It had been only three months since I quit the company. But there I was, on stage again with the co-founder of a multimillion dollar company who had become a close friend over the past two years. Only this time, we had a much different relationship.

I first met Jeremy Dearringer when I was introduced to a small (at the time) marketing tech company named Slingshot SEO. Back then, Slingshot was less than a dozen people. Little did I know that the company was about to take off—and I was going to come along for the ride. 

Jeremy DearringerWhile I worked with that small initial team, I got to know the co-founders of Slingshot SEO (now known as Relevance). As they went into their biggest growth year in history, they offered me the opportunity to join the team as the head of Marketing. I jumped aboard and worked alongside a talented founding team: Kevin Bailey, Aaron Aders, and Jeremy Dearringer.

In the year that followed, we reached record-level growth and hit the Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies in America at #58. We more than tripled revenue that year, and grew the team from 30-some employees to over 100 Slingshot team members serving the world’s most innovative,  industry-leading, and deserving brands.

Relevance dominated by setting the pace of the internet marketing industry and sticking to their core values. And it was in March of 2012, after I had left the company, that I sat down with Relevance (formerly Slingshot SEO) co-founder Jeremy Dearringer to take a look back at their recipe for success:

Jeremy Dearringer, Co-Founder of Relevance on Bootstrapping Growth

In this first part of the fireside chat, Dearringer dives into:

  • Why entrepreneurs learn to take action early
  • How to build initial momentum with an idea
  • When to delay gratification of a founding team
  • If and how to choose a co-founder
  • How to sacrifice for the greater good of the business

But then Jeremy Dearringer digs into the good stuff. Here’s the story of their acceleration:

  • How Slingshot SEO hit Inc-500-level growth
  • Finding the point of inflection for growth
  • Why managing cashflow is key to long-term success
  • The benefits of building a client-focused culture (and why Relevance has the mission statement: “Make every client successful, make every client successful, and don’t forget to make every client successful.”)
  • How to overcome the challenges of scaling from 15 to over 100 team members
  • Why company culture is more than nerf guns, workday perks, or company parties

Jeremy, Aaron and Kevin, never forget what drives the hearbeat of their brand. Dearringer put it simply, “It’s about who you get to work with. So, please don’t confuse it with activities that you do.”

What resonates with you? How are you building your culture and scaling your own growth?