Welcome to Remotely Inclined, a newsletter about remote work and remote entrepreneurship. If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here. Or just read on…
In January 2019, I was laid off from my job. I had this side-hustle - a remote situation where I wrote and did content consulting for a few startups. Ironically, all of those startups were in my hometown of Toronto, Canada. But I barely saw anyone face to face and did all my work remotely.
The side hustle actually started in 2017, and I scoffed at the idea of “remote work.” I called it “location freedom” and thought I was far more clever than people who used the term “remote work.”
But when I got laid off from my job - my in-office, 9-5 job where my boss explicitly hated remote work and wouldn’t let me work from home even if I was sick - I decided to take my business full-time. And, more importantly, I refused to do anything but remote. If my clients were local I might pop by for a coffee, but that was a privilege and extra, not a basis of work.
Fast forward just over a year later, to February 2020.
My remote business was growing. I had secured my first-ever 100% remote client - he lived across the country and to this day I’ve never met him.
But I was a bit lonely working from home, so I sought out some coworking spaces. In Toronto, I stumbled upon an app called FlexDay, which lets you do day-rate drop ins at coworking spaces around the city. I decided to give it a try. I even encouraged my friends to join me, and two did. It felt amazing to be working alongside my friends, each of us working on our own thing.
So I did what any millennial would do: I posted about it on social media.
It took off. Over 10,000 people saw my post. I trended in #remotework on LinkedIn for 2 days. It felt amazing!
Privately, people started asking me how I did it. Or sharing their own stories of trying to find community while doing remote work. I suddenly realized I wasn’t alone and this ‘remote work’ thing was starting to grow.
A couple weeks after that, I thought I’d post another remote work story on LinkedIn. This time about a lifelong dream of mine.
It did even better. Over 14,000 people saw the post. I trended again in #remotework on LinkedIn. Even more people commented on it.
I got the same thing -- people reaching out. People wanting to talk. People wanting to know how I did it.
What hit me, though, is that I’d been remote working full-time for over a year before I joined FlexDay (I hadn’t heard of it until about 2 days before I signed up). It took me months of working remote to feel confident that I could actually test out my dreams like this. And those months of work involved a LOT of experimenting, tool-trying, and process-tweaking to get there.
Those thoughts became the basis of Remotely Inclined.
When I think about who is remotely inclined, it’s the person who:
Wants more control over their time
Doesn’t want to be chained to a desk
Is ok working alone sometimes
But those people - myself included - need help and support. I had so many people who gave me tips, tricks, and tools to make my business better. I want to share those with you.
I am not sure what format this will take, but here’s what’s on my mind:
Interviewing remote business owners and remote employees
Sharing my entrepreneurial journey with remote work - and the tools I use to run my business
Sharing insights and education about remote work
Commentary on news and breakthroughs in remote working and remote entrepreneurship
If you want to see any of those things (or other content entirely!) please don’t hesitate to ask. One of the deeper reasons I wanted to start Remotely Inclined was to balance my own feelings of isolation as a remote entrepreneur. If you’re worried about feeling alone on your journey to remote, whether thinking about it, just starting, or a remote veteran, I want you to know you have a digital home here.