It all ended and started with one meeting. I had become “redundant” in the best job I’ve ever had and my first one out of university. It was unexpected, unfamiliar and unnerving. I didn’t know at the time, but it was my innate entrepreneurial resilience that enabled me to move on 12 hours later and start my new chapter in life.
The next day I was planning my immediate departure to South America to go on a life-changing trip. Like most backpacking trips, I expected it to be inspiring and character molding but I could have never expected it to have the impact it had. Four months into the trip across South America, I found myself on the peak of Wayna Picchu, overlooking the breathtaking sight of Macchu Picchu. I reflected on my journey, how I’ve never really been in my element till these past four months and then it clicked:
I need to take my life into my own hands and enable myself to work anywhere in the world I choose.
This journey doesn’t have to conclude by going back home and getting a corporate job like everyone else. I will continue my world expedition by starting a location independent business and igniting a manifesto of true lifestyle autonomy. One year later I was able to achieve my goal. I had created a business plan to increase measurable revenues via digital means and approached my old employer. I offered a percentage of increased revenues which they couldn’t refuse because of the prospect of unlimited upside and minimal downside.
“Don’t think that company cultures only belong to large corporate companies and yoga studios.”
Fast forward 2 years into the business and I had made the same employer that laid me off additional millions. I had a great testimonial under my belt and the location and schedule freedom that I originally strived for. What else do I need? That’s when the innate entrepreneurial urge kicked in again. It wasn’t enough. Don’t stop pushing the envelope!
After a trip across Europe, I had been able to secure five new premium clients and a partnership with Google. I was sitting on the cusp of opportunity and I was the bottleneck preventing further success. It’s that ironic bypass that many entrepreneurs hit. The same person and reason for the business’ original success has become the bottleneck. It’s one of the greatest hurdles that solo entrepreneurs face and sometimes never surpass.
How do I replicate myself? Human cloning was far from available so I had to resort to hiring and training. With the nature of the location independent business, my hiring practices were not restricted to my location. However, training remotely did have its difficulties but wasn’t insurmountable. I made my first two hires in the Philippines and I was lucky enough to onboard two talented team members that didn’t have the capabilities but definitely had the propensity which we still enjoy in MonetizeMore today.
Through my trials and falters, I was able to improve my hiring and training and the new team members evolved from challenges into vehicles to further scale the business. Throughout the years we continued to hire steadily as we grew our client base and optimized our processes. The company was growing consistently, however, I knew we could never hit our potential without technology.
Automation started with the hire of our CTO in 2015. We built a talented developer team around him and have been able to scale innovative ad technology that has made the company fully scalable and has accelerated the growth as envisioned. This third step of automation definitely proved to be the most difficult but also yielded the greatest reward.
This year we hit 8-figures for the first time and experienced one of the strongest growth years ever. Looking back at the last 8 years of up and downs, the below three takeaways stick out as the most important:
- Designate -> Eliminate -> Automate: To scale a business, you must first designate one task at a time to other team members to eliminate yourself as the business bottleneck. Once you eliminate yourself as the bottleneck, analyze the processes and eliminate the unnecessary steps. From what’s left, automate whatever you can.
- Developers are an Asset: If you treat developers like commodities as if they are replaceable team members, you will never build something special. Invest in developers like you invest in a business. They have the potential to yield incredible return with sufficient investment.
- Culture is Your Rock: Don’t think that company cultures only belong to large corporate companies and yoga studios. A purposeful company culture that is enforced by each team member is like the momentum of a snowball that continues to build into a snow boulder. There are few things more powerful than gaining momentum.