Rebecca Morris can achieve a lot in a single day. She can conduct a business mentoring session with a client in Melbourne, arrange a workshop in Wellington, coordinate diaries with her PA in Christchurch, and organise speakers for a conference in Auckland.
Most significantly, she can do it all without leaving home in Nelson. The availability of fast and reliable broadband in the town meant that, when Morris and her family left Auckland two and a half years for a new life in the South Island, her business Paradigm Shift could make the transition just as easily.
Morris is a leadership coach and business mentor. Paradigm Shift is all about inspiring individuals and organisations to embrace effective and positive change, to improve results. Since moving to Nelson, Morris has also begun another brand, RebeccaMorris.nz, which focuses on personal and professional performance programmes developed specifically for women.
In a classic case of practicing what she preaches, Morris' move to Nelson with her husband and two children, was inspired by a decision to get the very best from their personal and professional lives. With family close by, Nelson was the ideal destination for their children to grow up in, and Morris was confident her business could be run from anywhere. However, she did have to reassess how she ran Paradigm Shift on a day-to-day basis.
"I realised I couldn't necessarily jump on a plane every week. Technology became a hugely important tool," she says. "I had to work on an increased online presence, creating content, providing an online booking system, and making the website a one-stop shop."
Although she still does a significant amount of travel for corporate work and motivational speaking, Morris has found some parts of her business are actually enhanced by working remotely. Her fibre connection is fast and reliable, meaning she can do leadership coaching via Skype or Zoom.
"Some of my best coaching can be done via Skype," she says. "It can be a whole lot more productive. There aren't the distractions of people running late, or arriving stressed because they couldn't find a park. You've got the energy, you've got them focused and away you go."
That great combination of effective technology and lack of distractions have been an important part of Morris' latest passion project. Using her online business network across the country, she's been able to remotely organise More, an event at Auckland's Langham Hotel in July to promote women in leadership.
Working with several Australian clients means Morris often does a couple of late nights a week, but working from home gives her the flexibility to spend some quality time with her children after school, then go online later. And when she does travel, she uses Skype to keep in touch with what's going on at home.
Simple rituals are an important way of how Morris runs her life and her business. She likes to start and end the day the same way – spending time with her family, and drinking in the gorgeous view from her home.
"The water is really re-energising for me. I can sit outside, write some blog posts, and send some emails. Why wouldn't you want to work like this?"
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