1. Hey, can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Jason Fleagle and I’m from the Daytona Beach area of Florida. I’m the Founder of the international blogging platform Converge (ConvergeBlog.com), and Founder and CEO of the consulting and learning company Catalyst Brand Group (CatalystGrowthGroup.com), Previous Host of the Grow Like a Pro show (GrowLikeaProShow.com), and the Content Marketing Manager for Motava.
I’ve had the blessed opportunity to work with brands like The John Maxwell Company, Ziglar Inc., Ziglar Family, Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank, The Basement Doctor, Autism Power, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), political think tanks, startups, and many others.
I specialize in helping brands define and clarify who they are, make more money with what they do and how they do it, and better serve the people they’re trying to serve. One of the largest projects I’ve had the opportunity to work on is co-creating the Secrets of Closing the Sale Masterclass with Kevin Harrington and Ziglar Inc., which was in the top 10 most successful online course launches of 2018 and did $2.5mil in sales during launch week.
One of the eCommerce companies I’ve worked with, Crawlspace-DIY, was able to take their revenue from $25k/month to $90k/month by implementing a few changes based on my content marketing recommendations.
Fun facts about me, I was a nationally ranked swimmer swimming with Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and others, accepted into Medical school and Dental school, an MBA candidate, and I’m also a published author.
2. What motivated you to choose remote working?
The biggest motivations for me to choose remote working were freedom, flexibility, and spending more time with my family and side projects. I wanted freedom and flexibility to be able to arrange my schedule around the work that needed to be done and also be able to do that from wherever I lived. I didn’t want to feel stuck in coming to an office every day when I believe that it’s important to do work from other places and experience new things to be able to get inspired with more solutions and interactions with other people.
Rather than a commute and wasting time, I wanted to have more time devoted to my family. So taking breaks where I can take my daughter out for a walk is great. I not only get rested, but I also get to spend time with a family member. I do what I do for my family and the other people I serve.
3. What were your initial months like? Did it live up to your expectations?
My initial months of remote work were great. It was a lot of getting used to different things and different workflows, but it more than lived up to my expectations. I started off working with different political think tanks and non-profits helping them with research and compiling content and information pertaining to social issues. It was a fairly steep learning curve, as most new things are, but I was very teachable, asking as many questions as I could, just to learn their expectations and the final products they were looking for.
After a number of years doing new digital marketing, software development, and support work, I started managing other employees and contractors for my own personal projects and as a Content Marketing Manager. My initial months through those experiences were getting to know different team members, their core competencies, and of course getting to know internal workflows, standard operating procedures (SOP’s), and familiarity with the different clients/ customers I was working with as well.
I was also doing a few projects myself here and there as the other team members were seeing my core competencies and skills I could bring to the table. To reiterate, it’s a lot of asking questions, learning, talking with people, and trying/testing new things. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can share is to constantly be learning through reading blogs, listening to podcasts, learning from mentors, and reading books. It pays dividends in helping to work with other people, team members and clients/customers, and it also is beneficial for improving your knowledge and skills.
Remote work more than lived up to my expectations. It does have challenges associated with it, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. It’s just like most things in life. You need to set expectations, boundaries, and regular goals/milestones to make progress from where you are to where you want to go. There were a number of specific benefits that I really enjoyed from starting remote work.
I didn’t have a long commute to work. I didn’t have the stress of worrying about other drivers on the road or packing my lunches. If I wanted to take a break I could go visit my family for a bit and then jump back into work. If I had an appointment or something I needed to do in the middle of the day I could rearrange my schedule if necessary. It’s important to plan out tasks throughout the day and make sure you’re hitting your milestones and project deadlines. I still enjoy doing regular in-person meetings with people, but I don’t know if I would ever want to go back to going into the same office every single day.
For someone with self-control and good time management skills, remote work is terrific.
4. How did you find remote working roles?
I started out in college just learning from other people who were already working remotely. I read blogs, forums, watched videos, asked questions, etc. As much as I could do to try and learn how other people did it. Then I started to do online courses and build my own projects that would give me some kind of portfolio to demonstrate to people. And then I was really persistent in looking at remote job boards and trying to talk with people who worked at companies that I really wanted to work with.
I also joined Slack groups to learn from other people, see if there were any job boards, and also communicate with companies who were looking for someone with my skill set. The Online Geniuses community has probably been one of my favorite communities I’ve joined. They regularly share job opportunities and also have a number of channels on particular topics, which is absolutely terrific.
5. What have been the best, good and worst aspects of remote working for you?
Best aspects are definitely freedom, flexibility, and responsibility to make the right decisions.
I like having the ability to arrange my schedule around the tasks that need to be accomplished and the team collaboration that needs to happen.
I can also work from anywhere. So sometimes I work at coffee shops or work at different locations while I’m traveling. I also don’t have micro-management which allows me the ability to come up with more creative ideas and solutions to problems that clients may be facing.
6. What tools do you swear by while working remotely?
I have a number of favourite tools I like to use.
For Communication, I like to use Slack, Hangouts/Zoom, Email/Phone for client and team communication.
For file management, I like to use Google Drive and Dropbox to make sure all the files are saved internally and we also can share the necessary files with clients for collaboration.
For project management, I mostly use Asana. I really like Asana. It’s easy to use and also offers a lot of customizability and flexibility to do what you need to do. I also use Trello, Basecamp, and ClickUp for a number of different things. Trello is mostly for social media content calendars and for communication with different software developer teams. I’m not a fan of Basecamp, but some of our clients use it. ClickUp I really like and I think it’s an up-and-coming project management tool that will compete with Asana.
7. Your most exciting/ hilarious experience since you started working remotely.
My most exciting experience was working with Kevin Harrington, who was a previous shark on Shark Tank. Most of the work we did with him and his team was remote, but I also would travel in to visit his home every month for about 6 months to work on filming, content writing/ content marketing. It was one of the best experiences learning from someone who failed so much but also had a number of great successes.
In terms of hilarious or funny experiences, I don’t really have a particular one. However, my cat Linux really likes to come and sit on my lap while I work at my desk. So sometimes during video calls he will come and sit on my lap while I’m talking with someone else.
8. What is your golden advice to a new remote worker?
Listen, ask important questions, and learn as much as you can. To be a leader or an expert at anything you have to listen far more than you talk.
So if you’re just starting out with a new company, listen as they teach you or educate you about the company and the work you are doing for their customers. Ask questions about why they do what they do or how they do things. And learn as much as you can about why they do it. As you get more plugged in and learn more, you can begin to make recommendations and share other ideas that can improve operations, systems, or the way you serve customers.
9. How do you see your career shaping up and your goals?
I have always wanted to own my own business and work remotely with companies all over the world. In-person meetings are always great, but most of the work I do can be accomplished virtually. And I really enjoy having that capability. For my future, I desire to continue doing what I’m doing especially working with Motava as the content marketing manager, because I really like our team and I think we are building a company where we are transparent, treat clients with the utmost respect, and are also very good at the services/ deliverables we provide.
I also want to continue to work on my side businesses and grow them as well. Some of my other personal goals are to continue to write more. I really enjoy writing fiction and non-fiction books. So publishing more books around particular topics and creating brands around them are definitely something I’m looking at doing moving forward with my personal brand. I also really enjoy speaking and teaching. So the book topics I publish will most likely be paired with online courses, podcasts, and speaking topics as well.
My biggest goal though is for devoting time to my family. My wife and I want to start homeschooling in the next few years once our children are old enough. So I want to be able to have an important role in teaching and preparing our children to be future leaders who help other people and have a positive impact on the culture.
10. How do you expect remote working to evolve in the future?
I have always been a proponent of, or an ambassador for, remote working. The benefits far outweigh the cons. I think an in-person element is always important, but in most cases, work can be accomplished remotely. With the recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies/teams were forced to work remotely whether they liked it or not, and many of them are finding they can still operate and function with everyone being remote.
I think more companies will embrace remote work. I think it’s important to implement some kind of oversight to remote workers, but at the end of the day the expectations are no different from an in-office employee. Are they accomplishing their work/objectives or not? My productivity is much higher when I work remotely because I have fewer distractions and don’t have the stress of driving into an office or the added time to make that happen.
So I fully expect remote work to continue to be embraced by more and more companies. I also expect more AR and VR technologies are going to be applied to remote collaboration because of its ability to do almost in-person meetings with the viewing area. More and more employees and contractors are expecting remote work capabilities so if a company isn’t using it they will be missing out on some very good team members for their company.
11. Where can we follow you on?
You can reach me at Jason@JasonFleagle.com
You can watch a video on YouTube where I talk more about Remote Work, Content Marketing, and where to get connected with me.
You can learn more about me and my businesses here:
Join my new podcast – Marketing Masters.