Coffee Over Microphones: Vision casting advice for a young agency owner with Andy Mork

When someone asks Tiffany to coffee, she asks to do it on the mic. In this coffee over microphones chat, Andy Mork seeks out Tiffany’s advice on vision casting for his young business. Andy’s videography agency is in a comfortable spot, and Andy is unsure how (or if) he wants to scale. Tiffany helps him vision cast for himself and the business, and reflect on his own fears that may be holding him back.

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When someone asks Tiffany to coffee, she asks to do it on the mic. In this coffee over microphones chat, Andy Mork seeks out Tiffany’s advice on vision casting for his young business. Andy’s videography agency is in a comfortable spot, and Andy is unsure how (or if) he wants to scale. Tiffany helps him vision cast for himself and the business, and reflect on his own fears that may be holding him back.

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Tiffany: Andy Mork and I met in person at an event and he said, Hey, can we get together? I've got some questions for you. He runs a video agency, so like similar in that we're both in marketing and we're both service businesses, but definitely an adjacent. Focus area. And, um, so I said, yeah, let's chat. And, uh, as I do, I said, let's jump on the microphone.

Andy is at a place where his business. At its current size is really successful. And Andy really likes certainty. Andy really likes control. Andy really . Likes, to like, know what's gonna happen next, and he was, you know, starting to feel this idea that he couldn't quite see he was.

Tiffany: You know, struggling with what is the vision for what's next and does there need to be a what's next? And so as a visionary, somebody who's perpetually living in the future, which is me, it was fun for me to see and feel him working to the edges of his comfort zone to say, what could this company be?

And. Does he want it to be? Because sometimes those are two different answers to those questions. So we work through some fears, we work through some assumptions that he has around what scaling would look like. Cuz it can be a really scary idea to like kind of push all your chips back in the table. I think you're really gonna enjoy this conversation.

It's definitely a mix of business and personal

Tiffany: You wanna start by telling listeners kind of who you are and what you do in your life.

Andrew: Sure. So my name's Andy, I own Mork Productions. We are just about five years old. We're a video production company, that specializes in short form content for businesses and organizations looking to, communicate something to a target audience, whether it's advertising for a product or, promoting an event calling for donation dollars.

Um, whatever the goal happens to be. We're trying to communicate that call to action, to a target audience for them in short form, um, usually sits on television commercials, um, social media websites, conferences. We've done a couple pre-roll ads for movie theaters, although that's been less common since COVID so, um, but yeah, it's a lot of fun.

Tiffany: Awesome. So what made you like say, Hey, Tiffany, I wanna get together with you. I would love to just hear about how you got into the business and all that, but we can start with like your questions if you'd like to.

so I'll tell you a little bit of my, my background. I was a music major. so I'm a drummer

Tiffany: Hmm.

Andrew: And, uh, when I graduated college, um, with my major, I joined a nonprofit that, um, was fairly large and sent me internationally to their various conferences and outreaches, to help provide the music.

So I was on this music department of this giant organization playing music around the world. Um, Spain, Australia, Greece, Turkey, like all over the place. And, um, it was a phenomenal way to spend my twenties. Um, but as I was traveling, you. I wanted to capture, what I was seeing. , you know, standing in front of the Sydney opera house, I wanna take a picture.

So I bought a DSLR and, um, immediately fell in love with that art form. Uh, there's a lot of similarities, um, to music in photography and videography, um, especially videography. So I started taking online classes and, and just creating in my free time for several years, to the point that my boss took notice and was like, Hey, you're getting pretty good at that.

Would you like to do that for work as well while we were traveling? So I started producing promo videos, and hype videos and testimonials and all sorts of stuff for this organization. Um, did that for another five years or so. Um, but working for a large organization, uh, this was like 26,000 staff.

Um, it's kind of hard to move the ship and, I was very driven. I wanted to do more and create more and that sort of thing. Um, but very much held to the, the meetings and the standards and the logistics and the red tape of being in a large organization like that. Um, so I was getting restless and one of my buddies who's in business, he owns like five or six businesses, reached out and he owned, he owned a marketing company at the time.

Um, he's like, why don't you come work for me and be our video production arm for this marketing company. Um, so I took the leap and started working for him and six months in, we sat down for lunch and he's like, honestly, I feel like I'm holding you back. Um, just because of the nature of the business I don't know, you know, your experience when it comes to. Your clients, but like the most often needed things are website tweaks and content, blog posts and stuff like that. But video isn't necessarily top of list. Um, usually it's project to project. And so, um, he felt like I wasn't being fully utilized and he's like, what if I helped you start a company?

And I had no experience in business, no idea what I was doing. Um, but he was willing to do it with me. Mm-hmm um, so he said, I I'll take 40% of the business. You take 60. Um, I'll give you a budget to buy gear and you'll pay me back on it and I'll teach you how to sell . Uh, and so we started the business, in 2017, August 8th.

and it was a little scary at first, but. My goal, my initial goal was to replace my income, um, and did that within six months. And then it just kind of kept growing and I was able to start hiring people. And, um, now we're where we're at today.

Tiffany: how many people do you have today?

Andrew: just three. Okay. Um, and so meanwhile, during all of that, I had another friend who owned another marketing company. he works exclusively with colleges and so his business model, uh, he's got 12 clients at any given time. No more, no less. And. Each each client, you know, he's working with a college, helping them, them boost their admission rates through Instagram posts, micro sites, that sort of thing.

Um, so if he gets one extra student to come to that college, that's potentially a hundred grand in revenue over the next four years for them. So if he boosts their admissions rate by like 5%, that's millions of dollars. Um, so he get paid pretty well. Mm-hmm um, he had a team of four, one business partner and two developers.

Um, and he was making about a half million a year. He was overpaying his employees by a significant margin. Um, and is one of the most generous people I've ever met. Um, you know, he would talk to someone in need at our church, um, who like just had a car breakdown. It's funny, I'm talking about and he would just buy them a new car.

Um, he's bought someone a house before. Um, he, one of his employees wanted to do a down payment on a new house. And so he just gave 'em a 40 grand bonus cuz he could. . and since they're all college clients, um, the summer he's working like five hours a week. And so he's able to go on these international trips with his girls and his wife, and he just had this really cool lifestyle that I wanted to emulate.

Mm-hmm . Um, and so fast forward to where we're at now. my goals when I initially started the business were to first of all, create videos with purpose, um, that would impact my clients, in a positive way. then on a personal level, be able to break six figures, which I had never done in my life. Um, be able to afford the things that my wife and I wanted to do.

Um, so we were able to move into a bigger house. I'm able to drive the car that I'd like to drive. Um, my wife rides horses, which is not cheap

Tiffany: mm-hmm

Andrew: um, And be able to have that, that lifestyle freedom that I saw in my friend. So now I'm five years in and I feel like I've accomplished a lot of those goals.

Like I'm, I'm not making a half million a year, but I'm doing all right for myself. And, uh, now I'm looking down the abyss of the next five years, uh, or the next 10 or 15, um, and trying to decide, okay, now what, um, and so one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you is, you are very well respected, in the indie circle, you know, as I've networked around and got to know other creatives, they always talk very highly of you.

Um, Brian Kiki is my coach as well. Shout out to Brian. I mean, he he's been with me since day one, of our business and I, I owe a lot to him. Um, but he's. Talked you up and he does not talk people up unless they deserve it. um, but it seemed like, it seems like you have a lot of insight when it comes to,

purpose and vision.

And, uh, I mean, when I walked into your office today, there's a, a giant bird on the wall. And, um, you know, when I asked about it, you had a full story

Tiffany: vision

Andrew: behind that, which led to around the wall, which led to these scrapbook of, or diary, whatever you wanna call it of, of stories of accomplishment for your team with custom coins.

And it's like, all right, I think she kind of cares about this stuff.

Tiffany: yeah, I do.

Andrew: do. Um, so what I would love to know about is, you know, where you find that drive and, When you hit a plateau of an accomplishment, how do you figure out what the next step is?

Tiffany: Mm-hmm

Those are really good questions. and Jim Collins in, I think it is built to last, he talks about how one of the most dangerous things is actually when a business achieves its goal.

And when you don't take the time to reassess and create another like big, hairy monster for yourself, it creates a lot of apathy. So I think there's a lot of courage in just asking the question and realizing I'm here now. What, you know, you do look at these people that have picked different paths. Like your friend, where you said he has a lot of time balance, you know, he works five hours, uh, week in the summer, he takes his.

trips with his family and that's the way that they've prioritized their energy and giving what I have found in the way that I'm wired and the opportunities that I feel like God's put in front of me. I'm like just a worker. And

Tiffany: I

used to feel like maybe that means I'm doing it wrong. That I'm always really busy.

But what I find is that I just love it. I love to be really busy. and I have found when I have lots of free time to just like that's unscheduled and open. I'm very unproductive. It's not, it's not a good construct for the way that I'm wired. Um, and I used to think that that meant I was maybe doing it wrong.

that I'm still really busy . And what I have come to accept is that it's how I feel most alive. It's when my mind fire. The fastest it's when I have my most ideas, I like the rush of moving from thing to thing. I like waking up and having somewhere I have to be at eight 15, it just sort of like forces a flywheel of time.

Tiffany: I don't know if that means that I'm like naturally lazy. I don't know, but I just love it. I really like engaging in my life that way. And when I had no money and now that I have more money, I kind of structured it the same way. um, and this energy of intentionality really fuels my

Andrew: body.

Tiffany: Um, and so I use that as a juxtaposition of like, watch what are the days where at the end you're like, holy.

Andrew: crap.

Tiffany: I have as much energy at the end of the day as I did at the beginning, cuz for some reason the whole effort just felt effortless. Um, and so I just started to watch my energy and not just only the way that the day was constructed, but what did I do in it that really gave me a lot of energy and what I have found.

And this is part of where I have had clarity, you know, this in the business that there you're, that we're in, it's different, but it's the same in that we're services. I could probably make a lot more money personally in the short term, by not actually having a company, just because, you know, you get really good at your craft.

I could do brand strategies for great big companies and probably make a lot of income. I wouldn't be able to, I wouldn't have built something that like kind of makes me money when I sleep so to speak. But in the short run, meaning I'm saying like a decade, it is actually probably more profitable to just like.

Kind of pedal out your own talents than it is to invest in the people, the infrastructure, the like occasional losses along the way that it takes to kind of learn how to build a business and a culture and all of that. And so where I've gotten for me is that I just like, I actually love growing other people.

And that is where I get an enormous amount of energy. I don't get tired from the failure cycles. I don't get, mad when people mess up. It doesn't bother me when we spend more money than we should fixing things. As long as I see forward progress, a really, really, really love that journey. And that is what's, created clarity for me as I start to invest in.

There's ways to like passively invest where you give somebody a hundred grand and you hope they return more to you. And then there's ways to like actively invest where you serve on the board. You're an active owner. You're helping a, like your sort of co-founder did. And I like the active side. I just love helping people grow.

And

Andrew: that

Tiffany: discovery has helped me think through what are the different ways that that can be like lived out. Um, one way, like in my personal life is I lead vacation Bible school. That is like a really specific experience where kids who go to our church and those who don't. I know you don't get out of that, you know, sort of week without having moved forward in your life.

And so that growth orientation,is just a decision maker for a lot of the places that I put my time, even in my own household,There's a lot of things I delegate, but it's never the part of like growing the people I delegate the laundry I delegate. Does that make sense? Like, it just informs where I spend money, how I spend my resources.

but I think finding is it making that like really makes time just go away? Is it

Andrew: teaching,

Tiffany: you know, videography? Is it like, is it selling and helping on the front end clients see their stories in a way that they can't themselves? Like, where are the parts of the process or in the like, just construct of your business, where you find like, time just, just does not exist.

And I think that when you're at a place where you realize you have abilities, you realize you can. Earn money for yourself. You were sort of past the fear of just providing that all the things you could do can kind of become overwhelming.

Andrew: Yeah. it was an interesting exercise when I first hired, uh, my first employee, because before then I was working. 80 hour weeks doing everything. Um, I was spending all day doing business development and then all night, uh, editing the videos, um,

Tiffany: weekends doing invoicing

Andrew: right?

Yeah. Right. Uh, and so when I made my first hire, I had to make the decision, what am I gonna have him do? Cuz right now I'm doing everything. So something has to come off my plate and go to him. Um, and I chose editing because editing, at least, you know, in the video production world, you know, when you've got pre-production, that's a touch point with a client when you're doing the production itself and you're on set.

You're having a touch point with the client. When you're editing, you are sitting in a room by yourself, on a computer sifting, through footage, putting it together. Mm-hmm . And, and for me that wasn't very life giving and it wasn't beneficial to the business. Um, you know, if you, if you dump a puzzle in front of me, Uh, with all the pieces and I know all the pieces are there.

I see the picture and I know what the picture is, putting the puzzle together, becomes a chore. Um, and that's kind of how I felt with editing where I know in my interview with the client, I know I got him to say that. I know I got him to say that I know, uh, he brought out that great piece of content.

That's gonna be a great closer for the video. Like I know all the pieces are there in the footage, but putting together all the footage just becomes this monotonous task. Um, meanwhile, on the other side of things, my employee loves it. He, he absolutely loves tweaking the color grade and, you know, shifting something by two frames and he added some graphic that I never would've thought of that just elevates the video to the next thing.

And so like, he's living his best life doing that.

So yeah, what I'm coming against now is when it comes to growing the business from here, um, I worked in nonprofit for seven years in my twenties. Like I said, and I was making very little money. Um, I think for the first four years I was making 23,000 and then I got it raised to 28,000.

Ooh, , you know, it was very little and now I'm doing much better. Um, and, and we are still living below our means, for what we have coming in. So when it comes to money, that's not a big motivator for me, um, to sell more, to do more. It's like, I'm, I'm good. Um, if my wife were here, she would tell you that I'm notoriously hard to shop for, because I already have the stuff that I need.

You know, I already have a nice set of cameras and a nice computer. I live in a house that I like. I don't really need more shirts. You know, I there's, there's not a lot that I'm striving after physically. Mm-hmm um,

Tiffany: um,

Andrew: So that's not a motivator. Um, we're already working with clients that we love, uh, and we're really happy with, you know, the work that's coming in.

So it's not like we're not happy with our client base or anything like that. Um, so there's not really a drive there

and then

Tiffany: from

Andrew: a staffing perspective, I, I do like the idea of what you were saying, like pouring into people and, and letting them be their best selves.

Like, I, I love supporting creatives. I get conversations all the time. People reaching out who are either just graduating college or they're freelancing. And they're like, I don't know how to price myself. And you know, they're saying they're. $250 a video that are, that's taking four days of their time.

And I'm like, okay, look, , you know, we have this conversation and I love pouring into people that way. But, um, with our business, because of the nature of video production, we, we do have some annual contracts and you know, stuff where people have a regular content schedule throughout the year, but it's fairly rare.

Um, in my experience, it's, it's mostly project based where, Hey, we're building a new website. We need to know about us video, or we have an event coming up. We wanna promote it. Um, or we're rolling out a new product. And then, so we do the video gets released, shake, hands done, and then they might reach out to me next year for something else.

But like, it's not a as predictable of revenue as some sort of retainer model where we're managing a website or what have you. And so, because of going back to when I started, I don't have business experience. Mm-hmm , um, Growing the business to greater Heights is scary for me. Um, and I'm not really sure how to make that next step based on where we're at right now.

Mm-hmm, , um, we're in a spot that I'm comfortable, but you know, I look out on your office and, I see tons of people working for you. Um, as a team being creatively fulfilled that you're pouring into. I mean, how, how big is your team

Tiffany: about 45 right now?

Andrew: That's amazing. Like, that's so

Tiffany: cool

Andrew: that you're providing like the livelihood for that many people. And not only that, but they're doing fulfilling work. that's just so cool that you're able to do that. And I, I look at that like, I just climbed a little hill and I'm looking at Mount Everest of this unaccomplishable, you know, from my perspective type type thing.

Um, so when you were early on, you know, year or two in, and I don't know how, what your growth pattern was with this business, like,

Tiffany: I

Andrew: guess, how did you get here?

Tiffany: Yeah, I always wanted to build a business. I learned marketing and I would say brand strategy is really the thing I know as a marketer, I learned it while I was in the business.

I didn't have the skill. I actually think it's harder to build the business. Web developers has the same thing. Like if they're banging programmers, they're like, I mean, I can program my face off, but there's all these other aspects of building a business that become real traps for people who have.

Technical skills, because you have to decide, is that what you actually wanna do with your time? I mean, I don't do hardly any marketing right now ever, like in the haven't for probably the last three to five years. It's business development, it's culture, it's leadership, it's change management, it's coaching it's

Dealing with delicate situations, sitting through like insurance premium discussions, like that kind of stuff is, you know, working with my kind of chief admin officer on like what's the risk policy of our cyber security. That kind of stuff is what you then do is like, how do you make the boat a stable and safe for everybody who's in it, who's chosen to be in it.

And they are the ones that are doing the marketing and learning like practically how to get better at what we do as a business. Um, so I, I always wanted to grow the business. I think it started as an ego thing. It was not as. Pure in its intention, as it is today. Like my grown up self, I had something to prove to myself that I could build something significant.

And in my view of the world, that meant something big. Um,

and I've always been, I mean, now I use the word growth in the context of like helping people grow. Um, and I just actually was on a podcast and I was talking about growth and they asked me, why is it that you care so much about growth? And I said, for the first, I'd never said this out loud to myself, but I was like, I feel most peaceful when I'm in the chaos of growth, for whatever reason, it's just where I'm the most comfortable.

Tiffany: Um, and so I always had that vision,

And I think that, you know, as you're talking about your revenue, cuz that is the most important piece in any business in particular services, businesses, because cultures get crushed when you overhire and have to let people go because you don't have the stability of revenue.

Um, when you have a project that you screw up a client that gets purchased, somebody who moves on those variables, that we can never control and services, businesses, the ability to sell and get new revenue allows you to like keep momentum through those things that can be just literally like killers in this business.

Um, and you know, I look around the industry in this city in particular and there's not very many like generation three agencies. They last for 25 years, the principal like is.

Andrew: is

Tiffany: Impressive. They get on a bunch of boards and make some rich friends. You know, you have a few anchor clients, you try to get the like next generation to take it over.

They're just not as invested. This business is a grind. And when you're like 53 and a half, you're suddenly like that. I don't know. I don't know if I wanna sign another 10 year lease where I'm on the hook for a million and a half dollars of fixed cost. I don't know. I think I'm out. And then they go away and it's like, why?

Like, why does it have to be that way? And so

my

business background is, has brought this focus of like, how do I build an organization that is amplified because I'm a part of it, but doesn't exist because I'm a part of it. And. Um, building the infrastructure and the people and helping them build their personal brands and building revenue channels that aren't just me going out and being , you know, a revenue fair and then bringing things back cuz it doesn't scale.

Right.

Um, and so that is where I'm really spending my energy at element three is beginning to think through what does that look like and how it is it move beyond me though. I'll always be an amplifier to it. Like I always want to be able to, you know, do that for sure. So I think it was always in me to grow a company and I needed it to be big for my own ego.

And now it's for more altruistic reasons. It is about like, I think we help people

Andrew: have

Tiffany: insanely difficult tasks in front of them that get them to grow in ways that they wouldn't. Like just casually opt in too. And when you start to realize like this refinement of doing hard things is a process of self discovery that it really begins to create like this really cool flywheel of cultural growth as I hear you talk a little bit about like the stabilizing revenue thing as a real, a real big deal to having the confidence you need to grow people. One of the things you may want to think about is looking at industries, cuz in my other life I have a podcast company, which is like, it's not video, but it's like a audio subscription, right.

Is looking at industries that spend an enormous amount of money on content marketing. So that the idea of having a video, retainer is not crazy because they already know we're committed to content marketing. If you are gonna have anything worth its salt, you're gonna have written part of it, video part of it and audio part of it.

Um, and I actually think this economic cycle of contraction is really good for people like you and I, because we're now variable expenses. and as long as we can show efficiency and cost per unit and help them see that you can repurpose this sort of centerpiece of content, like you can gimme your written stuff and I can, you know, whatever it looks like that may be a focus for you to say, I can definitely fill my revenue targets with just referrals.

And, you know, I know we've used you in a couple of different project areas like with Y P O and stuff like that, but that doesn't give you comfort to say, I've got 50 grand a month. That's coming in no matter what, and every subsequent contract, and you may have to, you know, get to a place where you say, we only take on 20% of our revenue in any month as projects.

Because it still gives you a chance to creatively flex do favors for people, you know, get in front of really big brands that help your portfolio. There's all kinds of reasons why project work can still be productive for companies like element three and work productions, but using it very strategically for your own sort of ends is where I think the real game is played.

Um, we take on very, very, very few projects anymore because it take costs so much to spin up the team.

Andrew: Yep.

Tiffany: Um,

The first project is difficult to make money on, no matter how much you charge because you're learning the client and how do they like to communicate and are they actually committing to timelines?

And like all the stuff, you know, that you just sort of learn. And so we really have walked back saying like, we're programmatic in the way that we view the world. We believe that's how brands actually win marketplaces. If you're wanting to one and done some things, we totally get that. There's a lot of people that do that.

That's just not what we're built for. Um, we, we will take on some monster websites sometimes. Like there's some big projects that sometimes we'll do and we'll do it strategically. If we're trying to get into a certain industry that we just have like kind of crap portfolio for will be more willing to take on some project work to show that we've got some reps, um, maybe to demonstrate a new technology that we're wanting to like show, we know how to do, like it's kind of a showcase piece, but.

We're not gonna do a run of the mill digital roadmap. We're not gonna do an SEO strategy on somebody who just like wants a project. There's other people who do that. So that would be some thoughts on, as you think about not necessarily growing the company right now, but stabilizing the components of it to say, what is my target?

Is it 50% of revenue in 20, 23 is gonna be under a 12 month contract or more? And just start when you're not in a place of scarcity, that's the time to just like test some stuff, you know, like freak yourself out with what you're asking for as a way to just like test the marketplace. Um, and that's where I think the game gets fun again sometimes.

And we're like, okay, I'm covering rent. It's no big deal. How do I keep pushing myself to create more margin, more stability? Um, Just like cooler stuff for your people to work on, which is a real currency in this business that I think is unique. um, to keeping creative people really engaged in what they're doing.

So it just can't be the same over and over again, which creates this weird pressure on yeah. But that's what we are really good at. that's what we make money at. They're like, well, we already did it. So that kind of stuff.

Andrew: Yeah. you brought up kind of where I'm, where I'm at right now.

Cause like LA, uh, two years ago we experienced 70% growth, which is because it's a new company. Um, the year after that we experienced 40% growth. Um, but this year, my goal is just to sustain from last year. last year we had 80% of our work was project based and 20% was ongoing. I would love to flip those numbers you know, um, but my goal this year is to basically boost that 20% as high as I can go if I have the same revenue as last year, but with more predictability to it.

it would gimme the confidence to hire the next person and therefore be able to do more work to therefore be able to , you know, drive more revenue and, uh, kind of get the snowball rolling down the hill. Um, it's interesting you talking about, looking at potential clients in terms of a portfolio builder.

cuz I feel like that's almost a privilege of a successful business. when we first started like year one, it was like anything that pays the bills , you know, you say yes to everything. Um, the crappy clients, what have you, I mean, we were shooting weddings year one, um, just to be able to get money in the bank.

Tiffany: to joke if you could fog a mirror and had a credit card, like I just need you to be alive. Yep.

Andrew: yep.

Tiffany: we would do work for you in the early days.

Andrew: figure and, and I, I do think we're, we're in a spot where that is a reality now. Like I turn down work. that is paying our rate and everything, but it's just not a good fit as a client.

Um, which if you would've showed me those email threads or phone call logs to myself four years ago, I'd be like, what are you crazy? They're gonna pay you. the amount. Um, what stood out to me for yours was just straight up, just turning down project work, unless it's, a really good fit. And we're just not there yet.

You know, we're, we still need to take on that work to be able to, to pay the bills and stuff. Um, if it's, if it's a good fit.

Tiffany: So, so kind of sure that that can be true. I'll BK you here. That's what I call Brian Kiki. Yep. He would say that's what you believe.

Andrew: And

Tiffany: and so that's what you need to do, but you could also, you could move the pressure from this fact that you feel this choppiness of revenue to the pressure of starting October 1st.

We're not gonna take any projects that don't mm-hmm , you know, hit this criteria, which means between now and then I have to close eight clients are gonna pay me $3,500 a month. I don't know what the

numbers are. I'm making it all up. Yep. Um, and so it creates a very crisp work plan of this is what has to happen to make that true.

You can do it slower. You can do it fast.

Andrew: Right.

Tiffany: And you get to pick your own risk profile, but both can be true.

Andrew: Yeah. So what I've been doing is reaching out to, so we, like I said, we're in year five, so there's several clients who have done projects with us and then called back eight months later and wanted more projects and six months after that.

And what have you.

Tiffany: um,

Andrew: So, what I've been doing from a business development perspective is building my existing relationships and, having conversations like, Hey, you've been buying from us consistently, um, throughout the years. Why, why not just earmark your budget from, for us for the year, and we'll just lock it in and, and plan out your content schedule for the year mm-hmm

Um, that's what I've been doing. And it's been fairly successful. I mean, we've been picking them up, but I, I'm not sure if I have the, I don't know if drive is the right word, like your October 1st suggestion. Um, it, it almost feels like the same anxiety I would get from starting the business all over again.

Totally.

Tiffany: And you don't have to, I'm just saying there are different paths. Sure. Yeah, totally.

Andrew: I guess that that's kind of a personality thing of like completely cause it from knowing you in, in our short time, I feel like that would just. Light you

Tiffany: up fire me up. I'm like, here I go. I'll be back. totally. Yes.

Andrew: Yeah. I would be not getting sleep Uhhuh, you know? Um,

Tiffany: I have to almost create cliffs for myself. Sure. Where I'm like, oh, my word mm-hmm I don't know. It just it's this forcing function. And I said that even in like my schedule, it's like this forcing function of velocity for me of just solving and clarity, um, that comes, I'm not naturally measured and disciplined.

And those are like very trained things. you probably know this in the creative process. There's diverges and convergence diverges. Think of all the possibilities convergence come together. I'm a natural dive diverser. And so if I don't have time as a forcing function to say, pick, you got 10 minutes and you gotta go.

Andrew: I,

Tiffany: It just gets so big. I don't know where to act. And so I use time as a forcing function for like, I don't know, I'll just solve. Um, and I do think it's a learn trap for myself as like pick a date, pick a goal run until you're tired and then you'll get there and figure out how right or wrong you were. You know what I mean?

and, you know, I have a very sophisticated team around me that has made it now much better for the organization, but that's how it was. I'd be like room. How do we do room? How do we do room? How do we do, uh, you mentioned your team, would you say there's people who balance you out within your team that, that are kind of like anchor points to you?

Tiffany: Yes.

Andrew: Um,

Tiffany: Yes, the rest of the leadership team is almost exactly opposite for me. Um, and I have learned to just listen to them and trust them with decision making. Um, we have a really healthy cadence now where they let me be me and all my bonkers ideas. And they like pick off the tree, the ones that have merit and run with them.

And then just like, let me kind of go back to my world. but Kyler Mason who's been with me for eight years is stepping into the president role in element three. I am amazing at the things I'm really, really good at, and I'm really clear about the things I'm bad at. And so creating the space for Kyler to be able to build the business, build the processes, build the infrastructure, build the frameworks, great onboarding, great training, Like all of those things that are important for people who don't like the chaotic beginning.

Like I do,

um,

you, I have to create a ton of space for people different than me to be able to build that infrastructure. So I've learned like I'm a great asset, cuz I love the unknown and I don't need very much information to like, just start figuring things out. But. I never create the infrastructure for people who need more certainty to be able to come and exist around me. And so I have to have people who know how to manage me, um, get the best from me, make sure that that goes into the company and then shield them from me at times too. And I have a ton of self-awareness I'm like great with really direct feedback.

Like I'm as sure as I am in my talents, I'm that sure. In my weaknesses and I can own them both like equally I'm super comfortable with that.

do you have a right hand?

Yes.

Andrew: I, I would say, my initial hire, um, he's basically my number two. he takes on a lot of responsibility. Um, I don't know where the company would be without him.

Um, I bounce ideas off of him a lot. Um, and especially when it comes to the execution on, on certain projects of like, okay, what's possible. What can we do? I'm a firm believer in higher people that are smarter than you. And, uh, our quality went very much up when I hired him for our video work.

Tiffany: So, are you familiar with EOS? Yes. Do you, I mean, do you want you

Andrew: we're too small for Yeah.

Tiffany: To use the tools, but so the visionary integrator relationship, I think knowing which one you're probably more naturally inclined.

Cause at the beginning you have to play both. I played both for probably 13 years. I mean a really, really long time, but I'm, I am a natural visionary and realizing that there were these integrated kind of people where all the stuff I hated they loved was so freeing to me. And so knowing which one you have a natural propensity for will help you be on the lookout for the person that ultimately if you decide to grow it to, you know, 25 30 people, which is kind of the size where I find it kind of needs both more purely knowing like who is the person that you start to figure out?

Like, do I have mind meld with 'em and do we have shared values and just like beginning to like scan the universe, scan the world, scan your community for like, who could that be? Um, even if it's five years from now, I think as an, a smart forward looking exercise, if you decide you really do wanna build the company to be bigger, knowing what your natural propensity is for and like just testing out time with people who are like more visionary or integrator in their, in their makeup.

Andrew: up. Yeah, yeah.

Tiffany: So

Andrew: Where I'm at now. Um, so like I said, we're, we're just about five years in and where I'm at now, compared to where I was, all the things I had dreamed of when I first started I've accomplished, uh, I kind of hit my goals.

And so I'm standing on this plateau trying to decide what's next. And so I, I see three roads or three paths forward, uh, potentially one would be to maintain and just keep it small, keep it, uh, kind of like my marketing buddy, who, you know, his company's 13, 14 years old now, and he's kept the same team of four.

Um, they just do good work for those colleges. He makes a bunch of money and he has this nice life balance. Um, option two would be to take the dive and try and grow it to 10 20 people. And, you know, Boost revenue a ton create an environment like you have, where you have tons of creatives, you're able to almost fully step out of the process.

Um, you know, it becomes this, animal of its own in a way. And then option three would be to get acquired and become the video department of that company, um, which has come up in conversation with several people, um, that have floated that idea to me.

So let's say, let's say you got an offer, you got two, you got offers and you're like, yeah.

Andrew: What would you want in that arrangement? So selfishly the number one piece would be income would be a primary, factor in that. Um,

Tiffany: so stability, stability.

Andrew: That that would be a big one. Um, just from a practical standpoint, am I able to continue the lifestyle that I have right now? Um, just from a practical standpoint, but then anything after that is all based on vision and future.

Um, is this an organization that I could see myself aligning with from goals from 10 year, 20 year outlook? Um, can I align myself with that? Is this a place where we can flourish as a team? Mm-hmm um, cuz right now

Tiffany: I,

Andrew: don't have the confidence to hire new people.

Tiffany: Mm-hmm

Andrew: Mainly because of my personality. I mean, I have the revenue to hire two more people right now easily.

but because of the lack of stability of project work versus predictability, I'm scared that I would have a crappy November, December or something like, you know what I'm

Tiffany: Yeah. Oh

Andrew: Um, and so, oh, I know if, yeah, yeah, yeah. So if I were to join an organization that's 40 50 people and become their video department and there's all of a sudden larger margin of error, um, where all of a sudden it's like, oh yeah, we could hire three more people for you.

And all of a sudden I have a team of six underneath me. Um, and we're doing bigger video production. You know,having that insulation of someone else's organization would allow me to have the confidence to grow a team more because someone is alongside me.

Tiffany: so like I do my job just underneath a bigger company. Right. You're not saying like, I wanna get out from underneath sales or I'm trying to get this piece of my job off.

You're just like, I want

Andrew: help.

Tiffany: Yeah. I want infrastructure that I don't have to build.

Andrew: Yeah. Um, Because if I have the confidence, you know, if I'm jumping from our organization to an organization that's doing 10 to 20 million in revenue, um, for them to invest another 200,000 in a couple more people and we're now they have a client base that we can, right.

Um,

Tiffany: of your revenue comes from their clients or 40, whatever it is. And yeah.

Andrew: stuff. Running a team of like 12, 13, people does not scare me. It's me being solely responsible for you see what I'm saying? So, so that third, that third option of acquisition is intriguing to me.

The scary parts about it is I'm losing control of what I built. Um, a lot of my business owner, friends, when I bring that up, they're like

Tiffany: be careful what you wish

Andrew: Yeah, exactly. Um, my schedule right now is. Amazing. , you know, from an autonomy perspective, you know, that before this conversation, literally 10 minutes before got a flat tire mm-hmm and I'm parked two blocks away.

And now I have to deal with that all day. I have the freedom to deal with

Tiffany: that. Yeah. Right.

Andrew: You know, um, I could take tomorrow off if I wanted to, I could take the next month off if I wanted to. I don't think that's good for the business, but, um, I would lose that if I got acquired, you know, because now I'm reporting to someone again.

Um,

Tiffany: I mean maybe I, I think that, that all those become things that are important for you to get clear on saying like,right now as a business owner, you're held only to outcomes.

Mm-hmm ,

which is the like beauty of the whole game.

Andrew: Yeah.

Tiffany: You know where you're good and you know where you're sick.

That's what I love. It's like the immediacy of feedback is amazing. So some of it is getting clear on you just need to find a culture that is gonna be outcome based, not effort based.

You don't measure your effort right now. You only measure yourself on your outcomes. I

Andrew: you're saying. Yeah.

Tiffany: In your brain. You're saying like, if I move to a boss again, you, we both have bosses.

They're just P and LS. Yeah. Like, you know, like we do. Yeah. Um, and they're outcome based,

which when you're, when you're intrinsically motivated, which is what you are, when you say like, money's not, once all your needs are covered. You're like, another million bucks is not gonna get me to move

Andrew: back.

Right, right. I'll retire earlier. But other than that, yeah. Um, there's not a lot that I'm striving after, you know, from an economic

Tiffany: perspective. Yeah.

So I think it's, you're looking for an outcome based culture. Yeah. Versus an effort based culture, which is like, did you see how many hours I logged? That's like effort based, which

Andrew: that would, that would kill me.

Tiffany: Yeah. This industry is notorious for being very effort based

mm-hmm

it's, which is a whole different podcast.

Andrew: Yes. Yeah. well in a like, um, twist of FA I'm actually meeting BK here at 11.

Oh, that's fun.

Tiffany: yeah, we got four minutes. We can wrap here and then we can go say hi to Brian together. That's great.

So,

Thank you for joining me on another episode of Scared Confident. Until next time, keep telling fear. You will not decide what happens in my life. I. . If you wanna get the inside scoop, sign up for my newsletter. We decided to make content for you instead of social media algorithms.

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