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This episode of ‘Celebrating Small Family Businesses’ features John Chan and Jenn Lo, a dynamic couple running a marketing agency called 2X, based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

They share their journey, starting from their first collaboration on a software project in 2013, through the challenges of running a conversion rate optimization agency, to the present digital marketing agency specializing in e-commerce and SAAS.

They discuss their unique advantage from combining technical development skills, UX design, and CRO marketing to serve e-commerce and SAAS clients.

The couple delves into the complexities of working together as a married couple, emphasizing the importance of respecting each other’s strengths, learning to delegate, and adapting to each other’s working styles.

Thanks to their remarkable openness, this episode offers a deep dive into the interplay between personal and professional growth within a family business context.

John Chan is an entrepreneur, renowned for his expertise in web/UX design and digital marketing. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, John dropped out of university at the age of 19 to start his own web design consultancy. Since then, he has worked for several prestigious companies, including UBC and Basecamp, before co-founding 2x Growth Agency. The agency specializes in helping e-commerce and DTC brands grow and scale with paid ads and ad creative development. Under John’s leadership, 2x Growth Agency has managed over $6M of ad spend and helped generate over $30M in revenue for their clients.

Their business website is https://2x.agency/

Connect with John on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jtcchan/ , Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jtcchan/, Twitter https://twitter.com/jtcchan

Connect with Jenn Lo at linkedin.com/in/jennifertklo or https://twitter.com/jennlo_

Transcript
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John and Connie: Hi, and welcome

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to another episode of Celebrating

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Small Family Businesses.

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Today, we are celebrating, not

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separating, celebrating John and Jen

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Chan from Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Hi, John.

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Hi, Jen.

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John and Jenn: Hello.

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Hello there.

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John and Connie: So, we connected through

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a wonderful service called Podmatch.

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I'd love to give them a little shout out.

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I'm glad we got connected.

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So, how, tell me a little bit about

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your business and your origin story.

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How did it get started?

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John and Jenn: So I'll take this one.

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I think we've been

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working on this company.

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So we run a marketing agency called

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2X and we've been running it since

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2016 or so, starting off as a

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conversion rate optimization agency.

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So if you're not familiar with

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conversion rate optimization agency,

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we're basically a design consultants.

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Where we'll do redesigns and it

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will measure for for improvements

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and that started in 2016 But this

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is actually our second company.

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Um, the first time we started working

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together was a software company

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back in 2013 So almost, you know 10,

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11 years ago at this point where,

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um, we wrote and sold software.

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And so we had a productivity

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app that I was practicing and

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learning how to code on the side.

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And, uh, she brought, she joined

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in to help support me with that

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project and it became a company.

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And, um, and yeah, we've been

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running the agencies since, and, uh,

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that's kind of like our background.

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John and Connie: Cool.

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Alright.

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And, and, did you guys, was that your

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first meeting when, when Jen joined

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you, uh, to, to build the software?

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John and Jenn: No, actually

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we met at a conference in 20.

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2011, right?

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It's 2010, 2011.

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Cause it's like right at the

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cusp of like December of 2011.

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Um, yeah, we met at a conference

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and we were pretty much both the

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youngest people there and just clicked

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and, you know, in ways that we just

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kind of connected and then it just

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kind of became that afterwards.

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We didn't start working

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together until 2013.

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So it was a couple of years.

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I was still on my last year in college.

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University.

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So that was that was that

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John and Connie: Wonderful.

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Wonderful.

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So, conversion rate optimization,

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you, you can explain that, right?

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Sure.

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I

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John and Jenn: We started as an

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optimization agency.

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We're currently a advertising agency.

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So we run ads for e commerce and

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SAAS businesses, um, software

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businesses, mostly on the e commerce

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side, because we also have a Bought

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e commerce stores ourselves or

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e commerce businesses ourselves.

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We have two brands under our own name

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Um and run it for that as well so a

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little bit on the venture side a little

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bit on the agency side for client

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servicing, but Um, john can probably

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tell you more about what is the end

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goal of the whole entire business Uh,

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he's probably going to be more adequate

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to actually give you the whole spiel

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John and Connie: Okay.

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Okay.

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Well, what I'm hearing is that you're Wow.

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Leverage.

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You don't sleep a lot.

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John and Jenn: No, fortunately you see

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these eye bags are like right out there

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It's um, she picked it right away.

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John and Connie: That's that's her.

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Um, so you..

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Conversion rate optimization is kind

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of like fine tuning the, the ad.

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So you've, you've got that experience

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on the back end and then you come

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into now you're running ads and you're

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also eating your own cooking by.

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Running your own brands and, and

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testing and, and refining on your

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own, you know, like spending your

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own money to do, to back up what

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you're doing for other people.

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That's awesome.

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John and Jenn: Absolutely

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You hit the nail on the head.

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John and Connie: Awesome.

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I hit the nail on the head.

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You hear that?

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Yeah, there you go.

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Impressive.

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So, uh, I, I, one of the questions

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we like to ask is, what's a, unique

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proposition or, , what, what's kind of

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sets you guys apart in your industry?

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I might have just said it,

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but I want to hear you say it.

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John and Jenn: Of course.

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Yeah, I mean, if you look at the career

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history, so I'll start there and I'll

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kind of explain the work that we do,

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what's unique about the way we do things.

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In my case, I had basically

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three major arcs in my career.

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I started off as a user

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experience designer, so I

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came from a design background.

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I dropped out of school.

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Um, but I learned how to code in

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high school and then that became sort

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of like the, the backbone for the

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foundational skill sets around if I

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make a webpage, who are the people

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behind the webpage that I'm servicing.

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And I, like, I was some skills that,

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um, I did that at a university for about

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four, four and a half years working

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at university, not studying there.

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So I, so I did a for, for a while

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and that sort of led into the

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conversion optimization agency.

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Um, but part of the reason why we

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started a software company was because.

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In 2012 or so I joined, , in our

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industry, a well known software

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company called Basecamp or 37 signals.

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They rebranded.

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Um, and so what they do is they sell

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project management software and they

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invented a, uh, programming language.

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And so through working with them,

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I got to see how they ran a remote

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company, , firsthand, cause they wrote

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and published a lot of work around that.

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, and they wrote and sold

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their own software.

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And so being able to see those

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types of things, it, it really You

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know, I learned a lot from them,

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but I also kind of rubbed off on me.

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And so when I came back here,

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um, they're based in Chicago.

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When I came back to Vancouver and growing

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the software company, it kind of got us

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like through a period where we learned

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a lot more about technical skills

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of the development side of products.

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Um, but towards the end of that

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company, we started realizing and

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thinking to ourselves, At least

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incorrectly so, initially, where we

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thought we weren't good at marketing

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because we were able to sell a

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product that people generally loved.

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We're good at design.

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We're able to write software,

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but we couldn't figure out the

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distribution of that software.

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And so, you know, throughout the

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years, we've always believed in

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teaching what we needed to learn.

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And so initially, we, we, Dipped

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into consulting by leveraging the

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skill sets that we already had.

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But over the course of the years,

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we realized that media buying and

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running advertising campaigns was a

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more effective way of approaching it.

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And as you get into the question of

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what makes us unique, very few people

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have that kind of history of being

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a designer and then we get into a

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technical sort of skillset and then

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layering that on top of marketing.

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And so our consumers that we serve

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when we run ads, they go through

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the entire Can you see an ad?

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You click on the link.

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There's an experience of what happens

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when you get to the website or the landing

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page all the way through the checkout.

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And we can think about that entire life

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cycle of the journey and later, how does

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the advertising campaign bleed into the

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messaging on the website to the checkout

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experience of how they consume the

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product in order for them to come back?

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And I would say that most shops,

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understandably so, are supposed to

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be specializing in each of those

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segments in those areas, but very few

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would be able to tie it all together.

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And also have the ability to have

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analytics, um, measure from point

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A to point B, um, from start to

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finish, um, with the recognition

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that sometimes data can be wrong.

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There's a lot of nuance behind the

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technical side of it, where if you're

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not a developer, it hard, it's hard

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to do that type of work as a marketer.

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John and Connie: Dang.

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That, that's a lot.

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I, I understand.

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Actually, I, I could

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quickly show my ignorance.

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Uh, yeah, , like, attribution , of sales,

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of, , where it came, there's, there's

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different ways of attribution from,

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you know, first click and last click

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and in between and, and all that stuff.

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And, and yeah, tracking all that

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is an , somewhat inexact science

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because of the different platforms

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and because people are people, right?

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John and Jenn: you hit the nail on

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the head again because it's, it's,

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it's a very hard problem because

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there are technical barriers to it and

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there's also platform barriers to it.

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So for example, if you're on

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advertising on meta, um, it used

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to be that was very easy for, um,

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meta to track what happens on the

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consumer side all the way to purchase.

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Um, but with Apple coming with.

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Better consumer privacy

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protection settings.

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What does it actually

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mean for the advertiser?

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And so when you're reading numbers in

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your advertising campaign in determining

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how do you set budgets or to diagnose

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if a particular ad creative or ad

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campaign is, is it on the ad creative

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side of things, or is it on the landing

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page of side of things, and then the

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measurement is not fully accurate,

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how do you know which one to look

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at versus which ones do you ignore?

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Right.

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And so if you layer that on top of

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the statistics behind it and say,

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this one is statistically significant,

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this one is not, this way you can

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run an experiment to get to the point

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of, um, be able to interpret it.

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This one you cannot.

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Um, those are all, uh, tools that are,

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are available to us, um, because we

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come from that kind of background to

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think about things technically, and

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also being versed in analytics and math.

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John and Connie: Okay, yeah, I think

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probably the, the average marketing,

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small marketing firm is, is more, just

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more focused on, you know, how much

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budget we'll get, we'll get you, you

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know, we'll run the ads for this long and

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we'll spend your budget and good luck.

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John and Jenn: Right.

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It's like, we'll get and get our ROI.

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We know we spend this money and

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we can get this return back.

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Um, but how does it exactly play out?

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And, and again, it's always, the

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devil's always in the details.

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Right.

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And how do you, uh, uh, prioritize

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certain budgets versus others?

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For marketing efforts towards

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one efforts for the other.

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Um, You know, that's the kind of thing

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that we've developed over the years

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that we now recognize that is a very

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unique strength to us, especially if

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we're tasked to audit another brand

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or another agency's ad accounts.

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We usually find a lot of issues where

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it's like, yeah, they're not supposed

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to know that, and neither are you.

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And therefore we can

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do something about it.

Jenn Lo:

The other thing it's like, I

Jenn Lo:

can add is probably, um, John, you can

Jenn Lo:

probably speak a lot more into is, um,

Jenn Lo:

What kind of going back to what you

Jenn Lo:

were saying, I was like, what kind of

Jenn Lo:

distinguish between us versus others in

Jenn Lo:

the industry, um, of When we actually go

Jenn Lo:

and look at a client or potential client

Jenn Lo:

or even our clients right now We don't

Jenn Lo:

often talk about having profitable skip

Jenn Lo:

profitable and scalable ads And what does

Jenn Lo:

that really mean john probably have a

Jenn Lo:

better better better way to explain that

Jenn Lo:

than I do So maybe you can actually talk

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: sure I mean, it's one

Jenn Lo:

of those things where it's tables big

Jenn Lo:

for any marketing campaign You have to

Jenn Lo:

make sure it's profitable and I think

Jenn Lo:

I see not always I see sometimes people

Jenn Lo:

approach marketing You Um, from the

Jenn Lo:

perspective of just wearing a marketing

Jenn Lo:

hat, whereas realistically you should

Jenn Lo:

be wearing a finance hat, right?

Jenn Lo:

And so marketing and finance, they

Jenn Lo:

both work hand in hand from both from

Jenn Lo:

a finance, uh, planning side of things,

Jenn Lo:

but also being able to read a P and L.

Jenn Lo:

So if you know that, you know,

Jenn Lo:

the unique economics of an ad

Jenn Lo:

campaign, is it be profitable?

Jenn Lo:

What does that look like in terms of

Jenn Lo:

the profile of the business, in terms

Jenn Lo:

of your EBIT and your net margins?

Jenn Lo:

Um, is the company profitable?

Jenn Lo:

If you can think about strategic

Jenn Lo:

options for do you fundraise or not?

Jenn Lo:

Are you looking to sell

Jenn Lo:

the business or not?

Jenn Lo:

There are different levers that are

Jenn Lo:

available to you from a marketing

Jenn Lo:

perspective that I talk a little bit

Jenn Lo:

less about because I think I understand

Jenn Lo:

that most intuitively understand that.

Jenn Lo:

But to Jen's point, it's, it's

Jenn Lo:

not just dollar in dollar out

Jenn Lo:

and making sure it's profitable.

Jenn Lo:

We should, you know, always track

Jenn Lo:

it down to the, uh, the unique

Jenn Lo:

economics and see what the overall

Jenn Lo:

strategy of the company is.

Jenn Lo:

And I think that's the biggest

Jenn Lo:

piece of what just just separates us

Jenn Lo:

as a business to others that is in the

Jenn Lo:

industry that is doing similar services

Jenn Lo:

to us and why people why clients choose

Jenn Lo:

us over the others just because we do

Jenn Lo:

ask those tough questions and like hey

Jenn Lo:

um not just looking at your ad creative

Jenn Lo:

not just looking at your ad account

Jenn Lo:

how much are you trying to sell spend?

Jenn Lo:

How much are you trying to let go?

Jenn Lo:

What is the end goal of the company at

Jenn Lo:

the like next 6 months, next 12 months?

Jenn Lo:

What is the margins and net things

Jenn Lo:

that you're trying to actually reach?

Jenn Lo:

We look at all those things to

Jenn Lo:

think about how should we go about

Jenn Lo:

putting a plan together for the next

Jenn Lo:

6 to 12 months of working together.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Wow.

Jenn Lo:

Okay.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah, you're, you are heads and

Jenn Lo:

tails, over above everything

Jenn Lo:

else that we've, we've done.

Jenn Lo:

We've talked to and other companies.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah.

Jenn Lo:

Wow.

Jenn Lo:

Good job.

Jenn Lo:

So, shifting slightly to, yeah, I mean

Jenn Lo:

I'm geeking out here, but Exactly.

Jenn Lo:

We need to get out of here.

Jenn Lo:

We are talking about family.

Jenn Lo:

So, um, what do you love most

Jenn Lo:

about working with family?

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: I have lots to

Jenn Lo:

say, but why don't you start?

Jenn Lo:

I think it's a tough one.

Jenn Lo:

Cause I'm like, I, I didn't really start,

Jenn Lo:

start loving it in the first place.

Jenn Lo:

I actually didn't want to work with him.

Jenn Lo:

Um, I worked with him initially

Jenn Lo:

just because of, okay, I know he

Jenn Lo:

was struggling with something.

Jenn Lo:

I know I'm good at that to

Jenn Lo:

actually be able to support that.

Jenn Lo:

Um, my personality is very

Jenn Lo:

much of a very supportive role,

Jenn Lo:

um, throughout my entire life.

Jenn Lo:

Anyways, so I support anywhere

Jenn Lo:

and anyone that is around me.

Jenn Lo:

So When he is asking, when he

Jenn Lo:

asked, I was like, yeah, of

Jenn Lo:

course I can do that for you.

Jenn Lo:

And I'm here for the long run anyway.

Jenn Lo:

So I'm like, okay, I'm going to be here.

Jenn Lo:

And it was supposedly temporary.

Jenn Lo:

Then it became a serious afterwards.

Jenn Lo:

I'm like, okay, well, since I'm

Jenn Lo:

here already, let's just go with it.

Jenn Lo:

Um, so it's just going

Jenn Lo:

through this rollercoaster.

Jenn Lo:

And I just went on this board of

Jenn Lo:

train, thinking I was going to get off.

Jenn Lo:

The next stop, but no, it just kept going.

Jenn Lo:

Uh, what I kind of loved about

Jenn Lo:

working with him over years, I

Jenn Lo:

think we started working together

Jenn Lo:

when we were in the 20s, right?

Jenn Lo:

So mid 20s, uh, through the next

Jenn Lo:

like 10 years of working together,

Jenn Lo:

we grew together as a Individuals

Jenn Lo:

and as partners and as lovers and

Jenn Lo:

as like now we're married, right?

Jenn Lo:

So there's a lot of growing up that

Jenn Lo:

we were doing together, and I think

Jenn Lo:

it's quite interesting and it's not I

Jenn Lo:

don't think a lot of couples that have

Jenn Lo:

worked together and is in business

Jenn Lo:

together have gone through that as well.

Jenn Lo:

So, that's like part of

Jenn Lo:

the actuality of our story.

Jenn Lo:

Uh, of where, how we grow up

Jenn Lo:

together and now going into

Jenn Lo:

business throughout that 10 years.

Jenn Lo:

Uh, lots and lots of things have changed.

Jenn Lo:

Personality have changed.

Jenn Lo:

Our mindset have changed.

Jenn Lo:

Our habits and like, things that we,

Jenn Lo:

do have changed, our perspectives

Jenn Lo:

have changed over time as well.

Jenn Lo:

And learning from this, I think

Jenn Lo:

learning from him, he's taught me

Jenn Lo:

a lot throughout that 10 years.

Jenn Lo:

I mean, I learned a lot from her too, so

Jenn Lo:

that's not, it's not, it's not always what

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Smart boy!

Jenn Lo:

It's a two way, it's

Jenn Lo:

definitely a two-way street.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: For me.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: my

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: No, I'd actually love

Jenn Lo:

to expand on that because I think um, I

Jenn Lo:

also want to hear from Jen first because

Jenn Lo:

You know for me i've always thought

Jenn Lo:

about this and and it's come up in past

Jenn Lo:

podcast interviews as well But I think

Jenn Lo:

for me what I loved about working with

Jenn Lo:

her It's it's not for the faint of heart

Jenn Lo:

as you must, you know Hear from now from

Jenn Lo:

all the different families that you've

Jenn Lo:

interviewed Working with families can

Jenn Lo:

be very complex and the power dynamics

Jenn Lo:

and you're dealing with finances.

Jenn Lo:

You can see a lot of issues with conflicts

Jenn Lo:

But I think one of the guiding principles

Jenn Lo:

in the way that we've worked together

Jenn Lo:

and we've always looked at, you know, Is

Jenn Lo:

it a good idea to start a business with

Jenn Lo:

your girlfriend and and mix finances?

Jenn Lo:

The litmus test has always been around.

Jenn Lo:

Um, not how well we when things are

Jenn Lo:

working Well, of course, there's gonna

Jenn Lo:

be trials and tribulations in any

Jenn Lo:

business, but it's how well did we fight?

Jenn Lo:

And so when I think about, you

Jenn Lo:

know, when things are going bad or

Jenn Lo:

when things aren't going really as

Jenn Lo:

well, she's always been my rock.

Jenn Lo:

And, and, and to have someone to

Jenn Lo:

have that level of empathy and

Jenn Lo:

understanding of like, Oh, we just

Jenn Lo:

got screwed over in a business deal.

Jenn Lo:

Or we just had this really bad

Jenn Lo:

interaction with certain thing.

Jenn Lo:

She felt firsthand was like, Oh,

Jenn Lo:

I know exactly what that means.

Jenn Lo:

And to see me being in a depressive

Jenn Lo:

state and for her to just roll up her

Jenn Lo:

sleeves and get back to work, like it's

Jenn Lo:

just, it's, it's hard to express the

Jenn Lo:

kind of, um, loyalty and strength that

Jenn Lo:

you have in, in one another that, um,

Jenn Lo:

You cannot find, uh, in anywhere else

Jenn Lo:

because, you know, in most cases, it's,

Jenn Lo:

it's supposed to be transactional.

Jenn Lo:

You're business partners, you know,

Jenn Lo:

you have your personal life and then

Jenn Lo:

you have your business life separated.

Jenn Lo:

The downside is also that it's

Jenn Lo:

mixed to in her case, you know,

Jenn Lo:

when she needs personal boundaries

Jenn Lo:

outside of business, right?

Jenn Lo:

Those are the kinds of things

Jenn Lo:

that I'm sure you hear a lot about

Jenn Lo:

where those things can be mixed in.

Jenn Lo:

Um, there's, there's other downsides.

Jenn Lo:

I'll speak a little bit of that

Jenn Lo:

as well with, you know, power

Jenn Lo:

dynamics, for example, right?

Jenn Lo:

Whenever you get into like, let's

Jenn Lo:

say performance issues or, or fights,

Jenn Lo:

you can't just easily break up.

Jenn Lo:

You can't easily just tell the other

Jenn Lo:

person and fire the other person.

Jenn Lo:

Those things should always be

Jenn Lo:

an option available to you, but

Jenn Lo:

navigating those challenges are

Jenn Lo:

very, very challenging, right?

Jenn Lo:

How much it is, is it my fault?

Jenn Lo:

How much is it her fault?

Jenn Lo:

It gets really personal really

Jenn Lo:

quickly that you can't have with an

Jenn Lo:

employee or regular business partner.

Jenn Lo:

Um, And so I think all of those things,

Jenn Lo:

you know, built into like us growing up

Jenn Lo:

together and learning through a lot of

Jenn Lo:

things together as, as, as you look back

Jenn Lo:

in the years, every year, there's still

Jenn Lo:

challenges, but every year it gets better

Jenn Lo:

and you can't, but help be optimistic

Jenn Lo:

about, you know, we're in our thirties

Jenn Lo:

right now, but you can't, but help be

Jenn Lo:

optimistic about what's to come for us.

Jenn Lo:

And at least for me,

Jenn Lo:

that's how I feel about it.

Jenn Lo:

And I joke with her, like, you know,

Jenn Lo:

cause every time we get into any

Jenn Lo:

type of new business or start a new

Jenn Lo:

thing, she's always like the one

Jenn Lo:

that's bearing a lot of the workload.

Jenn Lo:

And I'm always the one that's.

Jenn Lo:

You know, dealing with all the fun

Jenn Lo:

aspect of, of starting something

Jenn Lo:

new or taking a new thing on.

Jenn Lo:

And, um, but I always joke, it's like,

Jenn Lo:

you're coming with me on this one, right?

Jenn Lo:

It's so, it's so it's because

Jenn Lo:

for me, it's like, you know,

Jenn Lo:

it's easy for me to bring her on.

Jenn Lo:

Um, but then there's, you know, real

Jenn Lo:

challenges of, of should I do it?

Jenn Lo:

Because it's our strength and weaknesses.

Jenn Lo:

And how does that actually play out

Jenn Lo:

with, you know, what is the advantage

Jenn Lo:

of running this particular business as

Jenn Lo:

a couple versus keeping it separate?

Jenn Lo:

Yeah,

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Wow.

Jenn Lo:

You guys are such deep thinkers.

Jenn Lo:

I mean, yes, I, I, I, I was

Jenn Lo:

getting choked up there.

Jenn Lo:

So what you were saying about, you

Jenn Lo:

know, the, you know, the rock and,

Jenn Lo:

and knowing that she's there, uh,

Jenn Lo:

totally, I, I totally experienced that.

Jenn Lo:

And, you know, in our case, it was

Jenn Lo:

my family business that Connie was,

Jenn Lo:

you know, Connie moved, you know,

Jenn Lo:

We moved on to a family property.

Jenn Lo:

We live next door to my

Jenn Lo:

parents out in the country.

Jenn Lo:

And, you know, I worked at the

Jenn Lo:

business, you know, all the time.

Jenn Lo:

And then Connie would come

Jenn Lo:

to work at the office some.

Jenn Lo:

And, you know, it's I just, thank God she

Jenn Lo:

was there, because, you know, you guys

Jenn Lo:

don't have the two generation dynamics,

Jenn Lo:

I don't think, from what I'm hearing.

Jenn Lo:

I, you know, I had the, I was the

Jenn Lo:

son that, you know, waiting for

Jenn Lo:

permission to grow up, as I call it.

Jenn Lo:

And, um, and there were, yeah, there's

Jenn Lo:

been, there was several times when

Jenn Lo:

Connie was the, she had the objectivity

Jenn Lo:

to say, Whoa, this doesn't make sense.

Jenn Lo:

And, and, you know, she would, and she

Jenn Lo:

would go to bat for her position, you

Jenn Lo:

know, her belief there that this was

Jenn Lo:

right for the company and the family

Jenn Lo:

even, as a, an in law that, you know,

Jenn Lo:

didn't have that blood stake and it was.

Jenn Lo:

Even as his dad was

Jenn Lo:

standing there blustering.

Jenn Lo:

But we've got to do something!

Jenn Lo:

And it's kind of like, oh no, we don't.

Jenn Lo:

You know?

Jenn Lo:

You need to stop.

Jenn Lo:

Now I'm talking about our story.

Jenn Lo:

But yes, I can completely relate.

Jenn Lo:

And what you said about

Jenn Lo:

the different dynamics.

Jenn Lo:

Sometimes that's what's Well,

Jenn Lo:

I think it's what scares some

Jenn Lo:

people about family businesses.

Jenn Lo:

Like if they're going, you know, either

Jenn Lo:

going to start one or maybe go to work for

Jenn Lo:

another family's business, that, you know,

Jenn Lo:

how are those dynamics going to play out?

Jenn Lo:

How is it going to impact them?

Jenn Lo:

Because , ultimately for the family

Jenn Lo:

business owners, it comes down to,

Jenn Lo:

We have to prioritize something, and

Jenn Lo:

usually, you know, the family is going

Jenn Lo:

to last longer than the business.

Jenn Lo:

I mean, worst case scenario

Jenn Lo:

and best case scenario, right?

Jenn Lo:

And so , there's times when you just have

Jenn Lo:

to prioritize the family, and if there's

Jenn Lo:

a performance shortfall or something,

Jenn Lo:

you know, weakness in somewhere, yeah,

Jenn Lo:

you don't just replace that person

Jenn Lo:

like they would in corporate, right?

Jenn Lo:

You make do.

Jenn Lo:

You figure it out.

Jenn Lo:

You communicate.

Jenn Lo:

You share, you rebalance the load,

Jenn Lo:

even if it's a little unbalanced.

Jenn Lo:

That's worth it for

Jenn Lo:

the rest of everything.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Absolutely.

Jenn Lo:

And I think that's, that's, that's,

Jenn Lo:

this is why I would say that family

Jenn Lo:

businesses is not for the faint of

Jenn Lo:

heart, because in, in, in a very broad,

Jenn Lo:

like generalization, it's bad advice to

Jenn Lo:

start a company with family members or

Jenn Lo:

lovers, because again, it's, it's, Because

Jenn Lo:

generally speaking, um, most people aren't

Jenn Lo:

going to be prepared or able to manage

Jenn Lo:

or deal with the conflicts that come up

Jenn Lo:

because they're so complicated, right?

Jenn Lo:

And they're so like intricate and,

Jenn Lo:

and there's like the aspect of

Jenn Lo:

betrayal and loyalty and whatever

Jenn Lo:

that's all mixed in, they're the

Jenn Lo:

basis of great dramas for a reason.

Jenn Lo:

You know what I mean?

Jenn Lo:

And, but the thing is like, you know,

Jenn Lo:

at the same time though, but when it

Jenn Lo:

works, Oh my God, it really is beautiful.

Jenn Lo:

And, and when it works, it's like,

Jenn Lo:

you know, we get to go and like travel

Jenn Lo:

and vacations together and we bring

Jenn Lo:

our work together and, you know, you

Jenn Lo:

know, having long walks at the park

Jenn Lo:

and we're talking about business and

Jenn Lo:

we're at the sauna and we're like,

Jenn Lo:

I'm talking about this new thing.

Jenn Lo:

It's like, because it's so integrated.

Jenn Lo:

Right.

Jenn Lo:

Like when it works, it's, it's

Jenn Lo:

beautiful, but it's, it's one of those

Jenn Lo:

things where it, you have to be a

Jenn Lo:

long term thinker right from day one.

Jenn Lo:

There's no, there's no,

Jenn Lo:

there's no second option.

Jenn Lo:

Right.

Jenn Lo:

And so if you're committed for

Jenn Lo:

better and for worse, right.

Jenn Lo:

Because for us, it's like, we

Jenn Lo:

got into it almost by accident.

Jenn Lo:

It wasn't a very thought through answer.

Jenn Lo:

Right.

Jenn Lo:

Which is, yeah, I'm refraining from

Jenn Lo:

joking about how she moved into

Jenn Lo:

it because we would never had the

Jenn Lo:

talk about like moving in together.

Jenn Lo:

I just woke up one day and she

Jenn Lo:

just had more clothes at our place.

Jenn Lo:

And I'm just like, wait a second.

Jenn Lo:

I think she infiltrated the house.

Jenn Lo:

You know what I mean?

Jenn Lo:

And so sometimes I even joke around,

Jenn Lo:

even married where it's like, this

Jenn Lo:

is the best sleepover ever, right?

Jenn Lo:

It's like, you just haven't left, but in

Jenn Lo:

business it's always been like that too.

Jenn Lo:

And again, you can't recommend that to

Jenn Lo:

someone because that's not a good idea.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Well,

Jenn Lo:

you couldn't plan that.

Jenn Lo:

No.

Jenn Lo:

That, that, because it happened

Jenn Lo:

organically, that, you know, I

Jenn Lo:

think that's what makes it work.

Jenn Lo:

You learned it, you know, by inches

Jenn Lo:

rather than, okay, we're going to make

Jenn Lo:

a plan and tomorrow we're going to do

Jenn Lo:

this thing, you know, it was as gradual.

Jenn Lo:

So you just felt your way into it and

Jenn Lo:

your communication evolved along with it.

Jenn Lo:

And I think that's such a big key.

Jenn Lo:

There's a communication.

Jenn Lo:

We're not trained, right?

Jenn Lo:

We're not trained for those challenges.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Because you can't

Jenn Lo:

be, there's nothing in school or

Jenn Lo:

in regular life that can prepare

Jenn Lo:

you for those types of dynamics.

Jenn Lo:

But here's the fun part that,

Jenn Lo:

you know, I think right now

Jenn Lo:

I'm coming to terms with that.

Jenn Lo:

Um, I'm realizing that we're actually a

Jenn Lo:

lot less alone than we realize because

Jenn Lo:

every now and then, you know, we're, this

Jenn Lo:

is like 10 year of us working together.

Jenn Lo:

We're starting to meet more and more

Jenn Lo:

other couples, especially people that

Jenn Lo:

have been around this longer than we have.

Jenn Lo:

And next thing you know, we're like

Jenn Lo:

talking about, yeah, we're having this

Jenn Lo:

fight over this really silly thing.

Jenn Lo:

And then they're like,

Jenn Lo:

ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Jenn Lo:

Uh, you young kids, let me tell you about

Jenn Lo:

the time I fired my wife from her job,

Jenn Lo:

you know, and it's just like, man, it's

Jenn Lo:

like, We realize that a lot of those

Jenn Lo:

dynamics that is on one hand, very unique

Jenn Lo:

to us, but just like, you know, on a broad

Jenn Lo:

level, just, just like entrepreneurship,

Jenn Lo:

forget about working in a family business.

Jenn Lo:

You start realizing that as lonely

Jenn Lo:

as it was, you're actually not alone.

Jenn Lo:

There's other people that have

Jenn Lo:

been through very similar or even

Jenn Lo:

worse situations that you have.

Jenn Lo:

And I find solace in that.

Jenn Lo:

And that's why, you know, as

Jenn Lo:

part of this, this conversation.

Jenn Lo:

preamble to this interview, I got so

Jenn Lo:

excited because it's whenever I see that

Jenn Lo:

kind of dynamics, I know you two have a

Jenn Lo:

lot of really wonderful stories that we

Jenn Lo:

just don't even have a chance to hear.

Jenn Lo:

Because you guys have been in

Jenn Lo:

this game longer than we have.

Jenn Lo:

And you know exactly

Jenn Lo:

where we're coming from.

Jenn Lo:

And that's why it's like, to your

Jenn Lo:

point, you know, you choked up because

Jenn Lo:

it's like, you felt that because we

Jenn Lo:

went through that for the first time.

Jenn Lo:

And it won't be our last, right?

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Right?

Jenn Lo:

Exactly.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah, what I was trying to remember

Jenn Lo:

before, you talked about fighting fair.

Jenn Lo:

You know, and that's, that's actually

Jenn Lo:

a phrase I was, I want to build

Jenn Lo:

a product around at some point.

Jenn Lo:

So, we do , consulting, a blend

Jenn Lo:

of consulting and coaching

Jenn Lo:

for family businesses because

Jenn Lo:

that's where we come from.

Jenn Lo:

And we're not trained,

Jenn Lo:

but, but knowing how to.

Jenn Lo:

To have a constructive disagreement,

Jenn Lo:

that's a, you know, that's a skill.

Jenn Lo:

It's a skill set, and it's

Jenn Lo:

something you have to practice.

Jenn Lo:

But it's based on some,

Jenn Lo:

some understandings.

Jenn Lo:

Like, you know, like, I know

Jenn Lo:

if we disagree, she's not going

Jenn Lo:

to pack her bag and leave.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Yeah.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Thought about

Jenn Lo:

it once or twice, but I didn't.

Jenn Lo:

You know, there was, earlier

Jenn Lo:

in my, in my career, this was

Jenn Lo:

something we had to learn.

Jenn Lo:

You know, I had to learn.

Jenn Lo:

When it, that it was okay to,

Jenn Lo:

that it was going to be safe to

Jenn Lo:

argue and it wasn't going to be.

Jenn Lo:

Well, and he's an only child, too.

Jenn Lo:

So he doesn't understand the joy

Jenn Lo:

of going up and smacking your

Jenn Lo:

brother just to hear him cry.

Jenn Lo:

Okay?

Jenn Lo:

That was more fun.

Jenn Lo:

But he didn't

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Things you can

Jenn Lo:

do in a family business that you

Jenn Lo:

can't do in a regular employment.

Jenn Lo:

You can't just like walk

Jenn Lo:

up and smack my, uh,

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Exactly!

Jenn Lo:

You know?

Jenn Lo:

Sexual harassment is a thing.

Jenn Lo:

But it just, you know,

Jenn Lo:

for him to have to learn.

Jenn Lo:

How to play a game with somebody else,

Jenn Lo:

and not like his parents, who would either

Jenn Lo:

let him win or beat the crap out of him.

Jenn Lo:

You know, he had to figure

Jenn Lo:

out that with me, he was safe.

Jenn Lo:

He could get in my face and

Jenn Lo:

go, and I'd go, yeah, yeah.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah, and that's kind of a metaphor.

Jenn Lo:

And we were fine.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Yeah,

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: That's kind of a

Jenn Lo:

metaphor for, for, for other things

Jenn Lo:

too, you know, but, but it's, uh, The,

Jenn Lo:

the other thing that you said about the

Jenn Lo:

isolation, I really want to touch on

Jenn Lo:

that, because I, I think that's, you

Jenn Lo:

know, part of why we're doing this is

Jenn Lo:

for outreach to other family businesses

Jenn Lo:

to listen to family, and hear what you

Jenn Lo:

just said, which is that, You know, the

Jenn Lo:

number one rule in my family business

Jenn Lo:

with my father was don't talk about the

Jenn Lo:

business to anybody outside the family.

Jenn Lo:

You don't, you don't talk about it.

Jenn Lo:

It's our business.

Jenn Lo:

It was because it's, because

Jenn Lo:

it's family, so it's, there's

Jenn Lo:

a more personal sense to it.

Jenn Lo:

And so it is isolating.

Jenn Lo:

I think, to some degree, we all

Jenn Lo:

feel like our problems are unique.

Jenn Lo:

You know, they're bigger than,

Jenn Lo:

you know, other people don't

Jenn Lo:

feel it the same as, or whatever.

Jenn Lo:

Nobody else has done it just like we have.

Jenn Lo:

But in the family business, yeah,

Jenn Lo:

I think, just like you said, they

Jenn Lo:

are unique to us in that they're us,

Jenn Lo:

but at the same time, there's common

Jenn Lo:

themes that are so common that we just

Jenn Lo:

don't hear about because people are a

Jenn Lo:

little leery about talking about it.

Jenn Lo:

Now his dad had no problems going

Jenn Lo:

and sitting at a bar someplace and

Jenn Lo:

telling his accountant and his lawyer

Jenn Lo:

all this stuff, but, you know, it was

Jenn Lo:

different where he, you know, he didn't

Jenn Lo:

find a mentor or a coach that could,

Jenn Lo:

you know, work his way through this.

Jenn Lo:

And that's what we're trying to do, is

Jenn Lo:

we're trying to save people from all the

Jenn Lo:

crap that we went through and making all

Jenn Lo:

the mistakes we did, and we made them all

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: right.

Jenn Lo:

And I think that's hugely

Jenn Lo:

important because I realized

Jenn Lo:

that for us, I think we're lucky.

Jenn Lo:

And in that sense that I think, you

Jenn Lo:

know, even when we're young, we had a

Jenn Lo:

few guidings, like guardrails, in terms

Jenn Lo:

of like values and principles that I

Jenn Lo:

think like saved us from from, you know,

Jenn Lo:

disaster in a lot of different scenarios.

Jenn Lo:

But you know, one of which I talked

Jenn Lo:

about, you know, And again, these

Jenn Lo:

things were because I think we're lucky

Jenn Lo:

that we just happened to have that.

Jenn Lo:

And so for all the trials and tribulations

Jenn Lo:

and some of the lessons, if we didn't

Jenn Lo:

have those, it could be disastrous.

Jenn Lo:

And, and a lot of waste of time,

Jenn Lo:

a lot of wasted effort, a lot of

Jenn Lo:

wasted, you know, uh, money really

Jenn Lo:

just to, to get, get ourselves going.

Jenn Lo:

And so to have that dedication

Jenn Lo:

towards serving that particular.

Jenn Lo:

area of practice.

Jenn Lo:

I think it's really important.

Jenn Lo:

I'm glad you guys are doing that.

Jenn Lo:

And even doing this podcast, because

Jenn Lo:

even some of the topics that we're

Jenn Lo:

talking about today, it's hard to share

Jenn Lo:

that in a regular, you know, different

Jenn Lo:

episode or different podcast environment,

Jenn Lo:

because they wouldn't have known to

Jenn Lo:

ask, or they wouldn't have known to

Jenn Lo:

pick up on that, or that right there.

Jenn Lo:

That's really important.

Jenn Lo:

I can, let's, let's, let's expand on that.

Jenn Lo:

And I think, you know, to my point earlier

Jenn Lo:

around You know why I love these type of

Jenn Lo:

impromptu conversations around these type

Jenn Lo:

of things because it's like when you when

Jenn Lo:

you ask me that it's like oh man like like

Jenn Lo:

it just comes up and and But you're right.

Jenn Lo:

It doesn't get told.

Jenn Lo:

It's hard.

Jenn Lo:

It's hard for those things to

Jenn Lo:

be told because in most regular

Jenn Lo:

conversations, having a conversation

Jenn Lo:

with an accountant or a lawyer,

Jenn Lo:

it's not going to come up, right?

Jenn Lo:

It's like, you can talk about

Jenn Lo:

like, oh, I'm having issues with

Jenn Lo:

this, but it's just, there's

Jenn Lo:

certain dynamics and nuances.

Jenn Lo:

It's really hard to capture.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Yeah, they haven't

Jenn Lo:

had that experience and they're,

Jenn Lo:

they're going to kind of back off.

Jenn Lo:

They don't, they don't

Jenn Lo:

really want to talk about it.

Jenn Lo:

They want to be your friend, but

Jenn Lo:

they don't want to, they're not

Jenn Lo:

qualified to really give advice.

Jenn Lo:

Is it, have you got a therapist?

Jenn Lo:

Something like that.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: the professional

Jenn Lo:

setting of like, okay, well, it's

Jenn Lo:

your accountant, it's your lawyer.

Jenn Lo:

Say it's all about the business.

Jenn Lo:

Like, what's the business problems?

Jenn Lo:

How can I help you solve it?

Jenn Lo:

Um, I think John came about this.

Jenn Lo:

Um, a podcaster with some part and

Jenn Lo:

Andrew, Andrew Wilkinson, and they talked

Jenn Lo:

about it this phenomenon phenomenon

Jenn Lo:

about, um, having people around you

Jenn Lo:

that you can be vulnerable with.

Jenn Lo:

And then.

Jenn Lo:

The circle the more successful you are the

Jenn Lo:

more that you need to be very selective

Jenn Lo:

to your circle And who you can actually

Jenn Lo:

share those type of information with

Jenn Lo:

how you said it was like hey We don't

Jenn Lo:

if we're a family business We don't

Jenn Lo:

talk about our family business outside

Jenn Lo:

of family or whatever it is or share it

Jenn Lo:

with other people I think there's a bit

Jenn Lo:

of a what I kind of liked about how they

Jenn Lo:

shared it was Um, there is always going

Jenn Lo:

to be that five people around you that

Jenn Lo:

you can be very vulnerable with because

Jenn Lo:

they can, they will not judge you.

Jenn Lo:

They will not actually be like, , make

Jenn Lo:

you, they will not be, , what's that word?

Jenn Lo:

Judgmental.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah, they won't actually be malicious

Jenn Lo:

with you or anything like that.

Jenn Lo:

They are actually there for you.

Jenn Lo:

So you can actually share anything

Jenn Lo:

with them for that particular purpose.

Jenn Lo:

And then anything outside of that

Jenn Lo:

is like, oh, just the acquaintances

Jenn Lo:

that's like, okay, it's like might

Jenn Lo:

be business acquaintances or like

Jenn Lo:

anything that is like could be friends.

Jenn Lo:

You could actually share some

Jenn Lo:

information, not all the information.

Jenn Lo:

Then you have the wide circles, like,

Jenn Lo:

hey, absolutely nothing about that.

Jenn Lo:

That they would not hear inside

Jenn Lo:

stories about your, what is going on

Jenn Lo:

in your business, how your business

Jenn Lo:

is doing, how much are you making,

Jenn Lo:

how you're charging, blah, blah, blah.

Jenn Lo:

Those are all All the other things guys,

Jenn Lo:

I think that's actually quite helpful in

Jenn Lo:

terms of how we go about thinking of our

Jenn Lo:

next step for ourselves as well as we grow

Jenn Lo:

our business as we become more successful

Jenn Lo:

as we grow our wealth and our riches.

Jenn Lo:

Um, and As our business grow bigger and

Jenn Lo:

bigger, because there is a way that we

Jenn Lo:

need to actually cipher and filter through

Jenn Lo:

the people that we are around with a lot.

Jenn Lo:

And kind of like poker, you got to

Jenn Lo:

like read the people around you.

Jenn Lo:

It was like, Hey, what are they here for?

Jenn Lo:

Where are they not here

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Exactly.

Jenn Lo:

And reevaluate on a, on a regular basis.

Jenn Lo:

Do I still need this person in my life?

Jenn Lo:

Because, you know, especially at

Jenn Lo:

our age, we've cycled through a lot.

Jenn Lo:

And, uh, and then we have a hardcore

Jenn Lo:

group that, that no matter what.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: there's an interesting

Jenn Lo:

dynamic about being in a family business

Jenn Lo:

that I want to touch on because I think

Jenn Lo:

when we talk about being in business

Jenn Lo:

and having a circle of friends that are

Jenn Lo:

close to you that you can share anything

Jenn Lo:

with is hugely valuable, but one of the

Jenn Lo:

things that comes up with family business

Jenn Lo:

specifically, especially if you have

Jenn Lo:

scenarios where you're sharing with your

Jenn Lo:

friends, like, for example, I can talk

Jenn Lo:

about my business with my friends, but if

Jenn Lo:

I'm having partner issues or the person

Jenn Lo:

that I'm combating with is my wife, Yeah.

Jenn Lo:

It becomes an ethics issue because

Jenn Lo:

after you talk to a friend or you

Jenn Lo:

talk to somebody else, they still know

Jenn Lo:

and they have to interact with them.

Jenn Lo:

And so that dynamic is something

Jenn Lo:

that comes up in family because

Jenn Lo:

like, it's not about gossiping.

Jenn Lo:

It's about working through problems.

Jenn Lo:

And in the absence of that, if a

Jenn Lo:

third party sort of person that

Jenn Lo:

can sort of, um, you know, that's

Jenn Lo:

what I can see, for example, being

Jenn Lo:

a coach or, uh, even a therapist.

Jenn Lo:

Helpful with is because you have that

Jenn Lo:

arm's length sort of like, um, way to

Jenn Lo:

solve that particular problem, but it

Jenn Lo:

comes up with family where your friends,

Jenn Lo:

when you can't share that or talk about

Jenn Lo:

it in a way without the other person

Jenn Lo:

being impartial, because they still

Jenn Lo:

have to interact with the family member

Jenn Lo:

afterwards when your family friends,

Jenn Lo:

they're still interacting with them.

Jenn Lo:

And so it just, it just adds to that layer

Jenn Lo:

of, um, and again, going back to being

Jenn Lo:

lucky, it adds to a layer of complexity

Jenn Lo:

about running a family business.

Jenn Lo:

But being lucky aspect of it is that.

Jenn Lo:

I think we've had multiple instances

Jenn Lo:

where we've had friends not take sides.

Jenn Lo:

That they know that there's a

Jenn Lo:

second half to the story when they

Jenn Lo:

hear the other person complain

Jenn Lo:

and have that dumped on them.

Jenn Lo:

They know that their job as a friend is

Jenn Lo:

to like, Yeah, John was being mean to you

Jenn Lo:

and he shouldn't have said those things.

Jenn Lo:

He said that in anger and

Jenn Lo:

all those type of things.

Jenn Lo:

That must be really hard.

Jenn Lo:

How did it all come out?

Jenn Lo:

And then come talk to me afterwards,

Jenn Lo:

completely normal and be like,

Jenn Lo:

Hey, what's going on in your world?

Jenn Lo:

And what's, what's happening?

Jenn Lo:

That, and then it's like, you know,

Jenn Lo:

how do you have friends like that?

Jenn Lo:

And when you have someone

Jenn Lo:

like that, again, it just,

Jenn Lo:

you know, touches our heart.

Jenn Lo:

But at the same time, it's, it's

Jenn Lo:

one of those things where it was.

Jenn Lo:

It was tricky and hard to navigate,

Jenn Lo:

especially early on when, um, when I

Jenn Lo:

was uncomfortable with her going to our

Jenn Lo:

friends or, you know, if, if I didn't

Jenn Lo:

do that on the other side, how do we

Jenn Lo:

navigate doing that in an ethical manner?

Jenn Lo:

Like that's, that's a very family business

Jenn Lo:

specific sort of like trait that it's,

Jenn Lo:

it's hard to talk about or come across and

Jenn Lo:

know what the right or wrong answer is.

Jenn Lo:

For sure.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Yeah, we've

Jenn Lo:

had some of that because I

Jenn Lo:

don't have a lot of filters.

Jenn Lo:

who knew?

Jenn Lo:

And he might have a few more than I do.

Jenn Lo:

So, you know, might.

Jenn Lo:

So we've had to negotiate that

Jenn Lo:

because I've had to either apologize

Jenn Lo:

or say, you know, it is who I am.

Jenn Lo:

You know, suck it up.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Yeah.

Jenn Lo:

But again, it's one of those things

Jenn Lo:

that just adds a layer of complexity as

Jenn Lo:

you navigate that kind of relationship.

Jenn Lo:

It's not just the two of you

Jenn Lo:

or the three of you or the

Jenn Lo:

family, like the family unit.

Jenn Lo:

It's, it's the extended circles

Jenn Lo:

around it and having them like, how

Jenn Lo:

do you integrate them or not integrate

Jenn Lo:

them with the part of your life?

Jenn Lo:

It's, yeah, it just adds

Jenn Lo:

another layer of complexity.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Right?

Jenn Lo:

And we are all born into family

Jenn Lo:

businesses, if you think about it.

Jenn Lo:

You know, all of your, your

Jenn Lo:

views on money and relationships

Jenn Lo:

came from your, your parents.

Jenn Lo:

And how they view it.

Jenn Lo:

Well then, how do they view it

Jenn Lo:

out, you know, their parents.

Jenn Lo:

And then, so it's generational.

Jenn Lo:

So that's another thing that,

Jenn Lo:

you know, being aware of that,

Jenn Lo:

you know, is, is this mine?

Jenn Lo:

Is it still relevant at this point?

Jenn Lo:

If it's not, then update, move it

Jenn Lo:

out and bring in something new.

Jenn Lo:

And that's been another hard

Jenn Lo:

thing to, to get past sometimes.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: for sure, for sure.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Yeah, we, we met, we had

Jenn Lo:

a mentor back in the day that, um, was,

Jenn Lo:

was a leadership development program.

Jenn Lo:

And, and he, he was, you know,

Jenn Lo:

trying to up level people's thinking.

Jenn Lo:

And so his, his thing was, If

Jenn Lo:

you're, if you've got a roof over

Jenn Lo:

your head and you're, and you're

Jenn Lo:

eating regularly, you're running

Jenn Lo:

a successful business, okay?

Jenn Lo:

You've got cash flow in and cash

Jenn Lo:

flow out and, and, you know,

Jenn Lo:

you're, you're, you're managing

Jenn Lo:

resources, you're running a business.

Jenn Lo:

And if you think of it like that, you're

Jenn Lo:

not as small or ignorant or whatever

Jenn Lo:

as you think you know you're it's it's

Jenn Lo:

everything else is just a matter of

Jenn Lo:

scale after that you know and and wow

Jenn Lo:

what a he was a wise man so that's

Jenn Lo:

the that's part of what that is about

Jenn Lo:

and yeah the um so why don't we go on

Jenn Lo:

to this one well i think we've um is

Jenn Lo:

there anything that you know now that

Jenn Lo:

you wish you'd known when you started

Jenn Lo:

about being in business together

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: I do, but

Jenn Lo:

I'm not going to start.

Jenn Lo:

Jen, you go first.

Jenn Lo:

If you need, if you need time,

Jenn Lo:

I can go first, but I just

Jenn Lo:

don't want to hijack the mic.

Jenn Lo:

Yes.

Jenn Lo:

I wish, I think, I think I

Jenn Lo:

wish, uh, can I say it wrong?

Jenn Lo:

Of course, you can say anything you

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: we can always

Jenn Lo:

edit if, if, we can always edit

Jenn Lo:

it out if you're not happy.

Jenn Lo:

Mm

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: you want.

Jenn Lo:

It's fine.

Jenn Lo:

Um, I think I wish I've known that

Jenn Lo:

he had ADHD before we started a

Jenn Lo:

business together, but then he

Jenn Lo:

wouldn't have known himself as well

Jenn Lo:

because he got diagnosed quite late.

Jenn Lo:

Uh, so I think that.

Jenn Lo:

was probably the biggest barrier and

Jenn Lo:

challenge to how we work together

Jenn Lo:

and how we need to adapt to working

Jenn Lo:

together because I'm very much of a

Jenn Lo:

doer and like executioner and like

Jenn Lo:

just get out of my way and like okay

Jenn Lo:

well tell me what I need to do what is

Jenn Lo:

the angle you need to actually get to

Jenn Lo:

and like I'll get it all done for you.

Jenn Lo:

Traits of ADHD kind of In that way, it

Jenn Lo:

makes it a little bit more complicated

Jenn Lo:

when I have to work with him.

Jenn Lo:

He overthinks a lot.

Jenn Lo:

He takes a long time to

Jenn Lo:

actually go and execute things.

Jenn Lo:

He might actually procrastinate a lot.

Jenn Lo:

There's like a lot of things that just

Jenn Lo:

is a barrier to getting him to the end

Jenn Lo:

destination of what he needs to do.

Jenn Lo:

Great thing about it.

Jenn Lo:

Is that he is a starter of

Jenn Lo:

any type of great ideas.

Jenn Lo:

He's a good thinker.

Jenn Lo:

He's a good ideation person He knows how

Jenn Lo:

to go with very dealing with chaos at

Jenn Lo:

a very Split of a second of like trying

Jenn Lo:

to problem solve a lot of things very

Jenn Lo:

creative um, that's great that that's

Jenn Lo:

the great thing about him and his his his

Jenn Lo:

uh situation It takes a lot of time and

Jenn Lo:

effort for us to kind of find that mold of

Jenn Lo:

like, okay That piece of Puzzle together

Jenn Lo:

to kind of like, how do we actually work

Jenn Lo:

with that and how do we come across?

Jenn Lo:

Come together with our strengths and

Jenn Lo:

weaknesses and like okay if your weakness

Jenn Lo:

is ADHD, how can I actually fit my

Jenn Lo:

pieces so then I can actually I can fit

Jenn Lo:

perfectly with your ADHD in that way.

Jenn Lo:

That's a lot of Adoption that needed

Jenn Lo:

to be happening throughout the last 10

Jenn Lo:

years We're like not not even last like

Jenn Lo:

five five six years of like diagnosing

Jenn Lo:

him and then now have to go like Okay,

Jenn Lo:

now I know you had this scenario or

Jenn Lo:

the situation now I have to go and

Jenn Lo:

deal with it How do I deal with it?

Jenn Lo:

I have to also talk to him and communicate

Jenn Lo:

with him very differently from how I've

Jenn Lo:

communicating with Communicated with

Jenn Lo:

him before because it wasn't working.

Jenn Lo:

You know, why don't you get it?

Jenn Lo:

And it's just like now I know a lot more

Jenn Lo:

about ADHD and I know a lot more about

Jenn Lo:

what he's going through I can Slowly

Jenn Lo:

become more empathetic of how he's

Jenn Lo:

going through things and I was like,

Jenn Lo:

okay, what are you trying to really do?

Jenn Lo:

Help me go through your thought

Jenn Lo:

process Go through that for me, and

Jenn Lo:

then let me simplify it for you.

Jenn Lo:

Um, it's probably the biggest thing

Jenn Lo:

I would say I, I wished I knew

Jenn Lo:

much sooner than it is, uh, after.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Okay.

Jenn Lo:

In programming lingo, I think

Jenn Lo:

what I'm hearing is that you're,

Jenn Lo:

you're more of um, a sequential

Jenn Lo:

program and he's multi threaded.

Jenn Lo:

Sure.

Jenn Lo:

Absolutely!

Jenn Lo:

Mm

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: I was gonna say, if

Jenn Lo:

you're familiar with, um, I think

Jenn Lo:

this is the teaching in the U.

Jenn Lo:

S.

Jenn Lo:

where it's, um, we're the classic

Jenn Lo:

visionary versus integrator.

Jenn Lo:

Right.

Jenn Lo:

So it's like the, I'm the person

Jenn Lo:

that's thinking, looking ahead.

Jenn Lo:

And she's the one that has to

Jenn Lo:

deal with a lot of the, the thing

Jenn Lo:

gets get thrown back to her.

Jenn Lo:

And I think she's being delicate about it,

Jenn Lo:

but I think to her point in the work, she

Jenn Lo:

was mostly coming from, you can sort of

Jenn Lo:

hear the, the, the, the stress and agony

Jenn Lo:

of like having to deal with me because

Jenn Lo:

I actually realized that halfway through

Jenn Lo:

it and, and in being self aware about,

Jenn Lo:

Oh, those things aren't natural and it is

Jenn Lo:

chaotic and problematic for someone

Jenn Lo:

who has to do with all the mess

Jenn Lo:

that I created in a sense, right?

Jenn Lo:

But to her point about being great with

Jenn Lo:

problem solving, you know For example

Jenn Lo:

coming into this interview without

Jenn Lo:

necessarily to read all the questions

Jenn Lo:

in advance and and thriving on that kind

Jenn Lo:

of thing Um, it just meant that uh, we

Jenn Lo:

really did have to rely on our strengths

Jenn Lo:

and weaknesses like every family or any

Jenn Lo:

business partner Um, that was us As our

Jenn Lo:

own maturity, as we grew and learn about

Jenn Lo:

one another, um, it's one of those things.

Jenn Lo:

And, um, so I'm, I thought she was

Jenn Lo:

gonna talk about something else, but I

Jenn Lo:

thought that's, that's a great example

Jenn Lo:

because it's true is, is, um, as you

Jenn Lo:

think about any type of like, you know,

Jenn Lo:

trait that we have with each other,

Jenn Lo:

how do you integrate with one another?

Jenn Lo:

And how do you make sure that

Jenn Lo:

whatever, you know, personal

Jenn Lo:

ticks or, you know, aspect of it

Jenn Lo:

doesn't cause a lot of

Jenn Lo:

stress on the other side.

Jenn Lo:

Um, I think for me, one of the things

Jenn Lo:

that I kind of wish I learned earlier

Jenn Lo:

on, um, relates to that, but it's around

Jenn Lo:

being respectful about our differences.

Jenn Lo:

I think when we first started working

Jenn Lo:

early on, um, I talk fast, I think

Jenn Lo:

fast, I do a lot of different things.

Jenn Lo:

I also had a few years ahead of her

Jenn Lo:

in my career, um, because I was like,

Jenn Lo:

The writing was on the wall, right?

Jenn Lo:

I dropped out of school.

Jenn Lo:

I had three different career shifts

Jenn Lo:

within a course of 12 years, right?

Jenn Lo:

It's like,

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Read the room.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: It's like, no

Jenn Lo:

hints at all along the way, right?

Jenn Lo:

It's not like I was dropping it

Jenn Lo:

at her just to pick up the slack.

Jenn Lo:

But, but the broader point was like,

Jenn Lo:

um, Because I had the dynamic going

Jenn Lo:

into the initial working relationship,

Jenn Lo:

it meant that, um, you know, the first

Jenn Lo:

company I was building incorrectly.

Jenn Lo:

So I kept being the

Jenn Lo:

smartest person in the room.

Jenn Lo:

And I say that with quotes

Jenn Lo:

because I wasn't right.

Jenn Lo:

It's, it's, and even if I was technically

Jenn Lo:

smart, there's a lot of aspects about

Jenn Lo:

business that you cannot lead with that.

Jenn Lo:

And I know that now, right.

Jenn Lo:

And it was through a painful process

Jenn Lo:

of, you know, a lot of, a lot of

Jenn Lo:

late nights and a lot of fights,

Jenn Lo:

but over the course of the years.

Jenn Lo:

As you know, she learned about

Jenn Lo:

my traits and learned about

Jenn Lo:

our strengths and weaknesses.

Jenn Lo:

I learned to be respectful about the

Jenn Lo:

skills that says she brought to the

Jenn Lo:

table that weren't directly based

Jenn Lo:

on technical skills of being a coder

Jenn Lo:

or being a designer of those type of

Jenn Lo:

things because she didn't have that

Jenn Lo:

background, nor is she supposed to.

Jenn Lo:

And where that plays out really well,

Jenn Lo:

especially in the current business

Jenn Lo:

that we have today is our different

Jenn Lo:

perspectives in thinking about we're

Jenn Lo:

advertising to a wide breadth of people.

Jenn Lo:

people, right?

Jenn Lo:

If I talk too fast and that rubs

Jenn Lo:

people in the wrong way or sends

Jenn Lo:

it, that's a certain preference.

Jenn Lo:

She balances out really well.

Jenn Lo:

If I have a certain trait about thinking

Jenn Lo:

about things in a certain way, she

Jenn Lo:

provides a counterpoint to that very well.

Jenn Lo:

When we're selling products, if I'm

Jenn Lo:

not the end consumer, because you know,

Jenn Lo:

I'm a male demographic focusing on

Jenn Lo:

these type of products and I understand

Jenn Lo:

messaging from these type of messages,

Jenn Lo:

she'll look at things from a very subtle

Jenn Lo:

level and be like, Hey, notice that.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah.

Jenn Lo:

That's really important and that

Jenn Lo:

will completely overlook and so being

Jenn Lo:

respectful of the other person's

Jenn Lo:

strengthening weaknesses and helping them

Jenn Lo:

encourage and flourishing that I think

Jenn Lo:

that's hugely valuable and it's one of

Jenn Lo:

the things that we haven't gotten to like

Jenn Lo:

multi generational, you know, running

Jenn Lo:

a business as a family in that sense.

Jenn Lo:

Um, but it makes me think a lot

Jenn Lo:

about, you know, whether if our

Jenn Lo:

kids work in this business or not.

Jenn Lo:

You know, hopefully not, maybe they're

Jenn Lo:

only doing their own thing to explore,

Jenn Lo:

but helping them encourage and flourish

Jenn Lo:

in their own way that are unique to them,

Jenn Lo:

I think is something that I, I, I wish

Jenn Lo:

more people recognize and hear about.

Jenn Lo:

That we took many years of very painful

Jenn Lo:

conversations and late nights to get

Jenn Lo:

past, which I'm glad we got past now.

Jenn Lo:

Um, but it's one of those things

Jenn Lo:

where it was very easy to overlook.

Jenn Lo:

Right.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Exactly.

Jenn Lo:

I couldn't say it any better.

Jenn Lo:

Wow.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah, we can relate.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah, because I'm dyslexic.

Jenn Lo:

So I look at the world entirely different

Jenn Lo:

than he does and he's a perfectionist.

Jenn Lo:

They don't necessarily go together.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Yes.

Jenn Lo:

Works when it

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Well, and even Even

Jenn Lo:

to go to the labels of strengths and

Jenn Lo:

weaknesses, you have to tread lightly.

Jenn Lo:

Because, you know, what's um,

Jenn Lo:

what can seem like a weakness

Jenn Lo:

can actually be a strength.

Jenn Lo:

You know, it's kind of situational.

Jenn Lo:

Like you said, you know, in a

Jenn Lo:

chaotic situation, um, you know,

Jenn Lo:

she's, to be able to figure a way

Jenn Lo:

through much faster than I am.

Jenn Lo:

I know for spatial relationships,

Jenn Lo:

that's a different kind of chaos.

Jenn Lo:

But like, when we were younger,

Jenn Lo:

we were going to pack a car

Jenn Lo:

full of stuff to go on a trip.

Jenn Lo:

I'd look at the pile of stuff and I'd

Jenn Lo:

look at the car and I'd say, You're

Jenn Lo:

going to have to take some stuff back.

Jenn Lo:

It's not going.

Jenn Lo:

And she'd look at it and

Jenn Lo:

say, Oh yeah, it'll fit.

Jenn Lo:

And she was always right.

Jenn Lo:

Always right.

Jenn Lo:

And those kind of things, you know, I just

Jenn Lo:

had to learn to appreciate and not fight.

Jenn Lo:

He still fights, but I just ignore him.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Once in a while.

Jenn Lo:

It'll come around.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: There was a book

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: but

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: ago, Men are from

Jenn Lo:

Mars, Women are from Venus, and that

Jenn Lo:

really helped me level up on that scale.

Jenn Lo:

It was an early day, but it helped.

Jenn Lo:

Appreciating the differences.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Oh, for sure.

Jenn Lo:

And I think for us, it's, it's

Jenn Lo:

again, hard in a, uh, family setting,

Jenn Lo:

because even if you recognize the

Jenn Lo:

strengths and weaknesses of a regular

Jenn Lo:

business partner, it gets personal.

Jenn Lo:

And so when you see the other person's

Jenn Lo:

weaknesses, to not fault them, take

Jenn Lo:

them to a fault and to associate that

Jenn Lo:

with things outside of your life, it's,

Jenn Lo:

it's, that's another can of worms too.

Jenn Lo:

But it's because it's, it's one

Jenn Lo:

of those things where, again, Um,

Jenn Lo:

having strengths and weaknesses is

Jenn Lo:

an important trait of any leadership

Jenn Lo:

or any position in business.

Jenn Lo:

But in a family setting is to not,

Jenn Lo:

um, appreciate the person's strength

Jenn Lo:

and not, you know, taking the role or

Jenn Lo:

fighting over it or that kind of thing

Jenn Lo:

is one aspect of it that would come up.

Jenn Lo:

But the other aspect of it is on the

Jenn Lo:

weakness side that you don't, um,

Jenn Lo:

take it on that person personally.

Jenn Lo:

It's, it's, it's, it's, there's an element

Jenn Lo:

of that, that it's very easy because like

Jenn Lo:

you said, When you're done at work, next

Jenn Lo:

thing you know, you're going on a road

Jenn Lo:

trip and you have to pack the car and to

Jenn Lo:

carry that emotion or that, or that mental

Jenn Lo:

understanding of the other person and

Jenn Lo:

separating that within that environment.

Jenn Lo:

And then going back to work the

Jenn Lo:

next day afterwards, it's like,

Jenn Lo:

tough

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: It is.

Jenn Lo:

It is tough.

Jenn Lo:

I love what, you know, you said

Jenn Lo:

at the beginning, it's not for

Jenn Lo:

the faint of heart, and it's not.

Jenn Lo:

It's not.

Jenn Lo:

But, you know, it's, there's that,

Jenn Lo:

I come from an investing side, so

Jenn Lo:

you know, there's risk and reward.

Jenn Lo:

The

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: yes,

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: more

Jenn Lo:

reward, there's more risk.

Jenn Lo:

It's gonna happen.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Absolutely when it works.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: And when

Jenn Lo:

it works, it's amazing.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Yes.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Wow.

Jenn Lo:

Um, do you guys, you don't have

Jenn Lo:

any other employees, do you?

Jenn Lo:

Is it just the two of you,

Jenn Lo:

or do you have a team?

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: We have employees, we have

Jenn Lo:

a team, , that are, we have, that are

Jenn Lo:

based all over the world right now, , it

Jenn Lo:

didn't used to be that way, we used to

Jenn Lo:

have more, uh, employees co located in

Jenn Lo:

Vancouver, , but the pandemic sort of,

Jenn Lo:

like, shifted that, and so, um, we're,

Jenn Lo:

we're a mix, mix of part time staff,

Jenn Lo:

, and one full time staff and a bunch of

Jenn Lo:

contractors, it's easier in the agency

Jenn Lo:

world to, to fluctuate based on demand

Jenn Lo:

and, , your sales velocity to manage

Jenn Lo:

fulfillment in a contract and setting.

Jenn Lo:

And so we've got the infrastructure

Jenn Lo:

now that we didn't have before.

Jenn Lo:

Um, and so in terms of

Jenn Lo:

roles now, we're still.

Jenn Lo:

Both handling account

Jenn Lo:

management and fulfillment.

Jenn Lo:

So we're still involved with the day

Jenn Lo:

to day operations of the business.

Jenn Lo:

And I lean more on the sales

Jenn Lo:

side and she's more on the

Jenn Lo:

marketing side of the business.

Jenn Lo:

And, um, when we first talked about,

Jenn Lo:

you know, the operations of the

Jenn Lo:

business that we bought and owned.

Jenn Lo:

Um, and so like 80 percent of the

Jenn Lo:

time, it's still most on the agency.

Jenn Lo:

The 20 percent time is on the venture

Jenn Lo:

and we have a general manager effectively

Jenn Lo:

that takes care of operations of

Jenn Lo:

those businesses that we meet with a

Jenn Lo:

regular basis, um, to make sure that

Jenn Lo:

things are still running smoothly.

Jenn Lo:

So that's our current setup right now.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Nice.

Jenn Lo:

Cool.

Jenn Lo:

Is there, is there anything in

Jenn Lo:

particular that you've learned

Jenn Lo:

from one of your employees that's

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Oh, lots.

Jenn Lo:

I mean, so I think I'll talk about

Jenn Lo:

the hiring process and I think

Jenn Lo:

that might be true for any general

Jenn Lo:

business, not just for family business.

Jenn Lo:

, I think the thing about hiring and,

Jenn Lo:

and leadership really, , is that, you

Jenn Lo:

know, any great hire should be better

Jenn Lo:

at you in their respective roles.

Jenn Lo:

And for an agency, it's a little bit

Jenn Lo:

harder because in the, , when you're

Jenn Lo:

selling a service and you're selling labor

Jenn Lo:

effectively, um, You have to be bringing,

Jenn Lo:

you're basically arbitraging talent.

Jenn Lo:

And so what it means is that generally

Jenn Lo:

for a marketing agency, you're bringing

Jenn Lo:

in more junior and intermediate

Jenn Lo:

employees and then finding ways to

Jenn Lo:

make sure that they incentivize to

Jenn Lo:

stay with you medium to long term.

Jenn Lo:

And so in terms of me learning from my

Jenn Lo:

employees, I think, you know, for me,

Jenn Lo:

it's about, , knowing how to step away

Jenn Lo:

and delegate and be, uh, so I talked about

Jenn Lo:

earlier, you teach what you need to learn.

Jenn Lo:

Um, um, I think the staff and the team

Jenn Lo:

has helped me, um, articulate a lot

Jenn Lo:

of the functional processes that we're

Jenn Lo:

doing that we've internalized that we

Jenn Lo:

otherwise would not have been able to.

Jenn Lo:

And so seeing them do better in each

Jenn Lo:

of the respective roles than what

Jenn Lo:

we would have done individually.

Jenn Lo:

Um, that's, that's

Jenn Lo:

always really rewarding.

Jenn Lo:

Any business owner can say that, uh, can,

Jenn Lo:

can, can understand and appreciate that.

Jenn Lo:

Um, and so I think that's, um,

Jenn Lo:

maybe it should be more specific.

Jenn Lo:

One thing that I learned

Jenn Lo:

from them, but I think.

Jenn Lo:

You know, broadly, you

Jenn Lo:

know, very general sense.

Jenn Lo:

Um, that's been my experience bringing

Jenn Lo:

people in and having them seeing them

Jenn Lo:

thrive in our environment because

Jenn Lo:

primarily we've been hiring people that

Jenn Lo:

are earlier into careers has been really

Jenn Lo:

rewarding and very fulfilling for me.

Jenn Lo:

And, um, maybe I'll come back to

Jenn Lo:

like a more specific lesson or

Jenn Lo:

thing that I learned from them,

Jenn Lo:

but Jenn, you have anything?

Jenn Lo:

I think I'm going to build

Jenn Lo:

upon just the delegation part.

Jenn Lo:

I think indirectly you've kind

Jenn Lo:

of learned how to delegate more.

Jenn Lo:

And I think when we started the business,

Jenn Lo:

it's just us, just you and I, right?

Jenn Lo:

So it's, it was more so that like,

Jenn Lo:

okay, we can bring on everything and

Jenn Lo:

anything that we can actually do.

Jenn Lo:

We always believe that we can

Jenn Lo:

actually go through with it.

Jenn Lo:

Um, Make things happen.

Jenn Lo:

Um as we grow as a company as we grow

Jenn Lo:

as a team We slowly had to learn how to

Jenn Lo:

delegate Parts of the business and parts

Jenn Lo:

of the task parts of the projects to

Jenn Lo:

other people and it's really hard It's

Jenn Lo:

it's it's a growing It's like a growing

Jenn Lo:

up process to as a business owner to now

Jenn Lo:

switching to be being being leadership

Jenn Lo:

and being management um in time in that

Jenn Lo:

like You need to have a you need to let

Jenn Lo:

go and know how to let go when to let go

Jenn Lo:

of like okay It's okay You need to put

Jenn Lo:

this piece to that person and trust in

Jenn Lo:

that person that they can actually go

Jenn Lo:

and fulfill whatever they need to do um

Jenn Lo:

now our Now that our team Um have worked

Jenn Lo:

with us for quite a bit of time now up

Jenn Lo:

to a year to three years now uh Some team

Jenn Lo:

members have now know the dynamics between

Jenn Lo:

him and I and know exactly when to just

Jenn Lo:

like, Hey, do not involve John or like

Jenn Lo:

let John know that no, you cannot do this.

Jenn Lo:

Let me take care of it and then teach

Jenn Lo:

him how to actually delegate and be okay.

Jenn Lo:

It's like, no, I don't

Jenn Lo:

need you to do this.

Jenn Lo:

I just need you to make a decision

Jenn Lo:

when I give you two, two options.

Jenn Lo:

You choose one, please kind of thing.

Jenn Lo:

Um, I think that's that helped

Jenn Lo:

him a lot in terms of, Yeah.

Jenn Lo:

Being aware of his, uh, leadership role

Jenn Lo:

and how he can actually be improving

Jenn Lo:

his leadership at that time, uh,

Jenn Lo:

for, for being delegating that way.

Jenn Lo:

But it's also to be more self aware for

Jenn Lo:

him of his ADHD is because he wants to,

Jenn Lo:

like, he, he wants, he knows he needs

Jenn Lo:

to be a better leader, but he doesn't

Jenn Lo:

quite know exactly how to actually let

Jenn Lo:

go of certain things and prioritizing

Jenn Lo:

what to let go and what not to let go.

Jenn Lo:

Um, I think the team right now

Jenn Lo:

have, found a really good soft spot

Jenn Lo:

to know exactly where to involve

Jenn Lo:

him and when not to involve him.

Jenn Lo:

They know when to ask me for things

Jenn Lo:

and they know when to ask Jenn for it

Jenn Lo:

because John's not going to respond.

Jenn Lo:

John's not going to respond for like days.

Jenn Lo:

So, I think that part have helped and

Jenn Lo:

as for me, I've learned really quickly

Jenn Lo:

to delegate and I was like, I can't do

Jenn Lo:

everything I've always been the one that's

Jenn Lo:

doing like operations and marketing and

Jenn Lo:

like, you know All the tasks that needs to

Jenn Lo:

be done for the agent, uh for the for the

Jenn Lo:

clients themselves as well for execution

Jenn Lo:

so now That I have a lot more help,

Jenn Lo:

I'm like, okay, I'm really trusting

Jenn Lo:

to actually just let them go

Jenn Lo:

through it when they are stuck.

Jenn Lo:

I know I need to be a backup for it,

Jenn Lo:

but I'm like, okay, but I'm not going

Jenn Lo:

to give you all the silver spoon and

Jenn Lo:

put everything into the instructions.

Jenn Lo:

Like, can you go and figure it out for me?

Jenn Lo:

I'm not going to give you

Jenn Lo:

the instruction for it.

Jenn Lo:

How about you give me a proposal

Jenn Lo:

of one to two different options

Jenn Lo:

and then let me out the rest or,

Jenn Lo:

or evaluate what your options were.

Jenn Lo:

Um, That never been that that never been

Jenn Lo:

something I've done previously either.

Jenn Lo:

I also had to go through a piece a lesson

Jenn Lo:

to kind of let go and like trust the

Jenn Lo:

team to kind of figure out some things.

Jenn Lo:

And the biggest shift is because

Jenn Lo:

my mental capacity was like just

Jenn Lo:

over the top 110 percent already.

Jenn Lo:

I can't.

Jenn Lo:

I can't stuff more things in there.

Jenn Lo:

Like I really need to actually lower

Jenn Lo:

my mental capacity and that's the

Jenn Lo:

biggest mental shift for myself.

Jenn Lo:

It's like, Nope, I'm not going

Jenn Lo:

to try to solve this problem.

Jenn Lo:

I'm going to tell them these are

Jenn Lo:

the results and these are the

Jenn Lo:

things that I'm trying to solve.

Jenn Lo:

Can you go and figure it out for me

Jenn Lo:

and then come back with some options?

Jenn Lo:

Uh, that, that's the growing part

Jenn Lo:

of how we're dealing with the

Jenn Lo:

team and how the team is actually

Jenn Lo:

dealing with us at the moment.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: So much

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Well said.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Yes, so much there.

Jenn Lo:

Wow.

Jenn Lo:

So, on one level, I heard so much

Jenn Lo:

you said about early in that about

Jenn Lo:

delegation would also apply to a

Jenn Lo:

founder, trying to navigate the early

Jenn Lo:

parts of succession because there's, you

Jenn Lo:

know, very similar thought processes.

Jenn Lo:

You know, they've, they've been doing it.

Jenn Lo:

They know how to do it.

Jenn Lo:

They know they can do it their certain

Jenn Lo:

way and they have to learn to trust.

Jenn Lo:

And, and part of that trust is

Jenn Lo:

knowing that people are going to

Jenn Lo:

make mistakes and we have to be,

Jenn Lo:

you have to be okay with that too.

Jenn Lo:

And they got to make their mistakes

Jenn Lo:

in order for them to learn.

Jenn Lo:

Cause you're, you know, you're, that's

Jenn Lo:

part of them, how, how they recover

Jenn Lo:

from the mistakes is then what,

Jenn Lo:

how you learn to trust them more.

Jenn Lo:

And, and the other thing you were

Jenn Lo:

talking about, uh, reminded me of, uh,

Jenn Lo:

have you heard of, uh, Dale Carnegie?

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Yes.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: one of

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Do.

Jenn Lo:

Mm-Hmm,

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: techniques that he

Jenn Lo:

published in his book so many years

Jenn Lo:

ago was, you know, when somebody

Jenn Lo:

comes to him with a problem, he, you

Jenn Lo:

know, if it's not, "Okay, tell me

Jenn Lo:

your problem and I'll fix it for you."

Jenn Lo:

It's no, , if you're going

Jenn Lo:

to come to me with a problem,

Jenn Lo:

here's a form you fill out.

Jenn Lo:

What's the problem?

Jenn Lo:

What do you think?

Jenn Lo:

Uh, what are some several possible

Jenn Lo:

solutions and what do you think is

Jenn Lo:

the best possible solution and why?

Jenn Lo:

And you bring that to me

Jenn Lo:

filled out and we'll talk.

Jenn Lo:

And you kind of described that

Jenn Lo:

process in your, you know,

Jenn Lo:

in how you learn to delegate.

Jenn Lo:

Ha

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: But we should systemize

Jenn Lo:

it though, because we actually

Jenn Lo:

never thought about it that way.

Jenn Lo:

That was all like organic in the

Jenn Lo:

way we, I actually systemized, I

Jenn Lo:

read a book that actually clearly.

Jenn Lo:

But it is very, very similar.

Jenn Lo:

And I think it's very important to

Jenn Lo:

us, a young company that started as a

Jenn Lo:

startup to grow into a next phase of

Jenn Lo:

their company and the next phase of the

Jenn Lo:

company, if you are only thinking about,

Jenn Lo:

okay, well, we're, we're the best of

Jenn Lo:

what we do and we, we we're holding on

Jenn Lo:

everything so tightly and not really

Jenn Lo:

sharing the, the responsibilities and

Jenn Lo:

the tasks and everything that, that the

Jenn Lo:

roles, um, you'll always be just the

Jenn Lo:

two of you and your business won't grow.

Jenn Lo:

You really want it.

Jenn Lo:

That that's totally fine.

Jenn Lo:

If you actually want to grow a business

Jenn Lo:

just for the two of you, and there's a

Jenn Lo:

lifestyle business that way, but if you

Jenn Lo:

have bigger ambition to actually grow

Jenn Lo:

a business and grow it bigger, uh, with

Jenn Lo:

better, with, with more team members.

Jenn Lo:

And as.

Jenn Lo:

As a higher, higher, a bigger company,

Jenn Lo:

then you need to think about changing

Jenn Lo:

of the roles and how you're going to

Jenn Lo:

actually have passed down the baton to

Jenn Lo:

somebody else to actually go through.

Jenn Lo:

No, I'm not going to do

Jenn Lo:

with finances anymore.

Jenn Lo:

Hey, Grace, can you take this on?

Jenn Lo:

And like, you know, you just need

Jenn Lo:

to meet with me once a month, every

Jenn Lo:

two weeks to actually go through

Jenn Lo:

all the P& L and all the things.

Jenn Lo:

Therefore, I can actually go back

Jenn Lo:

to my CEO to actually talk about

Jenn Lo:

those finances, the high level stuff.

Jenn Lo:

But now you're shifting your role very

Jenn Lo:

differently from where you started.

Jenn Lo:

Five six seven years

Jenn Lo:

ago to now you're okay.

Jenn Lo:

Now you're a different stage of company

Jenn Lo:

You have to you need to be able to

Jenn Lo:

actually shift that mindset As you grow

Jenn Lo:

as a team as you grow as a company and the

Jenn Lo:

team Team members that you hire on board

Jenn Lo:

also need to know that is the end goal.

Jenn Lo:

That is the like north

Jenn Lo:

star We're trying to get to

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: too.

Jenn Lo:

You know, this is, this is where,

Jenn Lo:

you know, sharing that, this

Jenn Lo:

is our, you know, direction.

Jenn Lo:

And, and, you know, someday you,

Jenn Lo:

you, we may sell and you may be

Jenn Lo:

working for somebody else or, you

Jenn Lo:

know, whatever, that's, that's huge.

Jenn Lo:

I, I was also thinking that, you know,

Jenn Lo:

sometimes people grow a business like

Jenn Lo:

that and they find themselves in a

Jenn Lo:

role where they miss doing the work.

Jenn Lo:

They miss those early days.

Jenn Lo:

And so they actually sell the

Jenn Lo:

company and then go start another

Jenn Lo:

one and start over small so they

Jenn Lo:

can get their hands dirty again.

Jenn Lo:

And that's okay too, right?

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: For sure

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: They do it with

Jenn Lo:

a lot more money in their pocket,

Jenn Lo:

usually, so they can even enjoy, enjoy

Jenn Lo:

those early days much more without

Jenn Lo:

having to sweat the little stuff.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: I'm

Jenn Lo:

retired, now what do I do?

Jenn Lo:

Let's

Jenn Lo:

go find some work

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: There you go.

Jenn Lo:

This has been wonderful.

Jenn Lo:

It has been.

Jenn Lo:

So, um, my last question is always,

Jenn Lo:

you know, where can people contact you?

Jenn Lo:

I think I need to modify that a little,

Jenn Lo:

a little bit into who should contact

Jenn Lo:

you, like what type of business,

Jenn Lo:

and then where should they find you?

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: for sure.

Jenn Lo:

And I appreciate that plug.

Jenn Lo:

Um, so you can find us at 2X.Agency.

Jenn Lo:

That's the website URL.

Jenn Lo:

So the HTTPS, uh, two X dot agency.

Jenn Lo:

Um, you'll find our agency site and

Jenn Lo:

you'll learn about our different services,

Jenn Lo:

primarily in ad creative production.

Jenn Lo:

So if you're creating video ads or

Jenn Lo:

what's called UGC ads where users

Jenn Lo:

generated content ads, We primarily

Jenn Lo:

work with e commerce and software

Jenn Lo:

companies, as Jenn alluded to earlier.

Jenn Lo:

But in some cases we might have

Jenn Lo:

some B2B software companies that are

Jenn Lo:

looking for lead generation efforts.

Jenn Lo:

So if you're looking for, um, more

Jenn Lo:

customers or more leads, um, generally

Jenn Lo:

they're good to have a discussion with us.

Jenn Lo:

Um, they generally need to be, uh,

Jenn Lo:

A bit further along where they have

Jenn Lo:

existing sales and existing customers.

Jenn Lo:

So we can have data to look at

Jenn Lo:

to know how to improve whatever

Jenn Lo:

metrics and systems that they have.

Jenn Lo:

Um, but that's the place to find us.

Jenn Lo:

Um, you know, personally you can

Jenn Lo:

connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Jenn Lo:

So, you know, I'm John Chan on LinkedIn.

Jenn Lo:

There's a lot of us on there,

Jenn Lo:

but if you look for that under

Jenn Lo:

two X you'll probably find me.

Jenn Lo:

Um, and on Twitter I'm at J T C C H A N.

Jenn Lo:

I'm sure these will be links in the show

Jenn Lo:

notes that I'll send over to you as well.

Jenn Lo:

Um, but I think that's the

Jenn Lo:

best way to reach out to me.

Jenn Lo:

For me, for myself, it's LinkedIn as well.

Jenn Lo:

Jennifer Lo.

Jenn Lo:

Um, Jennifer.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah.

Jenn Lo:

I think it's Jennifer Lo.

Jenn Lo:

Um, and then, uh, on Twitter, uh,

Jenn Lo:

Jenn Lo underscore with two Ns.

Jenn Lo:

So you can probably reach me there.

Jenn Lo:

No,

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: that and

Jenn Lo:

get it in the show notes.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah.

Jenn Lo:

This has been so much fun.

Jenn Lo:

I'm so glad we did this.

Jenn Lo:

Thank you!

Jenn Lo:

I want

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: thank you for having us on.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: I wanna go to

Jenn Lo:

Vancouver now and have dinner.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Yes.

Jenn Lo:

Well, next time we're in Tampa,

Jenn Lo:

we also can actually come over

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: Oh yes, if you

Jenn Lo:

come to Tampa, please let us know.

Jenn Lo:

Yeah, we would love to see you anytime.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Thank you for having us.

Jenn Lo:

John and Connie: let's stay in touch.

Jenn Lo:

John and Jenn: Absolutely.

Jenn Lo:

For sure.

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