Employee Spotlight: Meet Damarcus, Operations Team Member & Scan Champ

Earth Class Mail is built on the passion and dedication of our employees. In this series we’re offering a glimpse at the wizards behind the curtain.

Meet Damarcus Clark, Operations Team Member. Damarcus holds all of our scanning records and has scanned literally millions of pages for our customers in the last 8 years.

Tell us a bit about your history here and the responsibilities you manage each day:

Since I started in 2008 I’ve scanned over 2.3 million pages. I come in every morning to open up the facility, and am usually here alone for the first hour or so.

I get some coffee going, create the work orders for the day, and then get to work. Most of my day is spent at my scanning station, just scanning documents for our customer.

I currently hold the record for most scans in a day, at 853.

But, I’ve also done the most in a week, a month, and a year. The average scanning performance is about 82 pages per hour, but I’ve been timed doing nearly 142 per hour. Last year was my biggest year yet, I did around 130,000 scans.

What do you think is the key to your success?

I really enjoy being the first one here in the morning, it gives me time to focus and get going. I’ve always worked like this at any job. I try to assign little challenges for myself so that I can keep moving, for example: I’ll look at the clock and say, “by this time I need to have done this many scans”.

I’m always trying to think a few steps ahead too, and keeping my station and equipment optimized for efficiency helps a lot with that.

Those half second movements really add up over time.

I’ve worked here so long that I know how to organize the workload to make it the most efficient.

What are you most passionate about here at ECM?

I love what I do. Being able to improve on a process and find little areas to optimize efficiency makes it fun. It’s great to be a valued part of a growing business.

Any good lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?

Trust the process you’ve created and keep working toward your goal. If you’re persistent, eventually you’ll get there.

Don’t just look at a current process and accept it as it is, but instead understand what works about it and how you can improve it. There’s almost always a way.

What keeps you driven and motivated each day?

My girlfriend, Elaina, and I have been together for ten years this month, and we have two young sons together. They are my main motivation in life.

My goal is to provide them with a better life and more opportunity than I had. I’ve had a good life, but as a father I want to be able to offer them even more.

What do you do in your free time?

Elaina and I recently started an organic beauty supply business and we’ve just started selling inventory. We started setting up at bazaars and now we have customers ordering online from all over the country.

We’re still in the beginning stages, just a couple of months actually, but it’s already starting to take off. It’s pretty exciting.

Elaina has a degree in business and I’m on track to complete my degree this year, so we really hope to put or knowledge to use and grow the company together.

That’s great! Where can we buy your products?

The easiest way is probably to follow us on Facebook or you can check out our online shop

Please do check it out! I use the products myself everyday and I wouldn’t if they didn’t work. I’m pretty picky about stuff like that.

Any parting words or advice for our readers?

Working here at Earth Class Mail has been a great opportunity and has surrounded me with people that have pushed me to move my life in a positive direction.

I’ve learned a ton about growing a business, the goal is to always improve.

Employee Spotlight: Meet Daniel, Project Manager & Tea Aficionado

Earth Class Mail is built on the passion and dedication of our employees. In this series we’re offering a glimpse at the wizards behind the curtain.

Meet Daniel Finkle, Project Manager for the Operations team. On a daily basis Daniel is responsible for our mission-critical vendor relationships with the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS. He also oversees our digital mail delivery and check processing teams.

Tell us a bit about your history here and the responsibilities you manage each day:

Yeah, I’ve been here for over ten years. It’s pretty crazy to think about. I started in operations as an entry level operator. Then I worked as an Operations and Web-Operations Lead, later as a Training Specialist, then a Procurement Manager, a Quality Assurance Specialist, an Operations Analyst, and now currently as a Project Manager.


Most of my day is spent working with various post offices around the country to set up new services or solve a problem of some sort. I also manage our check deposit process and oversee our digital delivery team – that is the team that makes sure each item we receive goes into the right account.


What made you interested in working for Earth Class Mail?

I could really see the potential of Earth Class Mail. They did a good job of sharing their vision for the future, and I drank the Kool-Aide. The cloud was going to be the wave of the future, and the service offered a huge benefit to customers.

My job now is to do everything I can to make that service better.


What’s the most difficult problem you’ve had to solve?

Honestly, learning how to conform to the various USPS regulations for a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency. Figuring out how to manage PO Boxes in every state has been a challenge. Each post office does things differently.


What is the most important lesson you’ve learned?

To communicate as much as possible, internally and externally. Things so easily get lost in translation, so you have to make sure everyone is on the same page at all times. It’s often easier said than done.


Where do you see yourself in five years?

I just finished my undergraduate work and received a Bachelor’s in Business. I would like to use that somehow, maybe I could be the director of a think-tank, or get into R&D. Only time will tell.


How do you spend your personal time?

I’ve been married for almost 8 years to my wife Melanie and we have a baby boy, Elijah. In my free time, which isn’t often, I like to produce electronic music.

Other than that, I love to drink high quality tea. Lots of tea.

What’s your favorite workplace story?

A boss of mine, who’s no longer here, used to come in before the first Support Team member would show up around 6 AM. He would hide under their desk, wait patiently, and just as they were approaching he would crawl out and say “Found it!” really loud. Then he’d show them a dime in his hand.

That would always start the day off on the right foot.


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today, any parting words or advice for our readers?


Yes! Don’t cut corners. Do things right the first time. That way next time, you can just drink tea.

Spotlight: Meet Russ Perry and DesignPickle.com

Our customers rock. We love to share their stories, and are thrilled to introduce you to the next customer in our customer spotlight series. Russ Perry is the Founder of Design Pickle, the world’s most helpful graphic design company – offering flat-rate, unlimited graphic design help to businesses large & small.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Russ. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your company? What does Design Pickle do, and what sets you apart?

Of course! The long & short of it is this: Design Pickle is a flat-rate, unlimited graphic design service. We’ve got one monthly rate for unlimited requests and unlimited revisions.

No more wondering who’s working on your request each time, or worrying about revisions and scope of work driving up the cost of marketing materials!

Design Pickle solves a lot of problems for just about everyone, from the small business who doesn’t have an in-house designer to the entrepreneur who shouldn’t be spending time trying to put Facebook ads together for hours on end.

Our mission is to be the most helpful design company in the world, and that starts with alleviating the daily stress for our clients. 

How did you get started and why?

After about a decade in the creative agency arena, I found myself needing a change. I switched to individual consulting, but realized I didn’t want to be stuck designing business cards instead of getting to use my skills on a bigger level.

So I created a beta system of what would become Design Pickle – helping clients request their day-to-day production graphic designs. It kind of blew up after that!

Do you have an incredible customer success story you can share?

Is it a total cheeseball response if I say I have a million of those? Yes? Ok then.

ONE that really stands out to me, and I just shared this with my team, is from a client who co-founded a great online start-up helping people be the best version of themselves.

Before finding us, she would agonize over blog post images and Facebook ads, trying to do everything herself and losing sight of what she was really working so hard to achieve. Her big-picture wasn’t in the picture because of the minutia.

It wasn’t until we were at an event here in AZ when her husband (and biz partner) came up to me and thanked me for giving her back her time, and in reality, her life!

She’s now able to focus her incredible talent & energy on growing their business and truly enjoy the “why” behind starting the business in the first place – building a community that will impact the world for good.

Bottom line, helping someone with a few simple graphics for marketing collateral can have a much bigger effect than I ever realized. I’m proud of my team for that.

Can you share a tip, trick, hack, tool or service with our readers that makes you better, or makes your days more effective?

I’m totally NOT a micromanager, but need to keep tabs on where my Pickle People sit on both big projects and daily dealings alike.  We use Trello for managing event plans and content strategy, and I Done This for the day-to-day tasks.

We get the satisfaction of checking off the to-do list each day in I Done This, but can keep big-picture plans moving via Trello boards.

What was the situation before you used Earth Class Mail, tell us how EarthClassMail makes you better at your job, or your company better at what it does?

I think we were in a pretty standard situation for location-independent teams. I had my home office, my team had theirs, and we’d convene regularly to calibrate our plans at the local coffee joint.

I didn’t want my home address used for mail (read: my wife wasn’t thrilled by the idea of our humble abode’s location being broadcast to the world). Having a P.O. Box is the simple answer, but no street address lends itself to the “ehhhh, is this a legit business?” from clients & potential partners.

Plus you have to GO to a post office regularly to collect said mail (they don’t mess around when you neglect to pick up mail regularly. The disapproving side-eye from the clerk is the stuff of nightmares).

I found ECM and immediately knew it was for us. Secure, consistent, reliable, friendly. It’s kept me on top of the important mail and simplified the check deposit scenario for us.

What has Earth Class Mail been worth to your business in terms of $?

Let’s see…by my calculations *carry the one*…Can I just say it’s been “priceless”? Because seriously, the peace of mind knowing that no Design Pickle team member is spending their time sorting through pre-approved credit card offers and penny-saver ads is especially valuable to me.

What would you say to someone considering Earth Class Mail as a solution?

DO IT! Right now! How you wouldn’t see the obvious perks of this service is beyond me. Until everyone on this planet goes green & moves to digital correspondence, this is your ultimate weapon against wasted time.

What feature can we add or improvement can we make that would make you say, “shut the front door, I need that!”?

Would you consider a service that sends thoughtful replies to Aunt Irene’s annual family status letter? How about going through my spam folder so I don’t miss out on that “Earn_thousands in ur sleep with this 1 $imple Hack” email?

Other than that, I think you’ve got all my needs covered!

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today, any parting words or advice for our readers?

Thank you for having me! I think my honest advice would be to make sure you’re systemizing or automating every task you can… just because it’s important enough to do, doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself!

Free up your bandwidth to focus on making moves and growing your business!

Also, pickle juice is an amazing option for relieving muscle cramps, so if you’re an active person, make sure you’re stocked up…knowing is half the battle. 

Meet David Fideler, Owner of Concord Editorial and Design

Our customers rock. We love to share their stories, and are thrilled to introduce you to the next customer in our customer spotlight series, David Fideler. David is the owner of Concord Editorial and Design, and the creator of the blog Brainstorm Every Day. 

Concord Editorial creates books for publishers in the United States, and Brainstorm Every Day helps people generate ideas and create their own business opportunities. 

David Fidler, Concord Editorial

Thanks so much for sharing your story, David. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your company? What does Concord Editorial do, and what sets you apart?

We create high-quality books, mainly for university presses. The thing that sets us apart is the quality of our work — from the design, to the editing, to the quality control processes we use to make sure every book is error-free.

How did you get started and why?

From the day I was born, I grew up around books and publishing. My father owned a textbook publishing company, which he started as a young man. Then, when I was twenty-four, I started my own publishing company which I ran for twenty years.

After that, I started Concord Editorial to create books for other publishers. I’ve now worked to bring well over 100 books into print, probably closer to 200.

Do you have an incredible customer success story you can share?

Not really, because all of our customers are happy with our work. That’s because we guarantee total customer satisfaction. In fact, we won’t deliver a project until a customer is fully satisfied with every aspect of our work.

In my view, every business should guarantee total customer satisfaction.

What’s the best business decision you made in the last few years?

Five years ago I decided to move my business overseas to where I now live in Sarajevo, in southern Europe. Without question, that was my best decision. I used to be based in West Michigan, and my editors still live and work in the United States, but after visiting Sarajevo I just fell in love with the city and decided to move here.

When I started the business ten years ago I designed it to be a location-independent company, but I had no idea I’d eventually relocate overseas and even buy a home here. Book publishing is not the highest-paying field in the world, and outsourcing work to other countries has been going on for many years now. In this case, I decided to outsource myself and take advantage of the much lower cost of living here to increase my quality of life.

Can you share a tip, trick, hack, tool or service with our readers that makes you better, or makes your days more effective?

Actually, I can offer more than one. There’s a resource guide available on my website, Brainstorm Every Day, that describes in-depth “The 12 Tools and Hacks I Use to Run My Business From Overseas”. I included Earth Class Mail in that guide because it’s one of my most important tools.

Tell us how Earth Class Mail makes you better at your job, or your company better at what it does?

Ever since I moved my business here five years ago, Earth Class Mail has been invaluable. I couldn’t run my business without it. It gives me total control of all my mail at a distance, and I’ve never once had a single problem with the service.

The most important feature of Earth Class Mail, for me, is the automatic check deposit feature. It works perfectly. Based on the research I did before leaving the United States, Earth Class Mail is the only company that really has this down as a complete, affordable service that is totally automated.

Whenever I get an envelope containing a check, the check is scanned, automatically identified as a check by the software, and automatically deposited into my business’s bank account. It just works flawlessly, each and every time.

Another feature that is very helpful is the cloud storage of everything you receive in the mail. After my documents are scanned and my checks are deposited I have Earth Class Mail recycle the original hardcopy documents, but keep all the PDF scans online in cloud storage until I have time to print them out and process them. I often get very busy with work so while I have my checks deposited immediately, I can wait even a few months to update my invoicing database, whenever I have the time.

What feature can we add or improvement can we make that would make you say, “shut the front door, I need that!” ?

For the life of me, I can’t think of anything. Earth Class Mail fully meets my needs, it lets you work anywhere and still have a U.S.-based company.

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today, any parting words or advice for our readers?

Yes — I truly believe we are living in the best time ever for anyone to create a location-independent business. I feel so strongly about this that I’m now creating an online course to help people who want to start their own business and, most importantly, do the marketing so they can get great clients no matter where they live.

When I started my book design business ten years ago I wanted to be able to work with clients anywhere in the United States, because at the time the economy was just so terrible where I lived in West Michigan. I had no idea that I’d one day move to another country, I just wanted to be able to work with anyone, anywhere. That, in my mind, was the best way to be financially secure.

So if anyone is reading this and contemplating something similar, I want to encourage them and let them know that yes, it really is possible.

Case Study: How HealthyHearing.com Uses Earth Class Mail to Increase Online Review Volume

HealthyHearing.com connects its 2,000,000 visitors to a national network of hearing centers and clinics. They also provide industry leading thought leadership on hearing loss and hearing aids. It’s estimated that 28 million Americans are impacted by some degree of hearing loss.

The Setup

With a demographic that trends older, 55 and over, HealthyHearing.com struggles at times with generating the online engagement they need from their users. 

Although that age group can be tech savvy, it’s still a generation that appreciates a handwritten note over an email. – Dr. Paul Dybala, President at HealthyHearing.com

In 2011, Healthy Hearing rolled out a new feature allowing users to leave reviews for the more than 2,000 clinics in their directory. The review process was simple and completed entirely online.

The jury was still out on whether users would remember to come back to the site and leave a review after visiting a clinic. Would they respond better if they had the option to submit a handwritten review instead?

The Experiment

To give their users a more traditional option for leaving reviews, Healthy Hearing implemented a solution that allowed clinics to provide postcards to their patients. The patients could write their review and then mail it in. The postcards would then be transcribed and published online.

Since the Healthy Hearing team is completely virtual, they initially used a PO Box located near one of the editors. Hundreds of postcards started to roll in, but managing all that wasn’t ideal.

The Problem

It worked ok, but there was a delay as the editor would pick up mail once a week from the post office and then it took a while to get the information from the postcards entered into our system.

Soon, Healthy Hearing would learn of another pitfall. The editor in charge moved to another company, leaving behind thousands of postcards and a PO Box nobody else could access. This would inevitably lead to delays, and likely frustrated consumers and clinics.

They needed a solution that was scalable, accessible for a virtual team, and reliable.

The Solution

With a real problem on their hands, Healthy Hearing reached out to Earth Class Mail for a solution. They needed a physical address with virtual mail management for their team.

New postcards were printed with the Earth Class Mail address. Those were distributed to the clinics in the network, while the old ones were recycled. 

Knowing that not all of the old postcards would be dropped from the network, mail forwarding was setup from the old PO Box to the new address.

We then had mail forwarded from the old mailbox to the new ECM address and monitored what addresses were listed on the postcards coming in. 

About 3 years later, with virtually all of the postcards coming direct to the Earth Class Mail address, they shut down the old mailbox. 

More importantly, the postcard reviews don’t live in a silo anymore. They can be accessed from anywhere, making transcription scalable. 

The Results

Postcards now account for 50% of all reviews posted to HealthyHearing.com, and it’s increasing. There are two team members currently monitoring and managing the program, both completely remote.

The use of these postcards are important for the demographic that we serve and ECM has enabled us to do this in an efficient way. 

The Healthy Hearing team focused on what their users wanted and, based on their research, found that the paper reminder and process would resonate well. 

They also knew that the address transition would not be a clean one for the clinics, and the time it took to filter out mail from the old address confirmed that.  

ECM helps us to deliver on our promise to help serve the consumers and clinics that use our website and to do this efficiently with our virtual team. – Dr. Paul Dybala

Meet Katelynn Minott, Partner at Bright!Tax

Our customers rock. We love to share their stories, and are thrilled to introduce you to the next customer in our customer spotlight series. Katelynn Minott, CPA is a Partner at Bright!Tax, the cloud-based U.S. income tax prep firm for Americans living abroad.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Katelynn. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your company? What does Bright!Tax do, and what sets you apart?

I began my expat journey outside the States while I was at University in Vina del Mar, Chile. During my exchange, I met my husband, a Green Beret officer in the Chilean navy, we married and now have two beautiful children. I travel often to the States and I am thrilled that my kids have the opportunity to grow up bi-culturally. I am an actively licensed American CPA and am a partner with the firm, Bright!Tax.

For Americans overseas the annual filing of US taxes can be daunting, if not impossible from a personal standpoint. We have clients in over 150 countries worldwide that count on us to file their U.S. expat taxes, and we are very good at it. At Bright!Tax we have developed a perfect blend of cloud technology and personalized approach that allows us to create long term and meaningful relationships with our clients.

How did you get started and why?

I was a practicing CPA in Chile when Bright!Tax’s founder, Greg Dewald, and I happened upon each other. We found that we had a tremendous synergy and developed a working relationship that has been unique. Greg and I both share many of the same ideas about the experience we wish for our Bright!Tax clients to have, and we’re both perfectionists. This has evolved into a process that is clear, precise, and exacting to our clients’ needs.

Do you have an incredible customer success story you can share?

Bright!Tax’s niche is quite interesting in that we serve American clients living overseas who need to file U.S. taxes every year. The U.S. has enacted new laws that have significantly ramped up their compliance efforts and a large percentage of our American clients overseas were simply not aware of their obligation to file taxes every year (the U.S. is about the only country on the world that mandates this).

One of the most fulfilling aspects of what we do is helping many clients out of their state of despair. They have just discovered that they need to be filing U.S. taxes and are often completely disoriented, wondering if their lives will now be disrupted by an overzealous IRS. We are always able to offer a reliable and safe path forward to tax-compliance for our clients, and it is often easier than many clients think at first. By the end of our projects our clients are happy, satisfied, and some even overjoyed that they have put something that was once frightening successfully behind them.

Can you share a tip, trick, hack, tool or service with our readers that makes you better, or makes your days more effective?

Answer email, and fast! One of the client service points that we pride ourselves on is our responsiveness. By answering client emails within 24 hours we are able to keep projects moving efficiently through our production process, and also create a client relationship based on support and communication. Despite working with 99% of our clients via our cloud-based infrastructure, we’ve found that our quick & friendly communication provides a client service experience that actually feels quite personal.

What was the situation before you used Earth Class Mail, tell us how EarthClassMail makes you better at your job, or your company better at what it does?

For the most part, before signing up with Earth Class Mail we were relying upon the kindness of a few trusted individuals to receive and forward mail that was coming to our mailbox. We had our company’s mail as well as clients’ mail coming in faster than we were able to keep up with. Earth Class Mail brings us our physical mail electronically, and allows us to stay paper free in our practice.

What has Earth Class Mail been worth to your business in terms of $?

This may be hard to quantify and yet, as time is money, we have realized a greater efficiency and peace-of-mind knowing that our mail is being handled securely and professionally by Earth Class Mail. Just the time we wasted processing physical checks in the past, for example, makes our relationship with ECM worthwhile.

What would you say to someone considering Earth Class Mail as a solution?

Try it! Use it! And realize all the benefits that your business (and even individuals) can get by utilizing ECM’s comprehensive solution.

What feature can we add or improvement can we make that would make you say, “shut the front door, I need that!” ?

As we often send correspondence to physical mailing addresses within the U.S. & around the world, we would greatly benefit from the ability to turn electronic documents provided to ECM into physical mail correspondence to be sent on our behalf. That being said, ECM has already created huge efficiency in our system and we wish we’d found the service sooner!

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today, any parting words or advice for our readers?

Yes! For those of us who are overseas, we all know that living abroad involves a number of necessary and time consuming pre-arrangements. Word of advice (and a plug for Earth Class Mail!) – Try ECM’s service and realize the peace of mind that comes from knowing that all your matters mail-related Stateside are in good hands. You guys have been great and we are so pleased to have had the opportunity to utilize and expand upon your excellent solution!

Meet Matthew Juszczak, Owner of Bitlancer, LLC

Our customers rock.   We love to share their stories, and are thrilled to introduce you to the next customer in our customer spotlight series, Matthew Juszczak, Owner from Bitlancer, LLC – a cloud automation and management consulting firm.

Matthew Juszczak, Owner from Bitlancer, LLC

Thanks so much for sharing your story Matt. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your company? What does Bitlancer do, and what sets you apart?

We started Bitlancer in 2010 as a systems and database consultancy, helping companies manage and maintain servers that powered their websites. As times have changed our services have evolved and we now focus on software-based cloud solutions, particularly around an industry term known as “DevOps”. Without getting into too much technical detail, we essentially help organizations move to and succeed in the cloud, and we’d like to think that our approach to DevOps sets us apart. 

DevOps is hard to define and means something different to everyone mostly because it’s new and unfamiliar, but also because it’s meant to be a unique prescription: a plan targeted towards a specific company based on a high-level view of the whole business, not just immediate technical pain they’re experiencing. We really like to get to know our customers before we get too deep into a project. A lot of times they think they know what they want and need, but once we get to know them, their business processes, and their infrastructure, we are able to truly cater our services. I guess you can call us DevOps doctors!

How did you get started and why?

Off the record? I have trouble focusing, so full time jobs usually aren’t for me. Building a business around consulting allowed me to do what I love, work alongside some of the best talent in the industry (I’m biased) and, most importantly, keep things dynamic by helping multiple organizations succeed in what is today known as The Cloud. 

Prior to 2010, I had been performing independent consulting for a few customers and had begun to see patterns in the work I was doing – organizations were having the same issues and experiencing the same pain. I thought it would be best to productize some of the services I was offering and scale to multiple people: a team of “we” can be so much more productive and successful than a team of “I”! Five years later, we’re strong and still growing. For the record, I explicitly remember Earth Class Mail being the very first service I signed up for on that chilly winter day in 2010 when Bitlancer was born.

Do you have an incredible customer success story you can share?

Is it wrong to think every success story has been incredible? In all seriousness, our customers are great. We’re a boutique company by design, which means that we strive for long-term relationships with our customers and focus more on quality than scale. We want to actually solve problems our customers are facing, not just with their technical debt, but also related business processes.

What’s the best business decision you made in the last year?

The best business decision we made in the last year was to fail on our Bitlancer Strings (“Puppet-as-a-Service”) configuration management offering and focus solely on consulting services. We realized that, while Strings was a great product when we first built it, we were focusing so much energy on maintaining it that we were not able to focus on consulting – which is what we really enjoy and where our team thrives. Since we have concentrated our efforts on the consulting end of the business we have grown significantly. Strings is still great software, and if anyone is having trouble with configuration management, I highly recommend you check it out — it’s open source and available on Github!

The second best decision we ever made was to get new office space. There’s something to be said for working from home, but there’s nothing like working next to your team every day. You can solve problems quickly, look over each other’s shoulder when there’s something to read, and have quick discussions about simple things you’d normally need to schedule a call for. If you’re working from home, are you really as efficient as you think you are?

Can you share a tip, trick, hack, tool or service with our readers that makes you better, or makes your days more effective?

Yoga, I can’t recommend it enough! I think in our fast paced world it’s hard to take an hour to just breathe, but it’s so important. Taking that hour for myself in the morning makes me feel like I’m ready to take on any challenge, plus it’s a great workout. Also, and this one I owe to Bob Buda one of our partners, it’s important to take 5 or 10 minutes per day to just look outside at the world around you. Go for a walk, grab a coffee at the local café even if your office offers it to you for free. Remember that a world exists out there, and it’s important to continuously take notice of it!

Tell us how EarthClassMail makes you better at your job, or your company better at what it does?

As a small startup, we actually didn’t have a physical office space until just a few months ago. ECM not only made it possible for us to receive mail, but the scanning means we don’t have to waste our time opening and sorting through physical letters. That gives us the time to focus on growing our business, and if we move again we don’t have to change our address!

What feature can we add or improvement can we make that would make you say, “shut the front door, I need that!” ?

We need a junk folder! Stop sending us magazines with delicious looking fruit Harry and David!

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today, any parting words or advice for our readers?

The best advice I can give you is to be passionate about what you do and passionate about the people you work with. Life is short! There is nothing better than coming into work every day excited to talk to your customers and co-workers and feel like you’re making a difference. If you’re happy with what you do now, write down how you feel. Come back to that note every 6 months and make sure you still feel the same way.

Meet Lauren McLeod, Co-founder at Flightfox

Our customer’s rock. We love to share their stories, and are thrilled to introduce you to the next customer in our customer spotlight series, Lauren McLeod, Co-founder at Flightfox – a marketplace of flight experts who find you the best flights.

Thanks so much for sharing your story Lauren. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your company? What does Flightfox do, and what sets you apart?

I love to travel, not just on short vacations, but journeys to live all over the world. This led to my company Flightfox, which is a marketplace of travel experts who help you (and me) travel much better for less. What sets Flightfox apart is our team of genuine travel experts who we call “travel hackers”. They aren’t traditional travel agents; they are genuine travel experts who know all the tricks of the trade and use deep technical analysis to build the best itineraries for the lowest prices possible.

For example, they recently helped me fly from Germany to the US on Singapore Airlines in first class for almost 80% off the retail price. They also regularly help with my frequent flyer miles and hotel programs.

How did you get started and why?

When I began my travels I would run into people who were just like me, but were traveling much better than me. They told me if I search for flights online like everyone else, I’d forever travel like everyone else (i.e. always paying retail to fly in coach). As I learned the tricks of the trade it became obvious there were just too many tricks to learn. So I thought, why not build a marketplace of genuine travel experts who could earn money doing what they love while helping the rest of us travel just like them.

Do you have an incredible customer success story you can share?

Honeymoons are our favorite customer success stories. Most newlyweds have big plans to travel around the world, but they come to us already resigned to fly in economy class and stay in cheap hotels. That’s when we go to work to make their honeymoon more special than they ever imagined.

The most recent honeymoon we did was for Jeff and Danielle. We helped them book first class seats on Emirates for a fraction of the retail price. Nothing starts a honeymoon off with a bang like walking into the first-class cabin of an A380 and getting wined and dined at 30,000 feet in the air for the next 10-15 hours. Here is the testimonial from Jeff’s Facebook page: 

Flightfox testimonial

What’s the best business decision you made in the last year?

Our best decision was definitely to make customer happiness our number one priority. It’s easy to justify a focus on profitability or system performance, but nothing makes us happier running Flightfox than our customers being happy and getting real value, which they often convey to others. Happy customers help us grow too, arguably more than anything else.

Our team wrote and in-depth article on how we measure customer happiness and everything we’ve learned along the way.

Can you share a tip, trick, hack, tool or service with our readers that makes you better, or makes your days more effective?

Our favorite hack, especially when productivity or morale has slumped, is to pick up our things, pack our bags (carry-on only) and work from a different city or country. Meeting different people, hearing different languages, and having to adapt gives you a boost you just can’t get from the latest productivity app. It helps a lot with creative work too, because all of a sudden you’re surrounded by what seems like another world.

Tell us how EarthClassMail makes you better at your job, or your company better at what it does?

Being a travel company that travels, we’ve (so far) worked from Australia, the US, Canada, Germany, Thailand, Estonia, Hong Kong, and Nicaragua. Sometimes for a few months, sometimes for more than a year. Managing a physical mailbox is just impossible for us, even with forwarding because we’re always on the move.

What feature can we add or improvement can we make that would make you say, “shut the front door, I need that!” ?

Mailboxes in other countries. We’d love if EarthClassMail were available in Australia, Canada and European countries so we could operate the same there too. Instead, we have to have our mail sent to friends and family and burden them with opening mail, taking photos, and sending what seems important.

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today, any parting words or advice for our readers?

Travel! And use EarthClassMail as your excuse to not come home :).

Meet Jordan Harbinger, Co-Founder of The Art of Charm

Our customer’s rock. We love to share their stories and are thrilled to introduce you to the next customer in our customer spotlight series, Jordan Harbinger, Co-founder from The Art of Charm. 

The Art of Charm teaches networking and relationship development skills to help clients build charisma and personal magnetism.

Art of Charm, Jordan Harbinger

Thanks so much for sharing your story Jordan, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your company? What does Art of Charm do, and what sets you apart?

We run in-residence programs and online training to help people make the big changes they need. The Art of Charm is very nuanced, it’s not just general advice like “look people in the eye and give a firm handshake” – that doesn’t produce real results. From handling first impressions to managing intimate relationships, clients can create real identity changes in their personal and professional lives.

How did you get started and why?

I was an attorney on wall street and found that the successful lawyers at the top of the organization weren’t just hard-workers, but they had put in the time to develop their network even more than their legal skills. I also found that the people we were hiring were the most personable, not just those with the best experience on paper. This showed me that the top predictor of success was, in fact, people-skills and that’s where I’ve been focusing my energy for the past decade.

Do you have an incredible customer success story you can share?

Some of our most successful clients come from the intelligence and special forces community, many officers have gone through our program. Of the stories we can share, we had one client who after our program left a bad relationship, quit his job, started a company, got in shape, and now travels the world doing what he loves. We see this type of success every time we run a program.

What’s the best business decision you made in the last year?

The best decision we’ve made was to bring on trusted business partners who can help us with some of the areas we struggle in. This was tough because, as entrepreneurs, we hate to give up control and would rather try to figure it all out than bring on others who can help. So far, this has been an amazing decision, even though it took a while to let go.

Can you share a tip, trick, hack, tool or service with our readers that makes you better, or makes your days more effective?

This is stupid simple, but I use a calendar and schedule everything from meetings to yoga classes. I find that people are always looking for the latest productivity ‘hack’ and yet they don’t even manage their daily tasks well. Having a calendar scheduled out in 15-minute blocks ensures that everything important gets done and that there’s time to do it.

Tell us how EarthClassMail makes you better at your job, or your company better at what it does?

I can batch all company mail, taking perhaps 15 minutes per week sorting and opening instead of spending time doing it each day. We also travel a lot for business and I can use the service anywhere. I’ve even delegated all company mail to my assistant to sort from home, so mail has stopped being a task for me and has simply become a duty that I can delegate to someone else.

What feature can we add or improvement can we make that would make you say, “shut the front door, I need that!” ?

Something that tells mail senders that I’m no longer at this address, or some sort of USPS unsubscribe from junk mail would be a game-changer.

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today, any parting words or advice for our readers?

My entire existence is predicated on sharing wisdom and advice. I have over 500 hours of knowledge from hundreds of guests on the Art of Charm Podcast, check it out.