If you think collaborating with a remote team is hard, try collaborating with a remote team across multiple time zones! In this article, I share 5 key strategies that I lean on every day to keep international projects moving.

Collaboration strategy 1: Know your time zones

The United States has 6 time zones. So, as you can imagine, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes standing up people across San Francisco, Austin, and New York. In addition, I juggle our team in Australia, which has 3 time zones, and my assistant Rachelle works in the Philippines. I also sometimes meet with partners in Singapore and the UK.

When I decided it was time to refresh Avion’s look, I never thought it would be such a departure from our existing brand. I was apprehensive accepting a new colour palette, but I’m thrilled with where it landed. What I learned is even if you think you know best (marketing specialists and business owners, I’m talking to you!), it’s important to balance your expertise with getting out your comfort zone. You’re looking for a change, after all.

For those thinking about a transformation in 2021, here’s what to consider when rebranding based on my experience. …

I thrive in face-to-face environments. So, when COVID happened and I suddenly had to deliver client workshops via Zoom, I was in a mad panic. I scrambled to find tools and strategies that would help me replicate the in-person experience. Over time, I tried and tested different tricks for online environments — both for small group workshops with clients as well as big stage events, such as Austin Startup Week 2020 and South By Southwest EDU 2021. Here’s what I learned.

Before the online workshop

For small client-focused workshops, pre-2020, I would create an agenda and hand out hard copies to attendees on the…

Life is full of ups and downs. For me, the hardest part is accepting the paths it takes me on.

#LivingYourBestLife, right? Wrong.

Time and again, the phrase “living my best life” appears in my social media feeds in various forms, anchoring images similar to the one above. While it all sounds empowering, I’ve come to realize that reality is far from it. Why?

The “best” of anything implies one choice, one path, one final destination. It suggests the existence of a singular ideal, or purpose. …

At Avion, Rhys Martin has grown from graduate to Head of Delivery. Unlocking staff motivation has been key to keeping staff engaged over time. Find out more in my article below.

I was recently listening to behavioral economist Dan Ariely talk about staff motivation. It challenged me to think about how much I know my employees: what drives them, what makes them happy, what pushes them to achieve more.

Contemplating, a few painful memories from my years in business promptly came to mind. These events (you may call them “learning experiences”) have since dramatically shaped the way I approach leadership at work. If you’d like to know 3 things related to performance that I’ll never say again, I encourage you to read on below.

1. “I’m giving away an all-expenses paid trip for 2 to New York”

It’s easy to believe that people are…

As we eagerly wait for COVID-19 to become a thing of the past, we endure video call after video call. This is tough. We’ve all had a difficult year and with Christmas around the corner, we’re already burned out.

Building relationships via screen just isn’t the same as in person. But there are some advantages. With remote working now the norm, professionals have the opportunity to collaborate anywhere, anytime. As someone who has juggled working from Texas, the UK and Mexico this year, I thought it was worth sharing some ways I stay motivated.

I remember it takes more than one meeting

I look back at the projects…

As a critical thinker, I’m constantly observing what’s around me — and how today will impact tomorrow. Whether it’s through world news, client projects, or a virtual happy hour with friends, I enjoy reflecting on social discourse and imagining what’s next.

In response to what I’ve personally and professionally experienced this year, I’ve shortlisted 5 interesting COVID-influenced trends that I believe people will be talking about in 2021. Some are more obvious (and nebulous) than others. I’d love to hear what you think, so please feel free to comment at the end of this article.

1. The rapid rise of ghost kitchens

When COVID happened, we had to start ordering takeout rather than eating in.

Restaurant owners found themselves asking…

Working by the beach VS waking up at for meetings at 5am. You win some, you lose some…

Forget the back-pats for business owners who are ahead of the curve. Give me the sleepless nights, the relationship breakdowns, the stress eating, and all the second thoughts. That’s what entrepreneurship really looks like.

In this short (but not-so-sweet) article I share a little insight on my erratic work schedule: trying to manage an established team in Melbourne, Australia, plus one worker in The Philippines, while growing Avion’s first international office in Austin — and working remote from London at the same time.

Navigating time zones SUCKS

Sometimes I wonder what the hell I was thinking. Sure, jetting off to build a business in…

Other than a pre-COVID pub lunch, what initiatives have you put in place to keep your team engaged? Image by author.

Staff engagement. Company culture. Employee experience. Sure, it’s all about making people happy at work… But other than a ping-pong table and free coffee, what does that really look like?

At Avion, I take the health and wellbeing of my staff seriously. This is not just because I care for them, but I need them to be as productive as possible at work. I also want to keep them on board for as long as I can (recruitment sucks!).

If you’d like some practical inspo on strategies you could be incorporating in your business, read on. Please note that while…

Please note: When I refer to “virtual assistant” or “VA” in this article, I’m talking about a real person (usually offshore) who can provide administrative help, not an AI platform like Siri.

Most people in business can relate to the feeling of needing a little extra help from time to time. And now, with COVID-19 bulldozing many people’s lives this year, support is needed more than ever.

If you’ve ever contemplated hiring a virtual assistant (VA), now’s a good time to test things out. …

Natalie Khoo

How to do a stint on the other side of the world, build a business, cancel your wedding & not kill your partner during a global pandemic & more. 🇦🇺🇺🇸🇬🇧

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