By Shannon Sparks By Shannon Sparks | January 30, 2023 | Presented By
Yawn, another business podcast. Another motivational podcast. Another inspirational podcast. Pick one already! However, one you might actually be interested in tuning into is John Cerasani’s 2000 Percent Raise podcast.
The intro starts with an ultimate flex of the podcast host, as many do, but John’s is a little different. It’s as if he’s drawing attention to his podcast-hosting peers as being posers, pretenders, and fakers—like that high school business teacher that never owned a business. Think of it this way: John Cerasani walked the walk, and now he’s talking the talk. Welcome to 2000 Percent Raise.
Setting Himself Apart
John seems to suggest that other business-related shows are hosted by people who never did much, unlike him. Sure, we’ll take it; he actually did the thing and isn’t just reporting on it. But what exactly did he do?
To leave no question unanswered, John shoves it down listeners’ throats and emphasizes what “walking the walk” really means to him. And that’s starting a company from your kitchen table and selling it less than a decade later for tens of millions of dollars. Okay, John, we get it; you really have walked the walk.
As a listener, we’ll admit that we initially hated the podcast’s intro, but after listening to a few episodes all the way through, it’s clear that he isn’t just trying to get a new girlfriend with a money flex. John is genuine; he’s trying to share what made him rich with his audience and teach us how to do just that. Yes, he does it in an entertaining way with the guests he brings on, but we’ve found that we enjoy John’s monologue and side stories as much as anything the guests have to share. In each episode, we get more and more insight into how to build wealth from an insider who has done that exact thing.
When asked what he’s going to do when his network runs out and he can’t find any more compelling people to be on his show, John paused and said, “My network is big, and after you print this story, it will be bigger; we’ll be fine.” That answer alone summarizes John’s no-nonsense approach, and that personality shines through in his monologues.
If you watch the podcast on YouTube, you’ll notice the production quality is far better than most podcasts; John is obviously not cutting corners there. However, we’ll admit that his studio setup might take some getting used to. He has fictional and real-life mob characters all over the walls behind him. If you google “John Cerasani,” all of his accolades come up. But keep scrolling, and you'll see that an infamous New York mobster from the Bonanno crime family shares the same name. When John was asked if there was any correlation or relationship, he simply said, “Next question,” while sort of giggling to himself.
Social Media and Growing a Viewership
Regarding media outlets, John’s social media appears to be pushing people to Spotify and Apple. The reviews are good there, and the show has a 4.9/5.0 rating on both platforms, with dozens of reviews so far. Listen Notes, a podcast rating service, has 2000 Percent Raise in the top 2% of all podcasts globally.
When asked how he was able to make his podcast popular this quickly in terms of viewership, John responded, “Obviously, great guests help tremendously, but I think the real driver has been a carryover from my social media.” A quick look at John on Instagram and TikTok tells the story; his messages are straight to the point and lack coddling. Some posts' comment sections are hilarious, as his advice sometimes enrages viewers. For instance, in one post, John says if you need to exceed 36 months on car financing terms, you can’t afford the car and shouldn’t buy it. You can see how that might enrage someone.
Regarding that post and the comments, John says, “The audience members who ‘get it’ were applauding and thanking me. But all those Range Rover drivers on 72-month leases wanted me to burn in hell. You can’t please them all, I guess. If they want to be upside down on their trade-in two years from now, God bless ‘em.”
John is a former Notre Dame football player and a big guy. Our instinct is that nobody would say some of the things to him in person that you occasionally see in the comments. Like poking fun at his barely noticeable lisp, for instance. John doesn’t take the bait and has simply replied, “Thorry you feel that way.”
The Podcast’s Guests
Cerasani has come out of the gates in his initial 2000 Percent Raise episodes with some guests that are obvious supporters of him. It’s clear because these are people you wouldn’t expect to appear on a podcast in its infancy stages. For example, Tracy Tutor from Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons and Hall of Fame nominated receiver, and Darren Rovell from ESPN, CNBC, and Action Sports.
What’s interesting about John’s interviews is that he lets the audience in on his relationship with each of these people—where he met them and why they’re on his show. They don’t cover subject matter that you’d expect these guests to focus on. John ensures his show is all about financial and professional growth. Let’s dive into some examples.
In the interview with Tracy Tutor, John wasn’t grilling her with behind-the-scenes Million Dollar Listing gossip. Instead, he started with how they met. In his storytelling, however, it becomes clear that John hasn’t been doing this for long; this is especially amplified when he has a polished guest like Tracy on the show. John is delightful with his line of questioning, but he could use some further media training. He certainly has an inquisitive and intelligent mind, even if, at times, it feels like Tracy might’ve been playing the good friend card and saving him with some questions he couldn’t quite spit out himself.
John got into real estate pricing in California with Tracy while challenging her as a founder of a new wine company and made her thoroughly explain why anyone should care. Of course, Tracy didn’t miss a beat and delivered through and through during the interview.
In John’s interview with Roddy White, sure, they cover his chances of Hall of Fame induction, and Roddy gives some great stories about Mike Vick and Julio Jones, but this isn’t the basis of the interview. John gets into how he and Roddy made friends golfing in the Bahamas together. They shared a laugh about how Barry Alvarez, legendary Wisconsin Badger Head Football Coach, had a big cigar hanging out of his mouth as they all hung out for a bit outside a steakhouse that night.
That type of interaction draws the audience in, almost as if we’re listening to two friends share interesting stories (if you pay close attention, you can read between the lines, which makes us think they weren’t just golfing and eating steak in the Bahamas). Then they get to the good stuff: the financial aspect. With Roddy, just like every other interview, they dive into the “money matters” piece. This is at the core of John’s interviews; to make money and keep it.
The Darren Rovell episode has been our favorite 2000 Percent Raise show at this point. Right off the bat, John and Darren get into how they know each other, and we quickly get the scoop that they both attended Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. As we wait for some wildly outrageous college stories to emerge, we learn that Northwestern might be exactly as we expect it to be; anything but a party school.
However, the pair quickly shifts their focus to Darren’s career climb, entrepreneurial spirit, side hustles, and negotiating strategies that have made him millions. They also deep dive into how Kobe Bryant leaned on Darren for investment advice and how Darren pointed him in the direction of Body Armor back when it was a start-up. Kobe made over 400 million dollars on that deal.
Branching Out With His Guests
John also brings on guests you may have never heard of but probably should. For instance, as a teenager, Ryan Deluca started Bodybuilding.com from his parent's garage and sold it for over 100 million dollars.
Another example is Nancy Gianni, who was thrown a curve ball when her daughter Gigi was born with Down syndrome. Nancy was shocked about the lack of resources or the community for people now in her family’s situation. Instead of donating a few dollars to a cause, she made the cause her own, calling it GiGi’s Playhouse, Down Syndrome Achievement Center.
Nancy now has an international 22 million dollar organization with a unique franchise-like model for passionate people to engage in, over 60 brick-and-mortar locations, and growing. It’s also a non-profit organization. How was she able to pull that off? GiGi’s Playhouse and its growth is a compelling tale for anyone with even the slightest interest in the business world. Seen as a big tough guy, you may be shocked to learn that John showed a moment of softness when Gigi herself makes a cameo during this episode’s interview.
If you haven’t gathered by now, John Cerasani’s 2000 Percent Raise podcast has vastly set itself apart from others in the industry, and John isn’t letting up any time soon; this is why his audience continues to grow weekly. He consistently brings something fresh and fascinating to the table through his guests and his own stories while focusing on what matters to all of us: money.
You can find John on TikTok and Instagram @johncerasani. You can find his podcast on YouTube, Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and all other major streaming services.
Photography by: Courtesy of Gr0