Nomading Nerds is a new travel blog created by my wife and I, born from our desire to travel the world. We always go on these 3-10 day vacations, once or twice a year, and feel completely exhausted when we get back. Not to mention the amount of work waiting for us when we return. We wanted to see EVERYTHING and never had enough time to really enjoy it the way we would like.
This should sound familiar to almost all Americans. We are told to go to college, work your ass off, buy a house, have a kid, and save for retirement so MAYBE you can go enjoy travel when we are too old to walk. Most companies give you very few days off, do not pay enough, and work you to the breaking point. We STRONGLY disagree with this pre-designed plan for our lives. I wanted to create my own destiny.
The new goal was "Location Independence." Not to be confused with "Working from home." Location Independence is working from anywhere.
This blog will be a mix of:
1) Becoming Location Independent (Expat or Digital Nomad)
2) Travel adventures and costs
3) Film locations with interactive maps
4) Art from around the world
5) Toy stores around the world
7) General geeky stuff
Automation was always the path forward. Since the day Display Geek was founded I knew that I couldn't possibly work a full time office job while also juggling this passion project. I assumed one day the two would meet in a fight to the death if all goes well. That is exactly what happened. 6 months before I planned to leave my full time job, they made the decision for me. At that point I knew there was no going back to another corporate office job. I was ALL IN and making less than half of my salary.
This phrase was not in my vocabulary 6 months ago. Although I was working towards it without even realizing it. While I was working 10-12 hour days on my business, I started thinking about what were my biggest pain points and time consumers?
Where was I spending most of my time? Easy... packing orders. Packing orders took up about 60% or more of my day. I think it was also the main cause of my sleep deprivation because I would roll around thinking about all the things I wanted to accomplish, but couldn't because I had to pack for half my day. "Isn't that a good problem?" Yes, it is for the business, but not for my body. It was hard to appreciate the orders because every order was a reminder of tomorrow's busy day. Clearly I needed to work on gratitude as well, but I was stressed out.
Solution? Pre-packaged products, Fulfillment centers, Automation with Partners.
What affected my mood negatively? Easy... customer service. Since the company was my baby and I was stressed to the bone, I took everything personal. That was my biggest weakness by far. When your livelihood is on the line, the same conversations can really eat at you. About 95% of the time it was something out of my control. The manufacturer messed something up, the shipping people were careless or they lost packages, the customer did not read a single word on the listing. This is what I woke up to every morning. Rarely were they polite and they would affect my mood for the day.
Solution? Updated FAQ page, Auto responders, Morning walks, Audio books, Podcasts, not checking email when I open my eyes and until I am officially "working." Virtual Assistant in the future.
What caused the most distraction? Easy... the store front. While I GREATLY appreciated all the customers and friends that stopped by every day, I was starting to realize I was the problem. It is not uncommon for a simple visit to turn into a 2 hour rant about just about anything on my mind. Most people say that is what they loved about the shop, the conversations. The issue was obvious, I am always distracting myself and hanging out way too long. The shop was also something I had to maintain, clean, price check, and so much more. It was supposed to be an online business and I let that get away from me.
Solution? Closed the store. Distractions and overhead are now gone completely.
I am currently writing this from Second Nature in Pacific Beach San Diego. I have accomplished what I said I would and am trying to get used to it. So far it is the smartest and best decision I have ever made. Please follow us on social media @NOMADINGNERDS and stay tuned for more updates on our blog NOMADINGNERDS.COM
~ Sean (President & Founder of Display Geek, Inc.)
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