. Traveling allowed me to see/learn that my natural, unique gift is helping others gain clarity and courage in their own lives. I learn so much about myself by meeting new friends on the road in a way that I never do at home, as the people I hang out with at home are often the same people I’ve known for decades.
What was the highest high-point and lowest low-point of your travels?
Highest point: Having a positive impact on the lives of SO many new friends and strangers….I was changing people’s emotional/personal/professional lives for the better in a way that I didn’t realize I was fully capable of doing.

Lowest point: A phone call with my parents when I told them my 4 month stint in Asia was likely turning into a full-time lifestyle. They didn’t understand my choices, and it was an emotionally hard day.

Was there ever a point at which you gave serious consideration to quitting the nomadic journey?
What made you stick it out?
My doubts come when I’m back home and trying to figure out logistics of selling my condo and what to do with my cat. But when I’m back on the road….I never want to stop!!
What did you learn from your nomadic existence that was unintuitive or unexpected but obvious now in retrospect?
So many things….

1) Travel allows me to live in the PRESENT. When I’m home and my life is on autopilot, I get caught up in my own mind, fears, worries and limiting beliefs. When I’m on the road, my mind is busy figuring out where to eat, how to get around, where to go, how to meet friends, etc….and there’s very little time alone to worry about irrational things.

2) I found I learned so much more about MYSELF on the road than I ever did/do at home.

3) I found that travel is more about the incredible PEOPLE I meet and the EXPERIENCES I have, and NOT as much about the bucket list PLACES I thought I had to visit.

4) I found that there are incredible COMMUNITIES of people who are living this lifestyle, and it’s actually LESS LONELY to live a nomadic life than living a traditional lifestyle in a permanent home in the states.

5) Navigating travel has taught me to be even more RESILIENT in every day life….being on the road is logistically hard and problems often arise that you have to creatively figure out. Being back at home, life feels EASY now. I know I can figure out anything that comes my way.

6) People who travel are a special breed who are awesome.

Was it hard to re-integrate back into society after your travels?
What specific challenges have you faced following your journey?
When I went home for a few months, I was bored by shallow conversations and the lack of stimulation and learning.
What can you not “un-see” at this point?
How much of the world there is still left to see!!!
How and to what extent has your group kept in touch after the experience ended?
I don’t keep in touch with every single person I meet. BUT….there are definitely people I talk to almost every day that I met in my travels. It’s crazy how well you get to know people in such a short time while traveling. However, keeping in touch is time consuming!! At every second in the day, it feels like I am getting notifications on my phone through slack, whatsapp, instagram and FB from people all over the world. Which is awesome and wonderful. But it’s distracting to get work done or sleep, because people are talking to me from all different time zones at all times of the day.
How do you think you’ve changed as a person from the experience?
People often ask me if I’ve changed, and I say that I’m just MORE ME. Travel has allowed me to fully be myself in a more powerful way than ever before. It feels like I’ve removed fake layers that existed in the past.
What would you say to someone considering taking a leap like this?
DO IT!!!! You’ll never regret it. EVER.
There will always be a reason why it’s complicated, hard, or not the right time. Make it happen anyway.

Many people always say “I wish I could live the life you do,” as if it just magically fell into my lap. In response, I say “You CAN do it. If you choose too.” This life took a vision, and a lot of work and hard choices to get to where I am. It didn’t happen accidentally or luckily.

How (if at all) has your idea of work changed from the experience?
I now truly believe that you can work or run a business from anywhere in the world. Before, I just saw people on social media who were somehow living this elusive life. Now I know so many real people who are also doing it, and it’s possible for so many different industries, talents and interests!
What’s your best travel hack?
Never book a return flight (or flights far in advance)!! It may be a little more expensive sometimes, but you never know who you’ll meet along the way that you’ll want to keep traveling with. Or places you’ll discover along the way that you didn’t know you needed to explore nearby.
Is there a piece of gear you could you not live without at this point?
Any particular routines or rituals that kept you fit/healthy/sane throughout the year?
I ALWAYS work out wherever I go. Whether that’s finding a local gym, walking, running or doing a HIIT workout from an app in my phone. If I don’t get exercise, I don’t feel good mentally. I always prioritize this, no matter where I am or what time zone I’m in.
What resources (if any) did you use in preparing to go abroad?
There wasn’t any one go-to resource. I followed tons of full-time travelers on Instagram, and bought whatever they recommended and packed whatever they seemed to be wearing.
If you were to do it again, what would you go back and tell your former self to do differently in order to get more out of the experience?
I wouldn’t have bought a condo several years ago! I’m attached to it and haven’t let it go yet, but need to. It causes me stress and attachment that I don’t want.
Any ideas for a product or service to solve a pain point for nomadic travelers you believe should exist?
Details your willing to share on this envisioned product or service:
A live, visual map of all of my traveling friends, showing what town/city/country they’re in right now….so I know if I’m in the same place as them! I never thought about this before, but it suddenly came to mind 🙂 Sometimes I realize months later that I was in the same place as someone else, and didn’t even know at the time.


Sean is host of Nomad Podcast, author of the Nomad Prep eCourse to help others successfully transition to the nomadic lifestyle. Sean is also founder of Problemattic, a global movement to mobilize knowledge workers for good. Read more from Sean on his personal blog or his business blog.

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Nomad Podcast is a series of conversations with nomads, founders and domain experts to help get more people unstuck through transitioning to a nomadic lifestyle. Add your email to get special access to private AMA sessions, pre-release products and other VIP shiz.