How I turned down company equity in a multi-million dollar company to become a broke, homeless digital nomad instead

Unexpected opportunity

On a sunny Wednesday, 2 months ago, I get a weird mail from a well-known start-up’s HR department, saying that I’ve been hand-picked out for candidacy on a top level management position. By some miracle, I had become quite the local sales authority and a marketing enthusiast, who had results to show for it. The well-funded start-up wasn’t looking for your classical, educated, dry office workers. They needed a straight hustler, somebody who had the mentality of a beast, drive of a burning meteor and leadership abilities to pave the way to a completely new market. A regional manager. I’ve always thought kindly of the idea about getting involved in a start-up and the salary wasn’t bad either, with having a few percent in company equity as a bonus on top of other many benefits. So I applied, as they requested. How it went? Well, let’s just say that I have a lot of short-comings, but I tend to excel job interviews. This was no exception.

But just after that, I saw an interesting job offer on the internet, promoting digital nomad lifestyle, explaining they would be looking for an apprentice to do: SEO, content marketing, graphical design, manage VAs, do PPC campaigns and so on. Which is ALL that I truly am confident in and love doing. The spot would be in Chiang Mai, Thailand. An exotic land of culture that I have never heard off and only 5,500 miles away from me.

Chiang Mai

The dilemma

Now I had a dilemma between a top level management position that would come in with hefty bonus and by far the highest salary I’ve ever had, in fact much more than any of my relatives I know have ever had, versus an apprentice position where I could work up to become a serious internet marketer.

Everything that made sense told me to take the management position, despite it being an office job. A 9-to-5. A white collar. The epitome of my life, the highest achievement I’d ever achieve. Doing something I know how to do, but don’t love to do versus doing something I truly am passionate about, so willing and passionate about that I would be willing to sacrifice anything I have, just to make it happen. I’ve been sold the internet marketing dream ages ago, but the concept of a digital nomad was new to me. I followed my heart, I sold the few possessions I had, took a loan from my family and booked the tickets next day. It was decided.

Slight change in course of action

But unfortunately things didn’t work out as planned, as they never do in my life, the apprentice position was suddenly off the table and I’m left in a foreign country with no income. With no way to salvage my other job offer, as I had went pass deadline for responding. I was angry for the first day, depressed the second and collected my calm on the third one. I knew that I didn’t need to work for anybody with the skills I possess. A great salesman, an amazing SEO and a lousy writer – I’m sure I can make something work. Done and decided, within a week I had my portfolio up and I netted my first SEO client on Upwork within ease. It soon grew. I also started getting opportunities from other nomads I’ve had been networking with. Just not give up. Just keep going on.

Conclusion?

Do I feel stupid? Every single day. I turned down an offer that all my peers would dream off. But, somehow, I am the happiest I have ever been. I’ve been networking with other nomads in Chiang Mai and I truly believe that this is the spot for me. I do like challenges, also. I have a tendency to choose the more difficult path, must be in my characteristics.

2 Comments

  1. Richa November 8, 2016

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