Chris is a podcaster, father, author, and basketball nut. As Coach Chris, he helps entrepreneurs and small business owners build their brands through content marketing and social media advertising. Learn how Chris went from high school drop-out to successful podcaster, with pit stops in the middle as a college basketball player and then a college dropout.
Tell us about yourself and what you’re working on right now.
I’m Chris, and I’m currently working on many different things within the world of podcasting. I started podcasting five years ago, and this past year I did a lot of testing to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. That process helped me to figure out how I could create a multimillion-dollar company through podcasting. I know that sounds crazy, but right now I’m really focused in one direction on achieving that by helping others have their voices heard. Some of that is through helping people launch their own podcasts to help their personal brands grow, and on the other side, I’m helping businesses that are already established really connect with their ideal customers. I’m doing everything from show launches and production, to opening my own studio in LA. I’ll be speaking at a ton of events in 2020, and I’ll be putting out a podcast book as well.
How did you get to where you are now?
Wow, it’s honestly been such a crazy roller coaster. I had my first daughter my senior year of high school, so I actually dropped out of high school. The next year I went back and got my diploma. Then I went to junior college for a few years, and during that time, I ended up homeless for about six months. I was living in my car, while still going to school. I went from one junior college to another until I ended up getting a full scholarship to go play Division II basketball. Once I got there, I finally realized that college just wasn’t for me and dropped out.
It was after dropping out that I wrote my first book and started my first business. That’s also when I started podcasting. My life in podcasting started after I created my own brand within the world of “NBA Twitter.” One day I was speaking to one of the guys I’d met on there, and I didn’t realize it, but he had his own show. He later invited me on for a live radio appearance, and afterward, he and a few other people explained to me that this was a skill and talent that I had. I didn’t train anywhere. That was literally my first time doing anything live. It was then that I really started falling in love with the world of radio/podcasting. It’s taken me to a completely different place than I ever imagined.
What are your goals and plans for the future?
My goal is to build the biggest podcast production company in the world. I want to have hundreds of shows that are produced by my network. I want to have multiple podcasts studios around the world and I want to collaborate with major companies to create their content. Podcasting as an industry is growing consistently. More and more companies are putting money into it, and in 2019 alone, almost $900 million was spent on sponsorships. So if that much money is going into podcasting, and all these shows are being created—over half a million shows on iTunes now—that means that a lot of these people need production. So I look at it this way: if I can help just 1% of the market, I’m good. I’m helping people have their voices heard, and people can have more reach and really make an impact.
What does growth mean to you?
Growth is consistency. It’s very binary to me. I think that if you’re not growing, you’re stagnant. You don’t want to be stagnant because it means you’re going backward, because the world is always moving forward and progressing. If you as a person are not evolving, then you’re actually going backward. The slogan “Growth Never Stops” is a part of our brand. I remember when I was sleeping in my car, and I would have to steal food to eat and I was going to LA Fitness to shower and stuff. I always told myself that this is where I am now, but this isn’t where I’m always going to be. One of my goals for 2021 is to go back and buy all the gyms I used to have to sleep in and shower in.
I think the problem with growth for a lot of people is that they struggle because they look at growth as this unattainable thing. They’ll set a massive goal up high, but you have to grow to that goal, meaning you need to evolve to that goal. You don’t just set this major goal and then boom, it’s yours. You have to grow to that. So I think growth to me is just consistency. It’s always getting better. Always.
What do you do to take care of yourself?
This is probably something a lot of people may think is weird, but my favorite thing is going to the movies alone. That’s my thing. It’s a reward for me. After I close a client, or after I just accomplished a small goal, my way of rewarding myself is to go see a movie. It’s usually on a Sunday or Monday morning when nobody else is there. I know all the people that work at the theater, so I get free popcorn and stuff. It’s an experience for me. I may go twice a month now—it’s ridiculous!
In an alternate dimension, every job pays the same. With that in mind, what career would you pursue?
Honestly, I would still do what I do now. Podcasting is just so fun to me. Being able to get on a microphone and talk to millionaires and other influential or successful people, or just people with great ideas, I think is truly a privilege. The fact that I can do this for free is mind-blowing to me. I should be charged to do interviews, but instead, I can make money from interviews, which is incredible. I just really appreciate podcasting. It has definitely been the most life-changing thing for me.
Have you ever had a make-or-break moment where you had to risk it all?
I think we all have those moments where, if you’re in that moment and you’re present mentally, you can feel that “Okay, this is a big moment. This is a huge decision.” I’ve had so many of those. I think the biggest moment for me might have been going on that radio station my very first time because it wasn’t like I had any preparation or training. He asked me 20 minutes before the show started, like, “Hey, I’m gonna call you at this time to bring you on. Are you ready?” And I just said, “Sure!” Of course, I was nervous, but I didn’t want to turn down an opportunity, because I didn’t know if I’d ever get another. That was probably the biggest moment for me right there. I just had to figure it out.
What is your mindset when you’re trying to overcome obstacles?
I have a list of principles, and they really hold me down. I think everyone should have a list of principles they live by because your emotions will always change. Feelings always change. When you live by principles, it’s very easy to be consistent with how you act and how you react and even how you prevent certain situations from happening to you. It can be something as small as before you take a kid out, you make him use the bathroom, so you don’t have to stop anywhere else. That might sound like it doesn’t matter, but that’s a small principle that will help you avoid going to public restrooms. That’s something so simple, and I just have a list of those principles that I live by. Consistent meditation is another one that’s very important to me. All the little things, I think they make a huge impact on our lives.
Is there a book that has been particularly impactful on your journey?
I would definitely say The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. That was a really, really good one for me. It just completely shifted my mindset. I remember being homeless in my car, and I would park under a streetlight just so I could have enough light in the car to read that book. That was something that kept me going when things got hard. I think it’s one of the ten best books ever written. It was just that good.
What advice would you give to our readers?
The first thing you have to do is get dialed in on what you believe in and what you care about. What’s important to you and why are those things important? Then when you set your goals, set that goal at the top, all the way up here. Now after you set the goal at the top, don’t look at it and say that’s difficult to reach. Set milestones to reach that goal. So if you want to make a million dollars in a year, you need to do certain things to make that million dollars. Focus on doing those certain things to make the million. Don’t focus on making a million, because that’s impossible. Focus on doing small things like creating a product or doing market research. Focus on all those small things first, and then you’ll get to that bigger goal a lot faster. The little milestones are going to get you to the big thing. Don’t focus on the end goal, because when you put the goal at the top of the mountain, and then you’re just looking up at the top thinking “How the hell am I going to get up there?” you’re looking past all the equipment and instruction manuals that are going to help you. Focus on the small, day-to-day steps and the bigger goals will come.