Do It Your Own Way
The Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
Do It Your Own Way
The Inventive Journey
Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.
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you know follow the structure of things because you do need systems and processes and everything else but don't be afraid to kind of go your own direction with things i actually saw somebody who posted on a board an entrepreneurial reward of i'm just too nice how do i learn to you know you know be you know what that bolder stronger meaner sort of type boss or employee and like the first thing and and of course nobody responded when i got into this but i but i said you don't have to like you can be super nice you know when i have uh somebody who screws up you know i i might be you know upset and i step back and i let it happen but then the next day i'm going to make sure that that employee is okay because they're probably beating themselves up you know like you don't have to be that cool that corporate mindset i guess [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur has grown several startups into seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where he helped startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks you have any help with yours just go to strategymeeting.com grab some time with us at chat now today we have another great guest on the podcast jamie barber and uh give you kind of a quick introduction to jamie so i got a degree in pr and worked uh interned at nbc uh for a period of time when did some of their teacher worked on some of their tv shows and then also worked for some small businesses and marketing and theater and real estate had a doc our daughter wanted to step back for a bit started babysitting for neighbor kids and then picked up some side gauges uh doing seo uh for some or some other people and decided to start her own business and initially started it um started out getting it there was a bit of a struggle tried some programs that were fairly expensive that she'll get into so whether or not those were a good idea and how they work and then really uh and then when partnered up with uh someone else she met started an agency um they started to head a different direction went back to square one started over but had some clients started her own new thing and then it's been uh growing that for the past a little while and uh that kind of was a bit of an introduction as to where she's now at today so with that much is a brief introduction welcome on the podcast jamie thank you so i gave a quick and it was a longer journey so but a quick run through of a much longer journey so but take us back a bit back in time when you originally got the br degree and kind of coming out of school and how your journey started there yeah absolutely so uh i always so actually i was kind of a theater kid so i wasn't necessarily sure i was going into you know pr marketing for a while um i sort of picked it based on what i thought would make money or you know like that's what i kind of had in my idea in my head so um so anyway so i so i went into that journey and then was entered into interning with um nbc universal and then uh i worked for like a city i worked for a theater um and it just kind of bounced around in different marketing jobs um and enjoyed some of those immensely actually a lot of creativity got to go into those and then when i moved across country i ended up working for a a large real estate company they're international they build like shopping malls so i worked for them um for a little bit and and like the intro said i had i had my daughter and what when i got back from my you know six weeks off for maternity um i wasn't ready to leave her and i worked for about six months and was sad every day i left her and was like this isn't working for me i need i need to be home so um so i took a hit in income to be able to do that um and i think i think that's probably how why a lot of people end up becoming entrepreneurs is kind of to spend that time with their family uh so at first i was working for somebody else i was babysitting part-time i was working in marketing part-time um as an independent contractor for another person i actually worked under her for five years because she was just a very nice person i think sometimes you stay in places because you have really nice bosses right like they're great people so you stay for a long time so i did and then it got to the point where i i had been doing it for so long i was like i really know this stuff and people really respect my opinion on things and i can probably take this to the next level so i thought oh i'll i'll go off on my own and it should be easy right and it was terribly hard to get clients at first uh i didn't know what i was always making it look so easy to get advantage all the business and get the clients and do everything and i think you know that's a bit of that they're not deceptive but it hasn't been if you don't realize all the things that go around in the back end that uh take to run the business until you get in there yourself and then either find you love it enjoy it and it's always harder than you expect so yes yes and i thought at first the client acquisition was hard and which is kind of funny coming from a marketer right because you you would think that oh you know you would have the tactics but the problem is is you can't see your own business the way you can see other people's businesses so that's one problem another problem is is that you you're like trying to figure out which avenue is going to be the best for for like for your business and are you offering all the services or some of the services and that was one of my big mistakes at the beginning is i was just like i'll offer all of the marketing services i you know i've touched on all these different areas i'll do all the services and that was kind of a bad idea so so i had low paying clients and then uh was struggling and was like you know what i'm ready to grow so that's when you know i bought and a massively expensive course was the idea with the course and then you know because you touched on it was the idea with the course that hey i i don't know all these things and this course will help me to learn all these things and then i'll be able to manage and run the business better and it was that kind of motivation or kind of what took you into the direction of hey i'll you know i'll take this course which if i remember i mean criminal it was a fairly expensive course and at the end you didn't get out of it although you were hopeful but what was before we dive into kind of the end of that what was your initial motivation for kind of going out and taking the course uh it was it was a course that was about like growing your agency so i did think like it's going to give me the systems and processes i need it's going to um it a lot of people had great things have testimonials i mean there are lots of people who have thrived with it it just was not it wasn't it didn't fit it for me as well as it did for other people um and that's because it was shipped it was uh more like on facebook ads which is an area that i kind of was moving away from i was doing more google ads seo youtube ads that that's kind of the direction i ended up going uh was just trusting google with everything so google don't don't mess up you're my livelihood so um so it was it was more of you know there were so many testimonials of people that had grown their businesses through them i was like all right this this is the direction and what was interesting is while i was struggling in the course they had a mindset coach in there as well and the mindset coach during one of the calls i was like you know what i'm doing everything right and i'm not getting any results granted i'm i was a terrible sales person and this is this was part of the reason i was i would choke up a bit on a sales calls and i you know that when you don't have confidence it comes through or when you feel desperate that comes through so i definitely had some things i was doing wrong but she also said to me she was like you know what sometimes things just it's not it might not be your path like you might be trying to smack into this and this isn't the right direction for you and i thought about that a lot and i was like that could be so then when i teamed up with um a business partner so he had gone through the course as well uh had all this uh great uh background in like video and things like that um he i mean he's his company's still going strong uh so when we teamed up we were like okay we have these very different skills and that should pair off of each other really well um i think but what happened was i think i i tried to be too agreeable and i think sometimes you just have to like speak up more and i agreed myself into a hole where the business was growing in a direction i didn't want and it wasn't catering to my strengths at all uh and i needed i just needed to go in a different direction so it was causing a lot of issues i wasn't being heard at all you know like i i didn't really have a voice like my voice got buried so it was important to me to move on at that point uh so when i did i thought great i'm starting over again and i don't know if i can do this again i was exhausted by that point i had put in so many hours so that's growing a business twice basically so i started one business then i grew a second business to a part where it was you know a pretty successful functioning business and now i was going to start over again i was like can i do it a third time well one question before you dive into kind of splitting off you know because i think people get into you bring out a partner and you think one is oh okay it'll be nice to offload or have someone else whether it's you know help to carry the load or bounce ideas off with or help to manage it you know manage everything and it will be a great partnership and also you know kind of have different skill sets and then you get into it and sometimes it works out great and you know partnership is good on the other hand sometimes saying you know i i thought this was going to be good and yet it's not you know you get pulled in different directions as you mentioned or other things and then don't necessarily work out the partnership but how did you kind of come to the the point where you decided okay this isn't working here i've got to do it was like hey we had a major blow out a fight we're mad at each other and i walked out the door and shut they're slammed into the back radius more of a sit down and say hey you know this isn't working or you know have some self-realization and thoughts you know because everybody kind of comes through and some people wait way too long to you know figure out the partnership doesn't work and some people don't give enough time to actually you know work through the growing pain so how did you kind of come to that conclusion that you know you needed to part ways yeah so i would say about once a month i would bring up my concerns and say hey look so he was more on the sales side of things that i was on the fulfillment side of things so i was the one running the team and getting everything done and um i would get pretty overwhelmed i was working a lot of hours i really wasn't making that much because it was kind of always the idea of sacrifice so that we can hire more people so we can build so we can whatever like you need to constantly make the sacrifice and i was getting burnt out and so about once a month i would bring up like hey you know like this isn't really working what you know what direction are we going into plus he kind of he he likes to bounce around like what products he's selling and like to me like i can't do that like it was like adjusting it was constantly adjusting and moving and uh things like that when like i clearly knew what my strengths were and and knew what i liked to to do and i wasn't even doing any of those things i had actually like a few white label projects from other agencies that i would work on and do in those areas that i liked but because that's not what was being sold through the sales portion it's not like that was the part that was being grown so i would bring up my concerns over and over again and then finally it wasn't a big blowout we just had a a conversation and the conversation went like this if okay so if i give you more money right so that's what we had talked about so the financial part came in uh and i'll pay you way more which was fine but it was like will that make you happy and i stepped back and i said nope and that was the realization was that moment right there it was like okay so i could make way more money right now and would i be happy and the answer was no so at that point it was time to move no and i think that's a good realization i mean i think too often we think oh if i just get paid a little bit more i'm under appreciated that and so because that's kind of the natural answers over here you know the natural place that you want to go to and yet oftentimes it's more underlying that just because you make more money doesn't mean you're going to be happy and just because you're still going to be doing the job day in and day out and so you have to step back and say what do i really care about and it sounds like you know once you have that realization that okay it is going in that different direction it's going to be able to do my own thing and be able to set it up how i want and run it i want to go to the directions and offer the products and the services and that i want so now as you part and locally part ways and have that realization decide you'll build your own thing and you're looking at kind of starting over yet again now i think you mentioned this time when you started over you did have a few more clientele you had a bit more business you can kind of bring along with you so it wasn't a complete start from scratch is that right yes exactly so some of that um white label um stuff that had happened uh that was google ads and youtube ads that side of it uh the company wasn't even doing that so that wasn't something that was being sold anymore it wasn't an area where there were any contractors it was stuff that i was personally running on top of managing the other projects that we're running so when i left it was just an amicable an amicable agreement of you can go ahead and take that because one i brought most of them on myself and two that they just weren't even offering the service so so luckily so they came with me but it was kind of the craziest thing i think that there are moments in life when you're just supposed to do things and everything works out and everything happens and everything pours in and that has sort of been what growing this new business has been for me it just sort of clients started pouring in i kept on getting a ton of recommendations um from people that i'd worked with or worked on accounts with and that that's kind of that's still happening like i literally i've put together a marketing funnel for my business so um so this new business has only been around since uh i think june of last year um and i i haven't even launched it like i have a youtube ad file ready to go and i haven't even launched it because i keep on having more clients come in and then i'm like okay i need more help i need more contractors i need more you know this or that to grow and uh and so now i'm trying to look at all of the other stuff in growth where i'm having growing pains up okay i'm too busy again i need more help i need more help so it's that part has been actually the easiest part of this new business was getting clientele now it's keeping up with the demand and uh i'm trying to figure out how to like bring the contractors to be like employees in-house but there's like all these legal aspects of that those being attorneys they always make it hard yeah so so that's kind of the stuff where you know i don't know i i'm at well maybe i need to hire you know people to help me with this or to figure out how this works so uh there's some places you know and it's always you know everybody's like oh well that's not a problem still figuring out how to make sure you still provide good customer service you meet high expectations to deliver on time and you as you grow it it's still things that you have to figure out and solve but it's it is always a better problem to have versus the alternative which is hey i don't have any clients i don't have any business and i'm trying to figure out how to keep the lights on so so you know all these different problems and i think that that's you know kind of a common mantra with all businesses there's always new things to figure out always new problems that's all and if you're not having or having those things to solve then it's probably because the business has stopped growing or you stop improving so i think that definitely sounds like a fun place to be so so that kind of brings us up to a bit of you know where things are at today and kind of you know what your journey's at and kind of with that it's always a good transition to jump to the two questions i always ask at the end of the podcast so first question i always ask is along your journey what was the worst business decision you ever made and what did you learn from it i think the worst business decision i made was trying to follow a mold so i think that so many people have do x y z and you'll be successful and that was kind of the opposite of what i found i found you need to do things your own way what you are passionate about and maybe this doesn't work for everybody but um but i think that if you have the experience and knowledge um in your industry that the rest of it um can be can can kind of can kind of be i wouldn't not definitely not winged it definitely you know has a structure to it but uh you can definitely go your own way with things i learned that a lot of systems and processes that i was taught weren't necessarily what i needed i didn't need to do the gimmicky imagine yourself sales call thing i could just be straight up with clients and say look this is this is what you'll get and they actually just responded to my knowledge and um you know closed just based on our conversations on that knowledge as well as pricing like you know you can't run an agency if you don't price high because you won't make any money and and it is a little harder is it a little tighter sure but um it's allowed me to help a lot more customers that way is kind of keeping price points it's they're not i wouldn't say they're super low but you know kind of that medium range to where you can still make money um and hire help and you know do all those things that you need to do uh so no and i like that could you hit on you know i think that even when i started my own you know my law firm a few years ago there was things that are well entrenched in the legal services industry and you know in the law firm industry and some of them are well justified they definitely make sense and there's a reason why people do them that way and so i call those conventions and get others i sit there and say well just because other people are doing that way does it really make sense or do i want to do it that way is there a different way to do it a better way to do it one that i like better customers like better but i think figuring out what those are not just following those conventions what can lead you down to the pathway this is the same as everybody else if you're doing the exact same thing as everybody else there really isn't a need for you to add your service in the marketplace but if you can figure out what makes you different unique and what makes air give you that that different selling point and and figure out what are those conventions that you don't need to follow i think that's a great path to go down so now we go to the second question which is you're talking to somebody that's just getting into a startup or a small business would be the one piece of advice you give them i think it would be kind of along those seam lines so uh follow you know follow the structure of things because you do need systems and processes and everything else but don't be afraid to kind of go your own direction with things i actually saw somebody who posted on a board an entrepreneurial reward of i'm just too nice how do i learn to you know you know be you know what that bolder stronger meaner sort of type boss or employee and like the first thing and and of course nobody responded when i got into this but i but i said you don't have to like you can be super nice you know when i have uh somebody who screws up you know i i might be you know upset and i step back and i let it happen but then the next day i'm going to make sure that that employee is okay because they're probably beating themselves up you know like you don't have to be that core that corporate mindset i guess and and to me it's all about the people serving the people and serving the people who work for me like i'm i feel like i'm more in a servant role than i am in a leadership role and i think that when because i have that mindset people are happier working with me so i that's my huge advice is do it your own way no and i think that you know when you do it your own way you're much more passionate you're much more excited and you do a better job and that definitely resonates through to your clients and so they can tell you know if you're just kind of going through the motions or if you're the same as everybody else you're not really excited they're not going to have any more passion about our excitement than you certainly are and so finding that how to do your own way and do it successfully doing it you know or doing what the market wants while or staying true to kind of what excites you is the best place to be so i think that's a great piece of advice that's the perfect as oh go ahead no that's the perfect way to put it i was just agreeing with you well as we wrap up if people want to reach out to they have they want to be a customer or client they want to use your services they want to be an employee they want to be an investor they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out to you contact me or find out more my website oncallmarketer.com uh there's a calendar book links on there so that would be the best way to get a hold of me all right simple as that so i love an easy way to connect up and schedule some time into chat so definitely encourage people to go to the website check it out and grab some time if you're new to the services or otherwise or later looking to connect up otherwise so well thank you again coming on the podcast it's been a fun it's been a pleasure now for all of you that are listeners if you have your own journey to tell and like to be on the podcast share it feel free to go to inventiveguest.com and apply to be a guest on the podcast two more things as a listener one make sure to click subscribe to your podcast players you know all of our awesome episodes come out and to leave us a review so other people can find out about all of our awesome episodes last but not least if you ever need help with patents trademarks or anything else with your business feel free to reach out to us just go to strategymeeting.com and we're always here to help thank you again jamie and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thank you so much you