Jason and Chris discuss making money in retirement with a podcast.
Talk to people that Chris Krimitsos has spent any amount of time with and you’ll hear descriptions like “changemaker,” “motivator,” “catalyst for change,” and “inspiration.” Whether it’s a major corporation’s CEO or a solopreneur, Chris is passionate about being a difference maker. Unlike the featured guest who comes in and delivers a keynote and leaves, slipping out the back door like a national celebrity, Chris Krimitsos is the passionate professional who hangs around talking to anyone who wants his time – to listen, evaluate, and affect change.
Chris brings the unique perspective of success from both sides of an event. He understands the challenges of the organizer that needs to move an audience, having himself facilitated over 1,000 events that have brought together business owners, toward economic growth, under the umbrella of Tampa Bay Business Owners, which he founded in 2008. That success regionally was the springboard to launching a national event, Podfest Multimedia Expo, which he grew to over 500 attendees in just three years, with an expectation of 1,000-plus in year four, thanks to his ability to communicate key messaging to that community.
Channeling that energy into creating a documentary, now he is making an impact globally. Under the CK Productions banner, as a filmmaker and producer, Chris has successfully birthed The Messengers: A Podcast Documentary, which has obtained worldwide distribution and theatrical screenings. This after having hosted and produced two TV shows earlier in his career. Of note was one of those projects being archived in the Library of Congress.
With a unique skill set programmed to stay out in front of rapid change, Chris Krimitsos – as a speaker, as a business leader, and as a source for growth – is empowering audiences toward better opportunities for succeeding in business in the 21st century.
Below is the full transcript:
Announcer: Welcome back America to Sound Retirement Radio, where we bring you concepts, ideas and strategies designed to help you achieve clarity, confidence and freedom as you prepare for and transition through retirement. Now here is your host, Jason Parker.
Jason: Hi America. Welcome back to another round of Sound Retirement Radio. So glad to have you tuning in this morning. As you know, we’re always looking to bring guests onto this program who we believe can add significant and meaningful value to your life as you’re preparing for and transitioning into and through retirement. I’ve got a unique guest for you today, and I’ll be bring him on in just a minute, but as you know we like to get the morning started right and we do that two ways, first by renewing our mind, and then second with a joke.
First, the verse that I have for you is Matthew 4:1, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Kind of an interesting side note, one of the reasons I wanted to share that verse, there’s been a lot of headlines recently about the Pope wanting to change the translation of The Lord’s Prayer. He’s saying that God does not lead you into temptation, and so he wants to change it to maybe protect us from falling into temptation. Interesting little side note there.
The joke that I have for you, how much did Santa pay for his sleigh? Nothing. It was on the house. On the house. All right, this is Episode 154. You’re listening to Sound Retirement Radio. Remember you can find all of these programs archived online at soundretirementplanning.com.
Today it is my good fortune to bring Chris Krimitsos onto the program. He has a podcast documentary that he recently did called The Messengers. Not only did he do this podcast documentary, he’s helped create a PodFest Multimedia Expo, he’s a serial entrepreneur, he’s working in artificial intelligence. Fascinating opportunity that I had to meet him at FinCon, and I wanted to bring him on the program this morning to talk about the opportunity for encore careers for people that are getting ready to transition from their main gig into retirement, but also about creating community, because that’s something he’s done a lot of. Chris, welcome to Sound Retirement Radio.
Chris: Jason, thanks for having me.
Jason: Absolutely. Hey, man, I’m excited to have you on the program. I’m excited for a lot of this work that you’re doing. I do want to talk about community, but before I do I had the opportunity to watch your documentary that you created called The Messengers. It was actually available to me through Amazon. As a Prime subscriber I didn’t have to pay anything to watch it the other day. It was fascinating. Tell me, why did you create that documentary?
Chris: I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve helped a lot of podcasters get started and we noticed that there’s a lot of unique people getting involved in that medium, so I asked a friend of mine … I said, “What do you think about us creating a movie about this?” He said, “I think we have something.” Then we found some really visual, dynamic podcasters and we sat down … It took us a year to follow them, record their stories. These are people that started 10, 12 and seven years ago, when no one even knew what the word podcasting meant. They started with very little to no audiences and then they just kept moving forward. Many of them built huge, huge, massive audiences. We put it together and thought we could make something really powerful for people to find their voice.
Jason: Yeah. Awesome. Chris, actually it’s kind of my story with podcasting. We didn’t set out to start a podcast. We were asked to do a radio show in the Seattle area here, and we figured since we were recoding the radio, why don’t we just take it and put it up on the podcast world, so that’s how we got started back in 2009, and it’s been fun. We get a lot of people tuning in from around the country now as a result of the podcast, so it’s been really cool.
Chris: That’s really fun. We’re making up part two of The Messengers, so our growth in the podcast industry, starting next year. We’ll start filming in production on that in February.
Jason: I had a chance to meet you guys at FinCon and I loved the story where the gentleman told us about how the name came about, The Messengers. Do you want to share that real quick?
Chris: Yeah. We got a group of friends together and we focus grouped it. Most of my friends are in the business community. They’re consultants and different kind of business leaders, and they all said let’s call it a podcast documentary. Me and my director, Neil Guilarte, really weren’t inspired by that and Neil said, “Hey, man, let’s just do an interview or two and I think the name will find us.”
We were interviewing Lee Silverstein, who does … He’s a stage four survivor of colon cancer and he does the Colon Cancer Podcast. Somewhere in there I asked him … I said, “Lee, what do you consider yourself, because I don’t know what a podcaster looks like, but you don’t strike me as a typical podcaster.” He looked me in the eyes and he says, “I consider myself a messenger, because when I was diagnosed with cancer I wished there was someone out there with this message for me.”
So we decided that most podcasters by and large are messengers to different groups of people, and that’s how we came up with the name The Messengers: A Podcast Documentary.
Jason: One of the things … When you think about podcasting, I think a lot of people think that’s just a bunch of young kids out there creating content and goofing around on the internet, but what was interesting about watching The Messengers is that really wasn’t the group that you were interviewing. A lot of these people are folks that are if not in retirement nearing retirement in terms of their age. What’s been your experience as you go out and find people that are doing podcasts?
Chris: You do have your kids, millennials/slackers that are doing podcasts for fun, but the people that are kind of second career or third career are finding niches within the podcasting space and they’re crushing it. They’re doing really well. Glenn the Geek, who owns the Horse Radio Network, he was in the financial industry, then he was working as a sales rep/consultant, and he wound up making this his kind of third career, and now that’s what he does full time. I mean he has one of the largest networks of podcast shows in the world about the world of horses.
People would be surprised, in podcasting there’s three different things that I talk about. You have the generalists, people who have a general niche. You have the geo-targeted people targeted around a geographic area. Then you have the narrow cast, very specific niches that people start.
I’m starting a narrow cast at the end of this year called The Conference Cash Flow Podcast. It’ll be one of the first ever podcasts in the world teaching people how to make money with conferences. So the niches are really wide open, as well as the geo-targeted niches. I think people would be amazed at what’s available.
A podcast is not an interview show. A podcast is episodic content, so podcast can be frequently asked questions that people ask you about your business or your services. A podcast could be very educational. It could be a lot of different things, and I think people don’t realize is searchable online audio content.
Jason: It’s really been fun. It’s a way to connect with people in a unique way. Is it possible from your experience for people to make a living or to supplement their income from podcast content?
Chris: Absolutely. We have a lot of successful case studies that we found at PodCast, our conference each and every year, and it almost never surprises me. Usually it’s someone that’s about ending a career that they’ve put in some time and they’re looking for something different and they start a podcast and they wind up striking gold. In the beginning it does start as a part-time gig because you have to build traction, but after two or three years the people that are consistent do extremely well with podcasting.
Remember, the space is still growing. The ad revenues are really flooding in each and every year, so the money that’s coming into this medium is only beginning to start to really develop.
Jason: I think it’s really exciting, especially for our audience, because you may not know this Chris, a lot of the folks that we serve, our niche, are the people that are just getting ready to retire or those who have recently retired. From a financial standpoint, many of them are in really good shape financially. However, they understand that retirement is all about cash flow and many of them aren’t ready to stop providing value to society.
They maybe don’t want to have to have an alarm clock that wakes them up at dark 30 anymore, but they still want to be able to provide value and to be able to do something that allows them to express their creativity, allows them to be curious and ask questions and maybe take a passion and then monetize that in a way, I just am really excited about that opportunity.
For our listeners out there, I want to tell you, as Chris was saying, this opportunity to really niche down and talk about something maybe that you enjoy … I’ll share a quick story here Chris, which I’ve never told anybody about before.
I was fascinated … I enjoy listening to podcasts, not just creating them. But I was listening to a gentleman talk about affiliate marketing. These are people that get paid commissions for writing reviews of something that they enjoy doing. I thought how cool would it be if I could get my kids involved in a business and it’s something that we enjoyed doing and we could monetize it?
Just out of curiosity … One of my passions or one of my hobbies is fishing. We’ve got a lot of lakes here in my area, so I started a little website, a blog, very inexpensively, and I have an inflatable fishing boat. I started writing reviews of that inflatable fishing boat and posting the reviews online. I would take my son out and my daughter out fishing with me and we’d record videos and just have a good time out fishing, but we took that little side gig and turned it into a little side business.
We do it on the weekends, so it didn’t disrupt my life. Last year I think that business … And I didn’t touch it. I want to say we had about $1,700 of revenue come through the door, so I had an opportunity to teach my kids about business, I got to do something I enjoyed and write about something I’m going to do anyway, so it was really, really fun. Do you have any other stories like that, where you’ve experienced the opportunity to maybe monetize a passion?
Chris: Yeah. Believe it or not, we have a city planner of a city who is about to retire and he started playing with drones, so he came to a PodFest and he said to us, “I’m thinking of starting a podcast about drones.” This was two years ago. I said, “Why so?” He goes, “I was just looking to get into a hobby.” He has since started the Drone Radio Podcast and it’s one of the top in the world, and he monetizes by giving affiliate links to conferences about drones and different things. He’s a media personality now, and he’s still working his job, because he’s got two more years to retire. That’s one of the coolest case studies, success stories that we’ve had come through.
Jason: One of the things that I learned by going to that FinCon conference, and I know you’ve got a conference coming up too, which I’m looking forward to attending, the PodFest Multimedia Expo. I want to talk more about that before we go, because life is all about relationships and getting to meet people.
When I was at FinCon I met a lot of these guys that were retired in their late 40s, early 50s, who we call part of the FIRE community, financially independent retired early. Many of them have these little side gigs where they’re producing cash flow, anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars a month to thousands of dollars a month of additional income. They’re retired from their primary business, but they’re making a living doing something that they enjoy talking about. In many cases that’s financial issues. Have you had the opportunity to speak with anybody in the financial landscape that’s making a living from their financial knowledge?
Chris: We have some people in the insurance industry, one individual that started Medicare Nation, and she is making money consulting in that area off of that knowledge. Then we have another gentleman that deals with government contracting, request for proposals, and he does really well. When it comes to the financial end, there’s a lot of successful case studies. The one gentleman that lives in our area, his name is Kyle, he owns … I think you know it. It’s the Penny-
Jason: The Penny Hoarder.
Chris: The Penny Hoarder, yeah. He’s in St. Pete, not too far from us. They just cut a ribbon … This gets started out of his car basically, and they just cut a ribbon the other day and the mayor was there and he was going to hire another 80 people on top of the 100 that he has. These are just some amazing success stories.
He was a young kid though, but we do see a lot of people in their 40s and 50s looking to experiment and play with this. Here’s the difference that I found. People that are in their 40s and 50s tend to be more serious than a 20-year-old, plus they’re more seasoned, is the word I would use, and they tend to do better because they’re consistent.
There are a lot of young people that test things but they’re not consistent. The success here is people are very consistent, and when you are consistent you kind of grow an audience and that audience stays very loyal to you.
Jason: Yeah. Yeah. Well I’ll tell you, like I say, it’s been fun. One of the things you’re known for, and not just podcasting and this documentary that you created, which, by the way folks, if you subscribe … If you’re an Amazon Prime member make sure you check out the video app that they have available … If you have a Fire TV Stick you can watch this podcast documentary called The Messengers, and it’s really fun.
If you’re thinking that you still want to be active and engaged in retirement and have some kind of encore career, maybe there’s something that you’re passionate about and you want to share that with the world, just … The world is bustling with opportunity right now, more so than any time in history, and it’s a very exciting time to be able to enter into retirement.
One of the things that you’re really well-known for Chris is creating community. I was hoping you could take a minute and talk a little bit more about that, because, again, life is all about relationships. What are some of the key things you’ve learned about creating community?
Chris: You have to put the community before your own self-preservation. What I mean by that is you have to really guard the community, make sure that you’re there for them, not for your self-interest, so my interest is for the community to be successful, whether it’s the Florida Podcast Association or PodFest. We also have an Association of Business Owners here in Tampa, and you have to state that to your community.
What I mean by that, many times promoters are able to get people in a room and the first thing they do is they sell them products and services. A community works very much like a great podcast. You have to service the needs of your listeners or your community first, and when you do that you earn their respect and they will reward you with their membership dollars, depending how you … We sell memberships … Your membership dollars, and that will help you grow your community because they’ll also bring their friends and other people forward. You have to always put the community’s needs first in order to really be successful in community building.
Jason: Community relationships, and one of the things that a lot of people have more of once they hit that retirement button is time. They have the ability to go out and connect with people that have been important to them in their life. Chris, have you had any mentors in your life that helped you … Gave you guidance?
Chris: I was very fortunate. Early on in my life I had a New York City firefighter who was my neighbor and he kind of took me under his wing, so I got to see him help people just for the sake of helping them 24/7. I was able to model that behavior and it was very powerful for me. Shortly after 9/11 he passed away, but it was an amazing mentor to have in my life as a child all the way into my early 20s.
Jason: Mentorship is another opportunity for you folks that are getting ready to retire. It is one of the reasons that I have been able to enjoy the success that I have, because a gentleman named Dean, who I met when he was in his 60s, took me under his wing and taught me everything that he knew about personal finance and starting an investment firm, and as a result today we have Parker Financial and Sound Retirement Radio and Sound Retirement Planning, my book, and Retirement Budget Calculator to help people have a better budget as they prepare for retirement.
Chris, you’re a serial entrepreneur. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned about entrepreneurship over the last couple of years?
Chris: Just be yourself first. Even if you’re … Obviously if you’re upside down you’ll have to put a lot of extra work, but even if it’s a dollar you have to make sure that you take care of yourself. Never give up. Always focus on the goal that you’re trying to achieve, not what is not there. Then you must always focus on sales and marketing. Many times I see people, they do well, they stop their sales and marketing so then they could fulfill, and then it’s a vicious cycle.
As you focus on your sales and marketing, you have to also get your back end systems in place. That’s just one thing that has always stuck with me. You have to put your sales and marketing up there first as you also fulfill your business, because that’s how you grow a business.
Jason: What do you think about opportunity in America right now?
Chris: I’m an entrepreneur. All I see is opportunity. Now with artificial intelligence coming onboard, I think people just need to be ready for the technological advances that are about to show up at our doorsteps and be extremely nimble for those opportunities.
Jason: What are you most excited about as you look at artificial intelligence?
Chris: I’m excited and I’m scared all at once, to be quite frank with you. But the exciting thing is things are going to change very quickly, which will open up a lot of opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs. What’s scary is big swaths of the entire job market will be replaced overnight within the next two or three years. But what’s amazing is there’s going to be a lot of money to be made in very niche businesses and chatbot creation and all these amazing things that’s going to happen.
I would always tell people spend 20% of your time dabbling. A good friend of mine owns a laboratory called Dabble Apps. Dabbling in other avenues so you always have your finger on something else while you’re building your core business.
Jason: One of the things I’m excited about, we created some software recently that we launched called the Retirement Budget Calculator. Today if people use that tool it’s pretty simple, it’s pretty straightforward, but the vision for where we are going with Retirement Budget Calculator and what it’s going to be able to do and how it’s going to be able to help people in a very unique but specific way for people heading into retirement is something I’m really excited about.
So folks, if you haven’t had a chance to check out the Retirement Budget Calculator yet, remember if you go to retirementbudgetcalculator.com and use the coupon code Podcast, you can get the calculator for 50% discount.
Chris, we’re almost out of time. What are some of the things you’re working on right now that you’re most excited about?
Chris: Right now we’re working on PodFest Multimedia Expo. Actually I just came back from Seattle this weekend. There was a conference out there that was more of a fan fest for podcasters in the audio-drama niche. I’m excited about the growth of the medium of podcasting. I don’t think we have … We’re not even at the 10 or 15% of where it’s going to go. I’m really excited for growing that community and really growing the different verticals. We’re adding a whole video track, and the convergence of technology. It’s all starting to converge and people are doing live streaming and all these things, so that gets me really excited.
Then I’m launching my Conference Cash Flow Podcast, which will teach people how to do conferences and cash flow at them, so it’s a lot of exciting stuff coming up in the near future here.
Jason: How many people are you expecting at your PodFest Multimedia Expo this year?
Chris: We’ll have a minimum of 800, but we have a shot at about 1,100, so our goal is to get to that 1,100 goal. It’s going to be an amazing … We have people that bought tickets from Nigeria, China, Germany, all over the world, so it’s really an international conference. Then we’ll be in Orlando during the wintertime, where the weather is phenomenal.
Jason: Folks, you’re listening to Episode 154. I have Chris Krimitsos … I’m going to mess up your last name here.
Jason: Krimitsos. Thank you Chris. Sorry about that. Remember, you can listen to these shows online. Chris, if somebody is getting ready to retire and they’re thinking about starting an encore career about something that they’re passionate in, would the PodFest Multimedia Expo be a good introduction for them, or is this really designed for people that are already in the space?
Chris: Actually it’s designed for both. We have a beginner trek for the beginners. People that are looking for a next step, we’re a perfect conference, because we’re very entrepreneurship and business friendly, so we love meeting these individuals and many times they happen to have the best ideas. Because they come from really unique verticals or niches within the business world, that really helps them hit it out of the park, so to speak, with a possible podcast.
And the veteran podcasters are there. We have hundreds of veteran podcasters that we connect. I’ve created a system where everybody can meet one another. It’s a unique culture and family and we’ve been doing this now … This is our fourth year, and it’s one of the greatest events that I’ve ever been part of and the community that’s come out of it is amazing.
Jason: If people are interested in attending PodFest, how do they find out more about it?
Chris: Just go to podfest.us or podfestexpo.com and you’ll see the page with all the information. I highly recommend you attend. We have an amazing welcome committee when you get there, and we’ll get you integrated the moment you step foot on our floor.
Jason: Awesome Chris. Thank you so much for being a guest. Folks, again this is Jason Parker. You’re listening to Sound Retirement Radio this morning, so if you’re driving down the road in Seattle remember you can find all these programs archived online. Probably never been a greater opportunity to retire in our country. There are so many opportunities for people that still want to provide value to society, that want to create relationships, that want to create community.
This idea of creating a podcast is still in it’s infancy. It’s exploding, and there are a lot of people that we’ve had the opportunity to encourage over the years that have started like 60 Minute Finance, for example, or The Retirement Manifesto or Big Picture Retirement, some of these friends of mine that I’ve been able to connect with that either have a blog or a podcast or are being interviewed on podcasts, and it’s only going to get bigger and it’s only going to get better.
We all have an opportunity to make this world of podcasting interesting, unique. One of the podcasts I’ve been listening to recently is a gentleman who has one called The RV Entrepreneur, a young man … Him and his wife are traveling all over the country in their RV. I know many of the retirees that we serve are looking forward to maybe traveling in an RV in retirement, so just no shortage of opportunity.
Again, you’ve been listening to Episode 154. Thanks for being a listener.
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Jason Parker is the president of Parker Financial, an independent fee-based wealth management firm locate at 9057 Washington Avenue NW, Silverdale, Washington. For additional information call 1-800-514-5046, or visit us online at soundretirementplanning.com.