December 1, 2022
In this episode, we sit down with Jordan Konkol from Whale Farm and discuss his incredible journey as a top-level media buyer.
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Jordan Konkol (00:00):
So the way that you stand out in that environment is like, make a really good product and give really good service to everybody.
Rabah Rahil (00:14):
All right. Folks, episode 42, and boy, am I excited? This was actually a connect of Eric, uh, shout out DTC, um, who told me about this gentleman that also lived in Austin hailing from Utah, joined conk, um, and how more perfect his agencies called whale farm. So there was just too many connections not to take the coffee. We ended up having, uh, a coffee together and uh, really hit it off. And I said, Hey man, you gotta come on the pod. And so here we are, Jordan. Welcome. Thank you for taking the time out, brother.
Jordan Konkol (00:46):
Yeah. Thank you. I think, I think I'm gonna change it to quadruple whale.
Rabah Rahil (00:52):
Hey, let's go on the next, the next round. We can, we can do it. I love it. What's better than three whales. How about four? Um, so you're in Austin, but you used to live in as your beautiful Walmart shows you used to be, uh, in Utah. Yeah.
Jordan Konkol (01:07):
Rabah Rahil (01:08):
When did you make it out to Austin?
Jordan Konkol (01:10):
Uh, this was in September.
Rabah Rahil (01:13):
Oh, wow. I didn't realize it was so recent. I forgot that part. Yeah. Oh, wow. And you were in the capital, correct?
Jordan Konkol (01:22):
Salt lake. Yeah. Uh, I was just north of salt lake in Ogden.
Rabah Rahil (01:26):
Oh, that's right. That's right. That's right. Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Jordan Konkol (01:29):
Rabah Rahil (01:30):
Do you miss it?
Jordan Konkol (01:32):
I miss the mountain sometimes. Yep. You know,
Rabah Rahil (01:36):
I heard a really pernicious rumor that I don't know if it's true and you can actually let me know. I is the pollution really bad in Utah? People were saying there's like a pollution problem. There is that true? There's no way, right?
Jordan Konkol (01:47):
Oh yeah. In the winter, in the winter, it's pretty bad. It's like some of the really worst in the, in the, uh, world. So
Rabah Rahil (01:55):
Seriously. No joke.
Jordan Konkol (01:56):
Yeah. Yeah. Is it
Rabah Rahil (01:58):
Because it, it sits in the bowl or like why, why is it so bad? There's nothing there, right? Like there's not like industry or, I mean, no,
Jordan Konkol (02:05):
There's, there's, there's like a couple oil refineries. There's a, a, uh, big mine called Kennecott copper mine. I don't know a lot about that, but, and there's cars driving around obviously. Yeah.
Rabah Rahil (02:19):
But salt lake cities tiny. And that's the biggest city in the state, right?
Jordan Konkol (02:23):
Rabah Rahil (02:24):
That's just so counterintuitive to me,
Jordan Konkol (02:26):
It's inversion, it's called inversion something that you'll have to talk to a meteorologist for this, but something to do with the hot air and the cool air flipping. And then there's a valley in the mountains and basically none of the polluted air escapes. So just continues to concentrate. That's
Rabah Rahil (02:47):
So crazy to me. I can't believe that's actually a real thing. Cause it's beautiful. Southern Utah is like one of my favorite parts in the states. It's gorgeous, you know, Zion, uh, Bryce, all that, everything there is fantastic.
Jordan Konkol (02:59):
Mm-hmm <affirmative> yep. Thing. Pollution.
Rabah Rahil (03:04):
That's crazy. What was your favorite parks out there? Did you guys go to a lot? How long were you out there? Actually, I didn't, I don't even know that.
Jordan Konkol (03:11):
So I'm originally from Utah and I've kind of floated around and always found my way back there. Yeah. So, so I'm in all of my friend groups and family. I'm like, I'm like the recurring character, you know, the left left season three and then he comes back and then he leaves again.
Rabah Rahil (03:29):
Yeah. Where was the favorite place you lived?
Jordan Konkol (03:33):
I mean all the, I always lived in the Ogden and salt lake area. Okay. So, but yeah, I like being close to the mountains cause I like mountain biking and yep. Skiing and just getting out into nature, you know? Yep. It's kind of, especially in, in the type of work that we do. I mean, here we are on, you know, staring into screens, talking to each other while other people either staring at a screen or kind of absentmindedly sort of listening are, are consuming what we're saying. Like we, we live in a very, uh, mediated sort of environment. Yep. That I don't think is exactly what we're designed or evolved to, to cope with. And so being able to just get out into, you know, just actual nature, like where you're actually kind of in danger a little bit. Yep.
Rabah Rahil (04:30):
Jordan Konkol (04:31):
Know, so that's, I just feel like there's something primal about that, that you need. So
Rabah Rahil (04:38):
I couldn't agree more. I think there's something to it for me as well. It has to be, or doesn't have to be obviously, but um, I find that oceans and mountains are, um, really, really helpful for that. Um, because you just realize how small you are and how, especially too, when you get out in it, like if you're doing some back country stuff or, or something like that where it's like, basically have everything you need on your back. And um, sometimes you have to go find water sometimes, you know, there is something to that where it's fantastic, but I do enjoy climate control at the same time. <laugh> yeah. Like I could never live in Texas without air conditioning, but I do think there's definitely the, um, something to your point, like a primal primal need for a lot of humans to be able to go and reconnect through nature, especially like to your point, um, people that are heavily involved in like digital jobs of that sense where you're just so connected all the time. And then like you you're just forced into no cell service, this quiet this, um, yeah. And Utah's not super scary. Right. I mean, there's, what's, I mean, you got big cats, but that's about it. There's not like bears, like the Pacific north bears freak me out like Pacific Northwest. Yeah. That's that's, that's scary stuff.
Jordan Konkol (05:52):
Your biggest danger is probably dehydration right. Or, or falling yep. Or getting lost and then freezing. Yep. It's more just environmental than it ISS, but right. I would say that, yeah. There's, there's some very, you know, rugged and remote areas in Utah. I didn't spend a lot of time there. I like, I like to pretend like I'm being, you know, super adventurous and still have, you know, I can still see city lights <laugh> out there.
And plus like, you know, Utah compared to a place like Alaska, which I, I worked there for a while or Montana. I went to school there for a while. The, the nature in those kinds of environments is a lot more severe and, and frightening. Yep. It doesn't look like, you know, the Lord of the rings Hoon or whatever. Yeah. It doesn't look like a form place. It looks like it would kill you, which is a totally different feeling, you know, than nice green mountain size with freshly cut trails and stuff. I kind of like the in between, cause I don't think as you were describing, like sitting our job, sitting behind a dashboard or sitting in video calls, depending on what you're doing, um, maybe in the future, like there will be some Neurolink update, like the media buyer update that removes your need for like human connection and physical exercise. Your body will just like tremble to get your exercise. And you'll just be like playing a video game in your mind while your body is updating or something. But we're kind of, we're not there yet where we're fully disembodied and we're not, we're also not, you know, our caveman ancestor. Right. We're, we're sort of in between. So we need just a little, you know, a little of each I think.
Rabah Rahil (07:43):
Yeah. That's how
Jordan Konkol (07:45):
That out if you want
Rabah Rahil (07:47):
<laugh> no, absolutely not. No, that's, that's exactly how I feel where there's a certain, um, again, that being able to balance the, the nature, because I think honestly what, for me anyways, personally, what the nature does, cause I've always wanted to make it out. It's like Bozeman, Wyoming. Wyoming's supposed to also be beautiful. Um, but these are these, uh, I don't like the cold, so I'm only gonna go in the summer, but I mean, Bozeman in the summer is supposed to be some of the best, some of the best places in the country to go where it's just, just gorgeous out there. Yeah. Um, yeah, exactly. And so, but for me again, I think it brings back to the gratitude of like being able to survive in X, Y or Z environment, but then you don't need, like, it shows you that you don't need these modern amenities, but it's still the same time.
Like it's really nice to have 'em. And so like if I get it's is a bit of a stoke ideal, right? Like if I gave you a glass of water, but then I offered you like a really fancy wine or a fancy bourbon or whatever your kind of thing was, um, you would take the bourbon or you'd take the wine, but then if I took that away from you, you'd be fine with the water. And I think that's kind of, for me the same thing of like, I wanna know that I'm self-sufficient and I can handle myself in nature and in these kind of challenging situations, but at the same time, like I said, I, I enjoy like a mattress <laugh> I, I enjoy climate control. I enjoy like cool beverages and things of that nature, but I don't need them. And so it, it helps, I guess, instill a bit of gratitude in me that I think can be lost sometimes in the modern world where, um, we have such an environment of abundance, um, for most people that, um, it can drive a feeling of entitlement, which I think can degrade from the kind of, you know, detract from a really nice human experience.
Jordan Konkol (09:35):
Yeah. And that glass of water, if you went on a hike and got lost and you were thinking about drinking your own urine and you like had 9 1, 1 dialed up and you're just ready to, to hit it and you were disoriented and then you get a glass of like, not even a glass, you drink water from a hose, that's gonna taste better than any, you know, the finest drinks on the menu, you know, cuz you're, you're hungry or you're thirsty. I mean,
Rabah Rahil (10:02):
Totally there's uh, actually, uh, went to Hawaii Kauai, um, with my fiance to go. Um, and we went on one of the, it's supposed to be like one of the most dangerous hikes in the world. And you know, you hear this kind of like hyperbole, like, ah, whatever, like I've been on things like pretty sketchy back country stuff. And it's like, oh, it's so super, super dangerous. And you're like, ah, that's fine. Um, this was not that this was actually really sketchy. Like it's called the Callow trail. Um, and it's super, super sketchy. And I, I actually ended up getting medevaced out cause I, for some reason, I don't know why. Yeah, crazy. So they have these, it's basically this crazy trail. You can hike down to the beach, you can camp on the beach and you come back and it's about 11 miles. Um, and it's, it's hot and it's humid.
And I brought a bunch of water. I brought a pack that was way too heavy. Like I basically did all the wrong things like, um, but what killed me was I didn't bring any electrolytes. And so I was ju it was hum. I was just sweating, sweating, sweating. And then I was drinking water and sweating, sweat. And then I ended up boning where I was just dehydrated had no clue where I was. Yeah. Like it was just this horrible. Um, and so we ended up being able to make it to, and there was like suit there's something called crawler ledge where you're basically like tons of exposure dropping down like a thousand feet, Uber sketchy hike, like super, super sketchy. Um, but we, they have like two of these little, he helipads that they basically are for like taking people out. So we ended up making it to one of 'em, but I had at this point dropped all my pack.
So I dropped all of my gear. I'm just walking with the water bottle. Um, we ended up keeping the tent. So she pitched the tent for me. This is like three, four o'clock. And we have no way, there's no cell service out there. So we have no way to get any type of, uh, radio out and basic I'm just puking cramping, like totally locked up. Like I'm, I'm in super bad shape. Um, so eventually, uh, my fiance goes down to the cliff and starts yelling at a fishing boat. And so the fishing boat ends up, um, radioing it in it's crazy story. And then, so I have no shirt on I'm totally soaked and it gets cold. It gets a little bit cold. They're like sixties and so totally wet, no blankets, no sleeping bags. Um, in 60 degree, weather is not the path. And so I'm freaking out a little bit in my head, but I'm totally gone anyways, too long.
Didn't read, we end up getting the chopper. They send the chopper out, but the problem is they're they take me out and they're like, Hey, we don't know if we're gonna be able to get your fiance too, because we don't fly at night. And they were basically taking me back at dust. So you gotta hurry up and get this helicopter because we gotta fly back out to anyways super crazy story. But to put the, the too long didn't read of going down that path was that I really, really enjoyed Hawaii. <laugh> the rest of the time we were there because I was like, Hey, I didn't get my card pulled. Like I I've been in some really sketchy, gnarly spots. And that was like the worst, like the closest it's come to kind of getting the, getting the card pulled there where it was like, wow, it was, could have went tits up really, really quickly, especially if we had to stay up there at night. Cause we're on this huge cliff up in it where it anyways. So yes. Uh, don't recommend near death experiences, but they can help drive a lot of gratitude quickly as well. <laugh> going back to
Jordan Konkol (13:22):
All like type two fun, that experience. Have you heard that?
Rabah Rahil (13:27):
No, I've never heard that type two fun.
Jordan Konkol (13:30):
There's there's a lot of people right now that are into like dangerous or, or really physically challenging things. Yep. Over the last few years, it's almost like a, the pendulum swinging back from our, you know, overly lives. You know, people are in, lots of people are in jujitsu. Apparently I moved here and it's like, every other person I see can strangle me. So I'm like very, uh, polite to people in this town. But every, you know, jujitsu extreme marathon events, triathlon.
Rabah Rahil (14:04):
Jordan Konkol (14:05):
It's like people want a physical challenge or, or something that's unpleasant for them. Yep. There's a business idea. Just charge people money to be, to give them a hard time in some way
Rabah Rahil (14:18):
<laugh> there is actually, um, I can't remember where, well, one of the, but there is a, who was it? Chicago? I can't remember. But it, it is called Lamberts and they throw rolls at you and that, oh yeah. I
Jordan Konkol (14:30):
Went there. I went
Rabah Rahil (14:31):
They're assholes to you.
Jordan Konkol (14:35):
Didn't I didn't know that I was with friends and they, I was like, I'll get us a table. And I walk in and uh, I was like, yeah, can we get a table? And he was like, yeah. And he like threw our, our, uh, silver. I was like, what heck is going on here? It was like that. I'm like, is this guy about to like throw hands with me or what? I was still thrown off. It was the perfect, you know, test case for that kinda environment. So I wasn't expected.
Rabah Rahil (15:04):
Yeah. So somebody's already onto your business model, Jordan. I'm afraid. I'm sorry to sell you. But um, so speaking of hard stuff, you're um, a fairly talented musician. Yeah. We can see a little bit if you guys are watching this and not listening to it, uh, Jordan has super expensive. I think mixer, um, behind him as well as a fancy piano board. Isn't that fancy mixer or what's, what's that
Jordan Konkol (15:26):
Thing. Mixer. Fancy. Can you see? I thought you, you see,
Rabah Rahil (15:32):
What do you mean? You thought I was going blind?
Jordan Konkol (15:33):
Oh no, no. I was just, I had the, the square version of the camera. I thought that was out of frame.
Rabah Rahil (15:38):
No, no. Yeah. You have the, uh, that's your mixer board, right?
Jordan Konkol (15:41):
Yeah. This is no, this is just like my piano
Rabah Rahil (15:44):
O and what's the one what's to your left or your right? I guess
Jordan Konkol (15:47):
Rabah Rahil (15:48):
The other way,
Jordan Konkol (15:49):
That way that's,
Rabah Rahil (15:51):
That's not your mixer. What is that thing?
Jordan Konkol (15:52):
Well, it's just like a, a synthesizer.
Rabah Rahil (15:56):
Yeah. Isn't that the fancy thing you're talking about?
Jordan Konkol (15:59):
I mean, I don't have anything really fancy, but this is an Octa track. That's
Rabah Rahil (16:05):
Pretty cool. What do you do with that thing?
Jordan Konkol (16:07):
Just mango audio. <laugh> yeah. It's a good way to decompress after no
Rabah Rahil (16:13):
Jordan Konkol (16:15):
Yeah. There you go. <laugh> yeah, this is the, the synth room. So
Rabah Rahil (16:21):
Do you, uh, what do you know who mark ver bla is? Do you ever do the, where you, you build? I think that's so incredible how, uh, a lot of musicians can build you, you build a song, but you build it by track, by track, and then it ends up looping over each other. And now it's like this wonderful symphony of sounds. You're like, how did you get to that? And then they do it. Do you ever do any of that kind of stuff? Or what, what, what is your kind of creative outlet for your musical stuff?
Jordan Konkol (16:48):
Well, he's, he's interesting. I mean, speaking of a shtick, he's kind of like
Rabah Rahil (16:52):
The road and everything.
Jordan Konkol (16:53):
Yeah. But he's in a row he's screaming, he's always got some very aggressive or sexual thing to be saying it's like small doses, you know? It's yeah, yeah. Really just like sit through it, but he's like collaborating with, you know, some big names. Yeah. You know, but some
Rabah Rahil (17:14):
Cool, cool. He does some cool stuff. It's really interesting. Some supposedly his concerts are really fun, but yeah, he's definitely, um, very high energy. Um, if profanity is not your thing, he's probably not gonna be, uh, <laugh> very amenable to you, but, uh, he, he does have to be fair. He does have a, um, like he does just stick well, if, if that's tech can be said, like he does have a stick, but he does do it. Well, it's a, he's a really interesting guy.
Jordan Konkol (17:40):
I think, I think Reggie Watts is the, is
Rabah Rahil (17:43):
The oh really?
Jordan Konkol (17:44):
And for live looping. Yeah,
Rabah Rahil (17:46):
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jordan Konkol (17:48):
Just his voice. And like this guitar pedal that he uses. Yep. Very, lofi not expensive. Just his talent. Yeah.
Rabah Rahil (17:59):
You ever heard of TAs Sheana
Jordan Konkol (18:01):
Yeah. Yeah. She's really great.
Rabah Rahil (18:03):
She does really cool. Some really cool looping stuff too, where she'll basically like, almost like a one woman band and she'll build up these like just incredible songs, just, uh, on loot pedals or, um, anything like that. And she'll just kind of build them up. It's really cool.
Jordan Konkol (18:17):
Yeah. She has an interesting story. She apparently was like a, this busking musician hand took a bunch of psychedelic drugs and had a psychic break, like that lasted for like six months or something or several months,
Rabah Rahil (18:32):
Jordan Konkol (18:32):
It was a very traumatic, bad thing. And the only thing that kind of got her out of that was practicing music.
Rabah Rahil (18:40):
So that's a fascinating, I didn't know. That's a really interesting tidbit. Yeah. She has some really, she has some bangs. She has some really great music. Um, wow. I didn't not know that. That's really fascinating. Do you know the substance? Was it like shrooms or was it LSD or psychedelic? No, that's
Jordan Konkol (18:55):
I dunno exactly what she was. It was probably some combination of things. Yeah. I'm not really, uh, knowledgeable about most of that stuff.
Rabah Rahil (19:03):
The psych not, huh?
Jordan Konkol (19:05):
Yeah. Not a psych.
Rabah Rahil (19:07):
I love it. Um, so you run, you have a pretty interesting journey. So you run a fairly successful, uh, um, agency called whale farm, but that's not what you started in. Right.
Jordan Konkol (19:21):
What I started, what in, like
Rabah Rahil (19:23):
You that's like, you haven't always been a really bolts to nuts marketer. You've kind of done a bunch. Oh no. I just really like, not odd jobs, but like you have a very interesting journey. How you got to starting an agency. Tell me a little bit about that.
Jordan Konkol (19:35):
Yeah, yeah. I guess, um, and I didn't really comment on the music stuff, but that's kind of my next frontier. So I just, like, I'm seeing this pattern in my life where I see big directions. I could go and just completely change everything. Like I'm gonna go do gold exploration in Alaska. Never done it before, but I'm gonna go do that. Or I'm going to, you know, write books, try that path, or I'm gonna start an agency gonna do that for a while. And so right now it's music, it's like songwriting and stuff. So, but I think I'm kind of zeroing in on something, you know, like you're you ever see like, um, like a path that goes up a mountain that goes back
Rabah Rahil (20:23):
And forth. Yep. Like switch backs.
Jordan Konkol (20:25):
Yeah. You might be going completely the wrong direction, but you turn in, in the end, you're kind of, you know, zeroing in on where you need to go. So yeah. So as far as where the agency fits in with that, I was in grad school, um, studying poetry of all things. Yep. And, uh, graduated and had this really awesome. You know, you can, you can actually make people say there's no money in poetry, but you can make like hundreds of dollars a year if you're really good <laugh> so, but, uh, I had student debt and I, the only job I could find was at a marketing company. Okay. So I went there and I was a salesperson and I had literally nothing like bunch of debt moved back home, which felt like, you know, a step back. Yes. And it was like, all I had was this job.
So for, for like a year, I just like obsessively worked. Like I was the first person there, the last person to leave. That's all I talked about. My friends were begging me to stop talking about work. Um, I was like, I'd go to the gym and just listen to, you know, motivational videos and videos about marketing and about sales. Cause I was a salesperson. And so it was just like totally my life. Like I was just absorbing everything. And I had this feeling at the time that, and I didn't know how this would work out. I was just like, well, I better do really well at this. Cause I don't have a lot of options cause I had a lot of student debt. And so I was just like, all right. And other people started to recognize that I was doing well at this company.
Um, it's an ad platform, um, called ad role mm-hmm <affirmative>. So I was a salesperson there and uh, and they started saying things to me, you know, like, yeah, you're, you're a workhorse or you just like work really hard. And I never thought of that. You know, I never thought of myself in that way or you're trying to be the best salesperson here. And I was like, uh, I just wanna be like maybe one of the best. And then they're, they're like, no, you're, you're trying to be the best. I was like, okay, I'm trying to be the best. And it was, you know, it was an interesting journey and felt like, it felt like I was like predestined to, to manifest something. It sounds pretty grandiose. I was a little bit, you know, in my, in my head during that time. But I ended up doing that.
I ended up like crushing all of the records for at least my market segment that I sold within. Um, and part of that was like, you know, my back was sort of against the wall with student debt and I set like a really ambitious goal of paying it off in a year. And it was like six figures. And nobody in that job made like as much as I had ever made as much as I was aiming to make. And so I had these like crazy goals, like insane goals mm-hmm <affirmative> and uh, so like it got to the point where people were really curious about what I was doing, you know, at one point I, you know, I had like paid for certain platforms, prospecting tools and um, sales, enablement tools and even hired VAs. You know, I was already starting a little business because I realized like, oh, a lot of this work that I do can be either automated or delegated.
Yep. So why don't I just do the only thing that makes me the most money, which is talking to leads on the phone. So I had PE people scraping lists and doing all kinds of things for me. And there were like, everyone was very curious about what I was doing and I, I hid a lot of the specifics, you know, but, um, like to the point where like the CEO, like I came to his attention, he's like, what are you doing? What's your secret? I was like, I just work really hard <laugh> it really was true. It wasn't like I gamed the system or something. Right. But, uh, I kind of rose to the ranks there and then went to a higher level sales team in a different, a different area. And that was like, I don't know. It just kind of felt like the end of what I was trying to accomplish.
And the, the reason why I started the business at that point was just, I had, uh, what I valued about being a salesperson is that you're kind of, you have a lot of autonomy. Like you have your book of business and you have your conversations and your follow up and your, your activity and you have a degree of freedom within, within the company. And the more, the further you go up market, at least in my experience at this company, like the more regulated or the more red tape there was, the more processes were involved. A lot of that's like on the client side, cuz they have teams of people who need to be looped in and all these different processes. And I just kind of wanted to just get deals done and just like, it just seemed like there was a lot of, um, bureaucratic sort of stuff happening at the time. I thought it was because they were doing it in a way that I would do differently. And since then I've realized, no, that's just like companies above a certain level, just operate that way. And so if you're providing a service to them, you've gotta kind of match your, your red tape with their red tape, so to speak. Yeah. So, but so long story short, like starting the business was kind of a fool hearty, um, attempt to just be, to just replicate the freedom I had without being, you know, managed by other people. So yeah.
Rabah Rahil (26:18):
That's incredible, man. So when did you make the jump from leaving ad roll to like totally going out on your own?
Jordan Konkol (26:27):
So it was 2018, so like May, 2018, so exactly four years ago. Um, and yeah, I, I knew the funny thing was I knew one person who had formally used ad roll and stopped using ad roll, who had told me months ago that like, if you ever start a business, we'll, we'll be your client. <laugh> I wasn't sure if that was like non-compete or if it was like, right.
Rabah Rahil (26:54):
Well, if they say it, if they say it, it's all good, you can't ask 'em that.
Jordan Konkol (26:58):
Rabah Rahil (26:59):
Or usually like, non-compete you can't solicit it, but if I ask you you're well within your rights to then answer, but you can't be the one that solicits it, if that makes any sense anyways, I'm in the weeds, but yeah.
Jordan Konkol (27:11):
Anyways, so yeah. So I was a little paranoid about that. Yeah. Yeah. But so then I, I went out, um, funny thing enough is like, um, I did end up working with them eventually mm-hmm <affirmative> but they weren't my first client. So it was just some other ad tech company in Ogden that wanted to build out a sales team. And so that was my first thing was I was like, I want to teach, you know, do consulting for sales processes and how to, how to run a sales program. Cuz I thought, you know, if what I'm doing is repeatable, then it can be scalable to all team. And so there's a, there's a guy in, in Ogden he's no longer like super active on this project, but he, he had started a programmatic platform years ago and he hadn't really, he hadn't really grown it, you know, cause he'd never had a, a dedicated sales team.
So he hired me for a little bit to, to consult him on that. And I did that for a while, decided I didn't want to be in consulting mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and then the shortest step, like the kind of minimum viable product was, well, why don't I just run Facebook ads? It can't be that hard, you know? Cause it at ad role, my experience was you kind of, you know, you win the client and then you just like set up campaigns and set the budget and that's it's, that's it like there's a few settings, but it's more or less like you just set it up and then you adjust creatives every once in a while adjust budgets. That's it. I had no idea what it was like actually getting into with Facebook ads. So I got my first e-commerce client, um, pretty, pretty large budget, like maybe 15 to 30 K a month seemed like a lot at the time.
Yeah. And I basically learned while I was running their account and a couple others, um, and took a bunch of courses. That's how I met Eric. I met him, but one of the I stack events, uh, got looped in with some, some of these mercenary affiliate guys who seemed to be like the straight killers in the media buying world. It seemed like that's where all the talent is, at least in my experience, people that I've met. Um, yeah. And so it was a solid, at least a solid year of like full time basically. It was my full-time job to figure out how media buying works. So yeah.
Rabah Rahil (29:43):
That's crazy, man. Why is it called whale farm?
Jordan Konkol (29:47):
You know, it wasn't called that at first. Um, but uh,
Rabah Rahil (29:53):
What was the previous name?
Jordan Konkol (29:55):
It was surge ventures or no surge media. Surge media. Okay.
Rabah Rahil (29:59):
Jordan Konkol (30:00):
I thought a lot of, uh, you know, yeah. I don't know. Kind of a typical bro name, name, idea, you know, like very, um, enthusiastic like growth media. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah. What do you think of the name?
Rabah Rahil (30:22):
I love Wells. Yeah. Surge is it's a little verby, you know, you have that, that verb in there, but uh, it could, my, my whole thing with names is they can't be horrible. Like I think the name is gonna be ultimately an encapsulation of the person or the thing or whatever, but if it's bad or distracting, then that's, but you, you can kind of masturbate on names too much sometimes for me where it's like, just, just go be like business. Yeah. If it's not bad
Jordan Konkol (30:51):
With it. Great dude. You know, what's a great example of that. I, I discovered this band, um, they're great. They're like experimental kind of have this like R and B electronic thing going, using weird time signatures and just really interesting, but their name is jock strap. That's the name of the band? It's the worst name? I hope they don't ever hear this, but it's like the worst. Like they sound like the filthiest punk rock band who just doesn't it's
Rabah Rahil (31:20):
Exactly what I got from that. Yeah. Or some death or something
Jordan Konkol (31:25):
Like think like James Blake plus like Frank ocean plus like grills or something. A little bit of, I don't know. It's probably not very accurate, but they're, they're not going for what jock strap seems to <laugh> indicate. So no, the surge thing was like, I thought of like the ocean, you know, how like the waves come out and they come in. Yep. And it was an experience of mine at, as an employee that if you just like work really hard in a certain direction you'll experience these like level ups, like you'll just surge up upgrade. I love that.
Rabah Rahil (31:59):
Jordan Konkol (32:00):
And it seems like it comes outta nowhere. You can't correlate it, but it's just kind of seems to happen that way. So, um, part of the ethos behind the business was like that experience of like going from being broke and then believing in myself and getting over some limiting beliefs about money and about wellbeing and all of these things is really important to me. And I thought, well, rather than just like doing a service for people, like what if I could give them that feeling? Yeah. And like, rather than just employing people, what if I could give them the opportunity to have that feeling of like experiencing some dignity in your work or seeing something happen you didn't think was possible? Um, that, that was the biggest thing about that whole, you know, experience as a, an employee. Was it wasn't just about making money.
It was like, for some reason I just wanted to like blow people's minds of what they thought was possible. Cuz they all had like this, you know, the best person ever did this. And if you do this, you're great, but this is your quota. So you're gonna be kind of here. I was like, dude, what if you're like all the way out here? Like I just, and I just fixated on people seeing that, like seeing the scoreboard being like what the freak, like, like imagine thinking you could score a hundred points in a game yeah. In a basket game. Yeah. Like if somehow if just the, I don't know something about it being impossible and then the experience of it happening and it, it actually happened, you know, like there was a record there that this person was legendary for that I met that or I matched that record for like 14 months in a row.
It just like the same thing. And it that's when people were like he's cheating or he is doing something shady <laugh>. And, and so I, I, I thought like when I started the business, like if I could create that same sort of experience for small businesses specifically, like people that are just right on the cusp of, um, of growing, you know? Yeah. Not any small business, but like special small businesses. And you know, to this date, like that's kind of what that's like kind of my north star is why I keep doing this cuz for my, myself, like just doing this for myself, like I maybe I could imagine other things to do, but um, it's like, it's meaningful to me that like this brand, for example, this was a side project and now, now it's like a full blown business. Like they've got employees, a warehouse doing pretty well, you know, like that's, that means something to me, you know?
Rabah Rahil (34:42):
Jordan Konkol (34:43):
Rabah Rahil (34:44):
Yeah, there's definitely something to, um, that anchoring belief because, uh, like a perfect example I used to be in really, uh, fairly successful runner. I ran in high school and college and uh, there's a really famous guy named Roger banister. And he was the first, uh, guy to run under a four minute mile. Um, and people had previously thought like a four minute mile was absolutely impossible, et cetera, et cetera. And then Roger banister did it. And then like five, 10 years later, Alan Webb. And like all these people started popping off three 50 plus miles, um, under four minutes. And so it just takes that, uh, one person to kind of reset, um, what people think is possible. And then you can see people following suits. So you're kind of like the Roger banister of your own life where you're saying, Hey, I don't, I don't care about what people say is cuz there, there was literally a belief that it was physically impossible to run a four minute mile. Um, and then Roger Bannister did it and then Allen Webb started cranking on it and Allen Webb did it in high school, which is even crazier. And so, um, I love that, man. That's fantastic. Um, let me ask you a little bit about kind of the future. What do you think the biggest opportunity is now in kind of coming up in terms of like e-commerce and what you see like across your agency and clients and like how do you see like kind of the DTC world unfolding in the next couple years?
Jordan Konkol (36:04):
Um, well I actually just had this conversation earlier today with the client and my sense of things, you know, I, I became pretty skeptical of, of, you know, hacks and new platforms and like secret methods and all that, that kind of stuff. And just through experience and I think this is amplified by like how the market is right now, what's happening. And especially if we go into a recession will be amplified even further. Is that like everything's reduced, everything's reduced like business fundamentals. Yeah. So like, like product market fit is more important than creative, which is more important than, uh, you know, media buying media. Buying's like 1% that's gonna like push it over the top, but like just returning the fundamentals. So like how you like the sort of products that you're creating and how, how you engage with customers. Like I think create it probably. Yeah. I, I just think like when people get squeezed, like who do you wanna do business with someone who like has a sale going or someone who has, you know, somehow, you know, gotten in front of you through some ninja skill from media buying, like who cares, just make a really good product and like treat customers really, really well. Yep. It's like pretty simple, which is, yeah. So I mean that and creative, I think cuz like as things get, as the playing field gets leveled, you know? Yep.
Rabah Rahil (37:42):
Jordan Konkol (37:43):
Then it's marketing fundamentals, which is like, what sort of offer do you have or what sort of are you positioning your product to be, to, to be a, a fit with, um, that consumer? So I think things are move. I mean, this is just my sense of things. I think things are moving away from like media buying and platforms and this strategy or that strategy and more to like higher level, um, you know, positioning of like the product and the brand. So yeah. So I think copywriters and people who can make creatives or tools that can make interesting creatives mm-hmm <affirmative> um, are really valuable.
Rabah Rahil (38:27):
Yeah. I totally agree. I, and it's kind of funny it's I, I joke about it. It's kind of like corduroy where it's not dead. It just is waiting the right cycle and kind of what's old is new is what what's old is new again kind of thing where, um, getting back to, to your point business fundamentals, I think community's a really big one that people are sleeping on where, um, being able to have a community, but to your point, like it's really hard to have a community. If you have a crappy product, like mm-hmm, <affirmative> nobody, you know, nobody like drop shippers and stuff. Like it's just not yeah. You grab something off Alibaba and then you, you get some arbitrage on it. It's like, ah, I think those days are, are pretty challenging right now. And I, I agree. I don't think media buying's like dead, but I do think it's, there's a, to your point, a hierarchy of things that you need and media buying is not at the top of that hierarchy.
Like if you can have a great product, if you can have a great community, if you can create great content and then you that in a, um, way builds the fire and then you can put fuel on that fire fuel being the media bind where if you try and put a bunch of gasoline on something that's not on fire, doesn't matter. It's still not gonna be on fire. Like I don't care how great your media buyer is, how great the copy is, how great the creative is. Like if there's not a product market fit, if there's not fundamentals, um, if the economics don't work, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it's, it's gonna be a real big challenge to find success.
Jordan Konkol (39:48):
Also, if you don't have like a, a brand really mm-hmm <affirmative> like that, that affects things too. Yep.
Rabah Rahil (39:56):
Jordan Konkol (39:57):
I think, especially as like, again, like as times it seems like right now that just, this is me as a consumer. My experience in the world is that the cost of everything is going up and the service level and the quality of everything's going down. Yeah. Like I pay more for less milk at the grocery store. Yeah. I pay more for like a worse experience at the dealership. Yeah. I want to get my car serviced or get a new car. And the people that you do interact with are beaten down and like stretch thin because, because, uh, you know, people are going through staffing issues. So the way that you stand out in that environment is like, make a really good product and give really good service to everybody. Cuz then they're going like that kind of, uh, marketing, you know, a really enthusiastic customer is so much more valuable than like hiring someone to do a video or something, you know? Totally,
Rabah Rahil (40:51):
Totally. And, and for me too, it's also more sustainable where it's like, people are gonna have a emotional connection with you. You actually help them out. You solve the need for them. Um, you help them in a time of need, et cetera, et cetera. Like that's a much more powerful connection than being able to put the right ad in front of the right person at the right time. Like again, that's, it's, it's helpful, but being able to find those people that are really connected and you, you really have, uh, um, you know, again, solve the need for them is gonna be way better. Um, man, we're pushing up against it. I can't believe 40 41 went by you ready to jump into rapid fires? Jordan, I'm gonna hit you with some questions. You hit me with some answers.
Jordan Konkol (41:30):
Rabah Rahil (41:31):
All right. Uh, here we, we go overrated, underrated Austin.
Jordan Konkol (41:37):
Oh, okay. Um, overrated would be, uh, I'm gonna be rude and say the music's overrated.
Rabah Rahil (41:51):
Okay. But the city as a whole.
Jordan Konkol (41:54):
Oh is the city. Oh, I, I thought
Rabah Rahil (41:56):
Yeah. Is Austin? No, no. So is Austin is Austin overrated or underrated?
Jordan Konkol (42:02):
Rabah Rahil (42:03):
Oh, I love it. Yeah.
Jordan Konkol (42:05):
Rabah Rahil (42:05):
Jordan Konkol (42:05):
It's where it's happening, right?
Rabah Rahil (42:07):
Yeah. It's a great city. Isn't it? I love this city. I've been here for 12 years. Almost poetry, overrated. Underrated.
Jordan Konkol (42:14):
It depends on who you talk to. Probably like some people need to underrate. They appreciation some people back down a little bit. <laugh> probably underrated in general. I think any pleasure like that requires some effort is probably good. Good medicine.
Rabah Rahil (42:30):
Yeah. Do you have any favorites?
Jordan Konkol (42:33):
Rabah Rahil (42:34):
Poets, poets, poets, or poets, poems or poets.
Jordan Konkol (42:37):
There was this guy named Frans Wright and also James there's only fathers, son, uh, poet duo that won that won the Pulitzer. Um, it's the only father son combination that won the same Pulitzer. So, but they're good. There's
Rabah Rahil (42:54):
A Pulitzer for poetry. I thought that was a writing award. Yeah. Well I guess poetry is writing, but I thought it was more long form. I did not know that.
Jordan Konkol (42:59):
No, it's there's I think there's it's in different categories or
Rabah Rahil (43:02):
Something. Okay. Okay. Cool. Look at that. Yeah. They're right. The Wright brothers. No, not flying though. Uh, owning an agency overrated or underrated.
Jordan Konkol (43:14):
Um, again, it depends on who you talk to.
Rabah Rahil (43:19):
I'm talking to you
Jordan Konkol (43:20):
This supposed to be rapid fire man. And I
Rabah Rahil (43:23):
Know I'm talking to you. So what, as you, as an agency owner, do you think owning an agency is overrated or underrated?
Jordan Konkol (43:30):
I think as, as a way in which to make as much money as possible, it's probably overrated as a way as the ultimate personal self development program. It's underrated. If you'll let it be that for you, it can be that for you, but you're not gonna be, you know, doing what the people on the YouTube videos or the course tell you you're gonna do. <laugh> a very different sort of thing.
Rabah Rahil (43:54):
Fair point. Uh, making music overrated or underrated.
Jordan Konkol (43:59):
I think it's underrated. I think everybody should find an instrument.
Rabah Rahil (44:04):
I love that. What's your favorite instrument?
Jordan Konkol (44:07):
Rabah Rahil (44:08):
Love it. That's the gateway drug. Isn't it? If you can play the piano, it's very easy to, um, transition to other instruments is what I've been told.
Jordan Konkol (44:16):
Um, it hasn't worked for me. <laugh>
Rabah Rahil (44:20):
I've been lied to then
Jordan Konkol (44:21):
Or anything OBO. Oh cool. Cause it's like,
Rabah Rahil (44:25):
It's the redo,
Jordan Konkol (44:27):
But it's like this steam punk kind of instrument, you know?
Rabah Rahil (44:30):
Jordan Konkol (44:31):
Car, you're holding it and you're touching the strings, but a piano you've got like levers and a thousand pounds of pressure on these strings and this big iron piece. It's like, it's very like high tech for like late 19th century. Okay.
Rabah Rahil (44:44):
Jordan Konkol (44:44):
Century. You know what I mean? Yeah, yeah. In this weird in between. And that's why it can get really quiet or really crazy loud, you know?
Rabah Rahil (44:52):
So I love it. Um, NFTs, overrated or underrated.
Jordan Konkol (44:58):
Um, I have no comment,
Rabah Rahil (45:01):
Jordan Konkol (45:02):
I don't even know anything about NFTs. I just know the same. I don't know if I can curse on this podcast.
Rabah Rahil (45:07):
Of course you can. Yeah. Yeah.
Jordan Konkol (45:08):
Same bros who are like into that. They're always into like the short term new hot thing. And there's some like newsletter, you gotta join. They're gonna charge you to join. And then there's a bunch of people who've never really done it. Who are gonna tell you what to do. And it's just like maybe, maybe yeah, go try it. If it, if it works, then
Rabah Rahil (45:28):
Jordan Konkol (45:28):
Just have time for it.
Rabah Rahil (45:30):
I can dig it. My
Jordan Konkol (45:32):
Friends, friends who are always bugging me about it.
Rabah Rahil (45:35):
I know I miss the train. I miss the train. But uh, I'm with you, the, the rug pools and the there's some things that I'm not super into. I think as a protocol, it could be really interesting. But in terms of the art vector, I'm still, still not sold, uh, favorite meal and why
Jordan Konkol (45:50):
Like breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Rabah Rahil (45:53):
No, like, uh, actual, like, yeah, either most frequently eaten or like if you're gonna die, like on death row, what would you eat?
Jordan Konkol (46:01):
Um, I'm all about the Muley.
Rabah Rahil (46:04):
What is that? I don't even know what it is.
Jordan Konkol (46:07):
It's like the, this is the dumbest answer to this question. The least cool answer. It's a Swiss cereal that you eat cold with with uh, it's like oats and wheat. It's very, very Hardy and healthy. Yeah.
Rabah Rahil (46:21):
Jordan Konkol (46:22):
Meli. I think that's how mu,
Rabah Rahil (46:24):
Oh my God. I've never even heard of this. That's it's so great.
Jordan Konkol (46:28):
You don't have to cook. You just pour it. It's like eating cereal, but it's whole grains, you know? So you're not eating like processed food. It's really good. <laugh> yeah.
Rabah Rahil (46:38):
You're such an odd bird, Jordan. I love it. Um, your favorite,
Jordan Konkol (46:43):
But I could be, you know, I'm not gonna be fancy. I'm gonna give my real answer. You know,
Rabah Rahil (46:48):
Fair play. I love it. I love it. Um, favorite band
Jordan Konkol (46:52):
Rabah Rahil (46:53):
Ooh, that's a great one. That's that's creep, right? That's their big, big, uh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Great song. Um, favorite guitar.
Jordan Konkol (47:05):
Rabah Rahil (47:06):
Yeah. Isn't there like really cool isn't guitar. Like isn't aren't I thought the guitar world is like this whole niche of like you have these different type people. I thought it was a very polarizing world where people have hot takes,
Jordan Konkol (47:18):
Play guitar. Remember? Oh, damn. But I would say my favorite guitar is, I don't know the really strange ones they play in like
Rabah Rahil (47:25):
Jordan Konkol (47:26):
The SL countries, like with the two stuff
Rabah Rahil (47:30):
<laugh> with the two layers or something. Okay. Uh, favorite place travel to and why?
Jordan Konkol (47:37):
Um, I really like London. Yeah. Cause it feels like it's a world city feels like this microcosm of the world. Yeah. It's very cosmopolitan multicultural. Lots of history. Public trans is really great. It doesn't feel people are polite, but not friendly. Like they'll say hi to you, but they don't wanna be your friend, which is convenient when you're surrounded by people. Yeah. Uh, a lot of parks, really great art people speak the same language as me except, but they don't have the same culture. Right. Which is, you know, a good experience to have. Um, yeah.
Rabah Rahil (48:13):
I love it. I like, yeah. Great pick favorite way to spend your time.
Jordan Konkol (48:19):
Uh, I really enjoy playing music. Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah.
Rabah Rahil (48:26):
Yeah. Do you read music?
Jordan Konkol (48:31):
I used to, but I suppose I could, but I just never really enjoyed
Rabah Rahil (48:35):
It. So now you just kind of go by ear and you just kind of jammed that way. That's awesome. Yeah. Um, favorite book,
Jordan Konkol (48:43):
Man? I've got a few, I'm trying to think of some most recent one that I really liked and it's kind of a series. It's this? It's by this, uh, Finn guy named Ling. What is Ling? Kaga K a G G E. He wrote a book called silence.
Rabah Rahil (49:00):
Jordan Konkol (49:00):
It's about like finding space for lack of noise in, in the modern world. Interesting. He has another one called walking. He's a very primitive name for books. Yeah. He has another one. He has a few other books, but he's a Finn Explorer who walked to the north pole and he also walked to the south pole, spent a lot of time alone.
Rabah Rahil (49:21):
Jordan Konkol (49:22):
He was the first person to do both of those things,
Rabah Rahil (49:24):
But that's pretty impressive.
Jordan Konkol (49:26):
Yeah. Yeah. So
Rabah Rahil (49:27):
Very nice. Kaga I like it. Silence and walking. Yeah.
Jordan Konkol (49:31):
That philosophy, you know?
Rabah Rahil (49:33):
Yeah. Yeah. It's very interesting. Uh, okay. Last question. We'll wrap up the rapid fire. If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive fictional non-fictional who would they be? So you're sitting at a four person table. You're sitting at the head. You can send three dinner, invites out. Who's gonna invite, I'll
Jordan Konkol (49:50):
Be there at the same time.
Rabah Rahil (49:50):
It's all there at the same time. Yeah.
Jordan Konkol (49:52):
Okay. All right. Uh, Homer Simpson
Rabah Rahil (49:56):
Love it. You're the first person to do a fictional character by the way. Really? Very awesome. Yeah. Super awesome. I
Jordan Konkol (50:03):
Love it. I mean wouldn't, if you have this dinner party, wouldn't they be like, horrified that they're alive again. Like, whoa, what am I doing
Rabah Rahil (50:08):
Here? No, no, we can normalize all the freak myths of it. We'll give them, we'll give 'em some amnesia drug or something like that. It's more so just who, what, who do, who do you wanna put in the same room and who do you wanna conversate with?
Jordan Konkol (50:19):
Yeah, I think homers
Rabah Rahil (50:21):
Are great pick.
Jordan Konkol (50:22):
Yeah, just a humorous, fantastic pick character. You gotta have someone there. Yeah. And then probably a great American statesman like Benjamin Franklin. Okay. Guys love
Rabah Rahil (50:31):
Jordan Konkol (50:31):
And maybe an ancient, um, philosopher like Zu, the art of war guy or LASU love
Rabah Rahil (50:38):
Jordan Konkol (50:38):
Uh, and then
Rabah Rahil (50:41):
Hold on. That's three. That's your
Jordan Konkol (50:42):
3 0 3. Oh yeah.
Rabah Rahil (50:44):
Yeah. He's a four person dinner, but you're taking a seat. So you got Homer, you got, uh, either LASU or Sunu, uh, ancient Chinese, uh, philosopher slash um, really, really smart person. And then, uh, an American statesman. I Ben Franklin. That's a fun meal.
Jordan Konkol (51:01):
Rabah Rahil (51:02):
That's fantastic. Homer's probably not gonna add a lot to the combo, but Hey, you know, <laugh>
Jordan Konkol (51:07):
You add like comic relief, you know?
Rabah Rahil (51:10):
Yeah. It'll bring the it'll it'll make the mood very, uh, approachable. I love it. Jordan, you made it all the way through the podcast. Can you believe it?
Jordan Konkol (51:21):
Yeah, it was interesting, man.
Rabah Rahil (51:23):
Unbelievable. Um, how can people connect with you, Jordan? How can people work with, well, farm? Let the people know this time is yours, my friend,
Jordan Konkol (51:31):
Um, visit the way the website, whale, farm.co.
Rabah Rahil (51:35):
Jordan Konkol (51:36):
And you can contact us there.
Rabah Rahil (51:39):
Cool. And then how can people follow you? You're on Facebook. LinkedIn's what are your socials?
Jordan Konkol (51:45):
Yeah, I'm mostly, you know, I'm pretty incognito person.
Rabah Rahil (51:49):
Okay. Yeah. Yeah.
Jordan Konkol (51:51):
Love it. If you wanted to friend me on Instagram and I'll run a background check and everything, <laugh> make sure you check out, but it's AKA underscore JCOM Jka O N
Rabah Rahil (52:03):
Beautiful. But well go follow him. Go sign up for well farm. If you wanna get a fantastic agency, thank you for dropping all your poetic knowledge about music, about life Jordan. This has been a blast. If you wanna get more involved with triple whale, we are tri triple wild.com. We also have a fantastic newsletter that goes out every Tuesday, Thursday called whale mail and Jordan, we're still up for another coffee or drink together. We'll do that again soon. Thank you again, my friend. Uh, super awesome. Again, Eric, thank you for hooking us up and connecting us. And then that's it. That's 42 in the books. Folks. We'll see everyone on the flip. Thanks again.
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