I’ve never been driven by money. I founded LeanSEM with a different goal. I want every marketer at heart to learn how exciting it is to grow companies online. It’s the most exciting sport in the world!
It’s like when you first fell in love, you thought about that special someone nonstop and you couldn’t wait to be together 😉
Or if you love fishing, that feeling when there is the tug on the line and the exhilaration of the moment when you are fighting with the fish to keep it on the hook.
We all have more potential than we are aware of. Not just intellectually, but in every aspect of our lives. I want to explore more, learn more, and build more! That’s what gets me excited.
Founding a performance agency and running it for 7 years, gave me exactly that. It gave me a platform to learn more about building and growing people. You see, it’s not a business for me. It’s building a thriving tribe of people who love growing companies and are really good at it.
Because we’re building a culture, I focus 100% of my time on finding ways to enable people to grow and expand. From day one I was set on building the leadership team. I didn’t want someone to just help me push the buttons. I wanted people who have the potential and drive to be better than I am. It’s easy to surround yourself with “yes” people, it’s much harder to support people to become better than you.
It’s said time and again but it’s so true; agencies are only as good as their people. I don’t mean to offend any agency out there. If you are in business, you probably have demand. But I didn’t want to merely grow our cash flow, I wanted each client to be a raving fan and to talk to their friends about the results they were getting with us. You can’t achieve that with people who are waiting on you to tell them what to do. If you have a culture of indifferent people, you’ll do an average job at best with your clients.
An average job in performance marketing always produces terrible results.
It took 3 years to find and groom our first two partners. They started from zero and grew into absolute heroes when it comes to growing companies spending millions online.
In those 3 years, I interviewed thousands of people, hired 100 of them, and parted ways with 97 of them. They were not ready to really grow and challenge themselves. They wanted a good job, and our client’s problems gave them headaches instead of excitement.
So, I learned a few things about people, because running a value-based business without the right people is impossible. If you don’t know what the right person looks like, that’s the first thing you should figure out.
For LeanSEM the right person has to have one thing above all else:
And what I mean by that is, your ability to respond. Do you have the ability to conscientiously respond to any situation? Do not confuse responsibility with the ability to follow orders. What if no one is there to tell you what to do? Can you think independently and come up with the right solution? This is the main skill you want to practice every day. There is no college for that, yet this skill alone is worth so much more than any school.
If you don’t take responsibility, you’ll learn where the buttons are and what they do. But if you really want to grow companies, you have to ask the hard questions that others will rarely ask. That’s how you win when there are competitors. You need to think about their strategy and how you can be better. Isn’t that the core of doing marketing?
If you ask me, responsibility applies to every business, to every company and it applies to you personally. Ask yourself, what are the biggest challenges now and how can you do 5x better? Maybe you’ll do 2x, but hey, that’s better than running a flat business. What else can you do? Get excited!
These are the types of questions responsible people ask at all times.
I think it’s a choice to go beyond, to re-examine your own perspectives, to challenge everything. That is never easy. Staying in the comfort zone is predictable. Life is not! Stop wasting your time organizing your life like you know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You don’t! Get excited about today! Get responsible and start asking the hard questions.
We’ve been doing exactly that – asking the hard questions – since the very start. And, we’ve doubled our business every single year since we started. But this only comes second to our mission and values.
Our mission was and still is the same: to build a company that will outlive us! We want LeanSEM to live for 100+ years.
For those reasons, I want “better” people than myself to continue building LeanSEM as the premium brand of performance agencies. We want them to take over the reins of the company. Those are the people that will inherit LeanSEM.
This post is dedicated to my partners and all the people in LeanSEM. I’m very proud of each one of you and the culture we’ve built so far. We would’ve not grown without your ability to respond to the hard questions. Happy 7th Birthday to our company. To many more!