A lot of people dream of leaving their full-time roles to build out their company. But what's it like to leave the safety net of a full-time job to go out on your own?
We talk to John Doherty, CEO, and Founder of Credo, an online marketplace to connect clients to agencies, about his experience growing the company.
In this episode we cover:
- Why John decided to focus full-time on Credo instead of looking for a marketing leadership role in San Francisco.
- What the first six months was like for John after going from an internal role where he had a team and budget, to running his own company that had generated $80 in revenue.
- How John copes with the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur
Time Stamped Notes
[2:45] - We talk about John's time at Distilled and how many smart people worked at that agency.
[4:50] - John left Distilled to go work at the Zillow group. One of the things John enjoyed about moving to work at an internal role was being able to get the resources and budget to focus on a single companies growth.
[7:30] - After John got laid off from Trulia, he picked up enough consulting work to replace his salary so that he could focus on Credo full-time.
[9:20] - The entrepreneur journey is a roller coaster of emotions. John has never regretted his decision to focus on Credo full-time. There are still a couple of roles that could tempt him to work for other companies, but he is feeling positive about Credo's growth.
[11:40] - John talks about the difference in going from an internal role with lot's of resources to being a solopreneur of a company making $80 in revenue. He spent a lot of his time cleaning up his site, getting agencies on the marketplace, and then launched it on ProductHunt to generate leads.
[15:00] - The hardest part of any marketplace to grow is the demand side. If you have the demand, you're selling something the other side wants. John talks us through how Credo helps clients get the work agencies had promised to deliver.
[18:10] - John isn't looking to build an open browsable directory of agencies. He has 70 vetted agencies on the supply side. He takes on more agencies when the ones in the network don't cover his client's requests.
[19:35] - Credo vet agencies by their results, professionalism, and culture. He talks to agencies former clients, the agency themselves, and has clients continue to review them each month.
[22:00] - John talks about turning agencies down from joining Credo. He isn't out to get people to like him; he is out to get them great results. For agencies who aren't ready for the network, Credo has an onboarding program they can pay for that will get them set up and ready to join.
[24:05] - We talk to John about how copes with the roller coaster ride of being an entrepreneur. Credo is on its fourth business model. John moved out of SF, which he felt gave him a better balance. He has leveraged coaches, CBD oil, and meditation.
[26:40] - John talks about his approach to therapy and how it helps him to be a better leader and entrepreneur.
[28:20] - We talk about the benefits of hiring a therapist and performance coaches. John pays near as much on his performance coaches each month as he pays himself from Credo.
[31:00] - We talk about the benefits of exercise and diet for your mental health.
[34:10] - John talks about how the birth of his daughter helps to motivate him to make a success of Credo.
[35:35] - John talks about how he pivoted Credo to onboard agencies onto their new system that tracks how agencies are closing leads and generating revenue.
[37:50] - We talk to John about what makes his business defensible. It's tough to replicate the system he has built, the experience the Credo team has, and they also focus on the higher-end of the market.