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The Climb Podcast Ep. 4 w/Gabe Shaoolian

Gabe’s got “it” together. He’s one of those guys. He just gets it. And when he doesn’t, he’ll take the time to figure it out, then build an army to do it his way. 

Keep in mind, “his way” is serious. Because to Gabe, marketing is important. Just as important as law or medicine. 

But his way works. 

Want proof? He started an agency in a dorm room and grew it to 250 people. 

And during that time he won big accounts; he worked with major brands like Microsoft, IBM, P&G and the NFL.

Then he sold it. Now he’s doing it again. He’s building another agency—from scratch. 

In this episode, we get down and dirty, discussing the nitty, gritty details with Gabe on how he did it, why he doesn’t have a ping pong table in his office and what to do if you want to win marquee brands yourself. 

Show Notes:

Gabe’s Wikipedia Page – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Shaoolian
Gabe’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabrielshaoolian/
Gabe’s Agency – https://www.digitalsilk.com/
Biowars – https://www.biowars.com/
Get a hold of Gabe –

Transcript

Jon Tsourakis 0:01
Hi, everybody. Thank you for joining us for Episode Three of the climb. I’m here with my partner in crime once again, David McGraw. And in today’s show, we’re going to talk about building and scaling an agency. And first off Dave, what are your thoughts when I say building and scaling an agency?

David McGraw 0:21
Now you got to think about how do you put the systems in place to take on more work without hiring more people? I mean, scaling to me is all about maximizing productivity and you know, without that, then you’re just gonna get overwhelmed with work.

Jon Tsourakis 0:39
Yeah, overwhelming is what comes to mind not an easy task is the the other thought that I have there because it’s it’s nothing simple. And the gentleman we’re going to be speaking with today is brought his agency from zero to 250, which is more than impressive. Very good, you know, and, and I guess to their point, a lot of agencies Whether they think they want to grow or not, I think they need to focus on growing because if you’re not growing, you’re dying. And you’ll see these five and seven perfect and person shops that yeah, I think they’re, you know, perfectly happy where they are, but they’re not to continually raise their prices. And that’s something I want to get into today is Yeah, what does it take to actually go, you know, from either five or seven or, you know, one to get up to, you know, 100 Plus, it’s a big deal.

David McGraw 1:25
Well, I think that really differentiates the lifestyle company between or from, you know, actual agencies looking to grow into a major corporation because, man, the five to six person, agency is great for a lot of people and a lot of people thrive in those scenarios. But um, you know, that’s it’s a big step going from that to 20.

Jon Tsourakis 1:48
And the company doesn’t that just like a job for the most part, that’s your job? You you own a company, it’s just also your job?

David McGraw 1:54
Yeah, I think so as well. I mean, you get to maybe call the shots a little, little more than a job but

Jon Tsourakis 2:01
Number one flow he and I just had supervisor, right, exactly. Alright, so today we’re going to speak with a guy that’s not only build and scale an agency, but he’s also sold it. And he did that without any financial assistance. So today, I’d like to go ahead and welcome Gabe chauvelin. Gay. Did I say your name? Right?

Gabe Shaoolian 2:21
Close enough. Thank you.

Jon Tsourakis 2:23
Well, thank you for joining us. Good.

Gabe Shaoolian 2:24
Sure.

Jon Tsourakis 2:26
All right. So Gabe is with digital silk. And what I’d like to do is, first and foremost, I’d like to get into your business profile and feel free to stop me if anything in here is an accurate. from Queens, New York, went to NYU on a scholarship, you started as a graphic designer, founder of blue fountain media, which you built from a one man operation into a 250 person agency and sold it in 2016. You’re now living in Miami, Florida, with your family. And you’ve started your other agency digital silk within the last few months. Correct. That’s about right.

Gabe Shaoolian 3:00
Grew up in Queens originally, but then went to Long Island High School. Ah, okay. All right.

Jon Tsourakis 3:07
Any reason for that?

Gabe Shaoolian 3:09
That was a parents call, we’re gonna ask them. Okay, good parenting.

Jon Tsourakis 3:14
So the first question I have to ask is why did you sell your agency only to start a new one? Just four years later?

Gabe Shaoolian 3:21
That’s really a good question.

To be frank with you, I did not think I would start another agency. It’s I took some after Sony that just took some time off, I cooled off and, and you know, running an agency is stressful, especially if you want to grow on. It is one of the hardest businesses to run, where your clients, you’re going to make sure they’re happy. You got to make sure you people are happy. So taking that time off after I sold it, I think helped me just clear my head. Calm down a little bit. And I realized, you know what, I think I’m pretty good at this. It’s what I know. So I said, I think I know how to better this time around. So I’m giving it one more go around. Why do you sell it though? I sold it because the company that purchased it really, I believe they had good intentions to grow it and take it to the next level. You know, where they could open up very big doors to companies that they had relationship with. And I thought that it would be the best thing for the people working at BFM. You know, when I started blue fountain media, my plan was not Hey, I’m going to build a company have hundreds of employees and then I’m going to sell it That wasn’t my plan. There was no plan. But the company did grow. I was paying some of the top salaries in the industry. I have I had team members in New York and anybody in agency New York knows that’s a hotbed for towns and to keep town to get paid and well, you gotta treat them well. Otherwise they’ll get a job in a split second. So, it was very stressful to both a piece the team members, okay, the especially the stars that I had, at the same time competing with other agencies. And what I realized is for us to evolve, we had to go and become agency of record for very much larger companies. So I sold it, was it the right thing to do? I’m not sure. Part of me says yes, because I think that now could start fresh and do it the way I want to know after learning to do it from start, you know, from scratch to where I want to go.

Jon Tsourakis 5:47
And then now what does that feel like that you’ve built something right, and now it’s almost like the like the rocky story, right? Like you’re now going back in the ring. It’s been like four years. Are you excited? Are you like, I’m excited? I’m

Gabe Shaoolian 6:03
very much overwhelmed. You know how much work it is to start a company? Yeah. Luckily, we have some really good people in the industry that I’ve been friends with, and then had some clients that I was able to bring on board relatively quickly. But I forgot how much work it is set up the systems to start doing everything yourself these endless nights and so, but at least this time, I’m expecting it I know what I’m in for. So to your,

David McGraw 6:37
your point that you mentioned right before this, you know, the constantly chasing the employee versus the client, like, one thing that I am really into is like the systems of how to like motivate people and how to make sure that they’re incentivized and how customers are, are taken care of like, Don’t you feel like you’re just constantly chasing, you know, you gotta push the rate for the customers. So you can pay your employees more and then, you know, it’s just this constant game that you have to chase as you grow an agency,

Gabe Shaoolian 7:07
you know, it’s very true that people, especially good talent, doesn’t have a good talent. People in the US they want continual raises and they want continual changes of their title. You know, I had a designer after six months, you want to be an art director in the real world, six months experiences nothing, you have an SEO associate, the person wants to be SEO director in a year like I found that, you know, that was a real challenge. And for that reason, agencies alone, many companies have a high turnover because people are very ambitious. And they want this instant gratification of in just a few days from now. I’m going We get the next jump, of course. It’s not the world that I grew up in. I mean, I started an agency back in the.com doom era. So, I believe that in order to incentivize people, you just gotta win bigger clients, people want to see that and you have to win bigger accounts. And they need to be able to do they need to be able to do what the work of that title in she has said, You can’t just give someone a bigger title without giving them more responsibility. Right? They gotta bring that back to the company. So what I’m doing the company now is I want to hire that let them know that it’s our performance that’s going to decide how we do is not, hey, there’s this magical person, the company that’s going to bring us these big clients and pay. It’s really we all contribute to it. We’re all rowing the same boat. Okay, there’s no one person with a magical engine, the back of the boat Right. So I’m hiring people that understand that. And there are long term players. But I think most agencies know the pain of trying to hold on to talent. And you could try different things. I’ll tell you one thing. I don’t believe in buying a few foosball table. I don’t believe in I don’t believe in a ping pong. I don’t, you know, outside. Here’s the thing. This is a serious profession. Like imagine you want to go hire a lawyer? Do you want to see a ping pong table in the middle of the room? I mean, we’re asking people for thousands if not hundreds of thousand. We’re asking them to put their projects in our hands. We’re telling them that their jobs you know, they’ve hired us. I want to I want to hire someone that is serious about it not to have a bunch of kids playing games. I want to know that when I saw a designer, I was designing I love designing. That was my passion. I want to create an agency afterwards. And I really like the idea of sales. But that’s what drives me. I know people want to cool off and play ping pong, but I don’t know. To me, that’s not what I envision a professional agency doing. People will disagree with them. That’s totally okay. They could have it at their place. My thing is, I’m driven you know, what makes me happy when I see a great design. It makes me happy when I see that we kick butt on a campaign that makes me happy when I see a campaign is not getting results. That gets me thinking day in day night. You know, so that’s how I want the team members to be

Jon Tsourakis 10:39
ping pong table or any of those things like that to kind of dip your toe in and like yeah,

Gabe Shaoolian 10:43
you know, yeah, I mean, previously, I tried everything. I mean, we had team sports, and we had all sorts of building activities, but they those did not attract that. I didn’t think that’s somewhat determine if someone stayed with us having a ping pong table or doing something Putting outings is not why someone sees in a company, believe it or not, they want to feel satisfied by the work they’re doing. And they want to feel like they’re getting compensated fairly for it. So I don’t care if your company has a built in movie theater and a swimming pool and all that stuff is great. But if the person doesn’t have the satisfaction of feeling good about their work, that no matter how many toys or throw at them, that’s what’s going to matter to them. meaningful work. Yeah, I think so. I think most professionals can understand this, you know, if you come out of college, you’re like, what’s gonna determine me taking a job is going to be a pool or you know, it’s I don’t know, the one thing I do allow people is I don’t babysit them. They work their own hours. They go to encourage them to go to the gym during the day. That’s one thing where I do get flexibility. But putting games in the room I’m very much against

Jon Tsourakis 11:57
Yeah, if you caught them driving, go karts, the middle The day you would fire them on the spot when you gave.

Gabe Shaoolian 12:03
You know, I don’t care what you do as long as you can do some great. I’m just not going to supply the gold card. That’s all

Jon Tsourakis 12:10
good. I love that man. Alright, so when you get to the next question, you worked with brands like Microsoft, IBM, Procter and Gamble and the NFL. Yeah. These are the marquee names and not easy to get. How did you get these accounts?

Gabe Shaoolian 12:25
Well, some of them found us through Google, actually. Some of them you find from networking. I used to think that you need to be a big name agency to get big brands. That is not the case. That is not the case. Believe it or not, I think if you have a smaller agency, that’s an advantage that you have, because you could be nimble. You could be agile, you could say I’ve have expertise in this one thing. So if you want to get Microsoft as a client, you can do it. Nothing’s holding you back. We’re pushing somebody Microsoft No one’s tied up your hands scotch tape your mouth, you know, nothing’s holding you back. People think this invisible force shield that unless I’m a super agency, I can’t get in with them. You know, a lot of these big companies, these five big company mean companies with revenue is higher than $2 billion a year. They, in order to work with them, and you want to work with them, they require you to become a certified vendor. But if the budgets less than 25, or in some case, $50,000, they don’t need that. So department could make a decision. So if you approach them with a five k 15 k, get your foot in the door, it could work, but you need to show them value. One of the biggest mistakes I find agencies don’t do when pitching a client is they don’t give them any value in pitching them. There’s no ideas in there. There’s nothing in there the sun on their website. You know, it’s more like nothing of a differentiation factor. Nothing that tells the client we understand what you need. Here’s an idea to how to do it.

Jon Tsourakis 14:06
So I think a lot of agencies are too close vested. Yeah. Or too close to the Genesis where they’re trying to hold things back there because they want to sell their idea. You know what I mean?

Gabe Shaoolian 14:16
Yeah, that might be the case, or they just don’t invest the time in the idea, so they don’t invest the time to create an idea. Look, if you want to get a Microsoft, you can say hi, we do websites, how many of those emails do we all get? We do website? You can’t do that. That doesn’t. First of all, there’s two problems with that. The first problem is that you make a website and so does everybody else. The second problem, and that doesn’t differentiate us. That’s the first problem. second problem is I don’t care. I don’t care. You make a website. So that’s what they understand. Do you show me that you look, let’s put this turn the tables around. When I had to find a office space, I was going out of my space. Constantly, I love brokers pounding my inbox and telling me, I’ll help you find office space. And what the last guy said it in the guy before use what differentiates you. One guy sent me an email and said, I just helped one of your competitors and he gave me the competitors name, find an office space. He was some of the challenges, but we can’t overcame. I have some ideas for you and how you could save money. Like he showed me that I know what you’re looking for, of experiencing your space and I’m going to give you some extra value that when agencies put that much work up front, if you want to get a client, you can do it, but you have to give them an idea. You have to show them that you understand what they’re looking for and give them ideas on how to achieve it. Not just say I could do it. They know you could do it.

Jon Tsourakis 15:54
Give me an example with Microsoft or IBM Procter and Gamble, NFL,

Gabe Shaoolian 15:59
Procter and Gamble. was looking to build an intranet for one of their departments, one of their r&d departments. And they found us online. And the guy came over and we were at that time, we’re very small. We found two media was trees, quite a small company, only 20 people, 2030 people. And he’s like, you know, we’re looking to build this intranet. And the first question is why? For who? Except for the team. We said, Well, what do you hope to get out of it? And he said, Well, we want to see if this works. And that works. So we said, why don’t we just plan out a simple phase one, where we could put something out in two months to try it out, get some feedback and improve it. So they flew us out to Ohio. And we went in and they handled the agency there. And the other agency they had there was one of the agency of records and they did what I call fluff, a lot of fluff talk. You know, they get up and they talk about mood boards and this and then it’s all great, but my I don’t understand what you guys are talking. So when was our turn, we went up and we actually drew a wireframe of what we think the internet should look like. We put the we put the, you know, the links at the top and the side we do everything is going to go. And they said, yeah, that’s, that’s what we need. And they started talking as well. But if you move this over there, and we’ve done it with them before you knew it, we had a wifm they liked and they that was to them much more productive than us getting up there and talking about theory, theory. Yeah, yeah. Show them something that they could see and envision.

Jon Tsourakis 17:39
Remove all the esoteric Bs,

Gabe Shaoolian 17:40
right. And that’s what got us in. So they

Jon Tsourakis 17:44
came to you. How would you approach today? A bigger brand,

Gabe Shaoolian 17:48
right? So companies we approach on our own big brands? Really? Number one way most agencies do it as a case study? Okay, look what we did for company Next, I mean, that’s how I got some of the bigger food companies out there. Look what we did for this company, we could do the same for you. In other words, if you worked with one school or one university or you, you work with one anything, approach somebody else and say we just work with so this is results we got them love to hear, I want to hear what you’re working on. I gotta tell you one of the biggest mistakes I find agencies doing and I’m and I made this mistake myself many times as you get an account and you don’t do your best on it. Don’t give it your all. Big mistake to do when you’re running an agency. You want to make sure your clients have great experience but you want if every client you get as a referral.

Every client you get as a referral. You also you know agencies have a

Unknown Speaker 18:53
have a good

Gabe Shaoolian 18:55
they know how to agencies are very good at telling their clients what to do. Every marketing agency tells their clients, the first rule to marketing is know who you’re marketing to. Right? Who’s your audience? But how many agencies could tell you who’s their audience? For example, if you’re if you have to decide which kind of companies are going to go after him stay true to that. That means we had to decide a blue fountain media that we were going to cut out some of the smaller companies, and we did that we dropped 20% of our clients. Wow. The leads that were coming in, or we were getting so many leads, let’s say 20 revival a month, when we increased our rates, eight became viable a month, but made a decision to cut down like you say, we need to know who is our clients, who do we want to work with. And we will only work with people with x minimum budget. If they don’t have that budget. They’re not for us and the story

Jon Tsourakis 19:55
and you would qualify them at the beginning and if you’re not would you give them to somebody elzar went digital, we

Gabe Shaoolian 20:01
had a, you know, you have agencies that you have a relationship with, and you give it to that agency if they want it. But here’s the thing, it’s important to stay focused. If you want to work with Procter and Gamble, you can’t be doing marketing for $1,000 a month. Okay, and you can’t be doing the same nonsense marketing that the other so called agencies doing down the block, you need to do something really different. You could be working the startup, you could work with a small business, just do something. Wow. And take that while and ticket to the big name because they want to see that. They want people with ideas. They don’t want to know that you could do social media marketing, so does their niece. She does it too and she’s 12 years old. I want to know what is it that you could do that’s going to sell my product off the shelf? What have you done? So case studies, very important. So every agency right now has a few clients with tremendous potential. Take that market that case studies send a press release out on it. Look, look at the big agencies look at RGA that’s what they do. You know, right now they want their bigger clients is Nike. Look how many videos they’ve done with Nike they talk about what they achieved with Nike

Jon Tsourakis 21:22
is continual storytelling on their own behalf.

Gabe Shaoolian 21:25
That’s right. So now the team and you could do that too. So you might have john you know, some small business but take the same approach to a case study with them.

Jon Tsourakis 21:37
So is it in the grand let’s say there is a case study? Is it you beating on somebody’s door or do you have someone on your staff now or even in the past that is doing that, you know, for you

Gabe Shaoolian 21:50
have depends on the organization. Some organizations you have the CEO who loves doing marketing stuff. Yep. In some ways, You have a CMO and they’re in charge of that. You could have digital strategists or you could have account directors, whoever it is, but doing a if you look at what the big agencies are doing, where they’re doing videos of introducing their client talking about the challenge, you overcame, what they did you know how they went about it, this is what you want to do.

Jon Tsourakis 22:29
Okay. All right now, that’s a it’s good feedback. And day, what’s the biggest company you’ve worked with?

David McGraw 22:37
worked with or worked for?

Gabe Shaoolian 22:39
I guess either. worman So

Microsoft, in terms of

valuation Microsoft’s the biggest company but they were not my biggest account. Yeah. Biggest account I had was

maybe service kings at Blue fountain media or

It was a multi million dollar a year account of this came after years and we sit on minimum budget is $50,000 per client. The average claim was being about 250,000. But we have a few accounts that were in the millions Listen, if you have the team and determination to get there you can and one of the ways to do that is to be focused is to it’s hard to do this because small businesses easy to close, but they’re hard to please. They are more demanding understood in the larger ones. Yeah. So just know who your customer is and focus on your customer. I the digital so quite now, you know, we’re working with some big brands now. And I’ll tell you that how much it’s going to grow. I don’t know how successful Will I be in getting bigger brands? I don’t know but that is my customer. My customers. So if someone walks into just look and says, Hey, I have $3,000 a month, I’m not going to work with them. They’re not for me, that customer is not someone that I’m set up to be able to get successful results for. So you have to know who your customer is and focus on that customer. And if you can’t get that customer, either you close your doors, you could or you could change your business, but don’t compromise.

Jon Tsourakis 24:27
Do you want to grow those? Like let’s say you do take a smaller account, though, or is it your aim to grow that account into a larger account?

Gabe Shaoolian 24:34
If I feel like we can do it, but you and I know that $3,000 a month marketing is bogus, right? You’re not going to it’s not a real budget. Okay, if you have $3,000 a month, I call that a hobby. I don’t call that a business plan. Yeah. So there’s not much you could do with it. What’s your minimum right now? be at least minimum 5000 for the agency minimum My monthly and that minimum is something that when I say minimum, I mean, we would decide if that’s something we could easily do or not. Simply because to do proper marketing, you need a designer, need a copywriter, you need an expert, you need a manager. What are you going to do with 4050 hours? What are you going to do? You know, there’s not much I do and you want to get the client results. So you know what demand great service from us demand great work from us. But don’t demand a magic show with a with a price. Just don’t don’t demand all that at a ridiculous price. And you’re setting those expectations

Jon Tsourakis 25:41
up front, I’m assuming?

Gabe Shaoolian 25:44
Yeah, I mean, we talked to clients now.

Look, we’re talking to mostly businesses that that’s an issue. So we target companies that are 100 million dollars and more. So the clients that we’re talking to, that shouldn’t be an issue. It’s when you’re talking to small money. pop shops, small businesses where you run into issues like that.

Jon Tsourakis 26:05
I agree. And typically when it’s somebody’s money where it’s really personal, you’re dealing 100 million dollar company, you’re not dealing with the owner and it’s their money, right? Yeah. mom and pop shop or something can be a 1015 $20 million company. I’ve seen it up as high as 200 million actually where it was the individual owners money. That’s a very difficult it’s very tenuous at that point to have that conversation.

Gabe Shaoolian 26:28
Yeah, but this is one of the things I have to understand is, you know, one things you got to do in the sales phase is set proper expectations. I remember once I had a sales guy and BFM he sold a company on a $10,000 a month retainer for marketing very broad. And that company thought they could get anything and everything they wanted it $10,000 to get SEO that get social your pay per click. They could get content marketing like whoa, whoa. That’s a $10,000 you What you what you want is marketing army, you want a whole marketing team 10,000. So, to all the executives out there, you really have to train your sales team to set proper expectations in the sales process.

Jon Tsourakis 27:17
And by doing that, you’re asked, how do you go about setting those expectations just if we’re just talking strictly to budget right now?

Gabe Shaoolian 27:26
Well, some agencies that have price sheets, we don’t have that. Some agencies they listen to what the client wants, and based on that they come back to the proposal. That’s what we do. So sales is not about pitching your your prices. Sales is about listening and providing a solution that makes sense. The sending is key asking the right questions is the difference between one agency winning another one losing because the one that the one that asked a proper questions got better insight? So if you have a client that wants all those things and they just want to pay $10,000 a month and your sales guys hungry to close them like in my case he was that’s the wrong thing to do you guys spend more time the client find out okay let’s this discuss what we’re going to do each month and I suggest we started the marketing trust strategy

David McGraw 28:23
How do you train your your sales people to not pitch those bad deals because sales people want to sell, you know, they want to pad their stats. So how do you pull a salesperson off of a an easy deal? That’s a bad deal.

Gabe Shaoolian 28:38
I’ll give you one shortcut. We could team up your salespeople with the counter expert so the contractor knows he or she’s going to get that project and they could monitor the salesperson or you could have you can let salespeople do what they want because their job is to sell you set it right on and I don’t blame them right. They need to But you can’t let them loose because they will just sell whatever. They need to have someone partnering with them, whether that’s going to be the account director, whether that’s going to be a head of sales or a strategist, someone there to look the deal and the standard. Also, sales people shouldn’t really pitch the pitch should be done by a team.

Unless Unless you’re an agency where you have price sheets, you know, unless you’re an agency where you have flat rates, and you could say pick product A, B, or C, then you have a salesperson.

David McGraw 29:38
But to me, if you are an agency that has a price sheet, then what you’re offering them is that that standard playbook that john and i talked about all the time, that’s the same marketing playbook that everyone else is playing from. Yes. And it’s the same thing. It’s inbound marketing, it’s SEO and you’re not going to get any kind of tremendous, you know, results when all you’re doing is offering them the same playbook that Everyone else’s. So

Gabe Shaoolian 30:01
yeah, I mean, you’re you’re right about that. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying it for company companies, agencies that want to move up. Price sheets don’t work. But some agencies like using it, it works for them. And they could have a salesperson, other agencies where you’re giving ideas, your sales guys not the one giving the ideas.

Jon Tsourakis 30:20
So you can find a sales guy too, right? I think that’s also like, what is that person look like? Like do you have a quote unquote sales guy? Or is that a person that has industry experience that you look forward to help sell?

Gabe Shaoolian 30:33
So the way I’m structuring it now is I’m going to hire people who are not salespeople, who are experts, maybe in digital marketing or something, and they will take on the sales role. And, but their job really is to bring is to ask the right questions, bring the team to the table and follow up on the sales to close it.

Jon Tsourakis 30:55
Got it. So you’re just you’re taking an expert that you’re going to show them the skills necessary to sell Right, that’s essentially your thesis to see how that plays out on the on the better side rather than just somebody that you took that would sell Yellow Pages. And they’re literally Hey, this is you know, right? met the lines, we’re going to flip it in and they keep just throwing shit inside the house and nobody makes any money and nobody’s happy.

Gabe Shaoolian 31:16
Exactly you I think it’s important for this look, that’s one of the most toughest positions to hire for for an agency. If you’re an agency that does custom work, and every proposals custom, you can just take the Yellow Page sales guy and say here, you will need someone that understands the services you’re offering. And really, they could work with team members to do it. I mean, one thing to do is take a junior person that’s forward facing and well spoken, and they could bring the team to the table. But if you take the senior person that’s sold ads, that person is no more useful to you then junior person is can be even more determined. And that’s what happened to me but my first sales guy at vfm he was a big hot hot hot shot at CBS sales didn’t make one sale, you know much other money unless I’m like, not one sale. And I was looking to him because I thought he’s gonna bring this magic wand and we’re gonna have all these know, I realized it doesn’t work that way. So then I hired an intern I trained the intern. And that intern in two months time was able to close multiple projects because I set a process for this person I help that person they had people helping them closing sales, and they saw and the client saw a lot of teamwork

Jon Tsourakis 32:39
and he’s process you create a you documenting these processes like I like you go into such and such file or is it just a conversation you’re having and you guys have an agreement.

Gabe Shaoolian 32:49
So we have a you have to have an intranet. That’s your playbook. And everything is documented for every position in the company. Everything From the standards to how you do something to rules. So for example, when you’re growing an agency, you must have an intranet that documents best practices and rules for every role. So for my designers, simple rules that never have more than 15 words in a line, don’t use a font less than 16. These are rules that we put for designers to follow. And then you have best practices and you have standards. And so we show a style guide sheet and say, This is a standard that we go by. You could do better than this, but not worse than this for the strategists or account directors, you know, how often do you contact your clients what expectations you set up best practices and rules you need to documented now once you documented you don’t forget about it. You have the team review it every week. Wow. And they will hate your guts for it. But they will review it every week. It’s a living document. You’re always up Getting, you’re always improving it.

Jon Tsourakis 34:02
So that spawns two questions. One, where did you decide that this was the best way to do it in your company and to what tool Do you use for your internet?

Gabe Shaoolian 34:13
So we use a custom made tool. I haven’t found anything out there that does what we wanted to do. But you could use things out there if you want. Yeah. And what I’m saying is nothing groundbreaking. I mean, any agency you go to, and I’m sorry, any large agency you go to is going to have a documentation as to how to do things

Jon Tsourakis 34:34
know that part I get every week. Where did you get that repetition from?

Gabe Shaoolian 34:37
Oh, I learned it from a hotel. I think it’s a Ritz Carlton. I was staying. Yeah. And I think it was Ritz Carlton. They said, I was so impressed by their management of handling things and knowing things and I said, How do you guys do it and the guy said every day, we review processes our department every morning, they review it We give feedback to improve it. So

I thought that was

they just showed by example. I mean, I was so impressed by how they did things. It was somewhere in Mexico. And yeah, they they said that they have all their etiquettes advocates, they have all their behave like how they should behave, what they should do. Everything’s documented, huh?

Jon Tsourakis 35:28
Wow. Every time you do it every week, no panel, and we’re reviewing processes, guys.

Gabe Shaoolian 35:35
Well, I’ll tell you what, you could tell someone Don’t do this. And they’ll forget it a minute later. Sure. You could tell someone how to do it better and they’ll forgive a minute later. And I’m not against ping pong. I’m just saying when I go to work, I take pride in my work. And when I go to work, if I want to relax, that’s up to me, but I’m very serious about my work, you know, like and I want my clients to know that again. Why don’t you tell someone to take some money out their savings? go hire a lawyer and see how good you feel about seeing a ping pong table there. Yeah, you know, so I get it. It’s cool for some people for me, I want to go look, I love what I do. I want to make sure you do the same mindset that I’m that I’m in.

Jon Tsourakis 36:19
I get that now. And I think that’s a good way of going about it. Which brings me to our next question. After looking at your LinkedIn, it appears your employees are decentralized and spread out all over the world,

Gabe Shaoolian 36:33
right? Yeah, absolutely.

Jon Tsourakis 36:34
How do you recruit and keep talent?

Gabe Shaoolian 36:39
So you recruit I recruit by LinkedIn. Guys simple. If you use indeed, nothing, nothing special there. Keeping talent like I mentioned is people are really happy when they feel that the time they put into something is recognized. They feel proud of what they’ve done.

And

you gotta, I think you have to create teams within your company and the teams work collaboratively together. And they were like working together. So

I would say that the most important thing is to find people with certain mindsets.

Now that’s similar to yours. So if you’re a kind of person that for example, I can play ping pong at work about free time because in my head, I’m like, I could be checking on a project. I could be making a sale, I could be doing something with that. And I know I’m not saying work non stop and burnouts. That’s not what I’m saying. Yeah, I’m saying but uh, to me when I’m at work, I’m at work. I’m in that mindset, just constantly, and things go into my skin, like if I lose a sale, it’s my fault that I lost the sale. It’s not the clients fault, because I decided that that client is worth the time for me to go pitch and if I lost it Something I did wrong, because I know I’ve done a great job on it. So

if you’re serious and you’re passionate about what you’re doing,

you should find people that will join your team with the same mindset. Look, if you’re in a football team, all right, and you are one of those people, players that take it really seriously takes it to heart. You know, like, when you leave the field, you’re still thinking about the game. What you could have done better. And when you’re playing the game, you’re in it 100%. You know, you’re going to run as fast as you can. You’re going to hit as fast as hard as you can. You’re going you’re not going to screw up, you’re out there to win. You don’t want someone on your team who’s like dying. Who’s not serious like you, you want someone with the same mentality as you. And that’s what this is. It’s a team and I want someone who’s a serious as I I am

you

Jon Tsourakis 39:05
know, I mean, so like, I’m interviewing a lot of time. Okay, so you interview and are you testing them or you just give tests? So what I do is

Gabe Shaoolian 39:13
I give first round of questions and I give a give a test to them if they’re a designer, design, test marketing, I give them a marketing strategy to do if they don’t want to the tests. Okay, no, thank you.

Jon Tsourakis 39:25
got on to the next one.

Gabe Shaoolian 39:26
That’s it. You have a test. Yeah.

Jon Tsourakis 39:28
Are there any personality based quizzes or anything that you give them where you’re like, I

Gabe Shaoolian 39:33
don’t know. I mean, that comes across when you talk to him. Yeah, but I spend a ton of my time on hiring about four hours a day. Whoa, yeah. So if I’m working more than eight hours a day easy but I will spend a ton of time in hiring because the team having the right team in place is critical. Got any you’re always hiring so far, yeah. So far, yeah. So it’s, and then we all make mistakes. You know, you always hire someone who’s like, you know what that was the wrong fit. Sure

that’s going to happen.

Jon Tsourakis 40:12
And then hiring people all over the world. Is that part of your scale strategy? Or do you plan on having like real offices and specific locations?

Gabe Shaoolian 40:22
We do. So we have an office right now, Miami.

We’re trying to Brickell. We have an office in New York City, I plan on opening offices in San Diego. But why do I have people all over the world? First of all, us is a very hard place to hire talent for the digital space, you know that if you want to get a top notch marketing guy or top notch developer designer, they’re in such high demand here. Sometimes they’re asking more money than you even charge your clients. So you gotta be able to think worldwide. And but that being said, though, You need to know how to hire around the world, you will make some mistakes and that’s okay. Just expect that. You got to find people and by the way people have been higher on the road we’re not talking about they’re now making $10 an hour, you know, they’re making a good amount of money. Like I was told that the tech people in Ukraine make four times the national average, four to five times the national average. So if you’re in tech in Ukraine, you’re doing a killing. Right?

Jon Tsourakis 41:28
Okay. And then is that where you see the best talent pool?

Gabe Shaoolian 41:34
Now I see it almost anywhere. Yeah, you have, like we have guys that are us and they’re in Costa Rica or people that are from New York, but they live in Mexico. Or you have people doing Mexico and they speak. I do have a few criteria. One they speak really good English, too. They need to work ESCA hours. So, New York time zone hours.

Jon Tsourakis 42:00
That’s it. And then you just gotta pass your test. And

Gabe Shaoolian 42:03
that’s the test ship, but and you got that you got to really trust them. So I don’t I don’t track the people like people in New York, I don’t track what time they come to work, what time they leave. I make sure, just make sure that they have the same mentality where they’re going to kick ass for the client, and they appreciate that respect to give them. But if you have someone who can’t be trusted, who’s not professional, then they shouldn’t be on your team.

Jon Tsourakis 42:32
Yeah, no, I agree with that. There’s a table stakes, right? Yeah, if you’re not going to be a pro, then you can’t play in this league.

Gabe Shaoolian 42:37
So

Jon Tsourakis 42:39
as a kid, I was a huge comic book fan and think the whole world is to some extent, you know, these days with the success of Marvel, right, including our previous guest on the climb. He was a he actually made money as a kid selling comic books. But you’re a bit different because you’re audacious enough to create your own comic bio wars. Right? Yeah. Tell me about this.

Gabe Shaoolian 43:03
So I went to NYU, and I was pre med. And I’m a big fan of comic books too. And while studying endocrinology, I thought of the idea of why not take these episodes that go on within our body where it’s under constant threat from microbes, alien microbes, and you have these various cells in the body that could communicate with each other, you know, really advanced communication and have different roles, want to make that to comic book. So that come into multimedia. And that’s what got me into the world of the web. So that’s how I ended up where I am now is just through medicine. I wanted a way to make education fun for kids and that got me learning Photoshop. And next thing I know I’m designing websites. Wow. Hmm.

Unknown Speaker 43:52
And he started like a hobby.

Gabe Shaoolian 43:54
Yeah, so as a hobby, and still afterward today, so we’re just buys it now and we’ll see where it goes. Which edition out there somewhere worth like 10 grand I need to find know it’s all online free downloads.

Jon Tsourakis 44:12
Okay, that’s cool and then to do are you doing the artwork yourself because I looked at some it’s it’s impressive Thanks. No I, I did give some feedback and input but I hired a team to do it. Okay. Now after you’re selling your agency, you started another venture design rush right I guess a couple of questions like what was the overall goal of that venture? And do you have other ventures based on how busy you are?

Gabe Shaoolian 44:39
So

first part design rush was started as a agency listing. And I wanted to create a marketplace where companies would post projects for agencies to bid on. In all honesty, it didn’t work out. Companies did not want to put their RFP and I saved That they didn’t have control over. So tried it didn’t work out. I gave it had some investors that gave it back to the investors and now I’m on digital silk. My only side venture right now is still the bio wars. So we’ve reformatting it I’m trying to pitch it to Netflix and before an animated cartoon series or something, but that’s it. No, I mean, running a business is crazy enough. I’m always impressed by people like Richard Branson, where he was able to run so many things at once. Like, how the hell do you do that? Because agencies like more than a full time job.

Jon Tsourakis 45:37
Yeah, I think it was client service business. Right. He was he wasn’t in that he had a record label. And then he had like an airline, he’s and he would able to steal a model that was very open, you know, in the retail space, I think. But in client service business, it’s very difficult. It’s, I mean, it takes your attention. I’m sure you I wouldn’t say you’re a micromanager. But you’re involved. Then a lot of the work that’s happening.

Gabe Shaoolian 46:02
Yeah, I mean, right now, especially a small scale that we are under 40 people, I check on every project twice a week. Yeah, just make sure it’s going well, and I am very much hands on. And if we go to 100 people, then I’ll hire a second person that will be responsible to make sure that the client partner to ensure that clients are getting great work. That’s how people go, look, we’re going to do this. Let’s do it, right.

Jon Tsourakis 46:33
Yeah, no, I think it’s a good way of going about it. And when you were at 250, would you have a couple of client partners? Yeah. And you just check in from time to time are you pretty much unplugged from day to day activities?

Gabe Shaoolian 46:46
No, I like to stay involved.

I think somewhat, you know, I think people in my shoes be some kind of paranoid almost. So you’re always checking in making sure you see it. CEO checks out, he sets or she sets the tone for the company. If you have a leader who’s not there who’s not paying attention, who doesn’t care, you think the management is going to care that much. No, but if you have someone whose founder who’s very much actively involved keeps everybody on their toes, like a team captain, if your team captain is daydreaming, you don’t care if you play well. Right? So you see myself in that position, and I gotta set the example.

Jon Tsourakis 47:34
That’s a good way of going about it.

Gabe Shaoolian 47:35
I think a lot of companies look to hire people that work played on sports teams, not because they want athletic people but because they understand the team mentality. Know your role. Do your part is just they know that. We’re a team and we’re only as good as the next person.

Jon Tsourakis 47:56
And everybody’s replaceable on that team.

Gabe Shaoolian 47:58
And once you play, some old But you gotta watch out for the stars. Now when you lose a person that’s highly viable in your company it could hurt no.

Jon Tsourakis 48:08
How do you gauge that? That’s that’s an interesting aside there so like you have a rock star right? Somebody there a man just too much money, be too much client work.

Gabe Shaoolian 48:22
Give me anything, lose the company. There’s two actions one the CEO needs to be involved. Look, I work with you in a project and you were very involved you jump in you took care of your team, these are all great. These are like priorities of a good leader. You know, you have to as a leader, if you start Yeah, sure if you have a star player that’s going to leave. I think the leader should be the first one to approach a client and ease a client and say and they should say I’m going to personally take care of you and your account, not to say go and do the work they will will look it till you get you know while you have it. In a transition,

Jon Tsourakis 49:02
I guess what I’m looking at is, you know, I do you look at a star as a potential risk, and happy, I guess is what I’m getting at,

Gabe Shaoolian 49:10
you know, I see, you know, as you grow any, like you said, any ones are replaceable as you grow because when you over 100 200 people, you have multiple senior people in the client account, but one person leaves doesn’t hurt that much, but when you’re smaller, it is a risk, and you have to prepare for it. Because it’s gonna happen, right? Someone’s gonna leave for some reason. And the clients going to say, like, it doesn’t happen to them. He’s gonna say, why is this person leaving, but you need to be ready and prepared for the when that day comes, you know what to do.

Jon Tsourakis 49:54
David, which you’re like, how do you handle that? I know we’ve spoke about that someone in the past event, but when Stars, do you look at them as being a risk?

David McGraw 50:02
Yeah, man, I think you kind of have to. But I think in just working example, every time it’s happened, you know, you find out that people are replaceable, and that you can find someone to train up and be the next star mean, you got to take it as a proactive, positive, optimistic approach that, you know, you’re just ready to train The Next Big Star of your team because otherwise, you know, it’ll, it’ll, it will crush you. And if you take, you know, you could spiral down into, you know, a depression saying, Oh, I lost my best person. What am I going to do? Well, I think as a CEO, that’s what keeps me kind of hungry is that, you know, it’s time to train up the next generation of rock stars at oil, you know, so it’s when that when that challenge happens, that’s you know, you know, as a CEO, either you’re done with it, or you’re ready to keep going because you’re gonna, you’re going to get after it. start recruiting, put your recruiter hat on and and Actually, it refreshes me because I get I get to resell, why it’s so good to be at oil, you know, because I have to go recruit until these people why do you want to come work with me and it just reinvigorates me. So I entered it, you know, a ton of times and I love the challenge of when it happens, but you know, I do have some like really embedded rock stars and I’ve given them go shares You know, I’m which are basically shares in my company and saying, Hey, you know, you’re going to benefit when, if we ever sell and I want you to be a part of this entire journey and so far that’s worked really well to keep my key components.

Gabe Shaoolian 51:42
Okay. Yeah, like the middle part where you say that. It brings it reminds you when you have to go back to hire reminds you of why you’re doing this. And it’s well said, Yeah,

Jon Tsourakis 51:54
I know. And I guess what I think of when I think rock stars is somebody that Beginning that is pampered right? It’s big and that’s that to me is that’s risky because it’s like All right, we’re changing things for this person. So

Gabe Shaoolian 52:12
don’t listen don’t don’t bend backwards to appease anybody because it will come back to bite you.

Jon Tsourakis 52:18
Right? And that’s I believe all right this person this person’s being a deck This isn’t a culture fit. What are we going to do about this situation? Yeah, I’ve let

Gabe Shaoolian 52:25
people go that produce money yeah, yeah, it’s there are others that could take their job Okay, they’re not the end all so and even you know going with someone Apple says I’m gonna win some one time with designer on the top level designers and Apple left Johnny

Jon Tsourakis 52:43
Ives bell. Yeah.

Gabe Shaoolian 52:45
stuck to the end. I’m like you think this guy does everything you don’t think there’s a 10 designers we don’t know about the amazing sitting there like an apple is a stupid thing to sell the company like so this is the one person the world that could do This, right so there isn’t one person in the world and there are many people that could do it. And if I had, I’ve had people that got cocky. And you gotta listen, you need to remind them that we’re a team. Right? And you need to be humble. Look at the best basketball players, they usually treat their team members of respect. And they act as part of a team. They don’t walk with the crown under a head separately from the team and poopoo everybody. Right? So

David McGraw 53:29
I got a question based on something you said earlier about, you had hired somebody that worked at CBS and you let go of them. And for months Do you feel like in the sales and even just the digital marketing world you have to move you have to promote people up and, and bringing someone from a larger organization down to the smaller almost never works out because I feel like when you bring someone from a larger organization into a smaller agency, their expectations are so set in that larger world that they just can’t operate in the small world.

Gabe Shaoolian 54:02
I think in most cases, you’re right. I think in most cases have a very valid point. When you work at a big agency, I’m not a big agency, a big company, it’s nothing like when you work in a small company, small company you got to produce, you got to be nimble. You have to understand the mindset at a big company. A lot of times you won’t work out if you’re from a big company, I don’t want to say they don’t work hard. I want to say they don’t have pressure on them. But it’s not the same as a small company. And unless that person understands it, unless they come to you, and they show you that I know it. This is like a startup phase. And right, here’s what I’m going to do and they have that work ethic behind them. But I tell you, if you are a if you’re working at one of these fortune 500 companies in a position you’re comfortable, right? Yeah, you can hide. Yeah, you could hide beautifully said you could hide. You can’t hide in Europe in a small agency can Do that. I was shocked when I had somebody from big company that wants work with us. I’m like, why?

Jon Tsourakis 55:07
Found out nothing in four months.

David McGraw 55:10
I like say I like the saying we eat what we kill, because it lets people know right off the bat that there’s no compensation without success. You’re, you’re not going to be able to just be out of sight out of mind. And then hopefully in two years, somebody notices you’re not working and you’re like, oh, like it’s, you know, like you said them for months. Even that’s a long time. I might even pull the trigger.

Gabe Shaoolian 55:31
That was That was my first experience in hiring someone I was very wowed by their prestigious past and working with the brands they had worked with. And, you know, with sales unit, they always say it’s coming. It’s coming. So there was dangling the carrot. But no, I learned a good lesson from that. That was early on in the years. And I’ve seen sales

Jon Tsourakis 55:51
people get let go after like three, four months. And it turns out it was a six month sales cycle like everything there and nurturing and fostering and they they either like it Lego or they quit and then everything begins flowing in and closing after they’re gone. And I think when it comes to a salesperson, it’s like, all right, well, what are the metrics in place to make sure that you’re actually trying to do something, you know, right.

Gabe Shaoolian 56:16
But

Jon Tsourakis 56:18
enough on sale, I want to get to the next question, which is, according to Wikipedia, you’re a Digital Trends expert. What Digital Trends Are you seeing now that other agencies should pay attention to? And is there anything you feel agencies are leaving on the table with clients?

Gabe Shaoolian 56:33
Like according to Wikipedia?

What Digital Trends Well, look,

I think that content quality of content is really important. Now, when I first started, people were putting up websites and they didn’t care so much about what went on the page. Remember that move flash was around? No. Yeah, the words were so small, you couldn’t read them but that was a trend. He drove me nuts. One thing I would tell you is it’s expected for agencies to have in house copywriters because the messaging is so important and also need to understand the client’s business look you could have before got away with it if you just said yeah, we build a website because someone comes to you built their website and you did it and the website did a poor job Why? It wasn’t clear what the client did. It didn’t have a good conversion funnel. The messaging was not good. You really need to do two things. One you really need to understand the client’s business and two you need to have a really good in house copywriters because everything we hear about all the new social media platforms, everything it’s all about copy, copy so important, and images to you know, but storytelling is very important. We all know that. So that’s the trick. That’s not going to go away. Knowing how to properly communicate effectively communicate with the audience and understanding your clients business.

Unknown Speaker 58:11
Sir,

Jon Tsourakis 58:12
no, those are great points. All right. Yeah, you do have Wikipedia page. So if you want to update that,

Gabe Shaoolian 58:19
I’ll leave that someone from Wikipedia.

Jon Tsourakis 58:23
The so and to that point, let’s say the copy is not gonna change. Do you see anything changing an agency slash Client Services in the next five years? like, All right, everybody should be prepared for this.

Gabe Shaoolian 58:35
You know, when I was turning blue fountain media client, take me to lunch and he said, uh, he said, you know, Gabe, Tommy, why you’ll become become a dinosaur soon because I could make a website on Wix or something like that. And he goes, why should I pick you? And I said, well, because I care about the work and you know, we put our heart into It goes unlike the agency doesn’t. And that got me thinking for the next five years. Why should someone picks you? But the point the other point that he made was he said, you’re going to, we won’t need agencies. This is going back 12 years ago, because I can make a website on my own. Right? Well, he had a point. You can make a website. If you go to Squarespace today and make a website, you know, and so why do why hire an agency. You don’t hire an agency because they could do the work and the and you just too busy. You hire an agency because you want them to position you in a way that your site’s set up to succeed. Because anyone could go set up a Squarespace site and just throw some images and content on there. But not anyone knows how to position things. So it has a high conversion, and it’s going to be effective. So in that sense, I think that not much Changing that we’re going to hire you. Not because you know how to design code or you know how to run a social media campaign, but you understand what’s going to make someone what’s going to appeal to my users and why they’re going to buy from me.

Okay, that goes back to copy.

Jon Tsourakis 1:00:19
Yeah, I’ve used I guess an analogy for that where I said even at one time, you could buy a home from a catalog and Sears, they ship you all the parts and you can put it together if you want to go through that pain in the ass process without an expert. I mean, that’s, that’s completely up to you. And now you can even buy a modular home or do you want something that’s completely custom because that’s the business that we’re in.

Gabe Shaoolian 1:00:40
But it’s not just because you could put it together. But maybe you know that when putting it together, you should add something to that part because in the winter time, it will help you know because as an expert, you know what’s going to make it perform better. Your clients hire you because Because they believe that you could grow their business online. And that’s why they hire you. And they don’t they have you built a website, not because, you know, there’s a million agencies that could do it. But they have you build their site because you could build it. So it’s better optimize, you could build this as a better conversion funnel, you could build it. So you could help them with saying these words have a higher conversion and those words

it’s for your expertise and your ideas. You reminds me of the the expression that

David McGraw 1:01:35
if you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur, right? Yeah, it’s great, because, you know, a lot of people will balk at the price point, but then, you know, it’s so much better than just wasting your money with someone that doesn’t know how to do anything. So having a home show up and you have to build it sounds like a terrible idea. And that goes right along with websites. I mean, there’s Plenty of Wix sites out there and there’s plenty of you know all those but the second we encounter one we already know we’ve got a step up on, you know, winning that business because you could almost already know the frustrations they’ve got dealing with a Wix site.

Jon Tsourakis 1:02:16
Yeah. Or if they’re comfortable with those limitations, it’s like all right, you’re that’s all you need. And you’re there for a reason. I don’t need to do anything here based on what you want desire that that’s going to cover it

Gabe Shaoolian 1:02:27
looks again goes to knowing who your customers if your customer is someone that is very price conscious and they want to do something as cheap as possible. I don’t want to bother with that person because they’re more concerned about price and they are about performing about the results.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:46
Hundred percent.

Jon Tsourakis 1:02:46
Agreed. All right. So Gabe, is there anything I didn’t cover that the world should know? Or you feel like Dude, this is something I wish you would have mentioned?

Gabe Shaoolian 1:02:56
Well, if anybody out there wants to sell an agency, you know How to prepare their agencies for ticket purchase. And you could sell a company but two things you keep in mind one, you should show that your agency is growing. And your agency needs to legitimately be growing not just by headcount, but by revenue and quality and you should have your books very

well organized and meant maintained.

I gotta tell you when I prepared blueprints, be for sale any company that was serious about us the probe does really like diligently they went through every record. They check on everything and if you don’t, if you’re not well organized, and you can present that quickly, they like no, that’s not for me. I don’t buy that company. You guys don’t mess.

Jon Tsourakis 1:03:48
Were you approached first or were you on the market?

Gabe Shaoolian 1:03:53
I was always getting approached.

Jon Tsourakis 1:03:54
Okay. And then we’re did your employees know that you were saying? During the sales process, or is it they came in on a Monday and it’s like surprise new owners.

Gabe Shaoolian 1:04:04
No, I actually had a meal and leadership team. And I told him, I said, Look, we’re getting I got approached by a company that looks pretty legit. I said, I think this company can help us get to a next level. And I told him, I said, if we sell it, everybody keeps your job. And that’s exactly what it was. Everybody kept their jobs. And they offered some incentives to and that was nice for the employees. So I keep a transparency. I don’t try surprise people. We know how rumors spread, man.

Jon Tsourakis 1:04:35
Yeah, now and I respect that. I know some other people that have done it the other way. I’m just like, Wow, it just seems so counterintuitive to be I mean, having a transparent workplace where everybody feels like they can trust you. It’s like you’re sneaking around I don’t know. It’s it’s like a weird relationship to me.

Gabe Shaoolian 1:04:53
No, I was very open with my team about that. I mean, I was open to the point that if anybody want to see how much revenue we’re making, wasn’t that hard? I mean, there were reports going around and just looked at it. And it’s funny that when people have that access, they don’t care. Yeah, it’s and they don’t have the access like to try to figure it out. But my account managers want to know how much we’re doing in any given month in terms of revenue, that access to that. I wanted them to know and we sold the company I said, Look, I said for right company comes that I feel could open doors for us and help grow then I would really entertain and let you guys know, but I’ll tell you this, if a company wants to buy an agency, they want to interview people in the agency as well. I’m just kind of hard to hide it. Yeah. Good point.

Jon Tsourakis 1:05:41
The alright so is there anything I that we should you want to promote? Is there anything you’re peddling that you want to share?

Gabe Shaoolian 1:05:52
You know, not just just know that this is a hard business to run and not the only one

Unknown Speaker 1:06:01
But rather, how can people get ahold of you?

Gabe Shaoolian 1:06:05
You can email me Gabriel at Digital silk calm. All right,

Jon Tsourakis 1:06:10
Gabe, you This is fantastic. I really appreciate your time. And thank you so much for being on the show.

Gabe Shaoolian 1:06:16
Thanks, Jon. It’s great, a great fun and I gotta tell you, man, so if your listeners you got the coolest attitude of any CEO I’ve seen. I’m very curious, but you have a very nice attitude towards things.

Jon Tsourakis 1:06:26
Oh, you’re very kind man. Thank you so much, David. It’s a pleasure meeting event. Nice meeting you. Thank you for being on the show.

Gabe Shaoolian 1:06:32
Thank you. All right. Bye now. Take care, guys.