Marcus is a digital nomad and online entrepreneur from Berlin. Together with his girlfriend Felicia he founded the first conference for digital nomads, taking place in summer 2015 in Berlin, the DNX Festival. Beside organizing the Digital Nomad Festival they offer several services like website coding, online marketing consulting and personal branding. They also run the German backpacking & adventure travel blog Travelicia where they publish articles and videos about their life on the road.
When and how did you start with remote work?
We worked in different startups in Berlin before quitting our jobs to become self employed and do our own things. Three years ago we started to travel and work remotely. We began to build up a team of freelancers quickly to scale our business.
We love the bootstrapping & lean startup approach and started all of our businesses with a minimum viable product and tested it in the market.
If you want to become a digital nomad you should start to read everything on that topic you could find in the internet. Next step is to be honest to yourself if you are willing to have that lifestyle for 100%. Hint: It is not about sitting at the beach with your laptop and sipping a cocktail.
If you have that clear start to connect and talk with people who are already living that lifestyle to get into the right mindset, there are many free Facebook groups on that lifestyle.
We started the lifestyle as digital nomads to become location independent and set us free. We both had the feeling that we could give so more value to the world than just sitting in an office from 9 to 5 and work for someone else dreams.
When we were ready to quit and started our new life from zero our creativity and power really exploded. The feedback from the people, and fun of working on your own stuff motivates us every single day and we would never trade that lifestyle for anything in the world.
What is your hardware a software setup?
We both use a MacBook Air, iPhone and Kindle when we work and travel the world. We organize our priorities and work collaborative on our projects with Google Drive. We share files with our team in Dropbox and make Calls with clients and partners via Skype.
We are doing regular public Google Hangouts on Air with our DNX community and share them on the DNX YouTube Channel. For not getting distracted on the most important task of the day in the morning we use the tool Self Control.
I use the new tool Inbox by Gmail for emails and tasks. For transforming our daily routines into habits we use the App Lift.
What is your daily/weekly schedule?
We do not distinguish between work and life. We define our lifestyle as a holistic system where you do not need work life balance anymore. The target is to be in balance all the time without having too much peaks. We are every day at our computers and love what we are doing.
We have some daily routines and try to bring structure into our life:
- We set the alarm in the morning to start early into the day.
- Email and social media is not allowed for the first 60 to 90 minutes of the day not to get into the reaction mode right when you awake.
- Before breakfast I do my daily sports program with the 7-minute iPhone app Seven.
- After having breakfast together we do 10 to 20 minutes meditation with the super useful app Headspace to train your mind .
- Then we start with the most important task into the day.
- After doing this task we check mails and social media messages to react on the important ones and leave the tiny tasks and mails for the evening.
My daily routine also involves learning Spanish every day for 30 minutes and finish work latest at 10 pm. In the evening we decide on the most important task for the next day and got into bed before 12 pm.
In summer we are in our homebase Berlin and go on the road for shorter trips for some weeks around the world. In winter time we leave Germany and go on the road until spring. We change spots whenever we have the feeling to go on. That happens normally every few weeks. We are both beach bums and love the sea to go kite surfing or diving.
We have the freedom to decide to take a break from the notebook whenever we need some nature or sports to get creative again.
What are your 3 favorite countries, destinations, coworking spaces, books and blogs?
TOP 3 countries:
- The Philippines
TOP 3 destinations:
- El Nido, Philippines
- Caye Caulker, Belize
- Koh Lanta, Thailand
TOP 3 Coworking spaces:
TOP 3 Books:
- The Art of Non-Conformity - Chris Guillebeau
- The $100 Startup - Chris Guillebeau
- Losing My Virginity - Richard Branson
TOP 3 Blogs:
Essential stuff you travel with?
I use a backpack from Quechua for under 50$ and it still works for more than 2 years traveling. I protect my MacBook with a cover from XiRRiX and use my Berlin Elance-oDesk Hipster Bag when going to coworking spaces. Securing our stuff on the road we use the 20l Pacsafe. You could lock it anywhere.
What are the business & personal advantages to working remotely?
Working remotely and living the Digital Nomad lifestyle as a couple is not common. That lifestyle brings us huge personal and business advantages: We could travel the world together while doing things that are sustainable and create value.
We love to connect and help people and modeled that passion into the DNX Festival. We want to change lives and trigger people begin to live location independent.
Our vision is, that more and more people live location independent and free. We believe that meeting other cultures makes us personally richer and helps to make the world a better place.