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Many people run podcasts, but far fewer have figured out how to make money from their passion while seeing the world. Luis Congdon, 34, and his wife Kamala Chambers bring in six-figure revenue through their Thriving Launch podcast and related business activities while spending months of the year on the road, living the digital nomad lifestyle.
There’s money to be made in this field. Podcast advertising spending is projected to shoot up from $43 million in 2010 to $395 million in 2020, according to Statista. And because the medium is still relatively new, there’s room for talented newcomers to break in by providing services such as custom podcasts or support services. “A lot of people don’t know that big companies like eBay, GM and Slack have gotten really big into podcasting,” says Congdon.
Together the couple—based in the San Juan Islands in Washington State, near Victoria, British Columbia—have built a business that offers custom podcasting and related services, content marketing and social media marketing. Their clients range from the supermarket company Grocery Outlet to author Marianne Williamson. In addition, they run a Facebook community called The Podcaster’s Secret Weapon and just launched a course called “How to Start a Podcast That Attracts Ideal Clients and Gets Your Message Heard,” under the direction of Chambers, who specializes in creating courses.
The couple’s path to podcasting—a field that didn’t exist until a few years ago—wasn’t a direct one. Congdon was born in Columbia, and, after losing his mother at age five when she was shot and killed, ended up homeless. An uncle who alternated between living on the streets and working as a live-in maid took care of him for three years. Instability in the country at that time in the eighties made jobs inconsistent and short-lived, says Congdon. Eventually, Congdon was placed in an orphanage. He came to the U.S. after being adopted and was raised here.
The couple met while out dancing at a Seattle venue called OmCulture. Intrigued as he spotted Kamala from across the room, Congdon saw her heading out to leave and knew he had to act quickly. “I put myself in her way so she had to ask me to move so she could get to the door,” he recalls. “I made an introduction at that point.”
They soon found themselves traveling around the world together, to Bali, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines. Congdon had saved money while working at a nonprofit that housed homeless women and, using Skype, was doing relationship coaching, a field he had gotten into after assisting with government-funded research on marital success.
As they traveled, they found themselves discussing the possibility of creating a business podcast and created Thriving Launch in 2014. Chambers had worked as a business coach, focused on wellness practitioners. Unafraid to reach out to well-known experts, they’d soon attracted guests such as Jack Canfield, John Gray and Gretchen Rubin. When a small business owner offered to pay them to assist with his own podcast., they saw an opportunity to do custom work, as well and have since built a team of virtual assistants to help them.
Tapping into what they were learning, the couple started their Facebook community, which led to the course on podcasting. They attracted students to the course through a software called ClickFunnels.
“Kamala handles all of the tech stuff,” says Congdon. “She is tech-savvy. I’m really good at building communities and tribes. We’ve really learned to trust each other’s insights.”
Teaming up in a business is not always easy for married couples, and Congdon and Chambers put a conscious effort into making it work.
“It’s everybody’s dream to work with your partner and spend a lot of time together,” says Congdon. “That requires a lot of communication and balance between work and a relationship. That’s something we’re always working on, especially because we travel so much. Some years we have spent eight months traveling to five to seven different countries.” Because the business is completely digital, they can travel easily, at will.
Then again, it’s been very worthwhile, he finds. “There is a huge opportunity to serve businesses and teach them what we do,” he says.
December 31, 2018 at 06:28PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs