If you’re looking to meet a rugged man with a pioneering spirit and commitment to old-world quality, look no further than Xan Hood.
Founder of the popular clothing outfitter Buffalo Jackson Trading Co., Xan is cut from the same cloth as Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway and John Muir. He’s also a devoted and long-time Elance client – which helps greatly to explain his passion for high-end work and superior craftsmanship at every step of the way. It’s the same rough-and-tumble excellence you’ll find in his collection of dress shirts, outdoor jackets, leather goods, shoes and other fashionable sundries.
As Xan shares, “One of the greatest success stories of our business is working with contractors on Elance. Our business couldn’t have grown without them.”
When Xan originally set out to build his clothing company three short years ago, he knew he couldn’t settle for a handful of so-so employees with general skills. That’s not the way Teddy would have manned an army, or Pappa crewed a deep sea fishing expedition. Xan wanted the best of the best, and that’s why he turned to the highly-specialized professionals available at Elance. To build Buffalo Jackson Trading Co. and to get his business up and running quickly, Xan hired-on an entire team of top-notch experts – from product developers and accountants to graphic designers, artists, website developers and customer service reps.
“I literally bootstrapped my company using Elance teams,” said Xan. “I started with $300 and a dream.” He is quick to point out that he looks only for the finest and most passionate workers, rewarding them fairly for an honest day’s work. “I love my team,” Xan notes. “They’re like employees to me, or even family. I had the opportunity to send some extra money to a trusted programmer in India when he went down with Dengue Fever and was in bed a few days.”
The physical location of Buffalo Jackson’s Elancers spans from across the globe in the Ukraine to around the corner from his North Carolina home. Xan currently works with 10 freelancers, but that number can rise at the drop of a hat. When the demand is there, Xan simply invites more Elancers to help him tackle the job. “I was recently talking with a much larger company on some collaboration and they estimated I had 15 or more employees working around the clock,” Xan explains. “But nope, it’s just me and Elance right now.”
But when you’re one tough field general committed to honor and integrity like you’ll find in Xan Hood, nothing is going to stop you from blazing new trails and realizing your dream. Especially when you have an army of Elancers there to support your every move. Giddy-up.
Mark Leary of Soulsplash Writers is among the top freelance writers on Elance. But more than simply scaling the pinnacle of his literary profession, he has also reached his lifelong dream of living in the clouds. In fact you’ll find him most days happily working and playing at his home/office – 3,600 feet up the Cascade Mountains at the base of Bend, Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor.
“Thanks to Elance I can work in the sunshine on my back deck, go for a morning ski or afternoon mountain bike ride, and still get in a full-day’s work – all on my own clock,” Mark says. “I have freedom and flexibility that none of my corporate friends enjoy.” He’s also quick to point out that with very few writing jobs in Bend, without Elance he would never have been able to trade in the cubicle for a ski lift.
To date Mark has completed over 150 writing jobs and counting on Elance, from sales and marketing projects to ghostwriting articles and eBooks. This includes a wide-variety of topics that keep him fresh and energized. “The range and diversity of projects is a blast,” he notes. “Everything from writing How To Surf and How To Throw A Baby Shower books to ghostwriting for best-selling New York authors.”
There’s an international flavor to Mark’s portfolio too, thanks to Elance. He’s able to write for a diverse list of clientele from around the world – from the United States and Canada to South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Choosing Elance was an easy choice for Mark. “It’s a trusted company where people feel safe working, especially with the escrow. Elance is also well-publicized, which gives me a bigger reach and eliminates the need for additional marketing.” He also gives a thumbs up to Elance’s sensible rating and ranking system that rewards people fairly.
While his career continues going uphill and his mountain bike downhill, we have to salute someone able to achieve an ideal work/life balance. It must be heavenly.
Elance is thrilled to be in Dhaka this week, kicking-off our exciting new operations in Bangladesh.
While we’re in Dhaka we’ll also take part in several Elance events and government-sponsored happenings. Each activity this week has an eye towards helping boost economic development for the talented people in this deserving region.
The festivities began with a bang on Wednesday, where Elance sponsored our own Work Differently Summit 2012. More than 200 eager Elancers and future Elancers were on hand as we swapped stories and shared insights. It was great connecting with local professionals, as the pictures here show.
On hand for the summit and spearheading activities was Elance’s most-recent hire, Saidur Khan. Our new local Business Development Manager, he’ll be based in Dhaka and help us grow the Bangladesh community even faster. Also of note attending from Elance were Kjetil Olsen (VP, Europe) and Alex Yoon (U.S. Director of Marketing and Talent).
We don’t think getting great work done at a fair price should be like pulling teeth.
Jaime Bellos of Detroit-based mydentaltrip.com would agree. Why? Simple. He and his business partner Rich used Elance to bring their entrepreneurial dream to life. Through our online freelance web designers and web programmers Jaime got their “unique” dental startup’s website up-and-running fast.
A great idea (in our humble opinion), mydental.com is a website allowing people to combine their dream vacation with getting some dental work done. On their website you pick a destination (Costa Rica for example), select the dental work you need (perhaps a bridge replacement?) and then local dentists in Costa Rica submit their quotes. It’s a great solution for getting in some relaxation while saving a bundle on your dental bill.
We have lots of talented folks who work hard behind the scenes, helping create a great experience for Elancers. One shining example is our Marketplace Operations Team. They’re the group that maintains the quality of our Elance marketplace.
Garnor and Jon from the Elance Marketplace Operations Team
To shed some light on the Marketplace Operations team and their role, we sat down for a quick chat with Garnor, Jon, Gina and Bill – four managers on the Marketplace Operations team. Here are some highlights of that discussion:
Q: What’s the role of the Marketplace Operations Team?
A: Our mission is to help all Elancers have a great experience and outcome when using Elance. We believe that the key to that is creating trust. Businesses who use Elance want to know that they’re hiring freelancers who can get the job done right. Similarly, our freelancers want to know that they’ll get paid for the work they complete. And, all of our members want the right set of educational and help content available when they need it.
Hummingbird Hall is one of Jamaica’s most popular wedding services. It’s a true destination for love birds from around the globe.
But when owner Alisha Fuller first dreamed of building a website worthy of her boutique venue, she couldn’t find the best man (or woman) to create the website. In fact, located in rural Montego Bay, Jamaica she couldn’t find anyone nearby to affordably help realize her vision. And with competition moving fast, she couldn’t wait another day.
That’s when Alisha took the plunge and committed to Elance. She first found a graphic designer, then those elusive world class web developers, to bring her site to life. “Elance opened the world up to us,” she explained. “It means we’re not limited to things we can get done here.”
When network engineer Jeff Pewarski first earned his Cisco Certification, he soon received an email from Cisco outlining the opportunities for freelance jobs through Elance.
At first he was skeptical and figured there was a catch of some sort, perhaps a huge fee to join or some hidden costs down the road. But as Jeff soon found out, there are no fees to join Elance and as soon as he registered he was free to begin applying for jobs requiring Cisco Certified professionals.
It has been a great experience for Jeff so far. He is employed full-time and working on Cisco systems every day, and he uses Elance to find clients for weekend jobs which earn him extra money and expands his professional network. His Cisco Certification is noted on his profile and clearly visible to potential clients, which makes him stand out from the competition, and gives clients the peace of mind that they are getting someone with the required credentials.
With the Presidential election just weeks away, folks at the Republican National Convention are talking jobs, jobs, jobs. Except of course for a large number of GOP movers & shakers, who were actually listening – to a seasoned Elancer talk about (you guessed it) … jobs.
Specifically, during the GOP convention people turned a keen ear to Elance client Chris Abbott. Chris was front-and-center in the Huffington Post-sponsored Entrepreneurial Expo held Wednesday in Tampa. Co-sponsored by Microsoft and NBC News, the Expo allowed people in search of job solutions to circulate among select entrepreneurs, discussing “What is Working” on the American job front. Huffington Post Editor In Chief Arianna Huffington and LinkedIn Co-Founder Allen Blue were among the many dignitaries who gleaned insights from Chris at the Expo Wednesday.
Owner of CV Jones and an Elance client for several years, Chris had much to say to Arianna and others about what’s possible when the right jobs are matched with the right online freelancers. Chris was able to enlighten many political and business leaders on the advantages of hiring online workers to spur job growth in America.
They say the future is all about mobile. And in the case of Andreas Pilz, that’s literally true.
In 2009 Andreas was living in Germany and decided it was time to move to Berlin, longing for the city’s rich startup ecosystem. However, he was hesitant to move there because he had business partners in Nuremberg, plus entrepreneur friends in Cologne and Hamburg – all of whom Andreas wanted to spend time with. Essentially, he wanted to live in four cities at the same time, and visit startup events in many more cities too.
What to do?
It’s a no brainer. Andreas bought a mobile home.
Having been a digital entrepreneur since he was 18 years, Andreas had been running most of his businesses online for years anyway. Now 35, he has an established network of freelancers partners he uses for different tasks. Through the years his customers have grown accustomed to Andreas conducting most of their meetings through Skype. As he began looking at his situation, Andreas he had no physical limitations to where he could and should do his work.