Episode #53 – Talented Learning with John Leh

I had the privilege of talking with John last week and all of that went. Shortly after recording the show, I decided to upgrade my Mac operating system to Sierra.  To put it lightly, it isn’t working out so well. I mention this because I am almost three days behind my content schedule and I think I am driving my team crazy.  There was a great deal of challenge getting this podcast edited and released, but let that serve as a reminder to us all.  Nothing awesome comes without uncertainty and struggle at times!

Getting back to my guest, now…

John is a laid back and cool character and his journey into starting this company was also uncertain at times.  He shares exceptional detail with me about his content strategy, his challenges in business, and his plans for the future.  I promise that once you listen to this episode, you will also be a fan of John’s.

Conversational Notes from This Episode

  • To start something that you have no experience in and that you have to build up from scratch is a scary proposition.
  • While it’d be amazing to be able to say that we’re real smart, made the decision, had a business plan and got everything up and running in 60 days – the reality tends to look more like 6 years of thinking about your business idea, letting it evolve, tossing it around, and doing what you can over the weekends in preparation for the loss of income from your 9-5.
  • A major challenge John faced during the startup phase was around all the things he didn’t know – accounting, setting up websites, hooking websites up to databases, learning marketing automation tools, email marketing, SEO.  In addition to working to earn an income, John had to spend a significant amount of time learning what he didn’t know.
  • From a content strategy standpoint, John’s goal was to provide as much free resources as possible so that at the end, he had people asking themselves “If I get all of this value for free, what do I get if I actually pay this guy?”
  • John has two main content streams – blog posts and webinars.
  • Top tips:
    • You have to find something that you know deeply and are passionate about to be able to put out engaging content.
    • Ride on somebody’s W2 for as long as you can, and invest that time wisely. Work your nights and weekends. Your business plan. The basics of your website. Getting your accounting system right. The beginnings of your content – all of this should happen while you’re still employed.
    • Prepare for the lag time. When you give up your salary, you’ll feel it. So, plan for that and ensure you have a fiscal and content cushion.
    • Remember the rule of 10 – Take 10 minutes a day, 6 times a week, you’re looking at 52 hours in a given year. Use it to prepare yourself for that jump from being an employee to an entrepreneur.

Listen to the Audio


Connect with John

John Leh is CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, LLC. Named one of the world’s Top 20 Corporate Elearning Movers and Shakers of 2017, John is a fiercely independent LMS selection consultant and blogger who helps organizations develop and implement technology strategies – primarily for the extended enterprise.

Drawing upon more than 20 years of successful elearning industry experience, John founded Talented Learning early in 2014. To date, he has served as a trusted LMS selection consultant and sales adviser to more than 100 learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $65 million.