The year was 2001 and Trent Dyrsmid – founder of the Bright Ideas podcast and Flowster – was earning $200k a year to play golf and go to dinner with stockbrokers.

But he was bored and, in his mind, underachieving. Plus, he never cared much for golf.

So, he did as the entrepreneurs do:

“I decided that I was going to quit that job and I was going to sell everything that I own to start a business.”

The odyssey that followed was both topsy-turvy and immensely illuminating.

In this episode of Above the Fold, listen to the seasoned entrepreneur and prolific podcaster narrate his sidewinding journey to success.

By the way: Dyrsmid is giving away his secret sauce for creating blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, webinars and email broadcasts. Most folks pay $199 for it, but it’s yours for free with the discount code BFREE. Click here to get yours.

And just to be perfectly clear, these are literally the standard operating procedures Dyrsmid uses to create his own content.

You’re welcome.

The lazy way to create content

You could do a bunch of research to create an informative blog post, or spend a bunch of money on production for a video.

But if you’re Dyrsmid and it’s the early 2010s, you do the one thing no one else is doing: You create a podcast. Why? Because it’s easy to sit down and talk into a microphone when the person across from you is super interesting. They do your work for you.

Granted, that was a long time ago, and podcasts are now the coolest thing since sliced bread. The competition is stiff and it’s a little harder to get your podcast off the ground.

Fortunately, Dyrsmid knows more about getting things off the ground than most physicists, especially when those things are podcasts. He shared some of his pointers with Jeff, who furiously scribbled every word into his My Little Pony notepad.

Dyrsmid also knows how to make money with podcasts

In fact, his success with Bright Ideas challenged one of my basest business instincts: That you need to have a product before you can create an audience to market it to. Turns out, you can do it the other way around – build an audience first, and then sell to them.

“I knew that having an audience was going to allow me to generate revenue from any products I wanted to sell or affiliate commissions,” Dyrsmid told us.

Not only was he right, but the money he made with his podcast was a financial lifeboat when his otherwise extremely successful Amazon-based business hit choppy waters.

About that Amazon business: He pulls in at least a cool million in revenue from it every year.

That’s not including his other business, Flowster – which is an online marketplace for standard operating procedures. Or the money he might earn when his new podcast that he’s currently working on comes out.

Why are you even still reading this recap? Just go listen to the episode already.

Some other ground Dyrsmid covers in this episode:

  • He spent a year in “retirement” at a beach house in San Diego where he learned to surf after he sold his first successful business – an IT management service company.
  • But that was after his first “non-business business plan thing” crashed and burned.
  • And after the business that did end up succeeding very nearly tanked.
  • And years before his Amazon business saw its revenues slashed by 70%, only to be saved by his podcast.
  • The point being, Dyrsmid, despite his wins, will be the first to tell you that he has more horror stories than success stories.
  • But he also one time generated $400,000 in revenue in about two weeks, which led to the birth of Flowster.
  • And he also has a video on YouTube with more than 4 million views. It’s about “dots,” and it’s worth watching:

A few things Dyrsmid wants you to check out

Context-free quote of episode

“Screw the green dots, I’m gonna sell the red dots because the red dots are better.”

Dominick Sorrentino is a senior writer in Chicago. He's a wordsmith who endeavors to use language, story-telling and creativity to solve problems. He enjoys pizza, the musical styling of A Tribe Called Quest, traveling, a good conversation and, of course, putting pen to paper.