Intro: Duration: (02:31)
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Hi everybody. I'm Jeff Hunt, and this is Human Capital, a GoalSpan podcast. On Human Capital, I get to interview top business thought leaders to uncover the deeply human aspect of work. We have all witnessed the radical globalization of economies in the past decade. My company GoalSpan actually now has users in 52 countries In addition to the U.S.
The pandemic has pushed remote work to a new level, allowing many companies to source talent around the world. And today I have the opportunity to go international and speak with a German self-made entrepreneur who lives at the center of this worldwide phenomenon. Ben Schneider is the founder of Jobmofy.com and Jobmofy is a premium search platform for hiring remote workers overseas.
Ben reached 10 million in sales within 14 months of launching his company by only using Facebook and Instagram ads. That is impressive. He's written an Amazon bestseller in Germany and he founded the print magazine titled Jobmofy which actually now has over 40,000 readers worldwide. Ben hosts his own podcast, titled business and lifestyle legends.
And he's had some very prominent guests like Neil Patel, David Meltzer, and Johnny Lee Dumas. He was recently honored by air fault magazine as the top online marketing expert. And one of the top 500 business influencers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Welcome, Ben.
Hey Jeff! Glad to be on the show today.
Well, first of all, I just have to recognize you live in a beautiful part of the world. So I've been there and you must look out your window and appreciate the beauty that you have, where you live.
Yeah, definitely. It's a nice place. We do not have that awesome weather. Like if you're living on the West Coast, for example, in the U.S. or in Hawaii or something like that, but yeah, basically Germany is a great country.
Topic 1. Who or what inspired you to go into business? From Tamagotchis to Jobmofy. (02:32)
Ben, take us back to the beginning of your career, who or what inspired you to go into business, and in your case to become a serial entrepreneur.
I think my parents inspired me, especially my dad, because he was always an entrepreneur. And I would say I was starting my career at around eight years.
When I sold like Tamagotchis in the school, I don't know if you remember them. Then I was going at around the age of 12 on eBay that was, quite brand new this time and I bought, Gameboys and PlayStation bundles and sold them there. So these were probably the first steps in my career.
But these days I was far away from being a successful entrepreneur or a serial entrepreneur or something like that. That was just a kid making some money. But yeah, basically for me, it was always clear that later on, that will be an entrepreneur. So, and that what's happened.
And you've probably actually learned more than you're giving credit in those young years. You know, when you were 8, 10, 12 years old, trying to buy and sell things, I bet you actually learned more than you're suggesting. Is that true?
For sure 100%. Imagine it was these days when I was a kid, I was researching for the best offers and how can I sell them best and how can I do great pictures to get even more than the competitors on eBay.
For example, imagine I had a lot of friends and I had tons of games in my room, but I didn't play them. I just bought them and sold them to my friends behind me. When I was sitting at the computer and, put some stuff on eBay or buy something, they were playing my games behind me and I didn't.
So, I was more focusing on the business side. But yeah, it was definitely a lot of learnings at that time.
Well, and it sounds like focusing on the business side has really paid off for you, instead of playing those video games.
100%, but I would like to say it paid off in the last five to ten, five to eight, five to 10 years. So, the first 15 years was a lot of learning time.
Topic 2. Are careers linear? The path to Jobmofy. (05:12)
Sure. And did it also sort of prepare you to become such an expert in social media advertising and that space? Like, did you learn a lot about that as well?
Sure, but not at this time. So basically if you remember that times back then eBay was brand new and there was no fancy stuff. There was no Facebook or something like that. It was just not existing. I got more into the social media, online marketing world when I was starting my e-commerce store around nine years ago. Starting an e-commerce store, we run the world's biggest store for sea monkeys which is a very specific niche, but if you're doing it worldwide, it could be a great business.
So, I was doing that and because of this, I was diving more and more into that social media, online marketing world. Then it's like a snowball. Out of this, people were asking me. I was starting my coaching business. And while I was teaching, and coaching, and guiding people, entrepreneurs out there, they were asking me, hey Ben, it's nice to hear all that.
And you're definitely right, but I cannot do that. Can you do that for me? For example, placing ads on Facebook and out of this the digital marketing agency was founded and because of my e-commerce store and the digital marketing agency and the coaching business. I needed some staff because it got more and more successful and it got bigger and bigger and they needed some help.
Because I always also started as a solopreneur. And for that reason, I was looking for some help. So I tried people from Germany. But the problem was they were doing okay. I would like to say. But they were fricking expensive. For me this time. So, I was looking for another opportunity and then I came upon that opportunity to hire people from overseas.
I started with a designer for example, and this was a great opportunity. And then I was diving deeper and deeper into that game as well. And then some days, I had a bad experience with someone and I got scammed by someone. I hired them on another platform, for sure. Not on Jobmofy. And that was the reason why I found that Jobmofy.com because, I was convinced this system hiring people from overseas who are, speaking English, who are hardworking, who are talented, providing quality work is awesome.
It's really awesome because you can save that much money per month, on the monthly salary costs. But you need to be secure, you need to have an ID verification service, you need to have contracts theory, you as an employer hiring people from overseas, you need to be secure as possible. And so, I found that Jobmofy.com
And that's how I went from a solopreneur to a serial entrepreneur. So it was not like, hey, I would like to have three companies and a few projects as well. It was step-by-step one step to the second step. And then because of that, I did this and that was basically the journey.
I love that description because it seems so accurate for so many people. In their career journeys, they're not linear. They are not from point A to point B. They meander. And sometimes people get frustrated about those meanderings. But at the end of the day, there's usually a huge benefit and learning that can come from the experiences that we develop. And like you said, you would not have been able to start Jobmofy, when you did, had you not already gone through these experiences that you had.
100%, 100%. You need to have experience in a certain field. You're diving in if you're just founding a company because you want to earn money, this might not work. So, I did not found the company. So, for sure, we can be honest to all people out there. I want to earn money with that company, but I started it to make.
This more secure because the system hiring people from overseas is awesome, but there are some points that could be improved from the competitor site. And so, I was finding my own company.
Topic 3. International workforce, international culture? How to manage remotely. (10:08)
I mentioned in my introduction about businesses moving to source more talent internationally like you've been talking about.
And when companies do this when they expand their workforces internationally, how do they do this? And continue to preserve their own culture or core values that they have internally.
A lot of my clients are using the hiring service, having worked with remote works before. And, so they don't know how to work with them.
What you've mentioned and working with remote workers is way different than working with office space workers. But I think a lot of people if we would have done this interview a year ago, the situation would be wholly different, but nowadays a lot of companies have already implemented the infrastructure.
They already have online communication channels. They already are working on the cloud together, something like this. So, basically, if you want to start working with a remote worker, you need to have the infrastructure first. You need to have a cloud, like for example, the Gdrive the Google cloud, or something like that, where the remote worker is uploading files, for example, for sure you can have your own cloud as well.
Then you need to have a communication tool, like a chat tool, like Skype, for example. Or do you use Zoom or something like that, Google meet. You need to have a task management tool, which we have in Jobmofy included already, for example, you need to have an invoicing tool as well because, an interesting fact to know if you hire someone from the oversee, it's not like you have hired someone, from America in your company, because there are a lot of benefits.
You don't have to pay taxes, you don't have to pay insurance costs and stuff like that. But what you need to have for your accounting, you need to get an invoice from that freelancer to have all this clear, and this is also what we have on Jobmofy already included. So what we are going to do on Jobmofy.
We aim for an all-in-one solution that you just need a Jobmofy account and you have all there to find, hire and work with a remote worker on a daily basis. But to answer your question. In addition to that, the culture is also different besides the infrastructure, which is the technical part. The culture is different because you need to know, hire someone from the Philippines.
Which costs you, for example, a designer in their ass costs you around, let's say $3,000, $3,000 a month. Full-time work. A Filipino guy would cost you around $500 a month. And if you find the right one, the quality would be the same. But the difference is the Filipino guy is a remote worker. So there needs to be more trust than in a person who is sitting next to you because you don't know if the remote worker is sitting in front of his computer right now or not.
So, for sure there are some tools. For example, we have a time tracking, Jobmofy included. You could use that, to be honest, I don't, I do not use that for my staff, because I trust them. But I don't know, 100%, if they are working their eight hours, on a daily basis 100%, or maybe they work today, only seven hours, but tomorrow nine hours.
If you work with remote workers, you shouldn't care that much about the hours. You should care about the final result. So, if you are providing tasks to the people and the people are delivering in high quality and you think the tasks could be done in around eight hours, and this guy only needs seven hours.
It's fine for me. So the culture is a little bit different and this is very important to understand that it's not an hour scheme. And for sure you tell them eight hours a day and it's clear, but it's not that much like if you have an office-based worker. Because office space worker, if you tell them, hey you have to work until 5:00 PM, and this guy would shut down his computer at 4:45, you would say to him, hey, what's up, man you have another 15 minutes to go with a remote worker you wouldn´t do that.
Topic 4. Real communication and cultural differences. (15:00)
It sounds like what you're describing is the importance of real communication and there are many things that you're describing that are no different than how we manage workers if they were in our same offices. So, for instance, communication becomes critically important.
You need to talk to that person regularly, right? You need to establish goals like you would with any local employee. You need to follow up with them and make sure they're completing their tasks. On a regular basis and have performance-based conversations when necessary.
But ultimately it sounds like what you're saying is that building a trusting relationship with that person or those people is one of the most important things that you can do in terms of managing remote workers. Is that correct?
100%, 100% agree. Because the problem or one of the main problems people are doing by hiring remote workers from overseas, they treat them like robots. They treat them like, hey, here's the task you have to do that. Let me know when it's done, but this shouldn't be the case.
Someone from overseas, no matter where he or she is based its part of your team. So treat them like he's part of the family and not like we are here in the U.S. and you are somewhere. And you have to do our tasks because you've got paid for them. This is not how it's working.
If you want to build a team and I know that that's more than 20 remote workers in my company working and that you can't build a team. Let me tell you this story. We have founded the Jobmofy magazine and the first episode because we didn't know how much workload it.
It would be some stuff like that. And, but I wanted to have a deadline. I want that we reached that deadline, and there was no possibility to reach it. And my guys, and this was really impressive to me. And this was a game-changer moment for me in my heart that I realized, hey, this is incredibly working and I haven't expected before.
My guys worked four days, day and night to pass that deadline. And basically, it wouldn't be possible because there were four days left, for eight hours a day. We would have never made it, but five people from that magazine worked day and night to get on that deadline. And this was impressive to me.
And this was very awesome and I realized this was way more awesome than I've expected, and that we really made it to create a team and not only some workers from somewhere all over the world. And this is what you should aim for. Create a team, integrate those guys into your team, Skype with them, do not only chat Skype with them but also do video calls, laugh with them, ask them about their problems.
So you need to know. Depending on where we are hiring them. So, for example, if you hire people from the Philippines, you need to know, hey, these guys are hard workers, but these guys are very family-oriented. These guys are very religious, do not scream at them if they made something wrong or something like that.
So, there is some cultural stuff, you should know about. And, this could be very important if you work with people from all over the world together.
You’re really expressing how critical it is to treat people with dignity regardless of where they are located. We're all humans on this same planet. And to appreciate the value of work and what other people offer. And not only just as a producer, but as a human.
So, we have to take interest in somebody else is a valuable gift that you can give them, right? And so. it's very interesting what you're saying because the opposite of that is really objectifying people of any other type of culture, which is what, nations are trying to do better at people. Humanity is trying to do better at this.
And so, it's a very valuable lesson, Ben, that I think you've shared with us, which is really, we need to take these cultural leadership principles that we know that work on the home front and our own businesses and our own offices.
Which is to build relationships with people, build trust, care about them personally, in addition to professionally. And we need to extend all of those principles to every worker in any location, regardless of whether they're on the other side of the planet or one time zone away.
100%. And, um, I think you should learn as a leader, no matter if your office space, but even more, if you work with remote works, you should learn to instruct the people well, and to guide them. Because if someone is new in your company he needs some time to settle down, to understand your wish and to know what you would like the banner look like.
For example, this takes some time and you need to give the people that time. And you need to instruct people, as well as possible. And then you could have a great, great employee when you hire a remote worker and in addition, have very affordable employees. So these guys are because of the income gap.
So, if people are wondering, is that a scam or something like that? It's not, it's just because of the income gap because someone in the Philippines is not earning that much than someone in the UK or us or in Germany or some countries like that. We take profit from the income gap and these people are happy because they wouldn't have a job without remote work and they can work from home.
They can work with their families. They can have some more time with their families and this is awesome for them. And it's awesome for us to have a high talent tech worker for a very affordable price.
Topic 5. Outsourced jobs; a threat or opportunity? (22:16)
Sure. Now, what's your advice to current employees, domestic employees, maybe that are in the same country, time zone, that are present. Actually, in the U.S. we call it W2 employees.
So, somebody who's getting a paycheck. These people are worried about their jobs being outsourced to international locations. How, how do you respond to, to those folks?
That could happen basically, but only if you are not good enough. So because if you're doing an awesome job, if you're willing to work, if you're a hard worker, and your employer is happy with you, then I don't think he will fire you and hire someone else.
But maybe if you're doing an awesome job, he will hire three Filipinos and you could be the manager of that for your employer. So, you should more think about opportunities. Not in problems or in bad situations, because if you're good, then you will keep your job. But if you're doing a bad job anyway, I'm really Jeff
You're in trouble anyway.
Then you're in trouble.
Jeff Hunt: [00:23:38]
Yeah. It's really the difference between having an attitude of abundance or one of scarcity, you know if I'm an employee. I guess my advice would be, make sure that you're adding as much value to your employer as you possibly can. When's the last time you learned a new skill or you developed a new competency or achieved certification on something, maybe those are things that you can do to really solidify your position and become an expert. So, I like your approach. It's really one of more abundance than there is scarcity.
To add that it's a mindset game as well because I'm not sure how it's in the U.S. but in Germany if you talk to your employees everybody seems to be underpaid. Everybody of them is doing also work and no company or no boss would exist without this employee.
And then I was working as well as an employee and I saw all those guys and I was thinking like, hey you are not doing a good job, you're doing a bad job and I don't know why your boss is not firing you already. So, but this is a kind of cultural thing. And then work with a Filipino. For example, this guy is a hard-working guy and this guy has happy to work with you, and they're not complaining about the salary or anything like that.
So, I think there should be a little bit of shift in the mindset of some people.
Topic 6. Diversity, equity, and inclusion. (25:13)
On this show, we talk a lot about diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially it's such a relevant topic in the U.S. I'm sure it probably is in Germany as well and Switzerland and Austria. But one of the things that come to mind for me is that hiring remote workers seems to provide an opportunity for enhancing diversity if it's done in the right way because now you're adding the multinational elements.
It doesn't ever work as a long-term strategy to solve the DEI problems locally in your company domestically. So that's a different strategy, but wouldn't you say there's an opportunity to benefit from those cultural differences and hiring remote workers?
100%. Um, because working with different cultures in the company is always a great thing because we can learn a lot from people from other countries, no matter if they are educated as we are or not.
It's just a cultural thing, how to treat people, how to treat with situations. Also, how's their view on the U.S. on Germany? What do they think about us? So, for me in Germany, for example, it's quite usual its daily business to provide high quality because that's in our German DNA.
But if you go to the U.S. or other companies say they always see us, hey Germans you provide an awesome quality. And for me it's like, hey yeah, that's daily business, but that's what I mean with a different view from other countries.
Topic 7. JCI and lighting round questions. (27:06)
Let's shift into some lightning round questions. Before we do that. I want to ask you one other question. I saw that you're, you're a part of JCI. Tell us a little bit about that. I don't know too much about that organization, but aren't you involved with that JCI?
I'm a member of JCI here in Augsburg near Munich, and JCI we're doing some projects to help people.
So I do not get paid from JCI or anything like that. But we help people. We help young people especially. We guide them there are some projects to get them into a job to educate them in an entrepreneurial way. Stuff like that we are doing on JCI.
Very good. I think it's an international organization. I believe there's a pretty large contingent in the U.S. as well. So it sounds like it's very worthwhile work.
Yeah, definitely. And it's a little bit the character like giving back. So, we are earning a lot of money. We are doing great business. We have a lot of success and we are healthy and happy and blessed lives. And that's one opportunity to give something back.
All right. Lightning round questions. First, is what are you most grateful for?
For my daughter and my wife?
That was an easy answer. It seems like that's great. And next up is what is the most difficult leadership lesson and you've learned over your career?
I think that you need to learn consistency. In business in general, but also consistency with having people. What I mean do not hire them and expect them in the first two weeks that they are awesome.
They need to know about you wishing that this is something you need to work with people for a period of time to get their full potential out of the people. And do not treat the people from the boss stage downwards, treat them like you're. That's interesting. Treat them like you're a colleague, but make sure that they know that you're the boss.
So, I am not the kind of person that says, hey, we need to be all on the same stage, and then it's working. No, I think people need to know who is the boss, who is the leader who is the commando, but do not treat them like that, help them, but guide them.
Okay. You mentioned this earlier in our show about sea monkeys. I want you to share, you know, that's a very interesting hobby and you grew this large business around it. I really don't know anything about sea monkeys. I guess they're a trend. A lot of people are fascinated by them, but what the heck are they and how do you buy and sell sea monkeys?
Yeah. Um, we are, we are selling tadpole shrimps and sea monkeys. And these are, so we are selling eggs. Tiny little eggs and you get them into the water at around 25 degrees and a lamp on it they hatch within 24 hours. They live two to three months and get around five centimeters peak. So it's a four-year aquarium and it's very nice because these people were living.
2 million years ago when the dinosaurs are living. And it's very interesting because these animals were on the planet million years ago. It's not like a dog or a cat. They were million years ago on the planet and you can have them in your tank right now. So that's interesting.
I've heard it's interesting because they're one of the few animals or creatures that actually can be dead and then basically come back to life. Correct. I mean, they enter a suspended state if you will. And then they returned to life.
All right. So now we've learned about sea monkeys. So, as we wrap it up what is the single most important thing that you'd like our human capital listeners to take away from our talk today?
You should hire a team to get more professionalism in your company. As I mentioned, that was starting as a solopreneur and I did all of my e-commerce stores by myself.
I did all the pictures, and the logo, and all the designs, the content, and everything I did by myself. But I'm not a good designer. So, and that was how the result was looked like. So definitely hire people to help you. They are very affordable these days and try it.
Ben. Thanks for coming to the show today.
Thanks for having me. Jeff. It's a real pleasure for me to tell your audience something about remote working and how to hire them and how to work with them. And if people like to check it out, we have 14 days free trial on Jobmofy.com. So you can place a job post there and just try it.
Perfect. So Jobmofy.com. All right, Ben. Thanks again. Have a great day.
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