#86: Grow Your Audience by Building in Public [with Kevon Cheung]

This is a special episode of The Creator's Adventure's podcast, as Bryan and Kevon met in person in Hong Kong to film this interview!

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

Our guest today is Kevon Cheung: he is the creator of Public Lab, the author of Find Joy in Chaos and the founder Build in Public Mastery.

Today Kevon is an expert in the Building in Public movement: the process of creating something, like a project or a product, with others as you go along.

Watch this interview to learn about the power of building in public and how to do this while growing your audience on social media.

Before this, Kevon worked extremely hard in his career, but still felt like a nobody. So, at the end of 2020, he started writing and sharing under his name.

That’s when he discovered the power of building in public. He learned that while the old business world has always been about packaging, the new business world is about being transparent and connecting with the community genuinely.

Kevon has held true to his beliefs and is now building his business in public with his community. This is all thanks to his 1st free project, the "Build in Public Definitive Guide", which has been read by 20,000+ entrepreneurs.

Learn more about Kevon: https://kevoncheung.com


Kevon Cheung [00:00:00]: You don't need to be perfect on social media online for people to like you. Like, people like you more when you're a bit, raw and unfiltered. I actually have an example.

Bryan McAnulty [00:00:12]: Welcome to the creator's adventure, where we interview creators from around the world hearing their stories about growing a business. Today's episode's a little bit different because instead of recording here in my office, I actually recorded this with our guest in person while I was traveling. Today's guest is Kevan Chung, the founder of Public Lab, the author of Find Joy in Chaos, and creator of Building Public Mastery. Before this, Kavan worked extremely hard in his career, but he still felt like a nobody. So at the end of 2020, he started writing and sharing under his name. That's when he discovered the power of building in public. He learned that the new way of business is about sharing and connecting with your community genuinely. Kevan has held true to these beliefs and is now building in public with his community.

Bryan McAnulty [00:01:01]: This is all thanks to his 1st free project, the build in public definitive guide, which had been read by more than 20,000 entrepreneurs. Hey, everyone. I'm Brian McAnulty, the founder of Heights Platform. Let's get into it.

Bryan McAnulty [00:01:20]: Hey, everyone. We're here today with Kevan Chung, and this episode's a little bit different because I'm actually recording in his studio in Hong Kong. So a little bit different than usual. I'd encourage you guys, if you're listening to this, to check out the YouTube video so you can see it. So, Kevan, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me, Brian. My first question for you is, what would you say is the biggest thing either that you did or you are doing that has helped you to achieve the freedom to do what you enjoy?

Kevon Cheung [00:01:52]: Well, I started this journey 3 years ago. And at that time, I didn't have any friends. I didn't know what I wanna talk about, so no niche, and especially no followers. So I think the biggest thing I did was spending time to create free stuff so that I can use that to attract an audience and then slowly, you know, how free content can build up the trust, then they become my fans. They wanna keep learning from me. So my 1st free project was actually the building public guide. And, you know, people say, Kevan, like, you can write this quickly and then push it out. The thing is I didn't do it very quickly.

Kevon Cheung [00:02:31]: I spent 2

Bryan McAnulty [00:02:33]: months

Kevon Cheung [00:02:33]: writing just 10,000 words. Yeah, so I actually took my time to hang out with people to learn what they need and then produce it. So to me, building free stuff actually has a lot of gems, and as I go on with my journey, I have to worry too much about the business stuff. Right? So I actually start working on free stuff that can help people, and I can see that my reach is slowing down because of that. So now Mhmm. Yeah. That's why I think it's very important. Interesting.

Bryan McAnulty [00:03:04]: Yeah. I I definitely believe that creating free content, free programs, free anything that you can offer is super helpful, not only for, like, that engagement with your audience, the trust, but also, like, attracting people. And we're doing some of the same thing right now thinking, like, well, what's some other, like, free products, free tools, things we can create even from, like, a SEO perspective to get people to find us.

Kevon Cheung [00:03:28]: Yeah. And when I say free, I think a lot of people might think, like, free lead magnets or freebie, the 2 words that we use a lot. But I really don't think you should just create free stuff, but it has to be free, but really high quality. Like, so high that people would say, I wanna pay you for that. Kinda like what you told me about, like, letting people choose what they wanna pay for the lemonade. Yeah. And when you blow people's mind like that, they remember you and they wanna follow you.

Bryan McAnulty [00:03:58]: Yeah. Yeah. True. Definitely. Over delivering is super important. So for those listening who are not familiar with this concept or idea of building in public, can you share a little bit, like, what does that mean?

Kevon Cheung [00:04:10]: Yeah. Sure. So usually, when people say building public, I think from the software side, we would say, oh, it's an open garage. You're working in the garage and people outside can walk by and see what you're working on. This yeah. Maybe that's the 1st layer. I like to say open kitchen because, I like to relate to something we all know. So open kitchen, right, the chefs are cooking inside with the glass or maybe no glass, but we can all see, oh, they are very confident, They're very clean, and that's how they put their foot on the plane.

Kevon Cheung [00:04:47]: But I think that's the misconception about building in public. People think it's just seeing what's inside. So on the other hand, this is why we see a lot of people sharing updates and sharing some random to dos that no one cares. Mhmm. So in my philosophy, I'm bringing in something new. Have you heard of the concept? Mhmm. It's actually sorry. Not a concept, but it's actually a dining experience, omakaze.

Kevon Cheung [00:05:12]: Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty [00:05:12]: Have you built yourself? Choice. Yeah. Yeah.

Kevon Cheung [00:05:15]: So do you like that?

Bryan McAnulty [00:05:16]: I'm a little bit picky with, Sushi, but, but, yeah, I do I do like the experience.

Kevon Cheung [00:05:21]: So I think building in public is omakaze. So it's not open kitchen where you just see. But the sushi chef, they actually stand in front of you, you're sitting at a Bryan, and they would serve you different pieces with fish or cold food, but it's 1 by 1, and they actually explain, oh, this is a tuna, and this is how you eat it, this is why I cook it this way. So in that, they're having a lot of conversations. They're building the rapport, they are educating you at the same time. So to me, I always say building public is more like online passing. You're not just sharing, but you are involving the people around you. Maybe you're asking, how's this tuna? It's my new creation.

Kevon Cheung [00:06:07]: Do you like it? And if they say, actually, I don't really like it, then it's good. You go back and you kind of work out the new dish. And maybe you can even say, like, oh, I have a special menu coming next week. Do you wanna come back? Because of the conversation through the night, people might even say, oh, yeah. Sure. Why not? So building public actually pulls people closer to you so that you can do all this. It's working with the community. I think it's fascinating when you look at it this way.

Bryan McAnulty [00:06:35]: Yeah. I really think that's a great way to describe it because that also, I think, gives people a reason to understand why they would want to do it. Instead of just like, oh, well, you can this is a marketing strategy or something. It's understanding like, well, this is like, in the case of like, the Sushi Chef, like, this is how they choose to run their business and like, interact with their customers. And it's also, as you said, not only not only that way that you work, but then it's creating these feedback loops constantly for you to get that really critical validation and feedback from your customers.

Kevon Cheung [00:07:09]: Yeah. It's always community and conversations, the two c.

Bryan McAnulty [00:07:12]: Yeah. That's awesome. So what, like, led you to discovering this idea of, like, building the public? And, like, when when do you decide, like, okay, I really resonate with this, this is what I'm gonna do.

Kevon Cheung [00:07:24]: So I started this journey writing, sharing online, and building things to teach people 3 years ago, and that was at the end of 2020. As I said, just now, like, I had no niche, no followers, no friends in the space, and I saw this movement on Twitter, like, a lot of people are saying hashtag build in public, or maybe no hashtag, but they are showing and using the term. And I got curious, like, what is this? Like, it seems interesting. So I looked it up. I found just very minimal information, but it's around, you know, being transparent, being helpful in sharing what you do, and just be open and honest. Right? And suddenly I was, like, that's my life principle, like, I live my life that way, so this is a great concept, maybe I can use it as well. But then when I did more research, you know, in the past, I would just jump into it, but I'm a little more careful these days, so I did some research. Mhmm.

Kevon Cheung [00:08:24]: I Googled, built it in public, and I found 4 articles really short, just briefly talking about what I just told you, the basic concept. And I was, like, how come no one is guiding people to do it? No one is teaching the concept. That's when the idea of, like, maybe I can be the person to teach it. So then I decided to work on the building public guide to just test out the market with a free product.

Bryan McAnulty [00:08:51]: Mhmm.

Kevon Cheung [00:08:51]: And I was thinking, I don't wanna gate it, I don't wanna charge people, I want to see some explosion, So that's why I just put it on my website. No email, like, that you have to put in, and in 3 days when I launch it, 2,100 people read it.

Bryan McAnulty [00:09:08]: Wow.

Kevon Cheung [00:09:08]: And I was, like, I'm a I was a nobody, but suddenly something is happening. So that's when I knew that maybe I should, like, just carry on and see what I can figure out in serving this audience.

Bryan McAnulty [00:09:20]: Yeah. That's great. It actually made me think of because I really resonate with, like, this philosophy as well, is that, like, we've talked about before on the podcast of, like, the idea of being yourself and, like, being authentic to everyone and not trying to pretend online that, like, you're you're something else. I don't know I know you're in the US for some time. I don't know if you were there at this time. But do you remember there were these, commercials from GEICO, the insurance company, and they had this one series that was about, like, caveman. And they said, like, so easy a caveman could do it. Did you see any of those by any chance?

Kevon Cheung [00:09:54]: I remember gecko. It's everywhere. Yeah. Always.

Bryan McAnulty [00:09:56]: I mean, not always insurance commercials. So they had this 1 series of commercials where there's something about, like, the line was so easy, a caveman could do it. And in the commercial, like, there would be cavemen, and they would see the ad, and they'd get really offended. And they'd be like, oh, man, they're making fun of us, like acting like we're stupid or something. And my favorite commercial of all time is all the cavemen are like, it's built up to this point that like, the population has seen so many of these ads, they know like, what's going on. And so all the cavemen are at the bowling alley, and they're all just having a great time at night, like bowling with their friends. And then they get a strike or something. And they're all cheering, they're so happy.

Bryan McAnulty [00:10:35]: And the thing comes down, and it says GEICO on like the bowling thing. And they're all like frustrated about it. But in the background, they have, the song playing, they're saying, let me be myself. And for me, like, that that whole concept really resonates with me well, like, my philosophy on life is like, I'm going to be myself and I wanna let everybody else be themselves. And like, as long as you're not like gonna cause harm to me or my family, like, you can do whatever you want. And like, I will respect that, that's your thing. And I'm gonna do the things that I enjoy. And so I think when you can show that online, then it really can attract people to you from, like, just that authenticity of people getting to really understand, like, oh, this is who Kevan or Brian or whoever else actually is?

Kevon Cheung [00:11:23]: Yeah. I I definitely think so. I think on the online space, there are a lot of people just write and sell, and they might make some money, but that's actually not someone I wanna be, because I wanna show up as my true self. When I hop on video calls, people know that, oh, this is the same person. Or when you come into town and we meet up, I also want you to say this is the same person. So I think the closer the offline and online self are, the more I can, you know, drive impact around the world. That's just my belief.

Bryan McAnulty [00:11:57]: Yeah. Yeah. Well, guys, I can attest to it. I'm I'm in Kevan's studio right here. It's real. This is not a virtual reality or anything. Okay. So I think there would be a good portion of people listening or watching this, though, that would say, like, that all sounds great, but I feel nervous or embarrassed or uncomfortable in some way about sharing online, about what I'm doing in my business, my life, whatever it is, what would you say to people who are experiencing that?

Kevon Cheung [00:12:27]: I think the first thing is to really change our mindset. Of course, it's easy to say change your mindset, but we really need to understand how do you get people to like you. I think just an example, we've all worked in companies and we've all seen, like, CEOs on the TV or something. I think the CEO who are most respected are not those who are perfect, just like, oh, I'm I'm so good at running this company, But we like those leaders who are more open, who'd actually talk to you, who maybe even say, I don't know, but let the head of blah blah blah speak for me because she he or she knows better. So from that mini example, we know that you don't need to be perfect on social media online for people to like you. In fact, like, people like you more when you're a bit, raw and unfiltered. I actually have an example. I was showing you my YouTube channel.

Kevon Cheung [00:13:26]: Right? I was trying too hard to be a teacher on YouTube, because in my mind, I thought I'm already very authentic on Twitter, in my newsletter. On YouTube, maybe I'll just be the teacher. But ends up my learning is that every platform is a new space. You need to treat it like a baby. So I cannot be so polished on the videos. I can be more expressive, like moving around, admit to my mistakes. And my latest video came out and I asked around people who actually agree with me that they feel more connected to me. So I guess overcoming that mindset is important, but on the other side, I guess, we really need to understand you don't need to share everything.

Kevon Cheung [00:14:11]: I think when people hear building in public, they're scared, like, oh my god, all the secret sauce, all the numbers I have to share? No. I think it's more about the behavior. Like, as long as you are learning or failing at something and the behavior is you own up to it, and then you are able to share that lesson with others. So other people might not be your customer, but as long as they see that, oh, I'm learning this from Kavan, I think that's already being transparent. So it's not like you need to share how you're recruiting students for your course, how much you're making for dispatch, you don't have to actually share that. So, yeah, these are 2 big things I think.

Bryan McAnulty [00:14:55]: Yeah. Yeah. That's a good point. You have to decide what are the things that you can feel comfortable sharing that align with with who you are, I guess. And then, like, lean into that and realize it doesn't have to be every single thing of your your whole entire life. And so, yeah, I think that's good. But what about, like, approaching the failures? Like, you mentioned, like, you can share, like, okay, this is this was a failure, but, like, this is a lesson I learned from it. What would you say to somebody who's, like, starting out? What if they feel like everything they've done so far, like, they're kinda failing at? Like, where where do you where do, like, they draw the line? Like, should they share all of those? Like, how should they feel about that, I guess? Or, like, or or maybe what would you say to them if they're at the point that they're just, like, okay, well, I'm I'm too discouraged to continue building in public because I feel like I don't have enough success stories to share.

Bryan McAnulty [00:15:53]: I think the first

Kevon Cheung [00:15:55]: thing I think about is maybe we're thinking success as in you need to reach, like, for most people, 6 figure and that's success. But to me, actually, you don't know something today, and you actually spend some time figuring that out, and then you're like, oh, okay, now I understand, oh, I have a new approach to my Youtube channel. I feel like that's a mini success already. And you when you share that, people wouldn't feel like you're failing. They actually see how Kavan was very good at learning something and turning it around. So I guess it's a bit of, like, storytelling in that. You don't just say, I failed, guys. I suck at this.

Kevon Cheung [00:16:34]: But you say, I suck at this, but I do this and now it's better. So then people would feel, like, oh, this person is interesting. I wanna keep following because Kavan has this mindset to to discover and learn, and now they are learning as well as you share.

Bryan McAnulty [00:16:51]: So Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I I like that. I think that I think that's the answer, that it's not about, like, if you're successful or not. And, like, whatever you're trying to achieve over yourself, people don't care. Like, they want to just see, like, oh, Kevan's doing his thing. Like, this is the thing that he does.

Bryan McAnulty [00:17:10]: He's sharing some lessons that he's learning. And they just wanna see, like, if they see that, like, you're doing whatever it is as a creator, as a business owner, like, that's it. Like, that is you continuing to do that is success, I guess. So it doesn't have to be at, like, whatever arbitrary number or level is important, like, maybe to your minds, because also keep in mind, the people that you're serving are, like, generally, they're going to be below whatever level you're at, and they wanna learn from you. So they wanna get to the point of where you're at. So even if you're not a 100% satisfied, like, my addition to this would be that you can still provide value to your audience.

Kevon Cheung [00:17:50]: Yeah. And I think there's a keyword relatability that I also teach my students because building public is about you're building a community. And what I realized is that a lot of people follow someone because they can relate to them. So I myself, I never follow the big big star creator, the educators. I just feel like what they're saying is so far away or maybe they are at step 10 and they're trying to teach the people at step 1. I don't feel like they really understand what is going on on step 1, but I really like the people who are just 2 steps ahead.

Bryan McAnulty [00:18:28]: Yep.

Kevon Cheung [00:18:28]: And so relateability, I have an example, I forgot which course, I build a course and I was doing the basic cut myself and I keep falling asleep, you know, it's the most boring task ever. And but I'm rushing to get the course out, So at the end, I publish it, I give it to other preorders people, and there were a lot of, like, repeated shots that I forgot to take out. And you know what a few of them messaged me and said? They said, wow, Kevan, I didn't know you can have this kind of flaws in your videos. Thanks for showing us that we don't have to be perfect to create our own courses. And I'm like, what? Who are you guys? So at the end of the day, like, people don't care about these small things as long as the content is good, and they actually see you as a human, relatable.

Bryan McAnulty [00:19:20]: Yeah. Yeah. It's true. You you as a creator or entrepreneur care so much more about that kind of thing most likely than your audience does. They just they just wanna have some kind of value from it. So yeah. You mentioned community is important, and I know we talked a little bit earlier about your course, your program. It's gone through all these iterations now of of you tweaking it and deciding, like, how you're going to structure it and and all of that.

Bryan McAnulty [00:19:45]: So can you share with everybody kind of where you've landed at now of how it's all organized? And then, like, why? Why did you decide on running it the way you do it?

Kevon Cheung [00:19:55]: Okay. It was a long journey. So let me tell you a story first. Sure. For the 1st 6 months, I was making $0. And it was quite intentional because I knew to be able to tap into the space and be recommended, I need more credibility. That's why I spent so much time on the free stuff.

Bryan McAnulty [00:20:16]: And

Kevon Cheung [00:20:16]: I was building a pretty good audience size as well. But when I first decided to, you know, start monetizing, actually it was my wife, She came to me. She was like, come on. You have been doing this for free for 6 months. When are you gonna charge people? And then up, I'm like, oh my god. Such a wake up call.

Bryan McAnulty [00:20:34]: So Yeah. Sometimes you need to push like that.

Kevon Cheung [00:20:37]: Yeah. So my first product was a paid community around building in public, but I shut down 4 months later because I realized there's still substance. It's just a space to hold people, and I don't even know what they are doing here. Like, what are they going to talk about, chat about, or help get help on? No. No idea. So quickly, I decided to take a different path. I shut down the community, and I set up the cohort based course, and I didn't have any curriculum, but I have the members, so, of course, they can be my guinea pigs. I said, I'm going to try out teaching.

Kevon Cheung [00:21:15]: Would you guys just join me once a week for a live call? And I remember someone stayed behind one of the calls, and she said, Kevan, your writing, top notch, full of authority. Your live teaching, live facilitation, they they they suck. So you lose me in the authority. You lose me in a lot no. You lose a lot of authorization in my view. Mhmm. That was the moment I said I need to level up my teaching. But I guess I was figuring out how to teach, and for my topic, it's about overcoming fear.

Kevon Cheung [00:21:53]: You have to put out your work in order to learn how to put up your work. Mhmm. So I immediately go to a challenge because I thought, okay, that's the best way to actually get them to do something. But I realized, out of the 30 days, a lot of people drop off after 7 to 10 days. And I think to me, it's because they actually don't have any background knowledge on how to do it. I was basically asking them, hey, today, please share a decision that you made recently. On another day, please share a mistake you made recently. So it's just prompts, but they don't have the actual learning to support them to do the challenge.

Bryan McAnulty [00:22:34]: Yeah. They run out of knowing what they're actually supposed to do next.

Kevon Cheung [00:22:37]: Yeah. So after, like, 3 rounds, I still ran 2 more rounds just to learn about how to run this. I decided to switch to a really live cohort based course. I teach by live workshops, and that worked out pretty well. I think I ran 5 to 6 later on. But then now I'm thinking it is too repetitive to teach the same materials over live workshops because, well, 1, people don't have that much time to attend the classes. 2nd, it is tiring on my side as well. I'm doing the same stuff.

Kevon Cheung [00:23:15]: So, Brian, when I say I go in circle, it's because I go from challenge to live workshop to video lessons, and then now I'm adding back a challenge because I feel like the video lessons and the challenge would go really well hand in hand. So in a way, I feel like my learning of how to teach doesn't become a waste. In fact, I'm actually just learning pieces here and there and finally putting them together. Mhmm. Yeah. It has been, like, 2 years so far.

Bryan McAnulty [00:23:45]: Wow. Yeah. Well, I think that is a a great example for everybody to hear if they're a little bit, like, not completely certain on, like, should I have a course? Should I have a membership? Should I have a challenge? Like, what's the right structure? Like, first of all, you can experiment and continue to refine that. And I think there's really no, like, perfect that. And, yeah, it's it's better to look at everything as a creator as, like, this constant journey of creation and and building your business rather than, like, I have 1 product, this is a product, it's done, like, that's it. Like, so it's it's a constant journey of refinement and growth within yourself, not only just launch a product and then, like, that's the end of it.

Kevon Cheung [00:24:34]: Yeah. I heard you talking about finding the format that fits you the most. I I really like that, because I think a lot of people just look at what other people are doing in their membership, I wanna do a membership. But do you really enjoy it? I think I'm pretty, self conscious so I would really challenge myself, like, whether I enjoy something or not. But but the funny thing is, like, something that I don't enjoy 2 years ago, I enjoy it now because maybe it's easier with all the experience and knowledge. So it's always, like, a constant struggle to figure this out.

Bryan McAnulty [00:25:10]: Yeah. And I think, like, entrepreneurs and really anyone suffers from, like, the kinda grass is always greener phenomenon, thinking like, oh, this creator said that they're earning all this money with, like, this cohort or whatever it is. And there's always, like, the urge to try that new thing. But, like, what I can say that is hopefully helpful to creators is being in a unique position to see what thousands of creators are building. Like, I can point to an example of, like, any structure where they're at the success level that they're really happy with. So really, like, I would say, forget about the money as a creator, just work on discovering that structure that you enjoy as you're doing right now.

Kevon Cheung [00:25:51]: Yeah. Definitely.

Bryan McAnulty [00:25:53]: Cool. So you talked about community a little bit and why you thought that was important. Can you get a little bit deeper into, like, why do you think community is important, and, like, how does that still play a role now in your current structure?

Kevon Cheung [00:26:08]: I think community is important because I've tried building with our community in the past, and it was very hard. And now I'm trying to build with a community, and I've learned that it is relatively easier with ease and you can really work on things that people want. So I'll give you the example. In the past, I was running a SaaS company, and all I do was go on LinkedIn, reach out to people to set up research call.

Bryan McAnulty [00:26:37]: Mhmm.

Kevon Cheung [00:26:38]: Because I really need to tap into their mind to figure out what problems they have to build something for them. Right? And that works out really well. Like, there are so many nice people on LinkedIn who would say yes, and I got to know many of them. But it was so slow, like to send a message, to get a confirmation, to actually meet them, the fastest would be like 10 days. But these days, like, with a community, no matter they're on social media or in your email list, basically, you talked about how you're figuring out a title of a course and you just email them. I do the same all the time. Like, when I have some small improvement that I want some feedback on, I just throw it out. I don't expect all of them to get back to me, but if, like, 15, 20, or even 5 got back to me, that's good.

Kevon Cheung [00:27:28]: Like, I get the raw insights, and now I can figure out the next step very quickly in a few minutes or, okay, worst case, a few hours. So I think a community, everyone wants it. It's nice. But to me, the nicest thing is it really helps you build the right products. Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty [00:27:47]: Yeah. I think that's super important, and it it almost feels like magic when you have whatever kind of audience that you can just say something to them, ask them a question, and then get that feedback. And instead of, like, the 10 day kinda window you're talking about, like, it can be within, like, a minute. Like, we send out the email, and then, like, a minute later, all these replies come in of, like, people, giving their opinions. And, And, like, people wanna share their opinions. You know? And they wanna be, like, seen as an expert and and heard and and add value to you. So you're not, like, using this to, like, try to sell people ahead of time or something. Like, you generally genuinely want to figure out how to build the best thing for them and get their advice from it.

Bryan McAnulty [00:28:28]: And it makes it so much easier when you have that, like, available right away. And so I think that's also a good reason to start, like, offering, like, the free products and things like you did because then you get that audience even if it's a couple people. Like, 1 person giving you feedback is so valuable compared to just doing it blindly. Yeah. Totally. I think a lot

Kevon Cheung [00:28:49]: of course creators, they put so much focus on the 1st launch. They're like, oh, no one wants my course, but the 1st round is really for the feedback. So as you said, just 1 person giving you feedback is good. Your next launch will be so much better. So that's why I I have a lot I think I have a long term view, like, my course has been running for two and a half years now. Even though the inside has been changing all the time, the brand building public mastery is always the same. So I think I I'm not doing a great job in marketing, but because I have been doing the same thing over time, it has the spillover, effect. The momentum is still there, so it helps me.

Bryan McAnulty [00:29:34]: Yeah. Yeah. That's a great point too. And I think more people should share that kind of long term view that you have as well instead of, like, looking at this as, like, I'm gonna try this for a few months, and we'll see what happens. Like, think about anything that either you're good at or if you don't feel like you're particularly, like, skilled yet in anything individually, like, think about, like, an athlete or somebody who's, like, really, really good at whatever they do. Like, they keep doing that. They've been doing it for years years. And if you could put your yourself in a position where you're able to keep working on that for years, like, imagine what you'll achieve eventually.

Bryan McAnulty [00:30:12]: So like, I would say a way to look at it long term easier is maybe that it's not about the the money you can earn right away, but as long as you can sustain yourself in some way, then it's about being able to do what you enjoy as we were both talking about earlier. So with that note, actually, I know that work life balance is pretty important to you. We both have a daughter around the same age. You have 2 daughters. Can you share a little bit about your thoughts on that and how, you make it all work with having a family and running a business at the same time?

Kevon Cheung [00:30:49]: I actually started this at the same time when my 1st daughter arrived. So I wouldn't say I'm like a Superman or anything. I had a pretty good runway, like, from my previous roles, so that allowed me to do this full time, and I would have given up if I didn't get that traction I told you with the free guide. You probably wouldn't see me talking about this here, but for me, as long as the line is going up, then I would just keep going, even though it's not at the level I want. But to balance family and business, I don't think there's a good way, but my chosen way is I sacrifice other stuff. So you rarely see me, hang out with friends, like, talking about like, you know, when friends hang out, especially long term friends, there's tons of gossip and random conversations. You rarely see me do that. I catch up with them maybe once every month or 2, and I right now, I sacrifice my exercise as well.

Kevon Cheung [00:31:50]: Like, I used to run a lot. I Heights, drive. I live in Hong Kong, so it's hard to cycle, but I need to drive a bit further out to cycle. I don't do that anymore. Mhmm. If I have time, I would maybe play with my daughter, we'll go down for a walk, something. So it's about sacrifices, but also I keep saying support system. So we're a bit lucky in our culture, support is a big thing.

Kevon Cheung [00:32:19]: So the grandparents help out and all that. So that allows me to really have time to do deep work. And I have an office like this so I can, you know, just stay away from the the screaming and the running around and, yeah, put my heads down to do some productive work.

Bryan McAnulty [00:32:37]: Yeah.

Kevon Cheung [00:32:37]: But it is it is not do you know it's not easy?

Bryan McAnulty [00:32:40]: Yeah. Definitely, it's not easy. I think, like, everybody has the same amount of time in a day, but it's all about, like, as you said, like, discovering what's really important to you. And I think some people who are maybe not as satisfied with where they're at or the time they have, maybe they haven't fully discovered that. And they're they're putting their time in places where they really wouldn't consider to be the most important, and they haven't found out how to, like, organize or prioritize that.

Kevon Cheung [00:33:08]: Yeah. And I think one thing I definitely learned from seeing all this success on Twitter Mhmm. With big launches, I keep reminding myself, like, I'm not them. I'm not them. They some have kids, but some, they don't have kids. So how much time are they putting into this? Maybe twice as much, and maybe they have 2 partners. I'm doing this all myself.

Bryan McAnulty [00:33:31]: Mhmm.

Kevon Cheung [00:33:31]: So I think being a parent, I was able to always pull myself back and say, there's no comparison. It's it's apple to orange. So that helps me as well. And with my slightly longer term perspective, as long as I am, you know, generating revenue in my own way, yeah, I I don't care if things need to be explosive or not. I don't I don't I never have, like, a big launch, like, 50,000. Never. But anyway, I'm still running my business. It's okay.

Kevon Cheung [00:34:03]: Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty [00:34:04]: No. I think that's an excellent way to look at it. And, like, I I do the same way. Like, if you don't wanna have kids or family, like, that's fine. It's up to you. But for me, like, I'd rather be, like, the one who is less successful and get to keep the family and everything I have. Like, that is what's important to me. So I look at it as if, like, you're trying to, like, be balanced in life and that's different things you value.

Bryan McAnulty [00:34:27]: Like, I already won in the first half. I was, like, having the family and then, like, the success, like, monetarily, that's another part. But the people who have all the success, maybe greater than whatever you have as like the money side, like, if they don't have the family, like, then they're also missing, like, a whole half of everything, right, if you wanna look at it that way. But again, it comes down to, like, what is important to everyone. And I

Kevon Cheung [00:34:50]: think it's important to know that behind successes, their struggles and their negativity that we just don't see. We like, someone might say they make a lot of money, but are they happy? Most of the time we if we really talk to them, they're not. But I guess for me, I'm already happy because my daughters are happy, my wife is happy, I'm happy. I'm enjoying day to day. Yeah. So that already is quite fulfilling.

Bryan McAnulty [00:35:20]: Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. Optimize for the happiness. That's that's kinda how I live my life. Like, I will ruthlessly spend whatever money on being able to do what I enjoy, and I don't care about, like, saving money or growing like wealth for the sake of it. The purpose of money is to use it. So like, I want to be able to have the life I enjoy.

Kevon Cheung [00:35:42]: Did you notice I have the book die with 0 sitting downstairs?

Bryan McAnulty [00:35:46]: Oh, no. I didn't. Awesome. Cool. Yeah. Yeah. That's really great. Alright.

Bryan McAnulty [00:35:50]: Well, one more question for you is that on the show, I like to have every guest ask a question to the audience. So if you could ask our audience anything, whether it's something that you're curious about, something you kinda wanna get everybody thinking about, what would that be?

Kevon Cheung [00:36:06]: I think in online communities, we all know that we all wanna scale. But when you start scaling with more students, with more members, the quality will obviously drop. So I'm really interested in how do we balance the 2, The scalability of our business, but also I care about my student a lot. Like, I I don't care if I need to say, like, set up a call, pay $100 for a call. No. As long as they write Platform post, I would always get back to them, that kind.

Bryan McAnulty [00:36:38]: Yeah.

Kevon Cheung [00:36:38]: So I'm just curious, like, how you would balance scale and care, and I would love to chat with anyone who wants to just talk about this.

Bryan McAnulty [00:36:46]: Yeah. That that's a great question and great thing to think about as you're growing. And something that, like, we have struggled with, because I feel the same way. Like, I always wanna prioritize the experience of my customers and make sure that, like, just because we grow, I don't want to have, like, a worse experience. I want them to, if anything, have a better experience, but it's a challenge to work on that. Heights. So, Kevan, before we get going, where else can people find you online?

Kevon Cheung [00:37:13]: Alright. I'm still very active on Twitter slash eggs. My handle is meetkvon, m e e t k e v o n, and then, my brand is Public Lab. So trying to be public and trying to help people be more public minded. So publiclab.co, you'll probably find all my stuff in there. Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty [00:37:34]: Alright. Awesome. Thanks so much.

Kevon Cheung [00:37:36]: Thank you,

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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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