EM: Tell us a little something about yourself
AZ: A little something about myself. Well, I worked at Zapier, Monster, and am currently doing consulting for startups based in Europe and North America. I’m from Malaysia, but have been working as a digital nomad and traveling for the past two years.
EM: Wow, Two years! How did that get started? Do you ever go back to Malaysia?
AZ: Haha yea, two years! I try to pack light and only carry a backpack and carry-on suitcase. I think Malaysia is a great country, but there is just so much more to see in the world. I started traveling when I worked at Monster.com – They’re not remote at all, but a lot of remote aspects play into it, like networking, conferences, etc. I realized I didn’t need to be in the office and asked them if I could have a few days to work at home.
EM: You just..asked them!?
AZ: Yes, I asked them and they gave it a try while tracking my performance. Once I proved myself, within three months I was promoted in the company. They started sending me to conferences in the Americas to represent and network for them. Once I got a taste of traveling, I never looked back, and constantly sook out opportunities for it.
EM: That’s amazing! And then you got the job at Zapier – how did that come about?
AZ: Well I was really happy at Monster.com, I loved it there. But about two years in, I got a DM in my twitter account for a job offer at Zapier.com. I didn’t actually know what Zapier was at the time, so I thought it was a scam. Once I actually found out what it was, I applied and got the job. I was incredibly sad to leave Monster.com because I loved them, but with Zapier the salary was triple and it was an offer I don’t think any company could match.
EM: Wow. So Asad gets hit up in the DM’s with a job offer while the rest of us are getting [D%*($ pics]. Haha, that’s amazing! Correct me if I’m wrong, but you live by a quote “Most people don’t ask for what they want so that’s why they never get it”, Correct?
AZ: Of course. Always ask for what you want, the worst thing that’s going to happen is they say no.
EM: Any other life philosophies?
AZ: Don’t take shit from anyone. Work hard, but don’t burn yourself out. Use tools that automate your life and your social media so you can free up that time to do other productive things, and network with people.
EM: You’ve mentioned networking quite a few times – Would you say “people” are one of your main tools?
AZ: Of course! I’m an introvert, so I try to find extroverts that can help push me out of my comfort zone. Plus, when you make friends all around the world and give value to them, you have a place to stay, or a job offer might come your way. My plan is to have my own functional company in the next 3-5 years. Through my travels, I’ve been able to meet investors or people I seek to have on my team when that time comes around.
EM: Do you just meet these people traveling by yourself or..?
AZ: I actually prefer to travel in groups to network. Right now I’m traveling with Hacker Paradise. I’ve been giving them free SEO advice for about a year, where they finally offered me a free trip in exchange for services. Shoutout to Spencer, who really makes sure that everyone is vetted, that everyone who joins the program has something to offer.
EM: And you’ve been traveling with them for the entire year?
AZ: Yea – it’s a great program. It’s not just about money. It’s all about the people and how we can leverage each other’s experiences. The ROI of HP has definitely been profitable for me, with all the people I’ve met and the connections.
EM: And with all the connections you’ve met, you’ll soon be starting full time at company Explorio.com?
AZ: Yes. Explorio.com is kindof trip advisors alternative based on blockchain. I’d like to dedicate to that for about two more years, and then in the next 3-4 start my own SEO business.
EM: So what will you do when you have your own business, unlimited time, dream life?
AZ: Continuously travel. I love Croatia and Serbia. I hate learning languages but I considered learning croat just because I love Croatia so much.
EM: Have you had any wild adventures while we’ve been in Mexico so far?
AZ: Not really. I used to do everything for the gram and get a lot of FOMO, but now I choose what is really important for me to do and I don’t get FOMO anymore.
EM: Any tips for people who maybe think they don’t have the opportunity – who want to get where you’re at in life?
AZ: First off, communication is key. Especially English if you’re from a non-english speaking country. Speaking English opens up the doors to so many opportunities. I even used Aliases when starting out to sound more english. Just never give up, work your ass off. I take a lot of pride in learning from Gary Vaynerchuk because he’s a no-bullshit person. Those are the kind of people I try to surround myself with.
EM: [smiles] Any last minute parting words?
AZ: Yeah. Don’t be afraid of failing. You can never succeed if you don’t fail. And don’t take shit from anybody.
Thanks so much, Asad for the awesome interview – to hear more details about his childhood acting, almost dying in Machu-Picchu and details for his future business, be sure to watch the video above!