There is truly no one size fits all approach when it comes to podcasting and running a business, especially in New York City. However, this flexibility has allowed me to remain passionate about podcasting and do what I can to help the space grow and thrive, either by adding my contributions or preparing the next wave of creators to carry the medium forward.
For this to make sense, allow me to tell you a bit about myself. I am a lifelong New Yorker and an 80s baby born in the Bronx. Growing up, I had no aspirations of being any type of entertainer, teacher, or entertainment personality. On the contrary, I had a passion for cooking and working with animals which I pursued through high school. Sadly that pursuit was only relegated to high school as my mom felt the law was my calling but unbeknownst to her though, I was learning about criminal science and law enforcement with very little interest in being a suit and tie lawyer. All of that came to a screeching halt when my mother’s cancer returned, and she passed away in 2000, leaving me at 19 overseeing the care of my special needs siblings and running a home.
At the time, I was directionless and in survival mode, helping to keep my home running and with no aspirations on what to do with my life, but on a fateful day in 2006, I learned about podcasts and their debut on iTunes. I was blown away by the sheer volume of podcasts covering all kinds of things, and I gravitated to podcasts covering gaming and entertainment as those were my past times, with Video Game News Radio being the one that got me truly hooked. After listening to the show and being active in their community, I was invited to do guest spots a few times. Eventually, I was told to give podcasting a try both by fellow listeners and even the hosts. So I started my podcast with a Logitech headset and recorded nonstop for three hours covering wrestling, mixed martial arts, gaming, and entertainment, and just like that, My Take Radio was born. I had zero ideas about what I was doing, but people seemed to like it, and I enjoyed doing it but got burned out because I genuinely had no idea what I was
doing. This is something that creators and entrepreneurs will experience, and one should not shy away from it as sometimes a step back is crucial to moving forward. Things like depression and imposter syndrome at times derail even the best creators.
I shelved the show for a bit, but in 2009 I resurrected it as a call-in podcast on Blog Talk Radio and started taking things seriously with a complete website for the podcast that also doubled as a way to create additional content based on the show’s topics. I covered numerous events and conventions and interviewed various actors, fighters, and personalities in the gaming space. The show also allowed me to bring on a fantastic stable of writers who were slowly getting into podcasting after being on My Take Radio a few times as guests and contributors, much like I did with VGN back in 2006. Our content offerings grew well beyond My Take Radio, and I decided to rebrand the site as RAGE Works and start the RAGE Works Podcast Network with My Take Radio as the flagship show. Those writers who got the podcasting bug launched podcasts of their own on the RAGE Works Podcast Network with many still hosting shows with us today. The fact that these amazing individuals believed in me and what I was trying to do made it easy for me to retire the My Take Radio podcast at 400 episodes and over 100K downloads at the time. While I did retire the podcast, my work with RAGE Works and the RAGE Works Podcast network continues. We started bringing in new shows and offering a turnkey solution for folks who share similar interests to us to get their podcasts up and running without the rigors of finding a hosting company or getting a Ph.D. in audio editing. Our next goal is to implement this model in a brick-and-mortar studio space in Long Island, New York, not only to give back to my community but to help remove the hurdles that sometimes keep the next podcasting phenom from being born.
The goal with RAGE Works and later on the RAGE Works Podcast Network was to entertain in a non-conventional way while also delivering content in a comfortable way for the other hosts and me, which would resonate with our audience. Keeping our content concise, engaging, and informative has been essential to our success, and it’s tempered with plenty of New York grit and considering some of the categories our podcasts occupy that grit is imperative to ensure success.
As a podcaster with over 15 years of experience, I can tell you that it is not easy and is not a get-rich-quick endeavor. It is a grueling climb that taxes you mentally and emotionally but knowing that your message may get someone through a rough patch or teach them something or bring a smile to their face does not have a price tag. So stay hungry, stay humble and be of service, and always aspire to leave a room better when you leave it!