I’m Markus Hietanen, a self-employed Finnish guy in my mid-thirties, living currently in Monterrey, Mexico with my fiancé. At this point, I am running my digital marketing business as a solo entrepreneur.
How did a small-town kid from the Nordics end up here?
In late 2011 my life was going downhill. I was struggling to finish my sound engineering and marketing degree in Finland, fighting a seeping depression and had a bleak outlook on my future.
One night, before Christmas, I was arrested for DUI and spent the night in a cell. Drunk, tired and feeling the worst.
In that dark and cold cell, I decided to turn my life around. Change everything. Move abroad and start again. The other option was worse.
In less than a month, I moved to the southernmost tip of Europe, on the island of Malta.
I got a job as an Q&A agent, sorting through classified ads online to pick out scams.
Soon, excelling at my job, I became a specialist and a team leader, developing almost an extrasensory perception to detect online scams at speed.
My life turned better with the sun, new environment and new opportunities.
From there, I started my own blog (which eventually failed), turned into a professional content and copywriter, and eventually a freelance writer, enjoying travel and a modest laptop lifestyle living as a digital nomad for about 2 years.
However, I got tired of my job writing about online gambling and overly systematic SEO content, and I quit my freelance writing job.
Unfortunately that was just before COVID hit, and I had used most of my savings travelling in Asia for 6 months, now facing being stranded in Thailand.
With no option to stay in South East Asia, I had to move back in Finland to live with my parents for a year and a half. Back in the middle of nowhere.
After enjoying my freedom for few years, I knew I didn’t want another job. I started my own business in 2021. Well, sort of. I started SCRIIV already in end of 2016, as a side-business to build websites and offer copywriting for businesses in Malta.
But in 2021, I registered the business in Finland and focused on it full-time.
Running my own business has been harder than I thought. New clients do not simply come knocking on my door, and there is virtually no job security when you are on your own. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m doing what I love.
Anyone who is building their own business knows what I’m talking about, no matter how slow or hard it is. Consistency, effort and the sheer power of blind faith will pay off in the end.