#61: How to make a living as a logo designer [interview with James Martin]

Welcome to The Creator's Adventure, where we interview creators from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business.

Today's guest is gonna teach us the importance of executing in your business, he is going to share the story of how he became a successful logo designer and gained more than 350K followers on social media with his art.

Meet James Martin. He's the founder of Baby Giant Design Co, a brand design agency. Based in the UK, James has helped hundreds of companies around the world build their dreams through his unique old-school approach to brand identity.

Learn more about James: https://www.themadebyjames.com/

Watch this episode when it premieres live for a chance to interact with James. Leave your questions for him in the comments!


Bryan McAnulty: Welcome to The Creator's Adventure, where we interview Creator's from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business. Today's guest is gonna teach us the importance of executing in your business. It's clear from his Instagram of 350,000 followers that he is a master at this because if you look at the walls in the background, his whole room is covered in logos that he's designed.

Hey everyone. I'm Brian McNaulty, the founder of Heights Platform. Let's get into it.

Hey everyone. We're here today with James Martin. He's the founder of Baby Giant Design Co, a brand design agency. Based in the uk, James has helped hundreds of companies around the world build their dreams through his unique old school approach to brand identity. James, welcome to the show.

James Martin: Thank you. Yeah, I love the old school.

Yeah, I like that. You know, still a bit analog me, which is a little bit strange even though I'm holding my apple pencil right now, which is probably naughty. But it's good for making notes. But yeah, nice to be here. Yeah. And excited to chat for sure.

Bryan McAnulty: Awesome. So my first question is, what would you say is the biggest thing that you did or you are doing that helped you to achieve the freedom to do what you enjoy?

James Martin: Wow. Big question and as every viewer and listener will now know is that these were not preplanned questions or answers from my end. So going totally off the cuff here I think the one thing that has got me to where I am today and allows me to continue. Doing what I love is. It comes down to one word and I think that's execution.

I think there are a lots of people who not necessarily just talk a good game, but they have all these big dreams and they have all these things they want to achieve, and they have all these clients they want to work for and they have all these, this mission of wanting to be an influencer or entrepreneur, but.

They struggle with the execution side, and I think the difference between people who are seemingly making it and seemingly not making it is just that it's execution. So I've always been very good at making a plan and executing on that plan. And. Obviously there's a lot of calculated risk within that and not, also, not so much calculation in with the risks, cuz you know, every opportunity is a little bit different.

But when I put my mind to it, I will do it. If I say I'm gonna write a book, I'll write a book. If I say I'm gonna build a course, I'm gonna build a course. If I say I'm gonna get. 30 clients in a year. I'll make sure I get more than that. You know? So I think it's just about execution, which has allowed me to, and the thing is, like, the funny thing is about the word execution is that, It's only us kind of holding ourselves back a lot of the time, I think.

So, and by executing and doing it becomes easier to execute more and do more because you realize it's not so scary. I think a lot of the time, especially creative people, they hold themselves back a little bit worried about. What people might think or am I good enough or, you know, there's a lot of self-doubt, you know, kind of self negative, self-talk.

Whereas I'm very, I very much learnt to just stay in my lane, kind of follow. I know the person who I want to be. I know what I need to do to get there, and I do little things every single day to make sure that happens. Do you know what I mean? So good planning. Yep. And execution, I would say is, is where I go with that.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, that's a great answer. I was, I was gonna say, assuming you would've stopped earlier, I was going to say what you mentioned as well is that like describing it a little bit of a different way though, that like, it's like a muscle that it can feel hard to to work on executing in the beginning when you're struggling as a creator.

But the more that you do it, the more it becomes just something that you can, you can do. And I, yeah, I like that. The way that you described it, someone else that I've spoken with in the past on this show Anthony Trucks, you had a interesting way of putting it where you're, you're talking about that, like you're, you're sitting there, you're focusing on this thing, you know, like, this is what I want to do, this is what I'm gonna do.

And it reminded me of what he said, that he calls it dark work. So it's like the, the work that you're doing there in the dark, that you're not, you're not, nobody else in the world really knows what's going on, but like, this is like, I'm focused, I'm doing this. And then once you've done that, now you can have the, the confidence, you have the so much more than the confidence.

But like you, you know, that like, Hey, I've put all this in. I'm, I'm ready to go and get that result. And it, it helps, it helps everything building your, your stamina, helping you move forward. I guess my follow up question is, besides just trying to execute to, to build that up, what else would you suggest to somebody who maybe feels like they're, they're struggling with executing to get better at that?

James Martin: Yeah. I suppose you've gotta know what you are looking to execute. So I suppose that comes down to a lot of like mission and purpose and all those kind of nitty gritty words. I think, I think everybody, I, I always say everybody, I hate to generalize, but it's so easy to generalize. But I think, you know, on the whole A lot of, a lot of people are in a rush to get somewhere.

You know? I think especially with the, the rise of social media, the immediacy of content, you know, the immediacy of like, everybody's wanting now to be famous rather than build a career like it has to happen in two years. If it doesn't, I'm stopping. So, you know, I, you know, ev what everybody sees of me now as being.

20 years in the making. Do you know what I mean? It's only really over the last three or four where things have started to kind of change a little bit. So, but throughout those 20 years, I have persevered. I have learned a lot about myself and I've really like beyond anything, know exactly who I am. And I know exactly what I do for people and I think that allows me to execute on my plans.

Cause there's no fluff, you know? And I think it's like when you get to a certain point, there's gonna be lots of opportunities that come your way from all sorts of directions. And what you gotta do is you gotta say no to the ones that don't align with the person that you wanna become. There's no point executing on something that doesn't really align with that end goal for yourself.

And I think. So if I could break it down to some kind of takeaway values, it would be like really understanding like firstly who you are. And I think you've got to be, you've got a very, have a very good grounding sense of who you are as a person. You know, you know, what are your values? What can you bring to people?

What makes you different? Because, you know, was it like four chances of us all being here, like 400 and trillion to one or something? Do you know what I mean? So I think there's not enough people who are leaning into their own. Characters. So that would be the first thing. And then like, what can you offer people?

Like whether it's a service, whether it's a product or whatever it is, or both, you know, what is that thing, you know, really dial down that thing. And then who is that thing for? You know, and I think understanding your audience is a, is a really essential part for growth and execution, because I could know my services and know myself, but go down to the local, you know, elderly's elderly home and try and sell my services there and I'm not gonna get any traction because they're not.

The right people who need my services or need the things that I'm doing. So so sorry that was no, nothing against elderly people. I love them, but I'm just trying to make the kind of comparison of like what's, what's the, what the deal is. So like, obviously knowing yourself, knowing what you do, and knowing who you do it for, when you've, when you mastered those things or you have a good grasp of those things.

And obviously you evolve, but that allows you to execute with more accuracy. Cause when you're executing with accuracy, Like confidence rises and confidence grows. You're getting more yeses than you are nos. So then you understand like, okay, more, more, more, more, more. And it can become addictive that way.

Mm, yeah.

Bryan McAnulty: That's true. Yeah. I, I think it's, it's also something that like, it's almost like you have to be like relentless at that thing that you're doing, and it's not so much even about the outcome. And the outcome almost doesn't matter. When you, you get into that mindset, it's just like, I will do this no matter what.

Either way, it doesn't matter if whatever I did today turned into a success, I'm still gonna do it tomorrow. And I think that mindset really helps you to, to, to get to that point and, and to show like where you are here today. You said you've been doing this 20 years now and. Other people would, would be much quicker to, to give up on something where they, they could get there as well if they were consistent and were severe.

James Martin: Yeah. Well, I think, I think the word you mentioned there, relentless is, is it, it's a relentless pursuit of something you want and still relentlessly pursuing it even when it's not going well. You know, I don't want to go to work every day. I'd like to take some days off. You know, I'd like to have more time with my family.

But you know, I think you do obviously end up finding your own balance with that. Cause I think if you do work for yourself and you're an entrepreneur of any sort, you probably do have a bit more of a blend life because it's impossible. You, the addiction, it's the relentlessness of it. But I think like, again, it's the execution side of it.

Like the people who turn up every single day, even when they don't want to. Other people that get somewhere, you know? So I think that's something, like you said, that relentlessness is, it's almost, it is almost an illness, you know, I would suppose, you know, I think if you look at it, and I know you'll, I think you'll know it as well, you know, it's to get to where you want to be isn't easy and it's not supposed to be easy, you know?

But it does get easier. It never, it is never simple, but it does get easier the more you practice it and the more you try, you know, effort is free after all.

Bryan McAnulty: Hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Well said. All right, so we read about on your website and, and when we were looking you up a little of your, your backstory and your journey before building Baby Giant design was quite challenging and complex, so we saw that like as a young man, you had to deal with abuse.

A difficult situation at home, a drug addiction. And today you run this successful company, you're sober, and you have a reputation as one of the world's best logo designers. So can you share a little bit with our audience of how did you turn around that difficult situation into the personal and professional success you have today?

James Martin: Yeah, I wouldn't say it's, I wouldn't say it's still totally professional. But that's I'm trying harder every day to be more professional. Yeah, I mean, I think, like, I think what's very important to kind of break down within this conversation is that everybody has a past, you know, and I think you can either let it make you or break you, you know, mine was.

More challenging than some, but probably not as challenging as a lot of other people's out there. So I think for me, you know, like you mentioned like at the age of 11 I was sexually abused by my teacher at school and that kind of set me on a bit of a, you know, that happened at 11. I didn't tell anybody for a long time until I was like 18, 19 and that, that kind of dealing with that as a.

Growing young man, you know, at a boarding school with no real, you know, being let down by teacher and not having my parents around and all the rest of it was quite a challenging thing to deal with, obviously inwardly. And through adolescence, I dealt with it through rebellion drugs, alcohol, you know, kicked outta school, kicked outta home, you know, and then basically went on a massive bender for about.

Two and a half years, you know a bender be like a big session. I don't know. There's always a bit of a you know, a, a kind of translation thing, especially when I make up words and I'm English, so but yeah, so I kind of just went. Like any, anybody of any authority I just had no respect for. And that included my parents.

And like we, you know, that's ended up in me being kicked at home. Like just to kind of fast forward a little bit, me and my parents get on fantastically well now, you know, I've grown up. I'm a very different person to what I was. But you know, I was stealing, I was doing a lot of drugs. I was drinking all the time, like doing drugs every single day.

And what happened was, It, you know, people talk about the moment everything changed and it was, you know, it was after one big night out, which was probably on the back of loads of other big nights out. And I remember coming back still absolutely wired. Probably still a little bit high, you know, after driving back, you know, naughty, naughty, you know and just, just sitting in bed.

I had to go in for work. You know, I was working at a, like a pub or a restaurant at that time, and I remember sitting there thinking, what an earth am I doing with my life? You know, growing up I was. Captain of my sports teams. I was county rugby, county cricket, you know, well respected sportsman. And up until the age of about, you know, 15, 16, and that's when it started to kind of spiral.

But I was kind of thinking back like I had all this opportunity. Good schools, caring parents, you know, Good sportsman leader and I felt like a, a loser. Do you know what I mean? I just felt like I wasn't fulfilling my potential. And that day by no means did, I stopped doing drugs, but I thought I need to do something.

I need to change this somehow. So I went and enrolled in a local college and put myself onto an art foundation. And then that art foundation got me onto, you know, an H n D graphic design course. And then that got me into a, like a different graphic design kind of course at college. Then that got me into uni and then, The more I started to focus on kind of a path when I was being more distracted, the less drugs I was doing.

I was getting rid of certain friendship groups and I moved back home and you know, started to rebuild relationships and stuff. And then uni got me into my first design role. And then my first design role made me start Baby Giant and then, Baby Giant was growing and then made by James happened, and now me and you are sitting here, you know, in 2023 20 years later, almost, you know, from when I started that kind of journey from bed gutter, you know, loser to somebody who's.

You know, now every day trying to wake up and trying to fulfill his potential. And like you said, like I've stopped drinking. I haven't had a drink or anything for almost, well since September, 2021 now, so, yeah. And yeah, so life is, Life's great sober. Do you know what I mean? So I was achieving stuff while still drinking a lot, you know, over the last few years, but like wrote a book and all sorts of stuff.

But I know to become the person I want to become. I need to look after myself better. I want to be a good dad for my baby boy. You know, I want to be a good leader to other designers and people around me, and I know to do that, I've gotta set a bet example for myself, you know? And I've got a lot to do. I need to live a long time.

So not drinking's gonna help that.

Bryan McAnulty: Well, yeah. Well, I mean, I, I would agree with that. I, I don't drink either myself. But I think it's, it's important like that, the moment that you mentioned that a, a shift happens in your mind where you realize like, okay, this, this thing, whatever it is, like I'm no longer willing to accept this, whatever.

You either, the way you're being, the way things are happening to you, the situation you're in, just say, Hey, I'm no longer willing to accept this. Something has to change. And then often that can be. The catalyst to really help you move forward.

James Martin: Hmm, yep. Totally agree. And it, and it will hit you like a brick wall, you know?

And sometimes I think I had to be, you know, I was at rock bottom then, you know, it was, I would consider, and without being like overly dramatic, it was either jail or no jail. Do you know what I mean? The stuff that I was doing, the groups that I was in, the stuff that I was doing at the time, you know? So, and I think you have to get to that point, and the universe or whoever you think it is, comes to you and says, Make your decision now because this is your last chance.

And that's what I felt like it was, you know, it was my, you know, is I've keep going down and never get back up or stop and reevaluating.

Bryan McAnulty: Yep. So with your design agency, you've worked with a wide range of clients from bands like The Chainsmokers to all these other brands and companies. What would you say draw you to a project and how do you approach each new branding job?

James Martin: Hmm. I suppose, I mean, Let's be honest, like budgets are always an intriguing thing when it comes to choosing the right pod project. You know, so I mean, I'm not particularly picky at all when it comes to, I don't like focus my efforts on a particular industry or particular style. I like to, you know, I've got, if a client can afford my work and my process and wants to work the way I wanna work, I'm in.

And I like to think that I can use my skills as a brand identity designer to forge something fantastic for them, whatever it is. You know, obviously I do have my style. I have a certain way of thinking and. Not that it was always the case, but now clients want to pay for that thinking, you know, and they want to see what I can bring to the table for their projects.

You know, I'm not, I wouldn't say I'm a classically, you know, I grew up an illustrator, you know, I did a tattoo apprenticeship, so my creative direction and thinking is a little bit different, you know? I do like to add a little bit more. Energy and a bit more, you know, not all of my stuff obviously, but I do like to add quite a lot of character and personality to the brands.

I'm not like somebody who just executes very geometric, slick, minimal designs 24 7. A brief will come to me and that brief will tell me where I need to be with it. And that could either be. Hand drawn, illustrative, organic feeling or clean, minimal geometric monoline or whatever. So yeah. When it comes to clients, I, I'm, like I said, I'm not fussy if they want to work with me and the budget aligns with the cost to work with me and the timelines work.

I'm anybody literally, There are certain things obviously I won't do, you know, I won't work for tobacco companies or anything like that, you know, there's some moral stopping points, but, you know, anybody else I'm in.

Bryan McAnulty: So a big focus for you in the, your design agency is logo design. And I wanna mention that I was taking a look at your Instagram.

I think you've got over 300,000 followers, right? And. Your backgrounds mm-hmm. Of almost all your video photos and, and videos. You've got all these logos all around your wall and, and all this artwork. And so, like for anyone who's, who's listening to this and, and like can't see your, your background right now, like really, like, it's clear how, how obsessed and into logo design you are.

And, and I've done logo design in the past when when my business started as a, a web and graphic design agency. And so I can say I'm interested in it, but definitely not at the level that you are. So in your professional opinion, what would you say are some elements that really help to make a logo stand out or I guess make a great logo in your eyes?

James Martin: Yeah. Again, very big question, but I can probably whittle it down. A little bit, I think, I think there are things that a logo has to do. You know, I think a decent brand identity has to do four things or should do four things. I think it has to work in application. So everybody who you work with needs their logo to do something different.

There are standard things like it need to work on a website, but other people might be. 100% online. Some people might be predominantly in print, some, you know. So I think it's really important that whenever you are creating a logo, you think of the application of where that logo's going to be used and not just like now, like future proofing it as well.

So application would be one has to work in application. I think that allows us to talk about the second one, which is longevity. Like not following trends, not jumping on colors because they're caught with Pantone this year or whatever it is. You know, like making sure that you can give your designs longevity.

So they do last, you know, nothing lasts forever. ST stuff does need up updating, but. Whenever I'm creating something, I'm always thinking of like longevity, like how can I give this a great, you know, a life good lifespan. Audience I would say is number three. You know, I think as much as we have to love our work and our clients have to love our work, that work is being created for.

A group of people or a set of people, an audience or a community. So I think commu like audience has to be really thought about, like, who are you designing that for? So really understanding that personal, that set of people allows you to communicate with them in the right way. And then finally, so we've had application, audience, and longevity.

Finally, I would have to say, I mean like memorability, you know, I think it has to be it has to stand out. I think people, it has to be easily recognizable. And it has to do the job of a logo, which is obviously brand recognition. You know, that's what it does. That's reason that they're there. They, they facilitate conversations.

They start conversations. They sometimes stop conversations if they're not done particularly well. So yeah, I would say those are the four things that I would, I would rock with, which are, Application audience, memorability and longevity are the four things I think. I mean, there's loads of other things people might say.

Simple people might say other stuff, but the, for me, those are the four.

Bryan McAnulty: Got it. Yeah, that sounds, that sounds great to me. I also wanna bring up the idea of, with technology and everything, everyone's talking about AI now and. There's all these AI tools now that can create images, create logos, graphics for you.

So do you feel positively about this and where do you see like this technology potentially changing, like the work of a designer like yourself?

James Martin: Mm, no, that's a great, that's a great question. Luckily AI is, Shit at logos right now, which I'm quite happy for. They're really good like image manipulation, but you know, that's, that's gonna change.

They will get better and better. And this, this software, this, this isn't going anywhere, let's be totally honest. So I think what will AI is gonna become a very valuable tool for creative people. I think the creatives who can use AI are gonna be the people that can win. Cause we've gotta remember that this software still needs creative input, is still needs like a human to build the things that it's building.

And that stuff only gets better with the creative mind that's controlling it soon. It might even not need the creative. And I know some certain things, it doesn't necessarily need it so much, which is why it's built. But ultimately I think. You'd be silly to ignore it as a creative person. I think it's going to go for a bit of a rocky ride for the next year or two because of the implications of copyright trademarks, you know, and all this kind of stuff.

It's gonna be a bit dirty for a while until. People start to kind of understand it and what it works, what they're allowed to do, and all the rest of it. But I think ultimately it doesn't, it's only something great if it's used by somebody. Great. So you like the creative mind is still gonna be a very powerful tool and.

What I've personally found, like since technology, you know, especially over the last 20 years, you know, kind of growing up in a world without social media. Now growing up in a world with social media and ai, the clients are craving human connection. They're craving the, the need to work with people, you know, and the world is very much, I think, trying to become more people first.

It went through this phase of. Not being so much, but especially like with, with creative people, like people looking to partner on projects and want that human connection. And you can only get that via a human. Yes. You can get somebody to write your copy. Yes. You can get somebody to create a, you know, a cool like profile picture of yourself using this AI software and all this stuff.

There's gonna be so many uses moving forward. I've seen like, Doing your taxes and stuff like that at the moment, which is pretty bonkers, like the new version of chat. So, you know, I think it's, I think it's a very exciting landscape and should be seen as such. I don't, you know, if I was a brand new designer right now, starting my career, I would be adding, using that stuff into my daily routine.

That's what I would be doing. And I think people like me and yourself should be using its power, using our creative power and partnering with it. Like I said, like for me in the brand identity space right now, I don't see too much of an issue. You know, people come to me for my brain, you know? But, and like anything, You know, there are gonna be people who can afford Fiverr.

There are gonna be people who buy their stuff off Shutterstock, and there's gonna be people who buy their stuff off AI or use that kind of software to do it slightly cheaper. But there's always gonna be the people who want to spend money on the thinking of the connection of the deeper four, which is something that that software can't bring at the moment.

Yeah. So I think you still need to develop as a creative.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, I completely agree with that. And about, like what you're saying about the craving a human connection. Definitely. Like, I can see like people who are like, even if they say like, oh, I'm just gonna have the the AI make a logo for me or something.

But like, some of those same people would also say like, I really just wanna talk to somebody about this and, and the ideas and. And, and go over that with a human. And instead of just trying to say different things for the, the AI to generate something and, and also how it can be used as a tool for creatives where like one example I think is, is really applicable to like a brand identity or like logo design is like when you're, you're working on a new logo, like at least for me, like.

Come up with all these different concepts, tons of different concepts, and oftentimes it's just to help create that feedback loop for yourself to see like, now that I've made this, what do I think about this versus this? And being able to like generate some concepts of different styles with the AI to just give yourself that feedback loop faster and be able to see like, okay, now I've got all these different things.

Now I can figure out, well, which direction do I really want to go with this? Yeah. And like that kind of thing is where it can really like, augment the ability of like a creator, I think, and, and become a powerful tool. Yeah.

James Martin: Hmm. Yeah, totally agree. And, and it's not going anywhere i's, like I said, so I think, you know, it's, you know, it's like change is very, Is very difficult for people.

People rebel against change. People love comfort zones. You know, we've had it great for so long and now this thing is here and we are gonna rebel against it and slam it. But when you see it for what it is, which is an extremely intelligent tool, I don't think it's necessarily anything to be worried about.

I'd be worried about if I wasn't doing anything about it. And I think mm-hmm. Like, As humans, you know, like take Covid, we're all told to stay inside. You know, we had to adapt to that situation and we all did it very well. You know, or we did what we were told, or whichever way you wanna look at it. We adapt to change very quickly.

That's what humans are so good at. But I think within the creative industry, you have to evolve or you die. And AI and these tools are essential and will be like, maybe not so now, but in a decade they are gonna be the thing. And you, when you go for your job interview or you go to work at an agency, it will be a standard practice that you'll need to be proficient in these tools.

So something to jump on now, I would say.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, definitely. All right. So one of your focuses today together with your agency is helping others grow and learn from your experience. And you've built an online course, you've written a book, and you have a newsletter for aspiring designers. So our audience is mainly composed of online course Creator's.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your online course? Why did you build it, and how does it help people?

James Martin: Yeah, so for a long time I've been servicing clients, you know building brand identities. And what I decided to do last year, I think it was last year, beginning of last year, was create a very evergreen kind of brand identity course, like focused on logo design, like how I think.

You know what a logo has to do, the kind of business side of design as well, and the process side of it, because I think that's a lot of the things that. A lot of, but some creative struggle with is that they're very proficient creatively, but they don't really understand how to make money outta that creativity.

You know, don't understand how to maximize their profit with an efficient process. And that's the kind of thing I go into and like how my mind thinks how I come up with ideas. Yeah. And that was A wonderful experience and something that I'm definitely gonna be doing more of in the future. Cause it's, I mean, I don't know.

I mean, ev like many course Creator's out here will probably feel the same as me. Like what I've been doing is in my mind, and I do it like very effectively, but when you have to translate, That to somebody else into a kind of very focused module or lesson is actually helping me think, you know, how can I, like being able to communicate what you do to other people is a powerful tool.

Like taking 20 years of knowledge and trying to wrap it into like, well this was a 12 hour course. So there's quite a lot of it, but you know, even like if you're doing a workshop or a, or a doing, a public speaking like. To take all of that and try and dilute it and like not necessarily dilute it, but kind of whittle it down into a an hour talk or a two hour workshop and trying to get people to understand how you do stuff.

That is power. So that's what I really like about courses is try to take what I know and create it into some sort of vessel that somebody else can then take. Into their own world. I think that's the exciting thing about courses for me. But yeah, I did really well. I said looking forward to doing more.

And it helps me almost self-evaluate, which is quite exciting. Which is an exciting thing I didn't think a course would do. Which is fun, isn't it? Fun learning.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. I, I like that. Actually, that's a, a point that I don't think anyone else has brought up on this show before. And I think it's a really great point that it's, it's an enjoyable experience to think about, well, how can I take all this knowledge and condense it into something?

And it's something that can, can help you as well in even doing that process. And I think that there's, there's some beginners who, who might even get that wrong and instead they think like, okay, I've learned all of this, so my course is going to be. A thousand lessons or, or something like this. But like the, the idea is you want to get your student from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

So they don't want more information. They want the quickest way to get there. And so the unique challenge that you're presented with as a creator is figuring out, well, how can I condense all this knowledge, all these discoveries I've made along the way and point the person to be able to make those discoveries themselves as quickly as possible.

James Martin: So, Yeah, yeah. The, the kind of copywriting or editing of what you know is, is the essential bit. It's like, why say in 3000 words when you can say it in a paragraph? And that's, that's the clever thing I found was taking this and making it into this, but making it, making this. As powerful as this. That is the kind of quite interesting thing for me.

Like, so whenever I'm doing a public speaking thing or I'm doing a live workshop, that is the fun thing for me now. It's not actually what I'm teaching. It's like how I can cleverly pack all of this, give this so much punch, but make it like easy to remember. You know what, how can, cause like you say, like what you want to do is you want to give value within a course or a workshop, whatever.

You need to give some the people who are there, somebody to take away and use. And giving and breaking it down into its simplistic form, but still having the power that it does for you is the fun thing for me. Or trying to figure out. It's the fun thing anyway. Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. That's great. And I'm, I mean, Like, what I have said before was that like, don't be mistaken to think that telling somebody that you have more lessons in your course is the better thing, because they want to get to the result quicker.

Mm. But, so yeah, I guess what you should consider if, if you're working on your course and you're working on the next version of your course, instead of thinking what lessons should I be adding to this? Think about how you can make it smaller and think about how you can condense that and and get the person to understand what you're communicating even quicker.

James Martin: Yeah, and that's the other thing as well. That's what I learned from like, cause that last year was my first course and it was, it was on a big subject of like the whole process. Whereas I think that's great in like an evergreen capacity because it can, obviously it never gets old and it can always be used.

The thinking's always gonna be there. But from now on when I do courses, it will be focused in on a particular part. And breaking that into detail. So I think that was quite, that's quite an interesting thing for me with the courses that you can kind of like that. Obviously people only learn or only can kind of keep kind of their entertainment wise.

You kind of want to keep them in as small bundle as possible. But actually taking down, down, like you don't have to do it all. You can take one part of that process and go into detail about that. Rather than trying to do like skimming across it all. And sometimes, like you say, like finding that thing, that pain point going into detail about that is possibly more valuable than skimming over a whole load of stuff.

So especially from my point of view moving forward, it's gonna be like smaller, compact kind of workshop style courses that. Go into detail on a particular subject, like a particular detail that I know they'll, that will help them make money and stuff moving forward. Definitely. But you know, yeah, we're all different.

Bryan McAnulty: It's interesting. Completely agree with that. So, on this show, we like to have each of our guests ask a question to the audience. So if you could ask the audience anything, it could be something that you're just genuinely curious about. It could be something that's more of like an introspective question you want everybody to think about.

What would that be?

James Martin: I wrote this down. I did, I wrote this down because you asked me earlier. So I had, I have it in my mind. So it's what can you be doing today that will help you to get to where you want to be tomorrow? That is something that I say to myself every single day like, what can I do today that's gonna help me get to where I want to be?

You know, and it's not about like, not ever having time off or anything, but it's just about always in that execution mode. Like, like, like we talked about earlier, you know, like there's always something that you can be doing, even if you're. Sick as hell. You know, I mean, if you're sick as hell, you can have a bit of time off, but there's still things you can be doing.

You can be making notes. You could be like maybe replying to some emails. You know, obviously you do want to take some time off your, if you're super, I'm not saying you should work through your illness, but you know, there's always something that you can be doing to get you to where you want to be. So always ask yourself that question every single morning because.

After a month, after a year, after five years, be amazed at what you could achieve if you're always executing.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, that's, that's a great question. And I, I think early on in my business I wasn't really doing that and I think I, I was doing things and I, I felt like I was working, I felt like I was executing.

But if you look back at those things that I was doing, it was, it was kind of just this work that it wasn't really moving the needle forward. Whereas instead thinking about like, well, what can I do today that's going to actually improve tomorrow? That completely changes everything. And as you said, after, after doing that for a few years, it's it's amazing what the results can be.

James Martin: Yeah. And I thought it was, what they say is that don't let your. Busyness ruin your busyness. Do you know what I mean? Mm-hmm. So some people think like, you know, I'm being busy, I'm doing stuff, and you know, I'm hustling, I'm doing this, and sometimes you're actually going backwards doing that. So yeah.

You know, like I said, like it's so, yeah. I mean, you know, it, it's like really important. This is why we talked about earlier, knowing who you are, knowing what you do, knowing who you do it for. You know, if you're executing on these things all the time. You know, you can't go far wrong. Yep.

Bryan McAnulty: Awesome. All right.

I've got one more question for you, James, and that is before we get going, where can people find you online?

James Martin: The beauty of it now is because I've put so much content out into the world, all you have to do is type made by James into Google and I pop up everywhere which is great. But you can come to my website, the made by james.com.

You can come and find me on any Instagram, LinkedIn, or anything like that with James Martin or Made by James. But yeah, just type made by James. Into anything and I'll be there. That's what you can do. Awesome.

Bryan McAnulty: All right. Thanks so much, James.

James Martin: Thanks buddy.

Bryan McAnulty: I'd like to take a moment to invite you to join our free community of over 5,000 Creator's at creator climb.com.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more, check out the Heights Platform YouTube channel every Tuesday at 9:00 AM US Central. To get notified when new episodes released, join our newsletter at The Creator's Adventure dot com. Until then, keep learning and I'll see you in the next episode.

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About the Host

Bryan McAnulty is the founder of Heights Platform: all-in-one online course creation software that allows creators to monetize their knowledge.

His entrepreneurial journey began in 2009, when he founded Velora, a digital product design studio, developing products and websites used by millions worldwide. Stemming from an early obsession with Legos and graphic design programs, Bryan is a designer, developer, musician, and truly a creator at heart. With a passion for discovery, Bryan has traveled to more than 30 countries and 100+ cities meeting creators along the way.

As the founder of Heights Platform, Bryan is in constant contact with creators from all over the world and has learned to recognize their unique needs and goals.

Creating a business from scratch as a solopreneur is not an easy task, and it can feel quite lonely without appropriate support and mentorship.

The show The Creator’s Adventure was born to address this need: to build an online community of creative minds and assist new entrepreneurs with strategies to create a successful online business from their passions.

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