Gino Cordone '14
Founder and Owner of Pleasant Podcasts
Tell us about your business?
My business, Pleasant Podcasts, is a podcast production company that helps people record, edit, and create their podcasts. I started Pleasant Podcasts in January 2018, first only editing podcasts but since then have expanded my services. In 2019, I opened a podcast studio in Naugatuck, Conn. My purpose is to help people grow their podcasts and get their voices heard. I help them with the behind-the-scenes things that are necessary to create a high-quality podcast. I have very personalized customer service, where I become part of my clients' podcasting team.
Why did you choose to open your business and why this specific type of industry?
I chose podcasting because I was looking for a way to do something I was more passionate about and enjoyed. Music has always been a passion of mine, and I taught myself audio engineering by being a musician. I wanted to use that skill I learned, and one day I was listening to a podcast that didn’t sound great. I had the idea that if I had the audio file, I could probably make it sound better. So I created a website, social media, and got my first client within a month or so. Originally, it was a way to change careers and be able to work for myself, but I have really enjoyed working with podcasters. I have met some really awesome people through my business and made some really great relationships.
How did your time at UHart impact your knowledge and decision around opening your own business?
I went to UHart to get a mechanical engineering degree and although my business doesn't really have anything to do with my degree, going to UHart has taught me many transferable skills that I still use. I would say the biggest lesson I learned at UHart would be that I can overcome failure and to believe in myself. I remember my freshman year in engineering school thinking, "Wow this is going to be difficult." I failed my first real engineering class, statics. I remember going and talking to Professor Keshawarz, and asking him if there was anything I could do about my grade. He told me no, not for his class, but he said I can simply re-take the course. Not what I wanted to hear, but he explained that this is a minor setback. He said the school isn't going anywhere, and that I can just take it next semester. The only thing I have to decide is if I want to be an engineer or not. If I wanted to become an engineer I needed this class, and my only option is to re-take it. What he said really hit me, and he was right. It’s a matter of not giving up. So I took the class next semester and got an A in it. I went on to graduate and get my degree in four years. The advice was so simple, but it really had a big impact on me, and I still take that advice with me today in my business. If I fail in something or make a mistake with a customer, I know it’s not over. I simply have to keep trying.
Do you have any advice for new entrepreneurs?
Advice to a new entrepreneur would be to listen to your gut. Most people will tell you to get a safe desk job, but if you have the ambition to do more and to create something, do it—because just having that ambition is special and not everyone has that. So, follow it and make a positive impact on the world. There will be ups and downs, but the people that make it are the ones that want it bad enough to not give up. Be patient and consistent, and pivot to adapt to your customers’ needs. Don’t seek approval from others; believe in yourself that you can do it—and you will.