4 Question Series W/ Luke Tierney

Check out the video!

Check out the interview with Luke Tierney. Who has lived for years at a time in Colombia, Portugal and Argentina, all while building his own businesses. He’s the owner of Ecod2c – an Amazon marketing company, among other businesses. This interview is part of my 4 question series where I ask successful digital nomads from all over the world and all walks of life to answer the 4 questions we all want to know the answer to.

  1. Who are you? Tell us about what you do and how you got where you are.
  2. Where is your favorite place to work remote?
  3. What are 2 tips you would give someone who wants to work at your favorite place?
  4. What are (or were) your biggest fears around working abroad? And how did you address these?

Have questions about digital nomading? Message me on Instagram, I’m happy to answer them


Transcripts Of The Video

00:00

hey this is lauren with the four

00:02

question series

00:03

today i’m here with luke not tyranny

00:06

tierney tierney here with luke tierney

00:09

so luke is the owner of

00:10

eco d2c so

00:13

as you know starting off kind of

00:14

introductions so a little bit about

00:16

yourself obviously i told them about the

00:18

business that you run

00:19

kind of how you got into digital the

00:20

digital nomad lifestyle

00:22

um where you’re at now where you’ve been

00:24

stuff like that

00:25

yeah sure so um when i was in my mid-20s

00:29

i moved

00:30

down to medellin colombia as part of

00:33

just a life goal to become fluent in

00:35

spanish i moved to south america

00:37

i was not aware of anything regarding

00:42

digital nomadism or digital marketing um

00:44

even at the time

00:46

um but i moved there uh i taught english

00:49

ended up founding my own

00:50

uh spanish immersion institute there

00:52

actually if you’ve been in columbia and

00:53

beyond to

00:54

take classes at columbia immersion that

00:56

was my first business huh

00:58

see i didn’t know that yeah um and so in

01:00

the midst of founding

01:02

that uh we just identified an

01:03

opportunity money was growing really

01:05

quickly we thought we could do better

01:06

than a lot of other schools

01:07

um but in the midst of doing that i came

01:09

across the digital nomad scene as

01:10

anybody who’s probably just lifestyle is

01:13

in that region they’re probably aware

01:14

that many is kind of a hot spot for this

01:16

and i was uh really intrigued by all

01:19

the obvious um you know advantages to

01:22

you know

01:23

living a digitally nomadic lifestyle i

01:25

was

01:26

definitely on a high after having you

01:28

know a successful

01:29

um my first business you know some life

01:32

reasons that breathed into that

01:34

and so uh you know eventually when when

01:36

i left columbia

01:37

[Music]

01:38

i was really hell-bent on um

01:41

figuring out a way that i could uh keep

01:44

on

01:45

you know starting businesses but maybe

01:46

more of you know focused on online

01:49

sure so i founded a website

01:51

nomadplayground.com which

01:53

collects reviews of where people are

01:55

finding online work and then

01:58

through this school that’s where i

02:00

started doing digital marketing in the

02:02

first place

02:03

and then through a bunch of subsequent

02:05

projects i got really heavily involved

02:07

and

02:08

uh the way i came to found egodc

02:11

was in a before any of this i used to

02:14

work at environmental nonprofits

02:16

and so i wanted to find a way to return

02:18

to environment like

02:19

something with environmental focus while

02:21

still doing for-profit have it be

02:23

online and flexible and i’ve gotten

02:26

involved

02:26

you know digital marketing with you know

02:30

amazon sellers and so i thought why

02:31

can’t we just connect you know do amazon

02:33

for brands that are making things that

02:34

are better for people better for the

02:35

environment

02:36

and that’s what we do with egodc so i’ve

02:38

been running um

02:40

this agency for the past three years and

02:42

it’s been uh

02:43

well like starting this always it’s a

02:45

hell of a ride

02:47

a couple of things i wanted to say in

02:49

there is he he attempted and

02:51

uh as far as i can tell one had fluency

02:54

in spanish

02:55

yeah so you know yeah he has flew in

02:57

spanish he was pretty badass which i

02:58

didn’t actually know until

02:59

uh about a year after i met him pretty

03:02

funny

03:02

uh yeah we ran into each other at a

03:04

spanish exchange actually which is

03:05

really fun yeah for sure

03:07

but yeah so luke as an example i would

03:09

say of everyone i know i think

03:11

luke has lived the most digital nomadic

03:13

uh lifestyle

03:15

um you also spent some time in portugal

03:17

could you talk a little bit about when

03:19

was that so in the uh

03:21

chronological oh so i was in columbia

03:23

for a couple years and then

03:24

uh one osiris um every year and then

03:27

portugal lisbon specifically for about a

03:30

year

03:31

and then after i was outside the u.s for

03:33

about half my 20s and then i

03:35

moved from portugal to denver okay and

03:38

then uh

03:39

you know trips abroad you know here and

03:40

there but i came back to

03:42

the uh i’ve always been i’ve always

03:46

moved around fairly because there are

03:47

lots of people that

03:48

i’ve known that like to move to a

03:50

different country new city like every

03:52

like month or a couple months

03:53

i’ve always been more to stay in one

03:55

place for a long period of time

03:56

yeah and so that’s one distinction that

03:58

i think a lot of

04:00

people who are starting their digital

04:01

movement lifestyle i know for me example

04:03

or for me as an example was i have to be

04:06

traveling all the time there’s some sort

04:07

of weird

04:08

like pressure or expectation not

04:10

necessarily so you can i mean you can do

04:12

it like luke for sure or you can kind of

04:14

have more of a home base

04:16

and then kind of just travel whenever

04:17

you want for two or

04:19

six weeks or even a couple days right

04:22

yeah

04:22

yeah the point is the flexibility for

04:24

sure exactly yeah having the choice

04:26

that’s

04:26

that’s really what i like okay so

04:30

what is your favorite place to work

04:32

remote at

04:33

and why i okay so i love a lot of places

04:37

but for a lot of different reasons

04:38

um but as far as just like having the

04:41

infrastructure

04:42

having a really solid like digital nomad

04:44

like crowd

04:45

um they’re really consistent people were

04:47

very experienced uh

04:48

lisbon’s got a very special place

04:51

for that it’s just there’s a lot of

04:53

great people a lot of fun

04:55

[Music]

04:58

as opposed to other places that i’ve

05:00

worked like

05:02

you don’t have to worry as much about

05:03

you know internet just going out for a

05:06

day or

05:06

a couple of days which sometimes

05:09

depending on where you are like half the

05:11

city

05:11

might be or electricity in some case

05:14

cases right depending on where you’re at

05:15

for sure okay so you can do you can

05:17

obviously do this safely from a number

05:19

i would if i had to pick one i might be

05:20

good lisbon so what two point what two

05:24

points of advice would you give somebody

05:25

who is interested in working

05:28

um it depends on

05:31

so depends on where you are in your life

05:33

so i had the i have a unique

05:35

um maybe not unique but i had

05:38

my my position when i was first figuring

05:41

all these things out is like i didn’t

05:42

have

05:42

i didn’t have any money to speak of like

05:44

i did you know work trades and

05:46

hostels and couchsurfing and all these

05:48

kinds of things just to scrap by

05:50

while i figured work out um

05:53

so like if somebody has you know like

05:56

you know like monthly payments to make

05:57

or someone has a family like it depends

05:58

how many financial responsibilities

06:00

but sure if if you happen to be in the

06:02

position

06:04

that i was in i would say just go like

06:06

just go and meet people who are doing

06:07

this

06:07

and talk to folks and network and figure

06:09

it out um

06:11

i’ve always like i i have

06:14

time after time like put myself in a

06:16

position where i had to figure things

06:18

out

06:19

absolutely and that while admittedly

06:21

being like pretty stressful at times is

06:22

also

06:23

it’s been a strategy that’s working yeah

06:26

um and having other people around

06:27

who you know experienced and maybe

06:30

you’re thinking about things that

06:31

you haven’t come across it can be really

06:33

but regardless like

06:34

that doesn’t like your worst case

06:37

scenario if you’re

06:38

a native english speaker with a with a

06:41

college degree

06:42

which i realize not everybody is in fact

06:44

most people in the world

06:45

are not that but if you happen to be in

06:48

that

06:50

uh demographic so this demographic would

06:52

generally fit that for sure

06:53

then like you can like there are and

06:55

this is one of the reasons i found a

06:56

nomad playground was to collect reviews

06:57

of these kinds of places but

06:59

you can get paid you know eight ten

07:02

dollars an hour on the low end just for

07:04

having conversations with people in

07:05

english

07:06

like this with people who are learning

07:08

and then if you

07:09

and then if you get into you know some

07:11

of the actual

07:12

better paying gigs you can pay 20 an

07:14

hour um

07:16

if there’s another skill set that you

07:18

can utilize and be online and just be

07:19

remote then obviously that’s the fastest

07:21

way to do it but

07:22

if you don’t have a job yet but you have

07:24

the correct flexibility and the freedom

07:26

you can travel for enormously cheap you

07:27

can go to people doing this

07:29

and you can get you can get a taste and

07:31

then if you

07:33

have a job you can take remote or

07:36

you know if you have a skill set you’re

07:37

looking to utilize you just need to know

07:39

how to find work doing that remotely

07:41

um then your pass gonna be a bit

07:43

different but it’s all

07:45

it’s all possible i just uh it’s it’s

07:48

not gonna come easy necessarily but it’s

07:50

all possible

07:51

for sure so kind of distill that down if

07:54

we were to break that down into

07:56

the two points i what i really took from

07:58

this is one is just taking the lead

08:00

right if you’re in the situation where

08:02

we’re going to assume that a lot of

08:03

people listen to this are you don’t have

08:05

uh kids you don’t have any major bills

08:06

to speak of right or maybe you have a

08:08

handful of them that you can

08:09

still balance while working the road

08:11

kind of taking the leap

08:13

um sometimes there’s that analysis

08:14

paralysis and i know that’s happened to

08:16

me for sure

08:18

secondly is once again assuming that a

08:20

lot of people

08:21

are native english speakers with a

08:24

college degree

08:25

and even those two elements are actually

08:28

pretty flexible in southeast asia so i

08:31

know around a lot of the world they want

08:32

you to be

08:33

native english speaking and have a

08:34

college degree but there’s parts of

08:36

southeast asia where i’ve met

08:37

filipino people who were teaching

08:40

english and they were making a couple

08:41

bucks less just because they didn’t look

08:42

the part

08:44

and i also had a buddy who’s teaching

08:45

english in vietnam who didn’t

08:47

who didn’t have a college degree and so

08:50

you can those two things can even be

08:51

pretty flexible

08:52

so uh last question is what are your two

08:56

biggest fears when you are working

08:58

remote and how do you handle it oh man

09:00

so that that is very different today

09:01

than it was

09:02

than it was several years ago i was

09:04

tired um

09:06

my i mean the biggest fears that i had

09:07

when i was first starting out was like

09:10

am i going to make it is it going to

09:11

work because i was

09:13

it was very really no

09:16

not much money to speak of it was uh i

09:18

was going to be able to figure it out

09:21

and then now at this point it’s more of

09:22

like a okay so

09:25

you know like i’m not

09:28

i’m not staying in hostels as much

09:29

anymore i’m making sure that i have

09:31

like a set up like where i land i’m

09:33

looking at airbnbs that have like

09:35

reviews that say it has great wi-fi

09:37

i just got back from a trip to mexico

09:38

doing exactly this yep

09:40

um and so the biggest worries are uh

09:43

i don’t know if i’m too worried about

09:45

things anymore i just make sure that i’m

09:46

gonna be connected

09:48

yeah um connection is a huge one for a

09:51

lot of folks right

09:52

i make sure that i’m gonna be connected

09:53

as long as that works out like i don’t

09:55

know like i’m probably looking for like

09:57

facebook or whatsapp groups ahead of

09:59

time just to connect with people while

10:00

i’m there

10:01

that’s a good question especially if

10:02

it’s a short trip it depends on what i

10:03

want to get into

10:04

yeah but i mean after all these

10:07

like years of going places the i tend to

10:10

like show up and then talk to people and

10:12

figure out what i’m doing from there

10:13

anyway so i’m not

10:14

i’m not much of a like fixed itinerary

10:17

kind of do to

10:18

more show up and see what’s going on so

10:20

as long as i’m as long as i’ve arrived

10:22

and everything’s fine

10:23

um there’s no not too many fires or work

10:25

to put out

10:27

um or if i’m taking if i am taking a bit

10:29

of time off making sure that like my

10:31

teams also have to take care of things

10:32

like that’s

10:33

those are the big critical things but

10:34

that’s

10:36

that’s going to be different reality

10:37

depending on what your schedule is and

10:39

whether you own your own business or

10:41

whether you’re doing a job you’re

10:43

um you’re gonna just making sure that

10:46

you have

10:47

flexibility built in to whatever you’re

10:50

doing so that

10:51

things aren’t gonna fall apart just in

10:52

case you’re an extra you know several

10:55

hours getting from point a to point

10:56

yeah for sure happens so kind of

10:59

distill that down

11:00

is one is going to be kind of

11:01

connectivity there’s a number of

11:02

different ways to do that i will be

11:04

writing an article depending on when

11:05

you’re

11:06

uh watching this i will be writing an

11:07

article about wi-fi connectivity how i

11:09

handle it

11:10

i have a couple different you know

11:12

backup i have a backup plan and backup

11:14

plan

11:14

about three or four different backup

11:15

plans um one that’s really great is

11:17

airbnb

11:18

yeah looking on airbnb or booking or

11:20

whatever you do

11:22

if they don’t have a search function for

11:23

the reviews just control f

11:25

wi-fi try to look at all the reviews and

11:27

look through and see okay what are

11:28

people saying about wi-fi that’s a

11:29

really good one for sure

11:31

the second one is that community aspect

11:33

i really like that

11:34

i so for facebook groups i think most

11:36

people watch this probably would know

11:37

how to get

11:38

um find facebook groups or just kind of

11:40

search them on facebook

11:42

how about what’s accurate i’m not

11:43

familiar with how to find what’s

11:45

what you need to know somebody that’s

11:49

typically like that’s that’s typically

11:51

something that’s come

11:53

uh just from like once you start doing

11:55

this then you start meeting other people

11:56

pretty fast like

11:57

by definition people are spreading out

11:58

to lots of different places you’d be

12:00

surprised to do you know where

12:01

and then like those things start to

12:03

click but if i if i’m just starting and

12:05

i don’t know

12:05

anybody in a place i’m looking up i’m

12:07

looking at facebook groups

12:08

[Music]

12:12

you can actually often tell how active a

12:15

nomad crowd

12:17

without actually having somebody who’s

12:19

experienced to talk to you about it

12:21

the most reliable way that i’ve known to

12:22

be able to figure out you know how

12:24

active

12:25

um a city really is as far as the

12:27

digital medicine goes

12:29

is checking out you know the facebook

12:31

group seeing how many people are in it

12:32

and how active it is

12:34

and facebook does give you those metrics

12:35

i believe right yeah

12:39

[Music]

12:41

and that’s just for like a general um

12:43

like a general feel like

12:44

if you’re in a city that doesn’t have

12:46

any facebook groups surrounding this

12:47

topic then they’re probably

12:49

despite what nomad list or anything else

12:51

says it’s probably not going to be a

12:52

whole lot going on while you’re there

12:53

yep that’s a good proof surrounding this

12:55

topic but then like

12:56

people don’t just travel as the other

12:57

digital companies like depends on what

12:59

you want to do

12:59

yeah absolutely all right well thanks

13:01

luke we appreciate having you

13:03

all right man until next time

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