Funny story about how I met Ian. While backpacking through South East Asia in 2014, I met up with my friend Anysa, whom I met through a travel group we are in online. She happened to bring her childhood friend Ian, and we all ended up hitting it off!
Ian has been working for himself online for some time now, and his story is inspiring for those who have felt stuck and wanted to have a “Location Independent” lifestyle! Check out our interview below!
- Hi, Ian! Please introduce yourself to the world! Who you are and what exactly “do you do”?
Hey. My name is Ian Fernando, and I am an online entrepreneur. I set up companies online, create products, and produce sales all online. For example, all those Facebook ads you see, I bid on those placements and make the user click and buy. Magic.
- Tell us about your journey to this current place in your life. What was the deciding factor that made you want to go into business for yourself?
Well, I stumbled on the marketing side by accident. I was kicked out of my parents home and had to work three jobs to pay a 900 monthly rent, and I was even delayed by three months at one point. I asked myself, is this ‘real life’? Is this the American Dream? Is this what I want to do the rest of my life. I simple just asked myself these struggling questions, and I said NO to each one of them and decided to change my present to advance into the future.
Business came later and entrepreneurship just grew. It wasn’t a deciding factor, it happened by accident, and I think that’s the best way to know that you are built for this business world, because honestly not a lot of people are meant for it.
It has allowed me to be where I am at currently, traveling the world and enjoying life when I want to.
- What would you tell someone that is in a position (wanting to quit their job, start a company, travel the world, etc.) where they desire to make such a huge jump? What would you say to encourage them?
Put your position in WANT. If you want it, you will get it. That is the best advice. As I stated, I WANTED a better life. I WANTED just to have one job. Eventually, that one job became none. Give yourself encouraging goals. Don’t think about making a million dollars, think about how to quit your job. Can you replace your salary FIRST? Can you double that salary? Can you make that yearly salary a monthly salary? The biggest mistake is giving you an audacious goal that isn’t achievable in a short amount of time.
This causes a lot of physiological neurons to fire in your brain, and it decides to give you happy hormones or bad hormones. You obviously always want happy so giving yourself small goals is better.
The NEED to quit a job should be WANT. Our generation likes to live free, but we NEED money to eat. NEEDING and WANTING are two things that differentiate itself in different ways.
- You brand yourself as the Traveling Boss. Do you have employees? How do you manage them when you are essentially a Digital Nomad?
Yes, I use to have 20 employees back in NJ. Before that, I had five remote employees in the Philippines. Now I am regrouping my employees base in the Philippines and settling on getting an office.
It is pretty easy to manage remote employees because they all have a goal. BUT it is based on the type of employee as well and the project they are doing.
I eventually got a manager to handle my remote team as I was overwhelmed with the tasks given. I decided just to have one point of contact who is responsible for getting the tasks done. This made it easier just to communicate with one person who understands the overall goal.
- Speaking of “Digital Nomad”, what does that phrase mean regarding how you live your life? What are the benefits of taking your business wherever you go around the world?
Digital Nomad for me means, living with a laptop anywhere. Whether its down the street in different states or the deserts of Abu Dabi. Having no real permanent place is a digital nomad, I know as I have always lived somewhere every year. Always moving.
The best part of what digital nomads do is have the freedom to work anywhere and anytime. I took three months not working to travel south-east Asia, then settled back in Malaysia to catch up on some work for three weeks, then started my travels again. Now I am settled on growing a team and will be here for five months.
The ease of just working when needed is the best. Actual freedom.
- To be transparent, what are some of the challenges of being a “Digital Nomad”?
Internationally, a lot. Understanding visa situations. Trying to find a permanent place to stay without having a bill under your name. Trying to learn the language. Most painful part, the Internet. I think these are the challenges of a digital nomad.
- Creating and building online businesses is pretty much the wave of the future regarding business and creating a freedom-based lifestyle. What are three pieces of advice you can give to someone who wants to start creating an online business?
One, do it – make that decision. Two, build foundation – understand the basics. Three, Execute – Hustle. These are very basic, but a lot of people don’t understand there are such basics. Everyone wants to make money and be free, but no one intends to put in the work. That is like trying to run without understanding how to walk. You have to do make a decision that you are taking a risk.
Everyone hates risk, it’s losing and as natural as it sounds – we all hate losing. Human nature, but without losers, there wouldn’t be winners.
Understand the building blocks of what you want to do. If it’s creating a blog on politics, make sure you are into politics and know how to setup a blog. If you want to create an ebook on how to jump higher, then you should be aware how the muscles in your legs work.
Hustle, the most important of them all. An idea is just an idea. It’s the execution that counts. You should network, understand, realize, and venture into unfamiliar waters. You must be willing to drown so you can fight for air.
- From my personal experience, many people do not understand what it means to have an Online Business, and would argue that we are not real entrepreneurs, perhaps like, a brick and mater business. How do you handle naysayers?
Entrepreneurs are people that create change. An online business is just that an online business. Bloggers are entrepreneurs because we provide advice, we create ebooks, we create multiple sites, we have to understand our demographics, we have to find traffic. It becomes a job, and when you have a full-time job that encompasses everyone’s full-time job, then you are a hustler.
I do not play no mind, remember we are all different. We don’t think like everyone, and everyone can’t comprehend our thoughts. Like I said before there have to be losers if there are winners.
- How do you stay motivated to continue growing your business?
My goal is never to have a job, never to sit down and clock in. That is my daily motivation. I do not need any other motivation than that. I realize this is what I enjoy, and this is what I need to do to make sure every day, I am not looking for a job.
- What are three must read books for every entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur?
I want to say read the following books: “The Thank You Economy” and “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuck. The last book probably the “Fifth Discipline” by Peter Senge. These books are about audience hustle and perseverance.
- Tell the folks where they can find you online!
You can easily find me at IanFernando.com which is my main blog. TravelingBoss.com my traveling blog and my social media profiles are twitter.com/ianternet and Fb.me/IANternetMedia and Youtube.com/user/IANtrepreneur.
Do you aspire to be a traveling boss like Ian and me?
What is holding you back?
Let me know in the comments!
Ian Fernando & Being a Traveling Online Boss!