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Just Go Grind

Jan 27, 2021

Bryan Clayton is the Co-Founder and CEO of GreenPal, an online marketplace that connects homeowners with local lawn care professionals. GreenPal has been called the “Uber for lawn care” by Entrepreneur magazine and has over 100,000 active users completing thousands of transactions per day.

Before starting GreenPal, Bryan Clayton founded Peachtree Inc., one of the largest landscaping companies in the state of Tennessee, growing it to over $10 million a year in annual revenue before it was acquired by Lusa holdings in 2013. Bryan‘s interest and expertise are related to entrepreneurism, small business growth, marketing, and bootstrapping businesses from zero revenue to profitability and exit.

Some of the Topics Covered by Bryan Clayton in this Episode

  • What GreenPal is and how Bryan started it
  • How Bryan went from a high schooler mowing neighbors' lawns to building one of the largest landscaping companies in Tennessee, with over 150 employees and making $10M in revenue
  • What brought Bryan out of retirement and how he came up with the idea for GreenPal
  • Outsourcing the tech for the first version of GreenPal
  • How Bryan connected with his co-founders and his advice on choosing a co-founder
  • The myth of a work-life balance early on in starting your business
  • How they taught themselves to build software
  • The importance of making time to invest in yourself
  • The importance of innovating around growth and distribution, not just product development, and how Bryan has fueled growth for GreenPal
  • How Bryan decided to go all-in on organic search as a marketing strategy
  • Ben Horowitz's advice of firing bullets then cannonballs
  • Reid Hoffman's advice to double down on what's working
  • Bryan's approach to creating content, the different types and purposes of diverse content and their role in a robust SEO strategy
  • Why Bryan doesn't outsource content creation
  • GreenPal's marketplace business model
  • Why Bryan is passionate about GreenPal and who he sees as his true customer
  • How they're avoiding platform disintermediation
  • How Bryan has approached expanding markets and why it was slow to build momentum
  • How they vet providers and why they prioritize reliability
  • How bootstrapping has influenced decision-making and balancing long term vision and short term execution
  • Asking "why" 5 times
  • Why Bryan decided to bootstrap GreenPal and why he thinks self-funding is part of why they've survived as a business
  • Bryan's advice on how to prepare for starting a business that requires a lot of capital
  • How Bryan and his co-founders side-hustled to bridge the gap between their lack of technical knowledge and gaining the skills necessary to run a SaaS company
  • Bryan's book recommendations
  • How signing up for a marathon gave Bryan business insight and also enabled him to find a better work-life balance
  • Bryan's advice for living a good life and how to apply it to your business

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