What is your potted history?
I am the Community Evangelist for Piktochart. Piktochart is a startup headquartered on an island in Southeast Asia, and I work remotely on the marketing team. I’m a former venture-backed startup founder. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a deep entrepreneurial drive.
I love working on projects that sit at the intersection of content and community. When I’m not working on exciting projects, I enjoy traveling, yoga, engaging with other startup teams, meditation, and learning to code.
If you can think of someone who had a transformative impact on your life or career, what would you say to them right now, to express gratitude?
When I was 20 years old, I joined Wells Fargo Bank, the third largest bank in the US in terms of assets. Wells Fargo Bank was where I first learned about the corporate work environment and was my first professional job. I learned a great deal from my boss, Shannon Williams. Shannon had high standards for the team, was blunt with her feedback, and was a strong role model for me.
If I were to run into Shannon again, I would thank her for challenging me, holding tight to her expectations, and teaching me what it takes to excel in a corporate environment.
What is an interesting fact about yourself?
Something interesting about me is that I’m a lifelong vegetarian. My parents raised my sister and I vegetarian and we never had meat in our home growing up. I’m still a vegetarian today! I’m often grateful for that choice my parents made. As more and more research comes out about the impact of excessive meat in our diets, I’m aware of how food choices can impact your wellness and life.
Tell us about a book that made you feel happy…
I absolutely love Adam Grant’s book “Give and Take”. It’s an excellent book and I think of it often. Grant writes about society’s focus on individual success – passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But his research showed that success is actually more and more dependent on how we interact with others.
What do you love most about your work?
During my time as a venture-backed founder, I spent a lot of time doing things that I didn’t love doing. From working with our lawyers to managing our financials, I’d often look back on my workday and wish I could have spent more time on marketing and community building.
What I love most about my role at Piktochart is that I am able to spend the vast majority of my time on things I love doing, enjoy learning more about, and alongside a very talented team. I also enjoy the freedom I have at Piktochart to try new things. Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged from the top down, and I enjoy working in that environment.
You’re joining Remote Year this year in June, what triggered you to embark in that incredible journey?
I first heard about Remote Year in September 2015 and loved the idea. After being accepted to the second stage of the application process, I chickened out. Although I travel about 50-60% of the time now, I wasn’t sure being away from the US for an entire year would be a good idea.
In January, an acquaintance asked me, “Why WOULDN’T you join Remote year? Most people would love that opportunity if only they could do it.” Right then, I saw the potential and I knew it was an opportunity I should seize. That night, I contacted the Remote Year team and asked if I could move onto the second stage of the application. I am glad I reconsidered the opportunity and saw the potential.
Next September, you’ll find yourself in Portugal hanging out with the Offsite Immersive community for a few days. What do you wish to experience during that time?
Offsite Immersive looks like an amazing program. For me, creatively coworking has produced wonderful results. Whether being creative in finding a cool place to cowork, or being creative by finding interesting people to work alongside, I’ve found it’s important to consciously and intentionally make remote working really *work*.
Being remote allows me the freedom to be inventive with how I grow professionally and impact the world around me. I cannot wait to get to know the Offsite Immersive community, focus on creativity and wellness, and be surrounded by a lovely landscape in Portugal!
At Offsite Immersive, you’ll be sharing your thoughts and ideas on how to create exciting content for our communities. Why do you think that is important?
I heard something at SXSW this year that stuck with me. A representative from NASA was quoted saying, “Your brand’s fan base doesn’t know they’re a community until you bring them together.” As a marketer and community builder, I see a great deal of potential to use online and offline platforms to connect people.
One of the ways to get your community onboard is to generate amazing content to get them as excited as you are. The problem comes when it’s time to create that content – sometimes we need to hear what’s working for others to spark a new idea for ourselves.
I am excited to share what we are doing online and offline with the Piktochart community and share both our fruitful experiments, as well as failures.
By September you’ll have lived the digital nomad lifestyle for over 3 months. Where do you think the future of work is going?
I’ve been in a non-traditional work environment for 6 years now. During that time, I’ve seen the change in how people view non-traditional environments. I find many more people know about remote working today, and some now even have an option for short-term remote work at their office.
As we lean on technology more and more, I suspect employers will begin to realize hurdles like long commutes and expensive office space can be easily avoided by offering remote work options to employees. Once we see more people working outside traditional offices, I think an entire industry of “the new office” will grow.
Programs like Offsite Immersive offer an attractive, affordable, and life-changing experience to community members.
When you travel what things do you like to explore from the local culture?
Street markets are my favorite thing to check out in new cities I visit. I think street markets, especially in foreign countries, are the best way to experience the local culture. From fashion to handmade goods to food, street markets have it all. It’s also a fun way to check out the building architecture of the city and get outside.
You work remotely and travel a lot for work. How do you create time for the things and experiences that really matter in life?
To me, the work I’m doing at Piktochart and the things I do outside of Piktochart all make up the fabric of one single life. My work matters in the same way spending time coloring with my niece matters. Something I always liked about being an entrepreneur was that my days never felt segmented into “work time” and “life time” – for me, it was all just one single day.
I’m grateful that concept translated well into my remote role at Piktochart. If I want to attend a yoga workshop at noon, I fit that into my schedule. If an idea strikes at 10pm for my role at the company, I work on it. I don’t ever really stop working. Likewise, I never really stop living. I create time for all things I love, work projects and otherwise, by making sure I deliberately choose balance each day.
When was the last time you went over 24h without your phone or digital device, and how did that make you feel?
I can’t remember a time I have gone 24 hours without access to the internet. LA to Sydney is a 15 hour flight. I don’t purchase in-flight wifi when I travel, so I think that flight is the closest I’ve come to the 24 hour mark. When I’m on that flight, I’ve felt relieved, centered, and rested. I’m looking forward to Offsite Immersive to take time off from my digital devices!
Check out our coworking retreat Offsite Immersive 2016, where Jacqueline Jensen will be talking about her digital nomad experience, and running a deep-dive on “How to create exciting content for our communities”!
Expect even more inspirational speakers, like minded people, meaningful conversations, learning, wellness, unplugging, delicious food, live music, field trips and a lot of playfulness. If you want to apply, don’t miss your chance. We have limited places! Can you afford to miss it? Apply here!