As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Liam Martin. Liam is the co-founder and CMO of TimeDoctor.com, Staff.com and is a co-organizer of RunningRemote.com the largest conference on building remote teams. After working with remote employees for over 10 years, Liam is passionate about how to gain insights into the inner workings of how people work.For more information on Liam you can visit his instagram to follow his travels @liamremote or you can check out the projects he’s working on at Timedoctor.com, Staff.com and RunningRemote.com
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I co-founded two companies (timedoctor.comand staff.com) which is helping to expand remote work. Our mission statement is empowering people to work wherever they want, whenever they want. Our conference service (runningremote.com) is a natural extension achieving that goal.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
A lot of people don’t see me as ‘working’ when I meet them. I’m currently working out of an office in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and I’ve been to six countries in the last six months. It’s always a challenge to explain to people that I’m actually at work even though it might look like I’m on vacation all the time.
Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?
The ability for people to work wherever they want and whenever they want is one of the most effective ways to enable workers to have a happy, more productive life. It also allows everyone access to any jobs regardless of their physical location.
How do you think this will change the world?
My goal is for everyone, regardless of their location, background, gender, race or any other factor, to have equal access to the best jobs in the world. Remote work will also help impact climate change due to the decrease in transportation and the climate damage that ensues.
Socialization will change. Couples may work from the same house and see each other a little too much 🙂 I personally work out of the same space as my partner of the last 5 years and it requires a bit of adaptation before you’re both in a really good groove.
Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?
I’ve always worked remotely, and a lot of my friends do so as well. It’s a job perk among millennials.
Our team encourages people to share stories of how remote work has changed their lives. One example that has really inspired us is a story from Bangladesh. The story shared how people who were making $50 dollars a month are now making $3,000 a month because of remote work and greater access to opportunities and jobs.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
· It can get lonely, especially for extroverts. I often go to coffee shops or coworking spaces just to interact with fellow humans (you can’t work in your underwear forever).
· Building a remote culture is more difficult than building a in-person culture. We incorporate weekly Water Cooler Chats and monthly AMA’s. For us, our culture is centered around remote work, and it’s fun to see month to month who is there and what life is like in his or her respective countries.
· Document the processes early. Remote companies will need to act like large corporations by creating systems, digital processes, and communicating them throughout the firm. This may be a large factor of failure for remote work.
· Document your work and productivity. If you are a remote worker, provide documentation to measure how long you are working and what you are doing so that your employer doesn’t freak out and think you are playing video games or watching Netflix all day.
· Enjoy the ride. A lot of remote workers spend more time with families. They have lower transportation costs, and they are even allowed to travel the world. It can significantly improve your life, so take advantage of it once you have it set up.
Based on the future trends in your industry, if you had a million dollars, what would you invest in?
Right now, I would invest in beautiful venues that remote workers can work out of. Bali, Mexico, Costa Rica and Spain are all hotspots for long term multi-month remote work engagements.
Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?
Leave the world better than you found it. Empower people for equal access to labor regardless of background.
Surround yourself with successful people and you’ll be successful, if for nothing else to just see that success is possible. Just because you didn’t succeed at something doesn’t mean you failed. I try to make failure as cheap and as quick as possible so I can find success that much faster.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
youtube.com/runningremoteand on instagram @liamremote
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.