Managing people is one of the hardest things to do when running a business. The crazy part is it’s what I enjoy the most despite the challenges of doing it remotely.
Being an effective leader is more than just hard work. Good leaders are authentic, courageous, confident, passionate and able to motivate. Caring is key, but you must lead with your head as well as your heart. It’s important to demonstrate a clear vision, great focus and a willingness to help others grow.
The idea of being your own boss sounds amazing. You have control over your schedule, make a lot of money and able to tell others what to do. Who wouldn’t want that? But working day in and day out on something without much recognition gets lonely and if your employees hate your guts it’s worse.
Imagine trying to do it when your staff don’t see you daily. Leading a company while being remote is becoming more and more common. How else are you going to post pictures of you living your best life on social media while making money at the same time? Although it’s becoming more customary, it’s issues doing so.
Successful communication is the cornerstone of effectively running a business remotely. When employees feel isolated and not valued, their work suffers. And if employees don’t feel appreciated or believe you are doing your part, they will abandon ship.
But it is possible to be a productive leader while being remote. Since you’re no longer a few desks away, you have to trust your gut and rely on you instincts among other things. Choose your words wisely and listen carefully. Meet consistently and require reports to be done on time. Share what you’re working on and always tell the truth. Your integrity matters!
There is a variety of reliable technology available to help you be more efficient. Use companies like Trello, Slack, Freeconferencall.com, RingCentral and Google Drive to name a few. If done correctly, being remote can help you communicate better. You are not physically there so your systems, processes and data will be your eyes and ears. And you have to work on perfecting your delivery when it’s time to rally the troops!
After reading the 4-Hour Work Week many years ago, I believed I could be more productive while working less. I tried it with my real estate business back in 2011 and managed to get down to working 2-3 hours a day while having my best year in sales for several years in a row. By training and empowering my team, they learned how to make decisions and resolve issues without me being around.
This carried this over to my homecare business. I moved to Miami, Florida in 2015 when the business was located in Washington, DC. That year was our best sales year. When you are away, your focus shifts from working on the business versus in the business. You motivate your employees to lead and this frees you up to focus on growing and running the business better.
Currently I run a technology company called BOTY and I work with people all over the world. Due to the different time zones, I have to be very flexible. I may be doing meetings at 4am but that’s what effective leaders do who work remote. You understand your own motivations while putting the needs of the company first.
It’s important to constantly give positive feedback and reward achievements often. Don’t micromanage and be sure to show your team that you’re working just as hard as them. Allow flexibility with work hours, but don’t forsake accountability. Do reviews and compensate appropriately. Be available and don’t be hesitant to jump on a flight to check in from time to time.
Focus on building a team culture and make sure every employee that joins the company fits into that culture. Have weekly meetings and consistent reviews to ensure that they are staying on track. Good luck and don’t stop living your best life. Just because you are not physically there shouldn’t stop you from being an effective leader and showing your team that you care.