Welcome Tudor! Tell us about your background and how you got started in entrepreneurship.
I got my start as a direct response copywriter in the finance industry pretty much around the same time I started college. All I knew was that I didn’t want to be employed, and wanted to be able to do my own thing. I ended up in copywriting because I was talented at writing, and some quick research showed me that copywriting may be a great way to make money with a writing-based skill.
At one point one of my active clients didn’t have any spare designers or developers to work on a funnel that I wrote the copy for, so they asked me to take over. I told them I don’t do that, and they insisted that I find someone to do the work. That was the birth of my agency, which I grew to the point that I was actively managing 18 people.
The experience of building a direct response agency gave me a ton of knowledge about leadership, marketing, sales and scaling an agency. I also learned that I prefer to manage smaller teams, and continuing to grow with the agency model would mean an ever-expanding team. It wasn’t what I wanted, so that’s why I shifted into coaching & training other agency owners who were interested to build bigger teams and go farther than I have.
Today TANDA Digital’s mission is to help 25,000 agency owners build the agencies of the future and scale to $50K+/mo while putting in the right business systems so they don’t have to trade their time for money.
How does creativity play into your goals as an entrepreneur and someone who trains others on how to build their businesses?
It’s very important – that’s sort of the key to it all. There are no ready-made answers, and you have to be creative to figure it out. My clients own agencies operating in different markets & verticals, and it’s always a challenge to find the best combination of strategies for their niche. I get paid for my ability to deliver results to people, and creativity is at the center of that.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s been the most challenging aspect of being an entrepreneur?
What I enjoy most is the freedom. Especially the freedom of choosing who I work with. If I don’t particularly like or enjoy working with an agency owner, then I can turn them away and explain to them I’m not right for them. There are no consequences for that. By comparison, if you work a job, you can’t choose your work colleagues, your boss, and your clients. You have to do what you have to do, when someone else wants you to.
The second thing I enjoy most is being able to run my business with a small team. We’re just 5 people. You can’t really do this with the agency model, where you need to add more people at some point to keep on growing.
The most challenging aspect, I would say, is figuring out how to allocate your time. There are a lot of priorities in a business and a lot of things you could be doing. Having clarity about where you’ll get the highest return on the time you invest – I’d say that’s by far the biggest challenge. We go over this in our Agency Ascendancy Program™ but money is the only really limited resource that we have. Ultimately all economics is, is the science of time allocation. Money itself is a form of time. If you have money, you can use it to get access to other people’s time. That’s all it is. People love to fetishize money, but ultimately the real source of money is return on your time invested. We all have the same amount of time – yourself, I and Bill Gates. But Bill Gates has more money because he has obtained significantly larger returns on the time he has invested in his projects than others.
How do you stay motivated and focused when it comes to business goals?
I think focus & drive come from inner clarity – when you know what you truly want and you have clarity on your purpose and your why, then staying motivated and focused just happens. This isn’t to say that you never have moments or even days when you’re not motivated. But rather that sooner or later your motivation comes back. Even in the face of setbacks, if you know what your purpose is, you’ll keep on going. This is exactly the reason why part of our process of working with agency owners involves helping them to get clarity on where they want to take their business and what’s truly meaningful for them as people. Doing that in the early stages of our Agency Ascendancy Program™ gives them a huge boost of motivation and focus and enables them to hit the ambitious targets we set together.
As an entrepreneur, I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of challenges to overcome – how do you manage obstacles?
It’s the same way I teach my students. I call it the 5-Step Management Process. It starts with getting clarity on your intended outcome or goal. So that’s the first step. Then the second step is figuring out the problem – what’s stopping you from achieving your goal? Why aren’t you there yet? Once you’ve figured out the problem we go to step 3 – diagnosing the problem. Now the focus is on what’s causing the problem and maintaining it into existence? Once the root cause is identified, then we can begin to form a plan to sidestep or overcome it. And then the final step is just executing the plan, and seeing if the goal is achieved or not. If it isn’t then somewhere along our 5-step process we went wrong and missed something or drew a wrong conclusion. So we would iterate again.
To give a concrete example. Very often I’ll get on the phone with agency owners and they’ll say something like “We’re just not getting enough leads”. So clearly they have a target – how many leads per month they’d like to get. So I ask them questions until that becomes clear: “we’d love to get 30 appointments every month”. Then I ask them what the problem is. The first thing they’ll say is “We tried cold calling (or cold email, LinkedIn, posting content, could be anything) and we’re not getting enough leads! We were thinking to try TikTok ads instead”. So when this happens I know that they are misidentifying the cause of the problem with the problem itself. The problem is they’re not getting leads through cold calling. But the cause of that problem could be very different from the method of lead generation itself – and in fact it most often is. Very often cold calling could work great – but they’re doing it wrong, or they have issues with the niche they’re going after, or the credibility they portray, or their positioning, or even their pricing. Sometimes agency owners just don’t have high enough prices to allow them to hire others and grow the business! So that’s where I come in most strongly, in steps 3 and 4. I help them diagnose the real cause of their problem, and then design a plan to fix it that they can then execute on.
I manage personal obstacles in the same manner. I get clarity on my goal, understand what the obstacle is, and then search for the root cause of that obstacle. Then I design a plan, and implement it to remove the obstacle. If it doesn’t work, then either I made an incorrect assumption at some point of my analysis, or new information came to light that reveals that the real root cause isn’t what I thought it was. And then it’s back to designing a plan to remove the real root cause and implementing it.
We appreciate you visiting with us on Creator Series! Before you go, tell us your favorite quote or mantra and why.
“Your agency is a mirror image of who you are”. I came up with it because I noticed that quite often agency owners would have problems that would persist because of their own mindset and belief systems.
You’ll never grow bigger than you think you can.
You’ll never win clients you think are too big for you.
You’ll never have clients pay you $10,000 for a contract if you think $10,000 is a gigantic sum of money
You’ll never have hardworking employees if you’re lazy
You’ll never have people trust you if you don’t trust people
You’ll never have people be honest with you if you’re not honest
Therefore change starts with yourself. And when we work with agency owners that’s where we start in our Agency Ascendancy Program™ – with the correct mindset for building & scaling their organisation. Joining Agency Ascendancy itself involves a financial commitment, and the people who make that commitment the fastest are typically the ones who get the best results, because they have the right mindset. They understand money isn’t scarce, they know how valuable their time is, and they’re willing to do what it takes to make their dreams happen. From there we can expand into other areas including working on their offers, pricing structure, the niche they serve, their positioning, sales, marketing, hiring others and so on.
But it all starts with the person and their mindset.
Connect with Tudor & TANDA Digital
Social/App links: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tudorfd
Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you want to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!