I AM CEO PODCASTTech

IAM377- CEO Builds Multi-million Dollar Online Businesses

Podcast interview with Marcus Taylor

By the age of 25 Marcus Taylor Founded and is CEO of Venture Harbour, a digital innovation studio that has built a multi-million dollar portfolio of highly-automated online businesses with ZERO outside funding. Marcus also developed the World's first scientifically-valid method of measuring human comfort zones and has been featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30. Marcus wants to show budding entrepreneurs how they too can build a profitable business without taking investment!

  • CEO Hack: (1) Oak Journal (2) Serene app to stay focused
  • CEO Nugget: Build products where's there's no human element stopping the growth – don't exchange time for revenue
  • CEO Defined: Coach who develops and brings out the best of their team

Website: https://www.ventureharbour.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcustaylor100/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarcusTaylor100
Twitter – @marcusataylor


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Transcription

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the IAMCEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the IAMCEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Marcus Taylor of Venture Harbour.

Marcus, It's awesome to have you on the show.

Marcus Taylor 0:39

Great to be here. Thanks for having me on the show.

Gresham Harkless 0:42

No problem, super excited to have you on. What I want to do is just read a little bit more about Marcus so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing.

And by the age of 25 Marcus Taylor Founded and is CEO of Venture Harbour, a digital innovation studio that has built a multi-million dollar portfolio of highly-automated online businesses with ZERO outside funding. Marcus also developed the World's first scientifically valid method of measuring human comfort zones and has been featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30.

Marcus wants to show budding entrepreneurs how they too can build a profitable business without taking investment. Marcus, are you ready to speak to the IAMCEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Marcus Taylor 1:20

I am ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:21

Let's do it. To kick everything off, I want to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. What led you to start your business?

Marcus Taylor 1:28

Of course. So my story starts probably when I was about 10 years old, and I started coding. Yeah, I fell in love with computers at a really young age and at the same time fell in love with music. When I was about 16, I kind of merged the two together and started to build websites for bands and started to become really interested and fascinated by the world of online marketing, and sharing that knowledge with musicians who wanted to get their music out there. So I did all kinds of things, starting record labels, running gigs, DJing trance music, playing drums in Scandinavian metal bands, all kinds of weird, weird stuff.

But basically, this just led me further and further down, I started kind of to dislike the music part and fell more in love with the online marketing part. So I was just spending a lot of my time as a teenager building different online marketing experiments. I left school, didn't go to university. Instead, I joined a digital marketing agency. And it got to a point quite quickly where all these online marketing experiments I was running in the evenings, were actually making more money than my day job was. And so it got to a point where I was like, Okay, maybe I should put these into a company and maybe this is my thing.

And yeah, from there Venture Harbour. Venture Harbour is a company that unlocks growth for people, businesses, and economies. We do that by solving the biggest problems that tomorrow's leading companies are facing. So how that works in practice is every year we take the same way, we build a new venture with one rule, which is that it has to be more ambitious than the last day, we have nine of them.

Gresham Harkless 3:28

Nice. And so you mentioned that it can be kind businesses, it can be a lot of different types of organizations that could be looking and you're working with, right?

Marcus Taylor 3:39

Yeah, so we focus quite heavily on building technology and building products that help rapidly growing businesses, all very promising businesses grow faster. And through that, the knock-on effect of them growing faster is what grows economies, it helps grow the people within those companies. And has this amazing knock-on effect for the communities that are in no sounds like dominoes for lack of a better term where you know, just because everything starts to fall over.

Gresham Harkless 4:11

Yeah, nice. I know you touched on it a little bit, can you drill a little bit deeper on Venture Harbour and how exactly it works? If somebody I guess calls you or you get started, how does that process work?

Marcus Taylor 4:22

Yeah, so we don't offer any services. You cannot hire Venture Harbour if there's no consulting angle to it. We're very kind of basically a small team. The core team is very small. Basically, there are two aspects of the business. One is that we have this portfolio of Ventures we built and we grow that portfolio through online marketing and development.

Then the other aspect is kind of like innovation lab where every year we're tasked with building a new venture to add to the portfolio. And yeah, the thing that is unique and a little bit unusual about Venture Harbour is that we spend so much time thinking about and implementing innovative ways to automate these businesses. So all nine businesses are actively running, but they're completely automated or 99% automated to allow us to focus on that new venture.

Gresham Harkless 5:30

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I think that's a great example of your secret sauce because I think a lot of times, businesses are trying to implement some type of automated automation, so that you can not necessarily create more time, but you can be more efficient and effective in the time that you have so that you can work on other things. Like you guys have other ventures that you're starting every single year, you're best able to do that with automation.

Marcus Taylor 5:55

Definitely, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 5:56

Nice. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app, book or habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Marcus Taylor 6:09

CEO hack. I think probably, there are two that spring to mind. One is my journal. This is called an oak journal. They're really hard landing difficult to get in the UK. I think they sell them at one. There's like one shop in Colorado. So I have to get them bulk shipped over here. But this journal is incredible. It's almost as if you took the top 50 business books and personal development books and boiled them into a journal, like all the best practices around habit formation are all in this. And yeah, this has made a huge impact on structuring my day.

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The other thing that this works in tandem with is, so one of my latest ventures that we're working on is called Serene. It's an app that basically you press a button. For me, it's command S, and it shuts down distracting apps, blocks you from going to distracting websites, plays AI generated focus music, I've got it set up. So it turns on like lights, deliberately uses lights, so it tells everyone in the office not to distract me. And so the combination of having a well-planned today, and this technology layer that prevents distractions, that just means I can really focus and get a lot done.

Gresham Harkless 7:47

Yeah, it gives you the opportunity to focus on drill-down. I hope that app or I hope you guys are working on that at work and around real-time in real life, that will be pretty awesome as well so that you can just zone out wake rocking around the world. But I appreciate that. I think that the ability to be able to focus and to tap into secret sauces, and nuggets from all these different books in these habits and these gurus is something great. So I appreciate the oak journal, as well.

I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Or if you could hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Marcus Taylor 8:25

I would tell my younger self to really think hard about selling time. Our biggest leak in growth as a company was when we stopped doing things that meant we were exchanging our time for revenue or the team's time for revenue. And when we started to focus on building products that were infinitely scalable, our growth went from say, I don't know, 15% to 20% a year up to like 300% to 700% per year.

Now, it was uncomfortable, we had to fire clients and stuff. It was a big change. But I think I would love someone to have really picked me up and shaken me and said, this is not how you build massively scalable companies, like build products that there's not a human element. That is like blocking the growth.

Gresham Harkless 9:29

Yeah, because we have to eat and sleep, and being able to do that and maximize that time is a great way to do that. Was there something that prompted you to do that in general or was it just the epiphany just came one day?

Marcus Taylor 9:45

I had a really frustrating client. I had to climb that nail in the coffin, so to speak. After that, I just decided no more clients and no more exchanging time for revenue. And also like I've always just loved the process of building stuff. I love the creative process of creating ventures. So it was just a realisation, I need to do more of that and less of the client work.

Gresham Harkless 10:18

Yeah, when you start to be able to make that pivot and understand that, that's when you really can make even more of an impact. So you don't have that, like you mentioned that human element that's blocking you from growth or, capping that growth, so to speak. So I think that makes perfect sense.

Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote, CEOs on the show. So Marcus, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Marcus Taylor 10:44

In the last year, particularly, I've started to think of a CEO as this charismatic big leader that has to sort of be the front of the face of the company. But as we've grown, I've started to view my role as a CEO a bit differently and see it more as I'm a coach. My role is to bring out the best in my team, and to develop them, like coaching them.

So like, I've often said to the team, we are not a family. We're more akin to a sports team and my role as the CEO is I'm the coach. I'm the one that is kind of on the sidelines, helping my team win. And so that for me is right now what a CRM is.

Gresham Harkless 11:37

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And then definitely the coach understands all the different aspects of the team, the different positions, where people should go, where their strengths and weaknesses are. So kind of gives you that holistic view and that top-level view, I guess, you can say, so that you can make those decisions and understand, where to take the company, where not to take the company, and so on and so forth.

Marcus Taylor 11:57

Yeah, yeah, definitely.

Gresham Harkless 11:59

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate your time Marcus. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're building and growing.

Marcus Taylor 12:13

Yeah, so you can get in touch with me from the website, which is ventureharbour.com. There's a link on there too, if you want to reach out to me, happy to answer any questions. The only other thing I'd add is that we are days away from launching Serene the app that I mentioned, that helps you focus and block all these distractions. So anyone that wants to beat us it's completely free of charge. You can go to streamapp.com and register for the beta if you're interested.

Gresham Harkless 12:56

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate you, appreciate all the awesome things you're building and growing. We'll have those links in the show notes as well, just so that anybody can follow up with you. But again, thank you for making a huge impact and making that shift and that change. Because you're doing awesome things in the world and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Marcus Taylor 13:14

And yeah, thanks for having me. Gresh

Outro 13:17

Thank you for listening to the IAMCEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co IAMCEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co.

See also  IAM1641 - CEO Created a Coffee Company Targeting Outdoor Community

This has been the IAMCEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today at Marcus Taylor of Venture Harbour, Marcus, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Marcus Taylor 0:39

Great to be here. Thanks for having me on the show.

Gresham Harkless 0:42

No problem, super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about market so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And by the age of 25 Marcus Taylor Founded and is CEO of Venture Harbour, a digital innovation studio that has built a multi-million dollar portfolio of highly-automated online businesses with ZERO outside funding. Marcus also developed the World's first scientifically-valid method of measuring human comfort zones and has been featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30. Marcus wants to show budding entrepreneurs how they too can build a profitable business without taking investment. Marcus, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Marcus Taylor 1:20

I am ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:21

Let's do it. To kick everything off, I want to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. What led you start your business?

Marcus Taylor 1:28

Of course. So my story starts, probably when I was about 10 years old, and I started coding. Yeah, I fell in love with computers at a really young age and at the same time fell in love with music. And when I was about 16, I kind of merged the two together and started to build websites for bands and started to become really interested and fascinated by the world of online marketing, and sharing that knowledge with musicians that wanted to get their music out there. So I did all kinds of things, starting record labels, running gigs, DJing trance music, playing drums in Scandinavian metal bands, all kinds of weird, weird stuff. But basically, this just led me further and further dow, I started kind of like dislike the music part, and fall more in love with the online marketing part. And yeah, so I was just spending a lot of my time as a teenager building different online marketing experiments. And I left school, didn't go to university. Instead, I joined a digital marketing agency. And it got to a point in quite quickly where all these online marketing experiments I was running in the evenings, were actually making more money than my day job was. And so it got to a point where I was like, Okay, maybe I should put these into a company and maybe this is my thing. And yeah, from there Venture Harbour. So Venture Harbour is a company that unlocks growth for people, businesses and economies. And we do that by solving the biggest problems that tomorrow's leading companies are facing. So how that works in practice is every year we take the same way, we build a new venture with one rule, which is that it has to be more ambitious than the last day we have nine of them.

Gresham Harkless 3:28

Nice. And so you mentioned that it can be kind businesses, it can be a lot of different types of organisations that could be looking and you're working with right.

Marcus Taylor 3:39

Yeah, so we focus quite heavily on building technology and building products that help rapidly growing businesses all very promising businesses grow faster. And through that the knock on effect of them growing faster is that grows economies, it helps grow the people within those companies. And has this amazing knock on effect for the communities that are in no sounds like dominoes for lack of a better term where you know, just because everything starts to fall over.

Gresham Harkless 4:11

Yeah, nice. And I know you touched on it a little bit, can you drill a little bit deeper on like Venture Harbour how exactly it works? If somebody I guess calls you or you get started, like how does that process work?

Marcus Taylor 4:22

Yeah, so we don't offer any services. You cannot hire Venture Harbour like there's no consulting angle to it. We're very kind of basically a small team. The core team is very small. And basically there are two kind of aspects of the business. One is that we have this portfolio of Ventures we built and we grow that portfolio through online marketing and development. And then the other aspect is kind of like innovation lab where we, every year we were tasked with building a New Venture to add to the portfolio. And yeah, the thing that is unique and a little bit unusual about Venture Harbour is that we spent so much time thinking about and implementing innovative ways to automate these businesses. So all nine businesses they're all actively running, but they're completely automated or 99% automated to allow us to focus on that new venture.

Gresham Harkless 5:30

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I think that's a great example o your secret sauce, because I think a lot of times, businesses are trying to implement some type of automated automation, so that you can not necessarily create more time, but you can be more efficient and effective in the time that you have so that you can work on other things like you guys have other ventures that you're starting every single year, but your only way, you're best able to do that with automation.

Marcus Taylor 5:55

Definitely, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 5:56

Nice. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or book or habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Marcus Taylor 6:09

CEO hack. I think probably, there are two that springs to mind. One is this is my journal. This is called an oak journal. They're really hard landing difficult to get in the UK, there's, I think they sell them at one. There's like one shop in Colorado. So I have to get them bulk shipped over here. But this journal is incredible. It's almost like if you took the top 50 business books and personal development books and boiled it into a journal, like all the best practices around habit formation are all in this. And yeah, this has made a huge impact on structuring my day. And then the other thing that works in oak journal. And the other thing that this works in tandem with is, so we've one of my latest ventures that we're working on is called serene. And it's an app that basically you press a button for me, it's command S, and it shuts down distracting apps, blocks you from going to distracting websites, plays AI generated focus music, I've got it set up. So it turns on like, lights, deliberate use lights, so it tells everyone in the office don't distract me. And so the combination of being having a well planned today, and this technology layer that prevents distractions, that just means I can really focus and get a lot done.

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Gresham Harkless 7:47

Yeah, it gives you the opportunity to focus in drill down. And I wish, I hope that app or I hope you guys are working on that at work and around real time in real life, that will be pretty awesome as well, so that you can just zone out wake rocking around the world. But I appreciate that. And I think that the ability to be able to focus and to tap into secret sauces, and nuggets from all these different books in these habits and these gurus is something great. So I appreciate the oak journal, as well. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Or if you can happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self,

Marcus Taylor 8:25

I would tell my younger self to really think hard about selling time. Because our biggest leak in growth as a company was when we stopped doing things that meant we were exchanging our time for revenue or the team's time for revenue. And when we started to focus on building products that were infinitely scalable, our growth went from say, I don't know, 15 to 20% a year up to like 300 to 700% per year. Now, if I had, it was uncomfortable. We had to fire clients and stuff. It was a big change. But I think I would love someone to have really picked me up and shook me and said this is not how you build massively scalable companies, like build products that there's not a human element. That is like blocking the growth.

Gresham Harkless 9:29

Yeah, because we have to eat and sleep and being able to do that and maximise that time is a great way to do that. Was there something that prompted you to do that in general or was it just the epiphany just came one day.

Marcus Taylor 9:45

I had a really frustrating client. A lot of us. I had to climb that nail in the coffin, so to speak. After that, I just decided no more clients no more exchanging time for revenue. And also like I've always just loved the process of building stuff. Like, for me, my thing is like, I love the creative process of creating ventures. So it was just a realisation, I need to do more of that and less of the client work.

Gresham Harkless 10:18

Yeah, when you start to be able to make that pivot and understand that, and that's when you really can make even more of an impact. So you don't have that, like you mentioned that human element that's blocking you from growth or, capping that growth, so to speak. So I think that makes perfect sense. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on the show. So Marcus, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Marcus Taylor 10:44

In the last year, particularly, I've started to used to think of a CEO, as there's this charismatic big leader that has to sort of be the front of the face of the company. But as we've grown, I've started to view my role as a CEO a bit differently and see it more as I'm a coach, my role is to bring out the best in my team, and to develop them, like coached them. So like, I've often said to the team, we are not a family, where we're more akin to a sports team. And my role as the CEO is I'm the coach, I'm the one that is kind of at the sidelines, helping my team win. And so that for me is right now what a CRM is.

Gresham Harkless 11:37

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And then definitely the coach understands all the different aspects of the team, the different positions, where people should go, where their strengths and weaknesses are. So kind of gives you that holistic view and that top level view, I guess, you can say, so that you can make those decisions and understand, where to take the company, where not to take the company, and so on and so forth.

Marcus Taylor 11:57

Yeah, yeah, definitely.

Gresham Harkless 11:59

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate your time Marcus, when I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're building and growing.

Marcus Taylor 12:13

Yeah, so you can get in touch with me from the website, which is Venture Harbour. There's a link on there too, if you want to reach out to me, happy to answer any questions. And the only other thing I'd add is that we are days away from launching serene the app that I mentioned, that helps you focus and block all these distractions. So anyone that wants to beat us that it's completely free of charge. And you can go to streamapp.com and register for the beta if you're interested.

Gresham Harkless 12:56

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate you appreciate all the awesome things you're building and growing. And we'll have those links in the show notes as well, just so that anybody can follow up with you. But again, thank you for making a huge impact and making that shift and that change. Because you're doing awesome things in the worlds and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Marcus Taylor 13:14

And yeah, thanks for having me. Gresh

Outro 13:17

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

[/restrict]

 

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This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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