Read, discuss, repeat.
Andrew Lee Miller is an accomplished Digital Nomad working remotely from 10-15 countries per year through his own Startup Marketing consultancy, aptly named AndrewStartups. After working full-time as Head of Marketing for 3 back-to-back startups that sold for millions, Andrew decided to commit fully to Digital Nomad life on the road, now working exclusively with only a few select companies at a time as he travels. In the past 6 months he’s lived and worked from Nigeria, Thailand, Sri Lanka, UAE, Hong Kong and Kenya. He’s originally from Ohio, but when based in the U.S resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s given talks and presentations on Digital Nomad life around the world and is finishing up his first book entitled How To Become A Digital Nomad as we speak.
Where did the idea for AndrewStartups come from?
After so many years working in Dubai, Mexico, Czech Republic, Thailand and Silicon Valley I noticed a lot of consistent growing pains with startups, and the lack of honesty and drive with agencies…and on the otherside the lack of speed and efficiency in hiring full-time in house staff, and so I wanted to offer something else, an in-house consultant. What I mean by that is, a consultant that works just as hard and is just as passionate as a FT in-office employee without the hassle and expenditure of someone joining your small team. So I named the company AndrewStartups because well, it’s keyword dense and what you see is what you get. You get me and all my experience over the past decade of eating, sleeping and breathing growth/marketing for startups. No bullshit, no time-wasting. Results.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up between 6:30-8:30am and do 3 hours of work/calls before I make breakfast. I work from home because I don’t like commuting or going anywhere before working. I want to work right when I wake up, until I sleep. So by 12 noon I’ve put in 4-5 hours of solid work, that’s more than most people in their entire day counting commutes and lunch breaks. I’ve found the long fast in the morning to be incredible for my productivity and I’m never starving, when my body tells me it’s time to eat I make a simple breakfast with some green tea and get back to work for 2-4 more hours depending on the workload and if I have errands to run that day.
4-5ish I hit the gym for 30-45 mins and then I’ll go enjoy my afternoon or evening, do some sightseeing, catch some live music, go shopping, or to a meetup etc.
I’m always online answering Slack and email as the messages come through. I’m rarely offline at all.
Whenever I get home, no matter how late I’ll jump online for another hour before bed.
I don’t drink. I don’t watch TV. I don’t infinitely scroll social media. I barely netflix. I’ve found that removing all un-monetized distractions from my life to be very helpful. I don’t do it unless there’s financial value or social value. I’m all for hanging with new friends, hiking, experiencing new things, but to get me to stop working it has to be valuable.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I seek out experts in that arena and ask/pay them for their time. I look for mentors and seek out differing opinions. I’m always studying new marketing trends, analyzing new tools, speaking to other experts and trying to stay ahead of the curve and the swath of idiots who self-label as experts on LinkedIn.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The fastest growing trend in the American job market is the remote job offering. Everyone is realizing that the commute and full-time 9-5 is modern slavery and there’s a better way. I’m excited to watch more and more people give up on the ratrace and take a chance at true happiness.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have the highest energy level of anyone you’ve ever met. What once caused me a great deal of problems in middle/highschool is now channeled into what I’m passionate about and enables me to work harder than anyone and really never feel like I’m working at all. I love what I do, I love the people and problems I get to work with and thus I’m able to really feel excited about what I do and able to put the extra time and effort into it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Keep going. I made a lot of wild/crazy decisions that not many people could agree with at the time. I left the U.S with $300 and a phone number of a family in Mexico I could stay with for 3 months…and didn’t return to live until 7 years later. I moved to Dubai from Mexico with even less and stayed there for 5 years. I don’t regret a thing and I’m not sure what I would change. It’s all led to this.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
America is hardly number one at anything anymore. We’re lied to about everything in the U.S from the food we’re told to eat to the news, politics, cancer, drugs etc. It’s extremely sad and you can’t talk about it without fear of being labeled anti-patriotic. I love my country and have defended it in arguments around the world for years, but I feel less and less inclined to do so as time goes on.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Read, discuss, repeat. I read countless business articles per month and at least 2 good books a year.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Being honest, and not trying to help everyone. I’m picky, I only work with projects that I’m truly passionate about and that’s enabled me to close 75% of the proposals I send out…but I only send out a few a year. I turn down great financial opportunities every week. But I am picky about who I work with. I don’t want another job, I want another opportunity to succeed and grow together. Once I figured that out, that there’s more than just making money, everything became easy.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I gave up. I went back to the ratrace and joined a seemingly amazing company trying to change the world and I put on my dress clothes every day and did the 45 min commute each way, dealt with the office politics and I quickly realized I was getting less done than if I had just stayed at home and grinded my day out at my standup desk in my apartment. I eventually left the company and felt like a failure for the first time in my life, until amazing consultancy work came my way and we had some great early wins and I realized this is my true calling.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A hot tubs version of Airbnb. Please make it so I don’t have to.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Airpods. I take 1-3 hours of calls every day for work. With Airpods in I’m able to multitask much more. I do dishes, clean my apartment, cook food, work out and do laundry while I’m on calls. It’s been an incredible life-changing time saver.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
There’s a little known app called FocusZen. Download it, it will change your life. It has 60 min loops of a few audio tracks that are designed to make you zone out and fully focus on work. It works, I lose track of 3-4 hours when writing….it’s incredible.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari. People have a hard time being unbiased. They grow to use their upbringing, past experiences and their “niche” to make their decisions…and I’ve never had those problems as I grew up multi-faith and multi-ethnic whilst still being just a normal white kid in suburbia..this book slams and denounces every myth, every religion, every ideology that we waste our time on…and truly dives into the history behind all of us and all of our things. It really puts things into perspective and teaches you that NOTHING, past biology is fact. Think about that, every money,every language, every thing we say and think is made up by other men and women…biology is the one true fact. It opened my eyes quite a bit.
What is your favorite quote?
Only boring people get bored– Unknown
-Don’t waste your life doing what you think you should do.
-Spend at least 20% of your time working on what you want to work on.
-Do it for free first, get good at it, and then figure out how to make money from it.
-Go travel as much as possible. It’ll open your eyes and change you.
-Work for yourself
-Live for yourself
-Focus on working with the people/industry/jobs you’re most passionate about so it’s easy to work harder than anyone else….because you’ll love it more.
AndrewStartups on Facebook: www.facebook.com/andrewstartups
AndrewStartups on Twitter: www.twitter.com/andrewstartups
AndrewStartups on Instagram: www.instagram.com/andrewstartups
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.