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Discover the secrets to building a location-independent business and living life on your terms. Join host Eric Dingler on the Digital Nomad Entrepreneur podcast as he shares insights, tips, and strategies for aspiring or current digital entrepreneurs who crave the freedom to travel.

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Full Transcript

If I can become a full time digital nomad, traveling around the world with my wife and four kids, then my friend, there’s a pretty darn good chance you can as well. Now, maybe you don’t even want to travel full time. Maybe you just like knowing that you have the option to travel when you want to. You’re looking to build a business that gives you maximum flexibility in where you are in the world. This is known as being location independent, and this podcast is all about helping you build a business that lets you be location independent on your terms. Welcome to the Digital Nomad Entrepreneur podcast, everyone. My name is Eric Dengler. I’m going to be your host. Some episodes. It’s going to be just me. Some episodes it’s going to be me and a guest. And yet some episodes will be crossovers with my wife. You see, my wife has a podcast called the Digital Nomad Family Podcast. And over there she talks about and sometimes I join her and our kids join her. And over there she talks about living this lifestyle as a family. And we get asked all kinds of times by all kinds of people, how do we do it? And what they really want to know is how do you afford it? How do you afford it? And so I’ve decided to create this podcast to help you do just that. Build a business, run a business, scale a business that gives you the freedom and flexibility to work and travel on your terms. Now, it is totally possible. Maybe you can’t go into this lifestyle next month or even six months from now. You may need a bit of a runway, but you can definitely get here. In fact, it takes a little bit of planning. Now there are people out there that are single, that are traveling around the world, having a lot of fun as they can, going and staying and really inexpensive places where the conversion of their money goes a really long way. And and they only need, you know, four or five, maybe $800 a month. Well, that’s not who I’m talking to. If that’s you, that’s great. This podcast is for people that need to be making thousands and thousands of dollars a month and are building an asset in their business that’s going to live beyond them. Maybe it’s something they sell. Maybe it’s something they hand off to their family. But there’s an asset that you’re building here, and it’s got to have flexibility to give you what you’re looking for and being location independent. So we’re going to talk a lot about the business side of things and processes and mindset and skill set. And ultimately there are three things I really want to accomplish my personal life vision, if you will, my vision statement, mission statement, you know, whichever one you want to consider this. But my personal mission and vision in life is to inspire, equip and empower people to reach their full potential. And I’ve been doing this really my entire adult career. I used to run a summer camp in the camp. We were all about inspiring people and equipping and empowering kids and our retreat guests to to reach their full potential. I transitioned from that into local church ministry. That was a church camp I used to run, and then I went into local church ministry and we planted a church. And that was all about inspiring, equipping and empowering people to reach their full potential. And being the person that Jesus Christ wants them to be can help them be the person that God wants them to be. And now, as a full time digital nomad with a digital marketing agency there, we want to do the same thing. We love working with our small business owners and helping those small business owners to be inspired of what they can accomplish with their business, equipping them with the tools that they need to to bring in more customers and have more customer activity. And then we empower them to not be beholden to somebody and not be beholden to and to an agency. But but we empower them with our. Schools and our software for them to really own their future. With my coaching, I want to inspire people to to live a location independent life. To have a business that isn’t a job. I have no desire to help you create yourself a really good job. That’s not what I want to do. I want to. And I want to equip you to. To have a business or to take a business you have and make it even healthier and stronger and better. And I want to equip you with tools and resources and knowledge. In fact, it’s why on my my website DKNY podcast dot com. Down near the bottom, I’ve got a big giant huge purple box there. Or at least it’s purple as I’m launching this and recording this podcast. But there’s a resource bundle there, the remote work success bundle, because you’re going to be working remote. And in that, there are three things. And that remote bundle is going to be growing and I’m going to be adding things to it. So you want to go over that to DKNY podcast dot com. And down load that. Now you’ll also see a resource tab. Now that’s a page that has all kinds of resources on it. Links to services and I use and tools, books I recommend and just, just a bunch of resources. And it’s, it’s constantly growing, especially as I have new guests on and things like that. Though that page will be growing on the website. And to make sure that, you know, when there’s a new tool or resource or piece of content, you want to make sure you’re on the email list. Now, for sure. You want to subscribe to the show wherever you’re at, and turn on any notifications and stuff like that. But you want to be on the newsletter. The newsletter, I’m calling it the Digital Nomad Entrepreneur Academy because I and I’m calling that more for for myself, to be honest, so that as I’m putting content together for that newsletter and in my team and I are are pulling things together to put in there, when we see this academy, it gives us a measure to be like, is this is this piece of content we’re put in the newsletter? Is this tool we’re putting in here? Is this resource we’re putting in here? Is it really academy level? Is it going to equip people? Is it going to empower them to reach their full potential with their business? And so you want to make sure you’re subscribed to that. And the best way to do it is. Go to Disney podcast dot com and scroll down towards the bottom of any page right now and download the Remote Work Success Bundle for Digital Nomads. Now, how do you go about getting into this lifestyle? How did how do they go from being, you know, a pastor to a full time digital nomad while you’re that here in just a moment. But before I do that, I just want to say this. This episode is coming out January, actually February, and recording it in January. It’s going live February 20, 24, February 1st, 2024. And we’re currently in Costa Rica. We’re going to be in Costa Rica until April. And so if you are in Costa Rica, reach out. Let me know. We’re in San Jose. Send me an email, Eric at DNC podcasts dot com and we’ll meet up. I’ll buy you a cup of coffee. We can talk nomad ing. We can talk business wherever the conversation may lead. All right. So how did I get here? Here. Here’s the real brief story. All right, real, real brief story. I was the director of a summer camp. I did that for 15 years. And I loved it because every summer I got to recreate everything. I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and I love starting new things. And so every summer was new, and I got to start it. But the writing was on the wall for the church I was working for. I was working for a mainline denomination that was very quickly going off a wall. They were taking a long walk off a short pier. And I just looked at my wife one day and I was like, I can no longer continue to work with this denomination. I just can’t do it. They’re going nuts. And so we we began looking for an opportunity to move out. And as we did the church we were attending we were attending a large church. The executive pastor took me out for luncheon and surprised me by offering me a job. I didn’t see it coming. And so so God opened that opportunity and we jumped into it. And after being there for about a year or a year and a half, I really started realizing, wait a second, I don’t like doing the same job every day. I’m not getting the start to things. I’m an entrepreneur. My number one spiritual gift is Apostle Ship. I love starting new things. I love to inspire, equip and empower. And so I wasn’t able to get to do that there. So we set out to plant a church. So we went we moved to Virginia. We planted a church. And during that process, one day, my wife surprised me with some news that she wanted to adopt. And at that point, we had two biological children. And so we set out on the adoption journey. Fast forward a couple of years, and we now have four children, two bio children, two children through adoption. But we have four children that are children. They age their age ranges is as of the time of recording, this is 11 to 16. And that little experience traveling to Bulgaria to adopt our two children and taking our two bios children with us really kind of gave us a little bit of thirst for international travel. And we thought, well, we’ll, we’ll do some vacations and things like that and back into the life of of work. Things were going really, really good with the church. It was growing and and everything was just working the way that it should be. We were just all kinds of favor and blessing and we were being able to to bless our community. And things were going good. But just before we were not just before, but before we were able to adopt. When my wife said, Hey, I want to adopt. I was like, Holy moly, we all need some more money, you know, because pastors that we weren’t getting paid a lot and we’re going to need $50,000 to adopt. And it was important to us to adopt debt free. And I was like, What can I do to raise some more money? Well, I had learned how to build websites when I was running the summer camp. You know, back in 2000, the camp needed a website. And so I learned to make a website during the off season and the next office, the next fall when when off season came, I redesigned the website and every year I redesigned the website and learn new things and and started doing some websites for other people and things like that. And so here we are then and Virginia running the church, wanting to adopt. And I start building websites on the side for people to raise money to fund our adoption. And through that process, I got to know somebody that was giving me some coaching on web design. His name is Josh Hall. You’ll hear me talk about Josh throughout the podcast. He’s going to be a guest in an upcoming episode, but I was taking some training through Josh, some courses. He’s got phenomenal courses for web designers and he contacted me one day and I thought he was calling me to to ask me to sign to sign up for a new course he was releasing. And so I was expecting to to have to say, no, I can’t spend that money right now. And and he called to see if I wanted to buy his business like it was totally crazy, not something we had searched for. It came totally out of left field. He made he gave me he gave me a number. I took a week and thought about it and prayed on it. And I came back to him a. A week later, and I came back with a counteroffer. That was half it was half of what he wanted. And I thought I told my wife, I said, Marissa, there’s no way nobody’s going to sell the business to us at this price. And not only that, but I’m going to ask him to finance it. You know, I’m going to ask him to finance it, will pay him a percentage of profit. And that’s you know, it may take ten years, but we’re gonna pay him a percentage of profit. You know, maybe it’ll take three years. I don’t know. That’s. That’s going to be the offer. And he accepted it. He took it. I mean, it would talk about an amazing another just more this just this just amazing opportunity. And so we just we decided to do it and we bought the business. And I started to get to know the clients and the business side of things. And we begin to grow. And at that point, then we decided to start a nonprofit to leverage our business to help other families that were going through the adoption process. Again, I like to start things. So now we have a nonprofit, a church and a digital marketing agency, and the church have been going for a while and then things were good and it was exciting and we were doing things, but we were doing a lot of the same things. It wasn’t a lot of new things, new people coming to know Christ, you know, marriages getting restored and, you know, people getting healed. And it was really phenomenal stuff. Don’t get me wrong. I mean, it was absolutely I was an author all the time of what was happening because I’m not that good. I’m not that good. And most of the stuff I couldn’t do, nobody could. And so I was still in on what was happening. But I was a little bored. I was a little bored, to be honest. And that’s okay. That that’s a whole nother another topic. And we just I just I felt like this this nonprofit, this is the next thing. We’re going to do a lot of good with it. And we are. And it’s exciting. And now we’re we’re taking it and we’re doing some new things with our business. And we’re employing people in developing nations and we’re helping lift people out of poverty. And it’s just amazing what we’re getting to do with our digital marketing agency. Well, we decided to try this this living abroad thing. And so in 2020, we did a test trip January 2020 before COVID. We did a three month test trip and we said, okay, we’re going to go to we’re going to go spend about two months in Istanbul and a month in Europe, and we’re going to see how it goes. And at the end of it, we’re either going to come back to to Norfolk, Virginia, where we’re going to buy a house. We’re going to, you know, be here and do all the things you do with the house and kids and soccer and, you know, all the things we’re gonna do, all these things, and life will be good, but it’s going to be a choice. It’s going to be a choice because here’s what we noticed. And I didn’t necessarily have the words for it at the time, but we were talking to somebody about to buy a house and it was just kind of like, wait a second. This is. This is the American dream. I get it. This this is what’s next. But why does it have to be? What’s next? We were about to jump into buying a $500,000 house because that’s what people do. That’s just what’s next is what you do. It’s what you do. You get more. Buy bigger, get more, buy bigger. And and we were choosing this lifestyle. We were doing this lifestyle. And that wasn’t good enough for me unless we chose it. So we did this test trip and I’ll link to my wife’s episode on Digital Nomad Family about the test trip. We recommend anybody that’s thinking about this lifestyle do a test trip. And so I’ll link to that. I won’t I won’t put any more of it on this one. But we took a test trip and before we were back in the States, all six of us were like, This is it. This is how we want to live. And we I’m sorry, that wasn’t 2020. We adopted in 2020. I’m getting my I’m getting my trips wrong. We went to Bulgaria in 2020 to adopt and then got back from that in 2022. We took our test trip and we’ve been full time travelers ever since. We went back to the States briefly in 2022, sold almost everything we own. Put a few things in a storage unit back in Ohio close to to my parents house and Marissa’s parents. And there you go. We’ve we’ve been on the road full time. We have been all over. It’s actually from if you if you want to know more about the travel side of it. Again, that that’s more on our family stuff family of dashes is the website over there digital mad family podcast you can find that on family of dishes dot com but all of this to say as we’ve been doing this I’ve learned a lot about running my business running my business as a nomad is very different than running my my business when we were in our passport country. Now, there are some things that have changed. There are five universal processes that every business has to have. And I’m going to talk about those in the next episode. And and there are six stages that a business goes through and that most businesses go through, especially bootstrapped digital world type of businesses like I run. And a lot of people that are going to be listeners to this are obviously going to run their six stages. Now you can grow through those stages on the road once you get to stage three, once you get to stage three and in episode three, I’m going to talk about those. So these first few episodes, I’m just laying some foundational stuff that everything else I’m going to talk about is going to be built on these. All right. So if you’re listening and you’re like, Man, I’ve got so many questions about this lifestyle. I’m living it and I’m struggling. I got to figure out what’s what’s up. And we see that happen a lot. We see a lot of people don’t make it after the one year mark. You know, we’re we’re over two years in and we’re not white. We have no plans to stop any time soon. We’re absolutely loving this lifestyle. So if you’re if you’re listening, you’re like, man, I’m just kind of it’s not going well. It’s, you know, I need to talk. Or if you’re listening, you’re like, Oh, my gosh, I want to do this so bad. I’m going to do this so that I don’t know. I don’t know where to go. Go from this. I offer a one hour road mapping coaching call. Okay, it’s one hour. We jump on zoom, we quickly diagnose where you are, not in the world, but you know what what stage you’re in in this process. And then I’ll give you some next steps. Okay? And then you just take it and run from it. What? Run with it from there and implement those things. So if you’re interested in that, if that would be helpful, head over to the D and E podcast dot com and go to my coaching page. There’s a tab in the top coaching, click on it and you can sign up for a one hour right there you can see one of my calendars available. Pick your time slot, pay boom. You’re good to go now. I also offer three month coaching sprints. These big these coaching sprints work best if you’re ready to scale your business and you really want to focus on your business, those aren’t right for everybody. If if you’re if you think you’d be interested in the coaching sprint again, you can find more information on the podcast or on the website. This is the podcast. You find more information on the website. All right. Now to wrap things up, I want to share a. Leadership tip. I’m going to do this at the end of every episode, and here’s why. At the end of every episode of Digital Nomad Entrepreneur, I want to share a leadership tip. And the reason I want to do this is because of today’s leadership tip. And this is this comes from John Maxwell. And he says that everything rises and falls on leadership and he’s 100% right. Your leadership is the absolute defining capacity for your business lead. Better have a better business lead better have a healthier family lead better lead yourself better. Have a healthier you. Whether it’s whether it’s you you’re wanting to see grow your family, your business, whatever it is, it comes down to leadership. Leadership is at the core of all of it. So that’s why if I was thinking, if there was one thing that I could really help people with, it’s learning better leadership. It’s growing and developing as a leader. And unfortunately, this simply isn’t talked about enough in the digital space. A lot of people talk about leadership in the church world. I mean, we we there’s so much information in the church world about leadership. There is so much information for leadership for companies, for for business owners of, you know, businesses of, you know, half a million or more, you know, an annual revenue. Well, with big teams, you know, if you’ve got five, ten, 15, 25 employees or more, there’s all kinds of leadership stuff there. But in digital spaces, we tend to be solo producers or leading really small teams. And so there’s just not enough here about leadership in this space. So I want to help make a difference, and I’m going to share with you a leadership tip at the end of every week. So today’s tip, everything rises and falls on leadership learning. Leadership is a skill. You can be a better leader tomorrow than you are today and thereby get you help your business grow you grow your family, get healthier. So many things from it. I’m a friend. That’s it. You’ve made it to the end of episode one. I really appreciate it. And I just want to say this. I’m already looking forward to reading your review. That’s right. If you’ve made it this far, I would love for you to leave a five star review. Now, if you don’t have a five star review in you to leave because you’re like, Dude, this podcast doesn’t deserve five stars. Well, I’m not really sure why you’re still listening to this point, but also then email me, email Erica Danny podcast dot com. Gimme some feedback, I’m open. I want to hear from you like reach out, let me know. I want to grow, I want to get better. I want this podcast to be beneficial. I want it to be a tool that inspires, equips and empowers people. And so if you don’t have anything nice to say, email me. Just email me. You’re not doing the world any good by putting it in a review. You know, it’s that’s gossip, you know, that’s just being a troll. So if you got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. If you’ve got some constructive criticism, let me know. But if you’re like, nah, this was good. I mean, you know, not the best I’ve heard, but good guys, it’s first. It’s his first one. It’s good. I would love a five star review. I look forward to reading it and an upcoming podcast episode. All right. Well, until next time, I want you to do me a favor. I want you go out there and chase the big dream lead with courage and safe travels to the.