If you’ve ever watched the Netflix film, Narcos, you’ll know that the most violent time in Colombian history was when drug lord, Pablo Escobar, declared total war on the Colombian government. Ricardo Gutierrez was serving in the Colombian military during that time, an experience that shattered his childhood dream of enjoying life in his native town of Bogota, Colombia.
In this episode, Ricardo shares his journey of leaving Colombia for Australia and setting up his life and his business there.
He also shares his struggle of promoting his new business using methods that are worthwhile and pay back on the time and money invested in them. Join us for an incredible journey and some timeless business advice.
My Guest: Ricardo Gutierrez
Ricardo Gutierrez was born in Bogota, Colombia. After serving in the Colombian military during one of the most violent periods in recent Colombian history, he moved to Australia where he studied architecture. Ricardo then got a job in architecture, until the university that he was working for realized that he could give much more value by recruiting students from South America. From there Ricardo went into the student world, building up his business, Beddsi Student Accommodation, providing solutions for foreign students who were searching for accommodation.
He is also the host of Innovator Diaries, a podcast that shares the stories of innovators and influencers from across the globe.
Grew up in Bogota, Colombia, where he did his bachelors.
Went to Australia as a student to get his Masters in Architecture.
Started working for the university he studied in, initially in graphic design but then he was called on to recruit students from Latin America.
Left that job and started working as an architect, but wasn’t able to focus on the creative side which was what he really enjoyed doing.
Saw a gap in the market for student accommodation and decided to open his own business four years ago, providing accommodation for foreign students who were studying in Australia.
Initially kept his architecture job, but then quit and went full time into his business.
On the side Ricardo also hosts his podcast Innovator Diaries, to pass on practical advice to students and young people and help them manage their expectations before they go into the workforce.
When building your business, you need to focus on your strengths. Whatever you don’t know how to do or where you have a weakness, delegate to others.
If you build a business as a side hustle while you are working at your day job, a great way to fund your new business is to save 10% of what you are earning in your main job and invest that in the business. That way you don’t need to find outside investors to fund your business when it’s in the initial stages.
Naturally, as humans, we tend to talk about ourselves, what we can do and what we can offer. But from time to time we need to talk to our customers and ask them what gaps they have and how we can help fill those gaps.
If you want to create a healthy and productive work-life balance when you are working from your home, you need to make a clear difference between home life and work life. Create a proper schedule, get up early, shower and get to work by a specific time, as if you had a regular job in an office.
Currently, Ricardo’s main struggle is promoting his business and letting students know that his company exists. There are so many institutions, universities and colleges that are bringing students into Australia. These students are the ideal target for his company but the struggle is finding ways to promote his organization that are worthwhile financially and pay back on the marketing costs.
One solution is to liaise with the organizations within the government that are bringing students in. They can showcase Ricardo’s business and explain how it provides an innovative solution for student accommodation.
There are also many other promotional strategies that Ricardo could implement in his business.
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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?