Hello, my name is Mike Best. I do a few different things. I'm a creative developer, artist, photographer and writer. All different jobs that share one thing: they involve me working remotely.
It wasn't always that way. For me it started on a pretty unremarkable day, sometime back in the spring of 2014. I was sitting across from my boss in a meeting room at a famous games and entertainment company. She was running through a roadmap of my work for the next several months, but the more she spoke, the more her voice faded into a muffled tones, like someone taking through the windscreen of a car that was slowly driving away.
'I'm sorry I'm going to have to interrupt you', I said.
She looked over, startled.
'I ... well, I can't do this anymore. I'm sorry. I quit'.
'I'm sorry. I can bear this another minute. I quit'.
A couple weeks later I stepped out on to the street, breathed in the summer air, and vowed never again to take a full time 9-5 job in an office.
The ironic thing was that it wasn't even a particularly terrible job, all things considered. On the whole I'd been treated well, it paid ok, and unlike many of the games companies I had worked for in the past, they didn't demand excessive unpaid overtime. It didn't have the same culture of bullying or fear that I'd become used to working in an industry known for its toxic workplace practices.
The issue was that I had simply lost faith in the traditional ways that we work: The eternal meetings, the politics, the constant jockeying and rallying for advancement. The sheer inefficiencies... but mostly all the wasted hours of my life spent crammed inside packed commuter trains only to feel I was glued into a chair for 8 hours a day regardless of whether there was work for me to or not.
I felt, even back then, there had to be a better way of working. I decided that ultimately, I wanted to be free to work from anywhere in the world, so long as I had my laptop, camera and a decent cup of coffee. It's been a goal I have been pursuing ever since.
I had other reasons for leaving: my wife was travelling a lot for work, and we had a son who wasn't going to raise himself. Increasingly it made no sense to me that we were outsourcing a huge portion of the upbrining of our child, while I was slogging away in an office job that was draining the life out of me. So I became a stay-at-home dad and began trying out different ways to earn a living while while working from home.
I quickly learned what a lot of house-mom's have known for years: That it is easier said than done to kick off a part-time career while trying to manage a household and raise a family. I also learned that working remotely - whether that was from cafes, libraries, or in my comfort of my dressing gown at home - brings with it a whole new set of challenges...anything from 'where am I going to hold this teleconference without screaming children in the background' to 'who's going to watch my laptop while I run to the bathroom'.
Fast forward a few years, and I've watched my child grow into a young man, seen the tools and technologies take huge leaps forward, and worked with some forward looking companies who see the advantages to modern work practices. It has made the whole process a lot easier.
I have had to shift my expecations, and I've done a lot of retraining so I can go after the gigs that suit working from anywhere. I've also had to become a lot more disciplined, organized with my time, and focussed on my longterm goals.
It's not always easy, and remote working is defintely not for everyone. But these days I couldn't picture working any other way.
For business enquires only, please drop me an email, or connect with me one one of the social media channels below.