How I Got Started as an Entrepreneur

So I started this podcast. I wrote this book and maybe you’ve listened to the past episodes that I’ve put out. Maybe you’re wondering, who is this guy? Where’s he from? Why is he qualified? Why should I be listening to him? And if you’re just finding me for the first time, then great. This is also a good starting point.

 

 

Transcript:

My name is Ark Pizarro. I’m a digital marketer. I’m an entrepreneur. Now I’m an author and I’m the founder of Pizarro consulting. This is basically a digital marketing agency and we focus on advertising, email marketing, and marketing funnels. So you might ask yourself,  okay, great. But how is it that you got to do what it is that you do?

And it’s an interesting story. It’s a very long story, and I’m not going to go into all of it on this episode, but I am going to give you a good summary this way, going forward, you’re familiar with who I am and what I’m about. And you’ll understand that I have the knowledge and experience to share with you to help you grow your business.

As I’ve done for many people in many different industries. So I’m one of those guys that if I’m in the room you’re going to notice me right away. It’s just one of those things. I’m not big on tooting my own horn. I’m very much into honesty and facts. And so I’m also a believer that there are three truths.

There’s my truth. There’s your truth. And then there’s God’s truth. Okay. So we all see things differently. From our own perspective, we can all watch the same exact car crash and give the cops different details as witnesses. That’s just a weight. That’s just the way life is. Okay. We all have our own unique view.

So this is mine. I’m the kind of guy that when I walk into a room, people notice me. Okay. When I’m at a table talking with people, regardless of social status or level of education, or, level of income, they’ll listen to me speak. And that’s not something that I worked on to develop or anything like that.

It’s just who I am. And the reason being is, I have a very interesting background and it’s given me lots of life experience and lots of insight into how the world and how people work. And I’ve spent a long time observing people. There are some people who love to watch like Nat geo, national geographic and watch how animals operate and all this kind of stuff.

I do the same thing. But I do it with people, and I do it naturally. I’ll just sit at a cafe or sit in a park, and I’ll just watch people. And as you do this repeatedly for years over time, you start to be able to identify characteristics and behaviors and get to know a lot about people simply by just looking at them.

I’ve always found those shows about mental lists and con artists and things like that. Fascinating because although those people don’t use their skillset for good, generally. It is a fascinating skillset to me the fact that you can interpret nonverbal communication like they say that 70% of our communication is non-verbal and only 30% is done with words.

So I’ve always found that whole kind of thing. Fascinating. And it helps me to be able to interact with others. Now, if you are just meeting me, and it’s not coming from a place of being introduced. I’m usually very standoffish, right? A lot of people get a bad first impression from me because I’m quiet and I’m serious, but once you get to know me, once you’re in my inner circle or at least an acquaintance, then you’ll get to notice that I am, I can be very boisterous, and I have a really good sense of humor. And I love to have fun and joke around with people and do commentary on the world around us from a lighthearted.

Perspective, I love sports. I love my God. I love my family. I love my country, no particular order there that I’m naming them. I’m originally from the Bronx, New York. You can probably tell that I’m from New York, from my accent. I currently live in Texas. And sometimes that accent cuts into my New York accent.

I served in the military, in the US Air Force. And after getting out of the air force, I went, and I did medical school in the Dominican Republic, where I met my current wife, the love of my life, the mother of my four children. And When I finished medical school, I went to New York, which is where I was from, to look for work, to work in the medical field and to study, to take my boards and I found a really good job through a friend. Okay.

I found a really good job through one of my best friends and my brother, who’s actually my cousin, but we call each other brother, and we’re like brothers Mike Serrano. And

I found a really good job through my brother, Mike Serrano. We’re actually cousins, and it’s one of those things where we’re really brothers, a shout out to Mike, and I started working in the medical field. And while I was doing this, I had this list when I was, when I had graduated from med school of all the things that I wanted after having struggled through med school and having some tumult in my time at med school and stuff like that, it was it was like this list of things that I said, this is what I have to have in order to feel.

Like I’m actually making progress. I’m actually becoming successful, things like that. I saw a lot of the guys who had been in med school with me who were now also on a similar path, and they were doing good things, and they had good jobs in hospitals and stuff like that. They had already passed their boards.

And that was what I wanted. That was the plan for my life. And as life would have it, everything that was on my list, I achieved in seven months. Once I got that job, I went out, and I got a second job, and I was just working these two jobs. My family was back in the Dominican Republic at the time. We had three little boys, and it was just amazing that I was able to accomplish everything on my list in a matter of seven months.

But the downside to that was the fact that it was super lonely. I had Mike and another good friend of mine will. And that was basically my social circle. My dad, I’d seen him like once a week, we’d go out to dinner, things like that. But I lived in North Arlington, New Jersey, my family, for the most part, lived in different parts of the Bronx.

And all I did was work, so eventually, it got to the point where I would basically just be staring at the ceiling at night, and I couldn’t sleep. And I realized that that was basically depression and that I needed to make a change. And so it just so happens that there was a lot going on.

At the place, one of the places where I worked and they brought on new management staff, and the company was very poorly run. And I had a contract that allowed me to work one day out of the week at my first job, the original job that I got in the medical field. And the new job that I had, which was my full-time gig.

They had always allowed that because of my contract. I said, listen, if I take on this job, I have to work Tuesdays, from noon on I’ll be gone because I’ll be at my other job. And so when they brought on this new manager, She was like, yeah, that, that doesn’t count. You’re going to have to get rid of that.

And long story short, it ended up in, like a big old dispute. And I ended up leaving that job. This led to me going back to the Dominican Republic to be with my family. I was like, you know what, I’m not even going to do this. Like I’m here. We’ve submitted papers for my wife. They haven’t shown any progress that she’s going to be able to come to the US and be with me.

So I’m just going to go be with them. It’s more important for me to be a dad and a husband than it is for me to be a doctor at this moment. And the thing with that, the thought process for that is you will always get to work out your career. You will always get to better yourself.

You always have time to do that, but you won’t always have time to watch your children grow, and we get so caught up and so ambitious in trying to achieve our own goals. That a lot of times, our kids pay the price because they have to be sitting on the wayside. They have to be off to the side, watching us do our thing because that’s what’s most important to us.

When they should be, what’s most important to you, and then everything else. And some of you might think, yeah, but I got to put food on the table. Yeah, you can do that. You can work a job, you can find other ways to do that and still be able to have quality time with your family.

That’s hugely important. And I say this from a place of where I failed at that a lot. But at the time, that was my motivation. That’s always been my motivation; I’ve tried to focus on being there for my kids at all times. And I’ve made plenty of sacrifices like many parents do, and mine don’t compare to simply the sacrifices that my mom simply made for my sister and me,  but nonetheless, that was part of my motivation.

And so I went, and I went back to the Dominican Republic and right around this time, my wife she’d been in church and things like this. And she started asking me to go to church with her and all this kind of stuff. And I did. And after about a month or two, I decided to, really, give my life over to that whole thing, to become a man of faith and.

It changed everything; it was huge. Still to this day, I walk that way. I hold onto those values. My life wouldn’t be what it is without understanding that my creator is the one that sets everything in motion and it’s his will that I need to work towards fulfilling,  And it doesn’t matter, how you view that it doesn’t matter where you are with your own faith.

My view on it is we have a creator, right? God is real. He’s palpable in your life. When you write down all the things that have occurred, you can see all the times where he’s. Definitely directed your path. And he’s definitely put his hand in the way of things that could have been worse for your life, and everybody wants to take action and do what they want to do. And then, when things fail, they blame God. And they’ll say, Oh God can’t exist because if he did, then why would we have all of this? Or why would he have all of that? Or why would he have allowed this thing to happen to me in my life?

But what I say is go back and look at the history. If you go back and look at the history, you will always see that most of the problems that occur in your life, there was something or someone who set that in motion. So somebody might say, Oh what about, my family member dying of cancer or me dealing with this disease.

And once again, I will say a lot of the illnesses that we deal with in life have a lot to do with our own behaviors. If you live out in the jungles and you only eat fruits and vegetables, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to get a lot of the common diseases that the average American suffers from.

Okay. That’s not to say that people aren’t born with illnesses, and that’s not to say that I’m not sensitive to their plight. I have people who suffer from serious illnesses in my family. I have people who have special needs in my family. I love them dearly. They’re highly valuable to my life. And I understand that for whatever the case may be, our creator allows this.

Okay. And it’s part of our path to be able to accept these challenges, view these obstacles as challenges. And say, okay, how do I overcome this? How do I grow? And how do I share my growth with the world? We have no guarantees that everything is going to be super comfortable. And who would want that?

You have people in certain parts of Europe where the lifestyle is really great. It’s very comfortable. And yet, the suicide rates are very high. How do you explain that? Because everyone is trying to reach this level of supreme comfort, supreme wealth and supreme fame and all these kinds of things.

And yet, people who have achieved these things still go out and kill themselves. And so I think it’s more about purpose and meaning, and some of us get meaning, by. Being good parents and working a good job and retiring. And some of us get meaning by being a famous person and who maybe helps people with their fame and fortune.

And some of us get meaning by being someone that a lot of people overlook, but they fight through this challenge that life has allowed them to have. And. They enriched someone; they enrich many someones. Maybe they just enrich one person with their courage or their insight or their wisdom. It’s not just this one stroke of a brush that everyone adds to the mural.

Some people have big brushes. Some people have tiny brushes. Some people are coloring with red. Some people are coloring with blue. It’s. A mural. It’s a whole tapestry of life. And so everything has to be included in that. And I think that’s more or less the way that the creator has allowed it. That’s the way that God has allowed it because of the fact that in the end, he knows best.

I don’t know how that reaches you. And at this moment, this is the way that I’m expressing this, but more or less, that is the idea. The idea is that God is real. He loves man. He gave us a book that explains to us how we should live our lives to be blessed. And if you follow with that book, You will generally more than not be blessed because that’s what he promises, and in my own life, that is what I’ve seen.

I can’t speak to the life of anyone else. I can only speak to my life. And I know that from where I come from, I don’t deserve the blessings that I have today. But I also know that I came to a place where I asked for forgiveness. And I’m at a place where every day I wake up, and I’m grateful, and I thank God for giving me another day of life.

And I pray for those that I can think of. And I pray for all those that I forgot to think of. And I pray for all those that I think would need prayer, and this enriches my life. And I hope that it enriches the lives of the people that I pray for. And I hope that it enriches the lives of the names that I forgot, but I pray for nonetheless.

Because if we have a world full of people who are caring and praying for each other, ultimately, there’s no way that we can avoid that world being a better place. So that’s my rant about faith. And so all of that, bringing it back leads to the fact that I was in these. Churches. I started a church with a friend.

He was actually starting the congregation. I just helped him plant it and build it up and run it and things like that. And that led to me meeting lots of. Ministers, lots of evangelists, lots of preachers. And, I try to provide as much service as I could. So if someone needed to be picked up at the bus station or the airport or needed to be taken home or whatever the case may be, I would offer up my time and my vehicle to go do that because I knew that there was the possibility.

That I would get enriched by hearing from someone who is trying to live for God, and so the goal ultimately was to just meet godly people and to spend some time with godly people. And and that’s, I’m not coming from a place where I think that everyone who claims to be a believer is a really great believer and everything they do is okay.

I don’t know. I don’t live in that place of naivety, but I think that people warts and all with their floods and the whole nine yards, it’s worth trying to get to know people, right? The more people you get to know, the more things you learn, the more opportunities that present themselves, the more ways that you find yourself in situations and in conversations and in relationships that you could never have imagined.

And I’ve seen that again and again, and I, I spoke a little bit about that in a previous episode about my son’s coach, for instance. And  in doing that, and in spending all this time at church, it gave me the benefit of having my children raised in a place where they learned.

Structure. And they learned about faith and they learned about prayer and they learned about us doing missions and going out and feeding the hungry, and giving haircuts to children who couldn’t afford it. And preaching God’s word and things like this. And so I feel like now looking at them many years later, I can still see the fruits of that labor.

And everyone thinks their kids are great. And I think mine are great. But I see that in comparison with a lot of other kids, my kids have a lot less of the issues from, that children who grow up without these things. Can run into like myself when I was young, I didn’t have any of that stuff.

And I had a lot of issues, I grew up in a hood and I grew up in a very bad time with the crack epidemic and I saw things no one should ever see. And so we had very different upbringings, my children and myself, and I’m grateful for the opportunity and for the blessing that I was able to bring them up that way and that they didn’t have to grow up in the hood that I grew up in.

And cause if it was me and if I had a choice, I would have chosen the way they were brought up over the way that I was brought up, from a peace perspective, from a opportunities perspective. I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone, but in that regard I would have preferred that, so anyway this led to me seeing a bunch of people who had these great messages and and I’m thinking to myself more people in the world should hear these messages.

These people are saying some really profound things. And so this was like 2007, 2008. YouTube was just starting to get its legs. It was starting to become very popular or whatever. And I started telling guys, you should start a YouTube channel. You should, put these.

Teachings or these preachings or whatever the case you’re doing on YouTube and share it with the world. There’s hundreds of millions of Spanish speakers. They can find your videos online and it doesn’t cost you anything, so I was marketing before I was even into marketing.

Okay. And as life would have it, a lot of these guys were like I don’t know how to do that. I don’t have any technical skills. Can you do that for me? And I wasn’t very technical in terms of marketing, but I did have, like an idea because I had tinkered with WordPress just because I wanted to share my thoughts.

I, like since my teen years I’d always been writing things. I’d never written a book, but I did write essays. I wrote poems. I was into writing. And so I had attempted to start a blog when blogging took off. And so I had an idea and I went out and I started creating these YouTube channels for people.

Then I started creating, Facebook pages. And then I started tinkering with WordPress and putting up little WordPress sites for these guys. And before you know it,  they were getting people from all around the world. Reaching out to them, talking to them, sending them money, meeting them when they would travel to different countries in Latin America.

And they’d have people running up to them on the street, complete strangers out of nowhere, I saw your video. It was a blessing, this and that. The other thing. And so in the midst of this, I said, you know what? This is actually working. I’ve stumbled onto something. I think I’m going to pursue this,  commercially, I’m going to try and do this on a professional level.

Let me see if I can get some contracts and have some businesses do it for me. Have some businesses, do it with me, have some businesses,

have some businesses hire me to do this for them. And as it turned out that worked and I started making money from it and I got known for that. And then eventually I started my own little digital marketing firm out there in Dominican Republic, working with local businesses, and so as time went on, I came and I moved to Texas with my family.

And as soon as I landed here I met a good friend of mine. Andy Womack. And we teamed up together. He’s a videographer by my training. And we started offering our services to businesses and that worked, and he knew a lot of people in the Dallas area. He had some pretty good connections. So we started dealing with medium sized businesses and large corporations and things like that.

And so it was It was an organic growth for my expertise. And I started to dive deeper and deeper into SEO. Like I discovered SEO and I would get a bunch of first page rankings for all these different websites. And and so I started to go that way,  And then, you had the Google slap started happening and I really didn’t like that.

And I thought, this isn’t a good sign. This is going to continue. And maybe you need to go the way that these companies are actually guiding you to go, you, depending on free traffic from these companies is not a business model. So I need to learn what a business model is. And as time went on, I realized the real business model is knowing how to do effective copywriting.

So knowing persuasion, right? Knowing how to convince people, to try your solution to their problem, all business is about providing a solution to someone’s problem. If that’s not what you’re trying to do in business, then you’re probably a crook. You should be focused on solving people’s problems and then you let them know that you solve their problem with your copywriting, with your persuasive writing, leading them to understand exactly what it is that you offer.

Okay. Cause you can have the greatest product ever, but if you can’t express that to people, then you’re not going to be able to help a lot of people. Okay. Cause some other guy who’s not interested in helping people, but it can persuade people better than you will lead them to their, to his solution. That isn’t necessarily the best solution.

So if you have a good solution, that’s the core. You have a good solution to people’s problems. You have to know how to express that to them so that they would at least give you the time of day and take a look at your solution. Then you need to advertise your copywriting, right? So you have your solution.

Now, you know how to express that your solution is the best. Now you have to get that out in front of people and that’s where advertising comes in. Okay. And so you have to be able to do advertising effectively back in the day. Even still today, people use advertising agencies. They’re highly inefficient.

Most of them are not very good and they mostly charge a ton of money. Okay. So learning how to do this for yourself or getting lucky and finding an agency that actually does it well, and they’re accountable and they’re efficient and they’re responsible. That’s like finding a unicorn, but they’re out there.

That’s an important thing too, because now you have to get this effective message out in front of all of these eyeballs. And then finally you have to understand. You know how the business runs properly. So for instance, most businesses run out there and they chase after a ton of new customers all the time and they ignore the customers.

They already had, I worked with an oil and gas company and I went into their business. They hired me on. And when I went in, they were always trying to chase after new customers. And meanwhile, they had a database of like 20 to 30,000 current customers. And I said all your money is right here in this CRM.

Let’s go into the CRM and pull out this money. And so we went through and I pulled out the CRM. All the data that was in there that was showing who the best customers were, how much they had spent, when was the last time they purchased, how often they purchased. And then from that I segmented lists.

In other words, I broke it down into different boxes, different chunks of customers and how high quality they were compared to how the lowest quality customers who only purchase one time and then barely spend any money where right. So we broke that up into groups and then we started marketing to each of these groups, sending them emails primarily and saying, Hey, we recognize that you’re a special customer.

We want to offer you a discount on your next purchase kind of thing. And then the ones who normally didn’t purchase, it’d be like, Hey, we haven’t seen you around here in a long time. We’d like to know how we can help you, how we can, offer you better service. What was your experience like?

Hey, here’s a coupon and next time you have a need come and see us. And in a month we pulled out a million dollars. Now I can’t take all the credit myself because there was a sales team and there was, a whole organization around this effort. But the fact of the matter remains is that the best customers were already there.

That was the true winning part of it is that those customers had already been acquired. They just weren’t being given the attention that they deserved. And so what I’m trying to say is it’s a process. It’s a very simple process. These aren’t difficult concepts. And so once you understand them, you can go into any business and provide these same exact processes.

For a business and then you can say, Hey, I’ll come in and I will increase your sales. And I’ll just take a small portion of those sales that you get. You’ll pay me a monthly fee or you’ll pay me a small percentage, whatever the case may be. And that’s how, you can run a consulting business online with just a phone.

And a laptop. If you feel that you really need that, you can do most of this stuff from your phone, you can do a lot of it just from your iPad. I precedent, I prefer to use my laptop. I’m old school, but it’s really that simple. And if you are a business owner, you can take these same principles and apply them to your business.

And so as you can tell, like I’ll run off on that. I can talk about that for hours, because it’s something that I’m passionate about. It’s something that I found that I really enjoy. And so that’s basically how I got to where I am, so back then I wrote this book about.

All of these concepts, but I wrote it from the perspective of, I wish someone had a manual that taught me the things that I know now, but cut out all the garbage and just put in the things that are really important. The things that I should be really focused on so that I can get success quickly and justify spending the time to learn this endeavor.

Spending the time to learn this new trade. And so you might hear my neighbor’s dogs. And so I felt I want to share this with the world, but then I didn’t, I got going and then self doubt kicked in and,  imposter syndrome was hitting me really hard. And. As time went on, I realized, all that stuff is a bunch of nonsense.

The very first key to business that you need is to reprogram your mind. If you have a poor mindset, it doesn’t matter how much skill set you have. You still won’t be able to execute because your mind will always be holding you back. So the very first thing that you need to do in order to be successful in businesses, you need to reprogram your thoughts.

We all come from a bunch of different places. And most humans on earth have had it rough in one way or another because that’s life. So that programs, your operating system, your brain is a super computer and it runs on experiences. That is the operating system experiences and knowledge taught to you by those around you.

And so some people get a good opportunity. They get somebody who’s knowledgeable and wise, and that person programs that operating system for them when they’re young and most people don’t get that. And the most people’s experiences are, partly TV and partly a parent who’s working all the time and partly, dealing with some friends who don’t know anything.

And and partly some friends who don’t know anything and are trying to figure it out for themselves and you making a bunch of embarrassing mistakes and then wrapping that all up into this burrito of self doubt. And so you have to reprogram your mind, right? And the way that you do that is you have to make some choices.

You have to decide I’m going to fix the way I think. Okay. And there are some really good books out there, and I can list some in the show notes about getting started doing this. One of the people that was most instrumental for me, I studied this for a very long time, but one of the people that was most instrumental for me was a guy called Sam ovens.

His mindset training is amazing, right? If you can’t afford to use Sam Oven’s mindset training, cause he has a whole course on consulting and stuff like that. And his mindset module is pretty big and it’s very good. But if you can’t afford to. To do that. One of his students, his name is Alex Becker.

He’s another marketer out there. And he shares a lot of the same concepts on his YouTube channel for free. There’s a bunch of people nowadays who talk about Sam ovens and Sam ovens himself. He has a YouTube channel and he shares a lot of these ideas on his YouTube channel. So I highly recommend him.

And so once you get that piece down, Where you have reprogrammed, or you at least started to reprogram your mind and you start to see the era in the way that you think about a lot of things. Now you can go out and you can start to do the things that you need to do, and you won’t be self-sabotaging.

You won’t have fear of success. You won’t have so much self doubt that it paralyzes you. You won’t spend a ton of time with the paralysis of analysis and trying to think to yourself. I have to know so much. I have to study more. I have to study more. The guy that is more successful. Isn’t the one that studies it’s the one that takes action.

No, that like the people who run companies and who own the biggest businesses, most of them are college dropouts. And the guys who work for them are the ones who have the PhDs. So the guys who end up studying the most have a tendency to be employees and the guys who run out and just start working on an idea are the ones who tend to be the owners.

I know this has gone long if you’re still listening. Thank you so much for letting me share. My story with you. I didn’t get into all the details of it. We have, a ton of time to go through these things. And as you guys comment back and forth, I can definitely, share more stuff.

I’ve had a pretty interesting life and I’ve had lots of experiences that I’d love to share. So I will do that. The, in the meantime, I think you have a pretty good idea of who I am and how I think about things, I want to. Help the world. I want to help my fellow, man. I think that we can each make the world a better place every day, by just being friendly by just sharing, a little bit of ourselves with a stranger by giving the guy who scowls at you on the road, a pass, instead of giving him the middle finger, and knowing, like Jerry Seinfeld says, if somebody gives you the finger, why do you care? What does that even mean? You know what I mean? And so if you don’t know, this is quick little story so that you can laugh about it next time somebody does give you the finger. The finger was, it goes back to the days of archery.

Okay. And so when people were shooting bows and arrows and chopping each other with swords, what ended up happening was is that when you wanted to give someone a warning, if someone was doing something that you didn’t like, if they were behaving in a way that you found threatening  or that you thought was, a misconduct, if you were good with a bow, you would lift up your two fingers.

You would lift up your fingers that you pull your bow string with. And so that ended up being the middle finger. Cause it was basically saying by me lifting up these fingers, I’m showing you that with my bow, I can kill you. And so nowadays we give people the finger, to say, F you or whatever the case may be.

I didn’t like your behavior, or I think you suck. But where it comes from is people saying I’ll kill you. But the reality is that it’s just a gesture and it only has as much weight as you put on it. I tell my kids that when you’re making cold calls, when you calling people, I have a son who’s very much interested in being a real estate investor.

And I tell him there’s a lot of cold calling involved in that, like the most successful guys, they still have these huge teams, cold calls and stuff like that. And so when you’re cold calling, or when you’re doing customer service, you’re going to get a lot of fun and F your mother and F outta here and all this kind of stuff.

And all you have to do to say, Oh, you have to say to that is all you have to say to that is thank you. Have a nice day. Because someone else’s emotional state should not impose upon your emotional state. You’re giving up control when you allow that to happen. And if you have a spouse or you have kids, that happens on a regular basis.

But Mel Robbins has a great solution to that and she calls it the five-second rule. Somebody says something or does something you don’t like, you count to five. Now you switched out your emotional side of your brain for your logical side of your brain, because you started to count. And now those emotions subside, and you’re able to be in control of your being.

Once again, you don’t fly off the handle as the emotional person that we all are. And so it’s little things like this, right? These little tweaks and adjustments and understandings that you get from observing life, observing people and reading books, watching videos from smart people, listening to podcasts from smart people, these little things, they change everything.

And the younger you are when you learn these things the better, because it will just enrich your life that much more, which means that you can go off and enrich the lives of others that much more, so that’s, more or less what I’m about. I’m that dude, that’s trying to make the world a better place.

And I recognize that when people deal with me, they either love me or they hate me. And I’m fine with it because that’s your business, not mine. So with that, I’m going to shut this down. I hope this was helpful. I look forward to hearing from you in the comments. I’ll leave some of the stuff I mentioned in the show notes, and until next time have a blessed day.

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