Permission to Kick Ass

73: Chris Orzechowski

Episode Summary

Today’s guest is my good friend Chris Orzechowski, who deliberately blew up a successful freelancing with consistent $20k+ months. Why? Boredom. He moved from freelancing to consulting, and from consulting to starting an agency. With each evolution of his business, Chris encountered new problems… but in true “Orzy” fashion, he faced them head-on like the former wrestler he is. If you’re ready to move to the next level, this one will help you start developing your CEO mindset.

Episode Notes

I’m particularly excited about the timing of this episode, as it’s airing mere weeks after the birth of Chris’s second son. Not to mention that Chris and I have worked together for a long time… so I have a unique perspective into his evolution. He’s proof you don’t need an MBA or formal business training to become a CEO – with the right mindset (and recognizing what brings you energy vs draining it) you can create AND climb up your own success ladder. Listen now. 

Can’t-Miss Moments From This Episode:

This one is jam-packed full of advice. Don’t miss out - listen now!

Chris’ Bio:

Chris Orzechowski is the founder of Orzy Media, an email marketing agency for top online brands. He's written two bestselling books on email marketing. He also publishes a popular print newsletter called Make It Rain Monthly that's read in over 30 countries around the world.

Resources and links mentioned:

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Episode Transcription

Angie Colee (00:01):

Welcome to Permission to Kick Ass. A podcast about leaving self-doubt in the dust, punching fear in the face and taking bold action toward your biggest dreams. I'm Angie Colee, and let's get to it. Hey and welcome back to Permission to Kick Ass. Making his second appearance on the show is Chris Orzechowski. Say hi, Chris.

Chris Orzechowski (00:26):

Hey Chris. Hey Angie. How's it going?

Angie Colee (00:32):

I, well, Hey, it's totally appropriate cuz you're both a business owner and a dad now. So like dad jokes have to be the thing, you know.

Chris Orzechowski (00:38):

Always, always with the dad jokes.

Angie Colee (00:42):

Hi hungry. How are you?

Chris Orzechowski (00:44):

It's just in the DNA. Something happens at like, like your mitochondria, like it unlocks the dad joke power. I don't know. It's wild what happens? Evolution? You know,

Angie Colee (00:52):

Does it also unlock the, uh, obsession with the thermostat? Is that still a thing?

Chris Orzechowski (00:58):

Not yet, but I, I sense that'll be happening soon. I imagine.

Angie Colee (01:02):

That's awesome. Well, tell us a little bit about your business and what you do.

Chris Orzechowski (01:06):

Yeah, so I own an email marketing agency called Orzy Media and, uh, Angie is our copy chief and creative director. And we've been working uh, together for now for about two years or so there. And, uh, basically what I do is I just help online brands, mostly eCommerce brands, but also some brands sell some digital products and sometimes software and basically anyone who has an email list and wants to make more money from their customer base. They come to us and we devise a strategy and do a lot of execution for them. And sometimes that's creating automations or helping them with their launches or helping them with their, you know, ongoing weekly messaging strategy with their emails, uh, pretty much everything in between. So yeah, that's, that's the gist of it.

Angie Colee (01:46):

I loved, I mean, I've loved working behind the scenes. Not only is the team really awesome and we have a lot of fun. Uh, not only do I occasionally call you and tell you, Hey, I'm gonna to Disney world today. Uh, can we push that meeting back till tomorrow? But, uh, we, we've also just done some really amazing things, our clients, and that's not to brag, but it's really helped me with some of my own coaching students who struggle with like pricing or seeing the value in their work. And when I can point out like, Hey look, we just created one email sequence. That's done like $50,000 in its first week. So when you're looking at pricing and you're worried about whether they wanna pay you a hundred dollars in email, that's not the thing to look at. Like, let's look at the value, add that you were bringing to their business, not the words and the price. So, uh, you've been undergoing an interesting transition lately, which I think is really cool because you and I both started in freelancing around the same time. Like we went through RFL with Kevin and it's like, we were always talking about Kevin on the show. Um, and it's interesting to me because I'm going through this shift myself, right? There's kind of a freelancer mindset that evolves into a consultant mindset when you're doing this kind of creative work. And now you are taking the next evolution from consultant into CEO. Do you wanna talk a little bit about that evolution?

Chris Orzechowski (03:07):

Yeah. It's, it's been a wild ride that's for sure. Um, you know, freelancing is, uh, it's awesome. It really is. It's to just be able to, like, it's simple, it's a very simple business model. You think it's complex when you start out. I remember I did, but then after a while you like master it, it's like once you know how to get clients and you know how to do what you're good at. Um, you get into this like really awesome sweet spot. And what I found was like, when, you know, it might take a few years, but if you are really good at what you do and you have a specialty and you become known for that specialty, you can get to the point where, you know, $10,000 months are the norm. And then you get to the point where you're doing 15,000, $20,000 a month. And you know, maybe you have some expenses, some software expenses, some education expenses, maybe like a mastermind or a couple newsletters or things that you're subscribed to. And maybe your profit margins are 75, 80%. So you think on a $20,000 a month business, you're taking home 16 before taxes. It's a nice life. It's a really nice life. It's pretty, you know, even if you're only doing like 12 or 15 or 10, even like that's a, to be able to work from home on your computer and have complete autonomy and work asynchronously, like it's a really solid setup, but what happens is sometimes you get a little bored. Right. And I know that sounds a, like almost like glib for me to say, right? Like, oh, like, you know, I I'll admit like it it's it, but the thing is you, sometimes you do get bored. And I got to the point where I was like, what's next? You know, like I kind of, I I'm very much into like saying, oh, I wanna do this new thing and figuring it out and working really hard until I figured out. And then as soon as I figured out, like bored, wanna do the next thing. And I'm sure there's probably a lot of people out there who are like that. So for me, the next thing was, you know, moving to consulting and kind of reinventing the business there, but it still felt a lot like freelancing. And the only thing was instead of me being able to just go and get the result for people I had to use, like, you know, use psychological mind games to get them, to get the result that I want them to get. So like, it was almost, it was almost harder. It was almost like, you know what, just let me write this for you because I can't like, do Jedi mind tricks on you today? Like, I'm, I'm tired. Let me just do this and, and, and solve the problem instead of having teaching you to solve the problem. Uh, and whatever, like it depends, you know, like sometimes it's awesome. Sometimes it feels like that though, but still, it felt like the same thing. And then I said to myself, you know, people have agencies and I always, you know, I'm a big fan of Madman and I was always like, man, it'd be so cool to have my own agency. And I didn't know what that involved. And I just knew that I wanted to do it. And I said, maybe it'll be a fun, little experiment to figure out and like, okay, God forbid it doesn't work. I can just go freelance again. Like what's, what's the big deal, you know? Um, so I took my nice cushy life, you know, my 20,000, $25,000 a month freelance business. And I blew it up, I destroyed it. And I said, okay, you are no longer going to offer this. And you are going to have to now figure out this whole new direction of, you know, managing people and, you know, mobilizing your own people and your own team and creating systems and pulling systems out of your brain and putting them onto paper and making sure your stuff is so good that you could literally hand someone else and they can get the same exact result that you can at least close enough to where it makes sense. And then you're gonna have to be okay with that. And you're gonna have to have to be okay with the work. And then you're gonna sit in the CEO chair, which is very different than like, people like to, you know, you go on social media and everyone's got like CEO in their bio, right. Like CEO I'm, I'm my own boss. And like when you're freelancer, like, you're like, okay, maybe you are, but it's, it's a, it's like, you're riding the bike with the training wheels on. And then once the training wheels come off and now you're careening down, you know, a cliff with obstacles and you know, like fire shooting up from, from canyons that, that that's the bike ride you're on now. Right? Like it's completely different landscape, right? Umhmm when you have a team and when you have payroll and I always like to say like, nothing matures you faster in business than having a payroll because. You know, people like to go on social media a lot. And they like to say, oh, well I know so much about marketing and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And this company should be doing this. And like, these guys are so dumb and okay. Yeah. Maybe, but maybe they're also are juggling me a million balls that wants, and you have no idea what's going on their business. And it's, it's, It's a totally different beast.

Angie Colee (07:21):

That's my biggest pet peeve. Especially when I see folks that are newer to marketing and they, they see something that's happening from the outside and it doesn't immediately make sense to them. So they proclaim that this is a stupid strategy. This isn't really gonna get them results. I'm like, eh, is it though? Is it, uh, you have no idea what's going on behind this scenes. And this ad that you think is stupid could actually be crushing it, which might be the reason that they're actually running it, like over and over and over again, despite the fact that you don't like it. Maybe you're just not the audience here. So when I see people shooting their mouths off, I'm like, you don't have enough data sweetheart, about learn a little bit more first.

Chris Orzechowski (07:56):

Yeah. And on top of that, it's like, I don't know. Sometimes people point things out to you and like, Hey, you know, like you're doing this with your funnel, but like, you really should be doing this. You're like, yeah, you had a typo on the sub sale page. You don't know if you know this. It's like, well, thanks for pointng that out. Like, you know, we just lost $20,000 in monthly of recurring revenue. I'm trying to solve that problem right now. And like, yeah, maybe, maybe the typo can wait till tomorrow. You know, like maybe there's a bigger fish to fry. And, and that's the thing like when you, when you are this CEO of your own business and you have team, it's like, there's a different set of priorities about what's important. It doesn't mean the little things aren't important. They absolutely are. But like the way that you go about solving problems and thinking about how you spend your time, like, you know, all of your time is spent in capital allocation mode. And like what that means capital allocation just means like you have capital, which is money, right? Because what happens is once you solve and, and, and me as you were chatting about this earlier today, but, um, there's this book that, uh, Ashley from a squared, uh, Ashley Bergoff told me about called written by Mike Michalwicz. It's called fix this next. And he has this whole like system. I haven't read the book, but I remember she was kind of walking me through the, the essence of it. Basically there was like this hierarchy of needs in a business. And like, one of the lowest hierarchy of needs is sales. I'm like a lot of people, they build a business and they might not ever move past that stage where like they have sales figured out, right. And putting air quotes around figured out. But like once you have sales figured out what that means is that you have offers and you have services and you have ways to bring in money consistently. And predictably month after months, like there might be peaks and valleys. There might be fat months. There might be lie months, but there's always, you know, you have ways to bring in money to your business. You have offers that are proven that work once you solve that, that is like a whole new world of, okay, well, what happens after you figure out sales? What happens after conversion is no longer a problem? How do you grow? How do you take that money that's coming in that free cash flow and apply it in the right direction? And the thing is, it's not just necessarily about cashflow too, because what you learn, you have a team. Is that okay? Well now I have, four people who are on retainer, right. I have four contractors and okay, how do I direct them and be a leader and help set the right initiatives to make sure that we're gonna continue to grow this thing. And these people are gonna be able to protect their, uh, roles essentially, and keep bringing in money while also investing in money for future growth and being okay with leaving one marshmallow on the table. So we can have two in the future. And that is a whole different ballgame.

Angie Colee (10:20):

Yeah. It's interesting to me, cuz I was taking notes while you were talking. And one of the things that I wrote down and circled a couple times is this idea of control, right? Cause you actually have the most control in the freelancer stage of this evolution. You get to execute it. The way that you think is, is the way you get to make your argument to the client who sees you as the expert. And it's, it's great. Right? You can generate a lot of results, a lot of Goodwill, a lot of word of mouth that way. Then you evolve to consultant. And I love the fact that you said Jedi, mind tricks. Like I laughed so hard because especially a lot of people that are still in the freelance stage, they it's just like, they're, they're completely gobsmacked. When I say, yeah, people pay me a lot of money to not listen to me. They're like they can't even fathom a world where that's the case. And I'm like, it they're, they're hiring me for outside perspective. And if, if what I say vibes with them, which hopefully it does, they'll execute it and get great results. But there's also like team dynamics. The, the owner might be completely on board with what I have to say, but they're getting pressure from their team to go in a different direction. Like there's a whole bunch of stuff I can't control beyond what advice I give. And then after that I just kind of have to let them handle it, how they would handle it and be available when they have questions, if they chose a different direction and like Jedi mind tricks, we've talked about this a lot. Cause I'm pretty good at what I, what I call inceptioning people. Yeah. I'll, I'll ask questions in such a way to where they eventually are. Like, you know what? I had this great idea. It's actually the thing I said 15 minutes ago in the form of a question, but it's their idea and they wanna run with it. Fantastic. I don't care who gives credit as long as we run it.

Chris Orzechowski (12:03):

It's a skill. Definitely. It's a, it's a, it's a very difficult skill developer. It's very valuable, you know?

Angie Colee (12:08):

And then like evolving into the CEO. As you said, now you've got these contractors. I, the contractors, but that's, that's why I wrote that word control because it's interesting to me, like you have a little bit less control in every evolution. The, the further up you go, which is interesting because people who haven't yet been an actual CEO, right. They're they're still in the early stages of their business. They think the CEO is the ultimate control factor. Like I control everything and you actually don't control a whole lot.

Chris Orzechowski (12:37):

Yeah. You can't because as the company grow grows, there's more and more roles and there's more and more functions and offers and infrastructure and operations and those things. And what I've learned about being a CEO, listen, I'm not, I'm not like Steve jobs here, right? Like I'm not saying that. I'm just saying, I've learned what I, based off what I've had to learn. It's a lot about capital allocations, lot about leadership. And it's a lot about like setting vision and then just making and really like hiring and getting the right people on the bus. And um, you know, we've made some good hires and we've made some not so good hires. Right. And you could always tell because when you make a bad hire, it's like, when, you know, there's like an organ transplant, except the organ transplant doesn't take because the blood types don't match or whatever, you know, like, however that works, like the body rejects it. Right. And like, that's, your organization is kinda like a body and everything's gotta function, um, you know, function properly. And there's kinda like a feel intuitive feel to it. Right. Yeah. So, and that's, that's the thing, that's a whole nother skill. Like everyone's like, oh, I'll be the CEO. And like, I'll be the man. Right. I'll be, I'll be the man. Yeah. I'm the CEO. But like, okay, do you know how to hire people? Do you know how to fire people? Do you know how to delegate? Do you know how to create infrastructure? Do you know how to create management structure? Do you know how to analyze your free cash flow and your expenses and look at a, a P and L uh, month after month and say, okay, do we need to make changes? Like, what do we need to do for next quarter? How do we set the 90 day initiative? Like, there's a lot of stuff that you, you know, I didn't go to business school. I mean, like I got a master's in, in, in special education, my major was sociology. Like I didn't do business. Um, so I had to learn all this stuff, you know, essentially like in, in the trenches, you know? And each week you just learn a little bit at a time, but, um, it's definitely a crazy evolution that you go through, but it matures you fast because you have to, because that's thing, like when you have payroll, it's like, you don't have the same luxuries of just being very, um, um, theoretical about things I guess.

Angie Colee (14:36):

Oh yeah. And I, I, I love that you brought up the idea of like, you didn't go to business school incidentally. I don't think a lot of people know that I did. I have a master's degree. That's, uh, it's not an MBA, but it's a hybrid creative business degree. I learned a lot about how to turn creative ideas and intellectual property into businesses. Um, and I would say also while I was in school, the business classes were the least interesting to me because it was all theoretical, like you said, but once I got into business and I had a concrete application, my own business, suddenly the stuff was a lot more interesting and I'm learning a lot more than I ever did in the classroom while it was all still theoretical in other people's businesses. So I just find that fascinating. I also find it fascinating that you brought up Steve jobs being the ultimate CEO, cuz there's a story about him that not a lot of people know. So I, I love researching things like failure, just, just to show people that like, even your heroes can fail. Did you know that Steve job was fired from apple once upon a time?

Chris Orzechowski (15:34):

Yeah. Yeah. I read that his biography. Yeah. Yeah.

Angie Colee (15:36):

He was fired because he was obsessed with this idea of perfectionism and it was totally toxic to his teams. And after a while, you know, obviously he got that maturity, he came back, he became the leader. He was, but that, I, I tell that story not to, to make you scared, but hopefully, you know, to everybody that's listening, even Steve jobs fucked up and got fired, it's just a learning process and you're gonna make mistakes and missteps. But yeah, I, I think, uh, you have been doing great as a leader. You know, I'm a little bit biased as a member of the team, but I I've definitely worked with people who micromanage, like they criticize or they otherwise do things that feel intuitive to them, but are actually like counterproductive. That's interesting to me.

Chris Orzechowski (16:21):

Yeah. Well, I mean, it's all about like goals, incentives, right. And I know like my ultimate goal is to just do nothing and it doesn't mean I just wanna like sit in a room and like stare at the wall, but I know that like I'm on the treadmill running as fast as I can actually, this probably isn't a good analogy. I'm trying to think of one on the fly. But like, I, I know like we're sprinting and we're doing a lot of things with a lot of infrastructure in place, but it's like we do these sprints to either create an asset or a piece of infrastructure or a role for someone. And then once it's set, then like I can hop off the treadmill and they can hop on. And again, it's not a great analogy, but I'm, I'm kind of fishing here, but uh, yeah, I'll think of something better before episode three, but you know, that, that's what it is. It's like I'll sprint now. So that way someone else can, can, I can hand the Baton off to someone else. Right. And that is part of the job too. It's like your only job as a CEO is to like replace yourself from all of your, the crucial or ex to me as a business owner is to replace your, all, all of the functions that you do in the business.And that like, that's, I'm driven by the desire to do nothing. Um, I'm driven by the desire to do nothing. So that way I could do other stuff that interests me because that's the thing, like I get bored. I like figuring stuff out. And there's people who are, um, certain people are built in terms of like the way that their minds work for different things. It doesn't mean anyone's worse or better. Like the person who starts McDonald's is not the same person who scaled McDonald's and grew McDonald's. And is not the same person who oversees, you know, 3000 locations around the world today. Like those are all very different roles and different entrepreneurs doesn't mean one is better or worse than the other. It's just people are meant to, to play different roles. And like, I know that my role is probably not the person who's going to manage the thing long term and be the good steward of the business for the next 30 years. It doesn't mean we're not gonna be involved. That just means that I'm gonna be off experimenting and tinkering and launching new things and, and, and, and, you know, playing in my lab instead of worrying about being the person, who's gonna say, okay, how do we hit that 15% growth year after year and incrementally increase and, you know, mature the business that way. So, and again, like maybe, maybe that changes in the future, but at least now in the season of life that I'm in, I'm doing what feels right. And not worrying about, you know, the there's, there's just different, different structure, different folks, I guess, you know?

Angie Colee (18:37):

Yeah. Well, and that's, that's interesting too, because I know in the world that we're in, we're, we're both leaders in marketing, particularly email marketing and copy, and I've had a lot of people ask me why I haven't created a copywriting course. And like, there's so many good courses out there. I don't really care enough to create a good copywriting course. And I think that's part of the reason that you and I work to together. So well is you teach, copy amazingly well, and you already talked about how people management isn't necessarily the thing that you wanna do. That's where I come in, because you've got the course and I'm a good people manager and a good teacher, and it's just like such a symbiotic, really good relationship. I've had a lot of people that I've coached in other programs that are like, oh wow. But like Chris teaches copy and you teach copy. And how does that work? I'm like, I don't know. We just, we, he talked about it and I took over for the things that he wasn't really interested in, that I'm super passionate about. I love nurturing the talent, the copywriting talent that we have on the team. I'm really good at shepherding them in different directions to help them get the best possible ideas. I'm also really good at inceptioning the clients and, and preventing things from blowing up. And I have fun with all of those things where that's not necessarily something that you're interested in doing. Would you say that's accurate

Chris Orzechowski (20:00):

A hundred percent. Yeah. Um, and that's the thing, like, it's all about energy at the end of the day. It's like, what are the, like, in terms of like, if you were gonna create a copy course, like, can that sustain you energy wise for the next five or 10 years? Because that's the thing too. Like people like, oh yeah, we'll just do a course. And like, listen, courses are awesome. I'm not gonna sit here and say that I regret creating any courses. Like I love courses, but courses are a business. They are a full-time job. And people don't get that because what happens when you have a course, then you need a list. You need to continue to grow the list because you need to feed leads through your funnels. You need to develop the funnels. You need to optimize the funnels. You need to gather, uh, you know, user generated content and feedback, and then improve the product and improve the marketing assets. You need to bring on partners. Maybe if that's part of your strategy or you need to figure out paid traffic, we need to figure out how to get more publicity, media appearances. You need to figure out, okay. People are trying to pirate my course, how do I, you know, fuck them up essentially. Right? Like how do I ruin their lives? Uh, and Sue the out of them. Like, that's another thing too. You gotta, no one tells you about, we all just do a course. It'll be great. And like, yeah, it can be great and it can be scalable, but there's a lot of different things. And you say, okay, with the money that I made from this course, where do I then take that cash flow and reinvest it so I can continue to get returns from this offer. And so that the offer doesn't go stale or die. Okay. Someone else has a similar course. Now they're stealing some, my market share what I do to innovate. So again, I'm not trying to scare anyone off from doing it, but I'm very much a believer. Like one thing I've learned, because feel like for, you know, this is year nine on my copy writing career I have. And I think a lot of people, I don't think it's just me who does this. I think a lot of people are guilty this, but like that the grass is always greener syndrome, right? Like the grass is always greener when I'll do freelancing. And then you do freelancing. Like, you know what? I think the grass is greener. If I was gonna do consulting, do consulting, and you say the grass is gonna be greener when I have digital products. And they say, actually, you know what, this is cool. But maybe the grass is actually greener when I do at the agency. And then you do everything on the list and you say, okay, all of these things actually have problems. There's no perfect solution. And part of growing up as a business owner and, or being an adult in general saying, okay, all these things have problems and that's fine, but what set of problems do I want to deal with every day and deal with for the next five or 10 years? And then just being, you know, just being a big boy and saying, okay, I will voluntarily deal with this set of problems. So I could also deal with, or have these rewards that come from this particular thing that I'm invested in. That doesn't mean any of these options are right or wrong. It's just, you know, different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Angie Colee (22:28):

Oh yeah. I love that. I've heard it phrased as like trading up with your problems. Um, cuz it, yeah, there's, there's definitely this thought in entrepreneurship that if I just get the right course or the right strategy or the right product, somehow all of my life problems are magically gonna resolve themselves. Eh, it's not really the way it works folks. Um, one of my other mentors phrased it as pick your pain and I really like that. It's like the, okay, so every potential challenge or thing that really excites you and, and gets you fired up to get going is gonna come with its own set of pain. So you get to choose like, do I want the pain of staying comfortable and knowing that there's potentially more, but I don't really wanna pursue that. Do I pick the pain of this is new and unknown and I no idea how it's gonna work and it could potentially get complicated, but let's do it. Like there's gonna be pain with every single challenge you face.

Chris Orzechowski (23:18):

Oh yeah. That's, that's a great phrase. Pick the pain. Another thing too, that, that you mentioned, like, you think you'll do this thing and, and everything, like all your problems disappear. Like even with the money, like that's, that's the thing that I've realized. Like, because I remember when I did RFL and we did the RFL dollar exercise and you write down like how much you wanna make. And like, my ultimate goal was like 20 K and I think it took me about 14 months until I had my first $20,000 month. And uh, you think like, oh, you hit your goal. And you're like, oh my God, like the clouds are gonna part and like a ray, sunshine is gonna shine down and the, you know, the heavens will sing and the little birdies will start, you know, chirping by you. And it's this magical moment. Time stands still. And like, everything is right and finally peace and com. But like what happens is you hit your goal and then you say, oh, okay, cool. Or, you know, maybe celebrate. Right. But then like you still got the same problems. And then what was really weird for me was like, you know, we don't hit this every month, but like when you have a hundred thousand dollars month and you're like, holy shit, six figures in a month. Right. And you can never even imagine that you can never even fathom because when you worked at your day job, you made $54,000 in a year. And how you made over a hundred thousand dollars in a month and that's top line, not profit, obviously. Yeah. We're talking about right. Um, and you think, wow, when I can make six figures in a month, like that's one, my problems gonna disappear. And then it happens and you're like, oh wow. All my problems didn't disappear. I still have problems may or may not even have more problems than I had before. Again, doesn't mean that it's not worth it. It is. It's just knowing like, okay, you know, when you get to $200,000 a month, when you get to a million dollars a month, like it, there's no magical number where you're ever gonna be like, okay, now I can finally be happy and content. Right. There's no magic number where you're like, okay, everything in my life is right. Like you're always gonna have to work on everything. And um, it's like, once you accept that fact into your life, every like a lot of your stress disappears and a lot of your fear disappears, because you know, like we have months, we we'll spend $70,000, you know? Um, and you wanna vomit, you know, there was one month we made like 75 K and then I think we, our expenses and we had to pay like 19,000 in taxes that month too. So I think it was, you know, 71,000, $75,000 came in. It's like $72,000 went out. I wanted to vomit and was like, geez, like this sucks. You know, like that was one of my bigger months at the time. And I was like, man, like, this is great. We made so much money. And I'm like, man, there's like nothing left over. But, uh, it doesn't mean every month is like that. Like I said, there's fat months and lean months, but it's you just get okay with that? You say, okay, well this is just business and this is just, um, okay, well, how do we make it better for next month? And what do we have to trim? Where can we make more sales? And what can we do to expand or create new offers or change or more pricing or, you know, there there's, there's always another problem solve.

Angie Colee (25:57):

I love that too, because the way that you just phrased that was okay. So how do we solve for that? It wasn't taking the mindset that like, oh shit, we brought in 75 and 72 went out, like I'm fucked. I suck at this business thing. I'm never gonna figure it out. It was okay. Where do we trim expenses? Cool. To bring that 72 number down, where do we add in more sales so we can bring the 75 number up. Okay, cool. That's like problem solving mode, I think is such a rare skillset in these days. And I, and I say that being someone that used to not be much of a problem solver, I, I think I told somebody on a recent podcast episode that I appreciated my old copy chief when I was still working at a day job so much because of his ability to pull me into the office and be like, could you close the door? Could you sit down? Like, let's talk about this. Um, because I have always had the ability to like zoom in and zoom out. I can see the big picture strategy and I can see all the little details. That's one of my superpowers. And when I was still developing this superpower, I had this nasty habit when I was, uh, uh, an in-house copywriter of just telling people that this is gonna be a problem. All right. If we do this course of action, like six months ago, six months later, this is how this is gonna turn out. And this is a big problem. We need to do something about it. But notice that, like, we need to do something about it. I never actually had a something for us to do. So one day my old boss pulled me in and he was like, so I'd really, I, I think it's great that you can foresee these challenge is coming. And to know that we could head them off, what would really help me is that next time you find a problem like this, you also bring me a solution. And I was like, oh shit, you're right. Just pointing out problems without having any potential solutions is bitching. That's what I've been doing. I've just been bitching.

Chris Orzechowski (27:41):

Yeah. I mean, you know, cause, and that's the thing like with that new level new devil thing.

Angie Colee (27:48):


Chris Orzechowski (27:49):

It works both ways because like, yes, it works when like things are going good, you're making more money and you're like, okay, I'm on a new level now there's new problems. But it also works the other way where like you realize the problems you do have like, wow, I've been complaining about these things. Like I look at Peloton and like I wrote about this in my newsletter, how I was so pissed because I thought just Peloton was just, you know, they, they had a great run through, through the pandemic and like I was buying stock and slowly adding to my position. And then I just, you know, took my eye off the ball and didn't sell when I should have and took a big bath on Peloton stock. Part of it was like, you know, they were doing HBO, they got trashed in, uh, the, was that show Sarah Jessica Parker, the, uh, and just like that, right? Oh yeah. That, that, that new sex in the city show. And then in, in Showtime, on billions, there was another guy who like had a heart attack in the show after going on Peloton and then all of a sudden then, uh, they missed earnings and then they, uh, and then the CEO stepped down and they, they hired McKinzie. McKinzie told him, Hey, stop producing bikes and fire, like 20% of your staff. And like, it's just like beating after beating. And I just saw what was going on. I said, you know what? I don't have those problems. Like sure. Like, okay, I lost some money in the stock, whatever, but like, I'm not the CEO of that company. And man, if I was the CEO of that company, those are real problems. You know what I mean? Like this is like a thousand people or plus got laid off, you know what I mean? Like those bigger problems than what I'm, than what I have to deal with. So like me worrying that like, oh my gosh, we spent a little bit too much money this month or this client fired us. Or like, like, okay. In the grand scheme of things, like there's bigger problems in the world than what I'm dealing with. So that's the thing sometimes it's, it's okay to be like happy with the problems that you have and realize like, oh, I, I don't have to deal with, you know, all these other bad things that other people have to deal with. I'm actually kind of fortunate.

Angie Colee (29:31):

Oh yeah. You know, and that's, that brings up an interesting point for me because of this idea that we talked about back at the beginning with like hiring people and learning how to lead people. So in my role in helping run the team and this fact that I helped manage the clients, we had an interesting situation once where we had a client that was paying us a really nice five figure retainer per month to run all their emails. And also there were a lot of miscommunications that led to a lot of stress and eventually of the writers on the account reached out to me and was like, I cried today. This is stressing me out so much. I don't think I can work on this account anymore. And immediately after that happened, I came to you and I was like, okay. So I know what I'm about to ask is a big ask, but maybe we need to consider parting ways with this client, because if it comes down to losing this writer who is amazing and who knows our systems and who can get up to speed on new accounts really fast and losing this client who, you know, that's great at tying into what you were saying earlier with like the payroll concerns and stuff like that. Woohoo. I think we could find another client, but it's gonna be a lot harder to replace this particular writer or who has a lot of skills. And I don't know, maybe you have a different recollection of how that conversation went, but I remember being so nervous bringing that up to you. And like, I really hope that we can keep this writer and I don't really care about the account anymore.

Chris Orzechowski (30:55):

No. I mean, you know, and it happens, right? Like, and that's the thing, like what I've learned in client services as, as a general role for like anyone, whether it's copywriter or email marketing or whatever you're doing is you, well, a couple things like one, you gotta kiss a few frogs to get to your princess, right? Like that's, that's one thing. The other thing too, is like, there's a gut feeling and an intuition, like, you know, when you have a good client and it's kind of like the same thing as like, you know, like Warren buffet and Charlie, like they're philosophy of investing. Like they'll buy a company and they say, I'm gonna hold this company for the rest of my life. And that's how I feel about clients. Like there's certain clients like, like I look at like carnivore snacks. I look at Satchel page, I look at laptop empires. I look at, you know, Kevin Rogers and like the, you know, we do maybe a project two a year with him. Um, you know, there's clients, Rich Dad Poor dad, right? Where I'm like, I wanna work with these people, the rest of my life. I really enjoy them. They're awesome clients. Uh, we always produce good results and it's enjoyable experience. We, you know, we're on the phone, we're laughing, we're having a good time kicking around ideas. There's good, creative energy. Um, so like, again, like my, you know, dream clients will be different than yours. Everyone who's listening and that's fine. They should be right. Because we're all different people with different, you know, things that give us energy. But, um, that's the game. The game is trading up and trading for different clients and finding the people like by the end of your life, you should have a handful at the end of your career. You should have a few dozen people who you, you say like, you know, Oglivy David Oglivy when he started his agency, he wrote down like five, uh, dream clients that he wanted to work with. And by the time he was done with his career, he landed all five of those accounts. Right. And now I don't necessarily know if they were dreams because of the status of the accounts or the money that came with them or whether they were just genuinely good people, negative relationships, or maybe who knows. Maybe it was a combination, all three of those things. But what I believe is like from the services side of things, like your life can either be awesome or can be living hell based on the clients that you pick. And it doesn't mean if, if the client relationship is a living hell, that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with the people behind that business that you're working with. Right? Yeah. Like they could be like, we've had a lot of clients, some clients with the relationship was just not great, but they're awesome. People like, I, I could have a beer with these people. I could hang out with them and, you know, we could like, you know, I could be friends with 'em in real life. Right. Like they're awesome people, but from a working relationship perspective, it was just hell on earth. It doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with us to people because, you know, we all play different identities and different roles in our lives, depending on the context of the situation that we find ourselves in. So, you know, I know this is kind of like a meandering long longwinded way of saying all this, but I think that, um, you know, the, what I think about clients is like, there's always another one and eventually you'll get to the ones that you're meant to be with.

Angie Colee (33:39):

I love that. And I love that you pointed out the energy too, because I think that's something that we don't talk about enough in business. Especially if we get married to this idea of like, I need this one account or something like that. Yeah. But how do you feel in servicing that account? Are, are your employees coming to you crying like ours did to me like, am, am I burning one relationship in favor of another? Am I choosing money over the ongoing relationships that I have with my, my staff and my contractors? So I think energy is valid. Do I dread getting up and going to work? Or like, uh, I think one thing that makes us work so well together is I love getting up and checking the, the slack channels and seeing what's going on and what new projects we have, the, the team is actually so much fun to work with. And the clients that we attract are so much fun to work with. And that was the other thing that I loved that you said, you know, if you work with enough people, if you kiss enough, frogs, you eventually find the people that you love working with. And at that point, when you have that kind of solid relationship, it doesn't become about the money. It's like, okay, what could we do together next? Because we work so well to together that I know whatever we're gonna work on is probably gonna turn out great. So let's, let's figure out how we can work together next. I love that.

Chris Orzechowski (34:49):

Yeah. And, and that's, I think the future of work, I know it's a bit of a deviation, but the future of work is that it's people getting together and saying, how can we create something cool. And it doesn't necessarily mean it's defind by 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday, it doesn't necessarily mean full-time versus part-time like, I don't know. I think this is still very early, but when you look at like all the stuff happening with like finance and crypto, and like, I'm not gonna sit here and say, I understand all of the stuff completely. I'm not the smartest guy in the world, especially with the tech stuff, but I'm learning a little each day and starting to understand a little bit more and more, but the way I think the world is going to go, especially with like, with the gig economy and remote work and all these things is like, who's to say that you can't like, like the way that we built Orzt media, it took a lot of figuring out. And we're still figuring things out every single day. Like the company is a weird company because yes, we're an agency, but we also do training in education. We also do coaching. We do consulting. We actually have two coaching programs. Um, you know, we have digital products, we have books, uh, we have a lot of different stuff and the thing is, everyone works part-time and we get so much stuff done. Everyone works. Part-time like, no, one's really full-time. And like, it's sure there's some weeks when like everyone it's all hands on deck. And like, we're just like burning the midnight oil. And there's other weeks when like, you know, Angie will hit me up and say, Hey, I'm going to Disney World and say, cool, and have a good time. And you know, hit me up on your back. Right. But who's to say like, who, who, why can't you run a company like that? Why can't you have your people do that? Right. There's all these fractional roles. Everyone talks about like a fractional CFO or fractional CMO or fractional, whatever. And I think that's the future of work. It's just like, Hey, we need this thing done. You, you wanna team up and do this thing and here's the incentive for you and yes or no. And then like, I just think that that is the way maybe 10 years, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, the whole world will look like that. It might take a while for this to be adopted, but it seems like things are kind of going that way. So the way I think about building the company is like, how do we build in a fun way where everyone's enjoying the work we do. And, you know, we can do deals with people where it doesn't necessarily always have to fit into a salaried type relationship. Like there's pros and cons to that too. Um, but I, I view it like a pirate ship, right? Like who's on the pirate ship who knows where the next island is that we're gonna go plunder. And I know that has like a negative connotation, but like that's kinda the way it is. Right. It's kinda like, okay, you know, uh, who's coming along for this journey with us and let's, we don't know what lies ahead. We don't know what's gonna be on that island when we get there, but we know that there's treasure there, right. In this new project that we're gonna create. And we don't know how much treasure, but we're gonna go and, you know, sail over there and figure it out.

Angie Colee (37:16):

I love this. So, you know, on, on multiple, both the pirate ship and in the business world, Orzy Media is taking over and just changing the way, how shit is done. I love it. All right. This has been fantastic. They're definitely gonna have to have an episode three. Tell us a little bit more about your business, where to find you on the internet, all that jazz.

Chris Orzechowski (37:34):

Yeah. So, uh, my main site is the email Grab my book, make it rain, get a free copy PDF copy. Uh, just enter your email there somewhere. There'll be a popup box somewhere. Uh, you can find a little bit more about, you know, who I am and stuff we do. And then if you wanna work with the agency, um, you can go to Orzy, That's O R Z Y And that's our agency site. You can fill out application to speak with us and, um, yes, that's pretty much it.

Angie Colee (38:01):

Or you can join the coaching programs and get a little bit more one-on-one feedback with both me and Chris. It's fantastic.

Chris Orzechowski (38:06):

That's I should probably give that a plug too. Yes. We have the winter circle, which is, uh, you know, myself, Angie and Matt Spangler. And, um, we basically do a group call every single week. It's a small group coaching program. Um, we get to work pretty intimately with people. What we like to position is like you get to work with our agency without having to hire our agency because you get to use us for the strategy and guidance and feedback and messaging and all those things without having to pay the markups that you normally pay whenever you work with an agency. Uh, cuz obviously every agency marks up labor and puts a premium on things which, Hey, that's fine. You know, in the right situation, that might be okay with you. But if you're someone who has a team and you just need training for that team, or if you're someone who wants to learn how to do it yourself, but you still want guidance. You still want someone looking over your shoulder and helping you out of your step of the way. The winter circle is our program where we do that. Uh, it's super affordable. It's 4 95 a month. Uh, you know, I don't think you could ever hire any kind of agency for, for that affordable of a fee. And you know, when you think about it, it's like less than six grand a year. Like you can't even join any kind of coaching program for, for that. So we think it's pretty affordable. It's a pretty sweet deal and people getting all, some results, they're doubling, tripling, their email revenue, um, getting like insane, you know, per email, um, you know, sales numbers and things. So, you know, if you have a good business, it, it might be a good place for you.

Angie Colee (39:21):

Yep. Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on the show, Chris, and I will talk to you later.

Chris Orzechowski (39:26):

Thanks so much, Angie.

Angie Colee (39:30):

So that is it. Another awesome episode of Permission to Kick Ass on the books. If you want to know more about the show or if you want to know more about me, Angie Colee and the mission I'm on to help entrepreneurs punch fear in the face and do big bold things, then head on over to That is all one word together, Make sure to sign up for my email list so that you know whenever there's a hot, fresh and ready podcast episode out for you. And also on Mondays, I like to send out a little newsletter called Kick Monday's Ass. I'm sure you're totally, totally surprised by that. So thank you for being here with me today. I'm Angie Colee. Make sure that you share this with a friend that needs to hear this message today. Like it, share it. Comment wherever you're listening to this today and let's go kick some ass.