1-on-1 with Egill, a serial entrepreneur turned digital nomad who gets it done in 2h per day
We believe that independent professionals are the pioneers of the changing world of work. That’s why every week we go in-depth with one of our favorites and pick up some lessons about what it takes to be a digital nomad.
This week we spoke to Egill (28), a serial entrepreneur from Iceland who early on was intentional about being a “ridiculously positive guy”.
While he has leveraged his upbeat personality in entrepreneurship, as a digital nomad he is focused on achieving extreme productivity and enjoying his time away.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
I worked as a journalist after graduation but I always wanted to work for myself and build businesses. My and a close friend had the idea to organize tours for young travellers to Iceland as tourism was just getting started in the country, thanks to volcanoes erupting and the growing popularity of Instagram which made those scenes very attractive.
After experimenting with different formats, we found that food tours were the most profitable and by using only reviews on Tripadvisor with some marketing budget we became theno. 1 tour in all of Iceland.
Working in the tourism business was the most fun job in the world.
For how long have you been travelling? How did it start?
I started travelling after high school about 10 years ago when I did trips around Asia with friends in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.
Now is actually the first time I am a 100% digital nomad. My goal is to travel or be on the road for six months, every year.
What was your favorite location so far and why?
Small islands in Thailand were so remote and beautiful, life was unbelievable there.
Morocco was equally nice, very affordable, great weather. I’ve been there three times and I was even considering buying a house there.
These we are thinking about settling somewhere in Europe like Italy where I can be one flight away from Iceland to make it easy to go back for business or friends and family visits.
3 most important items you travel with?
My favorite would be Airpods Pro because of the noise cancelling feature that helps me focus and turn off distractions.
Having too many devices (smartwatch, laptop, phone etc.) can be energy draining and distracting too as you need to charge them every day.
I’ve found that it is less stressful when I have the least amount of items to travel with.
Where do you do your best work?
On the balcony if it’s quiet at the place I happen to be in.
Most memorable nomad experience
Walking with nomads in the Sahara desert of Morocco with my fiance and camping under the stars.
Challenges of being a nomad
Worrying about things going awry with my businesses or obsessing too much about delighting our customers.
Over the years, I’ve learned to slowly trust others with more responsibility.
I think about money a lot before travelling. For example, I would do thorough research on flights and accommodations to get good rates.
I am also highly aware of the cost of living where I go, Numbeo is a great resource for this. Choosing a good destination is one big decision that can save a lot of money and stress. When you’re in a value location you are relaxed about your spending and that comes with a nice feeling of being free to just enjoy your stay.
My morning routines are the most important when travelling: I wake up at 6 am, I work from 7 to 9 am, then [me and my partner] we hit the gym.
After that we have some fun time like a fancy brunch or doing road trips.
I built this routine over time, the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris was a great inspiration.
We meet a lot of new people when we’re showing up to any group activity like yoga or dancing parties.
Basically we just naturally put ourselves out there and say yes to people.
How do you personally define success?
Building businesses and making myself, my life partner and other people happy. Designing a lifestyle that brings joy.
Adding more properties to my portfolio, having a good safety net so I will have zero financial worries. Settling somewhere like Turkey or Italy, and then running or helping others run businesses I am passionate about.
Tips for others nomads starting out
Have good morning routines that will reduce the amount of work you need to do. Read a lot, you get so many amazing and useful ideas.
Put yourself out there, be natural and connect with people.