Interview with Paul Lam of The Path Hunters Podcast About His Entrepreneur Journey
Hey guys, Julianna here.
I'm here today talking to Paul Lam from the Path Hunters podcast.
We met in a really interesting way. I listened to his podcast, and I was with a girl who I met through Facebook. I followed her on Facebook, and it was really cool. One day, I just decided to just Facebook cruising, and I saw your podcasts, and I listened to you, and I thought, wow, he's like an amazing podcaster. I think he was a total pro and actually took some more questions than I did for one of our very first interviews with Aaron Atlus. And that podcast was amazing.
The questions really brought out the information that I think many people need to hear. Like, what you know, and how you start to become a digital nomad. I'd like to know a little more about your backstory, like where you came from and how it all started.
I'm so humbled by that. Thank you so much. I don't think I'm a great podcaster, to be honest. But I do what I can.
The Path Hunters podcast and how this all came to be was way back in 2013. I was laid off in 2013, working my corporate nine to five job. Typical story.
I went to school, got good grades, graduated, and got the job. And then one day, the entire team got laid off. And I had to ask myself questions like, what did I do wrong? What happened?
I followed the outline of the society. And I did exactly what I was told. But what happened there was I got disconnected.
I asked myself, "Is there a better option out there?" There has to be a better way because I see people living their lives and just having their time to themselves and just living a life of purpose and passion. That's what launched me up. I became curious to figure out why or how. I actually took a trip to Vietnam in 2014 for about two weeks.
That's when it first roughly started my travels. I was so inspired going back home after seeing children who were super bright but lacked the resources. It was just so inspiring.
During that trip, I was always trancelike. I was transformed. I told myself I needed to start a business for the right reasons: to positively impact the world. I didn't know how I'm going to do this, but when I get back to Canada, I just told myself that I would get it done. ASAP.
Sometimes people are so consumed with the technical part that they worry too much about, "How will I do it?" You just need to keep in mind your ultimate goal - where you want to be and that you want to help people. The ultimate goal is to help other people, and the success will come along with it.
You said that you got laid off in 2013, and then you traveled to Vietnam. How did you afford to do that if you got laid off, and what was the process? Why did you go to Vietnam? How did it open up your mind to other possibilities of travel and doing this regularly?
I'm Vietnamese. My parents are from Vietnam. After I was laid off, my parents saw that I moved back home, and I was going through a huge fright. I was literally rock bottom, and they saw that. My dad just said one day he's like, "You know what? Why don't you go to Vietnam and take a break and just see back home what it's like."
I was really reluctant at first because I'm Canadian through and through, and I love my cheeseburgers and chicken wings. I was raised on bacon maple syrup.
I took his offer. We all went and just bonded. I was so inspired. It was exactly when I knew the jumpstart to my whole life.
How did you start? What was the first step that you took to begin this new lifestyle?
It's being intentional and being a seeker of knowledge. I love them to name path hunters because you're hunting for the knowledge and hunting for your growth. One way or another, I knew the message, the impact, but I just needed to find and get out information.
What I did was that I sought out locally for some awesome local meetings with entrepreneurs. There's plenty of them everywhere. I needed to surround myself with like-minded people.
That was the number one thing.
I didn't know what I was going to do yet. I never knew I was going to podcasting yet or anything, but I knew that I just needed to be around those kinds of people.
Once you began meeting those kinds of people, what we're some of the things that you learned, and what were the things that inspired you?
I walked into the room. I felt the energy.
People say whenever you go into a room full of entrepreneurs, it's better to go in being the dumbest person there than being the smartest person because you get some love from everybody. You're curious. They're happy to tell you exactly what they do and how they do it and everything. They just kind of pick and choose what resonates with you. That's what happened.
I connected with an entrepreneur. His name is Jay Wong. He hosts a podcast as well to call The Inner Change Maker. He took me under his wing and just showed me the ropes.
OK, so you have a mentor? I am blown away and astounded by your fearlessness. I feel like you just kind of put yourself out there, and you're like, "I'm just going to do it." Where do you find that fearlessness? Where did that come from?
It takes practice. By default, I'm an introvert. What I found out is that to grow and find your confidence, you need to get uncomfortable. Do things that you normally wouldn't do. That's a huge thing I promote all the time.
Do small things that are uncomfortable.
For example, I saw a girl at the gym, and she's pretty. I would never talk to her if this was two years ago. But now I'd be like, "Hey, I really I think you're pretty" Be genuine. That's it.
What were some of the biggest obstacles that you ran into besides breaking through and getting out uncomfortable? Were there ltechnical obstacles, or were there obstacles in creating everything in the first place? Can you talk about some of the biggest struggles that you went through?
The biggest trouble that I had is that when you're transitioning into a digital entrepreneur, it's kind of easy to default back to where you initially were. Your mind is helping you survive and not thrive. It just wants to keep you safe as you're going out and being uncomfortable. It's something that you kind of have to fight through all the time and just tell yourself that you're doing this for a higher purpose, you know? It's not always all about you.
My friend Jay would always say that you are doing the world a disservice by not sending out your message because you're afraid, period.
I feel like that's so powerful. I, myself, hold back from doing a lot of cool stuff sometimes just because I feel like, I don't know, maybe it's not good enough or something like that. How do you break through that kind of a barrier where, like, I know a lot of you will probably have this where, we could all be making videos all the time or something. Still, you, in particular, are doing some cool stuff right now. It's really amazing to see how you've kind of broken through that mental barrier, that mental block.
How did you do that? It's so easy and yet so hard for some people, quite honestly.
It just takes practice. I actually took my phone recording myself, but never releasing these videos and practicing and just looking at myself, even talking to myself in the mirror. I actually honestly do that and just try to get into the flow, and then eventually, you will blow this out of proportion. But by the time you do it, it's always a wonderful feeling because you just want to launch it. I know it's not going to be perfect. But whether you like me or not, it is what it is. You don't have to like me. You just move on. You don't have to listen. That's it.
Eventually, I got enough courage to go live. I click the live button, and everybody loved it. I was so scared in the beginning. I was really nervous. I was like, is everybody going to like me? They probably think I'm shit. Who knows? But it's actually complete opposite. And then it's a momentum thing.
Once you get amazing feedback on one thing, you just want to do more.
For me, whenever I wake up in the morning, it's really hard to get going. Do you have a particular morning ritual that you have that helps you get going everyday?
It depends on how much time I have in the morning. But for sure, I always wake up, brush my teeth, and drink a lot of water and rehydrate myself. Usually, you sleep for eight hours or less, and you're really dehydrated. Some dogs get up, and they drink water right away. So get up, drink a bottle of water and then just start up your day on a good note. I always like to go over things that I'm grateful for - family, health, successes, little wins. Just remind yourself that you're very lucky to have what you have.
That's great! An attitude of gratitude. I constantly tell people to watch The Secret all the time because that, I believe, is the foundation of your whole entire life. If you don't know the law of attraction, here it is. You're not going to attract anything into your life if you are constantly thinking in the negative and not in the now and not in the positive.
How did the podcast get started? Where did you get that idea from? How did you come up with the name? How did you do all your networking?
I thought about the name, and it took a while because I knew it had something to do with my path. I think more and more about it, like everybody realistically has their own path in life. And whether it's some, aligned with yours or not, everybody has its own path. But you have to be a hunter and a seeker, and you have to be intentional about it. That's how you walk down this path.
You have to be actively and consciously, making these decisions every single day. So I thought, the name Hunter was perfect. So Path Hunters came to be, with a bottle of wine. They came together as perfect. I just searched, and it was perfect for a domain name.
Did you have to learn how to do all the hosting and stuff like that? Did you have some idea how to do at the beginning, or where did you learn so?
A year ago, I had no idea how to run a podcast or any technical aspect of it, but I was damn determined to start. Something has to happen because I want to just send my message.
If you're truly inspired and have a message that you want to send, you got to find a way. I took the time. My friend Jay helped me a lot as well, too.
He showed me the ropes and everything. I did my own research and launched it. It wasn't the perfect beginning. I always like to say that imperfect actions are always better than perfect inactions. That's valuable.
Listen to Path Hunters podcast because the questions he asks and the people he talks to are just amazing people.
I like the way you think of it. You put it in your mind. You keep hunting, keep looking, and keep searching for whatever your path is. As entrepreneurs, you don't know what your path is. It's like, it's like you're bushwhacking basically.
Who's your target market? Who are you trying to help?
I'm trying to help people like myself - frustrated and working corporate nine to five jobs before. I know there are many of us out there who are a little bit afraid to take the initial leap.
But, first off, I hate the saying time is money.
Money literally comes and goes, but time is so important. I value time so much. You have to understand that there needs to be a shift. If you only get this time in this one life to live and you might as well just live it the best way that you can.
That's my avatar. Someone that is in the corporate. It was like, "What the heck just happened?"
I just did exactly what society told me to do. But I'm not happy. I'm unfulfilled. I'm just frustrated, and I don't know what to do. And then this is where I come in this, where I ignite you and show you that there are other options in life. It's not easy. It's not going to be easy, but it'll be worth it.
Let's talk about your future plans. I know we're talking about the book you're writing right now and planning to release. When will it be released, and what is it all about?
I'm a super, super ambitious. I'm hoping to launch it in a month and a half or the next couple of weeks.
The book will be about overcoming adversities as all my life experiences, like breakups, what I learned from being laid off. I had a gun pointed to my head one time and thought I was going to die. That was rough but you learn, you grow, and you continue from there.
The book is all completely going to be about stories, experiences that I've had. There will also be nuggets and tactical tips and everything so people can apply right away.
What's the title of the book?
Quite honestly, I have no idea. It's something about picking up your pieces. One friend told me that I need to incorporate it with a Phoenix or something like rising rock bottom, you rise above that?
Stay tuned to the Path Hunters podcast. I'm sure you'll let everybody know when it comes out.
What tips would you give to somebody who's trying to start a podcast? What kind of tips would you give them?
If you commit to your two episodes a week, commit to that two episodes a week.
Care about the impact.
If you're starting a podcast, make sure that your values are going to them. Make it genuine. Be yourself on the podcast. There are other podcasts out there that they're not exactly what you imagined them to be whenever you meet the podcaster.
I am who I am, on and off the microphone.
Be consistent and just be completely genuine. Be yourself. Have fun with it.
For anybody trying to write a book, what kind of tips do you have for that? How did you organize it?
It was just quick outlines. I had to think about what the book was all about. My intentions are when whoever reads this book, they're going to be ignited, they're going to be ready, and they're going to feel that, "Hey, you know what? If Paul can do it, anybody can do it as well." That's my intention. I start with that and the outline. You just go from there.
How the outline is structured is that every chapter would be adversity that I faced. Let's say, one chapter will be specifically for getting laid off and what I learned from there and then any practical tips that can be applied right away. That's how in a structure that.
OK, so we met here in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which is crazy. We're literally on the other side of the world from where we all were about six months ago. It's an amazing place.
I wanted to ask you, what was it like coming out here? Why did you come out here? And then also, how do you like it?
Chiang Mai was never really on my radar until I spoke to all these digital nomads that I interviewed. They all tell me how awesome Chiang Mai is. It's like no place on Earth. I'm like, "What is this place like?" I just Googled.
It's north of Bangkok, and I heard there is a huge HubSpot board online entrepreneurs, digital nomads, startups, and whatnot. I just decided one day that I'm going to do it. I'm going to go out there and see what's up.
I loved it because, everybody here is always up to something. There is no boring day. You don't know what everyone's up to, but you know, they're up to something. It's kind of cool.
How would you compare the community out here to other parts of the world you visited?
The community here is so open, and so loving. They're understanding. They get the hard work of leaving your corporate nine to five and taking that leap of faith to commit to other places.
I couldn't really relate as much compared to everybody here. Everybody gets it when you finally fly over. I thought it was really heartwarming. Just meet everybody, and they're just so nice.
I feel like there's something different about the traveler community as opposed to the rest of the entrepreneurial community, entrepreneurs, in general. We're self-starters. We're business people. But there is something about when you combine an entrepreneur with a traveler.
How do you feel after you started traveling?
I get why you're traveling. You're literally in paradise, almost. If you're in a bad mood in Chiang Mai, Thailand, there's something wrong with you. That's all I can say.
The only days I'm ever in a bad mood, is when it's cloudy. I think that's why I moved away from Seattle when I was younger, because it's cloudy all the time out there.
And Southern California is filled with sun, but at the same time, it's expensive. And there are just all these other reasons why I can't really live out there. And again, there are not very many people out there that travel like nomadic traveling. Some work and take a week-long vacation at most, and then they come back and work for months. And generally speaking, people out there are either really lazy and kind of the stoner type or are a business owner and super stressed out or their employee. And when they're at work, they're at work. And where they're out, they don't care about anything.
Breaking free was a big thing for us.
How was it like breaking free for you? Is it like a big moment?
It was kind of like the matrix where you're just waking up and join into the real world. People back home view travel as this exotic thing, and you only do like three weeks or something.
It just boggles their minds when I tell them that I travel full time and go anywhere I want to be, anywhere Iwant. Right. It's just super exciting, and I love it.
When I'm in the podcast, I'm always focused on that person that's listening.
They're at their day jobs. They're hating it. They're just like, "How do I get out of here?"
How do you afford to live this lifestyle? You quit your job.
You moved out here. Did you save up money before you came? How do you live? How do you afford to live this lifestyle? What is driving you right now?
It's a bit of both for me. I have a reserve of money set aside. I've given myself about 90 days to get this done.
The stage in my life right now is that something called Parkinson Law comes into play. You know, ever hear about students that whenever they leave at the last deadline if their papers do on Monday, they work on this on Sunday instead and they go like full-on else? This is what this is for me. I operate it. I realized that I am at my ultimate level at this stage in my life.
I'm creating, creating, creating, and creating. I have full faith in this.
It's kind of similar to what we had. We were literally at our last level. We were driving Uber and Lyft. We sold our last business, and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next. Trevor was going to figure out what he was going to do next. And we just bought this course, Dropship Lifestyle. And we're like, okay, let's just go all in and it's going to work, and we're going to have to make it work. And just magically, things just started to happen because you're working towards that goal. Awesome.
We've gone through many personal learning phases we were talking about earlier, like starting our membership site and trying to guide ourselves and our blogging process. We're trying to figure out our blog and trying to go dive more into our niche and start sales funnels. It's a whole process.
I think that coming out to Chiang Mai, it almost like jogs your creativity a little bit because you're around more entrepreneurs. You can write more things about what you're doing. It's just a more interesting process for me in general.
I know you're working on one thing right now. We went from working on eight things to working on two or three things. Can you comment on that and how important it is for you to work on one thing at a time?
Before we all answer that, I want to add a little bit more value and everything for someone who is about to get started and everything, because I feel that's super important.
If you're in the car listening to this and working corporate nine to five grind, the first step I recommend is just to be willing to learn how to grow. That's where it starts.
You can't teach someone if they're not willing to learn.
No amount of courses or anything will help you if you're not willing to learn. Start by that and be intentional going out there seeking other entrepreneurs or like meetups and anything locally and going on some networking and talking to people right away. That is a key thing. That's how I started.
It's tough for everybody. But for me, I'm the type of person that will focus on one project at a time.
I used to have all these crazy ideas, and I want to do everything, but in the end, I didn't get anything done.
You're looking at so many things that it overwhelms you automatically. I found that it is much easier to focus on one project at a time and go step by step without worrying about anything else. Make sure that it's completed. Once it's completed, celebrate then move on to the next project.
Kudos to those who are just out there and doing multiple things at once because you guys are better than me in that respect.
It's not easy, though. It gets very stressful at times. I think I like your perspective that we were talking earlier about how you're saying, that some of the most successful Internet marketers you've talked with in your podcasts and other times are that they would work on six months or more on one project and really get that project done right before they move on to the next step.
I think that's critical sometimes because if you start looking way too far ahead and start thinking about that too much, you get hung up, and you're not able to do it because maybe you just haven't even done the foundational stuff first. Like, you know, first you have a podcast, and then you're making an e-book, and then you're going to work into other things in the future, like creating more info products and stuff like that. It's like, you know, if you work at one thing at a time, I think you really start to see something and not working on more than one blog at a time. Because your time is precious, right?
We only have 24 hours a day. It's like, how do we spend that? We sleep for six to eight hours. You eat for probably three or four, and then you want an exercise for a couple, at least. Stay healthy. And so you only have, like, eight or 10 hours in a day to really get down to do work or some cool stuff.
How do you spend that? If you spend four hours trying to figure out what you want to do and the other four is being bummed out because you still don't know what you want to do, what are you doing? So this is crazy.
If you want ideas, Chiang Mai is definitely the place to be. If maybe you already started in business and you kind of found some success and you've got a saving saved up, make the leap.
How would you say like coming out here and how easy it's been for you to just kind of come into the community?
The first day I met you guys, like the first or second day, was amazing. You guys are so friendly.
It was so easy. You come once a year. You meet people. You talk to people. It's just so easy to connect with people, and then they invite you to advance and go while you meet more people.
I've only been here for eight days, and I think I gained like one hundred and forty-one friends, new friends on my Facebook, which is kind of cool.
It's sweet, and everybody's so nice and welcoming.
And one more thing I want to say about Chiang Mai, because we just all freaking love it so much here. Cost of living is low. Obviously, food is amazing, even though it's so cheap. The food is really good. We're able to get great work done. There's really good Wi-Fi here. It's a great central location in Southeast Asia to go traveling around all the time.
There are just so many great reasons why you would want to move out here. Of course, the point to get from the U.S. or Canada is probably somewhere around five hundred to eight hundred dollars one way. And you have to get a visa, which can be somewhere between fifty to two hundred dollars. Of course, you have to try to figure out what to do with all your stuff. If you're going to move out of your house or apartment like there's a whole process you have to go through in order to start this lifestyle.
But we recommend it. I mean, we're doing it. We love it. If you're trying to do a location independent business to really live the life of your dreams, you have to get out of that comfort zone. It sucks cause you're gonna miss your family, but at the same time, go travel like have some fun with it, you know?
I totally agree. If you're thinking of coming out to Chiang Mai, definitely join like Digital Nomad, Chiangmai Digital Nomads.
Reach out to Paul, and Digital Nomadness. Definitely look up digitalnomadness.com. These guys are doing amazing things with entrepreneurs right now. They are helping so many people, and it's pretty amazing to see their growth. They are helping a lot of people that are just starting out. They have no idea what to do in business, but they need some ideas, and they connect you to the people you need to be connected with to grow a business. So definitely reach out to them.
And, yeah, reach out to Paul. Reach out to me, Julianna. Reach out to Trevor. We're like definitely all here for you guys. And we definitely need more people.
We just want to like, you know, fill up Chiang Mai with all the digital nomads and take it over.
The Thai people are lovely, amazing, wonderful people. They welcome you with open arms. As long as you smile, make sure you're not in a grumpy mood because Thais do not like grumpy people.
Definitely go check out the Path Hunter podcast. Paul, thank you for being on our podcast. We're excited for the future and to see what comes for you.
Thank you so much, guys. It's an honor to be on your show. Thank you so much. I'm so humbled by that. You guys are doing amazing stuff. I'm super excited. I'm to be happy here. I appreciate it. Thank you.
It's all a journey. Thank you, Paul, so much. You're amazing. I'm going to definitely keep listening to your podcast because I get lots of ideas.
Have a great day, guys. See you next time.
eCommerce Paradise was created by Trevor Fenner of Seattle, Washington in 2015 to help you, the entrepreneur, to start and scale your own eCommerce business selling high-ticket products online with the drop shipping fulfillment method so you can make more profit per sale, have a sustainable and evergreen online business, get started with very little upfront investment, and live a location independent lifestyle. Trevor owns multiple 7-figure High-Ticket Drop Shipping eCommerce stores and is a digital nomad, traveling the world while working remotely with the help of his team of over 10 virtual assistants from around the world. Trevor is currently located in Bali, Indonesia. Trevor is also a passionate skateboarder, surfer, scuba diver, photographer, environmentalist, outdoorsman, fitness and tattoo enthusiast.
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