Julia Shem has automated and delegated her way into financial and location independence. Learn how she’s done it.

At the age of 27 Julia Shem has accomplished more than the average person having built two side businesses that generate six-figure yearly revenues. And with her technical background she’s automated the entire operation so it largely runs on autopilot. In this interview we delve into Julia’s entrepreneurial journey, her philosophy on automation, her use of meditation, how she employs Tim Ferriss’ practice of “fear setting” for making difficult decisions, and her latest hobby: kite surfing. Enjoy.

Show Notes

Time   Topic
0:01:57   Welcome and context
0:06:47   Can you talk about how you got hired after your second interview?
0:07:50   How did you start the metallic tattoo business?
0:15:49   What was your thought process when deciding what needs to be automated?
0:18:27   Is the business completely on autopilot?
0:19:07   What are your next steps for Goldly?
0:20:57   What is ShipDazzle?
0:24:12   Can you talk about the Fear Setting?
0:31:04   What meditation means to you?
0:34:30   Have you tried the Sam Harris waking up program?
0:36:12   At your presentation, you spoke about Stoicism
0:39:23   How do you think about automation?
0:42:07   Are you doing anything in AI?
0:45:11   What insights can you share about your next venture?
0:47:19   What is your thought process for figuring out raw data?
0:51:04   What did you get out of my self-defense workshop?
0:53:27   What is your Nomad Cruise talent show background?
0:56:54   How did you discover the Nomad Cruise?
1:02:14   What is one book that profoundly affected you?
1:02:34   One person you’d love to have dinner with?
1:03:37   What is your favorite tool or hack that saves you time, money or headaches?
1:05:29   One piece of music that speaks to you lately?
1:06:25   What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
1:08:19   If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 20-year-old self?


Goldink Tattoos
Nomad Cruise
Building an Automated Physical-Product Business that Generates 6-Figures/year in Net Passive Income by Age 25 with Julia Shem
4 Hour Workweek
Fear-Setting: The Most Valuable Exercise I Do Every Month
Tim Ferriss Fear Setting Ted Talk
The Daily Stoic
Tim Ferriss Stoic Books
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
80/20 Sales and Marketing
Expert Level I Krav Maga instructor shares lessons for nomads in maintaining personal safety on the road
Pomodoro Technique
The Greatest Showman


Sean Tierney: 00:01:58 All right. Welcome everybody to the podcast. I’m your host, Sean Tierney and I am sitting across from Julia Shem. Julia is founder of Goldly LA promotional products. Uh, this is a business I’m actually wearing one of her metallic nomad cruise tattoos as we speak right now. Um, she grew this business to six figures a year in revenue, has automated the entire operation. Uh, she’s also founded another company shipped dazzle that she operates with her parents and they help other commerce brands save time with inventory, storage and order fulfillment. Uh, Julia is now working on her next venture with big data, piecing together disparate data sources and extracting valuable insights that help business owners make and save money. Welcome, Julia. Thank you. Thank you for the warm introduction. Absolutely. Uh, okay. So just to, to kind of paint the picture for people, here we are on the nomad cruise. We’re sitting on a cruise ship right now. Uh, we just had a day at the beach. We’re in core fuckin, I believe, which is United Arab Emirates and uh, drinking. We don’t know what this is, but it’s a glass of, of the premium wine. And, uh, and so, yeah. So we met through the nomad cruise. I’ve heard your episode previously on a mutual friend’s podcast, Matt bulls. And, uh, can you just kind of give our listeners, like talk about your backstory. You’re super interesting. You’re from Russia, but like, I’ll just let you kind of talk and tell how you can you S and started these companies.

Julia Shem: 00:03:21 Sure. Um, so it, my story has started seven years ago. Uh, I was 19, uh, and I went to the States for the first time as a work in travel student. So there was a program that allowed students in Russia, um, they studying in university and have a chance to go to the States just for the summer and work in a service industry. So like, um, housekeepers, waitresses, uh, park attendants, um, anything in a service industry. So I went to New York for the summer for the first time and it was very, um, challenging decision for me because I never been outside of the S of Russia before and never traveled. Um, I’ve always been in my hometown and that was a really big decision. And, um, also I was supposed to go to a smaller city, uh, where there was a job waiting for me and I decided that I will just do my best and try to find a job in New York.

Julia Shem: 00:04:21 Um, so I, I was able to go stay there for three months, found a job as a waitress, and that’s that, that was the time where I actually started to speak because before I was learning English at school, but it was kind of on and off, um, and spend amazing time in New York. Uh, and then I went back to continue waste indications to, I was, um, studying as a computer to be a computer programmer in Russia. And I got an internship at the best company in my small city Magnitogorsk, which is where I’m from, it’s in your mountains. And then kind of, um, mid middle part of Russia. And I realized that this is my life. This is how it’s going to be for the next 30 years or so. Um, and I decided to go back to the States just one last time and for the summer as the same, uh, program.

Julia Shem: 00:05:14 And went to Los Angeles just because I, I think the city, just because I’ve been to New York before and then all other cities were either too similar or the weather in the summer was not. Um, for example in Miami was just a bit too hot. So I went to Los Angeles and, uh, found a job as a waitress. Uh, three different restaurants. Uh, was at that time I was trying to save money cause I didn’t have much of a savings. Uh, my parents sexually give you most of their savings in order for me to go to the States. So I was leaving for $200 a month in the couch in the living room and managing three jobs and writing the buses for an hour and a half between all of them. And at some point I, um, decided why do I just put my resume online and see what happens as a computer programmers, as a database developer to be exact. And in the second interview that I went to the company hired me and then my life changed completely cause I, my income went from $8 an hour to $40 an hour or so. And um, I moved from the couch to my own apartment, got a car, um, passed with a driver test and about two weeks and drove to work.

Sean Tierney: 00:06:31 Um, and just for the people listening, you may hear some background noise. We are literally disembarking from Cora Fakan as we speak right now. So this noise would probably go away in a second, but if you’re wondering what that is, but as the jet engines of this cruise ship that we’re on right now, um, all right, so you had this incredible transition and went from $8 an hour to $40 an hour, which is quite a pay increase. And w was it really just you, you, you just threw it out there and the second interview you had just hit like,

Julia Shem: 00:06:59 yeah, I was really lucky. Um, what I didn’t realize is how, um, the process of finding a job was a bit different in the States because in Russia you are the ones who are sending the applications, going to the interviews and in the States you have the recruiters that doing all the work for you basically in the, they actually coach you on how to be your best at the interview and to be hired. So, uh, yeah, the second interview that I went to, um, I remember I showed a piece of code that I used to write back in Russia, um, to my then future boss. And then he laughed and said that, well here in the States we don’t do that anymore cause this is what I’ve been doing 10 years ago. So now thinks that I’ve been different. But I think you’ll fit in well.

Sean Tierney: 00:07:45 Saw the potential. That’s amazing. So you took this job and then at what point were you, did the tattoo business emerge, you were working at this job and then this thing kind of spring up on the side or how did the metallic tattoo

Julia Shem: 00:07:58 company come about? So I was working for about a year and a half at that point. And it was, um, I loved my job. I loved what I did. Um, I learned to actually a lot of new things, but at some point I realized that there was no more room to go further in my career, um, in that particular company. And just in general, like I was, I be bored actually. So I started to pay attention more to my hobbies and one of them were was um, just doing scrapbooking, which is, uh, this arts and crafts, uh, made of paper and I was selling, my first product that I was selling online was actually passport covers. So it would make this, um, kind of look like a card, but you would put it inside of the, um, plastic cover and then you put your passport inside. So it kind of just, I don’t know, like a beautiful little thing to use that nobody actually knew what it is, what it was at that time.

Julia Shem: 00:08:59 Um, that’s what I was selling online. And then some point I just, I came across those, uh, shiny metallic gold and silver temporary tattoos and I got very excited about it. Just, uh, I was studying to use them all the time. Um, and I noticed that on Etsy, which is where I was selling my passport covers, uh, nobody was selling tattoos, those, those type specific type of tattoos. So I found a manufacturer in the States and I said it to resell them. And at some point, um, I decided that I’m just gonna create my own designs. Um, just a better version of the original product. I found a manufacturer in China and uh, well actually that was quite a long process to find a good manufacturer. It’s probably taking me like a half a year, but eventually, um, yeah, I was able to learn illustrator and Photoshop and create my own designs and send it to Prince.

Julia Shem: 00:09:55 And as soon as the, as soon as I got the package, I put them online and the set of to sell like hot cookies and Etsy because it was such a new and interesting products that people just were finding out about. And then my customers started to ask, well, what if we can create our own metallic Setu for our wedding, for example, or for this new co corporate party? Um, just something with a logo or like just a customized version of what do you have right now? And I said it to make custom designs more and more. And at some point I had so many orders that I was working 14 hour days, I would just come from a, come back to home from my nine to five job and then fulfill the orders and then reply to all of the messages. And it was just overwhelming.

Julia Shem: 00:10:44 And, um, then I made a really emotionally difficult decision to quit my job. Uh, and that was very scary because I’ve always, I always wanted to have a steady income and that, uh, that job was actually my American dream. This is what I always wanted just to live in the States, um, have a great income and be sort of financially independent and earn a lot more than I was able to learn it in Russia. And, um, yeah, I never even thought of becoming an entrepreneur, but at that stage, um, quit my job and, uh, moved to the center of LA and just spend steady to spend all my time, um, on working, taking this business off the ground. So, because I had a lot of, uh, customer service messages and it was just, you know, taking care of many things at the same time. Um, I started to thing that I have zero time to actually spend on marketing or anything else.

Julia Shem: 00:11:52 All I was doing is just customer service. So what I did is, um, I said, okay, so what is the first thing that I can do to reduce the workload? And the first thing was to automate, um, the ordering process. So the reason why I got so was taking care of so many messages every day is because, um, most of the time the customization process would happen over email or, or phone call and we would go back and forth confirming the artwork and the et cetera. So then I found a programmer in the Ukraine, um, created the, the plan for him basically did how I envisioned my web application to work and we spend about half a year and, um, automated the process of ordering and applying the, uploading the artwork and choosing the colors and all of that. So once that was done, it just reduced 80% of my workload automatically. So prior to that, the majority of the communications was around like, Hey, I want it to look like this, send me this letter. Exactly. Sending invoices and just, yeah. Taking care of everything regarding the ordering process itself. Um, so then once that was automated, um, what was left is still, um, creating still communication, uh, with clients on, um, just approving proofing the artwork before it goes to print.

Julia Shem: 00:13:19 So then I was doing that myself and I had no problem with it and I actually loved to talking to customers. Uh, but I always wanted to travel and I think that was the time that I decided, okay, so I have, uh, a steady income. This is not as scary as I thought it would be. Um, I have time to go and finally travel the world, uh, go outside of the States. Um, but I, I was afraid to do that because I would, if the internet would be really funky, what if I wouldn’t be able to, what if I miss miss that important phone call? So, um, I eventually hired a person in Ukraine as well to take care of the, um, kind of, to be an account manager, um, to, to take care of these proofing process and then sending orders to prints and making sure that everything is working.

Julia Shem: 00:14:06 And one of the trips that I’ve taken was not my crews actually. So after I came back exactly, there is no internet. So I came back, it was really anxious and like I thought that my business is going to end and everybody would just, it would be horrible. But actually everything was working fine. Um, so then I decided that, yeah, that’s actually, it works. Um, let’s see what else I can delegate cause eh, at that point, uh, what I think what made the big shift for me is I read the book called four hour workweek. So I set it to implement the strategies to Tim Ferriss. Suppose I’m talking about in the book. And I delegated the, the customization customer process.

Julia Shem: 00:14:53 Um, then hired a designer to take part of, um, take care of the artwork design, um, and then also worked on just improving my website and, um, my SEO and I got got to a point where the only thing that I was taking care of myself is the shipping. Um, and then eventually I found a person in the States, Oh, who would take care of the shipping part as well. So then in about half a year from the point that I, where I quit my job, I automated the business and excluded myself from it basically. So I was able to go to Nepal for two weeks, uh, with no internet connection, uh, get back and then everything was working smoothly.

Sean Tierney: 00:15:37 That’s amazing. Well, and that’s really trial by fire. Like if you’re willing to do the nomad cruise, that is putting a very big stamp on, uh, I mean it has to work because, uh, our, our internet is non-existent here, so, um, well that’s really cool. How did you go about assessing what needed to be automated next? I think it’s interesting that you did all this manually. Like you Flinstone it quote unquote. Um, so you knew all the processes yourself obviously cause you had to do them yourself. But then how were you making decisions on this is the piece that I should automate next versus shipping versus website ordering with all that.

Julia Shem: 00:16:13 So I went, uh, kind of step by step. But, um, I think what I was thinking at the time is that if I can automate this by somewhat, um, using somewhat technological solution, like building a better website or um, using some of like a medium like Zapier to automate certain things or um, automate the email marketing part and whatever. I could not automate that required like human intelligence. Um, ideally gated. I found somebody who would, um, take care of that. But before I did, I absolutely made sure that I know ins and outs of it. Um, and I created the 80 pages documents, uh, of how things need to be done. What is the step by step process of, um, communicating with the client? Making sure that we are doing everything that I’m doing the artwork and printing it the way that they wanted, uh, proofing everything before we sent it to print, how to send everything to print.

Julia Shem: 00:17:11 Um, basically, yeah, everything. So, uh, everything that was in my head at the, like how I was doing things, I just made sure that I translate it to paper and then I created the videos as well of how to do certain things on a website and um, on the backend of the website. And I trained my employees to use illustrator and Photoshop and everything in between. And yeah, basically I just thought that what, what, how do I think about things and what is the process in my head and made sure that they, um, know about this and then they do exact same thing.

Sean Tierney: 00:17:46 Yeah. Interestingly, funny enough, I went through a similar, uh, step of, uh, basically similar progression with how this show gets produced. So I have a guy, Marco and Macedonia who produces every episode and same thing. I just made a giant Google doc, explained every little step that’s in there. And then for each one I linked it and made a loom video. So like a five, 10 minute screencast on it. This is exactly how I do things. And now that is just like this living document that we update. If anything changes about how we do the show, then we update that doc and it’s like anyone can use it. If he’s sick, I could hand it over to someone else. That’s really great tip. Um, all right, well can you talk, so that business now essentially sounds like it runs itself, it,

Julia Shem: 00:18:30 well it’s been an autopilot for the last four years. Amazing. Well, of course I, it’s not completely on the autopilot because the passive income is never passive. Um, so I, whenever I’m back to Los Angeles, I spent a lot of time, uh, improving the business and looking for new customers and just improving little things. Uh, they actually, uh, make a big impact, um, and sometimes putting out fires as well. So I’m, I’m, uh, whenever my, my, um, employees have any questions about, uh, or like we were handling a specific case, then I will definitely step in.

Sean Tierney: 00:19:05 Yeah. Where is your head at with that business right now? What do you, what’s the next step for it or is it just running itself sufficiently that you’re happy with it?

Julia Shem: 00:19:15 Um, the temporary tattoo part is definitely, uh, we’ve perfected it I think to this point, but I’m looking forward to introducing new designs. So we are moving slowly into the field of promotional products, um, related with paper. So we’re looking to introduce, um, custom journals and notebooks and to Southern 20. Um, so I’m really, really, really excited about this and um, it’s kind of still the same technology for foil stamping as what we use for a metallic temporary tattoos, but in a different way. And I’ve been really passionate about journals and notebooks in the last couple of years and I think that this is a really great promotional products as well because it’s something that people look at every day and then they fill out and it’s always kind of reminding them about the company. Um, so it’s an excellent promotional product. Um,

Sean Tierney: 00:20:09 yeah, especially if you’re pouring like your deep thoughts into this thing and it becomes like you’re classically conditioned. If you’re looking at their logo and you’re constantly like pouring your heart into this thing, I can imagine that’d be a really strong promotional tool. Yeah,

Julia Shem: 00:20:22 it would be. Another thing that would be really cool to do is to partner up with speakers and authors to create custom journals for them. Um, so for example, for Tim Ferriss, the bullet journal that he uses, if we could create a custom version of it just specifically for him, um, cause he has his own system of doing that. So that would be truly amazing.

Sean Tierney: 00:20:41 Cool. And so at that point you guys aren’t just designing the cover, like the journal itself, like the pages, the journal could be customized for that speaker for one total customization. Yeah. Cool. All right, well let’s shift gears and talk about the other company that you started. I think I didn’t even know about this one until 10 minutes ago. So what is shipped as a [inaudible]?

Julia Shem: 00:21:04 Um, ship dazzle is, um, a company that I started not so long ago at about a year ago with my parents. Uh, we help other eCommerce brands just like myself to store the inventory at our warehouse and take care of the orders and shipping for them. So for example, if, um, actually the story started when I was looking for fulfillment center myself. So I essentially hired someone to take care of this for me. Um, but I did that because I wasn’t able to find a fulfillment center in the U S um, it was just either cutting too deeply into my margins or the solution wasn’t right. So, um, eventually I created my own fulfillment system and, um, a year ago I decided that, um, it would be a good thing to do to take that out of the business and actually create a separate business just out of that because, um, again, I looked, I looked for a solution that would fit the best, but I couldn’t find one. So I just set out to create my own. And, uh, we are particular fillment and we’re housing center located in Los Angeles, California. Um, and we focused on helping the small businesses just like myself, uh, to save time and money on order fulfillment and shipping.

Sean Tierney: 00:22:18 What I think is fascinating is you essentially did an Amazon data. If you think about it, like you, you built some infrastructure that was serving yourself and you realize this could be externalized and let’s expose this. So you knew firsthand that other people likely had the exact same issues you did. So you kind of externalized your own solution and made it consumable by them. I think that’s super cool.

Julia Shem: 00:22:37 Yeah, pretty much. Uh, and also we help eCommerce brands that are hosted on Shopify or WooCommerce. So, um, and actually a lot of people are moving away from Amazon because of the high prices, especially during Christmas and the holiday season. And, um, we are stepping in to help them, um, kind of offer the same functionality as Amazon FBA, but for the own eCommerce store. And they also have a much better, um, visibility into who their clients are if they move away from Amazon. And it’s the, there’s a lot of benefits to that. Definitely.

Sean Tierney: 00:23:13 I mean, is that who you guys market to? I mean, it seems like that’s a really compelling story. Like, get free of Amazon and be more in control of your own destiny. I think that’s a great, great advertising or marketing message to lead with.

Julia Shem: 00:23:25 Yeah. But mostly we would just focus on helping a small eCommerce brands altogether because I, I’ve, I’ve been there and then I know how hard it is to find that perfect fulfillment solution. Um, and I’m really glad that I created something that’s valuable for others.

Sean Tierney: 00:23:41 Yeah. And you do this with your parents, you made it. So it’s something that they can do. Uh,

Sean Tierney: 00:23:46 how involved are they in the business?

Julia Shem: 00:23:47 So they are the ones who are behind the operations. Um, so, uh, they’re making sure that every packaged is as, um, every order is packaged with love and care just exactly is how you would do it if you had, if you were to package a year old yourself.

Sean Tierney: 00:24:03 Cool. Awesome. So if you want an order from mama and Papa Shem shipped out as long as your company. All right, let’s talk about, uh, the cruise. So you and I were both speakers. I went to your talk. Um, you were at my talk. Uh, I thought there was a number of things. I took a lot of notes. Uh, we’re into some, some of the similar stuff like Tim Ferris. Can you talk about fear setting and the like how you use that exercise? We were, we were talking earlier about kite surfing, so maybe you just wanted to kind of tell that example.

Julia Shem: 00:24:36 Yeah, of course. Um, fear setting is something that I’ve been doing, uh, many, many times and that allowed me to make many life changing decisions. For example, moving from Russia to the States, um, quitting my nine to five job and becoming an entrepreneur, uh, traveling the world, taking that first trip, uh, automating the business and, um, ending toxic relationships, many, many things really. Um, and I, I initially was doing something similar. I was doing a similar exercise, um, but Tim Ferris actually put it in a very good template, uh, and really easy to use. So you defined your fears first and you define your worst possible outcome. The worst thing that could happen. Like what, what is it that you imagined you had happening that kind of makes you postpone that uncomfortable action? Um, and once you do that, that’s the most important and the, the toughest part.

Julia Shem: 00:25:35 And then what happens if you actually succeed? What are the benefits of potential success? Is it temporary also? Is it permanent? And if the worst possible scenario, is that also temporary or permanent? Most of the time the, what’d we fear the most is temporary. And then you define the steps if that happened, how, what you can do to make the things go back to the way that they were before. And most of the times it’s like I said, it’s temporary. It’s you, you can still make certain steps to remedy the situation. Um, but also the one other important part that you define that’s most people are actually overlooking when they do the goal setting, for example, is the cost of inaction. So what happens if you don’t do anything? If you stay in your comfort zone and keep the things that the way, the way that they were, um, and avoid that action, what is going to happen in six months, one year and three years from now?

Julia Shem: 00:26:34 And that actually helps people to put their life into perspective. And for example, um, you can apply this to, um, ending a toxic relationship or moving to a different place or becoming a full time digital nomad or just as simple as fear of Christ surfing. Um, so what would happen if I just let it be and didn’t do anything about my fear is I would continue to have this massive FOMO with, because everybody else, uh, most of my friends do kitesurf and they go to this wonderful places. Um, and every time I went with them, I would just, I would just stand there on the beach and be like, Hey, this is great, but I’m just afraid of going to the water and like, I can’t swim. So, um, I just never did anything about it. So, and then the year from and three from there and then three years from there, I would definitely feel, um, less confident and just wouldn’t feel good about myself that I never took them taking the chance.

Julia Shem: 00:27:36 Um, so I did this exercise before going to South Africa in may. And, uh, eventually I did learn how to create surf. Um, my biggest fear was that I would just face flip multiple times. I was so afraid of that because every, I’m really tiny and the guide is so big and every time I pull it, it was just take me out of the water and just flip my face flat on it. So that was really painful. I’ve experienced that a couple of times, actually, many, many times. And I initially I saw that this is not for me. I’m just not like everybody else just seem like go up and go. And I was the one who was just, Oh my God, I can’t figure this out. Why is this networking? And then I just didn’t do anything about it for, um, half a year. And after I did this exercise, just like I did many, many times before for certain other things, um, I decided that I still should try, I hired a Chi surfing structure and the worst thing that could happen is, well, I’ll just face flip again and that this is really the worst thing.

Julia Shem: 00:28:44 Um, and the best thing is that I could finally learn how to crowd surf and just, you would like, Oh, we’re coming. Your one of your greatest fears is such a powerful thing because it makes you feel like you can do anything in the world. And so I learned, yeah, I learned in marshes and South Africa and it was incredible. I had a really good instructor and I was able to stand up and that had been fall a single time and ride for about two hours.

Sean Tierney: 00:29:13 And I think you had, so I to kitesurf and I had, uh, it was not a quick process to learn. It took me like I want to cover at the Dominican Republic and just didn’t pick it up the first time and then went elsewhere. I think I went to Mexico after that and then it took going back to Kubota at day a second time. So at this point I had done it for maybe a total of like, I dunno, 14 days when it finally clicked. So it took me awhile. And, uh, I think the same thing that worked for you. I believe we were in the radio, like the realtime instruction where they can correct you while you’re out there. And it was like, yeah. So I think it’s a, I forget who says it, but like the faster you can iterate through the feedback loop is usually like in business or in anything. Like just being able to make that a tighter loop is the thing that makes you progress faster. And so absolutely, like the real time instruction was the thing for me, but agreed. Like kite surfing is a magical sport. [inaudible]

Julia Shem: 00:30:07 yes, but you can also apply this exercise to anything else. For example, if you are in the relationship and things are not working out, but you’re afraid to make that uncomfortable action and leave, um, think about the cost of an action and not just about you but the people, the other people that have an effect in six months, in one year, in three years. And that, that really helps to make that uncomfortable action. Because otherwise you just, you realize that things just might not be good as, as you thought it would be in the future.

Sean Tierney: 00:30:36 Yeah. Yup. So yup. So emphasizing the cost of inaction while simultaneously showing the steps to mitigate it or reverse it. If it is about decision to show you, Hey, it’s not that bad, like a fatal decision, you can just undo it. Yeah. No, I think that’s a really powerful thing. I will link to Tim Ferris’s talk cause he gave a Ted talk. I saw it on fierce setting. Yeah. So we’ll put that really well. Yeah, it was a really good one. So we’ll put that in the show notes. Uh, other stuff from your talk that I took. So, uh, I too did Headspace is my method to on ramp for meditation. And then I also did Sam Harris’s program. I now kind of do my own variant of that. Uh, can you just talk about like what meditation has done for you or what it means to you?

Julia Shem: 00:31:22 Absolutely. I think it’s been one of the most important tools in my toolbox. Um, for example, whenever you are feeling stuck or you just feel an anxiety and not sure where it’s coming from, where you you’re about to make this life changing decision and it’s just driving you insane. Um, meditation is something that helped me along the way to kind of take a step aside and listen to my own inner voice that my own thoughts that are running through my head several times a day, like all the time because I sort of, I have this monkey mind that’s always trying to solve problems, especially when I go to sleep for example. This is when it just kicks in and then it’s like, Oh yeah, let’s think about every major decision and every possible problem that you have right now when you’re trying to fall asleep.

Julia Shem: 00:32:12 Um, and meditation, especially if I do this in the morning, it kind of sets the tone for my day. It puts my thoughts in the order sort of, and then I’m also able to see of where I’m, what I’m thinking about the most. Um, cause most of the time that inner voice in your head is not really helpful. Um, and it also helps to listen to how you talk to yourself. Do you talk to yourself as your best friend or you, you know, saying that, um, this is not going to work. Like, don’t even try it. You know, many, many thoughts that you don’t even notice during the day. But once you sit down and close your eyes and try to step aside and actually take this birds eye view on things, it really helps to notice this kind of things. And it really helps to also just relax and, um, it puts your thoughts into perspective as well. Cause because if something in the moment feels like it’s, I don’t know, it’s, um, very like life changing and very scary decision. Um, but once you meditate, it just, it doesn’t, after four for some reason it doesn’t seem as scary as it was before. Yeah,

Sean Tierney: 00:33:27 yeah. No, it puts it in perspective. And like you said, I, I too have the monkey mind thing. I don’t know that for different essential oils over there that I used to fall asleep at night. So it’s a, um, I agree. I think the meditation, uh, it, it allows you to, I don’t know what it is like a bird’s eye view. It’s like stepping in and kind of observing your own thoughts and to the point where, I dunno, the, the thing that I think about is like we have like this little puppy dog caged like, and it’s just running around the cage and eventually like meditation, like if you do it right, it’s like lifting the cage at some point and now the, the puppy dog just kinda like stops running around and just sits there and looks around instead.

Julia Shem: 00:34:07 That’s an interesting party. If you direct your attention onto yourself and you’re like, what, what, what w hold on a second. Where did that thought came from? Yeah. And you tried to, to kind of backtrack it and you realize that, Oh, wait a minute. Like I, I’m not even sure. Like it’s just, um, it’s like mm. Listening to your own thoughts from like, just a stepping aside. Yeah, really interesting.

Sean Tierney: 00:34:33 It is really interesting. Did you do the Sam Harris program? The waking up?

Julia Shem: 00:34:36 I did. And the most, my favorite part of it is not actually not in the meditations but the lessons. Yeah. Um, the philosophical lessons about life and how, how we view failures, um, consciousness and um, yeah, he, there’s one, uh, one important lesson about, um, death actually it’s called lessons of death, uh, where he talks about how we sometimes, um, don’t notice the beautiful things around us and just focus on something that’s frustrating. But at the same time, if we can control it, we still waste our energy on it instead of focusing on something that’s more important. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic and you’re late for this important appointment or interview, and then there’s one person in front of you just driving really slow and you get frustrated about it, it’s like, you know, thinking that, Oh, why on earth on this particular day you decided to do this? Um, but then once you focus on something that this is definitely something that you cannot control, that’s one thing. But at the second thing is like, you don’t know what he’s going through. Like, what if he just, um, enjoying this beautiful day. Like he’s not late to any anything. Like you’re the one who being laid and this is your problem. That is so kind of also puts things into perspective and I really recommend to listen to that one important lesson.

Sean Tierney: 00:36:02 Okay, cool. Yeah, no, I really dug the Sam Harris program. Um, I strongly recommended, um, stoicism is that, so let’s talk a little bit about, cause I think it was at your talk that you mentioned the daily stoic. So I just got that book cause Ben Lake also told me to get it as well. Um, I read a number of books on stoicism. We know Tim Ferriss is a huge fan of it. What, how do you use it or what does it mean to you?

Julia Shem: 00:36:30 Um, so stoicism, I came across it probably a year ago. Um, and I think it’s one of the most important lessons from it that I, I think I use in my everyday life is trying to not, um, focus on things that I cannot control only on something that I can control my own emotions, my feelings and the steps that I can take, uh, basically everything that’s inside of my control. Um, so it’s, it really helps to not waste your energy and something that you cannot change anyhow. Otherwise. Um, for example, on relationships, that’s one of the examples that I, I was, uh, bringing up in my, during my talk. So, um, if you love someone and, um, if you know, you cannot control if they, um, love you to the same extent as you love them, right? Because this is outside of your control of what you can control is your own feelings. So you can be the most lovable and affectionate person that you can be. But that’s about it. If, if, if they decide to, to stick with you, that’s great. If not, then it’s also, it’s, it’s outside of your control. So why worry about something that you just cannot control.

Sean Tierney: 00:37:48 Yeah. Yeah, it’s, um, is that the book that you would recommend if for someone that can, you’re gonna give them one thing to introduce them to stoicism? Is that the book that you would recommend?

Julia Shem: 00:38:00 That’s, that’s really great. If you just want to have this, um, one wisdom for a day, for the day to read it in the morning and to think about this and see how you can apply it to your daily life. Um, and I think a lot of lessons from sources and not just that, but um, many more. It can be applied still today. It’s really funny how it’s been written in the third century and it’s, there’s still the same, we still have this facing the same problems and um, yeah, we can, we can apply to everyday life. But another, um, interesting book, well not book per se, but um, I think Tim Ferriss, just a couple months ago, he released this three PDF, large PDF files about stoicism, which are available for free on his website. And that’s another, that’s kind of like if you want to, if once you read the daily stoic, if you want to continue exploring this, I highly recommend checking that out.

Sean Tierney: 00:38:52 Okay. We’ll find that. We’ll link those as well in the show notes. Uh, there’s one that I would recommend. It’s called a guide to the good life, the ancient art of stoic joy. I don’t remember the author, but uh, I will link that one as well as that is the book I’ve read. Like I read Ryan holiday’s one. The object is the way or the obstacle is the way didn’t it, I don’t know, it just didn’t seem actionable but the guy to the good life, I thought it was an excellent introduction to it. So yeah. So we’ll link all those resources in the show notes. And I guess the last thing I wanted to talk about from your nomad cruise talk was just automation. Like your, your, your philosophy of automation cause you’ve done it really well with your own business. But how do you think about automation?

Julia Shem: 00:39:38 I think you should definitely be careful about what you want to automate because certain things like, um, customer service for example, you need to be careful, uh, to not go over exactly to not over automate because there’s still, um, a very important part in sales for example, is the human interaction. Like there are certain things that just cannot be autumn. Well you can’t automate them, but I would just encourage you not to exactly. Because if, if there is still this human touch that, um, you would like to keep as a part of your business is definitely keep that you can also delegate this to someone else. Um, but um, in, in terms of using technology, use it to a certain extent where it’s beneficial,

Sean Tierney: 00:40:25 that harmful, right? Yeah. So the, the talk that I gave him, no, Matt Cruz related to sales systemization, uh, delegating, automating were two of the steps in the seven step process. And, uh, I don’t know, the, the analogy that I used in terms of amplifying team members is like, I think of it kind of like this exoskeleton, like this thing, you know, like the, the scene that I’m picturing is the Sigourney Weaver in alien where she’s in this little like robot thing that she fits around her and she’s controlling this massive like powerful machine and it’s like small movements. You can have massive sweeping results from tiny movements. And that’s the way I think of like automation is you, you have joystick controls, like minor tweaks allow you to do like trigger an email sequence or like automate some fulfillment actions and whatnot, but it’s still piloted by a human and there is still that human touch there. And it sounds like you kind of have a similar philosophy in that regard to how you think about it.

Julia Shem: 00:41:20 Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Cool. I’m really excited to see how our world is going to change in the next decade or so once, uh, the AI and, uh, it’s just, it’s this technology is evolving really. And, um, I think we’re on this step before we like before we be take this exponential progress towards that field, but also people need to be conscious about it and to not overdo it and let it into the direction where we don’t want to go. [inaudible]

Sean Tierney: 00:41:51 so you’re talking about like general AI at this point? Yeah, yeah. I mean there, that is the concern, right? Like how do you do it ethically and in a way where genie can’t get out of the bottle. And, uh, I mean that’s a whole episode we could do on that topic. Are you, are you doing anything with AI or are you strictly like analysis of big data but not necessarily with like machine learning and AI?

Julia Shem: 00:42:15 Um, I’m slowly getting into that field, but at the moment I’m not using any machine learning. I’m just focusing on the data analysis and using that to drive better business decisions. Uh, but a I N. M it’s, it’s definitely an interesting topic because we can just for one thing that we can use it for is, is to predict the future a little bit in terms of just inventory, quantity, sales, you name it. Um, but yeah, if it definitely like it’s, it’s a, a black box basically. It didn’t, nobody knows exactly how it’s gonna play it out in the future.

Sean Tierney: 00:42:50 Yeah. Have you by chance seen the AlphaGo documentary, the one that Google, so you, you know, AlphaGo like the one that have the AI that beat the smartest go player in the world. And so this is for the people listening. So we’ve already had the grand master of chess, right? Deep blue, they’d beat him. But that game is a bounded game where there’s a finite number of moves and so he can actually just brute force every combination and win purely by looking ahead and knowing all the paths to winning. Right. So it’s a different way. AlphaGo was like the first test of raw AI where it can’t, it has to learn, it has to like figure out strategies and methods of playing. Um, cause there’s just like some kajillion permutations of how it go. Game can go, right. So anyway, this is a brilliant movie. You should check it out and it’s talking about like, it just shows you like the smartest, best go player who this Korean guy. And he’s just like, of course I’m going to win. And it’s like just humbling to see him lose and the emotions he goes through losing to a machine and like the country that had like come to see and watch him and like gasping, you know, when this machine beats him. It’s, it is, it’s a, it’s a new, it’s a new world

Julia Shem: 00:44:02 that’s very scary. But hopefully we will be able to find a way to use it. To your benefit.

Sean Tierney: 00:44:08 I think the, uh, Peter Diamandis, do you know who that is? So he, I’m a big fan of him, uh, his podcast and he’s very pro on like these technologies are, yes, we need to develop them ethically and be, you know, not just like completely not you’ve, that nothing’s going to go wrong. Like, we have to make sure that nothing goes wrong, but at the same time, these are also the tools that can solve unsolvable

Sean Tierney: 00:44:32 problems that we don’t know how to solve yet.

Julia Shem: 00:44:35 Or just, uh, automation for example, is a tool as well. It’s a tool to allow you to save your time and stop doing the repetitive work and focus on something that’s more valuable to your business. For example, marketing and bringing new clients and increasing sales. Right? So it’s, yeah, it’s definitely a very like beneficial tool and I love technology and I love using that to, um, kind of get away from the works for work sake and, and focus on something that’s more important for your business and your personal life as well. Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 00:45:07 So this is, I think, a good segue. Can you talk a little bit about this next venture that you have planned? Like what, what is it? Uh, yeah. What, what can you share about what you’re looking to do?

Julia Shem: 00:45:17 Um, yeah, so I looking to leverage my knowledge as an entrepreneur and running an eCommerce business and my kind of past life as the computer programmer or, um, database analytic analytic person. Um, so I realized that a lot of people, a lot of entrepreneurs are not really using their data, um, to improve their business and to, to, to drive better decisions. Um, they do look at the KPIs for example, but they’re not doing this like thorough business analysis. For example, I just recently read a book, 80, 20 marketing and it’s an incredible tool. Um, but not many people know about this. And there are several other kind of metrics that if you, um, do a thorough analysis of your own business, you kind of get a perspective of where things are working out, where you should focus and where are you, where are your inefficiencies.

Julia Shem: 00:46:18 So maybe there’s something that you should let go of. And that’s, um, at the very early stages of Goldie, uh, I was selling my own designs and I was doing the custom designs as well. And I realized that most of my revenue is actually coming from the custom designs. Um, all the biggest part of it. So I said it to pay attention to it more than, um, like selling to local stores and whatnot. Um, but also cause I’m a big fan of automation, um, I’m looking to you kind of use big data and, and um, I’m able to get the data from multiple sources and play around with it and then slice it the ways that, um, help you to kind of get a bigger perspective on your own metrics and see where you can save money, where you can earn more money. Um, and things like that.

Sean Tierney: 00:47:09 And, okay, so let’s just say that I come to you and as Pagely and we’ve got, you know, different data sources. We have our support system and our CRM and our, uh, you know, custom control panel and red shift as a bunch of advent tracking in it and just all these different data sources. What are you, are you going in not knowing what you’re looking for or do you have ideas and you’re testing theories or like what is your process to use just raw data that’s there and make sense of it?

Julia Shem: 00:47:39 Um, well, because every diff, every business is different. Um, too, if you know exactly what are you looking for or what are you trying to achieve, what’s the end goal? So you give me all the inputs and then what, what are you looking in terms of the output and I am will be able to, um, take a look at the data and then bring it from multiple sources and analyze it and kind of give you those business insights.

Sean Tierney: 00:48:03 So we might give you challenges. So we’ll say like, you know, we have higher churn than we would like on our, our SAS product. So we’d like to subscriptions people canceling too soon. Maybe that’s an issue. Maybe, uh, I don’t know. Like, um, let’s say too many credit card payments fail inadvertently or something like, so we’re giving you challenges and you’re looking at the data that’s there to solve those challenges. Or are you coming back to us and saying, you know, I think you could get more profitability by introducing a new plan type between these two tiers based on what I’m seeing. Yes,

Julia Shem: 00:48:36 exactly that. Yes. And for example, if it’s an eCommerce business, then also, um, to kind of, uh, track down that downstream effect. For example, if you run a particular promotion for free, you afford your, your product or service for free for certain car customers a year ago. Um, to see if those customers were actually are on board with you right now. Um, how much revenue did you get from those customers? Um, and if that actually that promotional worked well or not, and the general sense. Um, and then what are your top clients that you should focus all of your, um, time with? Like, well, what, what are your top clients that you should focus on, uh, building a better relationships with and um, things like that. So it actually, it’s, um, there are three things. There’s frequency, um, so recency. Exactly. Yes. Um,

Sean Tierney: 00:49:34 well, just to clarify what those are for the people listening. So recency, frequency and monetary or what’s the M money mine. Yeah. Cool. All right. So if someone is listening and has a business with a lot of data, like are you, you’re in discovery phase it sounds like. So you’re literally willing to just kind of look at people’s data sets for the sake of just kind of seeing what all you can do and what is out there right at this point.

Julia Shem: 00:49:58 Yeah. Um, I’m looking to find your inefficiencies and help you to save money with certain things and then earn more money. And maybe there’s, um, different products that you’re not offering in the moment or different price ranges where your customers can spend four X times money that you just not aware of and you’re basically leaving this money on the table right now. Um, things like that. Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 00:50:21 Yeah. And you’re not necessarily even charging right now, you’re talking about just getting a couple of case study, a couple of wins under

Sean Tierney: 00:50:28 your belt just to show that you can do it.

Julia Shem: 00:50:30 Exactly. I’m just looking for more case studies to see, um, what actually I can help with because I have this, all of this knowledge and I’ve used this data analysis for myself, but it’s not necessary. It’s gonna apply the same exact way to any other business. So I’m looking to get more information, like more of the case studies of different types of businesses and see why I can help.

Sean Tierney: 00:50:52 Cool. So if you’re listening and you have a lot of data and you want some free help, basically, um, I think honestly you should just do a donation model, like charge, pay for what you think it’s worth. Like if you have a big win for someone, they should absolutely, hopefully pay you for it. So, um, awesome. All right. Um, a couple of things before we wrap up. So you did my self defense workshop. I just wanted to ask you like what was your motive for coming and what did you get out of that?

Julia Shem: 00:51:18 Uh, the motive for coming is that I’m a solo traveler and, um, in many countries, for example, Brazil that I recently been to, I was really afraid to go there because of the certain stories that I heard and actually one of my friends got mugged, um, while we were there. So it’s, it’s, uh, it’s really important to know just the basics of self defense because, um, as careful as you can be, like there’s just certain scenarios where, um, like just by being basically unlucky, you can just get into really scary situations. So it’s important to know, uh, what are your options and thank you for doing the workshop because, uh, I was able to get some of the more insights of how to get yourself out of certain situations. Um, um, because prior to that, I just, I, most of my, uh, knowledge just came down to running. Um, but what if you’re, you know, there’s other situations where you cannot run and then you have to defend yourself and then what do you do in that case, especially as a woman. Um, so that was really beneficial.

Sean Tierney: 00:52:25 Do not attack Julia if you’re listening. She is way stronger than she loves me. Like deceivingly strong for as small as you are. Cool. And then, uh, and I think that’s good. And I think my biggest outcome or my, uh, my hope for that workshop was that it just gets people thinking about it. And if like if one person decides to go maybe take a crop Magog class, then that’s a win from that whole perfect. So that was a win. I will take a crab. My guy goes, Oh, I know for a fact, actually you should go to my buddy who teaches there. Joey KoreAm was episode number six. I think you should actually see that episode. He talks to a lot of the stuff that we talked with, but he’s like next level, like Jason Bourne, reincarnated. Like, Oh wow, he’s legit. He’ll take an AK 47 out of someone’s hands before they blink.

Julia Shem: 00:53:14 So I can take that in action as soon as the next week. Once I’m back.

Sean Tierney: 00:53:18 Awesome. I will put you in touch with Joey. Um, all right, cool. And then I guess the last thing, so you were also, we were both in the talent show as well. So can we stop here and on a fun note here. So tell me about your, like your background with dance cause you were super talented, both swing and salsa dance.

Julia Shem: 00:53:33 Thank you. Um, uh, the funny thing, I never taking a single salsa class before and uh, I learned salsa and the first, none of my cruise that I went to, it was coming from um, Columbia to Portugal and a lot of people, just a lot of locals that were taking the, the, the crews outside of the my crews conference, um, for dancing, incredible salsa. And I was able to learn a lot during those two weeks that we were, um, crossing the ocean. And I do salsa a little bit in Los Angeles, just on Fridays. There’s this great restaurant and um, it’s really the play’s really fun music and sometimes life music. Um, um, but swing dance for example, I fell in love with it a couple of years ago. The first time that I went to new Orleans and I went to with a friend of mine who I knew that he was teaching some sort of a dance.

Julia Shem: 00:54:27 Um, he never actually explained what swing dance was. So I, um, I actually didn’t really realize what he’s capable of. And as soon as we, um, went to listen to the live band and he started dancing, it’s just, it was so incredible and I was sure that they, um, rehearse said multiple, multiple times and they actually didn’t. It was 90% improvisation. And in that point I was completely blown away and I promised myself that as soon as I’m back in the States, I will take the class and it will learn how to do it. And, um, two years, fast forward, I, uh, just recently, um, a year ago actually I went to, um, one of the biggest festivals in Europe. It’s go lean to shock, happens on three boats in Budapest once a year. And the most skilled dancers and teachers from all over the world just come to that event for two weeks on the boat.

Julia Shem: 00:55:26 And that was incredible. I think this, this is where I’ve taken my intermediate level to intermediate advanced and I was able to learn so much. And after that, um, I didn’t stop, I decided that I’m going to learn aerials, which is like the most fun thing to do while you’re dancing. So imagine if you designate the partner, all of a sudden you do a back flip in the dense or the lift you up and then you kind of go around them and like fly. This is the, I guess this, this, this is it. This is the feeling of just flying, I guess, in the dense. So it’s, it, it’s truly incredible. And I was in two teams, uh, for camp Hollywood competition this year and I absolutely love swing dancing. There’s so many things. There’s Lindy hop, which is a slower pace. Um, there is Charleston, which is my favorite. It’s like a fast paced jazz. And most of the time it happens when there is a live jazz band and it’s the, the energy in the room and the F the fun and just everything combined is just, it makes me feel alive.

Sean Tierney: 00:56:32 Yeah. You look like you’re having a blast up here. And I swear for a bit, it didn’t even look like you were touching the floor. You’re like [inaudible] around and somehow levitate and it was really impressive. Um, all right, well actually I do want to ask one last question. Um, and then we have the breakdown, but the nomad cruise. So what would you say, like how, how did you find this cruise and no matters in general, but specifically this cruise relative to the other ones that you’ve been on? Uh, your thoughts?

Julia Shem: 00:57:03 This particular cruise is for alumni. So if people who’ve been to the cruises before, um, and I just, this is the first, um, well the first trip that I’ve taken many, many years ago and um, this is what kind of put me out of side of my comfort zone and make me travel in the first place. Um, so when I heard about people, people that had been to the quizzes before, and then this is the event, it’s going to be once a year, um, for alumni’s and I will be able to see all of my friends then people that have met in multiple cruises, all in the same boats. I was definitely salt. And every single conversation that I’ve had on this boat up to this day has been so incredible and valuable and I’m insanely grateful for that opportunity.

Sean Tierney: 00:57:51 How would you describe the experience to someone who has never been to a conference or a cruise ship or any, like, what are we doing here? What is this?

Julia Shem: 00:58:01 Um, so during the day we have workshops and talks about important topics on personal development and entrepreneurship as well. So, um, every one of us have says the ability to offer it, talk about just something that they’re really deeply passionate about. So I was speaking about business automation and recently on this cruise I was speaking about anxiety entrepreneurially, real anxiety actually. Um, and you learn so many things during the day and then it doesn’t stop at that because then we have the meetups. So we able to take those one on ones, the people that, um, you kind of just want to brainstorm on some crazy ideas that you have or you want to just pick up their brain on some specific, um, thing that you’re stuck on. And it just speeds up the process of learning so much because you can spend a lot of time just thinking about a particular problem and trying to solve it.

Julia Shem: 00:58:56 But then once you find the person who already done that and then they can tell you how to do things in about 30 minutes, that’s just incredible. And it’s not just strictly business because we, um, we done salsa during the nights and, um, we talk a lot about just philosophical questions and, um, play certain games. But like we, we, we played for like three days in a row and it’s really fun and it allows you to connect with those likeminded people, um, with entrepreneurial background or just freelancers or people that, um, want to become digital nomads. And they’re all on the same boat from like 20 plus countries and continent, like many continents and many nationalities. And it’s just incredible. Like I said, I’ve been enjoying every single conversation so far.

Sean Tierney: 00:59:49 Yeah. And this has been a long one. This is a 16 day cruise, so we’re at the very tail end of it. But I would agree with everything you just said. It just like a mixture of personal development slash funds slash just these talks in like an unconference format where you can kind of like create, you know, I saw Wim Hof breathing stuff, which is something that I do. And just, just like, you know, anyone who has any weird idea, they can throw it up on this corkboard and like instantly there’s going to be 10 other people that want to be involved with it. So

Julia Shem: 01:00:18 yeah, I think this is the place. If, if you want to just, um, get, um, many new ideas, um, uh, or just brainstorm or something, this is the place to be because I have a long list of things that have ideas that I’ve never thought about before. Um, a long list of to do things that once I land in Dubai once a fly back to Los Angeles and what I need to do in terms of bringing my business to the next level. And just aside from all of that, aside from business, I was able to connect with people that just on a deeper level because you spent so much time together, um, this two weeks and it’s, I, I think I’ve made a really, really cool friendships during those past two weeks.

Sean Tierney: 01:01:01 Yeah. How has the, I mean it’s a force digital detox too in the sense that like the wifi is terrible to non-existent here and even if you buy it, it’s really difficult to get online. Uh, have you felt that to actually be beneficial or like the lack of connectivity I guess in, in terms of those closeness of friendships and like needing to be present? I almost feel like the fact that we can’t get online is a good thing.

Julia Shem: 01:01:26 Absolutely. It’s definitely like a thing because, um, just think about when you go to a restaurant, uh, in your city, like you see people just stuck in their phones even though they’re on a date, for example, they’re still checking their social media or like they checking their messages or something. Here, the phone just doesn’t exist and the money also don’t exist as well because everything is paid for. So it’s kind of like a mini version of the burning man. I think this is the closest thing that I can kind of connect it to where you have the money, like, um, doesn’t exist. Uh, the social media doesn’t exist and all you’re left with is just a human connection. Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 01:02:05 I think that’s a perfect place to end. There’s a last little structure part of this interview. It’s called the breakdown. Are you ready for the break?

Julia Shem: 01:02:11 Alrighty.

Sean Tierney: 01:02:15 All right. What is one book that has profoundly affected you

Julia Shem: 01:02:18 four hour by Tim Ferriss?

Sean Tierney: 01:02:20 It’s a Bible for everybody who went to automate their business was just have more free time with their kids and family or just more time to travel. Yeah. I think that’s a really, that is by far the most common book that is recommended amongst my guests. So I think it’s a really great suggestion. What about, what is one person you would love to have dinner with and that could be alive or past?

Julia Shem: 01:02:43 Um, when I ask the question, I always think about my grandmother. Um, she was a very strong woman and she went through a lot of hardships. Um, she was deported from, um, her hometown and just built a life from scratch in Magnitogorsk in my hometown where I was born. Um, and she, she was the example for me to, um, just always count on yourself, not counting anybody else and be the strongest person that you can be and whatever you want to achieve. You have all of the capacity, everything that you need to have you have inside you. And um, I always think about her whenever I needed to take a life changing decision, like moving to the States. Um, cause I thought that if she would be in this kind of situation, she would definitely do that and she’d be really proud of me.

Sean Tierney: 01:03:36 Cool.

Sean Tierney: 01:03:37 What about, what is one tool or hack that you use to save time, money, or headaches?

Julia Shem: 01:03:43 Uh, productivity tricks? I, um, let’s see. So there is one, uh, technique that’s called Pomodoro. Um, when you block out the time in 25 minutes or 15 minutes. And it helps me to not, um, spend too much time on something that’s, um, like not very productive, for example. So if I’m researching things, then I can go on and on and on reading like different books and articles about this forever and ever. Um, but if I tie myself, um, and I realized that after like 15 minutes, for example, I haven’t really progressed in like learning what, what is this that I’m trying to learn or what I’m looking for due to like what a solution, finding a solution to a particular problem that I stop, I’m going to take a break and then focus on something else. Um, but also, um, there’s this graph, uh, I forgot the name of it. There’s, when you defined, um,

Julia Shem: 01:04:40 separated the patients who four corners basically and then separate your to do list into those four chapters where

Sean Tierney: 01:04:47 urgency and importance.

Julia Shem: 01:04:48 Yes, exactly. So you kind of separate the two. There we go. Okay. So that really helps me to um, define what’s important on my to do list and what’s just the repetitive work. Yup.

Sean Tierney: 01:04:59 Cool. I used to actually have my screen so my desktop was a hand drawn version of that with like two arrows of urgent important. And I could literally like put the files that I was dealing with in the right quadrant on my desktop spatially. And so when I would, you know, when I went there I’d always looked to the upper right because it’s like urgent important and then you go to the important and then like,

Julia Shem: 01:05:20 so what was urgent and not important. This is what you need to delegate.

Sean Tierney: 01:05:23 Yeah. Or, or limit like what can real estate to say like, okay, this doesn’t really matter in the long game. Like, yeah. Yeah. Cool. Great tip. Uh, okay. What about, what is one piece of music that speaks to you lately or a musical artist?

Julia Shem: 01:05:40 Um, let’s see. I love jazz. Um, but also I love musicals, so I’ve been listening to, um, the Lala land soundtrack and I also play the piano and sing and, uh, I just have this deepest love for musicals because it’s, um, I don’t know. There’s something to it that just also makes me feel alive. And also the fact that I can dance, do it and sing and play and just all of those things altogether.

Sean Tierney: 01:06:07 What is your favorite musical? The greatest show men. Okay, cool. Absolutely not familiar with that one. We’ll check it. No, never seen that. No. Oh my God, I’m so jealous. It’s like five times already. I’m excited. I’d put it on my list. All right. Uh, what, here’s this is a difficult one. What important truth. Do you very few people agree with you on?

Julia Shem: 01:06:33 I think that focusing on something that you can control versus that you can’t control. Um, so back to stoicism actually. Um, for example, I’ve been trying to change the mindset of my parents to, um, help them see the positive things instead of the negative, not the negative per se, but something that they cannot change anyhow. Um, because I, I’m maybe it’s, um, a common mindset in Russia cause I remember myself doing that all the time as well. Um, because you’re so, I’m used to things being not good for a long period of time. The kind of just, it’s, it sets in your brain that things are always like there’s, you can always find something that’s not good, it’s not going all well. Um, so changing that mindset and flipping that inner switch into focusing on the positive instead of the negative, it’s a really, uh, important and a tough thing to do. I think it’s just because you’re not even realizing that you’re, um, just, you know, been ranting about something for a couple of minutes that you cannot even have control over. Um, so yeah.

Sean Tierney: 01:07:44 Was it, I can’t remember. It was your sock or someone else’s where they were talking about the analogy of the toboggans and the snow, like neuro-pathways being like when I met it wasn’t Nikki’s talk but about the idea that you get into these groups and when you have the same thought enough times that it actually makes like, uh, almost in the way that like a toboggan going down to the snow kind of burrows out a little tunnel and now like it wants to go there every time they’re on. So uh, yeah. I don’t know why that just popped in, but like it seems like, um, yeah. So stoicism, breaking those

Sean Tierney: 01:08:16 mental pathways. Toboggan. All right, last question. What is, if you had a time machine to go back to your 20 year old self, what is one piece of advice you would give yourself?

Julia Shem: 01:08:28 Same thing Steph. Trying to control something that he cannot control. Yeah. Step, warring too much. Because at the end, if you’re about to jump from the cliff and you don’t have a Perisher does trust yourself that you’re going to land on your feet no matter what. If you don’t know that, how things are going to play it out at the end, that’s totally fine because none of us do and it’s important to just believe in yourself and know that no matter what you’re going to be. Okay.

Sean Tierney: 01:08:54 Awesome. Julia, you are a bright star of the cruise. I am super excited that we got to have this conversation where if people want to follow you or get, you know, see what happens with your next venture or maybe even submit some data to be considered is one of your next candidates. How do they get in touch with you?

Julia Shem: 01:09:10 Absolutely. I’m, I’m on Facebook as Julia shim and um, yeah, feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I’m always happy to help.

Sean Tierney: 01:09:19 Awesome. Thank you so much, Julia.


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.