Hi, and welcome to Creative Live. I'm Ari Meisel, and this is how to Build and Manage a Remote Team. So, what we're gonna talk about in today's course is really, the world that we're in is just changing. Technology's changing, it's enabling us to work with people across the globe who we've never met in person and may never actually meet in person. And any business that's going to compete in today's environment needs to understand how you can go remote. So, whether you are starting out or you're in an organization already where you have a team that's in a physical place, you can look at how certain divisions can go remote or how the entire company might end up going remote. I've even seen well-established, old fashioned businesses looking at how they can get rid of their offices, get rid of their phone systems and all the infrastructure that they have in order to work virtually. Today, we're gonna talk about some of the best practices that we use at our company Leverage, and how we've c...
ome across them and how you can actually implement them in your own business. So... Who am I? This is my second time being back here at Creative Live, and several years ago I did a fairly popular course for them, which was called Less Doing More Living, which was about a productivity system that I created to help people optimize, automate, and outsource everything in their personal lives in order to be more effective. So, basically I've been an entrepreneur my whole life, and about, I'd say, 11 or 12 years ago I pushed myself too far. I broke my body in the form of a chronic illness called Crohn's disease, which had a large stress component to it. After a long journey of self-tracking and self-experimentation, I was able to get off the medicine that I was on and regain some strength, but I was still pretty limited in the amount of work that I could get done on a given day. So, my response to that was to create a brand new system of productivity, which I would call Less Doing. Through that, I started teaching and consulting and speaking around the world and I wrote a book called Less Doing More Living, and then a second one called The Art of Less Doing. But, everything that I was doing at that point was really focused on the individual and how they could be more effective and more productive. So, about two years ago, I partnered up with a friend of mine, Nick Sonnenberg, and we launched a company called Leverage. In 24 hours, with absolutely no funding, we started a team of professionals who can do any project or task for any business or person, anywhere. And we really take that to the limit, as long as it's legal. We usually can figure out a way to do it. Now, we've never had an office. We've grown very, very rapidly. We've never had any funding. As I said, in the first year, we did about a million dollars in revenue, and here we are now at double that, and the team has grown by quite a large magnitude and are spread across the globe. As I said, we have no office space. We never have. We embrace asynchronous communication. We use a lot of video chat tools and software. And, we provide accountability and transparency, and we motivate a team of independent contractors, because, as I forgot to mention, we don't have a single employee either. Which, presents its own challenges whether you're remote or not, but being remote doesn't serve as a deficit. It really doesn't, and I think that that's a big hold-up for some people is that they think that if they go remote they'll lose that connection or lose that control in some cases. But, a big motivation for the way that we do this is that, from a personal standpoint, I believe that every individual can work best in the way and place that they work best. That may sound circular, but it really is... If you're empowering people to do work the way they want, they're gonna do the best work and they're gonna be the most engaged. So, we've grown into over 190 people on the team in 16 time zones. It's been a wild ride, and we've learned quite a bit. The things that we have learned can be applied to any business, whether you're starting up or you're well established. So, what I wanna do is take you through some of the details of how we do what we do, and then show you some of the specific tools that we use to do that. And, you can apply this to your business. So, as I said, the value proposition that we offer is that we can do anything. So, when we started up the company we were basically a virtual assistant company, and I say basically because typical virtual assistant companies are for generalists. So, people might think of virtual... By the way, if you don't know what a virtual assistant is, it is an actual person, typically, that can do all the things that an assistant might do, such as booking travel or doing some research or maybe data entry, but they're just not in the room with you. They could be in another building, another city, across the country, or across the globe. It doesn't really matter. They can do all of those same functions. So, we started off with the idea that we were gonna do virtual assistants differently. Very quickly, we took on that mantra that we wanted to be able to do anything, so the team has expanded into every skill set imaginable. We have paralegals on the team. We have graphic designers, marketing strategists, Instagram growth experts, and even an architect, because these are all the different kind of skill sets that have just come up that people have needed help with. In a lot of ways, we've become a bit of a outsourcing project manager. That's a lot of different moving parts to figure out, and to keep track of, and there's a lot of different tools that we've had to use to do that, which I'm gonna get into more detail in a little bit.