Today on Built to Stay. This is something that you should do. People still undervalue the scope and the size of the internet compared to the like analog world that we’ve kind of grown up in and there are just so many great people out there who will know you exist if you put out the content, welcome to Built to Stay, a podcast dedicated to sticking, staying and succeeding in the business world from the Blip sound lab. Here’s your host, Bart Bradshaw. Hey, builders, if you haven’t already, please rate and review, Built to Stay. We love hearing your feedback and it’s great for us to get a lot of reviews. Um, so it’s really helpful. Now let’s get into today’s episode. Trevor is a serial entrepreneur. Back in 2012 he launched a Spanish Bible app that he grew to 1 million plus users before selling it. If you’ve listened to the startup podcast, you may have heard of him these days. In addition to chiefing, the staff at Lambda school, Trevor writes a weekly newsletter, how it actually works, where he breaks down, how the world actually works. Thank you for joining us today.
Trevor McKendrick: (01:09)
Thank you for having me. Really excited to be here.
Bart Bradshaw: (01:11)
We’re excited to hear your story, to talk about Lambda school, to kind of get into, you know, what you’re up to now. But first let’s do hear your story. Let’s go back. Tell us a little bit about your startup Salem Software. Uh, you started a Spanish Bible app. Tell us more about that.
Trevor McKendrick: (01:28)
Yeah, so the quick version is I had just gotten married and quit a job that I really didn’t like and uh, was trying to figure out a way to just kind of make a side income. My goal was to like pay our rent with like a side project. So I was looking through the app store, thought it might be a good idea to try and make an app. This was fairly early in the app store and I saw that the, all these Spanish language Bible apps were ranked really highly, but they had really poor reviews. And so I thought, well, maybe there’s a kind of some demand for like a better version type thing. So I basically built a team of contractors on the cheap. Uh, we shipped a very inelegant but shippable 1.0 and it was a profitable within the first month and then, um, ended up growing that, like you said, in the introduction to over a million users and was eventually acquired by a public company called Salem Media. That’s the, yeah, that’s the short version.
Bart Bradshaw: (02:30)
That’s the short version. Uh, tell us, what were you doing before that? You were like, Hey, I need to quit this and do something else.
Trevor McKendrick: (02:38)
I was an accountant for a KPMG. They’re one of like the big four auditing firms. I was working out of the Bay area and just a, I’d been there for a couple of years and knew that it wasn’t for me longterm. Actually when I quit, I didn’t really know what I was going to do next. I just knew that like every step, every day, every extra day down that route was like not the right way. So I kind cut ties, moved, started this thing and was off to the races.
Bart Bradshaw: (03:04)
Yeah, I actually did four years at PWC. Great company, great thing that they’re doing. Obviously audit is needed, but, uh, ultimately not for me either. So I understand. I empathize with that. Okay. So you said, you know, you grew it to a million plus users. Break that down a little bit. How, how did you do that? That’s pretty impressive for any app, let alone, you know, kind of a niche one Spanish Bible app.
Trevor McKendrick: (03:30)
Yeah. So it was all about being good and catering specifically to our users. So a lot of the other apps were like English first and translated kind of into Spanish in the app store. Um, so maybe if you were in the American app store, you might see like the American marketing or the American app. Right. Um, and so I was like, well, I’m not going to translate. I’m just gonna make everything. There’s no English anywhere. Right. So the app, all the marketing, everything was catered to Spanish speaking people was always in Spanish. Our website was in Spanish, our customer support was always in Spanish. And that market, it was just significantly underserved. And so by making a better product, by doing everything in their language, we basically Rose to the top of the rankings for anytime you search for a Spanish language Bible, uh, in the app store. And that was, that was kind of key to our success.
Bart Bradshaw: (04:24)
Interesting. And so, sorry, did you say that you actually did cater to Spanish speaking in the U S or did it matter where they were?
Trevor McKendrick: (04:32)
No, the majority of our users were actually in the U S um, so that was our, our, our uh, we uh, we had end users and I don’t know, 120 different countries, but our main user base was in the U S
Bart Bradshaw: (04:42)
cool. And tell us more about, you know, putting together that contractor team.
Trevor McKendrick: (04:47)
Yes. So I used one of the, you know, best websites out there, I think it’s now called Upwork. And I tried to do as much of the work of, again, I didn’t have like hardly any money at all. So I didn’t want to pay a lot, you know, a lot to try something that I didn’t have an idea of whether it was going to work. Yeah. And so I did as much of the work up front myself as I could. So for example, I would go and I’d say, Hey, I want to hire a developer to build this thing. Well I’d already done like sketches and I knew exactly how the app would work and I knew which button would lead to what screen. Like I had done all of that and it was a matter of delivering those to the developer and in this case he could take it and just aim like code it up. And that, that was a, a key part of kind of trying to do this as cheaply as possible. My goal as always was there no, as always, my goal in this case was to get, get something out there without kind of breaking the bank.
Bart Bradshaw: (05:45)
Yeah. And in this case, you know, do you feel like that was the right route? I’ve had some people in the past say, you know, don’t outsource the main thing that you do, which in case could be considered, you know, creating software. But you also found a way to do it really inexpensively. So,
Trevor McKendrick: (06:06)
well it depends. It depends entirely on your goals and like what kind of business or product you’re building. So in my case it was, it was always intended to be a side project and the goal was to get it out as cheaply as possible. I knew it had to be better than the other stuff out there, but the other stuff wasn’t all that good. And so the goal was kind of like minimizing risk, um, for other businesses. Like if, if, if software is like your main product or a main piece of your product, then I totally agreed it would be a bad decision to outsource it or to try to do it on the cheap. When you, you’ve, you know, a basic premise of your business as being really, really good. But I have seen some other places do that aren’t purely tech, but they rely on tech is they’ll hire a very, uh, a successful like individuals CTO who will build a very strong 1.0 and then he will hire the team to replace, uh, him or herself, which is a way to kind of simplify getting your first version out there instead of hiring someone longterm but also not, um, you know, sacrificing on, on, on, uh, on quality.
Bart Bradshaw: (07:20)
You said something interesting there that I think is a, an interesting topic among entrepreneurs and those who consider entrepreneurs, um, which was minimized risk and at the time you didn’t have a full time job, is that right? That’s correct. Okay. So any money that you did spend was your runway, so you wanted to minimize risk. A lot of people think entrepreneurs are, you know, they don’t understand entrepreneurs because they are risk seeking. It seems like in some ways, like they’re quitting their jobs, they’re doing risky things. But I love what you said about minimizing risk because actually most entrepreneurs are really smart about that. Is that your impression as well? I mean, obviously you did it. So
Trevor McKendrick: (08:05)
yeah, it’s all about understanding the risks that you’re taking on and then driving those risks down. So if you think about like any new business is going to be full of unknowns, unknowns about the market, about whether you can raise capital, but whether you can assemble a team. There’s all these like unknown things. And the reason that no one has done your thing before or haven’t been successful with your vision is because of these unknown things. So the, the role of the entrepreneur is to identify the risks that they are choosing to take on. And if they’re successful, they will be compensated according to those risks, if that makes sense. So if you think of a company like Uber for example, Uber, uh, had many risks, one of which was a regulatory, the legal framework for ride sharing was very unclear. And that was a risk if they chose to take on.
Trevor McKendrick: (09:12)
And the way that they dealt with that ended up being successful, they eliminated that risk. Right? And because it was such a big risk, it was a fundamental like other, the fundamental risk to the premise of the entire business. They were compensated for basically driving that risk down to almost zero, if that makes sense. So, um, yeah, entrepreneurs aren’t, you know, you don’t take on risks for its own sake. You want to find risks that you can be compensated for eliminating. So that’s um, on kind of the scale that I was thinking at that point in my entrepreneurial career. That’s what I was,
Bart Bradshaw: (09:43)
yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I have a couple more questions about that before we move on. So one is, do you think there’s still room for people to make money with apps?
Trevor McKendrick: (09:55)
Absolutely. Uh, more money’s being generated now in the app store than ever before. More people have phones than ever before. There’s still tons of wealth to be created in the app store. The issue is that the competition and the quality has just, um, and the expectations of users have gone up significantly. And so it can be, uh, harder to get started. My strategy that I use would not work today because, um, you would have to have a, a higher bar to ship, but there’s still, uh, there’s still tons and tons. I mean, uh, mobile phones, iPhone is going to ground for a long, long time and uh, new apps are still coming out all the time, many of which are successful. So yeah, there’s still tons of money to be made in the app.
Bart Bradshaw: (10:37)
So it’s a higher bar from a quality perspective. And that’s not just Apple, it’s just a higher bar to be able to stand out.
Trevor McKendrick: (10:43)
Yeah. I mean, people, when I launched it in 2012, uh, you know, apps were I think three years old at that point. Um, this was before like Snapchat was popular. Um, Instagram I think got started that year, the year before and apps were very common, but it wasn’t like a fundamental part of society yet where versus today, like to break in to kind of someones like daily app usage, it has to be really, really good. Yeah. But because the market’s so big, there’s still plenty of opportunities.
Bart Bradshaw: (11:15)
I think that’s true as well. It’s just, it’s more mature. There’s still opportunity though, cause it’s more mature in terms of how many people are using it and all of that kind of thing. It’s just more competitive as well. So the other question I had was walk us through to the extent that you can, like how did you line up getting acquired?
Trevor McKendrick: (11:34)
So this is where Twitter has been helpful to me, uh, in, in, in my career. And there’s, there’s a saying that I like that is companies are bought, not sold in this case, the acquire reached out to me, um, because they’d heard about me. And the reason that they had heard about me was because I was on, um, at the time, a really, really popular entrepreneurial podcast called Startup by Gimlet media. Yep. And by the way, yeah, there you go. Um, a lot of people, have you searched for atheist Bible salesman? I’m the kind of the guy that pops up and you can search for that podcast episode. Uh, but anyways, so this, this podcast, they wanted to do a story about their listeners and so they tweet it out. They’re like, Hey, we’d love, we’d love to do a story about some of our listeners, email us if you have a, an interesting entrepreneur story. Saw the tweet, sends an email. I think the subject line was I’m an atheist Bible salesman kind of get their attention and then uh, we were kind of off from there.
Bart Bradshaw: (12:35)
It’s amazing how, yeah, you can just use like Twitter or Instagram, DMS or other things. I mean in this case they actually asked for people to submit, but in many cases you can just reach out to almost whoever a these days and, and start a conversation. So someone found you after that because of that podcast.
Trevor McKendrick: (12:58)
So yes, the podcast went out. It was really popular. It got covered on a business insider. They talked about me on the Fox news morning show, the Huffington post, uh, thousands of different sites carried kind of this, this story.
Bart Bradshaw: (13:12)
What did that feel like by the way? Cause not all of us have been featured like that and so many popular, you know, news outlets.
Trevor McKendrick: (13:19)
It was like, this is the lesson of like, Oh, like the media has like all of this attention that it controls of like the general public and like it points it’s magnifying glass at like the topic of the day and then you just have like this intense like, you know, if you think of like the sun on an ant, this intense amplification on a very small specific place and in a spot. Right. And in my case for three days it was me. Right. And so
Bart Bradshaw: (13:47)
a little ant being burned by a magnifying glass.
Trevor McKendrick: (13:51)
Yeah. Or just, and it wasn’t, and not in like a negative connotation. Right. But like in a sense of like if you just think of like, Oh, every day, like there’s all this attention, it’s being pointed somewhere, right? Like do we know, do always know kind of where it’s being pointed or how intense it is from the outside. Maybe not really, but it’s there. Right. And these topics literally filter in and out of people’s consciousness based on where the sun beam is being placed, if that makes sense. Anyways, when I was under it, a weird things like friends started messaged me on Facebook, so I’m like, Oh, I saw your thing on Fox news this morning. I was like, Oh, I didn’t even know they were talking about me on Fox news. Okay. More I heard from like my wife’s aunt in Arizona, it’s like, Oh, I heard about you on the on the radio this morning. And it was like, Oh wow. Like, like anyways. Yes, exactly. Exactly. Like the, the power to get a topic into people’s minds is like, it’s real and it exists. And uh, being able to kind of see that from behind the scenes was, uh, was super fast.
Bart Bradshaw: (14:54)
Was it kind of heady at all? Like where you’re like, Oh my goodness, you know, all of a sudden I’m going to be famous and things are just going to go from there. Or did you feel like at the time did you kind of understand, you know, this kind of passes like you’re describing like a magnifying glass that’s controlled by someone else and then it’s going elsewhere?
Trevor McKendrick: (15:12)
The way I think of it, it’s like a medium step up in your notoriety or there’s kind of a peak. And then when they levels back off, you’re just kind of like a notch up where you were before. I think the coverage started in the middle of the week and I knew like when the weekend hit it was going to be gone and then I wake up Monday and I was like the same person. But people because of that have now sometimes like heard of me like you for example. Right. Or, or other people that are like, Oh our, I mentioned, Oh yeah, I’m, you know, I’m known as the atheist Bible sales and be like, Oh yeah, I heard about that. Like, it’s in there somewhere. And that is, you know, it’s, sometimes it’s a, it’s useful as like a, uh, or it’s no more useful than like, you know, like a dinner party story type thing. But people like it, it’s fun to talk about and it’s, it’s a way to be, you know, usefully. Interesting.
Bart Bradshaw: (16:00)
Okay. Yeah, that’s interesting to hear that from you. Um, okay, so back to your story. Sorry, I cut you off. You were talking about then somebody reached out about potentially acquiring your app.
Trevor McKendrick: (16:11)
Yes. So I got an email from a guy at a company called Salem media who I had actually heard about before cause I looked into like who might acquire me one day, it turns out there was a, is a public Christian media company and they acquire and they do a lot of things, but one of the things they do is acquire digital assets like in the Christian media space. So think like websites, apps, podcasts, things like that. And uh, they heard about me because of all this kind of, you know, being on, under the magnifying glass and reached out and in the first email explain kind of what they were interested in and you know, if we wanted to at least have a conversation to see if there’s anything there. And that happened I think at the beginning and then in like February and then the deal and took a long time longer than it should have. But the deal ended up closing I think in September of that same year.
Bart Bradshaw: (17:06)
And that was how many years in
Trevor McKendrick: (17:08)
that was about three years in.
Bart Bradshaw: (17:11)
So is there anything as you look back at that that you would do different?
Trevor McKendrick: (17:15)
That is a good question. I don’t know if I’d do anything differently. I feel like it worked out really well. It wasn’t a business that I wanted to be in forever. So when the chance came to to, to sell it off, I was happy to do that. I knew that they were the best possible or one of the best possible acquirers for us. And it was, it was a great, it was kind of a great overall
Bart Bradshaw: (17:39)
Did it seem at all early or, cause I know a lot of, um, you know, people who build businesses, a lot of people are looking for an exit at some point. But uh, you kinda like you say if, if, if businesses are bought, you don’t really say when it’s going to be bought and uh, you kind of maybe feel like you have to take it earlier than you thought. Did it feel like that or was it like, yeah, this is about the right time. I’m ready to move to the next thing.
Trevor McKendrick: (18:05)
Yeah, it was. It was the right time. I was ready to move on again. If anyone was going to pay for something like this, it was going to be a company like them. There’s another phrase I like that’s like the time to eat is when the doors are getting passed around and this is, this is when they’re getting passed. So I was like, all right, time to eat. Tasted good, right. And move onto the next meal. So it worked out pretty well.
Bart Bradshaw: (18:26)
So was it a meaningful acquisition to you financially? Like you didn’t have to work again or can you give us any kind of hint of, of what it was like for your life?
Trevor McKendrick: (18:37)
Yeah. I don’t get into kind of the financial details, but I was really happy with the outcome.
Bart Bradshaw: (18:42)
Well that’s great. That’s a, that’s your first big success story. It sounds like, I mean obviously you have other successes in your life, but from your career perspective, did that feel like your first big success?
Trevor McKendrick: (18:53)
Yeah, that was my first, you know, base hit double that I had successfully started and sold a business. People knew about me because of it. It’s gotten plenty of press, like it felt like a great platform of,
Bart Bradshaw: (19:08)
okay, cool. So now you’re at Lambda. Tell us more about that.
Trevor McKendrick: (19:12)
So Lambda is, let me just give you like the quick elevator pitch for Lambda so listeners know what it is. So Lambda school is an online, fully remote school that teaches people how to become engineers and students don’t have to pay us anything until they get a job, make it more than $50,000 a year. So we’re a little more than two years old. Uh, we have students in all 50 States and things are going really, really well. It’s one of the best jobs ever.
Bart Bradshaw: (19:41)
That’s awesome. And you’re a chief of staff there. What does that mean exactly?
Trevor McKendrick: (19:45)
So chief of staff to the CEO means I’m the CEO’s right hand man. Uh, it means I do things like run the leadership team meeting. I manage a lot of the internal company communications. Uh, I’m a place for kind of a important projects, but maybe that don’t have a home yet anywhere internally, I’ll tend to start them up and get them running and then find them a home in the company. So, um, kind of things like that.
Bart Bradshaw: (20:09)
And do you feel like, uh, like your experience having, you know, built and sold your own startup has kind of contributed to your success there?
Trevor McKendrick: (20:18)
Yeah, so definitely having created and managed a team at my app business and then also my, some of my experience from a, from KPMG definitely, um, plays into a lot of those too. So it’s been a really great fit for both my, uh, my previous experience and also my interest, um, in, you know, working at startups and being part of something really important.
Bart Bradshaw: (20:40)
How big is Lambda school? Like how many employees? I’m not sure. Or
Trevor McKendrick: (20:45)
I can say that we’re, um, well, I can tell you we’re over a hundred people,
Bart Bradshaw: (20:49)
so it’s a good amount. Good amount of people. Mostly in the Bay area.
Trevor McKendrick: (20:53)
We, our headquarters is in the Bay area. Uh, we also have offices in Utah, but most of our team is remote. So we have people all throughout the U S and also parts of Europe.
Bart Bradshaw: (21:03)
And is that model working well where students can go for free? But you know there’s a, an agreement that once they make a certain amount of money, it sounds like $50,000, they start to pay back the tuition that was given to them basically for free upfront. Is that model working well?
Trevor McKendrick: (21:24)
It’s working great because if you think about typical education today, the student is the person who bears all of the risks. So today you pay for your education up front. You often take on non-dischargeable loans to fund your education. And whether you finish it or whether you get a job on the other side is basically irrelevant to whether you’re required to make payments on that debt. Right? So the student again bears all this risk Lambda school puts that, flips that on its head and Lambda says, Hey, we are going to take the risk for you so that if things don’t work out for you for whatever reason, we will bear the brunt of that risk. And by doing so we are significantly incentivize to do or a really good job of teaching you and of helping you get a job. Because if we don’t, we’ll go out of business. But the the right way to think about Lambda is that like we take on the risk. We are, yeah, we, we, we are the ones that are actually kind of willing to put our money where the mouth are, our money, where our mouth is when it comes to getting, get your students jobs.
Bart Bradshaw: (22:43)
So you mentioned earlier, you know, usually with higher risk comes higher reward. Does that mean that ultimately at the end of the day, people pay a little bit more for Lambda but they didn’t have to take the risk upfront?
Trevor McKendrick: (22:56)
Well, it depends. So it depends on, because they, the way that it works is they pay a percentage of the time. Correct. So in our case it’s, they pay 17% for two years and they pay up to with a cap of $30,000. So the $30,000 so yeah, so those, so there’s a cap both on the time and the total dollar value and the, again, the, the correct framing is always in terms of risks. Cause some people will anchor on the Oh well it’s $30,000 that sounds like a lot of money, blah blah blah. And it’s like okay, I mean 30,000 is, isn’t chump change, they’ll cut me wrong. But you only pay that if you’re making like $90,000 a year. Right. And for two years consistently. Cause if your income drops below the 50K threshold, do you, you know, you automatically stop making payments versus a typical education.
Trevor McKendrick: (23:45)
It’s like it doesn’t matter what your job is as a matter of how much you’re making. If you have debt on your student loans, your social security when you’re 65 will be garnished to pay down those loans. Right. And you might not have even graduated, let alone gotten the job. So. So you’ve aligned the incentives. Yeah. And taken on civil rights. Correct. That’s cool. I like that model. Okay. So tell us a little bit more, you know, you and I have talked before we started a recording, we talked a little about how it actually works, your email newsletter as well as Twitter and how you’ve used basically creating content as a way to meet people really and get conversations started. Can you tell us a little bit more about those two things? Twitter and Andrew, email newsletter and, and you know why you do those things.
Trevor McKendrick: (24:37)
Yeah. So it is valuable too and this is a very obvious thing, but it is valuable to be top of mind for other people, whether it’s to get a job or raise money or to just make new friends or do interesting things. And so I created this newsletter, which a, it’s called how it actually works. It comes out every Monday morning at a 7:00 AM Eastern time. And I do it because I want every week people to kind of like remember, Oh there’s this guy named Trevor out there. He writes some stuff. He was sharing some interesting leaks and you know, they have a certain impression of me. Right? And a lot of that is kind of, I’m kind of biased. I like to say I’m buying optionality in the sense that I don’t know how it will be useful in the future, but having, you know, a list of people that know you and recognize you is, is in my opinion, like super valuable.
Trevor McKendrick: (25:40)
And people talk about all the time and, and people know its value, but no one, I think it’s still undervalued and people don’t recognize how, especially as you get to be more known and that compounds over time, how, how has in a number of ways and agree. Can you maybe give us a, an example or two of how it’s worked for you? So, one simple example is, uh, here at Lambda school, we just hire, we just made an offer to an engineer who was previously working at a very successful Silicon Valley startup and had previously started his own startup. We made an offer to him because we know each other from Twitter and also because he subscribes to my newsletter. Right? And so he was looking for a new thing and we had a kind of a prior relationship because of all this. And we’d gone out to dinner once or twice and he was like, Hey, I’m looking for things, can I come and talk to you guys?
Trevor McKendrick: (26:34)
So I introduced him to our CTO. Um, there was a good, at least a good technical match and we were able to make an offer, not just to him, but then because of him, you know, other talent kind of comes with him. So he also brought in his, uh, his CTO from his startup. This other guy who’s, he’s worked together with for eight or nine years, also a great engineer. And so I think we’re making offers to both of them and, and they’ll probably be here at Landa, maybe not entirely because of I newsletter, but it was definitely a accelerated and, and uh, I was able to kind of fast track their interview.
Bart Bradshaw: (27:06)
That makes a lot of sense. So are builders as they listen to this are probably kind of thinking, you know, how do I apply this to my business that I’m building or thinking of building? How do I apply this to me? Um, one thing that you said earlier when we spoke was, you know, people are less likely to want to follow a business on Twitter and more likely to want to follow a person on Twitter. Can you speak to that a little bit?
Trevor McKendrick: (27:32)
Yeah. People just want interesting things, right? People like want to not be bored. It’s really just practical. Like businesses are not interesting. What’s interesting is like a very unique specific human being, a a human being that is different from the other human beings that you know. Right. And the way to do that is to, to the best of your ability to figure out like what it is about you that makes you unique and interesting and to play into that and to not be kind of embarrassed by that. And because in the era that we are in where attention is the quote unquote, you know, most valuable asset being interesting and recognized is valuable. And if you’re thinking of in terms of like, Oh well what can I actually do in my career that will give me a unique advantage over time, it’s doubling down on the things that can’t be replicated about you.
Trevor McKendrick: (28:30)
And one of those is like just who you are and the life experiences that you bring to bear. Um, the, the great thing about, about media and, and content and writing is that you make it once and it lives forever, right? So, wow, well done today. Yeah. So there’s obviously a or B, there’s, there’s some editing that’s going on to be, to be clear, but you can make something once and if it’s really good, it’ll get shared and people will talk about it. And the rule member it and it’ll show she ate it with you. And honestly like the bad stuff or the stuff that’s not as interesting. It’s scary to put out there. Sometimes I’ll write a newsletter, I’m like, Hey, I don’t think it’s very good. I’m not, I’m kind of embarrassed about it and I put it out there and maybe it doesn’t get a lot of traction, but like people forget about it. People just don’t care. They’ve got too many, too many other things going on in their lives. So on the internet you get recognized for your best stuff and you mostly get ignored for your, your non good stuff. Anyways, kind of a, a long answer to your, to your question, but the key to all of this is to kind of be interesting and bring it a unique, uh, a point of view to things and people would just be interested. 10 men
Bart Bradshaw: (29:40)
that to basically anyone or business owners, business builders, like are there any people who shouldn’t maybe do this or
Trevor McKendrick: (29:51)
no, this is, this is an obvious winner for anyone. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, whether you are, uh, starting your career, whether you’re 40 years into your career, even if you just want to have a more interesting, um, life full of joy meeting great people, this is something that you should do. People still undervalue the scope and the size of the internet compared to the like analog world that we’ve kind of grown up in. And there are just so many great people out there who will know you exist if you put out the content right? And, and it doesn’t take a lot of, of these interactions to produce like a material difference in your life. If you think about it, like say it’s like 10 new friends or 10 new entrepreneurs or 10 10 or whatever, 10 is not a lot of people, right? And to get to 10 people in.
Trevor McKendrick: (30:51)
So there’s like analog scale and then there’s like internet scale, you know, a a thousand people on a newsletter is not a lot of people by internet standards, but that’s a ton of people in the real world. And if only 10 of those people become like your new pals, you or your business associates or whatever it is, I’ve got a huge win. Like I think people think there’s a lot more work required to get results out of it, but I think the bar frankly is as much lower. Um, and if you’re willing to, to kind of do the work to clear that bar, I really don’t think a your background or where you are in your career matters. I think I love
Bart Bradshaw: (31:26)
that perspective. You know, I think, um, there are a lot of us kind of feel like, Oh man, the internet is mature and you know, Instagram is mature and there’s no longer a way to break into Twitter because there’s, it’s just already mature and there’s not opportunity. Like there used to be. And I look at the internet and I think, I mean in the long run and even in the short run, in the grand scheme of things, it’s still so new and there’s still so much opportunity for anybody who wants to get on there. And it, a lot of it comes down to the perspective that you just described. Like, yeah, maybe you’re not going to get thousands and thousands of followers quite as easily as you know, in the early days because it’s just more crowded. But ultimately, I mean 10 a hundred people is a lot of people.
Bart Bradshaw: (32:17)
And in the analog world like you described, like that’s a lot of work to communicate with that many people in the digital world. You can do it with a click of the button, you know, you write something quick, post it and you know, there’s people that, that see it. I’m so, I love that perspective and I, I agree. There’s still plenty of opportunity. Um, okay. So let’s just get down quickly to a, a couple of last questions about, you know, this content idea. So creating content, creating a personal brand slash you know, interesting information that, uh, you want people to hear from you. How should people get started? Are there like maybe two or three steps that they can take to basically go win on Twitter in this way that you’ve described or to start a weekly newsletter?
Trevor McKendrick: (33:11)
So the best way to do anything to meet new people is to have something to talk about. Something that you can point to, something that you have things to speak about to other people. And so if this is kind of the strategy that you want to do, I highly recommend starting a newsletter and just publishing consistently. I do mine once a week, which I think is a great rhythm. So it’s, it’s enough that people can regularly expect something but not so much that you’re swamped and you can’t produce. And once you have something to talk about, you can go onto places like Twitter and you can enter into other conversations, follow interesting people and you can, when people click on your profile or they ask all what you do or, or whatever it is, you have something to talk about. You all have this newsletter, you can sign up here and then they’re like in the kind of the in the flow, they’re in your, your flow.
Trevor McKendrick: (34:10)
Then once you start getting people to sign up, you can start asking them questions and getting responses and then you have more kind of things. And more, more things to work on, more things to like talk about, which makes you more interesting on places like Twitter. The hardest part of this in a place like Twitter is kind of getting the initial following going. And the best way to do that is to a follow people that you think are interesting and then engage with them. And don’t just engage with the super popular people, but engage with people that don’t have a lot of followers since there’ll be much more likely to follow you. And then the last thing is just to have a longterm perspective, right? Like these things compound over time. It’s a lot harder to get your first hundred followers than it is to get, you know, maybe your last million followers, if that makes sense. And to have a longterm perspective and to realize that you’re building something for, for life, frankly. Right? Um, and that will keep you going when people, you know, when maybe it feels like you’re talking into the void, but again, the bars really low, have something to talk about and do it for a long time and eventually you’ll see results.
Bart Bradshaw: (35:18)
Okay. So usually I ask, you know, what’s the future like? Do you see staying at land? I guess you probably can’t answer that. Um, you, you’re loving it at Lambda school, so I’m guessing you’re there for a while. You’re doing some cool side hustles. You’re staying in touch with your weekly newsletter. I’m loving anything else that you wanted to share today.
Trevor McKendrick: (35:38)
If you want to work in the Lambda school, we’re hiring, check out Lambda school.com/careers. I will be here for a long time. I uh, I love it here. It’s a great company. Um, I think a newsletter is a great way to iron man. I’ve already said this, but it’s a great way to be interesting and find interesting people on the internet. Um, I think mine is kind of a great example of this. If you want to check it out, it’s how it actually works. [inaudible] dot com and uh, I hope, uh, if anyone has any questions, I would love to, to hear from them.
Bart Bradshaw: (36:08)
Very cool. Thank you Trevor, for being here today, sharing your story. Andrew. Advice. I’m going to go check out Trevor’s weekly newsletter. I’m curious, you know, both, because I think he probably create some cool content. And also I just want to see what he’s talking about and, and consider doing the same myself and what it might look like. We’ll have that link on builttostay.com as well as links to Lambda school. And we’re going to create some exclusive content around what a Trevor’s recommending and in terms of creating your own newsletter and potentially starting on Twitter. So check that out on builttostay.com and until next episode, have a great one
Next week on bill to stay. And then I found this thing, I was like, Canada’s big with ax throwing. And I was like, what? This is crazy. Like, Oh, that’s so cool. I found this one company that was doing it and I, I emailed them and I was like, Hey guys, like, love what you’re doing on the East coast. Can I buy a franchise? And they were like, yeah, we’re not, we’re not going to do that. But, uh, we’ll let you know if we ever come out West. And I said, okay. So I shot my French, write a message, and I said, Hey man, like this is a business. And you know, we always wanted to, to run our own business rate and review, built a state wherever you listen to your podcasts [inaudible].