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How to Use One Business to Fund Others. Growth & Leadership in the Eyes of Entrepreneur Karla Singson

How to Use One Business to Fund Others. Growth & Leadership in the Eyes of Entrepreneur Karla Singson: Business Podcast

How to Use One Business to Fund Others. Growth & Leadership in the Eyes of Entrepreneur Karla Singson: Business Podcast

BUSINESS PODCAST- How to Use One Business to Fund Others. Growth & Leadership in the Eyes of Entrepreneur Karla Singson
BUSINESS PODCAST- How to Use One Business to Fund Others. Growth & Leadership in the Eyes of Entrepreneur Karla Singson

Summary

Karla has a great entrepreneurial story of how she used street smarts and a continual customer feedback loop to build a super successful flower shop and then use that business cash flow to fund others.

Karla shares all in this episode, shoots straight, is funny and is just plain fun ❤️

You’re going to learn a ton of HPT’s in this episode that you can take and immediately use to grow your business.

Listen in and let me know what you think by dropping some starts and leaving a review. You’ll love this episode. 🔥

All full transcript of the episode is below

Brandon: 

Hey, everyone, Welcome to another episode of Build a business. I am Brandon and I have a friend who I met in Las Vegas, of all people, Carla Singson, who is coming to us today from Thailand, if you can believe it. 

Brandon: 

And we are on a 14 hour difference. Quick story, Carlin. I met at a event with a mutual friend, Perry Belcher, Who is? I don’t know, Karla. Probably like a really well known copywriter. Write direct marketer. 

Brandon: 

and I believe everything happens for a reason. Somehow, Carl and I managed to get seated next to each other at this. That I think was two or three days got to know each other. And I was really impressed because Carla has bootstrapped a business and then use that revenue to build other ones. 

Brandon: 

And I think you’re gonna I think you’re gonna love Carlos. She’s funny fun. Thank you so much. What? I know it’s early in the morning there, and, grateful. We’ve been missing each other here and there, but we’re not. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

So,  just quick story for our listeners. You were. You were in the Philippines. You’re originally from the Philippines. This is where you started your flower store. But,  they basically gave you, like, 72 hour window with this corona crisis thing going on. And and you and your longtime partner boyfriend took off the Thailand to a place you have, right? 

Brandon: 

Yes. So Ah, well, he was already hearing cap, and then I went back to the Philippians, says I’m building, ah, business there in Manila. And then when the president announced that they might there might be some lockdowns. And I have some friends in the palace. The Mother Canyon pilots, just like our White House and the Hush Hush told me that, you know, we’re gonna be loved on 48 hours. You got to get out if you want. And,  yes, I just blew out, and they’ve always kept a house here in Phuket because we really like it here. 

Karla: 

knowing ah, three years ago, when we learned that a lot of people, especially caucasians, come here to retire, we were like, Why wait? 

Karla: 

If it’s if it’s so nice that people come here to retire, then we shouldn’t have to wait for retirement. 

Karla: 

Let’s just keep the house, you and a And, so our listeners. 

Karla: 

Now, Carla gets to say Caucasians because her boyfriend’s a Caucasian, right? 

Brandon: 

Coppin location. 

Brandon: 

That’s why I tell people I tell people they’re like, I say things about Spanish. 

Brandon: 

People like you can’t say that. 

Karla: 

Your gringo. I said, my wife from South America, I say anything I want. I’ve got family. So all kidding aside, just so you know, you’re not listening to this, you know, listening to Carla, she gets to say that she, that the call Cajuns go there. And that’s good to know, because I’m Caucasian. I’m gonna check it out myself. 

Brandon: 

I didn’t even I didn’t even know. Is that offensive to like, Carla Scarlett? 

Karla: 

You and I are friends on Facebook, and I follow up on fun posts. God knows what people get offended by, right? Yeah. So,  by the way, if you don’t follow Carly, you should. She’s very good at copyrighting herself and has some really, really fun posts. But I’m gonna leave that to you as the listener to check out and look her up and finding that and you’ll possibly see how people get offended. It even Ah, really, obvious joke. 

Brandon: 

a car. Can you take us back to how you got? You got started as an entrepreneur. Really young. You’re a woman in the Philippines. You were born there, grew up there. And somehow you decide that you’re gonna do a flower shop, can you? Can you walk us through that story? Because I remember you telling me and I was It was really fun. 

Brandon: 

Yes. So, I was in college when I started my flower business and the rial story behind that waas. I was part of the debate, Clem, like a debate varsity. And I was a president of Debate Club, but we were technically not a varsity. Yeah. So what that means is, every time we would go out to compete, the school will not give us money because we’re not diversity. They didn’t have any budget for us, but we were winning, you know, we were winning a lot of championship. 

Karla: 

And the ironic thing is, after I graduated, they actually became a varsity because of everything we want for the team. Hey, So, so at that time, I needed money and needed money to go to my tournaments and to be able to compete because it was my life. I was that nerd. and the other fund your story with before that was before enter debate. I was also a cheerleader. So could you just imagine a the pivot that, you know, that that’s happened? and and I just I just had this brainstorming session with myself on. 

Karla: 

I just thought, What is something that people know is chief, but people will still willingly by for four times the price. 

Karla: 

And I just really stopped long, hard, you know, like, what is this thing that I don’t have to over sell? But people will just agreed to pay a high price for And I thought flowers because in the market or even a few, you go to Walmart to go to Ah Smith’s right. You know how much a dozen of flowers are? 

Karla: 

They’re ah, $12.12 to $20. But if you order it for from a flower shop, it will be $48 you just pay you. 

Karla: 

You just You’re okay with it, right? I mean, you know this because you’re a guy and I realized, Oh, you know, let me make money off of, guys, and, and let me just choose that market to take money from, And I I I did everything myself. I did so I did social media. At that time, The big thing was friends there and forums, forums and I went on forums. 

Karla: 

I went on local like Craigslist. I went on local forums and that I started basically a shop there. And then I sold it online. I bought the flowers from the market. I arranged them myself. I taught myself how to arrange them, and I would actually deliver them myself. So I didn’t every thing and ah, and I made some money. 

Karla: 

I sent myself to those tournaments and I realized maybe I can just keep doing this on the side. And so when I graduated, I just kept doing it and that I started to build a real business around it because I realized it’s it’s the great business. It’s a very high margin business. 

Karla: 

So let me get this straight, cause a lot of entrepreneurs that come to me and ask for advice and I know you talked to a lot. 

Brandon: 

Some will come to me and say, Well, Brandon I can’t do that. 

Brandon: 

I can’t. I don’t have a supply. I don’t have this. And they’ve got all these, like, reasons why they can’t. But in your case, just make sure I get this right. You basically have no supplier. 

Brandon: 

You know, do the marketing on your own on, forum or a message board and 17 on your 17 year 17 in the debate club. 

Brandon: 

Anna cheerily here and hand you get an order and you don’t even have the supplies for spay. 

Brandon: 

You walk across the street or wherever you are, and you buy them, you arrange them, you mark them up and you just made four times your cost. 

Brandon: 

Yes, and I even took public transportation to deliver it myself. 

Brandon: 

Oh, I don’t even think of that one good lawyer. 

Brandon: 

I did everything well, so that that’s incredible. 

Karla: 

And And you made good money. 

Brandon: 

I imagine I did. 

Karla: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

Every I made 300% a police for every every piece. And then the more I saw, the more realized that guys don’t really buy shuffle case. So I started up selling Ah, chocolates, teddy bears and everything. Yeah, lots of beans. 

Karla: 

So tell us how you take this idea. And now you graduate. You graduate college. I imagine your debate team wins. Is that right? Yeah. On. And then And then you decide that you’re going to get a store. 

Brandon: 

Like, how did that What type of plan? What would happen? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, they’re doctor part of the story to that. So I graduated college at 19. 

Karla: 

Ah, and I had this, you know, debate championship. And I was also a table tennis champion, so I was really energy, you know, I was a nerd. I wasn’t geek in school. 

Karla: 

And on that sign, you No, no, no. Guy like me and and, And after I graduated, I I was very intellectually arrogant. And I thought, you know what? All this big corporations will be fighting to hire me. You know, I bet you they’re gonna just, like, falling all over me. And I applied to a big corporations PNG, Unilever. I applied to Coca Cola, you know, places, big places. Because I had this dream that I’m gonna be executive, but unfortunately, I didn’t do well very much. 

Karla: 

I did. It is that I couldn’t get even get an interview sometimes and I thought why? I had really good, really good track record in college. And these people must be hiring fresh graduates all the time. You know, they nobody would even give me, like, an executive assistant job. 

Karla: 

Come on. It’s just in the Philippines resisting the United States. Like where you or did you care in the Philippines? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it was in the Philippines. And then, and then I realized, and someone told me someone who worked in HR told me. I think the one wants to hire you because you’re a teenager and and that’s just it. 

Karla: 

And they were scared to hire a teenager. 

Karla: 

They thought it was flippant and they thought that I couldn’t commit and, you know, stuff like that. But I’m like, I’m an athlete if that tells you something about my commitment, like I’m really disciplined and I’m committed. But once, Then again, your 19. I just kept getting that conversation and I got sick of it. 

Karla: 

And then the only place that would hire me Waas, an ad agency where I became a writer, and I really owe that company a lot because they were the only company that gave me a chance. 

Karla: 

You know, eight months into this job, I realized I’m not made for the office. 

Karla: 

I didn’t like the dress code. I would talk about my boss. It was just this this girl who broke all the rules that I realized. I think employment. It’s not for me. So let me just focus on my flower shop and build that business. 

Karla: 

So how did you How did you did you just I mean, you were writing. 

Karla: 

I imagine it sounds like you’re a copywriter. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. Like, did you just teach yourself and figure this out? Er, how did that work? Because copyrighting, I think. I mean, people don’t understand. 

Brandon: 

That copyrighting at the end of the day is how you’re gonna get your hook and market your materials and drive sales. So this in many ways, was I mean, everything happens for a reason. You’re really lucky here for this in some ways. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I really was lucky because I’m a pretty decent writer. When I was in college, I wasn’t,  you know, I was the editor in chief of our something, and I was a journalist on the site to I actually had a newspaper column for five years. So I’m a pretty decent writer. And then that that agency was just like, You know what? Let’s give her a chance. Maybe she can write radio ads and TV ads, and she’s cheap because I will just take anything right? I I actually took a minimum wage salary to copyright for an ad agency, and I think they just took advantage of me. 

Karla: 

But, I mean, not in a bad way. 

Karla: 

You know, I think they were being business people and they were like, Oh, this there’s this girl was pretty talented and she will take any salary. So let’s just hire her. 

Karla: 

Yeah, So you take the job, you realize that there’s no way that you’re gonna work in a corporate environment and you decide that you’re going to go into the flower business or flower shop. I I don’t know what you like. What was that plan? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, So, even when I was working in the ad agency, I would actually use my lunch time to deliver flowers. So on the side, I was still doing that business. It’s funny, cause it feels like cheating. and and then I would tell my client. Can I deliver it at lunch? this is my only free time. And they would say, Yeah, sure. And then I only had an hour break. Oh, my God. Literally sometimes would run to just make it happen. And I didn’t go back to my office like nothing happened. so I’ve always kept it because it was a great, you know, on this it was a great side hustle. And then and then because I also had no shame. I also started to ah, host at night like EMC, EMC. Yet events. And that’s how I started the other business, which was the events company, which is a bigger business, which actually eventually became a bigger business than the flower show. 

Karla: 

Wow. 

Brandon: 

So how did you you quit this marketing job? I guess. What? Like what happened one day? Did you just walk out or like, out of that? How did you make that? Because a lot of people, Carla, they that I speak Teoh. You know, that’s a big leap. Like, did you save a bunch of money? Did you have ah, safety net? What? What? How did that happen? And what was going through your mind. 

Brandon: 

I know that this is the truth. And sometimes I don’t even wanna admit it in public. But I gambled at night. 

Karla: 

I would go to these House games poker. I played poker to make extra money. I was the opposite of made. I was supporting a boyfriend who didn’t have a job. So by the way, not not good. Don’t do that. If he if he’s a skater and has a mattress on the floor in the kitchen, he’s bad news. 

Karla: 

So advice for oh, women listening out there, right? 

Karla: 

Yes, definitely. 

Brandon: 

So, I get so I was just really fearless. 

Karla: 

And I I don’t always Mr Transit myself that I would not be broken Any of the keep back to Congress. I don’t have money to put in there. All the cash I have, I held it. I I always just believed in myself that I would never go broke. But there’s always a way. 

Karla: 

I was pretty. I was really disciplined. So even when I gambled every time I went, I would stand up like I would just I would leave. 

Karla: 

So I knew that and I knew I knew you like my discipline loss. 

Karla: 

And I knew numbers and eso. I studied the statistics. I studied poker for a while and it was always just there every time I would need extra cash. It’s not ideal. It’s I’m not giving. This is an advice, huh? 

Karla: 

Yeah, it’s Ah. So just like you, I actually and I talked about this occasion when it comes up like this. But I funded my first business investing in the stock market, and we actually used the revenue to do that. I like you. I’m not recommending anyone do that. I think it’s useless. Risky? but Carly don’t. So it sounds like can you just walk me through that day, Did you? One night Are that morning. 

Brandon: 

Wake up and say, this is my last day at the advertising. Did you walk out at lunch? How did, like, literally How did that happen? 

Brandon: 

Well, I was lucky because there was a ruckus in the office of that time to So other people were resigning for some other reason. And and these people were my friends, and they were just like so Karla were leaving. You’re coming with us, and, yeah, well, the issue waas I think the finance girl was sleeping with her boss and her bosses married. And then? 

Karla: 

And then there was just some issue in the office and a lot of people resigned at the same time because they didn’t like it. And so I just went with him, and I and we all filed a resignation. I think within a month there was five of us for resigned, but I had my personal reasons, my personal reasons. So us. It’s my chance to focus on my business. And maybe this is my chance to actually be a business person. And they also had their personal reasons. 

Karla: 

I see. So what happens? You quit, you walk outs. I feel like I’m I sort of feel like it’s a Jerry Maguire moment. 

Brandon: 

Things going with May car like I’m coming. 

Brandon: 

Okay. And then what? Did you go right? Did you ramp up the flower delivery? What I’m interested in understanding is how you got from. And I know you have to businesses years, so I want to talk about those. But we’ll isolate him a little bit if we can. Is how do you get from delivering the flowers and doing it to actually getting a shop and then hiring your first employee because that’s that’s a really big step for you know, when you start to just come up with an idea, you get a few sales, you have success. And then you make this an actual process. 

Brandon: 

Right? So,  I was living downtown already, so I’m pretty lucky that for a while I really didn’t need Ah, physical shock because my house is in downtown and people can easily come to my I mean, go to my house, but I didn’t have a display there, but I had all my things there and had all my materials. So for me Ah, basic thing to remember whenever you hire Ah, new person is always what? This your overflow?  that’s that’s always a basic thing that I asked myself every time I have Ah, you person, as with the very first person that I hired is an assistant obvious thing for the flower shop. So this guy would do some back errands for me, or he would get the flowers, or he would I would make the flowers and he would deliver. So this was the first the first time that I was like and I didn’t have a car. So the first time that I was like, You know what? I can’t do this by myself getting a lot more orders. And I want to focus on closing the clients, and someone else should do this. So that’s an overflow, right? So every So that was my first moment when I was that Oh, yeah. You know, there’s so much overflow for I gotta send this overflow to someone. And I got assigned this to someone, and then I hired up a guy who also needed a job, was a friend of a friend, and he was pretty was create assistant. 

Karla: 

And he was also very easy to teach. So I taught him how to arrange flowers fast. 

Karla: 

And, and I am improved. You know, I just kept selling more and more. And then I think after three years, I was also pretty lucky. my boyfriend acquired ah, building,  downtown. And he was like, Do you want to rent one of the spaces? I’ll give it to you at a good price. And this was a downtown space with a window display and ah, and I was like? Yeah, sure. And it was my 1st 1st office, but he didn’t give me a break. I fake a pig. A paid him fairly. 

Karla: 

but also, I think that that was also partially,  luck. So if I If I am to do it over again And if I didn’t have that opportunity with my boyfriend, I would say that I would save up to six months worth of rent and salaries before I decide to. 

Karla: 

I think that’s good advice. Because nothing ever goes is you think it’s gonna go right? I mean, I can’t imagine. 

Brandon: 

I mean, you probably had a few hiccups yourself at some point in a while. 

Brandon: 

So many. 

Karla: 

Yeah, like what would be what were what were your top two? That you remember that that happened? 

Brandon: 

 that office I heard when I opened that shop, I heard two people and I bought them. 

Karla: 

Brought them on full time. And I remember this. There was three months where I would every time. It’s like, just before payday, I would go to a pawn shop and on my things to make payroll, I pawned, a DSLR camera. 

Karla: 

I pawned some jewelry that my mom gave me. 

Karla: 

I’m on. 

Karla: 

I thought this is crazy. 

Karla: 

So what? What happened, Carla? What? Did the sales just not come in as fast as you had anticipated? 

Brandon: 

Yes. Yes. And I didn’t I didn’t have any cash. I didn’t have savings. So like what? I said, I jumped on Upper 20 together shop just because my boyfriend offered it to me and it was there, and I just knew that someone else would take it if I didn’t get it. And it was a great space green office window display for stealing will display. It was for my shop. 

Karla: 

so for three months, I did that. I would like, play poker and then if if my money is not enough, I would on something I would like make deals here and there. I made a lot of deals. I like sold second hand cars. I connected people. I sold Memorial Lodge. I just Whatever. I was hustling. 

Karla: 

You really hustled to get this flower shop up on its feet. 

Brandon: 

And how long did it take from this crazy move, which I think is good advice not to necessarily do one of the things Carla. 

Brandon: 

So you know is I tell entrepreneurs, you know, a lot of entrepreneurs, as you could appreciate, they always want to get in office. They’re always telling me that they’re getting all like, I’m asking. 

Brandon: 

What the heck do you want it? Why do what? What do you need an office for That? So we have a big Miss Brandon. We need an office, run your run your business out of your home until you have enough cash and then figured out. 

Brandon: 

And I told some people today, people, people tell me that I’m a tech geek and Silicon Valley like you bunch of geeks, you all You went to engineers. You all work remote. You don’t like people anyway, which may or may not be true. 

Brandon: 

I like people, but, maybe a hybrid. But the bottom line is, is there’s a company called Halo here United States based out of L. 

Brandon: 

A. That makes low calorie ice cream. 350 plus employees, and they all work remote. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, right. So here’s a product company, not a tech company, that you can do it. So I always tell people in people I really it’s a really sore spot for me. I don’t want to go on about why, but I’ve got some scars on my back from bad experiences of paying high rent when you could have been dumping it in the business. So for you, it sounds like you took that leap. 

Brandon: 

It was a good location. Great opportunity. How long did it take until you got that business toe where the cash flow could pay for itself? 

Brandon: 

Ah, three months. 

Karla: 

It was only three months. Thankfully, thank God. it was only three months of going to the pawnshop and hustling, and then I was able to really be smart about money. But I also sacrificed, you know, there’s also sacrifices. Like I always ate the home. And I never watched a movie for that three months, and I never want a new piece of floating. I did my own nails, you know? So it was, that’s a big sacrifice for bills. 

Karla: 

I have seen your nails, and they’re impressive. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, that’s because Well, in in Vegas, you know, we have a lot of really good nails people, but but, yeah, so is it really comes to sacrifices to, you know, you have to be really caches everything when you’re starting out and you have to be really, strict. 

Karla: 

You have to be really tight in terms of handling your cash. another thing that I also that I also, you know, learn well without journey is you’re definitely right that not everyone needs a physical location. 

Karla: 

So the only reason, really the only reason that for you to get a physical location is if the foot traffic contributes to your bottom line and that’s it, Thank you. 

Karla: 

That’s really didn’t even I don’t even pay you for that. 

Brandon: 

And the foot traffic doesn’t contribute to your bottom life. Like get up. You don’t you don’t need ah, you don’t need an office or if you, if you need storage by storage story just cheaper is industrial real estate. It’s not, it’s You don’t have to be downtown, you know where rent is very high. 

Karla: 

So yeah, so you you let’s just recap for somebody might be tuning in. 

Karla: 

You are super smart. 

Brandon: 

Obviously you are in high school. You are doing debate you need. You’re not even a varsity. It’s not even really official, right? It’s more like a club. So to speak a club. You need money. You sell flowers. You’re also a cheerleader. you graduated 19. You take a job? Well, no one will hire you because I think you’re a teenager. Because they I just went in college. 

Brandon: 

19? 

Karla: 

Yeah. Graduated college. What did I say? Yes, Sorry. It’s get It’s, like almost past my bedtime. Here on on that. Sorry. On the on, the on the Pacific goes the so you you graduate college in 19. 

Brandon: 

You barely can get a job. Even though you’re super smart. Top your class. Do this debate team. You’re selling flowers. You take, you get a job working for basically nothing,  minimum wage in the Philippines and you’re delivering flowers at during delivering flowers at lunch and then walk out. 

Brandon: 

And what I’m gonna call a Jerry Maguire moment because there’s some rift going on and on Brenda Locke out. And then you start our business. You sell all your stuff, you basically sacrifice that. And I think that’s an important point. I want to touch on because, oh, everybody who sets out to be there’s like, this whole entrepreneur. 

Brandon: 

I feel like there’s our entrepreneur revival, but it’s going going on a little while Here in Silicon Valley, where I live, it’s sort of normal cause everybody comes. It’s like Vegas if they come there, probably gambler or something.  I’m here and you want to be an entrepreneur. This is entrepreneur movement. Let’s say where you know everybody wants to be in front of magazine and the glitz and the glory, and it’s really sexy. But the truth is called right, like it takes a while to get there, and it’s not as pretty as it may look. 

Brandon: 

Oh God, no, no, Absolutely not. 

Brandon: 

 yeah, there’s a there’s a you think about it. 

Karla: 

There’s a reason why most people are not entrepreneur. 

Karla: 

It’s because it’s hard so partially. I think it’s because it’s difficult. You have to make a lot of sacrifices. Time relationships. there’s a lot of learning that goes into it. You can’t just wing it. Some people are very risk diverse. So, people are very risk hours and it’s because they’ve been taught that way and that’s fine. 

Karla: 

It’s for survival on and aside from that, partially, it’s also a personality type. I just I see a lot of people who are really hustle. They work hard. 

Karla: 

 they’re good people, and they’re pretty reasonable. 

Karla: 

They’re not stupid. But I just know, I just My intuition just tells me I just need some people with their like that, and my intuition just tells me this guy’s not going to make it. Something just tells me, and I think it’s, it’s personality Type two. 

Karla: 

What type of personality do you think an entrepreneur needs toe have to really make it and get over that tipping point, so to speak, you know, to make that leap, right? 

Brandon: 

So, Jordan Peters on house, this great test called understand myself. 

Brandon: 

And, there’s, ah, item there, which is conscientiousness. 

Brandon: 

And he knows that Hey says that largely successful entrepreneurs are still success in entrepreneurs is still largely dependent on I Q and conscientiousness. 

Karla: 

So I really, absolutely believe that you have to be a certain type of smart to not just smart as in, like read the books and whatever, but like people smart, you know, you have to be. 

Karla: 

You kind of have to be really above most people in terms of, you know, in terms off having elevated opinions, your passion for learning like you kind of have to be mentally above people. 

Karla: 

And, yeah, I don’t know if that’s genetic or if I believe that you could work towards that, too. 

Karla: 

And then there’s there’s other things. 

Karla: 

Like, for example, I believe that depression is on the the capacity, not capacity, but the probability to the propensity to be depressed is tied to our d n A. 

Karla: 

And some people just don’t get the press are very hard to get the press. 

Karla: 

And then some people are very prone to depression and are always depressed and have been born depressed, actually. 

Karla: 

And so if you’re like that and if you’re one of those people genetically, you know, unfortunately, it’s going to be very hard to do business right here. Always depressed or something So e I can see that, what do you think about this whole thing, Karl? 

Karla: 

About teaching entrepreneurship, like, can you? 

Karla: 

You know, you’re you’re talking about this genetic and and there’s always this this debate in the entrepreneur, whatever realm. 

Brandon: 

I mean, I have an MBA, and you know, there’s this Well, we can teach entrepreneurs And it feels like in my experience that there’s this intangible thing that I believe that anybody can do anything. 

Brandon: 

They set their mind, Teoh. 

Brandon: 

Right? 

Brandon: 

But you’ve got to believe you can do what? 

Brandon: 

You’re not sure You believe you can dio and Onley entrepreneurs believe what I just said, which makes no sense, right? 

Brandon: 

So can you teach that,  it’s hard toe. 

Brandon: 

It’s hard to really know, right? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, like if you’re right, it’s hard to know like I can’t even, I can give you my opinion, but I can’t say that it’s rule and I can’t even, you know. 

Brandon: 

And I’m pretty young, you know, I have a lot of things to learn. Whatever experience in business I have, there’s so many. There’s so many people who are in their 50 seconds about me, basically through experience and through through everyone that they have met in their lives. 

Karla: 

But, I think that when schools teach entrepreneurship, they are really what they’re really teaching us mostly systems. Because I graduated business administration. I majored in marketing. It was grid. You know, I really had fun in university. but I just even my classmates. 

Karla: 

I remember them. A majority of them are not entrepreneurs. They have jobs. They’re working backs, like all the jobs that that I would rather kill myself, then do like yeah, but that’s personality type. 

Karla: 

So so that that’s bear. 

Karla: 

Sometimes I look at those people. 

Karla: 

I actually am interested. 

Karla: 

I’m like God, I wish I could do that because it just be so much easier than that. I would always know where my paycheck was coming from. I mean, there’s risk everywhere, right? But you know everybody. The grass is always greener, but the water bills always higher. So that’s funny. 

Brandon: 

I host a hides. 

Brandon: 

Everybody’s thinking that at some level. So I think it’s someone you’ve got to sort of accept who you are and do that. But let’s get back to your story. I got a little bit off track. 

Brandon: 

I sense of doing that. But I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, and I really value your experience in that. So we’re back at the flower shop three months, your cash flow positive. 

Brandon: 

What happens? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I started ah, going hard on ads. I tried going hard at it, so I, that was a time when Facebook was really popping in the Philippines and I built the Facebook page and experimented with ads and stuff like that. And then, and then the magic with flower shop business or a gift shop business, which we eventually we’re not pulling ourselves a gift shop. The magic with it is the up cells are are so great. So, like, what I said, we realized that nobody really just buys flowers. And we even who? My God, I’m so sorry to all the guys watching this. We even have a script that will make a guy feel bad if they just bought flowers. 

Karla: 

So give me that script. 

Brandon: 

We will. What? Well, you know, we’re all girls or all girls and customer support. So we just tell the guy like, Oh, no, what? Are you sure you’re just gonna buy flowers? Isn’t that a little in adequate? 

Karla: 

And then the guy guy was That’s a very interesting word, Carla to be using. 

Karla: 

Alright, Czar, I could just, yeah, I can feel all the cops twitching right now. 

Brandon: 

It’s just a little scared of me. 

Karla: 

No, it’s not an at folk. 

Karla: 

We don’t use the word in adequate. We just say, like, Are you sure? Like, is that all? 

Karla: 

Carl, I actually know you. I think you use inadequate. I actually think he’s used that Well, it’s a we speak in our local language and the words of softer and the word is is more acceptable. 

Brandon: 

It’s less offensive. 

Karla: 

And then the guy would usually be like, Oh, you know what? I just want this done. So, whatever, What do you think is good? So the conversations always like that? You would say, I think it will be nice if you can add a teddy bear so that the girl can keep something because the farmers will die. Or you can also add some chocolates because, you know, it’s something that she can enjoy. 

Karla: 

And,  and you can also,  enjoy it if you want. 

Karla: 

And then usually the guys just rebut. Yeah, just make it happen. I just want this done. Just deliver it at this time. They’re not really fussy. Obviously, it’s so, so, so one thing that if I can translate this into listeners who are out there trying to figure out really Carla, what you’ve just described is you intimately understand your customer avatar from every I mean, I would bet that, you know, three types of guys that call you And you understand what they think, how they think and what they’re really looking for, right? 

Karla: 

That’s absolutely right. 

Brandon: 

and you gotta be more. 

Brandon: 

You also gotta be strategic about your conversations, your sales conversations. 

Brandon: 

So, before there was a lot of back and forth and I told my team, how many back and forth do you do with a client before they pay? 

Brandon: 

And some of them had 16. 

Brandon: 

Nothing. 

Brandon: 

Forts. 

Brandon: 

I wasn’t happy about that, but they close a client, so that’s fine. I guess some of them had Ah, this is chap, This is chap. Some of them had 10. 12 and I’m like,  this is a challenge. Keep it toe eight, eat back and forth. So you send for messages that I sense four messages. You should be able to close or get credit card information or close to sail. So way started. ah. Adjusting. We started adjusting the script and then until we got to eight and then eventually, you know, with the bots. Right now, it also made our job easier. So that would also be, Ah, another thing that I would encourage small businesses. 

Karla: 

Marketing pathology is very cheap. Now. A lot of them come for free. And so don’t be intimidated by that. You don’t have to be a brand and white to master tech. You don’t have to. You don’t have to call out his ex boyfriend of yours who studied i t. 

Karla: 

Just to get advice. you can take advantage of so many easy market marketing technology, even funnels chatbots. 

Karla: 

There’s automated replies on Facebook, so take advantage and trying to learn these things if they’re very easy to learn. So you know, don’t be intimidated by tech. 

Karla: 

Well, I think there’s a lot of important lessons there. No, your avatar build scripts, Understand,  how long it takes to close a customer and the in the key points. 

Brandon: 

And and ultimately, other lesson that I’m hearing from you is you figured out how to scale your business beyond you. 

Brandon: 

So you basically cloned, If that’s even possible. 

Brandon: 

Several Carlos in this experience, Yeah, that’s really important, because you can’t do everything, obviously, and you gotta always do the thing that you like doing the most because you know why That’s where your best. 

Brandon: 

And I’m not very good with financials. 

Brandon: 

I’m actually not very organized. 

Karla: 

And so I heard people who are smarter than me and those things, were more organized more, you know, more more systematic than me. And and another thing, if I can add to the sales conversation part is, always know the emotional motivation of your client. So like Like what? Brandon said shared earlier. There’s probably three basic profiles of guys who buy from her flower shop on. And the basic thing. I’ll make this quick and the basic is usually there’s a guy who will want it fast. 

Karla: 

Ah, there’s a guy who is not so that that guy who wants it fast he doesn’t. He’s not price sensitive, so he’s willing to pay ah, higher amount of money. If it’s a rush delivery because he’s rushing. 

Karla: 

There’s a guy who who really is ah, super, kind of mushy, and he loves to just get the best gift for his swing, and this is usually the guy who buys everything. 

Karla: 

He would buy the flowers, the by the bear, the chocolate. 

Karla: 

Sometimes he would even by a serenade, which is our most expensive service. 

Karla: 

Serenade will send a Get Tourists who and a singer and sing a love song to your girl. 

Karla: 

And then there’s also another guy who eyes very basic. 

Karla: 

He would pick something from the photo album from the gallery, and he would pay, and that’s it. And he wants the least amount of conversation and the least amount of back and forth. He just wants to know that it will be there at a certain time, and that’s it. 

Karla: 

So,  yes, so learned to profile your clients and find out what their emotional motivations are. 

Karla: 

And that is why the conversation. You really need to pay attention. You really need to listen to your client to let their saying inside of just keeping a script because you have a script. So I think that that’s one thing that really help us,  make a lot of sales. 

Karla: 

I think that’s a really good advice for everybody out there. 

Karla: 

And it really is something, that people don’t realize how important it is that once you understand that customer avatar, you can actually write a script that talks to exactly what they’re doing. 

Brandon: 

And it’s amazing how much easier the sale could be. 

Brandon: 

Oh, absolutely. 

Brandon: 

That’s right. 

Brandon: 

Every time. 

Karla: 

So, with that in mind, how long do you you have another business? 

Brandon: 

Now? Can you event planning. 

Brandon: 

Is this going on at the same time? Does it? It seems like it might compliment your flower business. How did that happen in? And is that something you use? The flower shop toe fund. 

Brandon: 

And how did that all come about? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, So what? One thing that I one of the big reasons so I am able to bootstrap my companies is I always shows zero capital and profit first,  profit first businesses. So these are businesses that don’t need a lot of capital, but ah, Onley relies on sales. So if you think about it the flower shop I’m taking their payment before I buy the flowers and arrange and deliver it so I can actually take my profit before eso. 

Karla: 

So if it’s $12 I price it a 48 I can take the 36 as profit. 

Karla: 

Let’s say it’s 30 after all of the other costs, and I could just talk it that right and I just did that thing again and again and again, and that’s why I was able to build a business. So on this other business events finding since I was hosting and I was on emcee, I realized that if I keep on emceeing, there is an X amount of I’ll hit a ceiling so fast. 

Karla: 

So I had a king where I emceed with a really big celebrity. 

Karla: 

She’s probably the biggest celebrity. That time we did a martial together and I got paid $500 for a Knauer of work. 

Karla: 

So it’s not bad, right? I had my makeup done. I had to buy,  so after my makeup and my dress, I profited. 

Karla: 

Probably 450. 

Karla: 

So which is still not bad? 

Karla: 

Really good. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it’s really good. 500 for an hour, you know, which is not just an hour. It’s like four hours, because if you put makeup and traveling there and stuff on backstage time, But I thought, this is the biggest celebrity in the Philippines. This is probably my ceiling. 

Karla: 

if I’m going to continue working, I’m going to make $500 an hour, not even every day It’s just my ceiling. So I don’t wanna keep hitting my head on that ceiling. And I realize the way I could make more money in events is to do they ever And I begged. 

Karla: 

I begged one girl in my city to take me on this and assistant, and I was an assistant. 

Karla: 

I was her assistant. I wiped floors. I read shares for an event. I really wanted to learn the business, but you’re you’re an assistant while you have your flower business going. 

Karla: 

Yeah, on the side. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, and And you had the systems in place that you could do that and collect the cash, which afforded you the opportunity to take a less paying job to actually learn it. 

Brandon: 

Yes, definitely, absolutely. 

Karla: 

That’s what I did. 

Brandon: 

and,  it’s better. You know, it’s better than taking a course, because I had I’m still getting paid, although its minimum to learn. 

Karla: 

And but that isn’t that apprenticeship. It’s the best deal ever, right? You’re getting paid to learn. Is that a few paying to learn, you know? 

Karla: 

Yeah, I think apprenticeships are. If you are interested in something, you have the opportunity to go with someone who’s successful,  you know, you most would pay them truthfully, right? 

Brandon: 

Because so many things that you see and when you get access to behind the curtain and you can actually see what someone is doing and just ride alongside, Right? 

Brandon: 

Right there, There. 

Karla: 

There’s no replacement for that. 

Brandon: 

Absolutely. Yeah. And I had to that I had that opportunity because I had time to make mistakes. You know, I was young, and, and I always thought that way, even right now, you know, the people that I’m eating our way older than me, I always feel grateful because I looked around the room, and most of the time I’m one of the youngest people and I’m like, You know what I have Ah, you know, against these people, they might have money. 

Karla: 

An experience that I have. I have allowance to make mistakes, and I can take more risks because I’m younger and Ah, and that’s how I look at, you know, going to like high level masterminds. I’m really super grateful to just be enough room. 

Karla: 

Yeah, I think one of the things that I was lucky much like you, is to have a bunch of older people who, for whatever reason, I always say this is why I’ll help pretty much. Anyone who will actually put forth effort is,  it appears to the outside that people make it there alone and did all of this. 

Brandon: 

But the truth of the matter is, at least in my case, I can say there’s a lot of people who help me who didn’t need to help me. 

Brandon: 

You didn’t really have anything in it other than the feeling good that they had helped some young kid who hopefully did something with it. 

Brandon: 

And I think those are the opportunities that you’re really grateful for and and that you look for. 

Brandon: 

And I also think that people you can you know, I don’t think in in my case or your case, Carl, I think you agree. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, maybe were driven. Maybe we’re smart, maybe whatever, but we really just put forth the effort in tried and certainly weren’t giving these things. 

Brandon: 

So regardless, if you’re out there listening and say, Ah, well, brain and Carl ahead, call ahead this opportunity and she met her boyfriend boyfriend, given this place. But you know, Carla paid fair rent for that place and had these you can make You can create these opportunities for yourself, right? 

Brandon: 

If you decide that. Oh, I can’t work for that cheap. Brandon, I can’t do that. Well, why? Because you can’t eat out five times because you’re gonna have to give up your Mercedes and driving Accord that maybe maybe you gotta take two steps back to get five steps forward. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, absolutely. 

Brandon: 

And some of that is just pride, right? 

Karla: 

I have it written down, actually, in my three. 

Brandon: 

There you go. 

Brandon: 

I told Carlos. 

Karla: 

Got to get three. 

Brandon: 

At the end of that. 

Brandon: 

I think you really have to do that. And I’m not saying it’s easy, because to be an entrepreneur, you gotta have a big ego simply because you’re gonna get told. 

Brandon: 

No, if you’re gonna be, like, told no in 10 different ways 10 times in a day. I mean, there’s so much negative, so many negative. Nancy’s out there, right? 

Brandon: 

And And what I say, Carly, tell me if you from your experience, I personally think a lot of these people are just projecting on you because they have their own limitations on themselves, so it doesn’t mean They’re bad people where everybody is struggling with something in their life. 

Brandon: 

So I’m not saying that they’re bad people. 

Brandon: 

What I’m saying is you have to be able to recognize that and separate it and then somehow turn it, turn it off and move on. 

Brandon: 

Great. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

What are some of the techniques that you used to do that? 

Brandon: 

How do you handle that? 

Brandon: 

Hey, Carla, you’re too young. 

Brandon: 

You can’t do that. 

Karla: 

You can’t build another business you can’t like. 

Karla: 

How do you What goes through your head? Do you have some techniques that you use or how do you approach it? 

Brandon: 

Well, the thing with that, too, is I was really I was I just kept running. 

Karla: 

You know, I just never believed anyone was said that it’s not possible. When I was a kid, I always I’ve watched my parents tried to be entrepreneurs, so my dad had a job, but the job kept promoting him and he couldn’t get out. 

Karla: 

Because, of course, the benefits and the retirement on you know how it is. And he never he never really got out. And and then ah, and then here he had an early retirement and that he passed on. 

Karla: 

And then my mom was always a great sales person. She started selling appliances for a commission and then other stuff for a commission. Ah, and then eventually she went to real estate. But my parents always wanted to have a business like a real business inside of just hustling on and there, But and so it was Also, I grew up to that dream, and I was this eldest child, and I grew up watching my parents strive, and I wouldn’t say they were failing. It’s just that, you know, they never really probably had the same chances that I had. And I the did all their best to send me to the best business school, and I just thought I owe it to them. And if I would let something get in my way, it’s a disrespectful to My parents were so hard, and I just couldn’t I can bear that burden of disappointing my parents. 

Karla: 

So I guess that’s also one advantage of being Asian. 

Karla: 

Hey, you’re driven by that? 

Brandon: 

Absolutely. Yeah, So whenever people would say no, I would I would just in my head are you know, obviously I got a lot of flak like you’re too young. You you can’t do this. You have no experience like you’re not even a ah, florist. That was that. 

Karla: 

Nobody. Mitory flowers. I just said, Well, you don’t watch me. You know, I wasn’t. My parents have been spent for business school for nothing, so yes. 

Karla: 

So the,  I was talking to a friend the other day. It’s funny, you said and And I actually get to sit this too, because my sister in law is Asian,  Korean and talking to my friend the other day. And I said, You know, we were talking about business or something, and I said, You know, you can’t go to your friends and family because they’re all gonna tell your ideas. Good data dot It’s not a real test, right? Who knows? If you’re really solving real problems, like bringing your white, he’s like, I’m asian. I don’t get any of that. Was that what your mom says? I was like, oh, really set out works. So I think from a cultural standpoint what you said it is important. At the end of the day, you can take that and we all have what’s driven, what drives us, right? We all have these things that drive us. And usually it comes somehow from our childhood, right? 

Brandon: 

Somewhere. And and you gotta work through what I tell 100 meters. You get work through that stuff because you need to intimately understand yourself. 

Brandon: 

You’ve said a lot of really important things so far, which, which is understand yourself and along comes with that when you were talking about under strand, understand your strengths and then fill your weaknesses. 

Brandon: 

I think in America at least, Carl, I think the American culture has taught people to say, Oh, well, Carl, you’re really not good at that. 

Brandon: 

So you really should spend your time getting better at that. And I think the the the right way to approach it is figure out what you’re really good at and then fill in your weaknesses like you have with people who can do that. It doesn’t mean I’m just going to say this to the listeners because I actually tried this at home with my wife, Carla, and we’ve been together for 22 years, and I basically said, Hey, listen, baby, I, I am not good at washing dishes at night and you lengthen. 

Brandon: 

You are way better. 

Brandon: 

And and I’m just going to tell everybody out there that that doesn’t work. 

Brandon: 

Okay, sometimes relationship. 

Brandon: 

You’ve got to get a little better. 

Karla: 

If not, an excuse wouldn’t get you off the hook. 

Brandon: 

Ah, I tried the same thing with, like, close at the end of the night, like, you know, just take him off on a counter. 

Brandon: 

Not you. 

Brandon: 

May maybe maybe you admit you have that thing. Maybe that’s why it’s funny. But, I don’t let people off the hook. 

Brandon: 

You gotta lean into what you’re good at and fill your failure. 

Brandon: 

you know, fill in your where those holes are and understand that is the key, right to too many people think that they’re good at something that they’re not. They don’t accept it. And that’s their downfall. 

Brandon: 

Mm. That’s right. All right. 

Karla: 

If you thought you if you kept telling yourself you’re really good at finance and you know you’re not. But you kept doing it and you kept doing a crappy job. Then you probably go out of business. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, exactly that. That’s why you know, that’s why Ah, you know, understanding yourself and and devoting time to just reflecting, really reflecting what your strengths are like. Right now, I don’t even it’s like going to a restaurant you go to in your restaurant and there’s a menu, and there are dishes there that you kind of know. 

Karla: 

Ah, and you order them because you kind of know them. And you know, there’ll be good will be good because they sounds like that. The dishes you, you know. So, but they’re also dishes that are that you absolutely don’t know anything and they, you know, they won’t be good, so, you know, to not order them. 

Karla: 

And the analogy to that, for me is there are things that I just know I’m bad, so I don’t Even though I don’t even try toe, I don’t even try. You know, one example is, a few months ago I met this. 

Karla: 

I’m at this diet. Ah, we were doing an event together in Vegas and we were manning this booth together. We’re managing this booth, and we were so bored because there was, like, very few people and and he was like, Hey, do you know how to play chest and I’m like, Yeah, but I’m not good. And he was like, Oh, you’re pretty smart. You’re probably good at chess and I’m like, No, I’m really not good at chess And And he said, You know what? Let’s play and just do your best. And obviously he I did my best. I really did my best. I was thinking I was at the best that I can,  thinking two moves ahead. All of the things that I could I really tried my best. 

Karla: 

I’m just not good at this guy was six years younger than me. 

Karla: 

He beat me. I don’t know if he plays chest every day, but it was just one of those moments I realized like I felt better is like, Yeah, I know my strikes. And I also know what what I’m bad at. 

Karla: 

So, and that’s why I let other people handle my finance finances in in the office. And, and I have very amazing project managers so that that’s a good Segway, because you’re he there in Thailand, it looks super nice. 

Karla: 

 clearly Caucasians. 

Brandon: 

I’m there, so they must know something. 

Brandon: 

just tuning in. 

Brandon: 

That’s a joke. you need to rewind getting. 

Brandon: 

I think the political correct term is white people. 

Karla: 

Okay. All right. Well, here’s what I’m wondering. You’re in Thailand living it up. 

Brandon: 

Look super nice, right? How How are you managing in all seriousness? How you managing remotely And how do you keep? How do you know your father shot back in the Philippines now and your event business? I imagine you can run your event business from anywhere, but you’re maybe there’s not a lot of events right now because the krona crisis. 

Brandon: 

But how do you manage remotely and and manage to still live the way you dio and have that freedom? 

Brandon: 

Right. So I think that handing a business should be like a pyramid. Obviously, if you’re the owner, if you’re at the top, you should only talkto like three key people. And this three key people, each of them will talk to three key people, and that’s it. And you really only talk to them. So I only talk to my senior management. Really? I don’t need There’s a business that I’m There’s another business that I’m leading. 

Karla: 

We have I don’t know, 50 m employees talked to all of them. 

Karla: 

Obviously, I talked to just the division leads and that’s it. And and in my events company, I talked to my VB, I v p for operations and in my marketing supervisor. 

Karla: 

And that’s really I talked to them. They’re the only two people I talked to and then in a flower shop. I talked to my general manager was my sister, so I just really talked her. 

Karla: 

I don’t talk to all the delivery boys. I don’t talk to the suppliers. you just have to have your standards. Ah, set with these people and you have to pay them. Well, obviously, if you can sweetened the deal with a little bit of profit share, which I’m doing with my key people, my you know, so that there will also be interested and motivated to make the bottom line work and, and make it better all the time. 

Karla: 

So, I think it’s it’s the key, really. Is hiring a few very key people close to you that you that you communicate your standards too, and you communicate your expectations to and then that’s their goal. Don’t micromanage them. So if you can Sara Blakely was, ah, famous female billionaire. 

Karla: 

She she had this type of hiring, which I’m actually pretty scared to try. But she says that whatever she hires someone, she would give them her goals and then she would not talk to them for 90 days. And if they hit their goal, and that’s a probationary period, if they hit that goal, whatever, whatever they did, she doesn’t care if they hit that goal. 

Karla: 

That’s that’s awesome. Good you’re in. If they don’t, then  then they’re out. 

Karla: 

So because she would provide you all the resources they need rise and you have all the support around you and stuff like that. 

Karla: 

So I think that that makes that kind of makes sense because the least amount of conversations I do with my people that would be the best, because that means I have more time to think about the business strategy, the future of the business and and and you know, for myself maybe there’s and that’s why that’s how I build a lot of businesses. 

Karla: 

I would because it’s because I have time to think, which is very important. 

Karla: 

I don’t know how to expound that, but I think that’s but I think that’s an important point. 

Karla: 

So the way that I would characterize what you just said is that you work on your business, not in your business. 

Karla: 

Yeah, with that be a fair way of putting it. 

Karla: 

And, I have a question for you because I was listening to you, and I think I think the way you’ve built that is really interesting. 

Karla: 

Do you ever worry? 

Brandon: 

Do you ever worry that you’re receiving a filtered message about your business from these senior managers? 

Brandon: 

Yes. 

Brandon: 

I mean, no, I don’t worry, but I saw I Sometimes I catch them, actually. 

Brandon: 

so another thing that I practiced in my office is is an honor system. 

Brandon: 

I don’t have CCTV cameras. 

Brandon: 

I just trust that they’re working. 

Karla: 

And it’s absolute trust and confidence. And I even include that whenever I talked to them and that whatever I give them a huge task, I would I would literally in verbatim tell them. Hey, Brandon, I have trust and confidence. If you can achieve this anything you need to reach out to me Any problem you can solve yourself. Ah, let me know. But if you can just I have trust in you and your chosen for this position. So I had these Congress these pep talks, as you know, as soon as I heard them for a senior management position, I tell them that every single person has chosen for that position and and they wouldn’t be anywhere else. And they I really believe that, you know, that they’re here to because they’re the best person to do that job. So there’s a lot of that going, you know, And I practiced that. 

Karla: 

And I believe that if you just trust people, you know, I think it will. 

Karla: 

It will likely work. 

Karla: 

And also, if you’re a good leader, then then then people will, you know, there’s obviously there’s some people who fuck me over, like I had someone who still for me, you know? 

Karla: 

Yeah, of course. 

Karla: 

So now we have more systems to avoid that, though, we got better at that. 

Karla: 

And,  and in terms of being worried, if I’m getting a filtered message at the end of the day, I think about the results. So So what if they give me ah filtered message? As long as I guess the profits. The financial statement looks good at the end, and we didn’t do anything illegal. Dude, I’m offered. Give me a filter message every day. 

Karla: 

Fair enough. You sound really angry or or or or disappointed when someone really screwed you ever. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, because I treat my I know that I treat my people love, I really do. 

Brandon: 

And I paid them higher than industry standards. In fact, that’s one of the reasons. So I was able to get really good people. I Pirated them. They’re unhappy executives from bigger companies and and, when I pay them better and then I give them more flexibility, they’re allowed to tell the commute. I give them unlimited leaves in a year. ASL on was its pre scheduled,  every year I fly everyone out to a vacation from the top to the bottom employees and and and that’s key and flying out. It’s psychological for me. It has to be a plane, right? It can be a road trip. I fly everyone up for vacation, and we do team building stuff when we celebrated my birthday. 

Karla: 

And so I know that them I’m better than most bosses, I would say especially in the Philippines, where, you know there’s a lot of businessmen who just are all money, But I’m a service based business. 

Karla: 

All my businesses are service space. So people are my assets and their everything. And so that’s why when that person I caught him lying to me many times. So I’ll give you one example. There is a cafe near our office that has a TV and I don’t go to my office. 

Karla: 

So But that time I drove by, I drove by and I saw him at, like three. 

Karla: 

PM with this foot up, watching like eating snaps and watching TV, and I I was on a stoplight, so I called him as I Hey, how’s he going? 

Karla: 

Where are you? What are you doing? And I can you not? He told me, Yeah, I’m at the office and I’m doing this fella block. And I’m like, Dude, I can see you right now in the cafe washing TV with your foot up, eating a fucking banana like and then and then we got him. 

Karla: 

My other team managers caught him stealing some money from the petty cash, so it wasn’t much. 

Karla: 

But, you know, that’s  that’s obviously a red flag. And then he lied about other things, and then he and then we just like you know, And then and then I kept him on because I don’t He was supporting his sister. 

Karla: 

His sister studies, but I kind of let that get in the way. So after that, my lawyer was like, Dude, you gotta let this guy go like it’s not healthy. 

Karla: 

And, that was another lesson. If you keep one bad person in the office, it will make the good people feel bad because you’re tolerating that kind of behavior, and it’s also disrespectful for them. 

Karla: 

So when he left, when I fired him, my teammates told me that the mood in the office got better there, more productive and would have known it was It was that. 

Karla: 

I’m so glad you said that cause I was going to say that, and I think that’s Ah, it’s a really hard thing to do, right, cause letting anyone go, it’s still hard. 

Brandon: 

 yeah, I mean people. It’s a people sale. It’s not personal, it’s business. It’s personal because it’s personal. It’s a person now. It makes it a little easier when someone lies, steals and does all that because it makes it easier. 

Brandon: 

But I think what your message and what you just conveyed is really important. Take away from that, which is. 

Brandon: 

And I’m really grateful for you admitting that you may have let it go longer than you otherwise should, because that’s hard to admit. but that’s just a lesson that I’ve learned to you. 

Brandon: 

You have got to make it. You’ve got to cut the string fast. It will. 

Brandon: 

It will. One. You know, that whole thing. I guess it’s sort of a cliche. One bad apple. But it is true. It will ruin an amazing It will make an amazing team. Mediocre, if not awful, really quick, right? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. 

Karla: 

And then there’s this financial Congress. 

Brandon: 

I learned this. I learned this deal, you know, because I have a lot of pots of everything. There’s a financial conversation that employees have in their heads, and ah, and employees, no matter how much you love them, how how could you treat them? They always know that the harder they work and the better they are, you will make money and not them. 

Karla: 

And that is a conversation in the voice in their hands that you gotta keep silent as much as you can that so I got to be nice to them. Treat them well and all that stuff on. 

Karla: 

And and most, most employees will not have that conversation every day, but sometimes they will. It will arrive to them. And if you keep one bad employees, this conversation will start going and saying the the salary of that employees could be more benefits for them. Or they would kind of think, you know, I can do the job of this bottom for you. Why don’t I just get paid more so I can do it?  or they would think, You know what? 

Karla: 

If we let this guy go the salary that we pay him, we could buy new microwave in the office for that Or, you know, so that there’s that, that that financial conversation that that your employees have in their heads as one of the reasons. So even if they don’t oh, the money in the business, they still believe that there’s somehow entitled to the decision making on how that money should be spent because they’re contributing to that money, and I think that’s a little too deep. 

Karla: 

But I just feel like that’s deep inside. 

Karla: 

One of the reasons why they will always hate that bad employees because they feel like you’re wasting money, the money that they made for you, to this person who was wrong. 

Karla: 

Oh, I don’t think it’s too deep it all. 

Karla: 

I think that what you just described is really important. 

Brandon: 

And I would Bridget from not just knowing your customer but knowing the conversations that people who work for you on your team are also having an intimately understanding that Because in many ways Carla think you agree is you, your teammates, the people that work for you, your employees are your customer. 

Brandon: 

Absolutely. 

Brandon: 

So you have to understand that conversation. 

Brandon: 

I think that is really unique. 

Brandon: 

 very, very insightful thing that you just came up with, around that conversation. I like how you said it is that financial conversation, and it’s funny because the truth of the matter is that you were talking about that. I can remember way, way, way back to when I was a cashier at an Excel and and remembering this conversation like the At the end of the day, I’m not making this money. 

Brandon: 

They’re making 50 cents a gallon off this gas, and I’m in here at three in the morning, eating Caesar’s breadsticks and watching cops. And that really is the financial conversation that’s going on in your head, you know? And the funny part is, that was a really long time ago for me and and just you talking about that. So I offer that to the listeners to think about for your teammates. And when you hire a few lessons, there is,  fire fast as soon as there is a problem and understand the conversations that people are having in your company and how you’re going to treat them and take care of them. Because ultimately they are making you money. 

Brandon: 

Yes, absolutely. 

Brandon: 

And even in profit sharing, which I think is a great tool or stock options or whatever that is. At the end of the day, the conversation that people are having really is, well, the people I thought, they’re the ones getting rich one of my doing. So you have got to definitely address that and and I believe that people work really hard for you should just generally take care of, because Because everybody has families, everybody has a mortgage. Everybody has a story, and they’re working with that. 

Brandon: 

So, Carl, we’ve been really grateful for this story. Where where are you now, What your business is and and where you going? 

Brandon: 

So right now we are, ah, building. Ah, big company with Perry, actually, and we have managed outsourcing teams, and we have really great offers for that are very competitive. So we built this one, like conglomerate business with managed teams for support, creative and tech. So the companies are WP expert. There’s tech staff. There’s a real estate virtual assistants. So there’s different companies that focus on managed outsource teams. So this is great for people and especially right now in America, You know, a lot of companies had to, unfortunately lay off employees. And but it doesn’t mean that the services that these employees are fighting are not essential. So, us giving them an option to to match to have managed outsource teams if they don’t wanna just jump in the ocean full of sharks and just try to hire a freelancer. And if they don’t feel safe doing that or they don’t trust themselves to manage people remotely. We have. You know, Paris team has done that for 13 years, and they have managed call centers in the Philippines where right now we’re building something bigger, but we’re building it with more divisions. 

Karla: 

And my focus right now isn’t helping him helping him build that business, which is great, because I worked with him. 

Karla: 

I actually moved to Vegas for Perry, so ah, work alongside him. So he’s my when my mentors and he took me on and to work with him, and I just took the chance. And I actually decided in an afternoon when he gave me the offer and I’m like, Are you serious? Because I moved and he said, Yeah, sure. 

Karla: 

And then on I just like when I said, I just keep running and I don’t ever look back. And then, and then this talking to this opportunity came up. I think this opportunity came up in January when he also there was ah, top executive in the company was also let go, and he realized that you know what, Carla, your Filipina why don’t you just leave this thing because you know, you this is going to be 90% of Filipino, staff. 

Karla: 

And so, yeah, that’s what we’re building. And basically, who would be their customer? 

Karla: 

Who would be your cut would like, Can you give me a few examples for the listeners might be interested in. And what is so? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, there’s a, for example, WP expert dot com. So,  it’s managed word for support for as low to 95 a month. So if you, ah have a WordPress, decide if your business is dependent on your site. If it’s an e compasses, personal grand business and you don’t you, you always have updates, and you just want to make it secure. You can subscribe to that offer are really famous. Offer is wow so or which is a dollar an hour? 

Karla: 

Customer support? Yes, I’m not kidding. So it’s Chad. Call and email, but for if you just choose chat than that, that’s what If you choose call, that’s what. So we charge a dollar an hour, so if you pay, that’s for the our best seller offer, which is 24 7 and 365 days a year. So it’s only 720 a month. Really, that’s 24 7 chance support or call support or email support. But if you want all three than it’s like around 2100. But if you have a business dependent on those things that that is, that is agree. 

Karla: 

That’s incredible. Price Carl. Yeah, now would that support also do sales? 

Brandon: 

Ah, we have another business for sales. It’s called Prospect Lee. It’s mostly for appointment setting, prospecting and sales closing so that one is priced per minute for calls, and it also has AH commission at the end. 

Karla: 

So there’s a commission for turnover, which is, if you want a first line first line of defense for sales, and then you want to pass it on to a US closer, then that we can do that. So their turnover commission. So you turn over a Hawk lead or if you want all of the closing to be done in the Philippines, that’s a different conversation, too. But to be fair and to be transparent, we haven’t built that business yet, but it’s definitely on the pipeline. So right now we have the creative agency, which is, you know, unlimited designs for 95 months, and, and then the word press agency, which is to 95 or 10 hours of work per support. 

Karla: 

We have the real estate assistant, which is really estate virtual assistants that Realtors and real estate investors can hire, and they’re only at 8 95 So are prices are very competitive, and these are all in office managed teams. 

Karla: 

That’s incredible. 

Karla: 

That sounds super exciting. And meanwhile, and meanwhile, your lot, your gift business transformed from a flower shop into a gift business and your event business is still happening. 

Brandon: 

Is that right? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I have a few ah, online businesses as well that that our mind,  that I, I am not in business with Perry also, and they’re all just running there in the background, and I talked to my team literally on Facebook. I talked to my manager’s every day, and I just get updates and and stuff like that. But so far, you know, that’s that’s that’s what it is. And to give you an update on the flower shop, too. In 2017 I was able to start selling it as a franchise, so we actually have 12 locations all over the country. 

Karla: 

Oh my God, Yes, on. 

Brandon: 

And I was able to just sell my system the script and the branding and the branding service so they are allowed to have their own brand. So they want to call it Brandon’s blooms or something. 

Karla: 

They can do that. But are the systems hours? Yeah, the system is ours, the marketing is ours, and we help them. And there’s up. There’s a little business coaching. There’s a one on one with me and I give them advice. 

Karla: 

And I’m happy to report that all of these literally all from the first to the 12th franchise owner are allied in less than six months. 

Karla: 

So that’s incredible. Well, congratulations that you did not tell me that that was probably it’s just being humble. Ah, but that that’s incredible. 

Brandon: 

Well, I really appreciate you telling us and sharing with us this journey, and just being frank because I think it’s it’s hard sometimes to admit the things were good at any been good at. 

Brandon: 

And you’ve been really,  open about that, and I’m grateful for that. 

Brandon: 

So wrapping it up because I think you and I could probably talk another three hours like we did know Well when we met. 

Brandon: 

And now is, give me three hp ts for entrepreneurs out there who are starting scaling whatever you choose, but advice that you would have h pts for entrepreneurs and our listeners. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, so? 

Brandon: 

Well, you know, before that I want to thank you, of course, for giving me a chance to tell my story and for for seeing whatever you saw and making. And really, when you felt that I had a message that I could share to help other people or if you feel like my story was worth telling, that’s I feel really grateful that, you know, you think that you know, I’m ready to be here. So, yeah, I wrote down some hp ts, and, the first thing that I would say would be cautious. 

Karla: 

Everything so cold, hard cash is really everything and that. 

Karla: 

So you need to make us much cast cash. A spot possible when you’re starting out. Ah, your own cash. Okay. Not investments if you don’t trust yourself. And that’s one of the reasons why I never took investments. Because I just can’t trust myself. that I would, You know, I’m stumbling through the dark. I can’t. I can’t face an investor and promise him that I’m gonna grow his business because I was just doing things by myself. And I’m learning and I’m stumbling through the dark. So them whatever stage you are in your business right now, the more cash you can collect up front. That’s better. So this involves a lot of things. This involves collecting, Ah, upfront payment. 

Karla: 

Maybe you if you want to sell selling services, prepaid or selling gift certificates if you want to incentivize people for paying in cash rather than credit. Ah, so there’s different ways you can apply this principle, but that is really and and of course, if you’re starting out sales and being a good salesperson is the first step to having to act to a least get get to a position that you can call yourself a business, and then number two would be as you’re growing. 

Karla: 

It is your job to do what I call our ally driven hiring. 

Karla: 

So every time I hire a new person me as a business owner, it is my job to think about how I can make three times off the salary of that person. So, for example, I have a overflow off work, and I’m like, I need to hire another person. 

Karla: 

So if I’m hiring this person and I’m paying him, let’s say $2000 a month. I need to make a plan to make $6000 because I took this person in. So I always try toe make up these three times off. What? I’m paying them a salary because it’s also it’s also safety net for you as a business owner. So it is your job as a business owner to think about your r o I every time you hire a person, Yes. I don’t want you just trigger happy hiring a person just because he had a really busy week. 

Karla: 

You have to have a plan. These people you got to respect them to you can’t give them a job. Now I’m thinking, Oh, shit. Sorry I didn’t work. So after 30 days, I really did my best. So I’m really sorry I have to let you go. You also can’t do that. So, thinking this way no, you might think that. Oh, my gosh, Carla, you’re just all about the money when you heard it’s just about the money for you, But it should be. 

Karla: 

You know, like you have when you give someone a job, you’re promising them of a future. So you should not forget that you’re promising them that their kids can go to school. You’re promising them that if they do a good job, you’re giving up security, you’re gonna treat them well and you’re gonna be part. They’re gonna be credited for the good work that even so, that’s That’s the social contract that I understand that comes with hiring a person. 

Karla: 

You’ve got to treat this person with respect and that’s what you have to have your cash ready and you have to have a plan. 

Karla: 

And it’s your job as a business owner to have that time so and the third HPD, I would say it’s You have to make sacrifices and put your ego aside when you have to. So I am what they have us. A new Alfa personality, you know, was the president of my debate club. I was always a champion. That stuff I’m the eldest child s Oh, I have a very Alfa personality, but I always catch myself, and I always spend time to reflect on my wrong or I’m always also the first willing to do sacrifices and putting my ego aside for the good of your business. So I read this quote the other day. 

Karla: 

I think it was Louis House who shared it on on Instagram, and he said, you have to decide what your ideal life, ISS and everything. 

Karla: 

That’s not that you have to be prepared to leave it, and it’s It’s very, you know, it talks about discipline and it talks about. 

Karla: 

It also talks about all the unnecessary things that you have to be prepared to leave if it’s not for the higher good or if it’s not for the future that you want and that applies to your life. But for me, that also applies to business. 

Karla: 

So, before I had trouble, obviously I had trouble accepting when I’m wrong or when my employees is right, or are there more right or they’re better than me. But now I have learned that, and I’ve learned to apologize. So if I am wrong to my employees and I’ve learned to quickly,  except that other people’s ideas might be better. 

Karla: 

Ah, and you know, just like really you know, it’s not easy, obviously, especially for a person like me, where I think I’m right all of the time. 

Karla: 

I asked my boyfriend,  but you know, you have to You have to think about your business. 

Karla: 

The business is bigger than you. So I think about my business. That’s my legacy. I think about it. 

Karla: 

My, my, my chance to build generational. Well, I have this big vision for what I’m really building. I want to be a role model for women, for women in the developing countries. I want, you know, I want to inspire young women and I want to, and I have all this big visions. 

Karla: 

And so whatever serves that vision, that’s something that I will do. And if it means that I will have to be wrong and admit that I’m wrong. Ah, then that’s fine, and it’s not easy, but I learned to kind of accept that well, those were awesome. 

Karla: 

And you are an inspiration for not just women entrepreneurs but for all entrepreneurs, including Caucasian men and and everyone else. 

Brandon: 

And I’m serious. I think it’s great that you want inspire women. Obviously you’ve done it in a I don’t know if the word hostel in bottom, even and you did in the Philippines, which is which is culturally a very hard culture to do it in. So you should get a ton of credit for doing that. And you’re still doing it to this day. And I think you got a bunch of businesses left in you, and I’m looking forward to staying in touch and following your journey. Maybe if you’re open, will will get together another six or eight months to see how your current business your new venture is going and maybe talk about some things that you learned in this new chapter of entrepreneurship. Where can Carla if people wanted to be inspired and learn? You know, one of the things that I know you did is you really. You leveraged Facebook really successfully from a new organic standpoint, t get your flower shop and now gift business going Where can they find you? 

Brandon: 

Your business page on Facebook? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I actually have a business stage. It’s Karl Lessing, son. It’s where I, you know, give advice and connect to my community. It’s largely Filipino, though, because I meant it to really inspire fellow Filipinos. And I also speak in my native found there sometimes. But I write, I write articles that I,  of topics that I care about on medium So you can also find me on medium and yeah, I would be happy to obviously get in touch with you and and see you. 

Karla: 

You know, after all this craziness is over, I actually would really want to go the Silicon Valley and I show you something. 

Karla: 

 I just finished reading this book. 

Karla: 

Bad blood secrets in Latin. It Yes, I dio eyes the baroness three. 

Brandon: 

And it’s a really great book. Oh, gosh. I finish this in three days. He said, a great writer if, ah, it’s written like a thriller. So they there was Ah, there was, ah, common here, which was like, is the best on Silicon Valley’s thriller. And I didn’t no, that that this possible. 

Karla: 

So,  so you know that I mean, I’m curious about what looks like in person. 

Karla: 

Yes, it’s Ah, it’s Ah, it is. 

Brandon: 

I will say now I’m a tech nerd. 

Brandon: 

But remember something? One thing that I’ll say call is that The stereotype is that Silicon Valley is mainly tech, and the truth of the matter is, is that there’s consumer brands. There’s the at Walla drink company. If you’ve ever seen that, they sell refrigerated drinks that actually started right here in Half Moon Bay. and GoPro, which I know you and many people have heard of the little camera that goes, Nick actually started that right here in Half Moon Bay and still has an office. So ah, lot of businesses air here. And I think the, there’s, ah, there’s a great energy here that there’s highly competitive, but also people want to help each other out and, you know, probably comes from Foma. 

Brandon: 

And,  you know, you could be talking to the next billionaire. 

Brandon: 

So,  you and Mitch are welcome any time we have. 

Brandon: 

Ah, and I extended this to you before Ah whole set up here in Half Moon Bay to beat. So after this craziness would love to have you here and show you around, introduce you to a few people and,  see the craziness. 

Brandon: 

That would be great. 

Brandon: 

That would be like my adult version of a field trip because, ah, when I first went to the States, the first city that I visited was funnily Vegas because,  I went, Oh, that was the time I met Perry. I went to, ah, mastermind called Founders for which is our training CEOs and how to build. 

Karla: 

Ah, hi.  rules term. It was like high value businesses like evaluation, and, and for me, I just wanted to learn how I can improve my franchise. 

Karla: 

That’s that’s really just did. And I wanted to meet him. I wanted to be rolling Frazier and front ass Arraf was in the same room and it was a tight room. There was only 12 of us, so it was great. 

Karla: 

And then after that but my dream city to visit in the U. 

Karla: 

S. West Washington, D. C. Because I’m obsessed with White House drama. So I’ve watched all of the White House series on Netflix, and I’m just obsessed about it. And then I visited that. And so my that’s why my next dream is,  Well, when it’s all over, you guys come here and we’ll show you around. 

Karla: 

I’m really looking forward to it. And again, thank you so much for sharing your story. We’ll catch up. I encourage everybody to look Karl up on Facebook. It would K a r l A s I n g s o n and Carla is very witty. And you will actually learn some amazing copy writing secrets by following her feed. So I am. 

Brandon: 

It is. 

Brandon: 

I encourage you to do that. Thanks so much. Karla will be in touch soon. Be safe.

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