Oshin was Mike's virtual assistant. Then he got sick on the road, they met and immediately fell in love with each other. Now they run two businesses together.
DIGITAL NOMAD PROFILE
NAME & SURNAME: Michael and Oshin Hulleman
AGE: 35 and 26
TYPE OF DIGITAL NOMAD: Business(es) Owners
NAME OF THE COMPANY: Copyrise.com, which we are bring to an end and rolling into HobowithaLaptop.com, in addition to our affiliate websites and passion projects, books, etc.
SECTOR: Travel Marketing, Blog Monetization
CURRENT LOCATION: Philippines
NEXT LOCATIONS: Thailand, and then perhaps Medillan and Gran Canaria
FAVORITE LOCATION: Wherever we are.
TRAVELING WITH: Wife
AVERAGE MONTHLY SALARY: Middle Class
When did you decide to become a Digital Nomad and why? What did you do before?
I officially decided to become a digital nomad around 2011 and made my move in Canada the same year. I started traveling internationally in 2013.
I’d worked as an entrepreneur for many more years than being employed between the age of 19 - 33, mostly in web design. First as a designer, animator, video editor, and then later I got into information architecture and website planning for really, really large websites.
Although, I knew I’d live this way in 1993 when I saw an ad featuring a guy sending a fax from a beach. That ad guided my career from day one, before High School. I spent a decade moving around Canada testing it out before I flew over an ocean.
Tell me more about your current job. How did you start?
I was in e-commerce and enterprise web design for the better part of a decade. I needed a way to serve up something new to existing clients, so I got into SEO, which lead to Influencer Marketing (link building), which lead to Travel Marketing because I was surrounded by travel bloggers. And then when we got asked to take part in someone else's Influencer Marketing campaign, I decided I’d roll up everything I knew into Hobo with a Laptop. Hobo had been dormant for years, so it was easy to pick up again.
We also dedicate a whole section of Hobo helping freelancers find jobs so they can become digital nomads, too.
What kind of tools do you use to be productive? How many hours per week do you usually work? How do you find your clients?
We use so many that we listed them all in this post.
You mentioned you're traveling with your wife. Did you meet her on the road?
Yes, we did. Oshin was my virtual assistant for a couple years before we finally met in person in 2016. She helped me with my copywriting client work while I wrote Digital Nomad Escape Plan, and later she helped me launch Copyrise.
She was indispensable. She was the Ms. Potts to my Iron Man. I got really sick at one point and lost almost 50 lbs. I was gaunt, and I couldn’t put the weight back on no matter what I did. I thought I was over.
Before heading back to Canada after battling the health issues for over a year, I decided to sit down with Oshin to plan how she’d take over my business while I was getting treatment.
When I got off that plane, I felt like I had just come home to my wife. Everything was natural, she knew me better than anyone. I told her how I felt, and she felt the same way. I arrived around 9pm, and we decided I was moving in with her before we fell asleep.
I stayed many months in Cebu with her before facing the music in Canada. We launched Copyrise, made it cash positive, and had already started working on our next big income generators before I left.
I was in Canada a few months --health checked out. Whatever was wrong with me, wasn’t wrong anymore. I caught up with my friends, got back on an airplane, and we eloped a couple months later. And the rest is history.
How do you choose the next locations?
We base our decisions on where our friends have been, or where they’re going.
Which are your passions? What do you do in your free time?
I used to be an environmental activist, once upon a time. I’m anti-nuclear, but it got really hard shouting over the SJW bandwagon. Today I prefer to be quiet, write books, and work on side projects like affiliate websites and helping out causes I support with their online activity --I prefer to invest my time in kids and the environment.
I’m really interested in all aspects of the nomadic lifestyle, especially off-grid living and Tiny Houses.
What’s the worst part of being a Digital Nomad?
What’s your advice to somebody who wants to become a Digital Nomad?
Don’t debate with others, you’ll just create obstacles. You are not crazy. The ones closest to you, because they love you, will wind up being your biggest stumbling blocks. Some might even sabotage your plans.
Go as fast as you can, tear the bandaid off quickly. Don’t announce anything until you have $6,000 USD saved up. Be a ninja.
Let them know you aren’t abandoning anyone, you’re just changing how you communicate.