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Firing someone for the first time is to this day one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

It’s one of those things that every agency owner has to go through at one point or another.

And it’s never easy.

The way I see it, there are two reasons to fire an employee:

One is performance-related.

To be honest, this one can get complicated to work through. While it’s out of the scope for this article, I recorded a podcast with more thoughts and details that you can listen to here:

And the other reason to fire…

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I grew up living the so-called American Dream. But the cold-hearted truth is that this “ “ is less about reality and more about appearance. It’s less about and more about

We want to look like we have money, but we HATE openly talking about it. My parents didn’t even tell me they had taken student loans for my college or how they worked!

Money and personal finance were sources of incredibly high stress on my household, but we couldn’t let others know -that was taboo!

Something wasn’t right. I didn’t want to have the same relationship with money my…

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There were also things I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

I mean… how could I? I was just figuring things out as I went along.

I don’t believe in mistakes. But I do believe in lessons -and in learning from them. Jakt is now a $4M/year business but, looking back, I wish I knew certain things.

One of those was when (and why) you should invest in marketing for your company’s brand.

Is marketing worth your time in the beginning?

During Jakt’s early years, I was extremely focused on serving our customers. Which meant I would spend a large share of my time doing production work.


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[Youtube] Watch me talk about this. [Podcast] Listen to me talk about this:

If you scroll down through any social media platform, you’ll be flooded with so-called marketing gurus.

Apparently, they’ve all “discovered” the latest, most innovative strategy that, in 5 simple steps, will bring you more clients than you can possibly manage.

Look, if you’re reading this article to find a groundbreaking technique, I have a feeling that you’ll be disappointed.

I don’t have it.

I don’t have the coolest FB Ads hacks.

Or the newest LinkedIn cold-messaging tips.

I just don’t.

What I do have is a $4M/year…

I talked about the importance of sales in a recent article. Basically, my point was that they should be a priority for many (if not all) business owners and CEOs — especially in the beginning.

I also argued that the way I grew my business in the early days was not through some groundbreaking marketing strategy.

We didn’t use Facebook ads. Or PPC. Or Youtube ads…

And, for the most part, we still don’t.

I just went out and talked to people. I met with them and found out what they needed. What their problems were. How I could add…

When you run a business, there will be some days where you’re just… off.

You’re not on your game. Can’t get focused. Can’t get shit done.

And you’re not feeling it.

Something I like to do when that happens is getting a workout in and making my blood pump. That’s what’s worked for me but we all have different ways to blow some steam and get back on track.

I recently went through one of those “cloudy” days where I wasn’t feeling too great.

I went to the gym so I could try to clear my head. And, while I…

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As an agency owner, you know that the people in your team are a huge factor in your long-term success.

In the early days, maybe it was just you doing the work. You had a unique creative gift that you used to help other businesses.

But as the demand for your services increased, you started adding people around you.

At least, that was my experience with Jakt. And we’re now at 20+ people between employees and contractors. You’d expect to face many challenges as you grow the company. I sure did.

But one that I didn’t expect is this:


When running a business, it’s easy to let your heart and gut drive your decision-making and forecasting. If you aren’t measuring actions and results, forward progress is difficult and unpredictable. A guessing game of sorts. Defining important metrics that you’ll keep an eye on, tracking them over time, and continuously analyzing them will help you monitor the health of your business.

I have taken this to heart in all the companies I run. And that’s something that, while it might seem tedious and repetitive, I pay a lot of attention to. …

During Jakt’s early years, I remember how invested and focused I was on sales.

I really believe that, while they should always be a priority, they require even more of your time and effort until you have reached your first revenue milestone.

Should you be architecting the business machine at the same time? Absolutely. You still need to be designing and creating your systems from the jump. But sales is the fuel that gets the machine fired up.

But once you have the engine going, you’re at a very critical point in your company’s growth.

What brought you here won’t…

Through interacting with business owners and CEOs, I’ve seen that some of them struggle to test cultural fit when hiring new employees. People and culture are two extremely important elements. But it’s hard to tell whether someone will embrace and add up to your company’s culture or not.

I’ve seen this first-hand after running a business for 7+ years. But that’s something you have to get right –at least, as right as possible.

Culture fit is not an exact science.

You never know how new employees will adapt. But you as the business owner still need to take steps to…

Anthony Tumbiolo

CEO of @byJakt, a digital product studio || 5 Lessons that Would Have Saved Me $100,000+ →

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