Marie Poulin & Benjamin Borowski — Digital Permaculture

Reading Time: 44 minutes

Marie and Ben are a power couple. Together, they run Notion Mastery, an intense workshop for people who want to use Notion professionally and productively. In our conversation, we’ll dive into platform risk, building a sustainable educational business, how to work together as a couple, and why social media distribution matters a lot to educational founders. Enjoy!

Marie Poulin 0:00
In the beginning, I didn’t realize how deep my knowledge was. And so I was sharing these videos and people being like, that’s nice. But how on earth do you do that? And so I didn’t realize that just demoing a thing was not actually showing someone how to do the thing. So those comments and questions that would come in on YouTube are gonna keep feeding. I was like, oh, there’s like, there’s lots of content to produce here. So I could probably have content ideas forever. So YouTube was definitely primarily the way I could at least demonstrate my thinking. And then Twitter became a really great way to show sort of beautiful visual screencaps of what these spaces look like. And so I could just post something on Twitter and being like, here’s how I do my weekly review, show these really beautiful screenshots. And people were like, how do you build this? And I was like, you can learn more about my course over here.

Arvid Kahl 0:45
Hello, everyone and welcome to The Bootstrapped Founder. Today, I’m talking to Marie Poulin and Benjamin Borowski, the people behind Notion mastery. We chat about building a community based course and keeping it up to date, partnering with a company like Notion and how to build a business around an info product like this. Here are Marie and Benjamin.

I moved to Canada last year and for the first time, I have a backyard. I have a house and a little backyard. And I started a little garden and I enjoyed a fine harvest from the garden. And now I know that both of you are very interested in permaculture out of all things and it sounds like there’s something in there not just for people who like gardening, but also for founders, SaaS founders in particular, who wanna build like calm and sustainable businesses. What can we learn from permaculture?

Marie Poulin 1:40
Oh, my gosh, where to begin? I feel like when I took my permaculture course, it completely changed the way I looked at every part of our business because you’re looking at where are you getting the most return for the time that you’re putting in, right? It’s all about obtaining a yield. So it just had us looking at our services in a different way. Like where we spending so much of our time, energy and attention on the stuff that is kind of giving us very little back not just financially, but in terms of our own enjoyment. So we’re just sort of looking at things in terms of energy inputs and outputs, and just being a little bit more mindful about that. So I feel like it just kind of had us slowing down a little bit. And like really looking at things a little bit more from an energetic standpoint. So I think there’s just lots of fun little principles and lessons that I’m like, it’s a garden lesson but it’s very much applicable to business. So there’s lots of stuff like that, that I think has subconsciously permeated our business. Ben, I’m curious if there was like, anything specific.

Benjamin Borowski 2:34
I think I don’t remember what the context was. But I was telling the story about Marie doing this permaculture diploma on the coast, where we live on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. There’s a lot of people who kind of set up their homes for like, really, really sustainable practices. And one thing that really kind of blew my mind when I went and visited Marie while she was doing these trainings is I went in and I think about like, when I look at somebody’s beautifully curated garden on say, like Pinterest. Or you see these gorgeous landscapes on Instagram, a lot of these places were very, very, very messy, just, you know, dirt everywhere dug holes, like they’re running water pipelines underneath to get water and stuff to the place that it needs to go. They’ve got like fish farms. So the water is like, you know, they’re feeding the fish with something from the garden. And then the fish, you know, their waste goes to then fertilize something else. So it’s a you know, these little mini ecosystems. And I was kind of like, oh, like there’s something really really beautifully productive about this horribly ugly like garden and when you look at it, it’s just a total mess, but it’s so productive. It’s making so much food for so many people and in the community and things like that. And it kind of made me rethink the way that we think about this very glossy like finished SaaS product. At the time we were working on we had a course launching SaaS called Doki, which was we’ve shut down in the past year or so to focus on something different. But it made us like look at the way that we actually create products as like you can make these kinds of unfinished messy things and then there’s like a yield that comes out of that product and then you can use the experiments that you’re doing there in some other way and from the outside it often looks like this really cacophonous mess of experiments. And it might be like to outsiders like, ah I don’t know about that. But it’s really can be quite productive underneath the surface. So yeah, I think I’m not as big and Marie did the permaculture diploma but I started seeing those similar patterns in our own work and actually Marie did a talk at MicroConf a few years back, specifically around permaculture and there may be somewhere online you can see that but it was a really wonderful talk.

Arvid Kahl 4:55
Yeah, I find it incredibly exciting not just because I’m starting to get into gardening but because I’ve seen so many businesses, SaaS businesses, both as clients of mine or mentees of mine on my own, and I’ve seen them just develop from something really ugly into something still not beautiful, but less ugly, but that made them profitable. And the fact that you don’t focus on the shiny outside veneer and the kind of the flashy highlight reel, if only the best kinds of things, but you actually look at the meaningful that the meat of the thing.

Benjamin Borowski 5:25

Arvid Kahl 5:25
I don’t know if that is a good phrase for the gardening metaphor here. But you know, it’s kind of agricultural in some way, like you’re focused on what the essence of the thing is and how you can use that essence to be the kind of self perpetuating system. And I love the idea that you brought up aquaponics like the idea of having fish and having that, you know, the fishery. I remember this when I was in Berlin, back in Germany. I was trying to build a marketplace for local foods as a business with a couple friends didn’t go anywhere, really, unfortunately because, you know, we messed up. But it was very interesting to work with the farmers, the local farmers in the farming community in Berlin, where you would think it is a big city, there isn’t much farming going on. But aquaponics that can happen in a greenhouse. And we found a lot of these very interesting cyclical ecosystems in the middle of the city where you would not expect them. And we were touring them because we were trying to build a local foods business, essentially involving those farmers and people who would buy the food that they create. And it was incredible. And that also shifted my mindset on how systems work, right? Systems aren’t just the thing you get to see. Systems are the process that makes the thing happen that you get to see, which is an obvious statement, maybe. But it took that particular kind of cyclical thing that was literally growing carrots on top of a tank of like the fish, like some African kind of river dwelling fish that was particularly good at using the nutrients that came in from the soil. And it took me to see this to understand how systems work. And I’m excited to talk to you today, particularly because the product that I know you from most recently, is essentially an organizational system building system on top of Notion. Can you talk to me a bit about Notion mastery? Because I feel this is something that many, many Notion users should be aware of, but I’m not.

Marie Poulin 5:35
Yeah, I mean, Notion mastery evolved out of my own need to create systems for myself and I’ve shared this before. I have ADHD. I’ve been a very chaotic person, I think most of my life and have always sought structures and sort of systems and getting things done and reading every book about systems. I think I kind of obsessed over systems because it didn’t make sense to me or I didn’t really understand how some things just seemed so easy for people and they could do what they say they’re gonna do and they could follow the GTD method. And even Ben is a very systematic person, you know. He has a development background, the programmer brain, like he sees things very differently and can follow step by step instructions and see the order of things in a way that I don’t. So I was always trying to find the structure for myself and something that would kind of work for the way that my brain works. And it was until I found Notion that was like, oh, I can actually show data in the way that it works for my brain. And in a more visual way, I think I need to see things visually. And sometimes I just need to see in a particular way for it to click for me. And what I realized in that process was a lot of people are the same way too. And we’ve a very large portion of people with ADHD in our course and it was kind of an interesting indicator I didn’t know how I had ADHD until like these people that were coming in and the onboarding surveys. They kept saying, oh, I have ADHD and I saw your videos. And I really liked the style of your systems. I really liked the way you assemble things. And so there was just such an unusual amount of people. I thought there’s something here about this like, what is it that there seems to be a certain type of person that leans toward this very visual system and visual structure. So that actually kind of prompted me to explore diagnosis. I was like, there’s got to be an interesting reason that people are kind of drawn toward my way of doing things. So obviously, I’ve been very influenced by Ben over the years, too, because he’s again, just has a very systematic way of looking at things. And I was like, why is this so difficult for me? So one of the things we did a few years ago was start to move our systems out of the things that we were using, like I think when we were using Asana at the time for project management. I was using Evernote for many, many years for my note taking, but everything felt very scattered and very sort of spread across too many different points of technology. So doing strategic planning was happening over here and to do’s and notes and I just felt very stretched thin and I just felt very messy and I’m already just a naturally messy person. So Notion became this place where, okay, I can kind of have my finger on the pulse of where everything is happening in one place. And that one change of that sort of it’s a permaculture principle but integration over segregation was so helpful for me personally. I just got so excited singing it from the rooftops making you like people need to know about this, like I got so, so excited about it. And it really resonated with people and kind of took off in a way that I was not expecting. And at the time, I think Ben, you would have just been working for precision nutrition right when I had launched the course. And it kind of took off. And so, you know, Ben was doing engineering over here at precision nutrition. I was working on the course. And it just got to the point where I was like, this is not a one person show like this is becoming quite magnetic and the market is sort of, it sort of pulled the direction of the business toward this course. And I thought, okay, well, I’m gonna have to double down on this or we’re not gonna be able to see it grow. And we were able to get Ben to come back to the business and be a bigger part of it. So yeah, happy to share any part of that. That’s interesting. But

Arvid Kahl 8:13
I’m very interested not just in the Notion. I use Notion too, actually, most of my production of anything, I write in Notion where my weekly blog posts and stuff that then turn into podcasts and videos and stuff that I write them. I draft them in Notion too because that’s where all my data lives, where all my ideas are, and kind of pull it all together. So the integration principle is one that I have been following, kind of not even knowing that it exists just because the platform allows me to do it. So the Notion part super interesting. The business part of building on top of Notion, extremely interesting. Now, the part of building a course business on top of that, wow! There’s just so much going on. So I wanna talk to you about all of these three because I also kind of scatterbrained and I wanna know everything, but you know. I kind of want to start with the business part because this podcast is for other founders for people who wanna build SaaS businesses, marketplaces, and info products. And I would assume that Notion mastery is an info product that is kind of also expanding into a community from what you just said, right? That kind of diagnosis, a self help group that spontaneously formed around this point, which is awesome. I love communities and communities of purpose where the purpose wasn’t the one that actually turns out to be. This is something that I’ve actually heard a couple of times in the past. I was talking to Daniel Vassallo about his small bets product. And he didn’t wanna start a community in the beginning because he just wanted it to be a course. But then over time, the people taking his course kinda formed the community by themselves and turned it into something where they now help each other to kind of figure out if their bets are working or not, which is an amazing thing. And to know that your community helped you diagnose or help you figure out that you should be diagnosed, that is an amazing, just effect, like an emerging effect from a community. So let’s talk about the business side of this. How does one approach building an info product on top of a shifting platform? That’s what interests me about Notion because Notion has changed a lot in the past. So how do you approach building a product that stays on a platform that changes?

Benjamin Borowski 10:56

Marie Poulin 10:56
If you have strong opinions on this, Ben, if you wanna jump in

Benjamin Borowski 11:20
Not necessarily, not necessarily strong opinions, but this is actually what our focus is on a product level for Q1 is this we’ve come to realize that because Notion moves so quickly and as they’ve scaled, you know, not that the last we heard, they’re up to 450 employees. And that’s scaled quite a bit in the last year. And so we have this, like, it’s not really a course anymore. It’s this thing where we’re continually launching mini courses inside of this ecosystem now and we need to be we just recently started doing a new event last this past week, actually, that we’re calling demo days. So whenever Notion does a feature release and has a list of features, I’m actually doing live workshops, showing how to use the new features, and then like Q&A for how to use these things. So most of our actual work happens in the space of figuring out like, what are people struggling with in real time? And then like, sort of building mini products and testing little things around that. So for example, right now I’m building this new mini course, that’s all about the permissions and team spaces structure because Notion recently did a pricing change. And now everyone has access to team spaces. So we have this huge group of people who have been using Notion for years who have never been exposed to groups and team spaces. So my first thought is, okay, maybe I’ll write a blog about how to use permissions properly in team spaces because I have this like sort of consulting knowledge that a lot of people don’t have. So write a blog and then maybe I’ll ship that I’ll do a live training in the middle of next month. We’ve got a live training plan to show this to our community. And then I will usually take the transcript or the outline for the live training and turn that into a course, a mini course inside of there. And then we can take segments of that, do YouTube videos based on little snippets of it, so it’s like this constant like repurposing and re mixing and rethinking like all of these different things. And so, you know, once you’ve developed enough of a baseline, you can use this what, you know, what we call like community driven development, basically. So you can experiment with just the little bits of like, teaching somebody a two minute video how to do something, oh, everybody was really excited about that. And that was really foundational knowledge that they captured. Oh, maybe we should do something more with that. And then that becomes a live training and then it becomes a mini course. And so we’ve developed the system now where we can kind of do like, you know, small bets, we can place these small bets on different mini features inside of there. And it’s honestly a requirement now because Notion and like as ambassadors, we get to see little early access on features and there are features coming out that are going to totally change the way that people use Notion. And so we had to start thinking about like, we can’t just have this static course because as soon as they ship this feature, like it’s going to change the way that we work in Notion completely kind of thing. So you know, that’s what we’re doing right now is rethinking, like, how are we restructure things so that we’re sort of teaching alongside these new features coming out. And in terms of how we got there, I think the story of our business is kind of like, we started as a web development agency, two separate web development agencies that we combined together. And then we were a SaaS shop. And then we were a info marketing shop. And so we’ve been, our business has always been a bit of a chameleon. And we’re just kind of moving where we’re interested or where there is interest. And so that allows us to implement, like little bits of these different business types within the Notion mastery, you know, umbrella.

Marie Poulin 16:41
Well, I think you did identify like one of our biggest challenges, how do we keep this course relevant? How are the systems that we are teaching still relevant when Notion implements a new feature that makes something so much easier to do? And we have to say, okay, which of these lessons do we need to go back and update? You know, is there an easier way to do this now? So that is kind of our central challenge is how do we future proof this course make sure that we’re teaching enough of the system level stuff such that if Notion makes a change, it’s still relevant, it’s still interesting. And we can supplement with those demo days and other events and that sort of thing. So we’re definitely always thinking about that is, how do we future proof it but at the same time, we always have to be on top of what are those changes that are coming? And what is that gonna mean? And what impact is that gonna have for people coming to the course.I think another thing that we’ve had to also do is there’s a mindset aspect to coming into a course that is already, you already know, it’s gonna be changing, like you’ve signed up and it’s gonna look different probably in a couple of weeks than it does now. Like there’s always gonna be new things to add. So lessons around priming people around the mindset piece of that and making sure that they know. It’s okay that this is gonna change, you’re gonna have to be comfortable with the fact that things are gonna look different. Your Notion space is gonna look different next week, next month, even six months from now, that’s actually part of the process. So that emergent quality of the more you use the thing, the more that you learn where the friction points are and what you need and don’t need. So I try to frame it like a digital garden. Your Notion space is a digital garden. You’re gonna have to prune stuff, you’re gonna have to plant new seeds over here. And it takes a little bit to kind of shift people’s perspective and unlearn traditional education where you’re doing a course, you get a completion certificate, you’re done. It’s like this is a little bit more exploratory and choose your own adventure. And that can be very uncomfortable for some people. So we try to prime that as much as possible when people first joined the course.

Arvid Kahl 18:34
That sounds like something that I’ve noticed in myself that when I initially saw Notion, I thought, oh, yeah, I’m gonna put stuff in here. And this is gonna how it looks forever. I quickly learned that the platform itself made that impossible, but that was a good thing. I think it feels like change is not necessarily a bad thing, particularly not when it comes to knowledge and how we connected and how we interact with that. But that makes me wonder, like, what is the thing that people usually get wrong about Notion beyond it changing over time? Like, is there one thing that you notice and the people and your students that is a misconception that a lot of people bring to the table when they joined the course?

Marie Poulin 18:37
Yeah, I think the perfectionism is a huge one.

Benjamin Borowski 18:51
I think, I mean, I think our main sell on our landing page, for example, is that templates are not a system. And people come to the course thinking that I’m gonna get a fully fleshed out finished ecosystems, basically a SaaS in Notion that is fully functioning. But that’s where, you know, especially with my consulting clients, so they’ll go grab a business OS template or whatever, install it, and then nobody knows how to use it. And then when they want to deviate from what’s provided, they don’t actually know how to extend that system. So it’s very much back to that SaaS provider relationship where you’re dependent on a company providing you with the tools that you need to run your business and what happens is that and I say this a lot in my consulting stuff, the systems and workflows that you build in Notion fall out of the way that your company does work. So going back to those permaculture principles, like the first one is this like observational principle that you need to observe the landscape that you have available to you. And so a lot of the basically, the consulting I do in Notion is like, I don’t do any building without doing an observational phase or a discovery phase and figuring out like, how does your team actually work? Where are you making decisions? Who’s making those decisions? Who’s joining these meetings? And so a lot of the, you know, the way that you actually ended up using Notion is usually reflective of your styles and your coworkers’ styles and stuff. So I think the biggest mistake that most people make is that they don’t use that observational phase. They go right to the building stuff. And then and that’s what Notion mastery, we have this tracks journey, where you go through three levels of sort of building out. And the building process is like this time, there’s like these little checks along the way, where you’re actually like thinking about the way that you think, the way that you do work. And I think that’s reflective of Marie’s style, where she works based off her energy levels rather than priorities and your traditional, like, you know, the Eisenhower matrix or whatever they call it. I always get that name wrong. That kind of stuff where Marie’s like, we’ll think of thinking themes or energy levels. And it’s just a different way of thinking. And I think that’s why a lot of times that resonates really strongly for folks with neuro divergent minds because, you know, it’s a lot more adaptable, I think, in the way that we teach. So,

Marie Poulin 21:40
Yeah, and I think, again, that need to get it perfect that I gotta take this course and get the system right. And it’s very tempting to do that. But I like to think of Notion as a more so of almost like a personal development tool or a self discovery tool more so than a productivity tool, like, what are you learning about yourself and how you work in this process. And so getting people comfortable with the mess a little bit of like, what is emerging as you are building this? And as you’re using it, what are you noticing about yourself and why? It’s a powerful tool for reflection if you’re willing to take that extra moment. So I think just helping people overcome that urge to get it perfect. And that the mess is part of the process, you know, we talked about in the beginning of the session, the mess is a necessary part. And so I think even giving people permission to say, it’s okay to just focus on the knowledge capture piece for now, for the first couple of weeks. You don’t need to worry about productivity and your task management, whatever. Let’s just start with one thing at a time. This can be a messy page, it’s okay. Like, people really struggle with that, oh, this page looks so messy and my databases where? Don’t worry about it, we’re just gonna start here first and we’re gonna get to that part. So that’s really a struggle for people, I think, again, they want those really picture perfect templates. But when people actually start using it again, they don’t know enough about how they work to be able to customize it. So that’s where I wanna get people thinking more deeply about how they work.

Arvid Kahl 22:59
That’s very interesting. I’m wondering at this point, that when people come into your course, do they usually have like an over engineered Notion setup? Or do they have like an under engineered Notion? Because simplicity can be both, right? It can be too simple or it can be not simple enough. So what do you see in your students when they come join the course?

Marie Poulin 23:19
We get such a humongous range. And again, because what we’re talking about is work and life integration, you know, mastering workflows across all these different places, we get people from all over the world, every age group, students, professionals, doctor, you know, gardeners, everyone is in there. And so people are coming in with very, very different intentions. And I think that is one of the major challenges of a course even from a marketing perspective. How do you speak to an audience that is so diverse and their motivations and their intentions are so diverse. So that’s definitely a challenge. But we get people who have never, like, maybe just downloaded the app or like their friend told them about it. They just heard about it. So they’re coming in from ground zero, then you have other people who say, I’m 10 out of 10 Notion. I just wanna, like optimize that last little bit and everything in between. But then I don’t know, if you think from like an average standpoint, if you think most people tend to be sort of over engineered a little bit or they’ve got they’re coming in with a little bit of a mess. And they’re like, I know this isn’t working for me. Where do I start?

Benjamin Borowski 24:18
At least from the consulting side with the business side of things, I think people very quickly, they build something that’s very, you know, they’re either grabbing a template or just grabbing something from Notion’s template library and then they immediately go to scaling that to 100 employees. And, you know, that can be really challenging when you haven’t really established like the good practices to begin with within the company. We got very lucky at precision nutrition, for example, in that the engineering team kind of was was using GitHub for managing our docks and onboarding docks and it was just not really working very well and I got tasked with figuring out Notion. And we started with just the engineering team. And so we built like some shared practices. We really documented it really well like how to use it and where to get things. And then what I did was I started onboarding other teams. And they basically had to go through this process where I did a mini training for them, showing them how to use the basics and things like that. And then I would give them a dashboard that they could then use and then I would like, open up access to that dashboard and allow them to edit it. And so for me, the biggest mistake that most businesses make is they have these things called full access Notion workspaces where the newest employee gets added as a member and they can literally delete the entire sidebar and because people and that’s why I don’t, that’s why I’m working on this permissions and team spaces thing because that’s a huge, you know, you miss these kind of these small little things that make huge impactful changes down the line where, you know, you have then you basically end up with, you know, in programming terms, a lot of debt that will have to be cleaned up in some way. So, yeah, I think most people tend to be in the overengineered when they come to the course page. It’s probably leans more towards that than under engineered because the folks that are just learning Notion aren’t like, you know, our course is a high, it’s a 12 month program. There’s live events, you know, it’s more training focus than course focused. And so it’s a steep investment. So I think people that are just discovering Notion probably aren’t going to drop the course price on quite yet. But when they discover like, how powerful it is and how frustrated they’re getting, then that number starts to come, you know, relatively speaking a little bit more, you know, stomachable, I guess you know.

Marie Poulin 26:48
Well, I think one of the reasons I was able to thrive with Notion was because I already had a bit of that systems, no hell. So if people have not been exposed to any systems and they’re just trying to figure out Notion, it is gonna be a hot mess. And so I think the burden is on the user really to kind of enforce their systems on the software, right? And so that’s where I think that biggest challenge was, so the course is able to give people like a scaffold on top of which they can build.

Benjamin Borowski 27:15
Something you just had me realize, like

Marie Poulin 27:18

Benjamin Borowski 27:18
Most people are when they start, like Asana is a great example of a software that you use. You are a user of the software, all of the tools and the workflows are sort of provided for you. So you can read documentation and kind of follow along with the steps and use it. Whereas Notion and a lot of no code tools have introduced this concept of like, are you a user or are you a builder? And now for a lot of people, you’re both. You are a user builder, whatever that is. And so that means that like, you have to start thinking about experience design, data capture, like how to actually visualize my data, how do I get what I want out of that data because a lot of most Notion workspaces are just databases of information, which, you know, you could open Google Sheets and do that. But actually, visualizing that data over time or in context is very challenging. And Notion is not providing those contexts where you have to build that yourself. So there’s a higher level, you know, this prosumer idea where you’re now having to build your own resources to do your work. That’s kind of a newer concept, I think. And that’s where that challenge arises and why people really want that like, real time support. I think one of the things that people ask for a lot in our community is like, what’s everybody else doing? Is this hard for everybody or just me? Like, how are you solving this problem. And so there’s this, like, you know, that’s why we’re doing these demo days is not just showing what the software can do, but also examples of what we’re doing, examples of what our students are doing. You know, we have the advantage that we get to learn from our students as well. Some of them go well outside of what we’re doing in terms of building and we’re like, oh, cool, that’s super amazing that you learned how to do that. We’ll start doing that too. Or, you know, we’re learning at the same time. So super powerful for that kind of experience.

Arvid Kahl 29:14
That sounds like you have a built in network effect here by people just bringing in the information back into the knowledge network and you can then disseminate it out. I was wondering about how you market or advertise this course this product in particular. Because it sounds like you’re targeting pretty like highly functional group of people with this, like not just somebody who wants to kind of set up Notion for themselves a little bit, but for people who actually want to make it work, not just for individual people but for whole organizations. So how do you approach marketing your course/info product empire that you’re currently building? How does that work? How do you approach it?

Marie Poulin 29:54
I mean, the channels that have worked the best, historically YouTube so it just I guess that’s probably how the course interest first started was committing to doing a YouTube video every single week for 12 weeks. And I was just demoing some aspect of it like, oh, here’s how I manage my projects, here’s how I, personal business, whatever I was just showing every week, one different way of using it. In the beginning, I didn’t realize how deep my knowledge was. And so I was sharing these videos and people being like, that’s nice. But how on earth do you do that? And so I didn’t realize that just demoing a thing was not actually showing someone how to do the thing. So those comments and questions that would come in on YouTube, are gonna keep feeding. I was like, oh, there’s like, there’s lots of content to produce here. So I could probably have content ideas forever. So YouTube was definitely primarily the way I could at least demonstrate my thinking. And then Twitter became a really great way to show sort of beautiful visual screencaps of what these spaces look like. And so I could just post something on Twitter and being like, here’s how I do my weekly review, show these really beautiful screenshots. And people were like, how do you build this? And I was like, you can learn more about my course over here. So in the beginning, I mostly just drove people to my list on YouTube. I think very quickly, we were able to get 10,000 signups on my list within three months, which was pretty substantial for me from having maybe a 500 person list before all of this Notion stuff. And then once we had the course available, we switch that sign up for our list to the checkout the course and kind of switch that, so YouTube descriptions and those, you know, boxes like check out the next video, getting someone just going down the rabbit hole of your content is wonderful. And then Twitter, I think was the next big one. And then starting to email the list. It took a long time, I think before we did any kind of real email marketing, but I’d say YouTube was was primarily and then it evolved into search and referrals. People telling their friends and then we set up an affiliate program. And Ben, I know, you know, Ben’s doing more of the data side of things now too. So I don’t know if you’re kind of seeing any trends shifting, but I still think YouTube is primary

Benjamin Borowski 31:59
We do a lot of search engine marketing. But we really only started trying to do some SEO stuff with like, actual attribution and things like that. We’ve never done any paid advertising in our entire history of our company. And I think we’ll probably never do it. It’s just not something that we’re comfortable or like have a maybe we could bring somebody on to help us with that. But it’s kind of outside of my comfort zone a little bit in terms of how we market things. Yeah, a big part of the first six months, when I came back to the company, I had a savvy Cal link that I just was kind of open. And so I would just do 30 minutes and I was doing two, three calls a day with organizations that were trying to use Notion. And usually in that 30 minutes, I would unlock some things for somebody. I’d be like, well, have you thought about doing XY and Z? And they’re just like, oh, my God! You just saved me so much time. And like, we started building this database of sort of principles like that, you know, this is a good practice, this is a good practice, and so on and so forth. So like doing tons of interviews and also like, seeing what other ambassadors and Notions other channel, which is Notion champions. Those are the people that work at a company, a larger organization, enterprise level that are sort of spearheading Notion work at their organization. So talking to those folks, I started doing in the last six months, I started doing a what I call the Notion monetization mastermind within the ambassador community. So we’ve got about 40 people now. And so we’re all just like talking and doing lean coffee format style meetings and talking about commonalities and in what we’re seeing in monetization of templates and consulting services. So, you know, it’s kind of a yeah, it’s a multifaceted effort to just draw attention to what we’re doing and things like that. So I think each one of our team member, go ahead.

Marie Poulin 33:55
I think I also forgot a major. I was gonna say our office hours together, Ben that we did the, I totally forgot about that, like actually partnering with Notion and having some, like, sort of endorsed by Notion events, like that was, I think, pretty big for us early on to move totally.

Arvid Kahl 34:11
That’s something that I really was going to ask you as the very next thing. So thanks for bringing it up. Because you seem to have partnered with Notion on some level from a fairly early stage. And I wonder, like joining the ambassador program, like did that happen before you release the course or was that something that came after?

Marie Poulin 34:27
Okay, I think it came after. So, I think Ben you and I organized a webinar. It was like August of 2019. I think that was our very first I had never done a webinar before. But I had so many people saying if you make a course on Notion, I will give you money. I was like, okay, there’s something here like the market is begging for this. I was really scared to be on camera, really scared to be on video. Like the idea of doing a webinar was like, definitely not my comfort zone. But I just I knew it was kind of the future like I was going to have to get comfortable doing this. So we scheduled a webinar and I think we called it Getting Started with Notion. And it was pretty much just like, here’s our crazy advanced Notion workspace like it was really not a getting started on Notion, it was the opposite of that. So people were like, Galaxy brain emoji, but also how do you build like, you know, it was definitely way, way too advanced, I think for what we had thought it was gonna be. And it caught the attention of Notion. I think the Notion COO reached out, like a few days later or something and just said, hey, we saw that webinar that you did? Who is this girl that knows our product better than our team does? Like, can we chat? And I was like, oh, my God!

Benjamin Borowski 35:33
He invited you to do internal presentation of what you had been building in Notion and then, not yet? Okay

Marie Poulin 35:42
Well, not yet. So they saw our webinar first. And they were sort of like, hey, how could we like there’s something here? How can we collaborate in a way and I think we had agreed that we will do some office hours, like office hours with Marie and it was sort of on Notion’s Crowdcast channel that would sort of be on behalf of them. So that definitely really helped me grow my audience. And after the course launched and I think after they saw that I had basically pivoted my whole business to say, you know what? I’m gonna try this, let’s just see if I kind of changed this chapter of business and say, this is gonna, we’re gonna double down on Notion. We’re gonna make the course and just see where this goes. Because it seems like there’s something really magical here that is really, there’s a hungry crowd here. It would be kind of easy to serve. So is like, let’s just try it. And I think within a few months of launching the course, like it was already making 10,000 a month very quickly. And I thought, okay, like this is the easiest money I’ve ever made like this is wild. I need to double down on this and make it better. I need to figure out where this is gonna go. And that’s when Notion asked like, would you be willing to share kind of how you’re using it, like, the course all that good stuff. And so I put together a presentation. I think their team might have been 50 people at the time when I put that presentation together. And it was like, you know, here’s how much revenue the course has made. Here’s like the most popular YouTube videos. Here’s the use cases that I’m seeing and it was presented to them in Notion. So I was basically screen sharing a Notion page that held the data and the stats and everything and kind of I was very transparent with them. Here’s how much my template revenue was making. Here’s how many students are in the course. And, you know, he said their team was very surprised, like their average employee wasn’t aware of even some of the ways that they could use the product. So they were just like, how can we continue to, you know, have this like mutually beneficial relationship where they can’t necessarily, they could sponsor me or we could figure out like a payment model. But what they did was they gave us a free enterprise account, which allowed us to host the course on Notion. And again, we’re consultants, we’re pros, like, you know, we’re obviously a marketing support for them. But we’re not paid by Notion to do that. And I think that was a better move. Like, I think then when we’re marketing, we’re talking about the course and the power of the tool. It’s because we really frickin love it not because Notion is paying us to say that. So I think we’ve both Notion and us we’ve been sort of like,okay, well, we’ve explored like, could that happen, but we just think it would be better for us to just stay as an unpaid, you know, we’re just motivated because we just really love what the tool can do for us. And that’s working for us.

Arvid Kahl 38:18
Yeah, great! That is a great way of building a partnership that is not tainted in some way, right? It feels very aligned. Like they don’t have to deal with educational complexity because they have a product that can be complicated, unless somebody tells you how to use it right And that’s what you do. So they don’t have to do it perfect, right? I think that’s a win win situation in my book. Honestly, I would rather have somebody who really loves the product, not building the product, but using the product, talk about how to use the product.

Benjamin Borowski 38:49
I think Notion has really landed on something really special with the ambassador’s program. I think a lot of SaaSes are looking at that and going like oh, like, you know, they really help with those early stage growth things to get people onto the platform. And, you know, when you have these really complex, no code platforms that you know, require if you want to, you know, you’ve got your enterprise customers and they really need a lot of support for getting up and running and stuff like that. So you really want to build that ambassadorship. And also, the certified Consultant Program has really been impactful for Notion because then they can like, just be like, hey, you should talk to these folks over here about doing the consulting. And so it’s like, again, they’re not being paid by Notion, but they’re just delivering the consulting directly to the end user. But it’s a win win for both partners because you know, you’re getting the enterprise customer and the Notion is getting that sweet, sweet recurring revenue from like 200 person organizations, you know. It’s a really, really great way to grow SaaS, I think these days is that, you know, building a really good system for embed scholarship and consulting.

Arvid Kahl 40:06
Yeah, so it’s a quality assurance level, right? You can you vet the people that you recommend so you know that the quality is high. And that is actually something that I can literally see this like, as I’m recording this with you, I see that both of you are in really nice and friendly looking rooms that I would like to sit in as well. Like, it feels like you’ve understood that the visual power not just of Notion itself and you being able to screenshot it and show that and invite people into your business, but also how you present yourself that is very inviting. Is that something you’re doing intentionally? Like how come your background is so inviting?

Benjamin Borowski 40:45
They are among the best YouTubers in the world when it comes to technology. I’m not there yet. My YouTube channel has like 150 subscribers or something. But Marie is very, you know, she has a big subscribership. And that, like polishness is really I think, actually quite important. And you look at folks like Thomas Frank, August Bradley, they both have unbelievably beautiful video setups that is just really, really quality and their editing is really good. The pacing is really good. When it comes to those pieces of educational content, keeping people’s attention in an educational environment is super, super important. So that like the editing and the pacing and the way it looks and being able to show what you’re doing on screen at the same time. But also seeing that person, like, it’s really important from a teaching perspective. So I think, you know, in the future, like the best courses and the best, you know, businesses are going to be generally based around some kind of like highly polished, you know, content creation. And I know, you’re talking to Thomas Frank. He’ll say, just start recording. And Marie did the same thing with her videos where she did 100 days of video and you can look at her videos from two years ago and her videos today. And the leap is incredible. So yeah, I do think that that’s very intentional.

Marie Poulin 42:07
But also like, Ben has a fine arts degree, right? Like a lot of people don’t know that Ben did a fine arts degree. And I went to design school. So I think we are inherently

Benjamin Borowski 42:14
It’s pretty important to us, yeah

Marie Poulin 42:16
Like we are designers at heart and design really matters, you know, and just how things feel. I think I’m, I don’t know if I’m more sensitive to environmental cues or not. But just like, how I feel when I open up my Notion dashboard matters to me. So I will spend time making a nice header doing an icon set that feels good. So when I open it, it’s not just getting my tasks done. Because like, that’s not how I move through my day. I’m mindful of how do I feel day to day moment to moment that matters to me so could I make the work that I’m doing feel really fun to feel expansive, that matters to me. And I think those things maybe can impact people in ways they’re not even aware of. And if you don’t have that design background, you might not even know that that’s what’s happening there is that the way something looks is impacting the way you’re interpreting it. So I think it’s kind of baked in, I think with how Ben and I work and see the world.

Arvid Kahl 43:08
Yeah, particularly if you’re working on energy levels, like if you’re not a priority person, but how do I feel in this moment? What do I want to do, right? If you’re a person like that and I have this like half and half, I think there are days when I’m an energy person and days when I can do structured work, which is confusing because no system works all the time. But you know, in that moment, it really matters like visuals really matter. And I’m also trying to improve upon this because it’s not only how I feel, it’s also how I am perceived as, right? As a creator, if you do stuff like the way people see what you’re doing, that influences how they understand what you’re doing as well. And obviously, this takes a lot of effort to get right and you are absolutely right. You just start recording, you do whatever you want to do, and you get better over time. But at a certain point, I feel this effort eclipses what the capacity of one person or two people can provide. So let’s talk a bit about the business behind the course. Let’s talk about how you manage this. Do you have a team? Like if so, where are those people? What are they doing? I’m very interested in what is needed to keep such a course, a long term event running and growing.

Marie Poulin 44:19
Yeah, when we started when I launched the course it was mostly just me, but I was bringing in a virtual assistant and it was very clear like right in those beginning weeks. I’m like, okay, there’s no way I’m gonna be able to do this by myself. And Notion also didn’t have the enterprise capabilities and invite codes and things. So I was hosting a course on Notion having to manually invite people in as guests. So I did this, you know, pilot, but that’s like, someone buys it. Hopefully I see the notification in time and then invite them so it’s not too big of a gap. And like I was just figuring it out as I went for sure. It was definitely a bit of chaos. So having our current director of ops Georgia, we initially hired her as a sort of virtual assistant. And so for those first couple of months, she was really helping me with that. And each month, I would just kind of increase her support and it was growing very fast. I think I worked with Georgia for almost a year, I think before we started talking about maybe bringing her on full time. So she was a freelancer, she had other clients as well. And I was like, you know, I think I feel like we could probably fill your days with a good chunk of time, if you were interested. You know, I don’t know how you feel about continuing to run your own business. And she much prefers to be the person behind the scenes. She doesn’t like marketing herself. She’s like, I would be so happy to do that. So we went through a little bit of a transition there. And she became our first full time employee. So I think Georgia was working with us for almost a year full time after that before Ben came back on board as well. So we are three full time people, but we’ve brought in other contractors to help us with community support. You know, when students are asking questions in the forum, like how do we make sure that, we’re making sure that students are heard and updating curriculum, making new video, like, there’s just lots of processes, obviously, behind the scenes that need to be managed. And so we’re a pretty flexible team. And I mean, Ben and I do a lot like we wear a lot of different hats. You know, Ben is handling a lot of the, like financial and accounting and whatever, but also the tech side and managing the websites like there’s obviously a lot of moving parts and pieces. I think both Ben and I tend to be more generalists. Like we love working on many different things. We really enjoy that doing the design making the sales pages, that’s part of the fun. But there’s lots of other skills, I think that we’ve kind of like helped other.

Benjamin Borowski 46:31
Yeah, we generally kind of like go in and out of like scaling and retracting quite frequently. So we’ll bring on like two or three people like right now we have somebody that works with Marie in crafting the newsletters and then you know, Georgia sets those up in ConvertKit. We also have people that we hire quarterly to do like kind of marketing and search engine optimization passes, where we get like an audit, like a roadmap of an execution roadmap. So I think a lot of times, you know, as owners, we’re not super great at, like, knowing what to do next. And so we hire outside help to tell us like, what do we have? What can we do next and give us like, here’s a prioritized punch list of things that you could tackle. Because you know, Marie and I tend to, you know, jump around to a bunch of different things. And, you know, Georgia tries to manage us, but I think, we really like this model of bringing people on to do specific, like, one off things and then you know, then we can bring them back later. You know, folks that will run workshops for us lead our trainings at times and things like that. So it’s kind of a you know, and I think right now we have so it’s three of us throughout BC, mostly. And then we have our support lead in the community. Randy is in the Philippines and Australia at times. So we have this nice, like, spread out where we’ve got support when we’re asleep. And then when we’re up, we’re also doing support in the community and things like that. So yeah, it’s pretty global business, like we have customers all over the world and every timezone. So and that’s another challenge is like, how do we run live events that everybody can join and participate in? And so yeah.

Arvid Kahl 48:18
Yeah, that sounds not just like a business challenge. But it also sounds like a, you know, separation of work time and personal time kind of challenge. Particularly, I come from building a business as a couple, right? Like, my co founder, Danielle, she’s my girlfriend. So before we sold the business, she was my co founder. Now she’s just my girlfriend, which is great. But this is different dynamic in a business like this, where you spend all time together, you know, during your work hours and then you kind of extend in your personal time. How do you deal with that? Like, how do you deal with a couple issue? Or is that an issue for you at all?

Benjamin Borowski 49:02
It’s always an issue. I would say, we deal with that by having regular check ins and you know, with both each other and with our team. We go to couples therapy, we go to individual therapy, we love therapy. I think therapy is possibly the best business investment you can make. You know, it’s super invaluable. And some of the stuff we’re doing recently, like we’ve been really restructuring the way that we’re doing the internal work now. And Marie, I don’t remember where the source of the term was. But we’ve been exploring this thing called a DDO, which is a deliberately developmental organization. And so we’re actually like specifically mandating that everybody that we work with works on improving themselves, giving them time and budget as part of their like actual, you know, compensation to do that work. And so we’re actually we’ve sort of tasked the director of ops Georgia to hold us accountable to that as well. So she actually recently was like, how would you feel Marie if I made you take time off? Like you have to take time off. And we’re like, okay, we’re empowering you to tell us that we have to take a vacation or whatever because Marie doesn’t take time off. She just doesn’t. You know, that’s part of her success is, you know, she’s just an animal when it comes to getting things done. So yeah, like all of those things, all of those things are being very intentional about reflection and recovery and thinking about like, you know, what do we need to change to do better work and keep this going kind of thing is super important, I think, in any organization, especially a small team and especially, you know, husband and wife led teams.

Arvid Kahl 50:55
It sounds like you’re not focusing on massive growth at all costs, which is generally a good idea for any, you know, business that wants to stay sustainable and calm out of all things. And kind of the thing you said earlier really, really brings that into a very, very sharp focus for me, the fact that you don’t, that you expand and contract. And in many ways that actually sounds like yet another permaculture lesson to me, you know, like, a system just breathes. It takes in the air releases and breathes back in an air. And I find that incredibly interesting because you seem to have applied these learnings from these cyclical systems all over the place. That’s a wonderful thing to see in your business life, personal life likely too, in what the business translates into and like the product itself. That’s just a wonderful thing to see how such a gardening based system can be applied in so many other ways.

Benjamin Borowski 51:53
I really liked that, the breathing metaphor because businesses are living ecosystems. And if your business takes on that rigidity, it’s not you will lose that elasticity. And I think that’s really important to us, you know. Our business is called Oki Doki. But like I said, we’ve been a web design agency, we’ve been a SaaS shop for five years. Like we ran a SaaS that, you know, at one point was doing 5000 MRR. So not hugely successful, but it paid one of our salaries and things like that at the time. And yeah and like, you know, the ability to be elastic and change and try something new is super important to us. You know, I don’t like the I mean, like the Notion thing is exciting to me because I’ve loved working in Notion and solving customer problems really, you know, keeps me going. But like, I can’t imagine doing Notion 20 or 30 years from now, like when we’re still alive. But who knows? Maybe I’ll do something totally different.

Marie Poulin 52:55
It can be intimidating for people that join us too, right? Because I think we’re not necessarily attached to the specifics. It’s like we help people in so many different ways. And even if Notion disappears and like, there’s so many other skill sets that we both have and we know how to help people in so many different ways that I hope that these learnings are applicable beyond Notion. And so someone joining the team, like we’re just not a rigid structure, we’re not rigid on the rules, like we are very flexible people. And we’re always just asking in the moment, what’s working, what’s not working. So for other people, there’s a bit of I think, unlearning that might have to happen to be able to go with the flow the way that we do in our business. And so it won’t be for everyone. But, you know, as Ben pointed out like, this is our livelihood. It’s not just our business, it’s our life, too. And so like the money that we make together as the business like this is serving, hopefully, our future retirement. Like we have to think bigger about kind of what is this mean for us because this is how we’re spending our time. It’s how we’re spending our life and we want it to matter. So we try to, I think, be very mindful of what are we doing with this thing. And are we feeling good about this? And is it pushing us as people to be better, to be, you know, the best that we can be?

Arvid Kahl 54:11
Do you regularly check in with each other? Because like Danielle and I were doing this too and we were doing this during the time when we built the business to have these little tiny micro summits for ourselves where we would essentially goal setting retreats, right? That was the idea. And you do this on a regular basis as well?

Marie Poulin 54:30
Yeah. Like I think we go through phases, right? Where like, if something difficult happens when a challenge comes, we’re like, oh, you know what? We’ve been neglecting this part of our business. Like, we often say, like, oh, every Monday we’ll do our check in and then sometimes we don’t or we skip it. And so I think we go through these ebbs and flows. And I think right now in this season of our business and all through December, we’ve said like, we’re talking internal roles and responsibilities, how do we do things like really looking at our processes and doing more of those check ins so I think right now we’re having way deeper conversations way more of those conversations that we have in a really long time. And we’re looking at how do we bake this in to make this more of a process? Even something like do we do a quarterly retreat where we spend a week and we’re just focused on kind of our vision for the business and how we’re feeling about things? So we’re always just asking ourselves like, yeah, what’s working, what’s not working. And I think we could do a better job of standardizing that a little bit. And being more structured.

Benjamin Borowski 55:26
I think we’re both very all in people. So we’re not super great at the like the day to day, rote tasks and things like that. And it’s like this thing where, you know, we just like, once we’ve decided together that we’re doing something together, it’s very much like full speed ahead, you know, get out of the way kind of thing. And I’ve seen Marie do this many times, where when she decides on something, it’s like, just move aside. I’m not even gonna try to hold her back or see what she’s doing. Because she just gets really, really really, you know, amped up and just flying ahead and just learning everything in front of her, creating new products and all this stuff. And, you know, we both kind of like that, where we, you know and I really just use the word, this season of our business. And I think that’s really important to think of it that way that we have these like seasons where, right now we’re just taking a break and rethinking some things. And, you know, we need to take a step back and go back to that observational phase again and see what, you know, kind of what’s happening here, what’s appearing, what’s important, what’s not important, what can we let go of. And so yeah, we do this where we’ll go for a season where we just work mindlessly and then a season where we basically don’t work at all, and we’re just sort of like recuperating and recovering. So winter tends to be a good time for that.

Arvid Kahl 55:36
Yeah, it sounds like you have a really good mix of flexibility and assertiveness, right? You know that you can change stuff, but you also know what you’re going for. And that combination of being flexible and assertive, that makes me wonder, do you consider yourselves unemployable at this point?

Benjamin Borowski 56:48
Not at all. I mean

Marie Poulin 56:54
I do

Benjamin Borowski 57:10
I think Marie might be but before I came back to work with Marie, Marie mentioned at the beginning that I was working for a nutrition and coaching company called Precision Nutrition. And I worked there for two years as like kind of a software dev/I was doing a little bit of product management type work there as well. And I’ve absolutely loved working there. And I love that seasonality of like, again, like expanding contracting thing where like, my focus is very narrow and then I make my focus broad again. And I like to do that repeatedly. So I’ll work on a software product for five years and then I’ll go and be more like, you know, like larger company and then small, just focused on, you know, Rails and Ember, which was what I was doing there at that company. I think that that elasticity really helps you identify where you know, where you fit in, in certain different places and things like that. So I definitely think I’m super employable because I have a certain skill set. But I’m also probably difficult to employ, I would say because I have that like broader outlook. And I tend to start seeing looking at different things in a way that might not just be like developery. And so that can be a challenge employability wise that you know, I can be frustrating to work with because

Marie Poulin 58:36
It’s hard for me to stay in his lane.

Benjamin Borowski 58:37
Yeah, it’s really difficult for me to not want to solve a lot of problems and I tend to step on toes a lot. So it does help to run your own business when you’re that type of person.

Arvid Kahl 58:49
I love how honest you are like in stating this and with yourself in recognizing it. That sounds like you did a lot of work. And I’m not surprised you are a fan of therapy in this regard. Because that is usually the place where the work is done, right? Or where the work gets triggered. So you are, for me at this point, very much the embodiment of the indie founder that is not locking themselves into the box, which you might do, right? Like if you look at the older people in the indie hacker community, like they build a business to build another business and they just keep building businesses, businesses, businesses and consider themselves unemployable. I asked this question because I wanted to see how far the elasticity goes. Maybe because some people might want to do many things but never go back to work again. Or some people are looking to do the indie hacker thing to find a job at a company they always wanted to work in. So it’s a very flexible approach and I love your leaving the options open approach. Marie, how about you? What’s going on with you?

Marie Poulin 59:51
I can’t, I think it’s been so long and I think never say never. But I think just the flexibility and freedom that we have running this business together brings me so much joy. It’s really hard to imagine how I might plug into another company, but I’m just always open to looking different than it looks now whether it’s interesting partnerships or whatever, like I’m deeply interested in collaborating with amazing people and whatever shape that takes, that’s okay. But I certainly don’t think I’d be employable by a traditional employer. It would have to look pretty, pretty frickin different.

Benjamin Borowski 1:00:30
I think this environment, the general climate is changing with the nature of remote work and that I think a lot of companies are gonna have to realize that you are, you know, that more and more, if you wanted to enjoy the fruits of somebody like Marie’s labor, there would be a very specific type of engagement that you would have to do. And I think, you know, a lot of times, that might be why maybe people aren’t actually employees, but they’re more of like, partners, and the nature of the engagement or the contract is different. And we found that, you know, that’s true for our own business, that some sometimes small little ventures are really good and sometimes full commitments to employment are really good. Like, I think, a more modern company, remote based company or distributed company, as it were, is gonna know when to like, really how to attract different types of personalities. And you know, the engagement models are gonna have to adapt to that a little bit.

Arvid Kahl 1:01:34
That really helps putting yourself out there too, right? Like to show what you want to do and what you don’t want to do in this remote world where everybody could potentially hire you, if only they knew what you’re doing. And I think both of you do this in an interesting way on Twitter. At least from what I see, you’re pretty outspoken about it too, right? You’re essentially building in public and to a certain degree. And I think that’s an important methods to find the right people to partner with. And it’s also a great way of finding customers, I guess, because I would assume that your personalities, YouTube channel is a good example, right? You bring in customers through who you are and through what you want to do and how you do it. And I think both of you do this in a wonderful way. And that’s the reason that I want to end this conversation by asking you where should people go to figure out who you are, what you do, and how well you do it? Where do you want people to go?

Benjamin Borowski 1:02:31
Well, first of all, thank you for saying that. It’s very kind of you. For me, it’s probably Twitter, I think I’m you know, that’s where I have my typical, you know, I think I’m pretty opinionated about software and about things and about systems. And, you know, that’s where I just post a lot of, you know, my thoughts and things. And then I’m hoping my youtube channel over time. But, you know, my mind tends to be highly technical and I’m doing like API examples. So it’s a little less of the, you know, growth type stuff, where it’s like, how to use Notion so, but hopefully, you know, get better, get, you know, very specific engagement there would be great.

Marie Poulin 1:03:18
Similarly, I think, you know, Twitter is kind of the place where like, the freeform thinking and even like testing out ideas, and even the permaculture ideas, you know, just sort of testing out residents. I like to do that on Twitter. YouTube is obviously a little bit more Notion focused. So you can find me on Youtube there at Marie Poulin. And then, you know, our business website is That’s where we do a lot of our well, I guess it’s not a super active site. But it’s kind of like the home of who we are as a couple and kind of where our business is.

Benjamin Borowski 1:03:46
It still looks like we’re a web agency

Marie Poulin 1:03:48
Still in progress. Yeah.

Arvid Kahl 1:03:51
It was quite noticeable. Like it’s half web agency, half Notion

Marie Poulin 1:03:54

Arvid Kahl 1:03:54
And a course

Marie Poulin 1:03:56
And it’s a little outdated, we’ll get there. It’s on the list. But and then if other people want to know more about like the sort of permaculture side, the more personal thinking that I do around business tends to happen on my personal site, So if you’re curious kind of what I’m up to there, you can sign up for the newsletter there.

Arvid Kahl 1:04:13
Those are several things that I highly recommend for people to follow because both of you are inspirational and you have a really good grasp of how to build things that last and it’s noticeable. And I really appreciate that. Also, as a person who wants to build things that last. You are an inspiration to me, too. So thank you so much for being on my show today. That was really nice. Thanks for sharing everything that you shared. That was wonderful. Thank you.

Marie Poulin 1:04:40
Thank you so much. It’s an honor.

Benjamin Borowski 1:04:41
Thank you!

Arvid Kahl 1:04:41
And that’s it for today. Thank you so much for listening to The Bootstrapped Founder. You can find me on Twitter @arvidkahl. You’ll find my books and my Twitter course there as well. And if you wanna support me and this show, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, get the podcast in your podcast player of choice and leave a rating and a review by going to ( Any of this will truly help the show. So thank you for listening today and have a wonderful day! Bye bye

What We Talk About

00:00:00 What can we learn from permaculture?
00:04:55 How do you make it profitable?
00:10:57 Building an info product on top of a shifting platform?
00:13:28 How do you keep your courses relevant in the future?
00:19:14 Perfectionism is a huge problem
00:22:12 How do you speak to an audience that is so diverse?
00:27:33 Are you a user or are you a builder?
00:29:52 Channels that have worked the best.
00:33:55 Partnerships
00:37:16 How to build a business with yout partner.
00:43:08 What is needed to keep a long-term event like this running?
00:46:34 The breathing business

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