Why the details of your life matter for your startup

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Today’s guest has put so much thought into the details of the his daily life. I want to talk to him about how all the small changes he made added up to big results in both his life and his business.

Moe Abbas is the founder of Acadium, a digital platform that connects aspiring digital marketers, with a vetted business owners that will teach digital marketing through one-on-one mentorship, hands-on experience, and real-world projects for their business.

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Moe Abbas

Moe Abbas

Acadium

Moe Abbas is the founder of Acadium, a digital platform that connects aspiring digital marketers, with a vetted business owners that will teach digital marketing through one-on-one mentorship, hands-on experience, and real-world projects for their business.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: 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. Usually what I see as the upside of their noses, because they have a laptop that they’re talking into and it’s kind of angled up. Today’s guests got some kind of fricking setup over here.

He’s like leaning back. The mic is like right on point, most impressive. It kind of tells me something about the way that you live, that you would even take the time to make sure that the shot was centered properly. Is this you? Am I, am I reading too much into this?

Moe: you know, there’s a really good book called the score takes care of itself. And it’s really about if you watch the details, then it’s the score takes care of itself so that the details matter.

Andrew: And so the details, even, even though, you know, this is an audio podcast, you took care of the details. Give me another details of life that you pay attention to our business, that most people wouldn’t pay attention to it. And I’ll introduce you in a moment, but I’ve got to just get a little bit more on this.

Moe: I’m obsessed with nutrition. And I do not consume, I don’t not put anything into my body unless I understand the nutritional profile of it, you know, so I have to know exactly the structure of that food or beverage that goes in my body.

Andrew: And you are a person who care care, who takes care of the details to a degree that is unusual. You quit high school, which is, I imagine that lack of like perfection must’ve impacted you. I want to find out about that. You then, from what I understand, went on to create a business that did over $20 million in sales, you then created a software company where you lost a lot of that money.

And now you’re back with something called a Qadium. And what a Qadium does is it allows people to hire and apprentice, right? So if I wanted to have somebody to come and work for me before hiring them from a regular job board, I can go and look for an apprentice. The apprentice might be a producer, work with me for 10 hours a week for three months.

If they, and they learn the job and maybe they decide they don’t want to work for me, or maybe they learn the job. And I learned to like them, and we decided that this should be an ongoing thing and I could pay and hire them. Full-time that’s the way Acadian works. Am I right?

Moe: basically, you know, you know, small business owners wear a lot of hats and they’re cash constrained, you know, have a lot of money and they have a lot of work to do. And a KDM allows them to find affordable marketing help from a student in training. So instead of paying that student cash, they provide mentorship in a structured way, which we regulate in our marketplace.

So they’re able to get access to affordable. Help is 10 hours a week for three months. At the end of that, they can either hire the person which they’ve just vetted, or they can continue finding another apprentice until they do find a great hire that they want to bring on. So it’s a way to find affordable help in digital marketing for businesses that are cash constrained and you know, where line.

Andrew: I didn’t realize digital marketing. And so can I just keep hiring an apprentice, keep teaching them my, my work and never hire a full-time person because I either don’t want to, or because I don’t have the money for it.

Moe: Absolutely. We vet all businesses in the, for mentorship. We make sure that they are here for the right reasons and that they’re able to provide this guidance and feedback for their apprentice. And by all means, if you want to mentor and train multiple apprentices, do it indefinitely. You change people’s lives when you do

Andrew: I had no idea. All right. Mo whose voice you just heard is Mo boss. He is the founder of Acadia. I invited him here to talk about all his past businesses. And more specifically, this one, how it got off the ground. I love the model. It’s such an, it’s such a natural, it’s something that I’ve thought for a while we should do on Mixergy.

People have asked me for job boards over the years and I thought, well, I don’t want to do a job board and just get someone a job, but how do we make it a little more special people come in to learn from the entrepreneur. Imagine if they could go and work for the entrepreneur here. So, anyway, I’ve thought about this model a lot.

I’m impressed by how far you’ve come with it and what you were able to build at Acadia. I invited you here to find out more about it and we can do it. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first, anyone out there who needs a website hosted should go to. Hostgator.com/mixergy. They’ll give you a great price at that URL.

And the second, if you’re doing email marketing, you’ve got to find out about, send in blue and I’ll let you use it for free. If you go to send in blue.com/mixergy Mo revenue wise, where are you guys? Now give us a sense of how big the businesses

Moe: We’re a little under 2 million in revenue,

Andrew: profitable.

Moe: very close to profitable.

Andrew: Okay. Outside funding in this business, or is it all bootstrapped?

Moe: We’ve raised a million from some fantastic angels like Ryan Hoover and his co-founder at Dre is a product hunt. Uh, just some, you know, Eric Blatchford, who is the CEO of Expedia. So we’ve raised a small angel round, but mostly bootstrapped.

Andrew: it’s really likes, uh, remote companies. Is this marketing help for most companies? Is that the thing?

Moe: I mean, apprenticeships in our marketplace are 100% remote. And you know, one of the key things we do is we make job training for apprentices accessible. And part of that is it’s remote. So anyone with an internet connection can get access to our market.

Andrew: I really want to know about the, how you got here, but I’m fascinated by this model. How do you make sure that the companies actually train the apprentice?

Moe: That is a great question. So, I mean, early on our vetting was, was pretty garbage and what happened was we ended up with a poor community and we realized that the quality of our community is extremely important. We are a mission driven community focused company, and we’ve started vetting mentors. So they actually have to go through an onboarding call with a sales rep.

And we actually reject quite a few businesses. If they’re not ready to provide mentorship, if they don’t have a clear work, they want their apprentice to get done. Uh, if they don’t have a brand that is ready to be marketed, that is marketing. If they don’t have basic knowledge in the help they’re looking for, we will not take their money and tell them they should go pay someone for help.

In our case, we would make sure that they provide mentorship for help.

Andrew: Mo, what you’re trying to do is make sure that. They have a process in place so that they could teach it to the apprentice. And then the apprentices job is to use that process and improve it. And that’s how they both benefit. Am I right?

Moe: Yeah. I mean, it’s a lot of businesses don’t have it yet in place, but they’re very close to, or they will set it up in place. And usually they do this with the first apprentice. Then the second apprentice is a lot. The, the ramp up is much quicker and easier.

Andrew: And how do you charge.

Moe: It’s totally free for our candidates. You know, accessibility is a big thing. Um, and we can touch on our mission in a bit. We charge our mentors are businesses in this case, an access fee to our marketplace, where they have unlimited access, they can get one or multiple apprentices at a time. And it’s three 99, a quarter or $1,200 for the entire, yeah,

Andrew: Just $399 for three months. And it’s crazy. It does. It does make a lot of sense. I, especially like the fact that I don’t know how I feel about not paying the apprentice. I feel like they should get paid, but

Moe: we can touch on that too, actually.

Andrew: what do you think? Well, before we get into that one, what I do like though is I’ve found that when you teach, you learn again, when you teach you question what you’re doing and you become aware of it in a way that you don’t when you’re just doing it.

And then when someone else learns it, you start to see that there’s more ideas coming back at you than you would have thought of on your own. That, that seems like a huge upside.

Moe: You nailed it. You know, it, it creates what’s called. They would call it a forcing function. Where in the act of teaching your apprentice, it helps you shed light on areas of your business that are extremely important, but you just haven’t had time to put the thought through. And then they, the apprentice does the heavy lifting for you, but it does allow you to better understand your business and better manage your business.

And a lot of these small business owners, haven’t worked with too many employees in the past. So it allows them to become better managers. Well,

Andrew: All right. What about the money part? Shouldn’t somebody get paid for doing the work

Moe: They can, we just recently rolled out the ability for our apprentices who are ready for paid work, to label themselves as freelancers, where they could get paid for the help they provide

Andrew: okay. All right. Makes sense. And the reason that you came up with this is because you were running a business before bump in where your, your. Expenses were high. And from what I understand, you are using interns. Am I right grow the business? Talk about that. Well, you know, what, what was that business?

What it was bumping,

Moe: bumping was a location based social network. Um, it did quite well in Europe. We were one of the top social networking apps in Moldova, but ultimately it wasn’t really a product market fit, nor was it really a founder market fit and

Andrew: talk about product market fit. Why not? These things have come up so much, right? Why is it that they don’t work? It makes so much sense that if I’m out at a club, out at a bar, out at a, like a hotel lobby, even if I want to meet people, I’d like to be able to do it, but it’s, but no, one’s been able to make that work.

Moe: Yeah, it’s very challenging. Although there’s ways you could hack around it using Instagram, but it just wasn’t enough of a daily use case. And social media is should, you know, you look at tick talk like how many hours a day does a tech talk user spend there, or clubhouse or Twitter or Facebook or Instagram.

You need to make sure that you’re tapping into a core human need and behavior to make a social network work. And it’s extremely competitive. You need to raise a lot of capital, uh, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s not an easy business to scale up.

Andrew: How did you get so many users?

Moe: We would use influencers actually. So we were one of the early companies to use influencer marketing, where it was much more affordable at the time than it is today.

Andrew: So it’s how did you use influencers? Was it come see me at this place and then we’ll get to connect there or what.

Moe: No. Uh, so if you’re talking to influencer marketing, the best place is YouTube. So we found out that, you know, cause YouTube, you command your audience’s full attention and your entire audience will see every video that a influencer releases, unlike Instagram, which has a selective feed and very low attention span.

So we chose YouTube to focus on influencers and they would create videos and they would use the bumping app and, uh, their followers were, were interested in those influencers and in the app and they would also use it. And that’s how we got started.

Andrew: All right. And so then tell me about the interns. How did you find interns? Had you trained them? How was that experience working for you?

Moe: I mean, I’ve been doing this even before pumping, you know, back in, when, in, in, in my first significant business auto general contractors, we didn’t have any money. We need to grow their business. So we’d work with these interns and we would, there were unpaid interns and we would train them. And a quarter of our staff started as unpaid interns.

It

Andrew: you would go to local universities in Ottawa and tell them that you’ve got positions. What positions were you making available?

Moe: Ah, marketing project management, design, architectural technologists. It was a really big pain in the ass, frankly. It was a really difficult process. We did it because, you know, we figured it out and it was, we didn’t really have much

Andrew: What’s the pain in the ass about it.

Moe: I mean, it’s just, it was a lot of labor. It was just kind of weird having these conversations with people that, you know, unpaid work and when the hours are going to work and, you know, there wasn’t really a clear exchange of value a lot of the times.

And it was pretty sketchy, frankly, early on. And so, but

Andrew: You mean you were pulling something off, but it was getting pulled off and it was working.

Moe: it was working. Yeah, it was great. A lot of them, uh, it was life-changing for them and it was valuable for us. And we did this for a very long time, you know, I’m still. There’s. I still have people that I brought on 10 years ago that are still part of the organization and they started off.

Andrew: now they’re working with you now at Acadian.

Moe: They’re working in, in the construction organizations.

Andrew: All. Let, let me pause for a second construction dude. You’re one of the most polished people. Every hair in your beard seems like it’s just perfectly perfect. Lee manicured, right? Your teeth. You just smile. Perfect. What the hell were you doing in construction? How did you end up in construction?

Moe: That’s a great question. I ended up in construction because I had a friend who’s managing a gym at the time and he’s like, he knew I was an entrepreneur bit of a hustler and he’s like, Kamow, I can get you this contract to renovate this gym. And I was like, yeah, let’s, let’s do it. I wasn’t making very much money at the time.

And. Terrible terrible situation. That was one of the most challenging times of my life. You know, here I was, I was 19 years old, renovating a commercial gym. I had no experience in construction and never picked up a hammer in my life. Didn’t have a trade network. Didn’t even know how to read plans, you know, and I was accountable for a half million dollar renovation, commercial renovation, needless to say it was very hard.

And I got hostile by the owner who, you know, is the reason why he got the contract because he wasn’t going to pay. And, uh, it was a big, big learning experience. I remember it was, you know, it was, I was by myself, it was like 2:00 AM. My hands were bleeding from moving cinder blocks all day. And I was wearing a mask, was all dusty.

The place was dark. And I was like, what the hell am I doing here? And I just really wanted to quit, but I didn’t quit.

Andrew: he needed the money.

Moe: I just not a quitter, frankly. I, you know, for me, tenacity is a virtue. It’s one of the seven virtues of Acadia actually. And by not quitting, most of the great things in life, come at the point after the point of when you want to quit. Right. So I didn’t quit. I persevered through that eventually figured out a niche in residential and then eventually did a million dollars at a Starbucks by myself in

Andrew: you mean a building? A Starbucks? No. What do you mean?

Moe: Yeah, I know. I did say like I started focusing on residential renovations instead of commercial, and then I sold a million dollars of renovations out of, out of a Starbucks. Like I didn’t have an

Andrew: of a Starbucks, you mean you’re sitting in a Starbucks. People who need renovations for their house will come

Moe: I’d meet them there.

Andrew: you? And then you’d sell them. How’d they find you?

Moe: Um, I, so I I’m very, one of my, two of my core competencies are sales and marketing.

So we were able to become one of the largest residential renovation companies in North America, because we took advantage of online marketing before anyone else. I mean, this is a dinosaur industry, right? These are a bunch of people that don’t really know technology. And I was young, I didn’t know construction, but I knew technology and sales and marketing.

And that was a big

Andrew: What did you do for online marketing?

Moe: Uh, SEO was a really big thing.

Andrew: You had a website. SEO. Do you remember some of the articles that you wrote that got you? Good customers.

Moe: We wouldn’t actually have a domain name was a key thing, right? It was called Ottawa general contractors. It was a direct hit on the keyword. And we had a whole network of domain names, uh, you know, Ottawa kitchen contractors on a bathroom contractors. And we would write a significant amount of articles as well.

Actually, I use interns for part of this as well. And, uh, we’re just able to build a brand, frankly, that was much better than competitors.

Andrew: What about when you close a sale in Starbucks, what would you do to get someone who never met you before to feel comfortable with hiring you?

Moe: Honestly. That’s all relationship building. So that’s, that’s just a matter of trust. Like they knew that I would do what I said I would do.

Andrew: how does somebody know that about you? How do you communicate that? I feel like frankly, I don’t not to harp too much on it, but the way you dress, right? The fact that you attend to your details, the details in the room, the plants behind you, it gives me the sense that he’s not going to cut corners.

Not likely he’s going to feel disgusted more than I am. If something is off, I imagine that’s part of it with you.

Moe: Yeah. And your behavior. Right? So like for example, one of the things we did that would always generate a wow is we would respond to leads within an hour. And as you know, the longer it takes you to respond, the less likely you are to close. So, but this was something that was kind of very remarkable. And then our scopes of work had a great level of detail to them.

And we were just, you know, we were young and intelligent in a, in a, in an industry that was filled with people that were scarred and don’t really care. So it was just a tremendous advantage.

Andrew: You got the $20 million in sales. How much of that do you get to pocket

Moe: Um, it depends when you’re growing, you’re reinvesting, so not a whole lot in a growth period, but traditionally in this kind of business, you’re making about 10% to, if you really are a mature company, like right now, you could make up to a 15, if you’re pushing it after 15% net, uh, net profits. Yeah.

Andrew: fair to say that you took a few million, a couple of million dollars out of the business

Moe: I had a lot of success in, in that business. I had a lot of success in real estate investing as

Andrew: real estate. What type of real estate did you invest into?

Moe: So I bought my opportunistic buyer, right? So my first I bought two or three properties when back when no money down was the thing. And this was, this was back in my first start of the construction company too.

And those worked out well, it gave me a bit of an opportunity to build a real estate portfolio. And then I would buy properties that I could improve, right. Because my trade network and, you know, I bought one property that I made a lot of money on, but man, was it ever a nightmare? It was just, it’s not, it wasn’t easy making money on that.

One is a lot of stuff on that one

Andrew: Because it was what, just a lot of maintenance, a lot of repairs.

Moe: drug dealer in there. And he was running ho pimp. He was pimping through there

Andrew: Were you about to say running hose and then you held back? Cause now you’re in like the you’re in the hiring business. All right. I get it. All right. So

Moe: Even out his car, blown up in the building and then yeah, somebody blew up his car and I made a lot of money on that by the way.

Andrew: How much money is there to make it a place that, that attracts that kind of crowd? Yeah.

Moe: I made him money. I made money in the car blowing up because the insurance company quoted like 300 K for repairs and I’m a contractor and it costs me like next to nothing. It cost me like, you know, I don’t know if I should disclose it was around 2030 K on what was

Andrew: there you get $200,000, but it’s still, you’re dealing with this type of stuff, which is not a comfortable situation to be in. All right. I get where you are. I get also, I, my sense is you got into software with bumping because you said, look, this is, this could get even bigger. This is more of like a more modern company to be in.

I’m already in this digital space with SEO. I also feel like I’ve got one foot in the past. I want to be both feet in the future. Right. And that’s why bumping was so big.

Moe: Yeah, I was the top in my field. There wasn’t really much more you could do. You know, I won all the awards. I became one of the largest in North America made a lot of cash and, you know, I dedicate my life to impact, like I’m a hard core entrepreneur, right? This is what I do. Anybody that knows me, knows this, this, I dedicate my life to this craft.

And the question then becomes, if you’re going to dedicate your life to entrepreneurship, What does that look like? What does that mean? Well, very quickly you start realizing you want to make an impact. It’s just not all about money. And you want to focus on areas that give you the highest leverage technology is the highest leverage area.

I mean, I’m not a finance guy in, in that regard. So I wasn’t gonna go to wall street and start trading. So that leaves, you know, starting a company in entrepreneurship and tech entrepreneurship, which is really up my alley. So in, in the, in the tech entrepreneurship world, you could have a really big impact and really outsized outcomes.

And that was very attractive to,

Andrew: All right. That makes sense. You get in. Can you say how much money you lost with bumping?

Moe: yes. So Kruger effect was it it’s, you know, this is a very powerful thing that I learned pretty much when you start something new you’re overconfident, and as you get more experience, You know, your confidence dips massively and then starts leveling out as your experience gets greater. And you’ve seen this with a lot of beginners who think they’re champions, right?

Although it’s the white belt syndrome where you have these white belts that go around trying to fight people. And they’re super confident on the black belt is that will that guy, who’s just quiet in the corner. So I got into the space and thought. Because of my success that I would be able to figure all out very quickly and I was wrong and it was very, very painful.

Um, not only did I have a huge opportunity cost by pivoting out of a very successful industry where I was the top, I messed up. Like, you know, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know. I didn’t even know product market fit. Was it alone and founder market fit. And I started building a team and investing and, and you know, it just burn a lot of cash before figuring it out.

I wasn’t confident in my own decisions. I was relying too much on my team. It was a very dark and painful period in my life, but it also gave birth to something amazing, which is Acadian and a lot of learnings and lessons along the way.

Andrew: All right. We’re going to get into that business, but first let me talk about my first sponsor. It’s send in blue. They do email marketing. Let me ask you this Mo what, uh, what advice do you have for someone who decides to use, say, send in blue to handle their email marketing or any, do you have any email marketing tips?

Moe: Yeah, actually, I was just having a conversation with my team. Email marketing is the number one ROI in all of marketing. The most impactful thing you could do as a business is talk to your clients. And the most efficient way of doing this is not through social media. It’s through email marketing, it’s not through phone calls and it is effective, not efficient necessarily.

It’s a very underappreciated thing and something that actually, I am going to put more attention to myself. So email marketing is a great ROI.

Andrew: All right. Let me introduce you to send in blue. It’s really big in Europe, but it’s now they’ve raised $160 million so that they can come into North America and they’re starting to do really well over here. I mean, name-wise their, software’s always done well, here’s the difference between them and others.

Number one, they’re started in Europe, which means that they have a privacy first focus, right? A lot of American companies when they go into Europe, realize, Oh, wait, they’ve got all these rules about privacy and what we do with people’s data. And then they have to retrofit that, send them blue, started in Europe where they know how to handle that.

Number one, number two. And you might know this smell. You want automation, you want someone who get, who it takes an action on your site to not get the same email and someone who hasn’t taken an action, especially if that action is bought, right. We used to make that mistake a mixer. Do you make a mistake where you send the same sales pitch?

Somebody was just bought as someone who didn’t well, it sent it the blue. You can automate them responses based on what people have done and send different messages based on the actions that they’ve taken. The other thing that sending blue will do is they will let you send people, not just email, but if you think email is effective checkout, what SMS, what text-based messages doing.

Now, imagine if you could do both at the same time, send an email, but also maybe a small message by tech saying, I want to make sure that you saw the email that I sent you or follow up on the email that I sent you yesterday. Boom. Now you’ve got people in the two most popular ways to connect with them.

The way that they connect with their friends, family, and, uh, and uh, people they work with. And finally, and I could list all the features that make, send them blue different, but here’s the final thing that I want to leave people with. They don’t do these crazy pricing schemes that a lot of other companies do.

A lot of other companies will start to offer free. And then boom, as soon as you do well, they charge you up the wazoo, send them blue, says we’re going to charge you nothing if you want to get started. And then we’ll charge you a little bit later on and we’re not going to surprise you with this crazy insane pricing we you’re in business.

You are I’m in the business. We know it doesn’t cost that much to send email out, but these companies will then charge a lot because they’ve got you at that point, you can’t get out. And they’ll even say, you know what, all the people that you don’t want to email to, because they haven’t bought from you from a while, they haven’t clicked your emails.

Maybe they’ve said that they’d rather not get more emails from you, but you want to keep them in your database so that you have information about them. A lot of email marketing companies will still charge you for that because they charge you based on how many people are in your database. Not how many people.

Yeah. We’re actually sending email to all right. That’s, what’s UNIM blue does ethical from the beginning by protecting your data and your user’s data, all the power that you need, including automation and SMS, and so many other things. And then finally price that you feel really comfortable with today, which is $0.

I’m about to give it to anyone for $0. And in the future, when you’re sending out a lot messages, if you mow your clients and anyone who’s listening to me and their clients wants to sign up for, send in glue, do me a favor and use send in blue.com/mixergy. Because when you do that, you’re going to get to use it for free.

That’s send. In blue.com/mixergy. Moses, give me the night. First of all, I think I did a pretty good job with that. Right? All right. Let’s talk then about, uh, Acadia you decide. I think I know when the next thing, why don’t you go back into construction by the way, why did you have to go back into tech?

Moe: What’s that.

Andrew: Why why’d you go back into tech instead of construction? Why don’t you say construction work for

Moe: Oh man, you have no idea. The pressure I was getting to go back. Like I, you know, I, I’m still partners in the Ottawa location, which alone will do 15 million this year. And my, I was getting pressured from everyone like Mo you failed, you gave it a shot. Why are you still doing this? Why are you going to do another startup after bumping failed?

And you lost all this money, what are you thinking? It was incredible actually. And you have to ignore the naysayers. You know, you have a vision and you have a long-term outlook and you believe in yourself. You have to trust yourself. And that’s what I did. And, you know, we didn’t just Acadian didn’t just happen.

It was something that, you know, we were bringing on interns for bumping again, same old technique. And my co-founder Richard Shaw. He was actually a designer at the time for bumping. He was in some of these interviews and he would see like 200 applicants and nobody has experience. And then this person’s driving two hours for an unpaid internship because they’re desperate for experience.

And he looks at me, he’s like, well, why are we building a social media app? There’s no product market fit. There’s no founder of it. Why are we not solving this problem? And I said, rich, please, this isn’t our business. We have our business. Let’s focus on our finding product market fit for Bombay, and then let somebody else solve this.

This is education problem, not a social media problem. And I ignored him. And then we trained, uh, some of these interns, we actually ended up hiring one of them and then the other, we launched careers. And again, we’re hiring more and he’s, he brought it up again. He wouldn’t let it go, frankly, he just kept bringing it up.

And then we ended up, uh, putting a rubric together on whether this is a good idea or not in the market, something we know or don’t know. And like, and it made a lot of sense. Actually. It was a really big problem, a really big opportunity, something we were passionate about. Something we would be proud to dedicate our lives to.

Right. This is, was also very important because startups are hard. And, and, and when things get really, really hard, you want to look around and know you have a good team and that you were working on something that could make the world a better place, frankly.

Andrew: Okay. And so you said, all right, this will make the world a better place. We see it. What’s the first step you took to launch it.

Moe: Yeah, I learned the lessons. I, you know, learning is super important and, you know, talking about learning, I dropped out of high school and I taught myself out of chapters where I would go to the bookstore and that’s how I got my education.

Andrew: I heard you spent hours in the bookstore hours in the library, just sitting and reading.

Moe: to me, it made no sense why I would be forced to learn from a teacher in school that didn’t want to be there and knew very little on the subject where I could just, you know, walk over to the bookstore and pick up a book by the best author in the world who put through incredible amount of energy to summarize their life of learning.

That made a lot more sense to me. And that’s what I do.

Andrew: I, um, all right. And so you said, look, I think I could learn this. You said one of the first thing that you wanted to do was you wanted to validate this idea to see if it made sense this time. Instead of making the mistake from before you want to do that, you didn’t go to my sponsor. You went to Squarespace, you created a quick landing page and you did what to test it, to see if anyone cared.

Moe: Yeah. So we started at the time, I had learned about the lean startup methodology and finding product market fit, you know, very painful lessons, expensive lessons, but that’s what I did. I said, you know what? We ain’t building nothing. I’m on building zip. I’m not spending a dollar on this. I’m not getting anybody to even touch this.

I’m going to validate this. And that’s what I did. I created a landing page using Squarespace and we had no product at the time. And what I would do is I would funnel traffic from a marketing hack that I knew, and that would get candidates to job boards. So I’d get a job board.

Andrew: boards and you said, how did you to get someone who’s, who’s looking on a job board to read your post. What did it say? And then how’d you get them over to your site?

Moe: I have no experience. Right. And I said, Hey, you know, you’re applying for this internship. You don’t have any experience. If you want to get some experience, you can go get experience here.

Andrew: I think I’m seeing what you did. You posted fake jobs when people applied, I’m going to say it. I don’t know if you’re, I don’t know if you’re going to talk about it. And then when people applied, you said you don’t have enough experience to the people who didn’t have enough experience. You should go get it by the way, go to the site.

Then when they started going to the site and filling out your form, you said, I see there is enough of an interest. We now can get it. I think I’m picking up on what you did. I’m not going to push you

Moe: Yeah. It’s it. That’s exactly what we did.

Andrew: Oh, it is. Okay. So you aren’t going to be open with it.

I, I appreciate that.

Moe: be off, but it was breaking the rules, but I don’t think it can make anything meaningful in life without breaking some of the rules. And you can’t scale this by any means because you just, it’s not possible to scale that strategy, but it’s possible to test.

What we tested and get some early liquidity, which is what we did and that’s what I did. So I would funnel them to this landing page and we had nothing, no product they’d sign up, I’d say, oops, sorry, no product, but thanks for, you know, like the few minutes you spent and then it wasn’t enough, right?

Because I was burned heavier, right? Like I lost so much money in time. And in embarrassment that I was like, I gotta be sure of this. So I added a paywall where I made people pay to get experienced, which is frankly, a lot more like, what school does you gotta pay for them to give you some sort of training?

And it also what converted and people were giving us money. And I was like, are you kidding me? Like, they didn’t just give us money. I didn’t have a product. So

Andrew: you money to get a job, which made you

Moe: Get experience, not a job

Andrew: right experience. Right? And so what you’re starting to see is there is some money in here. You don’t want to charge the people who are getting this experience. Ideally, you want to charge the businesses that have more money, but now there’s at least some potential revenue.

Moe: demand huge demand.

Andrew: What’d you do what’d you do to test the other side of that space.

Moe: This side of the space was challenging at first, because it’s hard to talk to businesses. It’s a very like kind of wishy washy at the time. We didn’t have anything built. Now we have like rules and regulations and tools and processes, and there’s a level of trust and people understand the exchange of value and it’s, and it’s regulated.

But back then it was, it was quite challenging and took a few shots. You know, I caught businesses. I knew that didn’t really work very well, but what did work was Facebook groups. So. We had one side of the marketplace, the candidate side, or our apprentices. And we got them from job boards. When we built an entire marketing curriculum where they could learn digital marketing, it’s like a one player mode.

They can come to a, and they can get value in a one player mode and our free courses that we offer that kept them appeased while we build the other side of the marketplace, which is the small business side. And for that, I would use Facebook groups. I would go in the Facebook groups. I would post, I had a whole funnel and I sold personally the first 300 businesses of Acadian or actually yeah.

At the time. And, um,

Andrew: gen M I think

Moe: it was called gen M at the time. Yeah. Yeah.

Andrew: W Y M generation mobile.

Moe: Um, Millennials actually. So there’s a shafted generation and actually now this generation is even more shafted with COVID and everything else going on, but they, uh, you know, I don’t know if you want to get into the problems with education and the lack of transparency, the crappy outcomes that debt

Andrew: I could go into like such an, such a spiral on how bad it is and then how do I make sure to keep my kids out of it? Um, when the system I’m seeing is just so good at pulling you in, you know,

Moe: yeah. So don’t get me wrong. Not all of the post-secondaries is, is, is terrible. Um, some of it’s really good. Like, you know, the Ivy league schools are good. STEM is good where the big problems are and what I call junk degrees. And these are degrees like psychology, like communications, like business admin

Andrew: No, I

Moe: no

Andrew: go before that. I go earlier. How many things did we not remember from high school? Because it’s just not practical to us because they didn’t care about what you specifically wanted any more than they cared in the cafeteria about what was healthy for you and what you specifically decided that you would eat and what would be good for your body.

Right? It’s the same thing. And I could go back and give you countless courses that I was forced to take that suck, but I can’t, I can’t get into that rabbit hole because I already went into a different rabbit hole, which is your past. And I want to go a little bit, even more into your past later on, and to earn that right, I have to stay focused on the business.

So let me see if I understand the Facebook groups, where business groups, you found a way to talk to people and then get them in a funnel. What did you say to start them off? And then how did you get them to follow up with you? I’ve seen people try this. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Moe: No, but I had a really good funnel. This is my core competency to right.

Andrew: to me.

What did you say? Walk me through the whole thing.

Moe: The objective is to get them to the next step. And ultimately the next step is, is to get them on the phone. Cause when you have them on the phone, you can have a conversation and sales and marketing is really about having a conversation. And so how do you get them on the phone is the question I am. So the first you need to go is you do find your, uh, your audience.

And in our case it was small business owners. I knew it was small business owners, cause this is, I was, and I am the I’m the user of the product. And so we would go into these Facebook groups of small business owners and then I had a posting and it was our student. Marketers can help market your business unpaid as part of their training.

Now this attracted both good and bad businesses and we’ve obviously changed the messaging

Andrew: you able to just go and post those ads essentially in the group?

Moe: Well, some groups that they would take them down and to be clear, the amount of attention those posts got. It was, there were, I would have a thousand comments on some of those posts, a thousand businesses saying I’m interested, I’m interested. I’m

Andrew: straight up ad you weren’t even doing anything that was like, um, I will teach you how I’ve hired interns and you’ll be able to go to schools and get interns. No, it was straight up. We’ve got them. Do you want them

Moe: Exactly.

Andrew: and people. Okay. All right. Interesting. All right. And so you did that and then they’d get on a call with you and you would start to understand what, what did you learn from those phone calls?

Moe: And then from the phone calls, it’s what are you looking for? Uh, you know, what are your marketing needs? This is how the product works. Are you interested? I would actually close a quarter of my calls in the first call. So they would pay us on that call. They were charting and we’ve tried a bunch of different things before that had been worked.

By the way, I’m giving you, when we started finding

Andrew: You know what then take me back a little bit when you didn’t, what was not working for you? I want to learn the whole thing.

Moe: he used to charge businesses a lot more money and, um, didn’t vet the students. So what ended up happening is when businesses pay too much money, they start expecting more from there. Apprentice. And it, it changes from a educational relationship to a contractor relationship. So we said, we can’t, we gotta be careful on the price point because it’s gotta be affordable.

And it’s got this business, that skin in the game, and we got to make money out of this, but not so much where they look at the apprentice as a contractor that they paid for. That was, that was a big learning lesson there. And then we also had a variation where they’d pay us and there was like a middleman that helped them manage the apprentice that didn’t work out very well.

It was too complicated. It was just too complicated. They would, they would, they were, they thought they were buying digital marketing services at that point from

Andrew: Uh, and all

Moe: with no, no, no. We’re not an

Andrew: we’re going to introduce you and make sure you take care of each other, but we’re not going to be in the middle. What about this whole coins thing or credit thing that you were offering at one

Moe: yeah. So, and then we offer the subscription model. Uh, which worked out well, but had some problems with it. Mostly the problems were around expectations, frankly, we just were not super clear to members that they’re signing up for a subscription. So we decided to roll out credits, but credits also was not so great because you had businesses that were not necessarily committing to the platform and to the apprenticeship.

So it was all of these. We’ve tried probably a dozen different revenue models to land. Finally, on a variation of the subscription model, where it’s an all you can eat buffet for a three-day nine, a quarter or 1200 bucks for the year, and you have access to them.

Andrew: access to this, to this marketplace.

Moe: Correct.

Andrew: You know what I’m seeing that as a model, that’s working a lot more today than it couldn’t have been possible before. I think a great example of that is micro acquire. I think Andrew who runs that site, um, he lets people get access to his, come to his marketplace of basically SAS companies that you could buy.

You just have to pay a monthly fee in order to get that. And it makes sense if you’re gonna buy a business, you might as well pay what, I don’t know what he charges a hundred bucks or something. This

Moe: Yeah, it does. It makes a lot, I mean, it’s all about the value you’re getting, right? So in our case, if you pay, you know, 400 bucks for the quarter and you get one apprentice or more an apprenticeships, 120 hours of help, I mean, you can get the math on that.

Andrew: access to the, to the, to basically a board where you can see the people who are available and then message them and talk to them and potentially hire them.

Moe: Correct. Now, we also have tools like one click labor contracts to make it really easy to onboard an apprentice. We have ratings and reviews where you can give structured reviews to your apprentice and rate the work that they’re doing. We have certifications that you’re able to send to your apprentice upon successfully completing their apprenticeship.

We have an apprenticeship advisor that’s available to you throughout the apprenticeship to make sure that both the apprentice and the business are having a good experience. So we, we built a regularly. We took this like gray kind of like half illegal thing called unpaid internships. And we made it transparent.

We made it fair and we regulated it and we made it accessible to more people.

Andrew: Okay. Who built the site? What did you build it on?

Moe: Uh, Java script is what the site’s built on. We recently moved to using something called capacitor, which mimics our, for our mobile app, which makes our web app. I have a really amazing technical co-founder and product co-founder who I, I definitely couldn’t have built this without them. Um, so just blessed to have an amazing,

Andrew: Do you mean, uh, let me, I guess you, who, who did the site? Your co-founder got it. Okay. And your own internal team that did it.

Moe: yeah.

Andrew: By the way, why did you decide that you are going to, to focus on marketing? And I assume that your expanded, that you’d expanded beyond market marketing services.

Why marketing only.

Moe: Well, I mean marketing we’ll, we’ll we’ll throw the why of the marketing. Every small business owner needs to do digital marketing, or at least the majority of them do that’s. So right away, you’re going to have massive liquidity in one side of the market place. So if you did go to other categories, you have a big base to work from.

And then on the flip side of that, schools are absolutely terrible at teaching digital marketing. It changes too quickly and you need to do on the job training. They really figure out what’s happening in the, in the digital marketing world. So you got to do hands-on work. To know digital marketing. It’s not a theoretical thing.

You’re not going to learn about Coca-Cola data in 1980s to become a good digital marketing in 2021. So nobody coming out of school is prepared for the job market without doing multiple internships. And we saw that as an opportunity on both sides of the marketplace. Also something we knew very well, right?

And it’s also something where businesses who are online, you can also market to them online. So it had all these boxes. And you know, when we eventually do go to multiple categories, which is not in the near term, but it is something we will eventually do. Um, we’ll have liquidity on one side of the marketplace where we can start offering them multiple apprentices outside of digital marketing.

Hey, small business owners. Would you like a design apprentice, for example, or another type of apprentice? Who’s also looking to launch a career and once that work experience and wants to mentorship that you provide for them.

Andrew: Okay. I, I see how that worked. You told our producer you and your co-founder would sit in this tiny room four days from eight, eight in the morning to seven at night. You’re an early riser. You are. And so from eight in the morning, till seven at night, you just keep iterating. And it seems to me like a lot of it was you iterating by talking on the phone and pitching people, seeing what worked and then telling him, Hey, you know what?

I just sold this. Do you think we could build it?

Moe: correct. And, and it’s funny because a lot of what we learned then we, we used to, we used to start second guessing yourself. Sometimes when you hire more people and they have different opinions and they didn’t go through the early, uh, journey with you and you start kind of backtracking. So we actually backtrack there a certain point in the company only to realize that, you know, those early conversations like those customers, that it’s all truth.

It’s all. It’s it’s what is gospel for an entrepreneur?

Andrew: All right. Let me take a moment. Talk about my second sponsor. It’s a company called HostGator where anyone can go and get their website hosted like that. Let me ask you this. Mo do you think that there’s room for someone to take your idea, put it a little tweak on it and then launch that version on a host Gator, a website like.

I’m just, I’m trying to think of what’s the tweak that would be far enough away from your business that you’d feel comfortable talking about it. Um, but do you think that there’s places to do that? Like the founder of leaf link who sells, who’s got a marketplace to enable basically weed stores to buy all the supplies that they need for their stores.

He said he thinks that that would work for just about any other business to business product. You said go down the street, essentially look at all the stores that are there. Every one of them could use a marketplace, like leaf link for their space, including the coffee shop that might want the right coffee gear.

What do you think? Is there a place for someone to do a business like yours?

Moe: Well, I could, places are very, very, very, very hard businesses and they take a long time to build. And you really got to understand the nuances of the market place. Um, could they do this in another space? I know like Lambda has something called a fellow program, which is very much like our

Andrew: they do a lot of training first before they do that. Yeah.

Moe: do training first.

Yeah. So, you know, our courses are free. There’s a lot heavier and they do definitely more training for them.

Andrew: It’s harder. Right? You have to find something that a person could be trained for quickly and then maybe spend the rest of their lives. Mastering.

Moe: I mean graphic designs and obvious, you know, but it’s

Andrew: within reason is maybe social media is within reason. Um, it’s things like that, that we’re talking about. It’s it’s tough. You did pick a really good space to do it in.

Moe: Yeah. Yeah. We will be working with other categories as well and experimenting with them. And I imagine that maybe it’s exactly the same model. You might need to do some small changes.

Andrew: I got it. I got it. Mo tell me what you think of this. How many online schools are popping up right now? Right? Tons of them. What I tend to do is I will, if I’m looking to hire someone, I’ll go to the online school teacher. Bye and ask if I could hire one of their best graduates. Right? So if there’s someone who’s teaching copywriting, they might have one person who’s especially good.

I just reached out to the teacher and say, who’s this person who knows your model, especially well, I’ll hire them because I know it’s also going to be a great case study for the person. And so they’ll work with my, with, uh, with the person I hired. Now, I hire them, pay them. Imagine if all these courses Mo also had.

And apprenticeship at the end. So it’s not like, look, I’m going to teach you copywriting and then go out and do it on your own, but teach you copywriting and I’ll help build up your portfolio by getting you an apprentice apprenticeship. And the beauty of that is you then go to Neville Madora, who’s got this copywriting course and say, Neville, I’ll create this apprenticeship model for your site.

Every time you get a new co, a new student who graduates now, you’re helping them also get, uh, an apprenticeship and you go to other programs that also teach. And now you don’t have to do the marketing yourself. You have them essentially doing the marketing and you have them with an incentive to list on their website that they could hire their graduates because it, it, um, it shows their graduates that they can help them get jobs.

What do you think of that? Now? You’ve got both sides of the

Moe: I think that’s, that’s exactly. You just you’d hit it on the head. We actually have partnerships with Quantic. Who’s an MBA program, online MBA programs to Kent. Who’s the largest digital marketing course provider in North America and Southern New Hampshire university as well. Um, Seth Himes, who is an influencer teaches marketing.

So you nailed it. It’s we will take care of the work experience. You focus on the,

Andrew: You, all you have to do is have the sub domain, which is sub domain could be apprentice dot, a copywriting course.com, apprentice dot, whatever. And then you could hire the apprentice and then it also could become a job board. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it apprentice. I would create it.

Some things, something else, like hire dot copywriting course so that eventually it could go beyond the apprenticeship so that maybe some people want to get an apprenticeship. Maybe some people want to listen to it. All right, let me, let me stop this. This is an ad for HostGator here. This is killer frickin ad though.

Here’s the deal? Whether you take that idea or anything else, if you’re listening to me, you need a website hosted for your ideas. The beauty about, about HostGator is they’ve got lots of platforms that you can install like that. I recommend you start with WordPress because WordPress will have these marketplaces that I’m going to be honest with you.

It’s not going to be your ultimate solution, but it’s going to be your fast, let’s get started solution. You’ll be able to go and test this out with, with customers. And then you could develop your own thing when you need a website hosted, whether it’s that idea, anything else, go to hostgator.com/mixergy.

They’ll make it super easy. And if you throw that slash Mixergy at the end, which I’m telling you to do, you’ll be giving me credit. Let’s be honest. That’s going to help me with my sponsor, but number two, you’re going to get the lowest possible price from HostGator. It’s again, here’s that URL host gator.com/mixergy.

All right, by the way, let me, let me go back in time a little bit. You are refugee from which country and what was your childhood like?

Moe: My family immigrated here from Lebanon.

Andrew: Lebanon. And so Canada is pretty big about taking in refugees. What was going on in Lebanon at the time

Moe: There’s a war happening. It was, uh, uh, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s pretty bad now. It was definitely bad then. And there’s just no opportunity to progress. Like there was a war there’s no jobs, people were starving. It was, it was, it was, it was a nasty place to be.

Andrew: you didn’t speak English, you were overweight. You’re super fit. Now I could see your triceps, by the way. It’s so awkward that I’m noticing this stuff, but I could see you’re super fit. How’d you go from being, what, what, what was it like when you were, when you were an overweight kid, by the way,

Moe: Aye. You know, I would skip gym class to go to burger King across the street and get a chicken sandwich with large fries and a large Coke. And I would do this every

Andrew: would you hate yourself for doing that?

Moe: I didn’t even know I was overweight until somebody called me of a whale and it was like, what do you mean? I, and I think it just never really registered in my head.

And then that was kind of a bit of a wake-up call, but it wasn’t what really triggered me to get into fit. That was another whole story. Honestly, I got beat up in dumped in like a span of 24 hours. And I just told myself I’m never going to put myself in that

Andrew: When was this

Moe: in high school.

Andrew: high school, you

Moe: I would see this kid every day at school, I would see him every day and he just jumped me with a bunch of his friends and I got to see him.

And then the girl saw me, got the guy was dating. She saw me get beat up and dumped me the next day. And I was just like, I didn’t, I didn’t care anymore. I was like, this is not going to be a thing.

Andrew: And so that’s when you decided I’m going to get really serious about it.

Moe: Exactly.

Andrew: And what did you do to actually make it work?

Moe: You know, it’s all you got to want it. Number one and it’s disciplined. So I would, I modeled on a swatch and nigger on a source. Nigger was an idol of mine growing up. I, you know, my father was always working. I didn’t really see him too often. He was, you know, uh, he was a Tyler, a handyman and, you know, making essentially a minimum wage to support a family of seven.

So I didn’t get to see him very often. Like he would come home when I’m sleeping and he would leave before I wake up. And so we were raised by our mom. And so I was a father figure, by the way, I’m very close to now. Um, you know, I support my, my parents right now, but back then, it, it just wasn’t possible.

And I would, I would turn to, I was fortunate who I thought was an example of a great masculine man. And that’s what I wanted it to be. I wanted his

Andrew: you connect with that? How, how did you connect with him? How did you connect with, sorry, I get so bad at interrupting. How did you connect with him? Was it reading? His books was watching that pumping iron video. What was

Moe: everything. Oh yeah. God, I knew everything about the man.

Andrew: just suck it in. And then he became a voice in your head.

Like when you were struggling to get that last rep you’d remember him saying no, it’s the last rep that matters or something, right? Or talk

Moe: Two more, two more. You girly man. Two more.

Andrew: your head

Moe: Yeah. Him and Franco Columbo and the whole crew. Yeah, I do that still, but with more mentors,

Andrew: real mentors or do you do these virtual mentors? Both.

Moe: Both. Yeah. I, I, you know, there’s so much content these days that you can actually pick up mentors never really meet them.

Andrew: I have find actually that the people who I don’t, well now it’s both, they get stuck in your head. Who’s someone who’s virtual who stuck in your head

Moe: And like when I’m training, I.

Andrew: to day, like these virtual, I feel like, um, Gary Vaynerchuk is like type of person, right? Because he talks so much because he has such a sharp point of view.

His voice gets it, got in my head where I would be like channeling his is his answers to, and his direction to life. And you realize what the hell? Where’s this coming from? It’s from listening to him.

Moe: Yeah, exactly. You nailed it.

Andrew: Who else? Who else is in your head like that?

Moe: Honestly. Right now I’m reading, uh, the dune Chronicles, the sign section book doing, and there’s this, there’s a few characters in there that are just really well done character. They to have to be real, right? Like everything is really made up in your mind anyways. So there are some characters that are just great human beings that are incredibly intelligent, incredibly athletic and dangerous, and just, just such impressive superhumans, frankly.

And I’m just like, I see them. And I imagine them when, when I want to progress.

Andrew: You know, when I read Napoleon Hill’s think and grow rich, he talked about that. He said that he would actively sit down and in his mind, just imagine having like a board meeting with different people. And then, uh, Abraham Lincoln would always show up late and like they all had personalities in his head and I thought, this is the most schizophrenia, mental thing to, to recommend to people.

And you should be embarrassed that you’ve talked about this openly, go expunge it from the book. But then I realized there were people in my everyday lives like life like cousins, uncles, aunts, who yap so much that in my head, I’m yapping against them and I’m not reacting to what I want out of life I’m reacting and they I’ll show them.

And it’s, it’s not like better or worse than what I’d want to do. It’s completely different from what I’d want to do. And he helped me realize these voices are there are these influences let’s say, are there for some people may be images or whatever, we should just curate them the way you do.

Moe: Yeah, I am. So there, there are some techniques you could use for that. And they’re there. The mental model is you’re the average of the five closest people to you. Right. But what’s super important is what you put your mind on because your mind looks for, it’s like an, there’s an, a something called a and the after image effect, where if you see something like, you know, you say you bought a pair of red Nike shoes, you start seeing what Nike shoes everywhere.

Not that there’s more red Nike shoes. That reminder social is now look for that pattern match based on what you interacted with recent fleet. So if you, and the key here is vision. It’s what you put your eyes on is the most important thing, right? Cause it’s what you imagine your visualization. So if you’re very careful in what you look at, and obviously audio is a big one too, but vision occupies.

Most of our, uh, the processing in our brain, I look so much processing is dedicated division. It’s the number one sense by a huge margin to 70% of our brain is dedicated to processing visual information. So be careful what you look at, and this is like your friends around you, their behavior, how they act, what they say, you’re going to absorb that.

And that’s going to be the patterns that you match. So if you’re careful about that, and I actually am careful not to see some of my friends that I really, really want to see, but I know I’m going to take on characteristics that I don’t want. Right. And then I prefer to read about these amazing characters that I want to emulate and they stick in my head.

And that pattern is when I ended up matching.

Andrew: That makes a lot of sense. I think for me it might be more audio than VI visual that way and largely

Moe: are audio, right? So like, you know, it depends on the

Andrew: you’re right. And so if I’m listening to a podcast about someone where it’s, um, where they’re showing how bad someone is, there’s this sense of like. I don’t know, disappointment in the world and looking out for more examples.

And then that comes to me or in my head, I imagined myself being the hero. Who’s going to find another sham, just like this reporter, who’s doing a six part series for Gimlet or whoever. Right. Versus if I listened to a podcast or an audio book where someone is building something and finding opportunities like you dude, like, right.

How many people are going to listen to this and go, this is amazing how he, yes. He kind of worked the system, but I like that. And let me see what Mo would do if he was in my situation, right. That is, that brings out the best in me. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be work-related. It starts to travel into every part of my life.

How do I find a better way to run a marathon? Or how do I find a better way to travel somewhere that I want to go to? What would Mo do if he had this? If we had this obstacle where he can’t find an Airbnb and the city wants to go into, ah, he probably do this and then I come up with something that’s different.

That’s the way that I can get influenced.

Moe: Yeah, exactly. And right now, speaking of specific for me, uh, I’m trying to work on my jump shot So I’m channeling Michael Jordan on channeling and Colby, you know, the black Mamba and just, you know, you imagine him by himself taking those shots rep after rep rep after rep. And you’re like, well, I gotta do a couple more reps, you know, like I’m not trying to be the best, but I’m trying to be good.

Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. Um, I used to watch the world’s strongest man competition, even though I’m not into lifting weights because you would see how they struggled towards the end of moving the, whatever the refrigerator to, to the finish line. And you go, no, you’re just a little bit more, come on. Don’t let go. And if I’m saying to them, don’t let go.

How do I say to myself? I’m going to let this go because it’s too hard. All right. Um, I have one other thing that I want to ask you about. To make sure that there aren’t jerks on either side of the platform. What do you do? What do you make? What do you do to make sure that the company actually is there to be supportive and helpful?

What do you make? Sure. What do you do to make sure that the, that the apprentice is actually there and doing what they need to do? What’s the process there?

Moe: This is the most important thing about our business is to ensure that people come in with the right intentions and then conduct themselves according to our code of conduct and the seven virtues of the Canyon. And so there’s upfront, we vet them. So let’s just say we, you know, they got through our vetting somehow, which, you know, we even assigned them an ICP score and an ideal client profile score.

They’re given a score the DME to take that one step further and let’s just say they get through and they managed to start an apprenticeship. Well, If that apprenticeship is not going well, it’s super easy for the apprentice to cancel. And when they cancel, they have to tell us why they canceled and they can specify this business is not providing us mentorship every, every week the apprentice rates, the mentorship they’re getting from their mentor.

And so we have ratings and reviews. If there’s a low rating, we are, our team looks into it. We also have a apprenticeship advisors that touch base once a month during the apprenticeship, just to check in, Hey, how you doing? You know, is everything going well? Is there anything you need? Is, are you getting the right kind of mentorship from your apprentice?

So there’s, there’s all these checkpoints and, and these ratings and reviews that are along the way to ensure that if somehow somebody got past our vetting, they’re certainly not going to get past every single checkpoint where, you know, we don’t allow bad businesses to stay in the marketplace. We don’t want their money.

We don’t want that. We want to build an amazing community of businesses who can provide on the job training to candidates around the world. And if we can enable that, then we’ve created a system that allows anybody, the opportunity to launch a career for free regardless of their socioeconomic status.

And that is a game changer.

Andrew: And that is a game changer. You keep saying, and you keep talking about no matter where they are, because who, who you trying to give these apprenticeships to? Is it somebody in like a third world country that has a computer determination, but not opportunities?

Moe: I mean, let’s, let’s be clear here. If you’re wealthy and your privilege, this isn’t the problem for you, right? Like you’re not going to have trouble launching a career. It’s the underprivileged that are having this problem. And this gap is getting wider, especially with today’s economic conditions. The rich are getting richer.

The poor are getting poorer. And the key driver of this is education. Unfortunately, education is not working, not only do the poor, not have access to good education. Even if they do have access, the outcomes are terrible. So how do you bridge this divide? That’s destroying the underprivileged that they’re not able to get economic mobility.

You have to give them job training. You have to give them an opportunity to launch a career and earn meaningful income. How do you give millions of people around the world? Access to job training? And you have to make it affordable in our case free and have to be able to do with internet connection.

Well, if you are able in our case, what we, we see two worlds, one world where education job training is controlled by centralized institutions. These ivory towers that are accessible to a very small subset of people and the world that we’re creating job training is decentralized. It’s available to anyone with the internet connection.

Then we do this, we enable this by giving job training into the hands of small business owners in exchange for help. They provide mentorship and these candidates get training. They wouldn’t otherwise have access to, and I can show you many life-changing.

Andrew: All right. Are they on your site

Moe: They are on our site. Yeah. Okay. I’ll give you one example. I’ll tell you a story. Kaylee Kaylee sharing. She was a sound technician out of Toronto and she had a passion for content writing. So she would write content. And then eventually she decided I want to be a content writer. And she got crushed with COVID sound technician events weren’t really happening at the time.

So she said, maybe I should look into this content writing thing. And her options would go to school. She couldn’t really afford that. So she started doing some online courses, but they weren’t really helping her launch a career. They’re just giving her some theoretical knowledge and she stumbled upon a Kadian where she ended up finding an apprenticeship with a, an agency and an amazing mentor.

She did such a good job that apprenticeship the agency hired her and. Now just to be clear, she went from being a sound technician and within six months she became a content writer having a full-time job fast forward a year. She’s now director of marketing for the agencies, Canadian operations. She’s making more than two times the income.

She was as a sound technician. She did this for free. She did this on her own time. It was life-changing for her. And she’s just one example.

Andrew: All right. And I see you’ve got others on your site. I’m in the blog section and there’s a section called success stories. I see Kaylee is featured right up there, but so are so many others. Okay.

Moe: I love it. It’s amazing. It’s so like, you know, when things get hard and you talk to somebody like that and like, Oh, that’s right. That, that’s why we’re doing this. That’s the why, that’s the why? You know, that’s why we wake up and come to work. You know, this isn’t a job. It’s not a career. It’s a calling.

It’s something that I’m proud to come to work to every day and contribute to

Andrew: I get that feeling. I think my dad used to have a store where he sold clothes to people who he didn’t understand at all. Like he, they, he didn’t understand the hip hop references. They had, he didn’t understand the musicians that they were into. He didn’t understand any of it. And he could understand like buying low and selling high, but that’s not enough juice to connect with your customer day-to-day to even be able to communicate with them.

And I remember standing there saying I actually liked that community more than he did, but even for me, I didn’t like any part of it. And I said, I want to find a work where I care about the people I sell to, where I understand the people I sell with the whole thing has to, has to matter. And it’s, it’s a privilege to be able to do it.

And I’m glad that I get to do it. And I’m glad that you get to do it. Why, what does a Acadia mean?

Moe: KTM is a, uh, it’s, it’s a, it’s a coin terms that doesn’t actually have a specific meaning. Uh, uh, there is a reference to the garden of, uh, Plato where he would teach. Uh, so there’s a reference of Acadian of

Andrew: own word, kind of picking up on that vibe? It sounds a little bit like academic. It sounds it. I see it. I actually looked it up to see if I could figure it out what the word was and now I understand why I couldn’t. All right. So it’s a qadium.com and I’d love to hear from anyone out there who ends up working with them on either side of this, uh, uh, situation and just see how it goes for them.

I might do this myself. Alright, thank you so much for being in here. And I want to thank the sponsors who made this interview happen. You’ve heard me talk about the Mo my ads are getting better. I think, you know what? I think I hit on a model here with the ads. Number one. I always include my guests in the ad.

Read number two. Do you like talk through a business idea and not just talk through the features of the software? All right. So we talked about HostGator. If you want to sign up for HostGator people, you should go to hostgator.com/mixergy. And we talked about the power of email marketing, and I’m actually going to add email and SMS and other marketing automation tools.

You could use those at send in blue, the European company that will treat you right. And if you go to send in ballou.com/mixergy, you’ll get it for free. Probably hate that. I said the European company, because they want to know be known as international. They raised $160 million to go international.

There’s still a fan freaking tastic, and they’re all over here. And I’m, I’m glad that they’re sponsoring. Thanks Mo.

Moe: Thank you so much,

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