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Remote Culture 6 min read

How To Navigate Remote Entrepreneurship And Create A Better Business

Zach Boyette photo

Written by Zach Boyette

Co-Founder & Managing Partner @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 10 Jul 2023

This article was originally published on Forbes on 23 Dec, 2022

For remote entrepreneurs, each day comes with its set of unique challenges. Dropped calls, lousy Wi-Fi and timezone mix-ups are par for the course. But how would you lead a remote-first company from the most remote lake in the world? Is it possible to balance running a successful business while traveling the globe? And how can you leverage these formative experiences to improve growth and revenue and run a better business?

In the spring of 2022, my cofounder and I traveled across Africa, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and trekked to one of the most remote lakes in the world, Lake Tele. We did this all while running our remote marketing agency comprised of more than 155 employees. This experience was one of the most formative of my life so far and gave us some unique insights that have emphasized the significance of remote entrepreneurship. Below are three valuable lessons I learned.

Irina and Zach in Africa

Leaders can set the stage for remote work success

Such like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, building a company that allows you to travel the world and still scale happens one step at a time. While my cofounder and I are now reaping the benefits of a solid remote foundation, we had to first encounter and overcome many challenges, most of them entirely new to us as entrepreneurs exploring the remote world.

What type of infrastructure needs to be in place to allow this? We needed to answer this question before we could travel the world while running our company. No matter where you’re located, in order to stay on top of teams, systems and results, leaders of remote teams need to build quantitative measurement systems that can outperform more traditional management models. A systematic approach to how work gets done is crucial.

For example, at my company, we call this our “GFW,” or the “Galactic Fed Way.” The GFW is the company blueprint for everything we do, including hiring, training, marketing, sales, HR, etc. We began documenting all of our processes when we were a team of two, and now as a team of more than 150, it’s rigorously kept up to date and as detailed as possible.

Suppose you aren’t a remote entrepreneur but are looking to make the transition. In that case, there are ways you can begin today. Try to minimize calls and limit them to just a few days per week. Encourage asynchronous work. Allow employees to work remotely for one or two days a week or a whole week each month.

A man working from a train

Remote entrepreneurs can bring benefits to their businesses 

At first glance, the benefits of remote entrepreneurship seem obvious: no physical office, less overhead and zero time spent commuting. But I’ve found the potential positive outcomes for your business itself are more far-reaching than you might think.

Consider recruiting, for example. You can hire top talent from anywhere in the world. This approach to hiring proved true when we returned from our three-month journey to find our international agency operating as usual. Coming back and seeing that everything was just fine was really rewarding. My team knows how to do their jobs and handle things without the founders around.

Furthermore, necessity breeds innovation. I believe the result of traveling and operating remotely while running a company forces entrepreneurs to have impeccable time management and can expose them to other cultures. In my experience, it opens your mind to new work and management philosophies and can help you learn to go with the flow and take things more naturally, a skill I believe many entrepreneurs lack.

On top of that, I’ve found that broadening your cultural horizons can lead to a more diverse team and inclusive culture. That same diversity shines through when you travel, especially if you have to work through various issues in a multicultural setting and learn to empathize with other viewpoints. Ultimately, I believe in making your company a reflection of the world you see around you. This can foster an environment of acceptance where people want to work. You might also find this helps lower turnover and makes room for lifelong careers.

a man on a virtual video call

The new future of work is here

Remote work is often referred to as “the future of work,” but, as we know, it has now become relatively mainstream. I believe we’re on the cusp of a newfuture of work. What does that look like? I predict the future of work will be primarily asynchronous, global organizations. We will see people moving away from cities and into other areas to be closer to family, to be near nature or to live in a new country. As time passes, the term “digital nomad” or even “remote work” might even seem antiquated because I expect traveling and working will be a normal facet of life.

And, of course, knowing your team’s and organization’s strengths are imperative to thriving in this new future. This is something I have learned through practice. Building a team of self-motivated, relatively autonomous go-getters who thrive in the remote work environment is key. Trusting your team and delegating responsibility to leaders who know their stuff is essential. If you can’t do this, remote leadership won’t be possible.

Traveling while running a company might seem counterintuitive and isn’t suitable for everyone or every industry. But for founders, entrepreneurs and business leaders curious about how adopting this new future could shape their company culture and fuel its growth, there are strategies to implement today.

Whether you want to hike for 14 days to the most remote lake in the world or simply integrate your life and work more holistically, I believe experiencing the world through travel while you run your company is good for you, but it can be even better for your business.

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Zach Boyette photo

Zach Boyette

Co-Founder & Managing Partner @ Galactic Fed