How to Grow Your Agency Without Burning Out

Featured image for episode 39 of Designing Growth, which covers how to develop scalable systems & processes that will enable you to grow your agency without burning out. Image shows a picture of guest Marquis Murray and podcast host Sam Chlebowski on a dark blue background with yellow & white text.


Sam talks with Business Process Consultant, Entrepreneur, and Agency Founder Marquis Murray. Marquis shares the story of his business getting acquired in 2020 and provides tips for how Agency owners can go about developing the systems and processes necessary for a sustainable and scalable business.

Episode 39 Transcript:

[00:00:00] Marquis Murray: It’s the same problem no matter if you are a small business or an enterprise business.

[00:00:04] Marquis Murray: I’ll be across the screen with a VP, someone high up, and I’m hearing the same problems that the person with three people in the organization is having. We all have cracks and if we don’t take the time to document how we work and create those standards, it’s not going to scale with us as we grow. And we’re gonna have the same issues when we’re 2000 people that we did when we’re two people.

[00:00:25] Intro Music Plays

[00:00:25] Sam Chlebowski: Happy Thursday everybody, and welcome back to Designing Growth. Today on the podcast I’m very excited to be joined by Marquis Murray. With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, Marquis gained experience in growing and leading successful teams, and his company, ditto, was acquired after just two years in business. Marquis is passionate about eliminating burnout in the workplace, and he knows firsthand how the stress and burnout can affect leaders and their teams. And he’s on a mission to help organizations overcome these challenges so they can focus on their work.

[00:01:09] Sam Chlebowski: So my first question to you, marquee, is how are you doing today?

[00:01:12] Marquis Murray: I’m doing great. I’m excited to be here, Sam, and having this chat, so yeah. Can’t complain.

[00:01:17] Sam Chlebowski: And normally I would ask you how did you get to where you are? But I was fortunate because when I was looking at some of the work that you put out and some of the things that you’re doing, you have this story like everywhere I do think telling your story and being able to tell that story in a concise way, makes it a really powerful thing. Would you agree with that?

[00:01:36] Marquis Murray: I would absolutely agree with that. Yeah. It was one of the things that I just felt compelled to do. I mean, I have this story and it goes even deeper than what the published version of the story will tell you. Again, it was really like, the best, you know, shortest version I can give, but it really gave me a chance to show people who I am, where I’ve come from, why I do what I do.

[00:01:57] Marquis Murray: Because when I’m on the. Other side of the [00:02:00] screen engaged in sales calls, right? People are connecting with me. They want to know how did the business get started, how did you get to where you’re at? And we’re really connecting with people more than we’re connecting with brands and services. So yeah, it was absolutely super important for me to, to share that.

[00:02:13] Marquis Murray: And I don’t shy away from, where I came from and how I got here.

[00:02:16] Sam Chlebowski: The power of storytelling, when it comes to. Yourself, your company, your product is really important. It’s something that I’ve seen firsthand was really effective. And it’s interesting for me to talk to you because we do have a couple of things in common. I’ll start with the first one.

[00:02:32] Sam Chlebowski: I also exited a business that was back in 2020, the reason why I bring this up is it was. A really powerful approach that we had of being able to tell the story to potential customers about like why that business existed. We did marketing for mental health professionals and we had a very concise story of like how we got there.

[00:02:50] Sam Chlebowski: Pur CEO and founder, who’s now my co-founder at Motion.io, built a website for his mother-in-law’s mental health, practice in Jacksonville, Florida. While building that website he saw that all of these therapists had outdated old websites that needed to be, mobile responsive, needed proper SEO.

[00:03:06] Sam Chlebowski: And that story in some ways really carried us from 250 customers all the way to 5,000. I wanted to share that first off, and also congratulate you. That must have been really exciting.

[00:03:18] Marquis Murray: Same to you, Sam! Yeah, it was, it was very exciting. It was great to feel like I had built something that someone wanted to take interest in and to receive, you know, praise from friends, family, and, you know, internet friends was, was really great. And customers and team members obviously. But yeah.

[00:03:34] Marquis Murray: Thanks so much and, and likewise to you.

[00:03:36] Sam Chlebowski: Thank you. Thank you. And another thing that I actually saw we had in common is we are both musicians. You play the bass, is that correct?

[00:03:44] Marquis Murray: I do. I dunno if you can see the one behind me. I’ve got three bases usually.

[00:03:50] Sam Chlebowski: Ooh.

[00:03:51] Marquis Murray: My black Rickenbacker is right behind me, but I’ve got my Squire P bass on there right now. And then to my left, I’ve got my five-string precision jazz [00:04:00] from Fender.

[00:04:01] Sam Chlebowski: Oh wow, man. You have quite the lineup there.

[00:04:05] Marquis Murray: I do. I’ll take them down for a walk every now and then, so it’s great. My Rickenbacker is in the bag right now cause I had a gig the other night. But yeah, I love anything bass. I love music. What is it that you play?

[00:04:15] Sam Chlebowski: So a variety of stringed instruments. I actually have a Bass as well. I have a Fender precision, I believe it is. My primary instrument of choice is the guitar. So I have an acoustic Ibanez and then a Telecaster. It’s like a burnt orange telecaster. I love it. That’s probably my baby.

[00:04:33] Sam Chlebowski: And you’re playing gigs too. What kind of shows do you play at? Or like, do you have a band?

[00:04:37] Marquis Murray: I used to play in a Christian Worship band.

[00:04:40] Marquis Murray: But right now I play mostly at church and then I’ll get called up to work with different, touring musicians every now and then. I don’t really go on the road at all anymore, but, um, I’ll get called up every now and then for a conference or a one-off show.

[00:04:53] Marquis Murray: I like it better that way. I don’t like leaving home. I like being close to my family, my wife and my kids. But I’ll play at church really once a month now, and then just, you know, play around in my office when I get the chance.

[00:05:03] Sam Chlebowski: Very cool. Yeah.

[00:05:04] Sam Chlebowski: I am all solo. I had some friends who played music here for a while. They’ve all moved away, but, I still play probably, at least two or three times a week. after the kid goes to bed. Which brings me to my third thing that we have in common is I believe that we are both Dads.

[00:05:19] Marquis Murray: We are, I have two kids. They are seven years old, so we, we have twins.

[00:05:22] Sam Chlebowski: Wow.

[00:05:23] Marquis Murray: And, yeah, they are incredible. They are exact opposites, which often throws us for a loop because you, you wonder how does that happen, right? Same environment, same parenting. We have to now discipline differently.

[00:05:37] Marquis Murray: They speak differently, they have different interests. they typically will congregate around like Pokemon cards and Minecraft. They, they, they’ve got that in common at least, but everything else, they’re just so different. But we love it. Wow old is your kid?

[00:05:48] Sam Chlebowski: He is just about to turn five months.

[00:05:52] Sam Chlebowski: So, I’m still new at this dad thing. Yeah. It has been an adventure and I can tell you getting through those first couple months, [00:06:00] I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have twins and do that at the same time.

[00:06:06] Marquis Murray: I say this often, and I’m so serious when I say it. Like I, I cannot remember Sam. I, I can’t, part of my story that I don’t often tell is that I left my corporate job when my kids were born, but, the plan was to go back. I ended up taking seven months off to be home with them and my wife, and so we were there.

[00:06:25] Marquis Murray: I eventually went back to work and started freelancing. But I don’t remember. I remember like being in their nursery sometimes all day. We would sit on this daybed and we would just go back and forth between the daybed and their cribs, and I remember like bath time cuz they get cranky around that time.

[00:06:42] Marquis Murray: I remember putting them to sleep. But how we spent our days and what was going on at the time, I cannot remember any of it. It’s, it’s actually kind of sad sometimes when I really think about it cuz I wish that I had those memories. Still, thankfully there are photographs, but. It must’ve been really tough.

[00:06:56] Marquis Murray: My brain must’ve just blocked it all out.

[00:06:58] Sam Chlebowski: They do say that, that it’s like a mechanism to get people to have more kids is you forget some of the like the super, super hard stuff and you only remember basically when they start smiling at you onwards.

[00:07:12] Marquis Murray: Right. It’s a trap.

[00:07:14] Sam Chlebowski: Oh, I was saying the exact same thing to my wife the other night. Because yeah, our baby boy, he has started to be really, really cute. Like, you know, cracking up giggling and smiling,

[00:07:24] Sam Chlebowski: and I’m like, oh wow. This is why people immediately want to have another one. this is just so adorable.

[00:07:31] Marquis Murray: And then they get to the age where they’re seven and they don’t want hugs and kisses anymore. They think you’re annoying. They don’t want to hang out with you, and they have attitudes. And then you’re like, Do we want to do this again? Yes, we do.

[00:07:43] Marquis Murray: Um, but yeah, it’s just, it’s just different.

[00:07:46] Marquis Murray: Congrats to you. That’s amazing. You’re, you’re in a great spot right now.

[00:07:48] Sam Chlebowski: Thank you. Thank you. So I know that Ditto was acquired what have you been doing since then?

[00:07:55] Marquis Murray: Well, I spent the first couple months, um, with that other company helping transition [00:08:00] over clients and getting some systems, updated. I, had taken on a partner position as a VP of efficiency, which is really just like the delivery team, overseeing that, doing a lot of the same things that, that I was doing as a C E O, just with a new team.

[00:08:13] Marquis Murray: bit of a new offering, uh, but I left them in the beginning of March. So it was a short, really quick turnaround, I’ll say. And I’ve been working on building out something new. I’m working on, along with services I’m providing as a business process consultant, I have decided to double down on video content this year.

[00:08:33] Marquis Murray: I’m building out new community around operations and systems in Asana. So we’ve got a circle community, we’ve got some folks in there, and I’m doing events. I’m putting up videos, doing consulting, working with clients, but really the focus is gonna be on education this year is training people and working with ops minded professionals so that they can work better with their teams and build the systems.

[00:08:56] Marquis Murray: That their teams need. and yeah, I’ve just been having a lot of fun with it, doing podcasts like this, running my own podcast, testing things out, and really just taking advantage of the, the video, landscape that’s out there and the opportunity to reach and meet new people. it’s been very interesting to see, how the content is really working for me.

[00:09:14] Marquis Murray: I was listening to one of your, recent podcasts and. Your guest, uh, I think it was Latasha was talking about, video and how like a hundred percent of her leads come from YouTube. It’s the exact same thing for me. and so it, it’s been incredible just to see the opportunities continue to come in and build authority in that space and really carve out a niche.

[00:09:32] Marquis Murray: So I’m gonna just ride that wave for as long as I can, and just continue growing and evolving, as the needs change of our customers.

[00:09:39] Sam Chlebowski: How fun, and I have been having a good time with it as well. You know, aside from the immense amount of learning that. Needs to happen. It’s been like a really cool. Creative outlet for me. And I say, you

[00:09:55] Sam Chlebowski: know, besides the learning, but the learning is just part of the journey. It’s just like sometimes I want [00:10:00] to be able to get to like a higher level of quality faster. Cause I think every day once you start creating YouTube videos, you start noticing other things that other people are doing, tactics they’re using, whether it’s the filming, whether it’s the editing, whether it’s the audio, and it’s like, I want to be at that level of quality, but. It takes time. Like nobody becomes, you know, Mr.Beast, for example, overnight,

[00:10:24] Sam Chlebowski: I was just watching a video about thumbnails before this and it’s like, man, I’ve like upleveled my thumbnails a lot, but they’re still not as good as they could be. And listening to some of the things that he was saying, it was like, holy cow, I got a lot of work to do.

[00:10:37] Sam Chlebowski: I got a lot of reps to get in. but you know, every day is just a little bit more of an adventure and you learn something new every day. What’s your experience been like so far?

[00:10:45] Marquis Murray: Yeah. I set out a goal at the beginning of this year to really grow the YouTube channel and I picked up Daryl Reeves, Daryl Eves, sorry, his book, the YouTube Formula. And there was a lot of just great stuff in there. It spent a lot of time talking about analytics and AB testing and thumbnails.

[00:11:03] Marquis Murray: Yes. so much on thumbnails, but my experience has been, That, it’s tough, right? And anytime you hear someone say, you know, what’s the number one way you grow on social? It’s about being consistent. You hear everyone say it right? And I didn’t really understand what that meant for a really long time.

[00:11:20] Marquis Murray: It’s like, why am I just gonna keep putting out content putting out content without any rhyme or reason? And I discovered that the reason why you need to be consistent is not so that you’re showing up. Every day or every single week. It’s so that you can put out your content, review your analytics, really look at the numbers, like when you pull up YouTube and look at the analytics of when people start to drop off.

[00:11:43] Marquis Murray: I was noticing that I had like a three minute intro where I was talking the whole time and then I had a bumper and then I would get into the video, talk a bit more about what I’m gonna say, and then I would get into the content and PE I was losing people. They were fast forwarding, they were dropping off and I thought, why are my [00:12:00] views down?

[00:12:00] Marquis Murray: And so really looking at it has given me a chance to, because I’m consistent, I have a lot of data to look at. I can see what the trends are week to week as I’m posting. And I’m really like, like I said, diving really deep into it. I have been, and used to be the person that would. Not wanna be on camera.

[00:12:19] Marquis Murray: Right. My camera roll for the first few years of my kids’ life was just all them and my wife. I was nowhere to be seen, right? Because I don’t wanna be on camera ever. And so I’ve just had to like let go of that. I show up now on TikTok. I’m on. Reels on Instagram and Facebook and now, like my marketing manager take care of all that.

[00:12:37] Marquis Murray: So all I have to do is produce the content and they re-share it. And because we’re doing so much with the, the podcast as well, it’s kind of like, I can’t not be on camera because I’m already so visible.

[00:12:47] Marquis Murray: I’m just trying and hoping that one day I’m at 103 videos now and Mr. B says, that’s the magic number. And then after that you start going viral and growing.

[00:12:57] Marquis Murray: So I’m just crossing my fingers and waiting for that, one video that’s gonna take me to the next level. But hey, I’m having fun at the same time.

[00:13:03] Sam Chlebowski: It’s really cool to talk to you because you are ahead of where I am, but I can see like some of what you’ve had to go through, like I’m going through now is like kind of figuring it out, getting the reps in and that consistency piece. Yeah, I couldn’t agree more with what you had shared there. It’s so huge and.

[00:13:23] Sam Chlebowski: One of the examples you just shared about how you had this long intro was something I noticed literally just like last week. you know, it was tutorial videos for the motion.io platform, and I’m like, why am I spending four minutes with this intro? this should just be like, let me show you how it works.

[00:13:38] Sam Chlebowski: Dive in. That’s it. And it is a very complex. Way to do marketing. I think much more complex than things like even advertising, things like a blog, things like a newsletter, because it seems like with video there’s just so many facets, and then that’s not even taking into account short form video, [00:14:00] which is this whole layer on top of that.

[00:14:02] Marquis Murray: Yeah, absolutely. And when I was looking at my video I mentioned, I was going on for three minutes, sometimes the second, like the next video, the intro was maybe 20, 30 seconds, and then that was it into the video, right. And then all of a sudden, my retention rate started climbing and it, and it stayed steady for the entire video.

[00:14:22] Marquis Murray: So it’s incredible what you can actually see once you get into it. and like you said, I’m looking at videos. You’re, you’re looking at videos on YouTube and you’re trying to learn. do any of us wanna listen? Does someone drone on. For three minutes and you have to scrub through it. So yeah, I really started putting myself in the shoes of the person that was searching for my videos.

[00:14:41] Marquis Murray: Right. And I mean, I’m not the marketing guy anymore, but I love marketing and so it’s just, I, I could talk about this forever. I don’t know where you want to take this, but Yeah, absolutely. There’s been a lot of learning, for sure. And a lot of growth and. I mentioned it was frustrating because I get comments all the time that people are asking, why don’t you have more subscribers?

[00:15:00] Marquis Murray: Why don’t you have more views? I’m on, sales calls and people watch my videos and they’re like, oh, I love your channel. Uh, you should definitely have more views. And I’m like, yeah, tell your friends, tell your colleagues, right. I have no idea why it’s not hitting, but, again, I’m just having fun with it.

[00:15:15] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, we get a little bit better every day. We keep that repetition, you practice, you gotta, you gotta keep practicing. The analytics piece, thankfully that’s something that I am very comfortable in. I have this master spreadsheet that I’ve created that it tracks like engagement month over month of, social posts.

[00:15:34] Sam Chlebowski: How many engagements, how many new followers, what’s the percentage change from the following month? , and that’s been something, yeah, that’s been really, really helpful for me thus far. Some of the more stylistic stuff, that’s where I think I really struggle.

[00:15:47] Marquis Murray: Right. What a great system you have though, right? Like to be tracking all that stuff and monitoring it. So maybe I’ll learn a, a thing or two from you on that front.

[00:15:56] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, I am obsessed with data and I don’t know, [00:16:00] cause I was never like a math or statistics person in school, but for whatever reason, once data started having a business application, I am like, whoop, like lasered in so,

[00:16:10] Marquis Murray: have you noticed anything, like connecting it back to like what you do, I guess, full-time, right?

[00:16:15] Marquis Murray: Like have you noticed any correlation to video posting viewership, on YouTube or the podcast when it’s compared to new users signing up to the motion platform?

[00:16:26] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, that’s a great question. And things have started to pick up steam. very recently for us, we’d launched some like paid advertising, and that was bringing a lot more people. The one thing that I noticed is as soon as we started. Turning on these paid ads. So, we’re doing ads on Facebook and Instagram.

[00:16:43] Sam Chlebowski: We had tried them out a couple times before. We had tested ads in March, then again February and January. But during that time, basically in those first three months of the year, I produced substantially more video content, more video podcast episodes, couple tutorial videos. What I noticed this last time is that when we turned these ads on, they were incredibly more effective. And I think part of the reason for that is there’s more supporting content. To go along with those ads. So somebody maybe see an ad, they don’t click, but then they had to wear a YouTube channel and they can find out more about the motion platform.

[00:17:19] Sam Chlebowski: So that’s one thing that I’ve really noticed that does drive the needle. and then, like you said, we are getting, people signing up for the platform as well, directly from, uh, in our YouTube description. So yeah.

[00:17:30] Marquis Murray: Very cool. Who, who’s the, who’s the platform for. More than anything. I know when we started talking, you know, I, I’ve seen those ads, I’ve seen them all over YouTube.

[00:17:39] Marquis Murray: I have yet to like start a free trial or anything because I’m using Asana as you know, right. A lot of my content is around Asana, helping customers get started with Asana. And so we’re working with teams of 20 to 50 people inside of larger organizations. Let’s say I, is this for the. Solopreneur who is, you know, needing, a [00:18:00] way to better organize their own to-dos.

[00:18:02] Marquis Murray: Is this for teams as well? Just curious to know a bit more about the backend

[00:18:06] Sam Chlebowski: So basically the primary use case is to address some of the problems that we had when we were running our agency. And this is something I’ve seen you talk about a couple of times where there’s all of these manual ups, there’s all of these manual tasks like deeding to update statuses, needing to upload something to a project management tool when it comes to working with a client, if you’re using Asana, if you’re using Monday.com, if you’re using Trello, if you’re using Notion — those platforms, from my experience, what we’ve heard from other people is with these platforms, it is really hard to create a functional client layer. That’s what motion.io is. Motion.io is a client portal plus workflow automation for all of the forms, files, feedback, action items, and communication you share with clients during a project. So our primary markets are people like web designers, first and foremost, creative agencies, marketing agencies, anybody who does creative type work, and they interface with the client directly.

[00:19:06] Marquis Murray: Got it. does it host that kind of integration with other platforms?

[00:19:11] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah. So, and you know, one caveat is we are still in early access, so our platform’s completely free to use right now. And we are, you know, adding new features basically every single week. So right now we have a form builder.

[00:19:26] Sam Chlebowski: We have a way to get deliverable feedback, so to leave like pin comments on an image, then, send files, send forms, all of those types of things with a client. What we want to do in the very near future and some of the things that we’re talking about right now is, we’re looking at potential integrations in two different categories. We have a Zapier integration where we say, okay, we can integrate with all of these other tools, through Zapier, you know, basically, all of the other project management tools like Asana, Trello, whatever.

[00:19:54] Sam Chlebowski: They all have really substantial Zapier integrations. So that’s one. And then the next is like, if our [00:20:00] customers are using one specific PM tool, let’s say it’s a sauna, we would then prioritize doing a direct integration into that tool. So you didn’t have to fiddle around with Zapier.

[00:20:12] Marquis Murray: That’s perfect. Yeah, it, it’s definitely on my list to try it.

[00:20:14] Sam Chlebowski: So I did wanna talk too, a little bit about what you’re doing, and I know that your platform and your home is a sauna. What types of businesses are you working with now that are using Asana? Where do you think Asana slots in best?

[00:20:28] Marquis Murray: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think that anyone can use a sauna. And I say that because I mentioned that I left my corporate job, you know, when my kids were born, I had some odd jobs here and there just to kind of, you know, make ends meet. And I was using a sauna even before that to organize my life before I had a business to speak of, right?

[00:20:49] Marquis Murray: They have shifted their focus where we’re working now with more mid-size and enterprise companies and rolling out more features, to suit those businesses needs. So a lot of the companies that I will work with, we’re really industry agnostic.

[00:21:03] Marquis Murray: our niche is really teams that are using Asana and need. Process improvement done or need to understand how to use a tool better, and it’s probably because of my background in this, but we end up working with a lot of marketing teams. I am meeting with VPs of marketing, VPs of ops, directors of marketing.

[00:21:21] Marquis Murray: Rarely do I meet with the CEO if I do. They are an agency owner and they are testing out ClickUp, or maybe they’re on Trello and they’ll wanna look for another option. So we’ll implement it for companies of. 20 people or teams of 20 people. And then as word gets out in one department, they’ll refer us to other departments and we’ll kind of go through the organization that way.

[00:21:48] Marquis Murray: And what’s interesting about the tool is like, As soon as I get on the call with them within the first few minutes of hearing what their problem is, I know exactly what the solution is. And, and that’s what’s really great about it because I, [00:22:00] I hear it and that’s why I can say we’re industry agnostic because a lot of people will come out and say, oh, our industry is very unique, or Our problem is very unique.

[00:22:07] Marquis Murray: And I think, no, it’s not. Right. You need visibility into the work that your team is doing. You need to be able to report on that work. You need a better way to track the status of work You need a better way to solve your requests and intakes because requests are coming at you from emails and Slack messages and WhatsApp business messages.

[00:22:28] Marquis Murray: You need a better way to align your team on simply. How you work. So if that’s documenting your standard operating procedures or In a lot of cases, I’ve worked with companies that are going through a merger, right? And they have two teams that are used to doing things completely different. And now we need to set some standards and some baselines around how we work together.

[00:22:46] Marquis Murray: So, that’s what’s really nice about it is the problems are the same. The approaches and the solutions are very different though, and it’s great to see that we can like, take a company from where they’re at, confuse, stressed out, burnt out. They have no idea where work is. They can’t report on anything and bring them to a place where there’s clarity.

[00:23:04] Marquis Murray: And visibility into their work as well. So, I love having those conversations and I’ll be in these sales calls sometimes and I have a little grin on my face because they’re talking and I’m like, yeah, can we just fast track this call? I know exactly what you’re gonna say. I’ve actually taken those words on my website.

[00:23:21] Marquis Murray: Um, I have on the services page, like words that have been taken from my sales calls, right? So if you have this problem, here’s a solution. And so you can go down the entire page and like read something. You’re like, yeah, that’s me.

[00:23:35] Marquis Murray: And then they would come in and we’re like, we don’t know what we don’t know. Tell us how you can help. So now I’m like, here you go. Here’s the solution. I know the problem and it’s, been incredible, to be able to connect with people that way as well. So, a really long way to say we can work with anybody and everybody as long as you wanna work better, within your team.

[00:23:54] Sam Chlebowski: You answered the question that I was gonna ask, which was what are the types of problems that you are helping [00:24:00] these businesses solve? And you covered a few of them right there. Like the requests, the intake, the tracking of work. That is something that, holy cow, you really see the stress cracks in the foundation once things start to really pick up. It’s like one month you’re celebrating — you’ve made all of these sales, business is great, we have all of this money to reinvest into the company. We’re paying people well and we’re providing all of these jobs. And then those clients start their onboarding and you quickly realize that, oh, whoa.

[00:24:36] Sam Chlebowski: We have a lot of work that is going on and things are getting lost, and this is not the fault of any one team member. This is our fault. This is our fault for not setting them up with ways to better track these things with ways to better organize the client communication to Automate the certain parts of the process so they’re not spending all day, digging through their email for something.

[00:25:00] Sam Chlebowski: So that was something that I noticed firsthand.

[00:25:03] Marquis Murray: Yeah, and it’s the same no matter if you are a small business or an enterprise business, think of the biggest companies in the world, right?

[00:25:12] Marquis Murray: Think of the tech giants that you’re seeing. Think of it. It doesn’t matter who it is, right? I’ll be across the screen with one of their VPs, someone high up, and I’m hearing the same problems that the person with three people in the organization is having, right? Consistency doesn’t scale the same with every single company, right?

[00:25:32] Marquis Murray: We, we have cracks and if we don’t take the time to document how we work and create those standards, it’s not going to scale with us as we grow. And we’re gonna have the same issues when we’re 2000 people that we did when we’re two people, in my experience, it, it, it comes from the leadership, right?

[00:25:48] Marquis Murray: Like, it, it’s a problem that stems from the top down. I’m not surprised anymore. I, I was surprised at one point that you’d see these larger organizations and you just assume because they’re in the, in the public eye and you see [00:26:00] them and you use them and you visit their, their venues, right?

[00:26:03] Marquis Murray: That they must have it together. How else would they get here? Right? And you realize that there are no. I won’t say that there are no strategic goals, but they’re fragmented. they’re broken. no one’s followed up on them. No one’s tracking and monitoring these goals. And then if there are no goals that are relevant to the teams that are working, it’s almost like what are we aiming at?

[00:26:25] Marquis Murray: Why are we doing this? like, how does it matter? How does it connect to the larger vision of the organization? And aside from just the. Day-to-day, how do we use a tool and how do we gain visibility? A lot of it is we have these goals that we’ve just been, either assigned or we’ve been told by leadership to just figure out.

[00:26:43] Marquis Murray: But how do you do that when there’s no alignment? And that’s why I love this work. I love coming in and, you know, seeing these problems and figuring out a solution for them, because then to see the light come on, At the end of it, when, for the first time a team lead can see that their goals and how they stem down and they can see the projects internally that need to be worked on, and they can see, who on their team, has capacity to take on new work.

[00:27:09] Marquis Murray: And they have a new client in the onboarding phase and they can say, great, you’re gonna be assigned. We deploy the template. Everything’s assigned for you. Right? Like it changes. Everything, but you gotta know where you’re going. it’s been really eye-opening to see that and really, um, encouraging for me to know that I’m in the right place.

[00:27:26] Marquis Murray: Right. Doing the right work and connecting with the right people.

[00:27:29] Sam Chlebowski: I mean, even looking at your website, you’ve worked with some really big names on here. I see. And you know, I, I think it speaks to your expertise and your experience also dealing with some of those things yourself, because I know that that’s what had started Ditto in the first place, is you had a marketing agency, you.

[00:27:50] Sam Chlebowski: Saw that you were working late, you were spending all of this time doing all of these tasks that could be automated. Or if they couldn’t be automated, they could at least be [00:28:00] tracked in a better, more streamlined way.

[00:28:02] Marquis Murray: That’s right. And yeah, as founders, you’ll often hear it, we are our own ideal client. I know all these pain points and I can rhyme off marketing copy and problems around what these people are experiencing is because I, I used to experience the same things, right? I, I’ve been through it. I know what burnout feels like.

[00:28:20] Marquis Murray: I know what it’s like to be up at three o’clock in the morning hating yourself because you should have delegated, you should have documented something. Thing, right? Like almost next to tears. I know what that feels like. So, having a solution, you know, that on the backend can solve the problems of my customers.

[00:28:37] Marquis Murray: It’s like, it, it changes everything. And when I had the marketing agency, that’s really how I started documenting my processes. it was just me in the beginning doing the service, doing the sales, kind of doing everything, wearing all the hats. If you will. And, eventually I had to start bringing on new team members.

[00:28:52] Marquis Murray: I brought on another social media manager. I brought on a paid media specialist, and every single time I was booking meetings with them to do live onboarding. And I was going through and answering all their questions and it’s like I had a checklist, but I was saying the same things over and over again, and I was just using the checklist to make sure that I covered everything.

[00:29:12] Marquis Murray: And then they would get into their day-to-day, into their work, and they were coming back to me asking questions that I thought they should just know the answer to. I. Right. So to go back to my top down thing, right, like they were asking questions that I thought they knew the answer to because I hired them as a specialist to do that work, but I didn’t take the time to create that documentation or that process and provide it to them.

[00:29:33] Marquis Murray: So that was my fault, and it was really at a share frustration. One day I said, you know what? I’m done with this. I’m not gonna answer these questions anymore. I’m too busy for this. I was so mad at myself, but I like expressed it outwardly that I threw up loom.com and I started recording everything that I did and I said, here you go.

[00:29:53] Marquis Murray: Here’s a video. Go and watch this. And that was really the beginning of like documenting systems in my own marketing agency. And it [00:30:00] evolved from there into. Ditto and, you know, systems and processes and now being a consultant. But I, I finally took the time and I think that’s the point, is like I took the time to document it once and for all so that I could actually rely on my team and, and scale effectively.

[00:30:16] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, it’s something that. actually, I think it was, Bart Aniston who I believe you’ve interviewed on your show. I spoke with him a while back and he has his marketing agency and we were talking about some of these, systems and processes and the importance of documentation.

[00:30:34] Sam Chlebowski: Bart actually inspired me. To start documenting my own processes right now. And at the time it felt kind of funny just because I’m like, why am I documenting this? It’s just me right now. And now I look back, I’m like, oh my God. I’m so thankful that I started doing some of this stuff when I did. So, Bart, if you’re listening to this, thank you.

[00:30:55] Sam Chlebowski: because yeah, now I have, notion docs for how we publish podcasts, notion docs for how our paid ads are set up and how to, create the UTM parameters for each ad and all of these things that I’m gonna be really thank.

[00:31:11] Sam Chlebowski: Full, I feel like, that I have as soon as we onboard our first employee, so

[00:31:16] Marquis Murray: Yeah. It it’s interesting that you say that. Yeah. Barts a great guy. We worked together years ago. I’m gonna be on his podcast again in a, in a few weeks actually.

[00:31:24] Sam Chlebowski: Oh, nice. I’ll be sure to check that episode out.

[00:31:26] Marquis Murray: When you realize, and I had this epiphany, Maybe a year and a half ago, even still, right?

[00:31:31] Marquis Murray: It was a year and a half ago. I had this epiphany where I’m like, it seems so simple and I’m gonna say it. And you’re like, yeah, obviously. But a lot of people don’t actually practice it. and understand it. It’s, as an entrepreneur, it is not your job in year 2, 3, 4, whatever, to keep doing the same things you were doing in year one.

[00:31:49] Marquis Murray: Year one is like, Your setup, it’s your foundation. Maybe you’re spending your, day on sales calls and balancing that between what should be documenting and onboarding people. But it’s not your [00:32:00] job to continue doing those tasks you did when you first started the business. It is your job to take all the information out of your head.

[00:32:08] Marquis Murray: Put it in a place where your team can access it and so that they can continue doing those things so you can focus on what you’re truly gifted in, Whether that is or what, whatever brings you joy, right? So if that is sales, great. Focus your day on sales. If that is speaking or podcast, for me it’s podcast and it’s making YouTube videos.

[00:32:27] Marquis Murray: If I could spend my whole day just doing those two things, I would absolutely spend my time that way. But again, it’s such a simple concept, but if you really think about it, it’s like, my job is to document this so I don’t have to do it anymore. That’s it. That’s what we should be focusing on.

[00:32:43] Marquis Murray: But it, it’s missed so often, which is why obviously I’m so passionate about this cause I know what the other side looks like.

[00:32:50] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, and cause I do agree with that timeframe. That you laid out like in that first year To say this a little bit in a different way. I think it’s okay to do things that don’t scale. It’s okay to do those sales calls, even though you’re not eventually gonna be the salesperson.

[00:33:06] Sam Chlebowski: Go talk with customers. Spend extra time with talking to your customers, offer, white glove onboarding, offer extra support, offer this higher level. When you were getting off the ground. and use those learnings from those activities that don’t scale to provide documentation, to create processes that do.

[00:33:26] Sam Chlebowski: And I think if you can do that, that is the critical piece that’s really, really gonna help you, after that first year and then onwards throughout your business.

[00:33:36] Sam Chlebowski: Marque, this has been absolutely awesome chatting with you, and I feel like I could sit here with you honestly all day,, I’ll have to have you back on to chat some more about the things that you’re doing with your business and of the new things that you’re seeing.

[00:33:49] Marquis Murray: You’re very welcome. And thanks for the opportunity. Yeah. I had a great time. lots of synergies as, as you said. And so yeah, I’d love to come back whenever it makes sense for you.

[00:33:56] Sam Chlebowski: Amazing. Amazing. So, two last questions before we go. First one, if people want to learn more about you and the work that you’re doing, where should they go?

[00:34:04] Marquis Murray: I’m all over LinkedIn. You can follow along there, but if you go to Marquismurray.com, you can find out all about what we’re doing. There’s some incentives on there. I’ve got a free community for ops minded people at Systembuilderacademy.com. But yeah, pick your flavor and I’ll see you there.

[00:34:20] Sam Chlebowski: Amazing stuff, and we will put links in the show notes to all of those things. And then for our final question — when you’re not working Marquis, how do you like to spend your time? What do you like to do?

[00:34:30] Marquis Murray: My seven year old boys, they keep me busy. Wit’s building Lego, we love playing chess and checkers together. They are avid video game enthusiasts and so we’ll be playing Mariocart on the Nintendo Switch or Fortnite. I love hanging out with my kids. I really, really do. If it was just me, I’d probably be playing bass or out for a walk. Yeah, that’s it. Family is how I wanna spend my time.

[00:34:55] Sam Chlebowski: I love it. I would very much so agree maybe, once they start getting a little bit older, maybe it’s even soon they can start playing music with you. You got a drummer and then a potential guitarist and you guys got a band.

[00:35:08] Marquis Murray: They already play piano, so we’re like halfway there.

[00:35:11] Sam Chlebowski: No way. That is awesome. Piano is one thing that I wish I would have learned. Just because it’s so like fundamental to any other instrument, if you can learn how to play the piano. But maybe I’ll try and, uh, you know, see if my son, wants to take piano lessons when he’s older, uh, you don’t give him a gentle nudge to try it out.

[00:35:29] Marquis Murray: Get him started right now, five, six months. It’s a perfect time.

[00:35:34] Sam Chlebowski: Can’t sit up, but he can play some mean keys. Well, cool. Thank you so much, marque was awesome chatting with you. If you like the content covered in this episode, Go ahead and give us a five star review on Apple or Spotify. Just search for the Designing Growth Podcast. Click that five-star review button.

[00:35:53] Sam Chlebowski: Don’t even have to leave a comment. Just click that button. Thanks again everybody, hope you enjoyed this episode. [00:36:00] Until next time, my name is Sam Chlebowski, host of the Designing Growth Podcast. Have fun, good luck, and go crush it. Bye-bye.

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