About the Host – Dalan Vanterpool
Dalan Vanterpool is the British Virgin Islander now Panama based host of Focus the Fire. In addition to being a podcast host, by day Dalan is a Private Banker and Voice Actor.
About the Show
Focus the Fire gives young professionals the essential advice they need to build a meaningful career that leads to more time, money, and freedom.
New episodes are available every Monday.
Why did you decide to get started in podcasting?
Living on a small island has limitations. I wanted a way to exchange ideas with the world and share a message that could help young professionals build more meaningful careers. Initially I considered starting a show on a local radio station, then explored creating an internet radio station, then I discovered podcasting and fell in love with the medium. The idea that I could talk into a microphone on my island, push a button, and it could be heard on smartphones around the world was and still is mind blowing.
Why did you choose this name?
There are many passionate people in the world, yet few manage to sustain and direct that passion well enough to accomplish their goals. That passion to me is like fire. Uncontrolled it can be very destructive, but when we are able to “focus the fire” it can be a powerful useful force.
Why did you choose this topic & format?
The topic choice came out of a personal pursuit to figure out work life, money and personal freedom. I was blessed to live and work in multiple countries and wanted to share the lessons learned from experiences, research and brilliant mentors along the journey.
The show is about 80% solo with the occasional guest interview. The solo format was the most feasible at the beginning since lazy island internet wasn’t reliable enough to dare risking a remote interview. Now we have more guest expert from corporate America to Silicon Valley sharing their wisdom. We also started a “Caribbean Wisdom Series” where we interview the some of the best minds from a Caribbean country. Season 1 was in the British Virgin Islands and I hope to feature other countries going forward.
I wanted a way to exchange ideas with the world and share a message that could help young professionals build more meaningful careers.Dalan Vanterpool
Now that you’ve launched your show What are you hoping to accomplish?
The focus now is on growing the audience and using the show as a way to spark deeper conversations around careers and personal finance. Eventually I’d like to see a live event or series of meetups so young professionals, especially in the Caribbean, can build strong connections.
What’s one tip you learned before you started podcasting that was really helpful?
You are the heart of the show. Regardless of which guest is coming, the consistent thing that people will love or hate is your energy and ability to add value to their lives.
What’s one thing you knew before starting your podcast? Or one resource you wish you had before launching
Initially I edited in Logic Pro X because I was familiar with the software from being a musician. About 1 year ago I switched to primarily using Adobe Audition which has a more efficient workflow for podcasting in my opinion.
What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself or your audience since you started?
I’ve learned that there are lots of people out here discontented with the progress of their professional and personal lives. Yes, we millennials may be impatient, but many of us are also willing to put in serious extra work to grow faster.
Describe your experience podcasting in the Caribbean. What resources are available or not available? What could enhance the podcasting experience?
THE IN-TER-NET! Clearly this varies from country to country, but one of the biggest challenges was/is finding an internet connection that is fast, stable and affordable enough to upload/download files, conduct calls on Skype or zoom and watch tutorials.
Access to equipment can also be a challenge depending on your budget.
It took me about 3 years to discover another Caribbean podcast. A platform like the Caribbean Podcast Directory now is excellent for uncovering who is really from where in the region. I wish I’d known about it sooner to support other and build connections.
Who or what has inspired you the most to start a podcast?
The ability to reach people around the world using a relatively inexpensive medium is a serious draw. Also the on-demand nature removes the time constraints of live broadcasting. Eventually I got introduce to on of the top podcasters, John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire. We had a one on one calls as I joined his mentorship program. Seeing how he has been able to reach so many people and build a serious business around a podcast is inspiring.
What’s the first podcast you ever listened to?
I think it was John’s show Entrepreneurs On Fire.
Other than your show what are some of your favorite podcasts?
What do you enjoy most about podcasting?
I love the ability to think up an idea, turn it into something useful, then push it into the universe, then be pleasantly surprised by a random person who happened to listen and respond with a comment or question.
What do enjoy least about podcasting?
It can be lonely work especially if you’re primarily a solo show. There is a load of work that goes into preparing, recording, editing and promoting the show, and it can sometimes feel like few people are paying attention.
What advice would you give to other aspiring podcasters in the region or generally?
Start! Hurry come! We need your Caribbean voice, your island roots and your non-big country perspective to add more spice to the space. Consider starting a show that has a specific niche that may relate to something in your community. It’s much easier to grow an audience around something very specific than casting a wide net.
What is the 1 thing from your BVI culture that you cannot do without?
BVI Johnny Cakes aka Fry Bread. Yes, ours are different and better. ☺
Share a fun fact about you.
My favorite TV shows as a child were Matlock and Perry Mason. There is lawyer in me somewhere.
Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months to a year?
This year with will cross the 200 episode milestone. I’d like to have a more engaged online community centered around the podcast and the blog at dalanv.com. The goal is also 1-2 speaking engagements to build these connections in person.