Please state your name and a little about your current status.
Kean Graham is the CEO of MonetizeMore, an 8-figure ad tech company that is a Google Certified Partner with 100+ full-time team members remotely based across the planet. MonetizeMore was conceived in the mountains of Machu Picchu and has grown to $20M in revenues. Graham has traveled to over 90 countries during the 9 years that he has been growing MonetizeMore.
What exactly does your company do?
MonetizeMore provides ad tech to huge AdSense publishers. The tech chooses the highest paying advertiser for each ad placement. This results in dramatically higher ad revenues for the publisher.
How did you start your company/business as a startup?
I originally fell in love with the online industry when working for a large online classified network. The job was an immense learning experience but once the recession hit, the company decided to lay off the marketing department. I lost the best job I ever had but I was determined to turn the bad into something great.
Five days later, I’m on a plane to South America to go on a life-changing trip. Four months into my backpacking trip I was on a four-day trek through the incredible Inca trail towards Machu Picchu. By the end of it, I was sitting on top of Wayna Picchu reflecting on my experiences throughout my trip. I have had the most fulfilling time of my life and it finally clicked:
I will work and travel when I want, where I want.
I have to start a digital business to enable this autonomous lifestyle. Seven months later I started the digital business called MonetizeMore which now offers this autonomous lifestyle to every member of our team.
Since then, the company has grown to $20M in revenues that is a Google Certified Partner with 100+ full-time team members remotely based across the planet.
What struggle did you go through to reach your current status now?
In January 2014 our largest publisher at the time received a spam attack from one of their competitors. After 3 weeks of investigation, the violation was deemed large enough to ban the whole master account. When Google bans an account, they revoke all unpaid ad revenues which added up to $2.2 million USD that was owed to MonetizeMore and our publishers.
How did you manage to cope up with those struggles?
This was crushing news that brought MonetizeMore to the brink of bankruptcy, however, our team was able to rally and come out of this horrible situation stronger than ever. We were able to retain a decent percentage of our publisher partners and had to make one-off deals with several.
This struggle was the toughest in my life. There were times when I looked at the roof in disbelief and wondered if it really happened. At the worst times, I was able to re-frame my perspective by remembering that others would kill to be in my position of running a business while living my dream of traveling the World. I had no reason to feel sorry for myself.
Who inspired you to move forward and influenced you in all your achievements now?
Our COO, Julio Monzon, is also a good friend of mine. We both struggled through this together and were able to support each other. It wasn’t easy, but his support helped a lot and it made our friendship stronger as well.
What piece of advice will you share with those who would like to follow your footsteps?
Sell the Vision: When my company was young, it was tough to sell our offering. I had to find businesses that were willing to take a risk on a young company. I would have had an easier time selling if I sold “where we’re going” rather than “where we are”.
There was one online classified in particular that would have converted as a new client if I communicated the vision of the business. The inspiration for a grand vision can go a long way in terms of value perception especially when long-term B2B relationships are on the line.
How can people follow your journey? Please list your social media URLs
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