How to Make Money as a Freelance Copywriter in Budapest, Hungary with Francis Nayan

How to Make Money as a Freelance Copywriter in Budapest, Hungary with Francis Nayan - Expat Empire
Francis Nayan

How to Make Money as a Freelance Copywriter in Budapest, Hungary with Francis Nayan – in this episode of the Expat Empire Podcast, we will be hearing from Francis Nayan. Francis got interested in living abroad through his university trip to Europe and eventually decided to pursue his goal of teaching English in 5 countries in 5 years. After his first year in Barcelona, he moved to Budapest, Hungary where he ultimately has chosen to live for the past 5 years. After two more years teaching English, Francis transitioned his career into freelance copywriting and has successfully scaled his business while living abroad. Francis shares his rags-to-riches story, tips for living in Budapest, and advice for creating an online career in this fun conversation!

LEARN in this episode:

✔ Why Budapest is a great city to visit and live in

✔ Tips for getting your start as an English teacher in another country and leveraging that experience to move into a different career abroad

✔ How you can build a copywriting business that enables you to be nomadic and work around the world

✔ The truth about the difficulties of getting your start as a freelancer and the dedication you need to have to eventually find success

FIND Francis at:

► Website:

► Instagram:


SCHEDULE your free consulting call:

DOWNLOAD our free Top 10 Tips for Moving Abroad eBook:


FOLLOW us on Social Media:

► Instagram:

► Facebook:

► LinkedIn:


Welcome to the Expat Empire Podcast, the podcast where you can hear from expats around the world and learn how you can join them.

Hey guys, before we get to the interview, I want to remind you that we’re offering free 30-min consulting calls to anyone interested in moving abroad. 

Whether you’re thinking about retiring somewhere warm, starting an international career, or becoming a digital nomad, we’re ready to help you think through the next steps in your journey. 

Send us a message at to schedule your call today!

With that said, let’s start the conversation.


David McNeill: [0:00:47] Hey Francis, thanks so much for joining us today on the Expat Empire Podcast. 

Francis Nayan: [0:00:50] David, thank you so much, man. It’s a pleasure, it’s an honor to be here. 

David McNeill: [0:00:53] It’s great to have you and you’ve been to some really cool spots. You’ve obviously traveled quite a bit. You’ve lived in some interesting places, so I’m really excited to dive into that. I guess to kick us off, if you could just tell us a little bit about your background, where you’re originally from, where around the world you’ve lived so far and where you are right now, that’d be great?

Francis Nayan: [0:01:10] Well, thank you so much for having me. As you said, I’m Francis, I’m originally from Memphis, Tennessee. I guess if you want to go all the way back, I was actually born in the Philippines, in Manila, but my family moved over to Memphis around the early nineties. I think I was around only about a year old or so. But I’ve lived there my whole life, went to school there, went to university in Mississippi, so I’m a bit of a Southern guy more or less, more or less. It’s kind of like my joke. I’m not sure if anyone is listening to the audio, but I don’t really look like your typical Tennessean and I suppose. 

Over the last few years I’ve lived in Hungary, in Budapest, Hungary and in Barcelona, Spain. I run an online business working as a freelance email copywriter, email marketer and strategist. I think we’re going to dive into a bit of my journey today, but I think in a nutshell that explains who I am.

David McNeill: [0:02:11] Yeah, awesome. That’s definitely a great place for us to start. So it sounds like you were born outside the US, in the Philippines I believe, and then moved into the US and kind of grew up there, but would you say that that sort of origin piece, even though you were probably too young to remember it, has anything to do with your desire to be abroad or what was that initial motivation or flame that really started your journey?

Francis Nayan: [0:02:34] It’s kind of interesting to think about because I’m not really sure what started that flame. I’m positive that something with my family being immigrants and kind of going back and forth between the States and the Philippines definitely had something to do with it. But I do remember just being six, seven years old and looking outside of my window and being like, oh man, I really want to travel world. I want to see what’s out there and I think it was slightly crazy thoughts for someone who’s only six, seven, who’s explored only the boundaries of my neighborhood on my bicycle or tricycle or something. 

I think it definitely added to it. I think growing up, I went to different schools, my family moved around in Memphis a good amount. I think this idea or this feeling of kind of always being out of my comfort zone, meeting new people, and understanding people from different backgrounds and learning more about them, I think that’s always interested me. When I went to University and I actually took a class trip to Europe, we studied for about a month and a half in Germany and in Italy, I think something that really struck a chord with me and I was like, I really want to go somewhere else other than Jackson, Mississippi, where I was at that time. It’s something that I’ve been feeding ever since I was a kid, but yes, I think it’s always been there.

David McNeill: [0:04:04] Yeah, that’s awesome. Was it those experiences specifically in Europe that made you think that Europe was the place for you or were you open to kind of being anywhere in the world? How did you ultimately get your start in Budapest then?

Francis Nayan: [0:04:18] I think that trip, of course it was the first kind of inkling of I want to go to Europe, I think only because that’s the only place I’ve been and I’ve been to parts of Asia, well, just the Philippines really, but just being in Europe, being 20 years old and just being so excited that I was doing something pretty cool. I think that feeling has always stuck with me. Of course there’s a lot of beauty in Europe with the beautiful buildings and the history and I think I was always kind of interested in that. Growing up in Memphis, my favorite basketball player was Palka Saul and I was like who’s the Spanish guy who’s like in Memphis, it’s so crazy. So I think this feeling of Europe, of course, I’ve always been attracted to it, really loved the vibe.

I never counted out Asia, that was actually a big part of my plan prior to settling down in Budapest. I originally came here to teach English and my whole plan was to teach English in five countries in five years. My plan was to teach in Hungary for one year and then eventually go to Asia, but then that never happened. I just ended up falling in love with the city and settling here.

David McNeill: [0:05:34] Yes, that’s great. How many years has it been that you’ve been living there so far? 

Francis Nayan: [0:05:39] Oh man, I’ve been here five years now I think. I think five years next week and I’ve been telling a lot of people that. People have been asking me that lately and everyone kind of like, even some of my friends who’ve been here for two, three years or I’ve known for a while, they’re just like, man, you’ve been here quite a while. Other people are like we’ve been here quite a while. There’s been a handful of guys here who’ve been here five, six years as well. So yes, it’s wild to think about.

David McNeill: [0:06:12] Here in Portugal when I have my meetup group…It’s kind of funny because I started only a few months after I arrived here, but now it turns out that a year and a half here has made me a veteran in the city. Most people seem to have just arrived in the last weeks or last month or two. Obviously the whole pandemic situations made anything probably in between that and when I arrived more difficult, so it’s understandable, but it’s funny to think, when I say I’ve been here a year and a half, people are somehow amazed at my seniority and my status in the Portugal scene, even though I still feel very fresh and very new. So it’s funny for me to meet people that are 5, 6, 10 years here in Portugal and yes, so I can understand people having that reaction to you as well. 

Francis Nayan: [0:06:57] Oh, for sure. It’s funny. It’s funny. But yes, I’ve been here a while, man. I’ve been here quite some time.

David McNeill: [0:07:04] So how did you find that first job then and ultimately, why was Budapest the first place for you? Of course you decided to stay in the end, but how did you think, hey, this is the place for me to go first? 

Francis Nayan: [0:07:15] I found Budapest after spending one year in Barcelona working with a teaching company there called Meddeas, I’m pretty sure that company’s grown exponentially over the years, kind of to rival the Auxiliares Program. I wanted to continue living abroad. I didn’t want to necessarily do it in Spain at that time because I was thinking I’m young, I should definitely go out and see someplace else. 

Originally I was going to move to Hong Kong. I had the okay from another company, they were like, just sign this contract within the next two and a half weeks and you’ll be good to go. I don’t know why, but I was still hanging around these ESL forums and somebody mentioned that this company in Budapest was looking for teachers and I kind of just thought it was a crazy idea. I was like, why don’t I just apply and see if I get it. These hiring processes can be pretty quick and they were really fast as well. I went through two rounds of interviews, sent some documents in and I got it within 10 days. They offered me a contract and I was like, oh, what do I choose? Do I go to Hong Kong or do I go to Budapest? I have no idea. 

I chose Budapest because I was originally supposed to go to Budapest for a trip with some friends but then it got canceled. So I kind of had like this gut feeling of, oh, I should go to Budapest instead of Hong Kong. Maybe irresponsibly I just jumped on it. I signed the paper within two hours and was set. I didn’t even Google or YouTube any videos of what Budapest was going to be like or anything. In my head I thought it was going to be super Soviet bloc, crazy, kind of decrepit but it wasn’t like that at all. I came here, it’s a bustling city, it’s incredibly fun. It’s modern, there’s plenty of stuff to do, a lot of really cool people from literally everywhere are in Budapest. 

That was 2016 and it’s even grown a whole lot even more since then and that’s one of the reasons why I fell in love with it and stayed just because number one, it’s beautiful. I was in my mid to early twenties. I was just having a great time, meeting people from everywhere and kind of diving into the scene and then I’ve just stayed ever since. For me, I still consider it home just as much as I do Memphis and anywhere else. So yes, that’s how I ended up here.

David McNeill: [0:09:55] That’s awesome. Is there anything in particular about it that really, I guess, surprised you outside of maybe your expectation of it being more the Soviet block style country and being quite different but in terms of maybe the culture? Were there any parts of the experience that you really had to get used to and perhaps that you weren’t really prepared for?

Francis Nayan: [0:10:15] I think because of course, it was kind of like this Soviet-style place for such a long time. It’s only kind of been out of that since the eighties. So one thing I kind of had to…funny thing to kind of balance is this old style Budapest and this new style Budapest. When I was working in the kindergarten as a teacher, I was working a whole lot with people who were in their fifties and sixties, even a little bit older. They had a different mindset compared to someone who was in their twenties and thirties. Of course, a typical difference in mindsets from someone from the twenties to someone in their seventies but then you kind of have people in their twenties who they’re speaking English, they’re going out to clubs, it’s more free, it’s a little bit more liberal and free there. Kind of going in between of working with my Hungarian colleagues who perhaps maybe had a different mindset. 

Of course, not to generalize there, of course we are a bit more progressive, but it was kind of funny to deal with that in-between. I think you kind of see it everywhere, even the buildings and politics. I say the buildings because there’ll be some old building there that are a couple of hundred years old and then right next to it is like a Starbucks. 

That’s something I really had to get used to, of course there are other things in regards to weather. I’ve never been in a place so cold before really and the language of course. Hungarian is like incredibly difficult. I took lessons for a year and I was able to speak it okay but it’s seriously so difficult. So I think a lot of the standard stuff, most people deal with when they move abroad. But I was lucky to be with a really great group of people who helped me with that transition.

David McNeill: [0:12:15] Digging into that a little bit on the language side at least to start us off, have you found it difficult at all without being able to speak Hungarian fluently? I assume not. I’ve been there before twice actually, one week each time and I absolutely loved it. I got a sense that it was quite cosmopolitan and quite an incredible place, as you said, a lot of different people from all over the world. I imagine and of course, as you were working originally as an English teacher it was probably fine without it, but do you feel like maybe you missed anything by not being able to speak it super fluently or what would you suggest for other people thinking about maybe moving there in the future?

Francis Nayan: [0:12:55] Well, yes, I mean, it hasn’t been that difficult. In 2016, the city was still kind of growing a bit of a boom with these expats moving over there and new teaching programs and stuff like that so it wasn’t so difficult. Of course Budapest being as it is, this is the hub of businesses and international life, the more you get out of the city center and things like that, the harder it would be to speak English. As far as I know, the teachers I know who were working in other cities and towns and even villages in Hungary, English is like a big thing that the young people are learning and it’s really ingrained in the culture. 

A lot of the people who I would say, a lot of people under the age of 40 probably speak English fairly well. Of course, there are some exceptions. I don’t think I’ve, I wouldn’t say I’ve missed out much because I think the things I do in Budapest, I’m kind of always surrounded by people who want to be very helpful. Of course, I’ve missed out on having the satisfaction of speaking it fluently or having awesome conversations with people who don’t speak English and I was a little bit better at that a couple of years ago when I was taking those lessons and using it pretty often. I think if somebody is listening to this and you want to move to Hungary and maybe Budapest, then you’re going to be just fine. Definitely learn the basics, maybe have some fun learning some phrases, but no one’s going to be super upset that you can’t speak Hungarian perfectly.

David McNeill: [0:14:44] Also, how did you get that start with this great group of friends that you mentioned? Were the other fellow expats, locals as well, how did you meet them and how did your friend group evolve over that time? I know maybe it might look different today than it did when you first arrived, so it would be interesting to hear a bit about that.

Francis Nayan: [0:14:59] When I first came to Budapest, I really find myself incredibly lucky because I came in with, I was part of a teaching program. This program was still fairly young and so there weren’t that many teachers in the program. I think there were only around like 20 to 30 tops. I think nowadays I think they’re way over a hundred now but back then it was a small group of people. We’re all from English-speaking countries, Australia, the States, England, South Africa and so I was able to instantly make friends with these people who just wanted to feel okay in this new city. 

That was like my first group and we really discovered the whole town together. The great thing about Budapest is because they know it’s international and there are people from other countries coming in, they throw art events all the time and there are bars and stuff in which it’s almost made for ex-pats and remote workers and things like that. The international meeting point is a very popular party/gathering that that Budapest has pre-COVID. I’m sure that they have it now and they’re going to, or at least they’re going to relaunch it and things like that but that was a big thing in which you just go up to someone and just say, hey, where are you from and then that’s it. Then in that time, everybody, all my friends were kind of meeting different people in their own ways and our circle would get bigger and then I would hang out with this person, friend of a friend, next thing you know we’re at a party and then it kind of grew like that. 

Of course over the years, a lot of these people have left Budapest. Some of them have stayed, some are still being social butterflies. Some have been a little more settled, but Budapest still is pretty powerful in its ways to invite people and help you make new friends. I think that’s one thing that I miss about pre-COVID Budapest, is just seeing like my Facebook feed of this event here, this event there. If you’re going to go to those, you’re going to meet someone that you think is pretty cool and think you’re pretty cool too. So yes, I think it’s great.

David McNeill: [0:17:23] Right on. Now that you’ve been there five years, obviously, we’re still kind of coming out of this pandemic situation so I know that that’s changed things but how have you seen the city change in that time? As you said, it’s become a bit of a digital nomad hub and an expat-centric place, maybe entrepreneurs and everything in between. It would be interesting just to hear about what you’ve seen happen and how it’s evolved over the last five years.

Francis Nayan: [0:17:47] I mean it’s crazy to think about because in 2016 I was thinking, wow, it’s a booming place and there is so much stuff happening and so many people are coming here. Then over the five years, it’s like, that was just the beginning. I mean, a lot of these digital nomads, kind of expats that I know they’re looking at Budapest as like their hub to travel around Europe. I know people who were from the Netherlands, from Sweden, from Norway who come here to start brick and mortar businesses, to bring franchises from other countries and settle here in Budapest. Then it’s wild to now go to a restaurant or something and they don’t even speak Hungarian. No one in the restaurant speaks Hungarian, they all speak English with each other and it’s wild how that is. 

With teaching programs kind of popping up around Budapest, as I said about the teaching program I joined, at one point, there were only 20-25 of us, now there are over a hundred. I think that’s almost a good way to look at the crazy growth that Budapest has had. I mean, if you go to any club or cafe or bar or really any place, bookstore, you’re going to find people from everywhere and it’s just grown so much, I think because of platforms like yours and other podcasts and YouTube people are discovering, there are ways to move abroad in Budapest. It’s crazy to think about because in 2016 I thought, oh man it’s like this and then I found out it’s just the beginning and it’s pretty amazing to witness.

David McNeill: [0:19:33] Yeah, I bet. Changing tact a bit to the topic of building your business. I know as we’ve talked about, you were working in this English teaching program, you’ve done that originally in Barcelona as well. Then you came to Budapest, did that for a while. What made you decide to change your career and ultimately how did you decide to go into more copywriting and marketing strategy?

Francis Nayan: [0:19:56] After my second year of teaching in Hungary, I signed up for the third year, but then I realized that one, I wasn’t very good at it and two, I just didn’t like it that much. It wasn’t something that I wanted to sign up for and just think, oh, well I’ll just do another year because I want to live here. What I really wanted to do was build a career in something that I wanted to do, but I didn’t want to move back to the states. I didn’t want an entry-level job. I didn’t want to go back to school to find something better or bigger or anything. 

I just ended up Googling how to make money online or skills to make money online, very typical. I think that’s a very groundbreaking piece of story and advice for your audience to listen to so I Googled it. That’s what I did and I still didn’t have anything to pick. I looked into SEO consulting and I looked into blogging and things like that. Actually, I went to a meetup with the international meeting point that I mentioned, and I met a guy there, a young German guy named Fin Lobson and I think I’ve mentioned Fin like probably a dozen times on these podcasts and I hope he hears them. He was 20 years old at the time and he told me I’m a copywriter, I’m in Budapest for four weeks, I’m going to go someplace else. So I was intrigued with this freelance copywriting. I just asked him one, what is that, asked for some resources, then I was like, okay, I think this is it.

There was something about it that I was like, okay, I think this is the one and. I kind of became a…I bought a laptop, I didn’t have a laptop at this time. This whole laptop lifestyle thing I didn’t really know because I didn’t have a laptop. I did buy it, a very terrible laptop on Facebook marketplace that unless it was charged or charging, it would die within like 20 minutes. But then yes, I took that up to be a content writer/copywriter. So I was a bit of a generalist at first. I created an Upwork profile, I applied to a bunch of different gigs and none of them replied except one and it was for like a $5 blog post and it took me like four hours to write 500 words for a $5 blog post. When the payment came in and it was like you’ve been paid $5, I was like, oh my God, I did it, I’ve made it! I fell in love with that feeling and I’ve just been chasing it ever since.

David McNeill: [0:22:40] What does that look like from there? I mean, it sounds like you’ve made some big leaps from those humble origins to your business today. What’s the process to go from there? I mean, you get that first dollar or $5 and of course, maybe you’re searching for your next five or ten this time, but how do you really make it work? I think at least from my perspective, a lot of people make this process sound extremely easy and they snap their fingers, but I want to hear the hard stuff. So tell us how it is.

Francis Nayan: [0:23:10] Yeah I mean, it was definitely hard, especially the first few months because I went all in and I told the teaching company, I was like, hey, I want to work part-time and of course, part-time work means part-time pay and it already wasn’t that much. I was only consistently making about $200 a month. The school paid for my housing because that was part of the contract. The first, I would say two months, I had no work, three months probably as well and I was struggling. I think I lost about like 15-16 pounds because I was literally just living off of eggs and bread and just like one egg in the morning, maybe an egg sandwich for lunch, and maybe two eggs if I really felt like I really wanted to ball out for dinner. I would butter the toast if I was feeling fancy and it was really, really, really hard and I had no idea what to do. 

Of course, there are programs out there, there are courses and I wanted to get them but at that point, they were $500, $600, I didn’t have that. I probably had $150 to my name per month. It was really hard, but I kept at it and I continued working on applying to jobs on Upwork. Another blog post here, maybe a short email task there, a LinkedIn page. Eventually, I did have a small portfolio, albeit a very terrible one, but it was something and so I was able to leverage that and it was like just using that to attract better-paying clients, not good-paying clients, but better paying. Instead of the $5 blog post, the $20 blog post, or something like that. 

Then I would use each project that I would win and I would just do my very best at it and see if I could put it in my portfolio if I could get a testimonial. Once you get a couple of names on your website or in your portfolio that you create, then it’s going to be a lot easier to win those clients over because of the social proof and the credentials that you have. For me also what helped me out was actually owning the fact that I was a freelance copywriter. 

When I started putting it on my social media and on my Facebook and my Instagram, I wasn’t getting clients yet but there was a parent in the kindergarten that I was working at, who he added me on Instagram and my big break was when he added me. He was like, oh, you’re a copywriter. I was like, hey, Adam, yes I am. He’s like, well, my company is looking for a copywriter, it’s based in the States and we don’t pay much but we need someone. 

He got me an interview, I ended up getting it and it was with a full-contact karate league called Karate Combat and that was like my first big “client.” I was able to get 2K a month from them, but it’s weird because I was doing something very different from them, from what I was doing and probably what I wanted to do at that time. Even then, I was working with them, but I was still struggling to get clients. I didn’t know how to pitch people and then I guess the thing that really helped me was networking and getting into free Facebook groups. 

Actually having genuine conversations with people and posting on my Facebook regularly and posting in groups regularly, not necessarily to find clients, but really just to connect and in doing so, I was able to find better groups, maybe even some paid groups. 

Of course, clients would contact me or for potential work and then over time, these clients would eventually start being better-paying clients, to then higher-paying clients. Over the years, I also niched down from being a generalist to focusing mostly on email. Even nowadays I’m writing more email and YouTube ad scripts, which is something that’s slightly different from what I was doing several months ago, but yes, always adapting and growing. Yeah, that’s the kind of story in a nutshell.

David McNeill: [0:27:40] Given that you ultimately decided to go into the copywriting side of things and you’ve niched down in that area, is that something that you’ve found that you really had some natural gifts for, or were you using a lot of different resources and tools and books and videos and courses to be able to really develop your skill set there? I’m sure some people listening might be interested in becoming copywriters themselves but aren’t really sure where to start outside of okay, I graduated from high school or university, I’ve studied English or I speak it natively, so where did they go from there?

Francis Nayan: [0:28:12] Prior to me actually calling myself a copywriter and writing copy, the only experience I had was just writing articles for the school newspaper. It was more journalistic writing, but I did love writing. I went to a very writing-intensive university and the only difference was learning how to be persuasive. A lot of that was just learning salesmanship and learning from other copywriters. I know that there are a lot of copy gurus out there who have these $1,000, $2,000 courses, and I don’t doubt their value but you can literally find everything in the classic copywriting books. Then once the Joe Sugarman’s, these Steph and Georgie’s, the John Carlton’s, those books, that’s all you really need to create a foundation and then after that it’s all about repetition and practice and feedback. 

I did get those courses. To be honest I only went through about 40% of them. I think I’m a pretty bad audio listener and audio learner, so I had to really do, to become a skilled copywriter and get feedback. If anyone’s like interested in building your copywriting business, doing it as a side hustle or going all in, I would say, of course if you want to go for the courses you can, there are definitely some golden nuggets in all of them, but if you want to just start, then just pick some of the classic copywriting books on Amazon. Read two or three of them and then just start practicing and start learning from people on YouTube and the free groups, there are plenty of them and that’s been my foundation. I’ve never actually finished a course, a copywriting course, as much as that might displease some of my mentors and people like that. The only skill I really have is writing. I mean, things about sales and things like that, or even like running a business, I had no experience in.

David McNeill: [0:30:17] Have you found that now you’re sort of living a “digital nomad” sort of nomadic life or are you really still, I mean, of course in this situation it’s difficult to travel, but as you were getting into it and as you were making plans for the future, were you planning to be quite more nomadic or rather just stay around Budapest and live your life there?

Francis Nayan: [0:30:38] 100%, I was definitely planning on being a bit more nomadic. I love having Budapest as my base and my girlfriend also works from home as well, and she works online, so we’re very open to bouncing around, going to different countries, and things like that. We were in Mexico for the first part of this year and we were very nomadic there, kind of. We didn’t stay in any town or in any city for longer than three weeks at a time. 

I mean when it’s like officially free to go, I think we’re going to be traveling around all over. The plan is to go to Asia. Of course, make another move in Europe and just see what we can do. I think right now travel is open for certain groups of people. Just waiting for our turn to kind of, not really think about it because I think right now we can probably travel, but then you have to take into consideration vaccines or if this country is actually letting people in or things like that. We’re looking forward to that day, it’s still complicated. It’s probably even more complicated. I think four months ago it was like, you definitely can’t go anywhere and now it’s like you can go, but you can’t go if you’re American or you can’t go if you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated rather. It can be pretty tricky.

David McNeill: [0:32:01] Yes, agreed and that’s how we’re kind of looking at it too. There are so many places that we love to go to, but just your eyes start crossing as soon as you look at all the caveats, all of the requirements, and yes, hopefully, things will become clearer and easier in the near future. As you’ve grown your business, do you have any main, I guess, key takeaways if you were to pick one or if you have a couple that’s fine as well, but really about being able to grow your business and be able to be more working remotely, even as you said you were able to do in Mexico balancing the travel with the work and still trying to reach your professional goals, your revenue targets, all of these things. Any key takeaways that you could share with us? 

Francis Nayan: [0:32:42] I think one of the main takeaways is to find that community of people who make your dream normal. Whether you want to have a $10,000 a month copywriting business, whether you want to have an agency or you want to be a digital nomad or an expat. If you join a community in which that’s normal, then it makes it so much easier because you start connecting with people who will answer your questions and they don’t make you feel crazy for wanting that and they make it really possible. 

It’s one of the great things about meeting someone like you because you’re a part of like this next dream I’ve had, instead of me kind of thinking, oh, I want to move here and move there. It’s like I met David, David’s about to make my dream come true, that’s awesome. That’s part of meeting people, that’s getting to know them as networking, that’s an example. It doesn’t matter really. What you want to do is to find that community and find those people who can help you and they can be friends too. I’ve had some friends who were still up and coming copywriters but we’re still all quite successful, but that’s because we’ve made it our normal. 

Then I would say number two would probably be to always take time for yourself. There’s no point in having an awesomely successful business if you’re incredibly unhappy and if you’re stressed out all the time and you have to take care of yourself always and that’s advice as a human to another human but also from someone who is a business owner to even maybe a fellow business owner to take care of yourself. Then three is just to be patient, I mean, if you talk to enough people and you follow the system and a process then building your business to whatever you want it to be or moving abroad, it’s going to happen. I think those are good three points.

David McNeill: [0:34:43] Right on. I guess going into a bit of sort of your next plans as that was one of my upcoming questions, to the extent that you’re interested in sharing. It sounds like maybe you’ve got some new plans in the future. If you could tell us a bit about what you’re thinking about and why you’re making those decisions today, that would be great.

Francis Nayan: [0:35:03] My plan right now in regards to life is to actually move out of Hungary because I’ve been here five years, I absolutely love this place but it’s time for me to kind of move on and discover a new place. I’m looking for, by February of 2022, to be moving to Lisbon, Portugal and to kind of have Mediterranean life back. I did live in Spain previously and to kind of experience that and live that life. Then I also want to balance that with having a home base, my home in Portugal, but then the ability to be more nomadic, to travel for two, three months at a time and go to Asia and to travel around Europe and South America, while also still you’re maintaining and growing my business and even helping others who want to become nomadic copywriters and helping them with that process as well. That’s the plan right now, nothing’s set in stone. I probably need to write this down in a journal or something somewhere, but that’s the vision right now.

David McNeill: [0:36:10] Awesome. I love it and glad to be playing a part in that; seeing your success and continued growth and development personally and professionally. To that end, if our listeners are interested in finding out more about you and keeping track of what you’re up to and your future adventures around the world and here in Portugal, where can they find you?

Francis Nayan: [0:36:29] Well, if you want to find me on my website, you can find me I send emails to my email list a few times a week. I’m trying to do it more often, but you can also just find me on Facebook or Instagram and stay in touch because I plan on having a book coming out pretty soon. You can look out for that and thank you so much David for having me.

David McNeill: [0:36:51] It’s been a pleasure. Thanks so much for sharing your story and it’s been awesome to hear about your experiences. Look forward to following you on social media and seeing where you’re headed. Thanks again for joining us today, Francis, and take care. 

Francis Nayan: [0:37:02] Cheers.


Hey guys! Don’t forget to like our video, subscribe to our channel, and leave your comment below! 

You can find us on Facebook and Instagram at Expat Empire. 

We help people to move abroad through our personalized consulting services. For more information, visit

Thanks and see you soon!

As the founder of Expat Empire, David McNeill is focused on inspiring people to move abroad and showing them how to do it. David started Expat Empire because he has a genuine passion for living abroad. He left the United States in 2014 and has since lived in Tokyo, Berlin, and Porto.