Michael Moreno is no stranger to remote work. He’s been doing it throughout various points of his career. However, as a work-from-home parent who also founded a business with his spouse, Mike needs to approach his work differently than some other remote professionals. Here’s his story.
Tell me about your career trajectory. How did you fall into your current role?
Essentially I’ve been a freelancer for most of my life. Going from location to location and project to project.
Becoming both a stay at home dad and the owner of a business all happened at once and while it did come with challenges, it allowed me to run my life from my home rather than be subjected to the logistical challenges of changing job sites, weather, traffic, and other problems freelance life brings.
Did you always want to be a remote worker? If not, how did you go from being traditionally employed to co-founding Much More Media?
I’ve never really been traditionally employed and so have always had a unique and dynamic working life. Working remotely was not that big of a change considering every project I worked on as a freelancer was different than the last. Having a son changed the environment and the type of work I do. It actually became easier in many ways, because I could continue to grow a business and improve my skills while staying with my son and not being subjected to the frantic balance of project priorities and picking my son up from daycare.
So, tell me more. What’s it like to juggle both work and parenting?
Currently my son and I work rather well together during the day, but he’s about to enter preschool and will actually be out of the house for a period of time. For now, he has many ways to engage and entertain himself during the early hours when I work most on focused and important tasks. Periodically we will connect and play, but he does rather well when I have to go back to my computer.
We do make lunch together and eat together in the afternoon, and I will put him down for his nap around 3pm.
I make an effort to be done working at 5pm to have time with my family at the end of the day, and the beginning of the day before 8am is also open to fun and engagement.
You also co-founded a company with your wife. What is it like working together?
When my wife, Cristin and I met we were actually working together. So that dynamic has never been foriegn to us. It has taken time to find the best balance, but we’ve currently hit on a great dynamic where we both work on the elements of our business we are best at. Any implementation or executable tasks that don’t need our direct skills we can pass off to an assistant. This clears our plates to work and communicate effectively around the high level tasks we can both contribute to while not burdening or stressing each other with things that need to get done, but are not the best use of our specific skills.
I highly recommend a VA or some sort of assistant to take over simple, executable, repeatable tasks in your business. It just frees up your time to focus on what you do best. You also remove any of the friction or frustration you may feel by being bothered or burdened by tasks that need to get done, but you feel are in the way of doing what you want to do.
The sooner you can bring on some help in that capacity, the better. It pays for itself very quickly.
What are the challenges?
Sometimes it feels like I need to have an office where I can meet clients or use as a “base of operations,” but for the type of business we run and the work we do this is only a false idea that seems more legitimate. It’s actually less practical.
While it can seem that household stuff gets in the way of work sometimes (i.e. the cat pukes on the rug, or a package arrives, or my son falls down and hurt himself) these things would happen anyway and I would be forced to deal with them at the end of the day (or find someway to pick up that package I missed…). So it’s actually better to handle them for 15 seconds in the moment, rather than have them all dumped on me at the end of the day when I am tired.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Certainly continuing to run the business at an even higher level of efficiency that allows more hours in the day to spend with my family. Being able to check in once a day and have no appointments Friday - Sunday is ideal. We’re growing fast and both technology and the remote working culture makes it easier to achieve those results.
What is your advice for current remote workers?.
Looking for more advice on working remotely? Check out our newest book, 30 Hacks for Productive Remote Workers, part workbook and part guide that will help you work smarter, not harder. Oh, and did we mention that it was written by remote workers for remote workers? This advice is tried and tested, and we know it will help you maximize your productivity.
Images provided by Michael Moreno
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