An in-depth conversation on creating an impactful career without sacrificing your lifestyle. We talk about transitioning careers from a well-paying job to starting your own lifestyle business on your own terms. We also dig into Khe's 10K work concept, identity, productivity, as well as copywriting, marketing and branding secrets that Khe has learned over the years, and much more.
Check out Supercharge Your Productivity course: https://mindmeld.fm/supercharge-your-productivity
He's been called Oprah for Millennials by CNN and the Wall Street Guru by Bloomberg. Khe is the founder of RadReads, an online academy that helps high-performers live a productive and examined life, and teaches a course called Supercharge Your Productivity that helps you gain back free time, scale your impact, and make a dent in the universe.
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[00:00:00] Khe: Why do people cling so hard to an identity? Cause they don't know who they are. Why do people cling so hard to productivity? Because they don't know what they want.
[00:00:07] If you knew what you want, and I'm not saying like what society tells you what you want. What you truly want. You might care less about productivity. Or you might harness productivity to really make that thing count.
[00:00:21] Josh: Hello friend. I'm Josh Gonsalves And welcome to Mind Meld. This is a podcast where I have in-depth conversations with some of the brightest people in the known universe. My aim is to spark deep conversations around interesting topics to find the tools, tactics, and philosophies that we can all use in our daily and creative lives.
[00:00:46] In this episode, I'm joined by Khe Hy. He's been called the Oprah for Millennials by CNN and the Wall Street Guru by Bloomberg. Khe is the founder of rad reads, which is an online academy that helps high performers live a productive and examined life, and he teaches a course called Supercharge Your Productivity that helps you gain back your free time, scale your impact, and make a dent in the universe.
[00:01:10] And by the way, if that sounds interesting to you, Khe is running the next cohort of this course right now. Well, at least at the time that this podcast is published, which is in May of 2022.
[00:01:20] He only runs the course three times per year, so you should probably act now if you want to join that, otherwise the next cohort runs in September of 2022. Then the next one after that won't be until January 2023.
[00:01:32] And depending on how far along you are in the future listening back on this one, it might not even exist anymore, so future you will definitely thank you if you join that now. You only have a couple more days. So if you are interested in that, I highly recommend checking it out, and if you're interested, go to the link in the description of this podcast to check out Supercharge Your Creativity.
[00:01:53] Okay. So back to this podcast, it's a wide ranging conversation with Khe where we talk about things like transitioning careers from a well-paying job to starting a lifestyle business on your own terms. We also talked about identity and productivity and creating an impactful online business without sacrificing your life. We also get into copywriting, marketing, and branding secrets that Khe has learned over the years and so much more.
[00:02:17] If you want to get any direct links to the resources or things that we mentioned in this podcast, you can find everything in the show notes for this episode. You can find the link to the show notes in the description of this podcast, or you can go directly to mindmeld.fm. That's M I N D M E L D dot fm.
[00:02:35] And if you found this podcast helpful or interesting, please share it with your friends or anyone that you think would benefit from hearing this.
[00:02:42] And if you haven't already please subscribe to the podcast, you can subscribe on your favorite podcast app, or the one that you're listening to this on. Just pull it out of your pocket, open up that tab on your browser if you're on your laptop or desktop and hit subscribe. That way you'll get notified when I publish new episodes.
[00:02:57] All right. So hope you enjoy this one. Let's get right into it. I'm Josh Gonsalves and this is Mind Meld with Khe Hy.
[00:03:04] Josh: Khe thanks for joining me on Mind Meld, man. I'm so excited to have you here.
[00:03:13] Khe: I am thrilled to be on. It is awesome to be here.
[00:03:17] Josh. Thank you.
[00:03:18] Josh: Yeah. And it's awesome, man, because usually I'm the one reaching out to people on Twitter, like all the time, the reason why I started this podcast and it was such so refreshing and so awesome to see you, like in my inbox, like chatting me up. I was like, dude, like, yeah, I've been following you for like eight months and we haven't even messaged you yet.
[00:03:33] So dude, I'm so thankful that you came in, knocked on my door.
[00:03:37] Khe: Hey, I'm um, I've been known to slide into some DMS and introduce myself and see how we can be helpful. And you know, the cool thing about Twitter. We were talking about this the first time we met is we've got this tribe, right? Like we're like in the same tribe and it's like crazy to not meet your fellow, you know, tribes people.
[00:03:56] Josh: Exactly. And it's social media for a reason. Right.
[00:03:59] It's not just media. And that's what I love about it. Cause like I've been seeing some of your like YouTube videos. I've been seeing some of the stuff that you're posting on Twitter and it's cool to interact that way. And you know, you can even just comment on things, but then having this conversation with you is like a whole other level.
[00:04:13] It's like a whole, I dunno, it's, it's really interesting because I'm sure a lot of people will get into this. We'll get that from like your course. And they'll be able to like chat with you. There'll be a be able to learn from you. But even just having these long form conversations is just so different than just a hundred and forty two hundred eighty characters on Twitter.
[00:04:28] Khe: Totally. Totally. And, and it is I'm really with the social media social part, people ask me questions all the time in DMS. I respond with like five minute loom videos. People I've never met before. I just love the, I love the social interaction, especially like before, when we were traveling a lot.
[00:04:46] I always tell people that anytime I'd fly into a new city, London, Toronto are not new, but like a city I hadn't been to in awhile, half of the people that I would meet up with in person were people I met on Twitter and that was people look at me like I had four heads. And to me that was complete. That is completely normal.
[00:05:03] Josh: Yeah. I mean, it should be right. And it's interesting, cause you have a pretty big following. Like how did that happen? Like, was it slow over time? Have you been there on like, on the platform for a long time? Like a slow grind or how has that.
[00:05:14] Khe: Oh man. So I, my nickname for myself or actually one of my coaches, uh, gave it to me. Billy bras is the fast tortoise so I am, um, I'm not, you know, if you use a baseball analogy, I'm the guy that tries to get hit by the pitch, draw the walk, but like, I just want to get on first base and then just keep getting on for a space over and over and over and over again, I'm not trying to hit home runs, but I'm trying to hit doubles that I try to hit grand slams.
[00:05:40] Like I love the slow and slow, steady, incremental growth, just I'd rather play. Um, I like playing lawn games. And so, um, so you could see that and we can talk about how that's influenced much of my work, uh, to answer your question. Twitter specifically is very top of mind because I've been on Twitter for probably a decade now, but I never was like good at it in that I never had a strategy.
[00:06:08] I never queued my tweets. I never wrote tweet storms. I didn't know the rules of the algo. I just kind of like tweeted my random, you know, opinions and quips and all that. And I would say, um, until February 20th, 2022, so let's timestamp it. I had a 17,200 followers and that was accumulated over probably a decade, um, on February 20th, uh, I decided that want to open up a new marketing channel for rad reads and I wanted to test my hand at Twitter.
[00:06:45] And so I just made a commitment that I would try to cue two tweets a day and do two tweet storms. And I didn't want to, I wanted to keep my personality, my style and Twitter. You would know better what my style is than me, but I wanted to keep my personal, like my personality on Twitter. I didn't want to be one of those like growth, hacky accounts. That's lost its soul.
[00:07:09] Josh: Yeah. Oh, I know the ones you
[00:07:10] Khe: you know, the one, the fortune cookie ones and all that. So, uh, I didn't know. I, I, for those of you who don't know me, like I have a Jew, a generalist, like I like to write about productivity, about mortality, about relationships, about family, about money, about growing a business.
[00:07:25] Like I don't want to be pigeonholed into one category of topics. Like I know that some people say niche down, I would get bored. So I just, I keep it very, very broad. So February 20th, I'm like, I'm going to try this. And as of this morning, it was 27,400 followers, but who's counting, uh, so 7,200 followers in, uh, two months
[00:07:52] Josh: Wow. So that's just consistency, right? Like that's a slow build of
[00:07:56] Khe: fast tortoise. Yes. But here's the crazy thing about Twitter and about things with built-in viral loops, which we should also talk about is that classic 80 20 rule, 80% of those followers came from 20% of the tweets. And specifically they came from two tweets. One of which I didn't even write my.
[00:08:20] Josh: What, who it was like a shout out?
[00:08:22] Khe: It was, it was, I was on one of those mega lists.
[00:08:25] Like here are the people to follow for philosophy. You're the people to follow for productivity here, but the person had 120,000 followers
[00:08:33] Josh: Oh yeah. That's going to help
[00:08:34] Khe: So that was about 8,000? Uh, no. What was it? About 8,000, maybe five, 6,000 followers. That one, I didn't even know the person. We're both notion ambassadors, so probably knows me through the notion community, but I've never interacted with him. However, on
[00:08:50] Josh: Wow. And that's the power of just like putting things out there, right? Like you've been writing your blog for what? Like over a decade now,
[00:08:56] Khe: Uh, since 20, no seven years.
[00:08:59] Josh: Seven years. Okay. So not quite a decade. You'll get there
[00:09:02] Khe: I get there. Fast tortoise is getting those
[00:09:04] sprinting towards the finish.
[00:09:06] Josh: Okay. So dude, let's back up then. I want like, maybe for you to kind of like, introduce like what you do and how you started all that.
[00:09:12] So for people listening who are like, who the hell
[00:09:14] is this guy? Like,
[00:09:15] Khe: is this dude in the,
[00:09:17] Josh: you got them hooked now. Now it's time to go
[00:09:19] Khe: Yeah, I will show you how to get 7,200 followers in exactly 60 days with no effort required now.
[00:09:26] Um, hello everybody. My name is Khe Hy and I'm the creator of rad reads. Rad reads is a blog and email newsletter and social media account as well as an online education company. And we can talk about the courses that we run. We also have a small consultancy.
[00:09:43] But before we get into all of that, I should just give you some backdrop that this is my second career. So I had a first career that I'm 40, I'm turning 43 in July. So I had a first career that took me from age 21 to 35. And I worked on wall street, uh, worse. I was a suit, wore a suit who did the 12 hour a day grind, who, you know, used Microsoft outlook and blackberries, uh, and who did all of that corporate stuff.
[00:10:15] And I did that corporate stuff for 14 years at a really good career there. I made good money. I'm good enough to be able to take some time off, not good enough to be able to never work again far from it. I grew up in New York city and I live in LA. So, uh, I always say that I have a very strong preference for high cost of living cities.
[00:10:37] Um, so I worked on wall street and had some, the opportunity to take some time off. I was, maybe not burnt out. I had a, I I'd say I had a, a third of a life crisis at age 35. I'm like, am I really going to be a suit for the rest of my life? And I'm like an internet kid. I grew up on 28 modems and use net groups and like all that stuff. I love the internet.
[00:11:00] so I was like, Okay. how am I going to do this wall street thing for the rest of my life? No, but I have no idea what I'm going to do. So I took like 18 months of savings, but I talked to my wife, we had a one-year-old at the time.
[00:11:15] And I said, how do you feel if this money went to zero? And she's like, cool. Cause we had, you know, we were lucky to have other savings. And I said, okay, this is we're going to use this money to live. It was roughly 18 months of living expenses and I'm going to just try stuff for the 18 months. And if it fails, I'll just go back and get a job on wall street or wherever I thought maybe like Facebook or Google or somewhere that to mix that up.
[00:11:45] Um, and if it goes well, the world is our oyster baby. Um, and so 18 months and keep in mind, um, you know, I love the internet, but no following, no like experience doing any of that stuff in 2002. So for the, for your, for your listeners that are like, oh, like, it's easy for him to say that. Cause you know, he had this or he had that clean slate 2015, may of 2015 zeros everywhere.
[00:12:15] No followers. I mean, I had Facebook friends, that's it like?
[00:12:20] Josh: Okay. I want to get into that. And I want to ask you too, before we even go further, like, what was your awakening moment? Like, obviously there was some kind of entrepreneurial awakening or something. Like, was it a drastic thing for you that was like, whoa, like I need to do something else or was it like a slow kind of thing?
[00:12:35] Cause I always, when I asked this question to some people, it's one of those two things. It's like, oh, it happens over time. There's never one moment. But did you ever have like an entrepreneurial awakening?
[00:12:44] Khe: It was, uh, I hate to disappoint, but it was I'm in the slow burn camp. Where it's you kind of asking yourself, is this really what I'm going to do? I think that what accelerated it was having a child because when you have a kid, you know, my daughter was born when I was 35 or 34, when you have a kid. So like take age 26 to 34 when I was single.
[00:13:10] And then I met my wife and then we got married, no kids, those 26 to 34 of those eight years just felt like a giant blur. It's like, you couldn't tell if it's like eight years or six years or four years. And like birthdays didn't even really matter. Cause you were like, you know, you weren't in your forties yet.
[00:13:27] Um, then you minute you have a kid you're like, every time just becomes crystal clear. Especially with the first kid. You're like, oh, the baby is, you know, 24 weeks old. They like 24 weeks. Like what the hell has happened to the past 24 weeks and a timing. And then it's their first birthday. You're like, oh, wow, it's your first birthday.
[00:13:44] And then now like my daughter just turned eight, you know, she's basically half of her time living at homes done. And she's still my little baby, like she's stolen doors, me, you know, like, she's not like, uh, one of those preteens that's like, screw you, dad. You're lame. Like she loves like she worships like not worshiping, but she loves me.
[00:14:03] Um, and so I think the passage of time became much clearer. And when you're kind of in this job, that's kind of meth and you're like, oh, that's another year. That's that is like, oh, am I just gonna keep watching these years rack up? So that was one of them. The other was, there was a few moments where kind of in my old world, I was just like, I don't vibe with this mindset.
[00:14:28] So one of them was, I was one of the kind of Bitcoin people and I just love to talk about it. And I would always bring it up in meetings and people were, they were kind of. Shut up tech boy, you know, they're like, we're not as, so it's like, I just like quietly bought some and then, you know, well we'll just call it a day.
[00:14:48] Um, but I was just, ah, just for an industry that prides itself for being so on the cutting edge and so innovative, they would not entertain a simple conversation about Bitcoin. Like you guys are just, it's not even a judgment on them. It's just a judge. It's a, it's an assessment on who I wanted to spend my time with.
[00:15:09] Like, I want to opt into people that find this as interesting. I had no idea whether it was going to be good or bad. I just thought it was fascinating. And can we at least talk about it and consider what it could look like? Right. So that was one another was, um, this one I'll I'll remember often it's probably the closest thing to a moment where, um, I got criticized in one of my year performance reviews for being, um, too good of a manager. They're like, they're like you, um, you spend a little too much time, um, caring about your direct reports and it's actually makes sense because wall street has a horrible track record of management. It's kind of like, show me what you've done. What have you done for me lately next? Um, and here I was just like, this is, this is ridiculous.
[00:15:58] Like it's, uh, I, again, it was a choice to opt out of, uh, um, a conversation. So long-winded answer to your question.
[00:16:06] Josh: Yeah, totally. And what's interesting to me is like most people, when they have a kid is like the time where they don't want to make these big changes. Like, okay, well I have a kid don't make excuses, right? Like, why should you stay here? It's a safe thing to do. You obviously took a big leap of faith and, you know, he took a little bit of a risk there.
[00:16:23] So what was the thought process like for you to do that? And like maybe, do you have any, um, anything that you could say to people who are maybe in the same boat or maybe thinking about it and they were like, Hmm, I want to make the leap, but I can't.
[00:16:36] Khe: excellent question. Just to give you the scale, I don't want to share the exact numbers, but this will give you some perspective. I was paid before, well, in that industry, it's a, it's an industry that grossly overpays people, myself included. My best year was in 2014 or 2013. I can't remember exactly, uh, my best year as an entrepreneur was last year.
[00:17:01] So that was nine years later. My best year as an entrepreneur, I made 10% of what I made as my best year on Wall Street. So you can think about it in a few ways that was either grossly overpaid or I'm a shitty entrepreneur. Uh, you can you get a kind of, it's probably somewhere in the middle. Um, but it just shows you that, like, it was very financially risky.
[00:17:27] I still haven't like, I'm not even close to like, you know, if I just stayed there, like my net worth would be so different. We can talk about why I don't think that matters. Yeah.
[00:17:39] So to the question about people wanting to do it, I would say a few things. One, I would say first check, is it a pull or is it a push? Okay. So a push is like, you're running from something. So maybe you lack self-confidence in a role or, you know, you don't have that home to get you promoted, or maybe you just know you're not giving it your all, or you shy away from conflict, which lets people take advantage of you. Uh, or you're not receptive to feedback.
[00:18:16] So you can't grow and you take it pre personalized feedback. If you're getting pushed because of those reasons you're running from something, chances are whatever you run to. All of those problems will still transcend, right? If you're bad at receiving feedback on wall street, you're going to be bad at receiving feedback.
[00:18:35] As an entrepreneur, the stakes might be actually 10 times higher because you're more leveraged to your business outcome. So push versus pull would be the first thing to examine. Uh, the second thing is to really, um, think about what identities matter to you. So for example, I was a managing director on wall street, which is kind of the, highest title. It's not like in the C in the management zone, but it's the highest, it's like, you know, one level below partner. Right. And so in, in cities with big financial service hubs, when you say to people, I'm managing director and they look at your age and you're like, you're 33 years old, immediate status.
[00:19:19] Whether it's a PTA meeting with a new parent friends, you just made or at a coffee shop where you strikes up, strike up conversation, or I wasn't doing it. But you know, you're chatting up someone at a bar and flirting or whatever people instantly know because it's a known identity. When you leave that, especially for something less known.
[00:19:38] Cause I didn't know what I was going to be. You take, uh, like a picture of a giant piece of glass and a sledgehammer and you take a sledgehammer to your identity because you're no longer, right. I quit. I'm no longer a K K the former managing director of I as not the same thing.
[00:19:59] Josh: Right. Did you have an identity crisis?
[00:20:01] Khe: Oh, hell yeah. Hell yeah. It is. It is, uh, it's very hard to navigate in modern society, maybe Western modern society, especially in kind of the social circles where we occupy without an identity. Everyone's something I'm a solo creator. I'm a, this I'm a, that I'm a partner. I'm this, I'm a CrossFitter.
[00:20:25] Um, you know, people love identities. And when you take a big part of people's identity, right? Here's a test for your listeners. Actually, I ask you, but it's a test. Relistor you go to a party, bunch of, a bunch of people, your age, kind of your world, but you don't know anyone. So everyone's meeting each other for the first time. How long into the conversation do you think what you do for work comes up
[00:20:56] Josh: Oh, interesting. Like, well, someone asking you or you were
[00:20:58] Khe: or you might volunteer it, right.
[00:21:00] Josh: Right. Yeah. I'm, I'm assuming it would come up pretty early. Right. Cause you want to know, okay, well what does this person do? You're going to put them not in a box, but just kind of like you're putting a cloak over them like k, I kind of know what you do. Yeah,
[00:21:12] Khe: a yeah. Cloak or I would say maybe it's like, you're doing a triage.
[00:21:15] Josh: right? Yeah,
[00:21:16] Khe: like, okay, like, do I want to talk to a lawyer or do I want to talk? It's just the easiest. It's the easiest, um, triaged to do.
[00:21:25] Josh: yeah. Do you have any, uh, actually I want to ask you a flip side of that instead of asking people what they do. Do you have any like interesting questions that you ask is kind of like learn more about people.
[00:21:35] Khe: I always ask people.
[00:21:36] how do you spend your time? Because at least it doesn't give them the pressure of a job. The other thing is like, what do you do? Who is, um, you know, a lot of stay-at-home moms find that question, like ferry, um, triggering. Um, and So, it's just something to keep in mind that again, The Le they talk about identities, um, women who have kids and leave the workforce to raise their kids.
[00:22:03] Um, often they ha they're, you know, they have an identity, you know, they might've been, um, spiring lawyer, and then they take 2, 4, 6 years to be a mom stay at home. Mom. They do not like the identity of stay at home mom, but they have smashed their old identity to smithereens. And it's it's very, very hard, especially if you are, especially if you don't know yourself.
[00:22:29] Right. I think we'll come, we'll talk about this throughout this podcast. It's like, who are you? What, what makes you come alive? How do you define yourself? Where do you define your own? Self-worth not contingent on how others define it. Right? If you can't answer those questions, it's much easier to be like managing director at BlackRock 31 years old scorecard,
[00:22:55] Josh: So, I guess like flipping it back to you, how would you describe yourself now? Like what you're doing, how you spend your time, how you're doing. How do you frame, how do you think about your identity?
[00:23:05] Khe: Yeah. Um, I've done a lot of spiritual work to kind of just let go of identities and just being like I Am. Um, But the way I would answer it, it depends on the situation. Usually I say, I'm, I'm Sariah Anomalies dad. So those are my kids, uh, because that is actually, you know, I would say that Eastern traditions would have an issue with that.
[00:23:31] But to me, that's just like, uh, because you don't want any Identity. Right. It's because identities come and go. Right. Um, so, um, but that's probably how I would, uh, answer it another way. I, um, I like to answer it. It was with a joke as someone I'm an accidental entrepreneur. It's actually didn't think that I would be doing this, this wasn't in the plan.
[00:23:55] Like I actually, we, we took a big detour, but when you come back to like talking about quitting, I didn't think, I didn't believe again, the self-confidence thing. I didn't think I had it in me to be an entrepreneur. I think I had this vision of what entrepreneurs look like. Maybe it was, you know, a Zuckerberg in vision of entrepreneurship.
[00:24:14] I'm like, that's not me. Like, I don't know how to code. I'm not a writer. You know, this was before 2007, like the word solo creator. Wasn't really, I'm sorry. Uh, was in 2007, 2015. Um, the word solo creator. Wasn't really a thing. I mean, I, I joke with people's like I started my newsletter years before sub stack.
[00:24:35] Josh: Yeah. That's how you know you're
[00:24:36] Khe: That's that's how, you know, you were an O G in the newsletter game.
[00:24:41] Josh: absolutely. And actually, funny enough, uh, tooling, what did you use back then? Are you using the same thing? What does that, what did that look.
[00:24:47] Khe: Tools. Um, so I started the newsletter with 36 people. The newsletter has 35,000 subscribers today. And I will say that I'm going to do just a little flex here, um, with a 54% open rate. So it's 30, 35,000, but 34,000, but we treat, we triage, um, quarterly. So we, we get rid of cold subs, um, religiously not to like inflate the top number.
[00:25:15] Uh, so when I started with 36 email as a Gmail BCC, um, yeah, 36 people as a GMO BCC, I realized quite quickly that managing unsubscribes on a g-mail PCC is not particularly easy. So then I moved to tiny letter. Uh, I moved to tiny letter. I was praying to the tiny letter for, so I've sent my newsletter. This week will be issued 336.
[00:25:37] So I send my newsletter for 30, at 36 weeks, probably around week 70. I got off tiny letter and I moved to MailChimp. Uh, I was on MailChimp for a long time for the crux of it. And then I believe it was in 2019, September of 19. I moved to. Uh, and I haven't looked back. I love ConvertKit. I love Nathan Berry.
[00:26:05] Um, I love everything that they stand for and convert kit works really well for my business. Um, and, uh, but I really, most importantly, I love what the company stands for. Uh, and that's really, um, a Testament to Nathan who really is inspiring. Nathan Barry, who's the CEO and founder of convert kid. There are bootstrap, I think 40, 45 million ARR business, like 85 employees, 42% profit sharing like that is, those are gone mean we will never be that because we're not that business model, but that is goals for me to be bootstrapped, to reward my employees with a significant amount of profit sharing in a lifestyle cashflow driven business.
[00:26:51] Those are my goals, my professional goals.
[00:26:53] Josh: for Rad Reads now, so it started out as just purely a newsletter. Like how did that business come about? Like, how did that start building up for you? Like over time when he first started, he said he didn't even, I kind of mean to do it accidental entrepreneur. Like how did that all come up?
[00:27:07] Khe: So I have a, I have an entrepreneurial, we talked about the Fest tourist, but I have another entrepreneurial mantra that's called follow the fun. and I just try to do things that are fun and I try to not do things that are not. and so it, I just kind of see where that takes me. And I have a very optimistic view of the world.
[00:27:26] And this is evolved with time that you can build amazing things and great businesses. And if you want make a lot of money, I always qualify. Like I want to make money, but it's not top three on my priorities, uh, as an entrepreneur making money. Um, so following the fun is like, I want to really enjoy the process so fall.
[00:27:46] So I've always followed the fun and following the fun takes me to some really, you know, unique and quirky places. But, um, so I followed the fun and I just really, so I started this newsletter, no writing experience, no audience, 36 people at Gmail BCC. And I'm just like, I started link blocking. So like here are five stories, you know, this is, again, you got to remember the time period.
[00:28:08] Like this is before everyone and their mother was the link blogger, um, and linked blogging. For those of you familiar, you, you take some few links and you write a little commentary on it. I love linked blogging cause it's kind of a gateway drug for, um, for blogging. And it's like, I don't really have my own ideas.
[00:28:24] It's like what Tiago and others called remixing? Uh, I don't really have the confidence to come up with my own ideas. But I would love to kind of piggyback off of other ideas and add my opinion. So I did link blogging for, I mean, I still do link blogging 330, 6 weeks later. Uh, we've added a lot of stuff.
[00:28:42] So I did like blogging probably for the first year. And I loved it because to me, I was building a business or not even a business, but just like building a product off of something that I wanted to do anyway, which was, learn things by reading and testing them out and like sharing them with people who found it helpful.
[00:29:01] So that was, that kind of happened in a lot of the growth of rad reads in the early days. It was just worried about people are like, this is cool. Like this guy funny is like, it was, I call it a Twitter arbitrage because most of my readers were like more suits. And so they thought Twitter was some like wild west, like wholly weirdos and freaks hangout on.
[00:29:21] And so I just find cool articles on Twitter. Cause it's just in your feed and your face, if you follow the right people and I'd share them, link blogged them and the people on the receiving end, they were like, where did you find this is the coolest thing I've ever seen? My, you know, my, um, so it was just like Twitter arbitrage and in the early days.
[00:29:39] So that was probably like a year or so. Um, then a few, would it be helpful if I just give you like a few milestones, it kind of like, it will kind of put the journey in context, right? So quits BlackRock may of 20, uh, 15, seven years ago, Um, it will be like a seven year anniversary in like two weeks, uh, and just starts this email newsletter, Gmail BCC does that for about, uh, I mean, still does that, but just kind of playing around and, um, towards the end of that year.
[00:30:13] So like eight months after I had the newsletter, maybe a, a thousand subscribers through word of mouth, one of my subscribers responds to me and says, Hey, you've clearly figured something out. I don't really know what I had to figure it out. Um, can you coach my leadership team on how to do it? Like, what are you?
[00:30:33] I was like, I know lots of coaches. And they're like, no, no, no, no. We want you to coach them. I'm like, well, what am I going to coach them on leadership and how to be happy? And I'm like, what the fuck? Like, I'm just a link blogger, a former wall street guy. Right. But here's the thing, it's the learning and public, it's the, you know, with five summaries for, you know, 40 weeks, people had been exposed to 200 of micro ideas of case thinking.
[00:31:01] And what this gentleman saw was like, I saw 200 reps and I liked the way he thinks I don't want one of the coaches on your list. I want you, cause I've seen how you think over the past 30 weeks. So that was the first time when I said light bulb, one like, wow, I can make some money doing this, you know, like what, I wasn't really trying to be a coach.
[00:31:25] I have done coaching on and off. I don't really do coaching anymore. Uh, so that was the first like watershed moment someone wanted to pay you. And I think a creator's listening to this, you know, and, And I think what I want you to hear on the receiving side is, is it doesn't take that many subscribers, right?
[00:31:41] Like you to get that one person that wants to pay you and I wasn't even advertising it. Right. So that's, that was the first thing. And remember, I said, you gonna have 18 months to like figure things out. So I gave them, so that pushed the 18 months because the 18 months assumed I didn't make any money, but now was getting some money.
[00:32:00] And it was, it wasn't a runways building. So the 18 months kind of just kept resetting like a new, a new clock shot clock started, you know, with each payment. Right. You know, it's like one more month, two more months. So that kind of actually blew up the 18 months thing. Cause I was like, well, I could just keep doing this.
[00:32:20] And the 18 months thing is pointless. I didn't want to do exactly that. But that, that was a boost of competence next milestone CNN. And within a month of each other, this is about a year. It's like the following September. So it's like almost two years after I quit 18 months after I quit newsletters.
[00:32:41] Twenty-five hundred subscribers. It's on male, tiny, tiny letter. No, no MailChimp. And twenty-five hundred subscribers and two articles within six weeks of each other, CNN says, meet K he Oprah for millennials. And then Bloomberg writes an article that says, meet K, eat the wall street guru.
[00:33:03] Josh: Wow. And that was just from them picking up your blogs.
[00:33:06] Khe: The, the, I was barely blogging at the time. Um, they were just on the, they were, the reporters were subscribed to the newsletter.
[00:33:16] Josh: How did, did you ever ask them how they found you?
[00:33:18] Khe: One of them's the, uh, the, the spouse forwarded it and the other, a friend for a minute
[00:33:25] Josh: Wow. Just peer like serendipity
[00:33:28] Khe: RDP. But it kind of goes back to that tweet that we talked about earlier, the 6,000 person retweet or not even, you know, productivity, tweet. I didn't even know the person, but they had been fall. They'd been watching me think in public probably for months, years, maybe. I don't know.
[00:33:45] So that's the thing about these, like, even though you kind of like you expand the surface area from luck to find you by being the fast tourist. That's why I told you, man, I'm not trying to hit home runs. I just want to get on base. I might even lean my elbow and just a little bit to get nicked. Uh, just so I get one more, one more rep on base, like one more on base.
[00:34:09] Cause that's when the once you're on base, then the magic starts to happen. Right. And no one really cares how you got on base.
[00:34:16] Josh: And what is first base view? Because I think about this idea, I call it just, I'm putting nodes out in the network, right? Whether that's putting out link blogging, whether it's tweeting, you're just putting things out into the network. It's something a little glimmer of a star out in the constellation that's the internet.
[00:34:30] Khe: I think, um, that's a good question. I never thought about it that way. I think of it as just showing up and adding value. And it could be like micro value, like just a screenshot tweet with an interesting factoid or it could be macro value, like a pillar, you know, skyscraper or posts, you know, 10,000 word SEO monster.
[00:34:51] Right. I th I think I don't Do a lot of, I mean, I do for different reasons, but I think of it more, you know, like if you look at my newsletter over the 336 weeks, like there's not, there's not a lot of like viral moments and things like that, but it's just, it's so consistent. And it's so consistently above average and it's so consistent.
[00:35:13] My voice, a lot of people when they meet me, they're like, you sound exactly like what I thought you would sound like based on following you on Twitter. That's a huge compliment. And the, and I, if I was trying to hit home runs every time it just wouldn't work that way. Cause I'd be, when you try to hit a home run, you're, you're not, you're a different version of yourself.
[00:35:35] At least I'd be a different version of myself, right. I'm much more of like a slow moving consistent, like one foot in front of the other. So, um, so that was the reps. Uh, that's how I think about the reps. And I'm trying to emulate that on Twitter. And I think at some point maybe next year, I'll try to emulate that on YouTube.
[00:35:53] I'm not ready. I'm not ready yet for the YouTube pressure. But, uh, once we get the Twitter thing locked down, which I'm starting to see, the other thing too, is once you do this over and over, you start to like, like for like holding and touching my body and like holding my shoulders and my heart. It's like, you start to, um, really understand the texture of a platform and you just start to see, like this type of tweet works and this type of tweet works on a Saturday, but it's not like, I'm sure you could distill it down into a formula, but I'm, I'm a much more intuition guy.
[00:36:31] And I'm like, this is, I just like, I come up with idea, like this is a Saturday tweet. Like this is definitely a Saturday tweet. And then you're like, what's a Monday tweet. Nothing because people are not they'll wanna engage on Monday. Right
[00:36:44] . And so you just kind of like observe these kind of intuitions, like a big one for me on this intuition is like, uh, email, subject line or. And you don't get that 54% open rate with which with shitty subject lines. Right. So I've just kind of observed this, built this intuition on email, on writing emails, subject lines. I
[00:37:05] Josh: Do you document it
[00:37:07] Khe: I don't document them, but I try to write 10 to 15 subject lines for every email.
[00:37:13] Josh: and then you just intuitively pick the
[00:37:15] Khe: then I intuited, I don't even AB test.
[00:37:16] So I'm not like a super quantitative guy. Uh, it's something I'm trying to be better at as like marketing becomes a bigger part of what I need to do, but I'll test them. Like, I'll, I'll text some friends, like, what do you think of these two? you know, like, I'll do like a SMS based AB testing.
[00:37:30] But I, but I, I won't write a post if I don't like the headline. So I come, I force myself to write the headline first. If I can't come up with a headline, I don't write the post.
[00:37:41] Josh: Interesting. That's a good way to do it though, because that's like the idea of
[00:37:45] Khe: It's the, and it's the framing, right? Like if you, if you knew you could have the right content, but if you don't get the framing right, it flops. And I think like the, you know, we could talk about kind of 10 K high leverage work. Let's do it later, But, um, the framing is, you know, the, the framing is the 10 K work and then writing it as the, you know, one K one K and a hundred dollar work. So,
[00:38:09] Josh: Yeah. I've got a really interesting question actually. Before I get into that though. I just wanted to bring up if you're thinking of doing YouTube and you love Twitter, I would actually highly recommend looking at TikTok, not YouTube.
[00:38:23] And it's like, so many people are like, ah, Tik TOK. I don't even want to download the app. I don't want to be like scrolling on it, but like, it is the video version of Twitter. Like YouTube is something totally different. Like TikTok, you can just pick up your phone, just hit record in the app. Talk about something like you would have like a, like your headline idea from a, a blog or newsletter post.
[00:38:44] And you just, you could even literally read or have that a memorize what you were talking about, the key points and just talk about that hit send, and that can just get millions of views because the serendipity on that platform compared to anything else is just like nothing I've ever seen before. Like it's crazy.
[00:39:01] Khe: I'm with you. I think I'm showing my age here where, like we talked about this when we were hanging out, but I don't have any social on my phone and that's for like my mental health. Uh, and so anything that's like, like I don't even have Instagram, cause it just, you can't even like log into your DMS on the web.
[00:39:21] Like, um, so I just, but I do, I there's three platforms for our next one that I would think of. Um, it's, it's not podcasting because I want the built in viral loops. Like anything I do next with needs to have built in discovery.
[00:39:37] Josh: I think that's a good time to get into that. I want to, yeah. Like what are your thoughts on the viral loop?
[00:39:41] Khe: Yeah. So, you know, we, so I had a podcast for a year and, um, I really enjoyed it, but it didn't, um, it didn't really work, work well for us, just, we spent so much time on it and it just, it did well for podcasts. I think it was like 3000 downloads, an episode, which I think is like solid. Um, but it was like 15 hours of work a week or 10 hours of work a week.
[00:40:08] So it was at a huge opportunity costs. Um, I blog a lot. I like long form writing, but I, if I were to start today, I would not start a blog. Um, I think that I would start with, because if you start with no audience, you have to go somewhere with built in discoverability, because if you're blogging with no audience, you could be the best blog in the world.
[00:40:32] No, one's going to find you without occasional link share here and there it's just way too slow. So if I were to start again today, I would go with anywhere that has built in virality and discovery, which is YouTube, the trifecta of YouTube, Twitter, and, um, Tik TOK.
[00:40:51] Josh: Right. And even LinkedIn, I'm hearing LinkedIn for content is great?
[00:40:55] Khe: I know nothing about LinkedIn. So. I would, uh, I'm not going to comment on it just from ignorance, but I would assume. Yeah, that's a good point. Um, so I would add LinkedIn there. I hate like, as a former suit, I just, I hate LinkedIn so much, but I mean, I probably could, we probably could drive a lot of traffic there.
[00:41:10] So, um, so, so I would start with one of those and then I think it comes back to the fall of the fund. It's like where is it going to be the most effortless because you got a shy, I don't, anything. You got to find the rhythm of the platform. I don't know. I don't even know what it is for YouTube, but probably one a week I have for TikTok, it's probably two to three times a day, Twitter.
[00:41:32] I feel like I'm getting away with it to get two times a day, but three would probably be better. Um, if I had the time, um, so I would, I would start there, but then you go back to things that have long-term compounding. I think one of the issues with Twitter and I I'd have the hesitation with TikTok is that, you know, there are a lot of tweet storms where I put in 25 minutes and I think they're damn good.
[00:42:00] And they just die in the ether and, and, I would worry about like, that's an asset. And, you know, we were okay at SEO, we're in, you know, uh, web based SEO. Uh, we're good enough to know what it takes, how to do keyword research. We can, you know, we can't fight with the big boys. Um, you know, our domain ranking site, 58, so solid, respectable, but not great.
[00:42:30] Um, but I know how it works. And SEO is actually very aligned with like getting walks, right? He's like a post gets like three, three organic visits a day, and then a month later it gets 10 and then a year later it gets 50. Right. It's very much aligned with kind of the slow. And what I love about SEO is that it's self compounds, like the longer your post as your post gets more traffic, it gets harder for someone else to displace it.
[00:43:02] So there's a built in accumulating advantage if you find the right thing. And that's very much something that I like that I believe. I think YouTube has the same thing where, and I'm not sure if TikTok has that where like you kind of. Because I want to play the long game in these things. And I think like if I wanna play the long game, YouTube is probably a very powerful, long game thing.
[00:43:23] And web SEO, you know, it has its pros. It's like who reads on the web anymore, but you'd be surprised. It's fucking huge people search things. You've got search intent, all that. So I would, if I were to do things again, I would pair something up with built-in virality, which is kind of like how you grow the flywheel of your audience, accurate like customer acquisition or audience growth with a longer term asset that just like, um, it, it just like pays a monthly dividend, like it's like interest, right.
[00:43:55] And whether that's YouTube, I think YouTube and Google SEO are the two kind of long-term cash cows. But here's the thing. A lot of people can't play those games. They're not patient enough. Right. SEO is you need to be fucking patient. Right. You're like, you could see nothing for three months. Then you get like 10 visitors for the next three months.
[00:44:18] Right. But again, it's the right visitor search intent, if you can convert it. So that's the advice that I would get. I mean, it also depends on what you're trying to optimize for. Right. Um, but um, I would pair something that's a little faster and a little bit more ephemeral with, but it has like, boom, like you can go, you can get 7,000 followers in one day.
[00:44:41] To something that is like a steady Eddie cash, you know, cash machine. And then if you put the two together, then you have like an overall brand that like the brand kind of sits above both of them to like unite them. Then you like unstoppable.
[00:44:57] Josh: It's like a barbell strategy almost, right? Yeah.
[00:45:00] Khe: It's kind of how you would invest your money, right? You're not going to put everything in crypto, you know, you'll put, you know, 10, five, whatever your risk tolerance is in crypto. And then you buy stocks and then you'll buy bonds. Like you buy something that's not sexy, but you know that if you hold it for 10 years, like you're going to be doing great.
[00:45:17] Josh: Right. And that goes back to your email list, right? Like you were able to bring that with you. Like, again, if it's something like Twitter, like Elon Musk could buy it and shut it down for whatever reason, um, or you could lose it. All right. Um, whereas, you know, you have a list of these contacts that you can bring with you and you can transfer that. So,
[00:45:35] Khe: And the thing that people under appreciate, I think email is a funnel. I think people kind of sleep a bit on email because it's not the sexy new thing. And people in general, don't like email myself included, but he's like, email is just, people love to shit on email, but they still read it all the time. Right.
[00:45:54] Josh: yep. They're
[00:45:55] Khe: They're always on it. It's platform agnostic. And honestly, Josh, one of the biggest things that, uh, about my email news that I send it around 9:00 AM Pacific every Saturday. It's, it's almost like the Starbucks effect. Because I'm just a part I've been doing it for so long that I'm just a part of people's Saturday routines.
[00:46:17] There's these stories like in New York city, where there's a heavier concentration of users where two parents are in the soccer field. It's night. It was what I was sending at nine o'clock Eastern. And they both looked down on each other's phone and rads just came out at nine, they're both reading it on the soccer field.
[00:46:35] So it becomes a part of people's habits. Just like the way Starbucks always tastes the same. Just, you know, pick your favorite brand. That's known for consistency that just shows up.
[00:46:46] every single week and people, when you become a part of people's minds space in a way that adds value and that isn't like showy and pushy and salesy, you become a part of people's lives. Right? I mean, that's a brand, right?
[00:47:02] Josh: Absolutely. That's how you build a brand than just over time is consistency. People are. Yeah. It's the consistency man. That's the hardest thing. Right? So what is your biggest tips for building in that consistency?
[00:47:13] Khe: I think the big one is like, you got to follow the fun, like you can. I, once Tweed, Uh, tweeted with James clear and I asked him, how long did it take him to write atomic habits? Uh, what do you think he said, including marketing?
[00:47:27] Josh: Uh, I don't know, a year,
[00:47:30] Khe: Uh, I can't convert it. It's hard to convert into years. 8,000 hours,
[00:47:34] Josh: 8,000 hours, less than the 10,000
[00:47:37] Khe: So it's less than the 10,000 hours. but 8,000 hours, if you work eight hour days, that's a thousand days. Uh, so that's three, you know, it's 250 days working days a year. So that's four years. That's four years of eight hour days.
[00:47:55] Josh: Wow.
[00:47:56] Khe: So you tell me who on earth can do something for four years, every single day. If they're not following the fuck, if you're doing it for money, it's not gonna, it's not gonna happen. You'll make, I mean, James Kerr, I love this picture that he tweeted. It's like Barack Obama's memoir, atomic habits, and Michelle Obama's memoir, like most read books in 2021. I'm like, that's fucking life goals, man. Like good
[00:48:29] Josh: and the best part is he wrote that years before that even it stood the test of time.
[00:48:33] Khe: So, So, to the consistency question, right? I think there's this like delicate line to walk because when people hear follow the fun, what they say is like, oh, it's like pleasure and like hedonism and just like Yolo, you know, it's like, I just do.
[00:48:51] I'm like, no, like one question I'd love to ask people is like, what makes you come alive? Right. Cause that's different than like what gives you a brief burst of pleasure that quickly fizzles away. Right? There's like two very different questions. it's something that I, um, something that I, I encourage people, you gotta follow the font.
[00:49:11] Like that doesn't mean that you're going to hit creative resistance, right? Where like there's going to be stretches where like, I don't want to fucking do this. And in those stretches, you've got to have a few tricks up your sleeve. One is you have to be willing to give yourself permission to take a break.
[00:49:28] creators really struggle with that because like, ah, they all go is going to decimate me. If I take two weeks off or, you know, people will forget that I exist. Like no people barely know you exist in the first place. you got to give yourself permission to take a break.
[00:49:42] And then you have to have kind of like a, you know, you have to have some tricks in your back pocket. Right? So for example, I've got a few posts that I could, they're very easy to write. They're not my best work, but if I'm ever stuck and in a jam or I'm like hung over or something, I can crank it out in 40 minutes. Right. That, so you gotta have a few of those.
[00:50:06] Um, and then the third thing is you got out and this is, what's, what I love about being a creator. Just like living your life becomes an engine for creativity where, you know, you could just like, I don't know if I was surfing today and there was a collision. This didn't happen, but there was a collision in the water and I felt something like ashamed or nervous or angry, right.
[00:50:37] That little moment could easily turn into a phenomenal story. You can even go into great tweetstorm and can turn into a great blog posts. And so you just kind of have to, um, live your life with this lens in the world, this curiosity, where you're just kind of like seeing little bits and shards of your life and other people's lives and kind of spindling them together into your own creative masterpiece.
[00:51:05] And I think that this, uh, you know, I think that if you find that process fun, right. That just means you're curious, you're empathetic. You're a good storyteller. You open your eyes. Right? That sounds, sounds kind of obvious, but like a lot of people would like walk around with their eyes, you know, they're physically open, but they're, you know, emotionally shut, right.
[00:51:27] They're worrying about something or thinking about something. So if you can just approach that life with that. Again, like it does come back to this concept of, you know, following the fun. And so those are a few ways that, uh, that I would approach consistency.
[00:51:42] I'm not a big note taking, I don't have systems to track ideas, anything, like I just observe the world. And if I see something intriguing, I try to turn it into a little piece of content right away. So I see a cool quote. I'll just tweet it, add my commentary on it. I see a fun little story. Sort of like putting it in my story bank. I just write about it upcoming Saturday. Um, make a tweet surrounded like my, to me, I'm not criticizing people that have elaborate systems, but I think to, to me, a lot of the elaborate systems, especially if you don't have a lot of body of work to show for is just, um, it's like a distraction.
[00:52:23] You're just, you're just distracting yourself from some deeper thing. Usually it's like a fear of failure. Like you just don't want to like put yourself out there. Fear of rejection, um, or perfectionism, which is kind of the other coin of fear of failure. So anyway, that was a little bit of a rant.
[00:52:38] Josh: Dude. No, that there's so much from there that I'm just like, Hey, I'm going to go back. Even on this recording. Be like, Hey, holy shit. Like there's so many, like this nuggets in there, I'm sure people are gonna pick it out. And there's. When you go through these things, there's always like the one thing that will just like come out to people.
[00:52:53] Right. So I love just how much, like knowledge and wisdom you have, because obviously doing this for so long, um, you know, people are going to pick up the one thing. Like it's never like everything, right? Like you can give people like a whole like library of content and like, here's all these ideas, but they'll always remember like one or two things.
[00:53:10] So there's always something like that. And I think this has already been a few of those moments in this podcast. Um, I'm sure there's gonna be a little bit more, um, coming up here because we're almost at like an hour, geez. Um, it's crazy. Cause I still have so much that I want to, I want to get into.
[00:53:24] I guess the next thing is really like you, you just said, it's so funny that you don't really have like an elaborate system, but you were kind of like known to become like the Notion guy and like the productivity guru, like how did that even happen?
[00:53:35] How did you start getting into that? You said you were a generalist and you didn't want to niche down, but then you ended up becoming known for this thing. How did that.
[00:53:42] Khe: It's a good question. I did. And I didn't because it's, um, if you like go through the history of my newsletters, there was probably a time where there was a, you know, a little bit more on Notion. But it never like pivoted away from just this generalist approach. Like there's always a few themes that are in there about, like I said, relationships, money, um, productivity, career change, Entrepreneurship.
[00:54:08] Those are kind of like the four or five themes that are kind of pillars. And I kind of bounce around between those different pillars. Productivity is something that the internet loves. Productivity is something that I understand well, and I use, like, I don't have like elaborate systems for, creative process, but like I've used GTD for almost 20 years.
[00:54:31] Right. So I have like an iLab. I mean, I don't think it's elaborate because I've done it for so long, but if someone looked over at my shoulder, like that's pretty fucking elaborate. but I've been very, very careful that like, I don't want to be pigeon-holed as a productivity person.
[00:54:45] I don't don't want to be pigeonholed as a Notion person. And notion is a tool that we use that. is great. And I love it. And I could talk about notion and all its features until I'm blue in the face. But, you know, there was a moment where everyone wanted to talk about it. That moments probably quieted down a bit and yeah, when people want it to talk about it more, I leaned into the conversation a little bit harder, but now that people don't want to talk about it, I see a lot of like, you know, no, like people that jumped on the Notion bandwagon and they're one trick ponies.
[00:55:20] Right. And look notion like everything else. I mean, we saw it with Roam, right? Roam had its moment. I go like six months. I w there was 18 months where I couldn't go a day without hearing about Roam. And I haven't heard about Roam in six months. And what I do hear about it, it's someone saying something negative.
[00:55:42] Josh: Oh, that's sucks. Which is interesting. Cause I think they recently just like finally put out an iOS app. I was like the only thing I heard about,
[00:55:48] Khe: Jose. I wouldn't even know. I follow all the, all the accounts, but again, I, it's not, this has nothing to do with Roam. It's just, um, it's just, you want, but again, I'm not saying like you could, I'm sure that there are Roam specific blogs and Roam will be around and that person will be there to serve that audience.
[00:56:08] Great. Um, it really depends on what, what you want, right. And what you're optimizing for. Like, what game are you? Are you playing
[00:56:16] Josh: Right. And so like for you, like what game is that?
[00:56:19] Khe: Fun. Just want to have fun. I want, here's the game that I'm playing. I love teaching and our course, our course, I think the unique thing that we bring to productivity is that we bring the why, where everyone's thinking about the how.
[00:56:38] They're like, should we use Roam? Should we use obsidian, should use this? And then I come around the corner, like, why do you want to be productive in the first place? They're like, well, I don't have enough time. Why don't you have enough time? What do you want more time for? What would you do with said extra time? Like, well, I'd be a better dad is like, you really think you'd be a better dad.
[00:56:58] If you had more time, like you could choose to be a better dad right now. Right. And then it kind of was you're like, wait, we started talking about it, obsidian. And now I'm questioning why I questioned myself as a dad. That's the conversation I want to have with people.
[00:57:13] Josh: Getting a little bit deeper, right? Like I always see productivity is like the gateway drug to like self-development right. So is it more so self-development that you're like trying to bring into that world?
[00:57:22] Khe: I would say that even further, I would say self awareness, right? It goes back to that question that we started with identity. Like, I don't think why is it so hard? Why do people cling to so hard to an identity? Cause they don't know who they are. Why do people cling so hard to productivity? Because they don't know what they want.
[00:57:40] Right. If you knew what you want to, and I'm not saying like what society tells you, what you want, what you truly want, you might care less about productivity or you might harness productivity to really make that thing count. And so I believe that this is our unique flavor of productivity. I think the market for, you know, Y based productivity is much, much bigger than the market for how based productivity.
[00:58:09] You could read about tactics till you're blue in the face who gives a F in the long-term, who gives a fuck about tactics. People want to be connected to the deeper motivation, the deeper goal, the deeper vision that they have for their lives. And then they use the tool to get closer to it. But what happens in this world is the other way around.
[00:58:30] They go tool, tool, tool, tactic, tactic, hack, tool, tactic, hack tool. And they're like, I didn't even know what I wanted in the first place. And so if we can invert that, I think we're just so uniquely positioned. And that feels like I don't want to see so grandiose, like my life's work, but that is just a cool thing to be a part of, to help people discover their why, and then show them how to do it with some bad ass motherfucking productivity implementation that isn't, it That's exciting to me versus just like wake up earlier on the Saturday and like crank out, you know, and gratitude journal, like, sure, fuck that.
[00:59:05] Like fine. Like that works for some people, but that's not getting to the root cause of who you are, what you care about. What's your vision for your life? That's what gets me.
[00:59:17] Josh: That's huge because you're right. You're kind of like you're peeling back the onion. So you're going K there's like maybe what you mainly see on YouTube and Twitter. And definitely LinkedIn is like the, you know, the surface level, maybe layer two, but you're like peeling it back.
[00:59:30] And it just seems like it's going back to your story of how, like you decided to do what you're doing now. It seems like you want to help people kind of have that realization for themselves and then okay. Once you do it, here's what I did after that, to like actually make the shit happen.
[00:59:44] Khe: Exactly. And what do I want out of life? it's very clear to me. I want to be super involved in my kids' life. I want to be a great data of your great husband. I want to do cool creative stuff, right. That's why I don't do Facebook ads. Like it just doesn't sound like cool creative stuff to me.
[01:00:00] Right? Follow the fun. Based. I haven't logged into Facebook in two years. Why would I start now to buy some fucking ads? Right? I'm just not going to do it. Maybe I'm leaving money on the table. Maybe I'm playing the smart decision in the long game. Time will tell doesn't matter to me because I'm following the fun.
[01:00:16] I want the joy today. Right? So follow up, you know, um, be creative, be a great dad. I love surfing. I want to surf everyday. I don't have meetings till 1130 Pacific. Right? Most of our counterparties are in the east coast and in Europe I surf every day for 90 bucks. And I leave my mornings open because surfing is very fickle.
[01:00:37] You can't just go at nine o'clock every morning. You have to watch the winds and the tides and the, this and the, that. And like, sometimes it's really good at 10 45. Sometimes it's really good at seven 40. Right. You don't know until that moment. So I've got a text thread with my surf dad, friends, and we're just like, is it good? Is it good? Is it good? Let's go, gotta be back by 1130 first zoom call.
[01:00:57] Josh: Dude. That's awesome. I feel like there's a lot of, um, parallels between surfing and obviously literally surfing the web. And like, you've been talking about like, finding like these trends just serendipitously. And I feel like there's a through line here somewhere with, with your, your life. Life and like your, your work life.
[01:01:14] Do you see any kind of connections between, do you ever make those connections, like on a good day surfing or a bad day or.
[01:01:20] Khe: Yeah. So this is, this is a, it's a little bit long, but I think people will get this. Um, so you have this vision surfing. Is this like interesting cultural phenomenon? Cause like you'll be in the tube in London and you'll see like, uh, an ad for a hotel and there'll be like some shredded surfer. That's just like live your best life at the Marriott in Ken Coon or whatever.
[01:01:41] And so surfing holds this place, not just for surfers, but just in culture as this embodiment of a certain way of existing have a certain respect. It's like, it's like part like pure Avita, like four-hour work week. It's part kind of like counter culture, escape, culture, punk rock, you know, like rebels it's part like fitness, like Roman, you know, fit muscular chiseled.
[01:02:08] Like blah-blah-blah like, and it's part just like vacation and fun. Right? And so it, it holds this very special place in cultural imagination. So I bought into that and I was like, well, I want to move to California. I moved to California from New York because I wanted to be a surfer, but I wasn't. I get in surf a lot.
[01:02:28] I served occasionally. And so I get here and I'm like, okay, I want to learn how to surf. Like, I kind of know what I'm doing and you go out, it's fucking freezing. The Pacific ocean is freezing even in August. It's freezing. So it's cold. That's sucks. Next thing the waves are in the morning and on weekdays, even if you don't have to work, none of your friends can surf with you because they have jobs. So guess what? It's dark, it's cold and you're surfing by yourself.
[01:03:03] Okay. Let's get to the next variable. Um, it's fickle. There are weeks with no way. You can't like plan your schedule around it. And you kind of like, don't really know what you're getting until you're there, unless you have boots on the ground.
[01:03:18] They're like a friend who lives by the beach and most people don't, it's too expensive in California. So you're not even guaranteed to have a good time. In fact, statistically, you're probably gonna have a worst time, cause there's more days with bad waves than good waves, especially in Southern California, that might be different in Bali, but in Southern California is where it is about it.
[01:03:38] So think about that. You move your family across the country for this ad, this cultural representation that you saw on the subway with some like Laird Hamilton rip dude, you know, shirtless and it's cold, lonely fickle, bad conditions. And guess what? On top of it, it's a fucking hard sport. You suck at it, right? It's a 10,000 hours sport by like it is
[01:04:04] Josh: Just to do it. Not even good.
[01:04:06] Khe: most east coasters moved to LA with that Laird Hamilton vision. And then within a month they give up, they're like, fuck, this, this sucks through a stroke of grace or God or genius or whatever. To me, when that happened, I was like, whoa, I like this. But for different reasons.
[01:04:26] I loved that it was not about the experience. Catching the waves. It was just like an entire lifestyle. So it's like a ritual and you like wax your board and you go down and it challenges your expectations. And sometimes you just sit in the dark with your thoughts. There's no phone. Like you can, you can like Instagram yourself surfing.
[01:04:49] Like it's just not possible. So you can't talk about it. You can't share it. it. doesn't matter. You're Not even good.
[01:04:56] So like, so it kind of like turned all the assumptions I had about it, that Laird Hamilton vision. And it really turned into more of like, I dunno, like, like sitting in a, in a dark room by herself. And it turned out that I, I just needed that in my life and it was peaceful and it was meditative. And, and guess what? I made my friends, I got my surf homeys, we got our rhythm. I got better.
[01:05:24] But again, I'm almost more in it for that whole packaged meditative contemplated experience with bursts of like shredding versus like every day you're shredding. Cause it's just, you're shredding maybe like 10% of the days, 20% of the days.
[01:05:42] Josh: And it seems like a, almost like a stoic philosophy. Like it just like, that's what, it sounds like a stoic, like, experience.
[01:05:48] Khe: it's just like this very kind of peaceful existence. With like these little bursts of. But if you're there for the bursts, I think it kind of it's like, like what I said about like, I just want to get on base, right? Like if you want to play for the home runs, it's not the sport for you.
[01:06:08] You gotta like move to Hawaii where the waves are fucking awesome. Every single day, get a surf instructor fight with the locals there. Cause you got to earn the right to surf those, those good waves. You just can't show up with money. Right money. Another thing about surfing is like your money don't matter. Like there's a hierarchy out there and how much money you make does not register in the hierarchy.
[01:06:31] Right? It's a whole nother status game, right? And that's a status game of respect and that's a status game of of showing up and that status game of time and like all of that. So I think it's actually a really powerful metaphor for life where you have these expectations that your life is going to be ripped.
[01:06:50] Laird Hamilton, carving out Hawaii waves. But really what it is is dark gray, not, not boring, but just not what you thought, but that's kind of life. And I don't see that in a downer way. I say that in like a beautiful way. It's like so much like my theory, my unified theory of happiness, not that you asked, but I'll share it for you.
[01:07:11] Is that happiness? Isn't these like explosions of joy. It's just, you know, you're seeing the consistency. It's just like every day it's. You grind your coffee beans, you poured in your arrow, press. You have your special mug. Watch the smoke, lift up. It's quiet. You hear the birds chirping. Like you get your journal out, you, right?
[01:07:31] You hear your kid pitter, patter up the stairs. You give her a hug, like that's happiness, right? Is that it's not like, oh, I won the lottery or like, shit, I got a 7,000 person viral retweet. Like that stuff fades instantly. Right? The other is like slaw. It's like, not even happiness. Isn't even the right word.
[01:07:51] It's like sustainable contentment. I like the word joy.
[01:07:56] Josh: Yeah. And sustainable joy, like just in the every day
[01:08:00] Khe: can the everyday-ness of life. Like to me, happiness is finding beauty and connection and peace in the everyday moments of life and yes, you'll get the firework. You'll get the big retweet. You'll get the big sale. that's just the icing on the cake. The cake is that everyday-ness and just being, being at peace with it. And that's how I try to run my business.
[01:08:22] Josh: so obviously this is where the through-line comes in now. It seems like that's how you've designed your life. Like it kind of getting to like lifestyle design now. Right? Like I want to be able to surf every day. I want to be able to spend time with my family.
[01:08:35] Khe: sleep eight and a half hours a night. Like it was a big one and I build a company.
[01:08:40] Josh: Exactly. That's what I was going to get into. Right. And I'm sure that's what you're kind of teaching people in these courses to like, you know, here's a little bit of.
[01:08:47] Khe: we're teaching people that in the courses, but the cool thing is you can actually, people like you can't build a company around that. It's like, I just hired four people watch me. Right. And we have a very, very unique company. well, first let me say our values.
[01:09:04] Our number one value is we work so that we can live. We don't live to work. And then the next value is we always put our friends, family and personal wellbeing above our job. I wrote that cause that's how I want to live my life. How on earth could I have employees and not ask them to want to live that life? So then we have 30 hour work weeks, fully asynchronous, barely any meetings, no internal email allowed barely any slack.
[01:09:37] We do a lot of our communication through like we use Notion. But through our project management. So we talk on projects and tasks through notion we pop in for a quick, like, Hey, like clear this thing up for me in slack. And then if there's an emergency. Get on the phone, solve the emergency. Like where's the file.
[01:10:00] Like I won't slack, I won't slack that to someone cause they're not expected to be on slack all day. They are expected to respond to their texts during work hours, but that's only for emergency where's the file. Where's this where's that? Um, so we bought a company around that, uh, unlimited vacation and we like, we recommend that everyone takes four weeks off and people like you can't do that.
[01:10:23] I'm like, well, I'm the owner. Like I could do whatever I want. Right. And by the way, we've attracted phenomenal talent. So they're very unique talent, right? They have that fast tortoise mindset and they might, um, they're in it for the long game where, you know, I think we can build something incredible in a decade.
[01:10:44] Sure. We could raise VC money, work our asses off burnout, grow like wildfire and get in three years. But what would be the fun in that? We jeopardize our health, our friendships, our relationships, our families. I don't want that. so we built the company around that. When you write about that all the time and you teach that all the time, a lot of people, more people than you think want that, right.
[01:11:10] They're willing to say, I don't want the upside of a high growth . Company. If you truly mean like 30 hour work weeks, I'm in, on my own. I say you could work if you want it to, you could work 30 straight hours on a Saturday, as long as you respond to, you know, your occasional inquiries during the week go nuts.
[01:11:31] And we have really good management. We're really good managers. We are really on like a lot of.
[01:11:38] one-on-ones we're always keeping the pulse. How are people feeling? Was like, how are you feeling? How you feel like, and we're trying to grow slowly, but we're having to,
[01:11:47] Josh: Same thing that you were criticized for in your banking
[01:11:50] Khe: Exactly. Look, I'm consistent, man. Like everything I said I've read about not because I'm this like PR Wiz. It's just because to me, if you're inconsistent that there's internal suffering, like whenever you're, whenever you say something different than what you think, but whenever you act, oh, no way, it's different than what you believe.
[01:12:15] There's a little part of you that dies or that hurts. It hurts. You can call it that stress. You can call that anxiety. You can call that unfulfillment, pick your word. But my whole life for myself is to get in alignment. It's and it's to be clear with what do I want out of this wild and beautiful, precious life being clear that I wanted and that I want it for the right reasons.
[01:12:42] Right? I said making money is not high on our. I will say I'm fortunate that I had savings from my first career. That like, I don't have pressure, but at the same time, if I had more money, all I would want to do is surf more. So why don't I try to make less money and surf more? Like, why go through that extra step? That seems kind of crazy. Plus like I'm not getting any older. So like I work an extra year, harder extra year. I'm 44, like already parts of my body are not holding up the way they used to. Why put that off Right. Bird in hand, surf in hand, go fucking nuts today. Right. So I would love for people to find that alignment, right.
[01:13:26] Because I think It's just, it's not as hard as it seems. It's really like, are you able to create space to tune into yourself? Right. And to just ask yourself these questions, we call them 10 K questions. Like what gave him my playing? What makes me come alive? Where am I hurting? Who do I love where my most important relationships do I show up for the people that I care about who gets my best energy.
[01:13:50] It's not fucking rocket science, some obvious questions I just shared. Right? Like you get to read them in any self-help book, but to actually commit to that process and then use the productivity black boxes to accelerate.
[01:14:08] Josh: Right. It's just, it's a oil on the
[01:14:10] Khe: It's oil on the fire, right? Where productivity by itself is just oil, who the fuck wants just oil. Snake Oil, right?
[01:14:22] Josh: right? Totally. Okay. So you brought up the 10 K questions, uh, and that's obviously a big thing that you talk about, like, what is even like 10 K work? Like what, where did that come from?
[01:14:33] Khe: Yeah. So, I mean, I answer it in two ways. I answer it first from, um, like the framework. And since I know a lot of creators and marketers think about this, I'll then look at it through the lens of like brand and brand identity. Um, what I call big idea. Um, so 10K work is as simple, put some links in the show notes, but It's a simple two by two matrix.
[01:14:56] And on one on the vertical axis you have, uh, leverage, but on the horizontal axis you have skill. So low skill, high skill, low leverage, high leverage. And leverage is not like financial leverage, like getting a mortgage or borrowing money, but it's like the amplification of effect. So I gave an example today.
[01:15:13] I did our 10 K bootcamp is one of our free promotional events. I've given this talk so many times, but through partnership, like email lists, swapping and things like that, we had 1800 people sign up. 1800 people, 247, people showed up. And I delivered a one hour kick-ass presentation on 10 K work that most people have never even heard of before.
[01:15:37] That's fucking leverage. You know, how long it took me to prepare that presentation one hour, I didn't even rehearse it. I've just done it so many times. It's on my mind. I have the slides I've invested in, in just putting all the assets and the storytelling together. And then by the way, how did I get the 1800 people there? I've been nurturing relationships with creators online for a decade. I texted my homeboy Tiago. I'm like, yo, you want to do a swap this week?
[01:16:05] And I had to stay on him, be like, Hey, you didn't respond to my texts. Like you want to do it like I'll trade. You know, like this is a win-win, it's not, I'm not hitting you up for a favor. This is a win-win. I went to 20 creators with a win-win. Oftentimes it was a bigger win for them because my audience is bigger.
[01:16:23] And so they're trading a 4,000 person list for 34,000 person list. And my open rates usually a little bit better. so a bunch of texting a presentation that took me an hour to put together, 1800 people on the email list, the open rate of the replay email was 70%. Because people want it to be there. Like they were intrigued by the event and the subject lines.
[01:16:50] all that, the whole thing, two hours of work, I was thinking about it earlier. Like how much work does it take to put on an 1800 person event with 250 live participants?
[01:17:05] Three days it's a three-day event. It took us. I mean, there was a lot, like our team had to do a lot of the logistics and all that. So I'm not taking away from that, but from like K he's perspective, under five hours.
[01:17:22] Think about the leverage on that. And that's because in that quadrant I took high-skill, I'm a good relationship builder. I'm a good storyteller. I'm a decent presenter and know how to write good subject lines. And I through leverage on it. I amplified all of that through relationships, through distribution, reach through partnerships. Right. And so that intersection, right? Think about like you took, you go to another creator, you say like put on an 1800 person event three days, you're going to spend a month putting that together.
[01:18:00] Five hours, dude, pirates. That's the culmination of seven years of writing subject lines, of building genuine relationships on Twitter, of practicing how to give my presentation on testing out ideas about 10 K work on writing about productivity on an audit on, right. But before I knew it was called 10 K work, I was planting those seeds in my career over and over and over again.
[01:18:32] Imagine applying that mindset for 10 years, that's 10 K Work.
[01:18:39] 10 years. Why do you think Tiago picks up my text? Let's do a swap. It's not because I just hit him up that morning asking for a swap. It's because we have been supporting each other for five years now. And when I've asked, it's a true ask. And even when it's an ask, it's a mutually beneficial ask.
[01:18:59] It's like, I'm going to do this for you. Will you do this for me? Like it's not even a one-side I will never make one sided asks.. Never. I'm not, that's not that's against my life philosophy. And if it is a one-sided as I'll be totally explicit, I'm like, this is a one-sided ask, and I want to get you back. in the future.
[01:19:16] Josh: that's the mindset dude or so not even thinking again, even for me bring people on the podcast, it's like, I already know that there's, it's mutually beneficial because at the end of this, not only is it going to go up and it's going to live forever.
[01:19:27] Like I have people, messaged me from podcasts, I did like two years ago, like, Hey, I love that podcast. I'm like, oh, apparently like people still find that because on my website, SEO, we're talking about the compound interest. I was like, dude, I want to like do more like for my guests, like, I don't have a massive following.
[01:19:44] Podcasts don't need a massive following. It needs like a few really good listeners, but then there's also the leverage of like, great. I can take a great clip of something. You said, create a video for you, send it to you that you can then post on Twitter. You did again, 10 K work. You didn't do anything and you can post this awesome piece of content.
[01:19:59] Khe: Awesome. And I'll be smashing that retweet button every way til Sunday, right?
[01:20:03] Josh: yeah, and I was thinking like the, the idea of that, I, it, it kind of drew, um, drew a memory from me from a book that I read by this guy, Russell Brunson. I'm sure you're from the marketing world.
[01:20:14] Click Funnels.
[01:20:15] Khe: Traffic, secrets,
[01:20:16] Josh: chat, traffic secrets, man. Yeah.
[01:20:17] He talks about, uh, it's good. It's a really good marketing book, but he it's, it's this idea called, um, digging your well before you're thirsty.
[01:20:26] Right. And it seems like that's exactly what you're doing. Exactly what you're talking about. You're just calling it something different but it's exactly what it is. You're like, you're bringing value in your like making genuine connections. And then later on, if you're like, okay, I didn't think that there could be something specific, but then later on five, 10 years, like, oh, there is a question. Or like, there's something a way that we can connect. How can we do that?
[01:20:45] Khe: And here's, here's the thing. And this is like a very 10 K work type thing. I've been planting seeds for seven years and I, I still continue to plant seeds today. I plant a lot of seeds. Now it's, I'm a little bit more in a paid forward mindset where instead of like, there's the guy, the James that I want to meet, it's more like, how can I support, you know, the next Kay.
[01:21:07] I say that with no arrogance, but like, it's a lot of paying it forward, but still planting a lot of seeds. Um, but think about this now, like the seeds that I planted seven years ago are, are all starting to grow now. And I'm still planting seeds today. Like, think about that?
[01:21:25] Think about the explosive growth.
[01:21:28] That's why, you know, that's why I think Rodriguez will be an extremely successful company. It's not the driving factor. Just by virtue of having planted these seeds and watching them grow and tending to them with genuine care. Right. Not transactional, like leg humping care. Right. It's like, I'm genuinely, I'm genuinely, genuinely, um, like caring.
[01:21:51] And so, and that's an ethos that's shared by my colleagues and, um, I'm just super stoked that, you know, I just think that we're kind of like, I don't care to be unstoppable, but I'm like, we're unstoppable
[01:22:04] Josh: Once the train starts
[01:22:05] Khe: Yeah. We're Just like this giant snowball of love and energy and enthusiasm and creativity.
[01:22:11] There's just steam rolling down the mountain right now. We're not even trying to drive it. We're just like, let's see where the shit goes.
[01:22:18] Josh: Just focusing on the input. Right. And the
[01:22:20] Khe: Yeah, exactly. And we're still look 7, 8, 7 years into it. I'm just like, I'm still not, I'm not trying to hit home runs, like I just want to still get on base, right?
[01:22:30] Josh: It seems like you didn't even think you'd get this
[01:22:31] far. Like you had the 18 months.
[01:22:33] Khe: I didn't think God didn't even think I'd be an auction. I thought I'd be Like working in payments at Facebook or, you know, some shit like that. Like that's what I thought I'd be doing. You know, like using my finance knowledge inside a tech company, that's what I thought I'd do really. That's genuinely what I thought I'd be doing.
[01:22:48] Josh: Wow. Do you use your finance knowledge now and what you do?
[01:22:52] Khe: I mean, now as an entrepreneur, I, you know, I have to have like a little bit closer eye on like money moves. I think that I probably have more of an analytical mindset where like I tell you, like, I mean, we don't do AB tests and we don't do a lot of that kind of marketing stuff. But I think that I have a very, very strong intuition around like what, like I have a strong intuition around the numbers, even though we're not like running the tests, but I just, like, I could tell you open rates of different subject lines . From memory.
[01:23:27] Um, and it's just like, again, it's just, I care. And I find it fun. I think, I think copywriting is so fun. I, they just such a strange thing that is so powerful that like most people don't get like, kind of don't want to get. Um,
[01:23:47] Josh: you learn and what, how did you figure it out?
[01:23:51] Khe: I learned, um, primarily through a gentleman named Billy Broas. Uh, his last name is spelled B R O A S.
[01:23:59] And, um, he had a bunch of masterminds and I hopped into one of his masterminds that we did, um, one-on-one group coaching together. It was one-on-one coaching together. It was like the most I've ever spent on training. And I read like one book by Dan Kennedy, the ultimate sales letter.
[01:24:19] Um, it was fine, but really it was just practice. Like every tweet is a PR is, is a copywriting, rep. Every subject line is a copywriting rep. Um, and I think that copywriting is actually to tie it back to finance. It's a little bit formulaic. Like there's a lot of, kind of like formulas that work like the S the, the, the art is finding the right words to go into the formulas, but the pho yeah.
[01:24:52] But the formulas are quite straightforward, right? Like social proof lead with pain, juxtapose pain versus pleasure. Like, you know, curiosity, gaps, statistics to like, you know, convince edge advisers, anticipate . Objections, right. It's not like it's kind of the playbooks kind of well-known, that's the science of it.
[01:25:15] The art of it is like, how do you use your words in the science? And that's very difficult. I happened to find it fun. It kind of stays on the theme. I find copywriting really fun because I think it's this kind of like left brain right brain mish-mash where I really think about copywriting through the lens of formulas. Like, what are the formulas?
[01:25:38] One of our most popular sales emails is inspired by a classic copywriting formula. It's called a tale of two men. It's where you, you juxtapose two characters and they start like, they. Friends and like elementary school friends, and then, then went to college together. And then they started working at the same company and that the end one of them is the CEO and one's middle management.
[01:26:02] And like, the copy is like, what's the difference? And in this case, it's like though the CEO read the wall street journal every day. It was like one of the most famous copywriting ads out?
[01:26:10] there. And so That's the formula, right? You take two people and you start them at the same place and you keep moving them through the story.
[01:26:18] And they, and somehow at the end one is completely in a different place than the other person. And then the question is like, you fill in the gap. It's like, well, what happened? And like, in our case, it's like 10 K at work. Like one person only did $10 work and the other person only did 10 K work. Right. And you make it super relatable, but it's a formula.
[01:26:41] And I had been looking at this formula because this is like in the world of copywriting, this is like a, Keystone piece. And I've been playing with it trying to find a way to use it, or I couldn't, I kept trying, and it wasn't working. There were like a lot of dud posts and a lot of like, you know, torn up drafts. Like I just, I couldn't get there. And then one day something just clicked and, and it was just off to the races.
[01:27:09] Josh: That's awesome. And I'm sure now you can like remix it and like use it in different ways.
[01:27:13] Khe: Now we're like, so we created these two characters and then. We're commissioned. We're who we're commissioning illustrators to turn it into a visual story.
[01:27:22] Josh: Oh yeah. Comic.
[01:27:24] Khe: Almost like a comic. And now it's just going to be a flat, like, you know, imagery, but like the goal is to like, turn these characters into these like brand characters that symbolize them, guess what?
[01:27:35] They symbolize our avatars. Right. They symbolize who our avatar wants to be the 10 K person and who our avatar struggles with our $10 person. Right. And so we're juxtaposing actually the same person against themselves
[01:27:48] Josh: it's so powerful. Right. And again, it's like finding those formulas, cause like for someone like me, like I'm, I guess I'm on a marketing team at Superside, but I'm not really like marketing my more creative mind, but again, 10 K work. This is where the leverage comes in. This is the high skill.
[01:28:03] Damn like you learn these kinds of skills mixed with again. Now taking that headline copy writing, using that for YouTube titles, YouTube thumbnails. That's 99% of success on YouTube right there.
[01:28:17] Khe: you know, something I always thought about on YouTube is like, you have the text in the thumbnail and then you have the YouTube, like SEO text, or like, I'm like, I haven't gone down the rabbit hole, but I'm like, there's, there's probably some kind of science that relates to those two things together.
[01:28:34] And like, what is that science? And there's probably like a formula. And again, you, the thing that like people hear formula is like, oh, I just find the formula. Just plug in my variables. No, no, no, no, no. Like you find your formula and then you, like, you're like Michael Angela. You're just like chipping away at the edges.
[01:28:49] And if you're lucky, your thing comes out to be like a sculpted bicep. But most of the time it looks like, you know, a tomato.
[01:28:57] Josh: But what's cool is like, then you learn that skill key. Now you've sculpted at once. Now you can create other sculptures because you know the skill of how to actually sculpt it, dude. Yeah. That's super powerful thought right there.
[01:29:07] Um, I also want a case of back to 10 K work though. Why 10 K? Why not a hundred K? Why not like a million?
[01:29:14] Khe: So we have this concept and I'm a long time Eisenhower matrix person. So I, but it was like, it was old. Like it was, you know, it's like, GTD like it worked in the nine, you know, the nineties called them, they said they want their productivity systems back. Right. Uh, it's not going to work in 2022. And you know, I'm not going to create a name for rad reads by just like re-purposing the Eisenhower matrix.
[01:29:40] And so, but I wanted something. Because of something visual can travel. Like it has meme like qualities more so than just words. And I've been attracted to matrices Eisenhower matrix like Kim Scott has radical candor. Um, there's just, there's a lot, matrices are very simple way to distill like a pretty complex idea.
[01:30:02] So just kept playing with matrix for two years, trying to like, just try different variables at this and this and this. And then the first thing was like, boom, I hit like, it's like, oh, what makes us different? Leverage people love, leverage. Leverage is a powerful concept and not, you know, you'd be surprised in our, in the productivity one, not a lot of people write about leverage because leverage by itself is not something that people, it's not a word that people say all the time.
[01:30:28] So, you know, people talk about leverage and like the 80 20 rule, the peritoneal printable principle or automating yourself. But like, they don't use the word leverage because it's not the thing about marketing is you have to use words that people talk with and no one's going to be like, dude, my leverage was off the hook today.
[01:30:47] And so it's not going to work, but just someone will say my productivity was off the hook today. So found leverage, kind of put that into the matrix. And then I was like, oh shit, this is, this is it. And then, um, Ben Franklin has this like time value of money. And I'm like, oh, I'm a money guy. So like, what if we put money in these different categories?
[01:31:09] And I'm like, well, you know, tend to, this feels like a good starting point. And I was like a hundred and thousand 10 can and I'm like, oh, that's cool. Like, they're like multiples. Like they represent exponential growth. And then this was actually later, but like 10 K work as a phrase is like a powerful meme.
[01:31:29] Like it's short, it's memorable. Um, it's kind of has a little bit of intrigue built into it. Like people are like, oh, 10 K one about, tell me more, like, what does that mean? Right. And then it had the visual representation that went hand in hand with it. And so when you put the two together and again, so much of this, like I've tested so many other frameworks, like, and they kind of fell flat because I just would write about them.
[01:31:53] And no one would react that even when we spoke the other day, I was, I was like, Hey, I'm testing this idea of fear-based productivity versus joy based productivity.
[01:32:02] And I wrote about it and no one really cared and they're like, okay, maybe that's not, you know, maybe that's not the right framing. Right. The concept's there, the idea is there, but the framing wasn't right.
[01:32:13] Uh, and so that's just like, that's how the 10 K thing came about and then just kept talking about it was also for the marketers listening. It was just a very, it was a big enough container that you could put a lot of things into it. Right. Kind of like the 80 20 rule. And it's inspired by the 80 20 role. Uh, but you know, you could use the 80 20 rule for like fitness or like entrepreneurship.
[01:32:39] And you . Can use 10 K work for fitness or entrepreneurship. So it's a big idea container, which is something that's really for the brand people listening, like your idea container needs to be big enough that you can like start pulling your adjacent,
[01:32:51] you might not write about fitness today, but maybe one day we will write about fitness and you wouldn't want your idea container to be too small, that you can't bring fitness into your idea container. that wasn't by design. It just kind of happened that way.
[01:33:05] Josh: Wow. Yeah, you can grow it. You can kind of like expand on it and there's branches out from it. The other thing I love about 10 K work, because when you think about it from like freelancer like I guess like a coach or a consultant or, uh, even as an entrepreneur, like running a business, 10 K is usually like, that's, people's like monthly number that they're trying to reach.
[01:33:22] Like we're trying to hit like 10 K like, did that come up? Was that one of the things that made you go, okay, this is it. Cause that's the first milestone. People try to hit.
[01:33:29] Khe: No, I think that, like, I always less that because I've actually never freelanced. So I actually, I didn't even know that that's a milestone, but there was definitely like, if anything, 10 kids just, it's just, I'm realizing this now. I think I knew it subconsciously. It's just a phrase that you use often. So like I'm in finance, the annual report is called the 10 K um, you know, what's a common race is the 10 K.
[01:33:56] 10 K is a phrase, even though it means different things in different industries, it rolls off. It's very familiar. And I think, again, I want people listening to know that, like, I didn't hire like a consulting firm or a naming firm or a branding firm. Like this is literally just throwing spaghetti against a wall for 337 weeks, but taking the feedback from how the spaghetti falls and trying to like put piece it together, that's all it is. It's just a lot of spaghetti against a wall.
[01:34:28] It shapes, but it took me seven years. Like most people don't have this most businesses let alone people don't have the staying power. Like I didn't, I mean, I think Rad Reads is decent brand, but it's not really known outside of our, our Twitter bubble, but 10 K has Huge, huge potential.
[01:34:46] Josh: Huge potential. And what are some like specific examples of like 10 K work that you've seen from maybe past students or people in your sphere?
[01:34:54] Khe: there's a few ways to think about it. Or I already gave the example with the, with the conference that we did, right. So building authentic generosity, first relationships where you don't expect anything in return, that's 10 K work. And he had done here's the tricky thing about 10, because you can't just go and do that 40 hours.
[01:35:13] Like 10 K work is seed planting oftentimes, Right. Another example, you'll like this one, this is great. And Mr. Beast interview on, um, JRE and he said, it's a little bit like what I said about workshopping headlines, he workshops ideas. He said that there are certain ideas that take the same amount of time, but we'll get a hundred times more views.
[01:35:39] And he has an intuition as to what that is. And So he just like, he just write the way I write headlines, he writes framings, framings, framings framing is like this. This is like this one. This one takes the same amount of work, but it's going to have a hundred times more views. And he's developed that muscle to see that with time.
[01:36:01] Those are some like more creator focused ones. But if someone were to say, like, I just want to start with, um, 10 K work today. The biggest thing would be like downloading your brain so that someone else can start to learn from your brain. Presumably someone less experienced from you.
[01:36:19] Well, so for example, like I've been an entrepreneur for seven years and I have an intuition and marketing. So I'm going to hire a young marketer. I should be codified, everything that I know about marketing so that they can start. So the 10 K work is it's not only just taking it out of my head and writing it down, but it's putting it in a way that's applicable to someone who's new to the industry.
[01:36:43] Right. If I could clone even 15% of my marketing experience, our business is in a completely different direction. Right. Cause that's 15% of seven years of experience doing one very specific thing. If I could just teach someone 15% of that, 5% of that they're off the races.
[01:37:04] So maybe that's like teaching someone how to write like me, ghost writing, maybe it's passing along the brand intuition that I have, maybe it's like, dialing them into email marketing. Maybe it's what I know about SEO. Um, you know, events, partnerships, right? All of that stuff. It's like basically taking your special sauce and teaching someone else how to do it.
[01:37:29] Josh: Right. So many people are afraid to do that. Right. they want to like hold it so close to their
[01:37:33] Khe: you know, They think like, you know, Snoop and Dre, like, the protege will shine the star. Guess what? If that happens, the stars and even bigger star. Did M and M make Dre less of a star? No. He made him a bigger.
[01:37:48] Josh: Yeah. That's, that's the biggest thing, man. I think like, if you can do that like multiple times as, Hey, grow huge business. So it seems like that's what you're doing, like with your business. So,
[01:37:57] Khe: I'm just like, you know, we use a lot of systems. We use a lot of processes. We, we do a lot of retrospectives, like we were learning, right. Like I, you know, I, I throw a lot of spaghetti against the wall, but it's not like Willy nilly spaghetti.
[01:38:11] Like I'm taking notes, I'm observing, I'm looking for patterns. I'm writing, pre-mortems, I'm writing postmortems. Like I am analyzing what's happening and now can I teach other people how to do it so that they can know, A they can replicate it, b they can add their own creative Juju to it and see they can do it better than me.
[01:38:30] Josh: yeah. And so is that what supercharge productivity is? Is that what this new course is?
[01:38:35] Khe: So the course is, um, it's really aimed at the individual contributor and it basically, um, it does a few things. One is it teaches you the framework and it teaches you like, if you're a consultant, if you're a solo creator, this is how you think about these quadrants. That's one thing. So there's, there's four components to the course. That is what we call radical focus is like focuses your efforts on the right thing.
[01:38:59] That we have. Um, you know, you can think of it as like a pendulum, so radical focus on the bottom then, uh, next to it is radical action is like, how do you take these things? And actually. And that's kind of our modernized take on GTD combining it with the best practices of different productivity systems. Capture inboxes, um, you know, domains like, um, you know, energy management, habit formation, things like that.
[01:39:28] The third prong like of the prong is weekly view. Like how do you keep yourself accountable? Right? Cause you need to have like a stabilizer That's like constantly checking in with the processes working. And then that all rolls up into some radical awareness. And it's rad because of rad reads, right?
[01:39:43] Radical awareness and radical awareness. Is this why like, why do I want this? What are my goals? What is the vision I have for my life? How do I self-sabotage myself? What's what are my blockers? What are my joy is like, what makes me come alive and kind of pushing that downstream into all of those different components
[01:40:02] Josh: That's unreal. So that's the entire course is like those four pieces broken out and
[01:40:09] Khe: each week, two lectures during one week. It's all taught by me.
[01:40:13] Josh: Right. And this is where I'm getting into it's a it's cohort-based right.
[01:40:17] Khe: court basically run it three times a year.
[01:40:18] Josh: Yeah. So yeah. Tell me a little bit about that. Why only three times a year, why not make this like an evergreen thing that people can go through anytime?
[01:40:25] Khe: Yeah. So three times a year is, um, We spend two months launching the marketing for the course. Cause you've got to like drum up the energy and it's a high price point starts at 1500, it gets up to six grand. So it's, you're not like knock, knock by my chorus.
[01:40:44] Like you got to wet the appetite. So it takes about two months to just coordinate all the marketing created, events, cross promotion. It's just, it's a lot of marketing. And I think this is what a lot of CBC people don't fully appreciate how much marketing is involved in a CBC and launch based marketing and very different. Uh, so that's, that's one part.
[01:41:10] The second is that the Month that we deliver it, it's like I pour my heart and soul into it. Like I need like six weeks to recover from it. I'm so invested in it. So you have this like two month marketing launch that culminates with this like very intense learning teaching experience where I give my all, and then I just kind of collapsed.
[01:41:30] Like I just I'm so drained that I just need like six weeks to like to go back to some of my $10 work. Like, you know, just kind of get my house back in order and things like that. I take a surf trip, things like that. If we hit our numbers three weeks is a great business. Like, um, it's plenty of money.
[01:41:50] Um, and I don't know how to market an evergreen course. I think that we have one evergreen product, which is a recurring revenue membership. And it's very, I find it very difficult probably because I just don't know how to do it. I find it very hard to sell something without scarcity.
[01:42:10] And I don't want to create fake scarcity because people can see Right. through that. And a CBC has natural scarcity, so I don't have to fake it. It's just like buy it now or wait four months, like it's. Um, and I don't know how to channel,
[01:42:25] Like, I'm basically more of a launch marketer and I don't know how launch marketing converts into like more true like works recurring evergreen marketing.
[01:42:35] I'm sure there's like some way that they'd mesh up. I just, I just don't know it. And so, um, one day I'll try to figure it out. I also don't really want to be in the evergreen course business. Um, I'm not really like high production quality guy, uh, much better live, a much better off script. I don't want to invest in editing and that stuff like that is not my strength.
[01:43:00] Follow the fun. The fun leads me to live. Uh, the fun does not lead me to pre production post-production and YouTube thumbnails. I think we might get there from a business decision, but it's going to be like, I'm going to have to see a strong case for
[01:43:16] Josh: Right. And for you, it's like maybe the fund is just showing up for recording the
[01:43:20] Khe: Exactly. And if we can get it to that point, and I know that new platforms don't work that way, like I'm a big believer that like the creator has, like, I have to learn intuitively what works in thumbnails. I can't just pay someone to do it. Like, I don't believe that that works. Or if it does, you have to pay someone money that we don't have.
[01:43:38] Um, like, so I I'm a very much a get your hands dirty and then pay someone. Um, cause you know, like that's I would, if I were ever to do paid advertising, I would be the same way I would get my hands dirty. Understand that like you, like I said earlier with Twitter, I was like, you just kind of understand the rhythm and the cadence of a platform, and then you pay someone to do it for you.
[01:44:02] Um, I just, I think you're wasting your money if you do it. And then, and it's actually a bigger risk than wasting your money is just coming across as disingenuous because you don't actually understand the platform and, and, and the audience on the, these audiences are fucking smart. Like if they S they can sniff out someone that doesn't appreciate the platform for what it is, they will snuff you out within two seconds. You won't last.
[01:44:25] Josh: Yeah. And again, that brings it back to whether it was Twitter, Tik, TOK, like you said, they have their own flavor. It's like, that's a very specific way that people it's a, it's a culture, literally a culture, we're all individual thing. Yeah.
[01:44:37] Khe: total culture.
[01:44:38] Josh: It's culture things, dude. But I think it makes sense. And I think just the nature of like, you know, your teachings of like 10 K work, it makes sense to do it in this big grandiose way. Like that seems like that's closer to 10 K work, whereas Evergreen's like a thousand or a hundred, you know, it doesn't seem like it's up
[01:44:53] Khe: Well, again, I think the 10 K work would be to figure out what is the sustainable business model for evergreen courses. And I just don't know what that is. I've never done it. I hear it's hard. Um, I hear you need paid or pay. It's a big part of it. So it's just another business that I don't know anything about.
[01:45:13] And maybe we're close enough to it. That we'll take a crack at it one day. When I think about what we have going on, I just, that seems like, that seems like a long ways away.
[01:45:24] Josh: Awesome. So dude, uh, the, the course, are you, do you run at the same time? Like each, I guess not every quarter, but every third of a year or is it different every time?
[01:45:33] Khe: about the same. There's a very natural cadence, um, right out of the gates, post new year's resolutions. People are really hungry for this kind of course. That's always our biggest cohort. Uh, the second one you kind of have to like fight the elements and the calendar. People do not want to take chord based courses.
[01:45:52] Like when the weather is good, um, during the summer, so summer, and when people are traveling, so summer is the worst time?
[01:46:01] for cohort based course. So we usually end our second one that we're about to start like Memorial day weekend. You know, we're still like 80% us customers, students. Uh, and then there's kind of that like post labor day push where people it's like a mini new year's where people are raring to go, but you gotta be very careful there because then you like brush up on Thanksgiving and Christmas parties and holiday parties.
[01:46:24] So a lot of the schedule is actually dictated by the calendar. Um, like obviously that that's not set in stone, but like you, you know, you won't catch me ever launching a court based course in July. Like that's a death sentence and like,
[01:46:39] Josh: Yeah. Which again, it's cool because the weather is great, you get to go surf and you don't really have to worry about that because you've designed this business in such a
[01:46:46] Khe: I surf every day does about it. July, July, or January. It don't matter. I live in Southern California, July, January, the same to me.
[01:46:55] Josh: That is awesome. Yeah. It's still cold in the water though,
[01:46:58] Khe: is still cold in July.
[01:47:02] Josh: That's awesome, man. Well, we're coming up on almost two hours here. So
[01:47:06] Khe: dude, this that flew by.
[01:47:09] Josh: man, you're telling me, I'm like, I could probably do this for another hour, bro. I'm not gonna hold you. Uh,
[01:47:14] hold you
[01:47:14] hostage here, man.
[01:47:15] Khe: I told my
[01:47:15] wife I'd be up for dinner at six it's, 6 45. So it's just gonna be like, where, like I blame Josh.
[01:47:21] Josh: yeah. Blame me seriously. But then you can send her the link you like, this is why this is why check out this clip. This is why we got
[01:47:26] Khe: I love it, man. I had so much fun,
[01:47:28] Josh: It'll be worth it man.
[01:47:29] Khe: fun, Um, and I love how you just took it in so many directions. I love the creator angle because being a creator is a big part of my life. It's a big part of my identity. It's just what I do a lot. And I love doing it. I really hope you could see from my enthusiasm that, like, I just love this.
[01:47:48] Like I'm not trying to bullshit anybody. Like I will tell you what works And I'll tell you what sucks about it, And I'll the biggest thing is just telling you how long it'll take. It's just going to take a long time. But if you're enjoying every moment who cares?
[01:48:01] Josh: And it, as long as you can pay the bills, you can eat food and like you're living inside a home. You're you're good. Like, yeah, don't have, I think you're right. It's about that trade off in, in one way or another, like, you know, unless you're doing something that you know, for sure. Or maybe you don't know that kind of like Mr. Beast, doing random shit and he's like fucking kajillion air, like who knows, like.
[01:48:21] Khe: but you, listen, you listen to Mr. Dude. He, he listened to that. I don't know if you've heard the JRE interview with them. They would, um, he started when he was 11, I think. So talk about 10,000 hours. So he started when he was 11, he was obsessed with YouTube, obsessed.
[01:48:40] Um, he's he was a very bad student. He has a learning disability, I think. Um, and it just, all, he was obsessed with YouTube. They got a bunch of friends together when they were in high school and they would get on 18 hour Skypes every day. And they would just analyze videos on three people on Skype, 18 hours a day, seven days a week for years, it goes back to the James clear thing, right?
[01:49:06] Once you hear that, it's not a surprise, To 18 hours on Skype, analyzing videos, thumbnails. Think about it. If you and I did that for a month, we would crush YouTube. Think about doing that for years when you're 11 or 13,
[01:49:23] James clear, 8,000 hours. What did, what was her math? Four years of nine to five days. Tell me anyone that's going to do the same thing with, by the way, he didn't know it was going to be that hit, why it was doing it. He had no idea. You probably had confidence that it would be good. I doubt he's a humble guy in his wildest dream, you no fucking idea that it was going to be that big of a hit. Again, my words, not his.
[01:49:55] Um, but look four years, every single work day, working on the same thing with no validation in it, no one giving you a, Hey great job, James, because you're just sitting, writing, right?
[01:50:13] Josh: No feedback yet. Well, I guess
[01:50:14] he had the
[01:50:15] Khe: feedback, but not like validation not people being like you're awesome. Great work.
[01:50:21] Josh: and like money flowing in for each time now it was just like, oh my God.
[01:50:25] Khe: money.
[01:50:25] Josh: again,
[01:50:26] but again, I think S yeah, and that's what we're talking about. Not really thinking about the cash, having enough to like, be able to sustain yourself, have fun, doing what you're doing and hoping, and, you know, putting in the value that it will come back in some way or.
[01:50:37] Khe: And you know what? I bet if it wasn't the hit that. I think it's still be a happy dude. You know, he's got a one-year-old daughter. He lives in, you know, he's, he just seems like a happy dude that. Like if it wasn't a hit, I think he'd be just as happy as life would be probably a little bit different, but it probably wouldn't be that different.
[01:50:54] Right. You just wouldn't be going on. Good morning. Yeah. You wouldn't be going on good morning, America, you know, instead he'd be going on, you know, the, the Khe Hy podcast, right? Like, um, that would be the difference.
[01:51:04] Josh: Yeah, so true, man. Alright. Um, to wrap this thing up so you can actually go and have dinner, cause you're probably also hungry now. Um, um, I usually ask one pretty big question. Um, just to kind of round things out, um, just to keep it ended on a high note. Um, what is something that you're super excited about coming up in the near future?
[01:51:24] Khe: Um,
[01:51:25] I think that coming out of COVID or whatever you want to describe where we're at has kind of forced an generations of people to rethink what's important. And you could see that actually aligns with a lot of our work is just like what's important to you. Don't wait.
[01:51:46] And I think that you're starting to see that manifest in things like the great resignation. You're starting to see it manifest in hybrid work. You're starting to see a greater amount of compassion towards. Um, and different, you know, long-term illnesses in the workplace in society. Um, and, and I think that like obviously covered was just a, uh, global tragedy on such an unimaginable scale and the loss of life, but there's a thin silver lining that a lot of people, you know, one of the big questions that we often ask our students and I ask myself is what's enough.
[01:52:23] And I think COVID realized that like, if you don't have it, and you've got a roof over your head and your family, and you're sitting in an apartment playing puzzles and watching Netflix, like that's enough for a lot of people. And I'm just excited to see the downstream effects on that and how it, what it has on culture, what it has on work, but it has on capitalism, what it has on people's desires. And ultimately, like the thing that I care about the most is like people's happiness.
[01:52:52] Josh: Yeah, absolutely. Man. It's so great that it fully aligns with what you're doing. So again, like the surfing analogy, what I also find is like you're out there waiting on your surfboard. That wave came in, like you're now riding that wave. I think the downstream effect is the wave that you're gonna be riding, like from the next, I don't know, decade longer from post COVID life. And that's going to be super exciting to see like your growth and your
[01:53:15] Khe: thank you, man. And luck you, you as a friend and as a thinking partner played a huge role in it. all the people that are still listening two hours later have played a huge role in that, so I thank you all. I'm just grateful.
[01:53:27] Josh: Yeah, absolutely. Man, uh, any final words where can people could find you online? Um, if they want to check out the course, I'll put all the links in the description for all this stuff. Anyways. Uh, any final words viewed the floor is yours. And then, you know, anywhere people can connect with you.
[01:53:43] Khe: uh, the last, the last final word I'll say is to everyone listening, like you are enough as you are. Like, you don't need to achieve more to be worthy. You don't need to, you know, get another thousand followers to be validated, to be seen, to be loved. Like you are enough in this exact moment. You do not need to do anything else.
[01:54:05] So that's the words that I would leave you on, leave you with uh, in terms of follows, uh, rad reads.co sign up for the news. We're big email people. Help us prop up that, you know, 54% open rate. Uh, Twitter is my most active platform. Uh, my name is super long, but if you just Twitter space, K H E you'll find me, uh,
[01:54:26] And then our course radreads.co/courses. Uh, I believe this will be launching just in time for our next cohort. And so I encourage you to jump into that scarcity train baby. Cause we ain't coming back until September. So I'm jumping into the course, but honestly, like see if it's right for you. Like, I don't want people to taking a course that's not right for them.
[01:54:48] And I'll tell you that if you have any questions, just email me or tweet DM me directly, and I'll be the first to, to give you an honest assessment as to whether it's the right course for you. Um, and yeah, that's it man. Interact on Twitter, say hi on Twitter man.
[01:55:02] Josh: That's the best part. That's how we connected. Yeah. Anyone listening? I mean, you should know by now, if you're listening, I'm a huge proponent of Twitter. I can see why Elon Musk is trying to put so much of his net worth into owning this thing. Um, at the moment of this podcast, anyways.
[01:55:16] Yeah. Uh, I'll put all these links in the description, so hopefully people will be able to connect with you find out about the course. Um, and again, if you miss this train, you know, there's, there's always another one you might have to wait a few months,
[01:55:27] Khe: You went after wait a few months, but, you know what we do if we do a two monthly free events where we kind of give little teasers of the course every month, like I said, we're good at events. So, um, so there'll be plenty opportunities to, you know, take a bite.
[01:55:40] Josh: That's awesome man. All right. Well, thanks again for being a Mind Meld. Anyone who made it to this past two hour, mark, thank you so much. Um, enjoy the rest of your run or your walk or your gym time or your cleaning dishes, whatever you're doing. Um, I wish you, well, thank you so much for tuning in
[01:55:57] Khe: Thanks guys. Bye.
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