The Ritz Herald
Ewelina Kołoda in Gdansk, Poland. July 2, 2019. © Agnieszka Janowska

How To Build A Perfect Team Of Freelancers: Interview With Ewelina Kołoda

CEO and Owner of Nakatomi Poland Agency and Nakatomi LLC

Published on August 19, 2019

Erich Rüthers: Hello Ewelina, it is a pleasure for us that you accepted our invitation, even though we all know that it is not easy to find a gap in schedule being as busy person as you are.

Ewelina Kołoda: Hello, thank you very much for choosing me, it’s an honor to be appreciated not only in Poland. It will be a pleasure for me to answer all of your questions.

Q: Ewelina, both you and your companies are from Poland, Gdańsk. How did you manage to make your company well-known in the USA and start living, working and studying in Hawaii?

A: That’s true, we are thriving in the USA and some other countries right now. As I fell in love with Hawaii, I had to find a way to run my company and chase my dreams of living in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is all about creating a huge team of freelancers working for us from more than 30 countries. It wasn’t easy, but following the idea of ‘turquoise organization,’ it is possible to live and work from any place in the world.

Q: How did you make it logistically? As we found out in the American press, that you are currently working with over 80 companies and you used to be working with over 2000 companies in total.

A: I have always been a very organized person, both in personal life and at school or work. I love paying attention to details and all these little things. Sometimes I’m joking that I would be the best office manager in the whole world. That is why I planned such a working and cooperation structure – every team or person who works for us is completely independent. If we have an order for a portal or a website, the programmer is responsible for its appearance, content, and contact with the client since the beginning until the end of the project. If we are positioning a website or making a Google Ads campaign, the SEO specialist is responsible for everything and it is only the final effect that counts. Nowadays, the entire Nakatomi team works like that, the country, language or type of campaign doesn’t matter. Of course, we do have a permanent team of employees in offices, but it is only 10% of our whole team.

Q: What are the benefits of such working structure? Aren’t you afraid of not supervising your employees?

A: First of all, our company is based on employees that are sole traders, that are not going on sick leaves. Imagine that in Poland employees tend to go on sick leaves every month, or for example go on a couple of sick leaves during a three-month-long internship. Unfortunately, it is quite common in Polish companies. Is it a miracle, that freelancers cooperating with us aren’t sick that often? Once in our office in Gdańsk, there was a period of three months, that our 6 employees brought us sick leaves for 75 days in total. Unbelievable. It cannot work well like that. The other thing is, that freelancers are twice as efficient as an office worker, because he earns money for every order, not for sitting in the office and having conversations about whatever with their colleagues. Moreover, freelancers are more hardworking, they run their own businesses and they know that success needs effort. If I had 200 employees in offices in Warsaw or Los Angeles, it would be impossible for me to live halfway across the world.

Q: Ewelina, what are the disadvantages of such a solution?

A: Not everything is perfect. You always need a small team in the office, that can supervise everything and be on call, that can have meetings with new clients and contact with the old ones. They cannot be just random employees, it has to be a team of reliable people.

Q: I have to ask that question. Are you studying, working and managing such a team?

A: I love acquiring knowledge, discovering new places, meeting new people and working on self-development. That’s why I decided to take another field of study in such a location. Wherever we currently are and whatever we are doing, it is just us who decide how we perceive the world, how we want the world to perceive us and what conclusions can we make. Every new thing we know, every new hobby, new place, people, culture – it all form our personality and affect the choices that we make. I observed that it is never too late to try something new, something different, even to completely change your life. Pack a knapsack, not look back, not regret anything and go forward. That’s what I did and today, I’m enjoying sunsets on the most beautiful beaches in the world. Have I ever imagined my life looking like that? Never. The only things that matter are these, that we can’t even imagine yet. Good luck!

Erich Rüthers: Ewelina, thank you very much for that interview. We are highly impressed by the structure of your company, especially acknowledging the fact, that Nakatomi is currently believed to be one of the best agencies not only in Poland.

Senior Writer