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I got laid off in September of this past year, somewhat unexpectedly. Things had been rough for a while as I moved to a new team internally after an acquisition and we tried to figure out how we supported my new role. Right after I moved over to the new team the GM in charge of that team left, which at the time felt like an omen and I came to realize later it was. When you lose the person who advocated to bring you to a new position, who has the vision for how that role will look, you’re going to be in for some hard challenges that you might not be able to win.

Today I want to talk about exactly the steps I have taken over the last few months that have led me to double my salary short term, which is how I am currently financing my software marketplace which is also growing substantially month over month. Continue Reading…

Consulting or running an agency is an interesting business. On the one hand, an agency can be a cash cow because your margins can be really high if you keep headcount low. On the other hand, many consultants and agencies struggle to make ends meet and do great work for their clients.

From my years in marketing and consulting, and now running my own business in the space as well as doing some consulting myself, I’ve realized that many consulting problems can be solved by one of two things (and usually both at the same time to make the magic happen):

  • Charge more per hour or per month to increase your margins.
  • Create better processes to save time and increase your margins.

Consulting is no different from other businesses in that when you increase your margins, many of your business stresses go away. Let’s talk about the two of these. Continue Reading…

I’ve been working on the Internet for what feels like a long time now – 6 years. In that time, I have worked inhouse for 4 different brands and consulted with more than I can reliably count. That number is probably in the 35-50ish range.

Over time, as I have gained more business experience and expanded my skillset outside of just SEO or even digital marketing, and am now running HireGun both as a consultant and a software solopreneur, I have increasingly become convinced of one thing:

Those who win are those who do

Many companies will say that they get things done. But the truth comes out when the rubber hits the road. When I worked at Distilled, we always prided ourselves on working with our clients to help them get things done. After all, if we were going to be successful as consultants, our clients had to see a return on their investment. If they moved slow, then it would take a long time for them to see that positive return and at that point it was up to the consultant to keep the client happy (and still a client!).

Here are some of the traits I have seen of successful companies and individuals. Continue Reading…

HireGun Launched Today

John Doherty —  November 12, 2015

Today I launched HireGun to the world via Medium and Product Hunt. It has been quite the road to get to this point, most of which I wrote about over on Medium, so I recommend you go there to read the full story.


I’m excited to have it out to the world. I am excited to see where it goes. I think it could be big, as it works and people on both sides of the marketplace get value from it. I love seeing comments like this:

brandon-hiregun sean-smith-hiregun

Today I am grateful. Grateful to have a great life, a wife who supports me, friends and peers in the industry who support me, and a vision for where the product will go.

I’ll likely do a full recap at some point, but today I am happy. We generated some new leads for the awesome HireGun partners, identified some pain points in the business, and ultimately pushed it forward for another day. I can feel the flywhee (via)l start to turn:


I’ve worked with a lot of companies helping out with marketing and growth over the last years. I’ve seen some do it very well. I’ve seen others fail to resource it and therefore they’ve failed to execute.

Here is what executives can do to empower growth teams to do just that – grow the company. Continue Reading…

I am a voracious reader, which is hilarious because when I was younger and bored, my mom would say “Read a book!” to which I always lamented “But reading is boring.” How we change.

May was no exception to me reading a lot, and actually I read a lot more in May than I have most other months recently. Part of that was due to a cross-country trip in which I had a lot of plane time to read, but I also think that May was an exceptionally good month for good writing.

Here are the articles and books I read in May that I found really impactful. Continue Reading…

Manager Mistakes

John Doherty —  May 22, 2015

Have you ever managed anyone? Then you could probably write this post too. Have you ever been managed by someone? Then you could write this post as well.

I’ve managed people in a few different companies and roles now. Like any position, management is learned skills that you have to both figure out and be trained on. Unfortunately, making mistakes in management skills directly affects people as opposed to simply business metrics.

Here are some management mistakes I’ve made and am seeking to learn from. Continue Reading…

Learning To Say No

John Doherty —  December 16, 2014

Today I tweeted something that seemed to resonate with others. This was the tweet, with an embedded quote from this post (h/t Joel):

This was the quote:

“You can only go so fast for so long. You have natural output limitations. Other people rarely consider that when they ask for stuff and set deadlines. In fact, they rarely consider anything. Most times, I find the expectations that other people have around time are arbitrary. They don’t *really* need that thing right now–and if you gave it to them tomorrow, the world will go on.

Don’t be afraid to say, “It’s not going to happen by that time. Here’s when I can have it for you.”

There’s really no way to argue against that. If you draw lines and say no, they’re just going to have to figure out an alternative and accept. ” Continue Reading…

In my role at HotPads, I manage an ever-growing team of smart marketers. My job is to hire, train, and retain the best and smartest, with the goal of removing roadblocks that keep them from both working together and succeeding at their individual jobs.

I’ve had managerial positions before, but never this direct and I’ve never been able to build my own team. Building your own team is quite different from inheriting a team, which is a whole different topic I’ll explore at some other time. Continue Reading…

I’m Not A Good Employee

John Doherty —  August 5, 2014

Have you ever heard someone say “I’m just not an employee” or “After working for myself, I can’t imagine ever working for someone again”. I’ve often felt this way, even though I don’t work for myself (well, there were those two weeks).

When I started my job at HotPads back in October, I told my then-boss “I have to be honest with you – I’m not a good employee”. What I meant by this is that I hate to be managed by others. I want to explore this a bit more, because not everyone who hates to be managed can work for themselves. Sometimes, we must learn how to succeed as we are, where we are. Continue Reading…