9 min 7 sec

Spanish Language Learner Earns $350,000 Helping Fellow Students

After returning to Canada following a stint in Argentina, this eager student creates a language-learning platform that earns $350,000 in year one.
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What It's About

A startup marketing consultant decides to startup his own language education app, and it's ripe for the picking!

Business Model
Skills Required
Language & Communication
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Sean brought a lot of new traffic to the site after posting valuable comments to questions on Quora. Most of the questions were about learning languages, and all of Sean’s helpful answers ended with a quick link to Rype and the mention of a trial lesson. In 24 hours, Sean had over 50 people sign up for the free Spanish lesson.

Fun Fact

Because of Sean’s frugal, hands-on start and successful onboarding of those initial eight customers, Rype was profitable after only 10 days.

Notes from Chris

Episode 270

As a marketing consultant for startups, Sean Kim had the freedom to work from anywhere he wanted. He used this opportunity to temporarily move to a city that he’d long dreamed of visiting one day—Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Though a few months wasn’t enough to become fluent, Kim’s intentional engagement with locals using Spanish—rather than English—allowed his Spanish to reach a comfortable, conversational level.

Eventually, it was time for him to say goodbye to the city that he fell in love with, and he returned to Canada where English was the main form of communication. As such, he resumed speaking only English and slowly felt the Spanish skills he’d learned in Buenos Aires slip away.

Disappointed that he was forgetting a language he worked so hard to learn, Sean downloaded a popular language-learning app. It was convenient and inexpensive, but after the rich, one-on-one conversational education he’d received, it felt, well...impersonal. He quickly realized it wasn’t going to really help refine his Spanish language skills because it lacked any passion or relationship.

The problem was clear: learning languages is difficult without having friendly native speakers as teachers. He also saw the solution: relational learning from native speakers is the most effective and fun way learn a language. And best of all, he knew he could help others do it without breaking the bank.

It’s been over a year now since Rype launched and the business has helped over 100,000 people learn Spanish, English, French, German, Mandarin, and French. The success stories are piling up, the user base is growing, and the business has generated over $350,000 in sales.


  • Rype: See what all the talk is about on Sean's website!
  • Quora: A platform to ask questions and connect with people who contribute unique insights and quality answers
  • HelpScout & Calendly: Two of the platforms that Sean used connect with potential language students and help them schedule their classes with instructors

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,




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Quote of the Day
"The one mistake I would help others avoid is, I jumped off the consulting (stable paycheck) route too quickly before Rype had any revenue. If I had a do-over, I would keep it on the side and wait until I could actually support myself with the new venture before jumping full on."
—Sean Kim #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau