Beer & Butterfly

Season 2 - Episode 8: How can "we" leverage the digital economy...with Rob Llewellyn

August 04, 2021 Ian Kingstone & Jonathan (JP) Parnaby Season 2 Episode 8
Beer & Butterfly
Season 2 - Episode 8: How can "we" leverage the digital economy...with Rob Llewellyn
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The end of the pub quiz is in sight and Ian & JP are wondering if they are going to get the wooden spoon award for coming in last place, however this evening they are joined by Rob Llewellyn from CXO Transform to discuss how individuals can leverage the digital economy.  The trio catch-up over a drink and Rob provides a background of his water-skiing days which enabled him to travel around the world as well where his fascination of travelling stemmed from.  The episode focuses on how Rob transformed his own business from being a consultant travelling to clients  to building a successful online business delivering education and business transformation knowledge across the globe.

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  • 00:00 - Intro
  • 01:13 - Introducing our guest...Rob Llewellyn
  • 04:06 - A bit of background on Rob
  • 07:20 - Pub quiz - Question 8 Answer
  • 08:41 - What have we been up to?
  • 13:07 - From consultant to leveraging digital
  • 18:13 - The bet
  • 20:20 - Learn and fail fast, resolve and progress
  • 23:33 - New challenges - scaling the business
  • 29:39 - What's next for Rob
  • 35:51 - Importance of giving value
  • 39:41 - Raising the bar through the digital economy
  • 43:00 - Advice to others leveraging digital
  • 50:51 - CXO Transform Promotional offer
  • 53:00 - Pub quiz - Question 9
  • 54:15 - Thanking Rob
  • 54:46 - Question time
  • 01:00:50 - Last orders

Ian Kingstone  0:00  
Well, what you having then Jonathan?

Jonathan Parnaby  0:05  
A pint please mate

Ian Kingstone  0:06  
two points, please landlord

Jonathan Parnaby  0:08  
So Ian. Where's our audience sitting

Ian Kingstone  0:10  
there over there? sat that table over there? 

Jonathan Parnaby  0:13  
Oh, yeah, I can see them. Okay, well, before we go over there, what we're going to tell them,

Ian Kingstone  0:18  
we're just gonna tell them it's a relaxed environment where we can discuss, you know, all stuff around business transformation.

Jonathan Parnaby  0:23  
Okay, cool. So who's actually over there who have we got

Ian Kingstone  0:27  
some executives, some professionals, a few consultants.

Jonathan Parnaby  0:33  
Cool, fantastic. Well, let's crack on lets get over there. 

Ian Kingstone  0:35  
Welcome to the Beer & Butterfly

Jonathan Parnaby  0:37  
A podcast where we talk transformation.

Ian Kingstone  1:03  
I'm Ian Kingstone

Jonathan Parnaby  1:05  
And I'm Jonathan Parnaby. 

Ian Kingstone  1:06  
And we're your hosts

Jonathan Parnaby  1:08  
In today's episode, we talk about how we as individuals can leverage the digital economy.

Ian Kingstone  1:13  
Afternoon, Jonathan, we've got another guest with us today.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:17  
We have very exciting guest actually. So we have Rob Llewellyn. So Rob, wanna introduce yourself?

Rob Llewellyn  1:25  
Yes, well, Hey, guys, do I need to introduce myself? We used to work together. For everybody else. I mean, this, this is great that we're getting together on this call. Because just for everybody else, we know that we work together. Well, I came into to help you guys. I can't remember how many years ago. That was not me. 

Ian Kingstone  1:50  
It was probably six years ago. I think 2015 was it something like

Jonathan Parnaby  1:55  
yeah, I think it was about 2015. Yeah, God, is it been that long?

Ian Kingstone  1:59  
Yeah. No.

Rob Llewellyn  2:03  
Yeah, so so so I remember those days really fondly. Especially the fact that I always remember I used to, I used to see if I could get from Spain to the office in Taunton quicker than the guys could get from Kent to Taunton.  Yeah.

Jonathan Parnaby  2:24  
Yeah, no, it's really good to kind of have you on here, Rob. And it's good to kind of reconnect after all those years as well, because I have fond memories of working with you. And I've learned I've learned personally learned a lot from you as well. Over the years and, and, you know, I, I remember, we sat down had a conversation around change ambassadors, and it's a term I use even today. And yeah, so now it's really good stuff. Yeah.

Rob Llewellyn  2:51  
Yeah, great. I just stole that from somebody else. Anyway. 

Ian Kingstone  2:54  
So it's passing on the knowledge. That's really important, though, Rob. That's, that's the key. And from my perspective, again, I can I can back what Jonathan says, I've learned loads from yourself. And I've learned a lot of pointers of where to go to get information or where to how to do things or lessons learned by other people that you've steered me into that direction. So that's brilliant, and thank you for that straightaway.

Rob Llewellyn  3:21  
It's good to be eyes on. I mean, I was kind of really intrigued when I heard you are launching a podcast with with a name that you've got, you know, Beer & Btterfly at all. What is this gonna be about, these guys changed careers. But but but I love it. I love what you do. And yeah, I love the banter and the relaxed, you know, the relaxed tone of the whole thing. So now well done.

Jonathan Parnaby  3:53  
Thank you very much. And I think for our listeners, Rob, I mean, maybe give a very, very quick background about you and the companies that you've got and what you're all about. That'd be really good.

Rob Llewellyn  4:06  
Yeah, so Wow, my, my career in transformation and change. And then particularly technology started way back in the 90s. And that was in the UK. And then I started doing a lot of work overseas. My first big gig overseas with was with Motorola back then in Germany. And so I've really spent the last, really since the 90s. I mean, in and out of organisations in more than 20 countries around the world. I love to travelling, you know, when I was a kid when I was when I was eight years old, my uncle, and you know, I was a young Welsh boy from the valleys. And I remember my uncle bringing me some foreign coins. I said, Where are these from? He said, Well, there's a place called Bahrain, near Saudi Arabia, and he started me on a journey of collecting coins I was this, you know, kid and I was about eight years old, I really got into collecting coins. And, you know, I hadn't been a, you know, you hadn't been abroad, way back then in the 60s and 70s. And so I was just fascinated by, you know, all these different countries out there and what I was getting coins from and, and that really triggered something really triggered an interest for me in other countries, I suddenly started to discover that there are so many other countries out there that, you know, it's not just this little mining town in the valleys. And, and it wasn't long before I got a kind of aspirations to start, you know, going to some of these countries and you know, learning what they were all about. And my first break to doing that was not through work it was through through waterskiing. Fortunately, I became reasonably good at water skiing, I got I got carted around the world quite a bit. So as a youngster, I was really fortunate, you know, to see a lot of places and, and from there early went into my career. You know, I said that I've been involved in transformation and change. But you know, there was a time before that, when I remember picking up Computer Weekly, and seeing these, you know, jobs in Switzerland and France, but we're paying 8000 pounds a year. And I think that would be a dream to be able to go overseas and work. Yeah, well, kind of 30 years later, and, you know, dozens countries later, it's Now be careful what you wish for. Because, you know, the kind of dream came true. And it was great, you know, had a lot of wonderful experiences, met a lot of great people. And, you know, like, us all we saw the good, the bad and the ugly of you know, what goes on inside big organisations.

Ian Kingstone  6:55  
Yeah, no, that's good.

Jonathan Parnaby  6:58  
That's fantastic. I love that little insight of a young Rob Llewellyn and collect collecting the coins and getting excited about the different cultures and countries of the worlds. Yeah, I could identify with that. Yeah, that's really good. 

Rob Llewellyn  7:11  
I just have to imagine a lot more hair.

Jonathan Parnaby  7:20  
Yeah, thank you for that. Rob. I think what we'll do that we'll we'll we'll get to because our listeners, just for your perspective, we have a pub quiz that we run every week. And at the end of every episode, we have a question and we keep trying to get the listeners involved. So we're going to answer last week's pub quiz question. So Ian, if you can kindly remind me because I can't remember the specifics around the question or the question. 

Ian Kingstone  7:44  
The question was, which year saw Nelson Mandela released from prison attened Centre became Formula One World Champion, and Iraq invaded Kuwait. So which year was that? Rob? Do you have any ideas? I mean, we we already toyed with this a little bit in our last episode, but that, obviously, you're new to the question. So you're on the spot. 

Rob Llewellyn  8:07  
I make a wild guess of 1991 

Ian Kingstone  8:10  
Ok thats a good guess what do you think Jonathan?

Jonathan Parnaby  8:12  
I said 90.

Ian Kingstone  8:15  
So the answer is 1990. So you're both Jonathan, you are back on? Yeah. But you've had longer to think about me. Although you said that on the day. Actually.

Jonathan Parnaby  8:26  
I did toy between 91 and 90 and fairness on if you is recorded, so it's evidence and I was trying to think what you know how old was I was always in school and all that kind of stuff. And yeah, but yeah, 90 What have we been up to? What's I mean, Ian & myself we literally recorded the last episode, about three days. So not a lot of for me personally. I've only had a wisdom teeth extracted literally today. Yeah, that's a bit concerned. I won't be able to talk. 

Ian Kingstone  8:59  
I'm really impressed that you can but there you go. Yeah. 

Jonathan Parnaby  9:04  
Okay, so not a lot been going I have watched Loki oh cool.  Yeah, finally got round to watch in Loki and I'm all caught up on that. And I am enjoying that massively.

Ian Kingstone  9:15  
I've watched this week's yet so don't don't don't say anything. That now it's good. I'm enjoying it a lot. You know, we, Jonathan and I watch a lot of movies and Disney and Marvel and all this kind of stuff. And we'd like to talk about it. It's this is our getting together every week in the pub, you know. And so we we share, share a piece. I haven't watched anything this week since our last conversation pretty much been working out. And so nothing great to say really but I can't remember that I said it on Monday but I have managed to secure some Wimbledon tickets. So so so that's looking forward to that. Coming down the road, assuming I can, it all goes ahead. And that day is one of these trials to let more people into events. And and you know, you got to go through a process to do that, obviously, to make sure it's kind of COVID safe and all that, but so I'm looking forward to that. But that's the only news. I've got nothing else at this stage

Jonathan Parnaby  10:18  
itself. Rob, what have you been up to, which is obviously could be open ended, but generally, like, what you've been doing?

Rob Llewellyn  10:26  
Well, you know, as you know, I live in Spain. And just because I live in Spain, everybody just assumes that I'm on the beach all the time. And it couldn't be further from the truth, you know. So it's just been just been too busy, as usual. And I was chatting with the end before we got on the call. And, you know, I said, I've been really busy. But he said, Well, that's a good thing. Well, it's not always a good thing is you can be busy when those things go wrong, you know, crazy email protocol messes up things for you and search the internet for somebody who can fix it.

Ian Kingstone  11:08  
You are that you are a water man. So you must have been out on the sea at some point in the last few weeks.

Rob Llewellyn  11:16  
Yes, well, actually, I mean, I am a waterman. And as I mentioned earlier, I you know, I got to do my early travels through waterskiing. So kind of water, your water sports, you know, is in my blood. And that's why I live, you know, here by the, you know, on the side of the Med. So, I did actually, I took delivery of my new jet ski just now with all that said, so I'm really excited about that. I did get, I did get my Spanish marine driver's licence. And I'm just waiting for my quote from Generali tomorrow to have my insurance get on the water. That's something you know, that's a new boys toy, that you know, to get in on with

Ian Kingstone  12:04  
You still windsurfing and things like that, or to find much time for that these days or paddleboard in and you do most things right.

Rob Llewellyn  12:12  
Yeah. You know, there are some things which are more suited to you when you're a little bit younger. So my excuse now is I just want to see my son, you know, get on with his surfing and his windsurfing. That so that's why I've got myself a big old jetski that I can sit on.

Ian Kingstone  12:34  
You can tell

Rob Llewellyn  12:37  
Absolutely. We can do all that he can be on the back so that I can take a kind of more allegedly approach on the water as opposed to my crazy energetic years, which, you know, fading.

Ian Kingstone  12:50  
Yeah, you've got Yeah, well, yeah. But you've got a few things behind you there that you've done, and you can prove so well done.

Jonathan Parnaby  12:58  
jealous. Now, I'd want to go on Rob's jet ski don't know about you.

Ian Kingstone  13:01  
Yeah. Wow.

Jonathan Parnaby  13:04  
There we go. Cool. Okay, so let's get into the meat of the conversation. Then. Rob. I think, as I said at the beginning, you know, in today's episode, we want to talk about individuals leveraging the digital economy. So we'll hand over to you we're kind of passengers in this this kind of conversation. But yeah, you're definitely going to get questions, I'm sure. But I'm actually really, really excited to get into this with you. So where do you want to start? We'll hand the keys over and yeah, off you go.

Rob Llewellyn  13:36  
Okay, well, I kind of start where I finished with my intro because my intro wasn't really complete. So as I said, I got into, you know, the world of field projects and transformational change in technology and all that stuff. Way back in the 90s. And, you know, had my my my late career as a consultant going in a lot of organisations near like I did with you guys, all those years ago. And it got to for me, it was about probably around the time that we were working together. I can't remember maybe it was after I'm not sure now, but I I can look myself in the mirror. And you know, I've always been kind of prolific out there with blog posts and writing about this stuff. I've always done that because as a consultant, I want to make sure people know about me, you know, I got my work. And then I one day kind of looked in the mirror I thought you will. This technology is now democratised. It's now so accessible, easy to use and affordable. Not like it used to be when only big companies could afford it. The world is different now. And I thought why am I you know, I'm going in and out of companies, you know, providing advice and guidance on how this should be done or that should be done in an organisation and taken advantage of technology. Why aren't i doing that myself and I had a little quiet bet with myself. And that was back in 2016. And I didn't know what I could do in this respect. I just thought, you know, put your money where your mouth is, if you're telling other people that this can be done, big organisations, do it yourself, Rob. So I made a little bit with myself and I came up with the idea of Firstly, I had to have something to offer the world. I knew a bit about waterskiing. I knew something about transformation and change. I'm sure people would be more interested in learning about transformation and change. So I thought, Okay, how can I offer what I know in a different way, as opposed to going into one company, helping them then going into another company and helping them? How can I help more people take advantage of technology, and maybe it makes some money while I'm doing it. So I discovered the world of online courses. And I looked into it, and I started creating my first online course. I made all the mistakes in the book, I found the tech, some basic technology which I needed, which is a great platform called Teachable. And and that was great making the course and filming the course, all the mistakes, very painful experience doing it. But eventually, I got the course out there. And it was wow, wow, that's a sigh of relief, I guess, you know, it's kind of like, you know, the author, finally getting the book out of the door. Yeah, then you know, you have to sell the thing, you know, you have to get people to buy your book to read your book. And it was the same for me. It was the it was for me, I remember first offering, I had a mailing list because I would send a newsletter out every weeknight done that for years. And I offered my course to 1000 people and nobody bought it and I thought Oh, my God. All this time, I was completely demoralised. I couldn't believe it. And, and really, for me that was and I think, you know, most people who go into this, I know a lot of people who've gone in this direction, in very different business areas. And, you know, we all start off making, you know, all the typical big mistakes. And that started my journey of learning how marketing and, and lots of other things that done, you know, online. And, and really that so that journey began for me in 2016. I remember the first time I made $500 online, it was an unbelievable feeling. It was crazy that suddenly my iPhone went ding Yeah. And someone paid me $500. So that was, you know, it was a, you know, a drop in the ocean, really compared to what I was earning as a consultant. But this is a completely different way of suddenly making some money. Yeah, even if it was, if it was 100, you know, 100 pounds, it didn't matter. It was just that fact that I'd made some money through the internet. And I was hooked. And I made a bet with myself. And you can include this in the shownotes if you want to link back in 2018.

Rob Llewellyn  18:24  
I wrote a wrote an article on LinkedIn. And in fact, I had the idea of writing the article in 2016 when I started, but I knew nothing. I knew nothing about running an online business. And I didn't know if I would be successful. But I told myself, if I'm successful about this, I'm gonna write an article. And that time came, I called it something like my something along with I'll share it with you guys. Something about my debts and to earn the same salary as a CEO online, something like that. Yeah. And I made a bet with myself that, you know, could I make and I did some searching online to find out what the average salary you know, in the United States was all the CEOs, of course, you know, range from next to nothing to millions, but the average was 140,000. I think it's about 140 or $150,000 a year. It was I think it worked out at $14,000 a month. So that was my target. I had to make $14,000 a month. And I got there in 2018. And, but you know, between 2016 and 2018 there was a lot of you know, a lot of learning going on and whilst I knew how to go about, you know, different aspects of transformation like you guys, you know, in big organisations, that was a completely different world to actually owning everything myself, and building everything from scratch with no reason losses, I didn't borrow money, I just, you know, I had my own cash. And I had no big company behind me. But I started to learn that there were some very effective tools that could help me build different parts of my business. And that, you know, it wasn't just about creating an online course putting it on Teachable. And then everybody buy it.

Rob Llewellyn  20:25  
Yeah. Only if it was that way, I'd be on the beach every day. Yeah.

Jonathan Parnaby  20:37  
Is it it's interesting that you said about, you know, when you first go into something, and you first try something new, you are inexperienced, and you do come across those pain points. I mean, when you talk about that, I just instantly was transformed to last year with me. And in doing the first few episodes of this podcast, I'm just trying to get through the process of editing and, and releasing publishing the whole thing, and it was painful at the start

Ian Kingstone  21:04  
Yeah, but what's quite interesting is and and I guess, I don't know how you did this, Rob, it sounds like you kind of started it, tried it learned changed, learned that agility, to do things, and learn from things and improve on things and find new things out and, you know, maybe bump into this problem and then solve it. And keep moving on. But I mean, still, I'm quite impressed if you if you thought that in 2016. And by 2018. You were there. That's that's that's pretty good. Yeah, that's, that's I mean, other people may say different, but my view is that excellent. You know, that that? Yeah, I'm sure you worked really hard. I know, you probably worked really hard. But because you do in what you do, but but you know what I mean, it's, it's that that's impressive.

Rob Llewellyn  21:54  
We all start, you know, when anybody is starting something, we all we all start from the beginning. And, you know, we all no matter who anybody is, you know, everybody will have been through, you know, to build a business will have been through a lot of struggles, you know, there is no way out that Yeah. And, you know, for me, it was it was a matter of setting these different goals for myself. And gradually, you know, I never dreamed of you this this business now, which is my online business, which I told you about, that's replaced what I did for 20 years, completely replaced. Yeah, because when, when 2000, I was in a, I was involved with a terrific company in 2017 2018. And, again, I made another bet with myself, that if my online business started making more money that I could make as a consultant. And it would be a no brainer to just stop getting on planes. And, you know, I was typically on planes every week, which would be good, which was a nice thing to have to, you know, to give up. And that that time came in 2018. For me, so, you know, since you're in starting the business in 2016, getting into a good place, by the middle of 2018, and then allowing that to become my full time, career from 2018. To You know, where we are now. And, and I've gone through different phases. Initially, it was just getting that first sale, you're getting that first person to to enrol in my course. And now I got a completely different set of challenges, you know, scaling the business completely different set of challenges. Yeah, I do a lot for granted now, which I didn't take for granted, you know, a few years ago. But there's constant different challenges. But But, you know, the one thing that I've learned along the way, and by the way, I learned from people who are just a few steps ahead of me, you know, so, you know, there's always somebody who's a few steps ahead and is finding, you know, those right people to model and, and to learn from and there are different aspects of this business, which are very different, but all really important. But you know, the main point, the main important point here, you know, going back to my bet with myself, Rob you, you're expecting these organisations to take advantage of technology transform. Why don't you do it yourself, when you create something yourself using technology, it is possible for any body to do that. And we might come from the world of technology, transformation and change. I know people who train parrots, I know people who are artists who do every who were involved in every weird niche you could imagine. Yeah, and, and they're all using the same technologies. They're all going through the same struggle. They're all trying to find that perfect audience. But anybody, they don't have to come from the kind of background that, you know, we all come from anybody who's prepared to get stuck, roll up my sleeves and get stuck in to do this. My 12 year old son has just finished recording his first course. 

Jonathan Parnaby  25:22  
Oh wow. 

Rob Llewellyn  25:22  
Because when he when he when anybody asks him, what do you want to do when you grow up, Tommy, I'm just I'm just gonna work online, like Daddy, because I just can do it from home. Tommy, you need to have something to sell. So So of course, he's made this course on healthy eating and, and healthy lifestyle for teenagers. So, you know, even in, you know, a youngster, like, Yeah, can you learn to use some of these tools? You just mentioned, guys, you know, with podcasting, you make all the mistakes in the book, so does everybody whether you're 12 years old, or 72 years old, we all new with these tools, these tools that are available to us for next to nothing, usually, it's $10, $20 $30 a month or something, we can all get access to these amazing tools developed by some of the smartest, you know, software people in the world, we can all use these tools that created for us, we just need to take the time to learn to use them in the right way. In the same way that we take the time to learn how to use one of these in the right way.

Ian Kingstone  26:32  
Oh mobile

Rob Llewellyn  26:33  
you know, we, we struggle, and we found fumble in the beginning, beginning. In the beginning, we make all mistakes. We're all in the same boat. You know, right now, most of these tools that I use in my business and other small business owners use, they didn't exist, you know, five or six years ago, he was just as I said earlier, just as big companies. Yeah. And they had access to very expensive solutions. It doesn't have to be expensive. Now, you know, we as individuals, we can, we can set up a site and sell something off the side of a website. And you'd typically see a large organisation spending maybe a quarter of a million dollars pounds to do exactly the same thing. Yeah. And you know, the great thing is, as as you said earlier, yeah, you know, about being agile, when when it's you owning that business, you don't have to take something to a committee, and get approval for something to happen already. Ian I remember you and I say, you know, standing in front of a CEO and trying to persuade him and the board to do some something, there's none of that when you're running your own business.

Ian Kingstone  27:44  
Yeah, but we were intended to spend rather a large amount of money in doing what we were doing for them. So you know, I can understand why they might want to stick us there and get some answers. But yeah, I totally agree with you. And I think that's, that's exactly I mean, that. Actually, that must be it must have been quite a change for you in your way of working as well, because you can just make decisions move forward and do things and you were used to, you know, consulting, and taking things to committees, like you and I did at that time. And, and, and, and yeah, must have been kind of a, I guess, a bit fresh, put a fresh air in, in what you're doing. And I guess you built this alongside doing your day job for quite a while. So it was only you know, in 2018, or whatever, where you could say, right now getting enough from this, that I don't need to do the consulting anymore if I don't want to.

Rob Llewellyn  28:41  
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, it's as anybody knows, working inside, you know, the larger the organisation generally, yes. Slower things take and, and yeah, as I went from one extreme, you know, that, you know, because it's typically very large organisations with a lot of bureaucracy and policies, and, you know, to just make the decisions myself, and I love it. I make all of the mistakes, which I take complete responsibility for and all the successes, which I also take completely responsibility. 

Ian Kingstone  29:21  
Yeah. Good. So, so it's all going well, now. Yeah. I know it is because I see what you put out there. But um, yeah, I mean, well, well. So you say it's challenging now, scaling and things like that. I mean, if you got any, what what's your next set of plans kind of thing?

Rob Llewellyn  29:42  
You know, I mean, that since since the business has grown. As I mentioned, there are different sets of challenges. One of my challenges is I have no intentions of creating some large enterprise growing and growing and growing? Yeah, that is, I am 57 years old, I am building a lifestyle business is not, you know, I don't want the aim for some big company. And so so it's trying to, you know, getting the right balance I have, you know, I have a number of people that work for me, most of which are part time, and they're scattered around the world, we've never sat in the same room together. And you know, that's another great way to be able to work. I now collaborate with more people. The business obviously was launched with just my one course, I then eventually persuaded a very, an old mentor of mine, and very good friend of mine Axel Uhl. To start working, working with me, and we now, so that's a nice collaboration, we've also got the Arabic translation of one of our courses being done by a young lady in Jordan right now. And these, some of these things just come out of come just come out of the blue.

Ian Kingstone  31:16  
Now, the whats excellent about that, Rob, is that I know your courses and my usual courses, and that that's enabling that message. And though that information and not passing on knowledge that we talked about earlier, from yourself from Axel, and so on, to then be available to so many different organisations, people, you know, so that in itself, I mean, I see the value of your product, so to speak. And that's really good news. Just certainly have it translated as well. That's brilliant.

Jonathan Parnaby  31:51  
Yeah, I mean, you're your consultant, you're devoting your time to one organisation, or one or group of people. So what you've done is you've digitised your knowledge, and put that out there for anyone to consume. And you're right, you're not sitting on planes anymore. That's fantastic.

Rob Llewellyn  32:10  
Exactly. And, you know, what's, what's really wonderful is some of the stories, some of the small stories that I get, you know, from from different individuals, and one from a young lady, just last week, as a young lady, I don't know, I haven't met. You know, she took the course. And, and she wrote to me saying to say that she sat in a meeting, and she had the confidence to stand up and challenge her bosses on business value.

Ian Kingstone  32:43  
Guys, yeah. Well, you know,

Rob Llewellyn  32:47  
it's really nice to give somebody the confidence to be able to do that, that's kind of really rewarding for me to be placed on.

Rob Llewellyn  32:56  
It, it's, it's lots of little stories like that is quite rewarding, and it's just kind of a personal little reward that I've got, you know, we've got our testimonials out there, of course, like any company, but those little personal stories, which don't really get seen, and that's, that's, you know, that's very nice for me, and, and, you know, to know that you're having an impact inside, you know, inside a big organisation, we had, you know, 15 people just the other day, from a technology consulting firm in the US, Mike, we're all going through, we got corporate approval, finally, after three months of bureaucracy trying to get approval and then more going through the cost, it's kind of really rewarding to know you're having an impact inside so many different places. So that's, that's, that's great. And that, I mean, there are literally literally, you know, many, many 1000s of people all over the world in so many different countries all over the world, you know, that go for the courses? Of course, then there are no, there are no geographic boundaries in any online business. You know, so, so, you know, somebody from New Zealand might enrol in the course now. And, you know, later in the evening, somebody in Saudi Arabia, it just, you know, that the customers come from anywhere. And it's really, it's very rewarding to know, you know, you're having an impact inside those different places. But some of the other, you know, some of the other collaborations which have just come out of the blue, and I think come out of the blue, you know, I think when you don't when you start creating a business or to start and start trying to create a presence, your digital footprint to be known out there. People do then start approaching you. I mean, that was always my, my model as a consultant, you know, putting out good information out there, and then you know, some people would would get in touch, and that's the that's the same philosophy with what I'm doing now. Putting good value out there. And, and people, it's they seem to come out of the blue, but they're only coming to you because of what you're putting out there, because of the content of the content which you're creating. So if

Ian Kingstone  35:13  
connecting with people in that way, you're giving them content that's connecting with them, and then they're coming to you in that in that way. So and that's brilliant.

Jonathan Parnaby  35:21  
Yes, because it's meaningful content that, you know, as either not so personalised. But yeah, it's something that I can resonate with, or utilise in my day to day, whatever. So yeah, it's, it's becoming that authority, isn't it in that subject matter, or having you're having that kind of content and knowledge out there that people see you as the authority and transformation or the authority and, you know, training parrots or whatever the the various different aspects are out there? So yeah,

Rob Llewellyn  35:52  
the important thing is, is to be seen to be giving value. And again, we, you know, we talked about this in translation. Yeah, exactly. In this online world, it's about giving value is about demonstrating how you can help help people and not asking for anything in return, you help people enough, and some of those people will then one day come to, you would say, Well, can you help us, and mostly, you know, in, in the case of my business, most of those people, individuals who want to invest in themselves, take a course, you know, improve their capabilities, and, you know, be better equipped, at the end of the course, to do the job that they do. Sometimes, the people that approached you ran very big companies, and that's how we've got involved with some very interesting collaborations with very big organisations, and it's great to these people approach us, it's, it's, it's not the other way around. And, and again, it only comes down to, you know, putting putting good value out there. And you never know who, that person that's going to knock at your door, you'll never know, the, you know, what, what position they have, the cloud they have in an organisation. So it's just a matter of, you know, keep putting the value out there. And, you know, good good things, good things happen. But, you know, that's, that kind of gets you to a certain stage, that kind of gets you to a certain stage. And that's, you know, with the position that I'm in with a business now, is trying to scale, and you scale a business by doing what any business does, and that's, you know, advertising and, and more partnerships, and that's, you know, when it gets a lot more challenging, again, a completely different world of, you know, when you get into the world of Google ads, and Facebook ads, they are incredibly clever companies, amazing what they can do, we've seen the likes of Facebook that call them for things that they do, nevertheless, it doesn't take away, you know, the fact that they are doing some amazing things, and they enable small business owners in every part of the world to take advantage of their brilliance of them, you know, we talk about artificial intelligence blockchain this, that and the other, you know, the people using services or Facebook or your product, they're not talking about artificial intelligence, they're just using the solutions. And, and, yeah, so, so, so much is available from these very smart software companies. You know, these are the these are, you know, the, these are the Steve Jobs of the world, the Mark Zuckerberg, etc, of the world. But they are giving everybody in the world access to the amazing solutions that they develop. They're not just keeping them for themselves, they wouldn't have a business if they did.

Ian Kingstone  39:10  
But it's execution, isn't it as well. It's that execution that's using this technology and executing it. And for me, that's what you've done, what you've done is you've taken as you said that, that that bet on yourself if you want which clearly paid off. But you know, you've taken that bet on yourself, but you've executed you've not just had a strategy and showing people a way to do things you've executed what you've been consulting and more and learned from that and then executed it. And to me, I think that's where, for me, you raise the bar, in the sense of you've taken that learning and you've you've executed on it and you continue to do so.

Rob Llewellyn  39:47  
Thanks for saying that Ian. I've seen that yet but it's reminds me of you know, there's a guy that that I learned a lot from in the US and and I remember this into one of his podcasts a couple of weeks ago. And he said, this is this guy's extremely well received his name is Frank Kern is very well respected in the in the world of digital marketing. I got to meet him in Nashville last year and conference. And I was like, I was like a young boy meeting my pop star hero. And, and Frank said, the best student I've ever had said, What should I do next Frank? do A, B and C. Okay, I've done it. What should I do next Frank, to do one, two and three. Okay, I've done it. He did, he executed upon everything I told him to do. He became in the most successful student in business that I've ever had, he never questioned anything I told him to do. He just did it. And he became very successful. And this kind of brings me back to you know, I'm a big fan of Tony Robbins, always have been I didn't get to meet him, we got to see him at the same conference last year. Incredible guy. But he's always big on, you know, model, model success. It's, you know, one of his one liners is model success. Find somebody who's successful in a particular aspect, or the whole aspect of what you want to achieve, do exactly what they do. Don't think you know better because you don't. Yeah, but model success. Once you're successful, then you can start improving going your own way. But initially follow the instructions. And as he said, in execution, it is it's about you know, it's about finding the right people, and then executing upon what they suggest you do. And and it's kind of easier said than done. Because you can find something execute and fail because you're executing on the wrong strategy, just like in any company. So that's Yeah, that's always a challenge. But I think once you find some good strategies, which I've been fortunate enough to do, and then you execute it 365 days a year, it doesn't matter if it's Christmas Day, it gets somebody is executed upon that strategy, because the moment you stop executing is, you know, you start losing money. So, so it's about finding those things that work, you guys, you're executing upon your podcast strategy. Now. You came up with the ideas of two a penny, everybody's got an idea. So differences, you've done it, you've launched your podcast, you're going through the pains of, you know, meeting people like me with terrible internet connections, and but you're putting out your show, and you're executing. And you know, that's what makes all the difference.

Jonathan Parnaby  42:54  
Yeah. So true. So true. I mean, the question I've got Rob, it's kind of, I suppose what what advice do you give to people who are thinking about taking the steps that that you've done? So maybe they're thinking about modelling that success? Like, what what learnings could they take from you, if they're thinking about getting out and leveraging that digital economy?

Rob Llewellyn  43:17  
Well, firstly, there's a lot of hard work. And so you must find something which you want to offer the world that, that you have a passion for, not just that you're good at it, but that you have a passion for. Because there will be times where you you, you just want to give up because it's difficult, but when you have a passion for something that's new, just keep pushing through so find something that you have a passion for. Then you you identify the people who can benefit from the expertise that you have. And you might just be one or two steps ahead of them. You don't have to be among the top 10% in the world to be able to teach somebody something which they don't know yet. You just need to be a few steps ahead. And this is one of the great things which the likes of Teachable have done teachable by by the way is what we still sell our online courses on Teachable It was founded by a guy named anchor forget assume right now but Ankur Nagpal. He was one of the early Facebook guys, when instead of an organisation, got some money, venture capital set up, set up Teachable and our you know, extremely successful business. And what he taught was the fact that this old fashioned idea that you need to be the best in the world to be out there. giving advice is just that it's old fashioned, it's yesterday, so long as you have something to offer the next person that they that can help them achieve their goals. You can start offering the world something, you can charge a little bit of money for, for it. And you can build a business on technology, we don't have to worry about that we we buy solutions, like Teachable, which costs next to nothing. And you know, as a small monthly fee, or an annual fee, we use all sorts of different CRM systems, which in the past, for big organisations would have cost millions. Now we can, we can actually start with the likes of MailChimp, free, nothing, anything. And that's how a lot of businesses start. And so the technology that looks at cost is not an issue. It's about how, and again, this comes back to saving big organisations and not about the technology technology exists. We need to decide what we want to do what we want to achieve. And then we find the right technology to help us do what we want to do. And, you know, usually they will, the hardest thing is deciding which of the best six solutions you're going to go with, and help you actually want to execute from a business perspective. So this is where some parallels really come into, you know, the world of enterprise large scale transformation and change, and even small business. It's about what the business wants to achieve, and how it wants to do it. And then we take advantage of the amazing technology that can enable us to do it.

Ian Kingstone  46:30  
Yeah, absolutely.

Jonathan Parnaby  46:31  
I think this is a big synergy here. And this conversation is really, really exciting with the conversation we had a few weeks ago with Trish, Ian, and yeah, talk about scaling up SMEs, and the general kind of language that we use around the SMEs and things like that. So it was kind of a conversation that was done on a very different kind of angle, which is how can we support, you know, SMEs, that are trying to scale up trying to grow and the synergistic thing here for me is that the reason why they're growing the reason why they're, you know, kind of accelerating is a lot of because they're accessing this, leveraging that digital economy, right. So all these tools are now more available more affordable for them to do more and more things. So yeah, just a thought that just came in my head. I thought this is really, really synergistic. It's like we planned it, but we didn't

Rob Llewellyn  47:27  
I just want to it just reminded me of something and we never know what's going to come next. Only only yesterday, I came across some software, which can do some pretty smart things. I was just blown away. I learned about it yesterday, I cannot believe what this software can enable a business to do. You start for $30 with $30 a year some software which I'm completely I you know, I'm so excited. I'm running around the house, I tried to get my 12 year old son excited Dad go away it's not Roblox, my wife, you know, but honestly, some of the some of the, you know, the breakthroughs coming out of your very small software companies. Yeah, it's just incredible. And the the incredible aspect is what it enables a business to do. And it's amazing and it continues to amaze me. You know, we look at companies Stripe like the the payment company now and how you know, they would this is now one most successful online payment companies in the world 95% of our business goes through stripe, and this was founded by two 16 year old brothers from a small village in Ireland because they hated the way PayPal worked. So they decided to write some code, a story if you if you you know, if you look at this story, it's a it's an incredible story. But it's a terrific example of how I'm not the brightest guy in the world. I'm not like those guys they are they are they are the smart you know, the Mark Zuckerberg Steve Jobs those those guys who started Stripe they are the geniuses that uh, that really taken advantage of the digital economy but they're enabling everyday Joe to take advantage of it as well because of what they're creating. And the only thing standing in anybody's way in taken advantage of all this is not money. It's just some belief in themselves. And I know that's easier said than done having some believe in yourself and and giving it a go, giving it a go. And if it fails, so what try it try it a different way. But it doesn't have to it doesn't doesn't require money. And I get a little frustrated when I talk to people who are looking for their next million pounds in investment to start their business is very frustrating for me to hear that when I know that you could start your business, there is no reason why you cannot earn your first half a million without any money from any company. And just using basic tools, it's about how you put those tools to use. So yeah.

Ian Kingstone  50:19  
Yeah. Betting on yourself. I was gonna say that's the that's the thing for me. All

Jonathan Parnaby  50:27  
Great. Thank you for that. Robin, I was just really good to kind of hear your story. And, and, yeah, and empowering everybody with these tools and everything. And this is it, this sort of stuff is out there for everybody to use and believe in yourself bet on yourself. And, and who knows what, what can happen. Jet Skis.

Ian Kingstone  50:51  
So is there anywhere, Rob that you you, you want to point people in the direction of some of the stuff you do? Well,

Unknown Speaker  50:58  
The main website from businesses But if anybody is and you know, most of the courses which are available, there are for large organisations, you know, large scale transformation and change. But I've got a coursewhich I've created. And that is really the kind of formula which I've put together all the different aspects, which has enabled me to build CXO Transform, and that that URL, it's a little long, so maybe you can put it in the show notes, I'll mention that So it's a bit of a mouthful. And but I want to give for all your listeners, Ian and Jonathan, I want to give a special discount code, which enables anybody who listens to your podcast to put in the discount code and I've made it a very appropriate BEER35.

Ian Kingstone  52:06  
Thank you.

Jonathan Parnaby  52:06  
Yes, thank you very much

Rob Llewellyn  52:08  
that's a 35% discount. When that when that when that code is entered on the checkout page for everybody who listens to the podcast, BEER35

Jonathan Parnaby  52:21  
Fantastic. Yeah, yeah, we'll put this in the show notes as well Rob. But yeah, thank you for that. And, you know, I've taken Rob's courses before, so I took your THRIVE course and and enjoyed it immensely. And, and I found that it kind of it was content that I couldn't find anywhere else. So what Rob came up with, just for the listeners benefit, and he pulled something together that just wasn't that accessible. And it was THRIVE is all about digital transformation. It's the framework of, of digital transformation. And they found it really, really, really interesting and is elements of that I use even now. So I thoroughly recommend you check that out. 

Jonathan Parnaby  53:00  
So we hit that time. We're ready for the pub quiz. Are you ready, Rob? Get get your your thinking cap on this 

Rob Llewellyn  53:08  
I was never very good pub quiz, but I'll give it a shot as I always do

Jonathan Parnaby  53:14  
So are we

Ian Kingstone  53:15  
no, we're terrible.

Jonathan Parnaby  53:17  
I have the advantage because I've got the question. But yeah, it's a it's a sports question. I hope you know, your Polo, if not good look. It is how many chukkas are there in a polo match?

Ian Kingstone  53:33  
Well, the I'm really not very good at this because I didn't even know what a chukka is. So a random guess of seven.

Jonathan Parnaby  53:43  
Okay, you're going with seven. What do you think, Rob? Do you know what a checker is? And if so, how many of them?

Rob Llewellyn  53:50  
I haven't got a clue. Well, I'll go one better than the end and say eight.

Jonathan Parnaby  53:55  
I'll be I'll be with you too. I don't know what a chukka is either. It's a question I found and I thought it was quite interesting. 

Ian Kingstone  54:01  
Is that somebody who throws the ball, someone who chuck's it.

Jonathan Parnaby  54:09  
Anyway, well, we'll find out next week for what the answer is on that one. So thank you. Thank you very much. So let's wrap up. So thanks, Rob. I really appreciate your time coming on tonight, and especially your are an hour ahead of us. So we do appreciate that. And yeah, thank you. It's been great to learn about your story and, and hopefully for listeners to know more about you. So thank you very much.

Ian Kingstone  54:31  
Yeah, thank you. 

Rob Llewellyn  54:33  
My pleasure, guys. Really great to get on the call with you both after after these years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for having me on

Jonathan Parnaby  54:41  
Right no worries. Okay, see, see you next time.

Jonathan Parnaby  54:51  
So, this question time in this time, this is a bit different. Actually. We haven't got a specific question from a specific person. How few was gonna say weeks ago, I think it's probably a month. A few, some undisclosed time ago, we put a poll out on our LinkedIn. Yeah, yeah, if you remember. And we asked the question, What is your favourite part of change management and why? And obviously a bit of a callback to our season one theme. We gave four options, mainly because LinkedIn only gives you four options, which is really frustrating. Actually, I was like, now I can put like eight here.

Ian Kingstone  55:33  
didn't actually know that. So it's only you can only have four.

Jonathan Parnaby  55:36  
Yeah, I mean, listeners are probably go, you idiot. You can do more. I just couldn't figure it out. 

Ian Kingstone  55:40  
But they can call in and tell us how stupid we

Ian Kingstone  55:45  
answer our questions.

Jonathan Parnaby  55:49  
But anyway, so there are four options for what is your favourite part of change management and why we had in visit envisioning for a future building, change impact assessments, we had change planning, and change execution and delivery. So when I pulled this poll together, I was thinking of the end to end kind of change management framework lifecycle. Yeah, yeah, right from the why, building the why, going into the definition, side of change the planning for it, and then obviously executing it. So we see interesting, we've got quite a split is kind of very much that turned into a bit of an A B split. Because envisioning was, but I came out 40%. And change execution and delivery actually won the poll of 47%. So those are the two highest. Yeah, options that we got from from our listeners. So that was really good. So

Ian Kingstone  56:42  
So, so a split in the sense of some people prefer the beginning of the why and all of that, and some people prefer, yeah, execution. 

Jonathan Parnaby  56:51  
But there were some people that, you know, voted on the impact assessments and planning. So they those were,

Ian Kingstone  56:57  
so it's beginning and end

Jonathan Parnaby  56:58  
but beginning and so it's got people like doing it you like and this to me, now you with pre pre sales. So we were like do a pre sales. 

Ian Kingstone  57:08  
you love it. You love that. analysis, and you love it.

Jonathan Parnaby  57:12  
Yeah, I actually do. And I think I've learned now having gone through lots of deliveries. I do actually prefer the envisioning part of any any programme or transformation.  But yeah, so I just found it very interesting that it kind of polarised the the views and in that way, and yeah, and especially Yeah, you know, think about it depends on your role doesn't, it depends on kind of what you write, you know, if you're, if you're more Change Manager, and, you know, people are probably going to be like, like to get into the change execution, because that's when you are engaging with the business, and listening and empathy and, and all of those good stuff. And and I think if you're more into, you know, transformation, programme managers and things like that, and there may be envisioning is,

Ian Kingstone  57:59  
yeah, you're right, you're right. I think you're right, when I can only relate this to myself. So there's only one person but but I'm probably a bit like yourself in like, the bit up front, where you're thinking about the other possible and what you can do and how you can make things better and, and all that kind of stuff, obviously do the execution because you need otherwise significant realise anything, but but I think, you guess, I can imagine how some individuals really relish that getting people through the change the execution bit more so than the thinking that they are the possible and the why and the vision, you know, that kind of?

Jonathan Parnaby  58:36  
Yeah, different than you there are different motivating factors, I think, for doing something. So for someone to get through a why the why through an exact level. And again, that's sold. So during the change management or the leadership level, that's quite empowering. And you know, a good Oh, I've done.

Ian Kingstone  58:58  
Made me think of something, though, and I'll never never thought about before at all. is should you have different skill sets for each part, then? Because I often think about, you know, in most programmes I've worked on you have a change manager or whatever change team and who aren't responsible for doing all of those things or businesses as well. Yeah, get it. I was in season one. But the the whole wonder whether it's a different kind of character, a different type of skill set, that maybe is there a handover and teaches you one thing

Jonathan Parnaby  59:35  
that technically is there isn't a thing. If you think about a Change Manager, when does it change manager usually come and start in the lifecycle of a transformation programme? Is it right at the beginning before a business case?

Ian Kingstone  59:49  
What I'd like it to be

Jonathan Parnaby  59:50  
likely to be but it's not generally though, in my experience, the ones that's been sold, yeah, yeah. And usually by the time that change management comes in Why's already usually this is not always the why, the why is always not always but the why is usually pulled together so that it should be

Ian Kingstone  1:00:09  
right. It should be and have a much when I say I'll get changed management in early and get on with it. Your right? It's still post that piece. Yeah. Do you see what I mean? is still there? Yeah, we're going for this off we go kind of thing.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:00:24  
As a change manager, what's your favourite part of the job? Question was as part change management in general as a discipline, which actually does cross multiple roles all of those bit. Yeah.

Ian Kingstone  1:00:35  
Yeah. Anyway,

Jonathan Parnaby  1:00:38  
share that with the with the with you all listeners. And, and yeah, we'll probably do another poll again and see what we can get. Cool. Alright, see you next time. 

Jonathan Parnaby  1:00:50  
If you want to record a question for next time, just, you know, just recall that questions and it's a host that because we love to get people's voices on this podcast, right Ian.

Ian Kingstone  1:01:02  
Yeah, no, it's great. Sounds good. Right. Alright, see

Jonathan Parnaby  1:01:04  
you next time. If last thought is at the bar, so thank you for listening to the Beer & Butterfly. As always, we want to encourage participation. 

Ian Kingstone  1:01:13  
You can get more details of the episodes on our website, which is That's .

Jonathan Parnaby  1:01:26  
You can get in touch with the show by emailing us on  send us your questions written or recorded, or come and join us at the table as a guest.

Ian Kingstone  1:01:37  
Also check out our LinkedIn page, Beer & Butterfly Podcast and on Twitter @butterfly_beer where you can engage with the show directly and get involved.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:01:50  
Yeah, and we look forward to seeing you at the table next time.

Introducing our guest...Rob Llewellyn
A bit of background on Rob
Pub quiz - Question 8 Answer
What have we been up to?
From consultant to leveraging digital
The bet
Learn and fail fast, resolve and progress
New challenges - scaling the business
What's next for Rob
Importance of giving value
Raising the bar through the digital economy
Advice to others leveraging digital
CXO Transform Promotional offer
Pub quiz - Question 9
Thanking Rob
Question time
Last orders