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Get Agency Insight from Agency Outsight with Steve Guberman

Published by Summit Marketing Team on 26 Apr 2023

The Virtual CPA Success Show: Episode 79


After a career as an agency owner, Steve Guberman, knows all too well the challenges that digital agency owners face. After selling his agency, Steve founded Agency Outsight, becoming a coach for agency owners who need help navigating the agency landscape and growing their business to that next level. In this episode, Steve chats with Jamie Nau and Jody Grunden about today’s challenges in the industry and why it’s important to have a coach to walk the journey with you.



[00:00:18] Jamie: Hello everybody.

[00:00:20] Welcome to today's episode. Really excited for today's show. We have our first agency coach here today. So I'm really excited to get his insights and really get into the ins and outs of agency life and really hopefully have some good words for our listeners. So I wanna introduce Steve Guberman from Agency Outsight.

[00:00:35] So Steve, tell us a little bit about yourself. 

[00:00:38] Steve: Sure. Thanks. Appreciate you having me. And didn't realize I was the inaugural agency coach here. 

Jody: You are it. 

Steve: Following a long line, so that's pretty cool. Yeah, no, I've been an agency coach for a few years now. There's a lot of coaches out there that hang up a shingle with zero experience as either an agency person or I guess as a coach.

[00:00:56] But I also didn't have experience as a coach. But I've got 20 years of agency experience. I owned my own agency for a decade. And built it up. Ended up exiting through an acquisition. Went to work for the acquiring firm. Spent five years with them. We built their creative and digital teams out, and got to lead their process there.

[00:01:14] And then I left there thinking I was gonna spend the second half of my career on the corporate side. Got a job with tons of promise of mission and autonomy, and it was a pretty toxic environment with none of the above. Still have some PTSD. I'll have a therapy with this session with my shrink later about that.

[00:01:33] But I left there after, eight months. We were deep in covid and started interviewing for creative director jobs around the country. And a lot of agencies were like, Hey, we need you to come in and help us fix that or figure this out, or establish that. And I was like, I could either work 60 hours a week for this agency in Chicago that I wanted to work for 10 years.

[00:01:52]  or I could do my own thing and work for a handful of those agencies and help them figure things out and not work 60 hours a week and [00:02:00] chose, the entrepreneurial spirit in my gut said, do that. That sounds fun, . And I've just been having a blast and I'm so grateful that I listened to it cuz I've, we've gotta work with a lot of really awesome agencies and, explore a lot of really great new things and not work 60 hours a week for, one person.

[00:02:17] So it's, just been a cool journey. . 

[00:02:20] Jody: Yeah. So you owned an agency. You sold an agency, you then stayed on for about five years. Tell us about that experience. Before we get into everything, I'd like to kinda hear what, how that ended up. Cause I, there's a lot of folks out there that are in that process right now of selling their agency.

[00:02:35] We've had probably, oh, just ourselves with probably just under 10, maybe. Maybe right at 10, just over the last probably six months or so. I'm curious, what your experience is and would you do it again, I guess be, would be the other question? 

[00:02:47] Steve: Yeah, so it's interesting because leading up to the acquisition a year prior to it, I went through a very amicable, but still a painful divorce.

[00:02:57] And one of the areas in mediation was, my wife at the time wanted a piece of the agency, and she had been with me since the start and I said, there's no point. I'm gonna be here forever. I'm gonna, pass it on to our daughter, or I'm gonna, you're gonna bury me in the agency.

[00:03:12] And in my heart of hearts, I believe that, and I loved what I did and I loved the 2:00 AM work sessions and I love the pitch sessions and I love the stress of it. And over the next year. The wind just came outta my sales. We lost our biggest agency of record client. I had to lay off some employees for the first time in a decade, and I was ready to just shut the doors.

[00:03:32] And I sat down with my team and I said, I don't know what's next. I don't know. My heart's not in it anymore. I don't know what to do. And I was having a tough time getting traction on BizDev again. And as the owner, I was responsible for BizDev and responsible for feeding people. And my brother was like you built something.

[00:03:46] Why don't you see if you can sell it. And like it never even was on my radar. And now I work with agency owners and in our very first five minutes of a discovery, they're like, I wanna sell, how do I get there? Like that's their path. And [00:04:00] and I didn't want that.

[00:04:01] And it suddenly was like, that's a reality. And so, I pitched a good half dozen, eight or nine agencies, ended up getting three offers. And I chose to work with and move into an agency that I really felt was gonna bring our clients along. Help me. , allow me the autonomy to run the creative and digital team.

[00:04:18] So it was a really good dovetail. . They were a traditional PR firm that wanted to bring in creative services and cross sell that to their clients. And we saw that we could cross sell PR to my clients and it was just a really good match. Culture-wise, not so much, but we, worked on that.

[00:04:33] PR is PR you can't break PR from, like the vibe in a PR agency is never not gonna be that. Financially it was a great deal. Better than I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know how valuations worked. I didn't know and we didn't even do a formal valuation. There was very little legal lease involved.

[00:04:49] But I was comfortable with where we went. They were comfortable with it. It was a I think it was a two year earnout and then I stayed for three more years after that. And it was a really good deal. . I felt taken care of, I felt like the things that I wanted to accomplish I didn't want any I didn't want to be responsible for people eating ever again.

[00:05:07] I didn't. I wanted a paycheck reality, I wanted benefits, like simple stuff that , as an owner you don't typically get, you know. . So it was a very smooth process, and again, it was, a year prior I was never selling this thing. This was something I was building up to either pass down or be here forever and so. .

[00:05:25] Jamie: I'm curious. in your coaching? Your story's an interesting one because I don't think it's an uncommon one. I think a lot of people are a hundred percent into the business until something happens and they're like, oh, wait, maybe I could sell this. But then oftentimes you see 'em either waffle back or like they're just committed on selling it.

[00:05:38] So how often do you see that similar story now that you're doing coaching with agencies? 

[00:05:43] Steve: I'd say easily 50%, 60% of the time they want that on their radar. , let's move, let's work towards how can I get an acquisition? , in most cases, I say, let's work towards an acquisition, even if you don't want it.

[00:05:57] Cuz the DNA of[00:06:00] an attractive agency is just a well run agency. , you've got a solid pipeline, you've got a diverse client base, you're making good money, you're very profitable, you've got good systems in place, which are scalable. , even if you don't wanna sell. , you could probably go skiing on a Thursday if you wanted to with that DNA of a business, right?

[00:06:16] So it just makes good business sense. And I imagine the same is true for any business. It's not even an agency. Take a dry cleaner, is it? are the systems in place? Is it profitable? Do you have a diverse client base? That's a good business. 

[00:06:32] Jody: And that's really the right time to sell too.

[00:06:34] Not when things are falling apart. You're down at your last dollar, you know all that. Takes, it goes the opposite way. And so when you're building your company, I a hundred percent agree. Build it for success. And then when the opportunity happens and you're ready and your PO is doing it, we get clients coming in.

[00:06:50] A lot of times they'll come in and say, you know what, Hey, over the next, I'd like to sell my business. And you take a look at it and you're like, it's gonna take you a couple years to get out of this negative position you put yourself in the last year. So just opening it up and saying, Hey, here's what the future really holds for you, but it's gonna take about three years.

[00:07:07] You okay with taking that ride? And most of the time they are, most of the time they're like, yeah, let's do whatever you have to do. And, great. If the opportunity comes sooner than that, that would be great. And that can happen. Definitely. , but a lot of people are coming in at the wrong time.

[00:07:20] They're hoping that they're gonna get rid of something because they're in a desperation mode versus somebody that's building to sell, they're gonna get such a higher, multiple, such a higher price for it.

[00:07:28] Steve: Yeah. And what a great feeling to build something that's attracting people to want to “Hey, do you wanna sell me?”

[00:07:34] No, I'm good. To be able to turn that down, it's that's such a great feeling. . And I've had that with a number of clients, whether it's the work we've done together or they were just already on that trajectory and, they get knocked, the doors knocks at the door and they're like, no, I don't wanna sell.

[00:07:47] I love what I'm doing. I love the team, I love the clients. But to build it up to, such a stature where, they're attracting that kind of attention is, it's a great feeling. And then be. . .

[00:07:57] Jamie: To say, especially in a service based [00:08:00] business. Like again, if you're selling a special product that no one's ever seen before, you're selling something that's completely unique.

[00:08:05] Like everybody sees on a shark tank. Like obviously those businesses sell and acquisitions happen all the time. But when you're talking like a service based business, like yeah, every agency is a little bit different. But the main difference is when you're looking to buy an agency, it's those little things that make a difference.

[00:08:18] And it's all the things you described. It's oh wow, you have really great processes in place and you have great people. Let's look at investing this, so oftentimes it's even more remarkable in a service-based industry. 

[00:08:26] Steve: Yeah. But you even said something that even adds to a whole other level is having their own IP or their own tech or their own something.

[00:08:34] . That's the true, that adds real immense value. Whether it's tech that they've built that, automates a process or systematizes something or just their own IP on something, saying we're different and saying we're, we do things differently and we've got a unique process.

[00:08:49] you may have a unique process, but chances are it's very similar to your neighbor or your other competitor. Or the guy down the block. But like true IP that you've trademarked, you own the patent on, or you've actually invested time and money into whether it's a SaaS proc or something that takes it to a whole other level.

[00:09:05] We had been white labeling email marketing. . So we had recurring revenue that was, nothing to, sneeze at. But that was pretty attractive also. And again, it wasn't our IP, but it was something that we were selling and we had recurring revenue. And so that kind of a thing, is super attractive.

[00:09:23] Jody: Yeah. Talking about recurring revenue, we're huge into that. Obviously. That's how we developed our process through a subscription based, billing model. How much more value does that give, do you see, are you saying giving potential prospects but more so not necessarily the value, but that sense of not have to worry, cuz you know for us, I don't have to worry about when the next bill, when, if that check's gonna be in the mail, that big deposit's coming in, kinda feed off of that a little bit just from what you've experienced

[00:09:52] with your folks, how many folks have that reoccurring revenue and then what benefit does it give them? 

[00:09:57] Steve: Not enough people have it, that's for sure. Even if you've [00:10:00] got a contract that says, all right, we're good for 12 months, that thing can be canceled at any time.

[00:10:04] There's always an out, and if there's not an out, they just stop paying it, if something happens . But so recurring revenue is a good safety net. . Hopefully it's not the kind of thing where, the agency is resting on their roles and saying, all right, we've got, guaranteed X amount coming in each month cuz it's not guaranteed technology, you know, takes a hit, somebody unplugs something accidentally, somebody screws something up, that's all gone. So knowing that you've got something you can build on is a beautiful thing. But if it's an easier self, it's a commodity based product or something like that, that you can, I had a lower level junior biz dev person who was out pounding the pavement, selling email marketing.

[00:10:38] It was very systematized, very commoditized, and none of our other services work. Knowing that you've got something that you can it's very turnkey and you can just keep the cash register flowing is it's a great comfort feeling. Like maybe it covered, I don't know, some of our overhead, like our rent and our health insurance or something like that each month.

[00:10:55] Cool. I don't have to worry about that. But it can't be all of it. You can't, rest on and be like, all right, we're good. I don't have to, no biz dev for me this month. , I think that if it adds to the target, great. But you have to, keep chasing, keep pounding the pavements.

[00:11:07] Jamie: Definitely, those contracts and those deals really help again, especially cuz that's what a lot of people in agencies, that's the work they want to do, right? No, the recurring revenue is awesome and it really helps us finance people as coaches. But like the people that are on the, like you said, pounding the pavement, like that gets a little boring to them.

[00:11:21] They wanna be doing those fun projects. And so let's turn the directions a little bit here. So I know every agency that comes to us and politely tells us how unique they are, which is great. We love the uniqueness of all the agencies and how they're different, but I think.

[00:11:34] the problems that agencies face are all very similar. So can you talk through some of those problems and what you see as maybe even like the top three commons problems that agencies are facing right now that they can work on?

[00:11:43] Steve: Yeah, I think right now the biggest problem is people like the team, whether it's internal leadership and challenges with leadership and people understanding how to lead either generational shifts or work from home shifts or cultural shifts.

[00:11:57] So people in general is a constant, you know [00:12:00] but the turnover is huge right now. The job market. At least in the agency space, and we see it. You go to a burger joint and they're hiring, like everybody is hiring. So in the agency space, it's very cutthroat. People are getting stolen from agencies at premiums, especially I'm right outside of New York.

[00:12:16] I see a ton of people in the city being, scalped especially females, minorities in mid to senior leadership level roles. So people is huge. I mentioned systems before being essential for scalability. , systems are so vital. Having the right tools, the right processes, there's too many owners that like, Hey, I love what I do and I'm gonna open up an agency and I, it's all gonna, fall on my back and everything's in their brain.

[00:12:43] And if they don't get it out of their brain, they're the linchpin. And nothing good comes from that. So having really solid systems that are reviewed on a regular basis that are optimized on a regular, your number guys, so you know that profits, money just falls outta the holes of broken systems.

[00:13:00] . So if they're not reviewed on a regular basis if they're not updated and optimized by externalize, hopefully, or, at least processes improvement people, then, money's just, falling to the side. I think. And there's a number of systems, but I think pipeline and BizDev is huge, and I even mentioned that fell on me as an agency owner.

[00:13:19] There's so many businesses where it falls on the owner. , getting the owner out of there is so important, in identifying the roles and saying, all right, you're gonna be CEO and you're gonna be COO and maybe you are gonna be in charge of BizDev. But getting somebody, getting that person out of there and turning it over to a system or a process that you can plug, somebody wins the lottery and they're gone.

[00:13:39] Who's gonna do that job tomorrow? . The systems are, you can easily, swap people in and out of that. If it's all well documented and well oiled. 

[00:13:46] Jody: So money falls out of, let me make sure I got that cuz I love that quote, out of the holes of bad systems. Yeah. Love it. Cuz that's exactly you hit it right in the nose.

[00:13:57]  I mean, we're constantly upgrading our processes and [00:14:00] that's basically what Jamie's job is. And he's constantly upgrading processes, making sure systems, are there and constantly. The updating part is a big thing. You can put systems in place, processes in place. , but if you don't follow it and can continue to update it, it gets old and not gets missed. And then you're right, profits start flowing right out the door. 

[00:14:20] Steve: Yeah. Yeah. I think they have to be reviewed on a regular, maybe, stick with them for a good 96 months, something like that. 90 to 96 months. And then take a step back and say, all right, what's working?

[00:14:30] What's not working? , there's so many service-based companies that don't have postmortems when they lose a client, when they end the project. , to figure out what went right, what went wrong, how do we double down on what went right? How do we fix what went wrong so we can prevent that from happening again.

[00:14:45] Even simple stuff like that, takes a half an hour asking clients, what did we do right? What did we do wrong? What could we have done better for you? You know, things like that. All the way to 

[00:14:54] Jody: Why don't they do that? Why don't people, more people do that?

[00:14:56] I'm super curious. We do it. Why do you think most agencies don't do that?

[00:14:59] Steve: I think they're either just too quick, we gotta jump to the next one and say they don't make it a priority. Or maybe they're afraid of what they're gonna learn. Like, nobody wants the shade thrown on them of, what, you guys didn't, really listen to 'em when we were talking.

[00:15:11] You guys didn't really do this. Maybe they don't have the humility from a cultural or leadership perspective. to be open to what people have to say, that they can do better. A lot of agencies are driven by pure ego. Think about the owner that says, I'm so good at something, I'm gonna open a business and people are gonna follow me into battle.

[00:15:31] That's all ego driven. So, I think that might have a good chunk to do with it, but the other, yeah, I think the other part is we're just onto the next one. Move. Keep it moving, and too busy to ask.

[00:15:43] Jamie: Yeah, I think it's really important to have that growth mindset, and I think that's something that Summons had since day one, right? I know that especially at the leadership level, you're never afraid to learn and you're never afraid to make mistakes. And so every time you have a client that walks away, it's, okay what could we have done better?

[00:15:55] And it's not like you go at it as, okay, Jamie, you messed up that client. Now you need to go fix it. [00:16:00] It's okay. What can we do better instead of processes so we can do better? I wanna go back to something you mentioned. 

[00:16:05] Jody: Free to do that, Jamie. It's really easy to throw it back on the client too.

[00:16:08] It went bad cause the client was bad. Yeah. It's if you hear the client was bad all the time, why is the client bad? Did we make the client, what was what caused that relationship? So a lot of times you're right, , we can cast stones away from us because again, probably the ego you're probably hit on the head there, Steve.

[00:16:23] It's ego driven, it's not us, it's them.

[00:16:25] Steve: Yeah. But if the client's bad, let's look back to discovery. Were they not good from the start? And should we not have taken the business and if we said no to the business, would we have opened the door to more, better, bigger, faster? Who knows what else business, and we're so quick to just, yeah.

[00:16:40] Let's take the client. We'll, forget the red flag. 

[00:16:43] Jamie: And that's where the definition, that definition is so important of what is a bad fit. And I think that's where a lot of companies, especially as service-based companies fail, is that they don't know which clients to say no to.

[00:16:52] It's every client that has a dollar that's coming your way, it's like, this is a good fit for us. And so it's knowing that, okay, actually, that client's not a fit because they're too small, they're too large, and it's being able to say no and what is that bad fit? And so that way you can.

[00:17:03] easily identify that quicker. Yeah I wanna take a little bit of a turn here cuz you mentioned something that I don't want, I don't wanna miss out on. So you talked about losing people and you specifically mentioned losing leaders. And so I can't tell you how many times I talk with companies about losing a high performer person that's really good at producing.

[00:17:19] But very rarely do I hear companies talking about losing leaders and how to replace them because obviously a lot of times leaders. Grow from within, right? That person's been with me for 10 years and now they're gone. And so it's a little bit harder to replace. So can you talk a little bit about how you go about making that shift.

[00:17:35] Steve: Yeah. And I think I'm more thinking about mid to senior level, not, certainly CEO, COOs, Director, those people are there. Yeah. A lot of times people say, all right Susan left, we have to find a new Susan. And maybe you don't, maybe you don't need to replace that round hole with the round peg.

[00:17:49] And can you redefine the role and if that person's been in that role for so long, are there new things that it needs to be. or can it be two, lower level [00:18:00] people or I think it's an opportunity to really rethink. who's in that spot or what that spot is defined as. I love the, some of the concepts from EOS where they talk about the right person in the right seat and maybe that seat isn't what it used to be anymore and it's time to evolve it.

[00:18:13] So it's different people now. And I've seen a lot of that. But yeah, because there's so much stealing people from other agencies and there always has been, it's, it. Cutthroat industry. It's a, it's not a new thing. But I think agencies are able to rethink, especially with new services being on board, new technologies can we do things faster, more efficiently with fewer heads or, less topheavy heads and more.

[00:18:39] Technicians or, people on the ground doing the work. So I just look at it as an opportunity, not as oh, we can't function without Susan anymore. No. How do we, make things better or how do we adapt in a better way? And so I don't see it as a negative thing necessarily.

[00:18:54] It is tough to find people though. Talent is really tough to find these days, and it's pretty scary to see yeah, I'm sure literally on all levels. 

[00:19:01] Jamie: And I think what you said is the key there is like oftentimes, if you lose that director level it's, do you look at your managers and say, okay, yeah, that director was doing A, B, C, D.

[00:19:10] Maybe this manager could step in and do AB, but they could also do effort. Really great. So it's really trying to find out what, it's an opportunity to think about the direction of your leadership team. So I think it's a really good point. 

[00:19:21] Steve: And there also might be opportunity where, the people that are remaining, maybe somebody really wanted to move into that spot but wasn't ready.

[00:19:27] So can you cultivate from within? Can help peop give leadership training on an ongoing basis? Not all people that do a craft are really good at leading. And so how, what do they need to be taught? How, are there courses you can send 'em to or is there, leadership summits or things like that coaching, what have you, that'll help guide them on how do I

[00:19:45] build a team. How do I guide a team? How do I run meetings? Like silly things like that, the leaders have been doing. Now you have an opportunity to put somebody else in that spot. 

[00:19:54] Jody: Steve. So somebody, we obviously as leaders, we all have our issues, companies all have their issues.[00:20:00]

[00:20:00] Why would somebody reach out to a coach? What's the benefit of a coach, like yourself? And then if you were coming on, if we were an agency, you were coming up, coming aboard how would that process, typically work? Would you meet with the whole team? Do you meet with just me, the owner?

[00:20:12] Do you meet with the directors? How does that, how does the flow work there? And is the engagement typically long term or is it more of a short term, come in and fix an issue and leave? . 

[00:20:22] Steve: Yeah. I guess all of the above. I don't know. Yeah. . So I typically start working with agencies when they're on the cusp of growth mode, and I always say, I don't wanna work in an agency that's a shining, sinking ship.

[00:20:37] I don't wanna be the last check they write. If things are that bad, it's too late. Like, sure we could probably fix some things, but it's like a bubblegum fix, at that point. But if you're like at the cusp of gross growth mode and you wanna scale and you've got some big goals and you're stabilized for the most part let's get to work and let's figure out why your goals are what they are. Too many agencies are chasing just random numbers. We want to be a seven figure agency. Cool. , why that random number? Why not an eight figure agency? Or like, why a million dollars or why 10 people or and if there's a reason, cool.

[00:21:11] Let's build a plan and let's go after it. If there's not a reason, then, let's figure out what the real goals are. , if it's a real small agency, like sub five, sub seven people or solopreneur , that goal was probably something they saw on social media or some random influencer said This would be real cool.

[00:21:28] So they're chasing somebody else's goal. And I'm, I don't play in those spaces. . So I wanna help people align with goals that really mean something to them, cuz then their team is gonna buy into it. It's not arbitrary. It's authentic to the owner or partners or owners and the team just they're gonna eat that up and they're gonna take ownership of it also.

[00:21:48] So I typically will work just with the owners. There are some instances where I'll work with the senior leadership team or I'll work on process with BizDev person or team. But in most cases it's the owner or [00:22:00] owners that I'm working with. The tricky part of owners is if it's a husband and wife team, I have to caveat, this is not marriage counseling , but some of that stuff might come up.

[00:22:09] Let's leave the family business at home and let's just focus on the business. And they're typically, I'd like to say it's a minimum of a seven month engagement. First month we're doing discovery and onboarding.  and then let's give it a six month college try and see where you're at and if and if six months into doing some real work, we're not the right fit. We're not seeing the progress that we had outlined from the beginning. Cool. No love lost. But if we are, let's keep building on it and keep growing. And maybe at some point, I haven't gotten here yet with any clients.

[00:22:36] Maybe at some point we need to go into a maintenance mode and do a quarterly check-in or back it off or something. . But I've been working with at least a couple clients one-on-one now for almost two. and the goals keep shifting. The, we keep moving the target down the road further.

[00:22:50] And then that's in one-on-one. I also run a number of mastermind groups where same thing, it just, we keep I don't wanna say chasing tails cuz that sounds not, but we just keep moving the target down further and let's just keep growing and pushing each other and challenging each other and calling each other out.

[00:23:04] And the energy in those groups, the dynamic is just so awesome. So yeah, it's typically about a year or so minimum that I think you've gotta give something a go, right? Yeah, for sure. Even like,even the systems we were talking about, Tweak it. Let's see how it runs, tweak it, let's see how it runs.

[00:23:19] But that's, see how it runs, has gotta be like a decent number of time. Yeah. , 

[00:23:22] Jody: Yeah. oh, go ahead, Jamie. 

Jamie: No, I was gonna say, I think it's interesting what you said about the goals and that kind of being your, one of the things that you don't like as companies that just have goals for no reason.

[00:23:32] And so I think that's the key to a lot of consultants is to get in there and just ask, okay, what are your goals and why? And then they answer. You say why again? And then you answer it again. You say why? Again? You really want to get to the. What they're looking for. And that makes it much easier to consult with them.

[00:23:46] And I think especially in agencies, and maybe it's not, especially in agencies, maybe it's all small businesses, but I feel like in agencies sometimes those goals are really unique and a lot of fun. Do you have any examples of some where you got to the bottom of someone's goal and you're like, wow that's something I haven't seen before Of your [00:24:00] reason for running this business?

[00:24:01] Steve: Not yet. I had a friend when I was in, in my agency. being coach. I was in a group coaching environment and literally my one friend said, I just wanna ski more days. and how can I set my business up so that I can ski more days? That was his goal, and that's what he worked towards , and that's what we accomplished.

[00:24:17] So currently most, and I've gotten to work with about 18 or 19 agencies in the past couple years. , none of them have had anything super crazy. It's like, all right I want to take home a good paycheck. I want to, support my employees. I want to work with these kinds of clients.

[00:24:33] Nothing super. Out of this world yet, but I'm looking forward to it because I think that's fun. Cool, let's make that happen. You wanna work two days a week, fine. Let's make that happen. I have a client in Boston and when we first started working together, she was working an insane amount of hours 6 18 hour days kind of thing.

[00:24:51] And it was burning her out. It was affecting her marriage, and that'll take a toll on somebody. On anybody. Yeah. So we've gotten that to a far better place. She's I don't know what to do with all this time now. And she's making more money, she's more profitable. So it's become, you know, a healthier situation.

[00:25:07] So those kinds of things I dig into. 

[00:25:09] Jamie: And I think those are always pretty unique too. To find, to actually get to the point of someone where they get to the point where they're like, you know. A lot of people say, I wanna grow, work more, more. But eventually if you talk to 'em, you're like, actually, I just want to, I wanna have a good business that's can live by itself, and then I can do what I enjoy doing.

[00:25:21] And that's gonna get me to my, yeah. Final question here. So where we like to end our podcast, before we do the final thoughts with a personal question. So we like our listeners to get to know the know the guests a little better. And so for those that are listening, you can't see Steve's background, but he has a guitar back there and I believe a snowboard.

[00:25:35] So we're gonna talk to each Jody and. Steve, about your favorite hobby. So Steve, I will start with you. 

[00:25:41] Steve: It's wintertime here in New Jersey. My, and not much of a winter yet in New Jersey, but currently my favorite, my favorite hobby is snowboarding. That hanging on my wall was my daughter's snowboard.

[00:25:51] And that's a guitar that I still can't figure out how to play . But I do try and spend as much time on the mountain as I can. I'll be coming out to Colorado for a few days this weekend, [00:26:00] and I was in Vermont last week and so I do a lot of outdoor activities. 

[00:26:04] Jamie: Nice. Yeah I'm, as blisters know I'm in Colorado and I don't get up as much as Steve apparently.

[00:26:09] Cause we haven't gone up this year and I'm like an hour away. So it's that's me in

[00:26:13] Steve: Breckenridge this weekend, man. . 

[00:26:15] Jamie: Yeah. Let's look at that. I'll do the best I can to get up there. Yeah. Probably be much better than Mountain than I would. All right, Jody, your turn. What's your favorite hobby right now?

[00:26:23] Jody: Okay, hobbies. So my favorite hobby for a long time was basically watching my kids play sports. They both played hockey all the way from four years all the way through college. And that pretty much consumed, all of our time. And so I tried to pick up golf, and I've been doing golf for a while, but, No improvement.

[00:26:41] Still are as bad as I was the first day I was playing golf, so that my newest hobby, because you didn't say my favorite, but my newest hobby is this right here. This is a drumstick and it's like the lead into a guitar. And so I'm starting to learn how to actually. Play music and I'm very un musically inclined.

[00:27:03] So my music isn't the greatest , but something I'm trying really hard to learn is how to play this. I'm venturing into a new hobby. So going from golf, going from watching sports, going to, all that kind of stuff to now music. 

[00:27:16] Jamie: Awesome. Cool. what's, say that again? 

[00:27:21] Everybody knows my hobby. So I just like Jodi, I'm in that, I'm in the stage where I'm coaching a ton, so I have I've run a basketball program here in Colorado with five teams in it. And I, again, I only coach one right now, but I do, I'm thinking I'm picking up a second one here pretty soon.

[00:27:33] So that's my, probably made my main hobby. But with that I also try to play as much as possible. So I try to play four or five times a week and until I can't play anymore. So there's some guys I play with that. 10, 15 years older than me, so I have to make sure I can stay up, keep up with them and hopefully play for that much longer.

[00:27:47] But we'll see . So that's definitely my two hobbies are all around basketball, awesome. Appreciate those answers. But let's get back on topic here and let's wrap the show up. So I want to hear final thoughts. I think we talked about a wide range of [00:28:00] topics, but wanna make sure our listeners have something to walk away with.

[00:28:02] So Jody, I'll start with you and then we'll end with Steve. So Jody, what's your final thought for our listen? 

[00:28:07] Jody: Yeah. Final thought. So it's probably been about six, maybe seven years ago. We hired a coach like yourself, Steve for accounting. And that coach was responsible for really kinda Meeting with our directors, really teaching us how to communicate better, kinda looking inward to our office and to our firm.

[00:28:25] No accounting experience at all. That person was strictly on the people op side. And I would say that was one of, one, if not our best investments I think we've ever made. As a firm, we were able to grow a lot better, communicate a lot better and just really, Get all in the same, all traveling in the same, car, not in all these different vans and stuff, going everywhere.

[00:28:46] We were all in the same vehicle, going in the same direction, which was huge. And so I would say, without a doubt. If you don't have a coach, you need one. If you can't spend the money, find the money. There's a lot of different things and coaches aren't cheap.

[00:28:57] I completely get it. I understand it. But you gotta make that investment yourself, and if you really want to get further than just simply having a job. 

[00:29:07] Jamie: Great. All right, Steve, final thought? 

[00:29:10] Steve: Yeah, I'll give a half a thought just to upload that one. I think everybody needs a coach of some sort, whether it's a group.

[00:29:15] Somebody that you can bounce things off of. I think that is vital. So I'll give that one an up vote. But I think also, kinda what we said earlier, set goals that are meaningful. Don't let them be arbitrary. And then dig into what's holding you back from accomplishing them, what would get in the way?

[00:29:29] Ask yourself the question, if I don't accomplish this, what happens if I do accomplish this? What happens? And set you, I love the acronym for smart. Use that SMART acronym when you're defining your goals. Get 'em, own 'em, tell people about 'em. Build the team that's gonna support those goals and, make 'em happen.

[00:29:46] And if you miss the target, figure out why and do it again. Next quarter, next month, next year, whatever. So set some goals that are meaningful, figure out what's getting in the way and make 'em happen. 

[00:29:56] Jamie: Great. No I think this podcast definitely met my expectations. It was great to have [00:30:00] a coach on here, Steve.

[00:30:00] How would our listeners get hold of you? 

[00:30:03] Steve: Agency Outside or on LinkedIn Agency Coach between Instagram or the website. 

[00:30:09] Jamie: Perfect. Thanks Jody. Thanks Steve and another great episode. Appreciate you guys.

[00:30:11] Steve: Thank you guys. Appreciate you having me. 

Enjoy this podcast. Visit our website @summitcpa.net to get more tips and strategies for achieving business success.

[00:30:23] We are here to be a resource in this ever-changing industry.

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