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27: Stop Working For Free With Reena Friedman Watts

Reena Friedman Watts- Business Breakthrough Podcast

Reena Friedman Watts is a super connector who can get into any door, but her business journey has been anything but conventional. She has worked every job from being a producer on the Jerry Springer show, to doing court research for Court TV. She is now in her first foray as an independent entrepreneur with her current brand as something of a do-everything freelancer.

In this episode we help Reena find her core business concept as well as some top tips not to get taken advantage of, stop working for free and learn how to structure your first independent business.



My Guest: Reena Friedman Watts

Reena’s background is in the film industry where she became a super-connector and marketing expert. She now works with insurance agents to increase revenue and decrease the frustration of endless paperwork and marketing strategies that don’t work.

She was NPR news anchor and a Jerry Springer producer, and has done sponsorships for Garry Vaynerchuck, Judi Fox’s #LinkedInLocal in Richmond and has also been a bird dog for financial advisors as well as planning five luncheon seminars last year.


Pivotal Moments:

  • While trying to get job at NPR national public radio, Reena saw a flyer looking for interns for Jerry Springer show. She walked across street, pretended she had interview scheduled, got in the door and got hired.
  • Worked he way up inside the Jerry Stringer production team.
  • Decided she wanted something more redeeming and moved to LA
  • Got a job at a family-run special-effects animation studio.
  • Got a job at VH1
  • Got her third job at Nanny 911
  • Met her husband, got married and had three children within four years, pushing her out of the full-time work mode
  • Worked part-time doing research for court TV and programs like Judge Alex.
  • Was given the title Program Manager at the VOIP (Voice Over IP) company where her husband worked, which sparked her love of selling on LinkedIn.
  • Found herself bringing in many leads for the VOIP company.
  • Left that job and found small, odd jobs working start-ups and insurance companies, primary on Lead Gen and now trying to turn that into a business.


The Advice:

When you are super talented and can do everything, look for the common thread to find your core talent. Reena‘s core talent is that she is a super connector, so she needs to brand and price her services in that direction.
Try to make every mistake only once. Realize where you are making mistakes and put systems in place to avoid those mistakes in the future.
Be willing to start from bottom and work your way up. Demonstrate using hard work that you deserve to be promoted.
Decide what you want to go after and make it happen instead of fitting yourself into jobs that already exist.
When you already have a job, learn what is needed in your workplace and fill in those gaps. This will make you extremely valuable.

The Struggle:

Reena struggles with turning her talent into a profitable business. She is a super connector, great at sales and meeting people, but so far Reena has just been been offered lots of “great titles” like CMO for a start-up and “amazing opportunities” to work for free or for equity in companies that have no money. She is struggling to find the right type of job opportunity where she will not get taken advantage of and invest her time into nothing. She struggles with ensuring that she will get paid for her services even though they are hard to pin down.

The Breakthrough:

The structure of Reena‘s business is in her hands. Coming from her background of being employed with a boss making her decisions and paying her salary, Reena now needs to learn the skills needed to create structure as an entrepreneur. What work will she take on? How much work? Who will she work with?
Reena needs to create a contract with terms of engagement and agreement. Her starting point is all the mistakes she has already made. Once she has incorporated the opposite of all those mistakes, she then needs to think of everything that she would want from her clients such as a starter retainer, charge per sale or lead that she passes on and how long she will continue working after a missed payment.


“I was once beautiful, now I am myself.”

Resources and Links:

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About the author, Estie Rand

I love turning ideas into money, and helping others do the same. I help small business owners with everything from marketing to fiscal management, business plans to staffing, database architecture to work/life balance coaching and I love it all! What do you need help with today?

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