Time Management Musts for Remote Teams with Clodagh Higgins | DistantJob - Remote Recruitment Agency

Time Management Musts for Remote Teams with Clodagh Higgins


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Luis Magalhaes: Welcome ladies and gentlemen to another episode of the DistantJob Podcast. I’m Luis your host as usual and today I have with us Clodagh Higgins. Now Clodagh is an agency coach and consultant that the Growit Group, performance coach at Valor Performance, author of the book A Happy & Healthy Digital Agency and she also hosts her own podcast Agency Life. She is also a world record holder for the 30.5 kilogram Strict Curl at the World Power Lifting Championships, which is something that I don’t usually have on the podcast. So this is a first.

Clodagh Higgins: Thank you Luis. Delighted to be here, really great to be with you guys.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay. So, I have a couple of questions but my most pressing question is someone who works with people work remotely.

Clodagh Higgins: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: From leadership remote positions to more ground level positions. People talk to me a lot about the overwhelm, about when they have their work at home, they simply don’t seem to be able to juggle all the professional and personal and sometimes work takes over other times home life takes over and they can’t really perform at work. And in the middle of all this, you just have a CV that’s the length of my arm and it ends up with a world record of power lifting. So how do you organize yourself?

Clodagh Higgins: Thank you. Yes, it did sound like a lot when you’re there. I have one of the unusual benefits of I have no husband or no children, so I have a non limited amount of time. I also hire a cleaner to clean my house. So I’ve been very, very lucky just the last few years as has been most of the work that’s there that I’ve just committed to doing what I love and I’ve thrown myself all in. There have been periods of time where I’ve actually worked for a company, I’ve had more boundaries around social life. But for the last two years while I’ve been building Growit, I kind of just went all in because I know it’s only for a certain period of time. Having said that, I do definitely relax and what I do is I actually make a point of, I have to book in on my calendar my activities.

So if I want to meditate or power lift or see my friends, it’s like a meeting it gets booked in my diary. My diary kind of is my life, I don’t have two diaries. I have one. Look, at the moment there’s a lot of spare time and I’ve been building the business, building the podcast, going, speaking, traveling around the world. I kind of take it as a, it’s like a phase I’m going through. Does that make sense? And then I can maybe back off and do a little bit less and then go all a little bit more. I see my life in cycles I have not been doing this for 20 years. I’ve only been doing this particular segment for two years.

Luis Magalhaes: Well first of all, I think that you’re not giving yourself enough credit because I know plenty of people that have no kids, no husband and no pets that still struggle with just doing their work and taking care of themselves. It’s definitely to your credit that you manage to do all of these things.

Clodagh Higgins: Thank you.

Luis Magalhaes: And I guess that my next question, and by the way it’s super nice to have someone that’s all about marketing or having a marketing agency with me because even though this is what I do, it’s now been over 50 podcasts episodes and I think that the only other marketing person I have ever had, I just had a fully marketing person once and it was like on the second episode. So it’s nice to see marketing represented on the podcast again.

Clodagh Higgins: Go marketing.

Luis Magalhaes: Yes. How has remote work made your business possible or helped you make it better?

Clodagh Higgins: Just perfect location for me to have this podcast right now. So I was actually born in Dublin and so that’s the capital city of Ireland. And then my family moved and my father’s from the west coast of Ireland. So at that time when we moved home, I was a small kid and it’s a small country town and from all my school life the only way out was to go to the big city. I left my small town when I was 19 and I never in a million years thought I would be home again and doing what I love like even this job that I’m doing now didn’t even exist when I was in secondary school. In fact I did start a business degree, but I walked out of it because I wanted work and travel.

So my story started where I moved to the big city, then I moved to the UK and then I moved down to Australia. And when I wanted to come home and back to Ireland in 2012 I could see that there were all these companies coming to Ireland, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, all their head offices were in Dublin. So I took the opportunity to move home and work for HubSpot. And I also had my agency, I was a silent partner in that agency, was still going on the side. But once I was living in a big city and then I’d actually organized for my house to be in the west coast because it was just better real estate value at that time.

And then two years ago I realized when I’d left HubSpot, set up my consulting, there’s 70 megabits broadband in the west of Ireland is there. It is now become a hub. If you look at Tech Northwest, there’s all these software companies and website companies are moving to the

west of Ireland instead of Dublin, the big city. And now there are remote workers, people are coming home and people are able to work in the countryside. I’ve got the beach two minutes down the road, very little traffic and it’s phenomenal. And I never, ever thought when I was in school, this job didn’t exist and I always thought I would never live in my hometown because I never thought remote work was possible.

So today alone with the conversations I’ve had, I’ve been speaking to colleagues in Cape town, in Chile, in Stockholm, in London. I’ve been talking all around the world this morning so far and I am still here in my tracksuit in my cottage in the country.

Luis Magalhaes: Everyone’s really getting into the remote thing. I think that I’ve had more people in the podcast from Sligo than from anywhere else.

Clodagh Higgins: That’s where I’m from, from Sligo. Yep.

Luis Magalhaes: Is it Sligo? Okay. Sorry.

Clodagh Higgins: That’s so funny. Yeah, no, no, that’s okay. That’s brilliant.

Luis Magalhaes: I pronounced it-

Clodagh Higgins: Got to get the name right.

Luis Magalhaes: The surf’s good there, right?

Clodagh Higgins: Surf is amazing here if you are a hardy person, you would need a wet suit. It’s not tropical.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah. That’s the thing with Portugal as well it’s where I’m raised. It’s like the sea is great but it’s cold.

Clodagh Higgins: It’s cold. Yeah. So there’s a huge movement on here especially for young families. So if you think of living in a city, you’ve got crash, you’ve got it’s difficult to get into schools. It’s expensive, the commute can eat up a lot of family time, a commute in the morning and a commute in the afternoon. So here just a lot of space, good real estate and loads of small to medium sized tech companies. Okay, maybe Google and LinkedIn and Facebook aren’t going to be here yet, but the smaller ones are. And that’s really exciting from I guess my perspective where I thought this was only ever going to be a tourist town that now it’s become a tech center. It’s Great.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, it’s really is great. Tell me a bit about your team, what percentage of your team is remote? What areas of your business are handled primarily remotely?

Clodagh Higgins: Everything’s remote. So I work with agencies to help them in their business. I’m lucky enough that I’ve met hundreds of them through the years through the HubSpot community, through the digital marketer community. So once I’ve met someone, they might have listened to my own podcast or read my book and they have a sort of an affinity with me and my methodology. And from there I do all my coaching, all my interviews. I’ve got video training, I do everything online and then if it lines up then I’ll go and visit them or meet them at conferences. I’ve just come back from Boston and from New York city where I met clients face to face.

People are just so much more receptive to it now. It used to be always that you would have to physically meet someone and be with them all the time. But now I have an agency I’ve been working with in Chile and I only met them for the first time after working with them for a few months at Inbound. So I’m based here, I have a colleague based in Oslo and I have another colleague based in Cape town.

Luis Magalhaes: Take me through your typical day. You talked to me about your diary.

Clodagh Higgins: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: That’s right. That everything goes in your diary. Is it like an agenda? Is it like a daily planner, how does that work? And how does your typical day go, I guess?

Clodagh Higgins: So we use monday.com for our kind of activities and we would have things that we would do every day, like checking on our community, might be invoicing. There’s things that are checked in then that’s done by my colleague Carly in Cape town and things like marketing, checking up on marketing qualified leads. So every day she’s got a list of tasks and she starts a bit earlier than me. So what we do is we have a morning checking what’s the day ahead looking like, but she will have done some of the admin tasks before we get on a call. We have a conversation plan her day and then I will go off on customer facing. So I’m doing coaching calls, I’m reaching out to people who need some help. I’m creating content for my podcast or for talks or videos.

And so I do that in the middle of the day. And then about three o’clock, I check in again with Carly to review what’s happened. Does she need a hand with anything. We’re in constant contact using tools like WhatsApp or Slack. So if she might need a quick message, she’ll give me a voice

message to go, “Hey, can you go and check this out on the HubSpot portal and blah, blah, blah.” So she’ll give me a little message. So it’s been quite seamless. She also came and spend time with me. I think that’s really important. You can work with people, but definitely get to spend some face to face time it does improve the relationship and how you communicate.

Then depending on, I might have some clients in the evening or else not that’s when I’ll go for a walk on the beach and process what is going on or lift some weights. Again, I do things like time consuming stuff where I put a gym in the middle of my house so I don’t have to go to the gym. So that does save a little bit of time as well. I’m all about optimizing my time so then I can be watching like a podcast or a training on my television while I’m doing some lifting. I love pairing things together that just makes me so happy. Listening to a book and going for a walk, I love just pairing things together.

Luis Magalhaes: Nice. All right. So how do you and your team plan your weeks? How do you set longterm goal? On what cadence do you check out on them and do you use any specific tools or is it still Monday?

Clodagh Higgins: Monday.com is for our tasks and then we would have a monthly theme going, okay, what’s going on this month? Am I speaking at something? What podcasts are coming up? We would have those. And then we use HubSpot CRM for our deals, like which clients want to come on board with us. What client work we’re doing is all done in monday.com but if we’re looking at onboarding new clients we will use HubSpot for that.

Luis Magalhaes: So do you have all hands down meeting every week or something like that or every month?

Clodagh Higgins: No. Because it’s just myself and Carly who are in daily conversations and we would have an end of month, like a monthly plan EOS. We use the entrepreneurial operating system for our numbers, website numbers, leads, sales, revenue, that kind of thing. So we use that methodology. I’m a huge advocate of the book, Traction by Gino Wickman and the EOS, the entrepreneurial operating system methodology. And that just plans the month ahead, the quarter ahead in that. But we’re very small light, lean business, it doesn’t have to be too in depth for that.

Luis Magalhaes: Nice. That’s definitely true. So I want to talk a bit about your book and I need to start with an apology because I usually make it the point by the time I interview someone to have read their books, but the past two weeks have been frankly a mess and I’m very, very, very behind with my-

Clodagh Higgins: That’s quite okay. Don’t worry.

Luis Magalhaes: I want to put in people’s minds when they listen to this podcast that the name of your book, your book is A Happy and Healthy Digital Agency.

Clodagh Higgins: Yep.

Luis Magalhaes: What made you decide to write this book?

Clodagh Higgins: Good. So when I worked at HubSpot my job was to onboard agencies who had both the software and teach them how to use the software for their own marketing and then help them with their clients. And after two years of working with agencies my conversations were always extending past sales and software. Agencies were asking me questions like, when do I hire? How do I forecast when to hire somebody? Am I profitable? What processes and procedures will I put in my business? And I took myself to a place where I followed some of the top agencies that had been doing really well and I embrace their methodology, which was primarily the traction, the entrepreneurial operating system.

And what I did was study those agencies, what were they doing well? And then I built my own methodology over the past a couple of years working with Growit. So the whole premise is that many agency owners, they start the business because they love building websites. They love doing marketing. But what happens is they end up with a professional services business. And that business is a complicated business. If you do not understand numbers, utilization, the importance of time, processes, procedures, how to manage employees. And it can become quite draining for an agency owner.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah. Because people start with the creative side in mind, right?

Clodagh Higgins: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: I can definitely feel that because when I started managing a team I felt that struggle. I thought that, okay, so suddenly this isn’t about creating stuff, it’s actually managing people and resources.

Clodagh Higgins: Yeah, and coaching people and listening to them, listening to their problems, but moving them along to the next thing that needs to be done. And this is where kind of the number one challenge I work with agency owners is they are doing more of the things that they don’t want to do anymore and less of the stuff why they started the agency. And it becomes this real friction where they need the employees, but the employees do not need them to have a job. They can go and get any job. But the entrepreneurs need the employees to do their business, they cannot do it on their own.

So once I iron out that friction and figure out, okay, let’s give the employees what they need, maybe let’s get a team leader in who loves managing people. So that you can go off as the agency owner or partner or senior management to do what you’re good at and manage that. So that’s what I’ve been working on over the last few years. I have a methodology, I’ve got a six step process and I just take agencies through that step by step, a lot of the EOS methodology on the base. And then I’ve put in my years of experience on top of that.

Luis Magalhaes: Oh, okay. And I guess that the book takes people through that?

Clodagh Higgins: That’s right. Yeah. The book takes people through that. And then if they want any more, I’ve actually turned the book into a complete digital course so they can watch the training, do the templates, interact with it. And then if they ever need any more help, they can reach out to me and I do one on one coaching too.

Luis Magalhaes: That’s a very comprehensive roadmap for people to follow. That’s impressive. Well done.

Clodagh Higgins: Thank you. Well, I have a big goal. One of the goals that I have is to positively impact 50,000 digital agency owners by the end of 2020. And I’m going to do that with the podcast, with my book, with my course, with coaching, with speaking. And so that big goal, I know I’ve a few thousands under the belt already, so the more people I can help in their agency, make it better, have the agency of your dreams. I think that’s kind of like my mission, I found my thing.

Luis Magalhaes: Well hopefully a few thousand will listen to this podcast and check out your stuff. At least I hope so. Since you’re a fan of daily planning, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the concept of blocking out a maker time versus blocking out manager time and that really feels related to what you’re talking about then it definitely helped me out. So I encourage people to check it out. Just Google maker time versus manager.

Clodagh Higgins: Beautiful. Yeah, like a clarity, like a break. Like a meeting with a client who would always turn up for. I love that. Yes. That’s so cool. I’ll check that out, that methodology. That sounds great.

Luis Magalhaes: So you decided that to make this, you decided that consciously to have this small agile company.

Clodagh Higgins: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: That’s just three people, very lean.

Clodagh Higgins: Yep.

Luis Magalhaes: That’s cool. It’s very interesting to see businesses that size that have the actual ambition of reaching 50,000 people, 50,000 agencies and it’s actually possible now with the technology. And maybe you don’t even want to grow, but if you did, if you want it to grow and you were hiring people, knowing that there would be, because you don’t want to open an office. So we wanted those people to naturally work remotely. What kind of abilities would you specifically look knowing that they’re going to work from home?

Clodagh Higgins: I think an entrepreneurial spirit is definitely something, we know that entrepreneurs are very internally motivated. They don’t need external validation from things. They will naturally get up and do things and are motivated. I’d be looking for someone who’s maybe achieved, maybe they’ve been in a job but they’ve set up a side hustle. They did a drop shipping account or in their spare time they made some sort of business or an app or set up a community in their local area. So that’s what I’d be looking for. It’s not that somebody’s worked in an agency before necessarily. Well for me, that would be great or to have relationships with agency.

But if you’re looking for remote worker, there’s a few things that I do encourage people to look for. And it’s definitely that ability to create time out of nothing. Not just the 9:00 to 5:00 people. They might’ve had a 9:00 to 5:00 job, they might’ve been in an office, but they might actually do painting or been in an exhibition or in a band or some other way of where they’ve got another revenue stream and they made that happen.

Luis Magalhaes: Nice.

Clodagh Higgins: Because I see that as a person who can make time out of, when they’re personally motivated them, they’ll get up and they’ll do things in their own time. The other one to look at is probably that person who’s at a stage in life where they’re, maybe they are looking to move to the countryside or they have, living in a city can be extremely expensive depending on where you are. So the lifestyle change of being in another area, being near the sea or the mountains to go hiking, they’re not interested in the social life anymore. They want to slow things down but not slow things down in their career. And they really do welcome the opportunity of working with a larger company and they’re going to be online and they want the benefits of having their home and being in the countryside, but they still want to be connected to a large organization. So I think it’s a time of life that somebody that as well as I can be really helpful.

Luis Magalhaes: That’s a really good point actually. A lot of people working remotely, look at me, I live in a small town by the beach. I finish interviews like this, I grabbed my towel and I go out for a swim.

Clodagh Higgins: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: In the Chile called Portuguese Sea. I know.

Clodagh Higgins: You’re so brave.

Luis Magalhaes: A lot of my friends and former colleagues don’t get that. They’re like, What do you mean? I could never do that. I live in Lisbon and so much more expensive. Portugal is a small country I can get to Lisbon in like one hour by car, it’s not that big of a deal. That’s definitely something that’s often overlooked. And I think that it’s a good criteria, it’s a good point.

Clodagh Higgins: Yeah. It’s about a personal, the stages Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Where is a person at? Are they prepared to? Yeah, they might sacrifice their city life because they’re over the nightclub scene. They’re over the commute, they’re over the expense of rent and maybe they are wanting to start a family. So they’re starting to plan their next five years cycle. And if you’ve got them in at that beginning, you’re going to have a great remote worker. Maybe they’ve managed people before, they’re disciplined, so they want to work for themselves … self motivated they’ll do the work themselves. And just a really simple thing is video skills. We’re here chatting on video, I use Zoom all day long and you can pretty simply see how was somebody set up for that.

I’m sitting here in an office, I’m not sitting at my kitchen table. This is my podcast room, my meeting room, I come in here to meet people. So little things like that when you’re interviewing them on a video, are they set up, are they comfortable chatting away or is this all a new concept to them?

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah. For sure. I’ve seen people come to remote job interviews like on their phone, on their iPhone using the most terrible headphones and microphone possible. I’m like, what are you doing?

Clodagh Higgins: Yeah. And so they’re not really thinking about the long term. They’re going, “Oh, I’ll get a remote job I can work from a cafe.” It doesn’t work like that. You can only have a couple of hours of work in a cafe because of your battery life and because it’s noisy and you can’t take calls from there. So get over. I definitely feel the right type of workers, somebody especially maybe a mother returning to the workforce with this fabulous skill is going to be super grateful for the flexibility and time. And they

might give you between nine and three exceptional hours that you could not get from a person that’s in the office. I would always consider it.

Luis Magalhaes: Oh yeah. That’s actually something that we’ve written before on our blog and at least a couple of times. There is such an untapped pool of possibly working mothers that have some real talent, but they just don’t want to sacrifice this new stage of their life to the regular untenable office life.

Clodagh Higgins: That’s right.

Luis Magalhaes: And just be incredible at contributing in a remote capacity.

Clodagh Higgins: That’s correct. Yeah.

Luis Magalhaes: Hey there. It’s Luis. Welcome to the intermission of the DistantJob podcast. If you’re listening to this podcast, there’s a very big chance that you’re interested in building a great remote team. And to build a great remote team you need great remote employees. That’s where DistantJob comes in. So here’s how it works. You tell us the kind of position that you need to fill. We talk to you. We try to figure out not only what are the exact requirements that that person should have, but also we try to figure out who would be a perfect fit for your company culture because we really believe that that matters.

Then once we have an exact picture of what we’re looking for, we’re off to the races, our recruiters tap into their global network and we filter people very well so that you don’t waste your time interviewing people that are never going to be of interest to you. We make sure because we are techies and our recruiters are techies as well. So when people get to you they are already pre-selected and you just have to decide between the cream of the crop.

And once you make your selection, we handle all the paperwork, we handle HR for you, we handle payments. And you get a full time remote employee that’s among the best on the world and managed entirely by you, by your processes and following your culture. If this sounds good, visit at www.distantjob.com. And without further ado let’s get back with the show. Thank you for listening.

So let’s go a bit more to the personal side because I want to be respectful of your time it’s been off an hour now and-

Clodagh Higgins: Oh, thank you.

Luis Magalhaes: We should start winding down I know that it’s frustrating that you can only do, that this is one thing that you can do another thing at the same time.

Clodagh Higgins: No. I can focus. I’ve got my eye out the window I’m looking at the nature. So it’s good.

Luis Magalhaes: I’m looking at nature too. I’m trying very hard my cat not to disconnect my microphone because-

Clodagh Higgins: What’s the cat’s name?

Luis Magalhaes: She is called Jezebel.

Clodagh Higgins: Jezebel. Sound like a Jezebel if she’s pulling at the chords. Oh, too funny.

Luis Magalhaes: I want to go back for a moment to the weightlifting.

Clodagh Higgins: It’s so funny guys just love talking about the weightlifting. Bring it on.

Luis Magalhaes: I don’t lift myself, but I’m especially fascinated by the fact, not that you weight-lift because anyone can lift, that you set in world record, not everyone does that.

Clodagh Higgins: No. Not everyone does that. That’s right.

Luis Magalhaes: Exactly. So what’s the best lesson, that’s road to setting a world record taught you?

Clodagh Higgins: It’s opened up some incredible doors and I think I’ve just been one of those people. This really comes back to my upbringing. My father has been an entrepreneur and my mom has been the force behind him and the force and in my year through my whole career of, you can do anything, just go for it, give it a go. I’ve been very positive messages throughout my childhood. The power lifting just sort of came with, I did some CrossFit because I’m one of those people I will try things. I’d rather try them and then make a decision if I like them. I’m one of those types of people. I kind of get involved and then I go, mm-mm, I don’t like. So-

Luis Magalhaes: I can never understand people that say they don’t like something without trying them out.

Clodagh Higgins: I know.

Luis Magalhaes: They just, get that?

Clodagh Higgins: Yeah. And I think it’s my nature. Once I hear of something like an app or an event and I kind of actually, yeah, I’ll do that. And then I’m sort of doing it. So I’d been doing a lot of CrossFit and at the time I was lifting bench and I was quite good at that. So my coach Ryan Conlin he’s a great guy. He actually said to me, “Hey, you know there’s competitions for bench press.” And God bless him, he actually meant for me to go and watch one. But me, I signed up and I did one. So this was November and in January I’m lying on a bench, bench pressing in an Irish nationals competition. And then it was just a series of I guess saying yes, micro yeses. Saying yes leads to the next thing.

What’s the worst thing could have happened? I could have failed three lifts, but it didn’t. It kind of I went, hmm, that’s interesting. And the Strict Curl came about where we were all lifting. So the Strict Curl is where you stand flat against the wall and you pick up an S curl bend and you cannot move your upper body. And we were having some fun. It was the first time I’d ever done it and I kept lifting and I just asked, “Hey, what’s the world record for my age and weight?” And the guy went, “27” and I’m like, “Give me 27 and a half.” Let’s start there. And that was it. I broke a record the first time I did this. And I think it’s just having a real laissez-faire attitude.

Luis Magalhaes: All you needed to do was ask.

Clodagh Higgins: You know, it’s just, “Hey, what’s going on here? Let’s give it a go.” Not being afraid to fail. I think that’s the big thing about the world power lifting competitions and the power lifting community. There’s such a great community of men and women in there, we go out and we stand up on in a silly little leotard outfit costume, it’s not flattering, it’s not pretty. We’re all sweaty, covered in chalk. It’s not the most glamorous thing, but we are there giving it 100% and everyone is behind you and supporting you and I get to do that a couple of times a year. I haven’t done so much this year. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling. But when you do that and you go through that and I have a lot of shakes, a lot of mindset, a lot of things get in the way, a lot of imposter syndrome. But somehow I still seem to manage to get through that.

And that’s actually opened up doors for me with the performance coaching. That’s what I help people with in their careers, in their jobs going, look, I can bring that experience from the competition world, from the power lifting world to my business community, to my agency owners. And that’s been a big lesson that I learned. I just kind of follow things. I’ll go to workshops, I’ll do art, I’ll try things and just see where it goes. And it’s always led to more opportunities and new things. And I’ve just been very, very lucky.

Luis Magalhaes: Luck comes to those who say yes apparently. Part of it comes with saying with, as you pointed out, saying yes to many things. If you make a habit of saying yes, how are you sure that you’re not overwhelmed, that you don’t over commit to too many [inaudible 00:31:30]?

Clodagh Higgins: Specifically put a lot of free time in my diary. My weekends are not over-scheduled. So when I say yes to these things, it’s because the weekend is there. So might see things during the month. For example, there was a networking event on last night in my hometown and it was about personal branding and it was with a photographer. And of course I’ve just come back from a marketing conference in New York City with 800 digital agency owners, why am I going to a small event in my hometown? But I’d seen it online. So this is what I do. I kind of keep an eye on things online. I’d seen the event on Facebook and I put it a note in my diary and I put it in with a question mark.

Because if I’m traveling in the States, but this event is on when I get home I will not commit to it until the day before. I have to check my energy. Am I feeling okay? Am I jet lagged? Is there something going on that my family needs? And then for me I wanted to bring my sister because she is a photographer. So the day before I commit to it. So it’s there, but it’s not an impending, I’ve got to do this. And I’m the same with them I’m very lucky with my friends, they know if they invite me for dinner, I’ll go, “Look, I should be back in time, but if I’m not, I’ll see you the next day for coffee.”

So I think I manage things, a lot of people over-schedule. They’re trying to sandwich in their diaries and you try and book them and they’re like, “Oh, I can see you in four weekends time.” Because they’re committing. So as much as I say yes to things, it’s more, I do check myself going, if there was a workshop on but I was completely jet lagged or I had a crazy week, I would just move it. I would just tell them, can I swap that ticket for something else? So I definitely don’t do things that are completely rigid. There is a lot of relaxing time in between and I think that’s it. Your buffer time, your maker time, I think I’m going to look more into that, but that’s what I would put in, going nothing and nobody can book on top of it and your weekends don’t over-schedule yourself. You actually do need to do nothing. I’m a big believer on doing nothing as well.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, absolutely. I’m a big believer on that too. Okay. So let’s move onto to some gifting.

Clodagh Higgins: Sure.

Luis Magalhaes: If you had 100 euros or dollars or pounds, whatever, your currency of choice. If you had 100 of your currency of choice. Well, you work all around the world, that’s-

Clodagh Higgins: I know. Knock or the euro or the rand.

Luis Magalhaes: To spend with the people who work with you. And I guess also the people you coach. Give them a gift. What would you give them?

Clodagh Higgins: I’m a big advocate. I keep talking about Traction the Gino Wickman book. So if an agency owner has not figured that the kind of basic mechanics and processes and procedures in your business, I just recommend getting that. But that’s only about 20 bucks. But that would be one of my books of choice.

Luis Magalhaes: You can give them five.

Clodagh Higgins: Yeah. We can give them five for the rest of their management team. I think definitely that would or buy my one as well. But I’ll gift that as well. But I think that would be a good one. If you were to invest in anything, if you’ve kind of like, yes, maybe there’s somebody listening to this who’s advanced in their agency or if you’re an agency owner. Looking at the marketing AI software, there are courses run by the Marketing AI Institute and there are about 100 as well I think. I would definitely think if you’re in marketing-

Luis Magalhaes: It’s a bargain.

Clodagh Higgins: If you’re an agency owner, the next thing for you to figure out is which of these tools is going to make me more productive so I’ve more time to train and be an expert? I think that’s a big play from marketing, as a marketing manager, you’re in marketing, start to look at what tools are going to save me an hour a week over the course of the next year. I would be a big one.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, that’s a lot of hours.

Clodagh Higgins: Yes. It’s a lot of hours. And then I’ll give a personal one as well because you did ask me some personal questions too. Just recently threw some fantastic digital marketing agency owners that I met in London recently. There was a lovely agency cuppa and they recommended a book called The Keys of the Kingdom and it’s by Alison Armstrong. And if you were to go out and buy $100 worth of her books that’s probably being one of the biggest communication tools that I’ve learned in my personal life. So there’s a bit of marketing person, agency and some personal three choices there.

Luis Magalhaes: Nice. That’s very comprehensive gift list. Thank you for that. What about you? What purchase has made your work life easier or more productive in the best year?

Clodagh Higgins: Ooh, that’s a good … what purchase have I made? Actually I’m going to bring it back to The Keys of the Kingdom and all the books and under … she has one called the Queen’s Code. And I think for me I work with a lot of men and I’ve definitely learned a lot about how to communicate better and how to understand our different communication styles. And I bought workshops from Alison Armstrong and I’m really enjoying that process of listening to learn instead of listening to interrupt.

Luis Magalhaes: Nice.

Clodagh Higgins: It’s been a game changer for me.

Luis Magalhaes: There’s this saying about Portuguese people, ‘Normal people listen, Portuguese wait.’

Clodagh Higgins: Wow. That’s very cool.

Luis Magalhaes: We’re not really listening we’re just waiting for our turn. All right, let’s end with the bit of remote work marketing.

Clodagh Higgins: Perfect.

Luis Magalhaes: What they called the Chinese fortune cookie question.

Clodagh Higgins: Nice.

Luis Magalhaes: So here’s [inaudible 00:37:39]. You want to promote remote work among all the tech leaders. For that purpose you are hosting a dinner on a Chinese restaurant where there’s going to be a round table about that subject. As the host you choose what comes insides the Chinese fortune cookie. What is the message that these people will crack open at the end of the meal?

Clodagh Higgins: Oh, these are great questions Luis, I love these. The sort of inspiration is you are going to get, it did feel almost like something around you will get more productive work hours when you trust your remote workers. So it’s about giving trust to the remote workforce will actually get you a better result. It’s trust us not be afraid of it. Because like we just talked about earlier on getting that there are women out there right now who do not in a minute want to go back in to work in an office full time. They just don’t want to do it. And they are highly skilled, extremely

experienced and plus they now have these new skills that they’ve learned as a mother.

Like, who wouldn’t want to have that person working in your business? And they’re going to be so grateful to work with you to have the opportunity. They’re going to give their all between the hours that they’re going to work. And they’re going to be very, very grateful, they’re going to be very loyal, they’re going to be very committed, they’re very mature, they’re aware of the opportunities. So trust that your remote workforce is the future of your business.

Luis Magalhaes: All right. I think that’s a very good message to end on. Thank you so much. Clodagh where can people continue the conversation with you and where can people learn more about your book and your business?

Clodagh Higgins: So growitgroup.com is website that we host everything on where my book is and I also have a podcast if you’re an agency owner, it’s more around agency life, the highs, the lows, the ups, the downs of actually running an agency. And that’s called Agency Life. It’s on iTunes and everywhere around there. That’s for everyone will find me at [email protected] if you ever just want to reach out directly, I’m always happy to chat.

Luis Magalhaes: Thank you so much for doing this. Thank you so much for your time. It was a pleasure.

Clodagh Higgins: It was brilliant to talk to you. It was lovely to be the guest instead of the interviewer. I liked being on this side you’re a very, very good host. Thank you so much Luis.

Luis Magalhaes: Thank you. It’s my pleasure. Thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it. And so we close another episode of the DistantJob Podcast and 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 this 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.

Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast get to more listeners. Now another thing that you might want to do is go to distantjob.com/blog/podcast click on your favorite episode, any episode really, and subscribe. By subscribing you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up and whenever we get the transcripts of

the episodes up so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form.

And 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 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. And 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. And with that I bid you adieu, you see you next week on the next episode.

Luis Magalhaes and Clodagh Higgins, the multitalented guest on this episode, share some time management tips so you too can achieve your highest productivity level. 

In this episode, Clodagh takes us through a glance of her book “A Happy and Healthy Digital Agency” and her self-developed methodology to manage digital marketing agencies, which allows her to successfully coach marketing entrepreneurs. Learn how optimizing your time with proper scheduling and the right tools will allow you to effectively juggle your personal and professional life as a remote worker.

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