Remote Interviews with Brian Garcia & Erin Nicole Bick

Brian Garcia & Erin Nicole Bick, Founders of BE Adventure Partners

The following interview is edited and paraphrased from our 2 hour Zoom interview.

First and foremost, please tell me a brief background (where you’re from, past and current occupations, current location, field of expertise + number of years, hobbies)  about yourself and one interesting fact.

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Erin: Hi! I’m Erin and I’m from the Toronto area, but I grew up near Stratford. It was a very Shakespearean town so I went to Hamlet Middle School and King Lear High School. I’ve been an entrepreneur for the past 3 years, but was a hairstylist at a high end salon for 9 years doing photoshoots and hair for magazines. I had a good career, but then things shifted and I couldn’t get my life together.

After that, I went down a pretty wild path consisting of 15 years of drinking and drugs. Wanting to turn my life around, I escaped to Guatemala for 5 weeks and thought to myself, I have to figure out how to be an entrepreneur.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job. I loved hair and I loved people, but it just wasn’t healthy with the crazy hours I was putting in. I started looking into the personal development business and immediately fell in love. The next day, I invested in my own business, working part time in that and continuing full time as a hair stylist. It took 6 months before the two responsibilities and other aspects of my life wore me down. My relationship wasn’t working, my business wasn’t working, my life wasn’t working. But more than anything, I wanted my business to work because of my dream to be able to speak on stage as a motivational speaker.

letsworkremotely | Nomad Interviews with BE Adventure Partners

For 3 months, I went part time as a hairstylist to focus full time on my business. Of course my boss wasn’t too happy with this and decided to give me an ultimatum: work full time or leave. I left. 3 months later I went down the party train, hard. I’m an entrepreneur, I can do whatever I want, was what I thought. However, that wasn’t really smart because there are no brakes in a business. When you start you have to work hard on it and be in your top shape physically and mentally. So on my 30th birthday, I quit doing drugs for good.

Things started to move forwards for me as I learned to market myself and met Brian where we came up with Be Adventure Partners shortly after. As for hobbies, I love cooking. Cooking is my zen spot, which ties into my interesting fact. I actually went to college for interior design, failed out, went to culinary school, failed out as well and finally came back home to go to beauty school where I landed my first job.

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Brian: Hi! I’m Brian and I am from San Antonio, Texas. I’ve had many occupations throughout life like a buser for Outback Steakhouse, became head waiter, bartender and ultimately the bar manager. I attended Southwest Texas University (now Texas State University) with a B.S. in Digital and Photographic Imaging, and a minor in Business Administration.

After college I worked at Cedar Supply for 3 months, but quickly figured out that wasn’t my gig, even though I knew a lot about carpentry (it’s true, he built Erin a birdhouse out of an old picket fence). Anyways, the secretary told me she was about to quit and going to be a teller at a bank so I applied as well. I was hired by Wells Fargo as a teller and two months later, they wanted me to move up as a lead teller to manage other tellers.

After that, I started applying for jobs in my field of study and was hired by a marketing agency where I worked for three years in digital marketing and product photography for 3m. It was a Zoolander sort of thing where you don’t shake hands and look them in the eyes so it was super weird.

I was offered a $15k raise to get into web dev and coding, but I was miserable. I called up my dad and told him, hey, I can’t do this for the rest of my life. What do I do? My dad dad told me that when he was a Dallas police officer, he was friends with firefighters and they would all hang out, cook meals and have cool side jobs/projects. I was like, I could totally do something like that.

When I went to apply the next day, I found out that the application period was ending in 2 days. I was one of the 33 people who got accepted out of the 3,300 who applied. I handed in my 5 days notice to my boss. She asked me why? I told her that I wanted to be a firefighter when I grow up. She chuckled and told me to get back to work. I looked her in the eye and told her, “No. Monday morning, I’m not going to be here.” All I heard when I walked out the door was her yelling “what the f*ck?” over and over again. I was a firefighter for 9 years, it was 24 hours on shift and 48 hours off shift. I was exposed to stuff that I never wanted to see.

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In July of 2012 I wanted something different, I wanted to build something, so I went into network marketing and fell flat on my face 3 years later. November of 2015, I was going through a divorce and finalized it in December. I was pissed, sad, upset, and angry. After that I decided to do something for me. I wanted to make my life so amazing, that someone is going to love me for who I am. So I wrote down a list of every trait I can think at that time of who I wanted this person to be.

In February I met Erin and we started connecting. We built Be Adventure Partners in July of 2016. After that, I would be gone with Erin for 2 months of time, negotiating vacation days, sick days, shift trading etc. April 1st was my last shift.

My interesting fact is that I lived in Germany for 9 years. We had a family of 7 kids so there usually wasn’t a lot to go around and I was tired of living a life of lack. So at 6 years old, I would walk dogs, run a lemonade stand, mow lawns, clean apartments and I was making bank as a 6 year old and bought whatever I wanted. It was great.

I believe many of the readers out here probably have been through similar situations where their relationships are toxic, or constraints from their work has left them unsatisfied to personally develop and pursue their dreams. Do you think these wake up calls are necessary, despite all the pain and suffering to really bring out the best in us?

Brian: I was trapped in a very tough situation and a brutal relationship. I just had my heart ripped out. So one night, I called Erin up and asked if she ever finished her blog and pushed it live. She told me no, I am going through a terrible time, there is so much going on. I asked if I could open up and share since I was going through a similar situation. From those conversations, our relationship blossomed.

Erin: We focused on making each other smile, talked a lot about business, and opened our minds, talked about our dreams. It was great because I wanted to travel the world months at a time, dive into other cultures, and explore other possibilities out there with someone that has a similar mindset. So I broke up with my current boyfriend at the time and sold the house. But you have to believe in yourself.

In March I was invited to speak at a women’s event with 222 women. It was all I wanted to do in life, to become a motivational speaker. Without having gone what I had been through, I wouldn’t be where I am today, the person I am today.

Brian: The wake up calls are necessary because you have to know where you’ve been to know where you want to be. Only after going through the corporate life, my divorce, falling flat on my face with some of the ventures that followed, was I able to realize I needed to live, I found Erin, and build something successful together that we were passionate about.

There are a lot of other beliefs, trying to fight with yours and you just have to make sure you hang on to yours. The people who fail the most are the ones most likely to succeed. Failure is the testing period to figure out what does and doesn’t work. At the end of you life you want to be able to say to yourself, “Wow, I lived.” The cool thing is, anybody can do it. If you have an idea, act, don’t prolong it or you’ll never achieve it.

letsworkremotely | Nomad Interviews with BE Adventure Partners

Besides talking about being a digital nomad, personal development, and marketing success, there’s a few posts giving relationship advice. Your situation is rather unique since I believe most people working remotely have a tendency to either work alone or sustain a living for their whole family. How have you been able to work that in your favor and continue to work it all out?

 

Brian: It is definitely more fun to experience things with someone you love. You both have a personal, deep connection you can talk about. Human connection is super powerful and everyone has the possibility of people finding their own adventure partner, even if they’re from two different countries. Erin’s Canadian and I’m American, look how it worked out for us.

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What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced after pursuing this full-time? How did you manage to overcome them? What challenges are you facing now after you’ve been in the game for a while?

 

Erin: I had no idea what was going on. The training I was receiving wasn’t resonating. I kept asking myself why is it not happening fast enough? And of course, the personal stuff was the most challenging. That was the first thing I had to get over. Making the dive as an entrepreneur was also eye-opening. You’re the one that actually needs to work now. It’s different when you’re an employee. In the end you have to step out of your own way and make things happen.

The biggest challenge now is figuring out routines, I go all morning without eating breakfast and Brian eats right away. We’re still trying to figure out our routine together as well as our style of traveling. Saying all this, having someone one the same page as you is nice. Crossing borders as a couple is easier, when you’re crossing along, you’re put in secondary security. When I was going to see Brian before we traveled together, they asked a lot of questions. Now that we travel as two, it’s not suspicious, they think, “oh, it’s just a couple on vacation.”

letsworkremotely | Nomad Interviews with BE Adventure Partners

The two of you have been able to build Be Adventure Partners to where it is today in just over a year. Is it really that easy to pursue the digital nomad life? If it is that easy, why aren’t more people doing it? What’s holding them back?

 

Brian: A year ago, Be Adventure Partners had 0 subscribers, we now have 500 new page likes each week. If you want to build a successful brand, there’s 3 steps: build an audience, engage the audience, and ask for something. So to answer your question, yes and no. There’s a couple of different ways this desire to do something different can manifest. Some people just have it in them. They know they want to be more than just an employee.

Sometimes difficult situations if your life push you to make decisions you normally wouldn’t make. For me, comfort was the most dangerous part of my life. Everyone is addicted to something that makes us feel comfortable, but that’s usually what’s holding you back from moving forward.

Erin: I would add that fear is always holding you back from moving forward. It’s always been fear, the fear of not being good enough. It’s the #1 reason. Why do you stay in a crappy relationship? You fear you’re not good enough for anyone. Why do you stay in a crappy job? You fear you’re not enough for any other job. So you find other ways to numb the pain, like drinking or drugs. Addictions make you feel good temporarily, makes your dopamine levels go crazy. So you need to evolve from that. Develop yourself personally so you have enough power and momentum to go the positive way, instead of back to your old habits. Forgive yourself, if you can find forgiveness there, you can find forgiveness anywhere. Your life will change. But it might not happen if you’ve never trudged through anything crappy or challenging. You’re not alone, we need to share what we’re going through, everyone is going through the same thing.

letsworkremotely | Nomad Interviews with BE Adventure Partners

What do you think the future of remote working is going to be?

 

Brian: There’s an awakening right now. People our age are fighting the box that society put us it. It’s unsettling for a lot of employers. There’s a huge problem for large corporations because they can’t keep employees. They don’t know hot to increase morale because they’re too corporate: come here, do your job, don’t ask questions.

Innovative companies like Facebook are developing and building company culture for people our age. So at least they’re recognizing a problem and resolving by trying to build a better culture. I’m not saying it’s terrible to be an employee and you have to be an entrepreneur, but for people who want more in life, being an employee may not be what you are going for.

It’s ironic because when you’re building a business or running a business, you need employees. So there’s places like Upwork where you can outsource a lot of your work. Some people look down on this, but if you pay someone $15/hour to do stuff you don’t want to do, you’re actually helping them.

You’re helping them work from where they want and have the freedom to work from home, build a portfolio, brand themselves, and kickstart their remote life to do whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want. By helping someone else, you’re actually helping yourself because now you can focus on  $10,000/hr tasks to build your business.

I watch your YouTube Channel and the two of you boasted to have been to 11 different countries in just around a year. You guys are always all over the place! Can you tell me what was your favorite experience/place you’ve been to and share some pictures? Where are you now?

 

Erin: Our favorite place to stay/live has to be Nicaragua. It has the most incredible view. It looks like the nature channel outside the window. Just the other day, 4 monkeys came by to visit us. Our favorite place we visited was this waterfall called the Siete Alteres (Seven Alters) in Guatemala. We swam across the whirlpool and say underneath the 100 foot waterfall and just meditated. We actually have pins on everywhere we have been together on our website!

letsworkremotely | Nomad Interviews with BE Adventure Partners

Do you have any final advice for our audience wanting to become a digital nomad, work remotely, or becoming location independent?

 

Brian: Freelancing is definitely an option, but you might not make as much as you think. Definitely think about building your own brand, it’s tough but might be more profitable. Regardless, if you don’t learn how to market to your audience, you’re probably not going to be successful. You have to learn marketing and how to use tools. Build a community, that’s important for your business and brand.

Erin: People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, so tell a great story. Any successful brand out there has a great story. Learn how to speak your niche’s language. Figure out their needs and be a problem solver. Go research, join groups, ask questions to find the solution. Show them that this is my value, this is what I have to offer. But most of all connect on a beautiful, human level, because at the end of the day, that’s what we all are.

letsworkremotely | Nomad Interviews with BE Adventure Partners

Please share your bio, profile, social links, books, courses, etc.

 

BEAP Website/Blog
http://beadventurepartners.com

BEAP FB Page
https://www.facebook.com/BEAdventurePartners/

BEAP YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcE99wFBFIlStjE1-k1oZVA

BEAP Twitter
https://twitter.com/BEAP1229

BEAP Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/beadventurepartnersofficial/

BEAP Google+
https://plus.google.com/114425437291852587675

Brian’s FB Profile
https://www.facebook.com/brian.garcia.82

Erin’s FB Profile
https://www.facebook.com/erin.nicole.bick

Online Workshop: How Websites Make YOU Money
http://go.beadventurepartners.com/reg-webby-2

letsworkremotely | Nomad Interviews with BE Adventure Partners

Comments are closed.

5 Comments

  • Brian Garcia 2 years ago

    Thanks so much for this featured post! That was such a fun interview and we look forward to seeing you out on adventures around the globe!

    Adventure On!

    • letsworkremotely
      letsworkremotely 2 years ago

      Loved interviewing the both of you and hearing your awesome story! Thanks again!

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