FOCUS on Digital Nomads: Kevin Ohashi

FOCUS on Digital Nomads: Kevin Ohashi

Check out Kevin’s website: reviewsignal.com

Name: Kevin Ohashi

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Academic background: Bachelor degree in Economis, minor in computer science.
2 Master’s degrees in Entrepreneurship and International Marketing and Brand management.
 
Without talking about work, tell us a bit about who you are and what you value.
I’m an introvert but everybody thinks I’m an extrovert. I’m the kind of guy who plays video games in the coworking space.

What do you do that allows you to be location independent?
I run a company called “Review Signal” which does web posting reviews based on analyzing social media posts. I also do consulting. I have worked with individuals up to big companies solving a variety of problems related to big data, web marketing or software development.

How would you say that being location independent has changed your life?
I don’t think it has changed my life. I feel like travelling has always been a part of my life. My family worked in international development and they traveled around my entire life so travelling is in my DNA. I started my first location-independent business at the age of 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Travelling has always been my life.

How many countries have you visited and which one did you prefer?
I have visited 44 countries. I spent more time in Thailand than anywhere else because I like it there. I was raised with Thai housekeepers in the family, one of whom has been longer in the family than my little brother and sister! I grew up with the food, the culture, and I have been there many times.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced living a nomadic lifestyle?
The biggest challenge is the routine. Every time you are in a new city, you have no pattern and finding discipline and routine can be difficult. And also having “normal” relationships with friends, I mean both maintaining existing friendships and making new ones.

What advice would you give someone who wants to run their own business and travel often?
I see a lot of young people who want to live remotely with little experience and connections or network and it’s difficult to build those when travelling. Especially when going from high-paying countries to cheap or poor ones. It’s better to know when you’re going to make your money from before you leave. I think missing out on that local experience and connections can be harmful in the long run. Some places are much better than others to make business, like Europe.

Why did you choose Locus Workspace to work when you first came to Prague?
I first came to Locus in 2016, I was living nearby. I was looking for a coworking space so I decided to check it out and had a free day.

Why do you think Locus Workspace is a good place for digital nomads?
Prague in general is a nice city for digital nomads. I like it for the community aspect, I get to meet people and hang out. Meeting people and making friends is the most difficult part so this coworking space facilitates creating a community and getting people included in that community.

What is the best thing about working and living in Prague from a digital nomad’s point of view?
The cheaper cost of living and Prague is a beautiful, small and easy city. It does not take more than 20 minutes to go anywhere. I also like all the weird bars and enjoy the lack of fashion which feels very liberating!

Imagine that you had one month to travel anywhere in the world (money not being an issue), where would you go and why?
That’s the question I ask myself every day! I definitely want to go scuba diving in the Galapagos.

What is a fun fact about you?
I was once bitten in the butt by a tiger. I won’t give any further information!

Intern Profile: Julie Cantrel

Intern Profile: Julie Cantrel

Hometown: Hersin-Coupigny, France

After getting a high school degree in Economics, Julie decided to enroll in a business school in the North of France (ISCID-CO) to study International Marketing and E-Business. She got her Bachelor’s degree with Honours and pursued her studies in the same area to get a Master’s degree. She has never worked in a coworking space before but she is very interested in discovering how it works and really enjoys cross-cultural environments.

Occupation: Intern/Student

Field of Study: International Marketing and E-Business

Why did you decide to study International Marketing and e-Business?
I have always wanted to study something related to languages or with an international dimension. When I was in my final year in high school, I talked with a girl who was studying marketing. She explained to me what she was doing at school and I realised it was what I wanted to study. Therefore I started to look for international business schools so I could both improve my language skills and study marketing. I found my school thanks to an article in a local newspaper, I went there for a tour and immediately decided to give them my application form. It turned out that they propose a Master’s degree in International Marketing and e-Business, which was perfect for me because I am also interested in new technologies and webmarketing.

Why did you decide to intern at Locus?
I found Locus’s traineeship offer on a website specialized for Erasmus internships. I decided to apply because it gathers two things I like: being in contact with people and managing social media and events.

What are some of your goals for this internship?
The main goal of this internship is getting the opportunity to work in a pleasant and cross-cultural environment, learning more about new approaches to work (freelance, remote work, digital nomadism, etc.) and strengthening my web marketing skills.

What kind of responsibilities do you have as Community and Event Manager? 
First, we have to make sure that the space looks nice and is welcoming and that members have what they need at their disposal. When people are interested in becoming a Locus member, they can come for a tour and a free day within the space and it’s the manager’s responsibility to ensure people are enjoying their time at Locus. Moreover, we organize weekly and monthly events to animate the community, to know one another a bit better and to have good moments together.

Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you joined Locus?
I had some idea about what a coworking space could be, but I had to do some research to make sure I was not mistaken! Working from a coworking space offers lots of benefits: a nice and quiet environment to focus on your tasks and a sense of community which is crucial from my point of view.

How do you fit in at Locus?
There is always something to be done at Locus so you never get bored! Some days are quieter than others thus we have more time to write articles or design great social media posts.

What are the benefits of interning at Locus?
Working at Locus helps you overcome shyness and become pro-active. After few weeks within the space you are able to anticipate members’ needs. As written on the main door, it’s a “Hate Free Zone” so everyone is free to express themselves and has both something to offer and learn.

What is your favorite part about Locus and why?
I really enjoy the spontaneity. When some members suddenly stand up and improvise a coffee break or go and have lunch together. In these moments you can feel the sense of community and I love it. I also like the diversity, how each one is different but we are all working next to each other in the end. In most cases, members are willing to chat while drinking a cup of coffee and it’s very pleasant.

Member Profile: Fredrik Lyhagen

Member Profile: Fredrik Lyhagen
Check out Fredrik’s website here
 
What is your name? Fredrik Lyhagen
Where are you from?
Landskrona, Sweden
What’s a fun or interesting fact about where you’re from?
It was founded in 1413 when the southern part of Sweden was Danish and the city was intended to become the capital of the region called Scania. Landskrona directly translates to “the crown of the country”.

What do you do?I’m currently running the alliance with IBM for American IT-company Juniper Networks covering the Middle East, Turkey, Africa region. And in my spare time, I’m building a business around my passion for leadership in a context of purpose beyond profit so I work with senior management teams to transform business for good. Note the dual meaning of “for good”.
What are you currently working on that you’re most excited about?At the moment I’m focused on delivering three-day experiences for management teams in large international companies. The course is centered on self-leadership on the premise that leadership is the conversation and you can’t relate to others greater than you can relate to yourself. It’s through a partnership with Oxford Leadership.
Why did you choose to work from Prague?
My wife is Czech. We met in Amsterdam where we were both working, and when we became parents we moved to Prague after a 3 years detour to Sweden.
Why did you choose to work from a coworking space?
I was either sitting at home or traveling. I have stuck at Locus because I’m much more productive and there are fewer distractions. There’s a social aspect as well, so I have someone to get lunch or coffee with. Now over the years I have developed friendships and have collaborated with some people business-wise.
Why did you choose Locus in particular?
I heard through word of mouth about Locus originally. I tried a few other coworking spots in Prague, but I’ve stuck with Locus because the atmosphere is unique compared to those other spaces. The mix of nationalities, different professions, and it’s very laid back.
What best describes the kind of location-independent work you do?
Stable because I am settled here with my family, but still work remotely and travel.
Before you joined a coworking space, what were the biggest challenges of doing that kind of work?I felt lonely and was struggling to stay focused. Since joining Locus my productivity has gone up and both my personal life and business has benefited from being a part of this environment.
What is the main benefit you’ve gotten working from Locus (not already mentioned above)?
I do my best work here, and the social network.

What’s the best thing about living and working in Prague, from the perspective of being a location-independent professional?
It’s the perfect size for a city; big enough to have everything but small enough to get around easily. The big international community, the beauty of the city, and the location in Central Europe makes it a great place to live.
Any other interesting projects you’re working on that you haven’t mentioned already?
Yes, observing what’s going on in the world as well as drawing from my experience from both corporate life and general life experience, I’ve become very interested in male identity. I think the male identity is in a crisis so I’m now working on setting up a community to help men live closer to their heart. I think it’s critical for a sustainable and inclusive development of this world that we have positive male role models, and this work starts with each one of us.
What is a fun fact about you?
In 1998 I released a five-track CD.

Member Profile: Morgan Childs

Member Profile: Morgan Childs
What is your name?
Morgan Childs
 
Where are you from?
Houston, Texas
 
What’s a fun or interesting fact about where you’re from?
The movie, Rushmore, directed by Wes Anderson was filmed in the high school I went to, St. John’s.
 
What do you do?
I’m a journalist. I got my Master’s degree here and then stayed in Prague. I got started as a food writer, but now my work is all over the map—I write about food, culture, politics, mostly in the Czech Republic and Central Europe, but not entirely. I’m a total generalist.
 
Pierogi photo shot in Warsaw in 2015 while reporting on a story for Saveur magazine

What are you currently working on that you’re most excited about?
I can’t get into specifics, but the projects I have up in the air couldn’t be more different than each other. Recently I’ve begun to take a step back to say, “What is most interesting to you, and why do you want to pursue certain topics?” before pitching new pieces. That’s one of the luxuries of being a freelancer—getting to adjust your levels every so often.
 
Why did you choose to work from Prague?
I did my Master’s degree in English with a specialization in critical and cultural theory at Charles University in Prague, and have stayed working here since I finished.
 
Why did you choose to work from a coworking space?
I have a very small apartment and I wanted to increase my productivity. It’s hard to get work done when you can touch your bed with your left arm and your oven with your right.
 
Why did you choose Locus in particular?
The location, it’s very close for me. I was working a lot at night and Locus was open 24 hours. The more time I’ve spent here, I have felt more a part of the community and have met new people.
 
What best describes the kind of location-independent work you do?
Freelance. I do some travel and am often outside the office doing interviews even though I spend most of my time here.
 
Photo shot by Morgan, which can be found along with others on her website: http://www.morgan-childs.com/
Before you joined a coworking space, what were the biggest challenges of doing that kind of work?
Working from home I cooked a lot, I was always cooking. It was important to find some set space outside of my apartment and away from my personal life.
 
What is the main benefit you’ve gotten working from Locus (not already mentioned above)?
Having space and more of a complete day. When you’re independent you have to find a sense of intentionality each hour of your day, and being here helps with that intentionality.
What’s the best thing about living and working in Prague, from the perspective of being a location-independent professional?
This is a wonderful neighborhood. There’s this great market at Jiřího z Poděbrad four days a week where I run into everybody I know, then I come to work here and slowly I’m starting to get to know people at Locus. Prague is a city of 1.3 million people, but sometimes it feels like a college campus, there’s always something going on. Also, because of its size, you have access to resources and people that you might not have elsewhere.
 
Any other interesting projects you’re working on that you haven’t mentioned already?
Nothing that I haven’t already mentioned, but I’m always looking for new stories. My best pieces come from conversations I’ve had with friends, so I’m always eager to hear about stuff going on around the country.
 
What is a fun fact about you?
I studied and focused on playwriting in New York and majored in Theater

Member Profile: Ariana Montanez

Member Profile: Ariana Montanez
 
Where are you from?
I’m from East Los Angeles, California
What’s a fun or interesting fact about where you’re from?
There is a rodeo that happens once a year and is very popular.
 
What is your current occupation?
I’m a UX (User Experience Design) and UI (User Interference Design) for Image Conscious Studios in Boston, Massachusetts. I work on web design for companies that are looking for a site that is more information-based, such as a restaurant.
 
Above is an illustration part of a series created by Ariana for an internal marketing project
 
What are you currently working on that you’re most excited about? 
I’m currently excited about two different projects. The first is a client website for a law firm. The firm truly cares about their clients and the owner is very involved in the community, where he does things like teaching previously incarcerated people. The website will also involve the firm’s ‘rethinking of the law model’, something super cool to be a part of. The second project is an illustration project for the company I work for, Image Conscious Studios. It’s all about me and my travels, but it essentially is for our clients to see how we are inspired and the work we do.
 
Biotech Company website Ariana helped create. Check it out here: f1oncology.com
Why did you choose to work from Prague? 
I was just excited to live anywhere abroad, and heard great things from people who had previously visited Europe. I was looking for a city that had a lot of things to do, had great architecture, and was beautiful.
Why did you choose to work from a coworking space?
I really wanted to be more productive because I can get easily distracted at home, and to leave the house to get work done to truly ‘call it a day’ was what I was looking for. I also wanted to meet more people and felt that joining a workspace would be the best way to do that.
Why did you choose Locus in particular?
The community and all of the events that are offered. I love that Locus is not centered around networking, but about building a sense of community.
 
What best describes the kind of location-independent work you do?  
I’m location-dependent when I’m working back in Boston, but I would say I’m Nomadic until I return home.
Before you joined a coworking space, what were the biggest challenges of doing that kind of work?
Productivity is much lower outside of the workspace, and I can be more productive here. There are a lot of distractions outside of the workspace and working from home makes you feel like hermit because you almost never leave.

How have you overcome those challenges?
Joining Locus because I do not have an office here in Prague.

What is the main benefit you’ve gotten working from Locus (not already mentioned above)?
The events have been great. I’ve gotten some good takeaways from them, such as one of the last events about Happiness with David Papa.
 
What’s the best thing about living and working in Prague, from the perspective of being a location-independent professional?
 I’m very affected by the environment that I’m living and working in, so it’s great to be here in Prague where I appreciate the beauty and architecture.

What is a fun fact about you?
I never read the news. I occasionally listen to NPR’s 5 minute daily summary, and if I’m feeling like it, occasionally part of the Morning Edition, but that’s the extent of it. There’s so much else I’d rather focus on, and I’d rather not spend time learning about the latest negative thing that happened. I do love podcasts though, especially ones that center around specific topics. Some of my favorites are: Two Guys on Your Head (super quick explanations about how our brain works), The Leap (stories about people making radical life changes), and Science Vs (tests different fads or concepts against science, i.e. “True Love”)

If you could use one word to describe Locus, what would it be?
Welcoming!