Interview with Marcus Meurer – Founder of the DNX Conferences in Berlin – the first ( international) conference for digital nomads.
Learn about his lifestyle, favourite digital nomad destinations and future workation plans.
Marcus, tell us something about you. Where are you from and how did you get started with the digital nomad lifestyle?
I’m from Germany and travel the world as digital nomad, my homebase is Berlin.
I worked in Online Marketing in different international Startups. However, slowly but surely I had this uneasy feeling that all of this won’t make me happy in the long run. I felt increasingly constrained and trapped in a robot-like system that just functions and works for someone else’s dream. Therefore I decided to quit my job and start my own business.
I founded my company and went on a six month trip through South East Asia together with my girlfriend Felicia.
And suddenly it all came back: I had that sense of freedom again that I had missed so badly and that unleashes all my strength. Creative ideas for new, exciting projects then came bubbling out of me.
One thing led to another and suddenly I was in the middle of my new lifestyle as a Digital Nomad – a lifestyle which I would never trade for anything in the world anymore and makes me look towards the future with 100% anticipation!
You’re working on quite a few projects. How do you manage to stay productive (especially while you travel)? Can you share some of your productivity secrets with a us please?
One of the biggest challenges for Digital Nomads is staying productive and focused on the road. Therefore I try to set up routines in my life that supports my entrepreneurial goals.
My morning routine is scripted: After waking up early I start with a healthy breakfast and write my morning journal. The five minute journal helps you to shift your focus to the positive which dramatically improves your happiness.
The trick is to stay away in the morning hours as long as possible from your inbox and social media channels. They are full with request from people you have to react on. You get pulled away from your projects and go into the passive mode.
Instead you start with the MIT (Most Important Task) into your working routine.
Try to think about the MIT the evening before you go to bed. Try to set the focus on the important stuff and not the urgent stuff!
When you finished that big MIT your day already feels like one of the most productive days ever. And it’s still noon time. Now you are allowed to dig into your Inbox and social media channels to care about others.
In the evening I set the MIT and priorities for the next day, fill out my five minute journal and try to go to bed early.
If you want to change your habits and set up a new routine, start slowly: Try to work on one new routine at a time. Once you set up the new routine go to the next one.
Don’t set your expectations and goals too high and don’t be too critical with yourself. Just go on and keep on trying.
What have been your favourite digital nomad destinations so far?
I love the sea, sun and beach. Therefore I loved it on the Philippines, one of the most underestimated countries in the world. The diving experience in the Phillies is stunning!
I also loved the diving on Utila, an island from Honduras. The island Caye Caulker, Belize has a cool chilling vibe. I love the food in Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
I have also been to the coliving and coworking project Surf Office on the Canarian Islands. I enjoyed the time there very much. I am happy that more and more workation projects are popping up for digital nomads and really looking forward to check out Tarifa this summer.
In August you and your girlfriend Feli are organizing the DNX Global conference. Tell us a bit more about it! Why should we join you?
DNX GLOBAL is the first conference for Digital Nomads happening in Berlin in August 2015.
We founded the DNX last year when we did the first German speaking conference on the location independent working topic. It was a huge blast, so we did another DNX in October last year and will do the next German DNX in May.
As a Digital Nomad it is totally important to network and connect with like minded people. Especially in the beginning, but also when you are living your new lifestyle.
You are not the “normal” traveller, you are an online entrepreneur or freelancer on the road. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. You need like-minded people around you.
The DNX gives you the platform to connect with like minded people and take your business to the next level. We are offering one complete day of workshops to go into execution and will have talks from 10 inspiring speakers like Derek Sivers, Pieter Levels or Natalie Sisson on the main event. We will give you motivational talks and hands-on tips how to start your business and how to run your business on the road.
What are your thoughts on the digital nomad lifestyle? Is this something you’re going to do forever?
Right now we have a big hype around the topic Digital Nomads. The lifestyle will become one of many options how to live your life. For all freedom seekers it is probably the best lifestyle ever.
I am sure the companies will also move and offer their employees more opportunities to work remote. This is what people are looking for and not for the better job title, bigger car or salary raise. People want to be independent and free in choosing from where to work.
Never before has been a time where the opportunity was so big to design your lifestyle how you would love to live your life.
Since I started the new lifestyle as digital nomad I am enjoying every second of the roller coaster ride as an online entrepreneur. I cannot tell you if we are going to do this constantly roaming lifestyle forever.
Our target is to set up 3 bases to move in between and invite all of our friends: One in Europe like Berlin or Spain, another one in the Philippines and the third base in Central America.
The cool thing is I have the absolutely freedom to chose for how long we will do this lifestyle.
Who knows which opportunities will come in the next years of my life!?
What advice would you give people who want to become digital nomads as well?
- Read as much as you can about the lifestyle and find out if this is the lifestyle you really wanna have. You have to be 100% committed to it and do everything possible to make it happen.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people to follow your goals and stay motivated.
- Cut your costs. Ask yourself what you really need in your new lifestyle being on the road. HINT: It is way less than you own right now. The lower your costs are, the less you need to earn to make a living.
You’ve recently started to learn kitesurfing in Brazil? How did you enjoy it and do you have any plans to go again?
It was so much fun, man! We have been to the small destination Jericoacoara in the northern part of Brazil. The whole village was mystique with lots of sand around us and a beautiful sea with lots of surfers and kiters.
The wind was real strong and staying for my first 3 seconds on the board just made me scream out of joy. Wanted do it again and again, but still I have to learn a lot.
Next attempt in Tarifa in May 2015. Really looking forward to kitesurfing and working with you, Johannes.
Thanks for the interview Marcus and looking forward to catch up in Tarifa soon ;-).
About Marcus Meurer
Marcus is digital nomad by heart and founder of the first conference for digital nomads DNX GLOBAL. He loves traveling, doing sports and sharing his knowledge how to stick to a self-determined and healthy lifestyle.