Jason Portnoy’s Insights on How to Help your Business and Employees Grow at the Same Time

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How to grow your business? How to help your employees grow? Do you want to help your business and employees grow together?  Do you want to create a win-win situation for your business and employees’ success? If so, then you need to focus on creating an environment where both your business and employees can grow together.

It's important to grow your business and employees because it allows you to continue expanding and becoming more successful. With a growing company, you're able to bring in new ideas and new perspectives that can help take your business to the next level. 

In this episode, Jason Portnoy of JPORT Media shares his insights on how to make this happen in your organization. He discusses his real-life experiences in achieving this goal and provides valuable information that will help you achieve success!

Jason Portnoy of JPORT Media

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Atiba de Souza: Jason Portnoy of JPORT Media joins me today on the Build Your Team show. And we had an awesome conversation talking about one of the things that we talk about a lot here, guys. The fact that you've gotta be a really great person to be a really great boss to create really great culture. So, hang onto your seats.

Jason has a wealth of experience and he's gonna share some of that with you and trust me, you're going to love this conversation that we've had. And as always, we are brought to you by Client Attraction Pros. If you are ready to make the plunge into video marketing, if you're ready to become the thought leader that your industry needs to do, check us out at Client Attraction Pros, where we make creating videos, fast, fun, and easy.

Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Build Your Team. I've got one of my newest friends and when I say one of my newest friends, like we spent some good time together to the point that we haven't seen each other since then.

It's feels like it's been forever since I've seen him. It's only been six weeks, but it feels like so much longer because, us being away from each other just isn't good. Jason Portnoy of JPORT Media is with me today and he's gonna share with us some of his insights. Jason, welcome to the Build Your Team show, my friend.

Jason Portnoy: Great to be here. Thank you for having me. And yes, it does feel like a long time and then every time I see you, there's always a different Superman hat. I always feel like I'm not getting repeats. There's always something different with you. I love it.

Atiba de Souza: When you got a hundred of them, we don't have to repeat too often.

Jason Portnoy: Fair. Good point.

Atiba de Souza: So tell us a little bit, about — actually, let me ask you this. Let me just jump right in. Okay. I'm gonna dive right into the good stuff into the meat of it all. I want you to take us back to the beginning of JPORT Media and the time where you realized I can't do this by myself.

I need help. I need a team. I need to grow. Okay. Think back on that. And my question then to you is what was that time like? What were you going through? And I'm really curious because this is where a lot of people have struggle with was what was the trepidation that you had in that moment?

Jason Portnoy: Yeah, no great question. I'm gonna take you a step even like before that, because I think that really will tell the story is before I started the agency, I actually had a clothing brand and we were in over 250 stores across North America. Absolutely got burnt out because I did have a team that was doing things right.

We had warehousing, we had shippers, we had graphic designers, sales reps. However, I was such a micromanager That I was too young to realize that you could hire for the things you don't want to do, or the things that you're not necessarily good at, and you have to let those experts run with it. And so I pretty much tried to do everything myself.

And when you tried to do everything yourself, you do nothing well. And I got burnt out, hated the clothing industry. There were a lot of different reasons why I left. Anyways, I started an agency. But when you're one person you can't really call yourself an agency, right?

You're a marketer and you're taking on some freelance clients. That's great. Even today, like I still have trouble saying agency. I don't really love that word so much, but in any case, it was really — I started understanding business a lot more after, after that clothing company and I really think it was a great lesson for me. 

from a marketing standpoint just overall business. And it wasn't until I started working with other companies a lot more closely from their marketing, learning their you start realizing that there's reasons why certain businesses grow and reasons why they don't.

Atiba de Souza: True.

Jason Portnoy: So I looked at what I wanted to build and what I wanted to grow. Obviously, that changes over time and you adjust to it. But I looked at what I wanted to build, and then you have to be a little bit self-aware and realize, okay, where are your strengths? I think the biggest thing people try to do is they try to offload too much right off the bat.

And as a business owner, there's a difference between delegating and abdicating your responsibility. Delegating is I know what I'm doing and I could give it to someone and I trust them to go do and I could do the work. Abdicating is when you're like, Hey, I don't understand marketing at all. So I'm gonna start an agency, but I'm gonna hire media buyers and just have them go do it. And I don't understand the world at all." That's a little bit unethical in my mind, but it's also, you're abdicating responsibilities. You don't know enough of what to do, and you don't know how to judge those people on job well.

So now you have to add another layer, right? So you have — you're hiring the media buyers, but you don't know how to judge their work, for example in a agency. So you have to hire a senior media buyer who could judge their work, but you don't know how to read their reports back to you. So now you have to hire a CMO.

So it always comes and there's that always that trust and it never really works. That being said, there are people who own McDonald's restaurants, they've never flipped the burger in their life. You don't necessarily have to know how to do everything, but you have to know enough to hold your team accountable.

So I think that's one of the biggest mistakes people do is then they just start going to hire too quickly. And I'm a big believer in hiring to solve the bottleneck that you're in.

Atiba de Souza: Okay.

Jason Portnoy: If you're spending all your time doing administrative work, that doesn't allow you to grow the business and this is I'm a big believer in it, especially in our marketing world that we're in. The first thing you need to hire is an assistant. Most people try to go hire everything else. The first thing you need to hire is assistant because that — the administrative stuff is what bogs you down. That's what takes away all your time. It's the biggest time sucker. So that was my first hire, like from the agency side of things, I hired an assistant.

Then I hired media buyers and then kind of grew from there, solving the bottlenecks of where I wanted to be. I didn't wanna spend all my time in ads manager anymore. So I needed someone who could spend their time in ads manager. I liked dealing with strategies, so I dealt with strategy. I hated talking to clients, so I made someone else talk to the clients and you just solved the bottleneck you're in as you grow. 

The business was going well. answer the, trepidation question. The business was going well, but I didn't have any time. You start a business to build a life that you want for you and your family to enjoy your freedom, to have your time and essentially that's why you hire people, right? 

Like if you think about it, hiring is to buy back time for you, as the business owner and I wasn't doing that. So, although things were going well, I wanted to look at things and I'm a big believer in systems. I teach that in my own coaching program on how to hire, how to build the systems around hiring, how to build the systems within your own business, so that your time's back focused on growing the business

Atiba de Souza: Right. And there was so much meat in that too. I want to jump back to — as my lights just turned off on me. That's great. And see guys, this is real life, like your lights will turn off in the middle of interviews. Stuff happens, right?

It's interesting what you said and I know you — you know, Jeff Hunter, right? And so Jeff was on the show and he said the exact same thing that you said. The first person you need to hire is your executive assistant. Okay. Did you hire someone in person or virtual?

Jason Portnoy: My entire team is virtual.

Atiba de Souza: Entire team is virtual. Fantastic. Okay.

Jason Portnoy: I'm a big believer in hiring the best talent, not the best local talent.

Atiba de Souza: I think you can say that again, people need to hear that statement.

Jason Portnoy: All in favor of hiring the best talent. They don't have to be local. I don't want the best that's available to me in a certain mile radius. I want the best that's available to me worldwide.

Atiba de Souza: Right. That's so key. So my lights just wanna keep going out. We're just gonna deal with the light going out and call it a day. I don't know what's wrong, but this is what happens, guys. Okay, so you hired your executive assistant and obviously you knew exactly what you wanted that person to do because you were solving a bottleneck problem. And you were also saying that you're big into systems, which I'm going to translate into three little letters, SOPs. Did you hire first or do the SOPs in the system first?

Jason Portnoy: That's an amazing question. I got asked the other day, if I could go back and tell myself at the start of the agency, like something, what would I tell myself? And I was like, document everything. Who knows where I wanted to take things. And I wanna make something very clear, you hire an assistant and you feel like your life is gonna be like, wow. The first three months of that, you're doing more work 'cause you're doing everything double, triple. Because not only are you doing it, but now you have to do it and explain it, then you have to judge them. Then you have to have them do it. And you have to watch that. Everything's triple. But the good news is everything gets documented. Plus you get an extra pair of eyes. So the assistant sits there and says, "Well, look, I'm doing this, but I could cut time if I just do this. And this is a lot faster."

That's what I want. And you also have to know your personality. I don't like getting bogged down in the details. I'm a commander's intent type of person. Go do this. Don't care how we get there. Try not to kill too many soldiers. Go capture that area. Try not to get too many of our men killed, but however you capture the area, just go do it.

Atiba de Souza: Just go do it. Get it done.

Jason Portnoy: And just get it done.

And so like a lot of times the system — in the beginning, which she'd come back to me to be like, well, what do you think about this? What do you think about that? And I'd have 19 decisions to make. I'm like, I hired you to make the decision.

Atiba de Souza: Right.

Jason Portnoy: Like, I don't need PowerPoint presentations on which software we should be using for this.

You're gonna be using the software, you figure out which was the one. And if you make a mistake, you tell me early enough, so we could correct it and start doing something else. 

But yeah, the SOPs were built like pretty much with her and they're still being built to this day because things change and, rules change.

 And we discover clients like this, clients don't like that. And even in the coaching program that I run, we deal with this all the time, where businesses change and your software's change. I'm constantly looking for ways to break things, which is annoying for my team and annoying for my assistant to kind of keep up with that.

But the SOPs were pretty much built after, which was a big mistake. It also takes up a lot more time. If you actually had that, you could just be like here, just go do it. Here's the questions. So now what I do is, I'll shoot a loom video. I'll send it off to her. You create this into an SOP. There's a great tool called Scribe, where Scribe allows you like you can record your screen. And it will actually, will break into a PDF-SOP for you, which is pretty cool. We're pretty systemized right now with how things are.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. That's awesome and I wanna ask you if you have had this experience — because I have this experience all the time. And I have a feeling that you probably do too, giving our similarities. All right, and that is — somebody comes in — when I said have this experience all the time, like I had it an hour, no, 40 minutes ago with someone.

And she's new on the team and she's coming, she took over some SOPs and she did a really great job from the person who was leaving that role because they had other work in the organization to do. And that was a bottleneck. I had one person doing too much. So she came in to do this role and she's done it admirably to the point I don't have to think about it because she just gets it done. Right. And she follows. So it was great. And I think, you know, the beautiful thing about you coming in like this, is you allow me to dream. So here's some of the stuff I've been dreaming about. Do you find yourself there too as the business owner sometimes where it's like — because you know they've got it, it just allows your mind — and I think the answer is yes because you said you break stuff all the time, cause I break stuff all the time. Does it allow your mind to just go further and dream and create more?

Jason Portnoy: A hundred percent and I think that's why you hire them, right? Again, it goes back to buying your time. And as a business owner, it's not necessarily time to go golfing or time to just do absolutely nothing, but it's time to further the business and grow the business. Rocket Fuel is a great book, Right. It's a great book for every business owner to read because there's two types of people, right? There's visionaries and integrators. I am not an integrator. I don't care about the system. I want the systems in place. I don't care about it. I don't wanna have to follow it. I don't wanna have to do anything.

And that's where I just break things in and annoy everyone I just go through things my way. But, I'm a visionary person. I want to dream. I wanna come up with the next thing. I want to do it. And I need someone that will execute on that vision. And I need that integrator. So a lot of times your executive assistant and not necessarily a VA for example, but a real executive assistant, they will come in and they will be that integrator for you in the beginning.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. And so let's dive a little bit deeper into that because I think that's a term that you and I understand, and from where we come from, right? And I think for any other visionary listening to this, probably heard the term integrator — if you've never heard it before and you're just like, "Yes, that's what I've been missing."

Cause that's the way I felt the first time I heard the term integrator several years ago. Like, "Oh my gosh, why I never had one of those before?" Yes. Right? But do me a favor for everybody. Define it. Define integrator and also not just the definition of integrator, but also from a personality stand point of who you are as a visionary and what the integrator brings and the synergy. And also some of the conflict that happens there between the two.

Jason Portnoy: Your job as a visionary is to be the idea person. They're usually the most creative people. If you look at some of the billionaires right now that are there, Elon Musk, they're visionary people, right? He's trying to build life on Mars. That's the idea guy, Right. He's like, "Hey, I wanna build life on Mars, you guys go figure out how to do it." and that's your job. I'm gonna hire people to go do that. So, that's a visionary. Their job is to keep thinking about how to grow the business. What ways can I disrupt? What ways can I pivot? What ways can I do things? The integrator's job is to — one, build those systems, take care of all that administrative tasks, make sure and that the execution actually gets planned out and done.

As a visionary, you don't love plans, right? Business plan suck. I can't write a business plan. I hate writing proposals because I'm the idea person. I'm gonna come in and get your results. Here's how I'm gonna do it. You need a proposal that says that, no problem, someone else will create that for you.

They really come in and take your ideas and execute. Now, the biggest conflict between the two is that, it's not just good enough to have someone that could do it. But you need someone that doesn't just sit there and say, "No, you're dreaming too big. No, this can't be done."

Okay Jason, this can't be done. Okay, Atiba, that's a great idea, there's no way this could happen because then they're just a negative Nancy and they're just, they're just no man. And they're just gonna sit there and nix every idea you have. And that's just gonna kill your whole vibe and your whole visionary. But you also need that perfect balance of someone saying, "I hear what you're saying."

Okay, Atiba, we're not gonna build our next office on Jupiter but all right, cool. Let's see how we could kind of get close to there and kind of be like — Okay. So I think what you wanted accomplished by putting on Jupiter is this, but I think we could accomplish this on planet earth, in this warehouse, three blocks away is what we could do and do this.

And you're like, "Cool. Yeah, exactly." So your ideas, you need someone that could actually take those big ideas, not necessarily throw them out and just be like, man, this guy's a dreamer but could hold you, could ground you a little bit, but also gives you that permission to think big and you get to run with it. 

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. That's awesome. It's great to have —

Jason Portnoy: It's a hard person to find, but if you're a visionary and you find that, that's the recipe. And believe it or not, I know a lot of owners and visionaries could have a big ego and think that they're the business. They are just the integrator is just as vital to your business as a visionary, because an integrator alone can't grow the business. And a visionary alone is just an idea person.

Atiba de Souza: Absolutely. So my experience and I'm sharing this and would love your feedback on it. Integrators that I've had that have worked really, really well with me have been "why people". In other words, they wanted to understand why you wanted it. Okay. You want the office on Jupiter? Why is that? Like what is it that you're trying to accomplish? What do you think — and that is what then allowed them — if they had to say no. To be able to say, I gotta say no, because these things are impossible, but you were trying to accomplish this and we can do it in that way. Which for me has been fantastic because then I still felt like I got what I wanted.

We still went in the direction that we wanted to go in, even if we couldn't achieve that "wow thing" that we're trying to get there. Have you experienced that? Or, do you see your integrators in different ways?

Jason Portnoy: No. I think I see it as that. I've never vocalized it like that. And I think the way you said it was spot on. I do believe every person in the business needs to be involved in the 'why', a little bit more that's how you get people to grow. Say what you want about this guy, Grant Cardone. You could say whatever you want. I know he's polarizing. Some people listening may love him. Some people may listen will hate him. Take away aside. Gary Vaynerchuk is trying the same thing.

 Those two guys — so whatever you feel about them, put this aside for one second. Realize that they have hundreds of people on their team.

Gary has an 800 plus person agency, multiple businesses. Grant has like few hundred employees across his businesses. They would all jump off a cliff for those guys —

Atiba de Souza: Yeah, absolutely.

Jason Portnoy: — to accomplish the goal. Now it's not a cult, right? Because they're not blindly, but they're all so bought into the mission. They're so bought into that mission that they're such believers in it. That's an incredible thing to build. So you go back to like, they need to be "why people". Everyone needs to be a "why person" in your business. And if they're not, they need to be brought on board to understand what their role is and what their mission is.

 I think that's a question that you should look at for when you hire anyone and just be like, "Do they buy into this mission? How do they fit this mission you want to achieve?" I tell everyone on my team, " You wanna make more money? No problem. Sell." but they're like, "But I'm an assistant. I'm not a salesperson." Cool. Everyone's a salesperson in my business. In any business I'll ever have, whether it's going back to clothing and shutting down the agency or agency or my coaching program, whatever it is, everyone in there is a salesperson.

Someone joins the coaching program. Hey, I want a discount." No problem. You'll pay a full price but if, guess what? You refer someone into the business.

Atiba de Souza: Then you get your discount.

Jason Portnoy: I'll give you this much. There's your discount. Right? So everyone is in sales and I try to force everyone to wanna sell. And the only way they could do that is if they actually believe in the mission.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. And that's an amazing point all by itself. And bring this back up because this ties right back into to a conversation Jeff Hunter and I were having as well. When we bring someone in and truth be told, got this from EOS. I don't know if you know EOS and their system. The Entrepreneurial Operating System, I think it's what it stands for. But anyway, so EOS, one of there are principles when you're hiring and evaluating people is get it, want it, have the aptitude to grow to it.

And that literally has become the baseline of hiring for us, right? 

Jason Portnoy: I like that. 

Atiba de Souza: Because if they truly get it and they truly want it, then we're getting to 'why'. And that's so key. I'm so glad that you brought — that we've evolved this conversation in this way. It's one of those things that as business owners, we oftentimes miss, because we just want to hire someone who can do the job.

Jason Portnoy: Oh, look. Don't get me wrong. There are positions like that, right? Like the warehouse manager who's picking the t-shirt and putting it and folding it and putting, he's not buying into necessarily a mission of like, "Man, me folding this t-shirt, I'm gonna put it in this envelope. And man, I'm gonna change someone's life when they wear this. Oh, glorious Monday." Right? 

No, like there are some people, there are jobs in life — but there are ways to tie in that job to a bigger mission. I think that's how every employee should kind of find their role in a business. The guy who's painting stop line on the street, Man, if I don't paint that stop line, a car doesn't stop and kill someone and kills a kid. Man, I'm saving lives. It's a big stretch. We're getting to a big stretch here, but you could bring it all down to the smallest person in a business, which is why as a business owner, you should never overlook anyone. My father, he's a doctor and I used to go to the hospital to visit him and the janitors would know his name and the parking guy would be like, welcome back Dr. Portnoy or whatever. Not because he was like some — because he talked to them, he knew them.

He knew their name back, right? So it wasn't like they knew his name. He knew their name back. They would come in and bend over back. He needed a favor. There was a six month waiting list, he would get that favor. The IT person would show up that day. That's the power of bringing everyone in and making sure everyone feels special.

So I recognize that very, very, very early on. And that's why, like, anyone, like you could tie it. There's so many COGS (Cost of goods sold) to a business. 

Atiba de Souza: Absolutely.

Jason Portnoy: And you could sit there and say, yeah, your CFO is an important part, maybe more important than the guy picking the t-shirt. But if the guy doesn't pick the right T-shirt, he messes everything up. If the guy who's picking the t-shirt decides, you know what, I'm not shipping any of this out and walks out on his job, messes everything up for a day. If the guy puts it in the right thing, but then puts it faster and then picks the right shipping and sends it off and it gets there. That's customer service.

That's good feedback. That's a happy customer. That's a repeat customer. All these things play. So as a business owner, I would try to tell everyone as much as they can to remember that.

Atiba de Souza: Yes, absolutely. And it does come from the top. That example with your dad, and I learned that lesson that your dad knew in a different way. And it was someone who taught it to me. They said, how you evaluate the character of a person is by evaluating how they treat the lowest person around them, right? If they are going to overlook the waitress, the cashier, the janitor, there's only a matter of time before they overlook you.

Jason Portnoy: Which is why I tell my kids, my son's four years old, the oldest is four. And I tell him like, someone picks something up for him. You look them in the eyes and say, thank you. And when he doesn't wanna say thank you, I get very angry. I'm like, say, thank you. Say thank you.

We go through it until he learns that he has say thank you because it's an important skill in life. Saying please, saying thank you, being appreciative. Look, we're in the marketing business. It's filled with social climbers who just want to climb on the shoulders of someone above them in order to kick them off and take their spot and then grow and then grow.

There's so many snakes in this business that real kind of seems fake at this moment, right? Who do you even trust? Who do you even deal with? Authentic doesn't even mean anything anymore, but there's certain character traits like you said that people could see. And if they see it, they could judge you pretty quickly on it.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. So if you're listening, I hope you're also hearing this too. We talk all about culture here on the channel as well. By culture, as we've always said, it starts with you. And it starts with how you treat everyone, every single person.

Jason Portnoy: I wrote a blog article like a few years ago that said, you work for your employees, not the other way around. And if you think about it, like if you have a lot of employees, you grow to that space, that's a lot of people you're responsible for. Right? They're not going home at night being like, "Man, I'm responsible for Atiba. I really hope he's sleeping well in bed tonight". Right? No, they don't care. They're hoping they're sleeping well in bed tonight. And if you're a good business owner, you're hoping they're sleeping well in bed tonight too. And so that's why I never wanted a huge team. Part of me when I first grew the business, I was like, okay, I'm gonna go to 800 person. That's what I want. Then I was like, no, that sounds like a nightmare. That's a lot more stress on me. That's a lot more of this. That's a lot more of hiring. It's a lot more putting out fires than I want to. And I could run it a little bit more leaner than what's normally suggested or told to, to run a business. I'm a big believer that, that you work for them because you take a day off and you decide you don't wanna grow the business, it's not just a move you're making, but you're affecting the livelihood of a lot of your people.

Atiba de Souza: It ripples out. I've had the pleasure of watching a lot of people go from zero to one, zero to five, three to 10, and the ones who succeed in business and growing their teams in that way are always ones who care the most about their employees. Right?

Jason Portnoy: Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: Because it is, we do work for them like you said. And we have responsibility. They put trust in us for their families and their future.

Jason Portnoy: So if you're a business owner and you're listening to this and you have a team and you're still thinking small, you're being selfish. You're being selfish to your own family. You're being selfish to your work family. You're being selfish to yourself.

Atiba de Souza: Absolutely. Because you have a responsibility to grow.

Jason Portnoy: Agreed.

Atiba de Souza: And that's just where we are. So, we went down an amazing rabbit hole there. That was awesome. No, no, it was great. That's the thing that I love about these conversations, because we can just go anywhere. Do we need to, want to, should go, right? Because it's really about sharing our experiences because we want you, the viewer, a listener to understand that number one, you're not alone. Right?

And business can be so lonely at times where you just feel like nobody understands. Yeah, we do. We do. So it was a great rabbit hole because I know somebody is feeling this and wondering. Really quick story. So I had a gentleman, Branden on the show a couple weeks ago and he told me this story and I've retold it a bunch of times.

And he was — actually I told you about him earlier. He was the agency owner who's been around for 30 years. And he said early in the business, when he finally got to the place where he had a little extra money, he took his wife down to Disney World and he got down to Disney World and they were at some buffet restaurant type of thing and family style buffet at that.

And so there were a bunch of other people around, this is obviously pre COVID, right? Bunch of other people at the table that they were at, and he didn't know any of them. And one of them happened to be a marketing guru as well. And someone who was way ahead in career than this guy was at the time. And he said, he sat there and he was just listening to this guy brag about how he had scammed all of these people out so much money.

And that as a marketer, it's just like taking candy from a baby. We're just checking people and taking all of their money. He looked over to his wife and he said, if this is what marketing is all about and what our future is, I don't want any parts of this. And his wife, just like your wife and my wife, who's much smarter than us looked back at him and said, that's not what it's about and you're gonna do it differently. And so, I share that story because the conversation that Jason and I just had is about doing it differently. It is about not following what the world says that you're the boss and you should be. No, that's not what it's about. Right? You don't become the boss, you become a dictator. Go ahead, Jason.

Jason Portnoy: I love that. I hate our industry, marketers rank lower and trust in politicians. I'm not a big fan of the industry, The amount of people I talk to that have been burnt. We say no to more clients on the agency side than we say yes to prospects. I mean, then we say yes to, I think the easiest part is getting someone to sign a contract.

The hardest part is actually delivering. And I think that's where — when we were small and we're still, we're not a big by any means, but looking at the growth was always the same fear. Great! We signed a contract. Now, I hope we could deliver. Because there are no guarantees. We're a partner in their business and that's why it's so hard. If they hired us to build a website, man, we could guarantee here's a website. You're going to have this website. We'll make the change until you love it. There you go. Pay us our money. But we're only as good as we're a part of the business and there's certain things that are inside the client's control that they need to do. The same way on the coaching program.

I believe I could help anyone grow their business. I've just seen so many different businesses. I've been there before. I think the fundamentals are there. And so when I talk to someone on the phone and I bring them into the coaching program, my first thought is, man, I hope they listen.

And I hope we could get them results because if you want it more than your client wants it for themselves, it's a very bad place to be in. That heavily weighs on my mind trying to be as different as possible in this industry. There are times where we have clients and we miss, right?

Like we're human. We miss. And that weighs heavily on me because are they gonna walk around and being like this guy's a scam. I signed up with this agency and they couldn't deliver when we don't just sit there and say, sorry, it didn't work. We provide a ton of data on what they need to do and things like we go back to them, but that always weighs because my reputation matters more than anything else. More than any short term capital. I say no to short-term capital to protect my reputation at all costs. I could have grown this agency Way bigger if I just took on the clients and just said, okay, cool. They'll stay for three months. And then they leave.

All right, who cares? At least we worked with them and gave it a shot. I could have done that. And it's the reason, the number one reason why I started my coaching program. and I started that because we got clients that were burnt from hiring six agencies, which is a red flag in itself. Well, you don't need to hire six agencies.

From people who just got burnt by gurus, who bought every course on the planet. I own almost every course, but they need that help. They need that handhold. They need that person in their corner. Look, LeBron James has a coach. Lady Gaga has a vocal coach. If you play any game like at a high competitive level, chances are they have a coach.

And if you're listening to this, if you're listening to this right now, chances are you're playing the game of business, which is a hugely competitive, important game. So why wouldn't you get the help that you need to. That's the number one reason for everything you named is that reason because I meant — I'm ashamed of this industry. I met a lot of good people. I've met heroes of mine in this business that they say, you don't wanna meet your heroes. It's a true statement.

Atiba de Souza: It is a true statement and such a great point about having a coach. I tell all of my staff actually, so listen, you're gonna be with me as long as we're supposed to be together. Eventually you're gonna have to leave, but you're gonna be with me for as long as we need to be together.

And when you leave and you go somewhere else in your interview process, ask the business owner who is their coach. Cause if they don't have a coach, you don't wanna work for them. Right? All my staff know who my coach is because it's so true. This is highly competitive and you must, you must have a coach.

Everyone who is successful, has a coach. Just take that for what it's worth. But now you've talked about your agency. You've talked about your coaching program and we've kind of danced around them. So tell us about them. Tell us about the agency. Tell us about your coaching program.

Jason Portnoy: Yeah. So the agency, we're a full service digital agency, right? So we do email marketing, SMS. We specialize in paid media, Facebook, especially, but TikTok, Google, we're very good on the demand generation and the scaling side of things. That's what we do. I would say we're predominantly.

At one point we were 90% e-commerce focused. Now I would say, we're close to like 80%. Like we are starting to branch out marketing is marketing. Believe it or not. I think it was fear not branching out. I just gravitated towards e-commerce in the beginning because that's the world I came from with my clothing brand.

So I just thought it was easy and I could relate a lot more to those type of clients. Majority of our clients are with us for Facebook ads and probably email and maybe Google. Now, slowly starting to move on to TikTok. A lot of them are missing key component of strategy, which has led me to the coaching program. 

I built this business, the method I use is called the Market Domination Method, which is, there are five levers to grow a business. And you could pull any single one of them and it has a compounding effect on the next one. And that's what we've used to scale. We've generated the agency over $200 million in revenue for our clients profitably, using that type of system. 

So I said, you know what, I want to do this. I want to coach people. I think a lot of people who came to me were missing the foundations in their business. And I think I've become pretty savvy on the business side. I've just seen so much from a number standpoint, from a hiring standpoint, from going through it myself, from just the different growth things and seeing businesses grow from literally $2,500 a month in sales to $500,000 a month in sales. Their teams changed. Their attitude changed. They've broken a lot and I've been lucky enough to be part of that journey with them. I like to say a guide on that journey with them. So I started the coaching program, which called the Market Domination Coaching Program. It really teaches that philosophy. It's all my resources, all my experience, all my templates, all my knowhow contacts, whatever. I have templates and SOPs around almost everything now. 

Like we talk, we spoke about at the beginning of the show, I give that all away and that's cost me hundreds and hundreds of thousand dollars to build. Why? Because I truly, truly love this game. I love entrepreneurship and I love helping business people and I love the strategy component to it.

Atiba de Souza: That is absolutely awesome. So I gotta ask you this, how do they find you?

Jason Portnoy: The easiest way is if you go to my website, jportnoy.com. Everything's on there. My podcast links, everything. Any resource you want is on there. How to work with me, the different ways you can get in contact with me, all there. So probably easiest way to send them is to there. And I'm super accessible. So if you follow on social media and you wanna just say hi, and you wanna be like, "Hey man, like, you know, isn't Atiba really good host?" I'm gonna follow back and I'm gonna tell you. Yeah. He's all right. I'm just kidding.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. By the way, definitely hit him up and see what he says. And then let me know. No, I'm teasing. No. Jason, man. Brother, thank you. Thank you for being here. There's so much more that we can talk about. And we will talk about at some point, but I thank you so much for this time because you know, it's one of those things and you guys heard us joke earlier about, we've met and it's been a little while since we've been together and so on and so forth, but sometimes you meet people and you're just comfortable with them and you're not really sure why. Right. And we've always — we've met in group settings. And so this is really our first troop, like even one on one. Right? And —

Jason Portnoy: Yep.

Atiba de Souza: It didn't take long to understand why.

Jason Portnoy: I feel the same way.

Atiba de Souza: So, thank you for that. And before we go, are you going to Traffic and Conversion Summit, by the way? 

Jason Portnoy: Yeah, I'll be there.

Atiba de Souza: Fantastic! So Jason will be there. I will be there that's Traffic and Conversion Summit, which is coming up in September in San Diego. Come hang out with us. We would love to hang out with you. All right, everybody. Talk to you later.

Bye bye.

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