E3: Cool office space versus working from home with George Morris

Dropping your ego when making hard decisions with George Morris

Our guest today is George Morris, serial entrepreneur and founder of The FRAMEWORK.

George first moved to Boulder, CO to work at a satellite office for Refinery, Inc. After the office was shut down following the DotCom bust, George parlayed his unique skillset into founding his first agency, Imulus, in 2002. After 13 years, he left the agency to run a TechStars-back consumer product company called edn.

Today, George uses his 20+ years of experience to serve as a temporary business partner for other entrepreneurs as part of The FRAMEWORK while also running his virtual agency V16.

 Connect with George
16cylinders.com
LinkedIn
Gmorris.com

Show Notes

[1:45] – George’s Background

Joined Refinery in 2000

Office shut down during Dotcom bust

Decided to start Imulus

[2:45] – Leaving Imulus for edn

Backed by TechStars

No product-customer match

Currently, runs a consulting firm and virtual agency V16

[4:26] – From Employee to Entrepreneur

Building up the Refinery satellite office

Web Dev to Project Manager to Sales

Used skillsets to start his own agency

[6:20] – Working with Business Partners

Went well for first 7 years

Problems started when company tried to scale

Chaos began when agency grew to around 26 employees

Tried to escape

[10:16] – Pressure from the Market

Local competition drove up salaries

Margins started going down and by 2014 the company was no longer profitable

[12:07] – Starting V16

[14:09] – Challenges Scaling an Agency

Spire Media and Viget as examples of successful mid-sized agencies

[19:30] – Lessons from Running a Virtual Agency

Being clear on what needs to be done

Responding to people quickly

[21:19] – Identity Crisis

Leaving Imulus was an amazing hit to the ego

Like giving up on your children

George the mountain biker

Having part of your self-worth wrapped up in your business

[23:48] – Aha Moment at Imulus

“The best thing I did was get mentors.”

Not recreating the wheel

Taking advice to heart and putting systems in place

[25:53] – Growing a Business for the Wrong Reasons

Signs you’re growing your business for ego’s sake

Cowboy vs Analyst

Asking why

[31:50] – Advice for Agency Owners Who Love Working In the Business

Where do you contribute the most value?

[35:45] – The Framework

Temporary business partner

Sniffing out the dysfunction within teams

[43:27] – Trends Agency Owners Should Pay Attention To

Commoditization of sub $10k projects

Increased competition

[45:10] – Lightning Round

Best advice: Explore what you’re interested in and see if you can make money in it.

Best habit: Following the Golden Rule

Best resources: PocketSmith – Cashflow forecasting

Best books: The Obstacle is the Way and The Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

Tools & Resources