Maverick Traveler

Location Independence, Geo Arbitrage, Individual Freedom

9 Location-Independent Skills That Will Forever Make You Immune To A 9-5

I simply love my life. Every day I wake up in a great mood, feeling energized and lucky to be alive.

The best part of my life is that I design it exactly how I want it. I wake up, have my breakfast, a big bowl of tea, work for a bit, then go to the gym.

The rest of the day consists of more work, lunch with a friend or something else.

The reason that I’m able to do that isn’t because of some special voodoo or some luck; it’s because I’m able to create value that’s consumed by people over the Internet.

While I run multiple online businesses that provide me with location-independent businesses, you don’t need to build a business in order to have this kind of life.

All you really need is to have skills that are highly in demand by others and provide such services over the Internet.

Thinking about doing the same? Here are a few solid job ideas:

Copywriting

If you know how to copywrite, you have a license to print money. That’s how lethal this specialty is. 

In a nutshell, copywriting is the ability to write text and words that connect directly with the reader, solves a particular problem they’re experiencing and then sells them a solution that problem.

This applies to basically everything, whether it’s selling physical products such as eCommerce, digital downloads or things like webinars and informational products.

So, while, you must find the customer, bring them to your site, you still need to actually sell the customer once they’re on your site and trying to figure out whether your product will solve their problem.

That’s where solid copywriting comes in. 

Do it well, and you will be handsomely rewarded.

Digital Marketing

While marketing means many things to many people, in a nutshell is the discipline is finding groups of similar people who may be interested in the product you’re selling.

Digital marketing simply means finding such people on the Internet (as opposed to in real life).

How exactly do you find these people? Well, you have to put yourself into the mind of that person and start thinking like them. (That’s called “customer avatar.”) 

Then, you ask yourself: are they hanging out on Facebook? Are they searching for a solution on Google? Or are they hanging on some very specific forums?

Of course, these are obvious, easy solutions. Experienced marketers need to be creative and use a variety of techniques and tricks to pinpoint the locations of their users, wherever they are on the Internet.

FB Advertising / Google AdWords

While marketing is a generally broad field, one of the most in-demand specialities when it comes to marketing are Facebook Advertising experts and Google AdWords experts.

In case you didn’t know, Facebook Advertising is extremely hot right now and many people have been able to make incredible fortunes in a very short amount of time.

The problem with Facebook Ads is that there’s an incredibly steep learning curve, so you must spend a lot of money to buy all that experience before you even get good (if ever).

Thus, someone with a lot of experience in successfully buying traffic and turning a profit is indeed in high demand. In fact, just recently I consulted with a Facebook expert and paid them almost four-figures for several hours of work where they diagnosed and solved a couple of problems in one of my eCommerce stores.

I made the money back in profit in about two days.

The same goes for someone who knows Google Advertising (AdWords) in and out. Although it’s not as complicated as Facebook Ads, having the ability to hire and expert who can hit the ground running quickly is an important asset in a fast-growing business.

Website Optimization

This is mostly a catch-all terms that represents all the things that you can do to make a website (a store) better and faster. 

This includes things like speed improvements, landing page optimizations, conversion optimization and other things in this area.

If you can show a potential client how increasing their website’s speed even by even few seconds can make them $X,XXX more revenue (they are studies that prove this), you will have an interested client.

If you can help a client streamline their website and improve conversion ratio and increase their revenue, they will be very interested in working with you.

I know businesses that make anywhere from $1,000-$20,000 (and more) per month in helping businesses optimize their websites.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the art of optimizing a website so that it ranks high on Google for specific keyword(s) and, therefore, receives tons of traffic. 

It’s one of those skills where you basically take an idea and generate money out of thin air. 

Of course, there are ever-changing Google updates to know about, the best practices and a bit of trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t.

If you’re willing to put in the work, this can be an extremely lucrative skill to leverage for clients as well as for yourself.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is how I started making money on the Internet back in 2003 or so. It’s one of the most tried and true methods of making money online and no wonder it’s one of the most popular and time-tested ways of making money out there.

Affiliate marketing is when you market other people’s products or services. When the other person purchases the product, you get a commission. That commission can range from something like 10% to even 100% (although it’s typically somewhere in the range of 50-75%).

Affiliate marketing is great because you don’t need to spend time and effort to build your product and service to sell. All you have to do pick a product or service that solves your audience’s problem and go from there. 

Essentially, you’re just a digital middle man who finds an audience for a third party product and gets a cut for the effort.

The above jobs are only a quick sample. What they all have in common is that they directly bring revenue. There’s money involved in a direct way.

“Building” jobs

The skills I listed above are mainly “selling” skills. These are the skills that enable you to hit the ground running without needing to work for anyone else. That’s because, as I mentioned above, these jobs have direct access to money.

The second type of skills are “building” skills. These are the skills that other people can hire you for. Then, these other people combine your “building” skills with their “selling” skills and make lots of money.

Content writing

For this blog, I wrote all the content myself (except a few guest articles who were submitted by others), but for other sites I like to outsource content. 

I basically tell these writers what the content should be about, how long should the article be, and they do the rest. This saves me lots of time and effort that could be potentially put into other projects and endeavors. 

Make no mistake about it, content writing is hard and monotonous work, especially if you need to write about subjects you have zero passion or interest in. 

Programming

In my former life, I was a software developer. Being a logical thinker, I enjoyed getting the computer to do exactly what I wanted to do. Programming came to me naturally and, as it happened, it was a skill that paid extremely high salaries. That allowed me an awesome lifestyle.

Software development is the quintessential remote job because you’re basically writing code (instructions) that make the software that everyone has installed on their computers.

While software development isn’t for everyone, if you can learn how to code, you will have access to a plethora of jobs that will allow you to finally become free and see the world.

The downside is that it’s a rather boring skill where you’re forced to talk to the computer for many hours instead of people (via email). 

Web design/General design

Last but not least, we have programmer’s cousin: web design. Whereas programming is a very logical task, web design is much more artistic and emotional.

While I’ve been a decent developer, I’ve always sucked at web design. It’s not a skill that I ever managed to do well, and I don’t even know if it’s something that someone like me can actually learn.

Nevertheless, if you’re more of an artistic type of person and someone who enjoys creating stuff, you may be suitable for design work.

Moreover this isn’t just applicable to web design, but all kinds of design. I have a friend who does logo designs for major corporations. He’s making some good money at it.

But that’s just one of those skills that I personally wouldn’t be able to do, never mind excel at. It just not something that I’m design for. 

Live on the internet, make money online

What do all these jobs have in common? They live on the Internet. They take advantage of people’s wants and desires and deliver a particular service that others will enjoy.

Obviously, the first category of jobs allow you to hit the ground running and make money while working for yourself. These jobs are the building blocks for a business. 

Whether you’re an affiliate market, an SEO strategist or an FB Advertiser guru, you’re making money directly from clients or from your own projects. That means you can hire other people, expand the business, grow, etc.

The second category of jobs, however, are the jobs that don’t deal directly with money. When you specialize in one of those jobs, you’re typically hired by someone else to help build a product for their business. You’re not building your own business. 

That’s ok because you’re able to get a nice salary and live the location-independent lifestyle.

Of course, my preference is mastering the skills for the jobs in the first category. Those allow you to be more independent and have complete control in the kind of money you make. 

Nevertheless, any one of these jobs is a lot better than being forever stuck in a fluorescent office with annoying and soulless colleagues and two-week yearly vacations along to “off-the-beaten” path destinations like Cancun, Cabo San Lucas or Key West.

Kiev Killed My Inner Digital Nomad; Plans For 2019

It’s hard to believe that it’s already February of 2019. I faintly remember exactly a year ago when I was hustling in New York City, trying to build my first ecommerce business as well as to understand the monster that is Facebook Ads. The end result was building several successful ecommerce stores that are mostly running on autopilot and are turning in a tidy profit every month.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my new apartment in the smack center of Kiev, about a block from the main street and a mere 10 minutes from the Independence Square where the famous “Maidan Revolution” took place in 2014.

Throughout the past 3-4 years, I’ve lived all over Kiev in all kinds of different neighborhoods, but this apartment definitely takes the cake. I suppose it’s the reward for all the hard work.

I love living in Kiev so much, that I sort of lost the desire to escape every now and then to another country and see a new city. Moving around the world just doesn’t have the same allure as it had before. Sure, I’ve traveled a bit throughout Ukraine, visiting different cities, but I could definitely see myself living in Kiev for the foreseeable future without needing to move around too much.

One great thing about Kiev (and Ukraine) is the location. Most of Europe is only several hours away by plane. Then, there’s the Caucus region consisting of countries such as Armenia and Georgia that are also a few hours away. Flights to these destinations aren’t terribly expensive, so there’s always an opportunity to fly to Georgia for a weekend or more and then come back to Kiev.

Thus, Georgia and Armenia are two destinations I hope to explore this year.

When it comes to Europe as a whole, it’s a continent that I’ve covered throughout the years so there aren’t many countries that I’d like to visit (or revisit).

There’s one country that I’ve visited and hope to return to: Portugal. I visited Portugal back in 2012 and had an excellent time. I actually found it friendlier and more laid-back than Spain. Plus, since I speak Portuguese (as a result of living in Brazil), I can easily get around, talk to locals and get the inside scoop on the best spots not covered in your favorite guide-book.

When it comes to exploring the warm shores of the Mediterranean, I’ve visited most of the countries and relaxed on their beautiful shores. The main exception on this list is Greece, an interesting country that I haven’t yet visited.

Hopefully this year, I will finally get to know this interesting country and enjoy its awesome food and pristine beaches.

Of course, there’s Asia with amazing countries such as Thailand and Bali, where I spent several months living back in 2016. I also have a desire to visit China one day, but as it stands, I’m not sure that I will be able to do this year. Maybe my plans will change, and I will drop European countries in favor of visiting Thailand or China.

The other big country that I haven’t mentioned is the country where I mostly grew up and spent the majority of my time living and working: United States of America.

As the years went on, my interest and desire to spend time in this country has markedly decreased. I’m now at the point in my life where I would have no reason to visit USA had it not been for my family and my one-year-old niece that I love seeing grow up. She finally started walking and it’s incredible to see her grow from a small baby to an actual human being with her own character and behavior.

However, if I didn’t have family there, I honestly can’t say when—and if ever—I would return to America.

There’s nothing about America that interests me in visiting.

While living in Kiev is far from perfect (the winter sucks). After more than 10 years of traveling and living abroad, I’m happy to say that I’ve found my oasis of happiness. At least for now.

Projects in the pipeline

There are a couple of projects that I’m currently working on. The first is a book that I’ve been writing on and off for about eight months. It’s based on my struggles and tribulation of building a location-independent business while living around the world.

The second is a new course that I’m working on. It’s about relationships. After I conquered the money issue, relationships have been something that I’ve been struggling with for years (even without realizing it), but now believe I have a solid grasp on.

Meeting women is fairly easy, building healthy relationships is much, much harder. This training will transfer to you my knowledge and experience of things like how to filter women for relationship or marriage material and much more. If there’s one thing I regret in my life, it’s not knowing how to determine whether the woman is truly quality or not, early on so that I didn’t need to waste my time, energy and resources on a hopes for a relationship that never worked out.

Aside from that, I will also be announcing the opening of the Maverick Entrepreneur Bootcamp Live program. In this program, I will be working with a select number of you on a 1:1 basis and helping you with all kinds of issues, whether it’s business or personal. This will be a limited time program, and I will only select a few individuals out of many applicants.

Stay tuned for further announcements.

6 Reasons Why You Failed To Build A Location Independent Business

After mentoring hundreds of guys over the past several years, I learned there’s a certain pattern that dictates whether a person will succeed in building a location-independent business or will fail.

In fact, there’s actually an array of milestones that people get stuck on and never seem to power through. In this article, I want to dissect the areas where people usually get stuck that eventually doom their prospects and dreams of becoming truly free.

1) You lack motivation

Motivation is where everything begins. Building a business is like building your own house instead of signing a contract and moving into an existing one. It takes a lot more effort to build your own house than to live in someone else’s. 

Similarly, if you’re working at some 9-5 job that’s depositing a set salary into your account every two weeks, you’re at a stage where you have very minimal motivation to do anything else. It’s the same if you’re a young guy (or older) who is living with his parents.

Since everything else is taken care for you, why would you suddenly decide to exert unnecessary effort to do something new?

If you’re sitting on your couch, watching Netflix and enjoying a cold beer, why would you suddenly get up, put on your running shoes and run a 400m sprint?

There must be a reason. This reason needs to be a lot more than some abstract notion of “freedom” or “independence.”

Maybe you want to want to wake up with a gorgeous Brazilian woman in your bed every morning. 

Maybe you want to wake up in downtown Kiev and see beautiful old school architecture outside your windows.

Maybe you want to live and work in a place with permanent summer like Thailand, Indonesia (Bali) instead of dealing with rough winters in your hometown of NYC, Detroit, Montreal.

Or, just maybe you’re just tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck and want to make as much money as you’re willing to work.

Do you see a pattern here? 

There needs to be something that you’re just dying to want. For me, personally, living in Ukraine is it. This is my ideal life, and I will fight tooth and nail to keep this life going.

What kind of life would you fight for?

2) You don’t want to work (grind)

While motivation is important, it’s just not enough. It’s like the propulsion fuel to get started, but to continue, you need to be comfortable with the grind and hustle.

Unfortunately, even after people become motivated, and I’ve given them the plan to develop their business with regular checkups to see if they’re on the right path, they still shy away from the work that needs to be done.

A lot of this work is monotonous and boring by nature. This can include writing lots of content for a new site. Making a ton of videos on different topics. Cold emailing a bunch of people and pitching your products or services.

This is the type of work that’s far from “elegant” or “exciting.” It’s not the kind of work that people envision doing that connects them with their passion and makes them feel like they’re expressing themselves to the fullest. As you can rightly expect, not many people want to do this work.

I would say the majority of people stop at this stage. They just don’t have the right willpower to power through to lock themselves in the room, shut off all the distractions and just power through monotonous and boring work.

3) You’re afraid of putting yourself out there

Another very common bottleneck where people get stuck is when people know what they must do, but they can’t get started for some reason. They will endlessly discuss various ideas and plans, but when everything is said and done there would be no action taken.

This might be something as small as writing even one article or making just one video on a very simple topic. 

Motivation is there. They don’t have any issues grinding through the boring stuff. They’re just not willing to expose their work to the world.

Maybe they can’t find the perfect brand. Maybe they don’t have the proper video recording equipment for making a video (hint: it doesn’t really matter; an iPhone is fine). 

The fact of the matter is that you can have the best idea in the world (or hundreds of them), but none of it matters until you put something out there and let people decide if it’s good enough and if there’s traction.

After all, as I learned while working in many startups in Silicon Valley, ideas are meaningless; what really matters is the execution and seeing what the audience wants. 

Put yourself out there and see what people think; you can always pivot, rebrand, redo things later on. Don’t worry, nobody is going to judge you. Or, if they do—just let them, you’ll make more money that way.

4) You’re not aggressive/shameless enough

This is a corollary of work but has a different meaning. By itself, work is monotonous and requires an effort from you and you only. When you complete this work, you can pat yourself on the back because you’ve done something that 99% of the people just aren’t willing to do.

But sometimes even this monotonous grind is enough; you need to push yourself harder and faster. You need to become comfortable with competition. You need to become comfortable roughing feathers.

Moreover, you need to become comfortable tooting your own horn. You must to learn to become shameless.

After all, if you’re selling a product and you believe it’s the best product in the world that will help people, then why not tell people that you have the best product in the world? Why not be super confident that your problem is exactly what the audience needs to solve a problem?

For instance, I know that my Empire Building Toolkit is absolutely the best course for learning to build an Internet empire. It contains everything, all my knowledge, experience and secrets. And I’m not afraid of saying that because I believe in it 100%.

Naturally, for most people, it means going beyond their comfort zone, and they’re not comfortable doing that. That is precisely why you’re left with no choice but to work for those that can.

5) You give up too easily

Let’s say you’ve done everything you could. You have a mountain of motivation, the grind doesn’t faze you, you are not afraid of putting yourself out there to see if something works or not, and you’re also aggressive enough to put all of this motion with the maximum impact.

But you still failed.

At this stage, many people would simply give up and go back to their comfortable day jobs. They may think that they’re not businessmen and that building a business is just not in their blood.

Except what they don’t realize is that building a business is like learning how to walk.

Imagine a 1-year-old child who’s just starting to learn how to walk. If the child falls down, does he or she give up learning how to walk and just relents to crawling for the rest of his or her life?

Of course not. Just recently, I watched a video of my 1-year-old learning how to walk. She fell down and immediately got up and continued to walk. She didn’t think to herself – “This is hard, I won’t try walking again.” 

Instead, she instinctively got up and continued walking. Walking is something she wanted to do, and falling down was a mere blimp in those ambitions.

The same applies when you’re building something. When you don’t have experience, the odds are pretty high that whatever you’ve cobbled together is not going to work. That’s just the nature of the game. It’s like trying to find something in a dark room. Sure, there’s a chance that you might throw a dart in a dark room and hit a bulls eye. But without existing data points from previous experiences, your chances are pretty slim.

The good news is that, hopefully, you learned a series of important lessons that will help you in your next endeavor. Things that you didn’t know and had no idea even existed. Now, you can start over with a new business idea and, hopefully, get much closer to success than last time.

I’ve failed a lot of times, but those failures were instrumental in helping me understand the real nature of the market and what people were really after.

It’s like when you’re learning how to properly meet women. Chances are that you will initially fail because you’re calibrating your actions to their behavior, but after some practice, talking and seducing women will become second nature, like riding a bicycle or driving a car with a manual transmission.

6) You don’t like money

The primary purpose of a business is to make money. It’s to increase the number of digits in your bank account. Everything is else secondary. That’s just the fact of life. If you want to give back and donate to worthy causes, start a nonprofit organization.

For most of my life, money wasn’t something I worried or concerned myself too much with. Either I had a sizable savings account, or I was making just enough to furnish my lifestyle and not a penny more.

Later on, I realized that I like money. I like making a lot of money. I like seeing large deposits in my bank account statement. I like working hard and waking up and seeing that I made $100, $200, $500 or $1,000 overnight.

I love seeing a stack of Benjamins spread across a large table.

If you haven’t experienced making money passively, seeing those numbers seems unreal at first, but quickly becomes addictive. 

I completely understand that many of you aren’t crazy about the concept of money itself and are more interested in what money provides: living abroad, buying cool stuff, experiencing new things, etc. Furthermore, many of you are romantic or philosophical by nature; traveling the world is the means to an end, not making cold cash.

I get you. But I really think that to be successful in this game, you must have a certain interest in generating money. You must want to make more money than you’re making now. You must even have to get to a point where you’re even a little obsessed with making more money every day (and week, month and year) and squeezing an extra few bucks or a hundred from an underperforming part of your business.

Obsession with making a bit more money will help you with everything else we discussed: it will certainly help you with motivation because your 9-5 job simply can’t provide you with all of this money on demand.

There’s an enormous difference between a man who has $1,000 to his name and a man who has $50,000 in his bank account.

Thus, if you want the mother of all motivation, become comfortable with liking money. Become comfortable with forcing yourself to make more money each month. Become obsessed if you can. Everything else will follow.

Closing thoughts

Make no mistake about it. Building a business is hard. Real hard. The way to make it easier is to break down this monumental task into smaller chunks and see where your bottle neck is.

Do you lack motivation? If so, then ask yourself what kind of lifestyle would make you happy that your current 9-5 job situation doesn’t allow.

Are you afraid of the grind? Understand that it’s something you must do and that the work you do today will pay dividends in the future.

Not willing to put yourself out there? Understand that is something you must do or you must work for someone who will.

Not aggressive/shameless enough? If you can’t make me believe that your product is the best, why would I listen to you?

Give up too easily? That just means you don’t want it bad enough. Try again. Be stronger.

Don’t like money? Understand that money is freedom and it solves a ton of problems and makes your life much better in immeasurable ways. The more money you have in your bank account, the more confident and comfortable you will feel about your life.

Dating Abroad: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

There’s a real simple way to determine if a man is not telling you everything: when he travels or lives abroad but fails to mention anything about dating foreign women.

The fact of the matter is that dating, sex, and women are one of the top reasons that a single man chooses to travel and/or live abroad. If not the most important reason of them all.

While I’ve always been a fan of foreign cultures and languages and exploring the narrow streets of some old town, I can’t deny that a big part of my travels has been the chance to date foreign women, especially when they just happen to be much more feminine and pleasant in some third-world country than back in America.

That is certainly one of the reasons—but not the only one—that I’m currently living in Ukraine and not in Dubai, Belgium or Belize.

Latin America has also fitted this pattern perfectly. Although I’ve met many expats who have great jobs in various industries, many of them were gushing what a dating paradise countries such as Brazil or Colombia are for finding that ideal girlfriend or even wife.

All men are in on it. Even the guys that have innocent travel blogs and never mention anything about dating. Even the guys that are only talking about diversifying their income streams and starting businesses abroad. Even the location-independent nomads that switch countries more often than people switch underwear.

The real deal

So, what’s it really like? In one word: awesome. I spent ten years living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, and I can’t tell you what a culture shock it was when I first flew to Brazil and started interacting with the opposite sex.

It was like I was unleashed as a man and didn’t know what to do with my newfound powers. Brazilian women are very feminine and they appreciate masculine men. Unfortunately, after living in San Francisco for a decade, I forgot what masculinity was all about.

Over time, I rediscovered my masculinity to such an extent that returning back to America was like landing on some distant planet. It was an insanely weird feeling.

Culture and language

The biggest barrier foreigners face when dating local women is the combination cultural and language differences. First, the culture is insanely different. If you’re an American who grew up in California and, one day, decide to move to Brazil, you will have to relearn how things really work. It’s like starting to walk all over again.

While some guys will adapt, others will not. Eastern Europe is the perfect example. Many foreign guys are able to grasp the cutthroat culture and adapt, while other guys languish in the permanent state of confusion. 

That’s because Western culture has all but neutered masculinity with all kinds of women’s movements (e.g., feminism, etc) but once you land in Brazil or Russia, you realize that masculinity is super alive and well and hits you like a semi at full speed. It’s pretty much in your face. And if you don’t man up real quick, your woman will think you’re some confused dork that forgot how to be a man.

The second problem is the language. Language is the gateway to culture. When it comes to knowing the local language, you either know it or you don’t. And you either make an effort to learn it, or you surrender and stick mainly to English.

I always make an effort to learn the local language and it has made an immense difference of allowing me to connect with the locals in general as well as the local women specifically.

Think about it: how the hell can you connect with a woman when you’re speaking another language than the one she has used all her life?

Even if she knows a couple of English words, she still doesn’t understand the cultural context behind those words. She doesn’t understand the jokes, the humor, the innuendos, etc. That is unless she has lived in the US for ten years or something.

Of course, I’m not saying it’s impossible to build a deep connection with a local woman using just English, but it’s almost like taking a beautiful picture of the beach and the turquoise sea and converting all the vibrant colors to greyscale. While you can still understand what the picture represents, it’s a far cry from the original. It’s just not the same.

Male and female dynamics

Apart from cultural differences, one of the biggest challenges you will face when dating local women is understanding male and female dynamics, and what foreign women find attractive.

In the US, relationships are usually 50/50 to some extent. Masculinity and femininity don’t really exist in the traditional sense and are mostly just buzzwords that are being reinvented and redefined every day.

But that’s certainly not the case in Latin America and—especially—Eastern Europe. In the latter especially, masculinity is something that defines the man and his success with women. Correspondingly, femininity is something that defines the woman and her success with attracting quality men. These aren’t just buzzwords to be forever debated and understood. They’re real, genuine characteristics of the person.

More importantly, though, they can’t be easily faked. Masculinity is something that you learn through experience and life and is not something that can be “learned” by reading a book.

Women seek masculine men and are able to successfully weed out those who don’t make the cut via surgically-engineered tests that test a man’s ability to respond in various situations.

A man who flinches and takes one of these tests a tad too seriously chiefly because they threaten his ego will be easily weeded out as incompetent and not masculine enough. After all, real masculine men don’t take anything a woman says seriously.

Additionally, what works in one culture doesn’t necessarily work in another. The hard masculine and feminine dynamic that exists in Ukraine or Russia would be considered weird in Brazil and “strangely unnatural” in America. 

As an international man of love, your primary objective is to quickly grasp the local dynamic and duly adjust to it.

Foreigner vs. Local

Even if you take the effort to learn the local language, you still have another problem: you will never be a local.

Unfortunately, that is something that you cannot change. When I lived in Brazil, I had dreams that I was Brazilian, but no matter how much I wanted it, I was still some Ukrainian-born American guy. Even after mastering Portuguese and mimicking the local accent, I still couldn’t become a true Brazilian.

But why was I even trying so hard to become Brazilian?

Because after living in Brazil for two years, I realized that Brazilian men had much better success with women than foreigners (gringos). As it happened, Brazilian women actually preferred their own men. 

This meant that, as a foreigner, I was mostly limited to women who liked Brazilian men and were also open to foreign men. This included women, who for one reason or another, may have had bad experiences with their own men and were open to the less macho and more sensitive foreign guy.

The same is true in Eastern Europe. Sure, Ukrainian or Russian women complain about their local men, but when women say things like, “All men are pigs,” that should immediately raise red flags and fail basic logic tests in your mind. All of “anything” can’t be just one thing. After all, all men are different just like all women are different. Not all men are exactly same, but a woman who says is probably exhibiting the fact that she can’t find a decent man out of a huge sample size.

Many local women do end up marrying local guys and are able to build healthy and successful relationships. 

I can also tell you that as a local guy living in Ukraine, things have never been this good. There’s not a single moment where I wished that I was a foreigner. Never. After visiting over 80 countries and living in 15, it’s truly great to finally be a local.

Status

It’s true that women are attracted to status and value. Many guys may scoff at this and call women “materialistic” or “transactional.” But women don’t like to spend time with losers, so if she has an opportunity to spend time with an interesting and successful man, she would always do that instead of being with some deadbeat who is still living in his mom’s basement.

As a foreigner, you have a certain level of built-in status. This is especially true in countries where a typical monthly salary is equal to a maxed out cable bill.

Even if you’re broke or only have few grand in your bank account, being a foreigner carries a certain cachet. Even before you open your mouth, you’re automatically placed higher in value than the average local guy. 

Of course, just like in any country, there are wealthy locals that have millions or billions of dollars that will destroy you in status, but they’re so far removed from society and beyond the reach of ordinary local women.

Your status solidifies even higher if you rent an apartment in a nice part of the city, frequently visit more expensive than average restaurants and dress better than the average local.

All of this isn’t terribly hard to do if you have decent savings or are earning a salary in hard currency thanks to your location-independent hustle or providing various services to Western clients.

Here in Ukraine, I’m living right in the center of the capital (Kiev) in a very nice, newly remodeled apartment. The rent is several times the average monthly salary. Most local men simply can’t pull that off. Most women I’m meeting are living on the edge of the city in some shitty Soviet building.

Since I’m making a living online (creating products aimed at consumers and services for clients), my income is several times higher than the average salary in Ukraine.

As a result, this gives me an instant status that will cost thousands upon thousands of dollars in a month to match in a place like NYC. Here, I can have the same status for a fraction of the price.

Not bad at all.

The beautiful city of Medellin

Age

Age is one those things that can be a serious advantage or an irreconcilable disadvantage. Of course, younger women are drawn to younger guys—in their 20s and 30s—as opposed to older guys in their 50s and 60s. Unless the woman has some daddy issues, a young woman will always prefer a younger man.

Having said that, things get a bit more complicated once you venture outside the West. For example in Eastern Europe, it’s very common to have a relatively big age difference between men and women.

Ten years is not uncommon. Twenty years is also possible. I have known guys in their late 40s who dated girls in the early 20s. I have also known guys in their late 40s dating women in their late teens. One caveat is that many of these men are lucky enough to look younger, so they can, for the most part, get away with it. Not all men are this lucky.

As someone who lived in Ukraine throughout his 30s, I was going out and enjoying women in the prime of my life. While I’ve mostly stuck to women over the age of 25, I still had access to a wide array of women that were fairly young, in shape, and zealous about life, unlike older single women who were usually jaded because they failed to secure a quality guy in time.

While the fact that having a big age difference may give you a sense of confidence, don’t let that fool you; age is one of those things that, sooner or later, begins to work against you. It’s like a two-edged sword. Once it turns on you, there’s pretty much nothing else you can do to stop the passage of time.

Even if you have all your other ducks in the row: lots of money, be in awesome shape, dress well, have great game, drive a nice car and live in a lavish apartment, once you reach a certain age, your sexual market value starts to irreversibly decline.

I’m not really sure when that happens, but if I had to guess, it would start to happen somewhere around early to mid-40s. Initially, I thought that something like 35 was old, but, judging by my own experience, mid 30s to late 30s is actually when the man is in his prime (I’m fortunate enough to be spending these years in Ukraine). After the early 40s, things certainly don’t improve from there on.

After the age of 50, you can’t really expect 20-something women to take your flirts and dirty innuendos seriously. They may still be curious about you, but a typical 20-something girl’s motive will mostly be financial rather than sexual. I fail to see how a 20-something girl would be more primally attracted to a 50-year-old man as compared to some 20- or 30-year-old guy.

Age is just one of those things you can’t fight or prevent. It’s real. After a certain point, it will start to erode the value of everything that you’ve built and worked so hard for. Later on, it will conquer you.

When I lived in Brazil, I used to frequent this one club that I felt a man in any age range can truly enjoy. Of course, I was only 28 at that time, but I knew that I could be 55 and still enjoy the club while meeting older and still very sexy women.

I certainly can’t say the same for enjoying Brazil as a whole. There’s no way I would’ve had the same experience if, instead of being 28 or so, I happened to be 43 or 55 or 65. Those experiences would’ve been vastly different and definitely not as exciting, no matter how lavish my apartment was or how big my biceps were.

Here in Ukraine, I’ve met expats in their mid to late 40s, and for many of them, Ukraine is their first venture abroad. While being 45 isn’t exactly “over the hill,” it just can’t match the experience compared to someone who is in Ukraine at 30 or 35. The expats know this as demonstrated by their visible regret that they didn’t begin this lifestyle earlier.

The older you get, the more status and money you need to compensate. There’s nothing wrong with being a 30-year-old guy, living in some tiny studio and having no money in your pocket. But if you’re over 40 or 45, that would just seem strange and weird. By that point, you better have your shit in order.

Although the whole “become 50 and move to Thailand” strategy is still well alive and kicking, you’ll have much more fun and energy if you embark on this lifestyle when you’re still in your 30s (or even 20s).

Rio de Janeiro

Final thoughts

So, there you have it. The good, the bad and the ugly (mostly good) of what’s it like to really date abroad. 

So, is it all worth it?

Let me put it to you this way: few things in life are as rewarding as coming back in the evening to your cozy centrally-located apartment in some beautiful city, opening front the door and being greeted by a beautiful Ukrainian or Russian or Lithuanian or Brazilian or Colombian girl or [insert your favorite nationality here] girl with a gorgeous smile that had made delicious dinner and set up table for both of you to enjoy.

This alone makes all the sacrifices more than worth it.

Ukrainian Women: The Complete Guide To Dating And Marriage In Ukraine

Although I’ve been to over 80 countries (and lived in 15), there’s no other country in the world where I’ve succeeded with as many women but also failed to build anything substantial with as many women. That’s the conclusion I came to after dating probably hundreds of women during my 5 years in Ukraine. It’s been a roller coaster ride, to say the least.

In this article, I want to open up and share my experiences dating Ukrainian women from the point of view of someone who was born in the country but mostly grew up abroad. This is going to be my objective assessment of Ukrainian dating culture from the perspective of someone who’s seeking casual as well as serious relationships.

Many men consider Ukrainian women as some of the most beautiful in the world, an impression not lost on the women themselves. Personally, I think such statements are absurd: beauty, after all, is subjective. There’s beauty all around us.

What about Brazilian women (guide)? What about Spanish women? What about Mexican women (guide)? What about Colombian women (guide)? They’re plenty of stunners in each of those countries (and many other countries).

Although I have seen some beautiful women during my travels, I must say that nowhere else in the world have I actually seen such a high number of women that can be easily called gorgeous or at least cute, or as I like to say, “easy on the eyes.”

This didn’t happen in Brazil, Spain, Mexico, and even Russia (although Russia does come close).

Important disclaimer: of course, I could be saying this because I’m not only a Ukrainian-born guy myself, but also because I believe I have a certain psychological weakness to Slavic women. Put a Slavic woman with shoulder-length blonde hair, and she will cast a spell on me that would be all but impossible to break out of—even if I know she’s trouble and pursuing her is against my best interests.

Here’s my litmus test if a foreign woman is beautiful: if you transport a cute or average Ukrainian woman into New York City or Los Angeles or Copenhagen or Miami, will she be noticed? Will she stand out? Will men approach her? Will men try to get to know her? Judging by the quality of women I saw in NYC on my last trip, an average Ukrainian woman is definitely a few points above in beauty than the average woman in NYC or another American city. She will definitely stand out.

But, here in Ukraine, she’s just another attractive woman in a sea of other attractive women. And, thus, is mostly ignored in her environment.

Foreigner vs. Local

The first thing you must realize is that I’m a local. I was born here, speak Russian fluently and understand the culture. 

But I’m also not your typical local. I look different (some say Southern European), and I have a bit of an accent when speaking Russian.

Is being a local an advantage or a disadvantage?

Honestly, it’s hard to say because I’m experiencing the “local” side of things. I do not know what it’s like being a foreigner who either doesn’t speak any Russian or can carry a conversion in Russian.

I can tell you several things. First of all, as a local guy, you need to play by the existing rules. Ukrainian women, just like other Eastern European women aren’t exactly simple to connect with: they will endlessly test you in various ways (more on that in a bit), and you will need to respond accordingly or she’ll lose attraction for you quickly.

On the other hand, as a foreigner, you are automatically exempt from these rules to some extent. First, since most women don’t speak English fluently or even conversationally, you will make a woman self-conscious and throw her off balance when speaking in English, thus giving yourself an edge right from the start. 

Even asking her to say a couple of words (especially if she’s 30+), and you will notice how shy she’ll suddenly get. She will be forced to communicate with you on your terms, work harder to understand your words as well as your mannerisms.

That’s because most Ukrainians don’t even have a conversational grasp of English. This can definitely play to your advantage because you’re throwing her off balance a bit.

There’s a fairly known fact that Eastern European women aren’t particularly fond of their own men. That they complain about how their men are lazy, sit on the couch and drink vodka all day. They complain about how their men take them for granted. I believe there’s definitely some truth to that. Nevertheless, I certainly wouldn’t underestimate local men; while they can be stoic and “cold,” they understand their women particularly well, more so than foreigners.

I think that as women get older (30+), they tend to view foreign men as more suitable for random flings and, thus, tend to prefer local guys for building more serious relationships. Of course, I don’t think a 30-year-old woman would necessarily reject a good-looking and successful foreign guy, but she understands that most foreigners that are in this country are here for sex and sex only (you can thank hordes of Turkish men for that) plus there’s the cultural incompatibility as well, especially if the woman doesn’t speak English.

Honestly, I believe that as a local, I have crucial advantages. Not once did I ever feel that it would’ve been much happier had I been a foreigner. In fact, it has been the exact opposite: most of the women I’ve met have been super friendly and enthusiastic about hanging out.

Alphaness

An aspect of EE culture that’s very different from Latin America, Southeast Asia or even the US is that there’s a certain element of stoicism and ”alphaness” present. Eastern Europe isn’t exactly a paradise on earth: there’s a lot of poverty, poor job security (companies can hire and fire people as they please), so you must be pretty tough and aggressive to survive and make ends meet (not to mention even prosper).

That’s very different from when I lived and worked in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley, easily making $150,000/year writing software code and being surrounded by similar guys (and gals) who were making the same or more.

As of this writing, the median income in Ukraine is something like $500/month. And that’s in Kiev, the capital. In the other big cities, it’s closer to something like $300/mo.

This means that the wealth must be built from scratch or via some high-level connections. So, if you see a guy driving an expensive car (Toyota Land Cruiser, BMW 7 Series, high-end Mercedes Benz, etc), chances are he’s not leasing it as you would in America, but actually bought it with cash, with money that he made via a serious business or some corrupt means.

As a result, there’s a bit of a cutthroat culture that pervades everything that’s going on. It touches upon everything: professional life, personal life, relationships, etc.

In America, everyone can potentially be well off, and women themselves can make more money than men, so there’s less of a need to hunt down that serious “alpha”—that successful guy who’s making a ton of money. Whereas here in Ukraine, where a the majority of the population makes enough to subsist, that’s a lot more important.

Transactional

Another thing you must understand about Ukrainian culture is that, at its core, it’s very transactional. When I first arrived in Ukraine after living abroad for most of my adult life, I was confused about this, thinking that everyone is nice and friendly and open, and couldn’t really comprehend how it can be so transactional, but the more time I spent here, the more I realized how true it was.

It’s certainly not uncommon for friends to lend decent sums of money to each other and for your girlfriend (or some girl you’re seeing) to ask you to borrow $500 (or more) at some random point in your relationship.

This is mostly limited to places like Ukraine and Russia and doesn’t happen in the West or even the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia). Although I have dated plenty of women who had decent jobs and made decent money, I’ve also dated women in Lithuania and Latvia who weren’t making that much money, but would never dream of borrowing $500+ from their boyfriend.

Ukrainian life is rife with corruption, so the general mindset is “Let’s steal this and enrich ourselves” or “Let’s screw this guy over so that we’re in a better position.” Believe me, as an Eastern European guy I understand this all too well. I can also guarantee you that other Ukrainians would agree with me as well. No wonder that few of the locals have anything ever great to say about their government.

This cultural element isn’t lost on women, so, like anywhere else, you have your share of conniving people trying to get their share at your expense. 

At first, I figured this was the result of poverty and low-income conditions. But after countless conversations with both Ukrainian women and men, I realized that it has more to do with Ukraine specifically than the fact that Ukraine is a low-income country.

After all, Latin America and SE Asia have their poor regions as well, but people aren’t exactly eager to screw each other over for some short-term gain. At least it’s not something that’s as obvious and in-your-face as in Ukraine.

Male toughness

For the most part, Ukrainian women prefer their men to be tough. When I say tough, I don’t mean they all need to be ex-convicts, drug dealers, narco-traffickers, etc. (Although these examples would work, too.)

Tough also doesn’t mean being rich or wealthy. A Ukrainian woman would much more respect a tough guy who isn’t wealthy than a wealthy nice guy. She’d simply milk the nice guy for what it’s worth but will be always drawn to the tougher man.

Of course, this varies by the woman. Some women prefer real tough guys; others are OK when a guy is a little tough, but toughness needs to exist at some level or another. I can’t really see how an altruistic nice guy can ever survive in Ukraine.

One of the reasons that women love their men to be tough is because of the environment and trust. It’s much better for a man to say what he thinks even if that will upset others than to be around some guy who says all the nice things because he’s afraid of pissing anyone off. Eastern European men fit this bill perfectly: they tell you exactly how it is without sugarcoating the truth.

Saying what matters without seeking approval or validation is an undervalued trait, especially in today’s environment where people are constantly trying to please each other by saying all the nice things—even if they are not true—to avoid ruffling feathers.

Another reason that women are drawn to tough guys is that there’s a good chance her own father is just like this. After all, women are drawn to men who, at least, partially remind them of their fathers. The majority of EE fathers are tough and old school so it’s natural for the woman to view her father’s version of masculinity as a template of how her future boyfriend or husband should be.

That doesn’t mean you should automatically turn into a stoic and rough Eastern European who never laughs or smiles; it’s perfectly fine to be friendly and chatty, but you must always remember you’ll have to draw the line somewhere and have the ability to say “No” and decline a woman’s requests more than you were comfortable in the past. 

This is completely different than the carefree and sun-filled life of Rio de Janeiro, where everyone is friendly and having fun and your ability to relax is more valued than your ability to be tough.

When a Ukrainian woman feels you’re weak and you’re valuing her more than you should because you’re willing to do everything that she requests (or more than she’s used to in the past), she’ll instinctively begin to test your boundaries to see where they end. I believe they do this on a subconscious level. Don’t be surprised when she promptly crosses those boundaries and manipulates you into doing more and more things for her, and you’re soon left wondering what happened.

Dominance

Along with toughness, women respect dominance. They respect a man who makes all the decisions (or at least all the important ones). They respect a man who is decisive and not wishy-washy. They respect a man who knows what he wants out of life and isn’t afraid to go after it.

Nothing makes a woman lose respect for a man faster than someone who shows weakness (willingly or unwillingly) as well as someone who’s indecisive about what they want out of life.

In other words, don’t tell your Ukrainian girlfriend that you just lost your job and don’t know what to do with your life. She may feel sorry for you for a moment, but her attraction in you will take a rapid nosedive.

While on the surface, being dominant makes a lot of sense, you must realize that this is radically different from any kind of dominance you’re used to in the West. In the West, there’s a concept of 50/50 relationships where both partners make decisions and reaffirm decisions with the other, but in Ukraine, a man decides what to do and sticks to it, and the woman supports his endeavors.

For a moment, imagine a woman who’s incapable of making even the most trivial decisions, and her response to every “What do you want to do?” is “I don’t know.” That’s your typical Eastern European woman, and your responsibility as a man is to make sure your woman is never left wondering what’s going on.

Finances

The man pays. Period. The man pays for initial dates. The man pays for anything that he invites the woman to do.

If he invites her to coffee, he pays. If he invites her to dinner, he pays. If he invites her to take a trip together to another city or country, he pays.

In the case of an expensive overseas trip, the man pays for everything and the woman might throw in a little bit to help with the expenses (or she might not).

After the relationship develops and the couple begins living together, there could a 50/50 split on some things such as groceries or rent, but that depends on the girl and your agreement with her. She might scoff at the idea of her contributing any money (which can be seen as a relationship red flag).

The culture in Eastern Europe is a very materialistic by nature. So, the question of who pays for what is one of the thorniest issues. And, from my experience dating Eastern European women for many years, it’s usually the man that pays for everything unless some other arrangements have been made.

“Your beautiful wife is not really your wife”

I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received from men over the years who went to Ukraine, met a beautiful woman, started dating her, brought her over to America and then got burned when she left the guy for a richer/younger/sexier/stronger man. This happens all the time. 

That’s because a lot of Western men are very gullible when it comes to Eastern European women. They think they can just fly in, meet a beautiful girl and then give her the world and she’ll become theirs forever and ever.

Yes, she’ll gladly take the world, but she won’t stop there, especially if there’s another man who’d gladly give her even more. (Remember: there’s always another man out there who’s better than you in some way, shape or form around there.)

In Russian, we have a famous saying that roughly translates to: “If your wife is very beautiful, then she doesn’t belong to you.” (Красивая жена – чужая жена)

What this essentially means is that if you’re seeing or dating a beautiful woman, there’s a good chance other men will be also trying to talk to her and seduce her. Moreover, since she knows that she’s beautiful, she’ll demand and test more of the men around her and won’t hesitate to jump ship to a stronger suitor if her current suitor becomes weak. Ukrainian women can sniff out weakness in men much better than any other women that I’ve encountered.

This is especially true in the context of Ukraine where there are lots of beautiful women, and, more importantly, these women know that they’re beautiful and they know they can get other men when they wanted and whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Thus, unless you’re some super duper Alpha guy who knows what he’s doing, you should know that your beautiful and sexy girlfriend might sooner or later become your beautiful and sexy ex-girlfriend. 

If you’re a nice guy (or at least a guy with good intentions), you’re probably not going to last long.

While that’s more or less true around the world, I believe it’s especially true in Eastern Europe (Ukraine and Russia) because of the tough living conditions and the desire for women to be with the strongest men possible.

I remember dating a sexy woman a few years ago. She wanted to get married and then move to some Western country. Although I had feelings for her, I was torn, not knowing if her intentions were genuine or she was just using me. The entire time my gut was telling me that something was off. 

I showed a couple of her pictures to my uncle, an old school guy who understands women well and he immediately looked at me in a way that confirmed my suspicions. This was definitely not a girl he’d trust, and I shouldn’t trust either, something that had crossed my mind before.

The age factor

Ukraine is one of those countries where it’s fairly common to have a relatively big age difference between a man and a woman in the relationship. It’s not unheard off for a 40-year-old man to date a 21-year-old woman. I have also heard of 48-year-old men dating 18-year-old women.

Generally speaking, if you’re in your 30s, you can date women starting as low as 21, all the way to late 30s (and above) if you wanted to. 

I’ve known a guy who was around 45 but liked dating women as young as 18 or 19. I’ve known another guy who’s 48 and is currently living with a 25-year-old girl.

Having said that, this is definitely not applicable for everyone, so if you’re a 47-year-old man, you shouldn’t think you’re just going to fly in and build a serious relationship with a 21-year-old girl. She may be attracted to you for money or status, but on a primal level, she’d still be more attracted to a 20- something or 30-something guy.

All in all, I would consider something like a 10-year difference to be the absolute maximum that might exist without compromising the relationship and risking that your girl might jump ship to a younger man. There’s nothing weird about a 32-year-old guy dating a 22-year-old girl. Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with a 42-year-old guy dating a 32-year-old girl. 

If the age difference becomes bigger than that, there’s a higher chance that your girl is merely waiting for the right opportunity to dump you for a younger man.

One thing I want to point out is that not every 45-year-old man is the same. Some men are in better shape or just genetically look younger, while other men might be out of shape, fat, or just look older. I have met 35-year-old men who looked 50. I’ve also met 45-year-old men who looked 30. 

In terms of my own preferences, I’m in my late 30s, and I’ve dated women as young as 26, all the way up to 35 (actually, I even once dated a 36-year-old woman). My sweet spot seems to be women who’re 27-31 years old. I don’t have much interest in dating women younger than 25.

There’s a pattern where the older the woman gets, the more jaded she becomes, especially if she had never been in a serious relationship (or had her heart broken in one). After around the age of 33, women seem to lose that innocence and spark in their eyes that’s associated with younger women who don’t have as much baggage or breakups.

Dating and mating

All of these factors translate into a unique dating culture that’s unlike anything that I’ve experienced in America or Latin America.

While it’s been relatively easy to meet women and have casual relationships, building something stronger and longer-lasting has proved to be a far greater challenge than I ever anticipated. 

I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of these issues have to do with me. As someone in his late 30s, I have my share of baggage and experience from previous relationships and so that makes it in some cases harder to connect with new women.

But it also has to do with the types of women that I’m choosing since it seems that a lot of them just aren’t suitable for long term relationships.

Indeed, most of my relationships have been fairly short-term. I blame that on the Internet and living in big cities: it’s very tempting to meet a new woman tomorrow than to try to fix a relationship that lost its luster and has gone stale.

However, lately, I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m looking for something more serious, even something possibly leading to marriage and kids. (I’m not categorically opposed to marriage and love kids.)

For the most part, I have been able to quickly and effectively determine what kind of woman I’m dating and whether trying to build a relationship with her would be an exercise in futility. But there have been a few women that weren’t exactly suitable for long-term relationships that slipped past the cracks and, as a result, those relationships were nothing but a nightmare that left both parties jaded and hateful.

It also forced me to understand women in profound new ways in order to understand why they behave the way they do. 

In short, dating in Ukraine opened my eyes to women in ways that I never experienced before.

Approach

My approach to women is based on my many years of living in Latin America. It’s the smooth, cool and nice guy with an edge style. Not the “asshole game” that works on the streets of big American cities such as NYC or LA.

This style matches my personality and has worked incredibly well in Latin America where women (and people) tend to open up much quicker than in other parts of the world. It’s not uncommon to meet a woman in Colombia and talk about anything and everything on the first very date. It’s also not uncommon to meet a woman in Brazil and have her tell you that she loves you within an hour of meeting you.

This is not the case in Eastern Europe. While a typical EE (Eastern European) woman is friendly, flirtatious and very feminine, you need a bit of time before she opens up to you. Some women open up quicker than others, while others may not open up at all and there will always be this “wall” between the both of you.

I have experienced all sides of the spectrum: from women who open up quickly to women who seemingly don’t open up at all, and I can tell you that being with a woman who’s closed off to you emotionally isn’t the most exciting thing in the world.

Attraction and relationships

In my experience, it’s fairly easy to build attraction. Unlike in America, you don’t need to know a complex maze of witty one-liners, anecdotes, or come-backs. As long as you act cool and comfortable and not nervous like it’s your first time talking to a woman, you should be fine.

The one thing you have to watch out for is a series of tests thrown your way. They usually start out friendly and innocent, but if you’re not aware of them or if she feels that she’s talking to someone who’s not used to women of her caliber, she’ll lose interest quickly. Obviously, the prettier the woman, the higher the quantity of tests.

Then, once you’ve established some kind of rapport, and your relationship continues to develop, one of two things may happen. In the first scenario, she’ll genuinely start liking you and respecting you as a man. She’ll do that because you’ve demonstrated to her that you’re a real man who’s ready to protect and (financially) support her.

In the second scenario, she’ll realize that you’re not exactly the ideal man for her, but because she has no other options at the moment (maybe you’re a Westerner with plenty of disposable income who can show her a good time), she’ll spend time with you and sleep with you in exchange for dinners, gifts, trips, etc. Of course, throughout this time, she’ll continue to look around for better options and, once she finds one, she’ll switch teams.

Relationships move fast

In Ukraine, relationships move fast, much faster than in America or even Latin America. It’s not uncommon to meet a girl, date her for a month or two, and then move in together. After living for some time, perhaps several months to half a year to a year, marriage becomes the next logical step.

It’s not uncommon for couples to marry after just 4-5 months of seeing each other (sometimes even quicker).

This is obviously not the case in America where people can be dating for years or even living together for years without ever making it official. 

The main reason relationships move quickly is because there’s less friction when it comes to meeting people and building something meaningful. People have a lot less insecurities than they do in the West; there are fewer doubts about the roles of men and women, about the notion who should be doing what in the relationship. Men conquer the world. Women conquer the household. Men make money. Women cook and raise children.

This easily understood devision of responsibilities goes a long way into reducing misunderstandings and making a relationship much more enjoyable and predictable for both parties.

Moreover, in America (and the West), relationships are something that are becoming (or have already become) something like an afterthought. People are busy, everyone has a hobby for every day of the week. It’s not uncommon for a woman in a city like New York to have pilates on Monday, yoga on Tuesday and some girl’s night out on Thursday.

But in Ukraine, it doesn’t work like that. People aren’t busy for the sake of being busy. Relationships still matter. 

When you remove the bullshit that keeps people from being together, you realize that you don’t need to date someone for 10 years before taking the next steps and starting a family.

Characteristics of an ideal Ukrainian girlfriend/wife

If you’re looking for a serious relationship or even marriage, you must be absolutely ruthless in the types of women you pick to be in your life.

First of all, you must be absolutely certain that the woman you like (or love) actually loves you back. This can be tricky because women can be chameleons and say/do things that you expect them to do. 

There are a couple of things to watch out for. First of all, if you feel that something is wrong, then you’re not feeling it—something is definitely wrong. Whether it’s her behavior, her actions, or something else, this is something you must investigate and find the reasons for your suspicions before you commit.

Second, as I noted above, you must be absolutely sure that the woman you’ve chosen views you as the only man in her life worth caring about (maybe just beside her father). 

This is can be especially tough to do especially if you’re smitten by a particular woman and any kind of positive gesture or smile in your direction makes you automatically think that the love is mutual. You need a cool head to appraise the situation properly.

Another crucial factor to look out for is a woman who is genuinely interested in helping you with whatever you need. It needs to be something that’s important for you only—not for both of you. Ask her to do something for you that require some level of effort. If she scoffs and changes the subject, she is not the keeper. If she’s more than happy to always help, that’s a great sign of good things to come.

Moreover, during the first several months, a woman may act her best self and do everything you want her to do. There’s an aptly named term for this: demo version or demonstration version.

I’ve had relationships start out amazingly with the women doing everything that I wanted, buying little things for me, cooking for me, but after several months, they became less inclined to do these things for me. That’s because these women stopped pretending that they’re so nice and caring and reverted back to their selfish selves.

This means that the first few months aren’t, in any meaningful way, a genuine indicator of what the woman is really about. She can be friendly and nice for the initial few months, but then slowly morph into her real self. On the other hand, she can be friendly and nice and remain like this for the foreseeable future as well. You just never know.

Final thoughts

So there you have it, a 5,000+ word primer on the dating culture in Ukraine.

While, at first glance, dating and building relationships may seem like a straightforward and simple process, there’s a lot of things that lurk beneath the surface that you must understand to be successful and eventually find your dream Ukrainian girlfriend or even wife.

Entrepreneur Mindset: How To Never Work For The Man

Unlike many people involved with the whole “escape your 9-5 job” that hate their jobs, I was fortunate enough to have pretty good jobs throughout my life. In the almost a decade before I quit, I was working for a huge Silicon Valley company (a famous company you all know about) making over $150,000 per year writing software code.

Not only was I making decent money, but I also enjoyed what I was doing quite a bit. Of course, I complained every now and then, but for the most part, I was pretty lucky.

When I quit my job and moved to Brazil, I had to learn how to make ends meet myself. Gone was the $150k salary. Gone were the sweet perks and benefits like free food. Gone was the marketing department that figured out how to create a desire for our company’s products. Gone was the sales team that knew how to close deals to anyone who showed interest. Gone was the security that I would always have money in my bank account—every two weeks without fail.

Although I’ve dabbled in various businesses since I was pretty young, starting a new business is always challenging. Making money is never a guarantee. After all, that’s why businesses fail; there’s no room for every single idea to succeed. Only the good ones do.

Years later, when I finally got something working, but was still barely treading water, I fantasized about returning back to work, having a 150k/year salary (or even more) and enjoying life as I used to.

Returning back to work would mean the end of my worries. It would mean I’d no longer need to worry about having enough funds for a nice apartment. I’d no longer have to worry about having enough funds for a random trip. I would finally have enough money to truly enjoy life and never again needing to check prices in the restaurants.

The Invisible Chinese Wall

But then I realized something. When you become an entrepreneur, a sort of a Chinese Wall erects between your entrepreneur/business thinking and the 9-5 mindset of working for someone else, trading your time for money.

When newbie entrepreneurs start and fail with a business, they immediately begin thinking about getting back into their former life. They yearn for the comfortable life of stability and security, one with a bi-weekly paycheck and other perks. They view starting a business as a sort of a hobby, a game that one plays while having more serious things going on like a 9-5 job at a big company.

That’s completely normal. I used to think this way as well.

But having this viewpoint is a huge disservice to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship isn’t a little hobby you do on the side. It’s not like collecting stamps or completing a crossword puzzle for a few hours after work. It’s not something you in engage in after you’ve done your serious job.

If you’re in business and you’re not making enough money (or as much as you’d like to fly first class and stay at Four Seasons), there’s a simple solution.

The solution is not to drop everything and apply for a 150k/year job. The solution is not to give up and join the status quo. 

The solution is to work more. Do more. Create joint ventures. Expand your existing businesses or start new ones in new markets.

Entrepreneurship is value creation. It’s a way of life. It’s how you think and view the world. It’s about connecting with people, figuring out an opportunity that isn’t being served by others and exploiting it.

Value is continuously being created in this world. Instead of trading your time for money by working for someone who’s creating value, you create value yourself. You essentially cut out the middle man.

After all, “a business” is not some one-dimensional pursuit. It’s not a game where you play for a bit, then get tired and go back to your “regular” life.

It doesn’t work like that.

Back to 9-5?

Nowadays, I can’t even picture going back and getting a “regular job.” Not because I hate jobs or despise people who have regular jobs. I don’t. Those people are definitely creating value and helping others. Many of them even like their jobs.

It’s because when you’re an entrepreneur, your possibilities of making money—as much money as you want, really—are unlimited. There’s just so much that you can do. There’s so much value that you can create.

Of course, the hard part is work, but whoever is willing to put in the hours will be simply unstoppable because they will get as rich as they want to.

And, often times, it’s easier to make more money when you’re an entrepreneur than when you have a regular job.

Because unless you live in a truly planned economy like North Korea or the former Soviet Union, everyone is out there creating value one way or another.

That means you’re already in business whether you realize it or not. There are customers all around the world who’re hungry for your products and services. And, some savvy entrepreneur out there will have no problems satisfying their hunger.

Maybe it will be you. Or it might the man you’re working for. 

Personally, I’d rather it be me. I’d rather it be deciding how much value I want to create, how hard I want to work when I should work, and whether I’ve worked hard enough and it’s time to take a day off and visit another city.

So, instead of getting depressed and confused that things which aren’t going your way and immediately seek the shelter of a stable job, leverage this uncertainty as an opportunity to do more and continue to chart your path instead of relying on others to do it for you.

Carving your path

In the simplest terms, when you become an entrepreneur, you automatically carve out your path. There’s no other way to do that. Everyone wants to have freedom—whether it’s location-independence, having passive income or something else—but few understand the amount of sacrifice you have to do to get there.

Of course, people want cake and eat it, too, but instead of actually starting a business, they opt for something that’s a lot safer and less rewarding: teaching English abroad, freelancing, working on sites like Elance.com, doing a million Fiverr gigs for others, etc.

This is not entrepreneurship. This is a perfect example of changing the person you report to. Instead of reporting to John Doe at Big American Co, you now to report to John Doe at American English School in [Insert your city here].

There’s no substitute for entrepreneurship. Unlike switching bosses, when you create your own value, the potential money you can make is unlimited. 

You decide how much you want to work. You decide how hard you want to work.

Work, work and more work

When I mentor people, I take their existing ideas (or we brainstorm ideas) and help them build a sustainable business model based on my more than 10 years of building location-independent businesses. Willing to learn is important, but experience matters a lot. If you’re training for your first boxing match, do you think it’s important to have Mike Tyson or Evander Holyfield as your training partner and in your corner during a fight? Of course, it helps. A lot.

As with anything else, there’s a catch or the weakest link: work. While I can give you the blueprint for building an online business and guide through each of the steps, there’s still something that you must do: put in the work.

Not all work is the same. Working for the sake of work and not getting any results is insanity, but work with a clear strategy and plan can yield amazing results. Nevertheless, there’s still work.

Many people read tons of books, swallow a lot of articles, memorize all the how-to guides, attend tons of conferences or workshops, get motivated to the moon, but then come home and settle back into their regular routine. They fail to do the actual work.

And, unlike pretty much everything else where someone can hold your hand and walk you through something, work is something that you must do yourself—nobody else will do it for you. Don’t even think about outsourcing it: if another person can successfully do it, then why would anyone need you?

There’s no substitute for work, whether it’s of strategic type (planning what to build) or grunt work (actually building stuff), you must be willing to roll down your sleeves and do the actual work. Even later on, as the business grows, you’ll still do the work, just that it will be higher level work, but still work.

So, if you’re lazy and just aren’t motivated to do the grunt work, at least initially, to get the business of ground (and continue to do so for a while), entrepreneurship just isn’t for you. Keep your 9-5 job.

Entrepreneurship is a not a hobby

The biggest thing that pisses me off about how entrepreneurship is viewed and taught nowadays—especially in the West—is that itself it’s viewed as a hobby, in other words, as something you can try out for a bit and give up if it doesn’t work out. 

It’s as though people are born natural slaves and are meant to do slave things (e.g., 9-5), but once in a while they leave their comfort zones and dabble in some activity called entrepreneurship. 

It also doesn’t matter if they’re successful or not because there’s always the safety of the 9-5 not too far behind. 

This is nothing more than an illusion. As long as you cling to the safety of the 9-5, you will always do a half-ass job as an entrepreneur. It’s only when you realize you have to make a choice: be a slave or become free, will you finally become a successful entrepreneur and carve your own path.

Monk Mode: The Best Way To Supercharge Your Productivity And Drive

I was recently reading Victor Pride’s excellent article on Monk Mode, and it got me thinking about my own experience with this even though that’s not what I called initially.

As an entrepreneur, productivity was something that I always struggled with. In fact, I can probably count on one hand the times when I was productive or even incredibly productive. Since you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck and telling you what to do, you must become your own boss which isn’t particularly easy.

One of those times of extreme productivity occurred when I spent six months in New York City last year. For me, New York City is mostly a place to relax, see family and just catch up with some old friends.

It’s not a place where I have fun and particularly live life to the fullest. 

Last year, the five or six months that I spent in NYC were probably one of the most productive months of my life. I focused 100% on the goal and removed all the distractions.

This was my version of the deep monk mode.

During that period of time, I didn’t go out. I didn’t drink any alcohol. I didn’t chase women. I didn’t even have sex. I didn’t do anything that generated short term gratification.

Instead, I worked. Feverishly. Hard. I built new sites. I perfected my SEO skills. I learned and mastered Facebook Ads. I built a couple of ecommerce stores. 

And within several months of starting this intense work mode, I was making several thousand dollars of profit per month.

Interesting things happen when you become obsessed with something to the point where nothing else in the world matters (or even exists). During the entire six months, the only thing I was focused on was cracking the business: making that sale and then scaling everything to make even more sales.

I developed tunnel vision where nothing else mattered.

Come to think of it, looking back on the experience, it’s impossible to even fathom anyway I could’ve failed. I couldn’t fail. Given the dedication and effort that I put forth, there’s just no way I could’ve failed.

I’ve gone through such periods many times in my life, of varying intensity, but this one was definitely one of the most productive periods of my life.

The anatomy of monk mode

There were several factors that all but guaranteed my success. First, NYC is relatively expensive. Going out to even regular, mid-level restaurant is a ripoff. Enjoying $8 cocktails in some hipster bar is a ripoff. Drinking a $5 Starbucks cappuccino is a ripoff. Riding the subway back and forth is also a ripoff. 

While it may not seem a ripoff to you, for someone like me who’s lived in much cheaper locations such as South America or Eastern Europe, NYC definitely feels like a ripoff because I know I can get access to a much better value for money elsewhere.

As a result, instead of spending $50 a day on various crap, locking yourself in Starbucks and focusing on your business just makes sense.

Second, NYC is one of the only cities in the world where seemingly everyone is hustling. It seems like almost every coffee shop that I stepped my foot in was packed with people working on their laptops and phones, making deals, pitching their services, designing websites and running various marketing campaigns.

Unlike Eastern Europe or Latin America, I didn’t see many people just sitting around, walking around and “pondering the meaning of life.” If NYC has a religion, it’s making money.

This was an incredible motivator because, unlike when I lived in other cities (e.g., Rio de Janeiro or Kiev) I never felt like I was missing out on something else when all I was doing was hustling and building a business; everyone else was also doing the same thing.

Last but not least—and this directly applies to monk mode—while I have friends in NYC, most of them are too busy working and building their own businesses to hang out with me and pontificate the meaning of life. 

As for dating and meeting women, NYC is probably the last place where I’d want to do that for reasons that I’ve already covered before.

This meant that I was never burdened by bored friends or feminine women who wanted to hang out.

Combined all of the above and you have the perfect recipe for a very productive environment with which you can all but conquer the world.

Lessons learned

I learned several things during the six months of monk mode. First, regardless of what you’re working on or what you’re trying to accomplish, you will be able to build something successful during this period of the time. 

Not only will you have razor-sharp focus, but you will also have time on your side since six months is plenty of time to get something profitable out the door.

This gave me an immense amount of confidence, confidence that I sometimes lacked during my less productive periods in my life when I wasn’t as focused not as determined to get something done.

Now, that I was able to build a new business from scratch, I’m absolutely certain that I can do it again.

The other thing I learned is that focus begets focus, obsession begets obsession. In the beginning, I wasn’t focused on anything, and I wasn’t really obsessed with anything. 

That’s a big problem. When you don’t have focus, your attention is diffused and scattered everywhere. 

Why monk mode is so hard

Monk mode is extremely hard. There’s no doubt about that. While my productivity was sky high, it came at the expense of pretty much everything else in my life.

I limited myself to three things: eating, sleeping, and working.

That’s why as soon as I left NYC and landed in Kiev in May or June, my productivity immediately nosedived. Not only were there so many new distractions: cheap living, aesthetic streets, beautiful women, etc., but I couldn’t simply shut all of these distractions down; I was now embedded in the environment.

The first thing I did when I landed in Kiev was to visit my favorite rooftop bar. Having a nice glass of cold beer never felt so good.

In order to enter monk mode, you need a high level of motivation. Not everyone can suddenly decide they want to achieve something and begin feverishly working in that direction.

When I was in New York, it’s not like I purposely wanted to remove every single distraction from my life. Like anyone else, I happen to enjoy distractions, it’s just that I wanted the business to succeed much more. I wanted to make money more. I wanted to create new streams of passive income more.

On the other hand, if you don’t have the drive to create a passive income stream, whether it’s an extra $500 or $5,000 per month, then why would you voluntarily subject yourself to such extreme conditions? You won’t.

It’s crucial to have an end goal in mind and focus on it as strongly as you can. 

If your disease is laziness and lack of results, then obsession plus tunnel vision (monk mode) is the medicine that gets you results.

For all its advantages, monk mode does come with a heavy price. The main problem is that it’s not only difficult to lock yourself out of the world for six months, but, many times, it’s undesirable as well.

Although I blocked out the world for six months, I certainly don’t look forward to doing that on a regular basis. I want to actually live my life, develop relationships with people, travel around the world, have new experiences, etc. 

You only live once and locking yourself up for six months isn’t something that I plan doing it consistently.

Can you achieve anything of monumental value without going into monk mode? If you’re trying to build a business from scratch, you will need to make some serious changes in the way you spend your time and allocating few hours per day into your existing schedule just won’t cut it.

Work sprints

If monk mode seems too rough to you, there’s an alternative. A good compromise between the extreme 6-month monk mode and merely working few hours per day on new business are something I call ”work sprints.” 

This is where you tell yourself that for the next several weeks or even months you will focus on getting something completed. During this period, you cut out all unnecessary activities and distractions: stop going out as often, stop seeing friends that add little or no value, etc. 

Nevertheless, you’re interacting with the world (eating out from time to time, having a drink here and there), it’s just that now you’re actively working hard towards a particular outcome instead of just “going with the flow” while working on few tasks per day.

Final thoughts

My deep six-month monk mode was as much of an exercise in productivity as an exercise in self-control. The fact that I didn’t go out, didn’t drink, didn’t socialize and pretty much focused on one thing for six months seems crazy now, but at the time it was absolutely necessary.

Moreover, knowing that I simply can’t fail whenever I’m in a deep monk mode and will have a profit generating business at the end is definitely confidence-inspiring.

I know realize that monk mode is an important tool for any entrepreneur’s arsenal. Those with a 9-5 can simply show up to work and have their paycheck deposited into their account, but entrepreneurs who work on their own terms need an extra push where they alternate periods of hard work while bootstrapping a new business and easy work during the maintenance phase of the business.

In many ways, a monk mode is the backbone of any successful entrepreneur. Whether you’re planning to go deep and cut out every single distraction or embark on a quick work sprint with a clear milestone, there is simply no other way to build anything substantial that will generate profit down the road. At least I haven’t found any other way.

As I write this now, I’m getting mentally prepared to do a work sprint that will last me about eight weeks during which I will be focusing on getting a couple of serious projects wrapped up.

Announcing The Empire Building Toolkit: The Easiest Way To Build A Passive Income Factory

2018 has been a very fulfilling and productive year, so it’s been nice to have had a little bit of a break the past week or two with Christmas and New Year’s Holidays.

But then even more holidays came: here in Ukraine—being in Eastern Europe—the first week or so of the year is devoted to Eastern Orthodox holidays. That meant things were slow that week too.

But I wasn’t resting and doing nothing. The entire time, I was putting finishing touches on my training that I believe is my best yet.

Today, I’m super excited to announce the release of my most ambitious training yet: The Empire Building Toolkit.

This training encompasses everything that I’ve learned about building passive income businesses, especially in the last couple of years when I really went deep into Internet marketing and SEO.

Additionally, this training is based on my years and years of experience mentoring hundreds of guys on building their very own Internet empires. 

When you actually talk to real people for months at a time, you learn powerful insights into the things that people are struggling with. This has allowed me to pinpoint the exact problems that new entrepreneurs are struggling with, exact problems that I’ve addressed in this training.

The program is divided into different modules that teach you everything from coming up with a solid idea to creating the proper authoritative side, to getting others to promote your product (affiliate marketing) and also covering one of the most underrated marketing channels out there: email marketing. There’s tons of other stuff there, too.

All in all, there are tons of new information, things that I didn’t cover in previous trainings nor talked in depth on the blog.

But that’s not all. You’ll also receive three special bonuses: 

1) Copyrighting Master Class: See me strategize, design and build a landing page for a hypothetical product/service from scratch. I didn’t prep for this, so here’s your chance to get inside my head and see how it’s done.

(In all honesty, this alone is probably worth the price of admission because you get to see how copyrighting is really done without all the MBA, theory jargon BS that doesn’t help you sell anything.)

2) The Effective Entrepreneur: See me explain how I build an empire from complete scratch and work my way through different challenges. It’s just like having your own seat at my company’s boardroom.

3) The Million Dollar Mindset: Here, you’ll learn how I approach finances and budgets. Think you can’t afford to live in Rio de Janeiro, Chiang Mai or Moscow? Think again. With my unique budgeting system you’ll learn exactly how to structure your finances along with new projects, and motivate yourself so you’re making more money each month.

4) Access to my private Facebook Group where I personally answer all questions and email mentoring directly from me (just don’t go overboard with emails).

5) The Maverick “Boots on the Ground” Premium Podcast. Browse through all the episodes of my premium podcast where I discuss all sorts of business mindsets, ideas, dilemmas, techniques and tactics to making the most money possible.

In short, you aren’t just getting access to some training and that’s it—you’re getting access to an exclusive club with support, forever. That’s my way of saying thanks.

I can keep talking about this, but you can learn more as well as join the program here:

https://empirebuildingtoolkit.com/

See you inside!

NOTE: The special launch sale lasts until Sunday, January 13th 12:00 EST only. After that, the price shoots up and the bonuses disappear forever.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity.

PS: If you have any questions/issues joining, please shoot me an email – [email protected] (I’ll be around all weekend)

The Absolute Best Part About Travel

I once heard a friend say that travel is the best healthy drug out there. I thought about it for a moment but then nodded my head in agreement. After all, we’re all people; the world is made up of people, and traveling lets you come in contact with other people.

More specifically though, there are loads of benefits to traveling and they vary from one person to the next; just ask 100 different travelers and you will get 100 different answers.

Words like exotic, special, breathtaking, interesting and unforgettable certainly come into play; words that otherwise wouldn’t enter your lexicon if all your life was a daily commute to some job you absolutely hate.

While all of those reasons as to why travel is awesome are absolutely true, I have a special thing that I love about travel that I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere.

Allow me to illustrate my point with a quick story.

Back in 2017, I spent most of the year living in Ukraine and then several months at the end of the year in New York City tying up some loose ends. By that point, I had spent about 3 years living in Ukraine with a few random trips even before that.

As a result, I gradually built a decent social circle with a couple of good friends with whom I kept in touch regularly. 

Not bad for a lone wolf like myself who mostly does everything alone and fails to make friends in most countries except befriending few guys via Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training.

One fine day, I was sitting in my friend’s NYC apartment having some breakfast and browsing Russian news sites or watching random YouTube videos — my daily breakfast ritual while I devour a big plate of buckwheat.

Moments later, I received a text message from a girl that I used to date. She was in Kiev. She wanted to know whether I would be interested in seeing a movie with her later that evening.

She had absolutely no idea that I had already been to New York City for several months. She had no idea that I was basically living (temporarily, of course) in a place far, far away from Ukraine.

I grabbed the phone and paused before replying. 

Finally, I replied, “I can’t. I’ve been in New York City for several months now.” 

She had no idea that she just asked someone who was on the other side of the planet to hang out.

I found that rather amusing. What was more amusing, however, was the fact that I was due back in Ukraine the following week.

The next week I caught a red-eye flight to Ukraine, landed, cleared passport control and customs, caught an Uber and in less than 45 minutes was waiting for her near the famous movie theater in Kiev.

We watched the movie and then had a couple of drinks later.

The entire time I couldn’t help to think that just a week ago, I received an invitation from a person to do something, but couldn’t do it because I was on the opposite side of the world, in a completely different country.

Now, that I was back, all it took me was a mere 45 mins to descent to the movie theater from the plane and meet my friend.

This is why travel—and especially extensive living abroad—is so special. Even if you leave the country and your social circle temporarily, all it takes is a quick flight and you’re back in your old environment with your social circle as if absolutely nothing had happened.

Just recently, I decided to spend my New Year’s in Lithuania. There were a couple of reasons for that. First, Lithuania is only one hour flight from Kiev, where I’m based. Second, I had already lived in Vilnius from 2013-2015, so I knew the small city fairly well.

And, last but not least, as a result of living in the city for several years, I had amassed several good friends that I kept in touch throughout the years. 

Vilnius may not be the best destination for New Year’s, but it sure had a lot going for itself when compared to other cities.

So, I contacted my friend and told him that I would be coming back to LT for New Year’s. I told him to make sure to also stay in the city and not go anywhere.

He not only agreed but also invited my girlfriend and me to his place for dinner and drinks on New Year’s Eve.

And, so, the result was an analogous situation like the one I explained earlier with seeing the movie.

I boarded the plane, spent about an hour in the air, landed, cleared immigration and customs, caught an Uber, checked into an Airbnb in the center, and a few hours later was shopping for nice wine at my old shopping supermarket. Then, 30 mins later were enjoying delicious lamb at a friend’s house whom I haven’t seen for three years.

I figured four days in Lithuania should be enough, but, in fact, when I returned back to Kiev after a quick 1-hour flight and got back to my apartment, I still felt as though I was still back in Lithuania.

It was a surreal feeling, to say the least.

As far as I’m concerned, this is the very best part about travel or even long-term living. It’s the fact that when you’ve traveled and lived long enough in different countries, you tend to have not only good friends and acquaintances in all of these places but the ability to recreate your past life and continue where you left off as though you haven’t gone anywhere.

Even though I haven’t been to Vilnius for over 3 years, the fact that I can simply catch a flight and relieve my old life—along with friends and experiences—is simply amazing.

It’s beyond amazing; it even feels unreal sometimes.

I have a couple of good friends in both Mexico and Brazil, two countries where I lived extensively. And in both cases, I can simply catch a flight and instantly relieve my experience from years ago—as though I had never left.

Of course, the longer that I had been away from the country, the weaker the experience I will be relieving: people change, they even move to different parts of the world, so when you finally return after many years, what you experience is a weak representation of the original.

But, still, knowing that I can fly to Kiev, and in 45 mins from the time when the plane touches down in Boryspil International airport, I can be enjoying dinner, drinks or a movie with a good friend is nothing short of amazing.

And knowing that I can fly to another country and be invited a friend’s home for dinner and drinks, a friend whom you haven’t seen for ages, is also nothing but magical.

Of course, there’s the part about absorbing the country’s culture and language. When I lived in Mexico, I learned Spanish. When I lived in Brazil, I mastered Portuguese. When I lived in Lithuania, I picked up basic Lithuanian, enough to get me out of trouble should something like this arise.

Since language is the gateway to culture, all of this awesome too. When I was in Lithuania, I was amazed that I could still remember various Lithuanian words and even expressions, even though I hadn’t used them in three years.

And this is Lithuanian language we’re talking about, one of the hardest languages in Europe, and one that bears no other resemblance to any other language (except maybe Latvian).

Nevertheless, nothing eclipses the ability to “transcend” countries and cultures when you essentially “transport” yourself from one place to another while still having the luxury of the familiar environment that was once your home.

And, as far as I’m concerned, this is the absolute pinnacle of travel. And nothing else even comes close.

For some people, traveling is a two-week break from their dreary lives. For others, like myself, it’s a lifestyle that has been part of my life for the last ten years. 

Tomorrow, I will be releasing my long-awaited training about building an Internet empire. It outlines the exact same techniques and methods that I employ to create a passive income business that fuels my travels and my overall lifestyle. Launch day will include special bonuses as well as special pricing.

2019, Lithuania, and Empire Building

I just got back from spending New Year’s holidays in Vilnius, Lithuania. While I’ve lived all over the world in lots of different cities, I have a very special connection to that city and country: I spent around two years living in Vilnius several years ago.

It’s always a pleasure to visit Lithuania because, although, it was part of the Soviet Union, it shares nothing in common with countries like Russia, Ukraine or Belarus. In fact, it reminds me more of Denmark than Ukraine—even more so on this particular trip than when I lived there several years ago.

As a result of having lived there, I have several good friends in the city that I mostly met via BJJ training.

(As I wrote previously, training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been my “secret” method of meeting lots of different people in the countries where I don’t know anyone.)

One of these friends, Jonas, invited me and my girl to his house for New Year’s eve. The plan was to relax for few hours, enjoy a bunch of home-cooked meals paired with good wine, and then, somewhere around 11pm head towards the center where we would enjoy some live music and a bit of dancing and, of course, usher in the New Year.

My Lithuanian friend, Jonas, isn’t a regular guy. While he has worked at all kinds of jobs for many years—in many countries—he gave all of that up to focus on his own thing or “hustling” as he calls it. 

His approach to business is simple: create different income streams from anything that can be monetized. In other words, go where the money is.

This has allowed him to not only work from the comfort of his own home, but also escape the dreary Lithuanian winter weather for the sunny and mild weather of Madeira, a Portuguese island in the Atlantic. It has also allowed him to spend three months backpacking through both Burma and Thailand last winter.

This type of freedom just isn’t accessible to the majority of the population. For example, Americans toil all year just to enjoy a measly two week vacation.

In short, he’s a lot like myself. Like myself, he’s building an Internet empire and, slowly but surely, diversifying into different markets while patiently watching as his business grows.

Making money is more of an art than a science. Thus, there are different ways to express yourself and many different ways to paint a portrait of an object you see. Nevertheless, one of the most effective ways of doing that is to diversify your efforts and income by building an Internet empire.

Not only are you diversifying your efforts and income, but you’re also smartly diversifying risk and all the pain that comes with it.

This is precisely what I’ve done and what has allowed me to live all over the world while making money on my terms

This Monday, Jan 7th, I will be releasing my hotly anticipating training on building your empire. This training encompasses everything that I learned, especially in the past couple of years while I’ve been scaling various aspects of my existing businesses as well as jumpstarting new ones.

The launch period will last several days during which I’ll sweeten the pie with some awesome bonuses plus a special launch-only price that will quadruple after the release date.

I can’t think of anything more ambitious on getting the right start in 2019 than by building an Internet empire.

Happy New Year’s everyone. I have a hunch than 2019 will be an amazing year.

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