E208: What happened when Taylor Benterud stepped away from his agency

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Taylor Benterud is COO & founder of BetterAMS. They specialize in Amazon advertising and help brands on Amazon doing between 7-10 figures grow  faster through better ads management. They started in 2016 and exploded in growth going from about 300k/ year in 2019 to doing 1mm rev in 2020. They’re pacing to do 1.5 mm this year with >25% margins.

Episode highlights:

  • How Taylor went from leaving Serbia while playing semi-pro football, to becoming an entrepreneur.
  • What Taylor’s toughest bottleneck has been for the last several months.
  • What the biggest issue with Amazon sellers is right now.
  • What happened when Taylor realized he was (what Gino Wickman calls) an integrator.
  • What surprising thing happened when Taylor handed the keys to the business over to his trusted employee. 
  • What Taylor did with his time away from the business.
  • Best advice: Understand systems thinking and bottlenecks
  • Habit that contributes to success: Waking up at the same time daily and getting going on a good routine, including time away from work. Set hard boundaries and you won’t experience burnout.
  • Recommended tool: Notion.so
  • Recommended book: The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman and Power vs. Force by Dr. David Hawkins
  • Run time: 36:33


Links:

Quotes:

  • “Amazon as a platform was an absolute blue ocean.”
  • “I thought I was God’s gift to Amazon advertising.”
  • “One niche, one service. Nothing else.”
  • “It was difficult in the beginning. I think from lack of experience.”
  • “I think that’s why we plateaued.”
  • “I, myself, never really scaled the agency to where I loved it.”
  • “She’s a natural visionary. She’s the antithesis of me.”
  • “I’m happy to organize chaos in the shadows.”
  • “A lot of the ideas that she has are really good….We just don’t have the cash for it.”
  • “Every new person that comes to the team makes everybody better.”

Takeaways:

  • Find great team members, trust them, and allow them to step forward into greater roles.
  • Create a culture early on, and consider what you want and how you’ll get there.