In this episode, we are talking with Yoni Kozminski, the CEO & Founder of MultiplyMii and Escala, where we’ll discover how to scale a business and various aspects of entrepreneurship.
The mastermind behind successful scaling – with Yoni Kozminski
During our conversation, Yoni told us about his road to becoming the CEO & Founder of MultiplyMii and Escala with all the challenges that he faced on the way. We also discussed how to balance scaling and revenue, what are the biggest problems here, and much more! Check it out and discover how to create a better reality and bring great ideas to the world as an entrepreneur.
- Yoni’s professional journey
- The story and mission behind MultiplyMii and Escala
- The definition of entrepreneurship
- How to balance scaling and revenue
- The difference between a service-based company vs. product based company
- Mistakes made / lessons learned
- The model of hiring external teams or a vendor from a different continent
- The Philippines as an outsourcing country – why?
Yoni Kozminski has spent decades learning and studying the ins and outs of scaling and constantly applying what he has learned in the process and improving the flow and direction of his scaling methodologies. Over the years, he has helped develop digital strategies for such companies as Mercedez- Benz, Mastercard, Sony, Medtronic Diabetes, Mondelez International, and other 8-figure eCommerce brands. All of these experiences eventually evolved into Escala – a consultation service for companies considering scaling their business, and MultiplyMii – end-to-end executive recruitment and HR solution that connects top talents from the Philippines with the best companies.
But Yoni Kozminski, besides being an amazing entrepreneur, also happens to be a seasoned podcaster! His ‘Successful Scales’ Podcast is centered on questions related to growing, selling, acquiring, and scaling a business and what comes with it.
Recently, we also asked him a few questions to get to know him better – read them here.
Welcome to the How We Innovate podcast presented by Applandeo hosted by me, Wiola and my co-host, Bryan. On this podcast, we talk with leading innovators, pull back the curtain on their industry, and get to know how they use technology to achieve success, as well as share the story behind them and their businesses.
Host – Wiola 0:23
On today’s show, we have Yoni Kozminski. Yoni is the CEO of Escala and MultiplyMii, He’s also a podcaster, innovator and overall great guy. Yoni, welcome to our podcast.
Guest – Yoni 0:37
Good to meet you, too. And you’re already lying to the audience. You call me an overall great guy. And, you know, I’m sorry to disappoint but I don’t know if it’s there.
Host – Bryan 0:45
Well, you know, I think we’ve spoken Yoni maybe a few hours. So in the very small timeframe to me, you seem like a good guy. So maybe if we extend it a little bit, maybe but your overall the general impression is pretty good.
Guest – Yoni 0:58
Well, thank you. Thank you guys very much. No, I can say the same for you. It’s been a pleasure working with the team getting to know them. And yeah, I am glad to be here. Let’s put it that way.
Host – Wiola 1:11
Great. So, Yoni, so would you like to tell us a bit about yourself? From your perspective.
Guest – Yoni 1:18
Sure, sure. Happy to happy to. I’m a bit rusty. I haven’t done this in a minute. But so I mean, you’re probably picking up my accent. I grew up in Australia. And that’s, that’s, you know, that’s where I grew up. My background is really in Creative Advertising and Digital Marketing. So I spent about a decade in the space, working on strategy for the likes of Sony, MasterCard and Mercedes Benz, Medtronic. I was sort of growing up in the age where there wasn’t social media for brands. So I launched Mercedes Benz Australia, New Zealand, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, was the largest Facebook media buyer in Australia for a period of time buying for from Mercedes Benz. So was a really interesting time, everything from web development to design to UX/UI apps, I was doing MasterCard, I moved to Los Angeles and did TV commercials. And that’s when I was working with Sony and Snapchat and MasterCard. And yeah, I’ve actually never really shared this before. But I had like a moment in my, I probably would have been about 27 or 28, at the time where I was sat there in a creative strategist position or digital strategist position on a call with Sony, and Snapchat, and I was the one sort of like deliberating it was the first ever discover channel for Snapchat. And I remember getting off the call, and I was the one who’s like mediating between the two of them, like ‘Who the fuck am I to be able to be giving advice to Sony and Snapchat on how this all rolls out’? So I guess what I’m sharing is I was very fortunate, I’ve been very lucky in my career to touch on a pretty broad spectrum of those things. And about five years ago, I moved to Tel Aviv. So I live in Israel now and started an agency and realize that it was not for me. So more power to you guys. It is a stressful game. And I have all the utmost respect for for anyone who’s going through it in in it because it’s tough. It’s tough. It’s just a tough gig, you’re like, you know, you’re everybody’s bitch, I’m just gonna call it what it is. So, so I realized that I wasn’t cut out for it and met a couple of guys that had an Amazon business, they’re doing about $2 million in revenue. I came in as a partner in that business and was able to scale it from 2 to 5 million in 12 months, that business was acquired by Gracia which is the largest acquirer of Amazon FBA businesses. Currently, they’ve raised $3.4 billion today and think we were the first acquisition out of Israel. And so on the back of that, and that experience, helping build that company specifically, with incredible talent at the Philippines, I sort of realized that there was a lot of opportunities. I don’t know if you want me to go into what I’m doing today. But that’s really that’s been my background.
Host – Wiola 4:06
Okay, cool. Well, that’s a lot. And that was a nice lift from you know, this digital marketing to scaling. And this is actually what we would like to talk about. You set up Escala, which is like a consulting company. This is what you do – you help companies to scale, which is challenging, obviously, it’s like balancing between increasing the revenue and keeping the costs low, and being successful about it. And that’s the tricky part. So tell us something more.
Guest – Yoni 4:42
Yeah, yeah, for sure. Well, you know what, before I get into answering your question, I’ll tell you a little bit about what I do today just to build a little bit more context and like, who am I to tell anyone about scaling your business I’m in show it was great what we were able to achieve growing from 2 to 5 million in revenue but but to give a bit of time I’m text, we started MultiplyMii and Escala. Under three years ago, we’re probably two and a half years in. Today, we have over 300 people full time on payroll. And what we do inside of MultiplyMii we find high level talent out of the Philippines, and we place them into ecommerce businesses. And we’ve branched out beyond ecommerce, but everything from inventory managers, to designers to operations managers, supply chain logistics, graphic artists, etc. Executive assistants is a really hot role that we’re placing a ton of. And so that led into Escala. So Escala is a process improvement, management consulting practice. So what we do inside of that business, specifically, is we work with larger ecommerce businesses. So, you know, the starting point is sort of a 2 to $3 million revenue business. And we’ve worked with clients that are doing well north of 100 million in annual revenue and companies that have raised literally half a billion dollars plus, to help them build out and effectively systemize their business. So I just wanted to build that context. Because when you ask the question, you know, what is it? What does it mean? Or how do you approach scale? Our methodology originally came from a lot of the a lot of our talent came directly from Ernst & Young. And so they have methodologies that they’ve built in with now, you know, we took that as a baseline, but we’ve really adopted and today it looks altogether different. So how we look at scale is, firstly, look at it as system designing a system. So a system is the perfect harmony between people, process and technology coming together. So if you are weak in any one of those, you’ll have an inability to achieve true scale. And to your point, yeah, I mean, I have to deal with it all the time. And I’m, I’m a creative, I’m not a financial guy, you know, I just want to spend all the money in the world to continue to grow, because I’m excited about how many lives we can impact and how we can help systemize businesses, but there is definitely a balancing act. And, you know, granted, I found, I found the opportunity working with the Philippines as I would almost say like a cheat code in how you can create affordable scale. And I’d say, much like you guys leveraging a little bit of a geolocation based arbitrage where you don’t compromise on quality, but you’re able to deliver world class solutions at you know, let’s say, a third of the price of what it would cost in the US. So I mean, that’s the that’s the start of it. I can I can dive in a lot deeper, but I’m going to take a breath of air here.
Host – Bryan 7:34
Yeah. And so this is just to piggyback maybe on the Philippines right. So what what specifically, like intrigued you most about the Philippines in terms of maybe the talent pool, right? Because usually when we think a lot about development, right, especially in software development, Philippines isn’t really the first country that comes into your head for Asian countries, right? It’s either Vietnam, Thailand even before Philippines right. So for you specifically was there are some personal decision, some personal experience that just led you to the Philippines?
Guest – Yoni 8:05
Bryan, it’s exactly that it was exactly it was an exact it was a personal experience that I had. So in, in that Amazon business I’ve been working with, you know, I’ve been working with, you know, Poland, the Ukraine, I’ve been working with India, I’ve been working with all and not just development time, I’m talking about broad spectrum, just working with freelancers globally on platforms like Upwork, free up and oDesk freelancer.com, whatever it’s called today. And ultimately, I had a moment in time where I worked with a woman by the name of Joan. And we brought on a recruiter out of the Philippines to help build out a Filipino team. And the first person he found was was this woman Joan and Joan came from ex corporate background, she was heavily operationally savvy. And she applied actually for to be in my marketing team as a project manager and said, I looked at a resume and I got on the call with her and I said, ‘Look, I’ll, dead, I’ll be straight with you, like, you are so overqualified for this role, like, what are you doing?’ And she said ‘Look, I just I wanted to leave the corporate world behind, I wanted something that was going to be calm, and you know, and not going to be this huge behemoth of a company and all this stuff. And, and little did she know that she was instrumental in building us to, you know, over 300 people full time on barrels. So the irony is not lost on me in what she was able to achieve. But it was that experience and that understanding that once you get past, effectively, that baseline sort of I’d call like online jobs.ph, the gateway drug to the Philippines. So once you get past that VA talent, and I mean, I’d love to come back to that point because that term needs to be absolutely quashed. It’s destroying people’s careers and it’s just, it’s not how I look at the world. But when you dig a little bit deeper and you look at the Philippines, what you’ll, what you’ll learn is that it’s a population of 120 million people, so it’s huge country. On the back of that heavy English speaking influence to the, to the effect that all of college and higher education is done in English. So everyone is educated speaks better English than me probably more clear, that’s understand. And and I think what when it gets a lot sweeter outside of obviously, we talked about the geolocation based arbitrage, the cost of living there is 50 to 80% of that in the Philippines, if that in the US, and probably about 6% of what it is in Tel Aviv, it’s the most expensive city in the world, just just so you guys know. But there is there is an aspect of loyalty, and drive and commitment and and what’s really important is culturally, there just have a pretense for attention to detail. So if you’re trying to get anything done, and you reward your team, the right way, and you build the structures, I, I challenge you to find a culture and a country that will be able to deliver on a vision more effectively be more committed to the outcome, be goal orientated, and be able to break down some of these language barriers that you might find in, in, you know, in countries like Pakistan, for example. So there you go. I’m passionate about it.
Host – Bryan 11:26
Where do you have a Filipino flag tattoo anywhere on your body?
Guest – Yoni 11:29
Not yet. It’s coming, though it’s coming, though I do. It’s funny that you say that I do have, I do have a tattoo that represents the places that I call home. So I’ve got something that represents the US, Israel and Australia. So just funny.
Host – Bryan 11:46
So you know, we actually wanted to also get, because basically, the theme of our show is entrepreneurs, right? So we have innovators, right? So whether it’s SAS systems, they’re building or podcast networks, right. And everyone has a different definition of what an entrepreneur is. Right. So to you, how would you define entrepreneurship or an entrepreneur? Like, what are some characteristics that they need to have?
Guest – Yoni 12:09
Yeah, that is that is it? That’s a, it’s a big question, Bryan.
Host – Bryan 12:15
So that’s why I gave it to you. I expect a big response.
Guest – Yoni 12:18
Yeah. Well, look, I’ll tell you what, as someone who up until yesterday felt almost uncomfortable, not almost felt uncomfortable identifying and actually verbalizing that I would consider myself an entrepreneur, it’s not something that I’ve spent like a deep amount of time thinking about, and I would say, I would say so everything that I’m gonna share with you now I’m shooting from the hip. And this is just sort of how I’m how I’m looking at it. I think that I think that when you look at entrepreneurship, and this, I guarantee, there’s an Oxford Dictionary statement of, you know, a definition of what it is, and be interesting to see what that is. But I look at entrepreneurship as the less ability, the hunger and the drive and the passion to solve wicked problems. When I look at, you know, what I hope to achieve, it’s never, it’s never been about the dollar signs. It’s never been about, like, you know, what are we doing? It’s, it’s how do we solve a wicked problem. And so, entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurs are people that are willing to fail, and fail and fail again, until they find something that is their driving purpose, and something that is gonna have deep seated meaning, something that’s going to be there to get them up in the morning and be passionate about rallying, you know, a group of people around you. When I look at my responsibility as the CEO of this business, you know, I want to be the greatest leader that there ever was. And I want to make sure that every single person in my team is looked after. And so when I think about entrepreneurship, it’s it’s creating a better reality for other people, seeing something that maybe may have been missed by others. And helping bring that into the world, I guess is the very first time I’ve thought about it. And that’s how I how I would maybe define it right now.
Host – Bryan 14:16
Yeah, I think we could add that to the Oxford Dictionary. That sounded pretty good. And I think obviously, a lot of entrepreneurs were what they talk about is right, you have to have failures, right? Before you have successes, right? So for you when you look back on your entrepreneur career, right, so what are some of the mistakes you made in the past? And how did you learn from them?
Guest – Yoni 14:38
So I would say I would say, I’ve made tons of mistakes, and I continue to make mistakes every day. I mean, if you saw some of the foolish things I’ve done in building our teams that we were not ready to have. Wow, you know, thank God we have a fractional CFO right now, we could be in a very different situation if we both had one earlier or didn’t have one at all. But when it comes to mistakes, I mean, you know, I think at, at the, at the root of everything is people. And so I’d say that before I dive into that point, I, I worked for a lot of companies until I was about 30. Right? So I, and unbeknownst to me, but I learned on other people’s dollar, you know, I made lots of mistakes, growing up in a digital space, and going through that journey, and I gotta say, like, a lot of how I run my my life, and my business today is on the back of how I didn’t like the way in which other business owners had managed me or not managed me or had not really thought about how do we make this meaningful? How do we actually give people power and autonomy to make decisions, and they decentralize that process. So when I look at the specific mistakes that I’ve made, I mean, I’ve made some huge absolute colossal mistakes. I mean, the thing that the thing that was probably the biggest learning for me in my career is, you know, talk to you guys just now about the fact that I took a company from 2 to 5 million in 12 months, and it was acquired, I didn’t see a penny from from that sale of that business. So I got into bed with the wrong, it wasn’t both co founders, it was one of the founders of the business. And the guy was just a straight up sociopath. And so I had a really tough decision to either stick it out and have a year of absolute darkness in my life, where I would have hated every single day of it, I would have got paid the money, I would have had a you know, I would have had a pretty sick, I would have had life changing money put into my bank account on the back of it, but I made the decision to give it all up. So I worked with them for that year, and got paid virtually no salary, the expectation was in the form of equity. And it wasn’t even about the the exit valuation that wasn’t even on the table, the decision to exit was based on the decisions that we made, that I would walk away from the company without me there was no more growth for them. And so they had to, they had to get out. And so I could have stuck it out. And I chose not to and I was thinking about this a couple of days ago, and how, you know, as an entrepreneur, you know, you should always be thinking about the long term goal and defining what that long term goal is. And, you know, I realized to me, like I said before, it’s not about the money, it’s about the people and the relationships that I build and the experience and enjoying the path. And so I can say wholeheartedly that I wake up, you know, maybe not every day, but almost every day, just so grateful for for the life that I get to lead and the team that I get to work with each and every day. So back to the that point, like the learning and what I took from that is, you know, never again in my life, would I ever work with someone that didn’t feel right, that didn’t feel like the right partner, the right co worker, the right team member, you know, if it doesn’t feel right, and if something, if something stinks, it’s likely not gonna change. So, you know, I would say that if you’re going through that, and you’re looking for a co founder, or you’re looking for, you’re looking for a company to join whatever, really think deeply about the fact that you’re going to spend most of your waking hours with the manager with the team make a good decision. Because if you make a bad one, you’re going to lose, you know, unfortunate I lost 12 months of my life. And it wasn’t all bad. And I learned a lot of things, of course, and I wouldn’t be in this position without that stepping stone. So I don’t walk away with I don’t walk away from that experience with nothing. But that was probably the heaviest learning experience. I would say that’s happened in my entrepreneurial journey.
Host – Wiola 19:02
So how does it apply to your way of doing business right now, as you have this, you have Escala which is a consultancy company. So this is what you do – you work with clients, with companies, you help them fix something to be able to move forward and grow. How do you recognize that, you know, this is a good path? Or did you have any clients that you like, you know, after this retrospect, after you don’t like initially you you knew that it’s not going to work?
Guest – Yoni 19:33
Yeah, that’s a great question. So I’m less operational in the business. We’ve got about 35 management consultants who are actually the brains behind the actual delivery. I’m just the frontman, right?
Host – Wiola 19:48
Guest – Yoni 19:51
But in reality, I’d say like in sort of 70 plus projects that we’ve delivered, there’s only one, there’s only one client that really sticks out is like a bad experience and a key learning around it. And it was just a cultural mismatch. And it was an inability, we had an inability to identify the dysfunction of the internal team before we got into it. So for context, in Escala, when we’re building systems, what we do is we interview we shadow we review everything operationally, that’s happening in a business, we build the high level process maps, the sub processes, and then effectively like what each individual contributor is doing on a day to day, we’re getting clarity on what’s actually happening operationally in the business. And then that might take about four to six weeks or eight weeks, depending on the size of the company or the team. And then on the back of that we make a series of recommendations on how this business scales, how do we what, what should we stop doing? What’s the old strategy that we need to implement and the growth plans as the business continues to grow? How can we create efficiencies, and then we’ll go ahead and we’ll actually document the SOPs, we’ll build the training videos, and all the documentation that supports all the roles. So I’d say that you don’t always know you don’t know what you don’t know, at times when you’re going through it. But what we’ve now identified now that we’re, you know, coming into where our fit in our third year of operation, we have much more clarity into what what is going to look like a good relationship. But I think what’s, what’s more important, and for anyone listening in who’s running sort of managed services is you need a qualified people out, right? Like when you’re when you’re early business, you’ll take anything that you can get your hands on, and then as you continue to grow, you understand that it’s the right partnerships are going to actually help you grow meaningfully. Did that answer your question?
Host – Wiola 21:55
Um, yeah, but actually, I okay, so I have additional question related to that. So your methodology, it includes three phases is like assessment, design, integration, what you’re just talking about. And so which which phase is the most challenging? And also at, like, what stage? You know it’s working, you know, the work you do it, it brings some results.
Guest – Yoni 22:23
Yeah, that’s a that’s a great question. And unlike a PPC agency, for example, where you know, you invest X dollars your rowers or your A cars, or whatever the metric is, you know, what the ROI is the return on investment is there and then or 30 days later, talk about operation and scalability, it’s probably the service furthest from the money. And the hardest to quantify as as a baseline. So when we’re going through the process, we actually have, we have like, we have four stages, we go from discovery, where we define the problem statement and understand what what does success look like. And that’s really important, because when we’re going to engage a client, or a client is going to engage us, I forget which way it goes, that gets that that way. Then, ultimately, we both need to understand what what winning looks like. And we both need to be driving toward the same direction. It’s the same like building a business if you don’t have a goal. And a target in mind doesn’t necessarily need to be like a monetary target, then then how do you know that you’re actually heading in the right direction. So we go through that discovery phase. And then the next phase is assessment, where we interview we shadow and review. So depending on the team dynamics, that can be quite challenging to schedule and get everyone to commit. So one of the things that we’ve learned throughout this journey is like we’re upfront about it. And we say there is a time investment that’s going to require you and your team’s input. You’re the experts in your business where the experts are documenting and building systems and processes moving forward. So I’d say when we talk about the hardest part about the actual engagement, it’s going to be the design phase. So once we assess and we put forth the the steering committee as we as it’s called in classic management, consulting, and we deliver all the recommendations, that’s when I like to say, we actually start to do all the work. And so what that effectively looks like is working and documenting the future state of what is an optimized process look like? So there’s literally, you know, in some companies, there might even be, you know, hundreds and hundreds of pages. I don’t think we’ve done any of its 1000s. Yet, thankfully. But a shitload of pages of this is this is the step this is what’s done is a two to five minute video of how it’s done. This is what success looks like and we’ll go through it and then we’ll actually integrate that into a project management tool and can you guess what project management tool we use?
Host – Bryan 24:58
There we go! The best one on planet Earth.
Guest – Yoni 25:01
Absolutely absolutely. Zeb mate, you have changed so many lives and we are thankful for you and your vision mate. It’s it’s fantastic, shout out.
Host – Bryan 25:09
Zeb has also promised to be on the podcast. I know they’re doing a whole bunch of stuff now but Zeb promised he would be on. So don’t worry, he’s coming.
Guest – Yoni 25:16
And Zeb because you have promised to be on and you’re listening to this now because I know Bryan is going to send it your way – Successful Scales will get you on it, too, mate. Don’t worry. You’ll have fun.
Host – Bryan 25:24
There we go.
Host – Wiola 25:26
But no pressure. (laugh)
Host – Bryan 25:27
No pressure, Zeb, no pressure.
Guest – Yoni 25:29
No Zeb, I’m putting all the pressure, you’re better get on that podcast. And if you want you can come on mine. Don’t make me resend my invitation.
Host – Bryan 25:39
It’s a one time offer one time offer. Yeah. So Yoni, I know, I know, you have a spoke about like, especially on Escala, right? So you guys are kind of looking at this new fast approach for scaling, right? And then you also talk about these old warrior these old ways the old world approach. So what is the old world? Well, that’s a tongue twister, what is the old world approach? And how is it different than what Escala does?
Guest – Yoni 26:05
So I would say that it’s less about old and new world. And it’s more about access. So historically, when you look at all of the big management consulting practices, and I’m talking about Ernst & Young, Accenture, Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group, KPMG, McKinsey, Bain, all of them, it’s, it’s pay to play, right, and you’re looking at realistically, like a million dollars as an entry point to getting into working with them. So the companies, they’re helping companies like, sure, and companies like Apple and Microsoft and Deutsche like, you know, it’s, it’s the biggest companies in the world. And so one of my driving missions and why MultiplyMii was started is to actually create better opportunities. So we pay healthcare and social security, HMO, Philhealth, and 13th month, these things are what are really meaningful to me on the on the talent side, but on the client side, it’s the democratization of management consulting, and right now we’re attacking the process improvement consultant. So our rates are somewhere in the vicinity of 15 to 25 times less than what these guys are charging. And I would also argue that what we deliver is a higher quality product, when it relates to e-commerce specifically, because that is all we do. Right now, we only focus on anything that relates to, you know, large e-commerce and B2C, agencies and businesses of that nature. So, you know, coming back to it, and I would say, you know, I’ve seen, you know, a lot of our consultants came from a way I’ve seen their decks, I’ve seen their collateral, like, that shit looks like it’s out of the Stone Age, and there’s not a creative, you know, it’s a consultancy, there’s not a creative bone in their body, what I think we’ve brought to the table is this beautiful mix of creative and, you know, design and digital agency meets, you know, needs actually, management consulting. And so I think that we put a lot more emphasis on the on the experience, not just the output, and it’s very much about that the digitization of that experience, too. And in things that are, again, affordable ClickUp, you know, ClickUp is crushing it, because it’s probably a third or a quarter of the price of monday.com. And I would argue is significantly more powerful. And so it’s very easy for us to implement ClickUp into every client that we work with, with just what we effectively do when we’re building out their processes, and we build out the company wiki, because that’s affordable, and that’s scalable.
Host – Bryan 28:51
I think we could title this episode ‘ClickUp fanboys’ or something.
Guest – Yoni 28:55
Host – Bryan 28:58
Host – Wiola 29:01
Just e-commerce. So what what brings you to e-commerce in the first place?
Guest – Yoni 29:07
I mean, I’ve built e-commerce websites, probably since 2012 was probably the first ecommerce website that I built when I was working in agency land. So I’ve been across it for a long time. But when I stepped into the Amazon space as a, as an Amazon brand and building an Amazon brand, what I really understood is that the growth and the opportunity that existed in this space was so vast and the lack of professionalization in it was just wild. You know, it was literally when I joined this company. It was three guys running around like headless chokes with no real experience in design or operations or copywriting or anything that you need is a core skill set and to actually selling a product. You know, the Amazon platform was just so powerful that it enabled them to grow, you know to multi million status in a number of years. And that’s what I saw a lot of people were able to achieve. And I saw the opportunity to really help a lot of people actually not not kill themselves on this journey. So there’s a lot of people that glorify the hustle culture and the hustle mentality. And I cannot stress enough to you guys, what a foolish mistake that is, and how that is simply not sustainable. And for anyone who’s listening in who’s working, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve done the 20 hour a day, seven day a week, you know, grind, I’ve done that, but it is totally unsustainable, and you’re not producing your best work. It’s just an impossibility. So let me just say it again, let that hustle mentality go. Be conscious about where you’re looking to drive toward and work backward on how you achieve that success.
Host – Wiola 30:55
Exactly. So you can scale your product or team, but then there are the processes you have to build at the same time.
Guest – Yoni 31:05
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, you need to like you as an individual, you have, you know, you have all you have is time, right? It’s the most valuable commodity that is not renewable. And so, when you want to think about scale, you want to think about how you live your best life. And living your best life is not killing yourself for work, what’s the point of working 18 hour days, seven days a week, when you’ve got a family at home? Or, you know, let’s leave it there. When you’ve got a family at home, or you’ve got other interests. If you can’t, if you’re making all the money in the world, and you can’t spend it, or if you’re spending all the time in the world, and you can’t actually do the things that matter to you. Then what’s the point? Right. So, I mean, I don’t know how we got into this topic we were just talking about. We were just talking about what made me get into e-commerce. I think I’m like a tangent King. So I apologize. (laugh)
Host – Bryan 32:03
No. Yeah. So So you know, I think we used to talk about right so right now your remote you focus strictly on e-commerce. Right. So and I think you’ve kind of maybe hinted that you guys are ready to branch out to maybe other industries, like have you guys pinpointed a few industries that you guys are really maybe want to branch out to or focus on?
Guest – Yoni 32:20
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So so we are working with other industries, as it relates to Escala that’s been hyper focused around e commerce. So anything that’s in the around about e commerce space, like we did a project with Algorand Foundation, if you guys are into crypto, there are top 20 Crypto fund. And that was an interesting project for us to do. But look, we want to be the best at it. So there’s no decided conscious decision in terms of Escala. And remember, it’s not a very scalable business at all. The irony is that what we do is help scale businesses and yet itself is not scalable in its current state, because it requires a lot of very intelligent people to come together and actually build all of this out. And so MultiplyMii on the other hand, and this is this is where things get a little like meta for, for me. MultiplyMii was designed to find the best talent in the world that was affordable and and able to help businesses grow affordably. And you know, and I believe we’re on track to achieving that. Right? Then we built Escala setting a few months later, we started with Escala sort of seeing the opportunity. Now where we sit is Escala does projects into MultiplyMii, redefining our operating strategy and structure and our org structure. So I mean, I’ll share machinists. This is absolute pot of gold. For anyone who has a recruitment business, I’m going to share with you a bit of our structure, but we restructured MultiplyMii where we have siloed pods where we have recruiters leads, recruitment leads for specific verticals. So for us, it’s like Amazon roles, ecommerce roles, and general roles right now. And then below that, we have Junior recruiters and mid range recruiters. And then we have a sourcing strategist and sourcing specialists that all filter in to the specific pod. So we’re very cognizant, and we are very conscious of where we are focusing our attention. So we’re trying to sort of distill down as as granular as possible, how do we have everyone in the business doing just the one thing that they should be working on? So now what we’re working on, and when we talk about expansion is where reverse engineering using our sourcing strategy? Well, what are the roles that we know are in abundance and have high caliber talent in the Philippines currently, where we’re coming to the Philippines right now and, you know, talk to me maybe in 2023 or 2024 and we’ll see where we’re at and what the model looks like. But But ultimately, we’ll look to see where the abundance of talent is, we’ll look to see where the disconnect is with businesses requiring that talent. And we’ll build out siloed pods to go after those specific niches. So right now, you said, what’s a, you know, what’s a potential audience? I actually was just in Orlando last week, I was gonna say, you can look over my shoulder, but this is audio only. I was at the EOS conference, the Entrepreneurial Operating System traction, if you haven’t read the book ‘Traction: getting a grip on your business’, and you run a business, do yourself a favor and read it, it will change your life, if you can effectively implement it, you can even get implementers to come and help implement traction into your business. Anyway, Gino Wickman, was the keynote speaker. And he’s just, he’s like the entrepreneurs’ entrepreneur. And when I look at one of his later books, so there’s the EOS life, and he’s got a new thing that’s about managing energy. One of his statements, and I’m going to quote him on our website is don’t do $25/hour work. If you’re running a high power business, focus on delegating, and elevating which is one of the trademarks, you know, disciplines that they have in in EOS is delegate Elevate, how can I focus on the things that I’m best at, and delegate everything else? So, right now, we’ve actually, there’s probably the first time I’m talking about it publicly, we’ve been working behind the scenes with the consulting team. So I have an amazing executive assistant, shout out to you, Kate, I’d be nowhere without you. So Kate and I worked with our consulting team to build out effectively a process in ClickUp. There you go Zeb. We built out a process, where we’ve documented how to run the executive assistant relationship. And so just to give you guys a little bit of a glimpse into what my life looks like, and how great it is, I get on a call 30 minutes a day, five days a week with Kate, you know, outside of special projects, as I like to call them. And in that meeting, we run through every single thing that’s happened in my calendar that she manages. So what are the action items, what needs to happen, who needs to be followed up with what meetings need to be set, what are the tasks and the deep work that you’re working on, she’ll block everything out, she’ll coordinate with anyone that needs to be coordinated with, I’ve got a rock, which is another traction. It’s another traction function, I guess, for lack of a better term, or a core process inside of it, where it’s your 90 day rolling goals. So 90 days from now, and then what I’ve come back with on the end of this conference, I will not touch my email or LinkedIn anymore, that will be 100% delegated to Kate, but I will not miss a single thing. And everything will be managed by Kate. So that’s already in effect, like she’s already writing emails on my behalf and responding and handling it, she has access to all of it. And so we built this course where every single person that we look to place in other businesses will actually have to go through this course. And on the back of that there’ll be given all the ClickUp workflows and tools and everything that we actually deliver. So that really what you’re doing when you’re hiring when MultiplyMii as an executive assistant is your hiring ready built people where a consulting team has designed an executive assistant executive relationship where I’d say that Kate is an expert in her field, she’s had 8,9,10 years experience working with entrepreneurs, and I’m, I’m someone who likes to design systems, and I’m all about creating efficiencies. And then we’ve thrown that all together working with our consulting team to actually build this out into a framework, and then to a core. So, you know, when you talk about expansion, that’s number one on the list like, that will be the biggest productized offering the MultiplyMii sells by the end of 2022. Mark my words.
Host – Bryan 39:01
Yeah. So why don’t we you know, let’s, let’s briefly touch on the podcast, right? So not only are you an amazing CEO, a great person, you’re also a successful podcast host. So you’re the host of Successful Scales. So when you created the podcast, so what was the goal in, your goal in mind for creating it?
Guest – Yoni 39:20
Yeah, yeah. Again, you guys with the great questions. So So I started with a mission to learn, learning was at its core. So I, we had grown from a team of 4 to about 130 in 12 months. And you know, I’m an avid consumer of content, all I’m doing all days, how do I learn? How do I learn how and it didn’t matter how fast I could consume content and I was reading at times I would say, like, a book to two a week between audiobooks on Audible and reading and documenting and looking to see how we could implement you know, I was doing all these things. I couldn’t learn fast enough. So my initial driving objective was how do I build a platform to get access to people who had built big businesses, to ask them very candid questions as to where I was at and hit record so that other entrepreneurs could learn from that journey? I would say that was sort of the driving objective. Now that you know, I’m 80+ episodes in getting hundreds of downloads every single episode, I’ll say that it’s definitely handy as a tool to build relationships and get people on your podcast that are happy to have a conversation with you and deepen relationships. So I’d say like, there were a lot of lot of benefits that I hadn’t necessarily predicted would come on the back of it, but the driving objective, and my driving objective is always going to be growth and learning.
Host – Bryan 40:51
Awesome. And I think this is a good place to wrap it up a bit. So first of all, so usually we have some rapid fire questions, right, so super casual. So Yoni, so we had a theme for the first five guests, or four guests, that all of them have, were a DJ in the past or something related to DJs. Have you ever been a DJ?
Guest – Yoni 41:11
That’s messed up. I have literally track to MK2S2s at home. And yeah, I’m like.
Host – Bryan 41:19
There we go, we’re back on track. (laugh)
Guest – Yoni 41:23
That is the most bizarre thing ever.
Host – Bryan 41:26
Five of our six guests have been part of have been DJs. And so on put in it’s just like it started with. So our first guest was Ralph, and he’s the CEO of GaS Digital network, one of the biggest podcast networks in the States. And he was a DJ in a strip club. And then and then it’s just like, all right, we just have the steam and then it kept going, going going until unfortunately, Khalid the VP of engineering at fabric, ruin the streets, but we’re happy you’ve got it back on.
Guest – Yoni 41:56
I mean, that’s pretty damn good, five out of six, I take that.
Host – Bryan 41:59
I take it all the way. All right. So this is a question for me very Ozzie centric. So who who is your favorite Chris Lilley character?
Guest – Yoni 42:08
Ah, it’s gotta be Ja’mie King.
Host – Bryan 42:10
There we go.
Guest – Yoni 42:11
Has to be. ‘Just because I’m rich doesn’t make me a bitch.’
Host – Bryan 42:16
(laugh) So quiche, quiche. Alright, Wiola you got one for Yoni?
Host – Wiola 42:23
Yes. What are the three words for your 20 year old self? What will be the three words? The tricky one.
Guest – Yoni 42:35
I would say I would say I’ll give you two words.
Host – Wiola 42:39
Guest – Yoni 42:40
Host – Bryan 42:43
That’s a nice one. How about favorite cocktail?
Guest – Yoni 42:48
I actually enjoy making cocktails as well. So I don’t know if that’s been a theme of the show. But my favorite my favorite cocktail is a penicillin. And a penicillin if you got you guys know what a penicillin.
Host – Bryan 42:59
No, we do not.
Guest – Yoni 43:01
So penicillin is it’s one part lemon juice. One part honey ginger. So instead of sort of simple syrup, with honey, water and ginger, and and you’ll have it with a whiskey. So so it’s it’s delicious. And I’m going to I’m going to drink several tonight when I go for a dinner in an hour and a half.
Host – Bryan 43:26
All right. And so what is the best advice you ever received?
Guest – Yoni 43:33
The best advice I’ve ever received. Wow. I mean, I’ve been very fortunate to receive a lot of amazing advice and have had a lot of incredible mentors, my my dad included, you know. I would say I would say that the best advice that I’ve received in recent times and something that I’m going to instill and actually implement into my life right now is what happened when I was at this conference last week at the EOS conference, Gina Whitman, who wrote the book who spent 15 years helping entrepreneurs get everything that they want out of life has this whole methodology on managing your energy. And the first thing that is seen as methodology is what is your 10 year plan? It talks about the fact that, you know, when you put things into two decade long increments, everything slows down, you know, we can achieve far less than a year than we think. But far more intent. And so I’d say the best advice that I’m yet to take that is, you know, high up on my priorities list now, is really thinking, where do I want to be 10 years from now? What does my life look like and then working backward to that goal?
Host – Bryan 44:50
Host – Wiola 44:51
Okay, the last question.
Host – Bryan 44:52
Oh, go Wiola. We got one more last one.
Host – Wiola 44:55
Okay. So is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? And you haven’t done it yet?
Guest – Yoni 45:03
Yeah, there is. There’s a few. There’s a few things. I would say that one a couple of things that I’ve dreamed of doing. I’d love to go and see the northern lights. And I’ve never done that. That’s like, high on high on my list. So I’ll get to doing that. I’d say that.
Host – Bryan 45:21
Coming to Poland.
Guest – Yoni 45:23
Host – Wiola 45:23
Guest – Yoni 45:25
Can you see it from from Krakow?
Host – Bryan 45:27
No. But I’m just saying that in addition to the Northern Lights.
Guest – Yoni 45:31
Ah, on the way on the way. So yeah, so I’ll make I’ll make a stop on the way. And I would say as well going skiing in Japan, visiting Japan, that’s, that’s also up there. And now of course, coming to Krakow and seeing you guys in Poland is like, it’s it might be above, it’s somewhere in between Northern Lights, and the skiing in Japan.
Host – Bryan 45:55
Fair enough. All right, Wiola wanna sign off?
Guest – Yoni 46:00
I love these rapid fire questions. Give me more! (laugh)
Host – Bryan 46:04
Alright, that’s it and Yoni again. Thank you so much for joining us. And it’s been a pleasure.
Guest – Yoni 46:09
Thank you so much, guys. It’s been awesome.
Host – Bryan 46:11
Thank you for listening to How We Innovate. A podcast by Applandeo. Get your apps and web apps built today by visiting applandeo.com. We’re Applandeo!