This Seven Figure Poker Player Quit to Launch Agency

Derric Haynie

In Episode #747, Nathan interviews Derric Haynie. He’s the CEO of Vulpine Interactive, a social media marketing agency that helps build contagious brand and passionate fans. Nathan met Derris at Los Angeles when they were at Sean Ellis’ Growth Hacking event. Derris has an interesting story that goes from poker to social media to speaking, blogging, growth and digital marketing.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – They Ask You Answer
  • What CEO do you follow? – Neil Patel
  • Favorite online tool? — Queue
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 8-9
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I wished that I have been able to pursue business earlier and give up poker earlier”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:51 – Derric believes that his agency will grow and exist on its own
  • 02:02 – The peak of poker for Derric was in 2009-10 when he was 24
    • 02:21 – Derric was making mid 6 figures and working 3 hours a day doing poker
    • 03:00 – Derric had a lot of great mentors in poker
    • 03:19 – Those that are better than Derric are really geniuses
    • 03:27 – Derris started to feel his personal boundaries
    • 03:57 – Derric knows that he’ll never be the grand master in poker
    • 04:02 – The best player in poker takes all the money
  • 04:55 – Derric didn’t pay himself for the first year and a half of his agency
    • 05:03 – It was in 2014
  • 05:22 – Derric got funding in 2015 of a total of $150k from his poker friends
  • 06:06 – Derric was telling himself that he’s not focused on revenue but on learning and finding the opportunities
    • 06:34 – Derric spent around $25K attending conferences and events
  • 07:19 – Derris’ wife is his co-founder and they started paying themselves just last year
    • 07:28 – They now make $5000 a month
  • 07:51 – Derric and his wife are trying to structure a company for growth and scalability
  • 08:10 – Vulpine now has 2 part-time employees
  • 08:50 – Raising a child cost Derric around $3000 a month
  • 09:06 – Derric had a lavish life that he gave up
    • 09:31 – Derric has sold a lot of things
  • 10:28 – Team size is 4
  • 10:37 – Typical customers for Vulpine are ecommerce and SaaS businesses
    • 10:48 –They also have to be thought leaders with a willingness to create great content
  • 11:00 – Vulpine is good at repurposing great content and content should be originally from the company
  • 11:21 – 2016 revenue is around $70-80K
  • 11:41 – Check agency/transparency to see their financial score sheet
  • 11:57 – Target MRR is $100K by December 2017
  • 12:07 – If they don’t hit $50K MRR by December, they will stop the company
  • 12:32 – Average contract size is $2K a month with 3 months minimum
    • 13:56 – Derric has been advised too that the contract should be at least for a year
    • 14:21 – Derric was thinking of the best value that he can provide for his client when he decided on the 3-month minimum
    • 14:36 – Derric believes that if he can’t consistently deliver month over month, he should be fired
  • 15:12 – Derric currently has 14 customers with some pro bono
  • 17:27 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Poker may bring more money than your business, but sometimes it’s not about money.
  2. At a certain point in your life, you have to give up things that you’re used to and learn something new.
  3. In business (especially pricing) always have a market study and comparison first, or ask for advice.

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Simplero – The easiest way to start and sell your course
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives