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Success is not Revenue Alone! with Richard Conway – Season 2, Episode 5

3 top tips from Richard Conway

1. Change your mindset

So I met this amazing woman number of years ago in the UK called Deborah Serle. And what she did is she with her husband, who was an oarsman, they went on this boat trip, which is from the UK to the Caribbean, right, that’s tiny boat two people in husband, proper oarsmen. Anyway, they get 20 Kms out or something and her husband realizes he’s got massive fear of open water. So he got picked up. Yeah, she’s got to decide whether she goes it alone. And no one’s ever done this by themselves, let alone this little woman who’s not a professional rower or anything. Yeah, she decided she’s going to do it. And it took her many months. And she did it. And she put together this toolbox of things which helped her get through it. And those are brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

So one, one is playing the movie in your mind. So seeing the outcome that you want to do and replaying that and replaying it in your mind to visualize where you want to be. That helped. In other words, putting music. Music makes you feel a certain way. So having a playlists that bring you into a certain frame of mind. So I have put together these playlists, you know, if I’m feeling down, I have playlists that will bring me up from going to a massive pitch. I have playlists that sort of have helped me up.

Making conscious decisions to change your mindset. I actually can choose to become obsessed with things like, yeah, I’ve decided I really want to do this. And it’s really important to me. So I compete by repeating that cycle in my mind and doing these actions, you create positive habits. I looked this lady up, Deborah Serle…Yeah she’s incredible. And, I think she gives it away, free toolkit of different things that can help change your mindset. amazing woman, incredible. Fantastic.

2. Always trying different things

So one thing is you look all these business owners who have built big companies that are successes. Now, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s about continual momentum, always trying different things. Something doesn’t work, try something else, but it’s every single day you do small steps towards a bigger goal, and big things will happen and you’ll look back and think how did I get here, and it’s just those small steps.

3. Don’t be scared to invest

And the final one is, don’t be scared to invest like, so my first website spent $10,000, oh! my second website, first one I cobbled together but the second one I spent $10,000 to build massive amount of money for me at the time, first inquiry with Singapore Airlines, you show me the value of spending money then I got the opportunity to spend a week in Branson in Necker Island. Must be $20,000. Again, massive matter of money. But it paid for itself many times over.

Recently wrote a book for Penguin Random House, yeah, that took money and time to get that done. Again, paid for itself many times over. And anytime I’ve taken these big leaps, with investment with time, they paid for themselves. And you know, it’s sometimes scary to commit money that you don’t necessarily have and you and you’ve got to be you can’t put yourself in big trouble. But I think it’s good to take some of those risks sometimes and do the things that other people aren’t doing right. Everyone’s doing ebooks and stuff. So let’s do a physical book, get Penguin, Random House publisher, do things that other people aren’t doing. be different. I hate following the crowd. It’s just it’s counterintuitive. Have branded cars on the road. Just do stuff, measure it, and iterate.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, business, seo, new zealand, called, big, process, wife, wrote, disenfranchise, ideas, sales, awarded, helped, create, thought, money, deborah, success, book

SPEAKERS

Richard Conway, Debra Chantry-Taylor

Debra Chantry-Taylor

So, this morning, I’m here with Richard Conway from Pure SEO and Pure SEO is New Zealand’s largest and most awarded search engine optimization company isn’t that great?

Richard Conway

It is!

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for coming on board today. Appreciate that.

Richard Conway

Cool, thanks for having me.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

So Richard, um, you and I have known each other for a long time, you actually were quite instrumental in helping me with my business many years ago, I don’t if you remember, but you took me out for lunch one day, and we talked about some ideas around business, and that really kick started my career. So thank you for that. Really appreciate it. Would you like to tell me a little about you know, your journey to becoming the business person you are today. And maybe start with just giving our listeners a bit of a sense of a professional, personal best that you hold dear to yourself.

Richard Conway

Cool… it’s not been an easy journey. Came to New Zealand in 2009. from the UK and my wife’s also British. Came here traveling early 20s, fell in love with the place and thought where better to bring up kids. So came to New Zealand thought walk into a job. No one’s give me a job. No Kiwi experience.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

I’ve been there.

Richard Conway

So really, the early days were really really, really hard. I didn’t know anyone in New Zealand didn’t know anything about anything. wanted to start a business had a few different ideas. And so yeah, the the early days were just sort off, pretty hard. And then like the personal best is I look back, I sit down and go to our office. And there’s all these people that rely on me for that income. We’ve got big building, and we’ve got all this cool stuff happening and lots of clients, and I never would have believed that at the beginning. And yeah, it’s those incremental, the constant momentum constantly doing something every day to push towards things that creates those big things. You can’t necessarily see that in the early days. And it’s quite inspiring to look back and see, wow, this idea turned into this thing that pays 70 people their wages and stuff. It’s crazy.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

That’s pretty amazing. Yeah. So, where did the idea come from?

Richard Conway

So, I ran a company for someone else in the UK, and we spent lots of money on digital marketing. I had a few ideas when I came to New Zealand of different businesses got background in commercial properties. So there was something around property, those few other things. I found a business partner for the commercial property thing. They pulled out at the last minute, I thought I really don’t need anyone else. Let’s just do something myself. So I settled on the SEO side of things. And then me and the wife sort of threw a few names together and came up Pure SEO friend called John Malloy, who I met created the logo for a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Excellent!

Richard Conway

Yeah, just put a stake in the ground and it could be other things. It just happened that that was the one I chose.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Yep. And so you know, 2009 there was just probably yourself and your wife and I was it just the two of you, when you first started? Or, did you have…

Richard Conway

Just me.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Just you?

Richard Conway

Yeah, my wife was a social worker. So it was just me and yeah, I didn’t know anyone who was. I’m not the most extroverted person, although pretend to be. And, so I was going out, meeting people and doing stuff that was really uncomfortable. But it becomes more comfortable over time.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

And now you’ve got 70 odd staff. That really is fantastic. So tell us a little about that journey because you know, we often see people say Hey, look you know, look at Richard, he’s so successful. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be where we are, on that journey, what have been the sort of challenges along the way for you?

Richard Conway

So loads of challenges. In the early days, I didn’t really know anyone or anything. You know, first year thing I generated $60,000, in total in the first year, and there were lots of things I didn’t know, like, I didn’t know about entertainment being 50% of things you just don’t know not being in business, especially in New Zealand. And so, it was really hard, really, really hard had to do everything myself, I had to fight, do the meetings, find the clients, do the work, present the work, create the templates, create the business, just everything. And I’m not a detail person. But you know, in those early days, when you get the customers, you just over service them because you just really wanna. They put their trust in you and you wanna them to be a success, you’d almost give them a massage on the way out. It’s that important to you that you service them. The idea was always to scale. I’m not someone who wanted to sit on the tools. And so the initial plan, 50 customers 120 grand a year 60 grand, keep myself in 60 grand to pay someone to do the work and rinse and repeat. Model changed. But loads of difficult times. And it’s been documented before we had three miscarriages in the first year of business, my wife got cancer in 2012, you know, and no family here. The emotional, my key staff member also in 2012 hand in his notice to go to a competitor, just the same week that my wife got the cancer diagnoses. And there’s been so many times where I’ve just wanted to give it in and or get out of bed, not face the world. Now, I often think there’s difference between success and failure is when you really don’t want to get up you don’t want to face the world, you just sort of slap yourself in the face and say, Look, go do it. People are relying on you just get up do it and you work away. And one thing I’ve learned over the years is bad stuff happens, right? It’s gonna happen. And it could be 20 amazing thing happens. And then one bad thing happens. And then your mind just focuses on that bad thing. And you’ve got to consciously flip it around and say, hold on, I’ve had these 20 good things happen. And it’s one bad things, you know, as a percentage, you take that all day, every day. And so a lot of it’s changing mindset, and understanding that stuff is gonna go wrong. Bad stuffs gonna happen. It’s gonna be emotional. I’ve had business partners screw me over. I’ve had business partner Australia, passed away in a freak accident. His company is older than me leaves his wife and two young kids. And they’re all these unforeseen things that happen and they can be you. But I believe you’ve got to kind of push through not let them beat you. Because there’s so many times where it would just be easier to go off and get a corporate job or…

Debra Chantry-Taylor

We talked about that moment ago? Didn’t we?

Richard Conway

Yeah.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

So do you have any sort of pointers around how you do that? Because you know, I call it the death spiral, it’s like, if you keep focusing on the negatives, you eventually does get further and further and further down. And it can almost feel like you cannot get out of it. What have you done personally, if you felt yourself heading down that what do you do to bring yourself out? So I met this amazing woman number of years ago in the UK called Deborah Serle. And what she did is she with her husband, who was an oarsman, they went on this boat trip, which is from the UK to the Caribbean, right, that’s tiny boat two people in husband, proper oarsmen. Anyway, they get 20 Kms out or something and her husband realizes he’s got massive fear of open water. So he got picked up. Yeah, she’s got to decide whether she goes it alone. And no one’s ever done this by themselves, let alone this little woman who’s not a professional rower or anything. Yeah, she decided she’s going to do it. And it took her many months. And she did it. And she put together this toolbox of things which helped her get through it. And those are brilliant, absolutely brilliant. So one, one is playing the movie in your mind. So seeing the outcome that you want to do and replaying that and replaying it in your mind to visualize where you want to be. That helped. In other words, putting music. Music makes you feel a certain way. So having a playlists that bring you into a certain frame of mind. So I have put together these playlists, you know, if I’m feeling down, I have playlists that will bring me up from going to a massive pitch. I have playlists that sort of have helped me up. Making conscious decisions to change your mindset. I actually can choose to become obsessed with things like, yeah, I’ve decided I really want to do this. And it’s really important to me. So I compete by repeating that cycle in my mind and doing these actions, you create positive habits. I looked this lady up, Deborah Serle…Yeah she’s incredible. And, I think she gives it away, free toolkit of different things that can help change your mindset. amazing woman, incredible. Fantastic. And you know, you went from being on your own to having a number of staff, as you said, You lost a couple of key people along the way, what’s been the biggest thing you’ve learned about people in the business?

Richard Conway

So there’s, there’s two sides, one, you get amazing people will, they’ll just, you empower them, they’ll just do stuff that you wouldn’t even dream of. So it’s finding those people who have the skill sets that you don’t. So you create a team of different passions and skill sets, and they’re just it creates a whole ship. The other side is, I’ve over promoted people which have been detrimental to business. And I’ve not got rid of people quick enough, which has been detrimental to the business. And I think, as a leader, you’ve got to be decisive. And you’ve got to make those decisions quickly. And that’s not necessarily natural to me. But if you don’t, it just you’re gonna have to do it at some point. So you might as well just do it. And that’s been a big learning for me.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Yeah. And what’s your role in the business now? I should ask, what do you do in the business? What’s your role now?

Richard Conway

So I’m the CEO. I have a General Manager, I have an Ops Manager, I’ve got financial controllers, day to day, I’m not really involved, except I do the strategic stuff, come up with the crazy ideas, the PR, the speaking and all that kind of stuff, the rain makes for the business. And we’re at a stage where we’re going really fast with growth, again, after the sort of lul of COVID. And I think my next potential piece of that jigsaw is potentially a marketing manager, I’ve never had a marketing manager. always kind of done stuff myself. But I think we’re getting to a size where having someone purely focused on marketing might be a good idea. That’s my kind of next…

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Iteration of that accountability chart.

Richard Conway

Yeah

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Okay, so now being in that role, obviously, where you do get the chance to just, you know, pursue the big ideas, the big relationships, all that stuff, how has that changed your life?

Richard Conway

So, there was a period where I kind of find myself as sort of day to day, A number of years ago, there was a period where I’d overpriced someone. I was coming back in to the business and I was doing all this stuff. I lost my mojo, I really wasn’t enjoying things going on, I did a presentation to my EO forum, about why I lost my mojo. And during that process, I wrote down every single thing that I hate doing, I’m doing, I just decided it was my ego making me do that stuff. I just decided overnight, I’m just gonna stop doing it. And focus on the things that I enjoy and the things that really fit my skill set. And overnight transformed my enjoyment of my day to day. And when people come to me with stuff that I didn’t want to do, I just say, Look, you’re capable, you make those decisions. I’m not going to come down on you if you make a mistake. But you’re better at stuff than me and and it just transformed everything. The one thing I don’t do now that I miss a little bit is I don’t make any sales anymore. I love the sales thing.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

But you do big relationship sales, don’t you?

Richard Conway

Sort of, like I’ve just squeezed a channel partnership, which I can’t talk about who with yet, but I bring in, I still rainmake a little bit. But even with that, I’ll bring in a salesperson to the meeting. If I have to attend the first one, then I’ll hand it over to them. And the thought process behind that is, firstly, that actually better sales people to me anyway. But I don’t want to disenfranchise my sales team, but the CEO going out and taking all the deals. Yeah, I’d rather they earn the commission and they’re empowered to do it. Because that’s their job. I don’t want to take away from them. I want to I want to give them the best opportunities, if I start making all sales, or the biggest sales. I don’t want to disenfranchise them, and I’d rather it cost me more money. And I’ve got a happy functioning sales team. And like I say that they’re better at sales than me anyway.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Sure. So you know, EOS, we talk about like doing what you love with people you love. And we actually use a Dan Sullivan tool, which is about you know, your unique ability. So working out what you really, really are put on this planet for and making sure you spend most of your time doing that. And we use a tool called delegated and elevate, where you literally list the things that you love when you’re great at all the things that you don’t love any you’re not so great at is that what you did you actually literally go through and sort of write down all the things that you do and then go Yes, that’s me And no, that’s not or what was the process you went through? Did you decide you’re pretty much

Richard Conway

So I had to do a presentation to my floor. We do a presentation once a month. Because I was really feeling not not enjoying my day to day and. And so I literally wrote down all the things I do, and two sides and just you know what I want to enjoy, what I enjoy and what I don’t enjoy. Yeah. And I looked at it, and it was just staring me there in the face. It was obvious once I’d done that, but you don’t necessarily always see that without visualizing when you’re in the weeds. You don’t necessarily see it. And I say it’s probably ego that brings you in, You know? I’m the fixer, you know, it’s natural to want to fix stuff.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Yep.

Richard Conway

But you’re not always best placed to do that. And it’s and it can be detrimental to the business, you start disenfranchising people, because you’re stepping on their toes. The business stops growing, because you’re not focusing on the big picture. And your passion goes because you’re not doing the stuff you enjoy. And so, I didn’t have a formal process. But it was just Yeah, kinda came out there.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

And taking time out. We talked about this before, right? Having some time out to actually think about those things is really important. Do you do that regularly now?

Richard Conway

Yeah, so I have a massage once a week. And I kind of I use that really sort of think, I sort of just occupy my mind and just do that. I also do kickboxing two or three times a week.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

I’ve seen that on LinkedIn.Yeah. Excellent

Richard Conway

Probably not very good. It’s just good exercise. And when I came to New Zealand, 2009, I used to, I used to be pretty fit as a kid. And then I stopped exercising for ages. And I put on a lot weight, I wasn’t fit anymore. And I wanted children, I thought I don’t want to be that parent who can’t run around after their kids. And, so I decided to start exercising with a personal trainer who actually she became a friend of mine. And then I sort of moved on and found something I really enjoyed, which was kickboxing. So I’m never I’m never gonna be amazing at it. But it’s enjoyable and I pay for anyone at Pure SEO wants to come in on Monday night. So we have a whole bunch that come in on Monday, private class, gets to punch the CEO.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Awesome. Yeah, I love it! okay, any other sort of defining moments in your career? Things that you sort of suddenly, you know, either did or engage with somebody, or anything that just suddenly really changed the way the business was moving?

Richard Conway

So several things. And now they’re often from small conversations. So I had a conversation with a guy called Frank, randomly at an event. And he was talking about his business and how they sold it and how they had all their IP in what he defined as a black box. But is just a piece of software that I have their IP. And it got me thinking, R I P was basically what’s called link building sheet and it was on an Excel spreadsheet. Anyone can nick it and it got me thinking about how do we create something to hold our IP plus also allow us to scale. And based on that compensation, we’ve created some software, and that allowed us to scale so it was an enormous thought process. And another was a conversation, I had someone around the whole sales thing and why we were failing with our sales people. And it turned out we had the wrong people on the ship. And all our sales people were failing for a period because we weren’t giving them the right tools to succeed. And so I brought in someone else I shoulder tapped people who were known as really good in our industry. And I’ve got someone in with shoulder tap three people, two of them wanted the job, one wanted to do his own thing. And I chose one. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. But it came from a conversation with someone as well, Transformative, because I’m not that detail that process person and having someone in that role who basically sell systems and processes to allow salespeople to succeed, just transformed our business

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Fantastic. So, having an operating system in place, as opposed to just running by the seat of your pants.

Richard Conway

Yeah, you know, on the different processes. And if sales person is not succeeding, where are they falling down in the process, coaching them around, you know what they need to get? Because everything is around process, objection handling, and I genuinely believe we’re the best at what we do. And so yeah, we ranked number one for SEO. I’ve written a book for Penguin Random House, we get a lead, as far as I’m concerned, why would they go with anyone else? And so we’ve got all that. And so looking through the process, why would customers Why would a potential customer say no, and which salespeople are doing right, which are not and analyzing that process, and when they’re not succeeding, sitting down, looking at the element of the process, and just tweaking it so that they’re communicating in the right manner. Because if someone’s coming to us, they want our product or service. You know, as far as I’m concerned, they shouldn’t go with anyone else so…

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Absolutely. Now, I know that you know, you are the most awarded agency but you’ve also been in the fast 500 and the fast 50 for a number of years of running years. And what’s been your most proud moment, I suppose, of the business in terms of success?

Richard Conway

So probably when I sold 35% to myself, 25% to Tony Falkenstein and 10% to Ian Malcolm, my accountant, that kind of gave me the validation that we’re going in the right way. And you know, I’ve got a lot of respect for these people in the fact they willing to put their cold hard cash to buy a percentage, you know, that’s, that’s pretty defining. That that was massive, like, the awards are really, for a PR perspective. For me, that’s a brand building, a growing thing. They don’t really mean much. But, they’re brilliant for the brand. We’ve been I think on the Deloitte Fast 500 for seven years in a row, the only company in New Zealand who have been seven years in a row. That’s brilliant for the brands.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Fantastic. Yeah, yeah. Okay.

Richard Conway

But well, what does it really mean? We increase revenue doesn’t mean anything else other than revenue. But it’s also cool to celebrate that stuff with the team because it’s the team that does it. Not me.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Yeah. How do you celebrate it with the team? What do you do? so not only for those big things, but also for the small things as you like celebrating even the small successes, right?

Richard Conway

Yes so, last Friday, we do an annual boat trip. So last Friday, we had everyone on a boat trip, we hire it, we charter a boat go out. People jump off into the water, we supply food and stuff. Every Christmas, we have a Christmas party that sits with our values. So trust, respect, integrity, and family. So what we do is, we do a barbecue, I do all the cooking but people’s partners are invited their kids, their parents. Yeah, we do. We get presents for the kids. Someone’s dressed as Santa and it’s a very family affair. We had about 90 people at our last Christmas party. And it’s it’s about giving back. And then we do lots of things like rather than celebrate when people leave, like most people dom we celebrate when people come. So we have a welcome coffee where everyone goes round and says something about them that other people might not know. And welcome someone to the company. Now let’s celebrate people coming on board and celebrate the company growth. So there’s all sorts of things we do all the time. Every Christmas, I make sure I hand write cards to every single member of the team. And I find out what they’ve been doing in the year. And I make sure I write specifically, and let them know that that what they’re doing is being appreciated. So, there’s all sorts of stuff we do. And I think the big thing is genuinely caring. If you genuinely care, people feel that. And I’m not the best communicator. And so, I try and communicate as best I can and show that. I know, it’s not all about me. It’s more about them than me. And the successes around them. I just take all the plaudits because I’m seen as front and center. But yeah, I couldn’t do it without those people.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

And I know you’re really strong on your values. And again, you shared with me a job advert that you use that really helps people make decisions before they even get to the interview about whether or not their right values fit. How do you test that when they… cause, you know, people can come to an interview, and they can say all the right things, do you have a method of seeing if they really truly fit the values?

Richard Conway

So I intrinsically see the best in people. I want to hire everybody. I’ve actually been kicked out of the interview process so that I might meet someone just before you know, just to give a final tip. Yeah, we use the GM and the team lead, and they have processes and stuff. But we do that as part of our employment process. They’ve got to fit our values if they don’t fit our values, even if they’re incredibly skilled then they’re just not for us. It’s I think you can teach skills, you can’t teach values,

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Yeah and you can’t teach attitude. That’s cool. Okay, I’m conscious of time. And we always like to share these sort of three tips we can take away we already talked about Deborah Serle and her, you know how you can change your mindset to to get out of bed but each morning, what are the other couple of things you’d like to share with the listeners about what you would either, what you have done or things have really helped in your business?

Richard Conway

So one thing is you look all these business owners who have built big companies that are successes. Now, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s about continual momentum, always trying different things. Something doesn’t work, try something else, but it’s every single day you do small steps towards a bigger goal, and big things will happen and you’ll look back and think how did I get here, and it’s just those small steps. And the final one is, don’t be scared to invest like, so my first website spent $10,000 oh my second website, first one I cobbled together but the second one I spent $10,000 To build massive amount of money for me at the time, first inquiry with Singapore Airlines, you show me the value of spending money then I got the opportunity to spend a week in Branson in Necker Island. Must be $20,000. Again, massive matter of money. But it paid for itself many times over. recently wrote a book for Penguin Random House, yeah, that took money and time to get that done. Again, paid for itself many times over. And anytime I’ve taken these big leaps, with investment with time, they paid for themselves. And you know, it’s sometimes scary to commit money that you don’t necessarily have and you and you’ve got to be you can’t put yourself in big trouble. But I think it’s good to take some of those risks sometimes and do the things that other people aren’t doing right. Everyone’s doing ebooks and stuff. So let’s do a physical book, get Penguin, Random House publisher, do things that other people aren’t doing. be different. I hate following the crowd. It’s just it’s counterintuitive. Have branded cars on the road. Just do stuff, measure it, and iterate.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Yeah, yeah. Perfect. Thank you. Now you are without a doubt one of the best SEO companies in New Zealand, if not around the world, how people get in contact with you if they’d like to talk to either you or the team about using your services.

Richard Conway

So go to pureseo.com or email me Richard@pureseo.co.nz. I’m pretty relaxed on myself and non salesy. If you’re a small business, happy to just have a chat with you anyway. I actually wrote that book to help smaller businesses who couldn’t necessarily afford us. And it’s very much a DIY SEO written for layman’s, and I just want to improve the whole industry or we teach for the Marketing Association for the University…

Debra Chantry-Taylor

That’s actually how we first met wasn’t it?

Richard Conway

yeah! And various others. So yeah, by all means, contact me. But also, if if you just want a bit of advice on my door’s always open.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Fantastic. So that book can that be found on a Pure SEO site or as is there a specific site for that book?

Richard Conway

Any of the online retail so…

Debra Chantry-Taylor

And it’s called? How to get to the top of Google search a practical guide. It’s on Amazon. it’s on all the main platforms. Yeah. New Zealand thing is right. Yeah. Awesome. That’s really great. Hey, look, thank you so much for coming in and spending time with us and sharing your views and your ideas. I really appreciate it.

Richard Conway

Thank you for your time too

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Thanks, Richard.

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Professional EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

#betterbusinessbetterlife #entrepreneur #leadership #eosimplementer #professionaleosimplementer #entrepreneurialbusinesscoach

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