Multithreaded Income Podcast

In this episode of Multithreaded Income, host Kevin Griffin is joined by Michael Rollins to discuss various topics, including the challenges and benefits of working from home, the concept of shedquarters for maintaining work-life balance, and navigating career transitions towards self-employment. Michael shares his journey from attempting to become a successful YouTuber to cofounding Engine Room Media, a company aimed at helping creators become better business persons. The conversation also covers the importance of having a diversified income, especially for creators reliant on platforms like TikTok, which face uncertainties. Additionally, Michael provides insights into financial planning, including dealing with unexpected unemployment, the pitfalls of debt, and the importance of not solely relying on traditional employment for income. The dialogue emphasizes building a network, not burning bridges, and exploring non-traditional paths to achieve financial freedom and happiness.

Follow Michael on LinkedIn:
Follow Michael on Instagram

Engine Room Media:

Creators & Guests

Kevin Griffin
♥ Family. Microsoft MVP. Consultant/Trainer focused on #dotnet #aspnetcore #web #azure. VP at @dotnetfdn @revconf Mastodon: - He/Him
Mike Rollins

What is Multithreaded Income Podcast?

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.

It's time for the multi
threaded income podcast.

We're like insurance for a
turbulent tech landscape.

I'm your host, Kevin Griffin.

Join me as I chat with people all around
the industry who are using their skills

to build multiple threads of income.

Let us support you in your career
by joining our discord at mti.

to slash discord.

Now let's get started.

Kevin Griffin: Welcome
back to the show, everyone.

I am joined by my very good
friend, not even a special guest.

He is a very good friend of mine, Mr.

Michael Rollins.

How are you doing today, Mike?

Michael Rollins: I mean, look,
dude, it's freaking tsunami outside.

Uh, we've got

Kevin Griffin: It is a
very bad day outside.


Michael Rollins: Look, I woke up to
thunderstorms this morning, which

just makes you want to sleep longer.


Like it.

So in that way it was pretty fantastic.

But honestly, man, I'm,
uh, we're doing all right.

We're living the dream.

Kevin Griffin: You have the same
problem I have because you were

the original shed quarters, right?

Michael Rollins: was, yes, I was.

Kevin Griffin: and I, I didn't
get the idea from you, but

realized, Oh, there's a community
of us now of people who have sheds

in their backyard and backyard

Michael Rollins: This,
and this was pre pandemic.


Like it's so funny because I feel like
when the pandemic hit, I mean, obviously

the pandemic was really awful in a lot of
ways, but one of the things that made me

chuckle was watching all of my colleagues
try to figure out how to work from home.

And you know, I'd, I'd see people get
like the haggard look around their eyes

and I'd be like, come on, let's talk.

And I'd be like, are you
working in your bedroom?

And they'd be like, yeah,
there's nowhere else I can work.

And I'm like, you probably
should change that.

I would even tell people, I'm
like, just don't be in your

bedroom for 18 hours a day.

Kevin Griffin: It's a separation

Michael Rollins: it is, it

Kevin Griffin: Let's bring
programming into this.

Don't take work into the bedroom.

Cause the bedrooms for other things.


And, um, Most importantly, sleeping.


Michael Rollins: don't know if that's
most important, but I take your point.


Kevin Griffin: It's not the most
important, but if you're a single person,

Michael Rollins: Maybe.


This is true.

This is true.


Kevin Griffin: All right.

But like your, your
bedroom is a sacred place.

Like don't work in your sacred
place because then you're going to

regret being in your sacred place.

And we've had this
conversation multiple times.

Like the shed quarters is
really good for that separation.

When I come out here to
work, I'm in work mode.

When I go into the house,
I'm in, I'm not in work mode.

I'm in dad mode.

I'm in husband mode.

And it's nice to have that concern
that that separation of concerns.

Michael Rollins: Absolutely.

Kevin Griffin: whereas more particularly
a problem is a day like today where

it's a tsunami outside and we,
I had to put on a rain jacket to

Michael Rollins: I did too.

I had to put on a hat and a rain jacket
and then I had to step carefully through

the lawn so I could avoid all of the, you

Kevin Griffin: same

Michael Rollins: four inch deep puddles.

That's pretty great.


Kevin Griffin: should
really take a picture.

I've worn a path in my backyard just
from years and years of walking.

And it's created a divot in the
backyard that I should really fill.

I should like, I should pave a

Michael Rollins: Yes, I, I
think this every time it rains.

Yes, you are not the only one.

And then what I've done is accidentally
expanded the pathway because I realized

all the grass is dead in the middle.

So I started walking on the
outskirts, but that actually doesn't

let the grass grow in the middle.

So I'm just expanding this, this dead
spot across the middle of my yard.

It's, it's pretty fantastic

Kevin Griffin: Mike, tell us a little bit
about what are you currently working on?

So I know you, but our
audience might not know

Michael Rollins: So, um, let me, uh, let
me start with a little bit of backstory.

Um, I had my midlife crisis, you
know, the same time most dudes do.

Um, you know, I've been working
for 20 some years and decided

I was really bored with it.

And so I decided to go off and.

Try to make millions as a YouTuber.

And as it turns out, I made hundreds,
um, which was, which was fantastic.

Um, but when I, when I did that, I
realized actually how incredibly hard

it is to be a successful creator.

Um, but it's also the first time I
ever looked at myself as a business, as

opposed to, you know, Just this dude,
Mike Rollins, who's somebody's employee.

Um, eventually I did realize
that like, no, I do love coding.

It's what I have done for my
entire professional career.

And I still enjoy it.

And, um, I think there was this
day where I was just thinking and

I was like, what would 20 year old
Mike think about 40 year old Mike?

And I was like, actually, I think
20 year old Mike would think 40

year old Mike's kind of a badass.

And that really That was a good thought.

Let me go back into, like,
this thing that I can do that

does make a very good living.

Um, Then, you know, career or job
changes last year in July, I got

laid off and, um, it was shocking.

Um, it was in no way,
shape or form unique.

And, um, we were in a position
to make the best of it.

And what I mean by that is,
um, we had cleared out all of

our debt except for the house.

We had what we thought was three
months of savings built up.

And, um, uh, so when my.

When I lost my job and there was a
teeny bit of severance, which was nice.

Um, it was not immediately
all hands on deck.

I have to have another job in two weeks.

Um, it was a, that last job had,
it had been a bit of a slog.

And so I was able to kind of chill for a
couple of weeks just to catch my breath

and then decide what I wanted to do next.

And the thing I wanted to do
next was try to work for myself.

Um, which then leads me to where I am now.

I'm working for, or trying to found
this company called engine room media.

Um, my co founders are all
actually Hollywood types.

Um, our CEO, uh, has executive produced
a bunch of stuff for paramount.

Um, our COO, it was, uh, the president
of this little record label called

deaf jam records from 90 to 95.

Um, you know, these guys are.

Kevin Griffin: a little

Michael Rollins: Little, little,
little teeny thing had a minor

impact on modern culture.

Um, and then our, our CFO is from, you
know, he's from wall street and, you

know, the, the, I don't understand why
they let me in the room, but so be it.

Um, but they, they actually intended
to bring like a studio model

to podcasting and creators and.

They found out that didn't work
for a lot of different reasons.

Um, but in the process, they
figured out how to help creators

become better businesses.

And so, um, an example I can give you
from recent times is, um, I was speaking

with a friend of mine who's creator from,
you know, my YouTube days and the guy's

just incredibly sophisticated for, you
know, by any stretch of the imagination.

And I asked him, I said, what's
your lifetime value for a patron?

On Patreon, and he just stopped,
he was like, I have no idea.

And I don't even know how to answer that.

I don't even know how to find the answer.

And, you know, I said, okay, well, have
you ever thought about backing out what

the cost of acquisition is for a patron?

He was like, I never
even thought about it.

These are actually relatively
simple business metrics, but it

is not most people, most creators
don't start Uh, creator business.

Well, first off, most creators don't
know that they're starting a business.

And even if they get to the point where
they figure out that they started a

business, they don't realize that they're
like, they're really good at creating

but they may not be good at business.

And so the purpose of
engineering media is to capture.

Data and information that the
creator provides us cross platform,

not just verticals, not YouTube
and Facebook or whatever, like it's

across everything and begin to give
them recommendations that help them

improve their business fundamentals.

Most of these people have, you
know, our target audience is a

creator that makes between 100, 000
a year, maybe even 50, 000 a year.

And, um, You know, a
million or two a year.

Um, and what we found is in that
range, you've got people with,

like, they've got the thing that
has made them special, if you will.

Um, and, but now they're like a little
bit like overweight athletes sometimes,

where if you start tightening up a
few nuts and bolts here, they become,

um, their, their, their business
skyrockets and it does so quickly.

And it's really cool to see.

Um, so I'm building the software for that.


Um, it's still early days.

I mean, it's a wild environment
to be raising money.

Um, but it is also.

Like very gratifying and very exciting.

Kevin Griffin: The folks that you
have as co founders, how did you

get hooked up with those guys?

Because that's a, that is quite a
skill set to, to get into one room.

How did you make that initial connection
or how'd they make the connection with

Michael Rollins: Um, so, uh, it
actually came through one of my, my

former CEOs, a guy named Sean burns.

Um, and I worked for Sean at both flurry
and outlier and, um, they got connected to

Sean through one of his business partners.

And, um, you know, they, what
was interesting is Sean's group.

Looked at engine room was like,
Hey, you guys have a SAS platform.

You just haven't written the code yet.

Kevin Griffin: Yeah.

Michael Rollins: so, um,
Sean was like, who do I know?

That's a good engineer and understands the
creator economy and might be available.

Oh, there's this guy, Mike Rollins.

Hey Mike, are you interested in this?

And I'm like, Oh my God,
yes, this is amazing.

Um, and so, I mean, you know,
it, it, I will say this.

One of the things I've learned, um,
over the past few years is I did a lot

of really good networking and didn't
understand, didn't realize I had done it.

And part of the reason, part of that
networking was basically just caring

for people and taking care of them, you
know, making, go into your coworker and

saying, Hey, is everything all right?

How are you doing or
celebrating their wins, right?

Like it turns out just being a nice
person and I'm, I don't, you know, I'm

not like a paragon of niceness here.

Um, I can be kind of a jerk sometimes too.

I'll tell you, but it's interesting
that the being polite and kind and

taking an interest in people is a
fantastic way to, to, um, to network.


Kevin Griffin: It's all
about building bricks, right?

Michael Rollins: it's about relationships.

Kevin Griffin: know, you said,
uh, yeah, you create this network

and it's one person at a time and
you really never realized that a

connection or a relationship that
you've created 10 years ago might

come back to help you in the future.

Um, I've had that more than once
where someone actually, I have a

similar, similar story where a couple
months ago, a guy I used to work for.

Oh, what year is it?

2024 back in like 2009, 2010.

I used to work for this guy and
I, yeah, left that company, went

off, did bigger, better things.

Uh, he reached out to me and
said, Hey, Kevin, are you still

doing the consulting thing?

Um, we have a client that
we're trying to help.

Transition to someone else.

And I think you'd be a
great person for that.

Uh, and it turns out it was a
project that I worked on when I was

at that company, 12, 13 years ago.

And, and it was like, all right,
you know, I'm already, uh, An expert

in this product because I built it.

Uh, but yeah, that network, cause
I didn't burn bridges when I

left, I didn't burn relationships.

I was, you just be, yeah, just be a
good person and it helps tremendously.

Michael Rollins: matter how much, okay.

So I saw this, I love
Jordan, the stallion.

I think the guy makes amazing content.

Um, and normally I feel like he gets
it right, but he did a stitch with.

This one, one guy who was talking
about, well, they're not going

to give me two weeks, so I'm not
going to give them two weeks.

And, you know, Jordan, the
stallion was like, my man's on it.

You know, um, these, you know, some of
these people don't care for you and that

you don't deserve, they don't deserve the
care back effectively was the message.

And I've actually contemplated
like responding and basically

saying, yeah, but here's the deal.

The two weeks is the maintenance of a
bridge that may serve you in the future.

And, you know, if you just up and leave
on somebody, um, it is, it, it paints

a bad picture and some, you know, you
never know what influence the person

you're working for may have on you later.

Um, and so I look, I've been through
some gnarly leave takings, um, and

have wanted to burn the entire freaking
house down on my way out and have not.

And that is, that has actually
been a very good thing for me.

It turns out so.

Kevin Griffin: You never realize when you
leave a job and when we talk about jobs,

we're talking about skilled, skilled jobs,
like you're maybe an office environment

or something, but when you leave, you.

If you leave immediately, no notice,
you are not putting an impact on

the million dollar corporation.

Like you think you are, uh, you're
putting an impact on a person.

It may be a small group of persons
who now have to figure out how to fill

that gap that You're leaving behind.

So it's not.

So yes, you're impacting the organization.

You're sticking it to the man, but
you're really sticking it to just a

person who waking up every morning going.

I really don't want to go to work today.

This sucks.

And now you've made it
suck that much more.

Um, and if you had any respect for
that person that you're working for.


Putting into a bad position, you would
just give them two weeks late and in

the grand scheme of things, two weeks
isn't a lot and it's not like you're

going to work during that two weeks.

Anyway, like the first thing that
company is going to do is start

offloading your responsibilities and
start transitioning him to someone

else or trying to find a replacement.

Like you have a pretty easy two weeks.

Uh, when you put that notice in, yeah.

Michael Rollins: Yeah.

I mean, and, and like you said,
that is definitely kind of a skilled

labor kind of a, a, a, a thing there.

Um, but even, I mean, even in something
that's, you know, physical labor and

things like that, I have witnessed other
people lose out on jobs because they

worked for someone that knew someone.

And so, you know, anyways, that's
a, but that's a, when you have a

Kevin Griffin: we could.

Michael Rollins: it's when you have

Kevin Griffin: Yeah, I think the
moral of this story is, you know,

keep your network going and don't burn
bridges unnecessarily in your network.

Um, if you.

If you have it within your control to
be a good person, think of how you would

feel if you're on the other side of it.

Um, so we wanted to talk more
about the diversification of,

of just income in general.

And this goes really well
with what we talk about.

Multi threaded income, like don't
put all your eggs in the one basket.

If that basket is a full time job, don't
put all your eggs in that one thing.

Try to do other, other
income producing tasks.

Um, And you come at it from
a very different standpoint

of, of the creator market.

Um, let's, just said at the beginning
of our conversation, you know, it's

scary to be on Tik TOK right now.

So why don't we start there and
let's just talk about why is it

scary to be on a single platform?

Michael Rollins: I think we have to kind
of start at the very beginning which is

most creators First off, don't realize
that they're going to be creators.

They just tend to go out and they do
things and other people seem to like it.

Um, I know that was the case for me.

Um, it took me a while to find the
thing that everybody wanted to see me

do, but that ended up being interviews.

Um, and I was interviewing
people in the FPV community.

Um, I never started.

Go ahead.

Oh, sorry.

First person view drones.

So we're the, we were the folks.

Well, I don't fly anymore.

Unfortunately, it's, it's expensive,
but we're the guys that put the

goggles on and we fly the drones
as if we're in the goggles.

The camera on front gets
transmitted to the goggles and DRL.

If you've seen that, um, actually, you've
seen plenty of FPV flights recently.

If you've been to the movies.

Um, all these guys that I was
interviewing are now filming, um,

filming with FPV on these, you
know, multimillion dollar shoots.

It's, it's amazing.


Kevin Griffin: Wow.

Michael Rollins: uh, one of the
guys that I am still, you know,

still pretty close with, he does
a lot of filming for Mark Rober.

I mean, you know, there's, there's,
uh, it's, it's a really cool sport.

And it is a really cool way to create.

Um, but what, like I was saying is
most creators don't realize they're

starting out as creators and then
suddenly they realize I'm a creator

and what they don't realize at
that point is you're a business.

And so with a business,
there's risk management, right?

And so if you are a business and your
business is solely dependent on one

income stream, then if that income
stream ever gets shut off, you're done.


You're going to be scrambling
while you're burning money.

Um, and what, what is so hard for
creators is that these people are

really, really good at creating.

Um, And, but they may not have
the business skills that they

need to be a successful business.

And so what that ends up looking like
is, you know, you have these influencers

who are making brand deals and they're
doing all these things, but the way

that they're doing it is through TikTok.

Their entire value stream
comes through like TikTok.

And so if you're a TikTok creator
right now, Who does not have a

presence on an Instagram or a Twitch
or, um, a YouTube or Facebook.

I mean, you know, whatever other
platforms you want podcasting.

Um, then the government is
legitimately trying to talk

about shutting down tick tock.

Um, you know, there's more nuance to
it than that, but the, the ultimate

result is The way I make my income, the
way that I feed my family or pay for my

college or whatever is now under threat
and it would be way less scary if you

could diversify that threat, right?

Or diversify the risk that
the threat has caused.

Um, and that might look like
being on different platforms.

Um, and so, you know, it's, it
is like, my heart really goes

out to the folks that are dealing
with this on the tick tock side.

Um, it's not, I never engaged in
it as a creator, even a consumer.

Um, I, I have always been leery
of the connection to the C.



quite frankly.

Um, But also, I do want to point out that
I built the prototypes for a lot of the

systems, and I know how they can be used.

Um, and so, um, it's funny
advertising and surveillance.

They really work well together.

Um, all that to say, um, is not only
is a single income stream a risk,

a single platform is a risk and.

With the current creator economy,
you're forced into platforms.

And if you don't, if you can't operate
on that platform, you lose the income

that comes from through that platform.

Kevin Griffin: Are there any
examples of where that has

already happened in the past?

I don't know, five, 10 years where
people went all in on a platform and then

that platform just went away overnight.

Michael Rollins: I mean, there were
definitely, there was vine it, which

interestingly enough, that's what,
that's what tick tock is, is vine.

Um, it's just done.

The algorithm is what makes it so good.

Um, yeah, I mean, there were a lot
of creators that went all in on

vine and that thing bellied up fast.

Unfortunately, it was
such an amazing idea.

Um, You have, I mean, shoot
people that were on, that were

building businesses on Twitter.

And then, you know, this dude, Elon
bought it and effectively let the

cesspool overflow the banks and those
folks can't be on Twitter anymore

because like, there's a lot of, I think
journalists, it's probably a good one.

There's a lot of journalists right now.

They're looking for a home.

Because they, their voice was so prominent
on Twitter and now it's not even worth

it to post because you get so much abuse.

Um, and in a smaller way, I mean,
there are, you know, Uh, the whims of

the YouTube algorithm are perhaps the
most capricious force on the planet.

I mean, like, go, the, uh, the, uh, the,
something Nilay Patel says all the time

is every creator has a moment in their
creation journey where they talk about

how much they hate the YouTube algorithm.

But I mean, You know, you YouTube will,
will roll out, accidentally roll out

format changes and not even realize it.

And so if you go back about five
or six years, might be even seven

or eight, every video was typically
about seven to eight minutes long.

And then all of a sudden every
video became 10 to 12 minutes

and then they got longer.

And the reason was is that YouTube
allowed you to start putting ad

breaks in in different places.

Um, and so.

If you were there, and there's
a lot of YouTube creators that

have been doing it day in and day
out, um, and they're retiring.

They're like, I got to
be done for a while.

Um, because it is a grind.

It's a mental psychological grind as well.

Um, so, yeah.

So, I mean, there's definitely
places it's happened.

Um, I think the one with tick tock, that
was probably the single most dramatic.

Um, and biggest, I mean, there's, there's,
there, God, there's probably tens or

hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue
flowing through that platform in some way.

And you know, we're, we're
talking about taking an ax to

the base of it and that's tough.

Kevin Griffin: I remember pre, so around
the time of pandemic, a little bit before

pandemic, a lot of folks in the coder,

Michael Rollins: uh,

Kevin Griffin: We're really
going to Twitch, like starting

live, live streaming on Twitch.

Twitch was the place to go.

Let's let me hit my affiliate
status so I can start making money.

Let me try to hit partner.

And the, the going was good.

Like if you got to that point,
like I, I gotten payouts from

Twitch a couple of times.

It wasn't a few money, but it was.

Michael Rollins: Twitch.

Kevin Griffin: like, Oh, I

Michael Rollins: Surprising fact, Twitch
has the highest CPMs of all the platforms.


And so for, for those that are not
familiar with the term CPM, um, CPM

is effectively a cost per milli.

Is what it stands for, which almost
makes no sense until you realize that

milling means thousand effectively,
how much revenue can be generated for

every thousand viewers, um, and or
thousand listeners and, um, podcasts

on average have the second highest CPM.

Um, if there are sponsors and things like
that, um, but twitch has the highest CPM.

Um, and when I say it's the
highest, I mean, you're talking

50, 60 per thousand views.

Um, and, uh, whereas podcasts are
about probably anywhere from 20 to 40.

Uh, and to put that in perspective,
YouTube, uh, the CPM, average

CPM on YouTube is around two or 3

Kevin Griffin: that's interesting
from a, from the Twitch standpoint, I

had gotten the impression from folks
that I knew that were avid streamers

on Twitch, that Twitch had gone
completely downhill and that it was,

Michael Rollins: Uh,

Kevin Griffin: it's changed around again.

So, so.

Is probably why it's better
to be on all the platforms.


Just so when it does, Evan flow,

Michael Rollins: you remember ninja
the fortnight guy the fortnight player?

I mean he there was this big
deal when he left twitch and

he went to you did a mixer,

Kevin Griffin: Was it, did
he go to mixer or YouTube?

Michael Rollins: He ended up on

Kevin Griffin: he went to mixer.


Michael Rollins: think
he went to mixer first.

Well, I think we could check but um
You Yeah, I mean, he left Twitch to go

somewhere else basically, because he
was going to get higher guaranteed CPMs.

And then, um, but it didn't pan out like
YouTube made a big play for live streaming

and YouTube's okay with live streaming.

Um, but like eventually he ended up back
at Twitch and a lot of the creators that

left Twitch ended up back at Twitch.

And some of that had to do with
the fact that they were changing

around the creator programs.


Kevin Griffin: Yeah.

Michael Rollins: But, um, yeah,

Kevin Griffin: What recommendation would
you have for someone that's out there

and they're, they're a beginner creator,
they're getting started and they're,

Say only on YouTube or only on Twitch.

What's, uh, what steps should they
start taking to try to diversify?

Michael Rollins: off,
don't quit your day job.

no, I'm serious.

Like there was a time where
I was very tempted to quit

my job and try to go all in.

And I had some very smart people look
at me and say, that is the dumbest

freaking thing you could ever do.

Um, and I'm glad that they did.

And I'm glad that I listened, um, at the
time I didn't want to listen, but I did.

Um, so yeah, don't,
don't quit your day job.

Um, the, the second thing is,
um, if you want to start out as

a creator, consistency is the
single most important thing.

That you can do.

And so what would that look like?

Well, it looks like what you want
it to look like, but it needs it.

What it means needs to be is that you
have a presence, um, with You have a

presence in the mind space of the people
that you are creating for regularly.

And so for podcasts, the answer
is weekly, um, because weekly

podcasts tend to do really well.

Um, for YouTubers, once,
twice, three times a week.

Um, for other, you know, for
Instagram or TikTok, it's going to

be, you know, at least once a day.

Um, but you have to set that
schedule and you have to stick to it.

Um, the other thing is as you start out.

Explore have fun.

Enjoy what you're doing something,
you know, kind of throw everything

at the wall in the beginning.

Something will start sticking.

And once that thing starts sticking, um,
it will be the pigeonhole that you fit in.

And then finally, yeah, you need to
be on multiple platforms and you need

to be thinking about revenue early.

Um, and so what does revenue look like?

Patreon, Mighty Networks, a subscription
platform, um, that allows you to have

a consistent income because the, the,
the, the best value about Patreon and

Mighty Networks and some of the other
platforms, um, is that it is income

that you count on the, of all of your
other revenue sources will be spiky.

Um, but if you know that I'm going
to bring in 1, 000 a month from

Patreon, or I'm going to bring in,
you know, two or 2, 000 whatever.

You can actually bank, you
can bank on that money.

Like literally, um, you can use
that to pay for your necessities.

Once you start getting to the place
where you're thinking about brand deals

or somebody approaches you for a brand
deal, um, the game is different at

that point and you need to understand
what your value is before you, I

mean, the first few brand deals, sure.

They're going to be small.

People are going to throw peanuts at you,
but eventually you need to understand

how you, How much money you can command.

So that was probably more than
just a few, few starter tips, but

Kevin Griffin: So does this apply
to a certain level of creator?

Like if I, let's use multi
threaded income as an example,

it's a fairly new plot, new, new.

New platform, right?

It's, uh, your episode 30 something out
of the catalog, which is mature for a,

Michael Rollins: A podcast.

Kevin Griffin: a podcast because it's
past 10 episodes, but still relatively

young, trying to grow a listenership
of viewership does something like multi

threat income, try to establish that.

That Patreon, my network, that's
something else that early and

Michael Rollins: have a Patreon or Mighty
Networks, Kevin, you need to have one.

And on,

Kevin Griffin: I got homework

Michael Rollins: okay.

And on top of it, you also need
to paywall some of your content.

Um, because how many podcasts have
you listened to where at the end of

the episode, they're like, okay, we're
going to continue this conversation,

but only for our patrons are only
for the people that subscribe.

And, um, the conversion rate
on that hook is pretty high.

Um, I, I did it recently for 1, uh,
for the, um, uh, cafe, something

with Preet Bharara, because it's
just really good news coverage.

And then there's another podcast I've
been listening to called data over dogma.

And, um, man, I'm really close to
pulling the trigger on that one just

cause I loved, I can't, I've literally
consumed over a hundred episodes or so.

And I'm just like desperately
waiting every week for them

to come out with a new one.


Kevin Griffin: so I'm going to

Michael Rollins: Yeah.

Kevin Griffin: expose
myself a little here.

I have at least four podcasts.

I pay.

Pay for the additional like
shows and stuff for it.

And it's mostly because I like the
personalities on the shows and I want

to give a little bit more and we're not
talking a substantial amount of money.

We're talking a buck or two a
month or a buck or two per show.


I'm in a financial position where I can
do that and it doesn't hurt my bank.

Michael Rollins: something,
something to consider, and this

is, this'll probably surprise you.

Um, the, the, your patrons,
your subscribers, that is

not a transactional thing.

That is not a transactional relationship.

It's tempting to think that it is
if I stop producing content or if

I don't do this thing, um, then,
uh, then they're going to, they're

going to cancel and no, they won't.

Most of those people are
there because of you.

They're there because of you.

They do love what you do, but they also
have kind of a parasocial relationship,

um, with Where, uh, they think they, they
hear you talk, you're part of their lives.

And it's not, it's only goes one way.

Um, and to, and this is to
like put this to the extreme.

Only fans, creators,
this is their business.

And the funny thing is that, um,
and like, I know it's, you know,

it's tempting to think only, oh
my God, only fans, like whatever.

No, most of these people
are fantastic creators.

And now you may not love the content
they create, but these, these folks are

business minded a lot of the times and,
um, but their content leaks immediately.

without fail, but they still
have these giant creator base.

They have these fan bases and those
fan bases are actually there because

of the parasocial relationship.

It's not about the need for the content.

And so, um, and that is obviously
like, that is the extreme, like

there's biological imperatives
that are getting employed there.

Um, but like, yeah, even in those
situations, a lot of those content

creators could stop producing content
in their fans might not go away.


Kevin Griffin: Interesting.

Michael Rollins: because, and I'll say
this, and if you ever hear interviews

with any of these creators, most of
them will say it is the conversations

that they can have with me.

It's what drives their membership.


Kevin Griffin: Gotcha.

And there's a lot of opportunity
like multi threaded income is.

We, we have our discord and we
have conversations in our discord.

And now, now I'm thinking, Oh man, I I'm,

Michael Rollins: Well, and I mean,
like with, with, you know, here's

more, more nuts and bolts with discord.

You can have a paid section for Discord
that ties directly to the pat, to the

Patreon or Mighty Networks membership.

And if they stop paying the
membership, they, their access

to the Discord gets Rev.

And I mean it, you know, it's a
thing, but it's a privilege too.


Kevin Griffin: All right.

I have some homework for multi
threaded income and I'll have to report

Michael Rollins: By the way,
Kevin, I'm not, I'm going to

recommend against you
starting an OnlyFans like me.

We are both kind of big men, and I
believe that the addressable market

is kind of small, just for the record.

Kevin Griffin: you know,
Everyone's got a thing.


Michael Rollins: This is true.

There, there are some wild kinks out
there, and I am not here to kink shame.

Uh, I did have, I was on one, uh,
YouTube show one time and convinced

the entire audience that I was
actually an OnlyFans creator.

And that there was an enormous market for
big men in, uh, stockings and high heels.

And, oh man, it was, it was some
of the funnest times I've ever had.

Kevin Griffin: man, I'm going
to have to put an explicit

rating on this episode if we

Michael Rollins: have not
said anything explicit.

All right,

Kevin Griffin: mike, I want to,
I want to stop talking about.

Platforms and diversification.

I want to talk more like financials
foundations and stability because

you said something very interesting
at the beginning of the episode.

I want to circle back to it and that
you said when you had quit your job,

Michael Rollins: Mhm.

Kevin Griffin: I'm sorry when you lost
your job, you didn't quit your job.

You lost your job like a
lot of people out there.

You felt you probably have that
initial like, you know, I've lost

my income stream and you said, it.

We, uh, you and your spouse, we
thought I'm air quoting here.

We thought we had three months of runway.

Uh, I'd like you to expand
a little bit on that.

You said you thought you had three months.

Did you have far less than that?

Should you have had more?

Michael Rollins: So, um.

Yes, we should have had more.

The reason I say we thought that we had
three months in the bank, um, is because

we did not realize it would take us
time to ramp down on our cost of living.

And we also thought we could ramp
down more than I think was reasonable.

Um, and so, you know, that three months,
um, was really more like a Two months to

begin with, but then we did not account
for Cobra and, um, health insurance is

Kevin Griffin: Cobra, let's imagine I'm
not in the U S and tell me what Cobra

Michael Rollins: Okay.

Um, if you are not in the U.

S., then you are not acquainted
with the fact that the U.


healthcare system is a freaking disaster.

And And one of the primary reasons
that some people, including me for

quite a while, do not go independent
is because you don't have health care.

If you do, and you need to provide
it yourself, um, most health care

policies are tied to employment.

And that, you know, you talk
about sticking it to the man.

That's, you know, I think that's
a stupid statement to begin with.

But that is a shackle in a lot of ways.

Um, and so, uh, when you leave a job
or especially if you're laid off.

Um, a lot of times you're given this
opportunity to continue your health care

policy beyond your employment, but you
have to pay for everything out of pocket.

And so what that means is that you're
paying for your portion and you're paying

the portion that your company was paying.

And for us, that turned
out to be 2, 600 a month.

And we would not have gracefully
accepted a 2, 600 hit per month

prior to my job going away.

Um, and you, and after the fact,
I mean, it's like, Oh God, like we

already, we may have underplanned to
begin with and wow, now we really did.

Um, and so Cobra was, was
our, was our biggest expense.

It was, it was almost like 1, 000
more than our house payment, right?

We didn't have any other debt, thankfully.

Um, but the only thing that was more
expensive per month than Cobra was food.

Kevin Griffin: Do you underestimate how
much food you consume in a given month?

Michael Rollins: Um, no, we actually,
we realized we like our, yeah, I mean, I

tell people if we wanted to eat Doritos
and, and drink barrel water, if you know

what that is, uh, the, the sugar barrel
water, God, this stuff was terrible.


Kevin Griffin: think they do that anymore.

That was like a 90s kid

Michael Rollins: yeah, that was, that
was definitely a nineties kid thing.

Um, But, um, then we could eat for
less than we do, but we try to feed

ourselves and I have three kids
for what's worth three teenagers.

So, um, they're basically bottomless pits

Kevin Griffin: you said going, going
into this, that you were, uh, debt free,

that, uh, debt free, except for your
house, your, your mortgage payments.

How, how did that factor into
your, I guess, mental state

at the time you lost your job?

Michael Rollins: Um, there was more
peace in the 2 months after I lost

my job than there had been for years.

Um, we, when I got the, the, the job that
I eventually got laid off from, um, we.

Ended up, um,

it had been tough, but we
paid off all of our debt.

That was like a car.

And then, um, we also
saved up that three months.

Cause I was like, I am tired of being
in the position prior to that, for

what it's worth, um, the company that
I was with called outlier was being

acquired by Twitter in April of 22.

And this dude, Elon decided he
wanted to come in and buy Twitter.

And all of a sudden we weren't being
acquired and we were now insolvent.

Um, Yeah.

So that's, you know, that's a boy, that's
an experience that leaves a mark on you.

Um, and so as a result of that,
we decided now we're going to go

ahead and clear all our debt out and
also make sure we have the savings.

Um, if we had not had that savings,
then the, then that time period,

and even the time period now, um, if
we had, sorry, not the savings, if

we had not gotten rid of all of our
debt, uh, would have been wildly.

More stressful.

I don't even, I don't even like to
think about how stressful it would

have been because contrary to what
I thought I did leave and go try to

get another job and it wasn't easy.

The J.



didn't show up.

Um, and which is why I
had to create my own.


Kevin Griffin: we were talking a
little bit before, uh, we hit record.

So this really goes to
your patron conversation.


This is the, this is the stuff
that we should be selling is

Michael Rollins: Yeah.

This is, by the way, if you're
hearing this now, then it's

going to stop right here.

And if you'd like to hear more, then
our Patrion is Kevin dropped a patron.

Kevin Griffin: yeah.

1 a month, you know, or 1 per

Michael Rollins: Nah, man,
you need to do at least three.

Come on.

You're worth it.

You're worth

Kevin Griffin: Oh yeah.

Don't sell myself short, but we were
talking, so we had a couple, you know,

threads, we were going with this.

And one of them, you had said that debt
is anti income and I, I, I love that

cause I, I don't think people appreciate

Michael Rollins: Yeah.

Kevin Griffin: or they,
they rely too much on debt.

So could you talk a little bit more
about what you meant by debt is anti

Michael Rollins: Um, so the, the,
the situation is that, I mean,

it's pretty straightforward.

Mathematically, debt is anti income.

You're trading future
income for something now.

Um, and that is what debt is like.

That's the actual, I think that's
might be the actual definition of debt.

Um, but the, but.

It is such a common way to do
things nowadays that people

don't even really think about it.

Um, and what that ends up looking like is
like, you know, everybody's worried about

being, you know, having the, you know,
the man tie you to the ground, right?

Well, you, Um, actually created all
the shackles yourself and you put them

on your hands and then you grabbed the
hammer and put the nail in place and then

you handed the hammer to, to the man.


Um, the reason that you're so
dependent on the man a lot of times

is because you are, you have so many
payments to make and it's terrifying.

If you get to a point where
you can't make those payments.

You know, and, um, I mean, I know
you do and, and we subscribe to

Dave Ramsey and, and all this, these
ideas that, um, that he puts forth.

And I was having a conversation
with my oldest son and he said, um,

he said, dad, the game is rigged.

He's 18.

He's about to go off to college.

And, and he said, I'll
never have what you have.

The game is rigged.

And I said, you are absolutely right.

The game is rigged.

And that's why you
don't play by the rules.

And the rules are that you go to
college, you rack up a hundred,

200, 000 worth of student loan
debt, which is not dischargeable.

You can't bankrupt your
way out of student loans.

Most of the time.

Um, and then

Kevin Griffin: fixed that loophole.


Michael Rollins: just on a side note, if
they would just add that thing back in,

the cost of college would come back down.

There's literally no risk in, in
loaning that money it's beside

the point it makes me so angry.

Um, but then you, you, you.

You leave college and now you're an adult.

So you need a new car.

Um, eventually you're, you might,
you need a new house, it turns out.

And, but if you never start playing the
game to begin with, then you're a hundred,

200, 300, 400, 000 ahead of your peers.

And, you know, it is, um,
the, I just cannot like

people when people talk about
wanting to be financially.


When people talk about wanting
to be wealthy, they're actually

not talking about money.

Most of the time they're
talking about freedom.

I want the freedom to wake
up and do what I want to do.

That is why people want to be wealthy.

And you are actively working against
yourself when you take on debt.


And, and, you know, the, the reality
is that that requires sacrifice.

Um, the reality is that it's not easy.

And the reality is that it is harder
now than I think it was for you and

I, when we were coming up, um, you
know, the world is a very strange,

strange place all of a sudden.

Kevin Griffin: I remember being
a 18, 19 year old, you know,

getting my foot in the world.

And my first ambition was.

All right.

I like to be as successful as my parents
are right now and not really taking into

consideration that it took my parents 25
years to get to that point and my, and I

was so disconnected from all the financial
hardships that my parents went through.


Michael Rollins: Cause you weren't there.

Quite possibly.


Kevin Griffin: wasn't involved in that
and I never, never went without and

always, you know, always taken care of.

So like childhood was good for me.

Um, and I remember being in, in college.

Yeah, going to college and
having a part time job.

And eventually I got to the point where I
was making what, like 18 an hour at a part

Michael Rollins: Dude,
you were killing it.

Kevin Griffin: big stuff right

Michael Rollins: For the record, that's
probably like 800 an hour in modern money.

Like, I just want to
put that in perspective.

Kevin Griffin: but like
my first career out of.

A college, I was making
45, 48 grand a year.

And I'm like, I have made it.

I am so I'm doing so well right now
because I effectively was making good

quote, good money for a mid two thousands,
junior level, whatever, out of school.

I've worked so hard to meet and exceed
my parents position when I was younger.

And now I'm thinking about my kids and
my, I, like I bought a house in 2009.

Like I bought a house when it
was a good time to buy a house.

And now is it, you know, a statistically
horrible time to buy a house.

It's a, it's a great time to sell a
house, but you also need a place to live.

So you,

Michael Rollins: And

Kevin Griffin: You can't
get one without the

Michael Rollins: to tie that back
to the debt conversation, um,

There I was actually listening
to, um, Scott Galloway recently.

Um, I, I think the guy has some
really good ideas and he said

something very interesting.

He said, the best time to start a business
is when nobody else is starting it.

And the same is true for
just about everything else.

The best time to buy a house
is when nobody else is buying.

Um, and the typically, like in 2008,
2009, 2010 even, we bought our house

in 2012 and got a fantastic deal.


The people, you know, the only
people that can move during that

time period were those that were in
a very cashflow positive situation.

And most of the time for
normal people, that meant they

did not have a lot of debt.

And, and so when you don't carry
debt, that also allows you to,

to, to move faster in situations
where everybody else is afraid.

Kevin Griffin: Let's, uh, keep
good thoughts out there for our

Michael Rollins: Yes.

Kevin Griffin: who are going to be
entering the workforce in the next decade

or so, and hope that is not as hard
on them as I think it's going to be.

Cause I can't imagine being the teenager
now preparing to enter the workforce.


Having that same ambition to meet and
exceed what my parents had at the time

I entered the workforce, because that
is a high, that's a high bar to get

Michael Rollins: I'm gonna,
I'm gonna push back on that.

Kevin Griffin: Okay.

Michael Rollins: don't want my kids to
have what I have and part of that is

the systemic things that Go into what
I have to having what I have when when

I did that when I had the like sudden
epiphany That if I had multiple income

streams, I could be more independent
Um, one thing I realized is that my

salary, which was a very, very good
salary, was also, it's a golden handcuff.

Um, it would be so difficult to replace
that income in a short period of time

that it was feasibly, it was unfeasible.


Um, and, you know.

But I wish that somebody had like poked
me on the head when I was coming out of

college and said, Hey, you don't have
to go get the nine to five desk job.

You can do this differently.

And, you know, for my kids, I want
them to have that freedom, right?

I don't want them if they want to,
like, I tell my, like my oldest son,

I could totally see him going off
for a couple of years to be the dive

master of a sailboat in the Caribbean.


I want that to be a possibility
for him and if he comes out of

college and he has a bunch of debt
and he's forced into a normal nine

to five job, that's not an option.

He has.

And so while I do, I hope
my kids are successful.


Do I hope that my kids have a good roof
over their house over their head and have,

you know, a family and things like that?

I absolutely do.

But I want them to be able
to To do it in the way that

makes the most sense for them.

And I'm not certain that the
way that we did it is that way.

Kevin Griffin: Mike, we are
coming to about an hour.

So we should probably wrap up.

Um, thank you so much for coming
on the show with me today.

And we'll probably have to
have you back at some point to

just continue this conversation
because it's always a good time

Michael Rollins: Well, thank you, Kevin.

Kevin Griffin: with that.

Thank you everyone for listening.

We will catch you next week on
the multi threaded income podcast.

Y'all take care.

Michael Rollins: Y'all have a good one.

You've been listening to the
multi threaded income podcast.

I really hope that this podcast
has been useful for you.

If it has, please take a moment to leave a
review wherever you get your podcast from.

And don't forget the
conversation doesn't stop here.

Join us on our discord at mti.

to slash discord.

I've been your host Kevin Griffin
and we'll see you next week.

Cha ching!