This is the first of a 3-part series on virtual collaboration and trends for CEOs, small business owners and entrepreneurs. In this Vlog I interview Chris Ducker, CEO of the Live2Sell Companies and founder and creator of the Virtual Business Lifestyle blog, a 25,000 reader a month blog with the mission of teaching business leaders how to move to a virtual lifestyle where your company can be run profitably without being at the office every day.
Leadership from A Distance
If you’re in business for the ultimate lifestyle it can generate for you someday, why wait? Chris talks about ways to run your business right now that don’t bind you to the office or the 9-5, traffic-fighting drag that business ownership unfortunately can be. Virtual management of your company can be a reality if you have the right attitude and belief that, for starters, it’s doable, and that you’re in it to make your business even better by delegating decisions and getting out of your own way.
Virtual Technology Tools
Chris like myself points out he is not a technology guru, and in fact makes use of three primary technologies to manage his companies from afar.
The Google Suite of Tools has assorted function you can use every day to operate remotely and manage a team, ranging from Google Docs to tools like Google Voice (online telephone number with forwarding anywhere), Google Calendar, Sketchup (for 3D modeling), and of course their cloud based email app, Gmail. For those of you who don’t know, Google also owns YouTube, making it easy to upload and share your company video. Youtube will host and stream your videos for your website and is often where my SmartVu Executive Video Interview clients will host their videos for on-site display.
Dropbox is a file sharing platform that allows you to easily share documents, audio and video files, literally anything, with other business associates. You can assign permissions to folders and upload very large file sizes that you could never share via email without bombing your system.
The mother of all video-telephone applications in the cloud, Skype allows for free one-to-one video chat with other skype users, dials to landline phones, and can even tele-conference up to 6 people. Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Skype leaves the jury out as to whether it will improve even more or not.
How to Win Friends and Influence People in a Virtual World
I also spoke to Chris about collaborating with other CEOs online. Chris is a Twitter buff and seeks out cool and mutually beneficial CEOs and other Executives online based upon the value of their content, then uses techniques right out of Dale Carnegie training to begin to forge relationships, like tweeting and recommending their stuff. He expects no less from those connecting with him and uses that process as a litmus test for connections.
Once that relationship starts to gel, other more direct communication like worldwide Skype video chat (see our video) lead to collaborative opportunities and, depending upon travel schedules, eventual face-to-face meetings. According to Chris Ducker, it’s never been easier to connect with influential business partners and advises to never be shy or fearful about reaching out to the rockstars in your industry if you first show your interest in their content and then offer some value (like the tweeting described above). All they can do is ignore you and 90% of the time, they won’t.
Comment on the interview with Chris below.
Chris and I refer to Mastermind Groups in the video, an executive collaboration strategy that can bring incredible results for any small business owner or entrepreneur in making him or her a better leader or jacking up the profitability of the company. You can learn more about Mastermind Groups and the 4 Benefits they offer small business owners and entrepreneurs by visiting Virtual-Mastermind.com to claim a FREE video and eBook copy of Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich just for stopping by.