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Getting to 10 employees requires you to make some drastic changes in your leadership and management side. It is even more of change to get to 50 employees. Today, I interview Joel Holland with Video Blocks to uncover the shifts he had to make to grow his company. We share specifically what he had to “let go” of.
Target Audience: Joel founded the company called Video Blocks. It provides a platform for anyone who shoots content, giving them the opportunity to sell their content. So far, there are 10,000 contributors and 150,000 subscribed members. Video Blocks serves big companies like production/movie studios and the freelancer (think Youtuber, etc). Members pay $150 a year and can download whatever content they want.
Creating the Library of Content
It all started from a personal need which Joel thinks is a good way to start a business. In high school, Joel was working on a small television show for teens. It was a non profit. Got great guests- even the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger. But when he went home to edit it, he realized it was lacking in effects, music, etc. He knew he could not do this alone. Still, Joel went on to travel around and shot things he figured an editor would buy. He knew then, he’d be serving that market.
Joel was able to get away with using freelancers through college. By 2009, he was out of school and scaled the business to a million dollars in revenue. It was exciting but overwhelming. He was doing it all himself and it became too big. His first step was to hire a customer service rep. He quickly became addicted to hiring people who could do things better than him. He then went on to hire someone for marketing. This took even more off his plate. The business just kept growing from there.
Once Joel got over the hump of hiring he suddenly had 10 people working for him. It was not that much different from 1-2 employees. It was still small enough where everyone was on the same page. There was no need to really talk about culture yet. However, when it went from 10- 50 people, he had to become more cognizant about the culture, etc. while also being sensitive about the responsibility you placed on others as well as a respect (a big one!). Giving them autonomy was a big piece of the puzzle here. Lines of communication also need to be at a high level.
What Joel had to LET GO of…
Being cheap. Every entrepreneur feels like you may be “dying” as a business or that something may go wrong. The notion of saving money on employees is a terrible concept. Penny pinching needs to stop. Remember you get what you pay for. You want great people. Joel gives all the credit to the good people on his team.
What is CULTURE?
At Video Blocks, people work hard but have fun. And humble at the same time. He wanted to make sure that culture didn’t break apart when they started expanding. Joel says, “As a community, our mission is to help everyone win, and as a byproduct of that, we are actually successful.”
In this episode we’ll cover:
- Creating a culture where everyone wins
- Overcoming the fear of hiring
- How hiring a team takes things off your to-do list
- Why being CHEAP could be killing your business
- Why you should borrow ideas from other company models
Practical and Actionable:
Don’t be afraid to borrow ideas from other companies. They look up to netflix, for example and have adopted bits of their culture model. Make the values real and concrete.
Resources and Links
- Videoblocks.com – Join and grab content
- Audioblocks.com -for music and sound effects
- Joel on Linked in
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