Our February Market Expert of the Month, Jimmy Rodela, is one inspiring guy. Get to know how he started his own business online inside.
Ready for a serious dose of inspiration?
Our January Market Expert of the Month, Jimmy Rodela, is one inspiring guy. In just a few short years, he went from working 9-5 and knowing very little about business on the Internet to working full-time as a freelance web content writer.
Get to know Jimmy below, and get ready to take on the day!
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1. In three sentences or less, tell us “your story” as an entrepreneur.
Jimmy Rodela: I started in the whole online scene about 4-5 years ago. Back then, no one taught me the tricks of the trade so I had to spend about 1-2 hours everyday just reading and studying how things worked. I had to do my 9-5 job, worked online for about 2-3 hours, then dedicated another 2 hours just to study.
To date, I still spend about 1-2 hours of my time everyday just to read and learn (not including weekends). I find my commitment to studying as one of the crucial things that helped me achieve the level of success that I have right now.
2. In three sentences or less, tell us about your business.
JR: I offer online writing services. While I cater to a diverse audience, I mostly write for business owners and journalists. These days, however, I mostly write for journalists and authors who contribute on top-tier magazine sites like Forbes and Entrepreneur, among others. Everything that I write for my clients is ghostwritten.
3. What inspired you to start your business?
JR: It was when I learned that my wife was pregnant. I knew that the amount I earned from my 9-5 job just wasn't going to cut it, so I looked to freelancing online to make ends meet.
In a matter of 3-4 months, I started to earn more from just working 2-3 hours online, compared to my day job. It was at this point that I decided to join the online bandwagon and do it full time.
4. What is the most rewarding (and the most challenging) part of what you do?
JR: The most rewarding part for me is being able to spend time with my family everyday. Hearing my daughter and wife laugh as I work just reminds me of how blessed I am to be where I am at right now.
The most challenging part for me would probably be staying disciplined with my work. Running a business at home can be quite challenging because of all the distractions.
5. Which current marketing trends do you see as “the future”?
JR: I’d say that everyone’s focus in publishing (and consuming) quality content is quite evident.
The content consumers are starting to get really vocal about their thoughts on whatever they read online, and the search engines are starting to really recognize what’s good content and what isn’t.
This is good news for someone like me who provides affordable, yet high quality writing services. This makes my services all the more relevant to the industry.
6. What do you believe makes for successful marketing?
JR: For me, genuine relationship building is the key.
I’m a huge fan of befriending my clients (or prospects). I have found that doing so makes my relationship with them even more meaningful, and it almost always translates to more projects and even referrals.
7. If you had to give the former you a few words of advice, what would they be?
JR: Pray. Without God in your life, you are bound to fail (even if you think you’ve succeeded). Remember that apart from God, you are nothing.
Focus. I think a lot of online entrepreneurs are struggling with the shiny object syndrome. I’ve had my fair share of experiencing it so my expertise ended up becoming diluted, instead of becoming laser focused on one thing.
8. How has your experience in the Business.com Market Expert Program benefitted your business and career?
JR: Through reading my articles at Business.com, a couple of clients had asked about my writing services. The Market Expert Program did not only help me in terms of expanding my knowledge and learning from industry experts, but I also had several leads contact me through my profile at business.com.
9. Which entrepreneur do you look up to, and why?
JR: I’m a huge fan of Zig Ziglar. Though he’s no longer in this world, the ideas he shared are priceless.
Reading his book The Secrets of Closing a Sale really opened my eyes to the dynamics of of how to influence others into becoming actual buyers of my products - and how to keep them as buyers.
His ideas are solid and are very well articulated. But what I like most of all is how they are effective. I tried them myself, so I know at 100% that they flat out work!
10. What’s your favorite motivational quote?
JR: My first one is a bible verse. "Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good," Psalm 127:1.
My second one is "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't—you're right” from Henry Ford.