What’s your backstory?
I started out in IT, and my co-founder had a marketing background. We both got sick of our jobs, so we decided to up and leave to go live on an island in Thailand.
We had such a great experience that we realized we had to find a way to make the arrangement permanent by making money on our own. We must have tried about a million things before we realized that people were making money online on geoarbitrage affiliate marketing plays (obviously, this was a long time ago). It took about four months of trial and error, but then we made our first commission online… for a total of $0.40.
Others might have been discouraged and given up, but we were ecstatic. After all of our research, that one commission proved to us that the internet is almost infinitely scalable and that it can be highly automated. We changed up our methods, and we turned that $0.40 into $400 the next day, and then more and more as time went on. That eventually turned into consulting work, and then into the agency work we now do for some of the largest companies in the world.
How have you changed/grown in the past 5 years?
That’s a tough one. I’d say I’ve become better at knowing what clients really need, rather than what they tell me they need (or even just what they think they need). I’ve gained a better understanding of their lingo and terminology so that I can speak their language in order to help them. That’s made me better at delivering what our clients desire.
I’d also say that I’ve gotten better at trusting other people and getting the right team around me. That’s made me better at letting things go and trusting that those around me will take care of our clients in the same way I would.
Has there ever been at time where you gave up or wanted to quit? How did you overcome that feeling?
One of the hardest parts of running an agency is when clients don’t pay. It happens with clients of all sizes, but the challenge is that I have suppliers who run their invoices on net-15 or net-30 days – and I can’t pay them if my clients don’t pay me. It’s an awful feeling to know that people are waiting on you for payment and you can’t deliver.
Building great relationships with my suppliers has helped. I’ve done a lot of work earning their trust so that they know they’ll be taken care of as soon as possible. But on the personal side, I’ve found I’m really driven by situations where I know others would give up. Just knowing that what I’m going through would make others quit makes me want to persevere and overcome.