Jason talks with Kevin Miller about how he became an expert in SEO and organic revenue, and what it was like to start Gr0, which has been called the best SEO agency in the United States. In the conversation, Kevin reveals what he believes it takes to be the kind of CEO it takes to run a company that employees want to be at, and how he has achieved that in his workplace.
In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason talks with his old friend Kevin Miller. Kevin is an astute expert on organic revenue and SEO and the founder of Gr0, an SEO and digital marketing agency. Jason asks Kevin what inspires him about SEO and why SEO has the reputation for being something that either works or doesn’t work. In the beginning, Kevin didn’t know the answer to that question himself, and committed to cracking the code. He continues to test on his own web properties consistently, and to apply his learnings to his own sites and his clients. In only two years, Gr0 went from 0 - 80 employees, and Jason and Kevin wrap up the interview by going deep into what it means to be a good employer, a good CEO, and a good business partner. Gr0 has received numerous accolades for being a work environment that people love, and Kevin’s insights demonstrate the values and frameworks that lead to people truly being able to do their best work in a creative and supportive workplace.
GR0 co-founder and CEO Kevin Miller is more than a seasoned entrepreneur — he’s a hard worker who lives and breathes startup culture and works every day to help fellow underdogs. His top priority is to help pay his success forward, investing in and enabling small companies to grow and find the good fortune that he has.
Ep. 6 Kevin Miller from Gr0 on Driving Traffic with SEO
[00:00:00] Kevin Miller: The reason that it takes so long for Google to really reward you with impressions and clicks and ultimately revenue from those clicks is because they don't trust a brand new internet property until they've acquired earned media. And they've gotten those write-ups because they deserve it. But I think the biggest thing that I've had to learn as a CEO is how to delegate, how to trust my employees to do a great job, how to train them you know, to fish, if you will, rather than just handing them the fish.
[00:00:35] Jason Wong: Hey everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the building blocks podcast. Today. I am joined by Kevin Miller, the co-founder and CEO of Gr0 and formerly the director of growth at Opendoors. So Kevin is actually a really good friend of mine, and I've always wanted to interview him to some capacity because we've had a lot of dinners.
[00:00:56] Jason Wong: We meet up a lot and I've always found you to be a very interesting [00:01:00] person because of your past. And when, when I started this podcast, I'm like, I want Kevin on the show. Not just because you're my friend, but because I feel like you have such an interesting perspective that I want to learn from. Um, and one of the things that I admire you the most I admire about you the most is the fact that you're able to grow your company called Gr0 so fast, um, and be able to maintain the company at that level. So that's something that I wanted to talk to you more about, but, um, before we get into that, I do want to ask you, because I've never asked you this before, how how'd you get into like SEO. This is not like a college course that you prepare for what tossed you into it.
[00:01:40] Kevin Miller: It's a great question. So, first of all, thanks for having me, Jason, always a pleasure to speak with you. I know your pedigree. So you telling me, you know, you're excited to talk to me makes me feel very good. Um, yeah, so I, you know, my first job out of college was at a company called Message Me, which was a direct competitor to WhatsApp.
[00:01:59] Kevin Miller: Um, and I was [00:02:00] the first marketing hire. There's about 10 of us. You know, I, that company, I was there for about six months, the company got acquired by Yahoo and they want to just start taking it on, you know, WhatsApp directly. And 8 of the 10 people went to Yahoo and there were 8 engineers and then myself and the, and the executive assistant were kind of like left to find new jobs.
[00:02:21] Kevin Miller: And, um, I ended up being very fortunate in that I had one friend who actually interviewed at Google to do ad sales and ad like management, and he didn't get the job. He ended up taking a job as a, at a consulting company like Bain or Deloitte, something like that. And so I reached out to him and I asked him if he would introduce me to the recruiter that he had been dealing with, because it's really hard to get in applying cold.
[00:02:45] Kevin Miller: And so fortunately he did, he made that introduction and I was at Google for two years, managing ad campaigns for small and medium businesses. And I just became infatuated with performance marketing and finding efficient ways to drive traffic and create revenue [00:03:00] for small B2B, small and medium businesses, as well as DTC brands.
[00:03:04] Kevin Miller: Now, when I was at Google, I got a couple of questions on the phone from clients about organic search. And I did my best to answer them based off of the knowledge that I had, which was limited at the time. And I remember my manager, all of our calls were recorded for quality assurance and safety and all that.
[00:03:22] Kevin Miller: And my manager pulled me aside and he said, Hey, like, you know, HR really needs to talk to you because we know that you are giving advice about organic search and that's against, you know, your Google contract because organic search and SEO is like the, you know, the most proprietary and secretive, you know, piece of information that Google has, that's their whole core business.
[00:03:42] Jason Wong: And when was this,
[00:03:43] Jason Wong: like 2010?
[00:03:45] Kevin Miller: 20 14, 20 13, 14.
[00:03:48] Jason Wong: Got it.
[00:03:49] Kevin Miller: And when that happened, I became fascinated. I thought, wow, there's this whole other world, you know, completely inverse of, of paid, uh, that offers a lot of benefits. And, and it it's an [00:04:00] environment where David can really fight Goliath.
[00:04:03] Kevin Miller: If you are, you know, creative enough. Um, and you grind hard enough and you, you know, you really, um, do the keyword research and the work required to, you know, uncover opportunities that the bigger players don't don't, um, locate. And so I then started reading blogs about, you know, how to make a, how to create a blog or website that goes from zero to a million organic visitors a month.
[00:04:27] Kevin Miller: And I decided to go down that quest. And that's originally how I got into SEO. Um, and I moved to Los Angeles four years ago. I spent the previous four years in San Francisco and I worked at a real estate technology company called open listings. And when I showed up on the first day, They said, Hey, like we really see a growth opportunity in search engine optimization.
[00:04:52] Kevin Miller: And we know that paid ads is your background and that's your forte on Facebook and Google, but we want you to learn SEO and, and, and, um, [00:05:00] you know, interview as many people as you can that are experts around the world and really apply yourself and do that practice here. And so that's what happened. I just, I kind of went to school.
[00:05:10] Kevin Miller: I did every online course you could imagine. I called every one of my friends who was an SEO expert and just talked their ear off for hours. And that was probably about a two year process. Um, I built my own sites that failed, wasted a ton of money, but I learned a lot about, you know, how to set up sites properly and what really works versus what you read in the blogs.
[00:05:31] Kevin Miller: And that's what really got me, um, you know, honestly obsessed and infatuated with organic search and, and the benefits that it can bring any business.
[00:05:40] Jason Wong: I've honestly, never believed in SEO and up until two some years ago. Um, because there's just so much, so much out there that are like, you know, this is how you do SEO.
[00:05:52] Jason Wong: This is how you hack SEO. And they almost never work. And I tried doing it myself. I try [00:06:00] hiring blog writers, um, and it just never worked. So I never believe in it. And I remember when I talked to you. Um, you guys pitching them like, okay, whatever, let's, let's give it a try. Like, I'll give this one last try.
[00:06:12] Jason Wong: And thankfully I did because, uh, I don't know the numbers exactly. Cause you know, it's been over a year and a half since I've worked with you guys. Um, but we're, we're consistently, um, bringing in six figures in traffic revenue and we're paying you guys like a fraction of that in retainer and we're consistently top first page for a lot of search terms that are key to us. Um, when people look us up, they only find things that are relevant to them and things that lead them to make a purchase. So it's been working out really well for us. And so has for the dozens of people that I've referred to you guys, and they've all said the same thing.
[00:06:50] Jason Wong: So I'm a believer now, but I do want to ask, like, why is SEO such, such like a black and white thing? Like it's either it works for a lot of people or it doesn't [00:07:00] work for a lot of people. Why does that happen?
[00:07:02] Kevin Miller: It's a great question, honestly, and it took me a long time to really understand what that, what the answer is to that.
[00:07:07] Kevin Miller: But my understanding and my best answer to that is that there's two things. One SEO takes a long time to really work. Now, if you're running an SEO agency like myself, and you say that to a prospective client, they might think that that's just sort of a sales tactic to get you to sign on for a longer contract.
[00:07:26] Kevin Miller: It's really not. The reason that it takes so long for google to really reward you with impressions and clicks and ultimately revenue from those clicks is because Google is very untrustworthy until they are. Meaning they don't trust a brand new internet property until they've earned their stripes. And by earning their stripes, I mean, they've earned, they've, they've acquired earned media.
[00:07:49] Kevin Miller: They've been written up in major news outlets like New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur.com, Techcrunch, etc.. And they've gotten those write-ups because they deserve it. They're really working on something that's unique, [00:08:00] compelling. They have great investors, great, great team members. Um, and they're doing something that's out of the norm, which warrants being written up in the news.
[00:08:08] Kevin Miller: So really the name of the game is to get written up in the news as much as possible, um, with a story that matters and that lends credibility. So if you get a write up for doe lashes in New York times, um, by transitive property, because Google trusts the New York Times, they've been a property it's been around for a hundred plus years and they link to doe lashes, they now trust doe lashes to a higher degree than they did before that write up was placed. Right? So that's one thing. Secondly, you really do need to get the topics, right. With regards to what blog posts you're writing on. So for example, we use two SEO, SaaS tools that are both amazing. One is called SEM rush, they're a newly public company. The other is called ahrefs, um, or hrefs as people call it. And they both are keyword research tools. So that means we can type into Google, any keyword in the world. We can see how many people are searching for it on a [00:09:00] monthly basis by region, both US and internationally.
[00:09:03] Kevin Miller: And then we can determine how many, what are the questions that are asked related to that parent topic? So for example, if I've typed in protein powder, there might be 500,000 people in the, in the United States that search for protein powder per month. Now, if I go one layer deeper, I can see the top 100 questions that people ask about protein powder.
[00:09:23] Kevin Miller: So that might be how much protein powder do I need to take per day? Or how long does it take protein powder to work? And if you answer that exact, you know, long tail phrase and you create that as the title tag and the heading one of your posts. That's half the battle. You have reverse engineered what people are searching for related to protein powder and you're writing on the right thing.
[00:09:44] Kevin Miller: So when you publish that, it's an exact match of what 7,500 people in the United States are looking, you know, to learn about on a monthly basis. That's a big piece. Um, the second piece is making sure that your article is incredibly thorough. So, I mean like [00:10:00] somewhere in the order of 1500 to 2000 words per month. There are so many websites on the internet that try to explain concepts in 500 words and less. But over the past few years, we've understood that in order for your article to have staying power and to get traffic over many years, it really needs to be the most authoritative and thorough piece on the internet about that particular subject matter.
[00:10:21] Kevin Miller: So that's why it's hard to do. Um, and that's why it's confusing. And then in addition to that, you know, my dream was to build a website that went from zero to a million unique visitors a month. And I read numerous articles about the process of doing that. And I became very frustrated because I knew that the people who were writing these were providing some information that was valid, but omitting other things that were really important.
[00:10:46] Kevin Miller: And so things like that are really, what is the raw cost? Where do you find a writer? What do you pay that writer? How do you make sure they're high quality? How do you edit it? What's the full process? How do you post it? All of those things are left out. The [00:11:00] articles online typically talk about just the benefits of like the end result rather than the journey of really what it takes.
[00:11:06] Kevin Miller: And so I just determined that if I really want to herald myself as a world-class digital marketer, I need to crack the code myself and just do it no matter what it costs and how long it takes. So that's what we've done with a website called thewordcounter that I own. And it's a great case study for what we do at Gr0.
[00:11:24] Kevin Miller: But more importantly, it's just a really fulfilling project to prove to myself that the process that I set in stone two and a half years ago is now bearing fruit. And so that's the big thing. Like once you come up with a strategy that you believe is works and you have conviction in it doing that for 24 months at a minimum and not straying from the course is really that the group of people who do that are the one that are the ones that really um, end up realizing the long-term benefits of SEO.
[00:11:52] Jason Wong: Yeah. And, and I love that you guys apply your own strategies and your tactics on your own property, rather than [00:12:00] saying, Hey, I've never built my own brand. I've never done this and that. And I'm going to sell you SEO. I read somewhere this is how you do it.
[00:12:08] Kevin Miller: Yeah. And in our, in my intention is to continue to add different web properties.
[00:12:12] Kevin Miller: I mean, we're looking at a web property property right now that's in the survival space, which you wouldn't believe is really blowing up and getting a lot of traction. Um, not just because of COVID, but just, you know, general interest in the subject matter. Um, And there is so much opportunity there. And I think we're going to acquire this website and build it up and own it, uh, because we have all the infrastructure inside of our agency.
[00:12:34] Kevin Miller: We have the link building, we have the content creation. We have a designer, we have a conversion rate optimization specialist. And, um, I think we're uniquely positioned to buy content sites, monetize them in a way that really matters and either use them as a cashflow property or sell it off to someone, um, at a later date that is looking to take it to the next level.
[00:12:55] Kevin Miller: Um, but I just love having our own personal case studies where I said, Hey, before I even [00:13:00] started Gr0, I spent $50,000 of my own money and I'm not rich. You know, I probably had $60,000 total and spent 50 on this project because, um, and that's the truth, honestly, um, because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do that.
[00:13:15] Kevin Miller: And I was okay if it failed because I knew it would lead me to the next project. That's what I've seen from a lot of really amazing entrepreneurs. They, you know, they go down a path and it doesn't work, but it leads you directly to the next thing that really will work.
[00:13:29] Jason Wong: That's incredible. Um, and I've watched you guys grown grow to the size of this right now, cause I was one of your first few customers, uh, at what number, but like
[00:13:41] Kevin Miller: I think you were number three.
[00:13:43] Jason Wong: That's sick. And you guys now have 75 employees. Um, I visited your office not too long ago. You guys just got the next office, right next door, expanded the workforce and all that within two years. And you know, we talked [00:14:00] some stuff about SEO, but I really want to pick your brain about the management style. Like how to become a really good CEO to 75 employees and making sure that you're good to every single one of them and that you're building a company culture that people want to stay at.
[00:14:15] Jason Wong: Um, and last point is I, I went on your Instagram and I saw you guys were recognized by multiple, um, multiple companies for being the best company to work at best company for women to work at. Um, you were ranked for one of the best CEOs. You guys won so many awards. So there's definitely, if you guys are doing something right, and I'm just curious, like how did you, how'd you even learn to do that?
[00:14:40] Jason Wong: And what does it take to lead a team of 75 and growing up from zero?
[00:14:44] Kevin Miller: Well, I appreciate you asking that because that's actually the number one thing I'm most passionate about in my current role here at Gr0. Um, this background story is, you know, when I worked at Google, I was there for two years, 2014 to 2016, and I was an account manager, managing ads for SMB's.[00:15:00]
[00:15:00] Kevin Miller: My first week at Google, one of my best friends passed away from cancer he's age 23 in Florida. And I went to my manager and I said, Hey, you know, this is really tragic, but I need to be, you know, in the hospital with him and his family. And he said, You know, life is more important than work. Go home, stay as long as you need.
[00:15:18] Kevin Miller: And when you come back, you'll always have a job here. Whether it's two weeks, whether it's a month or two months, we will pay you the entire time. And when you're ready, you come back. And when that happened, I thought it was just, I never expected that from an employer, the support that I got from both my manager and my coworkers was incredible.
[00:15:36] Kevin Miller: It made me really pledge my loyalty to Google and the way that they made me feel as an individual, you know, I couldn't offer them any value, um, because I wasn't able to work during that time for it. But they were saying, Hey, you know, you haven't even had a chance to prove yourself, but we believe in you based on what we know from the interview process, we're going to do this for you. When that happened, I thought, man, if I can afford that same opportunity [00:16:00] for other people, um, that'd be one of the most fulfilling things that I could do. And so over that next two years at Google, I really understood what it meant to make people feel you know, a really good way. Feel supported, feel like they had a career trajectory that was meaningful to them and getting to learn, you know, to meet and learn and understand people on a very personal basis is something I take a lot of pride in.
[00:16:25] Kevin Miller: And then after Google, I probably worked at four or five different startups in San Francisco. And so I was able to compare good elements of culture and bad elements of other, other company's culture. And then I just made a exhaustive list as I was starting Gr0 as to all the things that I love from my previous managers, all the things that I didn't love.
[00:16:45] Kevin Miller: And I shared it with a team and I said, Hey, like, this is my vision for how we manage people and how we treat people at this company. And even one of our core values is something that my mom used to say to me all the time when I was growing up, which is treat others the way you want to be treated. [00:17:00] And in this day and age, um, you know, I think that there is no tolerance for like bullying in the workplace, condescending behavior, um, any, you know, anything that is, is not going to bring the best out of your employees.
[00:17:14] Kevin Miller: And so. Yeah, that's my philosophy on it. And then lastly, as a, as a services based company, you know, we are the inverse of Airbnb or Uber, where they have like a real technology product that can really run no matter what human being is behind it, powering it. But our product, in my opinion is not even SEO, it's communication and it's relationship building amongst our account managers and our strategists with the client.
[00:17:41] Kevin Miller: If the client likes us, they stay on with us. Period. And so that's what I try to, you know, I try to foster an environment where we show and demonstrate that we really care not just about our employees, but our clients. You know, if one of our clients we find out had a family member pass away, we will send a gift.
[00:17:58] Kevin Miller: We will write a letter. [00:18:00] Um, if one of our employees is pregnant, you know, we implemented a maternity and a paternity leave process. Um, We're a bootstrap company, so it's not like we have millions of venture dollars to be able to do this, but my partner and I have made the decision that we are fine being less profitable than we otherwise could be to provide this experience that is unparalleled.
[00:18:20] Kevin Miller: Um, and last thing I'll say is just that agencies are notorious for burnout and overworking their employees. And, um, you know, we wanted to create an environment that felt really like a cutting edge technology company, like an Airbnb, like a Lyft, um, you know, like an Opendoor . And, um, and that's the, you know, that's what we focused on doing.
[00:18:40] Kevin Miller: And it's resulted in a lot of good feedback from our, our employees and they make a lot of internal referrals. And as you know, great employees, know other great employees. And that's, what's really helped to build us up. I think actually, as of today we had two new people start. We're actually about to introduce that we have 80 full-time employees, so [00:19:00] it's really growing.
[00:19:01] Jason Wong: Yeah, that's incredible. And I want to speak on that from like a customer standpoint, you know, I, I use your services. I use it for many of my other, um, brands I invest in and advise. And you guys have always been more than understanding and flexible when things come up, Hey, we can't use you guys anymore because we're having like a downturn in our year.
[00:19:23] Jason Wong: And you know what, let me do this for you and prove yourself out. And when it works out, you can pay us back again. I've never seen an agency do that, that like you guys retain me for, you know, almost two years now because you guys. You guys really treated your customers, not just a number on an Excel sheet, but like, Hey, these are people and there are things that in their business that needs to be flexible and we will be there for you.
[00:19:47] Jason Wong: And we, we have turned with so many other agency except for Gro0. You guys are the longest agency partner we've had.
[00:19:54] Kevin Miller: That's amazing.
[00:19:56] Jason Wong: And you know, like growing to 80 people now, it's not an easy [00:20:00] feat and it's definitely a lot of steps to get into. And I do want to ask you. People say zero to a million dollars is always the hardest. What was the part for you on the employee side zero to what?
[00:20:11] Jason Wong: What was the hardest and after what, what were the challenges that you get at each step?
[00:20:15] Kevin Miller: Well, zero to 30, it was really difficult because I'm not a recruiter, you know? Um, and I don't know the art of recruiting and how to really do every step of the process. So my biggest business and life hack in general is to go to someone who's an expert in their field and ask them how they did it.
[00:20:32] Kevin Miller: And so my twin sister, Sarah, she actually is a recruiter at a tech at a technology company called Pendo. And she's worked at several other places like Gardner and other really well recognized organizations. So I actually hired her as a consultant to help us build a world-class recruiting process. And, um, well then we hired a guy named Aaron Friedman out of M13, which is a great venture capital firm in Los Angeles.
[00:20:58] Kevin Miller: And he helped to really take [00:21:00] us to the next level and create an environment that was unparalleled with regards to how we do our recruitment process and we, how we onboard new employees. And I think that's made all the difference. Um, but it really doesn't get easier. You know, it's really hard to find great people.
[00:21:16] Kevin Miller: Um, even with all the time you can spend up front. Sometimes it doesn't work out. We just to try to, again, treat everyone the way they want to be treated, because that's how I believe you get the most out of, out of your employees.
[00:21:27] Jason Wong: And obviously there's no clear formula to finding the right people, but were there like things that you notice and be like, okay, this one's going to be great because they did XYZ.
[00:21:39] Jason Wong: They have these soft skills.
[00:21:41] Kevin Miller: Yeah. Well, former athletes, high school athletes, college athletes are always great because ultimately what it comes down to in our business is how competitive are you and how much do you care? How much do you really, really care? Um, and can you act as if you are the business owner, because that's, you know, that's just the right thing to do in my opinion, if you're [00:22:00] accepting money for, you know, service.
[00:22:02] Kevin Miller: So that's been the biggest thing that we really look for. But on a tactical level, since we are an agency, if someone else worked at an agency, I think that's a big strength is they understand how it works and they can say, Hey, my last agency did this. It's a better process than we have here, in my opinion, here's what it is.
[00:22:18] Kevin Miller: And here's why we should implement it. We can learn from other people who are smarter than us, or have more expertise.
[00:22:25] Jason Wong: Right. I love that. You're essentially just taking on people with past experiences and letting them apply and build your version of it. So your, your company is always evolving. Progressing for the better based on the people that you hire.
[00:22:38] Jason Wong: And it's something that I didn't notice as a leader is that, you know, sometimes you just need to let them have the space to perform, to be creative, rather than putting them into this mold and be like, follow this SOP and do X, Y, and Z. Um, because you're, you're never going to change your company that way.
[00:22:54] Jason Wong: You're never going to change whatever you want to achieve by following a formula [00:23:00] that you built years ago.
[00:23:01] Kevin Miller: Years ago. Cause it always needs to be modified. Everything we built from zero to 20 broke at 20 employees, then we rebuilt it. With regards to account management structure, recruitment structure, all that type of stuff, how we pay people.
[00:23:13] Kevin Miller: And then it broke again at 50 employees. Then it broke again at 75, we're rebuilding it now to get us, you know, our next milestone is 100. But I think the biggest thing that I've heard to learn as a CEO is how to delegate, how to trust my employees, to do a great job, how to train them to fish, if you will, rather than just handing them the fish.
[00:23:32] Kevin Miller: Right. Um, and it's, uh, it's taught me a lot about myself, you know, about how to, you know, drop my ego, drop my willingness or your desire to control every aspect of the business. Because as only one human being, I simply can't be in every client meeting, even though I genuinely would want to. Um, I can't be responding to every single email and now I'm making a shift from working in the business to actually working on the business where I can set OKRs. Um, [00:24:00] and I can put teams in place that know how to execute on something that's a really big idea. And that is the, the number one biggest challenge and struggle that I'm dealing with right now is how can I be effective at this type of scale as we prepare to get to a hundred employees, because it really is a different skill set.
[00:24:16] Kevin Miller: If you look at what happened with Travis Kalanick from Uber. He had a lot of behavioral issues and cultural issues, but he couldn't, you know, he wasn't able to be a public company CEO. There's many others that are able to get the company from zero to one, but aren't able to help it get to the public markets because it just, it's often a different human being, unless you really, really apply yourself.
[00:24:38] Kevin Miller: You know, and I have a CEO coach and I'm like, I'm not going down without a fight. You know, I'm really gonna challenge myself to do the things that I don't want to do that aren't particularly exciting because that's the responsibility that I now have at this company to help us reach the next level.
[00:24:54] Jason Wong: Yeah. It's definitely a different skillset, like working by yourself and then having a couple of VAs [00:25:00] it's different than running a company with 10 employees who are full-time, have their own needs. You need one-on-ones and then once you get like, over that, you literally cannot have one-on-ones with everyone.
[00:25:10] Kevin Miller: No.
[00:25:11] Kevin Miller: Even though you'd love to, you just can't. You can't be no, you just can't be in the know as much as possible. It's physically possible. And it leads to burnout if you try.
[00:25:20] Jason Wong: Do you have a framework for delegating? You know, like I think working on the business is always everyone's dreams. It's very easy to say and stray, I would love to.
[00:25:28] Jason Wong: And I, and I know no one has a form, like a perfect formula yet. What is the way that you think about when you have a new project that you come into? How do you break it down to start delegating?
[00:25:39] Kevin Miller: Well, you know, again, this is very new. It's still evolving, but I look at each segment of the project. Like for example, we might be acquiring content websites.
[00:25:48] Kevin Miller: Uh, like red ventures, for example, because we think it's a really unique value proposition. I will do all the due diligence, find the property myself evaluate if it's a good opportunity, um, based on price and potential revenue growth [00:26:00] for, for Gr0. And then I will compartmentalize each functional part of the, um, execution process that I'll need: like I'll need a project manager.
[00:26:08] Kevin Miller: I'll need a designer, I need an engineer. Um, and then I'll make a list of tasks for each of those parties. And then I'll go try to assemble that team internally. Um, to try to go and take on this project and versus me just trying to do all that work myself without letting anyone else know about the project, but that ends up, you know, I I've really had a newfound respect for what's working on the right things versus the thing that is right in front of me.
[00:26:34] Kevin Miller: And that's a shift that I'm making, like if we were to talk in a month, I hope, I hope to be able to tell you, you know, so much more progress than what I've been able to accomplish with regards to that. But the reward is that you really get to multiply yourself. You know, you get to cover so much more ground.
[00:26:50] Kevin Miller: And, you know, we pride ourselves in being the fastest growing SEO agency in the US and we are two of the most important, you know, competitive people you'll find, and we're [00:27:00] not, uh, you know, ready to relinquish that title. You know, we want to earn that again in 2022, which is going to be very difficult.
[00:27:07] Jason Wong: It's incredible.
[00:27:08] Jason Wong: Um, one last question I have is: partners. You've, uh, I've met your partner. John is, I didn't want to, one of the most bright person I've ever met with very, very deep history that really shapings to who he is. And how do you make partnerships work? That I think that's a question that I want to wrap up on because everyone that I've talked to that a partner always had a horror story. And look. No partnership is perfect. No marriage is perfect.. How do you make it work?
[00:27:44] Kevin Miller: Well, I'll start by saying it's been a major work in progress. Um, John and I met in the rooms Alcoholics Anonymous, you know, five years ago. So we're both sober, both have had our own struggles with alcohol and drugs and addiction. And when you go through, [00:28:00] you know that program, you learn how to live your life by these 12 steps, which effectively are like admitting that you have, you know, a problem that needs to be resolved. And you look at your character defects and you look at, you know, am I, do I have a victim mentality? Do I blame other people for things that happened in my life?
[00:28:17] Kevin Miller: Or do I take ownership myself? And do I look at my side of the street? Do I apologize to people when I'm wrong, you know, numerous things that just go along with generally being a good human being. And a lot of that is openly communicating when you hold a resentment against another person. And so we, we do couples therapy, effectively co-founder therapy, where we talk about: you did this, or you treated this employee this way. I really disagree. That's not the type of culture I'm building. And we discuss it in a very calm voice and try to work through those resentments rather than building them up. Because when the resentments build up the company explodes. I think it is true that the number one reason for startup failure is not because there wasn't [00:29:00] product market fit, but actually, because there was a disagreement that was irreconcilable between business partners.
[00:29:06] Kevin Miller: And so we work every day to try to make sure that we're on the same page. And of course we, we fight, of course we disagree, but we also spend an equal amount of time being on the same page and really loving each other and all that. So it takes a lot of give and take, a lot of maturity. Um, and we try to approach each other with no ego and figure out, you know, we have been, we, we decided a long time ago that we are committed to being successful together.
[00:29:30] Kevin Miller: And the power of us working together is greater. And what we can achieve is greater together than what we could achieve solo. And so on the basis of that, we both know in our heart that that's true and we've committed to that. And that's why we make it work because the sum of both parts is greater than, you know, what we could do individually.
[00:29:51] Jason Wong: It really sounds like a marriage. It does,
[00:29:54] Jason Wong: but it's true. Like, you know, when two people work together, they need to grind. They need to, they [00:30:00] need to bump heads sometimes in order to make progress. And that's really what, what it takes to build a successful company to evolve and progress. And on that note, um, I want to thank you so much for joining the show.
[00:30:11] Jason Wong: I honestly learned so much and I've known you for so long already, but there's so many things about building the company about SEO. You know, just about how you guys worked through partnership that I really appreciate learning today. So thank you for
[00:30:23] Jason Wong: coming.
[00:30:24] Kevin Miller: Yeah, Jason, honestly, it's an honor to be, you know, talking to you on this and of course I know all your story.
[00:30:29] Kevin Miller: I'm inspired by everything you've done and you've been a great friend. So like, I, you know, I thank you for having me and I hope it valuable.
[00:30:38] Jason Wong: You just
[00:30:38] Jason Wong: heard an episode of the building blocks podcast. If you like what you heard, subscribe below to keep hearing conversations that I have with brilliant marketers, founders, and innovators on how they built their best ideas.
[00:30:48] Jason Wong: Now, if you want to learn how you can turn your best ideas and build something massive out of it. Visit my website bbclass.co or follow my Twitter @eggroli.
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