Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Jacob Wulff, the visionary founder of Netsicle.
In this candid conversation, we delve into the inspiring journey that transformed Jacob’s dream into the thriving reality of Netsicle, a digital marketing agency with a unique approach.
Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, and splitting his time between Florida and Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, Jacob is more than just a successful entrepreneur; he is a proud devoted father, husband, and an avid Jacksonville Jaguars enthusiast.
Netsicle, born from Jacob’s aspiration for a better work-life balance, is not merely a business but a testament to his commitment to family and professional growth.
As we navigate through the interview, Jacob shares insights into the philosophy behind Netsicle’s success, emphasizing the agency’s role as a true partner in clients’ journeys.
From the challenges of maintaining a vibrant company culture to the personal lessons learned from pivotal books, Jacob Wulff’s story unfolds, offering a glimpse into the intricate tapestry of entrepreneurship and leadership in the dynamic world of digital marketing.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Jacob Wulff: I’m Jacob Wulff, the founder of Netsicle, and I hail from Jacksonville, Florida (splitting time between Florida and Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas).
Beyond my professional life, I’m a dedicated father to three amazing children and a loving husband. Being a huge fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, you could say that my enthusiasm stretches both in and out of the office.
Netsicle is more than just my business; it’s a dream turned reality. The idea was born from my desire to create a better work-life balance, to spend more time with my family as my kids grow up. With over a decade of experience in digital marketing, I took my passion for technology and innovative marketing strategies and channelled it into Netsicle.
We’re a digital marketing agency that prides itself on delivering customized solutions tailored to each client’s unique needs. From SEO and PPC to social media and content strategy, our team is all about achieving exceptional results.
At Netsicle, I really wanted to build an agency that was more than just a service provider; I wanted to work on bridging the gap towards being true partners in our clients’ journeys towards growth and success.
This philosophy has not only driven our success but has also allowed me to shape a business that aligns with my personal goals – being there for my family’s big moments and nurturing a thriving professional team and clients who depend on our services. It’s this balance that keeps me motivated and excited about what each new day brings at Netsicle.
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle to keep talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued, and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are you adapting to the current shift we see?
Jacob Wulff: In my experience, what keeps employees happy and motivated is feeling valued, heard, and understood. When employees feel that their contributions matter and that they are a vital part of a growing company’s success, it fosters a deep sense of belonging and commitment.
This is deeply personal to me. I left an agency I loved after nearly a decade due to a deteriorating culture and an increasing sense of disconnect with management. Despite my close relationship with the CEO and my team, the environment became stifling. I felt unheard, undervalued, and misunderstood.
The culture that once thrived began to erode from within due to micromanagement and a shift in values. This pushed me to a point where I saw no forward path for myself or my team. It was a clear sign for me not to spend another day enriching others at the expense of my own values and aspirations.
This experience led me to create Netsicle with a focus on building not just a team, but a close-knit family. At Netsicle, we prioritize open communication, respect, and a collective pursuit of success. We ensure every team member’s voice is heard and valued. We encourage innovation and creativity, and we foster a culture where everyone feels they belong and can grow.
I’ve learned the importance of protecting the company culture at all costs. It’s about being vigilant in who we bring into the team, ensuring their values align with ours. Skills can be developed, but integrity, empathy, and teamwork are intrinsic values that are crucial for a thriving workplace.
At Netsicle, we’re committed to ensuring our culture remains robust, vibrant, and nurturing. We keep a close watch to prevent any factors that could disrupt the harmony we’ve worked so hard to create.
My goal is to ensure that Netsicle continues to be a place where everyone feels appreciated, where their work is meaningful, and where they can see a clear path to personal and professional growth.
Here is a two-fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Jacob Wulff: This is an easy answer. “75 Hard” by Andy Friscella. This might seem like an off choice compared to typical business books, but its impact on my life has been profound.
Along with Friscella’s podcast “Real AF,” this book is all about mental toughness and discipline, stretching far beyond being just a mental toughness program. It’s a transformative journey that challenges you to push your limits, both physically and mentally.
One vital life lesson I learned from Andy’s book is the power of consistency and commitment. The program demands adherence to a strict regimen for 75 days, teaching the importance of staying focused on your goals, no matter the challenges. This resilience has been crucial in running Netsicle, where discipline and consistency are key to success.
Another lesson is the significance of self-discipline – doing what’s required, especially when you don’t feel like it. This mindset has been invaluable for me, both personally and professionally.
It’s also the book I’ve given away the most. Its shift from the typical business book paradigm to a focus on personal growth and mental fortitude is why I find it so compelling. I’ve given multiple copies to friends, family, and even my Instagram followers.
It’s not just about physical transformation; it’s about building a resilient mindset, crucial for overcoming life’s challenges. By sharing the book, I want to inspire others to embark on their self-improvement journey and unlock their true potential.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Jacob Wulff: Our biggest challenge at Netsicle right now is striking the right balance between growth and capacity on our team to handle the growth. With the business rapidly expanding, bringing in 5-10 new clients some weeks, we’re constantly navigating the dynamics of growth.
This means we’re not just focused on acquiring clients, but also ensuring that we have the necessary team and resources to deliver the exceptional results they expect. Maintaining this balance is crucial, as it involves continuously adapting our strategy and team structure to align with our expanding client base and their diverse needs.
It’s a complex yet exciting challenge that keeps us on our toes and drives our commitment to excellence.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?
Jacob Wulff: Running a growing business is a multifaceted challenge, and two aspects I’ve found particularly underestimated are team building with culture maintenance and scaling operations efficiently.
At Netsicle, as we rapidly grew to nearly a quarter million in revenue in just a few (very short) months, these challenges were front and center.
Firstly, team building and culture maintenance. It’s not just about hiring; it’s about investing in people who invest in your mission. This approach has been vital for us. We’ve had to be creative with our hiring models, offering opportunities that reward dedication and align with our company’s goals.
This strategy is more about providing a potential reward for hard work, rather than offering high salaries without proven value. It’s like giving a key to a treasure chest that they have to earn.
Secondly, scaling operations while maintaining quality and customer satisfaction. As we bring on more clients, it’s increasingly challenging to maintain the same level of responsiveness and communication we’re known for.
This requires constant innovation and a commitment to balancing growth with the high standards we’ve set. It’s a tightrope walk between expanding our reach and ensuring each client feels valued and heard.
These challenges have taught us the importance of a balanced approach – rewarding those who share our vision and continuously adapting our operations to preserve the quality and personal touch that set us apart in the already crowded internet marketing space.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Jacob Wulff: If I could choose a business superpower, without a doubt, it would be Instant Skill Acquisition. The ability to instantly learn and master any skill necessary for business success would be a game changer.
Whether it’s coding, design, strategic planning, or mastering the art of sales, this superpower would allow me to adapt to any role or challenge instantly, thereby vastly improving our agency’s agility and capability.
This aligns perfectly with a quote by Seth Godin that I resonate with (and my team is tired of me saying): “Don’t find customers for your products & services, find products & services for your customers.”
In the world of digital marketing, where client needs are constantly evolving, having the ability to quickly acquire the skills needed to meet those needs would be incredibly powerful. It’s about always being on the hunt for the right skill, tool, or person to provide precisely what our clients need, when they need it.
This power would not just be beneficial for me personally, but it would significantly enhance the way Netsicle serves its clients, ensuring that we’re always a step ahead in delivering innovative and tailored solutions for them and their business.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jacob Wulff for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jacob Wulff or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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