Today’s Guest Jim Martin
Jim is a Communication Sciences graduate from Argentina who has found his passion for marketing and moved to New Zealand in search of the illusive work-life balance. He kickstarted his career at ACG Education, playing a role in growing the company to was later sold for 500M NZD. After this success, he moved on to an international marketing agency where he led a team of 16 and achieved remarkable growth. Jim then founded Align Digital, a consultancy that helps SMEs optimize customer journeys and conversions. Align Digital has assessed over 1000 sites and created 500 landing pages to date, and is now launching a new startup called 'Conversion Club' to train marketing teams.
- Jim found it difficult to work as a marketer in Argentina, so he resorted to his family's book publishing business. After some time working there, Jim and his wife moved to New Zealand where he had to start from the bottom again.
- After arriving in New Zealand, Jim was surprised by the amount of days off given to employees. With time he adapted well to the Kiwi lifestyle such that he can no longer imagine returning to a life with excessive working hours and no holidays.
- He switched from agency life to an entrepreneurial life, as he could better manage his time and work on his terms. He has learned to check his ambitions and set achievable milestones.
- Jim started his own business, Align Digital with partners he knew from the agency. However, when agencies weren't paying for their services and relationships between partners became strained, he dissolved the partnership and relaunched his company. To compete more effectively, he decided to build a team and expand his services.
- Jim emphasizes that there is no one "magic bullet" to competing with younger individuals in the industry. Consistency is key--bringing a patient and long-term mindset can lead to success.
- Jim regularly sets aside time for his family and friends. He also tries to spend special quality time with each of his kids. He has found that structuring his life around these regular activities gives him the sense of balance he needs.
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Jim: I can accelerate and I can slow down. Depending on, what I need. But, but the ambitions are still there that's the hardest part how you, uh, put together the, part where you say, I need to provide for my family in a nice, way.
I need to create something for my retirement. And at the same time, I need to not burn out or have any effect on the family. That search for balance is almost daily, a daily one,
Matt: Welcome to Push To Be More with me, your host, Matt Edmundson. This is a show that talks about the stuff that makes life work and to help us do just that. I am chatting with today's very special guest, Jim Martin from Align Digital about where he has had to push through what he does to recharge his batteries and to be as well as, What they're doing to be more.
Now the show notes and transcript from my conversation with Jim will be available on our website pushtobemore.com. And also, while you there, you can sign up for our newsletter and each week we will email you you the links and the notes from the show automagically. Oh yes, direct your inbox and guess what.
It's totally free, so you may as well get going and sign up to that, so, oh, yes. Now this episode is brought to you by Aurion Media, which helps entrepreneurs and business leaders set up and run their own successful podcast. Jim, you know what? I have found running my own podcast to be insanely rewarding.
It opens doors to amazing people like nothing else I have seen. I have built networks, made friends, had a platform to champion my customers, my team, and my suppliers, and I think just about every entrepreneur or business leader should have a a podcast because it's had such a a massive impact on my own businesses.
Now of course, that all sounds great in theory, but in reality there's the whole problem. Of setting up distribution, getting the tech right, getting the strategy right. I mean, the list goes on. You see, I love talking to people. I just do, I just love talking to people. I admit it. It's just, it is what it is.
Uh, but not all of that other stuff. So Aurion Media takes it all off my plate. I do what I'm good at, and they brilliantly. Take care of the rest. So if you are out there wondering if podcasting is a good marketing strategy for your business, do we do connect with them at aurionmedia.com. That's A U R I O N media dot com, aurionmedia.com.
We will of course link to them, uh, on the podcast website. as. Because that's easy to remember pushtobemore.com, uh, but you can connect with them at aurionmedia.com. Now, before I get, uh, before I get too carried away, let's talk about Jim.
Jim is a communication sciences graduate from Argentina. Now, he has found his passion for marketing has moved to New Zealand in the search of the sort of elusive work life balance. He kickstarted his career at ACG education, playing a role in growing the company that was later sold for, check this out, 500 million New Zealand dollars. Oh yes. That's a lot of money in anyone's, uh, currency.
Now, after this success, he moved on to international marketing, uh, to an agency where he led team of 16, uh, amazing people and achieved some remarkable growth. Jim then founded Align Digital, a consultancy that helps SMEs optimize customer journeys and conversions. Align digital has assessed over 1000 sites. And has created 500 landing pages to date. And Jim, if that's not enough, is now uh, launching a new startup called Conversion Club to help train marketing teams.
Jim, that's one heck of a bio man. Welcome to the show. Great to have you here. How are you?
Jim: Doing very good. Thank you. And when you put it that way, yeah, it is been a long, long journey indeed.
Matt: Yeah, you're you're 806 now, aren't you? That's Yeah, It's a very long journey. So you are in, um, you're in sunny New Zealand now?
Jim: Yes, yes I am. It's, um, still summer here for the most part, and, and the weather is quite mild, so it's never too hot or too cold, that's, a, um, quite a nice place to
Matt: Oh yeah. I love, I have to be honest with you, Jim, I love New Zealand. It's just an amazing place. Try and get out at least once a year. Um, yeah, we do, we do like it over there. Now, Jim, you have had, uh, what can only be described as a diverse career path that has taken you from. Book publishing in Argentina to, you know, a marketing consultant and founder of Align Digital.
Uh, so tell us about your journey and how your experiences have shaped your approach to marketing and business leadership. Pretty wide question, but let's start there.
Jim: Hmm. Okay. So yeah, in Argentina, um, um, the way marketing is done is, is quite different. It's not that develop. Hmm. and and so, uh, it was quite of a struggle to actually try to work as a a marketeer. There's, there's no such a thing as a marketing department defined. So when I was struggling that I. I reverted to, to one of my other passions, which was, um, working as, um, um, Uh, around the, the book industry, which my
family owns a book publishing house, and I had a chance to, to lead a team to develop new services, new products marketing, um, but also get a sense of what it is to be an entrepreneur.
Um, it wasn't, it wasn't easy, even because you know, they say it is your family business. It's all done. It wasn't that easy at all. Um, so I had a really good practice, first, fresh practice and, and the sense that, um, if I was to stay there, if, if I was to uh, continue working in that place, it would've been extremely hard to get any sense of balance regarding family and
Jim: It would've been working, working, working, like my family does
Jim: every single day, Saturday, Sundays for many hours. And, um, and the passion of marketing was still there. And we are talking about like 15 years ago.
Mm-hmm. . So digital marketing was still starting to take off and that's when someone said, Hey, if you're looking for work balance. Why don't you try New Zealand? I'm like, really Um, I, I know New Zealand for rugby, you know, Uh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Course for many things. And so I knew that life was seemingly better, but would it be also seemingly, um, good in terms of, a professional career? Mm-hmm. And so I started to, to. You know, Do my research and I found that it, it was.
So, I, I, I made a jump with my now wife. Uh, we, we were fortunate to get a special visa for professionals, one that is called a silver fern, and they give 400 of those once a year randomly. Like a
Matt: Oh, right. It's like, it's like a lottery.
Jim: quick. Yeah. it's, it's like a lottery. The first 400 that, that get it are, are in, then there's a massive paperwork almost as becoming residents even before going there.
So you need to prove many things. It was, it was, um, it was interesting to say the least and when I came here and the, the most interesting part is that this, uh, a way to see how third world or developing countries are in terms. Their marketing and their studies are, are not recognized.
Yeah. So when I come here, they say, oh, sorry, we cannot take your previous experience into account, really. so you need to start as a junior which it was like, um, you know, if I have any, any sense of ego or, you know, or, or pride, I had to digest it very nicely
Matt: I bet you did. Geez.
Jim: It needed massive effort. And start from the very bottom. And, and that was fine. I, I I always remember the, the story of, um, a, a grandfather of, mine, um, is a, a is a Jew that escape from, um, from Germany.
Matt: No way. Your grandfather,
Jim: Yeah, my, my, my grandfathers and, and great grandparents, and they were, uh, my grandparent was a judge in, in Berlin opposing the, the Nazi regime. And he was chased, of course, because of his political views. because, Yeah. So he started again in Argentina as a post man. from the very beginning and
Matt: Stone the crows. How did he end up in Argentina? I mean, did what was, what caught? I mean Germany, Argentina, not two places you kind pair together really?
Jim: Yeah. And pretty much like the Von Trap family. So they escaped through the night. They were given five hours to skate. Wow. Really? Wow. They, they escape with a, a stamp collection because my, my grandparent, my great grandparent was a, a stamp collector, a good one, Yeah. and leave Everything behind. Went through Switzerland, Italy.
They tried to, uh, take a ship the US. But they were told that no visas, it was really hard to go to US. Uh, it was a bit late. It was in 1937. So they were offer, offered the wait list to go to Argentina, which must have been quite hard because Argentina not only have Jews that escaped from the war, they also have some Nazis too, so everyone living together in the. the, in the country.
But he, uh, for me, that was always a highlight because, um, every time I ask, uh, about If he was a bitter man, my great, great grandad, and the answer was no. Wow. He became a postman in Argentina, not knowing the language, and he lived very happily.
You know, he started over in something very different. So I always said, if, if he can do that, you know, if he can
Matt: Yeah. Yeah.
Jim: leave behind a, a, a a very consolidated life and start over in a country where he has no idea about the language, um, why can't I just.
Put some effort in, into, going to New Zealand and start over. Um, and so I push, I push really hard Um, at the beginning they gave me a three months, a three months To study in this, ACG company. And they say, well, we're gonna see what we can, what you, can do. We don't know exactly the extent of your knowledge. So because you come from Argentina, so. Mm-hmm.
We don't know . know And I said, fair enough. I just want an opportunity. So, um, within two weeks they say, Hey, we actually, uh, are understanding that you, you have, you have some knowledge. Um, we like to have a one year contract. Wow. So after two weeks and then after that, everything was, was really good because, um, I was working really hard and then I, I was getting promoted, promoted, promoted every six months.
Matt: Wow, that's fantastic.
Jim: And by the end of the year, number three at that company I was running, I was running a, a 27 website, a team of 4 or 5, just dedicated to that. I was running all the, the ads that we have, a budget of $500,000, um, doing end-to-end marketing campaigns. I was really enjoying it like, okay, this. is, this is what we meant to do
Matt: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Jim: Um, yeah, Until, um, yeah. That company was, um, was doing really and the, um, they were giving education to private schools and tertiaries and early childhood educations, um, establishments. They were at total of like 17 institutions that the group owned. And we were managing everything from them, all the analytics, all the user, um, journeys of them mixing that with branding, with campaign, traditional digital end-to-end. Yeah. and when it was sold, yes,
Matt: me, I was gonna say, Jim, I'm, I'm really intrigued here because you. , you've, I mean, you've kind of glossed over the fact that you just, you know, decided to upsticks from Argentina and go to New Zealand, fill paperwork than you cared fill out. Um, and you, and you've got this job and you know, keep getting promoted and promoted and promoted and people see your work ethic.
So you said at start, the reason you went to New Zealand was because of the work life balance, because with your publishing business, you know, you're working every day, 20 hours a day and all that sort of stuff.
Matt: So it sound, but it sounds to me like you get to ACG, but you're still working crazy hours, or had you at this point kind of discovered this work-life balance?
Jim: Ah, for me it was, um, I was working crazy hours from nine to five maybe staying even one hour extra.
That, for me was absolutely nothing. And I was crossing my arms during the weekends, like, what do people do on weekends? And they say no just go and enjoy life. And I said, what do you mean enjoy life?
Oh, yeah. Yeah. That's the reason why I came here. And and and the, and the most amazing thing is that when you go to Argentina, when you hear people talking, it's like, what are we gonna do next month? Uh, how, how bad everything is. The politics quite corrupt. That's the, the recurring topic all the time here.
People were talking, oh, I'm thinking what I'm gonna do in my next holidays. Cause I'm gonna take two weeks and go in there and say, what do you take two weeks to go to somewhere?
Is that even possible? You, you take weeks, like you have how many holidays and they say no, you have at least 20 working days of holidays. What?
Jim: that for me was uh, was a shock. Um, and so I, it took me like, like three, four years to, to slow down and to start to, um, be part of things and to myself think, okay, let's go to enjoy holidays. Let's work hard, but let's stop when we need to stop. And then ho go home and enjoy our life there.
And. And. one thing that happens is that at the beginning you don't see it much, but then years pass by when you visit Argentina and you see how crazy these things are still in there. You are like, my goodness, I have Mm.
I became more, more Kiwi. I cannot, I cannot think on that stress anymore of, uh, you know, um, no holidays, working every weekend. I, cannot anymore.
Matt: Yeah, yeah. That sounds So you, you, you started to then see life a little bit more. You started to find the work life balance, and then to yourself, I know what's gonna really help this. I'm gonna start my own business, right? You thought this is gonna enhance my work life balance. Um,
Jim: It would have been too easy, right?
Matt: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jim: Um, what happens is that I had my first kid, uh, and then I realized I was, um, already late in this market. Uh, if you, if you don't know about it, the New Zealand housing market went hyper ballistic in the past 10 years Mm-hmm. with a massive inflation. And so a house that normally was 400,000 is now a million dollars.
Yeah. And so even with my, my, my nice salary provision, I was, I was seeing that I was getting, nowhere. yeah. and, and also I have these like four or five years of tranquility. Mm-hmm. Related to what I'm, I'm used to and I'm thinking I can take on a, on a, on a bigger challenge. So first with the agency, that was, that was too crazy.
And, and then starting my own entrepreneurial way, mm-hmm. ,which so far I've been able to adjust, I can accelerate and I can slow down. Depending on, what I need. Yeah. And. ,but, but the ambitions are still there that's the hardest part how you, uh, put together the, part where you say, I need to provide for my family in a nice, way.
I need to create something for my retirement. And at the same time, I need to not burn out or have any effect on the family. That search for balance is almost daily, a daily one,
Matt: and we, and we, to be fair, Jim, we are, I think anybody listening to the show who is an entrepreneur or a business leader knows exactly what you are talking about, right? This tension of balance. And I, in fact, an hour ago I spoke to a beautiful young lady called Katie, um, and Katie. is a Uh, freelance graphic designer.
She's, she worked for a, a reasonably big company. She's now gone freelance and just, you know, asked me a few questions and one of the questions that she asked me was, how do you do balance? Cuz you've got your e-commerce business, you've got your podcast agency, you get involved in this over here, and you do that.
And, and it's a really interesting question, isn't it? I actually found it. I'm like, oh, I dunno how to answer this question, if I'm honest with you, because, I think it changes every day, you know, uh, I dunno if, if one size fits all. So, so, um, I think everybody can kind of attest to, you know, this sort of, this tension that you are facing, Jim.
So how have you, how have you resolved this tension? Have you found any secret sauce yet? Or, or are you still looking for it?
Jim: Well, you certainly get more wiser over time. You, you you get to know your limits very well. Uh, you put your ambitions in check. So like five years ago, I was more of a, I measured ambitions. Oh, I will achieve this. I will achieve that. Now. Now it's more like, if I achieve this, that will do it. Mm-hmm. and from there.
I'll, I will go to the next the next milestone. Um, helping with the milestones, uh, helps narrow down the level of stress you have because you're not after, like, uh, exiting the business in, in one year and, and sell it for, you know, $5 million. You actually have a, a more of a consistent plan. I need to achieve this.
I need to be having this much, um, going on. And that's one part. The other part is, is, Well, my wife , she's, she's the one that actually, helped me put things in, in perspective, like when we have all this covid situation and everything was upside down. And she's like, you're trying to get your, your goals as if there was no lockdown, no covid? Don't you need to adjust them? I'm like, uh, Man that's true. ,
Matt: yeah. yeah. actually, I'm gonna send a copy of wife, uh, to your wife saying, you know, so just so she knows, uh, that you think she was right. It's real. I, you know what? I'm smiling and I'm laughing because, um, I've, this year Jim, is my 25th wedding anniversary this year. I've married 25 years.
Um, yeah. Thank you very much. I know I don't look at it, you know, I got married when I was 10 years old, but That's okay. Um, , um, yeah, 25 years. And you know what, um, one of the reasons it's been so successful, um, is because I've learned to listen to my wife that actually, uh, she, she, knows an awful lot more about me than probably I know, and she can see and sense things like way before I see and sense them.
And, um, sometimes that annoys me. Uh, and sometimes I listen to her wisdom, and trying to listen to it more, Jim, if I'm honest with you. Uh, but uh, yes, it's, um, it's, it's funny isn't it? The, uh, the, the, the, the sort of the wife guidance, uh, as we like to call it, is, um, is, is is a beautiful thing.
Jim: Yeah. And it helped, it help you just, um, put things in, perspective. Because when you are in the business side side of things, everything is more, um, aggressive. You have these competitors coming at You, you have these situations in the market, the, the forecasting that is never looking that, that good . And, and so you are in this, this, you know, kind of warrior mode.
And And you just go back home and, and there's a, there's a different life in there. And then there's a, sometimes you get a reminder like, Hey, Just put your axe at the entrance. Okay. Just, yeah. Yeah. uh, um, settle down a little bit, um, because after all you are working for what for this, for, you know, spending time with the family, having good times and with, with the mind within the family, not outside.
Mm-hmm. .And, and that's, that's the reason why I had to, uh, abandon the life at the, at the agency. The agency was, um, all over the top in terms of you had to be like a hundred percent up in your feet. Fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting every sort of a scenario Mm-hmm. internal with the politics inside external. Um, and I was working again 11 to 12 hours at that agency.
And, it was quite a challenge. and then I, was thinking, well, if I continue this would I be in five years continuing with this? Because I worked only 2 years. And, and the answer was like, ? More solid from the, business point of view, I mean, more wise in that regard, but at a personal level, bit of a soul consumed kind person. Yeah. Yeah.
And the kinda the kind of person that goes and, spend the whole weekend trying to recharge like a zombie, like sitting there. Like, and that's scary scenario when you, have your kids saying, oh, this, this, uh, that's Dad or what is left of him.
Yeah. But no worries. He'll recover every, every Monday. That's, that's why I switched to the entrepreneurial life. And you might say, but,
Matt: that's powerful.
Jim: Entrepreneurial life is also hard. But it's different. It's in your terms. And you can, yeah, you can slow, you can you can, accelerate, you can manage your times. Mm-hmm. And yeah, I still have some, you know, um, some sort of, um, challenges, Uh, as everyone that is entrepreneur knows. The cash flows, the people that don't pay, pay later, I had to chase clients to, to pay for work, um, 200 days after.
Yeah. so yeah, so it's never easy. Uh, that's a different story.
Matt: It is. I, I I I like what you're saying though, because you are much more in control. I think my experience with running businesses, um, is that there are seasons, there are seasons when it's just gonna be hectic. Um, and as long as I make sure it's a season, I, it has an end date.
Um, everyone seems to, you know, seems to be okay with that. We've always done this thing in our house where, As much as is humanly possible. So I, I'm not perfect, but you know, let's say 49 times out of 50, uh, we manage to do it is every evening we all sit down and have a meal together as a family. , uh, and unless I'm traveling, um, then that's what we try and do.
And that's been that just these little things that you put into place which make a big difference. And you, when you are running your own business, you can do those things because I can go, well, I might just work an extra hour in the evening when the kids have gone to bed or something like that if I need to, you know.
But it's interesting you are contrasting, um, because a lot of people, when they talk about running a business, talk about how. You know, it is all consuming. Um, you know, they, they, they, they, we often used to joke, you know, when you set up your own business, you can, you can work just half days, but it doesn't matter which half of the day you work the first 12 hours or the last 12 hours, it doesn't make any
Do you know what I mean? There's always a standard joke. Um, So a lot of people talk about the busyness of running a business, but for you, actually, it sounds like when you started, um, align Digital, actually it became easier than the, the agency which you didn't own that you were in before, right? Working 12, 13 hour days.
And so, um, Uh, the, the business actually gave you an element of control, and that's a really interesting point to make. Cause not many people make that point when it comes to setting up a business.
Jim: Yes. It all depends on, on the basis you, you launch your own business.
Mm-hmm. ,I've seen people investing, um, a lot. I I try to make it lean, um, from the get go. I have to say though, something I haven't mentioned is that I left the agency with some people I knew from the agency that became my partners,
Um, at the, on the first year of my, my company. And the idea was to why label our services and selling that to agencies. Because between the three of us, we knew lot of agencies here in new Zealand yeah. and, and they were in need of this service. So it, it made sense until we hit the first issue. Uh, when an agency said, oh, sorry, I'm not gonna pay you because I'm firing 80% of my staff.
And yeah, I was struggling and I didn't you. And that's when, when. You see, I started to see the cracks the relationship I have with my partners. And I thought, um, that's not the way we should be working, because it's quite stressful and apparently the work we do for agencies not. That's something I, I learned the, importance value, the value, value positioning, value alignment more than, positioning. On the things you do to whom and how that, that is perceived.
Yeah. And agencies didn't care about our work at all because was more for the end, end client and customer. So they were in between saying, oh, maybe they need this, and they was passing, but they, they, they kind of diluted the value in between and that was an issue. so i, I ended up, um, dissolving the partnership. And, and then I started again after one year. Like I relaunched my company. But um, I did it in a lean way, where it was more of a freelancer kind of a company.
Because I still have a lot of contacts from the agency, from my work before. and Referrals and contacts as we are super important. And, um, it allows me to, to have minimum costs.
I was, I I, I was working from, this is something funny. I, I work from my home. have a studio for like two, three years. And in March, 2020, early March, I did a, um, My goal to go and, and meet more people Right after Covid, right, after everything was closed for two, for two years. Yeah. And everyone working from home.
I'm like, no, no. I was trying to leave home. Um, so I started very, very lean and more of a freelancer. It was until recently, even during Covid, that I said, if I really want to get this going, I need to be more than just a freelancer. I need to bring people in,
Uh, there's something to Yeah. Team, because you can come as a freelancer, you, you, it is, it's in between, you know, entrepreneur and having your nine to five kind of job. ,It's in, it's between. You have perks of both and, and limitations from both. And, and if, if I wanted to compete, I, I needed something else because, um, as a freelancer alone, you cannot just exchange your hours for Work
and, and you know, there, there's no much you can, you reach a point, um, what you need put in in more hours and you don't want to do that, you want to charge more, but it's course harder. And, and that's when I, I decided, okay, let's, let's go back to, to put together a team pushing to, to go more into the business side of things. And then I started to, to to hire some guys, grow the team, expand the services, and that slowly started to grow, uh, into what, what is now. we are, we have just, uh, incorporated more people, mm-hmm. ,uh, and it's exciting.
Matt: Yeah. One of the things that you said, Jim, in our pre-call, so if you're listening to the show and you wanna know what I mean by pre-call, um, this is where, uh, , because. when we connected, we didn't, we, we didn't know each other. So we do the pre-call and we sort connect and we chat about the show and we think about things we're gonna talk about, just so you're aware, and I'm aware, and it's just a really, it's a, you know, great to do.
And one of the things that you said in pre-call, which, uh, stuck out to me was, um, And I, I wrote it down here in my notes, you know, talking about your business, how do you compete against younger fellas, uh, that don't have a family? Um, maybe you're not fast. They can do an 80 hour week. So you have to be smart, build team and play to your advantages.
Right? This, this is, um, I thought it was a really interesting, hence reason I wrote it down, Jim. Uh, I thought it was a really interesting how have you found then building, um, type agency? You know, you're doing these optimization things. Traditionally is, uh, well, I mean, forgive my ignorance, but it's, it's data analysis, a lot of looking data, trying to make some decisions about what's going on, um, using a lot technology.
Is that a young man's sport, uh, for your industry? And guess, um, how have you found it competing against the younger fellows?
Jim: Well, certainly it is not just one magic bullet that solves it all. Um, you get wise and you try to find as many, um, um, opportunities as you can. So the first one, knowing your own limit. it, it's super important because I, I was to, trying to compensate by adding more and more and more hours what I doing?
Um, where yes, I can try and, I have a team that actually can cover the terrain in, you know, 70% of 60% of what I do. And that helps lot. Yeah. So diversifying the activities I have, breaking down the process into parts saying this process, I can teach easily. Yeah. This pro process, this part of the process. I can teach over time.
Okay. I start doing that and this is something have, I can only do myself for now. Great. That alone helps. And that's one thing. So you bring your young blood that are thirsty for, you know, um, going through massive data and stuff. You point in the right direction. The other thing is, uh, the perseverance because all these, uh, what I'm seeing in competitors, at least in this industry, is that everyone is, is so in hurry that they might work for a company for a year. And then they leave. right.
And even the company might be there for three, four years. then they and they go and they get absorbed and they change. Um, what is that phrase that says, if you wait, uh, in the porch of your house long enough, you will see your enemy floating, floating by, something like that.
Okay. It's, kind of that situation. If you are there and pushing and pushing, with perseverance, at some point they will say, well, Jim, um, gonna give this work to you because, know, you've been there again and again and again meeting after meeting there, Congress after Congress, we see your face showing up.
Yeah. and, then you, get in. Yeah. The other thing do is, uh,
Matt: Consist consistency wins. Um, yes. it, it's a, it's, it's amazing how simple those two words to sort of roll off the tongue. Uh, and I think, you know, as I've got older, I like you, Jim, I've just kind of realized actually consistency wins. and if I, if I think, if I think a bit more medium term, which I think you tend do as get older, um, then actually you can think, actually I'm just gonna win consistency. That's what I'm gonna do. Right.
Jim: it's more important uh, than, you get to believe you are in, uh, put into this rush. Uh, I'm thinking that everything is black and white. Either you, you, you, win a client or not, what's gonna happen in, in the next month. But instead, the approach is, um, that works the best is the. The opposite. You just focus a lot on, on making a good impact on the clients you have right now. Your objective number one, is for them to refer you to someone Yeah, If they refer you someone else, then the value is there.
Yeah. You might have different ways to do it, uh, but that's the one, the most important part. The other part you, you, focus on having coffees and talking people. Yeah, Because, uh, you also understand that the value position everything that we do as freelancer or entrepreneur is, is positioned from the logic point of view.
What can you do for someone else? How, how many pages of this report can, I know is, is more human, hmm. It is how you interact with others, how you solve them and their needs not just The work itself, but actually the way you deliver the work, the way you are there, when they have some issues, they just grab the phone and say, James, I know you are finishing this all that. We have this other situation with a campaign. Can you please take a look? And you just, Yeah. uh, right there for them. So that, that also helps a lot. And, and it's just, um, this uh, this are, um, a phrase from Seth Godin. Um, He has so many phrases.
Matt: Oh, yeah. So So many good ones. Yeah.
Jim: Yeah. Yeah.
But, uh, at the, at the beginning, he said one that I, he kept me thinking like, uh, Work that matters, for people who care. And, uh, and I, I thought, well, this must be one of those phrases that are, you know, it sounds good. Um, it's ideal, but is it practical, I don't know. But over over years, I've tried to find out this. this Deeper meanings to that phrase
Yeah. and which is, uh, tied to what I said, um, a couple of minutes ago in terms of when, when people, uh, cares about the, the work you're doing. They see the value and they talk to some other people, and then you you get, Yeah. That going and, and also make the, the, the job much more enjoyable.
Yeah. And. we were trying to make a, uh, an effort that is always recommended. You always hear this, Mm-hmm. ,don't sell your job to anyone. Just filter them even though it's hard for you as an entrepreneur to say no. they Say no more often,
Matt: Yep. One of best sales techniques I can recommend is just to say no to people. Uh, and it's amazing how quickly things start to turn around. It's, it's, it's, it's a remarkable thing. Yeah.
Jim: And it's interesting because you have this dynamic like, well, it is easy when you I have a surplus. I, I can be, I have a runway of cash flow for three, four months. I can say no to many of them. And but it's even more important when you don't have that
runway mm-hmm. when your runway is just one month, because that's when you are the weakest in the weakest position Mm-hmm. because your survivability kicks in. Yeah. And you I need to feed my family. I need to pay my stuff.
Mm-hmm. and I have to get the bills all up and running and, and this is a seemingly easy deal, easy, easy job, um, that is presented so easily that why, why would I say no to this? That's, that's when you get some traps. Then it's, it's not so easy, then it's time consuming, energy consuming, and then it takes you to a spiral when you don't have enough energy to actually look for the best prospects, which is, there's nothing new.
We, here, here, uh, I hear this, I hear this so many times, but it's just when you, uh, walk the walk to say, to say in a way that you realize, uh, the impact that that
Yeah, it's massive. No, I like that. And I, I, I like the fact that actually, um, as I, as I do enter my later years in life, um, . It's interesting that, you know, I kind of reflect on these things like you, Jim, that actually consistency wins. The power of having a cup of coffee with somebody. You know, for me, business has always been about relationship, which is why, if I'm honest with you, the podcast thing works really well for me.
You know, if I put me in any industry, um, if, and I, I might not have been in that industry and I, the first thing I would do is set up a podcast, honestly, because I know I can grow business through podcasting because whilst you and I can't sit down and have coffee until my next trip to New Zealand, we can have a a conversation this on a podcast.
Right. And it's, it's just, it's easy. Um, it, it, it, it just takes away. the whole, like if I was just to call you and go, Jim, you don't know me, my name's Matt. Tell me about, uh, running a business and moving from Argentina. Or are you gonna be like, who's this guy on the phone? Well, I don't know Do, you know what I mean, but in the context of a podcast, um, you can really build some interesting relationships with people.
And so I get that, I get relationship works and I also get that actually for me, um, experience matters. . Right. And life experience especially matters when the pressure's applied and people just need help. Um, and there's, there's just something about the gray hairs, you know, that kind of, that that, that just make people feel a bit more comfortable.
There is that wisdom. And I think, you know, embracing that as we get older is, is, Is not a bad thing. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not, I'm not like 80 years old. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm approaching 50 this year. I've got the two milestones, my 25th anniversary, my 50th birthday. Um, but I, I do reflect on these cuz it is quite fascinating.
It is quite in interesting. Um, So you've, you've obviously got the family, right? You've got your business, your business is good, it's growing. You're, you're sort of, you're taking on the, the younger guys and winning through your various, um, strategies. You've got your family. So what I'm curious with your work life balance, what sort of things do you do, Jim, to fill your tank, recharge your batteries, um, wellbeing, that sort of life balance?
So outside of work, what sort of, what does, what does Jim's life look like?
Jim: So again, uh, it is something I have to develop over years. Mm-hmm. ,You naturally need, Hey, I, I've been, um, you know, spending so much time, um, with the kids and even with my friends, but I, I haven't watched movie or spent quiet time with my wife for many weeks. and and you, you, gen you you feel the imbalance. And so you try to block it and say, Hey, every Friday night it's gonna be movie night.
I'm gonna have our time at least. Or we also have a bit of um, um, a book club. Uh, Cause my wife love, love reading. So we actually discuss different books and stuff. Doesn't need to be that fancy, but at least once a week at least, we actually blobk time for us to just, to talk and be with each other. Um, I also do the same with my friends.
I have one day that we just go and do something, play board games. Um, my friends, um, and I love, love to love to play role playing games Okay. and, and so we. we Dungeons and Dragons Night.
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
Jim: And it's a tradition. uh, because many of my friends came from Argentina as well, like following, following me myself and, and say, Hey, if things are good in New Zealand, maybe I can go too. You know, they are IT, so for them is easier. Go anywhere actually,
Matt: Yeah. Yeah, yeah,
Jim: and, um, and so we have our night, which is an excuse. It could be anything. doesn't need be dungeons and dragons and so on or whatnot. And, and so I have that with the kids. I also try to have moments playing with the two of them. I have two kids, um, or spending time with each of them separately. Um, my son is into, uh, he loves history. He's seven. So, um, we, we get books about different part of history and then he comes to me and and then we discuss what happened here with the romans with this stuff.
Matt: Yeah. Um, have you come across, um, sorry, Jim, have you come across something called Horrible Histories? The BBC have done this TV series called Horrible Histories. you seen this?
Jim: No why it's horrible?
Matt: So, uh oh. It's really funny because my, uh, my, my boys, when they were grown up, we would watch horrible histories. So they'd look at history, but they look at some of the, the kind funky, gory things that they did. But done in a way that actually really engages the kids. So it's aimed kids, but. But dads love it to be fair.
Yeah, check that Yeah, yeah, check out horrible histories. There's a BBC TV series. I think it was BBC that did it. Um, and you can also books, um, and books are just great fun to read with your kids. So if you, if you, like you books, you like history, you like hanging out with kids, I can highly recommend them.
Jim: Okay. Yeah, it's, it's easy to remember. I, I, probably won't forget the name,
Matt: No, not at all. So you
Jim: and, and yeah. on. Uh, just to, just to, uh, finalize this is to say that I try to put a focus on a weekly basis, every, every day of the week to, to divide say, okay, this, this is the day for, for my friends. This the day for for my kids. This is the day for my wife. Um, I mean, every day is, I spend time with my kids when I just Go out of the office,
Yeah. And, but at least once a day and everyone knows, oh, today is Monday. Uh, we know that dad is going with his friends. Today, know, it's Friday. No, Jim is not gonna go out with friends becauseJim has, know, wifey, wifey with wifey and I with movies yeah. and, and, and and that, that gave me a really good sense of balance.
Um, at the beginning I wasn't doing that. At the beginning was like maybe this week. I can do something or not, but the more you, you structure and coordinate everything, mm-hmm. ,especially when you have kids, right? You, You, become Yeah. You Routine routines are are super important.
Matt: No, I totally agree. I totally the, I mean, one of the things I was talking to when I was talking Katie earlier, I was like, one of things that I have done well, I think. I've understood what my big rocks are, you know, um, they're the important things to me.
And they're in the diary every week, you know, and they're the first things which always go in. And so then everything else is built around Um, and so that sounds like a very similar principle. You know, I'm getting this in the diary every week. This is what we're doing every, life then happens around those things, right?
Jim: And, and the one thing I'm, I'm, it's not all, all like, oh, Jim, you're doing fantastic. They have everything under control, . Um, and something I might actually ask for for advice is with sports, because I'm, I'm, used to go three times a week. I, have personal trainer, but um, after Covid and everything, I still.
You know, I, I, am still paying for that gym membership, but it's, it's been a struggle to actually book time to go to the I don't know what you do in, in those, those terms, Matt.
Matt: Honestly, the, the, there's two things that I did Jim, uh, and this may or may not help. Um, the first thing I did was I found a, um, form sport or exercise that I actually enjoyed. I didn't, I stopped doing the exercise that I thought I needed to do, um, and I started doing the exercise that I enjoyed doing.
Um, and, and that, that makes a big difference. You know, people say to me all time, what, what should I do in the gym? I'm like, what do you enjoy doing? Let's start there. Let's, you know, build some consistency. And then the second thing, uh, that really helped me, was building a gym in my garage. So I have this sort garage at the bottom of our garden, and over the years I've sort turned it into a gym with the stuffing that I like to do.
So I get first thing in the morning and could go in the gym, my boys, you know, during Covid it was brilliant because I was in there the boys, me and the boys working out all you know, every day. It was great. Um, I, I was never as fit as I was during Covid Oh, that's Um, uh, but you know, doing it as a family, which was great.
So yeah, they would be my top tips. You know, again, uh, personal trainers are great because they bring accountability. So, you know, if that's what you need, that's what you need. But, um, yeah, I think. I think just find something you really enjoy doing. Guess wanna hold accountable and if you, if you can make it easy to do it, do that.
Jim: I was actually try because it's something that also we need, um, to, to achieve that balance, right? The, the. mm-hmm. the Sports needs to be a must. Uh, I'm, I'm, I'm pretty aware of, of the energy levels when I'm, I'm training and when I'm not, Yeah. and when I'm not, I'm missing that, that energy levels, um, it has an impact on your business.
Matt: It does. And it has an impact on your family life as well, I think. And you can invest half an hour into your health and wellbeing, whether that's just a brisk walk around a park, whether it's lifting weights, whatever it is, whatever you enjoy, what's it's gonna help you. I think you get the payback for that half an hour invested.
So there's always a return that investment, you know, to, to put it in business vernacular. Jim, listen, am now gonna turn. I need to get some music. That's what I need do. We need to find some music so I can introduce the question box. so you're watching on the video, can now see our state-of-the-art graphics, the question box, no expense spared in creating those.
Jim, this is section of the show where I have in my hand, uh, a load questions. You are gonna say Stop, and then I'm gonna read that question to you
Jim: okay. Stop.
Matt: Right there. Okay. We're sure about this.
Jim: Um, lets find out.
Matt: I think I know the answer to this question, but wait and see based on what you said already, of the people you spend time with who brings out your best qualities?
Jim: My wife.
Matt: That's, I feel that that's, that was the answer that I had.
Jim: That's easy. Um, um, and consistently that has been the case for the past 14 years.
Matt: Yeah. Why do you think that is? Why, what's the secret? I mean, if you've been there, if you've been in a good relationship for 14 years, you know, with the divorce rate as it is, and people struggling long-term relationships at the moment, what, what's been your secret sauce there? Why have you, why have you managed to do that? Why she always to bring out your best? I, I, I'm, I'm curious.
Jim: I don't really know. I, I have some relationship before, um, but when I, when I met her, was everything was so natural, easy. Hmm and, and I, I have no idea . um, she kind of knows, knows me and knows what I'm trying to do and, and also knows how can I, I divert to a path that actually not gonna be good for me and anticipate and see hey. Because how, how you are, because what you're trying to you're gonna think that this is what you need to do. And remember, it's not that, you know, it's, it's, uh, knowing each other. Uh, have, I, I have no answer for that. Um,
Matt: It's a, it's an interesting question, isn't it?
Jim: yeah, but I, something I, I, I do believe is that, um, as any relationship, this is a, you build it over time. need to invest on it. Not like oh, it just, you meet someone and that's it. You know, it's, it's a given. It's never a given. So, um, yeah, that's the recommendation I will have for my kids.
Matt: Yeah. and I would agree with you, and think it's, it's an interesting why is that? Um, Why is your wife consistently bringing the best out? I would probably say that a big part of it, Jim, uh, just listening to you talk, is fact you value her opinion and you take it on board. and I think this is true in leadership.
Whenever you listen to somebody, you value their opinion. You take on board what they say. That is always, always a great way to win in relationships. So, um, and I hear you doing that. You I hear you when talking about your wife. you, you, you're lovely. You're flattering, which is big bonus. You know, you talk about your wife a positive um, but it sounds like that when she gives you advice, you listen usually.
Not all time, maybe, but usually, you know, uh, usually you listen right? As you know, this is sponsored by Aurion Media, which specializes in helping good folks like yourself set and ruin their own podcast. Now as a result, I have my question. I want you to imagine you have your own podcast, the Jim Martin show.
Out of all the people that has impacted your life, Past or present, whether it's an author or person, whether it's a blogger, don't know. Right. Who's, who would you like to interview on your podcast? Who's on your guest list and why?
Jim: I, um, think I would, I would invite some business owners um, that have gone through really, really tough, tough stuff and they managed to, to stay afloat and to thrive despite all, all of that, because that's, that's for me is, um, what gives meaning to the profession,uh, to the work we do. That's, that's the end goal of why we want to do what we do as a marketing practitioners and, there's a lot of value and these are, these are.
not Big corporations that have done a lot of money, ,uh, these are small to medium side businesses that. um, Above all, they have managed to support all the families working mm-hmm. within that, that company. They have managed to avert disaster, um, putting a tremendous effort into it and actually, succeed. Mm-hmm. And I think that's a story like that is something worth sharing with other people to know that these, these stories exist
And It might not be as fancy as saying, oh, you have an exit business that reported 15 million. Um, but for me it's equally important say are, they're fine as a company or mm-hmm. after all this has happened, and then they're now starting to grow. Mm-hmm. So that's a, a personal thing I would do.
Matt: Fantastic. Well, to be fair, Jim, you've just described this podcast, well, a, is is in essence what we try and do. We try and interview in business and we're like, Tell us about the challenges you faced in life, Um, I'm really, and what do you do fill your tank. I mean, they're really just really interesting questions to me.
Jim, listen, it has been an absolute joy to talk to you, man. Uh, really enjoyed the conversation. If people listening to show, whether they're in New Zealand, Argentina, or wherever they are in the world, um, wanna reach out to you, connect, even if maybe they're looking for help some conversion rate optimization, you know, help with the customer journeys.
Whatever the reason they want to reach out, connect with you. What is the best way to do that?
Jim: So if they can go to aligndigital.co.nz, that's, that's all what I need. They, I have my email phone number there. They can reach me very easily, and happy to give value in advance. Don't even have to subscribe to any service. If I can be of any help, just reach out.
Matt: Fantastic. aligndigital.co.nz is how you get hold of Jim. Uh, we will course link to that, uh, in the show notes, which can get along for free with the transcript at ecommercepodcast.net, or if you're subscribed to the email list, it'll be winging its way to your inbox. And of course, if you're watching on YouTube, uh, you'll see the little web URL below Jim's, uh, name.
Jim. Listen, uh, like I say, been an absolute treat man, honestly, really, I enjoyed it. And, uh, congratulations on the relationship with your wife. Congratulations on online digital, doing amazing things. Um, it's just been, it's just been really fun talking you. So thanks for joining me. Really, really appreciate it.
Jim: Thank you very much.
Matt: Nah, Brilliant. So there you have it. Another great conversation. A huge thanks to Jim joining me today. Also, a big shout out to today's show sponsor Aurion Media. If you are wondering if podcasting is a good marketing strategy for your business, do connect with them at aurionmedia.com.
That's A U R I O N media dot com. And like said they will course be on the website as well at pushtobemore.com. But seriously, check them out. They will be helpful. Now sure follow the Push to Be More podcast wherever you get podcast from because we've got yet more conversations, uh, lined up with some amazing people just like Jim.
And we don't want you to miss any of them. And in case no one has told you yet today, you are awesome. Yes you are. Uh, created awesome. It's just a burden you have bear. Jim and I have to bear it and you, dear listener, also have to bear the awesomeness. It's just the way it is. Now Push to be More is produced by Aurion media.
You can find our entire archive of episodes on your favorite podcast app. The team that makes this show possible is Sadaf Beynon, Estella Robin and Tanya. Tiny Tanya, who is an absolute legend in the office. Our theme music is by Josh Edmundson. And as I've mentioned, if you would like to read the transcript or show notes, head over to the website, pushtobemore.com, where you can also sign up for our weekly newsletter and get all of this Direct your inbox totally free. So that's it from me. That's it from Jim. Thank you so much for joining us, uh, on this episode. Have a fantastic week. I'll see you next time. Bye for now.