It’s been almost two years since Siege Media originally came to life. It’s been a wild two years, where I’ve moved from Seattle, to Long Beach, to San Diego, where Siege Media is doing great and continuing to grow. We are now a team of seven people and business is booming – but that’s not to say that the first two years have been without speed bumps and lessons learned. Among those lessons is one pivotal one that I want to reiterate with this post: be extremely meticulous when choosing clients.
When starting out – or at any stage of the process, inquiries are going to come that look attractive, but in the end, really aren’t – but you won’t really know the size of your mistake until months to years down the line. These choices end up seeming good, and especially good in the early stages, for one reason and one reason only: they have money to give you. But these clients have fundamental problems that will impact the long term growth of your company, and ironically cost you down the line. ….
Making the jump. Quitting your job. Making a living outside of your 9-5. These things are difficult to do, and one of the things that prevents most from ever doing it is the risk. The risk of being stuck out in the cold and suddenly unable to find work. That’s a scary thing, and for good reason – nobody wants to have faced that fear and failed.
Mitigating the risk of this situation is something that’s worth considering, and worth putting long, deliberate thought to. Many startups have the opportunity to blow up in your face, and one of the great benefits of a consulting company is that it can be run in an efficient fashion that isn’t nearly as volatile. ….
The habit I’ve most wanted to break in the early stages of having others work at Siege relates to problems with differentiating between “I vs We”. I vs we is the pronoun choice that says very little, but also says a whole lot.
The use of one versus the other can happen more than you think. On phone calls, when talking to others on the team, in conversations with friends. When you begin talking about the state of the company, it is no longer just you. It is a team. It is not your client. It is our client. It is not your decision, it is our decision. I am not doing the work. We are doing the work. I didn’t build this. We built this. ….
Nine months ago I quit my job to start my first company, Siege Media. Three months later, I talked about the mysticism of entrepreneurship, “taking the jump” and how the process was remarkably easy – and also, something I probably should have done earlier.
It was and it is, but that doesn’t make building a company an absolutely smooth ride. Running a consulting business in a state of mediocrity is relatively simple – the demand for SEO services is great and if you’re at all active online, client inquiries come rather easily. ….