Eric Engebretsen and John Pearce: Helping Latter-day Saints “Bloom” through Business

Wed Jan 18 05:00:09 EST 2023
Episode 208

When Eric Engebretsen and John Pearce returned from serving a mission in South America, they had met many wonderful people and fallen in love with their mission areas. They also had a desire—a desire to somehow help open more doors of opportunity for those they’d met during their service. Their new business, Bloom, is the product of that desire. Through Bloom, returned missionaries and BYU-Pathway Worldwide students based internationally find remote work opportunities with American companies to improve their quality of life. On this week’s episode, we learn how Bloom was started and discuss how it helps people around the world to flourish and grow.

The more you give, the more you get and I think the same thing is true when we give ourselves to God.
Eric Engebretsen

Show Notes

2:55- The Transformative Power of a Mission
6:23- Bloom
12:53- The Ripple Effects of Stable Work
16:41- Quitting Your Day Job
21:00- A Unique Worldwide Talent Pool
24:16- A Vision for the Future
28:26- Feedback and Success Stories
38:02- Raising Awareness
41:32- What Does It Mean To Be All In the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Bloom website


Morgan Jones Pearson 0:00

In a recent LinkedIn post, Eric Engebretsen wrote, "Humberto speaks English as well as I do, he studied at an accredited American University just like I have. So why have simple opportunities been kept from him that I've been afforded my whole life. Humberto is from Venezuela, a country that's made headlines in recent years for their economic collapse, unrest and refugee crisis." In Humberto's own words, "Five years ago, I had to leave my native country, Venezuela, because of the dictatorship. And I moved to Ecuador looking for a better place to live and to be able to help my mother and my nephews. But no matter how hard I have tried doors have been increasingly close to me because of the xenophobia and discrimination which I've experienced as a refugee. Through these hard years, there have been few moments of peace in the midst of the uncertainty and being away from the place that was my home and where I felt safe. Recently, thanks to my not giving up, I got an oasis in the middle of all the turbulence in the form of a remote job with a wonderful company full of people willing to really help. No matter how difficult the times may be, there is hope if we never give up and never lose sight of the end goal.". What is the company Humberto found? Well, it's called Bloom. And today we talked with the founders of bloom, John Pearce and Eric Engebretsen. Eric and John are both returned missionaries who served their missions in South America, and are now on a different kind of mission, a mission to create 10,000 better paying remote jobs abroad. This is All In, an LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, what does it really mean to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ? I'm Morgan Pearson. And I am so excited to have Eric Engebretsen and John Pearce on the line with me today, Eric and John, welcome.

Eric Engebretsen 2:01

Thanks so much for having us. Morgan. Great to be here.

John Pearce 2:04

Yeah, thank you. We appreciate it.

Morgan Jones Pearson 2:07

Well, after reading a little bit about what you guys are doing yesterday, I got so excited about it that I just kept talking to my husband about it. So I want to start out and I want to give you guys full opportunity to explain to me because I probably don't understand everything about Bloom and what's going on here. But I want to give you guys full opportunity to explain yourself. So I wanted to start with Eric, I read a LinkedIn post that you wrote. And you said that someone a few years ago, I asked you what your dream job would be. And you said that it would be something that would help improve opportunities for people in Argentina. And that's where you served your mission. And so talk to me a little bit about how your mission and what you saw there left an impression on you and a desire to do something to help.

Eric Engebretsen 3:04

Yeah, absolutely. So as you mentioned, I served my mission in Argentina and the capital city in Buenos Aires. And like, pretty much anyone that serves a mission, I fell in love with with the amazing people that I came to know and serve alongside and befriend there as a missionary. Yet, what I also saw, that again I think a lot of missionary see, is I saw people that were incredibly hardworking, talented, educated, you know, exceptional people. But just because of where they were born or where they live, they didn't have the same access to opportunities that I have in my life. And so I saw people, you know, working 12 hour days, six days a week, commuting hours each way just to make ends meet, just to scrape by, and so that stuck with me as I came home from my mission. And that's kind of the starting point, like you mentioned of what evolved into Bloom and to our goal and desire to help, again, those incredible church members and people find access to better employment opportunities.

Morgan Jones Pearson 4:05

And then John, you are also a returned missionary, you served your mission in Peru? What kind of impact did that have on you? And how did it kind of change you as a person and your goals for the rest of your life?

John Pearce 4:20

Yeah, so what I saw consistently in Peru, is I consistently saw people in really difficult circumstances choosing to follow God. And I'll give a quick story that kind of exemplifies this. There was a lady I was teaching in a really difficult part of town. And her husband was in a wheelchair and she had two handicapped daughters that that she was in charge of supporting. And we went and invited her to keep the Sabbath day holy and instead of working on Sunday to go to church, and frankly, I felt sheepish because I grew up playing a lot of tennis tournaments on Sunday. I was a really competitive tennis player. And I went to church every time I was home, but I was consistently playing tennis on Sundays. And I felt so dumb, asking somebody to keep that law when it meant they might not be able to eat food, that it totally changed me coming home. I was like, I'm not playing tennis anymore on Sundays. I got much worse at tennis I think after my mission, honestly. I wasn't as committed to it. I didn't do any homework anymore on Sundays, although, before I mentioned I did. And pretty much throughout my entire mission, I saw humble people in different ways showing me how bad I was maybe compared to them, in my easy circumstances that living the gospel when they're making so many sacrifices to serve, and to follow God and that stuck with me. And, you know, I fail pretty frequently, I think still, but I think that changed my desire...I learned from a lot of incredible people down there.

Morgan Jones Pearson 6:07

Yeah, well, I think that's what happens to most people when they serve a mission. And it is something that changes you, and we'll talk a little bit more about returned missionaries, and why they play a big role in what you are doing. But I want you to tell us a little bit about starting this business, Eric, you said that starting this business was nothing short of a miracle. Tell me a little bit about how this came to be?

Eric Engebretsen 6:34

Yeah, I mean, well, you kind of hear where it originally started from both of our experiences as missionaries. But John and I both came home from our missions. You know, we spent years as friends just kind of bouncing ideas off each other saying, hey, we really want to start a business that, like we said, brings access to opportunities that people we came to know and love. But that's easier said than done. So we spent years talking about ideas, and hey, let's try this, or let's try that. And everything kind of fizzled out. What kind of changed things for us is we had a unique experience where, I was living and working in San Francisco. And I came across this large tech company here based in San Francisco that does international hiring. And I have this very vivid memory, I came across their web page, and I saw, hey, like, they're working to break down borders, and hire people around the world, and I just have this super strong prompting and impression, "You're gonna go get a job at that company, it's gonna give you the the know how and knowledge and experience in this space, to then go build what you've wanted to build, and do what you've wanted to do. And felt kind of prompted to do to help those people you came to know and love in Argentina. And lo and behold, two weeks later, without knowing anyone at the company, I had a job offer and went and worked in that space. And John and I kind of put you know, both of our professional experiences together later down the road, to build Bloom, and kind of get that starting point to what we are today [which] is a mission-driven, international staffing agency. And so we help church members abroad, benefit from kind of the remote work wave that's taken over here in the US and so many businesses are so much more open to hiring people remotely and expanding kind of their reach of global talent and global individuals. And so that's kind of the starting point. It's just this really strong kind of impression experience that we had. And then there's a lot of many, many other small miracles and things beyond that, that kind of helped us get started and saying, Alright, we have a little bit of professional background, but still, we really just started with what we knew, which was the people in our friends, you know, either in Argentina or Peru and elsewhere and saying, Hey, can we connect the dots and provide a service to them to help them kind of bridge that gap and kind of close that last mile, go that last mile to getting a remote job? And what does that mean with an American company and whatnot. And so that's where we started small, just helping our friends here and there. And then over this last year, we've really kind of seen, like I said, the miracles of miracles and seeing things kind of take off where we've grown from just helping a few people in a few countries in South America. Since now, today, we employ and actively have, you know, 1000s of people in our workforce, church members across 65 countries around the world that are on average, doubling their income, with access to remote work opportunities. So it's been really a really fun journey.

Morgan Jones Pearson 9:32

So amazing. So explain to those listening exactly how this works. So you hire these people. And then tell us a little bit about kind of the the process that they go through in terms of getting this remote work and how it benefits them—take us through the whole thing.

Eric Engebretsen 9:54

Yeah, absolutely. And maybe the best place to start is by kind of laying out the market. The state of the market in these international countries that we operate in, but also here in the US, you think about kind of the church members, again, that we saw and many saw on missions, even though they're educated and hardworking, and speak great English, their local economies just can't support, the type of jobs and better paying jobs and more sophisticated jobs that we can here just for the nature of their economy size. There's kind of one part of the equation. The other part of the equation, you think about the state of the market here in the US, as you look back in years past, you'll see lots of headlines about staffing shortages, businesses growing but can't find people to fill jobs. And so we kind of act as kind of the bridge to those two things to say, hey, US companies, we can help you expand your kind of talent pools to hire great capable, qualified people outside the US. Hey, you know, church members and others abroad, we can help you gain access to opportunities that you otherwise wouldn't have through remote position and remote work with our clients who are US companies. And so where we come into that equation is kind of, like I mentioned, is we help these individuals prepare and understand what to expect meeting with American companies. And then as we kind of facilitate those two groups getting together, we actually end up hiring individuals to join our workforce. And then they do work on a full time basis, not as temporary or gig jobs, but do work for our clients who are US companies, tech companies, service companies, consumer goods companies, etc. So that's where we come in is, hey, we operate, and we act as the hirer here. But then we provide ongoing support to these church members, our team members, to help them be successful on a job and in their career.

Morgan Jones Pearson 11:45

Okay, and just to clarify, because this is one thing that I didn't know, until yesterday, when I started, like really digging into this, but you guys, so the business model for Bloom as in like how you will make money is from the clients, the companies that will be paying for your services. It's not from the individuals in these international areas?

Eric Engebretsen 12:12

Correct. Yeah. Now we're set up to try and help them and provide a lot of resources and tools even beyond the job for them. But yeah, that's exactly right. So our clients are the US companies here that we work with, and help them grow and staff their teams.

Morgan Jones Pearson 12:26

Well, the thing that I love about this is, I feel like what you guys described about your mission and how you felt coming home, I think everybody most returned missionaries come home, and they feel that way. And then we kind of like lose that fire a little bit. And many of us don't do a ton about it, and you guys are actually doing something about that feeling that you had. And so one thing that I wanted to touch on is, you've mentioned that there's like a ripple effect that takes place when somebody is given an opportunity. And once they're exposed to the economy that we have here in America, talk to me a little bit about that ripple effect and how you see its power to like change the life of an individual.

John Pearce 13:18

Yeah, so one of our internal workers is named Thanos. And Thanos is an incredible person who he's in a stake presidency down in Lima. And he was working as an English teacher and we brought him on to help kind of internally prepare people for interviews and do tons of different work for us. And he went from kind of being an English teacher. Now he's an executive at an American company. And he's making twice as much money as he was before. So now his two little kids have way more tuition money to go to better schools or things like that. And Thanos is growing a ton as well by getting new skills in the job. So iit's not just giving Thanos a better job, but it's giving him more time to serve in his calling as a stake president. It's giving him more time and money to put into his kids and into his wife. And, you know, same thing for his community.

Morgan Jones Pearson 14:19

Awesome. I love that. Okay, so going back, Eric, let's have you chime in on the question about the ripple effect that you see in individuals' lives as they you know, have the opportunity to experience these these opportunities through the the economy here in the US.

Eric Engebretsen 14:43

Yeah, absolutely. So it's been a very special journey for us to like impact and and reconnect with people from our missions. But that feeling you mentioned earlier, Morgan is like that feeling you get as a missionary. We feel lucky because we get to feel that at work, right? But what's really fun is that we get to see that on a global scale, right, and we have thousands of church members that we've, you know, work work with us across 65 countries around the world. And where it starts, yes, is the job. But that ripple effect of what kind of we see next. And what we're going to continue to see is what really makes it fun. So as you gain as someone comes in to work with us, a lot of times they're being, you know, brought into the formal economy for the first time. So they're increasing their salary. Yes, on average, our people are more than doubling their income, which is amazing, right. But then it opens up all these other doors of opportunity. And John mentioned some of those, but it's like, the impact that that has generationally on their kids. Awesome. But what are what are real kind of short term impact and ripple effects we see is that working remotely and making more money gives them more time and resources to invest in their families, right, as a parent, as a spouse, because the more time to invest in their communities, whether that be vocally or in their church calling to serve, you know, as a bishop, as a Relief Society President gives them you know, more time to develop themselves spiritually, gives them more time to invest in their education, and in their career development. And so what we're excited to see is like, you know, these short term ripple effects that are amazing, but years down the road, we're gonna see those generational effects that we talked about, we'll see how this develops church leaders, which again, that that is our goal is like to help people, you know, really blossom into the best version of themselves and help them gain those leadership skills and have the time and resources to do that and, and build the kingdom of God, wherever they live.

Morgan Jones Pearson 16:32

Perfect. Well, I want to kind of switch gears a little bit. Quickly, you both had kind of an interesting decision to make. Eric, you mentioned that you felt inspired to take this other job that you felt like would kind of Springboard you and give you the skills that you needed to do what you'd wanted to do, which was kind of the beginning of Bloom. You also though, chose to quit a full time job. And this is something that I think a lot of startup entrepreneurs, they've reached this point where it's like, do I quit my job? Do I not? Tell me a little bit about what it was like to take that leap of faith of putting all of your time and attention into building Bloom? And how did you know that the time was right to do that?

John Pearce 17:20

I'll go first here, and we started really small, like Eric mentioned earlier. And at one point, we had I think two people placed and so our revenue was about $500 a month or some something like that. Maybe even less, and basically, I thought I might need to quit my job to do this full time. So my wife and I sat down and you know, we'd gotten married, like two months before this. So I kind of tricked her into the marriage maybe. And I was like, Hey, we might have to quit, we might have no money, what is the minimum amount of money we need to survive, to be able to put food on our table and to be able to do this? Because when we placed those people up front, it was so incredible to see how it was life changing for them. And the spirit was so strong, saying you need to keep building this that we knew it wasn't really much of a choice. It was you've got to do this, figure out how to do it. So we're crunching the numbers. And we came to our number of what the minimum we needed to make. And I got a call out of the blue like two days later from somebody I had known a few years earlier. And he said, Hey, I want you to come teach my kids tennis three times a week or something like that. Here's how much I want to pay you. And it was the exact number that me and my wife had come to that we needed at a minimum. So it was a tender mercy from God saying, Hey, you will be taken care of. Keep building, keep doing what you're doing. I'm looking out for you. And you know, I didn't end up having to quit my job for a little bit. But it was nice just to know that God was there for me and that He was in the details of this. And I don't know why He chose me and Eric to be a part of this, but we were just grateful. And this was a great tender mercy from God.

Morgan Jones Pearson 19:16

That's awesome. What about you, Eric?

Eric Engebretsen 19:19

Yeah, I think I just echo kind of what John said in closing there and that we felt from day one, like, this is God's company, God is at the helm. And so when He's on your side, and you feel like you're on His errand, it's easier to make hard or scary decisions like that. And so, I think we just, you know, through these experiences felt guided and prompted and I've heard people say that through my own experience doing this or making other big decisions, but when it feels right, it's an easy decision. I remember you know, that decision when you find your spouse and and meet your spouse and you're kind of growing up you always wonder, you know, how am I going to know? I remember meeting my wife, it was the easiest decision I ever made. And with this, it's a similar thing like on paper, it sounds like a scary decision. But again, when God is at the helm, the decision was easy. And we're just again, feel so grateful to be be doing this and be and be part of something we think is special and meaningful.

Morgan Jones Pearson 20:18

Well, I think one thing that I I love about this is, I feel like there are talented people, people that have the skills, have the incredible minds and the talents and all of these things. But just through, you know, luck of the draw, and where we were all born, like some of us have had more opportunities than others. And so to be able to recognize that, in the world that we live in now, we're so interconnected, and have the ability to give people no matter where they live these equal opportunities, I think is just super cool to think about. You have focused on helping returned missionaries, and then BYU-Pathway Worldwide students. How would you say that you found this group, this demographic of people to be particularly eager to work hard and to be great candidates for work?

John Pearce 21:22

Yeah, so we kind of told some stories of our mission and the people we saw. And around the world, there's just so many people that are hard workers, that are looking for every opportunity and historically, there haven't been opportunities for them and we served around people like this on our missions. So I had a bunch of companions from Latin America that were incredible and the skills you learn as a missionary, no matter where you're from, you learn how to work hard, you learn how to try to be punctual to things, you learn how to take rejection well, and there's so many different things you learn as a missionary that, that prepare you for the workforce, as well as when you combine that you take a returned missionary that also does BYU pathway and they're living maybe in Peru, that means that they're studying in English full time. And they're studying a US curriculum. So they're culturally, really ready to, oftentimes to come work for a US company. And we found that that combination is just a really powerful combination and Pathway is a really incredible resource that God has prepared, I think for this era, where with virtual resources and things like that, that is just blessing people all over the world.

Eric Engebretsen 22:41

And maybe as an add on to that, I mean, people people that serve missions, Morgan, they get that that makes sense. And here in the US, there will be, news articles and tech articles written about this unique talent pool in Utah because there's all these scrappy, hardworking returned missionaries that get hired by tech companies to go work and do great things. But that same kind of hungry nature, hungry for opportunity, hard working, hustling, that same DNA exists in all these return missionaries abroad, just people don't know it as much. And so that's what we're setting up to help them because as a missionary, you get these soft skills that are otherwise pretty hard to learn, right? And so it's just like, John said it, but God is preparing the way for these people to find access to these opportunities. And missions are a life changing blessing as you know.

Morgan Jones Pearson 23:49

Well, and I think what other experience do you have where you are kind of being taught all of those different and developing all of those different skills for an extended period of time without any kind of distraction? And that is what a mission does for people. And so even when we're not talking about Bloom, I would put in a strong plug for serving a mission. You were recently able to host a couple a few different events in Peru. And John, I'm sure this was particularly cool for you having served your mission there. Tell me a little bit about what these events were like and what it was like for you all to kind of be their feet on the ground and experiencing what what this company is capable of.

John Pearce 24:42

Yeah, so it was really fun to be back in Peru. I've been back a few times since my mission, but it was the first time I got to take my wife to see some of the people I taught and the places I served. So that was really fun and it brings back you know, sacred feelings that you, it's hard to describe, but serving a mission, like you said, it's incredible. And it was fun to be back there. Combining that with an event for Bloom, it was really cool. And it was fun to kind of meet new people that that are special to me. So people that I've worked with for almost a year, some of them but never met in person, it was really great to meet them. And it was humbling as well, many of them would come up and say thank you so much for...this has done this for me or this for me. And it was made me just feel so grateful to be a small piece in bringing blessings to other people that, blessings that are often easy to find here in the US, but are fewer and far between out in different parts of the world. So it was really humbling to be a part of a small piece of these people's lives. And Eric actually wasn't down there in Peru. So I don't know, is there anything you want me to add there Eric?

Eric Engebretsen 26:05

I was jealously sitting on the sidelines. I think it's important to note though Morgan, you know, the goal of these events was to think about the demographic of the Church body that maybe aren't kind of at the level where they you know, where they're ready for a remote job. Right? So we're thinking about people that don't speak English yet. People that don't have kind of the workplace skills, or some of the skills we're talking about that you learn on a mission. And so the whole point of these events that we put on, had a couple of different stakes centers in Peru, was about hey, how do you prepare yourself to enter into this remote work economy? Or how do you kind of open your eyes to the opportunities that are that are ahead of you met. So again, like educating people on what that is, and how the world is changing and access to these opportunities are coming closer and closer to them. And so that was kind of the real goal here is to say, hey, can we educate and inspire and help these Church members to say, Hey, these are the resources at your disposal, go use them go improve your English skills, go learn these skills, because it's going to change your life. And so that was kind of the why behind putting these events on and fun for John to be there on the ground, but fun to think about that group and trying to educate and open their eyes to the opportunities that are ahead of them.

John Pearce 27:24

For every person that came and asked and thanked me for a job, there was maybe five or 10 that said they wanted a job. So it's also really motivating for me as a leader of this company to say, Hey, how can we find more jobs for more people? And like Eric said, not just the people that already speak English, but find different jobs for those that maybe are not in that demographic right now?

Morgan Jones Pearson 27:50

Well I think it's so cool to think that not only are you trying to help those that are ready right now, but also those that have so much potential, and helping them recognize how the whole world can open up to them, if they can, you know, I think sometimes we just need to be able to see that goal, the distant goal, to then be able to have the motivation that we need to reach that point. You guys have already heard some pretty incredible stories and feedback. Eric, you've shared, I know, some of those on your LinkedIn. And then I noticed you had a quote, I believe it was from one of the executives at Pura, that said of all the employees that they had interviewed, he had never seen a more well-prepared interview pool than the ones that were brought to him by Bloom. So you're hearing great stories from people that are participating. And then you're hearing great feedback from the companies that you're working with. I wondered if you could share a few of your favorite experiences so far, and maybe a few pieces of favorite feedback?

Eric Engebretsen 29:05

Yeah, absolutely. To be honest, like we could probably spend the whole time talking about these types of stories. For us, this is what it's all about and this is what makes it fun is thinking about these these individuals. And I think you know, John mentioned this already, but we just feel so grateful to have a small part and a front row seat to the good that they're doing and how their lives are changing. So yeah, let's just share a couple of these. There's one that comes to mind, an experience that John and I had recently is we recently hired three project managers in Africa. One of these project managers, the guy who was a branch president in Cameroon, and working with us he's making more than 10 times what he made in his local job, which is hard to believe. And that's kind of at the far end of one spectrum for us. But that's the reality. But we had this really cool experience with him as we kind of were bringing him onto our team Where we were bringing him on again, as a project manager for this project we're doing in Africa and hiring additional people there. But as we were working with him, and in this kind of introductory meeting, talking about them and their lives, and kind of the projects that they're gonna be doing and how it's gonna be blessing additional church members' lives, the Spirit just kind of came into the call and came into the room. And was just another one of those moments to say, we talk about this all the time, but just a really special treat, to feel that and see that God knows and cares about His children individually, down to this incredible branch President again, in Cameroon. So that's kind of one story, think about, like, it's interesting to hear it on paper, but then to be with these people and see them and to feel the Spirit together. Like, it's just a special thing that again, we feel like the luckiest guys on the earth to be able to do this as our day job and have these experiences. So there's, there's one for me that comes to mind is his name is Samuel Samuel from Cameroon, a beautiful, again, Branch President, who now again has a significant increase in his salary. He's working remotely, he has more time to dedicate to his calling, but also gets to have a hand you know, working with us and blessing the lives of others. John, you want to share one and then I can come back and share a couple more?

John Pearce 31:15

Yeah, one of the themes that we have seen is people around the world are praying for blessings, and God truly knows knows His kids. And there's one person in particular that we hired about in May, they were an incredible candidate. And they've done an incredible job since this person's name was Kathy and she is just, she's incredible. Seriously, I can't say incredible too many times, because she is just, she's great. We're lucky to have her but when she accepted the job offer, she texted us after and said, Hey, I got a blessing where it said If I graduated from college, opportunities would open themselves up to me. And we hired her I think like, two days after she graduated from her university is when we gave her the offer to come join us or something very close, very close timeframe. And she told us that that was an answer to her blessing and her prayers, that God had told her beforehand. And we had no clue about that, that was news to us but consistently we see stories of people who their prayers are being answered, and God is answering their prayers. And like I said, we were a really small piece of this, but we're lucky to be a small piece of this.

Eric Engebretsen 32:45

Another theme that we see, Morgan, we've talked a little bit about this is like kind of taking people from zero to one. So from that, you know, no exposure to a formal economy or remote work economy and taking them to kind of that first level, and then beyond. So there's a couple stories of people that kind of fall into that bucket. One is a woman named Danny Lynn, she's from the Philippines, and is a mom, like many church members, and was previously kind of just a stay at home mom, but getting to the point where she said, hey, I want to join the workforce. And she came and worked with us for one of our projects based out of the Philippines. And what's so cool to see again, like on paper, you would think, you know, yeah, she doesn't have any previous experience. But she came in and just like crushed it, and was promoted to be a team lead over a team of other people and given an additional pay raise to the already kind of significant pay increase that she had. Those kinds of stories where it, again, just goes back to that formula, people given opportunity. The talent is there, the hard work is there. But given an opportunity, and where you kind of least expect it and seeing that happen. Another one is a guy that I think of his name is Rodrigo. He's from Argentina where I served. And it was similar story where he was working as a type of security guard at a bank, a night shift at a bank and kind of as I met him, said, hey, I really want to get out of this night shift, I don't make a lot of money, I want to kind of change that. And he did, came in and did customer support work for a fin tech company based in Utah. And similar story, went from zero to one, increasing his salary in this remote job, where he's working normal hours, he has more time to spend at home with his family with his kids. But same story, came in, and just hustled, worked hard, proved that he was a team player and all these other other things and was promoted to be a supervisor over a team of people and even over some Americans, just like that type of opportunity. And to see that type of hustle and hard work is just, it's so special. And we have again, like dozens of stories where we could talk about. A single mom in Peru who now can provide for her family or, again, some of our amazing team members in Africa that are making five, six times their income, or even people from my mission, I have a woman that I met as a missionary in Argentina who was a close friend of mine, we stayed touch. And as we were growing Bloom, she applied to work with us and got an email back from me and saw my picture was like, sent me a message like, hey, that's your company, I know you. And she's now worked for us for over a year and is a mom that was jumped back into the workforce and is now the breadwinner of her family. And it's just stories like that, these are real people, these are incredible church members. And as you've served a mission, you've felt that feeling of that special bond that brings you together over the gospel or over doing good. And we feel like now, we get to do that, but times 1000 over all over the world with these just incredible people. And again, just feel grateful to have a small part and a front row seat into what they're doing.

Morgan Jones Pearson 35:57

So, so cool. What about tell me a little bit about feedback that you've gotten from the companies that you've worked with?

Eric Engebretsen 36:04

Yeah, so I mean, overall, the kind of response has been phenomenal, right? We talked about, the kind of soft skills and the things that you learn as a missionary that play into the workforce. But what we've seen, kind of across the board is that basically any company that's hired someone through us, hired a church member, has wanted to double down and hire more like across the board, which is just kind of unheard of in this space. But you mentioned kind of one example, Morgan earlier, where we had someone say, hey, over the last couple of years, I've interviewed like 300 people for these type of positions. And I've never met, candidates that were as thorough and prepared and researched as these Church members that that I met. So there's just there's a bunch of stories like that where people are holding their own in tech companies here in the States, and are given opportunities and leadership and promotions. But across the board, it's just like, what we hear is that, hey, we've never met people that are this hungry for opportunity, hard working, scrappy, thorough, just across the board. And again, it's not anything to do with us. It's because of the way God has prepared these people and the values that they're living and the lessons they're learning as missionaries, and as Church members that I think sometimes we take for granted, but it's a blessing for all of us.

Morgan Jones Pearson 37:27

Awesome. John, would you add anything to that?

John Pearce 37:31

The only thing I mean, I think Eric covered it well, but every company we've worked with has been really happy with our people. And like Eric said, they've all pretty much doubled down and hired at least an additional group of people, but most of them are hiring a lot more after they take the plunge. And it's a little scary to do. It's a little scary to take that first step hiring in a group that you've never hired from before. But once they do it, they realize how incredible is talent pool is? So that's the only thing I would add.

Morgan Jones Pearson 38:02

I love that. One question that came up for me as you two were answering that question is how are people in these other countries becoming aware of Bloom? And also how are companies that are hiring? How are they becoming aware of what you all are doing?

Eric Engebretsen 38:22

Yeah, that's a good question. It's kind of like this double-edged sword, right?There's two kind of sides to our marketplace that we're thinking about. So through the Church members abroad, we've kind of grown organically you think about, hey, when you get a job that pays you twice as much, and you get to work from home, you're bound to share it with your friends and family. So we've kind of been overwhelmed on that front, we've had thousands and thousands of people apply to come work with us. And like I said, today, we operate in over 65 countries around the world. But we had people apply from literally all corners of the earth. And this doesn't really go into your your question as much. But just something you know, to be interesting is like, when we when we first got started with this Morgan, we really kind of had to validate, hey, like, can people work from home in rural Peru, or in South Africa or in Argentina, like, can that be done? And so we've had to evolve as a business to grow into Hey, helping people set up adequate home offices and doing home office certifications on their internet speed and hardware devices. But that was a big part of it. And again, a big kind of area of focus that we have of giving people the resources and tools and know-how to do that. And then on the flip side, the second part of your question is like, how do we get the word out about our company to US companies here is it's kind of the same challenge that any startup faces, right? Like we grew small and started with word of mouth and referrals and people in our network and then I've kind of evolved it to then having a more formalized marketing process and sales development process and teams that we go through today. But another kind of unique thing that is fun for us is like we really practice what we preach. So we've grown our business, John mentioned kind of the first days of just us as founders, you know, two guys wanting to help some friends to today, we have a full time team of over 20 people that are all international members of the Church, we don't hire anyone here in the US. But we've grown our business, kind of practicing what we preach, saying, hey, these people are talented, they can help us grow this business, they can add real value. So that's been a really fun, fun part for us to, again, practice what we preach.

John Pearce 40:32

The only thing I would add there, like Eric mentioned, a lot of it's been word of mouth and us talking to our contacts. And we've been really grateful to the companies that have taken a chance on us and, more importantly, the people in these jobs so far. And we hope to keep on finding more companies that that will take a chance on these people. But we're so grateful to the ones that have kind of given them the first chance.

Morgan Jones Pearson 41:03

Well, I think this is also inspiring and so cool. So hats off to you guys. And I also love that throughout the interview, I'm sure people listening have noticed this. But repeatedly, you guys have said we're just grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this and to recognize where our blessings come from, no matter what they are, I think is huge. And something that definitely matters. So my last question for you guys is what does it mean to you to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ?

John Pearce 41:40

You want me to go Eric? That's a...it's the whole theme of the podcast. And that's a tough question to answer. So I've been thinking about that today. And it's somewhat generic. But when in the temple, we covenant to keep the law of consecration, which is to give our time, talent and resources to building the kingdom of God. And to me, that's really what it means to be all in is to, to get better and better as we go through life at using everything we have, and centering ourselves on Christ, and on building the kingdom. And that changes for each person. And even throughout time, I mean, I'm married, I have no kids, I maybe have a little bit more free time to serve than than Eric, who's got two little kids at home right now. But really I hope that I throughout my life can consistently be evaluating myself and say, Hey, what am I doing with my talents, with my time and with all the resources I have available to me, to help other people to get closer to Christ? And, you know, on the inward part, that I'm looking at Christ as our perfect example, and saying, How can I become more like Him every day? So that for me, like I said, it's somewhat generic, but it's really seeing how we can build the kingdom and doing that every single day. So there's my thoughts on that.

Morgan Jones Pearson 43:12

Thank you, John, what about you, Eric?

Eric Engebretsen 43:15

It's honestly a great question. And as I've reflected on it, too, I've thought about, you know, the lessons I've learned over the course of my life is whether and I think through also this experience with Bloom, it's like whether you have a lot to give or a little, when you give of yourself, and when you give yourself over to Christ, you're so much better off, you're better off for it. And again, it's like this, it sounds cheesy, but it's true. Like, the more you give, the more you get. And I think as a missionary, I remember learning and reading about being a consecrated missionary and that kind of idea of, hey, if you consecrate yourself to God, and if you again, give all of yourself, you will get so much more in return. And we're building on the theme that we've talked about today again, I think we see that in the people that we get to interact with, and we strive to emulate that, as we are humans and children of Heavenly Parents. And as, you know again, co-founders together to try and give of ourselves so I think that's just a lesson that I've learned in my life through my parents and through others that I've admired is like the more you give, the more you get. And I think that same thing is true when we give ourselves to God.

Morgan Jones Pearson 44:30

Well, I think the cool thing about that is that's essentially what your business model is, right? You have these people who have sacrificed, many of them sacrificed a great deal to serve missions. And to see that in return, the Lord is giving them way more than they probably thought that they were signing up for. When you were talking to Eric, it reminded me I was just thinking last night about something. I had a stake president on my mission that was very influential in my life. And I one day was visiting with he and his wife. It was toward the end of my mission, my companion and I think stopped by and he said something to me and I wrote it down in my journal. And last night, I pulled it out and wrote it down in my phone so that I would have it handy. But he said, "He, (meaning God) can do more for us than we could ever do for ourselves. The gospel is so much better than we imagined. And the gospel is so much sweeter than we think." And I think that is the gospel, in essence. And that's the thing that I love about being a member of this Church is seeing God's hand in people's lives and I am jealous of you guys for having such a good seat in the house, getting to witness all of this, and I'm sure that's super, super, super cool. So thank you guys, though, for giving us a chance to kind of see it through your eyes today. And I'm wishing you both all the very best.

Eric Engebretsen 46:08

Thanks so much, Morgan. Thanks for having us.

John Pearce 46:11

Yeah, it's it's a pleasure to be on with you, Morgan. Thank you for the opportunity.

Morgan Jones Pearson 46:19

A huge thank you to Eric and John for joining us on today's show. You can learn more about Bloom by visiting HireBloom.com. Big thanks to Derek Campbell have Mix at 6 Studios for his help with this episode and thank you for listening. We'll look forward to being with you again next week.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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