In this podcast episode, we decided to cover some less common topics.
We cover deep dives into entrepreneurship, how to manage a business and a relationship, and much more.
How did AJ and Meaghan get here?
AJ started out as an entrepreneur early in life. He started a “company” called “AJ’s odd jobs” as a child, offering to do household chores for his neighbors. From there, he graduated to selling his family’s agricultural produce door-to-door. Finally, he moved into the technology sphere, building and selling computers; from there, he started a magazine, and then moved on to selling supplements online. While selling supplements, he found that he loved doing data-driven marketing, so he decided to create his own marketing agency.
Meaghan took a different path. Growing up in a large household with a single mom, the focus was always on finding a job and making it to management. As a way of paying for college, Meaghan sold encyclopedias door-to-door. This exposed her to the idea of being her own boss and “running her own business” while still having the support of an organization behind her. Because of her success in sales, she pivoted into a sales-coaching and consulting role.
Upon meeting AJ, she decided that she wanted to learn more about marketing. At the time, AJ’s business focused on building out funnels for clients. She decided to shadow them to understand what they did for one client from start to finish. She watched them build the landing pages and sales pages, and then watched AJ send out the email campaign.
Once she saw the success that they generated with little effort, she realized that she needed to jump from sales to marketing.
They started working together in the marketing agency together, and found that one of their biggest frustrations was getting data for and to their clients. This frustration eventually led them to the creation of Praxis Metrics. In finding a solution for their reporting, they found that all of their clients wanted to implement that solution for themselves. Eventually, that grew into Praxis Metrics.
How did Meaghan and AJ meet?
They met through a series of mutual friends who thought that they would be perfect together. They say that the universe was trying to get them together for a long time, but they had a hard time with the timing.
Once the timing was right though, they moved quickly, dating for only a few months before moving in together. Then they started running a business together a few months after that.
How do Meaghan and AJ get along so well?
Because they own a data-driven business, they of course are data-driven in their lives. They take personality tests to understand what roles and responsibilities each of them fit into well; they study each other’s love languages to know how to help the other person. And then finally, they took brain scans to understand how their minds work.
They primarily used the brain scans to better understand how their brains handle stress and stressful situations. They hook you up to the machine, with nodes across your entire head, and then put you through stages of stress and then recovery. By repeating this exercise, they gained a greater understanding of how each of them deals with stress psychologically.
Through these tests, they grew to better understand one another’s needs and why they behave the way that they do.
What advice would Meaghan and AJ give to other “power couples” or business partners?
Clearly delineate roles and responsibilities. This allows you “divide and conquer”. The best way to do this would be to map out each other’s strengths and then assign tasks that align with those strengths. This allows each of you to focus on your “superpower” and achieve individually as well as together.
The other piece of advice would be to communicate. Communication needs to be clear, and concise; and then you need to allow vulnerability in that communication. AJ and Meaghan like to do “check-ins” with one another to really check to see how they’re progressing in their roles as business and relationship partners.
How do AJ and Meaghan break up their professional and personal lives?
At the moment, they don’t really. Since the business is going through a phase of rapid expansion, they are on call all of the time. But they also recognize the importance of decompressing. They recognize when they approach their breaking points, and make sure that they don’t cross that line.
They make sure that when they do take time for themselves, they put away all things related to work and focus on being truly present in the moment.
Even in their professional lives, they work together to make sure that they align and don’t get too wrapped up in one thing or another. Because they have such open communication, they can tell one another when they need to take a break or realign.
They also use travel to force themselves to realign and get more into the moment. AJ and Meaghan built Praxis Metrics to allow all of the employees to travel and escape from the routines of office work. They encourage all of their employees to take trips and take advantage of the opportunities that come with working remotely.
Meaghan specifically uses travel to help her remember why they built this business and what their long-term goals are, as she can often get lost in the details. But by traveling, she can create opportunity costs for herself, which forces her to choose what she finds truly important.
Because they have this opportunity cost, it forces them to delegate more, and utilize their time as profitably as possible.
How Meaghan and AJ use NLP to help them focus
By learning NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), AJ and Meaghan worked to understand how their communication styles would differ based off their brain types. Since Meaghan is naturally “chunked down” or in the weeds, it becomes difficult for her to communicate with someone like AJ who naturally “chunks up”. Because they both know about these issues, they developed keywords and phrases to help them better communicate and relate to one another.
What “Bio-hacking” secrets would they recommend?
Meaghan and AJ use biohacking to better understand their bodies, and therefore increase their effectiveness. Because our DNA and our genes are the building blocks of who we are, it’s important to start there. They went to genetic coaches who read their genetic profiles and gave them actionable information on how to maximize the effectiveness of their bodies.
After understanding your genetic code, the next thing that they recommend is to get blood-work done. Generic doctors most likely won’t look at your blood-work to the depth that you need if you truly want to “biohack”.
The point of all of this is to increase the amount of data that you have on your body. The more data that you have, the more of a complete picture you can put together of how to optimize your body. Once you have this data, you can begin to change your lifestyle to better fit your needs.
How to truly get ahead in business and health:
Data will never solve problems; it’s just individualized facts. Data becomes valuable when you get enough of it to create information. Once the information forms a pattern, it can lead to knowledge. By leveraging knowledge, you can predict outcomes, which is wisdom. From there, you can take action on your predictions, which is the definition of Praxis.
What is Praxis Metrics, and what do they do?
Praxis helps businesses transform their data into actionable insights.
Just like the process that we just outlined, Praxis helps businesses take disparate data points, merge them into information, transform that information into recognizable patterns, and then make predictive models based off that.
By gathering all of your data and information together, you can see patterns across seemingly disconnected pieces of data and information, and then leverage that into action, or Praxis.
Big data used to be reserved for the enterprise-level companies, but now almost all businesses have an overload of information available to them. The problem now is deciphering the data and finding the valuable insights.
Praxis Metrics extracts the raw data from the back end of each of the systems in order to guarantee accuracy, and then they merge the data together to help our customers understand how to best take advantage of that information.
The goal of the entire process is to help business owners easily discover hidden areas of opportunities; as well as areas of waste.
Finding these things helps businesses achieve explosive growth. By eliminating the waste, and reallocating it to areas of opportunity, businesses can scale much faster than they thought possible.
Praxis Metrics primarily deals with waste. Praxis’ goal is to help eliminate wasted time, energy, and money. Once you eliminate the waste, your optimization efforts are exponentially more effective.
Praxis Metrics success stories
Praxis had one client that was spending an incredible amount on cold media. They thought came to Praxis asking for the lifetime value of their customers (LTV). Upon drilling into their data though, we helped them realize that they hadn’t taken into account all of their costs, and this meant that they were losing money on every customer that purchased.
Another client thought that they could only afford to spend $15 to acquire their customers. They came to Praxis and we helped them realize that the lifetime value of their customers was much higher than they thought. Based off that information, they increased their CPA by just $5 and saw explosive growth. That funnel ended up increasing in sales by more than 2,000 in a month. Because of this success, they hired a full-time data scientist to their team, and build their own dashboards. One data-driven decision revolutionized their company.
What does working with Praxis look like?
Every project with Praxis starts with assessing the data maturity of the clients. For those in the early stages of data maturity, they most likely need help gathering data. Unfortunately, all of the pretty and cool dashboards in the world do nothing without data.
If the client already has data, generally they have a ton of spreadsheets that they’re working from, and need help with automation. In this stage, we focus on data validation, extraction, and loading it into dashboards. Most of our clients fall into this stage.
The way that Praxis Metrics helps these companies generally is through our pre-built dashboards. As Praxis Metrics grew and worked with several large clients, we found that most businesses have similar needs. The questions that our enterprise clients asked us were the same that SMBs did. What’s working, what’s not, how can I improve, etc. Once we realized this, we began to pre-package dashboards that were built to answer these questions specifically.
This pre-packaging allowed Praxis to greatly reduce the costs of building these dashboards. This opened the doors to smaller clients who previously couldn’t afford these type of insights.
What makes Praxis different from other dashboard companies?
Most dashboard companies only offer the dashboarding software. They have built powerful tools, but once you purchase them, you’re on your own. Praxis Metrics doesn’t have software tools, we act as an outsourced data agency that will help you harness the power of your BI dashboards. We have a team of on-demand data scientists and dashboard engineers available to help you complete your projects; but once they’re built, you don’t have to worry about them anymore.
Most companies can’t afford to keep a data scientist on staff, so we make it so that they can rent one as they need them.
What are the most important metrics that most businesses overlook?
There are a handful of metrics that most companies overlook, and they all interact.
Number one is the customer acquisition cost (CAC), specifically broken down by source.
Number two is the lifetime value of customers (LTV), also broken down by source. This one is particularly difficult for most ecommerce companies, as most are omni-channel, and that makes the reporting more difficult.
Number three is days to cancellation, viewed as a cohort analysis, not an average. Averages are inherently evil because they smash together all of the highs and the lows in order to give you one number. The cohort analysis allows you to see a bell-curve of the data, allowing you to better understand the spikes and valleys of your subscriptions, rather than one static number.
Number four would be the cost of goods sold (COGS). Many businesses struggle to get the true costs of each of their products because of bulk shipping or bulk ordering systems. Excel has a hard time breaking things down to that granular of a level, but a robust business intelligence tool can perform those complex calculations and give you the true cost of each of your products on a daily basis.
What are weird things that AJ and Meaghan eat and drink?
Pickle juice. Because she never drinks enough water, she uses pickle juice to boost the cellular water absorption so that the little water that she drinks actually gets where it needs to go.
How do Meaghan and AJ enter a state of flow?
Hypnosis. They have an app that they use that helps them to focus in and reach their subconscious and tap into the state of flow.
Wake surfing. Meaghan uses the outdoors and solo sports to help her reach her state of flow.
What habit or opinion do they have that other people disagree with?
AJ believes that people are the most important resource on the planet. Many people believe that money or time are the most important things, but AJ believes that people are the most important.
Meaghan believes that she is the most important resource on the planet…
If AJ and Meaghan ran a school, but could only teach one, non-traditional lesson, what would it be?
AJ would teach people the basics of understanding their bodies and how to think about things rather than what to think.
Meaghan would teach about the theory of how to make time travel possible.
What books had the greatest impact on them?
“I dare you”, by William Danforth when he was younger.
And now, it would be “The one thing”, by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller.
Meaghan also chose “The one thing”, by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller. That helped her to realize how much of a procrastinator she was as well as how unproductive she was. And then it helped her break out of those habits.
Meaghan’s second choice was “The power of now”, by Eckhart Tolle. This helped her to become much more present in the moment.
“Letting go”, by David Hawkins. This helped them understand the different vibrational frequencies that we resonate at, and helped them to find better motivation and emotional stability.
What do the first 30 minutes of their days look like?
Gratitude, showering (cold), and then mediation.
Just jumps right into work. She starts looking at emails in bed, and then looks at her calendar to see when she can squeeze those things in.
Since her mornings are the most productive time for her, she wants to get the most important things done quickly, and then deal with tedious, less important work later in the day.
What advice would they give to their previous bosses?
AJ never really had a boss, but he would recommend understanding and learning their employees very well. Not just personalities, but what gets them excited and motivated.
Meaghan would start by saying that she was sorry, because she never truly lived up to her potential working for someone else. And then thank them for the opportunities that they gave her. Finally, she would recommend that they invest in the tools necessary to help their employees and people reach their fullest potential.
Where do they go and what do they do to get inspired?
Meaghan is his daily inspiration. Then comes nature, and their trips. Those all get him inspired and excited.
Numbers inspire Meaghan and get her excited. Nature also inspires her.
If they had 24 hours to make an extra $5,000 how would they do it?
Meaghan said that if this were a little while ago, she would have invested it in Crypto-currency.
AJ would borrow their friend, Mike’s boat and take people out on the lake and teach them to wake-surf. Meaghan is an excellent wake-surfing instructor and AJ is a skilled driver. They have a 100% success rate in getting people up between the two of them.
They would combine the fun of the boat with NLP coaching, and business coaching; and that would allow them to quickly raise that money.
What’s the best advice ever given to them?
The best “advice” that Meaghan ever got was from a mentor who told her that she had no integrity. They pointed out that integrity means doing what you say you will do, even if nobody holds you accountable.
He told her to examine her checkbook and her calendar to see what she actually valued, as what you spend your time and money on truly shows your values. Upon examining hers, she realized that she wasn’t being honest with herself about what her priorities were, and worked to bring what she said her priorities were into alignment with her true priorities.
The advice that he actually gave her was that at any point, your time and your money need to be in alignment with what you claim your goals are.
AJ’s grandfather taught and showed by his example that you should always leave people better than when you met them. No matter who they are, they should always be better because they met you.
What silly thing should people do more of?
Laugh at themselves, and dance however you want. AJ apparently makes good practice of this every day, gyrating in a “bizarre” way at Meaghan.
Definitely dance, and allow yourself to release and just let the music flow through you.
Would they rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck sized horses?
One large duck. Because he wants to conquer it and then befriend and ride it.
Thought AJ was completely wrong. She wants to be able to lord over the tiny horses and crush them as their god.
How would they go about convincing someone to do something good that they didn’t want to do?
Chunk up! Tie the thing that they don’t want to do to something higher and help them to see that this really is the best thing for them.
If you can find a higher purpose that you both agree on and then help them to see how this task ties into that higher purpose, then they will most likely perform the task.
Apart from eachother, what makes Meaghan and AJ happiest?
New adventures. There are chemical changes that occur in the brain when you experience something new, and Meaghan has trained her brain to crave those chemicals, so that makes her very happy.
Having new experiences with people. AJ derives a lot of value from people, so it’s important for him to be around others and experience new things with them.
What can people do?
Reach out to Praxis Metrics! Our primary vision and purpose is to help other businesses grow and realize their potential through data; so if you have data questions or concerns, reach out and we’ll do our best to help.
Make sure that you have your tracking set up. Once you have the tracking in order, everything else can fall into place later, but you can’t make up data that doesn’t exist.