Ep 109 | Lindsay Padilla The Future of Tech is Female

If you want to move millions, confidence is key.”  Lindsay Padilla

About Our Guest:  Dr. Lindsay Padilla is an ex-community college professor who accidentally started a business while on the tenure track. Now, as the CEO and co-founder of the Hello Audio software, which takes your content and creates private audio feeds to make learning on the go much easier for your people, Lindsay challenges online industry norms of unfinished courses and unconsumed content with her product. All of her business ideas were born out of her tenure-track years teaching adults online at a community college, the ridiculous amount of learning she’s done in all things education, and the years spent growing her course creation business online.

Episode Summary:

This episode is powered by the Move to Millions Method

What if the best way for you to make a million-dollar impact was through raising your voice and stepping into an industry that is dominated by men?  One thing for sure is that the road less traveled almost always produces massive breakthroughs.  In this episode, I chat with Dr. Lindsay Padilla, the Co-CEO of Hello Audio.  A self-proclaimed accidental CEO, Lindsay has turned tech on its head by creating a space for women to step into this industry following her success clues all the way to their next level.  Her powerful software, Hello Audio allows experts, creators and thought leaders to revolutionize the power of their voice. Grab a pen and paper and listen is to discover:

  • The parallels of building a business and creating a software company
  • Why the future of tech is female
  • Why getting access to capital is a game changer and what most women are doing wrong to keep them from this powerful resource
  • How to use audio to impact millions

Last Book Lindsay Read:  Trampled by Unicorns by Maelle Gavet

Favorite Quote:  “Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fore.”  Robert Frost

Tool Lindsay Swears by To Move to Millions: Descript

How to Connect with Lindsay Padilla

Website: http://www.helloaudio.fm/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/helloaudiofm

Instagram: @helloaudiofm

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindsaypadilla/

Incredible One Enterprises, LLC is not responsible for the content and information delivered during the podcast interview by any guest. As always, we suggest that you conduct your own due diligence regarding any proclamations by podcast guests.  Incredible One Enterprises, LLC is providing the podcast for informational purposes only.

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Future Of Tech Is Female With Lindsay Padilla

In this episode, I sit down with Lindsay Padilla. We talked about so much. I really want you to read the episode. We talked about the fact that audio is the key to moving millions. MOVE To Millions is a double entendre. It’s about both the impact and the income that you will generate as a result. Lindsay has a powerful story about how her company, Hello Audio, is shaking the planet. We get into all of that in this episode.

Dr. Lindsay Padilla is an Ex-Community College Professor who accidentally started a business while on the tenure track. As the CEO and Cofounder of the Hello Audio software, which takes your content and creates private audio feeds to make learning on the go much easier for your people. Lindsay challenges the online industry norms of unfinished courses and unconsumed content with her product. All of her business ideas were born out of her tenure track years teaching adults online at a community college. The ridiculous amount of learning she’s done in all things education and the years spent growing her course creation business online.

I am really excited for you. If you have never had an opportunity to experience Lindsay, you are welcome. If you have experienced her in the past, you are welcome, either way, your life is about to become so much richer from everything that we talk about in this interview. I want you to grab a pen and paper, take three powerful, deep breaths, and then join me for my conversation with Lindsay.

Lindsay, I am so excited to welcome you to the show. How are you?

I am doing fabulous. I’m waking up early for you. I said, only for Darnyelle will I wake up at 8:00 AM and do an episode.

I am so appreciative. We were just talking about how I even knew that there was this amazing creature in the world named Lindsay. It’s because of Clubhouse. If it weren’t for Clubhouse, I don’t know if I would have ever heard of you. I’m so grateful to the Clubhouse gods.

It was Audria Richmond, to be exact. It was her room where I remember first hearing you speak. I was like, “I like what this woman is saying. I like the impact she has on a room.” Do you know how you can feel it? You came in with that energy. I was like, “I would like to be friends with her,” so I stalked you. We started ended up in similar rooms together and having conversations. It’s also a shout-out to Audria, who I love as well.

She’s amazing. I love how she commands her space. Taking no prisoners, no apologies. This is who I am and this is what I know. I had an opportunity to meet her face-to-face right before COVID happened. One of my clients was hosting an event and she was an attendee of that event. It’s how I have heard your name. Now, I can put everything together.

I knew her from Stu McLaren of TRIBE. We both went to the live event and we pretty much hung out the whole night. He puts on a party, almost like a prom. It feels like a prom when you are there but it was nice.

Take a quick moment and tell everybody who you are in your own words.

I’m a teacher at heart. I have spent my whole life studying to be a professor. I was a Sociology Professor at the community college level and my husband was also a Physics Professor. I was committed to that path and it was my dream job. That’s really important to share with people because I accidentally started a business.

I’ve got just a little taste of what I could bring in outside of teaching. I remember hitting my first $1,000 in a month and I was like, “This could be really big. Why would I settle for just that extra thousand when it could be something even bigger?” Once that idea was planted in my head, that became the end of my teaching career.

I had left by the end of that calendar year, December 2016. I had a little bit of an identity crisis early in my business building because I truly did love teaching. It was always about, “How could I come back to that?” I believe that is truly the center of who I am, being an educator. Building a business and growing a company is more about having a bigger impact outside of the walls of an institution. That’s what I have been doing since I left teaching.

I fancy myself as a teacher, too. I always loved teaching. I still love teaching. Part of the reason that I do what I do in my business is I’m teaching. It’s the part I love the most. I have coaching skills. Some people consider me a business coach but I do very little coaching. I’m either telling you what to do or I’m teaching you how to do something. I definitely feel you get a glimpse of what is possible. When I was in Corporate America, I was engaged to be married the first time. After my first engagement fell apart, one of my good girlfriends invited me to a Mary Kay skincare class.

I started as a little closet, beauty consultant. I didn’t really want anyone to know because I’m a Vice President and I’ve got this big title. I remember the first day I passed the catalog around and I made $600 in 30 minutes. I was like, “I could be onto something here.” I love what you just said a moment ago about not only were you always asking yourself how you could get back to teaching, that central foundation of who Lindsay is but more importantly, what I heard was making more impact. I think about who you are now, which I would love for you to invite people into the progression of where we are years later, Hello Audio, the other companies that you run, and the impact you get to create as you are helping other people teach. Full circle.

MTOM 4 | Future Is Female
Future Is Female: Most of the courses that people are buying have nothing to do with teaching and everything to do with just marketing.

I’m with you. I started as an MLM also. I was a beach body coach. That was what my early days looked like. I was listening to Pat Flynn, Amy Porterfield and these people online. I was like, “I could make this really big thing. Why am I selling someone else’s thing?” Props to the network marketing space. It always holds a special place in my heart as much as people don’t like it. It showed me what was possible. It took me a hot second to realize how to show up in the online space. I must be a health coach because it made sense from what I was prior. I tried to be a health coach for 1 or 2 quarters.

I bought my first courses. It was going to a live event and sitting next to Melyssa Griffin, who teaches people how to blog. She had this really popular Pinterest course at that time and was a million-dollar business owner. I was sitting next to her at lunch and she was passing around the credit card bill. She’s like, “I have this course. Thousands of people sign up but I really just wish they did it because if they did it, if they followed what I shared with them, they would get results.” I listed a couple of things. I have been teaching for years online up until that point. That was part of my academic career.

She looks at me and she’s like, “Why aren’t you teaching everyone this?” I was like, “You guys don’t know how to teach online.” It was at that moment that I realized that my teaching life is really useful in this space. Lots of people are trying to communicate what they know in a digital environment and that’s not a normal thing to understand. Most of the courses that people were buying about course had nothing to do with teaching and everything just to do with marketing so people were being left in the dark when it came to curriculum design. That was what my business was like for four years.

I was consulting people. I was creating courses for them, which I didn’t love and was not very good at. I then got back to teaching and I was like, “I want to make a course and I want that to be the center of my business.” I started to shift and created a course-based business and had been running it for years. At that time, my core thing was still always, how can we get people to finish their courses? How can we get them to just watch the videos? What if watching the video isn’t the problem? Maybe they should be listening or we can remove as much friction as possible.

That was where we got the early idea for Hello Audio. It’s recognizing that a lot of people in this space put a lot of time into their slides, these beautiful videos, cameras, and these amazing course experiences. Some people do that, not everybody. There is also this space for being able to learn on the go and to be able to multitask. The MP3 under the course video was just not cutting it.

It wasn’t being consumed in that fashion and podcasts have figured it out. Podcasts are where we learn audio or can listen to audio and speed it up. At that time, it was called PodcastYourCourse.com. I sold lifetime licenses to a product that didn’t exist. I was like, “If enough people raise their hand, we will build it.” Sure enough, that is essentially what happened.

I’m in the software space and I have quietly shut down most of my other business, which was teaching courses. I may bring some of that IP into Hello Audio. We are working out some things about what it would look like but for the most part, I’m all-in on software. That has been a journey at this point to get to where we are.

It is so powerful to have asked yourself that question. Everyone who is reading, when you can take what you do and simplify it down to the one question that’s going to lead to the impact of millions, something amazing can pop out of it. We have Hello Audio, which is a platform that takes your coursework, content, teaching, and puts it in an audio feed that allows your clients, students, and learners to learn on the go without the friction that you have talked about. I only just discovered and now I discover Hello Audio. I forgot what you were posting but I was like, “I need this. Don’t I need this?”

I put a post in my Facebook group for my mastermind and I was like, “You could read to every one of our modules on a show Feed. Who would be down for that?” Everyone was like, “Me.” We are totally getting it because I know with my Feed, we have people reading all over the world. I’m the same way. I created a course years ago and it was when we were doing home study programs. We were doing binders and the CDs. I have been doing this since 2007 but I have been doing it decently since 2010. At first, I was a hot mess. I had these home studies and it was so good. It was organic marketing. If people would do it, they would get results.

People were buying them like hotcakes. We check in just 30 days later and they are like, “I haven’t even opened it yet.” I’m like, “Your whole business life is in there.” I ended up turning around and writing a book, Market Like a R.O.C.K. Star to take the crux of the marketing system and put it into a physical book that people would read. I always was like, “If I could just get people to go through the content, they would do it.” I had a person who purchased that course years later and she’s like, “I had to hit rock-bottom in my business and I wasn’t making enough money to hire anyone to help me, so I decided to crack open the course.”

We ended up changing the name but it was essentially the position-to-profit marketing success formula. She’s like, “I decided to open your course. Thirty days later, I have generated $30,000.” I’m like, “It works.” I’m grateful to you that you have Hello Audio. What I really want to know since 2020 from having the idea but getting the business foundationally to the point where it is helping to impact millions, how do you feel when you just stop and you are like, “We did this, Derek?” Walk us into that conversation that happens.

It has been a journey also. Thank you for reminding me to go back there because so much of it is what we haven’t done yet like what I have on the agenda but here’s where we are headed. I’m terrible at honoring the milestones, rewarding, and recognizing how far we have come, so thank you for bringing me there because it is amazing.

It’s not just the product that sells; it’s the relationships, it’s the marketing, it’s who you are as a person.

Little miss teacher in college, I never thought I would leave that job. I never thought I would have a business where I was making an income that I had made in an entire year. I hit all these major milestones, then it was software. I avoided it. We sold $30,000 worth of a lifetime license, which was about 100 customers

It was on average $300 per transaction. I remember being, “We have to build this?” I have no idea what to do next. No joke. How do I find this person who’s going to make it a real thing? I avoided it for three months. That sounds harsh but I remember explicitly saying, “I don’t want to be a CEO of a software company.” That’s not part of the plan. I kept saying that. I have this grand vision of helping other academics leaving their teaching job. I saw myself as a source of inspiration for what was possible.

This is pre-COVID. I didn’t even know what was coming but I had this feeling like I really should be helping PhDs and academics either start side hustles or businesses and I had a podcast around the same thing. I was like, “How does this fit in?” It doesn’t. Let me just make sure this thing gets built. I went down this path of partnering with another podcast hosting software company.

Someone had said to me, “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are already podcast hosting companies out there. Why do you need to build Libsyn?” I thought that was logical to an extent based on what my current desires were at the time and what I thought “was possible” and what I would be best used as how my skills would be best used. We started conversations with a company called Glow.fm who just got acquired by Libsyn. They do subscription things with podcasting. I remember that whole experience.

I felt like I would meet with their team and I would be like, “This is where we are going. People want to put content on podcasts. It’s not just about monetizing podcasts. It’s about people who already have content.” They were like, “I get it.” I was trying to get them to build this. They were VC-backed. I started to realize, “Am I even going to be able to create what I need to create?” It started to come into my head.

Without getting into too much detail for legal reasons, one of our customers approached us and said, “Why don’t we just build this thing? This is what I know how to do. I have been building apps for a long time.” We’ve got into a partnership with one of our customers and about four months into it, the thing was built. We were a week from launch and they decided to not hand over the code to the product. We get an email saying that she is going out on her own and is not going to be a part of this anymore. Granted the whole thing is done and ready for beta users. This was at end of May 2020.

That was horrible to watch something that you created, for the most part. I wasn’t pressing it. It was all of me. Everyone knew about the post I made. She was a customer so she said, “I’m going to go out and sell it myself.” We’ve got the legal advice and said, “You could go after that code because it is rightfully yours.” You all co-own it, by the way. If you create something with another person, there is joint copyright, whether or not things are assigned. It’s just built into the process. She was claiming that she owned it outright, which is wrong.

Our lawyers were like, “You have two options. You could fight her for that code because you totally deserve it or you could build it over, just start from scratch, and beat her in the marketplace, so to speak.” In the middle of COVID were like, “We are rebuilding it.” We found a new developer and it took us a hot second to be able to have the working product. By September 2020, we went through another developer but what it felt like to have real software that we created in the hands of people who were super excited about it was unlike anything I have ever felt, especially with that journey.

I knew when it was going down and this person was out there on her About page pretending that she came up with the idea. It was hers and that she did all the work. I knew I couldn’t build it. There was something inside that was like, “Lindsay, you are the person to build this. She’s going to be out there and she’s going to be a mirror back of what an example in my head of the person who’s not supposed to build it, which means she will not be successful. You need to do this.”

There’s a scripture, Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived. God will not be mocked. You will reap what you sow.” She is not going to have any success trying to take your stuff. That’s the beauty of knowing that universally with all of these laws of sowing and reaping.

It’s the ultimate act of trust. It still is every day, as we know with building a business. Trust and faith because you are like, “What am I doing?” That was very tough because we felt like we were racing against the thing that was already out there while we had to build from zero. Now, no one knows she exists. No one even knows there’s a competitor because it’s not just the product that sells. It is the relationships, marketing, and who you are as a person, especially in the days of the early startup world.

The story of where this product came from is my story. It’s not hers. She has to deny everything up until the moment. Either that or make it up, which is what she chose to do. People know that. People can read that. They can read energy when you talk about the product. It has been fascinating because they always say with marketing, too.

MTOM 4 | Future Is Female
Future Is Female: Taking capital should make you grow faster because it’s an influx of cash that allows you to hire the right people and build what you need to build and show that growth month over month.

It’s not just the product that sells. The offer is really important. It was a new way of looking at things. She wasn’t the messenger. I’m the messenger in this team, and what we are building. To be where we are now and to have Amy Porterfield and Digital Course Academy using it, it’s everything because it was very scary there.

Darnyelle Jervey Harmon and Incredible Factor University are going to be using it. That’s a really powerful story and message for the people who are reading. We say it all the time. Be careful who you share your dreams with because we don’t realize that the people that we share our dreams with can decide that they want this dream for themselves.

What I talk about all the time is what I call the mirror effect. All-day, every day, we are a mirror. You are mirroring to me something beautiful, brilliant, and filled with light and because I have my own brilliance and light, I am not distracted or intimidated by your brilliance and light. I can celebrate you and honor you with knowing that, doing so takes nothing away from me but not everybody looks at you that way.

What likely happened for this particular person is she started to look at you and started to feel her own insecurities bubbling up and thought she needed to create a different reality instead of figuring out how to raise her shine and partnership with you. It creates this impact that she’s going to A) Have to live with it for the rest of her life. B) It’s never going to be as successful had it been if the partnership ensued and whatever the two of you had worked out. C) She’s out of integrity and out of alignment, which means abundance is never going to find her because that’s what happens energetically when we are not where we are supposed to be.

I love that you decided to take the knocks and say, “We’ve got to hunker down and we’ve got to do it,” because you are shaking the planet. That, to me, is everything. Many lives are going to be changed because you had the courage and foresight in having this one little question turn into this massively successful entity that is a software that is a service that can be used by every coach, consultant, teacher or university. It can be used by everybody. Are you already talking about deals with major institutions to make this available?

We are not going to get into EdTech but we are going to go the small business route. We see more lead nurture stuff happening. My heart is with EdTech and I get it from a teacher’s perspective. As somebody who sat on some committees, it is a slow-moving institution. The conversations we would be having likely would not come to fruition for possibly years later because of the way the cycle works in those institutions, either someone is going to see us build this and be inspired in the EdTech space and go build it.

I will be like, “Yay.” In a couple of years, we decide that we want to build out that wing, then I could see it. When it comes to the academic space, I was a professor who loved tech so I would explore on my own. We will offer an educational license for individual professors to be able to say, “I want this for my students.” Could there be a Stanford University Podcast? There very well could be where there’s an app and it has all your lectures in it. That would be really dope.

There’s different security that they want for obvious reasons. We follow those things. It’s not a part of my vision but I’m also not completely against it. It would require probably a lot of capital. If we do believe that vertical makes sense, we might pursue it. Even if not, I know I can get in the hands of professors who want it and that’s important to me.

I love this idea of using audio to move millions when there is no barrier to how people receive the information, which is why podcasting, in general, is so popular and why Clubhouse now, with this billion-dollar valuation, is taking the world by storm in such a short time. It’s something magical that happens when people can listen.

I was with my clients at my mastermind retreat and one of my client’s daughters graduated from high school. She’s going to college. When we started working together, her daughter was ten. She grew up listening to you in the car because they would download the MP3s and all of that. I think about how we have so much of an opportunity with our little people, especially because from birth to the age of seven, we are determining who they are going to be when they are 40.

We have the ability because of Hello Audio to be able to share impactful, inspirational, educational, empowerment content in a forum that allows the entire car or the entire family to benefit from the skills that will be developed as a result of listening to the teacher such as the course creator, the coach or whoever shares how to do a specific thing, which is really powerful.

I love it when you put it like that. It’s true.

What does software have to do with coaching? You could say nothing, but it’s actually everything.

I remember when my show was number one in Hong Kong. It was so cool because, in 2015, I spoke at the Million Dollar Round Table, which is a big deal. My breakout session had 2,500 people in it. I was in my room. I went to go to the bathroom and I went outside. They hadn’t opened the doors for people to come in and there was a line all the way around the convention center. I literally took a quick video of it. I was like, “People are not going to believe me when I tell them this.” The majority of the people were Asian.

All of those Asian countries and I were translated into six languages in the back of the room. It was funny because I would say the joke in English and the translators would do their thing, then a minute later, everyone would laugh. I wish I could know because one of my jokes is about being born in the projects. I would love to know the equivalent in Mandarin of being born in the projects. It was a surreal thing. When I think about using audio to impact millions, which is a big part of what we talk about here on Move To Millions, is the impact. I celebrate you because it’s phenomenal.

It’s simple to me as the sticky. I need to remind myself with tape on the back. It’s the same thing. It seems so simple why didn’t somebody else think of it but at the same time, they didn’t because this was your destiny. This is what you are supposed to create for the world, which is so powerful. I did some development work to create my own software. The name for it is Jervey. My clients named it. It’s not operational because I had the specs created but I didn’t take the next step.

When I saw Canva got a billion-dollar valuation, I’m like, “You need to develop your software and stop playing.” We have an idea to solve a problem that software will make simple to solve but there are so many. You alluded to it. There are many moving parts and things you have to do. I know a big part of that is getting access to the capital that it will take to put this together.

I have a client who developed an app. $100,000 later, the app is still needing the stuff to be fully operational for the world. What are some of the ideas you have around how we can take these ideas that we have that become Software as a Service, or SaaS as we know it, in the marketplace and get the capital that we need so we can impact millions? What does that look like?

I have a lot to say on this. This is August or September 2020, I’m really starting to dive into what this looks like. The first thing I want to say is I accidentally did it right. I laugh because having a coaching business, a training business, a consulting business prior to building software so much of what I learned in building my business, while it seems like, “What does software have to do with coaching?” You could say nothing but it’s everything because it’s marketing, bootstrapping, making the money work, and pulling in the capital but through products and services. I did what a lot of people do in this space. It’s pre-sell something before you have it.

That was something I was teaching with my course creators. It was, “Don’t make slides. Show up and teach live and I will show you how to do that.” When we thought of podcasts or courses, we realized that we could do a service for them until the product was made, so I didn’t feel like I was selling nothing. People could take us up on us manually creating it for them. That was quite a lift for a $300 lifetime. We knew that that would be the validation that we needed like actual credit cards. Not everyone would ask to have their thing created. The majority didn’t.

I would say about 1/3 of all lifetime users took us up on us manually building their Feed for them. That is big in the SaaS space and it’s not common because of how the tech world originally was made, which was like, “If you have an idea, you need the capital to go get it.” We are in a time where it’s easier than ever to launch the software.

I’m going to explain something in a second that hopefully will encourage other people to do it this way as well. It’s not the path I took but it’s also available. My software license that we have pre-sold and we were able to manually do something, it felt I was still serving people. I wasn’t hoodwinking them in any way, shape or form. Not everyone’s software might be able to be manually done on the backend. Meaning you might not be able to create what you need them to create, so you can do no-code software builds.

It’s like a Squarespace. When Squarespace came around or some of the builders of websites, you can have your software built without any coding. You would drag, drop, build it and people can start using it and create actions on the backend. I would encourage people to do a no-code build to validate that people want it and might pay you even monthly versus the lifetime. The lifetime license is also a different form of buying. You have to prove that people will pay you monthly also. We ended up selling up to $100,000 of lifetime licenses.

We did three different launches to get that number. That is essentially what fed our development. We did not pay ourselves. That money all went into debt. We had what they called tech debt at one point where we had software we didn’t like. I alluded to it that it happened in 2020 after our part of the journey. We lost some cash in that but it’s part of the process. It’s because I’m scrappy and I’m a business owner, we are like, “What offer can we come up with to find the cash to be able to continue to build it?”

I tell people all the time, as an entrepreneur, you have a printing press outback. You should never say, “I can’t afford it.” You should say, “What can I sell to get this money?”

MTOM 4 | Future Is Female
Future Is Female: The cool thing about having software as a service is the margins are amazing and the recurring revenue is awesome.

We have been working with this developer who’s amazing. Bill has been getting to production for six startups. He knows the space really well. We were another one. When he saw what Nora and I were able to do and sell, he’s like, “This is great. You are going to do great.” We just got in a Facebook Live, created an offer, opened a cart and made $30,000 or $40,000, no big deal. He’s like, “There are so many startup teams out there that go and give equity away or give up and payout of their own savings account. Fair enough if that’s available to you and you want to do it in that way. I get it. You guys can make this happen.”

That was cool because that showed our developer that we really truly were taking this very seriously and wanted this to last and continue. The next phase of the process was I connected with the CEO of Thinkific, which is the learning management software. They had just raised a $30 million Series B. I was like, “Congratulations on the raise. We should connect because I’m curious about what that could look like. Should we do that?” He’s like, “I would love to tell you how I started Thinkific.”

Greg ends up writing me my first check and that starts the journey of raising capital. I want to paint this picture because this is where it is a little different than the coaching space. I decided to raise capital versus launching in so many words. I shouldn’t say it like that because that’s not entirely true but we had a path for a launched process and potentially do partners, which we are still executing on.

Raising capital was this journey that I couldn’t do. I’m back to this inner knowing and the calling type of stuff. I felt like going through this and raising capital was part of what I needed to learn to model it to people in our industry. It’s very easy for people in our industry to bootstrap. There’s nothing wrong with bootstrapping but you do have to ask yourself the question, “How quickly could you grow with bootstrapping versus taking capital?”

Taking capital should make you grow faster. It’s an influx of cash that allows you to hire the right people, build what you need to build, and show that growth month over month fast. My monthly recurring revenue was $7,000. That is not enough to pay my team. We had what we call in the tech world “getting to breakeven.” This happens in the tech world where most of the time, you are raising capital and you are hoping the revenue catches up. You are then at breakeven. That’s a big milestone in the tech world. We decided to go down the path of raising capital, which I had no idea what meant.

I read a ton of books. I talked to Greg a lot. The timing of Clubhouse was bananas. I was able to talk with investors there and learn stuff from people who probably aren’t used to sharing this information. That really catapulted my knowledge base to make me confident because that’s the key. Am I confident going out there asking for $400,000 when I don’t quite know what I’m doing? I had to learn the language, all the definitions and the terms.

I have had many women say, “I have been sitting on this software product, this idea and watching you do this.” That’s the cool thing about having Software as a Service is the margins are amazing. Recurring revenue is awesome. There’s not a lot of team overhead, especially once the thing gets built because you know the software does the work. I also found a coach very quickly who is Dan Martell.

I love Dan Martell. I was like, “I need to get the software just so he can be my coach.” I want to work with him but I don’t know if he works with people that don’t have software.

He takes you from $0 to $10,000. I’m in his coaching program. It’s all about marketing. These folks don’t know how to build a webinar. He teaches webinars. I take that and I’m like, “Cool.” I am already ten steps ahead and they are just starting. It honored the journey up until that point, which is really important too while I feel like, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” The reality is I do.

My previous business and my teaching career, all the years of education got me to that point, which is why I’m the person to deliver it. There are these moments where you are like, “Everything does make sense. Every step that I took does lead to here.” Even what I would label as a mistake, even that experience with that partner, I’m grateful for her. She’s the person who shook me and said, “We should build this.” If she hadn’t said that, I probably would have partnered with Glow because I wasn’t looking to build it. I wasn’t trusting that I could do it with the right partners. The reality is that she was totally the right partner. She had the skills we needed.

It sucks because he turned out to be a bad person. Not a bad person but something has happened to her in a previous business deal. That came up for her and she panicked, as you said, in the mirror or looking at me being the CEO. Something was not there but I’m grateful for that happening, as much as it was one of the worst things ever to happen to me in business. It made me build whatever messages I needed to make me go. Sometimes the messages have to be dark, unsettling and not feel fair.

Sometimes God has to snatch you out of those things. You could have gone down that path and you would not have had the impact you were supposed to have. She was the catalyst to get you thinking a different thought to realize that you were onto something that was going to shake the planet. Her participation in your journey had to end.

We’re now in a time where it’s easier than ever to launch a software.

Maybe there were signs, maybe there weren’t but it had to end drastically because it would threaten to derail the destiny that was established for where you were to go next if you stayed in the association. It is what it is. You get to the point where you forgive because you don’t want to harbor anything that’s going to keep it.

Nobody goes to bed a blunder and wakes up a wonder. It’s a journey. You keep doing that forgiveness work so that nothing keeps you from the abundance that’s rightfully yours. You thank her for being a catalyst when you can get to that point. You may never thank her to her. You may thank her only in your journal. You may forgive her only in your journal.

You may never reach out to her and audibly forgive her because forgiveness is for Lindsay, it’s not for her. You do what you need to do. You move on and you keep impacting. Everything you have been through up until this point is only to solidify that not only is this needed but it is a big part of your purpose on this planet. There are way too many more lives to change than to get caught up in the one that tried to derail you.

I do want to bring this up with a mentor that I had. I was in his mastermind. I support his programming. He was like, “Don’t just bootstrap. Don’t raise,” but take it as a grain of salt because he had never done it. He chose to want to hang on to his equity. That is cool when you get to a moment where you have a different understanding and knowledge than someone that was a mentor of yours and can still be a mentor.

There was something in me that was like, “Go against what a lot of people in this industry do, which is bootstrap.” There’s something powerful in raising capital and getting into this world because it’s a bridge. There’s a bridge happening between the code-switching space and the tech world. I want to show people that that’s possible. This is a tip from Dan Martell. “If you are doing something in a spreadsheet that no software is doing, there’s likely a software idea there.”

“I’ve got another idea for another software. I won’t share it because I don’t want anybody stealing my idea.” My clients love this one spreadsheet that we give them. I’m going to write that down. I wanted to say something about the whole access to capital. My mastermind is 98% women of color, and then we’ve got two non-women of color.

Do you have it or it’s one year in?

I had it. It’s my program. We were talking specifically about the EIDL money. It has access to capital. A loan that is 30 years, 3% with no qualifications. Not necessarily my mastermind but most people don’t have the right reporting. They don’t put together projections. They can’t walk into a bank with their business stuff and present it to get a loan.

We were talking about how they were so afraid to get this money. I initially was afraid, too. Full transparency. They offered me $150,000 and I only took $20,000. I was like, “I don’t want to be in debt.” When I started thinking about it, I could use that money to run Facebook ads and increase my impact in the world. I ended up going back and get the rest of the money and it was still available. I ended up taking it. It’s sitting in an account. I haven’t touched it yet. I don’t even know if I will need to because our business is doing phenomenal.

You always take it when you don’t need it. I learned this in raise.

That’s what I was just about to say. Always take it when you don’t need it. It’s mine. Worst case scenario and they extend it when you have to start paying for it. I don’t even have to start paying for it back for a few years. We were just having this whole conversation about access to capital. I wanted to put a pin right here for those of you who are reading that have been trying to take your business to the next level with the money you have in cash reserve.

You are limiting the potential of your business because, as Lindsay just said so eloquently, you cannot hire the people you need to hire. If it is up to you to scale, you are not scaling. You cannot scale being a solopreneur. It’s just not possible. You need to have people, systems, and software to support you to be able to do it. If you can get access to capital, take advantage of it.

MTOM 4 | Future Is Female
Future Is Female: There’s something powerful in raising capital and getting into this world because there’s a bridge happening between the coaching and the tech world.

What I love also about the SBA is there is no hit to your equity and your company to access it. When you are working with a venture capital firm, you are giving up some of your equity in exchange for the valuation of your company, which there’s a time and a place for that, too. Don’t be afraid because you need more capital if you want to grow. Otherwise, you are not going to make the impact that you were created to make. It’s not going to happen. It’s so good.

I’m so glad you bring that up and tie that in because that’s super relatable. It’s important for women, for women of color, specifically. It’s understanding that the systems made that reaction to debt. We have seen it. I personally come from a working-class family. My family filed for bankruptcy. I have money crap tied to that stuff. There are the mindset things there.

When you think about a system set-up that has historically kept people of color out from wealth and red-lining, of course, you are going to be skeptical. Why would the government give money to someone like me? When people like Darnyelle are showing you, “Go get it, take it and use it smartly.” If you can put it into a machine that has ROI, however many dollars per month that you are going to owe over 30 years is going to be a drop in the bucket of what is the potential to create. It’s also scary. Stuff happens but recognizes though that the path that you are choosing, you are at the helm of it and you can make something really cool come out of that capital.

This is another mindset thing that I had to go through, which is a little different than taking out a loan that you have a percent for. It’s different because I’m giving them a piece of my company, which is a big deal. I had to flip the mindset of, “I’m not asking for money because I need it. I’m asking for money because they get to be a part of an opportunity in a vehicle that is exciting to them.”

I had somebody say that to me. As I mentioned, my family with bankruptcy and stuff. We used to borrow from my grandparents. Again, access to generational wealth. My mom used to call my grandpa and beg for money. He treated her like crap in the entire process. A whole other conversation. Mom, if you are reading, I love you. It’s a whole thing. I thought asking people for writing a check, just $25,000 to $500,000, no one does that without strings or I’m begging for it. I have to do it. I had to get that flip and they are like, “You are bringing a gift. You are writing an opportunity.”

That was another thing. We also have to recognize that our money stories are going to come up. I know Darnyelle talks a lot about this. When we are dealing with these lumps of cash and we have things that happen to us growing up that we attach meaning to that money. By doing this, I’m healing the history that my family money-wise has gone through. I could feel it because it was scary as heck.

I knew in the fear that I was in was the healing of I’m going to do this differently. I’m going to get checks written for $50,000, wired money transferred, and it’s going to feel very different. That was a game-changer for me. To reflect back, asking for capital, raising capital, and loans, the money is out there. I’ve got to discover a different way of having money flow to me and that was by raising around.

You have to realize that you deserve it. It’s all a deserve issue. Regardless of any of it, we are constantly questioning, “Do we deserve it? Did we do something right that makes this available to us?” Honestly, just to be here, to be a creation of the most amazing Creator, is your deserve. The invitation to be on this Earth is your validation that the world needs you.

I love what you said about the flip that you’ve got yourself as realizing that these venture capitalists see the gift that you are. They can hold up a mirror and be for you what you can’t be for yourself to permit yourself to accept the gift. At the end of the day, having a 100% of a company that is doing nothing or having 50% of the company that’s impacting the world is humongous.

It is all about perspective and realizing that we are worthy and we do deserve it. There’s no way in the world you are going to impact millions if you are not comfortable with millions flowing through you. Your bank accounts are going to be a catalyst for a real change in the world and you have to realize that you deserve that.

I’m grateful that you have been doing that money mindset work and it never goes away. At every level, there is another devil. It doesn’t matter. I remember I was telling my clients that we are at the point and my goal is to get to $10 million in three years. We have been sputtering around this $1.5 million to $2 million space forever. I’m like, “I want to have a $10 million company. Not just for the cash but the impact.”

Before that, my monthly revenue would probably be at least $75,000. Some months it would be $84,000 it’s supposed to be, and some months that would be the $57,000. In March 2021, we did $27,000. I decided that six-figure cash months were my new normal. I stood in it. I deserve it. No wavering. Every month since then, we have done six figures in cash. My whole point of bringing this up for you that are reading is regardless of the decision that needs to be made around money. It is merely a decision and decisions give you the ability to get the freedom that you are desiring.

The future of funnels is female, and the future of tech is female.

Most people won’t decide because of fear of responsibility. Fear of responsibility is real freedom. If you have the responsibility to get all of that to come into your life experience and to distribute it in a way that supports and edifies others, you are experiencing the freedom that you say you want most urgently inside of your business and your life experience. This has been so good. I don’t want it to end. I’m going to have you back.

If you aren’t following Lindsay, she has her own club, Hello Audio on Clubhouse. Every Saturday night she does F3, The Future of Funnels is Female. We get to have some powerful conversations with some powerful women. Before I let you go, I have to ask you three questions. These are round-out questions. My first question is, what is your favorite quote? The quote that keeps you motivated, gets you excited and reminds you who you are in the space that you fill on the planet.

The quote that always stuck with me was the signature in my teaching. Again, I’m still the teacher. It’s a Robert Frost quote that, “Teaching is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”

The last book that you read?

I read so much. I read 100 books a year. I track them all. My wind downtime is fiction. I read probably three fiction books to every one business book. I usually read business in the morning. It’s like personal development, things that I need to be processing. Fiction books are more like my escape and fun. The fiction book I just finished reading is Wonder, which was such a fun read. It’s about a little boy who’s born with face problems. It was a movie by Julia Roberts. I was crying. I haven’t read a book from the perspective of a middle school kid in a long time. It was a great book so I finished that.

The other book is Trampled by Unicorns, which is written by a female tech. She’s the CEO of Techstars. It’s about big tech and bringing empathy into the big tech space. Talking about the Future of Funnels is Female, the future of tech is female. We are going to need to create tech that is serving humanity. She’s opened to talking about how. In tech, it’s driven by development and engineering. It’s very rudiment and orderly. She’s like, “We need to be bringing in the Social Sciences and she was quoting Sociology.” If you are into Silicon Valley tech, she gives a plan for what we should do with big tech and how much information they have.

Have you done a TED Talk?

I have not.

I had a flash of you doing it. The TED Talk could either be the Future of Tech is Female or it could be Hello Audio. I will just leave it out there for you. My last question is, what is the one tool that you swear by to move your business to millions?

Descript. My husband is really a techie. He’s my sound guy. He edited our podcast. We are going to be launching a new podcast. I would hand it over to him because the software he was using to do it always looked so hard. I don’t know how you edit your podcasts or who on your team does it. It’s hard using those tools. He knows it well and has all these shortcuts and stuff.

I stayed away and I felt like there was a bottleneck. What I’m realizing with Hello Audio and we are creating a bunch of private Feeds for individual people. I have one Feed for one person. I can copy and paste, and edit the audio so easily. It’s mind-blowing. To the point where I shouldn’t be doing it but at the same time, it is me to do this because the tweaks are so tiny that I could move it fast. Descript is helping me up to my content game. That content is big with reach and your ability to personalize and get your message out there in video or audio format. Descript is a game-changer for me.

I’m so glad that you were able to come and chat with me. As I said, we will totally have to have you back because there are so many more things we could talk about. Just enclosing, anything else that you want to leave with the people?

MTOM 4 | Future Is Female
Future Is Female: You have to flip the mindset. You’re not asking money because you need it, you’re asking money because they get to be a part of an opportunity in a vehicle that is exciting to them.

Thank you for this interview. I feel like I was getting as much out of it. You reminded me of a lot of things about how far I have come and what I’m building. Waking up with you on a Tuesday was perfect. I just wanted to say I appreciate you. What you are doing is really great with this show. I’m glad to be a part of it.

Thank you so much for being here, Lindsay. I’m grateful to you and I’m really excited about signing up for Hello Audio. I’m getting in there. You need to get in there, too. I appreciate you.

I told you that it was going to be a really powerful conversation that I just had with Lindsay. There were many powerful things that we talked about in the interview. The thing that stands out for me the most was finding a need and solving it. This all started because she realized that there was a gross need in the marketplace for people who were creating courses and content online. She asked herself, “How can I get people to finish my course?” She endeavored to remove as much friction as possible from the process.

The question I want you to be asking yourself about your business as it stands now or about the software idea that’s going to come out of your business because we talked about that too on how if you have a spreadsheet that you are using daily, it could be software that could be changing the lives of other people. “How are you going to take initiative and solving a real problem for people so that you get the opportunity to impact millions, which will ultimately help you make the move to generating millions?”

There were many other amazing parallels. I loved when she talked about the fact that launching a software business is much like running an online business and how many of the skills she employed in her online business she was able to use in her software tech business. Knowing the parallels between building a business and creating a software company is the difference to make.

We’ve also got into that conversation about bootstrapping versus access to capital and taking on capital. She said the fact your confidence in yourself, in your ability, in the way you see yourself, and your deserve level as it pertains to money is going to determine, whether or not you try to do it the slow route or in the way that’s going to garner the most amount of impact for the people that you want to serve.

Regardless of anything, I hope that you realize that you are literally sitting on a gold mine. You are sitting on the solution that people are actually seeking now. I encourage and implore you. I know we probably don’t talk in beseech language these days but I beseech you to ask yourself that very simple question and see what comes up because I believe that it could be the key to you making the Move To Millions. I will see you next time. Take care.  

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About Lindsay Padilla

Dr. Lindsay Padilla an ex-community college professor who accidentally started a business just 4 years ago. Now, as the CEO and co-founder of the Hello Audio software, which takes your content and creates private audio feeds to make learning on the go much easier for your people, Lindsay challenges the industry norm of unfinished courses and unconsumed content with her product.

All of her business ideas were born out of her tenure-track years teaching adults online at a community college, the ridiculous amount of learning she’s done in all things education, and the years spent growing her course creation business online.