From Tower Climber to Successful Exit – Drake Scifers

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11/27/2023

Show Notes:

As an entrepreneur, sometimes you find yourself in challenging situations that require bold and uncomfortable steps. But these are the defining moments for your business. Our guest today is the perfect example!

Meet Drake Scifers. Drake is currently the CEO of Content Gym, a video-producing company for entrepreneurs, thought leaders and executives to produce content at scale. He has managed to generate over 1M+ views for his clients with his innovative approach to content creation. Drake gives business experts a platform to share their stories in a conversational way and focus on their own expertise while he takes care of the rest. Drake is a lifelong entrepreneur, having started his first venture at the young age of 16. After that, he co-founded a marketing agency and operated it for four years before selling it. His last startup was a rural internet service provider that he raised angel funding for, scaled, and sold.

Drake learned a lot of valuable lessons along his entrepreneurial journey so far, from partnerships and bootstrapping to profitable business exits.

In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we talk about ways to overcome challenges in business, the importance of defining processes, how podcasts help you share your expertise in a more casual way, and tips for making your customer experience as smooth as possible.

If you want to hear more about overcoming challenges and coming out of them stronger, tune into this episode to hear what Drake has to say.

Guest-At-A-Glance

💡 Name: Drake Scifers

💡 What he does: He’s the CEO of Content Gym.

💡 Noteworthy: Drake is a lifelong entrepreneur who started his first business at the age of 16, then went on to build several new businesses through fundraising and bootstrapping.

💡 Key Quote: “You’re an entrepreneur. And when the rubber meets the road, what makes you or breaks you is your willingness to do what needs to get done, however you may feel about it at the time.”

💡 Where to find Drake: LinkedIn

Key Insights

Always do what’s best for your business. Being an entrepreneur is no walk in the park. Sometimes, it means being ready to face your greatest fears for the sake of your company’s success. Drake shares his experience with these types of challenges. He says, “I had to climb multiple 200-foot towers. And so, you get up there, and it’s Oklahoma, and Oklahoma is very different than where you’re located in California. It’s windy.  And so I’m climbing a tower with a storm about 20 miles out, and I can see it, and the wind is starting to pick up, and the whole thing is just like shaking. So, it was harrowing, but ultimately, like I said, that’s just what you’ve got to do if you want the business to succeed. And so do what you’ve got to do.”

Define your business processes. Defining your company processes is crucial, especially if you’re thinking of selling it down the line. When you put processes and systems in place, you create an independent team, eventually positioning your business for easy acquisition and smooth transition. Drake explains, “I think for anybody trying to sell a business, if you’re not big enough to have a middle management structure, then that’s really kind of how you have to do it to position yourself so that you’re very easily acquired. And not to put the value of the business on you, but to try and take that and put that as much on the actual business and create processes and trainings so that your employees are able to be independent thinkers.”

Podcasts are an excellent platform for sharing expertise. Since podcasts have a relaxed and conversational format, they are a useful platform for business leaders to share their expertise. This can help them create video content with ease, connect with their audiences, and ultimately build their online presence. Drake explains, “I like podcasts a lot because I think that it’s conversational, and it’s kind of like coffee meeting. CEOs will go do coffee meetings all day, and their expertise, it’s just dripping off them. It’s so easy to see, but then you get them in front of a cold dead camera lens, and it’s like, uhhh… So, coming up with a process that makes recording the video painless by just having a conversation with someone is really kind of the way I like to go with it, but then we end up clipping it because if it’s video, then you can chop it up and now it’s discoverable.”

Make the customer experience as smooth as possible. Your customer experience is a unique chance to differentiate yourself from the competitors and build a loyal customer base. One of the most important tips from Drake is to prioritize the quality of your customer experience. According to him, this ‘tiny’ detail can mean the world to your business. He says, “I think that one of the biggest things is understanding the customer experience, and so what is it like for a customer when they interact with your company? How much is the responsibility shared or based on how much thought do they have to put into something? How much effort did they have to make to connect with you? And I think that’s a really big thing that if you can hone that and make that as easy as possible and enjoyable as possible down to the nitty gritty of even the way you answer your phones, I think that that is something that helps reduce friction, which can really help your business grow.”

Top Quotes

“You’re an entrepreneur. And when the rubber meets the road, what makes you or breaks you is your willingness to do what needs to get done, however you may feel about it at the time.”

“It’s kind of one of those things that, in hindsight, it’s always less painful than when it’s right there, but it does kind of cement in your mind that, ‘Hey, I can do hard things.’ And that is a nice thing to have in your pocket, ‘Hey, if I can do that, then I can do this.’”

“I think that it really depends on who you are as a person. I would probably do partnerships again, but I would be very particular in the skill sets and personalities that would come alongside, and I would be just more studious on what I select. But I would I would do it again. There’s some people I know who are like, they are just partnership, partnership, partnership because they’re just very good at seeing the complimentary nature of stuff. I think I need more diligence when I go into a partnership in the future just to make sure that some of the things that people say they’re going to do, they’re actually able to do.”

“We weren’t even talking about our speeds. We were just, ‘Hey, here’s what you can do with it.’ And rather than trying to pretend that you understand, as the customer, what you’re talking about, let’s just talk to you like you’re a person and talk to you about what you actually want to do with it. And our reputation is that we’re the best at customer service. Our reputation is that we make sure stuff doesn’t go down.”

“I found the different people that were going to be winning money in our area, and I just approached them. I was like, ‘Hey, guys, if I were you, I’d be looking to buy rather than build. And realistically, you guys are all doing multi-state expansion, so it might be kind of difficult for you to find another me to run this for a few years while you’re getting up and going, and I’ve already got a built-in customer base, so you can come in and compete. Here’s all the different ways. I’m going to compete with you, and it’s going to be difficult. Or if you just want to buy me.”

“I knew that a bigger company was buying me, and here’s the job that this person will do that they’ll replace. Here’s the job that this person will do that they’ll replace. So here are the four people that they need to have in place in order to replace me. And so when I’m talking to them, I’m easily segmenting out, ‘Here’s how this is all done. So it doesn’t look like I’m this knot and bottleneck where everything comes to me and gets stuck.’”

“I think that training is really important to where the acquirer knows, ‘Hey, I’m actually getting an asset, and it’s not just here all the small, unimportant pieces that all filter to make the owner do a good job.’ It’s like, ‘I’m actually buying a company.’”

“I think the days of posting 3 to 5 times, unless you’re getting consistent traction on those, you’ll burn out your feed if you post more than once a day, and Instagram especially has tweaked it to where they’re trying to show your stuff to more of your internal audience. So, if you’re trying to build your audience, I would say go with once a day until you get it down to where you can get good traction and good adoption, and you’re building enough value, and then you can start to expand that. But early on, once a day is plenty. And if you think about it, once a day is kind of a lot, especially if you’re doing video.”

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