Rand Fishkin is just one of six people on Season 2 of Million Stories on Faceplant. If you are unfamiliar with Faceplant, refer to my last post here. It will be streaming for Free, which is even better!
A Bit About Rand Fishkin
I had the opportunity to ask Rand Fishkin a few questions, which I will include below, but first, I will give you an excerpt with a little about him. If you are in the website/blogging arena, you might even know who he is! Primarily if you have ever worked on SEO.
- Rand Fishkin- $50M in Mistakes: What Moz Founder Learned from Failure
Rand Fishkin, an internet entrepreneur, faced immense pressure to deliver exponential growth for this first venture, SEO Moz, which yielded $30M in revenue in 2014. Despite the company’s success, the slow and steady growth was insufficient for investors. This and their struggles to launch a new product led to his departure as CEO and the company’s subsequent sell-off. He experienced significant mental and emotional turmoil during this period, yet it shaped his future approach to entrepreneurship. With his next venture, SparkToro, Fishkin prioritized health, relationships, and meaningful work, demonstrating that success isn’t always synonymous with becoming a billion-dollar company.
My Interview with Rand Fishkin
1. What advice would you give to people new to management positions?
Honestly, I think I’m generally not the right person to advise on this… unless you’re running a small, nimble, nearly-no-management style company. In that case, my advice is this: hire folks you like and trust, give them the freedom to succeed and the room to fail and try again, don’t be too afraid of letting folks go and hiring others — it’s OK to make a few mistakes in hiring (just like it’s OK to make a few mistakes in your work). Create the lightest possible set of processes you can. Make sure your team/employees like that process and believe it helps them do their best work. Throw it out if it doesn’t.
And finally, create an environment where everyone feels psychologically safe. That’s the only commonality researchers have identified that consistently correlates with high-performing vs. low-performing teams.
2. Where did you come up with the idea for SparkToro?
Casey (my cofounder) and I talked to many agency owners and in-house marketing researchers who spent hundreds of hours crawling data from the public web/social networks to create high-fidelity audience research reports. We were outraged at how time-consuming and expensive that process was and thought, “We should just build that for the entire Internet.” It’s easier said than done, but it’s proved possible!
3. How do you find time in your daily schedule to fit in everything you do? (CEO, author, family man/personal time)
Real answer? Geraldine and I don’t have kids. I have no idea how parents do it. Casey and his wife have two girls. Amanda and her husband have two as well. I’m blown away by their productivity! For me, honestly, it’s pretty easy. I even have time to play video games.
I appreciated the time Rand took to answer my questions. I could spend time with him reviewing ideas on managing people (even though he said he wasn’t one to give advice). His answers and insights were very much valued.
Episodes of Season 2 of ‘Faceplant’ are available now to stream for free on MillionStories.com.”