Kelli Lampkin is a social selling expert from the USA traveling the world with Remote Year Darien
Why did you decide to come on Remote Year?
With my role at NetSuite I was managing a sales territory for Eastern North America and I traveled to 15+ states in 2015 as a sales manager. I found myself looking up the cheapest flights to anywhere on the weekends and living out of a suitcase 10-15 days a month. I was already living a semi-remote lifestyle with a home base in Boston. I saw the opportunity with Remote Year to expand my travels internationally and meet other like minded tech entrepreneurs.
What are you working on for the year?
I had to create a new role for myself at NetSuite to travel internationally. I created the role of "NetSuite Nomad" so that I could promote social selling techniques to our global sales teams all over the world. Many of the locations we visit with Remote Year have a NetSuite or Oracle office so I get to interact with teams I never would have met and share lessons learned for improved customer engagement techniques across business cultures around the world.
How did you find yourself a remote role?
NetSuite has a flexible remote working policy. When I was based in Boston I worked remotely or on the road about half the month, but I couldn't visit North America based clients regularly on the Remote Year trip. I created a new role for myself in a hybrid enablement / marketing/ productivity job where I could share things I had learned as a top performing inside sales rep, direct sales rep, and sales manager with our global sales teams. It took some networking within our global sales organization to find the right role and a flexible manager to work with me on the time zones, but it’s been an amazing opportunity to grow as an individual and to develop a new set of professional skills too.
Who do you hope to be by the end of Remote Year?
I didn't come on Remote Year to "find myself." I don't hope to be a whole new person by the end of this year, and this year will not be the most formative experience I have or will ever have. But I do want to learn some things, and I have already seen some changes in myself. I want to learn a new language, learn a new dance, I want to make new friends, I want to understand the technology scene in each part of the world we visit, and I want to experience the dating scene, I want to try new foods, swim in new oceans, climb new mountains, and push myself beyond my comfort zone.
What would you say to others looking to bring travel into their lives?
You don't have to wait for something like Remote Year to be the reason you travel. I was lucky I got to do a lot of traveling with my company before, but once a quarter I would do a trip on my own to somewhere I had never been. My advice for extensive traveling is don't plan too much, and lower your expectations. When traveling, especially internationally to less developed countries, you need to be able to go with the flow and accept that you probably won't get what you want, but what you do get will usually be even better than you could have known to ask for! If you’re a “dressing on the side” kind of person be more open to the adventure of almost never getting dressing on the side and be lucky you get close to the same animal species you thought you ordered!
If you had to be stuck on an island with another Remote, who would it be and why?
Funny you should ask, because I have already been stranded on an island with Jessica Demaree. Our first month we planned a side trip to Greece between the travel days between Prague and Belgrade, it didn’t seem odd to be traveling to the very quiet island of Crete with basically a stranger until our cab driver asked if we were sisters or old friends, and we had to admit we had just met! After our week stranded in Crete we took a few more “honeymoons” together to Bari, Paris, and Casablanca always averaging about 20% homelessness.
3 things you can't live without on the road?
Every month I have donated or thrown away more things, so now I’m finally at 100% carry-on only! I’ve learned that I can live with very, very little. The three things that I’m most glad I have (and are sometimes the only things I bring on a trip) are my fast dry travel towel, portable mini speaker, and my kindle. We learned in London to always have an umbrella in your backpack incase of a last minute downpour, in Lisbon to always have sunscreen and a bathing suit because you never knew if you would end up at a rooftop pool, and in Belgrade to always have bug spray if you went to party down by the splavs on the Danube.
Your favorite quote/words to live by?
I’m going to steal my quote from the same Lennon Wall in Prague where Nick Gamble chose his. We went to tag the Lennon Wall with a Remote Year stencil and I saw the quote “Live a life you will remember” and it was next to that where we left the Remote Year tag, and I may have also left a #NetSuiteNomad tag there too! That’s what this year and this life is all about, living each day with a story worth retelling and remembering.