Karl Gibbons provides serious help for fellow entrepreneurs — delivered with a healthy dose of unseriousness.
In starting internet call-in radio show “Quit & Get Rich,” business coaches Karl Gibbons and Carl Gould wanted something other than serious packaging in which to wrap their advice to entrepreneurs.
Listeners would need to do their part, starting with following the show's opening advice: “Get your head out of your assets.”
Devoted listeners of NPR's “Car Talk,” Gibbons and Gould molded their show after the wise-cracking brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi, who handed out tips on auto maintenance and repairs to radio listeners. “Car Talk” stopped producing new episodes in 2012, though the show continues to air in reruns.
After four years and 230 episodes, Gibbons and Gould have built a worldwide cyber audience of 1.2 million listeners, according to internet radio station W4CY.com, on which the show is broadcast. “I think we seem to have struck a chord with the entrepreneurs and executives who are looking to get to the next level,” Gould says.
Gibbons runs his Third Eye Management Associates out of Naples and Gould, a 15-year business coach, operates his 7 Stage Advisers from Riverdale, N.J. (Gould Skypes into the show from his New Jersey office.) The pair also run an online interactive business-coaching program.
Each co-host started and sold multimillion-dollar enterprises before going into mentoring small- and mid-size businesses. Their show targets that same business segment, and much of the advice they deliver comes from their experiences as coaches and entrepreneurs. They also ask listeners to send them a pre-recorded 3-minute question on a business experience, a life experience or an “aha moment.”
The radio talkers went into their venture to bring “some disruption” to the business advice market, Gibbons says. Their show has no advertising. Instead, the hosts say raising the profiles of their businesses and guests is reward enough.
The disruptive approach means not following the button-downed strategy of conventional radio business shows, Gibbons says. An additional ingredient for success: Focus the show on the kind of entrepreneurial-minded people they talk to at their day jobs.
“There is a lot of serious business talk radio out there,” Gibbons says. “They have a place, but they really don't relate to the small entrepreneur.”
Gibbons and Gould opted instead for the “Car Talk” style. “We just love that irreverent approach,” Gibbons says. “They deliver some serious content. But they don't take themselves too seriously. That, in essence, is our model.”
Why internet radio? Because that's where the listeners of today are and the listeners of the future will be, Gibbons says. W4CY.com, out of West Palm Beach, transmits the show live at 7 a.m. on Wednesdays., and archived versions can be heard on gteamradio.com. Podcasts are available on iHeartRadio.
In May, the radio duo added a new segment, a part aimed at women entrepreneurs. Gibbons wanted to draw more female entrepreneurs to the show, and he also sought women guest hosts “with attitude.” He found some 20 potential guest hosts. “Now I am knee-deep in female entrepreneurs,” quips Gibbons, a British born Naples resident of 15 years who recently became a U.S. citizen.
The most listened-to segment of “Quit & Get Rich” is the 5-minute “Fix It in Five,” where Gould and Gibbons tackle three randomly picked email questions from listeners. “That was the game changer,” Gibbons says. “We now get a thousand emails a week” for that segment alone.
Every small businessperson who emails in erroneously thinks “no one else has had this problem,” he adds. Many are anxious and burdened with trepidation. “You can see and hear it in the words they write,” he says.
The “fix” is not to talk to them about what they are doing. “We talk to them about how they are doing it,” Gibbons says.