During times of crisis, the most important things in life become more clear. People will have a greater appreciation for their loved ones, their freedom and how to prioritize what’s important versus trivial. I know I have! My loved ones have been front and centre in my mind during this crisis.
As a part of my series about the the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kean Graham.
Kean Graham is the CEO of MonetizeMore, an 8-figure ad tech company that is a Google Certified Partner with 140+ full-time team members remotely based across the planet. MonetizeMore was conceived in the mountains of Machu Picchu and has grown to $23M in revenues. Graham has traveled to over 90 countries during the 10 years that he has been growing MonetizeMore.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
I originally fell in love with the online industry when working for a large online classified network. The job was an immense learning experience but once the recession hit, the company decided to lay off the marketing department. I lost the best job I ever had but I was determined to turn the bad into something great.
Five days later, I’m on a plane to South America to go on a life changing trip. Four months into my backpacking trip I was on a four-day trek through the incredible Inca trail towards Machu Picchu. By the end of it, I was sitting on top of Wayna Picchu reflecting on my experiences throughout my trip. I have had the most fulfilling time of my life and it finally clicked:
I will work and travel when I want, where I want.
I have to start a digital business to enable this autonomous lifestyle. Seven months later I started the digital business called MonetizeMore which now offers this autonomous lifestyle to every member of our team.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
The most influential book I have ever read was Four Hour Work Week for the following reasons:
– It inspired me to build a location independent business that now employs over 140 full-time team members.
– Encouraged me to travel the world while building my business.
– Taught me to work smart rather than burn out from working too hard.
– Emphasized the importance of outsourcing my life to focus on the things that are important to me.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
- Positive Disruption: Innovation is at its highest during some of the worst times for the economy and humanity. Take a look at the last recession. That when so many new businesses were created including MonetizeMore.
- Strength: Humanity becomes most apparent during times of crisis in some of the most beautiful ways. People are banding together, businesses are helping more than they are required and things are changing for the better. At the end of this crisis, we as a humanity will be stronger. You can see evidence of this with people organizing ways to give thanks to health care workers, businesses donating essential materials and new charities popping up for the needy that have no work during the crisis.
- Preparation: This has been a major reality check. Governments and businesses will be more prepared for the next virus pandemic. Taiwan is a perfect example of this that got hit hard by the swine flu and was more ready this time around.
- Perspective: During times of crisis, the most important things in life become more clear. People will have a greater appreciation for their loved ones, their freedom and how to prioritize what’s important versus trivial. I know I have! My loved ones have been front and centre in my mind during this crisis.
- Relationships: During the worst times, people come together and share a greater bond. Relationships between friends, families and partners will grow and become more profound. I am spending a 24-day mandatory lockdown in my apartment with my girlfriend. I am confident a situation like this will make our relationship even stronger.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
Lead by example: Exercise great hygiene, practice social distancing and encourage others to do the same.
Provide Practical Tips: Staying indoors doesn’t have to be all bad. Some tips around home workouts, learning resources and other productive things to do while at home go a long way.
Opportunity Instead of Crisis: Re-position this crisis as an opportunity. That subtle mind shift could be life changing. Rather than loathing, people can take advantage of this additional free-time to work-out every day, focus on self-improvement content, stop drinking for an extended period of time and/or re-connect virtually with old friends.
Encourage Meditation: With all this extra time indoors, now is the time to take up meditation. It will decrease anxiety and improve people’s abilities to handle crises.
Be Positive: The last thing others need is more hysteria. Be a source of positivity and that will prove to be contagious.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
Learning: Udemy.com, Lynda.com
Meditation: Mindful.org or Headspace.com
Reliable Covid19 stats: Worldometers.info/coronavirus
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“You will never write an extraordinary story until you realize you are the author”
This is an incredible quote because it enables me to enjoy my victories more and bounce back from my failures quickly. For victories, I know that even if there was a bit of perceived luck involved, it was my previous actions to inevitably lead to that event.
For my failures, I am able to learn from them immediately because I take responsibility and reflect on how I could have prevented the negative situation so that it never happens again. From there, I change a good thing into a bad thing by approaching the negative situation from a new clever angle. For example, we were disapproved by Google several years ago and lost millions as a result. We responded by improving our screening processes, diversifying our revenue streams and partnering with a fraud suppression company to prevent this issue from happening again. As a result, we have re-built the company to be more sustainable and resilient than ever. It ended up being a blessing in disguise!
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
MonetizeMore is one of the pioneers of location independent businesses. We have proven that it is possible to run an effective business without any offices and over 140 full-time team members. Location and schedule freedom has shown to be competitive advantages for MonetizeMore in an industry where that is rarely offered. As a result, MonetizeMore has been able to acquire incredible talent, minimize turnover, out-innovate competitors and better tailor to international clients.
We can already see effect of the influence of location independent business pioneers like MonetizeMore has had on the technology industry. Never has the benefit of remote been so much in the forefront. It has literally allowed employees to be safer for themselves and the people in their communities. After this crisis, people won’t have to work remotely. However, I hope business leaders will see the importance of granting this freedom to their employees.
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Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!