About our Guest
Steve Dolinsky is a podcast food and travel reporter and the creator of the podcast “Pizza City”.
Steve has been recognized thirteen (13) times with the James Beard Foundation Award, due to his knowledge in culinary craft and cuisine excellence, and had been the Food Reporter for “ABC 7” for 17 years. Moreover, he is the author of the book “Pizza City USA: 101 Reasons Why Chicago is America’s Greatest Pizza Town” and also offers media training for food & beverage professionals.
Apart from all that, Steve Dolinsky is now licensed to practice real estate in Illinois, as he accomplished the Illinois Broker’s Exam.
Smooth Podcast_Paris Grant: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix
Smooth Podcast Intro:
All the technical busywork required to produce a podcast can be a struggle, establishing trust with clients and increasing sales for your company with your own podcast is something you can do well. We interview the top podcasters in the industry to provide hacks and insights to help you start and scale your podcast. Welcome to the Smooth Podcast!
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Smooth Podcast! Today with us, we have the privilege to have Paris Grant. He’s the host of the Millennial to Millionaire podcast. Currently, Paris is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in finance at FIU, and as a finance major, he has always been interested in the exchange of money and how it helps to shape our society and our world. If it’s about money, he’s interested, guys. He created the Millennial to Millionaire podcast, a podcast dedicated to personal finance and financial literacy geared towards a generation lacking in both. In the podcast, Paris brings as much knowledge as he can to help the millennial generation learn as much as possible about budgeting, saving, investing, retirement, and everything in between. He’s currently working at the first National Bank of South Miami besides being a podcaster for the last four and a half years. Paris, we’re so glad to have you on board. Welcome to the show!
I am super happy to be here. Thank you for, you know, inviting me on, I’m really excited to get into it.
We’re super happy to have you, too. So let’s just jump right into it. Paris, I wanted to ask you like, why did you choose to start a podcast, and when you thought about it, like, what was the idea you had, and how have you evolved that idea through time?
Got it. Got it. Yeah, this one I’m happy to share. So I mean, right now I’m 25, I started the podcast about four years ago when I was 21. And I mean, the inspiration behind it was just that I’m kind of like the finance man among my friends, like I got really into just reading books on it and just studying up and just kind of like learning financial education. So I have a lot of friends that would come up to me and ask me questions about like, oh, like, you know, I just got a 401(k), what do I do with it, or what’s a stock, or what’s a bond? And I just realized like they’re asking me a lot of the same questions and a lot of, like, answers that I had, like they were common sense to me, like I just kind of knew it off the top of my head but I realized that like, not everybody just naturally knew about it. So I was answering questions from my friends all the time, I’d always be very helping them with whatever they asked, and then I thought to myself, like, I can have a lot more impact if I get to speak to more people, because if my friends are asking me about this, there must be other people in the same age range or in the same situation who might have the same questions. So then I decided that also I kind of thought about different ways that I could reach more people. And I was listening to a lot of podcasts at the time. And then I kind of just thought to myself, like, I think I could do that someday. So that I ended up starting my own podcast, the Millennial to Millionaire podcast, where I would just talk about different financial topics and just about my situation, and then like my own financial goals, and how I was maneuvering through them or like other questions that people had. And as it’s kind of gone on, I’ve been able to put up more episodes, I’ve been able to have other kinds of guests on, financial advisers, other people who have kind of like reached different levels of like financial success or freedom. So now it’s kind of become more like, I don’t want to say it’s still financial education, but it’s also more kind of like the lifestyle and like the relationship people have with money. So not everything might be about dollars and cents, it might just be about like how you feel about money. So I’m just kind of evolving because money and finance is going to be something that’s always a part of our lives. So I just try to make sure I touch on as many topics as possible and any questions that people might have and try to make sure I can be as much of assistance as possible. So, yeah, that’s where we’re at right now.
Yeah, and I actually think that us being, as your podcast say, like I think millennials, like our generation, and centennials, we do have knowledge around that theme of money, but we are not really educated on how to spend it without feeling guilt, how to invest it, how to make it, you know, make it worth. We don’t want to, I’m talking about myself as a millennial, like I don’t want people to look at me and say like, hey, this girl spends all of her money in stupid stuff, sorry for the language. And we’re always looking for assets to take better decisions and make better decisions with our money. So I’m glad you, you choose that because you were the wizard to like among your friends with the knowledge. So on that note, it’s like what keeps you going, man? Like, how do you handle your time? You’re 25, you’re busy, you’re in school, you’re working. Like how, how do you at 21 to say like, you wake up the one day and say like, hey, I’m going to invest some of my time to help people and spread the word.
So, I mean, the answer to that question, I mean, you kind of like get it as you’re asking, it’s one of those things where I can go and I can learn as much as I can for my own sake. I can say, OK, I want to become a millionaire, so I’m going to read these books, I am going to listen to these podcasts. But it kind of is, like you said, like there’s a lot of, I think millennials are one of them, like a very proactive generation, like there’s so much information just around us and that we’re really driven to do good things, we just don’t know the right resources for it. So when I was listening to other people’s podcast, I was like, how could I absorb the information, I can kind of like see how I can take what they had and apply it to myself. But I realized there wasn’t a lot of voices out there that kind of, you know, speak to people in a relatable way. Like, I want to talk to people on the podcast like I would talk to my friends. So the thing that kind of keeps me going is just knowing that there’s somebody out there, even if it’s just one person, who’s going to have some kind of question, like oh like, you know, I just got this big job, and I don’t know how to save really or I don’t know how much I should save, or I have these goals and I don’t know how to like, even start approaching them. So whenever I think about that and just the fact that like, people actually listen to the podcast, I kind of feel like a certain sense of like responsibility to like, help them in any way that I can. So something I’ve talking about on the show is that even if they’re not using me for a resource, even if they don’t listen to my podcast, if I can even get them interested in the concept of like, okay like, how can I get started about like, how can I start thinking about saving or I can even just plant the seed for somebody, that, to me is just, like really gratifying. And it’s also like one of those things I always tell people, like, I would hate to be a very lonely millionaire, so I try to make sure that I make as many other people financially successful as possible so that, like, you know, it’s just like, you know, like a big group thing. Like, I consider like, millennials or anybody who listens to my podcast, because even though it’s geared towards millennials, it’s not just for them. So I just try to think about it the same way, like my audience is like my friends. So I just sort of trying to help people, and it’s a lot more gratifying chasing after your goals, when you know that you’re helping other people reach it and you’re not just coveting it. So, yeah, that’s what keeps me going. So even when I was 21 and I was, I had my own financial goal, my own financial questions, my own financial worries, the whole time I just kept on thinking like, if this is something that I care about, that’s must be something that somebody else cares about, and for that reason, I’m going to, like, do all that I can, so that I can help people, you know, obtain that sort of knowledge. And the best way to learn is to teach. So I try my best to teach, and it helps me learn as well. So that’s what kind of keeps me going and like what wakes me up and like, keep on putting out episodes.
Well, I think that’s the best way, when you teach and you get the opportunity to learn through it. Yeah, that’s the best way, and you’re having fun, and you’re talking to your guests, and thinking of your audience as friends. And I think that’s what podcasting is about sometimes, like building relationships. At the end of the day, that’s what podcasting is about. Well, that’s for me.
Oh you know, you’re, totally 100% correct, it’s like I said, it’s like one of those things where obviously I have a group of friends that I can go text and everything, but then if I can get on a podcast, I mean, anybody who’s listening to this right now can go listen to that podcast or any other podcast. So it kind of just like extend your reach and then you’re able to, like you said, even though people are far away, that you can connect with people, people still message you, people still ask questions. And it’s just really awesome. It’s made my world a lot bigger.
Awesome, man. And just to, to shift focus here, what’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made doing your podcast? Like the one that you say like, oh, I totally messed up here.
I mean, the one thing that comes to mind, I guess, is just being inconsistent. So while I started, I say that I started the podcast when I was back in 2017, January 1st, that was the first-ever episode, and I would go through periods where like, I was like, really like, I’d be really fired up and excited about the podcast, and then I might go and take like, I might take like, I think the longest break I ever took was like three weeks or something. Well, in three weeks without putting out an episode, and like looking back on it, I would rather put out a bad episode than put out like nothing at all, because it just feels like one of those things where like you realize like people, if you put out a bad episode, they’ll still like, they might say, OK, this might not be your best one, but then stop going completely, people don’t know that, like they don’t know my life, they don’t know what’s going on, so they’re like, is he still doing the podcast? Like what’s going on over here? And then it kind of goes back to the last question, where like I feel like, I was like letting people down by not putting out episodes. So like, the biggest mistake in that, I have also met other people who I know that also have their own podcast, so I think the biggest mistake was just like not being super consistent in posting everything, which is now I try to put up an episode, not as often as I can, like I haven’t a set schedule now, but the biggest mistake I ever made in podcasting, especially when I first started out, was just not being super consistent with my episodes.
Yeah, I guess like, it could be a bit hard, especially when you have so much going on, like outside the podcast.
Exactly. Exactly. So it’s just about like, it’s just about like balance, and then, you know, just kind of realizing it’s not just about like, yourself all the time. So it is important to like, you know, take care of like your responsibilities and different things. But like the same way, like this podcast, it, I’m sure adds like, lots of value to other people’s lives. So by not putting it out and by not helping people and by not like, you know, sharing, it’s kind of like, it’s almost like a disservice to people, and then ultimately kind of like, when people see like, oh, put out a podcast, like in June and it’s like August, and I haven’t seen something. Not that I’ve never been gone that long, but when they see that, they kind of like, they’re like, does he really care about it? And then like, you know, so kind of like, it’s a credibility thing. It’s a responsibility thing. But I do think it can be really easy for it to fall through the cracks if you’re not careful.
Yeah, I agree. Paris, and about your experience with monetization for your podcast, have you had success, and how have you managed to do it, what’s like, what’s your way of monetizing through the podcast?
So I have a couple of different ways of monetizing. I think that best part about it was that when I first started it off, I really was just like, doing it so I could talk about money all the time. So then when I started monetizing it, it wasn’t the actual intention, so when it happened, I was like happy with, like, a couple of cents, because I was like, oh I, I got paid just for talking. Because I actually record my podcast through Anchor, so they have kind of like a built-in sponsorship thing. So that’s kind of like the first like money I started making from it. But as I’ve been able to keep on recording and everything, I’ve actually had a, I have like, what, two other sponsors now, so I have, I work with different, like different, like, I guess podcast ad agencies, where they will have different people who will say like, OK, here’s this ad and then I’ll plug it into my podcast, and I’ll make money that way, and also make money through some of the guests that I have on, like paid promotions. I mean, it’s been kind of a, like a weird journey because I get like, the whole point of a podcast is like my, like, you know, financial wellness and everything like that. So like, me making money from it kind of ties in, but I think the main thing is like, looking at it through the lens of like, not necessarily doing it for the money, and just looking at the money as like a byproduct of it all. But really and truly like, like every sponsor I’ve had or any kind of monetization opportunity that I’ve been presented with, I wasn’t, like, actually searching for it. People would just reach out and they’d see like, they’d see value in it, and then I’m, kind of like, that’s what I’m saying, like when I think about like the responsibility and like the fact that it adds value to other people, not just my audience, because I’ve had people come on and say, like, I love to use your platform. So, yeah, it’s just a matter of just being consistent with it and just showing that you care and put, and consistently making sure you’re putting out something good and of quality, and then I feel like the money kind of comes naturally as a result. When you, whenever you add value, money is going to fall. So I just focus on adding as much value as possible, and I’ve been able to kind of monetize to, not a level that’s like paying my bills, but definitely not nothing. So it’s been a pretty, like, cool journey. Like I said, since I wasn’t really starting out for the sake of making money from it, I still get kind of blown away whenever I do get paid.
Yeah, but it’s, it’s actually a testament to your work, and that, what you’re doing it. Like, I know that you don’t necessarily do a podcast with the intention of making money from it, maybe in the long run, but when it comes, like in your case, without asking, yeah, that’s awesome, man, that’s recognition, that’s hey, you’re doing a great job, and I want to use your platform because I think it’s cool. Oh, my God. That’s great. Congrats, man.
Oh, thank you!
Yeah. So I wanted to ask you one more thing about podcasting. What’s your number one hack, like through your process of podcasting, what’s the one thing that you say like, this is the crown jewel of what I’ve learned through podcasting, this is something that you always have to do when you’re in podcasting.
So, this is, that’s a great question, actually, and I’m super happy to answer it, because I’m actually helping a couple of it, like, I’m actually helping a couple people start their podcast. And the one hack that has been like super beneficial and I recommend everybody, like kind of implement, is taking like specific days and writing out as many scripts or recording as much as you can within a certain day, because, we all have lives, we are all going to have responsibilities. So for me, what I would do is I would pick aside, like maybe it could be like a Saturday, and I would do like, as much research as I could on different articles throughout the week, I don’t necessarily have to, like, read all of them, but like, OK, Saturday, I’m going to write scripts for like, the next five episodes. And by doing that, like, one, you’ll end up probably with more scripts than you even attended to have, and then if you do the same thing for recording, and just doing it all in batches, taking a day and just knocking it out, even if it’s not the full day, like you could check, like, you know, just a couple hours and say, OK, like, these two hours is strictly for recording, and you could record episodes, and you can literally have like, a whole month’s worth of episodes out, in literally just that one day, depending on the how sophisticated you want to get or like what kind of like, you’re using, of course. But then for me, I would record like four or five episodes in over the course of a weekend, and that would be like my, that would be like the whole month right there. And by doing it consistently like that, I would be able to plan out episodes, like way far in advance. So if I had like a guest or like a special topic that I wanted to come up with, I could implement it into my schedule, but I always knew, like, OK, like, I know that I have another episode coming out next week, even if I don’t record right now, I have another episode coming out. And that’s how you build that kind of consistency, and by taking these days to really dive deep into whatever your subject matter is, it kind of really immerses you and whatever, you know, whatever your podcast is about. And ultimately, it’s just like a really fun process, and it will really kind of like, help you get out of your own way, because if you say, I am going to record one episode and the next can be the next one, you don’t know what is going to happen between now and then, so then you want to make sure you have as much as possible, like beforehand. So just planning in advance and just recording and or writing scripts, as often as you can within like, I guess a smaller timeframe, just so that you can plan it out for the rest of the month.
Yeah, I think you having a library of episodes, so you’re safe, like whatever happens I know I have like, the next month down, so whatever happens, I’m cool with whatever happens from now to next month. Yeah, that’s an excellent advice, man. Thank you for it. And Paris, so before we go, I really want you, man, to tell us like a closing thought, something that really drives you, so you can give that last advice to our listener.
So the catchphrase I have for the end of all my episodes is, this is the Millennial to Millionaire podcast, here we don’t keep it one hundred, we keep it one million, and besides being super catchy, the reason why, I like, why I have this be like my closing remark, is just that it’s really easy to set standards for yourself that aren’t really like your own standards, like somebody else tells you you’re doing a good job, not to say that you’re not, but like to kind of build your own standards and then to exceed them, so people will say, oh, keep it one hundred, and that, like, that’s great, you got a hundred, that’s A ,that’s an A if you are in school, but then like, you don’t have to stop there, you can always find different ways to hone up yourself in order to keep going. So even if you start like, wherever you’re starting out at, not accepting, OK, like everybody else thinks I’m doing great, so that means I must be doing great, but you need to be doing great in your own eyes, you know, I think you need to be constantly seeking different ways to kind of like level up and continue to grow. And it’s a lot easier said than done, but when you kind of really make yourself committed to just being better every single day, it’ll show in all the work that you do, and if it applies to one thing it’ll apply to another, how you do one thing is how you do everything. So just kind of constantly building just like, I guess a habit of excellence. And that’s just like the main thing that really drives me to do my podcast, and every single time I try to make sure the last, the next episode is better than the last, I try to make sure that I do more research on the next one, I just try to always like make ways to never really be satisfied, and just always kind of just seeking, seeking growth. So that’s the last thing I want to share with everybody, just always be looking for different ways to level up, to grow. And even if it’s not just financially, like mentally, physically, spiritually, every sort of way, you possibly can, just always be looking to grow, and set your own standards.
Yeah, that’s awesome. So people, keep growing. That’s the end of it. Keep growing. Paris, it was super nice to have you. I love your podcast. I’ll continue to listen to your podcast. I’m following you right now. People, please go follow Paris’s podcast. All the resources, you’re going to find them in the show notes, to reach out to Paris, to go and follow and listen to his podcast and everything related to him. Paris, is there something you want to say before we go, like where people can find you?
Of course, of course. You can listen to my podcast anywhere that you’re listening to this one, probably, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, CastBox, all of that good stuff. It’s the Millennial to Millionaire podcast, which is a little bit of a mouthful, but if you put M2M, you’ll definitely find me. But also follow me on social media at them2mpodcast, I’m on Instagram, Twitter, you can definitely find me there and I’m always happy to engage with everybody. But otherwise, I mean yeah, we out there continuing to put out episodes, I’m super responsive to any requests you guys might have, and I would love to, you know, connect with you guys and have you guys here in the show!
Awesome. Thank you, Paris. Thank you for being here. I hope we can find each other again and meet you again in the future. Thank you for being in the Smooth Podcast.
Thank you so much for having me. This was such a pleasure to speak with you.
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- Everybody has to have a podcast these days.
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- Uniqueness and creativity is key.
- Be resourceful on your own.
- Expose yourself to different audiences and participate in other podcasts as well, in order for your work to be noted.
ResourcesConnect and follow Steve on LinkedIn
- Find and read Steve Dolinsky’s book “Pizza City, USA: 101 Reasons Why Chicago Is America’s Greatest Pizza Town” here
- Listen to Steve’s podcast “Pizza City”
- Visit Steve’s websites for more here
- and here
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