Scaling From $100K To $4M – How I Did It – Kade Wilcox

Kade rec



“Success is always learning and being humble enough to know that no matter what amount of knowledge you have, you should always strive for more. You are not done learning. "



  • Meet Kade and how he brought his wife into the business [9:58]
  • We all have fear about partnership and co-foundership, Kad has a positive experience, listen to that positive story [20:18]
  • What is important for a business to grow [26:56]
  • How to know who is good for your company to hire [38:55]


Salena: Hey there and welcome to this week's episode of The bringing business to retail podcast. Now I know that we have been talking about scaling your business a lot over the last couple of weeks. And I thought it would be a really great opportunity to bring somebody on who has done a fantastic job of doing exactly that; scaling their business. Kade Wilxoc is the co-founder. He originally founded it but now you're co-founder of Primitive Social and may have scaled it from just a hundred thousand dollars in revenue a year to 4 million dollars in revenue in just four years. So I'm going to let Kade tell you the story about how he did it but I know that you are going to love this one because we are all about growth this month here on the bringing business to retail podcast. So welcome to the show Kade.

Kade: Thank you. It's a real privilege to be with you today.

Salena: Now I know that I got the co-founder founded thing mixed up because you originally started this business with your wife didn't you.

Kade: Yes.Yeah that's my co-founder so. I. she we would have never been able to start this business seven years ago if it wasn't for her. And then it gets a little tricky too because we've never been able to scale the business without my current co-owner Jared Hurst and so that's why I say co-founder because I don't want anyone to ever think I'm like I'm the only reason why we've been able to make this thing successful. So.

Salena: Ok. So tell us a little bit about how you got your wife onboard in the first place. Because for a lot of business owners the thought of working with that partner day in day out, not having any break, not having any transition, not having any downtime. It makes a lot of people just shut up. So how did you manage to bring her into your business and also keep a happy life?

Kade: Yeah. Good question. So we started our business out of necessity. So about seven years ago I took on a full-time job working at a church here in the city that we live in now and when I took that job I took a pretty significant pay cut. And so we initially started what has become social out of necessity. We wanted to take that job but you know  needed to make a little bit more money. And so through all kinds of different things we decided to start from the social. My wife has always been a remarkable writer. I mean even when she was a little kid she was writing stories, in high school she just and won gold medals in writing. You know she's just always been a natural writer and had a real passion for it. So long story short we decided to see if we could help businesses manage their Facebook page. This was seven years ago. There was no business pages or public figure pages, there were no videos, there were no photos, there were no ads. I mean it was a really different kind of platform. And so she loved the idea. So at the time, I had a full-time job so it's not like we were working full time together. I would kind of pick up the hand it to her and then she did all the work.  And we didn't have very many clients and so it was pretty manageable with our young family. So that's kind of how we started it and how we decided to get together.

Salena: Now you know three, four years in when we decided to really turn it into a real business instead of a hobby. Well you know for the first several years it was really just for supplemental income. I had a full-time job, we had no real sales goals, we had no team. It was; I work kind of organically, pick up a customer here or there and then Lycee would do all the work and kind of funny story, a friend of mine who had the original idea to manage businesses Facebook pages. Three years according to him we were doing a hobby. And I'm really competitive and it pissed me off and so I said no no wait a second it's not a hobby it's a real business. And I started reflecting on it. He was right. You know we didn't have any intentional sales goals. We had no team, we had no real organizational development in terms of systems and processes and onboarding and things like that. And that's when it got really exciting because we decided you know what, we might have something here, what if we turned it into a business and the rest is history.

Salena: So at that point we're doing the around 100 k?

Kade: Yeah. So up until; so from 2011 we started the Business to the end of 2013 we were really doing far less than that. We were probably 30 to 50 thousand dollars in revenue. Now our content because that's what we set out to do to supplement our income. And what happened at the end of 2013 we started realizing we had an opportunity in front of us to maybe make a run at this and turn it into what we call a real business. We started some sale goals.  And so I had never built a business before, I never run a business.  I'd never been a salesperson or anything of that sort. And so I did what I only knew how to do and I got a yellow legal pad and I said in 2014 we want to make a hundred thousand dollars in revenue, 2015 we want to make 250000 dollars in revenue and 2016 we're going to make five hundred thousand.  So I use real simple numbers and it felt kind of crazy doing that because we'd never even come close to making 100000 dollars in our lives. And yeah, I mean what's funny is in 2014 we made $98000 in revenue. So we almost met our goal.  In 2015 we wanted to make 250, we made four hundred and sixty thousand dollars. And in the third year when we wanted to make a half a million we made 1.3 million. So you know we were able to really meet and exceed our goals.

Salena: Okay, I have a lot of questions. Let me just write a couple down so I don't forget. So the first one I have is, did you just pull those numbers out of your butt.

Kade: Yeah. When I made in 2013? Oh absolutely. I no idea what I was doing. You know it's like when he when I started thinking about like what are we going to do to actually turn this into a business. I had no concept of what a real business was or wasn't. And so as I was I was reflecting on it, I remembered vividly like yesterday; like it was yesterday thinking three things and it turned out to be somewhat right. But I just got lucky. I thought OK well what is a business? And there are three things that came to my mind even though I didn't know what I was talking about.  Sales, a team and then like an operation, like you know an organization to deliver the products or services or whatever you're doing. And so when I chose to focus on first because I didn't feel like I could have an organization. I didn't feel like I could have a team without money. I chose to focus on sales. So then I ask the question, you know how do you develop sales schools? I was like  I got no clue. So I'm just going to pick numbers. And they felt really audacious almost impossible which is how I operate. So I set really crazy goals which almost feel silly and I'm really competitive and motivated and so that worked for us.  So we just got lucky. And yes I just did; I just pulled them out of my rear as you put it.

Salena: So what were you doing before you moved. I've got a few questions about how you did the transition, but what were you doing? You said you took a job with the church.

Kade: Yeah I was an executive pastor at a church.  Prior to you know going on staff of the church I was the executive director of a kids camp. And so that's really when I; those two jobs in that season that I had those two jobs. What was really impactful is the roles that I had at each of those organizations were very entrepreneur. So no one hand me a job description and said do a b and c.  It was more like, here's  what we are trying to accomplish. You know we're not totally clear on how to do that. So go figure. And that turned out to be exactly how I thrive and you know what I've since discovered as being you know how I succeed. And so I give both of those organizations a lot of credit to helping me identify kind of my entrepreneurial spirit and some of the characteristics about me that made me you know running a business and particularly sales. If it had not been for them saying hey, you know here's where we're kind of trying to go you go figure out how to get us there. I'd never be doing what we're doing now and so forth. I'm eternally grateful.

Salena: So that's called entrepreneurial and I've always had jobs. There's actually a name for it. I've always had jobs that have been the exact thing but not when I was younger. But as I moved up the ladder I always ended up in these jobs that were almost created for me because I could see this is my superpower. I can always see the problem and the next step.  I could always see what we need to do to grow a business and I worked for governments.  So this is really hard to try and tell the government what they need to do.

Kade: That's a whole other podcast isn't it?

Salena:  It is indeed. And then they would just be these jobs that got created and I'd have these obscure titles that usually reflected nothing on what I was doing because I had to fit into the corporate box.  But then it was just, can you fix this?

Kade: Yes. Now you're very intuitive.

Salena: All right. And tell me about; at the point at which you brought your other co-founder/co-owner into the business. That's just out there and then I have another question OK.

Kade: Sure. So what happened in the end of 2013, basically we started working two full-time jobs.  So I kept my day job. And at the same time we started pursuing and developing our business the best way we knew how.  And we got really lucky so in early 2014 I started to and I sold some backstory. From 2011 to the end of 2013 anytime we had a customer who needed a website or had a website need we had to outsource it to a freelancer.  And it got to the point where it was, to be honest with you a very unusual experience. Because I would sell the project to be the face of the project. But I had no control over the project whatsoever. And you probably have done that enough to know that it can be very difficult kind of saving face with the customers but you don't make a bunch of excuses because that makes you look bad. At the same time you don't want to pump out terrible work because that makes you look bad too. So it just got to the point where we couldn't really care for customers. So I'm doing Crosthwaite and this other guy who is doing crosthwaite who I never met. And I hear him one day at a garage talking about building a website for this company.

Kade:  And so I went up to him introduced myself and said Hey, overheard you talking about websites. Do you build websites? He said yes. I said I told him what I just told you and said you will do a project together. And he said absolutely. So we did a project together and we're like; he hates it.  But it was like love at first sight. I mean he was like prompt, he was hard working. He did exactly what he said he was going to do. Our pricing was comfortable so I thought it was fair.  He also had a full-time job working for his family business, so this was something he was passionate about not something he had to do. And so I felt really good about that. So for the first year we did that I picked up a project I gave it to him. We did it kind of together. And you know we did that for a while then we got to a phase where you know he just kind of white-gloved just primitive social so you know we did all of our projects together as a primitive social but we were still separate. And then this really cool thing happened. I had a business coach and he asked this really great question about our partnership. Gerard's and mind and he said are you are all better together or apart. And we both just unequivocally felt like we were better together than apart. And that when we officially become business partners so we own the company 50/50 together. We actually own other companies together now 50/50. It's been a really really good partnership.  And it happened at a time where we were really turning on the gas so to speak and to  growing and building our company. And he has been really instrumental and I think it's at least one part of our success.

Salena: Okay. So the question a lot of people here are going to be asking and they are going, oh please ask him, please ask him, is how did you negotiate the minefield that can be a partnership? Tell me a little bit about the conversation you had on who was going to do what? How much It was going to cost each of you all that kind of stuff? I don't want to spend too much time on it but I know everybody here is listening who have ever thought of having a partner, wants to know how you managed it.

Kade:  Well I've heard, I've heard all the horror stories that your audience have so I totally get the question and understand it entirely and had the same concerns both of us did. I think for us what ended up; first of all, that question was really I thought profound. Are we better together or apart? So when you start running through the long list of alternatives of together and you start weighing those things, that was really influential aspect to us making decisions. A lot of things that we really work through and process was our really specific skill sets. So he's SETO. He is a software developer. He is a phenomenal computer programmer. And I'm like the furthest thing from that. I don't know a single line of code.

Kade: So our real core competencies and skill sets are very different. So what he is very very good at. I don't know the foggiest thing about. And what I am very very good about. He knows about but he can't do and doesn't do and doesn't want to do. So our primary skillsets naturally complement each other in that way. So we're very different in that sense. But here's the thing that I always speak into because I've gotten these partnership questions a lot. And it this, we're enough like that we really get each other.  So we're different enough that we can kind of run in our own lanes and contribute value in very different unique ways. We're not running over each other crisscrossing paths all the time but at the same time we're both so much alike that we share the same vision and the same values and are passionate about the same things and are committed to the business in this way and that's what really makes it work. And so it's that we're both very different but we have enough commonality and similarities and passions that you know we're not constantly pulling away from each other because I'm trying to go to the right and he's trying to go the left..

Salena: So how did you negotiate the money side of things when he was a set; even though he had his little side household business, you'd actually grown his business to something decent and he was coming into something he'd already established but yet it still became 50/50. How does that work?

Kade: That's an awesome question. So we both get we both gave a little. That's what you do. And just like any partnership whether it's marriage or business partnership or whatever to the degree that you're willing to give and take and to meet each other in the middle a lot of times is going to be where you find you know where you find success. And so what we did is look, I could have never given out my business name and ownership and all that. And so I really admired him that he was willing to shut down what he was doing and had been doing for a long time and come join forces with us under our name and our leadership and things like that. I really admire that. And that wasn't a monetary thing but in many respects, it was more than money. I mean to me that that was like; that was really a big deal for him to do that. And so consequently I felt like; so that's what he did. And so I felt like we had to give too. So we made more money as a business so to speak at that point than he was making and so that's what I gave. So he gave up. I feel like the pride of shutting down his own thing and joining forces with us. And we gave by agreeing to an equity share that was non-monetary.  So like he can pay you money for it. We just came up with a business plan, and originally it was 60/40 and he felt good with that and we felt good with that.

Kade: And you know that was another key. I didn't force him into like feeling like he was getting the wrong deal and the same thing for us.   And it wasn't until about; I don't know, not that long ago where I... my wife and I just felt like this is crazy like we are not 60 percent of this business. You know like we couldn't do this without him and he couldn't do this without us we should be equal partners. And so we actually just made the decision like this is crazy you know we make all of our decisions 50/50 which was another really key thing.  We agree from day one we are not our percentages whatever those percentages are. We're not our percentages. We are going to do this together. And you know it's not going to be like Kate owns 60 percent and you own 40 percent. That's never going to know never going to be in the conversation. And so that's how he did it. I don't know that that's the best way to do that.  I don't know that's the way everyone should do it. But I think it has contributed to our health because both of us have demonstrated to the other that we're willing to give you know give and take not just take. And I think that's really critical.

Salena: Yeah I think when you go into it very organically. Like you said it can be quite easy to just negotiate these things without having a burden placed on you. And like you said Jared almost gave up his identity, his own business identity to come and join you. So it's really lovely to hear a nice story about how it's really working out. Okay in terms of scaling, you said that you thought that sales was the first thing you needed to focus on. So  is that you think the first step that people have to take?

Kade: Wow, as you know and as your audience knows, there's a lot of variables from business to business. But if we're primarily talking about really small businesses like we were at the time wanting to grow, I think that is something that has to be strongly considered. And here's my one caveat. We chose to grow our business without any outside money or without you know borrowing a bunch of money to invest into an organization or had sales. So just to clarify something. The reason I thought so strongly about sales is because us making money to invest in people in operations was the only way we were willing at that time to grow our company. In other words, I didn't want to go to a bank can borrow a hundred thousand dollars and invest in operations and people before I actually had sales. And so we chose for sales to drive our growth. And so if that's where your audience you know where a small business owner finds themselves then yes I think that really focusing on a sale strategy and someone who's going to really own sales is a really good you know kind of first step in kind of a good first thing to focus on. I would change my answer if someone says hey, I got really lucky. My dad is a multimillionaire and he said he would invest thirty-eight thousand dollars my company for no equity and interest rate for five years. You know my answer might be a little different.

Salena: For people listening I think you're on the right path. What do you feel like the next step that you took in your business is, was because you still growing. What do you think that next step is in order for you to grow?

Kade : I love that question there were two things that we were trying to do simultaneously, so when I say next step I don't mean in terms of like you know secondary importance now I might think it's equally important we got lucky and I can't say that we intentionally did this because my wife were so good at her work and what she was doing and she was so good at working with customers what we were able to do simultaneously was I was able to grow the company but she was able to really adequately and effectively and exceed expectations for our customers and so, I think the other thing related to cells let's next thing that you asked I think it's really being obsessed about making your customers happy because you know you can be the best salesperson in the world and be generating a lot of new customers but you're not taking care of the ones that you have then you're not really growing or scaling anything you're just replacing you know customers are going out the door customers are coming in but your revenue and your growth is not going anywhere and so, I think that has to be something that you have to simultaneously focus on while you're focusing on selves is not losing sight of your existing customers.

Salena: And I think as people who start off as independent business owners generally have that desire to over-deliver and sometimes to our own detriment.

Kade: You're right yep, the dry I don't think that's a bad thing early on now I do think there's a really critical time during your kind of your growth or you have to get a grip on that where you have to really figure out the impact it's making on your business and the consequence it's going to have downstream but I think for someone start like I don't regret at all for the first you know several, I wouldn't even say three to three-and-a-half years of our business where we were not being compensated remotely close to what we were providing in terms of services deliverables value but I don't know that I would change it honestly because it really allowed us to perfect our craft it allowed us to develop credibility in our city you know with our customers it allowed us to create a bunch of happy customers which translated into referrals and then helping us grow our business and so you do have to be get a grip on it you can't do that forever because then it'll bury you but I do think early on it's a really good kind of posture or you know kind of mentality that they have.

Salena: Yeah, is one of the one of the exercises we do inside the course is just really analyzing how much over-delivering there is and how much it can be costing you and I think because we're talking about products lots of retailers want to add they feel like they have to give extra to someone who's bought something from them it's like thank you for buying please take some more and that amount all those little bits actually add up and that's money that's literally coming out of your pocket so, I think you're right over delivering in some ways can be great but it all harks back to the first part that you were talking about which is you're in business to make money so you have to be driving the sales.

Kade: Right, I think you raise a really great point I mean I would really differentiate between service and products, so if you're selling products you're going to be giving away you know if someone pays you ten bucks and you're giving away twenty dollars but the product that's really what I'm talking about I'm really talking about service which is you know a time value and not like actual product or monetary value and so I think you raise a really good point would be very careful with for someone in retail you know to overdo it because that has a real tangible consequence on your bottom line and your inventory and all those kinds of things.

Salena: Yeah, okay, so we've covered sales and we've covered this concept of I guess moving to the next level, so once you have established that set of you know boundaries which part did you bring Jared in?

Kade : Intentional it just kind of took on whatever came to us organically and then you know the end of 2013 and really the beginning of 2014 to 2018, it's kind of life cycle two or phase two and if you look at phase two Jarrod came in you know right at the beginning of that and we were very much focused on sells and that's kind of when he came into the deal which was great because I went crazy selling websites and he was able to build set website right, so that's the time frame he entered the picture.

Salena: Okay, so how apart from he of these technical abilities, how do you think he helped the business grow because you already had those technical abilities by outsourcing to him, so what other things did he bring to the table that enabled you to get to this four million dollar mark in four years?

Kade: Yeah, the first thing he brought was dependability, so if we said we would do something for a customer we did it and that gave us a lot more credibility which helped us sell more of our services because of credibility burst when we were outsourcing it things took a lot longer we weren't able to do a lot of things we said we would do because we couldn't control it except so the first thing he did is he created at dependability the second thing that comes to my mind in terms of his specific contribution to growth was just having someone you know to kind of run the race with you know someone to collaborate with someone to bounce with like my wife never wanted to be a businessperson right that's not what she does or what she wants to do or what she's passionate about and so I was on that front I was kind of on an island and so when Jared came into the picture now all of a sudden, I had someone who had worked in his family's multi-million and it's a huge company he'd worked there for fifty years and so we were able to talk about where we wanted to be and why we wanted to be there how we were going to get there and even though I was doing a lot of that implementation with the cells with leading the company, his you know wisdom and contribution to those conversations were invaluable so that's the main thing he was able to contribute to our growth on that front.

Salena: Yeah, it's amazing how different that can make life I just brought my friend who was my competition at one point I've just brought her into my business and I flew her up for the weekend and we got the white board out and just having somebody there to interact with for a day and a half, I was so amazed at how we basically trajectorize the whole business for the next eighteen months and it was just the concept of just having somebody in real time and I think it does seem to make a difference if they're actually with you rather than remote just seems to change.

Kade: Definitely.

Salena: All of a sudden you realize these things are actually possible.

Kade : Right yeah, I think you're spot on and I think you know that I'm glad that you have that you know in your business as well I think it's a main game-changer, I mean and what's interesting like you know one of the other things that's really contributed to our ability to scale the company is building out a leadership team so when we hit like you know somewhere between one and a half million and two million really it was around one point three million we realized that we were woefully underserved underdeveloped our team our customers were woefully underserved and developed as related to a senior level leadership team, there was like Jared and I and then there was everybody else and there was this huge leadership void in the middle and at the top because Jared builds products, I sell things I'm not great at management Jared's not great at management and so there were a lot of things that you know our team was suffering our customers were beginning to suffer but this wouldn't have a leadership team and in it really speak to some of the value that you just referenced and you know bringing in a partner and we feel the same way about our Salo and now we have a chief of staff and we finally have a CFO and so one thing that you know took us from one-and-a-half to what we've been able to do this year and what will take us from four million to ten million over the next couple years is now we have this really good leadership team built out and they are really smart and they're smarter than I am they're smarter than Jared is in you know it's been a major game changer over the last six to nine months and will be a major game changer in 2019 and 2020 as we try to reach our you know next kind of big milestone of ten million dollars. So, I think that's another really critical thing for people to recognize as they kind of chart out their path forward is at what point do you think you're going to have the capacity to bring in people who are smarter than you and better than you at doing certain things that are very critical to your business.

Salena: So, my question towards that at 100% gram he's sitting here nodding so my question to you was did you find it hard to kind of relinquish control but was there any pride that got in the way of we're bringing somebody in to do what the CEOs job I know you've got a CEO but that general manager position that big bird's eye view person was there any point did you think that should be me.

Kade: Oh sure, yeah, I'm a control freak you know so it was definitely difficult but you know one of the interesting things for example for me at least in my own personal experience going from twenty employees to now over fifty-five is you have to relearn you know what your company needs from you at each given you know phase or along the growth path and so it took me a bit to realize like okay you know what my company needs out of me today at fifty-five plus employees it's different than at twenty and you have to be self-aware enough and humble enough you know all those things to realize that you have to shift gears and relinquish as you put it some of that responsibility and at times control and so and then and in fact you know it's not that you have to completely abandon those areas but you have to reimagine you know what you need to contribute to you know hiring or operations while at the same time allowing someone better than you, you just contribute to their leadership and your organization to the degree that they need you to versus what you think you know you should be doing because you're a control freak does that make sense.

Salena: Yes, it makes sense because I interviewed Neil Patel a few weeks ago and I said to him basically you know what part of the business do you do because he was talking about the different people he has in his business and he said well I basically like the content I mean obviously dumbing this down really quickly but I write the content it's what I'm good at it's what I like doing and I said I would you have any say in the people who were hired, well I kind of ever say but I don't really have anything to do with it because it's not my thing you know we have a person who's awesome at that and I guess at the time I was a little bit taken aback because I would have thought that being so analytical he would have been not necessarily a control freak but he would have wanted his hand in all the drives. So, when he said that I was like oh right and he's like I've got a dude who does this I've got a dude who does that and my co-founder does this and they all do it really well and I do my thing.

Kade: Yeah, it's powerful isn't?

Salena: It is.

Kade: When I have to do it, it's easier to listen to someone else talk about it and doing it in your own business.

Salina: I think you do have to get would you agree that you have to get to that internal role of CEO at some point before you actually bring somebody on like you have to understand how your business is running and all the moving parts so that you know who you need to hire to bring on board?

Kade: Yeah, I think that's a really fair statement and you know the reason it's so difficult a lot of times it's not black and white right I mean you have to really understand the right timing both I mean there's so many variables like can your customer handle a change can your current team handle changes you know can you handle changes from a financial perspective. I mean one of the reasons it took us so stinking long to hire CFO and a chief of staff as we just didn't have the resources to allocate to the kind of talent that we wanted in that position and so sometimes you just you have to be patient you have to do the best you can with the resource you have. So, I think that's what makes it so difficult for most organizations is really balancing the need for something and yet you know your business is readiness for that thing from a financial and timing standpoint. So, it's a lot easier to talk about you know once you've done it than it is when you're in the middle of it and you know I empathize with people because I've been there and quite frankly just recently like our CEO has only been with us for fifteen months our chief of staff and CFO have both been here less than three months. So, we're just right in the thick of all this you know.

Salena: Yep, so you're still growing and you are hundred percent right one of the things I always get asked is when you know it's the right time to hire and my answer is usually six months before you even ask yourself that question because you're asking yourself that question because you are at the point where you're at your own full bandwidth you're at capacity you're probably over capacity. So, I feel very proud that I've brought this new person on board before I'm at that point like I think see it just over the horizon, so like you said it's really scary you've got to pay you don't got to pay their wages you've got to make sure that you are able to train them you've got to allocate the time and the resources and the money and so is where I think as a business owner lots of people freak out because it's not just you anymore even if it's your first employee it's like crap now I'm responsible for somebody else.

Kade: That's right it's a whole another level of risk and emotional energy and adds you know responsibilities more responsibilities too, you're already full plat I think you're spot on.

Salena: Alright, so what do you think is the next step for you guys like you guys have done a lot you've got fifty-five staff you've now got five in the management teams you've brought three people on plus you and Jared and then she's your wife and she just writes the content she's happy to stay in that role?

Kade: Yes.

Salena: So, where's the next bit like what are you looking at when you're analyzing your business now, thinking well we've got the money we've built the team we've built the operation we've got the procedures in place what does that growth accelerator phase look like to you?

Kade: Yeah, I love that question because we've been thinking a lot about it, so I actually have a lot of clarity at least for today.

Salena: Of course, I will paraphrase this with I didn't ask you the questions beforehand we're just making it up as we go you know.

Kade: It's perfect I really like it that way so the first thing I would say is we have been like a rocket ship the last you know four years and one thing that we haven't focused a lot on is profitability, so we make money you know for a small business we make a lot of money but that just you know having a lot of revenue doesn't necessarily mean a lot of profit and so one thing we've learned over the last year to eighteen months is that profitability is really important not just because you're working your brains out you want to benefit from all the work that you're doing that's an obvious reason why profitability matters. The other reason profitability matters is because you know at least as what we're learning that unless you are profitable you can't really be proactive about your growth you almost have to be reactive because you don't have a lot of like financial freedom to be proactive. So the next phase of our growth number one is really focusing on profitability we really believe and have identified for our company that getting to a place of twenty percent profitability would allow us to do some things for our employees for our culture for our existing customers that would really enhance the quality of our business the quality of life for our team and our customers and position us with a much healthier foundation to grow, so that's the priority number one. Priority number two and very much connected to priority number one as sells we cannot you know kind of rest you know rest in what we've accomplished in the past because it's not good enough like it you know our past success will not automatically make a successful in the future. So, we have to stay urgent and hungry and passionate about continuing to sell so that's priority number two. Priority number three is really investing in our team in our expertise in the right kind of talent for where we're at one of the hardest things about the last couple of years of our growth because of its speed is that you know we have hired a bunch of wrong people, we've been wrong for them and in some cases they've been wrong for us and so we want to really go deeper there in investing in our people in you know the recruiting process and the preparation process and make sure that our team is good for the kind of customers we're bringing on and that the customers that we're bringing on are good for our team. So, those are the three things we want invest in proper what we want to focus on profitability when it will continue to invest in and focus on sales and then three we want to really invest in our team both the existing team we have but also in our recruiting and in our onboarding and you know the whole people and culture part of what we are doing, so that's how we think we're going to go kind of next level in this you know next year to twenty-four months as we try to you know go to the next level.

Salena: 10 million?

Kade: Yeah, hope so that's the goal ten million and ten years which would be twenty to twenty-one so.

Salena: Awesome it sounds like you've got the solid foundation for it, so we haven't really talked about digital marketing which is what you run you run a digital marketing agency but I think there are probably some people here who were thinking I would like to work with the kind of agency that is reliable and it is reputable and does care about their people. So, if people listening would like to know more about primitive social and what you guys do where can they find you.

Kade: Yeah, thanks for asking that first of all link our website which would be the absolute best place to go it's just primitive and we have worked really hard to create a tremendous amount of free content that adds value and so for that small business owner or that DIY marketer that doesn't have the resources to outsource it and really wants to figure it out on their own. I believe they could go to our website and absorb all that content and be very well established in you know serving their small business wells they developed their own content strategy and so just go to primitive and there's a tremendous amount of resources there that I think would really help all your audience.

Salena: Cool, well thank you so much and thank you so much for sharing this journey because it's interesting to hear how it's played out for you and also how it’s kind of how your mindset, I guess has changed from getting to that hundred K to four million because so many people that I talk to it seems like it's almost impossible but you didn't do this with a whole bunch of VC you didn't do it with the rich uncle you just literally did it on you know the bare bones and what you did was you realized when you had to bring extra resources in, in order to grow. So, congratulations for being really mindful about growing your business.

Kade: Thank you.

Salena: Thanks so much for coming on the show.

Kade: All right, thanks for having me, you've been a great host.


Kade Wilcox is the owner and CEO of Primitive Social, a digital marketing agency focused on helping companies grow. Primitive Social works with clients all across the country to craft digital solutions that help them meet their objectives and reach their goals. Kade’s career started as both the Executive Director of a children’s camp and serving on staff at Redeemer Church where he managed operations, leadership development and church planning efforts.

In 2011, Kade and his wife Lacey started Primitive Social, providing social media support to small local businesses. In 2013, Kade and Lacey connected with Jerred Hurst (now co-owner of Primitive Social) to focus on growing the company to help others grow their businesses. Over the past three years, Kade has helped transform Primitive Social from a 2 person team into a multi-million dollar company with nearly 50 employees!

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