January 18, 2020
When Crap Hits The Fan | Inside KlientBoost Episode 024

When Crap Hits The Fan | Inside KlientBoost Episode 024

– [Stone] Let’s see, now do it. – [Luke] I’m like wait, Matt
hasn’t seen A Christmas Story Matt hasn’t seen A Christmas Story! – [Spencer] I’m not waiting, don’t
do it. – Is it like, that fast? – [Camera Operator] Yeah, it’s that fast. – Like if I go like– – [Spencer] Yeah, you’ll die. – [Luke] You won’t die! – [Spencer] Matt, don’t! – I think it’s important when I advocate transparency
and you know most of the things that from the outside looks like everything is going
really well, and it is for the most part in the big picture when you take a step back. You know, things are phenomenal, health is
great, people are getting new places to live in, buying new cars. Like that stuff makes me happy when I see
that. But I wouldn’t do a favor to the people watching
if I didn’t also explain some of the things that– Did you almost trip? – [Stone] Yeah I did. – If I didn’t also explain like some of the
bad things that go on because, if you look at us and be like, oh it’s so easy and Johnathan
and team and it’s not that hard. I mean it is, man. Like I would get to a new level in the business
and I’ll have lifted my own threshold of like tolerance. And so if you go down below that even though
it was much better than it was last year, or just like three months before that, it’s
like a savings account. Like, you’re saving money and you’re saying,
oh I have a thousand dollars, or now I have two thousand, I’m never gonna go below two
thousand. But that’s okay because you find that you
are continuously taking one step back, two steps forward, three steps back, one step
forward. And you can feel like you’re kind of locked
in some places and you’re not really making much progress, but you are. And this is where you have to take a step
back and look at that big picture and not get so caught up on the day-to-day kind of
stuff. Or how it feels that you’re in a storm right
now in a business setting. Or the seasons that you’re going through. That’s like, in life too. Like you’ll have deaths happen to your family,
you’ll have bad things happen. But they’re not gonna last. The same thing with the good things they’re
not gonna last. So, that to me has been a lot of help in figuring
out how to like just keep a calm mind and a clear focus. And then on top of that, you know, get ready
for the crap. Oh my god. Get ready for the ice cold winds, cause’ they’re
not fun. Get ready for the people who you thought you
had a good relationship with put in their notice, right? Quit on you. That client that you thought was gonna be
a great client, turns out to be a crap one and they’re gone like, stuff is gonna happen
so the way that you’re built and the way that you can take those hits is gonna be important. Focus on that and know that it’s not all rosy. And it’s not all great stuff either. Keep that in mind. – Finally, final day of the trip. – [Johnathan] Freeze. So, some months back we actually had three
people put in their two week notice all at the same time. Matt was one of them, Spencer was one of them,
and another person that you’ll see later in this episode named Ally. What we failed to recognize was taking feedback
from the people, you know, who were a big part of our team and not taking this as seriously
as we could and so, what you’re basically about to hear are their stories from them
individually of how things went down and then also things that we’ve learned from the management
side at KlientBoost to do better and make improvements. – In Wisconsin here. Gonna go meet with a client, get some coffee
more importantly. And then, after we meet with the client I
think we’re finally headin’ home. So, it’s been a fun, long trip. Productive, but I do miss my bed, my cats. – What about your wife? – And of course my wife, I was getting to
the, saving the best for last, babe, I love you. I promise. I don’t love the cats more than you. – [Johnathan] It’s recorded I don’t know about
that. – So we’re driving through Wisconsin right
now. Super cold. We’re gonna switch it up a little bit today
and talk about some of the not so sexy, the not so fun stuff at KlientBoost. You know for me personally, a few months ago
I was actually considering leaving KlientBoost which came as a shock when I talked to Johnathan
about it. In case you guys don’t know I’m actually the
longest tenured employee at KlientBoost. Coming up on three years, so I’ve been with
the company for a long time. So it wasn’t an easy decision when I came
to it but, I came to a point where, you know, there was this new roll out of a comp plan
for KlientBoost employees. It was a super generous, you know, comp plan
for overall, for a lot of people benefiting. For various opportunities given through this
comp plan. But with being here for such a long time it
was actually, you know, hurting me and I was one of the only people to not really benefit
from it and see kind of the opposite. And so it didn’t really sit right with me
and I wasn’t too happy and I voiced, you know, some initial concerns but it was kind of like,
hey let’s just test this out and see where it goes. And you know, it didn’t, nothing really got
fixed or solved or anything like that on my end and so I go to a point where I just wasn’t
really happy and decided you know what, I don’t know if KlientBoost is the right place
for me anymore. Even though I have been here for a long time
and I love so many aspects about it. It just got to a point where I didn’t know
if I could do it anymore. And so I actually started applying to other,
you know other agencies, and going on some interviews and was even offered another position
that, you know at the time I was like, hey, this is a good opportunity for me, I’m gonna
take it. And rather than go to Johnathan and the leadership
team and say like, hey, I have this opportunity on the table. I’m not happy and if nothing changes I’m gonna
leave. I actually pretty much came up and said, hey,
I’m gonna leave. I have this other opportunity. And so it’s kind of just like a surprise for
them. But at the same time I think it was necessary. And the fact that it was a big shock because
I have been there for so long. And it kind of opened Johnathan’s eyes to the
concerns that I was voicing as far as my situation with the comp plan. You know we had a really good heart to heart
after I had that conversation with him and you know, we came to kind of the root causes
of the problems. And obviously I’m still here. We’ve talked about, you know, as far as like
a game plan for where for like a comp plan for me, you know, what my role at the company
can be, where I can be most used and most beneficial and so it was, you know, it was
a rough patch there for a few weeks but flash forward a few months later you know, I’m super
excited, super pumped, and I’m glad I ended up staying. Yeah and when I to the point of like, hey,
like, I’m gonna be putting in my two weeks. Like, that was such a hard decision not only
because I’d been with the company for so long but because I’ve made so many friends at KlientBoost. Just, you know, people that I literally can’t
see my life without, you know, these days. Like, literally people I can see being life
long friends, and, you know, plus my HOTS crew. I don’t know what I would do without you guys. But, yeah like I said I’m super pumped that
we don’t, Johnathan, the leadership team and I came to an understanding for where I can
be used and a career trajectory that makes sense. – I don’t know why the camera’s on me now. ‘Cause I’m one of Matt’s life long friends? Or whatever. – Oh my gosh. – By the way I like the fact that your Hots
crew is not your life long friends. – I never said that. – That’s the way it was worded. – What is, that it not true. – Right, we’re here in Fond-du-Lac, Wisconsin. At Lake Winnebago and I just wanted to talk
a little bit, a little more somber of an issue I think Matt talked earlier or he’ll be after
about just kinda some of the things that don’t always go great with start-ups and some of
the trouble that you hit that kinda makes you re-evaluate where you’re at and what you’re
doing. So, I’m trying to think, this was probably
like four or five months ago. I got reached out to by an agency internationally
and they had a good offer and obviously I love KlientBoost and I love everyone at KB
so much. But I was just thinking of my career and kind
of where I was going and it was tough because I was in a position that I had asked for and
it just turned out to be something that I didn’t love and so I didn’t want to just go
to Johnathan and screw him over and be like, hey, this position that I’d asked for I just
don’t really like. So to me the solution was just maybe to kinda
part ways and so I pursued this offer from this other company and so basically just talking
with, you know, Kim and Johnathan about, you know, leaving soon. And it was actually really healthy ’cause
you know probably the better thing would’ve been kind of to just express my frustration
but kind of in my head I just didn’t want to bring all those things with the position
I was in to them because I had asked for it and I just kinda saw it as, you know, me just
being a bad employee. For kind of being like, ungrateful is kinda
what it felt like to me. So, but just getting to talk to Johnathan and
Kim about it and just kinda made, they made just a super gracious kinda just talking through
with me how they value me and that they appreciate what I’ve done and so, they made another spot
for me that, you know, now four months in and I love. And so kind of a cue learning for me was just
even if you’re in a position that you don’t love, just go talk to the people. You know for us, Johnathan and Kim but, it
was just really a great time to talk through where I was at, what I’m doing, and kind of
air all of the things that I was frustrated with and yeah it turned out to be really valuable
time and I’m extremely happy to be where I’m at. But that’s kind of was the darker side of
three or four months ago basically leaving. But now I’m here and I’m happy and you know
not that everything was for me but I think it was just healthy to kind of express where
I was at and that they came alongside me and encouraged me and loved on me and so I’ll
always be super appreciative for that. – So we heard from Matt and Spencer on what
happened that day where basically like three notices of like, doing new things and going
and chasing new dreams were basically given to us. And I remember that day that I was like, I
was, my brain was like firing on all centers and I’m like, damage control, damage control,
damage control. And the day that I left for the day, drove
home, I could just feel like I was getting like, I like immediately got sick. – Yeah. – Like I was just drained from everything. So you’re a person who has been with us, you
left, we left on really great terms. But I wanna hear like the bad news of like
why we’ve kind of like didn’t build the environment that was the best for you at that time. – There’s a couple of things so, the first
thing is that I think being with the company, not since day one but, I was in the old 17th
Street office. – Yeah. – And so I feel like I’m like kind of an OG
but like not part of the OG group. – Sure. – But I feel like at that point kind of the
team can get in, or myself at least, can get in kind of like a spoiled mentality of well,
this is what I want, I’ve been with the company, and if it’s not gonna change then blah, blah,
blah. So like throwing myself under the bus I think
that it was kind of a spoiled mentality of I’ve been with the company and why’s my opinion
not valued? – Yeah. – Which that is a great segue into during
the time that the like basically Black Friday happened where all three of us came out of
a room and were like oh did you do it too? – Yeah. – I think that everybody just kind of felt
like we were undervalued. It was a time where we were growing really
quickly but we just didn’t have processes in place. – Right. – And the processes where we’re basically,
us as employees wanting to say we want to feel like we’re safe, we want to feel like
our salary and our compensation is safe and we wanna feel like there’s also like a value
that’s added on to us as employees rather than just you know, everybody’s at one equal
thing and things like that. And there was some frustration with conversations
that we had around that. – Yup. The thing that we did wrong, just to give
you guys some context is that we came out with a new comp plan, that was kind of like
the catalyst of a lot of this right? And so what it did was even though the business
actually paid more to people it kind of exposed everything. And it also lifted the curtain and so all
the unknowns were very much known, it was very easy for the designers to see that like,
maybe they weren’t valued as much but the interesting thing, like the intent of it was
the designers never got any commission. – Yeah. – And so two parts was, let’s give more money
but let’s also give ownership to people on the design side, on the account management
side to feel like if they get clients and they grow them, that’s great or if they want
new clients there’s more money for them. But if they lose clients it’s gonna burn,
right? – Yeah. – And so we went through these rounds of conversations
and people were telling me things that I’m like, yeah, I don’t know if that’s really
that important. And that was my biggest fault because like
I mentioned before we even got on the camera I was like don’t screw around with people’s
money like that’s the fastest way to kinda get them to mentally check out. And also feel de-valued and that’s super,
super dangerous for a young team that especially because we’re so close and so many people
are friends internally that the talk happens too. And it’s all true. Like, most of it is always all true and so
my biggest learning lesson back then was I remember talking to with Matt and like Matt
had some concerns. Like, Matt was one of the people who would
actually make less money on the comp plan and there’s maybe one or two, him and another
person maybe. And I was like yeah dude, but like think about
it in the long term. But he’s like, “What about now? “Like I’m the one managing most money “for
you from like a revenue perspective. “Why should I be okay with, Johnathan, “you,
treating me like that.” And so you know like since then like a lot
of the things that we changed has been like the amount of anonymous feedback that we still
allow but even people who wanna come say something that have the courage even more so. But it’s like fast and like how we’re being
like okay, dogs are an issue in the office, let’s have a dog policy, like that was a small
thing, right? So that’s been really, really important for
me to understand and also have more of just not necessarily like a closer relationship
but also like just really listening. And saying that it’s not just my Yosemite
Sam way of going out and being like changes across the board, be like, what the best and
easiest way to make everybody’s lives easier? And then like, be okay with that and not worry
about phase nine that comes down the road. ‘Cause I can sometimes be obsessed with that. – I think that the ultimate frustration and
the reason why I left was because I kept expressing my feelings and it was like nothing was being
done about it. And so instead of me feeling like, okay I’m
just gonna wait it out and like they’re promising it’s gonna change. – Yup. – It was like, hey I’m gonna wait it out and
there’s no promise that’s gonna change and it’s just gonna continue to suck. – Right, right. – So as unfortunate as it is I think that
like the Black Friday of all of us going in kind of like needed to happen. – Yeah, it totally was. – To basically be like you know, we’re all
complaining about these things and we’re not just complaining to complain like– – Right. – These are very serious, you know, things
that need to be heard. But yeah, I mean ultimately the KlientBoost
is my family. And I do think before I even was deciding
to come back I was, stayed in touch with everybody and was kind of like vetting the– – Are things better now? – Yeah, I was like, I would be like going
to get coffee and like, so like how’s KB? How’s the office? Does it still suck? And then people would be like, “No it’s actually
great since you left!” I’m like, well you know what? You’re welcome. I took one for the team. – I had to sacrifice myself! – But yeah I made sure that I had to vet just
so that way people weren’t trying to like sell me if they knew I was trying to come
back. – Yeah. – And ultimately it sounded like management
listened and you know it did kind of take some drastic measures but again we’re a younger
company and I feel like it kind of needed to have some downfalls for us to be able to
pick it up and re-grow. – Totally, and I feel like there’s nothing
that like myself, or Kim, or Richard, or anybody can say that like we know this for certain,
like this is the way we do it and like this is always how it’s gonna be and it’s like
it’s always a thing that’s in motion and always trying to evolve and get better. For anything from like, the things that we
changed in that mission too early is like the more frequent like touch bases, like how
are you feeling? And the people who don’t speak up that still
are upset or whatever like it’s on them at the end. – Right. – But like for this even to have the opportunity
to talk to you right now that I’m so thankful for and the fact that you wanna come back
is, I’m just like, it’s such a, not only are you great at what you do, but it’s also such
a statement for you to come back. And so even more so I’m like, this is so awesome
and I feel like know, Ally is this person we’re gonna like bring in and say, hey even
though we are good at what we do, we can be way better. And this is an example of how this happened. – Yeah. – So thank you. – Stone do you wanna come in for a group hug? – [Stone] Yeah, fine. – It’s the videographer. – [All] Aw. – Hey, so if you look behind me you can see
a giant table of presents. That’s where we’re about to start playing
our Christmas present game.

3 thoughts on “When Crap Hits The Fan | Inside KlientBoost Episode 024

  1. This is the part of the agency life that NEVER gets talked about, but needs to be talked about. Keep it up guys!

  2. This is so amazing that you guys are sharing this. Thank you *from agency owners and teams everywhere* 🀘

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