An overview on successful Journey of Rand Fishkin

Posted by Varun Sharma on October 30, 2015
History and Biography of Rand Fishkin

On asking Randy about getting recognized in public as a ‘celebrity’, he says, “Almost never, and even when it happens, it’s usually someone I know or have met, so that doesn’t really count. I don’t think it’s fair to say I have “celebrity status, especially compared to all those “social media” experts who have 100K+ followers on Twitter.”

Probably, you might also not have identified him by his name, but, what if I say, Mr. Rand Fishkin – Co-Founder and Former CEO, SEOMoz..??

Got him now??

SEOMoz is not a new name in the Digital world today and hence Rand Fishkin is a familiar face for all!

“There is a great story behind every successful individual” and this saying fits well with the life of Rand Fishkin. Like every other great personality, Randy too covered the voyage through hardships, struggle and failures in his life.. But these letdowns never stopped him and he reached where he is today

Rand fishkin SEO MOZ
Rand fishkin SEO MOZ

Rand Fishkin – His Tough Journey to Success!

Achieving success is not a game of a day or two. Even people who are highly successful have suffered a lot in getting all they have achieved today.

When Randy along with his partner Gillian Muessig started working on MOZ, they had no idea about how to run a business. From venture capital to even the full form of MRR, they were completely blank. “You know, we just had no savviness at all about how to build revenue, how to get customers, keep them, how to maintain a financial model that had any hope of succeeding… We were just truly rank amateurs at this stuff.”

What they knew was just the expenses needed to maintain the tools.

“ All I knew was well, it cost us this much to maintain our tools, so we’d better get people paying us every month instead of a one time download, because it costs us money to keep it up. I had the most simplistic of thinking that you can imagine from a business perspective.”

Although, today SEOmoz is the world’s biggest SEO platform, it gave a lot of pain to Randy during his entire journey. Rand literally struggled with depression while building Moz. His depression made him see everything around him with negative light as all his strategies and efforts for Moz were failing. The situation got worst when Moz lost $6m in 2013. It was a heartbreaking episode for Rand.

Although, Rand is very jubilant in real life, during depression he started living in isolation, away from the limelight and even family and friends.

When I was depressed, I really did not feel better after spending time with my friends and coworkers who were just like, “everything’s fine, Rand, look at these amazing thing you built. What are you complaining about? It’s going so well, so you had one misstep, it’s going to turn itself around. It’s not like you’re bleeding money, you didn’t have to fire anybody. What’s your problem, Rand?

I hated that. HATED it. It just bugged the shit out of me.

I’m having a visceral reaction just remembering that now“.

What shattered Randy was the public response he received when Moz was in loss.

Folks were like, “yeah man, this is complete shit. I can’t believe we fucked this up, you fucked this up, it’s gotta get better, we’ve gotta improve it, we need to work on this, this is just terrible and I understand how badly you feel.” 

But…… things really changed! Randy finally made efforts to fight his depression and come back. His supporters, friends and mentors who trusted him brought him back into action.

“The thing that helped me the most was hanging out with friends and folks who either had depression before, or understood that anxiety and could commiserate. Honestly that was way more helpful, way more comforting than “everything will be all right.”

People like Ben Ha (of The Cheezburger Network) who have been through struggle and depression, greatly inspired Rand.

“I really liked spending time with him. I like spending time with him now, too, but it was just great to have that feeling of not being alone. Of not feeling like “the rest of you are crazy, why can’t you see this terrible thing for what it is?”

And finally, his depression began to fade with a silly event that he had.

“The moment of change happened after a doctor’s visit, in a very weird, inexplicable way. A few months prior to the doctor’s visit, I had tried a chocolate truffle laced with THC (don’t panic, personal Marijuana use is legal in Washington State). I’ve had sciatica in my left leg for years. For 6 hours after I tried the pot truffle, I felt horrible – crazy paranoid and high and awful. Then, for the next 3 days, my leg didn’t hurt at all for the first time in six years. I told my doctor about this, and she said “the funny thing is, Marijuana doesn’t have any pain-killing properties. It just lessens tension, anxiety, and stress for some people.”

Moment of epiphany! My pain is tied to anxiety and stress (probably) and since I’m not particularly excited about trying pot truffles again after those first 6 hours of hell, I need to work on those things in order to fix my leg. And not just my leg, There’s likely all sorts of maladies, mental and physical, that I might suffer in years ahead if I can’t get this under control. That night, I felt different. I looked at our daily numbers email in the morning, and I didn’t come up with some reason in my head why they were bad even though they looked good. “

The Bottom Line

Despite of having specific goals in life, we tend to fail often. This is because it’s not difficult to set goals; it’s difficult to fulfill them. People get into depression because they fear failure and loss, just like Randy. He was so much moved by the continuous losses that he got clutched in despair and heart-break. But, that one event, though weird, changed Randy’s life, bringing him back in his pace and getting him the position he earned today. It’s only a momentous impact that can shake and wake you!

Don’t fear failures. They are the stepping stones to success. The more you fail, the more you learn and the better you achieve. Try to learn from your pain. Just think, what are those things that can ease your pain and anxiety and you’ll find several things around.

And as said, Big things come in small packets…. Your journey of endless failures and little gains… though may take time… but definitely will lead you to your ultimate goal.

Hope this story would inspire you in life!

Learn more about Rand Fishkin and get inspired from his failures at http://www.geekwire.com/2014/moz-rand-fishkin/

And, if you’re into SEO marketing and seeking ways to learn the tactics, follow Rand Fishkin at  http://www.rosshudgens.com/rand-fishkins-personal-blog/

An infographic on the timeline of Rand Fishkin Success

infographic rand fishkin history