Pursuing Freedom as a Digital Nomad with Demian Ross

by | Sep 14, 2020 | Q&A

Job security is a goal most people strive for when they are starting in the real world. And on the other end of the spectrum are people who do not like routines; they do not like being boxed in to repetitive lifestyles. They are not rooted in one place, traveling and working in places they wish to explore. However, only a few leave their jobs to seek freedom and pursue the lifestyle of a digital nomad.

In this episode, we talk to Demian Ross, founder of Rootless Living Magazine. He talks about being homeless, deciding to live in an RV, and jumpstarting his digital magazine to help others who are clueless about what it is like to be a digital nomad.

If you are interested in pursuing a lifestyle with more freedom than having a regular job, this episode is for you.

About Demian

Demian Ross is the founder and publisher of Rootless Living Magazine and the host of the Rootless Living Podcast. He has been in the publishing, sales, and marketing business throughout his career.

Demian started Rootless Living with his best friend, Nikki, when they decided to leave California and set out on an RV adventure. Their goal is to help those who are new or interested in being a digital nomad.

To connect with Demian, visit their Facebook group or Instagram. You can also find him on YouTube.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
  1. Demian shares his shift from working a full-time job to being a digital nomad.
  2. Learn more about the importance of educating and entertaining consumers at the same time.
  3. Discover Demian’s publishing background and how he used it to make the Kickstarter campaign a success for Rootless Living.





Episode Highlights

[02:15] Demian’s Elevator Pitch

  • Demian publishes a print and digital magazine about the lifestyle of being rootless.
  • He also hosts the Rootless Living Podcast. Just like the magazine, it’s a podcast for nomads by nomads.

[03:28] People’s Response on Living as a Nomad

  • Demian has never received a negative response when he tells people he is a nomad.
  • Living as a nomad is a lifestyle. However, some people think it is like being on vacation or camping.

[07:19] What It’s Like Being a Digital Nomad

  • Being a digital nomad means not being rooted in a physical location. You can still own property, but you have the freedom to get up and go.
  • You have the opportunity to work and live wherever you want to.

[09:31] Remote Work amid a Pandemic

  • Demian thinks that there are obstacles to being a nomad and doing remote work now for some people.
  • Whether people become nomads or not, he hopes they consider doing remote work.

[12:07] The Internet Connection & Being a Digital Nomad

  • Demian feels anxious when the people he works with cannot get a hold of him due to internet connection issues.
  • Having no access to the internet is not as stressful when you only work for yourself.

[16:59] Demian’s Journey to Being a Digital Nomad

  • After losing his job, Demian was homeless for 90 days. He had to give up his place since there was not enough income coming in. For a while, his children lived with other people.
  • He eventually got a new job and a new place, but things had changed, and he realized he no longer wanted to live in Los Angeles.
  • His children and their mother stayed in the new place while Demian moved out into an RV.
  • Listen to the full episode to discover more about his journey!
  • Demian thought about releasing a digital magazine. It took him a long time, but he was able to launch it eventually.

[25:26] Where Demian Would Be If He Did Not Become a Nomad

  • If he didn’t become a nomad, Demian thinks he would still have the American dream of having a big house with a big garage.
  • However, he had a real mind shift when he was homeless.
  • When he got rid of most of his things, he felt free.

[34:43] Demian’s Upbringing in Los Angeles

  • Demian’s upbringing was different than most. He knew people of different religions, races, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • He thinks the ideas that television shows and movies are trying to paint as reality are not exactly reality.

[40:20] Demian’s Background in Digital Publishing

  • Demian’s background is in print because there was no digital publishing in the 1990s.
  • He believes age does not affect a person’s preferences when it comes to print or digital publications.
  • Some people do not worry about having an internet connection.
  • During this time, Demian is most thankful that they focused on digital subscriptions instead of print.

[44:40] Value Difference Between Print & Digital Publication

  • Print publications can say that they have a particular number of copies in circulation, but you can’t guarantee they were picked up by people.
  • With digital publications, you can be sure that people are receiving and reading it. Demian shares that he has received emails from readers asking about Rootless Living Magazine.
  • Print and digital publications are driven by advertising

[47:47] Educating & Entertaining Consumers Simultaneously

  • When you build trust and relationships with consumers, you are giving away free information to help them truly understand your product or service.
  • You can be a funny salesman and still educate and sell.
  • The educational aspect of the magazine is easy, but the entertaining parts should always be interesting. It should be a story that others have not read about or heard of yet.
  • Telling stories in your perspective can get stale quickly. Demian believes it is more powerful and interesting to bring in other people’s voices.

[54:58] Making Money with a Digital Magazine

  • Demian did a lot of research on business models to use.
  • They also built connections and relationships to make the business work.
  • They started Rootless Living with only $100.
  • Listen to the full episode to learn how Demian started Rootless Living Magazine!

[1:03:22] Expanding His Audience

  • Demian thinks the fact that people are doing remote work now will springboard their publication.
  • He does not like to think of the pandemic as a lucky charm. He just feels that industries like real estate, campground RV, and hotels will turn upside down after this pandemic.

[1:06:46] What Surprised Demian When He Started Rootless Living

  • Demian has had businesses before. However, aside from him and the people working with him, he’s never had people who are just as passionate about his business.
  • He appreciates that people are grateful and excited about what his team is creating.
  • He likes the community that Rootless Living has built.

[1:13:10] What “Go” Means for Demian

  • Demian used to spend time planning things but never doing them.
  • A lot of the thrill and the energy comes from telling people about your great idea.
  • Now, Demian believes it’s better to go and pursue your plans. Take action, do some research, and figure things out along the way.

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

[07:21] “It (being a digital nomad) goes back to not having a physical location that you’re stuck in. It doesn’t mean you can’t own property, by any means… It’s just that you have the freedom to get up and go.”

[24:48] “There are two ways that people change. One, there’s this intense focus and decision to make a change. Or there’s this external catalytic event that forces change.”

[38:26] “I wish people jumped in an RV and traveled the country. I think there are so many things you learn about our country, about people, about yourself, living with less, traveling, living in smaller quarters.”

[51:41] “You can get really stale in your own voice and bringing in other people’s voices are really powerful. And I think we’ve learned that real quick… I’ll say it this way, I’ve been saying it a while. We have a really interesting lifestyle, but our lifestyle doesn’t make us interesting.”

[1:06:46] “I’ve had businesses but I’ve never had people be really passionate about my business except for me and the people working. I’ve really been surprised about how grateful and appreciative people are for what we’re creating. And that’s for my life. It’s fuel that I just didn’t know.”

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