I feel that in life we go through different levels. Each level has a series of tests that we must pass in order to reach the next level. If you fail to get past the level then you must restart it.
I feel like I am repeating a level in my life right now. See this same exact time last year I launched my digital marketing agency and went full steam into building a successful company.
Boy did I learn a lot. I had a few wins but I failed overall. The reason I failed is because I don’t have the systems in place to generate new attention and leads, I don’t have a prospecting system to follow up with those leads, my sales process is non existent, and service delivery along with client service sucks.
Last year I did a horrible job at both hiring people into my company and having the proper tools in place to train them. I learned the hard way that everyone is not entrepreneurial and able to connect the dots. Most people want to be told exactly what to do and trained on how to do that thing better.
Even though we made around $60k from October to December we still don’t have the systems in place and I am back at square one.
Many people would get discouraged, pack up their bags and quit. But quitters never win.
My marketing agency plays a key role in my empire. Over my lifetime I will launch and acquire multiple businesses. The one thing I learned was a company’s success is based on 4 main components:
- Product/Service Offerings
The ability to build a brand and implant it into peoples mind as the company to choose for a particular product or service is extremely powerful in business. That is why I am building a marketing company.
Let’s take it back to the beginning…
How did I get started?
In December of 2016 right after graduating I landed my first client, a startup roofing company in Plano, Tx. To be considered for the job I designed a couple of shirt designs. They loved them and they flew me up to Plano to sit down for an interview.
In the interview I discussed the importance of building a brand along with generating leads and how a holistic marketing approach was better than focusing only on lead generation.
They agreed and I signed my first deal. It was small and I had to sleep on an air mattress at a friends house in order to live.
But every day I hustled my ass off putting in work and building the brand. And the company had explosive growth! They went from a 10 person company to over 100 with 3 locations all in 2 short years. It’s been a wild ride.
So I sat down with the owners and let them know my goal of owning my own marketing agency. They supported me and I locked in a huge contract.
In the deal I got free office space, free utilities, free internet and a large cash investment.
I was on cloud 9 but I quickly learned that money isn’t the answer.
Over the next 8 months I burned through the cash by making bad hiring decisions that I didn’t cut fast enough.
I also hired friends that would burn me costing me a $20k client and then go behind my back to steal clients from me. Crazy right it’s all my fault though, more on that another time. Moving on…
I was a bit discouraged but I kept pushing. I never threw in the towel. I sat down with my first client and I successfully renegotiated a huge deal that made it to where I wasn’t wondering where my next dollar would come from. This is extremely important as a startup because the margin for error is so thin. One small fuck up and you’re bankrupt.
Cash flow is king and the literal life blood of a company.
So far this year I passed the quarter million milestone in my first full year of business. I learned so much as a CEO and I am excited to retake this level. This time I am going to crush it.
Where am I now?
Now I am at the stage where I must rebuild my entire team. I’ve learned some valuable lessons. Like I am not a good middle manager. I like managing people who have their own team of workers. I let them know the goal and vision they go out and execute. I don’t have to look over anyone’s shoulder to see if they are working. I just get status updates directly from the manager. I am a very high level thinker and communicating the pieces in between are difficult for me. I’ve realized this and now focus my efforts on people who are already successfully executing as the leader of their team. I hire them to work on my projects and its all good.
Right now for October and November my main goal is to build out my lead gen, prospecting, and sales engine.
In business there has to be a team that has the sole focus of going out and gaining peoples attention, prospecting to find qualified new clients, and converting those people into actual clients.
So here I am back to square one. This time it will be different I promise.