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The world can be broken down into three different types of people. The first are those people who make things happen. These are the “go-getters” of the world. They know exactly what they want, have a very clear goal, and do everything in their power to make it happen. The second category of people are those who watch things happen. The third wonder ‘what the hell just happened?’ How to make an online business. 

Danny Flood is one of those people who make things happen. A serial online entrepreneur who works from his laptop and travels the world at leisure, he discovered early on that huge lifelong dreams can be practical and achievable with the right plan. Make money online from a business. 

His dream was to support himself without a boss and have the freedom to travel and go and do whatever he wanted. He poured his heart and soul into creating location-independent businesses to give himself the freedom he sought. And he succeeded. Over the last five years he has traveled and lived in over 30 countries, and done everything from exploring the world’s oldest rain forests, to fighting bouts as a boxer in Thailand, exploring the Amazon on a raft, island-hopping via sailboat across the South China Sea, and living in jungle camps in Borneo. Earn money online to travel full time

But when he started, he began at zero. He had no mentors. There were so few resources that he could consult to help him move forward. He spent hours at the library, at the park, or at the beach, speed reading through business books, in search of valuable nuggets. Successful online business

Knowing how difficult it was to succeed with 0 resources, Danny is now dedicated to being that resource for you. To help you discover and live your best life. With 3 successful businesses in tow, Danny also runs OpenWorld Magazine (a magazine about discovering life), and is leading a movement to show exactly what it takes to live life on your own terms.

He has become the most indispensable resource for many people to get out there in to the world, see what’s waiting for them, and tap in to their true purpose and destiny. Make money online

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What do you love the most about travelling?

I love the diversity; the thrill of something new. Whenever I find myself becoming stuck in a routine for a while, I know I need to shake that up and open myself to new experiences. Successful online business.

That was why I named my website “Open World,” because traveling really opens up your world, and you learn so much. I’m still surprised by all of the new things I discover every time I travel. Design your own lifestyle.

What inspired you to start travelling?

Before I started, I never really traveled any where. And I just felt repressed, scared to follow a default life plan which seemed to be inevitably thrust upon me once I’d reached adulthood. Quit my job for online money

On top of that, when I was a teenager I wanted to be a writer. But I didn’t have any interesting stories to tell, so I figured I needed to get out into the world and open myself up to new and exciting experiences. It started with just learning new skills, taking up new sports, or attempting other things, such as stand up comedy or studying a foreign language. Then once I was free of school and started to make a bit of money, I began to travel and booked several one way tickets since. Quit my job make money online

My whole life philosophy has been based on this attitude. If you see a fork in the road: take it. Always err on the side of action. After 10+ years of grounding my life around this philosophy, it’s fair to say that I’ve acquired quite a great deal of life experience. Start an online business. 

You created 3 successful businesses from the road while living out of your backpack. Was this something you always aspired to achieve? 

The idea of a location independent lifestyle always seemed so romantic… but my goals evolved over time. In the beginning I thought it would be a blast to just live out of my truck, work for clients from my laptop, and just go anywhere I wanted. Then my plan became to travel internationally for 3 months out of year. Then that became six. This current jaunt has lasted since April 2014 (one and a half year). Reality of starting an online business. 

The way I manifested this, is I wrote down my “dream goals” – most of which involved thrilling experiences in exotic corners of the earth (such as rafting down the Amazon), or learning new skills (such as tango in Buenos Aires or Muay Thai in Bangkok), and then figured out the steps I needed to take today, tomorrow, and the next day to make them happen, as well as the cost.

Then I gathered several of my friends and we created a once-monthly “mastermind” group to share our dream goals and keep ourselves accountable. This was immensely helpful, because it forced me to put my biggest goals front and center instead of setting them aside on the shelf.

What are the benefits of a location independent lifestyle?

I make it a point to remind myself constantly how blessed I am to have such freedom and personal autonomy. While everyone else is making long, dreaded commutes to an office early in the morning or late in the evening, I can sleep in late. I can show up to work any time I want, work as little or as much as I want, and most importantly – I’m extremely passionate and engaged in my work.

There’s a sort of magic when you’re passionate and engaged in what you’re doing, and it doesn’t feel like work. It’s not easy, but I love it so much that I don’t mind working my tail off. I like that success rests on my shoulders alone. And the freedom to do what I want, and go where I want feels amazing.

On the other hand, working for a large company with 20 different bosses all trying to make sure you understand the pecking order, with co-workers who are tuned out and only talk about getting drunk, is no way to spend your life.

Anything which could be seen as a “con” of this type of life?

Saying goodbyes is the hardest thing, and it never ever gets any easier. When you leave one place for a new one, you’re essentially folding up your life there and starting out a brand new life somewhere else.

I’ve made some incredibly, close friendships (and relationships) with incredible people I would have otherwise never even met if I hadn’t left my home country, and I miss many of them terribly. I miss every single ex-girlfriend I’ve ever had too, because we shared some truly special moments together.

But perhaps that’s the greatest lesson of this lifestyle – it teaches you that nothing is permanent and that you really have to absorb every moment. I think the fact that everything in life is temporary is something that every person should consider every single day. How to start a business online

Some day you will no longer be young and attractive. Some day you will die and be buried six feet under the ground. So there’s no reason for you to hold anything back now – give everything you have to the present moment.

Tsunetomo Yamamoto put it best:

“If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the present moment.”

Tell us about your businesses – what does it take to run a string of successful companies from every corner of the globe?

It’s a lot of work, and a lot of people seem to have a lot of misconceptions about it. When people don’t see success early on, they give up. The truth is that with each of my companies I had to work very hard for a long time before I started to see money come in. 

For instance, all four of my books that I’ve published so far have been Amazon best-sellers. But those were either “free” best-sellers that I gave away, or short spikes in sales (such as a one-day 99 cent promotion on a big mailing list). But even a best-selling book doesn’t mean that you are going to be drowning in wealth: the royalties I receive are very modest and certainly not enough to live on. What do I need to start an online business. 

The same happened when I started my first business – a digital marketing agency serving offline business. The first year or two I didn’t make enough to live normally on, so I just lived extremely frugally. In years 3, 4, and 5 it became a very profitable, healthy business where I was earning more than 75% of Americans while having everything automated and systemized.

Danny Flood

So after 3-4 years of hard work I was finally able to travel and make all my dreams come true. That’s because I paid my dues to acquire the experience, resources, and connections needed to make it happen. But if you aren’t willing to pour the first two years into the business even if you make very little money, then you’re better off scrambling back to the corporate world.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to love what you are doing: you should be willing to give everything for your vision, and your work should be imbued with a sense of deep purpose. Can I make money online

Are you just incredibly blessed, or can anyone make this lifestyle their reality?

I’m not blessed by any stretch of the imagination. I’m average IQ, average height and weight, and with no extraordinary talents. If I was blessed, it was because I had an extraordinary father who taught me all of the right lessons to make my dreams come true. How much money can I make online

Even though he’s gone, the things he told me are still with me. He always said things like:

“Winners never quit. Quitters never win.”
“Cream always rises to the top.”
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

He instilled in to me the belief that if you have a dream, you should ever never give up, no matter what may happen.

Is there a specific skill set people need to pursue a full time income online?

I think that you should take your existing skillset and background and leverage it to become self-employed. That’s the easiest and surest way. You can learn the other skillsets as you go, but its always best to start by monetizing the knowledge and skills that you already have.

If you have an English teaching background for instance, you are one of the best individuals to create a course teaching others how to land a teaching job, and succeed in the field. How to start an online business. 

What does “Buy your own island mean”?

When I wrote my first book I had no working title. Near the completion, I was forced to come up with a bunch of ideas for the name of the book, but nothing seemed to stick. Start a business from your backpack

Then I saw a section from a book called “Ca$hvertising” which was called “Buy your own island,” referring to newspaper advertising. Around the same time, I read a story of a few guys who actually bought their own island in Nova Scotia.

The lesson, as one of the guys said, was that: “huge lifelong dreams can become practical and  be made to happen within a matter of weeks. Sometimes it’s just a matter of thinking outside the box and doing a little research, rather than assuming it’s impossible or impractical.”

I thought it was a perfect metaphor for the idea that I wanted to express in the book: huge lifelong dreams can be practical and achievable with the right plan. On top of that, buying your own island seemed like the perfect example of personal autonomy and freedom. That’s what my book is all about.

What are some practical tips for those wanting to break out of the 9-5 mold and create a location independent lifestyle for themselves?

Take baby steps. Start small: just get your first client. You don’t need to reinvent yourself, so start by leveraging the skills, experiences, and talents you already have and learn the rest as you go – as long as it compliments who you already are and what you are doing at the moment.

Many of my first clients, when I started my digital advertising agency, I worked with for free. I wanted to acquire new skills that would be important to my career. So, for example, my first time doing Google Maps optimisation was for a pizza restaurant that I went to several times a week. The project was successful, and I sold that service for hundreds of dollars to dozens of clients afterward.

Once you establish good working relationships and clients appreciate you, you can come up with other services that you can offer them. By this point, you’ll be doing very well because you don’t need to spend a lot of time finding new customers or marketing yourself – which can be very time consuming and costly. Selling new services and products to existing and past clients is almost like free money. Start a business while traveling overseas

What are some practical tips for maintaining an income on the road?

In my own experience, nothing works better than cold e-mail outreach. If you find yourself broke with few opportunities, then start contacting people! Spend a week where you just send out 20 e-mails each day to pitch people.

Of course, it’s not that easy – you’ll want to have an established brand (be able to show that you’re something worth talking to) and have something great to offer these people that will bring value to their lives. I wrote a really comprehensive guide called “Hack E-mail” with everything you need to know which is available for the price of a cup of coffee on Amazon.

E-mail outreach works for almost everything – whether it’s to find freelance clients, attract partners who can help you promote your products, or pitch ideas for new services to past clients. As a matter of fact, I connected with you Megan, for this article, as the result of a cold e-mail!

Another example is I’ve been able to get free stays everywhere I go by approaching guesthouses and small hostels / hotels and offering to help design a WordPress website for them. It’s really easy to get a free room for a month that way, and I’ve never ever had trouble securing a trade with this kind of offer. A few people have said no thanks, but many have said yes… and it was an easy sell. How to make money online as a freelancer

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Three things you can’t travel without?

My gratitude journal, sunlight, and pineapple.

The gratitude journal is the key to living happily for me. I can short-circuit negative emotions as they occur and focus on the good things in life. Travel is full of all kinds of hiccups, but when I keep a regular gratitude journal the small inconveniences don’t phase me any more.

Sunlight is something I need a healthy deal of every day. It releases serotonin, improves my mood, and makes me more productive.

Pineapple has been shown to increase melatonin production by over 250% in studies. Getting quality sleep is very important and central to my life (I even wrote a book called “Hack Sleep”), so I make it a point to eat it every evening.

Which destinations are at the top of your bucket list?

Since I’m in Asia, a lot of my upcoming travel plans involve destinations within this region. I’ve set many goals for myself here, such as: climb Mt Kinabalu, trek the Himalayas, hang glide in Pokhara, and land a role in a movie in China or India. Tips for running an online business

I was cast for a role in an Indian film last year but couldn’t attend for the filming due to my travel schedule. Tips for maintaining an online business

Why should people pursue their dreams? 

Because you are going to die. One day soon you will no longer inhabit this earth, and all of your hopes, dreams, ideas will all die with you.

Don’t waste your one and only life. Give it everything you’ve got, for as long as you are here.

Inspired by this interview? Danny is raising funds to take OpenWorld Magazine to the next level. A high quality, low-cost subscription magazine delivered through iTunes, Android, Desktop, and the Web with actionable, inspirational content, the vision for OWM is to become the most indispensable resource for you to get out there in to the world, see what’s waiting for you, and tap in to your true purpose and destiny.

To get behind this project you can pledge a donation or just share the link to their Indiegogo page and spread the word, everything helps.

To manifest this vision in the world, you can pledge anything — from the cost of a cup of coffee all the way up to a premium sponsorship.


Support Danny in taking OpenWorld Magazine to the next level!

SPREAD THE WORD! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓

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At 28, Danny has traveled to over 30 countries on four continents and done and seen many of the things that he wanted to. He has crossed half of Southeast Asia on a motorcycle. He’s rafted down the Amazon and climbed the tallest mountains of South America. He’s rappelled off waterfalls in the jungle and sailed across the South China Sea.

Through his many adventures around the world, he has been robbed, fallen from bridges and motorbikes, hugged exotic animals, and nearly died several times in pursuit of his dreams.

Danny runs OpenWorld Magazine to show exactly what it takes to live life on your own terms. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

    26 Comments

  1. Inspiring! I started to work location independent about 1 year and 4 months ago. I mainly work as a freelancer though but I guess in terms of motivation, learning etc. it’s not very different. Definitely start with baby steps and don’t lose motivation when something goes wrong. Learn from your mistakes and improve your skills every day.

    • Isn’t he! Congrats on turning your dream into a reality Stef! You’re right that the specific online tasks we do may differ, though when it comes to the motivation and learning curve to get there, the experience is very much the same.

      I truly believe anyone can make this career path a reality with determination and the right attitude to making it work.

      Happy travels!

  2. Danny is so inspiring and positive. Reading this interview right as I begin my day has put me in a positive ‘anything is possible’ mindset. Thank you for this!

    • So happy you enjoyed the interview Natasha, and I’m glad that his passion could inspire you to start the day on a positive note 🙂 All the best with your endeavors!

  3. It’s not that easy to build an online business today. It takes a year and sometimes even more to become successful. But once you become successful it is really worth it 🙂

    • Absolutely Julius – there is definitely an initial time investment required first. If there’s one thing I’ve realized it’s that there is no magic bullet when it comes to running an online business, and you have to run the hard yards before reaping any of the rewards. But as you said, when the rewards start paying off, everything you initially put in is absolutely worth it.

      I like to think of the start up when you’re not getting paid for the time you put in as “we do the things others won’t so we can live the way other’s can’t”.

  4. Oh blimey – what a handsome I MEAN inspiring young man 🙂 You just can’t stop scrolling through all those “oops I’m semi nude again” pics can you? #nomnomnom he he he

    Love his attitude and a lot we can learn from that. Super advice about working with hotels (I hate calling it a free stay because it doesn’t really work out like that) and I’d add to his building a wordpress site, help with social media. So many hotels we encountered (in Asia) were so young to this and desperate to get on board with it and really welcomed knowledge/experience for social media.

    • Haha I’ll have to make sure he’s included in the upcoming Sexiest Travelers of the year post 😀

      Absolutely agree that we can all learn something from his attitude , especially in the out of the box approach to thinking re hotels. These kind of trades can be really beneficial to both parties, yet no-one thinks of offering their services in exchange for a stay. It’s quite brilliant!

  5. What an inspiring person! I think the world would be a better place if we all followed our dreams rather than let society dictates what it is expected of us. It took me a long long time to take that leap of fate and finally decide what was right for me. So I can totally relate!

    • Yes he is! And I agree – I think that if people were genuinely happy with their lives we would have a much more friendly place to live.

  6. I think he hits the nail on the head about it taking time and that small successes sometimes aren’t enough to live off of (although I’d still argue that combined w/ other small successes often can be!) Great to see someone who went from zero to successful! Gives hope to those of us trying a similar path

    • Absolutely LeAnna – people have the mindset that anything they do these days needs to be instant otherwise it’s not worth it. But something like making an online business successful doesn’t happen over night, and you have to be willing to put in the time.

      It does pay off in the end though and it can be done from zero!

  7. Truly inspiring story! We really love the idea of a mastermind group of friends to help keep you accountable. So often we talk about goals and dreams but without having support and someone to hold you accountable, it is easy to let them fall by the wayside or to let your focus stray!

    • Absolutely – I’ve found vocalizing your goals to people really does make you accountable to them, and you’re more driven to making them happen when somebody else knows what you’re doing. Because it’s easy to sweep something under the rug if it’s just you, though when other people know you feel held to making it happen 🙂

  8. Such an inspiring post, Megan! So much of Danny’s message resonates with me, particularly the importance of loving what you do. The chance of success is so much greater if you are passionate about what you do.
    I consume pineapple because it is supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties – I had no idea it that it also increases melatonin production! I am going to eat more of it when I travel to help with jetlag 🙂

    • Thanks Nancy – really glad you enjoyed it 🙂 I’ve found that you never work a day in your life if you’re passionate about what you do!!

      Going to find myself a stash of pineapple too 😀 Happy travels!

  9. Very interesting. One of the statements that stood out for me is if you have a dream, you should never ever give up. This is kind of my motto. Danny has hit the nail on the head with many of his philosophies. I really like “Don’t waste your one and only life. Give it everything you’ve got, for as long as you are here.” Every day I play that over and over in my head and try to make maximum use of the 24 hours in that day. Danny is indeed a real inspiration.

    • He has some incredibly wise words!! Because all we’ve got is this one life, so why would we not make the most of it and pursue our passions so we can wake up each morning and love what we do. Life’s too short to live any other way 🙂

  10. This is such a great post, I really love it. I’m currently in the middle of trying to figure out what it is I want to do and posts like this really help me smash down the boundaries set by norms and reach really outside the box.

    • Thankyou Maria – I think often one of the biggest things is actually narrowing down what you like to do! It does tend to change throughout different stages of your life, for instance I was first passionate about music, and now that passion has evolved into travel writing. Who knew!

      But if you can figure out what your passion truly is, there’s nothing anymore to say that you shouldn’t give it everything you’ve got and pursue it. Because there are no rules to life anymore and people like Danny help illustrate that there is no set “norm” anymore when it comes to living your life.

      All the best! I hope you find what you’re looking for 🙂

  11. Truly inspiring! What a great attitude and philosophy. My daughter is hoping to start up her own small business, so I’ll be sure to share this with her as it will help to get through any bumps in the beginning with a good mindset.

    • Absolutely Rhonda – thanks for sharing! Danny is an inspiration, and I think it really helps when you’re starting out to hear from others who have been in your shoes, persevered through, and found success.

      Anything is possible if we surround ourselves with positive energy and encouragement from like minded people. I think the biggest thing is seeing that other people have succeeded and using that as inspiration to succeed too.

  12. This is a very inspirational story. Their journey is very admirable and it will definitely make every online business owner motivated and work for more. This can be the best dream for entrepreneurs who are doing business online. To do the work anywhere in the world. More success for Danny!

    • So happy to hear you’ve found the article inspiring – hopefully we can inspire others to break free from the regular mold and pursue their passions and dreams 🙂

  13. Very inspiring, thank you for this interview

    • Glad you enjoyed it Rebecca 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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