Mike Swigunski Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
Introducing Mike Swigunski
Mike Swigunski is a bestselling author, Forbes and Entrepreneur contributor, remote work leader, and founder of GlobalCareerBook.com.
As an online business expert that has brokered millions of dollars in digital assets and also helped build an eight-figure remote company, he has cultivated a strong passion and knowledge for everything within the remote work realm.
Mike is focused on transforming the way location-independent work and business synergize.
Mike has been working and traveling full-time since 2011 and his journey has taken him to visit and work remotely in over 100+ countries.
In that time, he’s worked all over the world and helped build an eight-figure remote company, all from the comfort of his laptop.
In his book, Global Career, Mike pulls back the curtain and shares everything he’s learned from years of trial and error about how to travel long term as a digital nomad, radically advance your career and build a life you absolutely love!
How The Dots Joined Up For Mike
As he says “Working remotely overseas can be a complicated and overwhelming experience.
That’s why Mike decided to compile over ten years of international working and travel experience to 95+ countries into a practical and informative book to help others build their own remote dream lives FAST.
If you are interested in a blueprint guide to traveling long-term, while advancing your career with Digital Nomad Jobs and Remote Work Jobs, then Global Career is perfect for you!
So when he started working remotely, was it a daily chase for decent Wi-Fi and connection?
And now with the world moving towards a future of working from home or anywhere they want, what are the major things to look out for?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Mike Swigunski
During the show we discussed such weight subjects with Mike Swigunski such as:
Mike tells a story of how he helped a farmer go from £30k per year, to doubling his salary and change his lifestyle in the process too (all within three months).
Mike shares the steps of beginning his life of travel and adventure, and the amazing financial reasons for doing so.
Why it is so important to write down the three main goals of your business and your life, and then place it everywhere you can see.
Mike opens up to why he develops his programmes and platform to not-restrict his time in any shape or form, which is so important him.
How To Connect With Mike Swigunski
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Mike Swigunski Interview
Life shouldn’t be hard life should be a fun filled adventure every day. So now start joining up dots tap into your talents, your skills, your God given gifts and tell your boss, you don’t deserve me. I’m out of here. It’s time for you to smash that alarm clock. And start getting the dream business and wife you will, of course, are dreaming of. Let’s join your host David route from the back of his garden in the UK, or wherever he might be today with another JAM PACKED episode of the number one hit podcast. Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [0:39]
Yes, good morning to you. Good afternoon. Good evening. whatever time it is welcome to Join Up Dots. Thank you so much for being with us today. Um, today’s an interview show and it’s gonna be an interesting one. Because it’s a guy that’s got many strings to his bow. He’s a best selling author. He’s a Forbes and entrepreneur contributor, is a remote work leader and he’s also the founder of global career book.com, which we will discuss through the show. Now as an online business expert that has brokered millions of dollars in digital assets, and also helped build an eight figure remote company. He’s cultivated a strong passion and knowledge for everything within the remote work realm is focused on transforming the way location independent work and business synergize. Now he’s been working and travelling full time since 2011. And his journey has taken him to visit and work remotely in over 100 plus countries. And in that time, he’s worked all over the world and helped build an eight figure remote company, as we say, all from the comfort of his laptop. Now in his book global career, he pulls back the curtain and shares everything he’s learned from years of trial and error about how to travel long term as a digital nomad radically advance your career and build a life you absolutely love. As he says working remotely overseas can be a complicated and overwhelming experience. And that’s why I decided to compile over 10 years of international working and travel experience into a practical and informative book to help others build their own remote dream lives fast. And if you’re interested in a blueprint guide to travelling long term, while advancing your career with digital nomad jobs and remote work jobs, Ben global career is perfect for you. So when he started working remotely, was it at Bally chase for things like decent Wi Fi and connection? Was it sort of all hassle? And now with the world moving towards the future of working from home or anywhere they want? One of the major things to look out for? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Mike Swigunski. Good morning, Mike. How are you?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [2:45]
Well, thank you so much for that wonderful introduction, David, I really appreciate it. And it’s an honour to be on your show.
David Ralph [2:51]
Well, it’s an honour to have you here, because there’s so many different ways I’m going to go. But I’m going to jump straight into the very first thing is, have you found the passion business that have you found the thing that you go right, yeah, take away everything. I’m clinging to this, this is my legacy work?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [3:08]
Yeah, so I would say like, that’s what global career is, for me, it was initially just created to help other people. I was travelling around the world, I had been working remotely building remote companies, building my own businesses. And I just wanted to find an easy and accessible way to help other people find another path. I think, especially in the United States, a lot of Americans are presented just kind of one linear path to success. And I wanted to give them another option. And that’s kind of what global career is. And it’s been overall a pretty good success so far, and something that I’m continuing to grow and expand.
David Ralph [3:47]
So So what excites you about it, Mike? Because that we’ve all businesses, you have moments, you know, I would say this is my legacy work. I would say I love it. But there’s also a lot of it. I think I could just get rid of this, if I could, you know, but it’s you’ve got to take the sort of yin and the yang of it. So what’s the bits you love balanced against the bits that you don’t like, but you’re accepting of?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [4:09]
Yes, so starting off with things I absolutely love. And the reason I do this is one example is I helped a farmer in the United States, who was earning around $30,000 A year was trapped or stuck in one location wasn’t able to really spend as much time with his family. He read my book, we got in touch and started doing some one on one coaching and training. And within a matter of three months, he was able to completely transform his life with remote working so I helped him land a remote job more than double his salary, and then create a more balanced lifestyle where he could live anywhere in the world. He could spend more time with his family and to me helping people have that transformation in a short period of time, which you know, it can take years and years if you try to do it on your own, to consolidate that into a three month period. Um, from a farmer to a remote worker, which essentially is, you know, if you have farming skills, it’s a little bit more of a learning curve. But this individual was able to have a really incredible transformation in a short period of time. And that’s the thing I absolutely love.
David Ralph [5:15]
Well, that that is kind of blowing my mind because yeah, he’s a farmer. And I think to myself, Okay, do you go from farming to farming? Or do you go to? So how did you actually transition him? How did he he find new skills or develop the skills he’s got?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [5:31]
Yeah, so a lot of it was he was a young individual, he’s in his 20s, we kind of just helped him revamp every aspect of the job hunting experience. So starting with his resume, it was very bare, it was focused mostly on farming, but he still had some, like, you know, he had gone to university, he had some, like, internships and stuff like that. So he did have some experience outside of farming. And but it wasn’t presented well on his resume, or CV for the UK audience. And basically, a lot of the resumes and CVs I look at, they focus on making it look nice, but not creating good content. So we helped him kind of Garner out his experience presented in a better way, and teach him kind of a unique strategy to get in touch with the right types of remote companies. And whenever I’m working with somebody, I’m helping them, you know, find different areas to apply for these remote jobs. So they’re dealing with, you know, maybe 20, or 30 Different applicants for one job instead of 1000s and 1000s, on some of the main job boards, like LinkedIn or something.
David Ralph [6:39]
Now, we’ve something like that site we’ve linked in, obviously, it’s one, it’s a marketplace, as all sort of up work linked in there or marketplace to be recognised, to be spotted to be selected. So just let’s narrow that down. Because I know there’s going to be people out there listening to this thinking, Well, yeah, actually, my LinkedIn profile might be a bit crappy here. And my CV hasn’t been been sort of changed within the last 10 years. So it’s not about job experience. It’s about life experience, or it’s not about job responsibilities, a better way of saying it is not about, yeah, I spend all my morning answering the phone and dealing with emails for customers. It’s about what you can bring to the table.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [7:23]
Right? Yeah, we transition to a lot of people’s resumes from just a job that reads like a job description to, hey, they have the experience, they’re just not presented it in the proper way. And there’s usually like a three step kind of formula where it’s, you know, the actual job description, like what was done, what sort of impact that made and best if it’s in a quantifiable way, with, you know, saving time increasing revenue for the company? And then why did you do this, what was the point of this whole sort of thing you did, and that real estate’s extremely important on a resume. So that’s one thing is like just getting the content and copyright, and then also implementing it in a way that is going to read well on applicant tracking system. So even small companies are using these ATS systems. So if you don’t have the right keywords, you’re just gonna get automatically disqualified when you’re applying for jobs. So that’s another thing that we felt out. And that really increases people’s responses for interviews. I took this, this guy who was a farmer also took them through interview coaching as well, where he was working with an interview coach who had been interviewing people for around 2030 years and gave wide feedback, because we do a lot of interviews, and people are like, Okay, I didn’t get the job. So I must have did something bad interview. But that’s not always the case. And a lot of times, when you do interview for a job, you don’t get any tangible feedback on how to improve. Yeah, so that’s, that’s another thing we did. And then just kind of the whole outreach strategy, we kind of have a unique system where we make it a little bit easier and more of a shock or more of a sniper approach versus a shotgun approach that most job seekers take.
David Ralph [9:09]
So instead, what we’re seeing, there’s a certain amount of algorithm now that he’s monitored. It’s a gatekeeper. So in the old days, when I used to be in this, it was the human resources department, and you’d send it in and at least land on their desk. But now we’re saying that unless you construct your resume with the right keywords position, sort of resume SEO. We’re not even going to see it. It just goes into a black hole somewhere.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [9:33]
Yeah, that’s 100% True. And it’s same way for LinkedIn. LinkedIn has like the same sort of system built in. Yeah, so a lot of times these companies if it’s a good role, they’re getting 1000s and 1000s of applicants, and they use an ATS system to just kind of isolate that top 10% of qualified applicants. And not all not all major companies are using this small medium sized companies are using these ATS systems, because you know, it’s a fairly cheap software to use. It’s saves them a lot of time.
David Ralph [10:01]
So let’s take you back in time, Mike like we do so you obviously, well, I’m gonna say obviously I assume you’re American. You could be Canadian for all I know, but I’m gonna go with American. Is that right?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [10:13]
Yeah, so I’m originally born and raised in Wildwood, Missouri, which is a small suburb of St. Louis.
David Ralph [10:20]
Okay. Right. So you’re sort of down near near the bottom. You’re awful halfway down nearing the bottom on the on the East Coast decider.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [10:28]
I think I like to say where the heart of America Oh, well.
David Ralph [10:32]
We’re gonna go to the heart of America. So what made you because I was reading some of the posts that you’ve delivered on Twitter today? Why you opted out of America? Why you left? What What made you sort of transition because so many people will go through their life, just remaining in the state of Missouri and not actually ending up saying goodbye. And at the moment, as you’re recording the transparency? You’re in Georgia, you’re in Georgia, which is sort of Ratterree way or Ukrainy way, that kind of area. So what made you do that?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [11:05]
Yeah, so just two things to clarify, I’m currently in the Republic of Georgia, a lot of people get those confused with the state. And as far as like, leaving the United States, I want to be clear that I absolutely love that I grew up in the United States, I love Americans, and I really enjoyed my my childhood there. But essentially, I realised that I fell in love with travelling, I could have what I envisioned as my ideal life outside of the United States, a more exciting life, a life that’s not filled with so much hustle and was able to construct a better life, save more money, and essentially take advantage of geo arbitrage, which is burning in US dollars and being able to elevate my lifestyle at a fraction of the cost.
David Ralph [11:54]
Now give that as sort of a summary. So for people out there, at the moment, they’re being paid by a company in a country, it goes into their bank account in the same country, but by going to somewhere, that’s where we say India, for example, where the expenses, the lifestyle expenses is so much lower, you’re still getting the same money, but it goes further.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [12:17]
Right. And that’s basically what I’ve been able to replicate here in Georgia is they have a very high quality of life. It’s more developed than a, you know, country like India or something. And you basically can have a better work life balance, you can save more of your money, you can use that money to invest in other things, you can increase your lifestyle at a fraction of the cost. And so if I was able to, if I was gonna move back to the US, I would have to either be earning 10 times more work, you know, an extra 30 years, or completely kind of lower my my lifestyle that I’ve become accustomed to, and I’ve kind of created living overseas and these kinds of geo arbitrage locations.
David Ralph [13:01]
So so let’s say you had to move back. How would you deal with that? But at the moment, it makes perfect sense. But say, I don’t know. Have you got a partner? Have you got kids? Or are you just on your own at moment, Mike?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [13:15]
Yeah, so I’m flying solo at the moment. You know, I’ve had some long term relationships, and but overall, this lifestyle is definitely not for everyone, and can be a little tough to have a consistent partner
David Ralph [13:30]
going, okay, so food, Join Up Dots. This is like Tinder, okay, you’re gonna find a partner, and they’re gonna, they’re gonna swipe left or swipe right, whatever they do. I don’t know. It’s been years since I’ve been dating. And suddenly you find yourself back in the Texas, we go to Texas, and you get dragged back to there. Now. Would love overcome lifestyle? And geo arbitrage? Would you be able to accept that?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [13:57]
I think I’m a type of person that can easily adapt to just about any type of environment. So of course, I could have a great life in the United States. I don’t think that’s the question is, it’s, it wouldn’t be the life that I want. If that’s if that’s clear. And so yeah, living in Texas, I have friends and family there. I think it would be something that I could could make work. But right now, at this point in time, I just have this craving for wanderlust, like going to new locations and having new experiences that I just can’t replicate in the United States.
David Ralph [14:31]
Right. So let’s give the listeners a sort of overview of your lifestyle. We already know that you’re you’re solo. And so you were say you wake up at eight o’clock in the morning. Do you have responsibilities that you have to deal with First of all, or can you go? I just take a week off. I don’t have to tell anyone. I just do do what I want.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [14:51]
Yeah, so that’s kind of been my transformation over the years is to create a world where I don’t need an alarm clock. I can wake up whenever I want. And when I wake up and go to sleep, I can kind of do as I wish, if it’s taking a couple of weeks off to go travel or just kind of hustling down to kind of grow things in my in my life and my business. But yeah, my, my typical day is the mornings are fairly easy. I’m going to be enjoying coffee, reading a book meditating, going to the gym, I have a chef that comes over every day, and she prepares my food, one of the other geo arbitrage perks of living overseas, and then I kind of tried to do two or three big things that are gonna push the needle forward. And those two or three things are usually on a weekly basis. Now,
David Ralph [15:43]
I love the fact you say two or three things, because I think so many people send me when they’re starting a business, I tried to do 30 things, or maybe 300 things, and they just get overwhelmed by it all. So well, you like that when you started? You know, obviously, we all get to a point where we can go live, it’s quite easy, but it wasn’t easy. In the beginning, it was bloody hard. So was it a case of when you started you were doing the 30 things a day? Or have you always been quite strict with yourself?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [16:11]
Yeah, so initially, I kind of got started with a lot of this is helping build tech startups that were a lot of times bootstrapped. And in these scenarios, you’re wearing, you know, seven or eight different hats. So yeah, I’ve kind of gotten used to doing a million different things every day, waking up in the morning, checking slack and putting out fires. So yeah, that’s definitely something that I, I have a high tolerance for, I can do a lot of things, but I choose to be very strict in that and try to like, be more efficient, you know, I can do a lot of these things. But it’s the results are gonna be always at, you know, 80 90%. But if you’re just focusing on these two or three things a week, you’re gonna have a lot less stress in your life, you’re gonna have better results and a more perfected outcome.
David Ralph [17:03]
Let’s hear from Oprah. And we’ll be back with Mike,
Oprah Winfrey [17:06]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, oh, I got all of this. What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment, you know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [17:37]
Now, I’m going to transition from that question, Mike, that she posed about, then the next right thing to how do you know your next right thing? How do you know what the three things are? To do?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [17:51]
Yeah, that’s a really good question. And it usually it comes down to every quarter, or every year, I’m kind of planning a few big goals that I want to achieve for the year. And those are usually going to fall into the health, wealth and relationships. So I’m kind of taking each one of those and for each category having like one, one big goal for the year.
David Ralph [18:16]
And the reason is that they’re the three prime markets, aren’t they basically,
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [18:21]
right? So I’ve noticed in my life, if one of these areas suffer the other to suffer, so trying to implement and improve every aspect of your health, wealth, and relationships, is extremely important. And relationships isn’t just romantic relationships. It’s a combination of romantic relationships, professional relationships, family, friends, everything that goes into that. And then wealth would be you know, your your sources of income. And health is going to be you know, going to the gym also going to be taking care of yourself eating healthy. And when I’m eating healthy, I’m going to the gym, because because you’re you’re eating healthy, you’re going to the gym, you have more energy, your business is doing better. So that all kind of works in unison. So yeah, to answer your question, breaking down these kind of bigger term goals, making quarterly chunks, and then breaking those quarterly chunks into weekly goals. And you just kind of got to reverse engineer things. And that’s why so many people fail their big goals is because they have this one big goal, they have no sort of plan to implement and obtain it. So that’s kind of what I do is I’m like okay, what is going to get me towards these, these Northstar these like these big moments that I want to achieve for the year and then breaking those down into smaller, more obtainable chunks,
David Ralph [19:44]
which is one of the sort of mantras of Join Up Dots really, but to get anywhere, it’s a series of steps. And it’s not what I’m going to do this and I’m going to be there instantly. It’s It’s tiny little steps, sometimes almost imperceptible. But they build up. And that’s one of the issues is, I think people don’t break it down into doable chunks. And so they start to get bogged down. And I start to get into that, that confusion zone, and certainly at the very beginning, and I still have it nowadays when I’m trying to create something online. And I know vaguely how to do it. But it’s not in my, my sort of arc of experience that I can get quite bogged down by Oh,
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [20:30]
yeah, I think, you know, a few tips for that. And I’ve used this myself and helped a lot of students with this is, I have them physically write out their three main goals that they want to achieve, and put it in multiple places, put it on your fridge, put it on your mirror, put it in a place where you’re gonna see it right right in your office, and it’ll kind of keep you aligned and going in the right direction. I think a lot of times we get distracted, or we start dealing with things that aren’t going to really push us forward. It’s just kind of like filling the time, kind of time wasters, I guess, or things that aren’t gonna have as big of an impact. But using those kinds of like visual cues have been really powerful for for keeping me on track.
David Ralph [21:12]
Now, how many clients do you deal with Ben, because one of the things I’m interested in on your website, it says there’s two kinds of growth, there’s gradual growth and exponential growth. And I understand that, but I also know that sometimes, personally, you’re not in the right place to deal with exponential growth, you’re better off going down the gradual growth route. Um, so whereabouts are you at the moment? Are you in the exponential? And you can deal with as many clients as you want? Or are you in the gradual growth, or you got a foot in both camps?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [21:47]
Yeah, so I would say every sort of thing I do, is going to have the structure for exponential growth, maybe not initially, like, there’s kind of that creating the MVP testing in trying to get a product market fit as soon as possible. And like, I’m not talking years, I’m talking like, a couple of days or even a couple of weeks to test that product. And then initially, you have to do stuff that won’t scale, I won’t be able to take on that exponential growth. But everything that I build, as far as businesses, it’s going to be a way that it can be structured for exponential growth in a way that’s not going to require my exchange of time. So this is creating, like, why I love digital products, info products, like courses where you can, yeah, you need to do a lot of front loading work. But after three or four months of doing that, once you’ve already kind of tested the product, you just have to sit back and kind of maintain it and you can outsource a lot of that stuff. So that’s the one thing I really enjoy is like, I could probably be making more active income by trading my time, but I choose to put that active income into creating projects that are going to have exponential growth and aren’t going to require me to trade a lot of my time for money.
David Ralph [23:03]
So if that’s your number one, the thought of waking up on a Monday morning and thinking, Oh, I’m going to be at my laptop till four o’clock every afternoon. That would now be an absolute no, no to you.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [23:16]
Yeah, I would say, I put a big focus on my time. Now more than anything, and I say it took a lot of, you know, 7080 hour, weeks to kind of work just a couple hours a week. But yeah, it’s it’s one of these things like, it’s all about finding balance. It’s all about teeter tottering. And I think a lot of times people don’t find the right balance that works for them. And you know, some months, it’s changing for me, you know, some months, I’m in growth mindset, where I’m just ready to like, put in a lot of hours get these projects launched and going. But other months, I’m just you know, I took a three month kind of sabbatical where I was just working a couple hours a month. But this sabbatical gave me a better macro viewpoint and perspective that’s going to really help kind of growth for the next foreseeable years,
David Ralph [24:10]
is the key thing. That’s what Oprah was saying. That’s why it’s so important to step away from your business. And one of the biggest advice I say to people, is when was the last time you you left it all behind? And more often than not, they go no, I love it. I love it. I you know, it’s like a hobby. I’d be doing it all the time. But you need to be able to step away to get that clarity, don’t you?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [24:32]
Yeah, I think the there’s a common expression, that’s probably paraphrase. But the million or billion dollar idea is not going to come to you in front of you typing on your laptop, it’s going to come from you in your shower. There’s a whole Reddit community about shower thoughts. It’s gonna come from you when you’re in the sauna when you’re taking a weekend to go into the woods and just read in a cabin and this is where I get a lot of my great ideas. It’s not in front of a laptop, it’s one I’ve taken a step back, when I’m travelling and just kind of taking time off closing my laptop closing down a lot of technology. That’s where I get those those big ideas that are going to really impact my life.
David Ralph [25:16]
In the book, global career jumping into that, as you say, you pull back the curtain and you share everything you’ve learned from years of trial and error. Does it seem like trial and error now looking back? Or do you kind of go? Oh, yeah, I remember that. Oh, that was happy days of struggle. That’s all does it you look back and go, Oh, my God, you remember that? Oh, how awful it was?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [25:40]
Yeah, I think I look back. And I’m just the type person who’s loving the process, like I don’t see like, I don’t get so down about failures, because it’s not a failure unless you don’t really learn from it. And I’m the type of person that I’ve played a lot of sports, my whole life, you fail so much, like, you know, for example, shooting basketball, like, when you’re a kid, you’re shooting basketballs, you’re missing like, I don’t know, 90% of that. And then that slowly increases over time, you’re having to take 1000s and 1000s and 1000s, of failures, to really start getting a better percentage to start succeeding. And that’s kind of what I’ve envisioned. And what I’ve done over this journey is I’ve failed a lot. But it hasn’t felt like a failure. It’s just been a fun kind of learning experience. And I think it’s the mindset where a lot of people fail, and then they give up because they didn’t learn from it. They’ve kind of had the wrong sort of way of looking at things. And I think you got to enjoy this process. And that’s what makes entrepreneurs you got to learn from your failures and keep growing.
David Ralph [26:53]
I was having a conversation with my wife the other night, and I said, I’ve got loads of work to do. I haven’t done anything for about three weeks, I’ve been a bit lazy, actually, Mike. And she said, I don’t know, I don’t know that she wants you do. And I said, I’ve been doing it. 10 years, you still don’t know what I do? And she said, No, I’ve got no idea. Now with your family, do they? Did I sort of say, What Why isn’t Mike actually doing? Or is he just on holiday all the time? Do they understand what you do?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [27:21]
Yeah, I think they kind of understand about 80%, depending on the family member, a lot of that is because I am doing quite a lot of things sometimes, like I have a lot of offers, I have a lot of like things that I do, but they understand kind of my core business. And the overall goal is to help impact millions of people to create their own global career. So that’s kind of what I what I’m doing. And they get that. As far as like the day to day nuances, they probably don’t understand that as much.
David Ralph [27:54]
Now, what keeps you away from actually just loving life too much? You know, because this is one of the problems I think I would have, I would just think, can’t be bothered today, I’m on holiday, if there’s too much to explore on my doorstep, I’d be out and about all the time.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [28:13]
Yeah, I think I’ve just created a good balance, it’s taken a lot of years to figure out what works for me where I’m able to, like, you know, have that balance, where I can just take a few days off, I can structure my day where I’m not getting burnt out. So you know, maybe it’s only working a few hours, but I’m going to the gym, I’m meeting friends, I’m hosting events, I’m doing other things that I it doesn’t really feel like work to me. So I think it’s just structured in a way where you’re gonna have a longevity of success. And it takes a while to kind of figure that out. But for me, I just love it. Like I, after I exited the startup company that I helped build to be one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, hundreds of people working remotely. My plan was to just kind of take a sabbatical, but I honestly just got bored and started doing other things taking on more projects. So I think part of it is just I kind of like the balance. I’m not wanting to work, you know, 80 hours a week, because I don’t think that’s sustainable or as efficient as finding that structure where you have that perfect work life balance, and it’s gonna vary for each individual.
David Ralph [29:26]
And one of the key things that make a corporate gig kind of enjoyable and I missed this when I transitioned, was the kind of the Friday nights out you fancy a quick pint after work. It was this sort of off the cuff social activities, which when you started working for yourself, you don’t have that it just disappears. Now you’re in Georgia, is it do you have like a group of entrepreneurs from around the world that you can meet up with personally away from actual the laptop and virtual virtual life?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [29:58]
Yeah, so One of the first things I did and you know, after doing this for a while I’ve kind of learned how to make friends or meet the right people quickly. And I started just hosting events, right? When I got here, I started hosting entrepreneurial events, which would be a small group of, you know, 10 or 15 people come in, we’d have drinks, how do you find them?
David Ralph [30:21]
First of all, but what would be the first step? Is it Facebook? Or how do you Yeah, so
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [30:26]
So Facebook groups, usually like digital nomad plus city name, expats in city name, go on there and creating the band, say, Hey, if you have an online business, or whatever sort of activity you’re interested in and wanting to meet people about just create an event, say, hey, we’ll pick the location, the time, and then, you know, try to invite people there. And that’s kind of what I did. And then from those meetings or events, I started a mastermind group of like five entrepreneurs, we were meeting every two weeks at my house, having food helping each other grow, grow, our businesses, grow professionally grow personally, and we’ve kind of created a small community of, of close friends. I’ve got two people that live down the street from me, we’re, we’re grabbing coffees all the time. So yeah, it’s it’s definitely something that I think a lot of people struggle with, with this lifestyle as they move abroad. But the good thing about women overseas, if you’re in the right city, expats are some of the most friendly people there, they’re really willing to, like just grab a coffee or meet up with you because you know, they’re kind of in the same situation.
David Ralph [31:36]
Because I suddenly found myself slipping into being a recluse, I didn’t actually have to go anywhere other than 15 steps to my recording studio, where I could sort of connect and to begin with, it was beautiful. It was lovely. You know, what, why would you want the hassle of getting anywhere. And then after a period of time, looking back on it, my mental health changed. Now I don’t think I’ve realised actually the issues of mental health at that time, I just thought I was going through a bit of a slump. But I look back on it and think, yeah, it was the lack of personal interaction with people that made a big difference.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [32:12]
Yeah, I think personal interaction is it’s gonna vary for every individual, but it’s extremely important, like, no matter what percentage of extrovert introvert you are, it’s super important. And I think there’s a good analogy I just heard this from, from a Mr. Beast interview, and he put it really well. Basically, he was, you know, just doing everything on his own building his own business. And he’s analogy of that one person, you know, just failing, failing over a year, a year period of time, versus the other person who has four friends kind of building similar businesses, they’re all sharing their failures, they’re all sharing their successes. They’re creating introductions to people in their network, who’s gonna grow faster, that one solopreneur, or the person who has four or five people kind of in similar businesses and industries, they’re gonna grow probably way more than four or five times more, because there’s so much synergy created in those scenarios. And it’s not just about business, like you’re able to talk about personal issues, you’re able to kind of clear your mind with stuff. So it’s, for me, it’s one of the most important things to have is a strong community of friends and family.
David Ralph [33:26]
So what’s more important to you, Mike business exponential growth, or personal exponential growth, because they kind of go hand in hand to a point, which kind of linked to my original question where I think sometimes people scale too big for themselves at that time, they haven’t got the competence in themselves. They’re still dealing with impostor syndrome. So what is most important to you?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [33:52]
Yeah, for me, it’s definitely personal growth. I think that’s the most important thing. It’s something that, you know, there’s the analogy of the car, you know, if you had one car for your whole life, once you take really good care of it, and basically, we do we have our bodies, which is our mind, and everything in it is our personal growth. Our business, you know, is is a little bit different. It’s important, and it can be kind of attached to our personal growth and vice versa. But yeah, at the end of the day, I always value personal growth over business growth.
David Ralph [34:24]
Now, I have travelled the world and near certain areas in the world, that sort of personal health seems to be the last thing on people’s minds. You know, heavy obesity everywhere. Is it different in the country, you know, with the digital nomads, I have this imaginary position of digital nomads, but they’re all super fit. They’ve all got fantastic abs. They’re not just going to McDonald’s all the time. They’re not heavily overweight. It is a sort of fitter, fitter and more agile.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [34:58]
Yeah, so I mean, I have a small sample size, but all of my friends that are in my community are very, are wanting to maximise every aspect of life and one of those is healthy. So they’re they’re working out multiple times a day they’re eating healthy. You know, they’re not doing detrimental things to their bodies. So yeah, I would say like, from my experience, yeah, people are taking good care of themselves. But as far as digital nomads, I think that’s like a very wide cast, you know, a freelancer or a remote worker or an entrepreneur all fall into the category. For me as a digital nomad, I think for my experience, kind of each person has a different emphasis on on personal and professional growth. And none of them are bad or wrong. It’s just a different priorities.
David Ralph [35:50]
One of the things you mentioned was meditation. And I used to think it was complete waste of time, I used to think to myself, it was sitting on a cushion, eyes rolling up into my head, trying to get into some weird state. Now, I spend all my time meditating, and I’m constantly and but I do it when I might be driving, you know, it’s not that it’s more mindfulness more than anything else. When did that come into your life? Because that seems a thing. Again, that becomes more and more prevalent. When you start building your business, you realise you then have to start building yourself as well.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [36:27]
Yeah, so basically, I started about four or five years ago, and it just kind of people that I looked up to people that were mentors for me, we’re all meditating. And I used to kind of have the same sort of thing. I was like, this is strange, you know, I don’t get it. And it’s one of those things like, I think you have to put in some time and dedication to really see the benefits of it. But yeah, it’s just kind of clearing your head, becoming aware of your surroundings. And also, just being grateful about stuff. Like, when I meditate, I try to think about things that I’m extremely grateful my life, but also just trying to think about nothing, which is a lot harder to do.
David Ralph [37:07]
It’s really hard to do, I don’t think I’ve ever managed to not think of anything, as soon as a thought comes in, or God is gone again. That’s why I kind of focus more in on my breathing, and just thinking, how can I do it that way, I find it almost impossible to just zero my thoughts.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [37:26]
Yeah, it’s definitely like a hard thing to do. And it’s a skill, like anything, like the first time that you do it, it’s gonna be harder, and you’re gonna have to take time to develop the skill over, you know, it can take months to kind of see the benefits.
David Ralph [37:39]
Let’s hear from somebody that I know did a lot of meditation, Steve Jobs, of course,
Unknown Speaker [37:44]
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 leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [38:19]
Now as an entrepreneur, Mike, do you always have that trust? Or do you sort of develop it from experience? Because it’s all right for him to say, you can only see how you got there by doing things. But I know an awful lot of people would listen to those words and go, it makes no sense makes no sense. You You need a road plan. Everybody needs to know where to head? Is that some trust that you’ve always heard?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [38:44]
So for me, I think it’s it’s one of those things like I’ve kind of figured out my why or what I want to achieve. And I think that takes a lot of time for people to develop, like the thing, the question that a lot of times people are asked, like, where do you see yourself in five years? Like is that actually like, a legitimate thing to really think of? And I’m sure a lot of times people say their answers and they don’t have any sort of like, they don’t live up to what they they’ve answered. So I think it’s good to be conscious and kind of be able to go in the direction but also be off for detours and you know, getting lost and sometimes that can be the the most fun thing I like to say this, like when you’re travelling to new city, maybe you’re you’re gonna go from point A to point B. But if you get a little bit like lost, sometimes those are my best memories. And sometimes those are the most fun things because you discover something you never would have seen before you you learn something and I think that’s that’s kind of the path of life. Like you should kind of have an idea of where you want to go. But yeah, don’t be so sad that you’re you’re not able to kind of tweak things as you’re going along.
David Ralph [39:55]
And of course on the path there’s genuinely a moment is a big dot map where clarity hits us. And we go, Ah, I can write, I can see, I can see, I now know where I’m heading. Do you look back? And do you have an example where your big dot appeared? And you’ve Oh, ah, this now makes sense.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [40:15]
Yeah, so for me, I would say that like early lightbulb moment was. So I was in charge of a study abroad programme through my university. And I was essentially teaching a course marketing and doing sales for the Study Abroad programme, then taking students overseas to Prague in the Czech Republic. And I was kind of at a crossroads between going down this corporate path of, you know, finding a job in the United States, or just heading over to Europe, taking my last group of study abroad students, and so I decided to just follow that path. And within a few months of showing up in Europe, I was able to land a job teaching financial economics at a university there. And that was kind of light bulb moment, I was able to just show up in another country, find a job and then able to kind of keep growing my career without having to put things on hold. So a lot of times, I think people kind of have this mindset where it’s like, okay, I want to go away and travel, I just have to stop for three months, and then come back to my normal life when I’m back. But the different sort of mentality that I have is you can continue growing your career, you don’t have to put things on pause for a year or two, you can still do a nice balance of working and travelling. And now with remote work, it’s even more accessible to, you know, billions of people now can can work and travel around the world.
David Ralph [41:37]
And the day of dodgy Wi Fi and struggling for some internet Cath is long gone.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [41:45]
Well, it still exists, it still exists, but I’ve learned a few tricks to make it a little bit more accessible.
David Ralph [41:53]
Now, I’m surprised to say that because I assume, you know, with my kids now, in the old days, I used to say to him, right, if you do that I’m turning the internet off, and that I could kill him. And now I go, Oh, don’t worry, I’ve got my own hotspot, you know, they just seem to be able to be connected all the time. So it is still an issue in places.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [42:12]
It can be like I was in Patagonia. And it’s just not a destination that has really great internet, like I went to one place that, you know, like, there’s a lot of alternatives, there’s the Wi Fi that’s gonna be at the hotel or the Airbnb, then there’s like the hotspot, you know, I have a SIM card that works in like 185 countries or something. So you can hotspot from that. And then you know, if you have a meeting, you know, sometimes you can dial in from, you know, an actual number. And I’ve got a couple of SIM cards for that. But I showed up at one place in Patagonia that it had the Wi Fi at the place where we’re staying was non existent, it had no cellular connection. And this sim card can connect to like any network that the country has. And basically, I had important meetings the next day. So I got there and had to turn around and go back to a bigger city. So yeah, it depends, like I would say, it’s gotten a lot better. And every year, like the connectivity stuff is improving. Like it’s getting a lot better. But yeah, you still run into these issues where you know, the Internet can be down the certain countries just have worse infrastructure for it like and even developed countries like the US, New Zealand, Australia that the internet situation, there’s, it’s very expensive, and sometimes not as reliable, as you would expect.
David Ralph [43:33]
So before we come to the end of the show, and we send you on a number journey on the Sermon on the mic, you’re exhausted travelling already. And here’s another one. What would you say the pre show huge things that somebody would gain from a lifestyle like yours for somebody out there on the fence at the moment, but you know, it sounds a bit difficult. What would you say are three things that they should really think about?
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [43:59]
Yeah, so the first one is you can essentially buyback time by living in a cheaper destination. So a lot of people are on a track to retire when they’re 6570. But what if you can take your same income move to a place where your your expenses are 10 times cheaper, you’d be able to essentially retire in that model 10 times faster, right. So that’s one thing you you can essentially buy back time by taking advantage of geo arbitrage and living in a cheaper destination with a remote job and it’s not like you need to be out in the middle of the woods. I’m living in the middle of a really nice bustling city that has everything that you could ever dream of. So that’s one thing I would say. The second thing is you’re able to with this lifestyle, kind of travel and see the world I think a lot of people want to travel and since you’re able to live in a cheaper location, you’re able to invest in these sorts of experiences and memories. rule things that are going to help you grow as a person going to help you invest in yourself with travelling. And it doesn’t all that extra savings doesn’t have to go to travelling go into building businesses investing, having a better healthy work life balance. So that would be kind of the second thing. And I guess the third thing would be that I deal with a lot of business acquisitions, you don’t always have to start from scratch, like, there’s always somebody that’s a little bit ahead of you. And you can buy that time back with coaching consulting, or what I’ve helped build an industry around is buying and selling online businesses. So you can basically buy back three years of time, with a business that’s already cash flowing, you basically can operate these businesses from day one without having to really go through the the trial and error phase. So that can be that sort of mindset can be implemented to a lot of things in life, like you don’t have to start from scratch. There’s people that are they’ve already done, what you’re trying to achieve, find those people and a lot of them are willing to help. Sometimes you have to pay money for it. But it’s always well worth it. Because you’re buying back years of time
David Ralph [46:13]
on your gravestone, God forbid, but he’s going to say, I need more time, or don’t take away my time or some time is your thing in it.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [46:22]
Yeah, I would say it’s an important thing. And I think if you do life correctly, one life is enough. It’s enough time and I have lived my every day to the day that I I’ve lived every day like I want to. And that’s the thing that’s that keeps me going is I able to build sort of the life that I want. And I’m sure that’ll it’ll just change over time. But yeah, it’s it’s one of those things like, if you if you do things right, you’ll one lifetime is enough time for sure.
David Ralph [46:56]
I love that. I love that as a slogan, I might actually Nick that. If you do it correctly, one lifetimes enough powerful statement. Okay, Mike. So this is the part of the show that hopefully will be another powerful statement. It’s 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 Mike, what age would you choose? And what advice would you love to give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme. And when it fades is your time to talk. This is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [47:31]
here we go with the best bit of the show the Sermon on the mind the sermon on
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [47:50]
to around 2009 2010, and just tell myself to buy more Bitcoin. That’s, that’s one thing I would say. The other thing I would say is, I got early into buying and selling stocks, like as soon as 18, I was buying and selling stocks and even sold some stocks and paid for a trip to Vegas for spring break, which was a cool achievement. When you’re, you know, in your early 20s, I would say set up automatic investing from a younger age. You know, I was a finance major in my undergrad, I understand compound interest. But it’s one of these things that when you the younger you do it, you really see how powerful it is. And basically what I’ve done from the past four or five years is I’ve just set up automatic investing into s&p 500 versus Bitcoin and I’ve done it for other crypto coins. So every two weeks, I have this automatic investing, just buying a certain percentage of money that I want to invest into the s&p 500 into stocks into crypto. And I wish I would have just done this earlier because it takes away all the thought process all the emotion. And it’s achieved some crazy good results over the past few years.
David Ralph [49:07]
So Mike, what is the number one best way that our audience can connect with
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [49:11]
you? Yes, so the best way is to just go to global career book.com. And I’ve kind of got all my information there. If you want to search Mike’s gun ski on Instagram or LinkedIn, you can send me a message on there. But I would say the website is probably the best place to start. It’s kind of got everything that I’m doing
David Ralph [49:31]
really well like Thank you. Lovely, and we’re have all the links on the show notes to make it as easy as possible. Mike, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots from Georgia. And please come back again when you got more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up those dots and connecting our pasts is always the best way to build our futures. Mike, thank you so much.
Digital Nomad Mike Swigunski [49:53]
Thank you so much for having me, David. I really appreciate it.
David Ralph [49:58]
Mr Mike’s weekend So do you fancy you know retiring earlier? Could you take your job and do it online and instead of paying your mortgage or whatever from where you are, live on a reduced sort of lifestyle expense but sometimes it’s you know, you live like a king. I know quite a few people that are earning UK money living in Thailand and Cambodia, they’ve got cooks, they’ve got servants they don’t do a thing you know, it’s amazing lifestyle. Great way of looking at it. So if you want more information on Mike Of course, you can come over to join up dots.com and find out about digital nomad jobs and remote work jobs. And of course, if you need any help on it, anything else, just drop us a line and we will be here waiting for you. As always, thank you so much for listening to this episode of Join Up Dots. And we will see you again soon. Stay sexy. Cheers. See ya. Bye bye.
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