FERNANDO GARRIDO VAZ is a freelance product manager from Brazil with experience managing distributed teams, multiple nationalities, and different time zones. Fernando says, “It’s interesting to have people with different backgrounds and slightly different views of things, thinking about the same problems. You are likely going to get more innovative and creative suggestions that you wouldn’t get if your team was more homogeneous.”



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His tips for working remotely:

  • Dedicate time to work on your online brand.
  • Focus on doing great work. Referrals are gold in the freelance economy.
  • When working with teams in different locations, take care not to give preferential treatment to one location.


Podcast production by Podcast Monster

Graphic design by Alfred Boland


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Original transcript

Lisette: Great, so now we’re live. Welcome everybody to this remote interview. My name is Lisette, and I’m interviewing people and companies doing great things remotely. Totally excited, on the line today from Brazil, Fernando Garrido Vaz. And I’m sorry to botch your name, of course. But you go by Garrido.

Fernando: That’s correct, yeah.

Lisette: Okay.

Fernando: You pronounced it very well.

Lisette: For an American [laughs]. But I have that you are a freelance product manager. You have a lot of experience with managing distributed teams and multiple nationalities and time zones. I’m very, very interested about this. And on your LinkedIn profile, it says, “I can help you build great products.” So we’re going to get into that. But before we get into all that, I want to ask you what does your virtual office look like.

Fernando: Right, well, my office is I work from home most of the time. I have just a room in my house. It’s very simple, very bare. There’s no real, special setup.

Lisette: There’s a guitar in the background.

Fernando: Yeah, there’s a guitar. It’s one of the benefits of working from home. So when you get tired and you need to de-stress, I can pick up the guitar and play for five minutes. But other than that, it’s really simple, just a room in my house. I have just my laptop and external display, and a good chair, though it’s a bit noisy. But it’s a good chair.

Lisette: And great Internet, it seems.

Fernando: Yeah, I live in a fairly small town. It’s not that small, but it’s certainly not a large city. But there is reasonable connectivity. And I take a few precautions. I’m literally one meter from the router, where the connection comes into the house. Then I actually have a cable also. But I don’t use it all the time. But when I have meetings like now, I hook things up through a cable, just to make sure we get top performance.

Lisette: I appreciate that. I’m sure the listeners will appreciate that too. So you say that you’re working from home most of the time. Who is it that you’re working with? And what is it that you’re doing?

Fernando: Mostly, I’m working on specifying product features. I do a lot of writing specification documents. I do a lot of mock-ups for product features. And it can vary, the degree of fidelity that the mock-ups require. So it can go from simple sketches to high-fidelity mock-ups using Axure. So it depends on the environment, I guess, and where we are in the [lifecycle of the feature – 03:08].

And there’s also a lot of talking to people, just figuring out what it is that we want to achieve with a certain feature and where we want to take a certain product. So usually, I’m either writing or I’m drawing something or I’m talking to someone.

Lisette: Okay. And are you working with one team? Or is it several teams that you’re working with?

Fernando: It has varied over the years. I sort of cycle through periods where I’m working with just one specific company and then periods where I’m working with more than one company. Right now, I’m working with more than one. But for instance, all of last year, I was working just with the same one company. So it really varies. I found that it sort of goes in cycles. I spend one time with just one single company. And I spend some time with lots of different people, until one of those things turns into full-time again. And that has been how it goes.

Lisette: And is all this work remote?

Fernando: Usually, yes. Last year, I was in a situation where a company that I was working for actually has an office within driving distance. It’s five hours, but it’s still driving distance.

Lisette: True, doable.

Fernando: Yeah, but I would spend about a week every month at the office. And I would work from home the rest of the time.

Lisette: Okay, then you get a bit of overlap, a bit of in-person time.

Fernando: Yeah, but even then, the company had this office here. But all of the other people were elsewhere. So even though there was this office here, still the company is sort of distributed. And there were other offices elsewhere. So even when I was there, there was still remote component, I guess. That was really an exception rather than the rule. Usually, it’s completely remote.

Lisette: Okay, what are some of the things that are really hard for the teams that you’re working on with this remote way of working? What are you guys struggling with? Or the teams that you work with, what have you seen them struggle with?

Fernando: In the places where remote work works well – regardless of where you are, especially when in the situation where there is an office, and some people are in the office and others are remote – there is always great care taken to make sure that there’s no advantage to being in one particular location. So it shouldn’t make things easier if you decide to drive up to the office if you can do that. For instance, we’d have meetings when there were two people in an office and one person was remote. But still, everyone would go into a conference room, and they would turn on the conference microphone. And it was a meeting that you could join remotely.

Lisette: Okay. So it would mean that you weren’t missing out on anything if you weren’t able to make it into the office.

Fernando: Exactly. And then the other thing that helps with that is to try to focus [activities and – 06:50] and communication so that most of your communication is done asynchronously. So we would try to rely as little as possible on having meetings where people have to be together at the same time. And that becomes increasingly important once you start having multiple time zones. Then it becomes just impossible to get everyone together in the same room, same hours.

Lisette: Right, I mean everybody complains about time zones. And to be honest, I haven’t heard of a great solution yet, except Johanna Rothman, who said, “Organize your teams based on follow the sun if you’re actually going to do that sort of arrangement. Try to organize your team so that you have some sort of a following-the-sun pattern, if that’s what you’re going for. Or work with teams in the same time zone, for instance, the United States and Argentina. So working north-south instead of east-west, so that there’s as much overlap as possible.”

But still, that doesn’t really solve time zones. That’s just [crosstalk – 08:00].

Fernando: Yeah, it helps, I guess. But it can create problems. It’s okay, but what happens if your computer vision expert is in Macedonia and you need him on the team? I think it reduces a little bit the benefits of… The whole point with remote work is that you erase geography [and transport – 08:27]. And that kind of brings geography back into question a little bit. So potentially, it’s better if you can… Obviously, it’s not going to be possible to get that 100 percent. But I think it’s better if you can just do as much as you can asynchronously through written text and stuff that doesn’t have to happen with people [just – 08:47] being together at the same time.

Lisette: I think software developers in particular have an advantage when it comes to this area because they’re already used to working online and in asynchronous ways. I would say most software developers, if they’ve had any open-source experience at all, that’s the way that they’ve been working. And also, they’re just used to it, and tech-savvy as well. Do you come into contact with people that are not software developers that have a hard time with being able to do this, to be asynchronous all the time? Is there some sort of a struggle?

Fernando: Yes, there is, there is, of course. There are certain activities that are much easier to do that way. We were actually talking earlier about brainstorming. I think it also has to do with where you are in this sort of lifecycle of project. So [early on – 09:44], things are very open. And you’re brainstorming a lot. And you’re coming up with ideas. That’s where sometimes interaction is most important. And then you reach a certain point in the project where it’s really just heads down and do things. And then from there on, it’s easier to do things that way, which is why sometimes people try to get everyone physically together at the start of a project to do all the brainstorming and to set things up. And then when everyone kind of knows what they have to do then everyone goes off.

Lisette: I think that’s a really good point. It’s really assessing where are you in the project. You’re right. There are some phases of any project that require more back-and-forth, more really being in the same… not in the same place because we can reproduce that to a certain extent with all the videoconferencing [unintelligible – 10:39]. It requires more interaction in that way. Then there’s the doing phase where you step back a bit. You actually have to do the work. You have to code, or you have to write the blog posts, whatever it is.

Fernando: Yeah, that’s true.

Lisette: What are some of your favorite ways of doing that communication? What are some of your favorite tools, I should ask?

Fernando: I think everyone’s favorite tool these days is Slack.

Lisette: Yeah, for sure.

Fernando: [Crosstalk – 11:07]. Yeah, and you hear about it. I think yesterday, there was some post about they’re going to do audio and screen sharing as well and video. [Unintelligible – 11:19] surprised, but once they do that, I guess they would be even bigger than they are today. So Slack is certainly one. I can’t really imagine doing my work these days without Google apps. It’s just pretty much impossible, I guess.

Lisette: What about conferencing tools? Do you do much video, actually? Let me ask about people’s video usage because not everybody uses video. In fact, most people don’t use video, I would say.

Fernando: Yeah, in fact, I don’t really use a lot of video. I do a lot of screen sharing. And I use Screenhero a lot for that. Screenhero is a tool that was actually acquired by Slack.

Lisette: Oh, yeah, I remember.

Fernando: So if you were a user, you can keep using it. But I don’t think you can sign up to it now. But it’s actually a really nice tool for screen sharing. So I use Screenhero a lot. And of course Google Hangouts for screen sharing and general video. I also use Skype, but I’ve been using it less and less. I think Skype is kind of the old school tool nowadays. And what I’ve found – and that of course is not a rule or anything – is that companies that use Skype are the ones that do the least remote work.

Lisette: Yeah, I have to say I’ve been pretty shocked at some of the tools that the companies use, the companies that come to my workshop. They say, “Oh, we’re only allowed to use link and Skype for business.” And I think, “Oh, no, you’re doomed.”

Fernando: [Laughs] Yeah, you are doomed.

Lisette: Yeah, they’re paying for high bandwidth tools that take a lot of time to set up and get ready, whereas now you have things like Slack. And once Slack integrates video, I think all bets are on Slack in my opinion.

Fernando: And it’s not surprising because they bought Screenhero, which is a screen sharing tool. And it’s got audio as well. So I’m sure it’s something that they’ve been actually working on for some time.

Lisette: Sure, it’s a good move, absolutely.

Fernando: I’m sure it’s just around the corner.

Lisette: So you said you didn’t use a lot of video. Is there a reason why?

Fernando: Ever since my first remote job, we didn’t do a lot of video. In fact, we did very little video. At that company, we had a sort of a project in a way where we just got together to discuss tools and remote culture and that kind of thing. And we actually tried a couple of video tools. There’s one called [Squiggle – 14:14].

Lisette: Yeah.

Fernando: So we tried [Squiggle]. There were some people who were uncomfortable with the always-on video thing. So that company at the time was very distributed. There was literally like the sun never sets thing. So our [Squiggle] rooms were always empty because [crosstalk – 14:44] around at the same time. So we tried that, but it didn’t really take off. And then [unintelligible – 14:53] later, there were some people that I did freelance work with. Some of them made a lot of use of video through hangouts. Currently, I don’t use a lot of video.

Lisette: Not everybody needs it.

Fernando: Yeah, and some people aren’t comfortable with it. It’s not in my case, but some people are just shy. I don’t know.

Lisette: I always find that odd. I understand. I’m definitely not video-shy after all these years of using video. But I always think people have to go into an office. And then you’re there in person.

Fernando: And you see people.

Lisette: It’s just the difference of turning the video on and letting people see.

Fernando: Exactly.

Lisette: You’re right. Many are very uncomfortable with that. I’m really curious on why you decided to go freelance. I don’t see that very often, the Freelance Product Manager. I don’t see it very often. But it seems it really works for you.

Fernando: I wasn’t a freelancer initially. And I think initially, the first time that this happened, it wasn’t really a choice. The workload for the company that I was working just diminished to the point where it just became part-time. Initially, it wasn’t an option. But I actually enjoyed it. So I was able to fill up my schedule quite quickly. And I actually enjoyed the diversity where you’re able to switch from one project to another. And it’s challenging because I’m a very curious person. And I tend to like doing a lot of different things, or I’ll get bored. So I’m happy to work on one thing for one day or for half a day. And then I’ll switch to something else that’s really different. And that’s kind of interesting to me.

And another thing that I like is the ability that you own your time a little bit more. So you can plan and maybe take a little bit of your time to work on some personal project or something that you want to work towards. So I like having that flexibility as well. I think I like both situations because I like the flexibility that being a freelancer gives you. But if you have a full-time job and it’s a good and challenging job, it’s fun, which is why I said in the beginning that things really go in cycles for me. So I’ll do freelance work until it’s interesting. And then I can do full-time work until that’s interesting.

Lisette: Right, just having the choice of what you want to work on. And a lot of remote workers complain about being lonely when working from home. And I’m not one of those people. I never have that [unintelligible – 17:55]. But I hear it a lot. I really enjoy being at home alone. And also with all the video calls I do, I don’t ever feel like I’m alone. [So that’s always – 18:05] with people all day. How do you combat that?

Fernando: I have two dogs.

Lisette: Wow!

Fernando: They are good company, sometimes better than people [laughs].

Lisette: Yeah, totally.

Fernando: No, I’m joking. So I had a break from it. I think it can get tiring to be on your own. Especially where I live, I don’t have, for instance, the option to go to a co-working space because we don’t have any around here. So working alone, physically alone, is the only option. But it’s not bad. You get interruptions, and you have complete freedom of your environment. So if I want to turn on the music and I don’t want to use headphones, I can do that.

Lisette: Play guitar for a few minutes.

Fernando: Exactly, I won’t bother anyone, maybe just the dogs [laughs].

Lisette: [Laughs] That’s okay.

Fernando: That’s okay. They don’t mind. So I don’t really mind. But on the other hand, I had this different experience last year where I would go to the office regularly. It’s good to have social interaction with people. But at the same time, I think it’s often less productive, actually, because when you’re remote and you’re working online, you have more control over interruptions.

Lisette: And how much time you spend on things. I feel the same. But I’m so biased. So I try not to [agree with everything – 19:44].

Fernando: But I can understand. So far, my first long spell working on my own, two and a half years went without seeing anyone ever for work. And at the end, I was a bit tired. So I was happy to have this opportunity to go into an office and talk to people. So far, it’s been okay.

Lisette: All right, super interesting. We’ve talked about some of the challenges that remote working brings up to the teams. What are the things that are the benefits? Why are the people that you’re working with working remotely? What’s the main reason they’re doing it?

Fernando: I think there are a few. One of them of course is just from a recruiting standpoint. It’s very difficult and expensive to put together a good team in certain locations, pretty much everywhere, really, but particularly in certain locations. So a lot of the companies that I see that have chosen to be remote, it’s because it was just the only option, the only way to gather a good team. So it’s either very expensive to hire people, or there’s a lot of competition in that geographical area. And then people just end up switching jobs all the time because there’s so much competition, and they a dozen offers a week.

So that’s one of the reasons. It’s just easier to hire in the sense that you don’t have to limit yourself to any particular geography. So if you’re looking for… I mentioned a computer vision guy in Macedonia. That was actually a real example from one of the companies that I worked for. And it just turned out that that was a really good guy in Macedonia. So he was hired. So one of the reasons is that.

And I think one of the other reasons that I’ve seen is also because of cultural diversity, particularly depending on the kind of product that you’re building, or maybe not even for every product, perhaps. But anyway, it’s interesting to have people with these different backgrounds and slightly different view of things, thinking about the same problems because you are likely going to get different kinds of ideas and suggestions that you might get if you’re team is more homogeneous. There’s a lot of talk about diversity these days, in [tech – 22:32] in particular. And this is another kind of [diversity – 22:38].

Lisette: I always find that the people focus on just the men-women diversity. And I think actually, there’s so much more diversity out there that just [crosstalk – 22:47] things like men and women are more the same than say, for instance, somebody from Russia versus somebody from Brazil. There are probably more differences in that than there are between men and women.

Fernando: Exactly, yeah. So I think that’s a very strong case also for remote work.

Lisette: I want to ask you about the cultural diversity because I found in your LinkedIn profile that you worked with a number of different countries. I saw Germany, and I saw San Francisco. And of course you’re in Brazil. And I’ve been curious on what your experience has been working on multicultural teams, and then advice that you would give people. Everybody seems to struggle, like how do I manage the diversity? How do I learn about the other culture? Because we don’t know what we don’t know sometimes. I just thought I’d ask your experience.

Fernando: I think perhaps it’s been easier for me because I lived abroad as a teenager. So I was a foreigner somewhere else in probably, I guess your formative years when you’re forming your personality. So I think it’s always been easy for me to have this empathy with other people, and seeing people doing things in a different way, yet not thinking that’s it’s the wrong way to do things – just because I think that experience does that to you. But yeah, it’s interesting because you do notice. Obviously, each individual has their own traits. But you do see certain patterns in how people in different regions behave, and in particular, communicate about things. But it’s really just about you have to be aware that that exists. And perhaps you have to train yourself to be slower to react, I guess.

Lisette: Ah, that’s nice.

Fernando: Because someone from a completely different country might say something to you that might sound a little strange. And if you were to react immediately, you might say one thing. But then you take a step back and you say, “Oh, wait. Maybe this is what that person meant. And it’s not exactly that, but he’s saying that because he speaks things differently.” So perhaps giving you that time to think about what the person meant. And that’s actually easier to do because a lot of the time, this happens asynchronously. So it’s really written communication that you get. And then you can think about things before you respond.

Lisette: Right. So before you shoot that email off, just take a step back and take 10 seconds and breathe.

Fernando: Read it again.

Lisette: It would be easier asynchronously than in person. In person, you have to really consciously like, “Okay, don’t react. Don’t react.”

Fernando: And often people get these perceptions. And it’s really not about what the other person thinks of your work or the actual person’s opinion. But it’s only how people communicate. So a lot of the times, conflicts happen. But when you actually look at what’s going on, the conflict is not about the actual [core – 26:16] thing that was said. It was only about how it was said and how it was perceived by the other person.

Lisette: Yeah, totally agreed.

Fernando: There are examples. I saw Brazilians [and Latinos – 26:31] in general are very expensive. And we talk a lot. And we talk loud. But we go out of our way to avoid conflict in general. And then you go to places like maybe Germany. And people are very direct. And then if you get a German and a Brazilian discussing and giving each other feedback, the Brazilian will go out of his way to not go into conflict with the German guy. And the German guy will just give his feedback. And the Brazilian might think, “Well, this guy is being rude.” But he’s not. He’s just telling you what he thinks without any filters that we might use in daily conversation.

And same could happen the other way. The German guy would say, “Well, he’s being dishonest because this is clearly not good and he’s saying it is.” And maybe the Brazilian guy is just trying to not offend him.

So there are all sorts of variations that can happen. And it’s usually not about the idea. It’s usually about how people are communicating about it.

Lisette: Right, so the trick sounds like don’t take things personally, but recognize that something is being lost in the translation. Its’ not [a personal – 27:48] thing generally. That would make sense.

So it sounds like you’re pretty pro-remote. And the companies that you work with are somewhat open to being remote. So I’m just curious. Do you need to ever convince people that you can do this work remotely? Or is it tough to convince people that it can be done?

Fernando: Yeah, I’ve had to in the past. And here it’s important to say, I guess. Sometimes it doesn’t work.

Lisette: Right, good point.

Fernando: We all advocate for remote work. But it has to be something that’s done very consciously. It likely won’t work if you have a fully co-located team and someone says, “Well, maybe let’s just bring in the remote guy to do this one thing.” And then you just get dropped into the middle of a team that’s sitting in the same room. And they don’t really want to do that.

Lisette: Yeah, I gave a workshop to a team like that. It was a disaster.

Fernando: Yeah, I’ve been in that situation before where it didn’t work. I think that’s also important. And maybe you get that from experience. But sometimes you can look at a team and say, “It’s not going to work.”

Lisette: Right. And if the team just doesn’t want it to work, they don’t. Why do you think it doesn’t work?

Fernando: The way teams work in person when everyone is co-located, it is different from how a remote team works. And people have to really want to do it and understand why they’re doing it. And everyone has to understand why they’re doing it because otherwise, things just break down. And it’s so often about communication. And for communication to work, everyone needs to communicate, has to be doing it the same way.

Lisette: They have to be proactive about it and not…

Fernando: [Unintelligible – 30:08] people need to try to do things [as synchronously – 30:13] as much as possible. And then maybe you get resistance to doing that. And people just think [unintelligible – 30:20] just come here and sit next to me. And then we’ll just talk about it. And we don’t write it down anywhere. And then the poor guy who is working alone doesn’t know what’s going on. And it creates a lot of problems. People have to be very aware of why they’re doing it and what the benefits are. Otherwise, it just doesn’t work.

Lisette: I’m curious about the culture of remote in Brazil in particular, just your feeling of it. Are people pretty open to working in this way? Or is it also new in Brazil? It’s certainly new in the Netherlands. It’s been around for a while, but people actually doing, only now it’s starting to happen.

Fernando: Yes, I’ve been working fully remotely for the past four or five years. In this time, I have never worked for a Brazilian company.

Lisette: Oh, interesting.

Fernando: So it’s not really an option here. There are even legal reasons. I’m not an expert in this kind of thing. But I think our [labor law – 31:28] system doesn’t even accommodate remote work. And I just saw a few days ago that there was as a proposal to change the law, so that remote work could be done under the existing legislation. So it’s not done a lot.

On the other hand, it’s interesting because here it seems to happen more at the large companies. So I know that for instance, IBM has a lot of remote people in Brazil. IBM has a couple of big centers up in São Paulo, a different state to where I am. And there are people who work in other states for them. But interestingly, what you see most often nowadays globally is small, young, startup companies that are born remote. And you don’t see that so much here.

Lisette: Interesting. Every country has its own timeline for when things happen.

Fernando: Yeah. And I guess the motivation for the big companies is probably not even… Because they are in the big centers, it’s just a big hassle for their employees. If you live in a city like São Paulo, it can take two hours just to get to your office. So I guess it’s a different kind of motivation.

Lisette: Yeah, that’s more like employee happiness. But I think that’s a huge thing. I was in São Paulo once, and I saw the traffic. It’s really extraordinary. The traffic is really something else. I think people sometimes don’t realize what a challenge it can be to navigate that kind of traffic. It’s different than Los Angeles, different than other big cities that I’ve been in. It’s really incredible.

Fernando: I live in a city where within 10 minutes, I can be anywhere. So I cannot conceive how people can live like that.

Lisette: Right, it’s different. People like different things. The big cities offer things that the little cities don’t. And little cities offer things that the big cities don’t.

Fernando: Yeah, and it’s great that remote work lets you… One thing that I’ve always said when I talk about remote work is that the choice of where you work and who you work for is independent of your choice of where you live. You can work and live in São Paulo, if you like. Or you can live here where I live.

Lisette: Right. And I think actually that is the beauty of remote work. It’s not just that you’re working remotely but that people have the choice of where to go. You could go to the office and be with people when you need to be. And you can work from home when you need to work from home. And you can work from a café when that’s where you’re going to be most productive. And that to me is the beauty of that choice is the choice.

Fernando: Certainly, yeah. And the other thing about time, I remember clearly the things talked by Jason Fried about where you do your work or something like that.

Lisette: Yeah, why work doesn’t happen at work.

Fernando: Yeah, that’s the one. And he says that when he asks people about where they are most productive, often people answer with a time, and it’s not a place. It’s before everyone wakes up at home. Or it’s after everyone has left the office. So since remote work usually comes in the package, they have freedom of time also. I think that’s also a great benefit. I have two kids. Sometimes I have to take them to school, pick them up from school. And having the flexibility to work around that is really great.

Lisette: Yeah, I can imagine. I think for parents especially, it’s a huge benefit. Kids are totally unpredictable. Anything could happen.

Fernando: Yeah, I’m only having this interview here because they’re not at home.

Lisette: [Laughs] I’ve heard this before. I have two more questions. We’re nearing the end of the time. The last one is super easy. But the next to last one is what advice would you give for a freelancer who’s just starting out on their remote journey? What do you wish you knew when you first started?

Fernando: I think the first thing is a bit obvious, but maybe it’s not obvious [for this reason – 36:09]. The first thing is always do a good job. And if you see an opportunity and you think you’re not going to do a good job, it’s not exactly the kind of thing that you’re good at, don’t take it because a lot of your work will come from referrals. And that kind of network is really important. So you should always do a good job. So if you think you’re in doubt, don’t take it.

Lisette: Hard for freelancers to do, I know.

Fernando: Yeah, because you’re always hungry for work because you need billable hours. But sometimes it’s preferable to have less and do a good job than to risk doing a bad project and having that feedback to your reputation. The other thing that I would say – and it’s something that perhaps I’ve done earlier – is really working on your online brand because even if you talk to people and reach people, people will always try to find you online. And what they find will certainly impact how they think of you and whether you get the job or you don’t.

Lisette: I always say I’m so glad that I was not online as a teenager.

Fernando: It must be very difficult for teenagers. I guess that’s why people prefer Snapchat over Facebook. I have a blog. I’ve actually had a blog for a long time. But I didn’t take it seriously until much later on. I wish I had taken it more seriously earlier. Always dedicate some of your time to personal branding activities. I’ve been trying to do that lately. I always have a few hours a week that I spend on this kind of stuff because it pays off. It’s both good for when you’re actually talking to someone. And then they would look you up. But it’s also an opportunity for people to know that you exist and find you online.

Lisette: Right, I think that’s a really good point because a lot of people say, “Oh, if I started the blog, nobody would read it.” And I think actually, it’s not about that. The blog can be your CV in a lot of ways. Just write whatever you’re interested in.

Fernando: What you just said is really interesting because one thing that I was really concerned about when I started, it’s like, “Oh, but I only get five views per day. No one reads what I write.” But you don’t need a thousand people to read your blog. You need one person to read your blog, and that’s the person who’s going to hire you. So you don’t necessarily need a lot of audience. You just need the right person to read it. And when you’re talking to someone who could potentially hire you, you need that person to like what they read.

Lisette: I love that. I’m writing down. You don’t need a large audience; you need the right audience. So then the last question that I have for you is if people want to find you, where is this blog? And how do they get in touch with you?

Fernando: I’m quite active on Twitter, @garrido. And I also have my blog, which you can reach at… It’s terrible for non-English speakers. It’s a personal branding error.

Lisette: That’s all right. I’ll put it in the show notes, so everybody will just click on that.

Fernando: Garridovaz.com.

Lisette: Great, perfect, so I hope that people contact you and check out your blog and look things up about you. One last question… Sorry, I can’t leave without asking. This probably is not what I’m thinking it is. In your LinkedIn profile, it says one of your interests is dog agility. And I want to know what dog agility was.

Fernando: All those circuits, obstacle courses, where there are jumps and ladders and tables and slalom things. That’s what this is called, dog agility. I used to practice that a lot more in the past with my first dog. She’s now an elderly lady, won’t practice anymore. I really enjoy it. It’s kind of obedience training but with lots of movement as well.

Lisette: But it’s for dogs. It’s an obstacle course for dogs.

Fernando: It’s an obstacle course for dogs.

Lisette: Oh, I’ve never heard of it before, and I thought it’s just maybe a new type of Agile. There’s Scrum.

Fernando: Oh, no, no.

Lisette: [Laughs].

Fernando: I like that kind of agility as well.

Lisette: Oh, cool. That’s interesting. I’ve never met anybody who did that before.

Fernando: Yeah, there’s competitions. It’s basically timed. There’s an obstacle course. And you go around it with your dog. And if you get one of the obstacle [unintelligible – 41:31], you [unintelligible]. Whoever does it quickest wins.

Lisette: Wow! Have you ever won?

Fernando: I tell a joke. When my first dog was young, she paid her own bills for a couple of months.

Lisette: Now that’s the kind of dog to have [laughs].

Fernando: The prizes were usually dog food and things like that.

Lisette: Awesome. I owned three cats for 20 years, so I know the price of pets. At times, it can add up.

Fernando: Yeah, it does. But the benefits are also great.

Lisette: Oh, yeah. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Fernando: I have my two dogs right here beneath my desk. And it’s how I like to work.

Lisette: Another benefit of remote working. You can have your dogs next to you. This is a good place to end. Thank you so much for your time today. It’s been really interesting talking. And until next time, everybody, be powerful.

Fernando: Thank you, Lisette.


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