IndieHacker. Creator of ACrypto, VisaList, AnExplorer. Digital Nomad.
January 20, 2019
IndieHacker, Digital Nomad. Creator of ACrypto, VisaList & AnExplorer.
I’m currently living in Sydney. I moved here a year ago. I love the place and I see a lot of potential opportunities.
I have travelled to US, Philippines, Thailand, Hongkong, Indonesia and of course Australia 😃.
1 year 6 months
I'm invincible and can do anything I want
In the last one and half years, I have learned at least 10x more than what I learned in the previous 4 years. I have also worked more than 20x in the same period.
I believe all this is because of the enjoyment of building products you like versus working on something which has been envisioned by somebody else. For me, I think I never found my true sense of belonging while working for others.
It's also the collaborations that I have done along the way, pitching product ideas to friends, building 3 new microstartups, traveling to 4 countries, spending more time with family and living a lifestyle that I truly enjoy!
There have been so many ups and downs along the way and I will admit that it has not been a cakewalk but that's exactly why I love it. It's a challenge and I love challenges. Sometimes when things don't work out the way you expect, you have to look objectively and decide what needs to be done rather than clinging to something based on emotion.
There are so many problems in this world to solve but you are just one person and can't possibly do everything you want. You sometimes win and you sometimes lose (when you don't get the results you expect) and sometimes you get overwhelmed (when stuff goes viral). All of this can get into your head no matter what you do. So what I learned over the years is to keep myself calm, not get too excited and always focus on the future.
Coming to my lifestyle, most of the people don't even understand what people like us want to do and achieve. Everyone fears any deviation from their templates and try to force the same on people around them. So it's difficult to succeed in being a digital nomad. Fortunately, I have amazing support from my family and friends.
About traveling, people have this assumption (at least onlookers) that you keep traveling every two weeks and keep working all the time. The fact of the matter is it's not like that at all, you travel and stay in a place, enjoy the culture, the beauty and the people around the place for one to six months. You also do your work during that time.
For me, being a digital nomad means complete location independence and that my work can be done from a laptop from anywhere with a good internet. This has actually helped me move to Sydney and still earn at the same time.
My usual pattern is Building for two months and taking a Break for the next two months. I call it the Build-Break style. During my building time, I’m continuously working and during my break time, I’m working hard as well (But not that much) 😅.
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A post shared by Nomad Traveller (@1hakr) on May 15, 2018 at 7:05am PDT
Visiting new countries during breaks gives me a new perspective. As I’m naturally a curious person, I keep questioning things and once in a while, I stumble upon something interesting. This then gets added to my pool of “potential ideas” 💡.
I must emphasise that my experiences as a developer, product manager, designer, and a growth hacker have easily saved me a lot of months which I would have otherwise spent in learning. Having these skills handy makes it a lot easier to do it from anywhere. Learning on the go is quite difficult.
Also, when I decide to build something, I validate it thoroughly. For this, I try to sell the idea to at least 10 different friends of mine. I really try very hard and most of the times when I’m explaining the idea, I get the self-realization that it is not going to work ☺️ and move on to the next idea. But once in a while, I get more clarity and confidence and that helps me to figure out the next step.
We face problems every day, every hour at every walk of life. Most of us just don’t see them as problems, very few notice them as problems and even fewer think they can be solved and the rare few decide to actually solve the problem. I believe I want to be the last type and have been trying my best to do that.
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A post shared by Nomad Traveller (@1hakr) on Dec 3, 2018 at 12:31am PST
The way I see it is that it reduces a lot of pressure that is present in a traditional setup. I mean we are all pigeon-holed into a cubicle (or office commute) which is something that may not be to everyone’s liking,
Work and life are not different and thus there is no need for work-life balance. Work becomes part of your life and there is plenty of room to accomplish a lot in both areas. Then you are not restricted to a set number of leaves and can plan a vacation for a month or even two, all year round. You can spend more time with your family and friends, visit relatives and relish the small moments of life. Once you start working, it becomes part of your life. You will feel the true independence from the so-called wage prison 🦅.
The thing that has always worked, at least for me, is that I build solutions that I need personally. In my opinion, that is the biggest validation for a Product/Market Fit.
All my microstartups have been successful as I started to build them just for me. Another take on this is that when you build something for yourself, you understand the problem very well and that contributes a lot to the success.
At the beginning of my career, I was an Android developer. I liked mobile apps and wished there was a good file manager which showed folder sizes. So I conceived AnExplorer and this was my first fully completed and successful micro-startup. I released it and it had a good traction for the next few months. After so many years, it still makes me $2.5K MRR.
After working in the corporate and startup world, I decided to quit my job and travel. Around this time, a good friend of mine introduced me to Bitcoin. I was very fascinated by cryptocurrency and started investing in small amounts. Everything worked out fine the first week, as I was new to everything, but then in the second week, I started to realize there were so many issues. It wasn't easy to trade or even manage cryptocurrency. So I took the matter into my own hands and decided to build an app for myself. Along the way, I realized that I was not the only person who had been facing such problems, and I decided to publish it on the Google Play Store. I started sharing it within my company, and it was an instant hit. It is making $2K MRR now.
After I became a digital nomad and started traveling, I wanted to visit all the countries that I fancied. Soon I realized that you need a visa to most of these countries. Few have VOA (Visa on Arrival) and for others, you have to get it through their embassy in your home country (in my case India). I quickly figured out there were so many problems - like there was no aggregated platform of visa related info where it is shown in a useful way. Most of the existing blogs and websites have limited info and even that is usually outdated. A lot of research is needed even to go to a single country and this needs to be done every single time. It is very difficult to locate the official website and you end up paying more money than required to visa agents. VisaList was born when I was trying to solve this problem. I released it, it became viral in a week and started making $700 MRR.
So you see, all the products that I made became successful because I tried to solve something very personal to me 👷♂️.
One of the biggest challenges of being a digital nomad is that there is the constant fear of not being able to have the financial independence that you would have dreamed. You fear that the world you want to build can come down crashing one day. For example, the cryptocurrency that I have invested in as part of my long term has gone for a toss 📉. That said, my belief is what keeps me going. If you don't believe in yourself, no one ever will 💪.
You can reach out to me anytime on Twitter. If you have any questions or want to learn more about how I managed all this, feel free to comment here 👇.