Steve’s Story

If I wasn’t paying attention, I wouldn’t have ever made the leap to full-time podcast editor.

I spent over 8 years building a financial coaching business. I was blogging and podcasting and helping everyday Americans pay attention – not interest.

But in 2016, I had to give it up for podcast editing.

At FinCon (formerly known at the Financial Blogger Conference), I became known as “the blogger with a podcast”. My blog won an award for “Best Debt Focused Blog”, even though 95 percent of the written content on my site was podcast show notes.

In 2015, a couple of well-known personal finance bloggers wanted to start a podcast. They talked about it for months before finally to pull the trigger and outsource some help.

One of the bloggers already had a VA (virtual assistant), so all the website and written content was covered. What they didn’t know was how to actually produce a podcast recording.

November 2015, I received a call. “Steve, we just want to hit record. Would you do the rest?”

“Uh, sure”, I said, “but it takes a lot to produce an episode. I’d probably have to charge you.”


I said “probably”?

Yep, but they agreed.

The show was launched on January 29, 2016.

Others in the FinCon community took notice and heard that the audio production was outsourced – to one of their own.

By July 2016, I had so much business that I had to give everything up – and I made $28,372 in taxable income that year.

Over time, I raised my rates. I couldn’t keep working 60+ hours a week earning less than I could make part-time at McDonald’s.

But I didn’t have to sit in traffic. I didn’t have to punch a clock. I didn’t even have to wear real pants (pajama pants are soooo comfy).

Were these ancillary benefits the trade-off between a decent paying job and work that I enjoyed?

Not really.

I was struggling to make this new job into a decent career.

It was time to virtually rub shoulders with others who have made it. People like Darrell Darnell and Danny Ozment and Chris Curran.

I noticed they were in some of the podcast Facebook groups, but they always got lost between the “I’m new here. What’s the best media host” and “Where can I find music for my podcast” posts.

There needed to be a place where only podcast post-production topics were discussed, so I created the Podcast Editors Club on Facebook.

One of the first things I learned in that group is that I wasn’t the only one trying to make this work.

…and that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t understand EQ and compression vs normalizing

…and then there was this thing called iZotope RX6. What’s that?

Over time, I gleaned knowledge from others in the group.

My editing became better and more efficient. What took 4 hours was now taking 2.5 – and I was getting better at it too.

I also began charging new clients 2 times more than my first client. (Today I’m charging 4.6 times more).

“THIS IS WORKING”, I said to myself. And others in the group were looking at me as some sort of industry expert. Me?!

I haven’t figured it all out, but my business is making more than “just a living”

…and I’m still in my pj’s.

Comments on Steve’s Story

  1. Timm says:

    You missed so many pertinent details about your story… I hope you decide to reveal them one day soon.
    It’s a better story than what is written here.

    1. Well of course! But then this post would be extremely long.

      This way they are forced to take me out to breakfast/lunch/dinner to get the entire back story.

      BTW: I’m looking forward to building more of the story hanging out on your couch with the dogs in January!

  2. I’ve loved watching this from the outside looking in! Knowing you for so long, I knew there was GREAT in you! I’m hoping you are loving it as must as I’ve loved watching you! Keep doing amazing things!

  3. We have so much in common – I’m amazed! I’ve only recently become aware of this fantastic online financial community. But, yes, you have always been the podcast guy to me. Can’t wait to hear more “behind the scenes” of your story.

    1. Thanks Virginia! And I haven’t even told you about my financial coaching background yet 🙂

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