Tomas Laurinavicius: Lessons From 5 Years As A Digital Nomad - Marketing, Habits, Asking Questions, And Finding Fulfillment

In this episode, Tomas Laurinavicius joins us to talk about his life as an entrepreneur, writer, lifestyle designer, and content marketer. Tomas tells us how he balanced making an online income with traveling and shares his lessons from running his business over a 5-year journey through 50 countries.

Tomas Laurinavicius
Tomas Laurinavicius
August 3, 2020

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In this episode, Tomas Laurinavicius joins us to talk about his life as an entrepreneur, writer, lifestyle designer, and content marketer. Tomas tells us how he balanced making an online income with traveling and shares his lessons from running his business over a 5-year journey through 50 countries.

Throughout the interview, we cover his personal background, the basics of content marketing, how he stayed disciplined while traveling, and discussed ideas for new online businesses.

Some quick facts about Tomas:

  • Is an avid reader, check out his suggested reading list here.
  • Just started a new company to connect content writers with work.
  • Has interviewed Ariana Huffington.
  • Is published in Forbes, TIME, Fast Company, HuffPost, The Next Web, and many more.
  • His three superpowers are self discipline, writing, and learning fast.

If you would like to learn more about Tomas, check out his website here.

If you would like to check out his new company, Content Writing Jobs you can do so here.

If you would like to reach out to us, the best way to do so is on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

If you enjoyed this episode please share it with a friend.

Last, please take a minute to leave us an honest review and rating on iTunes. They really help us out when it comes to the ranking of the show.

Thanks for listening!

Special thanks to Alice McGowan for editing!

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Transcript (courtesy of Audiograph)

Episode Transcript

You are listening to episode 27 of The Louis and Kyle Show with Tomas Laurinavicius


So I think in our world we have this huge problem where you know like we're learning business from people who are teachers by default there are teachers who teach business and best business people they don't teach because they're busy doing business so you never understand like why they're successful how they are operating and you know like what's the deal with them so there's huge opportunity for people as well for for us to you know like i'm a writer by default but if I master another skill as design I can write about design from designer's perspective


Hello and welcome to The Louis and Kyle Show an interview podcast where Louis and I document and share our journey to improve and learn more about entrepreneurship investing and health by having deep conversations and interviews with incredible mentors we want to share what we learn with you all Louis who do we have on the Show today hey Kyle in this interview we talked to Tomas Laurinavicius a lithuanian lifestyle blogger and content marketer who's someone i've been a long time reader of I was extremely excited to have this opportunity to speak with him and pick his brain as they say about his thoughts on habits and routines the books that he reads the productivity software that he uses his opinions on being very structured versus kind of being more free flowing in life as well as his lessons from being essentially digital nomad for five years it was an awesome conversation he went way deep right off the bat which was awesome and kind of sent us for a wild ride which ended up leading to a really thought-provoking and worthwhile conversation I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did with that we are going to cut to the interview all right hey Tomas thank you so much for joining us thank you so much for having me yeah i've been uh reader of your work for I mean since the beginning of my freshman year in college two to three years ago so this is uh really exciting for me so i'm really excited to have this conversation with you well I appreciate I appreciate it and uh did you do you remember how how did you find was it was medium was it a newsletter what was it honestly it might have been just on google it might be based on searching for something specific like yeah either a book list or a summary of a book or like a listicle about productivity tools something like that believe it or not that's probably how I first found you Louis went through a life a life transformation his freshman year of college and I don't know about that he was doing a lot of search terms related around productivity so i'm sure that it okay somewhere around there yeah uh so from what i've read and seen from all your your blogging in your newsletters that you've had a pretty incredible journey over the past three four five years over 50 countries in five years if I have that right so from the outside it's kind of hard to explain what you've done for a career for work so i'm going to let you answer that question when you meet a new person how do you answer that question about what you do or what you've done I don't want to jump too deep into into you know like philosophizing about it but I got really like tired of traveling and you know hearing the same thing over and over again because in the end I i don't really care you know like what people do or where they're from because once you tell me you know like oh i'm from alabama or i'm from arizona or whatever I instantly have some kind of like preconceptions you know like some kind of stereotypes about the person or the place or you know like just any kind of like pre-made you know like bias that's this person is this or that so so I usually try not to even introduce myself you know like someone just asked me like so what do you do and i'm like I like strawberries and they're like oh this guy is weirdo so they just you know like they walk away but but yeah like but generally you know like traveling maybe we we can talk more about like the the you know like the good and bad about travel but up until recently I mostly I was doing content marketing for you know like the professionally professional part and uh to pay the bills and get uh capital for my own projects and then until recently I was doing it almost full time and uh right now i'm doing like half time is content marketing consulting and freelance writing and other part is focusing on my own projects so I still run my my newsletter which is uh monthly right now live design and then we just recently Launched well I i kind of like built it myself a job board for conor writers it's called kind of writing jobs and then I just realized yeah it's just it's just going to take too much time uh just to run it myself so I teamed up with my friend and he's a he's a co-founder right now so so my focus is split into into two parts and in between I i constantly you know like trying different things and we're developing a couple of apps uh with my brother he's a an ios developer here in lithuania so yeah I would say like half of the times professionally doing like content marketing consulting and then other parts are just uh really playing with different projects that most of the time really increase my value as a consultant sure can you define content marketing for us it's not everyone's familiar with what that is right I think everyone has like their own definition and the the one that I like is you know like I i like to compare it with blogging where blogging is kind of like you know like your your journal your your kind of like a diary where you can just uh easily express yourself with no real end goal some people you know like they're professional bloggers who do it for money but there are people like like I do sometimes just I just want to express myself because I feel it's fulfilling or I feel that I need to get out you know like some ideas from my head and sometimes these ideas help other people so in blogging there's no like clear goal where in content marketing I feel it has to have a specific endpoint so you're not just doing it just to have it you know presence online you're doing it to increase sales or increase traffic but but generally you're you're doing it to get your target audience to go through the funnel so final customer journey or customer experience whatever you call it so it's just about building an asset that works you know like passively it basically serves your business to to make more sales or more traffic and what I like about kind of marketing the most when you compare it to paid advertising is that it compounds so you don't have to worry about doing it all over again and paying for it because you know like once you stop paying for ads on facebook or adwords your traffic stops and your sales drop where with content marketing you can take advantage of organic search that increases all the time and you don't have to do it all over again so that's a very complex and long answer to that I think it's great with content marketing are you serving clients like you know they give you an end goal and then you creatively find a path to that or are you doing it for your own you know something that you control like so I like in in the recent years I was doing very very different things and kind of marketing is just like digital marketing is a huge huge topic and counter marketing is a small part of it but I was doing a lot of outreach and link building and I did some pr as well and then email marketing automation and I had clients for for different things but I like the most something that I can control so for example link building or pr is very outside of my control zone so I can you know like spend 100 hours a month but the outcome is is not fixed or is not predictable because you know like one month you can land five interviews or five placements where at the month you may land 20. if you focus on content production that's what I do mostly or strategy and production so most of the time I would offer a strategy so for example you come to me and you say look we have a drop drop shipping site and we're selling organic bamboo bags in in the united states for example so we get bags from costa rica and mexico and we sell to united states so I would say okay the strategy we need to figure out what is your customer so we would do you know like a short kind of a brainstorm and and workshop to figure out what's the target audience then figure out what are the pain points what are the expectations and try to understand the customer journey or the the sales funnel and then for every phase of that sales funnel we would create different uh pieces of content so the easiest like very simplified uh funnel that I like to use is information education and then solution so information would be you know like just someone is not even aware of these uh bamboo bags so you would just say you know like these are top 10 companies in the world that millennials are going crazy and these are actually helping you know like to build a sustainable future or whatever so very very kind of like kind of newsy buzzfeed type of article that's you know like easily shareable and people are just curious or some kind of a listicle or whatever and then in the middle would be education you know like would be something more about talking about like okay plastic is actually killing not just our you know like environment but your lungs or I don't know something your food and then you would educate more and in that education phase you would make them more aware of the problem and actual solution but you you are not really pushing that much so at this point it's all these like how to type of articles so how to you know like to make your own bag from stuff that you have at home or whatever or how to reduce plastic consumption this year so something along those lines and then inside the education phase you make the solution more present and then the bottom of the funnel is really talking about the the benefits of your product and you know like where you can get it and pushing a bit a bit more to the sale so so that would be you know like the whole process for strategy and for these different topics you know like right now we're just like theoretically talking about it but I would look at actual data and actual keywords what people are searching for and sometimes you're surprised what people are searching for because as a marketer I have you know like this understanding oh they're going to be just looking for this and this and and that but most of the time you know like the language or the angle is completely different and just by looking at what people are searching for it's not really about like getting you know like the biggest or like the most popular keywords because it's it's hard to dominate these keywords but it's about like finding what specific questions are people asking and trying to find if there are any existing good answers to these questions so most of the time if the question is very specific the results are going to be from like social media sites like reddit or linkedin or twitter or whatever and there's there's a huge opportunity because you can see that there's not a single you know like uh dedicated blog post or an article or a landing page dedicated to answer specifically that question so one part of the strategy would be you know like just going with the client and through customer journey and looking at the data and then after that uh putting that data into strategy and saying you know like okay we're gonna write five articles a month or five a week targeting uh this part of the funnel this part of the funnel and this part and this is something that I can control so I can focus and I can provide a strategy and then at the same time I can focus on writing or you know like finding expert writers in bamboo in this case bags or whatever or or sustainable fashion and these writers can you know like charge per word then I can charge per article per word or per hour for my clients and that's something more predictable is that how my my search system would look uh up until like recently because before that it would be very scattered they would say oh we want some you know like links or you know like some guest posting or whatever so i'll just jump on whatever they're asking and this is really killing productivity especially if you're a solo fan or a freelancer it's a huge time waster because every time you're doing custom work you can already use the the templates the processes and the workflows that you have built and you know like every time if you need to find new contractors subcontractors it's taking a lot of time well that's a pretty good crash course in being a content marketing consultant and all that's involved in the funnel building process and the writing process and the constructing it as a repeatable uh businessman we've gotten a little ahead of ourselves and what we kind of intended uh and that's kind of my fault for asking those more detailed questions but we're still interested in kind of starting more towards the beginning of you know when you first got exposed to the idea of lifestyle design because we kind of jumped right into the niche you found as a successful business to run remotely but if we can kind of scale back to the beginning and talk about your first time you're exposed to the concept of lifestyle design and start there okay i'm i'm not really sure when you know like when when it clicked but I think it was really powerful to see the an old interview with that with steve jobs where he's talking about you know like the the moment you realize that you can influence the world you can you know like make changes to it I don't remember exactly you know in the video but it's like you touch the world and something comes out yeah like yeah it's dynamic yeah right right right so so I think that that video was for me like and I watched it like when I discovered it I think it's from like 80s 90s something it's very old but I watched it like 10 15 times I think the first time because I think the first time I saw it I felt like well there's something but I still cannot grasp what what he's saying and then I i kept watching and watching and watching and watching and then I felt yeah it's easy for you to say you're steve jobs like you know you build this multi-billion dollar empire and you know like you basically change the world and I think that moment when when I discovered that video I felt there is something I still don't understand but I want to figure out because what I feel or or think he's saying uh it's probably you know like it's it's not the answer to life but it's basically something very very powerful that I want to figure out and and use my advantage so I think lifestyle design is very it can be very selfish as well I think yeah most of people are quite selfish because they are interested in you know like designing the best life for themselves but that's just human nature and I don't think you know like you only succeed by by succeeding yourself I think if you help other people to succeed you build a better society for yourself and you know like just the compound effects happens and then it benefits everyone but yeah I think that was the the beginning of lifestyle design for myself just kind of like this you know like mindset shift that life might not be what I think it is and there are probably many many things that I can change and I think he i'm not sure if it was the same video when he said you know like everything you you see around was built by people normally no smarter by by you so that was what I was about to say is that right that's itself like changed my mindset and put me on a path that I wasn't on before it's just like everything around you it was a choice by someone before you that was not any smarter than you are it makes you look at everything different one thing that you said earlier though that I just wanted to touch on come back to a lot of what you're talking about really flies in the face of you know the average nine to five rat race mentality and one of the things that really flies in the face faces you said that when people ask you what you do you like to say I like strawberries you know but when you're talking to somebody that's in that mentality they'll be like oh well i'm the vice president of first american bank and like talk about it like that it's just funny how directly opposite your answer to it is so for me I i had so I think it's also part of lifestyle design is increasing your self-awareness and really knowing your your own like strengths and your own worth again like I don't want to touch too many topics because it might get confusing but I think meditation was the main thing that really allowed me to understand you know like the broader term of lifestyle design for myself you know like everyone has their their own definition for some people it's sorry it's private jets it's it's living in on on bali or california or or doing you know concert or and huge gigs becoming famous whatever and without meditation I would be still chasing all these goals and most of these goals are very unachievable for you know like most people and I was just listening to to eric barker's book it's called barking up barking up the wrong tree eric barker so so he's saying that you know like we're sold on this idea that you can become anyone an astronaut a rock star a superstar doctor surgeon whatever but in reality like you're not destined for that like the odds are against you and it's you know like one in 100 million maybe so so your chances are very slim and the earlier you understand that your chances at this thing is are are very slim you can look at you know like very realistic options that you have so being very you know like optimistic and saying like i'm gonna do my best i'm gonna build a business to sustain myself my family and you know like help communities and causes that I care about this is pretty realistic and optimistic and you have pretty huge hearts but if you are you know like five foot five or whatever you cannot you know like just expect like i'm gonna be i'm gonna be on an nba all-star like it's probably not gonna happen like your chances are extremely extremely low so in this case you are optimistic but very unrealistic or if you have you know like if you are born with with uh with some uh some bad health and you say like oh i'm gonna go to mars or whatever it's very it's very unlikely that that this is gonna happen but if people are you know like around you they're saying yeah you can do it just just keep believing keep you know like doing whatever you do to achieve it and you're also pushing yourself to actually achieve it at some point you're gonna realize that you know like this is completely impossible but at that point you may have wasted like a5 20 years going towards that goal so I think it's very important to understand that in life you don't need much and right now you know like when when we're going through this pandemic you understand like yeah I actually don't need much I would just love to you know like take a walk without a mask with my friends that's that's it that would make me happy so this global pandemic I think it it brought us a lot of forced mindfulness or or time to think about what is important and what makes us really happy and I think it's really important in everyone's journey to you know like design their their own lifestyle so so I think I i went off completely the the question that you asked but awareness is probably the key understanding what are you trying to achieve with uh you know like designing your your lifestyle and there are there are many moving parts and I think it's it's also important to understand that things change all the time you change all the time and it's it's all right to go off the of the track and start over I agree with you that if you choose something that probabilistically is just a poor choice in terms of banking on that to be your strategy to be successful and or happy such as trying to make it into the nba or make it into a space program where literally only like if you look at the spacex Launch like two days ago only two astronauts go up you know what I mean it's just millions of people want to do it and no matter how good you are they're only going to pick two whereas if you choose something with a everyone can have storage like there's no restriction that only 10 000 people in society get to own their own business or only ten thousand people get to start websites or only ten thousand people get to start blogs so when you choose something that has a better probability or just no barriers to entry in terms of like a fixed cap you have a better chance so i'm curious to hear how you got started so this is kind of going back to the previous question a little bit when you've kind of reached that awareness and that like fully integrated that idea of I can manipulate the world I can choose my own path and start building a life around my strengths and around what I want to do what did you initially set out to do did you set out to write right away did you set out to start a business did you set out to travel and figure it out later and at one point you Launched a magazine how did that all kind of come to play the beginning of your lifestyle design journey uh and ultimately where that led to being able to support the journey that you went on okay uh I need to try not to go off topic too much but I highly recommend a book the defining decade basically a book for 20 somethings about how you know like your 20s are more important than you think and the way she explains uh one of her actual actual patients explain like when when you when you're in your 20s it's it's really overwhelming especially right now having so many choice choices because you start feeling uh paralyzed because you can do whatever you want and everyone says like you can do whatever you what you want and you you can become whatever you want but you don't know where to start so that kind of analogy that's you know like the patient gives is you're in the middle of the ocean and you can swim any direction you want but you don't know which which way to go so you're just you know like just floating there and the best thing you can do is just to really try just pick some random direction and just try you know like going towards so I think many people in their 20s and I felt the same way where where I felt like yeah I i got access to internet I have so many you know like directions I can go to like what do I do and you know like what's the best way to do it and I want to maximize you know like benefit I don't want to waste my time I i want to use my time wisely those are the questions that Kyle and I are really asking ourselves right now in our early 20s recognizing that same opportunity the internet you know we could do graphic design or programming or blogging or marketing consulting or any of those things so so what do you use right now like what's your thank you process so we're both finishing up college the next year or two so that's kind of a somewhat full-time endeavor while the internet figuring out how to make the online entrepreneurial income kind of is not the secondary question but we finishing school first of all and i'm studying computer science but i'm thinking more I really enjoy writing and want to ask you some questions about your writing process and the strategies you took in that domain but I like like writing and you know writing on medium writing on my own blog potentially freelancing and writing for other people I mean I subscribe to the content writing newsletter from your job post website that you've just created so I read those emails and i've considered some of those opportunities then also very much the consulting route where you know funnel building and web design kind of like taking a team through that strategy and then doing the full stack of that process building their website and writing their sales copy and putting together that email marketing backend but that's a lot of pieces to learn at once and that's kind of where i'm at right now Louis is a very skilled writer he's really he's really really good for me i'm very passionate about real estate and that's what I want to do long term is allocate capital into good real estate deals so right now i'm working a property management internship where I am getting a small piece each week of everything that it takes to run these apartment complexes so that in the future I can make really good operationally efficient decisions when it comes to running the properties Louis and I love to talk to people and this is a reason to reach out to people our long-term goal it's just to have individual conversations with people that we wouldn't normally have access to that's brilliant i'll do the same and and I i did some podcasts in the past for yeah like multiple reasons and some of them are are the ones that you're saying I think use the podcast and questions as well to be very very specific because I i went to I think wordcamp in sofia bulgaria and and I got a chat with the wordpress uh founder i'm at my moment and and I had to leave five to ten minutes you know like to ask a question i'm like what do you do like you know like it's mad like what do I ask and then I just asked some some some random you know like general bullshit question that you can just google and so at that time I was running that that's design magazine that's like so like like how do you you know like deal with uh with hiring talent and like like scaling uh scaling our operations because you know like managing more than three people for me is getting hectic and and very stressful and that's you know like that's a very very way question because for him and for any kind of person to answer that question you need to provide probably 50 or 100 different data points for them to give more context to better understand you because like if you are you know like context is like oh I want to you know like build a billion dollar unicorn and one text different context could be I just want to build a lifestyle business and never work in my life which is very different from you know like the first context so so just by providing that single data point it would change the answer so my point here is you're already connecting with people just try to ask very very specific questions try to ask something quite uncomfortable because like hey can you Kyle or or luiz can can you send me your exact pitch email to to me that you sent you know to joe rogan or whatever so that's something uncomfortable for you but most of the time people are gonna be like yeah sure like i'm just gonna send it your way so from from you know like getting these very very specifics you get to to see how actual things work because right now uh you know like if we're doing this same podcast in a month or two and you ask same questions i'm probably just gonna say different things you know just theorizing and trying to rationalize my my own choices in the past or you know like my current choices because uh in the end we're just really telling ourselves a story and what I like the uh I think yesterday I i listened to this audiobook by robert kanesaki the new one it's called fake and he says history is basically made up of two words his story because you cannot just encapsulate history in in you know like written or recorded word or whatever because the world is so so huge and there's just one you know like this this one person just describing what's around him or around her so it's pretty much impossible to encapsulate the reality and history is basically his story so for me it was just mind-blowing at this very early age I think it's very important to just get really obsessed with details and try and understand so like why do you do it and like how exactly do you do it and could you share your template getting this inside peak into their infrastructure or publishing process or or sales process it's it's going to open a lot of doors for yourself uh and gonna gonna fill a lot of gaps for yourself getting back to your question about like how to you know like start I think to try many different things and then see what fits you naturally so for me it took like 10 years to understand like yeah I actually enjoy writing process not the actual publishing publishing is also good it feels good when you publish something and even if you get something some attention some feedback from it it just feels even better but I i realized like wow I actually do it because I like like writing it's it's not something that i'm chasing so I think doing different things you start to realize that some things come naturally to you and you know like for me being from very very rural place here in lithuania I felt yeah like web design and blogging it sounds interesting but I just have no idea how to capitalize on that and how to make a career so I always kind of felt scared that I felt oh I need to chase you know a typical economy degree or or you know like just get a degree and go get a normal job you have to get your hands dirty for probably two three years to understand what you're good at like naturally it doesn't have to be you know like outcomes really good but you just have to be naturally curious about the process so for example you know like real estate uh just very recently I i started like reading more about it like you know like as a possible investment option and so on and you know like there are many many things that are just boring for me and for you it probably just comes naturally you know like oh it's interesting i'm curious about this i'm about that and and I want to talk uh you know like with with your real estate circle he wants to talk about these things naturally so you already have advantage that you're naturally gifted and curious about that topic and about that direction and then if you can combine that thing with online marketing or just paid ads you can just go as specific as reddit ads reddit ads and and real estate you already have a huge chance to succeed because there are not many people are doing and then if you add the third uh ingredients you know like if you master copywriting for example like cold email outreach or something then you are just unstoppable like no no no one is going to stop you because you have these three strengths and if you can combine all these you have a huge advantage think about the tool or the company or the service that you use obsessively that's you know like I don't care if microsoft releases this new update for their software i'm not microsoft or windows user but if apple releases a new native app or whatever that helps my personal workflow i'm actually excited like I want to read the news so let's say you're obsessed with air table or notion or one of these you know like productivity tools things or whatever and there's a big chance that there are people who are using it so there are two things one thing like if you become airbnb consultant the more airbnb gets funding or the the more popular they become the bigger your your client pull because the more people are going to use urban b the more people are going to have problems with airbnb here you can just pick one tool or one service and become master of it and master meaning you know like if you use it daily you probably know already 90 more than just general user who who starts using the service so I think at the very beginning you can just focus on that one thing and say okay i'm going to become google drive expert and expert being you know like i'm gonna know more than 90 of the beginners my target audience is beginners and you're gonna be surprised like how many people google every month like how to log into google drive like you know like problems like this or like how to reset your password or like how to create a new document so so obviously these people are probably not gonna pay you you know like good money but try to combine all these curiosities and like skills that come naturally to you with a specific tool or a couple of tools and then go to business context at the beginning I just go b2b combine your your skill set and ride the wave of super popular software products that would be probably the the best way right now i'm really really inspired by your what you're calling theorization and how you are thinking about all these things all the way through and articulating it all the way to the to the last sentence I just want to complement you there and then touch on one thing that you were talking about and that is the quality of the questions that you ask i'm a big believer in in the fact that the quality of the questions that you ask are what determines the quality of your life and how specific and how direct you are with the questions that you ask the better results you're going to get no absolutely yeah and it's it's really scary you know like I don't know about about you guys in school but in my school it was already you know like independent lithuanian kind of education system still like the educational and school system still had this kind of like soviet feeling where you cannot uh question the teacher's authority and you know like when you're taught that the world works this way you know like authority knows everything from very early age I feel I had to really unlearn most of the stuff that was learned in school because you cannot just ask like why is that they would just shut you and say like this incorrect I know the answer stop asking stupid questions or whatever so I think asking questions you it's it's probably a skill as well but we do actually have a few specific questions for you relating to like we've kind of already established some of the things that you do professionally that we are interested in along the lines of writing along the lines of marketing so I think now would be a good time to turn the table and give you some of those specific questions first one's about your work habits in general so a lot of this work and consulting and writing you did in hostels while traveling and uh not just you know sitting in your same home office so can you tell us about your work habits and how you were able to work consistently and produce consistently on quote-unquote like an endless vacation when I when I started you know like this this whole like lifestyle design journey trying to figure out how to build a better lifestyle for myself and I was just following a lot of people like as you mentioned uh tim ferriss and then you know like watching a lot of steve jobs videos and tauren robins and most of the stuff is very general because they are targeting really just you know like general public and most of that content is top of the funnel so that top of the funnel is just informational content the other day I had this chat with with wi-fi tribe group as well like video chat where we spoke about lifelong learning and you know like about habits and stuff and someone just asked you know like the the classic question so how long does it take to form a habit there's research to support whatever angle or belief you have so like if if it doesn't take any time to to form a habit you're gonna find proof or research you know to support that if it takes 16 days or nine days or 264 you're gonna find something so for me I think it was very important to kind of mimic other people what they're doing because I wanted to do what they're doing and most of them they're talking about you know like habits consistency waking up and then making up your bed and then and you know like meditating doing exercises journaling and so on and so on and I was doing it like religiously for probably four or five years so for me it was just kind of like chasing these habits and at the same time I feel that habits might not be the the most important thing I think the the general direction and behavior like tendencies are more important than just some random habits so at the beginning for me and and still kind of is when I want to reset so yeah at the beginning it was when you go to a new country especially if it's if it's uh you know like a different time zone you need some kind of reset button and it's very hard to tell yourself like i'm just gonna sit and work right now like it just doesn't work like that so for me like very good grounding experience was to have my morning routine and that was highly inspired by miracle morning this book for me was very inspiring because I was kind of like doing my my own kind of version of it but then I read the book and then I thought like yeah it makes perfect sense what he's saying I need to improve it so it for me it really worked very well like when I would go to a new place I would just have my routine and it would be the same like waking up early meditating journaling reading stretching going to gym and then getting back to work so when you travel you need to have some kind of crowning experience or like this reset button as I say and and that for me was was very very important because you know like when when you're traveling every every couple of weeks or every couple of months like your mind just becomes a huge chaos huge mess and I think that was very important for me recently I started to kind of slow down and slowly settle down in in one place with my wife we spent like five months in in spain and right now here in lithuania we're planning to be for at least a year so right now I don't think my habits are that important because my my environment is kind of predictable and then you know like when I put these headphones on it's kind of like mind conditioning saying like it's time to work i'm in in my chair i'm in in my room here and it's time to work so I wouldn't say like habits are that important once you establish your routines in a way so in a way you know like these habits are internalized already but yeah like at the beginning it's it's very important to get into that routine kind of like testing zone and see what sticks what doesn't so for a long time I i tried to do you know like journaling and affirmations it just doesn't stick with me and i'm not gonna keep doing it just because you know like five new york times bestsellers are saying it might be working for them or their audiences but for me it doesn't work so again like you need to be very comfortable with accepting that things are not going to work for you and you know like you cannot just beat yourself up and say like why am I so stupid like why programming doesn't work for me like people are making so much money I can I can build the next facebook or whatsapp or instagram but if it naturally doesn't come to you you can only just keep beating yourself up so with habits acquisition you know it's it's more about really your environment design rather than trying to form your habits because if there is any friction you're just going to drop it at some point right now i'm i'm spending more time giving myself just you know like space to experiment and think like sometimes I would just say like yeah i'm just going to start a new project I didn't look at the sales I don't know how i'm going to make money but I feel that there is opportunity in this and I don't know where I feel it or or how I feel it but I feel a lot more confident because I spent you know like last decade building products uh doing content marketing talking with customers and I think all these dots they just connect in the background and when they connect they just give you this confidence where you feel like yeah it might just work so I don't want to waste time on you know like writing everything down planning I just want to use that energy i'll sprint as far as as I can and then see if it works and if it works or it doesn't then I can re-evaluate then I can look at the the customer acquisition I can look at the data and so on well I like that answer to that question a lot we covered a lot there I mean I think during you know your the earlier years where you're traveling and you're don't have a stable environment having that stable routine as a substitute for the environment so that no matter where you are you're doing the same thing and that's kind of necessary to build up that skill set and learn and be disciplined for that period of time and now you're kind of at a different point where you're in one place and you aren't hustling necessarily as hard in the sense of hustling where you have to go out and do all these other things and it has to work otherwise you're not going to continue what you're doing and you can fall back on that decade of experience basically doing the same kind of thing another kind of quick question we have for you is what before you embark on that lifestyle and during that traveling phase a lot of people are interested in doing that but financially that's a big concern how to make that feasible what's a good target monthly income to be able to live that lifestyle comfortably yeah I think it comes back again to your personal risk tolerance like different people have different risk tolerance and when I started out I felt comfortable with the idea that I can make this work with a thousand dollars so that was five six years ago I think and I was comfortable with the idea because I felt like I don't mind you know like sleeping in a hostel uh because my my desire to travel and learn new things and just see new things and you know like this this idea of novelty was stronger than my fear of I might not be able to find a cheap hotel or a hostel I was very comfortable with uncomfortability because before that we did a euro trip with my friend where we basically you know like hitchhiking from lithuania and we went to spain then we went to italy france and all these like countries so in like 30 days I think we went to 11 or 13 countries in europe and pretty much every single day we would go to new city and now we we would use hitchhiking or you know like local buses uh trains and we didn't have that much of money so we were using couchsurfing and you know like just trying to use our network to connect with people to connect with with their connections to crash their their their couches so I think that's you know like exposing ourselves to that uncomfortability with my friend gave us more confidence that we can actually make it work with like a lot less money than we thought so you would need to evaluate your risk tolerance it's crazy how we humans think like why it's so hard to you know like start writing because you're already thinking about like oh i'm gonna you know like publish the new york times bestseller like no just accept like your first piece is going to suck but for you it's gonna be a benchmark to compare yourself to so you just need to like loudly say like i'm a piece of shit writer like i'm gonna write the worst piece in the world right now and no one is gonna win you know like this this worst written piece award because i'm gonna win it so you're just right with that expectation this is gonna be the worst thing that people you know like ever written in the history and you're right there you go it's it's the worst thing you already acknowledge that you're you're a sucker at this thing and from there it's only way up so the problem with you know like the the whole lifestyle design the the whole like nomad digital nomad movement or or going even on your own you know like you don't need to become you know like full-time freelancer from day one you can just say like I want to see if I can make a dollar online like I just want to see if if I can publish something on linkedin like I have my linkedin profile for five years I never published anything I just want to you know share some things with with people and see how it goes and the whole like traveling lifestyle you don't need to start going to 15 countries from day one you can just say like what if I just move to you know like other city for the weekend and see if I can uh work from there or what if I can ask my boss if I can work you know like two days out of coffee shop or what if I just move to another state or move to another country for a month and just see how you know like just see what happens you're gonna learn a lot of things and you're gonna become more aware of what you're not aware of so you're gonna be thinking like oh I know all these things but you don't know what you don't know so I think you're gonna just have more information about the way you operate and that's gonna give you more more answers to you know like which way to go so for the very beginning I would I would say would be pretty comfortable going on you know like uh traveling kind of like tour if I have six months of savings so if I already have some some sort of income stores I would be like okay I have six months you know like to fuck up and then after these six months and i'm just gonna go home because if you already have the income you're already covering you know like the next month so you're you're extending your six month period so that's that would be comfortable I was not as patient so I i left with like three months of savings so I had like nothing like what like three 3k 4k I had an income of probably one and a half two thousand dollars which was very variable because I was I was doing freelance work so you know like one month would be 3k other months you wouldn't get a couple of hundred dollars so I felt okay with three months of savings i'm still gonna have some stress because you know like there is this uncertainty but i'm i'm having my my uh kind of like monthly income and i'm pretty confident I can keep it or even increase in the next you know like three months yeah so so I left with uh with like three months of savings but I think for like general people six months would be pretty comfortable so first of all try to you know like lower your costs buy some beans buy some uh frozen fish try to eat for you know like 15 bucks a week well maybe more for me one thousand dollars in lithuania is actually a lot of money like in capital obviously it's not a lot of money because the rent is almost a thousand dollars but i'm from a countryside so you know like our family was living for less than that like five people and some animals were living for less than that so I was kind of like coming from the background of you know like really being frugal so so for me it was like yeah I i lived for you know like less than thousand dollars before like that's nothing new for me so I think if you are living in one of these expensive places try to lower your cost and see how that goes for you I think that's a really good mindset to approach that situation because a lot of people probably think you know I need to be ready for like you know they read four hour work week or something they hear about how tim ferriss did like a 14 month trip right off the bat and it's like I don't have 14 months worth of money I don't already have a supplements company I don't know 20 countries I don't know how to do this but I mean it's not so difficult to if you're not tied to a specific job to just say okay well i'm in let's say me right now i'm in arizona maybe i'll just go to mexico city for two weeks one more question we had for you and this isn't a super specific question but it's definitely something we wanted to ask you because it's something you've done that's kind of similar to what we've done so you had on your blog the habits routine series where you kind of did something similar to what we're doing now where you brought in a bunch of very successful people people that were interesting to you and ask them habits routines while you're successful just you know the standard battery of questions you'd like to ask a successful professional but what's a dominant pattern that emerged from interviewing all those people on what is something you chose to adopt from your own life as a result of that project I didn't really have any kind of like agenda and right now when i'm looking back at these questions that I ask like I would make them completely different right now and i'm gonna tell you in a minute why and how so highlights and routines they're they're not that important what you want to understand like the way their their mind works and the way they connect things and the way they rationalize their choices and the stories that they tell themselves and you try to kind of understand the patterns as you mentioned like what are the patterns between you know like all these successful people so I think I i got a lot of confidence and a lot of like confirmation that i'm on the right track because i'm i'm reaching out to these people I have very similar beliefs and biases towards action and learning and and entrepreneurship and starting things and connecting with people when I interview these people I just feel like oh they speak my language they're interested in the same thing that I am most of these people they are not saying something I i don't already know they're just repeating these things or reminding me these things so that would give me as well you know like like you would start just questioning like so what's the secret and then probably there's no secret there's just you know like picking a direction and being obsessed about it and that's about it so for me it was it was just getting that confirmation again I was giving I was getting a lot more credibility because you know like once you interview one or the other person you can kind of use their name to pitch the other person so just building on top of what you build already so that would be very powerful for me and right now when when i'm looking back at it i'm gonna probably drop the series and i'm gonna tell you why so with you know like this podcasting and interview uh process you need to think about every single piece as a part of the bigger picture so for example we want to target these like best people in different categories and we want to ask a set of questions that every single question is a small piece of a bigger picture so for example you don't just ask like so what do you do because it's not a building block of a bigger blog post for example so instead of that i'm gonna ask like so what are top three books that influence your writing so when 15 people answer to this question you already have if they are not repeated you have 45 books that influence their writing so that's automatically a new blog post that I don't need to produce it was already produced because I interviewed these 15 people so you go through another thing where you say like so so what do you do when you hit the writer's block and there are already 15 different answers that you can just you know like creates an article of itself and just quote these people and then all of these questions are actually targeting search terms that have a huge amount of search volume and you get you know like traffic and then you also can diversify your revenue channels with affiliate marketing with ads and so on because you're getting this this traffic and people who you interview are generating all this content for you for free and then at the same time borrowing their influence or their name so with uh with interviews as well what you can do you can you can repackage all of the questions and you know like if you're looking at real estate for example how do you write a proposal like can you you know like walk me through the bullet points of your introduction page or whatever you know like something very specific that doesn't have that much of value you know like when you when you look at a small piece but when you actually compile it with 10 or 100 people you can draw different conclusions and they actually have a book as well uh I think it's called my morning routine they interviewed me as well which is very similar to what I do with uh habits and routines they're just focusing on their morning on on the morning questions about morning but every single question is a data point and they have uh different you know like pages for statistics and these these statistic pages are very nicely designed so what time do you wake up and they have like 300 people interviewed and they can put you know like different times that people waking up on the graph and then you can draw very nice graphics that are very attractive to press to other bloggers and it kind of gives you you know a chance to attract all this traffic and attention also I think like the strategy for production and for getting you know like influencers and experts to kind of like co-create the product for you I think this is brilliant because you can kind of extract the knowledge from people who are not experts at extracting their own thoughts from their heads where you read one piece that's written by designer who knows how to write and it appears by a writer who just heard about design so I think there's a huge value for trying to get these experts and creating a system to extract all that information because that's going to be completely different completely for all information that actually works for them for these people and it's not going to be some you know like recycled stuff that you can find online but at the same time you need to focus on selling it to people who actually spend money already just look at recent acquisitions uh look at what businesses are spending money on and you can always switch to consumers once you have enough capital our generation we are obsessed about changing the world doing good but you cannot do that until you have capital to do it so the the biggest philanthropists in the world they're not philanthropists by default all of these people they did something before to build capital and only then switched the you know like consumer b2c approach for their businesses because yeah tempers and many big podcasters they're doing their podcast because they're having fun there they're chatting with people drinking smoking and just making jokes and whatever just having a good time and people are paying attention to them because they already did you know like their homework they made a lot of money through through comedy through business ventures and whatever and it's very important to look at what people already pay money for and and then package this knowledge to people that are going to benefit from this the most so while it's not sexy and not attractive to solve and target businesses this is where most of the money is and this is where you get the most traction and i'm a huge believer in making businesses work from day one i'm i'm not a big big fan of of venture capital where you like uber or slack you're burning you know like billions of dollars every year for a decade with hopes that it's gonna work sometime I like to look at what you can solve right now and and charge from day one and this this is really hard to do but if you're willing to bet on the strategy you can just you know like expand and at some point you can just pivot to b2c or do another project that is closer to your you know like personal beliefs or or your personal cause that you believe in those another point about this it's crazy how much you can achieve about playing in the gray area so I would play in the gray area a lot which is you know between between so for example when I have an opening or I just have more time or i'm actually shorting clients I would go to my like cold email list and you can just go you know like startups that raised at least five million dollars in the last year uh that are in e-commerce and sas space and that would be my target audience and then I would just go and you know like extract all the emails put in spreadsheet and then in the crm automate the emails and my pitch would be kind of playing in that gray area not saying that i'm you know if if i'm pitching apple i'm not saying that i'm working with microsoft but i'm just telling them uh look I i have a free spot for kind of writing uh and I would love to to work with you but i'm i'm considering microsoft but I just wanted to check in with you before you know like I reach out to them and and offer you you know like my content writing services this is what I can do for you uh do you want to chat more or whatever so again like I don't even need to be thinking about microsoft or emailing microsoft or pitching microsoft but just saying to them that look if you don't hire me like all of this skill set that I have with all these work examples and all these trends that I can offer to you are going to your competition so in most cases you know like it's just playing with the angle in this case it makes them you know like feel like oh we're actually missing out if we don't hire this guy he's going to work with our competition and he might cause us trouble because he's going to outrank us for whatever so what i'm trying to say here always try to pre-sell stuff always try to just send an email with what you're thinking to do but act as if it's already done so for this I would go you know like uh in google sites uh semicolon slash in slash so that means that you are only searching for this specific website which is linkedin and then slash in means that most of the profiles are at you know linkedin and then in my case thomaslow I think and and then you say to google only search this website and this sub domain and then uh in between the the quote marks but what's it called parent no quote marks yeah that's fine I think so yeah quote marks you say uh real estate so that means that it must include real estate in the page and then you add another space and then quote marks you add so that means that real estate is a must and is a must on the page so the google is going to filter out you know like uh it's going to Show a lot of pages that have real estate and on the page meaning that these people have their email publicly available in their description probably or whatever because usually you know like it's pretty hard to find these emails so that's that's pretty much you know like the first step you let's say ceo real estate and then or yahoo or whatever you get all these emails and then you send them you know like saying like do you want to see it or it's gonna it's gonna cause this and that or do you want to to be early you know like uh use your data tester did something yeah beta test or whatever so with this first email I can just write it right now after this call you know like in 30 minutes and I can send it to hundreds of people and then just see what they say like they're going to see like yeah I want access and um I can just say like okay i'm it's still in development uh thank you so much for your interest i'm putting you on my uh email list and once the demo is out you're you're gonna be the first one to hear about it so this is very very early because this is very rough dirty and quick 30 minutes you can build you know like 100 emails who are highly interested people in in your service and then once you have that kind of like primary signal or confirmation or proof validation saying there are people interested in this and these people are ceos or I don't know like your real estate investors or something so these people are like in my like buyer persona target audience so you go from there and you build a very very simple first kind of version just to Show to them because they're already interested they they see uh oh this is interesting like I want to see how this develops but actually you need to deliver something so once you deliver something and it can be just a mock-up you can just make it in photoshop or figma or whatever just use some templates and send it to them so they can see like the the tangible visual real result even though it's not working not clickable it can be just you know like a jpeg uh they're gonna feel like this is something you know like tangible like this could really help my business this is really interesting and then once they have you know like this kind of preview you say like do you want to be the first you know like a customer this is gonna cost like 500 bucks but as a early user because I want your feedback i'm gonna give it to you for a hundred dollars or whatever you collect you know like five ten people this is your validation this is your initial seed capital to spend you know like the next couple of days or weeks developing that mvp and sending to your very early users that's that's how I would go with uh with stuff wow so that was uh an unexpectedly detailed and extremely helpful uh crash course and how to go about doing this I mean you're been throughout this whole conversation just an idea machine giving us super valuable advice that we're gonna have to go back through this ourselves just to catch it all because I mean just that alone the idea of that using google as a list building tool is not something i've ever thought of before but I think we'll end with one fun fast question about travel just to kind of leave on a nice note but again we really do appreciate your time and advice because there's a lot for kana to unpack behind the scenes after that to go over those ideas between ourselves but what's the most incredible landscape and or destination you've seen from years of travel and or favorite coffee shop you went to wow this is a hard one [Music] I think like emotionally it was because here in europe if if you spend some time traveling around europe it it becomes pretty boring because everything just seems the same like oh another church another city hall another plaza or whatever and there's not a lot of diversity here regarding like architecture or culture obviously you know like every country has their own history their own language here in europe but I felt like the mentality is pretty similar to to what i've seen here in lithuania and I think for me it was emotionally uncomfortable to go outside of europe and I flew to dubai and I felt like wow this this culture is like completely different uh you know like the language their values their beliefs is completely different from what i'm used to seeing in in europe we have uh pretty much you know like the same same religion and same same kind of like traditions uh festivals and time zone better like europe is super small so I think like for me flying to dubai and and seeing the huge gap between you know like all of these syrians pakistanis just sleeping outside in the desert and and building all these skyscrapers and then seeing all that artificial culture of shopping malls of living you know like high spender life and not really having that much to offer other than desert and super tall buildings I got to interact with one syrian guy living in dubai so so for me it was just everything was just so new and you know like uh I don't know if you understand celsius it was probably 40 degrees so I don't know how much that is in fahrenheit but that's like super hot for me and at night it would be like 38 so like it would drop like two degrees so for me the food the culture the whole like vibe of being there was emotionally very very different and I felt like while i'm stepping out outside of my comfort zone and this is scary but this is interesting and I want to learn more about like how how people live here what they're interested in and so on and regarding coffee shop I think chiang mai is probably the best place in the world for for coffee shops you know like this is fucking insane like man like you can go to I think they have more coffee shops than than actual people there so I hope these people are going to be able to recover after this pandemic but just their their love for the craft and and also the the ratio of the cost of value is incredible like I i probably had the best you know like one dollar or even like 90 cent coffee in chiang mai that could easily beat you know like australian or new york flat white or whatever so so for me it was just mind-blowing it's probably not one coffee shop I i probably couldn't just you know I get one coffee shop that was my favorite but just like the whole coffee scene and consistent quality across you know like the the city was just insane like how's this even possible so yeah that that would be I went to chiang mai twice about six months ago because I lived in thailand for a few months and that's funny we actually had a guest on here who's a rapper in thailand and his parents owned a coffee shop in chiang mai so it's pretty funny and we had asked him yeah because he's from chiang mai we asked him about growing up there and what the coffee culture was like kind of yeah it's like that's so that's kind of funny that that's the city you you went to because kana made a prediction about what where in the world you'd pick and I was like there's a place in chiang mai that I know is pretty good yeah pretty funny uh that that's actually what you uh came up with but we have one last question that we like to ask all of our guests uh so if people you know like what you've been talking about want to support your different projects read your writing where should we point them your website twitter linkedin where do you where do you send people through like this conversation want to learn more about you and what you've done yeah so generally like if you're busy enough just get whatever you got and in this conversation think about it and apply it like i'm fine being where where I am right now because I i know that many people are already overwhelmed including myself with newsletters and you know like twitter feeds and facebook feeds and new influencers new people to follow but if anything resonated and you want to hear more from me like my newsletter I think is the main kind of like place where I share stuff what i'm working on and I i try to be as consistent as possible on that I quit most of social media two years ago I can still like find me on linkedin but i'm not really like sharing much there so my newsletter is probably the best place if you're interested in lifestyle design stuff you know like entrepreneurship freelancing and just whatever I find interesting and if you're a connor writer or want to become one uh probably you can check out also my my new project where we're trying to build a frictionless platform to connect riders with companies and organizations seeking for content producers so we're still like in very very early stage but we're standing weekly and we plan to do daily newsletter with new jobs and then new opportunities for writers so if that's something that you're interested in you can subscribe I love that answer or you're not aggressive about pushing it I like that a lot this is really fun for Kyle and I and we honestly learned a ton which is our goal for doing this so thank you so much for coming on with us and best of luck with your projects and you know I might be applying for some content writing jobs myself is one of the different things I explore for your recommendation of writing and marketing and all the things there thank you so much sure sure my pleasure my pleasure I think learning and and getting paid to learn is is the best way because like most of my career I was I was promising things to people that I didn't even do and then you know I like I would land clients and they would pay me to do it so like I would need to figure out on on the job so like writing and if you have already a background real estate programming uh computer science whatever it is you can just say like look i'm i'm gonna do this for for you know like x amount of money and i'm gonna produce you know like x amount of articles for you on this topic and that and they're gonna pay you you're gonna be kind of like pressured to actually uh perform and you're gonna learn a lot from that so so there's just really win-win for everyone but yeah thank you guys for for having me and if you want to chat more uh yeah you can always find me on my my newsletter uh and yeah like when you subscribe my email is there so just respond cool thank you

Wrap Up

And that wraps up our interview with Tomas Laurinavicius I really enjoyed it and I hope you all did too Louis how can people help support our Show hey Kyle I thought that conversation was awesome it was a dream of mine when we started this podcast to get him on the Show and i'm so pleased we were able to so early in the scheme of things uh if you enjoy the conversation and want to encourage us to keep producing content the best way for you to do that is to engage with the Show whether that's sending us a message on social media with feedback or a cool story about something that happened to you when you listened or something you learned sharing a post on instagram retweeting it on twitter or leaving a rating or review on itunes any of those really help us out know that what we're doing is pleasing people and providing value so please do any of those things if you can otherwise we will see you in a couple of days with the next episode sometime next week thank you so much for listening and have a great day [Laughter] [Music] you

Louis Shulman
Co-Host of The Louis and Kyle Show

Louis is finishing his degree in computer science from the University of Alabama. He loves books, exercise, and internet challenges.