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Entrepreneurship

A Serial Entrepreneur on His Continued Struggle

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It’s not every day you get the opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs like Abuhuraira Ramay. He is the owner of The Brand Wire, a PR and branding agency. We got together, and I was astounded by what he had to say about his journey so far.

Abuhuraira, an “internet entrepreneur”, is anything but ordinary. After disrupting the PR and branding industry, and managing a division of over 20+ full time employees, he turned his attention to helping other entrepreneurs scale 6 or 7 figure companies.

Below are some of the highlights of our conversation:

What’s your story, Abuhuraira? You’re pretty young… was this an overnight success? How did you achieve this feat?

It wasn’t an overnight achievement; that I can tell you. In fact, at one point, I was working for few bucks whole day just to avoid dropping out of college. But I never gave up.

I knew that in order to achieve success I had to learn skills that would allow me to have it.

I delved into coding and understanding how social media marketing worked. Stuff that most weren’t willing to spend the time learning.

I wasn’t a big fan of the 9 to 5 cycle and initially, it looked gloomy. So I kept learning and trying, and I held on to the notion that my opening will come, and I just had to keep my eyes peeled to grab the opportunity when it presented itself.

And it did. Gradually, I was able to put my foot in the door and go on to help many projects with their social media marketing needs, including lots of international brands. One thing led to the next, and before I knew it, we were disrupting the industry.

It was certainly a transition. I had to go from freelancer to entrepreneur, but it was worth it.

Impressive! Anyone would have remained contented with managing multi-million dollar projects, but you didn’t. You shifted and took a different direction. Why?

I believe success transcends the material. The number of lives I could transform with my experience kept me ambitious. I wasn’t going to be another ‘picture-perfect’ CEO, there’s more to life than that. The Brand Wire was created for this purpose – to help upcoming entrepreneurs leverage the power of social media in the business.

Brands, multi-millions, all that is fun and good. But if you aren’t making an impact in people’s lives, what’s it matter? I wanted to be more than money.

That’s quite the shift, and very noble of you. How has the journey been so far?

It has been mind-blowing. Interacting with entrepreneurs from all over the world is eye-opening. While The Brand Wire is just about a year old, the experience so far can be compared to that of a lifetime. It’s not exactly a bed of roses, but the learning curve has been phenomenal.

We have been able to see things from different perspectives, and this has helped immensely with clarity. All through my social media marketing efforts, I have not come across this level of dynamism before.

The period I handled social marketing for multi-national brands helped expand my horizon especially as it concerns their inputs in everyday life, but none of these compares to the insight you get tutoring entrepreneurs on putting their business in the spotlight.

The challenges, breakthroughs, successes and failures have helped make The Brand Wire even stronger, and we have not scratched the surface yet. The journey has just begun.

Your journey is inspiring, Abuhuraira. What do you think the future holds for you?

Well, I might not have a crystal ball, but I am confident about what lies ahead. I intend to channel more energy into helping more entrepreneurs find their feet in this ever-changing world of ours.

My journey isn’t exactly about Abuhuraira Ramay, but the millions of entrepreneurs who have at some point seemed unconscious about the next step to take. The journey might be tedious, but it could have a beautiful ending regardless. And I am bent on making that a reality for as many entrepreneurs as possible.

Incredible, Abuhuraira. Sounds like you are well on your way to making lasting impact. Congratulations on the journey so far and good luck in the future to you and everyone at The Brand Wire. I appreciate the time you took today.

Final question, what would you say to entrepreneurs reading this right now?

Ha! So many things that could be said. I’d say keep your chin up, stay positive, and keep doing what you have been doing before, but sometimes you need a little more than that. So I’d say be disruptive. If the norm hasn’t proved effective for some time, try the abnormal. It’s always easy to stand out when you don’t fit in. Don’t be afraid to be different.

Thank you so much, Abuhuraira, and best of luck on your future endeavors.

Nabeel Ahmad is the founder and CEO of Vertabyte, a full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to drive their growth and achieve all their business goals. At Vertabyte, his special focus is on leveraging the power of social media to boost businesses exponentially. A marketing expert, Nabeel has a deep understanding of what it takes for a business to completely crush it on the social media landscape. His expertise in marketing has allowed him to help a number of businesses increase their revenue by tremendous amounts. Apart from that, due to his PR expertise, he has been able to get many companies and public figures featured on top news publications like Forbes, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Inc Magazine, and more.

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Entrepreneurship

Work Life Balance Strategies for Entrepreneurs

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Everyone knows at least one person who was brilliant and talented at what they did at work. Ambitious as they were, they worked tirelessly to succeed. They overcame obstacle after obstacle, burning the midnight oil to get the job done. Then, one day, their constant hard work comes to a screeching halt. They got sick. They became depressed. It happens, and it’s a classic case of work burnout.

All those nights of constant work may have been good for their career, but they were not good for their work-life balance. Sadly, people often only realize the importance of balance when it’s too late.

Are you wondering if you’re working too much or if you need a better balance between your job and your home life? Use these five tips to help you find the right balance for you.

1. Look at your family life and health to determine whether you need to scale back at work.

Have your family members mentioned that they never see you? Can you recall the last time you sat down to dinner with them, sans work-related phone calls? The first thing to suffer from a bad work-life balance is your home life and your self-care routine. If you’re isolating yourself from loved ones, it may be time to ask for a break.

2. Have set work hours, and stick to them.

This may be one of the hardest tips to follow, but it works. If you say you work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., keep your hours set in stone – regardless of what your bosses may say. Anything that’s pressing enough to have someone call you during non-work hours can be resolved the next day.

3. Prioritize but have deadlines.

Everything has a different priority. Paying your rent is a priority, but is getting your shoes shined a priority too? If you work in an appearance-conscious industry, it might be. Therefore, have deadlines for each task you have to accomplish. If you couldn’t finish a task today, make an effort to complete it before your due date or re-evaluate the priority of that task in line with the other tasks and to-do’s on your list.

4. Invest in time-tracking tools and scheduling.

The people who have a lot of work on their plate don’t schedule things by saying something like, “Yeah, anytime Wednesday is fine.” They plan everything down to 10-minute blocks.

5. Go ahead, take that holiday.

You’re not a bad employee or a slacker for wanting to take time off every once in a while. Everyone deserves a rest from time to time, and studies show that resting is beneficial to your productivity and health. So go on, take a break – you’ve worked hard and deserve it.

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Entrepreneurship

Derek Hurtado – Building a Vacation Rental Business

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Recently, I sat down with Derek Hurtado for an interview. Derek is a social media influencer and owns a vacation rental company. We talked about his business model, how it works, and much more.

  • Hey Derek, what is the basic rundown of the Airbnb Business Model?

Derek: Our model tends to differ from the conventional by providing both a higher ROI and better quality tenants. To build out a luxury brand of vacation rentals, location is key! Our first step involves researching popular markets both on a city level and a zip code level. This allows us to use data from our research to best predict profitable properties. Once we have narrowed in on our location, we investigate which available properties will perform to our standards. We create an analysis of our predicted revenue and compare that to the overall expenses. Did I mention we don’t buy our properties? We are looking for 12-month rental properties where we sign a lease and usually pay a month or two upfront to appease the landlord. After that, we begin furnishing, decorating and stocking the unit to be staged for guests! Then we are ready to go live! As guests arrive and cycle through our property, we have cleaning and guest correspondence semi-automated. This removes the need to ever be on the location of properties and reduces our admin duties to only 10 hours a week!

  • Where did you discover the business model, and how did you start?

Derek: Vacation rentals have been around for decades! It is only recently that technology has been booming in this industry. This has allowed a big increase in creating monthly cash flow. As we grow our businesses and long term investments.. cash flow becomes ever more necessary. My business partner had millions of dollars in equity on real estate projects, yet that equity doesn’t pay the bills. This business model initially allows a consistent cash flow for those working on long term projects which is our exact case. As we get into bigger markets like resorts and commercial real resale projects, AirBnB allows us to get our bills paid and cash flow to spend each month!

  • What is the ideal rental?

Derek: The biggest fear of new Airbnb hosts are the nightmare guests. About 90% of bad guests can be avoided by the ideal rental and its setup. We look specifically for higher-end rentals that allow us to bring in high-income business guests or families. When you are dealing with higher income guests, they tend to be more respectful and tidy. Even offering a printer in the property will attract business guests. Those are the guests we are trying to build long term relationships with.

  • You own a social media agency, Pivotal Point. How have you leveraged social media to grow your rental business?

Derek: A great benefit of building your brand online is to create new connections. Although Airbnb is a completely different industry, human networking and connections are important no matter what space. Being able to leverage my brand, I have made deals and setup potential investors for scaling the rental business. Applying branding strategies to the properties will promote community and clarity on who we serve. Which are high-income business owners and their families.

  • What is an ideal rental location?

Derek: Recently most people are afraid to jump in with all these regulations and potential laws banning properties. Truth is that there are only a few cities that are strict on their policies. Just search on Airbnb for a location you are interested in and you can see 1000s of results that show up. Any place that has high traffic for travelers is ideal.

  • What are your plans with your business?

Derek: We are going to rapidly scale our AirBnB unit numbers to the 100s soon. As well as build out our new management agency that will take care of the property owner’s units that are suffering. We will take on management for a small fee and improve their revenue, sparing them the time!

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Entrepreneurship

“Trust In Self Is The Advantage” Lessons On Empowerment With Malorie Nicole

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What’s your backstory? 

A food intolerance is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. It’s brought me to where I am today, running a thriving coaching business, living life on the water, and helping people with their mindset and reprogramming their beliefs. 

Prior to owning a business I worked for an engineering firm, in 2014 I woke up to go to work feeling like I had gotten hit by a truck. This was a different feeling than the one I experienced in 2011 where I had been in a bad bicycle accident leading to traumatic brain injury. I thought that was bad, but something about this was worse.

Numerous physical symptoms showed up out of nowhere, headache, rash, brain fog, body pains, loss of appetite, and dizzy spells, but from what? I didn’t have a clue. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, my body was screaming at me, but I didn’t know why. Countless hours on the internet trying to find the answers, in and out of doctor offices, still left with uncertainty. 

When I finally figured out what the root of the problem was, I knew I had a desire to learn more about health and wellness. This began my exploration into the world of coaching. I signed up for a course to get a health coaching certification. I did this on the side, but there was a feeling inside me that wanted nothing more than to fuel this energy. I wanted to know more about how the brain worked, how neuroscience played into our performance, decision making, and successes. Health interests started to shift into subconscious programming and the power of the mind. 

When I got into entrepreneurship, I saw so many patterns that business owners were bringing into their business that were keeping them stuck. They commonly would relate it back to a marketing problem, or a sales issues, but some of these issues were actually mindset related. I think unhappy or overworked entrepreneurs are more common than society thinks. It started to become the norm, I would get on the phone with people that just felt so stuck, they thought were trying to outwork their problems and they didn’t understand why things weren’t changing. 

One certification led to many, one client led to numerous and quickly into a full blown thriving business. Before I knew it, I had very wealthy established business owners asking me to help them with their mindset because they knew, “they were getting in their own way” and they wanted to grow with much more ease. I started studying quantum physics and incorporating that into the mindset work I was doing with clients, and things took off. 

24 months after launching, I’ve helped people uncover, reprogram, and have wild success in their businesses, started a top 100 self-help rated show on Itunes Abundantly Clear Podcast, and created a money mindset course that’s helping struggling entrepreneurs do the mindset work they need to do in order to achieve the success they want.

 

What made you decide to choose this career path? 

I honestly believe this career path more or less chose me. Now, of course, I made the decision to start a business, but all the steps I took felt like they were right in front of me, even though it didn’t “make sense” I was still being called to show up in a way that I never had before. I think we’re all living our own journey, and this is where I’m supposed to be. I don’t think it stops here, I will continue to have a series of opportunities, synchronicity, and decisions I’ll get to make to lead me to keep growing. 

 

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Yes! I will never forget it. When I first started I had a “mentor” suggest that I get flyers made and put them up around town. There’s two things wrong with this, one the delivery I chose to take, and two the fact businesses like mine aren’t really going to grow by putting flyers up around town. The funniest part about it was, from a marketing perspective the flyer literally showed nothing about what I was actually offering in the program. The message was beyond off, and if I still had a copy I would post it up here just so you can see how bad it was.

I remember when I began learning about marketing, I had a moment where it hit me that I didn’t yet realize sadly enough, people need to understand why they’re buying from you. Needless to say, I learned it’s ok to do it wrong, in fact it’s better to do it wrong and learn than not to do it at all.

 

What do you think makes your company/personal brand stand out? 

I think what makes my brand stand out is the message that entrepreneurship, although challenging, doesn’t have to be something you lose yourself in or that you find yourself hustling and grinding every single day just to make it work. I really see and believe that when people do belief and mindset work, action becomes easier, they make more money, and they become more profitable. One of my favorite things to hear from a client is, “it’s all just starting to flow” because available to us 

 

What’s a quote that you live by? 

Trust in self is the advantage. 

Malorie Nicole 

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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