Danielle Thompson has architected an amazing life of world travel and helping other freelancers via her online course. Listen to her journey and where she's headed next.

A visit to Costa Rica led Danielle down the path of adopting the nomadic lifestyle. Fast forward a year and she’s now built an impressive agency business and as well an online academy to help empower other freelancers to achieve financial success and freedom of mobility in their businesses. Danielle recently checked off a bucket list item of signing a long-term lease living with friends in an amazing house in Bali. In this conversation we discuss Danielle’s morning routine, what meditation means to her, her multiple experiences with ayahuasca, productivity tools, mindset adjustments, biofeedback and more. Enjoy this conversation.

Show Notes

Time   Topic
0:02:08   Welcome and context
0:04:37   How did you arrive in Nomadism?
0:10:08   When did you decide to become a Nomad?
0:12:11   What were your next steps towards becoming a Nomad?
0:14:56   Can you share your experience with Ayahuasca?
0:22:58   How did this experience helped you with developing the school?
0:26:22   What is your background with meditation?
0:27:21   Can you share your story of using the Muse wearable brain sensing headband?
0:30:54   What method do you currently use to meditate?
0:31:26   What is your gratitude journaling process?
0:35:23   Can you tell us more of the use of essential oils?
0:36:56   Tell us about your Crossfit exercises
0:39:50   How did your design agency became fully remote?
0:45:55   What’s the next phase with your design business?
0:47:30   What is the Freelance Travel Network?
0:53:46   Can you explain what Mind Valley is?
0:56:30   Tell us about Bali
0:57:57   What is the book that has profoundly affected you in some way?
0:58:51   What is your favorite tool that saves you time, money or headaches?
1:00:26   One piece of music or artist that is speaking to you lately?
1:01:18   If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 20 year old self?


Freelance Travel Network
Remote Year
WIP Coworking Space
Danielle’s Instagram Profile
Coding Freedom
WiFi Tribe
Guided Meditation and Mindfulness – The Headspace App
Muse Headband
Joshua Waitzkin
Monday Project Management
UpWork Freelance Platform
Take Control of Your Life
Summer Walker



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Sean Tierney: 00:02:08 Alright. Hey everybody this is Sean with the nomad podcast. I am sitting across from Danielle Thompson. Danielle is the founder of the freelance travel network. She helps freelancers get better clients and travel the world. She has an Instagram following that will blow you away of almost 50,000 followers. She’s helped her clients raise over $19 million in seed and VC funding and her products that she has worked on and have reached over a hundred million users. Danielle, welcome to the show.

Danielle: 00:02:34 Thank you. That is quite the intro. Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here.

Sean Tierney: 00:02:43 Awesome to have you here. I think to start this off, we just have to, I mean, cause there’s, this came about in a very serendipitous way, so I kind of want to take a step back. Let’s go back to where we first met and maybe cue it up. There we are. Back where square one, where this all started in, in the node remote your workspace. I’ll let you maybe kind of explain how did we meet each other.

Danielle: 00:03:04 Yeah. You know, it was actually funny from my side. It was a completely impromptu trip to Lisbon. I was living in Buenos Aires and you know one day I was just like, you know I need to change, I need to, and I bought this ticket across the world over to Lisbon and I’m looking at coworking spaces and spaces to to work out of and I find this space WIP whiff and I was like what is this? I never heard of this space. They kind of don’t have that much online presence. I think that but it was really close to my house and they had some cool Instagram photos of people doing yoga and all this stuff. And I get here thinking this is like this big community and it’s just me and you and me and Sean are just in this room for about a week. We were together with no one else here because it was in between the remote year groups and that’s where we initially met. And so we’re back here in the same coworking space, which is crazy.

Sean Tierney: 00:03:54 But now there is a community. [inaudible]

Danielle: 00:03:57 is actually people here. It’s changed significantly. And I think what’s really, really incredible is how much has happened in the last year.

Sean Tierney: 00:04:03 Yeah. You know what, it’s funny this was a theme with the last guest, but like what a difference a year makes. Like what can change in a year. And I know we’re going to dig into that with your scenario. I just don’t think people can fathom though. Like ghost town doesn’t describe it adequately when it was literally just you and me just going to looking up over our desks like hey, what’s up, talk for awhile. And then we finally started talking to, so random families. So funny. There’s only so much small talk you can have, you know? Yeah, yeah. It gets real pretty quick. Cool. So I want to talk about first year just the backstory of how you arrived at nomadism. Like I downloaded the book, the lead magnet from your Instagram profile, the hacking freedom, and I started to read your backstory about how you, like you said, I looked at it and I didn’t want this year to be just like a copy of last year at one point. And that was kind of like the catalyzing thing, but can you take us back to that moment where you kind of said like, I need to change something and what did that look like?

Danielle: 00:05:02 Totally. So I was living in Montreal all the time, so I went to school in Montreal. I’m Canadian and it, I finished school and I was kind of, I was working freelance, so I started working freelance quite a few years ago and working online while I was in school and all that stuff. And I was doing fairly well, you know, I was making maybe above median average income. And um, compared to my friends I was quite successful and I wasn’t feeling super stressed about my work or anything like that. I was getting cool clients. And so from the surface, everything seemed pretty good and, and okay. And I remember, um, I get this text one day, it’s like a Friday night. And I get that text that so many of us have gotten with, are you just coming out tonight? Like, are you coming to the bar tonight?

Danielle: 00:05:42 And it’s the bar that everyone goes to every Friday. And I just had this moment, like this sinking feeling or kind of felt like groundhog day and I was like, I’ve gotten this text before and I’m going to get this text for the next year. And you know, when you just have this feeling that you’re meant to do something bigger, you’re meant to do something greater. You don’t know what it is. You have no clue how, how it’s going to manifest, but you just have this itching feeling like you’re like, I know what my life will look like if I stay here. And it wasn’t that I wasn’t, wasn’t happy or that I didn’t have some kind of freedom because I was freelancing. I did, I did have abundance financially, you know, at least enough. And, but it was this feeling that I was meant to do something greater and contribute to something bigger.

Danielle: 00:06:21 And so I had that sinking feeling and I was like, okay, what am I going to do about it? You know? So I booked this ticket to Billy’s and I always wanted to go to Belize. It just seems like so cool. These little islands and they have these like colorful little like Shaq houses. I there, it’s going to be amazing. And at this point I had never traveled on my own before, so I was kind of frightened by this idea and I didn’t have much money, like saved out, you know, for a trip. I had enough money to live and to maybe go out to fancier places, but I didn’t have that much money for a trip. So I was pretty nervous. And um, so leading up to the trip about a week before that trip, I actually got a concussion and I couldn’t go. So I, I had like I, I, I, I ended up, it was in the winter and I had a little slip and then I had a concussion.

Danielle: 00:07:06 I couldn’t go and it seemed like really traumatic and awful, but it was this amazing time where I could sit back and just think about how I want my life to because I literally, I couldn’t look at my phone, couldn’t look at my computer. I was stuck in my house because you don’t want to be out in the sun too much or anything like that. So I was just sitting there and I had like about two weeks to just think about, you know, how I want it to impact the world and what I wanted for my life. And I kind of realized that I wanted to contribute more than I was contributing right now. I was doing what I needed to do and I was successful in certain ways, but I didn’t feel like I was giving anything to the world. My clients got products, but I just, I had this itching feeling that I needed to do more.

Danielle: 00:07:43 And um, and so as I got better, I started looking for ways that I can contribute to my community, into the world around me. And so I started actually teaching people how to freelance. And so this is kind of how it all started. So I start teaching people how to freelance. And out of that, I got all these amazing connections coming towards me and I got all these amazing people asking me to do work and things like that. And my income went up really quickly. And so then my friend who I was working with on one project, he booked his first trip to Bali and I was like, well, if he’s leaving, you know, why don’t I book a trip? And so I booked my first trip at that time to Costa Rica. Um, and so that’s kind of how it all began. It was, you know, this, this, uh, it was this coming out of this place for, I just felt like I need to do something more. And I know a lot of people feel that way, but not knowing exactly how it would translate, but kind of starting to take those little steps to make that change and then booking that first trip.

Sean Tierney: 00:08:36 And so at that point though, you already had a design business of your own that was paying your way that you could do remotely, or were you in the process of morphing that to be location independent?

Danielle: 00:08:46 Um, so it was pretty much remote. I had a few clients in person, but it wasn’t too hard to transition. So yeah, at that point I was, I was fairly confident that I can make an income and sustain myself while on the road, but I wasn’t 100% sure because most of my network was still in Montreal go. So it was kind of this, it was a little scary to take that plunge.

Sean Tierney: 00:09:06 And were the freelancers that you were teaching then at that point? Those were all local in Montreal. Exactly. Exactly. Got It. So it’s some point along the road and we can chronologically that we’re jumping ahead of ourselves, but at some point along the road, you have packaged this into a course right now to do an online course to set like I’m jumping the gun, but I want to go back. Okay. So you’re in Costa Rica, you, you have this massive spike in the business. You’re growing things. Um, you’re not nomadic yet though. No. Right. Like you see you went to Costa Rica, but some point along the line you just said, I can keep traveling and do this itinerary La.

Danielle: 00:09:45 So I still had my place in Montreal. It was kind of that first trial and I think a lot of nomads start that way. You know, they do a month or maybe three months somewhere else. And so mine was only two weeks and I booked my ticket to Costa Rican as working remotely. But I wasn’t sure if this was going to be my lifestyle. I just knew I wanted to travel and I had no idea that I would be on the road for the next three years. Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 00:10:08 And so did you go back after Costa Rica or did you continue on from there? So

Danielle: 00:10:13 in Costa Rica is really interesting. I met my first digital nomad, like ever. I had never met someone who was working in traveling and um, when I met this, this person that we both saw an ad for a were controlled program Wifi drive actually. And so we saw an ad for them and I was like, it’d be so cool to meet other people who work online and travel and, and, and have these remote businesses because even though I could work remotely, I hadn’t made that full transition. Right. And so I ended up booking like a place in this house in Nicaragua and that was a whole other funny story like getting to Nicaragua. I was so nervous because I was only four hours away from my place in Costa Rica, but I was so nervous. I booked the most expensive bus to get there and it ended up being like the seniors tour bus.

Danielle: 00:10:58 And so we like stopped along the way at a bunch of different places and then all of a sudden I can’t speak any Spanish at this point. And the guy in the front of the bus, he’s calling to get my taxi to bring me to the house and I have no idea what’s happening. I was absolutely terrified. But then I arrive at this house in it is gorgeous. Like it’s looking over the water. And you know, I started meeting these entrepreneurs, that’s where I met, you know, one of our mutual friends, Christa. And um, and I realized that you could build a business around your lifestyle, you know, and before that I thought you’d just kind of keep working and just work harder and that’s all you, you know, if you want to make more money, if you want to be more successful, you just work harder.

Danielle: 00:11:38 And then I met people who built businesses around their lifestyle and that was a shift. So I had to go home cause I actually had to graduate from university, so I had to have to actually go. I wanted to stay longer, but I ended up leaving. Most people stayed in the house for a month, but I left after only a week and a half. And I went back to Canada to graduate from university. And at that moment, like right after my graduation, I put my, I told my landlord, I’m like, I put in my notice that I’ll be gone by the end of the summer. And, uh, and, and started packing up my life at that point.

Sean Tierney: 00:12:07 Yeah. The, this term lifestyle design is something that I’d never heard before. And my entry into the nomadic stuff was through remote year as I think, you know. Uh, but I had never heard of it, you know, I’d read the four hour work week, so I was aware of of that type stuff, but I wasn’t aware that like that, that there is a whole other form of currency around freedom that most people don’t take into account. And it’s really the money you make is one access to think about things. But the other access, which is orthogonal is like freedom and location independence and controlling your time and that type of stuff. Um, and so it sounds like you, you discovered it and uh, and so he met up with Wifi tribe and Nicaragua, went back, graduated, gave your notice, and then from that point, just what I plotted a couple destinations after that or how did, how did that evolve?

Danielle: 00:12:57 Well, I decided to go back to Costa Rica because it was somewhere I knew, you know, I was still kind of nervous even though, and I think at every stage you still have so much more to learn and so much more to go. So you know, to do the people outside who saw me book a plane ticket and pack up my life, they’re like, wow, she’s so brave. But inside I’m feeling like so nervous and uncertain of how the next few months are going to be. So I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have any longterm plan. I just knew I wanted to go back to Costa Rica. And then I would see from there. So I, when I went, after I went back to Costa Rica, that trip ended up being throughout Central America. So back to Costa Rica, I went to Guatemala, which I fell in love with.

Danielle: 00:13:33 I went to Panama and I really explored that region. And something that really stood out to me was whether they were backpackers through digital nomads. I was meeting people who made a decision of where they wanted to be in their lives. And you know, I, when you’re home, sometimes I would, I love my friends and I love the people I was around. But a lot of times it sounded like sometimes we were victims of our situation. You know, we were in these jobs we didn’t like they were in relationships, they didn’t love. They were in all these positions where they felt sometimes like victims instead of feeling empowered in. The cool thing is when I was traveling, it didn’t matter if someone was super rich financially or you know, just rich in life, but there was this deliberateness to their lifestyle. There was this like, I choose to live this way, I want this freedom and whatever costs it is for me to do that. Maybe it’s working in a hostile cause. That’s what they decided to do. Or building an online business and going through the struggles of that. It’s like this deliberate choice to live a life that, that works for them. And so that’s what was the most inspiring. And uh, yeah. And so I spent four months in Central America and then started my trip in Europe.

Sean Tierney: 00:14:36 That’s awesome. Yeah, and I think there’s definitely something energizing and self-selecting about meeting those people who inherently like the type of folks that you’re going to meet in that situation are ones that really want to be there and have architected their life to allow that. Um, so that, that’s awesome. Yeah. Okay. So

Danielle: 00:14:52 I want to transition to Iowasca. Can we talk about this? Super Fascinated. We had a conversation at dinner the other night and you know, this is something that’s popped up. I feel like more and more with the people going through Peru and I know that they’re doing it in the metagene and other places. What was your, how did you come to this, and I just wanna hear about the experience, but like what was the motive to try it I guess? Totally. So basically when I was living in Montreal, I had a friend who comes to me and he’s like, I just had the most incredible experience. And he was, starts explaining, he had these visions. He went into his past, he said it was like him talking to himself and, and, and seeing all the things that he needed to let go off. And it was just like this, it was so surreal while he was explaining it to me that I was just like, I don’t have any concept of what you’re talking about.

Danielle: 00:15:38 Just sounds like you’re tripping on some kind of drugs. Like, you know, I was really confused but he seemed so much calmer, you know, he seems so much at peace and I knew him before and after that experience and there was a clear difference between who he was before. I asked him who he was after and I didn’t know what it was, but I was like, I really want to try this. And I remember they were doing ceremonies in Montreal, but I was always a bit off. Like the dates never really worked for me, but I was still interested in it. So I watched all the youtube videos, I read all the forums and read all the experiences. And this is like, I don’t know, like five years ago now when I first heard about it. And so I didn’t try it. I didn’t, I didn’t have access to it.

Danielle: 00:16:19 And, um, when I was last year in front of Zaydis, I just, I would decide I was going to go home for Christmas and on the way home I was like, you know, this is a great time. My client works flow over Christmas and all that stuff. It’s a great time to stop through Peru. And it felt like the time that I should try IOWASCA and I was really scared. And so I like pick the one that seems super new per se and like, oh, it was in the sacred valley. I wasn’t ready for the Amazon quite yet. And um, I remember I get to Peru and it was just such a different energy than Vanessa. It has been as I had, as I was having kind of a hard time there because I was missing Bali and I was missing kind of the beach and nature and I didn’t even realize how much that impacted me.

Danielle: 00:16:59 And so I felt kind of a bit of refuge when I got to Peru and being in nature and, um, we get to this retreat center and um, and I meet this couple and they start telling me one the boyfriend. And that couple starts telling me about his experience on Iowasca the year or a few years prior and how they, you know, he saw their future life together and how he saw their child and all this stuff. And I was like, this sounds bizarre. Like I can’t fathom what this experience is going to be like. And I was so nervous like they come and check your, um, your oxygen levels before you do it. And mine was like, I was like out of breath cause I was so nervous. Like I was doing I WASC and that first experience, I remember that first ceremony, it was wild. It was, um, it, it was almost just like, it was so fast.

Danielle: 00:17:44 It felt like it felt like an hour, but it was like six hours. And I just remember afterwards, I couldn’t remember everything I saw cause it was just so new to me. But I remember afterwards feeling just a bit calmer, just a little bit calmer. And then later on as I kept taking the medicine and kept experience io WASC, I started getting more visions. And so I’ve done Iowasca and two sets of ceremonies, so two years ago and then just actually a few quite a few months ago. And there are very, very different experiences. And I would love to tell you kind of the difference in what has happened between both of them. So the first set of ceremonies was kind of about realizing my own power as a, as a person, as a human on this earth. And realizing that, you know, those visions of those dreams I had of making that change way back in Montreal.

Danielle: 00:18:27 Like it’s still a big part of me and I am here for a reason and you know, I do have the power to make change and I do have the power to help people and contribute to the world. And I think that’s kind of, I don’t know. I feel, so my mission and my ethos is around empowerment and I feel like it’s because sometimes we feel like we don’t make a difference, that we don’t take action. You know, we don’t even try because we don’t feel empowered in ourselves. And what I think that the message from Iowasca, whatever you believe, wherever it’s from, I think that message was that you are a strong person and that you can actually make an impact in the world if you, if you just try, you know, if you, you don’t get paralyzed by the fear or imposter syndrome or all these other things, then if you just try, then you can make a difference.

Danielle: 00:19:09 And that whole [inaudible] set of ceremonies was beautiful. But um, I didn’t feel like I, it was crazy life changing. It was like I had this, I had a different vibe and energy about me, but it, and I had some realizations, but it wasn’t like the, like I didn’t feel like a different person. But this year I came back as a different person. I speak differently. I look at the world differently and have a different awareness of what’s going on in myself and my body and those sets of ceremonies had very distinct themes. And the first one was again, self-love. I think sometimes, especially as an entrepreneur, you know, maybe as a nomad, you know, when you’re not in the office, you don’t have affirmation from maybe a team right beside you. Sometimes this idea that am I doing enough concept? You know, am I, am I, am I working enough hours?

Danielle: 00:19:58 Am I putting enough effort into this? If you’re building a business and am I doing the right things? And sometimes I know with myself I can be really hard on myself. Like, uh, and Iosco was just like, hey, didn’t yell like you’re doing, you’re doing enough. You are enough. And I think that learning that and really starting to embody that has made not only my personal life so much easier with my business as well. You know, I think it’s that, that kind of yearning and when you don’t trust that you know your enough as you are, I think that’s what brings a lot of anxiety and stress into business owners. You know? Um, so that was the first big theme. And the second one was that, again, I’m powerful, but she started teaching me what that means. You know, she told me that I’m a healer and that I’m here to, you know, Save, save the world’s brown from pain.

Danielle: 00:20:48 And I have no idea what that means. It’s a pretty overwhelming message if you ask me. But she, and even saying it out loud, it sounds kind of funny, but it was that you know, that you impacted people just by your presence. And when, when students are in my school, when they’re, you know, in the course when I’m coaching them one-on-one or when they’re going through the modules, the biggest message that I try and bring to them is that your, you make a difference, your impact makes a difference and you bring value, you know, in into wherever you are. And when you realize your value, then that value transcends into the marketplace. It transcends into your relationship with everything. But it’s like realizing your own power. You know, when you just get a sense for something, you meet someone or maybe a new client comes up and you just have a feeling maybe like this is going to be great.

Danielle: 00:21:35 This is not going to be so great and you get that inner feeling. But sometimes we ignore it. We’re like, this is, this is not relevant. It’s just in my head it’s just me making up things and I lost it. I was trying to tell me that, no, it’s not just in your head. You’re tapping into your intuition. You’re tapping into your knowing as a person and you need to follow that because the more you go against that and try and logic, you know, and be like, no, no, no, that’s not accurate because of this fact and this fact and this fact the more you’re going to live in a space of tension. Yeah. And um, yeah, it was just a really powerful, powerful, powerful message. And afterwards I went back to [inaudible] cause I was also in front of scientists and I went back there and I felt this sense of direction that I had never felt before.

Danielle: 00:22:20 You know, with the freelance travel network that’s not just a school about getting better clients and traveling the world, but it’s a, it’s a school of human betterment, you know, of people realizing their own beauty so that they can make changes in the world that they see fit and that they see that need to be made. Um, and I came back with direction around, there were so many distractions before felt like everything, every one who texted me, everything on my phone, everything that was going on in the city was an option. And all of a sudden it became really clear what my priorities are and I, and I became way more deliberate about how I spend my time in the world.

Sean Tierney: 00:22:50 So how did that experience, so it, it gave clarity to the distractions that you were receiving and it’s a different lens to see things through now, but did that sculpt in any way how you develop the school process or how did that affect what you’re doing structurally? Totally. So

Danielle: 00:23:10 I think that with the school I started, I was, I think one thing with the self love and kind of the knowing and my own value. I learned that what I was teaching was powerful. I didn’t, you know, I kind of had that big imposter syndrome before that maybe I’m not actually teaching something that valuable. And so I started seeing the content I was, I was out putting out there as something more valuable and it made me more comfortable to actually talk with my students, you know, because before I was kind of scared, I was like, what if they don’t like it? And I became way more comfortable with my students and interacting with them and, and learning from them and learning what they need. And so structurally, how that changed my business as a school, as I started putting the content of coaching back into the, in the content of the school. So I started taking the live sessions I do as students one-on-one and putting it back into the school content. And it’s been some of the most powerful content in, in the holes and everything that I’ve made. You know?

Sean Tierney: 00:24:04 Totally. It’s just funny, like not nearly to the same degree, but I’m on a very similar parallel path in that I created this nomad prep ecourse thing. Um, I think it was at the time when you were here as I was when I was first building it and, uh, many of the same lessons in terms of there’s like interacting with the students and putting that content into it and helping with life transitions. And like my, I’ve never done Iowasca, but I did Simon cynics program, uh, start with y. And so I came away with that with a really powerful why statement that is, uh, I’m here to help others be gravity so they can be free to do what they’re born to do. It’s beautiful. Yeah. And so it’s just like however you come to that, like whether it’s through Iowasca or whether it’s through some set of exercises, but I feel like once you have it, it kind of, and maybe you’ll testify to this, but it’s just like, oh yeah, that’s, that’s me. That’s what I mean. You know, that’s my essence. That’s what I’m here to do. Um, so it’s, it’s cool that you can connect with that. Um, you said something at dinner the other night that I thought it was really like, I got goosebumps when you said it, but, um, something to the effect of like, I was always here, like that voice was like that, that comfort of like, I was there the whole time.

Danielle: 00:25:17 Oh, that was about, I was talking, you know, especially that first night I went into these second Sarah set of ceremonies and I sh I saw mother io Osca and she showed showing me all these kind of visions that I would have when I was meditating or you know, what I would classify at the time as daydreams. You know, sometimes I just daydream about something or I’d be in some kind of sound healing or some kind of other type of meditation and I would see something, I would have these very clear visions, almost felt like I was dreaming while I was awake. And I just would brush them off as like, oh, Danielle, you have an active imagination. And I will ask. I was like, no. Like that was, that was me, you know, that was me. I’ve been, I’ve always been with you, you know, and you can access whatever you believe and you can access these powers or however you want to classify it through meditation, through, you know, breathing methods through Iosco, through, you know, maybe it’s just running for you, but it’s, it’s this idea that you’re, you’re never out of meditation almost.

Danielle: 00:26:18 You, you know, you just tap into it, but it’s always there.

Sean Tierney: 00:26:20 Right, right. And that’s a perfect segue because I wanted to talk about meditation. So what, uh, on that, on that topic, what has been your background with meditation?

Danielle: 00:26:30 Yeah, so I was kind of like, I don’t know a lot of people, like I love this as a, there’s this talk called mostly mindful, you know, unless it’s like for the normal people who are, we try and meditate everyday, but you know, we forget we headspace all that stuff. And so with meditation, I have a bit of experience. I was using headspace and then I also did this awesome course, uh, that was this, this 13 week course you’d go every week and learn different types of meditation. And there was a retreat at the end and stuff. And so I had experience in a formal sense and then an informal sense with my, my own meditation. And also I use this headband called Muse and it’s amazing because it tracks my brain waves so I can actually see and start learning how to train my brain in a really technical way. So before I lost it, that was kind of my experience with meditation.

Sean Tierney: 00:27:18 Nice. And you’ve uh, I’m super curious about that cause I looked into the muse like biofeedback for actually in the moment, like as I understand it, it like gives these sounds like the forest clears or the birds start chirping when you’re like deep into it and then like when you kind of get distracted then it like goes away or something like

Danielle: 00:27:36 yeah. So basically it’s instant feedback. You have your headphones in, you have the headband on and when you start, like when you catch, so this is what I learned to be true for me. For Meditation, everyone says no right way or wrong way to meditate. But there is ways we ran is more active and less active. And for me it’s not about clearing my mind of all thoughts, but it’s when I attach to a thought. So it’s kind of like, you know, it’s like, ah, what am I going to wear this morning? And then it’s like maybe I should wear a finger purple or maybe I should do this or maybe I should and starts kind of building off this one thought. When that happens the forest goes crazy, the ocean goes wild and that’s what the Muse is doing. But if I have a series of just like thoughts that I’ll keep letting go, letting go off, like where am I working today, what am I going to eat? And just kind of like just like these thoughts that come and then go and come and go. I don’t have a particular attachment to that thought. Then it’s like birds and quietness and calmness and you feel this amazing like sense of relief because when all the forest sounds just stop and the ocean just cleared and it’s just like dead silence and you’re like, Whoa, like this is what it feels like to be at peace. And then all of a sudden, yeah

Danielle: 00:28:41 the price is going down. The ocean is cause he started thinking about how great it is a VFP so now all of a sudden you’re not at peace anymore. It not itself is a thought. So you start chasing that thought exactly out of it. Yeah, exactly.

Danielle: 00:28:53 What news has taught me that I was trying to grasp when I was doing all these meditation apps and stream courses and all this stuff. It’s like what does it mean for me to be in meditation? What does that mean? Like I have no concept. It’s hard to grasp and they say it’s a feeling or it’s something that you just know. And it was really great though, having the biofeedback version of it and being like, okay, now I’m in a meditative state. And so what that means for me is that when I’m in my normal life and you know I have a client meeting and I’m nervous or you know, something happened in my personal life, I know how to drop into meditation and I know what that means for me.

Sean Tierney: 00:29:26 Totally. Yeah. No it’s, I one day came to the epiphany doing meditation of like, Oh yeah, this is just really like the muscle memory of observance and dismissal of thought. That’s really all it is cause you get to, you get used to just like seeing a thought arrive and just letting it kind of go by like a little fish swim by and just let it go and then you’re like, okay, next one, next one. And it’s not about like trying to clear the fish tank. It’s about like observing the fish and then just letting it swim away and being okay with that.

Danielle: 00:29:57 Exactly. I learned something that was really empowering when I was in high school. We had all these, we had these amazing programs where they teach us kind of more emotional awareness and these kinds of things. When I was in high school and this one woman, she told me, she’s like, you know, extreme emotions only lasts about 20 minutes. So if something awful or amazing happens or anything like that and you’re on one or are they all end of the spectrum, that emotional actually lasts only 20 minutes. So this was really powerful. You know, if you have anxiety and you have like an anxiety attack, you can literally look at the clock and at that 20 minute mark it’s really hard to keep, you know, breathing heavy and all this stuff and all of a sudden it kind of disappears and you know with thoughts it thankfully thoughts don’t last 20 minutes usually like one thought. But it’s the same principle of like, you know, if you don’t attach to it, if you don’t start it again, then actually fades away on its own.

Sean Tierney: 00:30:44 Yeah. You don’t give it power. You like basically suffocated essentially by not giving it power. Exactly. Interesting. Um, okay. And so, but you did do headspace, you did this, this retreat program, and now at this point you just kind of do your own thing or what method do you use to,

Danielle: 00:31:03 I still use the muse and then sometimes when I, when I’m feeling a lazier, I use headspace or if I need an SOS meditation, like you know, if I feel a little nervous one day I might use headspace cause I can use it really quickly. And then I use the muse, try and do it every morning along with my five minute journal. And that was kind of like,

Sean Tierney: 00:31:21 yeah, I want to talk about your journaling thing. So you’re just like [inaudible] on the segment. Um, so yeah, I thought that was fascinating. You do some kind of gratitude journaling, prostitutes. Can you talk about what that is?

Danielle: 00:31:31 Of course. So I heard something when I was younger that if you have gratitude, it’s hard to be anything but happy. And I truly believe it. It’s, it’s, sometimes it’s, it’s nice, like sometimes you want to be like pointed something and be like, this is why I’m feeling not so great. But you realize that at every point you’re in this point of privilege, you know, like to be alive, to be on earth or you know, a lot of us who are listening to this, you know, we’re in, we’re in pretty decent places and when I have gratitude, I often feel so much better. And so the best way to start my day is with gratitude. So I have my five minute journal and the five minute journal starts with, um, three things you’re grateful for. That’s it. There’s a quote at the top and then three things you’re grateful for right away.

Danielle: 00:32:10 First thing in the morning, my eyes are still blurry. I’m still waking up and I write it. You could probably barely read it cause it’s like my morning scribbles and, but it’s three things I’m grateful for and I surprise myself with what I write. Sometimes it’s something really simple. Sometimes it’s just like sleeping well, you know, sometimes it’s something bigger, like being able to live in Bali. Sometimes, you know, it’s my friends and sometimes one person comes up very specifically and it’s really beautiful because it’s just like, it’s like my brain in the morning is, is, is, is focusing on the best thing in my life right now that I consider. And then, um, after that, it’s three things that can make today awesome. And so this gets me into, okay, how can I take control of the state of my day? Right? So sometimes it’s things like when I wake up a little funny, I’m like, if I have patients today, you know, having patients today, having an amazing meeting with my client, being able to connect, you know, on this podcast and chatting, you know, with my friend here.

Danielle: 00:33:06 And so different things come up, uh, and, and uh, really shapes my day and it really helps me get into the right mindset. Cool. And then is there a nighttime component to this? Yes, totally. There is, um, three amazing things that happened today. Oh, and one thing in the morning, sorry. This is actually really important. It’s the affirmation. Okay. So you write your daily affirmation. So you write one and I am a big, big, big fan of affirmations, like huge. I actually have nine minutes of affirmations of me speaking recorded on my phone that I try and listen to in the mornings as well. Um, and this is like I’m in the shower and it’s just like me telling myself that I’m a great person and it seems silly, but it’s really hard to listen to yourself talk for nine minutes about how awesome you are and not feel great after it.

Danielle: 00:33:50 Like it’s just really, really hard. Like you have to be a master, you know, to, to listen to yourself for that long saying like, you know, I’m a strong, abundant, amazing person and not start to smile. And so that really helps as well. Um, but so you write your affirmation, you just write one in the journal and sometimes it’s maybe something that I’m having a hard time with that I need to affirm, you know, I’m actually the strong person or sometimes it’s things that I am just feeling that day. Like I’m feeling abundant and vibrant and so I write that as an affirmation. Then at night, right before you go to bed, the whole thing is you’re programming your brain before you go to bed for the next day. And so you write three amazing things that happen that day and then what could you, what could you have done to make that day better? And that part is really, really, really powerful because it shows me each day, you know, where I can improve in my character and as a person. So sometimes it’s like having more patients with some of my friends or uh, like it, you know, making decisions quicker or you know, like going to bed earlier, something like that. And this is like the small little improvements. It doesn’t feel like this giant thing that I have to change myself, but these small little things that I can do to make the next day better.

Sean Tierney: 00:35:00 Totally. I mean, it sounds like a retrospective, like from the software programming days when you, you know, you’d all kind of gather around and be like, okay, well what did we do right? What did we do wrong on this project? And like, let’s tease out those lessons for next time. And yes, I guess if you get in the rhythm of doing that every night, I can see how that’d be really powerful. I’m totally, totally okay. Um, okay. So the other night when we had dinner, you guys had just come from buying essential oil. So that’s another thing I wanted to ask you about because I actually use lavender and came with meal and some of those essential oils. But what, uh, tell me about that. Is it just because you like the way they smell or do you like the medicinal properties of them?

Danielle: 00:35:35 Yes, I used to more essential oils and I was living in Canada because I could get like anything I wanted and I would use them a lot of time for like sleep and relaxation and that side of things. So I would often smell them like aroma therapy. But this time I bought a diffuser, so I’m so excited about this. I use it every single night, um, just before I go to bed. And I feel like it just kind of calms me down and also creates this beautiful space to diffuse her. Has this like nice light light on it. So it’s like very soft light. And I think creating a good space before you go to bed is really important. We don’t have a lot of wind downtime these days, you know, and I’m the, I’m like not the best at like keeping my phone out of my room and doing those things all the time, but at least if I can create a bit of a sanctuary for me before I go to bed and the essential oils really help that. So it’s mixed and medicinal smell. The ambiance it creates.

Sean Tierney: 00:36:29 Yeah, the routine I do, I have a diffuser as well. That’s a little soft light too, so I know exactly what you’re talking about. Um, that’s awesome. It’s amazing the, I would say that you land your lane, the one that you guys had. That’s an aphrodisiac. [inaudible] yeah, no kidding. It’s a good, talk to me about your exercise, cause I know you’re big into the crossfit stuff. What do you, what do you do on that front?

Danielle: 00:37:02 Yeah, totally. So I realized, oh, so in person with who apparently has ADHD and I have so much physical energy like I could, like I just, I don’t often feel very physically tired and I find if I workout in the mornings then oh my goodness, my days are like amazing. Like I’m on fire, you know. And um, so I try and do some kind of workout in the morning. And recently I haven’t been doing crossfit the last few months in bronchitis because I’ve been lucky enough to work with one of the most amazing trainers there who has been helping me work on very, very small kind of muscle strengthening. So kind of like, you know, shoulder rehab and you know, hip rehab and things like that. Cause crossfit is quite hard on your body. It’s amazing and I love it, but it is harder on your body. And so I’ve been rehabbing the last few months but also feeling so much stronger and more vibrant and it’s kind of been like kind of a nice theme because I work out, I was working out for about five hours per week or six hours a week.

Danielle: 00:38:01 And it was really slow, you know, it was like kind of like one exercise took a long time and then the end we’d have 15 minutes of, you know, deadlifts or squats or something like that. And you know, I feel like, oh, nothing’s happening cause you across with this intense like one hour go, go, go, go, go. And this idea of like slowing down to speed up really came into practice when I started doing this kind of very focused working out and like looking at these specific muscle groups and stuff. Um, and I’m so much stronger now. Like I, I, I’m so much stronger I’ve, I’ve had, because I’ve identified the weaknesses and worked on those specifically rather than just doing a bunch of like cardio and lifting and all this stuff. And so coming into this next year I’m actually going to focus on more like these specific working with personal trainers and working on these specific strength thing exercises and then maybe put some crossfit.

Sean Tierney: 00:38:49 They’re a little, that’s awesome. Like hearing you describe it, it reminds me of this Guy Josh Waitzkin. I don’t know if you know who that is. He was on the Tim Ferriss show, but he’s like the guy that that’s searching for Bobby Fischer movie was made about this chess prodigy genius guy. Uh, who then took what he knew of that and applied it to then like, not only when the chess championships, but he then took the exact same skill of learning and then used it to win them a tie, pushing us championships. And now he’s like Brazilian Jujitsu champion or something. So this guy has like kind of distilled this learning framework and he talks about something about making smaller circles and it’s not the idea of like doing a massive crossfit workout and like doing that everyday, but it’s like, how do you make smaller and smaller circles and like just perfect one tiny muscle movement and like take it all the way down to that smallest building block. But it sounds like exactly what you’re talking about. Totally.

Danielle: 00:39:38 Yeah, totally. And so I think now if I do decide to go to crossfit or whatever yoga or anything I do, I could do it with so much more strength than precision.

Sean Tierney: 00:39:46 Totally. Yeah. Um, talk to me about your design agency now is fully remote, right? You have a staff and then you manage it remotely. How, how, let’s start there.

Danielle: 00:39:58 Oh yeah. Sometimes I look at kind of everything I’m doing it. We just switched to this project management tool called Monday. Um, they sent me so many ads and finally I gave in and this actually is really, really great. And, um, I, I’m looking at everything I do now and I’m like, wow, that’s a lot of things. Like at the same time, but my team is amazing. And I think when you’re running a team, uh, it’s important to distinguish between being a manager and a leader. Cause it’s very different. You know, leaders create culture, they create the sense of ownership and those kinds of things in managers. Make sure that the end result is what it needs to be. And so I think it’s been a long journey of me learning how to be a leader. I had a lot of freelancers who it didn’t work out with, you know, over the years.

Danielle: 00:40:42 And then I finally learned kind of how to be a better client. I think that was really the turning point when I was like, am I a good client? Like what do I want to work with me? You know what I mean? And a lot of us are kind of bad clients, you know, or maybe you want things quickly and without realizing that the freelancer or the person they’re working with has a life and all these things because everything’s so urgent these days. And so when I realized that to hire up a better team to scale to whatever I want to scale to, I need to be a better client, everything kind of changed. Um, and I started to find talent who loved working with me, like the, you know, I would have freelancers who would go off and do such big things after working with me because they felt empowered and it was like the most amazing thing.

Danielle: 00:41:24 My first kind of almost full time hire is an, so he just had his first baby, which is amazing. He lives in Vietnam and he’s our, and I remember I hired him about a year and a bit ago and I, I, it was my first kind of full time hired, had contractors before and he just really changed the way I looked at work when I realized that I could kind of, my biggest asset was finding clients and managing the, how, the, how the business ran and not doing the design work itself. And so when I learned that everything kind of started to change and I was able to access a lot more money and a lot more time because I had people doing the nitty gritty that I wasn’t the best at. Um,

Sean Tierney: 00:42:08 and how did you find, and I found him on upwork actually. I really like, I’ve worked up a person meeting yet

Danielle: 00:42:14 are really against it, but I think it’s an amazing platform.

Sean Tierney: 00:42:17 Um, I think a lot of it is how you recruit. Like when you, if you just think, oh, I’m going to find the silver bullet and the first person I hire, you know, that’s just like the flood and mentality going into it. But what I’ve found works really well is to actually, uh, you know, create a mini project, create like a sliver of your master project and say, okay, you guys, we’re going to do two hours of work and I’m going to hire five of you on this. And we’re just going to basically see who works the best and who I get along with and who accomplishes the most in that two hours. And then, you know, we’ll double down on whoever wins that race. That’s an issue.

Danielle: 00:42:49 Same Way to do it. And I’ve always been keen to do it that way, but it never has happened. Um, and I’ve been hiring a lot on intuition. Yeah. Which is kind of a funny thing to say, but it’s this feeling like this is the person I’ll get along with and the skills they can learn those if they’re, you know, a lot of them are very competent, but they’re going to grow with me. They’re not going to be the best, uh, out the gate, but they’re in a three months time, they’re going to be better than if I hired the person who seemed like the best, you know. And so an when he started, he was a great designer, you know, he’s by his own will, but he’s developed and grown so much with me that are, we’re able to produce so much, so quickly able to work with these crazy amazing clients that we get.

Danielle: 00:43:30 And now we have our second hire. His name’s Alex and so he’s amazing. And then we have a team of a lot of freelancers, the copywriter I, um, automations person who does all our crazy automations. We have a VA, um, developers, um, business manager now that’s another new one and we’re going to hire a marketing lead cause I was listening to this mind valley course and they were like, uh, when the founder is doing sales, it’s probably, it’s a sign but the business is not going to grow. And I was like, Yup, Yup, totally. I felt stagnant because I, I was in control of sales and I think I was too, I’m too close to the business. I see things with these rose colored glasses, um, that the business is something else and that, but when you’re selling it, you have to kind of step back and see it from the consumer’s eyes. You know, it’s what I would tell my clients. But when it’s your business, you’re like, it’s my baby. So I’m stepping back and I just had a call today to start that process of hiring our first marketing lead.

Sean Tierney: 00:44:30 So an Alex,

Danielle: 00:44:31 our core team, and then you have these other freelancers that are kind of burstable that supplement, whatever you need around it. And then this would be the third full time, hire this, I think, well, I’m don’t know if there’ll be fulltime, but probably at least part time.

Sean Tierney: 00:44:45 Yeah. Cool. And then so Monday is the platform that you use now in terms of like project management or what is, what function does that, sorry.

Danielle: 00:44:53 Nay is life. Okay. So basically I could go on about money forever. But basically I think as a, when you’re looking, there’s so many tools that have come out these days around project management and all that stuff. And I think it’s important to find the tool that works the way your brain works. So Monday works for me because it functions like my brain and basically you can visualize how people are working projects in so many different ways with timelines and charts or anything. You could build dashboards and it just all it centralizes all my communication and since I got Monday, my level of panic when I wake up in the morning, it has decreased significantly because cause I’m like, oh this is what’s happening in business. It doesn’t feel like all these random messages coming in through slack and Trello and Asana and just all these different things and emails. It’s like all, I put all my clients in Monday, everything’s in Monday.

Sean Tierney: 00:45:41 That is like the most amazing metric. My level of panic in the morning has decreased. I think that’s a great KPI. Cool. Um, okay. So well I mean so sort put a bow on the, on the business stuff. What, what, what phase is next with that project? Like d is this is your bread and butter, this is what is growing and this is kind of what pays the bills I’m assuming.

Danielle: 00:46:06 So the agency, it’s interesting cause I never wanted to really build an agency. Like it was never my dream to build an agency. And so I have this awesome team and so it’s going to run, but I hired a business manager to actually take it over so I can’t actually get out of that business because I don’t want to be running it. And we have a great reputation in us, good sales process. And so that can actually be outsourced pretty much a hundred percent and I can leave that business. And so that’s the plan over the next few months to fully come out of it. Because what lights me up or you know, what brings me joy, um, or sparks joy is, is when I’m doing the freelance travel network and working on that and creating content, all I want to focus on is building amazing content. So we’re starting youtube, um, in June for the freelance travel network. And we’re going to do a formal course launch. It’s open to certain like to students, but we haven’t done a full launch to our full list. So we’ll do that in July. And so I want to push my focus over to that and have the other business kind of run itself

Sean Tierney: 00:47:03 Nice. And then that’s kind of like the holy Grail, right? To extricate yourself to the point where now you are a business owner, you are not in the business anymore, you are around the business and let people run it. It’s awesome. Well, yeah. So let’s talk about the freelance travel network. What is, tell us about it.

Danielle: 00:47:21 I, the freelance travel network is, it’s, it’s so important to me. It’s a, it’s, it feels like, do you know the concept? ICKY guy? Have you ever heard of this?

Sean Tierney: 00:47:30 So, funnily enough, they were a remote, your group that followed us. And that was the first time I’d ever heard that term. But then I looked into it and now I understand this venn diagram of like the four overlapping Japanese, like what you’re good at, what you can get paid for, what you make the world better doing. I forget what the fourth one

Danielle: 00:47:47 basically it translates literally to reason for being in Japanese and yeah, it’s a venn diagram. If you imagine in the middle is we’re trying to get to, and the four circles is things that you love, things that you’re good at, things you can get paid for and things you think the world needs. And so the, the piece in the middle is your achy guy. It’s kind of your reason for being. And so things that you love, but you can’t get paid for it as a hobby. Things that you know the world needs but you’re not very good at. It’s going to be hard to execute on. And so there’s, it kind of classifies a lot of different places. You can be with your projects or your jobs or you know, your hobbies and interests. And so for me, my icky guy is a freelance travel network.

Danielle: 00:48:24 It’s that thing that perfectly fits in the middle where I feel like in contributing to the earth and the world and humanity and I feel like I definitely can get paid for it. I’m good at it and I’m [inaudible] and I absolutely love it. And so I, freelance trial network came out of me being in university and I was working as a freelancer when I was in school. I was making way more money than any of my friends, but all my friends were better than me. I was like kind of that person that you pick last when you’re starting a design project. And so I was really the worst designer and the work that my friends were producing were such, such high quality work, but they were all working part time jobs. Um, and, and at outside their industry, you know, in hospitality or in, in all this stuff.

Danielle: 00:49:06 And it really kind of bugged me cause I was like, you guys are amazing. You should be making way more than me, you know, but I felt like school and as an institution it was keeping people from accessing their true power until they graduated. You know, it’s kind of like this idea of I have to wait to have to earn it by going through school and then I can get an unpaid internship and then I can get this low level job. And then, and there’s these rankings that you kind of feel like you have to go through to get that seniority. Meanwhile, I was charging at the time as much as like a senior designer and I wasn’t that great. But uh, so I started teaching my friends what I did because I want my friends, you know, it’s great to have all day to hang out and play and go to the park.

Danielle: 00:49:43 But if you’re alone, it’s not super fun. So I wanted my friends to be able to come with me. So I started, I sat, it was kind of a selfish reason. So I started sitting down with them and showing them how to use upwork and how to post jobs and how to get clients and all this stuff. And it was amazing because at first I’d sit down with them, I show them, and I had no idea what they did with it. But then coming up the next year, I would start to see that they quit their jobs and they were actually starting to build their own businesses, some of them in arts, some of them, you know, design, all these different things. And it was just so amazing. And I was like, wow, I’m pretty good at this. Like I’m pretty good at teaching these things. And so I started teaching more people and I had a big following on Instagram at the time, maybe around 20,000 and so I started asking my Instagram followers if they wanted to do Skype calls with me.

Danielle: 00:50:25 And I would teach them what I know on Skype calls to validate all the content and to see what they did with it. And people were getting success. You know, some people more success than me actually. And so when you’re a student, when you’re a student surpasses the teacher then that’s pretty amazing. So I was like, you know what, I want to create, I want to create a membership site where I put out content all the time, it’s going to be amazing. And I was like, wow, this is a lot of work. This is a bad idea. And so the first freelance job on that work going to be like this like membership site where content was coming out every week. And I was like, no, no. We have to guide them on a path. We have to bring them through. Step one, two, three, four.

Danielle: 00:51:00 And so I built the content, um, last year here in Lisbon. I started to work on it and then I finished it in Bali. Um, actually in September that the year prior and started, I got my first student a month later and it was incredible to see her grow. And the crazy thing about the freelance travel network is when the students come in and when they’re finished the course, they’re not the same people. You know, they, it, I think, you know, you can learn tactics, you can learn strategies and all this stuff, but the thing that’s going to last, no matter where you go is that mindset shift. And what I see in my students is a shift from a space of scarcity into a space of abundance where they realize they have this. If you choose a problem that you want to solve in the world, you can find people you know, and you, you, there’s so many clients out there, there’s so much opportunity out there. There’s, there’s so much that like you can’t even fathom what’s out there. And I see my students tap into that and having bigger ideas and bigger dreams. And once your dreams get bigger, your results get bigger.

Sean Tierney: 00:51:58 Yeah, yeah. Amazing. Yeah. So this is like what you’re saying that this is like part of a larger journey in a larger mission of moving people from a scarcity mindset to abundance. But it just so happens that right now you’re operating in the mode of teaching freelancers, but it sounds like root underlying all of that is kind of a larger mission, which is really so good. Really.

Danielle: 00:52:19 So, yeah, the ethos is empowerment. And the idea is if people feel empowered as individuals, they can do better things in the collective. And the roadmap for the freelance travel network is to become the biggest ecosystem for freelancers. So we have the learnings, you know, the courses and I want to have like a mind valley set up where we have other teachers come in as well. Um, this is just the first course out of many. And then after the learning, we have the community. So right now it’s online, but I want to run my first retreat by the end of this year. Uh, and so we have the community where people can get together and meet like minded people because that’s been a real struggle for a lot of my students. And probably for a lot of people, even considering being nomads, it’s this point where you know who you need to be to to achieve your goals, but you’re in the your old self’s environment and it’s really hard.

Danielle: 00:53:05 So you have your two selves kind of fighting each other where you try and do something different, but your friends are like, that’s not you. Like that’s who you are and you’re like, oh that isn’t who I am. And so I, I think only when you make that dramatic shift of environment can you really start to embody your new self and that change that you know you need to make to reach the level you want to get to. And then the last portion is the jobs actually having a job network. And I want to have, you know, my own like upwork top towel kind of set up where, you know, we get the jobs, we recruit for them and then they can access this pool of amazing clients. And so I want to be this complete ecosystem with the learnings, the community and the financial bit covered.

Sean Tierney: 00:53:44 You’ve said Mine Valley a couple of times and this came up on, uh, Bory wiigs episode, which is before yours. Uh, can you explain what that is? Yeah, so mine valley

Danielle: 00:53:54 is a online school, but the mission of it is to create mindful entrepreneurs and mindful, um, participants in the global community. And so my knowledge is really, I think it’s a, it’s a powerful platform. And one course I’ve taken from them is I think it’s called limitless mind. And it’s a lot of these things that some of us might know, but it’s, it’s like a toolbox of ways that we can access, um, other parts of our brain. So, you know, first thing is saying they were talking about how to get into flow. You know, that flow state when you’re just working and you feel like everything’s that like super easy and going, they talk about getting into that state is accessing alpha brain waves. So you need to access these Alpha brainwaves. You have to get into alpha. And he was talking about how he went to this meditation course and they hooked him up to biofeedback and saw it when they got into alpha.

Danielle: 00:54:44 And there was this one woman who kept getting into Alpha and they’re like this, she’s like tests. I’m scoring perfectly, always an alpha. They’re like, what are you, what are you doing? How do you get into Alpha? And she’s like, Oh, I’ve just been trying to forgive that guy. And they’re like, what guy? And it was her ex husband, they had a divorce. And so she just kept trying to think, I forgive him, I forgive him, I forgive him. And they found that when you are in a space of forgiveness, you can access Alpha brainwaves and you are more in flow. So the key to getting into this state of bliss in your life is actually forgiving. So, you know, through my, in valley, in my little toolbox now I have a forgiveness meditation that I do quite often because you know, things happen in life and you need to continuously forgive people and forgive yourself a lot of times.

Danielle: 00:55:25 And when I do that, oh my gosh, I remember one day I did a forgiveness meditation and it was on a friend who I felt had wronged me and I did this meditation and I, and I open my eyes and I’m tearing up and I didn’t realize it was so impacting me so deeply. And the next day, and I heard stories like this in mind valley, they talked to us stories in the course like this, but I didn’t think it would happen to me. And the next day I met with this friend and they’re like, Danielle, I don’t know, randomly yesterday you just popped into my mind and I just wanted to tell you, I’m sorry because I realize that a lot of what was happening was my own fears. And I was like, what?

Sean Tierney: 00:56:02 [inaudible]. Um,

Danielle: 00:56:02 and, and so, you know, in through mine valley, I have a, a nice toolbox. And I think that this is what online courses give you. You, you get a toolbox within when things come up in life, whether in business or personal, you okay, I’m going to use this tool, whether it’s meditation or some other kind of thing that you do. Totally. I just think of like a playbook. Like I’m going run that forgiveness play. I’m gonna run that gratitude play right now. I’m going to run that. That’s awesome. Amazing. Well, I’m sure we could talk for another hour. No problem. But we’ll, we’ll, we’ll tie it off here. Uh, tell me about Bali. You’ve got this amazing house that you just signed off on for a year. Like that sounds incredible. Say, wrote my cools down. I emailed them out to everyone on my list because they wanted to be accountable.

Danielle: 00:56:46 And the first thing was to live in Bali and an amazing house near the beach with friends. And you know, about a month later I signed a lease for an amazing house in Pauline near the beach with my friends. And it’s amazing because I wasn’t even there to see it. It was just so it all happens so serendipitously and it’s just the most amazing house. We have full time staff, uh, they cook for us and everything so we don’t really have to lift a finger. It’s a, it’s a looking over rice fields, gorgeous pool and we’re trying to make this space a space of abundance. And so like people can, we’re having a mastermind, like a mindful mastermind next week a in the house. And so I love Bali because there’s all these amazing entrepreneurs who really challenge you to level up, you know? And then also it’s just a fun place to be in general.

Danielle: 00:57:31 You know, that sounds so amazing. I’m going to be in Asia from December to March and hopefully if timing works out and you guys have maybe that little maid’s quarters just come, I’m away for a week there cause it sounds incredible. That would be wonderful. I think that would just be so much fun. Awesome. All right, so there is one last section that I do here. This is a consistent set of questions that I ask all my guess. I need to come up with a name for it. This is really, we, we gotta name this, but what is one book that has sculpted you in some formative way? Totally. I’ve been listening to recently this book, not the best side of it, it’s called take control of your life by Mel Robbins and it’s an audible book only and it’s about how fear is motivating you in so many ways and how to take back control by understanding where your fear is coming from.

Danielle: 00:58:20 And this book was so triggering to me that I was listening to it and I was just like, I had to sit down like when I first started because it was so confronting. I was like, oh my gosh. Oh. But it really did help me realize like when I’m think, oh, I’m overthinking and I think I’m in control. It’s actually me responding to fear. Yeah. So things like that. Good deal. I’ve never heard of that one. So that is going on the list a, and by the way, people listening, we will put links to all of these in the show notes. So you can find each one of these things. Um, what about, what is one tool or hack, a travel hack or anything that saves you time, money, headaches, etc. Totally. Well, a tool I use in my business like religiously is called Lou.

Danielle: 00:59:01 It’s like Lou is like, oh my gosh, they contacted me like to do an interview cause I was like, I’m such an avid lute user of Lu. And um, it’s so it’s, you’re able to record your screen and your face at the same time. And why this is so powerful is because we’re working digitally and our clients are teeing us, our coworkers and us. And so you can describe something and show them on your screen and also show your face at the same time. So for you guys who are freelancers, use it to send proposals and every, you know, you guys who work in a corporation use it to do weekly updates. And for you guys who run a business and have a team, use it to give instructions.

Sean Tierney: 00:59:37 So we actually started at Paisley following up on our sales calls by just recapping it. And there’s just that little takeaway. What I think is so cool about loom is not just capturing it, but it makes it very frictionless to just, it’s already on the server and it gives you the link already copied your clipboard and it’s like the quickest possible way to get that to someone else. And so yeah, we started doing recaps after all the sales calls. They’re just like, hey, great talking. This is what we talked about. Like next step is this boom. You know, just tie it all up and package it and game changer.

Danielle: 01:00:06 Yeah. And you can put call to actions in it too now. So there’s like links you can attach to the end of the video. So when I, so when I do a proposal or something, I put the link to the contract right there and then click it and it goes straight to the contract and they signed away. Mind blown. Yeah. It’s amazing.

Sean Tierney: 01:00:24 All right. Good tool. Getting better. I love it. What is one song that particularly resonates or an artist? A song or an artist.

Danielle: 01:00:33 So I was talking to you earlier and I was saying that recently I’ve been more in my phenom feminine energy. I think like as an entrepreneur and as a woman, I was really in my masculine. I was like, oh, I need to like just, I don’t know, like, like lead this team and like do all the, I just felt really like masculine. And recently I’ve been realizing how powerful my feminine energy is, which is more nurturing and warm and a little slower. And so I’ve been listening to some more female artists and like R and B and so I’ve been listening to summer walker a lot. She’s awesome. Um, and yeah, just her music. I’m just like, she’s a strong, beautiful woman and it’s just really resonated with me right now. Is there any particular song from her? I love all of them. And you’re listening to all like that up. Okay,

Sean Tierney: 01:01:15 perfect. All right, last question. If you had a time machine to go back to your 20 year old self and give yourself any bit of advice. So now you are mother Iowasca telling your 20 year old self something, what would you say?

Danielle: 01:01:29 Well, I would say actually what mother Iowasca told me recently, and what I’m going to tell all of you guys as well, is that you are so connected that you can’t make a wrong decision. Like there’s just no wrong choice to make. And that that intuition, that path that you feel like you’re going down, but you don’t know why that’s the exact path that you’re supposed to be. You’re always where you’re supposed to be.

Sean Tierney: 01:01:52 Oh, very cool. Well, Danielle, I wish you the most success on this Bali, this next chapter in Bali. It is so great seeing you again. And Yeah.

Danielle: 01:02:01 Uh, oh, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks everyone for listening.

Sean Tierney: 01:02:07 Well, it’s the same.

Contact Details

Danielle Thompson
Blog or Personal Site
Current Company
Freelance Travel Network
Current Title
Countries Visited
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • France
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of)
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
Where in the world are you now?
Where were you living when you decided to start a nomadic life?
I was living in Canada but the first place I went was Costa Rica
In which (if any) of these travel programs have you participated?
  • WiFi Tribe
What were the initial set of circumstances or motive(s) that led you to experiment with a nomadic life?
I had just graduated university and realized if I didn’t leave Montreal then my life would be the exact same the next year. I wanted to grow my business but had no motivation where I was living.
What did you do for income/work while traveling?
I was a freelance UX/UI Designer
Did that situation change at all during the course of your travels?
What happened?
I started running and agency and then ended up building an online school teaching people to find better clients and travel the world as a freelancer.
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?
I expected to try new things and meet new people but I didn’t realize that I would fundamentally become a different person. When you start to realize that you can close gaps that felt so big in the past – gaps between poor and rich, gaps between culture – it completely changes who you are and you realize the world is full of posibilites.
What was the highest high-point and lowest low-point of your travels?
Highest is everyday – everyday is amazing. I feel grounded and grateful here in Bali

Low point was feeling homesick in Costa Rica when I first started travelling. I felt really lonely but that only lasted a few days

Was there ever a point at which you gave serious consideration to quitting the nomadic journey?
What did you learn from your nomadic existence that was unintuitive or unexpected but obvious now in retrospect?
It’s not hard to get from one placed to another – this freaked me out before. Public transport in a foreign country
Was it hard to re-integrate back into society after your travels?
I’m still traveling!
What can you not “un-see” at this point?
possibility and how far my dollar can do -the life I can live
How and to what extent has your group kept in touch after the experience ended?
I see people all over the world from Wifi Tribe but my main group of friends are in Bali and Argentina
How do you think you’ve changed as a person from the experience?
I think I’ve become a lot less anxious and accepted the unexpected
What would you say to someone considering taking a leap like this?
Buy the ticket and figure out the rest later
How (if at all) has your idea of work changed from the experience?
I realized I could build a business around my lifestyle and it didn’t have to be the other way around
What’s your best travel hack?
Message you airbnb host – you never know what discount they will offer
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 generally try and eat local – meaning locally sourced organic meat and veggies – this really helps! I also find a gym wherever I go – unless it’s a walking city they I try to walk to stay fit
What resources (if any) did you use in preparing to go abroad?

Ftn travel guides for nomads

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 would say to try and push past fear. There were so many things I avoided because I was terrified
Any ideas for a product or service to solve a pain point for nomadic travelers you believe should exist?


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.