Liam Martin is the co-founder and CMO of Time Doctor and Staff.com, which are tools that help manage remote employees productivity. Liam is also the co-organizer of Running Remote Conference which is the largest conference on remote work that’s held each year in June.
Here's my interview with Liam where he shares his habits and routines that help him stay motivated, focused and energized while traveling the world.
Liam started Time Doctor back in 2012 when very few companies were making the move to go for a fully remote organization. Liam had a perfectly good reason – the weather in Canada in winter, which he really wanted to escape from. To make remote work, Liam has had to put in a lot of processes in place and has had to accept the reality that VC investors would not agree to fund him with such a spread organization. Liam and his business partner – Rob Rawson, have bootstrapped the company, which is currently at $5 million in ARR.
He lives in Canada but travels 3-6 months out of the year due to his ability to work wherever and whenever he likes. He chooses a new place to travel a few times a year but usually spends time in Austin, Las Vegas and Ubud each year and loves to encourage others to work remotely on his travels.
His goal is for everyone, regardless of their location, background, gender, race or any other factor, to have equal access to the best jobs in the world. Remote work will also help impact climate change due to the decrease in transportation and the climate damage that ensues.
What Are the Most Influential Habits in Your Life?
Daily exercise including weightlifting every second day using an app called StrongLifts 5×5 and cardio in between (20-30 minutes of elevated heart rate physical activity).
I wake up relatively late, usually between 9-10 am and drinking water like it's medicine and not eating sugar is another thing that really improves my day. I also try to get half a gram of protein per pound of body weight.
I never really got into journaling but recently I’ve started doing videos at YouTube which is quite helpful to organize my thoughts.
How Do You Set Goals and Manage Time?
Time Doctor measures all of my generalized data, I also have quarterly rocks which are big projects that need to get completed at the sacrifice of smaller projects. In terms of team goals, I use an app call Fellow which allows me to follow up on everyone else's goals which is super useful for keeping the entire team focused.
How Are You Modeling Your Life?
Hard one to answer? I like Musashi's 5 Rings as a philosophy and focusing myself towards a mission for motivation. Once we achieved a level of success that I didn’t think was possible the pursuit of economic goals simply for the pursuit of more money no longer excited me and I started focusing on larger mission-based goals. Ironically however once I made that shift the economic goals got a lot easier.
Can You Describe Your Work Process and Thinking Behind It?
My job basically involves managing managers and attempting to make decisions based off what those managers are telling me. It's a lot more boring than people think but incredibly efficient. Basically each week I sit in 7 meetings and discuss the major barriers they believe I need to comment on. I don’t accept any discussion point that doesn’t have the proposed solutions (i.e. I never want to go into a discussion without the employee/team to have 2+ solutions) and then we discuss it. Outside of that, I think about the business and how to make it better plus answer questions like these.
What Do You Eat for Breakfast?
I usually eat eggs and salad for breakfast. It makes me feel good and the salad has most of the natural vitamins and minerals I will need for the day plus the eggs give me that initial hit of protein to control my blood sugar. Sometimes I will fast on purpose in which case I just drink water throughout the whole day. This also gives me a bit of a reset and I’ll usually do it after I’ve traveled a long distance.
How Do You Train Your Body and Mind?
Audible is jacked into my head pretty much every moment I'm not focused on work projects. I also seek out experts as much as possible and see how long they'll teach me things. Physical training is weight work with light cardio as I already mentioned.
How Do You Meet and Connect with People?
It's honestly pretty easy now if I'm speaking at a conference very interesting people come up to me all the time. Outside of that, my network usually creates introductions that are great for the majority of the time. However, before all of that, I would usually not have that much success with connecting with people at conferences or even social media.
I may or may not have a patience problem when it comes to these types of things but I think it’s better to focus your energy on working on yourself to the point that nobody can ignore you.
What Are Your Sleeping Rituals?
I usually knock out around 11 pm and wake up at 9 am. I sleep a lot and it's awesome and heavily underrated in my opinion. Sleep is absolutely critical towards overall mental clarity and physical recovery.
What Are Your Investing Habits?
I take 50% of what's left over and put it directly in the market. 25% into real estate and the final 25% into high-risk stuff like angel investments or specific stock picks or my own projects. Every year I rebalance that portfolio. It’s what I like to call the couch potato entrepreneur investment program.
What's One Question That Helped You Understand the World Better?
Better than that I'll give you the statement that exponentially improved my life once you live by it. Being comfortable asking uncomfortable questions is usually the fastest way to move forward in all aspects of your life. If you're looking at your life right now, measure where you're apprehensive and create some kind of forcing function that will force you to confront that uncomfortable situation head-on. After you go through it you will always feel better, the big challenge is overcoming that initial apprehension.