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Designing The Perfect Online Business: Insights From Chinese Learn Online’s Adarsh Menon



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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Sometimes the spark we all need to do something different…comes from someone doing things different. Enter today’s guest, Adarsh “Adam” Menon.

Adam is an innovative web entrepreneur born in India, raised in Canada, and now innovating the world of language learning by teaching Chinese (that is a LOT of countries in one sentence!).

In this interview, Adam shares his insights and experiences as an unconventional entrepreneur, including his formula for “the perfect business” in his eyes.


About Today’s Guest, Adarsh “Adam” Menon:

In his own words:

Adarsh MenonI began my first business in September, 2006 with the launch of Chinese Learn Online – a free podcast teaching Mandarin Chinese, with a premium subscription model providing additional resources. Later, I developed a similar website for a university in Taiwan, as part of their curriculum teaching Chinese. Since then I’ve branched into other websites, as well as mobile apps, all of which you can see on my projects page.

I use the poker chip analogy of making bets in areas you think you could succeed in. You bet small when the odds are uncertain, but bet big when you feel you’re on the right track.

Connect With Adam (and tell him you saw him on RISE!):

On His Blog
On Twitter
On Chinese Learn Online
On Providence Chinese
Check out Learning Chinese Apps for iPhone/iPod Touch

This Episode Of The Rise To The Top Is Exclusively Sponsored By HubSpot:

HubSpotA free goodie for ya! At 2 PM EST on August 23rd, HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist Dan Zarella is teaching The Science Of Social Media 2011. Dan brings a super interesting perspective from the scientific end (i.e., “best times to post”) and you will learn a ton. Plus, it might break the Guinness Book Of World Records for the biggest webinar ever. Seriously. Sign up for free at

Subscribe To RISE:

You can join the 100,000+ RISE enthusiasts and catch new episodes every week, featuring conversations with unique guests on, as well as iTunes (video and audio) and now on your television via Roku and Connected TV.


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The Rise To The Top intro song was brilliantly created by Ashkon. Check him out on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • Deb

    Hi David,
    I never want to sound redundant but this is another Great Episode.
     Listening to “Adam” was so informative.
     The one thing that was especially good here was that you asked “Specific Questions” in regard to finances and what were Adam’s steps in growing the site, choosing to when he was able to expand, etc.
    Also excellent point of Adam wanting it to all be “Automated”‘….
    His openness and willingness to share was very Fresh 🙂 (Mistakes = Learning Experience”
    So wish I could come to St. Louis for your upcoming Happy Hour Meet, however a little to far to drive from Dallas.. 🙂
    Any plans to come to Dallas?????  Deb

    • David Siteman Garland

      Thanks, Deb. Adam was an awesome guest and super smart guy. No plans for Dallas at the moment but you never know!

  • This is a great blog post keep up the good work. Thank You

  • Paul

    I love the depth of the interview. I also love the variety of the subjects that you pick. Thanks for the info and I look forward to the next interview. By the way your audio was great this time. I have noticed a few where your audio was a little light. Cheers and Thanks

    • David Siteman Garland

      Paul – Thanks! I’ve been working on both those things (depth and audio) so it is great to hear you enjoyed it!

  • I enjoyed this interview with Adam. It’s very cool that a non-native speaker is doing well with a product teaching Chinese. 

    • David Siteman Garland

      Definitely. I love his story.

  • Anonymous

    Love the interview, great site, and awesome interaction between you guys.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Appreciate that!



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!