Empowering Canberra’s businesswomen; one event at a time

On this episode of the podcast, we had a chance to chat with the founder of the CBR Gals, Rae Knopik. For those who don’t know, the CBR Gals is a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on helping females in Canberra connect and support one another through networking events. As Rae says in the episode, she started this initiative simply because she wanted it to exist. Being an American transplant, our guest knew all too well about how hard it is to find ways to connect with like-minded individuals in a way that isn’t forced or time-consuming. Despite realising this dream, however, our guest now faces a new set of challenges due to COVID-19. Thus Rae spends a great deal of the show discussing how she has adapted to running CBR Gals in this ‘new normal’, as well as the process behind running large scale events more generally. In this discussion, Rae highlights that authenticity, collaboration, and careful planning are the cornerstones of any successful event. Following this, the show then concludes (ironically we might add) with a discussion about how men being more closed off emotionally would make it difficult to create a group similar to the CBR Gals for males.

What we talk about
  • The CBR Gals and what networks like it can offer
  • The logistics of organising large scale events
  • What does being a not-for-profit mean?
Links from this episode

Finding Canberra’s cutest pets

On this episode of the Future Tribe Podcast, we had a chance to chat with Alanna Davis, who is the Community Development & Engagement Manager for Canberra’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS). Alanna is currently on the hunt for Canberra’s 13 cutest pets so that they can be featured in the DVCS’ upcoming fundraising calendar. Naturally, we ask our guest about the logistics of running such an ambitious online campaign, what tools she uses, and what marketing channels the DVCS have used to promote it. On top of this, Alanna talks extensively about the challenges that arise when crafting communications strategies for a non-for-profit organisation who deals with such confronting social issues. The show then concludes with a very informative conversation regarding the statistics behind domestic abuse in Australia and the resources that are available to the victims of such crimes.

What we talk about
  • What services the DVCS offers
  • How to effectively manage online campaign
  • The dynamics of marketing for a non-for-profit
Links from this episode

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

Alana: [00:00:00] It’s a great fundraising initiative. Cause everyone loves their pets very much impacted by violence within the homes as well.
[00:00:14] Intro: [00:00:14] Welcome to the future tribe podcast, where we’re all about taking your future to the next level, whether it is interviewing guests or unpacking strategies, you know, we will be talking about getting things done and backing you a fellow optimistic, go get us. And now as always. Here’s your host, the formidable fortunate and highly favored Germaine Muller.
[00:00:39] Germaine: [00:00:39] Hello. Welcome to this episode of the podcast on this week’s episode, I’ve got Alana Davis from the domestic violence crisis service in Canberra or in ACT, and she’s the community development and engagement manager. How are you today? Alana
[00:00:54] Alana: [00:00:54] well, thank you. Thanks for having me.
[00:00:56] Germaine: [00:00:56] No worries. Um, So, are you guys working from home or are you in the office?
[00:01:01] It looks like you’re in the office.
[00:01:03] Alana: [00:01:03] We did go home for a little while when it sort of first broke in March, but now we’re back in the house.
[00:01:09] Germaine: [00:01:09] Okay. Okay. I mean, it’s dragging on much longer than I think anyone thought it would. Um, so it’s probably good to be back in the office. I think, I think a lot of.
[00:01:18] People enjoyed it when they had to be home for a little while, but, um, that gets a bit old and stale.
[00:01:23] Alana: [00:01:23] Yeah. Yeah, no, I had a good day with my son and my husband and I, we enjoyed this time. Yeah.
[00:01:29] Germaine: [00:01:29] Nice. That’s good to hear. Um, let’s, let’s roll into it. So your, the, uh, community development engagement manager at DV CS, how did you, how did you sort of end up in that position?
[00:01:41] What did you do. Before, um, what did you do sort of coming out of school?
[00:01:45] Alana: [00:01:45] Well, when I came out of school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. So I just applied for a heap of jobs, um, to, to, you know, and some pay to help me. Uh, and I landed myself a job as a receptionist, the law firm, and they practice predominantly in family law.
[00:02:00] And after that, I. Um, just, I think honed my skills and I stayed working in family law for about 15 years or so, and then left there in 2014. I think it was and, um, needed a job. So I applied for a job here, CS, which was the admin manager and got that job. But that included things like rosters and staffing and insurance and all the stuff that I really don’t like.
[00:02:26] Very much. Uh, and then we DVCS employed, um, a business manager who took on all the stuff I didn’t like, and I got to keep all the stuff I did, like, which is the stuff that she didn’t like. So we have a perfect partnership and I get to do all the comms and events and media and stuff like that.
[00:02:45] Germaine: [00:02:45] Yeah. That’s, that’s very exciting.
[00:02:47] I mean, that’s something yeah. That I love to do as well. That’s why that’s what we do at future theory. So I can definitely relate to that. Being the fun side of things though. I know there are a lot of weirdos who weren’t, Oh, I shouldn’t call them that. But people who enjoy doing the organizational rostering and all that side of things as well, but I like to think that we’re the.
[00:03:09] The more creative side of the coin is if we can put it that way. Um, so you’re based in Canberra and you sort of found yourself in this position, in this role. How, how long have you been working in this role for?
[00:03:21] Alana: [00:03:21] I can’t remember. It would be a definitely, it’s probably about four years. I think I’ve been at DVC.
[00:03:26] This will be my sixth year. Killed role. There was no role like this before, and then, um, sort of, you know, we grew. And so, um, I took stuff on just solely, about four years ago. Okay.
[00:03:39] Germaine: [00:03:39] Now I’m sure there are a lot of people and I’ve spoken a lot of people. Who’ve talked about the fact that they’d love to get into marketing.
[00:03:45] They’d love to get into comms, but they find that it’s two ends of the spectrum. Either. They either an organization wants someone with a lot of experience or an organization. Doesn’t see the value in such a role. Do you have any advice for people who find themselves in that position? Or, I mean, sounds like what you basically did was got your foot in the door through more of an admin role and then, um, managed to massage it into a position that sort of really worked for you.
[00:04:11] Any tips, tricks, things, things that you can sort of, um, tell people to do.
[00:04:17] Alana: [00:04:17] Unfortunately, I died. I think I was just really lucky. Um, I. Hey, Steve, I do have that sort of social butterfly, um, you know, like to talk and that sort of stuff. So I think, um, when I came on board here, one of the things that was definitely noticeable was their lack of online presence, their lack of, um, fundraising initiatives, that sort of stuff.
[00:04:40] And to me, that was something that. You can’t not have an online presence, right? You must have that. And, and fundraising for an issue that impacts, you know, the vast majority of our community would make sense. So, and we can’t always rely on the government, I think, to, to fund organizations like us and to, to fund everything that we do.
[00:04:59] So it sort of made sense for. For someone to start doing those things. I liked doing those things. So I just sort of did it, and then it’s gotten to the place now where you just, you can’t not do those things you have to.
[00:05:11] Germaine: [00:05:11] Yeah. I mean, definitely, certainly for the last four years, it sounds like it’s just, it’s a role that, you know, if you remove that role, um, I think the importance of the role that you play has only increased websites and social media and marketing.
[00:05:24] The importance is only increased. So in, in amongst all that, did you have to do any convincing or do, do you think, um, that when you approach people that like the people within the organization, they could see that sort of need for, um, what you were suggesting and sort of said, Hey Alana, you you’ve got great ideas.
[00:05:41] Just run with it.
[00:05:42] Alana: [00:05:42] I think. No, I think they’re all pretty open to it. They are all pretty aware of the fact that it needed to be done anyway. And it’s about how someone having the capacity to do that. And I ticked those boxes. So it was, I think we were just really lucky that everything sort of aligned all at once.
[00:06:00] Yeah.
[00:06:00] Germaine: [00:06:00] Did you, did you guys have a lot of. Like web presence, social media presence at the time.
[00:06:06] Alana: [00:06:06] No, we had a website and that was it. And the website was quite outdated. So we’ve, since I’ve been here, we’ve had two website refreshes and we’ve established, um, you know, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. All that sort of stuff.
[00:06:19] Germaine: [00:06:19] Okay. Yeah. Um, you touched on it before. So can you give us a quick idea of what DVCS is in terms of like, is it a, not for profit? Is it government funded? Give us that idea that we can go into the, you know, the marketing and the fundraising side of things with that knowledge.
[00:06:37] Alana: [00:06:37] So DVCS or the domestic violence crisis services, a non-government not for profit organizations.
[00:06:43] So we do have charity status. We do receive the bulk of our funding though from the act government, as well as some funding from the federal government. But then for all the sort of cherry on top stuff is what I like to call it. That’s the way we fund raised. So all of the government funding pays for staff wages and things like that, but the stuff that clients need, like groceries or petrol or mobile phones or phone credit, that’s what the fundraising pays for all that sort of stuff.
[00:07:10] Germaine: [00:07:10] Right. So you’ve got some stability in knowing that you can pay the staff wages and you can do your more like core services, but then it’s, it’s where you want to do the things that really, like you said, cherry on top, or, um, just add so much more to someone’s life. Um, even, even though they’re sort of small things, I guess you, you then need to fund those in some way.
[00:07:33] And that’s, that’s where, um, I mean, it’s a good segue to get into the. Calendar the pets of Canberra calendar competition that you guys are running. Um, that’s where competitions like that or fundraisers like that come into the picture. Is that right?
[00:07:46] Alana: [00:07:46] Correct. Yes. So we use them to fund all of our fundraising activities are there for two reasons, obviously to fundraise, but secondly, to promote awareness one.
[00:07:56] Of the issue. And to that, of the fact that we exist, because, um, you know, we know statistically speaking that overwhelming majority of people will experience domestic or family violence, either themselves or a family member or a coworker at some stage during their life. So we want those people to know that we’re here.
[00:08:14] Germaine: [00:08:14] Yeah. So getting the message out there. Yeah. Is just as important as raising the funds. And one could argue that they’re sort of symbiotic. You know, if you have one, then you can do the other. And if you have the other, you can, you can fundraise. And if you have the funds to, um, to get out there, then you can increase awareness.
[00:08:30] So talk to me about the pets of Canberra calendar con, who came up with it. It was it, is it, you know, being a staple of, uh, of the domestic violence crisis service or is it a new thing?
[00:08:42] Alana: [00:08:42] Yeah, so this is its third year, so I guess. Do you were calling for nominees for the calendar, which will be for the 20, 21 year.
[00:08:50] So we, um, the first calendar we published was the 2019 calendar year. And, um, it’s an idea that we came up with originally because we know that pets are impacted by family violence as well. Often they can be used to control people. Um, they can also experience violence, abuse, or even death. Um, and so, um, it’s a way to also draw attention to the fact that pets and they are impacted by domestic and family violence and also, um, you know, and we need a bit of help sometimes in supporting those pets.
[00:09:22] When we’re supporting clients who do have pets. Sometimes it’s a little bit more complex and how we can provide supports to those clients. So it was sort of born out of the idea that it’s a great fundraising initiative. Cause everyone loves their pets. It’s and everyone wants to say that pets. And we all know, you know, so many people have multiple pets.
[00:09:39] Um, but yeah, that pets are very much impacted by violence within the homes as well.
[00:09:45] Germaine: [00:09:45] Yeah. I mean, it works pretty well. I would say like, like you mentioned, um, works on multiple levels because people love pets. People love animals. Canberra is full of, I think, you know, everyone seems to have at least one pet in Canberra, so that works in nicely.
[00:10:00] And, um, I did have a look at your competition entry and, you know, There’s the dropdown is just an exhaustive list of all sorts of animals. So you can enter whatever pet you have, whether it’s a red child or a fish or a horse, or the classic dogs and cats as well. Um, so you guys came up with it three years ago, more or less.
[00:10:21] Um, and then you basically. Use is a try booking. So you just like use a, just about shape.
[00:10:28] Alana: [00:10:28] Yeah. Just to do it that way. That’s where we, how we do all the ticketing for Alvin. So we just use that as well. You just purchased your registration by that. And then you email us a copy of the photo that you want to enter.
[00:10:39] But a bunch of judges that select out there.
[00:10:43] Germaine: [00:10:43] Okay. And so you sort of use a event ticketing system, as it was mentioned is sort of the cheapest. Is it also just the easiest because you guys aren’t trying to do too much with video, you’re basically just asking for an entry and then you have judges on, on your end.
[00:10:59] So you’re not. There’s no need to, I guess, publish the photos for people to vote or anything like that. So it was the parameters of the competition dictated by the software or, or is it sort of a bit, a bit of both?
[00:11:12] Alana: [00:11:12] Not really. I think with anything that I do. I, um, and sometimes I, I will admit I create a rod for my own back, but at the event, in my head first, and then I work out how I’m going to manage it later.
[00:11:25] That’s very calendar kind of bad as well.
[00:11:28] Germaine: [00:11:28] Right. Okay. Um, and so you guys printed out, um, there’s, I assume there’s one winner per month to 12 winners in total,
[00:11:36] Alana: [00:11:36] so 13, cause we also then put an additional pet on the cover and of course, just get to have an extra person involved and all 13 pets, golf, and have a professional photo shoot with professional photographers that you’ve actually.
[00:11:53] You know that you send in. We don’t use that because most of them are taken on their phones and we need them to be high resolution images. So we’ve got all volunteer photographers who go out and do a professional photo shoot with all of that. Yeah. Pets. And we use those images in our calendar and the calendar is totally designed by the printers.
[00:12:11] Um, my sleep is I don’t have time, so I take on that and, um, they just get the photos. It’s the month and off they go.
[00:12:19] Germaine: [00:12:19] That’s so sounds like a really wonderful, uh, team effort by the, by the sounds of it in terms of not just the or team, but then the volunteers and the printers and everyone getting involved with photography and all that I’m planning to enter.
[00:12:31] So, um, can we enter each pet once? Is that sort of one of the rules?
[00:12:36] Alana: [00:12:36] Yeah. So you can enter as many pets as you want, but each pet once and only one pet. Per image and one image per pit. Cause if you send me images of your dog, I will end up picking out only one. And you may not the one that I picked.
[00:12:53] Germaine: [00:12:53] Nice.
[00:12:53] Nice. And then once you’ve got the calendar, um, Ready for production. How do you handle the actual numbers of how, how, how many you print? Do you let people pre-purchase it, or do you, um, just print out a X amount and then sell it through an online store? How do you, how do you handle that side of things?
[00:13:13] Alana: [00:13:13] Do it’s open now for preorder?
[00:13:15] Um, and to be honest, usually the parents of the winning pitch. Take up the bulk of the purchase. Um, they’re proud parents and a lot of the calendars go international. Uh, but yeah, so we do, it’s just through tribal key again, just because it’s, it’s easier for us. You just buy your calendar that way and we just post them out directly from the office.
[00:13:35] So as in terms of numbers, um, the first year I took a bit of a guesstimate. I wasn’t too far off and we’ve based it on the sales each year. So we do, um, The first year we did an, a for size and an a three size. Sorry, we did that for the first two years. You see tanning that I, to I three and a four, but we’re also adding a desk calendar.
[00:13:58] I’ve had a few requests calendar this year.
[00:14:01] Germaine: [00:14:01] Yeah. So diversifying your product range. Yeah. You’re just adding more skews. And, and what I love is, I mean, The, the biggest message that I, and I keep asking you about, you know, whether you use, try booking for this or not, is that you guys haven’t tried to complicate things too much.
[00:14:19] I think people can get lost in, especially when it comes to software, because there’s this almost this mental. Thing that swapping software’s just very easy. So, you know, all you’ve got to do is click enter an email address, enter password, and that’s it. But that’s also often a trap. Cause you can end up complicating things way more than you need to, to just.
[00:14:42] Achieve, uh, something very simple and, and you guys have kept it simple. You’re using, I’m sure there are a lot of people listening who are sort of, um, thinking to. So, especially, especially in the marketing or the tech space, thinking to themselves, hold on, you can’t sell calendars through an event registration system.
[00:14:59] That is, that is crazy. There’s a dedicated, you know, that’s, e-commerce do it that way, but you know, What, why do you have to do it that way? If, if you can simplify it down much further, and I looked into it, it’s not like, you know, the system isn’t unintuitive it, it makes a lot of sense. It’s very simple. Um, so the biggest message I think out of this is just to keep things simple, um, or as simple, as complex as you need to make it, to make it work for you, which is, which is what you guys are doing now.
[00:15:28] How do you, I mean, You know, I’m sure like a pet calendar markets itself. Um, but how do you sort of handle the marketing side of things? How do you get the word out and, and what sort of growth, if any, have you seen over the last few years of the number of orders and the number of entries coming through?
[00:15:44] Alana: [00:15:44] I think, um, well certainly for entries. So we’re three, well, well, and truly into our third year of entries this year, we’ve doubled the amount of entries we received. On our first year. So the 200 now, um, and we’ve still got about two weeks to go. So I anticipate we might get close to two 50 because we tend to get quite a flurry, right.
[00:16:07] In the last few days, in terms of entries, in terms of sales, they were virtually the same last year. I don’t know. Obviously we haven’t really started to hit the sales yet this year that tends to more be November and December. And certainly it’s. A perfect Christmas present and I know the people buy them for Christmas presents.
[00:16:27] So we tend to really hit the sales in December, but I’ve no reason to anticipate that it won’t be very similar to what it’s been in previous years.
[00:16:36] Germaine: [00:16:36] Yeah. Yeah. And how do you market, um, marketed it’s just through all your social media channels or, um, do you, do you get. Sort of traditional media outlets hopping on board and, and I’m doing a writeup as well.
[00:16:50] Alana: [00:16:50] Yeah, I think it’s mostly through our social media channels as well as our mail out list. And then we do have really good connections with local media here in the ACA that’s something I think that, um, I know for me personally, I’m really proud of the relationships that we have with the media outlets here in Canberra.
[00:17:06] So most of them have gotten on board with it as well as, um, other supporters. So other people that just have big, you know, social media followings, Uh, as well have been sharing it because really most people have pets here in Canberra and there’s just so much interest in it, um, that, you know, they’re going to get interested in it.
[00:17:26] It doesn’t matter what their subject matter tends to be. Everyone’s got an interest in cute animals.
[00:17:31] Germaine: [00:17:31] Yeah, definitely. I think. Pets is just one of those things that everyone can interact with, you know? Um, and especially the fact that you’ve opened it up for any sort of pets means that you basically cover everyone and everyone loves animals.
[00:17:45] So that that’s sort of helps for sure. So what do you guys do you guys plan to do more with the pet calendar? Moving, moving forward, you’ve added a new product line this year. Do you, do you plan to add. Add more to it and yeah. What sort of directions are you hoping to take it?
[00:18:05] Alana: [00:18:05] I’ve never actually thought about it like that before.
[00:18:07] I think mostly because I think every year and in particular this year, we’re just grateful that it’s successful. And I think, you know, this year, I was a bit concerned before covert even hit. I was a bit concerned coming into this year on, on how we would go fundraising wise because of the impact of the Bush fires and everything.
[00:18:25] COVID, doesn’t help that situation. So it’d be really interesting. See how we go this year. And I think once I’ve seen how we go this year will influence what decisions I make next year, but I don’t think. Certainly seeing it now it’s not something that we would take off the menu. I think it’s, it’s a way to engage people.
[00:18:45] And again, it’s not just about the fundraising because we’re engaging people and learning and meeting new people. And that means new people and meeting our brand as well, which is really the whole aim of the game, to be honest,
[00:18:59] Germaine: [00:18:59] because it’s. Quite tough. I mean, let’s be, let’s be Frank here. Mastic violence is not, not a easy subject.
[00:19:06] Um, it’s not something that is overly positive. So, um, if you’ve got a service that, that is sort of, you know, In that vein of, it’s just not like, it’s not the kind of thing that you can have, like an all singing, dancing sort of ad campaign. It’s, it’s very, it’s tough, you know, it’s, it’s this, it’s sort of this, um, edge of humanity that is not very positive, but like you said, a lot of people experience it throughout their lives, whether it’s them personally or, or someone very close to them.
[00:19:35] So it’s, it’s. Interesting looking at that angle of, you know, how you’ve managed to and, um, how you’ve managed to not take away the true message around it, but also put a layer on top. That’s a little bit easier and a little bit more palatable for the sort of general population. Um, have you, were there ever any other ideas, or do you have other sort of marketing campaigns and fundraising campaigns that you do that takes on that similar vein of, you know, what we do is.
[00:20:06] Extremely valuable, but you know, not the most positive, but you know, we’ll take a slightly different angle. That’s still connected that allows us to get the message out there and get the word out there.
[00:20:15] Alana: [00:20:15] I think we’ve got sort of three major fundraising activities, which are on top of the pack calendar.
[00:20:21] We’ve obviously got our gala ball, um, that was canceled this year, or that is our major fundraising activity. We do our high tea, which we just had on the weekend, and that was 400 people over four. Yeah, I’m really tired. So we did that. Are we, and then in next month we’ve got a trivia night, um, and I’m still fingers crossed that some of the restrictions will be eased by the time that comes around, because at the moment, with all doubt on that, because of restrictions, um, some of the fundraising things, and then each.
[00:20:53] Yeah, we do a secret Santa campaign, which is very targeted. So last year we, so every second year, which was last year, we ask people to donate brand new toiletries, and we have a very specific list of what those toiletries are. People just can buy them in their shop, drop them in at a beyond bank branch.
[00:21:13] And then we use our volunteers to help make up toiletries to packs. And those are then given to people. The accommodation. So last year we probably got about between 15 and $20,000 worth of product donated, which was great. And that product to last us for about two years. So yeah, he will just ask for people again, via our tribal King, um, platform to just purchase things like grocery vouchers.
[00:21:38] I can just go in and say, I want to spend $70 on groceries. You know, $20 on fine credit, $10 on petrol, and then we get it at our end. And that’s how we make sure the money is spent.
[00:21:48] Germaine: [00:21:48] Yeah.
[00:21:49] Alana: [00:21:49] Yeah. Anyway, for a client, for people to make a donation, but they actually know where their money’s really going to, rather than it just going into the big black hole of fundraising, they’re allocating their money going to groceries or whatever.
[00:22:02] So that’s another successful campaign that we run. Um, and then of course we run, you know, non fundraising campaigns throughout the year, which might be things like how to stay home, stay in the relationship and stay safe, which is certainly something that we did a lot of during the lockdown period. Um, pushing out media on how you can enhance your safety while at home and, you know, possibly while you’re still in that Rutland and relationship.
[00:22:28] So we do a lot of those campaigns, um, it effect, sorry, myth-busting and that sort of stuff throughout the year as well.
[00:22:35] Germaine: [00:22:35] Yeah. So you use just traditional channels, I guess, to, to get the message out there.
[00:22:40] Alana: [00:22:40] So mostly so, and then that’s complemented with, um, the relationships with our local media. So predominantly those two outlet being.
[00:22:50] Uh, the rod act online, her Canberra online, as well as ABC, uh, whether that be radio or online.
[00:22:57] Germaine: [00:22:57] Yeah, because it’s one of those things, again, that, um, you don’t know who is going to like your, I don’t, this might sound too businessy, but your target market, the people who are the victims in these situations, It could be anyone couldn’t it?
[00:23:10] There’s no, um, I’m sure the statistics speak to a bit more sort of defined demographics around who they really are. Like who, who the demographics that really, um, face domestic violence are, but at the same time, it could be almost anyone. Um, you’d want to reach. Them as, as I guess, conveniently as possible, like even on your website.
[00:23:31] Um, when I was browsing it, I, that was a big, quick, quick escape button. And I was like, what’s, what’s the quickest Skype button. I thought I was really confused. And, um, you know, if you want to check it out, if you’re a listener, basically you go on the website. Click click escape, and then it takes it to Google.
[00:23:46] First. I was a bit confused, but then I realized, hold on, what you’re, what you’re essentially doing is giving people who are browsing your website quick way of getting out of it. It’s that the perpetrator, they would have come into the room or look over their shoulder. It’s not so obvious. Um, what you’re looking at.
[00:24:00] So you’ve got this difficult line that you’ve got a balance of communicating, but also the people who really need it may not be able to just, you know, look at it on their, like, watch a video on their TV screen and, and just deal with it that way, because it’s really, really close to home. Um, now I’m putting you on the spot a little bit, but do you know some stats to do with, with domestic violence?
[00:24:23] Um, could you give us some numbers?
[00:24:25] Alana: [00:24:25] Yeah. So you were talking about target market and I think certainly in the world of domestic and family violence, there is no specific target market because you’re targeting everyone because while they might hate it right at this very second, there’s a good chance.
[00:24:38] They may need it in the future. So yes. Um, the most people that are subjected to family and domestic violence are female identify as female. And the biggest age bracket tends to be between 26 and 45 years. And that’s how we experience it. Um, there are people that’s our biggest age bracket. That’s. Over 50%.
[00:24:59] I think last year it was about 60% of our clients were aged between 26 and 45. And about 83% of our clients identified as female. Um, so that as we only serve as the act and the immediate surrounding region, uh, so I’m not sure what the stats are nationally, but in terms of, um, you know, national stats, um, I think at the moment it’s one in four women will be impacted by domestic or family violence at some stage during their life.
[00:25:26] And it’s. One thing it’s one in 16, men will be subjected to physical violence and one in six men will be subjected to emotional or psychological. So the non physical elements of family and domestic violence. So yeah, it’s pretty, you’re pretty calm. You know, if someone says to you, I don’t know anyone that’s experienced it, um, they probably do.
[00:25:46] They just don’t know that they do. Um,
[00:25:48] Germaine: [00:25:48] that’s our thing, cause it’s not the sort of. Thing. I mean, there’s a, there’s still stigma around it. It’s still a bit of a taboo sort of thing to get into. Um, and, um, so because of that, it’s not the kind of thing that you’d necessarily see people put their hand up and go, yep, that’s me, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s sort of what I’m going through.
[00:26:08] So those stats are, are just sad to hear and, and really, really concerning. Um, what sort of services do you provide? Uh, DVCS,
[00:26:17] Alana: [00:26:17] we’ve been around for about, this is our 32nd. Yeah, supporting the ICT community. Uh, we out and the service that’s been there since day.is our 24 seven crisis intervention line. So we’ve got a team of about 25 staff that work on a 24 hour roster, and they’re able to respond to any incoming phone calls at any time.
[00:26:38] Uh, and then in addition to that, we have, uh, legal advocacy teams. So they work closely with people who are. Going to court and wish to apply for a family violence order so we can support them in filling out the application. I’m engaging with a lawyer applying for the order and then any other court dates are that.
[00:26:58] And then we also, um, provide support for those in the criminal justice system. So when charges have been made against someone for using violence, Um, we can often support that the person who is the victim in that matter, um, whether they might have to give evidence at court to prepare a victim impact statement and keep them updated of any bail conditions or court dates, that sort of stuff.
[00:27:20] Uh, and then we’ve also got our community services team, which is broken up again into a women’s and children’s program, which is provides case management for women and or children and their families who have been impacted by violence and are now no longer in crisis. But you need a few extra supports to help reintegrate with community and that sort of thing.
[00:27:41] We also, they provide support groups. Um, we do a support group for women and we do a support group for children as well. And then we’ve got a special program it’s called room for change. And rather than just sort of, um, dealing with the problem just once it’s happened, we have now got to take a more wraparound, holistic.
[00:28:00] Yeah. The approach in also supporting the user of violence. Sorry, we’re sort of supporting the whole family now, the children and the women, but we’re also supporting male users of violence to help them change their behaviors and things like that. So, um, we’ve got quite a big team actually that works with those men.
[00:28:17] Yeah,
[00:28:18] Germaine: [00:28:18] yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, obviously the ultimate goal would be that no one. Commits any sort of domestic violence, male, female, children, whatever it may be. So, um, it sounds like it’s, and it’s awesome to hear that you guys have I able to now, you know, introduce services that sort of, uh, look at it as a spectrum, um, of, of interactions and things like that.
[00:28:39] You, you, you can sort of, um, target those different yeah. Groups. Now I’ve got two, two more questions that sort of come to mind. The first one is. You mentioned emails. So do you have an email list that you, that you sort of market to as well, or, yeah, so
[00:28:55] Alana: [00:28:55] we’ve got a number of hell, at least actually one is just the more general, you know, stuff that talks about really everything.
[00:29:01] And then obviously we’ve got, um, a mail out list to volunteers. We have volunteers who, um, get a particular newsletter once a month. And we’ve also got clients who get a newsletter in relation to things like we might be talking about a support group or. Um, there might be a university study going on that wants to talk to people who have been subjected to violence.
[00:29:22] So those client newsletters are really specific to people who’ve been impacted by it. And then we also have one that we send out to other organizations in the act who also work with people who are subjected to violence. So that might include places like the refuges, um, legal aid, um, the women’s legal center.
[00:29:42] Victim’s support all that sort of all those sorts of things. So we can keep them updated with any group or things that we might be doing that might interest their clients as well.
[00:29:51] Germaine: [00:29:51] Yeah. Yeah. So email marketing is clearly quite sort of a strong, um, approach for you guys. Now, the other question that I did have now, this is a little bit.
[00:30:00] Left the field, but this is just, I was just thinking about this. Have you, um, and maybe this idea is being tabled in the past, but have you ever thought about building out like an online presence? That isn’t very, that it isn’t very obvious that it’s, um, domestic violence sort of services. And sort of a, almost like this presence that, that looks just completely, completely friendly, completely sort of separate so that, um, people can interact if they’re finding themselves in situations where, you know, getting caught with their webpage open is just not, not even an option.
[00:30:31] Have you thought about that as, as an approach ever? Or am I just,
[00:30:36] Alana: [00:30:36] no, no, you’re not crazy. And certainly, um, there have been some apps. That are developed that have been developed, but they are more pitched at people who are probably at the very beginning of their journey. So by the time they are engaging with us, the app is kind of redundant.
[00:30:51] So those apps are certainly, they look like they’re just a little game, for example, and they’ve got information and they are created. At the national level. So they provide details of, of organizations like us all across Australia. So there’s those. Um, but certainly things like perhaps a closed Facebook group, for example, something like that.
[00:31:12] We have talked about those sorts of things, but in the end, um, because really on the other end of the computer, anybody can be anybody that a bit of a safety risk. And I think. Until it’s going to be much safer on the internet, which I don’t see happening in any time in the future. I don’t think that it’s worth doing, I don’t think it’s worth the safety risks that.
[00:31:35] That might involve and that’s certainly more so in a community, the size of the ICT.
[00:31:41] Germaine: [00:31:41] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the ICT is, um, not massive. So you can’t necessarily get lost in the numbers so days it is for those who don’t know what we are like a population of 359, I think it’s
[00:31:53] Alana: [00:31:53] over 400, but yeah. You know, always, you know, I know, I mean, I started working here and I didn’t know, but one of my ex basketball mates works here, so everything is related and everyone knows everyone.
[00:32:05] So even though you might have two people, who’ve both been subjected to violence, they might have, uh, you know, one of them might start dating the other ones, for example, Privacy is breached all over the place. So it’s just not safe for those sorts of things.
[00:32:22] Germaine: [00:32:22] Yeah. It’s not the sort of, um, it’s such a, such a small community, even though 400,000 people, is it sounds like a lot of people, I think for whatever reason, I think Canberrans are quite social as well.
[00:32:34] So that probably just makes it seem like everyone just just knows everyone. So, um, Yeah, before we finish up, I’d like to just quickly touch on, um, the, the calendar again. So where can people find out more about the calendar and, and enter?
[00:32:50] Alana: [00:32:50] Yeah. So everything’s on our website, which is dvcs.org.edu. So you can just go through there to get involved and all of our events are listed there, but the calendar’s there, it lists out all of our wonderful judges.
[00:33:03] Uh, it’s $10 per pet and entries close on the 31st of
[00:33:07] Germaine: [00:33:07] August. Awesome. I’m going to, I was actually going to do a photo shoot with my dog, but, um, sounds like a photo shoots, not necessary. I might just look through the phone and find one of the cute sort of. Candid shots that I’ve, that I’ve got. So, um, that’s awesome.
[00:33:23] Um, are you ready for the top 12? I sort of sprung this on you last minute, but
[00:33:27] Alana: [00:33:27] are you ready? Yeah,
[00:33:30] Germaine: [00:33:30] let’s get into it. So, um, uh, top three books or podcasts that you recommend,
[00:33:35] Alana: [00:33:35] I’ve only really got one book and it’s to all my fellow mothers out there. It’s called mother guilt. Um, it’s. By ITA Buttrose and I think it’s a doctor named dependence.
[00:33:45] The Adams, I think I might be wrong, but yeah. Was so helpful to me when I was, when my son is 16, but now, but when he was much younger and I was going through that, getting back into work phase, it was really helpful. Cause I even now still experience mother guilt and I really recommend it. To any moms.
[00:34:04] Germaine: [00:34:04] Yeah. That’s, that’s awesome. Um, next one, top three software tools that you, you can’t live without.
[00:34:11] Alana: [00:34:11] It’s tough. Um, obviously as you know, I think, um, personally for me on a personal front, um, well obviously I can’t live without my phone and everything that’s on that. And my watch, I have an Apple watch and I love it.
[00:34:25] Um, work-wise I think the software tool would be Canva. Um, you know, That sort of stuff. And then I use HootSweet as well, um, to keep me sane. And then I think also try booking and WordPress, and I just can’t pick three,
[00:34:44] Germaine: [00:34:44] but you know, it, it, you know, it gives us an idea of the type of work you do as well.
[00:34:48] Just hearing the software platforms that, that you really rely on and, um, try booking definitely sounds like, um, your number one way to, um, Take and receive money in bookings and, and all that. So, um, that’s awesome. Um, are there any mantras or top three mantras that you try and live by?
[00:35:06] Alana: [00:35:06] Uh, one, the, uh, my daddy would be very proud.
[00:35:09] Uh, he drilled into me since, I don’t know when, um, never give up, never give up, never give up. And it’s something that, um, my family’s faced a lot of adversity in the last couple of years and it’s something that really has hit home over that time. And there are times when I felt like just giving up and throwing in the towel, but, um, it’s just sitting there.
[00:35:30] I can just picture my dad’s little face is telling me to never give up. So probably that one. Yeah.
[00:35:36] Germaine: [00:35:36] That’s awesome. Cause um, I used to work in the, not for profit. Sort of marketing space. Um, and we continue to work with clients who are in that space as well. And that mantra, even when it comes to marketing and the nonprofit space, you just really need to go, like never give up.
[00:35:52] Cause you’re facing, um, compromised budgets. If you had any budget at all, um, often it’s. You know, or they’re the whole marketing budget is your salary and that’s it. And everything else has to be a marketing budget of free. Um, and you know, at the very least from a professional marketing for non profits, point of view, um, yeah, can’t give up cause you never know what’s gonna work and you’ve, don’t really have the budget to, you know, Throw and fix your problems using money.
[00:36:20] So, um, no, love it from a professional point of view and, and sort of a, a larger point of view as well. And the last one, um, top three people, you follow it or study and or why?
[00:36:30] Alana: [00:36:30] I think mine are mostly, they’re not famous people. That, um, people that I’ve, that I’ve had the privilege of working for, and I might get a bit teary.
[00:36:42] Um, but one of my bosses, Margaret raid, um, she’s, uh, she was a family lawyer and she’s semi retired. Now. She was the most amazing woman to work for so strong. Um, and she taught me so much and, um, I’m really grateful for everything that I learned while working for her. The old CEO of DBCs Mariana Wilson. Um, she gave me opportunities, which no one else has given me.
[00:37:07] Uh, she supported me in the decisions that I made even sometimes when I made pretty poor decisions. Um, she was supporting in the way that and supportive in the way that she helped me undo that. Um, so she was really good and I. I really like everything that they did for me. And I think one of the other people that I really admire, um, is a woman that I worked for many, many years ago were not directly worked for, but she, um, Linda Krevin and she’s also, um, worked in family law and she spent a lot of time at legal aid and she really taught me to have compassion and things.
[00:37:44] People who. Don’t have as much privileges as I, and, um, I learn a lot from her as well. Well, and there are some moments, um, and things that I, this was back in my early twenties and I reflect back now and I think, wow, the learning opportunity that she had given me at that time. And I think those three women, uh, three powerhouses all here in Canberra and they’re amazing.
[00:38:06] And I’m. Grateful that I had the opportunity to work for the three of them. Definitely.
[00:38:11] Germaine: [00:38:11] That’s awesome. I think I’m sometimes guests sort of take the easy road, which is just a named people who have made an impact in a global scale, but we forget that there are people very, very local. Um, like, you know, you, you’ve obviously met these people, worked with this people and worked for these people.
[00:38:30] And I think it’s easy to forget that there are. Very much people, um, in, in your neighborhood, um, you know, um, in your city that, that are just doing amazing things, whether they’re semi retired now or retired now is a different story, but, um, yeah, it’s, it’s been awesome to chat with you. Um, one more time. Um, what’s the, what’s the link again, if people want to enter that
[00:38:55] Alana: [00:38:55] Davy, cs.org.edu.
[00:38:58] Germaine: [00:38:58] Awesome. And it’s only $10. Um, actually how much is, how much is the calendar? Um, when they do go,
[00:39:04] Alana: [00:39:04] so the start at $25 and I, and that includes postage and obviously the more you buy, the cheaper they get.
[00:39:11] Germaine: [00:39:11] Nice, nice. That’s, that’s a very reasonable price as well. I think, um, some people, uh, you know, Charities included can get a little bit, a little bit lost in how much they charge for things.
[00:39:22] And it starts to cross that barrier of it’s really tough to, to pay that sort of money. But $25, I think, uh, all staff are getting, uh, a pet’s calendar for Christmas and hopefully my dog colors on the color.
[00:39:38] Alana: [00:39:38] I can’t accept any brides. I’m not a judge.
[00:39:44] Germaine: [00:39:44] I’ll just have to go look up the list. Now I’m only kidding. The cutest pet will win. I’m sure. Awesome. Thanks. Not to get
[00:39:52] Alana: [00:39:52] some more, um, non dogs or cats. If there are any owners of reptiles or anything, please send them through. We like
[00:39:58] Germaine: [00:39:58] to I’ll talk to my mate. Who’s got some fisheries suddenly. Maybe, maybe they can, they can maybe make an entry.
[00:40:06] Awesome. Thanks again for your time.
[00:40:08] Outro: [00:40:08] Thank you. Thank you for listening to the future tribe podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a review on your podcast app.

How an injured army veteran became one of Canberra’s premier entrepreneurs

In this episode of the Future Tribe Podcast, we had the pleasure of chatting with Ian Lindgren, an army veteran turned entrepreneur who currently owns and operates four companies here in Canberra. After suffering a career-ending injury during one of his deployments, Ian was forced to forge a different career path which eventually led him to create his first and most successful company, PayMe, Australia’s #1 payroll services provider. As you can imagine, our guest has a bevy of knowledge regarding the steps behind starting a company and implementing a strong workplace culture. Additionally, Ian also shares how he and his wife are able to simultaneously manage staff across multiple locations who work in completely different industries. Later, Ian shares how he used many of the lessons learned during his time in the army to inform his business philosophy relating to areas such as competitor analysis and information gathering. The show concludes with our guest talking about the future of his businesses given COVID-19 as well as his commitment to using his success to help support the veteran community within Canberra.

What we talk about
  • Overcoming adversity
  • Developing a strong workplace culture across multiple businesses
  • Competitor analysis and strategic agility
  • Corporate social responsibility
Links from this episode

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

[00:00:00] Ian: [00:00:00] So I started PayMe at home with, with no clients. I think within the first six months we had a $600,000 turnover. The next year it was 9 million and then 15 million.
[00:00:11] Intro: [00:00:11] Welcome to the Future Tribe podcast, where we’re all about taking your future to the next level, whether it is interviewing guests or unpacking strategies, you know, we will be talking about getting things done and backing you a fellow optimistic, go getter.
[00:00:26] Ian: [00:00:26] And now as always. Here’s your host, the formidable fortunate and highly favored Germaine Muller.
[00:00:35] Germaine: [00:00:35] Hello, future tribe. Welcome to another episode of the podcast on this week’s episode, I’ve got Ian Lindgren from PayMe, uh, how are you today, Ian? No worries. Thanks for joining. Yeah, it’s a, it’s a bit of a cold cold morning, um, in Canberra.
[00:00:53] Um, but it’s nice to be talking to someone who can sympathize. Uh, with, with what I’m feeling,
[00:01:04] [00:01:00] hopefully, and then it will get too hot, but that’s camera for you. Um, tell me, tell me a bit about PayMe before we get started.
[00:01:11] Ian: [00:01:11] Oh, probably my Oregon pine mill is an accidental company. Uh, I don’t really use it when I sit back and think about it.
[00:01:20] It’s a bit of a storage of it all yet. I had 20, uh, 21 odd years in the regular army. And then got injured and my last deployment to, um, Egypt and Israel, uh, area called the Sinai peninsula, which wherever I worked, I got injured in there. Nothing too bad physically, but it’s effectively stopped me from working full time since the year 2000.
[00:01:44] So it’s a primer kind of came about, is that because I essentially had to work from home, uh, to do something I had to retire totally. Or do something. And, um, so I started, uh, PayMe at home with, with no clients. [00:02:00] Do you know about how to do or run a business? Uh, because I’d always been in the army. I think within the first six months we had $600,000 turn over the next, uh, year.
[00:02:09] It was 9 million and then 15 million, um, thankfully corn grow that fast every year. Cause it would’ve given me a lot more growth, but yeah, it just boils down to some simple recipes and we’ve had a great time. I didn’t stay inside a house and we’ve got a few offices around the country now.
[00:02:31] What color contractors.
[00:02:32] Germaine: [00:02:32] Yeah. That’s amazing. So looking at your website, you are Australia’s largest contractor payroll company. Um, have you stayed within Australia or have you thought about going across the pond so to speak?
[00:02:46] Ian: [00:02:46] Uh, we have actually operated all over the world. Uh, certainly didn’t, didn’t, didn’t, uh, uh, shy away from trying new business lines.
[00:02:58] But what I found was [00:03:00] for very good reasons, the Australian unemployment and payroll market has a lot of regulation around it to protect people like you and me and, and, uh, Australia, those protections, they aren’t there. And the rest of the world. So, for example, if I was speaking to an American company institution that someone needed to have maternity leave or, and that actually it was your responsibility.
[00:03:27] If you suck, if you paid someone in Australia, if they ask for it, but they were entitled at these types of things, blew people away overseas. So in the end, I, uh, I didn’t pursue that as mr. Lawrence, because the battles to convince people that when you operate in Australia, you’ve got to operate the way we operate too, like too, too large.
[00:03:48] So they’re having fun because there’s no use working unless you’re having fun.
[00:03:55] Germaine: [00:03:55] Yeah, no, exactly. I mean, I’m having fun. Cause I think [00:04:00] that that funding means that you’re passionate about what you’re doing or you’re at the very least you’re enjoying what you’re doing, which I think everyone should, should, um, aim to do.
[00:04:07] Cause that’s when you, I think do your best work because if you’re not really having fun or enjoying what you’re doing, then there’s probably something else that you should be doing that. Um,
[00:04:17] Ian: [00:04:17] and you can learn some, some huge lessons from that in business as your business grows, and people do business with people they trust.
[00:04:27] Um, if you have trust. You have fun and you’re really enjoy supporting each other.
[00:04:32] Germaine: [00:04:32] Yeah, definitely. And I think that that trust component is really important as well. I mean, you’ve been in business for a lot longer than I have, but, um, you, you do realize that it is all about trust. You can sign all the contracts and do all that fun stuff.
[00:04:46] Um, but at the end of the day, if, if there’s no trust in it, then, um, as I like to say, there’s no point turning back to sheet of paper with some ink on it. Um, if, if. Everything was to fall apart because, because what’s that going [00:05:00] to do at the end of the day?
[00:05:01] Ian: [00:05:01] Exactly. Exactly. And that affects the whole team, not just yourself, if you really have that kind of how you see that Cathy’s, you’ve turned him at work.
[00:05:11] Everyone feels the pressure, if something is.
[00:05:13] Germaine: [00:05:13] Yeah. Yeah. And it sort of makes you feel like, like, so feature theory. My business. We’re a, we’re a family business. Um, my brother’s involved in it and, you know, we, we try and sort of spread that, that family feel. And I, I just find that. Having that sort of level of rapport as well.
[00:05:32] It just means that you’re a, you’re a unit and you’re working towards a common goal and you’re helping your, you want to help your customers and your clients, and they become part of the family. And you know, when they’re doing it tough, especially given COVID and everything else that we’re sort of experiencing at the moment, working from home.
[00:05:50] Um, it’s I think just. It really important that you bring back those probably old school, um, or, or, you know, someone call them old school sort of business [00:06:00] values, but, um, It certainly stood out to me as important.
[00:06:04] Ian: [00:06:04] I think that is very true. Like your business, our business is a family business. Every single person in my family is in the business, including my daughter.
[00:06:13] And it really truly is a family business across all four companies. Because it’s a smaller company, a payroll company called just pies. And in order to protect ourselves and diversify, uh, w we have a car leasing company, uh, which is Pampers. I am in college and company, but otherwise just the marketing plug.
[00:06:37] Um, but we also have a room. A recruitment company on a campus, all this recruitment companies go to effecting people, which we did quite a few years ago, but it just gives us the stability, the variety for the family members to, to operate in and make sure we’ve got some longevity.
[00:06:55] Germaine: [00:06:55] Yeah. That’s because you, you run the, [00:07:00] the four businesses together with your wife.
[00:07:02] Is that right?
[00:07:03] Ian: [00:07:03] That’s right. Yeah, but Shane essentially for one of a better word and advice, and we have one external advisory. So that, to keep us honest, to ask what we’re doing, we also, outside of that, we have good side of the same thing. That’s I think very wise. So that done don’t actually make errors.
[00:07:27] Germaine: [00:07:27] Yeah, that’s amazing. It sounds like a truly sort of family business. Now, when did you start all this? Was it in the early two thousands? Did you say?
[00:07:38] Ian: [00:07:38] Yeah, after I got injured, I had about a year resting on my back cause I couldn’t move and then I tried to work again, but I just, I just couldn’t. And uh, although I tried to consult back into defense.
[00:07:52] It just wouldn’t work. So I started this January, 2005 with just myself and this office, [00:08:00] actually that I’m sitting in right now. And that’s where, that’s where I figured that I’d stay for them for the rest of my working life, because I was told about it. I wouldn’t be able to work any further from a medical point of view.
[00:08:12] Germaine: [00:08:12] Wow. Now, if you don’t mind me asking. How old are you now?
[00:08:17] Ian: [00:08:17] 58.
[00:08:18] Germaine: [00:08:18] 58. Okay. So you were sort of mid to late forties when, when all this happened to you, what was it like? Did you have a feeling of having to start a fresh, having to start a new? Was, was that, was that sort of one of the sensations or are the things you have to get past?
[00:08:33] Ian: [00:08:33] I always walk in it too. You know what, you know what it’s like when you leave school, it’s the best butterflies in your stomach? You know, you’ve got another career you guys are doing. That’s essentially what I likened it to. It was, do I take this big step forward, uh, into something? And, um, do I back myself and I did.
[00:08:53] More support me working full time in the public service. [00:09:00] And we went from there. I’m just following a simple recipe to what I thought was really important. Things that I’ve always just, you said before, the simple, old fashioned things in life sometimes are more effective than the more complex, highly theoretical ways that people were approach things these days.
[00:09:18] I always think that a leader. Uh, if you are faced firm and friendly, you’re a good leader. I’d probably get the word authentic these days, but that those are the things that I’m focused on rather than any greater theoretical approach to it certainly studied them. But that’s, that’s what it boils down to me.
[00:09:38] Germaine: [00:09:38] Give us an idea across these four companies. Um, I know we were talking about PayMe. In, I guess, uh, with a bit more focused, but across the four companies, how many staff do you sort of manage?
[00:09:51] Ian: [00:09:51] I’m not allowed to man. 20 eyes. So we have, I think 20 or 18 in Canberra. [00:10:00] I don’t in Canberra across across three companies, uh, of deacon, um, more worse.
[00:10:06] Men just size on a day to day basis. We have another  company spread between Canberra and Brisbane. And we have a manager that manages, uh, day to day basis, but, uh, three other day, but to start every day, uh, we zoom in and huddle with what we call huddle with everybody in the company. Every company runs to the same blade.
[00:10:32] Oh, wow.
[00:10:33] Germaine: [00:10:33] Okay. So across all four companies, everyone meets on zoom. Did you say every day,
[00:10:39] Ian: [00:10:39] every day,
[00:10:41] Germaine: [00:10:41] does that happen? Usually,
[00:10:43] Ian: [00:10:43] uh, guys for guys for about 10, 10 to 12 minutes, and it’s kind of the core focus of doing business for us, we follow what’s called the Rockefeller habits, which is a habit. If you have a habit.
[00:10:58] Then, usually it happens [00:11:00] every day. So a  ed, I stop at eight 45, where, where everybody zooms in and everyone goes across the three months important priorities that I’ve got to do today. Uh, the three or four, uh, interesting dot or that they, uh, that they had shaved yesterday. And perhaps I think probably the most important thing.
[00:11:23] What are the stocks that are holding you back? And that could be stuck like the computer systems program or my husband’s being a pain. If your partner’s splitting apart. And just to give a bit of a laugh or it can be something serious, just boring as a team together, everyone gets synchronized and that can be things like, Oh, I haven’t been able to communicate with a launch leasing yesterday.
[00:11:46] I haven’t been able to communicate with primate and it usually it’s just a human factor and we just get over it on the spot sorted out and a sort of airflow and afterwards, and it gets the whole, whole group synchronized every day.
[00:11:58] Germaine: [00:11:58] Really amazing and interesting. I’ve [00:12:00] never heard of that, that sort of approach to it.
[00:12:03] And, and I can see the real benefits and no doubt. Um, it also, I think helps. Everyone operated as a family. Cause you’re sort of sharing the things that are the annoyances, the little wins, the little, the little, you know, not so great things mixed in with, with all the, all the good stuff. Um, have you guys been doing that even before sort of this work from home COVID sort of situation that we’re dealing with?
[00:12:26] Yeah,
[00:12:26] Ian: [00:12:26] we’ve been doing it since 2010 hours, so. Um, six to about 2010, I essentially ran the companies with the Milwaukee support and the team support and just did the best I could like anybody does. We all do our best. We all try to analyze, you know, how can we do it better? And like, most people, I was stuck in that rock of having a weekly meeting, which essentially goes over everything that we covered through the dots through the week.
[00:12:57] And then we came across the [00:13:00] Rockefeller habits, which is based on John D Rockefeller and the way he did, he performed his daily functioning. And the way he started work every day was a team. He walked to work. Uh, with these senior executives and I effectively huddled, I told them, do we have the things that were going on?
[00:13:17] Uh, and then they, then when I got to work, you know, talk to their, to their team members and everyone was synchronized. So that’s essentially where we took that process up. And then it goes on from, you have this kind of, so the way you do business, you go de de de de. Uh, so you get the same process all through the day.
[00:13:38] You get to Friday, and Friday’s the day we, where you cover off on the key pieces of information that you might’ve heard of, uh, during that week, what the competitors are up to there. Um, you might, uh, I think mostly we do. So we have this, this routine is that  moms and  [00:14:00] where the quarterly meetings are actually even focused on signs.
[00:14:05] If we stick to that. Everybody doesn’t matter what company you’re in, or even if you moved down to Canberra for a little while from Brisbane or from our Perth office, come to Canberra, you just synchronize rotting. You just realize that you’re in the same office.
[00:14:18] Germaine: [00:14:18] Yeah. That that’s amazing. I mean, it’s really that sort of, you used the word bait and I would say you sort of, your heartbeat sort of starts to sink and then, um, Without getting too sort of philosophical.
[00:14:30] I mean, the, the staff are really are the humans buying a company are really the, the part bait of a, of a company. So you’re just really synchronizing it all across the board so that, um, you are all on the same page, your you’re sharing the wins, the failures. Um, and, and I think it gives a nice opportunity.
[00:14:49] 10, 10, 15 minutes. Isn’t a significant amount of time. Um, but it’s enough that you can. Quickly rattle off any, any points. And then if someone has, you know, someone hears it and goes, [00:15:00] Oh, I know exactly what I needed to talk to Jermaine about when this happened to me six months ago, this is the approach that I took.
[00:15:06] Or, you know, when, when X, Y, Z company, isn’t very responsive, all you gotta do is call my, um, at, at regional whatever. And you just, just sort of solve those problems that. If you’re doing that weekly, it starts to become this droning like 10 to 15 minutes is, is worst case scenario. Bearable
[00:15:25] Ian: [00:15:25] was, there’s an art to it.
[00:15:27] You know, you should stand up because once people sit down, they get all relaxed and nice and comfy and cuddly and they tend to waffle a bit something it’s just, boom, boom, boom. And you threw it. And then the day starts. And anything that, anything that was raised during the day, that’s like a stock. Well, then you talk about Flon and of.
[00:15:48] Germaine: [00:15:48] Yeah, definitely. I think, I think you can fall into the trap of sitting down and getting a coffee. That’s warm. You know, you, you don’t really want to get into the day. I need just end up. Oh, you know, if [00:16:00] we, if I rattle on for five or 10 minutes and then maybe the next person will, and that’ll become a half an hour, 45 sort of minute excuse to not, not get your day started and just procrastinate,
[00:16:10] Ian: [00:16:10] um, trust and things like that.
[00:16:12] But I’m sure you’ll ask me about that later. Trust is just so important and knowing everyone’s strengths and weaknesses really just enhances it.
[00:16:20] Germaine: [00:16:20] Yeah. That, that, that is something that I want to touch on. Now. That’s why I asked you how many people you manage and you’ve got remote locations as well, or, you know, locations that are remote to where your base from.
[00:16:31] So you’ve got 18 staff in Canberra based out of deacon. And then you’ve got, say another 10 spread out elsewhere. How do you. How do you manage what everyone’s doing and how do you keep, keep on top of everyone’s tasks? And, and especially as you sort of scale up, because when it was just yourself would have been very easy, cause you just check in chicken with yourself and make sure that you’re on track.
[00:16:55] And then what was sort of the next jump from that? So six months now that you said you’re doing about [00:17:00] 600 K in revenue.
[00:17:01] Ian: [00:17:01] Yeah. I think for me, the key thing is, is having the right staff. Staff that have the same core values as you so you’d know yourself from running a business, you tend to be the work.
[00:17:14] Holly has been, people would characterize you as a workaholic. Someone, if you’ve got something to do, you don’t. Go home at the end of the day, or you don’t leave it on done. And, um, to find people that can actually work in the same way, even though they’re not there yet is difficult. So for us, we, we, we, we, we have a set of core values.
[00:17:39] The we, we, uh, we have one that’s very simple, uh, uh, just, uh, just four of them. And, um, and from there, uh, we, we, we, uh, bring people along and trying them and we find that probably about. I mean one out of five people get through out our probation period because it’s, [00:18:00] it’s hard to demonstrate the same core values that we have the desire to know that the people out there that are using our services actually pay us.
[00:18:09] So they’re the people got no, no, no boss or, or anybody else. It’s the people that you’re giving them, giving, giving services to, because ultimately like, if you don’t please them, then your business goes out of business. And your job disappears. So, so yeah, no, we, we, um, we focus on, on the core values, what people display, um, how, uh, how have their written expression, their, uh, verbal expression and, uh, yeah.
[00:18:40] Yeah. And just willingness to, just to Gideon and do, do the jobs throughout the day and not just. Um, I’m not saying it’s terrible clock watch, but you know, if you have a 1230 lunch break for an hour, you just have your lunch breaks throughout the day sometime. Because you never know when your clients are going to call up and need your help.
[00:18:59] And if you have a [00:19:00] team member that’s willing to just put the lunch down, uh, go and help them and then come back and finish their lunch and maybe take a half hour earlier off that day, because I missed the whole lunch period. That’s a great private business model, you know? And it doesn’t take away. I don’t think it takes away from the fact that you’re, you’re, you’re removing any of the satisfying for the payable because you were give to your time and they give to you on.
[00:19:25] So that’s a, that’s a good team environment.
[00:19:28] Germaine: [00:19:28] That’s it. I think like you mentioned, especially given that given what, what services you guys offer, um, Australia is very legislated. There, there are a lot of rules and things in place to make sure that everyone’s, it’s it’s fair. Um, and I think that’s, that’s a very good, um, but you shouldn’t see it as sort of this rigid thing because, um, Just cause your lunch breaks from 1230 to one 30, like you said, if something goes wrong at 1225 and it’s going to take you half an hour to fix it, you would hope that someone would fix that rather than saying, stop, [00:20:00] start at five minutes in and then say, okay, it’s my lunch break.
[00:20:03] I’m going to go fix the problem later, despite, you know, having started working on it and despite it being a clear issue that needs to be,
[00:20:11] Ian: [00:20:11] and I feel that people should feel comfortable. To ask, because I think I’ve been in some places in my life where I haven’t been comfortable to ask for time off. If I can remember when my wife had her second child and I asked my boss for time off.
[00:20:26] And he said, no, when my wife had her second child, I was 20,000 kilometers away in Vietnam. So you don’t have any time off go on and ride later. I didn’t, I didn’t agree with that. And I don’t know. Yeah. We showed it to people. If you’ve got a swimming carnival on today for one of the kids that swimming carnival is never ever going to occur again, if your son or daughter comes number one to die, you’re going to miss it.
[00:20:53] So go and do it. But what we, what we just ask in return is just extra couple of hours, one [00:21:00] day or something simple, a real flexible model.
[00:21:03] Germaine: [00:21:03] Just just make up for it. Yeah. I mean, it doesn’t have to be, you know, as, as we were talking about it, doesn’t have to be that rigid, you know? Okay. You, you miss out on this period of time, make sure that every, every hour is counter or gross else is going to come back and say, you know, Jermaine, what where’s, that where’s that 15 minutes that you should have given us?
[00:21:21] Um, because that’s not what it’s about. It’s about sort of collectively working towards this goal. And, and often it is just helping clients and, and, um, making sure that they’re happy now. Talk to me a bit more about PeyMe. So, um, you guys do contract and contingent worker payroll. So are you a software company or are you
[00:21:44] Ian: [00:21:44] not?
[00:21:46] What we really are in simple terms is we’re an outsourced payroll company. So I’ve used some industry language there, uh, and that’s forum, uh, [00:22:00] optimization on the, on the, on the website. But really what it is is when I, a person goes to a recruitment company and says, for example, an information technology contractor goes through a recruitment company, gets a job site in defense.
[00:22:15] Uh, quite often, these people are well paid.
[00:22:24] They’re experts in this field go like that would normally be high bar recruitment company. The recruitment company’s core business is to place people in the job not to give complex payroll services. So if I, for example, need car laces, salary, sacrifices, salary, packaging, superannuation, salary, salary, packaging, and some flicks when they get paid.
[00:22:49] And how do I get paid? Um, I requested services on the recruitment company app sources, the payroll to us, how they do that as a matter [00:23:00] of conjecture and probably out of the scope of today. But, uh, that’s really what it boils down to is we’re an answer was pyro company.
[00:23:08] Germaine: [00:23:08] Right. Okay. So you, you effectively, yeah.
[00:23:12] Just provide payroll services as, as just one sort of business system that is independent of
[00:23:19] Ian: [00:23:19] exactly. And I know that it doesn’t sound all that exciting. But, you know, from, from when you’re an employee, uh, and you look around at your payroll element within your company, uh, you know, you just wait for your pay each week.
[00:23:35] What we do is we act as the outsource payroll components for the companies that we look after and we have more contact with their employees on pay issues. Monday again, it’s a routine go aside Monday morning. It’s coming. If they talk streets on in him, then we text them, call them email, but usually call them, say, hello, Bob, haven’t got your [00:24:00] time sheet yet.
[00:24:00] And they might have some issues that the supervisor’s not there. So they haven’t gotten it approved proven company. In most cases, won’t pay them that way. Because I used to be a contractor. So what we do is if we understand that the supervisor’s not there, we still assure them that we’re going to pay them.
[00:24:20] Even though they are equipment company might not pay us. So it’s, you know, the recruitment company, my past, the following week, it’s either coming over those hurdles to that uncertain work arrangement that people have  and when we put some certainty back into it, so that they have a guaranteed payday. So it’s Monday time shooting Wednesday, page six gallery up Friday morning.
[00:24:47] If the money’s not in the bank and Friday morning, when you wake up, you just call us. And we have it to you within 30, 40 minutes.
[00:24:53] Germaine: [00:24:53] That’s amazing. So you’re essentially adding a layer of, of almost certainty, sort [00:25:00] of almost a certainty of being an employee in terms of your wages and what your, what your benefits are, but then, but then you’re a contractor.
[00:25:07] So I guess as a, as an employer, you, you get the benefits of not having the same risks or having, having sort of a different, different profile. Um, so it’s sort of. Um, basically someone who works with you, uh, with PayMe gets, gets the best of both worlds. Cause contractors generally have higher, higher pay rates, but then, um, intern, you know, you, you lose X, Y, Z employee benefits.
[00:25:31] So that’s really interesting. I didn’t, I didn’t realize that there was a market, um, to what you guys do. Um, is it, is it quite a big market, which is
[00:25:41] Ian: [00:25:41] Australia wide? And, um, we look after, at the moment, just under a thousand pieces, we pay it threats, right? Uh, we would probably four or 5,000 people, uh, but they do come and go.
[00:25:57] Um, but at the moment, [00:26:00] and that’s in every state. So we pay them on behalf of their employees. Yeah. I won’t go into the boring, you know, uh, uh, legislative sort of the hospital. It’s important. It is important that they know their employees. You know, we hide them on behalf of their employers and we, we quite often have such a Christ relationship with them.
[00:26:22] Talk with them on the phone. Rather than just send them an email. First thing is talk and you’re talking, I don’t understand that Bradley family, everything else. And wouldn’t, I’ve got problems like, you know, heaven forbid that we’ve had issues where it will have, uh, lost a partner. And they’re suffering financial stress and they don’t ask for their employer for some help.
[00:26:44] And we might just give them a couple of weeks worth of an advance. And so kind of look after yourself and then come back to us when you’ve come back to work and people like that. When those types of things happen, they stay with you. And they [00:27:00] value the fact that they might pay a little bit more for the service, but they have continuity of financial support.
[00:27:07] Doesn’t matter where they work. So we essentially act as a hub for them. And that might work for a site people for six months. Um, they might work for packs at another one of practices, clients, but timely is always paying them. Um, it’s uh, so I want to go to one of my entire, in the same person that provides them with tech support for the year, then outsourced tax agent provides them that support, and we’ve had people using, using new services, even college.
[00:27:42] And so there was a source since 2006.
[00:27:45] Germaine: [00:27:45] That’s that’s amazing. So, um, you, you almost become, again like this, this friend for these people that adds a layer of, um, cause cause being a contract, I would imagine I’ve never been one, but you do [00:28:00] jump from six month contract to six month contract, a three month contract, and then there’s you, you just become almost, um, this, this asset that comes in does what they need to do and then leaves that, that would.
[00:28:13] Obviously make it difficult to build ongoing work relationships with people because you’re just jumping from place to place. So you guys sort of adding that layer of, um, at the moment, as far as their pay is concerned and their tax and all that side of things. There’s this regular contract. Who’s. Um, and it sounds like you, you could almost, it’s almost in your interest to continue to serve them rather than necessarily serving the, the employers so to speak.
[00:28:40] So you can build
[00:28:41] Ian: [00:28:41] this up. Cool. We try to focus on both.
[00:28:45] Germaine: [00:28:45] Yeah, of course we really do,
[00:28:47] Ian: [00:28:47] but you know, we have four core values. The first one is general. Contractors are our priority. Um, and then everybody is important, which includes their own employer, the [00:29:00] recruitment company, uh, actions speak louder than words.
[00:29:04] So getting in there and personally helping women and growth through innovation, there are four core values. Keep it simple. And, um, and through that, um, certainly I think over the years is we’ve got more regulated in the Australian workplace environment. Oh, I’ve been mentor the industry, barristers employment, barristers, and I’m one of those people that really enjoys employment more and a, and contract law.
[00:29:32] So it’s very easy for someone that works in the contracting field to actually not know who their employer is to suddenly. They don’t have work worker’s comp insurance, for example, you’d think that wouldn’t happen, but it does happen. So I tend to put myself out there, which can be a risk sometimes. Uh, but I, I let people know, uh, in my opinion, from alignment.
[00:29:57] What is the appropriate way to go? [00:30:00] Personally, we started the Australian contractor community, which I don’t think I’ve, I think he would know about this shit, but, um, if something was started just before, um, or just after cut of it, uh, just to let people know, have a central central location for where contractors can come and get.
[00:30:17] Lyman advice on, um, uh, what is a country? What’s, what’s your employment status? What should your contract size? Should you have, are you an independent contractor or are you an employee boring stuff? Why not? But it’s not boring when it doesn’t work. All of a sudden when you’re in low course, you need to know what’s going on.
[00:30:38] So, you know, I have that there, and it’s a website which is Australian contractors. Uh, It’s about 90% complete and it’s also helping wherever we can find roles from, from some of our recruitment companies that we participate with. We’re just about to stop putting them out there because, [00:31:00] uh, people are advertising roles much quicker and bypassing bypass is the wrong word, finding new ways to employ people, given that they’ve got reduced number reduced numbers of people at work.
[00:31:13] So we’re trying to help those employers, employees, anyone. Sounds like, wait. Yeah. I mean, I forget. It sounds like
[00:31:23] Germaine: [00:31:23] you’ve almost got this theme of just, um, and you know, I, I guess I preface this with the fact that I think business exists to help him well, but it sounds like all your businesses are really there to help people and sort of genuinely help people, not in the way that, you know, Apple, for example, or.
[00:31:39] Or an HP would believe that they’re helping people by selling them the latest laptop for $3,000, or it may be, but I’m adding actual help, right. Necessarily yet, you know, showing you the latest, shiny object and, and selling it to you now. You’ve been in business for 15 years, um, across [00:32:00] four businesses, I’m sure it’s, you know, 60 years worth of business knowledge that you’ve, you’ve managed to develop.
[00:32:06] Um, what are the, what are some of the things that stand out to you as sort of mistakes or things that, uh, you wouldn’t. Do again, or you’d give someone younger as a heads up, watch out for these things. Anything come to mind,
[00:32:20] Ian: [00:32:20] what are the, what are the things that, um, what are the typical mistakes you can make or things that you wouldn’t want to do again?
[00:32:26] Huh? That’s a good question. I think, um, I think the first one would be, uh, sharing that, you know, something, getting advice off of friends, uh, and thinking that it’s factual. I think that that’s important because you can even go to say a subject matter expert. And they’ll give you the wrong advice. So I find having a three security degree examination of something is just so, just so important.
[00:32:52] So I think that’s the first aspect. Second aspect of doing business is [00:33:00] recognizing that you’re going to fail sometimes. Uh, uh, not, not slitting your wrists when you do you just say, okay. Yeah, I’ve been kind of just invested, you know, X amount of time dollars and you’re going to fly. I figure I’ll give you a good example.
[00:33:17] First I have a sales company. I support was an oil and gas company and providing them with payroll support. We grew them from now on in Australia. Two, um, I think 200, 214 or so 15 people throughout Australia and the world and gas industry and another 250 in Papa, new Guinea. And because we, well, you were bad before Diana died.
[00:33:40] I worked at, in it anyway. We found that they couldn’t work to the same boat because I didn’t have employees that managed their contractors in the same way that we do so that when we needed to have, say, for example, a I time sheet and a, and an invoice to pirate on Tuesday. Oh, I didn’t really write about that too much.
[00:33:58] So I get to [00:34:00] the invoice to us on Wednesday. Well, when you move $4 million, I wait to pilot’s people of magically appear between one bank account. Yeah. And the frustration that was caused, uh, in totally with us was so large, that idea that we really had to support people that were foreign foreign AI companies.
[00:34:25] We’re in Brooklyn, Australia, $23 million contract. One time we went from, I would just discuss again. And we said, Hey, wouldn’t it be better if we just turned it off? So we did. The lesson we learned from that course, we put so much stress and we couldn’t deliver on our brand promises of waking up a guaranteed payday on Friday because the people we were helping couldn’t get us to the money and couldn’t get us to Tom shirts so that we’re leading them in the right time.
[00:34:52] So yeah, picking the right people, you know, not knowing that you knowing that you will make mistakes and had to get over it. Is is [00:35:00] just as important as well. And, um, and I think, um, it would be one other thing I would say. And, uh, and that is. Um, being aware of the hall environment that you’re working. It’s just so easy to think of something and a little tiny, you know, you exist in the school little eco system, but you actually exist in a really, really big one.
[00:35:22] And I guess the, the, uh, the outcome from that from me, We started with a small payroll company. We then we’ll put our own leasing company in. Plus we acquired quite a recruitment company and it gave us that stability, uh, because you never quite know when legislation’s going to change. So you don’t think about legislation when you start business, what can happen, payroll tax, all the, all those types of things, how payroll tax impacts on you as you, as you move into different States and territories.
[00:35:52] So, um, yeah, uh, looking at that holiday guy system, Miranda, the business that he got assisting and understanding it and [00:36:00] watching it very important.
[00:36:02] Germaine: [00:36:02] I think some really good points there. I mean, talking about just the ecosystem story it’s are the, or the, the, the a point there is that, um, it works both ways as well.
[00:36:12] Sometimes I think people can get too, too held up on what is really in the grand scheme of things, a small problem, or a problem that. No one else actually thinks is as big a deal. Um, and quite the opposite as well. We can get so sort of, uh, lost in a, in, in your own world that you don’t, you don’t see what’s happening around you and what’s changing around you because, um, in business, um, you you’ve got legislation.
[00:36:38] That’s just one thing, you know, you’ve got your competitors, um, who are always looking to not necessarily beat you, but, um, at least a win, win more. Then they lose. So, um, yes, they’re not sort of coming after you, but it’s important to keep sort of that, that, um, sort of eye on everything that’s going on now, speaking of competitors, do you, do you [00:37:00] guys have, um, sort of some, some clear competitors in the market or, um, and how do you, how do you handle that
[00:37:07] Ian: [00:37:07] Australia?
[00:37:08] Um, and when you actually good point, you made earlier on, you know, we are not, you know, the largest payroll company in Australia, Uh, um, because we don’t employ anyone other than the, the, I don’t know, on people within, within payment is let’s just talk about paying money. I only employ my team in payment, everyone we pay, we don’t employ every other payroll company in Australia.
[00:37:31] They do that, but they also have a contract with say the government to supply labor and workforce. And therefore they’re not a payroll company anymore. They’re actually under the under, um, the various state legislation. They actually are in a light behind supplier. And that contradicts with the fact that you’re providing.
[00:37:50] Probably probably the people that they have been people in this business in the past, which undermine that relationship with the recruitment company and taken the part, the taken the, the [00:38:00] contractor or Y um, and themselves, which is not entirely full of, it’s not stopped for integrity. It lacks, integrity so much.
[00:38:09] So. No, I’ve actually just gone off. I’ve actually gone off on a tangent there for a second. Just the question
[00:38:16] Germaine: [00:38:16] that’s all right. Um, so we were talking about competitors and
[00:38:20] Ian: [00:38:20] sort of, yeah, so I keep a fair on my competitors as to how they operate for anyone that’s watched top gun, actually. Here’s a good one.
[00:38:30] Yeah. Yeah, you might’ve heard there’s a, there’s this we’re getting inside the enemies decision cycle where you observe how they operate. Certainly it was explained well, and top gun, but, or something, something I learned in the military observe how they operate. You orient yourself to, to acting a different way, decide how you’re going to act to the threat.
[00:38:54] And then you, you, you, you act in a way that’s faster. Then you can pay [00:39:00] this and then you do that faster and faster and faster and faster. Um, and that’s a practice that we get into again, we’re actually is we actually have a section called, we call it intelligence, um, competitors, competitors, intelligence, where we, we bring it up and we say, what are the competitors doing so that we can act, um, and not necessarily.
[00:39:24] Um, put them out of business or anything, uh, but hit of them. Cause I don’t like the term putting people out of business.
[00:39:33] Germaine: [00:39:33] No, I mean, that’s what your goal, it’s not to, it’s not to take something away from them. It’s just to reinforce what you’ve got. I think that, you know, Um, it’s it’s, it doesn’t have to, you know, they don’t have to be the same thing.
[00:39:46] You don’t have to attack someone to, to beat them. Um, you don’t even have to beat someone to be better and grow. Um, it’s just about having that loop and, and, um, that’s another definite benefit of that hotline because I think what [00:40:00] you’re doing there is really, um, Thinking faster by meeting every day. Yay.
[00:40:05] Um, where everyone else meets weekly or, or even quarterly what you’re doing out, meeting them. And therefore, I would think you’ve got 28 people coming in with what they’ve heard, what they’ve, what they’ve been told, what their friends and family have come up with to getting almost, you know, um, hundreds of ideas.
[00:40:25] On a daily basis or the potential for rather than every quarter. Um, I mean, I don’t know about you, but, um, generally I’m so busy that I forget what I even had for breakfast yesterday. Let alone ideas to, you know, to mention to someone that at all, you know, XYZ is coming up with this thing. But when it’s been done on a daily basis, You only need to remember it for 24 hours or it can be as simple as, Oh, did you see that TV ad for this company, um, where you wouldn’t mention a TV ad in a quarterly meeting because it’s a quarterly meeting, you’ve got much bigger things to talk about it.
[00:40:59] It’s probably a, [00:41:00] a full day event. So Hey, I think, I think you’ve got me converted and I think, uh, not, not that I was against it, but I think I’m going to talk to the team and sort of suggest that we meet for 10, 15 minutes every day. And. It probably even helps sort of at an individual level to come up with your, to do list.
[00:41:15] Cause, cause yeah, otherwise they just end up working on just pointless names. I think you’re
[00:41:20] Ian: [00:41:20] spot on. And in fact, what we find is that if, if Maria and I don’t get to work on time, uh, or if we get distracted, The team were already lined up in the, in the, in the board room, standing up ready to huddle. They just simply can’t go without it.
[00:41:34] It’s something I look forward to every day. It’s that exchange of information, ideas. And then, you know, we carry that on to having lunch with them every day. We all sit down where we can have a break and we break bread. I have lunch with them. And then on Fridays, when I started, you’re usually a low, low pressure die.
[00:41:53] We actually have a good team lunch and do some lessons, some professional development. And funnily enough, [00:42:00] yeah, I read the Cambridge, get to get the quizzes out of the camera Thompson and run through those. So we have a great laugh.
[00:42:07] Germaine: [00:42:07] Yeah. Yeah. That is, that is, that is really amazing. And it just sort of brings in that, that family sort of vibe, um, it’s almost like, um, you know, going up, I remember we used to do the, um, puzzles and all that stuff in, in the, in the newspaper and that’s sort of something you do on a Sunday, and you’re sort of bringing that to work on a, on a Friday, which is.
[00:42:28] Which is awesome. And it’s a nice sort of positive way to even get into your weekend so that your weekends, not, not so much de-stressing and, and getting prepped for another, another hard week at work. It’s it’s, um, you’ve got into that sort of nicer sort of mindset and moving into the weekend. Um, tell me a little bit about what you guys hope to do, do moving forward.
[00:42:50] Um, Is it, is it sort of, um, business as usual, or are you hoping to do some, some, um, different, exciting things moving forward across the different companies?
[00:43:01] [00:43:00] Ian: [00:43:01] We’re, we’re, we’re planning on expanding and growing. Put the payroll company is solid for a moment. The payroll company’s going very well. We have so much business.
[00:43:12] We’re actually slowing it down, coming in. And what we don’t want to do is we don’t want to over promise. And under deliver. So a car leasing business, uh, it’s focused on Canberra at the moment. We’re very lucky in Canberra where we’ve still got a good percentage of jobs of good hype. Anyone on any salary can benefit from having a college?
[00:43:39] Uh, there’s two ways to run a car the normal way, which is the most expensive. For most people like, you know, right. At least we’ll be able to have a much more cost effective way to run a company. So we’re going to be focusing on that. And of course our recruitment company, without in any way, addressing the people that are in pain, we’re looking at.
[00:44:00] [00:44:00] Uh, supporting other, other contractors and doing it and doing it in a while. I think this is really important doing that is legislative and legally, correct? So that the individual knows that they are our employee for short term period. Which finishes at the end of every, every, uh, engagement. I know that they’re employed and they have that regular contact with us and regular PI and they looked after.
[00:44:31] So I’m not saying that doesn’t exist in the rest of Australia, but if you get around Australia cipher with a recruitment company and ask recruiters, who is the employer of contractors, you’ll get an interview. You’ll get an answer from everyone except me. We’re not the employment. Um, the payroll usually employer.
[00:44:49] Uh, but really if you control somebody you’re higher and farther, you’re the employer.
[00:44:56] Germaine: [00:44:56] Yeah. Yeah. So especially in Australia with the, with the legislation in [00:45:00] place, you don’t have to call yourself an employer to be the employer in the eyes of the law. Um, you can, you can give yourself whatever terminology you want.
[00:45:08] I mean, even in a lot of cases, I think I’ve heard of a lot of contractors who are actually employees. If you look at the government, sort of the legislator definitions around it, just because you pay them, you know, for. Uh, in a different structure to, to what, what you would an employee, you for all intents and purposes, they’re an employee.
[00:45:30] You were just, um, illegally paying them as a contractor cause there’s a benefit better for you.
[00:45:34] Ian: [00:45:34] Exactly. And you know, we won’t do business with people that want to say to a worker, go and create your own propriety limited company. And then we’ll employ you. That that is contrary to the fair work act. And I’ll tell people that and I can choose to believe it.
[00:45:54] And then act within the war or if they don’t believe it, got it. Someone else or that came, but I’m [00:46:00] not getting involved in something that’s contrary to the law and puts that worker at risk. Um, so yeah, we’re that philosophy is something that we’re putting in across Australia, simple philosophy and it’s just integrity.
[00:46:14] And so we’ve got some ideas to expand, um, effective people and where they are business case. We’re investigating those in the last week of this month with our key, our key leadership time, and also considering a couple of acquisitions, as you know, unfortunately it’s a good time for acquisitions because it’s not, not a good time for many businesses, but I think acquisition can help people keep jobs and can help delivering those services to people that would lose them.
[00:46:40] If those companies went under. So w we see it as a good opportunity to do something, something more continue to help the community. And for us
[00:46:51] is on the veteran community. Really functioning on the unique skills that veterans bring to Australia [00:47:00] to the workplace, I should say, and understanding how the older victim like me is quite comfortably looked after through veterans affairs. And the younger veteran is very, very frustrated. I’m not, I’m not getting through to.
[00:47:15] To veterans affairs and another locations. And it’s not, Nope, not through lack of trying, but I’m trying to identify why that communication isn’t occurring without upsetting anybody. Uh, you know, it’s just a teamwork thing. So, so they’re, they’re things we’re putting out in our corporate social responsibility into, into, um, assisting veterans, having employment.
[00:47:37] A understanding of it. I moved from the, from the uniform job into a SIDA, a contract role, and lightly one of their lighter initiative within the system was security clearances. So long as we’ve got a job for them to go to, we can assist them with security clearances, which in the past were quite hard. So yeah, no, it was what are your plan?
[00:47:58] And, um, we’ve achieved [00:48:00] their five year plan every year that we’ve, since we first did it, which I think was about 2009.
[00:48:06] Germaine: [00:48:06] That’s that’s awesome. I think, I think again, it’s thanks for having a plan to help and assist with knowing where you want to go and where you’re heading as well. I think having that, that plan always helps.
[00:48:17] And I’m just touching on your point about the acquisitions as well. I think, um, rather than. You know, given that given the current climate for better or worse one, you can help a company that would otherwise go bust and then everyone else involved would, would suffer. But, um, also from, from the other point of view, you can acquire the Goodwill, the branding, the marketing, and the efforts that someone else has already put in, rather than going out there and having to expend a lot of energy and money, um, to.
[00:48:47] True. You know, what is really a gamble to see if you live in, get, get to that same position that as someone has. So, um, um, I think a lot of people look at acquisitions as sort of this negative thing or, um, sort [00:49:00] of this, I don’t even know, like, like a whale, just eating up the smaller fry, but. You’ve gotta look at it in the opposite as well.
[00:49:07] Um, I’ve heard of people who, who are not in a space at all, who don’t even have a business who just acquire a business because they’ve got the financial resources to, and get into business that way and then grow the business from there. So, yeah, that’s really exciting for me. Yeah.
[00:49:22] Ian: [00:49:22] Not something I went and looked, we manage it all centrally from here in Brisbane.
[00:49:27] Because these days, and I think this is how we kind of, it, we didn’t miss a beat. I think the only thing, the ball I was for wireless modems to, to help some people that didn’t have enough bandwidth at the home, uh, our infrastructure was it’s already in place to support remote operations. Yeah. Business continuity plan.
[00:49:48] They did it. I’ve met people in Brisbane, the Brisbane river floods. So we’ve gotta be able to work at home people in Canberra. It’s just the building burnt down. We’d have to offer right externally from home. So we’ve [00:50:00] always had that there and we’ve used it by the way and for, for real, with practices. So it worked well, and it also helps with acquisitions and expansions because you just bolt it on, continues to grow.
[00:50:12] Germaine: [00:50:12] Yeah. Yeah. Fantastic. Where can people find out more about you? And, um,
[00:50:19] Ian: [00:50:19] I wave, so I play my group. It’s just a very high level summary of the three companies, the three main companies. And it takes you, it takes you through to the websites. And of course likely I really can’t get past that. The writing. The raw addict, uh, he, the stories about, you know, successes and failures and, and you can identify
[00:50:40] just by going with a robotic and you’ll be able to identify the personalities cause they, they, they fight and a little bit about them. A little bit about us.
[00:50:49] Germaine: [00:50:49] Awesome. Amazing. Um, are you ready to roll?
[00:50:53] Ian: [00:50:53] Okay. Yeah.
[00:50:55] Germaine: [00:50:55] Awesome. Let’s get into it. Um, so the top three books or podcasts that you [00:51:00] recommend
[00:51:03] Ian: [00:51:03] I am, and I think the most important one to me is a, is a fiber it’s called the five dysfunctions of a team. The second one is leadership in action by a general John Campbell. And the third one is actually the Rockefeller habit. So we’ve spoken about to die. Um, uh, certainly recommend reading the Rockefeller habits, but also attending a seminar that’s put on by a trainer.
[00:51:35] Who’s the book itself. So that will dry. Uh, and you don’t get some of the excitement that I enjoy out of it, but there are the three books. I regularly revisit
[00:51:44] Germaine: [00:51:44] also, um, top three software tools that you can.
[00:51:47] Ian: [00:51:47] I think the top three tools for me, firstly, a Microsoft office three, six, five, and SharePoint. It’s the, no matter where you are in the world, you can get access and get access securely and [00:52:00] you can use it internally within the company.
[00:52:04] Uh, the internet. Which is for those that don’t know about intranet. So it’s just a, a central place to, uh, to go, to, to define it. Um, the key pieces of information, the knowledge base that occurs within the company. So you don’t have to find it. And all of the places that are usually hidden in a business and thirdly, as a strategic planning tool, Uh, you know, I look back on that every day, where was I supposed to go?
[00:52:33] How am I getting towards it? There’s three pieces of software that I can’t do it.
[00:52:37] Germaine: [00:52:37] What tool is that? Is that, is that a, um, tool that you guys have developed or is that an external sort of software that you’ve
[00:52:45] Ian: [00:52:45] again?
[00:52:51] Um, it’s actually a company that works with the person that came up with the Rockefeller habits. [00:53:00] Um, so I can start the day every day. Well, by looking at, um, Uh, an electronic version of a huddle, uh, prepare the wait, uh, was the electronic recording. Um, but people said last week that have a guy into a chain so we can hold each other accountable in the long run are.
[00:53:27] I wonder have core values in perpetuity.
[00:53:33] Germaine: [00:53:33] Amazing. I didn’t know such a thing existed, but um, sounds like a handy tool. Um, the top three mantras, you try and leave
[00:53:40] Ian: [00:53:40] them. Increasingly people do business with people they trust. You’ve got to have fun doing business. If you go somewhere and see someone, uh, nothing in your hand, nothing in your head is a phrase we use.
[00:53:54] And so you’re always taking that book. And when you go and see someone otherwise, you’re, you’re not showing that [00:54:00] you’ve got an interest in what they’re doing. And the last one is the fundamental thing to everything that we do within PayMe group unquestionable, integrity,
[00:54:06] Germaine: [00:54:06] love it, love it. Um, and the last one, top three people you follow or study.
[00:54:11] Ian: [00:54:11] And so I guess I’m a little bit old school. I like to look at what people have done and learn some lessons from them. So, uh, uh, I look at weary download. From from world war two and he passed away in perhaps the early two thousands. I can’t recall now, but his characteristics, that’s the interface for them and friendly, uh, something, uh, how near and dear the
[00:54:38] He did a guy at each child was to help him play, uh, after the war second world war. Likewise. Um, major general, uh, Pompey, Elliot, who many people were in first off today. But if you were alive in world war II, you unquestionably will  the open more ANZIC, uh, uh, Memorial, some than [00:55:00] anybody else ever has sadly passed away, uh, for what’s now and as posttraumatic stress disorder, sometime after world war one.
[00:55:07] Um, when he was practicing his troop, these other professional, which was a lawyer, uh, but the, the, the, the stresses of losing people during the war, uh, and other things got to him and likewise, um, uh, John camp, uh, I did my initial training with. In the army. Uh, and he, he grew from being a private soldier, uh, to being the best of my knowledge.
[00:55:32] Anyway, the only person promoted on the battlefield to mind in general, since world war two, uh, he was promoted to general. Um, Uh, in, uh, some of the recent campaigns and then came back to buddy Chase’s army, but he was suffering bad posttraumatic stress disorder, and couldn’t, uh, take up that role and he’s near and I’m over in the army, of course, but he wrote, um, leadership and action and the, uh, the concepts and [00:56:00] ideas.
[00:56:00] And that book don’t just apply to military. They apply to anybody. And I think that that sums up him because a normal fellow, not someone that you’d always characterize as purely male.
[00:56:13] Germaine: [00:56:13] Awesome. Well, that was a very solid top 12 at UN. Um, and thanks for your time and thanks for coming on
[00:56:20] Ian: [00:56:20] places in your mind.
[00:56:21] It’s really been great on our Saturday. I enjoyed it.
[00:56:23] Outro: [00:56:23] Thank you for listening to the future tribe podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a review on your podcast.

Developing WordPress’ top-rated donation plugin

This episode’s guest is Eric Daams, the co-founder of Studio 164a (creators of the WP Charitable WordPress plugin), who talks about the niche industry of WordPress plugin development. After studying history and Spanish in university, Eric discovered he had a profound interest in coding and eventually used this passion to create WP Charitable, WordPress’ top-rated donation plug-in. We start off our interview by asking our guest to discuss why he believes WordPress has continued to grow over the past decade and if he sees another platform overtaking it in the near future. Afterwards, Eric delves into his personal story and shares how difficult it was initially to develop a clientele base for his plugin. The show then concludes with our guest outlining the current health of WP Charitable as well as the marketing strategies he is currently implementing in order to further grow the plugin further.

What we talk about
  • The advantages of WordPress and its future viability
  • Developing a dedicated client base
  • Moving from freelancing to starting your own company
  • Marketing strategies suited to digital service providers
Links from this episode

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

[00:00:00] Eric: [00:00:00] You know, and so you kind of come away feeling like you’re a bit of a cheapskate, even though you say just donating, you’re like you’re actually giving your own money. And, um, but you still kind of coming away with this sort of unsatisfied,
[00:00:13] Intro: [00:00:13] Welcome to the future tribe podcast, where we’re all about taking your future to the next level, whether it is interviewing guests or unpacking strategies, you know, we will be talking about getting things done and backing you a fellow optimistic, go getter. And now as always, here’s your host, the formidable fortunate and highly favored Germaine Muller.
[00:00:37] Germaine: [00:00:37] Hello, future tribe. Welcome to this episode of the podcast.
[00:00:41] And on this episode, we’ve got Eric Daams from WP Charitable. How are you, Eric?
[00:00:47] Eric: [00:00:47] I’m good. Thanks Germ,aine.
[00:00:48] Germaine: [00:00:48] Tell us a bit about WP Charitable and what you do.
[00:00:53] Eric: [00:00:53] Yeah. So WP Charitable, uh, well, charitable is a donation plugin. Yeah for WordPress [00:01:00] and it helps nonprofits and organizations, or even individuals accept donations on their website and they can do that themselves.
[00:01:10] They can just install the plugin and start collecting donations. And so on WP charitable.com. We offer support and sort of maintenance. And we also sell a series of atoms that people can, can purchase to add additional fee. So the core plugin is free. Charitable itself is free, and then we have. Additional plugins that do extra things that depending on where you are in the world or what your needs are as an organization, you may, you may need those.
[00:01:38] Germaine: [00:01:38] Yeah. What, what leads you to begin the business and how many, how many of you are, does it take to sort of run the plugin?
[00:01:49] Eric: [00:01:49] So. I it’s going back a while. So, so my, my business partner and I stand in he’s in his, in Bendigo I’m up here in Darwin [00:02:00] and we started developing a few products for the invited marketplaces.
[00:02:05] So like theme, forest, and code Canyon, but the two main ones that we focused on and. One of our, well, our most successful one that we had on there ever was a WordPress theme, which was a crowd funding scene. And it was built around a plugin providing pride floating features, basically, which was actually used quite heavily by nonprofits as well.
[00:02:28] Because, you know, it’s a similar kind of concept essentially, and it basically provided that basic donation facility. And that, that did that did well. That was our most successful products on there, but the plugin that we built it around eventually. Was sold off to a different company than it originally created it.
[00:02:47] And that company actually had a competing product, which they obviously prioritize. And this other one that we’d based our whole theme around gut based sort of cost aside and retired. [00:03:00] So we, we maintain support for that for, for quite a while, but that was kind of the point at which we. We saw the need for a good donation kind of tool for WordPress, particularly when we sort of really started looking, which was around mid 2014, there, there really wasn’t that many good options.
[00:03:20] Like there was a lot of options. We’ve had to take donations with PayPal, but then if you were wanting to use any other payment gateway or in your part of the world where you actually can’t take PayPal, which. You know, not, not that many places in the world, but there’s some pretty significant regions of the world where that is the case.
[00:03:39] You, you know, that there wasn’t actually that many options and plus the. In terms of what was available, sort of outside of the WordPress world and in sort of more like hosted platforms for nonprofits, there was like a lot the platforms basically, which offered a whole lot of it, additional features and stuff that you really just [00:04:00] couldn’t do with WordPress, not that easily.
[00:04:02] And so that was, that was our focus from the start is kind of actually. Create something that, that kind of provided a bit of an alternative there with a very different Cox cost structure, both for us and for the nonprofit, which actually makes it much cheaper for them in the long run
[00:04:19] Germaine: [00:04:19] once, once and utilized,
[00:04:20] Eric: [00:04:20] I guess.
[00:04:21] Yeah. I mean, it doesn’t even take that long. It really, it comes down to how many days you accept, you know, if you, if you, maybe if you get, if you’re collecting less than. You know, a thousand dollars of donations or 2000 nodes of donations a year, then maybe a hosted platform
[00:04:37] Germaine: [00:04:37] is good.
[00:04:37] Eric: [00:04:37] But once you, once you start getting much more than that, and if you’re on a platform which like most of them charges you on each step donation, like a small transaction fee, then, then that really quickly adds up.
[00:04:51] Germaine: [00:04:51] Yeah. Yeah. So put us, put us on a timeline. You mentioned 2014, but when did you originally develop the [00:05:00] theme or were you always sort of developing for code Canyon and ThemeForest and for listeners who are not, not, not aware of ThemeForest and card Canyon, I’ve heard Kenyan space be a place where you can buy.
[00:05:11] Plugins and theme forest is a place
[00:05:13] Eric: [00:05:13] for templates for
[00:05:14] Germaine: [00:05:14] WordPress. So you guys are very heavily invested in WordPress. I am a huge fan at Fugett theory, we use WordPress 99% of the time, unless someone has a specific request for, for a platform. But yeah, it is on a, on a timeline. So when, when was the crowdfunding theme first developed by you guys?
[00:05:34] Eric: [00:05:34] That’s a good question. Probably about. Probably that 20 2012, 2013. And wait and wait. So we’d had a few other products before that. I think we probably launched our first one may be around sorta early 2010.
[00:05:52] Germaine: [00:05:52] Like at that point of launching products, we always like out of school, always
[00:05:58] Eric: [00:05:58] into sort
[00:05:59] Germaine: [00:05:59] of the [00:06:00] development side of things, or
[00:06:01] Eric: [00:06:01] I know in fact, out of a uni, I studied. History and Spanish. And then my brothers ran a travel Woodside, a tribal community. And I, I started working for them as sort of like a community manager or whatever.
[00:06:19] And through doing that, then I sort of, I set up a couple of blogs and discovered that I was actually really interested in writing code. So I was teaching myself and, and, but they didn’t really need somebody else. That was. At my level as, as a developer, I suppose. So. And, and so then I sort of slowly worked my way into working freelance, um, yeah.
[00:06:44] As a developer. So I would take on at this point. Uh, so there’s probably a mid twenties.
[00:06:51] Germaine: [00:06:51] How old are you now?
[00:06:52] Eric: [00:06:52] 25, 26. I don’t think I asked you, maybe I am now 35. I guess 17 years ago. [00:07:00] Yeah. So this was about 10 years ago. Now. It must’ve been before. I must have been younger than that. Actually, it must’ve been more like 24.
[00:07:05] So basically I started, I started freelancing as a developer, took on whatever I could find and just really worked hard on taking in initially fairly small projects to really build my knowledge in what I could do. And. I did really enjoy the, sort of the freedom of freelancing, but didn’t really enjoy having a whole lot of deadlines from a whole lot of different clients.
[00:07:30] So that was something that then as I experienced that, and the idea of building products was really appealing as a way of having passive income. But, but in the long run of actually having something where, you know, I could kind of sit the. Set the goals set, set the direction of, of what I’m building rather than having that in the client’s hands.
[00:07:54] And so, so that was for me how, how it kinda got into that. My business [00:08:00] partner now was he he’s a designer. He was working for a printing company in, in Melbourne and. I would be the developer on some of their, their sort of design projects. So they run a sort of a web design work as well. And I would be the, I would be the developer side come in as a, as a freelance frame.
[00:08:19] And so we collaborated on quite a few projects that way. And, and our first product, which was probably around the 2009 period was just a really simple plugin, which we built. Which was a client needed. There was a little e-commerce shipping plugin, and we ended up doing the same thing for, to other commerce platforms or e-commerce plugins with WordPress.
[00:08:42] And then we sort of built from there. And then, I don’t know, the crowd funding theme was probably about the fifth or sixth product that we launched and really the first one that. That generated enough sales to really feel like, you know, it was worth the [00:09:00] effort
[00:09:02] Germaine: [00:09:02] you you’d invested. Obviously
[00:09:03] Eric: [00:09:03] by that point, you
[00:09:05] Germaine: [00:09:05] pretty heavily invested into
[00:09:06] Eric: [00:09:06] WordPress.
[00:09:07] Germaine: [00:09:07] Now, I would say today,
[00:09:09] Eric: [00:09:09] WordPress is. I would say almost a no brainer
[00:09:12] Germaine: [00:09:12] if you’re developing. Like, if you’re, if you’re serious about your website
[00:09:17] Eric: [00:09:17] and your marketing,
[00:09:18] Germaine: [00:09:18] I think WordPress, just the fact that it’s open source and gives you so much control and freedom, and that there’s just
[00:09:24] Eric: [00:09:24] so much expertise out there when it comes to WordPress as well.
[00:09:27] It’s just.
[00:09:29] Germaine: [00:09:29] I would say a no brainer. What do you think, do, do you sort of agree, agree with that? Or do you see any other platforms that
[00:09:35] Eric: [00:09:35] make as much sense as
[00:09:36] Germaine: [00:09:36] WordPress?
[00:09:37] Eric: [00:09:37] I mean, ultimately it kind of comes down to, to what your needs are. You know, it’s always going to depend on what your needs are and also who you kind of have around.
[00:09:46] So if you, if you really can’t be bothered doing anything.
[00:09:51] Germaine: [00:09:51] Some
[00:09:51] Eric: [00:09:51] sort of maintain your website at all, and you don’t have anybody on your team that that can do that. Like if you’re a one man show and you [00:10:00] really don’t want to be bothered, then maybe something that’s hosted where you actually really don’t have to worry about.
[00:10:05] That makes makes sense. And if you’ve got, you know, the budget and you’re not. Super low on funds that then oversee. Cause obviously those things work out much more expensive, but in terms of, in terms of flexibility for what you can build, WordPress does really provide quite a lot. And you know, I mean our day to day is really thinking about the nonprofit space for nonprofits.
[00:10:29] It, it, to me, it makes a lot of sense, um, because as well, you know, you have donation plugins like ours, but you also have. We can add on to that. You can add e-commerce so you can add events stuff, and there’s a ton of options there. And there’s, there’s a lot of businesses that have been built up around, around WordPress, and that actually really stand by their product and really work hard to kind of make sure it does what you need it to do.
[00:10:57] And. Yeah. [00:11:00] So I guess, I guess you get that, that flexibility of, I have a lot of different options and a lot of, and just a lot of power and a lot of. A lot of features that I don’t think he could really find it anywhere else. Yeah. I mean,
[00:11:14] Germaine: [00:11:14] I guess all this is to ask you what made you invest into WordPress?
[00:11:20] I mean, yes, you’re not investing directly into WordPress, but by building for WordPress, your, you have to. Make some sort of bet that it’s going to be around because you wouldn’t want to put all your eggs into that basket. And then five years down the line,
[00:11:33] Eric: [00:11:33] it gets superseded. I
[00:11:34] Germaine: [00:11:34] mean, by the time I was just Googling it by the time you sort of got into really into the WordPress space, WordPress was six, seven years old, so old enough, but.
[00:11:46] You know, that was still, I would say in our 2000 and tens, when websites have really whips us, starting to become, you know, one of those things that everyone has to have, and we’re this sort of starting to take, take websites to the next [00:12:00] level. What made you invest into WordPress?
[00:12:03] Eric: [00:12:03] Yeah. So, I mean, initially we ended up, I did actually do quite a bit of work outside WordPress as well.
[00:12:09] And I did also build some products for other platforms and there’s just, I mean, from a, from a product sales point of view, those just never really worked. So they. And I guess maybe we weren’t deep enough into that, that platform in the first place, but we’re pressed as coming from a freelance background where WordPress was generally the way to go on often the, you know, the easiest way to do things and more, the most natural way to set things up and hand it over to a client that that just made sense.
[00:12:42] And so then, and even then at that point, WordPress was already a pretty dominant player, you know, I don’t think there was. I think Drupal was kind of the next biggest thing, but, and it was pretty far off. Really? Yeah. So. It was, I don’t know how much of a [00:13:00] conscientious choice there was there or, or whether it, we just sort of
[00:13:04] Germaine: [00:13:04] fell into it, almost
[00:13:05] Eric: [00:13:05] fell into it.
[00:13:07] Yeah. So, but we, I mean, I’m, I’m glad we did. And then
[00:13:12] Germaine: [00:13:12] definitely.
[00:13:13] Eric: [00:13:13] Yeah. And I mean, I guess to an extent, as well as this, where we saw, well, certainly where, where I felt most comfortable working in terms of how things worked and have things were built and stuff. Yeah, yeah.
[00:13:27] Germaine: [00:13:27] Yeah. Touched on also as an extension of sort of your comfort, the, the money side of things, you know, it, it can get a bit.
[00:13:35] Old sometimes that, especially when you, so you start your own business usually because you don’t want to have a boss telling you what to do. And then it sort of happens
[00:13:45] Eric: [00:13:45] to be that
[00:13:46] Germaine: [00:13:46] your clients, to an extent start telling you what to do and sort of your boss. And then that gets a little bit old or it can get tiring depending on your personality.
[00:13:54] And yeah, by coming up with sort of a product, it changes things a little bit because it’s [00:14:00] not so timeline driven, not so deadline driven, um, and not so. Sort of project deliver, go to the next one. How, how how’s that worked out for you? Because back in 2014, I mean, SAS or software as a service now is. Is everything is it’s sort of, everyone’s saying invest in disaster.
[00:14:19] If you don’t have a SAS product, get a SAS product, I assume, you know, it was still sort of, it was getting traction. It’s not that there wasn’t SAS solutions back then, but it’s obviously much bigger now. How, how do you make leap into what is essentially a software as a service and you just happen to deliver a plugin that.
[00:14:37] You know, conductor, conductor service. How did you jump into that?
[00:14:41] Eric: [00:14:41] We first, so with, with charitable was really the first time where we were, we decided to get off the platforms. So off of Invitae and off of self of theme, forest, and off of code Canyon and, and, and do things our way. And when you, I mean, we’re a bootstrap business.
[00:14:57] So when you. Most of the time when you hear [00:15:00] advice for bootstrap businesses, it’s, you know, like build up your freelance work to a certain extent and that which, which we had, but we probably, we basically did things on a very slim budget and leaves on a very slim budget. So certainly for the first six months, Of off their charitable was launched.
[00:15:21] Sales are super slow and it was pretty, it was challenging. You know, like you, you’d kind of go through through your year, your dark days of thinking, what on earth
[00:15:33] Germaine: [00:15:33] should I have even done this? Should we just pull the plug now?
[00:15:36] Eric: [00:15:36] Or just, will it get better? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like I remember we, so I think we launched charitable and then like the next month, my family and I, we went to a, we went to Bali for a weeks and I was just, I was sitting there and watching, you know, checking for sales and everything.
[00:15:54] And at that point we were making like maybe, you know, one or two sales and [00:16:00] every, every couple of days, you know, and it was like, we’re talking, you know, maybe two or $300 a week and we’ve got two families kind of. And which are feed with this. Yeah. So anyway, so that was like, that was a scary time and it wasn’t wasn’t that, that easy.
[00:16:16] And certainly it, it took a long time to kind of get to a point where it feels like income’s relatively comfortable. But yeah, I mean, I, I’ve never kind of pictured what we do as a, as a SAS business, per se, because I assess is generally associated with being a. Like a monthly thing as well. And you have kind of that that’s stable, recurring revenue, which we do have to an extent in the sense that we’ve got, like, we’ve got an annual renew, but there’s, it’s tend to get really a bit more mature.
[00:16:48] And I suppose then you’d get with, with the SAS. Yeah. And so, so, but it’s not that. Sort of dependable level of what you can expect that if he got this much, this month, you know, the next month you can expect to [00:17:00] get something similar or, you know, a bit more because presumably you’ll feel the trash. Yeah, yeah.
[00:17:07] Germaine: [00:17:07] Sort of stability
[00:17:08] Eric: [00:17:08] in a minute.
[00:17:09] Germaine: [00:17:09] But before that, How did you start getting your initial clients that you were seeing one or two sales a week now? That’s not too bad. Considering was, was that fairly high touch or, I mean, if you’re sitting in Bali, I’m getting sales coming through, I assume, um, people just went onto a website and purchase that for themselves.
[00:17:29] Is that, is that correct? Is that, is that first assumption, correct?
[00:17:31] Eric: [00:17:31] Yeah. So, so the, the thing, it was at that point as well, but we didn’t actually have that many paid adults. So that there wasn’t actually that much for people to buy. And what was, there was probably not that appealing. Like there’s still, even today I look back and I’m like, why did we launch with that?
[00:17:46] You know, like they’re, they’re kind of the weakest selling products that we’ve got. And so, so what people are buying is actually really cheap as well. And so it actually would take quite a lot of sales of, of those particular, that price point to, to actually make [00:18:00] it, make it worthwhile. But. In terms of how we got clients that was so we charitable is available as a free download on wordpress.org, which is the sort of central repository where it, most WordPress plugins are kept or certainly most, any free WordPress plugin is generally.
[00:18:20] Kept there. And that’s kind of the first place that people will look for a plugin as well. So they’ll just find it, you know, if you type in donation plugin, then, then we’ll be one of the, one of the options that’ll come up. And so it really comes out of that. So it’s basically a freemium kind of model and that really has driven.
[00:18:42] Our sales for the whole time. Okay.
[00:18:45] Germaine: [00:18:45] You don’t really focus on, Oh, you haven’t focused on other channels over the years, or have you experimented with any other sort of lead acquisition channels or, I mean, to an extent, it really just makes sense. Right? It’s available for free. You download it [00:19:00] when you outgrow the free features or either you pay up, look for something
[00:19:04] Eric: [00:19:04] that’s free.
[00:19:05] That does what you want. It to do. Chances are there isn’t anything
[00:19:09] Germaine: [00:19:09] that’s free. And then you look for the
[00:19:11] Eric: [00:19:11] best option. That’s how
[00:19:13] Germaine: [00:19:13] we found you. We were looking for a solution for a client, and there are a lot of solutions out there, but they’re all surprisingly expensive for the features. And they often tie in tie you in to things that like either monthly or annual, just insane amounts annually.
[00:19:30] So I guess it just makes sense that there’s a natural channel, but have you experimented with it with other. Sort of accurate acquisition channels.
[00:19:38] Eric: [00:19:38] Yes, we we’ve done a lot of experimenting. The one thing I will say is that not, I know where’s our. I consider ourselves marketers or I think have much of a natural sort of bent that way.
[00:19:51] So, so our sense of experimentation is we might like a thrown out of, up yeah. That didn’t work. No
[00:20:00] [00:19:59] Germaine: [00:19:59] Facebook or Google ads.
[00:20:01] Eric: [00:20:01] Yeah, mostly I think Facebook we’ve done it a bunch of times. And so we, for the, for most of the time, we haven’t really focused on marketing a whole lot and we haven’t had. Sort of the availability of funds to be able to pay somebody to do that either we did last year, hire a marketing firm to sort of do a marketing audit for us.
[00:20:23] And they recommended that made some, made some good recommendations and we sort of followed through on those. And so we’ve, we’ve put more emphasis on. Content marketing now, basically. And that’s, so that’s our main, other thing that we’re doing at the moment, she, who does that,
[00:20:40] Germaine: [00:20:40] is that sort of,
[00:20:42] Eric: [00:20:42] you have writers involved or do you write
[00:20:44] Germaine: [00:20:44] them, write the articles yourself.
[00:20:46] Eric: [00:20:46] Yeah, we’ve got, we’ve got a couple writers who are, who are working on those for us. Yeah. I mean, I, I did enjoy writing the occasional blog post, but it, I just found it so much time and
[00:20:58] Germaine: [00:20:58] yeah, it’s [00:21:00] surprising. It’s surprising how much time it does. Take, I think when you, when you think about it, logically, you sort of think about it, you know, half an hour, a half an hour to come up with an idea, you know, an hour to write something up a half an hour to proofread, maybe make a few changes, but it’s more realistic that you’ll spend a whole day getting an article right.
[00:21:19] Then, then. Not, but it’s interesting. And it’s wonderful to hear that you’re using content marketing because
[00:21:24] Eric: [00:21:24] inbound I’ve been invested in
[00:21:26] Germaine: [00:21:26] inbound for a few years
[00:21:27] Eric: [00:21:27] now,
[00:21:28] Germaine: [00:21:28] and we do whistle working. We’re working on sort of a new website. And when we do we’ll have this avalanche of sort of new content, but is that working well for you?
[00:21:38] The content market?
[00:21:40] Eric: [00:21:40] Yeah. I mean, there’s, it is. And I think it keeps things fairly fresh. It’s also hard to tell at the moment, because. Besides the content marketing. We also did a lot of sort of onsite optimization and, and sort of restructured how we were presenting ourselves on the, on our, on our website basically [00:22:00] mentally or yes.
[00:22:01] Yeah, we did. We did all that internally and we saw, we saw sort of an immediate boost from that. And so, you know, so hats off to the marketing agency that gave us those tips. So, so we saw a big boost from that. And then. The kit and that’s actually led to a big boost in sales as well, just because I think, and that’s not just us.
[00:22:24] I think that’s actually the case for a lot of WordPress businesses, because suddenly as a whole and people online, you know, and people that have had. Projects in mind for a while that are suddenly, you know, have the time to build them.
[00:22:39] Germaine: [00:22:39] Yeah. I mean, if, if you live in a developed, I think it’s safe to assume that your time to travel to work and park is probably an hour each way.
[00:22:47] Eric: [00:22:47] So
[00:22:48] Germaine: [00:22:48] right there every week, you’re getting a whole, whole debt working days worth of time back. So I think, yeah, a lot of people have found just that time from, and you know, I’m sure there are a lot of people who. Work from home rather than [00:23:00] work from home. If she get
[00:23:01] Eric: [00:23:01] one, I mean, I’ve done
[00:23:02] air
[00:23:03] Germaine: [00:23:03] quotes to sort of indicate I had the people who I know who go out for two hour lunches while working from home.
[00:23:10] So you find time that way as well. Let’s talk about the team. So is it just you and wares or was there sort of more full time people involved in keeping, keeping this plugin sort of running and what,
[00:23:23] Eric: [00:23:23] what.
[00:23:24] Germaine: [00:23:24] Level of work is there to keep the plugin running
[00:23:26] Eric: [00:23:26] so full time. It is, it is just me in ways. We, and then we have a number of contractors.
[00:23:32] So that’s the, we’ve got two writers who work on that. One of whom she is based in the UK, the other one’s based in the U S. And we’ve got couple guys who are helping on the development side as well. I’m sort of on a freelance or a project by project basis. And we have as well. We have one developer who actually developed one of our, one of the extensions.
[00:23:57] And so she gets, she gets paid as a [00:24:00] commission, basically on the sales of that, that extension. And then on the sales of the bundle, that includes. So she, so she kind of takes she’s in charge of that one, basically in terms of the day to day that that’s basically myself a was sort of. Taking care of that in terms of what’s involved, like to just keep the ship it’s running, it’s, it’s really just answering emails and just supporting really
[00:24:26] Germaine: [00:24:26] presale and support questions,
[00:24:28] Eric: [00:24:28] I guess.
[00:24:29] Yeah. Yeah. And so we can, we can kind of know through that. Relative pretty comfortably between the two of us and pretty comfortably in, you know, not bigger an amount of time. So, you know, a couple of years ago, first of all, I went with my family for a six week trip. And then where’s when with his family for, uh, you know, uh, something like, uh, Four six week trip as well.
[00:24:52] And basically we got by just fine. Like for me while I was away, it was maybe an hour a day coming on and, and just [00:25:00] answering emails. And so I will generally take on the, sort of the more technical questions. Whereas handles a lot of the presale and the, you know, just more general questions about, can it do this or can it do this and
[00:25:13] Germaine: [00:25:13] things like that as I guess you’re the developer.
[00:25:14] So it makes a lot more sense that you can get into the nitty gritty.
[00:25:18] Eric: [00:25:18] Yeah. Yeah. And we do like to go pretty well deep in terms of like really trying to actually solve. The customer’s problem. If we, if we can possibly, including writing, you know, little snippets of code and actually giving people, you know, like it doesn’t do this out of the box, but his, you know, his little lines of code.
[00:25:37] Yeah. Yeah. He’s 15 lines of code that I just wrote and checked and it should work. So just install it using this and bang. You’ve got, you’ve got it working. Yeah. And that’s, I mean, that kind of comes back to why I think WordPress is such an appealing thing for people as well, is that you do actually have that flexibility there.
[00:25:56] You got to kind of have the technical know how to actually build that. But, [00:26:00] you know, for, for our customers, we’re certainly happy to, to be that too, to an extent
[00:26:05] Germaine: [00:26:05] provide that level of support. Yeah. I mean, there are a lot of plugins out there paid ones as well. That wouldn’t even go as far as doing that, they would say, you know, here’s a list of people we trust, who know how to work with our.
[00:26:17] Plugin go talk to them. That’s sort of separate. Cause I guess
[00:26:21] Eric: [00:26:21] they don’t want to
[00:26:22] Germaine: [00:26:22] deal with the level of customizations or, or they’re probably thinking, you know, we, we didn’t want these deadlines. That’s why we’ve created a plugin and now
[00:26:31] Eric: [00:26:31] we might fall into that trap again. Yeah. I mean, there, there’s an extent to that.
[00:26:36] I suppose that in general, in general, it’s worked out. Okay. Sometimes, you know, it is time consuming, definitely time consuming, but at the same time, we’ve, we’ve built up this. Big vast library of actual little workable code that we’ve sent to other customers. And generally what somebody else wants is, is going to be pretty similar if not the same, or if it’s really similar, might be just like, [00:27:00] you know, in like this particular line of code, just swap this for this and you’re done and that’s fine.
[00:27:05] And people can do that. And, and. You know, I think that that’s, that’s been a fairly core part of, of, of our value as a, as a business and as, as how we like to serve customers in terms of just really trying to go above and beyond.
[00:27:21] Germaine: [00:27:21] Yeah. Which is definitely appreciated. I think people. People really appreciate when, when they can just come to you and sort of come up with a solution rather than being sent to X, Y, and Z, especially if
[00:27:33] Eric: [00:27:33] all they’re looking for is a slight
[00:27:35] Germaine: [00:27:35] tweak, not really, you know, added functionality
[00:27:38] Eric: [00:27:38] and, you know,
[00:27:40] Germaine: [00:27:40] Like I said, we, we stumbled across you guys because we were looking for a solution.
[00:27:45] And then we just found that, you know, your support was
[00:27:47] Eric: [00:27:47] just
[00:27:48] Germaine: [00:27:48] fantastic. And to be honest, even if it costs a bit more, it’s always better to work with a plugin or a company that is going to go that extra mile versus a company who are just too rigid and [00:28:00] robust for that sort of thing. Now, before we get into the.
[00:28:03] The finance sort of side of things or the financial side of things. How do you come up with now having a product is fantastic, but staying stagnant, isn’t, isn’t going to do any favors. How do you come up with feature additions and just fundamental sort of code base sort of changes
[00:28:21] Eric: [00:28:21] and upgrades and how
[00:28:23] Germaine: [00:28:23] do you do that?
[00:28:24] And how do you look at
[00:28:25] Eric: [00:28:25] that as a, as a plugin company? Yeah, the, the one thing I will say is that as a, as a. With only two of us working full time and myself, the, the sort of the main developer, there’s a limit, I guess, to how much we can, um, experiment and go, you know, go down. You knew alleys. So to an extent where we’re kind of in terms of how we prioritize things, it really comes down to what our customers need.
[00:28:51] And so if we can, if we can solve those. Problems for customers then that’s, that’s the, that’s the number one thing we’ll look at. If we get [00:29:00] multiple requests for the same kind of feature, and that’s obviously a priority for us as well. So it’s a lot of, it’s kind of customer driven and sort of customer feedback driven then as well with the way.
[00:29:12] You know, like a couple of years ago, GDPR rules came in in the, in Europe and, and that basically like a couple of months where our focus was really on trying to yeah. It creates some, you know, Good tools for GDPR compatibility and really working on that. And then I think a couple months later that the year brought in that strong customer authentication rules, actually, no, that was last year.
[00:29:36] And so that, you know, that was then another, you know, month or two where we were working on, on, on updating our payments. Processing to make sure that, that, that we were sort of able to, you know, be in compliance with that. So some of those changes actually just really force you to, you know, really get that in place.
[00:29:52] But in terms of, I suppose, in terms of what to prioritize, it’s what we, what we can do and, and what [00:30:00] we, what we sense customers need most. And also, I suppose, where we sense there to be a bit of a lack in the other. Options available. So one of our big focuses in the loss in the last couple of years, and we launched this early this year was an update to our charitable and ambassadors extension, which is a peer to peer fundraising extension.
[00:30:22] So peer to peer fundraising in particular is something which is very much dominated by the platforms or more hosted platforms where you generally you’re going to pay per transaction.
[00:30:35] Germaine: [00:30:35] Like, like there’s onto me in the light.
[00:30:36] Eric: [00:30:36] Cool. Yeah, yeah, go fund me. And, you know, I guess it’s slightly different. Like, I mean, nonprofits do use that to an extent, but that there’s platforms like classy, which is a, a US-based one where sometimes you’ll pay a fairly large monthly fee sometimes, or other times you’re actually just paying per transaction.
[00:30:59] Or [00:31:00] other times you actually you’ll get the, as a donor you’ll experience, this you’ll go to donate. And then there’s the, Hey, you know, X platform keeps it free for nonprofits. Would you like to donate an extra 5% to us to keep us going? Which. Which I think is which out of all those models is the one that I like the most, because I think it’s the narcissist for the nonprofit, obviously.
[00:31:23] But as a donor, I think it’s, it’s kinda, it’s kinda crappy. Like, I, I was, I was going to do that and then I’m like, Oh man, I’m just like, I’m already donating. And now I feel like I don’t really want to donate to these guys or I’m like, I’m going to dial them. Like, I’m not going to donate what they’re suggesting, you know?
[00:31:41] And so you kind of come away feeling like. You’re a bit of a cheapskate, even though you’re actually just donating, you’re like, you’re actually giving your own money. And, um, but you still kind of coming away with this sort of unsatisfied feelings. So yeah, I find that one a bit, a bit tricky from a, from a donor point of view, sort of the emotional
[00:31:58] Germaine: [00:31:58] side
[00:31:59] Eric: [00:31:59] of it, [00:32:00] but yeah.
[00:32:00] So I guess in terms of what we choose to prioritize it, it varies a lot at the moment. Our focus is really on some. Major sort of structural changes in terms of how, how charitable works in particularly in relation to the WordPress block editor, which is something that was brought in a, you know, a couple of years ago, or I think the startup last year.
[00:32:24] Yeah. And, and that’s been something that I’ve seen a lot of potential for in terms of how. How we could use it as in charitable. Yes. So that that’s really our focus at the moment. The only other, the other thing I would think of yeah. In terms of our, our payment processors, we’d like to occasionally just do something to try to sort of cover more countries than we normally would.
[00:32:47] And particularly countries that are otherwise pretty underserved as well. So like one of the first ones we did was, was one for South Africa. Which is one of the countries where PayPal, I believe he [00:33:00] cannot create an account at PayPal account if you are in, if you are in South Africa. So that was one of those early options where it was like, well, you know, like the easy way to actually provide something for four.
[00:33:12] You know, it’s a big country and a whole lot of people that what’s your market that,
[00:33:16] Germaine: [00:33:16] you know, almost just growing into, into that space. So yeah, it makes a lot of sense. I think there’s a nice segue talking about sort of customers, our competitors, um, into the financial side of things. So how did you price, how did you, I mean, this is a fairly crowded market, I would say, especially lump in there.
[00:33:39] The hosted options that do some,
[00:33:42] Eric: [00:33:42] something similar to what you guys do. How did you
[00:33:44] Germaine: [00:33:44] price yourselves initially? And how do you continue to look at,
[00:33:47] Eric: [00:33:47] look at how you price yourselves? Yeah, that’s a, that’s a good question. And obviously the pandemics kind of thrown things as well and change that. And I think not just for us, but I think for, for us [00:34:00] competitors as well.
[00:34:00] So we’ve seen some of them bring their process down. Initially we. I think we just, we just had sort of fairly standard kind of per extension price or standard in the sense that that was what other plugins were charging for, you know, similar kind of functionality. I’m not in the donation space, but in that, in other, you know, neighboring kind of, kind of sectors, we did experiment for a while with like a pay what you want kind of model.
[00:34:27] Oh, Yeah, which we did always have like a minimum price and then a suggested price. And, you know, I was really liked that idea because I guess one of the challenges that I found early on was, you know, I mean, it’s one thing to go to a, an organization in, in say, You know, Sydney or Canberra or anywhere in the U S and say, you know, like this is $200 or whatever, $200 U S yeah.
[00:34:54] And that, that generally is affordable for optimization. Yeah. Yeah. [00:35:00] Whereas. To go to an organization in India that has, you know, where that, that is actually way, way, way, way, way out of their budget. And so like that, that con that I’ve always found that it challenge of how to actually make something that’s kind of equitable where, you know, it can kind of work across multiple, you know, across the road and also across organizations of different sizes.
[00:35:23] You know, I mean, you’ve got to, if you’ve got an organization collecting $50 million a year in donations and another one collecting $5,000 a year in donations, like, is it fair that they pay the same price
[00:35:36] Germaine: [00:35:36] they can afford is fundamentally going to be different? Isn’t it?
[00:35:40] Eric: [00:35:40] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, so I’ve always found that a, I guess a challenge, I guess, the way other platforms do cut, you know, so that is by actually doing the per transaction kind of thing, because you do solve that, but then that works out to be way more expensive.
[00:35:54] And to be honest, it doesn’t necessarily cost us that much more support. [00:36:00] For somebody that that’s actually raising that much money. So, but yeah, so we did this, we did this pay what you want thing for quite a while. And, and it was enjoyable. It was interesting, but we eventually dropped it largely because I think it confused people.
[00:36:19] And in general, like in the end, 90% of the time people chose the minimum amount. Anyway. So then it was, I think we ended up just actually sitting the. Setting a fixed price and it was something like that. And we just, we used to make sure that if, if anybody reaches out and says, you know, like this is like way beyond us, you know, if they’re, if they’re, I guess, willing to do that and, you know, get in touch and say, you know, like w this is actually a bit outside of our price range.
[00:36:49] And we generally try to. Make it kind of help out easier for them. So, so we did to, in terms of how we then structured our process, that’s one thing that we did [00:37:00] change after the marketing audit last year as well. We kind of bumped our process up a bit, particularly in comparison to our sort of major competitor within WordPress.
[00:37:09] We. We generally are 30 to 50% cheaper. And so for some people that that’s the decision maker, you know, like if it’s 30% cheaper and it does effectively the same thing, then, then that was enough.
[00:37:26] Germaine: [00:37:26] Yeah. And, and, and for anyone listening, if you’re ever sort of weighing it up, I always find, and. You probably will cringe when I say this as a sort of the person has to respond to it, but I’m
[00:37:37] Eric: [00:37:37] asking a few presale questions
[00:37:39] Germaine: [00:37:39] or just one question and seeing how long that response takes.
[00:37:43] If it takes five days, I think then I go to the
[00:37:46] Eric: [00:37:46] other
[00:37:47] Germaine: [00:37:47] company and sort of ask a similar question and see how long that takes it. It’s another way of differentiating if price, um, cause price, isn’t always everything, right? Some things can be shaped, but. You know,
[00:37:58] Eric: [00:37:58] it’s cheap for a [00:38:00] reason
[00:38:00] Germaine: [00:38:00] and where some things are cheap, but it’s just that they just chose to pro price it that way.
[00:38:05] So if anyone listening, that’s, that’s another, another tip as to how you can compare them. And like you said, Eric, you know, if two plugins do effectively the same thing, then why wouldn’t you pick the one that costs less.
[00:38:20] Eric: [00:38:20] Yeah. Yeah. So, so I mean, to be honest, we are, there’s two of us that work from this full time versus, uh, uh, what I, I think is a team of probably closer to 10 people.
[00:38:33] And so, you know, like there’s our cost. As a businesses is just way lower. So for us, it’s it’s okay. And we, we know we, we get by just fine during this and we’re able to grow. So, you know, it’s also kind of looking at just, just what our needs are and how we can, we can still invest into the business and everything and provide the support that we want to provide.
[00:38:57] But I’m still make it affordable to nonprofits. [00:39:00] So it’s, it’s, it’s not easy. Um, yeah, certainly now with the, with the pandemics. So we’ve actually run a 40% off sale for the last, since the startup April, I believe. And that will be kind of wrapping up the, the end of the day, end of this month, I think, which is July.
[00:39:17] Okay. But then we’ll, we’re going to have a look at our processing and, you know, adjust it based on. The fact that basically organizations are under the pump financially. So yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s never, it’s never that easy. It never, there’s never really a clear right answer. Um, and sometimes, you know, potentially you could bump the price up more and make more money, but there’s also the flip side that you’re excluding certain, you know, customers and, and that becomes much harder for them.
[00:39:50] Especially given that I
[00:39:51] Germaine: [00:39:51] guess your serving more or less the not-for-profits space, it starts yeah. Become even more of a, you know, there’s a social sort of [00:40:00] purpose,
[00:40:01] Eric: [00:40:01] at least, you know,
[00:40:02] Germaine: [00:40:02] a small social
[00:40:03] Eric: [00:40:03] purpose and where you can obviously.
[00:40:06] Germaine: [00:40:06] Enable more people. That’s always a positive thing now for the next few questions, I’m happy to work with Rangers if you’re not comfortable giving exact numbers, but could you give us an idea of how many costs as you, you sort of work well has, and, and, and how you look at it.
[00:40:20] Do you look at it monthly or annually? And then, um, if we can talk about
[00:40:24] Eric: [00:40:24] also
[00:40:25] Germaine: [00:40:25] how you’ve experienced that sort of is there, is that stable a year on year? If we could touch those, those points.
[00:40:34] Eric: [00:40:34] Yeah. So we don’t, I mean, I don’t focus a great deal on the number of customers. We generally look more at the.
[00:40:42] Well, the roll revenue per month. And then also then sort of the number of sales number of sales varies generally about somewhere between 60 and a hundred per month. And that the average sale amount varies quite substantially. So [00:41:00] we get sales that are maybe 40 bucks, then ranging up to $700. S that was pre pandemic because at the moment that that’s down to 450 after the sales, but yeah.
[00:41:13] So in terms of revenue that that’s, we’re sort of just around the 10 to 15 Mark in U S dollars and that. But that, that varies very much. And it’s hard to predict, to be honest, it’s really hard to know whether, if we turn this sale off, what things will look like then,
[00:41:31] Germaine: [00:41:31] and I guess, especially for you guys, you touched on this earlier, you’re selling stuff
[00:41:36] Eric: [00:41:36] annually.
[00:41:37] So it’s not sort of this
[00:41:37] Germaine: [00:41:37] monthly recurring revenue. It’s almost annually recurring revenue, but
[00:41:42] Eric: [00:41:42] 12 months is also a lot of
[00:41:44] Germaine: [00:41:44] time for people to one realize the value, but
[00:41:46] Eric: [00:41:46] to realize that they. Aren’t making use of it, for
[00:41:49] Germaine: [00:41:49] example, because you know, and part of that might not even be your fault. Like if they, I spent 450 us dollars, maybe they way over paid and realized that, you know, if they went on a [00:42:00] transaction based hosted system, they actually don’t get a lot of donations and it just isn’t justified.
[00:42:06] So I guess it adds that. The, the blessing and a curse sort of that you’ve got a handle there, but then you, it’s interesting that you look at it
[00:42:14] Eric: [00:42:14] monthly because I guess, I mean, 12 months again is a long time, so you can’t really look at it annually, but, and
[00:42:20] Germaine: [00:42:20] you make sales on a monthly
[00:42:22] Eric: [00:42:22] basis.
[00:42:22] Germaine: [00:42:22] So your, I guess every month, trying to make sure, yeah.
[00:42:27] Eric: [00:42:27] To an extent, I mean, we, we’re less worried about it now than we were a safe two years ago because we’ve. Been much more conservative, basically early on, kind of we’d have a few weeks of really good sales and then we’d pay ourselves a bit more and then certainly it would dry up and you’d be like, ah, man, we’re going to pay us.
[00:42:48] I was like, barely anything this week. So we’ve gotten much smarter about that and much more conservative in terms of how we, you know, sort of. Pay ourselves over time. And so we actually have, you know, [00:43:00] a reasonable buffer of savings built up. And so if, if we have a low month, which do happen, so at the moment, summer holidays in the U S is actually generally a fairly quiet time.
[00:43:11] I guess there’s less agencies kind of building sites for clients and there’s, I guess nobody wants to be doing that. And then. December is obviously a bit of a December and January tend to be pretty dead as well after maybe the first week of December up to maybe the second or third week of January things start picking up again.
[00:43:32] So yeah, there’s, you know, there’s, there’s obviously months there where we know it’s, it’s pretty cool. Be pretty slow. What we do for the most part is, is. We keep track of, of sales obviously each month. And I’ll generally try to compare that to the previous, the same month, a year before to see how we’re tracking in terms of that.
[00:43:50] And that’s a much better measure kind of, of how we’re, we’re going in terms of growing. And that’s been encouraging. And
[00:44:00] [00:44:00] Germaine: [00:44:00] generally found that you sort of can grow or do you grow year on year?
[00:44:05] Eric: [00:44:05] Yeah, well, certainly since, um, we were, we were fairly stagnant leading up to the, this marketing audit that we kind of ran last year.
[00:44:13] And so that’s sort of really kickstarted us in a, in a much more positive direction. And yeah. So since, since then, we, we can definitely see there’s, there’s an uptake in terms of sales year on year. That, that things are growing particularly new sales as well. Yeah. That’s exciting. New customers.
[00:44:31] Germaine: [00:44:31] Do you also track your sort of, uh, the
[00:44:36] Eric: [00:44:36] clients who say started three
[00:44:37] Germaine: [00:44:37] years ago?
[00:44:37] Do you track whether they keep renewing, do you touch base with them if they, if they don’t do do do that sort of thing. I mean, that’s much more, I guess, active slash one could call aggressive sort of selling. Do you do go to that length or is it.
[00:44:52] Eric: [00:44:52] Is it fairly
[00:44:53] Germaine: [00:44:53] passive on, on that side?
[00:44:55] Eric: [00:44:55] No, it’s fairly passive.
[00:44:57] I think we’d need more people to be humble to [00:45:00] do that
[00:45:01] Germaine: [00:45:01] job. Right.
[00:45:03] Eric: [00:45:03] Track what customers are doing.
[00:45:04] Germaine: [00:45:04] Are they, you know, are they
[00:45:07] Eric: [00:45:07] like,
[00:45:07] Germaine: [00:45:07] did they add it to their cart? Like logged in, did that an extension to the car? Why didn’t they buy it? They bought it 12
[00:45:14] Eric: [00:45:14] months ago. Why haven’t
[00:45:15] Germaine: [00:45:15] they renewed
[00:45:17] Eric: [00:45:17] all that? Stuff’s at full time job.
[00:45:19] Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And, and I mean, we’d be interested in doing that eventually, but, but for now I think at the way, things are working is satisfying enough for us. And it works well enough for us, but yeah, but certainly tracking, yeah. When people are dropping off or trying to reduce the number of times that people drop off is is, is something that we’re focusing on as well.
[00:45:42] And, but probably less thinking about. In, in terms of somebody that’s been there for maybe two years and then drops out, but more in terms of somebody that actually you just installs it and then doesn’t sort of keep going with it after, you know, you know, th th just sort of gives it a bad 10 minute, try and then, and then moves on [00:46:00] that.
[00:46:00] So that, that sort of early impression is what we’re, we’re focusing on him on, on improving. Mostly at the moment. Yeah. I mean, I guess once somebody has been a customer with us for, for a while that generally they, if they’re going to leave, it’s either because feature-wise, they actually just need something different or functionality wise or potentially they often the person that actually buys the product buys.
[00:46:26] Our products is actually the, the developer or the designer or the agency that that’s working with, the nonprofit. And, and sometimes there’s a bit of a miscommunication in terms of like, who’s going to pay this renewal each year. And so that, that gets bit hazy. So there’s a bit of that, but in general, we’ve we retain people pretty well.
[00:46:47] Well, I think we’re fairly happy with that. And I guess once people have been in touch with our support once or twice and know that. If they ever do have a problem, there’s a solution there. And at least there’s people that are willing [00:47:00] to help out as much as
[00:47:01] Germaine: [00:47:01] they possibly can. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Have you ever thought about switching to sort of a monthly thing?
[00:47:06] It’s it’s not, it’s not the done thing in the, in the WordPress plugins
[00:47:10] Eric: [00:47:10] space, it’s usually an annual, it just happens. I think
[00:47:13] Germaine: [00:47:13] WordPress
[00:47:14] Eric: [00:47:14] developers just think about annual. I think it
[00:47:16] Germaine: [00:47:16] makes a lot more sense for developers and agencies, but have you thought about having sort of a monthly option, as I said ever crossed your mind?
[00:47:24] Eric: [00:47:24] Yeah, it definitely has. It definitely has like the stability of that wood is definitely appealing. And also I think for. It’s a bit of a hard comparison sometimes for somebody to say, ah, so this thing is like $300 or $200, but there’s another thing I’m looking at is only like $25 a month. And you know, like I said, like that comparison, even though basically price-wise, they’re roughly the same.
[00:47:51] Is is actually seems really difficult. I think the thing, the reason why it’s, it’s hard to kind of do it in WordPress as well, is that if you charge per month, say, I mean, [00:48:00] so maybe we’d go to like $25 a month, the way in terms of what you get. When you buy, as you get all the downloadable plugins, then you can install them.
[00:48:09] And you’re good to go, but obviously if you’ve only paid $25, you can then cancel immediately. And you’ve got shade, got all those plugins and because of the license, and this is fine, you can actually. Continue using it as long as you want, regardless of whether you maintain that subscription. And that’s fine.
[00:48:26] That’s like, that’s the way the GPL license works and we’re okay with that. But that’s one of the challenges. And I think one of the reasons why you don’t see that so often in WordPress is it’s, it’s a lot of risk on, on the, on the business side of things, the developer
[00:48:41] Germaine: [00:48:41] side, because you’re handing over.
[00:48:42] Yeah. Your code base, essentially all your, your code,
[00:48:45] Eric: [00:48:45] all your IPS, just,
[00:48:48] Germaine: [00:48:48] and then I guess by annualizing it, you can ask for a lot more
[00:48:51] Eric: [00:48:51] upfront
[00:48:52] Germaine: [00:48:52] and then you
[00:48:52] Eric: [00:48:52] can minimize your risk.
[00:48:54] Germaine: [00:48:54] I mean, you guys still provide a 30 day money back guarantee. So, and a lot of plugins
[00:48:59] Eric: [00:48:59] do that [00:49:00] where,
[00:49:00] Germaine: [00:49:00] you know, there’s even no free trial.
[00:49:02] It’s just. Pay up. And if you don’t like it days, that’s fine. We’ll give you your money back. No questions asked, which takes a bit of getting used to it. Switch of mindset for the average consumer. But I think developers and agencies are very much used to that sort of model
[00:49:17] Eric: [00:49:17] where it’s sort of, yeah.
[00:49:19] Germaine: [00:49:19] 14 day free
[00:49:19] Eric: [00:49:19] trial that converts into X, Y, Z.
[00:49:22] Germaine: [00:49:22] No, that’s that’s. That’s awesome. Now, before we wrap up any mistakes, come to mind, um, you you’ve sort of touched on a few things like the pay, what you want sort of pricing structure, but anything else come to mind that you’d avoid next time around?
[00:49:35] Eric: [00:49:35] That’s a good question. I mean, realistically, there’s probably plenty of things.
[00:49:42] I probably. So the way we first launched charitable, we put it out and I built up a whole lot of different extensions that were kind of at various stages of progress. And we probably should have launched with something smaller initially just to get the [00:50:00] feedback and get that going rather than take a really long time investing into a whole lot of stuff, which, you know, some of which is, is, is obviously not.
[00:50:11] Really been as useful to people as, as we’d anticipated initially. Yeah. So, so I guess really just, just I think smaller steps, I think, especially at the start and really working out what people need. And so like thinking now to say, Our redevelopment of our ambassadors extension, which we wrapped up early this year, which I talked about earlier, that really was something that was built out of years of customer feedback based on what we had created.
[00:50:40] And so we were able to create something that really nails it for, and that actually really does exactly what need in a much better way. And we just, we just didn’t have the, all that knowledge built up. So, you know, like there’s, there’s actually a lot of value in building up yeah. Knowledge of what customers need.
[00:50:58] And what a lot of customers need, not [00:51:00] just like one customer, but actually what a lot of people need and where the overlap is and how you can actually solve that problem for a lot of people. So that’s probably the biggest, I mean, the biggest thing, you know, I think there’s not a lot, I, I sort of regret about it.
[00:51:16] Maybe if we invest in more time than marketing, but at the same time, you know, it is what it is and we’re not. No, we’re not marketers. So
[00:51:24] Germaine: [00:51:24] it’s sort of about, this is just looking back and sort of thinking, okay, you know, if someone else is saying, Hey, Eric, I’m about to start a plugin business. What would you recommend?
[00:51:33] Not necessarily about what you would change, but just about heads up, you know, this is, this is something that we did and you know, don’t, don’t go, don’t go for launching the plugin with 10 different extensions that are
[00:51:45] Eric: [00:51:45] not all, not quite
[00:51:46] Germaine: [00:51:46] polished. Just maybe launched with two extensions that are just.
[00:51:50] Eric: [00:51:50] Like just function amazingly
[00:51:52] Germaine: [00:51:52] or, or, you know, maybe just focus on marketing as much or that looking back and going, [00:52:00] what would we change? Because I think it’s just, it’s a learnable and a teachable moment, so just helps out the listeners. Awesome. Where can people find out more about. You
[00:52:10] Eric: [00:52:10] and what you guys do.
[00:52:12] So you can find me on Twitter at Eric, Nick loss. It’s E R I C N I C O L AA S. That’s and that’s my handle most of most just about everywhere, but Twitter’s really the only one I check occasionally, but for the rest of WPcharitable.com is where you can find out more about charitable and you can get in touch with us.
[00:52:35] And if you are a nonprofit or you’re working with a nonprofit, then you know, we’d love to hear from you and tell you whether your needs are something that we can, we can sort of solve for you.
[00:52:46] Germaine: [00:52:46] Fantastic. Thanks for that. Are you ready for the top 12?
[00:52:50] Eric: [00:52:50] Yeah, sure.
[00:52:51] Germaine: [00:52:51] Okay. Let’s get into it. Top three podcasts or books that you recommend.
[00:52:57] Eric: [00:52:57] So there’s, I’ve actually got [00:53:00] so many books. One thing this year in particular, I’ve been trying to read a lot more books by we’re really limiting myself in terms of, I don’t want to read just. Books by white men, which is generally what, like I grew up reading. And I suppose that, that over the last few years of trying to sort of, you know, actually really discover new authors and it’s actually really challenging, like when you sort of start, sit down and look at it and you think, Oh my gosh.
[00:53:27] Yeah, that one, that one that was like, every, this is all very, like, this is very white book, short white guys writing books. Yeah. Yeah. And so, so I mean, so I’ve really enjoyed actually this year, discovering just some really amazing other authors from other backgrounds, whether they’re African American or Aboriginal writers, listen to Archie Roach’s memoirs at the moment, which is, which is just fantastic.
[00:53:53] So, you know, in that vein, in terms of books that I’ve, that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and found [00:54:00] very powerful, just mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Which there was a movie of that that came out, I think just like earlier this year or maybe last year and that that’s, it’s really, really quite powerful. It really quiet.
[00:54:14] Yeah. Quite an amazing group. And just discovering some amazing sort of authors as well. Like Alice Walker, I just finished reading the color purple, which was, you know, there was a movie of that, like. Yeah, 30 years ago, but I’d never really sort of read the book. And that was really cool as well. Very powerful story.
[00:54:34] It’s just some amazing stories. So in terms of podcasts, I mean the main ones really, I listen mostly to the New York times daily just to get my news so that I can at least kind of have a vague idea of what’s going on. What’s going on. Yeah. Yeah, and I love that part of money podcast as well.
[00:54:54] Germaine: [00:54:54] Cool, awesome, good solid recommendations there.
[00:54:58] Top three software or tools that you [00:55:00] can’t live without.
[00:55:01] Eric: [00:55:01] So there, I would say vs. Code and visual studio code is what I use for development. We use as well. We use Slack for sort of communication. And then, I mean, those would be the two biggest things. And then probably just Gmail, you know, I mean, or email in general.
[00:55:20] And for me, that’s, that’s using Gmail, but that, that that’s really the three sort of killer things that we need.
[00:55:28] Germaine: [00:55:28] Two questions that,
[00:55:29] Eric: [00:55:29] how do you handle your support? What software do
[00:55:30] Germaine: [00:55:30] you use for support ticketing? And do you
[00:55:33] Eric: [00:55:33] recommend them? Yeah. Yeah. So for that we use, we use a company protocoled groove, groove.
[00:55:40] I think it’s groove, hq.com, which
[00:55:43] Germaine: [00:55:43] is
[00:55:44] Eric: [00:55:44] similar if you’re no, the kind of that, that sort of support software space to help scout is another one like that. But we really liked group. I think that it’s a good product and we. We’ve been, that’s what we’ve been using ever [00:56:00] since we sort of launched charitable and I’ve been really happy with it.
[00:56:02] And so, yeah, definitely check it out. Yeah. So do you use
[00:56:07] Germaine: [00:56:07] anything to analyze numbers? Like your, your sales churn, things like that?
[00:56:14] Eric: [00:56:14] There’s
[00:56:14] Germaine: [00:56:14] a, there’s a few tools out there that I’ve seen that sort of generates, you know, this is your churn rate. This is how you can improve to use anything like that to really go through your finances or do you just use it?
[00:56:26] Do you do any of that? Like,
[00:56:29] Eric: [00:56:29] yeah. I use Google sheets and I. Uh, I’ve, I I’m actually a real spreadsheet nerd. I actually really like building elaborate spreadsheets. So, and that is one of my elaborate spreadsheets that I’ve got. I just keeps track of all that. Yeah. So that’s actually the main thing there.
[00:56:48] And then we use like NYOB for, for accounting, this, that side of things, but that doesn’t sort of give the insight into the sales as well as. As well as my lasers.
[00:57:00] [00:57:00] Germaine: [00:57:00] Yeah. Maybe there’s a product to there.
[00:57:03] Eric: [00:57:03] Yeah.
[00:57:04] Germaine: [00:57:04] Top three mantras. You try and live by anything that you repeat to yourself. You say to yourself when, when the going gets a bit tough.
[00:57:12] Eric: [00:57:12] I don’t have like, strong, like, like specific phrases, but certainly in terms of how I approach support, that’s really to go just above and beyond. That’s probably the, the, you know, the run of words that I kind of have in mind there as well. And then in terms of how I develop the product is to go.
[00:57:36] Generally really deep on something and try to make this one thing as perfect as possible. Yeah. And so to really, to get, yeah. I just think of it as going deep on one particular issue, I suppose, and really solving that in the best possible way. Yeah. And so that’s those two kind of tie together for me, the, you know, going above and beyond and.
[00:57:59] Because [00:58:00] often the development happens in, in response to customer needs, customer needs.
[00:58:04] Germaine: [00:58:04] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think if you keep those two very close and sort of top of mind, it’s very hard to go wrong when it comes to, um, the kind of business that you’re in. I mean,
[00:58:14] Eric: [00:58:14] in most businesses, to be honest, if,
[00:58:16] Germaine: [00:58:16] if you make sure the customer’s happy and
[00:58:18] Eric: [00:58:18] you’re solving their problems as well, and there’s Mo.
[00:58:21] As, as thoroughly as possible. I think it’s
[00:58:23] Germaine: [00:58:23] very hard to go wrong there. Last one, top three people you follow or study and why?
[00:58:29] Eric: [00:58:29] I honestly, I don’t. Really have people I study too, to any great extent here. I did sort of have been fairly encouraged and challenged by the sort of the writing of Cal Newport who wrote deep work.
[00:58:48] And he’s written a few other things as well. And so, you know, so he’s. His writing has been very influential on me for quite a while in terms of how I, how I kind of work. [00:59:00] But mostly it really, I mean, I do read a lot, so I try to just, and I try to read broadly and just learn from what I can, where I can. So, yeah, I don’t really.
[00:59:13] I guess I don’t have specific people that always re well, I do have specific people that I’m always reading, but that’s not because of their ideas. It’s because I really liked their writing, writing. Yeah. This is a little bit different there, but yeah, but there’s, but it’s really just. You know, try, I think I’ve really learned the value of trying to, to learn from lots of different people and lots of different people’s perspective.
[00:59:37] And really, you know, I think that’s been the most profound thing that I’ve learned in the last couple of years is that, that there’s just, you know, there’s a lot to learn that way. Yeah.
[00:59:48] Germaine: [00:59:48] Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you for your time, Eric. It’s been really interesting, really fun to talk to someone about WordPress and WordPress plugins.
[00:59:56] This has been the first interview with, with someone who’s made their own plugin [01:00:00] and run a company that works with a WordPress plugin. So, yeah, thanks for the time. It’s been really fun.
[01:00:06] Eric: [01:00:06] No worries. Thanks Germaine.
[01:00:08] Outro: [01:00:08] Thank you for listening to the future tribe podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a review on your podcast app.

One year anniversary episode

Boy does time fly when you’re having fun! This episode marks the one-year anniversary of the Future Tribe Podcast, which means a full year of sitting down with amazing self-starters and having them share their personal experiences/advice for your listening pleasure. Our team here is so proud of how far we have come over the past year and want to thank our audience for your continued support, it truly means the world to us.

To commemorate making it this far, our host (Germaine) and producer (Hayden) decided to sit down and chat about the podcasting industry as a whole and where they see it going in the future. In their discussion, the duo shares some lessons they have learnt about podcast production over the past year and give the audience a rundown on what it takes to produce an episode of the show. Afterwards, Hayden and Germaine touch on the benefits podcasts provide creators outside of mere financial return and whether the medium is an optimal advertising channel. The show then concludes with our two team members reminiscing about the show and highlighting what their favourite episodes are.

What we talk about
  • The podcasting landscape
  • What utility the medium provides to producers/advertisers
  • Tips for starting your own show
  • Our favourite memories from the show so far
Links from this episode

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

[00:00:00] Hayden: [00:00:00] That’s the biggest problem we run into constantly where our best guests, sometimes I’ve had the worst equipment and it’s ended up being like an episode that I’m not happy with just because I know how good it could have been.
[00:00:12] Welcome
[00:00:13] Intro: [00:00:13] to the future tribe podcast, where we’re all about taking your future to the next level, whether it is interviewing guests or unpacking strategies, you know, we will be talking about getting things done and backing you a fellow optimistic, go-getters. And now as always, here’s your host, the formidable fortunate and highly favoured Germaine Muller.
[00:00:37] Germaine: [00:00:37] Hello, feature tribe. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. On this episode, we’re doing something again a little bit different. , I’ve got Hayden Fitzgerald with me, how you’d lay Hayden.
[00:00:48] Hayden: [00:00:48] Real good.
[00:00:50] Germaine: [00:00:50] Thanks for joining. Um, this has a bit of a special sort of episode. I know we had a special episode about what would it be seven or eight episodes ago, but [00:01:00] sort of celebrating the big five over the half century. Um, but on this episode we’re actually celebrating. A year since we started the podcast, which is, um, being awesome.
[00:01:09] And you’ve been there from the start. Yeah. Um, it’s, it’s all about, I guess, talking, looking back into the podcast itself, um, podcasting in general. Um, and then, um, I mean, we’ll start it off with talking about what we do at future theory. Um, the podcast for us was really. Another way of marketing. It’s another medium.
[00:01:28] Like, I mean, everyone’s familiar with videography. Podcasting is taking on it’s own sort of thing around the world, but not so much in Australia yet by field.
[00:01:39]Hayden: [00:01:39] Um, I feel like podcast consumption is still really big in Australia, but in terms of podcast creators know a lot of people or a lot of podcasts, I listen to it don’t actually get created in Australia.
[00:01:50] Germaine: [00:01:50] So it’s sort of. We are consuming a lot of international podcasts,
[00:01:56] Hayden: [00:01:56] which I guess is true for a lot of like entertainment media, but [00:02:00] especially for podcasts.
[00:02:01] Germaine: [00:02:01] Yeah. It’s it’s and you know, podcasting is started to really hit mainstream in the last year or so with Spotify purchasing anchor and yeah. Joe Joe Rogan signed.
[00:02:15] Hayden: [00:02:15] So Joe Rogan signed, I believe it was a $200 million deal to basically go exclusive with. Uh, Uh, Spotify, which is pretty common. I mean, other podcasts have signed pretty big deals like that. So, yeah, it’s not surprising, but it is interesting to say like a dollar tag put two, no, the worth of podcasts and yeah.
[00:02:35] Yeah. It’s interesting for the creators. It’s definitely gives a lot of. You know, power to them and how much they can expect to get from ad revenue and stuff. We’ll get, we’ll
[00:02:43] Germaine: [00:02:43] get into that a little bit later on, but, uh, I guess before we get into it, the big, um, thing that we want to talk about was at future theory we do, with your marketing, we build websites.
[00:02:53] We’re always looking and experimenting with what’s coming up or what’s next and trying to, I guess, [00:03:00] be as much ahead of the curve as possible. Um, and. Part of that is, is just the importance of marketing, obviously being, being so marketing focused and the podcast was one of those attempts. Um, and I just wanted to mention before we, I guess really roll into it that we’re at the moment actually hiring for a marketing and communications coordinator internally, um, or looking for someone who’s, who’s going to help us internally as well as engage with clients.
[00:03:25] So. This episode goes out Thursday morning. Um, and the deadline for applications is actually Friday. Um, Afternoon or Friday close of business. So if you’re listening to this and you enjoy podcasting, um, you enjoy just marketing plays. Uh, we will have a link in the description, check it out and please supply it.
[00:03:43] But that’s a nice segue. You’re talking about podcasting more specifically now. We’re celebrating a year since we started the podcast. It’s I feel like we’ve learned a lot in the last couple months.
[00:03:55] Hayden: [00:03:55] Yeah. Compared to where we were like to where we are now. It’s night and day.
[00:03:59] Germaine: [00:03:59] I mean, [00:04:00] I would hope so.
[00:04:00] Hayden: [00:04:00] Yeah.
[00:04:01] You do anything for a year yet. You’re at least rod at it.
[00:04:06] Germaine: [00:04:06] I mean, we’ve, we’ve started uploading videos to YouTube recently. Um, that was something that I meant to do a long, long time ago, but yeah. Time is always, always the problem. And it requires its own sort of videos onto YouTube as a whole other world, a whole other thing.
[00:04:23]Um, but I’m glad that we finally hopped onto that. Um, but over the last 12 months, um, how’s it, how’s it been for you? Like what, what are some things that you’ve picked up over the last 12 months Hayden?
[00:04:34]Hayden: [00:04:34] Um, I think it’s always interesting. When you consume a top of media and then, you know, you ended up creating it.
[00:04:41] And I think it would be the same as a person who critiques music or just listens to music generally, and then tries to make their own album. I think you would look at your critiques from when you would just consume a lot differently and knowing like the process of it, what it takes from getting, whether it be a guest don’t want to [00:05:00] just, you know, recording something to then publishing it to them, promoting it, how.
[00:05:04] You know, complex that could often be and how time consuming it is. It really gives you an appreciation for podcasting and especially the people who do it really well.
[00:05:14] Germaine: [00:05:14] Oh, like, I mean, there are a lot of podcasts. I think her podcasts that are quite simply put together, but to me, the biggest sort of appreciation is for those podcasts, that like the storytelling ones, where sort of music, there’s a lot of characters.
[00:05:31] I
[00:05:31] Hayden: [00:05:31] think a good one. And actually I listened to it on your recommendation with business Wars. By. Yes, by. Wondery,
[00:05:37] Germaine: [00:05:37] yes. Wondery make a whole bunch of podcasts.
[00:05:40] Hayden: [00:05:40] And I think what I appreciate about these podcasts is a lot of, they actually have people who, who their whole job in terms of podcast production is literally just researching topics.
[00:05:51] It’s, you know, doing the. Informational deep dive D get any fact
[00:05:56] Germaine: [00:05:56] checking,
[00:05:57] Hayden: [00:05:57] stuff like that, to be able to tell a story that [00:06:00] could, could be done in five minutes over a five hour podcast and whether or not you like that is sort of subjective. I know a lot of people that’s sort of why they don’t like podcasts because they are a bit long winded.
[00:06:11] But yeah, I mean, I say all that to say it’s been really interesting being on the other side of that and saying. You know how hard it is to raise that level of podcast production
[00:06:22] Germaine: [00:06:22] content. I mean, you know, obviously we, we continue to strive to be as, as good as we can, but like you put in 10 hours a week into it.
[00:06:32]Um, I put in a few hours on top of that. It is, it’s a lot of work, but let’s talk about the pros of, I mean, We, we knew that it was not going to be easy. We didn’t, we didn’t sort of pick podcasting because we looked at all these different marketing channels and mediums and thought, Oh, this one will be the easiest to get into.
[00:06:53] But we also identified a lot of positives. I mean, you’re a podcast consumer, like a really avid consumer. [00:07:00] I am the same. So we obviously identified some pros and I think it would be unfair not to speak about just how. The, the, the positives around podcasting for me for example, is that you can listen to a podcast.
[00:07:14] Like a lot of people used to listen to radio just as sort of a thing in the background.
[00:07:19] Hayden: [00:07:19] Yeah.
[00:07:20] Germaine: [00:07:20] Obviously it changes depending on how information or the podcast is, um, where you want to sort of cling to every single word. But while driving, for example, um, a lot of podcasts. Yes, they have ads, but if you compare radio ads and podcasting ads, I mean, 30 minute podcast might have one or two ad breaks
[00:07:39] Hayden: [00:07:39] that you can skip,
[00:07:42] Germaine: [00:07:42] which you got on radio.
[00:07:45] I mean, that’s a huge positive for me is that you can just consume it while you’re like traveling to work.
[00:07:50] Hayden: [00:07:50] And that’s a big thing, right? I think for me, I learn the best by either watching something or listening to something. Um, I should be a bigger rater than I am. Unfortunately, [00:08:00] I’m not. So the best way to keep updated with news, to learn about specific hobbies too, you know, all that sort of stuff is, as he said, you know, on my 30 minute commute to work, to put it on, get someone who’s an expert to give me the synopsis of it, give me the layman version of what’s going on and I stay informed and you know, you can talk about it somewhat authoritatively with a person.
[00:08:23] Yeah,
[00:08:24] Germaine: [00:08:24] yeah, yeah. I think, I mean, I’ve. I meant to do this sooner and I, and I’m going to do it tomorrow, but I think it’s the New York times to do like a condensed sort of this, this day’s worth of news. That’s one thing that I, I B I’ve been meaning to consume. I try and do that on YouTube, but the benefit with a podcast is that it’s just uploaded condensed audio.
[00:08:50]Um, I do it on YouTube, like I said, but, you know, That’s driven around video. So it assumes that you can look at graphs. So look at things. Um, so [00:09:00] that for example is just a quick way of in my driving to work, getting all that info straight off the bat. Yeah. Um, what else, some other positives that you, you can think of?
[00:09:09] Hayden: [00:09:09] I think it is positive and this is sort of true. I think of a lot of media now in the internet age is you can really find things that. That appealed to you. Like if you have a nation interest drive, you know, it’s something that’s not broad, you know, it’s like you’re into, um, you’re into video games, but you’re not just into video games, you’re into Nintendo games.
[00:09:28] And you’re not just into Nintendo games, you’re into this specific type of game. Exactly. I like there there’ll be podcast about it. And you know, if you’re into technology more generally, um, you know, there are podcasts out there that will give you a deep dive. Into all the new tech that’s coming out and get really into the weeds about technical specifications and stuff like that.
[00:09:50] And that’s basically true with anything now. I mean, I think people have a misconception about podcasts that they are all either true crime, [00:10:00] but yeah, really. I think what I like about them is that. You know, if you’re into, you know, electronic music, there’ll be one that’s talking about that
[00:10:08] Germaine: [00:10:08] specifically for,
[00:10:09] Hayden: [00:10:09] if you are into, you know, international relations and politics like that part of the news, like there’s something for you there.
[00:10:15] Yeah. And
[00:10:16] Germaine: [00:10:16] I think that’s a bit of like pro and a con as well though, in that the barrier to entry is a little bit low for podcasting. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I think. For the last little while of doing this, what we’ve picked up is that yes, you can start with a very low barrier to entry, very low cost, very low time commitment, but to get it really good, it takes 10, 15 hours of, of work per like one hour episode.
[00:10:45]Um, but I guess the con with that is that. A lot of people also just do podcasting. That’s like recording off their phone. I’ve seen that comment happen a lot. Um, or of people sort of saying, you know, there’s nothing stopping you from podcasting. Just pick up your phone. Yeah. Yeah. [00:11:00] So perhaps it takes a little bit of filtering.
[00:11:02] I mean, anchor for example is a completely free hosting service. So there are a lot of. There’s that that low barrier to entry is a pro and a con in that you might get lackluster stuff, but simultaneously you could actually uncover someone who’s very insightful, informative with the information as well.
[00:11:18] I guess
[00:11:19] Hayden: [00:11:19] I don’t actually, it hurts the platform itself. I don’t think that being flooded with bad podcast, just because of the law of averages, you know, in terms of how many good podcasts or off a bad one is bad thing. I think it just puts more impotence on. Spotify and Apple podcast to really curate that stuff better.
[00:11:38] I mean, it’s sort of like the app store problem, right. Where it’s like, yeah. The best thing about the app store is that you have a hundred dollar development kit and you can create an app. But the problem that has is, you know, you create a really good app. How do you get eyes on it without paying for it?
[00:11:52] Germaine: [00:11:52] Advertising.
[00:11:53] Hayden: [00:11:53] I’ve been talking about like specific app store placement. Sorry. It does become,
[00:11:58] Germaine: [00:11:58] yeah. I mean, it’s a good point. [00:12:00] So it’s sort of the same with, I guess, a video and everything. I’m sure there are bad YouTube. Isn’t that? So that is a, that is a fair point.
[00:12:06] Hayden: [00:12:06] Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, in general, I think the low barrier to entry, I really am a big fan of it.
[00:12:15] I think it sort of takes away the power from traditional media outlets that. You know, typically want to create safe content. That’s very, you know, appealing to a mass market.
[00:12:25] Germaine: [00:12:25] It just stops the niche stuff that you were talking about from happening.
[00:12:29] Hayden: [00:12:29] Exactly. I mean, like
[00:12:30] Germaine: [00:12:30] you can’t make a business case for something very, very niche, but if your investments are very low, but you’re really passionate about
[00:12:36] Hayden: [00:12:36] it.
[00:12:37] Yeah.
[00:12:37] Germaine: [00:12:37] Well, the business case even so difficult to make anymore. Um, and perhaps, yeah, you just uncover someone who’s really good at what they like, who really loves nineties, Nintendo games and talking about them is really insightful. Um, so yeah, perhaps it’s just so low barrier to entry that it creates sort of that benefit of you can just hear from really.
[00:12:59] Hayden: [00:12:59] Yeah, yeah, [00:13:00] yeah. Um, I also think that low barrier to entry. The barrier to entry is so low that starting a podcast, isn’t that huge of an investment, which especially if you’re, you’re not just a single entity trying to create a podcast, like you are tasked with creating it for a company or something. I think that’s why you can sort of justify to be more because if you are like a comp, like a company, who’s like, you know, thinking of it, looking into it, I mean, you could get a podcast done for pretty cheap.
[00:13:28] Like if you want it to really strip it back and not make it like a whole.
[00:13:32] Germaine: [00:13:32] Yeah, you can outsource the editing. You can record it yourself. Yeah. Even if you hire someone, you can probably get someone from my think like a school kid almost to, um, hop on board. Um, obviously you’re not gonna, you get a whole lot of quality, but yeah.
[00:13:46] Yeah. It’s cheaper than probably getting a videographer. I mean, video camera equipment. Yeah. Oh, like video equipment would be quite a big investment. Um, I think that’s the days and segwaying to. Quickly touching on the equipment that we [00:14:00] use. Um, I think the biggest cost for us has been this microphone, the HyperX, what costs, which we’ll link to, obviously everything that we talk about building turn the description as with every single episode.
[00:14:14]Um, The microphone was a big one. I think a lot of people would have a laptop or a device that they can record on. Yeah. I’ve heard of people recording, editing and recording on iPads, which, you know, even that, that, again, lowers the wrong of what you need. Like good luck editing a video on an, on a, on an older iPad.
[00:14:31]Um, you could probably spend 1500, yeah. iPad that could edit video, but. Yeah. And that’s besides the point. So I’m talking about that sort of cost it’s again, quite, quite low. Um, quite. Quite, I guess, palatable because especially nowadays with COVID zoom calls, I’ve been using this awesome Mike for zoom calls, and I’ve been told that I’m coming across really clearly and really nicely, which is, which is another benefit.
[00:14:57]Um, so I think you can justify that pretty [00:15:00] well. And I would think that these sorts of like microphones would hold value pretty well. It’s not like, you know, there’s a new microphone. Every, every. Six months like you get with cameras and phones, then devalues a microphone. Like a good quality microphone is a good quality microphone.
[00:15:16] Hayden: [00:15:16] Yeah. I mean, that’s the thing, that’s sort of the audiology I hold with podcasting where I don’t think hyper good quality is very important. Like we’re not sound engineers by any means. We are not like producing music that, you know, like needs to be.
[00:15:32] Germaine: [00:15:32] That is technically just beautiful
[00:15:35] Hayden: [00:15:35] end of the day. It doesn’t matter.
[00:15:36] But I think that. Getting your audio, audio to a certain level, to a certain acceptable level where, you know, you would listen to it as a consumer and be like, yep, this is fine. Like, well, the audio is like normalize. Like
[00:15:49] Germaine: [00:15:49] there’s not too much background noise.
[00:15:51] Hayden: [00:15:51] It’s not just like the annoying stuff that would indicate to a consumer or to a listener that, ah, this is a pretty low production.
[00:16:00] [00:15:59] Yeah. Venture, maybe I’ll come back when. They actually put some money or time into it.
[00:16:04] Germaine: [00:16:04] Well, if they live in lasted that long, cause it could just seem like, you know, a hobby, like again, I’ve heard of people, I’ve heard podcasts of people. You can tell that they’ve recorded on a phone. Yeah. Probably sitting in a car cause you can hear sort of traffic going past.
[00:16:19]Um, and yeah, that, that, that maybe sends the wrong message.
[00:16:23] Hayden: [00:16:23] Yeah, it does. But I think what’s funny about it though. It’s like a lot of the big podcasts I listen to and like these are. Huge podcasts. I weren’t like to say them out by name, but like they recorded in a studio or a coordinate house and you can hear like police arms going off in the background.
[00:16:36] You can see quite clearly that there’s like background noise, but they sort of leave it in because the voices are coming through clearly enough and they edited lot.
[00:16:46] Germaine: [00:16:46] Yeah. Perhaps it speaks a little to city. Does that, is that how you sort of look at it or is it yeah, yeah, a bit annoying.
[00:16:53] Hayden: [00:16:53] Well, I think it’s sort of what you’ve you and I have discussed where it’s like is the marginal benefit of may [00:17:00] editing out, like spending an hour, trying to edit out this background noise was the marginal
[00:17:05] Germaine: [00:17:05] benefits of not hearing it.
[00:17:07] Hayden: [00:17:07] Yeah. Yeah. It’s like, well, the cost of me is going to take an hour to go through an hour and a half episode and like try to make the audio as good as possible. Is it worth that like, you know, my hourly wage. You know, to the consumer, like that sort of way, you have to balance it out. And it’s like with video, I think it’d be more important because if you have like a poorly edited video and
[00:17:32] Germaine: [00:17:32] it really tells you, it
[00:17:33] Hayden: [00:17:33] really does tell like, and you can say the people, her a content creative credit is first and like edited second versus the other way around.
[00:17:41] And I think with podcasts, like the content is key and having a microphone and stuff, school is like,
[00:17:48] Germaine: [00:17:48] Yeah. And don’t get us wrong. I don’t think you have to invest a, I can’t remember how much this was, but it was probably around $300. I want to say. Or $400. Yeah. I, and that’s [00:18:00] Australian dollars probably like costs a third of that in the U S probably quarter of that, just because of the Australian technology tax.
[00:18:07] But I think you can get very serviceable microphones for like, 20 $30, as long as you’re smart about it. Hop on, hop on Amazon, look for reviews. Um, I think the huge message here is that getting a dedicated microphone almost always is better than using an inbuilt microphone. Yeah. Um, whether that’s the ear phones or whether that’s in on a device.
[00:18:29]Um, and that’s, that’s sort of a nice segue into two different points that I want to make that you’ve picked up on is. People guests to hop on, um, podcasts with a microphone, um, on like an inbuilt mic and they type away. And you can sort of hear that sort of really boomy, tidying sort of
[00:18:49] Hayden: [00:18:49] noise. I mean, that’s sort of the most, the most disappointed I’ve ever been like creating the podcast has been when we have a guest on they’re awesome.
[00:18:59] They’re really [00:19:00] enthusiastic. Greg content. Great talking points. But they’ve gotten like a wide iPhone. Headphone is like, you know, the audio source and they’ve forgotten that to like, take out like the, you know, the voice, what would you call it? Like the voice, like, yeah. Little
[00:19:17] Germaine: [00:19:17] from the microphone,
[00:19:18] Hayden: [00:19:18] from the microphone.
[00:19:19] And so the audio is terrible.
[00:19:20] Germaine: [00:19:20] I didn’t like, and then that like bumps into their clothing or like,
[00:19:25] Hayden: [00:19:25] yeah.
[00:19:26] Germaine: [00:19:26] And
[00:19:27] Hayden: [00:19:27] it was crazy. It’s like annoying that again. So I think that’s like a big problem. Cause obviously we’re a guest based show. That’s the biggest problem we run into constantly where our best guests, sometimes I’ve had the worst equipment ended up being like an episode that I’m not happy with.
[00:19:43] Just because I know how have been,
[00:19:45] Germaine: [00:19:45] especially given the quality of content, like you’re saying like just awesome value, but they’ve just missed out on those things. And there’s a, there’s a limit cause. Again, we could talk about like a lot of your, time’s also spent trying to get guests on [00:20:00] the podcast, especially being more Australia focused.
[00:20:03] Now we’ve found that people aren’t, it’s not that they need to be like really, really convinced to come on, but they’re much less familiar with it. And, um, it takes a bit more work to find guests and then find good quality guests.
[00:20:17] Hayden: [00:20:17] Yeah, I think. Like two things on that point. I think Corona Varas, funnily enough has been the best thing to happen for the production of our show.
[00:20:26] Just because we do guess, um, we interview guests over. Yeah. And now that zoom is being pretty much adopted by every workplace. Um, imaginable, people are more familiar with it. They understand what, you know, makes good audio on zoom, what equipment they should be using, et cetera, et cetera. But. I think like even bigger than having good equipment is funny against who actually wants to come on your show and talk to you about the things that you want to talk about.
[00:20:54] And it’s not just an, a it’s self promotion. I think one page, piece of advice, if you are running like a [00:21:00] guest based show is to really vet the people who are coming on, like really well. Like, and so if you’re going to like a podcast guest group, Uh, and you know, you’ll get hundreds of responses from people who want to come along, but a lot of them are people who have like, you know, content marketing firms.
[00:21:19] Well, they want to
[00:21:19] Germaine: [00:21:19] do like a new book coming out,
[00:21:21] Hayden: [00:21:21] coming out, et cetera, and all of their appearances basically. Yeah. And leave out the advertisement for the product. They’re trying to show. And it’s really hard to determine sometimes because that’s how these guys, these guys were really good at it.
[00:21:33] Germaine: [00:21:33] Yeah. I mean, they know what they’re doing this isn’t sort of the first time they’re trying to convince a podcast manager or a podcast producer that they deserve to be a guest.
[00:21:40] Yeah. I think what’s interesting to me is like where we’ve booked in an episode. And then I get an email saying, hi Jermaine, I’m looking forward to this episode with our, with us. Um, These are some questions you might want to ask me. And I’m like, and I get that. I get that inexperienced or not. So [00:22:00] confident you to say fair enough, Hayden.
[00:22:03] Thank you. I’ll ask those questions, but you’ve got to be really careful in vetting them. I mean, my response has been, thank you. I appreciate that. Just as, just so you know, here’s the list of the questions that we will be discussing, you know, I might try and ask some of these questions, but. Only if it makes sense only if it’s a logical way, not a platform feeder market.
[00:22:25]Um, I think there are, I’ve heard of podcasts that, and fair enough, but they’re podcasts money to be on the episode just because they can, I guess then they have the reach. You’ve got to be careful, I guess, both sides that the guest isn’t, I’m just trying to promote something and the podcasts are adjusted.
[00:22:43] Isn’t trying to make money because think podcasting. And touch go niche stuff as well. Like it’s almost a passion project, I think. Yeah,
[00:22:54] Hayden: [00:22:54] I think for some people, but I think you touched on an interesting point where it’s sort of like the value exchange [00:23:00] where if a big guest is coming on your show, should they expect some money back from you or vice versa if you’re going on their show with a huge reach,
[00:23:10] Germaine: [00:23:10] should you be paying?
[00:23:12] Hayden: [00:23:12] I mean, but it is interesting because, uh, there was, uh, a music ANR. Uh, I forget his name. And he was basically saying that a lot of young artists now will refuse to go on podcasts and stuff like that unless they paid money. Right, right. They weren’t going to Joe Rogan experience unless they see some of the ad revenue or basically show revenue from that.
[00:23:31] And the, and you know, there’s like a big discussion about that because basically you got one camp saying. That’s right. If you’re a guest based show, like this is basically
[00:23:40] Germaine: [00:23:40] sort of leveraging the guests to reach for your podcasts growth. Yeah. Fair.
[00:23:46] Hayden: [00:23:46] But the yellow camp is sort of saying that you’d be stupid to no forego an opportunity to go on like the Joe Rogan podcast, because like you’re seeing people like Jordan Peterson and these other guys like make full careers out of being [00:24:00] featured on these platforms and then be able to like, monetize that,
[00:24:02] Germaine: [00:24:02] leverage that and grow that.
[00:24:04] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:24:05] Hayden: [00:24:05] But I mean, yeah, it is interesting.
[00:24:07] Germaine: [00:24:07] Maybe it’s, um, maybe it’s a sign that podcasting is sort of reaching prime time. That cause the beauty with podcasting is that it’s, it’s a, it’s a funny one because it’s not like low, it’s low barrier to entry. You can it’s it’s audio. There’s not like one authority on it.
[00:24:25] And that’s why I think Spotify invested so much into. Podcasting because they’re trying to become the authority, but yeah, no one sort of claimed it. Like the video you go to YouTube. For like short texts stuff. You go to Twitter for everything. You go to Facebook for images, you go to like Pinterest or Instagram.
[00:24:46] No one owns, I I’m sure. Some people would say, Oh, you know, Apple podcasts, but not really. Not really. Like, it doesn’t really like own because there’s because Apple podcasts is just a way to, it’s [00:25:00] almost the. The vehicle and not, not the originator of podcasts, podcasts are hosted with podcast hosts.
[00:25:07] Hayden: [00:25:07] Yeah, exactly.
[00:25:08] Right. And I think Apple is funny enough, cause like, just like the app store, they’ve sort of fallen ass backwards into becoming the premier podcast, like hosting platform, just like they do with the app store where it’s at. They have put no effort into making it the best place for creative and put no effort into making it the most optimized way to like grow your audience.
[00:25:28] They’ve just said, Hey, alpha platform is the most ubiquitous. Like here’s a podcast app, like stupid, not to.
[00:25:36] Germaine: [00:25:36] Mm Hmm. It’s just sort of fallen into it. I mean, there are signs that like Apple, for example, uh, this is a thing it’s always a war, right? Like Google search, for example, you want to search something, you go to Google.
[00:25:49]Um, there’s always these battles, like browser Wars. There’s always battles to become the place for something and Apple. From what I’ve heard and what I’ve read, and what I’ve seen is, is trying [00:26:00] to become the place for podcasts. I personally, I mean, one big floor with it. Is that like irony, right? Good. For a new user.
[00:26:07] Yeah, sure. Right off the bat. There’s no, there’s no Apple app, Apple podcasts app. Um, I think they are the silly not to just make it Apple podcasts app for Android. What stops them from doing that. And then just look at Apple podcasts, like you said, as a distribution channel, not as one of the ways to listen to podcasts, if you’re on an iPhone, it’s a whole channel in, and of it’s like, like I changed the words for a long time.
[00:26:33] Like people used to like launch on iTunes like that. That was it. You know, you sold your song for dollar 99 or 99 cents sold an album for nine 99 or whatever it was. And they did a really good job of that. And I think that perhaps trying to do it, but I think it speaks for the democracy of podcasting that someone like Apple or even Spotify, I haven’t been able to just nail it down as they’re done.
[00:26:57] Hayden: [00:26:57] Yeah. And I think the problem is, [00:27:00] and I think maybe why Apple hasn’t invested so aggressively as Spotify is because really in my mind, the reason Spotify is doing it, not to own the podcast realm, but because podcasting is intrinsically linked to. To that music platform, which is where they make the bulk of their money.
[00:27:14] So like the reason why Spotify pays so much money to get these exclusivity deals is like, it forced me to download Spotify and Apple music go. I just, cause I’ve been grandfathered in and I don’t really think about it. I get a cheap deal. We just want it all. But like I have to download it now. And now that I’ve downloaded the app, I’m one step closer to
[00:27:35] Germaine: [00:27:35] becoming a pain.
[00:27:37] Yeah, exactly. My client,
[00:27:38] Hayden: [00:27:38] because you don’t actually have to pay. Spotify to listen to podcasts. It’s like part of their free version. You don’t.
[00:27:45] Germaine: [00:27:45] Yeah. I mean, it would be stupid because very few podcasts actually cost money to listen to. So you would just go to Stitcher or something if you wanted to just listen to podcasts.
[00:27:53] So they’re giving it to you for free
[00:27:56] Hayden: [00:27:56] Apple in terms of like the music [00:28:00] industry, which is I think way still and will continue to be way more lucrative than the podcasting industry, because that’s so synonymous with music that I think that they. That’s not the Avenue that they take to grow that side of their business.
[00:28:15] I think they’re much more interested in, in working with artists like music audits directly to get exclusivity deals on that front to get albums released early on. But, you know, I will say it’s like, I mean, I could be wrong. Podcasts could be. Yeah. I’m tech music in a while, but I just don’t see that being the
[00:28:37] Germaine: [00:28:37] case.
[00:28:37] Yeah. I mean, music is a much older form of entertainment and podcasting, I guess. Is it like radio hasn’t died despite podcasting, I think sort of competing against that. So
[00:28:48] Hayden: [00:28:48] there is an upper limit to it though. I think like,
[00:28:51] Germaine: [00:28:51] as in a limit to how much market penetration, podcasting or listening to,
[00:28:56] Hayden: [00:28:56] I mean, it’s like.
[00:28:58] Joe Rogan is the, you know, not to [00:29:00] keep
[00:29:01] Germaine: [00:29:01] well, he’s the biggest part. He’s
[00:29:02] Hayden: [00:29:02] the biggest in the world. It’s like he would generate a lot of money, like an undead, a lot of money, but like, you can pay until like Drake in terms of like, Drake’s like music career would be subsidizing like 20 artists who you all love.
[00:29:17] Like, and you wouldn’t even know him because he generates that much money for me. It’s like Joe Rogan. It’s like,
[00:29:23] Germaine: [00:29:23] I mean $200 million in like a Drake sort of money or Kanye sort of money. Yeah. Isn’t massive.
[00:29:31] Hayden: [00:29:31] No, it’s not
[00:29:31] Germaine: [00:29:31] like it’s big in podcasting and that 200 mill would have been over a year.
[00:29:35] Hayden: [00:29:35] Yeah. I don’t, I mean, don’t quote me on this.
[00:29:38] It’s about five years, I believe. It’s second year. So like, yeah. I mean still a lot of money, but like
[00:29:45] Germaine: [00:29:45] money and that’s all we’re talking down. It’s just that in the grand scheme of things, especially when it comes to entertainment, which. Podcasting is. Yeah. And I would argue that almost anything is these days is entertainment at the end of the day.
[00:29:57] Yeah. It’s not, it’s not [00:30:00] crazy.
[00:30:00] Hayden: [00:30:00] No. Um, no, definitely not. And like, but I think as like, as I said, it does, it’s interesting that that’s now the ceiling, you know, just in the same way that like, if LeBron James gets a contract like that now becomes the benchmark for, this is what the top, you know, Athlete gets paid.
[00:30:19] This is what the top boss gets paid, you know? And now, now we have a figure for that. It’s really interesting to see where the other chips sort of fall in terms of like, if Joe Rogan is worth, you know, 20, $30 million a year, what does this show that pulls in 500,000? Like
[00:30:38] Germaine: [00:30:38] yeah. What sort of adult dollar figure around that?
[00:30:41] I mean, podcasting. Almost shoots themselves in the foot because you can skip advertising. Um,
[00:30:48] Hayden: [00:30:48] I mean, yes and no, I think you’re right in the fact that it does stop you from doing that, but in the same way, like you can skip YouTube ads,
[00:30:57] Germaine: [00:30:57] but you should like Google to watch [00:31:00] ads every once in a while as well.
[00:31:02] Hayden: [00:31:02] It does, but I mean, you can get ad-blocker
[00:31:06] Germaine: [00:31:06] yeah. Yeah. True. I mean, I guess as a, as a afterthought for all that you should, revenue’s been sort of on the downward sort of trend for creators. Um, but yeah, I think it, I think it does bring up sort of this interesting. Business case. Cause I looking at us and the podcast that you’re listening to at the moment, this isn’t a profitable, like if we were looking at this solely as a business, like expense and a return on your investment, um, one, it’s very hard to tie a return on investment.
[00:31:42] I think, I think it’s very, we can’t point to like a single client who said, Oh yeah, I’ll listen to your podcast. That’s why, that’s why I’m working with you. Yeah. Um, So, you know, looking at it, look at direct sort of attribution. I think it’s not being, it’s not profitable saying that that doesn’t [00:32:00] mean that I personally, as the business owner don’t value your efforts and value.
[00:32:05] Podcasting though.
[00:32:06] Hayden: [00:32:06] And I think that’s sort of what I wanted to bring up at the top of the show. It’s podcasting in general there, just because I think of how much of a time investment there is. I mean, you can like listen to 20 music artists in your phone and the same time that you. Listen to one podcast. I mean, there’s just not enough hours in the day to listen to every podcast you may or may not be interested in.
[00:32:27] And I think that’s the result. A lot less people can do podcasting full time or create a podcast for their company. That’s really like generating revenue. But in saying that I think it does have a lot of like intangible benefits. Oh,
[00:32:39] Germaine: [00:32:39] for sure. I mean, one thing I’ve really enjoyed with it is just being able to reach out and talk to new people, understand new people from all over the world.
[00:32:48] You mentioned that we do it on zoom. That just literally means that geography or geographical, uh, locations don’t matter. Um, which is just really awesome.
[00:33:00] [00:33:00] Hayden: [00:33:00] But I think like, I think like, you know, speaking from your perspective as like a business sign off, like, I feel like a podcast while yeah. It is hard to judge the benefits that it’s giving you directly in terms of like, you know, return on investment that you can like note down in, like yeah.
[00:33:16] Yeah. But yeah, like just quickly for like the people at home, like who might not know, like there are a whole heap of like SEO or benefits. Yeah.
[00:33:24] Germaine: [00:33:24] I mean, if you’re transcripting the podcast, um, for example, um, you use this Descript
[00:33:29] Hayden: [00:33:29] yeah Descript we used Happyscribe for a little bit
[00:33:32] Germaine: [00:33:32] and not so happy with them.
[00:33:34] Hayden: [00:33:34] No pun intended. No, but Descript was definitely like a step up and the script actually gives you some audio and video editing capabilities like in the app. So you can sort of kill two birds with one stone.
[00:33:47] Germaine: [00:33:47] Saying that we also use audacity, which is completely free, completely free.
[00:33:52] Hayden: [00:33:52] Yeah. And I’m pretty sure the Adobe suite, if you have, yes, he
[00:33:55] Germaine: [00:33:55] has
[00:33:56] Hayden: [00:33:56] Adobe audition.
[00:33:57] So there’s an audio tool, again, really [00:34:00] cheap to do a lot of this stuff and it can have a lot of benefits. And if you’re like a big brand that has, you know, a plugged in consumer base that you can sort of like launch a podcast off, it’s really a good way to become sort of an authority in your industry and sort of be known.
[00:34:16] As like a, this is a trusted source of information. I mean, I was talking to my mate who basically works at a paralegal as a law. He eventually wants to like work with the law firm full time. And he’s like, sort of been tasked with creating their podcast as well. So yes, I was talking to him about it and I was talking about like how weird it is that like law firms and even, you know, consulting companies are like starting their own podcast, but it does sort of make sense in the fact that.
[00:34:46] I mean, how many law firms besides like Maliganis Edwards Johnson. do you know?.
[00:34:50] Germaine: [00:34:50] Which if your in Canberra, you would know their ads it’s comedy. It’s just TV. I mean, they really are in that
[00:34:58] Hayden: [00:34:58] one. I think that’s it
[00:35:00] [00:35:00] Germaine: [00:35:00] for me, or bloomers. They do, they do funny ads as well.
[00:35:05] Hayden: [00:35:05] Some of the best ads. They’re like, that’s what it takes for you to know a little firm.
[00:35:09] I mean, like, I hope to never know like a law firm,
[00:35:12] Germaine: [00:35:12] because it’s never good news if you need a law firm.
[00:35:15] Hayden: [00:35:15] But like, if you start a podcast that sort of talks about the law industry in general, give like tips on how to handle this, how to handle
[00:35:23] Germaine: [00:35:23] that. Just a simple stuff.
[00:35:25] Hayden: [00:35:25] Yeah. You become like. And authority within that world, you instantly, your brand becomes more salient to the consumers.
[00:35:33] You
[00:35:35] Germaine: [00:35:35] yeah. And it’s, and it’s a younger person sort of thing, right? Yeah. I’m podcasting, but, but older people can hop into it without any sort of high barrier to entry. Um, because good audio is good. Audio. People listen to music. People listen to radio all the time. So it, it really is a nice way to get into it.
[00:35:51] And it’s low investment higher award. If you just continue that. You can transcribe the conversations, which is really good for [00:36:00] SEO because when he posted on your blog, put the trans transcription, um, that that’s just an awesome way to get a whole lot of words that are irrelevance, you know, just coming up with sort of pointless words, um, that helps you focus in and target in on specific topics.
[00:36:15] And. Yeah, it just makes everything awesome.
[00:36:17] Hayden: [00:36:17] Yeah. And from an advertising perspective, if you are person, who is looking to advertise on a podcast, obviously Germaine brought up, a big problem that people can skip your ads pretty easily. Um, but I think the counter argument to that is that if you’re selling a very niche, like say you are selling a home security system, right?
[00:36:36] Like where do you really advertise that? Where are your consumers going? And to, you know, say these words like. If you listen to true comp podcast, every ad is like, do you want it easy to install a security system? And it’s like, when do you want to send her the system more than once you’re listening to like the golden state murder?
[00:36:54] Germaine: [00:36:54] If someone had just like got burgled. Yeah. I mean, you feel that that’s a very good point. You can really niche down. Like if you [00:37:00] sell, I there’s a lot of those, a retro small portable consoles
[00:37:03] Hayden: [00:37:03] coming out. Yeah.
[00:37:05] Germaine: [00:37:05] That this Nintendo, this I’m sure this retro and intender gaming podcasts that you would use as an example exists.
[00:37:12] We don’t know the name of it, but I’m sure it has to exist, but what a way to, you know, advertise your product because your markets are ready for that. If you tell them you can use your copy, right. And play Pokemon again on the Gar, well, goo like that, that’s just the best way to do it. If you’re looking at Facebook, something like that.
[00:37:30] Good luck
[00:37:31] Hayden: [00:37:31] and that sort of thing, like. I think people default to these platforms that have a really widespread, but have people who are just not interested in buying the stuff that you’ll sell on. Like, and it’d become, so, numb to seeing like advertising it’s sorta like, you know,
[00:37:46] Germaine: [00:37:46] yeah. Yeah. I don’t pick it up.
[00:37:48] Like I, when I watch, or, go through blog posts and stuff, or the internet I’ve missed advertising altogether, I just don’t notice it anymore. So, um, yeah. I mean, on that note, we’ll wrap [00:38:00] up this episode of the podcast. Yeah. Thanks for joining me, Hayden. Thanks everyone for listening. It’s been like, like you said, 12 months, we look forward to seeing what we can do with this podcast and having better more guests for you, um, in the future, I think before we finish off one last thing I want to talk about my favorite episode.
[00:38:20] I don’t know if you have one. Mine’s been quite recent one with Jarrod, from Jarrod’s tech. Yeah. Just cause I love technology. Uh, I’m a total geek inside and I love YouTube. I’m a avid YouTube consumer and an avid podcast consumer. So that’s been my favorite episode. Um, we’ll link it in the description. If you want to check it out.
[00:38:38] How about you Hayden? What’s been your favorite.
[00:38:41] Hayden: [00:38:41] It’s a hard one, but I would have to say the episode we did with Pip. I don’t want to say her last name. Yeah. So she always that one a day, we linked that one. She’s basically a person who sort of like maneuvered her way into like the presenting, uh, music-host sort of industry, which is very hard to [00:39:00] get into if you’ve ever like, you know about it.
[00:39:03] Yeah. Cause again, like not to bring up another night, but like a, maybe he’s trying to like, basically do that. And he said, it’s like extremely hard. And he’s sort of like, got everything riding on like an internship that he’s doing. Right. So for free with hopes that it converted like your internship with like Spotify that he could like sort of finagle into something else.
[00:39:20] But like, it’s just interesting to see like how. She talks about that space. Cause I feel like not all, there’s not a lot of like actual like information about how to do get into it. Yeah. You know, so that was like an awesome episode and Pip’s like real good on the, it was real good on the camera was real good.
[00:39:40] Like talking,
[00:39:40] Germaine: [00:39:40] you can tell that she’s got experience.
[00:39:42] Hayden: [00:39:42] Yeah. And she was just super cool lady. So yeah, probably
[00:39:46] Germaine: [00:39:46] lady. I’m not sure that people would like to
[00:39:48] Hayden: [00:39:48] hear that super cool chick.
[00:39:52] Germaine: [00:39:52] There you go. Awesome. That was very lame, but
[00:39:56] Hayden: [00:39:56] we’ll leave it at that. Thanks
[00:39:57] Germaine: [00:39:57] listening guys. As always, [00:40:00] everything’s going to be in the, in the description down below Apple.
[00:40:03] See you next episode.
[00:40:06] Intro: [00:40:06] Thank you for listening
[00:40:07] to the future tribe podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a review on your podcast.

Starting an e-commerce business amidst COVID

For this episode of the podcast, we invited Tom Falco to chat with us about his vintage clothes business, Primetime Pickups. Tom is a local entrepreneur who, like many, fell on hard times due to COVID-19 and found himself with limited job prospects as a result of the virus’ effect on the job market. However, instead of sitting idly by waiting for the right job opportunity to come to him, Tom used his free time and marketing prowess to start a successful e-commerce business from the comfort of his own home. During this episode, our guest goes into great detail about how vintage resellers structure their businesses, what he has learned from his competitors, and what Primetime Pickups does differently. Additionally, he talks about the marketing tactics he uses to cut through the noise in such a crowded online marketplace, as well as the importance of authenticity when engaging with your consumer base. We finish up talking to Tom about the future of his business and whether he intends to continue to grow the brand into a physical storefront.

What we talk about
  • Starting a business during COVID-19
  • What marketing tactics are suited to an e-commerce businesses
  • The importance of authenticity and transparency in marketing
  • Scaling up a side hustle
Links from this episode

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

[00:00:00] Germaine: [00:00:00] Hello, future tribe. Welcome to another episode of the podcast on this week’s episode, I’ve got Tom Falco from Primetime Pickups. How are you, Tom?
[00:00:09] Tom: [00:00:09] Good. How are you?
[00:00:10] Germaine: [00:00:10] Thank you. Tell us about a Primetime Pickups before we really get into the hard questions. Yeah.
[00:00:16] Tom: [00:00:16] So just a bit of a basic overview would say, its a vintage clothes business, American sports in spite that I, started out of my bedroom, in Gungahlin Canberra.
[00:00:26]Essentially we dropped collections. So, I’ll source a whole bunch of clothes in the States, a whole bunch of sort of 90’s and 2000’s, vintage, sports gear. and then on one day during the month, we’ll drop all that gear at once on the website. And yeah the response to that screening look incredible.
[00:00:43] It’s been amazing so far, so I’m pretty, pretty excited to see where it could go.
[00:00:47] Germaine: [00:00:47] Yeah. Nice. when did you start this whole thing?
[00:00:51]Tom: [00:00:51] It was, essentially when , once COVID, sort of hit . I really had the time to sort of sit down and really had a crack at, sort of doing it, I had the idea for a while. [00:01:00]
[00:01:00]But yeah, once, once COVID hit , so it’s sort of been three, three or four, four months. I think two of those months of sort of planning all out and sort of writing up business plans and strategic plans in terms of marketing, how I was going to sort of get it off the ground and then three months of really operating now.
[00:01:15] So we’ve just dropped, uh, our collection to drop date. Um, so we’ve dropped one collection already. We’ve dropped a sort of second $25 and under collection gearing up the second collection on the 29th of July.
[00:01:29] Germaine: [00:01:29] Yeah. Wow. That’s that’s exciting. So that’s uh, about nine days away from the, from the time we were recording.
[00:01:34] So, um, how old are you now?
[00:01:37]Tom: [00:01:37] So I’m 24.
[00:01:39] Germaine: [00:01:39] Okay. So started starting nice and young. Um, did you have this idea sort of getting into your teenage years or has it been, been a lot longer or more recently that you came up with the idea? Yeah. Well,
[00:01:50] Tom: [00:01:50] it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s sort of like an idea that we’ll always have.
[00:01:53] Like, I, I spent a couple of years over in the States and so I got to experience sort of firsthand the market and demand for [00:02:00] vintage clothes over there. or some more so over here, but. sort of over there used to be sort of, and, you know, go to a thrift shop and you see a, an old school jacket. If it 10 us dollars and jeez like, I wish I could sort of take the time and sell it in Australia, but I never had that sort of platform to do it.
[00:02:17] Um, but I guess coming home and having that time to, sort of sit down and really sort of plan it out, and that, that sort of matters should the marketing skills and the communication skills that I was able to sort of. Learn through a couple of years at uni. Mm.
[00:02:31] Germaine: [00:02:31] So you had some sort of background in marketing and communications before you, I guess started the business.
[00:02:38] Tom: [00:02:38] Yeah, so I did a, I did a double degree in sports, media and public relations at the University of Canberra. Through that I was, he did a minor in sports marketing and events. So although it’s not sort of very specific in terms of marking in an audience where you’re trying to sell them stuff, there’s still a lot of sort of skills at correlate that I learned in my [00:03:00] time there.
[00:03:00] And I had the, I was fortunate enough to do a whole bunch of internships through my time at university of Canberra that I think really helped me out.
[00:03:08] Germaine: [00:03:08] Yeah. Yeah. And I guess you had a, skillset that was transferable, from, I mean, sports is just sort of one, one genre, so you can still transfer it over as you’ve found.
[00:03:17] Tom: [00:03:17] Absolutely. Yeah. A hundred percent.
[00:03:20] Germaine: [00:03:20] Yeah. I mean, tell me how you source. So you, do you do a drop, how big, big sort of the drop in terms of say retail value? Um, how big have they been? So,
[00:03:32]Tom: [00:03:32] in terms of, flux paces and. It’s just my job. So the first drop was about 30 pieces. And now, obviously that was sort of the first one.
[00:03:42] So we went a little bit smaller with that. Just because the overhead on buying all the imagery and stuff, it was like it was a big risk. So the second one, now that I’ve seen that there’s a demand for it. And as a market for, and people are willing to sort of, you know, Take money out of their pocket to buy our stuff.
[00:03:56] I can sort of scale it up a little bit more. So I think the next one is about 50 [00:04:00] pieces, collection threes, ia all ordered , so that the next shop, all ordered now it’s all being shipped over now and that’d be closer to sort of 60, 70 pieces and really sort of just scale it up from that point. So
[00:04:11] Germaine: [00:04:11] just scaling up slowly.
[00:04:13] Yeah. How, how do you source them? Like, are you, were you there originally and now are you sort of. Calling, through shops over there or how are you managing that side
[00:04:23] Tom: [00:04:23] of it? It’s people don’t do them very similar stuff to me. So a lot of, a lot of people want to stay w. Well, we’ll sort of be the first person to go to the thrift shop and buy a whole bunch of bunch of stuff and then throw it up on, apps like Depop, Ebay and other one Instagram.
[00:04:38]There’s a ton of people selling stuff in the sites that that’ll bought from the thrift shop for sort of 10 us dollars and then sell one onto you for 15 us dollars. And then obviously you gotta pay shipping and stuff like that. But, being able to source it’s very like very, it’s very easy to find these people that are doing that.
[00:04:55]Like it takes a ton of time. I’ve got, I think the first collection also was. [00:05:00] Probably about six different suppliers. and obviously I said that the first collection was 30 pieces that works out to be like five pieces as far. Whereas now I’m sort of uncomfortable with this clause that I have and the squads that I’m borrowing stuff off.
[00:05:13] I’m more comfortable making. I think I did an order for 17 sweatshirts for collection two that should arrive this week. which is. So much easier than, sort of ordering a five or six different people.
[00:05:26] Germaine: [00:05:26] Yeah. Yeah. And it makes it more manageable for you. And then obviously it brings down the overheads in terms of yeah.
[00:05:31] Tom: [00:05:31] And in terms of prices as well. shipping is another one shipping gets expensive and if the Mo sort of more you order, the more you can save on, on each piece. But then also, building relationships with, with the supplies. I guess for me, When I first started, it was, it was very sort of like always reaching out every day.
[00:05:51] I was messaging. I was probably sending close to 50 messages a day, people on Depop, people want to hear about to people on Instagram and handful of get back to me and stuff [00:06:00] like that. Now it’s got to the point where I’ve made a couple of hours off people. Yeah, reach out to me once they’ve got sports stuff that I think I might be interested in.
[00:06:09] So it’s sort of,
[00:06:10] Germaine: [00:06:10] because it’s an easy sell for them rather than answering questions from, you know, every Tom Dick and Harry, it’s just talk to Tom. Go mate, are you keen? This is what I’ve got and then
[00:06:21] Tom: [00:06:21] it’s much more passive on it’s because I enjoyed doing the marketing side of it. I enjoy publishing photos on Instagram.
[00:06:30] I enjoy taking photos. I enjoy replying to people’s messages doing Q and A’s live stream button. Or I love that stuff. I hate sitting on my phone and browsing through. As far as the clothes and messaging people and that like, you have to do it. but the, obviously the more, the more you do it, the more passive it comes.
[00:06:48] And so I’m sort of working for point now where it’s like, I don’t have to put that much effort into doing that. I can focus my energy on doing different things.
[00:06:57] Germaine: [00:06:57] Definitely now, um, [00:07:00] you sort of touched on it earlier, but how do you handle the marketing or how did you build up that sort of marketing initially before you did your first drop when you were essentially just a guy with an unproven?
[00:07:12]Brand if you, if you could even call it that at the time, cause there was nothing, right. I mean, you started from
[00:07:16] Tom: [00:07:16] scratch. Exactly. So I think, um, I think my thing was I wanted it to be locked super. Super authentic with it in terms of, in terms of like the marketing in terms of everything. So I want it to be very transparent and clear.
[00:07:27] Um, I, I worked with a couple of influences, like im real big on, influencer marketing. I think it’s, it’s super underrated. As long as it’s done right. Instagram ads, the one that I was used to sort of build up the, the, the falling a little bit, If you don’t ads as well. I think you have to, you have to be authentic with it.
[00:07:47]I think you have to provide some sort of value. and for me, that was in terms of, I think I did a giveaway, which. It would receive, I think the engagements and that was ridiculous. [00:08:00] So I did a, I think I did a giveaway and run a a hundred dollars with Instagram ads on it. And the engagements were completely starving at 1,200 comments.
[00:08:11] And it was all comments. Tagging people because it was a giveaway. So I was able to sort of build up sort of get people in that way and sort of get people looking at the content. And then I was comfortable enough in the content that I was producing that people would then want to stay and be like, okay, like this is valuable stuff.
[00:08:30] It’s relevant to me. even if they only time for the a hundred dollar giveaway, he followed me because I thought they were a chance of winning a hundred bucks. Then, to then on the page, like you have to still be providing decent content.
[00:08:43]Germaine: [00:08:43] Yes. Yeah, because they’ve got a, I have a reason to subscribe and then a reason to keep coming back.
[00:08:48]Now, so did you originally build off a, build a, a bit of a platform and a following on Instagram? Is that, was that sort of your game plan or were you driving them to a website and then pick up email addresses? How did you sort of, and I guess [00:09:00] even before that, did you. build up the hype first, before the first drop, like, um, or did you actually have just a bunch of stuff for sale and then stop?
[00:09:09] Tom: [00:09:09] So I did build out the high performance. Yeah. Which I think was very important. And, it was all done through Instagram. I think like, I think Instagram is the perfect medium to do what I do. Like, my, like my website, um, Other than when, when we drop clothes like that sort of, I think an hour or so between shopping clothes and people buying it, like that’s when there’s the most traffic on the website, it’s not as sort of, because we don’t have regular stock up.
[00:09:40]my job collections, it’s recommitting to us, pigs and flys. but yeah, we just send people to the website on the day of the drop.
[00:09:49]Germaine: [00:09:49] Yeah. Right, right. And so you’re now gearing up your third drop, is that
[00:09:53] correct?
[00:09:54] Tom: [00:09:54] Second and second collection, but third drop, we did a sort of, and under [00:10:00] drop, which is we got sn insane deal with ’em with one of the suppliers who sent over a whole bunch of luck, quality stock, but it was just stuff I didn’t really think fit in the collection.
[00:10:10] Um, sort of released it on one day and people managed to pick up themselves at bargain, which was great. And that’s another thing which is, I guess, helps out with, with building that sort of loyal fan base is opening up with deals like that.
[00:10:22]Germaine: [00:10:22] Yeah. Yeah. Did you, have you had to deal with, with, I guess the customer service side of things of like returns or getting, stock that is not very good quality.
[00:10:32] How have you managed that? Have you had that?
[00:10:34] Tom: [00:10:34] Fortunately not, I guess. With returns. Like, obviously im open to it, and if people don’t like the door, I say like, um, it’s fine to send it back. And obviously with vintage clothes, and sometimes it might have a stain, sometimes it might not fit. Right. And sometimes it just might be trashed.
[00:10:52] I might just have to throw it out. But I think as long as you’re transparent with people and as long as you are open with, how it fits the quality [00:11:00] of it. and obviously I do try and source good quality stuff. If I see a photo of something with a stain on it, I won’t buy it. But as long as you’re transparent with it, people don’t seem to ever have a problem with it.
[00:11:11]Germaine: [00:11:11] And I guess they, when you’re buying vintage, you’re already, you have that mindset of you’re buying something that’s already being used. There’s no sort of buying brand new vintage. I mean, I mean you can, but it’s that that’s not really vintage as it, it’s just new products designed to look like they’re retro, like they’re vintage, but they’re completely different.
[00:11:29] So I guess, It really fits that authentic brand as well. I mean, you talk about, a lot of marketing nowadays. They talk about being authentic. but when it comes to vintage stuff, I feel like it’s. It all just fits in really nicely because, because vintage is, is very much authentic. Like it’s not clothing pretending to be anything else.
[00:11:49] It was just what was cool at the time. And now it’s, um, now it’s being sold again, sort of. Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
[00:11:57] Tom: [00:11:57] If you’re getting coming to that point of being authentic, he comes down [00:12:00] to everything. you know, I, I did a ton of research before I started, um, Primetime Pickups on different pages and. there was like, this is plenty of put on similar stuff to me out there.
[00:12:11] Um, and there’s plenty of doing it better than me and there’s plenty to it. Worse. Maybe the one thing that I wanted to do was make sure that I bought clothes that I thought were cool or the, you know, that sales are going to keep it. and like, I see so many people that are trying to do this., very similar business model where they’re picking up vintage clothes and you sort of go on the personal Instagram profile and they’re not wearing any of this stuff
[00:12:40] that, yeah, it’s just, you have to be authentic. You have to be passionate about it.
[00:12:43] Germaine: [00:12:43] When it’s such a passion driven thing, right? Um, you don’t wear vintage clothing. Because you like to wear old clothes, you wear it because you like how it looks and you definitely have to have sort of that eye for fashion and the style with that, because [00:13:00] it’s all part of an part of an ensemble.
[00:13:01] You wouldn’t just, Chuck on a vintage jacket and, have everything else that’s sort of. Not match. if, if that’s sort of the best way to put it. Now are you doing this as a side hustle at the moment or workingfull-time?
[00:13:15] Tom: [00:13:15] Yeah, so I, I was planning on coming back to Australia. I was overseas in the States for a couple years study.
[00:13:20] Um, I graduated, came back to Australia, and had a couple. Full time jobs up in Melbourne, which is my dreamis to move to Melbourne to work for a professional sports team. What I wanted to do since I was a kid. and so an opportunity to do that came up and obviously through COVID that sort of fell through, which was devestating.
[00:13:39] So then I signed a sign, a contract, working at the APS, , just processing Centerlink claims. And I do that. I think it was pretty much full time. Wake up at eight in the morning, go there and come home at two and then, and then sort of do this on the side that contract’s up now. So today’s the first day that I’m not working.
[00:13:59] So, yeah, [00:14:00] now I’m full time doing it.
[00:14:02] Germaine: [00:14:02] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:14:02] Tom: [00:14:02] It’s a couple weeks anyway. I’m not actively looking for work at the moment. I think I’ll just focus on this for the next couple weeks. See how it goes. Sort of test the waters a little bit. but it’s yeah, my dream or my dream is to, is to go down to Melbourne and start working, but I don’t see me stopping doing this anytime soon, either.
[00:14:18]Germaine: [00:14:18] Yeah. I mean, it sounds like, It’s, you know, fairly passive in terms of like how obviously you’ve got to do stuff, but it’s not like you’ve got to be there nine to five, every day. So it’s definitely something that you can. No cause you can provide support or get back to messages at six o’clock at night, if you, if you felt like it.
[00:14:38]and I guess that’s the beauty of running sort of a, an online business, is that it’s well, I mean, even in your case, even if your time, the next drop for when you have a day off, or it’s a weekend, then you can just be right there. for, for, you know, that whole period of time.
[00:14:54] Tom: [00:14:54] Yeah. Yeah. it’s perfect.
[00:14:55] And I guess the thing is with, with the shipping bombs over in the States and stuff, [00:15:00] it’s sort of like, it does give me time to sort of relax. Over the past couple weeks I’ve been posting you know sort of once or twice a day on Instagram, when a collection. Well, I think I’m waiting on another package to come in for the second collection, which dropped.
[00:15:13] We had nine, 10 days time. Once that, once that comes and I’ll start sort of wrapping up and posting sort of two, three, four times a day, and that’s when it sort of com becomes, gets a little bit busier and then obviously drop date is crazy. I was thinking that don’t want to have lobe for it cause it’s, it’s so stressful, man.
[00:15:30] Germaine: [00:15:30] Yeah. Yeah. I could imagine it just being, I mean, you’ve got to be there. You’ve got to answer all the questions. and you’ve got to, how do you do it? Do you ship it out to people?
[00:15:39] Tom: [00:15:39] So I typically what I will, obviously I’ve only done one sort of collection at the month, but, um, the plan going forward is to drop, Sort of later on in the week .
[00:15:48] I think this week that this, this drops on a Wednesday. Yeah. it just so happens that I was free on the Wednesday to do everything. But, I usually do it on a Thursday or Friday. And that’s, so that I’ll have the weekend to sort of go to the post office, get everything packed. Did you have [00:16:00] any art? Obviously you’ve got to wash, washing on the clothes, make sure they’re presentable, but you’ve also got to sort of take photos of clothes that went to the website.
[00:16:07]So that’s, it’s sort of, it’s very passive when you’re not selling anything. you start selling stuff and as soon as it drops coming out, like it starts to sort of ramp up. So it’s been good for the past. I haven’t really had too much to do. the next couple of weeks would be pretty crazy I reckon.
[00:16:24]Germaine: [00:16:24] Yeah. Yeah. I’m looking at it. Looking at sort of what you’ve done so far. We’ve talked about all the cool stuff. Let’s talk about the not so good stuff. Have you made any mistakes so far, do you think, have you, have you sort of done something and sort of gone, hold on, probably shouldn’t have done that or you sort of look back and go on.
[00:16:44] If I didn’t do that, um, things would have been better. Things sort of could have been different.
[00:16:49] Tom: [00:16:49] There’s a couple of things. The one is, understanding sort of price like the pricing of stuff. There were a couple of times where I think that was, that was once during the one collection where I really sort of [00:17:00] overpaid , for a bunch of items, which ended up selling it, but it was just, it wasn’t worth what I paid for it.
[00:17:06] And that’s it. You got to figure it out. Things like exchange rates and shipping costs and stuff like that. And it’s stuff that you can’t really, there’s not, there’s not an online guide and how to do this trial and error. but walk on there now not to overpay for things. another thing is I, I remember getting a sweatshirt and, and it had a, it was like a, screen-printed t-shirt, Me not being the best on and clothes and washing clothes.
[00:17:29] It’s just graphic. It’s just melted it. And I was like, throw it out, like,
[00:17:37] yeah,
[00:17:38] Exactly. but you know, you, you learn, and it’s not mistakes that I’ll make again, hopefully touch wood. but I guess it, it, it’s just all part of, or part of running a business anyway.
[00:17:46] Germaine: [00:17:46] So. That’s it, you just gotta to handle it and just sort of go with the flow there. C ause there’s no point getting caught up in it all you’ve, you know, at the very least, just cause you’ve messed that up, you’ve got a whole bunch of other, clothing items that you gotta prep and sell and, and all that.
[00:18:00] [00:17:59] So once you get a drop, do you start photographing sort of straight off the bat and start throwing it onto the web? Well, stop prepping. Uh, your Shopify site, um, for it to go live, is that, so do you need, you usually have like a three day period where it’s, it’s a bit
[00:18:16] Tom: [00:18:16] tip the gap typically happens is I’ll try and have a little bit of stock on hand before the previous collection drops.
[00:18:23] So collection two is dropping in 10 days. Hopefully I have some gear in for collection three, so I can start posting on Instagram, start sort of transom photos up saying this is what’s coming up. just to keep people interested and engaged with it. And then, so all the kids pretty much have a to, Oh, I think we’re dropping next Wednesday.
[00:18:44] So I’ll go through this weekend and take. Sort of product photos of it. and I’ll go through and I’ll size everything up. Um, but the tape measure and I’ll type in all the details, I’ll make notes of any sayings or how clothing fits. I’ll do the, all the Q and A’s and Instagram get [00:19:00] people sort of familiar with what they might be buying.
[00:19:02]So to get a prep prep this week, this weekend, sorry. And then, yeah, it dropped out on Wednesday or volleyball. I sort of do is relax. Most of that. I sort of stress out about whether or not people are gonna buy the stuff. And then, sort of get everyone a little bit hype for it. and then it’s six, I think six o’clock you just make the website live and it’s similar
[00:19:22] Germaine: [00:19:22] 6:00 PM,
[00:19:23] Tom: [00:19:23] 6:00 PM.
[00:19:24] It’s very. You’ve ever been on the YZY drops and stuff like that, where people just sort of sit on website and refresh the page very similar to the app, which is it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a very, very like nerve wracking feeling. But when it, when it hits and you see the orders come in, like it’s, it’s so humbling and so exciting as well.
[00:19:42] So.
[00:19:42]Germaine: [00:19:42] Yeah. How’d you pick Shopify to be the place to host your
[00:19:46] Tom: [00:19:46] show? I’ve worked with Wix a little bit with my personal sort of portfolio from my media stuff that I do. And my university degrees and, regimens and stuff like that. and I, I did a whole bunch of like, I love [00:20:00] watching, YouTube videos on sort of marketing and drop shipping and obviously dropped Shopify and drop shipping.
[00:20:05] Go ahead. And, and, um, so I just decided to check it out. Shopify Watts. It just seemed like the easiest platform to use. Um, Because I didn’t need a super fancy website. Like all the marketing was done through Instagram, so I literally need a website. Right. We started throwing the product. So people bought them like, that’s the purpose of the website is not to do anything other than that.
[00:20:25]it’s been unreal. Like it’s, it’s so easy to use. Um,
[00:20:29]Germaine: [00:20:29] it’s held up with the demand and things like that as well.
[00:20:31] Tom: [00:20:31] I haven’t had any issues with it. Like not a single
[00:20:33] Germaine: [00:20:33] one. Yeah. Awesome. So anyone listening, Shopify is an easy, relatively easy sort of DIY solution for, you know, as obviously as you scale up your needs will start to change.
[00:20:46] And, usually what we find is that, if you want to keep things, things, symbol, Shopify. Fantastic. and, and really you can grow quite a lot on Shopify. and it just, you’ve just got to sort of temper your expectations, I guess, around [00:21:00] what you want to be able to do, because there’s, I guess, limits too around how custom you can make it.
[00:21:06] But, like you were talking about Tom, like you’ve got a fairly simple. List of requirements for, for the website side of things, because you’ve got the marketing or handled separately. So, yeah, it sounds like Shopify is awesome. Um, now we’ve talked about what you hope to do moving forward in terms of sort of personal life going to Melbourne.
[00:21:27]you continued to run the Rhonda store. Are there plans to expand it? Yeah. Is the next, you know, is the goal for each drop to be bigger and bigger? Are you going to go past just, I mean, when you talk about vintage clothing, is it really just like tops and bottoms? Is that a. It, or are you going to go into shoes?
[00:21:48] Tom: [00:21:48] Yeah, obviously trying to expand as many ways as possible. I think the obvious one is scaling up in terms of quantity and getting more items, getting more followers and stuff like that, which is, which [00:22:00] is sort of what I’m focused on at the moment. I have sort of started to too reach out and do sort of jackets stop we’re stopping for the first time this next collection.
[00:22:09]the first collection was just sweaters and tee shirts. Um, shoes, probably not just because like, I’m not passionate about it. I wear beat up Converse shoes. Like I don’t, I don’t know. There’s something about stocking. Like I’m not going to do something that I’m not passionate about. Um, I, I have this, um, obviously like really big goal of doing a popup shop in Canberra.
[00:22:28] I think that’d be, I think that’d be unreal. I think that’d be really cool. And I think, if I’m able to sort of grow the Canberra market more than more than I am at the moment, I think that’s something that I’ll look to do in the pretty near future. Um, But yeah, just, just scaling it up in terms of quality quantities, this sort of what I’m trying to do atthe moment.
[00:22:46]Germaine: [00:22:46] Yeah, that’s really exciting. I mean, I guess the Canberra store sort of up, popup store idea would be obviously affected a little bit by what’s happening with coronavirus and, and all that, because ideally what you’d hope is just to [00:23:00] have just so many people in one go that social distancing is just not possible.
[00:23:05] Right? I mean, you’d want to drive as many people to that physical location as you can.
[00:23:11] Exactly.
[00:23:12] Tom: [00:23:12] And mostly what I mean, we’ll see what happens with it all. it’s obviously very early days in the business and so we don’t really know what’s going on with coronavirus at the moment. but yeah, if it happens in a year’s time, it happens, it happens in six months time.
[00:23:25] But like, I remember being a uni student and, going to like a UC market day. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in one and walking down and seeing like, Kids selling their startup clothes for a bit. I just thought it was the coolest thing. I was like, I’d love to want to do that.
[00:23:39]Germaine: [00:23:39] Yeah, no, I, um, we had a stall at one of those and we met our own, product.
[00:23:44] It was sort of a laptop. Um, it recorded it, we called it a lap desk and it was this thing basically where you can keep your laptop and it came with an inbuilt mouse pad and he could, um, um, sort of, uh, there’s a little, uh, catchment area for like a [00:24:00] tablet. So you could have a tablet on there and your phone on your side.
[00:24:03] So basically the idea was that you can sort of use, like, if it’s a fully fledged desk, On your lap. Um, so that like if you’re watching TV or something, you can use a laptop without just having to,
[00:24:14]Tom: [00:24:14] and that was at UC market, you said?
[00:24:16]Germaine: [00:24:16] Yeah. Yeah, that was, Oh, when was that? 2014, maybe. Yeah. Um, it’s a whole lot of fun, like you said, and, you know, being able to see the excitement and people just coming up with their ideas and all that.
[00:24:27] That’s really awesome. Now, where can people find out more about you?
[00:24:30] Tom: [00:24:30] Yeah, so the ma the main platform is Instagram. So, Primetime.Pickups, on Instagram.
[00:24:36] Germaine: [00:24:36] awesome. We’ll link that in the, in the description. Um, and then obviously the, the website as well, which is primetime pickups.com.au
[00:24:44] Tom: [00:24:44] Yep.
[00:24:46] Germaine: [00:24:46] Awesome. Um, you ready for this? The last, last section? Awesome. Uh, top three books or podcasts that you recommend.
[00:24:54] Tom: [00:24:54] I love reading autobiographies. So Nick revolt is a good one. Dying Swan. That’s a good [00:25:00] one. It’s probably not the most informative one, but it’s bloody fun read and Pele. I was on that already as a kid that I’d got really inspired by when I used to play soccer.
[00:25:07] Soccer.
[00:25:09] Yeah. Awesome. Big sports fan, obviously through and through, um, top three software tools that you can’t live
[00:25:16] without. I’m not the best at it, but you have to have it
[00:25:22] Germaine: [00:25:22] just, it
[00:25:23] Tom: [00:25:23] just, it, all the graphics really, I touch up photos with lightroom, which is probably the second one. but Photoshop, Lightroom, and premiere pro the videos, but that’s sort of, I really started making videos for the, for the business just yet, but I use.
[00:25:41] Awesome.
[00:25:42] Germaine: [00:25:42] Fantastic. Um, top three mantras, you try and live by anything that you sort of, you know, tell yourself
[00:25:48] Tom: [00:25:48] or repeat to yourself. They have too many managers. Um, when I started uni, I put up this poster of Michael Jordan on the wall, which has been up for about three, four or five years. Yeah. Four [00:26:00] or five years now.
[00:26:00] Um, and it has a little quote underneath. It says no board, no bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings , which I. I just think he’s a cool,quote.
[00:26:10] Germaine: [00:26:10] Yeah, that’s awesome. I’ve never heard it before, but, um, that’s that’s yeah, really cool. I guess, telling you to showing you that you can be humble, but at the same time, just reach for whatever it is and just climb up.
[00:26:23] Yeah, love it. Um, top three people you follow or study
[00:26:28] Tom: [00:26:28] in terms of, in terms of the vintage side of my life individually. Cause I think, um, Jackson from vintage kit, um, I don’t know if you’ve ever checked him out on Instagram, but he’s sort of like,
[00:26:39] Germaine: [00:26:39] he’s like the
[00:26:40] Tom: [00:26:40] godfather of selling clothes on Instagram.
[00:26:42]Mark from wacky vintages and all the one. And Dan from Dan straight vintage, all three of those guys. Not for the dogs, just softball. I would reach out to and ask one questions and we pass them too much. but they were very open and honest how they ran their businesses and, gave me some, some great advice [00:27:00] coming up.
[00:27:00] So I definitely recommend checking those people out. And if you like my vintage stuff and did not go no doubt, then you do love their stuff. They’re selling to.
[00:27:07]Germaine: [00:27:07] Yeah, that’s really cool. It’s, what’s been really, um, awesome going like to this whole sort of conversation is that you’re really passionate about.
[00:27:15] And I think, it just goes to show that we’ve a really passionate about it. You’ll find ways to make it happen. You’ll talk to people you reach out. and you know, you just got to sort of stay,
[00:27:24] Tom: [00:27:24] stay a hundred percent of that collaboration as well. It’s again, going back to authenticity, these blokes are.
[00:27:32] So open about discussing their business plans and their strategic plans with someone who’s potentially going to be a competitor, I guess, um, like more than, more than happy to, to share that with me, which I was incredibly humbled by. Um, and so whenever someone reaches out to me and said, Hey, I’m out, like, how do you go about shipping?
[00:27:53] How do you go about sourcing deal? I’ve been once about it because folks that helped me out did the same.
[00:27:59][00:28:00] Germaine: [00:27:59] Yeah. Yeah. Love it. Well, um, all the best moving forward, I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the next drop and, uh, would love to meet in person sometime. Awesome. Thanks for your time.

The journey to becoming a full-time tech YouTuber

In this week’s episode, we had the pleasure of talking with Canberra-based YouTuber, hardware reviewer, and all-around tech guru, Jarrod Farncomb. Jarrod started his YouTube journey just over five years ago as a creative side hobby and now has amassed 230k subscribers across all of his accounts. In 2019, he decided to quit his job in IT in order to pursue content creation full-time and hasn’t looked back since. As you can imagine, Jarrod’s has a lot of great insights into the best tactics for getting your YouTube career started, picking your content type, as well as how to sustainably grow your audience. Our guest also lifts back the curtain on how YouTubers monetise their content in 2020 as ad revenue becomes less lucrative for content creators. The show then concludes with Jarrod discussing his humble beginnings and how he has evolved as a YouTuber over the past five years.

What we talk about
  • Jarrod’s journey to becoming a fulltime YouTuber
  • How to monetise your content
  • Tips for starting out on YouTube and how to grow your audience
Links from this episode

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

[00:00:00] Germaine: [00:00:00] Hello, future tribe on this week’s episode, I am joined by Jarrod Farncomb. A YouTuber, or, how would you describe yourself? Jarrod?
[00:00:09] Jarrod: [00:00:09] Yeah, I guess tech YouTuber is what everyone tends to.
[00:00:13] Refer to me as,
[00:00:14] Germaine: [00:00:14] yeah. Well, and truly tech YouTuber, you released your first video about five years ago. And now you’re up to what, 214,000 subscribers, on your channel. So that’s, that’s pretty solid. And you’ve got a second channel as well that you started recently. Is that right?
[00:00:29] Jarrod: [00:00:29] Yeah. Yeah. That’s right.
[00:00:30] Been going for five years and, yeah, I just started a second channel couple of months ago, just to kind of experiment with some new kinds of content.
[00:00:39] Germaine: [00:00:39] And what’s the second channel
[00:00:41] Jarrod: [00:00:41] called it’s just Jarrod’s laptops. So similar to the main channel, which is Jarrod’s Tech.
[00:00:46] Germaine: [00:00:46] yeah,
[00:00:50] but it’s, but it’s pretty cool. You’re sort of creating this, , actually hold on. You, you were aware of Linus tech tips, right?
[00:00:56] Jarrod: [00:00:56] Yeah, of course.
[00:00:57] Germaine: [00:00:57] Is it inspired by you know, first name [00:01:00] and then last name has sort of the category sort of approach or was it just something that you came up with independent of that.
[00:01:07] Jarrod: [00:01:07] Yeah. So, I mean, I definitely did spend a while thinking about how I wanted to do it, whether I just wanted to go like random catchy name or actually put part of my name behind it. And yeah, I did see some other channels like that and I thought, you know, that sounds pretty good. I’ll put my name in it and stand behind the thing rather than just be some random.
[00:01:26] Name? That means whatever. Like, that’s just, that’s just what I chose. Could’ve gone either way
[00:01:31] Germaine: [00:01:31] though
[00:01:32] Yeah, I mean, but it’s, I think, you know, over the last few years, it’s it’s, um, Probably being a pretty wise decision. I know you didn’t put a lot thought behind it, but I think the way things are transpiring now, um, there’s a lot of, um, a lot of, I guess, power behind sort of being an independent YouTube or an independent personality, especially when, you know, People can just get paid to do stuff.
[00:01:56] So I think having your name there, yes. It’s only your first name, [00:02:00] but, um, that adds a bit of, um, credibility to you that you’re sort of putting your name out there and saying, you know, when I, when I give you my thoughts, um, it is, it is me. It’s not just this faceless entity that can take money from, you know, questionable sources to say certain things.
[00:02:17] Jarrod: [00:02:17] Yeah, exactly. Sorry. Essentially it becomes the brand, I suppose.
[00:02:21] Germaine: [00:02:21] Yeah, yeah. As an individual as well. Now, when did you start? So you started YouTube five years ago. was that like a full time thing or are you experimenting back then?
[00:02:31]Jarrod: [00:02:31] Uh, yes. So basically the way it started is kind of interesting, I was just lying in bed one night and I couldn’t sleep.
[00:02:37] And it was like three in the morning and I’d been there for hours and I was just thinking like, wouldn’t it be fun to like create some videos or something? Cause I’ve been watching a lot of other channels out there. And I thought, you know, I could do that. That’s that doesn’t seem that hard. I mean, it was a bit harder than I thought at the time, but story.
[00:02:55] Yeah. So I pretty much got out of bed that night and just. Made the channel. [00:03:00] And I think I made the first video a few days after that. It was just like a basic tutorial for how to do something in Linux which, you know, the channel isn’t really about. But yeah, that’s, that’s how it got started just five years ago.
[00:03:13] Couldn’t sleep, which lead to the point where I just had to get up and do something and, uh, yeah. I thought at that time though, it was just, uh, I tried to do one video a week for the first, probably first two or three years. It was maybe one a week. There were a few breaks in there in between where I just wouldn’t do anything for a few months, but yeah, it’s definitely part time, at least in the beginning.
[00:03:33]moved into full time. it was March, 2019, I believe. So I’ve been a bit over, year now
[00:03:41] Germaine: [00:03:41] Right. Wow. So how old were you when you, so five years ago? How old are you.
[00:03:46] Jarrod: [00:03:46] Uh, yeah, it would have, yeah, it would have been 25 back then. Cause I’m 30 today.
[00:03:50] Germaine: [00:03:50] 30 today. Okay. And so you started that, were you working in a similar field, like in a techie field at the time or?
[00:03:59] Jarrod: [00:03:59] Yeah. [00:04:00] So I’ve always worked in tech to some degree. So five years ago, I think when, where I was working, then I think I was still working in, uh, as a CIS admin. So systems administrator, so like managing servers and computers and that type of thing. And then shortly after that, I started to move to, penetration testing.
[00:04:19] So like essentially hacking websites and you know, that type of stuff, which was pretty fun. But yeah, just doing the videos on the sides I found, I just found more interest in that over time.
[00:04:31] Germaine: [00:04:31] Yeah. So you’re, you’re a Canberra boy or what, where are you? Where are you? I mean, you’re in Canberra now, right?
[00:04:38] Jarrod: [00:04:38] Yeah, sir. I’m originally from Darwin, but I’ve, I’ve lived here since 2003, I think just after the Bush fires. So that’s how long I’ve been here.
[00:04:48] Germaine: [00:04:48] So basically a Canberra , boy.
[00:04:50] Jarrod: [00:04:50] Yeah.
[00:04:52] Germaine: [00:04:52] Awesome. And then going through school, did you study. Sort of take IT. Or was that, was that just something that you fell into your [00:05:00] post-school
[00:05:01] Jarrod: [00:05:01] Yeah so I tried to do pretty much.
[00:05:04] As many IT classes as I could. So I pick much whatever I could just max out that limit and everything else, just nowhere near as interested in. So yeah. And we tried to do a focus on that, even though a lot of the classes back then, what particularly not interesting, or, you know, like some of them were just really boring things like, you know, learn Microsoft Excel and word processing and that type of thing.
[00:05:29] But I found that more interesting than like English and you know, that type of stuff.
[00:05:34] Germaine: [00:05:34] Yeah. Yeah. I still remember. We used to work on Excel and, you know, we had to come up with, a way of like generating drawers. Using Excel and it was cool, but you know, it’s, it’s, it’s quite different now use Excel day in, day out, but nowhere near to that capacity, because there’s just dedicated software to do that and dedicated ways to do that.
[00:05:54] So I think, I mean, naturally it shifts a lot, but I think in the last sort of. 10 [00:06:00] 15 years it’s shifted even more than more than we would have expected, especially with sort of the rise of rise of SAS. And then, um, more, more sort of, uh, tech, tech adjacent stuff, or it adjacent stuff like you do on YouTube.
[00:06:13] Now you were talking about doing sort of penetration testing. Um, I’m sure at the time you were sort of seeing the, of the importance of cyber security and, that would have been, you know, a lot of. A lot of potential there for you, whether it’s, you know, not, not that everything’s about money, but there would have been potential to make a solid amount of money.
[00:06:33] If you were able to actually at a relatively young age to build out more expertise and then move out and start consulting. Did that ever sort of come up or did you do that for a little while while running the YouTube channel?
[00:06:47] Jarrod: [00:06:47] Yeah. So I definitely considered that. So there is for sure, a lot of money in the security field, as you say, it’s definitely expanding, the place where I worked.
[00:06:57] It was rapidly growing, still growing at the [00:07:00] moment from what I’ve heard from some old colleagues. So yeah, definitely a lot of money to be made there, but I guess what happened for me was a. Eventually the income I was making on the side from YouTube kinda, you know, it became on par with what I was earning there.
[00:07:17] And. I wasn’t, I didn’t really have a good work life balance at that time. So, you know, it’d be staying up till like two, three, 4:00 AM and waking up, going to work, get home pretty much work on videos, you know, it wasn’t really sustainable. So once the kind of, I was kind of getting the same amount of money from both sides.
[00:07:36]well, it was my partner. She talked me into, she basically said, you know, you shouldn’t, you should leave your job and just do the one that you, you really want her. And yeah, I really wanted to do the videos. It was just, personally more interesting. I mean, I really do like, security is interesting, but. Yeah, the bit just making the videos.
[00:07:53] I think that was the part that would be fuller. And you know, I’ve been doing it for a year, no regrets at all. It’s been great. So
[00:07:58] Germaine: [00:07:58] yeah. Can [00:08:00] we touch on that income side of things now? I know you, I’m not sure if YouTube doesn’t like, uh, YouTube is sharing the sort of. Numbers or whether YouTube is just, don’t like sharing their own numbers and I’m not going to necessarily ask you to, you know, roll that your tax return, but give us an idea of like, I mean, how would you make money YouTube for the people who don’t really, I don’t really get that.
[00:08:23] I know there are different facets, but how, how did you sort of start to monetize that, that field?
[00:08:29] Jarrod: [00:08:29] Hopefully I can explain it because I still have difficulty explaining it to my parents. I think they don’t really understand what I do, but, uh, yeah, it’s probably, um, about half of the income comes from YouTube ads.
[00:08:45] So basically. Someone watches your video and they’re served an ad and you make money based on that up. So with the tech audience, I think the amount of money that you generally make is lower compared to other fields, because a lot of people are [00:09:00] tech savvy and they use tools like ad block. So that kind of does hurt a bit compared to, you know, if I was doing something a bit more mainstream, But, uh, yeah, so it’s mostly based on, uh, ad views.
[00:09:10] There is a little bit with a YouTube premium because YouTube, uh, they sell, you know, like a service where you pay monthly and you don’t get ads. So I think people that do that. the creators that they watch end up getting a bigger cut compared to what you would get by ads. So that’s, that’s a part of it as well, but outside of YouTube, the other 50% is probably just Amazon affiliate programs.
[00:09:34] So basically if I’m looking at a product and you know, I want to show people where they can buy that or see further reviews for instance. And I link to that on Amazon. If someone buys up there. Then you get a small, um, a cut out of that. It’s only, it depends on the category, but it’s usually like a couple of percent or something.
[00:09:52] So yeah, it really varies based on what the item is. And yeah, if you find
[00:09:57] Germaine: [00:09:57] that, that adds up, obviously as, as [00:10:00] more people buy, obviously they’re just. Keep stacking. And I guess it’s just like Youtube watching YouTube and the money off YouTube ads. It, the beauty there is that you can scale it up and it won’t necessarily take up more of your time to scale that up.
[00:10:12]because, once he started getting more views, like it doesn’t cost you time for, you know, 200,000 views versus a million views. And I guess that’s where you’ve gotta put in the work at the front end. And then off the back end, you can start to sort of, as your catalog builds up, you can start to generate.
[00:10:27] More and more views, and hopefully more and more income.
[00:10:31] Jarrod: [00:10:31] Yeah, exactly. So a lot of the stuff I’ll like a lot of the videos I create, a lot of them are, I guess, slow burners in a sense. So you put one up initially the views might not do too great, but you know, over two years that really does add up. And if you’re putting out multiple a week over the course of a few years, yeah, it does add up.
[00:10:51] Germaine: [00:10:51] Now I want to, I want to get down into the numbers a bit more. Um, and I don’t want to sort of your comfort levels. I’m happy with the sort of ranges, but, [00:11:00] now to say your you’re doing this full time, are we, are we talking, you know, either side of a hundred K a year sort of income levels, are we talking lower higher?
[00:11:12] Just to give an idea of, YouTube as a, as a full time thing? What’s the potential there?
[00:11:18] Jarrod: [00:11:18] Yeah, I’m definitely above a hundred as possible. That’s for sure.
[00:11:23] Germaine: [00:11:23] Yeah. Okay. and that’s just so, and so I guess you’re doing it by yourself at the moment. There’s no, no other team behind you.
[00:11:31] Jarrod: [00:11:31] Yeah. At the moment, but at what I’ve got so much stuff here that it’s, I’m kind of the main bottleneck in getting things out faster.
[00:11:39] So yeah. As a. As something that I would need to do in order to start growing at this point, I think might be to look into hiring, possibly some kind of assistant, something like that because yeah, my time becomes the main limitation. Once I get sent all these different products, I just currently do so much in a day.
[00:11:56] Germaine: [00:11:56] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, to scale up that you then need to be more than just [00:12:00] Jared sort of working on the videos. so is it, is it a bit of a matter of, I guess, saving up to take that gamble, to then sort of take that next step up, to hiring someone, do you think, or what’s, what’s sort of, what’s that tipping point for you?
[00:12:15] Jarrod: [00:12:15] Yeah, that’s a, that’s a tough one, so. I definitely, I think the tipping point has already been hit in terms of how much time I spend. I just haven’t really looked into how much it would cost on the, I suppose, financial side or. Where the work would be done for instance, because at the moment I just do all the work at my house.
[00:12:33] Like, am I going to have someone come over to my place? Or am I going to have to go and get office space? And, you know, what’s the cost associated with that? how far is it gonna have to be where like, we’ll have to do your daily travel. So there’s just all these different factors that I haven’t really looked too much into yet.
[00:12:48] Germaine: [00:12:48] Are you thinking about it as a, as a business long term? Or are you still sort of, not in a negative way, but sort of thinking of it as a, as a fun thing that you’re doing, that that earns an income as well? [00:13:00] Which what sort of mindset are you in at the moment?
[00:13:03] Jarrod: [00:13:03] Yeah, I think at the moment it’s more, you know, passion slash hobby that just happens to pay the bills.
[00:13:10] But at the same time, I, I do also like the idea of expanding yeah. And making it become more of a business. But at the same time, I think I would just have to be careful how that works because I’ve seen channels do that. And what happens is, you know, they offload the work to other people and then you just kind of feel that the, I guess, What the audience was originally, therefore changes over time and it becomes something else, you know, that might be good.
[00:13:37] Might be bad. So it just depends on how you go about it. I think.
[00:13:41] Germaine: [00:13:41] Yeah, and I think some channels do it better than others. I’ve I’m, I’m, I’ve got YouTube premium. I’m an avid YouTube watcher. Always, you know, I’m about two years ago invested into equipment that I told myself I’m going to, you know, then used to shoot YouTube videos.
[00:13:57] Never got around to it because my, um, [00:14:00] job of sort of running the business and, um, all that just takes up too much time. But looking at the different YouTubers out there. I mean, you know, say unbox therapy and then there’s Austin Evans, and then there’s Linus tech tips. Um, these are all and say MKBHD as well, sort of throwing them in there.
[00:14:15] I think I’ve sort of named the, the big four, out there. and I, definitely get that point of like, I think on box therapy, for example, sometimes it does a lot of videos that. I just, just, I mean, just in my opinion, it’s just a video for the sake of videos. similar to sort of Austin Evans, where I think, I mean, liners tech tips, they’ve, he’s obviously really scaled it up, started by himself and I think one other person and scaled it up.
[00:14:41] So, I guess you’ve got a few blueprints to follow or. Or at least to look at and then sort of mimic, is that something that you’re doing and I guess as a broader question as well, how much do you keep an eye on other YouTube channels and sort of what YouTube is doing when you’re deciding on videos?
[00:14:59] Jarrod: [00:14:59] Yeah. So I [00:15:00] definitely watch a lot of other YouTube channels possibly too much. Like I’m subscribed to a lot of channels. I watch a lot of videos. I comment a lot on them. And then people always like, Oh my God, you’re everywhere. So maybe I should.
[00:15:14] Germaine: [00:15:14] I noticed that everywhere every time, every time I’m, I mean, I’m a subscriber, and you watch your videos before I make buying decisions.
[00:15:22]and, but yeah, you’re on, you’re commenting on every, which is, I mean, it’s a smart marketing strategy as far as I’m concerned. I don’t, I don’t know if that’s necessarily the number one reason you do it for, but, you know, I think that’s a very smart approach. but sorry, I cut you off.
[00:15:36] Jarrod: [00:15:36] No worries.
[00:15:37] Honestly, I think it’s just. Fun to engage in the community. Like a lot of the posts are mostly just, you know, say something funny in the video and make a joke about it. That kind of thing. It’s just a bit of fun. Um, yeah. so with those other channels that I watch, I think Linus in particular has probably done.
[00:15:53] One of the better jobs in terms of, I suppose not really changing over time. I mean, that [00:16:00] channel does a video a day, so obviously too, right? Yeah. Sometimes. So obviously like, They have teams of people, you know, testing out all these things and writing the scripts and doing the editing and all that. I think it’s at the point where, you know, a line is probably just steps in front of the camera, you know, record says bit and then moves on to the next thing.
[00:16:19] So I dunno if I would want to turn into that level of, I guess, video creation machine. I’d still want to be doing a lot of the actual stuff myself, because I just find that part of it. Interesting. Although I do like all of it. So, you know, video editing, using the camera with that type of thing. So I think I would always have to be involved just in the different pots to some degree just because I like doing it.
[00:16:41] Germaine: [00:16:41] Yeah. I think you’re, you’re, it’s pretty evident to me that you’re doing it for the fun of it. and you know, it’s not that line of, for example, from Linus tech tips, isn’t doing it for the fun of it. But, I think he’s crossed across that threshold into like business owner and then doing it as part of a, a business.
[00:16:59] A purpose. I [00:17:00] mean, I imagine this schedule being basically like go, you know, featuring in this video, then go to this other set feature in that video, like they’ve got three to five sets, they’ve got three different YouTube channels. So, for those of you who aren’t YouTube as Linus tech tips is probably one of the bigger, I mean, I think they’ve had 10 million subscribers on their channel, from what I can tell 15 to 20 staff, at least, Mike.
[00:17:24] Proper. I think they’ve got probably two people working on just collaborations with other brands and how they, you know, sort of managing that. And they do, different festivals and things like that as well, or well conference or whatever you call it, the expert. now that’s obviously a cross, like they’ve, they’ve crossed so many boundaries.
[00:17:42] Like they have their own merge, things like that as well. How do you make decisions around sort of the YouTube channel going past just YouTube videos for yourself, like merchandise, doing sort of, I mean, at the moment you can’t do off screen, like in person events cause of [00:18:00] coronavirus, but have you thought about those things and sort of looked at those things as in the future, like sort of opportunities or how, how do you look at that?
[00:18:10] Jarrod: [00:18:10] Yeah. I think thinking about like what I could do to expand things in the future, like that, I guess more on the business type of side, you know, I guess most people just resort to much, and I have nothing against that. Like maybe I’ll do something like that in the future, but at the same time, I kind of liked the idea of, I suppose, a more tangible and useful product.
[00:18:31] I’m just not really sure what I would be able to do for that. I mean, I mostly review laptops. So you might think, Oh, maybe you should like team up with some company and sell some kind of laptop. That’s, you know, like got all the stuff you like and that you can actually stand behind and recommend. And, you know, I think that, well, it has its own positives and negatives things like, you know, it’s hard to, it would be hard to review other laptops and then.
[00:18:58] You know, come in and be like, Oh, [00:19:00] I’ve got this other thing that you can buy that’s better. So I think that’s going to be a fine line between that if I did go down that route, but, uh, yeah, otherwise just being, I’ve been trying to have a think about what I could do actually offer value rather than just, you know, say slap a logo on a shirt, that type of thing.
[00:19:21] I haven’t really come up with anything yet, but it’s definitely something that I am thinking about.
[00:19:25] Germaine: [00:19:25] Yeah. I mean, it’s yeah. Could turn into sort of the unbox therapy and later case sort of debacle in terms of picking what you’ve got to do next. You do next. I mean, I can’t believe that they are generic.
[00:19:38] I believe that that whole thing happened. So you’ve gotta be, be wise about it. Cause I think, YouTube specially, n be quite, yeah. Fecal sort of, space, the best of times. so no, totally understand that. Now let’s talk about, the videos that you put out. So you review laptops, is that, that that’s about all that you do at the moment?
[00:19:59] Is that [00:20:00] right?
[00:20:01] Jarrod: [00:20:01] The it’s the main thing that I focus on, it’s probably what started getting the traction five years ago. But I do other things as well. Like just more general tech stuff, like desktop PCs, graphics, card, CPU, comparisons, that type of thing. That’s mostly because those are things that I’m personally interested in.
[00:20:22] So when I watch other tech channels, I do watch up electron laptop channels. But, mostly I probably myself am more interested in the desktop side. So I try to do, I try to make some videos, you know, just based on that, because I’m interested in it and those videos don’t perform as well, typically as the laptop content.
[00:20:40] Cause I suppose that’s what the audience is there for. But you know, I think you’ve got to do your, like something for yourself rather than just only making the stuff that people are there for.
[00:20:50]Germaine: [00:20:50] Yeah. And then there’s probably an element of, I think laptop sales would greatly outstrip desktop sales, especially in the consumer market.
[00:20:57] Um, and that’s [00:21:00] not looking at any stats, so I might be completely wrong, but that would sort of be what I, what I expect the numbers to look like. So, I think it would make sense that more people would watch laptop videos as well. Talking about these people. your based in Canberra, most people don’t know where Canberra is.
[00:21:15] Don’t even know how to pronounce Canberra. and then as a, as a bigger picture we’re based in, your based in Australia, so say 20, 25 million people, where do you, where do you find most of your viewers coming from? Is it the U S is that no surprise there or.
[00:21:33] Jarrod: [00:21:33] Yeah so Australia makes up like three to 4% of my views.
[00:21:37] So it is actually on the lowest side. It’s it’s quite
[00:21:40] low. I wasn’t restricting that.
[00:21:42] Yeah. It’s always interesting because, a lot of companies don’t have a presence in Australia, so, you know, I might have to reach out to like a team in the U S or somewhere else. And they’ll just say, Oh, sorry, you’re not in our region, so we can’t help you.
[00:21:55] And they just leave it at that. And it’s like, or they just think, you know, you’re [00:22:00] in Australia. So you’re in the Australian viewers and it’s like, well, that’s not the case. It’s a global audience. The US is definitely number one.
[00:22:08] Germaine: [00:22:08] What sort of, if you don’t mind me asking what sort of view and numbers do you get across all your videos in a, in a given month?
[00:22:15]Jarrod: [00:22:15] So for the last couple of months, I think I was doing 4 million per month, but it has gone down a little bit. I think there was a, uh, rise with a lot of channels over the last few months, as a lot of people have been stuck at home. So I think a little more people being, be watching YouTube, but I think some countries might be returning to normal.
[00:22:35] Not really sure, but yeah, the views have started going down recently. But yeah, the last few months, um, that was definitely a bit of a Slack.
[00:22:44] Germaine: [00:22:44] It sort of spiked up with COVID becoming a more serious thing. Would you say, is that yeah.
[00:22:51] Jarrod: [00:22:51] Yeah. I think that’s, that’s fair to say because in previous years, um, I don’t think there’s been that much of a boost early on in the year.
[00:23:00] [00:22:59] Normally a lot of the viewership happens later in the year because that’s a lot of sales in the U S like there’s, I think black Friday in November and Christmas. And, you know, all that sort of stuff. And then in sort of January timeframe, there’s a lot less going on. So fewer people are actually looking to buy products.
[00:23:18] So, you know, reviews, less interesting, I suppose.
[00:23:21] Germaine: [00:23:21] Yeah. So what’s like, what, what were your December view views like, like closer to 3 million or, or not that not, you know, 75% of the formula. Like, are we talking a huge variance there?
[00:23:35] Jarrod: [00:23:35] I can’t recall off the top of my head, I want to say somewhere around maybe 2 million, like it was on its way up.
[00:23:42] Yeah. So it was going up. It was definitely trending up. And then normally early 2020, you know, it probably would have started going down a bit and then. A few months in the opposite happened. It started going up. I can’t complain too much about that.
[00:23:56] Germaine: [00:23:56] Yeah, definitely. I mean, YouTube, I think is one of those [00:24:00] spaces that have really done well, going through Corona virus, I’ve seen, like you said, the number of videos being pushed out, in some cases to the detriment of quality, but in a lot of cases, not, not the case.
[00:24:12]so YouTube sort of has survived now talking about YouTube. as, as a YouTube sort of publishing videos, how do you have any tips for people who either want to get started on YouTube or, create a presence on YouTube? What, what, what would you say? I mean, your early days, was it really just about putting out quality content and then just slowly building that up?
[00:24:36] Or were there big, things that you did that created positive trends or things that you did that created sort of negative trends?
[00:24:44]Jarrod: [00:24:44] Yeah. So I’ve never had any videos like go viral or anything like that. So it’s just been constant steady growth. And I think the key to that over the longterm is really just to stick with it and be consistent.
[00:24:57] And with YouTube in particular, I think [00:25:00] they really prefer you to sorta niche down. So like find an area that you know, a lot about and make videos on that. So for example, if I just only went into laptops, I could probably make the channel do battle. But as I mentioned before, you know, I like doing all these different types of things, but yet if you just focus on one area, I think YouTube will know, they’ll know you as the person for that particular sort of content.
[00:25:27] So when someone’s searching that they’ll be more likely to surface your videos to them. And it will understand that the audience is after that type of thing. And then it’ll find other people who are also interested in that type of thing. Then my watch similar channels, and then start promoting the videos out to them.
[00:25:41] So I think. Getting started to begin with. I’d recommend just being consistent, picking something you’re interested in and that other people are interested in. So you definitely be what you want to make stuff that people will get value from. And, yeah, those are probably the main things.
[00:25:58] Germaine: [00:25:58] How did you find your [00:26:00] videos style?
[00:26:00] Because I would say that you do have a very distinct approach to, to your videos, at least, most of the ones that I’ve seen, have you like to do sort of a voiceover nice shots stats on the screen, things like that. how did you find that? Oh, was it a lot of research or was it sort of. Pumping out content and again, sort of, just, you know, doing more, ended up with more, more good work for lack of a better word.
[00:26:26] Jarrod: [00:26:26] Yeah, so I think in the early days back when I started. I wasn’t as keen, being on camera. I mean, that’s changed now. You get used to it, but at the same time, that’s, I guess what I’ve become used to doing. So a lot of my videos will be just voiceover and then I’ll film some nice shots to put over the top of that.
[00:26:45] And my view of it personally is that, you know, if I want to find information on a product, I want to, I want to look at that product and I want to see things about it. So why should 90% of the video be my face telling you about it? When I can just show you what I’m talking about.
[00:26:59] Germaine: [00:26:59] Hmm. [00:27:00] I, I wholeheartedly agree.
[00:27:02] I think I’ve found myself more and more about two or three months ago, I bought a new laptop. And what I was looking for was were videos that showed me the product from every angle that the angles that you can’t witness. In, like press photos, cause most press photos, stick to, you know, fairly standard, just like two or three angles.
[00:27:22]and, and I think that’s another reason why a lot of the viewers like what you do and you also get down into the nitty gritty, which I guess it’s a double edged sword, right? Cause one, you’re not, you can’t necessarily get into the nitty gritty and then maintain sort of those surface level, , moms and dads, so to speak who watch videos.
[00:27:40], but then he can’t stay surface level. Cause I mean, I think a lot of people are surfaced. They want, then there’s no necessary. There’s not a lot of value that you can provide. So was it quite intentional that you were going to go in and sort of. Really make the videos that you want. , you want to see.
[00:27:57] Jarrod: [00:27:57] Yeah. So exactly you hit the nail on the head that [00:28:00] perfectly. So that is somewhere something that I’ve wanted to focus the channel on is just trying to provide as much detailed information as I can, as if I was about to go and spend thousands of my own dollars on this damn thing. What would I want to know about what do I care about?
[00:28:14] So to do that, a lot of the video does sort of, I suppose, come off as more of an information dump. So there’s just a lot of details and a lot of data from different testing, which takes days to complete. So some people do find that interesting, but yeah, there are definitely others that, you know, that aren’t.
[00:28:31] Either don’t care or they just, they don’t understand without learning a lot more, additional information that they don’t have time to figure out, or they’re just, you know, they don’t, they’re not interested in that. So that’s why I started the second channel is the main idea behind that was to be more, I suppose, just not as in depth, more sort of quick and to the point, I guess, So there are a lot of those other big channels you mentioned before.
[00:28:58] I think a lot of that [00:29:00] type of content misses out the details that I aim to provide. So that’s what the second channel is attempting to sort of fill. So I do all the detailed testing on the main channel, and then once I know everything there is to know about it, in theory, I can go and make the second video on the other channel and just kind of do more of a summarized look at it.
[00:29:21] Germaine: [00:29:21] Yeah. Yeah. And so that second channel what’s been growth and traction, like, and your experience, like when it comes to the second channel, has, I would assume it’s been much quicker.
[00:29:31] Jarrod: [00:29:31] Yes, so I put a few videos up before I actually like publicly announced it just to kind of see what would happen. So from the start I could have just been like, Hey, new channel, come in and check it out.
[00:29:44] And you know, maybe that would have been. not cheating, I guess, would have just been taking advantage what I’ve already built up. But I was curious to see what would happen, you know, if I was. Kind of approaching this as if I was starting from scratch. And a lot of people did see the channel name and it had my [00:30:00] name in it combined with laptops.
[00:30:01] So they kind of figured out pretty quickly that it was me. And I guess they hear my voice and maybe that’s pretty unique.
[00:30:07] Germaine: [00:30:07] I was one of those people. Okay. It just popped up in the recommendations. I was like, It did it, did he, I actually thought you changed your channel name originally. So I clicked and I was like, I mean, fair enough.
[00:30:18] Cause I’d watch a lot of laptop videos. I was like, okay, he’s just nailing down a bit more. , but, but yeah, as it turns out, you, you were just creating a second channel. Cause I think when short circuit was created by Linus media group, , I think I might be wrong, but they were one of the quickest channels to get to, I think it was like 5 million subs without a single video, something crazy like that.
[00:30:38] Or maybe a million.
[00:30:41] Jarrod: [00:30:41] They went up real fast. I can’t remember. Cause a few people have done new channels lately. I remember one of them said something like, you know, we’re not posting a video until we hit X amount of subscribers. So it kind of encourages the existing viewer base to move over. But I, yeah, I wanted to see what would happen before that.
[00:30:55] So I did eventually do that and. You know, obviously [00:31:00] things had a big uptick since then, but yeah, initially those first few videos that I did, they did pretty well because I think as mentioned before, , YouTube is pretty good at recommending content. Once it knows, like what sort of videos you’re doing.
[00:31:14] So once I’d done two or three laptop videos, you know, it’s probably like, Hey, this is a laptop channel. We’re gonna go suggest these videos to other people that have seen other laptop videos. So a lot of the videos on that channel will actually coming from. , Recommendations and suggested, whereas the older main channel gets most of the views from such.
[00:31:34] So people just like typing into Google or in YouTube, you know, product XYZ, Revere. So it was kind of a different source of those views, which I found quite interesting. So that was a little fun experiment.
[00:31:46] Germaine: [00:31:46] Yeah. What does a Jarrod’s laptops sit at the second channel? How many subscribers on there now?
[00:31:52] Jarrod: [00:31:52] I think it’s 14,000.
[00:31:54] I’m not sure about the views. It’s a bit up and down because. A lot of [00:32:00] people came in within like the last few weeks, once I publicly announced it.
[00:32:05] Germaine: [00:32:05] Yeah. Have you sort of, is it fair to say that I’m guessing that if, if a lot of the views to that channel come from recommended and things like that, that, the subscribers to views ratio is a bit more disproportionate, is that sort of, I mean, you haven’t looked at the numbers, I would assume, but is that fair to say, do you know?
[00:32:27] Jarrod: [00:32:27] So I haven’t really compared them, but I’m more inclined to think that people are more likely to, I guess subscribe will stick around once they, from what, when they come in from a recommendation or a featured video or something like that.
[00:32:41] I think with such a lot of people are just, they want it or something. And then looking for an answer to that question. So they watch the content and they get what they want and, you know, they might just, they might just leave. But I think once something’s suggested and you know, if it’s more than just, you know, [00:33:00] products, whatever review and it’s like, the approach is different rather than titling it, like a review, you make it more.
[00:33:08] I guess interesting and enticing, I guess I’m more like a, like a, a story, I suppose you want them to watch the video and, you know, rather than just saying all this information and daughter and stuff. You know, I guess I’m taking them on a journey, so to speak with the experience, if that makes sense.
[00:33:31] Germaine: [00:33:31] Yeah.
[00:33:31] Yeah. So sort of like, you know, like this, you know, Dell’s new laptop gets away too hot or, HBS laptop is probably the best in enlighten. You sort of click into it and you sort of go go into it, not just for the information dump, but more for what’s Jarrett Jarrett’s experience. Been with that
[00:33:47] Jarrod: [00:33:47] device.
[00:33:48] That’s. Yeah, exactly. And I think going that way, I’m assuming more people would probably be more likely to, you know, think, Hey, this is interesting. I want to, I want to hear more about this and subscribe compared to [00:34:00] just, you know, searching for product. Okay. I found out what I want, you know, moving on.
[00:34:06] Germaine: [00:34:06] Yeah, so, and I guess what you’re doing here is also then diversifying, your channels through which you get, well, no pun intended, but diversifying your channels by creating more channels.
[00:34:17] It’s great anymore. YouTube channels. I couldn’t help the dad joke, but, does YouTube then show you on the backend? Where your views are coming from, either in terms of numbers or specific pages, like you talked about recommended you talk about Google search, YouTube search, does it break it down for you?
[00:34:33] Jarrod: [00:34:33] Yeah. It gives you a percentage of like four or five different categories and, you know, one of them such ones recommended, cover and what the others are, but those are the main ones. And, yeah, I noticed they were basically inverted between the two channels. So it does seem that the two different approaches result in that being a bit different.
[00:34:51] Germaine: [00:34:51] Yeah. That’s, that’s amazing. I mean, YouTube is heavily algorithm driven. yeah. You just look at the pure stats of how many of YouTube videos are published and how many [00:35:00] minutes or minutes of videos published and you sort of go, it has to be, you know, AI algorithm powered because there’s just so many videos being pushed out there.
[00:35:10] Let’s rewind a little bit and go back to, Early days. When do you remember when you made your first dollar off YouTube? Was that
[00:35:17] Jarrod: [00:35:17] a, I really remember the first money from a YouTube. I remember it was probably something like I made, you know, like 20 bucks or something like that. That was probably deposited into my account.
[00:35:28] But I remember the first Amazon check I got, because with Amazon, they have a threshold that you have to hit before you actually get paid. I don’t think that’s the case with YouTube. So if you know, you have like five bucks, they’ll just deposit it. But I w so with Amazon, it’s a hundred us dollars to get the check and the way U S check works, they have to physically mail it over to Australia.
[00:35:49] Then I have to take it to the bank and it costs me a $25 fee, which I didn’t realize at the time. So I lost basically a quarter, [00:36:00] but then there’s the, the crazy bit is they have to physically mail it back to the U S. Which is just ridiculous. So the whole process takes like 30 or 40 days.
[00:36:09] Germaine: [00:36:09] Wow. Wow. And I assume, yeah, that just cause, cause you have to wait to be paid out off Amazon affiliate as well.
[00:36:17] So you’re looking at really, quite a, like, I mean, if you were to do bad, let’s say this month, you won’t feel those effects for, for a few weeks, at least.
[00:36:27] Jarrod: [00:36:27] Yeah. It’s definitely staggered. But what I’ve done to kind of, I guess, counter that. We had payment system is a, you can set what the threshold is. So I can just put the threshold as something high enough such that I only get the check every three months or so, because I only get the money every three months or so it’s less of a, a big deal if one month, you know, it does worse than the others.
[00:36:49] Germaine: [00:36:49] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you’ve nicely, Sort of gone into what I want to talk about, which was the, the, I guess fragility around number of views or, [00:37:00] or I guess the potential for there to be it, for it to be quite fragile because, if you don’t, you know, Both your sources of income, very, driven on say views and number of purchases made off affiliate links.
[00:37:13]how have you counted that? Have you found it to be fairly stable? over the, over the last few years, what are your experiences on that?
[00:37:23] Jarrod: [00:37:23] Yeah, so that’s one of the main reasons why it took me, I guess, longer than it should have before I started working on the channel full time, because it was a bit of an unknown.
[00:37:32] Like, you know, you always say about people complaining like, Oh, the YouTube algorithm it’s destroyed our business and stuff like that. But what I’ve found is in my own experience, if. Things start going bad. Usually it’s your fault. Like you need to look at what you’re doing. Maybe the content just sucks.
[00:37:50] Like, you know, you might be inclined to think everything I’m doing is great because I’ve put so much time into it, but you need to think about it from the viewers perspective [00:38:00] and what they’re watching. Like at the moment, you know, as I mentioned before, I’ve noticed things going down as I suppose, current issues of eased in some areas.
[00:38:09] And, you know, I say my stats go down. I don’t think, Oh no, it’s my fault. I’m doing terrible. You know, I think, okay, what’s going on in the world? Why is this likely to be happening? How much do I expect it to go down is going to return to where it was before. That’s probably the case. So you don’t really need to panic, just keep on going.
[00:38:27] Germaine: [00:38:27] Yeah, yeah. Sort of just allow for that seasonality. I mean, business, in that sense, you’ve got to think of, think of it like a business or a business person. Right and not be so sort of, I know some people who they have a good month and then they spend a lot more money that month and then they have a bad month and they’ve spent money like they spent the previous month.
[00:38:45] And I guess you’ve just gotta be a bit more careful around, around that as well. but do you get those stats in terms of your income? You get that monthly or is it fairly easy to check in on how you’re doing?
[00:38:58]Jarrod: [00:38:58] Yeah. So the YouTube stats [00:39:00] update, like after they’re only like a day or two behind, so the feet, the feedback is pretty real time.
[00:39:05] It doesn’t really take long at all. I think Amazon is a couple days behind as well, so it’s not too bad.
[00:39:12] Germaine: [00:39:12] Yeah. Yeah. That’s that’s handy. Um, Oh, yeah, I got it. I’m talking about products now. How do you, how do you get products to review? I assume originally just, it’s just stuff that you bought that you reviewed.
[00:39:25] Jarrod: [00:39:25] Yes, that’s exactly how I started, basically, just if I had something in my house and it was tech related, I made a video on it and I took the approach of understanding that everything that I made, you know, for the first year, or maybe even up to three years would just suck. And, you know, I’ve looked, I knew that I would look back at it later and just cringe at it and that’s the case.
[00:39:46] But I think it’s important to understand that the things you make early on, they might be, they’re probably just going to suck because the only way to actually get the experience and get that all is to, you know, get in there and do it. So I just took whatever I [00:40:00] had and just started making videos, uh, after a few months, I did my first laptop video, which was on my laptop that I was issued through my job.
[00:40:09] So it was a work laptop and cause I didn’t personally have an updated laptop. So I just, I used what I had, even though it was, you know, it wasn’t mine. I didn’t buy that. It was just my company’s, whatever I did that review and it did. Okay. And that laptop was purchased through a local company here in Australia.
[00:40:28] So I thought. Hey, I’ll reach out to them. See if they’re interested in sending me something else. And if so, I can do another video and that’d be cool. So I sent them an email and then like a week later they got back to me and said, Oh, Hey, we checked out your video. Yeah, it looks great. When it came to sun, you send you a laptop and basically just went from there.
[00:40:48]what happened was over time, you just build up the, I suppose, content library and. You know, you can reach out to other companies and you say basically the same thing you go [00:41:00] and you say, Hey, this is what I do. This is an example of my previous work. Would you be interested in sending me products so that I can make some videos on most of the times companies have been receptive to that and they reply and you know, they’re happy to help you and send out stuff.
[00:41:15]Some companies just don’t reply at all. So, you know, just move on. So it is, other companies just started reaching out to me, which happens more and more as you get bigger, which, you know, I kind of expected. Um, so yeah, I think at the start, it’s just been a case of, uh, do what you have, try and reach out to people.
[00:41:33]hope you get lucky. but really eventually will, if you just keep working on it and then as you get bigger, people will approach you.
[00:41:41] Germaine: [00:41:41] And like you said anyway, . Even if you don’t have the nicest of products, that’s personally yours, there’s nothing stopping you from borrowing your parents’ phones or laptops, or because it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter.
[00:41:53] Right. In this instance who owns it. I I’m fairly sure legally, they wouldn’t even have a right to not have a video [00:42:00] made about their laptop. Like it’s not like it’s a personal private thing. so there’s sort of nothing stopping you from doing that. And yeah. Let’s talk quickly about Gaea as, as an extension of that, because, I guess I’m trying to hit on some of the comments or some of the reasons why people can give as to why they can’t make a out on YouTube.
[00:42:19] Cause the next thing is, Oh, okay. So you’ve solved my problem about what I have to review. Now I need, you know, an RX 100 and I don’t have $1,500 and I need a nice mic and lights. How did you start on that front? And what do you use these days?
[00:42:37] Jarrod: [00:42:37] Yes, our I’m a firm believer of, you know, the gear doesn’t make the content, your skill level.
[00:42:44] So you could probably start just using like a fire. And I think a lot of those phones have pretty good cameras and pretty good microphones. I mean, farming’s a designed so that you can talk into them. So I think a lot of people already have really what they need. I mean, the quality might not be [00:43:00] super impressive, but I do know our, a laptop review channel in the US.
[00:43:06] And they do everything on their phone. When I found out I was just blown away. I mean, I think it’s an iPhone, so it’s still pretty good camera, but still the fact that when he revealed that it just kind of shocked me. I was like, Oh wow. Like I had no idea. It just looked so much better. His channel name is Bob of all trades.
[00:43:21] Germaine: [00:43:21] Yeah. Right. For some reason I thought, I thought it would be, he does awesome reviews of, like the electronics mag 15 stuff like that.
[00:43:29] Jarrod: [00:43:29] Yeah. Yeah. There’s another one that goes super into depth.
[00:43:32] Germaine: [00:43:32] Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, he’s another one who also makes videos, the videos that he wants to see on YouTube. and you know, I, I think you guys.
[00:43:42] Quite match quite closely. I mean, you, you reviewed the aftershock, vapor 15, which is what I ended up buying anyway, which is why I know so much about bubble bubble of all trades. I’m just fan going a little bit over here. So just ignore me there about laptops and YouTube, but yeah. Sorry. Let’s let’s [00:44:00] continue what you were saying about, I guess yeah.
[00:44:01] The gear not mattering so much as much as the content.
[00:44:05] Jarrod: [00:44:05] Yeah. So. I bought initially a DSLR camera and, you know, I could have gotten something a bit cheaper than that. I think it was like maybe a thousand dollars. I just started with the kit lens that came with it. Um, but my plan was, you know, I want to kind of invest in this because I want to, like, I plan on.
[00:44:27] Going into it for a few years and I did, so I guess that worked out, but yeah, definitely don’t need to stop that big or anything. I still do have that camera and I did use it for a couple of years before upgrading to something that did 4k. Yeah, they’re pretty reasonably priced options these days, even if you did want to get a camera as for all the rest of the gear, I think this usually surprises people to find out, but the lighting and microphone that I got five years ago is still what I use today.
[00:44:56] So I still use the same just blue Yeti microphone, which is [00:45:00] like 150 bucks or something. So again, it’s not super cheap or anything, but like that’s lasted five years and it’s generally considered, you know, entry to mid range level microphone, but that’s really all you need.
[00:45:13] Germaine: [00:45:13] Yeah. Yeah. And in terms of DSLR, did you start with a 680 or six 50 or something?
[00:45:18] Uh, what was
[00:45:18] the Canon? 70 D
[00:45:20] seven 70 day. Nice with like an 18 to 35 or
[00:45:23] Jarrod: [00:45:23] I can’t remember whatever the stock lens was eventually just
[00:45:27] Germaine: [00:45:27] a kit lens.
[00:45:28] Jarrod: [00:45:28] Yeah. Started with, I started with that and then the first ones I bought was the, , the Sigma 18 to 35. I think that’s what you just said, right?
[00:45:35] Germaine: [00:45:35] Yes. Yes. So you never, never bought a nifty 50, 50 mil shape.
[00:45:41] Jarrod: [00:45:41] Yeah, I did buy one of those cheaper 50 mill ones, but I only used it like a couple of times. I think it was only like $40 or something and it was an older model. It’s just, wasn’t great. Like the, when you put it in order to focus and have the microphone on, you can like physically hear it clicking away
[00:45:57] Germaine: [00:45:57] the focus hunting.
[00:45:58] Yeah. [00:46:00] Yeah. And then you move to a four K cameras. So what’s that like a Panasonic GH four or
[00:46:04] something?
[00:46:05] Jarrod: [00:46:05] Or I got the GH five. Oh, okay.
[00:46:08] Germaine: [00:46:08] Right. I mean, those are still fairly or four, which file. I’m not sure how much that sells for, but I think the judge for used to go for about 1500 from memory.
[00:46:18]Jarrod: [00:46:18] , I think the GH5 is around 2000 Australian dollars at the moment, but I think, you know, prices have gone up lately cause us Stoller, the changing with COVID and all that.
[00:46:28] So it might be a bit different, but I was able to reuse that original lens that I got. So I’m still using the same lens on the camera. So I’ve had that lens for like four years now. Yeah, I need to use it because unless I drop. It does no really. There’s no real reason to change
[00:46:43] Germaine: [00:46:43] any change over, I guess it’s an example of when you can just spend a little bit more, um, and get something that will last much longer and then just make wise decisions when it comes to what you need and what you don’t need.
[00:46:57] Jarrod: [00:46:57] Yeah. So I think if I was starting out [00:47:00] again, I’d probably pick something, I guess, a bit more mid range. Make sure I actually. Like using it, like making the content, because like you say, you don’t want to buy something and then not use it. So I think starting with what you have is a good option. And then once, once you get a feel for it and you know that you like it investing a bit more money into the tools.
[00:47:19]so, you know, you can up that production quality a bit, I think is a good move.
[00:47:23] Germaine: [00:47:23] Yeah. what are you, what are your plans sort of moving forward for the channel? We’ve, we’ve touched on things a little bit, but do you have any, any bigger plans over the next three to six months?
[00:47:34]Jarrod: [00:47:34] Not really. Just focusing on working on the things that I get sent.
[00:47:39] So at the moment I’ve got just a ridiculous queue of like laptops lined up. So just that’s just nonstop work. It’s a bit easier because of a there’s less events. So was traveling. I mean, It’s it’s unfortunate what’s happening, but at the same time it does, you know, I don’t have to go to like, uh, Computex [00:48:00] was supposed to be, I think, in June.
[00:48:02] So I would have been there for a week
[00:48:03] Germaine: [00:48:03] and that’s in Taiwan . Is that right?
[00:48:05] Jarrod: [00:48:05] Yeah. Taiwan. So you learned to fly, flying
[00:48:07] to combat? Yeah.
[00:48:08] Yeah. I would’ve gone then, um, this year I went last year for the first time and it was awesome, but yeah, that’s like a week that just you’re gone for pretty much. And that happens usually a couple of times a year.
[00:48:20] Germaine: [00:48:20] Yeah. Yeah. So you’ve been able to sort of say a bit of time there. When, when you fly, do you fly by yourself and create all the, all the content by yourself? Or do you usually try and take someone like your partner or someone else?
[00:48:31] Jarrod: [00:48:31] Yeah. I just go by myself because, well, honestly I think so I’ve discussed, I’ve discussed this with my partner before, like if we went together, I would just spend the whole time working, so we wouldn’t really get to do much together anyway.
[00:48:45] So might as well just make it a work trip.
[00:48:48]Germaine: [00:48:48] There’s sort of no point, they just feel sort of neglected and bored versus, what you’d be having a crazy amount of fun. And I guess you don’t want to it’s it’s work and you can geek out. And, I [00:49:00] definitely get that, you know, I, I get that when I go down to the shops and I want to look at.
[00:49:04] Sort of laptops, but no one else around me cares for it, but I just want to check out, you know, what’s, what’s the latest. So, but it’s, it’s also, it sounds like you’re just doing something that you really love and you really enjoy. and it just happens to be a way for you to also earn an income and pay the bills, which is, really cool.
[00:49:21] Did you ever think you’d be doing this like at the start?
[00:49:26] Jarrod: [00:49:26] Uh, definitely not.
[00:49:28] Germaine: [00:49:28] Yeah. Like
[00:49:29] Jarrod: [00:49:29] when I started, I just remember thinking, Oh, it’d be cool. If I could do like a video a week and some people watched it, then that’d be, that’d be nice. Come, it’s come a while away since then.
[00:49:40]Germaine: [00:49:40] I mean YouTube anyway is still like a new sort of career.
[00:49:45] Right. even, even five years ago, like that would have still been very much early days now. Now I think people it’s starting to get established and people buying Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s off of their YouTube money, but, , even five years ago, it was [00:50:00] much, much earlier days than that. So, , That’s awesome.
[00:50:02] It’s really cool that you’ve been able to do this, and you I’m surprised that you haven’t had a, sort of a, a single video go viral because, You’re doing like you’re subscribing numbers up pretty solid. I mean, you know, if, if the population of Canberra is 400,000, so you’ve got 200,000 subscribers, that’s a, that’s a pretty big number and that’s that’s yeah, pretty, pretty solid.
[00:50:24] Are you, are you surprised that there hasn’t been anything gone or any video has gone viral or is it just the nature of this type of content you put out, do you think?
[00:50:33] Jarrod: [00:50:33] Yeah, it doesn’t really surprise me. I think it’s like you saying the nature of the content, like a lot of it is designed to be. technical in depth information.
[00:50:41] And, you know, I don’t really see a wide appeal for that. Although that said, I did have my first video or pass a million views in the last month, which I didn’t see coming, I just looked at the videos and some of them from most of you to at least viewed. And I saw the one was like 990,000. I was like, Oh wow, it’s [00:51:00] actually going to hit
[00:51:00] the video.
[00:51:00] Was that about
[00:51:01] a, it was a graphics comparisons or just two laptops. 16, 60 TEI compared to 2060. So basically, one level of hardware versus the next level up.
[00:51:14] Germaine: [00:51:14] That’s a decision that I continue to struggle with. So I would have probably been half of those views.
[00:51:21] Jarrod: [00:51:21] I think that’s. Is also what initially, helped the channel grow when I got those first review units from the local Australian company, you know, as I said before, like three to 4% of the views are from Australia.
[00:51:35] So there’s not going to be that many people interested in a laptop that’s marketed in Australia. So what I did. without hardware that I had was I would use it for things that people would be interested in or comparisons in particular. I found it performed quite well. So just comparing like CPS graphics, in different games, that type of stuff.
[00:51:54] And, yeah, it seems that that holds true given that was the first video that ever hit a million views on the
[00:52:00] [00:51:59] Germaine: [00:51:59] channel. Yeah. And I must say you’ve been pretty smart about that as well. I mean, you are, I assume you’re talking about metal box. and um, they use chassies from a big manufacturer. I think you’ve been really smart about making sure that those videos can be discovered because there’s like companies like.
[00:52:17] Clever, et cetera, that use the same chassis or, well, it’s a clever chassis, I think, but there are the companies I use that chassis. So you’ve, I don’t know if it was intentional sort of adding those key words, speaking to inter videos that, so that people who are looking for this same laptop, essentially from other regions of the world, discover your videos.
[00:52:37] And I mean, the, the, the, the comparisons hold true anyway. was that a, quite an intentional thing?
[00:52:45] Jarrod: [00:52:45] Yeah, definitely. So a lot of companies around the world do resell the same thing, but then what happens is because different companies are selling them. They give them different names. So when people search for your product a, that they might not find it because [00:53:00] someone else might be listing that is product B.
[00:53:02] So yeah, I do try to find out what all the, the big companies around the world are calling it. And I try and. You’re say that this is what it is because it is technically the same thing in a lot of cases. So I think that’s the best way of, I guess getting more interested in it, more people finding it.
[00:53:20] Sorry. If I’m putting. The amount of time I am to it. If I’m putting the amount of time in to test this out, I want the most people to see it. And in order to do that, uh, I think it makes sense to kind of explain, Hey, this is the same laptop. It’s just going to a bit of a different name because it’s from a different part of the world, but, you know, It’s got everything you want.
[00:53:40] So this is the video that you want to watch.
[00:53:43] Germaine: [00:53:43] It’s a good way of sort of getting, you know, not in a way of bashing a product to death, but getting a diverse range of videos of, of a singular purchase or in this case, a singular device as well. Now the last one, before we get into the top 12, um, how long does it take for you to shoot edit?
[00:54:00] [00:54:00] Um, do you script videos? How long does that whole process take? Let’s say for a, for a laptop review.
[00:54:06] Jarrod: [00:54:06] It’s hard to say, because I am pretty much almost always doing multiple at once. So I think always I have two going at a time. I try to do three because I find with doing three at once. I can split the time up very well because there’s basically three main tasks that eat up all the time.
[00:54:26] So one of those would be like testing the battery life, you know, and I just have to leave it there for a day, essentially. Another one would be testing, uh, games. So I test games out and see how well they perform. So that takes about a day to complete. And then I also do ends up thermal testing that takes about half a day.
[00:54:43] So, you know, I’ll have all these different things running at the same time and just all these different products will be up to different stages in the test cycle. But I guess if I was just spending all my time on one thing, I could probably. Spend, you know, like maybe three or [00:55:00] four, 15 hour days, and I’d have a pretty good understanding of it.
[00:55:04] But yeah, like I say, in that time, a lot of that, a lot of that time would be wasted. Just, you know, if the battery is doing a battery test, you know, I can’t do anything sometimes we’ll work on something else. So I think it makes sense to kind of into leave a lot of different parts and get stuff going at different times, which does get a bit confusing when you’ve got so many things going on.
[00:55:22] So I just try to keep a bunch of. Detailed notes of where I’m at
[00:55:27] Germaine: [00:55:27] and then you, so you collect all that information and then you, and then next step is scripting after you, when you can sort of look at all the information you’ve collected. Cool.
[00:55:36] Jarrod: [00:55:36] That’s sort of what I. Initially do is so I’m boxing machine.
[00:55:41] And I try to do like 90% of the filming because as soon as I touch it, it’s just going to be covenant fingerprints and you want it to look nice. So I’ll do a bunch of the filming initially, and then I’ll do the testing and then there’s a lot of data entry involved. So I’ve got to put stuff into Excel.
[00:55:56]I do have a lot of like graphs and stuff, or do you [00:56:00] premade, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time. Just go put the data in. And see how it compares with others. And then yeah, I script the video and that’s, that’s pretty easy these days, because basically what I do is I’ve just got a template for the different videos that I make.
[00:56:17] Because again, I don’t think there’s any point in reinventing the wheel. Like, is there any point going into this laptop review and changing the structure every time? Cause I feel like that’s just more work. If I’ve got something that people can understand and I think flows well. I think it makes sense just to, you know, use that template and then just change the, e different parts, which are specific to the machine that I’m looking at.
[00:56:40] Germaine: [00:56:40] Yeah. Plus I guess people can then just, they just know where to expect, what sort of information, you know, whether the thermals a last or build qualities first, whatever it may be. So you’ve sort of optimize things down a little bit so that you’re not, you’re, you’re being intelligent with that, so that your, your use of time, et cetera, as sort of intelligent as [00:57:00] well.
[00:57:00] Um, awesome, good stuff. Um, where can people find out more about you.
[00:57:05] Jarrod: [00:57:05] Yeah, just don’t YouTube, such for Jarrod’s Tech or Jarrod’s laptops should come up there and hold on.
[00:57:11] Germaine: [00:57:11] Video is awesome. You ready for the top 12?
[00:57:14] Jarrod: [00:57:14] Uh, yeah.
[00:57:16] Germaine: [00:57:16] Thanks. Sorry. I sprung this on you last, last minute as always, but let’s see how you go.
[00:57:22] So, um, anyway, any books, top three books or podcasts that you recommend,
[00:57:28] Jarrod: [00:57:28] So, I don’t listen to many podcasts myself as mentioned. I watch a lot of YouTube videos. Although I feel like there’s a lot of overlap these days because, you know, you can just listen to the audio. You don’t necessarily need to watch the video.
[00:57:40]that said probably I watch a lot of, Gary V videos. So yeah, he does what, like interviews with like business people. And I guess he technically does have a podcast, but yeah, I find, I find that content pretty interesting. That’s just one though so. I guess [00:58:00] I listened to a lot of, tech ones as well.
[00:58:02] I guess most popular one that people would be familiar with is one is Linus tech tips as discussed early on, that, or the when show every week, which is basically just like music
[00:58:12] Germaine: [00:58:12] on a Saturday afternoon. Just Chuck that on.
[00:58:15] Jarrod: [00:58:15] Yeah. So I’ve, I’ve probably listened to every episode of that since like the last, how long would it be?
[00:58:22] It’s a while before I started the channels are probably been listening to that for six or seven years. Um, yeah, that’s probably probably the main
[00:58:29] Germaine: [00:58:29] ones. Yeah. Awesome. top three software tools that you can’t live without. What do you use day in, day
[00:58:34] Jarrod: [00:58:34] out? Does Spotify account. I need that music. Yeah.
[00:58:39] Germaine: [00:58:39] Yeah, of course.
[00:58:42] Spotify. Anything else?
[00:58:43] Jarrod: [00:58:43] Uh, it’s it’s funny. Cause I only really started using it like in the last few months I used to just, I used to just like either listen to music on YouTube or I’d have the files locally, but Oh man, Spotify just takes it to a new level. What’s suggested me so many new songs I never would have found.
[00:58:58] It’s great. It’s [00:59:00] awesome. I hate saying this, but I feel like I couldn’t live without Excel because it’s double edged sword, but yet, like it’s all my graph stone. Otherwise we’ll keep it simple and I’ll go with notepad. I just, that’s what I used to take all my notes. It’s a bit of a mess and I could probably find something better, but I’ll just dump everything in a text file.
[00:59:24] Germaine: [00:59:24] I mean, you just need Google Keep or Google docs and Google sheets. I don’t know if you’re a Google guy. We run on G suite over here and I am just, I mean, my Google keep is a mess, but, um, you, if you, if you ever think about, you know, swapping to the Google Google side of the world, um, that’s the way, yeah, I would say
[00:59:43] Jarrod: [00:59:43] I do actually use Google docs for all the scripting, but yeah, for notes, just notepad, but yeah, Google docs is awesome because when I travel.
[00:59:51] A lot of times, like if someone asks me a question, they’re like, Oh, what did you think about this particular thing on this video from like two years [01:00:00] ago, I can just look at the script and see exactly what I would’ve said. So it does save a lot of
[01:00:03] Germaine: [01:00:03] time. Yeah. That’s awesome. Um, are there any mantras you try and live by, or you just try and follow
[01:00:12] Jarrod: [01:00:12] a think?
[01:00:15] The one that comes to mind is probably no sacrifice, no victory.
[01:00:19]Germaine: [01:00:19] Love it that’s very, uh, like Viking Raiders of you.
[01:00:23] Jarrod: [01:00:23] I do listen to a lot of Viking metal.
[01:00:26] Germaine: [01:00:26] There you go. I didn’t know that that was a thing. Top three people you follow or study and why at Gary V?
[01:00:34] Jarrod: [01:00:34] Yeah. It’s definitely got some good advice.
[01:00:36] Um,
[01:00:37] Germaine: [01:00:37] line of Sebastian.
[01:00:39] Jarrod: [01:00:39] Oh, I don’t want to say like, cause
[01:00:41] Germaine: [01:00:41] I dunno,
[01:00:41] Jarrod: [01:00:41] like I do watch a lot of their content and they. Yeah. I don’t know. There’s a lot of, a lot of tech guys out there I could easily, I could easily pick. So I feel like that might be a bit, a bit of a cop out.
[01:00:54] Germaine: [01:00:54] And anyone else out of the tech, tech sphere then?
[01:00:58] Jarrod: [01:00:58] Yeah, we’ll go with, Peter [01:01:00] McKinnon. So I’ll watch a lot of like photography and videography stuff. Cause I’m always looking to improve, like how I make my videos and yeah, he makes a lot of videos and has a lot of good tips, video creation. So I’ll find those very useful.
[01:01:14] Germaine: [01:01:14] Awesome. well, any, any parting words before we wrap this episode
[01:01:18] up?
[01:01:20]Jarrod: [01:01:20] yeah. If anyone is like interested in finding out more about creating a YouTube channel, like, I’m definitely happy to answer any questions like on Twitter or email, whatever. Awesome.
[01:01:31] Germaine: [01:01:31] Thanks. Where can we find you on Twitter by the way? What’s your,
[01:01:34] yeah, it’s just Jarrod’s tech on Twitter as well. So same username, pretty much on every platform.
[01:01:40] Love it. Love it. Awesome. Thanks for your time, Jared.
[01:01:43] Jarrod: [01:01:43] Yeah, thanks for having me.

Why should I join a start-up?

In this week’s instalment of the Future Tribe podcast, we chat with CMO of Thycotic and best-selling author, Steve Kahan. Steve has worked in the start-up scene for over 30 years and in that time has been able to help companies such as Thycotic go public or be sold, resulting in a total value of more than $3 billion. As you can imagine, Germaine and Steve spend a great deal of this episode talking about the benefits of starting your career off at a start-up as opposed to a large corporation. Our guest also gives some solid advice on how to differentiate a good start-up from a bad one and how to find positions in these companies, as they can often be hard to find. The episode concludes with Steve talking about how he was able to find a good work-life balance despite his busy schedule.

What we talk about
  • Working at a start-up vs. working at a large corporation
  • Alternative employment routes
  • Content marketing and value creation
  • Finding a work-life balance
Links from this episode

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

Germaine: [00:00:00] . [00:00:00] Hello, future tribe. Welcome to another episode of the podcast on this week’s episode, we’ve got Steve Kahan from Thycotic. How are you, Steve?

[00:00:08] Steve: [00:00:08] I’m doing great. Thank you for having me.

[00:00:10] Germaine: [00:00:10] No worries at all. Um, let’s get the ball rolling. What’s what’s Thycotic all about to start off with and what do you do there?

[00:00:17] Steve: [00:00:17] So Thycotic is a cybersecurity company focused on protecting, what’s known as privileged passwords that exists throughout any organization’s infrastructure. And I’m the chief marketing officer.

[00:00:31] Germaine: [00:00:31] Okay. So is it sort of like a last pass, but you know, were way more advanced for sort of enterprise? Is that, is that how we can think of you?

[00:00:41] Steve: [00:00:41] In a way, right? So last pass a good product, and it sort of works for, personal users, some, sometimes small businesses and really where Thycotic focuses in on is nonhuman passwords as well as human as well. So if you think about [00:01:00] it, Every operating system, database application, et cetera, has a password associated with them.

[00:01:06] And big companies have no idea how many passwords they have. And so they go unmanaged and as a result, they’re not secured and we help to secure them and reduce their risks.

[00:01:19] Germaine: [00:01:19] Right? So API keys, things like that as well, I assume.

[00:01:23] Steve: [00:01:23] Yes.

[00:01:24] Germaine: [00:01:24] Okay. And how big Thycotic to get, give an idea of, the, the team behind you?

[00:01:30] Steve: [00:01:30] Sure. So actually when I started at Thycotic a little over four years ago, we were 6 million in revenue. And now , four years later we’ll be 106 million. So we’ve been on a rapid growth, Trajectory. And it’s really the result of the market that we play in. And I think working with some amazingly talented people and just really great solutions,

[00:01:56]Germaine: [00:01:56] let’s, um, let’s sort of rewind a little bit.

[00:02:00] [00:01:59] How did you find yourself at Thycotic? You give us an idea of sort of your journey to get there. Yeah. And, let’s start with, what you sort of did out of school. and you know, Give us a bit of a timeline.

[00:02:12] Steve: [00:02:12] Sure. So, uh, now, as you might be able to see if you, if you happen to be able to see the video that I’ve got a few lines in my face and some gray hair.

[00:02:22] And so I’ve actually been in the technology space and mostly in cyber security for 30 years. And so, when I graduated university, I went to school and would hear very often from my father when I would grow up, he’d say, Steve, get your degree, go to work for a large corporation. You work hard. They’ll take care of you and you’ll have a great career.

[00:02:47] And of course he would say your mother and I would much prefer that you become a doctor or a lawyer. But short of that, getting a job at a large corporation will do. So that was the path I took. And so I [00:03:00] graduated university. I went to work at a. A large, organization processing claims. And I remember staring at my bank statement and the pile of claims.

[00:03:11] I had a process that day. Wondering how on earth will I ever get ahead? And I work long hours, the student loans would take a hold of my paychecks before they ever get a chance to hit my bank account. So about a year or so into that role, I asked myself an important question and that was how could I earn a great living and love the work I do.

[00:03:36] And that led me into the startup world. And now I am, at my seventh startup, in a 30 year span. all six prior have either sold or have gone public, generating over $3.5 Billion in shareholder value.

[00:03:53] Germaine: [00:03:53] Wow. That is a, that’s some big numbers right there. so how’s the Thycotic. So cause you know, one of a [00:04:00] 106 million, quite a solid sort of traction for, for a startup, how old’s Thycotic to start off with.

[00:04:07] Steve: [00:04:07] So Thycotic. When, when I joined, I joined along with our CEO. He and I had worked together in the past when a venture capital company invested in the company. And, and Thycotic was a few years old when we joined and now, we’ve are about eight years, uh, in the making. And so the, the first few years, it sort of struggled the around, around it was bootstrapped company.

[00:04:35] It had a good product, uh, but really the founder, uh, needed some help and capital to grow the company. And it’s when the. Insight venture partners actually bought into the company and brought in people like myself and the CEO. When we. Really took a great start and a great foundation that the company had also a tremendous culture [00:05:00] and, uh, built on it and did sort of the things that, that experienced, technology executives would do too.

[00:05:07] help, the company, get on that growth path that we have been fortunate enough to achieve.

[00:05:13] Germaine: [00:05:13] Yeah. Yeah. That’s amazing. And, we’re jumping around a little bit, but now you said this is your, this was his seventh startup you worked at, is that correct?

[00:05:21] Steve: [00:05:21] That’s correct.

[00:05:21] Germaine: [00:05:21] Yeah. So let’s rewind. I’m actually, how old are you now, if you don’t mind me asking, just to sort of pull things on an actual year, year sort of timeline.

[00:05:30] Steve: [00:05:30] For sure. So I’m actually 58 years old, so, I’m old and over the Hill.

[00:05:37] Germaine: [00:05:37] Hey, Hey, you, you don’t know how science is going for, for all we know we’ve got a, you know, another hundred years left in ya. ,So let’s go back 30 years. So that’ll put you at say 28. Um, is that when you started your first startup job?

[00:05:51] Steve: [00:05:51] Yeah, actually a few years before that. Right. So I, I started, at first startup, I kinda made all the mistakes in the world just in terms of [00:06:00] joining that company. But, the company that I joined, it was pretty cool. It was a, I was the first person hired into marketing. And, it was, hired into a company with a small team of crazies hell bent on changing the world and changing the way applications were being developed.

[00:06:18] And so it was pretty cool. I mean, uh, when I joined, uh, interestingly in the first week, I remember looking at the office next to mine and there were people. Rolling out the copy machine. They unplug, plugged it, put it on a Dolly, roll that right out. And I came to find out a few days later. It was because of the company couldn’t afford to pay for that copy machine.

[00:06:43] Germaine: [00:06:43] Wow.

[00:06:44] Steve: [00:06:44] And, uh, it was, you know, pretty interesting, but I was blind to it. I was so pumped and excited to work on this venture with this team that just was so passionate, had this just a total commitment and belief that somehow we would figure it out. And just a [00:07:00] few years later, that company that couldn’t afford to pay.

[00:07:03] For the copy machine, it went public and I got the bug and never left the startup world.

[00:07:08] Germaine: [00:07:08] Wow. , what year was that? When you joined?,

[00:07:11] Steve: [00:07:11] Oh my goodness.

[00:07:11] Many, many years ago. I mean, it was probably 25 years ago.

[00:07:16] Germaine: [00:07:16] Yeah. Yep, yep. Yep. So you were the first person going into marketing or into that? Sort of the marketing roles at that, that organization.

[00:07:23] How did you manage to actually nailed that one down? Like, did you have marketing experience before? Did you study marketing? how did, how did you manage that?

[00:07:32] Steve: [00:07:32] I really didn’t. Right. And so, I was just super aggressive just in terms of, being persistent with the company’s executives. Uh, they probably couldn’t afford a, an experienced marketer either.

[00:07:44] So circumstances were such that it worked on both ends and they knew that I’d stop at no ends to, do what it would take to really learn the ropes. That it was cool because, you know, if you think about, if you’re hired [00:08:00] into a large corporation, you’re oftentimes hired into a smaller pigeonholed role where your sphere of influence is quite small.

[00:08:09] And so, being hired into that startup, if the work was going to get done, I was going to be the one to do it from a marketing perspective. And so what that gave me the opportunity to do was to try everything right. And it was just so cool that get that opportunity to try things that I had never before.

[00:08:28] And I took the opportunity if I would read articles or read about some cool marketing that organizations were doing. I would contact the people that were referenced in those articles at that time. And oftentimes those people, um, they realized that there were others that helped them to achieve the success that they had achieved.

[00:08:50] Yeah. And we’re happy to talk about themselves and. share some of the lessons that they learned to help me to, navigate around some of the [00:09:00] trial and error approach to helping a small company, um, learn how to market effectively. And so it was really cool. I was working, you know, sort of, very closely with some amazingly talented, executives.

[00:09:13] Again, if I. Was working at a large corporation, for example, even right now at Facebook, I mean, you couldn’t even get it around Mark Zuckerberg, security ever rub elbows with him. Right. And so I wasn’t working with people of the Mark Zuckerberg type, but also very talented people, very smart. And so, I took the opportunity to learn everything I could to go to, to just take control of my own training.

[00:09:42] To, really focus on doing and learning and failing forward sometimes. And, and as I mentioned, we were more successful than, I had ever dreamed when I joined. and it was why the company just a few years after I joined, was able to grow to the point that we’re able to go [00:10:00] public,

[00:10:00] Germaine: [00:10:00] go public.

[00:10:01] Yeah. I mean, this, this story, your story really hits home because, It’s sort of similar to how I sort of did things, you know, going my first real job, was at a not for profit who couldn’t afford to be honest, you know, couldn’t afford a hot shot marketing guy. ,In fact, they could only afford me two days a week, or three days a week.

[00:10:20] I think it was, and the beauty of it and why I can see why you fell, fell for startups is that you go into this. A organization who’s just essentially created this role and, you know, yes, there’s, there’s individuals in there who can have the foresight to see that marketing is important and that marketing sort of something that they’ve got to focus on, but there’s, there’s not the rigidity around it that you’re for forced to sort of go in and you’re boxed in and there’s people saying, no, this is what I want you to do.

[00:10:51]especially when you’re starting off, it gives you that. Freedom to experiment freedom to, you know, look into things and say, okay, let me try all this. And, [00:11:00] and yes, Hey, the budgets might not be there and you might not know be making, you know, a hundred thousand dollar ad purchases and things like that.

[00:11:07] But what you get instead is. This very, I mean, this bootstrapped, you know, everything that you do you have to test yourself, you have to understand the parameters within which to work.

[00:11:19] You have to report,

[00:11:20] and it’s almost like you just get a whole bunch of training. It’s like the real life training that you can’t necessarily get from school and college.

[00:11:30] Steve: [00:11:30] Yeah, no doubt. And I learned a very important lesson early on in my career from getting that opportunity. And essentially it was, this is that at least, uh, from a marketing perspective is you can talk to all sorts of marketers. And, you know, the world of marketing certainly has changed. It’s changed for the last couple of years, but I can assure you, it has changed dramatically from, from that time.

[00:11:57] But the important lesson that I learned [00:12:00] was that, that marketing needs to contribute to revenue. And it might sound like, well, of course it does. I mean, that’s a simple statement, but you be surprised how often you will talk to those who happen to have a marketing expertise and like the last thing that they’ll focus in on, or.

[00:12:24]that they’ll talk about is the stuff that they’re doing and how they’re actually contributing to the revenue growth story of the company. And it was that very simple concept that I have always kept in the back of my mind, no matter what the challenge, no matter what the industry or the, the stage of the company.

[00:12:44] And it is that perspective and lesson learned has served me well, in 30 years.

[00:12:51] Germaine: [00:12:51] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, at the end of the day, you know, it can be, revenue can be valued, but market marketing has to generate something. I think, [00:13:00] um, especially nowadays I’d know, I’d know what you, what your thoughts are out there.

[00:13:04] But marketing is one of those, you know, everyone seems to have their own marketing agency or their own digital agency. they build a websites and chatbots and it seems to be this thing that. Anyone and everyone sort of does, because you know, relatively low barrier to entry, saying that, you know, we both know that, you know, the difference between someone who really knows what they’re doing in marketing and has no idea is just huge.

[00:13:29] Like, there’s, there’s just no comparison between the two, but, but the lay person doesn’t see that. which makes marketing, I think one of those spaces aware. People see it as a black hole. Sometimes, you know, people just say, you can spend a whole bunch of money on marketing, but all you’re doing is giving Facebook money or giving Google money.

[00:13:48] What are your thoughts on, on that sort of perspective on marketing?

[00:13:52] Steve: [00:13:52] Yeah. I mean, I see that all the time and I, of course work with Thycotic, but I meet with, uh, companies and entrepreneurs [00:14:00] that sort of ask for advice. And essentially when you look at sort of a strategy that I found that works, it’s, it’s essentially this.

[00:14:09] First of all, if you want to be successful from a marketing perspective is that you, you have got to know your customers as well as you know yourself. And so it really starts with that understanding the customer, implicitly and oftentimes. What you’ll find, is not what you think. So, take Thycotic, for example, we’re in cybersecurity.

[00:14:31] However, the users of our technology actually, oftentimes aren’t security people, they’re, IT admins, right? And these are people who are very busy, have diverse roles. Security is one of them. And so they want technology. That’s super easy to use. It’s customizable. It works away. They want to work. It doesn’t get in the way.

[00:14:53] Right. It’s fast and simple. And so, you know, you would say, well, gee, you’re in [00:15:00] cybersecurity. You’re, you’re supposed to be all about, you know, value proposition. That includes security. And of course we have that. But, but we focus in on our customer. We realize who’s who’s influencing. So it’s really first and foremost understanding the customer.

[00:15:14] And then I think once you do that, I have learned that I spend a great deal of my time. even right now on I’m making sure that we are creating a. amazing value proposition. That is a differentiated vis-a-vis our competition on the basis of that understanding , I focus personally a good deal of my time on our company’s content.

[00:15:39] Uh, and when I say content, I’m saying things like free tools or trials or educational materials or surveys that they could take to find out how they, and relative to their peer group where they’ll get immediate feedback. And so, and it’s that content that has to be so great that it [00:16:00] causes. Those target buyers to actually respond.

[00:16:04] Right. And so, and the response is a lead, right? And so most people. if you’re like me, you almost never give away your contact information online. And so, , when you come to our website, what you would see as a 6% visitor to a, to a lead conversion rate, which is world-class. Wow. Well, I focus on the content because I know it’s gotta be so good.

[00:16:31] That the people that come to our site, actually give up that information and enable us to get that a visitor to website conversion rate in. And if you’re able to then drive that conversion rate, those are leads. Then you’re tracking that ultimately, too. Pipeline and then, and then revenue, right? Yeah.

[00:16:50] And it’s some of those very basic points , that may sound quite funny or simple, but you’d be surprised how few [00:17:00] companies actually get that overall mix. Right.

[00:17:04] Germaine: [00:17:04] Yeah. I mean, and it sounds like what you’re talking about is, yeah, you guys do a lot of content marketing and content marketing has been big for a long time.

[00:17:11] I’ve been going on about it. And you know, , when we start talking to clients who are just starting off and, you know, Let’s say they don’t have a huge budget. What I generally tell them to do is start writing blog posts that are very insightful, very, very niche are very specific to what they do. and it sounds like you guys have sort of grown past that, which is no surprise, because you would have, you know, run out of the run out of content, right.

[00:17:36] About or running out of people who just want to read about that stuff. And you’ve. Kicked content marketing up another level. And that is to create surveys, create tools, basically put in more investment into what is content, but content that is providing, more value to the, to the end user as well. And therefore, like you’ve been able to do, get [00:18:00] them into sending you their contact details because.

[00:18:03] You’ve shown them that you’ve got the expertise and you’ve essentially helped them for free because, I mean, all these tools, I’m going to guess these tools take once. You’ve set it up. Yes. There’s maintenance, but there’s no, there’s no manpower needed, you know, a tool that just scales up, completely sort of hands free.

[00:18:21] And is that, is that right in terms of what I’m thinking, how, how that the, the reason that you’ve been able to sort of really leverage those tools.

[00:18:31] Steve: [00:18:31] Absolutely. Right. And you said a key word and that is value, right? And so a lot of times people create content that is more self serving in a way, rather than serving the customer and the contents got, gotta be hugely valuable.

[00:18:46] I’ll give you a couple of examples. So, you know, one example is we do, what’s known as a privilege. Password, risk assessment. Right? And so in this case, it’s, it’s like very, the [00:19:00] methodology is sound and basically someone could come in, take, answer some questions and then they will get a grade, like university a through F how they’re doing.

[00:19:12] It’s, really solid for them to, to understand where they stand relative to their maturity within, and what’s known as a privileged access management. And so they will not only get a grade. They will find out where they’re doing well, where they’re not doing well. And then, they will also find out, yeah.

[00:19:35] Where are they stand for each of the, questions that they responded to relative to their peer group, which is companies in the same industry and, of a similar size, around the globe. And so people love that stuff. Like they want the immediate feedback. They want a grade, they want to understand where they stand.

[00:19:53] And then what’s cool is because it’s integrated then with our Salesforce, the sales people could then be [00:20:00] very consultative and say, gee, tell me a little bit about the results that you. That you achieved and let’s talk about how we might be able, we’ll help you, you know, that is real value. Or we have retool that discovers these, passwords that you might not know that exists and we do it for free.

[00:20:20] Right. So, you know, people have no idea. Yeah. Just given the complexity and the size of. Of of their infrastructure, what they have. And so this is functionality that is actually, or paid for product that we decided to give away for free. Right. And so, it’s offering real value. And when you do that, you create a great first impression, of the company.

[00:20:46]it’s a win, win, and then you have positioned yourself to earn the right to do business with the people that requested that, content.

[00:20:57] Germaine: [00:20:57] Yeah. That’s something that I’ve found. naturally [00:21:00] as, these channels get inundated, the quality has to increase. And again, that’s what you’re talking about as well.

[00:21:07] It’s it’s. Increasing quality. And that, that, that takes just more investments. So it’s no longer, you know, getting someone to spend two, three hours writing a blog post it’s, spending hours and hours and testing it all out. But what you’re able to do is get, get some of that proprietary information that you’ve been able to collect and understand why working with all your clients and then, boxing that up in a way that, gives value, provides value, not the complete value, but enough to sort of.

[00:21:34] Show them what life can be with what you guys are doing and, you know, becoming a customer. so that you’re sort of raising that bar where in the past, I mean, there was a time where, you know, all you needed to do to, you know, ask someone to give you, give you the email address was just put a box and say, enter your email address.

[00:21:54] And nowadays I think people are much more hesitant to do that sort of thing. I mean, I sure am. So [00:22:00] you’re, you’re. Sort of it’s, it’s becoming more competitive. Right. and you just gotta, you just gotta beat it, beat out your competition cause, I’m actually not sure. Who, who, who are your competitors?

[00:22:10]you know, Thycotic is competitors. Are there some really big players in the,

[00:22:14] Steve: [00:22:14] Yeah there’s a larger competitor public company by the name of CyberArk. Right. And so, you know, it’s key that, they’re a good company, a good people, that products. Right. And so, you know, we think we’ve, we have some, , competitive differentiation that actually a lot of customers desire.

[00:22:33] Right. And so, you know, for us, what we try to do is we try to focus on how we can, offer value in ways that they cannot. And, and obviously, the, the growth that we have achieved is, is pretty fantastic. It’s, it’s, three times the growth of the industry. Right. And so, clearly we’re, we’re doing something right.

[00:22:55] And, and probably, , doing a good job of being a worthy competitor to [00:23:00] CyberArk.

[00:23:01] Germaine: [00:23:01] Yeah. That’s, that’s a, that’s a very politically correct way of saying you guys have a better product.

[00:23:07] Steve: [00:23:07] Well,

[00:23:07] I think so. I, you know, I think we do, but, you know, it’s, I, that ultimately is judged by a share of wallet, right.

[00:23:15] We definitely were customers or potential customers. They buy technology and they want it to work and meet their needs. Right. And so they want to be good stewards of their company’s money. And, you know, we have focused on , some areas just in terms of differentiation of, for example, ease of use, simplicity of the product.

[00:23:37]just being, being one area that, that we think we shine. And we think that a lot of people, they, they, you know, they want to move away from complexity, now more than ever. And, and that has been a big focus, uh, namely usability of our

[00:23:54] Germaine: [00:23:54] technology. Yeah, just making things simple. Um, I mean, again, um, when I’m looking, looking for a [00:24:00] particular type of software, what I do is I sign up for trials around with it and if I can’t work it out, um, within the first five or 10 minutes, I just, that they get.

[00:24:11] Crossed off, straight away, because it doesn’t matter how powerful it is, but, you know, if the onboarding process, especially nowadays with so much knowledge around that area, I mean, there’s, there’s just, I’m sure there’s millions of articles around just optimizing the onboarding process and make it easier for people.

[00:24:28]and my thought processes that if that first five minutes is difficult, Oh boy, you know, I would hate to think how that the next five minutes and so on and so forth and let alone, you know, if it’s a program that I have to train someone else to use or that I need other people to use, that’s just not a road that I want to travel down.

[00:24:46] So usability is a huge thing these days. cause again, the, the usability, just in general, I would say that usability has, has improved across the

[00:24:55] board.

[00:24:56] Steve: [00:24:56] Yeah. I mean, and certainly, It worked for Apple. So if [00:25:00] it’s good enough for Apple, I think it will be good enough for Thycotic.

[00:25:04] Germaine: [00:25:04] Definitely, definitely.

[00:25:05] Hey, I know you’ve released a book recently as well. Tell me a bit more about that.

[00:25:10] Steve: [00:25:10] Yeah. So, I wrote a book, called be a startup superstar. And so, it’s really geared towards, young professionals or those who feel stuck in their corporate career. And so it focuses in on why someone should choose.

[00:25:26] A startup over a large corporation, how to find and land a job at a good startup and how to select a good startup. Uh, and then what I call under seven keys to the C suite 35 actions, attitudes and behaviors. One would have. to achieve success at a startup, it’s very much, a quick read it’s written in a, how to, format and, it actually has become an Amazon bestseller.

[00:25:55] Germaine: [00:25:55] Oh, wow. Congratulations. it, do you have an audio book company that as well?

[00:26:00] [00:26:00] Steve: [00:26:00] Yeah. Yeah. So it’s a, it was published by Wiley as well as Audible.

[00:26:05] Germaine: [00:26:05] Okay. Awesome. I’ve got an audible subscription. I’m a big audio book fan. It sort of, it’s just a good way to digest content while I’m still getting things done. I find so, we’ll, we’ll link to that in the description as well for, for you to check out, but could you give us, could you distill some, some of the, some of the messages you pass on in that, in the book.

[00:26:24] Steve: [00:26:24] Yeah. I mean, I think that, uh, one of the key messages is some of the things that I, I look for when I select a startup, right? So there’s lots of startups, , the CEOs of which have, great stories. But, but for example, how do you. Differentiate a startup, that has a good story versus a startup that has both a good story as well as a good chance to succeed.

[00:26:48] So I talk a little bit about some of them, the criteria that I look for when I joined a startup. so for example, one of the things that I look for is [00:27:00] quality. People who share the same values that I have. And so people reflect a company’s culture. And so, you know, if you’re meeting with the you’re interviewing with the company, if you, if you are meeting with the management team and, you know, look for a team that really rocks your world, and if you sort of.

[00:27:20]see that there could be some disconnect in terms of values. I oftentimes say move on. And one of the questions that you could ask to determine those values, if you’re in the interview process that I often ask is if you weren’t building your startup, tell me what you would be doing. Right. And so that really gets at a question that, um, Highlight some of the values that that person has, for example, are they potentially going into the direction where they’re a micromanaging workaholic?

[00:27:55] Do they have other hobbies or things that perhaps you may share in common, [00:28:00] in which you might, start to build a little bit of a deeper relationship? Does the person, for example, talk a little bit about their family. as well. Right. And so, you really could uncover some gems. another question that I’ll ask, to understand the values, uh, is tell me what you love about your team and why are you the ones to solve that problem?

[00:28:24] And so there again, you’re is a very insightful question where you’ll oftentimes be able to find out if, if this is an organization that is team-oriented. Are they, I, people where they’re taking all the credit or are they, we people where they’re sharing the credit. Right. So I go into a number of, items that I look for, uh, as well as the very specific questions that I would ask underneath those items, such as the ones that I’ve, that I’ve outlined.

[00:28:57] And these are sort of. [00:29:00] Some of the lessons that I’ve learned in being fortunate enough to having selected now seven amazing startups that, that achieved a great growth.

[00:29:11] Germaine: [00:29:11] I mean, it sounds like those, those tips can be used for almost any sort of job interview or, I guess even, even just other interviews, I could imagine asking some of those similar questions on a first date.

[00:29:23] So maybe, maybe we’ve uncovered sort of a whole new market. Maybe you can change around the title and, look at selling into, you know, maybe, maybe the dating and relationships space as well.

[00:29:34] Steve: [00:29:34] Yeah, well, actually my wife who is listening to me right now probably will ask me to shy away from that. but, yeah, I mean, that’s a, that’s not a bad idea.

[00:29:46] Once the book sales start to trail off.

[00:29:49] Germaine: [00:29:49] Exactly. You can, you can diversify swap out the cover. Um, I guess it’s just my way of saying that, you know, it’s, especially nowadays. You know, I think it’s, it’s a big thing. [00:30:00] Everyone’s sort of saying you should start your own business status, get into a startup.

[00:30:04]but you know, there are a lot of people out there who, who, wouldn’t do well starting their own business. but then the next best thing is to join, an organization that is doing that is in line with what they want to do that shares their values. and arguably, you know, there’s more power now for someone to do that, then.

[00:30:21] Than ever before in history,

[00:30:23] Steve: [00:30:23] with that. And I, you know, I could give even your listeners a couple of tips of how to find them, right? So for example, in most, every , major city throughout the world, there’s a, what’s known as accelerators and these, accelerators particularly in technology. But what they do is they provide capital, expertise.

[00:30:46]to the, companies that they, uh, that they perhaps might fund. And you’ll often find if you Google the startup accelerators, within your given city or city that you might want to [00:31:00] live a lot of the portfolio companies or the ones that are, involved with that accelerator, they are listed and a lot of times they will be posting their jobs.

[00:31:11] Online right there and think of it like that. Startups. These are not the companies that like are they’re going, they’re not going to career fairs. They’re not doing some of the things that the large companies have, the benefit and the resources to do to go find talent, but they’ll put their jobs. , on these websites.

[00:31:31] Right. And a lot of times they’re, they’re, they’re unknown. And so I encourage people to take a look at those accelerators in the Google then. And another is. That if you start, , following some, some companies and in particular, some of the executives at those companies that you might consider that you might want to join and take a look, what they say online and, uh, with, uh, technologies like LinkedIn.

[00:31:58]so long as you try to [00:32:00] do an outreach in a non salesy way in a sincere. In a heartfelt manner to the executives at those companies, if you’re following what they’re saying and, oftentimes, talk about how you would like to be able to learn from them to get some advice for your career. what you’ll find is that, as I’d mentioned earlier, that a lot of executives, they realize there are people that help them throughout.

[00:32:28] Uh, their career. And, now don’t be dissuaded. If not, you don’t get a response from everyone cause they’re busy people. But what you’ll find is you’ll get more response than you actually imagined. And, and so long as you take the approach that I mentioned, and then typically you’re able to bridge the conversation to you and then start to talk about, uh, yourself and what your aspirations are in terms of your career.

[00:32:53] Which then opens you up directly to jobs that may exist within [00:33:00] that organization or within that executives network. And so people do not go to the executives often enough directly. They oftentimes sort of apply in the same old way as everyone else, which is the standard HR route, which isn’t to say that that’s a bad way that you shouldn’t do that.

[00:33:19] But I’ve had a number of people, for example, outreach to me over the years. And, they, have. Created a strong relationships with myself, some of which, uh, I’ve hired or have referred on to others and many others just like me do the exact same thing.

[00:33:35] Germaine: [00:33:35] Yeah. It’s just, you know, that advice of, um, talking to people like, like they’re people, not like the, you know, big job opportunities or, you know, Opportunities to earn money or also on and so forth.

[00:33:48] It’s something that bugs me on LinkedIn. For example, I, I get these opening like four or five paragraphs about, you know, um, and it’s a classic format of, you know, this is what we do. this is how cheap we are. [00:34:00] These are, there’s some examples of some work that we’ve done. Hey, why don’t you work with us?

[00:34:04]there are no other, I I’m looking for someone like them. 100% of the time. I’m not. And second, if someone did that to me in person, I wouldn’t even, I wouldn’t even know what to say. I mean, how would you like that? If I can just sit you and said, you know, Hey Steve, you know, there’s a description of who I am.

[00:34:21] I am. I am very cheap. I any 25 bucks an hour, You know, I want to say someone while work, here’s my iPad. Just go through some of my work. How about we work together like that? It just wouldn’t happen. And, and you know, you’re talking really just about bill, just treating them like people and having that conversation.

[00:34:37] And I think even I’m putting it out there, And just, it’s not about sort of, you’re not owed anything, but if you approach it like, like a sincere individual who would love a helping hand, most people will look at that in that way. that they, that yes, they’re time poor and yes, they’re busy, but, they’re much more likely to look at it in a favorable way, [00:35:00] if you would approach it correctly versus just spamming people and asking for things.

[00:35:05] Steve: [00:35:05] Absolutely. and as you mentioned, you sort of are talking about people, selling you. I mean, probably a lot, like you, I get tons of, emails or even calls to my cell phone on a regular basis. In exactly the same approach and manner and style that you outlined. And I respond to none of them. Yeah. I mean, because at the end of the day, I mean, whether, you know, in the case that I mentioned, it’s, it’s really about people helping people.

[00:35:40] And, and again, not everybody will be willing to do that, but what you’ll find is, more often than not is that good people will. If they were approached in the right way, try and help others. , I certainly do. And I believe many others do. And so, I encourage people to, to try that.

[00:35:59] Right. And in [00:36:00] particular, if you’re thinking about, uh, changing jobs or thinking about taking your career forward,

[00:36:06] Germaine: [00:36:06] Yeah, and, and it won’t hurt. I just can’t think of any situation way. If you do it correctly, that there’s any sort of damage. The worst thing that can happen is that they won’t respond to you or they’ll just respond saying, sorry, you know, very time.

[00:36:19] Poor. Appreciate it. But, but can’t chat right now. Hey, have you, um, you you’ve told me so fondly about startups. Have you ever thought about getting into starting your own business yourself?

[00:36:30] Steve: [00:36:30] Yeah, I actually did. I did start , a technology company that, grew rapidly. It was ultimately sold to Novell and, there was a lot of fun.

[00:36:42] Uh, I like, uh, typically, getting in with a company that’s a little, a bit bigger. Right. And so there’s a couple of stages of startups. You know, one is starting it from the absolute ground floor. you know, in that case, you know, writing a business plan over a weekend and [00:37:00] seeing it through finding the funding and all of that, , I, I tend to prefer, I think that there’s a lot of amazingly great small startups, much like Thycotic was.

[00:37:11] And so I, I really enjoy those types of companies because they’ve gotten through the initial sort of. Prove it a phase and then it really, is all about can the company scale and grow. And it’s really that stage of startup that I, I in particular, enjoy it. Okay. And a lot of people are concerned about, starting a startup from scratch.

[00:37:34] I mean, you know, sort of. Well mentioning the name, Mark Zuckerberg. There’s not a lot of them. You can find the phase two, you know, maybe you’re like me and you’re not Mark Zuckerberg. Right. But yet you can still have a amazingly great career , professionally and, and personally, and financially.

[00:37:56] Germaine: [00:37:56] Yeah.

[00:37:56] Yeah. I mean, it, it is, it’s sort of funny because I [00:38:00] got in, I started my own business so that I can do more of what you were talking about and going, obviously we go in more as a, as a partner, as a, as a service provider, but, you know, just being able to jump in and, almost just like propel things forward, feel that fire.

[00:38:15] So you’re not, you’re not trying to help someone just even work out if there’s a market for what they’re, what they’re trying to do. They’ve already got past that stage. and it’s just a matter of then really, looking for exponential growth or, or looking at sort of triggers of exponential growth versus just trying to get traction.

[00:38:31] And, that’s, that’s definitely a really fun, Hey. In your last 30 years, you know, in, in your career, what are, what are some mistakes that you’ve made, whether it’s sort of specifically marketing related or if it’s just career related, would love to sort of look into some sort of a teachable learnable moments.

[00:38:49] Steve: [00:38:49] Sure. So I think one of the biggest. Concerns people have of startups in particular that I hear is that you’re going to have to work 24 [00:39:00] by seven. Right. And so that it is just all work all the time. You’re never off right hand. So, um, a lot of people just simply. I don’t want to, be out of balance from a work life perspective.

[00:39:15] And so I, am without question a workaholic, but what I learned early on, and it was such an important lesson was. how to actually, achieve more of a balance. And actually, I really don’t like the phrase work life balance because it suggests that there’s a right answer. I think that, there was a phrase I heard called work life harmony, and I really liked that because I think things ebb and flows.

[00:39:42] But what I learned specifically was this. Yeah, any of your listeners are like me. They live a lot of their life through their calendar, right? So you’re scheduling meetings, you’re scheduling your appointments. And that really guides a lot of what you might do during [00:40:00] the day. And so, um, What I would say that you can do to kind of have better work life harmony essentially is this is you’ve got to learn how to protect your calendar.

[00:40:13] And so, if you’re listening right now, what I would challenge you to do is to open up your calendar and take a look at it right now and see how many meetings that you have scheduled with yourself. And I’ll bet if you’re like most people, the way I was as well, many years ago that you probably have too few.

[00:40:35] And think about what that means. What that means is, is that people will. A scheduled time into another, you know, soul sucking meeting or you’re you’re missing time with, with your family or a kid’s game or not having a meal, a dinner, or maybe even a breakfast occasionally at home with your, with your family.

[00:40:57] You’re not, perhaps [00:41:00] working out at lunch. If that’s something that you like to do. Maybe you’re not blocking out time to think strategically, or maybe even to learn something new and focusing on your own education. And so what I learned was, was how to make myself the most important priority on my calendar and go schedule those meetings and I’ll do so in advance.

[00:41:24] And that really helped me too. just gain a, a better sort of harmony from, you know, both the work side of things, as well as. my family and, it is a lesson that has served me very well over the course of the years.

[00:41:42] Germaine: [00:41:42] Yeah. I never heard anyone sort of put it the way that you’ve put it, but you know, it makes a lot of sense.

[00:41:46] You, you book in meetings with other people or, or clients, but why what’s stopping you from booking in, in our meetings with your family meetings, with yourself. whether it, whether it is like you said, working out or even just going for a walk [00:42:00] at lunchtime, it doesn’t have to always revolve around just work.

[00:42:05] And I think, when you’re sort of in that hustle mentality, you, you, you probably falsely think that just. Every hour in front of a computer or every hour doing work , is how you maximize your time and maximize the productivity. But, , I’ve found again, you know, there, there are nights or there are there even days where yeah.

[00:42:23] I have more or less checked out, you know, I know I’m not as productive, but it’s just, it’s what I need because you know, maybe I worked for six, seven days straight. maybe I just, I’m, I’m a bit more tired than I usually am. And I just need to sort of check in with myself and sort of go, okay. You know, today is a day that I spend, Doing more of the working on the business, more of the fun stuff, you know, let’s work a bit on branding or work a bit on signage and you know, it’s not stuff that, , is essential.

[00:42:50] Um, but it’s stuff that sort of reminds you of why you, why you’re doing this in the first place, because let’s be honest, life is full of things that you have to do just, just absolutely have to. [00:43:00] And then, , all the other things that you can do or, or optional. So it’s a matter of balancing that as well.

[00:43:06] Steve: [00:43:06] Yeah, absolutely. And I would say right along with that, , one of the things that I had so learned is, uh, everything can’t be a high priority. Right? And so when you, you are someone that tends to work their tail off, and that’s a, it’s a attribute that I respect in people is that you tend to take on massive workloads, but, What is, very much true, is that not every thing that you’re focused in on, uh, can yield the same results.

[00:43:38] I actually liked the way, Sheryl Sandberg referred to sort of ruthless prioritization. And so, what I try to, also realize is not only am I sort of protecting my calendar, but I try to put as much focus as I can on the. Actions and the activities that will actually move the [00:44:00] needle. And so oftentimes you’ll see people kind of major in the minors.

[00:44:05] Right. They’re getting a lot of things done that really just don’t move the needle. Right. And so I think if you’re protecting your calendar, you’re the most important. A priority and you are making sure that you are focused on the right priorities with the time that you have available. Sounds simple, but it’s amazing how, uh, you know, many people don’t do it or they do it and then they sort of slip out of it.

[00:44:34] And it’s not about perfection. It’s not about sometimes you want to do the smaller things and maybe it gets you going or. , it’s just a day that you feel like focusing on it. Okay. Right. And so, or if, for example, there was a, a business got in the way of something, uh, family side or vice versa. It’s like not getting freaked out about it.

[00:44:54] Like you’ve got to be perfect. Right. It’s. It’s realizing that you’re, you’re striving to [00:45:00] get as good as you can be. And good enough oftentimes is, is what I strive for on, on both of those fronts.

[00:45:07] Germaine: [00:45:07] Love it, love it. And that’s, you know, putting in that effort is probably more important than trying to keep a close eye on, on everything and making sure that, I mean, we’re not robots.

[00:45:16] There’s no reason that we have to fit in, you know, the exact hours and exactly. Blocks that we’ve, we’ve sort of outlined because we’re humans and sometimes our minds and our bodies are much better at telling us what we need then our calendar is as well. So, no, I love it. Hey, where can people find out more about you?

[00:45:34] Steve: [00:45:34] So you can find about me at the book’s website, which is be a startup superstar.com. And I have a number of people who’ve read the book who have reached out to me and I try my very best to respond to each and every outreach that people make.

[00:45:51] Germaine: [00:45:51] Awesome. Thanks for that. We’ll include the link in the description as well.

[00:45:55] Um, so you can connect with Steve on there. are you ready for the top 12? I surprised you a little [00:46:00] bit with it, but you ready?

[00:46:02] Steve: [00:46:02] I’ll try my best.

[00:46:04] Germaine: [00:46:04] Awesome. Let’s get the ball rolling. So top three books or podcasts that you recommend that are not your own.

[00:46:10] Steve: [00:46:10] So, , I, I’m going to give up a couple of books for you that I really love.

[00:46:15] So one is an oldie, but a goodie, which is winning by Jack Welch. Jack Welch recently passed away. He was the former CEO of general electric, and he has some absolute gems in that book. And, uh, to me, , it’s a book I’ve re-read many times. I also like a book, a little bit on newer cars, zero to one, which is by Peter Thiel.

[00:46:38] Peter is one of them, world’s most successful venture capitalists. And he also has some just amazing, advice in terms of, startups and really building a successful future in your career. No matter where you’re at.

[00:46:56] Germaine: [00:46:56] Love it love it. Peter Theil is from PayPal. Is that right? Or [00:47:00] PayPal fame.

[00:47:00] Steve: [00:47:00] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:47:01] Germaine: [00:47:01] Awesome. Knew that name was familiar. So, top three software tools that you can’t live without.

[00:47:08] Steve: [00:47:08] So I’m gonna, give, uh, two again, since I’m, stuck on that. So, for me, salesforce.com is a, is a technology I can’t live without. but then also Tablo, that is a, sort of a BI, dashboard that is, uh, able to distill the nuggets that we’ve actually built on top of salesforce.com, where I can see everything that I need to see in exactly the format.

[00:47:34] I need to see it. I love it.

[00:47:36] Germaine: [00:47:36] Yeah. And what do you use for your calendar app? Is it just the built in sort of iPhone or Google calendar or,

[00:47:44] Steve: [00:47:44] yeah, use the calendar app right in aisle.

[00:47:48] Germaine: [00:47:48] Sorry, I lost you there. Are we back?

[00:47:50] Steve: [00:47:50] Yes, you did. I am at my beach house in Galveston, Texas, and I, my internet, all of a sudden became unstable.

[00:47:58] Germaine: [00:47:58] That’s all good. Um, I [00:48:00] missed your response. So you just use the built in Google app. Use the built in calendar solution

[00:48:05] Steve: [00:48:05] from outlook.

[00:48:07] Germaine: [00:48:07] Oh, yep. Yep. Awesome. I mean, why not?

[00:48:10] Right. I think, even for myself, just the built in calendar apps are really awesome. I know some people like to go down the road of getting their own apps subscription, but often, it does what you need and, and I think people sometimes get a bit too complex with things that just need to be simple. So love it.

[00:48:26] Um, top three mantras, you try and live by.

[00:48:30]Steve: [00:48:30] I try to live by, , nothing matters more to winning than surrounding yourself with a plus people. I found that, , A-plus talent, , wins. , I also, , live by a mantra that is call out the elephant in the room. Right. And so oftentimes there are, , elephants that are there.

[00:48:51] That is the big sort of issue that people sort of dance around and, , And just basically, uh, never really focus in [00:49:00] on, and then I think I’m built to last. Right. And so what I try to focus in on is making sure that, then I’m always creating, focusing on creating longterm value, and being in it for the long haul.

[00:49:15] Germaine: [00:49:15] Yeah, definitely. I think too many people again, um, are too shortsighted and talk about, you know, just making his money, my mass much money upfront as possible. Just, you know, let it out. And that, that, that way, I think you also make sure that you’re in it for the passion of what you’re doing versus the, the money.

[00:49:35] Steve: [00:49:35] Totally agree. And what happens is, is that oftentimes if you are in it for the long haul and you know, good things happen along the way, but if you’re in it for the short, quick, uh, and easy, it, it rarely is.

[00:49:49] Germaine: [00:49:49] Yeah, definitely love it. Ah top three people you follow or study and why?

[00:49:55] Steve: [00:49:55] Uh, these are, I would say the people that are my, [00:50:00] my mentors, honestly, so I’ll, I’ll give one.

[00:50:02] So. one, in particular is, um, is Doug Erwin. Doug Erwin is not known to your listeners, but, he is a serial entrepreneur. he runs a venture capital company and is. one of the best, managers I’ve ever known. and so, Doug Erwin is someone that I, I, without question, follow and, and, and, and if folks could Google him, I suggest that they follow him as well.

[00:50:31] Germaine: [00:50:31] Awesome.

[00:50:32] Awesome. Yeah. I never heard his name, but, I’m definitely gonna look him up as well. Awesome. Um, so that’s wrapped up the top 12. thanks for your time, Steve. and yeah, hope to keep in touch and connect in the future.

[00:50:44] Steve: [00:50:44] Yeah, it was a lot of fun. And, uh, I appreciate you having, thank you.

[00:50:49] Germaine: [00:50:49] No worries.

The growing importance of workplace inclusivity and social responsibility

In this week’s episode of the Future Tribe Podcast, we had the pleasure of talking to young business owner and inclusion consultant, Katie Zink. For those who are unaware, inclusion specialists such as Katie consult with businesses on how they can improve their workplace culture in order to make it as inviting and equitable as possible. We start off this episode with Katie and Germaine discussing this new burgeoning industry as well as how Katie herself transitioned into it from her typical 9-5 job. During this discussion, our guest also outlines how she was able to finance her startup by developing supplementary revenue streams and living frugally. After this, Germaine asks Katie what it was like starting her own business during the COVID epidemic and how she has handled client acquisition at a time in which most companies are tightening their budgets. The show then culminates in an interesting discussion pertaining to why exhibiting social responsibility is becoming an integral part of corporate strategy in 2020.

What we talk about
  • What is social consulting?
  • Starting a business during COVID
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Content marketing
Links from this episode

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

[00:00:00] Germaine: [00:00:00] Hello, future tribe. Welcome to another episode of the podcast on this week’s episode, we’ve got Katie Zink. How are you today? Katie?
[00:00:08] Katie: [00:00:08] I am doing well Germaine, thank you so much. How’s it going for you?
[00:00:11] Germaine: [00:00:11] Yeah, not too bad. Not too bad. You’re in the U S is that
[00:00:15] Katie: [00:00:15] right?
[00:00:16] I am, yes. I’m on the West coast of the us and Portland, Oregon.
[00:00:21] Germaine: [00:00:21] Nice, nice. So, before we get the ball rolling, give me an idea of what you do. you know, what, what we’re here to talk
[00:00:27] Katie: [00:00:27] about.
[00:00:28] Absolutely. Yeah. So, I, I have launched kind of my signature consulting program, in this, in the newest iteration this year. and what that is, is a, a cult consulting program for organizations looking to commit formally or actualize diversity equity and inclusion work.
[00:00:47] So, Especially where I live in Portland, kind of in the tech scene is where I reside primarily. there is a lot of activity right now, figuring out what that means and how to go about it in a strategic way. So what my con [00:01:00] my program does, it’s a, it’s a three month guided track. that’s essentially the process of any kind of strategic planning process where I, guide there, their equity work and help them figure out.
[00:01:11] How the first year will look. so it’s for organizations who know they want to commit, they just don’t really know how to get started yet.
[00:01:18] Germaine: [00:01:18] Okay. So, for those who are listening and, you know, for me as well, let’s, could we sort of simplify, like what, what you do? you know, you’ve used words like equity, diversity, inclusivity, In sort of layman’s terms.
[00:01:32] What does that mean? Like what if you, if you have the effect that, you intend to have, what, what is the difference that you make?
[00:01:42] Katie: [00:01:42] It’s a good question. So. We were seeing for, you know, decades and decades that specifically in the tech industry, it was a, a white majority white male majority to be more exact.
[00:01:55] And so there started to be a lot of passion behind diversifying who’s [00:02:00] working in those fields, in that field and, and, and knowing, that skill set and being able to earn a wage that you earn in the tech world. So, there have been. Lots of kinds of committees and organizations that are aligning to figure out how to diversify tech talent.
[00:02:18]there are a lot of different programmings coming around about, getting high school students, ready to enter the, a career in tech, if that’s what they want or getting them interested in pursuing it, helping them believe that they can do it, you know? And so the goal really is to. Make sure we don’t have just a homogenous white majority anymore.
[00:02:36] Eventually that’s going to take a long time to get there, but there is a lot of, I think, momentum now. And I think even, even, especially now, I’m in the United States, we’re really waking up to what racism has done and, you know, what’s actually been doing and is doing so my work is really to kind of wake people up additionally and figure out.
[00:02:58] Well, how the cultures need to [00:03:00] shift in order for more people to feel like themselves. And like they can bring their whole selves to work. it’s more, or about people feeling like they have a voice to enact change and less of kind of prescriptive top down leadership kind of. Been doing it, you know, doing it as they’ve been doing it, kind of rhetoric.
[00:03:18] It’s just more of an inclusive, people just having a sense of belonging and feeling kind of connected. And you know, the ideas that if people are more engaged and feeling like themselves at work, innovation will soar productivity will be better. So it really is kind of. A holistic way to think about organizational effectiveness in a way that benefits everybody, not just the same types of people, getting opportunities over and over again.
[00:03:46] Germaine: [00:03:46] And I guess part of this whole thought process is that when you make it more accessible for more types of people, so not just, you know, the white man that you would also, I mean, even thinking about innovation, [00:04:00] you’ll get a different mindset, different ideas. You, you naturally sort of opening it up to, you know, different races, different backgrounds, different experiences, different genders, and so on and so forth.
[00:04:09] So, I never thought about it from that angle. because, you know, I guess I had to hit the, you know, I guess the hard stuff sort of pretty early on in our, in our conversation. I think traditionally you’ve sort of, people have looked at it as, you know, why are we trying to force this thing that doesn’t exist?
[00:04:28] Like, you know, if, if, this gender or this type of person is predominant in this sector, that there might be a reason for it. and I guess the, the assumption was that the reason was it just attracted that specific type of person versus looking at it from, I guess, Well, we’ve sort of touched on, in, yeah, maybe we just the system and was just in place to suit that person.
[00:04:53] So we almost, the system just was selective. not, not, maybe not as obvious, obviously as, as [00:05:00] we needed to be for everyone to sort of be like, okay, I can see why that’s a problem, but, Historically, it’s just being a very selective system. Is that, is that fair to say?
[00:05:09] Katie: [00:05:09] Yeah, I think it’s abundantly fair and, and really astute actually to think about, you know, I have heard, you know, predominantly white males say, well, won’t, won’t diversity just happen naturally or kind of, like you said, maybe there is a reason why, you know, men gravitate towards tech.
[00:05:24] You know, dominant positions, there is a reason why it’s because those jobs and benefiting from that career were, was a system designed by, by them. So it was, they were, they designed a system to benefit themselves where, you know, it was just that one, one perspective. I think that’s absolutely fair to say.
[00:05:42] Germaine: [00:05:42] Well, exactly. And even the outcomes, Was designed or the outcomes, from, you know, receiving those promotions or getting into those jobs. we’re set up in such a way that they were attractive to, you know, A certain type of person. [00:06:00] because, because let’s be honest, you, you ideally you would do work for more than just the money and, you know, there’s, there’s a whole lot of other things that you get out of it.
[00:06:08] And naturally over the years, it’s just been refined and refined and refined so that those outcomes are, desirable. Because as an employer, as, as an organization, as a company, it’s desirable to make. Those outcomes desirable versus undesirable. Right. So I guess, you’re making me think about it more because I have, you know, over the years, my, my opinions have changed and sort of, as I’ve become more educated, it’s, it’s changed.
[00:06:35] But I feel like this alone, this conversation alone in the last five minutes has educated me even further because I have just looked at it as, you know, why are we trying to force something that, hasn’t existed or doesn’t exist? And, you know, that was me a few years ago before I did enough study and started to understand it.
[00:06:51] But now, now I’m understanding it even even more. So that’s really interesting, but let’s quickly rewind and, go back to how you got it. [00:07:00] you know, what, what, what led you to this? Because it’s not really, you know, no one sort of, At least no one I know has sort of said, you know, I want to grow up and, get into what you’ve gotten into.
[00:07:12] It’s usually accounting doctor, you know, entrepreneur maybe, or YouTuber nowadays, but, how did you end up where you’ve ended up?
[00:07:20] Katie: [00:07:20] Yeah. Oh, and I didn’t think I was going to be doing this either. I was one of those people that really had no idea. What to do, where I saw myself going. but what I did know, yeah.
[00:07:30] I said, I just had to try a lot of things. I wouldn’t say that I started off with, so much of a growth mindset as I kind of, self adopted one when I kind of started doing a lot more internal work. And, it really started when I found myself in my, college years, I started off, as a communications student.
[00:07:49] And, I was, I think one of the lucky ones and that I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, but when I started that, I found myself right at home and I, and I really, just became enthralled with studying [00:08:00] communications. I love it so much that I. Was like, okay, well, I love this. I want to keep growing.
[00:08:06] What else can I expand into? And communications is thought of as kind of a social science. And so I became kind of really, and I’m intrigued by the social sciences and found myself taking women and gender studies courses. And that’s really, when I, I’ll never forget kind of the sensation those courses gave me, gosh, I just want more people to have this information, what I’m learning.
[00:08:28] And so I loved it so much that I can, I pursued, kind of a double major. And communications and women and gender studies. And, and I was lucky enough to attend a school that had, you know, a fantastic programming and fantastic professors. After that though, I still was like, well, what am I going to do with this?
[00:08:43] I liked, I loved this. I loved having this education and having this, these experiences, but I don’t feel all necessarily that motivated to just go into the workforce yet. I didn’t want to have, you know, you know, when you’re in college and you know, when you’re kind of younger, you don’t think you’re going to have a traditional life.
[00:08:58] You don’t think you’re going to be a nine to fiver. [00:09:00] I definitely didn’t think I would be, but, fast forward about let’s see. Maybe seven years of working in hospice and just kind of living right. My twenties and having a lot of fun. I finally decided, okay. You know, I was living in Colorado at the time.
[00:09:17]and that’s, you know, we’re a lot of, you know, amazing skiing and outdoors, you know, it’s just a beautiful part of the country. And I was 20. I want to say 25 or 26. And I, you know, realized, gosh, I feel like it’s time for me to start my career path. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but I know I probably can’t find it here.
[00:09:36] And so I moved to Portland and I, you know, started off kind of in the hospitality realm again here again. And I just, it was different. It was a very, like, I, I enjoyed it way less. I have to say, like I was treated. Very poorly, harass, you know, when I spoke up for what was going on for me, I would get fired.
[00:09:56] You know, I was just be treated horribly by management, you know, definitely for by the
[00:10:00] [00:09:59] Germaine: [00:09:59] customer
[00:10:00] So this workforce.
[00:10:01] Katie: [00:10:01] This is, this is when I was still working in hospitality.
[00:10:04] Germaine: [00:10:04] Right, right. Okay. And what, what sort of hospitality were you working in at, at this time
[00:10:09] Katie: [00:10:09] It was food and beverage? Mostly I’m serving and bartending.
[00:10:13] Germaine: [00:10:13] Restaurants and bars and stuff?
[00:10:17] Right. So you were sort of, I guess by this stage, you have, you had gone through college got that, got that education and you were sort of looking at it going, hold on. This isn’t right. and this is consistently not right. is that, is that sort of what you were sort of thinking in your mid twenties?
[00:10:34] Katie: [00:10:34] I would say so, like I started to notice more patterns and kind of how women in particular were being treated and the challenges we had in that setting. And then I ended up leaving kind of, because of that. so that’s what I got into the tech scene. I started having different, you know, different roles in tech, kind of more sales and marketing type roles.
[00:10:54]and then about six years kind of going into that, I, additionally just kept not noticing just like. [00:11:00] What it was like to be a women into element in tech and, you know, working in an office and, along, that whole timeline, I was kind of volunteering at different causes too. I was organizing on a marketing committee for a, a shelter for domestic violence survivors, and women in the trades, you know, different organizations that help women kind of pursue different types of work.
[00:11:25]I was volunteering as a ski coach for a special Olympics, in Oregon here too. So I’ve had a degree of exposure to different types of folks and identities and communities. And I just really got a lot out of that. So, when the time came, this is now fast forward till about 2016 and our most recent election.
[00:11:45]that was a popular time, I would say, similar to what’s going on in the U S now. where it was just very hot button and people were wanting to take the power back into their own hands cause of what was going on. And so you’ll, you’ll, you would have seen a lot of [00:12:00] different committees and task forces kind of sprout up, for diversity inclusion, it kind of like hit the scene, but that year I would say
[00:12:07] Germaine: [00:12:07] it became sort of the hot topic.
[00:12:08] Katie: [00:12:08] Yeah. Yeah. because even like, you know, years before that, it wasn’t really even thought of. So, so around that time is when I got kind of more visibly involved and volunteered my time to lead committees and help strategize where I was working at the time and where I was working was a fantastic.
[00:12:26] Company. I loved it there. I was there for four years and they really invested in me. And, but at the same time, I just flat out felt limited in what I could really accomplish. So,
[00:12:36] Germaine: [00:12:36] as an employee you mean sort of being sort of part of that machine.
[00:12:41] Katie: [00:12:41] Yeah, exactly.
[00:12:42] Germaine: [00:12:42] So you felt there was more potential for what Katie can do and sort of the impact that you can make.
[00:12:47] Katie: [00:12:47] For sure. Yeah. I would say about two years later, I realized like I want to be self employed and I want to work for myself and figure that out. so I took a few more years to kind of think about what that would look like and [00:13:00] then decided to launch my consulting service. I’m doing what I do because I love it so much.
[00:13:05] And I thought, you know, I know I want to be, you know, driving my own business and, and running a business. and this is what I care about the most right now. So how can I make that? Make that work.
[00:13:15] Germaine: [00:13:15] So how long ago was this that you sort of, went out on your own?
[00:13:19] Katie: [00:13:19] It’s been recently actually. I launched my, my first service, in April.
[00:13:24]my last day at my company was March 6th.
[00:13:27] Germaine: [00:13:27] where were you if you don’t mind me asking?
[00:13:29] Katie: [00:13:29] Yeah,the company is called learning.com. they’re here in Portland, Oregon, and the headquarters is here and it’s an ed tech company. So they develop a curriculum to teach students, starting in kindergarten all the way to grade eight, tech skills, digital skills to help them.
[00:13:45] You know, in their lives and their career paths in school,
[00:13:48] Germaine: [00:13:48] was there, was there, website URL, learning.com as well?
[00:13:52] Katie: [00:13:52] Yes.
[00:13:53] Germaine: [00:13:53] Wow I imagine that they’d be getting, offers all the time to just buy the domain name, let alone the [00:14:00] company.
[00:14:00] I
[00:14:00] Katie: [00:14:00] think they should consider that because it’s, it’d be really great for SEO.
[00:14:05]and I worked in the marketing team actually for a short period of time. but it was really hard to differentiate what you, what we actually did. Yeah. .
[00:14:13] Germaine: [00:14:13] That’s true .That’s such a generic. Yeah. Yeah. Well, you could imagine, you know, any of the big players, if they decided to get into that sort of education space, you know, an iTunes for education, for example, for courses, someone like Apple would just come along and be like, you know, let me just offer what is $1 billion sound like for learning.com?
[00:14:33] Because getting, I mean, you would have, you would have found out yourself that. Getting a domain name that’s available and makes sense. And is short, is near impossible nowadays. It’s something is a constant struggle for a lot of people.
[00:14:47] Katie: [00:14:47] Yes. Yeah, it was for sure. Something I had to think on for awhile. And I, luckily, luckily we see more like.co I think is another creative way, which I ended up choosing.co for my, for mine.
[00:15:00] [00:14:59] Germaine: [00:14:59] Nice
[00:15:00] and short. So, like your, like your website, Katie Zink.co is really handy because, it’s your name, and it’s dot is nice and short. Like, I mean, it’s basically as short as you can get a URL while still being on brand. So, if you don’t mind me asking, how old are you now?
[00:15:17] Katie: [00:15:17] I just turned 32. I, yeah, I actually launched my business on my birthday.
[00:15:23] Germaine: [00:15:23] Okay. Wow. Happy birthday. So you launched in April of this year? Yes. Mid coronavirus.
[00:15:32] Katie: [00:15:32] Pre yeah, I mean, technically mid coronavirus, but, I left my job. I was doing it kind of on the side as consulting. And so I left my job March 6th to focus on this full time. And, everything changed here, at least that next week.
[00:15:48] Germaine: [00:15:48] Yeah. Yeah. So what’s, what’s that been like? I mean, what, what were you in your, your lead generation to be like, or did you already have a few sort of, few things in [00:16:00] place, a few, few projects in place as soon as they left, or were you just going to hit the ground running and get. Okay clients, you know, that, that next week after leaving?
[00:16:10] Katie: [00:16:10] No, it’s a good question. And I’ve gotten this question definitely. a lot when I first kind of was honest with people about what I was doing and where I wanted to go. And that was just an amazing feeling because people were so supportive, but they were like, okay, so do you have clients or what are you going to do
[00:16:25] Germaine: [00:16:25] this is all well and good, but how is it going to happen?
[00:16:28] Katie: [00:16:28] Yeah, I needed a ton of coaching. I actually worked with two different coaches before I decided to leave my job. It was a long process to mentally prepare for that. and I actually worked with an Australian coach.
[00:16:42] okay.
[00:16:43] I don’t know if you know Rachel Kurzyp, but she is phenomenal.
[00:16:46] I would recommend her highly for anybody looking for marketing branding, coaching and somebody looking to actually craft a signature service, like what I’ve done. So I started working on her program in January of this year. [00:17:00] with the intent that, you know, that’d be a three month coaching program that I could launch at the end that so through, through my work with her is how I figured out my, my business development strategy and how I would get leads and, and my content marketing strategy and all that good stuff.
[00:17:15]and I, I made the decision to run with a beta test, plan. So my, my. Goal right now is to put the program through beta, and you know, offer kind of a 50% off situation to work with the client, to kind of run through it with me and maybe, you know, customize it a little more for them, but they’d really be informing me along the way I have the program built, but, I’ve, I’ve.
[00:17:37] I’ve I’m comfortable with the fact that this first year will just be me iterating on the program, building relationships, just networking my ass off. Basically.
[00:17:49] Germaine: [00:17:49] You’ve just touched on a good point about, you know, just sort of facing the fact that. The first year might not be your biggest year. it’s sort of that, just laying down the foundation, [00:18:00] did you look at it from a financial point of view?
[00:18:02] Did you sort of really save up to do this and fund this for at least the next 12 months? Was, was that sort of a very intentional decision there?
[00:18:11] Katie: [00:18:11] No, I, I appreciate that question. It’s such a reality. I mean, I, this was a long con for sure. Yeah. Very long con for me. I took an, a financial freedom course, actually.
[00:18:23]it must have been maybe a year and a half ago now. I think it was actually last summer. and I learned all that. I, it was just, I don’t know if you pay attention much to those, the kind of folks that you know, want to save up so they can retire by. Yeah, yeah,
[00:18:38] Germaine: [00:18:38] yeah, yeah, yeah. Some, we had some guests who sort of followed that.
[00:18:44] And, yeah, I think they were in their thirties when they left their, their full time gigs. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:18:49] Katie: [00:18:49] Very cool. So I did a course basically by somebody, of that world and really got a lot out of it. And so, I was incredibly intentional about saving and [00:19:00] I think they call it like F-you money or something.
[00:19:02]people that maybe some day just want to leave and walk away and pivot entirely. They can. so that, that helped me. I was, you know, say I had a savings rate of, you know, 50% for a while. So I was able, I was lucky in that way. it was, you know, it wasn’t easy, but, I would call myself kind of a minimalist and really what I spend money on is, you know, going out to eat in the city and travel.
[00:19:23] So I’ve been able to, you know, budget and from an informed place for a while, which is great. And then I, back years ago, I. Had an Airbnb listing. So I was able to kind of side hustle a little bit that way. I rented out my place on Airbnb. sometimes I would just kind of live out of my car or sleep at my partner.
[00:19:44] He was nice enough to let me crash over at his place. But, yeah. That was after I had a really bad bike accident. and so I needed some surgery and so I was inspired to do that, to help pay for it. And then I ended up doing it for three more years, to help me really [00:20:00] save up in preparation for this too,
[00:20:01] Germaine: [00:20:01] I mean, this is what I keep telling people, like, if you need to, you know, make money, there’s, there’s just ways to do it.
[00:20:10] There’s ways to balance it out this way. There’s creative things like you, you’ve done to, to save if, if that’s, if, if that’s what’s holding you back. because I think it’s very easy to come up with reasons as to why you can’t do what you want to do. it’s much harder to actually, Just, you know, take down those obstacles and just, just go for it.
[00:20:30] And like you said, you know, it was a long game. Maybe, you know, you had to work for someone or work a job for a bit longer than you are usually hoping to. But at the end of the day, it’s just, what you got to do to get yourself in a position where now, you know, for the next 12 months you can. Think about it.
[00:20:48] I think a lot of people like get into it. This mentality of, I need to get revenue. I need to make money. I need to make money. Yes. You need to make money for, for business to become a business. Otherwise [00:21:00] you’re just, you know, doing something for free. But at the same time, you also need to free yourself from that thought process.
[00:21:07] Everything I do has to generate money straight away, because at the end of the day, it’s, you know, what, what you’re finding out is yes, you, yeah. Give it a discount because it’s not really about the money that, that, that you’re charging someone. it’s about the value that you can provide and the value that you can get in return to, to craft something that is going to be better so that, you know, at the end of 12 months you have this.
[00:21:30] Product that is, or this service that is so funny tuned, because of this free stuff or is half price stuff that you’ve done, that you can just go out and just blow it up because it’s, you, you know, that you can just rinse and repeat in a, in a nice way, in a good way versus just sort of going, just hope and a prayer that, you know, this, this service that I’ve sold for someone full price is going to be what they want.
[00:21:56]So, yeah, it’s, it’s it’s just what you gotta do. I guess
[00:22:00] [00:22:00] Katie: [00:22:00] it’s true. It’s true. And it is really scary if, it’s not good feeling financial strain, you know, has a lot of negative effects, but I, I found that. from a financial budgeting advice perspective, if you have kind of an emergency fund set up, like if you’ve done the math and figured out, okay.
[00:22:18] If I didn’t have any income for six months, what does that mean for me? I found that a lot more comforting. Just to know that I’ll be okay for this amount of time. I can always get, you know, another service industry job, maybe not now, but something like that.
[00:22:31] Yeah, exactly. I mean, you’ve got enough still to hold you out.
[00:22:34] Germaine: [00:22:34] And, you know, I hear the people who say it’s easy to say it’s much harder to do, you know, when you’ve got a family X, Y, and Z, but I truly believe, especially in, in a lot of, sort of, in the modern world, so to put it, we are. We are pushed to make a, to spend money and to make decisions that we feel like we don’t have an option.
[00:22:56]but really in reality, we do. I mean, I’ve, I [00:23:00] remember helping this family, for free, because they couldn’t afford, it was like a two or $300 service that I just did it, you know, I just said, you know what? I’ll just, I’ll just, Help you out. And, they were really financially strapped, but what surprised me when I turned up was that the kid had the latest iPhone.
[00:23:16]and you know, at that stage I had like a, I had to, I think it was a two year old, Android phone. And I was sort of looking at this whole situation, thinking. You know, not that not that you need to look at it and go, yeah, you know, you’ve got an iPhone as if you can’t afford this service, but you’ve got to look at it thinking sort of priorities.
[00:23:34] And I think it’s very easy nowadays to be convinced that, you know, I’ve got to get the new iPhone when it comes out and therefore not be able to save even 200 bucks or 300 bucks and sort of go, it was only two or $300, but that could really be the difference between, you know, eating for four weeks and not.
[00:23:51] So, It’s it’s a, it’s sort of an intro interesting conversation to have always, I think money’s always [00:24:00] something that you don’t want to talk to people about, but, It’s interesting. None the less talking about it because it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a reality, right? You, you couldn’t have sort of said, you know, I’d have to worry about the money.
[00:24:10] I’m just gonna that’s that’s not how it works. You’ve got to keep the lights on and then you’ve got to feed yourself. I’m sorry. That’s why I want to get it right to this conversation with you and sort of talk about that side of things as well. So, how are you finding things at the moment? Like, what are you, what are you doing?
[00:24:25] What, what are the strategies that you’re sort of employing.
[00:24:28] In terms of, financial
[00:24:30] it’s sort of getting the well in terms, sorry, in terms of getting the business sort of going, especially given the fact that are you guys still sort of in, in lockdown or were you ever in lockdown over there or?
[00:24:41] Katie: [00:24:41] Yes, we, we were in lockdown.
[00:24:44]the, the order came about on March 15th. that’s when businesses all started closing and companies all sent there, most companies send their employees remote. So people have been working virtually. and we, we are, it’s not as strict as I [00:25:00] here and some other places we can leave the house. We can take walks around the neighborhood.
[00:25:05]there’s no policing on that, but, they’re just strongly encouraging people to keep things local and it’s just, you know, not gathering groups. So, yes, I, I live here with my partner and his brothers, so there’s the four of us kind of like a little happy family. and they all, are out of work from, from COVID.
[00:25:23] They work in the film and media industry. So, you know, that’s, that’s all obviously been, been put on hold, so they’re home here and I’m self-starting here. It’s been, but it’s been really good. so I think our governor, released a plan on this last Friday that businesses could apply for phase two.
[00:25:41] Of reopening. So I’m in the United States. Some places have been, have already reopened. it was kind of a controversial thing, but here in Portland they’ve been very kind of meticulous about it. And our numbers are looking pretty encouraging in terms of cases. So. It feels like it’s, we’re coming out to a [00:26:00] spot where we can be thoughtful and still keep six feet, you know, and, and just be conscious of, of who we’re around and still practicing the same things we’ve been told to practice.
[00:26:10] But, you know, protesting has been a thing that people are doing largely in these, in, in the cities, throughout. And I’m in Portland. I know that, you know, we’ve been, we’ve been going to the protests and, but testing is also available pretty, pretty widely here too. So, we, we were able to kind of see, okay, well, I I’m, I’m showing negative in my test results so I can at least get to that.
[00:26:32] Germaine: [00:26:32] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So how are you navigating that? The fact that, I mean, was your original plan to really reach out to people, meet them in person, explain to them sort of, how you can help them. Was that part of your plan or was it always going to be fairly remote, fairly, you know, heavy on emails and things like that?
[00:26:50] Katie: [00:26:50] I am comfortable working virtually, but my plan was to go probably. In space with people and onsite for them. and historically how I’ve done the work is to meet [00:27:00] all together in person as kind of a coalition or, or committee. So, that’s what I’m used to. I think that, especially when you’re doing a workshop or something like that, Face to face in person is always just more powerful.
[00:27:12]yeah. Or at least that’s what people are used to. now I’ve done everything virtually, you know, virtual networking, having calls. and I, I really liked that at first it kind of felt like, Oh, we’re all here doing. We’re kind of figuring this out together and the pressure was sort of off, you know, they were upfront about the fact that they won’t be bringing in outside consultants.
[00:27:34] Anytime I had a few leads say, you know, maybe we’ll bring you in, in June, you know? And so that was two months ago and now I’m following back up with them this month. And you know, one of them took my call and wants to have a virtual meeting, but it was upfront and said, you know, At, at the earliest, I could see them hiring you wouldn’t be until the end of the year or early next.
[00:27:54] So my goal is just to build as many new connections and, you know, showcase my [00:28:00] service as much as I can and focus on visibility awareness. just. And, and, and, and the market research. So making sure it’s just the right offering further, quantifying exactly getting really exact on my target market and my audience right now.
[00:28:14] I’m kind of in that state where I think my service can help anybody. I need to really like, get more,
[00:28:19] Germaine: [00:28:19] find your niche, what you enjoy, what you can really provide that edge and that, that sort of differentiating factor. Right. Cause, I mean, you know, not to be sort of rude about it, but I would assume, and I guess it’s just a state of thinking.
[00:28:36]is it fair to assume that looking at, you know, budget cuts and financial stresses that companies are facing diversity and inclusion? it’s sort of lower down the priority list, unless they’ve had, you know, very specific issues around it. they don’t, they wouldn’t necessarily reach out and, and, and sort of chase after that.
[00:28:55] Is that fair to say?
[00:28:57] Katie: [00:28:57] It is fair to say. I think it’s something that [00:29:00] practitioners like myself are working to, change that narrative and be seen as a, not a nice to have, but a must, must have. but I think that. Yeah, especially in the pandemic, when it, when it first went the first, when things really started to get kind of confusing and navigating, you know, remote work for many people for the first time it got yeah.
[00:29:20] Back burned. So to speak, just put on the back burner. do you prioritize, I hear a lot of teams completely getting cut. so, and, and that’s just a sad reality. I think that, especially executive leaders, maybe they just don’t really. See why it’s a priority. So that’s just kind of a narrative that I work on and my messaging is around that of, of why it is.
[00:29:42] And, and then, you know, with what’s happening here with murders of the black community and. Police brutality really surging, on the radar right now. it’s interesting to see them now realize, Oh, we do need to show that we care about this and what we’re doing to address [00:30:00] this and to be better and how to be, how we’re being anti-racist.
[00:30:03]so it’s interesting now that it’s in fashion again, so to speak, They are now acting like they care. And so it’s interesting because it does often take a external force for companies to really act on something they maybe aren’t normally doing, whether it’s a PR like avoiding a PR nightmare or, you know, in nonprofits specifically, Funders are now asking for it, which is interesting to me.
[00:30:28] Germaine: [00:30:28] Okay. So it’s sort of starting to become, almost not optional because people, I mean, for them, it’s, it’s more security, right? If they can guarantee that when they’re providing funding that, Things are in place to make sure that everyone feels safe and included. That’s just naturally much, much better.
[00:30:46]even though a company would probably look at it yeah. Sort of going, you know, we wouldn’t spend money on that because we’d rather spend money on product, on, on development, if we, if we were given the option, it’s interesting to see that, you know, as you’re suggesting, it’s sort of almost an external [00:31:00] force and I don’t mean that in a bad way.
[00:31:01] I just mean that, it’s, it’s. Did the segments of that, the different layers of the onion that, that understanding the importance of it. And, you know, it might not have reached the core yet, but there’s, there’s layers above that, that are, that are picking up on it. And I see me then like boards of directors and things like that are picking up on it as
[00:31:20] well
[00:31:21] Definitely. Especially when their markets are even asking for it, you know, for profit companies I’ve been hearing, In an, in an RFP process, they, they asked to be demonstrated and how, how they’re committing to diversity equity inclusion in order to win a sale or to win a contract. so it’s actually becoming weighted in decisions in many ways.
[00:31:43] And it’s definitely a factor in recruiting too. I mean, this generation of workers and, and new talent they’re expecting, you know, Institutionalized inclusion and for companies to show it because, you know, millennials and now we’re seeing, you know, gen Z, they were just [00:32:00] raised to believe that that’s how it should be, you
[00:32:02] know?
[00:32:02] And they value that. Right. I think even sort of my parents’ generation, would have had the approach of, you know, if it doesn’t seem right, you know, You don’t, you don’t want to sort of cut the cut in the hand, cut off the hand that is feeding you and, you know, make an issue of it. just, just sort of deal with it and just go with the flow because the salary is more important, but I think there has definitely been a shift in that sort of thought process of no, you know, we, we have a right to feel like we belong, like, like we’re included, like we’re respected.
[00:32:34]And if we don’t feel that way where we’re going to leave, which, which is putting that back, back on the employees rather than the employers, I think it’ll be interesting to see sort of what parent of ours does to all this, obviously coming out, coming out of it, like where the pressures and where the balances shift, but, I want to, I want to sort of move along the conversation into content marketing.
[00:32:56] Cause you mentioned content marketing and I am a big [00:33:00] fan of content marketing. what are you doing in terms of content marketing?
[00:33:04] Katie: [00:33:04] Totally. podcasting is kind of one of my favorite things right now. I have a goal of, trying to appear out at least a couple of months and just get used to that.
[00:33:12] It’s new for me. but I think it’s a really cool way to just. Yeah, have a visible conversation with somebody and I think it’s mutually beneficial. And then I, podcasting has been a great way for me to occupy my time too, and, you know, being a second home. so I’ve been loving that, but I I’m a writer too.
[00:33:29] So I, I really love just kind of like honing in on my blog strategy. So blogging is another thing I do.
[00:33:36] Germaine: [00:33:36] Is that on your website? You’re blogging on your website?
[00:33:39] Katie: [00:33:39] Yeah. Yep. Yeah. My blogs on my website and I, I’m pretty active on LinkedIn as well, so I publish articles there, but, I blog about biweekly now and, my, my strategy for the month of June, actually, it’s, it’s really coming together perfectly.
[00:33:53] It’s all about inclusive leadership, and the journey to inclusive leadership. So my piece I’m working on right [00:34:00] now is kind of the journey companies go through before they’re ready to. Fully commit to this work and kind of mistakes they make. And, you know, maybe there are some, different intentions or mistakes they’re making behind it.
[00:34:11] Tensions, I guess I could say. And, and so, I really enjoy that because it just kind of helps me push myself to keep. Keep that cutting edge. and it just, you know, yeah. It gets me really researched and watching what others are doing and learning. So I love that. And then, and then, like I said, I’m not at the biggest social media pro, but I am trying to learn.
[00:34:31] So I like, but I really like LinkedIn, I would say that’s my number one channel. And it. Fits perfectly for what I do. Yeah.
[00:34:37] Germaine: [00:34:37] Yeah. I mean, it lets you, it, like you said, it’s, it’s just perfect because, it is such a, such a high level thing that, that, you know, you sort of do have to go in at, at sort of a LinkedIn at a very professional level, to find the right people.
[00:34:53]yeah. Because, you know, w which makes it good for you, I would say because there are lots of other businesses that, it’s not so [00:35:00] clear cut, you know, they could, they could be on almost any platform because there’s, there’s sort of the ideal clientele on, on any platform, but, makes it easier for you that.
[00:35:07] You know, more or less, I would say that LinkedIn, is, is sort of the only place for you in terms of the bigger social platforms at this stage for you to really be pushing your, pushing your conversation through and, and it’s, it’s probably higher level level sort of stuff. Anyway, it’s not just the, you know, light read on a, on a Sunday afternoon, I would guess.
[00:35:28] Is that, is that right?
[00:35:30] Katie: [00:35:30] I don’t think it’s light at all. Anything like right now, especially it’s pretty heavy content. which is good. Keeps me honest. I have put a lot of pressure on myself to stay very engaged with what’s going on right now. and it just gives me access to amazing thinkers and thought leaders and connections like what’s cool is, I mean, it’s such a, it’s so it lends itself really well to HR.
[00:35:56]human resources and, you know, staffing recruiting, all that stuff. [00:36:00] so what I do is, is such a component of that. Exactly. That, but it it’s, I would say that what I do is kind of a lens that HR needs to apply. And a lot of HR practitioners are kind of like. Forced upon this work too. It’s like dumped on their plate as well.
[00:36:17] So I look at HR practitioners is kind of my business partner in this effort. And so what’s been cool, especially when I first launched, was when people would connect with me. and I noticed, they were, or always the titles that I wanted. And so that was very. affirming to me. And then I would just get in the habit of trying to ask them if somebody connected with me, ask them what inspired you to connect with me, just as simple as that.
[00:36:40] And I got the most incredible and was able to book sales calls off of them. and so it’s literal inbound. You know, I was able to demo my service for them, show them around, you know, give them a sense for what working with me would be like, and I got nothing but positive feedback.
[00:36:58] Germaine: [00:36:58] Yeah. Yeah. And it sounds [00:37:00] like you’ve got your target demographic fairly well nailed down.
[00:37:04]I mean, of course it’s as you refine it, and as you sort of understand, as you get sort of your hands dirty, so to speak, it’s just going to become even more refined, but it sounds like, the business, I would assume the business coaches, so really push you to get that, get that target demographic. pretty well nailed is.
[00:37:21] Katie: [00:37:21] For sure. Yeah. The work I did with my coach, she called them. There, who are your dream clients? So I was totally right. You know, all of my content and, and craft a strategy around my dream clients, which is kind of, you know, it is kind of hard to do when you’re, newly starting out. But I know for sure, I mean, I know that my work will require partnering with, with human resources in an organization.
[00:37:44]so that is kind of my, my top two or who I appeal to, but I want to appeal to CEOs, CFOs CEOs. I’ll see, you know, the executive levels are, are critical too, because when we start our work together, it does need to come from the [00:38:00] top. But oftentimes it doesn’t start at the top. so it’s
[00:38:04] Germaine: [00:38:04] because, I mean, often that they’re the ones, they’re the ones who, you know, arguably feel the least affects of it all because they’re in the position of power and, It’s sort of the other end that that really gets affected by, by sort of what you’re focusing on.
[00:38:19]which is, which is just when you’re not in a position of power, it’s how you get treated in those positions. Right? It’s how you get treated when, when there’s no reason for anyone to treat you. at least from a, from a work perspective, there’s no re no specific reason or benefit in someone treating you well, that’s where you still that’s where you would have those negative effects or feel the, feel the negative effects of where, where, The current sort of mindset sits, depending on the organization.
[00:38:45] Of course. now let’s talk about some mistakes that you’ve made, or any that come to mind, in the, in your road to road, you know, where you are, where you are today. are there any big sort of mistakes that come to mind? Things that we can, we can [00:39:00] learn something
[00:39:00] Katie: [00:39:00] from. There will be. Aye. Aye. All right.
[00:39:04] Now I’m being gentle on myself and if I, if I notice I’m doing something I need to change, I kind of just view it as that. I don’t, I try not to harp too much on mistakes or be overly critical. I’m trying to think of there. If there was a mistake that I could, that I could share
[00:39:23] Germaine: [00:39:23] I mean, not necessarily mistakes let’s, let’s call them, you know, moments where you’ve got a pivot or moments, teachable, learnable moments at any, any, any of those come to mind?
[00:39:35] Katie: [00:39:35] I would say, The switch. The shift to virtual was interesting for me. I was luckily not too far down my path of what my service needed to be in person. I could, I was early enough that I could be very flexible. but I think kind of a lesson I’ve been learning along this way is, you know, cause another piece of my offering will be workshops and me facilitating them and, I’ve done.
[00:40:00] [00:39:59] I’ve done several in the past, but I feel like I, Oh, here’s one. I feel like I always bite off way more than I can chew. Like I, I have, I’ve kind of gotten to this zone of like, Oh, I can learn anything. I can do anything. I can become an expert in anything. and I’m learning to not backpedal, but just be really careful about that.
[00:40:18]as an independent consultant, you know, I feel. Not really any more protection from the world. Like I, when I was working for corporate, I, I was even kind of hiding behind the job and feeling very like insulated there and now in your consulting and you’re an entrepreneur and you’re just kind of working on your own and managing all these things on your own.
[00:40:38] I don’t, I feel very like. What’s the word I’m looking for. Just immersed very it’s, it’s a very immersive experience. And so I’m learning how to say, okay, am I really an expert in this don’t oversell? don’t oversell what you can do because people can see right through that. and I find my, I believe myself to be a very competent person so I can sell [00:41:00] myself easily, but I just want to just make sure that it’s.
[00:41:03] You know where I need to be, if that makes sense.
[00:41:05] Germaine: [00:41:05] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it’s a bit of a trap that you can fall into as well because Google, well, we’re just resources. You can, Google is one of them, but resources are so yeah. Easily accessible nowadays that you can go down that rabbit hole, come out of it, thinking that you’re right.
[00:41:20] You’re this expert within a certain, certain area. And then, you’ve got the freedom as, as an entrepreneur, as, as your own boss to then, you know, if you, if you wanted to wake up tomorrow and say, You know, I spent, if you spent 40 hours learning about web design, you could, you could probably just say, Hey, I can also help you with your websites.
[00:41:38] And you could convince yourself if, especially if you’re self confidence that, that, Hey, yeah, I’m an expert. and yeah, just, it can be a trap because you could just. Th that that’s sort of this never ending cycle of, you know, Oh, this is this other shiny thing that I’m going to, I’m going to upscale myself in and then you’d never let yourself have enough time to really hone in on one thing and become really good at that [00:42:00] one thing.
[00:42:00]which especially at the start, I mean, that’s what you gotta do. I know, like, I always think to the big, big companies, like, Deloitte, for example, who offers so many different services, or even like Microsoft and Apple. At some point, they were just one product or one service and they got really good at that.
[00:42:17] And then they funnel back those funds, into something else. but they got really good at one thing first. And, you know, that’s sort of what you’re touching on here that, you shouldn’t fall into that trap, especially when you’ve got time on time on your hands. And there’s not a boss saying this is the box within which you must fit.
[00:42:32]easy to spill everywhere.
[00:42:35] Katie: [00:42:35] Yes, it is. It’s, you know, we all know as entrepreneurs, keeping focus is definitely a skill. because yeah, there’s so many interests and things going on that I want to consume that I want to consume that, Oh, I want to incorporate that into my service somehow or this workshop.
[00:42:49] And then, then when I go to deliver it, I say, you know, maybe you don’t feel like, Oh, Am I equipped to really be doing this? I don’t know, but that could also just be kind of a perfectionist [00:43:00] attribute, but what you’re talking about, I think about content marketing too. this just kind of reminded me of a memory when I realized that I had a great.
[00:43:09]flare for writing and people started to commend me on my writing. Oh, you know, I’m going to explore that because I, I think more creativity and my work and this could be a great way to go. And yeah. So I, for a while I had these two kind of skills that I was grappling with. How, how can I create a signature service or a unique contribution with copywriting and, you know, DEI consulting.
[00:43:30] And so it was this weird. Thing. And then I realized after a year in marketing, I did not like copywriting, actually. I was terrible at it. I, you know, and that I, I tried to figure out how I could, you know, sell services, writing web copy and doing all these very specific skills that, once I actually accepted a job, doing I, which just seems very maybe counterintuitive.
[00:43:54]that’s another mistake I could, I could share. Really before you accept the [00:44:00] job, really be very detailed in what the job is. It’s interesting. Cause you want to go for a lot of things and then maybe when you are in a place, then you learn kind of what you’re not actually that great at, but I, what I do love is writing for myself and writing my own kind of content marketing.
[00:44:14] That’s kind of a differentiator there.
[00:44:16] Germaine: [00:44:16] Yeah. And I mean, when you’re writing for yourself, That’s different because you, you know, you know, when, when you speak it’s, it’s your tire and it’s yours voice, it’s your vibe where, I mean, to be a, be a good copywriter, it’s really a different skillset because you always need to sound like your client, but then say the right words as your clients.
[00:44:36] So, yeah. It’s it’s a whole different world. cause I mean, I think about even things like photography, I think, nowadays we just have the tools so easily accessible. I mean, even copyrighting it’s one of those things where, I mean, what’s the barrier to entry. It’s sort of nothing, right? you got a pen and paper you’re, you’re good to go.
[00:44:53] And those things cost sense these days, but, but yet there are people who charge. I mean just [00:45:00] recently, we were working with someone who charges a hundred Australian dollars an hour, and takes about three hours to write a one website web page of copy. So, they’re able to sell themselves at such a, such a high level.
[00:45:13]Because, you know, that’s just a reminder to me, at least that it seems simple, but really, it takes a lot of sort of, experience and a lot of perfecting to get it to, to a stage where you can sell it to someone. awesome. So where can people find out more about you?
[00:45:29] Katie: [00:45:29] Yeah, so by website, Katie Zink.co, a really great way to stay current with my work is to sign on for my newsletter.
[00:45:37]It’s called the confidant connection and that’s where I’ll curate all of my, I, all the pieces I’m writing. I made an appearance on a podcast or something like that, that I kind of write that in. And, and then, I’ve got a kind of a theme going monthly. so that’s a great way to stay current with kind of how I work and what I’m writing about.
[00:45:56]And then on LinkedIn, I’m very active there. So you can find me [00:46:00] and hit me up on LinkedIn.
[00:46:02] Germaine: [00:46:02] We’ll include all those links in the description as usual so that anyone who’s listening can connect with Katie and sign up to the needs of that. Are you ready for the
[00:46:12] Katie: [00:46:12] Oh yeah, let’s do it.
[00:46:13] Germaine: [00:46:13] Yeah. Awesome. So let’s get the ball rolling with top three books or podcasts that you recommend.
[00:46:19] Katie: [00:46:19] Yes. so I’ll go for books, top three. One that I can’t, I can’t promote this enough. It’s called. So you want to talk about race and it’s about a Seattle based or it’s a it’s by a Seattle based author called, her name is Ijeoma Oluo . And if you are interested in learning more about having discussions about race and kind of the importance of being anti-racist.
[00:46:41] This book is a great place to go. fierce conversations by Susan Scott also Seattle-based this is just so important for people that are managing teams or managing or leading organizations about how to have like fierce conversations and effective communication. And randomly I’ve came [00:47:00] across this other one, it’s called unf*ck your brain.
[00:47:02] And it’s all about kind of managing trauma, grief, coping, and just like all the things that our brain, is working through on a regular basis that we may not fully understand. I learned a lot from that.
[00:47:15] Germaine: [00:47:15] Yeah. Wow. that’s a very solid start. I want say, especially the first two really. Really sort of made me go, Hey, I’ve got to, I’ve got to find those.
[00:47:24] I’m probably going to try and look for audio books though. Cause I find it much, much, well, I can just smash through it. Right? I can, I can listen to I’m one of those people who can listen to things while working and still get both done quite effectively. So, I, yeah, I can sort of. Really, rack up the hours, listening to listening to content.
[00:47:43] So I’m going to, first thing I’m going to do is now look for, look for those first two books, because they’re very relevant right now, as well, just from a professional point of view, as well as just looking at what’s going on out there and hearing other people’s sort of, Points of view on this is is really crucial.
[00:48:00] [00:47:59] So fantastic. Next one, top three software or tools you can’t live without
[00:48:04] Katie: [00:48:04] I would say, LinkedIn is kind of number one for me right now. I’m getting the most kind of ROI. If you will, with LinkedIn, um Asana is I used the free version, but, it’s my go to project management tool. and the last one is between convert kit and Squarespace.
[00:48:23]I, my website is hosted on Squarespace and I’m just so, illiterate when it comes to website building. So that was great for me. but convert kit, I’m getting, I’m kind of geeking out about. They have an amazing content marketing, programming, their webinars, they put out their trainings and their workshops are really, really solid.
[00:48:41]and as a brand new entrepreneur building my contact list, I would recommend it as a tool for sure.
[00:48:47] Germaine: [00:48:47] And, and I assume you use that as a powered by convert
[00:48:49] kit as well.
[00:48:51]Katie: [00:48:51]
[00:48:51] yeah. Yeah.
[00:48:51] Germaine: [00:48:51] Awesome. Yeah. I know convert gets an awesome tool. so Squarespace for someone who’s just starting off and, you know, wanting to get, get, get a web presence.
[00:48:59]that looks nice, [00:49:00] at, at an affordable sort of price. Yeah. That’s, that’s again, very, very solid recommendations. I’ve used Assano over the years, we use something a bit more complex now. With a lot more customizations, but Assana, again, especially at their free tier from memory of saunas, free tastes is quite generous and, is enough for at least the solopreneur.
[00:49:19] Definitely so awesome. top three mantras, you try to live by.
[00:49:23] Katie: [00:49:23] So the first one, this is actually my marketing coach, hers that I have been adopting a lot right now is done over. Perfect. we kinda mentioned perfectionism earlier, but it’s something that. I’m aware of now that I maybe am falling into. A perfectionism groove.
[00:49:40] And so I know when I’ve spent enough time on something, I’m getting starting to get comfortable. Okay. This is done. I don’t need to do any more tweaks or tests like it’s done and walk away. so done over perfect is a really good one. Another one that I like is to put your mask on before helping others, because self preservation is key.
[00:49:59]you know, [00:50:00] It’s not to be selfish, but it’s just self preservation, I think, is so important. We have to take care of ourselves in order to bring our wholesales in our work and do good work
[00:50:10] Germaine: [00:50:10] and continue to be the, you know, day after day to continue to do that work as well. I think, just the other day I was watching an episode of shark tank and, it was, It was a social enterprise and, their whole thing was, you know, they, they want this social mission, to be realized.
[00:50:25]but what the sharks kept saying were yes, but you know, it is about the money, even though you’re saying it’s about the social mission, because you’ve got to be here. The world’s not going to be a better place. If you don’t exist tomorrow, at least, you know, your impact on the world, is it not going to be felt if you’re not here tomorrow as a, as a business?
[00:50:42] So yeah. Self preservation goes hand in hand with that. So, I love that. No, one’s no, one’s, I’ve actually set said that one was
[00:50:49] Katie: [00:50:49] really cool. Yeah. I mean, it’s so true. And I think that we’re all kind of like having to digest a lot right now. So, don’t forget to take care of yourself.
[00:51:01] [00:51:00] Germaine: [00:51:01] Yeah. Yeah. What’s the third.
[00:51:03] Katie: [00:51:03] A simple one. It’s just speak up, speak up in my work. I talk about, speak up culture and I, think there’s a big difference in calling out and calling in. I don’t know if you’ve ever kind of heard that distinction, but, I think it’s really important because. The difference between calling in is it’s always leading with heart and kindness.
[00:51:23] So, you know, a lot of us are maybe having difficult, fierce conversations right now, calling people out. I don’t find to be as effective in the long run. whereas calling in is just a way more compassionate. Heart-centered way to communicate with people.
[00:51:37] Germaine: [00:51:37] Right. So, so what’s what, how would that in practice, let’s say someone at work is really phoning it in, you know, taking, taking credit for the work that you’re doing.
[00:51:48]I mean, one option is to just put them on blast, right? Just go, go to the bosses and be like, listen, this guy, or this girl is, they’re just taking all my, all the credit for all the work. They’re really not showing up. what’s the [00:52:00] calling in sort of approach to that? Would you say.
[00:52:02] Katie: [00:52:02] Yeah. I actually, I’m just kind of like flipping to some notes because I have been writing a lot about this.
[00:52:08]and I kind of have like tips that I like to share for how to speak up kind of in the moment. And, the first really is just to think about the mindset and just to remember that. Just because you’re the loudest person in the room or somebody else’s allowed us person in the room. That doesn’t mean that they’re the only ones with, with good ideas.
[00:52:27]so challenging group think is, is just really, really important and allowing space for, to share the air. Basically, that’s one of my agreements. I always. Share with my clients is share the air. You know, some people are more comfortable talking and talking and hearing themselves talk, and I’m an introvert.
[00:52:43] I’m somebody who would rather listen and stay quiet. and so those people kind of have to push themselves to speak up a little bit more. and so when you’re kind of like maybe up against a situation, you know, maybe it’s like a situation where somebody is just, you know, there’s been a microaggression, somebody kind of insulted [00:53:00] somebody or there’s been, you know, somebody just kind of in targeted for something, There are some things you can definitely do.
[00:53:05] And I talk a lot about this and, and my content is, you know, interrupting that bias or interrupting that with things like humor, you know, if that’s in your wheelhouse and it’s appropriate and it’s, you know, with led with kindness, like it’s totally a great strategy to like, just break up the pattern with some humor and make, get people laughing and maybe like, just interrupt and make them think about.
[00:53:25] A comment that wasn’t great. Or, because really it’s so important to be represented like in a project, in a meeting having your voice heard. So, for people that just aren’t that comfortable speaking up, it’s just a good habit to get into. another, another skill is kind of. That I recommend is honing in on your critical thinking skills, because that’ll just build your confidence naturally.
[00:53:46]I think when we’re, we were in school, you know, critical thinking was just part of the pedagogy and it was part of our curriculum, but I don’t know if adults practice it as much as they could now. so I like to, you know, advise people to just take those surveys when you get like marketing [00:54:00] surveys, just take them, just like practice those critical thinking skills and make it a habit.
[00:54:05]and then my personal favorite is actually like, Just take the day. it’s actually really awkward and hard and difficult to speak up in the moment, at least for me sometimes. And so I think take the day, journal it out, sleep on it. And then if there’s something that you wanted to speak up about, go privately and speak with, with that person or your manager or your client, you know, at another time, especially if you’re in a situation where you’re managing up, I find that to be really effective too.
[00:54:32] Yeah. Rather than sort of, yeah. You know, sometimes the trap you can fall in there when you, when you sort of tell someone to, to, you know, stop being quiet, speak up is that then it can sort of, things can be done in the heat of the moment without real, real critical thing. And then you end up being, you know, louder than you might traditionally be putting yourself out of, out of your comfort zone to then, Not convey your message and all in all, just end up in a, in a situation where you were probably better off just [00:55:00] to shut up.
[00:55:01] Germaine: [00:55:01] Right. But if you take all those tips as a, as a whole, I think, I think, yeah, very good advice. Cause you can, you you’re basically, you know, going through all that first, rather than just speaking up, for no reason. so yeah, it’s, it’s sort of the, the advice that I think, Can you take one of those, just one of those things.
[00:55:21] It doesn’t quite work, but you take the whole, and it’s, it’s really, much greater than the sum of its parts. So, fantastic. top three people you follow and why.
[00:55:31] Katie: [00:55:31] So I think. Right now I’m following a lot of peer practitioners, in the space that I work. And so I’d be happy to name off a few that, that do similar work as me.
[00:55:42]but come from a different perspective and maybe bring other, you know, they, they do bring other contributions. one is Lily Jang, Lily as a DEI practitioner in the San Francisco Bay area. And, She’s published kind of all over the place. She writes for Harvard business review and I kind of [00:56:00] wake up every day to something amazing that Lilly has posted on LinkedIn.
[00:56:03] She’s just stellar. Other than that. I really, the author that I mentioned before, I bet you could find her we’re on audio is Yama Lou. I am, I do use them. I’m not for business, but for personal and I love everything she puts out. when she does her life saves or, you know, her excerpts, like it’s, it’s just really, informs a lot of my.
[00:56:24] I am kind of my thinking and then a third. Oh, can I, okay. Totally random. Nothing to do with work, but any drama, do you know of Benny drama?
[00:56:32] Germaine: [00:56:32] No tell me more
[00:56:35] Katie: [00:56:35] .Okay. You need to be following him. He’s hilarious. he’s I think he’s a New York based, content creator and he’s an actor. He has like a stage production and he does like.
[00:56:46] The most flawless, like impersonations you’ll ever see of just like, you know, Billie Eilish or the Kardashians or whoever it’s like, kind of in Vogue right now. And he’s just so funny. Just the funniest videos. He he’s he’s, [00:57:00] he’s mostly videos. But, posts that he’s always kind of like in drag or in some sort of costume.
[00:57:05] And he’s like very good though, too, like super skilled. Yeah.
[00:57:10] Germaine: [00:57:10] Awesome.
[00:57:11] Love it. That’s that’s a really nice mix of, wholesome and wholesome, but in a different way.
[00:57:17] Yeah.
[00:57:19] Awesome Katie. I mean, as always future tribe, all links from this episode, is, is going to be available in the description, including links to all the software and books and people that we’ve talked about in this episode.
[00:57:33] So, any parting words, Katie?
[00:57:35] Katie: [00:57:35] thank you so much. This has been awesome. Yeah, great way to spend the afternoon.
[00:57:40] Germaine: [00:57:40] I’m glad you, yeah. yeah, it was great to connect and it was great to chat and, you know, I might, I might be shooting you an email, once I’ve again, just thought about our conversations and it’s, like I said, you know, inclusion and equality and diversity is an area that I’m, you know, Trying to upskill myself in.
[00:57:58] And it’s, it’s something [00:58:00] that I have a very, very interesting relationship with because being in Australia, we moved to Australia. I’m sort of a Brown male with a beard. you know, I, I, I have an interest relationship with it, because I choose to think that people come from a place of goodness and, you know, not, not racism and so on and so forth, but, you know, there’s just.
[00:58:19] Things that I like, just, just even just small things, like, you know, ordering fried rice and being told, Oh, it’s got, it’s got bacon in it, you know? are you okay with that? you know, assuming that I’m Muslim, for example, just even subtle things like that. So it’s, it’s always been this thing where I’m like, you know, I sucked it up, you’ve got all, suck it up as well.
[00:58:37] And just, you know, just. Deal with it and sort of navigate through it. And, but, but on the other hand, this conversation in particular has sort of made me think about it. more from the other side of, you know, maybe you just don’t have to put up with it. There, there, there is, there is systematic things that have happened over the years and just systematic things that have been, Set up in such a way that it benefits a certain group or it, [00:59:00] it has attributes that, attracts a certain group and, you know, we’ve, we can change that because, those are just established at a, at a certain point, by people.
[00:59:08] And that just means that they can be changed by people. and there’s a role that we can play in, in all of that as well.
[00:59:15] Katie: [00:59:15] Gosh, I love that. And, you know, when I was thinking of the name for my company, you’ve just described it basically it’s called social construct consulting because everything that we are experiencing is that, and so it can be changed and improved upon and yeah, absolutely.
[00:59:31] Well, I would love to share, I could talk about this stuff all day. So I would, I be happy to share more stuff? If you have questions I can elaborate and send you some other things to check out too love to do that.
[00:59:41] Germaine: [00:59:41] Fantastic. Awesome. Thanks for your time, Katie. Yeah. really enjoyed this episode.
[00:59:47] Katie: [00:59:47] Same, have a great day.
[00:59:49] Germaine: [00:59:49] You too.

Why it is so hard for businesses to overcome cultural gaps?

In this week’s episode of the Future Tribe Podcast, we chat with the Founder and CEO of Crediverso, Carlos Hernandez. Crediverso is an informational software suite that is aimed at helping Hispanic and Latino Americans become more financially literate. As Crediverso is a young company that is growing rapidly, Carlos shares a great deal of information about how the initial stages of business/product development work,  as well as how he sought out funding from venture capitalists. Later on in the show, Germaine and Carlos discuss the cultural gaps companies need to cross when entering into new markets and why even large companies fail at doing so. Finally, both our host and our guest discuss the importance of staffing your company with the right people and the benefits of having colleagues to vet your ideas.

What we talk about
  • Business/Product development and how to seek out venture capital
  • Overcoming cultural gaps
  • The importance of staffing your company with the right people
Links from this episode

Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors

[00:00:00.750] – Germaine

Hello, Future Tribe. Welcome to another episode of the podcast on this week’s episode. I’ve got Carlos from Crediverso. How are you today Carlos?

[00:00:11.370] – Carlos

I’m doing fantastic. Thanks for asking. Really excited to talk to you.

[00:00:14.520] – Germaine

Yeah. I mean, let’s get the ball rolling. What is Crediverso to start off with?

[00:00:20.520] – Carlos

Absolutely, so we are an online financial products marketplace designed for U.S. Hispanics, a huge population here in the States. 60 million, 60 million people, which is about 20 percent of our population. Yeah. it’s a big portion of the population. And the amazing thing is that they are very much underserved by existing financial institutions and financial intermediary platforms like the companies that give you personal finance information resources.

[00:00:46.500] – Carlos

First of all, many, much of it is not available in Spanish. They don’t advertise in Hispanic neighborhoods and the content is not designed or presented in a way that is accessible to the typical Hispanic consumer.

[00:00:56.880] – Carlos

So what we tried to do is provide easy to access bilingual tools that help consumers understand complex financial decisions like how to pick the right credit card or how to apply for a mortgage. We also offer a ton of educational resources, like a Step-By-Step Guide on how to get a free credit report or in a particular economic circumstances, we find ourselves in right now how to make sure you get your stimulus check or a government loan and things like that.

[00:01:21.000] – Germaine

So is there such a need? I mean, so 20 percent of the population, you said, is Hispanic. Is that is there a need then that they get that information in Spanish or in the in that in a different language or what ways? Why is that need sort of there? I guess what I’m trying to identify are there then if they are 20 percent of the population are that then other groups as well in the US where they would be better served if they where delivered that information in their own native language?

[00:01:54.720] – Carlos

Absolutely, and you know, we’re starting with Hispanics as the consumer base that we know best. But you’re you’re absolutely right. The one of the great things about being in the United States and about what I love about living in Los Angeles is that you can stand on a street corner in L.A. and see street signs and storefronts in six different languages English, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Tagalog, all sorts of languages. And so what we’re starting with, with the Hispanic audience in the United States, ideally, I think there is a need for for a service like ours, for many different communities.

[00:02:26.550] – Carlos

And the way that I approach how that need plays out for the Hispanic population is you can look at the media landscape, for example, and in the US, you know, it certainly is different where you are imagine. But in the U.S., we have something like, I don’t know, 400, 500 channels that are offered in English and we have two that are offered in Spanish. And so the need is just absolutely not met in many of these different verticals.

[00:02:53.820] – Carlos

Finance is a really important one for many, many different reasons.

[00:02:59.280] – Carlos

Access to small business loans, access to student loans, and anything as simple as getting a credit check or getting a credit card. And so while that’s not the entirety of the 60 million person population speaks only Spanish, we go beyond just a you know, we’re not just a translation service. There really is a cultural relevance component to this in terms of the way it’s presented. You can take a credit card, for example, and a typical general market site might focus on, OK, what’s a what’s the best credit card if you want to build up some travel points to go to Europe next summer.


And that’s great. You know, it’s play folks are taking those kind of trips, maybe if maybe not right now, but hopefully soon in the future. Yeah. With our specific demographic that we’re offering the service towards, many of them maybe have, you know, never been on a plane more interested in things like what is a good credit card if I don’t have a Social Security number?


What does a good credit card if I just say so, you can sort of you’re looking positive. It’s the language is sort of the easiest way to identify who your market is. But then that has implications that sort of spread much further into the community, into how they live their life. And even, you know, as you’ve touched on sort of what then normal is versus, you know, what the average Americans and normal is as well. So you’re really just I mean, money at the end of the day is a very lifestyle thing.

[00:04:21.570] – Germaine

So that’s what you’re trying to do, is sort of talk about that from a lifestyle style sort of perspective. We didn’t talk about what your role is and you know what you do at Crediverso.

[00:04:34.530] – Carlos

Yeah thanks for asking. So I founded Crediverso about at this point just over nine months ago. So we are a very young company, but we are growing very quickly. I think we are getting close to 20 people or so on the team across all the different capacities. We just brought on a summer internship team of about seven people, all MBA students, all fantastic everywhere, from engineers to finance backgrounds. So we’re growing very quickly. We’re expanding into different product verticals.

[00:05:00.930] – Carlos

But, yeah, you know, I started this company in late October of last year. And really the idea behind it was that I just started noticing that, hey, why am I not seeing advertisements in Spanish with Hispanic imagery or things that are relevant to the Spanish community on TV, on social media, on Instagram, Facebook? Why is that not there? And after a little bit of research, I realized, hey, it looks like the typical financial institution spends less than two and a half percent of their marketing budget on marketing toward Hispanics.

[00:05:33.630] – Carlos

And as I mentioned a minute ago, 20 percent of the population is comprised of that group. So there’s a big mismatch there, which, you know, it’s bittersweet because on one hand, it means that there is a for a long time there has been a population that has been very much underserved. On the other hand, it provides a business opportunity. And so that’s we’re kind of approaching from bothof those.

[00:05:49.680] – Germaine

Yeah. Right. Very interesting. So you started this about nine, 10 months ago. How old are you now, if you don’t mind me asking? 31. So you were probably 30, 31 when you started as well. What drove you to stop this, apart from seeing this market?

[00:06:09.820] – Germaine

You know, I’m sure there are a lot of things in life that people come across that, you know, oh, this is a good business opportunity here, but it takes a bit more than a good business opportunity to jump into a business. What what what were the other factors that sort of came into it, you know? Well, you sort of leave me another job or you’re finishing up at another business that you started. How did that sort of happen?

[00:06:32.410] – Germaine


[00:06:33.820] – Carlos

Yeah. Thanks for asking, Germaine. And really, the way that kind of played out is that I not too long ago graduated from grad school and I did a joint degree program at Harvard in Law and Business. I graduated with my JD and my MBA. And that, you know, I was lucky enough to get to have that great education and learn across a variety of subjects from law all the way to finance how to start a business, how to incorporate a business, all those things that really it’s kind of an essential skill set for a founder.

[00:07:08.020] – Carlos

So I figured, OK, you know, now I’m young, I’m not married, no kids. Now is probably the best time, if there is one, to take this big risk because it is a big risk. You know, many colleagues went on to very secure jobs in investment banking or consulting or private equity. And that’s a that’s a very hard wrap because of the hours that they make you work in the lifestyle, but you don’t have that same job insecurity.

[00:07:34.090] – Carlos

You know, you don’t know whether your company will still be around in a year. So I figured if there’s any time in my life I’m going to take a big risk, it’s right now where I don’t have people depending on me. And I think it’s a social mission that I really care about. And that makes all the swallow.

[00:07:51.940] – Germaine

And how do you make the financial side of things sort of work? Like not not in terms of the actual product service, but at the business side of things that is coming out of school? I would imagine, you know, 20 people cost money to obviously to to pay their wages, things like that. How is that sort of how have you managed to navigate that sort of things?

[00:08:13.730] – Carlos

And while that is a a tough path to choose for a wide variety of reasons, most of which you have missed out one side, it puts you in a position where you have a an actual product that you can look at, walk through, get a really good understanding for the business and the revenue model before you begin asking for venture dollars. And you have a little bit more leverage that way and just better economics in terms of the terms that you get from venture capital partners.

[00:08:40.300] – Carlos

Now, to answer your question, that makes for a tougher stretch from inception to funding. Right. And I was lucky enough to have had a few jobs before, before and during grad school. And I was able to put away some money. I knew that I ultimately wanted to start something on my own. So between putting away that money during grad school, investing it where I could. The fact that up until a couple of months ago, we were in a long bull market.

[00:09:05.470] – Carlos

All those things kind of helped to put me in the position to be able to fund this thing internally for a little while until we got the MBP up or running, which we have now. And now we are aggressively in the ABC funding strategy phase of our resistance.

[00:09:20.140] – Germaine

Wow. So your your very intentionally now looking for outside money to come in and and use that. Does that funding to I guess, take the business into the next stage.

[00:09:32.510] – Carlos

That’s right. And I’m really excited about it because it means that, you know, where we have been very intentional about approaching some of these cost and some of these big expenditure items previously. Now, we are kind of starting to get to the point where we can think about, OK, what does this thing look like when we really juice it up with some financing?

[00:09:51.100] – Carlos

And that is everything from bringing more engineers in-house to accelerate our growth of the product development side to really taking a heavy crack at paid ads. And we have a few strategies within that. But additional money never hurts.

[00:10:07.300] – Germaine

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s it’s an interesting thing that I think I think about all the time, because, you know, when you when you get additional money, you’d be looking to give a give away portion of the business. Is that is that correct? In this instance, in terms of what you look at.

[00:10:24.210] – Carlos

Unfortunately, I think they generally will make money.I mean, if if anybody wants to give me free money, that’s even better.

[00:10:30.670] – Germaine

But but you’re looking at, you know, giving away shares of the business versus like debt or venture debt and those sorts of options.

[00:10:38.450] – Carlos

We’re considering both. We have a team comprised of a few very smart people. Some lawyers with experience on the VC side, some folks with finance backgrounds like my own. And that’s one of the major decision points. We’re trying to make it through this process. And we look at the the really the real decision points of the fundraising strategy. It’s. What do we want to spend the money on? How much will it costs? What is the best way to pursue that money?

[00:11:05.030] – Carlos

And based off of all those factors? Who are we targeting from an investment missing standpoint? Is it. Are we looking at a seat or are we looking at a series A.. Are we looking at traditional venture or are we looking at angel or family office or strategic partners? These are all decisions that we’re actively making right now. And it makes for a pretty interesting process. But the the end goal, again, is, you know, if we can, like I said, juice this company up with the resources that it needs to really have a a wide reach.

[00:11:34.310] – Carlos

I’m really excited about the potential impact it can have. I think if we can be the difference between somebody getting a small business loan and being able to open up a business or getting a student loan to be able to go to college. That is really what this company is all about. And the existing financial resources, personal finance resources that are out there in the U.S. right now are, I think, lacking in many of those areas for our demographic.

[00:11:58.070] – Germaine

Yeah. Yeah. So there’s a strong sort of social mission here. But then looking at, you know, asking people for money, did you want to get to a stage where the way I like to think about it is that you want to come up with a very clear or good formula of what it takes for your company to grow things like, you know, how much money do you have to spend to acquire a customer, a customer acquisition costs?

[00:12:23.060] – Germaine

Did you do you spend a lot of time doing that before you started this process? Or are you still sort of are you trying to define that as much as possible before you start to look for money? Is that is that a very intentional thing that you’re doing here?

[00:12:38.420] – Carlos

Absolutely, and I can tell you two seconds in that this is a process that you are very familiar with. The the benefit I have is that my sister is a principal at a venture capital firm, and so I kind of have a secret weapon in her.

[00:12:55.250] – Carlos

That was intentional about those approaches on my own. She is able to really guide me in that sense. And so, you know, again, in terms of that strategizing up front, when we approach the process, like you said, you know, we are we are really selling a product here. Not I’m not talking about the Crediverso the website to the consumers, but I’m talking about the best opportunity to venture capital investors. Whenever you’re selling something, you need to understand exactly the perspective somebody has who is a potential buyer and relevance there is what are these KPI is that a typical D.C. investor will look at? You mentioned customer acquisition costs. Our revenue model, that is perhaps one of the most relevant metrics that an investor will look at. But there are other ones as well. Burn rates. What our major milestone for spending are in the next few months and the next year. These are all very relevant pieces that need to be able to be answered before we can have serious conversations within the VC community.

[00:13:55.800] – Carlos

And we’ve, I think, done a pretty good job so far of trying to come to those answers. But, you know, it’s a it’s a start up. Things change. We’re rolling out new products as we speak. So what our what our burn rate looks like, what our revenue structure looks like, it’s different for every product. So it’s been a fun process to answer that question.

[00:14:14.120] – Germaine

Yeah. I mean, it’s an interesting sort of time for us to talk with you because you’re sort of nine months in. I would call that a very young business. But then you’re getting to you’re starting to look for funding. And, you know, you’re in a position where I would say, again, businesses would find themselves more at, you know, twenty four months rather than nine, 10 months. I mean, granted, this is this is not a short crisis.

[00:14:35.450] – Germaine

It’s not like, you know, you’re going to wake up tomorrow and you’re going to have a deal. And by next week, you’re going to have all the funding through. But just look at it. It’s interesting to have a conversation with someone who is going through this going through this journey and looking at it.

[00:14:50.930] – Carlos

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re really looking at this as an opportunity to get money to make an end sort of social goal, a reality vs., you know, setting a bit of the company to keep the company alive. Besides, your your your you look at the social side of things and what that what that power, the power that you have in that that sort of sentence. Is that fair to say?

[00:15:18.740] – Carlos

Well, you know, I think the good thing about the position we’re in right now and the way we’ve built out the different teams is that our burn rate is actually very, very low. So we are under no immediate time pressure in terms of how much we need to raise. But in terms of the end goal of why we’re trying to do this, I think I think there are two major goals. I mean, there is absolutely that social mission enough potential for generational change that I think we have within this community.

[00:15:44.600] – Carlos

I think it’s very much needed. And we with through the power of the Internet and the opportunity that has been created through other firms, a large financial institutions not being able to access or not simply carrying enough to. This market, there is a big opportunity there to have a social mission. The flip side of that coin is that this is a space that is phenomenally. It makes phenomenal sense from a business case because there are all these different products.


I mean, credit cards, personal loans, student loans, credit checks, these are in many cases, especially through doing it in unmamable or on an Internet platform, very high margin products.

[00:16:27.290] – Carlos

I think the beauty of the model that we’ve we’re pursuing is we will never charge a penny to the consumer, to this being a consumer in the US. Our revenue model is entirely tied to the financial institutions with whom we partner

[00:16:39.920] – Germaine

On the back end, essentially. So once once something goes through, you get like a reimbursement, a commission, whatever terminology you want to use for sending that person to that institution.

[00:16:51.110] – Carlos

Exactly. And, you know, the specifics there are somewhat different depending on the product vertical we’re talking about. But that’s the gist of it. And again, that those commissions are provided by the financial partner and not by the consumer.

[00:17:08.090] – Germaine

So how are you finding your clients? Is it all your customers? Is it a lot of word of mouth at this stage or are you doing you mentioned sort of, you know, increasing spending in advertising, but is that something that you’ve pursued? How have you sort of started to find these costs, clients and customers? And could you give us an idea of how many customers you would say you have? Just just a just a general ballpark?

[00:17:35.090] – Carlos

Sure. So the the approach we’re taking. I would say is two pronged. First is on the organic side. And this is really important because, you know, I mentioned the beginning of the conversation that the our competitors that I’ve described them are both the financial institutions where direct providers of financial products loans, credit card issuers, etc., and the financial intermediary platform. So those are things like least in states lending, tree credit, karma, nerd wallet, and not one of those platforms is available in Spanish.

[00:18:09.110] – Carlos

So what that means on the organic customer acquisition side is that when we write an article about five things you should do if you a credit card payment, and that’s in Spanish. We are the only place you can get that information. So as you can imagine, that does phenomenal things for your SEO

[00:18:25.260] – Germaine

Because you can rank almost number one straight off the bat.

[00:18:28.160] – Carlos

Exactly. And so every week, you know, the the competitive landscape is different for every one of these products.

[00:18:33.020] – Carlos

But in many of them, we are the only place, for example, where you can compare credit cards in Spanish in the country where they allow a credit check in Spanish in the country.

[00:18:42.440] – Germaine

So I have been sorry to cut you off, but haven’t been competitive, so to speak, in the past. I mean, to me, I’m looking at it and I guess this is the hallmark of any business that has identified a really good opportunity, is that, you know, once once you sort of hear about the idea, you sort of go, why hasn’t someone done this before? But has someone done this before?

[00:19:03.460] – Germaine

Okay, so that is a question that I spend a lot of time thinking about. And I know the answers to whether they’ve done it before. And the question is why? What happened? Right. And yeah, why did they go bust or did they did did they get bought out?What happened?

[00:19:18.590] – Carlos

So there hasn’t been anybody in our particular space to try to do what we’re doing in terms of a platform that goes across multiple financial product verticals, comparison, customer attrition, et cetera, in Spanish targeting this platform. But the let me give you an analogy that I think will kind of encompass what has happened in the space.

[00:19:38.660] – Carlos

So when a what I call a general market company, so somebody who targets the general market as a whole and doesn’t specify niches with regards to specific demographics, when a general market company wants to go from targeting the general market as a whole to one specific demographic. The way that they have done it in almost every instance is take the existing infrastructure for that they use to build out there, in many cases, very successful general market platform and try to apply that to a new specific demographic.

[00:20:09.410] – Carlos

So, for example, you can get a a bank that is headquartered in the middle of the country, has a in a state where their population of Hispanics is almost zero percent. And they say, hey, you know, they’re looking at the same numbers. We are we got 60 million people here. We’re not addressing them. We’re not available Spanish. Let’s do this. Let’s go after this market. And they say, OK, hey, Karen, from Accounting, you want to you want to take this on?

[00:20:35.210] – Carlos

She said, I’ve never really tried Mexican food, but yes, sure, I’ll try it on and they try it. It doesn’t work. No surprise. And it goes bust. And the most recent example of this is a company called Mundo Fox, OK, which Fox tried to develop a competitive television station in Spanish called the Fox. It started, I think, in 2014 and by 2016, if I’m not. And it was bust and how I think the approach of trying to transplant in a general market infrastructure into a new market, much like if you were to try to go into a different country, does not work.

[00:21:11.710] – Carlos

Whereas if you build ground up with people who are familiar that markets move with the audience and know how to speak the language in more ways than one. I think that’s the appropriate way to target that market.

[00:21:23.740] – Germaine

So so what you’ve been able to do is essentially it’s almost the benefit of not having a product that already sort of does a similar thing, is that you can build it up and you can customize it so that the customer is really in love with it in all in all aspects of it. And it sort of is really fit for purpose. This is just getting something and then trying to make it all, trying to make it work, which is, as you’ve mentioned, the competitors have tried to do in the past.

[00:21:50.830] – Carlos

That’s the goal. And, you know, it’s funny, for example, this is all stuff that I love seeing the examples. But again, it’s bittersweet because it just means that this is an unaddressed market. And so there are there lists that come out every year of who the top advertising spenders are within the Hispanic population in the US. And on that list, there is only one financial institution, OK, that does lending credit card, et cetera.

[00:22:17.920] – Carlos

And that’s Wells Fargo, great company that a lot of great things. But if you go. So presumably because they’re the only one that’s in the top 50 by spend the best rate. They should be. If you go to Wells Fargo, dot com slash Espanol, that’s the Spanish landing page. The text is, I think, all in English. The photos are of imagery that I would not exactly describe as relevant for this demographic. And there are there is a pun in English.

[00:22:48.460] – Carlos

So if you don’t speak the language, not only are you going to not understand what the what the words themselves mean, but you’re definitely not going to understand what the plan words means.

[00:22:56.250] – Germaine

Yeah. So this is really interesting for you. And really interesting exercising in nation down and then almost localizing it, isn’t it. Like you’re in the US. But you want to localize it to the Hispanics. Now, that does sort of bring up an interesting thing, though. Is it fair to say that I mean, the Hispanics come from everywhere. But is the majority of the majority of the Spanish population in the US from a certain country or descendants of a certain sort of group of people?

[00:23:30.420] – Carlos

Well, that’s another really important nuance, and I’m glad you raised it, because it’s a huge population in the country. And to just say Spanish speakers is almost like looking at the world and saying English speakers and assuming they’re all from the US right, it doesnt work?

[00:23:46.860] – Carlos

Phenomenally different cultures, just they share a language. And so what you’ve brought up is a very important nuance in the sense that I think something like sixty five percent or so, maybe 70 percent come from Mexico. That’s a big chunk. And the remainder is kind of spread across Latin America, the Caribbean. We’ve been of some Spaniards in the US. So very different countries, very different cultures. If you share the commonality of the language. But the one thing that I’ve seen, for example, is that the the way that.

[00:24:23.210] – Carlos

Immigration has played out over the past 50 years, 100 years or so in the country. Is that the Cuban population, for example? When that immigration process started and this is a bit didak at the risk of being a bit didactic, because that was a they were political immigrants, political based immigrants for the most part. And speaking in broad terms here, when they came to the country and prominently was to Florida, the people who were able to come were of high education levels, generally wealthy, high socio economic status.

[00:24:54.950] – Carlos

And so that created a community in Florida that was very different from some other cultures that were maybe not political immigrants, but rather economic immigrants. And so when you leave a country in Mexico, as has been a perfect example of this, in many instances when you leave a country because there is no economic opportunity for you there, then you are not someone who typically has it. By definition, it means that you don’t have economic opportunities. So when you get to this country, you’re not arriving here with a medical degree behind you or a law degree behind you.

[00:25:29.460] – Carlos

You are arriving here to look for whatever work you can, often with your pockets. And, you know, I have relatives that were in that situation. And so it’s one with which I’m really familiar. But the way that plays out is that when you look to what you asked, how how companies have traditionally approached this, when you look to how a company in whatever part of the country approaches it, say, OK, hey, let’s we want to get into the Hispanic market, let’s go hire a Hispanic owned marketing firm.

[00:25:58.610] – Carlos

Great. Where are they? Other Miami, OK. There. That is a firm that is very well suited for targeting their specific demographic of Florida and the immigrants that have arrived in Florida and that communities develop there. But that may not be the one that captures the largest percentage of the population in the country. You may end up coming up with a message that is perfect for one portion of that pie, but missing the larger portion of that pie.

[00:26:25.460] – Germaine

And so what’s your heritage?What’s your background?

[00:26:29.270] – Germaine

So I grew up in a Mexican-American family in Los Angeles. My mother was born in Mexico, moved the United States. You go to college. My father was born in a Mexican neighborhood in Los Angeles. East L.A.. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:26:45.830] – Germaine

So you’ve got sort of that mad Mexican heritage. Is that fair to say? Yeah.

[00:26:49.640] – Carlos

Absolutely. I actually have a little Irish in me. You should see the baby pictures of me where I had orange hair. Yeah.

[00:26:58.940] – Germaine

I guess what the reason I’m asking this is because, you know, you’ve just talked about how how hard it can be and how important it is that you have, you know, quite, quite firsthand knowledge and firsthand experience. When you’re when you’re targeting your demographic. But how do you then make sure that you do that? Because I can imagine that. Do you literally just sit down and look at all marketing collateral, look at the website and make sure that it sort of matches you going off to.

[00:27:30.500] – Germaine

Do you have different people you you invite into this mix? Do you talk to a marketing agency, get them involved? How have you managed to do that? Because I mean, you’ve got the distinct benefit here of actually having heritage, all the background and the upbringing that could that is related to you on each. But I could imagine that if you didn’t have any of that, this would be near impossible. But how do you make it happen?

[00:27:55.890] – Carlos

Well, listen, it is it is very, very hard, even for me of having the benefit of growing up in a neighborhood that is very Hispanic.

[00:28:03.170] – Carlos

And, you know, I think I just had tacos for lunch. So that’s even. Having had that exposure to the culture, it is still a very hard thing to do to build a product that somebody wants to use and they feel is right for them. We’ve had the benefit of having a woman on the team who was the founder of multicultural marketing. So has a phenomenal background in this space.

[00:28:26.720] – Carlos

But really, I think the first step as we’ve approached develop the product development and every one of these verticals, whether it was our credit card comparison platform, whether it’s the credit checks or loan proxima, working on the first step in every instance is understanding the consumer, understanding the pain points, understanding what they like and don’t like about the existing offerings if they even know about the existing offering. I mentioned that there is very little marketing for these products in those neighborhoods.

[00:28:55.280] – Carlos

So sitting down and actually having surveys, interviews, questionnaires, talking to people, getting their stories, that is the most important thing we can do. And then building from that standpoint, that actually has been a much harder process now, given the epidemic area of not being able to have accused you of your actions. But we’re making it work and we’re still I mean, with people out there doing surveys today. OK.

[00:29:17.130] – Germaine

Yeah. Yeah. So it’s it’s very hit the ground running. And, you know, I talked to the PayPal. The demographic and just putting the work that it’s going to take to understand what they’re often what they want.

[00:29:28.300] – Carlos

But I’ll give you an example as to why this is so hard. So I know you speak a bunch of languages. I don’t know if Spanish is one of them, but in Spanish. You can refer to someone using either the informal tu toOK, which is you or the formal usted, which is generally easier for parents.

[00:29:49.820] – Carlos

Things like that. If I’m talking to one of my buddies, I say to if I’m talking to a professor, I say, use that. Now, which one of those do we use when we’re writing these articles? Right. That’s. You think that’s a simple question, but is it. Are the people reading this? Are they younger? Are they younger than me? Are they my age? Are they older or are they first generation parents or are they second generation children?

[00:30:12.650] – Carlos

Those are all. That’s a very nuanced question. And to my point earlier about what happens when you put Karen from accounting on this project, who’s never been to California, you know, that to tu or usted thing that I have trouble figuring out the answer to that question.

[00:30:28.330] – Germaine

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let let alone someone who hasn’t even had had a Hispanic food and and any sort of Hispanic contact before, so. So to speak.

[00:30:41.630] – Germaine

What are some like we’ve talked about, you know, the the things that you’ve been able to do. What are some things that you’ve some mistakes that you’ve made, some things that you’ve sort of gone, oh we could have been, you know, a month or two ahead if if we’d avoided this mistake? Anything come to mind?

[00:31:01.880] – Carlos

Honestly, the it’s it’s not a question of what comes to mind. It’s a question of which item from the list to tell you.

[00:31:11.330] – Germaine

Oh, that’s fantastic. Because normally people just sort of say, oh, you know, I can’t really think of any yet. It just took a long time, but I can’t think of any mistakes. But what are some big ones that do you think the the audience can really learn from and understand from?

[00:31:28.280] – Carlos

Yeah, absolutely. So I think probably the the most interesting one is that I mentioned that we have a lot of different product verticals, that we’re the ones that I think are the most interesting, both from the business case and from the potential to have like real dollar impact. Putting dollars in back in people’s pockets are some that we’re working on right now that are going to be launched over the next hopefully few weeks. But it is a well, if I if I give you a deadline, then my product team is going to yell at me.

[00:32:06.440] – Carlos

But and I said, OK, in order for us to get there, we need involvement from these partner financial institutions. We need buy and we need to be able to show them that we are legitimate, we are active, that they are competitors. If they’re not already on board with us, they will be on to capture those facts. And I said, OK, to get there, that’s going to be hard. We need to build up some groundwork first.

[00:32:27.050] – Carlos

And what you can see on our Web site right now, while they are I certainly think they’re viable business lines on their own. I think they are in many ways, steps we took in order to position ourselves to be able to chase down that that that really big fish. Now, I mentioned that I wasn’t an engineer by background, and that’s where this gets important. And that’s where it’s relevant to the process that I understood to be very much a business development process in order to access the information and the software that we need to create those products that I was mentioning.

[00:33:01.040] – Carlos

I thought that was gonna be really hard, really time intensive, very much a business development thing based on relationships and demonstrating value. It’s really easy. It’s just a software thing. You know, they they ended up joining the team later and they said, well, why have you been waiting to do this? Oh, this reason is that, you know, you can just go here and you’ll get it.

[00:33:21.010] – Carlos

You know, in terms of distilling that into an actionable mistake and how to fix it, I think trying to put people around you that round out your skill set and know things that you don’t know and more importantly, that can identify you. I’m always trying to figure out what questions can I ask that I don’t even know to ask yet. And so having those around the console for that is really, really important. And because this was a very lean team at the start and we were self funding, I tried to solve for a lot of that on my own.

[00:33:52.520] – Carlos

At the risk of not getting questions answered in the first place, that could have saved me a lot of time and resources.

[00:33:58.710] – Germaine

Well, and to an extent, what you what you sort of, I think, take away from that as well, is that it’s okay to ask questions and it’s okay to sort of put it out there, because, you know, there are instances where you just know that this is the answer. This is it. Like there’s no there’s no alternative. But then just as just as much, there are instances where you sort of go. I’m not sure all other.

[00:34:23.520] – Germaine

I don’t know what I don’t know and I’m not sure that over there, but over here I see a lot of that, that this Facebook groups that I’ve basically like this one quote, Ask Canberra, for example. That is literally designed and meant to for people to come in and ask questions. And what I’ve found is that people ask questions. And then I sort of look at the question. I go like, that’s not even a question like that.

[00:34:48.690] – Germaine

It’s obvious, you know, you all like, what’s your favorite Chinese restaurants in Canberra? Now I’m just going like everyone knows what the best ones are yet. Then I click through the comments and I go home. And I didn’t know that, you know, that that that that places like right around the corner. I didn’t know that they even existed. And, you know, that’s just me. I guess my example of when, you know, you ask those questions, you get answers, even though you think that you know the answer.

[00:35:15.610] – Germaine

And I mean, your example was a similar thing. Yes. You didn’t have the team in place at that time. And if you had the team, one would hope that you’d have sort of got that answer much quicker. But it’s just saying that, you know, you had to ask that question. And there’s so many online forums and opportunities nowadays where you can just put it out there. Sort of over the years, I’ve used, you know, those sorts of platforms just to ask all sorts of questions that help me understand, you know, how much someone willing to pay per hour for X, Y service .

[00:35:47.620] – Germaine

Is there a demand for this? And why why is there a demand? Why is there no demand? And so on and so forth. So there’s a lot lot of sort of I think your your example was very product led or product based, but that that sort of can apply for all sorts of facets of someone’s business and someone’s journey. So, yeah, that’s awesome. What do you guys sort of plan to do moving forward? What’s what’s sort of the next step?

[00:36:19.300] – Germaine

Are you. Is this a game or is this a play where you need to get as many providers on board? Is this a play? Because it’s sort of a almost chicken or the egg situation as well, isn’t it? Do you get you know, you get complete coverage of all Hispanics, but then not have complete coverage of all financial products or the opposite or both together? What’s what’s the plan there?

[00:36:45.120] – Carlos

No, you just highlighted something that has been very much an idea that it has not kept me up at night, but one that I that I struggle with trying to solve for. And that’s the I think it’s the reason why people don’t pursue this type of business often is because it’s a two sided marketplace. And building a two sided marketplace is very hard. You have to align the supply and align the demand at the same time. And it like you said, it is a chicken and the egg problem.

[00:37:12.420] – Carlos

So, you know, for with regards to our specific two sided marketplace, on the one hand, we have all these consumers that they will only want to be on our platform if they can see relevant offers for loans, for credit card, for credit checks, etc.. On the other hands, on the supply side, these financial institutions, they’re not going to want to put their products on their platform unless they’re strapped. Right. Unless they’re consumers, unless there is demand.

[00:37:38.210] – Carlos

So how do you how do you get both there at the same time when either one wants to be there or the other one is there? Yeah. And that’s that’s an interesting challenge. The way that we’ve approached it is basically we. Built out the supply. I don’t want to say artificially, because it is Real’s. It is real supply. It is just not in the ultimate iteration that we want it to be in from a technological standpoint or from a monetized standpoint.

[00:38:07.220] – Carlos

So we brought in a bunch of personal finance experts, and I am certainly not a personal finance expert yet working on becoming one. We brought in people who write for Forbes, write for CNBC, write for every major financial editorial you can think of. And we said, hey, help us build out this platform with content that is relevant, interesting and showcases the right products for this demographic that, by the way, on its own was a very difficult process because as you can imagine, finding somebody who has a knowledge of the specific demographic of financial products.

[00:38:39.680] – Carlos

Yes, you can find them. They’re probably gonna be in Mexico. And those from the same ones that we want to showcase in the US. So it was very much, you know, finding the right people and refining it in the way that is relevant. And so we stocked our platform with all this content about what are the best credit cards? What are the best was. And while we didn’t have that done in a technologically sophisticated way that we are bringing it to now, and in many cases, those products weren’t monetized yet, that at least create supply such that the demand can now have something to look at and have something to demand for.

[00:39:15.620] – Carlos

So that’s how it is now. OK, now we’re in the position where we have that demand and we can go back and pluck out something that isn’t exactly what we want. Pop it back in with something that is monetized, that is technologically sophisticated, et cetera. And that’s how we kind of approach that chicken or the egg problem.

[00:39:29.790] – Germaine

Yeah. So it’s sort of being frozen with almost indecision of, you know what, I go with chicken or the egg. You just picked one and just just ran with it and then you just knew that it might not be perfect. You might not be the exact demographic, it might not be generating the exact results, but that you can then leverage. It’s almost like, you know, the first step, right. You sort of get that step going and then you know that because you’ve got that first step, you can then go to the next step, but you can’t sort of jump over that step.

[00:39:59.690] – Germaine

And I guess the takeaway here is just to pick one, maybe pick ones out of the market and just try and try and go after them. And at the end of the day, you can’t get the exact same exact market that you want, because to do that, you need that sort of supply demand two sided marketplace, but try and get at least a general gist of it. And in this case, it’s people who are interested in money, who have a Hispanic background or who speaks Spanish.

[00:40:26.990] – Germaine

And then you can go from there. And yes, it’s still making all the money. But next step is to sort of go to the bank and say, hey, guys, we’ve got X amount of traffic on our Web site. They need solutions. We’re looking to monetize. Let’s start working together. Is that is that basically what you did?

[00:40:44.700] – Carlos

That’s that’s absolutely it and I wish I’d had you around early on to help me work through these.

[00:40:52.300] – Germaine

So you could have done this many, many times. The you know, what you were mentioning a moment ago? I think it really, really struck home to me because all the other jobs I’ve had and, you know, like I mentioned, I worked at law firms that worked on the banking side. I have been surrounded by these fantastic, intelligent people who are good at what they do. And they’re hard working and they challenge you. And they they provide a sounding board for complex questions that you’re trying to figure out.

[00:41:19.650] – Carlos

So you’re just like you are right now. And when you take that leap to go into a startup, I mean, if you don’t have a co-founders, I did not. And you don’t have a team right from the outset as I did. We do. And how to spot. But you all of sudden don’t have anybody to ask questions, do you? Tell yourself. And it’s a very different process.

[00:41:40.720] – Carlos

So, you know, I was lucky enough to have, like a mentor, my sister. My parents have been involved with Hispanic community for a long, long time. They were great sounding boards and a riot of other, I’d call them advisory board role type people. But still, that’s a that’s very different from having somebody sitting right next to you saying, hey, what you think about this? Okay, great. Move on. Yes.

[00:42:03.110] – Germaine

Yes on a day to day basis who is there to you know, the way I see it, a cofounder is fantastic because at the very least, it’s just another another level of sanity check. You know, either they agree with you. And that’s awesome. Or they disagree. And then you’ve got to you’ve got to sort of work it out and prove it out. And that’s what I try and do as much as possible is sort of.

[00:42:23.850] – Germaine

And, you know, the being sort of the same as the leader, the CEO, the founder. I think some people get the wrong idea within a team that whatever they say, whatever that’s found or the leader says is how it has to happen, where it’s much more beneficial for somebody in that position as a leader or founder or manager to put an idea out there and actually get actual feedback. Because I’m sure, as you found out with your team, it’s not just about shutting.

[00:42:51.450] – Germaine

The bad ideas, but also getting energy and buying on the right ones and the right ideas and then, you know, getting that excitement and passion so that you can push that across to other individuals, that you’re not the only guy who’s that, you know, all excited. And then you got 19 team members are going far out. We’re just doing this because he wanted us to. You want it to be much more sort of passion driven. Now, do you guys all work in an office or remotely? How did how’s that happening?

[00:43:19.870] – Carlos

So typically, the office is located in Santa Monica. Great place to be. Really easy to recruit. We can say, hey, you know, Santa Monica, you want to come down we take our breaks at the beach. That is no longer a reality with the pandemic era. So we have been entirely remote. But even, you know, prior to when that started, we have rolls across the team that don’t need to be in person.

[00:43:46.090] – Carlos

So we have team members who produced all this. We’re look at in New York. So we’re located in Los Angeles. I traditionally spend half my time in L.A. and have in New York, and most of that could be done prior remotely. It has now all been done prior. I would love to get people back into the office just because of what I was talking about with that communal feel and bouncing the other ideas that you didn’t expect. We’ll see when that’s a reality and whether people are excited or interested to be back in the office. But for the moment.

[00:44:17.320] – Germaine

Yeah. But I mean, especially when it’s sort of, you know, there’s a social mission as well. I personally believe that there’s a there’s a benefit to having people there. And, you know, it’s just that energy to bounce ideas off, to build out the community, build out the team sort of internally so that, you know, I mean, you get to I’m a huge fan of sort of working in an office and we’ve now transitioned back to coming into the office.

[00:44:43.180] – Germaine

Things are not as bad of years there. They’re over them for better or worse. And, you know, Canberra, really, at the end of the day, I think we had about a hundred cases of coronavirus, which is insane compared to what what the numbers you guys are getting and seeing over there. So we’ve transitioned back, and you know, I just think there’s a huge value. I personally don’t think that remote work is where the workforce is going to, at least not the workforce that’s driven with a mission, you know.

[00:45:19.130] – Germaine

Yeah. The people who just go to work and, you know, money, they don’t care where they work out of. But I think that, you know, we we at Futuretheory, thats my business, we do marketing websites, all that stuff. We have a social mission. We want to help as many people as possible, help as many business ideas as possible. And that’s just much easier to infuse when you’re there in person.

[00:45:45.650] – Germaine

And that’s the same thing for you guys. It’s much easier to push that across, saying, listen, we’re not just a financial services provider or financial comparison site. We’re way we are the number one place for Hispanics and we’re everything Hispanic and that needs to sort of guard and permeate through the whole chain.

[00:46:04.150] – Carlos

Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And, you know, the you asked a moment ago about one of the major mistakes I made. And I have another one for you, if you’ll humor me. I keep mentioned that I wasn’t from an engineering background. And so for our first product, I guess the credit card comparison, which was the first thing we did, it was a very basic and we’re say we’re actively working on bringing the technological sophistication of that up.

[00:46:27.670] – Carlos

I basically was the product manager on that. I don’t have a background in product management. And so the amount of learnings that have come with going through that process on my own and then having people who have really strong engineering precommitment backgrounds coming on board telling me what I did wrong. It’s interesting. So one of the pieces that’s to what you’re saying about being a person and having, you know, the those ideas get developed. One of the things that I thought was really fascinating is that we have switched from a model where I said here’s to the engineers, to the engineering team.

[00:47:00.790] – Carlos

Here’s what I want to do. Here’s what it should look like. Here’s what I want it to do. Go build it. Let me know when it’s done and we’ll run through it, too. Now, we’ve switched to an agile software development, our product development platform. So that’s much easier to do in person. But in the same vein, I think the way that that ideology was presented to me is that you can on the if you look at the way I did it and say the product is not credit card comparison, but it is getting a car built the way I did it and I said, OK, I want this car here.

[00:47:29.290] – Carlos

It’s going to look like go build it. And if the engineers start by building a wheel, then they build an axle, then they build the undercarriage and they put the body on it. Then they paint it and send it to me. And when I get it, you know, I’m not happy because it took a long time. It might not be the type of car I wanted. Maybe I wanted convertible. They gave me a truck, etc.

[00:47:46.150] – Carlos

the agile method that we’re switching to. And this is just kind of one of those learnings from having been a around. Team members now. The process is much more OK. You want a car? Let’s start by building you a scooter. OK. You build that better. I like the scooter. You know, like I want to go a little faster. I kind of need it for this. For this. OK, then we turn it into a bike.

[00:48:03.920] – Carlos

That’s the next phase. I have a bike. I try the bike out. There’s that customer feedback there. Then they turn it into a motorcycle. All right. And we’re now it is taking a lot less time. And maybe I want that motorcycle more than I ever wanted that car. And that won’t solve our problem. I save time. I save resources. I save frustration. And there’s feedback baked in at every point. So that’s wanted to learn.

[00:48:22.180] – Carlos

And I think that, again, just having had the benefit of being in person with people versus working in a silo and maybe this room, maybe that’s just as a sole founder. That’s one of the things I think you learn for people.

[00:48:34.740] – Germaine

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s a really good tip as well, because I think sometimes people find and people think that they need this end goal. That is, you know, let’s call it the Rolls Royce, when in reality they just needed a scooter. But they think they’ve been led to believe that without the Rolls-Royce that it’s despite succeed, the idea won’t be accepted and won’t be respected. When in reality, as it as you put it, you can go through that journey and actually find out that I didn’t need a car all along.

[00:49:04.820] – Germaine

In fact, you know, the the negatives around a car are much worse. And therefore, you know, even if the car’s a better product overall, just I don’t need all those things that take away from and I might as well just have the core of what it is. And, you know, the same goes for even sort of coming up with a minimum viable product and just proving out. This is what you need. No. Yes.

[00:49:27.390] – Germaine

Okay. What what elements can we change and then going from there? This is because I guarantee you this this service, this this software foundations and frameworks and bases that you can buy that build that comparison websites like guaranteed, you can just buy it, pop it in, translate everything to Spanish and you could go. But that wouldn’t serve what you’re trying to do. And what what what end products you’re trying to arrive at.

[00:49:56.410] – Carlos

Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right and so that’s the learning curve. It’s all part of the fun.

[00:50:03.380] – Germaine

Hey, where can we find out more about you guys and you?

[00:50:06.650] – Carlos

Thanks for asking. So our Web site is Crediverso dot com, thats c r e d i v e r s o dot com. We’re also on social Instagram at Crediverso and Facebook dot com saturated. So if you don’t know why you would. But if you for some reason want to talk to me, my. It’s linked in dot com slash CP Hernandez.

[00:50:27.050] – Germaine

Awesome. So we’ll link all that in the description as well so that people can find you. Now, do you know about the top 12?

[00:50:34.790] – Carlos

I know about the top twelve

[00:50:42.330] – Germaine

Well, let’s get the get the ball rolling with top three books or podcasts that you recommend.

[00:50:46.500] – Carlos

All right, I’ll give you I’ll give you my three favorite books that I think your listenership might might like to read. One is The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. It’s an absolute classic. The reason I like it because it talks about value investing, how you never want to pay something that is more than something is worth. And it sounds like a simple idea.

[00:51:04.980] – Carlos

But when you start talking about stocks and companies and other investments, it is very easy to get caught up in speculation rather than investing based on the value of something. So I think that is just a fundamental read for anybody who’s interested in finance, history and personal finance and how to manage investments. A second is what I would call investing book that I really like is called The Most Important Thing By Howard Marks. And these are kind of macroeconomic letters that he writes out to his investment community.

[00:51:35.460] – Carlos

So he’s the chairman and I think co-founder of Oaktree Capital, which is based here in Los Angels. They’re private equity, the distressed debt investing, amongst many other things. And he sends out these letters that are phenomenal in terms of how they cover the macro economic landscape, the predictions he makes. And while they can be very, you know, professorial and theoretical, I think they’re really fascinating. Read. So those are two. The third book that I found has really shaped my world view, maybe not from an investing standpoint, but just in terms of, you know, being a student of history of the US.

[00:52:12.960] – Carlos

I really like a book called A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. And this presents a different viewpoints of American history. And so it tries to tell the story of, for example, the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Native Americans of the Constitution, from the standpoint of the civil war as seen by the New York Irish up the Mexican war as seen by deserving soldiers. And so that’s it’s a totally different viewpoint than what is often taught in history, class and middle school and seen on TV, so I thought that was really interesting.

[00:52:47.880] – Germaine

Yeah, that’s awesome. I think. I think this is been or the, you know, no offense to anyone, any of the guests prior, but this has been a very interesting start to the top three because I’ve never heard of these any of these books before. So and usually, you know, there’s at least one that I sort of got. Yeah. Heard of it. But love, love the diversity so far. Next one, top three software tools that you can’t live without.

[00:53:12.120] – Carlos

OK, well, I don’t know if this will be as exciting.

[00:53:16.270] – Germaine

That’s OK. That’s all right.

[00:53:17.940] – Carlos

I’ll give you the boring version of the fun version. So that’s the boring version. Excel, PowerPoint and Google Hangouts, OK. These are tools that I think every startup country needs Excel. You know, I had the benefit of having done investment banking and they really grind into those those hard skills. It is a very approachable software package the end of the day, it is not rocket science. Like everybody likes to make it out to be.

[00:53:41.010] – Carlos

I think people like to think that what they do is really hard. They tell people that it actually is really easy to learn. The trick is learn how to do everything on your keyboard without using a mouse. You’ll save tons of time down the road. But for, you know, it is a financial modelling tool. I think what our platform does in the first personal space finance space is all about giving people tools to understand finances. Excel is one of those tools.

[00:54:04.050] – Carlos

And when you’re looking at things like valuing businesses, valuing stocks as we are pitching venture capital firms, excel is something that’s absolutely necessary. PowerPoint is the next step of that. And that’s taking the learnings that you generate through financial modelling excel and putting them in a narrative that is interesting, that is compelling, that tells the story of your business or whatever it is you’re trying to describe. And, you know, it doesn’t need to be PowerPoint, but just something that can create that presentation that tells your story.

[00:54:36.390] – Carlos

I think storytelling is such an important skill. It is a soft skill. It is not one that is that is taught as a technical thing in high school or college. But it is so, so important being able to tell your story. Then the last piece know we are in the pandemic era and Google Hangouts is a I think it is a totally free service and it has been, phenomenal for our team been able to connect. I mean, as the team grows, I think the other day I was I sent out an invite to something like 50 people and I thought, well, what’s the limit on Google Hangout?

[00:55:04.830] – Carlos

So am I to hit that. I know, no pun intended. Google it.

[00:55:09.360] – Carlos

And it’s people you can get on Google.

[00:55:12.630] – Germaine

Yeah wow. Which is enough for most people. You would say that basically enough for everyone.

[00:55:18.470] – Carlos

So so that’s the that’s also where the fun answer software can’t live without Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers.

[00:55:26.670] – Germaine

I mean I guess that it’s software technically so.

[00:55:29.970] – Germaine

So you get up, you get a point for the top three mantras you try to live by.

[00:55:36.570] – Carlos

That. Let me I’ll start with one. And, you know, not to double down on the video game comment, but I think I’ll give you a Star Wars quote here. Yoda says, Do or do not? There is no try. And I think that is such a powerful message to live by, because it is so easy to say, oh, you know, one day I want to start a company, one day I want to volunteer.

[00:56:05.190] – Carlos

One day I want to do X, Y, Z, whatever it is, just do it, you know, get out there and do it. Don’t don’t worry about trying. Don’t worry about failing. Do it or don’t do it.

[00:56:14.790] – Carlos

And stop talking about it. And that’s why I like that one.

[00:56:18.840] – Carlos

A second quote that I find phenomenal is by one of my personal hero, Bruce Lee. He says, To hell with circumstances. I create opportunities. And, you know, this is something that I think rings really true for the community that our product is intended to serve. Not everybody starts with the same circumstances and not everybody has access to the same resources, tools, education, financial backgrounds, etc. But being able to put your head down, work, do what you can with what you have and create an opportunity out of it for yourself or for others.

[00:56:55.290] – Carlos

I think it’s such an important message. The third one is by someone who actually I’d be interested in to know if his message is reached. Just really he’s a hero kind of among the Hispanic community here in California, it looks like migrant farm workers names Cesar Chavez. And he said, if you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and be with him. The people who give you their food give you their hearts. And as somebody who has been known to enjoy a heavy meal here or there, I’ve always preached that the best way to get cultural understanding amongst people who may have nothing in common is through food.

[00:57:34.380] – Carlos

You give me a good plate from some culture that I’ve never tried before. I eat it. We talk. That’s the best way to get understanding.

[00:57:40.020] – Germaine

Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. That is that is again, does a lot of diversity in this top twelve, which is good because, you know, that’s what your product is all about as well.

[00:57:50.430] – Germaine

I think certainly the last one. Yes.

[00:57:53.530] – Carlos

I think just amongst our internship team, we have someone from South Korea or someone from Chile, someone from Colombia, someone from Mexico, someone from Taiwan, someone from San Diego. There a lot of different accents being spoken in our intern program.

[00:58:06.930] – Germaine

Oh, that’s awesome. I mean, growing up my friendship group, we called ourselves the U.N. because we had Serbian, Italian, Ozon, British myself. We had a Lebanese guy. It is it to me, it’s just awesome. And it’s just, you know, something that should be embraced and. Yeah. Onto the last one, top three people you follow or study and why.

[00:58:30.890] – Carlos

Okay. So I’ll, um, I’ll start with the quote that I gave from, you know, Bruce Lee. So he is someone that I’ve always considered a personal hero. And the reason is that, you know, we all have these platforms that we work hard on developing. And whether that is something simple, like, you know, our social media presence makes our friend group something in between. Like a company or something major, like a national following in international following, like we had through what he did with martial arts.

[00:58:57.840] – Carlos

I think the important thing is whatever you can do to get yourself a platform and then do something good with it. That’s that’s why I think Bruce Lee was really interesting, his platform of martial arts. And he did a contribute a lot to that from an academic perspective, an athletic perspective, everything. But what here where he really had a lasting impact was on, I think, the cultural understanding that took place between Americans and Chinese Americans in the West or at the time he was alive in the 60s.

[00:59:24.120] – Carlos

There was a lot of racial tension between within the Chinese community and the American community. It was an immigrant community that had previously been pretty closed off, mostly to ethnic enclaves.

[00:59:37.380] – Carlos

And there was a lot of racial tension. And by using that platform that appealed to the general markets, he was able to create a lot of understanding amongst that, that those cultures there. I think you did a lot for Chinese American community over that time period. He was active.

[00:59:54.060] – Germaine

Yeah. I mean, he I love Bruce Lee even growing up, sort of even as a kid. So, yeah, that’s some I, I couldn’t agree more. Anyone else that come to mind.

[01:00:02.070] – Carlos

Yeah.I’ll, I’ll cheat a little bit here and mention my parents. So their names are Roland and Marguerita and I don’t think I could even begin to describe a list of heroes of mine without having them just be flat smack dab in the middle of it. The you know, my mom moved here from Mexico to go to college and she has done so much. She became a lawyer. She has had a successful career business. She was a couple years ago appointed as an ambassador to the UN and I’m so proud of what she does. And on top of all that, she’s been a fantastic mother. And so she’s always made time both for her career, for her family, for absolutely everything. So she’s someone I very much look up to my dad. You know, same thing. He was born in East Los Angeles. Son of a cop went to. Got himself a great education and ended up devoting much of his career again to his community. So he worked for a long time as the chairman and CEO of Telemundo, which is one of the major Spanish TV stations in the US.

[01:01:10.930] – Germaine

Yeah, I’ve heard of them.

[01:01:13.900] – Carlos

So being able to be active in your community, you contribute to the community, but also challenge yourself from an intellectual and business perspective. A professional perspective is something I very much look up to and aspire to. And so having my parents as role models, even just within the house, is something that I’m very myself very lucky and constantly grateful for.

[01:01:36.760] – Germaine

Yeah, that’s awesome. I think there are a lot of people I mean, growing up as well in Australia. It’s it’s easy to forget the suffering that people’s parents and grandparents have had to go through with that the life changing, life altering things that they’ve had to do, like moving whole country, you know, just in search of opportunity usually or in search of something different. I mean, my parents did the same thing we did. I was born in Australia.

[01:02:05.650] – Germaine

We moved to Australia in sort of this pursuit of something bigger, something better, something more. So, yes, I can totally relate to that. I think that basically wraps everything up. Any sort of parting words.

[01:02:20.350] – Carlos

I think no, I think that we do all 12 there. You. That’s such great. Yeah.

[01:02:25.090] – Germaine

Yeah. That was all 12 and you just breezed right through it. That was so good.

[01:02:29.810] – Carlos

Well, this has been a phenomenal opportunity to get to talk to you. It so it’s not often that I get to have an hour long conversation with someone on the other side of the world, let alone someone who knows this space so well, ask such questions, provide such great feedback. So, you know, I hope that when this pandemic era is over, we get the chance to meet person someday. Grab a drink and that’ll be fantastic.

[01:02:52.300] – Germaine

I’ve been meaning to. I’ve never been to the US. So that’s some definitely on the cards over the next fewyears.

[01:02:59.560] – Germaine

Yeah. I’m gonna I’m gonna let you know when I’m when I’m gonna be around and we’ll we’ll grab a drink.

[01:03:04.210] – Carlos

Well I’ll tell you, our offices are in Santamonica so I’ll meet you there.

[01:03:09.700] – Germaine

Awesome. Thanks so much for your time. Call us. Everyone listening, as always, we’ll have links in the description and you can go out there and say hi to Carlos, find everything that they do, the Web site and all that on there as well. So thanks again for your time. This has been a really nice conversation.

[01:03:27.600] – Carlos

Absolutely, thank you.