Love that feeling when inspiration hits and WHAM-O, the plan for the perfect business basically downloads into your brain? There’s nothing like it.
But as every founder soon realizes, that feeling is inevitably followed by a state that’s nowhere near so blissful. It’s the moment you recognize the slog between hatching your great idea and getting it into the hands of your customer.
You’ve got 1,001 tasks to do, 53 steep learning curves to master, and 97 service providers to hire.
For each task we complete, 27 more pop up in its place. As those tasks multiply, they expand to fill every corner of our calendar and slowly start to drain our capacity for thinking big thoughts.
We talk a whole lot about the Owner’s Model around here. You know, this is how you build a million-dollar business without personally doing all the things? Instead, you do just three things: cast the vision, get the right people on your team, and make sure you never run out of money.
Tomer Hen knows how tempting it could be to slide out of the owner’s seat and into the weeds. A decade ago, he built a marketing agency to serve big brands like Amazon, L’Oreal, and McDonalds. Along the way, he developed a passion for supplements and biohacking and decided to build a brand to help entrepreneurs optimize their wellbeing.
As if on cue, soon after that moment of inspiration, Tomer recognized the bump in the road that was coming up fast - the joy-suck that punches idea people in the face. Visionaries want to serve their person, not master all the moving parts of building a brand. Implementation can be decidedly… not fun.
Tomer tells his story here:
Even at just 28 years-old, he’s realized something extraordinarily powerful:
Fun is not a frivolous luxury - it’s a crucial guidepost.
When he evaluates opportunities, he always asks himself whether it will lead to more fun or less. And not just for the future, but right now. If something is inherently fun right from the start, it’s likely to succeed.
What Tomer did next is really cool. First, he launched an internal team in his agency to help him grow his brand and run it so he could stay in visionary mode. Then he transformed his agency into a brand house (big freaking difference, folks). Now, Mobco helps founders in the food and supplement space grow from $1 million to $5 million while freeing them up to focus on what they do best.
Agencies typically charge a monthly retainer or a fee for services. You pay whether they get results or not. And while it sounds like common sense for an agency to tie its fees to metrics that actually matter, that’s not usually the case. For example, if you’re running ads, the goal is to generate more revenue. If they charged based on that result, it would make sense. But many agencies tie their fees to your ad spend (which, frankly, is irrelevant) instead. See the difference?
Then, there was CapCon 2021. Well, for those who made it, anyway. If you remember, this time last year, there were still significant travel restrictions due to Covid. So, Tomer flew from Tel Aviv to Mexico with plenty of time scheduled to get to Austin for the event. Instead, he got stuck in Mexico. We even wrote to the embassy to try to help our Capitalism Incubator member, but to no avail. Long after CapCon was over, Tomer finally got to Austin and Ryan offered him a meetup.
It didn’t take long for them to realize that maybe there was a synergy worth exploring here. Together, they could build a holding company for brands in the food and supplement space and reach $100 million in valuation within two years.
How’s it going?
So far, they’ve doubled the revenue for most of the brands they work with, that’s how. But even cooler, Tomer has found a way to serve these brands that feels great for everyone involved. “We work with brands that we really believe that we can deliver value, and we put our money where our mouth is because other than a one-time fee for asset creation, we only charge a royalty based commission while we pay for most of the ongoing expenses: copywriters, designers, programming, sales funnel building, conversion rate optimization. Our goal is to get the brand from wherever they are to $5 million and above. If we can get a piece of the upside, that's a huge win for us,” he says.
This business model has alignment built right in. The better his brand house does for its clients, the more money everyone makes and the more customers the brand can serve. Rather than Mobco’s services being an expense, they become a profit center. His clients grin as they pay their invoices because every dollar they pay has already generated many more.
The risk is all Tomer’s. So, he’s gotten really good at vetting potential clients. What’s he look for during the 1-2 weeks it takes him to evaluate them?
Good products, to start. He doesn’t care so much about metrics because that’s all fixable. But if your people love your product enough to keep coming back for more even though your website is ugly and you’ve got crappy copy… that’s a good sign. And if you’ve got a great product and decent everything-you-need-to-sell, Tomer’s team can scale a brand from there while freeing the founder to go create even more awesome products. He also looks for an excited founder with a big vision and a small (enough) ego so they can make quick progress together.
With a global team of about 35, Tomer is really good at hiring.
We’re producing a course for members of The One Percent about hiring (later in Q4), so I wanted to know how Tomer builds his team. He had some great advice for you…
His sweet spot is hiring people who know how to hire. When he brings them onboard, he makes it clear that he needs them to be able to assess whether a candidate is a fit quickly. They’ll gather a group for a specific project, hiring 4-5 freelancers to test. Those who work well on that project will get 2-3 more projects and then possibly join the team.
That’s a great way to grow your team fairly quickly without a lot of risk. However, as Tomer points out, when you’re in the early stages, you probably don’t need a full-time copywriter or designer. You can find great freelancers on sites like Upwork.
The whole hiring thing is one reason clients like working with Tomer. As in… they don’t have to do it! By partnering with him, they get the benefits of the infrastructure he’s built. There’s also a huge difference between working with a fee-for-service agency and a brand house you pay from profits.
And here’s the best thing… Tomer told me about a conversation he recently had with a new client - a mom with a brand serving parents. He told her, “In order to grow your brand, all you really have to do is spend more time with your kids. That’s the only thing, because when you spend more time with your kids, you get really great product ideas. So ditch everything else. Let us do the entire growth and build out of your brand. You just focus on being with your kids. Enjoy them, have a good time, and come up with great products.”
Sounds like the Owner’s Model, huh? This is how we build million-dollar brands, and have fun throughout the whole journey.