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Ep. 262: How this Top Travel Podcast Host Created a Community that Embraces Unique Travel Experiences with Jason Moore

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In this episode, I speak with Jason who is the host of the Zero To Travel Podcast, one of the top travel podcasts in the world, where he can help you travel the world no matter what your situation or experience.

The podcast was recently nominated as Best Travel Podcast by iHeartradio and his work has been featured in The Washington Post, Travel + Leisure, and Forbes among other places.

Listen on to find out how Jason has created a community that embraces offbeat travel and living.


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Listen Below:

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Transcription:

Debbie:

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

Hey Jason, how are you?

Jason:

Hi, I’m great. I’m about 14 cups of coffee into the day. It’s mid-afternoon here in Norway where I live and feeling good.

How are you?

Debbie:

I am great. You know, before we won and hit the record, I was having a lot of technical issues and I’m just really lucky that Jason is a fellow podcaster. So he’s like, “I totally understand.”

Jason:

I mean, there’s nothing that can sort of throw you off your game, like tech issues sometimes, right? They get you all, like, I don’t know, crazy. Tech issues make me crazy. Maybe it’s just me.

Somebody listening out there. I think feels the same way.

Debbie:

I’m the same way and my husband was trying to fix everything. I’m like, “Of course, this would happen when I have Jason on. And he’s like a huge podcaster.” Oh my goodness. But I’m just glad…

Jason:

Stop, stop, stop.

Debbie:

I’m glad that you stuck it out with me and you’re here because I’m so excited to talk to you. I have been a fan of yours for quite some time because obviously, you have two podcasts. One is Zero to Travel, which is amazing and you interviewed me for that show and then you also have Location Indie – two huge podcasts.

So before I keep bragging about you, can you tell us in your own words who you are and why you live an offbeat life, Jason?

Jason:

Yeah.

Well, you mentioned the podcast Zero to Travel and the mission there is really just to help people travel the world on their terms no matter what their situation or experience.

So I feel like we have very similar missions in that way, exploring a lot of these topics through interviews and just over time, learning that there are so many different ways to create whatever version of your offbeat life that you want to create is, and as you change and evolve as a person, you’re able to, I think, share the awareness around like this idea of, “Hey, I like the idea of living like an offbeat life – that vibes with me,” you can kind of decide what that means to you at any given age, in any given year of your life.

Jason:

And I think that’s one thing that’s really cool about, well, I’ll use the buzzword lifestyle design, which might be a word that some people might think, “Well, that’s overuse,” or, “Is that really a thing?” I think it really is a thing.

What it means to me really is just having awareness around what you want your daily life to look like, how you wanna live, the people you wanna be around, and then taking the right actions to put yourself in that situation where you can do that, can live that, or can at least live part of it, or at least start working towards it.

And I think this can be a slippery slope ’cause you don’t wanna look at like some ideal version of what an offbeat life is. And, like, somehow you’re gonna get there and everything’s gonna be magical and rainbows and unicorns. Like, that’s the whole success track, right? Like, you get somewhere, and then you just want to go to the next thing, and the next thing sort of the hedonic treadmill, they call it.

But just trying to live in that moment and really be intentional with how you live your life. And I think the intention of having an offbeat life, for example, just causes you to make different decisions, right? If you’re just like, “Yeah, no, I don’t want this. The Status quo thing isn’t for me and I know that. Well, what are some of the other things I can do out there? What are some of the other ways to live? What are some of the other ways to approach either my education or the things I put time into? And which of those ways will kind of lead to the sort of the daily life I wanna live now.

So that was maybe a bit of a long…

Debbie:

No, I love that.

And I think you brought up a really good point where we do get into this mindset where wanna leave our nine to five and then we’re location independent, and then we have to keep going. And then there’s always that hamster wheel that you’re trying to move forward, trying to move forward.

And then you get to that point where, “I should be happy here. I should be good.” And then you’re still unhappy, right? Because the grass is always greener on the other side, they say. And then you never get to that point and you’re always wondering, “Why am I still unhappy even though I actually got to where I am?”

And it’s so interesting how I think, like you mentioned, living in the moment and also really gratitude, just being really thankful for what you actually have achieved. And I think most of us don’t have enough of that when we finally do accomplish something. I think we’re always looking forward, like, “What’s next? What’s next?” Instead of like, “Okay, let’s take a moment. What did I actually do? Am I really proud of myself right now? Yes, I fricking am. And let’s celebrate that, right?”

I mean, have you felt like this? ‘Cause I’ve definitely done that.

Jason:

Oh yeah.

I mean, I think this is one of the big challenges of carving your own path. A lot of the work you put in online, for example, let’s say with what you do, what I do – a lot of it’s future-based, right? You’re kind of planting seeds, you’re doing things so you can grow your company or keep it going or you’re working towards some goals or whatever.

But at the same time we live now so how do you find that balance between not spending all of your time working towards something that’s going to happen months or years later? That’s a great thing when that happens but maybe you’ve done that months or years ago but you’re still doing it instead of, like you said, maybe spending a little bit of time to just enjoy where you’re at now.

There’s no easy answer. I can’t sit here and say, “Well, here’s the formula for life-work balance, right? If that’s even a thing.

Again, I think it’s important to cultivate awareness around these things. If I always come back to one word, it’s this idea of awareness and gratitude’s a great word too. You can lock in on some of these one-word themes that are easy to remember throughout the day that can bring you back. Maybe give you a gut check.

Maybe it’s time to turn off the computer and play the little guitar for me right now. Not right now, not in the middle of this interview. I’m gonna leave everybody hanging here, but is it okay to sit down and say, write a song, spend a couple of hours in the middle of the afternoon, writing a song and doing that without feeling guilty about the work you’re not getting done.

That can be very difficult for people that work for themselves, in a certain type of person, I feel, depending on how your personality is and how able you are to shut those things off. So it’s something I think I struggled with more in the past that I have my head around a bit more now, but it doesn’t mean I always do it in the way that feels comfortable. I’d really like to be able to shut things off a bit more. It’s hard.

Debbie:

Yeah.

I am with you on that. And it’s funny ’cause I was just talking to my husband about that and I was like, “I really need to learn how to just chill out. I need to learn how to put the computer down, turn it off,” like you mentioned, Jason.

And okay, this is another interesting thing is because most of us wanna leave a job, right? That we maybe are not really passionate about to do something that we’re absolutely passionate about. But now another problem, and you mentioned, this is not being able to turn it off because you love it so much and that could be a problem, right?

And you never think about that when you are just working for it. But when you’re in that actual moment, now it’s consuming your entire life. And even though it’s really enjoyable and for me, that’s why I literally will work seven days a week.

And you talked about guilt and that resonated with me so much because I was like, “Oh my gosh, Jason, everytime I don’t work, I feel really guilty ’cause I’m like, “What am I doing?” And balance, that’s another word, balancing everything is so important because yeah, you do have to enjoy life outside of the screen, outside of work because it can get really tough when you do really enjoy and you love what you do, but now everything else is secondary.

And that could also impact your personal relationships like with your partner, with your children, with your friendships. Like it, could be a big thing

Jason:

Yeah.

Does impact, right?

We’re not in a bubble as much as sometimes we think we are – definitely impacts everybody around us. It’s tough. There’s no easy answer. I would say that it’s good to step away.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Jason:

It’s good to take walks. I think there are a lot of simple things that can be done. And I think really what this comes down to for me at least is just coming back to these simple memorable things that we can do for ourselves to step away. Because I don’t think anybody is gonna sit on their deathbed at the end of their life and say, “Man, I wish I had more screen time aren’t it? If only I could go back and download some more apps.”

Debbie:

How can I have reorganized my life to get more of that?

Jason:

Like, I’m sort of joking around, but this is the kind of perspective that helps me when I think about it, I know it sounds like I’m like morbidly happy, I always say because it’s I think about death quite often, but not in a sad way. I think in the Western society, at least, it’s really frowned upon to talk about death.

It’s sort of like this taboo topic but the reality is we’re all going to die as much as we can’t even believe it sometimes like, “Well, that’s that’s for everybody else, but not me. I’m not going to die,” but it’s like, “Well, we are. So how important is this thing right now? Or am I really gonna regret playing guitar for a couple hours during the day later on?” It just reframes everything. When you think about the real big picture, not the big picture of your day or even your month, but of your life.

That a good reality sort of gut check for me. It’s like, “Okay, it makes it more easier to basically say forget the work thing right now. But like you said, I mean, I think it’s okay if you’re loving work and you’re losing time in it then you know that that’s cool, right? Like, you don’t need to step away if you’re enjoying yourself, right? Or maybe you do. I don’t know.

I love to create, I imagine that’s a big part of your life and something that you love to do, right? I mean, you’re creating a podcast and all these things, you have to create content, you have to think of new ideas and that’s fun and it takes a lot of time. Like you, I enjoy it. I guess I consider it work in the sense is a part of what I do professionally, but podcasting is still one of my favorite things to do.

So to sit on here And hop on a call with you like this, I’m not like, “Oh, geez. I can’t wait to get done with this so I can go outside.” I’m like, “Well, this is fun. I just get the chat with cool people like you and enjoy myself.” And as much of that, as you can put into your work as possible, I mean, that’s not a bad thing, right?

Debbie:

Absolutely.

And I think we talked about this on your podcast, how podcasting has really changed both of our lives. And you started both of your shows when podcasting wasn’t a really huge thing as it is right now. I think you started Zero to Travel in what, 2013, right? Is that when you started.

Jason:

End of 2013?

Debbie:

Yeah.

And now it’s 2022 and years and years later, you have millions of downloads and you’re still going, but in the beginning it is a struggle, right? And there’s a reason why you started it. So can you take us back to that time? What made you decide or what kind of attracted you to this platform to actually start having these conversations with people?

Jason:

Well, thanks for this question.

I think it’s an important thing to think about for somebody listening that’s either just starting out or anywhere in your business. I am kind of a firm believer in picking one platform and just go with it. And there are very few people that can do everything all the time super well. I mean, they do and they’re probably really good at hiring people and just cranking out content.

But to think that you’re gonna be huge on YouTube and you’re gonna have a huge podcast and you’re gonna blow it up on social, I mean, that can happen. But I feel that a better bet is to just pick the platform that resonates with you the most and that you’re gonna enjoy and have fun with and go all in on that.

Jason:

And for me, that’s audio and podcasting ’cause I get to talk to people. I love to just have conversations and learn and to be able to share those conversations and provide value to others, everything about it. I just love it. And it’s something that changed my life too.

Like, I’ve listened to the Tony Robbins “tapes”, I’m using air quotes now, you listen to those programs ’cause they’re so old we still calls ’em like tapes or whatever. Audio books, podcasts myself, I mean, it’s something that has changed my life as a consumer, as somebody consuming content. So it’s kind of makes sense that I would also enjoy it.

And I think the interactivity of it, as opposed to sitting back and editing videos or something like that. I like this. I like just having a chat.

But the reason why I started it was because after traveling around for many years, I had like a decade plus as a nomad and all kinds of crazy travel experiences. I just loved learning about all the different ways people could travel and just meeting all these characters and hearing their stories and hearing about the different things they were doing to travel the world that I didn’t even know a person could do.

Now, to date myself, I mean, a lot of that information’s available online now but back then, it really wasn’t for me, it was all new. I’m like, “What?! You’re working on farms? Like, how does that work? What do you mean? This is crazy.” All these things.

So when I was starting the podcast, I was like, “More people need to know about these things and hear how this works and get the practical advice,” but also the inspiration ’cause I always found those stories inspiring.

And when I would meet like an Australian in a hostile and I was traveling for a pidly one or two months, and they’re like, “I’ve been on the road for three years, mate.” I’m just like, “What?! Three years? I’m nomad ’cause I’m doing all these jobs and stuff, but working in between, I never even thought of like being on a backpack and just budget traveling for three years, you know?”

So like all these things were blowing my mind and I just thought this would be a great way to share it. So I was thinking back when you asked this question, I remember cause I found this piece of paper just recently ’cause I got a box shipped from my old place in Colorado to where I live in Norway of my old stuff.

And in there was a notebook where I had found the original notes for this podcast Zero to Travel and the whole brand and everything. And my big intention at the top was to inspire 1 million people to travel the world, which was really big thinking, seemed ridiculous when I wrote it down.

But I always loved helping people travel. I traveled a lot. So when people would ask me how to do this or that, or how I could do it or how they could do it for themselves, then it would just light me up. And I really enjoyed giving people that advice and helping them live that life, if they wanted to live it, I was just naturally attracted to that.

So that kind of fell hand in hand with the podcast, right? I was like, “Well, this is, this is what I wanna do. I wanna help people travel.” I think I probably wrote it down and was like laughing at myself. But it’s good to think big, years later, I mean, the podcasts have been downloaded millions times like you said, and I have to think, “Okay with all the work I’ve done, if I’ve played a little part in say 10% of those people’s lives to help them get out on the road, then, then maybe I’ve actually hit that goal in some way it’s unquantifiable, of course.

If I could even be a small part of their journey to getting on the road and contribute to that, then that will was really satisfying to me. And it’s just really cool to find that piece of paper years later and see, I started this thing in like my bedroom in Colorado and now it’s eight years later and it’s still going, it’s crazy.

Debbie:

It’s an amazing journey. And it’s so funny how this platform can literally change your life and now it’s your business.

So let’s get to that, Jason, how did you go from zero to professional podcaster, right? Because your whole business is about helping people. And you got to that point because of you sharing these incredible journeys that people have had, and of course you also made this incredible life for yourself from something that you’re absolutely passionate about. How did you get to this point?

Like you mentioned eight years later and you have a whole team, a whole business with this platform, with podcasting and you kind of got into it when there wasn’t a lot of information on the topic that you were podcasting about.

And also podcasting was not as big. When I started a lot of things were still unknown and you started years and years before me. So I can’t even imagine what that journey was like because there wasn’t a lot of things you can Google and if it was you’re like, “Oh boy, this is not a lot.”

Jason:

I remember being at my dad’s once and I was recording, he’s like, “What are you doing? What is this?” I’m like, “I’m not even sure if I know what this is but I’m recording a podcast now.”

Well I wanna tie this back in with the offbeat life theme that you have here because I lived an unconventional life before all of this. It’s subjective. It’s my life so I can only speak to it for myself, but some might have been like, “That was ridiculous what you did.”

I graduated college. I started doing all these crazy traveling jobs. I worked as a touring professional for like over 10 years. I managed event tours. I worked in music as a tour manager, did the whole like sleeping on the tour bus, traveling around with like famous band thing, I worked as an adventure travel tour guide.

I got to do all these really cool jobs traveling around earning money and in between these contracts, traveling overseas and backpacking and all this stuff. So after like living in unconventional or offbeat life for so many years, it’s just like, once you do that, it’s really hard to go back.

So the podcast and my entrepreneurial journey was really an extension of me just wanting to keep doing cool things because a pivotal moment for me was when I started doing the music touring towards the tail end of my touring career.

And I really liked this band I was working with and they asked me to go as their tour manager on like their world tour. And I said, no, because I was sort of at the end of my I touring days, I felt, and I was ready for a bit of a change.

But I knew when I said, no, well, I said no because I was like, “Well, this would be an amazing experience. And I would be a part of helping them live their dreams, but I’m sort of ready to live some of my next dreams.” I’ve done like this set of my dreams, I’ve traveled and done all these things. I’m not sure what that is, but I need to figure it out.

So saying no to that was a big thing ’cause after that I was like, “If I said no to that, which I know I was gonna love and it was gonna be an awesome experience, I better do something cool that I love, you know”

So there was some years of struggle in there, like, I had gotten like a regular job for a couple years where I was living in Boulder, Colorado, but I wanted to live in Colorado, wanted live in one place, had that experience, got like a regular job, which was still a cool job. It was a sales job: selling like whiskey and wine and it hosts like whiskey dinners.

Debbie:

That’s awesome.

Jason:

I had like this expense budget where you could go out and just like buy food, hang out at cool restaurants. So it was still cool.

Debbie:

You regular job is most people’s dream job

Jason:

Yeah.

Like, I just have been very fortunate in that I’ve been able to like do really cool things. So I just can’t go back from that. And this is, I guess the lesson I wanted to share that I’ve brought out of this is if you’re trying to live like a more unconventional life and like you have tension and you’re like ready for that, just get it going in some way.

And once you kind of get it going you don’t know where things are gonna lead and you’re off and running. There’s so many different ways you can and you could do it in a short way, right? Like you could spend a season. My buddy, Jason, is doing this. You can spend a season working as a bartender in one of the national parks and like live there.

I know different people have families in different situations, but there’s some version of something totally different than what you’ve done that you can go do. That could be like a smaller chunk of time or something, but it could be a stepping stone into a bigger, more like offbeat, unconventional life. I think that that’s a great way to like a practical way to just kind of get going.

And then I think it’s super motivating ’cause you start doing all these cool things you don’t wanna stop. So when it came to the podcast and all, I wanted to help people to travel. I wanted to start a cool business that I was passionate about because I didn’t want to do something, like, I didn’t work in like a finance career or something just ’cause it was really good money.

And even though I hated being, like, all the event jobs and things I loved, I enjoy doing, I mean there were some that sucked, but that’s normal. But overall I liked the way I was living my life and my lifestyle.

So I just really wanted to continue that with the podcast and the work I was doing entrepreneurial and that’s what’s cool. As you know you have a chance when you start your own thing to kind of design it and figure out like who your ideal customer is going to be and who you want be around on a daily basis, what type of things you want to do.

And then you just build that into your business and make that a part of your work. And then your daily life can be quite enjoyable with your work. Because if you love podcasting or you love talking to people, you start a podcast, then start a podcast and start talking to people and meeting them and you get to do something awesome.

And, like, I didn’t make any money on the podcast for a really long time, but I love it, doesn’t matter. And if I stopped making money on it next week, I would still be doing it.

Debbie:

Yeah.

And you definitely created your lifestyle design, that’s our buzzword for today. And look where it got you. And I think that’s one of the best things can do with your life. You do have a lot of say in what can happen, right?

Jason:

Yeah.

Debbie:

There’s a lot of decisions that you can make and you can truly live a life that you want. And there’s a lot to say for that. And it’s not just about the money because at the end of the day, like you mentioned, when you die, you’re not gonna remember how much you made. Maybe some people will, but most of the time it’s the experiences and what you got out of it.

And it’s really cool that your conventional jobs too, Jason, was pretty unconventional for a lot of people. I mean, come on, that’s that’s pretty awesome.

Jason:

Sorry, there’s one thing I wanted to add because I think in these stories, I think people can just see the end result and think that there was, “Oh, well, it worked out,” and yeah, I love what I’m doing and it’s working out, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t start and fail a bunch of things in between and try different things that didn’t work and did things that made me feel really uncomfortable at the time that now I’ve gotten more used to doing, thinking about even just recording those first podcasts, like the imposter syndrome’s real, yo.

So it’s all part of the journey. And I just don’t want this podcast to come off as like another Instagram posts, right? Like, it’s like, “Oh, everything worked out great.” Well, no, I mean, there was a lot of struggles like everybody has in life.

So I just wanted to point that out and just to mention that because it’s okay and it’s part of it. And no matter what you do, there’s gonna be struggles. So it’s almost like you want to pick and choose what your struggles are going to be.

Debbie:

Yeah. I love that.

You can. You can be miserable doing something that you love and also be miserable doing something that you hate. So you might as well be miserable doing something that you enjoy.

Jason:

Yeah.

I mean if you go, if you become a nomad saying it was like your dream to become nomadic and you start being, living digital nomad, you’re gonna have crappy days. You’re gonna have days where you question the whole lifestyle and one day you probably will stop living that lifestyle ’cause you don’t like it anymore. That’s the nature of life. It’s all part of it.

And I think that’s where it’s really important to, I mean, you can tell me how you do it with your business or life. I really look at it as a lifestyle thing. Like, lifestyle is always the word I come to and it’s like, “Well, what kind of lifestyle do I wanna live?”

And you kind of have to fine tune it as you go on as well because things change. And that means you’re gonna have to make some adjustments because the lifestyle you’ve been living say for the last year or two, all of a sudden there’s parts of it that you don’t like.

So then you need to proactively figure out different ways that you can make adjustments to course correct in some ways. I’m sure, I mean, have you had to do that in your own business?

Debbie:

Oh yeah, absolutely.

And that’s the thing too. We’re all constantly evolving and then once we reach a certain goal for me, sometimes I find that it wasn’t right for me. I’ve definitely had to course correct my business a few times. And I had to do that during the pandemic.

Now, in the last few months, I’ve had to do a lot of different things because I actually found that this way of doing my business was just not right for me, it didn’t make me happy. And there was a moment where I was making a lot with this specific thing that I was doing, but I was just miserable. And I was like, “This is not worth it.” Even if like the income is there.

And then it was like back to square one. And then you have to rebuild up again, even though you have a business that you’ve had for a really long time, it’s always an up and down. And one of the things that, for me, is I think a lot of people ask.

You’ve been doing this twice as long or longer than me, Jason, and I look at you and I’m like, “How do I get to Jason’s? How do I get that right now, where Jason is at right now?” And a lot of people don’t see all of the other struggles you had gone through before you got to where you are.

And I think a lot of that is people just want what they can’t have right now without working for it. And they think there’s like this secret sauce like, “Jason, in this interview, you’re gonna tell me exactly what you’re doing right now. So I can get to where you are and do X, Y, and Z.” And there’s just not, right? Like, most of the time there’s no shortcut to that point.

Jason:

Well, there’s one secret sauce.

Debbie:

Yeah. Tell us Jason, tell us.

Jason:

Drum roll, please. You have to take action.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Jason:

And you have to take the right actions and sometimes taking the right action, figuring out what the right actions are going to be means you have to take a bunch of the wrong actions.

Debbie:

Yes.

Jason:

“Oh, that’s the right action. Got it.” But things didn’t really start happening for me entrepreneurially until I started taking action. And the reason why it took me so long to take action was because I had a lot of my ideas, but I could never pick one. I was that guy.

And I think I also feared deep down when I reflect back and I think what was it that was preventing me from doing it and really the thing that it was, was I didn’t want the responsibility. I really enjoyed traveling without email and any type of responsibility in that way.

And I just didn’t want it. And I realized that later that was probably the big thing holding me back and also just kind of the fear of wasting time or money on something that wouldn’t work. But if you can identify the thing that might be holding you back.

I mean, just be honest with yourself, I shouldn’t say holding you back. It’s like, if you’re not ready for the responsibility, in my case, well then just table the idea of like being an entrepreneur until you’re ready and just accept it, just accept where you are in life and like be honest with yourself.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Jason:

And it’s sometimes hard to dig out those deep roots or identify them and really understand what is the sort of the mindset thing, or like, “What are some of the things that are sort of preventing me from taking action?” And just being honest with that, if you’re somebody listening, that you’ve struggled with that too, just trying to identify what that is and having that honest conversation and asking those questions of yourself and then actually answering them.

But you find when you start taking action, even when it’s the wrong thing, you get momentum because you’re like, “Okay, I’m doing this.” Like, most of starting a business is just doing stuff and finding out what works. And if you look at any most business, I would say, I mean, how many awesome businesses are out there? Like truly incredible companies like apple and like some of these bigger, but it’s so hard to build a business. The big secret is nobody knows what the F they’re doing.

Debbie:

That’s true.

Jason:

They don’t, they don’t.

I mean, I worked for a guy for a couple of years. My first location independent gig was as a business development consultant. And he had been running this business successfully mind you for many, many years and was respected in this space.

And a lot of times he’s like, “I don’t… Yeah. Didn’t know what was going…” I mean, he knew what was going on, but we’re just honest with like, “Hey, we’re just figuring this out as we go.” And I was like, “Oh, that’s what’s going on with all of these people.”

They’re just like figuring it out all the time and they don’t really know what they’re doing most of the time either, really, so let that be empowering to you. I’ll speak for myself. I don’t wanna speak for Debbie here, but I don’t know what I’m doing.

I mean, it’s a little tongue in cheek because some things… I know how to get on and record a podcast but that’s because I’ve done it 700 times. I mean, so you build these skills over time but the big picture stuff of like what might work and what might not in business, should you hire this person or that, all the questions that come up constantly it’s you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re just trying to do the best you can with the experience and the knowledge you have.

And in order to gain that experience and knowledge, you need to start taking action and accept that you’re gonna make mistakes. And just like that always helps right away too, to just kind of accept that right off the batch. Be like, “I know I’m gonna screw up a bunch. Okay, cool. Great”. So then when you screw up, you’re like, “Well, that’s not surprising,” because if you go into business, you’re gonna try something and it’s gonna fail.

So like, just accept that now. And then when it happens, you could be like, “Okay, I knew that was gonna happen ’cause it’s going to

Debbie:

Exactly.

And that’s with me, I’m like, “Failure – that’s just an everyday thing. What happened?”

Jason:

Imposter syndrome. Like, you could work, work, work. And like even some interviews. I mean, I’ve done all these podcasts and still, sometimes I might feel like, “Am I up for this? Do I have this prepped right? And I could do a better job. I don’t know, all these things.” Be careful what you say to yourself.

Debbie:

Yeah.

You’re always questioning yourself a lot of times whether you’ve been at it for a long time or you’re new and there’s always that mindset that it doesn’t go away, right? Even big, successful people who have been doing things for a very long time, they’re always constantly questioning themselves.

And I do love that you are saying the secret sauce is just taking action because inaction is really a surefire way to failure. ’cause that’s it.

Jason:

Nothing’s gonna happen.

Debbie:

Yeah. Nothing’s gonna happen.

Jason:

I mean, action’s a pretty surefire way to failure too. It’s just a matter of using failure as a stepping stone to the next thing or learning from it. Yeah.

But I think also what you said that could be another secret sauce is just understanding that there is going to be this negative self-talk, it just will. I mean, it happens ’cause we’re human. So we need to learn to just not pay attention to that and just keep moving forward and taking action regardless because that’s another guaranteed thing I feel.

And it’s a bit of a muscle to build, to not listen to yourself sometimes. First of all, try to be kind to yourself, be like, “Would say that to my friend? Why am I saying that to myself? That’s crazy.” But we’re going to because we have mental chatter, so just don’t listen to it.

When the imposter syndrome and the sort of like, “who am I to do this” type of stuff or “there are so many competitors, they don’t need another one, I’m not gonna be unique” and all this stuff I mean, everybody is unique and has their own unique perspective.

And when you see competitors out there in your space, well, that’s a good thing ’cause that must mean that there is business to be had because if people are earning money from X, Y, or Z niche, that means you can too. So you just bring your own creative spin to it, but don’t listen to your negative self, I should say.

Debbie:

I totally agree with that.

And there’s a saying: right place, right time, but also right mindset. Because you can be at the right place, the right time but if you are not there mentally, it’s not going to happen, right?

Jason:

It’s so true.

I mean, I think the idea of mindset being an important thing is underrated sometimes. It just like, “Oh, well that’s just like fluff. They’re talking about mindset. There’s no practical business.” Well, like, you really can’t do it without the mindset. Because how are thinking about these things is what push, propels, the whole thing forward.

Debbie:

Completely agree.

And that’s happened to me. And has it happened to you, Jason, where it’s like, everything was great and then you kind of screwed yourself over because you just weren’t there? Like your mind, you know what they say? It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy when you start thinking about it, all these negative things, and then you let it happen. And it’s so interesting how that is true ’cause that has happened to me several times.

Jason:

Yeah, totally.

Debbie:

So speaking of secret sauce, you have been doing this for quite some time podcasting and you mentioned that you weren’t creating income until a while later. How were you able to create income from this? Because I got this question a lot from either my podcast or my website, business in general. How are you making this sustainable for yourself, Jason? ‘Cause you’ve been doing this for a long time. If you didn’t make money, I don’t know how you would’ve lived.

Jason:

When you said, speaking of secret sauce, I thought you were gonna ask me for like a spaghetti recipe.

Debbie:

That too. We’ll talk about that after this show

Jason:

Cans of crushed tomato. Some oregano.

No, I’m kidding.

Debbie:

Later, Jason. That’s after the show.

Jason:

Part 2, a cooking show, offbeat cooking. That’d be fun.

Okay. So yeah. How do you make an income from a podcast is the same way you make an income from anything which is a very simple business formula. You identify a problem and then you offer a product or service that solves that problem and you serve people. That’s all it is.

So there has to be a market opportunity. You have to find like a market fit and things like that. You wanna figure out who you wanna serve, figure out what problem they have and figure out what solutions you can provide and then offer them. And that’s all I’ve done with the podcast.

The things that I’ve done around the podcast were businesses that would serve the podcast audience. I didn’t start the podcast to be a business, really. I started it because, I’m not saying that was smart, it was just my intention at the time was just not to do this as a business thing, but just, well, this is just something I really wanna do and I wanna share these stories.

And maybe this is more of the intuitive spiritual side of me, but it’s like, if I put some value out there to people, then I’ll figure something out. So it’s just how much value can you provide? And some of that. You could provide 98% free value and maybe 2% paid value, but you just gotta get enough people to pay for those things, right?

So in my case, I mean, we’ve done this bundle sale. The Paradise Pack was the first sort of project that came off the podcast. Then we started a community for location independent entrepreneurs and digital nomads and people wanting to live that lifestyle because it was sort of a scratch and our own niche thing with my business partner.

Like, we both wanted to be around more people doing this and there wasn’t a lot of that out there. And we realized other people wanted to be around those people too. So that worked and then later came brand advertisers and things like that.

But brand advertising for podcasting specifically is something I would never recommend that people hang their hat on as a thing like, “Well, I’m gonna start a podcast and then I’m gonna earn a bunch of money from advertising.” It’s like, “You’re probably not.”

I do earn a decent yearly salary now from advertising but that only happened until really last year. And I’ve been doing this for years. And I have a small podcast in the realm of podcasts. Like, it might be like a pretty good size podcast in the travel category, but believe it or not, that’s a small category, but in the podcasting world, my show’s like a bitty little thing.

Debbie:

I beg to differ. You’re very big. So he’s being very humble.

Jason:

No, so that was true though, because yeah. And like people look at Joe Rogan, has a hundred million dollar Spotify. It’s like, there’s one of him. How many other of those can you name?

So the thing with starting a podcast and then earning an income from it, it’s really gonna be about what businesses are you gonna start that tie in with the podcast. And if you’re wanting to think of your podcast from like a business standpoint, like your listeners may become like leads that can then become paying customers for the X, Y or Z service that you offer.

I don’t think anybody wants to think of their listeners as leads and I certainly don’t but for people that have a business that wanna start a podcast to attract people to that business, that’s something that people do. They have a business first and they start a podcast to bring people in.

I think podcasting for me, like it’s just been a great way to meet really cool people like yourself, to get like more connected in a space that you work in, to have wonderful conversations that you can learn from that teach you so much about life and yourself. It’s like almost a way of traveling without traveling.

I just love to get all these different perspectives and then it’s an opportunity to provide value and something to the world that can help other people too. That’s what it is for me. But yeah, if you want to kind of make living off of it, then you have to just look at some of the problems that maybe your audience faces and some products and services you can offer that can solve those problems that are paid.

Debbie:

Yeah. I love that.

And you mentioned started your podcast without even thinking that it was gonna make any money at all. And you were just talking to people that you really love, maybe even mentioning products or services that you were already using, and it was all from you and it was all organic. And that’s what I did too.

Like ,I started The Offbeat Life. Honestly, I didn’t even know I could make money from podcasting. When people were mentioning it to me, I’m like “What?! You can make money from this?” And it is incredible once you figure out all these nuances.

And you talked about one of the big things, Jason, is that just figuring out what people actually want, putting things out there, putting products that you really love and it’s all organic and it’s things that you actually will use brands that you actually believe in.

And as a travel podcast in the travel niche, there’s so many things that we usually mention that we already use, whether it’s accommodations, when you’re traveling as a nomad, maybe it’s a backpack that you’re using that’s really sustainable and you can use it all the time. And one of the things that I’ve used, and you probably used this too, because I’m an affiliate for Paradise Pack that that you do once a year, is affiliates. That’s one of the things that I do.

And I love working for companies, being an affiliate for companies that truly mean something to me. Like, for the paradise pack and as a traveler, as a travel podcaster, travel blogger, I do mention a lot of different places that I enjoy. That’s why our sponsor today is Travelpayouts. They’re actually an affiliate company specifically for travel creators.

So like for travel bloggers, travel podcasters, travel vloggers, if you do video. And one of the things that I really love about them is that you can share products and services that you absolutely love. And you can create income from that. You just mention the services on your website and you can create extra income right away.

So it could be insurance, car rentals, accommodation, and it’s all in one place, which is something that I love. If you’ve worked with other affiliate companies, Jason, there’s usually like one company and one affiliate place and then another one, and it’s all over the place. And it’s really confusing for me.

With them, it’s all in one place. You don’t have to be disorganized like I usually am. So if you are all thinking about becoming an affiliate, if you’re a travel creator, make sure to check out Travelpayouts and earn money doing what you love.

So you can go to theoffbeatlife.com/travelpayouts to get started and make sure to use our promo code “new2022” to get $25 on top of your first payout. Again, that’s theoffbeatlife.com/travelpayouts and use the promo code “new2022” because we wanna earn more money just talking about and using things that we love already.

So that’s what I love about that because what’s the best thing that you can do besides doing what you love? Making money from it too. Love that.

So, Jason, thank you so much. Before we let you go, I love the conversation that we had and I just wanna ask you let’s move forward to maybe 30 to 40 years from now.

Jason:

No!

Debbie:

Yes. Let’s do that.

Jason:

Come on.

Debbie:

Let’s do that.

And you’re looking back to what you’ve been doing with life, maybe right now. What would you like your legacy to be and what do you wanna be remembered for?

Jason:

Come on. This is almost too much. This is what you’re throwing at me at the end here?

Debbie:

Yes.

Jason:

Well, that’s a great question. And actually, one that I think could be important to ask yourself every day, really, if you wanna just snag exactly what Debbie said and post up at your desk or something, it’s not the worst idea.

I’ve been talking about this lately, it was a quote I read in a book called The Geography of Bliss, or maybe it was The Socrates Express. Now I think it was Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. And he was quoting the guy who invented the polio vaccine. And one of the questions that he would ask himself was how can I be a good ancestor?

And that’s a question I’ve been pondering that I don’t have the answer to because that’s bigger, it’s almost like legacy without the ego kind o, right? It’s like, “Well, what could I do that could contribute to maybe future generations or something like that?”

I don’t have the answer to that question but that’s why I admire some of these, like my neighbor works here in Norway, they do like electrical water power projects. So they’re maybe building dams or something that’s providing electricity like to countries.

This is like an example of something that’s multi-generational, right? Like, something he’s building now might generate electricity like three or four generations from now. I just love that idea.

So to answer the question, I don’t really know. I really don’t know. I’ve been thinking about this. One thing is I have two small kids and I love that. I never thought about this before until I had them with the podcast, but it’s pretty cool that if something ever happens to me, they still have a way to kind of get to know a bit. You can’t really hide behind hundreds of hours of audio as so you kno, so have a way to get to know a bit about how I was thinking at certain times in my life and maybe who I am.

I would say yes, who I am. it’s just by listening to interviews and to learn from those. So might there be a book or something like that along those lines. I like the idea of being able to leave a trail of things that perhaps will allow people to think about their lives or society or whatever, a little bit differently.

It’s one of the big goals of the podcast is like, “Hey, let’s get some guests on so we can all hear some new perspectives together. I’d listen to Alan Watts, he’s a philosopher. He’s no longer alive anymore, but you can listen to his talks and they impact me and that guy’s not around more, right?

So I hope that I can create a body of work that can go beyond me at least for a little bit, until I’m totally forgotten. That can maybe still, even when I’m gone, cause people to maybe think about some things a little differently and in a way that positively impacts their lives. So I guess that would be the answer.

Debbie:

Yeah.

I mean, I would say your podcast, you mentioned this, like all of your audio content is your legacy and also thinking about your children, listening to your voice, your excitement, all of these things that you share with your experiences, maybe you getting interviewed too, you interviewing people. That is a huge legacy too.

I mean, I’m just thinking about your children and we’ve never had this before, a hundred years ago, 50 years ago, and now you do have this audio legacy that you have that your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren can listen to and will be like, “That’s what grandpa sounded like? That’s what he did? That’s pretty cool.”

Jason:

Yeah.

I mean, until they changed the file format to like MP45 or something and then you can’t read any of it.

Debbie:

Like, “We have to get like a specific player for this? What is that?”

Jason:

“Forget this. I don’t need to hear dad.”

Anyway, guys, if you’re listening to this and you’re like 30 years old now or something, I love you.

Debbie:

Aw. That’s so cute. I love that.

Well, thank you so much, Jason, for joining us today, it is a pleasure to talk to you. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you. You’re welcome here anytime.

If our listeners wanna learn more about you, where can they find you?

Jason:

If you like podcasts, just search Zero to Travel all spelled out. No, no numbers.

And we do turn the tables ’cause as you mentioned, Debbie’s on my podcast and I wanna say thanks for doing that and you can listen to our interview there. And I just wanna say thanks for having me on and for the work that you’re doing, because just getting more of those perspectives out there on different ways to live and you never know when something hits somebody’s ears.

I listen to shows and they hit my ears a certain way and it’s just great to be able to put stuff out that can potentially impact people in a positive way. And you’ve been doing that for many years. So rock on. I wanted to be a part of it.

Debbie:

Yeah. I feel like we’re combining our powers. Have you ever watched that show Captain planet? It’s like, “With our powers combined…” I’m such a dork that’s I used to watch.

But yeah. Thank you.

Jason:

I love that.

Debbie:

Thank you so much, Jason. I love it. I love sharing this with you. And obviously, we have this passion that we share with each other and it’s great to just be able to talk about this with somebody who understands

Jason:

Thanks for having me.

Debbie:

Thank you for being here.


Listen to Jason’s extended interview where he talks about taking information versus taking action before becoming location independent.

What you’ll find:

In this episode, Jason talks about taking information versus taking action before becoming location independent.


Follow Jason:


Show Credits:

Audio Engineer: Ben Smith

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