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In part 2 of the Founders’ Story, we continue answering this question:
How do two former fishermen who grew up in rugged Alaska and Montana end up as founders of an e-commerce marketing business?
Where We Left Off
Both Daniel and Rob made the transition out of the commercial fishing industry, realizing they didn’t have to do things the same way their families had. Daniel and Rob realized that their next chapter had to be different.
They realized how much they loved making videos on the boats, so they decided to take that first step to create a video production company. They held relentlessly on to the belief that they would be successful.
The First Year
The first year was tough. In the space of a tiny closet, they barely made 100K. It was just Daniel and Rob and they basically took home zero dollars.
They hired a mentor to help launch the agency’s funnel. They would periodically check in with the mentor, learned about who their ideal client was – and along the way they “borrowed some confidence” from them too.
Potential clients would get on the phone, but no deals were closing.
Patrick, who was with Daniel on the boat-roll experience (from episode one) was able to see the potential for closing these deals.
Patrick Comes Aboard
Patrick had always been ambitious and was looking for a new opportunity after fishing. At 24, with a wife, child and only fishing experience, he was humbled while looking for the next step in his work journey. He became licensed to sell insurance and moved back to Homer, Alaska. He did really well, realized he was great at talking to people and learned a lot about sales.
When Patrick saw Daniel and Rob doing video production, despite the low returns, Patrick knew it was something special and got inspired.
When Daniel and Rob opened up their books to him, Patrick immediately noticed that there was no process to qualify leads, so the two were booked out every half hour for two weeks talking to different people who saw an ad and signed up for meetings. At this point, the agency only had one or two clients.
Patrick started taking calls on commission before and after his day job. Things took off. He started landing sales. Patrick saw the potential for the business and wanted to come on full time. He took the leap of faith to leave the stability of the insurance job to join the agency.
Just a few weeks ago, Patrick joined Daniel and Rob as a founding partner.
Patrick recalls landing a pretty big deal for more than 10K. It ultimately fell through and from there, Patrick didn’t close a deal for more than a month.
But since then, it has been a solid path of growth and a flywheel of case studies, ads and expansion.
What is the Why?
Shopanova and their clients are on a parallel journey in growing business, taking risks and seeing them pay off. All three guys see so much purpose in their everyday work. They understand every emotion their clients have.
For Rob, he has always wanted to create an impact. Of course, generating wealth and resources is also important. The founders have been keeping track of what kind of profits they have been able to turn for their clients.
It turns out to be around quite a bit. $50 million dollars from just three guys and now 31 employees. Seeing a client going from generating $10K to $800-900K each month is massively inspirational. Knowing that their clients are providing jobs in their communities and becoming powerful resources is extremely rewarding.
Patrick appreciates the absence of ego and the search for growth in both Rob and Daniel.
The search for and investment into coaching and auditing and brutally honest feedback is rare. Being fearless to open up, find your weaknesses and understand that there is a better way is so important and contributes significantly to the culture at Shopanova.
How Did They Get Here?
Rob asked everyone, “What is the belief system that got us here?”
All three founders have always had a personal connection to each client and their individual businesses. This goes so deep, that it’s almost to a fault because anything that doesn’t go according to plan is taken in a deeply personal way.
However, the belief that life doesn’t happen to you but instead life happens for you, has been impactful. No matter what was going on, the guys were able to view events – good or bad – with the proper perspective.
Truly seeking the best for their clients, even if it’s not with Shopanova, has paid dividends ten times over.
All three have seen how the business has changed their lives so deeply. They know it’s possible to experience massive transformation and that is what they consistently strive for – for themselves and for their clients.
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