The Final Blog Post Of The Year - Grateful

Written by Jason Montoya. Posted in My Story

Last Post Of The Year

This will be my last blog post for the year.

Being intentional about resting and releasing in each aspect of my life is a top priority for me. For this purpose, I want to take the last month of this year off for this blog.  While I may visit social media and make a few comments on occasion, I will be mostly letting it go as well for the month of December. My hope is a renewed energy, new ideas as I continue to share my journey and insights in 2015. Before I cut off just yet, let me share an update of the the journey this year.
 
We are eight months past the shut down of Noodlehead Marketing. It's crazy to think about how much our life has changed in the last year. We went from having 2 children to 3. We went from living in my parent's condo in Norcross for 9 years, to moving to Lawrenceville, and renting from our new landlord. In addition to these two major life changes, we also shut down our company with no clarity on where our journey would take us next. 
 
It was weeks before we shut down when Todd Miechiels called and eventually contracted me to help with the 315 Project. Two months after this point, there were over a dozen projects where I was working with leaders to solve their problems. Vision, accountability, communication, marketing, recruiting and websites were many of the areas we focused on. I was utilizing the skills and strengths I had developed over the course of my career meeting leaders where they were and helping them how I knew best. 
 
Work continued to flow our way so I continued to do it. Trusting God while I focused on doing great work, maintaining relationships, and pro-actively communicating. When one project finished, another one came to light. God provided a steady amount of active work and a pipeline of work to come. Grateful is how I would best describe my feeling today.
 
For those of you familiar with sports, teams usually watch film of the game the day after to reflect, learn and grow. Well, over the past eight months God has been busy showing me my life's journey film reel. I have learned what it was like to be on the other side of me in different seasons of my life. This included, the good, the bad and the ugly. It has been inspiring, sobering and compelling. New experiences have triggered memories I had long forgot as I learn a new level of humility in the face of reality.
 
While it has been chaotic at times, it seems steadiness has stuck with us and our life is now one of trusting God about what is next. I have especially enjoyed the recent work with my friend Craig Haynie of CablesandKits.com. We have been working together in articulating his vision for the company and helping them to see the obstacles they face internally and externally as they move towards it. While working with a friend can be fun, it can also be more stressful at times. We both were intentional about our concerns with working together before we started and it has been a new and unique experience. 
montoya-jason-cait-christy-amanda-tammey-steve-austin-ryan-madison-david-judah-birthday-family-photo 
The other big milestone, turning 30, was exciting. My wonderful wife put together an amazing four course meal where each dish she made represented a season of my life. My parents, sisters, their spouses and our kids were apart of this amazing meal.  Also, if you dare to venture out... there is a short video of our exciting evening... and it's funny... (Thanks Ryan!)
 
Here is how she described the four courses/seasons of my life.
 
Course 1 - Ages 5-10: "Jason was a simple guy who followed the rules. He said he wished he had tested the boundaries a litte more at this age but what he didn't realize was that his spice was just forming as he was getting ready to come into his own. This is a simple course with a hint of spice in the cole slaw and cheese hidden throughout the meatballs with a playful drizzle of jalapeño jelly over it."
 
Course 2 - Ages 10-20: "During this stage of Jason's life he was super outgoing, playful, friendly, and inviting all with his own little spice. Things often looked chaotic and like they might fall apart at any moment, but somehow all the many individual parts came together beautifully in the end. This course is an heirloom tamato salad over arugula, with basil crystals, candied ghost peppers, and a green goddess dressing. Each piece is in its own right very good, just like Jason, but the whole picture is amazing. A savory sweet mouthful with a touch of heat."
 
Course 3 - Ages 20-25: "This course is sophisticated, and while delicious it is lacking the fun playful nature that has always marked who he is. During this stage of his life he did a lot of growing up fast, so fast that some of the best parts couldn't quite keep up. A Filet mignon over a spiced butternut squash puree because, while some of him was lost, the hint of spice still remained. On top of the fillet is a crumble with some of the candied bacon. Hidden inside, because he hid away some of his best and strongest parts during these years."
 
Course 4 - Ages 25-30: "Mexican hot chocolate cake, topped with candied ghost peppers & candied bacon. The bacon carries over from the previous course to represent the lessons he learned from that stage of life. The candied peppers from the 2nd course return because so has his fun loving spicy side. It should be a rich decadent dessert that is fun and spicy, which is who Jason really is!"
 
Thank you, to my wonderful wife for her amazing support in my journey and her way of celebrating it!
thank you
Lastly, I want to take a moment and thank the clients who have hired me since Noodlehead Marketing was shut down on March 31st. When we let go of the company I had no idea what work would look like after taking this leap of faith. God showed up in an amazing way and I am extremely grateful to the following companies, and my parents, for being a part of his provision for us during this time.
 
McKeever's First Ride (Deenie & Laurie)
The 315 Project (Todd Miechiels)
Joyfields Institute (Sobem Nwoko)
CablesandKits.com (Craig Haynie)
Full Porch Press (Bryant Cornett)
Mom and Dad
Capital Ideas (Beth & Gina)
The Third Bucket (Randy Brunson and Rick Cope)
Rocket IT (Matt Hyatt)
Ecotech Machinery (Rick and Curtis)
Roofing Atlanta (Rick & Shawna)
The Siding Doctor (Jeff and Marilyn Shae)
Atlanta Permits (Jean Vallee)
Intonu Wellness (Rachel Marynowski)
Chris Tutt
Come and See Ministries (Norman Plunkett)
The Gross Consulting Group (Judi Weaver)
Georgia Expo (Amanda)
Run The Race Coaching (Kathryn Davis)
 
Thank you, and until next year, have a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

 

Dec 6th: Technology Panel For Fathers & Leaders

Written by Jason Montoya. Posted in Content Roundup

dugout-technology-panel-fathers-leaders

Dugout - Presents Technology In Perspective - A fresh look at how business leaders and fathers can provide a safe, empowering technology experience.

Saturday, December 6th 8-10am.

12 Stone Hamilton Mill Campus - 2109 Teron Trace - Dacula, GA 30019

Panelists: Toby Bloomberg, Danny Davis & Craig Haynie

IDEMA Action Management

Written by Jason Montoya. Posted in IDEMA

Action-Management

This post is part of a series of posts about IDEMA. IDEMA is a process that came out of the Noodlehead Marketing journey.
 
Origin Of This Action Management System
 
With IDEMA as the foundation, I set out to create an action management and communication system encouraging excellent work, accountability, proactive communication, and flexibility. In addition, creating a fair system for both myself and the client was important to how it was created.
 
After evaluating the options, operating and charging hourly provided the best foundation to build the system from. Every system has positive and negative dynamics, and in order to prevent and minimize the negative dynamics of operating on an hourly basis, the following system was born.
 
IDEMA Action Management Summary
IDEMA Action Management 
The IDEMA action management system involves high levels of communication and accountability to encourage accuracy and high performance. In the IDEMA Action Management system, we have three communication tools to help us maximize our precision and effectiveness. These three tools are checkpoints, caps and pace.
 
Initially we will need to decide our starting point for the project. It may be a company problem we are seeking to solve, or it could be a marketing evaluation. The work scope can range. From our initial conversation, we will list out the actions we want to execute during our first batch of hours. This is our starting point. From there, we will identify our stopping point (Cap), our communication check-in points (Checkpoint) and the speed (Pace) we want to work at. This allows us the control the spend rate, provides a reasonable amount of updates for the purposes of course correction, and stops the project for re-evaluation systematically. In other words, there should be no surprises and few mistakes. 
 
Who Is A Good Client In This System?
  • Someone who wants clarity while their project is being worked on.
  • Achievers seeking performance and proactive communication.
  • Someone who desires regular entry and exits points while working together.
  • Someone who has been burned by vendors who have not delivered on their promises in the past.

An Example Project

A client hired me to evaluate his website to identify how it was ranking on the search engines. This was our starting point. We setup a 10 hour cap with checkpoints at 1 and 5 hours. We ran a pace of 1 batch per week, based on his marketing budget.

In our first hour, I reviewed the website and identified a list of actions we would execute to improve his website search engine rankings. While we continued to work on his search engine optimization, I found and documented gaps in the user experience, marketing channels, email campaigns as well as the aesthetic design of his websites.

In subsequent batches, we tackled these new found marketing actions as directed. Our intent was to go after the lowest hanging fruit, and make changes which would improve what he had now, while considering future potential initiatives. Using this organic approach, we were able to increase his rankings, the user experience and design of his websites. Also we were able to establish a more effective email marketing campaign.

While he was aware of his need for ranking on the search engines, it was the consulting and insight brought through this process which really helped his business grow in ways he was not even considering when we started. After 6 batches of work, his budget was spent and the exit point made it easy to end the engagement. At any point in the future he can reengage where we left off or with something new.

The Action Management System, In Detail

With a brief overview and example, you may be interested in learning more about this system so I have provided an in depth look below. Here is how each step of the process plays out while working together.
 
Starting Point
starting-point-actions
For most new clients, beginning with a 10 hour cap, checkpoints at the 3 and 7 hour marks, is a great starting point. Before starting we can determine our pace, or we can execute the actions and decide on our pace after our first batch of hours. After several batches of working together, we will likely find a rhythm which will work best for us. 
 
When it comes to a starting point, many cases start with a known problem or need. In the cases where the client knows the specific need, we will start by tackling it directly. The other scenario is one where the client knows they need help in a particular arena, but they don't know where the starting point is. In these cases, we will launch into our first batch with an audit. We could audit the company, the marketing department or the website. 
 
The beauty of this system is it allows us to tackle a problem and adjust as we dive into the problem.
 
Checkpoints

The checkpoints serve primarily as communication updates. At our checkpoints, clients can expect an update with what we have completed, what is in progress and what is yet to be finished. Also in the update is how the project is progressing based on our initial estimates.  In response to this update, our efforts can be redirected if we are off course.

Gap Identification
 
While working on our project, gaps (opportunities for improvement) will be illuminated. As they are illuminated, they will be documented in our action manager tool. These actions will be reviewed during the Cap update detailed below. 
 
Caps
 
During this stopping point, we will reflect on the illuminated gaps found while working on our project. Some of these may be included in our next batch of hours list. For our Cap update, a client can expect an email of what we have finished, and what I recommend we work on during our next batch of hours, should you decide to continue working together.
 
Pace
 
The pace is key in determining our spend rate. At $75/hour, a batch of 10 hours will be $750. We can set a quarterly, monthly, weekly, or daily pace. The beauty of our pace is it allows us to manage the cost, and it gives us the flexibility to increase or decrease our pace based on circumstances.  
 
Overarching Budget
There are situations where an overarching budget needs to be considered. While our pace dictates the rate of money being spent, having an overarching budget creates another tensions to help us prioritize our work. While working through each batch, my prioritization, communication and push back will be partially based on the overarching budget for the project. 
 
How We Organize Our Actions
 
Understanding how we will work together is the first step. The next important factor is understanding how the actions are organized while we work together.
 
When it comes to projects, there are three categories I prefer to organize our actions. There is the category of construction actions, ones which when completed, are finished. There are maintenance actions, ones which are recurring in nature, and finally, there are trigger actions, ones which happen based on a triggering event. 

After gaps (opportunities for improvement) are identified, they will be documented in our action manager tool. This tool will help us execute our actions in an effective and accountable way. Each Cap update will include a link to this tool.

In Conclusion

While there are many great systems for working on projects, this is the system I believe best works within my strengths, weaknesses and personality. It also provides clients a level of clarity and accountability which is above and beyond how most consultants work. If you have any feedback, ideas or thoughts, please share them with me.

The Formula For Intentionality

Written by Jason Montoya. Posted in Personal Development

Intentionality Formula - Equation Jason Montoya

This graphic communicates how I define intentionality and how I see the different elements of purpose, mission, vision and core values coming together. In addition to providing the formula, I have provided how I am intentional. Enjoy and share...

My Reflections On My 30 Years And The Lessons Learned

Written by Jason Montoya. Posted in Content Roundup

kind leadership
Here is an excerpt of my latest blog post as a resident writer for BeALeader... 
 
"The third decade of my life has passed and as I enter into a new season of life, I have found value in reflecting on the last 10 years of my journey. The last decade has included; getting married, moving across the country, finishing college, trying to make a movie, launching a political news site and running a marketing company. By the way, this was just how my wife and I started our 10 years. There was excitement, discovery, and vision. Ups, downs, successes and failures riddled throughout the journey, and it has brought me to realize four powerful truths..."
 

Email

icon contact

Contact

Facebook

social facebook box white 128

Friend

LinkedIn

social linkedin box white 128

Connect

Twitter

social twitter box white 128

Follow

RSS Feed

social rss box white 128

Subscribe