Learn Directly From Successful Entrepreneur’s with James McKinney

On this episode we talk to James McKinney, entrepreneur, creator of the The Startup Story
podcast, and Grindology, a subscription services created for entrepreneurs.

James McKinney created the podcast, The Startup Story, to help inspire entrepreneurs and give
the real story and tactics behind entrepreneurial success. Each episode of The Startup Story
features entrepreneurs such as Jason McCann, founder of Varidesk and Larry Namer, founder
of E! Entertainment Television, and gives listeners the authentic story behind their success. .
McKinney was preparing to host a very large live event for1500 entrepreneurs. Speakers were
booked, sponsor contracts were being finalized and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. All live
events were shut down. This would have accounted for 80% of the brands annual revenue, and
it all went away in a day.

While the podcast’s success continued to grow rapidly, many sponsors pulled out and limited
their advertising budgets across the board due to uncertainty of what would happened during
the pandemic. With his audience growing at a rapid pace, McKinney was unable to monetize
through advertisement and sponsorship. He was unsure of what the answer was. That is when
he turned to his founder network. One of those founders was Matthew Arevalo, founder of Loot
Crate. Arevalo told McKinney, he needed to monetize his audience himself.

McKinney had the idea to create a coffee subscription company, because what entrepreneur
doesn’t like coffee? Arevalo told him he was thinking too small and needed to create a
magazine with founder direct content. This is where Grindology was born.

Grindology is a monthly subscription where every quarter subscribers receive the latest issue of
the Grindology Tactical Manual, a magazine that is chocked full of proven tactics written directly
by real founders and business builders, two bags of custom roast coffee, and a motivational

McKinney states that the most game changing advice from the founders is, “Don’t drink your own
Kool-Aid.” Entrepreneurs need to talk to their consumers, employees, and those who you think
may be your consumer. Often times we think we know what product consumers want and when
ads are not converting and sales are not coming in, we often blame our tactics, not the product,
even though the product was never tested. Another key piece of advice McKinney offers is you
cannot operate in isolation. You need to remain transparent with your family and/or those
around you who love and support you.

We would like to thank James McKinney for coming on our show and offering real business
advice direct from successful founders.

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