Welcome to the sixth 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 I had the ultimate pleasure of interviewing Rob Cubbon. Rob is a seasoned web designer and now runs his own business offering hosting, development and design packages as well as been a rock star internet marketing dude.
I came across Rob’s website while searching for various wordpress related plugins or enhancements. This brought me to arguably the underrated part of Rob’s work and that’s his excellent blogging abilities. His business is driven by the excellent advice he gives through his own blog including wordpress help, freelancing guides and general business advice. Furthermore Rob has released two ebooks for free which can be grabbed through subscribing to his newsletter as well as two further paid business ebooks. It would be fair to say that Rob’s skills have progressed from designer into fully fledged business owner since his move to freelancing.
Hello, I’m originally from a small town about 40 miles away from London, England. I’ve lived a lot of the time in London since I came here for university when I was 18. Although I have spent time living in Portugal and Brazil.
I’m almost at the point now that I’m “location independent” and I don’t really need to live in London for my work so, as it’s one of the world’s most expensive cities, I think a lot about moving these days. But I’m here in London at the moment and, in my opinion, it’s one of the best cities in the world!
I work for a company called Rob Cubbon Ltd which, you guessed it, is my company. My role? CEO, Director, Owner, you name it. It depends on who I’m talking to and what mood I’m in.
Seriously though. Setting up my own company in 2006 was one of the best things I’ve done. It made me look on what I did as a business. It was also one of the most liberating things I did. To find out that I could run a successful company was amazing!
Well, to be honest, I’d say they were pretty close! I do work hard. But if I want to take time off, I do. When I have to work; I have to work. It’s easy when it’s your own business because you’re doing what you love so the work gets done even if it means staying up all night.
I have a regime that I stick to but rules are there to be broken!
As I remember it was fairly challenging working in an office I didn’t like; for someone I didn’t know; doing a job I hated to do!
There are challenges though. For example, you’re on your own – how do you sort out the inevitable problems?
It’s important to keep a network of trusted fellow professionals in different fields you can call on in times of trouble. They can be people you know in real life or people you’ve met online. If you’re really stuck it’s good to be able to ask someone to help you.
Other than that you can fall back on sites like oDesk or ask on the forums.
You’ve got to keep your equipment and software up-to-date and keep back-ups of everything.
It’s also important to get out from behind your computer everyday and go to events and meetings to meet other professionals face to face. It’s good for business but it’s also good to meet people personally whoever they are. Otherwise you’re too computer-bound.
Another balance you have to strike is the time balance between working on the one hand, doing marketing to find new work on the other. And, not to forget the invoicing, accounting and tax. You learn to get the balance right with time and sound advice.
Freedom. You’re more free to do what you want when you want and therefore that frees-up your mind to be more creative which is important in my line of work.
It also teaches you to be self-reliant. Whereas when you’re working in a large company there’s a tendency to pass jobs off to other departments or to outsource. When working from home you have to do everything yourself, which is quite fun. And it makes you able to provide extra services for your clients.
Yes, I’ve always had dedicated office space, I’m sure it’s pretty essential but then I’ve never worked otherwise.
Not really. But I’ve heard good things about the pomodoro technique. Plus there’s the StayFocusd addon for Chrome and Firefox.
I think they’ll know deep down in their heart whether they can do it. I wanted to do it so I knew I’d make it work for me. But I know other people don’t think they can do it. Well, maybe they can. But I can only speak for myself. I was always sure I could do it.
I do believe organizations should allow more remote working because there’s nothing inherently productive about a load of people who live in different places going to the same office to work for 8 hours a day and travel for 2. It’s just mad!
Once organisations realize their people can be trusted and will actually benefit from being more independent I’m sure we’ll see a lot more people working from home in the future.
But, I’m not going back there. I’m going to be running my own company and working where I want for the foreseeable future. :)
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