Brandon Roche is an extroverted 26 year old who is currently living in St.Petersburg, Florida, working full time as a Customer Happiness Hero for Webflow. Like many successful entrepreneurs, Brandon has a strong side hustle where he does a bit of freelance web design and development for hotel resort’s website on the weekends. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, building websites, playing the guitar, and going to CrossFit.
Brandon feels that trying new things is the best part of life, which shines through in his interview below. Keep reading to learn how Brandon balances his schedule, what inspires him and most importantly why he loves coworking!
What are you working on right now?
I work full time as a Customer Happiness Hero for Webflow! And on the weekends and evenings I do a bit of freelance web design and development—always good to have a side hustle! Currently, I am working on two side projects: developing a hotel resort’s website and designing/developing a visual artist’s portfolio site.
Which book has shaped your life or changed the way you think the most?
Ah, this is a tough one! I’d say a more recent one is Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal. It’s an excellent book that uses psychology, neurobiology, technology, and pharmacology to understand “flow” states—basically what happens to the human anatomy and physiology when you “get in the zone”. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking to improve productivity and performance in any or all areas of their life.
What’s your favorite quote?
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Annie Dillard
I think often times we get so focused on our long-term goals that we forget to focus on the small steps it takes to achieve them. Every goal can be broken up into actionable tasks that we can complete on a daily basis, which define our weeks, months, years and eventually our lives.
How do you start off your day — aka what’s your morning routine?
I am definitely not a morning person so I like to ease into work each day. My typical weekday starts with checking emails, the news, and feeding my furry roommates, Roxy(dog) and Celine(cat). Then I’ll either go to the gym or I’ll make coffee and eat breakfast with my fiancé. During breakfast we talk about the day, read some blogs, catch up on news, then take Roxy for a walk. After all that’s done I’ll follow up with clients, journal for a bit, then start working my normal day for Webflow!
What is something you think everyone should try at least once in their life?
Learn a musical instrument! It’s an incredible way to meet and get to know people. Even if you don’t speak the same language, you can still jam together and have a great time.
What is one skill or hobby you’ve been meaning to learn but haven’t had time for?
Rock Climbing! For the last 2 or 3 months I’ve been going to the local climbing gym sporadically — maybe once or twice a month. Every time I go I have a blast, but I have yet to actually get a membership and commit to going regularly.
List 3 simple things in life that make you really happy:
1. My dog and cat—having someone be so stoked to see you even if you’ve been gone for 10 minutes is a wonderful thing.
2. The internet–Not only has it revolutionized modern society, it’s given me a career I love that helps me provide for my family.
3. Ice cream— because ice cream.
Is there someone who has made a huge impact in your life?
Waldo Broodrÿk—my boss and best friend! I found Waldo(hehe) in college where we first started longboarding together. Fast forward several years. I graduated college with a BS. I was ready to change the world and wasn’t going to let anyone stop me. Then I started hating every job I held! I felt I was overflowing with ambition but had no direction to put it. I knew I had more to offer but I couldn’t get behind the ideals and principles of the businesses I was working for and my work suffered because of it.
Waldo and I started catching up one day in May ’16 and I told him all about my Quarter-life crisis. He told me about this great company he worked for called Webflow and how I could use it to build websites for clients—he was stoked about it. I studied audio and other digital media production in college, but barely knew the basics of HTML/CSS—I was doubtful to say the least. I started learning to use the tool and slowly but surely started getting projects and clients of my own. A few months later, the majority of my income was coming from building websites and I was loving it. A year later and I am working for that same great company and still having a great time building websites.
Over the years, Waldo has encouraged me, provided his support, offered projects to work on during droughts, challenged me, and ultimately helped me get where I am today. He is kind, generous, and one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. Waldo is a life-long friend and one of the best mentors I’ve had the privilege to know.
What is the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done?
In 2011 I went with a team of students to Kenya. We stayed in Nairobi for a week and a small village far outside the city for another week. We raised as much money as we could prior to the trip to buy supplies for the local school in the village. From there we spent a week getting to know the kids, learning about their culture, playing soccer, and singing songs together. At the end of the trip everyone was devastated to leave. A few teenage students that I had gotten to know particularly well ran up to our van before we left and handed me several folded pieces of paper. Each was a note from a different student telling me their goals after they graduate and how they wish us the best in life. The entire trip was one of the most moving experiences in my life and I will always keep those notes.
What is your favourite coworking space and why?
The Station House in St. Petersburg, FL! I found this space on Coworker.com and thought it looked great so I set up a tour. The place is beautiful and feels like a tech office in SF. That weekend, I went to a great hackathon event at the Station House where other designers, developers, and much smarter folks than I had gotten together to build incredible things. This community is what won me over on the workspace. Everyone there loves what they do and are always more than happy to chat.
When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
My close friends and family all ask me questions around anything electronic. They know I work for a tech company and so of course, I am the tech support guy. But I am more than happy to help them 🙂
Beyond that, my younger siblings ask me for advice about work and college. My musician friends ask for my opinion on guitar gear like amps, pedals, etc.
What is the biggest item on your bucket list at the moment?
I would say going to Australia and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. We just got our tickets!!
How do you maintain a sense of work-life balance?
This one got much trickier once I started working full time while maintaining freelance clients. My solution is to work my standard 9-5 ish with Webflow throughout the week, then only work on freelance 10-15 hours/week max. I strictly limit freelance to two weekday evenings and several hours on one weekend day.
I also don’t have certain applications on my phone. I use dozens of web apps throughout the week that also make mobile apps; the only one of these I keep on my phone is Slack, though. This way I don’t constantly receive updates from work and freelance when I’m not on my computer, and ensure I separate home life and work life.
Name one skill you think everyone should have or learn?
Public Speaking! You never know when you will end up speaking in front of other folks. It’s a much better experience if you are comfortable speaking vs if you have never studied it.
What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Moving to Florida, hands down. My now fiancé and I both graduated with a Bachelors in ’15 and felt stuck in our jobs. We didn’t feel the town we were living in had the opportunities we were looking for. Shortly after, we both were fed up though and made the decision to leave as soon as we could. We paid off our lease, sold what we could, donated the rest, packed up 2 cars and drove down to Florida two weeks later.
What was your first job? Has it shaped where you are today?
My first job was helping my step-dad with some minor construction work when I was 14. That summer we painted, hung drywall, finished ceilings, rebuilt walls and re-roofed some houses.
I learned a lot about repairing houses, but I also learned I did not want to do this type of work for a living. I decided I would much rather pursue something in a creative field.
What’s your favorite part about coworking?
The people and the atmosphere! Okay, this is two things but the people create the atmosphere! I think being a full-time remote worker has perks that definitely outweigh the drawbacks, but it comes with drawbacks nonetheless. Part of that is being cooped up in the house during the morning, afternoon, and evening. I love being able to get out of the house and surround myself with hard working digital professionals like myself. It’s a great opportunity to meet people, share ideas, and get a break from the home office.
What is your go to pump up song?
This changes for me pretty often as I’m sure it does for a lot of other folks. My song right now is Candyman by Zedd and Aloe Blacc. Such a positive, uplifting jam; I can’t not dance!
If you are a remote worker and haven’t tried working from a cowork space yet, I strongly encourage you to check one out!