I Am Cornelius McGrath

Cornelius McGrath

JUNE 1, 1995

Cornelius McGrath

STORYTELLER

Dear Azeem & EV Team, 

I am thrilled to throw my hat into the generalist ring. Below you’ll find my ‘application’ — It’s a portfolio of my life and work that gets to:

THREE PARTS

I. Why I’m applying

II. Who I am

III. what I’d love to achieve with EV

WHY I’M APPLYING

I’m a long-time admirer of Azeem & EV. I first subscribed to EV in 2018 and emailed Azeem directly after a mutual friend (Lisa Witter) appeared on the podcast. Fun fact: she was my first ever interview back in 2015. Great minds think alike 😉

Azeem – we couldn’t make coffee in London work but you recognized my name. Assuming either from my writing for LinkedIn, the FT or both. Anyway, EV’s been on my dream client list ever since. 

I’m interested in helping you achieve the business outcomes behind creating the generalist role rather than the role itself.

Candidly, it is a brand have always seen a lot of potential in but honestly one I’ve struggled to connect with as a flittering free-to-paid subscriber. This, I think, speaks to the heart of why I reached out in 2018 and am applying again today. I see a unique opportunity to take the EV brand, product and community to the next level. And to me, this application is the best way ‘in’ to a conversation about how to best do that.

I’m interested in helping you achieve the business outcomes behind creating the generalist role rather than the role itself. 

For context, I’ve already pitched or applied to work with the other best-in-class independent newsletter/media brands that have needed the same thing (e.g. Farnam Street, James Clear). In fact, James posted a very similar job to EV last year pre-COVID that I went for. He never ended up hiring anybody (let’s talk about this), but I made it to the cut before the final round. 

In 2019, I also pitched Farnam Street’s CEO, Alex Duncan, to do something very similar. Unfortunately, to no avail. Alex was way in over his head taking over operations from the founder Shane Parrish. Given that he’s Alex is no longer with FS, I like to think my gut reaction was correct. But, I am now extremely close with the man who actually scaled Farnam Street for Shane and was an early copywriter for the wizard that is Ramit Sethi. So, through that relationship, I’ve gleaned a lot of insight/expertise that we can put to work here.

To close: what I’ve always found so interesting about EV, and why I’ve never been able to shake my curiosity, is that it is a substantially smaller brand in footprint, size and audience than the two mentioned above.

And yet among the founders, Azeem has by far a more credible, interesting and diverse background. This is both EV’s greatest strength and a weakness, and speaks to the fickle media environment we’re all playing in. Most people subscribe to newsletters to say they subscribe to newsletters. Regardless, this is a leverage point I think we could really focus on maximising together alongside Azeem’s delightful British accent when I know first-hand goes a long way with the American readers.

 

Who am I?

A west London soulboy
living the American Dream.

I’m a 26-year-old storytelling entrepreneur from London who lives in Chicago. At 18, I left the U.K. to study in the U.S. at the University of Notre Dame. Today, I run a new media storytelling collective called Everyday Entrepreneur. What began as a creative agency is now home to a stable of content, community and education forward brands — a modern-day university, lifestyle accelerator, social-mutual improvement club, magazine and dining society.

The business has generated $450K in top-line revenue since February 2019. Past clients include the Chief Growth Officer of Kraft Heinz, Provost at the University of Notre Dame and NYT Bestselling author Keith Ferrazzi. More poignantly for EV, the communities I run net $168K/yr ARR without any newsletter, funding, press or social media post. Our entire focus is on 1-1 conversation and peer-to-peer learning.

We host 2 retreats per quarter in a different city in the United States. In H1 alone, we’ve graced Austin, Charleston, Savannah, Phoenix, Atlanta & Chicago and hosted chef’s table dinners in every city we’ve visited — Terry Blacks & Justine’s (Austin), Post House & Basic Kitchen (Charleston), Elizabeth’s on 37th (Savannah), Glai Baan & Valentine (Phoenix), Monteverde & Funkenhausen (Chicago).

The community collectively is about ~100 people strong globally with representation from four continents. It includes the Chief Strategy Officer and Chief of Innovation for the United States Navy, Nieman Fellows, YC-backed entrepreneurs, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, Emmy-award winning filmmakers, Ivy League graduates and MBAs, medical students and killer independent artists, designers and photographers published in the Rolling Stone and NYT.

Personally, I’m a West London soulboy living the American Dream. Lover of all-natural wine, cappuccino’s, Manchester United and music. 

 

WHAT I’D LOVE TO ACHIEVE

1. Build the EV Flywheel

Community + Podcast + Newsletter 

2. Find Azeem’s 100/1,000 True Fan’s

Build tiered products based on engagement and access to Azeem in-person and digitally.

2. How?

Bring ‘seal-team’ three to the table — myself, an award-winning BBC Radio 1 producer of the world’s largest football podcast and a kick-ass founder of a creator studio/growth agency who specializes in YT monetization.

A. Implement audio, video and social cut systems that scale Azeem. 

B. Position YT channel for optimal growth and cross-platform monetisation.

C. Better leverage existing brand partners (e.g. HBR) for distribution across platforms.