Monthly Archives: November 2023

13 lessons I learned as a newbie podcaster

On November 1st 2022, I launched a podcast for Caribbean Content Creators. I’m writing this article on April 25th 2023. It’s Anna’s birthday, and I just finished recording the 26th podcast episode where I reflect on my development, repurposing content, monetizing your podcast and planning interviews. In a future episode I’ll talk about a framework for interviews I’m working on; it’s called STEAM. (Anna is my daughter. She’s four). I want to share a couple lessons I’ve learned since launching a podcast. I’ll stop typing when I run out of steam. If I run out of steam you can listen to the episode by clicking play in the player below.

Lyndon Baptiste

Let’s start with my own performance and development. Editing the first episodes I recognized annoying speaking habits I weren’t aware of; the usual stuff. Filler words. Unnecessarily long pauses in the middle of sentences. At the end of sentences. They’re still there. But I’m conscious of them. And working on them.

Podcasting is hard. For me. Especially solo episodes. There’s something about talking to myself in a room, facing an acoustic sound panel that drives me bonkers. But I’m learning that if I pretend I’m talking to a good friend who’s equally passionate about creators and content creation that it becomes easier.

I’m also learning new skills and technologies. How to edit a podcast using Audacity and Adobe Audition. Then there are video podcasts. They aren’t difficult to pull off even multicamera podcasts but! they make the process of recording a podcast tedious. I’m considering using OBS to record podcast episodes, especially since YouTube recently introduced the ability to turn a YouTube playlist into a podcast. The brilliant thing though is the ability to repurpose content into vertical videos for vertical videos: shorts, stories. From one 60-minute interview with one camera, I created over 30 vertical videos with multiple camera angles. Amazing!

I’ve learned that it’s a pain in the butt, to record one episode at a time. Batch record!

25 episodes in and over 15 interviews later, I have even greater respect for content creators who put in the hours and freely share their knowledge. Trinbago Vibes, pointboy12, Fix or Fling; and Robert Gibson, a writer from Barbados come to mind. As much as I love interviews (I much rather interviews than solo episodes), as a one-man show, preparing for interviews is hard. Hours of background research gow into the content creator’s social media platforms, and I quickly need a framework for faster better interviews: I’m working on something; more later. During the interview process, I find myself talking too much and struggling to frame questions. I’m learning to listen more, pause a second before responding, and, always, consider the listener.

I wish I had positive news about monetizing my podcast as a Caribbean Content Creator. Not yet. When I do I’ll let you know. God willing. Long story short, I use Because it’s free. I’ve heard both mixed and negative reviews about but I’m using it. Because it’s free. And on a shoestring budget, it’s working fine for me. Something worth noting is the video podcast (Caribbean Content Creators) doesn’t perform as well as my other videos on YouTube. They enjoy low views and limited revenue. I’m sticking with podcasting though. In the podcast, I also talk about networking, Instagram and how I use ChatGPT to plan my interviews.

To listen to the episode click play in the player below. If you have a moment to spare I’d really appreciate you leaving an honest review.

How to calculate property tax

Property tax is coming.
When I told my wife the news, she said, “At least someone’s coming.”

Let’s talk about how property tax is calculated and what you can do if you object to the government’s valuation.

Firstly, the property tax you pay is based on a percentage of the annual rental value of your property. We’ll get to the calculations for residential and commercial properties in a bit. Let’s talk about how the annual rental value is established.

All properties in Trinidad and Tobago have a rental value. That value is a calculation of the rent the property will attract if you decided to rent out the property.

Who calculates this rental value?

According to the OPM’s website, “The qualified professionals at the Valuation Division of the Ministry of Finance”. Hopefully, these qualified professionals are not Customs Officers. If that’s the case, we ass dark.

On a serious note, I really hope these qualified professionals aren’t Customs Officers.

The rental value is calculated on the location of your property, classification, dimensions, modifications and the category of the property, whether it’s agricultural, commercial, residential or industrial.

Let’s talk about how to calculate your property tax.

Earlier we established that the tax on your residential property is a percentage of your property’s Annual Rental Value.

So let’s say you receive a valuation that says your monthly rental value is estimated at $3,000. That means your annual rental value is $36,000.

To calculate your property tax here’s a formula straight from the horse’s mouth.

“the Property Tax Act makes it clear property tax is only three per cent of the annual rental value for residential properties, after first deducting ten per cent from the annual rental value.

So if you receive a rental valuation of $36,000, relax; that isn’t the amount of property tax you have to pay. To calculate your property tax, multiply $36,000 * 90% * 30% and you’ll get $972. I failed maths twice but my wife assured me that 90 percent on a calculator can be written as .90 and 3 percent can be written as .03. The formula looks like this:

36,000 * .90 * .03 which is equal to $972.

Please note that this $972 is the amount you will pay for the year. This is not a monthly figure. I repeat this is not a monthly figure.

Let’s talk about commercial property tax. The one the big boys in Trinidad don’t have to worry about just yet. Talk about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, eh? Commercial Property Tax is 5%. So let’s assume you rent property to the government for $575,000 a month here’s how you’ll calculate your rent. To get the annual rental valuation you’d multiply 575,000 by 12. The total is $6,900,000. Remember, you can deduct 10 percent from that figure; so your formula for property tax is

6,900,000 * .90 * .05 which is equal to $310,500.

At the time of writing it isn’t exactly clear if government will collect commercial property tax. If they aren’t collecting tax on commercial properties, that’s a stroke of luck for the big boys.

You’re probably wondering what happens if the valuation is too high or too low.
Let’s say you live in West Moorings, Lange Park or Palmiste and your annual rental valuation comes in at $36,000. If the value is too high or too low, you can object. In accordance with other grounds outlined in section 19 of the Valuation of Land Act, you can object.

A couple of things to note about objections.

You must object within 30 days of receiving your valuation. The office of the commissioner of valuations within 12 months. So if you submit your objection the same day you get pregnant your child should be 3 months old by the time you get a response.

You can submit your objections online at Given the government’s track record with software, my guess is the online process would be just as frustrating as the salary relief program. remember the salary relief program during COVID-19?

Oh. One last thing. Objection doesn’t exclude you from paying property tax. It’s kind of how being a member of parliament doesn’t exclude you from renting buildings to the government.

Maybe that’s a bad example.

It’s kind of like when you say the child is not yours but you have to pay child support until the test results come back.

It’s kind of like how a song could be the anthem but that doesn’t exclude you from singing it over.

We’re all just singing along, whether we like the tune or not.

What’s your take on property tax? Let us know in the comments