As a creative person, writing and having a blog to be able to express myself is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. But for one reason or another, it has always been a project that I’ve delayed. Again and again. Now I know that it was because I didn’t have a real and true reason to start it. But now, I do have one:
I’m becoming a Nomad Indie Maker with the objective of being profitable and abandoning my part-time freelancing activities as soon as it happens.
For those who are not around the IT world or are not familiar with those concepts, a Nomad Indie Maker is a person who has the freedom to work and live from wherever he wants and remains independent when creating and producing things, not being part of large, industrialised businesses. In my case, for now, it translates into creating digital products and services, which are usually, but are not limited to, mobile apps and websites.
I want to achieve financial independence and retire early—before I’m 40, 10 years from now. I want to help the planet by reducing pollution and greenhouse effect gases. I want to build digital products people love. And I want to do this while nomading and travelling around the world discovering amazing people and cultures. Becoming a Nomad Indie Maker is my way of pursuing all those goals.
I know, I know. It’s a very BOLD statement. How to do it? I don’t know. Yet. But there’s one clear thing I know I have to do to achieve those goals: building products, releasing them, testing them, improving them, scaling them and, of course, earning money with them. The problem is that usually, creative minds jump from project to project not being capable of finalising them. Why? I have no idea. But that happens to me, and to a lot of people, too. In that point is where this blog appears, following the initiatives of other successful people I’ve been lucky to meet or know about in the road and who inspire me. (Andrey, Mustachian Post, Levels)
Through this blog, I’m going to report to other people my progress towards financial independence creating digital products—although I mainly think about people I know, friends and family. This recurrent report will maintain me accountable for the process, it will have an impact on my motivation to do what I am committed to do, and it deliberately will add more pressure on me. You know those kinds of things you would never do by yourself, but you do when you are with your friends for being the best or in front of the girl/guy you want to impress? This method uses somehow the same principles, but in a good way. I’ll post my progress or updates in a clear and completely transparent way so that I can remain accountable for my progress thanks to other people. Yes, I’ll talk about fears and failures and yes, I’ll talk about money, too. A LOT. I’ll also show all my accountability. Welcome Voyeurs 👀.
Why did I call the blog Nomad Samurai? Long-story-short: I joined my cousin in an event where completely strangers had one-to-one talks with another stranger about their life and, afterwards, give each other a book as a present. My partner gave me a very nice illustrated piece of The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, and wrote a note calling me Nomad Samurai. I’ve always had ways of being and thinking somehow related to Asian culture, Zen Buddhism and Taoism, and I was thinking already about this blog. I researched what the Samurai part could mean apart from the typical stereotypes—one day I may explain more about it. And that’s it.
So, if this is about fulfilment, happiness, discovering the world and new cultures, helping people, helping the planet and so on, why financial independence and money are so important? There are two main reasons. First, if you can do all of that—or just living in today’s world—without money, please tell me how. Second:
Money gives you the only thing money can’t buy. Time.
I don’t care about buying fancy new clothes. I don’t care about buying a Ferrari, or even a second-hand old Beetle. Although if you decide to give me an Aston Martin as a present, no doubt I’ll accept it, I’ll sell it after two or three rides, and I’ll invest all that money. I, as almost all millennials, value experiences. I feel that possessing things don’t give me happiness. I want to experience things and share those experiences with people. I could buy a fancy new gas bbq, but if I don’t have time to actually prepare a barbecue with my friends or family, it will just accumulate dust. Don’t get me wrong, some things are better, important or necessary to have.
So, from my perspective, people don’t need to have many things to be happy. People need to experience them. And for experiencing and truly enjoying them in a non-Instagram way—mobile phone in hand, picture and ✔—you need time. Time that you don’t have if you’re already selling your time in a steady job or freelancing for some bucks. And even if you have a huge hourly rate, time doesn’t scale. In the opposite side, you can get that time by having the proper investments, business, products or whatever you want that scales producing money for you without you doing anything. So, don’t be a fool:
Size matters and money is important.
Honestly, being accountable for my progress and my commitment is the main objective of this blog, and being forced to publish my progress will add pressure on me to finalise and release stuff. But, in the future, I may explain what precisely some of the concepts or things I talk about mean to me since every person has a different perspective of what exactly everything means. I may talk about other things that helped me, are helping me or I think will help me in achieving my goals. They may help you, as well. Or, maybe, I don’t talk about any of that. It strongly depends on the feedback I receive. The last thing I want to do is to lose my precious time in something that has no value at all. Also, I don’t pretend to monetise any of this. But in the same case as the Aston Martin, if it happens, I’ll accept it with no doubts.
Why the change? And why now?
This change is something I’ve been considering for a long time, but all the experiences I’ve had in the last five months in which I’ve been forced to live in Vietnam during COVID-19 pandemic and all my reflections about them convinced me to move into this direction. To be honest, until some days ago, I was still improving my design portfolio, applying to some job offers and having interviews for finding more clients and fill the rest of the payment slip. 🤑
Looking back at my life, I also had another similar experience roughly three years ago. When I was 26, I was working in underbau—a top design studio in Spain—, I was titular teacher in the university, and I also had some freelance projects. I was earning roughly 2.5k net per month in Spain with a clear projection of growth, and I had my life solved. With 2.5k per month, in Spain and a lot of parts of the world, you can live really well. In that nice situation, I decided to quit my two jobs and pursue the dream of living abroad. I booked a one-way ticket to Zürich without having a job. I have to thank my good friend Iván for letting me sleep in his house the first months. The hole in my pocket would have been enormous. 💸
So, as many other people do, and more during quarantine, I’ve been thinking a lot about what is happiness and all that stuff. Thousands of books can be written about that so I won’t go deeper. But during this period, I’ve always had two main questions around my head.
First, why so much people I’ve seen here are so happy? And even more than western people? Although this is a 100% subjective feeling, it has been proved that much of the population in western countries don’t feel happy. Whatever happiness is for every person. Why these girls in the picture and their families—who are poor, with only one toy to play, dirty, semi-isolated in a village in the middle of the mountains, without more food than plain rice and eggs—are so happy? I’m not saying, in any case, we should adopt that way of living. Essential health services, better communications or infrastructures such as basic water and electricity will help them a lot in improving their quality of life. But they are very happy having almost nothing.
Second, why in a period in which I got stuck in a developing country without real resources to handle a pandemic in the middle of the global COVID-19 sanitary crisis; being alarmed because my mother, grandmother and aunt were in risk of having COVID-19 due to a false positive result of the virus in my grandmother—the three of them inside the group of risk for being old—; suffering quarantine time, which was hard for everyone; my brother waiting to have a kidney transplanted from my mother for a condition I have to continuously check due to risk of also suffering it; losing 60% of my income from one day to another —thank that I didn’t lose everything—; having to find someone for subletting my apartment in Zürich, what in case of not achieving it would have meant adding an amount of 1.800CHF expenses per month—approx. 1.700 € in today’s currency exchange—; Swiss authorities demanding me to going back for not losing my Swiss residence and working permit and, therefore, not being able to receive my salary; Spanish authorities demanding me to solve taxation problems providing I live in Switzerland—something that I’ve already done many times in the same year with them, welcome to Spain!—; having with me only the things you can put in a 28 litres bag... Why, going back to the question, with so much uncertainty, problems and risks I’m in the happiest moment of my life?
I have no idea about the first question. For the second, the only thing I can answer—and I’m not sure about it—is because I’m more aligned and close to my values, goals and why than ever.
So, I decided it.
I have to thank Anastasiya for telling me that I was part of her trigger and inspiration to start and try her own new business. That sentence was the trigger for writing this right now. I love circular and loop moments.
I’m excited. I’m scared. Even if I’ve been working in other companies and startups designing and developing digital products for the last years, now that I’m on my own, I have no idea where should I begin. Will I know how to develop a solution completely? Do I have enough development knowledge? Can I learn all the things I don’t know fast enough? Will I have a good enough idea? Will people want to pay for it? Will it eventually work? Will I fail? 90% of startups fail... Am I a failure if I fail? Will I lose all my money if I leave my freelancing work before became profitable and everything goes wrong? What the fuck am I going to do? What the fuck am I doing? Why can’t I just accept the amazing things I have and live a pleasant life? This is like being on the edge of a cliff... And I fucking love it. What is the worst-case scenario, anyway?
Nothing works → I lose my clients → I have to eat spaghetti in every meal → I lose all my money → I have to return home (hi mom! 👋) → With time I find a new job.
Apart from the spaghetti side, doesn’t look so bad.
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This blog is a tool to keep me in the pace of creating stuff and openly sharing my journey. If I don’t make progress, you can point me and tell me: GO FUCKING DO IT! 👉