YOP033: Dotan Negrin- Piano Around The World

By June 9, 2015 Podcast Episode No Comments

Bio:
Dotan has lived a life that is completely outside the box. Frustrated with the routine 9-5 lifestyle in 2010, he took all his savings to travel around the world and pursue a career in Music. Since then he has traveled to more than 24 countries lugging a 500 pound upright piano and meeting more than 10,000 people. He lives in New York City and performs regularly around town.

Show Notes:

Piano Around The World YouTube

Piano Around The World Website

Piano Around The World Facebook

Transcript

Zephan: Welcome back to the Year of Purpose podcast, this is Zephan Blaxberg, and today I have my friend Dotan. And Dotan has lived a life that is completely outside the box. Frustrated with the routine nine-to-five lifestyle in 2010, he took all of his savings to travel around the world and pursue a career in music. Since then, he has traveled to more than twenty-four countries lugging a five hundred pound upright piano and meeting more than ten thousand people. He now lives in New York City and performs regularly around town.

Dotan, welcome to the show!

Dotan: Hey, thank you so much! It’s good to be here.

Zephan: Yeah, man! So you are back in New York right now. Tell me a little bit about what’s happening right now. Because you traveled for a really long time, and now you’re kind of back at home base?

Dotan: Yeah. So I did—I’ve been traveling on and off for about four years. My first trip was five months. I did around fifteen thousand miles around America, and my second trip—well, from there, I drove from New York to Costa Rica and back again. That was eight months. So I traveled on and off between New York and the rest of the world. And so now I’m back home in New York and I’m kind of—it’s funny to say this, but I’m a little bit tired of traveling like this. It’s pretty grueling! It’s difficult having to travel and having to find a place to sleep and where I’m gonna eat and all these different things.

But I’m here in New York right now and just trying to transition a little bit for a little while and trying not to travel as much.

Zephan: Well, we’ll jump into that in just a sec. tell me about where you were in life when you first were just like “I’m going to take all my stuff and hit the road and get a piano and a truck!” like what was going through your head? What were you feeling with life? What did you want more of?

Dotan: So this is around 2010. I was out of college for two years, and I—what’s interesting is I got out of college in 2008, just when everything started to—when the stock market started to crash and all this big—you know, there was a lot of fear in the air. I was in New York City. I just got out of college. And I spend two years kind of being unsure. My father kind of pushed me to go into real estate, I got my license. I jumped around from job to job without feeling any sort of fulfillment or feeling happy with where I was. And after two years, I felt like I’d wastes a lot of time around New York City. I felt like wasted time. I didn’t feel like I was on track or going towards a specific thing I wanted.

And right when 2010 came, my dad’s friend offered me a job to drive his truck from New York to Miami. And he’s an artist. So the idea was to drop off his paintings to Art Basel in Miami. And I did that job and he paid me really well for it, and that week, I get a phone call from a friend who’s living in the Dominican Republic. He told me “Hey, you should come down if you’re gonna be in Miami! It’s just a short flight away!” And so I took all that money, it was like four hundred bucks, and flew to the Dominican Republic and had the most incredible adventure of my life! I think that that—it was this trip. That gave me this initial spark of sort of being kind of like—just in love. Just falling in love with traveling and adventure and the spontaneous spirit of adventure.

So I went down to Dominican, had the most amazing adventure. Learned how to ride a motorcycle and rode motorcycles in the rainforest and met local people in small towns. And then I flew back to Miami and I had to drive back to New York with all the paintings and stuff, and I got paid again. And so I came back to New York having this amazing experience and I came back home with some profit in my pocket. I came home with a couple hundred bucks profit. And so I started to think “Oh, this is amazing! What if I can make money and travel the world? That would be the ideal life for me!”

And so from then on, I went on this journey to figure out how can I do this? I kept working for this guy, he was an artist, and I did deliveries for him. And after about six months, I just felt miserable again. I was making twelve dollars an hour. It was crap. It was not—I didn’t feel…I wasn’t learning anything, I wasn’t being challenged and I didn’t feel like I was doing anything that was gratifying. Eventually, through that six months, I figured out—or I came up with this idea to travel around the world and play piano. That way I can make money and travel and I’d be living on the road and it would be like this amazing adventure.

And so it was in August 2010 when I stared playing piano on the streets. And initially, I was not a very good piano player. I was actually—I was pretty bad. And I would go on the streets and I’d push this piano like five to ten blocks just to play in City Hall Park and I’d make like fifty bucks. And maybe like ten dollars an hour doing it and it was terrible and it sucked. But it was—I started meeting people. And what made it so much fun is that people would be coming up to me like “Hey, this is so cool!” I literally was meeting people from all over the world. And—yeah, I was making a little bit of money from piano. I wasn’t making much but it was—I was trying to figure out a way to do this.

So I just kept doing it. Kept playing piano on the streets. And then in September of 2010, because I was fairly new to moving the piano, the piano fell back and landed on my hand and I broke two fingers in my hand.

Zephan: Oh, man.

Dotan: Yeah, it was one of the worst days of my life and one of the most painful experiences at the hospital. Screaming my head off in pain, and… Yeah, so I was out of commission for three months. And I got so lucky that the piano didn’t fall on any of my joints, or it just hit the tips of my fingers. And so after three months, I healed. And, you know, most people would think that after an experience like that, they would not want to play piano anymore on the streets, but I kinda saw it as this big turning point. “You know what, if I don’t do this now, I’m never gonna do it.”

So I literally took all the money I’d saved up—it was around twelve grand—I bought a box truck on eBay. It was like a twelve foot moving truck, box in the back. I set it up with carpeting, I had a cooler, I had a little closet. I had my piano and a ramp. And I—I did a little bit of planning, not much, and I just hit the road. I was living out of this box truck. And still wasn’t that good of a piano player, but I kept playing it. I played every day. Four or five hours every day. And I traveled on that trip like thirty-six states, a couple hundred cities in America, for five months. I did fifteen thousand miles. And it was the most glorious experience of my life. Really changed my life.

As you know, non—talking to you, Zephan, I’m sure it changed yours when you went out and got to see what the world is really life, rather than just this routine lifestyle that…maybe you were living…this routine lifestyle that I was in before I traveled.

So yeah, my first trip, I—alright so…to go back a little bit, I kinda just went off a little bit. But the feeling that I was feeling, I was just so frustrated with life. I didn’t feel like I was being challenged—I kinda already went—I’m sorry, I already went into that, right?

Zephan: Yeah, it’s all good.

Dotan: So what was the other question that you asked?

Zephan: Well, how about—let’s go into like, did you have any fears when you first started this? Or what this kind of a “Hey, this is a cool idea. Let’s just do it”?

Dotan: Yeah, I was so fearful. And you know what, even in the beginning, when I first started playing piano in New York, I was embarrassed to be like looked at. I was embarrassed that I was doing this. I was like “What am I doing?” I felt like such a fool. But I knew it was something that—I saw it as something extraordinary. It was, one, something extraordinary, and, two, something that no one else was really doing at that time, 2010. And so I knew I wanted to keep doing it because of those things. I wanted to try something that no one’s really done and I wanted to do something extraordinary with my life. But yet, I was fighting—every day I was fighting this fear. There were days I would want to go out and play because I was so scared and “I don’t want to movie the piano. I don’t want to do this.” There were days I would go out because of that fear.

But eventually I learned to love it. I learned to love it because it brought me so much joy and it was the—the benefits far exceeded the fear, and that’s why I kept going at it.

But then when I first started traveling, the fear was also very deep because people were—people would tell me “You’re crazy! Why would you ever do that? Why would you live in a box truck?” “Don’t go to New Orleans! They’re gonna kill you there! They’re gonna chop off your head!” I don’t know, I heard stories. I heard stories like that even with Mexico too. I’d told people “Yeah, I want to do this big trip to Costa Rica!” and the reason why I did it is because it’s difficult. It’s challenging. Yeah, I can live in New York and do this routine lifestyle and go to work and do the nine-to-five, but I’m not gonna be really challenged. I’m just gonna be kind of within a box of routine.

Zephan: Yeah, just going through the motions.

Dotan: Yeah! You’re going through the motions that you do every day, so you’re used to it. It’s normal. It’s a normal things that you do every day, you know. And so the idea of going to Costa Rica was like…yeah, it’s freaking scary. But it’s this challenge that I knew I would walk away from it with knowledge, experiences, friends…

Zephan: It’s interesting what you were saying—two things. One was about the travel and how just the fear of traveling. I was pretty afraid to, uhm—I’d been out of the country maybe two, three times max, and so when I decided that I was gonna take a whole month and travel around the whole country, my big fear was not having the money for it. I really liked that you—you even said this too. You said “I wasn’t even the best at playing piano” and you get better as you go. I wasn’t the best at traveling, and you learn and you get better as you go. So eventually I had taught myself how to travel hack and how to get airline flights for next to nothing. And it’s one of those things where if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to do it. So I really like that you just kept pushing for it.

And then the other thing was that, you know, when I was travelling too, I saw something interesting around the US. Cause you think that you’re gonna go to Texas and it’s gonna be ranchers and steakhouses. And the truth of the matter is I got there, and they have a McDonald’s, they have a Panera, they have a Chick-fil-A. It’s no different than anywhere else. There’s many more landmarks and things to see and museums and monuments and all sorts of stuff, but, at the end of the day, it’s not really as scary as people think.

Dotan: Yeah! Yeah, I agree with that. I think—I think our impression—if you don’t travel, the only way to know about the world is to hear about it from secondhand information, from other people. And so like, I remember I once met a woman. This is—I think this is one of the greatest people I ever met. I was—I think I was at like South of the Border in South Carolina. I had a burrito—this is on that delivery. My first trip in 2010, the art delivery. I stopped there to get a burrito, and I met this old woman. It was just me and this old woman at this restaurant. And I remember talking to her, and I was talking to her about traveling. She was telling me about—she was like “I don’t understand how you can travel like that.” I asked her “Have you ever traveled?” She was like ‘No. I’ve never been out of that town in South Korea!’—South Korea…?—she said “I’ve never been outside of this little town in South Carolina.”

And she was maybe sixty-five or something, and I was shocked to hear that this woman never left this town, and more of it was because she was—she was like “Have you watched the news and seen what goes on in the world? I have no interest in going out there.” so it’s this impression that’s built inside this woman through all these images on TV and this secondhand information, which really doesn’t provide the truthful depiction of what is really out there. To travel the world and be out there in the world.

Zephan: Oh, it’s completely wrong. It’s—we just had, in Baltimore, we made national news because there was an African American male that was murdered by police officers, and there were riots and all sorts of stuff. And the media tried to make it look like my entire city was burning to the ground. And they—I actually had—someone I know what in Italy on vacation, and it was on TV in Italy. And so the message got spread worldwide, but I drove past all of this going to my office when it was all happening. It’s like two or three square blocks, and Baltimore is a pretty large city. So it’s one of those things where the media and the outside would have this really bad representation of what’s actually going on.

Dotan: Yeah, I mean, I saw all the footage on Facebook and stuff and certain videos.

Zephan: Yeah. So, tell me this, during—how about the first month that you’re traveling and you’re away form home. What there any one thing that you learned that really surprised you, whether it was about yourself or about traveling and following what you wanted to do?

Dotan: When I first started traveling.

Zephan: Yeah, just like in the first few weeks, was there anything that really surprised you that you learned? Whether it was about yourself or about being on the road?

Dotan: Hmm. Yeah, I have to go back now and think about it. I actually—I have to go and rethink about what it was like back then. Yeah, I think—it was so weird because I was living out of this box truck. And it was like the first time where I was faced with these really difficult challenges. And, uh…I mean, yeah, part of it was what we just spoke about. That realizing that the world isn’t this place where everyone’s killing each other and robbing each other, and it’s not this dangerous place, but in fact there are more good people in the world than there are bad people. There are more nice, generous, friendly, open people in the world than there are people who want to hurt you. And I think it’s so much so that 95% of the people in the world just want to live and enjoy live and it’s just 5% that are ruining it for everybody and giving it this impression that the rest of the world is this bad place.

But in terms of learning something about myself…I don’t know. I kind of—I was living out of a box truck. I would wake up in the morning, I’d eat breakfast, and then I’d go and play some piano and make a little bit of money here and there for gas and food. And then I’d pack it up, and sometimes I’d go out and make friends. I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned though, especially in the beginning, is learning how to make friends and to meet people and to—I don’t know.

Zephan: I guess just how to interact with the world, right?

Dotan: Yeah! How to interact with the world. Because, at the same time, I’m starting to realize that I’ve always been a very outgoing guy. It’s not something I really learned, I think it’s something that just I’ve always—I’ll talk to everybody. I’ll talk to all these people, like I never really cared. Like even in all my travels, I talked to hobos and people that have been living on the streets. And I talked to them because I’m curious. I’m curious about their stories, I’m curious about who they are and what they’ve learned. I’ve talked to drug addicts. I’ve met multiple drug addicts on the street.

I actually became friends with this one guy in Albuquerque, who turned out—well, I became really good friends with him, initially. And then it turned out he played drums, so I had couple of drumsticks and I gave him a bucket and I said “Hey, man, let’s play.” And he was so inspired by playing bucket drums and—what’s it called—we became good friends, but we ended up playing together, and he ended up robbing me. He ended up stealing money from me, even though we were friends. But then I found out that he was a drug addict and that’s why he stole the money. And so I knew where he was sleeping that night, because he was sleeping on this abandoned building—on the roof of this abandoned building, and I showed up there. Not to like hurt him or anything, but I wanted to ask why? “Why’d you steal from me?” and as I found out, he’s a drug dealer—he’s an addict. He even told me “I’m an addict.” And he thought I was gonna hurt him. I was like “No, whatever, it’s forty dollars. I’m not gonna hurt you. I don’t need to punch you or anything.” But, yeah, it was an interesting experience, I think.

Zephan: Yeah, that’s crazy. It’s interesting that he was just so honest and told you exactly why he had taken it.

Dotan: I was definitely very angry. Like I confronted him, like “Why would you do this?” and he was like “I’m an addict! I’m sorry! I had to do it,” whatever. And he—at that point, he was going through a really interesting moment in his life because he got kicked out of his house, of his grandparents’ house, and he got arrested and he had all—I met him like the week he got out of jail or something, so he was at an interesting point in his life.

Zephan: It seems like a lot of people are at interesting points in their life. Like nothing really happens when we want it too, especially the bad things, and so I know that there’s a lot of people listening in right now who either have a nine-to-five job or maybe they were like me and either they were laid off or maybe they’re unemployed right now.

So what advice do you have for these people who are searching for more and don’t really know where to go? Cause for you, you figured piano was what you wanted to do and you just went after it and chased it. And a lot of people don’t even know that piano is their thing. How do they figure out what they should do next if they’re kind of stuck in that place of not really knowing what to do with their life?

Dotan: This is a very, very—I think it’s a huge point. I’m kind of going through this with my little sister, because I’m trying to help her figure out what she wants to do with her life, and she’s twenty-one. She’s twenty-one years old. I always tell her that the only way you’re gonna find out is if you just start doing it and just try. We all have this voice inside our head and the fear and all these things that are getting in our way, but the only way for us to really know is to just go out and try these things. That’s the only way we’re gonna know if we like these things.

At the same time, we have to think—not everything—you can’t make a living eating pizza, you know. So just because I like eating people or making—yeah, eating pizza, doesn’t mean I can make a living from it. So finding a passion is great—I mean, it’s good to have these hobbies, it’s good to have a passion, but if you want to make it your living, it becomes a different—it becomes a whole different animal, because not all passions can be monetizable.

And not only that, but when you’re dependent upon your passion to make a living, it changes that passion. It’s something we spoke about a little before this, about how when you are dependent upon your passion to make a living, it becomes more—it becomes difficult, and you start to not like it as much anymore. And that’s kind of what I found over the years. I started to not enjoy playing piano, because I was so dependent upon piano to make a living.

Zephan: And you told me that you were working on extra—additional revenue streams, right. So to be able to support that passion, because it’s—I was kind of in the same boat. I was running my video production company fulltime, and I stopped liking the things that I was really good at. And you start to question like “What is going on right now? These are the things I’ve always loved doing. The things I’ve always been good at.” And that’s kind of where the podcast came out of, for me, was I had gone on a couple of trips around the country, took some time off for self-discovery. So maybe share with everybody—you mentioned you had an eBay store, you’d done a couple different things to supplement that income.

Dotan: Yeah. Yeah, I had an eBay store. Since 2008, I’ve been selling stuff on eBay. But in 2008, I had an eBay store. I would buy shoes at wholesale price from a guy—a couple stores in New York and then resell them online. And that was cool, but there’s—it becomes—there was so much competition on eBay that is becomes like a price war and you don’t end up making any money. There was that and then since 2008, my dad kind of convinced me to start playing around with the stock market. And so that got messy, let me tell you.

But I started day trading for a while, back in 2010, which was also a very interesting learning experience. Partially because I saw myself—I turned into like a wolf, where I’d wake up in the morning, get my coffee, wait for that nine thirty bell to ring and watch the numbers go up and down and throw money around. And it’s not like I had a lot of money, either. It was like a couple thousand dollars just to try to make a couple hundred bucks a day or something like that. And that way messy. But I did that for a while, and I realized that that’s not—that is not a fulfilling lifestyle, without a doubt. For me, at least. And to sum it up, I did a lot of moving jobs. Because I had this—I had the box truck. Now I actually have a smaller van, but it’s more economical on gas. But for a while, and even now, I’ve done moving jobs to supplement my income.

But my original goal was to find a way to travel the world and make money and be able to work from anywhere, to work remotely. And so since 2010, I’ve been on this journey to figure this out, and I don’t think I still have it figured it out. Because playing piano is not a great source of income—at least it hasn’t been so far.

Zephan: But you’re part of the way there though. You’ve probably learned so much about yourself and about what doesn’t work. And it’s kind of like with Thomas Edison and the lightbulb. He found a thousand ways not to make a lightbulb, and all it took was one way that did work.

Dotan: Interesting. Yeah, I agree. I think I’ve—I’ve had many failures, but failure isn’t failure unless it happens at the end, at the last chapter, you know what I mean. It’s not a failure unless it’s the last thing that you’ve ever done. But, yeah, you’re right. I mean, I have found—I mean I did—for example, I did get a bunch of sponsors that have really helped me out. Helped me out in terms of money as well as exposure. But I got picked—I did a story—I was on Wolf Blitzer, the Situation Room. And because of that, I was—I did a commercial for Goodyear Latin America, where they took my story and they put it in a Spanish commercial, and then they flew me to Peru and stuff, and it was an amazing experience filming and being part of that. And so that helped me out a lot.

But that is actually a very interesting story. Because I still play piano on the streets on the weekend in New York, but not because it’s good money, more so because of the amazing people that are walking in the streets of New York. If you think about it, and you’re walking on a Saturday through SoHo in New York, if you really think about it, just about every single person there has an amazing story or has some really good relationships or contacts or— And so how I got on Wolf Blitzer was I was playing piano on the streets, and I met this one woman who loved my story and she worked for CNN and she put me on Wolf Blitzer. And so I have about twenty-five other stories like that, where I was just playing on the streets and met this guy and he ended up loving what I do, I became really good friends with him, and he invited me over to his house and I had dinner with his family.

And so I have so many awesome stories like that that because I do this awesome and extraordinary thing of playing piano around the world, it opens me up to so many different people. Like for example, last month, I became friends with these two guys in Big Sur. I was playing piano on the edge of a cliff in Big Sur, and these two guys come up to me and I start talking to them. Turns out they’re from New York, they each have startup companies. One is the—yeah, they each have startup companies. And when I came back to New York, I started hanging out with them. And they invited me to all these parties and dinners with people that work at Google and big marketing firms. But I still hang out with them, they’re great friends of mine.

But just last month I facilitated a hundred and fifty thousand dollar marketing deal with two people that I’ve met. With one of the guys that had a startup company, and this marketing company that I’m friends with the creative director. And so, yeah, all of this because I play piano on the streets and meet people.

Zephan: So for every drug addicted thief stealing forty dollars, there’s twenty stories of facilitating hundred and fifty thousand marketing deals, playing on the edge of a cliff, and getting onto CNN.

Dotan: Yeah, getting on Wolf Blitzer, that guy. It’s funny. Yeah! Yeah, it’s funny. I mean, there was actually one time—my favorite story of all time is when I was in Maine, in Portland, and I got invited—no, I’ll go back. I was playing piano in the streets of Portland, Maine, and this guy came up to me, who was a drummer. He loved what I was doing, he invited me to his family’s home, which is located on a small island off the coast of Maine called Vinyl Haven Island. It’s this beautiful pristine island. So I drove two hours north, took a ferry, met him—his name is Dan—and we drove to his house. And there I was eating dinner with three generations of this family. It was like a family reunion. And we were having like zucchini that they grew in their garden and fish that they just caught off the coast, and it was an incredible experience.

But it turned out that all the entire family was musical. They all played an instrument or sang. And that night, the older brother and Dan, they were supposed to be playing with their band at the local bar, which is a small bar where a hundred people come and dance. And they were like “Hey, you should come play with us!” and I was like “Yeah, I’ll play a song.” They set up a keyboard for me. They surprised me and set up this keyboard, and I’m like “Yeah, I’ll play a song or two.” And it turned out, I ended up playing an entire four hour gig. It was the first time I ever played with an entire band. The first time I ever did that. So I learned how to play with a band, I was—it was such an incredible experience, because people were dancing and it was such a great, fun time.

And at the end of four hours, the end of the gig, the older brother comes up to me and he hands me two hundred bucks, and he goes “Here, thanks for playing.” I didn’t even know I was gonna be playing at a gig! Or making this money! It was completely—it was the most spontaneous experience I’ve ever had in my entire life, where I just went—I just said yes to everything that came my way and it brought me such an incredible experience of discovery. And, yeah, agh—I’ll never forget that day. Never forget that.

Zephan: That’s awesome! That’s really cool. And I think that you really do find that the world is so much more generous when you start to put yourself out there. I mean, we were on a road trip back in December. I’d taken a three thousand mile road trip with my roommate and my cousin. And we found a family that I had connected with about four or five years ago through my first business that I worked for out of college. And I’d kinda stayed in touch with them over Facebook and through the years, I’d talked to them once or twice.

But they were like “If you’re passing through Indiana, let us know, and we’ll give you a place to stay for the night.” And sure enough, it was like our second our third night on the road, and we passed by them. And I hit her up on Facebook and she said “Here’s our address, come on over. We’ll make you dinner.” And it was crazy. We hung out with her kids and we watched a movie and had dinner with them. And it was funny. She actually kicked her daughter out for the night and made her go to a friend’s house so we had beds to sleep in.

Dotan: [laughing] Oh, my god. That’s funny. You know what’s funny? You can tell these stories, but it’s until someone else—until you experience it, it’s not as amazing when you hear it until you experience it, you know what I mean?

Zephan: Yeah, it’s a totally different experience. But it’s one of those things where it’s not gonna happen unless you open yourself up to it. So, you know, going back to that fear thing of, yeah, did somebody rob forty dollars from you? Yes. But, you know, were you killed? No. Was it at gunpoint? No. it’s just one of those things where you deal with these little annoying situations for these twenty amazing situations that come out of it.

Dotan: Yeah! Well, you know what, it’s funny you say that though. Those things do happen where like you get robbed at gunpoint, that happens to people. I mean—I also have an even worse story, in Nicaragua, where those things happen more commonly with travelers. My car was broken into and they literally stole—well, I was kind of stupid, it was partially my fault, but they’d stole my camera, my laptop, my iPhone and my credit cards, passport, and I was left there. I had a hundred bucks, my car, my piano, and some clothes. And I had to go to the embassy to get a new passport. It was really one of the worst experiences I’d ever had, because I was surfing—was learning how to surf, and came back to the car and the car was emptied out.

But not only that, while I was at the police station, giving the police report, I got sun poisoning! So it was like—I hit this complete rock bottom. It was a terrible experience.

But in terms of the fear, I have to say that you have to just go for it. Of course, keep your guard up, because those things do happen, but they’re very, very, very rare where they do happen. Like that story in Nicaragua was—I attribute it because of my own fault, because of my own stupidity, because of my own—I wasn’t careful, I wasn’t cautious enough.

Zephan: Yeah, so it’s just being self-aware.

Dotan: Yeah.

Zephan: Well, at the end of the day, I feel like you get to look back on these last five years and say “Wow, what an amazing journey.” And I guess, I think the best way to wrap this up is what do you think the world needs more of right now, more than ever? Because your story is not uncommon as far as people being tired of where they are in life, being tired of working these nine-to-five jobs, or maybe they’re even working for themselves and they’re just tired of it because they don’t know what’s going on. What do you think the world needs more of now more than ever?

Dotan: What the world needs more. You know, it’s interesting, I think—it’s already happening. I think people need to realize that they can do things on their own. I think people needs to realize that they need to take the leap, and to get over the fear and to get over the voice inside your head, and just try to do something that they really want to do and not give up on that. There’ll always be that fear, but I think it’s only just a bump in the road. It’s only just an obstacle.

I think now more so than ever in the history of the world, because of the internet, we all have this accessibility to do something great. Do something really great with our lives and also be individuals, rather than just be part of a company and to work for a company.

Zephan: That’s awesome.

Dotan: Yeah. I think that we all have the ability to do it.

Zephan: And we totally do. It just comes down to taking that leap of faith. And the best part about it is your story isn’t over. Like you were telling me before the call that you’re kind of in a point of transition now, you’re not exactly driving all over the place every single day and doing this. But I mean, you had the last four or five years to do this, and now you get to go on and make a new experience and figure out what’s next. And I think so many people get—they settle. They get stuck in this rut of “Let’s do the same thing for thirty years” and then they come out of it and look back on their life and realize that they weren’t happy.

Dotan: Right, there weren’t really living at all. And it’s funny, because when I first started doing this, I wasn’t—in the last four years, I didn’t really make a ton of money doing these things. I did it more because of the experiences, the knowledge, the people. On all the trips, I came back home and had a little bit of debt or didn’t really have much money when I came back home, but part of that was part of the journey of the failure and digging myself out again. I’ve failed so many times and succeeded very few times, but that’s with every very successful person in any field. I feel like—I feel like if you walk up to someone who’s very successful and ask them “How many times did you fail?” they’d tell you “I failed hundreds of times before I found my first success.”

Zephan: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, it’s been really great to talk to you. I’m really looking forward to staying in touch, and I’ll probably visit New York at some point in the future. I’ll have to come find you and hang out for a little bit and listen to you playing. And if you could share with everybody, where the best place for them to follow you and maybe see a couple of those videos and look into your trip?

Dotan: Sure. Right now, I’ve been focused a lot on YouTube. I think YouTube’s an incredible resource for people and a way for you do build your passion project or your business even. You could find me on YouTube at Piano Around the World. Or you can check out my website, pianoaroundtheworld.com.

Zephan: Awesome. Well thanks for spending some time with me and we’ll definitely talk very soon in the future.

Dotan: Yes! Thanks a lot, I really appreciate this, and it’s great talking to you.

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