Aligning Values, Agency work & People
What good have you done lately? This is a question Cameron Madill thinks about a lot.
With that thought, he’s built an agency that oozes with corporate good. But this wasn’t at a cost. Not in the long term anyway. In fact, since then, he’s doubled his business.
Is this what you get when you take a kid from Portland, send him to Stanford to get a degree in physics and have him start an agency with his dad?
Nah. It’s more complex than that. Cameron Madill’s a deep thinker. A learner according to one personality test. And an all-around good guy who has genuine give a damn written all over him.
It’s paid off. And my bet is it will continue to pay dividends for his people, his pocket and our planet for a long time.
In our second episode of The Climb, we take a deep dive into what it means to become a Certified B Corp, falling into a business vertical and aligning values with work.
- Certified B Corp
- Cameron’s Agency
- Cameron’s LinkedIn
- Ray Dalio – Principles
- Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance
- Assists w/B Corp Certification
- So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed book
- Snow Falling on Cedars book
- New Jim Crow book
- Cameron’s Book Report that he sent me when we first met
- Inside Advantage book
- Entrepreneur’s Network
- Cameron’s Favorite Non-Profit
Jon Tsourakis 0:00
Hi, I’m Jon Tsourakis. With the digital mastermind, you’re listening to the client. This is where agency owners and leaders tune in to get growth tips and strategies for growing their businesses.
Alright, this is Jon Tsourakis with the digital mastermind and you’re listening to the climb where agency owners and leaders tune in to get growth tips and strategies for growing their businesses. This episode, we’re going to discuss the ethics of running a business in today’s environment. We’ve got a certified B Corp CEO Cameron middle of pixel spoke, who’s going to give us insight into what it means, how it’s done, and all the inside info on how its transformed his business. Kim is the founder and CEO of pixel spoke and he’s based in Portland, Oregon, and a member of the digital mastermind group. But before we get into that, as always, I have my partner in crime. David McGraw, Dave, you run a business. Are you a B Corp? Or how do you feel about corporate responsibility?
David McGraw 0:59
Could you do it
I mean, I think it’s something that’s got to be important. But I gotta tell you I am the come from the side that I’m a little bit more or less inclined to sign up for a rule sheet. I wouldn’t
Jon Tsourakis 1:20
rule sheet I think it’s more about following the like, I guess centering everybody’s values.
David McGraw 1:29
Jon Tsourakis 1:31
You can construe it as a rule sheet or guidelines, right? I mean, they’re guidelines.
David McGraw 1:36
Jon Tsourakis 1:36
But if you have a bunch of people that are ethically bound to something outside of being like an attorney account or a doctor or something, right, but they all are for this cause, could you see that as a guiding principle forming in your business?
David McGraw 1:54
I love the idea and I think it can be a part of your culture. I think that’s got to be reinforced in your culture. I think I just don’t know if I’d be ready to make a rule that we can’t break. Because I think each project has its own nuance. I think each aspect and business needs to have room to have nuance. And if you stick, you know, if you concrete yourself into a way, yes, it can be your guiding light, but also prevents you from being the agile company that we were to get here.
Jon Tsourakis 2:30
Right, you so you’re saying it can be rigid? It could be?
David McGraw 2:32
Jon Tsourakis 2:34
All right. And I think that’s the possibility. But I think there it’s more about being taken care of the environment. It’s granted, I don’t know. So we’re gonna have Cameron on here and talk about that. And But yeah, I think it’s more about something that’s outside of your business practice.
Jon Tsourakis 2:50
So as an agency, what about if you’re representing, you know, a coal-fired power plant and you have to do their marketing You know, something interesting that I love to hear Cameron’s perspective is do you take that as a client? Or do you reject it? Because it’s not falling within? You know, your framework?
I think so. I think yeah, you probably have your framework, and it could probably hurt at times that you would turn you turn things away. I thought you were going to ask if you are a coal-fired plan, could you be a B Corp?
David McGraw 3:22
That too? I betcha they can.
Jon Tsourakis 3:24
David McGraw 3:25
It’s like, you know, 10 years ago, everybody was trying to become organic. So all their products organic now. Like, everything is organic now. And it can’t be that the vast majority of our farmland is now completely free of chemicals. I feel like the laws or the regulations to be certified organic is just so relaxed now.
Jon Tsourakis 3:50
And I don’t think it’s lax I think everybody’s figured out the system right now and how to get it right. It’s a pay for play. It’s like a beauty contest to some extent you know. If you enter, you’re simply gonna win.
David McGraw 4:02
I bet you there’s a coal-fired power plant out there that’s considered a green energy source and or green business.
Jon Tsourakis 4:08
David McGraw 4:09
I bet you. There has to be.
Jon Tsourakis 4:11
I don’t know. I think if that’s why we’re gonna have Cameron on. He’s gonna educate us. But I mean, just ethics in general, right? This is something that Yeah, I don’t want to say, youngsters. But I think a lot of people that are of a younger generation, you know, the millennials and Generation Z are coming up. And this is something that’s, you know, near and dear to them. It’s very important and they’re aligning themselves with companies that they believe in.
David McGraw 4:39
Yeah, I was searching. Or, I was, um, I strongly believe, a series of, you know, guiding principles on how you do business, like, my interactions with clients, my interactions with employees, like there’s, I definitely believe in that lane. I’m just not so sure about I would not take on business that, you know, was against my politics or against my beliefs or, you know, if I was for the planet and you know, a power plant, I would probably take that business.
Jon Tsourakis 5:14
Yeah. And I mean, you know what, though I think that and to me, that would be kind of marketing hooey. Right, because it’s pretty easy not to work with the power plant or not to work with if you know if you’re against guns or any of those. Tobacco. To me, that’s like, Okay, well, what are the chances of you actually getting that account? Are they really that high? There’s only so many, you know, power plants are it’s, you know, monopoly to some respects. Same with guns and tobacco is only a handful of them. But I want to dig in and see like, all right, what is this? What is the real reason for it? And the other side to what you’re saying when it comes to principles? I think there are guiding principles, right, that you have in your business, you also have your core values with its kind of like your formula and your DNA for doing things that book that Ray Dalio wrote Principles is all about what he’s created this meritocracy, this company on how to or this company that is built literally just off of him writing down these itty bitty principles and working on it do a collaborative effort with his team over I don’t know, 20 or 30 years and he’s one of the most successful hedge funds in the company country.
Jon Tsourakis 6:18
Yeah, I think that’s probably a smart approach like I if with everything, I mean, we’ve talked about this when it comes to the EOS, the entrepreneurs operating system, Eos. Yeah, I’m just not a whole adopter of anything. I don’t want to subscribe to something that tells me everything I need to do and how I need to do it. I want to borrow and I think I use the term borrow because I might give it back. You know, things change. I don’t want to get into a rigid platform that dictates to me what I need to do.
Jon Tsourakis 6:50
Now, that makes sense. Yeah, just borrow, you can steal you can just build your own. I’m a firm believer that as well. Yeah. Because I mean when you get into like a rigid system and this I guess goes into my personality. Just like while we’re not doing it, right. I mean, this is how we’re supposed to do it. I think that creates constructs that are limiting and what can hold you back.
David McGraw 7:11
Or what about if there’s the scenario that you have a conflict, like, you could take this client on and go against your values, or because you’re not getting that client, you have to let go of an employee you’ve had for five years. I was…
Jon Tsourakis 7:28
Like some hypothetical, ethical,
David McGraw 7:31
Jon Tsourakis 7:31
Like on an LSAT or something?
David McGraw 7:33
Yeah, which value gets thrown aside. Loyalty, or, you know, compassion. We,
Jon Tsourakis 7:41
It’s like you’re holding your wife in one arm and you’re holding your child and the other you can only have the strength to pick up one which do you pick up?
You throw yourself off the cliff, do the ultimate sacrifice?
David McGraw 7:51
Yeah, we all go.
Jon Tsourakis 7:55
And on that note, let’s get ready to introduce Cameron. He’s going to be joining us here in just a minute.
Cameron Madill 8:04
I’ve got a movable desk.
Jon Tsourakis 8:05
So you got a movable desk. Alright, so let’s get Cameron into this discussion. Cam.
Jon Tsourakis 8:11
Are you there, buddy?
Cameron Madill 8:12
I’m here. All right.
So, before we get anything I want to go over your business profile and correct me if any of this stuff is wrong.
Cameron Madill 8:21
Jon Tsourakis 8:22
First off, this is course Cameron Madill. CEO pixel spoke. you started your business in 2003. So almost 17 years in business. You have how many employees, 12 based on your website?
Cameron Madill 8:35
Yep, yep. 13 including me. Yep. Up
Jon Tsourakis 8:38
13. Ron, you solely focused on credit unions.
Cameron Madill 8:42
That’s all of our marketing efforts. We do have a lot of clients and other industries. But probably two-thirds of our book is credit unions at this point. Yeah.
Jon Tsourakis 8:48
Okay. All right, Ron, and you offer web design and a full suite of marketing services.
Cameron Madill 8:55
Jon Tsourakis 8:56
And you’re a Stanford guy that speaks three languages.
Cameron Madill 9:00
I would say I speak two languages. I used to be fluent in Spanish. And then I speak a smattering of a whole bunch of other ones like French and Russian and
Jon Tsourakis 9:09
Alright. We’re firing our researcher, okay.
Cameron Madill 9:12
That’s probably what it says on my LinkedIn profile.
Jon Tsourakis 9:13
That’s exactly what it says on your LinkedIn profile.
Cameron Madill 9:16
No one ever reaches out to me in French. So how will they ever know?
Jon Tsourakis 9:20
Perfect. Alright, so how did you get into this business? You started out as a family business, correct?
Cameron Madill 9:27
Yeah, I mean, so yeah. So I basically was was I took two years off from college in the middle of college. And so that gave me the opportunity when I came back from my junior year all my friends and graduated and I got to see them go to jobs. And one of the things I saw was that they all just kind of sucked. Can I say suck on this podcast? Anyway.
Jon Tsourakis 9:46
You can say whatever you want on this.
Cameron Madill 9:47
I don’t know if there’s like, like sensors or rules. You know, so whether it was nonprofits or PhDs or software companies or finance, big business, small business, and like everyone just complained about their job. And so it got me thinking like, like maybe rather than trying to figure out like, who I want to work for, I want to figure out how to get people to work for me. So I kind of went down this path of like, I didn’t, there are no entrepreneurs really in my family. And so I just didn’t really know anything about like, like this whole world of starting and or, you know, owning a business. And simultaneously my dad had, he was a pretty successful, very successful software executive. And he went from kind of his dream job to his company getting bought the company they worked for, but he was like, he ran the Portland office of a, maybe a couple of thousand-person company. And so it was like his dream job. And then IBM buys that company. And he just hated it. Like they made him go out to the suburbs, their example their kind of whole philosophy was the managers lead by example. So all of a sudden, he’s in his 50s working 70 hour weeks, that the guy who did the turnaround at IBM wrote a book called How to make an elephant dance, which is an interesting book. You can Imagine like, do I want to work for that company? So he basically said no. So anyway, long story short, then my dad and I ended up just kind of chit-chatting and we decided to start this thing together. And then my sister actually worked for us for eight years as well. So yeah, it was a family business, but not not the kind of thing where I kind of wish my dad had this amazing business and just gave it to me, but instead we just kind of built this really confused company together, but we muddled through and made it work.
Jon Tsourakis 11:27
Wow. Dave, could you work with your wife or dad or sister?
David McGraw 11:32
I see it happen a lot. I don’t know if I could do it. honestly don’t know. Especially not my dad. Absolutely not my dad. My wife, maybe.
Jon Tsourakis 11:42
Yeah, I worked for my dad. So I, granted it wasn’t like a partnership like you had Cameron and my dad fired me in front of like a group of other people.
David McGraw 11:51
I hear that a lot like people back when we work together. My dad retired a few years so he was my partner until oh nine and then I bought him out and then he worked with us till 2017 But as people will generally come on to be late Always be like, man, I could not work with my dad. But he’s just an amazing guy. We had had a great time. We were not an amazingly effective partnership. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world. I think it made us a lot closer together.
Jon Tsourakis 12:14
That’s awesome. And speaking of family, your wife is also an agency owner.
David McGraw 12:18
Yeah, that’s right. Man, your internet research game is strong. Yeah, so so Anna runs like an SEO paid social paid search company here in Portland as well. A little bit younger company about three years old. She’s got a team of four. They do great work.
Jon Tsourakis 12:36
Okay, so what’s it like to go home and have a conversation with somebody that completely gets what you’re going through at work?
Cameron Madill 12:42
Yeah, good question. It was totally unexpected. So I actually always said, I never wanted to work with someone in the business. I always figured out you know, marry like a, an academic or a lawyer or a doctor. That’s kind of most of what my family is. But you know, it’s funny. I think we’ve had a few learnings. You know, there are times where it’s like, dude, I do not want to talk about work right now, like, I know you understand, you know, you understand what it feels like to lose that deal or to have an employee, you know, situation that you don’t know how to handle or feels personal or whatever. And there are times where it’s awesome. And I think we can really help each other out and kind of mentor coach, you know each other and give a perspective that probably most people couldn’t. And then there’s also we just had a little bit of learning of times where it’s like, you know what, I’m sure you have a lot to offer on this. I just want to turn off. I’ll deal with work tomorrow morning.
Jon Tsourakis 13:29
Yeah, no, I think it’s a healthy way of going about it. But she’s a she. I noticed she’s also a B Corp.
Cameron Madill 13:36
Right. She is so yeah, so we’re, we’re both at
Jon Tsourakis 13:39
Who had it first?
Cameron Madill 13:40
I had it first. Yeah, we’re both probably. I had it before the company even existed. So we’re both probably certified be corpse we certified in 2014. And we met I guess a little over three years ago. And we actually I encouraged her to. She had a really amazing concept which was every quarter, they would pick a different nonprofit and they would do a pro bono project for that. And it really just kind of you can see it really lit her employees up in a good way. And every quarter, you kind of learn about a new cause and a new organization. And you feel really good about it. So I thought that was a great model. And I just told her, I said, Hey, I think this B Corp stuff would be right, you know, both, you’d really like the community, but also would give you a kind of a roadmap to even greater social and environmental impact.
Jon Tsourakis 14:22
So along those lines, I mean, tell us a little about, you know, what it means to become a B Corp. So as becoming a B Corp, you know, what is it done for your culture, you know, your company, your clients?
Cameron Madill 14:32
Yeah. So it’s been transformational. It’s the kind of the quick primer and there’s actually a great group called Florida for good out in your neck of the woods. So there, they’re certified B corporations or companies that do this really rigorous assessment, you know, maybe the most rigorous assessment that exists on what your impact in the world, in your community, for your workforce for the environment. And what’s really cool about it is if you cry if you cross a certain threshold, it’s really rigorous only like 10% of the companies get there. But if you cross a certain threshold, then you get to say, Hey, I’m a certified B Corp, you get to use this logo. And kind of like fair trade or you know, lead for buildings, it becomes this kind of like stamp this imprint of credibility that you’re walking the walk, you’re not just talking to talk, if you never heard the term greenwashing, probably, this is kind of meant to be a way to you know, greenwashing is actually gets used a lot of people who just kind of say that they’re doing good things for the world. But meanwhile, they’re like, you know, they’re like, hey, we’ve got this program to, you know, put flowers in the local kid’s school. Meanwhile, our business model is like dumping toxic waste, you know, in the playground, or whatever. And so that’s sort of, you know, greenwashing. Yeah. So this is like a way to really say that, hey, we are walking the walk. We really are. We’re not just talking about doing good work and trying to get marketing credit for it. We’ve like really put our money where our mouth is and invested a lot of, I guess, money and time into thinking about how we can be a positive contributor to our Community our world.
Jon Tsourakis 16:01
Do you think Dave is a green washer?
Cameron Madill 16:05
Cameron Madill 16:07
You know, I don’t know enough about Dave to say. I mean, I think I think it’d be easy if we just had like a little caption underneath this video right here. I could see it happening now. No, I don’t think so. I mean, I think the greenwashing is people who really try to claim this mantle of being on the side of the angels. And there I mean, I just think a greenwashing is a hypocrite. Right. And I don’t think Dave’s a hypocrite from what I’ve seen. They’re the people you just meet and they’re just gushing. I think it’s the stuff that people go crazy over right, whether it’s the politician who, you know, decries legal
David McGraw 16:40
legal Yeah, I mean, coming up with terms that sound so green. Yep. And really it’s just that lipstick on a pig just so they can get you to know, that stamp before you know, that pseudo stamp.
Cameron Madill 16:53
Amen to that.
Jon Tsourakis 16:55
So you mentioned the rigorous like, What is it? What does it entail? I’m you know, being becoming C Corp.
Jon Tsourakis 17:01
B Corp. Yeah. So sorry about that. Yeah. I got a C Corp.
Cameron Madill 17:06
No. And actually real quick point, just because this is a point of confusion. There’s the certification, which is the B Corp, like the letter B certification. And then there are actually different legal structures. And the whole idea is that the legal structure that the legal structures we have for corporations in the US and around the world actually really encouraged kind of, like psychopathic behavior on the parts of companies where profits are put above any other consideration. Right. So they’re so it’s confusing. So there are in Oregon, they’re called benefit companies. I know what they’re called in Florida. But they there’s also you know, like a C Corp or an S corp is a legal form. They’re actually in many states are things called b corps and they’re sort of legal status. And the idea is that if we both have this certification, which is really rigorous analysis, and we change our you know, our legal forum, our Structure of incorporation that those to kind of create a healthier, more sustainable business for the world. To your question about rigor, I guess the real short version is the survey is awful, I sort of think of it as like doing your taxes, like taxes always make me feel dumb, like all these questions of like, you know, did you do this and that, and I’m just like, I don’t know the answer to this stuff, like, how do I figure this out? So it’s like a, you know, it takes at least took me, you know, probably two-plus hours to get through the assessment. About 200 questions on average, the questions adapt a little bit based on your business model, and then they audit us. So we had to pull documents for, I don’t know, probably 40 of the questions. So you might, one of them might be like, you know, what’s the ratio of pay between your highest-paid person and lowest paid person? And they don’t argue on every question, but they just randomly pick a whole bunch of them. And then they say, Okay, so now we actually need to see names and salaries for every employee at your company. That would be one example or another one would be what percentage of your time did you spend volunteer work. And if you get audited, it’s like okay, now show us a list of every volunteer activity and every person and how many hours. So it’s, you know, I will say it’s not I don’t think the assessment itself is very fun. But it to me, it’s the inspiring part of this is, I just think that there are so many people who kind of talk and don’t act. And definitely, if you are a B Corp, you have crossed a threshold, that is not easy. So I really have a lot of respect for anyone who takes the time and effort to do that.
Jon Tsourakis 19:29
Now, I think that’s fantastic. And to what extent do you think could somebody be yes, this? Is it possible to be is it?
Cameron Madill 19:40
It’s a great question if it comes up a fair bit? I mean, I think you can be asked anything, but I think this one is, is really hard. I think of all the groups I’ve been in, you told me we can get whatever you want. So I’ve been in a lot of different business groups over the years and I think we’ve all been in groups where You meet someone you’re kind of like, this guy could be a gal but usually it’s a guy is full of like crap. You know, they talk a good game. Like I feel like it’s usually a dude. I mean, sometimes it’s a lady but men are men are full of it. And there’s just in every group, there’s like it, how many people in there just kind of full of it versus how many are really kind of authentic and showing up as who they are. And then it’s just, there’s just almost no one in the B Corp community that I really doubt their credibility. The thing I’ve seen is I’ve definitely seen companies here in Portland, you know, Portland’s a very progressive market. So in some markets, something like this might not weigh as much. But in a place like Portland, people really want to have something like B Corp status. And I’ve seen some colleagues who I’d say are highly PR driven. And then you know, they’ve got to be like, hey, I’d love to talk to you about B Corp. And I’ll talk to him about and they’d be like, yeah, that sounds great. Our employees are interested and I think it you know, it might help us with sales. And they never become be corpse because I think if you’re just trying to do it for PR you open that assessment up, and you’re just like whoa, this is really, really hard.
Jon Tsourakis 21:03
Not worth it, man not worth it.
David McGraw 21:05
I got to figure out Am I going to lie on all of these questions, and then hope that they don’t audit me, you know, because again that, you know, they don’t demand documentation for everything, but it’s like a quarter. It’s a lot. Yeah. And then as soon as you know, as soon as you start sending back, you know, fictitious documents or whatever I mean, so, no, I just I think it’s just yeah, nothing is perfect, but it’s, it’s, it’s pretty darn hard. And it’s not something you’re just going to do with like a rush of blood to the head. It takes too much work.
Jon Tsourakis 21:33
Yeah. So who’s pedaling the bike to drop off the compost at pixel spoke from what I remember Portland’s pretty hilly.
Cameron Madill 21:41
Man. Fantastic research. Your internet research name is strong, Fitz Ryland, who’s our technology director. He has a favorite thing. I was one of those big plastic buckets. Man, that thing smells like God bless him. He’s been doing it for probably four Five years. And this is a guy who he’s our technology director. He also lives in a tiny home. So, yeah, his commitment to the environment should not be questioned.
Jon Tsourakis 22:10
Yeah. And then do all of those types of things like peddling compost and of course, recycling. Is that all part of being a B Corp or?
Cameron Madill 22:20
Yeah, I mean that you know, the assessment only goes so deep, right? So it’s not like they literally have a question of like, do you have an employee volunteer who bicycles, your compost, you know,
Jon Tsourakis 22:29
in a tiny home
David McGraw 22:30
in a tiny home, right? It’s not that specific. But I think there might have been something around you know, what is your policy of a policy for managing food waste? And they do ask things about do you encourage? I know you guys love this in Florida, right with your bicycle-friendly, urban design. You know, it’s a lot easier in a place like Portland, right? The city has invested a lot of money and it’s a pretty compact city. But nonetheless, they say like, you know, what do you do? So we have things like we have a bike maintenance subsidy every year. So like, do you have programs to support people biking or taking public transit or walking or whatever.
Jon Tsourakis 23:03
Okay. And for the sake of Florida, I think it’s subjective that it’s easier in Portland because it’s flat here.
David McGraw 23:09
Okay, God, and it’s so much warmer. I know. And I love Florida, please. anyone listening? Oh, I love I wish I was in Florida, right? It’s just different. It’s just different. But yeah, if you’re in particular, I’ve visited Miami a handful of times because I used to live in Cuba for a while. And so then if you live in Cuba, you don’t have a lot of friends in Miami as they all leave eventually. And I’d go visit folks. And it was just like, I mean, there weren’t even like sidewalks and some of the places I would go so it just like you had to drive everywhere.
Jon Tsourakis 23:37
Right? It was it wasn’t very bike-friendly.
David McGraw 23:40
No, wasn’t that wasn’t even walking front. I’m finicky right. I gotta get there, huh? Well, that was Miami. Cuba, I would say was much more bike-friendly. But
Jon Tsourakis 23:48
Oh, you were talking about Miami. Sorry. Yeah. My mistake.
Cameron Madill 23:51
Jon Tsourakis 23:54
You said you lived in Cuba, right?
Cameron Madill 23:55
It was a poor transition. I segway. from Cuba to Miami.
Jon Tsourakis 23:59
Okay, you got the Cuban slip in there. It’s good though. Before I jump on I David when was the last time that you rode a bicycle for environmental purposes?
David McGraw 24:08
Very very long time. I mean, in Florida it’s too hot to ride a bike to get to work. I mean there’s no way I can ride a bike to get to work and I only have like about a seven-minute commute. But I mean, we can ride them always on a bike. I mean, we’re at the beach. We got the beach now the beaches areas are very biker friendly. It’s inland Florida, like when you cross the intercoastal I mean, it’s just suburbia. And it’s just too to spread out to get anywhere. With a bike. It’s all joy riding.
Jon Tsourakis 24:42
Cameron, do they have a b minus corp?
Cameron Madill 24:45
Huh? No, but I think maybe we can start one on this podcast. Do you want to improve the world but you’re not that ambitious. Come talk to us
Jon Tsourakis 24:59
What compelled You to start focusing on credit unions. Was it organic?
David McGraw 25:04
Yeah, it was. It was accidental. So I can’t remember if I’ve talked to either of you guys about this, but
Jon Tsourakis 25:11
Our audience doesn’t know it.
Cameron Madill 25:13
Right, exactly. And you guys would have forgotten. So…you were probably drunk, as I’m saying. So
Jon Tsourakis 25:21
it’s, it’s a possibility.
Cameron Madill 25:22
It’s a possibility.
Jon Tsourakis 25:23
Cameron Madill 25:24
So it was kind of I know I was on the board of our credit union, who we banked with here at pixel spoke. And I was on the board for a couple of years, and then I left. And maybe a year after I had left, they approached me and said, Hey, we read, we’re rebranding, would you consider doing our website and I was, you know, we’re all agency people on this call, right? I was like, I mean, sure will always take work, right, like works fine. But I never thought about working for credit unions and I didn’t really know anything. I’d learned a lot about our credit union, which had the phenomenally uninspiring name of Northwest resource Federal Credit Union. I just want to thank their right Like really tugs at the heartstrings. But they actually did a phenomenal job on the rebrand. So they rebranded as a trailhead credit union and they kind of became like Portland’s hipster credit like this is hipster land, right? Like we were one of the forerunners of that trend, which is you know, probably made everyone is listening probably major city kind of obnoxious but you know, it was big here long before most places. And so they really kind of captured this feel of this demographic. So we started getting calls from credit unions all over the country and I didn’t think very much about it and I screwed up every sales opportunity like I just didn’t know I didn’t know what to say I didn’t talk to him it was just so different. We’re mostly doing b2b but simultaneously definitely no-no pride here. Our previous strategy which I felt really good about loved it we got lots of good kind of press around it was just totally failing. Like it was it What can I say? I loved it, but it’s one of those moments where life like you look in the mirror and it’s like, this is not working like full stop. There’s there was just no way to rationalize that our, our strategy for business development was working. So kind of these two things was happening at the same time as we were getting these calls. And then I was like, you know, we’ve got this good, pretty Co-Op culture, like people who are actually excited about cooperatives and social impact and all of that. And so I just thought, what the heck, let’s, uh, let’s try just focusing on this group. So I think it was 2015, we made the decision to say, let’s do all of our marketing towards credit cards will still work with other folks. But kind of that idea of like, know your bullseye, and then if you miss, you can still work with them. But it was pretty scary because it was like 5% of our revenue. We just said all of our outbound communication will be around credit unions. But it’s paid off. I mean, we’ve probably more than doubled in size since then. And it’s the majority of our business and we managed to grow that business well, kind of keeping the rest of the business, you know, stable or only slightly declining.
Jon Tsourakis 27:54
So it sounds like it’s a monumental branding play, right?
Cameron Madill 27:58
Yeah, it’s me. It’s a focused play. I’m a big believer in that. It was actually a guy I met through the digital mastermind group, right, which we’re all in have. Jeff got I’m forgetting his last name, but his character. What’s his name? Jeff. Anyway,
Jon Tsourakis 28:12
There are a few Jeffs.
Cameron Madill 28:14
He was like the O.G. I think he was one of the founders. Um,
Jon Tsourakis 28:17
Oh, Jeff Klein.
Cameron Madill 28:18
Yeah. Jeff Klein. And, you know, so and he was, he was, you know, a little, little bit, probably maybe a couple of decades older than me. And I remember him just saying at one point, he’s like, he’s like, I’ll never do a business that’s not vertically focused. And I’d always sort of hated the idea of doing a vertically focused business. But I do think, you know, I’ve done a bunch of reading on strategy over the course of my career. And it’s hard to know if it’s like, there are so many books and theories. But one thing I’ve come away from that just believing Is it like strategy equals focus. And if you can’t state your strategy in one sentence, then you know, you really don’t have a strategy. And so the great thing for us is like all I want to occupy in your brain is four words credit union web design, and there’s a bunch of other stuff we can talk to you about, you know, strategies and build blocks. Blah, blah. But it’s like people can I’ve had all sorts of random people who have nothing to do with the credit union space and this leads, because it’s so simple that they can just remember Oh, yeah, Cameron, credit union web design. And before it was just like, oh man trying to explain what we did. It’s like, Oh, well, it’s a web design, but it’s really digital marketing. And it’s really more like a strategic partnership. And, and it’s really focused on like, you know, creating these digital content just like blah, blah, blah, the way most people sound with their elevator pitches, right. I think that just kind of made an impression on me. I’m just like, Can you just make it so simple? Then you’ll probably have a better chance of growing
Jon Tsourakis 29:36
Right on. Yeah, you took out all you know, we’re special words. Words, words, we’re different words, words, words, “use us,” words. I love that man.
Cameron Madill 29:45
What’s your elevator pitch john, or Dave? I’d love to hear.
Jon Tsourakis 29:49
Dave Yeah, what’s your elevator pitch?
What do we got over there? You know I’ve got that generic will do it all pit. But I will say that we do have our silos of expertise. And I tend to speak to that. And when you can speak to somebody about your expertise in their industry in their field, I mean, it’s very similar to what Cameron saying is that you, you get their attention. They’re excited. They’re interested. So for me personally, like education software, I have a long history and education software. So when I have a client that I’m talking to that’s, you know, remotely around that they’re really interested in it.
David McGraw 30:27
And it’s like, yeah, if they can remember that really simple thing, then you can start the conversation and then you can get into all the details, right? But that’s actually good, because now I’m like, I can actually remember like Dave McGraw education software, if I come across some random project, which we all do is, you know, like, the random person is only going to care enough to remember like four or five words.
Jon Tsourakis 30:46
Oh, yeah, this is branding. Right? It’s that one simple, you know, thought in somebody’s mind. I used to have this long, I would say long. It was like a three-minute pitch when you know, at a separate agency Revital that was, you know, it tugged at the heartstrings. It was why I started it and yeah, not now through a merger. We’re still working on that camp. Okay, bro.
Cameron Madill 31:07
Well, I’m on the podcast and make you feel bad about yourself. So
Jon Tsourakis 31:12
My parents would be proud.
Cameron Madill 31:13
Tough love. Tough love.
Jon Tsourakis 31:15
Absolutely. Alright, so you reduce your work week down to four days per week. Is that is that accurate?
Cameron Madill 31:23
That is accurate? Yeah. Alright, so
Jon Tsourakis 31:27
how did you find a way to get your work done quicker? Or you work in the same amount of hours but less?
Cameron Madill 31:33
How do you know all this stuff? Are you like, Are you inside my mind? Did you talk to my wife?
Jon Tsourakis 31:39
Anna is very giving with information. So how
Cameron Madill 31:43
I am I’m impressed, man. I’m and I’m dark. I’m not even on social media anymore.
Jon Tsourakis 31:46
Which is another question here, by the way.
Cameron Madill 31:48
Yeah. All right.
Jon Tsourakis 31:49
We’ll get to that.
Cameron Madill 31:50
All right. All right. So um, four days a week. You know, it’s funny, I had been, I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. I’ve been doing this for Yeah, as you said, almost seventeen years and it’s really it’s not like one job. it’s evolved mutated I don’t know the right term is it’s changed so much over the years. It’s definitely kept me interested. But I also think maybe I was feeling a little bit burnt out. And I think I also just kind of had this intuition that there were some big changes coming up. And so I guess I don’t know if you’re sleuthing figured this out, but my wife and I are pregnant. So we have a kid that’s due and may regulations we do. So I think I’m excited about you know, being a dad and I think I just I was like, I’ve always had some workaholic tendencies. And I just wanted to kind of create a little more space for family and other things. So I would say I’m definitely working less I cut my salary 20%. And my goal is not to work. You know, it’s not like the 410s type model where you work longer days and my goal is to work the same length on the days and just have a three day weekend. And basically the goal I’ve just been trying to delegate an impact Our other folks here at pixel spoke seems to be going great so far.
Jon Tsourakis 33:03
If I can jump in Are you saying that only you personally are doing four days or you as the entire company is now on for two days?
David McGraw 33:10
Oh, just me. I think the rest of I cut everyone else’s salary. 20% I think they’d be unhappy. Yeah, actually so I work four days a week but they all took a 20% pay cut. It works great. Dave No. No, there everyone else is still on a normal schedule. We have had various folks on a four day a week schedules in the past but not right now.
Jon Tsourakis 33:29
Would you be open to doing for 10 hour days for your team?
Cameron Madill 33:33
You know, we’ve had a couple of those schedules, we found alternate work schedules to be a really difficult thing. It’s just hard right with salaried positions. What are you know what’s you know if I work four days a week but I work 38 hours? So is that the equivalent of someone working five days a week you know, who worked 47 hours or what I just get very sticky. And obviously, as you know, work worked demands aren’t evenly spread as well. So my preference is for something more like what I’m doing where it’s just a clean, you know, you work every other Friday off or every Friday off and you take a 10 or 20% pay cut. So I would say it’s not something we’ve resolved, we actually have a draft of like work schedules policy and kind of like application process for alternate work schedules. It’s been languishing for months. It’s really, really hard to do in a way I think that feels fair and equitable, and transparent, and probably a whole bunch of other adjectives I’m not thinking of if you guys have the answer, let me know I’d be happy to
Jon Tsourakis 34:36
No, but I have some thoughts on that regarding, I guess, just yeah, work schedules, which we’re going to get to in a second, I want to jump to something that you talked about earlier, which was, you know, social media. So like, you have no social media. I was going to try to you know, move our relationship into a further digital. Yeah, the next Yeah, the next digital step and I was like, dude, there’s nothing other than LinkedIn, like, you’re nowhere.
Cameron Madill 35:05
You want to, like throw a pig at me on Facebook or poke me or whatever it is.
Jon Tsourakis 35:08
Yeah. You know, like the old beer like the, you know, the let’s grab beers thing you know when Facebook first came out? Yeah, what’s up with that?
Cameron Madill 35:15
Um, yeah, I killed off Facebook, I want to say in late 2017. And Twitter probably about the same time. My Instagram account was never anything other than just a pathetic shell. Yeah, I mean, I guess the short answer is, you know, we obviously do social media for our company and like, my wife’s company at the core is social media. I just reached a point where, you know, it’s sort of funny wherever people fall on, you know, how they look at the world today. political spectrum, you know, religious tendencies, income ethnicity. Everyone seems to agree on one thing which is that the US Probably the world, but the US is getting a lot more polarized. And I felt like social media, you know, by definition lends itself to sort of dualistic headline thinking, you know, you know, all or nothing black and white type thinking. And I just didn’t like it. I had a couple of things that you know, I would just see other people post things and people just kind of going crazy. And I think one of my real passions in life is listening, and really being able to see everyone as a unique person. And social media just seems to be the opposite. opposite of that kind of these. These shaming mobs. There’s an amazing book called so you’ve been publicly shamed by one of my favorite authors about, you know, online social media mobs. And this was even before the bots had really taken over and now it’s like, they’re not even real people shaming us. But just that kind of mob mentality that I think social media kind of lends itself to it’s done some interesting stuff for sure. I mean, the Arab Spring probably wouldn’t have happened without social media and it certainly as a force for raising a lot of money for causes and getting awareness out. But it feels like it, you know, fundamentally that it feels like it creates this echo chamber of only hearing from people like ourselves and then seeing a bunch of content, which implies the world is one thing or the other rather than something in between which to me, to me, the reality is, it’s never one thing or the other, it’s always, there’s always nuances and Shades of Grey. So that was kind of where I guess just on principle, I said, I’m out. I also realize there’s a bunch of, you know, studies do the fact right, which is that like, it seems like basically, no one actually feels better about themselves when they’re done with a social media session. Like maybe sometimes, but on average, like the time we spend doing social media, just kind of like drains our soul. And I realized that to like, once I finally like pulled the plug. I haven’t missed that at all.
Jon Tsourakis 37:46
Was it ceremonious? Was it like an everybody come Friday, get your likes and your comments in and then I’m done with this?
Cameron Madill 37:54
Yeah, I mean, I was sort of a superuser. So it was a big deal. Zuckerberg actually emailed me and they were really sad. See me leave the platform. I think it was a real loss. Probably weather stock has been a little up and down since then. No…
Jon Tsourakis 38:05
They want you back, buddy.
Cameron Madill 38:07
Yeah, it’s really hard to have Facebook without me. No, I just pulled the plug. So I think I had gone down to I think what I realized was I think I posted three times and all of 2017 and I just said, I’m just gonna take the next step. It’s funny though, right? They got our information ID activated but I did not delete right it’s still there.
Jon Tsourakis 38:26
You could just yeah, you can reactivate this might be the inspiring move that you know you like you know what I’m going back on Facebook, you know, I’m gonna have a friend request that john and even that Dave guy.
Cameron Madill 38:36
I mean, I think that the hundreds of thousands of listeners to this podcast will probably just be you know, hammering at my account trying to get reactivated.
Jon Tsourakis 38:43
I love the optimism and the number you gave.
David McGraw 38:49
Wait until you have that baby and when all your family members are hounding you for pictures, it’s so much easier posting it to Facebook.
Cameron Madill 38:57
That’s what I got my wife for. She’s like I said social media is her job. So I make no pretense to privacy. I’m like, well, that’s cool. I don’t think
Jon Tsourakis 39:08
You mentioned a social media book. You also read 100 books this last year or within a year, correct?
Cameron Madill 39:14
Yeah. Yeah. 113 or something in 2019 and…
Jon Tsourakis 39:19
113 in 2019. Okay, so anybody’s first question would be, how do you find the time to do that?
Cameron Madill 39:27
I guess I don’t have kids is probably, uh.
David McGraw 39:28
You’re not on Facebook.
Cameron Madill 39:32
Yeah, that’s not on Facebook. I don’t know. I just love to read.
Cameron Madill 39:38
I mean, I think as my wife is quick to point out, many of them are short books. So there’s that but many of them are, you know, many of them are like compliments. Exactly. I’ve got some of those five 600 page books in there too. I’ve just always loved to read. I think learning has always been my core passion. I remember many years ago, we did a Strengths Finder test here at pixel spoke and one of the fascinating things was like something like six out of the nine people that had learner as their top their first or second top strength. So it’s a big part of our culture here and such as kind of how I think I keep myself engaged and interested in vital and exploring the world.
Jon Tsourakis 40:13
What’s the best book you read out of that hundred and 113?
Cameron Madill 40:16
In just this last year what is the best book? So the problem is I read so many it’s hard to remember right? Yeah, I’ll give you a fiction book, which is really good. There’s one called snow falling on cedars, which is sort of a classic apparently, but it’s about Washington State. The San Juan Islands up in the northwestern part of Washington State. Just really, really incredible story. And then I think maybe in the fiction or the nonfiction space. There’s just so many…
Jon Tsourakis 40:56
Which is the best book, what’s your favorite nonfiction book that I don’t wanna I mean, 113 is a lot to narrow down with analysis paralysis, let’s go over the 10,000 books you’ve read, and just…
Cameron Madill 41:07
Go through every single one.
Cameron Madill 41:11
I would say, you know, probably the one that really impacted me the most this year was the new Jim Crow. It’s a book that’s been out for I think was written in 2013. And, and it’s basically about the way that the criminal justice system works. And it really, it really was like a paradigm shift for me, like, I think just my concept of how yeah, my concept of how criminal justice works, I think is really different than how it works in the real world. And I think, I think this is another great example of something if you look at like, you know, the sort of polemic of Black Lives Matter versus Blue Lives Matter versus all lives matter. And to me, like, you know, when it’s reduced to a sentence, it’s just missing the point. You know, America has the largest incarcerated population in the world by like, you know, country mile, it’s not even close. So it’s just interesting as a citizen of the United States to say, why do we have so many incarcerated people? And just kind of learning about that? And, you know, and who knows, maybe some, just a lot of depth, but I think it’s a book that everyone should read, just to kind of understand a little more behind some of the heated rhetoric around criminal justice, you know, from all sides.
Jon Tsourakis 42:29
Okay, yeah, we’ll provide those as, as links in the show notes. Do you still do the book report? I recall.
David McGraw 42:38
I used to do yeah, I used to do like book reports on the books. This is when I was trying, I was a young my
Jon Tsourakis 42:42
The first day you sent me one, you’re like, I recommend this book. And I’m like, oh, and you sent me the book report. It’s like, Damn, I’m talking about like one uping and somebody would send me the link to the book. He sent me her book report. Geeze.
Cameron Madill 42:54
I was a motivated young man trying to find my way in the world. I don’t do that as much anymore.
Jon Tsourakis 43:00
Okay, good enough. All right. So obviously, you’re big on education, you know, outside of the books, you read. I know you’re in other programs like he, oh, the incredible digital mastermind, as mentioned, but how much you know, time do you dedicate to leading leadership education like that?
David McGraw 43:23
I would say yeah, it’s sort of a hard question to answer. But if you’re talking about more like groups and activities, yeah, go there. Yeah, I would say I probably spend I you know, I do a full day a month with my business coach. And I do a couple of days a quarter with this, this EO forum of eight other entrepreneurs. And I probably do, let’s say three or four conferences a year.
Jon Tsourakis 43:47
Have you always been this way? Or was there like a turning point that you sought out, leadership education because I think there’s there’s something that usually happens?
Cameron Madill 43:57
Yeah, I find that enough money to afford something. I didn’t know any of this stuff. For the first like four years of my company I couldn’t afford, you know, I couldn’t afford a cup of coffee, let alone some kind of fancy, fancy program. But I think I think for me it was, there are lots of you know, whatever quip is right that a smart person is someone who learns from their mistakes and a wise one is somebody learns from other people’s mistakes. Yeah, I just had a few. You’re smart and wise. I, you know, I think I just had a few experiences where I just got my first taste of some of these groups and we hit some really messy business situation and you know, the anxiety welled up and the stress welled up. And then it was like, Oh, my God, I’m just going to email this group. And like, within a couple of hours, I’ve got five responses saying, here’s how you handle this difficult employee situation or client situation or whatever. And so instead of me from like first principles, trying to figure out you know, what do you do? Number One of them was like, the first time we had a client. Unfortunate, it’s almost never happened. We had a client, I think they were just refusing pay. I just like I don’t even like, that’s not how I was raised. I don’t know. Like, it just didn’t compute, what do I do? And then it was like to hear from five people. It was like, oh, like that made it a whole lot easier. And so just the value of that. I mean, hence the term mastermind and the digital mastermind group, you know, that value of a collection of experts or leaders that we can all kind of support each other is just tremendous. It’s been such a huge part of, I would say, you know, growth in my personal life and life satisfaction as well as you know, it’s been an immensely rewarding way to meet incredible people like the two of you.
Jon Tsourakis 45:37
Thanks. Yeah. When people don’t pay at Dave’s company, he sends him over there with an ax and a plan. And well,
Cameron Madill 45:45
You know, that’s unfortunate he wasn’t in that first group that I emailed.
Jon Tsourakis 45:52
So a lot of companies are looking for outsourced and remote employees, you know, for growth, this kind of goes into that scheduling. We’re talking about what are your thoughts? And how do you leverage each, you know, from you know, that remote or that, you know, outsourced approach?
Cameron Madill 46:10
So, again, about contractors or kind of full-time team.
Jon Tsourakis 46:13
Let’s just stick with like the remote. Let’s say it’s full-time members, like, you know, what do you know, what are your thoughts and feelings on that? Is that something that pixel spoke, you know, employs?
Cameron Madill 46:21
Yes. So we have two remote developers one is in Nicaragua and one is an Ecuador, I would say it’s been a really great addition to the team. And I would say it’s been really hard. You know, we had one person initially who didn’t work out, we’ve done a ton of work to integrate them into our culture. I would say it’s not fluent anymore. But you know, I used to be fluent in Spanish. And I think that’s, that’s not insignificant. You know, for example, the guy in Ecuador is Cuban. So when we first met, I was able to speak to him in Spanish about, you know, streets that we had both walked on in Havana. So I just think that it’s a lot harder than people think, I think it’s a lot harder than people think. And I think if it’s something you’re going to do, like the people who just kind of look at it as like an arbitrage play, you know, play of like, how do I, you know, basically keep charging my clients the same and pay, you know, half as much. I think they’re missing the point because I think there’s just a whole bunch as far as cultural sensitivities. There’s a whole bunch. I will say, just as far as you know, what we, for our two remote employees, they’re both the primary breadwinner and they have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. We also had, I mean, you may have heard there was a revolution in Nicaragua. And that was one of the things where I was like, Oh, I never thought about that when we discussed this, like, like literally right, like, like, people couldn’t drive into town because they were like riots and people, people were getting shot. So you know, I think it’s one of those things that it’s definitely a tool in the toolkit, but if someone’s just doing it to arbitrage I think it’s probably not going to work out that well. And we’ve generally decided, we want a mixture of You know, us and remote developers, that mixture is really healthy, we wouldn’t try to move the whole team offshore. And then just having kind of good back. I mean, as you know, we, we worked with each other many times in the past, and you guys are a tremendous partner. And we’ve had a couple other contractors or partners. So I just think it’s kind of a mixture of all of those things. But maybe the other thing I would say is I’ve heard this that the hardest thing to do is have a hybrid remote local culture, which is what we got, right? It’s a little too late to probably undo that. And we put a lot of work into it. But I think that folks who just think, oh, we’re going to have this tight culture, you know, 10-20 people in this one city in the US, and then we’re going to have five people scattered all over the world. You know, between timezone challenges, cultural challenges, guess what, they have different holidays. They have different you know, work-life balance expectations, that there’s a lot that goes into it. And so I think it is pretty hard that the effort is better, just to be all remote are all local versus kind of a hybrid.
Jon Tsourakis 48:58
Now, that makes sense. And then with your, you know your remotes. I mean, you talked about instilling you know, culture with them and just making sure that you know that they’re a part of it. But how do you keep current with growth? Right? That’s something that I’ve seen with remotes where it’s it’s kind of different. I think that’s a big play in culture. Are you experiencing any of that?
Cameron Madill 49:20
You mean as far as growing their skill sets?
Jon Tsourakis 49:22
Yeah. them growing.
Cameron Madill 49:24
So I think this is where we’ve had, I don’t know the guy, the guy who helped us to hire them is a friend and he’s he always says is maybe what he says to everyone but the, you know, the way of kind of the best culture of any of his clients. So part of the reason I think it worked was we had an employee who moved to New York a couple of years ago, actually, like five years ago. So kind of hilarious because, you know, she was it was the whole like, Hey, you got a minute and I was like, Oh, God. She had Yep, she had that kind of like worrying expression like, yes. And then she was like, Well, you know, So and so my partner got a job in New York. And I’m like, right? I mean, no one. You know, you live in Portland and work with a New York-based company, you don’t live in New York and work with a Portland base. You know, like, that’s, that’s backward. Like, it’s like twice as expensive in New York as it is here. So she got, I’m kinda like, Well, congratulations to your partner. And then she was like, Well, do you think it would be a possibility to keep working? I was like, what, like, I just assumed she was quitting. Yeah, so we took it as a real challenge as a company. And it worked out really well. She had young kids, so she was able to do a lot of childcare and that flexibility was invaluable helped us a lot with our east coast clients. We now had someone who was awake at, you know, ready to start working at 8 am Eastern time. So we’ve done a lot of work and it becoming we sort of thought it was remote, flexible, just video conferencing everywhere like this. Tons of setups throughout the office. So I think we’d already paved the way with that culture. And then we also put a lot of work into, as I said, kind of my passion, our passion for learning as a company. So you know, we do lunch and learns every Tuesday. And we do a bunch of other things too. And we do annual things called journeys of transformation, which is kind of your personal growth plan. Quarterly conversations, which are kind of the next cadence and then weekly check-ins with your manager. So we do a lot to push people on growth. And I think I think it has worked out well for us. But I think and I’m actually not sure it’s any different. If it is a cultural thing, but I think if you don’t set up the environment for learning, most people will tend to just stagnate a little because they don’t have the tools and support that they need. But in any case, I think we have a good program set up which has made that not an issue for us. That sounds like it.
Jon Tsourakis 51:42
All right, so you’ve got 40 under 40 when you were only 33 you’ve been honored, honored by the B Corp for your tireless work, your agency’s got numerous awards, including some where you got gold and silver list goes on. So what is your opinion is the most meaningful accomplishment you’ve had? And owning an agency in 17 years.
Cameron Madill 52:04
Most meaningful accomplishment these are hard questions. And by the way, just anyone who’s listening that the hundreds of thousands listening, john sent me nothing in advance. I know, I have no prep, I don’t even know where to talk about. Uh, you know, I think I think the most meaningful accomplishment is building an agency where we’ve got, you know, an average tenure that somewhere between five and six years, we had someone who just left who was at 11 years we’ve got another guy here is 12, another person at nine. And I think just the nature of work seems like it’s gotten so mercenary both on the employer and employee side and so having built a culture where, you know, certainly not everyone, right, but where lots of people really want to stay that you know, people say, hey, I feel like I found a home. I feel like I can authentically be myself. It’s pretty cool because, you know, going back to that college experience, I had seen all my friends, go get jobs and just be like work so And one of the things I saw was this phrase again and again, where people said, I felt like I had to be a different person at my job, you know, I had to check my core values at the door and pretend and kind of put on a mask. And so that that has always been one of my kind of my driving goals for the whole time. I’ve had the company, certainly not perfect, but I think we’ve at least done it well enough that a lot of folks have found fulfillment and meaning here beyond just the paycheck.
Jon Tsourakis 53:24
Yeah, I think that’s beautiful. I mean, how did you stay in business for 17 years? Right? A little bit of accomplishment, man, especially, I mean, because most of us started like in the recession, or a lot of us did. I mean, you started pre that right? And then you had the recession. And you’ve continued, it sounds like you know, the sky’s the limit. So, so alright, so you’re in Portland, but you’re also a soccer player. So are you a Nike guy or an Adidas guy?
Cameron Madill 53:47
Oh, good question. I wear both but I’m actually no longer a soccer player. I this is how dedicated so I don’t know any other questions. And I’m also doing this interview with broken ribs, which I go Oh, yeah, right. See how committed I am. I got A week ago playing soccer this much larger human being. I’m 5′ 11″ hundred and 55 pounds. This guy, let’s say it was like, you know, 230 or something. Just I was going past them and he just dropped a shoulder and an elbow into me and I just flipped, really. So I landed and I just was like, I’m done. I don’t want to do this anymore.
Jon Tsourakis 54:20
Wow. All right, I’ve had broken ribs. My story is vastly different and involved a very angry ex-girlfriend. But in case you’ve never gonna play again, I mean, you’ve played your whole life, right?
David McGraw 54:32
Uh, you know, I actually I started playing because I quit playing basketball when I was like 23 because I dislocated my shoulder in a bicycle versus car accident. The car 1000 cases right here. Yeah, right. And so I had the surgery and all that, but I just was like, I can’t keep playing hopes. Like I just might, my arm was hurting too much. I would like to wake up in the middle of the night and I was like, and I’m like, 23 I’m like, good goddess. I’m way too young for this. So finally I looked around. That’s how I found soccer. And I was just thinking like, it’s kind of I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know if either you guys have kids I know nothing about it, but I watch my friends with kids. It looks hard like you got to get to pick this thing up and move them around. Like no but seriously, I see people they’re like I’ve got carpal tunnel and my I’ve got tennis elbow and my shoulder hurts and so I’ve just been thinking like, maybe it’s time to do more like, you know, yoga and like paddleboarding and like weightlifting things that don’t involve other large humans who might decide to squash me
Jon Tsourakis 55:25
Got it. Yeah, you know, you can go one of two ways right? You can go like you know, cars and lumberjack where you can go yoga and you know pilates so I to have gone the yoga route, you know, for what it’s worth. I grew up you know, on the lumberjack side. But yeah, Dave Dave’s got a kid. How do you feel Dave about doing curls with little baby Emma?
Jon Tsourakis 55:47
I mean, right now it’s the most amazing thing in the world. So there’s no concern there but I to just based on the age thing, you know, being 40 and just having a baby. I’m looking at the real possibility. Being you know 55 taking my kids to soccer practice that’s what I’m scared about.
Cameron Madill 56:06
Right? We’re gonna be an old man. I got a question for both of you guys. I don’t this is related but I can open us. Does anyone have chest hair in Florida? just
Jon Tsourakis 56:16
Yeah. We shave it.
Cameron Madill 56:17
Okay, I just didn’t know it was like a thing because I was like it’s too cold here like so we don’t do the open neck shirt thing and darlin but it’s requisite
Jon Tsourakis 56:23
Actually, if it goes a little bit further down it looks like a hamster holding on for dear life between my pecks.
Cameron Madill 56:30
So you just kind of get the visible part?
Jon Tsourakis 56:33
Yeah, that’s all you got. Absolutely.
David McGraw 56:35
It’s 66 degrees here today. It’s freezing.
Cameron Madill 56:39
Come on, man. It’s like 39 here.
Jon Tsourakis 56:43
There are people would be nice walking around the office.
Okay, so what should the world know about you, that I didn’t cover my friend?
Cameron Madill 56:57
Well, what should the world…
Jon Tsourakis 57:00
Anything you want to promote?
Cameron Madill 57:03
Oh, anything I want to promote, we touched on B Corp.
You know, I don’t know just something to think about what one of the nonprofit’s I’m involved with here in Portland very, very loosely. But I just think the world of it is a group called Bravo. And it’s based on a program I think out of Venezuela called El Sistema which is basically youth music education to disadvantaged youth. And I just think that’s one of the most interesting things that I feel like our society is diva. I was a musician. That’s what I did in Cuba. And I think it’s one of the things that it’s like society has gotten so focused on you know, the whole stem thing. I was at science, technology, engineering and math.
Jon Tsourakis 57:42
Are you kidding me? Are you literally gonna bring that up? I didn’t even know what that meant. Last week. It was our first podcast.
Cameron Madill 57:47
So I’m here for you.
David McGraw 57:49
You listen to the first episode?
Cameron Madill 57:52
I did. I did. No, I didn’t actually I didn’t even know I don’t know how to find it. I will find it after this. But yeah, like, I think I think they’re, I mean, look, I, you know, I’ve got a physics degree, I’m a pretty quantitative guy as well, but I just think we, we’ve really devalued a lot of some of the intangible things in life, you know, with some of the focus on technology and measurement. And so just some of the things around, you know, culture and literature and music and art, that I think there are really rich part of the human experience and maybe just seeing if that’s something that maybe it’s a plug for myself as well. And just like, you know, how can we all do a little bit more in that space? Because I think that’s a lot of what makes us human. That’s a random plug, but you put me on the spot. That’s what I got.
Jon Tsourakis 58:34
I know man, I i think i think that’s a fantastic answer. It’s authentic, right? If I gave you all this stuff ahead of time, it would have been this, you know, whitewashed, not me and maybe even greenwash. A little bit of brainwash would have been washed, so to speak. But no, I think that’s that’s a great answer. And it begs the question, you have is that also part of your all genuine play and going after, going after isn’t the best term working with credit unions because of that community, you know, being part of I mean, it’s Yeah, you resonate is like all this good, ethical. And you know, I know you walk the walk, known you for a couple years now I tried to stalk you but obviously you got rid of social media but you’re like a no bullshit guy and you really believe this mantra.
Cameron Madill 59:21
I think I really do. I really do. I think, you know, I’ll get over not too philosophical, but I didn’t mention this earlier. This is another thing. So we’re actually converting pixels, both to be a worker owned cooperative January 1, wow them with w five founding members, and we hope more over time. And it’s really different. It’s, I mean, Davis is a little bit I think, you know, we’re four months into the pregnancy, but it’s sort of like, you know, people are like, what’s it like having a kid I’m like, I don’t know. And this worker Co Op thing is similar. You know, people are like, how’s it going? I’m like, I think it’s going good, but I’ve never done anything like this. And how this connects to credit unions, and maybe just cooperatives in general is, you know, I really deeply believe that inequality is is one of the biggest problems that our world is facing right now. And I think there’s a lot of interesting research about how inequality you know, damages civic participation, it damages, democratic participation. It encourages polarization. And so I think, and it’s funny, because because people often get heated when you kind of move on from that statement, but it’s something that most people agree with that, you know, that at least everything I’ve seen all the studies of, what do Americans think, a sort of a, you know, an ideal distribution of wealth is versus a fair distribution of wealth. And I just think there’s a lot of factors that have just pause, you know, real wages have been declining since the 70s. And credit unions are one of the models that I think the world needs more than ever of, you know, financial institutions that that can make loans that are not driven by profit. Now, they’re their businesses, they have to survive. But I think they play a really important role and I think people woke up and, you know, the mortgage crisis and you know what it was at Wells Fargo and venting a million checking accounts. And I know we think it was US Bank we were with, because we had to do some international transfers for a client as we cardian couldn’t handle it. And like, I swear, we just get random fees. But there’s there’s so random, it’s like the perfect algorithm to annoy me and take money from the account, but not annoy me enough to actually shut it down. And like that, that’s what I feel like these mega banks do is they just sit around and figure out how to extract wealth from the common person. And so I do feel really good about working with credit unions, where they instead sit around and say, what can we do to improve our members well being or what can we do to run more efficiently? So yeah, yeah, I would say you’re spot on. And that is part of where I think I feel, you know, I want to feel like my values and my worker and alignment. Right. Right.
Jon Tsourakis 1:01:56
And how can our audience and anyone that would Like to get in touch with you get a hold the obviously of you? Obviously not on Facebook.
Cameron Madill 1:02:03
clearly, clearly not on Facebook. I mean anyone who wants to reach out to me that you know LinkedIn as john said, it’s still easy. I’m also Cameron at pixel spoke.com so that’s pretty easy I think that’s online color main office you can you can text john directly anytime day or night on it as well.
Jon Tsourakis 1:02:24
Perfect. Alright brother I really appreciate it man. Thank you so much. And yeah, look forward to doing this again after the whole employee rollout thing.
Cameron Madill 1:02:34
I will do Hey, thanks for the invite. And I hope this goes awesome for you guys. I think it’s a really great idea and I love this community you guys have built there’s there’s so much value there. It’s It’s an honor to be a part of it.
Jon Tsourakis 1:02:43
Thanks, bro. All right.
David McGraw 1:02:45
Jon Tsourakis 1:02:47
Hey, real quick. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed the podcast, please subscribe and leave a positive review. It would mean the world to me.