Welcome to Remote Start Podcast!
Feb. 21, 2023

E45: Building a Successful Business: Insights from Entrepreneur Bradley Jacobs, Founder of Mylance

In this episode, we sit down with Bradley Jacobs, the founder and CEO of Mylance, to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur and the keys to building a successful business.

Bradley has an impressive track record, having launched and... See show notes at: https://www.remotestartpodcast.com/e45-building-a-successful-business-insights-from-entrepreneur-bradley-jacobs-founder-of-mylance/#show-notes

In this episode, we sit down with Bradley Jacobs, the founder and CEO of Mylance, to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur and the keys to building a successful business.

Bradley has an impressive track record, having launched and scaled businesses at Uber before building his own independent consulting business up to $25,000 a month in just 25 hours per week. With this wealth of experience, he founded Mylance, a platform designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs work for themselves, whether that's full-time consulting or alongside a full-time job.

In our conversation, Bradley shares his insights on the challenges of starting a business and the steps you need to take to build a strong brand and get your business out there. We'll explore the importance of identifying your niche and creating a unique value proposition that sets you apart from the competition.

We'll also delve into the key elements of a successful marketing strategy, including leveraging social media and other digital channels to build your brand and attract new customers. Bradley will share his tips for creating engaging content, building a loyal audience, and developing long-term relationships with your customers.

So whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out on your journey, this episode is packed with valuable insights and practical advice that will help you take your business to the next level. So tune in now and join us as we explore the world of entrepreneurship with Bradley Jacobs, only on Remote Start Nation.

Learn more about Bradley Jacobs at:

Website: https://mylance.co/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bradley-r-jacobs/

Learn more about Remote Start Podcast at: https://www.remotestartpodcast.com/


Jim: What is up, Remote Start Nation, I'm Jim Doyon, your host, and on this episode we're gonna be talking with entrepreneur Bradley Jacobs, founder and CEO of Mylance. We're gonna be talking today about starting a business and what it takes to get your brand out there. After four and a half years of launching and scaling businesses at Uber, Bradley built his independent consulting business up to 25,000 a month in just 25 hours per week of work.He then went on to found Mylance, to help you work for yourself, whether that's full-time consulting or alongside a full-time job. Without further ado, I wanna welcome Bradley to the Remote Start Nation. Bradley, how are you man?

Bradley: Doing great. Thanks for having me.

Jim: Absolutely. I'm stoked to have you. We had a little bit of conversation prior to the show and I really think you're gonna add a lot of value to the Remote Start Nation. So yeah, let's get into it. Tell us something that we wouldn't know if we first met you.

Bradley: I was on the standard path for a long time. You know, I'd gotten into, I tried to get into the best college I could get into, I got the best job I could get, I tried to move up at that job, I got another job, I was on the very standard cookie cutter path, and I think you look at me now and I'm an entrepreneur and I had a consulting business and I still consult and I get involved in all these different off the path projects, but for a long time I was on the path and it was not easy to get off, but it was definitely the best thing I ever did to get off.

Jim: So let's go back, so you worked at Uber, was that your first bigjob?

Bradley: Pretty much I was a management consultant for, I didn't even make it two years. They say you're supposed to last two years, I couldn't make it, I was bored, and I joined Uber in May of 2014. So that was my first, at least tech startup, fast-paced job at least.

Jim:And you did a lot to help them grow, you learned a lot, but then you went into your own thing. Tell us the background of your entrepreneurial journey.

Bradley: I had kind of false starts, I call them. I tried to start a business so many times in my life, whether in college or you get with some friends and you have this idea and you're like, all in, and then three weeks later, maybe three months later, whatever it's dead, right? And I had that false start, I wanna say maybe 10 times, and I was sick of doing it, I was really sick of not taking something to the finish line, and so it really started when I quit Uber, I had a lot of success within Uber of growing business lines and even starting business lines within that company, it's obviously a very different thing, but I saw what I was capable of doing, and I just had to do it on my own. So what I did was I started consulting and we can talk about how I got the consulting business off the ground, but I was consulting while I was testing different startup ideas because I wanted to make sure I was really passionate about what product I ended up working on, ‘causeI knew it was gonna be 3, 5, 10 year commitment at a minimum, and I wanted it to be that I didn't, you know, build something real quick and get rid of it. So I wanted to make sure I was really passionate about it, so I consulted while I tested ideas, eventually settled on the idea for Mylance, which I'm sure we'll talk about.And once I had that idea, I just went all in, I just incorporated the company and I told myself, no matter what happens, I'm not giving up on this. Whatever roadblock, whatever situation, whatever, rejection, doesn't matter, it's going to work. And I don't know what it'll look like, but it doesn't matter, I'm just gonna take one step forward every day.And frankly, I think that's the attitude that has gotten me to where I am today, where I have a business and employees and a team and customers and all of that, otherwise, it's pretty easy, frankly to give up when things get hard, which inevitably they get hard.

Jim: They get hard, they always get hard. So you said something that stood out that I wanna focus on here for a second.So youdidn't, you had failed multiple times, you didn't just exit Uber and you know, start Mylance. You started consulting in the things that you knew, that you had learned, the things that you were good at, but you knew that wasn't your end all, be all, you used it to buy you time to find out what you were passionate about before you really jumped in.

Bradley: That's exactly right, I honestly didn't even know if I could consult, but it occurred to me that maybe I could just make some money on the side while I figured things out and I very much could, I really put myself out there, I found a few clients, the money was great, and it was, I could really cap the number of hours.And actually at that time I got together with a few friends and I was working on a travel business with them, it was like a curated yelp for your network for travel recommendations, this was pre covid, so travel businesses still seemed exciting and we spent nine months meeting early in the mornings and developing this whole product, and we had never validated the idea, we never, used an Excel sheet and had a form and just did it without a product, we spent all this time in design and focus groups and all that kind of stuff, and we were building it and it actually fell apart when our developer got like a crazy full-time job offer that he couldn't turn down, and it just kind of fell apart at that time. And I was like, okay, this isn't the thing, like, and we just completely dropped that project, I was still consulting, thankfully, to pay the bills and, you know, I can talk more about the Mylance story, but one thing led to another and I had all of a sudden the idea that I knew was special for me.

Jim: So let's get into Mylance, so let's hear. So this falls through and you're still consulting, and then at what point did Mylance really start to come to your mind? Like, this is something big.

Bradley: So I started sharing more on LinkedIn, I started just sharing my story, like, here's things I've learned since I left Uber and I started talking about my part-time work. A lot of my Uber colleagues or even just people in my network started reaching out to me and say like, Hey, can I pick your brain on that? Like, that's kind of interesting. And I was like, yeah, sure, I was kind of in the mode once I left Uber that I was just taking every phone call that people asked. I was the, I used to be the opposite, I said no to everything, I was like, it seemed like a waste of time and I completely changed the philosophy. So I started taking these calls and maybe the seventh call of someone saying like, wow, I want to console part-time too. I finally just said in the middle of a phone call, I said, I'm happy to help you, I'll help you every step of the way, just give me a small cut of your revenue for a few months. And she was like, done, deal. And it turns out that really was my first customer, and so I had to build the program. I didn't have anything, I had, didn't sell her something I had, right. So, I built this program for what she should do, and I would give her a module and she'd send it back to me and I'd give her the next module and I'd give her feedback and action items.And then the next person I spoke with, I said, well, I have this course and you can come in and you can take it, and people were like, done, deal, and people were signing up, and you know, I went through a lot of learnings and how to make the course good, and I had to make it into a cohort model, and I had to charge something upfront, not just to rev sharing, and there's a whole lot of nuance in learnings, but that's really where Mylance started, because I had this idea for my own consulting business, I saw the challenges, right? Bookkeeping, taxes, health insurance, bank account, finding new leads. I mean, I could go on for a long time, of all the things you need when you leave a company, you need the backbone infrastructure. So the idea for Mylance was this, one stop shop for your consulting business, right? The Shopify, everything you could possibly need. So you deliver on client work, we take care of the rest. You can't just go build everything, right? That's a fool's mission.So I had to start somewhere, and this is really where we ended up starting based on just these conversations I was having, which frankly I can look back now and say that was proving demand for a product I didn't even know could exist frankly, ‘cause we ended up charging at one point, we made the program two week long course and I charged 1200 bucks for it and I only put the 1200 bucks to make the rev. share look more appealing, I was like, no one's gonna pay $1,200 for this, like, that was really my mentality at the time, I was like, there's no way. And one of my customers said, I don't wanna give you a rev share, like I'll just pay you the 1200, and it blew my mind, it was like an earth-shattering moment for me of, okay, wow, there's something really here that people are willing to pay for and I can deliver, they trust me to deliver on it. Now I need to deliver an amazing product, but the demand is there.

Jim: So now that was Mylance. At what year would you say that was?

Bradley: That was early 2020, we ran our first cohort, April of 2020.

Jim: Okay, so now Fast Forward, just started 2023, what is MyLance morphed into and grown to be?

Bradley:That's a great question, I'd say at its core, it's community, and it's that software infrastructure that I was talking about with the original idea, we've also continued to learn, we need to narrow in on that focus, and so we're really focused on lead generation in helping consultants find their next client, because it's just the hardest thing to do is the biggest pain point, and consultants don't like sales unless you're literally a sales consultant, you don't like sales, you don't want to do sales, and you basically want a sales arm, like, I want to press a button and get some sales calls on my calendar, I can take those calls and close those calls, but go get me those calls, and that's what we're building now, a big part of what we do offer is community and people connecting with each other, we lead workshops where we talk about, you know, a different hot topic, if you will, we have resources and templates and guides and everything to help you with your consulting business. The software is really about lead generation.

Jim: That's fantastic. So you're taking a lot of what you learned in the early days and how you coached people through and consulted people through. You've laid that out, but now you're also adding a tool to help grow the business.

Bradley: That's right and that's, people ask me all the time, if your consulting business was so good, why did you leave it? And at the end of the day, I wanted to build something that genuinely helped people, and maybe it's a cliche in the entrepreneurial world, but it's just true, I didn't leave Uber to be a one man show consulting, it's fun, it's exciting, I will probably do it for my entire life, I will always have some consulting clients on the side ‘cause it's just fun, but I wanted to build something that I could see out in the world, genuinely helping millions of people improve their lives like this part-time work changes your, right? We've worked with single moms, they're like, I only wanna work when my child is sleeping or, you know, closing the gender pay gap or just complete flexibility on when you work where you work, I mean, the possibilities are huge and I've just become such a proponent of it, so if I can make, you know, 1% change in that, and our software helps people do that, that's why I left Uber, and so that's what just, I'm working every single day on.

Jim: I love it, what's in the future for Mylance? What are you gonna continue the sales arm are there other, you know, software elements you're gonna bring into it?

Bradley: I'm trying to be so disciplined and so focused as an entrepreneur, I want to do everything, but we just, you know, we can't, right, we have to be so smart, we can have partners that do other things, we have bookkeeping partners now, this sales arm is gonna be huge for us, right?If you can come to Mylance and as I said, kind of press a button and get leads, that's, I won't sleep until that's a reality, and frankly, I'm not gonna build another product until that's a reality. So there's so far we can take that, that is a big business in and of, at the same time, I know we're gonna build other things, right? You're gonna be able to manage your finances in the Mylance app, you'll be able to save for retirement, find health insurance plans, get your bookkeeping and taxes taken care of, like really everything that you do need, we won't necessarily build it all, but it'll be a combination of partnering, we'll build some of it, we'll do some white label solutions, but I do want it to be a place where you just, you can just get everything, because people want this consulting business, but then they don't realize that now they've become a business owner and they need 20 different things that come along with that. And I just wanna reduce that burden, reduce that anxiety, and just say like, look, we got you taken care of, you pay your subscription to us and we'll take care of the rest.

Jim: That's incredible, I love it, and I'm excited to follow along and see how it grows throughout the years and to be a part of it. Let's go back to, you know, you've had an incredible journey, let's go back and lay it out for the Remote Start Nation, like number one, and when you're starting a business, let's talk about, you know, I'd like for you to kind of hit on, when you get started, like validating that idea, you hit on some of your, like one of your things that didn't work, right, like, what do you do to validate it to see if it has legs? Like, this podcast is also about living your lifestyle, so it's one thing to get an idea, but if also, let's talk about with that idea, like, is it something you're passionate about? I'd love to hear your take on that.

Bradley: So the first piece of, okay, you have an idea now what, right. I think there's two things and there's kind of the behind the scenes things, and then there's the forefront of things, and I think you should do as little behind the scenes stuff as possible, like, don't go make a business model, don't go do all this research, don't go design logos, buy domains, like all that stuff is not gonna move the needle, right. The only thing I'd argue is that's gonna move the needle is talking to users, talk to users, understand their problems, I think YC does a great job of, they list out like five questions, unbiased questions, how big is the problem? How often do you have the problem? How are you solving the problem today, right? It's user interviews and frankly, if the problem is so big and so deep for someone, they will pay for you for it right then and there, even without having seen it, right. And that's what happened to me, I didn't have an idea for a course to help people freelance, right. But it just kind of happened from these conversations that I was having, and so that's what I would do, I would say go talk to users, go talk to like 30 users, don't go talk to five, go talk to you a lot, and then, get them to pay, don't collect, like collect an email, sure, that's nice, get them to put down their credit card, because often what will happen is they'll be like, oh yeah, I would totally do that, I totally pay for it's like, okay, pay for it, put down a deposit, right? Like actually do it, and then you, and then you really see are they actually putting their money where their mouth is, or are they just saying a nice, right. So that's what I would say, and what often happens is you have an idea, it seems like a good business idea, and I'll just speak for myself, this is what would happen to me, I would work on it for a few weeks or a month or two, as I mentioned, and then I would kind of lose interest, because something would get hard, maybe even just my own internal motivation got harder, maybe it was even nothing external, that's when you find out how passionate you are about the idea, right? When the first thing gets hard, and do you say like, eh, this is too hard, I don't want to do this or do you say like, okay, this is my first roadblock, this is my first thing to overcome, how am I gonna react to this? Am I gonna like take a step forward tomorrow, or am I gonna quit? And that to me, that is the number one thing, it's like talk, when people come to me with ideas, they say, one, go validate it, and two, talk to me in three weeks if you're still working on it.

Jim: I look at it to that point, like it has to be something that you love, like what is it? Like, why are you doing this? Like you sit with Mylance, like you really wanted to see a change, you wanted to help people, and that's bigger than just consulting or working for another company, like what is it that when it does get hard, like we talked about earlier in the episode, it's going to get hard, there's going to be things, whether it's in a startup where you just lose interest or whether things seriously happen that get very difficult and stressful, you have to go back to that why that reason and understand like, this is why I did this, this is why I started this.

Bradley: Absolutely, and I remember writing it down like, why am I running this company? And the number one reason can't be, I wanna like build up the company, get really rich, sell it for a bunch of money, like that is just not gonna get you outta bed every day when things are hard. It's just not right, and frankly, there are easier ways to make money than building your own business, like I think this so true, right? Like this is hard, it's a hard path and you have to do it, I think because you love solving the problem, like I hear it all the time, become obsessed with solving the problem, don't become obsessed with growth or anything else, customer focused, customer obsessed, solving this problem. And if you solve that problem deeply well, and there's obviously has to be a business model surrounding it that works, but if you solve the problem deeply well, and there's an ability and willingness for your customer to pay, then you have a big business there, just like period end of story.

Jim: Exactly, and it goes back to what you said, like when you get started, validate the idea first, don't waste a ton of time on a business plan and all the other things that go with it, right? Talk to your customer first, validate it. Make sure it's something that people are willing to pay for. So it's a great point, Remote Start Nation, I hope you learn that if you're just starting a business, thinking about starting a business, when you get started, validate it and understand what you're truly passionate about and your reason why. I want get into the next talking point about, thought leadership, how to establish yourself, you talked about LinkedIn, I've recently been, you know, trying to get on LinkedIn more and more, and it's my 2023 goal to be on LinkedIn a heck of a lot more as a thought leader, talk to me, man, help me out here, what do I need to do?

Bradley: Absolutely, it's something we work on with every single customer now. So thought leadership on LinkedIn is not preachy, that's what I've learned kind of the hard way. And I say the hard way, as in my preachy posts get no engagement. And frankly, that's the first thing to let go of, is that you're gonna post on LinkedIn and some posts are gonna get nothing, and that's okay, it's part of the process and I remind myself when I write a terrible post, nobody sees it, right? If it gets two likes and 50 views, great, 50 people saw it, right?

Jim: That's a good point.

Bradley: Right? And then your best post, they get the most views so people see, okay, so like that's I think number one, that kind of removes that fear of posting. Number two, LinkedIn users really reward Vulnerability. If you can share something genuine from your life, that was a learning, a mistake, a failure, a win, like wins can absolutely be shared, they just need to be genuine. People love it, right, like they want to hear the inside look into, like you could write a whole thing about starting this podcast, right. It's, maybe it's been written about a hundred times, but what's a unique insight that you had that was hard for you, that was great for you, that you overcame that was interesting? Anything like that? I talked, I think one of my best early performing posts was sharing the first day I walked into Uber. And I walked into Uber. I was so excited I joined this new company and you know, no one really knew what Uber was back then. It wasn't this household name. And my boss was running around with her hair on fire, right? Like I was expecting like an onboarding and kind of like some training and stuff like that. And she was like, Bradley, welcome, I need your help with a hundred things. And it was just like, it blew up. Anyway, it was crazy, but I wrote a post about what that was like and it did great and it wasn't like, You know, it wasn't anything super insightful that other people can really apply, but I think it showed some vulnerability on my end. And then from there I've learned the best posts are ones where I have a real learning from a personal experience. So I launched Uber Eats in Miami and I can share about, hey, that sounds really glorious on the surface, here's what it was really like, we pounded the pavement, we hired these sales folks, we, you know, fought with Uber HQ on pricing, right? Like we had so many challenges along the way, and I shared I think five tidbits from that launch, and that post blew up, it has like a hundred thousand views or something like that. Yeah, it's crazy. So, you know, I think, and that almost indirectly establishes me as a thought leader, right. Because I'm sharing an experience I had that turned out well, it was hard, but, and the post wasn't like, here's why the launch went so great. It was like, here's the inside look, but I had all these logistics founders and CEOs reaching out to me saying, Looks like you learned a lot there, like, can you jump on a call with me and help out my company? And I didn't write it to get consulting clients, right? Like I'm running Mylans here, but I tell, I use it as an example for other people that do wanna consult, which obviously, you know, are Mylance customers of go tell a story, go tell a story where you learn something, where you have like a unique insight and it doesn't come across as preachy, it doesn't say, Hey, I'm consulting, please hire me, it doesn't do any of that but at the same time, it does establish yourself as a thought leader, and then if they click on your LinkedIn and they say they, they see that you're open to part-time work, you just got an inbound lead. You might get 10 of those for one post, or 20 or 30 or 50. I got podcasts from that, like I might have, you might have found me from that post for all I know, right. So, that's really the best advice I have.

Jim: That's really good advice too. And the story part, the vulnerability, those really resonate. You know, even there's something in my life recently that I've been thinking about posting and after listening to you right now I'm going to, but you know, my daughter and I was trying to get her to go mountain biking with me and she's like, why don't you do something I want to do? I'm like, fine, what do you want to do? She's like, you think about it. So I picked her up early from, from school on Friday, and we went and got our toes painted, we went and got manicures, so, or what is that? Pedicure, manicure, whatever but she thought it was like the coolest thing ever, and then afterwards we went and did art and ate you know, overlooking the mountains and it was like great time together, but it was me like, you need because you're my daughter, you know, you should do what I want to do to hang out, she spun it and it was like the coolest moment ever, but it took her saying that. So I've been thinking about posting that on social because I think it's so cool and it was such an incredible experience, but I don't know if something keeps, I keep stopping for some reason.

Bradley: And that is the question, like why? What is holding you back? We're not, we don't need to get into a coaching call here, but that is what holds most people back, right? And it often can be a fear, like what people might think, what if it doesn't perform well? Like the what ifs just kind of pile up, sometimes subconsciously, and we have to basically let go of it and say like, you know what the worst case scenario is I post this and either nobody likes it or someone says like, Hey, like you shouldn't be posting that, or something like that. And yeah, and you have to ask yourself, can I handle that? If someone makes like a nasty comment, like, yeah, it's not fun to get nasty comments and, but people do it, and that's like honestly, a lot more of a reflection of them than it is about you, and if you tell yourself, if you can genuinely handle that, which I'm sure you can, then you're like, all right, I got very little to lose. And frankly, a lot to gain.

Jim: That's great advice. And I think, you know, it goes back to even starting a business, like yeah, you just have to do it. Like there's always a what if there's always an excuse? There's always a reason, it's about getting it out there and again, like you hit it on the head, it's not about you so much, it's probably about someone else's insecurities or something that's bothering them about the situation, and it's just understanding how can I handle that? I'm bigger than they are, like I can manage this.

Bradley: And honestly the bigger we all get in our businesses, in your podcast, we are going to have haters like I've learned that at this point, it's like the bigger you get, you're gonna piss some people off, right? And you're obviously not trying to do it and you want so much love out there, but we have to find a way to just kind of deal with it, compartmentalize and say, you know what? I hope you're doing okay. If like you write a nasty comment on my LinkedIn, like I kind of feel for you, I don't know what's going on in your life, but either way, like, I'm gonna be okay and I'm just gonna keep pressing forward and just try and make as many, you know, add as much value to as many people as possible.

Jim: That's awesome. Is there anything else on LinkedIn or, you know, social about, you know, getting it out there and spreading the message? Any other advice you wanna give on that?

Bradley: I think, you know, people talk about quantity versus quality and it is a balance for me. So I post on LinkedIn every single day now, I really do. And first of all, no one's ever messaged me, that's like I post too much. I'll say that, not every post does well, that's for sure. So I think it's a balance, obviously I try and write as high quality content as possible, and I write all of it. I don't have like a ghost writer or anything like, not that there's a problem with that, if you find someone great, that's no problem. I think it's a combination, I think the important thing is consistency, and you'll see this from every single person who's ever grown anything on social media, whether it's podcasting, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, doesn't matter, right? Just post frequently, obviously you want high quality stuff, but it's gotta be consistent. So at this point, like not a day goes by that I don't post on LinkedIn, and frankly I have such a repository of content at this point, like the worst case scenarios, I go to like an old blog and, you know, get inspiration, write a new post, the last thing I'll say is when you find something that does perform well and really hit with an. You can repackage and you should repackage the same content in a bit of a different way over and over and over again. It seems redundant, but your audience wants that, like they liked it once. They want more of it, even if it's just a slight different angle on the same exact topic, that's what they want, they're looking to you for that. Like, sometimes I'll get a comment on my post that was, thanks Bradley, I needed this today. Like someone was having a bad day, and sometimes my post can be a little inspiring. And so I don't know what it is about, you know, my post for that woman that day, but it was probably like a repackaged post from a year ago. But she loved it that day and that feels amazing, right? That one person read this and got some value.

Jim: I was gonna say, that's gotta feel so good from your stance of like, okay, I spent all this time in doing this, and someone just said it made their day, like that's huge.

Bradley: Absolutely. And one more thing about LinkedIn, I'll tell you, is that I am unknowingly building trust with our customers. So people will follow me for six months, I don't know about it, I don't know what's going on, but they'll eventually sign up for Mylance, we'll get on a call, and frankly, they're ready to buy, like, they're like, I know, they know me, they know my story, they trust me, they feel like they've built this relationship with me, I don't know who they are, but I'm building this relationship with people like unknowingly, but there's now thousands of people out there that have been reading my story for years, and Mylance has a better brand image because of it, because I'm vulnerable online, and I am genuine, and so they're ready to buy, and as a startup, I think that's, it's impossible to generate that, right? You can't go buy credibility, it has to be built over time and post on LinkedIn in a genuine way can build it up for you.

Jim: That's great advice. So to move on to another topic like you had mentioned earlier about a lot of consultants or people like, they don't necessarily like to sell, like, they like to consult, they like to help, but they don't want to get out there and sell, like what are some things, some advice that you can give some different topics about, you know, selling without really feeling like you're selling or ways to get over, you know, that fear of selling.

Bradley: So I try and completely flip it on its head. I try and think about it as, if you have an expertise, which I imagine if you're trying to consult, you at least believe you have an expertise. Then you are giving a company an opportunity to have you solve their problem, right? Let's just say you wanted to really grow this podcast and say you were talking to a marketing consultant, right? You are looking for help and all of that person is doing is giving you an opportunity to hire. So I try and flip it as like, I'm not selling myself, I'm sharing about myself and giving you an opportunity to say like, do you need this, right? And the way that you do that is by asking questions. So if I ask you and I say, Hey, how are you thinking about growing this podcast? What channels are you using? What's your customer acquisition cost? How do you think about the tracking the data in a robust way? How do you think about channel partnerships? You might have some answers to some of those questions, but you might not have answers to others, right? And by even asking those questions on demonstrating expertise in a certain area,right. Let's just say I knew everything about podcasting, which I don't by the way, but you know, let's just say I did, right? Then you, I'm establishing myself as an expert, I'm also identifying an area where you need help, and I could say, let's just say I built a, you know, multimillion dollar podcast. In the past I could say, well, when we ran this podcast, right, we did had some success doing X, Y, Z things. So I'm continuing to validate myself and all I'm doing is giving you an opportunity basically to buy, but I'm not saying like, I'm Bradley and you should hire me because I have this and I have this and I have this, I'm like, no, like tell me about your podcast. What are your biggest challenges? What keeps you up at night? Those kinds of questions, and then I'm validating myself, I'm identifying an opportunity potentially, and you're seeing like, wow, like maybe, maybe I should ask this guy for some help.

Jim: I love that you, you hit it on the head. For me, it's the questions, right? Like, going in and it all, it goes back to like validating your idea, it's about asking like, number one, is that person your right fit for your customer or for your avatar? Like, is that the person you want? And then asking them the questions that's going to basically, negotiate, get them interested and wanna purchase without you having to really sell yourself. Still validate, tell stories, do that. But like, you shouldn't have to sit up on a pedestal and talk down, it should be asking most of the questions to get the answers you want.

Bradley: Yeah. I can't say it better than that.

Jim: We had talked about, you mentioned that you want to do everything in Mylance and help in every different way. But there's such a big thing, especially right now, of like trying to hone in and niche down and being very focused. What do you, what's your advice you have for the Remote Start Nation on, if you're looking at right now, if you're working on a project, you're looking at starting a business, maybe you're in a business and you're looking at, you know, ways to become more successful, what can we talk to them about like really focusing and winning?

Bradley: So at the beginning, especially at the beginning, we all wanna build these big businesses, or at least most people do, right? So they're like, okay, I need a big ten, I need a big market size, and all that kind of stuff. And what ends up happening is when you put out a website and you say like, you know, I'll use Mylance, we help freelancers grow their business, right? TheMylance, you know, industry is hundreds of millions of people, right? So I will speak a little bit to all of them, right. Whereas if I position ourselves as we help tech freelancers, I am small, I make the pie smaller, but when, if I'm a tech freelancer, I speak a little bit more, it like resonates a little bit more. And then if I say I help operations folks from technology that do part-time work right now for that person, it's even more, resonates, more, I've also shrunk my pie, but it resonates more, and then we can talk about, I help like single moms who do operations in technology, right? And the further that you go down, the more it's gonna resonate with that customer, ‘cause when you eventually, let's just use that example, right? I help, maybe I help single moms that do operations in technology who wanna do part-time work when that single mom reads that sentence, they're like, this is for me, right. And they sign up and they're very engaged. And if you aren't solving their problem, you'll know, right? Because they'll give you feedback, they're like, this was supposed to be for me, maybe it's not hitting it, whatever it is. But the point is, when you start out, you don't need a million customers, in fact, you don't want a million customers, it will go very poorly, right? So you need your first 10, your first 20, your first a hundred, you know, I keep saying to our team, we don't need a million customers, we need our first, let's just find our first thousand customers, and do I think that there's, I'm just using this example again, are there a thousand single moms who do operations in tech, part-time work? Absolutely. But if I went to you, Jim, and I said, Hey, this is our niche, you'd probably be like, what? Right. It's, a little confusing, at the same time, I could build a really great, the beginnings of a great business by getting super, super, super niche. And those people will actually be willing to pay more, because my solution is so curated for that single mom in operations in tech.

Jim: That's so true.

Bradley: So it's counterintuitive. In every consultant that comes to me, they say, I'm a Swiss Army knife, I'm a jack of all trades, like I'm, I really can do a lot of different things, I'm like, I'm sure you can, I'm sure you're really talented, right? I'm not doubting that, but if you come to any business leader and you say that they have no idea what value you bring and what differentiates you from the other Swiss Army knives out there, 'cause there's a lot.

Jim: Yeah, I was just gonna say, we right now, we're working on that with our agency, like we, you know, started off in merchandise and that was a big thing of what we did and how we started and started our own brand and that got us to where we were and then, clients keep coming to us and, Hey, I love what you do here, can you do this for us? Can you do this for us? Can you do this? And you know, there's that point for us where it's like, no, we can't or you know what? We have somebody that we work with that we trust, that we love, let's bring them in and let's work on this together, and I feel like that's a good solution because you are creating that value for your customer, they trust you, they know that you're going to, you know, deliver on what you say, but you don't have to be the expert, right? So you're still niching down, you're just bringing another help to bring that forward.

Bradley: Yeah, totally. And it can be hard ‘casue it, you're kind of saying no to revenue, right. When you niche down, and it's something I continue to struggle with, frankly, like someone comes to me, and we found a not great customer for us is someone that wants to do consulting in between jobs, right, and it just kind of makes common sense when you think about it, like, they're gonna do it for a few months and then they're gonna move on to a W2, and I want customers for life, basically, I don't want a two month customer. But I still, I could definitely sell them, whether it's a playbook or coaching or leads or I could definitely sell them on something, but, frankly, nobody wins in that scenario, right? Like the customers is a short term customer, maybe they have success, maybe they don't, but for us, it's about saying yes to the right customer and forcing ourselves to say no to all of the wrong customers, at least for now, say like, at least not at this moment, we'll build something for you in the future but for now, I gotta nail a product for one ICP building, really.

Jim: I like that. Let's talk about imposter syndrome.

Bradley: Impostor syndrome. Everyone's got, in fact, I read an article, we're not supposed to call it syndrome 'cause it has like such this negative connotation, it's supposed to be imposter thoughts. So I know I wrote that in the form, but let's call it imposter thoughts. So, we all have it and what the research shows is actually the more successful and potentially the more ambitious you are, the more likely you are to have it, and it can be totally debilitating, it can be just the thing that prevents you from moving forward, it could be the reason that you don't make that post on LinkedIn or you don't talk to that customer, or you don't incorporate that company or the reason you stay in your stable but low ceiling job, just because frankly, it's easier to complain about your existing situation, then make a change and confront whatever fear and posture thoughts you have. So I think the first thing that I do when I talk to people about this is I normalize it, it's like everybody's got it, if someone says they don't, it's being manifested in a different way that just they're not quite aware of, and that's okay, but we all have it, some people have it more than others, of course, and the real, the only way to really deal with it is to admit to yourself that you have it and try and identify where it's coming out for you, like what is it preventing you from doing, or what are you not doing that you think you should be doing or know? Usually you know what you should be, right. There's enough podcasts out there and enough books, and enough blogs, you know how to start a business or you know how to grow your business or, but you're not doing something, why not? And you know, obviously coaching can really help, it's not the cheapest thing in the world, but try and ask yourself that question, journal, meditate on it, like what's coming up for me? And understand where that really comes from, like it could come from, you know, not to therapize anything, it could come from your childhood, it could come from, you know, your parents suggested that you follow a path and then you don't wanna follow the path but if you do follow this other path, then you have to go tell them about it, and they might be really disappointed or they may make some comments that really hurt and those comments do hurt, so who knows where it comes from, only you do, frankly, but you have to confront it head on, you have to know what's going on, and then even when you know what's going on, you still have to overcome it, you have to say like, yes, this is gonna be scary, yes, I might not be, I might get some tough feedback or I might get rejected, and it's what I asked you earlier, like if you get rejected or you get that tough feedback, can you handle it? And if you say like, yeah, it might suck, but I can handle it, then you just gotta go do it, you just gotta, you know, sometimes I even, I tell customers, close your eyes, like right at the LinkedIn post, close your eyes and just click send, and close it and go play with your daughter, like, it just, it doesn't matter, right? Just get it done and then you get into the practice of it, I will tell you, I'd never gotten rejected as much in my life than when I went to go raise money, we raised money with a few small angels, it was, you know, no big VC or anything, but I got told no about 150 times across six months. And you know, I think we got 15 yeses and 15 yeses filled out our round and it was, you know, we got it done, but it was the hardest thing I'd ever I'd ever done, and it's impossible for the imposter thoughts not to come up when you get told no.

Jim: And did you see that when it first, like your first couple rejections, your first 10, 20, 30, like, did you really start to think like, maybe this isn't right, like maybe I'm not right for this?

Bradley: Absolutely, I mean, it's almost impossible not to, right? Like what person goes out there and gets rejected 30 times in a row and says like, oh, I'm totally fine. It just doesn't happen, but when you hear stories of entrepreneurs and it like almost every single time an entrepreneur had to overcome dozens of nos in a row, right. Like Sarah Blakely, when you listen to her masterclass, she went to hundreds of manufacturers to get spanks, she's a former CEO now, but she built up Spanx, bootstrap the entire thing, owns the whole company.

Jim: She's incredible.

Bradley: Unbelievable woman, right? And she talks about going to manufacturers for the first time and hundreds of nos, like what kind of person does it take to get told no over a hundred times and just be like, I'm gonna keep doing this, but that's what it takes. That's what it takes.

Jim: What did you do for you, what was it that kind of took you from doubting yourself to walking to the next door and saying, Hey, here I am.

Bradley: You're gonna laugh. I made a list of every small, super small accomplishment I had with Mylance. From, I bought a domain, I found a lawyer to help me incorporate, I made my first dollar, I made my first a hundred dollars. I, you know, I made a list of like a hundred accomplishments and every single time I was feeling down, and especially when we were fundraising, I'd go look at that list and I was like, there is a time I had nothing, right. I didn't have the idea, I don't have the name, I didn't have anything, but now I have all this stuff and I still add to that list, by the way, like this list is ongoing, right? I made my first $10,000, my first a hundred thousand dollars, I had my first employee, right? Like every single thing, and I still go back to it, but that's what carried me over the finish line. And I say finish line, the finish line was like each day, like get up the next morning and keep executing, keep reaching out to investors, it does get easier, right? Because once you get told no 50 times, it's probably the hardest, you know, the first 10 maybe but then you kind of get used to it, and actually the hardest part about that is you have to go into the next meeting with confidence. So it's not just doing the outreach or you know, setting up those calls, it's getting told known 50, and still showing up with like I am the badass engineer, you know, entrepreneur that you want to give money to, even though I just got told no 50 times, you're the guy, you girl, you're the right.

Jim: I love that. Well, unfortunately our times coming to an end, but I want to, before we go, I've got one more question, but I want to know where can the Remote Start find you?

Bradley: So I'll plug my LinkedIn, I post every day, I share a lot of insights there. So Bradley Jacobs on LinkedIn, Bradley Jacobs, Mylance, you'll definitely find me. And then our website, mylance.co. So you, we have a free newsletter that goes out every week, we share a lot of AMAs from our community consulting tips, guides, resources, and our newsletters. So sign up for that, it's free. Follow me on LinkedIn, yeah, I'd love to see as many listeners as possible in our community.

Jim: Cool. And honestly, Remote Start Nation, if you're a consultant, get on it, go follow even, I'm gonna go follow just so I can, you know, keep up and see what's going on, and this podcast episode has been so informative and so much value. So I thank you so much, Bradley. I've got one more question, we talked about a lot of stuff today. What's the one biggest takeaway you can leave for the Remote Start Nation that we hit on or maybe we didn't hit on?

Bradley: Needle moving activities, we did hit on it earlier, all that behind the scenes stuff like don't go design a logo and build a beautiful website and business model and research 1200 competitors, don't do any of that stuff, go move the needle, go talk to users, go jump on phone calls, go do the things that actually matter and ask yourself when you're about to do something, will this move the needle for my business. And if the answer is no, just drop it, just like cross it off your to-do list, it doesn't. When I consulted, I didn't have a website, when I launched Mylance, I didn't have a product, just go do the needle moving activities, that's what I'm gonna leave you with.

Jim: That's incredible. Thank you so much, Bradley, it was awesome, I'll keep in contact.

Remote Start Nation, remember, leave a comment, subscribe, most importantly, share this episode with your community who you think could learn from what you heard today. Go start something, start it today, until next time, we'll see you then.

Jim DoyonProfile Photo

Jim Doyon


My name is Jim Doyon. I'm a father to three awesome kids, husband to an incredible wife and the oldest sibling to a large split family.I'm currently on a mission and I can't wait to share with you. We sold our house back in 2020, and we've been traveling this beautiful country in a 42-foot Travel trailer ever since. We visited 34 states, and are about to embark on our second loop around the country, stopping at some of our favorite spots again, but also getting to see new areas that the US has to offer.We are trying to experience this life to its fullest spending quality time together. I'm running a business and building brands along the road. We've been fortunate enough on this journey to meet new friends, catch up with old friends and family on many of our stops. We love exploring each City from downtown's to the natural resources it has to offer. I'm passionate about mountain biking and it's not only in my way to get out and explore but to exercise, clear my head, think, and strategize.

Bradley JacobsProfile Photo

Bradley Jacobs

Founder / CEO

After 4.5 years launching and scaling businesses at Uber, Bradley built his independent consulting business up to $25k / month in 25 hours per week. Bradley then founded Mylance to help you work for yourself, whether full-time consulting or alongside a full-time job.
Mylance helps you up-level and run your freelance consulting business from back office admin, to lead generation alongside a community of talented peers. One single source of income is scary and powerless. Monetizing your knowledge and experience through consulting gives you the power back of your earning potential and time.
On a personal note, I love wine, golf, crypto, learning about AI, and thinking about how we probably shouldn't make something smarter than we are.