Jeff Goldscher | Combining a Passion for Sports with Creative Marketing Strategies

Jeff Goldscher 10:39

Yes. So I had always dreamed of starting an advertising agency, I had an opportunity where a client from Comcast called me up and said, Hey, we want to do a campaign, you want to start an agency, we’ll be your first client. This was 2004. So I started the campaign. And it was successful. And that client introduced me to other clients. And we became so successful doing this, that he ended up leaving Comcast and coming to be my partner. And we built up this agency based around our expertise in the cable industry. So we would go in and we would sell direct mail, billboards, television campaigns, every month, there was a new campaign that was needed,

John Corcoran 11:18

because like getting people to sign up to, you know, have Comcast is their cable.

Jeff Goldscher 11:23

Okay? Correct. And it was, and it was during a period where Verizon and the fiber optic people were getting into the marketplace. Direct TV was getting to the marketplace. And you know, it was they were spending a lot of money on marketing. And it was a cash cow. I mean, it was a great business model.

John Corcoran 11:42

Because for a while you’re you kind of had like a system that worked and you deploy one market and then put it in other markets as well.

Jeff Goldscher 11:50

Right? Well, that was exactly it. We call it the habit hybrid system. And essentially, we built up this thing where you pick the campaign that you want, we customize it with your offer, we take your database, it was a flat fee, you know, it was 12 cents a piece no matter how many pieces you wanted to mail. And we really built this whole model around it. And what was interesting was we then hired creative people that could execute against that model. We hired account people who understood the cable industry, and we found it really difficult to diversify. So while we picked up other clients along the way, most of them were essentially clients that we could replicate a similar model for, we ended up doing actually a lot of sports marketing for Comcast, because every market, they would co-brand themselves with a sports team. So Baltimore would do a campaign with the Orioles Senate for Comcast get two free tickets for an Orioles game. So we took that model, and we were able to use that with other people that were partnering with sports franchises. But ultimately, we built up a nice business, we made the Inc 5000 twice. We were nominated for all sorts of awards. We diverse, the extent of the diversification that was really successful for us was because we knew the cable operators were able to talk to the cable networks. So we got to do some really interesting creative pieces for Breaking Bad. And for Mad Men, when they were just trying to get some exposure to the cable operators to get coverage and to get support behind those shows. And, and it was great 2009 We have the financial meltdown, there’s pressure across corporate America to consolidate costs. And somebody at Comcast realizes, hey, wait a second, there’s all these little agencies out there doing this work for all of these markets all around the country, we’d really save a ton of money if we consolidated all of them out of Philadelphia, hired one big agency to do all of the work and centralized all the production on our end. And within three months, 90% of our revenue was gone.

John Corcoran 13:46

Wow. What was that? Like? did? Did you get a call a phone call? How did it play out?

Jeff Goldscher 13:51

It was probably a series of phone calls. The first call we got was from corporate asking us for a lot of information because they were in the process of consolidating production. So we knew that, you know, we had really done a good job working with different vendors, different partners to really reduce our costs, which we could then pass along to our clients, our clients had fixed budgets. But the production was a big piece of where we drove our revenue from. So we knew that was going away. Then we got a call from corporate essentially saying, Hey, we’re going to consolidate at the region level. And so our focus went from, you know, Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia to the Eastern Region. And so now instead of having 50 opportunities, we had 12 opportunities. And then we realized very quickly that wait a second there, they’re continuing to consolidate, continue to consolidate. So it really took a couple of months for us to really see it. Nobody ever called us up and said, Sorry, you guys are out. We really had to sort of piece the story together mostly through our contacts on the inside, who could help us explain what was driving on to these decisions.

John Corcoran 14:52

Okay. And frankly, nerve racking. It was

Jeff Goldscher 14:55

we had 25 people we cut back to 10 people and literally my partner and I were sitting around a conference room table, realizing that in order to make this business successful, we were going to have to strip it down to the bones. And let everybody go and go back to essentially a freelance model for creative, find new clients, and really, really hustle our way through it. And, you know, it definitely taught me firsthand. This is what happens when you have aren’t properly diversified. Yeah. And it’s, frankly, a lesson as a business owner that I’ve had to learn and relearn and relearn. Because I think no matter what you do, you always sort of feel like I’ve got this gravy train, let me ride in as long as possible. Yeah, people are hiring me for this one thing, let me do more of that one thing. And even and even as a fractional CMO, the last several years, there have been times when I’ve had to check myself and say, Hey, wait a second, I’m too consolidated in one industry, or I have one client, that’s taking too much of my time. And I don’t want to be that dependent on anyone client, because you really do leave your entire business vulnerable for when the market shifts, and you’re not ready to handle it.

John Corcoran 16:03

And so in retrospect, if you look back on it now, is there anything that you would have done differently to diversify yourself to prevent that from happening?

Jeff Goldscher 16:12

Yeah, I mean, I definitely think that I would have made much more of an effort, I wouldn’t have grown at the pace that we grew without really thinking through how we’re growing. So we kept adding clients, I kept hiring people, we kept adding clients, they kept hiring people. And then as your business grows, you want to enjoy the success of that business. I bought a house, we went on nice vacations, I made investments, I invested in another agency. And so you start to spread yourself really thin with this idea that okay, as long as I can just get one more year, like the year I just had, and you just don’t know when that one year is going to be. So I think looking back on it. You know, rather than taking on all of the additional cable revenue, probably finding a real new business generating system to go find some other clients, hiring people that I knew could do more than focus on the one industry that we were already strong. Keeping my overhead low. I think it’s something that I’ve learned over time, because that gives you more flexibility as a business to make the right choices for the business, not the right choices based on your lifestyle. Those are all things I think that I’ve done differently as as I’ve gotten the experience and haven’t been through it. And now there are often things that I can appreciate with my clients. Because I understand the ebbs and flows of the business. I know how business has been built. And I can relate my own experiences as a as a business leader, even though now they’re hiring me just for the marketing. There is that carryover effect into just what I learned as a business.

John Corcoran 17:44

Right, right. Now, around the time or shortly before the financial meltdown, you had started another agency Aquarius Sports & Entertainment, and you ended up splitting that off and you and your business partner kind of go separate ways.

Jeff Goldscher 17:58

Correct? Correct. We, we had started a friend of mine had some experience in sports agency world and he wanted to start his own sports marketing firm. He was going to take on some outside investors and end up holding a very small share. And I said that’s silly. Let us help fund it. So my partner habit and I became the co founders of Aquarius Sports & Entertainment. And in some ways, it ended up being a nice lifeboat because when we decided that habit was not going to be able to support both of us. I ended up taking his stake in habit in Aquarius, he took my stake and habit, he rebuilt habit from scratch. And in fact, I just hired them about a year ago to do a campaign for one of my clients. So the world does come full circle. I always tell people don’t burn bridges, you never know where they’re gonna end up. Yeah, and I got invested in Aquarius Sports & Entertainment. And we built a sports marketing agency. And so we got to really repeat the same process of building something from the ground up and doing it again.

John Corcoran 18:57

And so you’re circling back to your original love sports, but in a different capacity. And so yeah, talk a little bit about what sorts of projects you assume you’re a little bit more long in the years at this point. So you’re not running around Baltimore with a minivan collecting footballs this time around?

Jeff Goldscher 19:12

No, no. Instead, I’m running around race tracks in golf carts, restocking materials for targets. So I never I’ve never seem to get that far from being in a car. I don’t know how it happens. But we did, we did some really neat work. You know, my partner would negotiate the deals. My job was to be the creative person, the marketer and figure out how to execute them. So here are the assets that we get, what do we do with them? And so we start losing

John Corcoran 19:39

assets that you know, you’re doing things like video displays and scoreboards and things like that, right? Yes.

Jeff Goldscher 19:46

Yes. So So typically, the way it works is, you know, AAA wants to be a partner with the Baltimore Ravens because they feel like it’d be a good way for them to connect with new people. It’ll become AAA members. And the Ravens say great, we’ll give you a scoreboard out We’ll give you a radio commercial. And we’ll give you a suite at the game. And we come back and say, that’s not what we want at all. But we want our ways to actually engage with people. So here here is, you know, we want a dedicated area that we can use specifically for triple A card holders before the game, especially tailgate sound, we want access to your database of season ticket holders, so we can send them out special communications. And when my partner was really strong, was being able to go in and negotiate and get the assets that we wanted for our clients. And then I got to bring him to life. And so you know, I talked about some of the CO marketing work that I did with Comcast and sports teams who really got to a point here as well. So we did work with polti homes, we did work with Triple A was a big client of ours. And the most interesting thing, frankly, was was we got involved with target. My partner knew someone who ended up going to work for target running their events, business, at the time, target was heavily invested in NASCAR. And they came to us and said, We want to promote grocery. And we want to use our NASCAR assets to do that. What do you think we should do? And we came up with three or four ideas, which became taste of target. And so we took food trucks, we outfitted them with target graphics, we drove them to camp grounds around NASCAR events and gave out free samples of food. If you can imagine it was extremely popular, I would think so. People love lining up for the food. In fact, target hates lines. And so one of the big critiques that we often got was, the lines are too long, or the way we did free food. So we literally would hire brand ambassadors to give out food to people standing in line waiting, so that we could keep things moving. We developed a series of shuttles that we ran from the campgrounds to the local Target stores. So increased store traffic that way we did couponing, which helped to build long-term long tail effect. And it was really neat target loved the campaign. We actually did some great videos that are on my YouTube page. And it was so successful that they ended up recommending us to their partners. So we did a promotion for Banana Boat, we did a promotion for Hershey, we did a promotion for dove for men, but all these other partners have targets that they wanted to exposure on the car all the sudden had this agency at their at their disposal to build these interactive campaigns. And I think that kind of engagement was was was awesome. I mean, it was really neat to watch people and to get so much of what we do in marketing is passive, I put something out there and I hope people will respond. It’s really neat when you get to do something that puts you right in front of people were the people in the campgrounds new OS by name and wanted to know what we were sampling today, because we had been there for a week. We got to build relationships with the drivers and the race teams in a way that was really unique.

John Corcoran 22:50

Was there any anytime you came up with some wild idea that a sports team said no, that’s that’s over the line? We’re not going to do that? Um,

Jeff Goldscher 23:00

I don’t think so. I think more often than not, it was it was where like they weren’t comfortable with the assets. So for instance, you know, if a the Baltimore Ravens have a water partnership with the Sani their coke sponsor, so we wanted to give out water bottles in the parking lots with our logo one and they said you can’t do that because that’s competing. But I don’t think we ever came up with anything we did. The craziest thing I think we ever came up with. Target was doing a partnership with P3. P3 is a product I think it’s by Oscar Meyer, but it’s a it’s a protein pack. And so we set up and we were going to do an obstacle course. And people were going to go we’re calling it the P3 obstacle course and you go through the obstacle course and we were going to win prizes. And the lawyer shut that one down. There were all sorts of liability issues running people through an obstacle course at an event. They’re drinking there’s you know, lack of safety. We’re hiring a bunch of, you know, 20 year olds to run this thing that’s, that’s not gonna fly. But you know, the, I think one of the most fun ideas that we pitched was for Snuggle fabric softener and all laundry detergent. We ended up setting up a laundry machine pitstop. And so people could come to us drop off their laundry, we would do their laundry for them and return it to them on a custom golf cart. The next day in the parking lots,

John Corcoran 24:24

but this is so that we assume with some sporting event

Jeff Goldscher 24:27

or it was it this was this was with target. We did it at the Charlotte motor speedway. We did it at Homestead Speedway in Miami, around a race because people go and look camped out for a week and they’ve got they got to do their laundry. Yeah. And so they would drop we hit out laundry bags to everybody in the campground when they checked in. When their laundry bags were full. They brought him over to we kind of the laundry pitstop. We would do the laundry we’d find out where their spot is and we were returning to them the next day. So I really learned there was no idea too crazy for people to take on. It was real. Just a matter of what the lawyers would want us to do, sometimes

John Corcoran 25:02

kind of a surprise, because I, you know, you don’t think that these big sporting companies, sports franchises would be open to that kind of wild creativity, I kind of had the impression that they’d be like, This is what you get, you know, you’ll like it, or you’ll buy it or not. What we found is

Jeff Goldscher 25:19

was that if it was a creative way to extend their brand, to their audience, the sports teams were almost always on board with it. You know, they’re in the relationship business to they’re looking to build long term customers. And where you can take in sync, the brand, that we’re promoting, along with the sports team or the event, there’s a lot of power in that. And so it’s not just a matter of spin the wheel get a free prize, but where we can really add value, and where we can really, you know, for Banana Boat giving out sunscreen samples at a race where people are out in the sun for eight hours at a time sitting in the grandstands. That’s a huge added benefit to people that they don’t have to go buy it now. And so they become then more likely to purchase in the future. And we were able to demonstrate that time after time. In the sports world, it was really something that I took away, it was one of my favorite things, I’d never done a lot of experiential marketing. My background was always in brand marketing and direct response marketing. Getting to the experiential stuff was really interesting because it, it pushed another muscle in my brain. And there are still things from that experience that I take to my b2b clients. Now, you know, I learned no matter what idea we could come up with the longest line was always to spin the wheel. People love spinning the wheel and knowing they were going to win a prize didn’t matter what you’re giving away. And now I have clients. Now we do trade shows, and I’m like, we need a wheel. We’re gonna do a wheel and they look at me like, are you crazy? People will want to spin the wheel, they will want to win a prize. And sure enough, they do. That’s great.

John Corcoran 26:57

What is your creative process? Like, you know, the client comes to you, and it’s a fabric softener or something like that? How do you come up with something that’s interesting and different, and going to be fun for people other than of course, big spinning wheel.

Jeff Goldscher 27:13

So I always start, it’s still a skill that I used today, one of my regrets of what I do now as a CMO, I don’t get to spend as much time on the creative side of the world as I used to. Because that what I learned was that was just something I really loved about marketing. And what I love about the creativity is I try to put myself in the mind of my target audience. What’s my audience want? What do they need? What are they looking for? Who’s the hero in their story? Who’s the villain of the story? How do we overcome that? There’s there’s a book called StoryBrand by Donald Miller that I always recommend to people that was introduced to me as a way to start thinking through the story, what are we trying to do? And I find that when I think about the audience that I’m trying to reach, that’s where the creativity comes from, what can we put in their hands? What can we tell them? How do we convince them that they need what we’re selling, or we’re offering or what we’re providing? And I think the most creative ideas? You know, when somebody comes to you and says, Look, how do we promote fabric softer and laundry detergent? The easy thing is to give out free samples. The fun thing is to say, well, what if we did the laundry for them? Oh, we can we want it we want to promote grocery? Well, what if we get a food truck? What if we actually brought these grocery products to the customer? And once you sort of tap into that, then what did these food trucks look like? How do we make them really cool? What do we do with ancillary elements? How do we get the race team involved? Well, what if what if we did a Mako for a homemaker from us all target stuff to make over somebody’s campground? They’re all things that really come by looking at who’s the audience of what do they need? And then what do we have to sell? And how do we make that a unique experience if you can, if you can create something memorable? People will buy what you’re selling them. And I think that that applies across the board. Hmm.

John Corcoran 29:01

So it sounds like this was a very different experience from your first go around interaction with sports. And you did last longer for sure. So what how do you think that you were able to combine that passion and interest in sports and business and have it be something that was more sustainable this time around?

Jeff Goldscher 29:22

Um, I think it was because of the variety, I think there were, there were a couple of challenges. You know, there is the creative challenge. At that point, I sort of understood advertising and marketing knew what I brought to the table. And unlike being a reporter, where you’re in the press box, and your job is to tell people what happened at the game. Being on the marketing side, it’s a little bit different. So when I would go to games, it’s a lot more entertainment. I’m in the box. schmoozing clients. I’m working with my partners and coming up with creative ideas. What you don’t realize is there’s still just as much travel there’s still Just as many late nights, the challenges of working in sports are significant there, there are things where, you know, I go to a hockey game in a suit, because I’d be meeting with clients. And that’s what they wore to the hockey game. Baseball teams tend to be a little bit more flexible, they can be a little bit more polos and khakis, but even going to football games, I mean, these NFL executives, they wear suits at the game. So we would wear suits at the Games. Sometimes that gets a little bit old. But I do think that that understanding, did a much better job of mixing my passion with my profession, that second time around, mostly because I was a little bit more established in my profession, and I was able to do the things that I like to do. At the same time. After about five years of doing it, the excitement starts to fade. The the the first time you’re at you’re at a pit for a NASCAR race, it’s awesome. The 10th time you’re going alright, how soon till this race ends, because it’s hot out here, and it’s loud. And I’m sick of being in the room. And that’s when you really start to understand the difference between, you know, I have friends who have careers in sports. You know, I dabble in sports, and there are definitely pieces of it, where you’ve really got to be all in on what you do, and really love every aspect of it to make it your career. Because sometimes, you know, the being away from my family for three weeks, doing an event at a NASCAR track, while while it’s exciting and interesting and engaging, stay away from my family for three weeks. And those were the parts of the job that ultimately became Hey, I gotta go find something else to do again.

John Corcoran 31:31

Yeah, and what drew you then to fractional cmo work? And for those who don’t know what that is? What does that mean? Exactly? What what is functionally? What do you do? Yeah, so

Jeff Goldscher 31:41

what I do now is I work with companies that are too small to have a full time chief marketing officer, or sometimes too smart to have a full time chief marketing officer. And I go in, and I do the role of that job. So it’s a lot of planning strategy. It’s managing a team, sometimes it’s building a marketing team. And it’s really sort of aligning marketing within the context of the entire business model, which is something because I’ve owned my own businesses, I understand how all of these pieces fit together. And what I learned over time was that what I really love to do is marketing. What happens when you start a business, and I’m sure you can relate to this, John, in some ways, is that all of a sudden, you start to have employees and you start to have payroll, and you start to have HR and you start to have you no process and you have to put the thing up in the break room on the wall. And if it’s not there, you’re going to get in trouble by OSHA and, and you get, you know, vacation requests, and all of these things that go into running a business that aren’t why you got into that business in the first place. Most people that I know that this particularly I have a lot of clients that are home improvement companies. And most of these home improvement companies, somebody is a plumber. They decided they can do plumbing on their own. They go start a plumbing business and they got the plumbing part of it done. But it’s the business part they have to learn from scratch. And what I learned was that running a business is fun. It’s interesting, but it’s tiring, and it’s not really what I loved. And it all came to a head frankly, it was the I’ll never forget it was the NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, we had been working with the Pro Football Hall of Fame for probably about five or six years at that point. We did all of the marketing run all their shrine ceremonies. That year, Jonathan Ogden was in shrine from the Baltimore Ravens. My business partner was there on site working with Jonathan, I was back running the office. And I saw him on TV, my business partner, you know, congratulating people as they’re walking to the stage to get their award and just basking in it. And I realized at the time, I don’t love what we’re doing that much he does. Maybe I need to go find what I love. And what I love is marketing. I love sort of looking at it at a marketing challenge and trying to figure out,

John Corcoran 33:51

by the way, Bego massive, I knew him. I met him a little bit when he was at UCLA, cuz I have friends. They’re just the biggest guy in the world.

Jeff Goldscher 34:01

A very, very large and it’s it’s fun. He’s, he’s the nicest athlete. You know, I’ve had I’ve been lucky enough to work with a lot of athletes. And I always tell people, like, you know, there are people just like the rest of us. Joe was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, willing to do anything for anybody at any time. I mean, we would have to pull him away from autograph signings because he’d stay there all day long. And it was great and it was it was wonderful like when you work with a guy like that and you get to watch him get a personal accomplishment like making the Hall of Fame admit it’s really neat. It’s really a fun thing to do. You know, Brian Dawkins was a partner of ours Troy Vincent was a partner of ours. And when I watched you know, Brian got into the Hall of Fame. Troy’s now working at the NFL. It’s really sort of interesting watching these guys and getting to know them as people and then appreciating their accomplishments. I get excited every time I see the NFL Draft. And Troy Vincent’s on stage reading draft picks and like why know him, this is exciting,

John Corcoran 34:56

but at the same time, you saw what Jonathan was doing and you concluded, I don’t love this, like he does what he’s doing.

Jeff Goldscher 35:03

I was Yeah, I was ready to get out of the World Sports. And what I really love is marketing. You know, I really, I enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out, here’s what a business is looking to accomplish? Who is their audience? How do they think? How do we make ourselves relevant to them? And how do we come across as different than our competition? There’s so many people out there now selling the same things, how do you make yourself look unique, feel unique, even if at the end of the day, there’s nothing that you’re offering that is significantly different than anybody else. You know, one of my clients now is a law firm, a law firms a law firm, you know, assuming that they got the right background to handle your problems, like what’s the difference, the differences, the people, the differences, the approach, the differences, the way that we tackle things? And so defining that brand and making yourself stand out, like, these are really interesting challenges for me to take on. Whereas, you know, making payroll is a separate challenge. It’s a different challenge. It’s not quite as interesting. Yeah, you know, I shudder to think of what HR people have been dealing with the last 18 months. Like, these are things where I’m happy to consult, I’m happy to advise, but to have to get into the weeds on those things. It wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. And it took me a while to figure out what does a fractional cmo look like? What does this role require? When I started doing it, I was more or less a freelance ad agency, people would hire me to come do a project, I’d get a crew together. You know, it took me a while to sort of figure out, you know, somebody would say, Hey, can you build an app for us? Well, I don’t build apps, but I can hire somebody to build an app, and I can advise you on how to do it, I can project manage it. I guess that’s what I do. And it took a while to sort of figure out where my value was,

John Corcoran 36:48

I imagine it’s hard if you’ve worked in different roles in the marketing ecosystem, to now say, I’m not in this role anymore. We’re not an agency. We’re not doing it for you. We’re overseeing it. But we’re not going to step into that role. So you kind of have to define boundaries.

Jeff Goldscher 37:07

Correct? Correct. And I had never been chief marketing officer before. So my experience had been almost entirely on the agency side, I spent about six months at Microsoft, back before the year tooth around the year 2000. And that was it, everything else I’d done was always on the agency side. So now trying to figure out how do I embed myself with clients? What do I need to know as a chief marketing officer and then realizing it’s not that different. And in fact, what what being on the inside gave me the ability to do was to understand operations, understand the finance side, understand the sales side, suggests things and actually made the marketing better. Because I could affect process internally, in a way that you can’t, when you’re the ad agency, you know, as the ad agency, someone’s coming to you and saying, I need a campaign around this. And if I say, Well, you know, it actually would be better if you could get your sales people to do XY and Z. That’s not my job. My job is to execute a campaign and hope it works. So I really enjoyed the challenges as I started to get in and work with these companies, it really started to let me see, here’s where the need is, the need is to have somebody that understands marketing at a senior level, that can bring the value that a full time chief marketing officer would bring to the table, but isn’t going to cost these companies $250,000 a year for a full time CMO, they could pay a fraction of that by getting a portion of my time. And by doing that, what I realized quickly was I can use a portion of my time direct directed the correct way. And they could get all the value that they got out of a full time role for for a part time employee. And I found that that model that I probably started the first couple of years 2014, I started JK Squared, which is my fractional cmo firm. And the first probably three years, four years it was really sort of finding our way but in since about 2018, really realizing this chief marketing officer this fractional this outsource role. There was a need for it, there was a way to do it. And frankly, that learning that I was good at it, and all the things that made me good on the ad agency side, maybe even better in this room, the ability to juggle the ability to listen to different perspectives, the ability to lead by building consensus. Those were all things I learned at an ad agency, and translated really directly to what I do now.

John Corcoran 39:27

Yeah. All right, Jeff, last question. So I call this my gratitude question. So if you look around at your peers and contemporaries, however you want to define that, who out there, do you respect and admire who do you respect and admire people who are doing good work?

Jeff Goldscher 39:44

So I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I’m gonna say it anyway, and hopefully he will thank me for it. My friend Harley Magden. Harley and his brother Aaron started a little company about 10 years ago now maybe 11 years ago now called Window Nation. And for those of you who don’t know, Window Nation is a window replacement company. They are now I think the fifth or sixth largest home improvement company in the country. When I met Harley, he was a neighbor of mine. He was he was trying to negotiate a deal with the Baltimore Ravens that we ended up never doing. And he had a small window company. He grew up in the window business, but he had a small company that was in Cleveland, it was in Baltimore is in Washington I was at and they were probably doing two to $3 million in sales. And when I first started doing when I left at Aquarius, I tried to negotiate the sports deal for them, it didn’t end up going through when I left Aquarius, I said to Harley, hey, if you need any help, you know, keep me in mind. And about a year later, he called me and said, I’ve got this marketing department. I don’t know what I’m doing with it, can you help me. And I sat down and I talked to him and I talked to his brother Aaron, and we rebuilt his marketing department, we added another market. After about a year and a half of me serving as their fractional CMO. We hired a full time CMO. They kept growing, they kept growing. They took on a private equity partner not too long ago, and they’ve now built to probably about 250 million in revenue. We’ve got offices in about 16 different states.

John Corcoran 41:16

And we’re still you still in the mix here.

Jeff Goldscher 41:19

Or I’m still in the mix. In fact, my my my younger brother is one of them is their director of marketing. They still call me for project work, I do videos for them from time to time, I get involved when they do new market expansions. But Harley’s always been great to me, because Harley will always tell people in the home improvement industry, which, as you may know, is booming right now. It’s been one of the COVID has been a good thing for that industry. Yeah, definitely spending more time at home. And they’re seeing things to be done. They have discretionary income that they’re not using and other things. So as the markets grow, and Harley always sort of looks around other his peers in the industry, and has always been willing to recommend me has always been very supportive of the work that I do has always been someone I can turn to. You know, there are there are times when, as an independent contractor, you’ve ebbs and flows in your business. And I know Harley, someone I can always turn to if I need a project, he’s always got something there for me. But he’s also become a good friend and a mentor, frankly, in a lot of the marketing work that I do. And I look at the way they built the business. As successful as those guys are, they’ve never stopped. And they they’re constantly looking for ways to grow. They’re constantly challenging themselves. You know, there’s there’s no need for either of them to sit foot in an office ever. Yet, you know, this was part of the deal was they didn’t want to step away from the business, even when they brought in outside partners. They wanted to make sure they had the control and that they were the ones doing driving the growth of the business. They had a good plan. And in fact, they’ve since diversified into some other businesses. So they opened up a deli nearby named after their father and their grandfather.

John Corcoran 42:56

Not sure. Really diversification for the $300 million company buys it right.

Jeff Goldscher 43:03

They open up a deli. But look I get there’s no doubt we they got me involved to do the logo development and to help them sort of with the branding of the deli. There’s no doubt in my mind, there’s going to be a chain of Mike Emls delicatessens up and down the East Coast sometime in the next four or five years. Because that’s how these guys think it’s like every nothing if it’s good, it’s worth doing. It’s worth doing right. And it’s worth investing what it takes to do you know, I think everybody’s out there oftentimes looking for shortcuts, looking for ways to you know, do more with less. And sometimes you need more to do more. And these guys are never afraid of doing it. I think it’s it’s been a good lesson for me as I’ve grown my business, the value of relationships, the value of being willing to invest bet on yourself, and then put in the hard work that it takes to get there because nothing’s Nothing’s ever easy. It just looks that way from the outside.

John Corcoran 43:51

Jeff, this has been great. Where can people go to learn more about you and JK Squared?

Jeff Goldscher 43:55

So I’ve got a website, it’s They can also email me [email protected]. We’ve got a YouTube page. We’ve got I’ve got a LinkedIn profile. But you know, I’m always I’m always interested in new challenges and I’m always looking for new things to take on. So my websites the best way to sort of get an introduction and then shoot me a note and let’s talk to people. 

John Corcoran 44:19

Alright, Jeff, thanks so much,

Jeff Goldscher 44:20

John, thanks for your time. I appreciate it.

Outro 44:22

Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast.