3 Unforgettable Lessons from JourneyPure
I’m no longer working at JourneyPure.
This happened Wednesday.
I’ve been processing this for a few days and I haven’t written about it because I know people from JourneyPure read my blog and I’m nervous about coming across as gossipy. That is not my intent.
My daily blog serves one purpose above all others; it helps me think. That’s why I am writing this post, to process the last 2+ years of my life.
I know I’m going to get like 100 email replies to this post saying “you’re not at JourneyPure anymore?! You loved that place. OMG. What happened?”
All you need to know is my time at JourneyPure had run its course. It’s as simple as that.
I am grateful for every second I spent at the company. The marketing team at JourneyPure is the best in the business. There’s no team in the entire treatment industry as hard working, competent, and qualified as they are. JourneyPure is revolutionizing how we treat people with substance abuse disorder, and I am a better person because of the experience.
The last few days have been filled with reflection and insight, as this truly is a close of an important chapter in my life. I’d like to share with you some of the more important lessons I have learned from my time at the company.
1. One Website is Better than Many Websites
This is the biggest mistake I made at JP and has been my biggest professional learning experience.
There used to be a time when you could “trick” Google by creating many different websites that were all focused around longtail keywords.
For instance, in 2014, Stodzy was getting outranked for the keyword “addiction treatment marketing agency.” It didn’t make any sense because Stodzy ranked #1 (and still does) for “addiction treatment marketing”, but as soon as you put “agency” in the search query, another website was number 1.
I can’t tell you how much this would aggravate me. I would obsess over it for hours. Finally, I went all in and I bought the domain addictiontreatmentmarketingagency.com and I optimized the entire website around that one keyword.
It worked. I built an entire website that focused around one keyword. In the past we called these “micro sites.” It was a gimmicky way to fool search engines into sending you web traffic.
When I first got to JourneyPure, I took the same concept and applied it.
I tried to create many different websites around different keyword variations.
Luckily, the websites I created DID own the search results for the keywords they were going after, but when it was all said and done, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to do something that I could have done more efficiently by focusing all my attention and resources on one website.
In addition, I missed out on a lot of better opportunities by spreading the resources so thin.
Over time, new team mates refocused the attention on one site, and the results spoke for themselves. I was wrong.
I’ll never make the mistake of playing games with Google again. Google is too smart and you can’t trick the search engines the same way you used to.
It was a huge learning experience for me. Although being wrong was painful and embarrassing to some extent, I am still grateful for it because it helped me become better at my craft.
2. Fall in Love with the Data
I have never been a numbers oriented person.
In high school, I went to summer school for math all 4 years. One summer, my parents even sent me to a private math tutoring school at LaSalle. I’ll never forget my math teacher used to finish every equation by saying…
“it will save you time, and TIME ISSSSS MONNEEEEYYYYY!!!!”
(lol - he was a good guy, but I digress)
One of the most valuable lessons I learned from JourneyPure was how to use numbers and data to make great choices.
Since then, I’ve started really trying to “fall in love with the data.”
I’ve been applying this concept in my life everywhere I can.
At Stodzy, we started…
tracking where all our leads come from
measuring conversion rates on phone calls and cross referencing those conversion rates with lead sources
tracking our web traffic numbers by page and then figuring out which pages convert to the most phone calls / email opt ins / etc.
At Copyblogger, I started…
A/B testing headlines
Finding out which pages aren’t providing any traffic value and either deleting them or redirecting them
Obsessing over sales funnels and which path convert the most sales
The team at JourneyPure helped me become less intimidated by data. The data tells a story, it paints a picture. You don’t have to paint your picture all at once, but building a habit of data tracking, monitoring, and observing will only help you in your cause.
Every day, I spend a little time looking at data, tracking numbers, and documenting what is happening in spreadsheets. Most importantly, I started using data to guide me in my choices.
It’s been paying off big time.
3 - I’ll Never Have Another Job - EVER
I took the job at JourneyPure for one reason above all others.
I believed in the company.
For those who don’t understand the treatment space like I do, you have to understand how important it is to build addiction treatment facilities that accept in-network insurance policies.
The vast majority of people in the country have in-network insurance plans. The amount of people with drug problems who can’t get help because of insurance is staggering. It’s really mind boggling.
The problem is that building an in-network treatment model is very difficult. I won’t get into all the reasons why, but please understand that NO ONE (other than JourneyPure) has built an in-network treatment conglomerate successfully.
When the opportunity to work at JourneyPure was presented to me, I knew in my core that this was something I needed to be a part of. So against my better judgement, I took on a job.
I don’t regret it at all. I’m grateful for every moment at the company and JourneyPure never forced me to fit into a cooperate mold.
However, the more time went on the more obvious it became that I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
I’ll never do it again.
The people at JP only ever made me feel welcome and appreciated and respected. I can’t stress this enough. The environment there is top notch. With that being said, there were many moments when I felt uncomfortable.
I can write a long list of all the reasons why working in that environment isn’t for me, but ultimately, the experience taught me a lesson about myself.
I’m an entrepreneur. My ego is too big to work in that environment. I like to do what I want, when I want. I like to go where I want, when I want. I want be in control of my income, my time, my values and my leisure time. I like to make mistakes on my own dollar and most off all, I don’t ever want to feel like my successes or my failures can effect someone else.
If I fail, I want to take the fall for myself. If I succeed, I want all the glory.
There’s a lot for me to say about this topic, but I feel I can summarize it in a short sentence.
I have been much sadder about my departure from JourneyPure than I expected to be.
Over the course of the last few days, there were many moments when I started welling up with emotions. During my walk the other night, I actually had to stop walking and put my hands on my knees to catch my breathe and get my shit together.
This was an amazing chapter in my life. I learned more at JourneyPure than I ever could have learned with a formal education. I met the coolest people, and I am proud to have been a part of it.
On a personal note, there are two men at JourneyPure in particular who I have come to truly admire. The CEO and CMO at JourneyPure are remarkable people. Aside from my father, I’ve never had men in my life that I wanted approval from. These two men are the hardest working, most honest, most dependable, and most noble men I have ever met. They were always willing to have the hard conversations, and I admire that so much. I want to be more like them.
At the end of the day, it was all worth it.
There are things I wish I had done differently. There are choices I made that I am very proud of, and I hope that my time there made JourneyPure a better place.
These last two years have been like no other. I wouldn’t change a thing.