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Intro: Welcome to the Smart Energized Entrepreneurs Podcast with JP Stonestreet, episode #14.
JP: On today’s episode, you are going to meet Daina Kalnins of BuildYourTour.com and she is going to talk about how she started a business around doing something that she loves to do and something that she was already doing and now she is just doing it as a business, but before we get into that interview, I would like to encourage you to go to my website and sign up for my newsletter at JPStonestreet.com. You will get notified when I upload new podcasts, you will also get a newsletter email from me. Every week or two, I send out something with some tidbit of information that I have learned – some painful lesson that I have learned, I like to share those with people so that they hopefully don’t repeat the mistakes that I continue to make and you can learn from those mistakes and hopefully avoid them yourself, but the only way you can do that is if you go to my website at JPStonestreet.com and on the podcast page, you will see a little sign up form on the right hand side that will allow you to sign up for my newsletter. So, go there and do that right now so that you won’t miss anything, you won’t miss any of the good stuffs. All right, let’s get to the interview today with Daina Kalnins of Build Your Tour.
Welcome Daina to this episode of the Smart Energized Entrepreneurs Podcast, how are you doing?
Daina: I am doing great today JP. Thank you.
JP: Very good, I am so excited to talk to you about your business Build Your Tour. Did I meet you at my workshop or did I meet you at the SBA presentation?
Daina: We met at SBA SCORE presentation.
JP: Okay, yes that’s when I was talking about social media.
JP: Yes, okay. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember how I met everybody.
JP: So, let’s just jump right in and talk about your business and we will start by telling us a little bit about you, who you are and then talk about your business.
Daina: Well, I am an ex-large corporate middle manager person. I spent nearly 20 years with Bell Laboratories and AT&T and eventually transitioned into Lucent and Avaya. Part of my career was spent in – most of the career was spent in quality assurance or what was at that time known as system test and I actually had a little bit of involvement with the very first voicemail system that went out. So, that was pretty exciting, but I found myself being really stressed out in middle management. I was squeezed between wanting to do things that were really good for the folks on my team and meeting the needs of upper management and it started to take a toll on my health. So, I apologize if I have a little cough now and then because it started back then and it has been really hard to keep under check, but I quit that whole rigmarole and it was probably the best move I ever made for my life. I quit in 1998 and I began working with my husband. He has his own business and I do part-time duties for him such as hosting events that he sponsors and doing some database and website maintenance for the association he works with and then a few years ago, I decided to start my own business kind of on a whim and I started Build Your Tour and Build Your Tour is all about designing and selling tour books and tour planning services for cyclists because both my husband and I just love the cycle and we think it’s one of the best ways to see the world.
JP: Wow, that’s cool and in bicycle because some people might not know the difference between cycling and biking. So, you are talking about like road bikes, right?
Daina: We are talking about the human powered variety.
Daina: They are not road cycling, but a big thing that’s up and coming now is gravel cycling. So, going out on more gravel roads and even emptier places. So, kind of a cross between mountain biking and road biking.
JP: Okay, so when did you start that business again?
Daina: I started almost two years ago.
JP: Okay great. So, tell us about the kinds of products or services that you offer.
Daina: The ones that we are really focusing on going forward here are connecting cyclists with tour groups that they want to go tour with. So, if someone wants to go somewhere specifically say someone wants to go to the south of France. If they don’t know where to rent equipment or they don’t know where to stay or they don’t know what to do, we can put together a plan for them or we can match them up with existing tours and tour groups we know because we have a long list of folks we know that lead tours and design tours around the world. The other part that we do that the part that took off the most last year is designing photo books and so the part of that business that is challenging is that people come around and they see various groupons or various things on the internet that say “Hey, you can make your own photo book.” Well all that is absolutely true, but we have the expertise where we can process images to make them look their best and then we also size them the right size to put them into the photo book so that when you get a photo book, everything looks crisp and clean and professional as opposed to kind of pixely and put together and last year we did photo books for two bicycle tours and had guests on those tours purchase books. So, it is really exciting and a lot of the guests really loved them. Our current feedback is 85% positive. We would do it again and direct their friends and families to Build Your Tour to provide that service. So, that’s where we are focusing mostly right now.
JP: Cool and these are physical books, right?
Daina: These are physical books. So, something that people can save their memories and take home and sit on their coffee table and look at year after year. We found that people, they get DVDs of photos or people send and share pictures, but they sit in your computer just like they used to sit in shoeboxes and we really like to bring joy to people by letting them pick up that book year after year and say remember when we did this and remember when we went with our friends here and it’s a great way to keep up the enthusiasm and find a lot of joy in life.
JP: Wow, that’s neat. I think that’s a good idea for this, especially for your community because the cycling community is pretty tight-knit and you guys like to talk about it and go – you are kind of like the dive community. I am a scuba diver and we are kind of the same way about diving as cyclists are about their sport.
Daina: Yes, you eat, sleep, and breathe it and it’s like if you are not cycling then you are sitting down talking about cycling and you are probably eating at the same time.
JP: Yes. So how much experience did you have specifically relating to this business before you started it?
Daina: Specifically related to this business, I had only really personal experience and for myself, my husband, small groups of friends. I have been designing books and putting like memory books together since 1996 or so. So, lot’s of putting that together, but since I started the business, I have been really ramping up and getting a lot of training on how to process photographs and getting equipment to process photographs in a more professional manner in terms of planning towards same thing, all years and years of personal and doing small groups of friends.
JP: So, you started a business based around something that you love to do, a hobby?
JP: That is great. That’s why I tell lots of people to do figure out how to make a living doing what you love for free right now. If you can make a living at doing what you love and because you weren’t charging for it before when you were just doing it for yourself and your family or may be some friends, it was just pro bono, but now you are actually earning a living or earning an income from it.
Daina: I am getting some money; I am starting to make some money as my husband says “You need to gross before you net.” We are working on making a net.
JP: It’s awesome. So, what was the most difficult challenge that you faced so far and how did your overcome it?
Daina: Wow! The difficult challenge for me in building this business is just the wealth of ideas and things that spring to mind to spontaneously or when I am surfing the web for something and I just end up with a list that’s like from here to eternity long of things to do and determining how to prioritize is tough. So, the way I overcome it is I just try and look for the thing that makes the most sense at the moment and I am just going with it.
JP: The other way of putting that is low hanging fruit. We try and do that – in my business and software, in my old business when I used to be in software development, we would always go after the low hanging fruit. That would be the project that would take the least amount of time and yield the most amount of revenue and that’s a good rule that entrepreneurs can apply in their business too. Pick the things that take the least amount of time and generate the most revenue and obviously there are some things that are going to generate the most revenue but take a lot of time and then there are some things that take very little time but generate no revenue. So, it’s hard to balance that and figure out which ones of those things that you should actually be working on, but if you can identify those two components, it does help make the decision process easier.
Daina: Yes, and that is difficult because I talked to some tour directors who might want a photo book, but I really don’t know how big the revenue is going to be or the potential is, but they seem really excited. So, right now we are going with them.
JP: That’s great. It’s really neat to hear you turning your hobby into a business that you are like the poster child for what I tell people to do.
Daina: I could be a very good poster child for that, yes. Well, it’s part-time and we have just taken off.
JP: Would you say that your business is very stressful so far. Some startups and entrepreneurs, there is a lot of stress in their business, I am not sure that – do you have much stress in your business?
Daina: Well, my stress is more self-imposed than anything else. I am very fortunate that basically I am kept by my husband and this is part-time. So, I am not doing this round the clock all the time even through there have been weeks where I have spent well over 40 hours on it when I have on tours, taking photos and producing, but it’s not stressful in the normal sense. It’s just the stresses I put on myself.
JP: What do you do to cope with that?
Daina: Well, having listened to your previous podcasts, I decided to take a Melanie Benson Strick Money DNA course and I am finding that not that it’s centered so much on financial, but just the concept of self-talk and defining what I really want is already starting to help me.
JP: That’s great. I am going to make sure and tell her that you heard about her on my podcast. That’s awesome. It’s nice to know that my podcasts are working for the entrepreneurs that are being featured in them.
Daina: Yes, exactly.
JP: Not just the people who listen because I get lots of emails from people who tell me how much they are enjoying listening to it, but it’s really nice to know that it’s actually benefiting the guests as well. So, hopefully we will get some business driven to you from this podcast.
Daina: Yes, that will be great because we can do photo books for non-cyclists too.
JP: That’s cool, that’s neat. So, what’s your most favorite aspect of owning and running your own business?
Daina: One of the things that turns me on the most is that I get to have something that challenges me or interests me. If I am having a slow day or don’t have enough to do somewhere else, I now have somewhere to direct my curiosity and my energy and that’s a lot of fun. So, it used to be I would always go out for a bike ride and I still do a lot of that, but challenging the mind by figuring out ways of doing things or getting something working or getting a product out there, it’s a lot of fun for me.
JP: So, what’s an example of that? I am going to put you on the spot here. What’s an example of something that has challenged you recently that made you still – that was rewarding to figure out?
Daina: Well, the other day I got some images from my client and she is a COO or someone pretty high up in a company here in Denver. So, she is an intelligent woman and she wants the photo book that measures about the size of piece of paper about 8 x 10, 8 x 11 and she wants some of these images to be fairly large, but the other day the images she sent me measured 340 x 260 pixels. I knew that that’s not going to work based on previous experience, but I wanted to know and understand exactly how big those images could be and still provide a clear printed image in a book to her and so I went off on a search to verify and clarify my mind around that and determine that the pictures I could put in her book would probably be something like three-quarters of an inch by one inch large and I didn’t think she would really like that, but searching for the information on the internet when I had an instinct that that wouldn’t work was important to me.
JP: That’s neat to solve those kinds of problems.
Daina: It’s not a big problem, but it’s just little ones here and there like that.
JP: It does stimulate your brain. I enjoy doing that too. Sometimes I spend a little too much time when I should be paying somebody else to do it, but that’s part of the reason why I like owning my own business too is to solve those kinds of problems.
Daina: Yes, you got to stay away from going too far out on the tangent.
JP: Yes, did you build your own website or did you pay somebody to do that for you?
Daina: Unlike the ideas I got from JP, I built my own and what I did was I went to a site called Weebly.com and they basically provide a free website. They provide free hosting and a lot of tools that make it easy to pretty much drag and drop.
JP: That’s neat and I have heard of Weebly and also Wix is another one that works kind of the same way where it’s a free tool. There are limitations to that.
Daina: Limit based.
JP: Yes, there are lots of limitations, but as far as basic, getting a basic website up quickly and easily, those are definitely good solutions. If your business does grow, you will have to rebuild it and find a new solution because they probably won’t meet your needs long-term, but for short-term it’s probably perfect.
Daina: Right, exactly. I am not ready for servers or…in my next door bedroom or anything yet.
JP: Yes, I never recommend that. That’s bad. If your house breaks down then your website does too.
JP: I have changed might too a little bit on the concept of doing it yourself. I have actually created a couple of online courses that one of them actually specifically teaches you how to do WordPress and build your website at the same time and I decided that a lot of people are on a tight budget and even if you pay somebody to build your website, if you use WordPress, you still need to know how to do some basic maintenance of it. So, that’s why I decided to go and create those course, specifically teach people, business-minded people who aren’t technical how to build a WordPress website and I just kind of revamped it and I am getting ready to re-launch it, but generally what I say is if you have more time than money, build it yourself. If you have more money than time, pay somebody else to do it for you and you can find people depending on how complex the website is, you can pay somebody a couple of hundred bucks to build a really basic website and depending on how complicated if you want full blown ecommerce, they can be 1000 or 2000, it just really depends on what you want, but yes I think you did the right thing building your own website because you are kind of turning a hobby into a business and it’s a great way for you to kind of test the waters and see how it goes.
Daina: The other value I found in it JP is for me I didn’t have everything written down and decided on a piece of paper. So, when I was building a website, is when I noticed holes and I discovered other things that I would need to consider for the business.
JP: Yes, and that’s hard. You make a really good point that – I have built websites for years and years and I built a whole bunch of my own and the process of building website points out flaws in your initial concept and design and if you paid somebody else then it ends up getting more expensive. It’s the more those flaws or changes you have to make ends up costing you more money.
Daina: Yes, exactly.
JP: Doing it yourself does kind of open that window up a little bit, so you can kind of see those issues for yourself and fix them.
Daina: …and fix them quickly, yes, which is nice.
JP: Okay Daina, how did you get your first five customers? That’s a question that almost everybody that’s starting a business has, how do I get my first five customers? So, how did you get yours?
Daina: Friends of friends.
JP: So, referrals.
Daina: Absolutely referrals, word of mouth referrals.
JP: Yes, word of mouth is huge, especially in the beginning and you have to get that word of mouth working in, in your favor.
Daina: Yes, and one of the tours I did, it’s tours I have done before with people who have through the years essentially become friends and on one of those tours they said “Well gee, why don’t you do a photo book for us next year.” So, that came about and friends who go “Well, I know these people who went on this trip and they would really like a photo book, but they don’t know how to do it, they are not computer savvy” and they keep sending them to me.
JP: Great. So, do you do any other kinds of marketing or do you pretty much rely on word of mouth?
Daina: I have tried some Facebook ads and that is basically about it.
JP: Okay and did you use Facebook to get likes on your Facebook page because I see your post ups and I like your Facebook posts quite often. So, did you use that to get likes on your Facebook page or did you drive that to your website?
Daina: A little bit of both. I try driving it to the website and I don’t think I have the concept done on that so that’s something I probably want to revisit, but more recently I have been tracking and looking at what on my Facebook post is working better and trying to get online training on how to do better posts. So, I am finding things like putting graphics together that ask a question in and of themselves and then posting the question last tends to get more interest going on my Facebook and it’s those types of things that I will boost the post up to try and get more likes and get more followers.
JP: Okay, that’s good and so you are using the boost feature on your Facebook page?
Daina: Every now and then, yes.
JP: What do you usually do like the 5 dollars or the 20 dollars, what do you usually do on that?
Daina: I usually do in the 10 dollar range, yes.
JP: Okay and what kind of traction do you see from that? Do you see many new additional likes or new comments or…?
Daina: I tend to get more additional clicks to things I have posted about because a lot of my posts include links to something cycling related or something photo book or photography related and so, if I boost something with a link, I tend to get a lot of secondary links and if those come back to my website too, I will get more clicks. Sometimes I get some additional likes here and there, but more it’s just more general interest in building a community.
JP: Okay, I have used the boost feature for a few of my posts not a lot and I find that lots of people see it, but I don’t get a ton of interaction from it and I am not sure why that is. I have done it for a couple of my podcast posts and they actually have led to more downloads of the podcast. So, that seems to work better than just regular links to my website. So, I am still learning the whole Facebook boost strategy as well.
JP: What in your business – what is not working right now?
Daina: Oh sorry, what’s that?
JP: In your business, what is not working for you right now?
Daina: Well, right now is this tends to be a seasonal business with peaks and valleys and so in summer there is a lot more going on. So, right now it is a time period where people are kind of lying low and starting about training and so getting people excited is difficult at this time of year. So, it’s just keeping after it and reminding people that get your tours planned and if you are doing a tour and you want a photo book, start planning with us as to when we could do a photo book for you because we have slots to fill and once they are filled, we will be busy.
JP: So, when is the best time? I am guessing the best time to contact you about the photo books specifically would be when they are still in the planning stages.
Daina: Exactly, for a large tour or something like that where we put this large number of copies of the book, now is the time of the year to do that, but for individuals, it’s kind of anytime of the year.
JP: Okay. I love your idea. Your idea could work for so many things. I am thinking I could use scuba diving trips that I have been on when I have gone on a group trip, it would be neat to have – generally what you do is you get a CD and that CD is somewhere in a drawer.
JP: It would be so cool to have an actual book and I would be willing to pay for it. They give the CD away, but I would be willing to pay for a book.
Daina: There you go.
JP: Yes, I love your idea. It’s a really good idea.
Daina: Come on over JP, I can do that for you.
JP: Yes, I haven’t been on a group trip in three years probably. That’s a while back. I need to get out there more.
Daina: Yes, it’s so much fun to get to know people through an activity you really enjoy doing, you can develop really good friendships.
JP: Yes, you do and it’s funny I have told this story before, but I met my girlfriend as a result of going on a scuba trip. So, I went on a group trip several years ago. It was my first one, I wasn’t even sure if I want to go, but I decided to go and I met a guy and we became friends after the trip and then he introduced me to one of his friends who then introduced me to Amelia and we have been together for almost a year and a half now.
Daina: Oh good for you too.
JP: I know. So, if I hadn’t have gone on that scuba trip then I probably never would have met her.
Daina: Hey, sliding doors.
JP: Isn’t it amazing?
Daina: Yes, you don’t know what’s going to happen if you would have gone the other way.
JP: I know, it is – it’s really fascinating to think the chain of events that led to that even just to going on that scuba trip because I sold my company and I have been wanting to scuba dive for years. I never did it because I either didn’t have the time or the money and then after I sold my company, I had a little of both and so I decided okay, now is the time to get my scuba certification.
JP: It’s just amazing that how many things had to fall into place for me to actually meet Amelia and she is awesome.
JP: Go ahead.
Daina: I remember meeting her.
JP: Oh you did, you have met her?
JP: Oh yes at one of the luncheons, right?
Daina: Luncheons yes.
JP: Oh yes, so you have met her. She is a great person, really good for me.
JP: Okay, so as an entrepreneur, what could you use more help with in your business?
Daina: Right now since it is a slow time, not a lot of things right now other than help with coaching and how to make the business grow and perform better as the owner of the business, but when summertime kicks in and when tours start kicking in and people start having a lot of pictures, the things they want to do or they get – they are like “Oh, it’s June and I need to plan to go somewhere.” When that activity starts I can use help sometimes with photography, sometimes with the image processing and just a variety of the basic tasks that need to be done.
JP: Okay, so yours really is a seasonal business. I guess I didn’t really think about that because you are based here in the Northern Hemisphere, I am wondering if there is a way for you to make use of the Southern Hemisphere and the fact that it’s summer there right now.
Daina: Yes, and I have a few contacts who do tours down there or run companies in the Southern Hemisphere, but they are new relationships and that is not something where they are so excited about doing a lot with me right now. It’s a stuff that’s building.
JP: That’s good. It’s always good to have stuffs in the pipeline.
JP: So, do you have a mentor or a coach or somebody that you work with in your business?
Daina: Not officially. I tend to glom on and do things unofficially like through you JP and then working on some of the ideas with Melanie Benson Strick. So, that’s the coaching that I am looking for right now, but I do have several role models if you will that when I am together with these people, I observe what they are doing and I gain inspiration and coaching from that. What I don’t get right now is anyone who is really holding me accountable, so I have to do that part myself.
JP: Yes, that is the – that’s a tough part about being an entrepreneur and that’s why I just hired a business coach for my own business because I need help just like everybody else does – I need somebody to hold me accountable and say “Okay, get this done this week” and then I know that I have to report back to her next week and if I don’t have it done, she is going to be disappointed and I can’t have her disappointed. So, it’s a real good motivation for me to do the things especially the things I don’t necessarily like to do because it doesn’t matter what business you run, there are things that you don’t like to do as much as other things and those tend to get pushed off if there is nobody to hold you accountable.
Daina: Right and I find that if there is something I like to do and something I don’t like to do, I will get the thing I like to do done and say “Oh well, at least I did that part.”
Daina: But I need to get off this call eventually and face taxes too, right?
Daina: Yes, so everything needs to get prepared for taxes here shortly.
JP: Yes that is so true that you pick the thing you like to do, you do it and then you still like the sense of accomplishment and say “Yes, it’s a good time for a break” or “I will get to that other thing tomorrow.”
JP: I have to say I did that yesterday. I could have worked last night. I generally work in the evenings when I don’t have my daughter. I could have worked last night and I have finished a big task that I kind of enjoy doing and I had another one that I needed to do that I didn’t really feel like doing and so I didn’t do it and I went and I watched SportsCenter for a while and made dinner and then watched some more TV and then went to bed.
Daina: There you go, see it happens to all of us.
JP: It does, it does.
Daina: I have a lot of practice in that with my cycle training and when I am going on big tours where we do may be 400 to 500 miles a week on a bicycle tour. I need to be physically fit for that and so I have a lot of experience through the years of training myself and holding myself accountable for my training on the bicycle. So, I understand what needs to be done and I know how to kind of keep myself into the appropriate place to do it, but even then it doesn’t always happen.
JP: Yes, and I did get up at 5 o’clock this morning and that’s the time I generally get up is 5 and then by 6 o’clock I was working on the tasks that I didn’t want to do last night and I actually got it done this morning before this podcast interview, just like 15 minutes before, I finally got it done and it feels good to have that done because I didn’t really want to do it.
Daina: It’s nice to have them out of the way.
JP: It is, it is. Okay, so you said something a minute ago that it’s kind of a nice segway into my next question which is who or what inspires you? You said that you have some people that are not necessarily coaches or mentors but that inspire you. So, tell us about one person that’s particularly inspiring.
Daina: Oh wow! Having listened to your podcast, I picked four. So, let’s see which one. Okay, I will tell you about one that I kind of like controlling a little bug for everybody and help them support this organization. The organization is called DenverTechForAll.org and it’s run by a friend of mine. She and I used to teach internet skills to seniors at the Denver Public Library and Rose is the founder of Tech For All and what she did was several years ago she started refurbishing computers and giving them away to people who need them and now as the foundation continues to do this, we surpassed the numbers of over 5000 computers given away.
Daina: All she does is take the old piece parts and cleans them up, cleans up the disks, reformats everything, puts them all together and gets out those computers. The reason she inspires me is because this foundation is run on a shoestring, an absolute shoestring and over the years it has grown phenomenally and computers are throughout the Denver area of course. She has various relationships with schools, computers have gone to Africa and all the computers that come in are free from donations of people who didn’t want them any longer and they are still viable and she gets them out there. So, it’s a pretty neat thing and it’s done with a lot of energy on her part which I admire and I see how she – her care and feeding of volunteers on the foundation is inspirational to me. I see how she treats the other people that work with her and I see the challenges that she has to work through and it does my heart good to help her out every now and then and work with her.
JP: That’s great. It is the difference between the haves and have nots. They have computers and they don’t have computers. It is a major delineation in our society and the fact that she is helping people who are less fortunate get access to that is that’s really remarkable.
Daina: Yes, and for the most part, the goal is to get it to kids who need it for school and the one I always scratch my head over is when we get requests from homeless who want computers and kind of like “Where are you going to plug it in?”
JP: Yes, I guess I go to library, Wi-Fi, plugs.
Daina: We basically can’t do a whole lot with laptops. So, right now we are through most of the years, we have been doing nearly 100 percent desktop computers.
JP: Yes, that wouldn’t be easy to lug around.
Daina: Not easy.
JP: That is interesting. I wonder if they are thinking about selling it.
Daina: Yes, that’s happened, but the way she goes about working with her volunteers the way she has built the foundation up, there’s a lot of activity and a lot of demonstration of good business sense and how she pursues things that I really take as a good model for anyone to follow.
JP: That’s great and I will put a link to that foundation on the show notes page for this podcast.
Daina: Yes, that will be wonderful. Thank you.
JP: You bet. Is there a book that you can recommend, one that you liked or that impacted your life?
Daina: Yes, and this one comes from an artist friend of mine who was helping me with my backyard and we were talking philosophically about stuffs and I read a book that he recommended recently and it’s called Four Essential Agreements, the author is Don Miguel Ruiz and it’s a really simple short book, but it talks about four basic principles that I have been keeping in the forefront of my mind as I work my business and…with my life lately and the four principles are basically – you always speak the truth, so your word is impeccable. You never assume anything, you always do your best, and that doesn’t mean you are perfect or you are excellent; it’s your best for the day and you don’t take anything personal, and so reading a simple little book and taking those four principles, I think has helped me move forward in my life and my business and it’s neat for a good little book.
JP: I will put a link to that up as well and I love the last one – don’t take anything personal. A lot of people just jump to conclusions. They think somebody is out to get them or most of the time people just aren’t paying attention. I had that issue. I have been known to be insensitive about things. I don’t mean it – I don’t mean any ill will or harm or anything, it just comes out, may be not as sensitive as it could and with the wrong people they take that personal and it hurts their feelings and I am like “I am sorry, I didn’t mean it that way.” I think if more people would follow that piece of advice and not take things so personally, I think our whole world would just be a lot better off.
Daina: Exactly, but the other kick around that JP is you don’t take the successes personally either.
JP: Oh wow.
JP: Wow that’s a twist. That one’s hard to wrap my head around.
Daina: Yes, it is because if someone really likes what you do, you want to take it in and if someone doesn’t like what you do, you want to keep it at arm’s length, but essentially what the author is saying is that it’s all about them, none of that’s about you.
JP: Wow, that’s a good point. It really is. It really makes you think about that because I hadn’t thought about it that way. I have always thought about is the negative way, the arm’s length way, but yes, if you don’t take it personally that means you can’t take the positive things personally either.
Daina: It’s something to think about, isn’t it?
JP: It is. I am going to have to think about that. I may have to write a blog post about that one. Okay, so looking back over your last two years of entrepreneurship, is there anything that you would have done differently?
Daina: Hundreds of thousands of things, but…
JP: Anything in particular?
Daina: But on balance, not really. Since I am not so financially dependent on it, it’s more enjoying the journey, so the journey is what the journey is. So, I am just going to go with it for right now.
JP: I am going to have to introduce you to Denise Brummond. Did you listen to her podcast interview?
Daina: I think so, yes.
JP: She runs the RockSalt Spa. You two are lot alike. I think you guys would really hit it off. I am going to set up an introduction for you two.
JP: She is another entrepreneur. She is a neat lady too. Okay, so what is – this is the last question. You are going to be off the hook after this one. So, what is your most important piece of advice that you can give people who want to start their own business. Just one, what’s your most important?
Daina: I think that’s going to be your own business that you are staring and it’s yours and something you own. I think you really need to know who you are and why you want it because all your decisions need to come from a solid foundation and if it’s your business, you are the foundation. So, I think knowing yourself is huge.
JP: I think that’s great advice and that’s different than what a lot of people say, but I think it kind of speaks to where you are coming from, personally and in your business and I think it’s great advice because you are right, you are constantly bombarded with decisions that you have to make and if you don’t have a solid foundation and if you are just blowing around in the breeze, it’s kind of hard sometimes to make those decisions, but if you have your solid foundation, you know what you stand for, you know what your principles are; making decisions becomes a lot easier.
Daina: Becomes a lot easier.
JP: That’s great advice. I love that.
Daina: Thank you.
JP: Well I think that is the end of this podcast interview. Thank you so much Daina for joining me on this episode of the Smart Energized Entrepreneurs Podcast.
Daina: Thank you JP. I am looking forward to putting that link up on my site too.
JP: Awesome, thank you. I appreciate that.
JP: …and I will connect you up with Denise Brummond. You guys are going to hit it off, I just know it.
JP: Very good. I will talk to you soon Daina.
Daina: Okay, thanks JP.
JP: I absolutely love talking to people about their entrepreneurial journey and their businesses, especially when it’s someone who has created a business doing something that they love to do. Daina was already creating the tour books that she is putting together and booking these tours. She was just doing it for free and for fun and now she is doing it as a business and people are getting tremendous value out of it. They are getting a keepsake and a memory for the trips that they have taken. Anybody can do this. If you have a passion, if you have something that you love to do, figure out a way to turn it into a business. Just look at what other people are doing, copy them. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just figure out something that you love to do and then figure out how to monetize it. Those are the two important things – do what you love and then monetize it. It’s not a business if you are not making money, it’s a hobby. So, figure out how to make money and then you can live the entrepreneurial dream life. Until next time, this is JP Stonestreet with the Smart Energized Entrepreneurs Podcast.