Working From Home: Episode 23: Should I freelance or start an agency? with Dylan Ogline
Nelson and Dylan Ogline discuss pivotal insights they’ve had in growing their businesses, what it takes to scale your business, the future of work, and more.
- Client expectations and boundaries
- Controlling your inbox, so your inbox doesn’t control you
- Borrowing proven systems and frameworks, rather than creating your own
- The changing landscape of work
[0:47] – Nelson introduces today’s guest Dylan Ogline, founder of the digital marketing agency Ogline Digital.
[4:57] – How setting clear client expectations and procedures empowered Dylan to scale his business from five to seven figures.
[11:30] – Copying proven systems from people who have achieved your current business goals, rather than trying to set up everything on your own.
[15:58] – Nelson and Dylan share major epiphanies they’ve had on their journeys as business owners.
[24:26] – The most important skill to cultivate for ANYONE who is working from home.
[35:50] – How Dylan got into coaching and teaching digital marketing to other entrepreneurs.
[44:35] – How COVID is shaking up work expectations, and the future of work.
[1:01:55] – Closing thoughts from Dylan on the changing nature of work, and how we can prepare for the future.
Nelson: Hello, and welcome to the working from home podcast with your host me Nelson Jordan. Today I have Dylan Ogline, who is the founder of Ogline Digital, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook and Google ads, as well as the owner and founder of DylanOgline.com, which is an online education agency that teaches people how to grow their own digital marketing agency.
I said agency a lot in that introduction paragraph…
So Dylan, thank you for joining us.
Dylan: [00:01:17] Thanks Nelson so glad to be here, man. There were a lot of agencies in that intro there.
Nelson: [00:01:23] Too many agencies these days I was going for a really meta introduction that made that point. I’m sure you paid attention.
Dylan: [00:01:31] And the training program it’s called agency point. Now we gotta get more agency in there. We’re going to talk about agencies today. This episode is just going to be called the agency, I like it.
Nelson: [00:01:42] The agency, times two. So the last time we talked Dylan, you reminded me that we were two days before the election, or was it two days after that? We were still kind of unsure of which way the wind was blowing and what was going to happen.
Dylan: [00:02:00] I was obsessively checking my phone every 10 seconds, refreshing.
Nelson: [00:02:03] That was it, I pretended not to notice at the time, but yeah it was bad, but we’re all still here, at least for now, which is fantastic,
Amazing well thanks for joining us. I think the first thing that we’re going to jump in is find out how you grew your own agency first, and obviously that leads into what you learned and how you teach other people to do the same.
So I think that’s as good a starting point as any
Dylan: [00:02:32] I would say how I grew the agency is relatively simple and it’s in stark contrast to everything I was doing before. I decided to focus on just one single thing, which was digital marketing solutions for my clients. But once I made the choice to just focus on one specific service, one specific business and then I took it a step further and just focused on a few verticals, a few niches very quickly things…
I think the most I had ever done before 2016 was $50,000 in a year. 2017, we hit multiple six figures and then 2018, it was seven figures. But it was really simple. Just reached out to previous clients that I had worked with and said, “Hey offering this digital marketing solution. Do you want to jump on a call?” Jumping on a call with a few people, got one or two clients, started to get some revenue from that and then started to do some Google ads too, to bring on a few other clients.
And as I onboard more clients, I got better and better and better, got them better results and they scaled up their ad spend and with my particular business model, we charge a percentage of our client’s ad spend. So it’s not a fixed fee. So as we get our clients better results, say they were spending $20,000 a month. They’ll be like, “okay, well let’s double our budget to $40,000 a month”. So that’s really how we continue to scale up very, very quickly.
Nelson: [00:04:04] So by scaling as they scaled, I suppose.
Dylan: [00:04:08] Absolutely. Yes.
Nelson: [00:04:09] Fantastic. So that actually doesn’t sound too hard. As the way you’ve explained it. And I like running a digital marketing agency myself. I know that nothing could be further from the truth, even if you are able to map out and in terms of “we did this and then this happened” but a lot of the time there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes in terms of managing people, managing clients and their expectations. What did you find were the things that you spent most of your time on during that period.
Dylan: [00:04:44] So once I decided we’re going to just focus on one particular service put all of my focus on it, everything I was doing was just about executing that service for the first few clients. That really was again in stark contrast everything I was doing before.
What took up most of my time at the beginning was just going back and forth and kind of working out the systems and processes with the clients in terms of basically roles in place, which is very important. You don’t want to get that habit of like constantly answering your phone for your client because the client will, clients will constantly want to jump on calls with you. They’ll constantly be sending you emails. And if you respond to the emails right away, they kind of think it’s like an instant messaging thing or it’s text messages, or you’re expected to respond right away. It took me probably about a year, a year and a half to really put in place systems. I already had a few team members that I was working with, but put in place all those systems and the rules of this is how we do it, and this is what our services, that’s what I spent most of my time on after I decided to focus this ship was just on the operations, but then once I got that figured out, it kinda just took on a life of its own and just continue to grow and because I had put in place those systems and processes and rules, it there wasn’t really anything holding us back.
Nelson: [00:06:17] Nice. So a lot of that is sounds about like expectations that your clients have. So when you’re going to be reachable, how quickly you’ll get back to them. Was there anything that you put in ahead of time because you were thinking I don’t want to get into this situation or was it very much like a, Oh wow, I’ve noticed that so much of my time or my team members’ time is being eaten up by these clients, unlike more of a reactive rather than proactive thing?
Dylan: [00:06:46] Unfortunately, and this is not the way to do it, it was I would say most of it was reactive. I can’t think of anything that I’ve really put in place.
It was sort of like expectations in terms of results. I certainly think I was pretty good with telling the clients, “don’t expect your first month to have a positive ROI”, things like that.
When it came to the operations, though, it was just like being shot out of a cannon very much so, and figuring out everything on the fly which for me, I had spent so many years building out the processes and systems for businesses that never went anywhere. So when I decided to just focus on one single thing, one single service, it was like I was on purpose trying to not have everything figured out from the beginning, if that makes any sense.
Nelson: [00:07:43] So I think a lot of that is the stuff that you decided not today, right?
Dylan: [00:07:47] Yes. Instead of, I was the type where before I would have before I even offered the service, before I’d even sold anybody on it, I would have had a complete operations manual written, and I had done that for so many other things, so many other services or so many other businesses, and then never got any clients that when I had reached the tipping point and decided to focus I was like, no, I’m not going to do any of that stuff because what if it doesn’t sell? Or what if I need to pivot and change things? Like, why would I like now we have an operations manual? Why would I write out an operations manual for Facebook ads? If Facebook doesn’t work for the clients, I would spend so much time writing that out and talking to the team and whatnot, when they haven’t sold anybody. So yeah, it was a lot of, it was just shooting from the hip and taking it as it came.
Nelson: [00:08:47] That’s interesting. Cause I’ve gone the opposite way.
So I’ve always been fly by the seat of my pants sort of thing. And then as I’ve, I suppose grown in my career and got more of an understanding of what’s happening and also want to generate repeatable results rather than just one-off getting lucky, but not really knowing why. I’ve actually moved from that to being more process driven, I suppose.
So I think we’ve come at it from slightly different angles. These days in particular, taking content strategy as an example, there is an actual manual playbook that I’ve written down that I go for that maps exactly my research process. So understanding what to write and why and then the how comes later. That sounds like something that’s incredibly simple, but the amount of, the number of hours, the amount of mental bandwidth that’s taken to understand, the actual intricate steps.. you could spend literally months. And I probably have months in terms of time mapping out all of these different steps for digital marketing.
I think this is why something like your agency model, your education company, I think that’s why it’s having a lot of success, right. In terms of people think, well I could spend all of this time mapping out all of these processes and making all of these mistakes myself. Or I could shortcut that and find somebody who’s already got to this level of success, this revenue goal or client goal or lifestyle goal or whatever it is that they’re shooting for.
Is that kind of what you’re finding when, when people come in and talk to you?
Dylan: [00:10:54] A hundred percent. Yeah. Especially for most of the students that I have coming on – we’re going to be talking more about the agency term agency 2.0 – most of the students I’m getting have no experience in digital marketing, they might have started their own business doing something completely different, but a lot of them haven’t even started any kind of business, but there are a few, maybe 10% that are currently doing some kind of agency work. Maybe the pricing model is different. Maybe they’re charging a flat fee for social media management, something like that. But now those people, they’re the ones who come on and it’s almost an epiphany for them to see these processes and systems in front of them and be like, I can just copy somebody who’s already doing this. The students that have no experience, it’s like they’re just going through the process. So they don’t even realize, they know what they’re learning, but they don’t even realize how transformative it is to just simply copy the processes and systems of somebody else. And a lot of the stuff that I have learned and put in place in my business is from masterminds and training programs and books and stuff like that, where I copied somebody else’s system, maybe not from an agency, maybe it might be a completely different business model, but I looked at it, observed it, and then I applied a lot of that stuff to my business and that certainly makes it a lot easier. A hundred percent.
Nelson: [00:12:38] It’s a great shortcut. I’ve always seen that, the biggest acceleration in my career through other people, through leveraging their knowledge, through understanding what they’ve been through by learning from their mistakes.
For example, when I’m taking on a copywriting or a content client, I charge 50% upfront. And if it’s under a thousand dollars, for example, then I charge all of it upfront. Now the people that told me to do that told me to do it for a reason. They told me because they got burned on completing a project handing over the copy or the content to the client and never hearing from them again. So the only reason that I haven’t made that same mistake is not because I’m smarter than those people. I most definitely am not. You agree with that?
Dylan: [00:13:43] I one hundred percent agree with that. Like it’s uncomfortable to me, this is actually funny. Cause it’s uncomfortable to me when somebody is like, Dylan Ogline is this marketing expert or something like that, you know, they use that expert term and I’m like, dude, like really? I certainly don’t think I’m an expert in the slightest bit and half the stuff I’m talking about is stuff I learned from other people, but I think that’s okay.
I think that’s totally natural and what would taking this one step further? Another thing that I find so transformative about having some of somebody else to talk with, or just reference or mentors, things like this is that they’re not caught in the day to day. There’s been so many times where I’ve taught to other business people, mentors, people in masterminds and I’m like, I can’t figure out the solution. And then they’re like, well, here’s the solution. It’s right in front of you. So many times that has happened to me. And the reason you can’t see the solution is because you’re caught in the day to day where these other people they have kind of, they can just talk to you, get some details and get that bird’s eye view.
That to me has been absolutely priceless. There’s no way that I would be anywhere close to where I am if it weren’t for the simple ability of me to have conversations with other people, for them to take a bird’s eye view of my situation and provide advice that was right in front of my face. So many times that has happened to me.
Nelson: [00:15:15] So, so important. I had a call earlier in the week with my cousin. He owns an outdoor clothing company and at the end of the call, he just said something like I knew I had to do it, but I didn’t know I had to do it until you told me. So it’s this concept of being aware of something on some kind of like subconscious level, but not necessarily being able to put a name to it or put your finger on it. And that’s when I think those are the moments like the epiphany’s when something finally crystallizes, they don’t come from nothing that there was something inside you that thought you were aware of this on some sort of level, and then somebody says something or something happens that kind of something just clicks and you’re just like, that’s it. That’s exactly what I’ve been saying, but I haven’t been saying that, but, you know, that’s what I’ve been grasping at or trying to grasp that
Dylan: [00:16:21] One hundred percent and I was actually thinking about one, I don’t know something we talked about earlier made me think of, I think we were talking about your business and everything that you do and I remember I was having this conversation with a friend of mine this just two years ago or something. And one of the issues I was having was Facebook ads in particular will kind of get burnt out.
So you have to be continuous. It’s not like every day you have to put out new stuff, but maybe six to three months, you have to put out new versions of the ads and test them and whatnot and yet at the time I had yet to come up with kind of a manual for somebody else to write this. That was still my main thing that I did was I would write the ad. I would write the copy. I would come up with the headline, et cetera. And I actually enjoy still to this day, enjoy that part. But what would happen is, my team would message me and be like, “Hey, you know, we need new ads for such and such client. We need, we need them written.” And so I’d scramble to write the ads and this was happening like once a week, once every two weeks. And it would randomly pop in and I’d want to do it right away, because I want to get the fresh ads out there to start testing, to start getting the algorithm to learn them, et cetera. And so I was talking to my friend and I’m like, “man, like I’m so burned out because it just randomly hits. And then I have to stop everything and work on this.” And he’s like, “why don’t you just pre-write them? Like, why don’t you just write out like 10 of them, like sit down for a whole day or however long it takes and, and write out 10 versions of the ads and then your team can watch these metrics and if the ads certain to look a little burnt out, just use this, try this new copy, try this new headline, et cetera. And what, they’re down to five on the list, then they can email you, but you got time then.” That was so simple, but it changed everything because then I wasn’t scrambling to do this work. It was like once every month I would sit down and I would have a whole day where I just sat there and wrote copy. And the solution was right in front of me just instead of writing one, write 10. That was it.
Nelson: [00:18:43] Sure, I think that some of the most important things that come along and hit us in the face are those that you’re almost embarrassed to admit how simple the solution was here it was like, guess what guys? Instead of writing one social media ad, I just stayed there for a bit longer and we’re at 10 you’re like that is it.
Dylan: [00:19:06] Yeah and that made operations, my perspective of the operations, because it was then it was much more calm. I wasn’t scrambling to do anything. That was a game changer. It didn’t make the business more profitable or anything, it’s just the operations solution was so ridiculously simple and never would have been slapped upside the face with that simple solution had I not had that conversation and it was nice.
Nelson: [00:19:36] Can I tell you mine please? My simple one that I should have known, but didn’t . So I’ve had this annoying conversation with my wife for like years about – just should clarify, the conversation is annoying, not my wife – Just about whether multitasking actually exists. And I think it doesn’t I think it’s just rapid context switching, you do one thing and then you do another and you’re not necessarily doing them, either of those things, well. Anyway, fine, so given that that’s my viewpoint, I really should have actually put that into practice and not allowed myself to do that. Right. Like it’s something that I know at a logical rational level, but just didn’t put into practice into terms of habitual this is what I do day in, day out. So my big thing, in the last four months even, so not a long time at all, has been task batching. So very, very similar to yours in terms of that, you would just do one and you switched 10, but I kind of have done that with my days. So I’ll only do certain tasks for the business on certain days, but I will try my hardest to group them all up into one day. So you’ll notice okay, i’s Thursday today. So I take my podcast recordings I try and do them on either a Thursday or Friday. Very rarely – I mean, I did at the beginning because I just haven’t put this into practice yet – Very rarely do I do a podcast recording on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, unless it’s completely unavoidable and most of the time it’s not unavoidable, it just gets rescheduled because I can’t do those days. And I get into a specific mindset when I’m doing sales calls, podcast discovery, calls, podcasts recording calls, where I really struggle to do any copywriting or any content work on the same day. I’m just in a completely different frame of mind, they occur for me at two very different energy levels. I have to be very much on for sales calls and on for podcast recording calls and things because well, just by there nature, nobody wants to buy from somebody who’s not looking at us not listening, being not engaged. Whereas with writing what I’ll do, that’s a very like insular task for me. So if I’m doing a day on writing, I might do half a day that’s just on research so I won’t have my emails open. I won’t have my phone on, sometimes I don’t even have my phone in the room. Slack won’t be on, nothing like that. And it would just be research, get this, understand it, put it onto this piece of paper. Don’t even bother to write it well, that is all my task is for the next three hours. That’s it, whereas before it was this ridiculous hodgepodge of bounce email and emails come up, that sounds to that. And , Oh, I need to do that. Or I really should have done a LinkedIn post today. I’ll go and do that.
And then you get to five o’clock and you’re not really sure with what you’ve done with the day, somebody asks you like my wife will ask me and I’ll be like, no idea what I did today. I must’ve done something. I seem to be sat in the office all day, so I must’ve done something, but I couldn’t tell you for the life of me what it was.
Dylan: [00:23:25] This stuff is, especially as we move more and more towards people working at home, people working by themselves and technology – we all know that technology has become so addictive. You can instantly be sitting there. Your phone will ding with every text, with every email. This stuff will be, is I would argue, probably the most important thing that people need to learn when it comes to just work in general, you need to take proactive steps to insulate yourself from the distractions, from your phone.
My phone is always on do not disturb. It’s always on vibrate. Like only if my girlfriend or family members call me or text me do I get a notification. Otherwise every single call is ignored. I check my email once a day. And that’s it, if you don’t put these roles in place, like you said, you will sit there and you’ll put in a whole eight to 10 hours but because you were continuously checking your email, you were constantly replying to every email when it came in or every Slack message or Skype message or all of this stuff, you never get anything done. Or it’s not just batching and constantly checking stuff it’s batching tasks. A good example is like the writing the ads. Now of course, that was something that was once a month, but you got to look at other tasks that you might be doing where you say, is it podcasts? This is a good one. If you’re putting out a podcast a week. Well, instead of editing every single week, edit say once a month, you edit say four podcasts at once or what you mentioned about having podcasts, where you only do podcast recordings on certain days is an absolutely perfect example. You have one day a week or two days a week where this is all I do on these days, or these are the days that I allow these things to happen. And then the other days you’re doing maybe the creative or the big work. This definitely, it sounds silly, and I would argue it is the most important part of work in our modern day of working at home and with all these distractions, you have to protect your time now.
Nelson: [00:25:55] I think you’re right. I mean, I think it was Cal Newport that wrote Deep Work which is a book on exactly that and he partnered with somebody else to teach this stuff and to teach methods to ensure that we are actually doing work that matters rather than just the surface level tasks. Because if you’re spending like 10 minutes on a task and 15 minutes on a task, there’s no way a deep level on that… There’s certain tasks that you can do. Like, yeah, you can fire off an email or you can hit Slack or you can check on something in terms of actual stuff. That’s going to move the needle that stuff needs, like talking about some of the things that when I know that I need to think through a task, I will go for a run specifically to think through that task and when I run, I go incredibly, incredibly slowly. But I’ll be out.
Dylan: [00:27:01] You walk, you don’t run.
Nelson: [00:27:02] I mean, maybe a swift amble, maybe. I don’t know.
Dylan: [00:27:08] That’s a British term for sure.
Nelson: [00:27:10] I don’t even think there’s that many people in the UK that would ever say that, but I just do it to be funny.
So, speed walking, there we go. I have had way quite large unfit people overtake me. Routinely. I’m not joking. But I enjoy that and it gets me out of the house, but what I was saying is I’ll do that and have a specific task. Cause I know that I won’t take any headphones with me or anything. I will just be out in the woods running. And I will think through that task, but the first half an hour of me thinking through that task by and large is just rubbish. Like it’s just the thought going through my head, but I’m not actually making any progress on that. It takes dedication and approaching it from a few different angles and over time and giving your brain the space to go over that stuff. And the lack of electronic stimulus and the lack of other people taking over your time to be able to actually get into that and if I’m only having like decent thoughts an hour into a run, if I’m sat there at my desk, finding a new task every 15 minutes, I’m never going to get to that.
Dylan: [00:28:33] No, I do the same thing, for me it’s cycling. No headphones, no nothing. And like my entire training program has come as a result of me cycling. I go for a ride and I have a certain topic or whatever that I want to create a training on and I will have to look nuts because I talk to myself out loud just trying to think of how to explain something. But if you’re, you know as you said, if every 15 minutes you’re stopping to check your email or whatnot, you will never get anywhere.
There’s a really good short essay on this. I’m going to butcher this. You’re going to have to, the folks out there are going to have to Google it’s I think the Makers Versus Manages Schedule, or something like that, by I think Paul Graham don’t quote me on that. If you just Google makers versus managers schedule that should pull it up. It’s a short kind of essay that talks about something similar and about this, when you’re making something, when you’re writing content, you’re creating a training program, making videos, anything like that, you need kind of a deep work where you can get focused and you have to be honest with yourself and take an objective look of where the issues are. So me, I can answer my emails in the morning and then I can close down Gmail and I know I won’t go back there. Some people, well, actually, no, let me back up. I personally had to… Yeah, it’s probably a year or two ago I kept checking it. So what I did is I had to put in place some systems and processes for it. So there was an app, a Chrome extension that I downloaded where it limited the amount of time that you could – just Google Chrome extension for time management, something like that.
Nelson: [00:30:33] Like rescue time. Yeah. There’s a ton of them – we’re not sponsored by anyone so I can send the products.
Dylan: [00:30:44] But yeah, it would limit me like say 25 minutes a day or something. And then if you absolutely need to, you need to enter this secret pass code and then it makes fun of you. And it’s like, I’m telling your mom, you should be ashamed of yourself and you have to click on the button like 50 times showing you all these images. And then you get access to Gmail again, like I had to do that because I couldn’t control myself. Now I have it, that what I’m getting into here is everybody needs to come up with their own custom solution. So for me, there are a few emails where like, I want to know when they come in.
So I have different folders in my Gmail different roles. So I only keep one folder open throughout the day. And if an email comes into that, I’ll see it. But the other stuff that just goes into the inbox, I don’t see it. That’s enough for me, but maybe you just need to block Gmail. Maybe you need to put your phone in the freezer. Maybe you need to delete Facebook a hundred percent of the time. You need to figure out and be honest with yourself, what are the things just constantly you can notice yourself going back to and just do whatever the step is to get rid of them. It’s mission critical to doing any kind of positive, good work. You need to take these steps.
Nelson: [00:32:13] One thing I would say to everyone is that putting your phone in the freezer is going to kill the battery. So, well…
Dylan: [00:32:20] Okay, put it in the fridge. The freezer analogy comes from a friend of mine had an issue. This has to do with money management. She had an issue with spending money on her credit cards and I was like, you know, cutting up your credit cards isn’t necessarily a good idea because what if actually there’s a medical emergency or something and you need them well, if you don’t have the card, you literally shredded it, that’s a problem. So the advice, which I heard from somebody else, never had to do it myself, was put it in a thing of Tupperware, fill it with water and freeze your credit card. If you need then like, you know, an hour you could sit it out, run warm water over, and you can get your credit card. But that extra step is going to be enough to stop you. Look, that’s it. Same thing applies for Gmail, Facebook, Reddit, Snapchat, all that stuff. If you create just that little extra step, it’ll make a huge, huge amount of impact.
Nelson: [00:33:29] Yeah and it’s about finding what works for you as you rightly said. For me, it’s enough if I’m downstairs and I’m done for the day, what I will do is just put my phone, on the table away from the sofa. So at least if I want to check it, I won’t find myself just habitually checking it without realizing it, I actually have to get up and make a concerted effort to go to it, but everyone’s different.
So we’ve talked about a few things that made a lot of difference for us in terms of productivity and in terms of doing work that we’re actually proud of. At the end of the day, the people that come to you in terms of wanting to grow that digital marketing agency, what kind of leads them to you? What has gone on in their lives that makes them think, okay, this is something that’s of interest to me
Dylan: [00:34:26] I’m going to kind of back this up and go in a different direction. How I got into mentoring and teaching and coaching was, I met people at industry events, at the gym. Family, friends, and everybody always asks the classic question. What do you do? And I would say, I have my own business. That typically just inspires people because they have a job and they want to quit. Once I got my agency going and was able to travel and still have and still run my business, that was almost like a mythical legend to some people. So when I would talk about that, they would see my Instagram or something and see that I’ve been, you know, I traveled and they’re like, how do you do that? And I’m like, well, I have my own business. Well, I can go somewhere for a couple of weeks and bring my laptop and I can still work. That kind of became the thing that really motivated people the most. I don’t know if that’s the right word motivated. I’m going to roll with it. Inspired. No, I don’t like that word either.
Nelson: [00:35:36] Call them, call them interested
Dylan: [00:35:39] interested, yes, was kind of that lifestyle of being able to travel the world and build a business. And then of course, they’d be like, well, what business do you have? And I say, you know, I have my own digital agency. So that is why I ended up focusing just on teaching people how to build a digital agency and a lot of people, a lot of students come on and they have a dead-end job. Or maybe they do work at home. Maybe they do have some freedom, but they’re just not making anything cause they’re like an independent contractor. The idea of traveling while still having a business is still kind of not possible because they’re getting paid hourly. So they need to still work 40 to 50 hours a week. That’s not going to be fun to be traveling and still working 40 to 50 hours a week. So it tends to be those things that get people interested in and starting their own agency.
Nelson: [00:36:37] Okay. So it’s this kind of, I suppose, aspirational lifestyle based on where they are, they see a gap between what they have at the moment and what they would like to achieve or what they see other people kind of achieve and want to find a way to get out there.
Dylan: [00:36:54] Yeah. I would say 95% of it is the lifestyle. There’s certainly some that is the monetary goal. I tell people the goal of the program is to teach you how to build a six-figure digital agency. And to some people like that is what interests them. But I would say 95% of them, it’s the lifestyle of being able to have your own successful business and not be tied to a desk.
Nelson: [00:37:21] Sure. And I think for a lot of people that haven’t been involved in the industry they kind of might see like a six-figure agency as something being like, Oh, that’s actually really unattainable, but I think actually a six-figure when he’s talking about revenue in terms of what that brick breaks down to like on a monthly basis, that’s probably like $1,800-1,900
Dylan: $1,923 a week.
Nelson: [00:37:55] Okay. Somebody knows his math.
Dylan: [00:38:13] Yeah I used to have a spreadsheet where I would track my weekly revenue. I was just obsessed with hitting six figures. So that’s how I know it’s like $1,923 and change. But that was, I was obsessed with it in 1,923.
Nelson: So what is the etiquette on calling your guests nerds like. Is there a podcast etiquette manual book?
Dylan: [00:38:23] I am, I’m very nerdy. If you’re going to apply that. Do you want me to throw the glasses on,
Nelson: [00:38:28] you put yours on and I’ll put mine.
Dylan: [00:38:30] Yeah. See I got so much glare.
Nelson: [00:38:34] That’s the thing I’ve got to take them off now
Dylan: [00:38:48] I keep kind of looking at myself cause I’m like, I can see my screen in my glasses.
I’ll nerd out all day. Want to talk about Harry Potter?
Nelson: [00:38:53] Sorry?
Dylan: [00:38:54] Want to talk about Harry Potter. We can nerd out on that. I got a wand and everything.
Nelson: [00:38:59] Well I don’t want to get too diverted, but yeah, my wife and I were having a discussion with our friends last night about whether Harry Potter is actually a Christmas series or not. We’re recording this, guys, a month before Christmas, by the time this comes out, Christmas would have been gone and passed. Basically, I’ve decided that I’m right and the Harry Potter series are Christmas films. So that’s that.
Dylan: [00:39:30] Christmas films? I don’t see that. We’ll need to talk about that in episode two.
Nelson: [00:39:34] Cool. Have you back just to discuss that .
Dylan: [00:39:37] I’m on working from home talking about Harry Potter as Christmas movies.
Nelson: [00:39:42] Exactly. So this kind of thing, when you think about it, it breaks down into this figure, actually running a six-figure agency, it’s easy to put this on a pedestal and I don’t want to belittle anybody’s goal, but once you break something down into really manageable chunks and actually not much for an agency when you think that the revenue that you charge, a large proportion of that is going to the people that actually make it happen in terms of the employees. You know, it’s actually not that hot. And hopefully nobody takes offense at that if you’re trying to get on that journey and not quite making it yet, but I know loads of freelances that are making that on their own, not as part of an agency and they’re not heading up and they’re not leveraging capital and leveraging labor in that way. Just doing the work themselves and that’s still making like six figures. So if you do have the skillset, if you have the knowledge, if you have the understanding of the processes, if you have the discipline and the willpower. Because knowledge is one thing, but unless you can actually sit down and make that happen. Go to work and take action. Yeah it’s just not going to happen, but those sorts of things, you know, for a lot of people actual goals, I’m obviously in a very, very privileged position. I don’t want to say that those goals are possible for everyone because it’s just unrealistic. But, you know, I work and have worked as well with people in India who.. these specific people are going to struggle to make six figures because of just the challenges that are put in the path, even though that they’re operating in their global economy. They’re still going to struggle because of a lot of people’s understanding that they’re working with Indians and the different kinds of salary expectations and things like that but in terms of what six figures looks like for people in different countries. It’s like an arbitrary number, right? It’s a target, but what you’re actually shooting for is some level of financial wealth or income or freedom. And what that looks like in different countries is very, very different.
Dylan: [00:42:24] Yeah. In India, that 20,000 would probably be go very far. I have team members in Southeast Asia who Make like $10 an hour. And they’re very wealthy, you know? Just off of the 20 to 30 hours a week that they work for me making 10 bucks an hour, 10 bucks an hour is like nothing in the United States, but there that’s all the money in the world.
Nelson: [00:42:52] If you go to the Bay area, for example, in the US, making six figures, you might in poverty. Well in some areas you’re not feeling well off.
Dylan: [00:43:09] No, that’s absolutely true. And I think that that is going to become… it’s an interesting aspect of work going forward, especially after COVID because a lot of that is almost forced on people. And what I mean by that is like, people will move to the Bay area as an example, which is extremely expensive, but they’ll move there because it’s very common for people to get tech positions and make $200-300,000 a year, which sounds like a pretty decent chunk of money. But there it’s like, you know, you have a decent house and decent apartment. Like you might not even have enough money to buy your own apartment or buy your own house. You go to London and for you, London’s just ridiculously expensive, but people did that because you had to move where the jobs were. It’s very interesting to see what’s going to happen with that because as we become more remote, COVID kind of forced people to go remote and kind of forced that stereotype of people working at home are lazy or something like that and because that stereotype is now broken people aren’t going to want to move to the Bay area to get that job. They’re gonna be like, well, why can’t I just live in Atlanta where it’s a lot cheaper and still have the same job. I can still do it just as good as the person who’s in the Bay area. And they’re working remote because of COVID.
It’s a very interesting, I have no idea, I don’t even know where I was going with this, but it’s interesting to see what’s what is going to happen with that.
Nelson: [00:44:54] So I wrote a guest blog recently for Liv.IT. It was on the subject , essentially I probably went with a bit of a Buzzfeedy title. I went “location-based businesses are dead” here or that replacement and it was all about kind of Remote work and the trends that I was seeing emerging and the future of work and I didn’t touch on this in the article just because it didn’t make sense from kind of conceptual point of view and I have to kind of caveat this by saying that I’m still figuring it out in my head. So, it’s kind of like a half-baked thought at this time, but it’s kind of moving from this location dependency where so many industries have had to be located in a particular area in terms of a certain resource. So that resource could be something like manufacturing needs requires a lot of water. So previously you’d always situate plants near rivers, for example or again, you’d need some sort of transport hub quite locally to you, therefore businesses wouldn’t be built too far away from motorways if logistics was really important – highways for you lot. If that was an important part of your business and that’s starting to fall away, but what I’m wondering… so I think there’s going to be some more equality there between places that should be nice to live, but because they have this brain drain effect, they have the younger generation leaving because they feel like there’s no future there because there’s no jobs there. I feel like more people will be able to stick in the hometowns, the areas that they’ve grown up with, if they want to, because of this kind of move to remote working, however, I think on the other side of the coin, we’re going to move from this idea of location being the thing that’s most important for somebody getting a job and I think we’re instead going to move to this concept of digital haves and digital have nots. So instead of location being the determining factor of whether you get a job in your chosen industry and your salary and the sort of lifestyle you’re able to afford your digital skills and your digital education and your access to fast internet might be the factor that actually swings it in terms of the sort of lifestyles that you end up living, the sort of career that you are up having you know, and I’m still blown away by even like in places like the US how many towns and like rural areas still don’t have high-speed internet,
still don’t have broadband or anything like that. For somebody who lives on such a little Island, you know the UK is not a big place. You see that in how we talk about travel versus you talk about travel in terms of… I’ve got an American client who said, Oh we’re popping down the road just to see our son. I’m like, okay. It’s like a six-hour journey and that’s them popping down the road because they live in Texas. Whereas if I was gone for six hours, my wife would like probably phone the police, if I said I was just going down the road.
But anyway, I get off of point.
So I’m thinking that this is something that we need to be cognizant of as business leaders, as people that could, perhaps listeners could influence government policy and an awareness of how this is going. I think we’re going to move from location having such a big role to digital education and digital access being more important and I’ve seen certain countries have been more, I suppose, forward thinking and understanding about what that means and certain cultures are more set up for it. So I see places like Estonia from a government point of view in terms of the digital visas that they offer the kind of infrastructure investments they’ve made and then certain cultures that you touched on before have been more likely to fit into certain digital roles. If you say an Asian country that focuses on customer service, it’s the Philippines, right? The more customer service agents that I’ve come across at least, and I’d be interested to see if there’s any stats around there, seems to be located in like Southeast Asia, like Indonesia, that sort of area.
Dylan: [00:50:17] Labor costs are so cheap.
Nelson: [00:50:18] Yes, exactly. So there’s certain things that are just kind of emerging at the moment that as I say, it’s a half-baked idea, I’m still very much figuring out what that actually means on a concrete level, but it’s something that I can’t help thinking is likely to happen. This kind of creation of almost a digital underclass.
Dylan: [00:50:41] Digital underclass. That kind of ended on a… kind of took me by surprise. I did, rename that article, digital underclass. No, I totally think that it’s been happening for years and it’s only going to accelerate. I was having a conversation with my neighbor the other day about real estate and how I feel commercial real estate, like office buildings, things like that, like that’s done. Yes there’s still gonna be people who go back to the office, but I think it’s reached its peak and it’s going to be on a decline. And it’s like, do you have strip malls in the UK?
Nelson: [00:51:28] We’ve got shopping centres, but I mean they’ve been dying for a long time. I can’t remember a year that a major chain hasn’t shut down. I mean, even yesterday in the UK Arcadia who run Topshop and Topman and all those businesses that perhaps didn’t make it over the pond, but are very big here, all of them have closed. They were quite reticent. Although you could buy their stuff online, they didn’t make the investments that they should have. They paid the price and everybody else that used to have shops in every town, used to have multiple shops in cities, like clothing brands, department stores, banks as well, they’ve migrated.
Dylan: [00:52:30] It’s going to happen with banks. There’s so many industries that are going to be, that have already felt the impact. COVID just ramps it up to a hundred. I think a lot of people, we were talking about location, I think a lot of people are going to be okay the idea of you finishing school, go into college and then working for one company for 30 years, that’s done for a lot of people.
Nelson: [00:53:00] I think that’s been done for a while.
Dylan: [00:53:02] I think I’m on that cusp of the millennial generation, I think. My brother’s 10 years older than me I think his is like the last one that I would say probably had a little bit of that. But there’s still people who expect that, they expect, they’re afraid of change. They expect to get a job and work that job for the rest of their lives. I think it’s also going to go further and I believe that people are going to be working for multiple companies because now the way to kind of differentiate yourself is to get very specific and very niche down with your skillset. Well, it used to be that a company could hire you for multiple different skills and you would do multiple different things for them. Now they’re going to be hiring people to do something extremely specific. Well, they don’t have enough to have you be full-time. So you might be working with 10 different companies.
So I believe a lot of people are going to be switching to more of like the independent contractor type of working method. The United States is certainly not set up to handle that properly, especially with healthcare. Probably didn’t expect to talk about healthcare on the show.
Nelson: [00:54:15] I mean like it’s a, it’s a conversation that I think needs to be more at the forefront. Again, just research for articles that I’ve created in terms of like the rise in freelancers and independent contractors, depending on what you call them, obviously there are different legal connotations. The fact that healthcare in the US is so linked to your employment means that, I won’t go into it I’m not an expert in this area, but it seems like from the outside world, it looks like a mess.
Dylan: [00:54:52] Oh it is a hundred percent. I think it’s like 50 to 60% of people in this country get their healthcare through their employer. You’re not going to be doing that anymore. You’re not going to be going to work for a manufacturing company and working at that same manufacturing company for 30 to 40 years. A lot of people used to get their retirement benefits through that. And I’m not necessarily saying that the government should be the solution to all these things because the government isn’t the solution to everything. But we especially in the United States, we’ve kind of just been like holding onto the past. You mentioned, I’m from a rural community in Pennsylvania. Internet was terrible there. I know people who couldn’t get internet access. It’s 2020 and their best hope for internet was like the satellite stuff where you get like one megabit per second upload and download, and it’s available like 12 hours a day. Its 2020 and that’s the best internet that these people have.
That is what’s going to be driving people to urban areas is access to internet. Whereas if we would’ve just made investments, when it comes to broadband internet access and changing our healthcare system or whatnot, we would have been more prepared for this.
Nelson: [00:56:12] Can I tell you one thing that does excite me about this, this change? Because it’s not all doom and gloom doom and gloom. It’s going to be good for some people and bad for others and I think there’s going to be a lot of heartache along the way, but at the moment, there are certain like segments of our society that are completely overlooked and completely undervalued and this is something I’ve just been thinking about. I’ve got a lot of friends who are in that have just had children and things like that and perhaps they’re looking to get back into the workforce, but struggling. And I think there are certain subsections of society and in this example mums who have had had children and are ready to go back to work in some capacity and by back to work I don’t necessarily mean to a physical location, but they are ready to be part of the workforce again. They want to earn money. They’ll struggle to commit to nine to five, working five days a week, nor do they particularly want that in a lot of the cases. They want to spend time with their children, where they can, but also, you know, they worried about falling out of the workforce and having things changing if they’re out for too long not having the place in their company, for example, and you know, they want to earn the money as well.
So that is like a massively underserved community as a massively underserved economic force. So I think I am excited, and this is definitely not the case yet, I am excited to see what companies and what kind of government initiatives emerge that make it easier to set up in those sort of situations, as a business or as a limited company or just a partnership or a sole proprietorship. Make it easy to do that and simple to do that for somebody to maybe just work as a hybrid freelancer, hybrid worker within a company still, but with more flexibility, I can’t help, but think this shouldn’t be the best that we can do. So many people were just prevented going into the workforce at the moment after they’ve had had children, because the lack of flexibility. So, I don’t know, that’s one of the areas that I’m optimistic about because we do it poorly now. So I think it can only get better.
Dylan: [00:59:17] I don’t think it is doom and gloom. I believe it is scary for me personally I’m younger, I’m a millennial, I’m used to change, these changes don’t scare me. I believe it’s scary to some people, but overall they’re deep. It’s naturally happening this change of work, it’s not going to stop so there’s no reason to even discuss that, and the benefits are massive. You mentioned a mother who wants a more flexible schedule where, you know, it used to be companies acquire 40 hours a week? Well, if a company only needs you for 10 hours a week, well, maybe you work for two different companies and that’s good. That’s totally fine. I had a conversation the other day, I did a podcast and we were talking about minorities and those with disabilities. Race is still an issue in the United States, but if you never see somebody and all you care about is the result, race becomes less of an issue. If somebody is in a wheelchair, they don’t need to have to go to work. They can work at home. Those people are going to be able to experience huge benefits. I could go on and on, and I really believe that again, overall, the benefits far outweigh the negatives of the change, but the world is constantly changing. We used to be more of, at least in the United States, we used to be more of an industrial manufacturing-based economy. You know, when I was born, like the eighties and seventies, a lot of manufacturing going on and a lot of people lost their jobs. But they’ll blame it and be like “Oh, all the jobs went to China.” No, like 80% of it was automation and factories becoming more efficient. Work is currently changing and it will change in the future and it will continue to change and change and change. You just have to keep up with it. And most of the time it’s progress, it’s not a straight line, but most of the time we’re in an upward angle and things do tend to get better and better. Again, it’s not a straight line, but overall I think 10/15 years from now, we’ll look back and be like there’s so many positive things that happened.
Nelson: [01:01:42] I think we should wrap up on that note of optimism and positivity, because I will just kind of go back and then I’ll make the mistake of saying something incredibly negative and have to wrap up there. So I think that’s a lovely place to leave it. Dylan thank you so, so much for coming on. I’m happy to have you on again at some point to set the world to rights on something else as well, another topic.
Dylan: [01:02:15] World peace next time.
Nelson: [01:02:17] Well, you know, I think it’ll already be solved, completely solved by next time.
Dylan: [01:02:21] Okay. All right well then we’ll aim for climate change or something like that. We got it. We got it, man. No big deal.
To answer your question, where can people find more? My website, Dylanogline.com and then on the Instagrams and the LinkedIns and the Facebooks @Dylanogline.
Nelson: [01:02:40] Fantastic thank you so much and we’ll have all of those links in the show notes and the transcript as well to boot Dylan. Thank you so much again. I really appreciate it. Okay. And we’ll speak to you soon.
Dylan: [01:02:52] Sure. Thank you.
Nelson: [01:02:54] And that’s it for today, you’ve been listening to the working from home podcast with me, Nelson Jordan.