Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast with Mikkel Thorup
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Introducing Mikkel Thorup
Mikkel Thorup is my guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is a man who has spent nearly 20 years in continual travel around the world, visiting nearly 100 countries including Colombia, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Iran.
Dropping out and leaving high school at 15 years old he never gave up his passion for learning, and enjoys reading over 100 books a year on topics such as finance, marketing, sales, and investing.
He has lived as an Expat since 2002 making his home in Central America, South Pacific, Asia, the Arctic, North America, as well as the Middle East.
And through these travels he has gradually found the thing that he is now bringing to the world and will base the bulk of today’s conversation.
How Did The Dots Join Up For Mikkel?
His mission is to help expats generate additional streams of income so they can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again.
So do people need to start with savings and then start travelling, or can they go today by the time they have finished listening to the show?
And does he look back at early travel adventures when he was living from moment to moment as he didn’t have a penny to his name?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mikkel Thorup
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Mikkel Thorup such as:
Mikkel shares how from the age of twelve he was determined to leave London, Ontario and travel the world. He had the fire inside him.
We talk openly as to the absence of luckiness in your life, there is only persistence and hard work that ever gets you near to looking lucky.
Mikkel shares his hub and spoke form of travel, which makes so much sense in regards to seeing the world but keeping the cost down.
Why the most important part of any business is the marketing. Before you start looking for clients buy the books that make them come to you.
How To Connect With Mikkel Thorup
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Mikkel Thorup Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK David Ralph
David Ralph [0:25]
Yes. Hello, and good morning to you. Good morning. Well, good morning, every single person who listens to join up dots thank you for lending me your ears, and of course, your body as well, because the bodies work with ears and the ears where we brains, and you put them all together and you got a person. That’s how it works. That’s how it works. Well, today’s guest is a person so he’s got his he’s got head, he’s got body it all works. And he has been spending nearly 20 years in continual travel around the world visiting nearly 100 countries including Colombia, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Iran, now dropping out and leaving high school at 15 years old, he never gave up. He’s passion for learning, and enjoys reading over 100 books a year yet a week on topics such as finance, marketing, sales and investing. And he has lived as an expat since 2002, making his home in Central America, South Pacific Asia, the Arctic, North America as well as the Middle East. And through these travels, yes, through these travels, he has gradually found the thing that he’s now bringing to the world and will base the bulk of today’s conversation. I imagine. Our guest believes people should understand that just because someone was born in one country, it doesn’t mean that they need to spend their entire lives there. And it certainly doesn’t mean they need to keep their money and investments bear too often, there’s huge tax advantages and economic benefits to building your business abroad. And his mission is to help expats generate additional streams of income so they can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again. Sounds good. So do people need to start with savings and Ben start traveling? Or can I just go today? By the time they finished listening to the show, boom, go out there and sorted out one at? And does he go back early travel adventures when he was living from moment to moment, as he didn’t have a penny to he’s made? Well, that’s fine. Now, as we bring on to the show to start joining up with the one and only Mikkel. How are you, sir?
Mikkel Thorup [2:19]
Morning, Dave? I’m doing awesome. How are you? I am
David Ralph [2:22]
very well, very well, indeed. And I have to be honest with you. I have to be honest, I’ve been looking at you this week, I’ve been doing my research. And two things that jumped out at me. You’ve been spending nearly 20 years and continual travel. And you look about 18 How have you? How have you have remained as useful as you have? Because I’m like a haggard bag of bones. I just got red bow and I haven’t been anywhere. So how have you done it?
Mikkel Thorup [2:49]
Well, thank you for saying I look a team because I usually get about 14. So people never believe that I’m in my mid 30s. So thank you very much for that one day. Now. I would. So how do I do it? I would equate it to healthy living, I drink a lot of water. I’m a happy guy. And I’m really living my life the way that I want to. And I think a lot of those things are equal. staying in shape and being being healthy looking good.
David Ralph [3:14]
But do you have to get up for the midnight waves? Do you have to get water going in here? Do you have to get up three or four times during the night? Have you hit that? Ah?
Mikkel Thorup [3:23]
Yeah, busted. I I do have to do that.
David Ralph [3:26]
And does that bring you down? Did you think to yourself, this is as good as my life is gonna be. It’s just gonna be midnight until now. Midnight journey for the rest of your life. That’s all it’s going to be weird hotel rooms and weird rooms. And you can find you can always find your way there, can’t you but you can’t find your way back. That’s what I struggle with.
Mikkel Thorup [3:47]
I’ve never had that instance, I have had lots of times where I wake up and I have no idea where I am. I have to really look around and and look at the hotel walls and try to remember what country I’m in or what city I’m in. But it usually only takes a few seconds, maybe a minute. And then I remember.
David Ralph [4:01]
Now I could be I could be months. I could I could go walking around. I could be living there. I could be an expert. And I still haven’t got a clue where I am. So with your journey, right? We can obviously talk about your expertise, your financial expertise. But was it always something in you? Were you sort of bored with where you were living? Was there that itch to sort of spread your wings and see the world?
Mikkel Thorup [4:26]
I would say yeah, I would say probably since I was about 12 or 13. I wanted to leave home I wanted to leave my city. It wasn’t that I had a bad life or anything like that. But I just always wanted to explore I wanted to see what was out there. And yeah, I think I even remember giving one of my best friends when we were about 12 years old, like a pots and pans set or something like that. Because we wanted to move out. We wanted to get out there and start traveling and I had no idea what that meant, you know, but I just knew I needed to go somewhere.
David Ralph [4:55]
And what was your city and did your mate thing angle on this? This guy’s got mad what doing I want this for?
Mikkel Thorup [5:02]
Well, I grew up in London. But I actually grew up in the real London, London, Ontario, Canada
David Ralph [5:09]
is kind of the real London I suppose I think Aereo London, everybody. If you got on a plane, that is where you would want to end up in the middle of Ontario.
Mikkel Thorup [5:19]
That’s right. Well, we had the forks of the Tams. And yeah, all of the original stuff, you know, but that’s okay. I don’t hold it against today for kind of stealing from us.
Unknown Speaker [5:29]
David Ralph [5:30]
you what, I’ll tell you what, if we’re going to go down that route, sir, about culture goes a bit further. I tell you what, your president is probably older than the culture that you’ve got in your country.
Mikkel Thorup [5:44]
Probably probably he also looks about 18.
David Ralph [5:47]
He does he does which is which is weird. Did you think once you get to a certain amount of responsibility, do you think that is easy life? Do you think it’s you age on the way up? But once you get to the top, it’s just very done for you all the time.
Mikkel Thorup [6:02]
Now, I would probably guess not. Look at Obama. Look what how he looked when he joined her when she became president. And eight years later. Like he’s Hagrid like, it’s, it’s terrible.
David Ralph [6:14]
Yeah, but why do people want to do that? Let’s talk about this. Because this intrigues me. Why do anybody want to go into something where basically they’re saying, for eight years, I can’t go anywhere, I can’t do what I want to do. I’m going to have people bothering me, I’m never going to get through a box set of Netflix in one night. And then for the rest of my life, I’m gonna have security guards chasing me all over the place because they never free from it. Why do people want to do that?
Mikkel Thorup [6:40]
You know what? I do not have a very good answer for that. Because I am not President of the United States or permanent Prime Minister of Canada, I can comment that someone like Donald Trump will make so much money after this. It is unbelievable. He was already one of the highest paid speakers, public speakers in the world. Now after being president he’s gonna, the amount that he’s going to be able to charge for even simple things like that is just going to be astronomical.
David Ralph [7:06]
Yeah, but he’s mental. That’s the problem. They’re going to look at that. And they’re going to go we don’t believe a word you say now. It was all right. Before we we put you to the test. But afterwards Anyway, let’s get back to you and Mikhail. So you are in the real London, Ontario. Okay. And you’re getting bored, you’re giving weird gifts out to your friends. And when was it that you actually got on a plane? Or maybe you didn’t? Maybe you just crossed the border? How did you first do your traveling.
Mikkel Thorup [7:35]
So at about 12, I started failing out of school and about 15 I was out the door. And I want to say maybe a year or two later, after that I was on a plane I went over to Ireland, England and Wales. And that was kind of my real taste of international travel. Now I had been to the states many times because it’s only a couple hours away. My first time over to the UK and over to Ireland and stuff was really what opened my eyes to traveling and what I want to dedicated what I wanted to dedicate my life to.
David Ralph [8:03]
So So you knew that instantly it was it was a dedication, there was a focus, there was a future. It wasn’t just you go on a nice vacation. You actually thought this is it?
Mikkel Thorup [8:13]
Well, absolutely. Now my father had traveled a lot when he was I want to say about 2022, something like that. And growing up, he had always told my brother and I that traveling was the best thing he ever did in his life. And I never understood why. Okay, if this was the best thing he ever did in his life, why did he not continue? Why did he come back to London, Ontario? Why did he settle down? And why does he not keep going forwards? So when I traveled and I backpack my first time, I was like, Wow, he was right. Like, this is unbelievable. I’m so free. And I’ve got so many things I can do. And the people that I would meet were so inspirational. And I felt like I had found my tribe, you know, and and then I just never stopped. I just kept going and going and going. And yeah, it’s been almost 20 years now.
David Ralph [8:56]
And have you gone through that stage? Obviously, now you’ve got the business, which we’re going to talk about in a moment. But was there a time when literally you were eating baked beans out? And I can because you couldn’t afford anything? Was it sort of stint travel as students do?
Mikkel Thorup [9:11]
Yeah, there were lots of instances like that. But I have to tell you, even those times when I was extraordinarily poor, I was unbelievably happy as well. I remember I lived in New Zealand. And I had just been backpacking through Central and South America had taken had taken about, I want to say about 18 months off of work and hitchhiked my way through. And this is all Central America. And I showed up in in New Zealand, I took a flight over there. And my brother came and I had finally convinced him to come and travel with me. And he was so excited. He wanted to have enough money so we could do all these cool things. And so he decided he wanted to get into online poker. And so about two weeks or a week before he arrived in New Zealand with me. He basically lost all his money, online poker. So he showed up and I’ve now been traveling through Central and South America without a job for 18 months living on my credit card for half the time. I think I had about $46 in my wallet, my brother shows up, he’s got nothing, we get a one way bus trip up to pi here in the north of New Zealand in the Bay of Islands. And we start working at a youth hostel. So in compensation for working at the youth hostel, what they did was they let us stay in one of the dorm rooms for free. So we had eight people in a six bed dorm. And what we had to do is just make beds every morning. But somehow we would scrape together enough money to get beer, we would always get drunk every single night, we had heaps of fun. And I always had a giant smile on my face. And I had nothing I had no money, I had no possessions, I had nothing. But it was one of the best times in my life.
David Ralph [10:52]
Do you think people need that that period of liberation, that period of Hey, I can survive on almost nothing, because I see people certainly over here in the United Kingdom, they go through school, and before they even leaving school, you know, when I was a kid, right? I’m going to rant about this. When I was a kid, I used to have to go to school on my feet, or I had to get a bike and actually pedal. I see kids going there in their cars, really nice cars and their parking, you know, teachers didn’t have cars when I was at school. And so they go from having the cars and they literally go into a job. And so from the age of about 10 they’ve got money issues, you know, they’ve got things to buy, they’ve got Xbox games to buy, do you think people have to go to that point where actually watching a sunset with no money is good? It’s okay.
Mikkel Thorup [11:41]
Well, I’m hesitant to comment on what everybody should do. I just followed my heart and what I needed to do, and I never stopped, although I
David Ralph [11:49]
open my mouth, and I will say whatever I think so don’t hold back.
Mikkel Thorup [11:55]
No, no holding back, like, you know, it would have been a lot easier for me if I was happy in my hometown. Like the things that I’ve had to do in my life were hard. Like, I had to give up a lot. Like people always come to me and say, Wow, you’re so lucky. You’re so lucky. you’ve traveled around the world, you’re so lucky, you’ve done all these amazing things like Jesus Christ, luck had nothing to do with it. I sacrificed I had to give up so much stuff. I’d like you said I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have anything. I started working at 10 years old. I’m 35 I’ve never stopped, you know, like, I didn’t have those types of things. I say they’re lucky. But for me to be happy to live my life ethically and honestly and in a manner that I felt strong about I needed to do these things I need to go forwards and and like they say damn the torpedoes. I don’t give a shit. If I don’t have any money. I was going to go forwards anyways.
David Ralph [12:46]
And that really gets up your nose. I could I could send she was holding back. But there was a Yeah, there was a read in there that get a few beers down you you will you’ll go big time. So that lucky and nothing comes down to luck to you. It might seem like luck, because you’ve worked really hard behind the scenes, and you failed on 15 things. And then you get what seems like a lucky break. But nothing’s luck is it?
Mikkel Thorup [13:13]
Well, listen, 15 would be amazing. Try like 1500. You know, like, I have a podcast I speak on my podcast. And one of my favorite things ask my guests are like, tell me those times when you just fell on your face when you thought something was going to work. And it just didn’t like I want entrepreneurs, I want people to understand that no one gets a home run the first time at bat, you know, it just doesn’t happen. people fail people make mistakes, like life is hard, you know, but just, if you keep going forward, eventually you will get there like it, it does happen it does work,
David Ralph [13:47]
is it I liken it to like a pyramid or like a pointy tunnel, where basically you go in at the wide end and you can make loads and loads of mistakes. And then it gets narrower and narrower. And basically by the end of it, you’ve eliminated all your mistakes, and there’s just room for you to squeeze out at the far end. And that’s where success is. And I just see that over time. I just throw things into the tunnel and basically lob things behind me that didn’t work as I scraped my knees scraped my knuckles all the way to the end of this tunnel. And when people say as you say, Oh, it’s all right for you. It’s all it all you gotta do is talk on the microphone and that’s a job. Oh, I wish only at that job. And I think Yeah, you but you didn’t see this sort of 20 hours behind the scenes when no one not even my cat was listening to me rant and rave that no nobody sees her see TV you’ve wind me up now McHale, I’m a car did I put
Mikkel Thorup [14:41]
you on a rant there did
David Ralph [14:43]
calm and collected podcast host and getting up your nose is now got up my nose? I think I think we should just let loose. So So when did it start to become not as lucky. But when did you start to join up? And you actually 40 yourself? Hang on, I think I can see something about off of people want the business?
Mikkel Thorup [15:06]
So Wow, that’s a really challenging one. But great question. Let me think for a second. So when did it start to actually make sense? Like, it starts to make sense everyday, like you think you’re I think that, you know, last week, everything made sense. And then this week, I think, wow, I had no clue what I was talking about last week, but this week, I really know what’s going on. And then I’m sure I’ll feel the same after this. But you know, I I feel like I’ve had a lot of challenges and a lot of successes. And I am able to see back and see why I am in a certain place. Like, you know, I was diagnosed with a learning disability when I was a small child, they took me out of my home school sent me across the city. And you know, I had to leave all my neighborhood friends behind because I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write, I had some for dyslexia and 1980s, they basically tell you that, you know, there’s something wrong with your brain, and it doesn’t work the same as everyone else. You know, I’m eight years old. Now looking back at that, I can see that, you know, it’s okay, that I couldn’t do those types of things. Actually, it taught me in a different manner. It taught me to be able to listen to things and hear things and be very empathetic to to to other people. But at that time, I had no idea why this was happening to me. When I dropped out of high school between, you know, 12 and 15. You know, I thought there was something wrong with me, I turned to like a lot of different substances. And, you know, I put myself in really difficult situations, I, you know, put a lot of stress on my family, my parents and my father, you know, now looking back at that, I can see that, you know, school was a terrible, terrible place for me. And actually, I’m very glad that I left I’m very proud of myself that I had the courage to drop out at such a young age and then really follow my dreams. You know, so it’s, it’s hard to say like one moment where I look back, and then everything made sense. I really think that you know, it’s a continual thing. And I and I don’t expect that’s going to stop at any time in the future.
David Ralph [17:16]
Yeah, I can understand all that. But there must have been a moment when you’re sitting there, you’ve got the x pac money show, you’re providing financial advice, and you’re traveling around with $46 in the back, pack, nobody is going to sit down with you and go, give me your advice. Yo, man, I know you look 50. But give me your advice. You look like a financial x packed person. When did he actually get to that moment, when somebody was sitting down and you thought, hang on, I need information, I’ve got the information, I think that is the start of the business. If I learn more about this, I might be able to charge more, boom, there’s me business.
Mikkel Thorup [17:57]
So one of the main things that I noticed while traveling over sees is a lot of people have this dream. And I would say this is only been in the last I’d say in about the last two years, maybe two and a half years that I really understood this. And and that is that these people have a dream, they want to live overseas, they want to travel and they get abroad, but they don’t understand what they’re doing. They don’t understand the different rules, the different laws, how to keep their money that even very, very simple things. And I literally found it painful to watch people have these dreams, and then have to return home because they ran out of money or they had too much debt or, you know, and I had been through so many situations like this, that I really felt like sharing my knowledge and helping people was something good I could do because this this physical pain of watching people like I can’t think of anything worse, of having a dream of being abroad and traveling, and then having to give up and go home. Like, I don’t know
David Ralph [18:57]
what that death, that’s got to be worse in it.
Mikkel Thorup [19:01]
I’m sure that one probably goes up that I don’t really think too much about death, though. And if I did you know what, I’m so happy with my life that, you know, even if I did die tomorrow, I felt like I would feel like I did everything that I wanted to do.
David Ralph [19:18]
Because I think now on my deathbed, you know, they always say if you had one more wish, I would just say that I’m not dying. I don’t think I’m ever going to be satisfied. But I’ve achieved everything. So you’re you’re happy already.
Mikkel Thorup [19:32]
So where does that come from? Is that a fear of death of fear of the unknown on the next thing? Or is that a regret that you haven’t done the things that you want to do in your life? Now? I think
David Ralph [19:40]
there is a fire in me that lay dormant for many, many years. And I think now it’s blasting out, I think to myself, I need to do as much as possible. If you don’t ask me that question maybe little a little little about 20 years ago, I would have said I was terrified to death. I didn’t really, I didn’t really fancy it. To be honest, it wasn’t top of my list. Then I had to spend a year working for a company that I got made redundant in the City of London. And my mate, who I used to work with in London said to me, oh, I’m doing this job. Do you want to work for a couple of weeks? And I said, Yeah, I will do and it went on for about a year. And it was basically providing care for people from hospital. So they’re in a hospital, they want to die at home. And so they get taken out of the hospital and they get put into that their home so that they can die. And I realized that that time I actually wasn’t afraid of dying, I was afraid of over living. You know when you get to that point and you can’t move and you’re just dribbling and and laying in our pool stuff. Because you’re just too old, you know, you’ve got the time you should be on back. That’s that’s my big fear. McHale sitting there just looking out the window, while somebody’s spooning yoga into my mouth because I can’t move that that’s my fear.
Unknown Speaker [20:58]
Mikkel Thorup [21:01]
make sure then with things like that, that you really are living a healthy lifestyle, like you make a comment on how young I look. That’s because I’m at the gym, I’m always very physically fit, I drink a lot of water, I don’t eat any sugar, I’m very mindful of these types of things. Because I do want to live a long life. It’s not that I want to die tomorrow by any means. But what I want to do is be able to live that life in a manner that fits with my ethics and then my point of view and, and really go forward and live my life to my dreams. You know, I don’t want to just be around on the earth for 100 years, but just sit around and watch TV all day. You know, does that make sense?
David Ralph [21:35]
Well, it does. It does. But doesn’t it make sense as well. But you see all these people in there smoking and they’re drinking, you know, the world’s oldest people. Right now. They’re always like 120. And they’ve smoked 50 packs of cigarettes a day, you know, and you think to yourself, really, you know, looking after yourself at all. And then there’s other people back there in the gym all the time. And they die of a heart attack at 36. And I always think to myself, is that ever a proper path? You know, you’re going to the gym all the time. I’ve never been into the gym once. But who knows who knows where it’s going to end. Even when I went through a box set of Rocky I never felt like ramming three racks down my throat. I mean getting up at the crack of dawn and going running. You know, you just can’t do it. You might be you know, do you like going to the gym?
Mikkel Thorup [22:21]
Yeah, I love it.
David Ralph [22:25]
He hates the word.
Mikkel Thorup [22:28]
You know what I listened to one of your other episodes like a couple of weeks ago. And you said something like that before and I was I was shaking my head. I was gonna know I love the gym. It’s also it’s nice. Just be be
David Ralph [22:40]
lifting stuff that you can’t lift. That’s that’s what I imagined. And and that sweaty smell. I reckon there’s a sweaty smell in there. And he’s not good. And then it’s that bit which I can only imagine because people have told me this about changing rooms. men walking around naked. You know, you would never do that at home. You wouldn’t anywhere but there they seem to put their socks on. They put the T shirts on and the middle bit they just leave dangling for 15 minutes. Why?
Mikkel Thorup [23:08]
Did you never play sports David were you never into sports? Any? Anything like that?
David Ralph [23:12]
I was in the girls team. It was much better in the showers afterwards. I was I was quite happy with that. But yeah, no, I used to play football. But there was never any of that sort of dangling around for 15 minutes afterwards. Why did they do it?
Mikkel Thorup [23:25]
Well, you know what? I’m not gonna make a comment on that. Because that’s not really what we’re here to talk about at all. And that’s not why I go to the gym, on the record there. That’s not why I go to the gym.
David Ralph [23:37]
I wasn’t saying you want to go and see Dante’s I was never suggesting that, sir. David, if you want to compare me
Mikkel Thorup [23:45]
on the spot, no, no, no.
So what was the original question?
David Ralph [23:50]
I was just gonna leave that I was just gonna leave it. Because I know if you leave it silent that the guest has to fill in the blanks. It’s like the classic works. Yeah, the policeman winds down the window doesn’t say a word. And then you you feel like you need to confess you need to say things. Okay, miquela. Let’s get back on track. So, the Arctic, why the hell the Arctic, I can understand living in Central America, South Pacific. But the Arctic, it’s just cold and it’s dark for six months a year. You know why?
Mikkel Thorup [24:21]
So my, I used to be with a Singaporean girl. And she had lived in Greenland at one point in her life. And she wanted me to see what the Arctic was like we were we were over in Halifax. So East East Coast, Canada. And she was surfing the internet. And she found a job posting up there. And applied for me, I didn’t even really know what was going on. And we got a call back. And the pay was literally like twice what it was anywhere else that we were looking. And it was really because of isolation pain. So I was up in a callow at in the Bay of Island or in the bath and islands, excuse me. And I was up there for 306 six days, I had a one year contract. And the day after my contract finished, I was out the door.
David Ralph [25:06]
So it was dreadful was it was totally dreadful.
Mikkel Thorup [25:10]
Well, it’s not a happy place. You know, like, it’s really not a happy place.
David Ralph [25:16]
You’ve never confessed to anything Mikhail you never confessed to anything. Just let it rip, just say what’s in your heart. You hated it as much as you hate the gym.
Mikkel Thorup [25:28]
I love the gym. No. Like I loved the natural beauty up there. Like, that was spectacular. Being able to walk home and see the aurora borealis every single night was unbelievable. Being able to, you know, during the summertime and have 24 hours of daylight was a surreal experience. But what I found really difficult was the Aboriginal community or the Native Americans, whatever you want to say, because there was a lot of drug abuse up there, there was a lot of alcohol abuse. And I used to volunteer on the crisis line, and the calls that we would get were just heartbreaking. And, and that really affected me a lot, because I’m a very emotional and very empathic type of person. So that type of work. Yeah, really got me in down in hard spirits. So I really had to get out of there. And I’m thankful for my time, there was a really, really interesting experience. It’s not something I would repeat, though.
David Ralph [26:27]
But let’s play some words now. And then let’s delve back into the expat show and the financial advice which you’re bringing to the world. Here’s Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey [26:34]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [27:01]
Now, it seems to me Mikhail that you’ve never had a safe job in your life, it seems that you, you’re quite happy with that sort of, it seems on the outside uncertainty, but actually, when you’re in it, it’s more safe. Because you’re in control.
Mikkel Thorup [27:16]
I would say at the end of the day,
I am a very confident person. And I really believe that things are going to work out for me. So even if I take a job, which might seem unsafe to someone else, if it doesn’t work out, I don’t really care, I’m confident enough in my abilities to make money that everything’s gonna be alright. Like, if you literally plop me down on any country, in any city, anywhere in the world, at the end of the night, I will or at the end of the day, I guarantee I will have a roof over my head, a warm meal in my stomach, probably a couple of mates, and I’ll be drinking a beer, like, I’m very confident that I can take care of myself. So things like, you know, they just did just don’t scare me. So I don’t see any reason not to take a risk or not to go after the dreams that I want.
David Ralph [28:06]
Hey, which is at a point, I now realize, when when I started join up dots I was very corporate, I was totally corporate and I hadn’t got used to not getting money at the end of the month. And so I hadn’t got used to asking for money. It just used to turn up, you know, for years and years and years, you’d go to work, and then it goes into your bank account. And for the first you know, few months, I wasn’t earning anything. And I couldn’t understand it was because I wasn’t actually saying, Give me money. And now I realized that I realized that actually, life’s quite easy, I just have to do certain things, I have to look to provide as much value as possible. And if worse comes to worse. There’s always jobs out there, there’s always something to cover, you know, I have no issues that anything in my life would change, even at my worst time now, because of where I’ve gone. Now, your clients that come to you? Are they in that kind of same mindset? Are they looking to travel abroad, but also, I hadn’t got used to asking or investing or doing the right stuff with their money, it just goes into their bank account and have a few beers, and then it sort of dribbles away during the during the month.
Mikkel Thorup [29:21]
So my business is more based on helping entrepreneurs to kind of relocate overseas, because there’s some huge benefits for doing things like that. taxes and standard of living. And, you know, I try to encourage people to follow their dreams. So I don’t give like personal finance advice. It’s more helping entrepreneurs, to set up their businesses in a manner that allows them to live their life the way that I want to now, whether that be automation throughout the business, you know, hopefully firing a few employees so that they’re not stressed, getting the cost of the business in check. And I really do a lot of coaching and consulting with things like that.
David Ralph [30:00]
business, I think, you know, I’ve just recently bought a business myself, and it’s an offline business, it was failing. And literally within a few months, I’ve turned it around by just plugging the leaks, I could just go in there and there was leaky money everywhere. And by stopping there and getting rid of a few people and changing some of the computer systems to a cheaper one, it was quite easy to do. So is it is it with your clients. Because my experience with this now is I wasn’t close enough to see the issues. And I wasn’t close enough to save and formalities of those issues. So I went in, and we’re saying, why is that doing that? And why is that doing that? So a lot of the issues that your clients have, that they’re just too involved in it, they can actually see the issues.
Mikkel Thorup [30:48]
Yeah, I think that’s a very good way of putting it and congratulations on buying a new business. That sounds really exciting. It’s boring,
David Ralph [30:54]
I’ll be honest, is boring.
Unknown Speaker [30:55]
David Ralph [30:57]
I did I did it on I kind of I don’t know, an ego. Life is going really well. I was looking for another challenge. But now I realize as a business owner, there’s a lot of crap you got to deal with. And most of it comes through stuff. You know,
Mikkel Thorup [31:13]
it’s true. But if you’ve taken, you’ve taken a failing business, and you’ve turned it profitable, can’t you just resell the business so that you don’t have to do the boring thing anymore. And you’ll turn a profit on it.
David Ralph [31:23]
Yeah, you can do and that’s the exit plan that we’re looking at. But we were looking at maybe another year, and then year and a half to really get the monthly profits, cooking on gas so that somebody will come along, you know, it’s an established business. It’s been there for 40 years. And so there’s word of mouth, there’s goodwill, there’s all the things that you would want from the business. But we’re still too close to the the dip, where the profits were going one way. So we want to get a consistent year and a half of Up, up, up stable Up, up up so somebody can go, yeah, okay, I can see where it was going. But I can see where it’s now. If I sold now, I would be losing thousands because it’s too close to the bad times. If that makes sense.
Mikkel Thorup [32:07]
That doesn’t make sense and good for you for seeing and having foresight. Just make sure that you know you are it’s not stopping you from doing the things that you want to do in your life like you you describe the business as being very boring. Well, I don’t know about you, but you don’t seem like a very boring person, Dave. So I don’t know.
David Ralph [32:26]
Did you did you know what it is, most of all, it’s the days that I have to go down there and do stuff, you know, to keep keep it on track. And I can’t bear getting somewhere eight o’clock in the morning, and not being able to leave till five o’clock at night. I can’t bear that. And my whole life now I can literally get up and go and see a Star Wars film and shoot Tuesday afternoon because I fancy it. And then this this two days a month, basically, I have to go there and I’m, I’m reined in. I’m like one of those, those polar bears that you see in the zoo, just marching back and forth, you know, back and forth, back and forth, waiting for the time to go.
Mikkel Thorup [33:06]
So I would suggest to you that you find out what your hourly wage is worth. And if doing these types of things, if you can pay someone else to do that, like, and it’s not going to be as much as you would earn, you know, doing the podcast or doing your other businesses, then, you know, outsource it to someone else.
David Ralph [33:22]
Now, you can’t do that. You can’t do
Mikkel Thorup [33:25]
that. And of course, you can use so many things that you could you know, you Well, I don’t know the specifics of your business. But I would tell you that majority of businesses, there are systems that you can put into place, because you should not be doing the work. You know, you build the systems and the systems run the business, you don’t run the business.
David Ralph [33:41]
No, but what I’m doing, I’m walking around with a clipboard, you know, ticking things off, you know that that’s what my job is. I go into strategically, pointing, wondering why they’ve managed to use seven rolls of toilet paper in the last three days. You know,
Mikkel Thorup [33:58]
what is the answer to that?
David Ralph [33:59]
I have I have no idea. All right. I can’t get to the bottom of that. No pun intended. But no pun intended. Yeah, I just can’t, I just can’t I don’t know what they’re doing with it making. I don’t know, for heaters or something. We’ve got no idea what they’re doing. But it’s it’s a very bizarre situation. So So how did you get your first client, Ben, so you’re traveling the world, you realize that there’s a business opportunity. And there’s a big thing from that moment, because most businesses fail on marketing. And it doesn’t matter how good you are as a, as a sort of investment expert, or financial expert or whatever. If no one knows about you, he’s gonna die on his feet. So how did you get the word out?
Mikkel Thorup [34:41]
Well, you hit the nail on the head there, because really, business is marketing. And I will make this argument with everybody. You know, people go to school, and they want to study business. But you know, that’s not really it. It’s, it’s the message, it’s how you communicate, it’s the problems that you’re solving. And this all has to do with marketing. So that is the number one thing that I study, I’m actually in mastermind groups, I go to Chicago four times a year, it’s 15,000 us to be a member every year. And that’s all it is. It’s all it’s just marketing, we just mastermind on marketing. All the conferences I go to around the world, they’re all marketing, this is the most important thing. So for me starting a podcast was my platform that I can communicate with my people. It’s a positioning tool. And you know, and I, and I’m sure I’m not giving away any secrets here, but people look at you in a different light when you have your own platform, when you are the host of your own show. Similarly, how people will look at an author, authors have a very romantic notion. So it’s very important for a lot of business owners to understand something like this, because they really are the expert in that field. And being better and that job is not what’s going to make you money, being a better doctor or lawyer or, you know, Baker or chef or, you know, whatever it is that your job is that’s not going to make you more money. It’s how you brand yourself. It’s how you market yourself. You know, how you position yourself? These are the things that actually will propel your business forward.
David Ralph [36:09]
Absolutely agree with this is the first thing that we’ve agreed on in this whole show, Miguel, and I agree with you 100%. But until you get that knowledge out, you do it because this is the stumbling block, but most of my listeners have that have this idea. And yeah, four years down the line five years down the line, they’ve had so many failures and successes, I get an understanding of, I suppose the authority marketing becoming the category of one becoming, positioning themselves so that the marketing almost becomes effortless. But at the very beginning, how did you do it? How did you get that first client?
Mikkel Thorup [36:48]
How do they get that first client? So this is kind of a two part thing. So first of all, to go back on your point for your listeners that are going to spend the next four years not listening. Listen, I give you guys permission right now to to not make the next four years of failures. Just listen to me right now. Go out and study marketing, just type in internet marketing, type in authority marketing, type in positioning different things like this on do a Google search, find some books and start reading. Like it’s the a lot of people overthink this, just get a library card, go to the library and start reading and I’m not talking about advertising. We’re not talking about brand building, similar to how Coca Cola does things, get direct response marketing books, get copywriting books and study them, you know, copy them out, copy sales letters out, you know, long form with a pen and a paper. Don’t overthink this things guys, stuff like this, it takes a lot of time to understand. Now, when did I understand this? Oh, my goodness, probably after my 10th business that did not work. Because the number one thing that I’ve always found difficulty with is getting traffic getting traffic to the website getting traffic to my sales page. Well, marketing is the solution to that, you know, stop card, stop starting businesses that people don’t care about. Stop trying to sell to people who don’t want to buy your things, you know, you know, don’t be a commodity. Don’t be the same as everyone else. Don’t be just a doctor, just a lawyer, just a candlestick maker, you know, be the person who does this, the expert, be the celebrity be the most famous person in the world? Who does this one thing and niche down and just do that? Like, I don’t know what else to tell people like it’s really not that complicated. You just need to put in the work.
David Ralph [38:35]
I agree. I agree. Oh, my God, it’s happened twice, Miguel? I don’t know, I don’t know what’s occurring on this show. It’s like an out of body experience, I’m probably going to spontaneously combust. But no, I do agree with you. And I think you know, when I started, it’s not about me, but I’m going to talk about it. Anyway, when I started the show, I realized that a lot of the business shows out there were boring. I listened to him, and I just kind of drone on, and I just couldn’t do it. So I thought to myself, what I’m going to do is try to be as stupid as I can within the theme. You can’t be too stupid. But you’ve got to be on theme as well. And it’s that that balancing match. And I’ve done what 1700 shows now. And I can say that it’s getting easier and easier because people are expecting that it’s become my thing, where at the beginning, I used to say things to guess. And it would just be like tumbleweed. You know, it was it was dreadful. There was nothing. But what I’ve done now is I’ve literally created that category of one. And it’s becoming easier and easier. Because it’s me, I just do my thing. And if it flies, it flies. And I think that’s one of the things that I think most people struggle with, they see something that’s successful, they see somebody else doing it, and they try to be that person, and you can leave that person, it’s just exhaust you. Because you’re just using up your energy playing a role, you know, you won’t get any actor back says yeah, I’m gonna sign up for that play. What is it always 24 hours a day, 24 hours a day for seven days a week. But what for the rest of my life, I’m not going to do that. You wouldn’t play that role. You’ve just got to be yourself. And little by little, you build your tribe, you find out what your tribe likes and what they don’t like. And then you do it a little bit more and a little bit more. And it just works for it, doesn’t it?
Mikkel Thorup [40:18]
Absolutely. Authenticity is so massively important. If people listen to my show, if they read my blog, if they watch my blogging or anything like that, they can tell I’m not faking this, this is this is who I am, this is what I do. This is my life. I travel a lot, I dedicated my life to it. Like I said, I made a lot of sacrifices to get here. But for me, it’s worthwhile. You know, you can see this, I’m not faking it. I’m not, you know, welcome to my garage and look at my books, and my Lamborghini. You know, like, that’s, that’s not me, you know, I I’m authentic and I’m honest with who I am. And if you like great if you don’t like them screw off, like I don’t really care, you know, it’s okay, it’s it. I’m not gonna lose sleep over it.
David Ralph [41:00]
ofo the proper way to say is gay marriage. Did you realize that McKenna is gay marriage? Oh,
Mikkel Thorup [41:05]
pardon me? Pardon me? Thank you for correcting me that David
David Ralph [41:08]
Yeah. He said it’s weird. One of those weird words, but actually the American sound sound portion we do in the United Kingdom. Because when you say garage, that’s quite posh, isn’t it? And we say, Gary, that almost
Mikkel Thorup [41:19]
sounds a little bit French. Yeah, yeah.
David Ralph [41:21]
Yeah. I don’t know what it is. So So where are you heading? Now you are in Abu Dhabi at the moment. Is it one month on one month off? Or do you stay until you get sick of somewhere and then move on?
Mikkel Thorup [41:34]
No. So I do what one of my guests actually described last week to me was the hub and spoke model. So I will live in a country and from there, I travel outwards. So I lived in Melbourne, I was there for three years, I traveled to Fiji five times I was invented wat to and Tonga, I went through Southeast Asia, I was in Hawaii, different places like that. Now, when I live in Abu Dhabi, I’ve been to Oman and to Bahrain and Kuwait and all these types of places, all the neighboring countries, also Europe is only five hours away. So I go to Germany all the time we go to Switzerland, all these types of places. When I lived in the Arctic, I even went over I was in the Canadian High Arctic, for my one week or two weeks of vacation, instead of going down to the sun. For some reason, I had the good idea of going over to Greenland. So I thought, why not, I’ll never have another opportunity. It’s only a three hour flight away. I went over to look and I went exploring over there. And I always use that type of hub and spoke model and use that as a base of operations and go out from there.
David Ralph [42:37]
I think that’s great idea. And I’ve got this obsession with Greenland. It was always the case but as a podcaster I never got a single download in Greenland. And it was it was just a white mass on my map. And what happens with the podcast is you get like a map and the more people that listen it gets a deeper and darker green and been green lane that should have been green at the beginning was always white, totally white. And I want you to go over there and say Why? Why is it bad internet? Is it me and sort of like just follow people around with an mp3 player playing playing and seeing what happens? So is there is there a life in Greenland Macau? Is it is it just people walking around eating more fish? What happens over there?
Unknown Speaker [43:19]
Mikkel Thorup [43:20]
Yeah, kind of like it’s pretty chilled out kind of similar to Canadian Arctic. They’re a little bit more put together then then the community that I was in. They do run their own government and although it is owned by Denmark, I went to visit some of like the town hall and things like that. And the people that were running it were the actual Greenlandic people like the native people that I’m trying to be make sure that I don’t say anything insensitive because I don’t know how they like to be addressed. I will tell the listeners never call someone from the Arctic. A ask him Oh, that is a giant racist, racist racist term. So we need to remove that from our lexicon.
David Ralph [44:05]
So that was what in us or something is it now?
Mikkel Thorup [44:08]
Yeah, and you it i think is a respectable way that they would like to be called. So I think that speaks more to their community. So what what what is
David Ralph [44:17]
wrong with esky moving all my life? It was Eskimo.
Mikkel Thorup [44:22]
So Eskimo means raw meat raw meat eater? And I think it was because the the English would come over. No dig at you there Dave. But the English would come over and see them eating reindeer and whale and things like this. Raw and it was a derogatory term
to call them this, and I think it’s in their own language.
David Ralph [44:46]
I wonder what they call it aspin improperly translate to 50 points of lager drinkers or something like that?
Mikkel Thorup [44:54]
David Ralph [44:55]
Yeah, we do not come back over. Right. Okay. So let’s play the words of the Steve Jobs he created the whole theme of join up dots he did a few other things in his life. But I this is the main thing is Steve
Steve Jobs [45:07]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards, 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [45:42]
To where do you find your confidence, as Steve was saying, Miguel?
Mikkel Thorup [45:48]
I’d say a lot of my confidence really comes from, you know, my ability to take care of myself. I find it very empowering, that I have been able to do these types of things like traveled around the world and live overseas. And I did all these things by myself, you know, without a safety net. And I actually thrived in environments like that. I grow, I get a lot of confidence from that. And I draw a lot of strength from that, because that’s my ability. That’s my ability to take care of myself. And I don’t know how else to put it
David Ralph [46:23]
well, but it’s a competence that just, you know, it wasn’t there at the beginning, or it might have been just a fraction, but the more things you do, the more you get okay with it, and it just gets bigger and bigger. People kind of think that competence is a natural given, oh, it’s a white for you, you’re so competent, but it’s all a load of
Mikkel Thorup [46:40]
crap. That is a load of crap. You know, I’m sorry, but people are not born with certain traits. This, this is not part of our DNA. You know, I am confident I am strong, because I worked at it every day, you know, imagine little kid learning disability, skinny, you know, like you said, I look way younger than my actual years, hard to get respect dropped out of high school at a young age, you know, drank way too much. And, you know, I had no reason to have these types of things. But I knew I was special, I knew that I had something to offer the world. So I worked my ass off. And I do it every single day. You know, like, I have very little patience, patience for people who make excuses for their lives. You know, you’re so lucky to do something. You’re so lucky to have this. You’re so lucky to be that way. It’s not what it is, you know, start today and make a change in your life. If you don’t like the way that your life is, then get to work, you know, do something about it. I read, you know, I’m a dyslexic. I read over 100 books a year. Do you think that’s easy? Well, it’s easy now, because I’ve been doing it for 20 years. But I tell you what, it wasn’t easy in the beginning. I don’t know what else to say. Like they
David Ralph [47:48]
got Yeah, I got Yeah, right. Yeah. And Mikhail, you showed your true colors. They all come flooding out of you.
Mikkel Thorup [47:54]
That that’s the rant. That’s the rant You, you, you worked me up. Dave. I’m passionate about this stuff, though. Like, like, I honestly, I feel bad for people who make excuses who are victims, you know, there’s no reason to be like that. Sometimes I want to grab them and I want to shake them. You know, like, wake up, wake up, wake up. It’s, you know, there’s so much to live for. There’s so many incredible things. And the world is such a massive place. Like I said, 20 years of traveling, and I feel like I’ve been nowhere I feel like there’s still so much to see. And so much to do. You know, and if you spend your whole life, just in one little town in one little area, one little country, you know, think about all the things that you’re missing out on. Think about the perspective, everything always seems to think that the way that they live their life is right, and everyone else is weird, or they do things strange. No, it’s perspective for them. It’s completely normal for for them. What you do is very weird, you know, learning about those types of cultures and the different ways to look at things. I think it’s fascinating. It’s not easy, but it’s rewarding. So I do it.
David Ralph [48:58]
I agree with you, as in I tell you what, even in my house, people think I’m weird. I don’t even have to go further afield. My kids say to me, Dad, why are you doing that I go, because it’s funny. Let’s just let’s just do it because it’s funny, but don’t do it in the street don’t do it out in the street does. So that’s what I’m building up to. I’m building up to bringing my kids down. Well, this is the bit that I’ve also been building up to. And this is the bit that we call the Sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Mikael, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out who’s going to play the music. And when it fades, your this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [49:49]
The show Miquel
Mikkel Thorup [50:07]
every time you go out drinking, don’t have that last one or two beers. It’s never worth it. Because I’m proud of you for making all those sacrifices, having the courage to travel and to explore the world and live your life the way that you knew that you needed to.
I’m happy for you well done.
And the last piece of advice I really want to give you is don’t get so stressed. It all works out in the end. And if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end.
David Ralph [50:43]
No, that’s profound, isn’t it? Say that one again. That that is profound. I want to hear it again.
Mikkel Thorup [50:51]
It’s one of the words that I live by. And, and I’ve been living by these words for God, I can’t even remember as long as long back as I my memory goes. And it’s simply that it all works out in the end. And if it doesn’t work out, it just means it’s not the end.
David Ralph [51:09]
I could hear that. Oh, I could hear that all afternoon. I just put you on repeat Mikhail and just keep playing. You just pray over and over again. But little bendy McHale that I could have in the back of my car. And I could just squeeze you let her hand then and it would come out with those words of wisdom. Great. So there’s a business for you and Mikhail ben de McHale’s.
Mikkel Thorup [51:29]
Bending Macau’s. I don’t want to know where that conversation would lead.
David Ralph [51:33]
Yeah. And what part of you Ben’s I won’t go with that. So what’s the number one best way that our audience who’ve been listening today can connect with you?
Mikkel Thorup [51:42]
Absolutely. So reach out to me, you can visit my website ex-pat money show.com. You can email me on there. There’ll be the forums you find. Find there. You know, Google search it, you know, there’s lots of options out there. But yeah, x pac money show.com.
That’s the best way past.
David Ralph [52:02]
Yeah, we’ll have all the links on the show notes. Miguel, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Macau. Thank you so much.
Mikkel Thorup [52:19]
pleasures, all mine. Thanks so much David
David Ralph [52:23]
Macau follow up. So that’s good. And then so he basically moves to a place. And then he uses that to see the world and obviously keeps the cost down the flights down and you can jump on there and back and back and back and back and back. I’ve never really considered that. And also, because of those travels, it’s found the best way of streamlining businesses so people can do the same thing. And they can travel and set it up abroad and get a tax breaks and all that kind of stuff. So no matter what you’re doing in life, you are gaining experience you’re learning you are becoming an expert at something that you do over time. And by putting it in the right position, and the right location, then you become your category of one exactly as we were saying, nobody gets the brakes. Nobody gets anything other than hard work at the beginning. But once you do get there, that’s when people go Oh, we’re happy. Oh, oh, look at you driving around in your fast car. Yeah, it takes time. It does take time. But as all things if you put the effort in and you really work at something, you will get the rewards for the rest of your life, so why not do it? Ah, thank you so much for everybody who has listened to this show. And thank you, as always, for everybody who listens to every single show. If you want to connect with us on Facebook, you can do join up dots just type it in and Facebook. You can send messages through to us we always respond, email join up email@example.com and we’ve got loader coaching coming. We’re building it big, big, big time at the moment to help you get the life that you want and it’s out there waiting for you just need to find out what it is and going get it. Until next time. Thank you so much for being here. We’ll see you again soon. Chance
David doesn’t want you to become a fated version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots.