Updated: Aug 17
3 Take Aways From Our Remote Working Journey in Peru.
Divide + Conquer
The program that our team joined back in July was a as rewarding as it was busy. Before the trip began we were notified of some assignments that would be due our first week. Keep in mind this was a month long experience, so time had to be well managed in order to get work out to clients, submit proposals, perform consults, marketing for MADE X MISTY, and socializing with our Remote Year colleagues.
At some point the decision about who would attend which networking functions and workshops had to occur. While I would love the ability to be in two places at once, the technology for that does not exist. Thankfully the art of delegation is one of my many skills. Though I did miss out on some great grub locations, on more than one occasion, I was able to get a recap of any missed highlights. Most of which were revisited after office hours. And when my partner was busy on calls, with emails, I tagged in and took up the networking gauntlet. We made the most of our time and effectiveness, but being flexible and delegating the roles to make sure that business was executed as well as nurtured.
Not All Business Contacts will Lead to Payouts
Networking with other remote working individuals was the main goal of this program, but to what end? For MADE X MISTY it was to create and discover possible business opportunities, network with other designers and learn from other small businesses.
When thinking over the total time spent in Peru, I am most appreciative of the knowledge shared between other small business owners and remote workers. Some individuals shared business techniques and tools; others their process for mental and physical wellness. Some people shared their approach to starting out in new paths for business and life in general. This is experience was valuable because of the willingness of others to unveil themselves and their passions to strangers which is essentially what we must do with each client.
With such a diverse and individuals navigating the world it was impossible not to find something to learn. But it still takes an open mind and listening skills to be able to engage and grow and only within a month's time.
Do That Thing That Challenges You + Know Your Limits
Being no stranger to taking on a challenge, I will admit Peru pushed my limits. During our third weekend we set out to Machu Picchu. Those who know me personally, know I have a fear of heights. I have no problems on a roller coaster or plane, but cliff sides, zip lines, and mountain tops are not my cup of tea. That being said, I had many hurdles getting to the top of this world-wonder to overlook the beauty of these ruins.
Most of the journey I had a very rough time. I couldn't take my eyes off the rock in front of me without my body reacting panicked. So I had to press on grabbing rocks and tree branches as I followed the trail to the top. But once I got there, I will admit the climb worth it. I had some help along the way from my RY peers (my Inca Family 🦙) who cheered me on, as well as held my hand up the mountain. Coming down however, I found a different level of confidence and made my way down steadily and with the ability to take more of the scenery.
When taking on a new client or project I think it's important to take on the tasks that challenge you. Be nervous about doing something you haven't done before, but absolutely put your hat in the ring. If others are will to bet on you and your skills, you need to as well. Many people can be their own worst enemy, by never trying something merely because it's challenging. When all is said done, be your own best advocate about in regards to what you can and can not do. Don't oversell your clients, and set realistic expectations for great collaborations.
I knew well before that journey what would be challenging for me. I made sure to make my team understood my limitations prior to the task. Its was not easy, and to be honest, I don't think I'll make that trek again. But there are 6 other world wonders to choose from. I'll be sure to take what I learned in Peru and utilize it for many travels to come.
What began as "Wow, we have a whole month in Peru" quickly became, "Was that really a month in Peru?". There is no way to duplicate the experience that was had, but I hope these takeaways reflect its overall impact. Time flew faster than our memories could keep up with. The life a remote professional has layers of complexity (beyond working from home, they have layers like ogres) and being able to soak up everything from so many was impossible. Thankfully, lessons acquired are actively being used, and are improving how we do what we love daily.
It's my hope in sharing them they assist and motivate others as well.