Kati Pierce
Co-founder
December 02, 2019

Interview with Kati, a co-founder shares her tips for juggling multiple side hustles

Kati has made a career at using the internet and gig economy to her advantage—see how she successfully manages multiple side hustles and a business.

How did you get started with remote work?

​Without giving away my age, I started working for myself from home before the internet was popular, and before everyone had a computer in their home. I was an early adopter of technology and saved up to buy a PC so I could create contracts for my in-home daycare.

As a side hustle, I began creating contracts and intake forms for other daycares, which lead to some desktop publishing for local businesses. At the time, most remote work opportunities were envelope stuffing or court record research. And there were lots of scams that I, unfortunately, bought into.

I was frustrated and wanted to make more money, so I created my own niche.

Since then, I have always had a remote side hustle. Eventually, I was able to work remotely at least part of the time in my corporate jobs.

Recently, I left the corporate world to pursue my own adventures remotely.

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What are you working on?

​Way too many things at once! I am working on getting exposure to my new company, Step Up Services Group, and the client work with that; writing blog posts and articles, a fiction novel, networking, freelance gigs (writing, business consulting, event planning), and my personal brand development. I like to have many irons in the fire!

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Do you have a dedicated space to work?

​We moved to a smaller house about a year ago, after four of our six kids moved out. In our old farmhouse, I had an office with a window set up as my dedicated workspace.

Since we've moved, the only available area doesn't have a window. I've tried working in there, but it feels too claustrophobic for me, so now I work from my couch!

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How do you stay on task?

I have a To-Do list. It's a notebook that I keep with me at all times. If I don't have it, I email myself a "To Do" to add to it when I get back.

I am intrinsically motivated to succeed and get things done.

If I didn't have the To-Do list, I would have a ton of half-finished projects and never get anything finished.

I also allow myself breaks as needed. If I am overly tired, I can take a quick nap. If I can't focus, I can take a walk or watch a movie.

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What do you like about remote work?

​I love the autonomy, non-existent office drama, and being able to focus without any interruptions. I am also a bit nomadic. My husband and I travel quite a bit for his work to help his family out, and every once in a while, we fit an actual vacation in! The fact that I have the ability to work while traveling is a great perk!

I've worked from airports, the US Virgin Islands, Florida, construction sites, conferences, the beach, doctor's office waiting rooms, while getting a pedicure....

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What do you not like about remote work?

​I've worked with companies that insist on daily meetings/stand-ups, check-ins, and daily lists of work accomplished. One of the reasons I like remote work is the autonomy and fewer interruptions because having to stop working to check-in isn't my favorite thing to do. Also, it makes people feel like they can't be trusted.

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What tools do you use to stay productive?

​I use any free tool available! Slack, text, Skype, FaceTime, email, G Suite, MS Office, coffee, Zoom, HubSpot....

We use Google Docs quite a bit to internally create, edit, and share documents such as client information, needs assessments, and to collaborate on social media posts and marketing.

Also, within G Suite, we are creating forms for clients to fill out.

Skype and FaceTime are valuable if we need to communicate “face to face” or if a text isn’t getting a creative idea across.

Sometimes tone and facial expressions are better when they can actually be heard and seen.

We use Slack if a client uses it to collaborate and share files and ideas. So far, not many clients use Slack, but we like to be set up for whatever they are used to using for communication.

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Where are your favorite countries to work remotely?

St. John, US Virgin Islands, hands down! We stayed in a Vrbo studio apartment overlooking a bay, in between two mountains. We had no AC, but the trade winds were always blowing and keeping us cool.

It was great working from the wraparound porch, listening to the donkeys, goats, chickens, and pigs all day! We generally stopped working around mid-afternoon and spent our evenings sampling local food and drink as well as visiting as many bays in St. John as we could!

The water there is crystal clear and the perfect temperature for swimming and snorkeling. I’m getting weak just telling you about it!

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How do you decide priorities?

There are certain tasks that have a hard deadline from a client, so that is taken into consideration when deciding priorities. After that, I suppose it's what makes the most money!

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How do you know when to push yourself vs rest?

My body usually tells me. If I am overly tired, I know I need to slow down or take a break.

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What are the biggest issues when companies try remote work?

I think a huge issue is the lack of trust. As I said, I've worked for and with companies who don't trust the work is being done without checking in constantly or tracking work.

Companies need to trust they've hired the right people and those people will get the results needed, no matter when they work.

Remote really needs to be more results-driven rather than who is at the weekly company stand-up.

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What contributes to being a successful freelancer?

Hustle, hustle, hustle. One of my mission statements for Step Up is “Always Be Selling.” I think having an entrepreneurial mindset helps a lot!

Also, traveling, meeting new people, and making new connections worldwide has contributed to my success.

Finally, my honesty and empathy are key.

I truly want to and enjoy helping others succeed (whatever that looks like to them), and I believe that comes across when I am communicating with others.

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Biography

Kati Pierce

Kati Pierce is a writer, entrepreneur, Boy Mom, and a remote work advocate. She recently founded Step Up Business Group to help startups and existing lean businesses fill their business needs such as marketing, recruiting, and accounting.

Kati has her bachelor's degree in business administration and management, with a minor in communications. In addition to her new business, Kati is also a freelance writer.

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