Episode 20 – Jon Payne – MD Noisy Little Monkey

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Audio Transcript:

VO Guy:

Hello. And thanks for coming along too and we have an office talk. The Digital Agency Podcast, where we talk to agency owner directors and learn more about what makes them tick. From the things that make them similar to the things they’d rather have known sooner, where they’ve had success and where they’ve learned some hard lessons. All will be revealed with your host Chris Simmance, the agency coach, and he’ll be talking to a different awesome agency person in each episode asking them four questions and seeing where the conversation takes us over the next 25 minutes. Okay. So let us begin over to you, Chris.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Thanks voiceover guy and on today’s podcast, we’ve got Jon Payne from Noisy Little Monkey. Hello, Jon.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Hi Chris.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

How you doing?

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

I’m great. Thank you. How are you?

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Yeah, lovely. I mean, apart from the way the world is right now, I think these little moments of having a conversation with some decent agency owner is actually keeping me going to be honest.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah, there is something about the simplicity of speaking to people in your own sector for long enough that you stop doom scrolling that makes us feel better.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

It’s a bit like a warm hug. So, first of all, give us a little bit of a plug who are Noisy Little Monkey? What do they do? How long have you been going? Tell us just in case there’s a customer, maybe listening.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Noisy Little Monkey are the people you should buy from. We are an inbound sales and marketing agency for B2B businesses. We’ve been going about 13 years. We started as an SEO agency. I started it in a temper actually, because I was so sick and tired of meeting people who’d been ripped off by SEOs. And I ran web agency that built SEO in and we did some of the search term research and like people… I had one person tell me that they had a web designer… Sorry, excuse me. An SEO tell them that they didn’t know that when they signed the contract, they didn’t make it clear that they wanted to rank on Google and it’s in the early 2000s. And it’s like-

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

The wild west days.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. Exactly. If you want to rank on Yahoo, it’s a bit easier. Yeah. We started out as SEO, but now the inbound sales and marketing thing means we get traffic for our clients. We call it TLC, Traffic, Leads and Customers. So get traffic through SEO, leads through marketing automation. We’re a HubSpot partner and that helps us convert more of those leads into customers. So yeah, through sales enablement and stuff.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

I love it. It’s a typical digital agency to come up with their own acronym.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. I definitely stole it off someone. It is even more typical digital agency definitely stole the acronym.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Fantastic. So we’ve got four questions here, Jon. We’re going to see how the conversation takes us and we’ll take it from there. So first question I’ve got for you is over the last 13 years, what do you think has been one of the biggest successes of running the agency?

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

I would really love to say the fabulous wealth I have emersed. But-

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Yeah. To those listening they can’t see you, but you’ve got golden everything around you. I can see you’ve got a golden microphone. You must be rich.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

And if you imagine how much that weighs to have it on this layer jet increase the fuel price consumption.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

It’s amazing. Yeah.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

But it actually isn’t that. I’m on a much cheaper propeller engine plane. Culture’s the wrong word. It’s a real classic word for it, but it is people tell us that this is a nice place to work and I’ve worked in… And that’s what I wanted to build. Once we started making SEO a nicer place in our part of the world, I wanted to build a place where I wanted to work. I’ve always enjoyed working, but I’ve worked for some assholes and sometimes clients are assholes as well. So if we can make coming to work a nice place where you get paid a decent chunk and it’s not all slides and cold breakfasts.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Yeah. That’s awesome. It’s it funny I think with running these agencies, it’s nice to have a good conversation with the customer, with the team. It’s nice to have all of these nice little things like what do you call it? A breakfast here and there and bean bags and that sort of stuff. But then culture is a little bit more than bean bags, breakfast and some nice emails and a few words and things like that. What is it that you’ve done that you think has made the culture and where you use culture is the turn of phrase, what do you think has made that good?

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

My wife who’s the managing director is probably the biggest tick in that box. Because I’m a typical agency leader, I suppose, in that I have lots of ideas all the time. We’re talking about before we start recording how we both have lots of ideas all the time. And I’ve got really short fuse if those ideas aren’t executed as well as I think they should be executed. So to begin with, I wanted to build a place that people loved to come to work. And they really loved coming to work and working with the Jon Payne that was exciting and funny and had sparky ideas for clients and all of that kind of stuff. But they didn’t like the bloke who punched laptops to death, which I… My record is now four laptops.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

I can imagine your Glassdoor profile is looking pretty good for that.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. I’m glad I didn’t get to see that Excel spreadsheet of all of the terrible agencies to work for. But I was definitely on it. Actually I think we’re way too small to have been on it. But anyway, but so Nic really put in place the staff that said, “Okay, well this is Jon’s dream. He clearly can’t execute it. He’s an infant. We need to help him execute it.” And then our creative director Tash said, “If you ever lose your temper again in the office, you have to go for anger management. Otherwise I’m going to resign.” And she’d been with us for eight years by that point or six years… Seven years by that point. And she’s fairly fundamental too, she’s part of the… I hate to say part of the family again because it’s another horrible cliche.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Well, the fabric of the business.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. Fabric will do. That’s great. Hey, this is yet another podcast where an agency owner is talking about therapy, but so…

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

I think it’s almost a necessity. The lives that an agency owner lives. There’s a version of coaching mentorship, but definitely therapy required at certain times.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah, absolutely. But so they really have more than helped. They have set the culture and made it work. And then it’s great because I get to be the infant still, except without the tantrums. Also you can’t have a good culture without making money. And I think my background in sales, before I did this, I used to sell IT peripherals on the phone, which is why SEO was such a revelation to me. Had a sales team of 20 odd people. And suddenly with a website, I could make the website sell more than them if I could get it to the top of Google. That’s the thing. And so, because I had that background in sales, we’ve always been really, really focused on profit. So making profit of every project and all that kind of stuff. So you have to have that, otherwise you can’t pay people good money. You can’t have a nice office. You can’t do the things that you like and you can’t take time occasionally to be a bit more creative than normally. Agency time allows you to be.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Well, cash flow gives you so much in your agency or any business. It’s the life blood of a business. It means that you can actually operate. But it also means that if you’ve got plenty of cashflow, you can take things at a different pace if you need to. You can speed things up, you can slow things down. And, like say, you can focus on getting the nice bits done as well. So you can actually do some good stuff as well. You don’t have to say, okay, well this year we’re going to do these nice things in the office and next year we’re going to do that. You can do it over the course of time, but a little bit nicer and get it all done right because you got the cash to do it.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

So we get pissed off with people if they work past 5:00 not that pissed off actually. I’m an agency owner I celebrate it on the QT, but there is a culture of you arrive before 9:00 and you leave at 5:00. We are in marketing at the end of the day, everybody’s got enough shit. You look behind me I’ve got enough shit. I look behind you, you’ve got plenty of shit. We don’t need anybody to buy more stuff. But we do and it’s our job. And hopefully we work for some companies that do something ethical with their profits and sustainable with their profits. But actually, no one really needs more stuff.

So here we are doing that. And then I talk to people who are working till 2:00 in the morning on things. And occasionally you have to because it’s a passion project or you promise something to a client and you don’t want to let them down. But that shouldn’t be the norm. That should be really super rare. We should be working in places where you’re not expected to be on call any time of day or night because the creative director has a crazy idea.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Yeah. One of the things I used to do when I ran an agency was if everyone has a set of accountabilities and everyone’s workload is very clear and you’re measuring yourselves in terms of what gets done, if you can get done earlier and you haven’t got any calls or any reason to be, then sit on Twitter, learn something new and then bugger off as soon as the day’s over. I think part of agency culture and correct me if I’m wrong, if you disagree I find that quite a lot of agencies very much like to give their staff a laptop. And initially when you first arrive at an agency as a junior, you’re like, oh wow, I’ve been given a MacBook or some really cool laptop. But actually what you’re being given is a license to check your work at home and do some work later.

And things like that. The first agency I ever worked at, we had desktop PCs at the desk and when you left the office, you couldn’t even check your email. That was it. So you had a few people stay a little bit later or come in a little bit earlier, but they did that out of choice because they just wanted to either get ahead or something like that. But there was no culture around work. Work was the work bit. And then if you’ve got that kind of, we don’t mind if you leave dead on 5:00 or if you’ve done your work chill out and learn something about the industry or something like that, then you end up having people who are generally a little bit happier and happier people day longer and earn you more money.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. And tend to be a bit more creative. It’s funny you say about laptops we didn’t get… You only got a laptop here if you were in and out of meetings all the time. So you had to get up from your desk and do a Zoom call in a quiet room or if you had to go to client site. So most people all had desk tops.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Presumably, it was harder to punch a desktop as well.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

They are a lot more sturdy. I haven’t punched a laptop now for over four years. And-

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Well congratulations. So if you were to go back say 13 odd years and talk to the younger more spritely version of you, what kind of advice would you give yourself?

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Oh, I’ve heard you ask this of other people and their answers were really good.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Oh, isn’t it?

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. I think the advice I would give myself is employ someone or partner up with someone who’s run an agency before. Particularly run an agency that is digital marketing let’s say. Whether that’s SEO or content or PR, because… Chris can see me I’m an old man and therefore I’ve gone into stuff with the arrogance of an old man who thinks he can do everything and I can revolutionize the way that agencies work. No, they all work the same and I should have just got someone in so that I didn’t spend the first six years experimenting with agency structure. And going that’s all right, because one day I’m going to be on stage at a TED Talk and go, this is how I revolutionized work. It’s not happened.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

No. And it doesn’t happen because the fundamentals of running an agency are the same. I always liken it to a recipe. An agency’s a cake and if you’re going to make a cake, a cake is a cake is a cake is a cake. The difference is you use chocolate or vanilla or you use orange or whatever the recipe is you can add a splash of this and a little dash of that, which is your own and it makes it unique. And you can add a little unique propositions in and things like that, but ultimately it’s still a cake. It has to be cooked at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time. And so on. If you don’t do it that way, then it ends up costing money or taking time. And the only way that would ever really change is if the fundamental mechanics of that model, that underlies how a business works changes, which is unlikely.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. I think, but if you’d have talked to me 13 years ago, I’ve been fuck it, I’m making a sandwich, Chris don’t worry about it. Sorry. Am I allowed to swear?

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

I don’t know. We’ll see if it gets taken down off Spotify.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Oh no.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

I think it’s fine. I ticked a little box that says it’s not for children and then it’s okay.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Oh no. I’ve got such a reputation for terrible language and I have just compounded it.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

It’s okay. You said it’s twice as well. I think when we get this transcribed later, I suspect it will come cross and I can put an expletive sound in there or something like that. So like you say if you were to go back in time, give yourself a bit of advice that was to… If you were to set up this agency, yourself, partner with someone else, do you think 13 years ago version of you would’ve actually listened to that advice? Would you’ve taken the advice?

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

No, I was an incredibly arrogant idiot.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

That was fun to be around?

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. I was fun to be around I think as long as you weren’t in my immediate circle. I suspect I still remain pleasant in small doses. But yeah, no I wouldn’t have taken the advice.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

It’s quite hard to think back in terms of those things, because often now you would’ve given then you that advice and that’s quite… It feels really nice to say with hindsight, I would’ve given myself this advice, but realistically, would you honestly have a… If you’d have gone back in time and said, right, Jon, I’ve got 30 seconds to tell you’re about to set up an agency partner with someone I’ve got to go. And then by you worked out the mechanics of… Well, the laws of nature prohibit what happened and you got your head around that. You’d probably then go, I’m not going to listen to that. And then you’d have the hindsight point later on anyway, because you are who you are now versus… And that’s part of the thing around the therapy piece that people talk about lot on getting coaches, getting mentors, getting people in and around you who you can trust, because hindsight is great.

But hindsight also costs a lot of money. I often say that running an agency is the most expensive MBA you’ll ever get. And the thing with having people around you that are either your peers or professionals or something like that, the best part of that is that you can trust based on their experiences. And if I said, my advice to you would be this based on that you could choose to take it or not, but at least it’d be part of your thinking about three years before it was a mistake or a problem.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. My wife is a great believer in coaches because she’s emotionally mature enough to understand all of that stuff. And I wasn’t, when we first started out and she kept saying, “Oh, you need a coach. You need a coach.” And I needed a therapist is what I needed, but I also needed a coach. The one that I finally started using or working with was called Katelyn Moran and she was… Katie Moran, excuse me. And she’d run her own business. And Iā€™m like that, oh I need you to coach me. And then the next person we got to coach us was called Chris Sterling. And he had run a huge business and really struggled at the end and it hit the wall. And had gone from I think 70, 80 people to like one or two, and then he built it back up again, managed to sell it and get out. Yeah. But I’m like, man, you’ve got the answers. You’ve got a lot of the answers I want to be coached by you, not someone who’s been a success all of the way.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Well, this is the thing. So, like you say, it’s a very expensive MBA because you’re actually learning the lessons by making mistakes as you go. And most agencies are like, you, similar to me, set up by people who know what they’re doing in terms of the doing, but the actual agency bit, you think you’ve got all the answers and you really don’t. The good thing about coaches is… Or the best of coaches, don’t tell you how to do it. And it’s not a done for you kind of service. That part of it is bringing you along in your own journey. If someone just came in one day and said, “Right now, do this, do this, do this.” Well, they’re the MD, they’re the non-executive director. They’re not a coach at that point.

They’re telling you specifically what to do, but if they help you to learn stuff, then they’re coaching you. If they help you to understand stuff, then they’re mentoring you. And that’s really good for an agency owner. One of the things I found the hardest when I brought a coach into my agency was actually having to come to terms with not actually being the best at what I thought I was good at.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. I got that one, it’s hard, isn’t it?

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Yeah. God I thought the sun shone out my ass. I knew that the work we did was great, I knew that all the things that we were doing in the agency were great. I knew all of the time that we were spending in the agency was working well. It was just a case of a lot of wasted effort and time that just got spent on random things. And then someone comes along and says, yeah, this isn’t quite right. And you start thinking, oh, that can’t be right. I know I’m right. I’ve spent all these years being right. I know I’m right. It’s everyone else that’s around me that’s wrong. It’s very hard to come to terms with that.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. You need to surround yourself with the right people. Sure.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

So, in the 13 years you’ve been running Noisy Little Monkey is there something that you have learned along the way that set you up for this current success that you have? Something that’s either gone really well, you’ve gone I’m going to keep doing that or something that screwed up and you went right that lesson is now meant that I can get to where I am now?

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. I think it’s a combination of it’s a hard lesson and something that I have had the faith in, but maybe just didn’t keep the faith. Which is a business needs a leader. And so I think for probably three or four years, we had the wrong balance of okay everybody… We love and we nurture our people and we make this a great place to work and that means they have a say in where this is going. And maybe it wasn’t three or four years, maybe it’s two or three years. And we were doing okay but actually people were less happy. We had better money, we were paying them well. We were paying ourselves well, and everybody had a say in how we ran the business, but people were less happy.

They needed me. And this downplays the work that Nicola my wife does. But we’re talking about this bit for now. So just acknowledge the fact that actually without her, we’d be nowhere. But they needed me to be the leader. They needed me to go this is where we’re going, Lance, this is what we’re going to do, come on gang let’s go and make this happen. And sometimes when they are difficult decisions to be made, just one person makes a decision and answers it.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

This is the thing. So leaders set the strategy, leaders set the tone and the purpose. That’s vital. If everyone gets a say in the strategy, then it’s going to go wrong. If everyone gets a say in everything, it’s going to go wrong. But if people are led into a position where they feel that they can be heard, if there’s an opportunity, but same time they know that the purpose and the direction that the business is traveling in because of your leadership is the direction that they want to be going in then naturally, they’re going to be happy.

And, let’s be completely honest, quite a lot of people… And this isn’t a bad thing, quite a lot of people want to be led. It’s a human thing. That’s why some leaders find it so hard to lead. Because they also want to be led themselves. It’s just a human requirement that we all kind of just think, oh, well I need some kind of direction. So when I get out of bed in the morning, I know what I’m getting out of bed for.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yeah. And it’s hard to find that balance or it was harder. I think we’ve got it now. It was hard for a long time to find that balance between… And perhaps that’s because I wasn’t emotionally mature enough. God, I’m 52 years old and I’m only just talking about that I’m not much-

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

And you don’t look a day over 51.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

That’s very kind, but yeah I wasn’t emotion mature enough to go, oh, I can be a leader and still be a nice person, I don’t have to be everybody’s friends. Which you find out pretty quickly when you start making redundancies that they see you as… They never saw you as their friend anyway. They always knew that when the cup was coming, it was you who was going to make the phone call or go around the hustle of bringing them into the office. So yeah, getting that balance right is a tough one, but I wish I’d done it sooner. Yeah.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

So if someone who’s listening right now is thinking of starting their own agency, they’ve got an aspiration to run one or they’ve literally just started and they’re listening with their notepad out, waiting to listen to Jon’s golden nugget of advice, what one thing would you tell them to consider or to do if they’re starting out for themselves?

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Listen to other people, obviously, because my nuggets of advice are very narrow and here is one that’s super narrow. Having spent 13 years or 12 years now working with my significant other who I love dearly and who rescued me as a complete failure and helped me build this business, I would definitely not have chosen to run the business with her. I’ve had her in the business in some capacity if I could. But yeah. So don’t work with your significant other in a senior role, if you can help it. The reason being is not because that person isn’t necessarily hugely talented.

Part of the reason our relationship works is also why the business works. One of us is organized and caring and focused on detail around money and the other one is me and I’m an idiot. But what happens is your money becomes so tied that both of you make the money of the business becomes so tied to the personal money in your personal bank account or your personal life.

And then everything become personal. Every decision, every slight… Every perceived slight in the office is personal. And so I think I would’ve had her as a coach in my position. And I would’ve hired that person who’d run an agency before. But yeah having said that, I know loads of agencies that work as husband and wife teams or two partners running it who live together and they work fine. But whenever we get together, we all go, God, I’d never do it with them again.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Yeah. No, I can recognize that. My wife and I ran our agency together and it’s exactly the same as your perspective, the things that worked, worked because of the people that we are and were, but like you say, you get home in the evening and you’re sitting there and you talk about work or there’s a problem that you end up… There’s little bits of resentment that you end up having and you have to work out. That’s about work let’s leave it now, let’s go and have dinner. And, you got to cook and do all these things together and you basic… Yeah, so your piece of advice to aspiring agency owner would be to listen to people and not work with your wife, husband, or significant other?

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

Yes, exactly. But if you get the opportunity work with my wife, she’s amazing.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

What fantastic advice to end this podcast on. Everyone, contact Jon at the end of listening to this and offer his wife a job.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

She doesn’t work for the agency so much now, so she is available, but is quite [crosstalk 00:26:00] right.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

Yeah. I was going to say you’ve talked about her quite a lot. Thanks very much for coming along, Jon, it’s been great to talk to you.

š—š—¼š—» š—£š—®š˜†š—»š—² (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):

That’s been brilliant. Thank you mates for having me. It’s been real fun.

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):

No trouble at all. And on the next podcast, we’ll have another awesome digital agency owner, and we’ll speak to you all soon. Thank you very much for listening.

 

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