Today we’d like to introduce you to Zack Peter.
Zack, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My brother was diagnosed with autism in 2005. It was through trying to help and support him that I found my voice. And nobody’s really ever been able to shut me up since then!
I began fundraising and bringing awareness to autism since I was 15 years old, which led to my first book and first podcast (which was short-lived and recorded on my cell phone from my bedroom). Which, in retrospect, sounds like I was a sex-phone operator, but I promise, it was an advocacy podcast for autism!
Three more books and several canceled shows later, I can proudly say that I am living my dream life. My tenacity got me to now be the host and producer of two successful podcasts (#NoFilter with Zack Peter and #Adulting: Life Hacks to Get Your Sh*t Together) and the chance to have worked for the past nine-years in fundraising, support families affected by autism. My writing has also been published on a variety of sites from POPSUGAR to Men’s Health, which has also been a nice accomplishment.
I’ve always been open to every opportunity that’s come my way and never been afraid of a challenge, which is how I ended up here today.
Has it been a smooth road?
Not even the slightest bit! Anybody that says success comes easy is a trust-fund baby. I have hustled my flat little butt off from day one. I didn’t grow up in a nice part of LA. I didn’t have straight As or come from a wealthy family. I always had lots of a sass and loved to gab to anyone I could. Who knew my big mouth would’ve landed me a career as an entertainment host and activist!
There have been many challenges and setbacks. Failed business ventures, thousands of dollars of debt, shows that I loved that got canceled, shows on network television that got axed before even airing, crappy book deals, overworked hours, the loss of friends, the loss of business partners. You name it. But I was resilient and continue to be. And that’s how you persevere.
Please tell us about The #Adulting Podcast and the #NoFilter with Zack Peter Podcast.
Well, my business is pretty encompassing of a lot of things, but the core of everything I do comes down to my mission to help people grow and to make people laugh while doing so. Life is tough and if I can be there to provide some support, guidance, or just levity, I’m here for it. I want people to know they can achieve more and be more and that it doesn’t have to be debilitating, as long as you enjoy the ride and laugh at yourself while doing so.
I think for the longest time, people knew me for my work in the autism community. Whether it was for one of my prior books on autism or running Jenny McCarthy’s foundation, it was always tied back to that. Whereas now I think people know me more for my podcasts and my work in that arena.
I don’t think there’s one thing I can say I’m most proud of because I truly love it all. Now, there are many things I can say I’m not so proud of, but we can leave those on MySpace!
And as far as what sets me apart from others? I think it’s that I’ve found a way to make sense as a paradox. I’m serious and tackle hard issues, yet I’m ridiculous and have a strong sense of humor. People look to me as an authority in certain areas, but at the same time, I’m just another person going through life WITH THEM. I think my story can be as equally relatable as it is aspirational? At least, that’s my goal. I’ve found a way to do things that might not always make sense together and I’m making it work.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see the podcasting space continue to grow, but I think it’ll soon become way over saturated very soon because everybody and their grandma is starting one. And not very good ones either. So I think the podcasting world is going to need to step it up. But I definitely see that becoming our new form of media and will soon reflect some of the tradition television and radio values that we’ve become accustomed to.
- Website: justplainzack.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/justplainzack
- Facebook: facebook.com/justplainzack
- Twitter: twitter.com/justplainzack