From Laid Off to Six-Figure Business: How Mathew Passy Grew The Podcast Consultant

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How Mathew Passy Went From Laid Off to Six Figure Business

In December 2014, Mathew Passy was working for Wall Street Journal Radio when his unit was shut down, and he lost his job. With more than a decade of production experience in radio and podcasts, it didn’t take long for the next opportunity to find him.

Some people Mathew had previously worked with reached out to him about the possibility of continuing podcasts they had done at WSJ Radio. “I realized I could easily do this with just a computer,” Mathew said, “and so I started to offer my services to people on the side.”

Growing The Podcast Consultant

The Podcast Consultant began in January 2015, just a month after Mathew was laid off. He took another full-time job in radio and podcast production but also worked to grow The Podcast Consultant on the side. After about two years, Mathew went full-time with his business, offering production and consulting.

The Podcast Consultant

Mathew’s business grew organically, primarily through word-of-mouth. He told us, “By consistently delivering exceptional products and services, I have built a reputation worthy of being shared.”

When someone would ask one of Mathew’s clients about starting a podcast, they would often refer to Mathew. The importance of empathy is a valuable lesson Mathew says he learned from a client. “I chose to treat my clients’ content as the most important thing to me because it was the most important thing to them,” he said. “In doing so, we put out a solid product.”

Due to the nature of podcast production, many of his clients needed ongoing work. The combination of ongoing work and referrals allowed the business to grow and scale steadily.

Mathew also believes that responsiveness was key to The Podcast Consultant’s success. He recognized the importance of not only responding quickly but also accepting responsibility for any mistakes. “Although we were not flawless,” he says, “our clients have always been aware of our commitment to promptly address any issues that arise, compensate them for any mistakes made, and continuously enhance our systems to prevent repeating the same errors.”

Most of Mathew’s clients had business-related podcasts, and The Podcast Consultant was branded to target those clients specifically. This approach was the result of Mathew’s experience and existing network. “Given my background of working at the WSJ for so many years, businesses felt comfortable with me,” he said.

After initially landing clients with business podcasts through his network, Mathew decided to focus specifically on this market. “This was primarily a result of the incredible generosity of our clients,” he said, “who enthusiastically referred us to their peers in the industry.”

Overcoming Challenges

The Podcast Consultant eventually grew to a team of 24 contractors, including three who worked full-time. Growing the team was essential, but Mathew initially struggled with delegating and trusting the contractors.

“It was hard in the beginning to trust other people with my clients’ episodes,” he said. “I knew I was putting in my best effort, but it took me a long time to believe others could do it better. Once I found a few who could, and in some cases, do it even better than me, expanding got easier.”

The team’s growth helped Mathew overcome another significant challenge: maintaining a healthy work-life balance. “I decided to go full-time into this around the same time my kids were born,” he said. “I had to work really hard to make sure I was keeping clients happy while not missing out on valuable time with the family.”

Mathew said that learning to let others help played a pivotal role in improving his work-life balance.

The Unplanned Exit

Mathew was not looking to sell The Podcast Consultant. In fact, he says the possibility of selling never crossed his mind. He was contacted by Karl Hughes and Manuel Weiss, co-owners of Draft.dev, a content marketing company.

Karl reached out to Mathew via LinkedIn about the possibility of acquiring The Podcast Consultant, opening up the line of communication. Although Mathew hadn’t been looking to sell, the idea appealed to him.

“I had dedicated an immense amount of effort throughout my professional journey without truly granting myself a chance to breathe,” Mathew said. “I found myself feeling the need to step back and take stock of my life.”

Mathew had other things he wanted to explore, but didn’t have the time while running the business. He realized selling would free up his time for the things he wanted to try. “This gave me an opportunity to pause, think, and pivot directions before getting too burned out,” he said.

After a few months of discussions, negotiations, and due diligence, Mathew sold The Podcast Consultant for a high six-figure sum in April 2023.

Next Steps

Now that Mathew has more time in his schedule, he’s building PodcastTech, a platform where he can share the knowledge he’s gained through a 15-year career in podcast production.

Mathew’s also exploring opportunities in real estate and enjoying a new addition to the family. “We have recently welcomed a new puppy into our lives,” he said, “which has sparked intriguing business concepts that I am enthusiastically planning to explore in early 2024.”

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