When I first founded The Lost Executive Ltd, I was able to guarantee it would be a success. Originally a travel and hospitality blog, I knew that it would either work or I would be screwed. Like many entrepreneurs it was a do-or-die approach.
During the company’s early days, it’s core principles were forged in the fires of hope and desperation. There were no time for luxuries and we kept only what worked. The result was a machine that was lean, light and above all scrappy.
Bootstrapping the business created a momentum focussed on service delivery to our clients and organic business growth. Many of the fundamental lessons, that would shape our primary principles were defined at this point. Essentially carved in stone by the sheer force with which we learnt them. They say that the best lessons leave the deepest scars and this tireless momentum had us crashing through many barriers. .
I can’t use the analogy of “jumping over hurdles”, as we generally didn’t bother, if we couldn’t smash through something, we just took a couple of steps back and tried again. Eventually we learnt how to dodge the heavier barriers while not losing pace, but it takes a special sort of team to keep a business strong, flexible and occasionally crazy enough to just keep running at a target.
During this period we established the principle of universal grunt work, where the whole team has to contribute their fair share. Anyone who didn’t actively earn their place on the team was left behind.
ENTER DIGITAL NOMADS
A digital nomad is someone who travels and works from their laptop (or other devices) from wherever they are. These nomads function in every sort of industry from architecture through to engineering, product sales through to editorial. Digital nomads are resourceful and light footed, innovative and determined to live the life they want.
Being essentially a digital nomad myself, it was a breath of fresh air to find an entire community of similarly minded people available and hungry for opportunities. People with the most extraordinary skillsets and experiences, willing to provide services, advice and encouragement regarding my business. I recruited on Facebook predominantly, making use of the numerous groups where people are actively looking for opportunities and found that this sort of recruitment is efficient and quick and perfectly suited for businesses looking for target orientated staff.
Equipped with their own laptops, mobile phones, WhatsApp and Emails the overheads of working with a team of remote sales people, editors, designers and researchers is a fraction of what it costs to run a bricks-and-mortar office. Most of the overheads that do exist are there to support the team mates that you work with. Furthermore, when you are in an office environment recruitment is available mostly from a local pool of talent, whereas our virtual office recruits from the entire globe and allows us to focus on experience, talent and above all attitude.
My business doesn’t have staff members or employees. The TLE team are just that, team mates, professionals that run their own “virtual offices”. Instead of micromanaging people around hours worked, I would rather help them hit their targets.
As the TLE team is target driven from the start, those with experience will always meet their targets faster, others take some time to learn the tricks of the trade, but whether it takes them eight hours a day or two, doesn’t concern me. This environment also creates a platform for people to determine their own level of ambition. I do not require overly ambitious people to scale up The Lost Executive Ltd, but for those with their sights on higher goals find a perfect environment to grow and develop. Even if I say so myself, I think this makes my business more immediately scalable than some.
And, with each member regularly assessing themselves on how they can hit their target faster means that my business has evolved and grown. Opening new doors and opportunities for everyone involved. We entered 2019 with one magazine, we’re entering 2020 with two and will hit 2021 with as many as five in a variety of different industries each with their own readerships and audience. And this is just the start.
FREEDOM AND DEDICATION
Freedom comes with responsibility. Being a digital nomad requires an entrepreneurial focus, a dedication to targets, your business and your clients. It uniquely attracts those determined to do the big and small jobs needed to have the life and income that they deserve.
It encourages thinking outside of the box and to look at how you live your life and make a living in a new perspective. To be aware of new technologies to make your career easier to excel at without adding extra hours. The quintessential “work to live and not living to work” principle.
I communicate daily with my team via WhatsApp and am often jealous of where they’re working from. Ranging from their home offices to coffee houses, beachside resorts and safaris. One of our primary principles is, “Here is your target, work from wherever you like.”
The freedom that comes with being a digital nomad has an empowering effect on the team’s personal happiness. The freedom of controlling their lives and how they approach reaching their targets. Each of us is accountable for our happiness and not subject to the whims of micromanaging managers.
Free of the bureaucracy and gossip of an office environment I have witnessed my team flourish and grow. The TLE team have evolved in their roles coming up with amazing ideas and suggestions, creating a natural progression as they have taken ownership of their part in this business.
THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL NOMADS
In a world where technology is making our lives easier, digital nomads are the kings and queens of the future. Those envious world travellers who combine career success and satisfaction with life goals and joy. Growing their careers and working their bucket lists in the limited amount of time we all have on this planet.
Now, we work not for a living, but for a lifestyle.
*The great cover image is by Matthias Zeitler