'I work a few hours a day and travelled to 25 countries last year – this is my secret

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A Scottish entrepreneur has revealed his secrets to barely working in your 40s, travelling the world and enjoying financial freedom for life.

Having spent years in “dead-end” retail and food industry jobs, Craig Campbell always knew the traditional 9 to 5 career wasn’t for him.

The Glaswegian wanted to avoid the trap of working day-in and day-out until a paltry pension kicked in, and also wanted to be his own boss.

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Now 44 years old, he technically no longer needs to work but still chooses to spend a few hours every day using his YouTube platform to share his knowledge with the next generation of budding entrepreneurs.

Craig CampbellCraig Campbell
Craig Campbell

With over one million subscribers he can make £5,000 on a simple 10-minute video, promoting products or services in the industry that he recommends.

But how did it all start out? The answer: digital marketing.

“Being able to work for myself rather than for a company was always a big appeal,” Craig said. “The driving force was being my own boss and being able to work when it suited me.

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“But when I started out, I was putting in 18 hours a day. I was drained and it was a long slog to hone my skills – it felt like a 15-year-long apprenticeship. But I kept going.

“There were a lot less people working in the digital marketing field back then, so I was teaching myself new skills from online forums, picking up whatever knowledge I could that would help me realise my dream.

“Freedom and flexibility has always been massive for me, it’s all I’ve ever wanted from my career."

Craig launched his business 20 years ago – at the time, digital marketing was in its infancy.

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He supports companies with their websites and helps market them online.

The entrepreneur likens his current role to flipping properties – but increasing the value of online businesses and digital assets like websites, rather than houses.

But Craig has had to make heavy sacrifices, including missing out on nights out with friends and having a social life in his 20s.

Luckily, he had already met now-wife Lauren while working at Burger King as a teen, though she was often left “frustrated” by his constant working.

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Thankfully, the Glaswegian’s graft has paid off, which not only means he has financial security but, now a dad, can focus on being with Lauren and their five-year-old son, Charlie.

Craig said: “I only work a few hours a day now – nothing more, and never on the weekends. It gives me a lot of freedom and I get to spend more time with the family.

“My son is five so I can do the school run and be around for him, too.”

Thanks to his online presence, Craig is often invited to talk at conferences across the globe as a public speaker.

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He said: “The first conference I spoke at was in London in front of around 30 people. I was covered in sweat and panicking beforehand, and was ready to text the organiser with an excuse.

“But something inside me urged me to do it, and I haven’t looked back since. Earlier this year I spoke in front of 6,000 people. Now, I travel all over the world to do these talks – I’ve been to Dubai, Thailand, the US, Bulgaria, Finland and all over the UK. I love it.

“Last year I took 25 trips in a nine-month period.

“I’ve seen some crazy sights that I probably would have never seen before, like Elvis’ house and the place JFK got assassinated, as well as countries I’d likely never have visited if it wasn’t for work.

“I know 100% I wouldn’t have had these travel opportunities without this career.

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“It has allowed me to see more of the world than I’d ever have imagined, including obscure places like Chiang Mai in Thailand, and Bulgaria.

“It’s a great privilege to be asked to speak around the world and get to see more of it.”

As well as his public speaking engagements, Craig loves sharing what he’s learned in simple how-to guides on YouTube, teaching other tech savvy people how they can make money online.

He said: “After spending 14 years getting to grips with everything, I've tried and tested it all and made tons of mistakes.

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“It has taken me a lot of time and money to get me where I am. But I can help people get there a lot quicker – I’m passionate about it.”

For Craig, it all comes down to five key tips that he shares with his audience.

INVEST IN YOURSELF

The entrepreneur said: “Whether it’s consultancy or more training, make sure you invest heavily in your own learning.

“Investing in yourself will pay off massively down the line.”

TIME MANAGEMENT

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Keeping good time management in all areas of life is “key” for any entrepreneur, according to Craig.

He added: “Make sure you keep on top of your own schedule – your time is valuable.”

LEARN TO DELEGATE

While he now is able to split his workload amongst his team, Craig had to learn how to have this approach.

He said: “You must learn to delegate.

“No business gets growth and scale without processes, systems and delegation.

“You can’t build yourself into your business.

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“You need to make sure you are disposable so you can have that freedom and time out.”

SUPPORT SYSTEM

Craig recommended: “Find a mentor or surround yourself with good people.

“You are who you surround yourself with, and having people who are above you will help pull you up to that level.”

ENJOY WHAT YOU DO

Finally, he added: “You have to enjoy what you are doing in business and have some interest in it – otherwise, what’s the point?”

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While retirement is on the horizon for Craig, he has his concerns about whether or not he’ll be able to fully throw in the towel.

He added: “I do worry that I’d get itchy feet after a few months and want something new to get involved with.

“I’m not sure I could ever fully retire – I don’t know how I’d pass the time!”

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