Digital Nomads Are The New Explorers Of The Information Age

Derek Loudermilk, from the Art of the Adventure shares with us how his desire to be an adventurer led him to seeking out the edges of exploration and onto his own personal journey of traveling while running a meaningful business. Tune in as he shares with us his 3 layers to confidence, what it means to start, and the limits of the explored..

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Estela: Thank you for joining us here on the Freedom Experience. Derek is here with us, who gave us a fascinating talk at the 2017 Freedom Summit on charisma. Today, we are going to dig a bit deeper into confidence and all of the secrets that Derek has to share with us around it. So great to have you here, Derek!

Derek: Thanks for having me. I’m excited to experience your city, Budapest. We’ve been here for 3 weeks, and we decided to move our family here for two months around Freedom X Fest. Thanks for inviting us to experience a new city and a new country!

Estela: Wow, that’s amazing! So you came here with your family? Can you give us some background on you and your family and where you were before coming here to Budapest?

Derek: My journey in the last 4 years has been full time travelling. For the last 5 months, I am traveling with my partner Heidi, and our beautiful baby son, Axel. We were in Croatia, before coming to Budapest. We were actually planning to go to South Africa, but ended up staying here in Europe. It was supposed to be a quick stop, but we all know how these things happen...

My goal was at one point still is to live in every continent at least three months. I made this goal up in college, about fifteen years ago, because I felt it is only fair to experience all of the continents. But of course, if you go to one place in Africa, for example I've been to Morocco, but it’s not the same as going to Saharan, Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s really just a quest, because the idea of a quest, of a challenge, is something where you can go and check things off and finish. At some point, I will have been to all the continents, so I can move on to something else.

EstelaYes, I know that you do love adventures and quests... Can you tell us more about your business, The Art of Adventure?

Derek: “The Art of Adventure” is a podcast. When I started it, I had to become more adventurous. I started seeking out more adventure to be aligned with the brand and that meant going to more and more remote places, jungles, volcanoes, mountains, deserts, doing things like going seven days without food or fasting. And then eventually, I was like, “Oh! Having a kid is an adventure.” Obviously, travelling with a kid is another adventure layered on top of that.

I always had this desire to be an explorer, I would read about these explorers, Shackleton, and Charles Darwin even, and stories of astronauts (I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid) so I was always inspired to find places that were unexplored and undiscovered. Our world already has a world map, you can see it on Google, but I wanted to see where is the limit of our knowledge, where is the limit of our exploration? Currently, that seems to be in consciousness, the deep oceans, obviously, still the outer space, there are all kinds of edges where we are still learning new things that are very exciting. One of the biggest adventures right now, for me, is business. How can I travel the world and run a meaningful business? That’s what I have been doing for the last three years.

EstelaAwesome! What is your business is about, what services do you offer?

Derek: My main offering is to help people start a business that they can travel the world with. As we saw at the Freedom X Fest, right in the name, freedom is a huge piece missing for people even in the developed world. You see people making a lot of money, they might have financial freedom, but they don’t have time freedom, they don’t have location freedom, and they don’t even have mental freedom because they feel obligated to someone else, for their business or financial security. Creating more freedom, more options, and more control over our lives increases our level of happiness and helps to put the things we’re best at out into the world. It truly places us in our very own genius zone, so this way we’re doing the best work we can be doing in the world, rather than work that someone else is giving us. I think if I can help people do that, it’s just going to grow from there. If I have one person I am helping with that and they have a dozen of people under them, it’s just going to thrive and flow outward.

EstelaI think there’s quite a few people interested in how you create your life. What are some tips that you would give? What is the most important tricks to know who might be transitioning into this freedom lifestyle?

Derek: What I see a lot of times is that people have a lot of information, the internet is full of information.There are plenty of things out there saying, “try this and try that.” There’s a ton of information out there that’s available, so that’s not the problem. It’s really a problem of taking action on the information that you have and one of those things is having the confidence to take that first step.

The confidence to book a flight to a country you have never been to or to make an offer to your first customer. If you want to start a business, it’s not a business until you have a customer that you are selling something to. And this is the really tricky part. There are three layers that I see to confidence, and on Freedom Summit 2017, we talked about charisma, which is the outer layer of what you’re projecting to the world, that’s the body language and the signals, eye contact, having the posture, smiling, all these things that sort of signal to the world that you are confident, and in return, it signals back to you. That’s the outer layer.

The middle layer consists of the things that you’re doing and the people that you’re spending time with. So it’s your important relationships, your friendships, family, the work that you’re doing and the places that you’re going. A lot of people accidentally get stuck around what they do, their identity gets lost in that who they are is what they are doing, but that’s only the second layer.

Then, the third layer is much deeper than that, and that’s the core of who you are. When everything else gets taken away, when your clothes, your charisma, and your friends are gone, it’s just you. Knowing and understanding who you are, deep down, is the root of strong charisma. It’s a lot of hard work to fully get there because we can get caught up in thinking this or that but that’s where adventure comes in. Throughout history, these explorers that I wanted to be, mostly men, are setting off to figure out if they have what it takes. They’re fighting wars, but they are also exploring unchartered territories, or they’re going to become a Monk for a decade, or whatever it is, to answer the question, do I have what it takes? They want to know who they are, deep down. I think for women the quest may be slightly different. What are your thoughts? What is the way that women explore that inner knowing of who they are, is it the same?

EstelaI think all human beings have the need to explore who we are and why we are here on this planet, why we are alive, what is our purpose. I think the difference is that society maybe didn’t allow or support women that much to go on these adventures, like Charles Darwin. Society has kind of taught us that we need to stay at home, be with the family, so it was uncommon for us to take on these kind of adventures. However, it’s changing now!

Derek: I think parenting, for both sexes, is a very fascinating way to know who you are. I’ve seen it, now that I am a dad for nine  months, like how I feel up when I am running low on sleep and the baby is crying or we’ve just been travelling for forty-eight hours. Who I’m being in those really challenging moments, shows me more of who I am deep down. So again, there are three layers: who you are, your relationships, and then feeling good with your body -- having great energy, good sleep, good posture, smiling. All of these things contribute to confidence and they create feedback loops. So you really want to be looking at all these different layers in your own life.

Estela: Why is confidence so important especially in the context of travelling and starting a new business within the freedom lifestyle?

Derek: There are different domains of confidence, like maybe I’m good at chess but not good at speaking in front of a room. Ideally, we want to cultivate an overall sense of confidence where you believe that you will be able to accomplish something, even if you don’t see all the steps to making that happen. In starting a business there are many steps, and it continues to evolve, it can also be kind of scary not knowing, like climbing in the mountain, the journey of a thousand steps, but it all begins with the first step. Having the confidence to take that first step is really important because you’ll never gonna get to the finish without starting. I used to coach racing cyclists, and I always told them to finish first, first you must finish, but before you even get to the finish, you have to get to the starting line, and that’s where confidence is coming from -- taking the first step.

Estela: Thank you so much, Derek. It’s been great to have you here. Looking forward to the workshop and the talk you’re going to be giving to us at the Freedom X Fest!

Derek: Thanks for having me!

Do you have any questions, comments for Derek?

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