Have You Heard? is where the Pod Bible team meet the people behind the podcasts you may not have heard of yet. This time, we’re speaking to Brendan Le Grange from How To Lend Money to Strangers, a finance podcast that explores the process of lending money to consumers or business…
Who are you and what’s your podcast about?
I’ve worked in consumer lending strategy for twenty years via stints in South Africa, Denmark, Hong Kong, and the UK. But even though I’ve seen more lending models in more markets than most, I realised that in my day-to-day job I’d become too busy to put my head and my look around – so that’s what my podcast is.
HTLMTS is a chance for me to chat to interesting people in lending markets from San Francisco to Shanghai and from London to Lagos, hearing how they think through the process of lending money to consumers or business. Our insights are sometimes technical, sometimes strategic, but always, if I am doing my job right, digestible.
What was the first podcast you ever listened to?
The first podcast I ever listened to would have been This American Life, but I must have listened to that on their stand-alone app for a year before I really got into podcasts – and that was via my guilty pleasure of cryptozoology and paranormal shows. You see, I also write pulpy adventure thrillers and stories of secret underground worlds and pockets of surviving dinosaurs are the perfect inspiration for those – so I turned to podcasts and have expanded my show rotation ever since.
Why did you decide to start podcasting in the first place?
Like many people in the middle of Covid lockdowns, I grew tired of my corporate life and quit my old job.
And since I didn’t want to simply take a few months off and then return to a similar role, I used my time to learn more about podcasting – thinking that having my own podcast would be a great ‘excuse’ for me to reach out to people beyond my network and ‘get my name out there’. As it happens, I got a new job almost immediately, but by that time I was having so much fun I kept it going.
Which podcasts do you take inspiration from?
I’m inspired by good storytelling. And it’s funny, because at the moment my own show is a weekly interview about a quite specific topic, so I don’t always have all that much wiggle room, but when I think of the impact I’d like to make one day, it’s the shows that find in incredible stories in ordinary lives that I look up to, shows like Heavyweight or Criminal.
So stay-tuned, because I have another, bigger project in the very early stages of planning!
Who’s your dream guest for the podcast?
I like to think that HTLMTS’s defining characteristic is the diversity of my guests – in our first year, we released 50 episodes with guests from 25 different countries – and so I’ve developed a slight obsession with tracking down people from ever more exotic locations. So, if there was anyone launching a Buy Now Pay Later business in an Antarctic research base, that would be amazing. Or, frankly, anyone from the Australian lending industry… I have previous colleagues, friends, even family, living down there and I haven’t managed to get a bite!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far as a podcaster?
How approachable people are. I’ve reached out to busy people in strange places, and I would say about 1 in 3 are more than happy to help – and this was true even when I was only getting 20 downloads per show.
Which episode would you say is the perfect introduction to your podcast?
I’m going to cheat and give two. In episode nine I speak to Craig Smith, who is taking the pain and awkwardness out of borrowing from friends and family. It’s GoFundMe, for loans. We get behind the curtain and I think it really reflects what I hope to get out of any interview I do. However, it was also recorded in the entrance hall of our old house, a day or two after we’d moved in before I’d got the hang of all the recording software. So you’ll see it getting more professional as we go on, and so I’d also recommend checking out something like episode 40, where I speak to Allan Tollo about microloans for small holder dairy farmers in Kenya.
Where can the Pod Bible readers find out more about you?
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