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Developing a Traffic-generating SEO strategy

In conversation with Brennen Bliss

In this episode of E Coffee with Experts, Matt Fraser caught up with Brennen Bliss, founder and CEO of Propellic (formerly PixelCutLabs). Brennen shares his first-hand experiences and strategies of building a business from scratch, generating 10X traffic in a year for a client, optimizing a website, and improving organic SEO. Watch now for some deep insights.

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t require success, it requires trying.

Brennen Bliss
Brennen Bliss

Hello, everyone. Welcome to E coffee with experts. I’m your host, Matt Fraser. Today on the show, I have a very special guest Brennen Bliss with me. Brennen is the founder and CEO of the award-winning travel, transportation, and tourism brands’ SEO agency, PixelCutLabs. He’s an SEO industry expert who, together with his team, raises the visibility of the brands he works with by leveraging the power of SEO strategy to build online revenue and bring in more sales. He takes no shortcuts in SEO and firmly believes that the road to success follows the data. B.se in Austin, Texas. Brennan spends his free time flying small planes and serving on the Entrepreneurs Organization accelerator board. Brennen, thanks so much for being on the show.

I am so happy to be here, and happy birthday to you.

Yes, it’s my birthday today. Thanks. Hey, Brennan, you’ve had an interesting journey. What did you want to be when you were a kid?

When I was a kid? The deeply ironic part of this is I started the company that I’m running now when I was 13 years old. So when I was a kid, no, I did not have an idea that I would be doing this. I had a couple of inclines that I would struggle to hold a job. But I did start this company at 13.

So you had an interest in digital marketing from computers and technology and all the things associated with it from a young age?

I did. I built my first app at 14 years old. My first website and my first computer at 11.  And it’s been downhill ever since.

So who’s the most influential person in your life and how have they impacted you?

I would have to say just the person that I’ve been closest to that fits this answer is my grandmother. Her name is Jean. She is a cancer survivor. She wasn’t college-educated. She has dyslexia just like I do. And she is the youngest child just like I am. And despite all of that she is the wisest person that I’ve ever met in my life and the strongest perseverant person and any little piece of her that I can embody. She is truly an inspirational and influential person in my life.

That’s awesome. Hey, you mentioned that you struggle with trying to stay focused. I think it’s something a lot of entrepreneurs and from what I understand marketers struggle with. Are there any strategies or techniques you use to help yourself stay focused that you’d be willing to share?

You are driving into a very, very long discussion, you have no idea. I’ll list off high level a couple of things. Number one is the space that I create for myself around me. So I cannot and will not try to work in the same room where I sleep or in the same room where I cook or in the same room where I have food. Anything that makes a space of work feels like anything else, detracts from my ability to focus. And that’s the case with a lot of people with ADHD. Limiting distractions, of course, but also seeking things that truly give joy and excitement and interest as the things that I’m working on. And delegating the rest of my team is the way that I can say focus by doing the things that I truly get excited about.

Yeah, what I heard. I struggle with ADHD as well so I know what it’s about. And I found it very interesting that one of the traits is that things that don’t interest people with ADHD, it’s very hard for them to get done.

Also, you say struggle, but the brilliant thing about ADHD, though, one of the many positives is that when someone with ADHD is excited, I believe the statistic is about one in every two entrepreneurs have ADHD.  The Entrepreneurs Organization did the study. I might be pulling that out of the air, but I’m fairly certain that I’ve heard that statistic to be true. But when we focus on something, and it’s something we get excited about, we can get it done, and about 1/10 of the time, it takes a normal person.

Yeah, that’s interesting. I know what you’re talking about. I’ve focused so hard on things I’m interested in that I get them done, but it’s nearly impossible for things that don’t interest me. How is entrepreneurship changing your life? I mean, you started when you were 13 and that’s pretty amazing. You haven’t gone down the traditional organic job path. So how would you say that has changed your life embracing the entrepreneurship model and starting your own business?

First of all, the reason I landed in entrepreneurship was not that I had these big desires of what I was going to do or this big goal. I had nothing else to do. I was bullied growing up. I had no friends. And we’re now talking 10-15 years ago. I filled the time by making websites and I was able to monetize that process. How entrepreneurship has changed my life? I would say the people that I spend the most time with, the people that understand me are fellow business owners going through the same struggles, going through the same opportunities and risks that I’m taking. I have to cite my very best friend, Amber, who runs a virtual assistant company. I would have never met her, had we not both been entrepreneurs. I get to have dinner with her on Friday. And it’s one of those relationships that would not have been created had I not first become an entrepreneur. And number two, I have done the work to surround myself with other entrepreneurs. So it is the community, that’s the most special thing to me, then also the side benefit of being able to create the outcomes that you’re after, without limitation.

Yeah, the freedom of those things. That’s why many people stay, the freedom in time and the freedom in my finances. Do you think there’s anything that can prepare someone for becoming an entrepreneur? As you said, you started of necessity. What advice would you give to someone who was looking to get into this? What knowledge can you pass on that you’ve gained?

Knowledge, yes and I’ll get to that in a second. There are some things that I’ve learned that are things that I use as my guiding principles and truth. What can prepare someone for being an entrepreneur is being an entrepreneur and going out and doing it. Selling something of your own that’s being an entrepreneur. It’s not this whole grand act. Success is a goal. But quote-unquote, being an entrepreneur doesn’t require success, it requires trying.  So I think once you’ve decided, and once it’s a bug. A compelling thing. It’s once you feel compelled to go and do something and take that risk. There are a couple of things that I keep as guiding principles; number one- without cash you can’t make good decisions. Cash is king and minimizes debt.

And another thing is that any good outcome or any negative outcome is a result of nothing other than people. Every problem is a people problem. Every success is a people’s success. It’s all about who you work with and surround yourself with. And then the most valuable thing I’ve done, which I mentioned earlier, was surrounding myself with other entrepreneurs so I didn’t feel like I was lonely, especially given there aren’t any partners in this company.

Did you join a mastermind or something like that? How did you find or meet up with the other entrepreneurs you connected with?

There’s an organization that I joined called The Entrepreneurs Organization, and they have an accelerator that requires $250,000 in annual revenue to join. And an EO proper requires 1 million and in some chapters 2 million in annual revenue to join. So what you’re doing is setting this standard for all of us going through similar issues. Given our size and grouping up and going into a completely transparent format, 100% confidential, and sharing your deepest darkest negatives and biggest, most positive wins with people there to experience that with you. And I would say nearly everybody I spend time with comes from that organization. Other organizations like Vistage for companies haven’t hit those revenue markers. And there are a bunch of other local meetups. But as far as what has been most valuable to me, that would be EO-The Entrepreneurs Organization.

Wow. Is that something that given the benchmarks that someone needs to have, is specific to your local area, or is it a worldwide organization?

So there were 17,000 members last time I checked worldwide. . It’s chapter-based. So I’m in the Austin chapter. We’ve got about 300 members here. And I would say the level of access, the level of unique experiences, the level of conversation, it’s just elevated beyond anything else I’ve ever seen. Not every chapter is the same, but they all operate under the same rules and principles. A global organization runs it. Every major country and every major city has a chapter nearby.

That’s neat. If anybody wants to find out more about that they could Google Entrepreneurs Organization, I’m assuming?

I would say yeah. Entrepreneur Organization or EO accelerator.

You mentioned that you built your first website when you were 13. Do you remember what it was?

I do. My brother was a baseball player. And I completely forgot about this for about five years. And I finally remembered this, I made my first website best baseball pics.com was what it was called. I would go to the ball games with my brother. I must have been nine. I would go to the baseball games. I would take pictures of other baseball players at the games and try to sell the pictures to the parents. Best baseball players and my brother’s 12-year-old baseball pics. I think the site is down. I think I saw a glare in your glasses trying to look it up. I hope the site’s not still there. But I’ll have to check that after this. I hope that it’s not. It’s something that I didn’t mean to share. But I did that. And that was my first entrepreneurial attempt. And the next one was websites. I learned how to do that. So I made one for my practice. I spent an entire summer doing that. And then continued to just talk to the people I knew, most of whom I worked with were parents or friends. And those parents are parents of people I went to school with who owned businesses.

Did they offer to hire you to do stuff for them?

I pestered them enough to get a couple of them to hire me.

Wow, that’s pretty amazing. So instead of getting a part-time job at McDonald’s, like many kids, do you just create your opportunities. That’s pretty neat.

I did have a week-long part-time job at Kroger. I was bagging groceries. There has to be a record for the worst grocery bagger that has ever walked the planet, and I’m fairly certain I own that award.

I had a similar job when I was 14 doing that. So I can relate. However, I enjoy talking to people when you take the groceries out to them. That was the one part of the job I liked doing. So how did you learn about SEO? You started building these websites when you were very young. How did you get started learning about SEO and digital marketing?

It’s fairly natural. You build the website, and then what? So they were like, how else can we work together because the work was good. The quality was good. They were getting a deal. Because I was spinning and finished my homework and then work on the sites. And in all honesty, probably the other way around.  First off, number one-for, the company to get more web design clients,  I taught myself SEO to get more web design clients. Sitting in the back of a classroom at 15 years old, I remember outranking the largest SEO agency in the DFW space for an SEO agency, Dallas. I did it. I was competing against a 60-person company. And it was just me. And that’s how I got all my web design clients after. So this is very powerful. So we started doing that, and then this is, I say we it was just me at the time, and I started building out every service, anything someone would pay us for.  I made the biggest mistake when I started taking money for social media, graphic design, and all these things, scrambling to find people to help resource those things. And it was not excellent work. So that only lasted for about two years. And then we chose the thing that was the most effective. And at this point, I had hired my first employee in my junior year of high school. And I decided with her and through an agency coach that I had brought on and hired to help us scale, to cut everything but SEO. And we began an SEO agency.

And you have focused on that ever since. That’s amazing. So one of your pieces of advice would be don’t try to be everything and anything to everybody.

The person who is everything to everybody is nobody to everybody. Yeah, that’s certainly not mine.

So if someone asks you about PPC, marketing funnels, or marketing automation, do you just refer them to somebody else?

I keep a running list of the people who have done great work for other clients so that I can refer them out. And the great thing about that is it builds relationships with people, and it typically returns the favour. Some people are excellent at things that we suck at. So might as well let them work with excellent people.

So what’s your process then for developing an SEO strategy for a potential client.

So we’ve to have two processes. One is called the SEO project planner and the organic visibility framework. The project planner is just the first sprint of the organic visibility framework. But a comprehensive and holistic SEO plan requires three main functions and four if it’s a locally-based company. As function or technical SEO, we want to make sure Google can read and understand the things on our website. Content- we want to put valuable content out that’s worthwhile and able to rank. And then finally, authority. If that content can’t rank on its own, we need to prove that we are valuable and meaningful in the space and do that through growing authority through link building. So every comprehensive SEO engagement that we call a fully managed SEO includes technical, content, and authority. And if it’s a company with local physical locations, then also a local SEO managing a local data profile.

So is this a framework, if you don’t mind me asking you, you can plead the fifth if you want, but is it a framework you’ve developed on your own?

It is something I developed over time. I would say 10 years now at this point. So nine to 10 years of developing this framework have resulted in a custom process. It works for brands of all kinds but specifically is built and tailored to companies that work in the travel and transportation and tourism spaces. The organic visibility framework is a combination and a very documented process of all the things that we’ve found to be the most powerful SEO tools at our disposal.

Well, that’s awesome. So you offered services, different types of services to different types of businesses. Did you niche down to specifically offering SEO to the specific niche of travel and tourism, websites, and businesses?

So everything is an evolving working process. We’re about to launch a rebrand. We’re changing our name. Because we’ve been riding on this new positioning for a while now but haven’t updated any of our messaging and branding, so we’ll change our name in about a month and a half. And everything you know about our company right now. Everything our clients know and love and everything that the people we work with know about our brand will be publicly visible. Once that goes live. I mean, this is a six-month project with several agencies involved. So it’s a lot of coordination. There’s a book. It’s called the business of expertise. It’s by David C. Baker. Are you familiar with that book?

No, but I’m googling right now.

It’s a fantastic book. I always keep a copy to give away next to me when I see people.

I might ask my wife to buy from me for my birthday.

The book talks about this progression of linear thought where you say number one; How do we rate and understand if a child is a smart, quote-unquote, smart child? And this is a flawed assessment. We all know, that IQ tests are flawed assessments. But generally, IQ tests use pattern recognition to identify whether someone’s smart or not even before they can speak. So if I were to hold up a picture of two frogs and a picture of a cat, the kid who points to the cat more consistently, or the one that’s not part of the pattern, will be the kid rated higher IQ. So what we do with this is extrapolate and say IQ equals expertise. And how do you grow your expertise? Pattern recognition. And how do you grow pattern recognition? You put yourself in more similar situations. So by subjecting ourselves to travel, transportation, and tourism space, we can use very, very effectively more than any other full-service agency could answer the deepest, most important SEO issues and questions for the travel transportation and tourism space because we have that deep expertise.

Hey, so I have a question. This is just fascinating. This book, I’m going to buy it. Because it’s one thing to be a topic expert on something, it’s another thing to turn that knowledge into dollars. You’ve developed this SEO framework. It’s one thing to know how to do SEO, it’s another thing to be able to put it into SOPs, as they call them and a process and a framework to get that done and be able to charge money for it, knowing what your cost per action is and all those things. So it’s very interesting. So I’m going to buy this book and read it and for everybody else, it’s called Business of expertise by David C. Baker.

He operates an agency. He publishes. My very good friend Deb said it one way, and I’ll censor this for this conversation,  but he’s the person you hire to unscrew your company before you sell it. It is known as the marketing agency whisperer, my knowledge. It’s probably the best book that I’ve read in the past year.

How do you handle like? For instance, I was the marketing director for a car dealership for five years, and there was an agency that did marketing for various dealerships in the same area. So we were a Mazda dealership. They did it for us. But there was a Toyota dealership in the same area, and they were doing marketing for them. How do you avoid a conflict of interest if two different travel companies come to you and want you to do SEO for them? Have you ever run into that problem, and how do you deal with it if you have?

So let me first diversify travel company. Let’s think resorts, hotels, retreat centres, travel blogs, booking platforms, destination marketing offices, transportation, brands, airlines, bus services, and tourism, and there are so many different sectors within travel that we have experience with, such that we don’t necessarily need to worry about competition. There are a couple of travel blogs that we work with. And they all have their unique niche. For example, thrifty traveller, one of our clients, when they started working with us in November 2020, was generating 20,000 visitors a month, and they’re now at 200,000 visitors a month, that’s 10x their traffic in just over a year. That is targeting things around Google Flights and how to book cheap flights. Whereas another one of our clients, it’s called 10x. Travel, their strategy is more let’s get, let’s get affiliate credit cards front and centre. And both are fantastic brands working in the same place, often competing for similar keywords. But the conflict of interest is not as likely to happen as it might sound. So if you think it will be a hotel, a hotel in if we were working with two hotels in Austin, Texas, where I live. One hotel is going to serve a very different audience than the other.  The content they’re putting out. One could be luxury vacation ideas for Austin. The other could be cheap vacation ideas for Austin because they are different. Two different niches.

Well, same hotel, but serving a different clientele.

Yep, it’s a hotel. I consider this as a substitute competitor, not a direct competitor. There are four classifications of competitors that descend from a direct competitor, and then you follow that with a substitute. And a substitute competitor is something that could take place, but it isn’t the same thing. And we don’t notice a conflict of interest there.

So basically, the industry is so big that the opportunity for overlap or conflict of interest.

It’s not necessarily as much it’s something that you don’t have to worry about as it is the argument for having industry expertise and working with a company like ours, that is expert on tourism, travel and transportation marketing, far outweighs the negative of possibly having similar brands that are competing.

So, what are the most important things to focus on when optimizing a travel and tourism website for SEO?

Let me go back to the traveller I mentioned.  So we have this very regimented process. The organic visibility framework has a repeating content plan informed by statistical analysis of what is causing things to rank and search. That’s great. We know we can go and find medium competition keywords with high search volumes and target this. When working on a travel website, what I find to be the most important opportunity to take advantage of is, even though generally, we see a lot of great opportunities in the medium difficulty keyword range, sprinkling in some very, very difficult reach goals, we call those crusade goals.

And an example would be their thrifty travel at Google Flights. This keyword Google Flights, which gets you could assume how many searches per month, right?  We took the risk with them, and this is something that I credit the client for. They said we want to rank for this, and we took the risk, and that’s why one of our core values is boldness and willingness to take risks. We targeted Google Flights right as part of its strategy, not the whole strategy, and don’t take the whole risk, but as part of the strategy, and they’re now ranking in position two for that search term.  So that drives 1000s and 1000s of visitors a day. What I will say is that, in the travel space, there are situations in which the relevance and authority that comes from a link, inbound links from other websites will allow you to jump hurdles that in other spaces are more difficult to jump.

Could you say that again?

Yeah, sure. The travel space is a space where the link authority only focuses such that you sometimes can do more with lesser resources than you can in other industries. So taking risks in the space makes more sense.

Wow. That’s pretty neat. What are some of the strategies you’ve used to improve? If you can share in general terms. I don’t want you to reveal your secret sauce.

There is no secret sauce. We are an open book.

Are there any tips you’ve used to improve the organic? You took us to 10x their traffic. Are there any tips?

For them, it was very simple. They had a site with a very, very, very wide structure. So a very extensive project to break apart 1000s and 1000s of URLs into unique categories and sections on the sites that Google could understand topical relevance was key.

So their site structure was not very good. The structure was all over the place.

And that’s a conversation about increasing crawl efficiency. How can we make this easier for Google to gather the information?

Yeah, and know your site’s about. And therefore, as a result of that, you started to see more; that was a more technical SEO thing. Correct me if I’m wrong?

That was originally a technical SEO thing. And that was about two years ago. So naturally consistent follow through on developing new content that is purposeful and keyword strategy-driven, rather than reverse optimizing, has continued to grow their traffic and the traffic of our 16 other clients at this point.

Do you develop a content strategy for your clients? Content is king. There’s no doubt about it.

The publishing content?

To answer the public, there’s Socrates, Google, and I know how to do it. But it’s one thing to know about it. How do you come up with content ideas for your clients?

So, we take a keyword-driven strategy. So we have a repeating project built into our ongoing campaigns. What we’re doing in the organic is building a framework, or what we’re doing is we are going to expand on our keyword research work. There is no point where you can say I’m done with keyword research for this brand. You can never have a comprehensive keyword list. I promise there will be something that can find more. So we always operate on a continuous keyword research project. And we let the keywords that we identify through the hours and hours and hours of research that we do inform the editorial topics selected for a site.

What are your favorite tools for keyword research?

I think Emily, our SEO strategist who just celebrated her third anniversary with us, has a team using H refs primarily for keyword research. And H-refs is a powerful tool with good keyword data, similar to SEM rush. Okay, the one thing I would say is, don’t make decisions about keywords using a tool. Use that to inform your research in a tool like H refs to answer the public. Because if you’re going to answer the public, you will get qualitative data, not quantitative data. And we call need quantitative data to make decisions about keyword-driven data.

No, that makes a lot of sense. There are so many keyword tools out there like keyword chef.

What’s your favorite?

I like using H refs as well. I prefer it over SEMrush, and there are so many different things. I like keyword chef and keyword finder as well. And Keywords Everywhere. Frankly, the extension Keywords Everywhere. Chrome extension, everywhere. I like using that one too. So when it comes to creating the content, it’s the keywords. How do you formulate keywords into editorial content that people want to read? Do you have to come up with blog post titles that are more copywriting and engagement, putting the keyword in there? Is there any process or way that you go about doing that and structuring the content out? You’ve done the keyword research. I am in the middle of doing this for a renovation company. We know people are searching for kitchen renovations in this city.
I don’t need to point on me, I’m just giving you an example of how to develop the content based on the darn keywords. That is interesting that people want to read. You have a 750 to 1000 word article, and I’ll show up in a second. And then you got to come up with the headline, the subheadline, and the body. Do you use the classic; Who, what, when, where, why, and how of the topic to come up with an outline? And do you have people specified in your business who do that? And so anyway, I’ll shut up now because that’s a lot of questions.

Hey. I will try to answer as many of those as I can. I will do it broadly with another story. There are two ways you can do SEO. One; How most people do it, and here are the best practices. This is where you develop a title tag based on your understanding of things. Let’s do what we think has worked in the past, but how does that align with Google always updating its algorithm? If we are not updating our best practices how does that align with Google? We have a mutual friend who created a platform called Quora. This software allows you to do, which is what informs all our content strategy. It is data-driven, and the person that created the software is the least creative.

I know exactly who you are talking about. He is a great guy, and I love him; he’s the most data-driven, analytical person I know.

He has the true heart of an engineer because someone who is not an engineer finds it very hard to use the software.  I am a big fan of him and the software. And what the software does for us is that we are not going in with best practices. We are going in with a reverse analysis, a reverse statistical analysis of all the pages that rank in the search for a specific keyword and looking for a correlation between specific formats and ranking. The tool identifies that having the keyword selected at the beginning of the title tag is important. If it is statistically significant, then we will use that specific factor. We will include the keyword at the beginning of the title tag. Data is great, but also, we are writing for humans. After that, we will take all the data and put it with the search intent of the keyword. Since Google is a consistently testing machine looking for what users are looking for, the more often the keyword is searched, the more likely Google will know.  So for high search volume keywords, because Google is doing all this testing, it will figure out what will perform best. It will identify and consider what should rank better. We will then check to see what the answer someone searches that keyword. So if we were to choose, for example, the best travel credit card, we would look to see if Google prefers Links, videos, or credit card companies.  So if it is videos, we will recommend creating a video for that title tag. We put the data head to head with the qualitative data and then make a decision on what needs to be written. 

That’s amazing. If anyone is wondering what software we are talking about, it is Google’s core SEO software. I am sure you are aware of the surfer SEO and POP and the use of AI now for generating content.

I have not bought into AI. It is not where it needs to be yet. It does not provide additional value. It is generating content based on what already exists and what we prioritise is writing things that are new to increase and diversify in the world. That is our purpose and mission as an organization, and that is why it makes so much sense because travel leads to new ideas, and new ideas lead to more diverse thoughts, which is how the world progresses. The diverse thought does not come from an AI-generated piece of content.  So it doesn’t align with our mission as an organization or core purpose.  

I will say about tools like Hopp and surfer that there is a place for them. Hopp was created in conjunction with your mentioned Cal and a very good friend of mine Andy Stevens, who I have the pleasure of speaking with each month. We recommend our clients use that because we don’t write content. Most of our Clients have in-house content producers or we connect them with content writers who specialise in Travel and transportation. We are not a content agency; we are strictly a data-driven  SEO agency.

You work with in-house teams and make content suggestions, and then they get the content written?

In-house teams are common for the Travel blogs teams and the travel information sites that we work with. We have a few clients who are not in travelling that we support, but travel is our speciality. The other situation is that when there is no writer, we connect them with a specialist writer.

I use textbroker.com to find writers. Is there any other content creation hub that you recommend or use?

Tomorrow, I am going to a travel event in Austin with about forty people attending. Many of the people I meet are people who travel and love to travel through content writing.  I have a great friend of mine who is a good example. He works with several travel blogs and he operates an email service for travel points redemption deals. Spencer is an example of someone I met at a networking event, a traveller who loves to write.  It is not about finding a writer who can write about the subject but finding an expert in the subject to write about it.

You are saying that there are writers out there who are funding their travelling by writing content for some of your clients?

It is very close to what I do. I have not been to Austin, my home city, for more than seven days this entire year. 

Do you do a lot of travelling?

I travel to the domestic places without regret. I was in Galveston last weekend. The week before was in New York. The week before, I was in Utah. The week before, I was in Montana. The week before I was in Utah again. The week before, I was in Tampa. It is a lot of traveling.

Is this all business-related, connecting with clients and networking?

I have been asking for twenty-one days for business. It is all business-related. 

Of course it is. How do you manage your remote team? Are there any tips you can give? Assuming most of your team is remote.

We operate on a system called scaling up. We had it implemented through a Scaling-Up coach company that we work with, but the people management tool. With this, it doesn’t matter if I am present, my team can have a daily team huddle that is twelve minutes long at 10:07 am. The management structure that we have in place is very effective to the extent that in two weeks, I am going to Greece, Italy, for a week or ,two and I am planning to not turn my computer on that entire time. 

some so many entrepreneurs can’t do that. They don’t have the system in place to do that. Your job and your company become your second partner.

It’s difficult. In the rebranding that we are going through to reflect our repositioning, I am working twelve hours a day. Because I have to work with my team and I also have to talk to the people who are building our new website and talking to the people doing our rebrand. I have to be communicating with the graphic designers and there is so much that is going on that still falls on me. I am working a lot now, but it will pay off. 

There is an interesting book that I read called E-Myth revisited by Micheal Gerber. It is one that every entrepreneur should read because he uses stories to tell you how to build systems and SOPs and think about the future and existing positions that your company needs and how to get them done. This scaling-up app looks very good.

There is a book called Who by Geoff Smart that is based on a book called Top creating that his dad wrote and it talks about building scorecards for each employee with the desired outcome and numbers to track these outcomes. If you hold people to a rigorous set of expectations that they agree to and align with and rate them on core values consistently, you will not end up in a sticky situation.

That is a nugget to pass on to people. It’s called Who- the hiring method.

I have a list of books where that came from. I read maybe thirty books per year. 

How do you read them? Do you use Kindle to read on an e-reader or do you have physical books? I see a lot of books in the background.

A book is how I learn to do this. There is a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, in it, he talks about the five things you do every morning. You wake up earlier than everyone else, and you do intentional silence. You have affirmations. You have journaling time. You have meditation and you have physical activities. If you read for fifteen minutes each day, you can get through twenty books each year. It only takes fifteen minutes each day. I just try and do a little bit better than that. Wake up very early and get reading out of the way before the workday starts.

I use to read a lot. I would have three books on the go at once, and I was constantly reading. I never watched TV. I never watch streaming on Netflix, and this is going back before Netflix, and then I got away from it. I watch training videos on LinkedIn learning. I have a library card that allows me free access to LinkedIn Learning. I like to watch fifteen minutes of tutorial videos. I usually watch them twice a week and my wife jokes that I can listen to people talk about marketing but won’t listen to her. You have encouraged me, ,and I want to get back to reading.

If people have been there and done it why not learn from them?

Exactly. I learned from Althea Rollings that if you want to learn how to do something, then learn from someone who has done it and do what they did twice as much to become an expert. There have been some great points that you have shared during this interview that I think our listeners and audience will benefit from. Where can people learn more about you?

They can connect with me on LinkedIn at Brennen  Bliss, and the company is called PixelCutLabs. There is a rebrand coming after ten years, so stay tuned for it.

Are you active on Twitter?

I am not on active on Twitter. I have a team member active in crypto who is there, and I am trying to figure out if I should get into it.

Thanks again for being on the show. It’s been a pleasure having you here.

Thank you. And happy birthday again. This is fantastic. 

Thanks a lot. Bye.



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