Jag Journey is 100% remote and here’s our story.
Since June of 2019, when we decided to close our office and end our lease in Kent, WA, we immediately reached out to Richard at Meadow Creek Business Center to inquire about mail routing, office space and other services as needed. They said yes and they have been a pleasure to work with for the past almost two years. If it wasn't for Richard and his team at Meadow Creek Business Center, we wouldn't have been fully remote since 2019!!!
Yes, as you can see, we went remote the year prior to COVID. Something came over me one day after approaching Sharon Couts (CEO - Wife) that we need to go remote and let the office go. The date February 2019 – one year before COVID. She's always gone with my intuitions, and for the record I'm not a fortune teller, I'm just one in touch with my intuitions. Ever since November 2014, she learned to go with my intuitions after we had an accident (Story behind this, feel free to learn more) and when someone plowed hard and rear-ended us during a standstill off of I-90 to I-405 interchange.
So, little here nor there, we were prepared for COVID ahead of time.
Now let's set the record straight for, "Was it easy to transition to remote working with developers, designers and sales?" Yes, of course it was, it's what I've been born and raised to do and that's to go with the flow of life and NOT look back and dwell on mistakes.
Why was it easy? Simply because I have been planning on a remote workstation VDI setup for everyone using Microsoft's RDP for almost six months prior to this...
Has it been great? Of course, it has, because it's afforded our staff to be at home, spend more time with family and work from the comfort of their surroundings that doesn't feel like anyone is constantly micromanaging them. We respect everyone's privacy in their space! For example, one of our developers has a mother fighting cancer. Remote work has helped our developer be more at ease, allowing him to work within the times that work for him and his family!
So, in April of 2021, Sharon and I decided to accept the offer of our beautiful home in Auburn, WA (Out by Black Diamond, WA) and buy a Dodge 2500 to pull our 2021 Forrest River Wolf Pack 5th Wheel Toy Hauler RV 40' in length. We chose a Toy Hauler because it allowed me to convert the garage into our "multi-purpose office-room," where we have two desks below the top bunk after removing the "Happy Jack Seating" system below. Plus, I installed a stackable 110v stackable washer/dryer... Packed our main PCs within that we work on day to day! (No laundry mats needed!)
Internet? Everything is powered for internet with cellular service with up to four (4) SIM cards using a device that the airlines, public transit uses along with a weBoost system to help boost the cellular signals up to approximately 20db or more! Our setup allows up to 20g of service from each 5g card to be used in conjunction of one another and gives us enough data to stream, code, give DEMOs and do what we need on a day-to-day basis running Jag Journey. With an amazing wireless setup that'll reach the cab of the truck, using all Netgear products made for gamers. (Yes, I'm a gamer and will always be.)
Now, the fun part came about when it was time to travel after we were evicted (Ongoing joke from our friend/realtor at the time) from our home that I remodeled in 2019-2020) was to pull this 16,000 lbs. across 27,000+ miles home/office and work remotely from anywhere and everywhere we traveled to! So far, so good until just recently...
Recently we've been in the most remote and beautiful area of Cusick, WA which is set around 2100' elevation, and we never knew this area existed! It's a hidden gem! So, with that being said, the so far, so good came to a halt when the temperatures dipped below freezing. We learned the hard way that the cold weather kit was NOT installed to our fridge, which stopped cooling because of the temperatures. But I had a plan, a plan that was simple: use the snow and ice that's outside to act as our fridge and freezer until I get that device and install it! We were told this RV was “all-season” ready for any temperature... You can't believe everything you're told by salespeople unless you do your own due diligence from top to bottom and side to side. So, on the bright side. This allowed me to do what I do best, fix what's broken, because I love to fix anything!
Do we regret this? We both agree that we do NOT regretting on selling our beautiful home in Auburn and living in a 5th Wheel RV for going on a year. It's allowed us to spread our wings and meet and greet with people across 27,000+ miles we've traveled and guess what?
We've found our forever spot! 10-acres of beauty here nestled away in the mountains at 2100' elevation with deeded rights to a boat launch on the beautiful Pend Oreille River (close to Metaline Falls, WA), and it's a blank slate with a power pole, a well, and a dry cabin already in place... So, in the spring of this year, we're setting out to prepare to move our RV onto this property after I build a bigger driveway and get gravel brought in, and gradually build as we run our business! (People who know me personally, gradually means, get it done ASAP!)
Oh, let me note, we invested into a brand-new portable bandsaw sawmill (last night) ... Which means, we can mill our own timber and build the three small cabins, shop, and dream house from the existing timber that sits on our land already! (Lots of pine and oak). Hmmmm maybe another business is in the works?!
In short, I just wanted to say, "everything is possible as long as you do it from the heart!" An amazing journalist (John Sharify from King 5 News) taught me long ago in a media training course, "Always tell your story from the heart, you'll win every time!" Adding the same concept to our work with chambers of commerce is vital!
I think a lot of people fear the unknown, which to me is the worst thing! Why? Because fear only makes you quit ONLY if you allow it to do so! Do not let fear stand in your way, do not let fear overtake you, you are the one to overtake fear as you would anything and set your heart out to do what it is you're meant to do!
Thank you so much Richard Gabel and his staff at Meadow Creek Business Center of Issaquah, WA again for believing in us and working with us this whole time!