In the "Multithreaded Income Podcast," host Kevin Griffin navigates the nuanced landscape of generating multiple income streams as a technologist. Aimed at professionals who wish to diversify their revenue while maintaining a focus on technology, this podcast dives deep into unconventional strategies, untapped opportunities, and actionable advice.
Kevin Griffin: Welcome back to the show.
It's commentary time.
Sean, Chad, I hope you
guys are doing well today.
You're smiling faces.
Uh, now this is very meta for the podcast,
but we're currently in the middle of one
of our multithreaded income challenges.
So it's been a very exhausting
week of working with the folks who
are in that challenge right now.
They're trying to build
their first side hustle.
And it's kind of exciting to see this
new energy come in and really you want
to see them go off and do great things.
And if you're out there listening
and you are interested in a free
challenge where myself, Chad and
Sean are going to kick your butt into
doing something, whatever it might be.
And that's part of the challenge is
figuring out what you want to do.
You should go to.
to slash challenge and get on
the list for the next challenge.
We're going to run here in, uh, well,
depending on when you listen to this
in the near future, but that's not
what we're here to talk about today.
We want to talk about
the last episode with Mr.
James Q quick, and get the Q.
And there was a whole conversation
I had with James before we started
recording that discussed why.
Do you emphasize the Q and going
back through James's social media
through his YouTube, through
everything, it's James Q quick.
And I really appreciate the branding
aspect of how you put yourself out
there, how you control your narrative.
And I think James did a really great
job of kind of conversing why he's
interested in controlling his narrative.
So I think we should kind of
start the conversation there.
Uh, I'll start with I have always tried to
be brand centric, like selling my brand,
Kevin, Kevin, the developer, Kevin, the
dot net guy, Kevin, the community guy.
There's a lot of different narratives.
I do a really poor job of focusing on how
I want people in the world to see me and
I really should spend more time on that.
Find an exercise or something
to do, but I'm conscious of it.
I don't do a good job of it.
Like James, James does an amazing job of
it, but I always felt this was important
because when, especially in consulting,
when people need certain skills,
they go looking for specific folks.
And if you're either not out there, you're
quiet or you're selling the wrong persona.
It's could be really easy for someone
to overlook you, but if you focus down
and you're very deliberate about how you
want people in the world to, to see you.
And so I want someone
to see me as Kevin, the.
net Azure guy, when they have a need
for material I put out or for training
I offer or for consulting services
I provide, they know directly that.
That is the guy to go to for,
for a certain set of content, a
certain, certain set of skills.
Like if I'm going to quote Liam Neeson
from Taken, I have a particular set of
skills and I need people to know what
those particular sets of skills are.
Sean, I know you and I were chatting
a little bit about this before we
jumped on the call, but what's kind of
your take on the, the branding aspect
of anyone that's trying or should be
trying to put themselves out there.
Sean Merron: Well, the idea, and it's
actually really important, not even
for just the entrepreneurial zone or
world, but also for the employment
world, I'm very familiar with as well.
So one of the things I do
a lot of is interviews.
I interview a lot of people.
Do some interviews from
time to time as well.
I try to try to do some just to
kind of, you know, see where I'm
at personally and my own skill
sets, see what I'm capable of.
And I've toyed around a lot, uh, with
LinkedIn, with my LinkedIn profile.
That's one place.
I think a lot of people really
don't pay a lot of attention to.
So a tip for me would be pay more
attention to your LinkedIn and update
it and make it seem like, I mean,
I really seem like you probably are
this person, but maybe you don't.
give yourself enough credit, but make
it really seem like the, you know, the
valuable person, the valuable skills,
engineer, whatever you are, whatever you
want to call yourself title that you want
to be, or you want to get more jobs doing
as update your LinkedIn to, to make it
seem like you're, you're that person.
And I actually own, I love how.
He talked about the personal brand
because I think probably what 90 percent
of engineers probably own their name.
com or something similar.
Kevin Griffin: I wish I did.
Sean Merron: I have seanmarin.
com, but guess where
it goes to my LinkedIn.
So it's easy enough for me when
I'm out and about with people.
If I make a good connection or something,
I just tell them, Hey, go to seanmarin.
And it redirects them to my LinkedIn.
That's a way to get connected to
me, send me a message or stay up to
date on the things I'm working on.
I don't do a good job of like
actively posting on LinkedIn.
That's something I think personally,
I could probably do a little better
at cause that really does start to
create some authority more and more
in your, not only your network.
But you can do certain
hashtags and such too.
So people can see a lot more activity
for the areas of work that you're posting
about or at, you know, in all the time
I know paid speaking was in keynotes
was one of the things James, uh, Q quick
mentioned, and we'll talk about that
more here in a minute, but I guess there,
cause I'm always going two different
routes, so I have my main gig, right.
Where I'm the VP of engineering.
And then I also have my side
hustle, entrepreneurial stuff
always going on as well.
I have a, uh, software consulting
company that I run as well.
And one of the things I'll put on
there, believe it or not, I control
the narrative of that, right?
So I'll put on there, I've done work for a
multi billion dollar fortune 100 companies
because I have as an employee, but I've
also been consulted for some, most of my
consulting gigs have been for small to
medium sized business, haven't done any
large enterprise type consulting work.
But I have, and I do have experience,
um, you know, performing software jobs
or, um, you know, managing engineers,
outsourcing engineers, doing the
work myself as an engineer in these
large, large enterprise corporations.
So that's something I can definitely
put on my portfolio that I have
experience working in so I could use
that experience both in the consulting
field and, um, and picking up new clients
as well as, uh, pursuing the career
corporate ladder track at the same time.
And one of the things that I'm VP of
engineering now, next step for me is CTO.
So that's what I'm trying now.
And after, actually, after the episode,
I think it's something I've known I need
to probably pay more attention to is that
like personal image on LinkedIn, if that's
the next step, maybe trying to control
the narrative a little bit more around,
uh, I don't know, like talking more about.
The things I'm doing strategically
for my company, right?
And, uh, maybe the networking with
other CTOs, like, you know, maybe
a mastermind group or something
with other CTOs connecting there.
So the personal brand controlling
that narrative, it it's important
in both fields, you know, whether
it be your employment field or your
individual, you know, multi, uh,
side thread that you got going on
Kevin Griffin: One of the things you kind
of triggered in me when you were just
talking is yes, LinkedIn is incredibly
important and I think it's more important
than a lot of us give it credit for.
I have a very good friend right now
who is in the process of finding
his next opportunity at that.
C level position.
And one of the things we have discussed
is that LinkedIn is a critical part
of the strategy, but it should have
been more critical six months ago.
And he should have been putting
more time and effort into the
LinkedIn, into the thought leadering.
I know we hate buzzwords, but he
should have been putting out content
thinking about Cementing himself as an
expert in a particular set of skills.
Sean Merron: And actually
talked about in the challenge.
How I found someone to do some work for
me through LinkedIn, you know, I looked
up WordPress developer and I look at
all the different profiles and from the
profile can see their experience and I
was able to gain some trust and authority
by the different, you know, just really
how their profile looked initially.
And then reached out to a few
interviewed him after that for the job
and then pick someone through there.
So you will be found right through
platforms like linkedin and you do
control the narrative on those you
even in your resume if you're posting
for a job you control all the The
the lingo and verbiage and the way
you're formatting that as well.
So give yourself a little bit more credit
Kevin Griffin: I'll give
you a great example.
I did a consulting gig long time ago
that was, let's see, if I put in LinkedIn
terms, I helped the United States air
force with their, uh, training logistics.
And that sounds really fancy.
What I really did was I turned an
access database into a SQL server
database and added a not so fancy
front end to the front of it.
Now, if I'm just talking
developer developer, that's
probably what I'm gonna tell you.
I was messing with access.
I turned it into SQL server.
We dealt with all this like data stuff,
but if I'm talking to a business minded
person or someone I potentially want to
see as a, as a colleague or a person to
hire me for higher level skills, I'm going
to use the fanciest language possible.
I'm trying to control
that narrative to make.
The simple thing I did seem
a lot more complicated.
Do you have any thoughts on the
personal branding conversation?
Sorry, Sean and I have
just been going back and
Chad Carter: no, you're, you're good.
I've enjoyed it because I've
actually thought a lot about personal
branding, but I don't feel that
I've done a very good job at it.
Um, you know, it's talking
about being James Q.
Well, I've had the handle, uh, coolness,
if you will, but I don't spell it right
because it's available everywhere.
So that is K E W L N I S S.
And if you're going to spell it wrong,
you spell it all the way wrong, right?
Um, but what was interesting
was back in the days of Myspace.
So this is forever ago,
somebody else grabbed that name.
And at the time I was, I don't know,
I was in my, I don't remember how
old it was, but it was, you know.
However, however long ago, uh, Myspace
was, um, so I was mid twenties, late
twenties, I don't even know now.
But anyway, it was a 14 year
old girl that grabbed that.
Uh, grabbed that name and I
thought, so I have the same
mentality as a 14 year old girl.
Uh, but other than my space, uh,
everything else, all, everything else,
I kind of grabbed, uh, grabbed that.
But what I found is, um, when I was
doing more things professionally,
I try to rely more on my name.
And, uh, but there's a lot
of Chad Carter out there.
There's a blues singer, Chad Carter,
and there's a few other things.
Um, and I do have one of
the domains, chadcarter.
net though, couldn't
get, uh, uh, the dot com.
I ended up having Um, or hearing
about, uh, this thing called the Jake,
JK five methods from Jenna Kutcher.
So it's her method, JK five.
And she talks about, it's mainly around
Instagram is kind of where her focus was,
but it's all about whatever, wherever
you're putting your content out that
you pretty much kind of have like five
things that you're known for, if you will.
And so when I did my site at check hard.
I actually kind of put those
five things on there, which was
simply Christian, entrepreneurial,
investor, technologist, and gamer.
And then on my Twitter, or now
X, I kind of have the same thing.
I put a few other things in
there, but I try to have that
consistency between those two.
Um, so from a personal branding thing,
I definitely don't have that dialed in.
Uh, like I should on the, on the flip
side, I will mention this, I'm also kind
of big into the NFT space and in the NFT
space, uh, everybody has their profile
picture as an actual, you know, uh, NFT,
usually some cartoon imager or whatever,
uh, for that project that they care about.
What I'm really big into this one,
uh, project called Drill Club.
And all the people that I'm around
have all these drill PFPs, it's
like a mandrel, a cartoon mandrel.
And I'm the only one, for the
most part, that's really active
in that community that doesn't.
It's just my face, the same
avatar image that I've had for
the last, what, 10, 15 years.
And I've done that for consistency.
And I've told the folks that said,
well, once, once these NFTs are selling
for a certain price, uh, then I'll,
I'll switch over, um, whatever I have.
So when that does happen, then
I'll actually switch to this
cartoon picture across the board.
And that's where, and that's
where I'll be versus right now.
It's this one thing.
So while I'm not really good at the
whole personal branding thing, I have
tried to be consistent across the board
because if you find me on YouTube or
Twitter or LinkedIn, you know, it's me.
Because it's the same black and
white image, uh, that I have the,
um, uh, the Jenna five, uh, JK five.
Uh, the idea with that is you try to have,
you know, the five things that you care
about, the five top things you care about,
because like on Instagram in particular,
again, I'm not on Instagram, but when
she's talking about putting things on
Instagram that you actually post around
those five different topics and you're
not kind of wearing things out right now.
My posts on Twitter again are all
around Drill Club because that's
the main circle that I'm in.
It is there when what would be
ideal from a personal brand is
actually kind of back out of that.
Some not be so focused on
that and kind of, you know,
filter other things in as well.
Um, and yeah, LinkedIn, I just, I've not
even fooled with LinkedIn in forever.
So I was looking at something
like five years old, I think
last time on that thing.
So, so yeah, I have some work to do there.
Kevin Griffin: I was having a
conversation with my friend Taylor Destin
and I had a conversation with
him specifically about like
avatars and headshots and how,
how do you present yourself?
And one of the things he.
He kind of leans in on, and I think
if he's on the podcast now, you lean
into this a little bit more is that you
really want your, your avatar that you're
putting out there to be your authentic
self, um, and not not hide behind.
Uh, because there are a lot of folks,
we had David Neal a couple of weeks
ago and there were, there was a
time where everyone was supporting a
David Neal avatar and that actually
kind of goes against the theory.
Like that's not authentic
version of yourself.
Um, you have to think of
it from the other side.
If I'm an employer or a potential,
uh, person looking to hire you for
consulting or for any other services,
and I'm stalking your social media,
whether it's your LinkedIn or.
Twitter, Instagram, wherever you
might be, because people do that.
They, they stalk anyone that they might
not know personally, and they see an
image of me as a David Neal avatar.
They might have a different opinion
of me as they would with my, my
avatar is just me smiling at an angle.
Uh, And so they might have a different
opinion of you, depending on that.
And as we know, and because it's
a conversation about branding and
controlling your narrative, you, you
want to be able to control that first
impression that people have of you.
Chad Carter: Yeah.
And I would just say that it's important.
That you have your
brain that is authentic.
So even if it is a avatar
representation of yourself, a
David Neal avatar or something
of that nature, then that's fine.
If those clients that you're trying to
attract will be okay with that, right?
So it also depends on what it is you're
trying to do and who's going to be
looking at your persona across the board.
So you can be authentic self,
have some flair, show what
it is you want to show off.
And either come to the conclusion that
if somebody doesn't want to work with me
because of this, then so be it, probably
won't want to work with them anyway.
Or, no, that's actually a very important
thing, I should actually taper this
down a little bit so I do present
myself in such a particular way.
I think it's something
critical to keep in mind.
Kevin Griffin: Well, one of the other
things that James was talking about
was he's trying to make this transition
into being a paid speaker, and I have.
Speaking publicly for on
the edge of way too long.
That's the official term.
And I don't think I've been paid as
a speaker other than a handful of
times where it was an honorarium.
So thank you for showing up.
Here's payment for, for
doing the thing you're doing.
And those are usually at high,
high ends, private technical
conferences, but I've never been
paid, I would say for a keynote or.
Uh, at a community event to, to
be a speaker more times than not.
Those are volunteer basis.
You might be covered for your
travel and for your accommodations
while you're there, but you're
not paid for being there.
And the conversation with James, he's
trying to make that jump where he wants
a company or maybe some sort of social
group to pay him to come do a talk.
And I think that's fascinating.
I chalk it up to, I'm just jealous
because I would love to achieve that too.
I've just don't understand the
process of how you go from speaking
primarily at, let's call them,
uh, speaking for free to speaking
for pay, uh, over time, over time.
Love to see if you guys
have any thoughts on that.
Sean, we'll start with you.
Sean Merron: All right.
Well haven't done as much speaking I
came to the local user group out in
Virginia beach that Kevin used to run.
And then I eventually helped out
with a little bit, the Hampton Roads.
net user group.
And that was probably the first time
I have ever, um, spoken anything.
Eventually I have a few months in.
You were doing lightning rounds, like
quick little speech or talks right before
the main speaker would get on and do
their talk and always encourage everybody,
Hey, anything you're learning or, you
know, doing sign up for a lightning talk.
It doesn't have to be, you know,
super polished or anything.
It's not like you're the main
presenter of the night, but you can
hop up here for 10 minutes and do a
quick little discussion on something.
Get a little practice speaking and
you'll probably learn something from
speaking out of it at the same time.
And that actually worked.
I think I did one on TypeScript
when I was learning TypeScript.
Uh, got up in front of everybody
and did a little lightning talk.
It went pretty well, uh, enjoyed it.
And that was really the first time
ever, um, I think got in front of
people physically to do a speech.
I've done a lot virtually and
it's completely different.
I can talk to people virtually.
I can do presentations online all
day long, easy peasy, but in person,
it's just a different feeling.
And it's a lot, much different
experience than I'm used to.
Kevin Griffin: I have a book that I
have not finished reading, so I'm not
going to talk too much about it, but
it was recommended to me, and it's
called The Referrable Speaker, and the
person who recommended it to me had gone
from not being paid at all to do any
speaking engagements to having regular
speaking engagements for pay, so I
I'm assuming it works for others and
the chapter that I've gone through
does talk about one of the key things
to be in a, a paid speaker or becoming
a paid speaker is that you can really
only have one or two talks and it's one
or two talks that you have just honed.
Just to be so precisely presented
that you hit very specific
key marks and it's documented.
You're going to talk about X, Y and Z, and
then you take these talks and you start
doing them for free or at a very low cost.
And the big thing you do is after you've
presented that talk and if it's well
received, very much assuming it's well
received, you go to the folks in charge
and you ask them, can you refer me?
To other people in this space who
have similar, uh, similar groups.
Uh, so a couple of case studies
in the book are specifically about
people who started with, had a
talk, it was well received, was
then referred to other groups where
they went and did the same talk.
They refined it, also refined
it for the audience that they
knew they were presenting to.
So depending on what it
is, if your group always.
Talking to the developers, you're probably
going to have one stick to stick to, but
if you have something that's a little
bit more generic, maybe you can talk
to a group of doctors or a group of.
Laborers or you name it, the, the
group is going to change the, um, the
dialogue of the talk a little bit and
being aware of who, who you're going
to talk to helps to talk immensely.
But so I want to recommend the
book for everyone out there.
The Referrable Speaker.
I haven't finished it, but if
you finish it before I do, you
should come talk to me about it.
Think it's a good idea to kind of
distinguish the types of paid speaking.
, I think what James is
trying to get into is the.
You're going to pay me for a keynote.
I want to get up.
I don't want to talk for 45 minutes.
And you rinse, repeat that a couple
of times a year that can turn into
its own, very good form of income.
Um, In the referable speaker, they talk
about folks who basically create a full
time job just out of speaking where they
originally doing their day job and they
started speaking on the side and the rates
for their speaking went up and the number
of inquiries for the speaking went up.
So naturally, their full time job just
becomes speaking, and I think that's
what James is trying to transition to.
Chad Carter: Yeah, and that does make
sense, and I think a good path to that is
if you have a book that's really popular.
uh, the good parts, right, with Crawford.
And he pretty much...
I became a public speaker after
that, doing keynotes and everything
else, and a lot of other, uh,
popular authors have as well.
Uh, but I definitely wouldn't
suggest folks go to write a book
just to, just to go down that path.
But, uh, that could be a benefit if
you do decide to, uh, go down the
painful process of writing a book.
Kevin Griffin: And it goes back
to the earlier conversation
to, you gotta be visible.
You have to have a public brand that
you're controlling the narrative of.
No one's going to hire you to speak
if they don't know who you are.
And especially if they don't know
what you do or what you talk about.
So it's extremely important to make
sure you're putting yourself out
there in some way, shape or form.
And I know there's a lot of private
people, a lot of introverts who
shiver at the thought of being a
public person, but in a lot of cases,
that's the easiest way to succeed is
just putting yourself out there and
that way people know who you are.
They know what, what
kind of quantity you are.
All right, guys.
Well, it's been great catching
up and talking about the
James Q quick commentary.
Looking forward to chatting with
you guys next week and everyone
else, thanks for listening.