17 min read

23 | Grow an Independent Community 10 Forms of Capital w/Grant Carlile

Sep 22, 2022 2:00:00 PM





1. How to monetize a community through sponsorships
2. Understanding the 10 forms of capital through Be Impact, a community capital framework: people, profit, planet, purpose
3. Communities are rhizomatic in nature, growing like a community of trees with lateral and vertical growth
4. People drive momentum. Be willing to change and adapt with the community
5. Starting out in RevOps, know data structures, balance sheets, and know how financial systems work. Then it's transferring data and connecting systems in different SaaS tech stacks.


Grant Carlile is the founder of Sprocketeer, an independent community championing HubSpot Super Admins. He has engaged in the startup, running, and robotics spaces. He graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington in Human-Computer Interaction Design and Informatics.

Connect with our guest, Grant Carlile, on LinkedIn

Check out Sprocketeer, the independent community for HubSpot Super Admins



[00:00:20] Islin Munisteri: Hi, this Islin Munisteri host. Host of the rev ops careers podcast sponsored by Theia Strategies strategies today. I'm here with Grant Carlile.

[00:00:31] Grant Carlile: It's great to see you Grant. Great to see you. This is fun. I'm looking forward to chatting. Awesome.

[00:00:37] Islin Munisteri: Grant Carlisle is the founder of Sproketeer an independent community, championing HubSpot, super admins. He has engaged in the startup running and robotic spaces. He graduated from Indiana university in Bloomington, in human computer interaction, design, and Informatics great to have you on it's a mouthful.

[00:00:59] [00:01:00] I know . Yeah, all the things you have, everything. I guess before we start talking about your community, like how did you start your career and your, in your rev ops journey?

[00:01:12] Grant Carlile: Yeah. In revenue operations, the generalization of this of this business practice that is optimizing and making efficient revenue, operations work for businesses, honestly, when I was a kid.

[00:01:29] The idea and foundations of how businesses worked. And thus then how revenue came about was at the dinner table. When my uncle and my dad and my grandfather talked business, kids usually went into the basement and played and I would stay up and I'd listen. And oftentimes they would ask me questions. I was always wrong.

[00:01:49] And at some point I started getting some answers. When they were talking business. So early on, that was happening at 12. I started working in a paintball shop [00:02:00] reffing and I was required to, in addition to ref, I'd have to work the counter. So I was taking cash money. I was giving snacks. I was filling the CO2 and in high school, I started making little knickknacks with my connects.

[00:02:15] And I would sell those. I would make bracelets and sell those, the candy stuff that we always got to raise money for for our classes I would sell more and then I would keep the profit .

[00:02:29] Islin Munisteri: Were you allowed to do that? I

[00:02:30] Grant Carlile: don't know. It's okay. Not.

[00:02:32] Islin Munisteri: I donno, whatever.

[00:02:34] Grant Carlile: we did things when we were young, when I talk about my rev ops journey, the idea of how money gets made and used, because money ultimately is a tool, the idea of revenue being something that then is left over, or whether it's the, what you're talking net versus gross. Understanding those basic concepts is where I'd have to say I started my.

[00:02:54] Yes, when I got to college, I was sitting in business 100 and they were talking [00:03:00] about cash and cash flow. And they were talking about how to balance your, your your, make your balance sheet balance. Cool. Yeah, I know those concepts or those words, but if I don't understand the concept behind the word then I don't really care.

[00:03:15] So I'd starting working. I think that's where my rev ops journey really began when I started playing with maybe what more people are talking about now is when I started playing with systems which when I was 18, we started a summer camp and we had to accept money and we were starting this business.

[00:03:33] So we had to accept money send out a transaction. Transactional email. We had to optimize the customer journey so that the families who were buying a summer camp pass for their child would have the information they needed for drop off and pick up what to expect. And then that also when they paid us money, they had all of the financial information they needed.

[00:03:55] So that's probably where it started and it was terrible we did our best, [00:04:00] but it was clunky.

[00:04:02] Islin Munisteri: Yeah. The days before Stripe

[00:04:04] Grant Carlile: and the internet. We, I still have the stacks of mailers. We sent out to families and then they mailed them back in checks and that's what we started with. Wow. That's exciting.

[00:04:18] Yeah. Cool. I loved it. Yeah. It's been a journey so far.

[00:04:23] Islin Munisteri: So I guess like now you're running a community, so what's your biggest challenge with running the community and getting engagement.

[00:04:33] Grant Carlile: The biggest challenge with any community is I is there are people and people are complex so the biggest challenge will always be and continue to be for me, personifying and exemplifying who people are at the end of the day, we can build systems and opportunities and we can run fun events.

[00:04:53] None of that matters if we're not meeting people where they're at and then helping them. Further on, on their journey [00:05:00] towards their goal is the hardest part. So gotcha. Meeting with people, helping them identify, getting their identification, helping them identify with other people and connected, helping them connect with programs.

[00:05:14] If I don't know people, or if we are evangelists don't know people, then we don't know when to tag them. Or we don't know when to invite 'em to that event.

[00:05:26] Islin Munisteri: Wow. So it's really meeting people where they're at in connecting programs to people and helping them

[00:05:32] Grant Carlile: achieve their goals. Agreed. If we're not doing that, then we're just, then that's, we're not meeting our goal as a community. Gotcha.

[00:05:41] Islin Munisteri: And I know this, I know you're not really backed by any software company or anything.

[00:05:45] Like how do you monetize your community?

[00:05:48] Grant Carlile: Right now there's a couple sponsors that we have moving forward. I can announce for inbound HubSpot's inbound conference. We have syncri and rev partners [00:06:00] and air call. And we're working on a couple others. Cool. So the way right now, it's, here's what we're doing.

[00:06:09] Can you sponsor that? And we've had some master classes, so some success there moving forward Islam, what the, what you might wanna know or what listeners might wanna know about monetization as a community. Yeah. Is really then around aligning, like I was saying what people want to. So the priority is to get sponsorship, to have more programs to get sponsorship, to have an event.

[00:06:36] And so once we know what, who people are and what their goals are, we'll build programming for those things. And then on top of that programming, we'll have people sponsor it. Cool. That's the monetization strategy. So inviting people into that sandbox and playground to be a part of the community in the ways that they wanna show up, sometimes they want to be a mentor.[00:07:00]

[00:07:00] So there's 10 forms of capital. If you've ever worked through those, money is a form of capital, but it's also social capital. It's also emotional capital or spiritual capital. So there's different ways people can show up and sometimes it's with money. And when it's that case it'll be sponsorship or membership.

[00:07:21] Cool.

[00:07:21] Islin Munisteri: That's exciting. And what I guess, where did you hear about the 10 forms of capital? Is there like a book or

[00:07:27] Grant Carlile: podcast or something or the 10, four? There is a The actual name of this group meta integral. So the work I've done with Techstars in the Kauffman foundation, and first robotics is all around community in the running community and meta integral by be impact.

[00:07:48] They have an outline that looks really nice. It is the capital community capital framework. And so far as the business model canvas is [00:08:00] a framework for your business model. And so they just outline not only the sections, but then the individual slices and they have this big, nice pie circle that they outline of different forms of capital and then different sections of the pie that, that capital informs.

[00:08:15] And they run programming against that. There's some training that they do to teach you. And I'm looking here, the people profit planet and purpose are there for. Are there four quadrants of the circle pie. Cool

[00:08:32] Islin Munisteri: people, profit planet in

[00:08:35] Grant Carlile: the purpose. Yes. Yeah.

[00:08:39] Islin Munisteri: Cool. I'll have to look into that more and link to that in the

[00:08:43] Grant Carlile: show notes.

[00:08:44] Yeah, there's a couple other frameworks. There's like a seven forms model. There's a 12 forms. I think there's a 20. 20 or 21 forms model. This one just spoke to me. I like the way it was laid out. That's pretty cool.

[00:08:59] Islin Munisteri: And [00:09:00] so from this model that's how you built the community,

[00:09:04] Grant Carlile: Yeah. In thinking about communities, there's lots of different frameworks, whether it's, there's lots of different frameworks for a community.

[00:09:13] And at the end of the day a rhizome. This sort of communities are rhizombic in nature where the people that are part of it are the people that grow it. And oftentimes people will think of a network like maybe like a tree with roots might be the first thought. And then you start to think about, oh computer network and it has a node and it's connected to a lot of other nodes.

[00:09:34] It's actually more rhizombic just like a, another root so if you look at a rhizome, it's how roots just grow. Yeah. Roots that grow. Yeah. And so it, it grows down a little bit, but then all of that growth that's happened so far is actually then what grows laterally or vertically. And so it's more around the the framework that I use to think about communities is [00:10:00] when you have momentum with the people whom are there, they drive the momentum into the direction.

[00:10:05] It needs to. Gotcha. So if you ever set like a momentum and then you'll never change from that momentum ever you're probably not doing something right. cause things change. Yeah. We change. And so being a adaptable in that way. And so yeah. Also using capital forms as a framework, To understand each individual person.

[00:10:28] And what's important to them is a priority to understand where the growth is happening. If you're speaking with someone and you're speaking about let's say their spiritual goals and they don't want that sort of affirmation in the community, you're speaking about, they actually want some social capital or they would like.

[00:10:50] They would like to receive some mentorship opportunities, cuz they want to give back they're at that point, then that becomes a priority. And so being open to those [00:11:00] conversations becomes paramount so that you know what direction to move and what direction to grow. More people are asking for mentorship opportunities.

[00:11:09] Cool. Let's make a mentor program. That's how it comes to fruition in a community cool.

[00:11:17] Islin Munisteri: And I guess, how do you grow the community? I know you're on LinkedIn. And then I guess people can add it, add the Sprocket tier community to their LinkedIn profile. But I guess how what are other ways that you're doing to grow the Sprocketeer

[00:11:31] Grant Carlile: community ways to grow the Sprocketeer community?

[00:11:37] So meeting people where they're. And so at the end of the day, having an accounts on all the things online, we frontier is a digital community. And so it is worldwide. We have on discord is our primary place where we're meeting up and we're pushing conversations and programming and events. So the discord is the primary invite.

[00:11:59] And so [00:12:00] everything drives to that. And so the way we're inviting people, there is. Hosting podcasts telling each other's journey, sharing each other's journey. We're doing coverage of apps and integrations into HubSpot, and we're calling those master classes to. To give people an idea of how those apps and integrations work, and then we're sharing answers and updates to HubSpot and use cases and how people use it.

[00:12:31] We're sharing those across the network. So right now it's trying to meet people where they're at with, Hey, I need an update, Cal, Jepson's doing a great job. And so instead of having to scroll through his entire LinkedIn, we're doing a monthly montage. Going back through each of his updates on the HubSpot updates from the month.

[00:12:52] So you have the one spot to look for all of them once he's done. 'em cool. And you just putting Paul the videos together, [00:13:00] just putting all, yeah. Smashing all the videos together. We have the chapters for each update. So you can just click into that update that you need, but you can then see now all of the updates from the month that he's done, that's on our YouTube.

[00:13:11] So stuff like that look, this is a thing people are doing. Let's engage with. Cool. That's how we're, that's how we're getting inviting people to Sprocketeer that's pretty cool.

[00:13:24] Islin Munisteri: Yeah. I think I heard about Sprocket from like another agency or, yeah, it's definitely a org. I'm like, man, we did I hear about it?

[00:13:33] Yeah. It was definitely in an organic

[00:13:35] Grant Carlile: approach. Yeah. It's been organic in that way. The being, Sprocketeer came out of, I was at an agency. And I had Twitter basically to have fun and meme, culture kind of stuff. I had the HubSpot knowledge base to know what HubSpot expected out of whatever I was doing.

[00:13:55] So I could talk for fun on Twitter. Here's what should happen on the knowledge [00:14:00] base. I needed this collaborative in between space and that's where the discord comes in is when you go to build something new or you're learning something new or you wanna give back and you wanna give feedback, discord is where you can do that collaboration.

[00:14:13] And so that's what we're doing is collaborating in all the ways that, that that we work.

[00:14:20] Islin Munisteri: That's pretty cool. And I guess like, how do you get people to participate

[00:14:26] Grant Carlile: and engage? Interesting. So how do you get people to participate and engage? You ask questions of people and people are experts and people have experience.

[00:14:38] So you ask 'em about their expertise and their experiences. You more practically, when someone asks a question, you tag someone who knows probably the answer. Yeah. How do you get people? Ask questions. You invite them into the space that they're in day to day. And here's a place that you'll get a response from someone who knows something [00:15:00] about that.

[00:15:02] Pretty simple it is we're pretty, humans are humans.

[00:15:06] It's nice that at the end of the day, this whole work from home. Thing has allowed us to connect on different levels that we otherwise couldn't. So sometimes the conversation moves towards when we're talking, like how does work supposed to work? It's the pitfalls that we don't get that we used to from the office.

[00:15:27] And I just focus on what are the opportunities now that we are remote and the opportunities are asynchronously. We can ask questions, tag people, answer them, and it'll still be there. So that's what we're doing. We're asking and answering, engaging and collaborating all hours of the day. Cool.

[00:15:51] Islin Munisteri: And that's how you,

[00:15:52] Grant Carlile: that's how you start.

[00:15:53] Yeah. And Islin that's been fun too, is sometimes there's been, since we have people in China and [00:16:00] India and Europe and Germany and Australia and South Africa and Ireland and the us and Canada and south America. There'll be times when there'll be questions asked and then they'll be answered through that person's night.

[00:16:15] And so when they wake up, there's an answer and then the cycle will just continue. That's been a lot of fun just to see the engagement throughout the timeline.

[00:16:26] Islin Munisteri: Wow. That's awesome. Having a worldwide community get worldwide engagement at all

[00:16:31] Grant Carlile: hours, yeah, it, HubSpot is awesome that way. , let's just say that right.

[00:16:38] HubSpot users are all over the globe and

[00:16:41] Islin Munisteri: that's what makes it exciting. Agreed. Cool. And I guess what is your philosophy on, on rev ops and how teams should interact, especially now that you have the community? Like how do you

[00:16:55] Grant Carlile: go about. How teams should [00:17:00] interact in RevUps how teams should interact in RevUps.

[00:17:05] So when I hear this I'm hearing, what should marketing's role and sales role and customer success? What should all their roles be in interaction? It when I'm speaking.

[00:17:21] So if the audience that I'm speaking into is all of them simultaneously at once. Then I put on my communication hat. If I'm speaking with any individual individual or department, an individual department, I put on my, what have you received? And then what do you give hat? And so less communication, a little more tactical.

[00:17:45] So I'll start with the first. If it's everyone in a group or a big or an organization where we're talking to all of the departments simultaneously, then it's being clear in your communication. And the way I like to be clear in communication is talking about what's [00:18:00] true. So your communication with any department or inter departmentally needs to be when you're talking, RevOps talk to me about what's true.

[00:18:09] So whether it's what you want to be true or not, or your goals, if you start with what's true today, based on the status. Then it does two things. One, I know what the status of that thing is, but then two, if you haven't said it, I now know there's an opportunity. So you've also validated for me that there are other things that we wanna do because I've heard you talk maybe about goals before, and you just told me a status that isn't there yet.

[00:18:35] So you've clarified for me that this is true and validated where I think we're at, based on the status. But now I also know that there's an opportunity there and maybe you're gonna talk to us about. So clarity interdepartmentally in communication means just speaking the truth. And the second one, when I'm speaking to a department or an individual person who has like a sales role or specifically a marketing role, then it's very much about either [00:19:00] end.

[00:19:01] So , if you do think of an assembly line in your desk, you can only work on what's on your desk right in front of you, then what do you get handed? And what do you hand off? So what whatever's on your desk came from someone and it has a status. You then do something with it and you've changed the status and you hand it to someone else.

[00:19:26] So if it is not clear who you receive things from the status of that thing, And then when you hand off the same thing who you're handing it to, and the status you give them then you're not doing your job. As far as rev ops go. Those data points need to be clear and it might be your job to communicate them.

[00:19:45] It might be an automated thing regardless, that needs to be the discussion. Gotcha.

[00:19:52] Islin Munisteri: That's really helpful for for folks. Cause it seems like it comes down to communication basics where things. [00:20:00] Sometimes break down in rev ops,

[00:20:02] Grant Carlile: for sure. Yeah. Agreed the breakdown, isn't the communication of the status of these things.

[00:20:07] What the next level down is now it's about your industry or your business or your product or service you provide the next layer after that is we have three packages and they're priced this way and we want to, we wanna structure 'em okay. We can do anything, but if I'm not sure of the status, if I don't know who I'm handing that work off to, if I don't know who's gonna give it to me when it's done, then we're just talking out in the air.

[00:20:36] It's just up in the air now.

[00:20:39] Islin Munisteri: Gotcha. So project management is really key in making sure things get handled. Exactly from person

[00:20:46] Grant Carlile: to person agreed for rev ops the project management. That's really what we're doing because at the end of the day, you can break down rev ops into either growing your business or maintaining your [00:21:00] existing business more efficiently.

[00:21:02] If you're trying to grow revenue, you're either gonna grow the business into a new market segment into a new product or service, or you're gonna take the existing business and make it more efficient those are your only two options in rev ops and so if you're not managing the project that is growing the business or the project that is making it more efficient, then you're not managing your rev.

[00:21:24] ops you're just, I don't know what you're not managing.

[00:21:28] And so often that's what you find is people having this great idea in their own mind and their own head based on what's on their. And they think, all right, based on what I see, great. I'm gonna make these changes. These incremental changes, these marginal changes because what's on my desk. To me, this'll be more efficient and it's not saying no, it's not always saying no, that's wrong.

[00:21:52] It's simply saying you're part of a bigger system. And so put that into the broader context and make sure [00:22:00] everyone's on the same page with it and then make those changes.

[00:22:04] Islin Munisteri: Yeah. That's what we miss sometimes is to make sure everyone's on the same

[00:22:09] Grant Carlile: page, right? You're never gonna find the opportunities until you speak with your people in the first place.

[00:22:16] And so having those conversations where they can surface, Hey look, every day I'm doing the same task five times. Great. Let's automate that. Does anyone have anything else that we could then make even more efficient or that's gonna affect? It's just the conversation. And so that's back to clarifying.

[00:22:34] What's true. Cuz it's ne it's never right and wrong. Islin right. yeah. That's the people think that it's about right. And it's not, I don't care right and wrong. It's are we having the conversation based on the goals that we're trying to get to while we're talking about where we're currently at, it'll always be that with revenue operations

[00:22:59] so to say [00:23:00] that more succinctly with revenue operations, you have to clarify where you're currently at and the goal that you think you're getting to. And then you can start to chart a course to get to the to bridge the gap. Cool.

[00:23:18] Islin Munisteri: That sounds like a sales conversation. That's, , it's this is why my tool is better. And this is where you need to clear, get from your current pain point to and solve it. Yeah. But yeah, that, that is revenue operations. And then a piece of career advice, like what's the best piece of career advice you would tell your younger

[00:23:35] Grant Carlile: self.

[00:23:38] Oh, tell my me my younger self or someone else,

[00:23:43] Islin Munisteri: or maybe, maybe meet your younger self as you've gained self awareness or a younger person who's just starting out rev ops

[00:23:51] Grant Carlile: ops. All right. So I'll do both the first one. What I would tell my younger self is to do more of what [00:24:00] you were doing and trust that it's the right thing.

[00:24:03] I did a lot of volunteer and learning and trying lots of things and putting myself in the position with the people that I wanted to be like, or I wanted to do what they were doing. And that wasn't what my contemporary, as my peers were doing, they were getting jobs and they were working and they're doing one thing and I was really trying to get a breath of experience.

[00:24:24] I'm 35 now. It probably wasn't until 28 that my reflection finally came to fruition and I told myself, yeah I should have been doing that. I should have been doing it. 10 X. I should have been doing it way more. Should have trusted myself more on the things that I thought I trusted myself on.

[00:24:47] looking back. I could have done way more. Gotcha. Advice for someone entering rev ops I, I highly suggest someone new [00:25:00] or entering rev ops or wanting to level up in rev ops make sure that you never say I, I can't, or I don't have a way to learn that. Anything you need to know with respect to rev ops in my opinion, is available for free on YouTube or in the HubSpot academy.

[00:25:19] So make sure how data is structured, make sure what a balance sheet is, make sure how financial systems work. And then once you go from there, the platform is what you'll have to understand next, which is SAS tech. So just start reading about how SAS tech works. If you are brand new to rev ops you're gonna be connecting platforms and systems, and all you'll be doing is transferring data and it might be respect to money or people or business information.

[00:25:55] At the end of the day, you'll be connecting systems and you'll be transferring [00:26:00] data on those systems. Cool.

[00:26:05] Islin Munisteri: Really succinctly put how a what you do day to day in,

[00:26:08] Grant Carlile: rev ops. Yeah. You can get into all these minutia okay. You need to know lots about reporting and you need to know like pipelines you do, you will do that.

[00:26:19] But if you're starting out, you need to know how data is structured. You need to know how systems work. So if like you were saying early on, you said a world before Stripe, like if you just don't know that Stripe exists and that's an option. You're not really of much help to me in rev ops cause I'm trying to use rev ops to make my business grow or make it more efficient.

[00:26:40] That's a key.

[00:26:42] Islin Munisteri: Cool. I think that's a wrap. Thank you so much, grant for being on the

[00:26:46] Grant Carlile: podcast. Yeah, this was fun. Thanks for having me. Awesome.

[00:26:51] [00:27:00]

Islin Munisteri

Written by Islin Munisteri