Bringing Online Work Offline: A Reminder for Every Entrepreneur

When I think of the word entrepreneur, one person’s name instantly comes to mind: Alex Eckhart.

Alex was the gift of my 20’s. He inspired me most consistently, as I worked to figure out the kind of woman, and entrepreneur I wanted to be. I first met this man 13 years ago when we were both business students at the American University of Rome. As soon as I met him, I knew he was unique. There was something about the way he carried himself in the world which made you believe that anything was possible. Alex is the reason I picked up and moved to San Francisco almost ten years ago — two bags, no job, no place to live. I knew just one person. And luckily for me, that was person was Alex Eckhart.

Alex and I at MAC HOUSE Productions in 2017. As the Head of Storytelling at YouCaring.com, I hired Alex and his team to create an incredible video for a marketing campaign.

Video Producer.

Salsa Dancer.

Massage therapist.

Yogi.

The Natural Traveler.

Web Entrepreneur.

Just a few words to describe a man, who is indescribable.

Alex Sun gazing on Oahu while we were both working remotely from Hawaii.

His journey to location-independent entrepreneurship was recently featured in the Wiley title “Virtual Teams for Dummies”, and his ability to build and maintain teams across time zones and cultures has truly inspired me.

What makes a great leader, is an ability to shift and transform and stay ahead of the times. To be so curious about the world, and how to bring something of value to it, that you are constantly searching, exploring, iterating, and mostly- empowering others and sharing your knowledge and experiences as you go. This is who Alex is — a man committed to bringing his curiosity and passion to all those around him. A man passionate about health, culture, and creativity.

I’ve had the privilege of being Alex’s friend, colleague, creative collaborator, and coach. And, many things that he’s done throughout the years have been worth writing about, and yet it wasn’t until his latest adventure to India that this story appeared. It is a story about leadership. About what it means to form truly strong and healthy relationships. It’s a story about cross-cultural communication, and work. It’s also a reminder of what’s possible, when entrepreneurs take the time, to bring online work, offline.

Visiting Jaipur, India’s “Amer Fort” before arriving to meet my online collaborators

For the month of January, Alex lived, worked, and traveled throughout India.

“What brought him to India?” you might be wondering.

Throughout the past five years, Alex has completed 100+ projects supported by IndyLogix, a web development team in Ahmedabad, India. They’ve helped him successfully operate his Digital Marketing Agency from wherever he is. One developer in particular, Vishal Parikh, has been Alex’s go-to man. Uber professional and talented, Vishal has come through for Alex time and time again.

As Alex says,

“I’ve worked with teams from around the world. India’s combination of a time zone that works for my most productive hours, a young generation that loves IT, and a culture that thrives on positivity makes this country my chosen collaborator for creative work outside the US.”

When Alex received an invitation to Vishal’s wedding in India, he knew it was time to travel to a place he’d always been curious about, and show his appreciation to his long-time colleague.

The joyous and colorful affair of Developer Vishal’s Parikh’s wedding celebration

So, “what was the impact of your trip?” I asked Alex.

His response:

“Visiting India and bringing our relationship offline, has deepened our trust in one another, strengthened our connection as people, and infused humanity into our digital collaboration.”

The IndyLogix Team and Alex outside the office in India, HTML Designer Dharti teaching Alex some Bollywood Moves, and the long-awaited meeting of “The Dream Team” Samir (Designer) + Vishal (Developer).

Working remotely can be a challenge for entrepreneurs. This can become even more tricky when you work remotely with people in other countries. So I asked Alex what the secret is, to the experience he’s had with the Indylogix team?

“Asking do you have a minute?” really helps before I ever send tasks to anyone”, Alex shares. He continues, “ shouldn’t we always be considerate of everyone’s time?” Respect is everything. Building a solid relationship based on mutual respect is KEY as an entrepreneur and a leader.

For Alex, working with Vishal and his team was not about business, it was about the human connection first. As he says, “ When you take the relationship offline, that’s when you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.”

As a coach, it’s incredible to watch clients like Alex teach me not only about business, but about life. Alex reminds me to run my own business with patience, self-awareness and compassion. It’s inspiring to watch a man run a digital agency with people supporting him on the other side of the world, and do it so seamlessly. Alex reminds us that our next meaningful moment might be just a plane ride away, and that taking the time to truly build solid relationships with those you work with is the greatest success factor of all.

What online relationship can you take offline today?

If you’d like to learn more about Alex Eckhart’s work and read more about his trip to India, please see this press release.

Svetlana Saitsky

San Francisco, CA

Feb 6, 2019