Being a digital nomad is the dream for many of us, right? Traveling the world while you set your own schedule doing what you love... sounds amazing! Ieva Laicãne started as many creative entrepreneurs do- a million passions but zero idea what to do with them.
She's now making a living doing what she loves while traveling and setting her own schedule. She recently started The Random Passion Project to help other aspiring digital nomads and entrepreneurs figure out how to get started building a life they love.
I can relate to so many of her answers, from not finishing every new project idea to struggling with motivation during the winter. I have a feeling we're not alone!
Let’s dig in!
At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?
Right after school, I had not the smallest idea what I’d love to do with my life. There were too many options and I wanted them all! My “dream career” drifted from being a theater director to being a music manager, from becoming a writer to owning a hotel… Whatever that’d be, I always knew that 9-5 is not for me.
I started studying music management by accident… And, no surprises here, I left my studies after the first semester. I took some time to travel and that was when my life turned around. I suddenly realized that people around the world are doing so many amazing things!
That was the moment I knew. It’s also known as the moment when the right options came my way one after another. Because I finally knew what I have to look for!
What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?
Being consistent and sticking with my decisions is something I’ve always struggled with. Since I know how many amazing options there are, it’s hard to sit with what I’ve chosen, even though I really do love it! That’s why I’ve very often changed my mind and there are several great ideas that never happened just because I decided to do something new. Now I’ve got myself together, and I’ve found that one direction to follow. At least, for now...
Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?
I find my balance in fitness!
I love being active, and I follow the rule: the more I’m working, the more activities I have to do that day!
Since I’m not living in a perfect world and don't always have time for an hour of exercise, I try to balance: I workout on days when I don’t have to go anywhere else (which is often) - so there’s at least some movement in my life. I take rest from fitness on days when I have something else planned (in this case, even shopping counts since it’s still some activity!).
It’s hard for me to find an actual peace in life. I love reading but things like meditation and daily yoga aren’t meant for me. I need to stay active to take my mind off of things and re-energize.
Besides all that, I’m an aspiring healthy eater. I’ve never been one of those “veggies for lunch, veggies for dinner” kind of person but I do feel better and more energized when I keep my diet away from fast-food, daily ice-cream bowls and cookies…
Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?
To be honest, rejection isn’t a problem for me. Not that no one rejects me, no. There have been many co-operations and projects that have failed because of the rejection but somehow it never really gets me.
“When one door closes, another one opens” or “When you can’t get in through the door, get in through the window” - whatever saying we use here, it’s me. I’ve always known that there are other people and other projects that will work out.
I’m not a dollar bill - not everyone likes me, my projects and ideas!
What do you do when you're having an off day—maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?
It depends. In wintertime, most of my days are off-days since I really hate coldness and as long as I have to stay in my cold home country, I don’t want to get out of bed at all.
In this kind of situation, I’ve set my goal - “When you’ll get there, you’ll be able to spend wintertime in a warmer place so get your ass out of bed and get to work!!” It might sound funny but it really inspires me as a passionate digital nomad. Usually, browsing Instagram with beautiful, sunny photos helps in this.
Other than that, on the occasional bad day, I just try to take a day off or work on the tasks I’d enjoy the most. If I can put off client work, I definitely do that. I just try to make myself feel as comfortable as possible. Even if it’s not possible to take a day off from work, I’ll just stay in bed with my laptop and warm cup of tea and work from there.
What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?
Most of the people around me don’t even really know what I’m doing. Very often, even from the closest friends, I get questions like “Oh, so you’re a designer, right? Can you design things like posters? Or you do something else?” It’s kind of funny. I know that I’m doing a lot and it’s hard to explain for everyone each of these specific things in my life so I’m fine with that. At least, no one really thinks that I just do nothing all day long, haha.
What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Everything takes time! You just have to set your mind to your goals and work, work, work until the time comes (and then work even more).
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?
Many people are afraid to change their mind, their profession or career path. And it’s okay to be afraid! But without trying there’s no succeeding!
When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?
When I’m traveling and working on the road. Sunny, warm places and nice, friendly people inspire me. That’s why I’ve started a path of being a digital nomad. All these experiences really make me want to jump from the joy.
What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?
People: Everyone who does stuff. I LOVE people who are passionate about what they’re doing, who are building their own businesses, creating their own lives. Any inspirational story, whether it’s about successful daily life, unique business or even a good day someone had, inspires me like crazy.
Books: I love books in general so basically any book either inspires or calms me. In any case, the result is the same - more amazing work done! Regarding the business, I recently read the best seller “Think and Grow Rich.” It’s really amazing, and I’d suggest for everyone to read it. It has completely changed the way I think about money and business.
Music: It depends on my mood. For relaxing, I love reggae. I also like blues, rock, psychodelia. I love old school music like Jimmy Hendrix, The Beatles, The Doors, etc. I can listen to almost anything except anything that’s super popular these days since I don’t really see it as a music... But when I need to get work done, I love the quiet (otherwise I always want to sing along, haha).
Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.
My favorite accomplishment/moment from my career was the first time when I reached out to someone regarding a possible cooperation and this person answered “Oh, I’ve read your blog! It’s amazing!” That was the day when I knew that I’ve done something right and it made me very, very happy.
Also, the ability to pay all my bills with doing what I love - it’s the best feeling ever!
What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?
Just recently I’ve rebranded my website from freelance design and marketing services to The Random Passion project where I’ll be gathering stories and resources for new freelancers and aspiring digital nomads. I’m also launching my online course for new freelancers that I’ve worked on for more than a year! That’s something I’m pretty excited about :)
About Ieva Laicãne
Hi there! My name is Ieva & I’m a graphic designer and passionate digital nomad. I'm also an author of The Random Passion project - story and resource library for new freelancers and location independent creatives. The inspiration of my career is based on love for traveling and willingness to help others to pursue their dreams!
This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know!