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You'll find tips throughout the newsletter, but today's Tip Jar section has Yamel Barroso's best advice on financial intelligence. Plus, he shares how to go after a big sales goal smartly.
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IDENTIFY AN OPPORTUNITY
As a kid, you probably rode an animal on a farm or on a visit to the petting zoo. Imagine looking at a goat and thinking you could give rides to other kids and make a business out of it.
That’s exactly how 13-year-old Yamel Barroso’s mind worked. In Cuba, where opportunities to be entrepreneurial weren’t exactly encouraged, this is just one example of how Barroso made money.
BRING SOMEONE ELSE INTO THE BUSINESS, IF NEEDED
Of course, Barroso explains, “I didn’t have the money to buy the goat. And when I met the person who was selling the goat, well, I convinced him to let me run the business. I would give him half the revenue for the week. He agreed to it.”
NEGOTIATE A SUCCESSFUL EXIT
And then at the end, Barroso sold the goat named Pepe to someone else, split the proceeds again with the goat's owner and made even more money. (Note: Since I'm an animal lover, I asked him about how the goat was treated. He reassured me the little goat was treated very well.)
THE TIP JAR (tips passed out courtesy of Yamel Barroso)
“The first thing is to identify your passion. What would you do, even if you didn’t get paid?”
“Then, you have to come up with a strategy so you can do it professionally.”
“For me, I do what I enjoy. If I enjoy it, I’ll likely excel in what I’m doing. And if I excel, then the money will come.”
STEEPED IN SKILLS (mid career): “When you’ve already discovered your passion, your objective is clear. That’s when the bug has bitten. Then, the first thing you should do is work on financial intelligence. Organize yourself well because we tend to have bad emotional intelligence and get into debt because of instant gratification…”
“The second most important thing is to have support.”
PRACTICAL EXAMPLE: “My wife and I are a team. If my wife isn’t aligned with my goal, if the family isn’t on board with it, that’s going to be an extra burden to bear.”
STARTING OVER: “Identify your passion and talent. Then, you have to find the opportunity.”
PRACTICAL EXAMPLE: "Suppose I like to cook, and it’s something I really enjoy. In the kitchen, I like to make pizza. Well, now I have to find the opportunity. What problem can I solve? What problem can I solve in my neighborhood? What are they doing wrong?"
“I know that whatever I’m going to build will be huge. But to start, I need to concentrate on improving the quality of pizzas in my neighborhood. After that, I’ll do it in my city and, then, in my state. And, after that, in the world. “
"A lot of times, we buy into starting big and that’s what demoralizes, demotivates and disorients us. That’s why I don’t recommend that. Start with an end goal of conquering the world [with your pizzas], but concentrate [first] in your neighborhood.”
I’LL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN: “I regret not going to college when I was younger. I regret not learning English at a younger age and not becoming an entrepreneur earlier in life.”
Barroso explains that entrepreneurship, in general, was not incentivized in Cuba when he was growing up and there was the risk of going to jail for it. So for someone like him who believes he was born to sell and create many businesses, he feels it was particularly "cruel" to be born there.
(Note: Self-employment was allowed in Cuba, but with restrictions, according to the Cuba Study Group. The ownership of small or medium-sized businesses became legal in Cuba in September 2021, long after Barroso left. However, according to Latina Republic, there are still limits that Cuban entrepreneurs face.)
BEST ADVICE FROM “LA CASA”/BEST “HOUSE” ADVICE:
“My mother always told me there’s no one more important than you…”
She didn’t let me become intimidated by other people.
LEARN THE ART OF SELLING - NO MATTER THE BUSINESS
Things have changed for Barroso since his days of providing goat rides for money. They've changed a lot.
Now, Barroso is Co-founder and VP of Business of the education platform company, EducUp. He founded it with Yusnier Viera and Carlos Raúl. He also is involved in other ventures.
“I have a construction company in Panama. I have online schools in Spain.” He even has a digital newspaper in South Florida and founded a company in Spain that helps Cuban expatriates with telecommunications, flight and shipping services.
As you might guess, Barroso is the point person for sales at EducUp.
While Viera is the educator and Raúl is the tech guy, Barroso says he has always had a knack for sales.
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
So I asked him what is the most important thing to know to be a good salesperson. He says, “To learn it, the most important thing is a positive attitude and self-confidence.”
But what if you don’t have that natural self-confidence in sales?
SMALL VICTORIES BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE
Barroso gave me the example of having to swim in a 40-kilometer pool. (Note: I’m going to convert his example into miles for ease)
He says, “You have to know how to motivate yourself when the goal is distant.”
“If you look at that 25-mile long pool and divide it by miles, you have 25 pools. You will be more motivated because you will see the finish line. I think you have to create strategies that suit your personality to motivate yourself to build confidence. Because you gain confidence with small wins you create. And then you start to realize you can do it. We can all do it.”
It’s a mindset that’s worked well for Barroso. After all, he went from doing everything from providing rides on a goat, to selling pork wholesale to even selling door-to-door funeral insurance at one time in his life.
Now, with EducUp, he’s hoping, along with the other founders, to have a bigger impact in the world of online education.
THERE'S ALWAYS FEAR... SO DIVE IN, ANYWAY
No matter what it is, Barroso goes back to the pool reference as a metaphor for trying something new.
He says, “There’s always a fear of diving into the pool… We don’t have to have that fear of the unknown... It’s a handicap we have as humans. But my best advice is… just dive into the pool. Because, in reality, it’s like the magic zone. You fall into the void. But before you hit the floor, your wings will spread and you’ll soar.”
STARTED BUSINESS: 2020 (EducUp)
Born in Cuba
Parents are Cuban
EDUCATION: High school graduate - Cuba
DREAM JOB AS A KID: “Be an entrepreneur and to be successful in the business world.”
BIGGEST GOAL YET: “I would like to take a business public – an IPO (initial public offering). I’d like to create a business that has such relevance and that will be important enough to impact a lot of people…”
NO NEED TO GO IT ALONE
HELP ON THE OUTSIDE...because we can all use a helping hand:
Connecting with Customers & Driving Sales
Sales make or break your business. And to close the deal, you need to engage with customers effectively. So how do you do that? Learn strategies to maximize your sales and approach your customers with confidence and purpose. To find out how, attend this FREE webinar. Details are below:
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
How to Engage your Customers and Maximize Sales Success
Thursday, March 31, 2022
1:00 p.m. EDT – 2:00 p.m. EDT
WORKING ON THE INSIDE...because we know our culture has a hard time asking for help:
Making Goals Stick
This webinar sounds so good! It’s about learning how to set goals, create a roadmap for action, progress check and accountability and support. Florida Library Webinars is sponsoring this workshop.
What I like about is that it’s designed to help you focus on goal-setting with a deeper understanding of the process which, theoretically, should improve your odds of achieving your goals. Intrigued? Here are basic details, plus the link to register:
Florida Library Webinars
Individual Goal Setting and Achievement
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
10:30 a.m. EDT – 11:30 a.m. EDT
INSPIRATION FOR THIS ISSUE:
Some people love to sell. Others can’t stand it. In either case, business relies on sales. So whether you’re a natural or could stand to learn a few pointers, you’ll benefit from getting tips from someone who’s successfully mastered the sales game.
That’s why I thought it would be useful to learn how Barroso was able to go from one business to another successfully through his salesmanship.
He told me that he’s failed a lot, but he said he’s done it with joy. Now that’s something you don’t expect to hear.
But he credits the failures for helping him get to the place he is today. Barroso also repeatedly credited his success to the support of his wife.
It turns out, she was the first person he met when he moved to Spain in 2001 from Cuba.
And, again, support plays a key role in entrepreneurship.
Barroso told me the fact that he didn’t want to go to college, even though his parents really wanted him to, caused a lot of stress in his house while growing up.
Still, he told me his memories of his father are of trips to Havana to sell tomato puree (like ketchup). His father didn’t understand why Barroso was doing it. But he would still help him make it.
Barroso says his father understood that he was good at selling and that he enjoyed it – so he went along with it and supported him.
Granted, I’m a big believer that, if you disagree with a major decision your close relative is making, you need to tell them. But I also believe we all need those cheerleaders, whether they understand or disagree with the mission, to let us know they’re there for us.
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