I’m Johannes Larsson, founder, and CEO of Financer.com — and this is the story of how I provide financial resources to over 25 countries around the globe.
My entrepreneurial journey and my interest in the financial sector began young. While my peers were revising for exams and thinking about what university to enroll in, I spent my teenage years teaching myself SEO, building websites, and making money online.
While living in Sweden, many people around me thought this was crazy. It was more common to begin studying and take a ‘real job’, but somehow, I knew there were others like me and it was within my control to find them. That’s what took me to Malta, then traveling around the world as a digital nomad and eventually building the life I have today in Cyprus.
Your tribe is out there. The people who think as big as you, the people who challenge and inspire you to live your life to the full – but you cannot wait for them to come to you.
Financial education and understanding of the options available to us should be a basic expectation, but I quickly realized during my travels that it is not. I knew that until the same resources and information were available around the world, in people’s native languages, inequality would prevail.
In 2015, Financer.com was born. A free, uniquely valuable digital resource with a presence in 26 markets, to date. Providing in-depth product reviews, comparisons, and education on loans, mortgages, credit cards, and much more. Whether you speak German, Portuguese, or Indonesian, come from Norway, America, or Kazakhstan – Financer.com can help you make better financial choices.
Building a Remote Team of Intrapreneurs
This global vision wouldn’t be possible alone. Firstly, I have not yet mastered all of these languages and my financial advice of local products and regulations could never be as informed as somebody who lives in the country, using the systems and services every day.
So what did I do?
I have spent the last eight years combining my passion for spreading financial information around the globe with creating a completely remote, global workforce of creative, ambitious intrapreneurs.
The Financer.com family now has over 50 members and is growing all the time. This way we have local experts to give the most up-to-date and helpful financial information to their specific markets while combined we’re growing the company as a whole.
See Also: XME.digital – Brand Story by Victor Kmita (Founder & CEO)
Growing beyond Borders
Creating a global team doesn’t come without some challenges.
Although we have office space in Cyprus where anybody is welcome to work, the majority of my team are remote, and working from home has been a necessity for many throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.
Because of this, we need to be a little more creative when it comes to keeping up team spirit so that everyone feels like a valued part of the Financer.com family. For us, this means a lot of time spent catching up and discussing ideas on Slack, and of course, some in-person get-togethers as well.
We’re currently running a challenge to incentivize collaboration between markets. This involves different teams working together towards a shared vision (what makes Financer.com the success it is today) and gives the winning team chance to win a €10,000 bonus.
I also try to organize as many work retreats as possible, whether that’s inviting the team to join me for surfing, workshops, and dinners in my home, networking events in Budapest or sharing a Balinese villa for a couple of weeks. This allows us to get to know each other better, share ideas, and have some fun.
We also have to remind ourselves of the many positives of being a remote company with a widespread, global team. Financer.com benefits from a diverse range of perspectives, local knowledge, independent and open-minded people who represent us in their home countries and abroad since many are also digital nomads and travel while they work.
See Also: ProofHub – Brand Story by Sandeep Kashyap (CEO and Founder)
Choosing People over Profit
One of the key values of Financer.com is to, wherever possible, choose people over profit. I feel business owners have a responsibility to create the kinds of companies they want to see in the world, the kind they would like to work for – so that’s the vision I lead my company with as well.
For us, this looks like making decisions that on the surface could compromise our commission, such as listing all the companies available rather than just the ones who agree to work with us as most affiliate websites do. Yes, this can lose us some sales in the short term, but it stays true to our vision and gives the customer the information they need to feel empowered. In the long run, this builds loyalty and repays us as well. Turns out, being fair is very good for business.
Likewise, I have always put an emphasis on sharing the financial wins throughout my team. When we win, we all win. They don’t just help me to become more wealthy, they directly benefit from everything they achieve, which in turn makes people much more productive and inspired to work hard.
We also share a portion of our profits with a range of charities, trying to one step at a time make the world a better place and create a business we are all proud to be a part of.