Why and how I created a remote company.
Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Well, it is. If you have a clear vision in mind from the very beginning.
When i did start “designing” my latest company (number X) i thought about how am i going to attract the best talent out there, and where would that talent be. And honestly, it’s so stupid to think that the best people for the job live where you live. If you believe that.. well, think again.
With that in mind i new from the super early days that i would try to recruit people from all around the world. That way the possibilities are limitless.
Also, it’s my highest belief that people work better and produce more when they feel comfortable and happy.
Where that place would be?
Where is that place where all people feel comfortable and happy?
Well, it depends on the person really. Not everyone is happy with the same things. Right? Thats why we are all unique. That’s the core beauty of our world.
How do you expect the same recipe to have the same effect to everyone? If you try to satisfy everyone, you will simply end up to a conclusion that you can not do that.
What if you let people satisfy themselves instead ? What if you let them create the perfect environment they feel comfortable and cozy in?
Locking people into an office, observing from above every movement they make for 8 or 10 hours a day, won’t work anymore. If fact, that never worked.. well, if your goal was to create an environment that people would love to work in, produce products and services of high standards, be happy and care about your vision.
Also, we (me and my wife) love traveling. We have been traveling a lot for the past few years. We even took trips last year (2016) when we had our beautiful newborn. Ilektra, our lovely daughter (she is like an angel and i’m really really sad i can’t share her photo with you) enjoyed it so much traveling with us, and I could keep up building my businesses in the process. Win-win!
That said, I needed to create a job to much my lifestyle. Not the other way around. I’m a big believer in “work should follow life, never the opposite”.
Well, I’ve been working, traveling, setting the automations in place and creating the foundation for a “remote everything” lifestyle for more that 5 years now. I don’t want to change that, right?
Working remotely is not that easy you know. It’s supper important to have self control and discipline in order to achieve your goals and produce continuously products of high standards. It’s so easy to loose your focus when you have nobody looking over you, you can’t imagine .I’ve been there. I know the space.
I can recall periods on my life , where i could not complete anything working remotely. Months and months that i was struggling to put my mind in order. And having your base in Greece (one of the most beautiful and sunny places on earth) did not help at all.
But gradually i managed to develop habits and strategies that helped me put my shit together. All you need is determination. Today, i can’t imagine working in a different way.
How did i hire the right people?
So, for the company recruit process, what i did was concentrating on hiring people with the same mindset i have. People that have previous experience of working remotely and they loved it (or really wanted to give it a go).
During the interview process, I could not care less for degrees and certificates. Having a degree doesn’t mean that you can do the job, and vice versa. The energy of a person is much more important. We will be working together after all, we need to be able to co-exist, even hang out together. References do matter too. When a person i trust recommend someone, its half a hire.
It took some time, but again determination is the key. We are now 8 in the team. All working from wherever we like, at our one times living our lives in our own timezones. Some my team-mates, i have never met in person (yet). None of us is in the same city with another. And that works amazingly so far. Scaling is going to be a challenge i guess. Companies like Buffer and people like Joel Gascoigne make this challenge feel more doable though.
As you can tell, remote working is not really a choice you make. Remote work will choose you. When you can’t even breath living everyday of your working life between the same four walls of a cubicle and 8–5 feels like a prison, you simply have no alternative.
When you can’t find the job of your dreams, you should create it. It’s painful and requires a stomach made of steal, but if you are built for that you won’t have to ask yourself twice.
If you are thinking to go that route, make sure you are doing it because feels just normal. Don’t do it because it’s a trend and sounds nice or you will soon regret it.
In life do “you”, everyone else is taken.