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How to Become a Traveling Nomad Entrepreneur with Alexandre Thauron

Alexandre Thauron is a nomad entrepreneur who has traveled and lived in many countries. He is the Co-Founder of LinkedGuru, a total remote lead generation agency aiming to help professionals find clients on LinkedIn. He also Co-founded Buenos Viajes, a blog about traveling experiences.

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Digital nomad entrepreneur

Luis:

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to another episode of The DistantJob Podcast. I am your host Luis, and another episode of this podcast that’s all about building and leading awesome remote teams. And every now and then I like to have on someone who is living a different lifestyle, work-from-home lifestyle, so we get an idea of what the picture looks like from the other side of the virtual office.

Luis:

That’s the case of my guest today, Alex Thauron. Alex is the co-founder and blogger at Buenos Viajes, where he blogs about his experience traveling with his, I’m going to say fiance, but maybe I’m wrong, he’ll correct me because I’m not sure. And he is also the co-founder of LinkedGuru, where he helps people become better experts at marketing themselves in LinkedIn, themselves and their companies. So that’s my introduction, Alex, pleasure to have you on the show.

Alexandre Thauron:

Yes. Nice to meet you. Thanks a lot.

Luis:

Did I get it wrong, you’re you’re a partner at Bueno Viajes Blogs? Are you dating, are you married, did I miss something?

Alexandre Thauron:

We have fiance. Exactly.

Luis:

Okay, so much like me, good. I wanted to ask you, I know that while we were preparing for the podcast, you mentioned that you’ve arrived recently in France to visit family, and I guess that the question that’s on everyone’s mind, we are recording this on the 10th of March of 2020, and the thing that everyone is worried about is the coronavirus, the spread of COVID-19. And I’m wondering, I guess that the most pertinent question is, for someone whose business model is mainly focused around travel and blogging around travel, and who has this nomadic lifestyle, what are the changes in your plans for the next three to six months? How is this affecting you? What’s your plan to deal with it?

Alexandre Thauron:

The fact is my main activity now is a LinkedGuru, based to LinkedIn, because the other parts, the travel blog I have with my fiance, she’s working on that. I’m currently on the other one, so it’s totally remote. My associate is in Brazil and I live in New Caledonia since one year.

Luis:

Nice.

Alexandre Thauron:

Yes. I had to move to France because of some trouble in my family. So I moved in France, I took the plane in Osaka, Japan, I put the mask on my face, I used a lot of hydraulic gel, is it good to say that?

Luis:

Yes.

Alexandre Thauron:

Yes? So it’s quite troubling and I arrived in Paris in this special atmosphere. I think it’s quite okay now in the suburbs where I am, that’s in the North of Paris. The name is [Valdueza 00:03:14], there is a lot of cases and a lot of cities in quarantine. It’s going to change a lot of things in the economy, all of the events, the sports, a lot of things.

Luis:

In your case, you do intend to continue traveling, right? You have a… I know that you need to be in France right now, but do you plan to travel within the next three months, and how are you going to do that, and how are you going… What are the precautions that you’re going to take, I guess?

Alexandre Thauron:

I need to come back to New Caledonia in two months. At this time I don’t know if it’s going to be okay, I hope so. I can change my plan if it’s too bad, if it’s too dangerous to travel. But maybe I think that the best way is to stay home, so it’s perfect for us because we are remote people, but I think that life goes on and when we need to adapt our life maybe to stay more at home, but if we have people to to meet or some meeting, it could be good to reschedule them maybe.

Luis:

Yeah. Personally I am, there are a couple of things that I’m doing. For example, working from home is fine, but I’m definitely avoiding cafes and bars. Usually I try to get a bit out of my home office, just for variety, I think that it’s good for the mind to work from distant place as it helps inspire you and all of that, but for at least until I get the better sense of how the disease is spreading, I’m definitely going to cut on my getting out home as much as possible. So that’s something.

Luis:

And that’s something that I wanted to ask you about. So you co-founded with your fiance Buenos Viajes four years ago, I know that now you’re focusing on your LinkedIn business, but while doing for four years, that travel blogging lifestyle, what do you think that you learned during that time about working while traveling? And what did you change your mind the most about during those four years? What did you think that was going to happen that didn’t happen, and what happened, either good or bad, that was unexpected.

Alexandre Thauron:

Whoa. A lot of things. It was like four years, really intense. Really completely changed our minds, one of my fiance and mine, because when we finished our studies, we get the diploma, the masters, and then we thought, “Okay, we just want to leave traveling, we want to discover a lot of things, culture, people, always have something new every day when we get up.” So we did it, we were travelling for one year and a half. So in Australia, we lived there, we work there, and then in Vanuatu, in Indonesia, New Caledonia, Polynesia, so it was a really good open minder, I don’t know if the word is good.

Luis:

Yeah, I guess mind opener?

Alexandre Thauron:

Yeah, mind opener, exactly. Thanks. So we thought it was a really good opportunity to discover the world, but to discover ourselves too, because we discovered different mind, different way of thinking, how we must live, because in the Pacific they really live with family, family is really important. They share a lot, all what they have, they share, they open their home to everybody. When you go in Polynesia, in the streets, everybody talk to you. It should be normal, but in France people are afraid of saying hi in the subway, they think you want to sell them something.

Alexandre Thauron:

In the Pacific it’s really human and free, really open to talk to people, have a smile, talk together and have nothing in mind to sell something or to be wrong with this person. So this was really good, you say, a really good gift that we found by traveling. Because when you stay in your country, you can’t balance your mind, you can’t know different way of living and it’s good to open yourself to other kinds of mindsets.

Luis:

Nice. So how has this experience changed the way you work or live? What are some things that you have changed in your life after experiencing this?

Alexandre Thauron:

I think that the best way I’ve changed is in my mind. Before that, I was like… That’s a post on LinkedIn, I just post one hour ago.

Luis:

Oh, nice.

Alexandre Thauron:

Because I talk about having a wish and try it, go for it. To develop, to establish, you must go, you must jump. Try to do it, if it doesn’t work, okay. It’s normal, it’s life, it’s not easy every day, but you must go. You will face sad losses and then be better and be more assertive and you will be happy. So I think it’s the best way because we found something we like, a lot of a beautiful place.

Alexandre Thauron:

We work with tourism office with the blog, we promoted content for them, for activities, for restaurants, we promoted on our blog, on our social networks. And we found that everything that we observe and we see, we can tell other people that, “Okay, you should go here. It’s really good. You can go there, there, there, you can find this, you can see beautiful place.”

Alexandre Thauron:

So everything that we did, we could share it to other people. And I think it’s the same way that I do with LinkedIn. So I do something I like, it’s like use the social network, learn how to find prospects on LinkedIn, to find people, how to help them reach clients or targets in LinkedIn. And so I try to do it, and then I help them to do it. It’s like a mindset, the way that I found it, and now I’m really happy to do it and to help everybody.

Luis:

So I want to ask, because you… So you co-founded the blog, and now you’re starting this this business, helping people improve, create, generate leads and prospects on LinkedIn, and you’ve done this while living in a different country, right?

Alexandre Thauron:

Yes.

Luis:

So what were the challenges of trying to build a business from a country that’s not your home country? I assume that in addition to the normal challenges of building a business, even if it’s run from home, personal business, you are still adapting to the country, you are still trying to lead a different lifestyle, you need to… There’s this struggle of sustaining yourself while you build a business. Building a business is usually hard enough when you are in your country, with the support of your family, and the places you know and all of that. When you’re in a different country, it just seems that that difficulty is magnified. So what were some of the challenges and how did you deal with them?

Alexandre Thauron:

Well, the big challenge was, I think, the difference of time between New Caledonia and France, because we have 10 hours more in New Caledonia because it’s really far in the Pacific. It’s still half French, half Caledonian, it’s what they call the status that they have, but I think it was this big issue. And then maybe the way, how to manage your day, to do your work, and then to have your life in this new country, the life was my fiance too.

Alexandre Thauron:

Before we moved a lot, we traveled a lot, we were also used to work with the blog, we would stay in a hotel for two days just to write something and then we go, and then we continue to travel. So we were moving a lot. And now we are established in New Caledonia. We love the country, it was exactly what we wanted too, because we have the sun, we have the beach, we have mountains, there is a really good atmosphere. People are not stressed like in Paris, like in France, or in big cities. They are really smiling, open.

Alexandre Thauron:

And we met a lot of people, more French people, people from Metropole, from France, because it’s easier to meet these people in your daily life. To organize my day, I really changed because I thought, “Okay, you will work with France. So France, they are awake when it’s like nine hours in the afternoon for you. So you have all day to work, and then when they get up everything is done.”

Luis:

That’s a good way of putting it, but I have to think that… And I want to talk about this more because it really is a big challenge. I work with much smaller time zone differences, I work with people in Eastern Europe that are two hours ahead of me, and then I have a good part of my team on South America where they are three to four hours later than me. And sometimes when I need to get on a meeting with everyone, I feel it’s a bit harder to juggle, and sometimes I feel that.

Luis:

So my peak productivity is in the mornings. That’s when I produce. But in the mornings, the part of my team that’s in South America is sleeping. So I do feel that it’s somewhat harder to juggle that. At DistantJob we usually have a policy when finding people for other companies, that they need to work North American hours. That makes things a lot easier, but the reality is that not all people will accept that policy.

Luis:

DistantJob clients work with that policy, so that’s something that we offer, but a lot of companies and teams listening to this podcast have more flexible time management agreements. So how do you deal, for example, when you have several clients and you obviously need to talk with them, and by the time they are available to talk to you, you want to be asleep, so how do you manage that?

Alexandre Thauron:

You’re right, because on the morning, it’s like on the morning, I could say alone because all my clients and prospects are sleeping because they’re mostly in France and my associate is in Brazil. So it’s like four hours difference too. So on the morning, I’m quite alone. But I have done a routine that I have every day to, on the morning I used to do sports, and then I check my LinkedIn account, the invitation, the message, the notification, and then I do some communication on social network.

Alexandre Thauron:

Then my fiance comes home to have two lunch together, so we have time together, because she’s working in an office in Noumea, not at home. I’m alone at home. And on the afternoon, I know that at 7:00 PM I have all the France who is getting up. So I have the calls at the time, between 7:00 and 9:00 PM. And if I have trouble with anybody, then now that I am living in New Caledonia, it’s okay. They are in France or in Africa, I have also clients in Africa, and I am in New Caledonia, so we know how the distances, how the time is different between us, and we deal with it.

Alexandre Thauron:

So if they have something to tell me they’ll just leave a message or send me an email or a Messenger, WhatsApp, and as soon as I’m getting up, I can answer and say, “Okay, yeah.” I see what they are talking about, and I send them a message or I call them, and I just send the Loom extension, you can have your screen and your face at the same time. So I just check the LinkedIn profile and I can explain what they ask to answer the question. So it’s really easy. It’s like, okay, we are really far away, but with all the technology, all the social network, the extension, the software that we have, we can work like this and be more close than a man who is living like 10 meters from me in the next home.

Luis:

That’s true. That’s true. So one of the big challenges that people usually have with remote work is the difference between the full time remote employee and the digital nomad. The full time remote employee is basically DistantJob provides, it’s our business model. We connect businesses with people who work from home, from their home in their country, et cetera.

Luis:

And that usually works pretty well because people control their environment, they don’t have distractions, they have good solid internet, we make sure that that happens, et cetera. So that’s pretty easy stuff. But a lot of companies come to me with questions about digital nomads, because a lot of them have tried working with digital nomads and it’s been challenging because people tend to not be available on time, they tend to have bad internet connection, they tend to miss meetings, they spend several hours of the workday without being reached.

Luis:

So my question to you is, when you are traveling, I realize that you’ve settled a bit now, but when you were doing the traveling thing, how did you, when you went to a new place, what was your process to get things set up in a way that you would be reliable? Meaning having a reliable space to work from with no distractions, having solid internet connection, what was your process, what did your process look like?

Alexandre Thauron:

I think the most important thing was to catch the Wi-Fi. If you know the Maslow pyramid?

Luis:

Yeah.

Alexandre Thauron:

I think you know it. So for me, the first step is the Wi-Fi. For a lot of people-

Luis:

Yeah. Food, shelter and wifi.

Alexandre Thauron:

Yes, exactly. So when you are in a place, in a country, the first thing is the Wi-Fi. So you know that you must have and you need to find a place like a home, a room in a hotel, and have good Wi-Fi, not so much noise around. When you work in the remote life, the people we work with know that you are traveling, so they know the condition and they know that maybe sometime you can’t give them the work on time. So it’s okay. But you must deal with it and… Well, pretty everywhere now in the world you can reach Wi-Fi and do your work. So I think it’s not so hard. It’s another way of living. It’s okay if the people doesn’t send the contents on this time, and maybe one day later, it’s okay

Luis:

In theory that’s nice, but I wonder in practice, how did you usually manage to secure that super important, bottom of the pyramid Wi-Fi? In my experience, it’s really irregular. When I travel, I always check that the hotel has good connection, but sometimes I arrive at the hotel and the connection is terrible.

Alexandre Thauron:

Yes.

Luis:

And it’s super country independent. I’ve been in a tiny, tiny hotel room in Brazil, in a building with 50 floors, and the internet was fantastic, it was absolutely fine. And I’ve been in a modern and spacious hotel in the center of Dusseldorf, Germany, and the internet was so bad that I could not even use Slack or WhatsApp.

Alexandre Thauron:

Yeah, so true.

Luis:

So it’s hard. Have you had some of these situations before? What’s your backup plan? How do you… When you arrive at a hotel and the Wi-Fi doesn’t work, what’s your strategy?

Alexandre Thauron:

The best way is to have a Wi-Fi modem. We had one, a small one, we just bought the SIM cards before going to the next place, to the next country. So doing this, you’re sure that you will have the connection everywhere you are. Like lost in the desert in Australia, or maybe in a small town in Brazil, or in Peru, and it’s going to be okay. You will have this modem. If you are lost, you can find your way, and if you need to work and send something like content on email or, I don’t know, you know that you have this disconnection, so it’s okay.

Luis:

But does it work internationally? Is it-

Alexandre Thauron:

Yeah, sure.

Luis:

They have a local provider?

Alexandre Thauron:

Yeah. It works mostly everywhere.

Luis:

Oh nice. I do you need you to give us the brand so I can include it in the show notes, because I’ve tried it with one from a Portuguese company before, but once I got to Brazil, it stopped working because they didn’t have a partnership with any Brazilian operator. So that didn’t work for me.

Alexandre Thauron:

You must check the connection with the country before living there. It doesn’t work with everyone, that’s true.

Luis:

All right. So a couple more questions. I want to finish with some rapid fire questions. They’re fast, but you don’t need to answer fast. You’re free to answer as long as you need. You’re in a very unique situation that I feel that the lot of people should try to be in that situation, but not everyone can, in that you’ve traveled the world with your fiance for like four years while managing a business together. Usually traveling is something that stresses couples, business is something that stresses couples, having a business together, and then I imagine that joining the two together is just dynamite. So what’s the best lesson that traveling and having a business with your fiance taught you?

Alexandre Thauron:

I knew the first day that she was a good person for me, so it was perfect, but after four years, it’s deeply more concrete, because in fact we were together traveling in Australia, we lived in a van for 14 months, a really small van, maybe like six or seven meters, living in the same place. But it’s a really good test for a couple, for your business. But if you manage it, if you deal with it, it’s going to be so intense, so good for you, you will learn a lot.

Alexandre Thauron:

And because we lived all this experience, all these problems that we had, like we need to find place to sleep now, where can we go? We have trouble with the breaks of the van, so how do we do? And then all these problems, the daily problems that we had, it’s like a really good connection. Every time you live bad things with a person, you connect more with her, and then you are really more confident. So it was a really good lesson, life lesson, and we are so rich now. It’s really good.

Luis:

Nice. That’s beautiful. So if someone wants to imitate that lifestyle, if someone wants to go travel, for all the aspiring digital nomads out there, what is the most valuable 100 euro purchase that they can make?

Alexandre Thauron:

100 euros?

Luis:

Yeah.

Alexandre Thauron:

If you have a computer, a Wi-Fi connection, and then maybe a mobile, because on the mobile you can have an application for the translation to… In Australia you have really good mobile application to find some camping places, toilets or shower in the small town when you travel. So this is really good too to catch good places, that you know in two days to go there, so you can manage to go from this town and then this town, and then you know that she will have good place, shower, hot water and good connection.

Alexandre Thauron:

So I think it’s more the organization before, and have enough money too, because if you are going to have a big problem with money, I don’t know, if you have an injury, if you broke your car, broke your camera or your computer, you need to have finance there to buy this again and continue life and just be positive.

Luis:

So for yourself, what purchase has made your work life easier or more productive in the past year?

Alexandre Thauron:

Maybe just a computer, because you have everything on it, you can work, you can-

Luis:

What computer did you buy?

Alexandre Thauron:

It’s a MacBook Air.

Luis:

What model? Is it the bigger screen or the smaller-

Alexandre Thauron:

No, the small screen, and really flat, so you can easily take it with you to travel. The small screen, but there is good memory. It’s not the big one where you have a small screen on the touch screen, but it’s really good, really light.

Luis:

Why Apple instead of a cheaper and possibly more powerful Windows laptop?

Alexandre Thauron:

Because I’m a victim of Apple. I have also an iPhone. I like the interface, the clever thing they develop. It’s really easy to find a new application. Well, I have my phone, I have my iPhone, I have the Mac and I deal with it and I’m really okay. I had a PC computer, a PC at home, my parents are the one. It was okay, but I think it’s really more, I don’t know, easy and interesting to use the Mac, I prefer.

Luis:

I am definitely on your team on that.

Alexandre Thauron:

Okay.

Luis:

What browser tabs do you have open right now?

Alexandre Thauron:

On the computer?

Luis:

Yeah.

Alexandre Thauron:

I have the Zoom, to talk to you, I have some extension, it’s Pocket, if you know it, Pocket, I have Buffer, to publish my content, then I have EditThisCookie, I don’t know if you know it, if you like to see all the cookie that you have and you can see in the websites.

Luis:

Interesting.

Alexandre Thauron:

Yes. And also Eye Dropper, I don’t know if you know it, it’s like a color picture, you can pick the color from a webpage and then use it for your content.

Luis:

That’s a good set of tools. What about books? What book or books have you gifted the most, or if you don’t give books, what book has influenced you the most?

Alexandre Thauron:

I used to read some books before. I love the book of Mike Horn, because it gives me the positive mind. He never stopped, he has a very nice family, he had done a lot of things since maybe 30 years-

Luis:

What’s the name of the book?

Alexandre Thauron:

Latitude Zero.

Luis:

Okay, great.

Alexandre Thauron:

It’s the first one, he wrote in 2001, when he traveled the world close to the equator.

Luis:

Nice. So final question.

Alexandre Thauron:

Yes.

Luis:

Lets say that you are hosting a dinner where all the top executives and hiring managers and decision makers of top tech companies across the world come to. You are being a host of the dinner, and the dinner is in a Chinese restaurant. As the host, you get to pick the message that comes inside the Chinese fortune cookie. What is the non-promotional fortune cookie message for these people regarding remote work and the future of work?

Alexandre Thauron:

Whoa. I think it’s to listen to your internal voice and do what you want to do. I think you must know why you are here on earth, and what gives you the energy every day to wake up and do something you like and just do it. Listen to yourself, if you want to do something, just do it. Don’t listen to others that say, “No, you can’t, no, it’s too risky, too hard, too dangerous.” No, go for it, because then it’s going to be so much interesting for you. Because if you don’t do it, at the end of your life you say, “Okay, maybe if I did it, or maybe, I don’t know.” So no, go. Life is… Time flies, life is so small, so jump.

Luis:

Jump. That’s a good message, jump.

Alexandre Thauron:

Yes.

Luis:

All right. That’s a great place to end. Alex, it was a pleasure having you here. Please tell people, tell our listeners, if they want to continue the conversation with you, where should they go, where should they reach you, and how can they learn more about your business?

Alexandre Thauron:

You can reach me on LinkedIn. So it’s Alexandre Thauron, and you just-

Luis:

We’ll have a link in the show notes.

Alexandre Thauron:

Yeah sure. You just send me a message and I’ll be really happy to talk with you. You just tell me that you come from the podcast and it’s going to be good. I’m so hoping to discover new people and to meet yes people, I told them yes people, the positive people. Really good.

Luis:

Awesome. So thank you so much for listening ladies and gentlemen. This was your host Luis with The DistantJob Podcast, and my guest today was Alex Thauron, co-founder of Buenos Viajes and blogger at that same place, and the cofounder of the expert marketing LinkedIn lead generation B2B business, LinkedGuru. So thank you so much for listening and see you next week.

Luis:

And so we closed another episode of The DistantJob Podcast. And if you enjoyed the episode, please, you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That would be great. It’s how we reach more listeners, and the more listeners we have, the more awesome guests I can get in touch and convinced to participate in these conversations that are a joy to have for me, and I hope they’re a joy for you to listen to as well.

Luis:

You can also help a lot leaving reviews on iTunes or your podcast syndication service of choice. Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast get to more listeners. Now, another thing that you might want to do is go to distantjob.com/blog/podcast, click under your favorite episode, any episode really, and subscribe. By subscribing, you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up and whenever we get the transcripts of the episode up so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form.

Luis:

And of course if you need to find a great employee for your team, great remote employee, you should take the whole world into consideration and not just look to hire locally, not just look to hire in your country. Look around the whole world because that’s the talent pool that contains the best talent. And to help with that, again, distantjob.com is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who we need and we will make sure that you get the best possible candidate 40% faster than the industry standard. And with that, I bid you, adios. See you next week on the next episode of The DistantJob Podcast.

More ways to listen:

The remote work revolution has come to stay, and many companies are embracing it. However, some people don’t like working from home and prefer working while traveling. These kinds of people receive the name of digital nomads.

In this DistantJob’s episode, our guest Alexandre Thauron takes us on a journey to understand more about the life of nomad traveling. The challenges and benefits he faces while working and traveling around the globe. And how he built his business while living in different countries and learning about diverse cultures.

'When you stay in your country, you can't balance your mind, you can't know different ways of living and it's good to open yourself to other kinds of mindsets.'' Click To Tweet

What You Will Learn:

  • Building a business while traveling
  • Creating a remote working structure 
  • Tips for managing work while traveling 
  • Handling different time zones 
  • Challenges of building a business abroad

 

Book Recommendations:

 

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