This is Lawrence Neal, founder of the Corporate Warrior podcast which specialises in high-intensity strength training.
Having worked in London for over ten years in B2B IT sales, Lawrence Neal moved to Galway to turn a passion into a business. Here he talks about the rise of high-intensity strength training, starting a podcast from his kitchen table, and how to avoid the isolation that often comes with growing a business.
I suppose I always dabbled in new things, new ideas and wanted to work for myself, be my own boss. After years in the corporate IT sector, I had had enough of that type of daily grind.
I’d started commercial websites and small media businesses in the past, but had never devoted enough time to them for them to work correctly.
When my girlfriend, who is from Kerry, said she wanted to move back to Ireland to be closer to her family, I saw it as an opportunity.
We picked Galway because it’s a very cool city but also the quality of life here is one of the best in Ireland. If you think rent is expensive here, you should try living in London.
Once we landed in Galway and started working the massive reduction in the cost of living was one of the first things I noticed. I was suddenly able to run my business full-time.
Podcasting is a fascinating opportunity. For those that crack a niche and grow downloads, it can be very profitable from sponsorship alone. At the moment my business model is quite simple. I record and broadcast two podcasts a week. The area I specialise is quite a niche – high-intensity strength training.
I interview people who work in this area and run businesses in this sector, and my primary audience is in the U.S.
Passion beats experience
I don’t have a broadcasting or radio background, but I don’t think many people who work in podcasts have any broadcast experience. Podcasting is about being curious and passionate about something. Having worked in sales for so long, I guess I naturally ask a lot of questions, and I’m excited about my sector.
I have sponsors who support me on a monthly retainer, and I have affiliate relationships with them. They are also in the high-intensity strength training sector and sell very specialised equipment like ARX.
My set up as a podcaster is quite basic, but that’s how podcasting is. It has a very low cost of entry. I do most of my interviews via Skype, using the eCam call recorder software. I edit in GarageBand on a Mac and use a decent microphone. Most of my podcasts are long form, typically one and a half hours long.
How not to get lonely
It can be very lonely running a business like this. I didn’t just give up the day job to start a business, I also moved country and left behind my social network, my friends and family. That’s why I use the Workbench in Galway as much as I can. It’s important to be with other people and meet new people, especially entrepreneurs.
Galway is a hive of startup activity. It’s a great place to be at the moment.
I have a growth strategy, not just to increase the number of downloads of my podcast but also to look at other business verticals in the high-intensity strength sector like events, products and classes.
If I was to give any advice to people like me who started out at their kitchen table? Get out as much as you can, try and build relationships with other startups and surround yourself with people who have the drive to succeed.
To listen to Lawrence’s podcasts go here.
For more about free co-working spaces at Workbenches, go here.