Interview With Working & Living Abroad Expert Phil Byrne

Welcome to the fourteenth of the weekly interview series where I will speak a wide range of people who have embraced the working remotely opportunity. We will speak to entrepreneurs, business owners, large organisation workers and freelancers about their trials and tribulations when delving into remote working.

This week was an interview with a role model of mine Phil Byrne. I was given the absolute pleasure in interviewing Phil who is the king of remote working. As a digital marketeer too he’s a man close to my heart. Phil effectively manages client work, his own websites and his fantastic online writing from the comforts of a location abroad. Phil has lived (and worked) in locations across the globe and he has some fantastic advice for all.

Phil has just released his HIGHLY anticipated ebook which helps you become location independent. The ebook focuses on everything, truly everything you would need to become that guy/girl. Here’s a sneak peak of what is included:

  • take your first steps towards remote working
  • make your company email 100% web based
  • create, edit or store any kind of office document online using Google Docs
  • use Evernote & Zendone as a highly effective task management team
  • store everything important online using Dropbox and/or Google Drive

You can purchase the ebook here but how about finding out about the man behind the ebook? Here’s the fantastic run down on the career of Phil.

Q: Hi Phil tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, where do you live now?

I am originally from a small, sea side town called Maryport in North West Cumbria. There, I fell in love with indie bands like The Smiths, The Cure and many others. I left home wanting to create a record label at the University Of Leeds and ended up instead running gigs and club nights at Leeds Met (then Leeds Polytechnic). I grew up into proper marketing when I discovered the internet in the late 1990’s, around the time Freeserve began to revolutionise dial up access. Since then many things have happened to both the internet and me. After working on a range of online marketing campaigns for a variety of clients, I began to create my own online businesses around 2007. Around the same time, I began to work remotely regularly. In 2010, I left the UK and have worked remotely 100% of the time ever since.

Q: What company do you work for and what is your role within the organisation?

I have two aspects to my working life. I am a director of Leeds based web marketing company H2 and I run my own company FabDomains from which I create my own affiliate sites and online businesses.

Q: How do you deal with stereotypes from friends in regards to productivity when working from home? i.e.: Sleep until midday, 2 hour lunch breaks etc.

I also get the ‘been lazing around on the beach’, or more recently ‘been out for a few more guinesses’! Overall, the best way to counter such comments is to make it work! Then even if you do sleep until midday or enjoy two hour lunches, what can anyone say?

Q: What is the most challenging part about working remotely and how do you overcome this?

Self motivation and procrastination. You have to be organised and become your own boss/motivator/editor/critic and friend. A comprehensive task management system is a must, I personally use a combination of Evernote and Zendone. I also think rewarding yourself regularly for completing everything you should do in a day is a good thing too.

Q: What are the main positives around working from home?

The extra time, no commuting means we have extra time to do things we love. I like to run with my dog through the beautiful forests here in County Wicklow. Working from home also means we can set our own working hours. If you hate mornings, don’t work them!

Q: Are you an advocate of work/life balance and how do you try and balance both?

I love life and I’m lucky enough to love my work as part of that. The key to living I think is to focus your life on experiences, find the ones that give you energy instead of take it away and seek more of these wherever you can.

Q: How important do you feel family support is for home workers?

My wife has been very supportive. Working from our home means that our home can easily become all about work. She’s very good at ensuring I stick to my designated hours and stick to my downtime too.

Q: Do you have a dedicated office space and what is the importance of having this?

I do, I work from the conservatory in our cottage. Having a dedicated space allows you to shut off work when you need to and focus exclusively on it when you need to also.

Q: Any pictures of your office space?

Phil Byrne Office

Life is obviously hard working with this view.

Phil Byrne Office Space

Again…..how horrible…

Q: Do you have any productivity tools you use to keep yourself efficient which may help our readers?

I use quite a few – all of which you can find out about in the ebook! If I had to choose, I reckon I could run pretty much anything with Evernote, Zendone and Gmail.

Q: If you could give any advice to our readers before deciding whether remote working is for them then what would it be?

Simply, give it a go. Start working remotely 1 day a week and gradually expand out from there. Learn as much from what doesn’t work as from what does. Refine your methods as you go.

Q: Do you believe more organisations should allow those with web based roles to work remotely? If so..how come?

I do. Opening up remote working not only reduces office costs it also opens up new potential employees in other locations away from the office hub. I speak almost everyday with people I’ve never actually met. One of my ambitions is to actually visit everyone I work with regularly, such a trip would take me from Europe to Asia and over to South America!

About the author

Ryan Gibson

Hey! I'm a 28 year old digital marketing guy residing in Leeds, England. My skill is in search marketing and I have gathered over 6 years experience of working on large multilingual campaigns for a number of FTSE 250 Organisations. After accepting a role with a business based in Singapore I began questioning traditional business practice and employee retention. This blog GenerationY.com was therefore born with focus on Y in the workplace. A millennial child at heart I aim to provide a voice for the 'misunderstood' generation and my goal is simply to change perception and corporate mind set on work/life attitudes; inspiring companies and individuals to seek change.

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