Digital Nomading with Online Church Volunteer Training Entrepreneur Scott Magdalein

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This episode of LMScast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS is about digital nomading with online church volunteer training entrepreneur Scott Magdalein. They discuss Scott’s teaching business and some issues he has faced as an entrepreneur in the teaching space and how he has dealt with them. They also talk about the freedom of location that being an online entrepreneur can provide.

Chris and Scott discuss the freedom of location that being an entrepreneur online has allowed him to pursue. Scott is currently on a boat in the Bahamas with his family. They have been on the boat for about four months now. Having the ability to own a business and not be tied down to a location is one of the best things about being an online entrepreneur. It is also the reason that some people start an online business in the first place. Chris shares his experiences with traveling around in an RV for nine months with his family.

TrainedUp is a training platform and video library Scott created. It has content that churches can use to train their volunteers. The course has some videos in it already that apply to all of the churches that would be purchasing the course, such as ways to change a baby’s diaper and leading youth ministries. The course also has an interesting aspect where the churches can also upload their own video training as well that has some content more specifically related to their church.

Having a distinct problem you are solving is important for success in any industry. Many people believe that if you diversify and sell solutions to many different problems in different industries you will make more money and ultimately be more successful, when the opposite is true. You will find more success if you niche down and try to solve a specific problem really well. Having more areas of focus can confuse the customer and dilute the value of the services you perform well.

The problem of untrained volunteers in churches is the problem Scott aims to solve with his course. This can help make church services that rely on volunteers run more efficiently, it can help protect the church from liability problems, and it can help to create a better experience for everyone involved.

Many churches already have in-person volunteer training, but they face difficulties with attention and keeping track of all of the volunteers and exactly how much training they have received. So Scott’s course alleviates much of the confusion and frustration with that by giving people the ability to take the training at home or whenever they have time, as well as giving the person administering the training the ability to track their volunteers from the back end.

Scott shares some details on where his company is going in the future in terms of some changes to marketing for their course in order to better serve their customers. Chris and Scott also discuss the possible application of Scott’s course curriculum design in enterprise-focused companies.

To learn more about Scott Magdalein check out his Twitter at @ScottMagdalein and his Instagram at @ScottMagdalein. You can visit TrainedUp.Church to see everything going on there as well. Scott has been on a previous episode of LMScast where he and Chris discussed SEO, and you can find that episode here.

You can post comments and subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us.

Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Christ Badgett, and today we’re joined by a special guest, Scott Magdalein, from TrainedUp. Thanks for coming on the show, Scott.
Scott Magdalein: Thank you for having me again, Chris.
Chris Badgett: It’s good to have you back on the show. For those of you who haven’t seen or heard Scott before, we did an episode on SEO many episodes back. Scott has a lot of wisdom in that area, and that was a really good tactical, full of lots of tips kind of episode. So go look that up if you’re digging this conversation.
In this episode, we’re gonna get more into what Scott’s teaching business is, some issues he’s facing as an entrepreneur in the teaching space and just general marketing issues and how he’s working though them. And we’re gonna talk a little bit about the digital nomad, remote lifestyle, because Scott is actually coming to us on a boat today. We’ll end with that, but just to kind of plant the seed, you’re on a boat. Where are you right now?
Scott Magdalein: We’re in the northern Bahamas in the Abacos area, anchored off an island called Elbow Cay.
Chris Badgett: Elbow Cay. Awesome. So somewhere down there below Florida, out there somewhere.
Scott Magdalein: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: But we’ll come back to that in a little bit. Scott and I met at a business mastermind conference, and we’re both in the learning space and had a lot in common, and it’s been great getting to know Scott, but for those out there who don’t know who you are, what is TrainedUp, your learning platform, all about? What is it?
Scott Magdalein: TrainedUp is a training platform and library, it’s a video library, training content that churches can use to train their volunteers. So we provide both a very simple training platform that’s course based, but it’s very simple course based, and then that’s baked into, kind of coupled with video courses that we make and provide for the churches to use out of box. And also part of our training platform allows churches or ministry leaders to create, upload, record with their webcam right to their training account, to be able to create their own video training as well.
Chris Badgett: That’s really awesome. And just to kind of restate it and make it super clear for the listener, Scott has a training platform that he gives access to to solve a very specific problem in the church industry, and it comes with a catalog of courses, and people can also upload their own courses into the system. What problem are you trying to solve with TrainedUp?
Scott Magdalein: It’s a very specific problem, the problem of untrained volunteers in churches, where you have a church full of people who are trying to serve and want to help out on a Sunday morning or during the week or whatever, but those people, the jobs that they have to do aren’t typically their week to week jobs or day to day jobs like you might be a janitor in a school, but on Sunday morning you’re changing diapers in a preschool room. So there’s some training that needs to go along for the, it’s to get the job done well, and also for liability reasons, to know what not to do with a roomful of preschoolers. Like don’t feed them all peanut butter sandwiches. You can’t do that kind of stuff.
So just to help churches be able to do really thorough training without having to, kind of overcoming some of the existing obstacles to volunteer training in churches right now.
Chris Badgett: That’s really awesome. I love that. I think that’s such a pro way to go about things, to really start with the problem. Not necessarily, Amanda, you’re trying to build a business around this and all this, but you’re really starting with solving a specific problem out there in the world in a specific place, like in church organizations who have volunteers.
And what are some other niche scenarios that emerge in the volunteer space besides, it sounds like there’s things some people may not have thought about, like well if you have a volunteer scenario and there’s small children involved, there’s some basics that some people know, especially if they’re not parents. What else, what are some other common issues?
Scott Magdalein: Yeah, so another one would be, and most of this is volunteer training for adult volunteers that work in various different volunteer roles in the church, so another one might be youth ministry, working with middle school and high schoolers. So you have a handful of adults that say they’re gonna volunteer to be good influences and work with the youth in the church, and that’s great. There’s also a lot of risk that comes along with having untrained adults working with a bunch of other people’s kids that are middle school and high school, so there’s liability issues with alone time with adult and a teenager. Need to make sure to train them not to be alone with students. How to recognize risky behavior, so we do a lot of training on recognizing self-harm behavior or risky behavior, bullying behavior, recognizing depression characteristics or traits, signals.
So we produce training for churches to be able to train on those specific things with their volunteers. Another one might be that we focus on is adults who lead groups of discussion groups, which is not a typical kind of skill that you might learn in the working world, but on a weekly basis, adults have to sit around on a regular basis and lead a discussion on a Bible topic. And that’s not typically a thing that we do on our day to day life, and so those people that lead those discussion groups, almost 100% of those people are not trained Bible teachers at some seminary, so they need some training on how to lead those Bible discussions. So we also offer training content about that.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. So there’s all these layers of problems, so it’s training volunteers, who are then put in situations where there might be problems or challenges they need to overcome. And then, what problem are you trying to solve specifically with technology? You could do in-person volunteer training, right? Why did you build TrainedUp-
Scott Magdalein: You could if you want to, Chris. Actually, churches for decades have done in-person volunteer training. Volunteer training itself is not really anything new in churches. There’s some common problems that we’re trying to help them overcome, which is low attendance at volunteer training meetings. And so since you have low attendance, you typically, churches that really care about it, tend to increase the frequency of meetings to get everybody there, but then you’ve got a calendar stacked full of volunteer training meetings you have to go to, which nobody wants to go to a training meeting.
And then the church tries to make it fun, they try to have food, and it starts to get expensive, and still you don’t get a lot of attendance at volunteer training meetings. And then even with that, you don’t know who was there and wasn’t there, who was paying attention, who got a phone call and missed something critical. So not only is it difficult to get a full coverage of training for all your volunteers, especially as your church grows, but also the accountability level of knowing who’s trained and who’s not trained and who understands the really core principles that they need to know.
Chris Badgett: That’s incredible. That’s incredible. I just love how specific and niche down your topic here and your platform and design of it all is for, and the content itself. That’s wonderful.
Well, let’s talk a little bit, go ahead? You have another point?
Scott Magdalein: [inaudible 00:07:35] the concept of, so a lot of the teaching space and the learning space, it’s a lot of an individual entrepreneur creating content or creating training for an end user to train that person. So me, I might create a course and sell it to a learner. So that’s good, there’s a ton of that, that’s needed. There’s a huge niche that’s not being served, and really, this is the niche we’re serving. We’re specifically [inaudible 00:07:58] church space, that is training the people inside of organizations and on selling that training, to make training within that organization easier. So there’s a whole niche. We’ve debated internally about which niche do we really want to focus on, we feel passionate about churches and church volunteer training, it’s something that me and my team, we love and we care about deeply.
But there’s even just in volunteer training, there’s a whole space of non-profit volunteer training that’s completely underserved. Not just with a platform for it, from a technical perspective, but also from a content perspective, being able to give organizations like Habitat for Humanity or Make a Wish, or anything that might, any soup kitchen in any city in America where there’s training that needs to happen before they show up, for quality reasons, make sure that the volunteers are doing a good job, but also for liability reasons. So volunteer training is a much bigger problem to solve, and it can be solved from a teaching entrepreneurial perspective outside of the church realm.
And then of course there’s the whole training and teaching inside of companies, employee training. That’s being solved by some large enterprise-focused companies. But there’s a huge space with an opportunity to be able to teach basic skills to employees inside of small businesses that’s just not being served well by other companies that are out there.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, one more question before we shift into kind of what’s going on in your world on the marketing side and the customer segmentation side. How did you come up with this concept, which I think is brilliant, of I’m gonna have some general training that’s gonna be good for everybody, but then all in their accounts to start uploading their own courses too that are unique to them. Where did that idea come from? That’s pretty cool.
Scott Magdalein: Yeah, that’s actually just me over the last two years of running TrainedUp and learning what my customers need. We’ve been serving churches with training software for a couple of years and realizing that for somebody who’s not a big portion of their time committed to producing training content, it’s not easy to work with an LMS. So like you guys, what a great lift, LMS is a great tool, but for somebody who, it’s just a small piece of what they do, setting up a learning management system and then thinking about course design and thinking about production and thinking about-
Chris Badgett: It’s a lot.
Scott Magdalein: It’s a big piece. So we did a couple of things. We realized that it was a big hurdle for our customers, for churches on our platform to think through that. So we did a few things. We simplified. Super simplified. We have this new version that just came out last month, super simplified the entire learning building phase into this absolute most simple core thing where yo have a topic you want to teach, you teach the one topic and you add a couple of questions. And that’s it. There’s no scoring system, there’s no bells and whistles. And once your volunteers go in, they watch the video and they answer a couple of questions and that’s it.
And so we moved away from curriculum design concept and moved into you teach a topic and you ask a couple of questions about the thing you taught. So we made that much easier for them. And also we built in some tools to make it easy to just record with their webcam, so they don’t have to set up an extra separate camera and then do the video production and then import and upload and all that stuff. So we made that just like a click a button, record it, click save, and it’s done.
And then the other side is, there’s 40,000, 50,000 churches just in America that all pretty much do the same thing anymore. You go to a church and there’s a church service and there’s a guy that preaches and there’s some music and your kids go over here to this thing and there’s some volunteers that help the kids learn Bible verses or whatever and they play games, and then the older kids go up to the youth room upstairs and they play games and they learn about, and so it’s very similar across all these churches. So with [inaudible 00:12:01] training is just an obvious thing to be able to provide, if somebody needs to learn how to change a diaper in this church, then someone will need to learn how to change a diaper in that church. And why are we putting the burden on all these churches to create redundant training? Why can’t we just do it for them?
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. That’s really interesting just from the society level where kind of in the past, it was like from the top and telling people what to do. And now that everything’s democratized and distributed and everybody’s a publisher, you’re kind of pulling back a bit, like well, you don’t actually have to do it all. Here’s some tools to do that, and you can also be a publisher and do it too. That’s really brilliant.
Well, if we look at the, I like to say when you need to make a decision about building a course or creating a learning platform, it’s all about focusing on the end user or follow the value chain all the way down and if that, in most cases the student wins, everybody wins. And in your case, it’s even more complex, because it’s like that baby who needs a diaper changed, it’s that kid at church who needs to have a good experience with the volunteer or whatever. And then it goes to the volunteer, and then it goes to the trainer of the volunteer. And then it goes to the person who provides the training to the volunteer. And then it goes to, well who’s the person that actually buys the training for the volunteer? And then eventually it ends up at where you guys are at.
But what, if we follow that back, who is your customer and what has been your experience as a platform owner? I know you care about solving these problems that are multi-layered, but what’s your experience like around the person making the buying decision versus the people that actually use it, versus the people who first hear about it? How does it work?
Scott Magdalein: Yeah, it’s much more complicated than selling a course to a person who’s gonna watch a video and get value out of it. So for us, solving the problem for the church is more than just providing good content or a good user interface. We have to, to be able to solve, let’s say Joe Blow. Joe Blow’s a youth pastor and he’s got 15 volunteers. Any time he adds a new volunteer, that person needs to be trained up really fast, which is why we call the company TrainedUp. That person needs to be trained up and ready to go within a week or so, and he also has a rank of volunteers that he has to keep up to speed on best practices and policies and stuff like that.
So Joe works within the context of a larger organization. And so we need to serve Joe and help him train his volunteers, but his reality is that he also interfaces with other ministers within his church. He also has kind of an upline where he also reports to maybe the executive pastor or the senior pastor in his church. And that senior pastor, even at that, has accountability back through to the congregation, where the congregation usually keeps the pastor accountable [inaudible 00:15:12] that sort of thing.
And so there’s a lot of levels of complexity with Joe’s situation. So for us to serve Joe well, we have to figure out how we get the software to Joe and the content to Joe in a way that Joe can use it and have good, trained volunteers, but also help him navigate the complexity of adopting new software in a context of his organizational realities.
Chris Badgett: So onboarding. The onboarding into the system, there’s that too.
Scott Magdalein: Sure.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Scott Magdalein: There’s the onboarding. Sure, yeah.
So we actually are in the process right now of completely redoing, not completely redoing, but of redesigning how we sell the software-
Chris Badgett: Let me jump in and ask you a question there, because if you do that, which is awesome, it’s all about iteration and continuation in improvement. Usually that means you’ve made some assumptions that weren’t correct or at least were suboptimal. What was the earlier thinking?
Scott Magdalein: Okay, all right, all right. Our assumption for was that we can sell at a simple one flat rate and sell it to a church. And the church as a whole, all the staff in the church, all the ministers in the church, the church would purchase it and all the ministers would use it. That’s ideal. The church would say all together, “yes, we decide that we’re going to use this software.” But the reality is, it’s not the staff that’s using the software. It’s two or three volunteer trainers, people that are responsible for their own volunteers within that staff. So you might have a staff of six or seven people in that church, but you have the youth pastor and the children’s pastor and maybe like the small group/Sunday School director person, and those are the three people that do the most volunteer training.
But we were assuming that the whole church would purchase it, which was I think a bad assumption. So we’re actually shifting and running completely new Facebook ads and changing our pricing and changing our new landing pages, all geared toward instead of selling as a flat rate to the entire church for unlimited access, we’re going to break it down and even break down our library into specific ministry areas and then market just that ministry context just to that one person. Am I making sense?
Chris Badgett: What’s a ministry area? What do you mean by that?
Scott Magdalein: Youth ministry. So like the ministry to middle school and high school students and the one person, man or woman, that’s responsible for that ministry.
To date, we’ve been marketing to the entire staff, as a group they would have to make a decision on it, which group decisions never happen. All it takes is one person to say “I don’t think we need that” for that decision to be gone. On the flip side, if we can talk to Joe Blow youth pastor and say, “hey Joe, this is a tool that you can sign up for yourself, you don’t have to get any permission from anybody, it fits inside of your budget for your department, you’ve got the credit card with the limit that you’re allowed to use. You can just sign up and just train your own volunteers.” And Joe is the one making the decision for it, then that greatly simplifies how we can serve Joe. Instead of worrying about serving the entire church, Joe’s church, we can say we’re gonna serve Joe really well. And if Joe really likes it, maybe he’ll pass it to Suzy who leads children ministry, or Sharon who leads the small group Sunday School ministry. So he might share it with them. Eventually we might serve the entire church, which would be great, but at the very least we can serve Joe really well and help him train his volunteers, which is really what our mission is as a company.
Chris Badgett: I heard somebody say recently that it’s really good to go, a common mistake in online education is to not be niche enough. So you just broke it down, and then you broke it down again, and now you’re breaking it down to, okay, the youth pastor, this one’s for the children, this is for the teens. So are you saying that they can actually, depending upon where they sit, if they’re in the teen group, there’s going to be different pretty populated courses in there?
Scott Magdalein: Yes. So once we finish this little transition, which we started yesterday, Joe youth pastor will be able to sign up and pay, it will be 40% of the cost, so instead of $99 a month, it will be $39 a month. And he will be able to have all of his own people in there, and he’ll only see access to the library of content that’s specific for his ministry. So it’s only youth ministry content, plus some of our general stuff. We have safety training that’s applicable for across the board, we have common use, general volunteering concepts, Biblical concepts for volunteering in churches kind of stuff that will be accessible to him as well. But he won’t get access to like the care ministry or the children’s ministry, or the greeters or whatever. He’ll just have youth ministry stuff.
To help serve Joe really well, because we really want Joe to be successful in his volunteer training. If he’s successful in his volunteer training with TrainedUp, then TrainedUp is successful.
Chris Badgett: That’s really cool. That’s really cool. So what else have you changed? What did you change, for example, in your Facebook ads?
Scott Magdalein: So we’re still in the middle of it; I wish I had better data. Maybe we could do another podcast in a couple of months and I’ll tell you how it went.
Chris Badgett: All right.
Scott Magdalein: So what we’re doing is we are still running our ads currently that are aiming at whole churches. So we’ve still got tests running in that, so we don’t want to mess with those tests. We still need a couple more weeks testing those. What we’re gonna do, we’re gonna subset, or another set of Facebook ads. And right now we’re just doing Facebook ads, trying to keep the testing really simple. And we’re gonna aim those Facebook ads specifically at three ministry areas: youth, children, and small groups. And then each one of those ads is gonna land on landing page specifically for that area of ministry.
So Joe Blow youth pastor is gonna see an ad for train your youth ministry volunteers. He clicks the ad, he lands on a page where it talks about training youth ministry volunteers with example videos of some of our training that we have for youth ministry volunteers. And then pricing specifically for youth ministry and a sign up form for youth ministry. It’s just him. This blinders, zero [inaudible 00:21:29] focused on just serving that guy. He’ll never even see that there’s children’s ministry, other ministries.
Chris Badgett: That’s really cool. That’s textbook customer segmentation. They’ve got their own pricing, you’re really speaking to the subgroups and going after that. That’s really cool. Well, I can’t wait to hear how all that works out.
Scott Magdalein: Me too.
Chris Badgett: Let’s shift gears a little bit to where you are right now. You’re in the Caribbean, or the Bahamas-
Scott Magdalein: I’m not sure if it’s technically Caribbean-
Chris Badgett: What is the difference between the Caribbean and the Bahamas? Is it one-
Scott Magdalein: I don’t know. People say that they’re sailing the Caribbean; they never say that they’re in the Bahamas. It’s always like Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico or even further south.
Chris Badgett: I gotcha, I gotcha. Well how long have you been on the boat? When did you leave? You were actually on the boat in dock for a while, correct?
Scott Magdalein: We were. We lived in St. Augustine, Florida, for a while on the boat. And then we left in January and we took about a month going down the coast, taking our time, and then crossed over to the Bahamas in middle of February.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. So-
Scott Magdalein: We’ve been here since February.
Chris Badgett: So you’ve been, left the dock about four months ago? Is that right?
Scott Magdalein: Yeah, I guess. Yeah.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome.
Scott Magdalein: We haven’t touched a dock since. We’ve been sitting on anchor ever since.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. When I first met you, I had actually just got off of about nine months in an RV, so we kind of share this passion for location independence and digital nomading. Not just working from home, but taking the home on the road or on the sea or whatever. Tell me about it? How’s it going for you? What’s going well? Obviously, it’s great to be out on the ocean and in the sun and all that. What are some of the big highs, and what are some of the challenges?
Scott Magdalein: The highs are anecdotal, mostly. So two days ago, three days ago, we were anchored a lot further south, down around a place called Little Harbor. It’s real remote. And probably about two, two and a half hours from any kind of civilization. And I was working in the morning, Erica, my wife is Erica and we have two boys, three and five, they were about a quarter mile away or so on a beach. She put the boys on a paddle board and taken them to a beach while I was working in the morning. I hit a spot in my workday, I was like, I’m kinda done for now, I could work some more in the afternoon, but I hit a stopping point. So I would say I put on a bathing suit, but really I just jumped in the water and swam over to them and hung out on the beach with them in the middle of the day, left my phone and computer on the boat and went and swam in crystal clear blue waters.
Chris Badgett: Living the dream.
Scott Magdalein: Saw a sea turtle as I was swimming, saw a couple of starfish and plenty of conch. And then went back to the boat, ate lunch, and started working in the afternoon.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome.
Scott Magdalein: Got a little exercise, good quarter mile, half mile swim.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s the typical bay stuff. And I know what you mean by the anecdotal. It’s just those dream experiences. Unique, great quality time with people you love and being out there in nature, having no choice but to disconnect from technology and leave work behind and be around all the other animals and great things out there in the world. That’s awesome.
Scott Magdalein: Yeah, for me, this whole running an online business, for us it’s kind of a software and content business, but a lot of content entrepreneurs have the same opportunities to be able to run a business that has no ties to any location or even any kind of real schedule, like a set schedule. So you can go where you want to go. For us, not everyone wants to live on a boat in the tropics, but living in a cabin, living on the road like you did in a trailer for what was it, six months, nine months?
Chris Badgett: Nine months, yeah.
Scott Magdalein: Nine months, yeah. Essentially, to have the options laid out in front of you, what you want to do. Our biggest problem now is, with all the options in front of us, what do we want to do from here?
Chris Badgett: It’s a big world.
Scott Magdalein: It’s a big world. A lot of water in this world and we live in a boat. Nd so we’ve got plans in the fall to travel up the east coast. Might make it to Maine.
Chris Badgett: Oh, that’s be cool. Yeah.
Scott Magdalein: Actually do have plans to make it to Maine. Probably not this year, but maybe next year. It’s a long trip up the coast. But at least go up the coast to the Carolinas or whatever and spend some time in some pretty islands up there.
Chris Badgett: By the way, I’m from North Carolina, and over by the Intracostal Waterway, by Riceville Beach, maybe if you’re in that neck of the woods we could hook up over there too.
Scott Magdalein: So there’s Buford I want to go to and Beaufort. I want to go to both places.
Chris Badgett: I used to go to summer camp as a kid around there, so I know that area. It’s awesome.
Scott Magdalein: Yeah, so we can hook up there. I haven’t seen Chris since last November, so it’d be cool.
So anyway, just the opportunity to do whatever, whenever, wherever. And the only tie-down is be sure that we’re serving our customers well. And sometimes that means working a full day of work, most of the time it doesn’t. Honestly, I don’t work full days, I know the age old adage is as an entrepreneur you work way longer than normal hours. And I guess there have been times when I’ve worked those long hours, but you don’t have to be a slave to your business. You can organize and design your business to fit your lifestyle, rather than fitting your lifestyle around your business.
Chris Badgett: What are some of the challenges, and I’ll just roll off some of mine just from the RV story and some of the other various nomading things I’ve done. I’ve lived internationally with kids in Costa Rica and done different things, but I mean the trailer specifically is kind of small, as I imagine a [crosstalk 00:27:34] boat would be. Which is good, but sometimes you’re climbing over somebody just to get to the other side of the room. So you’ve got that.
Scott Magdalein: Walking a gauntlet of toys along the ground.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Or just, you probably don’t run into it so much on the water, but trying to find a spot to park or camp or whatever, or anchor, and for whatever reason you can’t stay there, so you’ve got to roll on, kids are tired, it’s not good timing. I don’t know, those kinds of things, it’s not all puppy kisses and rainbows, as I like to say. But what are some of your challenges working from the road?
Scott Magdalein: Well, for us, we have a boat with no air conditioning, so we have the windows and doors open all the time. And then sometimes like right now, it starts to rain. I don’t know if you can see that, you probably can’t see it, but it’s raining pretty hard and we have the doors and windows open, so we’re getting water inside the boat.
Chris Badgett: Okay. So what are some of the challenges business-wise? Do you ever have any, more just related to work, not so much like family and work or location and work, but just being remote. What other business challenges to do experience just bing a digital nomad that wouldn’t be really an issue if you had an office somewhere or whatever?
Scott Magdalein: One is consistent internet. We’re pretty remote out here, and I’ve got a pretty reliable system set up for my internet, but sometimes coverage isn’t good, so that can be a problem from time to time. Because of the way that our life is, my computer isn’t always charged. We have to run a diesel generator to charge my computer, so that’s tough. Sometimes I just have to work from my phone.
We had to shift in how we did business with clients and how I interacted with clients. I used to do all our demos, now I do none of our demos, because this isn’t the most professional background for when you’re talking to somebody about spending a hundred dollars a month on training software. I’ve found somebody who’s very professional. He’s, in fact, much better than I am at it. So there’s some trade off with that.
One challenge I guess is that we’re in a small space, and so when I’m working and in a meeting or having to focus, then I have to find a place to get away from the kids, because we’re in a very small space.
Chris Badgett: Where are they right now?
Scott Magdalein: They’re all taking a nap in the aft cabin.
Chris Badgett: Okay.
Scott Magdalein: That’s great, so they take a nap in the middle of the day and that helps. But right now, if I were in a trailer, travel trailer or something like that, wanting to get away, I could just step out the door and go walk and find a nice quiet spot. Here, I can’t just step off and walk somewhere, we’re surrounded by water and we have one way to get to shore. We have a little dinghy to get to shore. So if I take the dinghy to shore to get some alone time, Erica’s got no way to get to the shore with the kids. There’s some dancing that goes around about managing, but you find a rhythm. It’s worth it.
Chris Badgett: That’s cool. Sometimes I share a story from that recent road trip, just being in Yosemite Falls or Yosemite National Park, you could see Yosemite Falls from where I was, and it was beautiful. It was awesome and I was running my business from there. But also, at that same moment, we had something going on and I had to pull one of those longer days, so here I am, my wife and kids have gone off to the Falls or whatever, I’m sitting in my car with the engine running to provide power to my laptop, I’m stealing wifi from the main lodge at Yosemite to finish a marketing website. I can see Yosemite Falls through the window, but I’m not out there enjoying it. I can’t complain, I’m just saying it’s not always great, it’s not always perfect. On the end, in my opinion and in my experience, net, it’s a great thing to do if you like traveling and exploring, and nothing helps you bond as a family and get to know each other’s quirks than living in a small space together.
Scott Magdalein: That’s true. We say small homes build tight knit families.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, they do. They do. Well, Scott, I want to thank you for coming on the show again. And for those of you listening, you can find out more at That’s where Scott is at. Where else can people find you and connect with you on the internet?
Scott Magdalein: Really just Twitter. I don’t do anything other than Twitter. So Twitter is, I guess Twitter and Instagram, Twitter is Scott Magdelein. And Instagram is Scott Magdelein. And I guess the spelling of Magdelein they can find somewhere written, because Magdelein’s kind of hard to spell. But on Twitter I mostly tweet about church training stuff. And then on Instagram we just tweet our life on a boat, so it’s a little bit more scenic on Instagram.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well thanks for coming on the show and sharing your journey as an education entrepreneur and teaching some valuable lessons about knowing your customer and figuring out how to position and talk to them and segment your marketing and things like that. That’s really a goldmine of experience you shared. And also thank you for sharing your story and what you’re up to and sharing that with us as well.
Scott Magdalein: Yeah, thanks for having me on again, man.
Chris Badgett: All right.

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