Give me a little background about yourself?
I followed the typical middle-class American script. Played sports in high school, graduated college with a business degree, got a good job in corporate America. Wahoo now I made it. Or so I thought.
Even after achieving “great success” by my peers and society’s standards – I felt that I was missing something in life. I started to pursue some of my own interests instead of living someone else’s idea of a “good life.”
I went through yoga teacher training, started spending more time backpacking in the wilderness, and then stumbled on two books that made me take a step back and reevaluate. The books were The 4-Hour Work Week (Tim Ferris) and Vagabonding (Rolf Potts).
Combine my burning desire to experience all that life offers with a growing dissatisfaction with corporate America and you get a very unsettled Brandon. Someone who wants more out of life and who is ready to make it happen.
So I launched a blog teaching people to teach/practice yoga while traveling, saved some money, and then my girlfriend and I bought one-way tickets to India.
Fast forward two years, we’ve been location independent since and have traveled to 20+ countries along the way.
Today I create temporary communities of entrepreneurs and fly them across the world to live, work, and play together. Our next event is in Sri Lanka starting February 1st. We have a limited number of spots available and the application deadline is fast approaching. I
What is your professional / educational background and how did that enable you to achieve your work / travel balance?
Work history includes selling Cutco knives as 100% commissioned rep, running the 4th biggest newspaper in Minnesota, and selling ERP software for Oracle.
Sales is almost everything in entrepreneurship and thankfully I learned to sell early on. Shout out to my first Cutco manager, Chris Boser, if he didn’t push me to success I may have abandoned sales jobs forever.
Graduated with a degree in Sales, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Minnesota. College taught me how to think like an entrepreneur, how to work with all types of people, and how to balance social life + work + school.
How did you end up in this career / role?
After spending a year traveling and working from coffee shops I realized how inefficient it was it get REAL work done. We would burn 3 days in each new location just trying to find suitable accommodation, a decent WIFI connection, restaurants that served good (and cheap) food, etc. By the time we finally had a group of friends and a productive schedule nailed down it, our two months were over and it was time to leave!
This led to the creation of Shift Space – where we create temporary communities of entrepreneurs and fly them across the world to live, work, and play together.
We take care of the bullshit that comes with location independence, so each entrepreneur can focus their time on crushing their next project. Examples include: Each person gets their own villa with private WIFI router, onsite chef, free local transport, guaranteed community of like minded people, etc.
What's your favorite place to travel? Why do you find it appealing?
Such a hard question – I like them all for different reasons!
Since Jeremy won’t let me get away with that answer… I’ll say Nepal!
We spent 15 days in the Himalayas trekking the Annapurna Circuit. Turned out to be one of my top travel experiences to date. The people were so welcoming, the nature was world class, and we got to unplug for 2 weeks.
What's your worst travel experience?
Well this one is pretty embarrassing, but here it goes…
We were having dinner and drinks with some friends on a rooftop in Saigon. I went inside to use the restroom and in the process… I walked straight through a glass door, which of course shattered all over me. So now I’m bleeding all over this restaurant, the staff is wondering how and why some dumbass walked through their door, and my girlfriend, Anne, is getting worried for my safety.
Anne convinces me it’s time to go to the hospital. We meet with a doctor who informs me I tore a tendon in my thumb and that I’ll need surgery within 24 hours if I want to use my thumb again. Of course it’s on my dominant hand. No brainer, time for surgery.
The next morning, I’m getting emergency surgery from an Argentinean doctor in Vietnam.
Luckily everything turned out great. Had a great experience with both the hospital and doctor, my hand has a new scar and is fully functional, and World Nomads travel insurance covered the $2,500 bill!
It was a busy couple months as Anne had just got hit by a motorbike in Bali!
Any advice or tips for others looking to bring travel into their lives?
If you’re happily working a 9-5 job, start by asking your corporate overlords (i.e. manager) to work from home one day per week. Absolutely crush it on the days you work from home, documentiing everything. This will build trust with your manager and prove to them that you get more done while working remotely. Slowly increase the percentage of time working remotely. Use this new freedom to take long weekend trips locally without burning your precious PTO. Scale this as you see fit.
What if you’re already in a situation that allows you to work remotely?
Awesome, now the fun part begins! Go somewhere where other remote workers hang out and dive into the world of digital nomadism! Treat it like a 3-6 month experiment. You’ll learn quickly whether or not this lifestyle is for you.
Now of course I’m a little biased, but we have a few open spots left to join our temporary community of digital nomads in Sri Lanka. The 2-month experience starts February 1st. Full details here.
Or just quit your job and buy a one-way ticket to India.
Brandon is a former corporate sales rep turned nomadic entrepreneurial yogi. Street food ninja, avid outdoorsman, craft beer geek, and live music junkie. Brandon creates temporary communities of entrepreneurs and flies them across the world to live, work, and play together. Apply now @ ShiftSpaces.com