In this episode, I have a candid chat with my good friend Tim, a former Pharmacist that recently quit his job to go create a location independent lifestyle on his own terms.
For more on Tim, check him out on his YouTube and website below:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
00:50 – WHO IS TIM HOANG?
03:39 – WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST STEP?
06:13 – WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE QUITTING?
08:02 – WHAT KIND OF KNOWLEDGE DO YOU NEED?
12:09 – WHAT IS YOUR PLAN MOVING TO COLUMBIA?
14:11 – HOW DID YOU QUIT YOUR JOB?
18:20 – WHERE DID YOU SEE YOUR FUTURE GROWING UP?
20:28 – WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST HACK?
23:42 – WHERE CAN WE FIND MORE TIM HOANG?
How to Quit Your Job Interview Transcript
Welcome to hacking the system and today, as you can tell, we’re outside here.
I’m here with my boy, Tim.
How’s it going, man?
Hey, how’s it going, man?
Welcome to the show.
All right, so this is the guy I’ve known for about three or four years now? And this guy has been very, very dedicated, like this guy is a hustler. He goes out there. He likes to hack things. He loves traveling a lot. He’s actually going to Colombia in about two weeks. So I decided to do an interview with him to talk about how he actually, how he quit his job.
So Tim, give us a quick bio on yourself.
TIM: All right, so my name is Tim. It’s my first time on Ian’s channel so it’s an honor and I’m from the medical field, my work in the pharmacy field, and I worked there for about two and a half years and I thought, you know, this money’s good but I’m not living the “Made Man” lifestyle, right?
So, I decided to quit that and kind of start this new journey as a digital nomad. That’s the regular term that you hear.
IAN: All right, so just a quick time out here. So when you say life in the medical field was good, what kind of money were you making in a pharmacy because our fans and our users love to hear numbers, if you can get to describe it.
TIM: So definitely six digits and I…
IAN: So, six figures?
TIM: Six figures and you know, there’s on-call work too, so there’s opportunity for more, a little bit more money, but you know, I kind of got fed up with that though.
IAN: Right, so in terms of hours, how many hours a week were you working?
TIM: About like 45 to 50 for sure.
IAN: 50 hours a week, wow! That’s insane, man. That’s definitely not the 4-Hour Workweek.
TIM: No, not by my standards.
IAN: All right, so go on.
TIM: So, you know, I was doing that for a little while and I was traveling in Italy I actually met this guy and he told me about how he had his own web development company and I was like, “So, you have to go back and work in the country, in the United States?” He said, “No, I just travel around the world and I just do everything online.” I’m like, “Holy shit, this is like a totally new life.” And so I was like, you know, I got to try this out and do some research and look into it to see what’s going on.
IAN: All right, so pretty much you met a guy in Italy who have a lifestyle you adored, so he’s an inspiration to get you started on this journey.
TIM: Yeah, yeah.
IAN: Now lots of people get inspired every single day but what made you take action on that? Most people don’t take action on their dreams.
TIM: Yeah, so I think for people, there has to be something that motivates them, right? For me it was that kind of that pain that like 9 to 5 lifestyle, you know. If I’ll look into the future like 30 years, I don’t want to be in that same place, so I want to be somewhere around the world traveling having fun living the good life, you know. And that, for me, was my motivation, it’s more of the pain to just get through with life.
IAN: The pain, I like that, yeah. I feel like the people who leverage their pain, pain can be a great fuel and energy to drive you to chase your dreams.
All right, so you, in essence, used your pain as this kick-starter to have you chase your dreams, of having that lifestyle where you can kind of be your own boss, have your own things on your own terms, so what’s the next step after that?
So, definitely, plan it out, right? It’s not something where you just quit your job.
IAN: You got to have a plan, right?
TIM: You got to have a plan, you know, and you know it’s like investing or anything like that. You got to make sure of the right direction before you actually invest too much of your time and money into it.
IAN: So, in terms of when you first got that idea, of that inspiration with that guy you talked with in Italy, to quitting your job, what was the timeline like?
TIM: All right, so that was September 2015, which was when I met him, and I came back about November, and I was like, “You know, next year, I want to start this lifestyle.” So I spent all of 2016 planning and researching and trying to figure this out. If other people were able to do it, how come I can’t do it, you know?
IAN: Right, exactly. Why not, right?
TIM: Right, right. So that’s what I did and then, finally, after all of this work and all this research on saving up money, loans, figuring all that stuff out, now I’m able to just finally take off and I’m so excited, man.
IAN: So you gave yourself one year to kind of put the wheels in motion to quitting your job. Now, when you put the wheels in motion, did you have like December 2016 as the goal or was it just kind of something that would happen after yet, everything pulled together?
TIM: So I think the important thing is setting a deadline because things automatically kind of work themselves out when you have a deadline for a paper or something, you know?
TIM: That last week before that paper is due, you’re going to be crunching, you’re going to be, you know…
IAN: Working your ass.
TIM: Busting your ass until it get done, right? So if you have something on your calendar, circle it and by that date, something’s going to happen. And for me, the motivation was just to do a little bit each day and to keep focused on why I wanted that, keep things that motivate you, like in the pictures so that you…
IAN: Right, absolutely.
So, as you’re planning everything out, what was the biggest roadblock in your way, the biggest obstacle you had to overcome during that journey?
TIM: Yeah, so the flip side of making six figures, right, you also owe six figures, and you know, I was like, “How am I gonna make six figures in a year?” And I thought about it. I planned out a little pact for myself, so I was like how much do I actually make a month and how much can I live with in a month? And then, so what I do is I took the rest of the free money and I put it in my student loans, so I basically live like a college kid for like a year.
And, you know, I mean, I still don’t have all my loans paid off but I had my car paid off and I have over 80% of my student loans paid, so I’m very proud of it.
IAN: Wow, 80% in one year.
TIM: One year, yeah.
IAN: So how big were your student loans?
TIM: So I started with 90.
IAN: 90 grand?
TIM: 90 grand.
IAN: Oh, wow.
TIM: And the rest of my car loans was about 8 grand, so kind of do the math on that.
IAN: Yeah, yeah, so that’s a six figure amount right there.
TIM: Six-figure amount, yeah.
IAN: All right, so pretty much, so loans was the biggest obstacle and you kind of took care of that by basically downsizing your expenses then using that saved money to pay off your loans. So, were there any other obstacles you have to face besides that?
TIM: The other one was probably the lack of knowledge.
This is not a conventional lifestyle by any means so you need to either have an experience or get some knowledge from people that kind of start this. So, for me, it was reading books to expand my knowledge and to talk to people, other digital nomads who are doing this and what’s working for them. So I’d say the other thing was part of the knowledge skill set.
IAN: Any books that were helpful?
TIM: Yeah, yeah. In terms of practicality, that’s something you have to learn on your own, that’s why you get to talk to people, but books that inspired me to travel was one called A Better Life for Half the Price. It’s by Tim Leffel and in this book he’s telling you about other places in the world where you can live at a fraction of the price here in the States. And I’m like, I got so inspired by it that I kept reading and reading and even looked into his other books and other resources to kind of get more information.
IAN: Get going, all right.
IAN: So, in terms of those countries or those places, can you name some?
IAN: I don’t think all of us are flying down there anytime soon.
TIM: So there’s actually a lot of places in the world, some even unexplored, but I would say the biggest three Chiang Mai, Thailand for sure.
IAN: Okay, Thailand.
TIM: There’s all kinds of people there and the place where I’m going to is called Medellin, Colombia.
IAN: Colombia, nice. That’s on my list as well.
TIM: Is it?
IAN: Yeah, Colombia.
TIM: I’ll see you down there for sure, right?
TIM: And the other one is in Eastern Europe, you know like you got the post-Soviet bloc–Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary–those kind of areas.
IAN: Now just in terms of pricing, can you give us an example of how totally different the cost of living is there as opposed to here?
TIM: Yeah, so I’ve heard numbers in Thailand, for a comfortable lifestyle, $500, food included, accommodations.
IAN: So for 500 bucks a month, you can pretty much live like you’re living here?
IAN: So that means for like one grand or two grand, you can basically be big ballin out in Thailand.
TIM: You can do whatever you want.
IAN: Thailand or Medellin, right?
TIM: Medellin is a little bit more expensive, maybe $100 or $200 more but it’s still, compared to prices here in the States, you know, it’s still a good deal.
IAN: Yeah, that’s interesting. Because I’ve heard some people state that its notion of earn in dollars but spend in pesos or whatever, right, so you basically have that difference, that arbitrage of different currencies by basically going abroad and having a lower cost of living because it’s kind of getting cheap someone’s actually doing that in real life.
TIM: Yeah, I think the term is called geoarbitrage.
IAN: Geoarbitrage, right.
TIM: Geoarbitrage, you know, it’s an idea I think from Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Workweek and I’ve read…
IAN: Because he’s doing that in Argentina, right?
TIM: He’s learned Tango and stuff down there, yeah. And he gives a lot of ideas too on how he kind of get started with his lifestyle on how to do this, but caution, you know, it’s okay in years to get to the 4-hour workweek, right? So, you know, if people are talking to you, you know, you can start living like here in the States working 4 hours a week, I’ll tell you that’s a lie; don’t listen to them. It’s something you got to build up to, make it a passive kind of income.
IAN: Right, it takes time.
TIM: It takes time, so just a little caution.
IAN: All right, we like that, we like that.
All right, so you’re now off to Colombia, what’s the plan down there when you go?
TIM: Sure. So before I’m headed off here I did make some plans about just making a little bit of income online and that’s the hardest hurdle to overcome because you’re still used to– you go to a job, you’d get a pay check, you go home, spend it.
IAN: So you pretty much had to kind of start from side hustles to start bringing in some income?
TIM: Right. Some of the things I started doing was eBay drop shipping–that’s one thing–doing SEO articles, writing, content writing, and there’s, right now, what I’m doing is teaching English online.
IAN: Okay, interesting; very helpful skills.
TIM: And it’s very flexible. It’s not– The thing I’m doing, you can hop on anytime, you know, I mean, you’re not gonna get, you know, a baller offer with that kind of job, but it will get you started. It will change your mind set about making that first dollar online. There’s so many ways. It’s what you like to do.
IAN: So in terms of the replacement for your current lifestyle, how much money would you have to make in Colombia to have the same lifestyle without having a downgrade?
TIM: Well it’s hard to say because if I’m down here, you know.
IAN: You have the better idea.
TIM: You have a better idea, but right now I’m kind of like…
IAN: I mean, so are you going down there with some money in the bank or you’re going down there just like _ stuff out?
TIM: Yeah, yeah. I do have some money saved though.
IAN: All right, that helps.
TIM: So I’m also going down there and try to figure out at the same time, so it takes time to build something so I think I’m going to spend that money to buy myself more time so I can figure things out.
IAN: All right, that makes sense.
All right, so to kind of backtrack and go back to you quitting your job, I recall I came across your blog and this was the first time I talked to you in over a year, I was like, “Oh, wow, this guy quit his job,” and you documented your entire journey, right, like how you went to the office, you got pictures and everything, give us the insight on that?
TIM: So you know more about?
IAN: Yeah, about the last day at your job in the office. Tell us about the last day.
TIM: So that last day, I had my GoPro ready, got out of my car, started recording right away letting people know how excited I was, my job and all this, peace all right?
And I remember feeling that day, you know, I’m not going to do anything today, you know, I’m not going to make any big decisions. I’m just going to think back and enjoy the day. As far as work goes, you know, it was just a normal day at work. There wasn’t any hard feelings. There wasn’t any getting back and I say goodbye to people around, 4 o’clock walked out the door and not really planning to come back.
IAN: In terms of when you got a job, were there any memories you have of that job, good and bad?
TIM: I’ll give you one of each so you’d get an idea. One thing I really enjoyed was being able to help people out, you know, these are sick patients at home and they’re disgruntled, they’re uneasy and for me just to talk to them, to help comfort them, the instructions and just general empathy. I had some patients that really appreciate that. They send me cards and stuff like that.
IAN: That’s nice.
TIM: That’s something that I’ll remember. One of the bad things was on-call work. So I remember driving into work…
IAN: What exactly does on-call mean? Does that mean like on demand like any time you have to be available?
TIM: Any time, baby, any time.
IAN: So pretty much, pretty much you’re like the Uber for like doctors, right?
TIM: Yeah, yeah, very much man.
IAN: Pharmacy, right, you’re working for a pharmacy?
TIM: If a hospital or a nursing agency or a senior care home needs something, they’re going to call you up. So with my story, I was driving through work at like 3 AM. They got me out of bed and they said, you know, we need this IV mixed and be sent over to the senior care’s home. I was like, “Okay,” and as I was driving in to work at 3 AM I’m like, “Man, this is not a life.” This is not how I want to be living and I think it’s moments like those where it helped fuel me to pursue this lifestyle even with more force.
IAN: Okay, so kind of going back through that pain, right, kind of like use your pain or your suffering as that fuel to greatness because Nietzsche has this concept, right, “to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.”
TIM: I like that.
IAN: Right? So, you have to find meaning in that pain, meaning what’s the purpose of that? Once you find that purpose of why you have that pain and suffering, we can then do great things with that.
TIM: And it’s how you decide, you know, to kind of perceive the pain. Does it hurt or you know that?
IAN: Yeah, channel that into an advantage.
TIM: And I think people that are successful were able to recognize that and to put it into something productive instead of saying, “Oh, the world is against me,” I’ll have different cards; play them to the best of your ability.
IAN: All right, so Tim, let me ask you this, what was your goal as a kid like what did you want to be as a kid once you grew up?
TIM: So to be like a job, work or career?
IAN: Yeah like what was your dream job as a kid or career or whatever?
TIM: It was kind of stupid because I was in sixth grade and so I saw an article about being an aerospace engineer and I was like, you know, that sounds fun, I’ll do that, but you know, as I got more into it I was like, “No, this is not something I really want to do.” Now I realize it’s to do something to help others and to enjoy life instead of working so hard.
IAN: Wow, so in sixth grade you wanted to be a rocket scientist.
TIM: A rocket scientist, man.
IAN: You must have been a very smart kid, very ambitious.
TIM: I guess, but…
IAN: And now you say your goal is to help others kind of find meaning in their life?
TIM: Yeah, and to work smarter, not so hard; to enjoy more better things in life.
IAN: So where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
TIM: Five years, I will be in a web development field putting my own company and to have a kind of conferences or meetings so that other people could come and meet people who are kind of living this lifestyle to see that this is possible and just to travel a lot. That’s what I want to do.
IAN: So traveling while also having this business that kind of be able to come in, then run the business, but also have that flexibility to do on your own time and travel the world?
TIM: Right, right, just that the business that’s location independent, you know, it’s not defined because I’m in the States or here and there, like I can do it anywhere in the world, so that’s one of my goals for the future.
IAN: All right, so here on hacking the system, we’re all about life hacks, so what’s your biggest life hack that you can share with our audience?
TIM: Biggest life hack?
IAN: Don’t hold back now.
TIM: I’ve been, I’ve always been a pretty systematic person so for me, to find a way to keep focused whatever that way is for you. I usually have a plan, like I’ll follow things, like I write things down and review it every day, and that’s probably the biggest thing that’s changed my life because when you learn something, you’re going to forget it, but if you write it down and look at it every day, you’re going to remember it and you’re going to focus on it. But if I don’t write stuff down, you know, it just gets passed on and…
IAN: So pretty much having like a journal or diary writing down things?
TIM: Write down things and to do a little bit each day.
IAN: Now, okay, so let’s say somebody does that, what exactly should they be writing down, like is there any specific advice you have?
TIM: Yeah, write down very concrete goals and write down things that you can achieve in a certain time frame. So don’t write things that you are going to be doing in 5 years or 10 years. Write things that you can achieve in like one week, one month, or maybe one year and keep a running list, right, as you’re finishing them, cross them out.
IAN: So pretty much so everybody out there at home, right? Write down things. Write down action steps by week, by month and by year. Then, as each day goes, you kind of go through, scan them and update them.
TIM: Yeah, yeah and I have like a whole system that I do, it was with a software, but I mean, anybody can do this.
IAN: What kind of software are you using?
TIM: The best software is pens on paper, right? But, in terms of computer software, I use just free ones like Google Keep; very simple, like a notebook or a notepad. If you think of something, just type it into your computer or your laptop, it saves, it syncs on your phone and your computer. The one I’m using now is called Trello.
IAN: Okay, I’ve heard of that one.
TIM: Trello is more like a workflow kind of thing, but in order to optimize my process, I keep everything in one place and there’s a few more reasons why I use Trello but it’s something quick if you have stuff in.
IAN: Yeah, for me I kind of have the same model. I use pretty much now that I use Evernote. It kind of have syncing and kind of sync everything on my desktop and my laptop and my iPhone and then I also have this like regular text editor. The text editor, it keeps it simple, right? No fancy fonts, just basic action items for today, this week, and next year.
TIM: Right, right, I agree with that. It’s something that I will be productive; it’s not about how good it is, it’s the stuff that comes about it.
All right, so for everybody out there, where’s the place that our audience can find you?
TIM: So right now I’m running a blog. It’s at spiritedtravelpreneur.com and I think you’ll have a link.
IAN: Right, so spiritedtravelpreneur. I like that travelpreneur.
IAN: Making few words of it.
TIM: Digital nomad is kind of overplayed. Some people don’t really like that. I like travelpreneur because it’s right there, the things that I love–travel and being like an entrepreneur, so it’s right there. And running a YouTube channel and just starting it up.
IAN: The same name, the channel’s the same name?
TIM: The same name. I have to link you to that and I think my blog has brought me to that space so it will lead to the other one.
IAN: All right, sounds good. Well, everybody out there, make sure you check this guy out spiritedtravelpreneur. This guy comes with the Made Man badge of honor. This guy’s a true made man and he’s actually taking risks going out there chasing his dreams, not just standing there and hoping and dreaming and praying for his goals and dreams. He’s actually taking action and going out there, going to Colombia by himself, put his 6-figure job, right? He’s trying to go from good to great. So anybody out there who’s trying to go from good to great, you have to have the utmost respect for that, so I appreciate that, man.
TIM: Thanks man, I appreciate it and if I can do it, you guys can do it too, so it’s just the dedication and hardwork. That’s all it is.
IAN: All right.