Strategy

Podcast: Rey Ybarra of RY Media Network

Rey Ybarra RY Media Network

In today’s episode, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Rey Ibarra. He is the owner and creator of Rey Ybarra Media network. His company is responsible for hosting Sharks & Stripes, which is a networking event featuring successful entrepreneurs from the hit show Shark Tank in order to help Military Entrepreneurs/Veterans and their spouses to start their own successful business.

Rey is an incredibly inspiring person. I’m confident that you are going to enjoy and learn so much from this interview. Don’t forget to check out Rey’s free Success Strategies Video series. Click here to sign up right now!

Thanks so much for listening to today’s podcast.  I’m confident that my side hustle of helping others to invest in themselves via my youtube channel, podcast, Facebook Group, and most importantly my online courses can be of assistance to you.

My courses are geared towards teaching people how to create their own website, and promote their endeavor through digital marketing, and so much more. You never know who you may inspire.

If you enjoy Starengu’s podcast, please consider becoming a supporter of by donating to help offset the cost of producing this show. 🙂

In order to be notified when new content is available, please be sure to subscribe to my podcast on Anchor, iTunes, and Spotify.

Do you know when to outsource?

Do you know when to outsource_

Discover the top three reasons why you should consider outsourcing.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s podcast.  I’m confident that my side hustle of helping others to invest in themselves via my youtube channel, podcast, Facebook Group, and most importantly my online courses can be of assistance to you.

My courses are geared towards teaching people how to create their own website, and promote their endeavor through digital marketing, and so much more. You never know who you may inspire.

In order to be notified when new content is available, please be sure to subscribe to my podcast on Anchor, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Castbox, Google Play Music, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or Radio Public.

Ideas for Creative Outlets

Ideas for Creative Outlets

If you’re less than fulfilled with your 9 to 5, then it’s time to explore side hustles that will leave you feeling satisfied.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s podcast. My goal is to help you both spiritually and physically. If this podcast has been a blessing to you, please check out my other website starengu.com. I’m confident that my side hustle of helping others to invest in themselves via my youtube channel, podcast, and most importantly my online courses can be of assistance to you. My courses are geared towards teaching people how to create their own website, and promote their endeavor through digital marketing, and so much more. You never know who you may inspire.

In order to be notified when new content is available, please be sure to subscribe to my podcast on Anchor, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Castbox, Google Play Music, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or Radio Public.

Do you know the value of your work?

STARENGU'S DO YOU KNOW THE VALUE OF YOUR WORK

“ The best things in life are free.”

The majority of the time, I agree with this statement. However, lately, some people seem to be under the impression that this applies to business. If you don’t believe me, take a look at some of the requests that I have I received…

I would like you to develop 65 customized social media status updates. We were hoping we could have some videos included as a part of the status updates. You would need to create the videos as well. We would like to have all of this completed within two weeks. Can you do this on a $200 budget?

Even though I’ve seen my fair share of these requests, this is still my initial reaction whenever I receive one:

Why? I’m tired of people expecting me to price my services according to Fiverr’s rates. I do a great job and my rates are affordable. I feel like there seems to be a trend in people expecting those in the creative field to work either work for pennies or for free.

Neither option is my jam. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re in business you have two options. If you don’t have the money then be willing to invest the time. If you don’t have the time then be willing to invest the money. If you chose to contact me, then it’s safe to imply that you were seeking a shortcut.

I have been working in the corporate world in the marketing arena for 14 years. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I’m a “well-rounded” marketer. I’ve worked on small and large accounts in “traditional” and digital marketing, category management, consumer insights, marketing analysis, content creation, and project management. I KNOW the importance of marketing. Without marketing, companies would remain unknown.

Regardless of this fact, there seems to be a dismissive attitude toward those who work in the creative positions. I’m not making this up either. I’ve actually heard folks from the accounting department refer to marketing as “overhead.” This attitude seems to have permeated into the freelance sector as well.  I’m guessing this is the reason why I have seen an increase in requests like the one mentioned in this post.

I’m big on education, so whenever I get these type of requests, I make sure to explain to the requestor that why I decline taking on projects for that price (especially with that tight of a deadline). Due to the fact that I’m big on creating systems and processes, it only takes me a minute to respond because I have templates for everything.

However, I know that when you compete on price it’s going to be a race to the bottom. Sadly, this is a race that way too many people are willing to participate in when they should really sit on the sidelines for the following reasons:

1.) You’re cheating yourself

What do you want to be known for within your industry? If you want people to take you seriously then you need to do your homework. Oftentimes, those new to freelancing do not realize that if the client has done their homework and your prices are too low, the majority of them will continue their search for another company. Why?

Many people still associate extremely cheap prices with low-quality products and services.  You want clients who are focused on quality. When your prices are too low, they are going to question your expertise. This could have easily been avoided if you had conducted market research. You will be able to learn what the average price is within your industry, expenses, etc. Don’t allow yourself to be your own worst enemy by failing to appropriately price your services.

Starengu's Master Your Niche

2.) People who hire solely on price aren’t interested in a relationship

If you plan on running a successful business, you must have repeat customers. The folks who have the something for nothing mentality aren’t interested in developing this type of relationship. The minute you raise your prices they are going to leave.

Even worse, if they decide to stay, these folks will go out of their way to find something wrong with the deliverable (i.e. product/service) so they can feel “justified” in asking for a discount which will bring them back to the price that they are accustomed to paying for or even less. Save yourself an unnecessary headache.

3.) You’re not going to be able to scale at those prices.

Your goal is to make money.  The higher you sell your products/service will enable you to reduce the time you spend on acquiring new clients. You can’t do this if you’re willing to work for peanuts. If you’re pricing your products/services too low, you have to make sure you constantly have a high volume of clients in order to make a living. You’re setting yourself up to be in a situation where you will be delivering a poor quality product due to the fact that you are overworked and underpaid.

Embrace your talent

If you have a talent you should not be afraid to charge what you are worth. You should be paid for the shortcut you provide. Just because someone says, “Your prices are too high,” doesn’t mean that it’s true.

It just means that they can’t afford it and they don’t see the value in your work. Regardless of what the reason may be, they aren’t the right client for you. Don’t fight for their business. Sooner or later they will end up at Fiverr. Let them continue their journey for the cheapest price.

The quicker you do this will enable you to have the bandwidth to grow a clientele that will support your endeavor to make a decent living without losing your sanity in the process.

Starengu's After 9 to 5 Thrive Guide Kit Photo

Did you enjoy this post? If so, can you do me a favor and share it with others? I would really appreciate it!

How to make time to start an online business when you work a 9 to 5

                 This is last post in the two-part How to Pivot to Success Series.                Be sure to read part one How to Pivot to Success in Business.

How to Make Time to Start a Business When You Work a 9 to 5

“How in the world did you find time to start a business?”

This is a question that I’ve gotten on more than one occasion so I figured I would share my experience to hopefully motivate you. I come across a lot of articles about how people quit their job to start their business, but hardly any that encouraged people to start a business while they are working a 9 to 5. 

I’m not trying to throw any shade at the folks who quit their job, but that was definitely not an option for me. I’ve always been super cautious. To the point where sometimes I’m my own worst enemy.  I knew that regardless of what magical number folks recommended that you should save up before quitting your job (typically 6 months is what I’ve seen), would NEVER be okay with me. 

I’m single. I don’t come from a wealthy family. I have no one that I can go to for support in case things don’t work out with my business. Needless to say, if I quit my job and my business failed, I would be in a serious financial hot mess. This was an unnecessary gamble that I was not willing to take. If I end up in a financial hot mess, I want it to be due to circumstances beyond my control (i.e. laid off), not one that could have been avoided (i.e. quitting my job).

If my situation resonates with you, the first thing I want you to do is to read the previous post and to take this SWOT analysis. This is going to help you determine what type of business you should pursue. If you’re not sold on the idea of starting your own business, then get acclimated to the idea of freelancing on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, etc., selling your own products like T-shirts, etc. This way you can see if the services or products  you were thinking about offering are worth your time and effort.

If all of the aforementioned sounds like your jam, then let’s get started.

1. PLAN OUT YOUR RESOURCES

One of the first things that you need to do is count the costs of going into business. I started an online business (It’s Time to Launch Your Blog) because the costs to do so are relatively low. I knew for a fact that the majority of the products and services that I would offer were going to be online.Therefore, the bulk of my time and expenses were going to be allocated to content marketing.

When I first started Starengu, my main motto was not to go broke during the process.  Mapping out all of the expenses that you will need to get your endeavor off the ground is going to prevent this from happening to you. If there were costs that I did not have enough money for-gasp-I saved up for them. Starengu was literally started with money I saved from each of my paychecks. To each its own, but I’m not a fan of taking out loans or charging up unnecessary debt on my credit cards. That stuff can come back to haunt you…

2. BE WISE WITH YOUR SPARE TIME

One of the main things 9 to 5ers complain about is not having enough time to start a business. I hate to break it to you, but if you are truly serious about your endeavor, then your lunch time,  evenings and weekends are going to be your best friend. I totally understand that you would rather be watching The Walking Dead or some other popular TV show, but that’s not going to further your future.

Investing in yourself is going to require you to sacrifice your time, but the ROI will be worth it in the end. Are you willing to get your hands dirty? Obviously, not literally, but are you willing to roll up your sleeves so you can learn how to perform tasks that will help reduce your startup costs?

I’m a DIY kind of girl. If it’s something that interests me and I know that I would benefit from that knowledge in the future, depending on the task, I designate at least an hour during the week building up my knowledge to learn that task. One of the main reasons my start up costs were extremely low is because marketing is my background. Many moons ago, I realized that I eventually wanted to start my own business so I taught myself how to create websites, design content, create videos, etc. Heck, I even learned Spanish!

All of this was done while I was working a 9 to 5. I realize how tired you may be after work and if you have kids, take care of a sick parent, etc.finding time may be even harder to accomplish. Please do NOT beat yourself up! My journey is going to be different than yours. Do the best you can with the spare time that you have. Just remember, you have to be proactive when it comes to creating the time you need to invest in yourself.

Please note that I’m also not advocating that your spare time should be completely filled with work. Again, having a balance is the key. I read a study that stated that Americans watch close to 5 hours of TV a day. No one needs that much of an escape from their life! The majority of that time could be used to help you create your future. Once you get to the point where you feel successful, then feel free to reward yourself by binge watching The Walking Dead.

3. KNOW WHEN TO OUTSOURCE

Now even though I’m #TeamDIY, you have to know your limitations. If there is a task that you need to perform, but learning how to do so would take too much time away from the real reasons you went into business, then by all means outsource.

Outsourcing is even easier to do when you have a 9 to 5. You’re going to be able to easily identify areas where you can save money. Therefore, you can take the money you saved on  tasks that you can perform to pay for the tasks that you want to outsource.

Identifying which tasks you should outsource may be a bit more difficult. Again, my motto is not to go broke. Therefore, I learned a lot of tasks that typically fall outside of the marketing arena like building websites, video production, etc. Those tasks may have been outside my realm but they were also fun to me. It didn’t seem like a chore for me to learn how to create a website or create a YouTube tutorial.

Now let’s say that I decided to go into business offering video production services, but I absolutely hate to write. My true strength and joy lies in video production. If I need copy for my website, it’s going to be worth the investment to  hire a copywriter to create the content for my website.  I’m all for embracing the DIY approach, but if it’s going to cause me unnecessary stress then I leave it to the professionals.

Starengu's After 9 to 5 Thrive Guide Kit Photo

4. CREATE SHORTCUTS

I’m not a fan of repetitive tasks. If I find myself doing something more than 3 times a day, I’m looking for the quickest way to eliminate or reduce amount of times that particular task makes it onto my to do list.

For example, if you offer consultations you already know what information needs to be captured. There’s no need to unnecessarily send emails back and forth to a potential client. Take the time to create a template and an autoresponder that allows the template to be automatically sent to your potential client.

One of my favorite automation tools is Zapier. It is ridiculous how many tasks you can automate using this tool! A couple months ago, I made the decision to switch from MailChimp to Mailerlite. This was a pain. I manually swapped out MailChimp links on my site for the Mailerlite links (I technically didn’t have to do this, but again, I’m super cautious).

Seeing that I’m human, in the event that I missed swapping out one of the MailChimp links on my website for the Mailerlite link all I had to do was create a zap. If someone landed on the MailChimp link I forgot to swap out for the Mailerlite one, the zap would be triggered and that person would be automatically added to my Mailerlite list. Pretty cool, huh?

When you create shortcuts it allows you to spend more time focusing on tasks that will actually grow your business instead of working in your business.  

5. BATCH YOUR CONTENT

In case you couldn’t tell, I love to write. I enjoy writing for myself and for others. If you’re looking for a cost-effective, subtle way to promote your products or services without feeling sleazy then you should view content marketing as your best friend.

Although there are a ton of benefits to content marketing, you will still hear people complain about how time consuming it can be.  “When am I going to find time to write or create (insert desired type of content)?”  

You will never have time if you don’t have a process in place. I tend to batch my content. Meaning, I  I write 1 to 2 posts a month (a YouTube tutorial may accompany the post as well) along with a monthly newsletter. These are the three pieces of content that typically take the most time to create. I literally spend Saturday and Sunday typing and editing my posts because the majority of the work was done during the week.

In case you would like to steal my batch content creation routine, it goes a little something like this…

  • Monday: Brainstorm blog posts ideas
    • Brainstorm or create content upgrades (freebies I give away at the end of the post) A perfect example would be the After 9 to 5 Thrive Guide that is included in this post.
    • Brainstorm or create tripwires (this is a special landing page that can only be accessed once the person has decided to subscribe to the aforementioned freebie).  
  • Tuesday: Create an outline for the post
  • Wednesday: Gather the information
  • Thursday
    • Search for headlines
    • Create my intro
  • Friday: Search for images
  • Saturday
    • Type out the post
    • If I have not already done so, create the content upgrade & tripwire
  • Sunday
    • Edit the post
    • Add images
    • Do a little happy dance because you are done!

I even have my day broken into a specific routine as well. I cannot stress enough how important it is to establish a process and routine that will enable you to stay on track.

LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT

I wanted to share my routine with you so that you could see that it is possible. I’m fairly confident that this post along with the free the After 9 to 5 Thrive Guide will motivate you to invest in yourself and finally get your business off the ground.

StarenguStarengu's After 9 to 5 Thrive Guide Kit Photo

Did you enjoy this post? If so, can you do me a favor and share it with others? I would really appreciate it! 

How to Pivot to Success in Business

This is part one of our two-part Pivot to Success series.

How to Pivot to Success in BusinessThe last two weeks of the year is unofficially designated as a time for reflection.

When you look back on this year how does it make you feel?

Did you accomplish the goals you set out to achieve?

If you did, kudos to you. Dare I say that the majority of us mere mortals still have quite a few items on our list that we didn’t  tackle.

You probably have a ton of reasons why you weren’t able to cross those goals off of your list. I get it. Life gets in the way.

However, when you take a closer look at your list, are there outstanding goals that make an appearance every year? If so, it’s time to do some soul searching to find out why this is the case. Clearly, it’s something that you want to do, so what’s stopping you?

You may not want to admit it, but there’s a strong possibility that fear may be the culprit. You may not feel like you have enough knowledge, confidence, etc. to go after your goal. So instead, you settle for seeing that goal on your list year after year because it makes you feel hopeful that this may be your year.

I hate to burst your bubble, but you can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Speaking from experience, I know this is the case. In order to be successful in life, you have to learn how to pivot. When you see yourself going down the wrong road, don’t be afraid to turn around. Being prideful will always lead to a dead end.

Starting a business has been on my bucket list for a very long time. However, earlier this year I decided it was finally time for me to *truly* take my shot. I decided to start Starengu while I was working my full time job. I know there are a lot of people who quit their jobs to start their blogs/business, but I was not one of those people. I will go into much further detail in my next blog post as to how I was able to accomplish this feat. It wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad I did it this way because after being on my job for 6 years, I ended up getting laid off.

I took being laid off as an opportunity to revisit the path that I have always felt God was trying to lead me to throughout my life…to start my own business. I was done living my life like an ATM. Regardless of the fact that I deposited, hard work, patience, etc. I had to accept the fact that oftentimes you may not be able to immediately withdraw your goals.

One of my major goals for 2018, is to master the art of pivoting (it’s one of my theme words in my goal setting formula). In case you’re in the same boat as me, here are some of the ways that you can pivot your way to success:

How to Pivot to Success-SWOT Analaysis

1. Focus on creating your ideal lifestyle

What kind of lifestyle do you desire? One with structure and stability? Flexibility? If you’re someone who enjoys a strict 9 to 5 and stability then being an entrepreneur is probably not the best avenue to pursue. Although many people idolize the entrepreneurship lifestyle, but they aren’t ready to put in the work. There’s nothing passive about creating income as an entrepreneur (especially an online endeavor). This path isn’t meant for everyone.

Don’t let anyone “shame” you into thinking that there is something wrong with being an employee. There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with having a 9 to 5 and a side hustle. In my opinion, if you can’t do both then you won’t be a great entrepreneur because you have to know how to manage your time.

If you decide to completely take the leap into entrepreneurship, then you will need to kick  instant gratification to the curb. There will be many times when you will need to put in numerous hours without receiving any pay, recognition, etc. When you start your business, you will to need to put in a lot of hours to get your endeavor off the ground. However, if you remain consistent in putting in the work, you will eventually reap the benefits.

2. Know Your Lane with SWOT

The main obstacle many entrepreneurs will encounter is doubt. Can I really accomplish (insert xyz)? The degree of success you can expect to experience is contingent on your answer. I’m a faith it ‘till you make it kind of girl, so my answer is always going to be ‘yes.’

What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you’re starting your business on a shoestring budget, many of the tasks that need to be completed will require a DIY approach. One of my favorite ways to approach a project (especially a new one) is to conduct a SWOT analysis (you can download your free SWOT analysis right here). If you’re not familiar with the approach, the main goal of a SWOT analysis is to assess your current situation.

A SWOT analysis allows you to uncover your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you need to take into consideration before you start your project.  If you can easily identify the aforementioned, then this will reduce the time it takes for you to experience success. Based on your answers, you will be able to create a goal setting formula and routine that will help you achieve your goals.

For example, if I know that if I’m lacking in a particular skill then I go above and beyond to get the answer to my question by taking workshops, online courses, etc. This will keep costs down while allowing you the ability to gain a general idea of how the task should be completed. This will help prevent you from being taking advantage of as well as identifying tasks that you wish to outsource in the future. Making continuing education a priority, because it will allow you to quickly identify trends that you otherwise may not have noticed.

Technology is evolving everyday. Therefore, your current job may not necessarily be there tomorrow. The cannibalization of jobs is more evident in some industries than others. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have a back up plan in place.

For example, I’m a techie with a marketing degree. I have worked for very prestigious companies on some amazing accounts. Therefore, the transition into my “second act” will not be hard for me. Gain whatever concepts and skills you need to learn to ensure that your transition is just as smooth.

How to Pivot to Success

 

3. Make SMART Goals

Based on the information that you gain from your SWOT analysis, you can create SMART goals. Emphasis on SMART. The reason many people fail in achieving their dreams is because they aren’t able to effectively track their progress.  SMART goals define the actions that you are going to take along with the ability to effectively measure those actions.

It’s important to have a benchmark so you can identify your progress, create forecasts, etc. You can learn how to create your own SMART goals by clicking here.

4. Prioritize your time

There are a lot of different tasks that you need to consider when you decide to start your business. Many of them will need to be completed by you if you can’t afford to outsource them. If you don’t have money then you will need to invest your time. If you don’t have time then you will need to invest your money. Only you can determine which one of those scenarios fit your current situation.

Regardless of your choice, you have to master the ability to prioritize your time. We all have the same 24 hours. Those who experience the most success understand how important it is to reclaim your time and invest in yourself. This is a lot easier to achieve when your squad supports your dream of starting your own business. They can help you stay motivated during the ups and downs of your journey.

Even if you don’t have this type of support in your life, this doesn’t mean that you are doomed. You have the power to encourage yourself by changing the channel on negative thinking. Don’t allow yourself to be your own worst enemy. Your willingness to work hard towards your goals can serve as a reminder to the naysayers of all the dreams that they failed to pursue. Don’t allow the naysayers to get to you. Stay focused on achieving your goals so you can serve as an inspiration to others.How to Pivot to Success

5. Roll with the punches

You will encounter a lot of ups and downs during your journey. You may even discover you chose the wrong route. Everyone’s journey is going to be different, but the destination is the same…success. There are so many paths that you can take to get there. Yet, some routes are better than others.

Just because you took the route as a writer doesn’t mean that you can’t take a detour and become a website designer. The quicker you identify which route brings you the most joy, feel free to go through the aforementioned steps again to identify any obstacles that you may come across.

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Time to make it happen

Regardless of whether you are just starting your journey or a seasoned entrepreneur, a successful pivot begins with changing your mindset. These are the steps that have helped me in my endeavor to pivot to success. If you’re curious to see what type of entrepreneur you are then be sure to take the below quiz. Don’t forget to download the SWOT analysis that pushed helped me make to create Starengu. It’s time for YOUR year to start now!

In the next post, I will discuss how I created Starengu while working a 9 to 5. It wasn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth the investment.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please spread the love by sharing this post with others. I would really appreciate it!

Don’t forget to join us in the Goal Slayers Facebook Group. Hope to see you there!

How to Pivot to Success

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