What Happened to ServiceLegend?

Screenshot 2023 12 29 at 21.40.07

A few weeks ago, I saw Marko’s post that he was not CMO of ServiceLegend anymore. I knew he and Ryan Davis co-founded (after Marko merged with Davis Construction Marketing LLC and they rebranded to ServiceLegend) the company and that Marko owns 20% of the company.  And the company has grown significantly over the past time that Marko was a partner. 

I called both Marko and Ryan to find out what had happened. The issues I uncovered are critical for all agency owners to consider, especially if you have a co-founder. So I’m publishing them here as part of a larger discussion. 

While Ryan has made public allegations against me, I refuse to respond with the same level of immaturity. Instead, I am publishing this article to lay out the facts, and let you come to your own conclusions.

Before we begin:

  • If you’re Ryan Davis, it’s not too late to make things right with your clients and co-founder. Wishing away problems and personally attacking others won’t solve your marketing and operational issues. Honor your agreements, even if you think nobody will ever find out. If any statement here is untrue, please let me know. I’ve already fact-checked the events with you and examined correspondence and company documents.
  • If you’re a ServiceLegend client, remember that ServiceLegend has your best interests in mind. Marko is hoping the company can turn things around, so his 20% share can be worth something.
  • If you’re Marko Sipilä, I apologize you’ve been treated so poorly. If you’re willing to invest another 2 years, I know you could do it again in any industry you choose.  Kudos to you for taking the high road by not taking on the dozen ServiceLegend clients and employees who have approached you, even though you don’t have a non-compete.
  • I have no ownership in ServiceLegend or any companies related to Ryan or Marko and receive zero compensation. But I do promote ServiceLegend, Seven Figure Agency, Ryan Davis, and Marko Sipilä with no compensation. Because I happily promote people who are doing the right things to help our community.

On July 25th, 2023 Marko Sipilä announced he is no longer CMO at ServiceLegend. Ryan Davis suddenly terminated him with no plan or replacement available. The Head of Operations left a few days later, triggering others to leave. Clients and employees were in the dark from what I was told, wondering what happened. Ryan sent out broadcast emails to employees villainizing Marko about his performance.

Question: Why did Ryan act so suddenly and aggressively?

Just prior to this, Marko asked for his share of the distributions. Ryan had spent tons of the company’s money in the last year or so on personal expenses: luxury vehicles, vacations, golf and whatnot. 

But Marko wasn’t paid a penny of his owner’s distributions this entire time except for Christmas bonus and other token payment. He is now liable for 20% of the tax burden on the company’s profits, since he’s an owner. Thus, he’s funding Mr. Davis’ extravagances.

Ryan explained to me that Marko opted out of these “executive benefits”, but could have enjoyed them if he wanted to. Thus, he missed out. But Marko wasn’t into these expensive things such as staycations and whatnot– he wanted to reinvest into the company’s growth, not run a lifestyle business. 

Ryan said that Marko was “butt hurt” about the tax liability he had. Ryan claimed that Marko waited until the IRS was after him to say something. He could have been saving up to pay these taxes with the zero dollar in distributions he’s received. Typically, owners pay out distributions quarterly. If so, Marko would have received 8 payments so far.

Eventually, Marko asked to be paid $25,000 as the first step towards his share of owner distributions. Cumulatively, Marko has earned 20% of the profit since the founding of the company, which would be more than $25,000. Mr. Davis said that if Marko were to ask for the $25,000 again, that he would terminate the employment agreement the very next morning. And end this partnership. 

So now we have the backstory.

Screenshot 2023 12 29 at 21.40.37

Discussion: Ownership and employment are not the same thing

Ryan as CEO is free to terminate Marko as CMO. But if you have a co-founder (and co-owner), it’s much like a business marriage. You can’t fire your spouse, even if you really don’t like them.

Mr. Davis spent an hour explaining to me how incompetent Marko was. That he didn’t come to the office, was “hated by all the employees”, and “didn’t grow the company fast enough”.  “Let’s say that’s 100% true and accurate,” I told him.  “But that doesn’t give you the right to take away his equity”.

Key employees such as account managers, operation managers, etc left ServiceLegend after Marko was terminated. 

Even though here are some screenshots from team members of ServiceLegend after Marko was terminated: 

Screenshot 2023 12 29 at 21.41.42
Screenshot 2023 12 29 at 21.42.26
Screenshot 2023 12 29 at 21.42.58

*I requested these from Marko as I have employees of SL reaching out to me as well. 

Team members were told that Marko had been terminated for “performance-related” issues. That’s clearly not the case. There is the screenshot of Ryan Davis threatening to fire Marko if he takes the legally obligated distributions. 

From the image: 

  • From the email to ServiceLegend employees “Marko Sipilä is no longer employed or associated with ServiceLegend” – This is false. Marko is currently an owner at ServiceLegend and will continue to be until there is a purchase of his equity. 
  • From the email to ServiceLegend employees “In the spirit of transparency” Clearly this is misleading as Marko is still an owner and Ryan makes it very clear that Marko is gone for performance issues. 
  • From the email to ServiceLegend employees “was based on performance-related concerns” – This is false as Marko was threatened in June that when he was going to take distributions the response he got from Ryan was that he will be terminated and he will “end this partnership.” 

Not to mention, Ryan Davis and ServiceLegend never let the team know anything about the situation until July 14th on this email. Numerous team members reached out to Marko to figure out where he was at. 

Ryan explained how his lawyer thinks there’s a way he could invalidate the operating agreement because of a technicality (Ryan told me this on the phone). That might be legal, but it’s also dirty. You’re telling future business partners how you operate and the kind of person you are.

I strongly encouraged Ryan to make things right with Marko. Ryan’s response was that Marko was losing ServiceLegend money, since churn on Blueprint (the low tier of two retainers) had 30% monthly churn. Ryan offered Marko a cheap buyout to cover the tax liability on his share of distributions, his 20% ownership stake in the company, and to sign a non-compete perhaps. Ryan told me about this on the phone so I thought I’d share that here. 

When co-founders need to separate, what typically happens is that they agree upon a valuation of the company. Then one buys the other out. If 20% in the company is worth $20,000, then the company is worth $100,000. 

Just an example here – I know Marko or I would be happy to pay Ryan $80,000 for the other 80% of ServiceLegend. Wouldn’t you pay $80,000 for a business that generates some good cash flow allegedly? 

Firing the CMO with no plan leads to operations failures.

The head of Operations, Kaylib, left a few days later, triggering others wanting to leave. Other clients begin leaving, causing Ryan to blame Marko for poaching.

Something worth mentioning – Is that Marko has a good relationship with previous Operations Director, Renae L. and previous Operations Manager, Kaylib J. 

I have verified that Mr. Sipilä has received $0 from ServiceLegend except his last paycheck since being fired and stole or poached zero ServiceLegend current clients. I’ve seen correspondence with multiple current ServiceLegend clients that wish to move to Marko’s new company (without even knowing what it is) as they believe Marko is more knowledgeable when it comes to marketing. 

And each time, Marko has told them that he cannot take them on as clients, since he’s an owner of ServiceLegend– it’s legal, however it would be unethical.

Example of Marko turning down many ServiceLegend customers: 

image 8
image 1
image 13
image 11
image 10
image 5
image 12
image 9

*12+ clients reached out to Marko. I got these from Marko because Ryan is claim Marko is causing SL harm even though it’s the operations. Sounds like a bunch of SL clients are contacting Marko because they aren’t getting support from ServiceLegend itself. 

Yet many of these companies come to Marko daily with their issues, since they are not hearing back from ServiceLegend. Marko explains that he’s not at ServiceLegend any more and that they should contact their current account manager. Though he doesn’t have access to their ads or websites, he still tries to troubleshoot.

Marko could have taken these clients on but chose to respect the brand that he still currently owns. However, he’s provided free support to some clients. 

One of them got hacked a few days ago. Their website’s SEO was the bulk of their lead gen. So the impact was devastating– booking dried up, as you can imagine. With no internal web team in place to monitor alerts, nobody was there to notice the malware attack until the client pointed it out. There are no levels of escalation between front-line employees and Ryan Davis. So Ryan has had to step in to try to run operations (a tough job for a guy whose expertise is sales). Ryan is fantastic at sales, but isn’t a marketing or operation person.

Ryan messaged me about Marko and the situation…

image 4
image 2
image 3

Ryan is calling Marko a liar by saying “I know you guys are buddys and he’s lying to your Face” he also proceeds to say “It’s not time for defense, it’s offense” so that explains all the things Ryan is doing in terms of bashing me and bashing Concrete Marketing Crew/Danny. 

He also said “I will fight for the team and clients that Marko took advantage of ” which really doesn’t make any since all these clients are reaching out to Marko for marketing assistance as ServiceLegend isn’t able to service them with good communication/results anymore. Personally, I’ve gotten tons of messages from the ServiceLegend staffing saying things like this from a previous employee that put in their two weeks “Hey Dennis, hope you are well. It was great catching up with Marko today.

So sad to hear what is happening to him. I worked for them for years but I didn’t feel valued or appreciated. The last few months were hard and it was much in my interest to part ways. And everything in there I knew most of. They have really changed.” 

Ryan Davis shared how the company did in July 2023, the company did the following: 

image 1

Clearly, ServiceLegend was losing some clients in July 2023 due to performance issues. 

Ryan Davis said “I’ve discovered the problems now…mainly leadership, operational and communication.” To my knowledge, firing a business partner/Marko with no real plan was a terrible leadership and communication action. This is what happened after this – from a client: 

image 7

So clearly, the service and fulfillment at ServiceLegend declined after Ryan fired Marko and Kaylib put in his two weeks. 

Ryan Davis said “Had to prune out the people who have zero clue what they’re doing” and from my understanding all the clients are leaving because the “brains” of the operation was no longer at the company as an employee. Seems a bit backwards. 

Ryan Davis admitted to me via phone call that him and his lawyer could make the argument that the purchase agreement wasn’t actually initiated…but here Ryan says “He only stayed that long because of the 20%” which means he is admitting that Marko has 20% of ServiceLegend. 

Then on August 4th 2023, Ryan Davis said “There’s no longer space for you at the ServiceLegend Summit” which is so interesting. I got kicked from the free speaking engagement after I tried to talk and coach to Ryan about these items. 

Ryan tells the client that Marko personally installed the malware, that he fixed the problem, and that I’m a “fake guru”. Marko hasn’t even had access to the websites, so this simply isn’t possible.

Malware infections stem  from lack of basic updating and security. It’s not a hacker personally targeting this site— like in the movies when the hacker is breaking into a site (unless you’re a big deal).  It’s a script that a script kiddie runs that scans for sites and does it to thousands of them at once. 

Also, Ryan claims that Marko is telling Comer & Cross Coatings (the client that got malware on it) that he should come work with Markos’ New company. 

The truth is that Comer & Cross reached out to Marko (presently they weren’t a client of SL marketing just a hosting client) and said the following: 

image 23

The client that Ryan is saying Marko is poaching reaches out to Marko and says “You wanna talk to my guy and give him some tips” which leads to a greater conversation about potentially working together. 

Later this client gets malware on their website and Ryan blames Marko for it even though he doesn’t have access to anything. 

Why was I the keynote speaker at the ServiceLegend event and now suddenly am a villain?

I was featured by Ryan Davis and ServiceLegend when I voluntarily spoke for FREE at the Sales Legend Synergy which was put on by ServiceLegend.

image 26

A client reached out and had some challenges on his website. I simply commented on a post saying that the errors are pretty easy to fix and that the hosting company should be able to take care of the website error– malware, more specifically. 

View what Ryan said to me after I clearly provided a solution to the problem: 

image 6

Marko brought over his uncle, a $5MM roofing company called Pinnacle Roofing in Arizona, to be a ServiceLegend client on the Mastery (higher ticket) retainer. When he saw Marko wasn’t with ServiceLegend, he asked to switch to Marko’s new company. But Marko turned him down, too. And he remains a ServiceLegend client currently. Marko told the customer “ServiceLegend has your best interest in mind and I’m not looking to start a marketing agency.” 

Marko has not reached out to a single client. So why are they reaching out to him for help? Because they are not getting attention from their agency.

Ryan is claiming Marko is accessing company ad accounts. Marko doesn’t have access to his alternate Facebook (Marko Sakari Sipilä) as it has a Google Authenticator Requirement which is attached to the Marko ServiceLegend email that he no longer has access to. 

Again, the keys to Mr. Sipiläs’ Facebook are in the Google Authenticator account which is in ServiceLegend control. 

image 3

Ryan decided to slander Danny B. of Concrete Marketing Crew as well… (Ryan might be racist?)

As you can see in the following screenshot, Ryan Davis commented on Danny post from Concrete Marketing Crew saying “Ask if they’re US CItizens” 

To me – this sounds like Ryan may be racist. I’ll let you guys determine whether that is true or not. But definitely not a good look in any perspective. 

image 24

*Ryans’ Comment on Danny Page *His Competitor

There was 50+ comments on the post that Danny made about the situation in the first couple hours. But, clearly people are agreeing that this situation is crazy and Ryan needs to apologize for his behavior. 

Take a look at some of comments from the post: 

image 15
image 14
image 18
image 16
image 17
image 19
image 21

Discussion: Get the right butts in the right seats

A creative artist isn’t likely to be a good accountant. Rarely is someone who is great at sales going to be great at web development.

// Ego destroys many businesses

// Broken promises.

// There is enough for everyone

Marketing agencies lie, lie, and lie

Marko posted on his channels letting his followers know that he is moving on from ServiceLegend. Ths post included a few things: Showing gratitude to the ServiceLegend team and staff, some accomplishments, shouting out Ryan for his podcast efforts, etc. 

Ryan comments on the post saying “I did all of that.” in an attempt to take all the credit on the business success.

image 25
image 5

Inspired by Danny Barrera of Concrete Marketing Crews.

image 20

You can go see for yourself the reviews of ServiceLegend on Google, which was initially Marko’s Google My Business account, Intricate Digital Marketing. Marko clearly understands marketing and how to take care of customers. There are a dozen plus 5 star Google reviews, not to mention the LinkedIn recommendations. 

image 22

Look in Marko’s closet and you’ll see rows of ServiceLegend gear. His license plate is L3G3ND. He lives and breathes ServiceLegend.  He has done everything short of getting a tattoo of ServiceLegend over his heart.

Mr. Sipilä put 100% into ServiceLegend, working every waking hour. He was fired with no other sources of income and no other business ownership.

// post from Ryan showing co-founder status, merge, etc..

Here’s what Danny Barrera has to say about the situation:

I wish both individuals settle their business financial disputes in the most professional, amicable and righteous way because ultimately who suffers the most are spouses, children, employees and clients.

The right thing to do, is to do the right thing and pay any dues from any party. I’ve known both of these individuals before they joined forces. They asked me to get on calls to help their teams when they were just getting started multiple times. I’ve seen them accomplish great things together. I believe in their better selves.

It is unfortunate that this whole breakup is over a $25,000 a distribution, that’s like a toddler fighting with a sibling over a goldfish. The repercussions of something like this are felt at every level, creating karmic disruption for the blessings awaiting for these individuals. No one “wins” in a situation like this.

I wish them the very best, pray and hope they do what’s morally and spiritually ethical to liberate from this unwarranted dilemma.

In the aftermath of the last month, with clients leaving and talking about the lackluster performance and not getting responses to messages for days, how many clients are still left at ServiceLegend? *I interviewed some of the current clients.

At least 10 clients have reached out recently, expressing dissatisfaction with performance and communication. They have canceled. And have told us that other clients are doing the same.

On August 5th, just 5 days into the month, Ryan Davis claims “10 new clients this month already” (see one minute mark): 


We cannot verify this, but it seems unlikely.

In this coming partner buy-out phase, where one partner buys the other out based on an agreed valuation, Ryan is in a sticky situation. 

If he reveals the massive churn from the last 2 months, the firm is worth less, so he would not have to pay Marko as much.

But if he claims that ServiceLegend is growing and doing well, then Marko’s 20% would have to be worth more. Arguably over $900,000 based on standard agency valuation metrics if the firm has I’m guessing 100+ recurring clients.

Here’s just a thought in my opinion – If the agreed valuation is under $1MM, then Marko could borrow the funds to buy Ryan out for $800,000 (his 80% share), since Marko could repair the churn and make an announcement to existing clients that the policy is now honesty and transparency. He would have to issue a lot of refunds (low 6 figures based on the clients who have told me they’re demanding refunds). But that’s only a few months of profit, provided there aren’t any more luxury expenses.

Just giving an estimate – If the agreed valuation is north of $3MM, then Marko should take the 20% of $3MM, which would be $600K. Ryan might not have the cash, but could borrow. I would think that the firm is worth more with Marko running marketing and operations, since lack of delivery and unhappy clients leads to churn.

Ryan–hope you’re listening to Josh Nelson, Tommy Mello, and the other industry leaders that are trying to help you. Just make things right.


ServiceLegend has continued to get negative since Marko Sipilä has transitioned out of his position at the company. Take a look at some the recent reviews: 

image 4
image 2


Tons of clients are leaving ServiceLegend for fulfillment related challenges. Clients are telling me that they are leaving SL since they are getting no support, communication issues, and really everything under the sun. This can’t be good for the business that Ryan and Marko built together. 

Looks like Ryan Davis is starting a new company that does coaching/consulting for concrete coating and home service companies. Not sure what the company is going to be called. Marko started a company after getting fired from ServiceLegend called OwnYourOwnMarketing.com where he teaches home service companies how to take control of their own marketing especially for the smaller companies. *I wonder if this is going to be different from ServiceLegend…

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.