Tell us about your company:
Taken Digital helps Shopify store owners profitably grow their brand to 7-8 figures. We help with things like Email Marketing automation using Klaviyo to make sure you’re converting as much of your traffic into buyers as you can and growing repeat customers. We’re a value driven anti-agency. If you are curious to know wtf that means? Feel free to reach out to me. :)
Why did you start your company? *
I’ve been on the marketing agency side for almost 10 years where I had the chance to work with some pretty amazing brands and people. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial itch and saw an opportunity to create something different. I also wanted the flexibility and autonomy to better control my life, whether that’s not having any meetings on certain days or spending an afternoon hanging out with my kids, I wanted to create something that would allow that level of freedom.
Tell us about your family!
I’ve been married to my amazing wife for almost 8 years and we have two little boys (Max is 4 and Ryan is 6). Ryan is super sweet, compassionate, and loves creating games and art. Max thinks he is a real-life ninja and will give you a spin kick if you take his snacks. It’s a phase right? lol. He is extremely strong-willed, super smart, and a ball of energy. It’s pretty cool to see such different personalities at a young age.
What was the hardest thing about becoming a dad? *
I think the hardest thing has been prioritizing my time. I’m juggling trying to grow a business, wanting to be a good husband and dad, trying to find time for myself, staying connected and seeing family and friends, while also working on some not-for-profit projects. I feel pretty stretched most of the time. Someone once told me about the four burners theory (https://jamesclear.com/four-burners-theory) and to be really successful I’d have to just focus on two things, out of: health, family, work, and friends. Not wanting to sacrifice any of those things, I feel like I’ve got 4 burners on, but I’m constantly trying not to set the kitchen on fire.
Has being a dad impacted your career? How?
It’s definitely changed my perspective on life and work. Not willing to sacrifice one for the other inspired me to start a company that allows me to integrate that into the way we work.
What's one thing you've learned from your child/ children? *
I’m pretty impatient sometimes and I think my kids have really taught me to work on this. Whether it’s getting them ready for bed, taking a bath, or eating meals, I feel like I’m constantly pushing them to hurry up. I’m working on being more present and patient, Kids grow up fast and rather than trying to rush through life, I’m trying to enjoy even the everyday moments like giving them a bath or running around the house trying to get a 4 year old to eat a piece of broccoli.
How has being a dad made you a better or different leader?
I think early in my career, I was a pretty bad manager actually. I focused way too much on tasks and results. What I’ve learned over time is to focus more on people. Getting to know them, understanding their goals, and just finding ways to positively impact, help, and develop them. I wouldn’t say I’m a great leader yet, but I’m still learning. Having kids has really reinforced that I shouldn’t take work so seriously all the time. It’s taught me to be more patient and understand the things that really matter in life including relationships. It’s also helped refocus my goals on trying to make an impact by helping people grow.