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A chat with one of the founders of Odesk, the largest outsourcing company in the world (Who happens to be my dad!)

May 23, 2014

Finally, on such a rare occasion these days, I get the chance to chat with one of the founders of Odesk, my father – Craig Slayter. Beyond all the great mentors who inspire me such as Dr. Demartini, Tony Robbins, Donald Trump, Sir Richard Branson, my dad is the one particular person who has given me the most inspiration.

Filmed during a plane ride on our way to Queenstown for a business summit, we get to talk about my father’s early work as he was the Founder and served as President of SoftStyle, Inc., a system software company acquired by Phoenix Technologies. We also touch on what the vision for Odesk was and what are the key lessons he learned on his way to success.

Odesk, now called Upwork, is a global online work platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. Craig briefly talks about the early years of Odesk prior to merging with Elance, and how the two companies have formed a partnership despite initially being competitors.

There are some golden nuggets of wisdom within our short conversation that you may find useful both in your life and in business:

It is vital to have a strong vision for what it is that you are looking for. This will direct you on how to mold your life or your company into the creation that you want to it become.

Keep good relationships with your competitors – you will never know when they will become your allies!

Persistence and perseverance to make your vision become a reality – It may take time for a company to achieve a level of success. Not everyone gets a lucky break of “being somewhere at the right time”! These are wonderful virtues to acquire and nurture. Get the best out of the opportunities and challenges you encounter. Taking a long term perspective of things and situations can make it easier for you to jump over any hurdles. Do not just look at the immediate results and be steadfast.

Finally, Craig gets to the share the biggest lesson he has learned from me, his son, which is “to center what you do around yourself as opposed to centering yourself on what the world expects you to do.” This is a more powerful mindset in terms of happiness – look for happiness first, then build your world around it!

I completely agree with my dad and this is something that we share and what I teach to people : “Build your lifestyle, then build your business or mission to support that lifestyle.”

Note: I welcome you to share your thoughts and ideas the comments section below. No links to other posts or videos please, they will be deleted as they come across as spammy.

If you like what you read in my blog, please pass along to your closest colleagues, clients and friends or anyone you think could use some inspiration to discover their message to the world. Thank you so much, I appreciate your participation in the discussion.

Much gratitude,

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5 Responses to A chat with one of the founders of Odesk, the largest outsourcing company in the world (Who happens to be my dad!)

  1. Lydia Rawlings

    My admiration for you has increased ten folds! I didn’t know that your dad is one of the brains of Odesk. Your dad seems to be both an amazing father and a brilliant life mentor.

  2. Steve

    “Build a business to support your lifestyle”- this struck a chord in me. As someone who is feeling the rut of living paycheck to paycheck, and is thinking of starting my own business, this is very inspiring. Thanks!

  3. Leo Burton

    Maintaining good relationships with people in general (not just with competitors), can go a long way. You can never know when your paths are going to put you together in a situation that will require you to ask for assistance from the other. “Never burn bridges, ”as my mom would say.

  4. Chris

    it is heartwarming to see a father and son having this real connection with their mission to and for the world. You must be so proud of your father and it shows in your eyes during this interview, or should I say, “chat”.

    • Jan Mackellar

      i agree and his father must be equally proud to have Jeffrey for his son, probably his best accomplishment 🙂

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