Amina Bibi Rumjon is known for her expertise in contemporary marketing strategies. Apart from running her businesses, she is also a ‘Mumpreneur’ for the last 16 years, juggling 5 kids. In a recent interview, she shared some valuable insights on how the marketing space has evolved and how marketers can adjust to the ongoing changes.
Amina, Thank You for talking with us. Kindly describe your journey as an entrepreneur so far.
I started my online journey listing a few items on EbayUk, just to dip my feet really. I was so impressed with the ease of this online business model that within 2 weeks, I started creating my own products to sell and it was a success.
I then proceeded to import fashion products to sell on my own website back in 2003 when I was pregnant for my 4th child. Since then, I have expanded in several niches and my businesses flourished and grew.
One of my big success is becoming an Eagle Manager in Foreverliving and managing a team of 350 members across the world. This wonderful experience took me off my comfort zone of being a work from home mummy to a leader and public speaker.
With the vast experience acquired during the years, the next natural step was to make a move and start helping other businesses to thrive. And this is what I do now.
What were the initial challenges that you faced in your endeavor?
Regarding challenges, there have been lots and there are still. The main thing with challenges is that it helps us to grow. Well, from the beginning of my career I have had to learn to deliver to clients in a fast and professional manner at all times. There were days when I was unwell or kids were in the hospital, while enjoying the flexibility of my businesses, I also had to be there for my clients. Moreover, I had websites being hacked, eBay accounts being closed by malicious reporting from competitors. But with determination, I have always come out stronger and faced these challenges successfully
In your experience, tell us more about how marketing has changed with the advent of various social media platforms?
Social media has decidedly intertwined with human existence, sparing only a handful of the population who are unsynchronized with the development within this realm. Users from all walks of life actively use social media on day to day basis, which consequently amplifies the opportunity for marketers to establish and nurture sales relationships.
Legions of brands are choosing social media as a mainstream channel to communicate with patrons. The responsive nature of social media sustains communication from the brands, leading to the growth of ideas and understanding the diverse mindsets. Access to immense opinions, demands, and ideas could influence decision making and act as metric for market research.
Social media is an avenue where the exchange of information between two communicating sources is made seamless. The social channel has proven its efficiency in collecting, sharing, and managing information useful to the members involved. Often the benefits are mutual, for instance, a marketer values accessible prospect data within their marketing scope. While a customer benefits in finding resources that they are willing to purchase.
You have worked with several big and small businesses. Do you adopt an entirely different approach while working with a big company or the fundamentals remain the same?
Well, for me, every business big or small is treated with the same professionalism and we deliver the best service to get their social media efforts profitable at all times. We always start with a strategy and follow up with reports, meetings and tweaking to fit the company’s budget.
How challenging marketing and sales have become these days for organizations and how can they deal with the new challenges?
Nowadays most marketers are facing inevitable challenges as the online space become even more competitive with the influx of new online businesses worldwide competing with brands.
Generating traffic and leads and providing ROI are the leading challenges most marketers will face. Clearly, marketers are struggling with producing enough demand for their content. And as the years progress and competition stiffens, this will only become truer. With so many options of platforms for marketers to publish their content and even more ways to promote it, it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts.
When it comes to creating content that produces enough traffic and leads, marketers should ask themselves two questions: Are you truly creating high-quality content — the type of content people would pay for? And, do you know the type of content your audience actually wants?
Once you know you’re creating the type of content your audience wants, the focus shifts to promoting it in a way that makes your audience take notice. More than ever before, people are being flooded with content. Consumers don’t have to use a search engine to find answers. Instead, articles fill their news feed or buzz in their pocket via mobile notification
Any suggestions you would like to give to aspiring entrepreneurs.
As a business coach, I would love to share my experience with anyone wanting to start a new business. Even if it is just a dream, I can help you get it into reality. Business is there to stay, social media is there to stay, the online world is only getting bigger and wider day by day, if you do not take your share of online real estate now, well in a few years, there will only be regret. So just get started!
An Interview with Actor & Musician Carrel Lasso
Carell Lasso is a Colombian actor and musician. He is well known for his role in La Esclava Blanca (The White Slave) which is available on Netflix. Carrel is also one of the actors of the new HBO show “One thousand fangs” or “Mil Colmillos” .
Carell, thank you for talking with us. To be a part of the first HBO series in your home country must have felt great. How was the experience like?
Thank you for having me. For me it was a wonderful experience, to be part of the first HBO Series produced in my home country.
I met very talented people. The shooting days were extensive and 70% of the filming was at night in difficult conditions due to the weather and the jungle, but at the end of the day, it was a blessing and a great pleasure to be part of this awesome crew .
Tell us more about your character Barakus.
My character is called Alfredo Barranco aka Barakus. He is a corporal in the army’s special forces, and embarks on a mission where unexpected things happen
By the way, I had to gain 10 kilos of weight to play this character and had to go through a difficult military training and extensive gym workouts.
You have been a part of several awesome projects. Which project is really close to you?
La Esclava Blanca (The White Slave) has been a project that meant a lot to me due to the conditions and the circumstances that I was going through in my life at that time. It was also the production with which I obtained international recognition for my work, since it was sold to more than 280 countries in the 5 continents and was dubbed in many languages. You can watch this awesome show on Netflix.
What suggestion would you give to actors who are struggling to get their first break?
My suggestion is to prepare, to work hard and to have their minds focused on what they want no matter what others say. People who are not capable, are always going to want you to be like them, so through criticism and ridicule they will want to discourage you, but you must be patient and persistent and trust the talent and the desire that is in you. The best things come from heaven when you least expect them.
How are you helping young actors achieve their goals?
Since last year I have been collaborating with NYC Latin Media preparing their new talent for productions. Through live acting workshops and now via Zoom I serve as an acting coach, teaching different techniques and methodologies of acting and hoping to instill my passion for acting to the next generation of actors.
An Interview with Russell Jack, Southland-based Yogapreneur and Mindfulness Teacher
Russell Herbert Jack is a yoga and mindfulness teacher from Southland, New Zealand. He specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations, helping clients achieve harmony of body, mind, and soul. Russell is passionate about animal rights, regularly volunteering with the World Animal Protection Organization and donating to protect endangered species in New Zealand.
Russel, thank you for talking with us. Even the best of Mindfulness experts and life coaches have their own ups and downs. Tell me about your best days at work and also about days when you feel low.
Thank you for having me. You are right when you say that it doesn’t necessarily mean that people who are life coaches and who teach mindfulness are immune from their own life challenges. The thing is, they know how to deal with such situations better than most of the people out there.
For me, the best days are whenever I can be at the beach. I love teaching outdoors, and the days when I get to teach by the ocean are the best. There are so many distractions in our life that can bring us down, and being out in nature walking, running, doing yoga, or simply observing is so therapeutic. I also feel down sometimes. Those are the days when I get bad news. I am very close to my clients and I am an empathetic person, so I take their problems too close to my heart.
What are the projects that you most enjoy working on?
I enjoy teaching, reading, and writing. I recently started a blog to practice writing and share my thoughts with the world. My primary focus is teaching though. I teach yoga, mindfulness, and Qigong, and I love walking my clients through the processes and seeing their results improve.
What was your biggest ‘a-ha’ moment?
Well, my biggest “a-ha” moment happened when I tried eating meat after a long break. My parents are vegan, so I was used to a meatless diet for the longest time. But during my late teenage years, you know, everyone rebels, and I decided to try a steak while I was away from home. I didn’t like it though.
What has been the most important part of your professional journey?
Dropping out of college when I felt like pursuing teaching as my life calling. There are many societal and parental pressures nowadays. My parents really wanted me to go to school and get educated, but I chose to educate myself. It’s my path. If I didn’t leave college, I would probably just hang out with my friends now, instead of building my teaching business and helping people connect with themselves through yoga and mindfulness.
The ongoing Pandemic has impacted businesses in so many ways. What risks is your company facing?
Well, COVID-19 has impacted many businesses, but luckily for New Zealand, we didn’t get hit as hard as the rest of the world. I am still able to teach and continue my practice. But I know that there are many people around the world who have lost their jobs and companies who didn’t survive the pandemic and subsequent closures. My heart goes to those.
What would you do with unlimited resources?
I would invest them in protecting animals around the world. There are many people who are conscious of the harm we create in the animal world, but there is not enough funding to make a big difference, I believe.
Being a Yoga practitioner gives you the necessary skills to immerse yourself in whatever you do. Still, When was the last time you totally lost yourself in doing something?
I lose myself when I teach. I turn into a vessel of knowledge and try to help my students connect with themselves through my teaching.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I love traveling and being in nature, writing and learning, listening to music, and talking to my loved ones.
How do you feel you make a difference in the world?
My impact is not as big as I would like it to be, but I still think that by volunteering, teaching, and leading by example, I do contribute to the betterment of the world.
CEO of VEDOC Talks About the Initiatives taken by the company During the Ongoing Pandemic
In a previous Interview with Times of Startups, Yoguef Sanchez-Jarquin, the founder of VEDOC talked about how VEDOC or Vehicle Doctor helps users connect with vetted vehicle service providers with a few screen taps. We recently caught up with Yoguef Sanchez to know more about where his company is heading owing to the unexpected situation we are witnessing because of Covid-19.
Yoguef, It’s great to have you back. Since we last talked, how has been the growth story of Vedoc so far?
Thank you for having me again. Vedoc has grown significantly in the past few months, We are starting to expand and introduce our platform in places such as New Jersey, Chicago, and Detroit. Our goal is to create awareness in major cities and gradually work our way into smaller towns.
What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your organization and Vehicle service providers in general?
Thankfully the Automotive industry has not had any real setbacks overall. As an organization we have adapted well and we are continuing to grow as a team
Tell us more about your recent program in which your company will provide service attendants to gas stations in cities that have seen a massive surge in Covid-19 cases?
We have plans to roll out the program for the remainder of the year upon launching. We are currently seeking to onboard as many fuel stations in the most affected areas. Our goal is to reduce contact between people and provide additional income for locals who are struggling during this current crisis.
Social distancing is one of the tools which can help reduce the spread of Coronavirus. How can fuel stations and car service providers facilitate contactless service for their customers?
Vedoc app was developed with the idea of making the way you service your vehicle convenient which results in being able to contact service providers through the app, chat , schedule and pay and we are also now on-boarding mobile service providers which has become a trend in growing cities.
We genuinely believe that it will complement the concept of contactless service by maintaining people safe at at their homes. On the other hand, some gas stations can see up to 100 vehicles per day so imagine how the amount of germs are transmitted through people.
Through our recent initiative, our service attendants will reduce the risk by keeping you safe in your car while your vehicle is being fueled and providing safe paying methods.
At its core, Vedoc is known for connecting car users to service providers. However, several businesses have evolved in the last few months owing to the ongoing pandemic. Are their any significant changes in your organization in the recent past?
We have made minor modifications and improvements to our organization. However, the core operation has continued to run smoothly without significant setbacks. In that sense, we can consider ourselves fortunate. Overall, we believe this to be perfect timing to introduce a new, convenient and honest way to service your vehicle while contributing our 2 cents to the current crisis.
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