Artwork for podcast Hack the Entrepreneur
Valuing Your Connections and Optimizing Towards Happiness
20th July 2015 • Hack the Entrepreneur • Jon Nastor
00:00:00 00:37:36

Share Episode


My guest today is a developer who understands the marketing strategies needed to grow a business, and is an expert in implementing them. He helps course authors, product creators, and self-funded businesses increase their revenue from their existing traffic.

As the CEO of DelfiNet, a full-service development and marketing consultancy, my guest has helped companies all around the world improve their revenue conversion strategies. His portfolio includes a large range of companies, including both small startups and Fortune 100s.

He’s passionate about developing solutions to solve real business problems and employing solutions that are intuitive and easy to use.

Now, Let’s hack …

Keith Perhac.

In this 37-minute episode Keith Perhac and I discuss:

  • Why you need to value your connections
  • Doing things that don’t scale
  • Find your own pain points and create products to solve them
  • How to learn what works and what doesn’t
  • Why Keith would turn down making a lot of money

Listen to Hack the Entrepreneur below ...

The Show Notes

The Transcript

Valuing Your Connections and Optimizing Towards Happiness

Voiceover: Welcome to Hack the Entrepreneur, the show which reveals the fears, habits, and inner battles behind big name entrepreneurs and those on their way to joining them. Now here is your host, Jon Nastor.

Jonny Nastor: We are back with another episode of Hack the Entrepreneur. Thank you so much for joining me today. I am your host, Jon Nastor, but you can call me Jonny.

My guest today is a developer who understands the marketing strategies needed to grow a business and is an expert at implementing them. He helps course authors, product creators, and self-funded businesses increase their revenue from their existing traffic.

As the CEO of DelfiNet, a full-service development and marketing consultancy, my guest has helped companies all around the world improve their revenue conversion strategies. His portfolio includes a large range of companies, including both small startups and Fortune 100s.

He’s passionate about developing solutions to solve real business problems and employing solutions that are intuitive and easy to use.

Now, let’s hack Keith Perhac.

Have you ever wasted more hours than you’d care to admit trying to set up a website for a new business idea? You’ve got this burning desire to share your product or service with the world, but all you’re doing is playing webmaster and getting nowhere fast when really what you should be doing is building your business.

That’s why today I want to tell you about a new service called ThemeValet. It’s designed to solve this exact problem. ThemeValet takes away all the hassle of setting up a new website by setting up a professional WordPress or a Rainmaker site on your behalf in less than 48 hours.

Just find the WordPress or Rainmaker theme that you want to use, place an order at ThemeValet, and they will set up your theme to look exactly like the beautiful design you were expecting. Plus, ThemeValet can even add your content, logo, and brand colors, too.

ThemeValet starts at just $99, so don’t let your website be an excuse. Head on over to today and finally get the kick-ass website that your next awesome business idea deserves.

Welcome back to another episode of Hack the Entrepreneur. Today, we have an extra special guest all the way from Japan. Keith, welcome to the show.

Keith Perhac: Thanks for having me.

Jonny Nastor: Absolutely my pleasure.

Keith Perhac: It’s great to be here.

Jonny Nastor: All right, Keith. Let’s jump straight into this.

Keith Perhac: All right.

Jonny Nastor: Keith, as an entrepreneur, what is the one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your successes so far?

Why You Need to Value Your Connections

Keith Perhac: That’s a good one. That’s a great question. I think the number one thing that has really contributed most to that is valuing the connections I have and valuing the people I work with and my clients. It’s really hard for me because I have a very much out of sight, out of mind personality. If people aren’t around me, I forget that they’re there, but it’s been really important to me to make sure that all my clients feel taken care of and that someone is always there answering their questions at any point.

I’ve noticed, as my company went on, whenever I was doing that, my company was doing well. I was making more money. I was getting more clients. I was getting more referrals. I was getting more business. Whenever I got too busy and I stopped caring about taking care of my customers in a really hands-on and personal way, then business started dropping again. That’s been something that’s really important to me — not automating that connection with the people I’m working with.

Jonny Nastor: Nice, so basically doing things that don’t scale?

Doing Things That Don’t Scale

Keith Perhac: It’s doing things that don’t scale. We do scale it a little. For example, when people email me, it goes into our ticketing system, and someone’s watching it. It’s scaling in a way that we’re being responsive, but it is something that doesn’t scale. You can’t scale that to 1,000, 2,000 people, right?

Jonny Nastor: Right.

Keith Perhac: That’s the purpose of what I wanted to do with my company, which is a boutique, smaller. We’re only about 10-people, right now, agency that helps a small number of clients. We only have a handful of clients, about 20.

Jonny Nastor: Wow.

Keith Perhac: That’s who we really focus on.

Jonny Nastor: I love that boutique style of business.

Keith Perhac: Yeah, me too. I used to work with Toyota and all the big companies. I just hated it. I got out of that.

Jonny Nastor: Nice. You say how you work kind of out of sight, out of mind, and how you need to be surrounded by people, but it’s interesting because you are in the middle of nowhere in Japan.

Keith Perhac: I am.

Jonny Nastor: It seems like a strange place for you with that quality.

Keith Perhac: It’s actually one of the reasons I’m thinking about leaving right now. Not sure if we’ll actually do it or not, but the two important things for me is, one, that I have people to connect with. We’re actually all remote, so I don’t have anyone here in the office with me.

Jonny Nastor: Oh, wow. Okay.

Keith Perhac: Yeah, it’s just me and my wife. We’re actually spread out over Japan, over the US. We had one person in the Philippines for a while and one person in England for a while. We’re all spread out, but we stay in touch on Slack. We’re always in our Slack rooms. We have daily meetings where we have a 15-minute meeting just to catch up, see what everyone’s doing.

That’s how I’ve kept everyone in sight, and same with the clients. I try to make a Skype meeting once a week or once every two weeks with all my clients, touch base, see where we’re at, and make sure that I’m still excited about things, make sure they’re excited about things, and make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Jonny Nastor: Nice. I love how you can still do that. You can keep in touch so much.

Keith Perhac: Technology has just been amazing. When I came here, I came here 12 years ago, and in order to call people, I needed a phone card that I would dial into their phone system, and then put in my special number. It was like 20 cents a minute and everything. Now, I call Skype. I can call any US number for free.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, we’re on Skype right now having a conversation completely for free.

Keith Perhac: We’re on Skype right now. Yup, exactly. It’s amazing how much technology has enabled, honestly, people like us, the entrepreneurs, the technical people to be able to take their business wherever they want. I have one Japanese client at this point, sorry, two. I have two Japanese clients at this point. Everyone else is in the US, Europe, or around that area.

Jonny Nastor: Nice. I love it. Okay. Let’s go back a bit. There seems to be this time in every entrepreneur’s life when they realize one of two things. Either they have this calling to make something bigger than themselves or a difference in the world or, as mostly seems to be the case, they simply find they cannot work for somebody else. Keith, can you tell me what side of the fence you fall on, and when you discovered this about yourself?

Find Your Own Pain Points and Create Products to Solve Them

Keith Perhac: I flip-flop a lot actually. I haven’t worked for anyone for about five years now, so I don’t know if I could go back to it. At the same time, I do miss the kind of 9-to-5, I don’t have to care about the business kind of thing. I just have to care about my projects, which is always really nice, right? The main reason I went out on my own was mainly I hated my current job. It had just gotten into drudgery. I was doing everything but sales at the company. I was doing the product design, so I was deciding what we were making. I was doing the marketing, so I was building all the assets around it. I was actually designing the project and programming the product.

Jonny Nastor: Wow. Okay.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. I was doing everything. All they had in the company besides me was I had my small dev team, and then I had the sales team, and then the administration. I’m pulling this company along, and we got bought out. I was like, “Well, if I’m doing this all myself, I don’t want to keep doing this for someone else. If I’m doing this all myself, why don’t I just try to get that last part, which is the sales and administration, and try to do it on my own?”

Jonny Nastor: Nice.

Keith Perhac: That’s what jumped me out is that, “Hey, I’m doing everything anyways. This is a great chance.” There’s very few times when your company gets bought and you have that clean break, right?

Jonny Nastor: Right.

Keith Perhac: Yeah, “Let’s go out and try it.” It’s working so far, so I’m four and a half years in.

Jonny Nastor: That was it? Four and half years in and you only had to try it, I guess you could say, once, and it succeeded and got you where you are?

Keith Perhac: I’ve changed what I’m doing a ton. I started out. I was a freelancer. I wasn’t running a company. I started out freelancing, doing conversion rate optimization. My first gig was actually hired as a front-end developer. I kept that moniker for about four years while working with that client even though I had gone to building his marketing strategy, his back end, all the technology that he ran his business on. That was my first go into it. That was the starting place.

That’s where I started learning a lot about building a business, the tech, and the skill set that people need to be able to succeed in the online marketing community. From there, I got really busy, so I brought on someone else. Then I got really busy again, so I brought on another person. Then I got really busy again, so I brought on someone to manage all of it. It just kept going on. The way I’ve been hiring recently is that I keep trying to find the pain points that I hate to do every day. You want to be able to focus. If you hate something, you’re not going to do it, right?

Jonny Nastor: Yeah.

Keith Perhac: We were talking about keeping up with people. I love talking to people. I love jumping on a Skype. If my job was sitting on Skype talking to my clients all day, I’d be the happiest person in the world. What I hate more than anything is email. Email is just the bane of my existence, so I have someone, as we were talking about a minute ago, that helps me monitor my email and does that day-to-day touch, just to make sure that people feel supported — especially when I’m asleep.

Because of the time difference, they’re up. They have something urgent. They’re like, “Keith, what’s going on?” Then I can have Scott, my account manager, come in and say, “Hey, Keith’s asleep. We’re on this. It’s fixed.” I wake up and things are done. That’s what I’ve really been hiring for is, “What parts of the job do I not like, am I not good at, and I need help on that.”

Jonny Nastor: Nice. At that segue, Keith, tell us something you are absolutely not good at, besides email.

Keith Perhac: Besides email.

Jonny Nastor: Email is such a given. We all are terrible at it. We really are. It’s a nightmare.

Keith Perhac: Okay, but I will say this. Scott, my account manager, he loves it.

Jonny Nastor: Really?

Keith Perhac: He loves touching base with people, and he loves making sure that things are moving. I can’t do it. I can’t do it at all. Yeah, he loves it.

Jonny Nastor: I love it, too, but I got to tell you. I took an hour today out of my morning. I’m like, “I’m going to catch up on email that’s been from last week to the weekend. Just chaos. I’m going to respond to a whole bunch of people.” By the time I was 20 percent of the way through, those people were always responding back to it. I was like, “This is making it worse.” That’s all I’m thinking. I just have to stop. I don’t know what to do.

Keith Perhac: There was someone who was saying, I think it was Rob Walling. He only does email in the morning and at night.

Jonny Nastor: Oh, smart.

Keith Perhac: That way, you get the first responses done, and you check and make sure you have what you’re doing for the day. Then at night, you can respond to everything. No one’s going to email you back with urgent stuff at 6 pm or 8 pm.

Jonny Nastor: That’s smart. That’s really smart.

Keith Perhac: I’ve been trying to do that as well. You had asked what’s my least favorite thing to do. Proposal writing, actually, is one of my least favorite things. Proposal writing and any sort of administrative sales overhead is, to me, putting down on paper what we’ve already discussed and fleshed out and have probably some sort of doc or a chart or something that explains. We’re taking information that we both agree on, and just rewriting it so that someone can sign it.

Jonny Nastor: You like making the sale, though?

Keith Perhac: I love making the sale. I don’t know if I’m good at it or not, but I just love solving problems.

Jonny Nastor: Which is a great way to think of it. It seems like you’re really good at it. You seem to be doing well for yourself.

Keith Perhac: It’s been working out. I will never say that I’m good at sales. I have no formal training. I read a lot of books on it, and I practice a lot. But I’ve never taken a sales course. I would never call myself a salesman, but maybe that’s why I’m successful. I don’t come at it from a sales perspective. I come at it as like, “I really want to solve your problem.”

Jonny Nastor: Yeah. I was wondering, because as you were talking about that, the connection between the technical side of you and also wanting to know how to market online, it’s weird. It seems like the only two people I know like that are you and Patrick McKenzie, both in Japan. I’m like, “What do they put in the water over there?”

How to Learn What Works and What Doesn t

Keith Perhac: It’s the lack of fluoride. It’s actually interesting. Patrick is my best friend here. I’ve known him for almost 11 years now. He’s the one who convinced me to drop it all and to start out on...





More from YouTube