Hi, I’m Emir, a 30-year old Swiss-Turkish entrepreneur.
I always had a lifelong urge to do things differently. This first manifested itself in me moving to Istanbul to launch a new startup right out of college. Following 5 years of hardship, a series of learned lessons and a serious dip in my bank account, I decided it was time to turn things around and give it another shot. This time, building online businesses I could run anywhere in the world.
In January 2016, I made the jump. I gave up my apartment, packed my bags, booked a one-way ticket and started traveling the world as a full-time Digital Nomad.
EMIR DINO is a platform where I challenge myself and everyone else to take the necessary steps in leading a sustainable location independent lifestyle; building online businesses that can be run from anywhere in the world while enjoying life to the fullest.
That’s right! I’m documenting every step of my journey as a Digital Nomad. Here I try to be as transparent as possible with every step I take both in terms of business and life decisions– it’s all out there for you too see. I hope my failures and wins will guide you through your path in achieving your own goals.
Stick around if you are interested in:
- Building a location independent business
Yes it’s possible and no, you don’t have to take a loan, hunt down investors or cave in for months before launching your product/service.
Learn about the tools, hacks and resources you can use to build, manage and grow your location independent business and personal brand.
- Achieving freedom through lifestyle design
We’ve all been brainwashed in believing that a long and dreadful 9 to 5 career path is the only way of achieving freedom – that is “free to do what you want” after retirement. This platform is a home for those who are convinced there’s a way to abandon the deferred-life plan and unlock the lifestyle that is so desired by leading an unconventional life that you will design for yourself.
- Outdoing yourself by maximizing your potential
Most of us have an idea of how we’d like our future to be shaped. We make lists of milestones we want to hit, come up with new resolutions and add items to our bucket lists. But many times, we keep it at that, and never see it through.
That’s because thinking is safer than doing. Doing is risky. Doing takes physical effort and opens you up to criticism. This platform pushes everyone to overcome their fears and take the leap into becoming a doer of deeds. Because at the end of the day people won’t remember you for what you thought; only for what you did.
- Living an adventurous life through world travel
If you like exploring new destinations, immersing yourself in local cultures or want to go beyond the generic “to see” lists, you will enjoy yourself here. Those who value experiences over material possessions will like it even better, as this is the essence of my philosophy.
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be my own boss.
My parents had launched the first fast food chain in Turkey before I was born, and were growing their business throughout my childhood. So growing up in Switzerland, I was exposed to my parents’ entrepreneurial journey and could see both the freedom and challenges it entailed.
While my schoolmates said they wanted to become pilots, firemen or teachers; I was simply fascinated by the idea of making money. To me that meant making my own decisions, going on holidays whenever I wanted or just doing more of whatever I wanted to do. By the time I was able to understand what professions were, I would ask my parents how much money could be made in each one of them. I was quickly convinced there was no limit to how much one could make having their own business.
Fast-forward high schools years spent in Turkey and Southern France. I decided I would apply to Erasmus University in The Netherlands to study business administration. In a sense, that was my first taste of freedom. Living at the age of 17, by myself, in a country I had never even visited before, put me out of my comfort zone and led me to experience a true “coming of age”. I loved it. It felt like it was never going to end. I had an amazing group of friends. I met my girlfriend Celine who I will soon propose to (shht.. don’t tell her just yet). I couldn’t have been happier– until the end was in sight.
During my senior year, while everyone was applying for a masters’ degree or talking to multinationals for a possible career launch, I was heavily brainstorming on business ideas I could start straight away.
Fast forward another year and a half, Celine and I moved to Istanbul where I was to launch a carsharing startup. Following a ton of meetings, embarrassments, and perseverance I managed to raise a little under half a million dollars.
For a long a while, things went exactly as we had planned. We were seeing tremendous growth in usage; early attention from potential investors. The press was covering our achievements and we were detailing them in TV interviews. During that time, we raised over 1.2M dollars, built a technology that was partly funded by a grant awarded by a governmental fund.
That was it! All eyes were on us. It was happening. All the sweat equity was finally paying off and I was to going to attain financial freedom earlier than I could have hoped for.
At this point, more money meant 3 things;
- Freedom of not having to work with people I didn’t want too (because a need for a cash injection will seriously test you on this)
- Creating multiple sources of income by streamlining them
- Only spending time on work that I was inspired by and that would have a profound impact on a larger scale.
Nice plans, huh? Some time in our 2nd year of operation the tide turned around and everything that could go wrong went wrong. It was devastation over devastation. Some of it was our fault, some of it was external factors we had no control over. Long story short, not only I had to give up on my dreams, but I also had to face the fact I had spent 4.5 years of my time and over 350k of my mother’s savings.
People value failures and the experience that is gained in relation to it. That might all be true in retrospect. But let me tell you, to me it felt horrible. Nothing I could think or do could make me feel better. The summer of 2015 was when I emotionally hit rock bottom. It was also the first time I was facing the inevitable question: Will I have to go down the corporate path that I dread so much, so I can maybe try again on my own sometime down the line?
MY “AHA” MOMENT
In a moment of clarity, I asked myself what kind of life I would be leading having all the money in the world, and finally decided I’d give it a shot having none of it!
I define freedom as doing and working on whatever I please, with whomever I want, wherever I want. Celine and I decided we no longer wanted to postpone our travel dreams. I personally rejected 6 figure corporate offers, as I wanted to keep on building assets while consistently collecting new memories and experiences.
Since booking our one-way ticket out of our routine, I built an online business, zip lined my way through the jungle, kite surfed in paradise, spent endless hours on tropical beaches, connected with people from all around the world and have been inspired to do a lot more.
The “how” is what this platform is all about. I want to help you achieve a lifestyle that you don’t have to run away from.
Life really is what you decide to make of it. It’s never too late, and there’s always a way to make it happen. I hope you’ll decide to join me.
LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN TOGETHER!
If you need some travel inspiration, find me on Instagram
Watch the video below: