1) What’s your backstory?
I began my online career as assistant manager for a Canadian ecommerce website, which enjoyed high growth. Their success got me excited about scaling businesses through better content, and improved exposure via online, video, and social.
Before I launched Growing Search, a digital agency with offices in Toronto and Montreal, I managed an SEO team that optimized large adult websites. Our SEO methods worked big time: We secured page-one Google results for popular keywords. My current team now applies similar techniques for a diverse client base.
Scaling a startup requires personal growth, and leaving behind comfort zones. I moved to Toronto from Montreal, and that meant saying goodbye to family, friends, and a cushiony job.
Being an entrepreneur is therefore exciting and rewarding, but also scary and lonely. You venture forth anyway. Growing Search employs some of the best professionals in the SEO and content marketplace.
2) What was was your spark, where did it come from?
Data, growth, and ability to bring change are what drives me. I’m hungry for more, and no one can improve business or life but you.
SEO and web content are data-driven industries, and I see the results first-hand through analytics. I observe metrics, and make tweaks along the way. Optimization is always a moving target, and digital pros must continuously adapt and learn.
At the end of a campaign, it’s exciting to see the results and say, “Yeah, I did that!”. It’s also a wonderful perk that clients essentially pay us to learn—and execute—optimal strategies. In other words, we’re financially rewarded to improve our skills every day.
This is definitely not a job where you stand pat, and collect a paycheck. Your talent moves up, or you’re out.
3) Many perceive the entrepreneurship as a solo journey. Who or what has helped you most along your journey?
As they say, timing is everything.
I’ve been at the right place at the right time. For example, I became interested in digital as businesses transitioned their marketing budgets to online and social.
Moreover, perfect timing involves networking with awesome contacts. I’ve met meaningful people who influenced my life at various stages. There have been times when I missed my flight but met invaluable people on the subsequent flight.
Seemingly random events can alter one’s course, but these chance encounters can positively affect your journey.
Finally, no matter what life brings, family comes first. My wife grounds me, and reminds me of what’s important. Everything that I’ve accomplished I’ve done with her and my son cheering me on. There’s no better reward than that.
4) How do you deal with challenges?
Entrepreneurs need to hustle to make everyone succeed: oneself, clients, employees. Business owners must also realize that they can be ten-times stronger than adversity—like making payroll, or closing a skeptical prospect when the business needs cash flow.
Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s part of success.
Sometimes you’re dealt a bad card, but there’s always a lesson. Stand back, get perspective, and push for victory.