Marcus Neto with Blue Fish (Interviewed by Terry Harbin)

Marcus Neto with Blue Fish (Interviewed by Terry Harbin)

On this week's podcast, we're turning the tables. Terry Harbin sits down with Marcus to interview him on his business journey creating Blue Fish. Listen to this week's episode to learn how Marcus learned to go beyond doubt and find his audience.

Transcript:

Marcus Neto: My name is Marcus Neto and I am the owner of Blue Fish.

Terry Harbin: So Marcus, Terry Harbin here to do the interview today. How does it feel being the interviewee on your own podcast?

Marcus Neto: This is a highly awkward.

Terry Harbin: Well you know how this thing originated, you asked me a few months ago why didn't I let you interview me. And I think on Facebook I actually came back and said why don't you let me interview you. People need to know about you.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, and I appreciate it. And for the record, and I'll try not to take this thing over okay, but for the record Terry and I have known each other for a couple of years now. He's been a great mentor. He's actually one of the main reasons why we're in the building that we're in and I think very highly of him. There's not just anybody that I would want interviewing me. I'm glad you're here.

Terry Harbin: Well thanks. I'm glad to be here. I've spent the last two days listening to podcasts that you guys have done.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: There're very exciting and I've learned a lot. So looking forward to asking you some questions today.

Terry Harbin: So I'm going to start where you normally start Marcus, and I love the word that you use called backstory. Give us, even though I know some of it, give me a little of the backstory how you got to Mobile.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. So I'm originally, I was born in Indiana. I did not spend a whole lot of time there. My parents divorced when I was very young. And I was placed with my father. I basically grew up living with my father. And we moved to Virginia. I didn't grow up in the greatest neighborhood. My story is that we lived in a three level townhouse. The upstairs had three bedrooms and there were different people renting each of the three bedrooms.

Terry Harbin: Oh, cool.

Marcus Neto: Well it wasn't, I mean it is what it is. My father worked very hard. We actually lived in the basement. I mean just to paint a picture, like the whole purpose of this podcast is to show people like where you kind of come from. And so like I didn't come from means. My father was a manager of a Burger King. Often times I would only see him for 30 minutes a day. He would pick me up to take me to school in the morning when I was in elementary and middle school.

Marcus Neto: The reason why I love donuts so much is because he would often times take me to get donuts first thing in the morning. And he's have a cup of coffee and I'd have some chocolate milk. Then he'd take me to school. And that was my relationship with my father for a number of years, unless he had like a day off or something like that.

Marcus Neto: And I just, I remember very much, very vividly the sacrifice that he made in moving us across town because I very much wanted to go to a specific high school. All of my friends were going to that high school and I felt like if I went to that high school, I would also have ... It was just the high school on the better side of town and I knew that the influence that people would have on my life, that it would be much better if I was at that high school.

Marcus Neto: And so he did. He made the sacrifice and moved me over there. But then fast forward, graduating from high school, went to James Madison University after a year and a half at community college. Went in as a music major and decided that I did not want to spend six years learning piano because you had to pass the keyboard proficiency exam. And you're nodding because you know quite a bit about this stuff with your kids.

Terry Harbin: Yeah pretty interesting that you would say that. We've talked about my son Thomas before and it is a pretty tough road.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. I think music major is probably one of the toughest majors, not necessarily because of the subject matter because if you go into music, obviously you love music. But its one of the toughest majors because not only do you have to carry a 16 or 17 credit hour load, but your classes are often times one or two credit hours. They often times have practices associated with it. And you also have to practice for your own showcases and things like that. So it gets to be quite confusing.

Marcus Neto: So I went to James Madison after a year and a half at community college. Did not graduate with a music major. I graduated with an English degree and then moved to Northern Virginia where I moved into technology. And started out in programming and doing some stuff for DOD contracts, Department of State contracts.

Marcus Neto: And then after living kind of this weird life where I was commuting two or three hours, four hours a day in traffic and basically hating life, moved to Mobile. And then we fell in love with the area just like many people who move to this lovely town. And so here we are.

Marcus Neto: I moved down, didn't have a job, didn't know what I was going to do, didn't care. We had some money set aside and I decided that I was going to start building websites. And so that's how I ended up in Mobile.

Terry Harbin: I want to go back and pick up on one thing you said because I saw it's on the website and it just is coincidental that I was in the tech business in the 90s here in Mobile with a company called QMS. And you mentioned the tech scene in DC in the 90s. What was that like up there?

Marcus Neto: Well it was pretty insane. So if you were graduating from college, often times you would get picked up by these larger, either at the time it was the big six accounting firms or you'd get picked up by any of the consulting companies that were working for DOD and Department of State. And basically they would put you through a formal training process. So EDS, Electronic Data Systems, was the company that I originally went to because I spent about a year and a half, two years in sales. And then went into technology.

Marcus Neto: And it's funny and actually interesting. This is how you never know how things are going to work out in your life. I actually worked my way through college at Lowes and Home Depot and so I learned quite a bit about those things. And I was actually refinishing a basement for a friend of my wife's and they worked for EDS. She was a recruiter, so she was actually the one that was responsible for getting me my first tech job.

Marcus Neto: And so it came that way verses me going to some sort of job fair or something like that. But yeah.

Terry Harbin: So Ross Pero and ADS, probably not a lot of people remember that name. But he was a presidential candidate a few years ago that was a real spoiler.

Marcus Neto: We could use a little Ross Pero in our lives nowadays.

Terry Harbin: Well it's pretty interesting. You talked about coming to Mobile with no job, so talk to us a little bit about the journey from moving to Mobile to the beginning of Blue Fish.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. We moved down and I had worked in programing and stuff like that and I always had this fascination with the internet and building websites and stuff. It took me about a year and a half of two years, and I walked into David's Counter Culture one day and managed to talk to somebody there. And I don't remember, I think he was maybe the son of the owner or something like that. And talked them into letting me build them a website. So I built them a small, little website. And that was kind of the start of Blue Fish. I mean that was the very first website that I ever built for somebody outside of myself just practicing. And looking back at it now, because I still have all the code from all those old websites ...

Terry Harbin: What were you programing in back then?

Marcus Neto: Some of it was ASP. It was all a lot of html, but the way that we built websites was quite different. So think about building a website using an Excel spreadsheet verses nowadays where it has to be much more fluid. It's not so rigid, built out of blocks and squares and pixels that have to be used as filler and stuff like that. I mean it's a much different way of building websites nowadays.

Terry Harbin: This is an interview all about you, but I'm going to share one little thing about that.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, go ahead.

Terry Harbin: I had a company in Mobile called DMG, Digital Marketing Group.

Marcus Neto: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Terry Harbin: Back in the early 80s, and we did the first website ever for the Mobile Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Marcus Neto: Oh wow.

Terry Harbin: Guy named James and Ron and I. I was a salesman. Didn't know anything about coding. But I went out and talked them into doing that. Mike Dow was the Mayor back then and gave me a little entrée, because he'd been my boss at QMS. And so things were really a lot different back then.

Terry Harbin: So David's Counter Culture was that-

Marcus Neto: Well real quick, you asked me about the culture of DC in the 90s. So I'll, for those of you who that aren't familiar, like in the 98, 99 timeframe, there was this mad push because we all realized we had made a problem in our code with a two digit year instead of a four digit year. So those of you that are not old enough, you won't remember the year 2000 bug that everybody-

Terry Harbin: Y2K.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, everybody freaked out. So I'll never forget, I started a new job with a company called Noble South, no Noble Star. And I don't think their, Noble South is a restaurant. Gosh, I've got food on the brain. But anyways, so I started with Noble Star, that morning I went to my orientation, they told me to pack a bag and bring it with me. And at 11:00, they had a limo out front, just a black car, that drove me up to BWI, and literally I spent the next four months of my stay with them, traveling to either Las Vegas or I was in Wilson, Massachusetts, or where ever they needed me to go, because I was actually working on projects that were fixing this Y2K bug.

Marcus Neto: So I mean like that's just the way of, that was the way of operation back then. It was like you're hired, get on a plane, you know go.

Terry Harbin: During that same period of time Marcus, I was traveling 40 weeks a year for QMS.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: And probably crossed paths in many an airport back in the day.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: I'm just curious about something though, since I'm in the banking business, a lot of people talk to us about capital needed to start a business and that kind of thing. I'm just curious, how did you boot strap this thing, did you have any cash, talk to us a little bit about?

Marcus Neto: I'm actually a multimillionaire and I just ...

Terry Harbin: I love it.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. No. That's totally a joke. No the wonderful thing about this industry is that if you have a laptop and some knowhow, often times you can get started. And so I just was, I'm a very curious person by nature, so I would just dive into blog posts and articles and how-tos and all that other stuff. But really I mean all I needed was a laptop and so that's how I got my start was I just invested the $2 or $3,000 that was needed for a decent laptop and just got started.

Terry Harbin: I remember my first pc at QMS cost $6,400.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: And it had two floppy drives.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, those were the days right.

Terry Harbin: So that's going back a ways.

Terry Harbin: That's pretty cool. So you started Blue Fish, have you ever started any other businesses?

Marcus Neto: Yeah. We actually owed a book store, a Christian book store, on the eastern shore called a Joyful Noise for about eight or nine months before we decided it was bleeding too much and we needed to shut that sucker down. I've got some successes right with Blue Fish, and some maybe not so successes, but learning experiences with that bookstore.

Terry Harbin: So with a couple of start ups in your portfolio, what's the kind of one piece of advise you would give people that are thinking about starting a business or maybe have just started a business?

Marcus Neto: I think the biggest piece of advice that I could give is look to, know that it's not going to be easy. Know that you are going to constantly doubt decisions that you make and where things are going and stuff, to the effect that you can put pieces in place that prevent you from having those kinds of thoughts and stuff like that.

Marcus Neto: So for instance, cashflow is a big thing for business owners, right. But if you can put together some sort of budget, a monthly profit and loss statement, and then some sort of cashflow worksheet that tells you what your cashflows going to look like for the next X number of months, then it helps to alleviate some of those stresses.

Marcus Neto: But the big thing is, you know I'm not a numbers guy. I'm not a finance guy, otherwise I would have majored in business and gone into accounting or something along those lines. But there are instances where you don't need to focus on your weaknesses, but finances is definitely one of those where you do need to focus on that weakness. If you don't, if you're not bent that way, you've got to learn how to do it.

Terry Harbin: Yeah. And from my experience in the banking business, a lot of times creatives and finances don't really go hand in hand.

Marcus Neto: Correct.

Terry Harbin: And so anybody in your business that at least has their eye on the ball with regards to that, rarely do I ever hear creative talk about cashflow statements or that kind of thing-

Marcus Neto: Ha ha ha.

Terry Harbin: So you're kind of a leg up.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: Got a leg up on people.

Marcus Neto: I've learned my lesson the hard way. Just many sleepless nights of not understanding what was going on with my business. I've got pieces in place, and then that kind of eludes to process. As a creative, most of the time creatives aren't known for putting processes in place. I have done a fairly good job I think of putting processes in place that allow the people that work for me to operate and do the things that I need them to do without requiring so much of myself because you can't possible do all those things.

Terry Harbin: Right. Right. I think processes are critically important. And one of the things that I really noticed when I was kind of pursuing your website to prepare for coming in here today, you've got a couple of things that I think appear to me to be very process driven. The thought process behind them and that kind of thing make me very curious. And I've actually heard you say this in some presentations at the Chamber and other places in the city. One of them is we help businesses overcome obscurity. And you've really got kind of three key components to that. We know design, we speak code, and we guide marketing.

Terry Harbin: Talk a little bit about the process part of that and how you take from first conversation with a customer, how do you walk them through those three key things to help bring them out of obscurity?

Marcus Neto: Sure. So then our tag line is we help small, medium sized businesses overcome obscurity and connect with their audience. And we say audience very specifically because sometimes it's non-profits trying to connect with their donors. Sometimes it's a business owner trying to connect with their clientele, and so on and so forth. And sometimes honestly, it's a larger organization that needs help with human resources and recruiting and stuff like that.

Marcus Neto: So that's specific wording, but we're not just another shop where you're going to come and we're going to create some pretty stuff for you. We want to move the needle. We want to help you execute on your business and help you be more successful. And we want to solve business problems. And so one of the very first things that we need to do, is understand that and come up with a strategy by which we're going to tackle that problem.

Marcus Neto: And so that can be a website. Like so my background is development, but I'm very much consider myself design capable. I'm not as good as some of the people that I have working for me, but I am design capable. And so all the early websites I designed and developed and did all that stuff. But I think all those things are very important and we approach them with kind of an artisanal level of attention to detail. And that's because I very much know that the difference between good and great is in those details.

Marcus Neto: And so if we launch a website and we've done our job correctly with the code and where we put certain pieces of content and stuff like that, then not only is it easy for the client to use that website and make updates and stuff like that, but it's going to perform better with search engines and for their clients and stuff as well.

Terry Harbin: Good stuff. And you talk about guiding marketing, give me a little insight into how you help a client understand what marketing is and how you guide that process for them.

Marcus Neto: So we're recording this the week after start up weekend. And one of the conversations I had with a couple of the groups there was you have to know who you're selling to. And walk them through the process of creating user personas. And if you don't know what a user persona is, go to our website and look at the marketing madness videos. I'm sure there's one there, if there's not, then there will be soon.

Marcus Neto: But anyway, so when we guide marketing, we're often times helping business owners or the heads of organizations figure out who it is that they're trying to connect with first. Because many business owners don't know that, they don't have that idea. And then most of these people are coming to us and they have a finite, not infinite, but a finite budget. And so we're helping them to figure out who it is that they're trying to get in touch with, where those people are, and how we can best access them without spending a lot of money that they don't have.

Marcus Neto: And then the hope is that once you start to get those people connected with them, that sales will increase and that they'll have additional money that they can throw at that problem to reach even more people, which increases sales and so on. And you get this big cyclical effect of kind of generating revenue for them through the advertising dollars that they're spending.

Terry Harbin: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: I think that's a huge thing that it is so prominent now that was very different when I was doing what you're doing.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: We were very involved in buying very expensive print, TV, and radio spots. And now things are digital, just talk very briefly if you would about how much easier it is from a budgetary standpoint, for somebody to get into using the services that Blue Fish provides, verses ... Yeah, if we didn't have $250,000 to throw at something back in the day, we couldn't even stick our toe in the water.

Marcus Neto: Exactly. Yeah. I'll do that by telling you a story. So we have won the Bishop State Community College contract, and started working with them in say October, November timeframe, there was a period of time where we were talking to them about what we were going to do and then we turned it on. And so I remember very distinctly, it was a Friday afternoon and we turned on the ads that we were going to run for them on some of the social media platforms. And immediately Courtney, our contact over there, here phone started like blowing up.

Marcus Neto: And at that time we were spending probably a sixth or a seventh of the budget, because we were still trying to like, this was new for them. They had never done this before and we had not done it with them, so we were trying to figure out where the audience was and all this other stuff. Figure out what the positioning was and what not. And so we've then made even better strides and getting better engagement and so on and so forth.

Marcus Neto: But I remember that because they had very heavily invested, excuse me, in TV and radio and print beforehand, billboards, whatnot. And they were kind of taking a chance. Like they believed in what it was that we pitched them on which was we're going to make you the premier community college in your geographical area on social media platforms. And so they do have a significant budget. It is a six figure budget. But at the same time, the stuff that we're doing for them is the same thing that we're doing for the folks over at the Anytime Fitness over in Spanish Ford. It's the same that we're doing for any number of our clients where we're placing those ads on the social media platforms.

Marcus Neto: And what the internet has done, is it has lowered the dollar amount, like what you're talking about, that's required to actually get in front of the audience that you're looking to get in front of. I don't know that everybody, as far as business owners, I don't know that they've actually grasped that. Because they still think in terms of needing thousands and thousands, tens of thousands of dollars per month in order to run an effective TV campaign, and then just hoping that it actually worked. Whereas when we deal with digital advertising, everything is measurable, it's quantifiable. We know where it came from. We know where they went. We can track them, all that stuff.

Terry Harbin: Yeah I think the real time metrics that are available for digital marketing now are pretty amazing.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: We used to run ads and say eight different magazines and we'd put a different 800 number in every ad and manually track that. And now, well you're able to pull a screen up and see what's happening in real time.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: It's pretty amazing.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. I mean we're running ads for them on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Spotify, we're running YouTube retargeting ads. And I'm probably forgetting some other stuff too. I mean we've got ads all over the place.

Marcus Neto: But that's also part of their demographic. The people they're trying to reach, again user personas, are young folks that are spending a lot of time on their devices.

Terry Harbin: Right.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: I want to ask you about kind of two other things that I saw on the website that really created a lot of interest for me and then we'll get more into kind of what a typical day looks like in just a minute and that kind of thing.

Terry Harbin: Couple of things that are pretty typical, search engine optimization, branding and identity, I guess everybody is kind of doing that, but you've got two terms out there that really, I'd like to dig into a little more. One is Expression Engine development.

Marcus Neto: Oh, okay.

Terry Harbin: And the other one is Craft development.

Marcus Neto: Sure.

Terry Harbin: Two terms I'm not really familiar with.

Marcus Neto: Right. So when I got started, there were a couple of open source products. So WordPress, Jumla, Drupal, those are names of content management systems that are open source. And so I cut my teeth on Jumla because a good friend of mine, Casey Lee, was one of the top template developers for Jumla and I thought the world of him. I still do, he's a great guy. So I wanted to learn as much as I could about that system.

Marcus Neto: Well he pointed me to Expression Engine. And expression engine is really another content management system that's a higher level of maturity than those other systems. And it's really geared to making the end users life a lot easier. And Craft was born, so I actually worked for the makers of Expression Engine, I was their product evangelist for a year and a half. And Craft was born out of the Expression Engine community. And so there are a lot of similarities between Expression Engine and Craft. And most people aren't going to know what those are and don't care, they just want to know, hey I want to be able to make updates to my website and I want my website to perform well.

Marcus Neto: Well those two systems do a really good job of that, but there are other people who know what Expression Engine is or what Craft Content Management System is. And they want somebody that are experts in those two. And we are part of the professionals network for Expression Engine and I'd say between Tad and myself, we've got a lot of experience there. And then with the Craft Management System, we are partnered with them. And that is a very small list of people who are partners with them.

Terry Harbin: Good deal. And those are two things that I guess have come along since I was involved in any phase of this, and so that's pretty fascinating.

Terry Harbin: I want to ask you about marketing madness too, but let me just mention to everybody listening to the podcast right now MobileAL.com is a website that you guys designed where I found a lot of the non Blue Fish website stuff. Tell us about that real quickly.

Marcus Neto: Well, so a number of years ago, I was trying to figure out how to start a website for business owners here in the Mobile area that would help build community. And so I was running a bunch of domain names through the system and found MobileAL.com was for sale. At the time the guys that had it for sale wanted $25,000 for it.

Terry Harbin: Yikes.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. I was like, I'm a negotiator, there was no way I'm going to pay $25,000 but I'll give you $500 for it. We negotiated and ended up at $5,000, which is the most that I've every paid for a domain name, and God help me if I ever pay that much again. Then it sat for quite a while until we were brainstorming one day and we came up with the plan for MobileAL.com, which is what you currently see. Which is the job listings, the business directory, the things to do, the news section and also the podcast resides there as well as an events calendar and some other stuff.

Marcus Neto: And so it's really our way of pouring back into this community as best as we can. Like we've got 10s of 1000s of dollars invested. And actually it's probably closer to $100,000 invested in this stupid thing by now. I mean between the podcast and the lost hours and the building of the website and everything, I mean it's a fairly significant investment.

Marcus Neto: But we wanted to give back. We wanted to help Mobile be a better city, and this is kind of our way of doing it.

Terry Harbin: And do you market that site?

Marcus Neto: Yeah. We market it through Facebook, through Instagram, all those platforms. Yeah.

Terry Harbin: So who has been a real influencer for you in your business life?

Marcus Neto: I have been fortunate to have a lot of people allow me to ask them questions along the way. Obviously folks like you, when I'm going through something like trying to figure out what it looks like to actually purchase a building and do all the general contracting and stuff. You were very good at giving me the information that I needed in order to make those decisions. But I've also been part of 1702, I was part of the Emerging Leaders program. I've got a number of different things where I can point to and see that people have helped me along the way.

Marcus Neto: I did not arrive at this point on my own. And not to mention all the books and podcasts and things of that nature that I read or listen to. Dinners, lunches, you know whatever, there's been a number of places where I feel like I've gotten mentored if you will.

Terry Harbin: It's pretty interesting. We're mentored in different ways today than we used to be a number of years ago.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: And we have the opportunity to gather information in so many new ways today that we didn't. I think it makes becoming an entrepreneur easier in a lot of ways today than it was a number of years ago. Any thoughts on that?

Marcus Neto: Yeah. I mean the word entrepreneur is sexy right?

Terry Harbin: Right.

Marcus Neto: I mean everybody wants to be an entrepreneur, but I mean sometimes I don't think people realize what it is that they're asking or what they're looking for. So I don't know. I think while it's easier, the task of being an entrepreneur has never been easier either. Because the barrier of entry for creating an e-commerce site or all these things, has come way, way down.

Terry Harbin: It is dropped dramatically over the years.

Marcus Neto: But I also find that a lot of people go into it and they don't have ... They don't really have the desire.

Terry Harbin: Right.

Marcus Neto: Like they like the idea of being an entrepreneur, but when it really comes down to it, do you really have the testicular fortitude to do what it is that people that run businesses do? And often times they don't.

Marcus Neto: And the way that that manifests itself is that they get comfortable and they just stay at a certain level. And they don't continually push themselves and the people that they have working for them to move forward to get the organization to grow. Because I really believe that if you're a healthy organization then you are growing. We've seen growth over the last three or four years. And I want to continue growing.

Terry Harbin: So entrepreneurs don't really get too many 40 hour weeks?

Marcus Neto: Ha ha ha that's funny.

Terry Harbin: Ha.

Marcus Neto: No.

Terry Harbin: A lot of people believe you can. Just come up with a great idea-

Marcus Neto: No.

Terry Harbin: And work a little while, and the millions are going to roll in, right?

Marcus Neto: Even when I'm not here, I'm either reading, I'm writing, I'm thinking about, I'm processing, I'm making notes, I'm doing whatever. It never stops. I mean you go to dinner with somebody, you're talking about business. You go to lunch with somebody, you're talking about business. You get on the phone and it's about business. You know if I go to my parents place, it's like hey how's business?

Marcus Neto: And it's like when you're the one that's responsible for the lives and the income for a number of other people, then I don't take that lightly. I want to do right by them. And so I'm keenly aware of my position.

Terry Harbin: So we're running kind of running short on time. I want to wrap up with a couple of things.

Marcus Neto: Sure.

Terry Harbin: Just I've always been impressed with your crew. The folks that you've got around you and you got a lot of creative people, a lot of smart guys here in this building on Dolphin Street. Just give us a quick run down.

Marcus Neto: So we're a staff of what, seven plus one, seven plus one I think right now. And so Tad and Jared are my right and left hand. Tad has been with me really for the longest time. I consider him employee number one, but the truth is I'm employee number one. So he's employee number two. And then Jared came along, he was originally started with us as a videographer. He's now moved into a project manager role. And really allows me to be the person that I need to be in running the business, going out networking and so on and so forth.

Marcus Neto: And then Varduhi's been with us for quite a while too. She's the lead designer. We've got Adam and Joshua who are developers. We've got Erica who's with us on social media. And we've got Jack who just recently came to us and he's handling audio and video and a bunch of other things too. He does a lot of content for us as well. So, yeah.

Terry Harbin: So really broad skill set. Just real quickly, a snap shot of all the things that Blue Fish provides because it's a lot more than websites.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. No I mean we're an advertising agency. So anything from traditional media buys which does not cost the purchaser any more than if they were to go directly to the TV stations. It just allows us to work with you to place them in a better manner.

Marcus Neto: So traditional media buys, we do websites, we can do web apps, social media management, social media advertising, which is quite effective, content, content strategy, strategy in general, branding, all kinds of stuff. If you need graphic design or a brochures or whatever, we can generate those for you as well.

Terry Harbin: So in addition to all of the newer digital things you guys do from time to time do some more traditional type things as well?

Marcus Neto: Yeah. I mean I wouldn't argue that we're not evenly split, but it's not as ... Like it used to be very focused on building websites. And now our business is very much spread out across all of those various activities.

Terry Harbin: Yeah. Good deal.

Terry Harbin: So I remember the first day we had lunch. We had a pretty normal lunch, great conversation. We got ready to leave, you grabbed a skateboard off the wall and through it down on the sidewalk and we took off. And said hey there he goes. See you later Marcus.

Marcus Neto: I did say goodbye. I didn't just like-

Terry Harbin: You did say goodbye. We shook hands and you said goodbye but it really leads me to kind of a wrap up question before we get to the final wrap up. You're working a lot of hours, you've got a lot going on, there's a lot of pressure related to starting a business, running a business, what do you do when you just like to get away from here?

Marcus Neto: Skateboarding has been a part of my life forever. Since I was in probably elementary or middle school. So that is a big part of my life. I do like to, he's commenting because I actually have an electric skateboard that I'll get on and it'll do 20 mph, and there's nothing quite like running downtown on that thing. Especially now that the weather is nice. But my happy place is with friends, with family. I very much enjoy the beach, it's one of the main reasons why we moved down here. There's nothing more satisfying to me than driving down to Orange Beach and maybe having lunch at the Gulf or someplace down there. And then going and sitting on the beach, playing in the water with my boys for a bit. And then stopping on the way back at Dairy Queen, and I love ice cream.

Marcus Neto: If I can't get to the beach, my daily is, I'm addicted to this show called Ridiculousness, which is Rob Dyrdek. And just people falling on their faces. And I'll sit there and watch that show and eat half a pint of ice cream and life is good.

Terry Harbin: Sounds like a great day to me.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Terry Harbin: So you're not normally on your own podcast. I'm going to give you a chance here at the end, to tell everybody how to get ahold of you, where do people find you, online and otherwise?

Marcus Neto: Yeah. So obviously bluefishds.com is our website. You can reach me directly at marcus@bluefishds.com. My cellphone number is 251-654-3698. Again, that's 654-3698 if you need to talk to us about any additional services or anything. And if you have any questions, just reach out. I'm always happy to answer questions for business owners about what it is we do or what they might need, things of that nature.

Terry Harbin: Good deal. It's a real honor for me to be the one that gets to interview you for your own podcast. Do you have any parting thoughts you want to leave with the audience?

Marcus Neto: So I say this and I'll say it again and I will say it over and over and over again, if you are somebody who is wired to be an entrepreneur, then lean into it. It's a really hard job. You're going to have some very difficult times, but if you don't do it, then you will always wonder what if. But you just got to kind of lean into it and then bring people around you that can help you understand what it is that you're missing.

Marcus Neto: One of the things that we've recognized by doing this podcast, is that there is no right formula for education or upbringing or socioeconomic background or anything for somebody that wants to be an entrepreneur.

Marcus Neto: I literally sat here a minute ago and talked to the most successful HVAC guy in Mobile and Baldwin county. He's doing millions of dollars a year, and he's a high school dropout. And we've also had people on the podcast that have Masters degrees, NBAs and PhDs. And so there's really no rime or reason, it's all about grit and hustle. So go out and get it.

Terry Harbin: That's a great way to wrap up Marcus. I want to thank you for your willingness to sit down and let me do this interview today. It's pretty awesome for me and I appreciate your friendship and a chance to get to do this with you.

Marcus Neto: Yeah man, this is ... I really appreciate this and thank you for doing it.

Terry Harbin: My pleasure.

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