Living Life Like It’s Your Last Year: Chris Jankulovski’s Quest to Meaningful Impact One Filipino Remote Worker at a Time

Living Life Like It’s Your Last Year: Chris Jankulovski’s Quest to Meaningful Impact One Filipino Remote Worker at a Time

Living Life Like It’s Your Last Year: Chris Jankulovski’s Quest to Meaningful Impact One Filipino Remote Worker at a Time

Remote working is a blessing to everyone. Where can you find readily available work at the comforts of your home? With this opportunity, you now have the time for your kids. You can finally pursue your passion projects. Or even travel the world as a digital nomad! 

It’s such a promising industry. The problem is, where can you find such golden opportunities? One way is to go through an agency. I mean. They already have a list of clients. You just need to be qualified for the position.

And on the topic of agencies, we have our esteemed guest for today who owns one of the largest remote working agencies in the Philippines! 

Chris Jankulovski, the founder and CEO of Remote Staff, aims to influence as many people as possible in pursuing your dream lifestyle through remote working. This is how the interview went.



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Start of Remote Staff

Leandro: Hi Chris! Happy to have you here! We just want to ask, why did you decide to start an agency?

Chris: Thank you for having me here, Leandro! Well, I wanted to build an agency because I saw a business potential for Australian clients. I also saw it as a potential for me to build an online business, and be a digital nomad and travel the world while working. 

Those were my initial goals, then my intentions evolved after seeing the impact that I have made to the staff’s lives as well. I am just as driven and passionate about the impact we make for our clients, as much as I have with the impact that we make for our staff.



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Challenges of a Remote Agency

Leandro: And back then, this was a very new industry. What were the challenges you experienced when you were building it?

Chris: There was a lot. We were one of the pioneers in this space in the Philippines, and we were part of this global phenomenon wave that is remote working.

During the first four years of the company, we were 100% remote. And then we started growing rapidly. When my virtual team grew to over 50 people, my challenge was how to invest in remote management training for my managers. There are subtle differences in managing an office-based team, and managing a virtual team, and our managers at that time were not properly trained to manage a remote team. Due to this, people were not being properly trained and utilized as well. Collaboration also became an issue. At one point, some departments did not know that some departments even existed. 

We were also not optimizing all available remote working tools. 

 Then in 2012, I decided to move Remote Staff to an office with a whole new crew, hoping to address the challenges of managing a large team remotely. When I decided to do this, I was hoping to transition the company into a hybrid model of remote working and office-based operations. However, I found out that as a PEZA-accredited company, we were not allowed to have our inhouse staff work from home. There were also other challenges that came up that I didn’t expect – political challenges, challenges in team dynamics, the list went on.

 I have had a lot of struggles in my journey, but there was a lot of good stuff, too. And now, I’m happy to say that we are rethinking a lot of the things that we do as a company, and I’m excited about all the changes that are about to happen. What we are doing will remain the same, but how we are doing them will all change soon.


The Lifestyle of a Successful Entrepreneur

Leandro: And it was all worth it! You have touched the lives of thousands of Filipino remote workers with your company. We are curious though, you are a remote worker yourself. How does your lifestyle look like?

Chris: I believe in the importance of structure, especially when you’re working remotely. I’ve learned that you’ve got to have boundaries. I apply a lot of self-control and alignment in myself. When I say I’ll go to the gym, I go to the gym. When I want to buy something, I need to earn it first, and then I’ll buy it. I am very authentic about myself, you have to know that about me first.

I work three weeks from home in Australia and one week from the office in the Philippines. My favorite time to work is on Sundays – alone when I can go into deep thought. I also love collaborating with people, whether it’s virtual, or in the office.  

In between workdays, I love spending time with my wife and kids and enjoying all the benefits of remote working.



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Striving Hard Amidst Adversities

Leandro: Discipline is really the most essential quality you need for a thriving remote working career. 

And speaking of striving and thriving, some people think that everything is handed over on a silver platter for successful people. But that is rarely the case. Our readers might now know, you are Von-Hippel Lindau (VHL) syndrome. Basically, it’s a disease that makes you susceptible to cancer and tumors. 

You have gone through multiple operations because of VHL. What made you push through your condition and achieve what you have today?

Chris: A lot of people ask me: “Chris, you’ve battled cancers, had two brain operations, and had so many health adversities, and so many near-death experiences, where do you get your inspiration? Where do you get your hunger for life and this strong mindset? How can we attain it?” 

The short answer to this is, I don’t live like it’s my last day, rather, I live like it’s my last year. And I practice this every year. I’m aware that I can’t accomplish much in a day. But a year gives me enough time to make an impact and do what I need to do; and enough time to live my life with no regrets.


Living Life Like It’s Your Last Year

Chris: During this “last year”, I try to do the things that are truly important to me, and the things that make me happy. I also make sure that I split everything three ways, from my money to my energy. I think that a year is a good representation of second chances. So this is how I was able to push through everything.

Whatever value I create in this world, I split it in three ways – for investment, for saving, and for spending.

Moreover, I want to inspire millions. That’s my current challenge in every aspect, including my business. If I want to make a meaningful difference in this world, then it’s time for me to step up in a big way.

I want to encourage others to live – by having a unique drive to live your life as if it’s your last year, and see every new year as a bonus.


Family Matters

Leandro: That’s a great concept. It keeps you in perspective as to what’s important. And how you can have a lasting impact. But these whole concept circles around not having any regrets.

What’s your biggest regret?

Chris: That’s a tough one. My biggest regret is probably that I didn’t give my father more, such as giving him more money, before he passed away – even when I was in a position to give a lot. I did help, but I know deep down that I could’ve done more. 

And now he’s gone and I missed out on that chance. He loved to travel, and one of his dreams was to travel the world when he retires. And while I did bring him to a lot of places, and brought him with me during my travels, I really felt that I could’ve looked after him way, way more. 

So, if you have parents or loved ones, give what you can give while there is still time. I’m actually inspired by the strong Filipino trait of taking care of their families.

They say remote working is all about work-life balance, but it’s not. For me, it’s about life. Period. Those that work from home recognize that they must come first, their families must come first; life must come first. 

I never thought I’d have one. I’ll forever be indebted to them. And this always reminds me that I can always do more. 


Advice for Aspiring Freelancers

Leandro: That is certainly admirable. With remote work, you can now focus on your real priorities. Your family. Your passion. You now have a choice.

And we also want that choice for the Filipino people. What advice can you give for all the aspiring freelancers who want to start?

Chris: There’s a lot of prices to pay to have a thriving career in the Philippines. From having less time with your family to having to spend hours on the road. I don’t think anyone should tolerate the nonsense that is traffic in this country. 

Start by looking at the mirror, and discern what’s truly important for you. You need to know who you truly are, and your needs at the moment. Start there. Ask yourself if working from home is the right thing for you. 

So therefore, if you need to look after your welfare, you might want to try remote working. Then, commit to your decision. 

You need to know how you can be productive from home before you can pursue a professional career from home. You need to be an empowered remote worker, and I urge you all to step up to that plate.

Working from home can truly be a life-changing career move, and you have to be ready for it. But if you are fully prepared, you will be reaping the benefits of that decision soon enough.


Advice for Practicing Freelancers

Leandro: How about for those currently freelancing already. What’s your advice for them? 

Chris:  I really believe that it’s time for us to professionalize remote working. What does that mean?

You need to develop skills beyond your work capabilities. You need to boost your communication and comprehension skills, and your self-management skills. You need to know how to avoid procrastination and create a work from home structure. 

There were a lot of advancements in the remote working landscape since I’ve started the Remote Staff company in late 2007 until today. And I think it’s fantastic. 

You must also be familiar with various technologies and work from home tools such as Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts, etc. 

So, for those who are already a professional home-based worker, ask yourself how you can create additional value to yourself, your family, and your clients. Understand how you can add value to others. Discern what that is, then refine that.



There you have it! We should all live like it’s our last year! Imagine what great things we can all do.

And we can probably do more by attending the Working Remote conference this coming Sept 13 and 14. We have invited high caliber inspirational speakers from here an abroad to help you get that dream lifestyle through remote working.

Hurry though! Tickets are running our fast. See you there!

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