Humility through Success
iLocal, Inc.’s Jason Morgan doesn’t lead with his title of Owner and entrepreneur. His focus is all about doing a great job for his customers, sans ego. With a strong mission of getting business owners’ websites in top rankings on Google searches, and bring new business to his clients, iLocal’s superpower is not just his team’s technical know-how, it’s their prompt, thorough and courteous attention to customer needs.
IT’S IN HIS BLOOD
Jason comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. His father owned a construction business with his uncle. His grandfather owned a construction business before that. Even in Jason’s youth, he followed his entrepreneur spirit. He created his own businesses, including mowing lawns, cleaning windows, raking leaves.
Jason started his adulthood working for a company who installed windows, paying his way through college. After learning the ropes, he opened his own window installation company. He was young and untested. After fighting to get enough clients to sustain his business, he closed shop after a year. “You know, I was proud of myself, though. I took the gamble. I made the choice to try something and that’s something people will talk about, but not always do,” Jason said.
A SPARK OF INSPIRATION
After his short venture into entrepreneurship, Jason took a job at the yellow pages, where he worked with business owners daily. He saw over and over the lack of an online presence in a shifting market where being found online was a growing necessity. “Business owners don’t always know how to build a website, or how important being found on google is for recruiting clients. Or they have web administrators who don’t communicate well, don’t know anything about SEO, or worse, steal their intellectual property – which I saw happen,” says Jason.
In that era, SEO was a little-understood concept and even less successfully implemented business recruitment tool. Jason analyzed the industry’s landscape and decided to fill a need for business owners that was underserved and begging for support. When a coworker asked him to start a marketing firm with her, Jason took the opportunity to launch into supporting businesses with web design and SEO. After a year of working with a co-owner, simultaneously working at the yellow pages to make sure his family thrived financially, Jason separated his business and focused in on providing business owners with SEO services.
SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE…
“I think my biggest success as an entrepreneur has been having clients who have been with me throughout the last decade. And not only that, but their websites still show up on in top rankings on Google. That’s no easy feat to stay on top of emerging technology and ahead of the clients’ competition,” says Jason. He’s also proud of his company’s growth over the last ten years. “We now have 10 employees and 40 people worldwide, and a new and beautiful office in Auburn. That’s not something I ever really set out to do. I would have been happy to just make a living.”
When asked what contributed to his success as an entrepreneur, Jason says he focuses on relationships and customer service. “Of course, we provide solid results, ensuring our clients show up on google, but the most important thing is prompt communication with our customers.” He builds that into the recruiting and training of his team, ensuring the company culture revolves around the priority of responding quickly to client needs.
SUCCESS IS NOT WITHOUT SACRIFICE
Jason notes his entrepreneurship success hasn’t come without a price. To get iLocal, Inc. up and running required huge sacrifices. “For ten years, I worked hardcore. I’d get up at 6 a.m. and work until 2 a.m. or so the next day. If I wasn’t at work, I was at home working. I took calls during dinner, answered emails on vacation. I piled a lot onto my plate to get the work done, and because of that, my family didn’t see much of me. Or in a capacity that was present.” As a result, his relationships suffered in a big way. “Have you ever seen that movie The Lord of the Rings? My business became ‘My Precious’,” Jason says. He became completely immersed and obsessed with his company, unable to let himself relax or spend time with friends and family.
That loss in personal relationships – or what Jason would call his biggest failure – has led to opportunities to discover new ways of living and working as an entrepreneur and business owner. “I no longer handle any of the operations. Which is really hard to give up. I still feel like I need to be involved in everything to make sure it all goes smoothly for our clients,” says Jason. He’s learning to trust his team in order to build a positive balance and ensure his health and thriving in all aspects of his life.
WALK THROUGH THE FEAR
His advice to new business owners or those considering entrepreneurship? “Walk through the fear. You have to take risks to succeed – which can be scary but rewarding. So, go for it and if it doesn’t work out, just keep firing. You’ll get there.”
Jason’s greatest joy from being a business owner is seeing the results of his hard work. He’s proud to see what he’s built over the last decade. While Jason doesn’t revel in the egocentric value the title ‘Owner’, he owns his responsibility to his customers 100%.
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