Financial (And Location) Independence w/ Mitko Karshovski

July 17, 2022

Everyone's had the dream of being a digital nomad.

Traveling the world, making memories, while maintaining a style of work that you enjoy.

Mitko Karshovski has been location independent since 2017 and has taken a small team of workers into a multi 6-figure company of over 25 professionals.

This week's Money Matters:

What’s one piece of advice you would give to a creative trying to make their first remote hire (assistant, editor, etc)?

Hiring is an art form, and like any art form, it takes a lot of practice to become a pro. So, if you're new to hiring, the only way to improve is to practice. Accept that you will likely not make the best hires in the beginning and adopt a "hire slow, fire fast" mentality.

If someone is not a "hell yes" hire, let them go and find a replacement... this way they can go on to find the right company to shine in and you can find the right fit for your company. There are many tips you can find online on how to hire well, use them, but understand that the only way to become good at hiring is to practice.

How has your life improved since you’ve been location independent?

Location independence ruined my life. It's one of those things that before you have it life is great, but when you become location independent it's like you can suddenly see colors and taste flavors you couldn't before.

And it's not just because you can travel whenever you want. I can now spend way more time with family. I grew up in Bulgaria and moved to the US when I was 10. Before becoming location-independent I could only visit my grandma, who helped raise me, back in Bulgaria 1 or 2 weeks a year... now as she closes in on her 91st birthday I've been able to spend months with her.

I really think the same way people map out their lives as before and after getting married, or before and after having kids, we can include before and after becoming location independent to that.

What does financial independence mean to you?

For me financial independence has a very specific answer - consumer debt-free, earning a yearly salary of $250K per year (avg top 5% across the US), and spending 95% of time in my element which includes ideation, networking, building new businesses/products etc.

The reason my answer isn't a more generic $5m in the bank is that I feel like most of the time, that is associated with retirement.

I've taken "mini retirements" in the past and I did not enjoy it. I got bored by day 3 and started working on side projects by the end of the first week. There are parts of what I do that don't energize me, but every year I reduce the time I spend working on those and to me, financial independence is when I have complete freedom to spend a large majority of my time working only on things that give me energy while never worrying about the price of something.

(Bonus) What’s your favorite thing to spend money on?

I love to spend money on gear, convenience, and outsourcing. I am a complete gear nut (specifically backpacks) and am giddy whenever I get to buy a new backpack that I've often times spend hours researching online. I am also a huge fan of spending the extra money to make things more convenient.

This ties in to outsourcing as well - for example, in Mexico there is a service called Rappi Favor which is like Uber Eats but on steroids. You essentially pay people for little favors like if you forget your keys they can go get them for you, or if you realize you're at a cash only restaurants instead of running to an ATM you can get them to bring you cash.

But my favorite way I've used it is when a new Marvel movie came out and we had someone go to the theater (which did not have an online order option) as soon as it opened and select the exact seats we wanted and then bring us the tickets.

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