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My "hobby" remote work business has exploded into a 6-figure business. AMA!

Hey there, I'm Marissa, Founder of Remote Work Prep.

I started working remotely before it was cool in 2015. A couple years later, I was searching for my next remote position and realized how limited WFH opportunities were and how many companies were doing it wrong.

I founded Remote Work Prep in 2018 as a hobby business to help companies create an effective, positive remote work environment. We offer fractional Head of Remote services. 2020 came out of nowhere and made us explode.

My background is in software engineering and product management. I'm the creator behind the Remotely Interesting newsletter, the instructor behind the Mastering Remote Leadership course, and I'm a locally elected official.

Even though I'm a huge introvert, I started sharing online in 2020 after receiving too many requests to make 1:1s practical. I grew my Twitter following from 150 to 6,500 in the past year.

Some things you might find interesting:

I'm an avid reader, an excessive planner, and on a constant mission to create a perfectly optimized home.

Happy to answer any questions you have! Definitely comment if you're struggling with any part of remote work because I might be able to help.

I'll answer your questions async throughout the day. Looking forward to chatting!

  1. 1

    Awesome AMA! Added to the latest IH newsletter issue.

  2. 1

    What do you think was the reason the business suddenly picked up steam in 2020? The pandemic, or was it another factor? Cheers.

    1. 2

      Definitely the pandemic. Everyone went remote overnight, had no clue what they were doing, and went looking for answers.

      I'm surprised that it hasn't slowed down, but I think that's due to:

      1. The people who didn't recognize they needed help with the transition early on are recognizing it now after a year of bad remote work
      2. Companies are realizing this way of work is way more permanent than they initially thought
      3. New companies starting today are all-in and want to do remote work right from day 1
  3. 1

    Thanks for AMA.

    What was it like running for local office? what made you interested to serve and how similar is running a campaign to running a product?

    1. 1

      In everything I do, I have a strong desire to help people live their best lives. This also goes for my local office position. I've loved city planning for as long as I can remember (I still have drawings of cities I planned at 10 years old). I'm as fascinated by the future of living as I am by the future of work.

      With that said, I will say I haven't had the best experience being in local office, and feel like I could be making a bigger difference from the outside. But that's a whole other topic.

      As for the campaign, I had a unique experience because my campaign happened during strict lockdown during spring 2020. I had to think outside of the box since I couldn't do traditional methods of events and being vocal in the community. This is where having a product background made a big difference.

      I talked with residents (users), found their pain points (research), and tried out different ways of addressing them (prototyped). At one point, I realized there was no singular resource to find out local candidate information online, so I built and released it in a single day. I think efforts like these spoke louder than any marketing I could have done, and led to me being elected despite being the newest (and by far the youngest) candidate.

  4. 1

    Hey Marissa

    When it comes it juggling multiple remote roles at the same time - are they all full-time roles? I've considered taking on 2 FT positions at the same time, since I think the work load is doable. But not sure if thats ethical or if I should let both potential employers know of my idea.

    1. 1

      Hey! Yes, I've held multiple full-time roles at one time. However, I think it's important to define what full-time means. Personally, I prefer FT roles that are output-based instead of time-based. It makes the workload much easier to handle because I'm a fast worker and there's less of a chance of burning myself out.

      Also, going for roles that allow for more flexibility is critical. Ex. Running my business on the side of my traditional job was doable because I had complete control over my schedule, so I was never double-booked.

      It's ethical as long as it's transparent and you go into it with positive intentions. More thoughts on my views of this topic here.

  5. 1

    Hi Marissa, what level of remote work do you think will remain after the world returns to whatever the new normal will be? We have seen a very mixed view on this as some teams cannot wait to get back into offices full-time and others downsizing office space and becoming more fully remote.

    1. 2

      I think people believe the remote work fight is about location. Office vs. WFH. But it's not. It's about agency.

      With remote work, the individual chooses where/when/how they work. With traditional office work, the company decides. So, the question isn't, "where will we work?" but "who will decide?".

      Personally, I think we'll see even higher levels of remote when the world returns to normal. In the past year, most people have only experienced "pandemic remote" which only showcases a limited view of what's possible. Yet, even with that limited view, most people are saying they want this continued flexibility.

      High achievers are always going to appreciate autonomy. Parents are always going to appreciate the adaptability (once their kids are back in school). And everyone is always going to appreciate having more time to do what they want.

      I'm excited to see the feedback when a majority of people actually experience the full benefits of remote instead of the slight taste we've been getting this past year.

      1. 2

        So, the question isn't, "where will we work?" but "who will decide?".

        🔥🔥🔥 this really is the key!

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