Johnny FD knows a thing or two about nomading. He's been doing it since 2008 and has successfully created 18 streams of passive income. Learn how he did it.

Johnny quit his corporate job in 2008 and embarked on an adventure of a lifetime which became a nomadic existence he’s continued to this day. Johnny is founder of the Nomad Summit in Chiang Mai, Thailand, author of “12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap,” co-host of “Travel Like a Boss” and “Invest Like a Boss” podcasts, divemaster and muay thai fighter. In this episode Johnny shares lessons on architecting a dream lifestyle that enables you to travel the world while earning passive income via your investments.

Show Notes

Time   Topic
0:02:11   Welcome and context
0:03:27   What did you think of Casablanca from our stopover on Nomad Cruise?
0:05:51   Can you give the origin story for how you wound up living in Chiang Mai?
0:09:11   Having the epiphany while scuba diving in Thailand
0:10:16   “If this dream goes wrong how long would it take you to get your life back in order?”
0:12:22   I did probably 800 dive trips during 3-4 years
0:13:04   Training to fight “Big Boom” in muay thai
0:15:14   “There’s nothing more tiring than getting hit in the face”
0:19:28   “The reason why I stuck to it was it was the first time I couldn’t have any excuses”
0:21:03   How did you transition from muay thai fighting to 18 streams of passive income?
0:25:03   “I’m gonna burn the boats, use up this last couple grand and figure it out”
0:26:30   Writing “12 weeks in Thailand: the good life on the cheap”
0:28:56   “I was able to right away monetize something I already had been doing for free”
0:31:55   Discovering the business of drop-shipping
0:33:26   “Why am I focusing on these $10 books when you’re selling $1000 items?”
0:35:34   How did you choose the products you were going to dropship?
0:38:18   How to do niche research
0:40:21   How did you start “Invest Like a Boss” and “Travel Like a Boss”
0:42:26   Getting CEO’s of multi-million dollar companies on their podcast
0:46:44   Create 10x the value that you harvest
0:48:10   At what point were you able to monetize the podcast?
0:51:28   Can you enumerate some of the 18 passive revenue streams you have?
0:53:28   An investment uncorrelated to the stock market that reliably pays 13%
0:54:48   How did the first Nomad Summit come together?
0:59:47   How did you extricate yourself from the production grind of your podcast?


Drop shipping defined
Tee Spring
Nomad Summit
Nomad Summit YouTube Channel
Rich Dad Poor Dad
Time Out app for Mac
News Feed Eradicator
Johnny’s personal website
Invest Like a Boss podcast
Travel Like a Boss podcast
12 Weeks in Thailand: The Guide Book to Travel Cheap



Johnny FD: 00:00:00 There’s nothing more tiring than getting hit in the face. So he starts kicking the crap out of me and it’s hurting. Right? It’s like we were like, this was like a real fight. This time I really felt like we, we both stepped up and I was like, all right, I’ve never actually elbowed a guy in the face, but let’s see if this works. And it did.

Intro: 00:00:16 Welcome to the nomad podcast where we discuss inspiring stories of lifestyle transition and how to thrive in a location independent existence. Nomad Podcast podcast is supported in part by Nomad Prep, an online academy to help aspiring digital nomads make us best for transition. And now here’s your host, Sean Tierney.

Sean Tierney: 00:00:47 All right, welcome to the nomad podcast. Uh, very excited today to have Johnny FD with us. Welcome Johnny to the show.

Johnny FD: 00:00:54 Yeah, thanks. And absolutely jealous that you had the name trouble, no matter podcast because I’m like, why didn’t want, I didn’t think about it. It’s so much easier than travel like a boss. Make me an offer. Yeah. Um, awesome to have you on the show, man. We just liked, but let’s set the stage for the people listening. So we just got off a something called the nomad cruise. Uh, it’s a giant cruise ship that just, uh, just dropped us in Lisbon. We’ve been traveling the last six days together and uh, so super excited that we can, uh, have a chance to chat and kind of hopefully reveal some of the stuff that we talked about for that could be helpful for our listeners. Yeah, that was super fun.

Johnny FD: 00:01:30 It was my second nomad cruise and this one was a bit shorter than the other ones. This was six nights, seven days. And we went, we started in grand grand canary as promise. We went through a couple of the other Canary Islands, tenor reef ladder Otay. We stopped for day in Casa Blanca, Morocco, which was interesting. And then, uh, uh, and caddies, Spain and the south. And then now be already Lisbon. Your hometown now. Right. I only had to buy a one way ticket, so I’m coming back home. Um, what did you think about Casa Blanca that you said was interesting? What was interesting about it? Well, I mean, the funny thing is everyone’s heard the, the term Casa Blanca, you know, probably from the old 1940s movie. I’ve seen the black and white cover for it. I’ve never watched the movie. I had no idea where Morocco was.

Johnny FD: 00:02:20 I had heard it was somewhere in Africa or the Middle East. But that was really it. And the fact that we got to at least see a little bit of it, you know, I’m not going to say I really traveled Morocco because we were literally there for five hours, but we got to, you know, walk through the markets. Some of the locals have some local food, see one of their famous mosques. So I feel like I had a taste of Morocco and for me, you know the things about like, like traveling like quickly, you know, on a cruise is kind of a love hate where I can now check it off saying, oh I’ve been to Morocco so now you know, like say I’d to 51 instead of 50 but did I really see it? Not really sure. But at the same time, it’s kind of a nice taste where I can say, all right, did I like it enough? I can go back again in the future.

Sean Tierney: 00:03:08 Yeah. Like so we were talking on the car on the way here, like so I did that remote your program and I just consider it, it’s almost like just a commercial, cause it’s not nearly long enough to truly know it, but you get a taste enough to know whether you want to like come back and see a place. Yeah. But you guys are in each city for a month or in each country for a month in each city for a month. I mean it’s obviously prolonged. It’s a better chance to know it, but it’s still like I was in Lisbon for a month, but it, uh, it was enough to tell me that I wanted to come back. But like you never truly know a place even after six months, you know?

Johnny FD: 00:03:38 Yeah. I think, you know, for me two or three months in a place, I can really kind of start to get to know the local culture and see if I really like it. Yeah. But often takes years to really discover a place. Like I’m, you know, I spend a lot of time in Chiang Mai, in Thailand and people will sometimes say like, don’t we get bored there? You know, like you’ve been there for so many years and like I was there for three days last year and I saw everything and I’m like, no, you didn’t it, you really did it. There’s so much to see expression in places like Chiang Mai or in Lisbon that it’s not on the, you know, top 10 things to do on TripAdvisor but are the things that you would only really see and do as a local living there longer and they’re really amazing. Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 00:04:23 So I, I want to get in to Chiang Mai and all that, but like for the people that don’t know you, um, can you just like give like a quick origin story of like how you ended up in Chiang Mai? Cause I know this is like fascinating having listened to some of the other podcasts you’ve been on, like how you, you made that leap and got there and with the fighting the movie tie in that stuff.

Johnny FD: 00:04:41 Yeah, it was a bit strange. I mean a group in California in San Francisco, so I had a pretty normal life and in 2007 I read the four hour work week, which I’m sure a lot of your listeners have read. If you haven’t definitely put that on your, on your list right now. You know, you can pause this ordered on Amazon, the paper back or get an audio audible. But I read the book and I thought, wow, like is this, is this for real? Cause I’d had never met anyone who’s done it, but it made sense and I thought let me try this. And I had a vacation plan. It was really one of my first ever vacations and I was already in my mid twenties and I thought, okay, I’m going to go to Thailand, I’m going to try this for work, work thing. My only goal was for my life not to explode in those three weeks I’d be gone.

Johnny FD: 00:05:27 And it felt like such a long time to go for three weeks because I had never gone any of her more than three days. So I didn’t, you know, go as far as looking into how to make money online. But I thought okay, if I can just automate all my bill pay and you know, if I can automate all everything, kind of all my responsibilities or I can eliminate things that don’t need, maybe they’ll give me a better chance. You know, maybe I can go there and not stress. And I got there and I just fell in love. Not having the day to day responsibility now having a wake up and iron my Kirkland signature white dress shirt, pick a matching tie, you know, get my card, you know, drive to work, find parking. I don’t have to do any of that stuff and I can literally wake up and not worry about the weather.

Johnny FD: 00:06:17 Cause there’s always going to be sunny. They put on a pair of shorts, flip flops, a $3 tee shirt, walk outside and put $20 in my pocket. I knew I can do anything. I can eat anywhere, I can get a massage, I can really just enjoy life to its fullest. And in the u s you know, especially in California, that was not possible. So as soon as I got to Thailand, I realized this is amazing. This is a side of the world. That is something that I don’t want to wait until I’m 65 to enjoy. Nice. And so from there though, I thought this was fascinating. Can you tell the, the Moitai story? Yeah. So, uh, during that three week vacation, I just tried everything that Tom had had an offer. You know, I tried cooking class, I tried bunch of jumping, tried, you know, random tours.

Johnny FD: 00:07:10 I went to a Muay Thai fight. Uh, and I also tried scuba diving. And those two things were Kinda in the back of my mind, you know, the more tied, to be honest at the time I have, it’s thought it was cool. I didn’t think I would do it, but it was, it started planting a seed, but scuba diving, it hooked me so quickly. It was the first time I ever really fell in love with a passion or hobby. I always felt a bit left out because I’d never liked basketball or baseball or football. You know, till this day I don’t think I’ve ever watched an NBA finals or even a Superbowl and I just never really cared. And when I first met scuba diving, I thought, fuck, like this is amazing. Why hasn’t anyone told me about this? And obviously I’ve seen it on TV on seen it on like national geographic or the discovery channel, but I didn’t think it’d be something that I could do as a normal person.

Johnny FD: 00:08:02 And when I spoke to my instructor, this guy named Rene Christophe, this Swiss French guy, and I said like, how did you, how did you get started in this? And he said, Oh, I moved here 10 years ago and my only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. And that was the moment I already started thinking, what if, what if I can give up my life back home and start a new life? And I was really lucky that I had done my scuba diving course and these fun dives in Paquette where he was at three hour boat ride from the dive site. And I think if it was more Russian, all somewhere cheaper like hotel, I wouldn’t have had the time to think when you’re flagged. So I’m really grateful that I was in Paquette. I had that long boat ride right to sat upstairs and I just started thinking about the foreign worker week, about the worksheets in it where they said, imagine everything goes wrong.

Johnny FD: 00:08:55 You know, you, you, you give the stream a shot, everything goes wrong. How long will it take to get your life back in order at for me, and I had a car, I had, you know, a house full of stuff, you know, appliances, clothes, you know, um, I had a job and all this stuff, but I really thought about it and I was like, you know what, if I really needed to, I can live with my parents for a few months. I can buy new stuff, I can get a new car, I can’t do the job. And I thought, you know, three months, like three months is the amount of time it would take me to get back to exactly where I was. Why, why not give this a shot? So I moved to Thailand. So basic straightaway, bread, home, sold, everything came straight back with a couple thousand dollars and a dream of learning how to teach scuba diving or not even teach.

Johnny FD: 00:09:44 I just want it to be a dive master, which is the underwater guide. And that’s what I ended up doing for the next three years before I actually even got into more tie. Nice. So you were, okay. So that was the passion, but you were making money, like how are you making your money at that point? So I was making just enough to get by. Um, I wouldn’t go back sometimes the u s uh, to work for the summer or something. But in Thailand will as nice as first, it’s so cheap. And then second, when you’re working in the dive industry, you either get free room and food and obviously you get a dye for free or you get paid a small amount, maybe 500 bucks a month or 600 bucks a month. And it wasn’t a lot of money, but it was enough to get by. You know, I remember working in one resort where I had a free room, I had free food and free beer and islands.

Johnny FD: 00:10:36 Yeah. So all my basics were covered. And luckily, you know, I had sold my car, I had some little bit of savings and it was just enough to kind of float by until, you know, I got bored of that island and I said, okay, let’s check out the bus coast of Thailand on his checkout, Borneo, let’s check out, you know, the Caribbeans. And I moved around every three to six months to a different dive school in a different island and I got to dive the whole world. I did probably 800 dive trips during those three to three or four years, which for most people is something they would never accomplish it in a lifetime. And I got to do all of it for free. That’s insane. Yeah. And at what point then, so you’re doing the diving, but at what point did you decide, oh, this would be good idea to let go fight when we tie?

Johnny FD: 00:11:19 Yeah, so I was living in a very small island in Thailand called Polenta. Um, I guess not that small, but there’s not that much to do there. It’s more of a honeymoon destination and the dive trips were all day long. So I was normally very busy, but on my days off, there was nothing to do. There’s really nothing to do on, and there’s no mall, there’s no movie theater, you know, you have the beach and that’s it. But they had more gym. And at first I was like, all right, I’m just going to go and get in shape. But it’s a fighting gym. So everybody there was training in the fight. So from the first day, you know, hitting the pads, uh, I think we even sponsored and like a week or two into it, one of the other guys there is the Swedish guy, he fought in the ring with a tie guy.

Johnny FD: 00:12:04 We all went to support and he lost. And in my mind I was like, oh, I couldn’t get this guy. So, uh, he, you know, cause you know, it looked like he had gassed out, he got tired, he like wasn’t hitting very hard. And I was like, in my mind, I’m like, all right, I would have done this. I would have done this. You know, I would have kicked his butt. And he was, this guy was, you know, the Tyco was, uh, was my size. It’s got a big boom. And I told my coach, I said, hey, I want to fight big boom next week or whenever the next matches. And he signed me up and I barely trade. You know, in my mind, I think every scene, a guy in the world, we overestimate our fighting abilities. There was even a, a meme about it saying, I think it was from the onion, the satire newspaper saying new study comes out that uh, the average male overestimates his ability to perform in a street fight by 2500%.

Johnny FD: 00:13:01 Very accurate. And it really is true because, you know, I walked into this, this match, you know, I thought I’ve probably focused more on what song I wanted to walk out into and like what, how I wanted to please the crowd. Then the actual competition itself and man, it was the most hiring thing in my life. I mean within a minute and a half hours. So gassed out, barely swing my arms. And what I’m assuming the first time you get hit you at like I’m mentally right now thinking of that Mike Tyson quote. Something about like, uh, like you have a plan until you get hit. Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face. And yeah, it really is true. I mean, nobody ever told me that not only does your plan go out the window, but also your cardio goes out the window. There’s nothing more tiring than getting hit in the face, which is kind of strange because it doesn’t seem like it would have anything to do with getting tired, but it’s exhausting.

Johnny FD: 00:13:59 And I lost that fight. I barely, you know, stayed on my feet for the, the three rounds. And Luckily I think the, the uh, timer guy, you know, and it’s Thailand, so everything’s a little bit, little bit kind of, you know, rural Burundi, but they just saw that this wasn’t going anywhere. So they just called the fight. I lost and I thought bed, that was embarrassing. But also it was a real big eyeopener because my whole life I never really had to struggle. I mean, I, you know, I grew up, you know, two relatively poor family in the u s but we’re still grew up in California, so we always had food. We always had shelter, you know, and were never cold whenever, you know, starving at life was pretty easy. And you know, I would go to the gym, but always I never really trained for anything.

Johnny FD: 00:14:47 I never had to compete in anything, you know, for work, you know, you always kind of skated by and like everything in life was kind of easy and I was always able to talk my way in or out of something. But this was the first time in my life for no amount of talking or trying to justify, you know, I think so many times in life, you know, if we can’t do something, we can blame others, you know? Or we can blame the situation. This, it was black and white. It was like, okay, you didn’t train, you lost and you deserve to get your butt kicked. And I told myself, I want to be matched at this guy. I know I can do better, but I’m going to train this time. So I don’t know why in my mind a month would be enough time, but I say I want to fight this guy again but not next week, give me a month.

Johnny FD: 00:15:39 But at the same time, and maybe it was good because we put it on the books and I just started training everyday for months. You know, I would, you know, work on my cardio like, you know, every day I would have a number one in him. Like okay, one mile on the treadmill, 1.5 miles, whatever it was. And if it wasn’t for having that goal set, I wouldn’t have had pushed myself. I wouldn’t have done it. The nice one that a really nice thing was after a month I was in much better shape. I had much better cardio. I hadn’t, you know, been more technique. I had the right mindset, but also I didn’t realize that he was also holding back.

Sean Tierney: 00:16:17 So he ratcheted up his game. You did too. Like what, what was the outcome of that one? Who

Johnny FD: 00:16:22 I read? So this guy, like, you know, he didn’t look like he wasn’t really good shape, but this is, he basically does this for a living, right. Cause there’s not that many jobs in Ireland. So he had been training since he was probably like 12 or 13, you know, he liked to eat, so he was a bit Chunky, but you know, he had pretty good cardio and he was in pretty good shape and he had way more experienced than I did. So I walked in, you know, the best I can be after it as you know, a month of training. But he basically just was like, Oh wow, this guy’s serious. Let me be serious as well. Uh, so he starts kicking the crap out of me and it’s hurting. Right. It’s like we were like, this was like a real fight. This time I really felt like we both stepped up and I don’t know, I guess I kind of got lucky.

Johnny FD: 00:17:07 I, you know, I, you know, in, and I was like, all right, let’s do this. So we started brawling and I somehow caught him with like a backwards spinning elbow that I wasn’t even on purpose. It was almost like, like I missed a punch and on my way back I was like, all right, uh, let me, let me try this thing. I learned because in Thai boxing, you know, it’s called the art of eight limbs. You can kick, you can knee, you can punch, you can, you can elbow. So it’s, it’s all fair. And I was like, all right, I’ve never actually elbowed a guy in the face, but let’s see if this works. And it did. So

Sean Tierney: 00:17:41 big, boom, we’ve got to look them up, man. I’m, I’m curious. Um, no, that’s cool man. So I like how you, you took that to heart and it actually fed you, it sounds like, and it, it galvanized you to actually go train and kick out. So that says a lot.

Johnny FD: 00:17:50 Yeah. And to be honest, I think the reason why I really started to do more Tai, well, the reason why I started with that out of Ego, right? I thought, okay, I can do this, be easy. But the reason why I stuck to it was it was the first month my life where I felt like I really had to prove myself to myself. I couldn’t have any excuses because whatever excuse I would make, which you know, would get thrown out the window, you know, I could play the victim and be like, Oh yeah, this guy has more training than me, or here’s my experience. And people might feel bad for me, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter when, you know, someone’s like, oh, it’ll be fine.

Johnny FD: 00:18:34 Like it was okay. It wasn’t your day. At the end of the day I still got my ass kicked and it hurts physically hurts. So that was a, a journey of shedding, kind of all the mistakes I’ve made in the past of being lazy, you know, trying to get by without actually doing work. Um, trying to take shortcuts and this was the first time I really proved myself okay, if I want something, I really have to work hard towards it. Interestingly enough. Do you think that that, like had that last not happened in that way? Do you think you would’ve had the same level of grit or whatever you want to call it in order to power through and do what you’ve done? Yeah, probably not. I mean, it’s funny that it’s somehow set the, the road for entrepreneurship where you kind of have to just roll with the punches, like literally and just keep going even though it’s not easy.

Sean Tierney: 00:19:27 Yeah. Dope. Okay. So, so how did you go from Muay Thai fighting, which seems like the least passive revenue, you’re literally fighting for every dollar. How did you turn from that, um, to you just give a talk on the cruise, the 18th streams of passive revenue. Like, so what was that transition like? How did, what did you, I mean it was definitely a long transition. Um, so it wasn’t like overnight I woke up, I was like, all right, now I’m going to make it passive income. Right. It was literally like a five or six year journey, but it started with being at a place where I had been competing and Moitai for two or three years. I had been teaching diving for three or four years and I’ll just tired, you know, I love scuba diving, but waking up at five 30 in the morning or 6:00 AM, you know, before the sun comes up to, you know, set up the boat to fill tanks, I’m going to carry these heavy, you know, dive tanks, get everyone’s equipment ready and go out on a boat with, you know, regardless if you’re sick, you’re not, not feeling well.

Johnny FD: 00:20:32 If he worked seven days in a row ready or it’s raining, it’s storming. It just kind of started to kind of dwell on me, you know? It was just, it was tiring. It was exhausting. And I had realized that it was killing my passion for diving. You know, as much as I loved it, I knew that if I continued to work in the industry, I would stop loving it. I’ll start hating it. And I didn’t want that to happen. So I had told myself, I only want to go as a guest if I can pay, pay for this, and I can be treated as a guest, I’ll do it. You know, I don’t want to work in the industry and with Moitai I also really loved it, but I was literally getting paid 6,000 baht, which is $180 per fight. And I would get, you know, sometimes, you know, free training or free combination, but it was just, I mean it just wasn’t enough to live and I wasn’t good enough or young enough to pursue that as a real career.

Johnny FD: 00:21:32 You know, I knew I would never be the UFC. It was just something that I enjoyed doing and it was nice that I got some money so I can continue, but I knew I had to do something else or I was going to run out of money and I would have to go home and I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to get another job. I didn’t want to go and work in the nine to five. I didn’t want to apply. I didn’t want to. And it wasn’t at a laziness. It was more out of, I knew I would be unhappy if I had to get another nine to five job. So I had I think $2,000 left for my savings and I can, I knew I could either buy a plane ticket home or I can try to make this last for a few more months and burn the boats.

Johnny FD: 00:22:15 I love it, man. Yeah, like literally, you know, and I remember calling my cousin, who was the richest guy I knew at the time, you know, he, he was a lawyer. I knew he made over a hundred grand a year. So I was like, all right, I’m just going to ask him, um, to kind of, you know, be my backup just in case. So I called him up and I said, hey, Larry, uh, I am running out of money soon, but I want to give, I want to spend a few more months in Thailand if I need to get home, can I borrow 1000 bucks, buy a plane ticket? And he said, no. He said, sure, but what really actually got like a cooked my mind was he said, yeah, but you know, make sure you let me know a few weeks in events, I can get the money together. And I thought, what do you mean?

Johnny FD: 00:22:59 Like you make 100,000 a year, you don’t just have 1000 bucks. And he was like, no, I don’t have like I don’t have it, I have to like save it up or something. And I was like, Whoa, like what? Like what is this nine to five life? Yeah. And I was like, this is crazy. And I knew at that moment I was like, I definitely don’t want to go home cause I, you know, didn’t have the education to be a, you know, a doctor or a lawyer. So my mind, it would be impossible for me to make a hundred grand a year, but even then I wouldn’t be able to buy a plane ticket, you know, for, for, you know, a friend like on a whim. And that was crazy. So I thought, okay, I, I’m gonna burn the boats, I’m going to use up this last couple of grand I have and I’m just gonna have to figure it out.

Johnny FD: 00:23:45 And I literally googled, how do you make money online and what did you find from that? You know, at the time, actually there wasn’t as much stuff. Right. And this was 2013. Um, but I was lucky where instead of, you know, jumping in and looking for the overnight get rich quick thing or assuming that nothing worked, I would just like, all right, let me just, you know, read a couple of things and see what makes logical sense. And I see one of the early things I saw was book publishing and I think now in 2019 it’s pretty easy, you know, for everyone to publish a book. But back then I think kindle had kind of just came out, you know, pds where Jessica kind of started getting popular and I thought, you know, this makes sense, right? If I, you know, I have, if I can write something that people actually want to read and I can publish it online, like there’s no reason why this wouldn’t work.

Johnny FD: 00:24:45 I had no idea how much I would make from it or how it, what the process was. But I thought, okay, this is possible. So I spent the next two months writing a book about how to live cheaply and Thailand while pursuing your passions. So for my story, it was moving to Thailand to do my Tai and scuba dive and how to do it for 600 bucks a month. So that, you know, I titled the Book 12 Weeks in Thailand, the good life on the cheap, both the book, you know, but you hadn’t so, but you had, uh, I believe the book emerged from a blog, right? You started a blog before that. Yeah. So I actually, I’ve always had blogs just cause I liked putting my thoughts out there, you know, whether it was like learning a new skill or learn how to do Moitai I’ve always come, just put it out there and I’m sure a lot of it’s, you know, stupid and kind of embarrassing because I’ve been running it since I was in college.

Johnny FD: 00:25:36 Um, and most of them, thank God, have kind of labs, so they’re kind of that they’re no longer out there. but at the time i had a blog called where I just kind of documented my journey with more ties, you know, and living in different gyms. But it was my blogs. I’ll also write about scuba diving and living cheaply in Thailand and all this stuff. And my original plan was actually just to convert the blog, the articles into a book. But as I started putting it together, I realized, you know, let me just kind of rewrite it. Um, cause it just didn’t really make logical sense. So we wrote an introduction and I started kind of putting together the chapters and I maybe I reused a little tiny bit of the blog, but most of it I just, I just wrote again knew. But what was nice about having that is because I had been writing this blog for so many years and people got all this free value from it.

Johnny FD: 00:26:31 People when I made a blog post saying, hey, I have this book of animal. I had my first kind of core audience who bought the book. Nice, Nice. And so the, the blog both helped you kind of formulate the content and get that clear and it made some of the writing easier it sounds like, but it also then there was some promotional value to it as well. Yeah, definitely. I think this is something that a lot of people kind of forget that they think they can just go from zero to 100 and then they get mad if they can’t. But like that’s not the way the world works. You have to have some kind of value that you’ve given already or you have to have a skill that gives value right away. You know, whether you’re a great, you know, a graphic designer and you can make an amazing logo.

Johnny FD: 00:27:11 Yeah, you’re a programmer or you’re a blogger that gave good content for free and people liked it and then turn it into a book. So I was very lucky that just from my personality, I liked writing, I liked sharing and I liked putting, you know, my thoughts on, on paper or on digital paper. So that was kind of a blessing in disguise. Who are, I was able to right away monetize something I already had been doing for free. Cool. And so you publish the book. Um, what if you don’t mind me asking, like sales wise, was that enough to sustain you or what was, what numbers? What are we talking? Yeah, so the first month, uh, actually it was, I made $600 the first month, which is exactly how much I needed to live in Thailand. And I thought, this is amazing. I’ve done, I’m retired.

Johnny FD: 00:27:57 But then, uh, and actually that first month I had only sold it in pdf version, you know, and I was able to charge $37 for the book because I saw it more as a, like a guide. And it wasn’t really a book, but two things happen. One is the initial batch of people who were going to buy the book had bought it. So, you know, it was the people who had been reading my blog for months or years, you know, they’re like, oh, you know, I like enjoy this free content. I’m gonna support him. I’m going to buy this book. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s some friends and family. Like actually my cousin there, he, you know, he bought a couple of copies of the book.

Johnny FD: 00:28:35 So part of it was, you know, charity or where they thought, okay, let’s support this guy. Uh, but second all we’ll earned. I mean, yeah, you’re delivering value. So Willer yeah. So I think people were happy. Um, but then I want it to reach a bigger audience. So I decided to put it on Amazon kindle by, I didn’t realize that you can’t sell an ebook for $37 unless you want them taking 70% which leaves you with 10 bucks. Instead you can sell it for nine 99 which is their kind of Max Price. And they give you, I think it was 70% or, or even more. So it was, it almost forced me to lower my price. So even though I’ve been selling the same amount of books, instead of making 600 a month in my pocket, I was now making 200 a month, which was still nice money. But it wasn’t enough to live in Thailand or anywhere. Right. So what did you do to overcome that? You, I’m assuming you’ve got another passive income stream. Yeah. So, uh, it was, it was kind of forced. It kind of sucked. I thought, man, I was so close to living in Thailand, uh, on the $600 a month income. Now I have to something else out.

Johnny FD: 00:29:44 So I started going to, you know, I don’t even call meetups cause they weren’t actual meetups. It was me messaging anyone I could find on on Facebook, you know, really anywhere that had similar interests, either the four workweek or even just business. There was no, nobody had used the term digital nomad at the time. It wasn’t popular, there wasn’t all these entrepreneurship groups in Thailand. So I would just meet random people I know would say, Hey, let me buy you dinner. You know, and luckily dinner is only $3 and time. And I would, you know, just to know, find out what they’re doing. I see that any tips or I can either better market my book or sell more books and had met need a lot of interesting people. Um, and some of them would give okay advice and like it would help, but there was no real game changers until I met this one guy named Anton clearly and he started just giving me really good advice and I thought, wow, this guy’s really smart.

Johnny FD: 00:30:37 Like, what does he like, what does he do? And in the last, you know, I mean, he basically gave me advice for like the entire hour and then the last five minutes I said, oh, like by the way, like, like what is Your Business? And he’s like, Oh, do you know I do ecommerce, I drop ship, um, expensive items online. I was like, oh, cool. And that was it. And I think it was like a week later I was at his, at his place and he was helping me again. He was just like really like a generous guy. And he was showing me something, you know, about how to like basically, you know, have better on page SEO for my books or how to, you know, basically how to, how to market my book better. And I kept seeing these notifications on the bottom right hand of his screen with like they’ll pop up saying you made a sale for $950 and the 20 minutes later you made a sale for $1,200 and I was looking at it like, what?

Johnny FD: 00:31:33 Like what is this? And he’s like, oh yeah. And He, and he was so oblivious to it because he had been so used to seeing them. He stopped even noticing and I was like, dude, you just make 1000 bucks. And he’s like, oh yeah. And he’s like, oh yeah, by the way, so that you could change the title of your, you know, the, the, the header tag view book to this to like get you know, slightly better reads or something. I was like, wait, wait, wait, stop talking about that. This is way more important. I’m like, why am I, why am I focusing on some of these $10 books when you are selling thousand dollar items? And he was like, he’s like, Oh yeah, you can also do that. And he’s like, oh, by the way, I just came over this course. You know, like, um, I need some like people to test it out.

Johnny FD: 00:32:21 You know, he’s like, I just launched it, you know, I only have like 20 people in it, you know, do you know, do you want to, you know, do you want to join? And I was like, yeah, so I wish I would’ve said, you know, I wish I could say that like I joined and I just did everything and all worked out. But to be honest, I joined, I looked at the first video and then I just kind of put it on the backburner for two weeks and, and he was traveling around and he was coming back to Thailand to check my, he was in Thailand, but he was coming back to checking by and I didn’t want to feel like I wasted his time. So I was like, okay, I’m not going to ask some stupid questions that he probably already answered. Let me watch the rest of this before he gets back.

Johnny FD: 00:33:03 And that really kind of forced me to go through the course. And actually just do the work myself. And I started my own, you know, my first online ecommerce store, you know. So for anyone who’s not familiar with drop shipping, it’s basically just a fulfillment model where instead of buying inventory up front, you’re signing a contract with, you know, a manufacturer or something or a distributor and you sell their items and you get basically a wholesale discount on whatever you’re selling. And I had gone through it and I thought, wow, this is cool. You know? So even without even realizing I had put my book on the back burner and it became a completely passive income stream, cause I’ll still making sales while still making money. I just wasn’t focused on, you know, marketing or promoting anymore. You know, I would just start having $200 a month come in kind of almost automatically from having the book already published, having it be good enough where people would recommend it to friends or write a review, you know, and you’re not return the book.

Johnny FD: 00:34:03 All right. So, uh, that was kinda like my accidental first room of passive income while I worked on my second one. Nice. And how did you choose the products? Like what, what dictated what you were actually deciding to drop shit. Yeah. So in his course, his kind of methodology was don’t sell anything small and cheap because it’s expensive to advertise for a sell expensive items. So anything over 300 bucks, you know, but also not too expensive because if you’re selling something that’s like 3000, some people don’t have a high enough credit card limit. Also, people don’t really trust, you know, buying a thousand or $10,000 item online. But anything kind of between 300 bucks, a thousand bucks, you know, it’s pretty normal to be like, okay, I’m just gonna buy it online. And he kind of showed how to do competitive research where you can kind of find holes in the market.

Johnny FD: 00:34:55 Like is there something that isn’t really selling on Amazon or you can’t really get at your local target or Costco that people are looking for. And you know, he gave some examples of like, um, Chandaliers and stuff. Like how can you, like if you wanted to by a Chandalier for your house, like where would you go? You know, you can go to home depot but they might only have one or two, you know, you probably not going to be buy from Amazon. It’s two kind of big and bulky like rear would you be able to buy it? You know? And so the, so the heuristic is something that you can’t necessarily get locally in like Amazon’s lot of good fit for, but it’s a big ticket item. And so you can rank for that in the Seo eventually. And yeah, we’re even just in paid ads.

Johnny FD: 00:35:37 Yeah. He had a big focus on, and this is honestly the biggest benefit of his course was he was like, look, I tried everything. Like this is what worked for me. Like, and it was really nice because I had done no other research, you know, uh, I’d never even heard the term drop shipping until I signed up for the course and I, because I knew him and I trusted him. And I just followed what he said. So I think a lot of people now they get kind of overwhelmed with too much kind of free information online that it stopped, that it doesn’t work. But it’s usually either taught by people who haven’t really done it themselves or they’re teaching like part of it, but not showing you the rest of it. So it gets really confusing for people, you know, they’re like, they’re like, oh yeah, I heard you can just go on, like, you know, uh, Ali Express, but then you use, you know, that had he been you Shopify then this, but then it’s like me giving you to be parts of a recipe of for like a cake, a Bagel, and uh, you know, and a pot roast and you know, expect you to put it together.

Sean Tierney: 00:36:39 Right. AndW was the methodology or like was it more just common sense, like do this kind of research or was there an actual like playbook, right. Methodology for forget.

Johnny FD: 00:36:50 Yeah, it was, uh, it was stuff that, I mean, I guess it would make sense after he told me, but it would be things I wouldn’t have thought of. You know, like how to do like niche. We searched, you know, like, you know, open a spreadsheet, you know, write down, you know, you can do this. We church put down 40 different things. You’re gonna find five competing websites for each one. Then you’re gonna go through this process of eliminating like this one. The ads would cost too much. This one, there’s too much competition. This one probably doesn’t drop ship this one. You know, and it was kind of just like process of going through like elimination.

Johnny FD: 00:37:21 And it was funny was when I had opened my second store, I did it with my girlfriend at the time and she was an English teacher. Um, and she wanted to go into, on my business and I said, okay, let’s, um, let’s start a store together. Cause my, my first one, I was already making pretty good money. I was making between like three and $5,000 a month of profit. It’s just like, oh, this would be amazing. You know, we can travel together. So I had her go through the course and they write down 50 possible niches and she really took it seriously. She really took her time to her, you know, her heart and soul into picking 50 products. And when we sat down to look over it, I just started crossing them out like, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. And she was pissed. She was so upset that I would spend less than, you know, a minute on each one of these things that took her hours, think about and kind of like 80% through.

Johnny FD: 00:38:17 She was just like crying and just yelling at me. And I was like, what? Like, what’s the matter? And she’s like, you know, I kept you just crossing out these things without looking into it. And I said, what do you mean it’s not, it doesn’t meet the criteria. And in my mind, I was just following a formula that worked. And in her mind it was like an emotional investment. Right? But I think that’s what also makes his method so good is that it removes the emotion from the decision. We’re inherently emotional creatures. They get attached to like concepts instead of like thinking rationally through it. Yeah, exactly. That’s so cool. Um, okay, so you do the drop shipping business and then how, if at some point you started the invest like a boss and the travel like a boss. Is that something you’re doing while you’re doing the drop shipping business or when did those come about?

Johnny FD: 00:39:05 Yeah, so while drop shipping, um, I had, you know, I started going to a lot more meetups and, and I would meet, you know, random people and one guy had a podcast called, it was called ECOMMERCE, how to build my online store or something. And he was like, oh, that’s cool that you’re doing this. Can I interview for my podcast? And I was like, oh, oh, sure. And I had no idea how complicated it was to record a podcast. I didn’t realize that we can just go upstairs with a laptop and two microphones. I assumed it was like a big, you know, big deal. So after being on a show and really enjoying it, I was like, oh, I should start a podcast because I’m meeting all these interesting people. You know, the first episode, two episodes was about drop shipping, but then the third was about something completely different.

Johnny FD: 00:39:50 And then I started interviewing people about like Amazon and you know, uh, teespring and like just random things. But they’re all really interesting different ways to make money online while traveling. And I did that, you know, I still have, uh, the travel, like a boss podcasts now where, you know, a couple of times a month I interview people on beat while traveling who have online business. It’s kind of find out what they’re doing, how they’re doing it. And, uh, it wasn’t until I had sold my first two jobs from the stores and you know, um, and had about a hundred thousand dollars just cash laying around thinking like, I don’t know what to do with this. You know, it’s, it was making 0% interest in the bank account. And I had started looking into town and invest it and that’s when I met my Coho Sam marks, who he had sold his business as well for way more yet a e-cigarette company.

Johnny FD: 00:40:48 But it was kinda like we were both in the same situation, right. Well we were living in Chiang Mai. We had this money in the bank, but we don’t know what to do with it. And he had given his mind to a financial advisor who basically didn’t know what he was doing, kind of ripped him off and he thought, hey, why don’t I start a podcast so I can just ask these professionals questions that I want to know, just get like free advice but via a pocket. Yeah. Basically, you know, and he said, Johnny, you have this podcast, um, can you show me how to start one? And I just walked him through the whole process and he said, actually you want to just do it with me, you know? And I said, yeah, that’d be interesting. So we started investing like a boss and we didn’t think we would ever, you have access to these people cause like, you know, we were like, for example, we heard about uh, uh, like Robo advisors like Wealthfront and betterment.

Johnny FD: 00:41:41 And if you had questions like how does this actually work? Um, you know, like what are, you know, like just even really simple things like, you know, what do I do about this? What does it invested in? What if I want to take the money out? What if it drops in value? And sure there are some things you can find online or the Faq, but we thought, hey, how cool would it be if we could talk to somebody at these companies? And we thought we would just get like one of the wraps or something. But because you know, online investment, like investing is relatively kind of new and it’s a huge market. We were able to get like the CEOS of these multimillion dollar companies on our show and we were just asking them like straight from the horses mouth, like, we know, what do we do in recession?

Johnny FD: 00:42:24 What if it drops, you know what if this, and we just started getting like the best answers and we just, you know, pretty much the show became us, you know, calling up companies that we want it we kinda thought were interesting and then we would ask all the questions and then at the end we would either invest in it in ourselves where we want it though and like did they know how much viewership you had at that point or listenership? Like how did, how did these CEO’s just decided to go on your podcast? Yeah, the thing of the time there wasn’t that many going to modern online platform, you know podcast, you either have real estate investing podcast which are usually almost all offline or you had like stock in or like a penny stock podcast, whatever. But nobody really was interviewing like different types of, of online investing.

Johnny FD: 00:43:19 And it’s not that we had a ton of listeners at the time. We had a decent amount because a lot of the people from travel, like a boss can. I met through the same process where they had started a business, started, started saving money and they had money to invest. So they want it to learn as well. So you know, people who listen to travel like a Boston, I’m just going to [inaudible]. So we had a, we had a baseline audience, but it was more that we had a very professional podcast from day one. You know, the audio quality was good, editing was good. The banter between me and Sam was good. So these CEO’s would listen to it and there was, see, you know, they had good reviews. You know, even though was starting out, it made me when he had 30 reviews, but they were all positive.

Johnny FD: 00:43:57 They want to strip. So they’re like, oh these guys pretty cool and they’re non biased. I think that was a huge part of it was pretty much everybody in the financial world has a motive. They want to sell you their funds, they want to make money from you. You know, every single real estate agent wants to sell you house every single a stockbroker and wants to sell your stock. And we were really one of the first ones that were like, we’re not, you know, eventually we would like to make money, but right now we’re just trying to learn for ourselves. Uh, so I’d be don’t even really know how to monetize this. So it’s like the purest attention. We just want to know. Yeah. And people can really feel that, you know? So even till this day, like the both, both podcasts barely break even, you know, but mainly because we’re not pushing any one thing, you know, I think if we really wanted to just push, you know, real estate or something and we made a deal with some company, I’m sure we can make a lot more money.

Johnny FD: 00:44:51 But I really believe that finances, personal finances, when those things were like, not that, you know, everything that the world should be like f like everyone’s time should be free, but there’s an, there’s no reason why we have to make money from every single person. You know? Like it’s, there’s enough good free information out there that we can spread the word and, and not, and as long as you’re also benefiting from the knowledge and the network, we’re making that it’s fine. Yeah, I’ve heard a saying that I liked, it’s like create 10 times the amount of value and then harvest only one x but create 10 acts. The value it seems like if you can keep that ratio, which it sounds like pretty much what you did, um, that’s kind of a good rule of thumb for an entrepreneur. Just strive to do that. Yeah, definitely.

Johnny FD: 00:45:34 You know, I think it’s gonna move into and for everyone. I mean, you know, if we, if there is a program, like an affiliate program that we could sign up for, we will, but it’s always kind of like aftermath thing. It’s even with like Anton’s course, it was, I was first a student, I first started doing it myself and then he was like, Oh, you’re sending me all these students anyways. Do you want to sign up for, um, our, my affiliate program? And at first I actually, it was actually a completely by accident, his course, when he first started, it was called somebody called for our millionaire lifestyle trading cars first. It was long and the second was so cheesy that I just was a barest telling people to sign up for something called that because it just sounded so bad. So I just started referring to as the Anton method because know that’s basically what it was. I was like, Oh yeah, fun to me, I Todd’s method I’m talking about it has a method. So I bought the domain and just had to redirect to four hour millionaires trading cars.

Johnny FD: 00:46:38 And luckily he needed, of course later on. But it was like, it, it always kind of it working out, you know, the cool man. So, so at what point were you able to monetize the podcast? So you’re doing all this free information and you’re getting access to these high CEO ranks, getting a lot of listenership, um, presumably you did some kind of sponsorships or how did you guys monetize it? Yeah. So he, uh, eventually, you know, we had companies reach out to us saying, hey, we would like to, to, uh, to sponsor four episodes or, you know, five episodes. The problem is it’s really hard to reach out to companies and ask them as pots on the show. It’s really easy just to wait around for them to come to us. So we’ve had on like freshbooks, like cloud accounting software we’ve had on like, you know, random companies that they liked it and they were happy to pay us, but it’s, but at the same time it make sense for them to be the sponsor forever.

Johnny FD: 00:47:33 You know, like they’re like, all right, well we did four episodes, that’s enough. Like maybe we’ll do it again next year. So it hasn’t been very consistent. So we probably are still losing money from the podcasts. You know, I’m paying my editor hundred 25 bucks per episode and when we get a sponsor, we, you know, we make enough money to cover four episodes, but then we won’t have a sponsor every single episode. So in kind of in my mind, it’s one of those things where I would like to monetize it better, but it’s not really worth my time to try to monetize it because I have other businesses and the side benefit that we get from the podcasts of being able to talk to these, you know, top companies actually make connections, you know, like literally like we get to hang out with the CEO of, you know, these huge companies like pure street in, you know, their offices in like, you know, in California just because they know us now.

Johnny FD: 00:48:27 Uh, and for Sam, you know, that’s Kinda, he’s like, all right, well, you know, it’s worth it. You’re worth it. You’d pay that much to go hang out with the CSO. Yeah. Well, and to say nothing of just like the influential product, you know, of having all that listenership and like, you know, being able to be credible and go to any conference and people know you like just through the podcast. That’s really cool. Yeah. And I enjoy doing it. You know, I really love doing it. It’s one of the things that, you know, I would continue to do for free and I’d rather not lose money from it. So, you know, eventually we would like to have, you know, more consistent sponsors or wrote big enough for it, which it makes enough money to support itself and maybe even be our full time jobs. But it’s fine.

Johnny FD: 00:49:08 Like it’s really one of those things where I’m really fortunate that I’m going to position, we’re having enough passive income from my own investments, from the kindle books, all the other passive income streams that I can do these things. I really love like the two podcasts and also some the nomad summit, which is our conference for digital nomads and actually be starting the invest like a boss summit as well. So, uh, you know, I have two books to be honest. I don’t know if I actually time to think right now. So like we did one, a couple of courses on checking night where we just about random topics into the conference room. We had had more fly in that just to hang out, help me. The cake boss course. We teach each other your marketing. We’re going to do the salon to get Vegas timber this year.

Johnny FD: 00:49:51 I have my blog itself, Chaz like my resources page. If people sign up, I still going to get comps for it. But if not that many people sign up, we might just get, you know, things like a sweater or something you meet, hang out with and beers and the signs that still what I’m learning how to start a blog or start an ecommerce store. I have links to everything. Um, I have my youtube channel that’s monetized. Am I, uh, what else do I have? Wow. It’s, it’s, it’s like, so that’s kind of hard to think about, but that’s just like a web of stuff. Like are things cross promoting other things? Some things are, but most things are not. Uh, if I was smarter, I would have had everything be more cross promoting. Um, honestly I would have had that stuff too. The only reason why I have so many things is I just get excited about trying new things.

Johnny FD: 00:50:34 You know, I’ll give you a guest. And they were like, oh yeah, I make money from this thing. I was like, oh, I should try that too. Yeah. So it’s good for my listeners because I try things and I tell them if it works or not, but it’s not really good for me. Cause then even just like the amount of 10, 99 forms, I get the end of the year, the tax forms, it’s some mess. You know, I think I got like 15 different 10, 99 forms and I had to hand them to my account and they’re like, what the heck is this? But, um, then I have all my passive investments. Uh, these, you know, this is my favorite for former passive income is investing in index funds or real estate shares or even a random things like, um, uh, one of my favorite investments that, that pays 13% is a, I think I’ll do litigation fund where we put each put in, you know, 15 grand or something.

Johnny FD: 00:51:29 And then we find people who are going to get a payout over the next three or five years for whatever it is. You know, either they got into an accident and they’re going to get paid for the next three years, but they need the money today, you know, or someone won the lottery or whatever it is, you know, so we pay them now and then, uh, they, they get all the money up front so they can do whatever they need to do and then we get 13% interest as they collect the money over the next three years. And it’s pretty sure thing, like guarantee they’re going to get this settlement at some point, but you’re just accelerating when they can get the money. Yeah, exactly. Got It. So there’s all these kinds of cool things. I never would have Newton like known about them, but if it wasn’t for study even called, is there a name for that?

Johnny FD: 00:52:06 Uh, yeah, that’s called like lily litigation funding or something. But, um, we got it through a company called Yield Tree that we, uh, interviewed the CEO of [inaudible]. So it was really cool. The only bad thing about that is it w they only open it like once in a blue moon. So it was actually really hard for even us to get on. So, uh, but I like it cause it’s not coordinated to the stock market or the economy or anything cause diversified beyond. Yeah. Ups and downs. That’s cool. Cool. So shift gears here, like at what point did you decide to do this nomad summit? Was that like a logical extension once you had the podcast in place and you just kind of like already had the audience and you just said like what can we do or how did, how did you think to do that? Uh, so the idea actually came, we, uh, check my, during a meetup we had for nomads and I didn’t, I wasn’t even the one that started, it was some random digital nomad meetup in 2015 at a bar. He was Kinda like, hey, we’re going to all have drinks tonight.

Johnny FD: 00:53:11 And it was the first time ever in Chiang Mai, but we had more than like 10 people meet up that were itching on my business. You know, I had no idea at the time cause I, it was all spread out. It wasn’t like there wasn’t a Facebook group or a meetup group or anything. It was just like, you know, friends of friends. So this is the first time ever there was like 40 nomads in one place and be like, this is awesome. I like, I haven’t met my life like this many people were interested in on our business and travel. And I thought this is so cool. The only problem is they’re plastic rock music, you know, everyone’s drunk. So we can’t really learn from each other. I thought, how cool would it be someone to spend the money to rent like a seminar room at a hotel?

Johnny FD: 00:53:52 So, you know, super quiet, maybe kind of coffees and a beer and just actually learn from each other. And I remember thinking, you know, I want to do this. Sorry, I sort of going around that room saying, Hey, do you think this would a good idea? And the first four people were like, yeah, maybe, but you know, it’s gonna be expensive. Or, you know, they had all kind of reasons or excuses not to do it. But I was so kind of driven radio. I was like, let me just find one person to say it’s a good idea. So I think the sixth person was like, that’s a great idea. And I thought okay I’m going to do it. And I read at a book to a hotel room or a seminar room just on my credit card not knowing if anyone would come. And I made a donation base cause I had no idea if anybody would even come and no one in charge.

Johnny FD: 00:54:39 So I rented a seminar room, I said it’s this day at this hotel who wants to come, who wants to speak and ended up being like a pretty big event and he had like a hundred people show up. And what was the average donation for it? It was really hard. I think, you know, it ranged so much that like some people would give zero, some people would give $2, some people would give $50 so eventually I think we were just like, okay, like suggested donation. Like, just give us 25 bucks each. That’s like if everybody donated 25 bucks, we can just cover the basic room and if we, if we can, if you, you know, if we can get to x amount, then we can provide coffee. If you can provide you, if I can get to x amount and then we can provide water.

Johnny FD: 00:55:25 So the first year it was kind of just barely break even, but it was fun. It was really cool. Again, what together I had rented the cheapest room possible, so it’s super low. Ceilings are super dark, but we loved it. Right? So the next year I was like, okay, let’s, uh, let’s, let’s actually have like tickets and you know, let’s get, get the room with higher ceilings. And that one had 200 people come. And then the next year we had 300 people. And then, you know, last year in 2018 or 2000, I guess John 19 as well, we had 400 people. You know, we had moved from the Ebis, sales was kind of like a cheaper hotel, like a three star hotel to the Liberty Inn, which is really nice. And then this year we actually moved to the Shangri la, which is the super posh five star hotel. And we had really nice lunch.

Johnny FD: 00:56:16 We had a really nice coffee and snacks. We had this beautiful conference room, beautiful, poor. So it’s really become a professional. That’s awesome. And you baby stepped your way. True to form. It’s like you don’t just go from zero to 60, you kind of start a meet up and then do donations and then just kind of work your way to get there. Yeah, it’s been six years of the, you know, the making. Um, we filmed all the talks I think from the first or second year. So if you want to know about summit, uh, our youtube channel just look for, to know about summit. You can watch all the old videos. And I think that was kind of a big part of it was, you know, we can, we can’t really afford to pay speakers, but we can say we will professionally recorded videos and that way everybody in the world, you know, whether you can make it to Chiang Mai or not can benefit from learning.

Johnny FD: 00:57:02 You have this cool kind of show reel that you can share with your audience and you can have an audience of you know, couple hundred people. But the rule is no sales pitching allowed at all. Um, you know, they can bet you the website, the Ed, but that whole hour has to be like a combination of inspiration and just like tips and techniques like actual value. Nice. Cool man. Well I think probably, oh, I do want to ask you some questions like shifters on the podcasting stuff. So, because we’re having an interesting conversation in the cruise ship on the way out, like so with your podcasting, because it does take a lot of time like this, as I told you, like right now it takes like six hours in an episode and I’m actually doing it, which is like not a good use of my time.

Sean Tierney: 00:57:46 But so how did you transition and delegate that? And I know you use a VA, can you talk a little bit about like how that that works?

Johnny FD: 00:57:53 Yeah. So I used to edit all the podcasts myself, publish it myself, and I like doing it, you know, I really enjoyed, you know, we listened to episode, like the creative, you know, kind of Intro, outro, editing, and then I realized it’s, it’s taken so much of my time that I didn’t want to be court podcast because I don’t want to spend the energy to do have to edit it. So I hired an intern while living in Chiang Mai. I just, I just posted one of the groups and it said, hey, I’m willing to train someone how to produce an edit podcasts. Um, but I want you to work for me. And I had hired this guy named Anthony and he worked for me for about a year and he got really good at it and he decided like, it’s time for him to move on, but he’s still going to end up my podcast.

Johnny FD: 00:58:37 But he also wants to take his own clients. So he started a podcast production company, uh, think it’s called like Ninja podcast or something. I should probably know this, but, um, but he, yeah, because basically he became, you know, he created a real business out of it. He actually moved back to New York, which is ironic. So I want have, and she said he’s probably, you know, earning like a pretty good amount of money now from it. But I basically trained someone from day one how I want the episode published, where I want it. You know, how one of the edited we, I wanted shared. Um, and you could, you could just hire someone, you know, had them just do it. But I really liked having the control of having them do it my way.

Sean Tierney: 00:59:24 Yeah. Cool. But, so he learned it. He did it your way. He went off to do his own thing, but he still knew how to like, he was good enough at doing yours where you kept him on even though he was running a business at that point basically with other clients.

Johnny FD: 00:59:32 Yeah, definitely. Cool. Yeah. Well let’s do it.

Sean Tierney: 00:59:38 You just created an entrepreneur basically in the process of solving your own problem. And I think you know like why not, right?

Johnny FD: 00:59:45 Like it’s, you know, you don’t have to do it yourself, then you can teach someone else and pass based pass along. And I’m sure he now he’s hired other people cause I’m sure he’s not identity maybe episode himself so he’s now turns are spinning off and yeah, it’s awesome. That’s how, that’s how it works. Cool. Well I think we’ll probably wrap up. I do have kind of three tactical questions that I try to ask every guest.

Sean Tierney: 01:00:06 So if you’re up for it, just like a book that profoundly affected you?

Johnny FD: 01:00:10 if there’s anyone other than the four hour work week, cause that when sounds like it’s a given. Um, is there anything else you read that like sculpted your, you know, how you think about the world? Yeah. So wish dad poor dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It really taught me to buy investments. Uh, and instead of buying it, you know, buying assets and not liabilities. It took me a long time to actually start doing, but at least that seedless kind of.

Johnny FD: 01:00:32 Cool. And what about, uh, is there any tool that you use on a daily basis? Uh, productivity or software or anything that you swear by or even gear if you know, physical item, anything that just really is a staple?

Johnny FD: 01:00:47 Yea, so when I’m in kind of like productive mode, I’ll use a timer or called a timeout on my Mac, then locked my screen every 30 minutes. So get up, do some air squats, walk around cause water, you know, just take a break and then go back and focus again. Um, I would say on my phone the best productivity hack, you know, it’s not an APP, it’s the, you know, turn off notifications feature where I just go and turn off everything like Instagram, Facebook messenger. Like my phone has been sitting here for an hour while we’re recording this and have gotten zero notifications. You know, if I want I can log in at checking email, I can log in to check my Facebook messengers but it’ll never bother me. And I think that’s the number one hack that every entrepreneur should do.

Sean Tierney: 01:01:35 Yeah. I I leave mine in do not disturb all the time and would like use airplane mode right now obviously. But um, I saw something the other day, someone like made their phone monochrome cause I guess like having it black and white makes you less likely to look at it cause it’s not as interesting.

Johnny FD: 01:01:50 I thought that was a, yeah, I guess, I mean all these things work around like people use like news feed eradicator for Facebook. But for me, I like having beautiful colors. I like having full access to everything, but I want to do it when I want to do it and not have it tapped me on the shoulder every 30 seconds. I think people who have things like Instagram likes, uh, like show up every time someone likes your Instagram photo on their phone. I think there’s something wrong with these people. And like, I really believe that they’re either needing that, that, that like attention or they need the serotonin boost, you know? Or there’s like, there are so oblivious to it because they’re so used to having that stimulation that it just becomes normal for them. I think that’s very unhealthy. Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 01:02:33 Cool. All right, last question. Uh, what would you say if you could go back to your former self, like 21 year old, you know, what would you tell yourself to give yourself a better edge? Not that it didn’t work out the way you want it, but is there anything you’ve learned in the course of these that you might’ve done differently?

Johnny FD: 01:02:50 Yeah, I would say, you know, just, uh, just to be true to yourself, you know, and like I, I’ve learned a lot of things on my way and I’ve done a lot of stupid things, a lot of embarrassing things from the past, but they all kind of brought me to who I am today and I’m happy who I am today. You know, my friends love me, like my family knows me and I’m doing good in the world, but I made it like it was, it was a rocky road. Right. And maybe you wouldn’t have ended up this way. So, uh, would I have done everything in the same? Definitely not, but at the same time I would tell myself, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just like as long as you’re, you know, you’re trying your best to just keep going for it. Oh, nice. Cool.

Sean Tierney: 01:03:35 And so how can people, if they want to know more about Nomad Summit or listen to one of the podcasts, what’s the best way to, to get in touch? Or where can we send people?

Johnny FD: 01:03:44 Yeah. So since you guys all listen to podcasts, subscribe to travel like a boss. If you want to hear weekly interviews with other digital nomads and entrepreneurs, and if you want to learn how to invest, uh, or just kind of, you know, hear interviews with CEOs and other kinds of top bosses, scribed to invest like a boss. If you guys want to come to the next nomads summit or watch the videos, just going to nomad and my personal blog where I talk about travel and on my business and what I’ve been up to is Johnny ft com.

Sean Tierney: 01:04:12 Awesome, man. Thanks for being on the show.

Johnny FD: 01:04:14 Yeah, it’s been fun. Thanks. Cheers.


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.