Episode 83: Building a Brand with Lauren Bateman

Jun 21, 2023

Episode 83: Building a Brand with Lauren Bateman

Join two guitarists who are passionate about communicating through their guitar! Mike Meiers and Lauren Bateman delve into the world of teaching and entrepreneurship, exploring the challenges and rewards that come with owning a business and striving to make a difference in the lives of others.


Lauren recounts a time when she was balancing a day job while transitioning a side hustle into her main gig. She provides valuable insights for anyone seeking to venture out on their own. Throughout the podcast, we uncover the defining moments that shaped Lauren's path recounting her experiences of building a thriving YouTube channel as well as three music schools.


Mike and Lauren explore the significance of authenticity and staying true to oneself during the process of building a business.

We hope this episode inspire and motivates listeners to reach for their dreams, push beyond their limits, and make a lasting impact on the world!

Listen here or read the transcript below...

Oh, this is awesome.

Mike Meiers 0:02
Because Lauren, this is so good. I'm glad. Thanks for being here. Yeah, I am, I am super pumped purely because, you know, I started following you on YouTube and I watched your tutorials because I eat I don't think people realize even people that create content and even people that may have courses or things, they still like watching other I don't know, it's like a sport. It's just fun to watch. Because it's just like, when you watch someone else's teaching style, how they present the thing. You view it a little bit differently. You just look at it differently because you're like, Oh, that's interesting how they did that. And to me, it's always just kind of re upping and sharpening your your teaching tools, I

Unknown Speaker 0:42
guess. Absolutely. Yeah. 100%. But what I want

Mike Meiers 0:47
to get into is like, you know, you you've built a career, a business, a huge following on YouTube. How does that start? Like, you know, you know, when I talked to creatives and people, music seems to always be it was always the thing. Like, no matter what, it was always there, even if there were other things in the mix, and something took precedence. Music never left to kind of like aid away just being like, hey, hey, yeah, you got to do that. Yeah.

Lauren Bateman 1:15
And I feel like I had that same experience. I started, my mom kind of forced me to take piano lessons when I was like, 10. And that's where I started with music and absolutely hated it. Because I wanted to play the drums. My mom's like, No, you're gonna take piano lessons. And I'm like, great. So I did that for a couple years. So they hated it. And then my sister for when I'm 16 as a confirmation gift, she bought me this guitar that someone in her college dorm was selling for, I think she paid like 80 bucks for it, and have like a case and like a VHS cassette tape. And, you know, I didn't get guitar lessons. Because, you know, we weren't really rich growing up, and I kind of wasted piano lessons. So no one was gonna do guitar lessons. My mom was like, don't buy it, she's never gonna use it. And there was something about guitar, I think that that spoke to me, you know, in 16. Growing up, you know, I grew up in a very strict household. So I, you didn't really have a lot of opinions. It was kind of like jump and then you were like, How high do you just, you wouldn't really say you were doing it. So guitar gave me an outlet to be creative and express myself. So I think that was the real attraction of the guitar because I never learned chords on a piano. And then once I learned a chord on guitar, I was like, This is awesome. Like, this is great way I can write songs using chords. So I just started writing the storm in my teenage years and went to college, I got a degree in biology and archeology ended up working for a pharmaceutical company. But music was the thing that I just, I just never got tired of. It was just something that I always loved. And I said, You know what I gotta do something more with this music is working for a pharmaceutical company and cancer research. And as much as I love the work, I just didn't really feel feel fulfilled by it. So I kind of Googled, like, how to quit your job, and to do music, like how to phase out your job. So that's essentially what I did. I started teaching, I started gigging more, and I started teaching, like, if I'm going to quit, my job was well paying job to you know, with benefits and vacation and all that stuff. I'm like, I gotta figure out a way to support myself. So I started teaching just kind of out of the spare bedroom, in my apartment. But that was kind of how it all started. I mean, that was when I quit my job. That was 2009. So that was like, 14 years ago. And then I've been doing music ever since.

Mike Meiers 3:40
So talk about a badass career to like, you know, music was behind, but like, you're like archaeology, archaeology, and just like biology and you know, but like really awesome things. But yeah, it's interesting when you say like, and there's such a huge importance of that. But there's like this like gnawing like, I'm still not happy.

Unknown Speaker 4:00
I should

Lauren Bateman 4:03
know, I was working a desk job. And you know, when I was younger, that part of why I got into cancer research when I was younger, I was 16. I had Hodgkin's lymphoma. So I understand how important it is to like, do things today and like live in the moment, I'm a very, like, immediate person. And I think it comes from that experience when I was younger. And when I was 26, my aunt, she got pancreatic cancer, and she ended up passing away and I quit my job shortly after that, because it was just kind of like another reminder of she was only 51. And here I am, like 2627 I was like shoot I could have I could have lived half my life and I'm gonna be here and I was like, No, I gotta I gotta go do something that I love. And that was kind of the next push to be like, Well, what do I really love? I love music. I actually went on the route catalyst was I went on this cruise ship. It's called keyamo and you know, this was brandy Carlisle was playing on before like And before she was like, super big, so I got to play blackjack with brandy Carlisle, Indigo Girls, you know, it was just this cruise ship that was like a folk festival on a cruise ship. And I brought my guitar and I like performed on the ship and like the open mics and stuff, and I just had so much fun. I was like, I need to do more of this. And that was kind of like I came home from that vacation. And after that, I was like, I gotta figure out how I do that I got to do something with music. I didn't know what it was gonna be. But I just knew I was like, This is what I gotta do.

Mike Meiers 5:31
But that's interesting, because I feel that's a distinction between people that then go into the thing, I don't know, Joseph Campbell says, you know, follow your bliss, the thing that you love, and you're gonna go, and there are other people that go, that's risky. But it's like the risk of actually not doing the risk is just staying where you are, and hoping things will change. Yeah,

Lauren Bateman 5:55
I mean, you know, I'm just absolutely I mean, that's the risk, the risk is like you do nothing and nothing changes. Or you take a risk, you fail, and you go back to what you were doing before. And nothing changes that like, but the risk is that something might change. And that's the real risk. And I think people are scared of that, like, get more scared of failing, because we don't want we don't want others to be like I told you. So you know, there's always that fair in there. But, you know, the real risk is like, what if something does happen? What if something good comes out of this? And I think if you can flip your perspective, yeah, more people would take that leap of faith.

Mike Meiers 6:39
And I think with creatives, it's the worst because we're our, our minds, our creative minds, can create amazing worlds of opportunity, but also the reverse of like, what if it fails, and everything burns to the ground, and everybody blames me and it's like, or it works out, or the thing that you think you're gonna do. And it's actually something different, another door opens and you find out, Oh, my God, this is the thing I should be doing. I love this even more. And I find that you know, as you get into teaching, when I started teaching, I viewed the instrument completely different it because like every would have a new student, just in that one on it's something about seeing someone at different stages, whether beginner, intermediate, advanced, your view of guitar just expands and your music tastes to expands because they're things they love. I remember when somebody brought in Jason Hizbul once and I was like, Who is this? And they were like flying over water. I learned I was like, yeah, it was just like a now let me when somebody run Walk the Moon, or I think I learned, I saw Taylor Swift's entire iteration from never getting back all the way through because it was just you saw trends, you saw things change, you just saw the whole package. Like what was that experience in that first beginning of like that one on one scenario of teaching?

Lauren Bateman 8:05
Well, I mean, it was interesting, because when I started teaching, I had never taken a guitar lesson at that point, right, taking a few I mean, we did like a few months with, with a woman that was local. But for the most part, it's pretty much self taught on guitar. So I was just like, I didn't feel comfortable, but at least I had taken voice lessons. So I actually started by teaching voice, because I was so uncomfortable about teaching guitar, as I was in my own head about, you know, it's like that imposter syndrome of like, well, I'm not Eddie Van Halen. So what right? Do I have to teach people guitar? So that's kind of how I felt. So I started with voice. And then I, you know, it was my wife now, but we were dating at the time. And I was like, let me just let me just go next door and try this thing. So I gave her a guitar. And I was going to teach you something simple, like, Oh, joy. Yeah, I was like, I'm just going to show you this. Could you just humor me for like two minutes. So I gave her the guitar, which she didn't know how to hold them. You know, she went to like fret, like the first two or three notes of Ode to Joy. And I like rip the guitar out of her hand. I was like, ah, like, what? She's like, what doesn't that but it made me realize I'm like, oh, like you forget when someone's an absolute beginner? Yeah, how much you can help them, you know, and I was like, I can help someone who's just starting with guitar. So I just started teaching. And it was, it was interesting, because I didn't really have like, a method. Because once again, I was mostly self taught. So you know, I feel bad for probably like my first 2025 students because I was kind of doing like experiments on them or being like, what works. One, what keeps people's interest? You know, that's something that's always big for me, is, you know, it's not about my goals on the guitar. It's about the students goals and what the student wants to achieve and not everyone wants to become a rock star. Not everyone wants to go to Berkeley. Some people just want to play Kumbaya and have fun. So it was kind of honing my skills. And it's funny that you, you were talking about, like your students bringing you stuff to learn. Because I had mostly played my own music, like that's why playing guitar was to write my own music. So I didn't know a lot of other people's music, surprisingly. So students would bring me stuff. And I'd be like, okay, like, oh, when you want to learn, like needle in the damage is done. I'm like, Alright, cool. I'll have that for you next week. And then I'm like to learn this site. And but I became a much better guitar player, and like you said, expanded my own repertoire of music, because people wanted to learn the songs and like, Yeah, let's do it. Let's go for it. So that was pretty much the beginning stages was really, for me an experiment of figuring out how I was going to teach people and what was the most effective way to teach someone who was just getting started with guitar.

Mike Meiers 10:54
And I feel like the best way to get out of your own head is by helping other people get out of their own head, because you just see, you're just like, This isn't good. And you're like, What are you talking about? You're like, this is only like four lessons, then you're doing awesome. Like, you realize that you're killing it. And they're really, and it's just like, that's all they need. The biggest feel like with teaching, it's, it's a lot of like therapy too, because it's, it's a lot of just like, you have a lesson plan they come in, and then you immediately see, I'm gonna read from them. Sometimes, you have a talk. And that ends up being the entire lesson there. Like I feel so much better. And you're like, wow, you're and to me, I think as you know, as you build your business, I feel like business skills is all about, like people reading and understand. And when you're having that one on one scenario with them, you get good at reading people. It's funny, because the first 25 felt like an experiment. I feel like the first 3540 felt like an experiment to me, because I was like, Oh, I don't think I was right. I was like, well, I'll do that different next time.

Lauren Bateman 11:59
That was horrible. That did not do well, it oh,

Unknown Speaker 12:04
oh, that was only a half hour.

Mike Meiers 12:08
But then you probably, you know, you said you developed your method. Because through that just repetition, repetition, repetition, I think yeah. How good repetition is?

Lauren Bateman 12:20
Yeah, I mean, you learn what works, what doesn't work? Oh, I should, I should have probably spent more time on this, you know, they were having this problem. That meant I should have spent more time on this next time, I'll make sure to do that with another student, or I'll, I'll watch out for this. And you start looking for those little things, you know, including from a science background, it was, it was all experimentation. It's like, well, the next student, I'm going to try this with them. Instead, it's like, oh, that went really well. But I do that again, you know, that didn't go so well. Or you're in maybe part of it didn't go so well, because it wasn't part of my wheelhouse. You know, and I talk to students all the time and why it's great to work with lots of different teachers, even with voice I worked with so many different teachers, everyone has their own specialty, and their own wheelhouse their own strengths. Like, I'm definitely not a great like lead guitar player. They can play lead guitar, I know the scales. I'm not a great improviser. I'm not a great solo writer. But I can strum the heck out of a guitar like I'm a rhythm guitar player in that's my strength. And you know, when I think your passion comes out when you're teaching so when you're teaching something that you love, it comes out versus something that you're less comfortable with.

Mike Meiers 13:35
I love that idea to have what you said like recognizing your strength and leaning into it. And not saying it like that. But like, hey, there's lots of other people too, that this is their strength. That's awesome. Learn. The more teachers you learn your your palette expands and just like your, your knowledge grows, and but for you, the thing that lights you up, you don't hide, you're like, Oh, that's right. Like I'm really like, this is what I could just talk about all day and dive in. Right? Yeah. So you're, you're running this teaching business and you're creating and you're doing all these things when you start to pivot online. Like cuz, yeah. There's yeah, there's there's always a moment where somebody mentions it and it's like,

Speaker 3 14:20
you think about and you're like, Oh, no. Yeah.

Lauren Bateman 14:24
I wanted to do it for awhile. I actually funny enough, I started on YouTube. You can find videos for me, I think 2009 2010 Yeah, you can find some old videos and me because I wanted to go that route, initially. But I was working with a very bad business mentor at the time, but dissuaded me from doing that. But in the end, everything works out the way it's supposed to. Because when I started filming on YouTube, which is 2017 so almost seven years later, I had a lot more business acumen. I had a lot more confidence as a teacher. So So things happen for a reason is basically what I'm saying with that story. But I started teaching privately. And then I, you know, I got full and I started hiring other teachers. And then I opened some music school. So I brick and mortar locations as well. And you know, as your business grows, you stop working in the business and you start working on the business. So I kind of did, I removed myself completely from teaching and like 2018 ish. I was really, I mean, 2017, I maybe had five students, I was still teaching on random days of the week. And I was just like, you know, I miss the interaction miss working with people, I miss teaching, but I knew I couldn't, it couldn't be like, I need to be here on Friday between the hours of you know, two to six every week. Like, for me, that was not life I want I need a lot more freedom to you know, hey, you know, I get people all the time. They're like, Hey, I'm going ATP in Tennessee, you want to come? And I'm like, Sure, let me get a plane ticket and hop on out, you know? Yeah. And that's how I've always wanted to live my life. It was like that was that was the goal. And that's what I do now. So I want to be able to say yes to opportunities. So I was like, How do I teach, but not have to be like, dedicated to a location or a time or a space. And I was like, I'm gonna try this YouTube thing. I know, I tried it before. I'm gonna start building my website. I'm gonna do some YouTube videos, and I'm just gonna see what happens. And I uploaded my first video. And I think I have one view, which was me, just me like a work that I don't think the last time I upload a video was like, you know, 2015 or something for when I was performing, but I, you know, I did it. And I started going, and it didn't take off right away. Because everyone's like, Oh, my God, you have almost like, 300,000 subscribers now. And I'm like, Yeah, well, it definitely did not start that way. It's like, release a video, you get five views, 10 views, like, if I got 20 views, I was like, Oh, my God, that's so exciting. And I must quit twice. Because it's that grind of YouTube, you know, because it takes time to get a snowball going. That's how I always tell them like, it's a snowball. And if you just keep putting the content out there, and it's like, you get a subscriber here, subscriber their view here, and it's like, over time, it starts, that snowball starts going. And it does take off at some point. But you just never know when that's going to happen. And for me, that happened, it was 2019, one of my videos took off. And after that, I was like, I should really take this a little more seriously. And they told me it happened. So I kind of went all in on YouTube. But that was the that was the whole transformation of like, you know, going from being a scientist deciding I want to do music for a living, teaching, and then deciding like how I'm going to try this whole online aspect of teaching now.

Mike Meiers 17:50
There's so much in that I wanted, I love the fact that, that you you built up a school number one, and you know, you, you you started to pass on certain things to other people. And as you said, as you grow, and I think this is where people don't grow is because then they slowly let go, and they just take it, they're kind of like, they need to look at the business as a whole and not right. And that's hard. Because when you teach with letting go as students, you have this connection here. And when Yeah, it's so hard. And it's

Lauren Bateman 18:28
I mean, I had students I had for 10 years, and I'm like the students never gonna withdraw. And at some point, I had to just be like, I'm so sorry, I'm not, I'm not teaching it before. And you know, you put them with another teacher and but it's just like, you know, there were students, I the most of my students that were still with me, it were, I think the least someone had been with me at that point was like five or six years. So you're like, you're you're letting go of these people who've been with you for like, a very long time. They're basically friends. And it's like, but you have to let go of that piece of yourself to move forward. And that's a hard thing. That's a very hard thing for a lot of people to do.

Mike Meiers 19:07
Because I think people think of moving on or next chapter things. When it's a bad note. Nobody thinks about like, it can be a good you can close the door on a good thing to move on to the good thing. Everything needs to be in a shambles. Like it's like, Oh, I hate this. Now I must. I must re energize it, find something new. But the idea of like closing Hey, this is great, but I have to do this. If I want to go to the next level, the things that you're talking about that freedom of being like, yeah, hell yeah, I'm getting on plate. Let's go. And doing that. That whole new chapter. And I think it's refreshing to hear too, that you stopped, like you thought about stopping YouTube. And then you thought about again, but then there was another thing that was like, oh, no, I have to just keep on. If I get it, it's going to be there. So that to me is also valid. vision. And that's, that's a matter of patience,

Lauren Bateman 20:03
I think that's one of my strengths is that I'm one of the people, I'm not afraid to go two steps backwards to go five steps forward. Because when you think about it, you know, my entire life process, you know, I worked for pharmaceutical company, and, you know, I was making, you know, my base salary was, like, $65,000 a year, and then you could qualify for bonuses. And, you know, I quit that job. And I think my first year as a teacher, you know, doing it very part time to beginning that first year, I only made like, $10,000, you're like, huh, and then the next year, I think I made like, 20, something, you know. So, for a lot, like, that's a big step backwards, for people to, to have to. And some people, you know, depending on your life situation, I was very fortunate, you know, I didn't have a mortgage, I didn't have like kids and stuff, it gets harder as you get older, I'm not going to make any, you know, let people know, like, when you have more responsibilities, it gets harder to ignore those responsibilities to take these kinds of leaps of faith. But even when I opened my music school, my wife had just gone back to school for to go for full time nursing. So we kind of lost her income. And then I went on opening this music, like we were teaching out of my house, and then we opened a music school. So I had all this overhead. So pretty much the majority of my income went to funding the music school for like, the first 234 months, and then things things did take off and go well, but it was like, I was willing to take that step backwards again, and being like, Okay, I'm gonna, you know, I'm gonna take a three $4,000 a month hit until we get back to where we were. And then each time I did that, it was like, we went back. But when I got to the next growing point, it was always much higher. And for a lot of people, again, we're talking about fear, like, scary to do that. Because you're like, what if it doesn't work? And it's like, Yeah, but what if it does, it's like, difference is so big, when it does work out. It's like, it's great.

Mike Meiers 22:06
I feel like when you do that step back, you actually see the view a little bit better. You can take a look at the grand scheme of things be like, okay, yep, yeah. And so, again, it's just vision. And it's, yeah, just taking that step of like, this is gonna work. You know why? Because I'm gonna make it work. I'm gonna go work out. This is not like an either or scenario. This, I've done this before. It's been good. I'm just gonna do it again. It's just, I feel like next level things have next level problems. Right? Yes. And so you have to be okay with that. And it's just like, Yeah, I've never encountered this before. That's because this is like a new level of growth. So yeah, wonder I've never had this before.

Lauren Bateman 22:49
Yeah. And I mean, don't underestimate but like you were talking about the motivation to move forward. Like when you take away that safety blanket, like, people are like, Why are you so successful? And it's like, because there wasn't an option to fail. Like, I had to succeed, like, people were counting on me to be successful and get this going, like, I am willing to put food on the table, like I have to be successful. So you know, it really does set fire under your butt when you're like, Okay, I just ruined my safety blanket, I really gotta get to work now.

Mike Meiers 23:22
It you know, it is when it's some when you realize it's not just you anymore, but there are others. And then you feel like this new level of responsibility that you kind of call here we go. Because now you've got employees, your family. Yeah, now that when I remember hiring my first person, just that like responsibility of like, their income. Yeah. And it's like, OSHA, feel that just that little wait a little bit?

Lauren Bateman 23:51
in it? Yeah. And that's, that's a whole nother thing. When you become like a business owner with employees, you're like, it's not just me anymore. It's like, there's other people who are counting on me to be successful.

Mike Meiers 24:02
Now, I want it so you, you built up a, you know, crazy, successful YouTube channel. This is where I want to get into the online realm of saying things like online courses, because when we use this Kajabi platform uses Kajabi. And I remember seeing you post I was like, you made a you know, so you built up one business. And then to me, the online sphere in terms of like, online. That's a completely different world. It's a whole new set of things. So how was that was the pandemic really kind of that thing that pushed that even further?

Lauren Bateman 24:35
Yeah, so you know, it's interesting, because you can look at my data and you can see exactly when COVID hits, it's like this big hump in the middle of the data and you're like, Well, that's an anomaly. global pandemic. Well, like I said, you know, back if we backtrack to 2019, I had a video that kind of took off. It was like the end of October, early November of 2019. In the video had done nothing For like two and a half years that it just kind of sat there. And I don't know what made this video all of a sudden start to take off, but it did. And I noticed I was like, the cell like more cord, like I would get emails be like you've sold the course you sold the course. And I'm like the sampling a lot more frequently. I'm like what something's happened because I'm big on data. I'm like, something's changed, I need to go figure out what that was. So I went over to my website. And of course, I looked at my analytics there, and there was a huge spike in traffic, but I couldn't really pinpoint, like, where it was coming from, it wasn't like, you know, sometimes, you know, you get an article in The New York Times, and then you'd see a bunch of traffic flooding in from that there was nothing like that. And I'm like, um, so I went over to YouTube, and I saw the huge spike over there. And I was like, Holy crap. Like, this video went from, like, 20 views a day to like, 4000 views a day, in like, two weeks, it was like, it literally just exploded, like that. Sounds like, holy crap. Like, what? What happened here, and but that was like, the light bulb that went off. And I was like, oh, okay, so the more views I can get on YouTube, the more sales I can make on my website, on my course, too. So that was the big kind of lightbulb moment for me. And then of course, when you know, COVID hit, we had April, you know, my brick and mortar business, we lost like, 35% of the business like overnight, end of March, it was like, we're, you know, my wife and I sat down, she was a nurse. So it was not a great time for her, there was a whole lot of uncertainty. And, you know, we were just like, you know, I have no clue what's going to happen, like, we don't know how long the business is going to be shut down, we could lose everything. And then, April, I had the best month online ever, and I was just like, we're gonna be fine, we're good, we'll no problem. So I basically like removed my pay from the music school to keep that floating. And I just paid myself with what I was making online. So that April 2020, we made $16,000. And that was like the most money I had ever made for myself, in a single month when I was just like, holy crap. And then obviously, once things reopened, kind of settled back down. And it worked to the point where I was maybe making like, $2,000 a month. And I was like, that was very disappointing. That was very demoralizing for me and I, but then I kind of like, looked back and was like, Okay, how, how much traffic was I getting? That I was making this much money, and I said, I just have to get my channel back to that point. And I can make $16,000 a month again. So it gave me a goal. You know, I was depressed for like a split second. When I was like, when I can get back there. Wow. And then I was like, I just gotta make more content, more videos, and I just gonna get the traffic to that point again, which, which we have, and we've gone beyond that at this point. But yeah, the pandemic was kind of the catalyst that made me realize how much potential there was in online space. That is awesome. Like, yeah, it was, wherever we were in the kitchen. And it was just like, I did like a COVID sale. It was like, you know, like, half off the course for COVID. I was like, We need money. I was like, I'm just gonna run this ridiculous sale, we're gonna do 50% off the course. And it was like, the last night. It was, you know, epic. It ended may 1, and it's April 30. And we were in the kitchen that I remember because like, my phone kept digging. And she's like, what's going on? I was like, keep selling courses. And she's like, What are you at? And I'm like, $14,000. And she's like, what? And like, over the span of like, an hour of us just chatting in the kitchen. I made like another $1,000 within that conversation. And then I told her, I was like, I think our life just permanently changed. So it's like, it's like, remember the exact moment where I was like, our life is never going to be the same from this day on.

Mike Meiers 28:49
All but every single move that you made, was like an adjustment and adjustment. Yeah, they all worked to where this moment where it's like, you stayed consistent with YouTube. Yes, stayed consistent. You, you know, you built up a strong business locally, brick and mortar, but like, you backed away, you were like, Hey, I'm just not going to take payment. I'm going to make sure this runs. So that was running, but then the YouTube something and then here we go. And now you've got this fun, where it's helping you and everything seems to be people would look back and be like, oh, man, you're just lucky. No, you are someone that really invested. Because it's easy to do that just Oh, you're just like, you know, a lot of people. Yeah. You made a lot of conscious decisions, right? To go for yourself and believe in the result you can do. And I think that's what happens when you do that. It seems like it's a perfect like, it just worked out. Perfect. Yeah. That was you showing up and believing in your capabilities.

Lauren Bateman 29:53
Yeah, I mean, I used to, you know, when I was recording my course I recorded the course like the end of 2007 Seen, and it was the summer. And I used to I lived like around the corner from my music school. So I used to lug all my equipment because I didn't really have like a space at my house to do it. So I used to lug all my equipment to the music school and have like my camera. And then like, I use like overhead light, like crappy lighting, when I used to go to the music school in the morning before would open and I have a record. So if you spine some of my old YouTube videos, you'll see like behind me is this really bright blue background. That's the music school I used to record in the music school. And I'd have to break everything down for when the teachers came in to start teaching. And then I would do that every day until until it was done. And then I'd go home and I made edit the videos which took forever because I'm still doing everything myself. But it's like he you put the time in. And I'm grateful that I did that. Because by the time COVID came around, I had a website had a course I could cite something I could sell people. And you know, COVID happen. I think a lot of people were playing catch up. So was I lucky in the sense that I had all those things set up. Yes, but it happened over like I said, I started early 2017. So I'd already been doing this for like two and a half years. So it was kind of like the perfect storm of all this effort coming together. And then this opportunity arised. And I was able to capitalize on that, because I put the time in.

Mike Meiers 31:25
So if somebody's listening to this, and they were like, listen to sounds great, the sounds awesome. But I feel you know, I'm not sure what my first move should be, you know, I want to quit that job. I want to start investing my time into the things that I love, like whether it be guitar songwriting production, that what would you say to them on just that first step, that first move,

Lauren Bateman 31:49
I mean, so going back based on my experience of like having a full time job, and then and then quitting that job, my recommendation would be to, to first test the waters, you know, and what do I mean by that. So when I was working for the pharmaceutical company, I used to go into work seven o'clock in the morning, and then I leave three o'clock in the afternoon, and I'd get home around four o'clock, or like a little before for I knew that I could take my first student at four o'clock. And that's what I did. So I would work with pharmaceutical company, and then I would come home, and I would teach. And but it proved to me that one I could find students, I could get them and that I could provide income was it again was it was all I needed to cover everything. No, but it was like almost a proof of concept of like, okay, I can do this. And I did that for a while to build up some savings. So it's kind of burning the candle, burning the candle at both ends, as they say. But I did that intentionally because I knew when I quit my job that I would need a little stockpile of money to just get through the beginning. So I knew it would probably be slow. So I would just be intentional about your first steps. Have your job. Yeah, but also, you know, as Gary Vee says, It's like your side hustle, work, your side hustle, get that going, it doesn't mean that has to completely replace your initial income. But a lot of people they quit on, they've got nothing in place. And it's like, that's kind of setting yourself up for failure. So I think there is a good time to take those risks and leaps of faith. You know, because you've already tested the waters of it. So if you're someone you know, that teaches music, start teaching, start getting out those 2530 students that you need to experiment on to figure out what makes you a good teacher. Because then if you quit your job, you're like, Well, I'm already ahead of the curve, because I've already tested myself out on like, 25 people. And I've already got a roster of people because that's essentially what I did. I worked my job. I started building up a roster. And then I gave a three months notice, because my job was very specialized. So my boss asked me, she was like when you'd like to be a rock star, can you just give me three months notice? So I went in in May and I said I'm giving you might three months notice that? Yeah, July 31 will be my last last day, which then I was like, Okay, now I have three months to get as many students as I can like to really build that roster. I was like, because I'm losing, I'm losing the safety net. But it was a belief in myself that I could do it. So what's the what's kind of the points one, don't just throw your job away. Unless you've done some planning. I'm not talking about like over planning every detail, but test the market and just see what you can what's capable first, okay? Because then that will give you some insights of like, alright, well maybe I need to stick up my job for a year I can quit my job in three months. I just got like a bunch of students this quickly. And then after that, then you can put all your focus into the side hustle and grind that. So those are kind of my insights on that a little bit.

Mike Meiers 35:04
What I love about that, there was a book that I read that was called real artists don't starve. And it's the same concept. And I'm thinking in my own experience of kind of segwaying to teaching, it was I was burning the candle at both ends, where it was like, my full time and then cool, like, come for it's, it's that magical teaching hour of like, I think like four o'clock 430, where it's like, now it starts and it's just all the way until and then just building up that craft to the point where it is an overloaded schedule. And you're like, Now I switch.

Unknown Speaker 35:37
Yeah, you're like, now I'm exhausted.

Lauren Bateman 35:40
It is exhausted. But I mean, on the weekends, I've been getting up, you know, I used to wake up at 435 o'clock in the morning, and I used to fly our cars in the neighborhood, because people park on the street, not everyone has a driveway here, and I live in the city. So there's lots of cars on the street, you can't put anything in anyone's mailbox, but you could put stuff on their windshield, I got so many like a phone calls, too. But I'm like, I would get up on Sunday morning, five o'clock in the morning, because I knew everyone was sleeping, which meant the car would be in the street. And I would go around all the side streets and start firing people's cars for guitar lessons. And that's how I build up my original roster of students. And then once I had enough students, I allowed myself to sleep in on Sundays.

Unknown Speaker 36:21
But it's also

Mike Meiers 36:22
that is a champion of yourself, you're looking for every opportunity to talk about things show the things show up for the thing. A lot of people sometimes are very hesitant with that. They're kind of like, yeah,

Lauren Bateman 36:36
yeah, you're nothing. But for a lot of people, they're like, if I show, you know, they're like, if you build it, they will come and it's like, no, you can build it. But you have to get out there and let people know you exist. And I think that's where people make a lot of mistake in in business is, you know, they'll they'll start a business, but they don't have a website like, you know, which to this day still perplexes me I'm like, how do you not have a website for your business? So you know, you have to go out there, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. You can't just be like, anybody build a website, like, Grant, I built this website. Now everyone's gonna find me. And it's like, no, they're definitely not in the beginning. You have to go out there and make it happen.

Mike Meiers 37:20
You have to talk about it, you have to realize what are ways I'm going to drive traffic to my website. It's great. You got a website. It does perplex me too when people are like, I have a business. I'm like, Cool. What's your email? And they're giving me like, gmail.com? I'm like, do you have

Lauren Bateman 37:33
you set up a website, GH 51268 [email protected].

Mike Meiers 37:40
I still have my Hotmail. My website is an old MySpace site, it's still running right now. So that's where you go. But to me, this is so amazing to hear. Because it's easy to look at something amazing that's built and be like, oh, you know, well, it's only one person. But to hear the story that it wasn't also to like this, like straightforward path. But like, there are these twists, there's pivots, there are these trials, they're these errors. But the continuing theme is patience and yourself, really stepping up not being afraid to step back, and how that may look to other people. But thinking long term, this is the best for me. And the thing that I want to build because it's going to ultimately lead to me being like, Yeah, I'm gonna get on a plane. I'm gonna go do what I want. Because I now created that space and that life for me. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 38:28
do that.

Lauren Bateman 38:30
Right. And that's it. You're, you're creating your space, you know, like, I'll go on people, you know, people who don't know me that well, and I teach on YouTube, you know, um, usually I don't make a big thing out of it. And then they'll be like, Oh, well, how do I find I'm like, I'll just just put Lauren guitar and Google, I'll pop up. And then they're like, you know, it's like this whole, it's like the website, the, you know, it's podcast. And they're like, they're like, holy crap. I'm like, oh, yeah, like that. Just learn guitar. I'll come right up. And they're like, holy crud. So like, creating a brand around your name, you know, that people could simply just type your name into Google, like people are like, have you Googled yourself like Google yourself and see what comes up to the point of like, you're like, cool, like, this is what I want to see when people type my name and like, it's just you just want it to be your brand and good things about your brand videos, courses, like you want to become the brand.

Mike Meiers 39:27
And I think what's great about your brand is again, you are you're super personable on camera and just like in your dialogue and to see the testimonials, testimonials don't happen. When it's not an authentic self grant. It's like, sniff out a phony I think especially now, buddy inundated with so much having someone building that you can tell when someone's just in it for a very like, oh, just give me your money and I'm gone. But when you see people constantly Uh, you know, speaking highly and you see those testimonials, then it's like you're making connections with people, not just within your school that you built, but also to that whole online sphere, that whole world you've created.

Lauren Bateman 40:11
Yeah. And I think you know, because that's a question I get asked a lot from people too. They're like, how do you stick out like, you know, you've got like the kings of guitar, you got like Justin guitar and Marty, guitar, and Andy, and, you know, I always say, I like podcasts, I'll tease and I'm like, what differentiates you from all these other people? And I'm like, Why have boobs? Oh, that helps.

Unknown Speaker 40:34
Oh, my, I'm a female.

Lauren Bateman 40:36
And then that usually gets a good laugh out of people. But I tell people, like, you know, you know, if you're, if you're another guy that's trying to get into this realm, or even if you are, you know, a woman, it's, it's just be yourself. genuinely be yourself, because that's who people are going to connect with. Yeah, it's your way of teaching. Like, you know, Justin's a great teacher, and he's a great teacher. They do things differently. And everyone learns in a different way. And the way I say it, my help someone else. One of my friends, he teases me, he's another online YouTuber. John, he's out in LA. And he always teases me, he's like, you're Lauren Bateman. You're God's gift to the elderly. demographic is like, I tell people, I'm like, I'm Lauren. I specialize in helping older adults over the age of 50, who just want to have fun learning guitar, and it's like, that's my angle. So people know, like, I'm their person. Like, I'm not doing Taylor Swift. Not doing Ed Sheeran, you know, I'm going slow. You know, and I just let people know that they can do it. Because like, we were talking before you hit live, we were talking about how like, one of the biggest compliments I get from people about why they like me, and my YouTube channels, they're like, you're not condescending. And they can tell that genuinely, I've never met some of these people in real life. But they can genuinely tell that I care. And that I'm not condescending, and I make them feel good about themselves. And you even though I'm not in the room with them, it just goes to show you that how much being yourself on camera matters. Because people who connect with you, they're going to pick up the traits about you that they like, and that's what's going to attract them to you. And that's why they're going to go to me over Justin or me over Marty Are you know, they probably learned from a bunch of different people. You know, I get a lot of people who are like, well, you and you and Justin are like my main two or you know, you and this other person, like I keep going back between your videos. And that's what you want. You want people to connect with you. And that's what I try and tell my music teachers in the school it's like, yes, we teach music lessons and like what we teach people first then like they're not buying music lessons. They're actually buying you stuff. They like you. They'll take lessons from you a lot longer than if they don't love that.

Mike Meiers 42:58
This was awesome. Lauren, thank you so much for hanging out. Yeah, this

Speaker 3 43:01
is so good. Again, because this was just fun. Oh, good. It was very fun.

Lauren Bateman 43:11
Awesome. That's

Transcribed by https://otter.ai