Jul 13

howdy from Belgrade, Serbia! Last email update I did was way back in October. It’s crazy how much life can change in 6mos… Here’s the quick high-level recap of what I’ve been up to since last update:

Sometime mid-March my friend and neighbor who was living a block away at the time in Phoenix came by my house late one night and asked my advice on something. He had been accepted to a program that would enable him to work remotely and travel to 12 cities in 12 months over the next year with a group of 75 strangers. He knew that I worked remotely for Pagely and was seeking input on how well that worked and affirmation whether I
thought he could pull it off. I told him two things: a) Chris you’ve absolutely gotta do this and b) I’m going to apply and try to do it with you ;-). The program was called Remote Year and apparently they had sent three cohorts previously all over the world. With 25,000 applicants I figured my chances were slim but there was no harm in applying.

Four weeks later I got accepted and was informed I’d be leaving May 29th to Prague, Republic of Czech. I did a crazy month of rapid prep closing down utilities, getting necessary vaccinations, renting my place, storing my vehicle and belongings and generally tying up loose ends to be able to go nomadic for the next year. By May 28th I had collapsed the sum total of all my belongings for the next year into two suitcases. I left for Prague the next morning and when I arrived at the airport promptly realized I had forgotten my laptop… not a great start ;-)

Fast forward 6wks to today, there have been no forgotten laptop incidents. I’m now living in Belgrade, Serbia- a country I couldn’t have even placed on a map prior to this experience. We have an incredible group of people in our band of 75 remote worker/travelers. I set this site up to aggregate blog posts from all the writers in our group if you want a flavor for the people who I’m traveling with. I haven’t posted much on Belgrade yet but I documented our time in Prague pretty extensively with this walking tour video, this half-time commentary, these interactive panoramas and this wrap-up post. Every day abroad is a mini adventure from the most basic tasks of getting laundry done to the more adventurous ones of river rafting and exploring 700-year-old castles.

The reactions when I announced I was doing the Remote Year program ranged from, “dude this is so amazing- do it!” to “Why??” To me, the logic here was actually pretty clear: “How could I not?” I have no spouse, mortgage, kids, pets or really anything tying
me down to AZ at this point and I have a job that I was already doing remotely. It would be insane not to take advantage of an opportunity to continue my work for Pagely while simultaneously seeing the world. I wrote a bit about my rationale and what I’m hoping to accomplish on this journey here. I’m fortunate that my employer saw the long-game and had faith in me to continue being effective working abroad – that trust goes along ways towards cementing my loyalty.

Career-wise, I’m two weeks shy of my one year anniversary as Director of Sales and Marketing for Pagely. Before starting with them I had some initial reservations about having to report to a boss again. For the 10yrs prior, 6 of those I had run JumpBox, 2 I spent attempting additional startups and the last 2 I spent solo consulting doing marketing automation. I wrote more about my transition to Pagely here but the bottomline is all those fears I had of renouncing my identity as an entrepreneur proved to be unfounded. I’m operating
essentially as an internal entrepreneur bootstrapping the sales organization with near complete autonomy.  I’ve helped to double Pagely’s revenue in less than a year using what I know of sales process and automation. It’s a treat to not have to drive the ship for once and instead be riding shotgun on someone else’s boat doing what I do best. My goal now over this next year is to help double our revenue again, scale up and systematize our sales organization (BTW we’re hiring for a number of positions right now- if you’re looking at opps or know anyone good who is, pass along this link).

I’m not sure yet where I’ll land after this year of travel. I have ten months to figure it out so I’m not giving many thought cycles to it at this point. A number of people in our group are talking about a working roadtrip around the US. If we do that I’d love to map that out in a way where I could connect with all the US peeps I haven’t seen in awhile. I’ll keep you posted if/when/how that unfolds.

This Saturday I leave for my first vacation since starting with Pagely. Eight of the guys from our group chartered this sailboat and will be sailing around the Croatian Islands for a week without access to phone or Internet. We just hired our first sales person under me at Pagely and I’ve trained him to the point where he can now field the day-to-day for a week on his own. I’m really looking forward to unwiring and just playing guitar under the stars on a boat for a few days…

When you signed up to receive this email update, I asked you two questions: “What holds you back? And what can I do to help?” It’s been fascinating to read people’s answers (160 in all). At some point I plan to do a blog post that delves into analyzing the patterns of those responses. By far the most prevalent one for “what holds you back” has been “lack of time.” Lately I’ve learned a ton in the realm of delegation and automation for combatting the issue of time scarcity in work.  I think I’m finally in a position to start to package these lessons and ideas into a formal eCourse or book. I’ll let you know as that comes together as it sounds like this is by far the most pressing challenge for most people. 

Anyways, thanks for reading my update. If we
haven’t chatted in a while drop me a line and let me know what you’ve been up to and I’ll try to do these a little more frequently than every 6mos going forward. If you want to follow along with photos from my travels abroad I’ve been posting them to my Instagram here and you can always find the latest writing from me on my blog hereThis is my full itinerary for the next year- if you know anyone cool in any of these places, it’d be great to meet up with him/her while I’m there. I’d welcome any relevant intros.

I hope life is treating you well. Keep in touch.


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