Hello listeners and welcome to the White Pony Network Podcast Episode 18! It’s great to be back and again delivering you some of these fantastic conversations that I am very fortunate to have.
This episode is the first episode that I’ve done via technology rather than face-to-face, which was a good experience.
Today’s very special guest is Trent McLaren. I first had the pleasure of meeting Trent at the Landmark Forum back in 2010 which was an amazing experience. Trent has since gone on to do some extraordinary things. Trent went from retail to learning all about online payments with Eway to entering the Cloud Accounting space with Intuit and Quickbooks to then taking an amazing opportunity at a start-up in the same space called Practice Ignition.
Trent works just as hard on his personal brand, which has lead him to being named Accountants Daily’s Thought Leader Of The Year for 2017 and to exclusive guest speaking roles in Latvia, London and all over Australia. Pay particular attention to how Trent deals with people, and his self-belief in knowing what he’s capable of and then giving it 100% to make it happen. (Show Notes)
Please enjoy this conversation with Trent McLaren.
My Biggest Take-Aways
- Trent puts his success down to his ability to connect with anyone. It’s all about relationships
- Do it because you want to do it not because you want to please someone else or meet someone else’s agend
- How to really connect and work with people and help them achieve what they want to achieve knowing that will allow me to achieve what I want to achieve as well
- ‘I don’t feel qualified for this role but I know what I’m good at and I know who the customer is and this seemed valuable and an advantage to me at the time’
- Whether retail or corporate, it’s all about making other people feel special, because that’s what people remember. It’s important to ensure that they feel important and feel valued
- Through connecting on social media, Trent recognised that accountants all had the same challenges and the same pain points, and he wanted to write about it
- Trent earned the title of ‘Accountants Daily – Thought Leader of the Year 2017’
- Trent is very comfortable to ask for and go after what he wants. When asked ‘What do you want to get out of your career, your life and what you’re doing?’ Trent replies with: ‘I just want to keep climbing.’
- You just don’t know where things will take you. So always give it your best and always have time for everyone who reaches out as you never know where it could lead
- Work hard where you are and make the most of what you’ve got. You get to control what you can control. If you’re unhappy with something then you’ve got the ability to change it. You’re allowing yourself to suffer in whatever environment that you’re in
- People want everything now but they’re not necessarily ready for it and not every business is not ready to let you have that experience exposure
- I moved from corporate to start-up in the first place because corporate wouldn’t allow me to progress through that tree – I couldn’t climb any further, so I just jumped to a new tree that should allow me to climb higher than what I was doing before
Just on our Landmark conversation, this was my biggest take away from Landmark:
- ‘Life is empty and meaningless and we’re meaning making machines. What one thinks of me has nothing to do with me.’
2:30 Our first (and extraordinary) encounter at the Landmark Forum and what we learnt from it
8:35 Life after landmark
12:00 Moving on to getting a ‘real job’: Eway
15:15 An insight into Ecommerce, overcoming illness, smashing sales goals and first experience with Xero
18:20 The journey into Cloud Accounting
22:50 What did it feel like in those moments when offers and opportunities presented themselves
24:00 Taking the leap, applying for a new role and moving to Sydney!
27:10 The importance of how you treat others
29:30 Accountants and social media and a push into blogging and speaking
32:40 Becoming a Key Person of Influence
34:45 Being nominated and then selected as a finalist for an award, having it revoked, then handling the situation so well that it catapults your
38:15 That blog post that started everything
41:50 What do Accountants actually want?
45:05 The challenges of the Accounting industry
47:15 The Latvia experience
48:40 The Accountants Daily awards the second time round
49:45 The London experience
50:05 The next chapter: Practice Ignition
53:10 Why do you think that everything has worked out the way it has?
59:05 One door closes and another one opens: The Hustle
1:01:10 The importance of networking
1:03:30 What are the biggest differences working in a big company compared with working with a start-up?
1:05:00 The Big 5
Making the decision to really make the most of the opportunity at Eway, even after getting Bell’s Palsy in his first week.
‘I think every jump, every climb of the ladder was really a pivotal time to be honest’
Say ‘Yes’ when there’s no reason to say ‘No’.
Any time I’ve jumped a role, climbed a ladder, moved to another opportunity or someone has said ‘Hey do you want to give this a go’ you do the Richard Branson and just say yes and figure it out later. I do that most days still because you get really good at it, it’s like yeah I can do it that’s fine, we’ll figure it out.
1:07:15 What is your favourite quote?
‘Control what you can control’
What can you impact? Then impact it. If you can’t impact it, then shut the hell up and get on with it.
1:08:15 What are the best books & blog-posts that you’ve ever read?
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
1:12:05 What are your predictions for your industry in the next 5 to 10 years?’
Things are going to get more systemised, more automated, things are going to start talking to each other more so.
Blockchain will play a huge role in accounting, legal, banking and more.
Keep an eye on what’s going on, stay abreast of it all and that’s where the opportunities for innovation lie, as when new tech becomes available that’s your opportunity to pounce and that’s where your million dollar ideas come from.
1:14:50 Did you achieve your goals that you set yourself over the last 12 months?
Yes. Trent was constantly on the hunt. He knew what he wanted to achieve and was searching for it until he got it.
1:15:50 What goals have you set yourself over the next 12 months? Are there any that you’re willing share with us that we could help by keeping you accountable?
Living and working overseas
1:16:35 Who are you looking to connect with?
Accounts, bookkeepers, you’re in or have an impact on the accounting industry, you run conferences and you have people that you need to inspire and educate on accounting influences
01:17:45 How do you structure your presentations?
Ensuring that content is always fresh. Trending topics are useful and every year I try and speak on new content. Always pushing it to be original and new rather than rehashed.
2:10 Tim Ferriss
2:55 Ben Pottinger
3:00 Landmark Forum
3:50 General Pants
10:55 AFL Football
11:10 Surf, Dive n Ski
16:55 Bell’s Palsy
32:50 Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley
34:45 Accountants Daily
38:15 Time Billing? Time To move On
41:10 Riga, Latvia
50:05 Guy Pearson
50:10 Practice Ignition
57:35 Gary Vaynerchuck
1:06:45 Richard Branson
1:08:15 The Hard Thing About Hard Things
1:10:05 The Wolf of Wall Street
1:10:05 The Founder
This episode is brought to you by our good friends at Tondo Digital.