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“Success” is the root of “Succession”

17 Jan

Success is the root of succession

On occasion I get asked to take part in a media event, or in an ongoing series of posts like Barry Schwartz SEO Roundtable Series “Honor an SEO / SEM” for which I have to provide interview-like responses to a series of questions.

What I love about these opportunities is they cause me to reflect. Often, because I’m rushed to respond, I find myself responding with an, almost, stream of consciousness honesty.

Below is one of the questions I got in the preparation for a radio show I recorded yesterday with Peter Ricchiuti for his radio show Out to Lunch.

If you’re wondering, the show ill air next Thursday, January 25th at 1 PM Central and again on Friday the 26th at 6:30 PM Central.

The question asked was:

What is your preferred title? Owner & CEO?

And my answer:

I’d love to get to owner, but today I’m still the CEO. The distinction for me is if my main role is owner then I’ve advance someone else to the CEO role. It’s an aspiration of mine to grow our team to the level that they don’t need Angie and me except for moral support.

So what does that mean? I think our top job as executives and business leaders is to assure the effective succession of our teams. Let’s look at the root of “succession” – it’s success.


Search Influence layoffs make March 28th the worst day of the year

28 Mar


Search Influence laid off 5 full-time employees today and eliminated 2 part-time jobs.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint” they say. Except they don’t tell you it’s a marathon through a battlefield. That at mile 12 you might get shot. And at mile 19 the bridge might be out and at mile 25 — I don’t know. I’ll tell you when we get there.

Don’t get me wrong, there are great days too — when you see the business you helped your clients build, when you see your teammates grow, professionally and personally, and when you have the opportunity to give back to the community.

It’s not the easy days that test a business, it’s the hard days.

This is one of those days.

Today is one of the hardest days since Angie and I started of Search Influence. For the first time, ever, the loss of a client — really the change of a client relationship in which they’ve decided to take our work in house (see “SEO/SMO strategy team” note) — is causing us to eliminate jobs. Lay people off. Let people go.

In other words, today we say goodbye to some teammates who had little, if anything, to do with the cause of their exit.

Could we have made different choices along the way? Yes.

Could we have had put fewer eggs in more baskets? Maybe.

But we didn’t. And today that means we’ve got to let some people go.

And it sucks.

And I’m sorry.

And we’ll do everything we can to avoid having it happen again.

For tomorrow, though, we’re going to be rebuilding and re-engineering as we go. We’ve learned a lot as a leadership team and we’re continuing to learn.

As a company we feel great about the results we’ve delivered, the jobs we’ve created and the careers we’ve launched.

We intend to keep doing all of those things. We intend to do them better.

And most importantly, we intend to control our own destiny by being among the best at finding opportunities and developing strategies and optimizing the potential of our customers and our team.

If you see chatter about Search Influence layoffs, please be charitable in your assessment of both those who were laid off and the managers who had to make the hard decisions. If you’ve never had to contemplate such a thing count yourself lucky.

And to the team at Search Influence who helps, every day, to grow the businesses of our customers — still greater than 65 strong — thank you!

We don’t take our responsibility to you lightly and we couldn’t do it without you.

Scam Alert – eGumball

30 Jan

Scam Alert!

One of our clients made an update to his map marker location, shortly after which he received a phone call from someone identifying themselves as a “Google Specialist”. The caller identified that there was a location update. Verify the correct address and then said “your business is listed as miscellaneous” — our customer indicates that they were actually properly classified — “you’re not showing up in the top 7”, “We have a place that can help you if you’re interested”.

I’m going to transfer you to Loren who will give you rates and options for getting listed.

Loren as it turns out works for a company in Irvine CA called eGumball.

It would appear from this client report that eGumball is posing as Google to qualify the lead prior to passing to their sales staff. Further, eGumball is making false statements, in this case “your business is listed as miscellaneous”.

Before posting this I did a little web searching and discovered the same approach reported on another site:

“Hi my name is […] am I speaking with the owner of […]?” Yes. “We wanted to let you know that your business category is showing up as miscellaneous and therefore not ranking well. Would you like to change that?”

Whether or not this is fraudulent is for the courts to decide, but it is clearly deceptive.

This kind of behavior gives our profession a bad name. Have you received a call from eGumball? Have you received calls from other services who deceptively tried to make you believe they were with Google? What were their scammy pitches?

The Elevator Pitch Template

16 Jun
  • For [target customer]
  • who [statement of need or opportunity]
  • the [product name]
  • is a [product category]
  • that [key benefit, compelling reason to buy].
  • Unlike [primary competitive alternative]
  • our product [statement of primary differentiation].

From: The Agile Samurai

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