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How to become a Location-Independent Entrepreneur with Stephanie Smolders and Peter Beukering

Serial entrepreneurs, Stephanie Smolders and Peter Beukering, are the founders of BeeHavesocial and Touristexclusive. Consultants on business and marketing, they help mission-driven entrepreneurs scale their business with an aligned foundation and marketing strategy that works for them.

Stephanie is a firm believer of injecting personality in business and encourages business owners to design a marketing strategy that prioritizes their natural flow. She has helped +200 companies internationally with their marketing strategy and funnels.

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Luis:

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the DistantJob podcast. This is another episode of your podcast about building and leading awesome remote teams. And I am your usual host, Luis. With me today are Stephanie and Peter.

Luis:

Stephanie Smolders  and Peter Beukering are digital nomads and entrepreneurs. They are the founders of Beehavesocial and TravelExclusives, and independent coaches, consultants on business and marketing. They have worked from 34 countries, clocked almost a year at hotels around the world, and they were, in previous lives, working as teachers.

Luis:

Stephanie was working as a teacher in Belgium, and Peter did sales, and taught physics in the Netherlands, so this is going to be quite a ride, I think. Welcome to the podcast, Stephanie, Peter.

Peter:

Oh thank you, Luis, for having us. It’s a joy to be here.

Luis:

Yeah.

Stephanie:

Thank you for having us. It’s always crazy to hear our own story by someone else’s words.

Luis:

Yeah. I hope we’ll get to see your story from your words, a bit, on this podcast. But that, actually, it really looks like, the past four years have been a period of a lot of activity for both of you.

Luis:

I mean, reading about what you’ve done in the last four years sounds like more stuff than many other people have done in the last 14 years, right? So, what catalyzed this change? What made you go, I think it was 2016, what made you go into overdrive, let’s say?

Peter:

More than one thing that sort of started the travel. So, like you mentioned, we had pretty basic jobs before we left. I was in corporate, I was actually at the director level, Stephanie was teaching, and because we had different types of jobs, I was away a majority of the time. So we had the weekends, to meet up and do fun stuff.

Peter:

So about twice a month, I would say biweekly, we would either take a car, or the plane, and go somewhere to enjoy two days together, because during the week we wouldn’t see each other. And at a certain point, we got so tired with living for those free moments, that we decided, “Hey, what if we would just travel all the time, instead of just being away two weekends a month, and then maybe once a year, have a big two-, three-week holiday? And what could we do remotely, that would earn us some money?”

Peter:

And luckily, we had some cash saved up, so we could go on what almost was a year-long holiday, without having to need to think about money. That would give us about one year to think about a way to earn money, and then go from there.

Peter:

So that was the start, I guess, of yeah, an idea, trying to escape from nine to five living, dream chasing, maybe, a little bit. So that was the start. We went with it, took the ups and downs of traveling with both arms, embraced it. And we’re still traveling. Four years down the road, we’re still doing it.

Luis:

Awesome, oh, awesome. So Stephanie, do you have anything to add?

Stephanie:

I think part of what Peter says is, has been the big catalyst, but also, we didn’t want to live the traditional lifestyle that we had before. Having what we saw our friends doing, getting a house, starting a family, although is, in my eyes, traditional things, that was not something that I was looking forward to.

Stephanie:

So it was also kind of a way for me to escape that a little bit, I think. Plus we both had some friends our age die, unfortunately, and that really pushed us over the edge to sell all our stuff, put our cars on the market, let go of our house and our apartment, and really start to live this travel lifestyle.

Stephanie:

I already had a side business while teaching, so for me, it was easy to pick that up and make that full-time. So that really helped us, in order to really fast track and make that decision, into going completely with a location independent lifestyle.

Luis:

That was the marketing business, the marketing, consulting and coaching business?

Stephanie:

Yes. I was already a freelance marketeer on the side, and when I was 18 I founded, together with a partner, not Peter, but someone else, I founded an events company as well. And I still had a part of that. I have an advisory role there as well.

Stephanie:

So I had the chance to sell that part, and then use that as a way to hone my marketing skills a little bit more with the events company, some other clients, that came into our lives. And then, I basically started our career, well, at least, my career started there.

Luis:

Oh, awesome. Awesome. So Peter mentioned that during this year, how you had your savings, and you had Stephanie’s marketing consulting business, but while traveling, you came up with, and you launched a couple of businesses. So what was the process behind that?

Luis:

And I really am thinking about the logistics here. Because, for most people, traveling really takes up most of their energy and attention, right? And at the same time, you’re coming up with business plans, with business models, building websites, contracting with people, et cetera, et cetera.

Luis:

How did you juggle all of this? What are some methods that you, well, some strategies that you used, to put some method to the madness, to get some order out of the chaos?

Stephanie:

I think we are both very passionate. And we’re very driven with what we want to bring to the world, which is our mission, our vision, or a kind of lifestyle. And we travel a lot, but we have quite a good schedule and time management system. At least, on my part, that helps me quite a lot.

Stephanie:

Peter is just super flexible and chill in everything, and I’m the one who gets a little bit crazy, like you say. So the combination of the both of us made for a really good team. So we have each our own individual tasks that we do. So Peter really focuses a lot on travel, and arranging all the travel things, finding the flights, booking the hotels, making sure we have all the connections ready, and stuff like that.

Stephanie:

While I, in the beginning, focused on getting clients, helping with building the website, doing some project management. And Peter would help in that, as well, and I would help with travel, but we had each our own section of tasks that we were really good at. So we would divide on our strengths, and give each other the freedom to just arrange things.

Stephanie:

Like, I wouldn’t control what kind of hotel we were going to, or either what flight we were going to have. He just arrange all the things, and I would make sure I show up on time, and vice versa. We would have something for business, or our website needed to be done, or a team meeting needed to be in order. I would just put it in our calendar, and Peter would show up at the right time.

Luis:

Awesome. So Peter, anything to add to that?

Peter:

I think, looking back at, especially the first year, we traveled full-time. Looking at the lifestyle we have today, I honestly don’t know how we did it, the first year.

Luis:

That’s a good answer.

Peter:

But it’s true. And the first year, we had a crazy travel schedule. So we would fly almost every single week. I don’t know the exact number, off the top of my head, but I think, the first year, we had roughly around 40 flights. And almost every single flight included all our luggages, which was four suitcases and two bags.

Stephanie:

Carrying ons, yeah.

Peter:

Or bags, yeah. So that’s six pieces of luggage we had to carry on every flight, almost every single week, checking in, checking out, getting into taxis that most often wouldn’t fit all our stuff, finding hotels, trying to discover an area or a country, in five or six days, and then onto the next one. So that was a very, very hectic period.

Peter:

And looking back now, it was maybe a bit much. We did a lot, we saw a lot. We had a little bit more freedom than we have now, because we had less constraints, and we didn’t have employees at that time that were depending also on us, which we have now. So it was a little bit different than now.

Peter:

And as we went, we had some ideas for businesses. Like Stephanie mentioned, she had been in business prior to traveling. I had a few different director jobs, working in operations, so I knew a lot about both finance, sales, business models, and that kind of stuff.

Peter:

So, ideas from Stephanie and myself, we could easily translate into, “Okay, how can we sort of try and scale that?What are the opportunities?”

Luis:

Right.

Peter:

And that’s how the first few things started to take shape. That was also the period when we started to share more about our travels on social media, which we didn’t really do in the start. And due to the nature of our travel, because it’s more on the luxury end, we got an audience pretty quickly.

Peter:

I think it was a half year down the road, when we traveled, that was when we got our first, maybe 40,000 followers or something. We got a thing it in a matter of months, from starting to share that. And that’s when we said, “Hey, how can we monetize this? How can we use that to our advantage, the fact that we now have an audience?”

Peter:

So that we reached a point where we didn’t have to pay for hotels every time, where we just needed to announce that we were coming, and then we would be offered to get either discounts, or free nights, or free foods. So all of a sudden, the budget for traveling dropped. So yeah, that was the start of the first-

Luis:

So, does that just happen? Or did you have to do some kind of marketing thing, just sending pitches to hotels, saying, “Hey, guys, we’re this traveling couple, we have 40,000 followers, et cetera, would you like to sponsor us?” Or does it just happen, that people already know you, and they offer you the stuff by themselves?

Peter:

At first, it was that way. We had to actively look for, yeah, for these deals, and we would rarely get them. So I would say, maybe 10 or 20% of the total hotel nights that we did, over the past four years, have been sponsored in some way, 80%-90% of the hotels that we stay at are still paid by ourselves. And the same goes for flights, and that kind of stuff.

Stephanie:

You definitely have to do marketing. It doesn’t just come.

Peter:

Yeah.

Stephanie:

You have to sell a brand, and an experience, and it’s not just, “Oh, we’ll make you some pictures.” I don’t believe in that, and I’m in marketing, and I do these kinds of things. So that’s advertised like that, that it’s easy, and you just build an audience, and then you start from there, and that’s it.

Stephanie:

But it’s actually a lot of work, and one of our businesses is running a travel website, and keeping up with that travel website, making the content, the articles, the photos, the marketing for it, that’s a full-time job in itself. And I used to run that, but then I gave my baby to Peter, to now, he’s making this into an even bigger thing that it already is. But it’s definitely a business, and it’s definitely a lot of work actually, to be honest.

Luis:

Yeah, it does look like, I mean, I’ve been, most of my background is in content producing. And producing content is a lot of work, especially if it’s not just throwaway content, things that people actually want to read and engage with. So that’s definitely true.

Luis:

I want to go back a bit to the ideas part, right? When you were traveling and having these business ideas, and I’m not sure I got the count right, because you only see the ideas that succeed, not the ideas that fail.

Luis:

So just looking at, glancing at your LinkedIns, it seems that over the past four years, you’ve started some six businesses at least, right? So I’m curious about, what is your process for vetoing your ideas or maybe even testing them, before you decide you’re going to go all in on them?

Peter:

Well, at first, the first part is testing whether or not it’s achievable, going through the numbers, and learning as much as you can about an industry. Because most of the times, we en up working in an industry we’ve never worked in before, or we knew nothing about.

Peter:

So first stages is doing research, checking, “Okay, has this been done before? If yes, is there an opportunity within that market, to see another player enter? Could it potentially make money? How much upfront capital do I need, if any?” So that’s sort of the initial stage.

Peter:

Most of the stuff, especially if you look at my LinkedIn, it’s stuff that we didn’t start ourselves. It’s stuff that we got invested in, at some point. So that’s slightly different.

Peter:

But yeah, the initial stage is, just trying to figure out where to another it can, it can work. And as the creator of the idea, you’re always too optimistic, and you need to put it down on paper. You need to create a solid business model or business plan, a financial model, and have other people look at it, that maybe know the industry better, and tell you, “Hey, you’re onto something,” or not.

Peter:

And then, gather as much information from different people, so you get feedback, and based on the feedback, you can determine whether or not you want to continue with that idea. You’ll always have… [crosstalk 00:14:25] Yeah, go ahead.

Luis:

How do you weigh that feedback? Because, so, I’ve met a lot of people who run businesses, and when it comes down to it, the majority of people tell them it’s a bad idea, right?

Peter:

Yes.

Luis:

You usually have, whenever you have an idea for a business, you will get more nays than ayes. So how do you weigh that feedback?

Peter:

I think that works differently for a Stephanie then it does for me.

Luis:

Well, let’s have this, and let’s have your vote.

Peter:

Yes. Stephanie is more the emotional side, so she can share some ways of how she works with that, but I’m more the rational person. So the way I look at feedback is, what part of the feedback is based on facts, knowledge, experience, what can I take from that? What can I learn from that? How can I adapt that knowledge to what I know myself?

Peter:

And if you listen to enough people, you’ll be able to filter what is truth, and what is, maybe jealousy or ignorance, maybe, in some cases. So if you talk to 10 experts in a certain field, and nine of the 10 tell you, “Hey, this part of your plan is incomplete.”

Peter:

Or, “It will not work, because of these and these and these reasons, that are based on facts or experiences,” maybe they’ve tried it themselves in a certain way, then you need to look into a mirror and say, “Okay, 90% of the experts I’ve spoken to tell me that this is a bad idea, because of these and these reasons.”

Peter:

If they don’t give a reason, or they don’t have experience in that exact version of your business, then you need to take it with a grain of salt. So that’s how you filter that okay, “What negative feedback is vital to determining whether or not my business is worth giving a go or not?”

Luis:

So Stephanie, what about the emotional part?

Stephanie:

Yeah. So for me, that’s very different than how Peter does it. He can just look at the feedback that came and be like, “Oh, I will take this, and we’ll make it even better.” And I’m just an emotional mess when that happens.

Stephanie:

So I learned over the years now, that if I have an idea, I will not share it with the world, until I feel very comfortable with my own idea. It’s put out on paper. I’ve had all the options, I’ve looked at all the things that I can possibly come up with.

Stephanie:

And then I have two or three people in my life, and Peter is one of those, that I will pitch my idea to, for my business, or a new strategy, or whatever, and it’s very limited the amount of people I share it with. Once it is done and it is ready, only then I will share it with other people.

Stephanie:

So for me that works differently. I still value people’s feedback, but not just anyone. I need to have a personal connection with them, and I need to be able to trust them with their opinion, and the way that they communicate things to me, without me falling apart if something happens.

Stephanie:

And I learned this over the years. While Peter says I’m, I’m emotional, I take, I think I used to take things very personal. And for me, business is very personal. Everything that I do in my business is very connected with who I am and what I do.

Stephanie:

While for Peter, and we have this talk, we actually had a talk yesterday in bed about this. He can just, he sees business as something separate from him, and for me it is one and the same thing, which is, it’s a learning experience to do this thing together. And we’ve worked on businesses, and we still do, on businesses together.

Stephanie:

So that’s always very interesting, because we have these deep conversations, and sometimes, discussions about the way that we do business, or the way that we want to move forward, or change something. And it definitely has learned me, or taught me a lot.

Luis:

All right. So on the part of learning a lot, since you’ve started this journey in the 2016, it’s been, it’s almost four years now. So what pain or things have you changed your mind the most about, since you started this journey? Or, I mean, what were some expectations that you had started, that were dissolved by the process that you did, you realized, that that was not how things worked, or were going to work?

Stephanie:

I think, for me, the thing that opened my eyes the most was the fact, how easy it is to start a business that you want. And that if you’re not happy with your business anymore, you can just decide to close it down, sell it, do something else, pip it. Yu don’t have to decide something today, and that’s going to be your business for the next 30 years.

Stephanie:

It can be, and for some people, that is the case. But for me, that was not the case. And I had a business early on, and I was like, “Oh, this is going to be the only thing I’m ever going to do.”

Stephanie:

And then, I was in marketing freelance when I was like, “Oh, this is the only thing I’m ever going to do, because I’m good at it, it pays good money, so that’s kind of the end.” Well, going through this process for years, and being with so many different people, seeing so many cultures…

Stephanie:

Being with so many different people, seeing so many cultures, the travel and the business together makes this incredible learning experience. So I have seen how easy it can be having a business, traveling, doing the things that you want to do, it can be easier than you initially expect it to be.

Peter:

In the end, business is very… It’s not complicated. It’s fairly easy. Most businesses fail not due to a lack of quality or being in the wrong market at the wrong time. It’s a lack of effort that has most businesses fail. And the key to success in business is not how good your product is. A great product can be very unsuccessful if it’s not performed by the right team or managed by the right team. And the other way around. A really bad product can be very successful given to the right people.

Peter:

And to answer Stephanie, you realize how easy the steps are when you do it more often. It’s like looking at video clips of people jumping off big rocks into the ocean. When you look at these videos, you’re like, wow, that seems cool. And it’s the same with business. You look at other people studying business and you’re like, Oh, that looks cool. Let me give that a try.

Peter:

So you walk up the rock and you stand at the edge of the rock and you look at the sea and it’s maybe 20 meters down and you’re like, this is scary. I’m not going to jump. I’m not going to give this a go. And you go back or either you jump, you land in the water and you’re like, what you know actually was not that bad. The jump was less scary than I thought when I was up there. You climb out of the water, you climb back up to the rock, and now you know what to expect. So the second time you jump, it’s easier. You do it again and again and again. It becomes easier every single time. And now other people are at the sideline watching you climb the rock, jump into the sea from 20 meters, and they’re like, wow, that looks cool. I want to give that to try too.

Peter:

With business, that’s the exact same thing. It’s not complicated. It’s very easy steps, but have to determination to give it a try. Learn from the mistakes that you make and do it again and try it again and again and again until you feel comfortable and becomes second nature.

Luis:

So I mean for the people starting out, what are those steps?

Peter:

Step one is embrace mistakes. That is the key feature of being successful in business. If you don’t try, then you will never fail. You will never learn because it’s the moments that you fail that you learn. You don’t learn from being successful. You learn from making mistakes. I always compared with a jigsaw puzzle. If you have a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle in front of you and you have the outline done, but you never try a new piece, the puzzle is never going to be finished.

Peter:

But if you try a new piece, well probably not be the right piece the first time you pick it up. But you try different pieces until you find the right piece for the puzzle. And then the next time you need a piece, you’ll have one less piece to solve in the puzzle. So you need to embrace the fact that you are trying something and that you fail, but that’s okay. Now you know what not to do next time you will do it better. And during the course of a business, every single new business has that. Even very experienced people go through these.

Luis:

Yeah. It just happens that when the business fails, no one puts it on the LinkedIn history, right?

Stephanie:

Yeah. You don’t see that.

Luis:

No, you don’t. Yeah,

Peter:

Yeah. But it’s also the process within a business itself. It’s not the business completely failing, but it’s trying different markets, trying different types of clients, different marketing strategies, different alterations of your products. If you don’t try, you will not improve and you’ll not get better or learn.

Luis:

Absolutely.

Peter:

And that is very scary at first to embrace sort of those mistakes. So what I always tell people is, you either win some or you’ll learn some, you never lose. The moment you lose, it’s when you don’t learn from your mistakes.

Luis:

That’s a nice one. I would add, if I may, that the wins count more than the losses, right? So I failed that most of the things that I’ve tried to do in business and content, but the wins really matter, right? Even if you lose more often than win, usually you get more from the wins than you lose from the losses. And I’m doing air quotes on an audio show. So that’s a loss.

Peter:

Yeah. The trick in the mindset is to see both as a win. But in one win, it’s the success that you had in mind and in the other, it’s not the success that you had in mind, but you learn something and that has value because that means it becomes easy the next time to win.

Peter:

And it’s a tricky thing to put your mind around, but if you embrace those mistakes and you dare to try, and when you make those mistakes, you look back and say, wow, I made this mistake, but I learned all these things. This is the value that that mistake had. And that is what I’m taking away from that experience. And in the contrast to that, most people will not do that. They’ll look at their mistakes and they’ll tell themselves, I’m a failure. I should have never tried it. It was bad, people were right. And the majority of people do that.

Peter:

But if you can set your mindset in such a way that you look at the positives from your mistakes and take your winnings from there. Every single step that you do will feel like a win because you know you’re taking steps forward.

Luis:

Yeah, yeah. that is definitely a good, a good point. So Stephanie would you like to add anything?

Stephanie:

The only thing I would add is a more technical thing. Is that you have to not be afraid to invest in yourself and in your business. So whatever step you’re taking, make sure that you have the skills either in-house, in a team, or you up your own skills in order to be able to talk about stuff. So for marketing, for example, if you’re starting a business and you have no idea how to do marketing, invest in a course, watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, whatever it takes to up your own value because you’re basically adding value to yourself, which means you’re adding value to your business or investing in tools or systems or whatever is going to help you move the needle in your business. Take that step and then evaluate how that’s going after a month, two months, three months, and then you can still either go another route, stop the tool, whatever it is. But at least you invested and you took that step to move on step further in your business process.

Luis:

All right. That is also good advice.

Luis:

So let’s talk a bit about your team and your remote team since you mentioned people in your team. So I mean obviously remote work is at the core of your business. Yeah.

Stephanie:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Luis:

Your whole team is remote. All of the areas of your businesses are handled remotely. So how do you manage this? How do you manage the team? Take me through, let’s say, take me through your typical day and then your typical week. How do you manage the meetings? How do you get everyone on the same page? How do you feel? How as everyone is feeling, how do you assign tasks, the whole thing? How does your day start?

Stephanie:

Okay, so in general, when we were at the peak with the agency to give you a little bit of a backstory, we had a marketing agency where we were with six people, ourselves included. We actually, in December, we decided to stop the agency and me going more into consultancy and Peter is going to take his expertise into another business that he’s now building. So from six we went to two employees and to two of us. So we’re at four at the moment and everything that we do is shared by everyone in the team and we each have our own little expertise or status or whatever we call ourselves that that is your thing that you have to accomplish that you’re responsible for. So we gave everyone the responsibility to act as if this is your own. This is for me, but for Peter, but also for our two full time employees.

Stephanie:

So can I start with the week first because that makes it easier because we have not, we have batch days. I do all the project managements and stuff.

Stephanie:

Yeah. Every Monday is business day. Which means we do our team meetings, we do one general team meeting on Zoom, just a video call with everyone included. It’s always on Monday on the same time, even if we are traveling, even if the team is traveling, it is that same time no matter what time zone you’re in, so you have to commit to that. Also, for us, sometimes it’s in the middle of the night or really early in the morning, but we committed to that to making sure that the team is always on one. That’s the first thing we do Monday morning.

Stephanie:

And then we have individual either cluster meetings. Peter works with one of our team members on one project. I work one with one of our team members on another project, but also in between we work with each other, so we have that on Monday. And we use, for example, Wednesday for me is a time to check in with how far are we with content marketing? How far are we with everything that’s related to graphic design and all those things? How is that going? So I check in with them on Wednesday.

Stephanie:

And on Friday. It’s just a Roundup. What are the administrative tasks that we still need to do? What are the loose ends in the business that we need to accomplish before the weekends? We have no fixed schedule for any of us. No, not for the team members. Not for us so they can work whenever, wherever, how long they want. As long as the task or the goals, it’s not per se tasks. We give them a goal and they take responsibility in order to achieve that goal however they see fit. So this has definitely been a process because you have to completely let go of control and trust the best will happen. But that’s how a week look like. And a day, like I said [crosstalk 00:30:56]

Luis:

Well, before we go into the day, I have a couple of questions, if I may.

Stephanie:

Yeah sure.

Luis:

So can you give me an example of the goals that you’ve set and what are the kinds of… When the goals aren’t met, what’s your process for dealing with that?

Stephanie:

Okay, very clear question.

Stephanie:

So I’ll give you a very recent example. I was launching content planners. Digital content plannters that my audience or my new audience can buy. So the content planners needed to be graphically designed. The sales page needed to be done. All the marketing, material strategy, all the things that come to it needed to be done. So we assign goals as to, okay, marketing wise, everything that falls onto your marketing goes to one or two people. Everything that falls onto the technical side, making sure that the payments are set up, making sure that everything is working besides that project goes to another person. And that is just assigned in a Monday meeting. We just say, okay, this month we’re going to focus on this. This is the end result that I want to see. I make it very clear how I want to have it done, but they can fill in their own creativity. If they’re like, Oh I want to write more an article about this or I want to make graphics around that or I want to do… Whatever ideas they have. I let that come in into my end vision as well.

Stephanie:

And this was originally planned to launch end of December. We are now first week January when we’re recording this and it wasn’t done until two days ago. Which was out of deadline by a week, more or less. But I have, and we both have, have an open policy of communication. So if we feel that something is not going to get ready because we are over ambitious, which me, I’m that. Peter is that way. Within our team, they know that, that we are over ambitious.

Stephanie:

So they communicated to us being, hey we are 80% done with the goal that we put out for each other but we feel that this is not going to get done. Can we talk about moving the date to another date and adjust the strategy for that. And just because we leave it open that way, we both as a team came to the realization that it might be easier and more flexible if we move it by just a few dates.

Stephanie:

Which I can just communicate to, if we already started with doing a marketing, I can just communicate to people saying, Hey, we were over ambitious things happen in business because I take the open communication from behind the scenes also in front of the audience. And it’s something I value a lot and it’s something we actually had to train our team members in to be that open and be that bold to say, Hey, you’re vision that’s really great, but I don’t think that’s going to work. So then it’s just a mutual decision to change things and to make sure that it still happens, but it happens within the facility or the structure that we’ve set out to do.

Luis:

Sounds great. Thank you for the detailed example. Do you have anything to add Peter?

Peter:

Not so much per se when it comes into the process, but in general, running a remote team. First of all, I think it’s the future of business. I have a lot of friends that are starting new businesses that have been very successful in the past. I’ve one example of a guy who started the company in Silicon Valley, did hundreds of millions in revenue and then stepped down as CEO, hired somebody else so that he can let a business run itself and he can start on something new. And he also understood that remote business, it’s the future.

Peter:

So we actually started a banking app. Which is a very traditional type of business because we think as banks, as ones that need offices and that kind of stuff. But this whole team is remote and he actually hired people from existing banks, big banks, and he said, Hey look, I’m starting this new venture. There is funding, there is money, and this is the philosophy of the company.

Peter:

So everybody works remote. They don’t have an office. They work from wherever. And we shared that same philosophy where, regardless of the size of your business, regardless what field you’re in, the benefits of working remotely for teams is huge. When people can decide when to work and how to work, it relieves them from stress, especially those with families. They don’t have to think about how to schedule around maybe picking kids up from school and whatsoever. So they can just do their work, pick the kids up from school, do their groceries at the time that is convenient for them, go back home and finish on their work. So personal life is the center piece and work is built around. It’s not the other way around.

Peter:

It’s not work where you have to build your private life around. So the productivity, the loyalty, and the willingness of the people that are working for you in an environment where that is supported and shared upon, the benefits are huge because they are so much more productive and loyal. So you spend less money into trying to find new people when people want to leave the company or you spend less time in covering for people that are calling in sick because they’re too stressed. Usually they’re more productive. Which means in the same amount of hours they can perform way better without us giving them pressure. I don’t feel that we are giving pressure to our employees. But they feel that, Hey, I have this great opportunity to take ownership of certain projects. I want it to be good. When we hire people, we look for ambitious people with entrepreneurial spirits that bring something to the table. We want people to know more than we do of something because if as a business owner, if you’re the smartest people on the table, you hired the wrong people.

Luis:

I actually agree with that. I’ve said that many times on the podcast. I’m on you. I’m with you on that.

Luis:

That’s actually opens up a door to something else that I wanted to ask. So you say that you want to hire entrepreneurial people, ambitious people. And I’ve also found that obviously you want people to have the technical capacity for the job that you’re hiring. But what I found out more and more over the time is that not all people are suited to working remotely. As [inaudible 00:37:56] it sounds, some people just thrive in the office. In the way that they don’t thrive at home or at the coworking space or something like that.

Luis:

So I actually wanted to ask you since you were going into what you look for in hiring, have you found out some traits and skills that seem to make for someone who works better when they’re working remotely? What is your criteria knowing that you’re hiring someone that’s going to work from home or from a space that’s not an office, what is your criteria for figuring out, okay, this person will work well under these conditions or not?

Peter:

I don’t think there is criteria that you look for. Because it’s a relatively new thing and especially when you’re hiring people from areas that don’t have the luxury of working remotely. Say if you hire from Europe or the U.S there is quite a few companies that are starting to do that, right? But if you need corporate type of jobs being done, but you hire from maybe Southeast Asia or South America, then very often that’s not the case. They don’t have that experience. So you just need to give them a chance, give them a couple months to prove it, that they can do it. Look at the outputs, how are they performing? And if it works out, great. If they need more support in a way, you can give that, give them a little bit more time.

Peter:

Eventually, one example of one person that has worked for us about six months, we had to let go because we noticed that she wasn’t meeting deadlines. Even though we were trying to sort of support her and give her all the tools necessary. Talk a lot with our employees on, okay, how can we improve as an employer? What do you need? Is there anything we can support you with? We always provide that, but at a certain point it needs to be a return. And if that’s not provided, then sadly we need to let those people go. But one trade that personally I look for, is that that entrepreneurial spirit. Knowing that people that work in our company have the ambition to make.

Peter:

Knowing that people that work in our company have the ambition to maybe start their own company. And a lot of people ask us, “Well, if you know they want to start your own company, aren’t you afraid they’re maybe going to steal your ideas or they’re going to leave? And then you’ve invested all that money into getting these people?” And the simple answer is no, I’m not afraid. Because when you give people these opportunities, they will grab it with both hands because they know this is my chance to learn a lot about doing business, learning a lot about maybe a certain field and get all these opportunities to take ownership of projects. And what we found is that people tend to stay longer because they know, okay, “Maybe if I stay a little bit longer, I can learn a few more things so that I don’t make the mistakes in my own business.”

Peter:

They run twice as hard because they know the meaning of ownership of projects and that’s sort of the quality that we’re looking for. And we support those people. If people want to have ownership over projects or they have ideas that could benefit one of our businesses, we tell them, “Put it down on paper, work it out, and we’ll assign you a budget to make it work and we’ll support wherever we can.” I think people with those mindsets are not supported enough worldwide and we need more of those people. So, in the end it’s a win, win. We have people that are ambitious, that dare to take mistakes, that take the company to the next level and when we let them go, we know we did our job. They did theirs. We look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the next venture.

Luis:

Nice. That’s a great point. Thank you for sharing that. And it’s really, I especially like the part where you actually tell people that if they come up with the plan, you will actually support them in the pursuit of that plan. If you think it makes sense, obviously. So, I want to move on to some Rapid- Fire questions to finish off the podcast, but before, I wanted to ask Stephanie if she has anything to add about the hiring process.

Stephanie:

Peter and I hire on a different level and whether it’s a creative position, I hire people. Whether it’s more strategic or technical, then Peter hires it. So we also assign that in order to our own strengths so that it’s easier for us to spot if they will work closely… If it’s a creative position, they will probably work more closely with me and vice versa. And something that I look for in when I get resumes or when I put job positions out, is I ask something quirky or weird in the hiring process for them to do in order to see if they have that fun spirit in them or I ask them to do a personality test in advance and then make me a collage or whatever of what kind of person they are, for example… Those kinds of things. It might take a little bit more time and the process of hiring might be longer, but I definitely get more people. I get less applicants, but the ones that I get are highly vetted upfront because I asked something that’s not normal.

Luis:

Oh yes. That’s a good point. And actually since you went there, about the separation from the creative and technical, I actually want to ask… I want to go back a bit to goals and management. Because what I found out, is that it’s much easier to manage and to trust people who work remotely when they are in technical roles versus creative roles. And what do I mean by that? I mean that it’s a lot harder to measure creativity output. So, when you’re building content, let’s say for marketing, that’s your area of expertise and I like to think of it, mine as well. This, for example, this podcast is a pretty great measurable act of content creation, because I know that I’m going to spend one to two hours researching the guests. Then I’m going to spend an hour to an hour and a half recording the show and then it’s relatively easy to predict how long the editing and publishing and all of that is going to take.

Luis:

So you know, that’s fine. That’s an example of a creative work that’s very easily measurable across all stakeholders. But when we’re talking about something like building a landing page for a new product, that usually involves me for copy and overseeing, and Q & A involves an artist, involves someone else in the team, for promotion and et cetera and, or something like building an email chain, right? An email drip campaign. Those are things where I can see myself, not even talking about the employees. The time I take on that can vary widely, depending on the day and the content and stuff like that. I need… I’ve come up with email drip campaigns, ones that I was really satisfied in two hours. And sometimes, I remember a case where I think, a couple of females for sales and that took me like two weeks until I got right.

Stephanie:

Yes.

Luis:

So it’s really hard to… When you’re doing that, you know that you are doing, but it’s really hard to measure that when someone else in your team is doing it. Especially when you see them, how they’re having a go at it every day for a couple of weeks. So how do you solve this dilemma? How do you, I mean at some point you’re working with people for so long that you develop trust, but until you develop that trust, how do you work with this?

Stephanie:

I feel your pain, I definitely can relate to how that feels like. So what I do, if I give something creative and open, like making an email sequence or a sales page for example, at least I’ve had to do it myself first. Not per se that particular email campaign, but in general I have an average idea how much hours I’m going to spend on it, in average. So I have a clear goal to give to that person in charge saying, “I do around 10 hours on this, so my flexible deadline is going to be 20 hours. I give you the double of what I would normally do because I understand you’ll have to understand how I work.” What I try to get and I try to have as much templates and automated stuff done in advance.

Stephanie:

So hey, I have templates in my email sequence builder that I have already so that I give to them saying, “This is the kind of idea that I’m looking for, more or less. This is the type of copywriting, this is the kind of email sequence that I normally have or that I normally make for clients. So I want something that’s similar but with your own input.” And I put little milestones in between the end result so they have to show me after five hours, for example, what they have done and they have to reflect for their self, “Okay, I’ve spent five hours on this, on a scale of zero or one to 10, how well do I perform for myself?”

Stephanie:

And I do the same for them. I give them a number, “I think this work from you is a six.” And they might give themselves an eight and then I open that conversation saying, “Okay, I see this as a six because, in my eyes, it’s missing this, this and this. So if you give yourself an eight, it’s very clear to me to see how you value your work and how we’re going to come to a seven which is the average of the both of us.”

Luis:

Nice. That’s a good structure. I see that there’s something from your years as a teacher there.

Stephanie:

Yes, I like to think so. I take that into everything that I do.

Luis:

All right, so let’s jump into some Rapid-Fire questions. I asked them Rapid-Fire, but you don’t need to answer them rapidly. Feel free to take as long and expand as much as you like. I’m going to take you one at a time. I hope both of you will have a different answer, but let’s see. If you had $100 or euros, I guess you’re more familiar with euros, if you had 100 euros to spend with each person working for you, what would you give them? And I specifically am looking for something in bulk, right? You need to give everyone, you can’t give them the money and you need to give everyone the same thing. So a general purpose you think for your team.

Stephanie:

Yes.

Peter:

Well, we’ll probably end up with the same answer.

Luis:

Okay.

Peter:

If we would have to give $100 in value to each and every single employee, it would probably something they could use in business and private. So that could be access to a website, for example, Skillshare, which they have by the way. But it would be something in that sense where they can improve on themselves and can implement that either in their lives by looking at courses on cooking, but they can also look at courses on coding to be better at stuff at work and a year subscription would roughly be that amount, so it would probably be something like that, for me at least.

Stephanie:

Yes. That was my first answer, but I want to say something different. For the team that we have now and Peter included, I would give noise canceling headphones to each one of them because it will make them more productive. They can also use it in their personal time and I know that the team would really benefit from this.

Luis:

Oh yes. I guess, that is a good point. This is a good point. In that vein I would like to pitch in with the suggestion for actually noise canceling microphones, right? That’s what I use, that’s what I’m using now. You don’t see me wearing a headset because I hate talking to people with stuff on my head. And the reason I can do that is because my microphone is directional and only captures my voice. It doesn’t capture what comes from my laptop. So that’s also, that is super comfortable if people can afford it.

Stephanie:

Yes, I think that would be my next step, if I was going to talk. I already talk a lot, hence ex teacher, but I think that’s a really good tip for Valentine’s day saying, “Hi Peter.”

Luis:

There you go.

Peter:

We already have that.

Luis:

So, I actually want to dig a bit on why specifically you mentioned Skillshare. You mentioned that your employees have it and that’s great, but why specifically Skillshare? Because there are so many options for learning in the market. Why did you decide to pick that one?

Peter:

Well, they, the simple answer is we had a collaboration with Skillshare.

Luis:

Oh nice.

Peter:

So yes, we were able to give that away, but before we actually did that, we were already considering. It just was handed on a silver plate to us when we were considering giving some kind of learning platform for free to our employees that would offer a wide range of different types of courses. And obviously there’s a lot of different options out there, right?

Luis:

Yes.

Peter:

But what I like particularly about Skillshare is its price points because it’s so affordable. It’s a little bit harder to find like the really good courses on there because there is so much. So you need to dig a little deeper to find the ones that are actually of higher quality. But the price point is really, really good. So it’s only a couple bucks a month and you get access to a lot where if you want to improve on the quality and variety you have to pay significantly more. So you either end up paying for courses separately, like on websites like Udemy or MasterClass. That’s where you pay either a significant amount more yearly or you have to pay for every single course separately. And when it comes to business, efficiency in cost is very important. So if you can get like 80% of the value for 20% of the price, then that’s the deal we go with and I think Skillshare meets that purpose.

Luis:

Got it. On that note, I will share with you for Valentine’s day some cheap noise canceling microphones so you can get 80% of the value.

Peter:

Yes.

Stephanie:

Yes.

Luis:

So, okay. What purchase for yourselves has made your work life easier or more productive in the past year?

Stephanie:

You should not so rapid in answers though. Peter, you can go for it.

Peter:

Yes. So I’ll give two answers.

Luis:

Sure.

Peter:

I’ll give a hardware and a software answer. Hardware, I invested in a higher range laptop which I had some troubles with at first and because we travel full time, it was really hard to get it repaired because it takes such a long time.

Luis:

Yes.

Peter:

But eventually when it was repaired, it works like a charm. It’s top of the line, top spec. So-

Luis:

What brand?

Peter:

… it’s fast. Sorry?

Luis:

What brand?

Peter:

An HP omen. So it’s technically a gaming laptop.

Luis:

Nice.

Peter:

But it has everything in it. What I want from a business laptop for a fraction of the price, what you would pay for an actual business laptop when you would go to, for example, Dell. So I wanted the best graphic cards, best processor, all that kind of stuff so I can do my job. And I can do it-

Luis:

That’s actually a great secret tip for when buying computers, get the gamer things because the gamer things are always better than the business things.

Peter:

Exactly, yes. So, for me that was a big investment that paid off. And then software wise, I got a really good deal on the full Adobe package.

Luis:

Oh nice.

Peter:

So, that is the biggest Adobe package that includes every single piece of software of Adobe. And I saw a promo going by once because I had the photography pack that includes Lightroom and Photoshop. And then one day, I get an email and it says, “Hey, you can upgrade to the full pack and it will cost you $29 instead of 70 something.” And then I didn’t do it and I regretted it. And then a month later, I got the same deal passing by and I took it. And it’s locked in forever. As long as you pay, it’s locked in forever. And now, we use 50% of the software in business. We use Photoshop, Lightroom, Acrobats. We use Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, InDesign, all that kind of stuff. We all use it. So, that’s a great investment in terms of-

Luis:

And it’s totally worth it, by the way. I mean, I’m going to have the links to your businesses and websites on the show notes so people can check it out. But when I was looking into your background for this show, something that really impressed me, is that you don’t really use a lot of stock photos. Most of the photos are of you two, the ones I found anyway. So, I guess-

Stephanie:

It’s all Peter.

Peter:

Yes.

Luis:

 the top investment paying off.

Stephanie:

Yes. It’s all Peter and oh, he’s completely self taught with editing and photography over the years and actually our first camera was a present for me. I never used it. It was actually a present he bought for himself.

Luis:

Nice.

Peter:

Yes.

Luis:

So what are yours, what is your answer, Stephanie?

Stephanie:

My answer is a software one and that is for my business. I invested in Kartra, which is an all in one software, website, sales pages, emails, membership, courses, all the things, all in one, all automated, all amazing. And that definitely saved me hours of figuring it all out with plugins on my website and stuff. So I actually, that is my biggest-

Luis:

 a WordPress plugin, integrates with WordPress… How does it work?

Stephanie:

It integrates with WordPress, it’s not the plugin. It’s a standalone product or service like ClickFunnels or Leadpages or stuff like that. But then instead of having all the different things and integrating that with Zapier or whatever, this has everything in one and it’s amazing and I love it. It’s not the cheapest option around, but because it’s all integrated into one, it talks to each other without you having all the technical issues. And it has so many pre-made templates. For your email sequence that you said, that’s hard, they have around 30 pre-made sequences that you can just plug and play and then arrange them according to what you want.

Luis:

Nice. All right. So, let’s talk about books. What book or books have you gifted the most or if you don’t give books, what book has influenced you the most?

Stephanie:

That’s the easy one. That’s the only easy question so far for me. For me, that would be the Alchemist from Paulo Coelho. It’s not a peasant book but it is, well Brazilian Portuguese writer, and-

Luis:

That is by the way, my most gifted book as well.

Stephanie:

Ah, nice. Yes. Everyone who is in direct, close connection with me, has to read that book. Otherwise, I don’t talk to them.

Luis:

Right. Why, by the way? I mean… Care to explain that?

Stephanie:

Yes, definitely. I love the story, how easy it is to read and it inspired my whole journey to where I am now and every time I’m in doubt of doing something different than the mainstream, I just take that book, open it somewhere and I read a few pages and I’m inspired again to take my own course and to follow my own dreams. So yes, it’s definitely a really easy one to get inspired to do you.

Luis:

Nice. What about you Peter?

Peter:

Lean Startup by Eric Ries. I think I took the most away from that because it talks about efficiency a lot, and when it comes to business, every second can count and turning around 180 degrees to walk away from something that’s not working and not be emotional about it and look at what the value was, even though it was a failure, that was very important and I think that made me in business more efficient and helped me make decisions faster and easier. Not only decisions that have to be made for the future, but also decisions that have something to do with the past. Cutting down projects, cutting down on clients maybe. Sometimes you work with a client and it turns out, hey, we’re a couple months down the line, but it’s not working. And then to be able to say, “Hey look, we have to stop this because it’s not working.” It can be very hard. Or, when you’re working on a project within your company, that has caused a lot of money.

Peter:

Project within your company that has cost a lot of money. For example, definitely with launching a membership course.

Stephanie:

Don’t drag it up now. It’s dead.

Peter:

No, but that was something we invested months in. We bought the platforms. We had built. We had developers making the websites. We invested into marketing, into materials. About six months of time and money went into that project and it never saw the day of lights.

Stephanie:

I refunded everyone.

Peter:

People that prepaid for attending the memberships or people that were down on going through with it, we had to refund them because in the end we noticed that, look, the way we have approached this, it’s not going to work so we need to cut it down and we need to start over from scratch. That is very hard. It’s very easy to stick with it and say, “Hey look, I’ve already invested, maybe $5,00-6,000 into building this and I need to make it work.”

Stephanie:

I cried so much.

Peter:

But the majority of people, what they would do is say, “You know what? Maybe if I spend another thousand or another 2,000, I can fix it. I can save it. But at that point you need to take your losses, turn around, walk away. That’s not only in business. The same goes for investing in stocks. Know when you need to walk away from a loss. Take your loss, don’t cry about it, embrace it, go into the next one.

Stephanie:

Cry about it.

Luis:

But that’s not only, too. In the last six months, I have had a social media campaign that went awfully wrong and at the end of the day it was a huge, huge loss. But that’s how things go. Again, we’ll go back to our previous conversations. You kind of hope and you know that the wins make up for the losses as long as you keep doing stuff right.

Peter:

Exactly.

Luis:

But I’m curious, if you want to go in and if you don’t feel like going in it, if it’s still too painful, we can just move ahead, but I’m wondering what led you to decide to stop it as opposed to trying to fix it? What was the inflection point? What was the telltale sign that told you, “Okay this is not going to work no matter how much we tried to fix it”?

Stephanie:

It was my baby and it was a collection of everything I’ve built up in the last three years prior. It’s been a year now since we canceled that project. Well, what at the end triggered me to not go forward is Peter King, my boss, because he saw me having anxiety attacks and breaking down more than normal. Not that I’m normal, I’m a hot mess, but still. My energy was not in the project anymore and I didn’t see the vision anymore for the project and for the membership. The final draw was after spending a lot of money on two developers actually trying to fix the technical things. When you said, “Oh, is it a plugin for WordPress?” I get anxiety so I don’t invest in any WordPress plugins anymore. I just buy the whole thing pre-made right now and I invest upfront because it was a catastrophe.

Stephanie:

All the code was completely wrong. I couldn’t fix it. Developers couldn’t fix it. That was the final draw to say, “Okay, I’m not interested anymore and my energy is completely off right now.” We spend way more months building it, having people. I’ve done all the marketing. I had people lined up in this thing and it was just not working. They couldn’t see the recompense. Stuff was just not working. That was just like, “Okay, this is not going to work. We’re going to pull the plug on this and go somewhere else.” Actually now, in the course that I have right now, some of the content that I made for that Academy for the membership is now being transformed and repurposed into what I have now. Just the technical side is so much easier now.

Luis:

All right, nice. Thank you so much for sharing and being so candid. I’m sure it’s still painful. I mean, the grieving period for me and, I think people, is 18 months. You’re definitely, you’re still in the final term so thank you so much for being so candid. To finish off, let’s say that both of you are hosting a dinner where all the top technology company execs are going, the hiring managers, the CTOs, the CEOs, and on this dinner, it is going to be held on a Chinese restaurant and the round table is about the future of work. Because it’s a Chinese restaurant, you get to have fortune cookies served and for the host, you get to choose the message that goes inside the fortune cookie. What is the message for these people?

Stephanie:

This is going to be very different for me than it is for Peter, I think. But I leave the honor to you, Peter, for making the forced fortune cookie.

Peter:

When it comes to the top technology companies in the world, my message would be stop making so much money.

Luis:

Leave some for the others. I actually agree with that.

Peter:

No, because a lot of tech companies, they focus on making huge profits. It’s not helping anybody. They try to drag out innovation. Look at Apple, for example. The iPhone 6, 6S, 7, 8, they’re all based on the same design. They drag out the whole thing for four years. No innovation. In the meantime, they make huge amounts of profits. To me that’s not fair. I would rather see that money spent into innovations, getting better products that benefit the society, or use that money for other purposes. Currently, a lot of these big tech companies have hundreds of billions of dollars reserved in the bank and they’re doing nothing with it. It’s just sitting there. Instead, you could invest all that money into a better education, more equality.

Peter:

Yesterday, a new year’s letter from bill Gates was released. I encourage you to read it because it talks about taxes. He talks about how he feels he’s not being taxed enough and that in the U.S. it’s not fair where the working class needs to pay 37% in tax, and the super wealthy only need to pay 20% in taxes on earnings from dividends or investments. They make more money and they’re taxed less. That’s not a fair situation. The same goes for big tech companies. They make huge amounts of money, but they don’t use that money to make sure that the majority of the population is in better health, with better education, more equality in terms of income, invest in resolving climate change, all that kind of stuff. So, my message would be stop making money. Just spend it. Do something with it.

Luis:

Yeah, that’s a novel one but I have to agree. Look, at the end of the day, people say that, “Well, we wouldn’t have all this nice stuff if the bad companies weren’t trying to make more and more profit.” I think that’s false. If Google only made 10% of the profits they make, it would still be enough money to motivate everyone to make Google being better. It’s just 10% of a thousand billion is still a lot of money. There is plenty of motivation there.

Peter:

Exact same point is in letter from Bill Gates where he talks about taxing companies and wealthy people higher is not going to stop them innovating. He said when he started Microsoft, the taxes were different and they had to pay quite a lot. He said he happily did that, but it didn’t stopped him from growing the company into something very big. Microsoft became very big despite the fact that they were not making the profits that a similar company in a startup environment would do today. The profits are huge nowadays and I don’t think it’s incentivizing them to do better. Because they’re making money, they don’t need to innovate.

Stephanie:

It does help to get more start ups though because you are incentifying, getting more people into it because you might get this much profit. It does help getting more competitors which leads to cutting-edge technology, though. So I agree until a certain point, but maybe not 100%.

Luis:

I also agree. Look, it’s important that people have incentives. But again, I agree with Peter that there is such a thing as money that is so much that it’s just useless to anyone. What about you Stephanie? What is your fortune cookie message?

Stephanie:

Well, it gave me time now to think about mine. Because Peter made the point that it is for technology businesses, I think my fortune cookie will say “The future is female.” Because I feel that there are not a lot of women at the top at technology companies and I would like to see that change, not by me but by other people, other women who are driven to go into the technology industry and make and do a disruption there because I think that’s necessary, too.

Luis:

Well, the point here is that remote actually helps a lot with that. As much as we’re seeing it now, we have written a lot about that in the distant job blog, I encourage you to look at it because there’s definitely not enough time in this show to open that whole subject right now, but at the end of the day, remote work allows women to be in tech and without having to abdicate the lifestyle choices that they want to make.

Luis:

I used to work in the health industry and the point that I would make was that people ask me, “Well, why don’t women earn as much in the health industry as men?” And I’m like, “Because they’re smarter; because they don’t want to kill themselves with 12-hour work days and stuff like that. We are the dumb ones. We are the dumb ones.” That’s the point that I usually make in the health industry. You are trading your life away to make 10 or 20% more at the end of the month. What are you going to use them on? You’re going to use them on your health bills once you’re older and you’ve wrecked your body from excess working. I do think that the ladies tend to be a lot more conscious about work-life balance and I call that being smarter, and it feels that remote work is allowing them to have their careers and back while doing so and that is just really …

Peter:

It’s actually … yeah, like we mentioned before, work should be built around your private life and not the other way around, which it has been for centuries.

Luis:

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for the insights. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and for the lovely conversation. I had a great time.

Peter:

Thank you for having us.

Luis:

Stephanie and Peter, please tell our listeners, where can they find you, where can they continue the conversation with you, and what businesses of yours they should check out?

Stephanie:

For me, definitely Instagram. I’m always on Instagram. I spend too much time there so you can follow me. Also, for marketing and business tips there. It’s @stephanie.smolders. It’s my first and my last name. The same goes for my website, for my online business and marketing consulting/coaching. It’s stephaniesmolders.com. I think that would be the best for you to check out, to hang out. Please send me a message if you’ve seen this. Let’s make connections together. I love that. I love talking as you can see. I can spend easily an hour talking with Luis about all the things, so that is where you should check out my kind of things.

Luis:

All right, Peter?

Peter:

Yeah, and then for me LinkedIn is probably a good place. Just my first, last name: Peter Buekering. My Instagram,

New Speaker:

. ads. If it’s too difficult to find because you don’t know how to spell it …

Luis:

Yeah, I’ll have the links on the show notes.

Peter:

Oh, perfect. Otherwise, they can find us at Tourist Exclusives and they come follow our personal endeavors there.

Stephanie:

A travel website, by the way.

Peter:

Yeah. I have something very, very exciting coming up in the next six months. For people that want to have a little peak in what it means to build a multimillion dollar business from scratch, you can follow along.

Stephanie:

We are ambitious.

Luis:

Nice. All right, it’s good.

Stephanie:

Well we hope.

Luis:

It’s good. When you launch it, feel free to poke me and come on the podcast again. I would love to have you again.

Peter:

Yeah, sure. I will share steps along the way on my Instagram about-

Stephanie:

Are you? Now, I’m interested. Because he always says this and now he says it in public so that means we can all hold him accountable to actually do it.

Peter:

I do. And people can send me messages and say, “Hey, you were going to share stuff.” I want to give a little insight on what it means to do.

Luis:

Let’s put the PR pressure there. All right.

Stephanie:

Yes.

Luis:

Thank you so much for doing this. It was a pleasure and I’ll see you in the social medias. Bye, bye.

Stephanie:

Yes.

Peter:

Yeah, Luis. It was great talking to you.

Luis:

Thank you so much. See you.

Peter:

Bye, bye.

Luis:

And so we close another episode of The Distant Job podcast. If you enjoyed the episode, please you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That would be great. It’s how we reach more listeners and the more listeners we have, the more awesome guests I can get in touch and convince to participate in these conversations that are a joy to have for me and, I hope, they’re a joy for you to listen to as well. You can also help a lot leaving reviews on iTunes or your podcast syndication service of choice.

Luis:

Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast get to have more listeners. Now, another thing that you might want to do is go to distantjob.com/blog/podcast. Click on your favorite episode, any episodes really, and subscribe. By subscribing, you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up and whenever we get the transcripts of the episode up so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form. Of course, if you need to find a great employee for your team, a great remote employee, you should take the whole world into consideration and not just look to hire locally. Not just look to hire in your country, look around the whole world, because that’s the talent pool that contains the best talent.

Luis:

To help you with that, again, distantjob.com is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who we need and we will make sure that you get the best possible candidate, 40% faster than the industry standard. With that, I bid you adieu. See you next week on the next episode of The Distant Job podcast.

More ways to listen:

In this special podcast episode, Luis is interviewing Peter Beukering and Stephanie Smolders, a full-time travel couple who adopted the location independent lifestyle and worked from 34 different countries ( and counting). They share their story on how they built and grew their remote business while traveling and how remote work it’s the core of their successful business.

''The benefits of working remotely for teams are huge. When people can decide when to work and how to work, it relieves them from stress, especially those with families. They are much more productive and loyal ' Click To Tweet

What you will learn:

  • practical steps to consider when starting a remote business
  • building and leading a fully remote team effectively
  • benefits of hiring ambitious people with entrepreneurial spirits
  • how remote work allows you to hire the best people and have a more productive team
  • how to measure the productivity of remote workers

Book Recommendations:

Useful tools

  • Adobe Software

 

This interview is part of the DistantJob podcast. To hear more from leaders and successful entrepreneurs on how to build and lead winning teams, check us out on Anchor.fm and on our website.

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE so you won’t miss all of the other interesting episodes that we have coming up in the next few weeks!

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