From Side Project to 40,000 Customers: Stu McLaren Tells Us the Real Story Behind the Wildly Popular WishList



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

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I’ve got a goody for you today. Is goody spelled “goody” or “goodie”? I digress.

I met Stu McLaren a few years ago and, gotta say, he is one badass mediapreneur (to say the least).

Now, if the name Stu McLaren doesn’t ring a bell, don’t fret or cry. I bet the name “WishList” means something to you (WishList is the membership solution for WordPress that is now trusted by over 40,000+ blogs, online communities, and membership site owners). WishList is Stu’s baby.

But the funny thing is, like all of us mediapreneurs (well, most), Stu isn’t a techy dude. He isn’t a software programmer. He is a marketer/business builder/content creator/speaker/all of the above.

So, how does someone as “non-techy” as Stu create something as wildly successful as WishList? That is EXACTLY what I set out to learn for all of us in today’s interview. Regardless of your business model (whatever you sell), you are going to take away some HUGE insights from this.

Listen and learn below. And, as always, your comments keep me going like the Energizer Bunny, so make sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments section.


I use RISE partner Wistia for video hosting because they rock. .

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Stu McLarenMake Sure to Check Out…

WishList (my yummy affiliate link)
Rhino Support (also my yummy affiliate link).

(tell him you saw him on @therisetothetop)

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  • Rammohan

    WOW, Thanks for the Episode

  • Amazing interview, David! So many insights. Thank you.
    I loved how Stu said that you should be your own customer.
    I also interviewed one graphic designer who teaches science in simple videos. He got popular on Youtube and got a grant for artists in science from NASA. He also has real scientists proofreading his scripts, but he makes sure even 10 year olds understand him.
    The fact that you are from a different field is actually an advantage. You can see things from a totally different perspective.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Glad you enjoyed it and great takeaway!

    • Thanks for the feedback Galina!

      I think when you’re your own customer, it’s much easier to get in tune with your market’s needs – and it comes naturally (which makes things better for everyone).

      • Thank you for your comment, Stu. I think that when you start learning more about yourself, your struggles and then try to find a solution…it turns out that there are a lot of people just like you stressing out about the same things.

  • Great story! Can I throw a mediapreneur-bomb and ask Stu to join my podcast? I interview WordPress entrepreneurs. Stu can we connect?

    David — is this the start of no more recorded video and the shift to audio?

    • David Siteman Garland

      Yup – We are shifting to audio. Making things a little bit easier. Done 300+ video interviews but now focusing on audio for awhile.

      • Dude I hear you…

        Video files are huge and if you don’t have a VA — you’re spending almost 2 hours in just edit/export/uploads nuts!

        • David Siteman Garland

          Yah that isn’t an issue, I do videos every week with DSG TV so that isn’t really part of the reason.



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!