"If I had to start again, I'd start with much more imperfect action" [Interview 02 - Daniel]


Daniel Kogan caught my attention as I was scrolling through Instagram one day looking to see what different digital nomads in Thailand were up to. His story is special -- I’m always fascinated by the people who manage to successfully escape the boring corporate world and leverage the skills they learned there to start their own business and life on their own terms.

Daniel is a digital nomad and edupreneur. Through his website & company excelhero.de, he teaches people how to get more done with Excel in less time. His goal is to help his students to save 1 billion hours of mundane and repetitive Excel work. He shares a LOT of gems in this short interview below:


LN: What's the most rewarding thing about being a digital nomad/creating your own brand? What's one mistake you made that someone with similar aspirations can learn from?

DK: The best thing is the freedom of time and flexibility this lifestyle brings. That doesn't mean you work 4 hours a week, but it means that you don't have to set an alarm clock anymore. You can decide freely on what you spend your time on. Eventually, if you create enough value first, you will also get to financial freedom, but there are two more types of freedom this lifestyle can bring you, which are even more important: freedom of relationships and freedom of purpose.

 You can choose who you want to spend your time with, so you can surround yourself with uplifting, positive and successful people who are striving for similar goals and dreams. The last one is freedom of purpose. Instead of working towards the dreams and goals of other people you can take charge of your life and invest your energy into your own personal vision, which you can align to a higher purpose like helping people and pushing the human race a bit forward.

There are two more types of freedom this lifestyle can bring you, which are even more important: freedom of relationships and freedom of purpose.

If I had to start again, I would start with much more imperfect action. Nothing has to be and will ever be perfect. People don't care for perfection, they care about if they got value out of your articles, videos and products. In my video trainings there are many occasions where I mess up a bit with my words, but people like that. It makes me more authentic and much better relatable. Just start and produce value and put it out there.

What's the single most important thing (or mindset shift) that allowed you to make a living by tapping into your passions?

Two years before I quit my job, it already dawned on me that I wanted to pursue my own goals, but I was still stuck. I got unstuck by having a close look at my personal value hierarchy. I valued freedom but also security. This conflict paralyzed me. I got unstuck as soon as I reframed how I saw security. In my mind it is much more secure, to have multiple clients instead of one employer. It is much more secure to not have any upper limits on your earning potential. It is much more secure to take responsibility for your life and proactively rewrite your own reality instead relying on hope and a lucky break.

Why do you love working in Chiang Mai?

Chiang Mai is the best place to start out. You get ideas about what you could do, you get exposed to the different business models and get inspired by the personal stories of people who are already made it. There are daily events going on and for an introverted, intuitive type like me I finally found a community of likeminded people. Me going into online teaching was a direct result of one of the meetups here where people shared their success stories. If you have the chance to come Chiang Mai and attend a couple of the events here, it will open your mind to what is possible now with the help of the internet.