Creative Ventures to Grounded Strategies in Brand Building with Elliot Beeson

Welcome to another episode of Scroll Sessions. Today, we’re delighted to host Elliot Beeson, a seasoned expert in the graphic and creative world. Elliot’s journey from owning an agency with his wife to becoming the creative director for the Grounded Company is nothing short of inspiring.

The Intersection of Creativity and Business

Elliot’s background is a blend of creativity and business acumen. His initial venture into entrepreneurship and project management laid the foundation for his journey into design. His approach to design is not just about aesthetics but solving real business problems. Elliot’s belief is that creativity is not confined to arts but is a broader concept of problem-solving.

A Little Bit About Little Debbies

Our conversation took an amusing turn when Elliot shared his fondness for Little Debbie snacks. A light-hearted debate about the best Little Debbie snacks ensued, with mentions of Cosmic Brownies and oatmeal cream pies.

The Evolution from Entrepreneur to Creative Director

Elliot’s transition from running his own agency to taking a pivotal role at the Grounded Company was driven by his desire for community and impactful work. He emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries for work-life balance and the need for fulfilling different aspects of one’s life.

The Role of a Creative Director

A creative director’s role, as Elliot explains, is not just about being hands-on with design tools but about ideation and guiding the creative process. It’s about understanding and using creative assets effectively to solve business problems.

Insights on Design and Marketing

Elliot provides valuable insights on design and marketing:

  • Recycling Content: He advises businesses to maximize their content by repurposing successful creative assets across different platforms.
  • Data-Driven Creativity: The best designs are those backed by strong data. It’s not always about aesthetics but about what performs well.
  • Consumer Feedback: A key aspect of good design is listening to consumer feedback. It’s about finding the balance between pushing boundaries and meeting consumer needs.

Advice for Aspiring Creative Professionals

For those aspiring to enter the creative field, Elliot’s advice is to seek real-world experiences. Shadowing professionals, understanding day-to-day operations, and building connections are invaluable.


Elliot’s journey is a testament to the power of combining creativity with strategic thinking in brand building. His insights are not just valuable for those in the creative industry but also for businesses looking to leverage design for growth.




welcome everyone to scroll sessions this week is sponsored by Little Debbie’s


um not really but I love little Debbies uh this week and you ordered sorry you


ordered that hat off of the back of the box and that’s pretty impressive yeah 35 bucks I know you’re doing your intro but


little Debbies are like the they sell crap food like yeah I could see it the


worst Food possible so this week we have on Elliot son of a bee AKA AKA Elliot


Beeson and uh Elliot has a ton of experience in the graphic world in the


creative world he’s owned an agency with his wife he currently is the creative director for the grounded company


uh owned by Nick staggy and is doing some awesome work so we’re


really excited to have you today I guess my first question is what’s your favorite Little Debbie Snack


wow well that’s why I asked that question because I was the only thing that came to my mind was like the little


cinnamon rolls yeah that’s one of them right yeah oatmeal cream pies okay Cosmic Brownies okay what about the


Nutty Buddies


Nutter Butters are bomb my wife’s favorite is the nutter butter I am weird I used to say Cosmic brownie which is


hot take because everyone hates the cosmic brownie yeah I’m cute it gives you that Sugar like sugar burn in the


back of your throat Cosmic Brownies this is killing me while I’m eating it exactly oatmeal cream pie is my favorite


kind of thing what’s yours it’s Thai oatmeal cream pie and classic brownies for me dude we should have brought some


yeah we should yeah next time got that off of a box that’s so cool yeah well


I’ve been a little I’ve been a little Debbie’s fan for quite some time so I thought it was time to show my support I


love it well Elliot tell us a little bit about where you’ve gotten today I mean we just gave a little bit of an intro to


your background but yeah people through like how you got started in design it looked like you started at ldsbc and I


think we were I know we had some kind of conversation about that at some point but yeah we kind of connected over that


you both went to ldsbc right and enzyme College um really started there because I didn’t


take my SAT in in high school and when I got back from my mission I was like my


options are go to Community College or I could try and take a placement test and


go to LDS business college yeah I mean I was living in Arizona and I didn’t want


to live there are you from Arizona um so my mom’s from there and then my dad’s in the Bay Area I grew up between


those two places so I was in high school for Arizona I was only there for like five years total where in Arizona like


Mesa Gilbert Queen Creek I served my mission in Tucson so really yeah I think


I knew that but yeah you know how hot it is right yeah and so I was like I don’t


wanna I don’t wanna be here yeah so I got I took a placement test and I ended up going to enzyme college for that


reason because they accepted me yeah and it was awesome but um yeah I really just


had that entrepreneurial like desire to do something for myself and I didn’t


know what that was so I started studying entrepreneurship and then from there it was like after


taking a few classes I’ve realized okay I need some like real skills I can’t just be an entrepreneur and so I decided


to study project management out of everything I was like oh that’s a well-rounded skill to have and I can use


that in any industry and I was as I was studying that I


um ended up meeting my wife just through mutual friends uh and we started dating


um and then continuing on the path of like how I got where I’m at today um I ended up


taking a course where I had an interview or a class I had an interview uh two entrepreneurs every single week


so I did that for a whole semester I met some really cool people that’s where I met like Bo Euler with enlisted design


um ended up getting an internship there for project management um and then I got another internship


from the school to be a creative person to like create stuff for the school yeah


and so that was like my first take at design I was like oh this is kind of fun and as I started to explore it and watch


YouTube videos on design I just dug into it even more um and there’s a lot more like that’s


just like how I got started yeah with design it my first intro was from school


um don’t know how deep you guys want me to get what put like what yeah what pulled you into design like specifically


because I know you’ve got some experience in web definitely got experience in graphic as well like what


what about it pulled you in that direction because for a lot of people it’s not the case like they’ll go


another Direction and going from project management to like actual design they’re two different things but they’re both


they both are very uh very much needed together right now yeah so I would say


project Management’s like very granola and it’s just like plain as oatmeal yeah


yeah and so like in design is very not that so yeah that’s a great question I


think um growing up my dad he was an artist and he grew up just like painting


all the time like all the art in our house was from him oh that’s cool and he would go around like hanging up his art


on like Street pools and he would number them like he got up to like 800 and


something what and then people would collect him what was his medium was he like like pencil drawing or I like


palette or pastels yeah and acrylic sometimes but he would go and just hang these up all over and they ended up like


like people were like who is this guy and he called him like tasty losers that’s the name of his his arm he’d put


tasty losers on all of them and um they’re just like self-portraits of him I’ll have to you but yeah wow he


just like did that and I thought that was cool and he was on the news and everything and I was like obviously


thinking my dad’s the coolest like he’s so cool he’s a creative director too and I just grew up loving art we would go to


museums all the time and um so I’ve always had that like in my family yeah


um and I didn’t know I I wanted to do design until I just started doodling and


sketching and then watching some YouTube videos like oh this is how I use Adobe Illustrator and like


it was just like I doodled on the side I did Art on the side and that’s kind of what led me into it I was like oh I


could actually like make money from this and make it a career yeah that’s cool so


you grew up doodling and doing art like for example yeah it wasn’t good but I did but you


did okay yeah because like for me to ever be creative director such a unique word and


we’ll get into that later or a unique title but for me I see something like that and I immediately think I’m not


qualified because the best I can draw is a stick figure right but there’s so many


more aspects to being a creative director than just like the ability to draw right


um but do you think that I guess how related is the ability to draw and like


do unique art with your hands versus doing graphic design you don’t need a jaw to be a creative


especially nowadays like everything’s done on the computer um I think those skills help right like


that those those like hand drawn techniques and skills can you can use


that and bring it to the table um and that could give you a leg up but I really think uh


the word being a creative or being a creative is different than like being artsy right you can be artsy but if


you’ve ever met a true artist a very unorganized their life is a mess and that’s just


stereotyping right but like generally speaking Yeah that’s the case yeah they’re kind of like all over the place


um and I see like being a creative as no matter what you do you can be creative you can be uh a CFO and be creative


right and I found creativity in project management right and creating processes for companies and like helping them grow


through their process internally um that’s creative right yeah even though I’m not creating anything


graphically I’m still being creative about my approach to solve problems I guess that’s how I see it is like


being creative is like being a problem solver hand in hand oh yeah yeah 100 and


I I think uh I don’t know if you’ve seen Mad Men before uh it’s it’s good you should watch it


um as a creative director because it’s about a creative agency yeah yeah 40s and 50s but Don Draper who’s


like the the main character is the creative director at the agency and one of the like partners


and uh he’s not necessarily uh classic creative person right you know


our artist artistic and I think we associate that with creativity maybe


more than we need to um but all of us have the ability to be creative but his his part I think a


really good role as a creative director and I think you play this well is it’s you’re an organizer of ideas and or the


idea person yourself and you direct the team and the actual creatives to then


execute that idea to it’s you know Perfection or less I think that’s a


great example like I love the idea of like being the person who ideates and brings


it to the table so the team can like execute and then also the aspect of like


we’re solving business problems yeah and yeah when people say like oh I’m not a creative person it’s like


you’re thinking about it as if you’re an artist yeah you’re thinking in the wrong way you’re thinking yeah in the wrong


way for sure and maybe maybe there’s overlap there but in my opinion there’s nothing to do like little to do with


like the actual art when I when I think of myself as a creative that I I love


that you said that because for the longest time I struggled being in marketing I thought I also have to be a


creative person where I always felt like I was really analytical like I love the numbers I love the CRM I love project


management and uh the further I dove into it I realized actually I don’t


think I’m analytical I think I’m creative because I need to creatively see this in front of me in order for it


to make sense exactly because one I sucked at math in high school like I


finances never made sense to me none of that stuff ever really clicked and then all of a sudden as I


started a business it became my favorite piece of it and I’m like wait I grew up playing music and loving art like why is


this clicking with me now yeah and I think it was for that exact reason that it was more of the creative approach to


it that I liked where I didn’t realize that the first few years in business I


thought I’m just an analytical I’m not a creative where that’s totally flipped so I love that you brought that up I’ve


never heard anyone bring it up like that before I feel like you and I kind of Switched too like I grew up very


artistic very like that was my family as music and art and photography and


photography and stuff and then we kind of Switched and I became a little more of the technical person than like the go-to technical person now at scroll


yeah Department yeah basically but like that’s it’s funny how that sometimes


that happens but you realize that like we’re all creative in our own way like


creativity is like within us we just were talking about this because I did a little presentation on create activity


and marketing to like our our staff and our All Hands meeting and uh Rick Rubin


had a lot of quotes uh that I had pulled out and you know I don’t know if you know who Rick Rubin is or I probably do


but you’d recognize him he’s got a massive beard he’s a music producer okay um but he looks homeless yeah he’s worth


millions yes yeah he’s the RC type for sure but like his


whole thing about creativity is like creativity is innate within us like we’re it is something that we are given


he believes is god-given and it is our way to like give back to the world and


make the world a better place whatever it may be you know like whatever we do is creation and that’s kind of like his


uh his whole Mantra and it’s just really interesting but yeah that’s great well


said I think both of you said it perfectly and I I was just thinking about like marketing agencies they’re


probably like the least artsy people I know yeah so like this is analytical


yeah yeah like calling out Nick staggy like my boss the guy who wears the pants


right he always is like and he has imposter syndrome like we all do he’s like I’m not creative I’m like dude


you’re the most creative person I know he is you’re not artsy but you know how to solve a problem right like and so


like I think we get hung up on that all the time and you go to market marketing websites and 99 of them are crap right


like because they’re not focused on that they’re so they’re solving business problems for their clients yeah so yeah


it’s totally true so in your eyes what’s the difference between a creative director and like a CMO a


chief marketing officer good question yeah I would say with the CMO


uh it depends on the company right where I work at the grounded company we’re a small team we don’t have a CMO I guess


you can say NYX the CMO in many ways but um as far as like where I stand as the


creative director right I’ve I went from like being a designer a hundred


percenter to like uh 80 percenter as far as like the tools that I’m using the


knowledge that I have to like execute ideas um like I’m I’m not like going on to


like the Adobe suite blog to learn about their new tools my design team is right


they’re learning those things they’re the 100 presenters they’re the ones that have to be like up to date on everything but I’m I just need to know enough to


like guide right and like bring up the right questions and topics


um and I would say with the CMO it’s even less like you’re going from a 80 percenter to like a 50 percenter you


don’t know as much creative you’re not as involved with the Nitty Gritty um but you’re more involved with like


the high level vision of of what we need to do to grow right the company I’d say


like answer your question CMO is like focused on like okay how can our


creative team help us make more Revenue and then creative director is like more focused on like how can I help our


clients grow yeah best ideas possible yeah yeah that I


don’t know how you guys too that’s how I see it no I think that’s I think that’s a great comparison what well I guess Elliot with your experience and your


years of experience in design what do you what what makes good design or the best design


I’ve seen lots of examples over the years I know you have too but like yeah what do you feel like are key pillars to


like great design um good question there’s so many design is


so biased yeah especially when there’s like multiple chefs in the kitchen multiple teams like I’m sure you guys


experience this multiple teams working on a client it’s hard to like pinpoint that’s it that’s what we need right and


I’ve learned that it’s less about like finding the best design but more about getting things up and running to test


and and then let the data you know prove everyone what is the best design right


and sometimes that takes a while like running paid ads right like you’re not you’re not gonna create an ad and be


like this is it this is the one that’s gonna work and it does like very rarely does that ever happen especially with


like Facebook ads right you’re never going to be able to do that so I guess the best creative is is the creative


that you um have a strong why behind like we’re


we’re creating this creative to test this hypothesis or to boost conversion


or whatever it is and that strong y will lead into like creating the best creative possible after you go through


iterations and tests at least that’s how I think about it no I love that I think


I think there’s uh there’s a lot to be said about good great and bad designs right I think they’re like this is one


thing that I’ve always had in the back of my mind but there’s uh like the best


design is one that looks good and performs well right the like the the bad


design is the one that looks really good but performs really poorly and doesn’t actually solve any decisions but it may


look aesthetically pleasing yeah and then you’ve got the middle of the road where it may not look great but performs


okay um and you’re I think you’re exactly right like let the data show you know


science yeah science yeah exactly it really is when it comes down to it and yeah


um going back to I’m gonna use the madman example again like Don Draper comes up with this idea for uh for Kodak


which is one of their clients at the time and they come up with this idea that they’ve put through and this is


back in the 40s like did it wasn’t a thing TV was barely a thing not even


um and so it was print right like print was everything and they come up with this idea to release this Carousel for


like slide film yeah and it was brand new and Kodak really tried to do it on their own and it just flopped and failed


and uh Don Draper comes up with this idea that’s extraordinarily emotional and he’s like


the the carousel is like our memories in like in person


basically and he comes up with this very highly emotional idea they Market test


it you know back when that’s still definitely a thing now but you know we just do it faster with Facebook ads


instead of like testing it to like you know a target market and bringing them in and he tests it and like everybody


that watches their ad and reads the print material gets really emotional and he’s like okay we found our idea like


this is what we’re gonna do and then they release it in the show and it you know makes Kodak a household name at


that point really and like I I think even then they were still testing ideas


and testing and finding the best data and then moving forward but yeah I think


good design has that has that uh conversion aspect and it’s backed by


data and it’s emotional at the at the


the heart of it is that a true story uh I I know that that a lot of the uh


marketing pieces within Mad Men uh okay are Loosely based on true stories


um because they deal with a lot of uh the tobacco industry and a lot of that


is based on true stories and then they have some other stuff I believe the Kodak one is based on a true story I


could be wrong talmudge you may need to look it up and correct me but I’m pretty


darn sure it’s like Loosely based on the true story but that’s really cool yeah I I agree I I like the emotional add-on


that you put in there Dan because um I think internally when we’re meeting


with clients and we’re brainstorming ideas it gets emotional right but and


I’ve said this before but like you always have to have a strong why and we need to be having two conversations


about the why every time we have a conversation about the what right and make it really


focused on like okay but why are we doing this why are we testing this and sometimes it’s annoying too like when


we’re on client calls and that we’ve gone through iterations of testing and


it’s like guys at the end of the day all these ideas are cool but we just need to test one just pick one let’s just do it


let’s just do it let’s move forward yeah and that’s when we start seeing traction right and sometimes it takes a while to


get there but and sometimes it’s like okay we’re not We’re Not Gonna go crazy on the ideas let’s just test


this first and then move on it has a strong enough why right yeah so that’s


the biggest thing yet yeah thanks challenge it is based on a true


story yeah though it is inspired yeah inspired by and based on ooh which one


yeah like I said Loosely basically yeah on a true story well I think uh part of


the funny thing about design to me is the concept of experts because I think


there are design experts out there agencies are hired like the grounded company to be experts in design but at


the same time you almost want to roll your eyes at the idea of like it an idea


from the inside is Never As Good As a consumer opinion right right like


consumer opinion is always going to be what you should listen to yeah versus


um saying for example I don’t have a story but an example would be apple


right like actually a good example is Apple and the consumer feedback they got rid of every port on their computer


because they’re like aesthetically it looks way better guys and this is the decision we’re going to make we’re going


to the USBC and we’re getting rid of like the HDMI plug-in like all that is a


waste we’re going Wireless with everything yeah consumer feedback was we hate this we are using adapters we want


the HDMI plugin we want to be able to put in our SD cards so what does Apple do literally the MacBook they just


released looks like a 2012 MacBook Pro yeah yeah and then everyone’s like yes and apple can do that because they’re a


giant like they’re like they push the bounds they absolutely push the bounds of their consumer feedback and they kind


of set the standard for everybody else of like what’s gonna happen right but they also need to listen to Consumer


feedback because it was so it was such a it was too much they pushed too far too


quickly people weren’t ready for it yet and uh but it’s such an interesting


example because isn’t it Steve Jobs that said people don’t know what they want until you show it to them yep right so it’s like well they know they don’t want


that yeah right so it’s interesting because design and in your industry I’d


love to hear like your opinion on this like as an expert how do you guide and


what do you use like what kind of consumer feedback are you using how much are you trusting in your own opinions


how much do your opinions even matter yeah like um people don’t know what they want


until you show it to them how true is that all those questions like what are your thoughts on that yeah it’s a good


question I was thinking about a project that we recently did we just redesigned


this website for a huge company they do they do like packaging for like Prime


and for like really big companies like yeah oh like Logan Paul’s Prime yeah not


prime Amazon Prime no sorry I should have clarified I’m glad you knew um and


then like Red Vines they like invented the Oreo package where it’s like resealable oh cool so like they do stuff


like that


it’s fascinating stuff yeah it’s really cool and so they they um anyways we we


redesigned their site and we did a lot of um Research into their competitors but also


their consumers right and one thing that we we did to do that was we talked to


the people who are at the call centers we did interviews with them um we talked to uh basically anyone


who’s not like an executive we wanted to get nitty-gritty and we did numerous we


did probably like 12 to 20 different interviews with employees


we’ve got all these killer insights that drove the creative for the website and


like using that data to do that um so that’s probably like one of the most recent examples but uh


the interesting thing is too like one of the executives came in it’s like I want


to rewrite this page like it was like one and he just like I don’t love the copy on this like well we like got all


the results you know like this is this is based on like yeah based on your customers and what we collected and it


just went out the doors like I don’t care it was more like I’m an executive let me yeah let me do what I say yeah


and so again it’s like okay we’ll let you do it you’re the client you’re one


of the key stakeholders um but yeah that’s I think that’s probably the best example of I have


recently of like Hey we’re facing this off of data and results and then


emotions got involved that let it down a different path yeah and then you gotta


say you just gotta yeah that’s it’s a tough position to be in because it’s like you know at the end of the day that


it’s not going to work but there’s only so much you can do to convince somebody whether it’s the data whether it’s


whatever and sometimes you know that person is paying you at the end of the day but then it comes down to like actual actual performance and I’m sure


he’ll come around and you know six months when he sees it’s not performing random question are you left or


right-handed left okay I kept seeing you like uh really fake drawing with your left and so I’m left-handed too and I’ve


always been embarrassed by how terrible of an artist I am because everyone always says that people who are


left-handed are more creative and like more autistic yeah yeah so that’s interesting you’re left-handed did you have to deal


with the hand side of course I had to teach myself to be left-handed because I wanted I’m just kidding okay I think I’m


ambidextrous I actually think I was that way because my brother who’s two and a half years older than me was left-handed


so when I was born and started growing up I saw him throwing a ball with a left hand and he would hand me stuff with


left hand I think that’s what made me left-handed because I golf right-handed which is why I suck if I golf left I’d


be great right and I play guitar right-handed I didn’t know that and then like I throw and everything left so yeah


it’s really annoying when you like smear oh pencil marks like I’m so glad I’m not


in school and I have to write yeah yeah like I have a computer laptops are uh


you know they don’t discriminate on left or right hand right I actually had a boss


wants to had a trackpad and he used it with his left hand as a year where it did like I that’s


probably the only thing I use with my right hand is like you’re my mouse my back pad yeah but like I was like why


are you using your trackpad on your left hand and he was right-handed he’s like I don’t know it just feels better it just


feels weird yeah so true okay wait uh you grew up kind of in the Bay Area back


and forth right so did you uh did you ever go to the left-handed store yeah in San Francisco yeah that’s well there’s


one in Pier 39 yeah I’ve never bought anything there but if I were to buy something it would be left-handed


scissors that’s exactly scissors never work for me yeah I cannot cut anything straight saved my life yeah it just like


doesn’t cut and then my wife right-handed comes in yeah they can just like slide you know the scissors oh yeah


where they just like slide it across the paper this is the mind this is what happens when left-handed people get together they’re like complain about it


yeah yeah right all the right-handed rest of the world yeah well it’s all your guys’s fault yeah with computers I


don’t think about it much but yes scissors always yeah well Elliot uh to


maybe take a different turn in our our conversation like how you’ve you’ve had


like an interesting upbringing personal life how has that affected your career


do you let it affect your career do you try to keep the two things separate like how how does that work for like a


working professional are you just saying in general just in general and or what’s


going on in your life right now yeah yeah thanks for asking so let me take some a sip of water yeah yeah you can


take two sips if you want oh really yeah yeah whatever you want to do


yeah I feel like um every there’s a lot going on in


everyone’s life right and yeah I found I saw this quote I think I posted on LinkedIn a couple days ago about like


forget who it is that’s why I’m bringing it up yeah because I saw your LinkedIn you did see it okay cool kind of blew up


yeah so like uh the quote goes something like this like isn’t it interesting how


everything happens on the outside but we we can’t see anything in the inside like


I can smile and be happy but I can have a lot going on right yeah and it’s just so interesting how we


use what we see on the outside to treat people the way we do and and so like I never


know you know yeah you never know and um there’s some quo I’m sure it’s from some


church leader or something that um if you assume that there’s something


going on in someone’s life that is affecting them negatively you’re probably like 100 chance that it’s true


um and so yeah I feel like uh with that caveat there there’s a lot going on in


our lives right my wife’s pregnant which is great we’re super happy um we found out there’s like uh an


antibody in like the baby’s blood so meaning like


Haley’s body my wife could attack the baby as if it’s a virus wait so this


happened to my wife really this is my my wife has scars on her uh legs because they had to give her and


her mom translation Fusion yeah yeah really so they had to do the invasive surgery and stuff yeah so they had uh


transfusions and that my wife almost wasn’t born wow because of it but has


those scars because of the transfusion so really I’ll have to connect you with yeah I’d like to learn more I mean


that’s a rare disorder like a rare issue yeah there’s different like antibodies this one’s like e antibody so it’s


I think it’s between 14 and 20 percent of bursts have it oh okay um there’s


also like a Kell antibody which the doctor told us it was that at the beginning yeah and they did it they had


a typo so they’re like oh this is pretty serious it’s a cal antibody like uh and


we finally see The Specialist and then they’re like no it’s an e antibody they had a typo oh my gosh come on guys so


yeah come on not a big fan of hospitals yeah same yeah so that’s going on and I


think it’s just like just play it day by day and see what happens you guys have to do transfusions or are you waiting to


find out if the they call it the tighter of the count like that’s how they count the antibodies yeah yeah and if it gets


too high if the titers hide then that’s when they have to do the blood transfusion so they just have to monitor


it we have to pay 400 bucks every time we go yeah every every month you know


how far along is she uh she’s 14 weeks okay yeah so it’s early yeah but I’m


glad they caught it you know yeah yeah apart from the money that we have to pay it’s just part of life you know I’m glad


that we found it earlier than finding out that oh the baby did not survive you


know yeah for sure so one thing that you owned your own design agency with


your wife before you got this job um having all the stuff that happens in our


personal lives right like uh your wife’s pregnant there’s complications you want to be able to be


around and available I I guess my question kind of stems from


when it comes to work what is most important to you because you when you started your own agency instead of going


to that corporate world you were working with your wife right um so have you ever taken a path of like completely normal


corporate work life or if you always kind of tried to take that entrepreneur entrepreneur


path and why get a question yeah I think um


when we started our own agency my wife got laid off while she was pregnant and it made us


realize how insecure or how um how easy it is to just lose your job


like that right like we really don’t have any job security and that’s when we start talking about like well when we


have our kid and she’s not having a good day we want to be there for her right and so


we started like talking about how we can make that work and the only solution was like well I need to be home working and you know


this was like pre-covered we didn’t know everything was going to happen with work


from home and everything but we’re like yeah I would love to figure out how I can work from home and so we started


like our own business um being super naive and not knowing we


just kind of figured it out and it ended up working out just fine and you were going to school at the time


yeah we had like one more semester left right so you weren’t working a job that you quit I was you would quit my job


yeah and it was I was making like 38k a


year actually it was funny I I got paid thirty thousand dollars because I was still in school yeah and I was like it


was a salary job and I was like this is sick I’m a salary yeah yeah 30 000 and


then uh I’ve told that exact same story right yeah like I dropped out of school and made a salary I was like dude I just


robbed what did they know that’s good so yeah and then like a week


later my boss was like I’m gonna raise you up to 38k I was like 8K raise that’s like almost a third okay


so I was like excited but then anyways that I was working as a project manager


I was managing like a a group of Engineers as a project manager so because doing that I got a lot of


experience that’s when I realized that project management school but it’s not as Hands-On as I’d like


um and I I think I’ve I’ve toned down from now from being an entrepreneur like I used to be like oh I


just wanted to do it yeah I feel like I got that fulfilled a lot I fulfilled a lot of that need through running our


agency and now I just I’ve I know um this is thrown around on LinkedIn a


lot but intrapreneurial and I have that entrepreneurial mindset of like I want to solve problems I still want to help


businesses grow but I’m doing it for other people now and I’m going to ride that wave for a little bit uh to answer


your question like I think it’s important to live your life in seasons and like really focus on like like right


now I I want to really focus on like building boundaries for myself and


um I I think uh if you’d ask most people like how do you


balance work in life right and say oh well you just gotta figure it out you know do it come home yeah I think that’s


the wrong question and I think it’s how do you set up boundaries because balance you’re never going to be perfectly in


Balance the boundaries you can set up like okay I’m done at five o’clock or I


don’t start work until nine and honestly when I first started at the grounded company


I I would leave my house at 6 20 a.m and I ride my bike yeah yeah


and I get into the office at 7 30 and I have an hour and a half to work up by myself on grounded and like I was I was


obsessed with work and that was for the first eight months working there and I’ve had a lot of talks with Nick and


he’s super supportive because I was feeling guilty I was like Nick I want to set up boundaries in my life because I


don’t think I can sustain working 12 hours a day and he’s like no one asked you to work this I didn’t ask you to


work 12 hours I appreciate it but no one asked you to do that right so


um yeah I’ve been trying to set up those boundaries where I’m protecting my time for my family and reserving that but I


also realized that sometimes I have to suffer from my craft right I have to go


and like sometimes I have to work long hours sometimes I’m at grounded for a long time because stuff’s going on and I


think that just comes down to like me being a loyal person and I don’t I’m not sketchy that way I like to


commit to what I say I’ll do and to uh what takes up time in my life like I’ll


commit to those things so like sometimes I’m I’m there late but most of the time uh in the last four months I’ve been


trying to set up these boundaries that protect me yeah I think that’s super healthy I think every everybody should


do that I mean and I think in the entrepreneur like stigma slash um


stereotype is you know the grind hustle do whatever you need to do as long as you need to do it and to be honest like


it depends on what you want and what you need like some people are just that way


and just want to do that and that’s what they want to do but it’s not necessarily


what is maybe good or healthy for another person yeah right and but I do think


uh you know uh moderation in all things is good I agreed especially in like


especially when you have a family I think when you’ve got when you’ve got kiddos when you’ve got you know a spouse


whatever they’re different it does it it the mindset changes a little bit yeah um


especially as you you get older and I’m not that old by any means but like when


you max yeah when you like when you start to get older you just priorities


shift in life you know totally yeah and I think it’s important too like if you are married to communicate that to your


spouse like hey yeah I’m in this season of life right now where I just gotta work here’s how long I think it’s gonna


take I think it’s gonna be a month where I’m gonna be having to stay late and


um I’ve learned that the hard way I always tell Haley like man if we didn’t start our own business I think a lot of


these issues and fights that we had running our business together would not have happened until we got uh until like


we were retired right and it’s like kind of scary like oh wow like I would have


just kept working and only seeing you in the evenings that’s it in the weekends we would never have these conversations


so huge blessing on that part like so glad we struggled through running our


business and figuring out things together because if not when it happens when I was like 50 60 years old yeah it


can go one of two ways like I feel like yeah working with your running a business with your spouse because I did


the same thing with my wife like we were photographers together we were both self-employed after she quit her


teaching job and you know we’ve helped run her her art business together and


various other things she’s wanted to do and I I feel like it it can draw you


closer it can push you farther apart


at the very end you are able to you know grow closer together if you want it to


be that way but that’s a definite being an entrepreneur together with your spouse is is a big test getting married


twice yes yeah it really is 100 especially like I feel like you and me are kind of the same boat we got when


did you get married uh 2018. okay so I mean we’re about the same time but you like you get married and then you start


businesses within like very shortly after getting married yeah you can definitely yeah I can definitely test uh


test everything well I think it’s common to for a lot of people to get married and immediately think


we want to spend all our time together so let’s start businesses yeah right like let’s start businesses together so


we can work together and then we get to spend all our time together but then you also realize the longer you’re married


that you are individuals and you need to have your own individual successes and


failures and it’s interesting because me and my wife I’ve always been entrepreneurial and yeah I’ve always


wanted to start businesses and I’m lucky that my wife has been super supportive of that but she has not been


entrepreneurial and she’s wanted security and it’s been an interesting uh Dynamic of


hey I had to be up front with my wife and say here’s the deal like I have to


pursue this I want to pursue it and here’s what I’m going to do I’m going to quit my job and pursue this because you


have a full-time job so I’m going to rely on you yeah and she was supportive of that but we never went into business


together we’ve always done businesses separate now I’m in a season where I


have a secure income from a job that I’ve created yeah and my wife quit her


job to start her own business but I’m not necessarily involved there right which I will say the hardest part about


it is sometimes not being involved because I’ll have opinions that say I would love to like help you try and do


this and then on the flip side this morning I was about to post on LinkedIn I asked my wife to make a graphic for my


LinkedIn post and she was like I don’t agree with like what you’re posting she’s like I don’t like this message so


I don’t want to make the graphic so I’m like oh my gosh you’re a hard client so


then so then we had to you know I’m like sitting there making breakfast together and we had to have this conversation


about like well here’s why I think you should agree with what I’m saying that was this morning yeah but then she like


tames my ego down and says hey no and that balance is really good


um but I guess going from working with your spouse and that was really your


only post-college work experience except for that 38k yeah with yeah and bow Oiler


right no that was unless the design was your internship yeah I did like four internships and then that job that the


engineered switching from your wife being your boss right like you guys are each other’s


bosses when you own a business together it’s having Nick staggy be your boss it’s kind of the same thing yeah no but


to having a normal boss but I will say you do work in a very unique situation like I would say the


grounded company is probably pretty similar to scroll yeah where there’s a lot of flexibility there’s a lot of


individual um growth opportunity where you can build the business you’re part of


building the business yeah how many people work at the ground of company I think there’s about 12 of us right now


so 12 people are the same size yeah and you’re the creative director so it’s not


this massive corporate entity what’s it what is it like to you know work with


leadership there and how flexible is it how much input do you have how much are you trusted yeah that’s a great thing


not to call you uh Nick staggy out let’s do it let’s always call them


I love Nick to his deepest core so that’s why I know it’s okay to ask these


questions yeah yeah um I just have to preface it by saying like when I decided to get a a real job


that was not just you know our own business um we we had a business coach who helped us


like figure all this out but it was really like Haley wanted to do other things like she had interests that were


not being fulfilled through our our business and I came to found out find


out that I wasn’t being fully fulfilled through our business either if there’s other things I wanted like I


wanted to be more involved with the team I wanted to meet with people like in person and have brainstorm meetings like


I wasn’t getting that working from a sense of community yeah since the community and I also wanted to work with people and


um have hard conversations I feel like being young in my career and starting that business I didn’t have a lot of


hard conversations except with clients and I was always the designer so I was able to like talk my way through it but


I wasn’t having hard conversations like every day I was like I want more of that I want to challenge myself and so when I


set out to go find a company to work for my number one thing was like I want to find people I want to enjoy working with


and um I also want to find an environment that I can grow in right and so like I


ended up stumbling upon grounded company and Levi Lindsay introduced me to Nick


and that’s how we got connected and um yeah I think the culture there was


really interesting when I first got on brought on I first got brought on to the company


um there’s no process we had uh Nick was like paying for click up uh the project


management tool yeah but no one used it and it was just like sitting there and I


was like the first thing I want to do is just like create new processes but that took a step back just like let me just


see how it goes for a week and after a week I was like okay now we got like way more to work on than I thought but it


was interesting as we started changing things um the the employees started to get sour


the culture started to change and like people started dropping off and to the point where it was literally


the only person left was Adam tar he’s the art director at um the grounded


company he’s the only one there that is uh that has been there longer than I have except for Nick right yeah


um so the culture changed and that was so interesting and then we hired new people and now our culture is like this


is amazing like we’re talking at lunch the other day with the designers and they’re like man it’s gonna be so hard


like when someone leaves here there’s going to be a huge hole if anyone leaves here like everyone here adds so much to


the culture um so it’s been cool to see that and Nick has given so much trust to me to just like hey


build whatever the heck you want I remember one time I came to Nick and it was like two


months after I started it’s like hey we want Fridays off and I think this is done from you guys probably yeah Nick’s


trying to copy us I was like I I saw you guys post about that and you post about it frequently I was like that’s sick


yeah I want Fridays off and I think also yeah there’s this idea of rest yeah


right you get burnt out a lot yeah um and so we next like figure it out do


it I was like okay so I like sat down Adam and I talked a lot our art director and we figured out like okay we’re gonna


do every other Fridays off and we’ve been doing that for eight months now and it’s been awesome for you


we all gotta hang out on Fridays man yeah we should do it Friday night and we should brag about it on LinkedIn together like we all get together if we


all get together on Fridays work Free Fridays yeah yeah we yeah we started our four day work week in uh I want to know


why well it it stemmed from um honestly we we liked the idea that


chamber media was doing and Travis Chambers had posted about it quite frequently then Mason Bledsoe who is a


partner of Shannon eyes at the time well he’s no longer a partner scroll but he’s the one that initially brought the idea


to Shane and I to like literally send a slack message we should do four day work week and I think Dan and I both were


just like all right and we were like everyone come here yeah and we just like just decided then hey we’re gonna do it


we’re gonna do a six week test of this and see if it breaks anything yeah if it


doesn’t like literally without any planning whatsoever which is probably not the smartest idea but um but we’re a


small team like I think when you’re small you can kind of do whatever the heck you want but we were small so we took the six weeks took it off and


nothing broke we we learned that hey whoa like we need to change some


processes we need to change how we communicate there’s a lot of that that happened um and ours wasn’t yours isn’t as


drastic as ours because ours is four day work week Friday’s off completely yeah um which is a lot more yeah a lot more


drastic but um it’s worked out for us like we’ve uh you know we’ve done it for two years now


and it’s been awesome so yeah I don’t think we’ll ever go back unless we absolutely have to it’d be you your team


would just leave they’re like yeah peace I’m more Friday’s off I know well it’s also hard though because the people that


apply sometimes yeah sometimes it does attract the wrong people lazy yeah


individuals yeah they’re just like dude I want to work for scroll I love your flexible environment and I’m like how about you want to work for scroll


because you want to be impactful and help grow a business right yeah the four day work week is a perk yeah and it’s


definitely something you have to filter you’ve got other people who work hard yeah yes that’s how it should be well


you were rewarded with four days because of efficiency and Effectiveness right it’s like the because you work really


hard Monday through Thursday yeah Fridays are off yeah right but like the reason people work Fridays is because


most people are lazy and they just span everything out over a long week and I


just hate the concept that like we trade time for money yeah because then it’s


like this weird transaction of like selling ourselves and I think that we


really should manage People based off of projects not time so that’s why we’ve gotten that route I


think that’s awesome how do you see the four day work week impact your clients


we you know yeah at least initially I don’t think we had anybody like say like


oh I need to like I need to talk to you on Friday now like there’s an emergency if there is an emergency on Friday we


step in it’s usually like Shane or myself or somebody that’s like over the account that steps in not necessarily


like anyone else um but I guess what I meant is like efficiency wise right to have four day


work week you have to be really efficient yeah how does that how do you see that improve what you’re delivering


to your clients well they get stuff a day sooner yeah yeah that’s definitely the case and it also helped us get a lot


more organized right project management software really invested in last last year and majorly


like everything is templatized and like massively mapped out across every


Department ever you know we’ve really honed in on that last year and it’s paid off like it’s it’s really it’s worth


worked really well for our team there’s very few things that go missed the


missed things come from human error and we try to eliminate as much of that as we possibly can


um but uh yeah I I think well we when we uh initially decided that we were going


to do four day work week we did that six week test and then we’ve followed up since then we that first year that we


did it we had a lot of we were very open about it on LinkedIn and documented it quite frequently we


got the uh our business got picked up and Business Insider and Forbes and got


mentioned based on what we had done and we took I know the Business Insider article went in depth a


little bit more into like our Revenue growth our efficiency yeah they made me send like QuickBooks reports and


everything really yeah official luckily it was a it was a growth period so I don’t know of like I don’t think we can


tie the revenue growing exactly to the four day work week but our Revenue grew


and our efficiency got much better yeah would we sell more if we had Fridays probably but also I think one thing a


lot of people don’t understand is in Utah specifically your weekend’s even shorter for a lot of people because it


most people in Utah a lot of people in Utah are members of the LDS church and


have volunteer callings that they do on Sundays so most of the day yeah so


Sunday is another work day yeah for most people that work in Utah so then imagine


this you work Friday you come home at six and then you have 6 p.m to 10 p.m with


your kids and family you wake up Saturday and you’re like I gotta mow the lawn I got to do all my laundry I gotta


go grocery shopping I have to do everything because tomorrow I have another job yeah that I’m going to be


doing and then I gotta go back on Monday so Saturday’s your only day so I think in Utah specifically a four day work


week if Done Right can be majorly impactful because it gives you your two day weekend that is kind of taken away


by church for a lot of people yeah um so I think that the value that we really


get for our customers is fresh minds of fresh people and that’s what customers need they need your best and you’re not


going to be your best if you’re working till 6 PM Friday you go home you


watch TV and have dinner with your family or go on a walk you go to bed you do all your chores on Saturday play with


your kids for an hour and then you start over yeah that doesn’t sound like we’ve only like literally I can probably count


on one hand the amount of people who’ve maybe potentially complained about it and even then eliminate that one hand


number in half because after really fully explaining everything they start to get it and they realize it and I


think the you know the last few people that we’ve just had really major problems with are in just really toxic


work environments and have you know a big problem with that or not being able to get in touch or over expectation like


setting the expectations up front with the clients because it’s all over our it’s on our website it is in our initial


Decks that we talk about like our communication protocols like this is this is who we are before you ever start


working with us like this is what to expect you said that up front and you won’t have problems and if you are going


to have problems that’s on you because it’s a culture mismatch with your client yeah you know yeah are you ever gonna


regret taking a Friday with your family no but yeah you’ll regret a lot of worked Fridays so could we grow more


yeah could we have more customer calls on Fridays sure but like I’d rather not


regret my Fridays I’d rather have a good time yeah so we’re lucky that’s awesome yeah thank


you for inspiring the grounded company to to make that leap we’re not every Friday but every other is a huge well


maybe you’re inspiring us you know we’ll we’ll tame it back I love it well Elliot what’s like what’s


next for you like what’s on the horizon for you oh great question


at this point in my career I’ve kind of achieved everything I set out to do


I love it I being honest though like I’m I’m searching for that next step don’t know what it is yet


um but I I feel like I have the tools from going from an entrepreneur to going in-house at an agency


I I know exactly what I need to do to map out my next steps but for now like I feel super


comfortable about my growth at grounded and where that’s heading um and yeah I don’t know what’s next but


any suggestions let me know I love it and maybe to end on a good note what are some more or less your your top tips for


the businesses that you work with or potentially could work with if they’re


really interested in getting involved in design or brand or whatever it may be


just improving their business what are some of your tips that you’d give from a creative side yeah one of the biggest


tips I would have is to recycle your content like if you create an ad use


that in a blog post use it as a landing page use it as a social media post right


if if that ad performs well right I I think um we’re so focused on like creating as


many I’m just using as an example as as an example right like let’s just create


as many ads as we can well it’s like let’s create a handful and once one takes off let’s create an ecosystem


around that um and if you are strategic with that you can make a lot more money


and it’s not too expensive to do right you can if you don’t have an agency of


record you can hire that stuff out to do landing page to do a Blog right and like


recycle that content make as much money as you can off of that one winning asset


um and you’ll find that a lot of your time will get eaten up by that and that’s okay because you know you have


the data it’s performing well grow it right don’t Don’t just run it until it dies and then okay well let’s


find something else that’s new yeah um we got to be really strategic with


um those winning assets otherwise you’re going to burn yourself out trying to just play the game of like new stuff


yeah new stuff new stuff like take the time to really analyze and then make uh


make ecosystems around those winning assets awesome I think part of the goal of this


podcast too is that someone is listening that could follow


similarly to the path that you’ve taken right so to that person what advice do


you have yeah um device I would have is to


not how everything that you’re interested in if you’re starting out map out all the the people that you would


aspire to work with right and go Shadow them just see what their day looks like


right that’s free to do you don’t need money you don’t need to go to school for that


get that experience and and see if it’s something you actually want to do and if


it is then then you can really like road map out your path to become whatever


role or title you want right but I think we get stuck in our heads with like oh I have to go to school I


have to do this too um I have to take this course or I have to have years of experience it’s like it


really just can’t comes down to the connections you have and don’t be scared to go and and Shadow People I was


talking to um someone who reached out to me on LinkedIn he came over to my house like


this was two days ago and he’s like I’m in the middle of a career change and I don’t know what I want and I think I


want to be a creative director and so we just talked and I’m never gonna forget him like he came to my house and sat in


my office and we talked like and that was free right like it there’s this idea


of time exchange and it’s nowadays even less like we’re we’re even


more hesitant to give up our time but if you can get people to use their time on you it goes both ways right like you


guys are spending time with me and vice versa and we’re not going to forget this right


so I think it goes the same the same when you’re trying to figure out your career path take the time to spend time


with people because when you spend time with people and it’s a two-way exchange and they’re


not going to forget that I love that I think that’s so good that’s so good and such good advice and yeah and all it


takes like you said like it should if it costs you money it’s probably the wrong wrong person


um but true yes there’s always stuff I found LinkedIn yeah no kidding if it


costs money it’s probably too good to be true but um and that sometimes that’s not the case I’ve gotten a lot of value from things I paid for too so right more


or less be careful um but two a DM is free and giving value


only really costs you your time um and so do it like take the time to do


it yeah Elliot you had four internships right like were you paid at those internships I I was luckily look at that


like you got paid to learn compared to paying to learn you got paid to learn from people that’s pretty awesome made


it into yeah and one of those internships turned into getting two other internships from it


for meeting people like networking is huge it’s so easy to do and I’m


introverted I consider myself introverted I’m like 50 50. I can’t be extroverted


um but like I really think those people skills you’re gonna need them in your job anyways yeah like gotta learn them


you gotta push yourself to get past that if you have a family you just have to have those skills you got to do it for


your family like you can’t yeah you can’t just stay in school and just get by with that in my opinion you can but I


feel like you’ll just be at the same job your whole life yeah first time people that works for other people who have


this more entrepreneurial mindset like you need to have those connections in order to thrive yeah totally I love that


well Elliot where can uh where can people find you if they wanna they wanna hit you up if


they want to learn more yeah I’m on LinkedIn and um that’s where you can find me okay and


then also like downtown Salt Lake um come grab lunch with me and you know


we have an awesome office we always it’s open to our policy like I know Shane you came and worked there for a little bit


yeah right like you had a meeting but also you like hung out and worked for a little bit but yeah people come and just


hang out with us for the day and they just work on whatever they need to um so open door at the grounded you can


always come and work with us and get to know us love it well Elliot really appreciate you coming in today man yeah


we’ve Thanksgiving it’s been fun talking over the years and it’s been fun seeing what you’re up to and wish you the


absolute best with uh with your wife and with that incoming baby I know that’s it’s stressful it’s a lot so I hope it


goes well I hope it ends in a good situation for you I really appreciate that I know you guys understand that so


yeah and everyone check out the grounded company and what they’re doing because it is a piece of the agency world that


we don’t touch where we run paid ads we do SEO we do web design but we don’t do


creative work and yeah creative is such a big piece of the future and it’s


everything that our company is begging for from our customers right now so look


at the grounded company because they’re offering a really cool solution to that and they’re doing a great job yeah yeah


and just give a little context like we partner with people like scroll they run the ads we create the creative


and it’s it it works really well when it comes down to that because you always need more creative yeah always yeah well


thanks Elliot thank you guys it’s been fun thank you and that’s around [Music]

Share the Post:

Related Posts

Contact us today and get an audit.

Get More Leads, Close More Deals.