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Dec. 27, 2022

From College Dropout to Podcasting Pro

To those who know Alex Sanfilippo, he is synonymous with Podcasting, having founding PodPros and their flagship software called PODMATCH. But, there's a lot of proverbial water under the bridge that gets overlooked, from his time as an aerospace executive, and of course having a life outside of business.


How did a garbage can lead to an executive role with an aerospace company?   How did  matching cars lead to the love of his life?

From being a 10-year-old entrepreneur, and a kid who struggled to read and write, to a highly successful aerospace executive, and now a pioneer in the podcasting space, Alex Sanfilippo has had quite the unexpected journey.

With a brain that sees the world differently, Alex has found his way onto a path of tremendous success, but not without its bumps.

In Alex's words:

"I started my first business at the age of 10. I began selling used golf balls in my neighborhood and realized that I enjoyed generating sales and keeping track of profit margins. (Yes, odd for a 10-year-old!)

Fast forward to my late teen years, and I launched a technology company that created virtual tours of properties listed for sale on the MLS. I fell in love with real estate and decided to invest as soon as I turned 18. REI was a short-lived career choice due to the 2007 – 2009 recession. (Yes, I lost a TON of money.)

I pivoted to an industry that was thriving during the recession years.

At an aerospace company, I got my foot in the door (Thanks, dad!). I was a part-time receiving clerk who broke down boxes and took out the trash. (Humbling for a guy who was on the way to the Forbes 30 under 30 list!)

I discovered a passion for aerospace and corporate business. I worked my way up in the industry and eventually became a senior executive in a large publicly traded aerospace organization.

After 15 years, I decided to return to my first love of entrepreneurship. Here is some of what I've done (Note: I started working on some entrepreneurial ventures three years before leaving aerospace.)

Here's what I did:

Built a globally ranked Christian multi-author blog (DailyPS.com) with more than 130 writers producing content. With this blog, I also hosted a podcast titled, Good Christian Podcast, which became one of the largest Christian podcasts.

What came along with DPS and GCP was the opportunity to start a web design agency and a speaking/coaching business. I traveled all around the USA, speaking at conferences. I was coaching people wanting to start their businesses/side hustles. (I sold both DailyPS and Good Christian Podcast together on December 1, 2021.)

I loved coaching and educating from the stage. In fact, it inspired me to launch my podcast, Creating a Brand on 07/02/2019; which ended up becoming a top 20 entrepreneurship podcast on Apple! (The last episode of Creating a Brand aired on 01/11/2022 and has pivoted to a new focus, more details below.)

What I do now:

➤ March 10, 2020: I had the idea for PodMatch.com. On June 15, 2020, we launched it into early beta. (Bootstrapped, lean SaaS startup!)

➤ September 27, 2021: Launched a 2nd podcasting software, PodcastSOP.com.

➤ January 1, 2022: Launched PodPros.com (Parent company for PodMatch and PodcastSOP)

➤ January 25, 2022: Launched our new (revised) podcast; Podcasting Made Simple - Focused on helping podcast guests and podcast hosts elevate their podcasting game!

I'm 100% podcasting 🤟"

 

CONNECT WITH ALEX: 

www.podpros.com 

 

CHECK OUT PODMATCH: 

https://podmatch.com/signup/coachjonmclernon 

 

CONNECT WITH COACH JON: 

NUTRITION: https://www.freedomnutritioncoach.com  ⁣

MENTORSHIP: https://www.jonmclernon.com

YOUTUBE: https://freedomnutrition.rocks/YouTube

CRUSH YOUR CRAVINGS GUIDE: https://www.freedomnutritioncoach.com/book  ⁣

FREE 7-DAY CHALLENGE: https://www.freedomnutritioncoach.com/7-day-challenge

PODCAST: https://freedomnutrition.rocks/btba-podcast  

Transcript

So today is actually a very special episode.

Not just because of my guests who I'm very excited to chat to explore his story.

But because this is the 100th episode of between the before and after that feels like a significant accomplishment in the podcasting space where an Alex, you'll be able to share quite a few numbers more so than I had.

But not a lot of podcasts make it to 100 episodes.

And so I want to bring Alex on to this episode to explore story, but it's also a tip of the hat and maybe to what you do presently With pod pros and pod match and the impact it had on my podcast and journey and probably one of the big reasons why I've kept podcasting.

And so as a tip of the Hat of appreciation, I wanted to bring you on and share your story as well.

So, welcome to show Alex, coach John, thank you so much for having me.

It's an honor.

I mean any time I've been able to be like on a milestone episode it's exciting and I love the fact that you mentioned that what we've what we've done with pod pros and Pie matches helped because like getting to 100 episodes is huge a show that makes it to that is I can't give you the exact number but you have more than 94 percent chance of not making it, I think or something like that, like it.

And that's if you make it past a certain number episode.

So, it's like the chances of failing go again and again again along the way and you've just continuously added value and done so, old the show.

So, I mean, honor to be here and really proud of your accomplishment.

So congrats, you coach John, appreciate you.

Yeah, thanks.

And, you know, I think one of the big motivating factors was one of those plaques.

So I don't know if they're in production again yet, but one of the ways that you wanted to 2-under podcasters, who made it to 100, 200 300 was presenting with flax and I love the fact that you're so committed to seeing podcasters continue.

Its it's a passion of yours and so that that's one of the big reasons why is, like, man, I gotta get 100 episodes.

So I want that, dang plaque, I can hang on my wall, we're having material problem, like the rest of the world, but we are reimagining it and we're pretty close.

So you hopefully I can get a picture of you holding one soon.

Let's put it that way.

Yeah, yeah.

It would have been awesome to, to be able to like, have it and hold it up for the episode but that's okay.

Well, I will proudly display it.

What?
Once I can get one of those in my hand so it's funny.

I always make the joke.

I should have just stayed in software because anytime it's like a material is you don't like what is that?
And apparently, the whole world is suffering from all kinds of things but I'm right.

So it's like, man, we've never had a material issue with software.

Maybe I should have just stuck with that right.

But but no, we're determined, we're going to get back to it and make it happen.

But again, kudos to you, it's you've done.

Such a good job with this.

Thanks, man.

And for before we dive into your story, because there's a lot more than podcasting your story and I'm excited to explore that, but I always like to get people just a quick snapshot of where you're at.

Right now, and what you're doing?
Yeah, so everything I do right now is POD.

Pros is the name of the organization, which is pod pros.com.

That's everything I do.

So basically, I myself an independent independent podcaster, we serve independent podcasters through different software companies that we've created and through education, all that all that stuff, right?
And our goal is not to get people necessarily to go from zero episodes.

21 episode, it's to go from 10 to 100, right?
That that's kind of like weird like we fit in to help podcasters because I believe that podcasting is really Ultimate form of content that serving the world right now.

And so for me like I am passionate help.

Indie podcasters, get their voice out there, get the voice of their guests out there and turn hopefully change make the world a better place and so everything we do around those lines and the products real quick pod match that you referenced that's for longer term.

It's like a dating app but it could be for dates, it connects guests and hosts together for interview.

So if you're like a coach podcast, guessing you're looking for a podcast to be on it'll find podcast host bits.

Say I'm looking for a guest that is a is nutritional Coach Wright and yep, you two together in match.

CH you and vice versa.

We've got some other software's as well.

Maybe we get into, they're not as fun or sexy but you know, all around, helping those podcasters go from 10 episodes to 100.

Yeah.

Which I love that because I mean, I've been a guest on over 160 podcast myself rats, that's amazing.

And I actually tried out for different podcast guest blogging platforms as you know, and so now I would say probably probably half of those guest appearances have been booked via pod match and so it's been a great way to like connect with people really.

Really Efficiently, you've done, you've done a brilliant job of making a, the whole process, a lot more efficient.

So I love that.

Thank you, means a ton.

And yeah, you did a great video on that, my team, like digest that video multiple times, like learning from the way that you using our system even so again, thank you.

Yeah.

Yeah.

But, you know, if we rewind the clock a little bit here or maybe a few years because I'm guessing your mid-thirties, that's a funny.

Look.

Yeah.

You know how old you are?
I am 34, as we're recording this.

Born in 1988.

Okay.

So you're still technically a child of the 80s wasn't isn't yeah I barely made it on there.

Yeah, yeah you were young enough to maybe have at least a couple of years of childhood with without the internet.

Would that be right?
Correct.

Yep.

Yeah.

Where did you grow up?
Grow up in Jacksonville Florida, which is actually where I still born and raised and stayed.

It's funny.

I've just Jackson was one of the biggest cities in the United States land wise.

So it kind of goes forever, you can drive over an hour and still be in the same city.

So I've just consistently moved closer to the ocean.

My goal one day is end up living on it, but I'm getting close.

Closer to it.

So what by on the ocean?
Are you meeting having a floating house?
Not quite sorry.

I should say beachfront.

Let's put it that way.

Yeah.

Floating house is not sound interesting to me.

Yeah yeah.

Well the ocean a might be a little bit rough but yeah, I thought that would be kind of an interesting thing to do for like a year ago.

One of those like floating floating houses and travel around around the ocean like that.

Be that mean Adventure.

It would be.

That would be very interesting for sure.

Yeah.

But growing up.

Did you know much about podcasting?
No.

I mean, the thing is I actually came to a podcast Getting pretty late because it technically started in 2004, I believe was the first year of podcast.

I don't think I listened to a podcast till 2014.

Probably, I imagine, I was 10 years past the start of it, and right?
Yeah.

I actually remember the first person to, like, the first group of people ever even tell me about podcasting and they were some, I was working Aerospace at the time and they were just guys, in the warehouse, they were listening to something all together.

I'm like, what do you listen to?
This is a radio, like a radio show like, no, it's podcasts.

Like it's Joe Rogan.

I was like, who the heck is Joe Rogan?
What's a pirate?
Right now anyway, that was my introduction to about 10 years after podcasting had been been created.

Yeah, yeah.

So so growing up.

You didn't have this idea of like I want to create a software that's going to marry podcast to podcast guests knows.

What did you picture yourself doing with your life?
Well it's funny.

The very first thing I wanted to do as a kid like my first memory like I don't think maybe my mom or dad asked me, but what I said I wanted to be was a cowboy because I really liked westerns.

So I told them I am going to Texas when I get become an adult.

And I'm going to like I'm just going to be, I'm probably be a sheriff, you know, in my mom like just just, just roid my dream right there.

She goes, Alex.

They have cars and electricity and Texas to because I was watching these westerns a little kid in my head.

I'm like, oh, this is like, this is just Texas.

Like I gotta get there right now.

That's wasn't the case that shattered my first ever dream.

I'd say past that I was actually an interesting kid like I knew at one point, there's an experience I had that taught me that business would be what I go into but it was still very general and Big.

But that's just because even as a kid, I realized, I wasn't good at very many things and we can certainly dive into that if it makes sense.

But yeah, I just miss me something in business.

Let's put it that way.

So you say as a kid, you had this level of self-awareness that I wasn't good at many things.

What?
What taught you that or what?
Planted that seed of thought?
Yeah, you know, I and I know, I mean, coach, John, your coaching is going to come out here.

So if I start crying everybody now coach, John just has it that God blessed him with that gift.

But anyway, first time it's happened, right?
So for me, I will say that it's super supportive family like always really supportive but it was really just it was my own inner self awareness.

No one ever told me what I was good or bad.

I just from like it was intuitive as a child.

I remember being about 10 years old and realizing man.

It's my friends are really good at sports and I played every day with them but like I couldn't catch the ball like they could, I couldn't throw it.

Like they could they were all a little bit faster than me, right.

And I was he tall or kid but there was that.

And then at the same time, it's like, okay, well if you're not good at sports, you're good at video games but I would get crushed.

Video game, we play like, and we're playing back then Nintendo.

Nintendo 64, right?
Like those type of things where the games you're playing.

Yeah.

And same vein, I wasn't really the smartest kid in school.

I struggled really bad in school.

Actually, like it.

That was, that was like toughest thing for me growing up but also I wasn't I wasn't good at music.

I had three younger brothers, and all three of them were musicians and I couldn't clap on beat Some Like It realizing again.

Ten years old like, wait a minute, I'm not really good at any of this stuff.

You know, it wasn't a way to beat myself up.

Like I didn't see any sort of Plex or anything like that.

But yeah, I just knew that I wasn't good at those things.

That's awesome.

I mean I mean, awesome, it's really fascinating because the way that I would, I would look at it.

Now with my perspective is that you have a brain that sees the world differently, right?
And so, sort of the traditional things that we try to steer you towards, like, you should focus on this or focus on this, and it's like, well, you have an out-of-the-box way of thinking and seeing the world, which is, of course, LED you to where you are today.

So you got three younger brothers, did you say?
And he's any sisters.

Are you the oldest in the clan?
I'm the oldest.

There's four boys.

My poor mom.

But yeah.

But yeah.

And that now I have a bunch of like sister-in-laws if you will and but learning to it's funny like even getting married.

I like, I did not know I was getting into because it only been me and my brothers, like, my whole life.

So I got ya.

Even getting married was culture shock.

I was like, man, y'all are different, you know, like it's a great way of putting it, you know.

So so you kind of get through high school and you decide.

Okay, I'm gonna go study business.

It's Seems like that's that's what I should do.

Yeah, if I could backtrack like the reason I realized like going back to the age of 10 is actually when I discovered that business was, was something I was good at and actually happen through starting to sell use golf balls, you know K which is like a weird thing I know but like as a kid I'll never forget it.

One day.

I was out in the golf course because was like across the street from our neighborhood and meet my friends would go out there because and here's why our parents would say don't go on the golf course.

So we'd all run straight to the golf course.

Right?
Because of course yeah that's what if that's right rebellious young kids do and so you plan the day Or someone there was a golf ball sitting out there and usually they were like you could see him in the bushes.

We never really grabbed him by.

I picked up this one, I was like looking at it right?
Is this golfer was riding by in his car and he goes hey kid was that golf ball?
Say on it?
I turned it around.

I'm like, Titleist Pro V1.

He goes, I'll give you $3 for it and I was like, huh, light bulb moment like first light bulb moment.

My life.

Probably and I told my friends after you walked away, I'm like I wonder if the rest of these say Pro V1 on them as well.

And if they do we'll can we get three dollars for each other?
Because I can see about six of them right now.

And so we just started Good collecting golf balls and selling them every Saturday morning.

We'd post up and was about four of us in the neighborhood.

So my brothers are too young to be part of it.

Right.

Right.

Right.

Kind of grab some neighborhood kids but we built this whole thing.

Like in the evenings, we go find golf balls and Friday.

We clean them up and then we get them all organized and we go out there and sell them.

And for the first time ever, I found something that came very natural to me.

The idea of Designing a system of how, the workflow would go negotiating with adults as a ten-year-old kid, right?
Yeah.

Yeah.

I found my stride.

I'll be real for the first time.

I was like, wow.

I'm, I'm good at this, and I like this, and here's the thing, when you're selling golf balls, use like, that means you can only get away with it while you're cute.

So let's write two years and the age of twelve.

You're not cute anymore.

Liked it.

Give me that back.

I hid in the water last week.

You know.

But uh, right, right.

Right.

Well, it lasted that's that is what taught me that business would be alright Avenue for me.

And so yeah, like that.

Now you're saying like fast-forward through.

I just kind of always knew that going into Life as a teenager in into an early adult.

I'm so glad that you you backtrack and share that story.

I have absolutely loved that.

I was picturing you Like going during the day and like someone would come looking for their ball and being like, where the heck is this?
Dang ball that I hit near.

Hey, I got this ball here for sale.

They're like, has my initials on it.

Now, we never took them out of live play.

All right, I didn't happen.

It was always the Lakes after hours, right?
Right, right.

Yeah, so, so then, did you have any other businesses in high school?
Yeah, actually, I had one other opportunity.

So again, mentioning that wasn't good at school.

I was actually homeschooled all the way through a struggle with a learning disability.

Dyslexia dyslexia pretty bad like Took me a long, very long time, to learn to read and to write.

And interesting fact about me, you know, like apple watches you can like write in them and stuff like that or you can use something like tablets, you can actually use like a thing to write in there because I had so much trouble writing.

I had to learn to write letters in an incorrect way.

According to the English language, they look right but I don't follow the same lines that he will do.

And so is day, I just obviously I developed at a young age, I still do that till I can still like read write it.

But those things these devices can't pick up what I'm trying to do because it's like there's no letter, you know, like from a I personally was like no one writes a letter like that.

What is that right now?
So those things have never worked for me.

But anyway because I have this struggle, I had more hours in the day.

Let's put it that way.

I go still doing school but I understood like, I could be done by noon and so like I had the opportunity to have jobs and so at the age of, I believe I was 16.

It's going back a little bit now, you're right.

But how, when I was 16, I started a company that was editing virtual tours of home.

Me and a group of people develop this.

This, this weird concept of basically 365 degree view of an interior of a home which now is pretty common.

If you go to a website like Zillow you can kind of drag the mouse around.

Look at the roof and flip it around, right?
But back then, I mean we're talking this was a long time ago and so we were like, the only people doing stuff like this.

So at one point, I had three editors working for me, and for photographers, and we were just all day getting these tours and like stitching them together building the we build them and post them LS along some real Jurors that we work with and I did that for a few years during high school and it was like a really cool thing like I really enjoyed that.

Yeah.

This is probably what 04?
Yeah yeah yeah yep man yeah like I was like discovering wow okay wasn't discovering email but it feels like that was right looking like technology use I had in that point in time like because Facebook wasn't really A Thing, YouTube wasn't a thing.

I don't think yet you know was but yeah Google was even better.

I can remember the first time someone show me Google and I remember even saying as a kid and I got it dumb name it'll never last great.

Yeah.

She invested in that, no kidding.

That's funny.

So, yeah, you had this one creating creating virtual soft so, yeah.

You have this entrepreneurial lean here, which is amazing.

I'm curious about about dyslexia because, I mean, I think you're also quite self-aware and and dyslexia isn't actually something that like goes away.

It's that you're like a top, you know, you looted to without realizing it, your brain sees the world differently in terms of like learning learning to read and to write like, obviously you seem to be able to function.

I'm pretty pretty well in like the modern world?
What is your experience of it like today?
Yeah, you know, this is like this is a story that's like going to weird some people out, but when I was in high school, my mom like decided she was like, going to become a Christian and my got really heavy into that and she told some people what I was struggling with, and those people said, oh, let us, let me pray for him and something like like God's use me to heal people for only pray for him.

This lady prayed for me and literally like it went away.

I mean I had to help my bad.

It's at this point, I was years behind but I haven't had any dis less dyslexia issues since I was 16 probably around at, I'm very thankful for it can explain it.

But like I've also devoted my same my life to that.

So like I follow Jesus.

That's the way I always just say it and that's why I've devoted my entire life to and not because of that like as a matter of fact, it was years later before I even like realize I'm like holy cow.

That's crazy.

And like but anyway but yeah so like for me like I still hold the scars of that so like I said, I write incorrectly if I'm like right.

On a piece of paper and thank God, most Wade was digital.

Yeah.

But also like I love speaking in public and stuff, but if you hand me something to read, I'm going to start sweating.

And I'm probably going to Fumble my words and that's something that that's a scar, I've held onto that.

I've worked very hard.

I some speeches, I've given like and talks places.

I purposely written had something written down.

I was going to read, that didn't memorize.

So that I would kind of struggle through it with a group of people, and it's kind of painful to listen to I think, but it does stretch mean eventually, I believe all overcome that but that's kind of A, the long-term scar that's been with me from that if you will, which is again, really fascinating.

And I love the fact that you've decided that hey, this is something I struggle with, I want to face this head-on and and see if I can, if I can make some growth here because like I love neuroplasticity, your brain's ability to learn.

I think it's super, super fascinating.

You're tapping like right into that.

So so you're, you know, when you head off University or college, you went to, we would just funny.

Yeah, well, he was up here in Kent.

I'm getting obviously but So you had off to college and did you start studying business there then like business administration or something?
Yeah, that was the idea.

I was leaning toward accounting for some reason that point I look back now, and like, what the heck was I thinking, you know, what, what, what, who wants to do that and if there's anyone listening, who loves that, God bless you, you are need love accountants and so glad that they exist.

But you're right.

Anyway.

Yeah.

So I did I got started spoiler.

I didn't finish but I did get started as soon as I could.

Yeah.

I think I maybe I took I think Maybe I took a year off or like one is probably one semester I took off or something like that after high school but that point I had a job that was was good.

But yeah, I started, but I actually never finished University, right?
Yeah.

So you are, we can call him a College Dropout again.

Yes, we can.

What's funny is actually I am two people don't realize this but I didn't know that.

Okay, yeah, except I got like right to the end of it and basically had a couple of what they call electives and I just thought it was stupid.

Stupid that I had to like take these courses had no relevance to what I wanted to study or do to fill out like something.

And I was I was just young and rebellious, yes as well.

So my Act of rebellion was like to go to exam period.

I've never told this story like the last exam period And I went and like sat down to write like one of my final exams and it was only worth maybe 25% so I already know it's going to pass the course and they're like wrote my name, on the exam hand, it to the guy and like walked out and I was like, I felt like yeah.

I felt like I was Like such a rebel or something.

Wow, like yeah.

And then and then for the other exams I would like to stay up all night playing video games.

And then now just go and drink a bunch of jolt cola and try and go in and write them without ever having studied just a challenge with, like I was just, you know, and then I wouldn't join the Navy.

So yeah, yeah, yeah.

But it's interesting to think that it is possible to make a life to make a living to develop the skill set.

Obviously went on to study think since then, but to build and develop a skill set without necessarily.

A university piece of paper with your name on it.

So when you made the decision to drop out and like leave College, what were you your psyche this isn't for me because I'm going to go do this instead.

Yeah I mean so first off going back to like my high school.

Yeah education being difficult for me right.

Like I worked very hard and I gave it 100% of what I could like always tried and I got C's I mean that's just how it would end and Mike what is it C's get degrees is what we say here in the state side, you know.

So it's like yeah you look back and it's fine.

But then like I was like man I'm working harder than all my friends and doing worse than them and I get that had like a little bit of a disadvantage for a while is behind but and I'm thankful for my mom for being willing to home school because I would have I would have been a high school dropout for sure.

Because I couldn't keep right.

But like going into college on my own accord.

Love my parents, they've always been very good on helping me be very independent so they were not going to like to pay for school or anything like that.

And I knew that so I was like, all right I've got to throw out my own money.

Now it's like to keep this thing going and the reason I took that semester off as I was dreading it and so like I I got into it and same thing.

I worked really hard and I felt like I was doing good, but same thing.

I got just a bad like my initial grades.

I looked at him like, man, this is terrible.

Like there was one class where, like you're going to, you're going to fail this class and I was like, I'm working so hard.

And the funny thing is like, the stuff I was learning.

It was like I did this when I had that virtual tour editing company.

So I'm like, I didn't, like, why can't I write it out when I actually did it, you know, like, and that was kind of the Revelation for me was like, wait a second.

Maybe I can do this even though I can't necessarily on paper, like, yeah, yeah, I can't seem to do it in like a classroom setting for some reason.

And that was my, that was my big realization and that's kind of what like really made that shift for me of like maybe this just isn't the path for me.

Yeah.

How did you how did your parents respond?
Maybe maybe like friends as well when you're like yeah I'm not going back to not going back to college.

Yeah, my dad said that my dad was like I always hoped you would go.

He's Like, but I respect the fact that that you're not the chant going.

He's like, I respect it.

So, like there was never any, like, I didn't have any guilt or shame from that regard.

But yeah, I was, I was dating a girl at that point.

Whose family was like, was all like they were super into college.

Like, that's all that mattered was getting for college.

In the funny thing is like later.

Like later in our relationship found out that like all of them were terribly in debt from going to use like these huge universities and they're like in their 40s and 50s trying to pay it off, you know like it.

But anyway, that's a side note but I got a lot of pressure from that side and like, ultimately, thankfully, that relationship didn't work out, but like that's where I felt the pressure from there.

Like, wow, you're just throwing your life away.

Like you're not going to accomplish anything if you don't go to school, you know, like they like they force that to everybody in the family to was like I go to a family gathering and somehow the distant aunt that you only see once a year is like, hey, I heard you stop going to college like that's a big mistake, you know.

Like the whole family was like yeah you had no kids would go out.

All the pressure came from for me was that but like and I didn't even know what to say.

I was like I guess Gasps, I'm sorry, you know, like I have a decent this point.

I had started that had started that career in Aerospace that I have for a while.

And so I had a good job.

Like it wasn't the best at that point.

But like I was making decent money.

I had no debt at that point my wife, so I'm like, really, yeah, really not doing terrible.

You know, like I don't have any student loans, right?
Yeah.

So you end up working in Aerospace.

What did you what did you do there?
Because I know you get mistaken as an aerospace engineer but it turns out you're not all the time, you know, it's either engineer or the other three.

Things are people like me, who have you been to space?
Are you an astronaut?
I'm not, I'm not a fighter pilot, and I'm not a skydiver.

Like, I work behind a computer, and I'll get into that.

But, like, none of those Concepts anyone who's like, oh, this is gonna get interesting.

I have not step foot on the moon.

Darn, you know, Shawn you like, and this episode's over.

Well, that's it.

We're done.

Yeah.

With astronaut Alex am Filippo?
Anyway, the when I got started.

So go, let's go back to when I graduated, I graduated high school, like the reason I got that virtual tour thing is because the, the Economy had a major collapse right?
Like it was that two thousand, six seven eight like yeah that business just like literally put a real estate was disintegrating at that point.

Like that was a big driver, wasn't it?
Yeah it was gone and that's the industry we were in like was just that and like it went from like hey we got 30 jobs today to here's one we have this week right?
So like it went from a lot to nothing but while I was doing that I did fall in love with real estate and as soon as I could, I invested which happen to be right before I started school, I had the opportunity to buy a property.

Got a tenant in.

It was doing really well.

I was thinking I was going to make a lot of money and going to school and paying for it with their rent, right?
Like that stuff.

And then when everything rekt is, when I decided, hey, one school isn't for me, but also like, I'm gonna have to go into debt to pay for it because now I have a company that didn't work.

And I've got a property that I owe a lot of money on it, apparently it's worth noting, right?
And so like that, put me in a really weird spot at that age.

And so I got into Aerospace, my dad was my connection there, my dad was always an entrepreneur who was in the Aerospace.

Industry had a name in the industry, so I thought I could like kicked out any door me.

My name's Alex amply, but when I want to work here, pretty great, right?
Yeah, and all it got me was a job interview.

Let's put it that way, but I got an interview and I started as a part-time receiving clerk, which is code for.

I break down boxes and take out people's trash is what that meant.

You know what?
Like the thing is, that, that industry wasn't hitting nearly as hard because it was like all civil and, like, even some government stuff nobody sells, like, you know, I'm safe here, like nothing in my life.

Has been safe at all.

Like, this is a safe space and the thing is, I just applied going back to even when I was like a kid.

Did like business stuff just made sense.

So again example, like there was always like they're like hey break down these boxes and there's like eight different places in the company of the break down box is and then get takeout people's trash.

And I just started saying, you know what, like hey everybody who has stuff to break down boxes, like we're going to just centralize it here and hey, everyone, like, you need your trash empty three times a day.

Like here's a bigger trash can like, look at things like that.

If like, literally instantly got me.

Noticed, people are like dang.

This guy actually is like thinking even with a job like this, and over the years.

Years.

I worked my way up.

I became an executive at the company like, you fast forward.

Again, this is over a 15-year period.

So I won my tray, take out the trash next day, I'm like running the company right?
Well yeah, it's not movie-quality, it's over 15 years.

I had various jobs in just really fell in love with the industry, fell in love with that type of business and over a 15-year period just kind of grew along the way.

And eventually, like I said, became an executive at the company is Jacksonville like a hub for Aerospace like because I do Florida has like you just there's some like, rocket launches from Florida.

Yeah.

Oh yeah, yep.

So yeah.

It's big Jackson was a hub.

Actually, it's funny right across the street from us, is one of the biggest GE Aviation Aerospace plants is right at GE.

Aviation is what they call it.

It's right across the street from like where that building where they used to work in.

So yeah, there was that all kinds of big.

There's like huge helicopter manufacturers, we have multiple Air Force bases here and maybe basis.

So yeah, all that stuff.

It's kind of like a lot.

It's a lot for sure.

Okay.

Yeah.

I mean I guess I don't know a whole lot about Florida.

Clearly I was like we're hot.

We had alligators.

And hurricanes and some airplanes.

And that's all right.

Yeah.

You have this peninsula.

That's like lined up to get smashed repeatedly by hurricanes that scene, correct.

Yep, we do and it comes like, every year.

But Florida still seems to exist.

Like, the people who live in Florida must be pretty tough Relentless.

We're just not scared of storms, or maybe we're just stubborn.

I haven't figured it out yet, but that's another conversation.

Yeah.

Now, along the way, you bumped into a girl named Alicia.

Yeah.

Oh, yeah, yeah.

She's hot.

Yeah.

Oh, she's all right.

How did you bump into her?
So, going back to, like, just like my faith.

I really do love into that, like, after some of these experiences, like I was in that relationship and I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I was your, was your family religious, or is this something you decided yourself to pursue?
They were I don't.

And the thing is, I think any time you're kind of brought up in something, maybe you don't take it as seriously, right?
Because it's just normal of your life.

I didn't really take Faith seriously, until I was out on my own, And that's when it became real for me.

Like when I realized, OK, there's probably more to life than than, like, just these few things, right?
You know, had some rough events, like I said, like, decided to go to school getting out of that bad relationship, having to kind of humble myself and start from the beginning and taking out people's trash.

When I thought I was doing really well with my own company and stuff, right?
Like, all those things kind of like open my eyes.

The fact I'm like, okay, there's got to be something to grab onto here, right?
And that's why I really just kept my faith and, for lack of a better term.

Like I don't even call it religion.

That's called Faith.

Like, I just, yeah.

Even Jesus and do my best to mimic.

What I see.

Mm.

Do right?
Is that kind of my life?
Anyway, I end up stepping into a I was going to a church.

Someone invited me and I walked in and at that point I was driving a Mazda RX-8.

I don't know.

Okay.

Remember that was but when I got the malls are great, it was it was sweet.

You know, it was like a cool car.

I was a yellow.

Excuse me, was it yellow?
No.

It was that gunmetal gray is what they called it.

Okay, the funny thing is, I always wanted a color that was called winning blue and this is relevant to the story.

So I just going on.

Yeah.

Not going on inside a sidequest here, you know.

Like but I always wanted the winning blue color but I just couldn't find it.

Not the price range I wanted for.

So I was driving on this.

This gray one.

So hey I'm rolling up in my sweet car to this church.

I'm supposed to go to I showed a few minutes early in the parking lot.

I see a nice winning blue RX-8.

I'm like sweet the whole from this church is glass.

I'm gonna Park right next to his car and the dude who owns it's going to talk to me soon.

As I walk in, we're going to be friends.

He's gonna let me drive and borrow his car, right?
Like yeah, which or whatever.

So I walk in and turns It was actually a girl who drives it in that girl happened to be Alicia and she is the first person to walk up to me and like at that point again growing with all Brothers, like yes I had dated somebody but I still wasn't the best around like girls that still kind of scared me a little bit, right.

Like I'm not even in my early 20s but like and she was like gorgeous it for me.

I still say this day.

It was like love at first sight.

Like I saw her I don't even know if I said anything.

I just like walked out feeling like that's your car.

You're so pretty, you know?
Like and I'm single by the way you know like oh I'm out.

All right.

Um it wasn't that.

Bad.

I don't think, although we didn't date for years after that, but a couple years.

But but yeah, that was like how I met her so met her at church.

We were driving the same car and, and, and she had the color that you wanted.

Yep.

Exactly.

We do trade occasionally, by the way.

So, no kidding.

Yeah, sure thing.

So, you maintain some, some kind of like a friendship or before it became like a relationship.

Yeah, yeah.

There was a couple of years where we were just friends and we were actually really close friends and like, I don't know if she was dating, anybody else?
But like I dated other people through that just kind of casually.

Now, Nothing serious or anything like that but yeah.

We maintain a friendship until and I did ask her out.

I should I should give that disclaimer.

Almost, as soon as I met her I'm more or less was like marry me, you know, but I didn't do it very well, you go on a date with me and she straight up was like she said, two things.

She said you're too young and you're not my type and those were her exact words.

Like I'm about to things.

I can't do anything about, you know, like, like, like I just don't like your haircut.

Mike done, I'll go fix that, you know, but like you're too young hide.

My can't can't do anything about that.

Now is Is she older than you?
She is.

Yeah.

She's just a couple years older than me.

Yep, right.

Right here.

Like shoot.

And I get it at the age of 20 and 23, that would have been.

That would have been a little, maybe a little strange.

There's a big maturity difference, especially when you think male to female.

Absolutely.

There is, yeah, that's something.

So, you're like, well, darn.

This car thing.

Didn't didn't quite work.

So right.

Yeah, you stayed friends?
Yeah.

And what one of the shift happened where you go because, like, while your friends are you like pining away or like, kind of wishing like, dang it.

We're friends.

I wish I could be more here or no.

I try not to be that way, you know, if it was a fairly door like I just did my best not to be that way so we legitimately were friends in like a no romantic interest.

I shouldn't say interest or interest was there but like nothing that was acted upon most but that way yeah it was a couple of years later.

She actually was the one who brought it up and it's just like randomly brought up.

And at that point we had become we were good friends.

Like she knew my family actually, it's funny the day, she mentioned something to me.

She actually picked up my little brother who was 15 to come to the same place.

I was gonna text him.

Hey, any chance to go pick up my brother for my mom and dad's house.

It's okay.

Yeah, but anyway, she brought it up and I don't remember the whole story and all that, but at that we didn't even start a relationship.

That was like five months later.

I'm like, well, let's just take the time to like, because we have a really good friendship.

Now let's just not try dating and then like ruin it.

Right.

Right.

Right.

And the reality is if she would have said, yes to dating me.

The first time I asked her, our relationship, probably would've lasted, six months, them and gone.

Like I had so much growing up and changing to do and then even When she brought it up and I, we wait another five months, same thing, it probably wouldn't it had been his like special as it was right, or still is this day.

So like all in all like to me like that was a total God thing.

Like the timing was just great because other than that we're going to short-lived relationship that probably would have just been okay?
And then gone.

Yeah, so when you finally went on that first date, where did you go?
I took her to actually this, it's a like it has it's a real Landmark so I took her to TPC Sawgrass, what you think, one's a golf fan, it's where the PLAYERS Championship is played.

And and our date was actually like out where they hope they keep the trophy like, literally right behind the, the actual Clubhouse there.

So, yeah, and that's also where I asked her to marry me.

I will we went back a year and a month later and asked her to marry me right there, which was cool.

So, but yeah, anyone can go look it up and type in the PLAYERS Championship club house or TPC Clubhouse.

That's your our first date, and where we got engaged.

Yeah.

Is she a fan of golf or?
No, no, neither am I really?
I love going to the Player's Championship every year.

It's actually at my favorite event to go to Don't play or anything like that, but it's a, I mean, the grounds are beautiful.

I mean stunning.

And it's a really like, it's a top quality restaurant in town, for sure.

So, okay.

So yeah.

Extremely like well, well kept it well manicured.

Well kept.

Yeah looks pretty fancy, so for sure.

Yeah.

Pardon me and was it her?
Or was it you that it like lined up the first date then?
Now that was me.

Yeah.

That was you.

Yeah, sure thing was, it was a bit of a surprise.

I don't think.

I even told her we were going or anything like that.

I've always been like that.

And the funny thing is like when I asked her to Marry me we not once talked about marriage or anything.

Like there was no conversation I kind of from day one which is kind of like hey let's just not talk about this like let's just date and kind of see where it goes and stuff like that.

So it was never brought up.

I didn't ask you what kind of ring she wants.

I just picked one that I thought maybe, like, maybe feel like I maybe think of her, you know, like maybe like I'm like, I feel like there's something she would really love.

And so, a lot of people say, that's absolutely crazy, but like, it worked great for me.

So yeah, yeah.

So you knew though, like, after a couple days.

Like in your head you're like yeah this is this who I'm going to marry head, you decided that or I mean like I said I feel like I knew that from the first time I met her which I know sounds like super cheesy and stuff like that.

But like I just kind of felt that way and we just the nice thing is like a lot of people like talk about how their first year of marriage is the most difficult.

And yeah, we like we we felt like we knew right away but we we waited that year I think we got married we got engaged in a year in a month and then a year and four months or sorry it was Three months later we got married.

So it was like a short engagement, we just kind of decided to it that way because it's like at that point we're good.

But we like work through anything we would have had to work through.

So like that first year of marriage was like super strong when some people like, hey, you're gonna have so much like you group, with only Brothers, like, this is going to be.

Yeah.

Hot, you know, but like the thing is like when we didn't live together before we got married or anything like that, but we just like we worked all that stuff out like and we were very intentional with that like with our relationship and the first year and Beyond now we're at we just celebrate our 10th year anniversary and it's been amazing like it all the way through.

I'm so thankful.

Not just saying it because we're like on camera.

Like I mean it like every year has been amazing and I feel like even now at year 10 we're like literally in our best year yet which I'm thinking.

Yeah, so absolutely, you know, I'm in coming up on your 16 actually the end of this morning and congrats.

And, you know, and it's funny because I actually knew when I met my wife for the first time that I was going to marry her and you get me then I love that.

But she I'm not sure if she knew it or not because there was a two-and-a-half year Gap where she's from Australia and so we didn't see each other for two and a half years and this is back.

I can do 30 for kind of thing where I can internet was like, really still very much in its infancy.

We use Skype when it first came out and it had like an eight second delay.

It like, oh no we couldn't afford phone cards like stuff like that.

Right?
So yeah, but I just knew it, I remember, you know, Ike she got dumped into my lap basically for a couple of days to show her around the city.

I lived in a time from some friends, she'd met.

So I had no idea who she was.

They was like, hey you want to show this girl around?
I'm like yeah, of course I do.

You know, I was single Single a time.

And then, you know, lo and behold, you know, here we are 18 years later from the time that the day that I met her but I knew from the start.

So man, I love that.

Every obviously extort resonates me with me, but I love hearing.

Yeah, that's so cool.

So at some point in time you maybe start to get itchy feet with the Aerospace industry or or like now how does podcasting kind of factor into this?
Yeah, it's a good question because it doesn't make sense, does it?
But yeah.

So again I want to do emphasize the fact that Ali Leashes impact on my life has been great.

Like, I really like, I didn't become executive or night like I said, but like, when she came in, my life, is when I really learned to step it up as a man, as a professional, and she's like, top-notch.

And every way from like, professionalism, like understanding how to, like work well-run, companies like she is brilliant.

She has a really interesting background, which we get on podcast because she's done a lot, and she's very accomplished and super smart anyway, and didn't first episode guest, good luck.

I can't get her.

Do it.

So, actually, you know, it's funny you had in, by the way, real quick.

Shout-out, you had the blind blogger on your Cast magic an IV, Maxwell IV, love, Maxwell IV, and he's tried to get her on his podcast a few times, and she won't do it.

But by the way, everyone go back and listen that because you talked about how to turn adversity into inspiration, right?
Like, and I think it's in my sort of, like, dyslexia.

Like, if you want to hear like times 100, right?
And you want to like really getting fired, like, go back, just go back and listen, that do yourselves a favor.

Like, I literally think you called it.

The blind blogger is name of the episode, right?
Like yeah, Maxwell IV.

Anyway, check that out.

Hopefully you can drop a link for people and stuff like that, but that's, that's an important I recommend listening to.

But anyway, I digress back on point.

So maybe a little bit anyway.

She helped me a lot and along the way I became an executive eventually and I was like excited because it's like, man I worked from.

Like the lowest level you could be like a part-time guy to help him run this company.

And it was a big organization.

And actually, I'm not sure what year was, I was there.

But the company actually got sold and went public and I was part of like the team that helped with that acquisition.

So it's actually funny, it's Jacksonville, Florida is one of the headquarters but it's a Canadian owned company to help that and it was part of a multi-billion dollar organization.

So it went from like big till like, massive to huge, right?
And so, like being executive a company that's like, hey, this is a billion-dollar company to be like, that's huge, right?
That's that's really great.

I was by far, it's funny.

I'd sit at that table and I was by far the youngest thereby like.

Yeah.

30 years, you know, because I was in my mid to late 20s.

Yeah.

Well here that are like 60s and it makes sense like they needed the experience.

They Industry people.

But anyway, long story short, I remember one day, I walked into my CEOs office like I was at my desk.

I realized that something happened.

We actually saved in one of my had five divisions I ever saw in one of my division, save 10% across-the-board which again is massive like that's never done before.

So in my head what I did is I walked out.

I bought my seat was the CEO, so my by reported greatly CEO in my head.

I kicked his door down to get into it.

I obviously respectful was like can I come in right?
But like my head like I was so proud, like some yeah, or down and in, Again, I put my feet on his desk when I sat down, I did not do that.

I respect him, but he my head.

That's what I was doing was right, right?
Yeah.

I was like, Hey, do you see what we did in this Division?
I explained it to him.

He goes.

Yeah, I saw a man.

Like, I could hear his voice.

He wasn't happy about it and I was like, yeah.

Hey, you realize, we save 10% like we didn't lose 10%, right?
I'm just making sure you understand.

He's like, no, no, no.

I know, man.

And he goes, the problem is you didn't tell the shareholders that we were going to do that and they could have been selling the stocks at a higher level if they would have known that, you were going to exceed the goals by that much and now Man, I didn't get like, disciplinary like that.

He's just like, man.

We got to talk about this stuff.

If you're going to do something big like that, he's like, we just got to kind of stay with the status quo, and I remember walking out his office, realizing on the, the walk back to my office, which wasn't terribly far.

It was yeah, 40 yards or 50 yards away, but the whole way there, I just kind of my head and I was like, you know what, I think my time here is up because I didn't want to be and not the any executive is not a cog in the system, but I felt like, all I had to do is maintain the status quo now and Never been me again, it would maintain the status quo.

I would still be that part time, receiving guy because I would have never given someone a bigger trash can.

Right?
Right.

Yeah.

Initiative.

And so like that was always what drove me?
I think Looking Back Now, I didn't know this them but I think I was always at entrepreneur.

I was just able to flex it within an organization right?
And if I got locked out of that and then it's like hey that creativity is gone.

You just have to do this and tell us if your do something different that that did not settle well with me.

And I will say this, I need to give this this This side note, disclaimer here, I worked very hard for the next three years, so this would probably you're 12.

I work very hard.

My last year there was actually on paper my best year there because I believe the way you end one Seasons.

While you begin the next, I wanted to leave on a good foot because I wanted to start on a good foot.

Yeah.

And I can I can say this with confidence because a year later after I had left the company, they brought me back to speak at one of the senior people's going-away party.

So like I left on good terms.

I want to share my nose.

I didn't just start slacking off and like, smoking my office.

You know, stuff like that.

Like.

Yeah.

But um, but yeah.

That's where the On the wall came from coach Don.

Like it was the fact that I just realized I couldn't be me there anymore.

Does that make sense?
Absolutely.

Does.

I love that?
It's so clear.

And I'm like, I think it's like a known episode title, though, from like how like a bigger trashcan made me an aerospace executive something like, yeah.

Actually, not bad.

I like that.

You know, like how podcast I needed obviously, share what you ask like that.

Whereas podcasting come from right.

Yeah, what happened was?
This is kind of maybe just the way my mind works.

We've already determined it a little bit different, right?
Right.

Yeah yeah.

I realize I've been in the organization at this point for 12 years and I probably didn't really know how to be an entrepreneur anymore.

And I tried a few little things that just didn't work.

It was like failure, failure, failure failure.

I should say.

Failed attempt failed attempt failed attempt.

Right?
I was wrong.

Yeah, it means and I just had this realization like I don't know what I'm doing.

I don't like if I have a foundation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in staff to play with, I think I'm pretty good but like on my own maybe I don't have to do anymore.

So in my Lightning Fast, mine, I discovered podcasting again through recommendations from some of my staff.

You know what I could do a show and what I decided to do is I decided to talk to people who successfully left a nine-to-five corporate job to pursue becoming an entrepreneur full-time.

And I just asked them how they did it, and that was my idea like maybe was a little bit selfish, but was free coaching, right?
And like 100%, yeah, John all for paying for coaching, but also at that point I was like I'll take it for free you know of it and the thing is the show did exceptionally well and I'm very thankful for that but also so like two things happen, the show did good but also I learned the right way to become an entrepreneur like It literally taught me that and when I went to apply it, the funny thing is like I had fallen in love with podcasting.

So when you apply how to be an entrepreneur, I was like, well, I wanted to be in podcasting because I love podcasting like this industry that has an abundance mindset.

It's so much fun.

Like I love everybody.

I meet in it like coach John you and I met through podcasting like I did not imagine not having this this relationship, right?
So let me I was like I want to be all in on it so that really he was this sort of how that transition happened.

Yeah I love that.

You know and I Leverage Casting and in somewhat of a similar way, I'm like if there's somebody that I want to have a conversation with and just like I love human stories, that's my thing.

Yeah.

Like even when it comes to coaching it's like it's really about the people's stories and my analogy is that I helped co-write a couple of chapters, you know, in their life story.

And hopefully that impact will change the ending of their story in a positive way.

You know.

And so and so this this gives me access to people are like hey you want to come on the show and you know, I get kind of pick and choose who I get to have these conversations with an absolute.

Love it.

I can see why, you know, podcasting is So amazing and then, you know, when you first replied like personally to an email that I'd sent, I forget what email had sent but I was like, there was actually a personal reply like I could see that it wasn't just a can reply was right.

Whoa, like this is the, this is like the CEO or the co-ceo like the founder of this company and he just replied to me and then, you know, I now want to go back and look at whatever the email was and maybe it was about that thing that I was doing the project that I was doing because my brain probably works in somewhat similar way.

I wanted to figure out I found By accident, I was scrolling through Facebook.

I was a little bit tired of what I call a social media burn out, you know, just producing content to grow awareness of my business that I exist.

And there was this ad for podcastfast.com and it was like be a guess on podcast and talk to new audiences.

Like whoa seems way more efficient to go and like, talk to audiences.

That don't know.

I exist yet.

Then to only talk to my already existing audience.

That's how I'll go, you know, and so I sent it for podcast, guess.

But then I thought about it was like, and I'm like, I'm Like applying to be on a lot of shows and not getting a lot of return.

I mean, you know, I wanted to figure out what my return on investment is, you know, like I'm spending money to be on this platform and I'm spending all this time to try to get booked on two shows and it's not happening all that.

Well sometimes I wonder if there's other other platforms out there.

I bet there is and a Google Search and I discovered a few other platforms including well actually pod match.

Came from Jason.

What's his name?
Do you know that the the the psychic he's like a psychic wire, Jason, She's goodness.

It's going to bother me.

I know exactly who literally see his face.

He's in Tampa.

Florida.

Jason, I've had multiple conversations.

Oh yeah.

Super nice.

I think I can, I think of his last name is Jason.

If you're a viewer watching listening as ever, I am I really it's like on the tip of my tongue but yes, I know I know I know so I found him on another service and he was like dude you got to check out pod Matt she's like if this service is like the Myspace and then pot matches like Facebook, you know, in terms of funny.

And so I was like, okay fine, I'm gonna go check out this this pod match thing and so you were actually the last or pod much was like the last entrant into my trialing out these different platforms and they started building up the spreadsheet of like which platform was a booking.

The most shows on how many requests was I sending what was my pitch success rate, you know and what was the cost for episode and and all of this and pod match came in like with the with one of the highest pitch success rates and one of the lowest cost per episodes and I was like whoa this is this is awesome and I was spending less time doing.

And so you take what was like a really great concept and turned it into something?
Super efficient, which is like my brain absolutely loves and then so, anyways, I guess I must have shared that with you somehow and you replied.

And then you asked if you get on a call with me as like what this dude was gonna come with me and it turns out, you're actually a really nice guy and I was like, who would have known?
It seems funny.

I'm like, why should I be so surprised that like the founder of a company is nice guy who want like a successful companies.

A nice person who wants to get on a call and like talk to people but I think that's Part of the reason why you are successful is because, you know, obviously you've set up systems and efficiencies and I have a great team supporting you and that allows you to have the freedom to be able to do things like this, which is really amazing.

Yeah, that's that.

That balance is always tough.

Now granted, let's go back to my Aerospace background, like I was at the, in the day, had five divisions, I was in charge of basically, our job was to protect profit margins and to streamline processes.

So, like I do understand that to a certain extent, I applied that as soon as I could, but for me like again, like learning what there's different, Entrepreneurs.

I knew I wanted to be a community-driven type of entrepreneur because that's where I was always thriving.

Again, going back to my faith.

Like I started doing the best I've ever done my life when I got into a true community, that believed in Jesus and wanted to love and support other people.

I wanted to mimic that in the way I became an entrepreneur.

So for me like still to this day anyone watching or listening this ever if you reach out to us and you're like hey I want to have a conversation with Alex guy.

Heard his conversation with with Coach John and I'm going to find that someone's going to send it to me.

I'm going To reply, and it may not be like a book of like oh, thank you so much, bye!
Mike, I'll say something back to you.

And that's just the way that I like to lead.

And like you said, like you do have to have good systems in place for that to work because it's in the day, like they're there.

I'm not like every day in the nitty-gritty of things because I don't have to because we built systems around that teams around that so that I can stay facing with people because in a day that's why I know I can really help an impact and Coach John.

Like honestly I hope any founder would respond to you because the email you sent, I remember which one we're talking about.

Now was so involved that I showed my Co-founder who's he's a software developer, I might, Bro.

You've got to see this email.

I called him and he likely he's like, wow, he's like that's amazing.

I'm like, I'm gonna call him, you know, like, I'm gonna find I'm gonna call him.

So I don't always like take that much initiative with the charity that you put so much into it.

Like, there's I don't believe any founder of any company.

Any size would not respect the way that you reached out.

Let's put it that way.

Fair enough.

Yeah.

And so here we are having this great conversation today and, you know, I know when I've been like looking for any other connections, I've often tapped on the shoulder but they hate you.

Know anyone who does this because you know, you're really well.

Connected and so and then the idea for pod match and I know we're a little bit short on time which is a bit of a shame because I think the journey into building a software company.

Now, you know, and, and the ups and downs of that because, again, it may be, it seems kind of glamorous.

But you know, what happens when there's a bug in the software, you know, and you get people who are angry or frustrated or whatnot, or people who just mad about like paying for a service, I've heard all that first time.

I mean, so like going Like being the entrepreneur, like I knew that like I wanted to start this type of business and for me, I remember like again, like I was interviewing people who had successfully left a 95 job, but I'll be all be real Coach, John.

I knew I knew three entrepreneurs.

So yeah, because I was a corporate guy like if I was like, I want to talk to Executives.

Like, I could have lined up for days, like, I probably still could, but like, I was like, I know three.

I brought all three of those entrepreneurs on my ass.

All three of them to come back.

I asked all three to come back again.

They all said, dude, you need more friends and thankfully, like I said, like my show.

Did really well and I won't even give myself credit being the best.

The timing was just perfect when I launch it just, I don't remember the exact day or time or anything like that, but for whatever reason I launched it, right when everyone in the world, just decide they were interested in that for whatever reason.

So just worked out great, the Stars.

Aligned, I'm super thankful for that.

So my show did well.

So I started being able to get who I needed but in the back of my mind I was always thinking like man if I didn't launch it this perfect time.

Like what?
I still be trying to interview my three friends are entrepreneurs or what like what like what that Network extend and so pod match Like the great, like the very first thing I did to support the industry was that because I like men, this is a real problem and I validated that problem.

We don't need to get into all the ins and outs of me talking to people and stuff but decided to launch it and again like launching it with a Community Focus.

Like that's really important and like you said, man, I've from day one, we've had problems with the software, like all day.

One, the first complaint I ever got was our logo is really ugly.

It's because I made it.

I made it on.

I learned what canva was I literally typed it in ya and put like a little line next to it like day.

One complaint is your logo is ugly and I was like well well does the software work?
Yeah it's working.

Great.

I'm like okay good.

Let's focus on that first and then like I was like, how can we get?
I don't know how to make a logo like I'm terrible.

This right?
Like, yeah down fiver, at that point I was like, oh someone who can help me right.

We've had other iteration since then, of course.

But like yeah, complaint start from day one and it like I'll be real.

My skin is so thick now compared to what it used to be, I'm still always going.

To respond the most respectful way possible because we literally have a member obsession is what we call it.

We call it.

Yeah, we kind of stuff from Amazon.

They say, customer Obsession, I don't like to use the word Customer because I think it dehumanizes a little bit.

So, I say member Obsession, because you're a member of anything.

We use your part of our community, part of our family.

So I'm going to make sure we give you that respect.

So I still respond respectfully, but I'll be real initially, man.

My heart was broken every time someone say something, rude.

Hey, your website suck, sometimes we would literally get that back and the thing is at first I was like, man, that's so like, Does it suck?
Like that's what we've put so much work into this.

Is it not good?
And I'd always respond even with something like that.

I responded I said hey so sorry we're working on it.

We're trying to make it better for everybody doing it on a budget right now and without fail, almost every single time someone responded to say, oh my gosh, I'm so sorry.

I didn't know.

Someone would actually check this like, over and over again, always had people like asking on calls to apologize because they said like, really rude things.

Like, I've never had a software company respond to anything.

So, I just assumed it.

Wouldn't them in my mind.

I'm like, why did you say something mean to say something mean, Like passing up the a tree in the woods and then the tree responds, like, I'm sorry, right like yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Like, so from day one, man, I've had to really develop that and that was for the first year, especially, that was extremely tough for me, because I was putting my all in it and like, just hurt to think.

Maybe I'm charging somebody, it's not actually helping them like that.

Yeah, I cannot like sleep at night if I think that's happening, right?
If I'm charging somebody and not delivering more value than they're paying for.

Yeah.

Some people have no problem with that.

That is not me at all.

That was that was for a little bit.

When I felt like that might be happening when people would complain which.

Now I realize that just people like to complain and we're adding a lot of value.

But at that point I didn't realize that yet and that was very tough for me for a while.

Yeah, well I absolutely love pod match and by the way, in the description you'll find a link to check out pod match, click that link because it also sway affiliate link.

Yeah, it doesn't doesn't change the price that anybody pays for pod match.

But I mean, I love.

Now here's another amazing thing that you have done with pod match, as you made this crazy decision to allocate.

50% of the revenue coming from membership fees to go back to podcast host.

So that we get a couple of bucks in our pocket for, and you did this to allow people, I think to be able to stay in podcasting because it's one of the biggest problems is to monetize.

The podcast is really difficult.

You know, it's not impossible but like it's difficult and it takes time and podcasting is kind of a slow burn and see you thought.

Hey let's do this crazy.

A idea where we take half of the revenue for a membership fees and give it back to those who are on the platform and active and busy.

Yeah, you know that this was an interesting decision and like to clarify real quick.

It goes back to podcast creators so I Could Be Our Guest.

We're not splitting revenue or anything like that but what do you like the better a host does with releasing your episode and the assets that come with it?
Like the social media posting stuff, the better off you are anyway.

So if we're giving them a little money they're using it to do that.

It's a win-win right?
Absolutely.

Their creators themselves like almost immediately.

Coach.

Sean, when I was starting this, I realized that we had a term rate problem and I didn't know what that term.

But now I do hate term, I just means people basic come in your front door and just as fast they leave out the back door.

Yeah.

And it was only podcast host and I told my co-founder Jesse, he's, the developer Mike, we have a serious problem, dude.

I'm like people, I'm like, almost 90% of people leave, or they're on the host side.

Yeah, he's like, well, why am?
I don't know.

It seems like it works.

So, I started reaching out and reach out to 1,000 people and it wasn't overnight, like it was one at a time, just they'd leave and we Actually automated that we base to say, hey we saw you left why?
You know like so it wasn't even me doing that but I was I was evaluating each response, we're keeping him on spreadsheets and there was the one percent of the time where someone's like, you're the worst.

That's why I left right?
Like really great.

Yeah, of course, we did hear that but again the 1% the 99% all said the same thing.

Oh I didn't leave pod match.

I stopped my show like I completely just stop and so I started diving in so like basically you know 900 plus people like are saying oh I'm leaving the industry.

And so you start asking like why and like I narrowed it down and the number one, the number two countries, fact number one is they thought they were gonna get famous and Rich overnight like that.

That is right, right.

We'll leave and it hate showed.

It's not gonna happen coach.

I'm so sorry.

Actually 100 episodes.

You know better?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I'd be like, hey, by the way, you're not young millionaire tomorrow, but the second one, like, I've passed that and most are people that wasn't the problem.

But it's a fact that they were draining money and maybe they had families or something like, hey, I'm losing $60 a month and I just like my family just can't deal with that right now.

It was things like that, right?
Because the production that goes into the work that goes into it and I was like him, maybe we can solve this problem.

Like, we're no one's going to get rich using pod match and I know that.

That's okay.

But I'm like, what if we can offset that 6090 hundred dollars a month for some people like with that, keep them podcasting and I'll tell you what, we've seen that happen, people can stay in it and even afford better tools, which again is better for the guests as well.

And so yeah, we made that decision to cut our Revenue in half and and I don't always share that.

I don't want it like I don't want to get the wrong idea, that's all about the money, but I was like, you know, we can sustain ourselves in our grow, our business, with half of what we have here.

The other half was give it back to these creators so they can stay in the game and keep on going.

It ends up being a win-win for us as well.

Like not that we have any selfish motive in there.

We really want to serve and help the industry.

And yeah that was a decision we made it was like an interesting one.

I was hoping other companies and podcasting would follow nobody was really interested in being part of that, you better pack some other companies and they will all remain nameless were very unhappy with Us making that decision because they said it's anyway.

They just didn't agree with that notion of helping people on that one on that level.

So yeah, which I think is fascinating.

But I mean, it shows that like, because, and, and here's a whole other conversation, there's nothing wrong with the business being profitable.

In fact, it must be profitable to stay afloat for sure.

And people have this tenuous relationship with money, we're like earning money and whatnot.

Like and and that's a whole nother episode as well.

But the your ability to remain profitable while giving back and serving just like speaks to What you're what you're really about with this company and then you do this one other crazy thing before we wrap up and that was, you purge like half your membership at well?
Yeah.

Yeah.

This is Andres and, and you probably got a ton of exposure from it because they're like, what is this crazy guy doing?
Yeah, we actually heard those exact words like same thing.

You're absolutely crazy.

And again, so we are bootstrapped so which just frame would not in software.

Just means we use our own money in it.

So and I can tell you from day one, me and Jessie my co-founder, we each, we signed legal documentation.

Like that's good thing to do, right?
And we each put twenty five hundred dollars into account.

So 5,000 total and thankfully, we never had to put any money in the business past that we launched with that.

There's no debt.

We've never raised any Capital, I'm not against that again.

We, you just have a lifestyle business versus something like an Enterprise business, right?
That's more our design like we want it to be to have a great culture and we don't want anything behind us saying hey, stop focusing on people so much and start raising, right?
Right.

Like not that there's anything wrong with that.

It's just not the model we wanted.

And and and so like by doing that like we've been able to run it.

With a bit less, right?
And so, but one of the things I notice is, I was like, man, these people leave the industry, but not all of them, shut down their account.

So, it stays there.

So coach John, you might reach out saying, oh, they said, they're looking for a nutritional nutritionist or someone who like understands that world right, they understand weight loss and stuff.

So you reach out to them, but you never hear back because they stopped their podcast six months ago, and it's very popular, especially in the ones that have raise Capital to never let that number of total users, which we don't use that word.

We use numbers, right?
Right.

Total users to never let that number.

Drop because it drops then shareholders gonna get angry right, but for us we don't have that behind us.

So I said, you know what, who's not active on here?
How long have they not been active?
Is their show in existence and we did this from a data-driven way and we kind of took about three months to do all this, and we literally overnight cut, half the people.

And we got zero complaints from that because they were all truly gone on both sides.

But then the day I'm like, you know what?
What serves our members better having a bunch of like a big number to like impress, everybody or two when they reach out to somebody that you're back which is better for our members and in the day We're going back to our number one core value, which is number of session.

What's better for our members is to have less people on the platform but they're going to respond that are going to be high quality that aren't going to be trying to spam, right?
And so that was very important to us and still this day every month we have an automated thing that tells us hey we wreck the system says we recommend removing these 50.

People, these 25 are an active.

This person is actively spamming people because they're gettin like 10 complaints a day coming through them.

Right?
Like automatically remove those.

So like our number may never really climb or not.

As rapidly as some companies like this quality.

The quality stays though and at the end of day, like, my job is to protect the people that are trusting me with their wallets in their time.

And if they can't trust me with that, like what service my really providing and so we we've devoted ourselves that yes and people called me crazy.

And I still to this day here that that was a stupid move because now my company looks smaller than it was but I'm not here to make it look like.

I have a big company.

I don't need that EcoBoost right?
Like that, right.

We all struggle with pride enough.

So yeah.

Like you know, people really well and I'll leave it at that.

Yeah.

Men Alex, obviously, we could chat for quite some time.

I know you got to get going here as well.

It's truly, truly been a pleasure, you know, from selling golf balls as a ten-year-old to becoming, you know, turning a expanding a garbage, can into an executive position to now serving the world of podcasting, a way that other people think is crazy but is has done like so much for us in this industry, you know, from all of this, if people listen to this episode, the thing I always like to ask close that our show is like, what is one nugget from your story that you?
I'd like to people to take away from hearing this today.

Yeah, first off, I believe that all of us have greatness and creativity within ourselves.

So think about yourself and listen to my story but don't say I could never do what he has done because you're right.

You can't but I also can't do what you will go on to do either.

Yeah so remember that you have greatness in Creative within yourself and always like to remind everybody about that but what you do with that greatness and creativity is what really matters and I always say do for one what you wish you could do for all seek to serve not to be served.

And the one person that ultimately needs that greatness, that you have and serve them.

And yeah, we all love to change the world and I have a dream to do that too.

But in the day like I'm going to do for one person.

What I wish you could do for everybody today and if I could leave you all with something that's it and that's the mindset.

I do my best to renew every single day because at the end of the day I can probably only help one or two people day I'm going to focus on that one and ultimately hopefully that one person goes on to change someone else and snowballs into hopefully impact an entire world one day.

But remember, you've got that greatness and creativity, Discover it and serve one person with it.

I love that Alex.

Thank you so much for your time today.

It's been truly a pleasure to look forward to when we get to chat next for sure.

Coach Johnny was honored be episode 100.

So thankful for him.

What you're doing?
I really appreciate it.

Take care.

Thank you so much for tuning in to between the before.

And after, if you've enjoyed this episode, please like share, subscribe or leave a review because that helps us podcast to reach and Inspire more people.

I love exploring the stories that take place between the before and after the powerful experiences that shape, who we become and I love human.

Potential.

I'd love the possibilities that lie within us.

So, whatever you may be up against.

I hope these stories inspire you because if you're still here, your story is not done yet.

So keep moving forward.

Anyone can come from any place of Brokenness and destitution and build an amazing life.

Jonathan McLernonProfile Photo

Jonathan McLernon

Coach

Coach Jon is a weight loss coach and emotional eating expert who has lost 100lbs. From nanotechnology researcher, to Navy marine engineer, to globetrotting nomad, Coach Jon spent most of his life running from his true calling, until one question changed his life. Now he's on a mission to help others lose weight for good and leave BS diets in the rearview mirror.

With Freedom Nutrition Coaching he marries the Science of Metabolism with the Psychology of Behavior Change and the Compassion of Human Connection to create life-changing transformations with his clients.

Alex SanfilippoProfile Photo

Alex Sanfilippo

SaaS founder, CEO of PodPros

I started my first business at the age of 10. I began selling used golf balls in my neighborhood and realized that I enjoyed generating sales and keeping track of profit margins. (Yes, odd for a 10-year-old!)

Fast forward to my late teen years, and I launched a technology company that created virtual tours of properties listed for sale on the MLS. I fell in love with real estate and decided to invest as soon as I turned 18. REI was a short-lived career choice due to the 2007 – 2009 recession. (Yes, I lost a TON of money.)

I pivoted to an industry that was thriving during the recession years.

At an aerospace company, I got my foot in the door (Thanks, dad!). I was a part-time receiving clerk who broke down boxes and took out the trash. (Humbling for a guy who was on the way to the Forbes 30 under 30 list!)

I discovered a passion for aerospace and corporate business. I worked my way up in the industry and eventually became a senior executive in a large publicly traded aerospace organization.

After 15 years, I decided to return to my first love of entrepreneurship. Here is some of what I've done (Note: I started working on some entrepreneurial ventures three years before leaving aerospace.)

Here's what I did:

Built a globally ranked Christian multi-author blog (DailyPS.com) with more than 130 writers producing content. With this blog, I also hosted a podcast titled, Good Christian Podcast, which became one of the largest Christian podcasts.

What came along with DPS and GCP was the opportunity to start a web design agency and a speaking/coaching business. I traveled all around the USA, speaking at conferences. I was coaching people wanting to start their businesses/side hustles. (I sold both DailyPS and Good Christian Podcast together on December 1, 2021.)