So Aaron, can you tell me the story of your prior successes, challenges, and major responsibilities?
Outside of my business, one of my biggest wins in life was beating out 20,000 people who had applied for the same full-time firefighter position as me. I’ve also landed a job at Microsoft, and I’ve been successful in sport.
But one of the things I’ve been proudest of in business is having built Louder Online, my agency, to work as a completely distributed team for day #1. Because of that, I’ve been able to travel the world with my family and live anywhere we want. For a few years, I lived in Koh Samui in Thailand – all while building my agency. It’s been amazing in terms of the success its brought to our team through the flexibility it provides, and through the level of worldwide talent I’m able to tap into.
In terms of challenges, when we first started out, being able to be seen as credible was a big challenge, since we were going up against big companies with big names. It’s hard to close deals when no one knows who you are, and you’re trying to create a brand out of thin air. But we didn’t really focus on it that much. We focused on our craft. It took time to build up our reputation, but now we’re able to compete for and win contracts with some of the biggest companies around the world.
Now, I really see our responsibilities as looking after the companies that trust us with their marketing. It’s up to us to make sure we’re getting them the growth they need and to deliver on the promises we’ve made as an agency.
Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?
There have been plenty of times I’ve felt like giving up over the last 11 years in our agency. Most often, it’s when clients don’t pay their bills – or they pay them months behind. It’s not just a problem with small companies. It happens with massive companies as well, and it creates a problem because we have suppliers that are on net-15 or net-30 terms. Our suppliers are chasing their invoices, and we’re chasing invoices from our clients. It can be horrible to be stuck in the middle, which is something I’ve wanted to change up and get out of many times.
It’s an ongoing issue, although we’ve had some successes getting companies to pay in advance. We’ve also focused on building strong relationships with suppliers, so that they trust they’ll get paid as soon as we’re able to do so.
But I’ve never let this stop me, because I’ve always believed that those who are successful in this line of work are successful because they don’t give up when others would. Sitting around and thinking, “Well, this would be a breaking point for plenty of other people,” has always made me want to persevere – to keep pushing through and be one of the ones who outlasted everyone else. Just remembering that has worked for me time and time again.