Happy New Year 2024!

A reflection on 2023! The good, the bad, and the ugly.

This past year, 2023 was the most adventurous of years to date for Razor Sharp Digital. There was a lot of great, good, bad, and nasty…but before I dive into that, let me take you back a little bit with some history.

The Idea…That Started It All

Razor Sharp Digital was officially born in 2016. That is what most people on the internet, social media, and even a lot of people in my network seem to think. However, Razor Sharp Digital began in 2009 when I registered Web Partners Worldwide, LLC. the old-school way. None of that Legal Zoom crap that we have available nowadays.

I have been entrepreneurial for the majority of my life. At least since the age of 14 when I was helping my father in his pizza business. Yes, that was indeed his first business venture. I’ll spare you the history lesson but if you want to know more about my full story, feel free to check it out.

So, Razor Sharp Digital, the idea in reality was forged back in 2009. You could say that I was a bit of a Sleepy Joe for seven years until 2016 when I “took the plunge” as they say.

It was time…to fully pursue my goals and dreams of building the first-ever human marketing agency. A human marketing agency on a mission to help companies become more human-centric and personal with their target audience so they can thrive, grow, and dominate their business.

I can’t begin to tell you over the years, especially since 2016 how many times I’ve wanted to quit this business.

  • Competition was fierce.
  • The workload was crazy including being a father to my son and daughter and a husband.
  • Haters, threats, accusations.
  • …and a whole lot more.

Being an entrepreneur, running your business is unlike anything you have ever experienced unless you have gone through it yourself. After 10+ years in the agency world I have seen all sorts of drama and bullsh*t. A lot more than I cared to be exposed to in all honesty.

When I decided to build Razor Sharp Digital, I promised myself that I would do the complete opposite from the things I had experienced.

  • Be disruptive.
  • Be impactful.
  • Focus on people.
  • Have integrity.
  • Deliver on promises.
  • Honor self-expression and individuality.
  • Practice accountability.
  • Be consistent.
  • Be competitive.
  • Be empathic.

The above are our 10 core values that the Razor Sharp Digital brand stands for. What we believe in. How we operate.

I knew that building a business unlike anything out there was going to be extremely challenging. In fact, it proved to be at least 3x harder than I originally anticipated. Although, now that seven years has passed, going into the eighth year of operation in 2024 I know that it’s going to become even harder.

Our Arsenal of Clientele

In the earlier years of Razor Sharp Digital, any prospect was deemed a viable customer. Building up cashflow is extremely difficult and anyone who has been in my shoes will attest to it. Lessons learned, that is all! It has come back to bite me in the ass too. Multiple times.

So, one of the things that Razor Sharp Digital focused on around 2020 was the types of clients we wanted to work with. It quickly became evident that small to medium-sized businesses, typically from $5 million and above in gross annual revenue were the viable candidates. It proved in no time that these types of companies saw value in building their brand.

You would think that anyone who owns a business would understand the importance of social and digital marketing. Man, that is so far from the truth! In fact, most businesses under $1 million in annual gross revenue have a very hard time understanding the importance of digital and social media marketing.

As a business, you have to have a clear understanding on who your clientele is in order to thrive and grow. Which is also why we decided to stay in our own lane and stay away from attracting everyone.

The Great, The Good, The Bad…and The Ugly!

Razor Sharp Digital is not my first business venture. However, it is the first business venture that I have poured my heart and soul in. Any client of ours who we have worked with in 2023 and in the past will attest to that.

Just because you have your heart and soul in something does not mean that everyone else does as well. Oh man…2023 was yet another year that was also a reminder of all the haters and naysayers out there.

  • People will hate on you.
  • People will try to sabotage you.
  • The very people who you thought were on your side will talk trash about you behind your back.
  • You will have dissatisfied customers simply because they woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

That’s just business. That’s just life. Problems area God-sent and in business, you have to be capable of solving them. In most cases, on the fly. Being solution-oriented and strategic is something many people especially in business talk about but very few fully pursue.

The Bottom Line

Keep moving! Keep going! Keep executing, every single day. That is the name of the game. In 2023 I was fortunate to meet people, business owners, and some of them are clients who I learned a lot from. The biggest lesson was the importance of remaining proactive.

Your determination, your passion, your purpose are your North Star. In 2023 I was also reminded how many people in the digital marketing space alone are only chasing money as fulfillment.

In late 2023 a new business venture by the name of GorillaBrave was also launched. A new partnership with a new business partner who has built north of 9-figure businesses in the food space. Another new joint business venture is in the works that will be announced very soon.

2024 is looking bright and even more adventurous than 2023 was. I want to personally thank everyone, all current and past clients, and people who had any kind of involvement with Razor Sharp Digital in 2023. All the experiences are contributing factors to building this brand.

Happy New Year 2024!

Ivan Temelkov
Owner/Razor Sharp Digital

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