Who is Alex Sanfilippo?
Alex Sanfilippo is an entrepreneur and the founder of PodPros, a software company specifically focused on independent podcast hosts and their guests to elevate their voices through podcasting and be heard. Alex and the team at PodPros have developed popular podcasting software services such as PodMatch, PodcastSOP and PodLottery. In addition, Alex is also the host of the top-rated podcast, Podcasting Made Simple, and is one of the most sought-after educators and public speakers in the podcasting industry.
The story of Alex Sanfilippo and his journey to becoming an entrepreneur, a podcasting software founder and a podcast host:
Introduction to Entrepreneurship:
At the age of 10, Alex Sanfilippo got his first taste of entrepreneurship when he began selling used golf balls that he would find in the lakes and woods around his neighborhood golf course. Alex immediately realized that he enjoyed generating sales and keeping track of profit margins. (Yes, an odd kid for only 10 years old!)
Alex’s first “real company”:
As fun as selling golf balls was for Alex, he admitted that he didn’t file his taxes, and it was all under the table, cash-only deals. Fast forward to 16 years old when Alex started his first formal company, a technology company that created virtual tours of homes and businesses. Alex and his team of 7 would take photos of homes, edit photos, and then convert them into virtual tours. Finally, they would list the virtual tours directly on the MLS for their partnered realtors. This business grew from just Alex editing and one photographer who was a business partner to them managing a team of editors and photographers.
Throughout this experience, Alex fell in love with real estate. And two years later, as soon as Alex was 18, he began investing in real estate, focusing on purchasing properties to hold for long-term rentals.
Alex’s first tough entrepreneurial lesson:
Unfortunately, like most real estate investors in 2006, Alex could not see the economic downturn ahead. Because of the economic and financial crash, Alex went from being an 18-year-old who was doing well and, on the way, to fulfilling his dream to be a Forbes 30 under 30 to being significantly in debt walking into this 2007 – 2009 recession. Alex’s technology startup was shut down, and he gave all assets to his business partner, who continued attempting to run the business. At the same time, Alex was forced to drop out of college due to insufficient finances to pursue his degree. Alex was significantly in debt with no work at this point. He describes it as one of his lowest points and the leading cause of a much-needed paradigm shift in his life.
Alex’s big pivot from Entrepreneurship to Corporate:
Out of necessity, Alex sought a new industry less negatively affected by the economic downturn. Thanks to his dad, Andy Sanfilippo, Alex was introduced to the aerospace industry, which was still booming in many sectors. Alex landed a part-time job as a receiving clerk at a local aircraft parts manufacturing company in Jacksonville, Florida. (Alex said “part-time receiving clerk” was code for breaking down people’s boxes and taking out the trash) Alex refers to this season of his life as a humbling experience. “For a guy who was on his way to becoming a Forbes 30 under 30, this destroyed my ego… Which I am so thankful for.”
Alex’s newfound purpose and motivation in life:
While Alex was still working the entry-level, part-time position in the aerospace industry and struggling to figure out how to get out of debt, he found himself very alone. He referred to this time as a season of self-reflection as he walked through difficult times financially while feeling depressed and lonely. One day, Alex received a flyer for a college and career church ministry right down the street from his home. Alex decided to go. Over the next few months, Alex developed friendships with people that would last into the foreseeable future. Most importantly, Alex found a relationship with Jesus. At this point, Alex found a new purpose and motivation for life that he said is the foundation of “everything.” Over the next two years, Alex began serving at church and even met his wife, Alecia.
Alex and Alecia’s small group ministry at church:
Alex and his wife Alecia launched a small group ministry at their church. (Keep in mind, this is alongside his full-time corporate aerospace job) Throughout that time, they grew it until it became the most successful church small group ministry in the USA. Today, long after they passed the leadership role onto the next generation of leaders, the framework that Alex and Alecia created is still used by churches worldwide.
Alex’s multi-author blog, DailyPS:
What started as a blog to serve as continued education for the small group leaders Alex and Alecia led, became one of the world’s largest Christian blog websites. DailyPS ended up with more than 130 authors writing and producing daily content. Alongside this massive blog, Alex hosted his first podcast, Good Christian Podcast, which Pandora Radio featured and became one of the largest Christian podcasts in the USA. Alex and a team of 5 other staff members ran DailyPS from March 2013 until December 2021, when a Christian media company purchased it and merged the entire DailyPS and Good Christian Podcast brand into their existing ecosystem. Because this was a side hustle for Alex while he was still working his full-time corporate aerospace job, Alex said, “Selling DailyPS was the right move. The group that took it over will take it further than I was ever able to because they will invest more time into it.”
Alex’s success in his corporate aerospace job:
Even with Alex’s success in managing church small groups and building a massive Christian blog, he still loved and worked in the corporate aerospace job for 15 years. Throughout that time, he was continuously promoted and worked up to the company’s executive level. During these 15 years, the company also grew a lot. It went from a multimillion-dollar business to a publicly traded multi-billion-dollar organization. (Due to work done within this organization, including government work, Alex cannot share details) Alex describes his time in big corporate as a gift and a joy throughout his last day there. Being able to help a company grow and even be involved in significant acquisitions and mergers was an experience he’ll never forget.
When Alex’s entrepreneurial side reignited:
Alex describes only one downside to publicizing a company: shareholders and board members. Although most businesses aim to reach this level for those like Alex who describe themselves as “Intrapreneurs” (working for a business as an employee but operating as an entrepreneur), it makes one feel like a cog in the system. Upon Alex’s 13th year in his aerospace career, Alex decided to try some side hustles to see if he could scratch his entrepreneurial itch.
Alex’s (many) failed side hustles:
Alex began traveling for public speaking gigs and one-on-one coaching. He also built a web design agency and tried doing branding work for people/companies. Nothing would stick for Alex. It was failure after failure from Alex’s perspective. At one point, Alex said, “Maybe I’m not made for this entrepreneurial thing.” Although these side hustle opportunities were created through Alex building the church small group ministry, the massive Christian blog site, and his experience in big corporate, still, nothing seemed to work for him.
Alex decided to invest in unconventional education and found his path:
Alex knew he wanted to leave his aerospace job. But, due to so many failed side hustles, he knew he needed help. So, Alex started a podcast to interview successful entrepreneurs who left a 9-5 job to pursue their entrepreneurial venture full time to talk to them about how they did it. Alex named this podcast Creating a Brand, which was a show focused on the topic of brand creation. Alex launched this podcast to learn how to become an entrepreneur, and although that did happen, what was unexpected was the podcasting success he would achieve.
Alex’s big break came through success in podcasting:
Alex’s entrepreneurship podcast, Creating a Brand, launched on 07/02/2019, which within just 8 weeks, became one of the largest entrepreneurship podcasts on Apple. Apple featured the podcast for 8 weeks in 3 categories as a Top New and Noteworthy podcast, and it even landed a spot on the Apple top charts (#197 of all podcasts globally). Due to the success of Creating a Brand, Alex started speaking globally on all podcasting stages and was viewed as a podcasting industry expert and lead educator.
Alex’s transition into full-time entrepreneurship as a SaaS founder and podcast host:
During the first week of March 2020, Alex spoke at a podcasting conference in Orlando, Florida (Podfest Multimedia Expo). After getting off stage, he asked every podcaster he could the same question: “What are you struggling with in podcasting?” He repeatedly heard the same thing, which caused him to help podcasters find guests for their shows. On March 10, 2020, once Alex returned home to Jacksonville Beach, Florida, He completed whiteboarding out the idea for what became PodMatch. Alex immediately called his long-term friend, Jesse Hunter (a master-level software developer), to pitch to work on this idea together. That same week, Alex and Jesse signed documentation to legalize a 50/50 co-founder relationship. Then on June 15, 2020, Alex and Jesse launched PodMatch into early beta as a bootstrapped lean SaaS startup. The platform experienced immediate buzz and success.
On December 07, 2020, Alex finished his last day at the aerospace job. After 15 years, Alex had returned to full-time entrepreneurship!
Alex and Jesse’s big moves in the podcasting industry:
Since Alex and Jesse started working full-time in the podcasting industry in 2020, they’ve created two more software services, a podcast, a quarterly virtual event, award opportunities for podcasters, and a podcast education parent company. Here is a timeline of what they’ve created:
March 10, 2021: Launched a clothing store called Pod.Style, clothing specifically for podcast guests and hosts.
September 27, 2021: Launched a 2nd podcasting software, PodcastSOP.com.
January 01, 2022: Launched PodPros.com (Parent company/umbrella for PodMatch, PodcastSOP, and PodLottery)
January 19, 2022: Launched PODTalks.fm, a quarterly virtual event focused on helping podcast guests, and hosts go further faster.
January 25, 2022: Launched our new (revised) podcast, Podcasting Made Simple – Focused on helping podcast guests and podcast hosts elevate their podcasting game!
July 1, 2022: PodAwards.fm launched to help independent podcasters receive awards and recognition for their achievements in podcasting.
January 02, 2023: Launched their 3rd podcasting software, PodLottery.com.
Where Alex is today and what’s next for him:
Scroll back to the start of this page; that’s where Alex is today. When asked to comment, Alex said, “I am 100% podcasting. I’m in this industry to serve indie podcasters, and their guests to help independent voices get elevated and, as a result, help them serve the world in the way only they can. I love what I do; I believe I’m now doing what I was created to do – And I’m giving it 110% every day!”