Ken Magma Marshall Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Ken Magma Marshall
Ken Marshall is today guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast is Ken “Magma” Marshall is the Chief Growth Officer and Managing Partner at RevenueZen.
They are a US based agency providing content marketing and lead generation for a whole host of different markets online and off.
As they say “Whether you’re a Series C SaaS powerhouse blitzscaling to the moon, or a patent law consulting firm, we’ve got you covered.
We know that each industry has its own challenges and throughout the last 7 years, we’ve just about seen it all.
That’s why our strategists and campaign managers have developed unique strategic approaches for every industry that we work with.
He’s been professionally interneting for the past seven years and has shifted his focus to all things SEO and inbound for the last five .
How The Dots Joined Up For Ken
Ken is an endlessly curious person with a cliche coffee addiction and a burning desire to encourage and empower others to pursue meaningful lives.
He openly shares that “I’ve been sitting on a few ideas that I think will be useful to the world as well.
These tools are much more ambitious and have no set official launch date. Just know they’re coming.
Overall, I’m excited to see what my mad scientist brain comes up with and what we as a team are able to achieve this year.
I’m not going to give some long drawn out speech about why 2022 is the year of innovation, purpose, or goal setting. In my opinion, we should always be doing all of that stuff.
So where does he find his seemingly unlimited enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and well it seems life (other than the coffee addiction?
And where does he see his biggest achievement in earning his own income, starting or simply keeping going?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Ken Magma Marshall.
During the show we discussed such weighty with Ken Marshall such as:
Ken shares the reasons why he decided to come off on Facebook and how his happiness improved directly.
We discuss the change to relationship building online since the early days of building online success.
Why the right tight of corporate temperate is so important to develop as you create your own business.
Ken reveals how he knew what his north star was from such an early age, but took courage to pursue it.
How To Connect With Ken
Return To The Top Of Ken Magma Marshall
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Full Transcription Of Ken Magma Marshall Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:24]
Yes, hello there. Good morning to everybody. Good afternoon. Good evening. whatever time of day, it is. Thank you so much for being here. I always do appreciate every single one of you, sharing your ears and sharing your heart and your inspiration and your motivation. And certainly Today’s guest is somebody that you can fit it as soon as you start talking to him. He is somebody that is creating his life. on his own terms. He is the chief growth officer and managing partner at revenue Zen. Now they’re a US based agency providing content marketing and lead generation for a whole host of different markets online and off. As I say, whether you’re a serious SAS powerhouse Blitzscaling to the moon, or a patent law consulting firm, we’ve got your covered, we know that each industry has its own challenges. And throughout the last seven years, we’ve just about seen it all. That’s why our strategist and campaign managers have developed unique strategic approaches for every industry that we work with. Now, he’s been professionally internetting for the past seven years, and has shifted his focus to all things SEO and inbound for the last five. He is an endlessly curious person with a cliche, coffee addiction, and a burning desire to encourage empower others to pursue meaningful lives, he openly shares that I’ve been sitting on a few ideas, I think will be useful to the world as well. And these tools are much more ambitious and have no set official launch date, just know that you’re coming. Overall, I’m excited to see what my mad scientist brain comes up with, and what we as a team are able to achieve this year. Now I’m not going to give some long drawn out speech about why 2022 is the year of innovation purpose or goal setting. In my opinion, we should always be doing all of that stuff. So where does he find his seemingly unlimited enthusiasm for entrepreneurship? And well, it seems life other than of course, the coffee addiction. And where does he see his biggest achievement in earning his own income starting? Or just simply keeping going? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Ken “Magma” Marshall. Good morning. How are you?
Ken Magma Marshall [2:44]
Good morning. Good morning, David. Let me just start by saying it’s clear you did your homework and that that was the best intro that I’ve ever heard. So thank you appreciate it.
David Ralph [2:54]
I’m always surprised. Yeah, cuz I do listen to other people’s podcasts every now and again. And some of the podcast hosts are just lazy. They’re just lazy. They just kind of cut and paste. Surely, if you’re going to be spending time with somebody who has given up their time, you’ve got to make them feel good about themselves. If I’m on a date with you, Ken, I’m on a date with you. We might not get to third base. But certainly I’m on a date with you. It’s about making you feel good.
Ken Magma Marshall [3:20]
I mean, I already feel comfortable man. So wherever the night takes us, right?
David Ralph [3:23]
That’s the way it is. And I don’t actually understand what third base is, is that good?
Ken Magma Marshall [3:28]
David Ralph [3:29]
I find I’m well into third base. I don’t know what it is. Now, what I want to jump into is something that fascinates me. Now your company is lead generation, your current company is it’s doing great stuff. But I was fascinated by the email that you sent me just before you connect it, where it says, we don’t have a Twitter or Facebook, but I have a company uses. I love that. I love the fact that you’re going a different way than everybody else. It just thinks they’ve got to blast it out. Was that something that you did use? And then you stopped? Because I don’t really use it at all, either? Or is it something that you was never part of your strategy?
Ken Magma Marshall [4:08]
Yeah, so from a company perspective, I’ll just make it quick because we practice what we preach right either on dog food, so we only use LinkedIn, SEO and referrals to generate our own leads, right? Those are what we offer. That’s what we use. And that’s pretty much the long and short of it. From my own perspective, I used to you know, I used to love MySpace, you right? I could code my own my own little page add music and Facebook, but I you know, I’m, I’m an avid reader and I started taking stock of my own soda sort of emotionality throughout the week. And I noticed right like most people do intuitively there’s a high correlation between usage hours and you know, inversely proportionate to like depression and how bad I was feeling. And so I just stopped using it cold turkey like I didn’t, you don’t have to taper off. I didn’t keep using Twitter for a little bit. I just don’t use that stuff. In fact, I only use LinkedIn because that’s where, you know our customers are and our employees are so It wasn’t that hard for me. It just makes me sad. And I’d like to be happy and fulfilled.
David Ralph [5:05]
Would you quite happily if business didn’t need it come off everything would you? You, because I was looking at your profile and your probiota grid? Yeah, you were very much up in the mountains having a little fire playing around, you seem like a country boy, but is, is delighted when he’s got no connectivity.
Ken Magma Marshall [5:26]
Well, so I’m a bit of a dichotomy. In that regard, I need, I’m super extroverted and social. However, I would probably split my time, like 6040, you know, in the country, and then come back to the city to do deals or to have a nonprofit. That’s the future life, so I need it. But I’m very happy in the woods backpacking through Yosemite, etc. So
David Ralph [5:47]
now when we look at your business, okay, let’s start I’m gonna start with revenues. And and then we’re going to go more into you. And now wrapping us in. It’s one of those things that you see time and time again, you see a digital agency, and one of the things that I personally hate about digital agencies is when I go and do my research, they’ve got no profile themselves. And I kind of think, you know, how can you say that you’re an expert in this when you haven’t got any sort of, you know, Instagram followers, or Facebook followers or whatever format you use? How do you get going? If you, you know, in 2022, when somebody wants to set up a digital agency, how do they get going when the competition is so fierce
Ken Magma Marshall [6:30]
100%. And I’ll just take it back to you know, it’s a it’s an engineering term, but you know, eating your own dog food, right, like, I sold, you know, my other company to revenues in in February, last February, but it was an SEO agency. And if you typed in b2b SaaS, SEO Agency, or b2b SEO agency, like it was my name, and doorbell, my old company and revenues, and you can do it right now all the listeners type in any term, you can think of around b2b SEO Services, it doesn’t even matter really, you’ll see us on the first page. And that’s where 92% of humans go. So I suggest that they take a similar approach to build authority in the way that you want your users or customers to interact with you, and then branch out. That’s my advice. I wouldn’t say it’s agnostic for everybody. But like, there’s so much trust when somebody finds you in the way that you’re about to help them. If that makes sense.
David Ralph [7:20]
It makes sense to say I said this, if I went back 10 years ago, the world was full of people with a belief that they could create a website, they could create a business and then just sit there like an invisible presence behind. But now I’m seeing more and more that there’s not a big difference between a shop where you actually go in and speak to the owner and the customers, you know, can and can find a way around. And the online businesses, since you’ve been on it, have you seen a change to more hang on with dealing with people here is about relationships.
Ken Magma Marshall [7:55]
100% and particularly in the way that I’ll sort of go two directions, because there’s like the SEO side, but also the LinkedIn side for us. In terms of SEO, it’s basically it’s not, you know, the wild wild west where you can put in some like porn keywords. And all of a sudden, you’ve got, you know, $100,000 coming in from a few tricks and things like that. It’s much more like what human being has a budget and a deadline and three major pain points. And how can you attract and then satisfy and then you know, nurture, convince that human into wanting to interact with you further, right, we call that a lead to prospect. And then on LinkedIn, it’s not company pages, you’ll notice me and the CEO are the only two people just writing stories about our lives and experiences with customers. And so I think people have shifted from this business as a monolith. And everybody in it is the same kind of machine to, if I’m going to do business with you, I have to like you, and we got a sound and look the same. And I should be able to have a beer. So I think it definitely has shifted, and people don’t believe it in b2b, but, you know, they’re missing out. But
David Ralph [8:59]
they are missing out. And I see a lot of people nowadays, kind of frightened to actually put their face on stuff. You know, I, I teach people to do podcasting. I teach people to build online businesses. And probably the biggest part of it is me saying, Yeah, you’ve got to get out there. You’ve got to be you’ve got to be your business. You’ve got to meet people, you’ve got to network, you know, whether it’s virtually or whatever, you still got to get out there. There is a there’s a bridge, you’ve got to cross isn’t there incompetence from going as a corporate guy, where effectively you turn up, sit at your desk, speak to the two people next to you and then come home. And then actually building a business where you sit at your desk, and you talk to a billion people next to you where some of them you don’t see at all some of them you see every now and again. Some of them you don’t like have you got any advice to help people breach that confidence. Ken
Ken Magma Marshall [9:55]
Yeah, and it’s kind of you know, we’ll probably get into this later, but I used to when it was just me and I didn’t have any contractors or employees. I used to say the classic the royal we on the website or speak about myself and you know, as a we, and I think people think they need that as part of some way to, you know, position themselves as an authority, when in reality your first few customers and this is an unpopular opinion, that’s true if you study psychology is that people purchase from you may stone an emotional decision and then justify it with a rational one. So if you say a witty quote on your Instagram or your LinkedIn, and they like that, they’ll probably you’ll be 60 80% of the way there. And then they’re like, Okay, if the price matches up, I’ll go with you. But it’s, it’s not because of your service like that was the cherry on top, they probably reached out to you because they liked you or your company’s ethos. So I would say it’s kind of cliche advice, but get rid of your own ego and stop limiting putting yourself out there, because that’s probably the reason that’s going to attract the right people in the first place. So
David Ralph [10:55]
I’ve got a little slogan right at the bottom of my website, and is, am I gonna? Yeah, okay, I’m gonna say, I’m gonna say do it, go for it. I like to keep it hidden. Because when people come to me and go, Oh, I saw that on the website. And it just says business shouldn’t be hard, unless it’s a Viagra business. Now,
Ken Magma Marshall [11:12]
I saw that, yeah,
David Ralph [11:13]
I get more comments about that little little slogan than anything else, you know, it seems to be a key to the door somehow, you know, and all it is, is personality. It’s kind of honesty, it’s the the slightly risky joke Do you might have with your mates. Now. That’s something that’s changed as well, where 1015 years ago, if I was doing the research on people, it was this old boring corporate speak it the you know, the websites, you should be very dry. Now, it’s a lot about hiking in the mountains and the worst times of life, it’s really is a doorway to the to the heart and the soul is a it’s a fascinating change, isn’t it?
Ken Magma Marshall [11:57]
It absolutely is. And I I’ve spoken to, you know, customers who were very close with, and they’re buying committees and us internally, like, we are incredibly quick to say no to a prospect who’s, you know, credit card out, but who’s like being a dickhead on the sales call, you know, our team just doesn’t have we don’t want them to even be exposed to those kinds of people. We don’t need the money, right? So that’s a huge shift in terms of, you know, personality or culture as a criteria for a sales team qualification, right? And then I’ve spoken to the customer who’s like, oh, yeah, if the vendor, if we don’t like the point of contact, we’re probably not going to work with them. And like, yeah, how crazy is that? Right? And it’s very, you know, connected world how different that is from like, you said, these legacy boring, I got to wear a suit and a tie practices, which by the way, I used to do sales, and they made me do that. And as soon as I started my company, we were like, no clothes policy ever. No. Totally, no. Yup, naked all the time. No, you know, no dress code. But that’d be fun, too.
David Ralph [12:57]
I’ll tell you why. It’s one of those things, actually, that I, when I started, I was corporate. And then I went into entrepreneurial. And I found after a while, I had to start dressing more like corporate to kickstart myself into feeling like I was going to work. I couldn’t just swirl around wearing pyjamas and you know, T shirts and stuff. Now, it’s a totally different ballgame. Now, when you start your own business, Ken, I’m gonna take you back to the time when you’re sitting on your bed thinking, I’m gonna do my own thing. I’m gonna do my own thing. Is it more important to have the idea nailed down? Or the belief in yourself, but you will make it happen? I am fascinated by this, this kind of moment where I see failure occurs and it’s always because the people didn’t persevere.
Ken Magma Marshall [13:51]
Yep, I would say I’ve there’s probably two routes that people who are successful take some lucky few folks have a moment where they’re uniquely qualified to solve their own problem, right, the lady who had that made the special do vey that like wraps itself. But then there’s folks like me who have no clue what they want to do, but have the right kind of mixture of temperament and know that they want you know, location independence, financial independence, and you just get started and you fail eight businesses and the ninth one pops off. So I would say analysis paralysis because you’re trying to decide the right thing or shiny object syndrome is going to take years off of your life so just pick something and get started and you’ll probably learn more quickly what’s right doing that than spending two years what taking courses and thinking about the right idea before you get started.
David Ralph [14:40]
Okay, so you’re a young man, you’re a young man, I would put you somewhere between the ages of 12 and and 22. I see one looks young now to me. Can I’ve got to that age, everyone looks young. But I’m 2820 20 still young. Yeah, you were in your 20s I My 50s, so it’s a, I could be a dad, I could be your dad. Now, when you are starting your first business, obviously, you know it’s going to solve everything is going to be brilliant is going to be wonderful. And you plough through it, no problems, everything is going to go your way. And after a while you realise that it could be that it’s not going your way, or you had actually haven’t got the passion in it, or you haven’t done your customer research, there’s always gaps in your knowledge. Do you clear up those gaps? Or did you just plough in to the next one? And then next one until you went? Hang on? Hang on, I’ve got to do this right. I can’t keep on just just launching admin struggling here.
Ken Magma Marshall [15:45]
Yeah, I think I suffered from two major like personality flaws that are that can be strengths. But we’re in the beginning like I was, I’m very gritty. And I always have been. And if I put my like, if I put my head down, I just don’t stop like I’ll you know, run until I die like a horse. And so I would just pick a thing, and then I’d real I might I, you know, I pick, I realise like six months later, I don’t actually even like this, I’m just doing it because I want to be I want to win. Like I have this desire to just complete things. And so I that’s the number one thing I would say is that there is such a thing as you can start something and realise it’s not a good idea. But what I would say also is I had that very shiny object syndrome, like all of those other companies, which only made like, you know, a few 100 Couple $1,000. That was like, as soon as I heard about them, I completely left the other one behind. And so I think it was like, You need to strike a balance between, I’m actually interested in this. So I should keep going and fill my gaps. But if you’re doing it just to do it or just to get rich or just to impress your parents, then yeah, that’s probably a bad idea. And you should pivot and take some time to think before filling the gap
David Ralph [16:51]
turned out to be one of your strengths on your profile. It says What’s your favourite part of your job, I love solving big and important problems that help others get stuck and move closer to their potential. So that kind of grittiness is actually one of those things that you go, I love this, I really loved this getting really stuck in. So it’s a good thing. But those businesses failed, really, because you like solving other people’s problems more than solving your own because solving your own is very hard because more often than not, we can’t see what our problems are.
Ken Magma Marshall [17:25]
100% Yeah. And I mean, it’s it’s definitely I’m aligned with my North Star. So the greediness comes in handy these days. But I’ve always known that my purpose on this earth is to empower and encourage others to their most difficult moments. How did
David Ralph [17:39]
you know I mean, jumping in how did you always know that?
Ken Magma Marshall [17:43]
There’s, I’ll tell you, David, the marketing agency is like, I love everybody, I love doing this. But I’ve known that since I was young, when my like my brother got beat beaten up by this kid. And so, you know, I would like step in, and I would fight this kid to like, protect him. And that made me happy. Or my friend Seth, like, wasn’t really doing good at basketball. And, you know, like, just us going together and playing around and you know, help, you know, getting better at that. And just, there’s all these moments of like, I’ve been the most happiest when other people are struggling. And I can ask them questions and pick them off the ground, put them back, grab their hand and walk with them, like through the fire, so to speak. It’s just a feeling that I’ve had internally, i Those are my happiest, most fulfilled periods of life and moments. So it hasn’t been something I’ve ever articulated until more recently, but I’ve known that internally, since I was a young, like as far back as I can remember
David Ralph [18:33]
now, so most of us will have something in us that we go. I love this, I bloody love this. And I’m really, really good at this. And I can just do it easy. And so we kind of throw it away for nothing. Because you know, who’s gonna pay me for this? Is it just something I can do? I can do it really, really well? How did you transition from that feeling of I’m good to actually going Hang on, I’ve got to put the stake down in the middle of my business and attach it to this, because this is really what’s going to allow things to grow the right way.
Ken Magma Marshall [19:06]
Yeah. So early on, you know, this sort of takes a step back to school, but I studied, you know, sales and business development. And I did that because I’m fairly personable. I like to think, you know, I’m Social, I’m pretty extroverted. And so I was like, How can I transition these inherent personality traits into a set of like, more hard, you know, technical skills. And so that made complete sense. Because in sales, you’re ushering somebody from a problem to a solution. So it I mean, it sort of immediately started in school. But then I realised as I got older that sales wasn’t really going to be something that would give me the kind of life that I wanted. And so I moved into this digit, this new burgeoning digital technology and culture field and I realised that was a huge interest that I had. So that was kind of the start of me going towards, you know, the whole marketing agency route that I’ve been on. But all I really wanted to do was have a business where I could use those skills and also learn hard skills to align on that. Right where and I worked with small businesses. These were folks who like a plumber who’s trying to put his kid through college, right. And so that translated into me, I believe, and I believe to this day, one of our USPS, yeah, sorry, strengths. I use a lot of jargon, because I’m a marketer. But my strengths is not just giving deliverables and doing tactics, but aligning on what somebody’s actual business and life objective is, and putting that as part of the strategy, or at least running that through our strategy lines. And so that’s sort of how it’s come together for me lately,
David Ralph [20:39]
because I was reading a book the other day, and I can’t remember what the book was now. But this one line really struck me that most people will create a mess in their own personal life, that if they can then solve becomes their message, their mess, becomes their message, which is something that they can use to build a business. And as I was reading this, I thought, that’s good, that that’s, you know, very, very simple, but very powerful and profound, that if you’re screwed up, if you’re struggling, but you’ve got the mental fortitude to pull yourself together and, and find a solution to your issues, then there’s going to be other people like you. I had a one, I don’t know if this has come out. But I had a lovely email from a beautiful girl, Caitlin, hopefully, she’s listening to this. And Caitlin unfortunately, has been diagnosed with stage four, pancreatic cancer. And she was saying that, her her issues, has given her the belief that this is a message for her to share with others to help people through. And so she’s with her dad creating a business based around helping others you know, deal with it head on just like she’s Wow. And yeah, that’s, that’s really powerful in your mess, becomes your message.
Ken Magma Marshall [22:04]
That’s incredibly, I mean, shout out. Yeah, shout out to Caitlyn, if you’re listening, that’s, that’s more incredible than my story. But I do love that message. And I think it’s true. My wife actually said that to me. I mean, I’ve, I’ve been through it, David, you know, I’ve had a DUI have crashed, like, my cars V times have been in fights, been to jail, like, you know, a lot of dumb stuff. As a younger man, I’m still young, but as a younger man, and she was like, I was kind of talking with her about how some of this has been embarrassing. In my past, it’s not as much anymore, but she’s like, you know, I’ve had a very bland, safe life. And when you talk to people around you about their problems, you have no judgement, and you come into it with an open mind, and you always make them feel understood and better from the conversation. And that stood out to me. And I think that’s probably because of the things that I’ve been through is just an instant empathy, you know, for the struggle. And so I feel that deeply even though cancer is a lot more difficult, obviously.
David Ralph [23:00]
And are you embarrassed by those things? Because I, you know, I’m other age now. But my, my kids are getting girlfriends and boyfriends, and they’re going off and doing stuff. And they seem to be so much more grown up and mature. I was, I don’t know, age has changed me or just the times have changed. I don’t know. But I embarrass myself sometimes can thinking about things that I got up to in the past, thinking, oh my god, can I imagine doing that now? You know, it’s just, it makes me cringe. I don’t look at it as like, part of the story, but builds me to where I am now. Somehow, even though I’ve got a show called Join Up Dots, which is exactly that. But yeah, fast. Ups and downs. I still cringe and think oh, God, I hope my grandkids don’t ever find out about what their granddad used to get up to, you know, that kind of stuff. Did you so you don’t feel bad at all.
Ken Magma Marshall [23:55]
Yeah, this is. So I do have moments of like introspection, obviously. And I do reflect on things. And sometimes I’m like, huh, maybe I shouldn’t have done that or said that. But to be completely honest, the feeling of embarrassment is not something that I I have and that just might be my temperament as a human. But I don’t and I I felt that way for a very long time. Maybe you know, after high school because everybody’s a mess. You know, going through like hormone changes and your brain stuff. prefrontal cortex is still forming. But yeah, I don’t feel embarrassed because I don’t know. I think it’s all just like you said, it’s it’s your learning and it’s a journey and you can reflect on stuff and make sure you’re not being an asshole, but I don’t know about embarrassment if you’re trying to be a good person actively so not something I feel too often. No, Mike
David Ralph [24:44]
might be I was extremely embarrassing because I feel myself blushing now. Ken, I can actually feel it. And yeah, let’s listen to these words. And we’ll be back with Ken Marshall.
Rocky Balboa [24:54]
You Me and nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But ain’t about how hard you hit. about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward, how much you can take it keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.
David Ralph [25:10]
Now, I was watching the old rocky film the other day, and quite often I go on to Netflix or something, and they’re there. And so I just whizzed through to the fight bit at the end. And I think to myself, I just watch, I watch a punch up for a bit, the last 20 minutes. And that rocky speech, which obviously is cinematic and created for drama, there is a lot of truth in that isn’t there. But as I said earlier, a business is never going to get the legs unless the person’s got the legs to walk it themselves. It’s very a strength of keeping going step after step after step. Why do you think some people will invest so much time and money into something? And not just keep going? Is it the right thing to stop? Do you think Ken?
Ken Magma Marshall [25:58]
So let me just first say that that’s like one of my favourite scenes in cinematic history. Same with Rocky for when he fights Ivan Drago. And he’s like, it’s like a piece of iron, like his body. I used to watch that to get hyped up when I was having very down days, as I was going to get through the early stages of the business. But in terms of continuing to go, I do think that almost everybody who’s failed a business probably stopped too early. I have no data points. And I’m not going to pretend like I do. However, I’ve spoken to people of my friends who have asked for advice about starting like side hustles, quote unquote, as they call it now. And almost always it was like obstacle one to stop obstacle one stop. And, you know, as I told you, mine was like obstacle eight 910 11. And all the founders that I know, except for the few lucky ones have been through the same thing. So I do think it’s appropriate for some folks. Like if you are battling, you know, family death or cancer, and you have to take a break, like that’s completely reasonable, or you have to feed your family, you’re literally in debt, then yet that’s irresponsible. But for the rest of us, if it’s just some obstacles, like you can’t find customers quickly enough, or your margins aren’t healthy, then really, I think that yeah, grit and perseverance is the answer. And let’s keep in mind, big businesses take like 10 years to get to a maturity stage. Like, that’s a lot longer than I think most people are going to do. So I think if you’re really in it, keep that in mind that it’s a Year and Year and Year and Year end process.
David Ralph [27:26]
But what you said something that flagged up is the ability to take a break. And that’s one of the things that I say to people, I say, just walk away from it, leave it for a couple of years, just leave it a couple of weeks, it’s not important or be there when you come back, get your mojo, get back, you know, go and walk in nature, inspire yourself and then the good ideas will come to you. But I think certainly in the early days, as I mentioned on Join Up Dots, I just kept on ploughing forward planning forward, ploughing forward thinking that I could outwork everything. And I got to a point and I realised I couldn’t. And I was just making myself ill and unhappy. And now I’m a great one. In fact, I have so many breaks that I actually have to sort of convince myself to get back because breaks are nicer to work. Yeah. Now thinking breaks into sort of sitting around having cups of coffee and stuff are much nicer than work.
Ken Magma Marshall [28:21]
Brilliant. Yeah, right. Like, that’s something that I admittedly, I am not the most qualified, like I didn’t even know what self care was until two years ago. But it’s been completely transformative, like you said and necessary. You can’t outwork burnout. He can’t outwork depression, right at all, though, always when to just yet go out in the woods or, you know, take yourself to get a mochi doughnut or something, you know, on decompress. It’s helpful.
David Ralph [28:47]
I outwork burnout by getting even worse burnout. You know? My Oh, so I’m full. Unfortunately, I don’t get depression. But I do have days when the clouds have over my head just for a day. I’m just having a blue day. Yeah, once again, I used to think, Okay, if I plough into creating a landing page, or some three podcasts or whatever, leave it, leave it go swimming, go off and have a run. Get on your bike. Take your puppy for a walk like you did this morning. Tell us about this. You’re living in Portland, Oregon, and I’ve been there. It’s gorgeous and lovely. And you decide that you’re gonna take your wife and your puppy to move to Brooklyn in New York, which is it’s all right. I wouldn’t say it was as lovely as All right. Why would you do that?
Ken Magma Marshall [29:40]
Yeah, and by the way, Pacific Northwest is one of the greatest places in the world that either of us have been to, you know, across the world, so I love it. But for us, and for me, particularly like my wife’s lived in New Zealand, she’s been to like over 20 countries. I mean, she did two different missions trips in different parts of the world, including India, and I I’ve never lived somewhere since I left my parents house for longer than a year. I mean, so we’re kind of nomadic by nature. I just I like being a student. Again, I like Nuance I like things that I haven’t done. And so she’s never been to the East Coast really. And I’ve never lived here. So the decision really was, hey, next month, do you want to? Or I think it was two months in advance. Do you want to move to Brooklyn? And then maybe Austin or Denver? And the answer was, yeah, and we sold our stuff, but a little bit in storage packed up the puppy and the Subaru, and you know, 10 Lovely days across the country. So I don’t even think we had that much decision making criteria. We just sort of did it because it’s exciting. I guess. Would it
David Ralph [30:38]
be different when you have kids? Or if you have kids in your life? Would you? Or would you still be Yeah, widget dragon with us.
Ken Magma Marshall [30:46]
I think that we both have a sense of like wanderlust and adventure. But with kids, I don’t think we would have just packed up like that. And in fact, I think it’s terrible to like, uproot kids, particularly if they’re, you know, early school age. However, I don’t subscribe to like their norms around parenting or life for that matter. Like if we wanted to, and our kids were down, and we spoke with them. And we took the time to think through it. 100% We consider it I don’t know if it would have been as on a whim. But that’s just who we are as people.
David Ralph [31:16]
So because I love the thought of travelling around the world. But I also hate the thought of homeschooling. I think to myself that that is what yeah, the schools for the school is like three babysitting for about four hours so that you can just leave them behind and get your mental mental strength back. Yeah, unfortunately, my last two are 17 and 19. And all the rest have moved out and stuff. But every day I say to them, when you moving out? Come on, when you’re moving out, the time for you to move is ticking. Yeah, the clock’s ticking me and the why I’ve got plans. Now, one of the things that I also think about is that ability of creating your own choices, I suppose it’s as simple as that it’s not income, it’s not freedom. It’s not location, it’s choices, and why choices, I think is the most valuable gift that anybody can be given in their life, to me out to say, I’m going to do this because, hey, it’s my life. Now, you’re somebody who’s very entrepreneurial, you’ve had ups and downs, you’ve had businesses, do you build your businesses now, so that it gives you the choices so that you can live the life on your terms and not just be slogging to the office because you’ve created a business that needs you?
Ken Magma Marshall [32:38]
Yeah, that is a that is an ongoing discussion with myself. And I first read about the concept of like, before life hacking, I think it was Tim Ferriss in his book four hour workweek, who said, like life engineering, like intentional life engineering, and I, it was like, such an eye opening moment, cuz I’m like, I do a bunch of stuff. And I never decided to do any of that stuff. I’m just doing it for you know, whatever reasons or it was convenient or something. And so a lot of my life now is very intentionally planned to be the kind of life you know, side that I feel very fulfilled and content. But my this current company, the agency is not like an off hands, you know, one of those fully automated things like we’ve got, you know, 10 employees now. And so this actually requires a lot of our effort in this moment. But we’re designing things to be repeatable and scalable and, you know, modular so that we already have our location independence, and thank God like, we don’t struggle for money. My wife, but yeah, there’s a lot of effort right now. But the the grand design is very much like, it’s not going to need us in a couple of years. So
David Ralph [33:46]
it’s brilliant when you say that. It’s exciting to hear, you know, either guy on the show called Joe something up, I can’t remember. But he created a company called Video Blocks, where you actually buy little, okay bits of video that you can spark up your Facebook and you have sort of images and stuff. And he was going to work coming home, going to work coming home. And then he decided that he was going to get an RV and go on a road trip. Now he’s Yeah, he’s the CEO of the company. And he said, I’m going to connect with you once a week. And I will come back stronger because of it. And he set off in his RV. And his business did so much better when he was off because he’d be riding along Yeah, just looking out at stuff and going oh my god, what a brilliant idea because he was just away from it. And so everything that I do in Join Up Dots has to be Can I walk away from it? You know, everything I’ve turned away 1000s and 1000s of dollars on things but I think it’s gonna trap me every every Monday for about the next nine weeks or something, you know, when you get those choices. There’s also a thing where after a while, people feel guilty because it becomes normal, they don’t reflect on the gift. And by moaning and groaning about stuff, I’ve, I’ve certainly been through that, where I kind of think I’ll put yourself together, baby, this is everything you wanted, you worked for this. And you’ve got it just because you’re sitting on your own on a Tuesday afternoon and everybody else is at work and you’re a bit lonely, you know, you can’t have it both ways me. Have you sort of struggled with that normalcy?
Ken Magma Marshall [35:25]
I haven’t. But I think me and you just maybe on the little bit ends of the spectrum temperamentally? Like I every time I have a period of low, I go, and I build something, or I think of something new and I start so for instance, if the agency business is going well, you know, we’re building software right now, I’ll just go into Google Sheets and start writing up a new tool or try to write a new formula to improve one of our metrics internally. I’ll just start tinkering on a weekend. Or I’ll you know, I just started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes, because I was bored just running. And so I don’t even know if I’ve ever given myself the opportunity to be bored or go through normalcy. And I think I’ll never stopped like, maybe my wife tempered me a little bit. But I think every time I even begin to feel a sense of like boredom, or calm, I need to go out and find something which in and of itself has been a battle because obviously, that leads to burnout. But um, when I have a good balance, I’m still constantly in motion either way. So I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. Dave. Or David, I don’t know. Do you go by Dave? Oh,
David Ralph [36:29]
never anybody. Okay, Day, a day, I turned into Rocky, I turned into Rocky, you wouldn’t like me or Bruce ban noted. So Ken, when we Oh, Ashley, let’s listen to these words. And we’ll be back with Ken Have you inspired to live a life on your own terms working when you want where you want, whilst you sit back and make the decision of how much you want to earn too. And it’s all totally doable, and nowadays easier than ever, head over to the starter business school at join up dots.com. And check out the video testimonials from just a few of the students that are now building their dream businesses after going through our coaching sessions and if backsides and book a time to speak to me one to one to make sure you have what it takes to become the next success off our conveyor belt that started business school at join up dots.com. So we’re talking to Ken Marshall. Now in that little advert bear, Ken, one of the things that I I sort of really focus in on is, but decision on how much you want to earn. Because certainly, there is a balance where I see people kind of come up with an idea and launch the idea, but they haven’t find their packages, or how much their offerings are or how many customers that they need to actually keep the lights on. It’s just kind of they’re moving forward with blinkers on when you decide how much you want to earn, does that make it easier to then think of the value that you have to bring to market earn that?
Ken Magma Marshall [38:04]
Yeah, I think and by the way, I was particularly bad at this when I started because Admittedly, I I’ve never cared about money other than the fact of I knew how much money I needed to not have to worry about. And that was my first goal. So our margins were terrible. We didn’t charge enough because I was just focused on the deliverable. Like I think a lot of smaller business owners are. But yeah, I would say anytime you start, like whether you’re doing your pricing packages, or deciding on earned income, whatever it should be, from a place of this is the outcome I want. And then how do I reverse engineer that into the steps or the deliverables or the margins, or, you know, X, Y, and Z, it’s always you’re always going to end up in a happier place there than just arbitrarily come up and coming up with a thing and trying to iterate afterwards. Right. So I totally, I totally agree.
David Ralph [38:51]
Now also, the other thing that I think people struggle with and is the the packages into the value ladder, and then taking the value ladder down into the funnel. And the funnel is very simple in many different ways. It’s basically putting people’s minds at rest to the point that they feel competent enough that they’re going to get value out of you, you know, that there’s, there’s no sort of, I always call it a trust funnel. I prefer that and a sales funnel because I just think out, okay, how can I answer everything for these people? Now, once again, there’s a lot of tools out there now. Do you think that people overcomplicate it because I like to keep things lean? And I like to think that any profit I have is basically remains profit. And you can have kind of toll creep, where you think oh, yeah, I only $45 a month and then you know, very shortly you’ve got loads $700 Before you even break even. Do you think that people make it too complicated?
Ken Magma Marshall [39:55]
Yeah, I almost find and this is going back to the What’s your north star and Reverse engineering into steps. Part of what I just said. But I find that people think the tool is the solution. So for example, we’ll be on I’ll be on a sales call, and I’ll be like, so have you done any, you know, inbound SEO, etc? In the past? No, they’ll say, Yep. And then they’ll name the list or the they’ll list off a tool. And then I’ll look into like, no, no, have you generated, like, you know, leads and sales from this channel? Oh, no, we haven’t. And I’m like, Well, okay, so there’s in lies the problem. And I think tool creep comes from thinking that exact mindset of like, if I purchase, you know, ConvertKit, then I will be up my blog will make millions of dollars, because, but instead of, this is what my customers need to trust me, like you said, at every part of their decision making stage, and then what tool can help them trust me more, or automate that part of that follow up? That helps them trust me more. So yeah, a lot of that going on. And I’m guilty of it too, sometimes. So
David Ralph [40:56]
well, I take I do a lot of teaching. And when you teach, it’s like I’m teaching my daughter to drive at the moment. When you teach them to drive, you become a better driver yourself, because you have to explain the reasons why you’re doing absolutely. And I was explaining how you’ve got to slow down when you get to a junction, because then you’ve got more control to come out of a junction. And I was thinking, that’s like business business is about slowing down so that you can come out in a better position. But we don’t we just steam into it at 100 miles an hour. And then we’ll spin round until we get to go with your business. How do you get people to make you slow down, when you are somebody that when you’ve got a board moment, you want to jump on and create a new thing? Which one of your team go, Ken? Ken, look, we’ve got enough on our plate at the moment. Go and take the dog out for a walk.
Ken Magma Marshall [41:52]
Yeah, well, for my previous company, doorbell, there wasn’t really anybody. So it was chaotic, until I met my wife, who would be a very natural CFO. I mean, she did our own, she did our books, and she was more accurate than our CPA, I’ll just put it that way in terms of our projections for the year. So she helped temper and sort of asked me the right questions and say, Honey, you worked 90 hours. But now you’re telling me you don’t have enough time for this. And that was why you were supposedly working a lot. So what’s going on. But these days, I’m very fortunate to have three other executives who are co owners, and then, you know, Director of Strategy. And so not only do we meet every week, we individually have one on ones every single week. And so, you know, all of them bring different unique skill sets, particularly our COO Rocky, he’s, he’s so good at me and Alex, the CEO. We’re like the balloons that want to keep going up and up, particularly me and he grabs us and make sure we’re going in the right direction. And we don’t explode. So yeah, it’s all of us work together to inform and checks and balances the just every week really. So
David Ralph [42:54]
and how often this is really going to date me but how often do you show Adrian when rocky comes into the office? You please tell me you do at least three or four times a week?
Ken Magma Marshall [43:06]
I did a few times when I did a few times when I first when I first met him as we were doing the merger but not so much these days. Because so he looks like if you’ve ever watched Vikings Yes, he looks like beyond.
David Ralph [43:18]
Yeah, I’ve got a picture of him. And now he doesn’t look like a rocky Yeah, I was thinking
Ken Magma Marshall [43:23]
No, but anyway, I’m gonna do that now that you brought it up again. Yeah,
David Ralph [43:27]
just annoying him every time he walks in. That’s what you need to do. But let’s hear something equally motivating here, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [43:37]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [44:11]
Do you buy into those words can
Ken Magma Marshall [44:14]
I mean? That’s like, that’s like, a that’s beautiful, but it’s like entrepreneurship one on one. You know, he, as as much as people want to give him you know, hard time for his management style, which was awful. The man is a visionary. And those are beautiful words that ring true and should for every entrepreneur, like you have to believe before the results will come. And in fact, you’ll have to believe a lot longer than you probably can anticipate before the results will come. So you have to start there. There’s no other way unless you get lucky or you inherit a billion dollars from your dad or your mom,
David Ralph [44:49]
which is why it’s so important to start with your why isn’t it? You know, that’s a piece of the puzzle that people so yeah, shout out to Simon Sinek Yeah. And he’s still making a living on that after about 25 years really So yeah, big shout out to him. But it is, you know, when I started Join Up Dots, I didn’t really know my why until much later, it was just something I kind of fancied doing. And there was a big period when I was thinking, I’m not sure why I’m actually doing this, you know, I I’m enjoying it. But where is it heading? Now? It makes perfect sense for me, but I didn’t now the why?
Ken Magma Marshall [45:24]
What is that for you? If I may ask you a question?
David Ralph [45:27]
Yeah, uh, why is just to make a difference, just to make a difference, you know, to leave the world, with people saying, I’m in a better position because of him. You know, nothing more than that. It was about earning billions of dollars. It was about global domination. It was ego metrics and all that. But I’ve got to a point now where I don’t really need anything more. It’s just kind of nice. It’s about helping, you know, and going to bed with a clear head because you’ve done the right things.
Ken Magma Marshall [46:00]
I love that. I’m smiling. You can’t see it. But I love that. And I think we’re very much on the same page in that regard.
David Ralph [46:06]
Yes, cool. That’s what you’ve got to do. Anyway, Ken, this is the bit that we’ve been building up to. And this is the bit that I know that you’ve been looking forward to, when we get to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to young Ken, what age would you choose? And what advice would you love to give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m going to pray the theme. And when it fades, it’s your time to talk. This is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [46:36]
here we go with the best bit of the show us sir man on the mind, the sermon on.
Ken Magma Marshall [46:58]
Love that music. So two things come to mind. But I know I’m only allowed to say one. So I’ll start here. But i Young, can you I think this is you’re in kindergarten or first grade. And you’re extremely frustrated by your interactions and people around you because you have a hyperactive analytical mind. But what I wanted to tell you is in this world, in order to help others, you need to be empathetic, and listen more than you talk. So when you get older, this is going to have problems from a business perspective, and your ability to grow and network. So what I would tell you is, keep an open mind, don’t think that you know everything you don’t, and people are your friends, they love you, you should love them. And the more you can connect and build out your network of friends, the happier and more fulfilled, you’ll be towards your greater purpose of helping them with the things that they need. So get out of your own head, dude.
David Ralph [48:02]
And if you were gonna say the other thing, Ken, what would it be?
Ken Magma Marshall [48:06]
The second thing is more entrepreneurial. So this is older Ken after college, who has always loved writing, and even wrote a book but didn’t tell anybody. You should keep doing that. You can make a living doing whatever you want. As long as you do have a drive to do it, you don’t give up. And you do it strategically. So keep writing. Don’t ever stop. And you absolutely can be an author. You can be whatever you want. Yeah, great
David Ralph [48:32]
stuff. Great advice for everybody. So for the people listening today, Ken, what’s the number one best way that they can connect with you?
Ken Magma Marshall [48:40]
Sure. So first and foremost, you can find us and me particularly on LinkedIn, you can even just type in Ken magma, like the volcano into your browser and all pop up. That’s my LinkedIn. And I love talking. So happy to do that. But most importantly, if you’re a business, or you have one any advice around anything that you know, related to marketing, you know, lead gen anything, go to our site or book a call with me, I guarantee that I give everybody something that helps change around their business within the 30 minutes. I don’t have a pitch. I just like talking to people. So those are the two best ways. Yeah. And
David Ralph [49:14]
I’ve just tested it. I’ve typed in Ken magma and you do bang, you you, you pop up. You’re the only Ken magma on the planet. That is that’s SEO. That’s SEO genius. That is. Well, thank you so much for spending time with us today. Joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you got more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up those dots and connecting our pasts is actually the best way to build our futures. Ken, thank you so much.
Ken Magma Marshall [49:40]
It’s been an absolute pleasure, David, we got to go on another date.
David Ralph [49:46]
Mr. Ken, magma Marshall. So as he was saying, you know, if you want to make something happen, just keep on working at it. Get better at it. Fine tune your proposition. Know who your customer is. And back Just keep on working on it don’t work to the point that you, you have you collapse, but work so that you enjoy it more. And then things will start coming your way absolutely promise you I say every single show but you know somebody is going to agree with me one day, anybody out there that needs any help come across to the Bisco we’ve started adding webinars and courses on there, just trying to create the kind of things that we think might be useful for you. So we’ve got a new training course how to get amazing new biz ideas at sell, how to increase profits, easy way with the ladder. There’s a free coaching session is all on there for you. You can just come along and join the community. And we will meet you but until next time, I will see you again you look after yourselves. You stay sexy, and I’ll see you again. Cheers. See ya. Bye bye.
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