Hernan is an Internet marketer, Entrepreneur and SEO specialist who focuses on bringing results to clients and students by researching, developing, and sharing techniques to get more traffic, better Google rankings, and increased sales.
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3 Key Points:
- Don’t be afraid to work with a partner, just realize it may not work out the way you envision.
- Being a good entrepreneur is about accepting 100% responsibility.
- Always put the client first.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:19] – If not now, when?
- [02:00] – It’s ok to be lost, eventually you’ll find your road
- [03:12] – There’s nothing better than results—regardless of what the results actually are
- [03:45] – How Hernan generates revenue today
- [04:25] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Got a partner in 2007 on a new web design business… and then his partner cut him out without notice
- [07:14] – You can’t be an entrepreneur without FIRE
- [07:59] – Take 100% responsibility and you’re starting to become an entrepreneur
- [09:02] — Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Doing web design and SEO for a company in Buenos Aries that helped a business BLOW UP
- [11:16] – Always put the client first
- [11:47] – You build confidence by getting out there!
- [11:56] — Biggest weakness?–Starts strong, finishes poorly
- [12:15] –Biggest strength?–Creativity
- [12:30] – What has Hernan most fired up today? –Starting his own YouTube channel
- [15:34] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? –Fear of failure
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? –Stop working in your business and start working on your business
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – Waking up at 5AM every day
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – IFTTT
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Influence
- [19:34] –Progress beats professionalism every time
- [19:58] — Connect with Hernan at HernanVasquez.com
Hernan Vasquez: John, let’s burn the place down.
John: Yes! Hernan is an Internet marketer entrepreneur, an SEO specialist who focuses on bringing results to clients. He’d doing this by researching, developing, and sharing techniques to get more traffic, better Google rankings, and increased sales. Hernan, take a minute and fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Hernan Vasquez: First off, let me thank you. It’s an honor to be here. I’ve been following your podcasts for the past couple of years. It’s been amazing. Thank you for that intro too. I started doing my own thing back in 2007. It basically started with a question. The question was if not now, then when? That was the question that I asked myself. I had a great job in 2007 and was comfortable. It was like a three-minute walk from home. A great career but when you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur, it’s just the way it is.
You have a hard time breathing on such a space. So basically I burned the bridges. I went ahead and resigned. I left my job. I started doing my own things. Initially, I was kind of in the –I was kind of lost actually to be completely honest with you. But I’ve been doing web design and tinkering with Dreamweaver back in the day and some HTML and some initial phases of Word Press. So I started doing web design because that was something that I enjoyed doing. So I started doing web design for clients. I got my first client out of my day job.
The way it works is you make a website for somebody. It’s all nice and good, but they are not getting traffic to the website. So I started being asked to do SEO. So that’s what I did. I started researching about SEO. I started tinkering a little bit with it and playing with it. I got hooked up honestly. Like, really hooked up because I got results really early. The sensation of putting something up like on Athena and ranking on Google and having some people actually visit and purchasing was like this stuff works. So it was amazing.
John: There’s never a better feeling, Fire Nation, than actually getting results. Results are everything. Results can be dollars being generated. It can be a ranking on Google. It can be having your podcast featured on iTunes, or it can be –fill in the blank. But results are so powerful. It can be that initial momentum thrust you just keep using and going back to to keep going when you hit those tougher times.
You keep going back to those results, results, results to keep taking that right proper action. Now, Hernan, we’re going to get into the rest of your journey coming up here in a little bit. But I want to fast forward to today right now. Break it down for Fire Nation how you are generating revenue today.
Hernan Vasquez: Well, today, I’m after much experimenting I’m right now teaching SEO and Internet Marketing both in English and in Spanish. I’m a native speaker in Spanish. I am from Argentina from Buenos Aires. So I’m doing that. That’s basically my thing. I also have some affiliate websites. I also do consulting, conversions and sales funnels consulting SEO as well. So that’s basically how I’m generating revenue right now.
John: So, Hernan, you started kind of giving us a little glimpse into your journey as an entrepreneur. We’re going to keep fleshing that out right now because there’s so much to learn from that. What I want to start or use as a starting point is your worst entrepreneurial moment to date. So pull back the curtain. Share with us. What is your worst entrepreneurial moment?
Hernan Vasquez: Well, I love that question actually because this is not something that I talk a lot about. The truth is that I have been fresh out of my day job. I had resigned. I got a partner back then.
John: What year is this about?
Hernan Vasquez: 2007. I left my day job. I got a good friend working with me back then. We started doing web design. We started getting clients and etc., but he didn’t leave the day job, the company that we were in together. So, things go that I worked my face off. I was doing like 90 percent of the job and 90 percent of the heavy lifting and didn’t have any safety net. I mean, I had to go out there and get some clients, get some web designs, get some everything. You know?
He didn’t. He had his safety net. So I –things weren’t going good at that point because I had to expand. I couldn’t just rely on the way things were. So after meeting with my partner and friend at the time, after telling him this –hey, I’m going to start doing some other things. It’s all good, but I need to expand. He didn’t really take it that well, but he didn’t tell me at that point. Basically, another day I woke up and was completely locked out of my company like everything. Passwords. Spreadsheets. Everything.
It came to a point that I wasn’t able to do anything because he had switched the passwords for pretty much everything. So I lost pretty much all of my income at that point because the biggest clients were –he was badmouthing. But I think that was kind of my worst entrepreneurial moment, but it was also one of the biggest take aways or learning experiences for me. After much thought about that, I realized that it wasn’t actually his fault. It was mine because good friends maybe do not make good partners.
Also, you cannot –I mean, I love what you do with your podcasts. I tried to also motivate entrepreneurs as well. But you need to have nudge, that internal fire to really make the jump and start doing your own thing. So you have to change your mind to do that. I have changed that in order to become an entrepreneur, but he didn’t. I was expecting him to behave as someone that he wasn’t prepared to be. So that was kind of my worst entrepreneurial moment, but I’m really, really grateful about that because now I’m really aware of my weaknesses.
Or I’m trying to be aware of my weaknesses and my strengths. I got really, really good feedback from my experience. I later fast forward three or four years –
John: We’re going to break in here, Hernan, because what I really want Fire Nation to take away from this are three words. Fire Nation, take 100 percent responsibility. Remember those words. If you take 100 percent responsibility for everything in your life, your business; you’re starting to become an entrepreneur. No matter what is going on in your life or in your business, if you take 100 percent responsibility for everything, guess what. You are becoming an entrepreneur. Just remember those words.
Hernan could have just blamed, blamed, blamed and whined, whined, whined and complained, complained, complained. But, no. He said I’m taking responsibility. I am taking 100 percent responsibility for all the situations that have happened. Driving forward, I will continue to take 100 percent responsibility. It doesn’t matter, Fire Nation, if you’re at a stop sign looking both ways and get rear ended by a car that’s with a driver texting. I don’t care.
Take 100 percent responsibility because any other action you take is not going to benefit you and your entrepreneurship and your business and your life. Period. So, Hernan, let’s shift now to another story. This is one of your greatest a-ha moments that you’ve had to date. Take us to that moment and tell us that story.
Hernan Vasquez: While I was doing web design for a hairdresser or beauty salon or something. Yeah, hairdresser beauty salon in downtown Buenos Aires, this was like 2008 or 2009 probably. She asked me to do some SEO for her. I wasn’t completely sure about doing SEO at the time. So I started experimenting with my own websites. Whenever I had results I shared with my clients. So I started doing SEO for her. After a while, like three or four months down the road, she picked up the phone and called me and asked what did you do to my website? Have you been doing anything to my website in particular?
Well, I tell her, yeah. We are doing some SEO trying to rank you higher on Google. Why? Why are you asking? The answer was because my phone doesn’t stop ringing. I mean, she was getting hammered with clients with quotes. People asking her for places and schedule stuff for her salon. So it was a ton of fun. There’s when I discovered the power of SEO. Internal marketing basically, but SEO like the ability to put somebody right in front of the actual people that want to buy from her at that point, that completely hooked me on.
So that was a big a-ha moment because I was saying this stuff works. So I went crazy and shared it with my colleagues. It was a ton of fun at that time.
John: Results is a theme that I kind of see building up here, Fire Nation. There’s nothing better than results. I mean, when you can give a client results. When you have that first result of positivity for your business, dollar in the door, phone call, Twitter reply, or whatever it might be. When you have that first result, you can build off of that. That’s where the excitement starts. That’s what we’re working towards as entrepreneurs in every way, shape, and form.
So, Hernan, my big take away from what you’re saying is keep grinding. Keep really being passionate about what it is you’re doing and putting the client first and working towards results. Once you get those results, you can build and amplify off of those. What do you want to make sure Fire Nation gets?
Hernan Vasquez: We are always taught about self-confidence. I think the best way to get self-confidence is to actually get out there and do something to get those results. So I totally, totally agree with you because that’s the way that you build self-confidence. Saying and thinking this stuff really works. So I think that you hit it right there.
John: What’s your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Hernan Vasquez: I’m creative and pretty upbeat, but I have some difficulties following through. That’s something that I’m working on. Like, following through on projects. I’m a big starter, but I’m not such a good finisher, if you know what I mean.
John: What’s your biggest strength?
Hernan Vasquez: I think I’m really creative. I can put forward projects and create good teams. I’m also upbeat. I try to enhance or push others to move forward and to be better every day. So that’s basically it.
John: Hernan, you have a lot of cool things going on in your world, but what is the one thing that has you the most fired up today?
Hernan Vasquez: Recently, I was traveling for the past 60 days or so. I’ve been in Europe and etc. One of the things that really fired me up was starting my own YouTube channel where I provide a ton of value and a ton of insights that I got from my career as an SEO and entrepreneur and Internal Marketer. So that’s something that has me really fired up because I’ve been having a ton of good responses and a ton of good feedback about it. The ability to share what’s working with colleagues and the community and giving back to these amazing entrepreneurial community –that has me really hooked up at the time.
John: Well, Fire Nation, I want to hook you up in the lightning round. So don’t you go anywhere. We’re going to take a quick minute first to thank our sponsors. Hernan, are you prepared for the lightning round?
Hernan Vasquez: Let’s do this.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Hernan Vasquez: Fear of failure and fear of not having an income from my day job.
John: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Hernan Vasquez: Stop working in your business and start working on your business. Tony Robbins –the episode with Tony Robbins really opened some ideas for me. So that was a great episode.
John: Thank you.
Hernan Vasquez: It was great advice.
John: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Hernan Vasquez: Well, I try to wake up every day at 5:00 am. That’s something that I’ve been doing for the past couple of months actually. It doesn’t really matter if you wake up at 5:00 am. I know people that wake up at 3:00 am. But basically, it’s finding at least two to three hours of silence and really concentration time when you can knock out that really, really –the biggest contribution that you want to do on your day. That’s the best hours to do it.
So I try to get up so I have like two hours of really quiet time. People can find them late at night if you’re a night owl. Can find them after lunch. But it’s really important that you have those two or three hours of silence to knock out your most important part of the day.
John: Can you share an Internet resource like Ever Notes with Fire Nation?
Hernan Vasquez: Yeah, sure. This is a great question because we use or I use personally a ton of resources. But one of the biggest resources that I found I’ve been working with is IFTTT. IFTTT. I’m a big fan of automation. IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. I’m a big fan of it. In fact, it’s so powerful that my team and I have developed an entire SEO strategy based on that tool. An automatic promotion like you can hook up triggers and recipes to track. It’s a great tool to automate many of the tasks that we as entrepreneurs do every day.
John: If you could recommend one book for our listeners, what would it be? Why?
Hernan Vasquez: I really like Influence by Robert Cialdini. Not because we as marketers or entrepreneurs can really understand how our clients behave, but also how we behave personally. I got a ton of good value from that book. In a way, it has allowed me to understand why I do things that I do and how I do them. So I really recommend that if you haven’t read Influence by Robert Cialdini, you do it.
John: This is, Hernan, the last question of the lightning round, but it is a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter is taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would you do in the next seven days?
Hernan Vasquez: This is a beautiful question. What I would do is to research the market for a local legion opportunity like a local market with low competition and low SEO competition. What I would do is to put up a beautiful website. I would SEO optimize it; I would use IFTTT to rank it. Then, once it’s ranked and starts getting traffic, I would start calling local businesses to actually sell the leads that the website generates or lease or rent the entire website. That’s exactly what I would do over the first seven days.
John: Fire Nation, just get started. Get that initial momentum. Get those first few results, again coming back to our theme here of result. Then, the sky is the limit. Hernan, let’s end today on fire with a parting piece of guidance and the best way that we can connect with you. Then, we’ll say goodbye.
Hernan Vasquez: I love what you have done, John, with your podcasts. It all started with the first episode. I’m a true believer that action needs to rule your business. So I’m a big believer that progress beats perfectionism every time. So it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing as long as you are doing it. Take action. Build up your momentum. That will bring you the results that you are looking for but also the confidence to keep getting better and better results as you move forward.
John: How can we connect with you?
Hernan Vasquez: You can connect with me on semanticmastery.com/humpday. That’s where we answer your questions every Wednesday at 4:00 pm Eastern. You can go also to my website hernanvazquez.com. In fact, I mentioned IFTTT earlier and how to apply it for SEO. I have prepared a gift for your audience which is semanticmastery.com/fire. It’s a spreadsheet with the recipes that I’m using for IFTTT to actually automate SEO and automate a ton of the grunt work. So if you go there, you will find it. I’m pretty active on Twitter as well. So you can find me over there.
John: Action rules your business. I loved that parting piece of guidance, Hernan. Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with Hernan, HV, and John, JLD, today. So keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. Just type Hernan. That’s H-e-r-n-a-n in the search bar. His show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. Best show notes in the biz. Time stamped. Links to everything.
Of course, your gift is awaiting at semanticmastery.com/IFTTT. Go snag it. Hernan, I just want to thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you. We’ll catch you on the flipside.
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