Interview: Jesse Chambers, CEO & Founder of wrkfrce. "Design your career around your life" 🚀
Also: Free 1:1 mentoring with Google; Small Biz Saturday; Leadership lessons from Monzo's Founder; 2021 Ideas Report; Plumia internet country; Be a cavedweller | #69
Happy birthday, wrkfrce! It’s a year since Jesse Chambers launched wrkfrce—a one-stop shop for remote workers, so I wanted to catch up and see how things are going. What’s it like building a business on the road during a pandemic, and what’s in store for 2022?
We had a chat about online media, the rise of Substack, morning routines, the pros & cons of the nomad lifestyle, and regeneration. He is hugely inspired by David Hieatt, Co-Founder of Hiut Denim Co and the Do Lectures, who is on a quest to get 400 people their jobs back in a small town (Cardigan in Wales) that used to have Britain’s biggest jeans factory.
“I’m a disciple.” His wife bought him the Do: Purpose book, which he says has been truly foundational in building his brand. Amen to that. I loved Do: Open and often come back to it—short, punchy, insightful—and great design.
wrkfrce’s mission: To build a brand that can inspire and empower all of us to make our careers around our lives.
When we design our careers around our lives—and not vice versa—we are more productive and fulfilled.
Great to see an equal emphasis on wellbeing and work (50:50 article split), and I like what Jesse said about talking to the remote worker, not about remote work (enough sites are doing that already). Also, it’s refreshing to read articles about remote blue-collar work as most I see are written for the white-collar tech/knowledge worker.
Jesse is self-funding this project, so check it out and spread the word 👏
5 minutes with: Jesse Chambers, CEO & Founder of wrkfrce
Happy 1st birthday! It’s been a year since you launched wrkfrce. What key lessons have you learned along the way?
Thank you! There are too many lessons to count, but the biggest lesson is that getting started is the most important thing. One of my favourite sayings has become "it's perfect enough" ;)
What are the challenges and opportunities for niche media in 2022 and beyond? What are you excited about?
I'm most excited that remote work has grown beyond a niche! There are so many benefits—both for professionals and businesses—in distributed work, and I'm excited that wrkfrce has an opportunity to play a role in helping shape the future of work.
What is growth for you, and how do you stay grounded while growing an online business and managing a remote team?
Growth is trying to get a little bit better—even 1% or .5% better—every day. If you’re able to sustain growth like that over time, the results will be profound. To keep myself grounded, I have a morning routine that includes four things: meditating for at least 10 minutes, writing down 5 things I'm grateful for, eating a healthy breakfast, and getting some exercise (which lately means a 15-minute jump rope workout).
If I'm able to do most of those things most days of the week, I'm a better leader, husband, friend, better everything—not perfect, but better.
Tools for thought—what book has inspired your thinking and process?
Very early in founding wrkfrce, my wife gifted me the book Do: Purpose by David Hieatt, and it has been truly foundational in building the wrkfrce brand. It's an easy read; lots of pictures and ideas, but not many words. You could read the whole thing in under 45 minutes, but at least for me, I'm never done reading it; I go back to it all the time for inspiration or when I'm struggling with something. I'd recommend it to anyone thinking of founding a business or just looking for inspiration.
More insights and ideas at www.wrkfrce.com.
Small biz, big opportunities
It’s Small Business Saturday on December 4, a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages people to 'shop local' and support their communities. A brief history of the movement here.
You can promote your services in the Small Biz Saturday UK business portal for free. Share your stories and give local businesses a shoutout on SoMe using the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBizSatUK. I’ll be doing my Xmas shopping in St Leonards—it’s all indie businesses here, bar Boots!
Jesse said he’s been focusing on SEO for the website, so I sent him the piece I wrote on Building Backlinks, doing the rounds on Twitter. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole, so my digital marketing strategy is little and often. As a colleague said this week: “From small acorns, big trees grow.” 🌱🎄
Have a great Sunday.
I’m working on a new project: Reimagining the future of scientific exchange and helping organise a hackathon for HCPs in 2022. If you’ve helped organise one or know someone who has—get in touch. I’d love to have a chat!
Unicron/Omicron = anagram = moronic 🤓
🛠🖐 5 Things
★ Free 1:1 mentoring with Google to help you grow your business online and find new customers. Get paired with a mentor from Google who will help you develop your digital marketing strategy—from building your brand on YouTube, Google Search and Maps to creating more ways to bring customers to your site.
★ Monzo’s founder Tom Blomfield on why he left his £1bn business after it negatively impacted his mental health (Management Today). On what he’s learned from his time at the top, and what he’ll do next... A call for better communication and transparency: it builds trust and happy customers.
→ “As CEO, I never switched off”—Monzo’s Tom Blomfield
★ 2021 Ideas Report (WeTransfer). They asked 10K people from over 135 countries how 2021 transformed their creative worlds. Big shifts in power with Latin America challenging the status quo. The Great Resignation: How creatives leave their jobs in droves in search of fulfilment (and money isn’t the answer). Also: how to get featured on WePresent.
★ TRL 131: Starting a country on the internet & social safety nets for the new world with Sondre Rasch (That Remote Life). Sondre’s views on the future of remote work and why SafetyWing has invested thousands researching the topic of internet countries. Remote visas vs digital citizenship, and top takeaways from year 1 of the Plumia project.
★ Focused work sprints on Zoom (via Hannah at Better Not Stop). Get your free 7-day trial. Start with the most difficult thing first. Do not disturb. Monotask. Facilitated by an experienced Cavedweller. Love the backstory. I don’t have a SheShed, so this could the next best thing.
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