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Say hello to Geoff Abraham and Dane Hurtubise, long-time friends turned co-founders of Spoken. Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey from the confines of their respective homes, Geoff and Dane had to learn to ride the wave of work-life challenges unique to remote startup founders.
Their adventure began when Geoff’s first child was on the horizon, a life-altering event that put a new perspective on their then-growing business idea. When the team realized their original idea wasn’t working, they used the inspiration around them, and Geoff’s momentous milestone, to pivot their efforts towards what would become Spoken.
The partners’ friendship has always been defined by tackling challenges together. Dane, despite his aversion to swimming, once joined Geoff to swim several miles in the winter-chilled San Francisco Bay without a wetsuit – talk about jumping in at the deep end!
Here’s how the team cultivated resilience in remote entrepreneurship:
- Developing a routine: With the arrival of Geoff’s child, it was clear that a routine was paramount. It helped the Spoken duo differentiate work hours from personal time, ensuring one didn’t encroach on the other.
- Setting clear boundaries: Both Spoken founders decided to mute work notifications during designated ‘off-work’ hours, fostering a boundary that helps mitigate work-related stress.
- Embracing downtime: Switching off can become your sanctuary. Unplugging allowed Geoff and Dane to recharge and return to work revitalized in the early days of building Spoken.
- Harnessing Support Networks: Geoff and Dane took the habit of leaning on their friends, family, and entrepreneurial allies who could provide valuable support during difficult times of building Spoken.
Adapting Work-Life Integration Strategies for Entrepreneurial Success
In the realm of remote entrepreneurship, flexibility isn’t just a virtue, but a necessity. For the Spoken team, the due learned to adapt flexible scheduling to help them capitalize on their most productive hours, reshuffling work schedules to fit around family life and personal commitments.
Geoff and Dane also learned to leverage technology to harness the power of tech. From project management tools to virtual communication platforms, they learned to integrate tech solutions into their workflows to make remote collaboration seamless. The Spoken founders also learned to prioritize tasks in the same way they track workouts. They applied the same disciplined approach to work using the Eisenhower matrix for task management.
Lastly, they encourage team flexibility. They wanted to foster a culture within Spoken that embraced each member’s individual circumstances and encouraged flexibility and understanding across all their teams.
Prioritizing Mental and Physical Health in Remote Entrepreneurship
Beyond the realms of work, Geoff and Dane realized the significance of nurturing their physical and mental well-being.
They prioritized mental and physical health in a remote environment by
- Saying active: Regular exercise serves as a stress reliever and promotes overall well-being. This allows the Spoken team to stay sharp and ready to work.
- Mindfulness practices: Geoff and Dane incorporated mindfulness into their daily routines, using meditation to help them stay focused amid the tumult of building a company.
- Healthy eating: A balanced diet is as important as a balanced life, aiding physical well-being and boosting overall energy.
- Seeking professional help: There was no shame in turning to mental health professionals when the time was right. The guidance of a mental health professional was invaluable in helping the Spoken founders navigate the complexities of balancing personal life while building a remote startup.
Achieving Work-Life Balance In Remote Entrepreneurship
In essence, achieving work-life balance in remote entrepreneurship isn’t solely about balancing the scales of work and personal life. It’s about self-care, flexibility, resilience, and knowing when to take a step back to reevaluate. Through navigating these challenges, Geoff and Dane found a unique rhythm to their remote entrepreneurial journey, allowing them to flourish in their personal and professional lives. It’s an ongoing journey, but one the duo wouldn’t trade for anything.