Brooke Markevicius

Founder of Allobee

Brooke started her career in Nonprofit management and then discovered a love of all things technology (she was fixing everyones computer issues and suggesting ways to upgrade their systems) and decided to get a Masters in Computer Information Systems from Boston University. She went on to work at Postmates in Operations until she left 5 years ago when she realized the lack of flexibility it provided for her as a new mother. Brooke went on to do freelance Web Development and IT Project Management before helping to co-found a co-working space for moms in Tacoma, WA, The Pod Works.

There she saw that moms had created their own little economy buying and selling each other’s goods and services. In an effort to get moms paid more and on a bigger scale, Brooke took her tech skills and love for supporting mom-owned businesses and merged them into one idea, Allobee. 2 years later, she has successfully created a unique platform for freelancers to secure jobs. Allobee supports the 43% of women leaving the workforce when they have kids and the almost 2 million women being forced out of the workforce due to the current pandemic. As well as supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners that are trying to thrive and stay alive. Brooke believes that we must work together as a hive to build successful businesses. She built Allobee to be the one stop business solution for entrepreneurs! Allobee connects you to a fully vetted and highly skilled workforce that has left the traditional 9-5. We handle all the hassle of outsourcing and hiring so you can keep doing what you’re great at!
Brooke is a mom of Lily and Lukas, married to her soulmate Edgar, and they all live in Durham, NC with their two rescue dogs. She is an avid reader, coffee lover, enjoys hiking, and is writing a book coming up in 2021.

Where did the idea for Allobee come from?

I left my job at a tech startup 5 years ago after I had my daughter, when I found out it was just not a flexible work environment for a new mother. I stumbled into the world of entrepreneurship and freelancing. I did web development and project management for entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups for a few years. I loved it! One day it hit me, every woman should have the experience of working in a supportive community to better their businesses and lives.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

As a founder + mom my typical work day is between 8:30-2:30. Yet I start my day around 5:00, do a quick meditation and check out my “early morning” list. I am an early bird and do my best work before noon. So I take 5:30-6:15 to do a focused work activity, usually writing or deep work.
Then my kids get up and I am on mom duty until we take them to school at 8. After that it’s home for a quick breakfast and coffee before diving into work. Each day as a founder changes. Usually a good amount of meetings, speaking gigs, technical issues and more.
Then, depending on the day, I’m on pick up duty at 2:30. From 3:00-4:00 my kids have chill time, which I utilize to wrap up emails or handle any outstanding issues. Then full on mama again from 4:00-6:30 for play, dinner and bedtime. There are definitely times I have events, podcast interviews and things come up.
I try my best to block off Friday’s to do any admin work and at least 3 hours of deep work for myself. I have gotten really great at time-blocking my schedule and batching work as well.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am an ideas person, I have always had ALL the ideas. My husband says that he knew Allobee would work, because it was the idea that just stuck and never went away. When I have an idea that I want to see come to life, I keep iterating on it weekly until I get it right. I ask a lot of questions, test out different implementations and am not afraid of being wrong along the way.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I love the shift to remote work that came this year, it was definitely forced and not desirable in all situations. Yet, after years working remotely I am glad there will be more focus on tools, software and policy changes to support the trend of workers wanting to stay remote.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Every Sunday I have a planning session where I look at my week ahead, our team focus, family focus and connect with my husband on his schedule. This allows me to get a jump on the week so I know what to expect. If a day looks overwhelming I try to see if I can move stuff around to allow for more productivity, and if not, I plan more time for another day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be patient, the dots will connect. Trust that every step that you take will make sense one day as long as you continue to create goals and push forward. Just keep showing up!

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Ketchup on eggs is legit delicious.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Take time to regroup and recharge on the weekends. I have burnt out multiple times and I refuse to do it while building a company I love. So DO LESS and recharge so you can show up and lead.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Do not be afraid to ask. Take a chance on the risky asks. Put yourself out there even when it’s so uncomfortable. You will be surprised how many people are willing to help you. I’ve won over people I never dreamed would say yes to a request, not only say YES but continue to support me long term. You cannot grow your business alone, you have to ask for help.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

2 years before I started Allobee, I started a small agency called, Hire A Mama, and it just was not the right approach or time. It did not work and I felt like such a failure for a while. Then I took the time to evaluate why it didn’t work and dug deeper, I started asking potential clients what they truly needed and wanted and that is when the idea of Allobee started to birth.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I would love to see a business that solves the issue of flexible childcare in an affordable national approach. We are in a massive crisis for parents and as more parents come to freelancing we need to figure out a new option.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A weighted blanket. Game changer for an anxious founder. I sleep so much better at night.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Asana. We are crazy about it over here at Allobee. We use it daily, it keeps our remote company working across timezones, collaborating and moving projects forward.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

How to get to Aha by Andy Cunningham. This was a game changer for myself and the leadership team this year as we grew into our business and became more comfortable with our company DNA. It really helped us to focus on what we were really good at, and amplify that.

What is your favorite quote?

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time” – RBG. In our society, we want instant gratification and want to see the fruits of our labor. Yet, sometimes it takes YEARS, and once I embraced that enduring change happens each day, as I move forward one step at a time, I started to enjoy the journey more. I also started taking more risks as well as enjoying the present moments. We can be major change makers, but it does not need to happen over night.

Key Learnings:

  • Trust that every step that you take will make sense one day as long as you continue to create goals and push forward, the dots will connect.
  • Take time to regroup and recharge on the weekends; DO LESS so you can show up and lead.
  • You cannot grow your business alone, you have to ask for help.