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Why Trusting Your Instincts Can Lead You to Your Passion
10th November 2016 • The Digital Entrepreneur • Rainmaker Digital LLC
00:00:00 00:31:21

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This week’s guest is obsessed. She has a burning passion for creating freedom in not only her life but also in the lives of others. She is Raubi Perilli, and she is a Digital Entrepreneur.

In this 32-minute episode, Raubi walks you through her story as a digital entrepreneur:

  • Why she learned to trust her instincts after a particularly challenging experience with a client
  • How she was able to find a balance between client work and creating digital products
  • Why seeing clients excited to receive the work they’ve paid her for gives her the most satisfaction in her business
  • How Raubi plans to keep changing and growing moving forward
  • The simple, but powerful, productivity hack that has helped Raubi focus on work that matters (and that you could implement today)

And more. Plus, Raubi answers my rapid fire questions at the end in which she reveals who she’d have a 30-minute Skype call with if given the chance.

Listen to The Digital Entrepreneur below ...

The Show Notes

The Transcript

Why Trusting Your Instincts Can Lead You to Your Passion

Voiceover: Rainmaker FM. You’re listening to The Digital Entrepreneur, the show for folks who want to discover smarter ways to create and sell profitable digital goods and services. This podcast is a production of Digital Commerce Institute, the place to be for digital entrepreneurs. DCI features an in-depth, ongoing instructional academy, plus a live education and networking summit where entrepreneurs from across the globe meet in person. For more information, go to Rainmaker.FM/DigitalCommerce.

Jerod Morris: Welcome back to The Digital Entrepreneur, the show where digital entrepreneurs share their stories and the lessons they’ve learned so that we can all be better in our online pursuits. I am your host, Jerod Morris, the VP of marketing for Rainmaker Digital, and this is episode No. 34.

This episode of The Digital Entrepreneur is brought to you by the Rainmaker Platform. I will tell you more about this complete solution for digital marketing and sales later, but you can check it out and take a free spin for yourself at Rainmaker.FM/Platform.

On this week’s episode, I am joined by someone who is a little obsessed with building things and creating freedom in not only her life, but in the lives of others as well. After being unable to find a writing gig anywhere and having no outlet to serve her aching passion to build, she decided to do something about it. She set up her first website and attempted to build her first blog, Dive In. That experience taught her a ton.

Since then, she’s launched a business that helps others build and grow their online platforms, Simply Stated Media. She now works for herself, helps others do the same, and loves every minute of it. She is Raubi Perilli, and she is a digital entrepreneur.

All right, Raubi, welcome to The Digital Entrepreneur. It’s great to have you here.

Raubi Perilli: Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Jerod Morris: It was great to see you at Digital Commerce Summit. I don’t know if you listen, but last week I had Ed Fang on.

Raubi Perilli: Oh yeah?

Jerod Morris: Yeah. He and I were talking about how cool it is that you guys have that group where you’ll go to that event together, talk with each other, hold each other accountable, and be each other’s support group and everything. It’s really cool.

The Power of Mastermind Groups

Raubi Perilli: I love it. I look forward to that conference every year. I wrote about it for Copyblogger about how I felt it was integral for me to start my business. The people that I met there are even helping me now that I got the wheels turning, and they’re there to make sure I keep it rolling.

Jerod Morris: How important is that? A lot of people who listen to the show, a lot of people who are digital entrepreneurs end up working alone sometimes — work from home, work alone. How important is that to be able, even if it’s you don’t get to see them in person a lot, to have a group like that?

Raubi Perilli: I think it’s incredibly important, and I think people don’t put enough value on that. You get stuck behind your computer, and you kind of get caught up in your ways of just doing your work behind the screen. Even if the people you’re connecting with is through your screen or how we’re talking now, I think it’s so important.

When I first started, I made a big point to get out, go to a networking event, or go meet people once a month. I kind of fell off with it at one point, and I noticed it changing my attitude and my work ethic. I was so excited when the Digital Commerce Summit came back up because Ed and I talked to someone else who went, and we were like, “We need to go and get re-energized.”

Now, since the conference, we even setup a biweekly meeting so that we can hold each other accountable and keep that momentum going so that you don’t lose it when you get back behind the computer all alone.

Jerod Morris: That’s great. To begin, to kind of just set the stage, tell me, tell the listeners about Simply Stated Media and what you’re doing over there.

How Raubi Was Able to Find a Balance Between Client Work and Creating Digital Products

Raubi Perilli: I help people when they’re in their beginning stages of wanting to launch their side project or help promote themselves. I’m there to give them a step by step to launch their first professional online presence. That means I help them with setting up a WordPress site, just getting the basic stuff that they need on their website to look professional. It’s really easy to set up a site that you’re excited that you have a .com or something, but it just doesn’t look professional enough to be taken seriously.

So I help people so that they can build their online presence with authority so that they look like they’re a professional — they can really highlight their expertise — so that they can grow their career or their business. Sometimes it’s not even people that are looking to build a business. They just want to promote themselves so they can find better job opportunities.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, absolutely. We’re going to talk here in just a minute, we’re going to go backwards and talk about what you were doing before you got into what you’re doing now and then look forward. But I want to ask you the first question that I typically start off these conversations with, and that is about digital entrepreneurship, kind of the big picture.

I’ve always believed that the number one benefit of digital entrepreneurship is freedom — the freedom to choose your projects, to chart your course, and ultimately, the freedom to change your life and even your family’s life for the better. For you, what is the biggest benefit that you have derived from being a digital entrepreneur?

What Raubi Sees As the Biggest Benefit of Digital Entrepreneurship

Raubi Perilli: I would say you’re speaking my language right there with the freedom aspect of it. That’s huge for me, but another big part of it is just to help people do work that they actually care about. I feel like so many people do jobs that they hate or make them unhappy, and that funnels into their day-to-day life. It affects them in all parts of their life. Really being a digital entrepreneur, being able to promote myself, and find jobs and opportunities that align with what I like to do is so important to me.

When I started doing this, I noticed that just changed even my attitude and how I was interacting with people. I just think it’s so important for people to do work that they care about, and digital entrepreneurship gives that opportunity.

Jerod Morris: That’s interesting. You talked about how when you got into it, it started to change your attitude. Take me back to the time before you became a digital entrepreneur and were on your own. What were you doing, and what was missing that led you to want to make a change?

How Raubi Was Able to Find a Balance Between Client Work and Creating Digital Products

Raubi Perilli: The job that I had before I left to start Simply Stated Media, I was working at a content development company, and it was a startup. When I started there, I loved it. We were creating new things, and there was so much opportunity to innovate and come up with new processes, systems, and content that wasn’t there. When I had that job, I loved it. It felt like I was working for myself even though I was working for a company. But after a few years, we had laid out all that stuff that we needed for the foundation, and we stopped growing in that way.

Well, at least my position did. I kind of became stagnant, and then I wasn’t creating new things. I was just maintaining what was there. That really started to drain on me. I’m not the type of person that I like to go to work and do the same kind of repetitive motions every day. I know some businesses, that’s their goal to make it as simple as possible, so they can plug people in. I just needed to be in a position where I could be creative and create things from scratch. That’s what led me to, “Well, why don’t I go try to do this for myself?”

Jerod Morris: Have you tried to structure your business, then, in that way — knowing that about yourself, that maybe you like the creating part more than the maintaining part? Do you try and structure your business so that you get to do more creating than maintaining?

Raubi Perilli: Yeah, absolutely. Another part of it is, with the creating, is just the changing part of it, too. Whereas I know with my business, I started out, I really just wanted to do all freelance writing. And it quickly, it wasn’t even probably months into it that I realized, “I don’t want to just do writing. I want to do marketing strategy. I want to do websites.” So it’s not like a job where I got hired to just be a writer, and I was boxed into that position.

With having my own business, I can see where things are making me excited and what I’m good at. I can follow that path rather than be pigeon-holed into what I originally signed up for.

Jerod Morris: Yeah. Tell me about the milestone or moment in your career as a digital entrepreneur thus far that you are the most proud of.

Staying Busy and Getting Paid (and Scaling Beyond One-to-One Client Work)

Raubi Perilli: I have to say, and this may not be a huge milestone, but I know that it was for me, was just hitting that first year mark, knowing that I made it through that first year and that I had enough clients to keep me busy and keep me paid. When you start out, you have that huge fear of, “This isn’t going to work. I’m not going to have enough business.” Just having that relief of, “Okay, I’m actually doing this, and it’s working,” was pretty huge for me.

Jerod Morris: The way your business is structured, is it mostly you working one-on-one with clients? Do you have any digital products, like a course, anything like that, that kind of scales bigger than just one-to-one client work?

Raubi Perilli: Most of the stuff that I do is one-to-one client work. Where I’m at with that is I definitely want to grow into doing more actually workshop-style products where people sign up, and then I work one-on-one with them, but on a limited basis that we actually start with a goal and accomplish that through the workshop. I’m working on building that now, and it’s been helpful to be doing the one-on-one client work.

I’m getting to see where my target audience, what they need, how they learn, and how much they want to learn. That’s a big part of it, too. I tend to assume everybody wants to know how to do everything themselves, and I’ve learned that a lot of clients want most of it done for them. To try to find that balance of giving them what they want and need, but still being able to give them the tools to do it themselves a little bit.

Jerod Morris: I find that a lot of successful digital businesses start out the way that you’re starting out, where you are getting a lot of work with clients. Really, there’s no way to replace the experience and insight that you get working one on one. A lot of times, then, you can leverage that into more scalable digital products — like a course or like a membership — once you have that insight.

Is that something down the road that you’re looking at, or do you always want your business to be focused on, yes, the workshops, but really working in that one-to-one setting where you’re really working directly with people?

Raubi Perilli: I fluctuated where there was times that I wanted to go all in with digital products and not have clients, but I definitely think I see myself getting somewhere where I’m like 50/50. I do find that I really enjoy working with the clients. We’re talking about that you learn a lot from them, and you see what opportunities there are there. I kind of see myself going to where I’d like to be more 50/50.

You talking about the freedom aspect of it, I like that flexibility to be able to help people without needing to be right there for them all the time. Yeah, aspiring to be a little bit more split on the client work and the actual products, courses, and content that they can use themselves to get themselves through it.

Jerod Morris: Yeah. Let’s take a quick break, and when we come back, I’m going to ask Raubi about her most humbling moment as a digital entrepreneur. Be right back.

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Now, back to my interview with Raubi Perilli.

Raubi, I asked you about your most proud moment, and you told us, so now let’s flip that. Tell me about the most humbling moment in your career as a digital entrepreneur and, most importantly, what you learned from it.

Why Raubi Learned to Trust Her Instincts After a Particularly Challenging Experience with a Client

Raubi Perilli: Yeah, actually, I would say this was probably something that happened fairly recently to me. I had my first experience where I took on a client that just didn’t feel right at the beginning. I could tell in my gut it just wasn’t something that I felt like they were a match for what they were looking for and what I could provide, but I took them on anyway.

After putting in hours of work and talking to them again, I realized that I should have went with that original feeling of, “This isn’t a good fit,” and had to scrap everything that I had done and walk away from it — which was pretty humbling in that I put the time and the energy into working on the project and, with that, not working on other...