September 29, 2023
An Interview with Parker Worth: From Janitor to Multi-Six-Figure Business Owner
We had the pleasure of speaking with Parker Worth, an entrepreneur who went from high school dropout to janitor, to running a multiple six-figure online business.
He’s a master of threads.
His copy isn’t for the faint-hearted.
And he knows the ins and outs of the human mind like no other.
We talked about Parker’s growth on X— from zero to nearly 30,000 followers in just over a year. The craft of monetizing online communities and building his first course. And, of course, his expert tips on going video-first.
Louise: A common concern for people thinking about becoming an online creator is finding what to write about. You started tweeting about electricity.
How did you fine-tune what you eventually came to write about — storytelling and personal branding?
Parker: One of my favorite authors, Robert Greene, writes in his book Mastery to think about what you loved most and would get lost in as a child. I loved reading fiction books and spent hours writing stories about knights and dragons.
As I progressed through life, I dropped it and got out of touch with it (storytelling). Then, I did an exercise reaching out to five or ten family members and friends asking them the three things they thought I was good at. Almost all of them said storytelling.
Many would consider your story a classical ‘zero to hero’. Your experiences working as a janitor and living on military bases in war zones are what made your story worth telling in the first place.
What would you say to someone currently in a job or life situation that they might not consider very ‘glamorous’?
Just to learn a skill, build the public, and share your progress. There are a lot of people who become freelance copywriters or ghostwriters.
They just write in public for a year or 15 to 16 months and they start to gain traction. People will eventually reach out to you once you improve your skills. I’d say, just pick something that you can stay interested in for two to five years.
Most people avoid putting themselves out there (online) for fear of rejection or scrutiny. One of your tweets puts it beautifully: “What you want is on the other side of fear”.
It’s one thing to put yourself out there in writing, it’s a whole other to put your face on video. The stakes feel even higher. Any tips for beginner video creators?
Video is going to be the future. Mark Manson, one of my favorite writers, has openly said that the next generation isn’t going to be reading blog posts. He's gone to YouTube and been successful.
If you have that feeling in your stomach saying you’re nervous about doing something, you should probably do it. That's where the fun stuff and the good results come from.
“Just pick something that you can stay interested in for two to five years.”
It was 2022 when you decided to breathe new life into your Twitter account. Today, you’re nearing 30,000 followers on X.
Tell us more.
I was starting from ground zero. I actually couldn't stand social media and I was completely off of it. But, I became really impressed by the space because of the amount of like-minded kind of entrepreneurial people.
I think it's a really good space just for existing entrepreneurs or people who want to be entrepreneurs. It's a great place to meet like-minded people who have similar goals. And that's what really enticed me in the beginning.
You built your first course called “The Story System” using Tella. In it, you teach people the essentials of storytelling and personal branding.
Can you tell us a bit more about your experience monetizing the following and the community you built?
The biggest takeaway was (accepting) a feeling of vulnerability. I never thought there would be a right time. I had a small newsletter when I launched my course. But it turned out very successful because I had so many (online) friends who helped me promote it.
That was really awesome, to get feedback from my friends. At the end of the day, it's a social game.
You created a video-based course using Tella. Tell us about your experience.
I tried to get into video editing when working on my podcast. It was like learning code for me. It's not something that comes easily to me at all.
During my podcast days, I was finding guests, trying to record, and getting questions together. The video editing was just such a lag. I became really impressed with how easy it was to edit clips with Tella.
"The biggest takeaway was (accepting) a feeling of vulnerability. I never thought there would be a right time.”
You’ve said storytelling is a transferable skill. It doesn’t matter whether you’re building an audience on Twitter, LinkedIn, or as part of a wider brand marketing strategy.
I’m curious, does format matter for storytelling?
For any storytelling that I recommend—speech or writing— I just recommend the three-act structure. You can think of it as start, middle, and end. The setup where it takes place, the conflict, and obviously the problem. Then, the resolution is what fixes it— the lesson.
How do you come up with stories?
Sometimes, I'll just see a picture that I have in Google Photos. There are little memories attached to every photo. Every day, I'll just write a short story about the memory. It’s a good exercise.
How have you incorporated video into your content strategy?
I use Tella to record myself and send some gratitude to new followers. I tell them ‘Thank you so much for reading this. If you enjoyed it, like, comment, retweet, and follow.’ It got great engagement and added personality.
In an age of AI where anyone can spit out 10 tips, tricks, or tactics I think people are really craving the human side of everything. Video has been a great tool to get more personal.
Any other ways you’re using video?
I have a friend who’s doing it really well with his newsletter. It’s a video newsletter. He embeds a video in his email. I want to start doing that, too.
My other friend Kieran Drew grew his newsletter to 30,000 subscribers, he always has a picture of himself with a letter and a quote at the bottom. I really want to be as creative and as personal as possible.
Another cool thing I did with the course using Tella was to choose a topic and just sit there and talk about it. Then, I would get the subtitles from what I said and then just base the course on that.
You mentioned that taking care of yourself is crucial in building relationships with people. How has social connection influenced you as a creator?
Goodwill just compounds. Even if you don't know what you're doing, keep talking to people asking them what their goals are.
You can't take on the world by yourself and it's kind of a hard lesson that I've learned. If you can get with a group of like-minded people who are all determined, it's a dangerous force.
What are your thoughts on the future of the creator economy?
Video is the future. Especially with X doing what it's doing now. You have more visibility (with video). With writing it is very hard to capture and maintain people's attention. So I'm very bullish on that.
The creator economy is going to explode. Regardless of AI, people still want to hear other people tell them what to do from their own experiences.
I think it's going to be an exciting future where everyone can offer their own services. It's kind of like going to step away from a few companies controlling everything.