0:00 - Intro
0:49 - An Experience with Experimental Cooking
5:23 - Cooking the RIGHT Business
9:45 - Summary and Closing Remarks
Charley Valher: Well, hello there. This is Charley here, the host of the Agency Valley podcast. And today I'm bringing you Episode 2, which is a solo episode. Now, this episode of the podcast is Doing 99% of Things Right in Your Agency and Still Failing. And there's so many points in this episode, from the story I tell that I think can really make a difference in your agency. Now, if you are enjoying this podcast, please make sure to subscribe and tune in when we post new things and share with anyone that you think this could add value to. So enjoy the episode of the podcast.
[AV Podcast Intro Plays]
Hey guys it's Charley here and I'm coming to you solo today for the Agency Valley podcast. Now, in today's episode I'm going to be sharing a very personal experience that really shaped my thinking around business and something I can think will help a lot of agency owners out there. Because I think a lot of you are doing 99 percent of things right and still not getting the results you deserve in your agency, and even some of you are failing because of this one percent. So I'm gonna I dig into this story and really kind of hopefully shape a point of view that can make a huge difference in your agency. And then at the end I'll give you some really big takeaway points that I hope will help you from today.
So, it was a Thursday afternoon and I had worked just one of those monster days that all of us have from time to time. I started early. I had a lot of meetings, I had a lot of deadlines. It was a really heavy workload day. And being honest with you, at the end of that day I was fried and I just wanted to relax. There was really not much left in the tank after the day I just had. But, it was my turn to cook dinner for me my partner that night and I didn't want to let Bianca down. Now, I knew we had some ingredients in our pantry and fridge, but I knew we needed some things from the local supermarket that I was going to have to go to the shops for. I was hoping that I was going to have time to go to the shops during the day but instead I'd left it to the afternoon because of my really, really hectic day and I could now say that I was probably gonna have to go to the shops. So I went over to the pantry and fridge and I started digging through and I started asking myself, you know, could I get away with not going to the shops? Is there any way I could start to put something together or create a meal based on what we had so far?
And at the time there was this TV show on called Master Chef and what they used to do on Master Chef is they had this like mystery box challenge where they would give the contestants a box of random ingredients and they had to kind of like work their way through creating a meal. Now keep in mind these guys are obviously you know reasonably good chefs, if they've made it to the show. But I love the challenge and it was kind of like they were bootstrapping a meal. You know, a lot of what we do in business sometimes where we have to do is work with what we've got available and it can be really, really... You can have some of your best creations in bootstrapping things sometimes, you know. They say that necessity is the mother of creation and I really, really believe that can be true in a lot of the environments. But anyway, I thought to myself, I'm feeling a little bit Master Chef here. What I'm actually going to do is instead of going to the shops or the supermarket and taking up that extra 20 minutes to a half hour of my day I'm gonna do it. I can probably cook this meal in a half hour. And this is going to mean that I have more time to rest.
Now I took a shortcut, didn't I? I didn't do the thing I probably should have done. So I started cooking this meal, and I started cooking, and pretty quickly I could see that I was well and truly out of my depth. There were some key ingredients I was going to need to make the meal I had planned on making work, but nonetheless I kind of started pushing through and just trying to do all these little work arounds to come through it. And you know, I'm putting this meal together and in all honesty it kind of smelled all right while I was cooking it, it smelled really good. And even as I was starting to plate up this meal, I plated it up and it looked reasonably good. You know, visually, it looked great. And then the smell was good, and I thought, oh wow. You know, I've really managed to pull something special together here. This is gonna be like a meal my partner is gonna be really happy with and maybe this is like a new thing we're going to, like, add to the menu.
So me and my partner like sat down, and I like, proudly like plated this up, telling my part of the story about how I put this together and basically, you know, wanting like accolades and praise for my master chef skills. And then we sat down at the table and we took a couple of bites and you can already hear me laughing a little bit in my voice but it was terrible. It was actually like one of the worst meals I think I'd ever made because it was just really, really out of balance. And I remember sitting there, and I knew it was bad, but I kept eating it because I didn't want to be defeated. And about halfway into the meal I'm like, this is actually just beyond terrible. And we ended up just getting some takeout or something that night. But that night had a really big effect on me for kind of like many, many reasons and I actually think there is a lot of things that happen in cooking that are very relatable to business. And I think a lot of people should be in tune with. So, you know, here's the big lessons of the things that really kind of shaped my thinking around business and agencies because of it.
I know this is gonna sound strange but I found it to be very, very true. So number one is that people make recipes and plans for a reason. You know, trying to find your way through business or cooking through trial and error is just a really, really stupid approach. So when it comes to my meal that I just created is that someone had made a recipe, and there was a shop down the road that sold everything I needed to execute this recipe well, but instead I chose to kind of find my own way, hack what I could together and then surprisingly-- well not really surprisingly, the result turned out not as expected. So any time in business you can use a recipe or someone else's plan, you're gonna go so much quicker and I just think this is so important for every agency owner out there is like, there are some monster big agencies out there that have already gone through all the challenges you have gone through. So many great coaches and mentors and people that have already navigated these paths. Do not suffer in the pain of just trying to do things by trial and error. In my finding, trial and error is a very slow and expensive way to do things, and I really think I could as shortcutted the growth of not only my agency but any other company I've been involved with just by following the plans and recipes other people had created.
Now point to here is that when you look at this, you know, it only takes one ingredient. You've only got to put just a little bit of the wrong thing in a meal and you can ruin the whole thing. You know, and this is the title of this episode is you can have like 99 percent of the right ingredients, but if you just slip a little bit of paprika in your mix, you know, you just put something in there that really has the chance to ruin most things and it's done, like the whole thing is ruined. So, you know, taking this back to business, because that's what we're here for as agency owners, you only have to take in one of the wrong client or make one particularly bad move and can have a huge ripple effect on the business. You know, one wrong hire. So you as the business owner have to be really diligent. You have to make sure there's no paprika spill slipping into your business. You know what's that one thing that, you know. If not then this would have turned out really, really well, and I think that's a really important one. And then, the last one is it's not just the ingredients you have in your recipe or in your business, but it's the ratios of those ingredients that play a big role in how things turn out.
So, let's bring it back to business again. Let's say we think about your business in like you know different pillars. So you might have a marketing pillar. A sales pillar. A client delivery pillar. You might have a hiring piller or an HR killer. Now if you spend all your time just working on marketing and sales but never time on you know your system for delivering work or your team pillar or delivering work there, then every time you get a new client they're just going to leave and it's going to churn because you don't know how to look after them well. And then on the reverse let's say you're only focused on getting client's results. That's where you're pulling all your ratio from but you never do any marketing and sales, then you're not going to grow because you're never gonna bring in enough work to kind of facilitate that. Now the mix or the recipe for your business might be different depending on where you're at or what you're trying to put into a certain thing. But what you need to do is kind of take a step back and work out what ratios should I be putting more energy in. What ratios do I need to spread my energy or the energy of my team so that we can make sure of our ratios? Do we have all the ingredients in the right ratios to get the result we want?
Now most people aren't even aware of these ratios. They kind of get into like these habits and routines, and I think it's very, very dangerous when you've been doing the same thing for too long, is that you kind of think you're doing the right things, but you might be ignoring this massively important ratio or doing something that could need some energy. Like, right now you might need to spend more energy on hiring and training your team but instead what you're focusing on is just learning the latest Facebook ads tactics or social media tactics. So awareness of these things can come together and be really, really important from there. So this is my short story, and a very, very interesting lesson that came from cooking, of all places. But I hope it can bring some light into your agency and can become something that adds a lot of value. So thank you for listening to this episode of the Agency Valley podcast. I hope you've enjoyed this story and I'm sure there'll be many more stories like this that come out over the series of the podcast. Now, if you have enjoyed this episode, please make-- Sorry, but I love it when you kind of stuff up at the end. But please, you know, share this podcast with other agency owners and subscribe to the show.