Like many executives, Staci Wallace and her colleagues have questioned their company’s real estate footprint and need for expensive overhead in a pricey real estate market in a post-Covid world.
Wallace, the Executive Vice President of Strategy at San Diego-based Voxox, recently made a similar assessment in her personal and family life. Wallace and her husband Larry, who oversees the company’s flagship offering for small businesses, sold their spacious home outside Dallas in January and purchased a much smaller townhouse and a 42-foot RV for the ultimate mobile lifestyle — at home and at work.
The goal, even before Covid, was to live a simpler life, off the grid, so they could spend more time helping others and enjoying the great outdoors. But being telecom executives, they still need to access modern amenities, such as Wi-Fi and cell coverage to host their video conferences and many virtual meetings. The RV is equipped with fully sustainable solar panels and Wi-Fi boosters to empower their work-from-anywhere lifestyle.
“When Covid hit, it was perfect because we never got landlocked,” Staci says. “We were still able to enjoy the beauty of the United States.”
The lifestyle change won over the Wallace’s 19-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son, who both joined them on their extraordinary adventures like their recent eight-day trip through the Great Smoky Mountains. Since that trip, their entrepreneurial son decided to move out of his apartment, trading his downtown Dallas bachelor pad to become a digital nomad that trains other young entrepreneurs how to build remote businesses that equate to greater freedom. Their daughter is on the search for her own RV, with the hopes of turning her entrepreneurial dreams into a work-from-anywhere mobile lifestyle.
“It feels great to know that our kids are seeing the value of this type of generous lifestyle of simplicity and mobility.”
But not all her days are filled with meetings and negotiations. Staci is an avid fisherwoman, filling her early mornings and evening sunsets with frequent fishing, which has been a favorite activity since childhood growing up on Lake Keystone in Oklahoma.
“I started fishing with my dad as a young girl and have found great peace and serenity when spending time outdoors or on the water. I have written eight books and multiple sales programs while spending time on lakes, rivers, creeks, and the ocean. People don’t expect fishing to be my sweet spot of tranquility, but it is.” — Staci Wallace
Mobile Office Hours
The coronavirus pandemic led the couple to build travel itineraries around their work schedules, with the RV doubling as a mobile command center, where Staci takes conference calls, video meetings and other appointments. She also hosts her weekly Comeback Small Business Radio Show, showcasing how business leaders turned adversity into comeback stories that helped them build a life and business they love.
As any outdoor enthusiast can attest, even the best laid out plans can be disrupted by Mother Nature or the great wide open. Earlier this month on a weeklong trip to Broken Bow, Oklahoma — her top trout fishing destination — the duo had no connectivity, despite utilizing it a year earlier in the same exact location.
“When we arrived there, there was zero coverage,” Staci laughs. “That put a major kink in our business plan for the week.”
To solve their issue, the Wallaces woke up at sunrise, got in some early morning kayak fishing and then headed to the local diner, where they worked from 9 to 5 on the restaurant’s free wifi. To make up for the broadband usage, they resorted to eating fried pickles, fried gator, and an abundance of southern sweet tea. The couple ended their days with more kayak fishing at sunset.
“It made for a great week but when WiFi issues occur in a mobile business, it can be stressful, especially when we need to be on back to back video conferences.” she says. “It helps, however, that our company specializes in helping businesses work-from-anywhere and that is how we are able to do what we do on the road.”
A Professional Edge
Voxox, which was established in 2006 by Bob Hertz and his sons, Bryan and Kevin, provides virtual voice and text marketing services for businesses around the world. Last year the company released its flagship product VoxDirect, which automates these services for small businesses. It sells tiered monthly plans directly and through a network of online affiliate marketers.
“Our mission is to provide real value to the micro-business owner who has less than 10 employees. Our service helps them have a professional edge with our virtual phone system and they can make meaningful connections with their customers through text message marketing,” Staci says.
Text marketing enables small businesses to push out coupons, promos and other alerts that boost engagement and brand loyalty.
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the company offered free services for four months to small businesses, recognizing the need to help the business owners connect with their customers and stay afloat throughout the pandemic.
“We’re processing billions of text messages and calls a month,” Staci says as the company gears up 5G connectivity and boosts artificial intelligence applications, analytics and data tracking for customers. Text marketing generates a 209% better response rate as compared to traditional email campaigns, she says — and over 90% of text messages are viewed within three minutes.
“Automation gives us the opportunity to have greater insight into the analytics behind our texts,” she adds. “We are one of the many who are recognizing the value of the great outdoors, as well as maximizing the mobile, work-from-anywhere lifestyle.”
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