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Ep. 232: How to go from Broke Backpacker to successful serial entrepreneur with Will Hatton

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In this episode, I speak with Will Hatton who is a broke backpacker turned serial entrepreneur who has been traveling the world and hustling hard for over a decade. 

Today he lives in Bali where he is building a co-working hostel. Will is a BUSY guy. He has a dozen different business ventures, he runs adventure expeditions to Pakistan and for three years now has been working on designing the perfect backpack out of recycled ocean plastics. 

Listen on to find out how Will turned from a broke backpacker to creating the world’s largest adventure travel blog with over a million views a month!


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Listen Below:

RELATED EPISODES:

Ep. 231: How this digital nomad thrives by traveling the world with Jackie Omotalade
Ep. 230: How this digital nomad explores the world as a travel journalist with James Clark
Ep. 229: 4 Year Anniversary Episode: Answering The Most Asked Questions From My Listeners

Transcription:

Debbie:

Hey everyone. Thank you so much for being here. I am really excited to speak with my guest today. I’m here with Will. 

Hey, Will, how are you? 

Will:

Ahoy!

I’m great. How’s it going?

Debbie:

I am wonderful.

Thank you so much for joining us today. I’m so excited to learn more about you. Can you tell us about yourself and why you live an offbeat life? 

Will:

Yeah. Sure.

I started traveling about 12 years ago after a traumatic series of events. I went to India, I didn’t have a phone, I was sleeping rough, I was working on Tom’s, I was selling weed and go over, and I was buying statues and selling them in festivals – all sorts.

I spent a couple of years bumming around India and really having a very different kind of experience to what had been planned for me. And I learned a lot during that time.I started writing and became passionate about it and a couple of years later, I started my travel blog which is called The Broke Backpacker. 

We get about a million visitors every month and we really focus on making travel accessible to everybody because what I was finding when I was doing all of my travels back in the day was that all of the travel blogs that I could find were aimed at people who had money. 

I didn’t have any money and I didn’t mind being super uncomfortable if it meant going to see amazing things and meet amazing people and being in amazing places. And so that’s all very uncomfortable all the time. 

I was, like, sleeping on train tracks, camping out, and couch surfing which is very comfortable actually. A lot of haggling, dumpster diving, and hitchhiking. All these kinds of stuff that really can kind of help you grow as a person and become more confident. 

So I wanted to share these hacks, these tactics, these strategies that I’ve learned on the road to help me open up and meet people ’cause I was a very shy kid. As well, share practical information on how exactly one travels on $10 a day ‘cause you can totally do it but there wasn’t much info about that and now there is.

Debbie:

Because of you. Yay! 

Will:

Yeah.

Debbie:

Well, that is a lot of journeys that you went through to get to this point. And you have a massive audience on your blog every single month. And you mentioned a million visits a month. I mean, think about that, if you had, like, a stage and you’re in front of a million people, that’s freaking crazy. That’s nuts. 

So How does this even go about? Like, how did you end up traveling? Like, what were you doing before and how did you end up selling, like, weed? Where did you sell weed and statues? This is totally random but it’s so awesome. 

Will:

The way I see it, it’s actually highly relevant because when you’re on the road, you end up inventing a lot of different ways to make ends meet and I was happy to do lots of different things. I’ve done all kinds of random little jobs. Like, I milked goats to make goat yogurts for a while.

I’ve done lots and lots of random things. Some of them are very wholesome and good, some of them are a little bit more questionable, like, selling weed and other things. It was part of the journey. I was exploring opportunities to make 50, a hundred bucks, and I need some money. 

So it was a great opportunity for me to get out there and to really work hard and learn some skills along the way. And I think that kind of trial by fire, you really have an incredible opportunity to grow as a person.

I was so shy, I couldn’t talk to women and it was challenging to talk to, like, anybody really. Putting myself out of my comfort zone and embracing all of these opportunities was just an amazing way to move past that.

Debbie:

So what allowed you to push yourself to do that, right? ‘Cause it seems, like, from your story, you are a real introvert. Like, you’re very shy and then go out into the world ’cause I know what this is like. I’m not an introvert. I love talking to people but even as an extrovert, I think I’ve become an introvert now when the pandemic happened. 

But I know, like, when you’re traveling solo and there’s a lot of strangers, you don’t know anyone, that’s pretty intimidating. But now you’re not like that because you’ve done so many different things. How did you actually make that first push to do this, to start traveling and get yourself out of that little bubble that you had?

Will:

Honestly, I had a bunch of trauma. I had a very serious life-changing injury, and I spent a year in a wheelchair and then on crutches. I gained a lot of weight and I was depressed, I was very unhappy, and I was no longer able to get into the army which was always my plan. 

So I really kind of lost quite a lot, all at once. And my parents were, like, doting but extremely suffocating. They wanted me to be a teacher, and I was just like, “No, that isn’t what I want to do. I’m sorry.” I just left. I went to the airport, I took a one-way flight to India, and that was where I ended up.

And I had a gain in India, which is relevant because I have to speak to one more person that I had spoken to you the day before. I’ve spent my whole day approaching people. And that was a really powerful wave to move past my insecurities, and my shyness, and to get to know people. 

Every now and then, you will approach somebody and maybe they’re having a bad day, and maybe there are some bad vibes, it happens. If you play that numbers game, you’ll realize it more often or not, people will start to connect to share stories, share a cup of chai, and have a talk. It just connects to that deeper level. 

And it’s something that I think maybe was a little bit easier in the past because I didn’t have a phone. I’m a very anti-phone traveler, by the way. Like, I have a very strict phone system myself. I’m not allowed on my phone after 7 p.m. every night. I got a second phone that I used just for podcasts and stuff. 

Yes, I think that there wasn’t that physical barrier back in those days, which definitely helped. But I think, for me, I had that traumatic series of events. I needed something to get excited about. I needed something to challenge myself so that I could prove to myself that whilst I had been injured and bedridden, I would still go out there and do hard things. 

It was a very important lesson for me. 

Debbie:

I mean, that’s pretty incredible that you are able to do that for yourself. But I guess just thinking about being a teacher and being in the clasp of your parents. And yes, our parents love us but then you also realize, “Is this what my life is going to be?” It’s pretty depressing, isn’t it? 

And it’s so funny because that actually happened to me too, Will. Like, I’m Filipino, most Filipinos are, like, nurses. They wanted me to be a nurse and I did the same thing. I left the house, I’m like, “I’m not going to be a nurse. I’m doing something completely different.” 

And it’s so funny how life is if you think about it. Like, the decision that you make could totally change what your life is going to be. Like, if you didn’t leave for India and you stayed there, where would you be right now? Isn’t that crazy? 

Will:

Yeah. I think the thing is, like with parents and society in general, there’s just been this massive shift where, now, there is so much opportunity online. It’s like the new gold rush.

Back in the day, if you were to tell me like, “Will, you can either tend this sheet or you can go to California and try to find some gold.” I would have gone to California to try to find some gold.

We really got this opportunity for a different kind of lifestyle now because of the internet. It’s huge, these billions of people on the internet, it’s so much opportunity. Whatever you are good at, whatever you’re excited about work, everything is available online.

I think that my parents and many other parents, they just don’t understand that. And even now, I’m 32, there are opportunities on the internet right now, which I’m not part of that generation. TikTok, I don’t know what TikTok is, I really don’t have an idea. People are like, “Have you seen this TikTok video?” I’m like, “What is TikTok?” 

There are always opportunities out there, more and more are continuing to pop up as the internet continues to evolve, as more people join. 

So, I think, there’s really a huge shift happening in the moment where people are able to take control of their lives and build their lives themselves. And as long as you are not afraid of working hard and as long as you are disciplined enough to, like, welcome what really matters, you’re often dicking around Instagram, you can make it happen. So why would you be a teacher?

Debbie:

Unless you want to be a teacher. We are not saying it’s a bad thing.

Will:

Yeah.

Debbie:

By the way, I was a teacher and I left that too so…

Will:

Okay.

Debbie:

But it’s so interesting, right? Because now you have this massive website that you’re running and you have a whole team that runs it with you and you have all of these other things. Even now that you’re extremely successful with your blog, you have all these other things and you talked about it. Like, you have this hostel that you’re building now in Bali.

You just have your hands in so many different cookie jars. Like, how do you stay kind of grounded and also motivated? And also, this is another thing that I used to be a victim of, like, shiny object syndrome. So, how do you stop yourself from doing that?

Will:

That’s a really good question.

Firstly, I want to say that I do have my hands on a lot of things. How that has happened is I’ve spotted an opportunity to level up what we were doing. For example, we sell thousands of backpacks a month. 

And right now, after three years, I’ve been working on our own backpack created from recycled ocean plastics. We’re on prototype number 18 and we are nearly ready to launch that. And that is a business that makes sense because I can launch it and I know that I got guaranteed sales coming through my main site. So I’m leveling up what  I’ve already got. 

Likewise, we run expeditions to Pakistan. I was one of the earliest people to really help put Pakistan on the map from a tourism point of view. So it’s just kind of leveling up what we’ve already got.

It is hard for me not to start new businesses. I love starting new businesses. I really enjoy building businesses. I don’t especially like running businesses, which is why I have so many ventures where I’ll bring someone in who I know. And I’ll be like, “You’ll be doing all the work.  Here’s the strategy for a year. Go away. 50% of this is yours now, 50% of it is mine once I’ve been paid out for my historical contribution.”

I do those kinds of deals a lot. That allows me to continue building things which is what I’m good at and what I enjoy and then to kind of step away from the running a little bit. I think making sure that I’m not just chasing after new things is really discipline. 

Not just wasting my time on my phone, on my laptop, checking various sites compulsively. It’s important to really make sure you’re focused on your work and I’m very goal-oriented to buy my house, like, whiteboards on every single room. 

And I’m just affirming what my goals are for the year, what my goals are for the month, which projects need my attention right now, and which projects are with my lieutenants. And if there’s someone else looking after a project, I trust them. I’ve been working for three or four years, I’ve been able to know what to do.

 So Having a discipline around, knowing what kind of business really fixes the problem and really building on what you’re already doing, and having the discipline to say no. You got to say no otherwise, you’ll forever do things where you’re putting in the value, and you’re not really getting any value out.

So yeah, that would be my tips for that.

Debbie:

Love that. Shiny object syndrome can happen at any time, right? 

Will:

Yeah.

Debbie:

As a beginner, someone in the middle, someone who’s been doing this for a while, someone like you, Will. And you’re right, it’s just saying no to things that are not really opportunities. Like, they wrap themselves up as opportunities but they’re really more work and they distract you from things. 

And then, there are certain things like your backpack, for example, that you’re talking about. That is such a freaking great idea, first of all, because you’re selling thousands for other companies. Now, you’re going to create one for yourself. So, that is, like, gold right there. 

So that’s just such a great example of really understanding what an opportunity looks like and what a distraction is. 

That’s the kind of thing I get really excited about. I’m constantly being pitched by people to, like, start an app or start some kind of group chat on Slack or whatever so travelers all over the world can connect. 

It’s a cool idea but it’s been tried a thousand times and the reason nobody’s been successful with it is due to acquisition gain. Unless you can get a million users in the first 6 weeks you’re dead in the water. 

So people are like, “Will, he’s got a million users.” If you think I can sign up every single person who has been to my website over the next month to anything, you’re on a roll.

I mean, it’s a case of trying to find those deals like the backpack, the hostels. I did a lot of hostel bookings. In the digital nomad space, it makes sense to build this digital nomad co-working hostel in Bali. 

We can just level up with what we’re already doing whereas if somebody comes to me with a brand new venture where I can utilize a lot of the resources, team members, and skills that I’ve already got, it’s going to be a good opportunity for me to be interested because I know it’s going to be a lot of work.

So, yeah. I think it’s really important to focus. If you’re focusing on more than three things in your business life, I’ll start to feel overwhelmed, personally. But I normally got, like, three major things that I’m working on. I’ve got a whole list of things that are going on in the background but it is three things. 

As soon as I try and take it to four, as soon as I’m working actively on four projects, it’s just too much to me. I’ll end up not finishing anything. So I’m putting hours into everything but there’s not really work.

Debbie:

Yeah. I know how that feels. 

And you know when you were like, “Yeah, you got to say no to things,” and when I started seeing no to things, that’s when things actually started moving.

Will:

Absolutely.

Debbie:

 ‘Cause I’m like, “I stopped doing stuff that I really don’t need to do. Oh my gosh, the secret is to just say no to things that I don’t need. Yey!”

Will:

I think the big part of it is saying no to yourself as well.

So you might be like, “Today, I’ll start doing some work. I’m going to put in 10-12 hours,” and then you might spend 10 to 12 hours redesigning your logo or, like, messing around on your Facebook page or whatever. 

And the thing is, like, kudos to you, your heart is in the right place of what to put in those hours, understanding that to get anywhere decent online, you gotta put in hours. So you’re working hard but you’re not working smart and that’s the problem. 

There’s, like, 10% of what you need to do will really move the needle to that 85%. So it’s important to find out what those tasks are and do them and surprise, surprise, half of the time, the tasks that really moved the needle are the stuff you don’t want to do. 

And that’s just the way it is but you gotta buckle down and get it done because redesigning your logo, messing around social media, answering comments – it’s not going to make a difference really.

Debbie:

You’re talking to me right now because that’s exactly what I was doing in the beginning and I’m like, “What the hell am I doing?” And then I realized I’m like, “I’m not doing business, that’s why. I’m just twiddling my thumbs and redesigning BS that doesn’t even need to get done. You could hire somebody to do this and not waste your time.”

Will:

Yeah.

Debbie:

So yeah. That hit me right there

Will:

On the topic of hiring people, it’s important to know what you’re good at and what only you can do. 

A good example of this is a lot of people hire someone to do their SEO. Not possible. SEO is a holistic process that has to be hard-baked into every element of your content creation from beginning to end. You can not outsource it. 

You can only outsource building links and you probably shouldn’t do that because chances are you’re going to get a bunch of terrible links that could tank your site. 

Whereas logo design, that’s something I would outsource. Like,  “Why am I going to spend 10 hours familiarizing myself with a piece of design software when I can pay someone $50 or $100 and get something back and it takes, like, 15 minutes for me to give them the brief. 

So I think it’s really important to just know what should be done by you, to know what your strengths are, and to utilize those strengths while trying to learn some new skills where you’re not going to get enough mileage out of learning that new skill to make it worthwhile. 

I outsource a lot. I know what I’m good at and I’m almost a little bit resistant to learning new things at this point ‘cause I’m like, “No.”

That came out wrong, that’s not what I meant. I mean, like, a new business feels like, if it’s a choice between learning how to code, for example, or hiring a code, I’m going to hire a coder.

Debbie:

Yeah. I mean, you don’t really need to be an expert in everything, right? You just need to learn a little bit so that you know that they’re doing the right thing. And then you can hand it off and trust them that they’re going to do it the right way. And obviously, you’re going to check it. 

And I’m the same way, like, last week or two weeks ago, my podcast is almost 100% passive now. Like, it’s all done by somebody else except for the one thing that I can’t outsource which is this, which is talking to you and it’s my favorite part.

A lot of my business is like that too. So I love it. I’m like, “Will is, like, my go-to now ’cause he’s pretty much like where I want to be someday. This is it!”

Will:

I went over space.

Debbie:

So let’s talk about your blog because you have a lot of bread and butter but for the most part, this is what you’re known for – your blog. How did you get from not knowing what you were doing to, now, a million visitors a month? What do you think was the one thing or maybe the three things that really helped you get to this point? 

Will:

Honestly, there are a few different reading parts to it. I think creating quality content because a lot of travel content out there is very inspirational but it’s not particularly practical. Doesn’t really give you any information. It kind of skirts around the uncomfortable parts of travel – that is what we focus on.

We focus on hitchhiking, couch surfing, traveling on $10 a day, on how to travel, and $10 a day whilst not being a dick, whilst being ethical, compassionate humans. You’re not ripping off other humans when you’re traveling on $10 a day.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Will:

Utilize your toolkit to make sure that you’re traveling in a sustainable way that brings the opportunity to yourself and the people you meet.

So, this is really what we focus on. Honestly, I feel like we filled the niche. I feel like this particular part of travel hadn’t been covered well and we did a good job of covering that and constantly pushing the envelope to go to new places like Venezuela, Iran, Pakistan, where maybe there isn’t so much content.

And helping break down barriers and show people these are amazing countries. There are least visited countries or places where you have these crazy opportunities for personal growth. 

So, why do I think we filled the niche? Hands down, I have the best team in this space. Absolutely no doubt. Finding these talents, training people, inspiring people, giving people a reason to want to work on the side. And what I’ve done there is that my senior team all have a percentage of the site.

So everything the site makes at the end of the year, on top of their wage, they get a disbursement and these disbursements are big. Like, before covid, TBB alone outside of all my other sites was making seven figures a year and it was a nice number. So you can make a lot of money doing this kind of content if you do it well.

And I would say, with my team, we’re keeping our content organized and creating our content in a way that is logical and cost-effective. I spend a lot of time building systems so that our content is quick and it’s fairly simple. It’s cookie-cutter. Working out the dimensions of those cooking cutters, in the beginning, was really hard. 

It took me hundreds of hours to figure out how to build a system where you got somebody writing the content, somebody doing all of the graphic stuff: the buttons, the links, the tables, and somebody getting it approved at the end. And building that in a way that was cost-effective, in any way that could be scaled. That was a big part of our success for sure. 

And then the third part is SEO. I mean, like, we are SEO. We don’t do social media. 99.9% of all traffic is from SEO. I’m personally very against social media. That’s a difficult line to walk. So I pretty much just quit social media to somebody running it for me. I’m not involved. 

But yeah, I think we’ve created a lot of success by doing a lot of testing, looking at data, and finding out what Google wants for this month. Oh boy, it can change, like, on a day-by-day basis. 

So constantly analyzing that data, finding tiny tiny little wins, and then rapidly rolling what is now across all three thousand pieces of content on the site. That moves the needle for sure. It’s asking what Google wants and how we can help to search queries in the best possible way.

Debbie:

That is amazing. And obviously, this took you years to figure all of this out. It’s pretty incredible, right? Because this is a lot of work, like, all of this stuff that you did. It’s pretty incredible because most people, and I’ve done the research, don’t even make a dollar from blogging. And for you to make seven figures and make yourself still relevant after all of these years because there’s also a lot of blogs out there that are really great and then all of a sudden they’re gone. 

What do you think has kept you relevant throughout all of this after all of these years and just allow you to keep growing? 

Will:

I think there are two things.

First, I’m extremely aggressive with spending. Pre-covid, easily 6 figures a month. During covid, I was losing about 40 grand a month. So I was spending from my savings, 40 grand a month was going out and I was taking nothing home.

And that was to pay my staff and to continue to invest in revamping the site. Making it super fast, making it as SEO-friendly as possible. So we’re very aggressive with our spending and that pays off. 

And what that means is that I meet someone in a hostel or somebody reaches out to me and if they fit our ethos and what I’m going for, there’s someone who’s got real experience, with real hard, far out there travel, and all the personal development that comes along with that, I’ll hire them.

 I’m 32. I like nice things, I have a nice life. I’m not the broke backpacker anymore. We have broke backpackers on the site writing and creating new content. And that means that the site stays relevant. 

I am able to stay genuine. I do not like people introducing me as a broke backpacker, it’s not really relevant anymore.

Debbie:

You’re like, “I’m bougie now.” 

Will:

A little bit. I’m the OG broke backpacker. I took my time and I enjoyed it and I just recently came back from a month in Pakistan where I was camping and hiking and seeing all my friends and doing all my stuff. 

I still love getting out there and being rough and real and ready. But to really create the kind of site that I want, which has in-depth how-to guides, and also enough of a kick someone in the ass to get them moving, to get them in a spot, to get them fit and confident, that needs to come from the next generation of broke backpackers. 

And I’ve hired some of the best people I can find to make sure that we continue to provide that, continue to stay relevant because, like you said, a lot of blogs just drop off. And a lot of blogs, I won’t name any, like, the owner finds some success and they try to outsource all of it so that they’re no longer really doing any work. 

And then the whole thing kind of like fizzles and crack away because the people who they’re hiring have employed travel writers. You can hire people cheap, right? So the people they’re hiring, they’re paying them some money but they’re not incentivizing them properly. And I’ve incentivized my team properly.

I’ve got people working for me who are taking home 50, 60 grand a year and they’re working whilst they travel. I’ve created jobs, they are the kind of jobs that I wish I had found when I was a younger man. 

Honestly, I got the best team. They’re great people and they enable me to keep pumping out fantastic, informational, inspiring content. 

Debbie:

And I think that’s something that I really want to emphasize here is that you’re paying people to do really good work because it’s very hard to find people who can do very good work. So, I mean, I know this for a fact, it’s kind of, like, just finding diamonds. 

It’s pretty incredible and when you find them, you gotta know how to incentivize them. Like, what you’re talking about, Will, and keeping them, right? 

Will:

That’s exactly it.

It’s actually like, you’ll find diamonds in the rough who are excited to come work for you and excited to be a part of what you’re doing. But at some point, the other shoe will drop. 

And if you’re paying this person $14 an hour, and that’s it and they’re building your empire and you’re taking home good money. At some point, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to quit but then, they might stop working so hard, there’s gonna be resentment that will build up.

It’s much better to build a client-team atmosphere and to have these disbursements at the end of the year that people get excited about. It means that when someone’s working, they don’t feel they’re just working for an hourly wage and working to put money in the bossman’s pocket.

They’ll get their hourly wage but they know that what they’re doing is gonna directly translate into a tasty disbursement at the end of the year.

And until I started doing that, I had a big churn on staff. And it was a problem. I would find someone, I’d mentor them, they’ll be great for a year, and then they’d fuck off and do, like, a blog which is identical to mine. It happened so many times.

Debbie:

Oh, wow.

Will:

So finding people who have a bit more of a moral compass and who I am able to keep on that moral compass by making them a part of the journey and a part of the reward. That was a game-changer for sure. 

Debbie:

Yeah.

And the one thing that you’re talking about too is you put out a lot of time and energy to teach people all of these skills. So imagine, like, if you didn’t incentivize them, the turn, like you’re talking about, that’s a lot of work for you to keep doing it over and over again. 

Will:

It really can be. I haven’t had to do that now for about three years because the team that I’ve had for the last three years, I haven’t lost any major players. We got an amazing team. We’re having a team retreat later on in the year. 

This is the thing with running remote teams: I really think. If you can afford it, it makes sense to get everybody in a room together for a week once a year. Because I’ve noticed for, like, 6 months off of that, it’s like you just put rocket fuel in everybody’s drink.

Everybody’s excited, they’re bantering, they’re having fun with their communications around their workloads. And it’s a well worth investment for sure.

Debbie:

That is amazing. 

So I know you travel, well, not right now, obviously. Well, I don’t know.

Will:

It’s pretty hard.

Debbie:

It’s harder than it was before but you’re still a traveler.

Will:

Of course.

Debbie:

You’re like the OG of the backpacker world. 

Will:

I am.

Debbie:

So when you are traveling around, is there a specific travel insurance that you like to use?

Will:

Yeah. There is actually and that is World Nomads. I’ve been using them for 12 years and I claimed from them three times and every time they’ve been great.

There was one incident that really springs to mind where I had dengue, and I was in Thailand. And I was docked in a very dodgy little clinic on one of these tiny islands. Didn’t have a hospital, just a dodgy clinic.

They took my passport and wouldn’t give it back to me until the exorbitant bill had been paid. I called World Nomads and they were like, “They can’t do that. That’s illegal,” and I was like, “Yep. I know but they have done that and I’m seriously fucking sick. You need to sort it out.” And they paid it immediately even though it was, like, against their policy. They paid it to just sort out my situation. 

So, I’ve only had good experiences with them and it’s a genuine recommendation.

Debbie:

That is amazing and especially with everything that’s happening in the world. Like, with the pandemic and everything, that’s kind of crazy. Like, things that you didn’t even know that you would need and things that you didn’t know that could happen to you. 

So, I’m so glad that your insurance company, World Nomads, did that. That is really good. And I also love the fact that a lot of the companies that you’re going to be kind of going to go through and see are not as comprehensive as that, right? 

They’re not going to be able to do that and you mentioned that they weren’t even supposed to do that. 

Will:

The woman on the other end of the phone definitely was not supposed to do it. But she did it to help me out and I really appreciated that.

Also, on a serious note, World Nomads, unlike a lot of other insurance providers, they actually create a lot of pretty good content online. A lot of the content that they post, I helped with some of the Pakistan content and it’s pretty big.

Insurance companies got a bad rap right now. No one likes spending money on insurance, that’s not very exciting. But it’s something you have to have. There’s been a couple of occasions where I racked up big medical bills while traveling. 

So not having it is not an option, you have to have it for sure.

Debbie:

Yeah. And especially right now, I think more and more people are trying to get international insurance, especially when they’re traveling because of everything that’s happening right now, whether you’re going to get stuck there, you don’t know the different requirements that they’re going to have when it comes to the health insurance. 

One of the companies that I really love, and I have been talking about this every single time, is Integra Global because they do have really good comprehensive plans that we’re talking about.

During the pandemic, they’re actually one of the only companies, Will, that was paying people.

Will:

Really? That’s pretty awesome.

Debbie:

Yeah. It’s pretty incredible.

Because there are so many people that were getting stuck in different countries and they couldn’t go home or something happened to them and they couldn’t pay for it. And Integra Global was actually just one of those companies that had it built-in. 

Will:

That’s pretty honorable.

I feel like a lot of companies with this pandemic, it was a hard time for everybody, big companies included, did not really behave with honor and integrity.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Will:

As a consumer, which unfortunately we were at, this kind of gives out an opportunity to choose who you want to give your money to and to try and give it to companies who are going to act honorably. 

Debbie:

Exactly. 

And that’s one of the things, it’s when you really see the true colors of certain companies. It’s bad at that time but then you know who you want to be with.

Will:

Absolutely.

Debbie:

One of the things about Integra Global that I really love is they don’t ask for members to build a plan because we don’t know what we’re going to need especially when we’re traveling. That’s why their insurance really covers it all and everything is built-in. 

And so if you all want to know more about it, you can go to IntegraGlobal.com and you can see how they can give you the coverage that you’ll need and maybe some that you never knew you would. Like, you’re talking about like, “how did you know you’re going to have dengue?” Or, like, the pandemic is going to happen, which is pretty crazy. 

But, love it, thank you so much for that recommendation, Will.

So a question for you: let’s say fifty years from now and you’re looking back at your life, what legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for? 

Will:

I’m like a climate eco-terrorist growing some nature things, which is pretty cool. I don’t know…

I mean, 50 years is a long time in the future. I’m very excited to have a family. That’s something I’m looking forward to do.

I think that, for me, building businesses that are eco-focused that give back to provide jobs for the right people in often countries where there isn’t maybe so much opportunity like Pakistan and Iran.

I love doing business. I’m a passionate entrepreneur. I’m addicted to personal growth, I record everything, journaling, like, 44 journals.

I’m on this journey at the moment. I’m not quite sure exactly where it’s going to end. But I know I’m no longer motivated by money. I am instead motivated by building businesses that can give back and make a difference.

So that is really what I want to focus on. It would be great to be remembered as somebody who could help show that entrepreneurship can be an incredible force for good. And that is something that I’m really passionate about. That message and this many great entrepreneurs doing great things out there. 

I’m like a little baby on this pond. I’ll be doing amazing shit. So if I can reach where they are currently and try to inspire people to become entrepreneurs but also to do projects in areas that matter. Like, protecting the planet: trying to move towards clean energy, trying to reduce our carbon footprints. These are all the things I’m passionate about and that’s what I want to move on to focusing on in the next 10 years. 

Debbie:

I love that your business allows you to do all of these things now, right? That you’re really passionate about, like you mentioned, it’s not about the money anymore because you’ve made the money that you could make and that’s, like, after a certain amount, it’s all just the same, right? 

Will:

Yeah. I don’t need a private jet.

I want to be able to fly to wherever I want to go but I don’t need a private jet. It’s a waste of money.

If you got three or four million dollars in the bank – you’re set. And the difference in lifestyle between three and four million dollars and thirty to forty billion dollars is not as big as you think. And it’s probably not worth chasing.

So for me, these things that I want to do; are people I want to help out and I’m not quite where I would finish yet. But I will get there in the next couple of years. And off of that, these books I want to write, these screenplays I want to finish up, been working on some poems.

What kinds of random little things that I’m doing?

And I want to swing back home to those rather than chasing money. I want to focus on new projects where if it can wash its face, if it’s not losing money, and if it’s doing some good or in the area that I’m interested in, that’s fine. That’s the kind of thing I want to focus on for sure.

Debbie:

Yeah.

And remember everyone, Will is only 32. 

Talking to you, Will, you sound like you’re in your fifties already. Not to say that you’re sounding old but, like, your experience and everything you’ve done already, it’s a lot. That’s a lot of experience in a short amount of time that you’ve been in this world. 

So I can’t even imagine what the next 50 is going to be like and you’re definitely going to own all that stuff that you talked about ’cause you’re so young. That’s awesome.

Will:

Yeah. Thanks.

I mean, definitely being on the road as young as I was and going to countries like, I always refer to, Pakistan, ‘cause it’s my favorite country. Going to countries like Pakistan rather than somewhere like Thailand which is more set up for polar bears and people who want to see a new country but don’t really want to step out of their comfort zone. 

Doing all that stuff young made a huge, huge difference and really inspired me to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone as often as possible while I do things that make me uncomfortable all the time. 

It’s important to do that because otherwise the breadth of experiences that you can have shrinks and the amount of real connections you can have, shrinks as well. 

So I think it’s important to keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. If you do that, you can gain some awesome life experiences along the way.

Debbie:

Yeah. And I do believe that too. 

I feel like in your teens, in your twenties, like, all of that should just be just exploration. I feel like a lot of people push like, “You need to know what you need to do,” like, during those times but I’m always like, just try new things during that, like, decade and don’t settle yet until you find something that’s really for you.

And that’s the same thing that I did too. And that’s why we’re here doing, actually, things that we love instead of being miserable somewhere, right? Because it’s that part of exploration that I think most people skip and then they realize it when they’re, like, 40 years old and they have their midlife crisis, and then it becomes, like, really bad. 

Will:

Yeah.

Debbie:

So yeah. If you could do it, then do it. If you’re in your twenties, your teens, even in your thirties and forties, I’m like, “Go for it. It’s never too late.”

Will:

Absolutely.

I mean, corny, but life is a journey and it’s important that you are taking these steps yourself, you’re walking your path with intention. 

Routine is great. Routine is a really powerful way to, like, fake inhabits but you gotta make sure everything is good and you gotta make sure you ain’t slipping into something that is less healthy or less wholesome than it could be.

Keep reaching, keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. The opportunities for growth and money and whatever it is you’re looking for: love, friendship, connection – it’s all there. You should have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to get it.

Debbie:

Love that.

Thank you so much for being here with us today, Will, we really appreciate it. 

If our listeners want to know more about you, where can they find you? 

Will:

On The Broke Backpacker. Just type in the broke backpacker, you’ll find me.

I’m on Instagram. It currently leads to my phone. If you message me on there it’s gonna be a slow response. Yeah, come find me on the blog, I’m there.

And also, DitchYourDesk.com which is somewhere I occasionally blog, like, maybe once every couple of months off. I put posts up there about lessons I’ve learned on entrepreneurship over the last six months, books I’m currently reading, mind-setting practices, just whatever I’m passionate about at the moment, I’ll regurgitate all there.

So there are some interesting bits and pieces on there.

Debbie:

Love it. We’re definitely going to go check that out. And we really appreciate you sharing all of your knowledge with us today, Will.

Thank you so much for being here again. 

Will:

Yeah. My pleasure, thank you.


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Show Credits:

Audio Engineer: Ben Smith

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