E48: How to end a partnership and rebuild your dream business with David Valentine
Hello. And welcome, my name is brent weaver and this is the digital agency, show. The. Podcast, that goes behind the scenes with today's top agencies, and entrepreneurs, I am, really glad you're here and once again it's time to transform, your, business mindset. Hey. What's up digital agency owners and podcast, listeners, before. I introduce, today's guest when I ask you a quick question, are, you currently stressed, out cash, crunched, or, fed up with your business if. You feel this way you might think that you have a lead, generation problem, or, maybe that it's the area you live in or maybe this market has become too competitive maybe. You think that your business can't be turned around and, I want you to think again in my, many years of experience I can tell you now that it's something much deeper that you're likely not even aware of yet it's, like a client who comes to you saying they need a website or Facebook ads or maybe a mobile app developed, but they don't even realize the deeper challenge, or opportunity that's. Blocking, them from success, now. If you'd like to find out what, your deeper, challenge is then. I want to invite you to apply for a you gurus strategy, call or we'll dig into those underlying issues and get you moving forward like never before the aha. Moments, will shift the way you think forever, and you'll finally get the answers as to why your business hasn't taken off the, number one most important, decision to rapidly, grow your business starts by booking your strategy call go, to ugurus.com slash, apply a start, your application process for this free call, once, again go to you gurus comm slash apply to get started, all right let's introduce today's guest. Hey. What's up podcast listeners, digital, agency owners, welcome. To another episode of, the digital agency show really. Excited to have you guys here for another week of great contents, today, our guest David. Valentine. Is a poet, prophet teacher. Who. Wants to see businesses, thrive through engaging, social, media execution. He's worked with Fortune 500 companies and startups to, drive leads and sales, he lives in Fort Worth with his wife. Rachel and two kids Eli and Haiti and, David. Is also a graduate, of our, 10k, boot camp so we're really. Excited to welcome one, of our own community, members to this week's podcast. David. Welcome to the program, hey. Thanks, Brent thanks for having me yeah, so why, don't you just paint us a quick picture like what your, agency, is is called rethink. And what. What, are you guys all about like what's your main focus, how many people what kind of projects do you guys take on. Yes. So we. Are a social. Media agency and we kind of cover, everything, in, the social media realm from, you, know content creation blogs and podcasts to. Photography. And video the, actual execution, of social media management and then social ads as well, and.
That's Really the core of our business is doing all of that work and. We. Kind, of have a few niches that we work with one, of them the, best one we work with this craft, breweries and that's delightful to not only get paid but also get free beers of. Working with those guys and is, that accidental. Or intentional, oh absolutely. Intentional. I mean come on man why not have a place where you can drink beer, that's fantastic. And you. Know also get paid for the work you do you can't beat that so yeah. It's it's kind of what we do we have where. We at now we're. Actually down a couple staff members for various reasons, so. I think that we're great five, people, right now instead of seven but. Yeah. We're gonna be filling those seats soon so nice. So craft breweries, is is one typical client, you guys typically do so, Media type projects, and, and. You. Guys have about five folks, new team are you guys remote, or do you guys have an office there in Fort Worth yes. We've got we've, got an office here in Fort Worth and it's, where staff gets, together and we kind of we, kind of keep it fun you know when I started the agency actually. Had a business partner when we started but one of the things that we talked about was we wanted to create a space that we would want to work in ultimately, and so our. Staff. Culture, is fun. And funny and a, little bit crass. At some times we. Always joke that there's no HR department because, if there was we don't be in trouble. This. Is being recorded David, just just for your information if, anything were ever to happen in the future I am NOT I am NOT liable, for this, big public, record but just maybe, we can set that to set that's you, know just just inform, you of that before we move on yeah. That's probably good I mean yeah, we all keep it totally buttoned up we never say anything that would promote to be bad, it's. Interesting too because most. Of the staff is is women and they. Are way worse than any of the men I mean they they. Throw out dirty things I'm like wow that you just said that I can't believe that you just said that so it's. A fun it's a fun environment though, we have gonna. Ps4, that if it's, really. Been a slow, day or, it's actually, been an extremely, stressful, day well, you know bust out the ps4 and start playing some, stellar. Wars battlefronts. Or something. Like that it's kind of the kick it man and so. Yeah. We have a good time we go out a bunch together and we, actually you know it's really nice to have friends, that also work, together and that's kind of what we've created as a bunch of friends that get to do, great work yeah. I think that's a that's, cool to hear that you guys have made your. Creative, culture kind of fun and and I. Do think that's a really. Important aspect. Of your team you said, something earlier you said you had. A business partner when you started I couldn't, help but noticing, the, past tense on that so what. What, was. There something there do you still have a business partner today I. Don't. Yes. So whenever I started the agency you know we kind of started I think. Like. A lot of agencies thinking, we're gonna be the full, digital. Agency, that does everything, and. So when. I cut stone when we got started I started with my best, friend, and, we. You. Know he kind of did the design work and I was a copywriter, and I had a sales background and, so I said. Well hey I'll do this and you can do the design piece and you can build websites, and you can do all that stuff all that stuff, and then, I can do kind of everything else and, that.
Worked. Out for a while, but. Ultimately. Actually. You know after graduating. Boot camp I kind, of kept working with my. Mentor, from. Boot camp and. Ended. Up asking. My. Partner to leave and then having to go through a buyout, and found, out, that, you. Know even when you are best friends it's really good to have an, operating, agreement that sounds, for how you buy another partner out so, it became this whole mess, honestly. Brent. But it's. Been. A really good thing for me and I, think, it's. Been a good thing for him it's been a year now since. We. Split ways and. You. Know the, agency's grown since, he's gone and. I think that he's kind of enjoying his life more too because I'm. Not barking. At him all the time saying hey I need you to get this done like last week. But. Yeah we no, longer a business partner so. You didn't have an operating agreement is kind of what I just heard from you that you you're kind of giving the ADI our, listeners, the advice, that they. Should have an operating agreement because you guys did not have an operating agreement is that kind of what I understood. There, yeah. I think some of the things that I learned Brants or. Honestly. Yeah have an operating agreement I mean he. Was mine we, really were each other's best friends, and so, we just thought hey this is gonna be you. Know we're gonna ride into the sunset doing, this you know when we exit, we'll both exit together cuz it's gonna buy us out because we're gonna make it huge you. Know and, so. We've never really had anything, substantial. That, we could really go back to and say well yeah we both agreed upon this we'd always floated, around these. Operating agreements, to one another but we never really settled on anything because. We always got busy doing, like, doing, the work of the agency and so we never prioritized. It and it was almost like one of those things we're like you, know we'll get to it we'll get to it we'll get to it and we never got. To it and you, know the other thing that I kind of learned from those two, was. It's. Really, tough to, work, with your best friend, for a number, of reasons and. You. Really need to find a business partner who's equally. Has. An equal mindset, I think that you have and so I'm, one of those guys that just always wants to grow I always, want to, expand. And get bigger and have more staff and, take. On more risks, and that, was not something that was really for. Him he really was a guy that was. Okay kind. Of making what he made and, he, really just wanted to have like a normal. 40-hour workweek but kind of work for himself and I, was pulling like 80 hours 60, to 80 hours every week and just killing myself and he's just kind of taking. It slow and so that. Always caused friction was, you, know he's like you need to take more time for your family you need that do.
You, Know take more time for yourself you, need to quit burning the, midnight oil and I'm like dude we got to make some money. I. Think, that those are kind of the really big things that I I took, away from the, entire you. Know kind of, snafu. Is. Man. It was just absolutely, brutal to, have to have the conversation, where. You. Know you're like hey. Hey. I think, you should leave and I realized we're probably not gonna talk again. Brutal. I said you said mindset, I mean what I also feel. Is or, no, is just you know a shared, set of values it. Sounded like you, valued. The hard work the hustle the grind the growth and he. Had a different set of values I, think when you are working, had you guys ever gone and created like core values as a business I mean or maybe if you did maybe maybe, you didn't realize that you weren't really getting to the quote/unquote core of how, you really. Want to operate, yeah. I think I, think, we did we did have core values the interesting, thing about our core values were. Honestly. I think that they were my core values and then he just signed off on them and oh. Yeah. It's your point you're right it's it's. Almost like. You. Know. We. Had a different set of an entire different set of expectations. For. What. We were creating, even, though we would use similar language, actually, meant different things yeah. And so. Yes I knew initiated. Doing, this shit at the break-up. Can. We use the word breakup right yeah. It's. It's not you it's me but you have to get out get, your things yeah. I mean you, know it was one of those things so so I went through boot camp and, I. Saw. Incredible, and we saw incredible, results in boot. Camp I mean immediately during. Boot camp itself we signed over 200 thousand, dollars worth of business, just. In boot camp and. It. Was really, phenomenal, growth. For us and so well. It. Was it was tough, to then go from that to. Again. We were still, being that full digital. Agency. Doing everything and so a lot, of the contracts, were like a. Website. And a logo design on the front end which, was all his space and then it was social, media you. Know copywriting. Blogging, on the back end which is really where we made all of our, money pretty much and so. There, were some missed deadlines, on his part there's not happy clients, there were just some. Various things that went on that's, we. Ended up losing pretty, much all that business, that we signed and so that's. A ton, of money to have lost and. Having. To have that calm, station was really difficult but, again it was where I've kept meeting with my mentor from boot camp and. He. Kind of just had this moment with me that was really profound cuz I was just kind of complaining, and I was like, Sheldon. I just can't this is just this is killing me I can't believe it. You know we've missed another, deadline, we've got another client that's upset, because. He's, not choosing. To work on the weekends, and holidays but, I am and. Sheldon. Just had this really I think, a moment of clarity where. He said you know the the thing is Dave he's, not taking from you he's he's, really taking from your wife and your kids and. That's where it hit home to me I was like. Punches. On that one no. Man it's so literally. I was like okay so I know what I need to do now so I got on a got, on a plane cuz we were actually, we were all working remote at the time and, I. Flew. Up to his place and I said hey let's work together for a few days and so I did and, on the last day I I, had the conversation with him out Brent, I was so sick. I didn't sleep the night before I, told. Him I was just miserable. I mean just absolutely, horrid, ly miserable. About it. Because. I knew that it was gonna tote, I knew who's gonna hurt him deeply I knew what it was gonna mean for a relationship, and I. Didn't want that but, it was what we needed to do to move forward and, at. This point the, proofs in the pudding it's, been, so. I mean we've just grown so. So long as in the business are better. Yeah. I mean right. Now so, we we went from being. This full service, digital agency, and and really going through boot camp I was seeing more and more we needed to not do. That and. Once. He was gone I really, pulled the trigger and just said all we do is social media we we have these slices, of social media that are all part of it but all we do is social media and. Doing. That and then really niching down also. Into, some, specific. Industries, that we wanted to target for our own clients, and we just said who, are our best clients, and so we. Ended up quadrupling. Our monthly recurring revenue, in. The, first. Six. Months as. We made that shift Congrats. Thanks. Yeah I was massive, and, it. Was really really vital. To have that kind of to. Have him. Gone, and, to. Have him really narrowed, a more narrowed focus and, to do what we did really really well you know I mean it was one of those things where I would, have conversations, with current, clients and I just say you, know what do we do the best and they would just say look when, you guys create content, whenever you're running our social media.
You. Know all of that and, everything that entails that including, the, social advertising, that's. Phenomenal, and the you, know you guys have great results there so that's, what we love about it and that's really, why we made that pivot was to say listen, we can do that and bonus, it's, all monthly, recurring revenue, for us so, we. Went from being a. 90. Percent. Project, based revenue, stream where it's like you know on that treadmill always. Looking for the next project, yeah - we're, now a 96. Percent of our revenue in. 2017. Was, monthly recurring and then, we had only four percent was projects, so it made it a lot easier to. Hire more staff to, actually move into a an office, space we went to being all over the the, country to being all in the same room and we've. Seen, greater. Results, happier clients and, overall. The business continues to grow like, crazy so, I mean that's a radical shift are, going from 90%, project, revenue in the mouth to, 96%. I mean you you essentially, just shifted. Your entire business model. After. That happened I mean that's and, I just want to spend some time with it like when. I feel like sometimes we have this, thing, let's, call it like everybody. Has like an albatross, or some kind of weight or baggage that they're carrying around and not to say that you're you, know your partner was a hundred percent you know baggage. But. Obviously there was something there there was in congruence. There was a lack. Of aligned. Values, and and you, you know made that change which took a lot of fear, you had to overcome a lot of fear and overcome, a lot of you. Know I mean I was probably difficult for you right I mean just just to do that oh, my. Gosh yeah I mean I. Had. Always you. Know I'm a person, brant, that like you know you give me a stage. And, and 3,000, people and it doesn't scare, me I get excited and I get I get pumped and I've done that before you know and that's okay and so, I've heard of people you know like throwing, up before they go onstage or, before they play a big sports game or or, something like that and I've never really understood that I understand. Anxiety. Or you. Know a little bit or just like kind of butterflies, or whatever but. This was the first time that I was like oh my word I feel, like I'm, about to die I'm he was just the most overwhelming. Feeling. And I just kept going over it in my mind, and, trying to figure out how you do this well yeah. I was gut-wrenching. I mean it was I almost packed sometimes though when you when you make a decision or you come to a realization like, that that it's it's. It's. Almost, unavoidable, once. Once, your mind kind of clicks and you realize, oh gosh. I need to you know we. Need to go our separate ways or we need to change our business model we need to do like whatever like the more, time that passes almost. Them, usually the more intense, that gets, so I could only imagine that you've made that decision and then you're and then, you had to book a flight it had like fly out there and you guys worked side by side for, a couple of days we did you were you thinking the whole time like at the end of this weekend we're gonna I'm gonna drop the bomb. Yeah. Yeah. We, still were you still kind of. Maybe. This will still. Continue I mean were, you 100% committed, I, was. A hundred percent committed, because I told my wife before I went that I was gonna do it. And. I also I also told Sheldon, honestly, and I just said hey I'm I'm flying. To, Denver I'm gonna go meet, with in and, I'm gonna I'm, gonna do this you had a little bit of accountability, between, your spouse and your mentor yeah yeah. I had to I had to because it was you. Know the. Prospect, of going and doing that was. Mortifying. Yeah. But. Then then you you know let's talk about the the other side I mean then you didn't. Have that weight, or that that.
Conflict, I mean I can tell from my own personal experience, we went through something very similar at you gurus once we decided that we weren't you, know developing, our own our, own platformer. And software, to deliver our whole experience, and you, know we had a third partner in the business and it was. You. Know somebody that was a best, friend of mine from high school and and I. Don't think he was ultimately happy, because we weren't really like we, weren't taking the company a hundred percent the way he wanted to and we kept trying to find you. Know fit him into the new business, but it was pretty. Clear that he wasn't gonna be doing his highest leveraged. Activity, and and I think initially. We. Had that same kind of you know it was very painful it, was frustrating, and then. I think, as time passed though, what. I what I found him and maybe you'll find this or maybe anybody that's listening that's had to break up with a, friend. In the business is and. Sometimes it probably goes this way sometimes probably doesn't but for us we actually I think we're, able to kind of forge a, better. Friendship. That was more based on our interests. As humans. And being friends, than on this. This. 100% work relationship. Where it was you, know our friendship had I think over the ten years we work together had kind of turned more into. You. Know a business, relationship than, necessarily a friendship. Yeah. I think I think for me with what I keep hoping. For is there will be a point in time we were able to rekindle. Our friendship. But. It hasn't happened yet so like. I kind of keep waiting and I I, know the. Specific, date that. You. Know I told them and so, you. Know I've kind of been waiting for, at, least a year to eclipse for that too for, me to kind of reach out again and be like hey man, but. You know we live we live in different states and. You. Know we have just vastly. Different. Lives and. So, I think. It would probably work if we lived in the same city and we're, close in that, way I think that it, would be mended a lot faster, and we'd probably rekindle, some of that quicker. Since. There's. Hundreds. Of miles in between us it's it's difficult. I think so. Anybody who's thinking about going, into, business with one of their friends what. Would would you give them any advice like, don't do it at all or you, know just have an operating agreement you. Know I, I. Know it's common, saying but expectations. - reality equals, happiness. And so I think if, you're gonna go down that road, you really have to flesh out the questions I mean it's, almost, like you're, getting married right you know I mean it it is, and so, you need to have the questions of okay so are. You willing to work, 80. Hours a week you, over, or are your weakens, sacrosanct. You, know it, what are your expectations for, exit, like what, what. Are your expectations and, go down a list of things I mean I would be, so thorough about it because, oh my gosh. Like, it can just be. Insane. Things, that come, up later that you're like wait I thought we were on the same page so I'd say that's one and then to, have. An have, an operating, agreement like oh man, have, an operating, agreement it works that, defines how a buyout happens that defines you.
Know Who gets what, and. And it really allows. You, to stay friends, that's and that's you know it's funny because I have. Had clients, that are friends of mine and I, insisted, on a contract. And I said hey, listen contracts. Keep friendships. With. My own business partner so yeah, I mean I think those are the two items that are absolutely, necessary yeah. We when, when Steve, and I created our agency, we. Did not have an operand agreement we really yeah, and I. Mean fortunately I mean we we were able to. I think, we still. When. We sold that business we were just starting to get, what. I'd call like real responsibility, in life you know we both gotten, married. And you, know we're starting to you, know get. Mortgages and kids and that kind of stuff so I think we were just on the cusp of like real-world responsibility. And I think that that's that. That. Helped in a way that we sold the business friend as I was happening so we both did an exit at the same time but, then I think as we we formed you gurus we definitely sat down with a lawyer and and we. Had some other partners and and there was a lot you know 60 page agreement, that says you know a lot of different things about how you how. You exit, what are you know what kind of expectations, are, on you all you're in in the partnership, and and and, when money gets distributed and, how and all that kind of stuff and you know that they cover 50. Different angles most of which will never touch but. Then you. Know when when we did buy out our other partner it was really. Clear it was like this is how we put, a value on the business and here's how we. Buy, out your shares and here's what you know you get what you don't get and here's, how it happens and there was no like you know there was no way to drag that it, was it was so clear and everybody had signed it so it was kind of like how things just went down so. Yes. I think that what I learned from that process was you, know sitting down with a third party so sitting down with you know it's, one thing for you guys as a partnership, to get in a room and try, to come up with all that stuff but I think it's better when somebody comes in and says here are all the things you guys probably should be talking about and let's just make sure that you, know you talk about the right things and get clear on those correct things and here are the things that are just standard, for.
These Types of arrangements. You can either choose to use them or not use them or whatnot I mean now it's kind of the experience we went through was here's all this legal mumbo jumbo but let's, make sure that we you guys understand, what you're getting into and then, what are all the different you know nuances, of how you want this relationship to, operate, and. I even know like I mean there was one time that I was, um. You. Know even doing like outside consulting, or something like that and in in, in in same with Steve and it was like well, are, we both in the same page that this is our main thing or are we saying that this is not our main thing you know in that was even you, know it was in the operating agreement that said you know there obviously was no you. Know, no. Arrangement. That said you're, 100%. Committed cannot own any other businesses, or can't be a part of anything else like that wasn't in the OP agreement so it's kind of like we, had to go back to the agreement and say okay well this is something that we said was okay so we I guess we're okay with it right so you. Know those are the things that you have to kind of you. Know that if you can get somebody to unpack. That for you and say hey here's the things that you probably will, never probably. Ever have to deal with hopefully, but if you do here's, how it would work, and. I think to like even in in your situation David, like the. Rose-colored, glasses of, we're. Gonna knock this out of the park and we'll, exit, this together, I mean that is that is like a very that is like one potential. Path that a partnership could go down I mean it could be you. Know somebody, decides to you, know for. Whatever move, or. You. Know they get, injured or they something. Happens like that that takes somebody out of the business it's like you know how does how, does the the business continued to operate what, rights they have all that kind of stuff I mean it's tough you don't ever want to think about but you know if you if you do it at the beginning it, can save a lot of pain later. Okay, yeah absolutely I was I still gonna have some heartache, so. You mentioned you, know you, relied. A lot on, Sheldon. Your, mentor in in boot camp you guys had, some. Some time together in in code that one-on-one relationship. Had, you ever had a mentor. Like another, agency, owner that was kind of your a mentor. Or somebody that you had got advice from or was this kind of a first, time, that you'd engaged and that kind of help, yes. So I'd had other business owners kind, of be, people, that I'd reach out to and you know I'd have somebody. That if I, was dealing with a lead generation problem, then I'd have this business owner who was, local, that I would contact if I was having you know an, issue with some finances, I'd reach, out at this guy but I never had so well it was, intentionally.
Pouring Into me, and into, my business and you. Know looking at it from a 30,000. Foot view prior. To that and so show. Was huge because you, know. It's part of boot camp we'd have those one-on-ones, and he. Just really. Saw. I, think, that he saw the fire, in me and said hey this is a guy that if if. We get some systems, right David's. Gonna take off and. So. As, we, did that he, just kind of kept you. Know I come, in to, any kind of meeting with Sheldon and I'd ask, really. Intentional, questions, and I just say hey tell me about this and tell me about this and tell me about this and tell me about this and so you. Know we would just jam, pack an hour with intense. Conversation. It was never static it, was always pretty dynamic I'm pretty, sure that every, session children. Probably walked away you know in a one-on-one with me going oh my word it makes me talk anymore, and. Still, yeah. Man I mean it was new and it was I mean. Fundamentally. And. Absolutely. Something that I needed to do ages. Ago I wish I would have because. Oh man. Like it, transformed. Rethink. It transformed, my agency, and, and I you, know it I mean I mean we have. Six. Actually. Seven people now in the mentor team and I, don't, get to hear about obviously, every, interaction that goes on him and it makes me so happy that. He I mean from my impression pushed, you outside of your comfort zone, and, maybe. Pushed. An issue to the forefront of, this you. Know this partnership, which, you, might have on your own been. Willing to go a long time without ever really, recognizing. That was an issue like you probably would've had many many symptoms for many years on that but, it is it does make me happy to hear that he he. Pushed you outside your comfort zone because I feel like that's one of the most valuable. Aspects, of when, I've been mentored really well is when you, know somebody kind of calls you out and says like hey what what's going on here like Amanda I just think about when we started, this. Company I was. Working with with a mentor. He was originally a mentoring at me on on sales, and. You. Know I met with him every week for a couple of hours and and we. Over the course that time we started creating a lot of content, and really, started getting into kind of understanding. Sales systems, and and, then, I was teaching, salespeople, in my business but also in other, agencies. How, to sell, and in that was stuff I was working with my coach on and in one day he just got says hey man like what's, like you're really passionate about this stuff over here, like. It, looks like you're running two businesses like, why do you want to be running two businesses like what's the deal with that and and it was like oh, yeah. And then. I, feel. Like I went on my honeymoon and I thought about that I'm like oh my god I need to like I need, to pick one of these businesses, and that became, you. Know the conversation. That led to us, finding. A buyer for our agency, and then you know and then rebuilding. Our business as a training and coaching company and and launching, you gurus which was a huge shift for me huge shift for me you know my identity was packed up in this other agency, you, know 12 13 years, in that business and there was all sorts of emotional.
You. Know rollercoaster. That went on through that but it was that mentorship, that said hey. What's going on that outside perspective it, said you, know this doesn't add up to me it's just something that you might want to look at it sounds like you kind of went through a similar thing where somebody just said hey this thing like, maybe you should just spend, some time thinking about, this and then, ultimately that, that led to you making, a big shift and. Yeah. And in seeing, your business you. Know 3 or 4 X within like a year, and that's just crazy to me to hear, that that just happened from one, of these these, one-hour conversations. Well. Yeah and I think the overall, but, I think that there was something bigger though to Brent. That I I want, to talk about which is one. Of the things that was fantastic it, still is you, know I I came, to you. Summit, and and talked with Sheldon some then too and, just kind of catching up with him and. You, know we've, tried. To connect. Outside of that as well and. One. Of the things that I realized through that Sheldon did so, well so. Often, was he would just see, you. Know kind of to your mentors point like hey listen, you. Do this thing really really well maybe. You should do it more, or, maybe you should do it more outrageously. You, know and so, Sheldon, would always take these opportunities to be like David you're a little bit outrageous and you're not afraid to do anything so maybe you should be more outrageous. And maybe for, things that are people, like oh my gosh did he just do that and so, that led me to starting. Up a new business because. I figured out a legion, tool that was crazy, that no one was doing and it started working and then I was like you know what I can do, this for other people other. B2b, companies, and. Now. That's like taking, off and so it's. It's interesting to, me to kind of just have. I. Think. About the impact that he had on my life not. Only in the 10 weeks of boot camp but. The lessons that I'm still gleaning, from the time that I had with Sheldon I mean, it's like a storehouse, of, wisdom, and insight, into myself and, into, my business that's, helping us really. Progress to. The places that I want to be, I'm. Just picturing a Sheldon right now listen to this episode is his, head growing. Just. A little bit bigger we, might have to you were planning, the mentor retreat right now for, April, or something like that and we, might have to make sure the doors are wide enough to let. Him in. Yeah. Maybe and that's okay he, deserves it he's worked hard. Yeah. Probably I want, to go back to something you mentioned earlier, which i think is whether. You intentionally, did this or it, was just. A lucky. Lucky. Tactic, you went back to your clients, and you. Said what do we do best and you, used your customers, to. Help you again get outside perspective, because sometimes it's difficult I think when you're inside of the system to under I think it's, literally like a law of physics like if you're inside the system you can't understand, the system like is something that physicists, and mathematicians and.
Stuff Say. That you can't understand, a system while you're in it and, so, you. Went, to your clients, to basically ask them, what you did best was that something that you just thought was a good idea. Talk. To me a little bit about that. Yeah. So I I. Knew, that I wanted to figure out you. Know what what. Is it that people how do people see us you, know and, I. Knew. That that was gonna be something that was really vital, to understand, if we were gonna make a big shift like saying hey. We're a full digital agency, that does websites, and, even, does print work from time to time you know like that does all these things to, saying hey we only have this finite. Set of services, and if you want something else I've got a you know a list of shops somewhere, else and I wanted to know. From. Them from their perspective, what, did they think when they think about us what do they think and so yeah it was super intentional, brain because, it. Gave. Me a window, into. Really. How we're perceived, by the people that pay us thousands, of dollars every every. Month and tens, of thousands of dollars every year so, that we could scale up and I'm even at I'd be bold and I just ask them questions what do you want to see better when you want to see more of what do you want to you, know if if we could do something what would you want us to do on top of the service that we already provide you, and, that. Was I was fascinating. I mean truly. Fascinating. To discover you. Know that people were like hey, listen I don't really, want a dashboard, you, know that, there's all these great service all these great software's out there we can have like a dashboard that they can just go check out every. Single day, on their leisure time and I found out from all of these these. Clients. We had they're, like you know what just just, send me a report, the. Middle of the month tell me how the 1st through the 15th went, and then send me a report at the beginning of the next month telling me how to previous month month went oh I, want to look at things twice a month and I want the KPIs, in that email if you guys could put an infographic together that'd be great and so literally, that transformed. Our reporting, we, saved, money Brent because we stopped paying for, a really, expensive, dashboard. I mean it I still this is still something that I do and, so, we're at this point, in our business right now this is unique, but. We don't lose clients. For reasons, that are within our control very, often anymore, we do. Sometimes. But for the most part it's like I had, a series. Of. You. Know I had a client. Who owned a, number. Of offices. Around here that they provided a medical, service and so it was like 10, offices here in DFW, well, it, was a husband-wife. Partnership. And they got divorced and, so, all of a sudden they like split the assets we're selling it off like it, was crazy so I lost a client for that reason I lost, clients. Because, they mismanaged, money, I lost clients because we grew them so large they, got bought by somebody else and they. Brought in their own agency, and so every, time that those kind of situations have come about I've just asked, those, people that I've worked with you, know because they had a good experience. Hey, what, what made, you like. What do we do well what did we not do well what, would you want to see us do better, differently, and, I've tried to even do that with some clients that have fired. Us for reasons. That we're with it we're were with it in our control you know and. Sometimes I don't get great responses, on that but, I'm. Always trying to learn I'm always trying to get better I think it's so valuable and I think so many business, owners not just agency, owners but businesses. In general rarely. Take the time to ask their. Customers, their clients, hey what can we do to. Make ourselves better, serve, you I don't.
Know If it's you, know in some cases I don't know if it's the time told if you go back maybe they are you, know don't want to hear the answer or are a little scared to ask such questions, I mean, really, I know in the services business I mean relationships are, it's. It's it's like a rollercoaster ride sometimes. That maybe people are sitting there thinking themselves gosh, I don't I don't really want to know the answer if I ask my clients Howard. But. I mean I think I love that you you know not only are. Or. If you are scared to ask them for that feedback that you're you're willing to face it and actually make changes and improve based. On that feedback I think that the lesson, learned that, this helped you to get. Rid of a whole bunch of services that weren't really adding, value to your clients not only, that but get rid of maybe, some some technology, or some expensive, licensing, things that was, an assumption that you guys were making that maybe you like dashboards but your clients actually hate dashboards, which is separating. The you know separating what you like from what your clients, actually like which is, you. Know we I feel like I went through a very similar thing like we really, liked building, our own platform but. When we actually talk to our clients, what they really liked was more, time with their mentors so we're like okay, like we're spending you know 50 grand a month building our own software platform, maybe. We don't need to spend that money anymore we could reshift that to like focusing, on our mentor team so I think that that's that's, an important, exercise to. Go through I think if people are out there right now and you haven't, asked your customers, what they think is your most valuable service, or what. You do best. That's probably a quick win or a place, to at least start getting that feedback I mean it's not gonna be the. Silver Bullet likely, but for. You guys it sounded like it was a leading. Indicator or, one step in the journey to. Doing. A really big shift in your business so congrats on that yeah. Thanks man, absolutely, you're absolutely spot-on so. David this has been fantastic, i love we've. Touched on partners, we've. Touched on the. Power of mentorship in your business. Your. Overall, business model shift and some of the wins, you've gotten there are. You ready for our lightning round yeah. Let's do it man all right what, is the best advice you've ever received. Well. The best advice I've ever received personally.
Was. Rip. It like, just go for it you know I think so often I. Will. Have this tendency to be like how are people gonna think that's weird is that gonna be over the top and what. I found is you, know when, I go over the top people notice, us people, stay. I stand out in people's minds, and you. Know example, from that was. I went to a HR. Convention. Like a human resources convention, and one. Of our niches, is human resource. Service. Providers, so we're not targeting, the actual. HR departments but the people that service them so, I went to the convention, in my target were the people that had booths and I. Wore. A suit and I. Had, this huge like hiking, pack. And, in the. Hiking pack was covered, with stickers. That said asked. Me about soap, operas and then inside I had, a, head. And, a head of like our URL landing page for the conference and then, inside. I had shot, glasses that said working, with HR pros, question, mark alcohol. Is required, here has, our URL. On the other side and so I just go up sees boost and I'd like hand out these shot glasses and sort of conversations, and I. Got so much business from it Brent just because I was bold and I ripped it man and I was just like you know what of course. I should go to an HR convention. And hand out shot glasses because it's, counterintuitive. To what everyone else will do and what, they're thinking so, yeah why not it and I just liked that earlier in our interview you. Made a point of saying, you. You are not if, you guys had an HR team. They would maybe not be happy with with the behavior, yet, you serve the HR niche and. Then you try to get them you. You encourage their drinking habits what I think is perfect, all, right David which of your personal habits has contributed most to your success. Yeah. For me I think, personal. Habit wise. Man. It's, just been this relentlessness. I. Give. Myself so as an. Entrepreneur and especially, as an agency owner man. It's so easy, to. Have a bad day. For. No, reason and so one. Thing that I've really been strategic, about is to never allow a, bad. Day to turn into two and so, I just kind of have this ability, honestly. Brandt and I do, this intentionally, where, like I let. Myself have a bad day and I'm like man today sucks, it's miserable and then. I, put. My head down on my pillow before, I go to bed and I go okay and now, it's over and so the next day I just wake up and I get, after it again and so that's really been key. For us is just this ability, for me. You know what I'm not gonna let yesterday define. What I do today. Good or bad. Yesterday's. Done and today is here, and the president is now, and if I don't get after it then, we're not gonna do and accomplish the things that we have, set in our minds, that's. Really powerful you share, an internet resource, or a tool that you use that you think our listeners would find valuable. Yeah. So. Man. I love, personally. I love buffer, there's. A lot of different scheduling tools out there for, social media we, have, been using buffers since they were quite, small so, we actually got grandfathered, into a really cheap. Price. Point there and we think that their analytics, are better than their competitors and for the price point it's. Really tough to beat as well, so huge, fan of buffer, for social media scheduling, and. What. Could you recommend and why. So. We. Actually have a series, of three books that we give to all of our new staff members, and we, kind of call it the rethink Bible, and one. Of them is my favorite it's, called the compound, effect by Darren Hardy and, I. Love, it because honestly. If. You're looking to make a change in your business or, make a change in your personal, life you know. It's. Going to come through a compound.
Effect Of, the, small things that you do day, by day and, he. Just does a really great job of giving excellent, examples, of hey by, just cutting out 100. Calories a day over. The course of two years you lose like 30 pounds or whatever I mean it's it's, really simple steps, that he kind, of gives us an examples, of the difference it can make in your business and, in your life and, so after. Reading that book I, actually. I read it several times I lost. 40, pounds. Ended. Up firing my business partner, and. Ended. Up growing the business really, large because I started setting, up consistent. Habits that. Were small steps that add up over time. That. Book. Has not yet been recommended, so I always always find that a win when people bring new new, reading material to my list, and hope our listeners, appreciate. That we'll link out to those tools as. Well as that. Book in our show notes guys so make sure you check. Out our website at ugurus.com. Click. On podcast, to find this this episode here with David Valentine and, you guys will have all that info for, you at your fingertips. And. David, how can people find out more information about you, yes. You can go to resync, dot agency, we got. That sweet URL and, or you can shoot. Me an e-mail at david, at rethink, creative, dot org, o RG. And, brain. I've also got this sweet deal that I want to throw out to that. New company that I alluded to that I started, it's a creative, direct, mail marketing. Company. And we, actually send, out creative, mail pieces on, your, behalf or to or. For your clients, and we're already starting to work some pretty big-name companies. And, we actually use it for the agency and it's helping us grow so, people want more information about that they. Can reach out to me or they can go to better than a letter calm. Cool. Man and I'll I'm. Excited to check out that service, as, well so you guys can take a look at that we'll also link to both of those services or his website is email as well as, that. That new service, David thank you so much for stopping possible. Program today this has been a great, conversation great, interview. Yeah. No I I. Really, appreciate, it Brent I love, everything, that you Guru's does and, the space that you. And and Steve, and the. Mentors, and your entire team creates, for. Agency, owners it's a phenomenal, community to be a part of and I, love, the opportunity to just, speak and give a little bit back awesome. Or we're, very privileged, to have you a member of that community it was cool hanging out with you this, last year at used some and hopefully we'll see you out here this. This this, year again we'll be announcing that very, very soon for our next you, seventh 2018, so Lori. Sign. I. Signed, up the, the last day of you summit, in. 2017. Are you signed up for 2018, Paden everything, man so yeah I'll be there buddy nice nice, well stay, tuned for those those dates we we. Did sign a contract, but well. We'll announce that soon so David yeah thanks man for stopping, by today this has been fantastic, guys. Stay tuned for more great content coming, at you every week, hear from, you gurus on the digital agencies, show. Until. Then i'm brent, weaver. Thanks. Again for tuning in to the digital agency show before, we close out i wanted to check in on your answer to my question from, the beginning of the episode are. You stressed out, cash crunched, fed, up with your business now if you feel this way you might think that you have a lead generation problem maybe that it's the area you live in or, that this market has gotten too competitive maybe, you think that your business can't be turned around and i want you to think again in my many years of experience i can tell you now it's, something much deeper that you're likely not even aware of yet it's, like a client, who says they need a website facebook, ads or a mobile app when they don't even realize it's, a deeper challenge as blocking them from success, now. If you'd like to find out what your deeper, challenges, then, i want to invite you to apply for a strategy call where we're gonna dig into those underlying issues in your business and get you moving forward like never before the, aha moments, that you're gonna have will shift the way you think forever and you'll finally get the answers as to why your business hasn't taken off the. Number one most, important, decision to rapidly, grow your business it starts by booking your you gurus strategy, call today go, to you gurus comm slash apply to, start the application process for the spree call once, again go to ugurus.com, slash.
Apply, To, get started thanks, again for tuning in join us next week for another episode of the, digital agency show. You.