Andrew Warner: Hey there freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses and joining me as somebody who I thought I wouldn’t see again, Lloyd Lobo is a past Mixergy interviewee. We talked about how he built up his company boast.
Um. As a service that helps companies get their R and D tax, whatever’s back. And he built an incredible business on it. We’ll talk a little bit about it here. Don’t worry. I won’t forget that. I moved to Austin around the time he did. And I said, great, we’re going to be friends. We were chatting by text. I met his wife, got to know his family, and then he took off.
And he said, look, honestly, I, my wife said, just stop working. Just take time off. And he did. So when he hit me up and said that he wrote a book, I thought, all right, Lloyd’s going to write a book in poetry. And I don’t know why, something super chill. I didn’t realize that having essentially sold his company and essentially retired the book that he decided in his retirement to write about would be about how he built a community.
That helped grow his business. I don’t know why he’s doing this. He probably should be painting, but he’s got this obsession with community. And so I invited him here to talk about his book, which I read, I love. And, uh, it also is beautiful because, uh, he did a lot of beautiful, he included a lot of beautiful art and topography in it.
Anyway, the book is called Grassroots to Greatness. I’m going to get into all of this in the book. Just take, take me to where the business is. How much, how much revenue is it producing? How many people are there?
Lloyed Lobo: Definitely. So we didn’t sell the whole company. We sold about like 52 some odd percent transition. Me and my co founder transitioned to the board. And, uh, because we were a bootstrap company, we were able to sell 52%, give 10 percent to employees. And me and my co founder still own close to 40%, 38 percent of the company.
So good outcome. Somebody else is running it. And I came upon some free time, but now the company, I think when we spoke, it was coming up on 10. Now it’s over 20. Um, when we spoke, I think we,
Andrew Warner: 20 million annual recurring revenue, is that what it is? Or 20 million annual revenue?
Lloyed Lobo: million annual recurring revenue, ARR. We count ARR because our service is annual. Uh, annually recurring. And then I think when we spoke, we got to near 10 or 10 by, you know, I think 35 people, maybe now it’s like over a hundred, 110 still lean, right.
For, for a company that’s at that revenue range, because if you look at a lot of Silicon Valley companies at 20 million ARR, they’re mostly like a few hundred people. So this is, I think, still lean and maintain that DNA.
Andrew Warner: how much money were you able to take out of the sale
Lloyed Lobo: I won’t disclose it, but it was a good amount. It was a good amount.
Andrew Warner: Tens of millions of dollars?
Lloyed Lobo: Close. Close. Close.
Andrew Warner: So somewhere between 10 and 20?
Lloyed Lobo: Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s close.
Andrew Warner: Dude, why’d you leave? You could have been my, my rich friend. I liked your wife as a doctor. A lot of our friends here in Austin have wives who aren’t working. So my wife can’t relate. I said, Vivetta Lobo, Dr. Vivetta Lobo. My wife will get to know her. They’ll be friends. Well, kids will play. And then you took off.
You were burned out, weren’t you?
Lloyed Lobo: I was burnt out. And no, I mean, it was, uh, it was, uh, it was a good outcome, right? And, um, and not, not between 10 and 20, but, uh, close to, close to 10. It was, it was a
good, yeah, close to 10. It was good. It was a good, good, very good outcome. Because think about it. I grew up. Poor. I had no money. And up until that outcome, my wife was paying the bills.
I did three startups to all my life. Firstly, after I graduated engineering, I worked only at startups. And what they say is true. You become the average of the five people you surround yourself with. It’s not the destination or the journey. I fairly believe, firmly believe this. It’s the companions that matter the most.
I, first job was for a founder. Last job was for a founder. When my co founder reached out, uh, who was my best friend since university, I jumped at the opportunity. We did two startups. We did an AI chatbot in 2015. Uh, I also. Did a funded company which was, uh, incubated by Bessemer Ventures, won the founding team of that. It was an AI sales assistant tied to the call, tied to the conference call and, you know, having this PTSD of online or web based calling solutions that would always
Andrew Warner: Because it’s such a pain to do web based video, how did it do
Lloyed Lobo: It failed. It failed. they both failed. So chatbot automatically in 2013 failed. The thing is we never failed because we didn’t have customers. Here’s the funny thing. Most companies fail because they can’t get customers. Automatically failed with like a couple thousand users. It was a chatbot binned on top of Zendesk in 2013.
The right sidebar, you’d get inbound queries. It created a response like a real, real human leveraging case based reasoning, which is. rudimentary form of artificial intelligence. And then Speakeasy, what it would do is it would tie to the sales reps conference call. And before the call, it would prep them for the meeting.
During the call, it would
guide them on what to say. And after the call, it would automatically update the CRM and generate a next set of action items. The issue is also Speakeasy died with thousands of users, right? And what was happening there. Is this web based technology for recording at the time in 2015, 16 wasn’t even nearly where it was right before we hopped on the call, we were having issues with Riverside and latency and I just,
Andrew Warner: For this interview in 2023, there’s still tech issues with doing video web conferencing. So you’re saying you had customers there, but the technology didn’t live up to the demands of those customers. In fact, it was pretty bad. It still is pretty bad. And so you’re saying that’s why that business failed.
How’d you come up with the idea for boast? This is a giving, helping companies find their R and D tax credits. And because you help them get their tax credits, they get to add more to their bottom line and because they do, they could get, they could pay you. How’d you come up with that
Lloyed Lobo: my co founder from university, he was working in the space. So he has a unique background of engineering and accounting. And due to that, he went and worked for big four accounting firms. And it’s a big practice. There’s globally hundreds of billions of dollars in government funding for businesses who develop new products or improve existing products and technologies. And. The issue is it’s a cumbersome application process. You’ve got to look back and figure out all the work you did that meets this criteria. It’s prone to frustrating audits by the government and receiving the money takes a long time. So he called me and he said, let’s do it. Now the funny thing is it’s not like these two companies happened in sequence to Boast.
We had Boast going, we also had these going and Boast was started as a consulting firm. When these two failed, we took the learnings and rolled it forward and said, you know what, We learned a lot. Why not just automate the services business? And on day one of registering Boast AI and incorporating Boast AI in 2017, we had paying customers.
So we just moved them to software. And hindsight now, learning, and I tell people this, the best way to bootstrap a company, literally, to 1 million, and this is what we did to bootstrap Boast to 10 million. And, and, you know, what’s, what’s really interesting is we’re not the only ones to do it. UiPath, which had one of the largest IPOs during the COVID time, right?
During the COVID boom. And, uh, Basecamp also built the companies like this. And you’re familiar with Basecamp?
Andrew Warner: You’re saying like this, meaning the best way to bootstrap to a million you’re saying is do a service business. You don’t have to have a lot of engineers or a lot of technical proficiency. And I mean, a software that is that strong, you start out doing work, you understand people’s custom, people’s problems.
You start to build software that does the thing that you were doing and got it. You’re smiling. As I’m saying this, here’s the thing, that part I got from you in the last interview, what I think I underestimated was the importance of community. I thought you were doing traction, this community and this conference as just like a, uh, Fun marketing thing, which a lot of companies have, and it’s a loss, but it’s a good way of getting to know your customers and having them feel more connected to you.
You said in the book that this is what allowed you to grow. How did having a community allow you to grow your sales?
Lloyed Lobo: This is the funniest thing ever. So I’ll walk back to all the way, the beginning, the beginning of boast 2012. This is when we just had the idea of boast. Right. And nonetheless, I started this, uh, this by saying that, Hey, this is the best way to bootstrap when you’re in it and Andrew, you know this when you’re in it, it doesn’t feel like a profound framework as I was writing the book and looking back, it feels like, Oh, this is a great framework.
And I wish I had this. When you’re in there, you’re just throwing shit on the wall. You’re throwing spaghetti on the wall and hope it sticks, right? And so the seller service thing, I never thought about it once. We just needed to pay the bills. We needed to make things work. And, and hindsight, the selling a service is great because customers want an outcome.
They don’t want software. You get good at communication, which is essential to be an entrepreneur. You get good at customer success because customers don’t have any option to hide. You can’t hide between. Widgets and buttons and UI and UX. No outcome, no customer. And then eventually
what you do is by offering the service manually and delivering the customer their outcome, you know exactly what to build.
So if you’re collecting data manually, then you, you create APIs, right? For them to pull the data in or leverage third party APIs. If you’re, if you’re like reading through this data manually, then you write code to parse through that data. And then if you’re doing workflow based on that data, then you just write.
Workflow automation. So it’s a very calm conversation, and as you automate the service or digitize the service, you’ll see your gross margins jump. You’ll have more control of your company. And that’s what we did. We got to nearly 10 million and we controlled the whole company. We had high gross margins and we had 30 plus people.
A lot of us waste money on building software. for no customer. So nonetheless, walking back to Boast, Alex had the idea, called me, I jumped at the opportunity to work with him. I had gone from startup to startup to startup, right? Like I started cold calling. I knew, here’s the thing, if you work for startups, You don’t become siloed.
You get to know a lot about the role you’re doing and
two, three other surrounding roles. So my first job was in cold calling. I got really good at it. Then Vivetta was in medical school in New Jersey. I went to school in Canada and my first job in cold calling was in Canada. So I had to be with her. So I came to the U S on a visa. I joined another startup in sales. It didn’t turn out to be a sales job. It was like, talk to customers, sell them on the vision, figure out what to build, translate it into dev requirements. And then, oh, guess what? Also build the marketing materials and the website. And I, most people today would have quit that job.
I was getting, wasn’t getting paid much, but I wanted to be with her, right? Fast forward today, that bet played off because she paid the bills till we had this exit. And what, what happened was I’m like, you know, my desire to be with her was stronger than anything else. And I knew if I quit, then I lose the visa.
So I started learning about sales and marketing and everything I learned about sales and marketing was from HubSpot’s inbound marketing community. Um, and, you know, you also learn the value of consistency because Gary Vaynerchuk had a video there on video marketing in 2005, and he was this chubby guy, and
Andrew Warner: heh. Wait,
Lloyed Lobo: he was huge on video for business, and obviously it’s played out very well.
Andrew Warner: you’re talking about that inbound. org community that was like reddit for inbound marketers sharing their different marketing tips? That’s what you were
Lloyed Lobo: yeah, that’s what I was doing, I think. I think it was inbound marketing. It was HubSpot’s community, nonetheless. They had some.
Andrew Warner: Yeah, no, I think it was inbound. org that they bought from, uh, Ran Fishkin.
Lloyed Lobo: Something like that. It
is in, it is inbound.com right now, but they have this big community.
This is 2005 six. I don’t even know. I didn’t, I have, I hadn’t even heard of Ran Fish Fishkin in 2005 six, but whatever I was Googling about marketing, digital marketing was all HubSpot. Then I moved to another startup immediately, like, you know, maybe a year or so later. Um, a couple of years, two years later, and that was now running sales and marketing. It just tells you when you work at startups, you’re working for founders. You learn so much. There’s so much in your purview that you’re beyond that role you’re taking on. And especially when you join an early startup that doesn’t have product market, you’re figuring out, you’re creating the playbooks.
And I, you know, reflecting back, I feel. Everything I am is because of those companions, working for founders I surrounded myself with. But more importantly, I think I learned three crucial things that are essential to success in anything. And that’s why you’re successful. One is communication. I was an awkward engineer, I couldn’t communicate.
One is communication. Two is creation, like creating the playbooks, building software, creating content is creation. But third, which is the most important thing, is consistency. You can be the best creator and the best… But if you’re not
consistent, you won’t get anywhere. And so I was at another startup and I’d hit a ceiling toxic environment too. And Alex calls me, he’s like, let’s do this startup. What had happened was days before I started to go home at six and I used to work to like nine, 10 and I get an email from the CEO saying. Hey dude, I used to love it when you’re in the office till 9, 10. Your wife is in residency. She’s working 100 hour shifts, but the last couple of days you’ve been going home at
6. What’s causing you to go home? It’s not like you have a life. Like literally his email, I have it
Andrew Warner: much.
Lloyed Lobo: and I, my heart sank. My parents were visiting. And I hadn’t seen them in a year. That’s what I was going home. So I get, I get, I get home that day. Alex calls me, he said, I want to do a startups and startup in this R& D tax credit automation, and I’m like, man, I don’t care.
Like, you know, I’ve hit a ceiling here. I’m, I’m head of sales and marketing this company. I don’t
think it’s going to go anywhere with a toxic environment. So. If we can build a company and the culture that we want to work for, I’m in. Boom. Like, we started. Vivi, Vivetta was moving to California anyway, she had gotten into Stanford. Alex was in Canada at the time, so I’m like, you know what, you’re the idea, this is your idea, so let me just move in with you. I moved to Calgary, Alberta. What do you do, right? Your DNA is cold calling. You start with a sales focused background.
So I pick up the phone day one calling companies that need, that might need the service book,
scrape some emails, manufacturing, oil and gas construction. Nobody talks to
me. Like, it’s pretty
Andrew Warner: And these are businesses that need R& D tax credits.
Lloyed Lobo: are businesses that I thought would need R& D tax credits. Technically,
every business that is developing something new or improving something existing, like a product or process or technology, can get this. Now, in Canada, here’s the kicker. You can get 64 percent of what you spend on product development as a cashback.
64 percent is huge, man! Like, think about it. If you are spending 150, 000… on like maybe one developer and you get a hundred thousand back. That’s huge, right? Well, how many companies can say that they have a hundred thousand net profit? If you get to a million in revenue as a SaaS company, maybe you have a million, a hundred thousand in net profit.
So it’s, it’s huge. So, so
Andrew Warner: Okay. I see the, I see the value in it. You’re making phone calls. That’s not working
Lloyed Lobo: that’s not working. So I make, I’m not making, I’m making phone calls. Nobody wants to talk to us. They’re like, you’re weird. You’re asking for data to give us money. We don’t want to talk to you. So then we start hitting up their events, right? We’re like, okay, maybe we’ll go there. And we look like two guys wearing a suit jacket on top of hoodies. They’re the cigar club, right? Like oil and gas construction. Nobody’s talking to us. So dejected. This is 2012. We start hitting up the startup event. Immediately it feels like our tribe. Now, this is two guys who don’t live in that city. Alex was in Calgary because his wife was articling in med school. I, my wife’s in, in Silicon Valley, in San Francisco.
So I moved there. I’m in a spare bedroom, super dejected. Nobody had these oil and gas manufacturing construction. The traditional big company industries would talk to us, right? Either it’s, you know, this sounds like a scam or it’s like, Oh, I’m already doing it with a big four accounting firm. So we started hitting the startup events. And man, great camaraderie. We enjoyed the conversations. Those people started becoming our friends. We started eating together, drinking together, partying together, doing hackathons together. Now, you know, I’ll share the story and I’ll pause every few seconds or minutes to explain the framework that looking back I drew out from. So when we had this great camaraderie with them, the first framework comes to mind as I look back. You don’t have a target market and you want to figure out who you should target. As a community builder, as a founder of a product, whatever it is. How do you figure out who you target? One, do you have a passion for this audience? Do you love to create? Do you love hanging out with them? Building a company, building a community, building a community led company is a marathon of the heart and mind. It’s a labor of love. It’s a long freaking slog, man. How long have you been doing Mixergy?
Andrew Warner: No, more than 10 years. I hate to even say how long I’ve been doing it. 15
Lloyed Lobo: So you’ve been doing Mixergy 15 years. If you hate your audience, how will you continue to create, right? It gets hard.
Andrew Warner: Oh no, dude, I, I hear you. Here’s the thing that… Remember I used to sell I used to have online greeting cards I couldn’t relate to people who are sending online greeting cards And so I wasn’t deep in their world and understanding why they wanted the greeting cards that they did It was all luck and random.
I also remember my dad used to have this store in the hood This guy, first language was Farsi. He had to speak local, like, hood language that was changing week to week. He couldn’t relate to the people who were coming into his store. So he couldn’t figure out what they really wanted. And it was just a slog.
And I said, I want to find a business where I, I am the customer. I want to live in their homes. I want them in my house. Right? And that sounds very weird, except we’ve done that.
Lloyed Lobo: Exactly. And so the first learning from that experience was when we were, when we were dying towards oil and gas and construction and manufacturing was getting no love, people wouldn’t talk to us. And then we started hitting the startup events. It resonated. It felt like a tribe. We, you know, it is that. You know, it’s your tribe when you’re having dinners with them, lunches with them, and you’re hanging out on the weekends with them, partying with them, participating in hackathons. It doesn’t go further than that. So one is, do you have the passion and love for this tribe? Because you’re going to have to create, it’s a long slog.
You can’t just hope that I’m going to do a startup and it’s going to be a lottery ticket. You got to love the audience. You got to relate with them. That should be number one. Number two is, is it a small but growing niche? Large niches are good too, but the problem with large markets, sometimes it’s hard to find white spaces if it’s hyper saturated. We were fortunate in 2012, like startup was a small niche and it was growing. And we could find white spaces. The third thing is, is there a propensity to pay? Will they pay you? Now our service was such that we’ll get you the money, we’ll take a percentage. So that wasn’t an issue. And then the last one is their ease of access.
You may love an audience, They may be large and they’ll pay you all the money in the world, but if you can’t access them and it takes you months, then you’re done, right? So that was the framework one. Then we started spending so much time with them and hanging out with them, like I said, understood, you know, where they eat, breathe, drink, sleep, what their pains and problems are, but what their aspirations are, because pains, problems, goals can be short term, but aspiration is your forever. And what stood in their way? And we were able to find two white spaces. One, all the events we hit up, Andrew, were high level CEO platitudes. They would bring, like, you know, they were hosted by event organizers, not by founders. And they would be high level CEO platitudes, man. Like the CEO of a 50 million company, 100 million company, talking about inspiration of the founder’s journey. The issue is, if I’ve decided to quit my job, And started a company. I don’t care about inspiration. I need tactics. Nobody was talking tactics at the events. So that was white space. Number one,
white space. Number two was all the local media wouldn’t cover startups. And this was a time where podcasting for business as a whole wasn’t fully exploded.
You were there, but like very other few people were there. It was all about blogging. Like Neil Patel was very active and Jason Fried were very active, but
LinkedIn as a distribution platform for content wasn’t a thing. I think you were the only podcaster in tech that I knew of,
right? So it was, it wasn’t, it wasn’t very active.
Right. And so that was the second white space. Nobody’s giving love to startups. And so we said, why don’t we just host our own events? I had been in and around failed startups before. Like all the startups I worked for, although they were great experiences, they all didn’t work out. They were all, they had two things in common.
They were all venture backed, raised lots of money and they all failed. But nonetheless, you get to know the culture. You can speak the language of founders and you know a few people. So we started hosting our own events and we had a co working space. So we could get a free meeting space there. And the first event we invited 10 people and the invite went something like, Kandrew. I’m inviting like Sarah, she just bootstrapped her company to a million. She’s going to talk about how she got her first a hundred customers by doing X, Y, and Z. There’s going to be some free pizza. 10 people showed up. We never stopped like you, we just kept doing these meetups like week on week, week on week, week on week. One day 200 people show up to the coworking space and there we hijack all the aisles. And they’re like, what the hell? Right? Um, this is not a conference. This is your meetup, which is not quite a meetup, right? And so you gotta get outta here if you wanna host like conference style events, but you can’t hijack the owls. And that was validation that people liked this kind of content coming together in person, connecting with each other, learning. Um, and then the second thing we did, I hit up the local newspaper and I said, you’re not covering startups. Why don’t you give me a column? I’ll do it for free. And they said, man, We don’t care about this, right?
Like it’s not a priority. So what I
did was I asked a couple of friends that had blogs to give me a blog. I wasn’t experienced in startups in the sense I had no success. So I couldn’t write about like, you know, tactics to make your startup successful, but I started covering other startup founders and I drove so much traffic to them. Then I took the, the blog that was, you know, had a few hundred retweets. And I went back to the editor. I’m like, Hey, look at this blog that I’m driving, that I wrote. It got so much traffic and retweets, so many retweets. I can do the same for you. The newspaper is a dying medium. The next generation doesn’t read newspaper, but I can turn, bring you a whole new audience. And he’s like, fine, I’ll give you a blog post. And now this is, this is another thing I advise, just keep in mind though, to take it with caution. Unless you’re doing something illegal, as a founder, never ask for permission. Beg for forgiveness. I called that blog because it was a newspaper blog and he gave me a blog post.
I called it Startup of the Week and I covered a founder that had raised a couple million bucks because he was looking for coverage. Nobody would cover it. TechCrunch even won’t cover it. So I called it Startup of the Week. It blew up. That person like thought and the people in the community thought that the local newspaper is starting a column called Startup of the Week and Lloyd’s a messiah. So it blows up. And I have missed calls now from the editor. Like I checked my phone, maybe in a day, there’s this couple of missed calls. I’m like, Oh man, he’s, he’s going to lose it on me. Why did I call to start up the week out of here? He gets on the phone and he’s like, Lloyd, are you committed to writing this column every week? If yes, I will turn it into a print column. Boom.
So I wrote for, for the national newspapers, print column for that had a regional outlet for three years. And when I stopped the column stopped as well. Now here are three things. That column did for me. One, I truly believe when you’re starting out, everything follows this path of visibility, credibility, and then profitability, we were now visible.
And by association of the speakers who came to the event, we got their brand rub, so we got their credibility. And by being columnists in the local newspaper, we got the local newspaper’s brand rub and credibility. Number one. Number two, our website was new. That was the year we started the website. So writing on our own blog, the SEO would take years.
Do you know this? We got a backlink every week from the highest domain authority website in the country. It was coming from PostMedia. It’s the national newspaper. So number two. Number three. I don’t know what it is with print, man, because even in 2023, there are so many blogs, but
Lloyed Lobo: you’re in print, people take it more seriously. Every Monday at 6 or 7 a. m., the founders would go to like the local newsstand and buy a lot of copies, distribute it, take photos, share it on social. And number four, we put a form in there saying, if you want to be in this column, apply. Like a WUFU form it was. You remember WUFU or use WUFU?
Andrew Warner: Love them. Yeah. I love the founders
Lloyed Lobo: We’re old enough that we know WUFU. I think the generation today doesn’t know what WUFU is. So, so the, that form started building our list because everyone wanted to be in the paper. Now, whoever applied to, to be featured, we obviously couldn’t feature everyone. Like you get so many podcast requests. That was my version of a podcast feature. We would invite them to the meetups. So it was this one two punch. Everyone would apply, would invite them to the meetup. The meetup kept growing. We’d get more social proof. Now as a function of this. Our social proof grew. We got customers, we could build partnerships and our list kept growing in that fashion, right?
More people would apply every week and, uh, they would, we’d invite them to the events, build that brand.
Andrew Warner: Let me pause here for a minute. Why why the events I understand now you have a national audience You have them all applying so you’re growing your email list. Why bother with the events? Why not just say By the way, you also have this opportunity to get tax credits from us. Here are some examples of people who’ve gotten it.
Why also take on the headache of creating an
Lloyed Lobo: One, it was very light because it was a weekly pizza night. Two, I truly, truly believe Andrew, anytime you incorporate more than two senses, and I talk about this in the book, you start to build stronger bonds. And, um, And, and there’s something about meeting in person, especially when you’re a high ticket item with a credibility play. So think about what we’re asking. We’re asking you for your R& D data. It’s IP involved. How many people are going to give two random guys and IP data? Even though you blog for somewhere, right? And we’re asking for your
IP and your financial data. And we get paid on average 20, our ACV is 20, 000 per customer per year.
It’s not like a 5, 10, 20 product. We could have done online, but when the price is high, a few things. That’s why I like in person one, if it’s a credibility brand building play to, if it’s a high price product and three, if you don’t have product market fit and no customers, you build stronger connections in person.
And this meetup was very easy because it was the same fricking pizza that was the 999 deal every week at a coworking space, which was for free. Like a lot of people get caught up in this fanciness. Like, you know, now traction comp gets like over a thousand people. We’ve had CEOs of Uber. And whatnot coming in, uh, Atlassian. It doesn’t have to be that way. That’s one big production a year. If you do a weekly meetup and 10 people show up, 20 people show up and it’s pizza and some good conversations and some cheap beer, people get together and I feel like they build stronger bonds. That actually, that process carried us very far, um, up until the pandemic and. That whole process, I mean, we replaced the newspaper with webinars and other things, but I think till the pandemic that grew our database events, grew our database to 30, 000 subscribers, which is pretty significant.
Um, and, and you know, what’s interesting is as I was researching this book, I don’t know if I wrote this in the book.
I can’t remember, but as I talked to so many community members, I think the count is thousand or more. And I looked behind all these interesting brands that endured over time. And rewatched all our like, you know, seven years of traction content. I found something very interesting. Every obscure idea that eventually went on to become a global enduring phenomena from Christ to CrossFit, every enduring, every from Christ to CrossFit, every small idea, obscure idea that became an enduring worldwide phenomena had four things in common, exact four stages. People listen to you or buy your product. You have an audience. You bring those people together to interact with one another. It becomes a community. When that community comes together towards a greater purpose to create impact, which is far greater than your product or profit, it becomes a movement. And when that movement has undying faith in its purpose through sustained rituals, over time, it becomes a cult or a religion, audience, community, movement, religion, and every cult like brand out there that I know of. Um, and you know, we can talk about the anomalies that didn’t do this, but every cut like brand… And route to becoming that cult like brand had a community at its core. It went beyond the
Andrew Warner: Give me yours. Give me your four. Did you get to all four?
Lloyed Lobo: No, I mean, of course, boast is not a cult brand. Boast is not a movement. We stopped at community, but community took us to, you know, we’re 20 million ARR, a little more than that right now.
It took us here and I’m not in the day
Andrew Warner: Well, what, what about this? You keep calling it a community. Even in private, I keep calling it a conference. And you keep call, correcting me gently, but you’ve never missed an opportunity to correct me and say community. What makes it a community? It’s just a bunch of ticket buyers, isn’t it?
Lloyed Lobo: Yeah. So a community, a conference is one event where people show up. A community is where repeated interactions happen, right? It’s not like I go to a festival and I don’t meet those same people again. A community is where people know each other. They keep coming together. They keep coming back over and
Andrew Warner: are people, how are people in Traction staying together as a community? Where do you, what’s your, what’s the place where they all get
Lloyed Lobo: So right now it’s the big conference, right? I have taken a break in the last year. We do a lot of meetups. So like the meetups still happen, like the dinners in different cities and whatnot through my friends. And so we have people coming back to these events
and dinners and whatnot. So I think what, what, what a cadence would look like for a good community. And, uh, you know, we ramp it up as we release the book and my break comes to an end, but here’s what the cadence looked like at peak. Twice a week we had live webinar, okay. Twice a week. And this is, this is super hard because you’re getting a new speaker every week. And, um, you know, actually I should back up from this.
Andrew Warner: Oh, I know why it’s hard. Dude, you were hustling to get people to show up for good. I remember the hustling period for you. Okay, I go, dude, the guy’s made it. He’s doing great. He’s not sweating details, but how do I get the next person on?
Lloyed Lobo: How do how do, how do I get the next person on? But here’s what happened. So we did this meetups for a
very long time, repeatedly, like monthly, weekly, like very regularly on our own, partnered with other people, co-hosted. So low, but meetups were the lifeblood of us building social proof and our BD going out there and getting warm clients referrals.
That was our lifeblood. 2020 rolls around and then all these meetups actually that we do in partnership with people or solo, small, big, they all funnel in into the annual traction conference. Now 2020 rolls around and March, we have to cancel the conference. Conference is not happening. I already told you I have PTSD from doing virtual things because of a company that failed in that space. So I was never going to do a virtual summit. No, when you’re in this, in the thing, it seems like you’re throwing spaghetti on the wall. Now it looks like a profound framework. And so when I look back now doing a two day virtual summit. is like killing the golden goose. You spend all this time with production to do this virtual summit eventually and what you’re doing leading up to the virtual summit, you’re promoting one thing.
Buy my shit, buy my shit, buy my shit, buy these tickets, buy these tickets, buy these tickets. What we did was, because of my PTSD of doing things virtually, especially two days, I just felt like I could just… have relapses of speakeasy where customers will call me and complain that their sales calls failed.
So I’m like, I’m not doing this. We’re like 60 speakers over two days on, on virtual. No way. So we sent all the speakers and asked them, would you be open to coming on a live webinar? We weren’t podcasting at the time. We started podcasting in the last year and a half. We took the best of recordings and put it on podcasts, but it wasn’t afterthought.
It was all event, meetup recordings and whatnot. So we said, Would you do this live webinar? One hour, twice a week, we’ll invite our audience. And what happened was now I’m inviting the audience twice a week to join, right? They’re not, I’m not saying tune into a podcast which they can listen on their time, but I’m saying tune in live and you can interact with other people and you can interact with a guest. And it’s timed, right? It’s timed in the sense it’s coming up on Tuesday at 11, Thursday at 11. It’s a different topic and a speaker of social proof. So it’s a very specific topic on like, say, how Twilio built their engineering team or how, you know, um, like, uh, maybe HubSpot built their marketing brand, like very specific things in the early days. And people would join because there was a person there and it was live. Andrew, all I cared about was getting people’s emails so we could interact with them. I think we were fortunate to be in a time where podcasting wasn’t huge and LinkedIn and social media wasn’t huge because right now you have these big audiences, but if you don’t have their email addresses and the social media algorithm chains, what are you going to do about it? Right? Like it’s, it’s, it’s hard for me at least. Um, how do you, how do you like. If you’re in a business of like selling to them eventually, it becomes very hard. Um, so nonetheless doing these two live webinars where people were interacting with each other every twice a week and the compound interest on that because I said you know doing one big virtual summit is killing the golden goose but if you do it twice a week exactly why you’re doing it repeatedly right you’re not doing one big podcast but it’s it’s regular except we open it up to people so they I kid you not we entered the pandemic with 30 some odd thousand subscribers and I had like Noah Kagan to prove it because he was the first, one of the first people to show up on the webinar and he challenged me.
He’s like, what is your goal? I’m like, I don’t know, just bring people together. And he’s like, no, that’s not a goal. What is your goal? I’m like, okay, a hundred thousand subscribers. He’s like, that’s a good one. How are you going to get to a hundred thousand subscribers? And I said, I will do this twice a week, every freaking week. And, uh, by the end of the pandemic, we were over a hundred thousand subscribers. Just the list kept growing. People would share it.
Andrew Warner: I saw that in the book where Noah Kagan challenged you to get to 100, 000. You said you hit it or maybe like a few, a couple thousand shy of that, which is an enormous number.
Lloyed Lobo: By the end of that
year, by the end of
Andrew Warner: by the end of that
Lloyed Lobo: but then now, which is a couple of years forward, we’ve exceeded that number.
Andrew Warner: but what I want to understand is how, and part, part of the how I’m getting here, people had to register to come to a webinar. And when they registered to come to a webinar, they were also adding themselves to your email list. Great. How did you get all those people to register for a webinar?
Lloyed Lobo: We had an email list going already, right? I said, by doing in person events and meetups and doing it with a cadence, we. Already had an email list going. And I think like from, so that email list started with apply to be in the newspaper, then it turned into come to
the events, then we’d invite more people and ask them to bring their friends.
And more and more people started coming to these meetups and the list kept growing. And I think we entered the
pandemic. So we entered the pandemic with maybe 30, 000 ish subscribers, 35, something like that. I, I have a timestamp with Andrew, uh, with, uh, with Noah Kagan, where I said that. But then when we did these webinars, I found that like speakers were sharing it and audience members were sharing it like they were
random people were registering because they found value in the content and it was free.
Like I wasn’t charging for it. Even these meetups that we did, we only charge for the annual traction conference. We never charge anyone for the meetup because there’s another framework that I didn’t talk about is understanding your ideal customer profile circle of influence. Who do they fund? Meaning what services they pay for.
So those become your partners and your potential sponsors. Who do they follow? Those become the speakers you invite. And what do they frequent? Meaning blogs, magazines they read, platforms they’re on, podcasts they listen to. And so we had these lists of people that we would cold email and reach out to. So step one was cold email and that newspaper blog. And then step two, of course, host lots and lots of these and cold email people to come, ask your existing audience to invite their friends and ask your speakers to invite their friends. And, uh, if you do that on a cadence, like compound interest on consistency is what leads to overnight success. Like even if you get like 30, 40 people for every webinar and you do like a hundred and freaking four a year. That’s a lot, right? And we were getting way more than that.
Andrew Warner: I want to ask you about a couple of those things. The first is getting guests. I think it was Jason Lemkin who in the foreword to your book said that you kept following up with him until he agreed to interview Ryan Smith, the CEO of Qualtrics at The conference that you did in San Francisco. I’m wondering with both of those people, Ryan Smith is like a billionaire.
Now, Jason Lemkin from Sastr is incredibly popular. How did you get both of them to say yes to showing up and performing at your conference? What’s the process you
Lloyed Lobo: You know, uh, I, I wrote a detailed blog post and I think, I think, I’m glad you asked that because you read the book and I, I, I, I wrote the book in stories, but I will have all of this in the notion doc, which will be on from grassroots to greatness. com forward slash bonus, where I provide detailed, detailed templates because it would be silly for me to put like cold email templates in the book, right? But I’ll put it in the notion doc. Um, honestly, I truly believe in, in two things. Number one is luck and risk are two sides of the same coin. The ones who win or are successful, they never stop flipping. Okay, and I’ll share a related story. And flipping is key. Flipping is key. I just reach out to anyone and everyone.
And two, for me, in business without cold email, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Everyone I know, Andrew, I think even though I knew you through Sujan’s dinner in San Francisco, when you first featured me on the podcast, go and look at, look up. I never asked Sujan for an intro. I cold emailed you two times, right? Like this is in 2020 after that deal got done or 2021. I had met you through Soojin, but I cold emailed you. And I cold email hundreds of people every day. And I don’t stop. And the compound interest on cold emailing people to invite them to stuff or to add value to their life over a seven year period is a hundred thousand plus subscribers.
That is a fact. Like, I’m not going to wait for Apple to distribute me. Subscribers. I’m not going to wait for to put content on LinkedIn and hope that LinkedIn’s algorithm hits me up. I know who I’m writing for. I know the audience is interesting. I am going to manually reach out to people and be like, Hey, I think this is going to be valuable to you.
Or Hey, I’m hosting an event. Um, I would love for you to attend. I am telling you, this is the most underrated tactic. Because the world is taken over by spam. But if you’re personalized and you’re adding value and you cold email people that is personalized, not coming from your newsletter. People will show up. I did it to drive the first 10 people to the meetup and I did it to drive the last thousand people at the traction conference. I did it to drive hundreds of people to two webinars a week over two years and every single speaker, 90, 97, 98 percent of the speakers. I got for traction over the years were cold email.
Now, of course we get a lot of inbound on the podcast and plus I’m on a break.
So I don’t cold email for speakers as much and they, they, they happen inbound, but I’ve, you know, even this book, right? Like we, we, we did the pre release of the book. Um, it trended top new release next to Elon Musk and a couple others. It didn’t happen with magic. I cold emailed a lot of friends to say, Hey, you know, I wrote this book, please buy it. Right. Or please show me your support. I got them, you know, I wrote that LinkedIn post. You’ll see my last several LinkedIn posts are like half 500, uh, likes
Andrew Warner: Oh, no, I see it. I, I’ve seen, I’ve even seen like the text messages. I can tell when there’s a text messages coming from you to me. And I can also tell when there’s a text message that you’re sending out to multiple people, copying and pasting partially because up until I united the two connections that I have with you into one like contact, they were coming in separately.
But, but partially also because there’s like a clear ask. And I have to say, Hey, Totally down with it because you’re incredibly giving. I remember when I got into this crypto community and I was trying to connect to an invitation site, I said, this person has been to your conference. Can you reach out to him?
You go, I don’t know him, but I’m going to reach out for you because he’s in my community. And so I think all this, all this stuff that you’ve done for people has made us want to help out. And I did find the cold email and you’re right. You didn’t mention a single thing about Sujin. And my response to you was, you said, here’s what I’ve done.
Uh, actually let me read the headline. The subject line is Andrew podcast collab with our community of 60, 000 plus subscribers.
Lloyed Lobo: was, that was, uh, that was 60, 000 and now it says like 120. So it’s double
a good, good, good number. Okay.
Andrew Warner: it’s February 9th, 2021. And then you just gave me, you did what? bunch of really good people do. You gave me clear numbers and you gave me clear reason to have you on. And you use fricking bullet points when there’s just a bunch of texts. There’s a wall of texts. What am I going to do? How do I enter it?
I can’t read it. So my, I just kind of bounced all over the screen, found a couple of things. And then my response to you was, and I didn’t realize that we’d met when, when I responded to you, it was, Lloyd, are you kidding? I’d love to have you on. Could you set up a call with our producer to help us tell your story?
Well, and then you did, and then we had you on. And then through that, we both found out that we’re going to move to Austin and then we connected in Austin and, and all that.
Lloyed Lobo: So,
Andrew Warner: Okay. Let me ask you
Lloyed Lobo: So, so now this. tells you, um, one thing, right. And I, and I’m glad you asked these questions because as I’m refining the Notion doc for release next year, which is a workbook, this book is all stories. As you know, I’m not going to throw in like templates and email templates and all of this stuff there, because I’m like. It’s going to change, right? And so I want you to be able to copy paste. You can’t copy paste from a hardcover. But I am going to include some of this stuff because I think, I think one of the key things you pointed out is the formatting of the email. Whenever I write an email, it should be easily scannable.
In the first sentence, people should get the ask and they should get some social proof. And I always write like that. I kid you not, Andrew, like I can screen share if you’re, if you’re showing this on video.
No, no, no, but
Andrew Warner: it. I don’t want to, I don’t want to ruin our connection. I’m seeing already that there’s some issues with your connection. Tell
Lloyed Lobo: yeah. But I reached out to 200 podcasters and this is podcast number 67 in six weeks. for the book. Cold email. Um, you’re the only friend I reached out to on text because, you know, we got to know each other. A lot of podcasters I know because they’re friends of friends. I never asked anyone for a favor.
I reached out. I’m like, you know what, I’m gonna bullet it out. It’s worked for me. That’s how I get press. That’s, cold email is everything to me. So that first conference we did, I made a list of 300 unicorns. And I think the Jason Lemkin, Ryan Smith conference was in San Francisco. Yes, it was. And I had a friend actually who was doing their conference AppDirect, also Unicorn. And he’s like, I have a stage left for a day. And it’s that app director is an enterprise software company. Now you can have the stage and make it startup, but you can just call it traction because we’ve paid for three days, but we’re not going to run three days of content. So I got barter. I’m like, okay, I’ll name you as a sponsor.
You give me the stage. They took care of food, everything could get prepaid. And then I cold emailed 300 people and I never stopped like email one was. Getting the interest. Email 2, the follow up was, if anyone expressed interest, I reached out to all of them saying, these 10 people are interested. And you know, as you’re looking at very interesting,
easily scannable, social proof emails, then one person bites.
When one person bites, you take their name and then you reach out to
everyone else. And then, and then the, the shoe drops, right? And so Jason Lemkin honestly went from me cold emailing him to him interviewing Ryan Smith, to me hosting a party at the first Saster conference when the person hosting it backed out.
And I leveraged cold email to get sponsors and drive 800 people to his event. To now he invited me to be on the board of one of his portfolio companies because he’s shortened bandwidth to writing my forward. Everything I am in my life is because I had The courage to cold email people. Imagine this. If I hadn’t cold emailed the Calgary Herald, the local newspaper editor, and and go ask for a blog.
And then he said, no, if I got dejected. And I didn’t blog for a third party site, drive traffic to it, and went back to him to follow up with the social proof. If somebody says no, do it somewhere else and come back with the social proof. I’ll give you a very funny example. I didn’t finish high school, but I graduated engineering. You’ll ask how. Okay? This is the funniest story. But I, I didn’t finish high school. I don’t have a high school diploma. I got into engineering. Most people who don’t have a high school diploma would never apply for university, right? Like 99. 99 percent of the people would never apply to university if they don’t have a high school diploma. I applied to every freaking single university with all transcripts, pre, pre diploma transcripts. One university said, hey, why don’t you come, uh, write the test? This is in Canada. There’s no SATs. I went and wrote the test. They’re like, what happened to your transcript? I made up some excuse that there’s political unrest in my country, which is Kuwait.
And that’s why I don’t have the transcripts in the mail. They’re like, start the semester. But within the first month, if you don’t give it, then you have to unenroll. They let me start the semester. I kid you not. They never followed up. They never followed up. I graduated with engineering. I’m not going to go and say, Oh, I don’t have the transcripts, but I graduated with engineering.
This is what I’m saying. You just gotta ask, man. Most people don’t ask. This is a problem.
Andrew Warner: I had no idea until I read the book that you were born in Kuwait and had to escape during the, the war and I understood about Canada. I just didn’t realize that about your background. Tell me, you’re right now living
Lloyed Lobo: I’m in Dubai, full circle, back to the Middle East.
Andrew Warner: Why Dubai? Why, why there?
Lloyed Lobo: know, I’ll answer this two questions, actually, in tandem. Why write the book, number one, and why Dubai? So, you know, as I reflected back, I found something very interesting. All my life, I had no money. I had a lot of hustle, but no money. Okay. Um, my, I was born in Kuwait to Indian parents. My dad was a farmer.
My mom lived in the slums of Mumbai. They went to Kuwait for better prospects income that translated the Kuwaiti dinar translates like, you know, significantly compared to Indian rupees. And so they went there for better prospects. Because they had no money, I couldn’t vacation in Europe or the U. S., so every summer
of mine was spent in the slums of India, where like, even going to the bathroom was communal because there’s no toilet in the house. Puddles would turn into ponds and we’d swim together. Every 10 homes had a TV, like it’s like concrete blocks with an aluminum roof. My fondest memories were those. Whenever it was time to leave to Kuwait, leave to Kuwait, I would like grab onto my parents’ legs and cry and not wanna go. Fast forward a few years, the war happened and it was an entirely community driven effort and I was this little kid wearing the, and the Rambo was famous, wearing the red bandana and running
around, and nobody made me feel insignificant.
They, I felt like I was saving people from the war. I watched how. The community came together when there was no internet, no phone, the security had lapsed, word of mouth spent from building to building, communicated with governments, evacuated the people to safety. Then I came to Canada and I talked about this, but after I got into the startup world, my first job being in cold calling, everything I learned about sales and marketing was from HubSpot’s community. Fast forward then a couple of years, I built Boast,
Andrew Warner: their blueprints.
Lloyed Lobo: nobody would talk to us, so we had to build this community. The reason why we built the community, right, no shame in saying this, but we wanted social proof, we wanted credibility, so we had to build it. We had to bring people together. We were asking for a lot of sensitive data
that needed social proof of people who were more experienced than us.
So we, we built this community to build a company.
Now, when I left the day to day of Boast, It was the only time where I became like a multi millionaire. I had a lot of money. I ended up depressed. I hit rock bottom. I got overweight. I lost my mind. And I was running around from place to place to place, trying to gather my friends. Because I’d come into money, so I’d tell people, I’ll fly you here, there, everywhere. And I still remember, I was speaking at a conference in Romania, Texelvania, and now this is the after conference speaker retreat. I’m four and three hours, three and a half hours away from Bucharest
and a lot of Silicon Valley folk are there, they’re in the pool.
And I’m frantically dialing for an Uber. And I’m asking them, can you send me a car? And they’re like, what the hell? No, you’re not going to get any car at three 30 in the morning, like three hours from Bucharest. Nonetheless, you know how Uber searching, searching, ding, the sound comes on, finally an Uber comes.
And in like 40 minutes, I tell the Uber, hold on. I went to my room, packed my bags. I book a flight in front of everyone to Costa Rica. And I said, guys, I’m leaving to Costa Rica. I have some friends there. And I peace out
day. When I get home after the Costa Rica trip, my wife’s like, look at you. Like she’s like, you almost died of COVID after this money came and you are like worse.
Now your health is worse. You’re smoking, you’re drinking, you’re just running around. I let you mope, but what are you moping for? The glass is always half full. You’re on the board. You have a significant stake in the
company. You cashed out. You can go anywhere. Most people want to be in this situation. You have freedom, but you choose to mope because you feel you’ve lost something. and and she’s like, if something happens to you right now, your kids are going to be left holding the bag because you’re not going to get us, you know, after almost dying of COVID, you’re not going to get a. Second, third chance. And then, you know, I saw my Peloton bike in the corner of the room, like I talked about in the, in the book.
Um, and then just the community fitness community that I joined, friends, et cetera, changed the course of my life. And, um, we ejected out of the U S I think primarily because of that reason. I was just, you know, I felt like for me, U S was associated with business. Silicon Valley was associated with startup culture, startup vibe, running, building the next unicorn, let’s call it unicorn porn. And Austin was also just more of that. And I was just not mentally at
rest. And so my
wife’s like listen, let’s just go back to let’s go somewhere where people think about life And work differently. Like nobody cares about you or your unicorn or your startup. and Dubai made sense for two things. One, it’s still a metropolitan city.
It’s like Miami, but it’s also where people. Work to live, not live to work. People socialize every freaking day of the week. Um, the cost of services is cheaper. Services are ingrained into the culture here. Meaning in the U S we do our chores, no matter how much money you have. Here, the chores are all done for you.
I don’t pick, pack, drop my kids. I have help for that. I don’t lift a finger here. Every chore I did or work about work is done for me from the doctor to the gasoline comes home. So when you have so much time in your day. Then, you know, you do things that bring you joy. And so that’s,
that’s, that’s why we came here.
And so when I reflected back to write this book, right, I thought to myself, like, all my life, I had no money and I was depressed. I, I mean, I was happy all my life. I had no money. I was happy. My wife paid the bills, the slums, the freaking Gulf war.
Andrew Warner: Okay. Yeah. Hmm.
Lloyed Lobo: No money, but I was so freaking happy. And then the one time I came into millions, I ended up like depressed and hit rock bottom, had to see a therapist, got drunk, got overweight. What is this? Right. And I realized it’s like neither the destination nor the journey. Your companions matter the most. Loneliness is the number one killer in America. And recently there is this concept on blue zones, the five places in the world where people live functionally to a hundred. They have nine traits.
Four or five of those traits have to do with human to human connection. And I said, you know what, I got to write about this. I got to write about this. And I, and as I was reflecting why this happened, it’s because like my whole life was, you know, from surrounded by people, even where I lived in the Bay Area, I was in a, in a gated community and all my neighbors were friends.
During COVID, they would all send food to us. I moved to Dubai the first year we were here, they all flew, like literally. 20 people flew from the Bay Area to spend two weeks during the Christmas with us. To me, that is community where people, you know, when you go and listen to somebody, it’s an audience. When you go and attend an event. It’s an audience, but when you keep going and keep hanging out and you keep making connections and you keep bringing people together, to me, that is a community. And the one step further than that is when the same people keep coming together to then create some massive impact, it becomes a movement.
Like whether it’s the Gulf War or how the Harley Davidson community rescued the company with the Save Harley movement.
Andrew Warner: I do. I do love that about your book. Um, I know the publisher, so I sent him a note and I said, first of all, beautiful design from the cover to the inside text to the pages. And second, there are a lot of great examples in here. I mean, you’re someone, anyone who’s heard us here today knows that you’re someone who talks in clear frameworks.
I think there’s several times where you said, here are three secrets to, or here’s three, four steps to. You just naturally organize things into a set of steps, but you also have clear examples. You don’t just say, we took care of all of our people. You said, you gave a story about how the CEO of Intercom came to one of your conferences, pulled you over and said, not only is it said, this is the best dinner I’ve had, not just.
Out of all the other conferences, but just period, this is a great dinner. And so stories from the people who came in who I care about stories from, uh, other businesses that you’ve studied and gave examples of and clear frameworks. I love this book. The book is called from grassroots to greatness. The grassroots, of course being from, uh, India and then through Kuwait and then escaping over to where was it?
Was it Lebanon where the bus
Lloyed Lobo: No, it was? from Baghdad to Jordan.
Yeah. Baghdad, Jordan, Kuwait to Baghdad to Jordan.
Andrew Warner: Yeah. All
Lloyed Lobo: Dubai.
Thank you so
Andrew Warner: And it’s a good book. I recommend it, especially for people who care about communities who are trying to figure out, well, how do I get anyone to care about this with me? And so that’s what the book is about. And I didn’t have a sponsor here, and I’ll tell you why, Lloyd. Um, I said in a past interview that if anyone wants to do a podcast, our producers, the people who are at it, who are going to edit this interview and post it and do other stuff with it.
They’ve got some bandwidth. If you want to hire them, us to do it for you, we could do it. And I got customers already to say yes to that. And I realized, wait, I better not ask for any more. Because we clearly are overloaded. So I’m saying if you’re interested, I can’t do, I can’t add you now in September 2023, maybe in October, but we should at least have a conversation about it.
The work we’re doing for these clients is pretty cool. And I’ll show you beyond what you’ve seen here for Mixergy, how they’ve taken it to other areas based on what other, uh, podcast creators need. So if you’re interested in doing the podcast, there’s no website. There’s no nothing. There’s just Andrew.
Email me andrew at Mixergy. com the way others have and we’ll probably get on a call. We’ll talk you through, I’ll give you some direction. If you need to go now, I’ll help you get started without us. And if you decide that you do want to bring our people in, it’ll take a, it’ll take a little while because we’re, we’re working through the people who we’ve signed up.
And it’s not like hundreds, it’s just a few small, podcasters.
Lloyed Lobo: This is, this is, this is
Andrew Warner: There you go, Andrew at
Lloyed Lobo: Andrew at Mixergy and I can guarantee Andrew responds, or at least he, he reads, uh, he, he reads your email, he’ll respond. So this is your team, right? Like doing the podcast. Like this is actually your team.
Andrew Warner: Yes, we have a set of steps and frameworks and organization and beyond anything else, it’s just the idea that you have it all organized and you can just sit and have a great conversation and not sweat the fact that you saw we had some tech issues here. It’s gonna get edited out. There are other people who have more editing needs than I will ever allow in these podcasts because I want people to see you as you are.
We do that. There are short clips that they want, like, you know, those short one minute videos I’ll send you, we could do one for this if you want. Uh, but we do it for other people because we’ve got the capability
Lloyed Lobo: And I’m thankful you asked me a question which nobody has, okay? Um,
you pushed me, man, you asked me like, how, like, no, but you did these events and like, how is it not just an event and how is it a community? And then you asked me something like, but
how did you seed it? Like, how did you get these people to come? And, and like, you know what? Frickin email, man. Like, I went deep into email because it’s a topic I’m very passionate about. But this, this actually told me something that I’m going to now in the Notion doc, put all my frickin templates from. Reaching out to people to come as speakers. And actually I did a blog post on HubSpot years ago on how I got the first, um, 30 speakers for the first conference to like being on podcasts, bringing podcast guests.
I’m going to put all the templates with the sequences and the followups. The key is though it doesn’t go through like your MailChimp or whatever. You use, I use Mixmax, but you can use Apollo. io caveat. I’m a small investor in Mixmax and it connects to my Gmail and it sends these mass personalized emails.
So it doesn’t look like, you know, with unsubscribes and all this nonsense. So it looks very, very personalized and it goes from your Gmail. So I’m going to, you know, based on your questions, this is good feedback. As I do more and more podcasts, the questions that I get asked, I’m like, You know what, I should detail this out with the template that is copy pastable in the Notion workbook because people can actually use it, like you can’t copy paste from a book.
And I think it would suck if I put like five email templates for every
Andrew Warner: I agree because it does become dated and it feels just irrelevant. Um, where can people get the, I know the book is available on your website. It’s available on, on Amazon. What about the, the bonus
Lloyed Lobo: The bonus material?
is going to be on the website too, just from grassroots to greatness. com forward slash bonus, but you know, at least I, I, I, I shared my why on the book. I’ll tell you one thing, which we can end with is when I was this little kid going on the bus from Kuwait to Baghdad to Jordan on the highway of death, currencies are invalid. You don’t know if you’re going to live or die. And there’s no certainty of when and where you’re going to land up, right? Like every little while there’s a checkpost and there’s military people coming in. The adults should have been worried and crying and stressful. What I really saw on that bus ride throughout was people were singing, they were laughing, they were listening, they were playing the guitar. And I realized something which is key to everything. Is it’s neither the destination nor the journey, but the companions that matter the most. You could be on a crappy journey on the way to hell. But great companions make it memorable. You could be sipping champagne in a Chateau in France and hate being around there and want to get out, but you can be swimming in the puddles of the slums of Mumbai and not want to leave. And I realized this the second time when I was chasing and chasing and chasing and chasing somebody else’s definition of success, society’s definition of success. And finally, when that society’s definition of success came, when I came into money. Weeks within me coming out into money, I was hospitalized for bilateral COVID pneumonia.
This was the time of Omicron. My wife being a doctor at Stanford, she couldn’t visit me in the hospital. People were coming in with spacesuits. They set a 24 7 zoom and, and I could not help but cry. And I said to myself, man, what have I done? Like, like literally my chase has taken me away from my first community, which is my family who have neglected. Right. And didn’t spend any time with them. And I, and I realized not only the companions matter so much, but you know, it’s never the money in your bank, man. It’s the people around your tombstone that matter. What, what’s the point of having all the money and dying a lonely death someday. So I want to leave you with that.
Andrew Warner: I’m looking forward to hanging out with you again. I liked hanging out with you when you were here. 8 million. Is that how much you took out of the
Lloyed Lobo: It’s, it’s almost 10. It’s let’s just call it 10. I’ll, I’ll give you the
answer. Let’s call it 10
Andrew Warner: Hell yeah. Great way to end it. Thanks so much. Thank you all for listening. Uh, congratulations. Couldn’t have happened
Lloyed Lobo: because you say.
Andrew Warner: All right, buddy. I’m going to go and send this
Lloyed Lobo: You said, you said, you said 10 to 20 and I’m like, oh, it’s not, it’s not 20, but, you know, hopefully the upside, the business keeps growing, the bigger upside is there, you know, but,
Andrew Warner: and you’re going to have investments and you’re going to have all these other mix max is a great product. I think I interviewed the founder. I, I know the business you you’re getting involved in more businesses. Uh, it’s not the end, but man, what a great way to, to
Lloyed Lobo: know, You know, I’ll tell you something,
Andrew Warner: take a big leap
Lloyed Lobo: I I don’t
look at the money in the bank. Uh, what’s funny is my wife manages the money, uh, with the banker. I don’t, I don’t ever. And I think I had it split between Morgan Stanley and FRB. And somebody had to tell me that, Hey, if you have money in FRB. You should take it out because the bank’s going to shut.
And then I scrambled over the weekend to get it out. I, I genuinely, um, after that COVID incident, I count my blessings by how many times a week I get to socialize with people. What we’re going to do is we will, we’ll do the traction conference in Vancouver next August, but we will also do one in Dubai and. I will make sure you have the opportunity to get flown into Dubai at the very least, because Vancouver is close by anyway.
Andrew Warner: Soojin’s backyard. If you’re back
Lloyed Lobo: I, I, I will make, I
Andrew Warner: much for being on
Lloyed Lobo: I will make a trip, man. Take care. Love and peace, brother.
Andrew Warner: Thanks. Thanks. Bye everyone.